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Old 12-08-2009, 09:46 PM   #41
combatmedic
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

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Originally Posted by griffin View Post
That works for me.




That's unfortunate as Agramar's suggestion is more in line with the rather cinematic fantasy setting I'd be interested in developing and gaming in.


Not sure what you mean by martial arts.
[/QUOTE]

Well, if you don't like the overall direction of this project, you might want to start your own.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:47 PM   #42
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It flattened the terrain, forming a giant (!) bowl that settled the entire local area. The mana WAS impacted, IIRC..the farther away from blasingdell, the closer to normal mana one got.
Sounds like a larger meteor.

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The device was sunk under blasingdell (Blazing Dell, btw...it burned for generations in my little universe) and became a major goal for the Big Bad ("Sterick the Red") who was reanimated when Orc Magi (Barbarians from the East) managed to transfer his imprisoned soul in the Paladin who came to stop the Orcs. They'd picked out one of their own to house the body; when the Paladin killed him, the ritual-bearer hit him with the Staff of Transferrance (or something similarly pretentious).
That certainly sounds like great fun. It also sounds too cinematic and magically powered for where this setting seems destined.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:54 PM   #43
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

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Originally Posted by griffin View Post
Sounds like a larger meteor.



That certainly sounds like great fun. It also sounds too cinematic and magically powered for where this setting seems destined.
Well, no, not really. It is an isolated incident of high magic. It fits in just fine. Now, if the world were littered with similiar occurences, that might be a bit much. Think of these things in terms of the difference between a legendary hero with a flying mount and a whole legion of hippogriff riders. A little goes a long way.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:30 PM   #44
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

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I doubt I have enough time to contribute on a regular basis, but you remembered me on a project I only got started with before it got lost in some drawer...

That setting was centered around the struggles after the collapse of a roman style empire. The empire had already declined for a long time, having grown too large, exhausted it´s resources and it´s nobility becoming increasingly decadent. Then a great barbarian leader with help from a sorcerer (himself in league with a great demon) united severeal barbarian tribes and invaded the empire. The empire defeated the barbarians, but the strain on it´s resources got too much - it splintered into some half a dozen successor states (not unlike the empire of Alexander the Great).

Had an interesting take on religion, too. The empire practiced ancestor worship, with an order of beneficial necromancers (!) acting as intermediaries between the living and the dead.

Huh, now I just get excited about that again... when I´m home again, I will look for remnants of that old project...

This does sound cool, by the way. I especially like the beneficent necromancers.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:52 PM   #45
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Default Re: GURPS Fantasy , shared world, recruiting

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
Well, no, not really. It is an isolated incident of high magic. It fits in just fine. Now, if the world were littered with similiar occurences, that might be a bit much. Think of these things in terms of the difference between a legendary hero with a flying mount and a whole legion of hippogriff riders. A little goes a long way.
And the campaign was deliberately heroic stuff. I think the PCs started at 250ish points, grew to about 300, and got "supercharged" in a major power-up event to +100pts or more.

Here was my wife's paladin character after some adventuring but before the 100pt power up (shame I can't find that...they were fun to see played):

Sir Robert Gorignack III (285 points)
Age 20; Human; 6' 3"; 210lbs

ST 15 [50]; DX 13 [60]; IQ 11 [20]; HT 12 [20].
Damage 1d+1/2d+1; BL 45 lbs.; HP 15 [0]; Will 13 [10]; Per 10 [-5]; FP 13 [3].
Basic Speed 6.25 [0]; Basic Move 6 [0]; Block 12 (Shield (Shield)); Dodge 10; Parry 13 (Broadsword).

Social Background
TL: 3 [0].
CF:
Languages:

Advantages
Animal Friend 2 [10]; Appearance (Attractive) [4]; Combat Reflexes [15]; Fit [5]; Magery 0 (Taig Sense) [5]; Status 1 [5]; True Faith (Symbol-sword) [15]; Wealth (Comfortable) [10]; Weapon Master (Knightly Weapons -sword, shield, lance/spear, axe/mace) (a small class of weapons) [30].

Disadvantages
Code of Honor (Chivalry/Code of Gird) [-15]; Easy to Read [-10]; Enemy (Formidable group) (medium-sized group, some formidable or super-human) (9 or less; Unknown) [-35]; Obsession (Avenge Father by destroying his killer) (Long-Term Goal) (9 or less) [-15].

Skills
Animal Handling (Equines)-13 (IQ+2) [2]; Axe/Mace-14 (DX+1) [4]; Bow-15 (DX+2) [8]; Brawling-14 (DX+1) [2]; Broadsword-18 (DX+5) [20]; Expert Skill (Horses)-10 (IQ-1) [2]; Fast-Draw (Sword)-16 (DX+3) [4]; Fast-Talk-11 (IQ+0) [2]; Heraldry-11 (IQ+0) [2]; Lance-14 (DX+1) [4]; Merchant-11 (IQ+0) [2]; Riding (Horse)-17 (DX+4) [8]; Savoir-Faire (High Society)-11 (IQ+0) [1]; Shield (Shield)-16 (DX+3) [8]; Spear-14 (DX+1) [4]; Tactics-13 (IQ+2) [12]; Thrown Weapon (Axe/Mace)-14 (DX+1) [2]; Two-Handed Sword-15 (DX+2) [6]; Wrestling-13 (DX+0) [2].
Techniques: Horse Archery (Bow)-11 [0].

Spells
Continual Light-11 [4]; Glow-10 [2]; Light-10 [2].
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:53 AM   #46
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This does sound cool, by the way. I especially like the beneficent necromancers.
Me too, in fact, the campaign was supposed to be centerd around them. If I only could find the notes. Let me see what I recall about them from memory...

The order took the role of the organized religion of the empire. Think of them as a mix of celtic druids and more traditional roman priesthood, with an emphasis on spirit magic so they could confer the advice of the ancestors to the living, lay to rest evil spirits etc.

When the empire did become ever more decadent and corrupt, so did the order. Many priests turned to the darker part of their craft. Then, when the barbarians invaded (the sorcerer and chief advisor of their leader being a former priest of the empire) and the empire got shattered, a shism occured and the order split into the benevolent traditionalists and the corrupt demonologists.

One of the PCs was supposed to be a powerful necromancer of the traditionalists, while another one should have been a young noble, descendant of a long dead archmage now a spirit and still pulling strings from behind the grave...
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:22 AM   #47
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OK, here are some more details on my region which combatmedic hinted at:

Basically, it's one of the more stable and prosperous regions left (and it's able to maintain TL3), which means that it has been able to avoid the major barbarian migrations so far - perhaps it has terrain at some of its borders which serve as a potent defense.

It also has a reputation for wizardry. It doesn't necessarily have more wizards than other regions, but those wizards it has do get excellent training thanks to its powerful Wizards' Guild which maintains a strict monopoly on spellcasting. The Guild is subdivided into several orders which specialize in different magical activities, and most wizards tend to be very well-paid indeed. They don't actually run the country as such, but they are a very potent political force.

Each fully-licensed wizard (a "Master Wizard") has the right to take on as many apprentices as he want and can afford. However, the Guild mandates that the total number of Journeyman and Master Wizards is limited to a certain number (which I will figure out later on depending on the demographics and size of the country) in order not to drain the mana of the nation. Thus, an Apprentice can only get the opportunity to become a Journeyman wizard if a position opens up in his region, his Master petitions his case before a local Guild Council consisting of representatives of all the Orders, and no other Apprentice is considered more worthy than him. Thus, competition between Apprentices can be rather fierce, even (or especially) among Apprentices serving the same Master. It doesn't help that many Masters take on Apprentices which they have no intention of petitioning for and just use them as servants and assistants in Ceremonial Magic. Many Apprentices who become frustrated with this process leave for other countries where they become hedge magicians or adventuring mages.

Once they become Journeymen, wizards are supposed to travel for a few years (a minimum of three), broaden their horizons, and learn more about different types of magic - such characters also make excellent adventuring PCs. Once they feel ready, they can approach one of the Orders and petition them to become Masters. This isn't usually very difficult, as each new member of an Order increases that Order's prestige and revenues from membership fees - in fact, competition between the Orders for a promising Journeyman can be rather fierce since the total number of licensed mages is limited. Normally, the Order of one's former Master expects the Journeyman to join it as well. If that doesn't happen, it can result in a loss of face for the former Master and long-lasting grudges.

Foreign wizards are allowed to enter the nation and practice magic if they are invited by a local Master Wizard. This is not too difficult arrange, as long as they don't overstay their welcome (staying for a few months is acceptable, but staying multiple years is not unless they join one of the Orders) and bring interesting magical knowledge from other regions - the Guild is pragmatic in its search for magical knowledge and doesn't assume that its own libraries hold everything that needs to be known. Foreign wizards actively charging money for their services or otherwise stepping on the monopolies of the Orders might get into trouble, however. The foreign wizard is essentially considered a honorary member of the Order of the Master who invited him, and as long as he only renders services within the monopoly of that Order, this might be overlooked by his hosts. However, infringing on the monopolies of the other Orders will quickly cause a nasty political incident and likely see him kicked out of the country.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:39 AM   #48
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Jurgen- very nice. That's a good example of how a culture might deal with the limitations on magic in this setting.

Threlgar- I'm liking this empire more and more, as you describe it. If you want to contribute some of that material, in whatever form, it might be a good basis for this setting's 'fallen/fractured empire.'

Douglas- The setting should be designed with plenty of room for characters that aren't superheroes, but that doesn't mean that 'powerful heroes of legend' do not exist. That paladin is fine.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:50 PM   #49
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For me, the question becomes: Is it possible to build a sustainable society with TL3 tools? This may require more fantasy than just magic...but some of the societies from J. Diamond's Collapse came pretty close - New Guinea's highlands, a Pacific Island called Tikopia and Tokugawa Japan, which is why my society will be a blend of Polynesia and Japan.

Next, how to turn a nature religion in a world religion. Rather than using Buddhism, I want to go for a more challenging approach and use an Abrahamic religion as a basis. Of all of those, I'm thinking Baha'i is the most suitable. World religions tend to have canons, ascetics, organized priesthoods, messiahs or other sacred figures and a fairly patriarchical view. Nature religions tend to have none of this. Since I'm working with Tokugawa Japan as an inspiration, I will use Shinto as an inspiration along with the European Old Religion. Something like a blend of Shinto/Witchcraft that survived into the modern period as a minor faith then found a resurgence after ecological collapse and took on some of the traits of the original patriarchy as it expanded in its social role. The Old Religion will be associated with the royal family, which was marginalized during the nation's expansion then became a guiding light during it's recovery. Now the royal family is all Spiritblood and led by an Empress.

The Old Religion is monotheistic - only the Mother Goddess is divine. There are numerous spirits, most of which serve the Goddess. There are great spirits, like the Sun and Sea, archetypical spirits that represent human drives, like Love and War and genus loci spirits that embody certain revered areas, like mountains and waterfalls. During the Fall, many kami/genus loci spirits were defiled, their areas polluted and ravaged, and thus became insane and demonic. They became embodied and recruited defiled animals as their servants. Ultimately, the priests seek to redeem these demons by restoring their sacred areas and purifying their spirits, but in the mean time, their are orders of militaristic monks who fight them (druid-monks, yeah!). The humanistic spirits were heavily associated with the old regime, and now are not part of the official religion, but are retained in the folk religion as 'angels'.

Okay, here's a basic question: what is the physical cosmology like? I'd assume heliocentric with at least one moon. I'd prefer 365 day years, four seasons and five non-days, but the simplified 360 day year is also fine. If we want something a little fantasy, how about a distant companion sun, about 1/5 the brightness of a full moon but visible during daylight? That would add a little spice to the cosmology without being too out there.

Last edited by tantric; 12-09-2009 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:45 PM   #50
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I already looked up the most likely places for those notes - nothing :-(

But I took the bait. I plan to continue searching and otherwise write down what I recall from memory. Could take some time, though.
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