Obdormio.com Unwasted Hours

2 August, 2012

Welcome to My World: Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Obdormio @ 00:00

In my last post in this series, I talked about time keeping in my D&D world. Now, I’ll say a word or two about space, the kind that’s outside the atmosphere, and it’s application.

If you recall way back when, the post that started this madness had a map that included a model of the world’s solar system. I’m not going to embed it here, but have a look at it if you want. I set up a geocentric model, ’cause, hey, magic!, and am going to ignore any potential problems this creates, because, again, magic! There’s three planets circling the world, and one rather unpredictable one that has its own entry in one of the Monster Manuals and won’t feature further here. The Eye of Aurom is the closest planet, named for a god of death that died long ago. Athas is another planet that has plenty of books devoted to it; the only semi-novelty here is that I put it in orbit around my main world. The final one is Cé, named for the legendary first elf, father of all the elven races, because that’s the sort of title that gets you elevated into the heavens upon your death.

I don’t really plan on space travel in this world, and if you’re adventuring on Athas, part of the shtick is that you’re stuck there anyway, so I haven’t developed these beyond names and orbits. What I’m more interested in is how astronomy can be used for astrology back down on the ground. Prophecies, even randomly generated ones, can be interesting fodder for games, I think. So I figured out a calculation for finding their position on the ecliptic on any given date.

There are nineteen constellations along the ecliptic, each but the last of them explicitly claimed by a specific god. You can see them indicated on the top left of the previously mentioned map. They are, in order: the Swan, the Claw, the Spear, the Hammer, the Sickle, the Spider, the Horse, the Tyrant, the Wheel, the Ear (of grain), the Dragon, the Serpent, the Maiden, the Mother, the Rat, the Sword, the Icicle, the Conqueror and the Arrow. That last one is the wild card of the heavens, no god is associated with it.

So let’s take the only character in this world of mine that ever established a birth date; an unfortunate gnome known as Jed. Jed was born on the 12th of Peloma, in the year 460 of his local calendar, under the following astrological conditions: The sun rose in the Ear, making that the dominant constellation – his sign. The moon rose in the Spider and set in the Horse. The Eye of Aurom was in the Horse, Athas was in the Serpent and Cé was in the Rat.

And from there, it’s just a matter of making stuff up, really, until enough stuff is made up to reuse. I’m stealing stuff from real world astrology, ’cause why make up new stuff when someone’s already done the work, and stitching together something halfway coherent.

The Ear is a mutable fire sign, speaking of change, enthusiasm and self-expression. It is associated with wealth, generosity, purity and success. It’s associated god is the god of the Sun, of time and brotherly love and summer and agriculture. Considering Jed, this world’s astrology seems to be about as accurate as out own, so far.

The Eye of Aurom is associated with death, and the sign it was in, the Horse, is the sign of the goddess of luck, change and trade. The Serpent’s god is the god of darkness and poison and indeed serpents. Cé could be especially significant here, as Jed is a Fey creature. The Rat’s god is the god of prisons and torture, it is a fixed wood sign.

Now, like I said, this doesn’t really describe Jed very well, but that wouldn’t be much use anyway. What’s the point in predicting personality? The player decides the character’s personality! What this might do is generate ideas for what could happen to the character, help plan the story of his life. Jed is pretty greedy, and quite keen on economics, so a death planet in the sign of trade could mean I make his trade activity highly dangerous to his health. Since his main sign is all about success and wealth, that gives a story where he gains plenty, and then drowns in it – unless the dice are on his side, of course. Someone will try to poison him at some point, or maybe the poison is metaphorical, a poisoned gift. It’s all vague, as a horoscope should be, but I like it as a starting point for idea generation nevertheless. It’s like using Tarot cards to make story outlines. Or the Deck of Many things. Yeah.

Jed is currently in the stasis of an inactive character, and somewhat unlikely to be revived, so I might as well make it semi-canon: He got hugely wealthy and then chocked on a gold coin after a biting it a bit too enthusiastically. Boom.

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