Setting: Sorcerers and Apprentices

Here’s a new setting of mine! Modern fantasy, influenced by Harry Potter, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (the Disney movie), along with other works I’ve surely forgotten. Hopefully the following speech, given by a prominent sorcerer to his potential apprentice, will explain my idea.

There are seven billion human beings on this planet. And of those, maybe only about 200 are sorcerers.

We sorcerers, wizards, mages, witches, whatever you want to call us — we’ve always been around. The only reason you haven’t seen us is because we don’t want you to see us. And it’s not like we stand out. We don’t dress funny, carry wands, wear pointed hats or anything like that. Our magic, our ability to manipulate the arcane forces that normal people can’t sense, comes from within us. It comes from the Skill. With Skill, we can unleash fireballs, summon monsters, twist minds, transform flesh, or bend reality in any one of a million other ways. All it takes is study, training, dedication, creativity, and yes, Skill. Continue reading

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Meier: The Orient, The Bocans, and Languages

More info about my campaign setting, Meier.

Orient
To both east and west of the continent called Occident is Orient, the other northern continent of the Old World. It is home to six major nations: Songae, Pin-Tu, Kampsha, Kamto, Shraa, and Cipok. Songae is loosely allied with Lasant, Cipok with Gard, and Kampsha and Pin-Tu with Urst. However, these alliances are meaningful mostly in terms of trade. Not since the time of old Gideon has any Occidental power warred with an Oriental power, although they have provided one another with aid on occasion.

Not much is known about these lands in the Occident beyond their names and these alliances. Different languages are spoken in the Orient; there is even a different Common tongue (Kamese, the native language of Kampsha and Kamto). Even less is known about Continue reading

Meier: The Old World

I am using a custom campaign setting for my planned upcoming Pathfinder campaign. The setting is a world called Meier, which is experiencing an age of exploration. You see, until quite recently, everyone believed the world was a dome. Everyone knew that there were only two continents forming a ring around the world, and then an infinite sea to the south. But it turns out that there’s a whole chain of islands down south! They’re full of riches, monsters, and strange magic. And that was before explorers from the Old World started colonizing it, introducing civilization, war, and pirates — sorry, privateers — to the savage natives. I’ll talk about the New World more later. Let me tell you about the Old World first…

The “Old World” consists of two continents, Occident and Orient. They’re both long in the east-west direction, with about 800 miles of ocean between the east cost of Orient and the west cost of Occident, and another 800 miles of ocean between the east coast of Occident and the west coast of Orient. The two continents form a band around the northern part of the planet. It is incorrect to speak of one of these as being “East” and one as being “West,” because the conventionally agreed-upon Prime Meridian bisects both continents. The Orient is about 50% larger than the Occident (so the Occident goes 2/5 the way around, and the Orient goes 3/5 the way around). Historically, the Orient and the Occident have enjoyed peaceful relations with each other as far as it goes. Wars are much more common Continue reading

TimeWarp Campaign Idea: Time Zones

It’s looking like I may not get a chance to run that time travel campaign I wanted. But even if I eventually do, I figure I may as well share some more of my ideas for it.

There are six main eras for the PCs to visit. To make things interesting I’m going to list them in the order that the PCs will likely visit them, not in chronological order. I’m sure there will be repeat visits to the different eras, though — more on that later.

V: High Medieval Era: Gonland
This is the era that the PCs will come from, although any PC who joins partway through the campaign will likely come from whichever era the party happens to be in. It’s a pretty standard D&D world, with access to all the normal sorts of magic. (The major exceptions, as I mentioned in another post, are that dragons are long extinct, and planar travel is utterly impossible.) Gonland is one of two major powers in this part of the world, the other being Arcus. Historically speaking, this is an age of relative enlightenment. Magic is being rediscovered after a long absence, new forms of government (i.e. parliamentary monarchy) are being worked out, and society is surprisingly tolerant. State religion is a big deal, but not a driving force in most people’s lives. Peasants are enjoying limited civil rights, although of course they’re still peasants.

The major conflict in this era is the cold war between Gonland and Arcus. They have different national deities, and Arcus is much more lawful than Gonland is. The territory between Arcus and Gonland is generally full of much smaller nations that must take sides or be annexed, and are then obliged to fight as proxies against nations that back the opposing state. Rumors say that a secret society of mages and clerics is Continue reading

Sci-Fi Setting: Humans Are Not Average

It seems to me that every time humans are mentioned in fantasy or science fiction settings that include other races, humans are average. This applies to most games that give a choice of races to play, or to science-fiction settings that include a whole gallery of aliens.

That gave me the idea for a setting where humans are decidedly non-average in some way. The story, which I have neither plot nor characters for, would take place in modern times. But the backstory would go back about 1,000 years, to when aliens landed on Earth. These particular aliens were explorers, seeking only to catalog the local flora and fauna on the planet. They landed in Northern Europe, and were dismayed when their studies turned up a version of the bubonic plague that had not yet evolved to attack humans. According to their calculations, there was a 98.2% chance that this plague would evolve into a superbug and cause a planet-wide die-off of humans and other animal species. These explorers didn’t have the medical technology to avert the crisis, so they decided to rescue as many humans as they could with their spaceship, and take them back to civilized space to start anew, with alien technology to help them adapt.

Nine hundred years later, the descendents of those original humans who were “saved” are now an equal part of a interplanetary federation of sentient species, far away from the presumed ruined world of Earth. Another explorer ship travels to Earth to investigate strange radio transmissions, and discovers humans still on Earth, quietly building an impressive society of their own. The aliens decide not to open contact with Earth yet, merely to observe for the time being. Continue reading