Tales of MU Worldbuilding Podcast!

on December 13, 2014 in MU Blog

Okay, folks. As you should already know, I’m going to be recording some podcasts talking about the mythology and world of Tales of MU. I figure in a lot of cases I’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone by also talking about the art of worldbuilding in general by explaining what I do and why/how I do it.

Our year-end fundraiser has already hit two of the $100 milestones and is about halfway to a third. That means there’s going to be at least two podcasts on particular topics suggested by the community. To get the ball rolling, here’s a sort of “episode zero” I recorded as a test (result: good, but I really need to remember to drink water when I’m recording. Listen to my voice grow ever more hoarse over the course of the ten minutes.) and to also maybe plant some seeds about the kinds of questions/topics people might suggest.

The thing I’m trying to get across here is that you don’t have to worry about figuring out what I actually have answers for before suggesting a topic. If I haven’t considered a particular topic in depth, then in the course of discussing it, I will.

So, go ahead and throw out some ideas in the comments. What do you want to know about? If no one has anything, I’ll maybe talk about the Shift (Khazarus) and/or the Chaos Wars, since a planned classroom story on that never got off the ground.

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11 Responses to “Tales of MU Worldbuilding Podcast!”

  1. Nocker says:

    If you’re taking questions I suppose the main thing I’m wondering is the infernal plane and it’s relationship to “our” material plane. We hear that demons walk around pretty frequently in the shift and we heard waaaay back in early volume one something about an army of demons, but we have no idea what it’s actually like for the people living inside of it or why they would want to cross dimensions. All we really have is the allusions of a demon that never really spends time there anyway and obviously has his plan seperate from anything else established.

    Do they have a god or figure of worship? How do they govern themselves? What’s their morality system? What materials do they build things out of?

    Current score: 4
  2. zeel says:

    Topic: The nature of the gods.

    Gods have been a pretty strong theme in the OTs, and we have all kinds of hints as to their nature – but many of those hints are conflicting. We have heard many points of view from “A god is someone who is powerful enough that you can’t prove they aren’t a god” to “the gods are a special race of their own”.

    Furthermore, in relation to demons – what exactly is it about a god that causes damage to a demon? Are there neutral/evil gods that do not hurt demons? Can a god choose to not do this? Or is this whole concept based on a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of mankind?

    Current score: 5
    • Arancaytar says:

      I vaguely remember (Steff, with regard to Arkhanos?) saying that other deities don’t hate demons as much as Khersis does, since fighting demons is basically his thing.

      But part of it is probably on a fundamental, elemental level, the same way that full-blooded demons are an Always Chaotic Evil race.

      Consider that Khaele doesn’t have anything personal against Mack (judging by her TV interview), yet her presence would still obliterate her, and her powers can seriously hurt Mack when Amaranth invokes them in her presence.

      I’d also love to see that explained in more detail!

      Current score: 0
  3. Glenn says:

    I’d like to know more about certain types of magic.
    We know that Amaranth is studying Life Magic, and we’ve heard about the creation of the bee wolves by a Life Magician, but just what can life magic do, and what effects is it having on the society and economy of Mack’s world?

    How far has Golem manufacture been developed? Is it possible to create golems with superhuman intelligence? Is manufacturing being automated by the use of industrial golems? Are war golems being developed?

    I’d also like some demographic data about the different races. Just how many Humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes etc. are there? Are some populations growing or shrinking more than others?

    Current score: 3
  4. Navi1101 says:

    The Shift! The Shift! My partner and I had been waiting for that class all semester, and were pretty sad when it didn’t come to fruition.

    What kinds of magical effects does it have on the surrounding area, as far as distorting local flora, “letting in” alien fauna, deforming children, bestowing magical powers, making air travel difficult, etc.? How does it effect local culture, and meanwhile, what is the rest of Khazarus like? What is the… Khazaran?… climate like in areas farther from the Shift, and is it more or less hospitable the closer you are to it? What caused it to form? Where does it come from? Where does it go? Where does it come from, cotton-eye Joe?

    Stuff like that! All about the Shift, please. 😀

    Current score: 2
    • Now that I’m back in the saddle, I think this will probably be the next one I did, just because I did have that class/chapter planned and never pulled it off. It was almost the first one I did.

      Current score: 2
  5. Anvildude says:

    I’d love to know more about the development of the world. There’s been hints in the discussion about the Old Empire and the Imperial Republic, but there hasn’t been much showing how and why that universe seems to be roughly on par with ours in terms of middle-class development and mass-production, but kept so many more archaic features, such as prevalence of melee weapons over, say, miniaturized automated crossbows enchanted with auto-load and bottomless quivers.

    What was the turning point that drove people from farms to cities? How does magical industry and mass production work when magic is so individualized? Is the population as large and dense as ours, or is it still spread out in smaller towns with decentralized production using teleportation?

    Current score: 1
    • Nocker says:

      This is kind of a really big detail, once you think about it.

      I mean, if wizards of basically every stripe were reasonably rare before modern education, then who handled things like maintaining local goods like animated carriges or magical equipment? In real life that falls to a mechanics instead of an engineer but there doesn’t seem to be a MU equivalent of the mechanic. Or rather there does, and Dan is one and I don’t think he had much formal education, but we have no idea how many people come through that route.

      We know basically nothing about the imperium outside of MU, to be honest. It seems like it basically stopped and it has no real paralells to a lot of semnial american ideals and time periods, let alone simple jobs.

      Current score: 0
  6. Order of Chaos says:

    I would love to hear about what you wouldn’t do again and what you would fix if you could talk to your past self.

    Current score: 0