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Suggestions for a Magic World setting


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All,

I am running a Magic World game ostensibly set in the Moorcock's Young Kingdoms geography (and using sorcery) but with scarcer use of demons  and more mundane threats than than what is suggested in the various Stormbringer adventures.

I am constructing a sandbox with the Purple Towns, particularly the Strong Arms as the central location focused on mystery, political intrigue and outdoor adventure more so than combat. I am avoiding building a dungeon crawl of any ilk. I have been considering buying Clockwork and Chivalry so as to leverage its setting, but am worried that it is so closely tied to historical England that applying the setting to the Purple Towns would be too troublesome.

Can anyone suggest a setting that  has political intrigue, outdoor adventure, mystery, etc... that I could leverage? It could use any rule set (D20, D100, etc...)...

A few notes that might be helpful:

  • My world is experiencing the Renaissance with the cultural and technological advances that brings.
  • There are two forms of magic. My own free-form magic and tweaked sorcery rules from Mongoose's Elric of Melniboe
  • Magic is more rare in my game and it is associated heavily with sorcery, murder, evil, etc...
  • Of the plot hooks I have developed much of them tie in some grand way to the conflict between law and chaos.
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Not sure why but when I read this, the old Dark Sun D&D setting popped in my head.

Yeah, leave out the two suns, all desert, no metals part but you'll have political conflicts between city states and guilds, magic in that setting is taboo if not illegal, most "adventures" take place in villages or in the wilds...just a thought for you.

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Harn is an cool setting, by default low magic, but the last time I looked at it was in the 80s, so not sure what kind of changes have taken place since then. The GM that I had basically had the magic be ritual style, so most spells tended to take a while to cast. Think more along the lines of the Conan movie when the two wizards were fighting each other to open/close the mouth door in the underground temple. More that kind of magic, instead of wizards throwing spells at each other ever few seconds.

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Anyone know anything about Harn?

I have a lot of Harn stuff and have used it in the past with Maelstrom and Dragon Warriors games. It's probably the closest thing to a recreation of medieval (not really renaissance) Europe on a different planet. It's a very detailed setting for politics etc. but very specific to itself. The religions are quite nicely done, and fairly easy to transplant to other settings. There is a lot of outdoors in Harn, though once again fairly world-specific.

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As a long time fan of Thieve's World stories I think it could fit most of the criteria you are looking for. The Green Ronin d20 sourcebooks are still pretty useful and easy to find and there are still some old Chaosium box sets floating around on Ebay if you want to go old school.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're really interested in the Renaissance era then don't give up on Clockwork and Chivalry. The kingdom and Commonwealth is a cracking campaign, I have not ran or played it but it is brilliantly written with plenty of politics. It has been published in two editions, one for Mongoose Runequest and the other Renaissance deluxe. Both systems would be a snap to convert to other BRP systems. I've considered using it for Strombringer, Call of Cthulhu and even in a Runequest Harn setting. It is basically set during the English Civil War but with a bit of effort could be used between any two nations at war, the campaign is that good, it is worth it.

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  • 1 month later...

Yeah for the YK.  I dug out an old file if you're interested.  Posted it here in the downloads.  It's a short breakdown of the countries in the YK.  I think I drew on different sources for it, but it's been a while.  It may just be content taken from Elric! and arranged conveniently for player consumption.

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Don't know if it's what you're looking for but the Ravenloft settin maybe? There's a d100 conversion I think in the downloads and on rpg.net

I started writing up Ravenloft as a procrastination outlet.  I remembered from my long past AD&D days that Ravenloft was heavy handed and railroady, but who doesn't like stating up Dracula and Frankenstein, right?  I'm happy I dipped back into it because I really grew to like a lot of the Ravenloft setting.

One thing that I think is easily taken from Ravenloft is the NPCs.  They've got good bones and there's plenty of room to riff on themes.  Another thing it does well is personalize the different countries in Ravenloft.  Of course, it does this by the typical 'take a culture and strip it' method, which can be a little grating.

Someday I'm going to have a big weekend marathon roleplaying session and finish the Fall of the House of Shadowbourne story arc I had going...  ...actually, maybe it's because it's halloween but I have a sudden itching to jump back into Ravenloft...

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Sorry I am spamming the thread, but it you haven't read them go check out Green's Gods of Law and Gods of Chaos over at Stormbringerrpg.com.  Also read Watt's Old Hrolmar.  All three are fantastic.

Then go over to the YKAdventures wiki and read the Bakshaan and Rignorium stuff.  Fun things to grab there.  There were some locations written up too that are interesting.  By memory it was the groaning arch, the blood altar, and some sort of holy grove but a quick google search did not bring them up.  Maybe someone here can jump in with a link.  They were from the old Chaosium Digest.

There's a great Actual Play thread at RPGnet by Shannon Appelcline called Stormbringer: Warriors for Balance.

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