I’ll go ahead and quote my illustrator on this one:

This comic is not a reflection of the author/artist’s opinions on the great (late) Sir Terry. >_> Our dog is named after him and he remains my favorite author to this day. I was very pleased when it won the poll <3

Pictured here: A greyhound / literary reference.

Hear hear!

A word of explanation though. That last bit references out most recent Patreon poll. Our Quest Givers were asked to decide which fantasy world deserved a main-comic shout-out. The Discworld narrowly edged out Dark Souls and Bunnies & Burrows. While it’s cool seeing Chelys galactica in Handbook style, it is too bad in a way. The Great A’Tuin may be a worthy subject, but I wanted to see how Laurel planned on fitting big floppy rabbit ears under Fighter’s helmet.

Any dang way, let’s a take a moment to talk about cosmology. It’s on my mind lately since (at long last), I’m playing a Pathfinder 1e game rather than GMing one. It’s called “The Planar City Game,” and is very much in the spirit of SVigil. Our central location is a recently discovered floating island filled with planar-aligned districts. Mostly uninhabited, the place is now the subject of an interplanar land rush. Session 1 involved a skyship crash landing in the Positive District. Portals from the plane of Fire and the Abyss and Everyfreakingplace Else opened at random, and pitched battles erupted around the setting.

Not a bad set piece encounter for Session 1, but it’s the upcoming Session 2 that I’d like to talk about. That’s because my buddy behind the GM screen asked in passing what I’d like most to explore next time. What a question! When you’re in a city of portals, complete with cosmologically-labeled districts, it means you can go anywhere at all. That’s the joy and the curse of these settings. You’ve got a baked-in excuse to drop anything you can imagine on the party. However it’s a bear to prep for zig (Negative Energy District Tavern Zombie Pit Fight) when the players spontaneously decide on zag (Water District Leviathan Hunting).

What does any of this have to do with Sir Terry’s Discworld? Simply this. When asked where I wanted to go in all the multiverse, my answer was, “The empty places. If this city is recently discovered, then it has to be predominately a ghost town. I want to know what the unused buildings downtown are hiding.” You see, it’s tempting to turn every campaign in a shiny new setting into Rincewind’s trip across the Discworld. As a GM, it’s natural to want to send your players out beyond the Rim, rocketing into space for a better look at the turtle/elephant/disc that supports your cosmology. But as a player, I want to get to know my home base first. I want to hang out in Ankh-Morpork, feel the cobbles beneath my boot soles, and fall in love with a neighborhood or a couple of NPCs. Once I’ve got my bearings, that’s when I’ll put in the great work of falling in love with a world.

That of course leads us to our question of the day! How do you like to introduce your cosmology to a group? Do you go for the exposition dump up front? Give them a few “divine visions bigger than your mortal minds can contain?” Or perhaps you favor mystery, with opaque happenings explained obliquely over the course of a campaign? Whatever your style, tell us how you like to be introduce “the big stuff” in your game world down in the comments!


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