Sunday, December 28, 2014

The World of Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate: Qi Xien

I just wanted to talk a bit about the setting of Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate and how that has evolved during development. Initially we were aiming for a much smaller word count, so the setting material was going to be brief. Over time we our page count goal grew and we explored the setting in more depth. What we wanted to create was a setting that facilitated adventures from our favorite wuxia films and series that could also support martial arts fantasy adventures. While it is inspired by Chinese history, and to some degree an analog, we also allowed it to take on a life of its own, as each unique element to the world demanded we go in some different directions. 

Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate is set in the world of Qi Xien, a place that exists in the same cosmology as Sertorius (which takes place in Gamandria). Qi Xien was created by the supreme goddess (known in Ogre Gate as Xian Nu Shen) who saw Gamandria as a failed creation, torn apart by the chaos of godly magic. She established Qi Xien as a more perfect reflection of her will and nature. But centuries ago something from Gamandria broke through and upturned the natural order of Qi Xien. Qi came into the world for the first time and the walls between realities cracked. A great evil was at the helm of this invasion: Yao-Feng a powerful sorcerer who brought with him an army of Ogre Demons. Known as the Demon Emperor he enslaved the world and all lived under his iron grip. However two noble heroes emerged who learned to use the Qi energy that came with Yao-Feng. They developed the first Kung Fu techniques and led a rebellion that drove back the Demon Emperor and locked him in Yao Gong Palace (Ogre Gate). In the wake of this there was prosperity but also war. Despite the absence of Yao Feng the world was forever changed by the presence of Qi as demons and spirits entered the world and martial experts used Qi to devise intricate systems of fighting.

Nearly 100 years ago the world experienced its greatest ruler: The Righteous Emperor. However he was followed by his son who lacked the father’s noble character and chose to emulate the reign of Yao Feng. Once again the world was plunged into oppression and many provinces rose up against the tyrant. 

Now most of the martial sects have retreated to their temples and villas in the Banyan region, a place just outside the emperor’s reach. Initially they worked together to continue fighting against the emperor but now, 97 years after his reign began, they are occupied with their own bitter feuds. 

This is the basic set-up of Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate. One thing we had to do was fit the setting's religions and philosophies to match the specific details of its cosmology and history. This is where the analog took on a life of its own. There are still many elements in the game drawn from real Chinese history and culture. The Confucian virtues are there, the five elements are important, there are traces of Buddhist and Daoist thought (though no clear 1 to 1 analogs to these religions). The core system of thought in the setting, Dehua, is modeled after Confucianism and cleaves fairly close to the source material. The current era of the setting is inspired primarily by the Song Dynasty (though again the details are different). 

No comments:

Post a Comment