Why hello there!
Not that there is anyone there, but, hey, it feels good to say.
I am aware I haven’t spent a lot of time here of late — I haven’t really been working on the setting or prepping the campaign of late — Covid sorta shut it down because I work in healthcare and we sorta got busy.
I am back, however, and will be doing the occasional update and more and so I figure I should just dive in…
So, I put a lot of stuff on pause and I let the world percolate in my head, and discovered in the process that I was not satisfied. There are little things that irk the hell out of me, that break the sense of what I am trying to achieve, and so I recently started to work on them even more.
As I have noted in the past, anime has had a huge influence on this setting, and I am actively trying to step away from many of the traditional conventions while holding on to others. This renewed interest has led to some minor changes and some major ones.
The minor ones, so far, are that I am getting rid of the artificer entirely. It is a great class and all, but it does not fit the world, no matter how hard I have tried. I am likely just going to have to make a class of my own, that relies on the same underlying idea (a mechanic or engineer out in the world using magic instead of science), but the execution will be more along the lines of what the setting works with. More inherent than tacked on.
I also switched around the lifespans of the Elfs and the Dwarfs. I wasn’t being brave enough in breaking away from the classical ideas derived in the older system. That is a start.
I revisited the number of Realms, and decided to trim them the fuck down, because the biggest delay has been my seeing the sheer number of cultures to do as being this mountain of a task, or something I can and should do systematically. I opted to not do that and so cut them down on all three sides a bit. The Seven Cities of Sibola, and the establishment of Sibola as the seat of the Empire (with the Empire being such in name only) are underlying aspects there.
Next, I shut down the Vancian model for magic. So fucking tired of it. I am not sure I ever liked Jack Vance’s model, even when I gamed regularly — I ignored components in my 1, 2, and 3.5 era games entirely. That means that I needed a fuller basis for magic, though. Something that would justify the mechanics of the spell casting, especially time and actions.
The answer — sentient spells. Magic is alive, and a spell is a constrained form for it, that wriggles and struggles and fights the caster. It means it will sit in the head and make study difficult. To that I can add a structure that makes regular mages a tiny bit more like clerics — a complementary structure called Affinities that ups the firepower and usefulness of a Wizard, blah blah. The goal is to make magic more like the anime — still an emphasis on the visual aspects, the writing of a rune, the spell circles, etc. But also, with Affinities, give them a set of basic, common spells that vary according to their affinities, and that provides weakness or strength accordingly.
This has the benefit of reinforcing the “spells must be found” trope that will drive adventuring. being able to hurl an acid rain at something while trying to get a stronger spell is useful, but does not overpower the character while also allowing them to fit in better with the whole “elemental magic” thing, even when the elements are not the traditional ones.
Especially not in a world where a random roll might bring you face to face with a giant version of Audrey form Little Shop of Horrors at 3rd level. *slurp*
This revisiting of magic and how it works means I also have to look at all the magic using classes, and re think them. I know that what I want present are Sorcerers, Wizards, Magical Girls, Witches, and Warlocks. I have a way for the martial classes to gain magic themselves that doesn’t erase the need for the Mage classes, But I do need to look more closely at how I have structured them and how they work in terms of “book style”.
All of this means I am still working on the damn player’s book, lol.
As of now, I expect it to be about 300 pages long, instead of the 200 to 225 I once decided to aim for. Most of that will be the Realms and the Races, being expanded with more information to thoroughly set them apart.
That many pages, however, means I am going to have self publish through something like Amazon. I can handle printing up a 250 page document by hand and assembling into a binder, but doing one this size lifts it just past the point where cost overcomes capacity.
That said, if I did it as a trade paperback in B/W, I could put it up for 24.99 printed on demand, and all but give away the digital file. This much work, I need to see something for it, lol. Even if it is 10 cents a book, lol. It would be around 650 pages in trade format.
And, in any case, the biggest change is that I am re-doing the world map. Like some of the other things, it didn’t fit — I kept the major events as a guideline, but the new map is started and fits much better, and gives a much more adventures scope to things that the the other did.
I will see how it goes.
and keep you as informed as I can between this all the other projects I am working on.