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Weishan Mar 31 '12 4:59pm

Help Developing an Early-Medeival Setting
 
So, I'm trying to develop a gritty and (somewhat) realistic setting setting modeled on ~10th Century Northern Europe plus other elements stolen from different cultures and fantasy settings. My general goal is to have several petty kingdoms led by princes or warlords in a reasonably small area. The setting is generally going to be on the lower magic end of things, but I still want wizards to be a thing. Also, please stay away from any system-specific suggestions, (especially those based on D&D) I don't particularly care to fit in with a published RPG setting--I'm imitating literary fantasy not RPGs.

So, these are some of the issues I'm not really sure about:

-Politics and war: I can copy a map of the Heptarchy in England to get an idea of realistic borders, but I'm not really sure how war would work. How much raiding do neighboring kingdoms do do each other? How much raiding do whatever oceangoing powers do to everyone? How much conflict occurs between minor vassals and what does it even look like? Etc.

-Monsters: I'm happy to treat some 'monsters' as animals that don't exist in real life, but I do also want the option for more magical creatures (dragons etc.). I'm not really sure how common I should make monsters, and how to adjust society to accommodate.

-Magic: I have a fairly good idea of how I want magic to work already, but there are some associated problems. Specifically, I'm keen on a vaguely Lovecraftian sort of magic with less rugoseness and tentacles. A wizard digs through ancient ruins looking for whatever cryptic bits of magic they can find. Magic itself is essentially the programing language of the Great Old Ones though that analogy would be lost on a character in the setting. I'm leaning towards less flashy magic, but wizard-duels are pretty cool too, which draws me somewhat in the other direction. Also, wizards tend to be solitary individuals who refuse to share their information, hoarding ancient tomes and ciphered notebooks. So, some questions here: whose ruins are they in the first place? What impact do these ruins and such actually have? What's the social impact of a wizard anyway?

-Cosmology: I want to incorporate a surreal and somewhat unsettling spirit world into this game. This will account for things like 'demons' and will give the PCs an opportunity to travel in an alien world. Past that I'm not really sure of how to handle this idea; how the spirit world really is, and how (and why) PCs would interact with it.

-Finally, adventures: I don't want PCs to be wandering thugs or mercenaries; they should be doing something more heroic than that, but I'm not sure what. This setting is unfriendly to high politics; there's no centralized power, and everyone is a long way away from each other. It's also unfriendly to saving the world from evil overlord kinds of plots; no individual that powerful exists. So how do I give the PCs a meaningful goal. Also, in a realistic world in which 'adventurers' aren't a social convention, what are some good ways to justify the party working together. Moreover, why don't they bring other people and resources with them (they're rather likely to be knights or minor nobles. Few others would have the skills with weapons)? That is, why is whatever the party doing (mostly) unique to them?

dauphinous Mar 31 '12 6:18pm

How much raiding neighboring kingdoms do to each other depends on many factors:

How close are they to each other, and what geographical barriers are between them? If they share a border that's marked by a line of hills, they'll be raiding each other all the time. If, instead, they don't share a border and there's a swift, wide river or a mountain range between them, it'll be much less frequent.

How much do the rulers hate each other? The level of antagonism between the ruling classes of each kingdom determines how much they push demonizing propaganda on their population, which in turn determines how well the raiding/fighting will go over with the hometown crowd. Even war-crazed tyrants with nemeses need to concern themselves with popular opinion, lest they find themselves facing the guillotine. Further to this, the more the ruler hates the other guy, the less he cares about things like cost vs. benefit, and the more likely he is to indulge in petty squabbling about it via military action of one kind or another.

How strong is the military? A weak military won't do much raiding, a strong one will be equipped to handle it. You don't normally send unskilled peasants to do raiding, that's asking for failure.

How much are they at the mercy of other forces? A land with serious 'monster' problems will be concerned with those and ignore outside antagonism. Conversely, a land where everything is basically okay is freer to engage.

Who has the resources? Raiding is about a few things, but one of the more important ones is resource acquisition or destruction. If one area has lots of fertile land and the neighboring one doesn't, the disadvantaged land might raid the food supply of the advantaged one. The same goes for most any resource, up to and including women and children.

I'm sure there's more, but that's all that comes to mind at the moment. :)

Librarium Mar 31 '12 8:55pm

An idea for a party would be the true paladins of Europe. Essentially just groups of noble warriors questing together, usually at the bidding of a lord, patron, church or even a mix of them. Being a commoner or even a free adventurer in those times was bad for ones health, a good reason why fantasy settings tend to steer away from the raw truths of medieval times.
Nobility would probably be a given for parties, even if just distant cousins. Having any John Knight walk up to you and demand fealty doesn't seem an enjoyable roleplaying experience. So, having the group as outsiders or high on the food chain would be a good choice.

Voxanadu Mar 31 '12 9:49pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by weishan (Post 5444446)
-Politics and war: I can copy a map of the Heptarchy in England to get an idea of realistic borders, but I'm not really sure how war would work. How much raiding do neighboring kingdoms do do each other? How much raiding do whatever oceangoing powers do to everyone? How much conflict occurs between minor vassals and what does it even look like? Etc.

That depends on the cultures that exist. Some of your kingdoms will have claimed rights to land and groups that don't understand what a kingship is. They'll be warring clans or some other lesser "civilized group". And differences in the vassal and the lords will very based on your cultures also.

You may be interested in watching The Peasant. It looks at the peasant life and society of taking care of the lords keep during the 12th century.

Quote:

Originally Posted by weishan (Post 5444446)
-Monsters: I'm happy to treat some 'monsters' as animals that don't exist in real life, but I do also want the option for more magical creatures (dragons etc.). I'm not really sure how common I should make monsters, and how to adjust society to accommodate.

Dragons are fairly easy to incorporate. They're normally rare and aloof in most settings and systems anyway. You may want monsters to be retreating from civilization, or some to attack. You could also make monster races like goblins have their own small societies, cities, or towns existing in certain nations. Who knows, maybe racism killed them off.


Quote:

Originally Posted by weishan (Post 5444446)
-Magic: I have a fairly good idea of how I want magic to work already, but there are some associated problems. Specifically, I'm keen on a vaguely Lovecraftian sort of magic with less rugoseness and tentacles. A wizard digs through ancient ruins looking for whatever cryptic bits of magic they can find. Magic itself is essentially the programing language of the Great Old Ones though that analogy would be lost on a character in the setting. I'm leaning towards less flashy magic, but wizard-duels are pretty cool too, which draws me somewhat in the other direction. Also, wizards tend to be solitary individuals who refuse to share their information, hoarding ancient tomes and ciphered notebooks. So, some questions here: whose ruins are they in the first place? What impact do these ruins and such actually have? What's the social impact of a wizard anyway?

Well, rome did fall. Maybe they had much more advance magic before their society had an economic collapse? Maybe a wizard is kept in a court for advice or perhaps your wizards are sent to school to study so that the king could utilize their powers. Maybe magic is entirely rare amongst people and the royals are tested for it. Those nobles that possess it are sent off to school to master their powers, become wizards and are no longer associated with the kingdom they came from. Meanwhile the peasants are not tested for it and when they learn of their powers they're self taught and become sorcerer's, witches, warlocks, and other such things.

Quote:

Originally Posted by weishan (Post 5444446)
-Cosmology: I want to incorporate a surreal and somewhat unsettling spirit world into this game. This will account for things like 'demons' and will give the PCs an opportunity to travel in an alien world. Past that I'm not really sure of how to handle this idea; how the spirit world really is, and how (and why) PCs would interact with it.

You could over lay a plane on top of the material plane in which humans inhabit. Then set up something like the Seelie Court, Native American other world, or some such thing. Have random portals pop up that allow people to shift planes, or have permanent portals open up. People accidentally disappear every now and then into the other world and the players may have to save someone.

Quote:

Originally Posted by weishan (Post 5444446)
-Finally, adventures: I don't want PCs to be wandering thugs or mercenaries; they should be doing something more heroic than that, but I'm not sure what. This setting is unfriendly to high politics; there's no centralized power, and everyone is a long way away from each other. It's also unfriendly to saving the world from evil overlord kinds of plots; no individual that powerful exists. So how do I give the PCs a meaningful goal. Also, in a realistic world in which 'adventurers' aren't a social convention, what are some good ways to justify the party working together. Moreover, why don't they bring other people and resources with them (they're rather likely to be knights or minor nobles. Few others would have the skills with weapons)? That is, why is whatever the party doing (mostly) unique to them?

If you have a kingdom which is set up over multiple societies, such as england ruling over the Celts. Then why not have some of them be emissaries? To be honest, you may want to see what the players come up for background ideas after you build your world with it's history. Make sure you build a lot of history for the region the players will be involved in. Who knows, maybe one of them will be a humble bartender who goes to see the king because his bar was burned down by one of the rare dragons. When he gets to the king and asks for aid the king may have looked at him and said, "I am to busy for such things, deal with it yourself." Hence, your first adventurer is born, not because he is a noble hero, but because there is no one else to get the job done.

Weishan Apr 1 '12 2:39am

So, a few things:

-I'm very serious about ~10th century society here. Whatever the level of magic ultimately is, it shouldn't change the fact that almost everyone is a peasant. What I don't know is how minor nobles under a greater lord tended to relate; what kind of fighting would there be (if any?). Likewise, this is a society that can't (like 10th century europe) afford things like professional armies. The population would be too low, and those people need to produce food.

-With respect to magic, I really do want to keep it Lovecraftian. Assembly language for reality isn't the kind of magic that starts out with humans; I want to do more than just appeal to old dead empire X to get ruins and dark places for wizards to explore. Further, because wizards are so secretive, it requires the kind of person who's prepared to dig through ancient tomes whose letters make the eyes bleed or wander into dark corners of the world to learn their craft.

-Cosmology: I don't just want portals to the dream-world. It's a cop-out and it feels rather artificial, but I'm not sure about other graceful ways to do this in an RPG.

-So the big thing is plots: what exactly does a small group of nobles/scholars/clergy etc. do in terms of broad, general plots? In particular why don't more people care about this particular thing--what makes the party unique?

dauphinous Apr 1 '12 12:50pm

By 'military', I really just meant 'those people whose job is primarily to fight/defend'. The sheriff and his thugs qualifies if that's all they've got, and I would consider that a 'weak military'. If any of that comment was directed at me, that is. :)

Minor lord types relate to each other as rivals across their strata, unless they have some compelling reason to have some other relationship. They compete over everything in attempts to secure the favor of the higher-ups. They would conduct raiding activities mostly iff they thought they could get away with it. Small scale, but not disastrous, sabotage would be relatively common, such as a couple of men sneaking over to the rival's farms at night and stealing a few bushels of food.

Large scale sabotage wouldn't happen under normal circumstance, unless the one doing the sabotage is very firm in the ability to get away with it and is confident the other guy can make up for it somehow. They're rivals, not bitter enemies - the goal is to show the other guy is incompetent, not to destroy him and his people. Setting fire to the rival's fields, for example, would be stupid, because the King (or whomever) would then have to levy higher taxes on everyone and shift food supplies around to make up for it. This would wind up hurting the one who did it more than he benefits.

Now, there are, of course, differing levels of rivalry. There's antagonistic and friendly. A lordling who got his daughter married off to a nearby lordling could have a basically friendly rivalry. This third lordling who wanted to marry the daughter but was denied could have an antagonistic rivalry towards the other two. The friendly rivalry could be anything from pulling practical jokes on each other's lands/peasants to working in concert to embarrass others or repel others' attempts at embarrassing them. The antagonistic rivalry would be anything from the previously mentioned small-scale raids on food supplies to planting spies in the other's house (a servant, most likely), disrupting trade, seducing the wife, waylaying messages, releasing criminals over there instead of dealing with them properly over here, and so on.

As a side note, I'm assuming two things: there's no centralized Court that these people could socially backstab each other in without having to travel more than a few hours to get to, and gender politics are as expected. If there's a centralized Court, there would be a lot of more direct social rivalry, too, about who the "king" and his spouse/offspring like or don't like, favor or don't favor. Gossip and scandals and appearances, oh my!

impfireball Jul 9 '12 7:42am

Quote:

How much raiding do neighboring kingdoms do do each other?
Well, if you go by mount and blade logic - basically war is determined by whatever lord decides to declare a vendetta on another (and even then, it might not be full scale war; just a tiny battle on the field where the opposing lord is shamed or kidnapped or killed right there). So, a lord might cross a border to stage a battle in a trial by combat sort of fashion.

The idea being that fighting is going on all the time (after all, the land is a much more savage place and laws are determined by whoever's in charge at the time - written word is barely existent, etc.), it's just that kingdom-wide wars only occur sometimes. Soldiers desert armies because they think their leader is an arsehole, after having met him in person. Or because they think there's riches elsewhere. And with no chain of command or officers (apart from king, lord, lady, and vassal), the only person to inspire them is the leader themselves (apart from the bard, who might keep them entertained for some of the time, or the cook that keeps the food interesting, etc.). Much of the time, soldiers fight just to fight, and not because they believe in what their leader believes.

So, it's all a game of vendettas and egos run amock.

Basically, 'that village looks fat with the prospers of trade'. 'Son, you are going to be a man today, and the way that you shall do it is by raiding that village.'

Then the lord of the village says 'Hey, you wronged me this day sir, I challenge you to a duel.'

'Is there a way we can sort this out?'

'Haha, but I want to fight you!'

'I heard that you fled from *insert battle here*. Prepare to die coward!'
-----

Peasants don't really care about allegiances. It's basically whatever warlord or 'king' is in charge at the time. Looking back at the middle ages, it's hard to even concieve how national pride got started.

Maybe, it wasn't until inventions such as the printing press, or whatever. Otherwise, people don't really care who's in charge and there's no wars and rebellions only occur because your children are going to starve tomorrow if you don't rebel.
----

Okay, well that's politics and war. Good enough?

Quote:

-Magic: I have a fairly good idea of how I want magic to work already, but there are some associated problems. Specifically, I'm keen on a vaguely Lovecraftian sort of magic with less rugoseness and tentacles. A wizard digs through ancient ruins looking for whatever cryptic bits of magic they can find. Magic itself is essentially the programing language of the Great Old Ones though that analogy would be lost on a character in the setting. I'm leaning towards less flashy magic, but wizard-duels are pretty cool too, which draws me somewhat in the other direction. Also, wizards tend to be solitary individuals who refuse to share their information, hoarding ancient tomes and ciphered notebooks. So, some questions here: whose ruins are they in the first place? What impact do these ruins and such actually have? What's the social impact of a wizard anyway?
I know you said don't mention D&D, but are wizards going to be using scrolls (written with the language of the old ones)? Are they gonna be one of the few characters that are actually literate (apart from monks and scholars)? I could imagine doing a quest to search a ruin for a scroll, purely for the sake of casting the spell you need. :P

Or maybe wizards have the unique ability to dive into the abyss of the multiplanar realms (they were 'chosen' or whatever) and seek out magic, and the higher their level, the longer they can dive for (better spells take longer searching or more time 'persuading' of an old one). If they cast too many spells before recovering, they risk insanity. You can call the stat 'equilibrium' or something.

In terms of flavor - they're basically merlin or a shaman. The kind of people that go into the woods and disappear for like a night or a week, and then come back with really weird tales or curiously useful knowledge.

Quote:

I'm leaning towards less flashy magic, but wizard-duels are pretty cool too, which draws me somewhat in the other direction.
Maybe only flashy when wizards are dueling?

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Also, wizards tend to be solitary individuals who refuse to share their information, hoarding ancient tomes and ciphered notebooks. So, some questions here: whose ruins are they in the first place? What impact do these ruins and such actually have? What's the social impact of a wizard anyway?
You can sort of guess at the social impact of a person that is solitary. Very antisocial or strange. You can play it funny, like Yoda, or creepy, or shy or whatever. It's pretty easy for any player to shoehorn the low-hp/low-charisma dnd tropes in there (accidentally or otherwise). :P

Quote:

-Finally, adventures: I don't want PCs to be wandering thugs or mercenaries; they should be doing something more heroic than that, but I'm not sure what. This setting is unfriendly to high politics; there's no centralized power, and everyone is a long way away from each other. It's also unfriendly to saving the world from evil overlord kinds of plots; no individual that powerful exists. So how do I give the PCs a meaningful goal. Also, in a realistic world in which 'adventurers' aren't a social convention, what are some good ways to justify the party working together. Moreover, why don't they bring other people and resources with them (they're rather likely to be knights or minor nobles. Few others would have the skills with weapons)? That is, why is whatever the party doing (mostly) unique to them?
Well, in mount and blade, the player usually ends up swearing vassalage to one lord or another. So, I suppose the players could lead an army to help one kingdom take over another. Or they could hunt treasure in their lord's name. Which is totally lawful, because the lord is the law.

If players are trying to be good guys, give them an excuse, such as the other kingdom is oppressive and harbors many bandits (or aren't doing anything about their bandits) and their people are suffering (they would appreciate it if you usurp their lord or king), or that kingdom is invading your lord's kingdom. Players get this information from spies for their lord's kingdom, traveling merchants or the lord's military scouts and rangers working long term.

Basically, anyone that doesn't swear vassalage is a peasant, a thug or a mercenary (no matter how good of a mercenary they are, or if they prefer to be called 'adventurers'). But also consider that some mercenaries can be good guys, preferring to protect only trade caravans and not just hire themselves out to the highest bidder (so *ahem* escorts). Lords are the ones with the best armies, but also consider that some of them used to be bandits at one point. Many are also usurpers too.

The role of a vassal is flexible - players shouldn't need to become paladins. They just have to stay on the lord's good side. And that also depends on the lord.

And if you wanna be non-sexist, include ladies too. Why the heck not. :P

Quote:

What I don't know is how minor nobles under a greater lord tended to relate; what kind of fighting would there be (if any?).
Nobles are typically these vassals with horribly inflated egos. There'll be the ones that don't like to fight, or just sit back and watch their army die, and then the ones that like to ride out and lead the troops, and the ones that will simply just be another soldier among the crowd of fighting (only the banner being raised represents them).

The warrior types will probably attend tournaments, or visit the training grounds whenever possible. In mount and blade (again), walled towns typically have their own arenas, where half-naked guys go around beating the crap out of each other with wooden blades.

A player can gain a noble's respect by defeating him in a tournament or in the training grounds or arena (the training grounds could include archery contest, riding and hitting targets, etc.), or doing meaningless tasks for him (slay the dragon; for the dnd flavor - deliver a message to another lord or execute some fugitive or collect taxes, if realistic - most nobles don't like to place important tasks in the hands of strangers; and good nobles have a great social instinct, knowing that takes a fair amount before they can trust somebody - although honor and respect are different again, and such a thing can be won in a fight if the noble in question chooses to respect that). Nobles can also have other interests too though, such as writing and books, the sciences (merely just a curiosity; maybe they have an astrolabe and draw maps or whatever), song, etc.

However note that the latter in the last paragraph is largely the talent of ladies - since women aren't allowed to be warriors in realistic middle age worlds (unless they're bandits or barbarian amazons or something that get by on their own and get no darn tootin' respect in a military leader/vassal sense), and women of high upbringing have all the time in the world to read books, study 'science' and learn songs.

Quote:

-Cosmology: I don't just want portals to the dream-world. It's a cop-out and it feels rather artificial, but I'm not sure about other graceful ways to do this in an RPG.
Most of these places include gods (real or imagined). You can have a variety of realms, and a variety of creatures that enter the realm. Maybe demonic forces prefer to travel to other realms the most, and this constant travel causes evil in the material world. Just, off the top of my head...

Also, the realm of imagination or the realm of chaos where anything is possible. Could be similar to 'dream world' (unless you consider 'dream world' to be some kind of peaceful realm that people enter when they meditate, or Warcraft's relatively meaningless 'emerald dream' where druids go for no reason, but because it gets them 'closer to nature').

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-So the big thing is plots: what exactly does a small group of nobles/scholars/clergy etc. do in terms of broad, general plots? In particular why don't more people care about this particular thing--what makes the party unique?
The party is unique in that they get to be themselves, according to their characters. Being a lord or noble is about freedom. If they piss off the next noble in line and start a bloody vendetta, then that's a perfect plot. They can be a very strong noble and show it by winning many battles. That's just the surface of the whole 'PCs are vassals, or at least the party leader is, and the others make up a well connected fellow ship of body guards'.

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You could over lay a plane on top of the material plane in which humans inhabit. Then set up something like the Seelie Court, Native American other world, or some such thing. Have random portals pop up that allow people to shift planes, or have permanent portals open up. People accidentally disappear every now and then into the other world and the players may have to save someone.

Silent hiiiiill! Silent hill!


Quote:

-Monsters: I'm happy to treat some 'monsters' as animals that don't exist in real life, but I do also want the option for more magical creatures (dragons etc.). I'm not really sure how common I should make monsters, and how to adjust society to accommodate.
The villagers have learned to stop building a town near X mountain, because rumor says it contains an elder dragon. Once long ago, the dragon ruled the lands much like a human lord, only the lands were much more vast. This dragon reigned supreme over other dragons. One day, wizards banded together and locked him in a mountainous tomb.

The dragon has not appeared ever since - however, ill omen to anyone that travels close to that mountain. Inside is probaly an entire colony of young dragons, giant spiders, etc. Maybe the elder dragon dug deep underground, to expand his domain, when he found that he couldn't escape outside.

Magical creatures could be 'bosses' or 'epic encounters'. Player's army versus the creature. Animals would be personal counters. Play walking along a pass, and a dire goat attacks. That sorta thing.

svipdag Jul 9 '12 10:03am

On the cosmology / magic; I take your goals to be thus:
1. You want the system to not affect society in a great amount
2. You want the "other" realm to be mysterious and creepy
3. Wizard duels should be flashy.

For evocative depictions of low-fi magic, check out these wikipedia pages:
Cunning Folk
Familiars

Most magic-users would be fakes; some would have a minor talent, and could, for example, stave off (or cause) illness, remove (or cast) a hex, and the like. You might have more powerful spells that drew the user deeper into the Other realm, spiritually or whatever, so maybe like Hatters of old, really practiced casters would go insane in a sort of way after casting for a while.

To keep the 10th-century feel, maybe only destructive spells are particularly powerful, and constructive stuff is just plain weak.
So for example, curing a hex or fixing a sprain would be easy, but guaranteeing a good harvest would be impossible. Wrecking a harvest might be totally possible, as might calling down lightning or other overt-ness. This'd be consistent; if magic is a "code," scaling up destruction is easy; just program a bunch of fire or lightning or something. But programming a good harvest would be super complex, since living things are super complex. So then, since wizards are generally only good at ruining people's lives, they'd have a bad reputation. Maybe an open-minded petty lord would have a court wizard, but generally the practice would be frowned upon, so the big stuff would be uncommon enough to not make a huge difference in the ways of the world.

Or maybe humans are like grounding-wires of a sort that repels the Other. Magicians willingly give up this repulsive effect, so maybe they gradually go insane from the nightmares of hellish other worlds, or something similar. The smaller the community, the more potent the magic, enabling village witch-doctors or cunning-folk or witches or whatever. Then, in truly remote places, the real dark and scary stuff could happen. This would mean that a wizard could, for example, maybe kill someone in their sleep, while they were alone, but they couldn't just call down lightning on an attacking army, since that many people means magic would be very limited if not impossible. But wizards might call each other to duels in remote locations, at midnight on the top of a hill in the middle of nowhere, or whatever, and really let loose their powers; these would be terrifying and terrible to behold, thus preserving the epic duel aspect of the thing.

Disease was commonly attributed to magic or demons or spirits in the middle ages; it wouldn't change anything to make that true, except that someone with enemies might suddenly have a poor immune system. Maybe the grounding-wire aspect described earlier is the system you choose; then, disease would be a useful tool. The aspiring witch can't destroy a town, but she can catch a merchant unawares as he travels alone towards that town. She then infects him with some terrible virus, and he carries it into the walls, and a plague visits Glasgow. Maybe the townspeople survive, maybe they don't.

Sintaqx Jul 9 '12 4:56pm

As far as magic is concerned I would posit there be multiple sources.

Witchcraft practiced by witches and warlocks draws it's power from otherworldly sources, infernal contracts, and natural magic twisted to their own ends. An example of twisting natural magic would be crafting a disease to infect a town, or a poison to erode a victim's constitution or sanity. Witchcraft is very rarely swift or flashy. It usually requires extensive preparation to execute, but its effects are typically both subtle and persistent.

Druidic and Shamanistic powers come from the spirit and natural world, a connection to the environment both material and incorporeal. Their abilities also reach into the spirit self, into dreams and visions. Shamans, druids, and monks fall under this form, using meditation to establish a connection to the natural and spirit worlds. As such their powers are rarely swift to enact, but they do offer a greater ability to enhance the abilities of themselves or another to supernatural levels.

Wizards manipulate the energy of the environment through arts reaching back through time to powerful beings who first developed this arcane connection to the energy of the world. Theirs is not a connection to the source of their power so much as an ability to channel and shape it's raw energy through rite, ritual, and focus.

svipdag Jul 12 '12 7:28am

Quote:

-Cosmology: I don't just want portals to the dream-world. It's a cop-out and it feels rather artificial, but I'm not sure about other graceful ways to do this in an RPG.
You might have locales that are more on the other world than on this one; for example, the standing-stones in Brave. Places where the fabric of reality is thinner. Not portals, per se, just places where surreality comes slipping through the cracks. Maybe places where ancient wizards cast summoning rites, crossed leylines, whatever.


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