Posted by: lordkyler | November 30, 2013

Temples of the Elements – Part One

For quite a while, I’ve had an interest in tabletop RPGs, despite the fact that I had never played one. This was largely fueled by the magnificent webcomic Order of the Stick, which I heartily recommend even if you don’t know anything about RPGs. Through this and some other webcomics I picked up the basics of roleplaying systems by inference and reference.

Eventually, I tried a short game with some of my brothers based on Star Wars. We only used a single d20 and focused on narrative, but it was still fun, even though the game fell apart after a few sessions. Inspired by this, I went looking for a simple, flexible (and free) roleplaying system to have a serious go at our next game, and eventually settled on the FUDGE system. 

Hopefully this game goes better. I’ve put a fair amount of effort into the history, story, creatures, and so on. It will be a steampunk setting with a moderate dash of magic included. For a lot of my resources I’ve just been pulling relevant pictures from the web (just for my personal use) but I’ve also developed some illustrations of my own. I’ll be showcasing some of those here today.

Radiance, jewel of the sea

Radiance is a series of islands, discovered and founded by a group of radical progressionists. As part of their idealism, they have developed an extensive series of canals, railroads, and airship stations around the island. Eventually internal pressures resulted in a civil war that produced the four countries above.

The Strength of Stone

Radiance was inhabited before the settlers arrived. They left behind a series of temples, each dedicated to a particular element. The stone temple is dedicated to strength and impregnability, which is reflected in it’s sturdy design and remote location in the mountains.

The Grace of Water

The temples lie abandoned now, and are guarded by fearsome monsters that have prevented exploration. While they endure, they are in disrepair. The water temple is multifaceted. Water is an element of power, but also of flexibility. It is the life-giver, but can also cause destruction.

The Energy of Fire

At the heart of each temple lies a reward, if the intrepid adventurers manage to defeat its trials and master its power. (It is a game, after all) The Fire temple is in the midst of the desert and houses a natural eternal flame. Like water, fire is a two-fold element, granting either tremendous power or destruction. The fire temple is a test of not only power but control. Passion and constraint.

The Secrecy of Darkness

The location of each temple is not known to the general populace, not only because they are highly dangerous but because certain groups would rather not have the people knowing of their existence. Many have tried and failed to conquer them. Darkness is an element that is often frightening, home of the unseen terror and the dark side of imagination. The Dark temple is a place of secrets and frightening things, a test of knowledge and the darker side of human nature.

That concludes this post. I have the other temples fully modeled in Sketchup, and when I have finished creating the illustrations I will show the other six elemental temples here. I can’t be too specific about some details for fear of giving spoilers to those playing it, but I am very excited for this game. If anyone is interested in learning more about the setting or anything else about this game, feel free to leave a comment.

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