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Sean_RDP

Five (5) Things Essential to a Magic World setting

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If I were to ask folks to give their five essential "things" to a Magic World campaign/setting, what would you say?

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1. Being part of a multiverse.

2. Ambiguous view on sorcery in the game world .

3. Fantasy tech; not higher than renaissance, not lower than early iron age.

4. Various intelligent, playable species.

5. Seafaring!

 

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Here are my 5 suggestions

  1. Fey influences building to a crescendo ... can the PCs stop it?
  2. Shadow wars between the Houses ... I've always liked a bit of espionage and assassination
  3. Orcs found their own kingdom and disrupt the power balance ... The orcs have been reduced to primitives and this isn't fair in the eyes of a 40K Greenskin player ūüôā
  4. A Rime Isle (Fafhrd and the Mouser) location just off the southern edge of the map ... where planes and planets intersect
  5. Parties, balls, galas and feasts ... as an excuse to let the characters' hair down

Colin

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Interesting question, assuming you wanted to build a world that highlighted MW's biggest subsystems like Seafaring, Allegiances, Advanced Sorcery magical traditions, etc. and not leave anything out. 

  1. A range of human cultures/lands from primitive to civilized, and at least a few sapient non-human cultures or creatures.
  2. Some in-setting explanation for the divisions between various magical traditions: Deep Magic, Rune Magic, Fey Magic, Sorcery etc.
  3. The presence of an "Otherworld" and/or higher and infernal powers; spirits, demons and elementals have to come from somewhere, right?
  4. A world large enough to make exploration non-trivial by either ship, or horse
  5. Conflict and challenge built around the tension between shadow and light (and whatever those forces represent in your setting): Intrigue, spies, agents, assassins, dark warlords, bastions of knowledge, demon-haunted wastelands, etc. 

For inspiration and tone, think Ralph Bakshi's "Wizards, & "Fire & Ice," or Ridley Scott's "Legend." Also, books like Roger Zelzany's Amber novels, Le Guin's Earthsea stories, or even Jack Vance's Lyonesse novels.

Edited by Nick J.
spelinnng
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7 hours ago, Nick J. said:

For inspiration and tone, think Ralph Bakshi's "Wizards, & "Fire & Ice," or Ridley Scott's "Legend." Also, books like Roger Zelzany's Amber novels, Le Guin's Earthsea stories, or even Jack Vance's Lyonesse novels.

There is also this British author who wrote about a concept called The Eternal Champion.... :P

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1 hour ago, Thot said:

There is also this British author who wrote about a concept called The Eternal Champion.... :P

Sure, but if I was going to do that, then I'd just run Elric! or Stormbringer.

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13 hours ago, Nick J. said:

Sure, but if I was going to do that, then I'd just run Elric! or Stormbringer.

That's the point. If you are using Magic World in Moorcock's worlds, you are.

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On 6/18/2018 at 11:15 AM, Thot said:

That's the point. If you are using Magic World in Moorcock's worlds, you are.

I gotta remember that a hint of sarcasm on the internet doesn't always translate. (Yes, of course I remembered Moorcock, but I thought it was a little too on-the-nose to reference his multiverse stories because I assume most people around here are already intimately aware of the origins of Magic World.)

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Couple things I want to circle back to, but on Moorcock.. I think it is okay to say "Hey, make it Moorcockian" (like saying Dickensian?) and legitimate.  But, stepping away from that to some extent is good and I hope folks keep bringing their thoughts.

Sailing - what is it about Sailing that people feel is so wrapped up in how we want to have our Sword & Sorcery? 

Multiverse - Why is this important? I am not saying it isn't, just curious as to what the thought process is. Just nostalgia OR does it add an important element to the game?

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5 hours ago, Sean_RDP said:

Couple things I want to circle back to, but on Moorcock.. I think it is okay to say "Hey, make it Moorcockian" (like saying Dickensian?) and legitimate.  But, stepping away from that to some extent is good and I hope folks keep bringing their thoughts.

Sailing - what is it about Sailing that people feel is so wrapped up in how we want to have our Sword & Sorcery? 

Multiverse - Why is this important? I am not saying it isn't, just curious as to what the thought process is. Just nostalgia OR does it add an important element to the game?

For me incorporating frequent ship travel into my settings has made it out of the ordinary for my players. You can just do loads with it!

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On 6/22/2018 at 2:33 PM, Sean_RDP said:

Sailing - what is it about Sailing that people feel is so wrapped up in how we want to have our Sword & Sorcery? 

Ships are great adventure bases. A home they can take with them, and a fragile one, should the need arise to destroy it. A way to reach faraway lands. And in and out of combat, a reason for the players to engage in even more teamwork, and character interaction.

On 6/22/2018 at 2:33 PM, Sean_RDP said:

Multiverse - Why is this important? I am not saying it isn't, just curious as to what the thought process is. Just nostalgia OR does it add an important element to the game?

A multiverse is incredibly useful for an RPG campaign. You can add new lands, species, history and magic whenever you need it, and without breaking your existing game universe. Should some other player want to take the GM's role for a while, he can do so in his own world. .

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The world of the game should make the most of what the game offers. The word essential for me indicates the core book only, which is a stand alone game. Though we know Magic World’s history there is no reason to consider Moorcockian tropes essential, Chroniclers can ignore that history no problem.  With that in mind my 5 is: 

1: A gritty settting compare to some other fantasy games

2: Dangerous and tactical combat 

3: Some representation of the forces behind the allegiance rules even if most of the worlds inhabitants are ignorant of the three forces.

4: low-key magic and no divine magic. All spellcasters use the same streamlined rules and there built in limits to stop magic becoming too common or too potent.   

5:  Iron age to early medieval pre-gunpowder technology. Believable because the effect of magic on culture is minimal.

The authors actively encourage you to build your own world adding or subtracting material to taste. 

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