What makes Gallidon unique?

Member: 63
Joined: Jan 12 2009

It's a simple question but one the stewards should certainly be able to answer without hesitation, and one that many a contributor might benefit from pondering.

Now there's nothing really wrong with being derrivitive, some of the best stories out there have some of the most common and recognizable story elements. But for Gallidon to succeed it really does need to stand out from other fantasy world settings, many of which have been around for decades.

So lets look at Gallidon from a broad perspective. The old political order has collapsed, almost overnight, leaving many smaller political entities and individuals with a once in a lifetime opportunity to seize power for themselves, make their own fortunes, or just plain survive the turbulent times ahead. It's a great setting but it's not at all unique. Now I don't really see that as any sort of a problem, as this is just the most general overview of Gallidon. Let's look now at the individual Kingdoms.

The kingdom of the furries. Shapeshifters have been around more or less forever, although outside of Werewolves, they don't crop up much in western literature. So there's nothing really unique about furries, but what I do see as unique is that there is an entire kingdom of furries. In many stories the furries have to hide, and strive to blend in to "normal" society lest they be hunted down. Now there are certainly exceptions, but when furries are introduced as a race sharing space with man, it's usually just one type of furry, like wolfmen, or walrus people. What we have in gallidon is an entire kingdom made up of furries of many different species co-existing with each other and their human neighbors. Now that's different, and poses a number of very interesting questions.

Next up we have the Viking Kingdom. It's snowy, its got Vikings. That's it. There's nothing that makes it different from any other rendition of Norse mythology. And it doesn't even have Valkyries. Trust me Valkyries = win.

The illuminated peaks. It's Tokugawa era japan, maybe a little earlier. The notion that those in power use magic of the mind might give rise to a few interesting twists on the usual tale of the Samurai, Yojimbo, Ninja, crime fighting Sumo wrestler, or whatever. Still, not a lot going on there yet.

The sea of grass. There's a lot of grass and guys on horses. Boring. Next.

The isles. Any time you have islands you have boats and boats means pirates. But these pirates control the elements, like Avatar the Last Airbender. (see my note about being derrivitive). Well, not bad for a start, but there could definitly be more.

Of course I expect the stewards to respond with "Gallidon is user generated content, it's not up to us to make the world unique, it's up to you the contributor" Well, nobody is going to contribute unless you give them something to work with, ans a compelling reason to WANT to contribute to this world.

As the world stands now you're going to miss out on a large number of contributors who want a pre-generated world full of unique opportunities in which they can create characters without worrying about the whole task of world creation. And you're also going to lose out on contributors who will look at Gallidon and say. "Boring, I could create a better world then that" and will do so as you're not permitting contributors to make substantial changes to the world itself.

It's something to think about if Gallidon is going to be successful.

Member: 109
Joined: Mar 23 2009
I agree with most ...

I agree with most of your points except the furries.

I didn't read into the Gallidon setting that there was a whole kingdom of furries. When I think of furries, I think of cat-people, dog-people, rabbit-people, rat-people, turtle-people, etc. I see this as mostly a bunch of druids who can shape-change into animals, but I also didn't see this as everyone in the nation, just one House and only a few nobles within the Greater and Lesser Houses. The vast majority of that kingdom (and most kingdoms) would be commoners without the 'Gift.' It might help to give some rough numbers on populations, city populations, house populations, etc. Just so we know if nobles make up like 5% or 75% of the world and if the 'Gift' is 5% of nobles or 95% of nobles, etc.

I also see a similarity between the Sea of Grass and LotR's Rohan. Its the first thing that came to my mind when I read the background. I saw Mulcar and the Inner Sea as being more Piratey than the Isles.

I do think that some things need to flush out a bit more. I like the idea about the 7th Kingdom, but on the other hand, I find myself not wanting to use it in anything because it's completely in flux. I could write something, then the next guy could write that elves/dwarves are kings and there's flying unicorns, etc. I'd rather have a separate island that's unexplored as a user playground with some basics (sort of how they did with Xen'drik in Eberron, they just put an island out there and let DMs run whatever they want there and gave some magical reasons that allow for extremes in temperatures in focused areas, so you can have snow blizzards a mile from tropical weather if that's what the DM wanted).

I think since this is still 'beta' (and hopefully it's not the same usage as Google's betas like GMail), some topics will get made into facts by the stewards. Sort of like how the Ward Lockes discussion turned into a bit of 'fact'.

I think a lot more needs to be flushed out, for others to jump in and start contributing. However, I think the crux of this is the wiki. Even if the information is there, it needs to be easy to find and logical categorization for browsing. Otherwise, it's just like it doesn't exist.

I find myself in a very similar situation. I've written a short story (unpublished, about 4k words) and working on a novel (about 4k so far) in the Gallidon setting. But so far, there's nothing there that is unique so that I just couldn't change a few city names to make my own setting.

I do like the whole concept of Rug, but right now there's not much benefit for the artisans. I think it's a great outlet for short stories, flash fiction, etc. But it would need a better foundation and reason for those thinking of publishing something outside of the internet. If I could make use my own setting in a publication, then I wouldn't have any license issues to deal with like a RoG product, so there's already a downside for artisans built into RoG. The thing about Thieves World is that it wasn't just a world, it was a distribution/publication system. The world itself was similar to RoG, but the model was different and there were other benefits to artisans/writers that RoG doesn't possess (yet).

A couple of things that might help is the stewards to contact some of the Fantasy fiction publications (I know there's a great Sci-Fi one called Asimov's Fiction or something like that). I just saw the 400th issue at my local bookstore this weekend. It publishes dozens of short stories in magazine format. If the RoG could help foster artisans and then help get works submitted and published, then RoG would benefit from others reading about the world and give some benefit to the artisans.

Same thing with book publishing. There's lots of self-publish out there right now (Amazon has a great self-publish that also includes publish to Kindle format). It's about $500 to self-publish a book. If RoG could publish the best short stories and flash fiction series each year (or so), then that's a real reason for people to submit and work together. Publishing an book might not make a lot of money, but it's something that might help artisans get established for novels also set in RoG. If someone did breakout from a published RoG short story, then it would be a great way to promote RoG.

Member: 5
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Publishing, Beta, and World Development

Publishing "best of" anthology books of Artisan Works in print is absolutely a goal for RoG. We looked at several POD options last year to identify which would be the best match for us. Selling Artisans' Works played a large part in the discussion of revenue sharing, since our goal is to help Artisans get their Works in front of audiences (as well as help put some money in Artisan's pockets).

Beta is not a permanent state for RoG - we plan on moving to RoG "gold" later this year, roughly at the same time we will be offering for sale the first novels and comics in print format.

Regarding world development, we could have fleshed out every single detail of the world, but with every brush stroke we make, there is less canvas for the creative community to work with. Put another way, the Stewards felt that true collaboration with the creative community could start with the world itself.

The 7th kingdom is the perfect example of this. What better opportunity for someone from the creative community to put their stamp on RoG? If their kingdom is accepted, it will become part of the Artisan Handbook and an official part of the world. At that point, it stops being an unknown and is treated like every other kingdom in RoG.

Submit your idea for the 7th kingdom in the same format as the other kingdoms in the Artisan Handbook, and we'll consider making it the official version. Rest assured that it will not have space aliens, flying Gnomes, etc, though. It must stand upon and within the world foundation already established for RoG.

As always, if you have questions about specific topics, email us or post them. We enjoy having a conversation with the creative community; it's one of the reasons we built RoG the way we did.

Member: 109
Joined: Mar 23 2009
The anthology print sounds

The anthology print sounds great and exactly what I, as an artisan, was looking to hear. I can't wait to hear more later about the details.

Also, for the 7th kingdom, I'd love to get a collaborative effort and brainstorming session going with other artisans so we can come up with some ideas for 7th kingdom.