Dynamic Campaign System

Cosmology Part 08

gaming rpg dnd dcs

This is Part 08 of a series wherein we talk about generating an entire campaign, on-the-fly, for your favorite fantasy role-playing game(s). In the future, it might have a tighter focus on either D&D or Pathfinder, but for now, let's consider this material more-or-less generic.

NOTE: All the usual polyhedron dice are used for DCS, though today, we'll be using 1d12, 1d6, and 1d4.

01: Cosmology

01.01: What came before? (continued...)

What existed before this world? Was it another world, filled with heroes? An endless plane of energy or thought? Or maybe there was nothing at all?


A Cosmic Animal

Roll 1d12:

01 -- A Celestial Fish/Whale. This fish swam in the great cosmic ocean. The stars are the foam thrown up in its wake. The current world is a dust speck inside a bubble from the eddies of this fish, as it swam by.

02 -- A Giant Eagle. This bird flew through the vast skies of eternity, hunting prey and seeing all. The world is one of its eggs that never hatched. Some say this means the world is a place of death and decay. Others say the egg hasn't hatched yet, but will, someday. Eagle cults teach that true believers will be transformed into cosmic servants upon that day, servants who will soar through the endless skies beside the newly-born cosmic eagle.

03 -- A Great Spider. An invisible web stretches between the stars, and a tremendous mother spider once snared its huge prey in them. The present world is little more than the empty husk of one of the unfortunate cosmic creatures it consumed.

Roll 1d6:
01 -- The spider was Neutral, eating good and bad creatures alike, indifferent to their alignments, intentions, or desires.
02 -- The spider was Evil, and only preyed upon the Good or unaligned creatures in the cosmos. As a result, there are very few Good celestial beings left.
03 -- The spider was Good, and only preyed upon the Evil or overtly hostile celestial creatures of the cosmos. As a result, the Evil withdrew to the deep darkness, vowing to return one day.
04 -- There were many great spiders, criss-crossing the stars on silver threads of energy. Some say they all died out. Others say they are still out there, walking along the threads of time and destiny.
05 -- The world is not, in fact, the dead husk of the spider's long-forgotten cosmic prey. It is a living creature, paralyzed by the poison of greed and hate, and wrapped within the invisible webs of destiny, awaiting consumption. When people express hate and avarice, it is actually the spider's venom spilling forth.
06 -- The newer gods fought a great battle with the spider, ultimately killing it somewhere out among the heavens. All the natural and magical spiders of the world arose from droplets of that great spider's blood, which rained down upon the world for a thousand years.

04 -- A Golden Bear. The great mother bear once roamed the cosmos, defending the stars, which were her cubs, from all intruders. The world is nothing more than this bear's paw print upon the forest floor of the universe.

05 -- A Great Reptile. Basking in the light of eternity, the reptile saw through time, and wept for the fate of all those yet to come. This formed the oceans, which eventually receded, revealing the land and sky.

Roll 1d4:
01 -- The reptile was a turtle. It is said that if you dig deep enough, you will find his shell, as the world sits upon his back.
02 -- The reptile was a snake. It is said that it lives within the earth, and that quakes, floods, and storms occur when it coils and uncoils upon itself.
03 -- The reptile was a lizard. It is said that it still lives, and has a tongue made of lightning. When there are storms, the lizard is licking the world.
04 -- The reptile was a crocodile. It is said it still lives up in the heavens, and has an insatiable appetite. Some believe it will one day return to eat the world.

06 -- Wild Dogs/Wolves. A pack of cosmic wolves once hunted among the heavens, running on silent feet between the stars, hiding in the darkness between them. They took bites from the world when they were wild with hunger, creating chasms and valleys. The taste of earth and rock did not satisfy them, for they craved blood and flesh, and there were as yet no other creatures in all of reality. They wept bitter tears as they starved, which accumulated in the hollows they had bitten out of the world, resulting in the lakes and seas of the world today.

07 -- A Great Wasp. It fell in love with the primordial world, which was as yet unliving. The wasp was very vain, and thought the world was ignoring it. It became enraged, stinging the world over and over. This was the origin of volcanoes and geysers, which sometimes still explode from the violence of the attacks. The wasp is thought to have been slain by the newer gods, though some say it still lives, somewhere out among the stars, and will one day return to its first love.

08 -- A Great Cow. Giver of life, Mother Cow brought forth the world. The clouds in the sky, which nourish all with life-giving rain, are her milk. She gave birth to the newer gods, who slew her so they could hold the power of life in their own hands.

09 -- A Cosmic Elephant. The world once sat upon the back of this great animal as it trundled through the heavens. Life had a rhythm then, and all were at peace. One day, the elephant stumbled. The world slipped off, and has been tumbling through the sky ever since. Spinning and rolling uncontrollably, this has been the source of all Chaos in the world.

10 -- A Great Tiger. Silent and powerful, this cosmic predator once stalked the shadows between the stars. The world is made from the bones of its many kills. Some say the newer gods came along and slew the great beast. Others say it lurks out there even now, hunting these gods, and their creations, as its rightful prey.

11 -- A Grand Butterfly. Fluttering between realities, the wings of this eternal insect disturbed a speck of cosmic dust; dust which became the world. The butterfly moved on, and is believed to be creating life and viable worlds, much like this one, all through the cosmos.

12 -- A Celestial Rat. Crawling through the tunnels and back alleys of the cosmos, watching, listening, smelling, and tasting, the rat learned every secret found in the multiverse. The gods bribed the rat to learn the trick of immortality, and of how to create the world. Some say the rat scuttled off after this, into the shadows between dimensions. Others say it lives in the world today, wearing the guise of an ordinary rat, or sometimes, of a seedy-looking stranger plodding through the slums of great cities.

To be continued...

Image: Clothing, apparel, helmet and game by Ian Gonzalez, released under the Unsplash License. Modified by David in Inkscape.

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