Roleplayer #4, February 1987

Fantasy Worlds

One or Many?

One world or many? That is the question, as we discuss what fantasy materials to publish as support for GURPS. Some feel that if all fantasy material is set in the same world, it will lead to a rich background to rival well-developed worlds like those of Glorantha (Runequest) and Tekumel (Empire of the Petal Throne). Each succeeding supplement or adventure will build on the one before. This is the trend we seem to be leaning toward at present. The Fantasy worldbook continued and expanded on the world of Yrth and the country of Caithness, originally presented in Orcslayer. Aaron Allston's Harkwood, to be published later this year, is also set in Caithness.

The other point of view is that, since one great advantage of GURPS is its adaptability, we shouldn't feel "locked in" to a single world. The unique qualities of the system might be better displayed if a wide variety of fantasy worlds were available. This could mean mythological or Arthurian worlds; worlds drawn from existing stories of high fantasy (e.g., Conan); or new worlds that display different sides of the fantasy genre (e.g., the world of Lantara, the low- to no-magic site of Caravan to Ein Arris).

And it's not just a fantasy question. We'll have the same problem as we develop the space/science fiction material: one future, or many?

As always, the gamers are the ones with the final vote. This is one of the topics of this issue's questionnaire. Let us know what you think.

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