It’s time for another blog for The World Below!
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Colours of the World (Below)
Last week I posted a blog about armour in The World Below, which drew a surprising buzz of discussion! I won’t rehash the idea behind the blog here (as you can read it easily enough), but we had some amazing responses to our central quandary of armour economy in the World Below, from an in-universe and out-of-universe perspective. I spoke with our Creative Director Rich Thomas about this, and we both agreed on the idea we felt was strongest from an out-of-universe perspective, which brings me to this blog’s title.
There’s a Graham Norton interview from way back when, where he’s chatting with Spice Girls megafan Emma Stone. The exchange goes as follows:
Graham: Who would you say is your favourite Spice Girl?
Emma: Emma Bunton, Baby Spice.
Graham: She’s your favourite.
Emma: She’s my favourite.
Graham: Okay. Who’s next?
Emma: Don’t do that.
Graham: Just a question.
Emma: All of the other four.
Now, why is this relevant? Because Jason Inczauskis commented on the blog that characters in The World Below should start with two useful items (weapon, armour, tool) out of a possible three, instead of one out of a possible three. Both Rich and I gravitated to this simple shift immediately, for an obvious reason: it’s a lot more interesting to choose what not to bring than what to bring.
With Emma Stone being coerced into saying what Spice Girl she liked the least (though she didn’t take the bait) it made for a more interesting conversation that just saying which one she liked the most.
Now, we’re looking at characters from the World Below having an obvious gap in their arsenal at character creation, but not being unduly penalised at the same time. Instead, they can have two of a weapon, armour, or a tool (or two weapons, two tools, etc.) and they have to depend on a party member to fill the gap without it being too painful and making your character feel weak. It plays up the scarcity element M.K. Anderson commented about, without removing the fun.
The question then becomes: should characters always be restricted to carrying two major items with them, or is that a bridge too far…? Something to consider and discuss below.
Spice Up Your Life
From an in-universe perspective, we received a whole load of incredible comments covering materials (thank you, Victoria!), the heaviness of armour, how unwieldy it would be to wear full plate in a subterranean setting (though some caverns are pretty damn large, I take your point), as well as thoughts on having armour made from materials that might cool or heat your body (thank you, Troy Lenze!), or protect you from certain elements.
I was particularly taken with Pineapple’s suggestion that armour need not only come from death. Plants grow, bugs shed their scales (as do reptiles), and all these things could be used to make armour in what is ultimately a more organic, free-range, and animal-friendly fashion! Just like that, we have an avenue for characters to be more in harmony with their environment, and it tells a tale when a settlement has a philosophy of “kill for resources” over “harvest what the World Below provides.”
DominikD and Victoria both suggested fragile and ad-hoc armour builds, which is a really interesting take and once again speaks to the scarcity and resource-harvesting element of The World Below’s play. Meanwhile, Enzo F also came in with superb commentary on how a “Dire Ant Plate” could be rare when compared to some dried-out fungi-woven chestplate. In short, I found your comments inspiring and I hope the other readers did so too!
Finally, I want to give praise to Perrin Inkslinger’s breakdown of who might use what armour and for what purpose. It was a really thoughtful approach to the subject matter, and I suggest any of you go back to last week’s blog to give it a read.
With all that said, I’m going to be combining Jason Inczauskis and Perrin Inkslinger’s names to make an armour type in The World Below, with the added bonus that I can merge Inczauskis and Inkslinger pretty easily. Thank you all for the feedback!
Next week I’ll be posing a new question to the community in the spirit of open development, or giving you some lore relating to the World Below’s dragon population. Please comment below with which you’d prefer!
Please continue to share these blogs. Post about them, message them to your roleplayer friends, and discuss what you want to do with this game!