Friday, July 3, 2009


Having finished the fourth draft of my novel today (I wrote more than 100 pages this last two weeks, all re-writing), I’m in the mood to stretch myself out a bit. Recently I’ve had an idea for an ambitious series of articles on culture and D&D, using as a template a marvellous and familiar source: the Civilization IV tech tree.

My idea would be to consider how technological advances affect cultures and how this might be addressed within the rules and format of D&D, including suggestions for adventure, world design, potential obstacles to players and naturally arising conflicts. Obviously I would begin with the most primitive of cultures, starting from the assumption that low level players would be put up against simplistic societies with only one or a few technologies. As technologies were then considered, additional combinations could be applied to create radically different species characteristics.

Naturally, having the tech tree in front of you should itself suggest ideas, particularly when you consider that civilization builds into its tech structure buildings and units that can be introduced. I hope to add to whatever ideas that you, o gentle reader, might have, always encouraging of course comments expanding out my ideas and adding your own.

I won’t quibble about where to start: I will begin with the top of the first column, work my way to the bottom and then move on one column at a time. I don’t think I’ll worry much about the order in which Civilization IV allows technologies to be acquired. I would rather consider the whole as a list and nothing more.

I’ll begin tomorrow, I think. The first topic would be ‘fishing.’

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