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Hitting a creative road block with my homebrew cosmology. Domains.

Malanath

Explorer
I am going for a yin and yang type of feel with the creation of my cosmological domains. These are really, really, broad concepts. I am trying to stay away from the tropes of good vs evil.

There are four primary domains: Order vs Chaos and Creation vs Destruction.

Then there are four secondary domains, which is where two primary domains overlap. I have Life vs Death. The Life domain is created when the Order domain overlaps with the Creation domain. The Death domain is created when the Destruction and Chaos domain overlap. So, you have a situation where it is Life (Order + Creation) vs Death (Chaos + Destruction).

So, here is the problem, and it is where I have hit a creative roadblock. There are two remaining domains: Order + Destruction and Chaos + Creation.

I am reaching out to try and tap folks collective creative minds. It needs to stick with the yin and yang concept -- the concept of opposing forces -- while also loosely embodying a broad concept that also embodies the two primary domains that join together to define it. Domains, to be clear, are kinda like cosmic forces; not deities per-say.

For example, the Life domain is created where the Order and Creation domains overlap. Creation itself can encompass many things outside of life, such as the creation of inorganic things, but life, in particular, has an almost Aristotelian teleology built into it. It has a goal, a purpose, an intent, that is created when Creation crosses paths with Order. The roots of the tree grow outward in search of sustenance, while its branches and leaves reach skyward toward the sun. Mortals are imbued with reason, which allows them to impose order onto a chaotic world, creating civilizations--imposing their will upon the world. Meanwhile, the Death domain is about the rot upon the roots of the tree, the blight upon its leaves -- chaos and destruction upon the body. Meanwhile, for mortals Death not only comes for the body, but also for the mind, as they realize the futility and finality of their lives, and as they watch their civilizations crumble into ruin and ash.

The cosmological domains are literally the forces shaping the cosmos. In a way, they can be imagined to be similar to the Force in Star Wars, but whereas something like the Force (presuming that it has some degree of sentient will) might seek something like balance -- these domains seek to be the dominant force. However, their opposing domain makes that impossible, so the cosmology also hues toward balance--making the cosmology stable.

These are sort of the broader concepts and ideas that I am working with when I am trying to think of a domain that overlaps with Order + Destruction and Chaos + Creation. I am curious as to whether anyone has any great ideas that they would like to share?
 

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Frankie1969

Explorer
(Updated) I hope the following is more creative than destructive for you:

Life - Spirit,
imposing shape & intent on the elements,
without which there would be no purpose.​
CREATION
Space - The Elements,
raw stuff of creation, uncontrolled,
without which there would be nothing.​
ORDER
The Universe​
CHAOS
Death - Nature,
the cycle of renewal, starting over,
without which life would stagnate
and entropy would win.​
DESTRUCTION
Time - Entropy,
devouring all, seeking formless void,
without which nothing would happen.​
 
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Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Maybe you should spin it: make Life Chaos + Creation and Death Order + Destruction.
Then order + creation could be some kind of civilization, while chaos + destruction could be base ego stuff.
 

Nytmare

David Jose
Order and Destruction could be something along the lines of urban decay whereas Chaos and Creation could be untamed wilderness.

That might make you want to shift the life/death axis to civilization/war which would then contain life/death.
 



John Dallman

Explorer
So, here is the problem, and it is where I have hit a creative roadblock. There are two remaining domains: Order + Destruction and Chaos + Creation.
Order + Destruction is Stasis, Chaos + Creation is Motion.

Something that would generally be useful for this kind of cosmology is a copy of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. The Runes of Glorantha are a fairly well-structured set of principles, and decently explained.
 

aco175

Hero
Would a 5 domain system like Magic work better for this. Or, maybe something neutral that sits between all 4 forces.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I suspect the roadblock you are running into is more regarding the fact that Order and Creation and then Chaos and Destruction are pretty much both the same things. The only difference is that Order and Chaos are states of being... while Creation and Destruction are the acts to reach those states of being.

In other words, Creation is the act of putting something into an Order. Destruction is the act of putting something into disorder, or Chaos. Thus... I don't see these four things as a pair of differing axis to define a world. Which I think is why there really aren't very strong ideas of Order/Destruction or Creation/Chaos... because you're essentially asking to find a combination of Order and Chaos, which is obviously just the center of the axis and thus useless to you.

I think the reason why Order and Chaos and Good and Evil were the two axis of traditional D&D is because Order and Good are not synonymous, nor are Chaos and Evil. Thus you can have Chaotic Goodness and Orderly Evil. But if you are looking to move away from Good and Evil as one of your Axis... you probably would need to find an entirely new pair of things to be an essential building block of your world that can work with Order and Chaos (which could also be defined as Creation and Destruction, or Stasis and Movement).

So you could have pairs like Rational / Emotional... Physical / Spiritual... Light / Dark... Instinctual / Learned. Pairs of these types you would probably have an easier time finding the Venn overlaps with when coupled with Order and Chaos.

Best of luck!
 

Nytmare

David Jose
Is there a reason why there have to be two axes instead of just reverting to different aspects of Order and Chaos? It worked for Chinese culture and Michael Moorcock.
 


Voadam

Hero
To fit into your existing sphere of Life being Order and Creation while Death is Chaos and Destruction, Chaos and Creation could be newness and change, possibility. Order and Destruction is tougher because it is going to overlap with your views of Chaos Destruction. Inevitability, inexorable decay, and entropy can work for Ordered Destruction. So Chaos Destruction is the sharp complete change of Life to Death, while Order progresses Destruction ever onward, entropy being a law of the universe.
 


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