Old World Inspirations

When it comes to worldbuilding, it’s always good to have a distinctive style in mind and working towards staying true to this vision. In my experience there’s always a tendency to go down established paths and before you know it you find yourself with a generic world with two or three gimicks. For the Old World I have a very clear image of what the setting is supposed to look and feel like and what it seems and internal logic should be. The following is what I believe to be a pretty complete list of the books, movies, videogames, and RPGs that inspired the setting:

  • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Burroughs (1912)
  • Alien (1979)
  • Aliens (1986)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • Bound by Flame (2014)
  • Conan by Robert Howard 1932-1936)
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
  • Dark Sun (1991)
  • God of War II (2007)
  • Halo 2 (2004)
  • Heavenly Sword (2007)
  • Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (1992-1994)
  • Hellboy (1993 and ongoing)
  • Ghost in the Shell (1995)
  • Kane by Karl Wagner (1970-1985)
  • Knights of the Old Republic (2003)
  • Mass Effect 2 (2010)
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 (2004)
  • Morrowind (2002)
  • Planescape (1994)
  • Predator (1987)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Seirei no Moribito (2007)
  • Shadow of the Colossus (2005)
  • Soul Reaver (1999) and Soul Reaver 2 (2001)
  • Stargate (1994)
  • Super Metroid (1994)
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • Them! (1954)
  • Warcraft III (2002)
  • Yojimbo (1961)

There’s a couple of science-fiction movies and games on the list, but I think with almost all of them the technological elements are just window dressing. At their heart they are still about monsters and magical worlds.

Want to feel old? (Pathfinder Edition)

Paizo recently announced a new game called Starfinder, which to me sounds a bit like “Pathfinder 40k”, but it worked for Warhammer, so why not? People have been wondering if the work on this game might push Pathfinder into the background and that had me thinking about how long this game has been around already.

If you include the playtest versions – which really were complete games in their own right and didn’t change much over the continued development, so I do – It’s been around for 8 years and 3 months. D&D 3rd edition on the other hand had a total lifetime of 7 years and 6 months. Even if you count from the release of the final core rulebook, Pathfinder will have outlived its predecessor by the end of this year.