One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
As the French philosopher Bergson said: “Each philosopher has two philosophies: his own and Spinoza’s one”, I may say: “Each DM has two Creation Myths: his own and Maldin’s one”. Spinoza was excommunicated for heresy, and Maldin judges his theory to be the most Unspeakably Villainous Heresy ever to spring from his pen (past, present or future!!). But the fact is that the GUT is very close to the Truth, and we have to assume, with Maldin, that everybody else agrees with his views. Otherwise they’d be wrong.
“From Nothingness springs All” (GUT §1)
Is this formulae only rhetoric? I assume that “All has always existed” and Nothingness never existed. But the state of All at the beginning was so undetermined that it was like if nothing actually existed, whence this starting sentence. The question remaining is how long this beginning state of All did last? A meaningless question because Time didn’t exist at that time. But, what is important is the happening of Events. And something did happen.
Then, the GUT puts the most interesting concept of all: the Variable. And the fist Event of importance to happen is the encounter of Variables, which beget what is called “Sentients”.
What is a Variable? Is it a part of All? Or is it All, from a certain point of view? Let’s say it is a Mode of existence which has inertia, in other words, which has the power to persevere in its being, and therefore to fight against Entropy, which is the force that draw all things back to the formless state of being.
How many Variable does exist? Maldin finds seven, but adds they are not limited to seven. I’d rather number them to eight, because I find more elegant to have eight Variables: they refer to the eight pointed star, the symbol of Chaos (primordial Chaos, not the Alignment of course). I divide naturally the Dimension Variable into Space and Time.
2. Physical Energy
3. Magical Energy
4. Life Energy
As you guess, I agree with the natural pair of Variables. All the more, I propose that these pairs are the ground for the Spheres of power as described in the D&D Immortals boxed set. So you have:
Sphere of Matter: Matter and Physical Energy.
Sphere of Energy: Magical Energy and Life Energy.
Sphere of Time: Space and Time.
Sphere of Thought: Ethos an Sentience.
And about the famous Sphere of Entropy: this is the Sphere of powers motivated by bringing All back to disorder and meaningless existence (that is not to say bringing All back to Nothingness because it is impossible, but to something absolutely formless: the blank sheet of paper before creation).
And so, each Sphere is the gathering of Powers who are mostly composed of one or both Variables belonging to that Sphere. You must admit that a powerful being had to be composed with all eight Variables at different degrees, but the Variable which is majority determines to which Sphere the being will belong. It is the variable upon which the Power is more able to act.
But let’s go back to the beginning, and we shall assist to the first Event of importance.
“There came the meeting of several Sentients” (GUT §13)
Last edited by Galliskinmaufrius on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:01 am; edited 2 times in total
I'd like to copy here my own heretic sub-theory about the Multiverse from antoher topic.
"I have my own heretic opinion about the fate of Tharizdum : the Gods did not kill him because he was not one God (or one Lawful Good God as Maldin said , he was several Gods. They were even two pantheons of Gods.
Want more of this insane theory ?
OK. I warn you beforehand: it’s a weird tale.
I always wanted to find a reason for the different cosmologies between the D&D system (basic, expert, companion, master and immortal boxed sets) and the AD&D system (MM, PH, DMG, and Manual of the Planes for short).
The main difference is that the D&D mutliverse is composed of an infinite number of finite outer planes and the AD&D multiverse is composed of a finite number of infinite outer planes (the ring or wheel of outer planes). Think of it like the world of Christopher Priest’s novel “Inverted World”.
Another difference is that, in the D&D multiverse, there is no negative nor positive material planes, but they do exist in the AD&D multiverse. These two material planes also introduced Evil and Good in the AD&D alignment chart and determined the place of the outer planes in the wheel, while the alignment in D&D remain Law – Neutral – Chaotic and the outer planes are not ordered.
So, as the AD&D game rules came after the D&D rules system, I say to myself: something can explain all those changes, something must have happened, indeed, something really huge MUST have happened and the Gods MUST have done something about it.
Well, I won’t extrapolate about WHY They done something, I’ll just say WHAT They done. In the D&D cosmology, the Gods belong to Spheres : Matter, Energy, Time, Thought and Entropy. At one point, I assume They collectively done something which resulted in the transformation of the cosmos which gave us the AD&D multiverse. They decided to get rid of the Entropy Sphere.
Oh, They did not kill all of the Entropy Gods, as I said They could not and They did not want to. And some demons survived from the D&D world to the AD&D world like Orcus and Demogorgon. They just managed to sink a majority of Them in – well… in Nothingness, creating in the same way a huge black hole (and white hole) in the continuum which gave Them a new source of energy: positive and negative material planes, a new source of magic.
The banished Gods were collectively named “Tharizdum”, because it could mean in the Old Tongue: “Theirs is Doom” or more explicit: “To Them belong the Doom”, “They were doomed to be expulsed”. This expulsion caused also the rearrangement of the outer planes in a ring, and the distortions of the multiverse were such that they merged to become finite in number but infinite in size. By the way, the Gods were satisfied of the result. Needless to say that the Spheres were disrupted and the Gods found their home in planes according to their alignment, the remaining weakened Entropy Gods filling the 666 Abyss.
Now I ask you one question: which were the two pantheons that were expulsed from a certain Deities & Demigods rules book?
YES, I say :
1. Tharizdum is the Cthulhu and the Melnibonée pantheons + other chaotic Gods (your choice).
2. His “prison” is beyond the positive and negative material planes (out there)
If Tharizdum is freed, this will happen:
1. Cthulhu & co. and Melnibonée Gods will come back to the AD&D multiverse and they are not happy
2. The Outer Planes Ring collapse (good bye Planescape)
3. The Outer Planes become again finite in size, infinite in number and not ordered
4. It will take time for all this to calm down, but it will… (No, this is not the end of the world)"
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