Settlements Names

  I went to the woods last holiday. My mother in law lives on a farm near a small town in the countryside of Goias, which is a smaller state in the center of Brazil. The farm is not active and the natural environment there is very well preserved. There are lots of natural places and settlements, and I found it quite funny how the people around there name these places.  In hexcrawl, pointcrawls, or any exploration games, the authors (me included) tend to name the settlements with epic names such as: Thunder Peaks, Spine of the World Mountains, Hills of the Green Wastes, etc. I imagine this as in an MMO RPG, or any electronic RPG really, when you “discover” a new settlement, a name with a good typography appears on the screen. As a GM, I named places like that when the players reached the location: “So, you enter in the Giant Rock Mountains”. Yeah, I know, this is just a detail, and doesn't have a real impact in the game or adventure. But knowing how people named the settlements in t

Corrupted Magic/Energy Flux.

As we mentioned in the previous post about energy flux (mainly in natural environments), it is dissipative, so energy is lost through the trophic levels. The individuals at the top trophic levels need exponentially more energy to stay alive, or, in our parallel, to maintain their power.   Natural environments have a buffer, it is mainly balanced and spontaneously regulated. There is  a limited number of individuals in the top of the trophic levels. But, as we all know, human beings have been circumventing this for centuries. And it has serious consequences, as, for example, the one we've been experiencing since last year. When we look at our parallel, where magical energy flows like the natural one: If there are lots of powerful beings, the magical environment is unbalanced .  The energy itself flows in what can be considered an evil or, at the least, selfish way. If the environment is unbalanced, the consequences for this powerful and magic setting are unimaginably serious. If the

Hollow Earth

Back in 2009, I was having a great time hiking in what is called “Trilha do Morro Pelado” (naked hill trail). It is located in the South of the country, in Santa Catarina state.   And recently I was watching a youtube channel in which the crew was also hiking there. One of the crew members mentioned a book that reports local caves leading to The Hollow Earth (this is also the title of the book). It is a conspiracy book written in the 60s, by a Dr. Raymond Bernard.   The main theory of it is that the Earth is hollow, and inhabited by a high-tech society that has UFOs, and the reason of UFOs sightings is the threat of an atomic cataclysm, back in the 60s and 70s.  On the first pages of the book, we could see the following: Freely Translated: “Is this the greatest discovery in history?” Dr. Raymond, famous scientist and author of the Hollow Earth, says that the real UFO base is an immense subterrain world, in which the entrance is an opening at the North Pole. Dr. Bernard believes that in

The energy flux, as magic.

    As some of you guys know, I´m a biologist. I work with very little beings, that is not the case to be mentioned here.  Two days ago, I was thinking about energy flux dynamics in ecological networks, it is a very technical expression. But mostly, it is like we all studied at school: how some vegetables produce energy through sunlight, and it is consumed in the food chain, getting on top of this chain, concentrating in the organisms we call predators. So with this, I was thinking how can I make a parallel or even make an exercise with this information, through magic systems or concepts in RPGs. In D&D, we had a thing that we call the weave, (mostly nowadays in D&D, I am not aware if this thing existed in OS D&D, so comments and collaboration are very welcome). It works like an invisible magic web that can be manipulated by a conjurer that previously had memorized how to manipulate this thing. This doesn't, at all, make sense to me. Mostly, not because it is too fantas

Absurd Magic

Last week I finally finished reading the Myth of Sisyphus by Camu, it was a recommendation from my therapist. And, of course, most of my reflections were not RPG related, but  some of them are.  The synopsis of the book is: “ Influenced by the philosophers Søren Kierkegaard, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Nietzsche, Camus argues that life is essentially meaningless, although humans continue to try to impose order on existence and to look for answers to unanswerable questions. Camus uses the Greek legend of Sisyphus, who is condemned by the gods for eternity to repeatedly roll a boulder up a hill only to have it roll down again once he got it to the top, as a metaphor for the individual’s persistent struggle against the essential absurdity of life. According to Camus, the first step an individual must take is to accept the fact of this absurdity. If, as for Sisyphus, suicide is not a possible response, the only alternative is to rebel by rejoicing in the act of rolling the boulder u