As I was listening to the episode on Empedocles on the History of Philosophy “without any gaps” podcast, my thoughts turned to cosmology and D&D. Basically, there is a big cycle between the rule of Love, where all the elements mingle and everything is a single perfect sphere, and Strife, where all the elements separate, fire over here, water over there, and so on.
Implementing this in fantasy role-playing games we need to change some of the Great Wheel cosmology of Planescape. The inner planes are now the outer planes: The four elements are the chaotic forces pulling us in different directions. All elemental creatures must be very chaotic and enemies of life. At the center, where all elements meet, there is but a humongous sphere of gray goo. I guess all the slimes, puddings and oozes must be creatures of
law Love. They bring all the elements together and none better than the gray ooze. Given all that, the world we know must necessarily be between the elements and the spherical goo, ie. on the spherical surface.
What about dungeons? What about the “mythic underworld”? I think we have various options:
In either case, monsters are drawn down to the center of things just as we are. The traps can be set by our competitors down there, or by the gray goo defending itself against unworthy plunderers.
I think we need one final idea to make it all work: How to explain the heavens and the moon and the stars if “up above” we expect to see the four elements?
Food for thought, in any case.
I like how the podcast provides two interesting links:
The second link uses “font-family:comic sans ms, verdana, arial, sans-serif”. Comic Sans. You have been warned.