Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Urban fantasy and collaborative world-building

In honor of Jenn starting her Exalted campaign up again, I'm going to revisit something Exalted-related that was once near and dear to my heart: The Exalted Wiki. I'm not talking about the one that White Wolf launched, but rather the earlier one that was fan-created. A number of authors and artists for the Exalted line actively participated in it. I was, for a while, a very active contributor. I lost my momentum right around the time that Exalted Second Edition came out.

One might see an parallel between that and the manner in which I mostly stopped posting d20 rules-things on this blog around the time 4e was released.

(The wiki eventually made the transition to 2e, and it is still active.)

Anyway, the Exalted wiki has a ton of stuff on it. I encourage you to take a look, even if you don't play Exalted. You doubt me? I suppose I will have to give you an example of one thing that I think is awesome and generally useful.

The city of Nexus is the down-and-dirty city that stands at the spiritual center of Exalted's setting. It is an anything-goes metropolis in the spirit of Greyhawk, Lankhmar, and Sigil. The Exalted books give a decent overview of the place, but what you really need to run a game in a city are details: shops, taverns, people you meet on the street, customs, and slang. That's the sort of thing that gaming books rarely give you. It is also the sort of thing that a distributed network of people with different interests and viewpoints excell at creating. Thus was born The Nexus Project. The Nexus Project is an attempt to flesh out some of the details of an insane metropolis in a world full of magic and spirits. It is almost all fluff, and little of it is intrinsically tied to Exalted's setting (though much of it is grounded in it). Take a look around. I'm sure that you'll find something useful in it that you can fit into just about any fantasy city.

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