World of Dungeons by John Harper is a tiny pdf, 3 double-spread pages, a third of which is the stained character sheet printed twice. In that space you get enough rules to get started with the idea that as you go, you and your friends will be creating new moves as needed.
My favorite page, though, the one I never see anyone discuss – the one that we ignored when Sean and I played is the following:
Northlands, Imperium, Regency, Xanathar & Islands, Uru & the Great Desert, Akhyra & Cythonis, with a list of evocative names under each. That right there is a setting. That is all anyone needs to get started. Daydream on that, write some names on a map, scrawl out a few rivers, some mountains, jot some symbol that means, “demon-haunted hole filled with treasure,” a few times and you are good to go.
Dangitall, there is even cosmology about True Names in there that I didn’t even remember until I pasted the page into my blog.
I think what I’ve learned in the process of writing this is I like my settings with more questions than answers.
What is the Regency? Is there a child-king ruled by a council of oligarchs? Will the oligarchs hand over power when the child comes of age?
The border where the Northlands meets the Imperium – is it open war? Feuding? Have the Northlands Jarls sworn oaths to the Empire?
Xanathar and Islands – why is the Imperium navy having trouble keeping its hold on the forts here?
Uru and the Great Desert – what remnants of a once worlds spanning government has its ancient ruins buried in these sands? What are the people like who call the Uru home and why has the Imperium kept its armies clear of them?
Ankhyra and Cythonis – what is the cultural link between these lands and the Imperium? What relationship did they have with the ancient people of Uru? What political conflict is causing civil war there now?
And I want those questions answered through play – if they are answered at all.
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