When it first became clear that Table Tactics was going to be something beyond a FF Tactics clone, my first thought was “How can I justify tons of conflict without coming up with an insane number of specific issues or potential reasons to fight?” Really, that thought was the first cause that drove the entire setting creation. I’d like to think I’ve come quite a ways from that, but maybe I’m just blowing smoke.
The easiest answer to the why is there always fighting question was a simple one – make the focus of the setting two countries that are in a lukewarm war (not a cold war, not a guns blazing hot to trot war – a war that’s just right). So from there the questions multiplied. Why are they always fighting? Why doesn’t one just pull out the stops and win? Why did they start fighting in the first place? As it turned out, the answers were pretty simple. In order: religion, religion, no one remembers for sure, but probably religion.
Images grew in my mind of a pious northern kingdom, complete with a powerful church and a divinely endorsed monarch. The south would be the opposite, an atheistic democracy. Not exactly the most original setting ever. So we needed a couple twists. The gods are real. The church is benevolent, and the monarchy primarily formed of genuinely kind and wise leaders. The democracy is hideously corrupt.
As important as the combat and the countries was the people populating them. Let’s be honest, I needed some fantasy species. Humans are boring, so they get set in their proper place: the tolerated minorities. Replacing humans is the widespread jack-of-all-trades, the cute animal people. Instead of the civilized elven leaders, a civilized (and divinely backed) species of lizard people. And finally, the slightly alien, relatively savage outsiders – plant people.
I could keep going from here for days, but I think I’ll save that for the various posts where I actually detail the world of Table Tactics. The big takeaway is this: in the end, the whole thing is a bunch of excuses for a fun, interesting world with plenty to do. But hey, on the bright side it’s a fun, interesting world with plenty to do.