View Full Version : Magelight Fantasy and D&DPunk

2009-01-26, 06:41 AM
I've long been interested in doing a "Magic as technology" setting where everyone with enough gold has a magic carpet in the garage, a golem to do the washing up.... and the average man? He really does work in a Dark Satanic Mill.

Recently I've been working on a setting which can be summed up as

What if the world ran to D&Dish rules, mirroring Earth History up to the 1920's I'll call it planet Dearth.

Using Earth history is pure laziness on my part, rather than making up thousands of years of history, I can just take a real world events and D&Dificate them on the fly:-). I call it Magelight Fantasy in deference to Girl Genius coinage Gaslight fantasy (http://http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/info/faq.php#0011) (If I set it in 2010 I'd defiantly have D&Dpunk ( though Dungeonpunk appears to be a more normal term))

I'll also make the distinction that while the world operates to D&D rules the inhabitants are not 'in a roleplaying game'. (ie They don't float round in an ill defined fuzzy state only gaining a name and background when a PC happens to talk to them :smallbiggrin:.) Finally the game is not going to run under d20 rules. The PC's are very much outsiders (refugees from WEG d6 StarWars setting), so I can cherry pick ideas from any supplement or edition with an eye to an interesting setting and not worry about game balance since they don't have direct access to the magic system.

I started out writing a 'short' history of the game world this ran to over 150 lines and is still growing, So I'll go for a summary

On Dearth they have discovered the link between fighting in mortal combat and gain in personal power. What's more, they are able to transfer this Necromantic 'Expee' from non-casters to casters for the purposes of creating Arcane magic items .

So were looking at a setting where magic items and magic users are extremely common, anyone with a wiff of Arcane potential is sent off to the adventuring lands to level up to their maximum ability fighting specially farmed monsters. (I'm still toying with what proportion of the population that have Mage potential and what distribution of levels they can attain). In deference it the 1920s feel ordinary solders would probably get rifle like weapons 'Adventurers' would still be using the tried and true Sword and Sorcery (you can pack far more magic into a bow or sword since there has been thousands of years coming up with enhancements for these sorts of weapons).

Anyway were in the 1920 the era of mass production. At the moment the only things that can be mass produced is the Model T Ford magic carpets (you can have it in any style so long as its Berber), elemental bindings (used as power sources for anything from small arms to ships) and level 1-3 arcane spells in potions and scrolls. (I say arcane magic because the Gods have not increased the supply of divine magic)

So what do you think would be the most socially and economically important mass produced potions and scrolls? (mass production cuts the listed market price by at least 10 fold, possibly more if the spell would be purchased in bulk (Mending scrolls would be printed in the millions)).

For that matter what other spells/Magic Items would become important (I can see that Wish would become a primary tool of any medium to large scale civil engineering project
Rock to Mud, pour mud into a house shaped mold then dispel magic would make 'fantasy concrete') and I can think of no particular reason they could not come up with an arcane version of Sovereign Glue).

Thoughts Ideas Wild speculation??

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NPC rights activist | Nameless Abominations are people too.