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Author Topic: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic  (Read 2427 times)

Devath

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This thread shall be a repository for previously developed materials and materials currently being put into text. Due to the fact that much of the world is in "our heads", that is, me and my buddy Hoyr, the inquisitive questions are absolutely essential to progress in the output of information. As a result, information may be spotty.

Aid is accepted. Forms of aid that we absolutely need we will state in later posts. To start with, review of all posted material is requested, as insightful and helpful comments. These comments should as complete and detailed as possible. (This means long posts.)

Content shall be posted soon.

NOTE: Please wait until content appears to post...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 12:29:35 am by Devath »
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Hoyr

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2008, 01:03:01 am »

I'd like to note that this world is a fantasy world. There is magic, but there are no other "classical" elements of fantasy, like dragons, or elves. We have also excluded humans from this world. Why? Because we believe that is silly that humans are on planets other then earth without a good reason. So the main point of this project is to create a original fantasy world. The only things we have preserved are the basic laws of physics and their derivatives. This of course means we need a lot of original content, or content that is not from "classic" fantasy at least. So when you post anything please keep these points in mind.
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a1s

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2008, 01:29:30 am »

actually there's sort of a good reason to have humans (and earths) in you weird settings (that is unless there is a copy of our earth with terran Humans on it). If there's no Humans, then we can assume that your "humans" evolved  on Thertas, and since most fantasy worlds resemble earth quite alot (in fact half of them resemble Greater Germanic Region) it is reasonable to expect them to evolve into a humanoid form. (Earth is named after the soil, and as such is likely to be the self-name of most worlds anywhere)
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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2008, 01:33:10 am »

If you aren't going to have humans, however, what will you have in their place? Some sort of demi-human?
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Kagus

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2008, 01:42:40 am »

Yes.  I forget the name of them, but they were listed a while back on the old forum.  They're essentially humans with antennae. 

Devath

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2008, 02:01:12 am »

Well, we have seven intelligent races, all unique, and they may need tweaking as well, however, no more than those we have laid out will be added into the fully sentient, civilization-starting category. Since some of the race parameters revolve around knowing how the universe works, I will post a short summary here.

Summary:

The place where we will start in the laying of our explanation is in the explanation that all universes and multiverses exist in a medium of nonexistence, and these existences are normally isolated from one another, but do move. Due to this, a particular multiverse and a particular universe collide and "merge," but, as they, as many iterations of universes would, do not have compatible laws. As a result, there is no merging of matter, only a theoretical merging. However, this merging causes a fallout somewhat incompatible with the fabric of spacetime in either existence. Both existences recieve fallout, however, somwhat arbitrarily, we will look in on the universe.

In the universe, there are sentiences that notice this fallout, dubbed "mana" by later civilizations, and begin to toy with it. This toying resulted in the rise of a new sentience within the mana. The thus empowered mana formed into the Goddess of Magic by absorbing all other mana.

The Goddess separated into the gods and the world out of the mana which was herself, forming the parts of the magic spheres: The Core, The Planes, The Dimensions, The States, and The Energies. Each of these is further subividede into its own groupings. For the Core, these are Positive Energy, Negative Energy, Order, Chaos, and Balance, at the center. For the Planes, these are Nature, Aether, and Nether. For the Dimensions, these are Space, Time, and Mind. For the States, these are Wind, Water, and Earth. For the Energies, these are Fire, Ice, and Lightning. Further divisions occurred, dividing each of these gods into Elementals of varying power. None of the gods have the powers of creation or destruction, they can only rearrange what is within their influence.

Mana cannot Exist in the unverse without special containment, because it will rapidly, and often explosively, turn into matter and energy (note that matter requires more mana then energy does).

End Summary.

This doesn't cover much more than how mana works and the elements table, but its all I have at the moment. In any case, comments on everything are encouraged. We just need to work things out a little to get our paper stuff onto the comp properly. Also, your impatience is duly noted. :P
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 02:08:55 am by Devath »
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Kagus

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2008, 02:25:09 am »

Personally, I feel that your background could use a lot of work.  You touch a bit too deeply into scientific gabble for your behind-everything background (the multiverses and their shifting, colliding paths) for you to simply toss in another, fantastical component (mana).  I realize you're trying to come up with a source for magical energy, but it seems like you're either reaching or you are trying too hard to express how different you are from every other game mythos.

And then we move on to how the magical energy, after being tampered with a bit, forms a sentient entity.  This is all well and fine, but then the sentience takes on a female gender for some reason.  A creature with that background shouldn't even have a concept of gender, unless it happened to pick it up from the races it observed and decided to "try it on for size".

Then we get some standard fantasy-world "spheres" being sorted out by the Goddess, which I'm not quite sure I understand...  Is she actually creating the worlds and the energies, or just imbuing the already-existing matter and energy with magic?  Because if she's making everything from scratch, that leaves the question of where these mana-meddlers came from, and where they lived.

Also, does she create the same set for each multiverse she exists within, or just the one the players exist in?  Or do we not know about that?



It's very difficult to combine fantasy and metaphysics, because one way or the other someone's going to get buggered somehow.  Throughout all this, it seems that the most important aspect you are enforcing is the fact that this game is different.  "We don't have humans", "we have a new background for mana", "we have entirely unique races".  Being unique should happen as the consequence of coming up with a really good idea, it shouldn't be a goal in itself.  If it is, you will most likely end up with something that spends so much of its time being different, it doesn't have any time left to be fun.

Common fantasy is quite often vague about the origins of everything, particularly divine entities.  I think this is perfectly fine, as it not only allows a far greater deal of freedom regarding what you put in, it also follows along with what people of the middle ages were probably thinking about; today and tomorrow.

It wasn't until very recently (relatively speaking, of course) that people started trying to figure out where they came from.  Why?  Because it's a rather pointless question, really.  It arose from having more scholars than scholarly subjects, so people started researching obscure things just for the sheer knowledge of it all.

A medieval scholar or alchemist is going to be much more interested in ensuring his own safety and comfort than figuring out the 'really deep stuff'.  You have quests for turning lead into gold, granting immortality, and divining the current will of the gods every sane person knows exists.

But these are just humans.  Maybe the nonhuman races you are introducing would have a fierce desire to figure out the deeper workings of space and physics, or maybe they would have no interest beyond the latest dangly nose-adornments.


In conclusion, I strongly suggest you look back on what you've come up with so far and make dead certain that you made every ounce of it to be fun, and not just for the sake of being unique.

Hoyr

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2008, 02:38:53 am »

There are several (7) humanoid races
The numbers in noteworthy traits can be ignored for now
If anything is unclear ask away. (Though please don't ask an already asked question if you can avoid it)

I'd like to make the Ardym in to some thing other then a race that is so human we might as well call them human, they are sort of a cross between elves and humans in their role in the world in their current state. Suggestions are welcome.

Sorry for the length but there is a lot of data to get though

Name: Ardym
Physiology:
Height: 4’ 0”-7’ 0”
Weight: 90lbs.-300lbs.
Eye Colors: Green, Blue, Gray, Brown, Gold, Red
Hair Colors: Blonde, Brown, Black, Silver, Gray
Skin Colors: Pale to Tan
Age Range: 0-14 Child, 14-35 Adult, 35-60 Elder, 60+ Ancient, 120 Max
Description: Humanoid: Similar to Homo Sapien. In addition to the normal humanoid traits, two hypersensitive antennae protrude from the forehead and fold back over the head. The antennae are sensitive to magic, giving the Ardym strong Magi-Sight.
Genders: 2
Male: Males are larger than females, standard human differences.
Female: Females are slightly smaller than males, standard human differences.
Energy Affinity: Positive
Culture:
Social Structure: Ardym primary focus on the immediate family (A male-female partnership with children). Wide verities of governments and social structures exist though out the world.
Age Roles: Children are educated based on wishes and status of parents as well as child’s skill. Adults work, raise children, and live their lives as they wish. Elders and Ancients often are leaders or educators.
Religion/Philosophy: The Ardym worship the deity of each element in a formal sense, however they usually actively worship the local elemental spirits.
History: Due to the Ardym’s sensitivity to magic, they have been able to spread and multiply in harmony with magic, or on other occasions dominate it. This along with their magical and magi-technological prowess has allowed the Ardym to become the most dominate race on the positive energy side.
Myths/Legends: Relevant to location
Architecture: Villages/farms – wooden/stone well built, sturdy, 1-2 stories. Cities-techy, shiny, metal/marble/gemstone, one or more stories
Economics: Relevant to location
Sports/Athletics: (Name needed) International sport where two teams engage in a magical battle while trying to get a magic sphere into the enemies goal, Various racing, combat, and ‘ball’ sports.
Notes: Due to the Ardym’s continental spread, there are such a large number of variations between locations, making most cultural generalizations pointless.
Inter-racial: While very variable, most races tend toward an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” relationship with the Ardym. The Ardym tend to be slightly egocentric in their view of the universe, which can alienate other races.
Territories: Everywhere and anywhere, on the positive energy side
Noteworthy traits:
Sensitivity to Magic: +2 Gather-Magical Essences, +2 Crafting-Enchanting, +2 Spellcraft
Magically Powerful: +1 to Channel (maximum level of spells)

Name: Zho’tak
Physiology:
Height: 3’ 10” - 6’ 7”
Weight: 130lbs.-400lbs.
Eye Colors: Yellow, Purple
Skin Colors: Shades of Brown
Age Range: 0-9 Child, 9-28 Adult, 28-53 Elder, 53+ Ancient, 80 Max 
Description: Humanoid: Insectoid. Zho’tak are strong; they also have an inherent immunity to magic, and have of an armor-like skin that is almost equivalent to a carapace. They have four strong legs, which are attached to the body at four corners facing outward, similar to an insect. The Zho’tak have strongly muscled arms well suited to combat. The arms are connected to a sturdy torso of roughly human shape, although it is wider and the arms are slightly longer proportionally and only have four metacarpals, including the opposable thumb. Zho’tak have a pair of crests on their head. Due to the stability of the leg structure, the Zho’tak individual is capable of bending its torso forward an amount close to eighty degrees. Similarly, they can bend in such a way in all other directions as well, excepting those in which their legs would get in the way. Warm Blooded.
Genders: Males are stronger and more physical, while females are more magically oriented; using complex spells as opposed to more uncontrolled magic
Energy Affinity: Positive
Culture:
Social Structure: Zho’tak individuals primarily focus on the extended family, the “Clan”. Clans are organized into tribes, and have a strong loyalty system. They are very warlike, with regular inter-Clan and inter-Tribe battles. Long-standing feuds are common. The individual’s loyalty to their clan is strong, and each person will tend to avoid actions that could bring harm to their clan’s status. However, the collective personal status of each Zho’tak is more important than the status of the clan in terms of loyalty. Individually, they are very strong in socio-economic judgment. Sentimentalities of individuals are inconsistent in social location and relationship, and vary from person to person. The intensity of clan loyalty may also vary, depending upon the clan in which the individual is raised. Tribes have a single chief who is elected by a council of elders. Each clan has a leader, and one elder who sits on the council of elders.
Age Roles: Children – trained and taught in the way of the clan
Adults – the main action body of the clan
Elder – Usually Chieftain, clan leader, or elder on the council
Ancient – Usually an honorary member of the council
Religion/Philosophy: Fighting and conflict is good (social Darwinism), other than that no commonalities.
History: Large numbers of tribes roam the plains and forests living, fighting each other, fighting other races. Tribes will merge at times and when one tribe grows too large it will splinter.
Myths/Legends: Each tribe has its own myths, often about a legendary founder, or leader that got them though a though spot.
Architecture: De-constructible nomadic dwellings usually made out of animal skin. Some clans may have multiple permanent dwellings they rotate between.
Economics: Most tribes are self sufficient, but may trade crafts, food, weapons, and other things; extortion and raiding are also common.
Sports/Athletics: The Zho’tak have many contests of physical strength, including a game that involves unbalancing the opponent.
Notes:
Inter-racial: Most races tend to view the Zho’tak as barbaric and uncivilized. There are often conflicts between the Zho’tak and races that settle near them.
Territories: Plains/Forest
Noteworthy traits:
Thick Skin: Resistance: 5 Physical, 10% Immunity to Magic
*1.2 Str, *0.8 Int
Stable Structure: +6 Balance

Name: Susotu
Physiology:
Height: 3’ 6”- 6’ 6”
Weight: 100-250
Eye Colors: Violet, Iridescent, Turquoise, Sky Blue (Mixes)
Hair Colors: N/A
Scale Colors: Black, Dull Orange-Red, Dull Gold, Shades of Brown, Shades of Blue. (Mottled/Pure)
Age Range: 0-12 Child, 12-45 Adult, 45-75 Elder, 75+ Ancient, 110 Max
Description: Humanoid: Reptilian. The Susotu are very slender and agile; they are not suited to brutish Hand-to-Hand combat styles. Good hand-eye coordination causes Susotu to be quite proficient at ranged combat. Susotu are possessed of a pair of strong, well-muscled legs, of a similar structure to that of a bird, only with a longer lower-leg and tougher muscles and bones. All Susotu have a pair of slender arms with strong bones that can easily be master any productive activity. Their hands have soft gripping pads at the ends of the fingers, which have short, retractable, fine, and sharp claws best used for minute manipulation. Each hand has two opposable thumbs, each on the opposite side of the hand, and four fingers forming a symmetrical pattern. The torso is relatively thin and extends into an equally thin tail, both carrying just enough weight to keep balance. The head of a Susotu is boxy with a rounded snout; two ridges one beginning at each eye taper back into the spine. Warm Blooded.
Genders:
No genders. Genetic fluids, and nutrients, from two Susotu are mixed in a sealable container (usually a sphere of sand). The container is then sealed forming an egg.
Energy Affinity: Positive
Culture:
Social Structure: Susotu civilization operates on a rigid honor system, similar to chivalry, in which preservation of life, hospitality, and kindness to people in need is emphasized. Combat schools are maintained to help with the basic survival of citizens. They maintain an extensive trade network to distribute their high quality “normal” goods. Their religion focuses on ancestor veneration and achieving transcendence via meditation and life experience. Warm-blooded.
Age Roles: Children are apprenticed at a young age into fields appropriate to their skills.
Adults continue to refine their skills in their profession, seeking enlightenment and promotion to the level of master. This goal is often pursed by traveling abroad.
Elders and Ancients are respected for their skill and wisdom. They usually function as teachers, advisors, and leaders.
Religion/Philosophy: (The other dev is responsible for this race and needs to provide this data, feel free to comment)
History: Due to the drive to travel and learn, as well as to sell their goods the Susotu have created a vast economic and diplomatic trading network, using technology that creates a bubble of space that is neither filled with positive nor negative energies. Due to the Susotu religion, there is only one major city (which is quite large); most other Susotu settlements are trading posts with no permanent residents.
Myths/Legends: (The other dev is responsible for this race and needs to provide this data, feel free to comment)
Architecture: Most buildings are made out of earthen materials, usually ceramic bricks. Domes are a common element in Susotu architecture.
Economics: The Susotu are big fans of free trade and free market systems, the Susotu want to be able to trade with anyone. The Susotu deal in a large number of goods, both magical and non-magical.
Sports/Athletics: No sports. Athletics are restricted to schools of combat and basic fitness exercises.
Notes:
Inter-racial: The Susotu attempt to get along with everyone and are often mediators in international conflicts.
Territories: Desert/Low Mountains
Noteworthy traits:
*1.2 Agl, *1.2 Dex, *0.8 Con, *0.8 Str
Stealthy/Diplomatic: +2 Hide, +2 Move Silently, +2 Persuade
Artisan: +4 Craft (All subtypes)

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I reserve the right to bad grammar and spelling, as my dad is an English teacher.<BR>There is no such thing as overkill. There is only less entertaining and more entertaining. I''ll leave you to figure out which is which.

Kagus

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2008, 03:20:08 am »

Have you considered sapient non-humanoids?  Might be tricky to work out the different item set or other external boost system, but it could prove interesting.

As to the second part of your sig (which I just now noticed), I created an image a while back that I think you might find entertaining.  It relates to the same problem of the unenlightened usage of the word "overkill".

Hoyr

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2008, 04:05:22 am »

Actually the creation story is a point of contention between the two of us, while I personally (after having it well explained to me) have no problems with the ideas behind devath's creation story (it requires a bit of annoying advanced physics though), devath's story changes a few fundamentals of the world i had plotted out. Fundamentals that make devath twitchy, like omnipotent gods/goddesses.

Here is the short version of my idea:
There is mana (source irrelevant)
The mana forms into the Goddess, as mana left alone tends to develop into sentiences (The gender element is due to the fact she made the universe, she is the mother of all so to say. The goddess assigns her self the gender at a later date due to interaction with sentient races. But if she wanted to she could be a he.)
The Goddess makes the universe out of the mana. Note that the Goddess doesn't have the powers of creation or destruction (of substance that is), just transmutation (creation and destruction of form), so she makes the universe out of herself. The universe is still also part of her allowing her to change it at will.
The Goddess then creates/separates into the other gods/goddesses. Each one is the all encompassing representative of his, her or its domain/element, they are omnipotent and omniscient in regard to their domain.
The other god and goddess do more work on the universe. The world we are focusing on is created.
Then they sit back watch there new creation, tampering occasionally.

This bit is the same as Devath's: Mana cannot exist in the universe without special containment, because it will rapidly, and often explosively, turn into matter and energy (note that matter requires more mana then energy does).

On a side note:
What is the correct term for a genderless god? A deity?

And Kagus I agree with you originality is not the alter we must sacrifice everything to. We are trying to do something similar to what J.R.R. Tolkien did when he made the world for the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, to create a new world and mythos. (Though I don't ever plan to make an entire language and alphabet for each race. lol). Fun is a matter of personal opinion and so far my brain has said that everything looks awesome, but I like to get a second opinion. After my brain told me the freezer is a good place to put motor oil I don't trust it too much any more. Devath can also be a bit of a lose cannon at times (no offense, I know can be that way to), but heck his ideas are interesting to say the least.

The reason why the races would be interested (some of them anyway) in the nature of the universe is that physics, as well as other sciences, is the key to greater magical power, by understanding physics one knows better how to place energies to cause effects. (this won't matter to a player of course, its a world design element not a game play element).

Part of the reason that there are no non-humanoid races is because of one the playability/fun aspect, it'd be hard to create a playable/fun non-humanoid race. And the fact that any non-humanoid race would require innate magical power to function (only one all mage race exists so far and they are a small race of magical constructs they could be non-humanoid if they wanted to I suppose), unless they were amorphous or something, but that has its own problems. There is a reason certain structures evolved on earth, because they work. While the races didn't evolve, the do need to survive. But if you can create a functional non-humanoid race or the initial idea for one I'd love to hear about it.

I have to put up a post explaining that this is a magic heavy world and how that all works... later though.
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Hoyr

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2008, 10:49:44 pm »

To cut this short this is a magic heavy world.

Most all multi-cellular organisms other then the intellegant races have some form of magical ability or are magically enhanced to compete.

Most members of the adventurer-types in the intelligent races are magic-users. If not they have a large amount of magical gear.

This is mostly due to the presence of magitech devices that allow mages to cast spells with out much effort as the device casts the spell for the mage and all the mage has to do is provide the mana. The devices also tnd to serve as a weapon or tool in addition to their spell casting functions.

Not all members of the intelligent races are magic-users however. Like i mentioned before there is only one race that is all mage. Other races have varing degrees of mage/population ratios

I know this explaination is a little vague, so please go a head tell me what I need to add to it.
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ivegotgoodabs

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2008, 11:37:39 pm »

humans give something for the reader/player/watcher. It's a lot easier to relate to a human then some weird ant thing.
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Fualkner

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2008, 01:19:20 am »

This looks pretty sweet. How about including a race that crafts objects by pulling mana out of the objects around them and use the mana to form objects of high quality. Think Full Metal Alchemist, the object is destroyed but it's energy is reformed into a new object. The race has evolved into this ability to craft, and have hands with long, slender fingers that are very sensitive (They can feel the wind difference when a person moves, ect.) Any craftswork pales in comparison to this race. In this way, they are kind of like dwarves.

I loff stuff like this, I'd love to help out.
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Devath

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2008, 03:00:40 am »

Well, we have seven intelligent races, all unique, and they may need tweaking as well, however, no more than those we have laid out will be added into the fully sentient, civilization-starting category. Since some of the race parameters revolve around knowing how the universe works, I will post a short summary here.

Sorry Fualkner... Also, since we were striving for originality and have both watched FMA and bathed in its awesomeness, that was not likely in the first place. Also, Hoyr has some strange bias against the formation of matter from mana, so it would be less practical than using the mana to sculpt the object in the first place, this assuming that we are using mana for the creation of the object in the first place.

In any case, Hoyr already sort of has his ingrained biases ingrained, as he views this as "his" world. Unfortunately, this is not how I view it. Our biases are different, thus our visions are different, and thus we are probably going to have rousing arguments about racial distribution and relative powers. Yay. This is part of the reason this thread is so slow.

As for aid, we are vaguely looking for graphics artists and html/web designers, and are in need of serious review of all that goes through this forum. This is why we are also considering posting this on the GameDev.net forums. The bad thing is that we have lots of pieces, but we haven't really been trying to put them together all that hard. If you'd like to get in, PM me hours online, messengers, etc, and I'll see what I can do to get you in as a serious contributor to the project. If you would also like to help make sure that we aren't lazy at times, we can also arrange some methods for that, but Hoyr is... less amiable to work on the project at random time than I am. He likes the medium of speech a great deal, so I generally have to indulge him. IN any case, Peace out.
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Kagus

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Re: RPG Development: The Moulding of Thertas Kajos, World of Magic
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2008, 03:36:34 am »

Here's something bordering on the line between ambition and insanity, but why not make two worlds?

You both have your agreements and disagreements as to how the world was formed and how it worked...  Why not have the best of both worlds, in a very literal sense?


Magic is a tool for providing lots of fun and inexplicable things to toy around with.  Simply have some sort of astral connection between two completely alien worlds (even boasting individual laws of physics and other fundamental bases) that creatures can travel along.  You've got two artists trying to paint on the same easel, so just give each half and see how it works out.

Naturally there will be certain oddities with transporting creatures from one mana background to another mana background, so you'll have to come up with a way of either incorporating the mana-gathering methods into each other, or creating two entirely separate spellcasting paths, one for each world.


This is obviously teetering over the "insane" part of the line, but it paves the way for a couple interesting circumstances.  For instance, a person who grievously annoyed an entity in the pantheon of the more "common fantasy" world would be able to jump the link and seek refuge in the metaphysics-background world.

Similarly, someone evading the wrath of a manacaster from the metaphysics world might be inclined to hop over to the other world and evade the caster, who is now almost powerless unless they can convince one of the half-deaf archmages to teach them a few cantrips.


Just brainstorming.