One of the reasons Bede has me captivated is that from the very start a clear idea of the world Bede is set in has been growing in my mind.

Worldbuilding is, in my opinion, one of those things that - especially in role-playing-games, but also in any game with a story - can be absolutely vital, and yet the player may only ever see the tiniest fragment of it.

The idea of creating these intricate places is one that has always been present in my mind, but something I only truly began to explore when, in 2006, I first played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The world was incredible, not just in it’s fantastic array of magical creatures, people and places, but in the depth of detail given to nearly every element. Ancient ruined cities where, if you took the time to explore, you’d find notes detailing their final days. Whole libraries of books that no player would ever need to read, and yet you could, each one having a few interesting little tidbits about the world around you. Characters with families, routines, small interactions that made them so much more real. It became the thing I love most in a new game, to see the little scraps and know that a designer gave these characters lives.

When introduced to pen and paper RPGs through a few Dungeons and Dragons obsessed friends (and yes, I am now obsessed too.), I began to start writing my own stories, and I soon found myself sucked into creating detailed environments to act as settings for these missions.

And I soon experienced the downside to this, the bitter disappointment when players don’t notice. It’s heartbreaking to know that the goblin you have named, who was pressured into banditry by his fellows, and who always secretly wanted to be a farmer, was cut down in seconds by a player who’s only other thought of him was how much gold might be on his person. (Okay, that never actually happened, but it’s a moving example nonetheless).

But that’s not the point.

A well built world isn’t for the players to know about, it’s there for the creator, to guide them, and show them the truest reaction to the player’s presence in your world. If you know the world of your game in intimate detail, then the story, the characters, conversations, plots, betrayals and conclusions will all flow naturally from you. And that’s what the players see, not all the details, but the convincing environment. And maybe then you can throw them a few little tidbits, the little details which delight the attentive players.

But still, it’s nice to know that when you’ve created a world that someone might, and so, to that purely selfish end, I present to you a short overview of the world of Bede:

The world began like so many others, as the result of a drunken Bet between various Gods, looking for a way to pass the eternities. After a few false starts, a suitably stable plane of existence was strung together, and populated with the various Races on whose futures rested the fate of the Bet.

For a few eternities life passed peacefully: The Dwarves built great roads and fortresses, the Orcs hunted the lands for the finest recipes, the Elves wrote depressing poetry, the Goblins mastered the arts of tricking others to do their work for them, and the Humans sat around their fires, singing songs to hold back the fear of the night.

The Gods found this boring.

No God has admitted to the igniting the spark of ambition that suddenly consumed the Humans, but it is widely agreed upon that it made the next few millennia particularly entertaining. The once timid tribes grew into all consuming civilisations, ever looking to expand their borders. Elven tree houses burned in their furnaces, Dwarven fortresses were dug up by the mechanical legs of the Humans’ land-eaters, and Goblin home-rafts lay still on the bed of lakes drained to quench the first of their unending expansion.

The coming war was inevitable. The Gods prepared snacks.

Before long the Humans, in their gleaming mechanical cities, had begun the subjugation of all other Races. Dwarves would smelt the iron for their great landships, Elves waited tables, and the mighty Orcs - prisoners in the clockwork kitchens - prepared the finest of meals for the Humans’ obese upper class. Ambition is blinding it would seem, for no Human can sense the rebellion that now sits in every corner of their home.

The player takes the role of an Orc Quartermaster, one of the lands finest chefs, held captive and forced to cook dragon eggs for the Humans.

I want the story mode to be a series of games, with interludes that tell the story of the orcs capture, his enslavement, and eventually his attempts at sabotage and escape.