Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wild Spaces in Civilization

Several nights ago, we were driving home through the Park when we were forced to detour. A half dozen police cars with lights blazing had converged, closing the road and diverting all traffic through another neighborhood. It was obviously not a fender-bender or a kitten stuck in a tree; something serious had gone down. All of this happened just a few hundred meters from our home, which got me thinking about the juxtaposition of Civilization and Wild Spaces.

This is about as Jungian as an archetype can be: Civilization is the safe place and Wild Spaces are where bad things live. This has been done a million ways, and there are a million new and interesting ways to do it. Hill Cantons, for example, has a dramatic and interesting take on it.

What the detour got me thinking about is how close these worlds can be while being completely distinct. There are borders between these realms, and the Wild can live right there in the middle of Civilization. It could be a matter of leaving the city walls, or passing the last light in the park. Crossing those borders means one world bleeds into the other. And when the words collide, adventure happens.

So here are some Wild Spaces to inject into your Civilization without the need for players to travel for days to some remote Lost World crater.


A beautiful park, where no one can hear you scream. (Beteabondieu)


Even in the day, it's still filled with dead things. (Trey Ratcliff)


Sometimes, the wild comes for you. (Sunpig)

Abandoned building

Trespassers welcome! We're hungry! (Jan Bommes)

Other side of the tracks

Sometimes you just end up pretty far from your turf.

Under the bridge

Under the bridge downtown, that's where I drew some blood. (BriYYZ)


Yeah. Don't go there. (lordlucan)

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