Using the Aboriginal Dreamtime as inspiration for Primal 4e characters


This Australian Aboriginal rock art depicts what could be a creation ancestor. This sort of art, and the creation story that inspired it, is a useful source of inspiration for DMs designing adventures for primal heroes in D&D. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Virtually every culture, whether real or created for a fantasy role-playing game like Dungeons & Dragons, has a story about how the world was created. While the fourth edition (4e) Player’s Handbook gives some hints about how some of the standard D&D races view the creation of their milieu, the official rules provide┬áinsufficient detail about the D&D world’s creation story for the primal character classes presented in Player’s Handbook 2 – characters like the druid, shaman and warden, who have intimate ties to and draw their unique abilities from nature. These characters need to have a clear understanding about how creation works in their game world, as their powers are derived from that creation.

Some may suggest that, from a game mechanics point of view, such details don’t matter. From a game mechanics point of view, they are correct. A druid character doesn’t technically need to know how a river came to be in order to use her daily powers. This writer submits, however, that if the character knew that the channel of the river was carved by the passing of the flame wyrm at the dawn of time, that detail would provide a richer play experience for both the players and Dungeon Master (DM). It is for that reason that this post was drafted.

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