So I’m not giving up on this. Not that easily! After the last post on this topic, you might be a little interested, but might ask “How does this work, how do I even begin this thing?” So let me give you an example of how that might work.
First of all, not everyone can just jump right up and dive into a creative tour de force that will be an interesting epic level empire chock full of drama and oozing coolness. And even those who can may need a jump start. So what help is out there for you? Enter Chaotic Shiny Productions page o’ random generators. In particular you want the Culture pack of generators, and probably the Medieval Army generator. Later on the Accesories, Color, and Plot series of gen’s will be useful. Chaotic Shiny gets a full five stars from me – these are incredibly useful jump starters and cover alot of terrain. But I offer them with a word of warning – you are the final authority on your creation, not a random table. If you want to change something…change it.
So watch and see how easy it is. First off lets do the general Civilization generator and see what that gives us. I choose an ancient culture, wanting something with layers upon layers of intrigue within the borders, and the shaping force I pick as religion (always a good hook). A few things stand out as I look at the page:
Focus: leader worship
Worship: solemn organized prayer in public temples
Associated Artform: songs
Prevalence: believed by all
Holidays: very often
Looks like classic Sunday church here in the USA, but with a focus on spirits in objects. With a high prevalence, and this being the shaping force, we can assume that priests hold high sway, and that the spirits are probably an active rather than passive guiding force. This fits with other things in the generator, like a prevalence of natural magic, a tropical climate, and a 95% rural rate. Next up, military:
Strength: very strong
Main Unit: small, stealthy ships
Soldiers: hired mercenaries
Main Use: quenching rebellion
Rank: granted by superiors
So perhaps sea spirits are the most prevalent, and priestly families on the coast are the most influential. I would assume the capital is on the coast as well. Apparently there are many rivers in the tropical nation, or its island based, if small ship units are the primary unit that has resulted from using the military to suppress rebellion. Even better, perhaps its a series of islands, akin to Hawaii or the the Philippines. What about the economy:
Main Export: semi-precious stones
Main Import: raw ore
Main Resource: mining – gems
Trade: major surplus
Strength: stable, but declining
Wealth: in the hands of a very few
Makes sense. A relaxed island where trade is abundent and well received. Here I make my first change. If religion is the focus of power, then wealth is probably a little more evenly distributed than this suggests. Consider it so changed. So what other generators might be helpful…how about the gemstone generator? Sounds good:
The gem is vibrant mauve. It is uncommon. It is commonly cut in trapezoids. It is associated with grounding, and willpower. It is primarily found along the coast.
Theo, who partners with an elder spirit of strength, backed by the military.Poral, interested in maintaining freedom for and within the island, sourced by a powerful guardian spirit.Infar, whose neutral status gives him power as the tie-breaking vote, close to the islands plant spirits.Vice, a shadowy priest with the most ancient of spirits behind him, who has uncertain motives.Arcba, who is most interested in the songs and story of the island, his spirit hails from the arhipelago’s dry center.
Druids desiring to affect the weather must consecrate their spirit with magic in a temple during the day .