Tales of a Thousand Seas

Episode 2

Worldbuilding Ep. 002: Power of Tone and Emotional Effects on the Story World

Here we begin. I found Episode 2 quite fun. While the topic was a bit more on the fluffy side it did provoke some interesting thought.

1. What are the musical themes of this world and its characters? What would the soundtrack contain? What instruments would best illustrate the tone of the world? Create a soundtrack that inspires the emotions of the Story World.

The soundtrack would draw heavily from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack, big sweeping adventure themes of brave sould boldly plying the sea lanes. As well as some Yoko Kano, especially the stuff from Cowboy Bebop with the Indian and Arabian feels. Some of the market songs from Firefly, give that close in, crowded, multicultural feel.

2. What is the core feeling or emotion of the setting?

The intersection of freedom and fanaticism

3. What is the worldview presented by the game master?

4. What is the ideal attitude of the players in response to the setting?

5. What kinds of major conflicts will the characters face? How difficult are the levels of major conflict? Are the conflicts beatable (as in high fantasy) or impossibly dire (as in Lovecraftian horror)?

Most of the main conflicts will be surmountable. Either by overcoming or avoiding entirely. The seas are vast and have many ports to avoind ones enemies. Some of the conflicts will be based around politics or religion. These can be overcame but will do little to change the overall situation.

6. Are there answers to the mysteries of the story, or are the deeper issues left open, ironic, or unsolveable? Are the heroes able to win, only capable of surviving, or able to win but at a high price or through a great sacrifice?

Many of the mysteries have answers. Most of the characters will be focused on survival, gaining allies, carving out a place in the world where they can live by their own rules.

7. In what camp will the conflicts be based: physical, emotional, political and social threats, psychological threats, spiritual threats? Will the adventure challenge the body, the intellect, or the emotional weaknesses of the character? While physical threats are the baseline source of conflicst I hope more will come from social and political threats, with some emotional treats. I want adventures to test the body, the cunning, and the strength of bonds with other characters.

8. If this adventure was captured in a piece of artwork, what would it look like: color, texture, oils, watercolors, figures, subject…? If this world was captured as a movie, what would the first five minutes look like? Design a series of promotional movie posters that clearly illustrate the tone of the Story World.

the artwork would be drawn of briliant colors, bright and intricate, sweeping vistas. With Dark stark imagery framing it creeping into the scene.

The first five minutes would be sweeping ocean vistas, with tall ships sailing fast. Creeping up on a scene of battle between two ships. The ships are rammed together both show signs of fire damage and people are swarming across the decks locked in combat. One group of the fighters are tall, dressed in colorful clothing of a hundred different styles. They are fighting a wide array of weapons with flourish and flare. The others are shorter, dressed in uniform steel helmets and breastplates. They fight with two types of weapons, polearms and longswords in regimented and cooperative fashion. The camera sweeps on leaving the scene of battle racing low across the water. swimming just beneath he the water are merfolk, dressed in the skins of aquatic predators, bearing weapons made of teeth and coral and shell. The camera dips under water, tracking the merfolk as they slam into a Dragon Turtle. The camera tracks on as it is flung out of the water. Once the merfolk dissapears beneath the surface in a bloody splash the camera sights land in the distance. It speeds towards it, low over the water, between tall ships manuvering into a crowded port. Up through the docks past warehouses and fisheries, into the crowded village with a chaotic and loud population through a market square bustling with commerce , down a main street stopping on an open air cafe with full tables of colorfully dressed townsfolk, sailors, and soldiers. Centering on a single figure carefully eating a meal with two boisterous compatriots.

The first picture would be of a woman in piratical garb with a saber blade held vertically next to her head with the reflection of a ship at sea in the steel. Beneath that two men fencing one with a bottle in his off hand spraying liquid. A squat man in full conquistador armor and helment with a pole arm at attention and in the background two ships in combat.

9. What is the fundamental philosophy of life adopted by the game master/author? What is the overall purpose of the game master/author when it comes to creating an effect? What emotion or series of emotions does the game master/author want to evoke in the audience, players, reader as they experience the world and its conflicts? What literary devices, images, music, sound effects, props, will best serve these emotions?

Freedom to chart your own path comes at a cost maybe. I am trying to evoke excitement, drama, a sense of wonder and triumph in the face of the forces of oppression.

10. Create a chapter of a design bible for the world that contains colors, textures, images, lyrics and collections of written imagery and poetry that capture the emotional content of the Story World. Initial Design Bible

11. Create a piece of artwork that clearly establishes the tone of the game. Compose an instrumental piece of music that establishes the tone. Write the beginning of a short story or novel (up to two pages) whose primary purpose is to establish the tone of the world. Write a diary entry from the point of view of a character inhabiting the world; capture this character’s feelings in response to the world. Short Story page
Diary Entry

12. Use the tone list to come up with a one, two or three word description of the overall tone of the game.*

Celebratory, Intense, with a spice of the whimsical.


This was an interesting read. These questions are something I think a lot of campaigns could benefit from answering, in terms of drawing things together in a cohesive fashion.

Episode 2

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