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Tabletop Game / Lords of Creation

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An obscure game published by Avalon Hill in 1983 which was one of, if not the first, role-playing games that attempted to encompass all genres.

In it the players are able to have adventures in any time or setting, meeting any character the gamemaster can think of from aliens and robots to ghosts and dragons to legendary personages like Hercules, Thor, and Cyrano de Bergerac. All throughout their adventures, the players will be increasing their "personal force" and winning the prize of special powers from various different schools, until they gain enough to achieve apotheosis and become Lords of Creation. Those of such lofty station will be able to travel space, time and dimensions at a whim, and even create worlds of their own. A gimmick that was intended to allow one group to have multiple gamemasters.

Unfortunately, being one of the earliest attempts to be a game that covered all genres, Lords of Creation lacked the polish of some that came later (to name just the first example players will encounter, despite this supposedly being meant as an all-genres game, character creation is only geared toward generating 20th century humans). As a result, the game wasn't very successful, and only three of five planned adventure modules were ever released. They were:

  • The Horn of Roland
  • The Yeti Sanction
  • Omegakron
  • Towers of Illium (unreleased)
  • Voria (unreleased)

Not to be confused with the book series of the same name by S. M. Stirling, which were published almost two decades later.

Lords of Creation provides examples of:

  • Anti-Magic: One of the powers in the "Adept" suite lets a user break magic spells.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In "The Horn of Roland" adventure, the players will find the horn they're looking for is actually part of an entire collection of valuable horns. One of the others is a horn of plenty that can create an unlimited amount of food, and notes the players will never have to worry about that again as long as they carry it. Thing is, it's 20 feet long and basically impossible for them to move out of the room, let alone just casually carry it around on their crazy adventures through the space/time continuum.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: "The Horn of Roland" leads the players inside, to an island where, among other things, they have to climb the tower of a siren and battle her horde of monster buddies to raid her treasure, help an oppressed human population overthrow their robot oppressors, and bring the titan Prometheus his magic sword to set him free from a trap laid by another, more malicious cosmic being.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: The players can easily meet any of them, of course. The premade adventure "The Yeti Sanction" not only features them, obviously, but multiple varieties. Friendly, civilized "real" yeti, evil "fake" yeti created from human subjects by the adventure's Mad Scientist villain, who even named his evil organization Y.E.T.I. (Yama Elite Triumphant Immortals).
  • Butterfly of Doom: In the premade campaign the characters end up in "Omegakron", an After the End version of Akron, Ohio in an alternate future. In the "real" timeline, a nuclear exchange almost happened, but didn't, thanks to a sufficient quantity of human mercy. The players learn that something happened all the way back at the founding of Rome to change that, and make humankind slightly more warlike, which created the timeline where the nukes were fired and civilization was destroyed. To keep the world of Omegakron from becoming the real future, the players were asked to go back to the early days of Rome and make humanity nicer again. Unfortunately, that was one of the adventures that was never made.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Big Bad of the premade campaign is Erebus, ruler of the elemental realm of shadow.
  • Elemental Embodiment: A power in the "Invoker" suite, letting the user change their body into one of the game's five elements. Among the other attendant abilities, most elements let the user teleport from one source of the element to another within line-of-sight.
  • Elemental Powers: The "Invoker" suite gives players access to this, letting them manipulate the four classical elements and shadow, as well as being able to summon elemental beings for help.
  • The Federation: The pack-in Space Opera future setting, Imperial Terra, is this.
  • Genre-Busting: One of the first deliberate attempts to make a game that could do so.
  • A God Is You: What the characters will basically become after achieving Lord of Creation status.
  • Global Currency: To an extent. The players can't just go around buying things in the space future or distant past with modern money, but the exchange rate to local currencies are perfectly even with the value of the dollar to avoid a bunch of tedious bookkeeping.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: One of the sets of powers available to players. Notable that unlike the others which players can unlock under any circumstances, including learning magic, to get access to these they'll have to be in a futuristic setting and pay someone to install the implants.
  • Hot Witch: The villain for the first act of the "Horn of Roland" adventure is one.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: The "Curse" power that Wizards get lets them turn their enemies into other shapes.
  • Kaiju: One, named Thanagor, appears in the post-apocalyptic adventure "Omegakron".
  • Magic Versus Science: One of the areas where the game unfortunately left itself vague. It implies that in high-technology settings, magic powers and weapons shouldn't work as well or at all, and vice-versa, but left the gamemaster to figure out the particulars all by himself.
  • Master of All: Players get skills ten times faster than they get powers. It's not hard to have maxed out all the skill trees and still have put plenty of points into weapon proficiency by the time they've hit Lord of Creation.
  • Master of Illusion: The "Sorcerer" suite is about a PC becoming one.
  • Mind over Matter: One of the schools of power, "Poltergeist", lets a player unlock telekinetic powers.
  • Necromancer: Followers of the "Wizard" suite can learn to raise the dead as their minions.
  • Protective Charm: The idea of the "Horn of Roland" adventure is to find one (the horn) that will ward off some of the nastier supernatural entities who are suddenly after the players. For a while, that is, during which time the players will hopefully have gotten powerful enough to start looking after themselves.
  • Quirky Bard: Most of the professions' skills are pretty obvious in their usefulness to people who are going to be mucking about in time and space getting involved in everyone's business (soldier, pilot, detective, doctor, scientist, spy, thief, even criminal mastermind), but "stage magician" is a little more out there.
  • Shout-Out: Tons and tons, obviously, with all the famous fictional creatures and characters statted up and ready to encounter the players just in the Book of Foes. The first premade adventure, "The Horn of Roland", actually works a bunch of these into the first part where the players are investigating a rich man's death. Just for fun. The booklet even lists them and asks how many the players noticed. For instance, they meet a reporter named Carl Kolchak.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: The first available power in the "Wizard" suite.
  • Swashbuckler: Out of the six pack-in scenarios in the core books, one of them is Paris in the age of swashbuckling.
  • The Time of Myths: The pack-in setting for High Fantasy is one of these, a fantastic world where numerous mythological pantheons (statted out too, but due to space limitations only the ones most likely to get involved with adventures) and legendary creatures intermingle.
  • Time Police: The players meet a group of people from such an agency and are asked to go back to ancient Rome by them at the end of "Omegakron"
  • Weather Manipulation: Players who master the "Wizard" suite can conjure storms.
  • The Wild Hunt: Menaces the players in the first premade adventure, "The Horn of Roland", where the difference in power is so vast the players have no choice but to just run away from the spectral hunters and hounds. One of the hounds appears again as something of a Final Boss in the third adventure, "Omegakron," where they've gotten powerful enough to actually start killing such beasts.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: With a minor bit of Leaning on the Fourth Wall. The first premade adventure kicks off with the players meeting at a gaming convention, playing a fantasy game at one of the booths much as the players might, before they're interrupted by a murder happening in the penthouse.