What differentiates Hollow World from the Underdark?

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What differentiates Hollow World from the Underdark?

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:16 pm

What differentiates Hollow World from the concept of the Underdark? I have had that question on my mind since I came to this forum.



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Re: Hollow World back in print!

Postby Havard » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:34 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:What differentiates Hollow World from the concept of the Underdark? I have had that question on my mind since I came to this forum.


Good question! :)

In fact, Mystara also has something similar to an Underdark (although it is not known by that name). However, going even deeper into the planet's crust you will find the Hollow World. The Hollow World looks very different from the Underdark. It covers the entire core of the planet in a gigantic open sphere with a central sun in the middle. So the Hollow World is continuously covered in dailight and open air. Its inhabitants are not dark subterrean things, but instead civilisations (humans, elves, dwarves etc), many of them preserved cultures that once dominated the outer world.

Overall, the inhabitants have a lower level of technology and a lower level of magic than what is known in the Outer World. A special enchantment known as the Spell of Preservation makes sure that the cultures and species found in the Hollow World may never become extinct or permanently changed in dramatic ways.

This setting is inspired by works such as Jules Verne's Voyage to the Center of the Earth or Edgar Rice Burroughs Pellucidar. Dinosaurs roam freely among Stone Age humans and lost civilisations resembling those of Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt etc.

How's that for a start? :)

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Re: Hollow World back in print!

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:25 pm

Seems cool, the concept sounds like La Gias from Super Robot Wars. Although is a shame those civilizations cannot advance.
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Re: Hollow World back in print!

Postby Havard » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:23 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:Seems cool, the concept sounds like La Gias from Super Robot Wars. Although is a shame those civilizations cannot advance.


Not familiar with Super Robot Wars, but it looks interesting! Maybe there are some things we could borrow from there to use with the Hollow World?

The exact nature of the Spell of Preservation is open to some interpretation. In my experience the players also dislike if the Spell of Preservation means that they cannot make any impact on the setting. So in later years I have downplayed that effect since it is mainly just important to explain why the setting is the way it is in the "Present Day".

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Re: What differentiates Hollow World from the Underdark?

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:26 pm

The concept of the Hollow World is also similar to that of a Dyson Sphere, at least in terms of the world itself. The geographic and ethnographic cultures thereon are more like a "lost world" or museum locked in stasis.
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Re: Hollow World back in print!

Postby Zeromaru X » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:43 am

Havard wrote:
Zeromaru X wrote:Seems cool, the concept sounds like La Gias from Super Robot Wars. Although is a shame those civilizations cannot advance.


Not familiar with Super Robot Wars, but it looks interesting! Maybe there are some things we could borrow from there to use with the Hollow World?

The exact nature of the Spell of Preservation is open to some interpretation. In my experience the players also dislike if the Spell of Preservation means that they cannot make any impact on the setting. So in later years I have downplayed that effect since it is mainly just important to explain why the setting is the way it is in the "Present Day".

-Havard


Super Robot Wars is a franchise of videogames about robots from all the anime you can imagine in the giant robot genre, making a super crossover of heroes and villains from those shows (like Mazinger fighting alonside the Gundams against the angels of Evangelion, and that stuff). You can watch the teaser trailer of the newest videogame here (the one celebrating the 25th anniversary of the franchise), if you're interested. But it also have a lot of concepts originally created for the franchise (I mean, not borrowed from the anime, but created specifically for those games), such as La Gias, a place akin to Hollow World.

Is a world that exist in depths of the Earth, but unlike Hollow World, it doesn't exists inside of the planet. Instead, it exists in a dimensional distortion that exists somewhere inside the Earth. La Gias is a place where technology and magic evolved together, creating some technological stuff that didn't existed on the surface earth (such as giant robots) until the aliens sent a meteor with high tech to make humanity evolve (so they could use the weapons created by the humans and use humans as their soldiers in their intergalactic wars).

Somehow, La Gias is as evolved as Blackmoor was in Mystara. High-end tech mixed with powerful magic. That's unlike the case of the Hollow World civilizations, if I got the idea of the setting.
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Re: What differentiates Hollow World from the Underdark?

Postby Big Mac » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:58 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:What differentiates Hollow World from the concept of the Underdark? I have had that question on my mind since I came to this forum.


If you have a look at Thorf's Cross-sections and Diagrams page on Vaults of Pandius, you can see (even from the thumbnail pictures) that you dealing with an inside-out world, within the outer world.

That's very different from the Underdark, which is essentially a large number of linked underground caverns that contain passages, rivers, villages, towns cities and even seas.

You actually have a sky above you in the Hollow World.

And it is based on the real-world Hollow Earth theory.
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