Sunday, September 19, 2010

More on a Pulpy Hollow Earth...

Good Evening:

My last post encouraged quite a number of comments. (Well, for my little blog, that was a significant number, anyway.) One of the comments mentioned that TSR's Hollow World had quite a bit in common with my random campaign idea. That stands to reason, as both were inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar series of novels and similar works. However, a good point was made: the various cultures were sufficiently isolated that it would be difficult to get that whole "Tour the World" feel of Conan's Hyboria under the conditions as described in that old D&D product line.

While a complete sphere is still a lot of area to cover, keeping that would remain true to the inspiration for the thought behind the campaign. An alternate thought, though, is to take the Lost World approach, and create a cavern-like pocket world far below the world's surface where such an setting could be done. It would simply take a small, condensed map of a cavern a few hundred miles apart to draw the different cultures close enough to make a "Tour The World" feeling more easily accessible. Yet another option would involve allowing the cultures to interact, which would in turn cause some blending and transformation of both cultures because of the interactions.

Still, if I were to develop this idea at some point in the future, I think I'd stick with the original concept, and then just develop a small area with the local cultures, probably based somewhere around the area of the Mediterranean Kingdoms, or whatever that resulting land mass would be called, on an Inverted Earth map.

What are your thoughts? What would you do if it were your campaign?

With Regards,


Anonymous said...

I always motivated by you, your opinion and attitude, again, appreciate for this nice post.

- Norman

Trey said...

I think the inverted earth is an interesting idea. Gygax used it in Mythus , as I recall.

I like to think of a hollow earth as a respository for a lot of pulpy, weird concepts. Prehistoric survivors, reptoids, aliens, Ascended Masters, the whole shebang.

Kobold said...

The inter-connecting chambers could be quite fun - you might even get cultures clustering around shafts - particularly if the shafts link several 'levels' together - and controlling the counter-weighted elevators between the levels. This allows interconnection between distinctive civilisation levels with a cosmopolitan 'trader' society working in a vertical fashion to link cultures rather than in a horizontal fashion like traditional trading caravans.

The inverted earth would be much larger, but the Atlantic continent, for example, would be transversed by the mid-Atlantic rift valley, while the Mediterranean continent would actually consist of several plateaux separated by mountain ranges.

Depends on the type of story you want to tell - the multi-level cavern story could be quite interesting, but different from a dungeon bash by being huge caverns with cities and the like spread across the fungai plains.