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    Default Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Casual hello. It's me, Arachu (act naturally).

    I've been a-thinkin' up one o' 'dem ''der campaign settings, but due to a deprivation of computational devices (that is, a severed laptop chord), I find myself restricted to writing bits and pieces of the material with but a clumsy human pencil and notebook. In addition, it's going somewhat slowly, and I would like some assistance in writing it - which is why I'm here today.

    (*Cough*, that was a few months back. I have a Computer again.)


    The relative time period is most like Industrial Era Europe, with Renaissance art. Blackpowder rifles are widely used for warfare, but the most reliable method remains the trusty sword, spear and bow. There are magazine-fed guns floating about, but they are morbidly expensive and quite rare.

    I'm trying my best to blow the standards set by DnD apart, simply because I can. Halflings, for example, constitute a proud, technologically-advanced warrior culture that inhabits flying cities and maintain mines worked by Kobold slaves.

    One of the main themes is that war is on the horizon - every horizon. At the current time the setting takes place, the default political relations are best-described as "tense". Every nation is just a step short of each others' jugulars, and most are only distracted from each other by internal problems, regardless.


    I like what I have so far. It's ridiculously dark, but that's intentional. Everyone can be argued the 'bad guys', so 'good guys' technically don't exist. My main problems are that firstly, not every culture is perfectly defined, but in addition, the world isn't nearly large enough. I want a world whose scale rivals Earth's - and for that, I need me some help.

    Moreso than that, however, I can't decide just what Piston is. That is to say, I don't know if it's a DnD setting, with full access to 3.5 creatures and mechanics, or its own game that requires full detailing. It'll probably be the second one. But mechanics should be thought of after ideas (unless someone has any suggestions?).

    Also, the Gnomish and Halfling nations need names. And the given Gnomish civilization mentioned is almost definitely only one nation in particular.

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    Humans
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    Humans are belligerent and vain, but are the most diverse race and have mutually conflicting views regarding just what 'cultured' means.

    They occupy three nations in the current version, each of which is on the same continent.

    The climate of Couvn varies from the temperate to the freezing, with sparse broadleaf forests to the north and taigas to the south. The people are as harsh and hardy as their environment demands, venerating strength, endurance and determination, while despising weakness and cowards. Couvish art, which is considered 'crude' by most nations, almost always involves some manner of battle scenario or weapon. A close parallel to Couvn would be a hybrid cross between old Scandanavia and the Holy Roman Empire, turned upside-down (south is cold) and with blackpowder mechanisms reminiscent of Turkey. Couvn is a brutal nation, and its castles and walls are almost always made by a slave-army of POW's - most of whom are Dacian or from a nonexistent country that will border Couvn in the future.

    Dace is a temperate land, rife with wetlands and grasslands. Its primarily-venerated values are loyalty and a level of bravery most sensible people associate with stupidity. Dace often claims to have the best cavalry in the world, and its military doctrines are respected the world around. Then comes their flaw. Dacians are religious, political, national, and occupational zealots. Half of their culture is willing servitude, and the other half is learning your place. Dace is an even more dangerous neighbor than Couvn: where the occasional Couvish mercenary will overstep his bounds and harass a village for a few weeks, Dacians will burn forests over dinner insults.
    The whole place feels as if people from the Dark Ages were injected directly into Renaissance Italy, with French armor and the odd bit of frontiersman excursions thrown in for flavor. Their isolationism stems from centuries of oppression, as ironic as that happens to be.

    Adan is a desert. That's really all there is to say about the climate. The political structure is quite simple, with a singular King presiding over a Baron for every province, and each of them commanding a number of 'mayobar' (sing: mayoba), each of which commands a given town, city, or settlement. Adan is logically filled with a wide array of Middle-Eastern architecture: teardrop-shaped towers, small, sparse towns, etc. But in addition, the main religions in Adan (of which there are about four) prefer to build large, secluded towns for elite servants, and large places of worship that look as if a fortress had mated with a decorative palace.
    So, quite literally, the Middle East with a dash of Britain... Just because.
    They also utilize Longbowmen in their armies, and have impressive snipers.

    Also, for the overall feel of Adan, this statement covers it quite well:

    "A city full of paved, grimy streets, with beautiful, downtrodden people in stained silk clothes walking dismally under the oblong smokestacks of the blackened alabaster towers of the nobility."


    Elves
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    The Elves are a race that in ancient times were driven underground by some great cataclysm, and only a few centuries ago decided to emerge into the surface world again. At the time, they adapted their old tunnel-gods into beings of nature and catastrophe. After a time, humanity came into their lands. Repulsed by the Elves' appearance and ways, the Humans attacked, harassed and even enslaved the Elves with wanton abandon.

    Now the Elves are a underclass 'beneath' humanity. They are 'tolerated' (and that's used generously), but only at arm's-length in isolated ghettos and reservations. Not that these places are so bad to live in, it's just that they are neglected and ignored by most leaders, and the Elves who moved there for tolerance's sake often have to fend for themselves.

    A chief facet of their being is their appearance. Due to a strange genetic quirk, Elves not only have the larger eyes and ears of something that wanders underground with magic waystone-lamps, but their entire body, even the insides, are monochrome. That is, their skin and tissues range in color from milk-white to cloud-grey, and even their blood is light grey in the arteries and dark grey in the veins. The bones, in sharp contrast, are as black as pitch, and if a given Elf is thin enough you might see the charred-looking shapes of their ribs pushing out of their ghostly chest.

    Only their hair and eye colors differ. Both include all manner of pale blue-and-purple mixtures, and both can be black or white.

    Most Humans find the Elves repulsive, which doesn't gain them much public support in Human courts.

    The Elves have no country of their own. The vast majority form an underclass beneath humanity. Couvn regards their slender frames and decides them weak, although they enjoy full rights there. Most Elves in Dace are slaves, and the "free" ones are often kept as servants. Even in Adan, where an Elf can gain a measure of status, the slave trade is largely based throughout the desert, and many of these caravans hold Elves.

    This sort of treatment is not universally tolerated, however. Some Elves have broken away from society to form a resistance they call the Hands of Irvena . Irvena is the ancient Elven god of malice, in fact, and was once regarded as the 'dark-entity' of their mythos, on par with Egypt's Setesh.

    The Hands of Irvena observe a more warlike form of the shamanistic culture and religion of the early surface-Elves. Old rituals meant to sacrifice food to the next harvest, for example, have been adapted to ensure military victory.

    The Hands are by no means primitive. Sometimes they loot firearms and gear from fallen Humans they've killed, but often their own smiths produce weapons, ammunition, tools and devices.

    The Hands prefer silent weapons and poisons, but eagerly resort to bloodshed when it is necessary. Their common armament is a handful of knives, a wheel-lock pistol, and a bottle of poison derived from either nightshade or a local plant.

    Another, more powerful weapon is sparsely present throughout the Hands' upper castes, however. A year behind the default year of the setting, the Hands captured a Human scientist whose name I haven't thought of yet. This Human was on the verge of creating a new weapon: the blunderbuss.

    After they coerced him to make it and removed his hands and tongue, the Hands began to produce the deadly machine. It's like the blunderbuss of our reality, but with one distinction: it's breach-loaded via a lever-accessed barrel segment at the back. It's ridiculously inaccurate, and has a discouraging tendency to jam in the rain, but the weapon is an undisputed monster of close-range combat - something the Elves are too frail to partake in normally.

    An interesting note is that if the the Hands weren't around, the Humans would likely be fighting each other and everyone else. It's an ironic fact that their rebellion is actually reducing Human casualties.


    Gnomes
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    The Gnomes are nationally eccentric.

    Their society is complicated. Your status is determined by both skill and magical ability, but one or the other is more important depending on your occupation. Some, such as Scholar Arcana, place magic talent as synonymous with occupational skill.

    Technically the Gnomes have the most advanced technology in the world, but they stick with old designs often. That is, they tend to use steam-driven threshers rather than full tractors, and instead of the matchlock design favored by most they simply use a flintlock with a stone that sparks in the rain.

    If they can't improve the design with steam, they use magic. One of the most expensive boilers in the world is powered by water taken directly from the elemental force of water, and subsequently pumped back in as cooling bubbles of steam. It's not the most efficient design, but it is semi-perpetual energy.

    When the Gnomes innovate, they do it well. Some Gnomish flintlocks incorporate a device called a doglock. The doglock is a bar that rests under the hammer on a flintlock so that it doesn't go off an accident (as often), but the design was originally abandoned for its inconvenience. Unlike Britain, however, the Gnomes improved the design to only block the hammer from snapping back mid-load, and then return to a default position afterward. Though the original creator is forgotten, a form of his design lives on.

    The Gnomes don't even employ mundane engineers - their mechanists are the 'artificiers'. Artificiers (note the suffix 'iciers', for pronunciation) are quite literally magic engineers and smiths. Not only do they build the outlandish designs favored by the Gnomes, but they improve their more expensive works with magical runes. Master artificiers enjoy status not far beneath that of nobility.

    But, despite all of their prosperity, the Gnomes are not without their dark side. Only those with magic are capable of holding any place. Nonmagic immigrants are restricted to deplorably-small slums outside of civilized towns, and there are laws that force all expectant mothers to be screened. If the mother is a citizen, and the baby is found to lack the proper channels for magic use, the baby is magically removed, and both parents are individually fined. Of course, this is an international secret, and the citizens of other countries are either ignorant of this or consider it a madman's paranoid rant.

    It is thus a common misconception that all Gnomes use magic - nonmagic ones are killed. In fact, a Gnome that lives in another country (known as an "Outwalker") may actually have children without magic potential. Many of the Gnomes that settle in another place do so simply for that purpose.

    (In addition, there will almost definitely be other, more tolerant nations in the final version. Also note that this nameless one is on its own island.)


    Halflings
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    Little is known about the enigmatic Halflings, due to their isolationist policies. Most believe that the Halflings compose a singular nation - in fact, every city is a state in and of itself, and some of these city-states share bad blood. They unanimously hate magic and the Gnomes, both because of their rife superstition and because of Gnomish invasions into their territory over the centuries.

    The Halfling physiology is impossible. They regenerate at a speed normally reserved for lizards, and can survive falls that would crush a Human's body with nary a scratch. Their bones are collapsible, and their nerves are almost redundant.

    The nervous structure itself is fascinating. Halflings possess a spinal column, but lack a spinal chord. Their nerves descend from their head, through their cervical vertebrae, and then exit and decentralize throughout the body in mosaic formations. If an individual nerve is severed, there are other nerves to pick up the slack. In addition, motor nerves pass through bone, and in theory a Halfling can move any intact muscle attached to him, even if the muscles on the way are shredded. The nerves themselves actually regenerate over time.

    This is not to say that they're the hardest race to kill. Steel and fire are as effective against Halflings as they are against any four-foot-tall man, and recovery rate is irrelevant in the short term. Because of this, a generally-practiced approach to combat is based in wit and agility. It's about dodging the larger, clumsier enemy, and stabbing him in the foot before he can turn. Their common armament is one combat dagger (same length as a Human shortsword, sometimes), three to five throwing knives, a wheel-lock or match-lock pistol, depending on their preference, and their bare hands, feet and teeth.

    The most common political system practiced by the Halflings is a semi-republic. The following names are the most commonly-used. The ruler is the Archon, who is technically a dictator. He came into power by proving himself to be the most competent Officer General at the time of the old Archon's death, but he rules with a calm, reserved hand - if one were to exercise too much greed, he would likely be killed by his mutinous population in less than a year.

    Of course, if a given population supports the corruption, it can root just as deeply as in any Human society. Halflings are simply more likely to take offense at oppressive treatment.

    Civil affairs are handled by officials appointed by the nobility. These officials advise the Archon, direct a given sphere of daily living, measure census figures to determine if the city is lacking a given profession, and chart courses for the city the travel, among less important things.

    "Noble" means something else to a Halfling than it does to a Human. Human nobility is the royal line, and the proven houses alonside this line. Halfling nobility is composed of common families whose members have proven themselves paragons of their craft (be this craft woodworking or war), that have risen above the casualty of being a civilian. They are both higher and equal to the commoners, however, as their power exists in familial form - the individual recieves no undue favor, and has to prove himself before any power is to be granted.

    The nobles do hold the power, however - not only do the various noble lines elect the officials, but the Archon is the wisest warrior - and the nobles (especially warrior-nobles) are the best at training warriors. Most Archons throughout most histories were somehow involved in a given noble family, and any man, no matter how responsible, is more likely to give in to the entreats of his family, given they aren't estranged toward each other.

    The most striking feature of the Halflings is the 'Air-city'. Air-cities are composed of a number of theoretically-independent district-'rafts' (independent in the capacity that they would stay aloft without the others, were they not tethered). These cities occasionally touch down into strategic layouts for maintenance and the purpose of running the Kobold mines. Most cities are landlocked to begin with, but these are less interesting and documented much less frequently.

    Each 'raft' (as a traveling Adanite once described it) is held aloft by a number of massive steam-driven fans and the occasional explosion-port whose function is not dissimilar from a ramjet's. A given quarter is composed of three to four layers:

    All districts have residential, storage, and mechanical sections. The former is on the top, with the exception of farming and commercial districts (whose farms and shops are on top, instead). The engine-decks are logically in the bowels of the 'raft'.

    The farm-district has layers in the following order:
    1) Farm
    2) Livestock
    3) Residential - note that it's under the ventilated livestock layer.
    4) Storage
    5) Engines


    Exceptions to common layouts are the palace and university districts. The palace is the large structure in the center, suspended like a spider on its web, whose base is actually composed over a number of interlocked district-rafts.

    A given city has a unique palace - some do not even qualify as a palace, with the terms 'fortress' , ' mansion', or perhaps 'council' being more appropriate. Nevertheless, such a building is traditionally referred to as the palace.

    A Halfling will go through at least twenty years of schooling over the course of his life. During this time, he is first trained generally for a decade, and then trained to excel in the job his skill levels have outlined to be his best.

    There are three requirements to be a citizen in the Halfling society:

    1) You need a profession. This may be 'merchant', 'farmer', 'city-planner' and the like. This insures that you can help the city itself function.

    2) You need a craft, which ranges from metalworking to wood carving. This insures that you can provide for someone - be that someone the military or the merchants.

    3) You need a military designation. Most Halflings qualify as a 'spearman', 'swordsman', etc. Some qualify as officers, but this is distinct in that officers are promoted most-often based on seniority, and are referred to using such qualifiers as "Senior Swordsman".


    Halflings are very superstitious, and detest magic. Not only is their mythology (along with their homeland, come to think of it) infested with all manner of witches, sorcerers and demons, but they are bitter enemies of the Gnomes: each race wants the other's land, and disapprove of the other's opinion regarding magic. It probably doesn't help that so many Gnomish islands are adjacent to Halfling lands geographically.


    Monsters:
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    For the most part, Piston has the same pitfalls and hazards of DnD - though Dragons are less frequent, and some existing races are very different than they normally are.

    Goblins are green-skinned, hunchbacked madmen with stone daggers and axes. They're absolutely bonkers, and eviscerate anyone who ventures into the territory they arbitrarily declare to be 'theirs'. They're a blight on the Humans and Halflings, mostly. They have an inexplicable hatred for Hobgoblins.

    Hobgoblins know the basic theory of metalworking, and sport crudely-shaped bronze weapons. They usually steal the workshops, though. Hobgoblins are much more intelligent than Goblins (though still quite stupid), but less numerous. For every Hobgoblin raid party of ten, there are fifteen Goblins waiting with nothing better to do than carve and hang skull-trophies. Hobgoblins are quite prevalent where Goblins happen to be - though not always.

    Orcs are widely-believed to be a brutish, animalistic race. In reality, they wield outlandish rifles with revolving feeds in place of a breach, and have quite mastered steelworking. They have a rather sophisticated culture, even. Their supposed stupidity is due to their suicidal nature. They fight like trapped beasts, even when winning. They have no regard for the dead (including their own). They observe no morals, no scruples, and no war-laws. It's believed that they hold the remaining Dwarves captive for their gear, although that's in fact a myth.

    There are animal-people throughout the lands. The general idea is that they evolved not from Humans to animal-Humans, but rather from animals to animals with thumbs. Most are tribal. A given tribe is most-commonly derived from pack or herd animals. Most are also isolationist - especially herbivores, whose survival naturally depends on a stable environment.

    Last edited by Arachu; 2011-01-17 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Title no longer appropriate
    None of this is real. Discuss.

    Dragon Hunter avatar by Lerky. Magical Girl by the lovely Astrella~

    My campaign setting that I should really get back to making at some point >.>

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Arachu's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steampunk, Magicpunk Campaign Setting (I call 'er "Piston")

    Que the second part, which together with the first is considerably longer than I thought it all would be...


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    Vampires
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    A Vampire is 'born' when an existing Vampire force-feeds half of a pint of its own blood to some hapless captive. Vampires are incapable of natural breeding, and therefore there are no bloodlines or half-Vampires, though myth insists otherwise and certain magi could almot definitely simulate what they believe the affliction to be like.

    After their "induction", the victims go utterly insane for several hours, tearing apart anything and everyone they can get at that isn't another Vampire. For this reason, most Vampires bind their future brethren, though some are left in arenas for the sake of entertainment and killing people they don't like.

    At some point, they calm down. As they awaken, they swiftly regain their memories and personalities.

    It is here that a decision is made - and it isn't even conscious. If the Proto-Vampiris (incomplete Vampire) refuses to feed, or does feed but not frequently or properly, then that would-be hunter of the night goes insane again. They become a maelstrom of hatred and claws, killing and drinking and screaming, but if they're this far gone, their stunted metabolisms fail, and feeding is useless. In other words, they slowly starve to death, while gorging themselves.

    It's different for a more depraved victim, however - if the Proto-Vampiris in question enjoys 'the life', then their metabolism becomes activated enough through thier adrenaline to properly digest and assimiliate the blood. They can only drink their root race's blood, in this stage, and must do so regularly in order to survive.

    After a year, the bodily functions line out, turning the prospect into a true Vampire. They can go longer without feeding, and have better abilities. As time goes by, these abilites greaten - but the Vampire carries a magic shadow, one that a skilled hunter can track.


    Werewolves
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    Wolfsbane is powerless. Religious symbols are immaterial. They do not revert, at any point in time.

    Werewolves are beings of nightmare. Gifted with an inhuman intellect and a supernatural, just-corporeal body, they are capable of speech, planning, trapping, and fighting in ways most mortals are incapable of competing with.

    They infect by injecting some manner of toxin or agent thus undocumented into the bloodstream of their prey through their fangs. The victims promptly spend the next several weeks in a feral rage, stalking about towns, stealing corpses for food and mutating horribly. By the end of the cycle, they incidentally resemble a hunched, overmuscled humanoid with a doglike skull - thus, they are associated with wolves and were dubbed 'werewolf'.

    Within four months of their initial 'death' because of the infection, the Werewolf slowly regains its old memory. It remembers everything with impossible detail - how many people are known to live in a given county, the tone of their own voices as children, even the count of cobblestones on streets they've frequented. They remember everything - but lack any emotional attachment or sympathy. A Werewolf's former family is most endangered - they will be hunted first, because it knows everything about them.

    Their cunning is horrific. Most isolate themselves in caves, but some travel in towns, disguised as foriegn animalmen. One can massacre a village in under a month, and the entire time they may not be aware of its presence. They prefer to use their claws, but are entirely capable of bearing weapons.

    Not all Werewolves are genocidal monsters - some follow adventuing parties, for reasons of their own. They will behave in a manner associated with evil, however - they utterly lack sympathy or compassion. If they see fit to end an injustice, for example, it's because the system is flawed - not because it's oppressive.

    All Werewolves venerate a being they instinctually refer to as the Dread Father. They claim it to be the progenitor of their race, but even they know little of it.

    It is also worth mentioning that Werewolves are devoid of gender - they all have the same body type, and relevant organs cease to function and are likely expelled during the change.

    Magi:
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    There are many orders of Magi in Human lands, each of which its own, self-governed nation. They vary in size, but rarely occupy the same region, as they are almost definitely hateful rivals.

    A given cadre can be in any form, conventional or otherwise. They include "guilds", "associations", "circles", "orders", and even "priesthoods".

    The main distinctions are size, interest, and secrecy.

    Size, of course, is an approximate count of members in comparison to their average magical talent.

    'Interest' is that given cadre's aims, ideals and methods. One devoted to logic and reason, for example, will focus more on divining the future or communicating with spirits. Another, more religious group might operate through shrines and credit their deity with their talent.

    Secrecy is multi-faceted, as it often is. It describes not only the accessibility of that group's whereabouts - some give tours and others are closed-gates - but also whether their activities (or indeed their very identities) are hidden or not. For example, an order of necromancers is going to hide themselves much more carefully than an order of alchemists, but the latter will also endeavor to hide their research in order to prevent its abuse.

    In Gnomish lands, all are Magi. The term isn't even applicable there, magic is so common. There is, however, an elite group in the government known as the "Philosophers", and individual businesses such as the Artificier's Association or the Sacred Order of Fire and Foresight.

    Of course, there are no groups of Magi in Halfling lands - any time they try, their settlements are razed within the month. Nevermind the absurd costs of founding an establishment on foreign shores to begin with.


    Supernatural Elements:
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    The Metaphysical
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    The Metaphysical plane, or Spirit Terminal, is the realm of the Soul - and all of its counterparts. Its infinite expanse contains endless islands, oceans and continents wrought from sentient Thought - and sometimes they themselves think.

    Its realms are suffuse with the "Divine Foam", or immaterial space of various colours that Thought has currently neglected to define. Within the "Foam" (which really isn't an appropriate title for fog), the demesnes are wrought. Their number is limitless - some are paradises forged from religious fancy, while others are hellish caverns, invisible from all sides but the entrance, within which Demons reside.

    Some even closely resemble places destroyed from the world, its denizens never made aware of their death.

    Most Diviners use this plane for their auguries and visions - the dead and never-living can occasionally glimpse any portion of the world in their equivalent of dreams, just as the opposite occurs.


    The Reaches:
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    The Reaches are realms of pure terror, where reality is skew and tenuous, and you need to keep an eye out, lest even the shrubbery grow a mouth and attempt to eat you alive.

    It is no joke. The Reaches are permeated with a strange energy coined by Magi as the "Philosopher's Mist" - their legendary 'mental element and bridge to the spirit-world'.

    It doesn't really matter what it is. Only that Reaches are utterly inimical to conventional life. The Mist horrendously mutates and warps any living creature that survives for too many months (days, at certain times of the year), and occasionally a being too horrible to define or describe, wrought from the essence of the Mist itself, fabricates a horrific parody of ambulatory life and terrorizes any settlement or group too near to the gradually-expanding border.

    Water may flow up. Grassy plains obscure with Mist at night and appear as badlands in the morning - only to shift into grasslands again a month later. Sometimes the sun is the wrong colour.

    A Reach is a fearsome realm of utter, pervasive wrongness. Simply standing near it will sicken you and place horrible visions in your head.

    Some truly insane Magi dare to study the Philosopher's Mist - they refer to themselves as "Orders of the Obscure Vision" and seem to possess a common government, unlike any other group. They can protect themselves, to a degree - but no mind can stem this kind of madness forever. Most die from the merciful touch of their own colleagues.


    The Shadow
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    Nothing is more terrifying than Fear itself.

    The Shadow-Plane is a realm impossible to describe. Diviners note that it is geographically infinite and confined - space and mass mean nothing there.

    This realm is composed of the fears and nightmares of the living. The apparitions one sees in the dark are only the merest hint of the insanity behind them. If one enters the plane, it methodically traps and devours them, in the most agonizing ways they can't imagine.

    Why, then, would one enter the realm? It is almost absolutely Death itself.

    The most common reason is knowledge - because of its very nature, connected directly to the psyche of every living thing, it possesses the sum of all knowledge, if only one can find its representative form. Perhaps it is a book regarding the life of a king, or a brick with the formula for perpetual energy carved into a face. One can even locate individual thoughts, if one knows the magic.

    Also, the Shadow connects to any and every shadow in existence. If one can only travel far enough in it, they can reach anything, anywhere, at any point in time behind the future. Provided, of course, they survive it.

    The most common threat of the Shadow is not, disturbingly, the Shadow itself - but rather its resident shadow-entities. This beings, called "Shades", are without number, emotion or caution. They attack without warning, indifferent as to the fate of their theoretical 'lives'. Any given shadow three cubic metres in size represents a undefined space filled with a veritable ocean of several hundred Shades at any given time.

    However, common as they are, they are not by any means the greatest threat in Shadow.

    The most powerful entities are the "Shadow-Gods". Their minds were condensed of the sum of untold suffering across millennia, and their existence, which despite having a definite start has no true Beginning, defines another breed of suffering. Whenever one is born, it always was, and history was far more horrendous in obvious ways to show for it.

    The only ones that can possibly be aware of this difference are the Witnesses. A Witness has seen the purest form of Madness itself - the birth of a Dark God. They always go mad, at least to some extent. But they are forever cursed to learn of massacres and suffering they will never believe they couldn't have prevented.


    Of course, Shadow has its own groups of suicidal Magi - they refer to themselves as "Darkness Practitioners", and most form small, isolated cadres that obviously die out after an unpredictable amount of years. As the Shadow is almost impossible to divine or traverse reliably, these are likely the most talented - if admittedly the most idiotic - Magi in the world.



    Also, if you don't mind spoilers:
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    The 'Alchemist's Mist" is actually radiation that, over centuries of existence after the Dwarf's indiscriminate use of nuclear arms, gained a form of its own sentience. The Reaches themselves are inspired partially by Stalker, if that wasn't absurdly obvious. Also likely unconsciously derived from an old Playstation RPG, given its form as a mutation-and-insanity spreading mist (Legend of Legaia, that's from, and I played the crap out of it). I only notice the similarity now that I consider it.

    Hobgoblins are the final (noticeable) remains of the Dwarven race. They're pretty mutated, but not as much as the former 'Orcs' they hate so much.

    Elves used to be Human slaves that fled from the Dwarven oppression underground. Yes, they in fact were Human. The irony is intentional.



    Finally, some non-spoiler information...
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    The reason Dwarves are so seldom mentioned is because they're extinct - or, well, no trace can be found of them. It's supposed to be ambiguous until the GM decides otherwise.

    The Metaphysical is similar to, but distinct from, DnD's Astral. I will defend this to the death. CREATIVE LICENSE!!!

    The Shadow is so Lovecraftian I feel my muscles degenerating into tentacles as I even think about them.

    None of this is real. Discuss.

    Dragon Hunter avatar by Lerky. Magical Girl by the lovely Astrella~

    My campaign setting that I should really get back to making at some point >.>

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Steampunk, Magicpunk Campaign Setting (I call 'er "Piston")

    Looks interesting, and I like the cultural differences between the different races/people. I also like the fact that you departed from the stereotypes with your races.

    Also, if you have never checked it out, the Iron Kingdoms campaign setting is pretty similar to what you have in mind (you might want to check it out for inspiration).
    The Age of Warrior, a ToB expansion.

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    Default Re: Steampunk, Magicpunk Campaign Setting (I call 'er "Piston")

    I have to say, I would definitely use this.
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    Default Re: Steampunk, Magicpunk Campaign Setting (I call 'er "Piston")

    EDIT: Anything struck-through is an idea that I revised. This applies to the previous post, which was too long to begin with. The number in parenthesis after the 'clipped' portion corresponds to a list at the end of this particular post detailing how I changed it, and why. I will note any particular changes, when made, in the post I made when changing bits.

    :Generic statement of gratitude and thanks:


    Something occurs to me... Couvn and Dace should be adjacent (which, given their cultures, is a good reason they have to fight), but Adan should be very far north (I mean, it's a desert, for [insertstatementhere]'s sake ).


    With this in mind, the "first" continent (which I've just decided to place on the "eastern" half, and inside the northern hemisphere specifically) (1) should be about 18,000 square-kilometers throughout - slightly larger than South America.

    Nations are caught between Human countries, Gnomish provinces, 'liberated' Elven territories, a Reach or two, and a couple of frontiers.

    Gnomes hold a small portion of the eastern mainland, as well as an adjacent island chain. These mini-nations are all autonomous, but share a "root government" within their "capitol province of Gelhas". Many Gelhan laws and edicts are executive orders mandating identical legal procedure in every province - guilds of Magi, common currency systems, that sort of thing. They are very lax and trusting, however, and each nation is very distinct (just take the example-island and its practices regarding nonmagics). Naturally, defiance from Gelhan law prompts a province to be re-annexed and assigned a new governor - typically at gunpoint.

    There is one Reach, sitting like a geographic tumor over about 2,000 of those aforementioned kilometers in the north-west inland. If you could see it from orbit, it'd look sort of like an open ulcer with the occasional heat-lightning storm overhead (not only are heat-lightning bolts red, but this Reach is too far south to be so hot).

    Couvn is on the southernmost end of the continent, out from an easterly-cornered bulge in the land (like a large, earthen aneurysm, in fact). Adan is a ways north of the Gnomish commonwealth. Dace is in the south-west area, separated from Couvn by a mixture of frontier and a blackpowder DMZ.

    In said demilitarized zone, mercenaries, enraged noble's soldiers and the occasional opportunistic adventurer almost constantly fight. Dace and Couvn are not formally at war, and deny any personal involvement - regardless of their actual involvement in some conflicts. That much peace is destined to be short-lived, of course.

    There are a couple of Human nations I haven't thought of, including a long, thin one on the western shoreline, and perhaps some warring states even further north than Adan. The Hands of Irvena have some Free States nestled west of Adan, under the Gnomes and on a couple of previously-unclaimed islands about.

    Also, the Halflings inhabit a continent about 7,000,000 kilometers through (somewhat smaller than Australia) further out east from Couvn. Their nation is somewhat cold, and they constantly feud with the Gnomes through naval action (although that's on hold in the default 'present').

    There will be lakes and other bodies of water. Later. When I feel like it.


    And, finally, the whole North-South temperature thing is not a typo. As of five minutes ago, the world of Piston has a frozen equator and poles hotter than the Sahara. I'll pull a reason out my tophat later. (1)

    (EVERYTHING'S FANCIER with a TOPHAT. )


    Changelog:
    Spoiler
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    1 - The world is now oriented normally, regrettably. It will work differently in rotation (due to any size differences in relation to Earth), and the year will probably be longer. Probably. The proto-nation is now on the southern hemisphere. (If anyone finds a way for the inversion to work, feel free to PM me - I already miss the idea.)
    Last edited by Arachu; 2011-01-18 at 10:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Steampunk, Magicpunk Campaign Setting (I call 'er "Piston")

    *I shall continue homebrewing whether I have much feedback or not*

    I have determined that Piston is, in fact, its own game. I haven't sorted out mechanical nuances, but the (prototype) core statistics are as follows:

    Spoiler
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    Fitness - Your physical strength and endurance.
    Adroitness - A measure of your skills, reaction time and alacrity.
    Vigour - Your resistance to damage, pain, ailments and quackery. *ahem*
    Intellect - A tentative, numerary estimate of the relative level of education one has received.
    Insight - Your wisdom, forethought and general awareness.
    Diction - Your ability to convince others with your voice, based in vocabulary and/or argumentative charisma.
    Refinement - One's (possibly) good looks, also useful for debates at times.

    Luck - Your only real companion, these days... Unless it isn't, I suppose. At any rate, your luck aids random ventures such as gambling. In addition, one-third of your benefit (or half your detriment) affects certain skill-based endeavours.


    Also, a couple of skills:
    Patience - Aided by Insight, measures your ability to withstand distractions.
    Management - Aided partially by Insight, quantifies your ability to balance the nuances of organization and command.
    Firearm skill - Aided by Adroitness and damaged by poor Insight. Penalized just for having no experience, which worsens your aim considerably. ("Experience" constitutes training, either formal, informal, or applied in a fatal situation.)
    Athleticism - Determined by Fitness, damaged by poor Adroitness. This is the primary factor regarding your running speed.



    In addition, a conversation in the Myth-Weavers forum has led me to a number of potential reasons for the planet to have inverted temperatures.

    Spoiler
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    1) If the planet is caught between the gravity wells of two suns, those suns would heat the poles incredibly. The problem, of course, is that the planet would be too hot to support life, and even if it weren't it would always be day-time.

    2) Maybe the moon(s) or something in the climate blocks the sun in large areas. That would enforce night and cold - but would it be sufficient?

    3) Maybe one (or both) suns are weak, emitting less heat and light than that of Earth. If this were the case, the following model might be plausible:

    Spoiler
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    A) The larger sun just happens to hold the planet far enough to prevent its incineration. The planet rotates sideways, being suspended the way it is, and the rotation has little effect on climate. The smaller sun would be within the larger sun's gravity well, causing the planet's strange alignment and heating the other side almost as much as the center-sun. A murky atmosphere obscures the suns like clockwork, and the moon, moons, or rings reflect light in such a way that every night is, in terms of illumination, as a full-moon evening.




    Anyone have any thoughts regarding the preceding?
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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    EDIT: I struck through the following statement in order to state that it wasn't really right for the setting, but I wanted to keep it around. Currently the world is round with normal poles, even if it's quite large - if someone thinks of a way to make the inversion-model possible, feel free to PM me. I did like the idea, mostly because it was ridiculous.

    The world has been shaped. As I put it when I thought of it:

    Spoiler
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    The shape this inspires in my mind is thus; either face of the world is a slightly convex disc. Between them is thick earth (let's call it as deep as Australia is long, for now). In the center of the world-disc, is a large magnetic core of molten metal. This also serves to prevent someone from just digging through to the other side.

    On the side, of course, is a large, frozen disc that is heated by neither sun. This "equator" bars all but the most determined explorers (and certain high Magi) from passage to the other face.

    Winter is controlled by the concentric rotation of the suns around the planet (which was itself a popular notion in the Renaissance, the time period inspiring much culture). The suns never stay quite perfectly aligned, and the 'hemisphere' they favour at the moment is experiencing summer, while the other is in winter. "Night" as we know it lasts about 2 hours - 30 minutes less in summer and 30 more in winter - and the remaining hour is divided between the twilight of the setting sun and the twilight of the rising sun.

    The summer-solstice is the time where the suns are perpendicular to the planet. The winter-solstice is a time of night lasting between three days and a week, depending where you are. The summer-solstice marks the new year for almost every culture in the world. Of course, the winter-solstice aligns the sun parallel to the equator, and this partially melts it (which is why permanent coastal towns are reasonably far from the actual shoreline).

    Of course, two faces (which mark east and west) receive almost three hours of sun every day. These melt enough to form a distinctive elliptical shape - if one could view it from space. Thus, the world resembles a north-south perspective world map, meeting on either side of a leaden disc with its sides frozen. There are also some coffee stains that mark the petulant masses of manifold horror that constitute the Reaches.




    In addition, I thought of some names:
    Spoiler
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    1) The planet is named after a Mediterranean deity, just like local planets here are Roman. Hephaestus, Typhon, Vulcan, and Orion are all tempting... Given the setting's predisposition towards madness and industry, I choose Typhon - who I originally heard was a Greek Titan with fifty, acid-weeping, fire-spouting heads that ultimately became the first volcano after Zeus had to imprison him under a mountain (unless I heard an aberrant account; if so, please inform me).

    2) The Halflings have their own continent... Their culture is vaguely Greek, what with the city-states, and their culture is decidedly quite Spartan. Does anyone know another name for Greece, one lesser-known? City-states could be given Greek names, Roman names, anything that sounds appropriately like the languages, but the whole continent shouldn't be directly named like that... It's bad form.

    3) The Gnomes are like an amalgam of cultures, and probably have rather dynamic names... The one listed shall be "Vourran". Their nations as a majority (the ones within the coalition) are collectively the "Grand Commonwealth of Maenar".

    4) I need to name the continent. The sound "Yoria" comes to mind... Perhaps it will do.



    And, finally, in order to make Magic logical in some capacity while retaining its esoteric nature, I have loosely defined basic, prototype laws of metaphysics:
    Spoiler
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    It's also important to note - the world is certainly not low-magic. Spirits haunt places, Magi are common enough to run semi-city-states, and most Gnomes know a thing or two regarding some kind of arcanity. However, magic is not nearly as all-consumingly powerful here as it is in DnD. The world follows (a somewhat convincing parody of) most of the laws of physics.

    In Piston, Magic has its own thermodynamics. These are the Laws of Metaphysics:
    1) As any conventional energy, the material of Magic is never truly created or destroyed - it is merely moved.
    2) Magic, when properly applied, is theoretically capable of dramatically affecting - and manipulating - any form of physical energy. (This lead to an early discovery of Atomic Theory - and that lead to reliable manipulation of matter.)

    3) Magic is directly affected by - as it directly affects - sentient thought. Under the proper conditions, Magic will imitate greater thought, to the extent of the difference of metaphysical "mass". Conversely, Magic will alter - or even consume - a lesser mind, if acted upon to do so by an incredibly powerful source. (You don't have to worry much about that. It's mostly a threat to your body.)

    4) Algebraic Symmetry - as neither matter nor Magic can be created or destroyed, even by each other, they only co-act in the sum of the difference of forces (powerful magic affects or alters matter, weaker magic washes over stronger atomic bonds).

    5) The Soul and Thoughts are composed of the material of Magic. All souls return to the Metaphysical realm - and all are eventually consumed and reconstituted within it. The brains of the living attract souls with their instinctual thoughts - and as such, the Soul and Thought live as an indistinguishable 'polar soul' within their body. (This is less of a law, and more of a religious-sounding observation. In summary, not only is there Reincarnation here, but souls are regularly split into smaller pieces, resulting in the exponential degradation of thought and memory - the reason almost no-one remembers any of it.)

    Addendum: The independent Soul has always held more power in regards to Magic. This is thus unexplained, and the most plausible theory is that the body or physical plane (or perchance both) dramatically impede Magic - this effect is called "the Veil" or "Curtain of Thought".

    Addendum: Magic is not inherently available to the common man. The ability to use Magic is an inherited, innate brain structure that acts as a minuscule gate to the Metaphysical. If these channels interact on a genetic level, they may result in a stronger arcane ability - and if they are bred out far enough, the ability may be lost. (In other words, Magic cannot be learned - it can be trained and improved, but the arm you fight with has not learned its muscles - only how to use them. Any Mage can train himself to have impeccable abilities, but there is an inherent Magic Potential - a value, broadly defined in terms of Strong vs. Low, that represents one's ability to hold an arcane charge of energy. (Not one's ability to apply it; in this case, the battery does not run the car, it just provides the charge. The car can be designed to use the battery more efficiently.) This was an integral part of the game from the early homebrews - I just couldn't write it just yet.)
    Last edited by Arachu; 2011-01-18 at 10:45 PM.
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    My campaign setting that I should really get back to making at some point >.>

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Just a point; it's hard to get much oppinion on anything that isn't mechanical around here simply because most of us with any critical inclination have concluded that the resulting head biting that tends to come with negative comments renders it not worth trying to offer up a critique [a general problem with the internet really].

    Expect little but "I like it" type comments unless you specifically ask someone for their oppinion personally.

    I find your take on Halflings interesting, but at the same time, it just seems like an eviler version of the gnomes from WoW... the Gnomes themselves, so far so standard really. The elves are different, but that's mostly because seeing what amount to drow as slaves is a strange turnaround.

    The alien world shape, without a plot reason, seems like a gimmick. The Giant refers to his first campaign world in such terms because it was a cube. I've seen alien world shape work on two occasions but being honest, I can't see the difference this will make to the setting, aside from the short nights and the arguments you'll get when you include a non-motile core, two suns and a physicist in a single game [the punchline here involves radiation poisoning].

    So yeah, not much I feel qualified to comment on; the design elements are your own, it's really internal consistency and general interest that can be commented on. Not much truly new but the races are interestingly juxtapositioned.
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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Just a point; it's hard to get much oppinion on anything that isn't mechanical around here simply because most of us with any critical inclination have concluded that the resulting head biting that tends to come with negative comments renders it not worth trying to offer up a critique [a general problem with the internet really].

    Expect little but "I like it" type comments unless you specifically ask someone for their oppinion personally.
    ... That hadn't occurred to me. Well, at any rate, I'm not making the game for the sole purpose of positive feelings; I'm trying to make it a good game. Even negative feedback is helpful for that.

    Actually, I'd say it's more useful, if it includes or implies context for improval.

    I find your take on Halflings interesting, but at the same time, it just seems like an eviler version of the gnomes from WoW... the Gnomes themselves, so far so standard really. The elves are different, but that's mostly because seeing what amount to drow as slaves is a strange turnaround.
    I've never played Warcraft before... But it's kind of scary that they might be considered a ripoff. I should probably look into it and find ways to distinguish them. The Gnome thing had occurred to me - the distinction was the whole Mage-supremacist concept (usually Gnomes are happy and tolerant - note their truly-free society). Of course, I've never been that good at making the Gnomes too different, and any thoughts regarding the process would be appreciated.

    I'm not sure if the Elves are quite Drow-like; they're not (usually) depraved, they behave more like surface Elves, and they aren't what Humans consider good-looking (even Drow are attractive, however darkly). I can see where the argument originates biologically, though. I mostly altered them in order to target their key attributes in fantasy; their attractiveness is arguable, they live not as a free society, but as an oppressed minority and frustrated rebels, they're weak (Elves aren't very strong, but they're still able to fight for some reason).
    Maybe the oppression bit is reminiscent of Dragon Age, but the exact type of rebellion and extent of slavery is more extreme than in that...

    The alien world shape, without a plot reason, seems like a gimmick. The Giant refers to his first campaign world in such terms because it was a cube. I've seen alien world shape work on two occasions but being honest, I can't see the difference this will make to the setting, aside from the short nights and the arguments you'll get when you include a non-motile core, two suns and a physicist in a single game [the punchline here involves radiation poisoning].
    It kind of is. I made it to explain the opposing poles (though that has less novelty, on a disk) partially on a suggestion and partially because no one could explain the messed-up climate.
    ... I might have to let it go. I don't know, maybe... Though the radiation poisoning hadn't occurred to me either...

    So yeah, not much I feel qualified to comment on; the design elements are your own, it's really internal consistency and general interest that can be commented on. Not much truly new but the races are interestingly juxtapositioned.
    To be fair, it's barely even a prototype. After the world gets smoothed out, mechanics will receive more attention, and until then (and even after) the world may go through some radical changes... As mentioned.

    Also, the Halflings were original, but they aren't complete either. I'm pretty sure the Gnomes and Halflings (especially the latter) will have different names, in order to make the setting more distinct, and there will be several aside.

    I mean, it's its own game, not "DnD with different dice rolls".

    ... Maybe they aren't "New", but I did think of it... Even if that means little.


    *ahem* Anyhow, I'm going to ask the question I apparently should have before; denizens of the Playground, will you please ruthlessly point out any details you like, dislike, or would change? I'm not exactly delicate, but what I am is obsessive in regards to my work. It's why I never finish writing anything. Because it's not perfect enough.

    And, well, you can't make an omelet with bad eggs that the farmer decided he didn't want to argue with.

    If I disagree, I will - in a civil manner that hopefully outlines exactly why I think I should keep it the way it is. Even then I might make revisions, however.

    Like the world. It isn't flat anymore. It has normal poles. The latter was pretty neat, but I can't get it to work within the casualties of something sadistically mocking the laws of physics (it's pretty bad when it comes to that). It will probably have longer days, in proportion to size, and as such years will either be measured differently (but take up as many hours), or they'll be a different span of time.

    As of five minutes from this post, I have strikethrough-ed my previous statement. I kept it for the purpose of review, but "clipped" it from the setting.

    (I feel tough now.)
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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Arachu I salute you!

    More later. PM me if you get a chance.

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Hello. Do you plan to publish this? I'd like to use it for a game. Do you have a planet map?
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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Right, well it's time I came up with some more description.

    I should say there are seven medium-sized continents on Typhon. The planet itself is considerably larger than Earth, and there is quite a bit of water between the lands.

    The continent that exists is largely based in cultures reminiscent of Europe and the Middle East (which are two of the regions I know much of anything about, in fact). The Halfling continent is broadly forested, and the harsh insect-beasts there have driven the populace to shelter in city-states (four of which can fly).

    It's worth mentioning that the Gnomes' failed incursions were partially due to the multi-legged predators by themselves. And none of them ever got far enough to notice the Reach near the eastern shoreline.

    Among the Warring Provinces in the north of the largely-Human continent, four nations currently exist, and their borders are hard to map because they're always capturing (and claiming to capture) land.

    There needs to be more continents. Perhaps one reminiscent of Asia?
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    (I haven't stopped writing, I was just distracted)

    I thought of a central core mechanic. There are no formal 'classes', or anything of the sort. If one meets certain conditions, he gains the right to bear a title.

    Now, a Title works like a combined Reputation/Infamy/Indicator of Privileges. One must hold certain qualities in order to gain one, and he usually needs to have it explicitly appointed to him (if the title relates to a formal group).

    There are three sides to a title (or more, if relevant). There is the "Title", which describes your affiliation, the "Rank", which details your standing, and the "Anti", which is what your enemies call you.

    A Mercenary would have the prerequisite conditions as follows:

    1) He would need a certain amount of combat ability (different groups hold different attributes in different levels of import).

    2) He would need to prove himself (if you're known for fighting, or defeat some mercenaries in a brawl, this would qualify you. Less honorable groups would accept deserters and brigands).

    3) He would have to be in good or neutral standing to be taken in (I mean, who recruits the mad Knight that killed one of your commanders and abandoned his own?)


    From his induction, he would gain the Title of "[name] Mercenary" or perhaps "Mercenary of [name]". But he would also gain the Anti-Title of "Dog of War" - or anything else relevant - among his enemies. Further still, his actual rank (Grunt) would be listed, as well as any relevant personal titles (such as "Soldier of Fortune", "Lady Luck", or "Vagabond").

    Among his allies, he would grow in popularity (and privilege) with rank and conduct. However, as the Mercenary gains this renown, the Gnomes his warband are often employed against grow to recognize him as well. While the Mercenaries of Blackeye Company affectionately call our protagonist "Butcher", the Gnomes call him "War Criminal". Not that everyone with the nickname Joker would mind such regards...



    Also, I know a German/Norse history buff who I've asked to write some context for Couvn. Next time I get the chance, I'll post his stuff.


    Here in a bit I'll write some magic classes - At least one type of Mage, the (Magic-using) Priest, and perhaps the Dacian Inquisitor. If I cover the Inquisitor, I might as well do Paladins, which here will be a purely nonmagical organization (unless the Paladin is also a magician-Priest, of course).
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    Magicians:
    Spoiler
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    Magi
    Spoiler
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    Spoiler
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    "Mage" is an umbrella-term for secular magic-users in general - that is, those capable of channeling magic through their bodies, while devoting their life to study and progress.

    Such magicians conduct themselves differently in different countries and regions - note the Gnomish magocracies and the Human slang-term "Sparklers".

    Human Magi tend to group together into isolated groups that only correspond to local laws in order to avoid scrutiny (as nothing stops their home nation of bulldozing them with a proper army). Some Human Mage organizations are near cities or borders, opting to remain in contact with society while keeping it at arm's length, and some base themselves in frontier lands (especially the less-than-reputable groups that wouldn't be received well elsewhere).

    Human Magi have the tendency to favor certain applications of magic. Which Title you hold determines which spells you have access to, as well as which resources you can claim and which ethics you are to uphold.

    For example, contrast the following:

    Spoiler
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    The High Guild of War-Mechanics

    The Guild of War Mechanics is a group that exists within the borders of Adan - although their roots are Dacian and Gnomish - that specializes in the construction of magical vehicles and weaponry. They fulfill much the same role of the various order of Gnomish Artificiers (and indeed, two of the founders were expatriate Artificiers), but unlike the Maenish Mechanists (and most other Magi), the War Mechanics are militant. Not only do they supply Adan and any other paying country with weapons, but they also sell their manpower - for an equally exorbitant price, of course.

    War Mechanic Magi are usually Adanite Humans and Elves, although malcontent and wanderlusting Gnomes are not uncommon. Their specialties include the crafting of engines and (primitive) tanks, the conception of rifles, fire-based magic and mercenary work. They rarely enchant their items without a paying sanction.

    Spoiler
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    The Society

    The Society is an enigmatic group that settles near the Reach. They are rather secretive, but it is known that they spend a portion of their time raiding the Reach for resources and artifacts. They practice what they refer to as the 'Fell Exchange' - that is, the channeling of the Philosopher's Mist into magical applications. While undoubtedly useful, this abuse of nature seems to have especially grave repercussions - there has never been a Human member observed to age above forty, and most of the older ones display blatant signs of subtle madness.

    Magi of the Society are often Adanite and Couvish Humans, but occasionally one will see Elves and Gnomes. It's important to note that Elves are more susceptible to the mental decay, but take longer to die, and the Gnomes are less susceptible than Humans, although they don't live survive the taint much longer than Humans do. Their specialties include divinations, alchemy and offensive mind-targeting spells.



    Artificiers:
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    The various guilds and unions of Artificiers are a recent product of the ever-persistent Gnomish Magi. They fulfill the roles of metalworkers, mechanics, enchanters and contractors.

    Their specific function is to craft machines for the Gnomish people, and weapons for the Gnomish armies. In addition to this, however, they have proven themselves competent masons and architects, and they are often called upon to supervise the construction of important buildings.

    Their Title is Artificier or Mechanic. Their Anti-Title is Steamhead.

    For the right price, an Artificier can work magical expressions into certain devices or constructs. These are rather reliable, and deteriorate slowly.



    And then we have Priests. Priests are really no different than Magi, except;
    - They are maintained and regulated by the state.
    - Their specific role is to act as enticers of religious fervor (obviously)
    - They claim that their various gods grant them their power.

    Priests vary according to nationality, of course. For example, Couvn doesn't even employ magical Priests, and Dacian Priests train specifically to infiltrate the minds of the enemy. Almost all Priests have healing abilities (even the Couvish ones, who employ medicine), and many have destructive capabilities as well (for example, fire-based or water-based magic intended to destroy enemies spectacularly).

    Their Titles vary, but Priest is used most often in Dace. Their Anti-Titles are just as many, and Dace's enemies call her Priests "Vulturemen".



    Also, it has come to my attention that the Orcs have received little attention. It's hard to argue with a Viking, so I'll get around to that over the weekend.
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    My campaign setting that I should really get back to making at some point >.>

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    So your going with Eberron magitech?

    If you wanted to try something a bit different, my magitech system (Link in my sig) can be used for a dungeon-punk setting if applied correctly, and is a little truer to basic D&D principles as the source of it's power. /blatantselfpromotion

    But it seems like a cool setting thusfar. What is the tech level of your world? Standard Eberron tech? (My system allows for a wide variety, capable of simulating anywhere between the first lightbulb to star-trek type tech...)
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    Welknair you are a god among men. Thank you for creating a playground for the completely insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark
    There have also been times where I was jealous of your ingenuity and skills.

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    Actually, I haven't gotten the chance to look too closely at Eberron. I was too busy figuring out base 3.5 and Dark Heresy...

    Well, the actual tech I had in mind was Industrial Era. Aside from that, I thought to myself that Magi would have studied magic to the point of just managing to explain a little bit of it.

    Most tech is just that - steam engines and ironclads. Artificiers and certain Magi (as well as people who don't exist yet) will improve such a device using magic, if paid handsomely (for example, giving that same ironclad two glyphs that make a lighting bolt when they touch... On its prow).

    Still more rare are devices designed for the specific purpose of channeling magic, saving the Magi some effort and generally causing humanitarian chaos wherever it's employed (now said ironclad has a man-sized engine that crafts storms when its pistons collide for an hour).

    Of course, magical signs decay with use. The better it's made, the longer it lasts, and it can probably work stronger magic as well (though stronger magic reduces lifespan, both for balance and because even diamond kettles can only survive being full of magma for so long).

    In fact... I don't think I defined enchantment nearly as well as I should have. So, in case I forgot to mention it,
    Spoiler
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    The Rune is the basic magical hieroglyph - it is best represented as a word. The Rune is the easiest model to craft, and the longest-lived. However, its function is limited and weak (when compared to larger expressions, that is). Runes are often used as magical circuits, and as magical enhancers on the hammers of Gnomish magic flintlocks.

    The Glyph is a collection of two to five Runes, woven in such a manner that the constituent 'words' may be indistinguishable to the Human eye. Glyphs are much more powerful, but much more delicate, and require a much more skilled hand to create. Glyphs are most commonly placed in magical devices. Some Runes are arranged in such a manner, that they complete a glyph when they touch. These are used for more dangerous or powerful devices, for the purposes of preserving the Runes' condition for longer periods of time.

    The Sigil is a labyrinthine collection of two or more Glyphs. It is the largest organization documented in Gnomish history, and only masters can craft them. Sadly, these mighty carvings are as fragile as they are potent, due to the massive charge of magic they channel and hold, but when one is used, it leaves a veritable signature in its wake. Sigils are too rare to be formally employed anywhere, but most Gnomes seem to favor making them out of otherwise-normal objects forged of advanced materials. Inspired by this trend, one Human made an eight-foot, wrought-iron door with a sigil crafted inside that trapped souls and converted them into pure energy to power his own magic.

    Of course, he didn't last long until psychic assassins ambushed him in the night I mean, he had a stress aneurysm.


    Sorry if the end is a bit eccentric, but I thought it'd fit the theme.

    On that note, I originally planned for secret societies of psychics to exist (individual cells are called Psychic Cults, for reasons I'll cover when I make them), but I never got around to it. I think I will, at some point.

    ... Actually, a lot of my inspiration came from Fable 3...


    Also, I must say your magitech kicks some serious ass. I haven't even given necromancy that much thought...

    Also, I just realized I can make magic healing chambers (you know, like in Stargate ).

    It's worth noting, however, that this setting is kind-of-low-magic; magic exists, and is common among Gnomes, but magic is very difficult (and dangerous, and harmful) to apply. The rules, when better-drafted, should include certain risks (and injuries) associated with magic. Especially healing. But that's for later.
    None of this is real. Discuss.

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    My campaign setting that I should really get back to making at some point >.>

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    The "Rare devices used for channeling magic" are essentially Tapestries...


    I'd suggest you adopt the Animate Mechanics spells, if nothing else. It's a simple concept that makes factory stuff a lot easier for mage-power. I'd assume that the Gnomes would keep it under lock-and-key of course...

    Very cool description for the Enchantment effects, btw.

    So with the somewhat low magic world, how would this affect party composition? Are all nearly all PC wizard Gnomes? Or would it be such that there aren't party Wizards and instead they're rare NPCs?

    And most importantly: What is the highest level Wizard in your game world?
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    Welknair, you are like... some living avatar of win. Who's made of win. And wields win as if it were but a toy. Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish
    Welknair you are a god among men. Thank you for creating a playground for the completely insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark
    There have also been times where I was jealous of your ingenuity and skills.

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    As-is, you could have any number of magicians following you about. The problem is that most Magi have bodies appropriate to having sat in desks and studying their entire lives (some are fat, some are emaciated...), and you would eventually spread your soldiers thin just keeping them alive.

    However, groups of Magi should not be played to begin with, unless there's a very good reason behind it. Maybe you're a mercenary company with fireballs, maybe a couple of associations collaborated your meeting for a mission...

    But for the most part, magicians are rare (except for Gnomes, who almost always have some magical ability). (After a fashion -see the bottom of the post.)

    On the subject of levels, I'm not even sure what approach I'm taking to begin with. The game's level-cap (or analogue) should be one that allows a great deal of customization, while keeping people from making a character with too many skills (then strong characters would be too similar). The equivalent for a Mage would be somewhat high, but normal humanoids' bodies just wouldn't be able to handle much more than that.

    If the character wants more magic, he can just make a compound sigil that acts like a giant magnifying glass for his laser-pointing fury.
    Otherwise, he should still be able to advance his skills in some way.

    As for said animation of mechanics... Direct manipulation wouldn't be that hard to do (alter the air to push it or contradict just a little bit of gravity), but unless one sought to gain peak efficiency, or activate an inactive machine, it wouldn't quite be necessary.

    However, it's entirely plausible to run a device on magic. Picture the following:
    Spoiler
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    1) Make an engine out of iron and silver (magic likes silver).

    2) Make this engine's pistons complete air-resistance glyphs and stud its belt with electrum (that is, an alloy of silver and gold, held to promote thought by Egyptians).

    3) Now, when this engine runs, its silver will deteriorate slowly (due to its incredible channeling properties), while the electrum studs will act as batteries for excess energy (which is then used to push the machine to peak efficiency). Now, what runs this engine?

    4) Build a small blast-chamber, rotary-piston operated (like a car engine). Instead of fuel, however, the fire-Runes inside will produce regular, weak explosions when directed. These explosions are timed to move the piston as well as they can, and the electrum studs take some of the pressure off.

    Due to being tweaked for less power, the material bearing the Runes will last for a good decade or two. You will have to replace the operant pistons more often, however.

    5) Congratulations, proud bearer of a "perpetual" energy engine! This device will propel the sails of your ship with their own personal air supply. (Until it dies...)


    Spoiler
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    Magi aren't really quite "rare" in the way that one considers rare to be. Magic potential is congenital, and it thus tends to develop more often in the children of formal Magi. Note, however, that not everyone with potential is aware of it, and several bloodlines exist among the public (despite the best efforts of the Magi and Priests to draft them).

    More magic potential, obviously, yields more capacity to gain magic ability. Those with low potential, if they're even aware of it, are not highly sought after by institutions - but one with high potential will have his door kicked in.

    Those with low potential would only really be able to use some weak spells and general effects. They would suffer no particular harm beyond fatigue.

    With medium potential, however, they gain some theoretical access to formalized magic (and, potentially, a place in the higher echelons).

    High potential is undeniably useful. It's also very dangerous. The only way to be sure such ability is possible is to unite two moderate or better magicians - and even that doesn't always work. Those with high potential have a lot of channeling ability, but they draw more trouble. Supernatural entities already privy to chasing magicians (and psychics) are rabid for high-potentials, and they can sense the buggers from several miles away. But, should such a Mage survive this ordeal, he will almost definitely become a legend... Or a smouldering corpse on the side of the road. It depends on how well he controls himself...



    Goody, I've been trying to incorporate that since December. Sorry if this post is incomplete; I'll check in the morning when my head stops feeling like limestone...
    None of this is real. Discuss.

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Something interesting I did for my world, as far as levels go, was to say characters can train up to 3rd level, which allows (somewhat) skilled people to exist without them having to go fight goblins. Then for high levels I say that the gods themselves have imposed a max level cap of 30 after a group of Level 50 adventurers tried to kill some of the gods (My world's been around for a while). And then I have a special ritual that characters entering epic levels must complete, meaning that they are generally a tightly regulated group.

    The two usual explanations for the highest level individuals in a world is either they haven't had time to advance further, or they can't advance further.

    Given that everyone know how powerful Wizards are, do the Gnomes hold particular power in your world? Are the feared, or loved?

    Also, does Bear's Endurance not exist? It may let the wizards eat another couple of fat cakes... Wait, couldn't they Wish themselves thin again? That of course brings us back to levels.

    Love the magic engine design. That's awesome and much more fitting imo.
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    Welknair you are a god among men. Thank you for creating a playground for the completely insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark
    There have also been times where I was jealous of your ingenuity and skills.

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Actually, I'm trying to make it its own game, at the moment - I just haven't broken too far with DnD regarding the mechanics, yet.

    The easiest way for a wizard to gain or lose weight would be to channel energy into his bodily cells, forcing the metabolism to speed dramatically. This would be dangerous, abusing Vigour, but as the character either gorged himself or starved himself, the fat layer would alter accordingly at an accelerated rate. Thus, a wizard so thin as to impede his Fitness could remove his limit, and a wizard portly enough to affect his Adroitness could move more quickly.

    Not that that'll be too complicated a mechanic. Don't need to go overboard with it.

    As for the Gnomes, people have a mixed opinion of them. Magic isn't powerful enough to kill armies by itself, which means that the Gnomes' usual soldiers are musketmen with some enhancement spells that allow them to toy with their physical attributes. Occasionally, you'll see a Sniper with a magically-enhanced hammer mechanism (usually electricity, which causes nerve damage, paralysis, and possibly crippling).

    Whenever you see a higher commander, he likes to wear metal plates with glyphs designed to make movement easier or oppose bullets and weapons. The latter effectively renders the armor as stronger than it should be.

    Back on-track, different people regard the Gnomes differently. The current extremes are Adan, who considers them allies and trading partners, and the Halflings, who absolutely hate the Gnomes for their previous transgressions.

    Everyone else likes to keep the Gnomes at arm's length, trading with them through Adan and occasionally Gnomish ports. This suits Maenar just fine.

    It's worth noting, as I forgot to last night, that Magi are isolationist (that's what I meant by 'not rare in the usual sense'). There are a lot of them, but they keep to themselves, usually apart from society. The Gnomes are an entire nation with this opinion, and they're both fiercely patriotic and unconcerned with expanding (except, of course, into Halfling lands; they have valuable metal ores and gems under the ground).

    Usually, Gnomes are seen as specialists and mad scientists who are, at best, to be monitored and dealt with carefully.


    As for level caps, the upper limit is that of the [relevant humanoid]'s body. You can only use so much of your nervous system on magic before there's nothing left to devote, and your muscles can only grow so far within the realm of plausibility.

    That said, the main characters come from a strange world, and some may be strong enough to grapple classical monsters with their bare hands.


    It does make sense to impose a ceremony for access to Epic, considering that magic is supposed to suffuse your very being and be involved in every little thing you do. I mean, normal people can't balance on clouds, or squeeze through a brick wall, or hide from someone, out in the open, in broad daylight with no camouflage...

    ... And normal people aren't just randomly 'suffused with magic', no matter how skilled or unusual they are. Divine assistance makes the most sense. Thus, it sounds like a good system, and it explains those strange-as-a-gibbering-mouther's-mother powers.


    Also, thanks for the compliments and attention. Better morale makes for better writing.

    Also, I have a particular vision in regard to Gnomish snipers. Not only do they have these magically-altered guns, but they have special goggles with enhanced lenses that provide them with night vision. Probably my most cinematic mental image for the entire game so far has been "A Gnomish sniper is on a ridge. His enemies briefly see the glow of his lenses. Then, the sniper fires, showering himself with blue sparks as his turquoise goggles burn critically"... Also, they wear striped berets

    ... Also, I seem to have a habit of starting sentences with "also"... Did I mentions that already, I wonder...
    None of this is real. Discuss.

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Yeah, I keep on catching myself on the "also" thing as well.

    May I suggest either altering the base Gnome racial traits or making a subrace? These guys certainly seem like they have an Int bonus rather than Cha.

    And your welcome.

    Ooh, world. Flat, or round? I went with flat, but that has a number of problems in and of itself. Perhaps the entire world hasn't been explored yet?

    Oh, how do the Elves feel about being less Arcane-Adept than midgets? Given their usual arrogance, I'd assume that they wouldn't be too happy about that...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish
    Welknair you are a god among men. Thank you for creating a playground for the completely insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark
    There have also been times where I was jealous of your ingenuity and skills.

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Well, the Elves here aren't quite as arrogant as they are proud, but seeing as their older creation myths place them as the favored product of their gods, the more traditional ones tend to belittle the Gnomes as tricksters (that is, they won't admit they aren't the best).

    The Hands of Irvena (that is, the rebellion against Humans) are more traditional, but their beliefs have been twisted about, and they consider the Gnomes to be useful. They don't openly deal with the government too much, but some privately-contracted Artificiers and criminal organizations give the Hands some assistance here and there (at reasonable prices!).

    There's going to be at least one other Elven nation - I'm thinking a coalition of city-states on the shore of the Halfling continent, but I'm not sure what they work like just yet.

    I originally intended to make the world round with a frozen equator and desert poles, but no one could find an acceptable explanation for that, and it's currently on hold (the current world is normal-alignment, but larger than Earth). Though, a flat world would fit the setting, and given the planet's sheer mass they probably haven't explored it all yet - that is, they probably think the world is round.

    It's funny that a world with early atomic theory and a model for metaphysical 'physics' (can non-physical places be said to possess physics?) hasn't figured that out yet.

    I'll probably make a D20 version, to simplify the process for any DnD players and possibly to have it act as something of a prototype for the final version. The Gnomes have good education, so they'll definitely receive a bonus to Intelligence/Intellect.
    None of this is real. Discuss.

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Hmm. Well, one can have a round world without necessarily having a true sun. There could be colossal... Pillars at either pole that radiate scorching heat which generally keep the world above freezing. It was designed such that the heat could travel great distances while diminishing little. The result be what you described - A world with two desert poles and an arctic Equator.

    How's that? Plenty of "Save the world" possibility from said pillars being assaulted...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish
    Welknair you are a god among men. Thank you for creating a playground for the completely insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark
    There have also been times where I was jealous of your ingenuity and skills.

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Hmm... That's not bad. If the world were designed by [aliens], that would make a surprising amount of sense.

    Since it would have been so long since its creation, the poles would be the only survivng factor of the world before. That is, the poles are protected by relentless magic and techology, and are a direct part of Typhon's core.

    Not even the greatest Magi would be able to find these places, and their positions would be buried so deep in the Shadow as to deter any but the most powerful from finding it.

    The sun would be large and cool (and emit red light), while a number of moons would rotate about the planet (likely three). The devices would not only generate heat, but control the elements in the atmosphere that filter the sunlight until it supported life we hold as conventional. Typhon would be further out than most inhabited planets could ever be, which would justify that measure.

    The result? The world's atmosphere is inexplicably inverted, though no one cares to ponder as to why. As the (probably) sole surviving devices of this species, the setting would not inevitably become sci-fi (unless the DM felt the need).


    In summary, I like the idea and will give it consideration.

    Note that, as no-one knows about the poles, such an apocalypse plot would be a very special incident. The general chart;
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    1) The atmosphere is being rent asunder. Storms plague the land, the oceans are changing catastrophically, priests are abandoning their gods while civilians sacrifice the apostates in appeasement. Dogs and cats are living together. It's total anarchy.

    2) Heroes are employed to learn the surce of the disturbances.

    3) Heroes delve into the Shadow in order to find the reason. Some die, but the secret is eventually plumbed from the depths of a Dark God's corpse.

    4) Heroes learn the question answered by "42", have brief catharsis.

    5) Heroes have to convince world leaders that what they found is true, and amass an army (and a fleet to carry them) to bring to the distressed eldritch mechinations of life-and-death.

    6) Heroes fight a war reminiscient of Halo 3, mostly with the tower's own defenses.

    7) ...

    8) Make old, terrible South Park meme reference.



    Also, I intend to organise the information regarding Piston in an orderly and easily-navigated manner. The best way I can concieve is to give it a wiki of some sort. I have a tab open at home, but I can't finish until I get back there from my cousin's house (and let me tell you, ths keyboard's made of stone or something. It almost hurts to click the keys too much ).

    I don't know how "Wikia" works, so if I have to I'll scrounge up this old homebrew wiki that Fax Celestis made a few years back (hah, I have selective memory ).
    None of this is real. Discuss.

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Sounds good! Perhaps the Magi actually managed to find them and the Heroes must stop them from tampering with power beyond their ken, for another possible story?

    Hmm. We may even be able to explain the seasons by fluctuations in the power output!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish
    Welknair you are a god among men. Thank you for creating a playground for the completely insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark
    There have also been times where I was jealous of your ingenuity and skills.

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    Exclamation Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    First of all I owe you an apology. And posts. My words and by the way not also. Gnomes and Halflings have their powerful extremes, why not elves? A small one. Offhand. What about an Oceania too? I would also like to recommend asserting human influence, a very important RPG constant. As for dwarves, may I recommend religious, secluded, scattered fanatics who hate how they see what happened to their blessed first blunderbuss technology. Also , It sounds like your world falls between 'we kinda forgot magic, but we still sorta remember glyphs from ancient manuscripts but hey, we sorta stole blunderbuss's and are kinda figuring it out' (we should figure out microwave pizza next, [or microwaves.])

    More in a bit on Mystweaver. Long 2 weeks.
    Last edited by Grayden (LL); 2011-02-07 at 08:42 PM.
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    Okay, I made the wiki. I haven't started elaborating it yet, but I shall do so post-haste. When I'm done, I'll post a link (at the end of this post, if it's still at the end of the list).

    Also, in case I forgot to mention this, I presently have a European (especially Norse and Germanic) history nut working on Couvn and Dace. His ideas usually kick ass, so I'm sure his trend won't break here

    I started with the acknowledgments first, to make sure I added them all. I included everyone on this thread (and its sister, in Myth-Weavers), so if you'd want your tag abstained or replaced with your name, just say so.


    ... After I get it lined out, I'll write the Orcs. Before even that, this thread needs some cleaning up; the first post will be a general overview with a link to the wiki, my own posts will include wiki links when I update it, and my signature will obviously hold a link next to the help request (which needs some Victorification, just like the wiki).

    Also, my scholarly collaborator (the one working on Couvn and Dace, as mentioned before) wishes to be referred to as "Mr. Wolfe".


    EDIT: Response to Grayden:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayden (LL) View Post
    First of all I owe you an apology.
    Nah, it's okay. Just posting that redeems your silence. Reassuring smile.

    And posts. My words and by the way not also. Gnomes and Halflings have their powerful extremes, why not elves? A small one. Offhand.
    Oh, they will. It's just not elaborated on yet. Right now their 'punches' are the Hands of Irvena (and a coalition of free city-states I haven't written yet), but neither of those are written about beyond statements. But, they totally will be.

    What about an Oceania too?
    I'm not sure what you mean about that, but if you mean either a civilization based in fleets or an enigmatic underwater race of sapient monsters, you just gave me two ideas .

    I would also like to recommend asserting human influence, a very important RPG constant.
    I'm trying to subvert that a bit. In most RPGs, Humans are more-or-less the top dogs (and anyone higher are the antagonists). Here on Typhon, Humanity is just one species on the enlarged globe, and they aren't even very well-liked (though they are somewhat 'popular' in the markets). Humans influence certain others, but those other cultures influence each other and the Humans anyway. It'll come up, if relevant.

    As for dwarves, may I recommend religious, secluded, scattered fanatics who hate how they see what happened to their blessed first blunderbuss technology.
    Good point. Let's take it a step further; how does "Aztecs with guns and mechanized drills" sound?

    Also , It sounds like your world falls between 'we kinda forgot magic, but we still sorta remember glyphs from ancient manuscripts but hey, we sorta stole blunderbuss's and are kinda figuring it out' (we should figure out microwave pizza next, [or microwaves.])
    Close, but only half of a cigar.

    It's more like "magic is like science here, but it's really dangerous and painful to use. Glyphs make it easier, but we don't have very many and it's hard to make any more because we only have a basic idea of why they work in the first place. We had an inventor try to invent blunderbusses, but he got abducted by Elven extremists. (We'll get around to microwaves after we make portable lighters )

    Sorry if I failed to elaborate on all of that. I'm starting to think I just might be writing vaguely...


    More in a bit on Mystweaver. Long 2 weeks.
    Myth-Weavers. And I totally understand long weeks...



    EDIT: It's getting a tad late, so I'm going to post the link to what I have. It's not very much, just the acknowledgments page and a sentence or two about the world, but it's where I am.
    The aforementioned Link

    I know it's confusing right now, but I'm still figuring out the wiki's format. If the introduction isn't very interesting, please tell me so.

    Also, as usual, any suggestions are welcome. You can list them here, if you don't feel like having a Wikia account (you'll still be mentioned regardless).

    I'm gonna go watch TV until midnight and wonder why I'm so sleepy tomorrow

    EDIT, again: I realized that there were no links on the front page, and now it's 'done' (as of this edit, only the Acknowledgments and Overview segments have anything written in them, and even then the Overview has only part of an introduction...)

    Also, to my distress, my prophecy of exhaustion came true today
    Last edited by Arachu; 2011-02-08 at 08:56 PM.
    None of this is real. Discuss.

    Dragon Hunter avatar by Lerky. Magical Girl by the lovely Astrella~

    My campaign setting that I should really get back to making at some point >.>

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Arachu's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    ... Writing and wiki-building both take much longer than I realized. I won't even apologize anymore; every post would start with a "sorry I didn't update all week".

    The key, it seems, is to produce quality. I've realized that other people have asked and answered how to make decent games and settings. I've also realized that the Internet is a vast repository of knowledge (if you look for a few hours).

    Finding this page through Google, I now have a sufficiently-clear road map to write some bloody exposition (and maybe a story or two with more than three parts).

    For the time being, Wolfe has written obsessively about Couvn and Dace; he already has Couvn's anthem and Dace's paladin ranks, among all manner of larger details I've heard him talk about over the phone. Should be able to reach him next weekend (not this one, as I had hoped).


    ... I did just revision the Astral, though.

    Spoiler
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    There is an endless mass of twisting energy, souls and minds attached like an after-note to our reality. It is a place of wonder, reflection, knowledge... And horror. The Astral.

    The Astral is the plane of souls. The mind is foremost of its few laws.

    The various factors affecting this realm include the souls of the dead, the thoughts of the living, and sundry factors that scholars of the mystic cannot begin to quantify. These elements, already unpredictable by nature, are only exaggerated in a medium through which their delusions are rendered true.

    Your relative position is important. Souls cling to the places they died in, more often than not, and their opinions regarding the afterlife have an important effect (often validating their visions of the afterlife by rendering them).

    Afterlives:
    Spoiler
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    The Adanite afterlife is the Paradise. Their vision is of a great city paved with silver and supplied with countless bronze fountains, overlooked by a grand tower of gold.

    In reality, their minds have crafted an approximate - with missing districts corresponding to uninhabited areas - that they remain in for the duration of their afterlives. The city is not as safe as they've been led to believe, however, and the minds of the oppressed and the envious have crafted terrible beasts prowling in its sewers and about its perimeter. In short, the minds of those who were made to be beneath created a method to drag their grudges to their level.



    The Gnomish afterlife is the Nexus - an endless amalgam of intellect and souls. Their belief is that souls unite as one in death, and this results in their souls composing their afterworld.

    Their mind wants to join the other minds, but it also wants to see the world. Thus, a somewhat-distorted resemblance is made from their thoughts; every rock, tree, and stream was a living person. It's beautiful... And terrible.

    The souls contained within the scenery are still aware. Anything that happens to their new body, is felt by their mind. The souls that couldn't let go live as intact Gnomes, continuing to live off of the land as if they were still alive... Often chopping, piling, eating and generally abusing their kin inadvertently.



    (That's all I have for the moment.)


    The Demonic:
    Spoiler
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    Let's be honest with ourselves; our world is horrid. There are plagues, fires, wars, cannibal barbarians... Suffering is a very real part of our daily existence, especially on the fringes of society.

    And misery, I'm afraid, isn't forgotten easily.

    The souls of the vengeful dead hold grudges for the rest of their days, and if they have a sufficiently powerful force of will, they can support themselves for astonishing lengths of time.

    When one of these souls is loose, scholars refer to it as an "Imp". An Imp is a parasitic entity that sustains its being through siphoning the vital energies of those too weak to resist; the elderly, infants, the dying... And, disconcertingly often, the souls of the victims may become Imps themselves in their desperation to continue living.

    An Imp is never very powerful. When one becomes powerful enough, it becomes a Wraith. A Wraith is an Imp that has sustained enough spiritual mass to alter its form effortlessly and toy with the minds of the living as it pleases. While an Imp is only a threat to the dead and the infirm, a Wraith is a very real horror that hunts men in the dark. They spread nightmares and paranoia like fires, (although they are only responsible for a rough 5% of either) and some gain the ability to manifest and rip the energies directly from the brains of the living.

    Most Imps die early, and even Wraiths only last so long. The real monsters are Demons. Demons can live in excess of 1,000 years - and their ability to access knowledge directly from the Astral gives them intellects far more arcane.

    Demons are distinct from the Dark Gods of the Shadow for three reasons:

    1) Demons are the amalgamated souls of hundreds, possibly thousands, of suffering people. Dark Gods are the by-product of centuries of misery.

    2) Demons invisibly invoke strife and horror wherever they stalk, but they rarely involve themselves in the world beyond that. Dark Gods have some ability to shape time itself to their whimsy.

    3) Demons thirst for your soul, but it is unknown what motivates Dark Gods.



    (There will be more, of course.)



    At Tuesday or so, I'll try to write my vision of Leviathans in a presentable manner. They amount to giant something-in-the-oceans (such as squids or shrimp) with corroding shells and insatiable bloodlust.
    None of this is real. Discuss.

    Dragon Hunter avatar by Lerky. Magical Girl by the lovely Astrella~

    My campaign setting that I should really get back to making at some point >.>

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Thumbs up Re: Looking for Help with Steamagic-Punk Game Worldbuilding

    Hello. Don't know if your still on here or not, but I came to say Go On Without Me! The world has overloaded my shoulders and deemed me unworthy to aid your quest. my akward apologies and best of luck.
    Why are there never any gnome clerics?

    -You have to be a little bit crazy to GM
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    {CoC}

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