Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Open Portals and Broken Rooms

This past weekend, I discovered an extremely comprehensive list and set of links to types of portals and ways between places, courtesy of Porky's Expanse!, one of the most intriguing game blogs out there. 

Take a look at it. Scroll down a bit. There's a lot to it.

Some examples are more fantasty-oriented, while others are decidedly science fictional.

I could have posted the link over on The Everwayan, which is of course dedicated to gate-based multi-sphere fantasy gaming. It also seems apropos of NJW Games' post today on Ikea worldbuilding, since gates or means of getting from one place to another are an important consideration when creating the kind of modular settings the post describes.

As I said above, some of Porky's examples are more fantasy-oriented and other are more science fictional. But perhaps the science fiction vs. fantasy distinction isn't as important or meaningful as it used to be. Thanks perhaps to the increasing prominence of Asian SF in the form of anime over the last couple decades, these distinctions - which were important in the West for roughly a century - are beginning to feel more and more artificial.

So in that spirit, stay tuned in the near future for a post or two over at The Everwayan on a new SF RPG called Broken Rooms.  The game features thirteen versions of Earth which diverged on August 13, 2002. The PCs are called Nearsiders; they are people with the power to shift between worlds, most of which are in very bad shape in quite different ways.


  1. Well done for finding it and thanks for spreading the word. It's a useful resource and I always find it very inspiring, but that's down to so many people jumping in with suggestions. Looking at portals does make sense in building a world for sure, maybe for some idea of origin too.

    I also think you're right about sci-fi and fantasy - they're really more a series of overlapping spectra. If I remember rightly, putting together that portal list was a bit of an eye-opener, partly for having to decide the categories for classification.

    Broken Rooms sounds interesting, and builds on a fine staple. The example freshest in my mind at the moment is the alternate Wermspittle, and there was a big TV series recently I can't remember the name of that dealt with something similar, and Star Trek has a well-known example too of course. Beyond the obvious fun, there's also an intriguing vison of complex branching paths and subtle laws.

  2. Nice stuff there & yeah the star system has a very cool name to it. Fantasy & science fiction overlaps quite a bit as does horror especially where we're dealing with something like this.

  3. Nice stuff & this is like looking in the back closet of some's mind. Very cool stuff & yeah the ideas here are very much an overlap from science fiction into fantasy. These all well spring into horror.