View Full Version : What slumbers beneath the earth

2011-06-21, 06:35 AM
My players, you know the drill. No looking.

I'm planning my upcoming campaign, a steampunk setting where the PC:s will be normal people turned into immortal guardians of a noble house and it's bloodline. A new age are coming and it's vital that the bloodline survives if humanity are going to live through the dark times that is to come. The campaign will revolve around the PC:s getting summoned time and again to protect the house from other houses (with their own guardians pursuing different and conflicting goals beliving their way is the only way to save mankind), natural disasters and other things.

Anyway. The thing is that magic is almost non-existing in the world apart from some magitech that allows creation of clockwork golems (anyone played Rise of Legends will know where I'm going) and such. The other aspects of magic "slumbers beneath the earth". The PC:s will have the possibility to awaken some aspects if they want, others will awaken on their own during the course of the campaign. The aspects are currently:

Blood magic
Earth magic
Life magic
Time magic

Each aspect will, when awakened, change the rules in world fundamentally. They might give new options (like raising undead for necromancy) and most importantly also cause changes that needs no human intervention to happen. I consider having Time magic turning the entire world "turn based" like in Erfworld and having Earth magic completly change the landscape, but aside from that I'm a little short on ideas. If anyone comes up with something, please tell! :smallsmile:

2011-06-23, 12:07 PM
Interesting idea. Any suggestions are obviously going to depend on what system you're using, so I'm just going to go ahead and assume it's 3.5. Hopefully that's accurate. Anyways, here's a list of brainstormed thoughts.

1 - Unlocking necromancy, and the ability to raise undead should have interesting effects on the setting. Does it become a commonly used tool, or morally reprehensible action? Obviously, different factions will disagree, and it'd be easy to turn that conflict into exciting plot-related stuff. Also, how does the power actually manifest itself? The important question here is: who will learn about this magic, and who will have the power to use it? If the PCs walk away with a book of arcane necromantic secrets, then they've suddenly got a tactical advantage over their enemies, which they can hoard or share at their leisure. Or if this magical power automatically becomes universally known, that'll have some pretty crazy repercussions (also, how would that actually work?). Another interesting idea would be for the power to be unique to these immortal guardian people, thus making undead a common tool/threat, while limiting their impact on the world at large. Also, maybe spontaneous undead raising contributes to making the world a little more dangerous?

2 - Earth magic altering the landscape could be interesting. In my mind, I'm equating "earth magic" with pretty much everything in the Druid spell list, so I'm imagining rapidly spreading forests, with maybe a little flooding or a shifting river. Things that should do a lot to cripple well-traveled roadways. In addition, maybe it awakens/creates/reintroduces a bunch of dire animals, once again making the world that much more dangerous. Together, these effects could conceivably prohibit travel, and isolate communities. The economic/political ramifications would likely cause conflict, which once again is the stuff plot is made of.

3 - I'm having a little trouble drawing a definite line between life magic and earth magic. If you had other plans for the earth stuff, pretty much everything I mentioned above could easily be considered the realm of life magic. A second idea would be for life magic to bring back whatever set of of magic monsters you feel appropriate, rather than just dire animals. Or somewhat more logically, it could be similar to the necromancy one, except that it would allow for the use of cure spells, and/or even stuff like raise dead. Obviously, these are tools PCs would love to have, but they may regret unlocking them once long-defeat opponents come back to seek revenge.

4 - Blood magic is a weird one. I'm imagining it as the sort of "dark" magic that requires blood/human sacrifices to fuel powerful spells. Classically, that sort of thing ties in well to demon summoning and infernal pacts and all that, so maybe that could be tossed into the pot too, provided demons are a thing that actually exist in the setting. I'd imagine this will turn inter-faction conflict into much more of a "good vs. evil" thing, which may or may not be something you'd be interested in.

5 - I'm personally not a big fan of time magic on this list. My general idea is that altering the flow of time gets crazy, and is generally very powerful. I don't have any good ideas for this one.

Dang that's a big post. But hey, you said you needed idea. There you go.