Severed Genesis > Blog > In the Beginning

In the Beginning

Posted by Bob on March 14, 2012

Over the last several years, I've experienced less than a handful of tabletop roleplaying genres: Dungeons & Dragons, Mutants & Masterminds and most recently the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, to name a few. However, one thing was very clear to me - I wanted to create my own world, develop my own history and draw my own maps. I wanted to create a mystical world where dangerous creatures lurked in the mountains, the seas were filled with merfolk, and fanciful fey danced in forest glens.

Starting in 2004, I began toying with the concepts of this new world. I created a mythical land known as Burchess and filled it with titillating drama. Murder, mystery and intrigue were the staples of this land. Slowly, the concept grew to include still more and more lands until finally it was time to introduce the developing setting to my friends. By this time, Burchess was now a part of a massive Guran Empire, stylized after western European nations. We were playing with D&D 3.5 rules and the players were encouraged to test the limits of the campaign.

After only a few game sessions as GM, I was only slightly disappointed when one of my friends coined the term "Vanillaverse" to describe my new world, which I called the Elder World. I knew my campaign needed more zest and zeal, but I hadn't expected such a sour response, especially since we had only scratched the surface of what was to come. Still, the term strengthened my resolve to continue developing the stories and expanding the campaign. Needless to say, it was a slow process.

In 2008, my friend Kevin, who had played in the original campaign developed a concept that we would later adapt to our story. Kevin asked me to draw him a map of a new world that he was creating in which a comet had struck the planet. My first reaction was, "no problem," and within a week, Kevin had his new map.

We sat down and strategized this new world, complete with a whole new pantheon and a series of world events. Kevin called the cataclysmic comet event the Sundering and came up with Severed Genesis as a name for his setting. Kevin is an excellent storyteller, so the games were quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, events beyond our control kept us from further developing Kevin's campaign.

In the meantime, other friends told stories in more traditional D&D settings such as Eberron. D&D 4th edition came out and we were quite disappointed. Thankfully, we were saved by Paizo Publishing, which later released the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The whole time, the concepts of the Elder World and the Sundering were sitting idle in the back of our minds. We occassionally played a game set in the Elder World, but it was only for playtesting purposes and no story ever went beyond a handful of game sessions.

In late 2011, Kevin came to me with an idea. He proposed that we combine our two settings into one, altering the story so that we could include cataclysmic events like the Sundering and other story elements. Kevin didn't want either of our settings to die and I couldn't have agreed with him more. We had invested too much time and energy in our settings to just simply let them fade into nothing.

And here we are a few months later, with renewed hope and vigor. The stories we crafted over the last few years have evolved, the vanilla taste is gone, and an expanded campaign setting is taking shape. Severed Genesis is a story eight years in the making. I couldn't be happier to finally share my dream with the world.

Meet Bob Barcus

Bob Barcus

Bob Barcus has been playing tabletop RPGs since 2004. He started off playing Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 and progressed through a whole slew of other RPGs until finally finding the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. He is the owner of Apheus Solutions, LLC, which is the publisher of the Severed Genesis Campagin Setting. He is also a recovering World of Warcraft player, where he preferred to play undead warlocks. He occassionally plays Magic: The Gathering, choosing to play his vampire deck whenever possible. Bob enjoys spending time with his friends and family. He is an avid railfan, although he would never consider himself a "foamer."

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