So, I'm new to GITP and this is my first attempt at world-building, which means two things--one, I'm unfamiliar with a lot of the forumspeak I've seen people using on here (for example, I have no idea what PEACH stands for) and two, I'd welcome any feedback you have on my ideas. For the moment, I'm going to just go over some of the basic concepts and thematic elements I'd like to work with. I have more ideas pretty firmly in place as of now, including the name Shadelight
which ties into my history, but for now I just want to start with the basics.
So, here we go:
I want the mythology and culture of my setting to focus a LOT on astrology and the influence the movement of celestial bodies has on the world. This won't be just superstition--the common cultural thread of astrology will be a very real part of life, and impact the players in tangible ways. I'm thinking of implementing a mechanic where each character has a particular birth sign that will grant them certain bonuses and attributes, and change how they are affected by certain magic and stuff.
Demons and devils are great, but I think we've got plenty of settings that make ample use of them already. I'm thinking of making aberrant monsters and the Far Realm a much bigger player than in most settings, to fill the gap. Because I like the idea of settings with slightly more ambiguous morality and alignment systems, this gives me an opportunity to work with a huge extraplanar threat that isn't necessarily Evil, but still undeniably dangerous. Aberrant monsters are so insane and alien that mortals really just can't grasp how they think, but whether or not they mean to, they have a hugely transformative effect on the world just by existing in it. That sounds really cool, and also fits totally with the astrological theme I'm going for.
Like I said above, I'm a fan of settings that eliminate, or at least significantly reinvent, the traditional alignment system. I'm thinking of doing something similar here, possibly getting rid of alignments and replacing them with the aforementioned system based on characters' birth signs. The powers that define the cosmos in Shadelight aren't bound by Good, Evil, Law or Chaos--I want them to feel more primal and alien to mortals, with gods that are pretty much uncaring and aberrant monsters that are so insane they just don't fit into the traditional system of alignments. Hopefully, if I can pull this off, it'll allow for a lot more freedom of choice and challenging morality conundrums.
I don't want this to be a "low-fantasy" setting, really--it'll have all the core races and classes, its fair share of magic items, and quite a bit of fantastical influence on its history and current state of affairs. However, I don't want it to get to the point where every town has its resident wizard and magic items can be bought in shops wherever one goes. Even though magic will be undoubtedly real and known by the common people, actual practitioners of the arcane arts will be rare and dangerous. Arcane magic won't necessarily be inherently a dark art, but most people won't understand this, and those who use it will face suspicion and fear almost everywhere they go. Divine casters will have a much easier time of things--their positions as respected faith leaders and pillars of the community will remain largely unchanged, and divine magic will be far more common than arcane in most places (though still not completely accessible for everybody).
So, what do you think? Could this be something worth developing further? Let me know if you want to see more