Anyone wanting to help with this?

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Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Neo-Paladin » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:49 pm

I am currently passing time by trying to dream up a setting that is basically our world only that, besides technology, magic has always been present, influencing the world and maybe even changing a few historical events. Magic and technology do work together and it is not uncommon for cars, for example, to run on trapped fire elementals instead of common fuel.

I am just wondering if anyone would like to work with me on such a setting, if only to give input and suggestions...

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Aerlwyn » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:30 pm

Technomancy - technology mixed with magic.

Could have it close to the rifts idea, with ley lines helping to bring back magic to what it was lets say. Certain aspects of the world make a comeback, like dragons and alike once magical energy became more plentiful, where they could survive.

Something like magic simulating tech and tech simulating magic. Like you said a magical car that looks like an everyday vehicle, nothing out of the ordinary about it.

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Neo-Paladin » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:15 am

No, the idea was a world where magic has always been present, not where it was hidden.
Not magic returning, just how would our world look like if magic was real and obvious.

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Shock » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:40 am

To me, the place to start is figure out the boundaries between what magic can do and what technology can do. Don't worry too much about how every little thing works. You can fill that in as it comes up.

I think the first thing is to decide how accessible magic is. Can anyone learn it or is it more restricted? Can you learn it at community college or do you have to go to a special school?

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Neo-Paladin » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:05 am

Good question.
I would suggest that anyone can learn magical theory and courses on, for example, supernatural biology are taught in college so that a doctor, for example, at least knows the emergency procedures in case of a lycanthropy infection.
Actually using magic...well, I'd say you do not have to be born with a special gene or anything. I'd say ordinary magic is a lot like advanced mathematics....which limits the amount of people capable of using magic. However, items could be imbued with magical properties that anyone who triggers it can use.
Then again, there is shamanistic magic, which is a lot more intuitive but requires the magic user to actually achieve trance-like stats which is also something not everyone is capable of.
There are courses on practicing magic and there are schools wholly devoted to sorcery (much like a business school focuses on economy).

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby SilvercatMoonpaw » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:56 am

How much historical change do you want to allow? The more you allow to change the more complicated figuring it all out will be.

If you decide on a very open history you might as well start from the present and work backwards: if history can change to be nearly anything there's no need to start from the "beginning".

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Neo-Paladin » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:02 am

Probably just changing a few details. I want the current state of the world to be at least very similar to our own - except for the magic, of course.

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Damren » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:33 am

Neo-Paladin wrote:Probably just changing a few details. I want the current state of the world to be at least very similar to our own - except for the magic, of course.


So, where did you want to start?

It sounds like your using the same plot, just changing up the 'script' a bit - essentially, you still want everything to come out the same, with just a touch of magic here and there. Are you thinking something like:

George Washington was a 'hidden mystic' who used his power to help the revolutionary forces to win battles during the direst winters, to cross the Delaware through a mystic tunnel of ice, and rooted out British spies and sorcerers using his unproclaimed magical senses. He could have been king of a nation ... or the emperor of the world ... but decided to follow a more enlightened path. For that reason, he is not only an American Hero, but a hero of all Humanity. To this day, Mount Vernon is still an area where mystic forces are unnaturally quiet due to the powerful wards he placed there. He is still believe responsible for the powerful mystic aura of such American artifacts as the Liberty Bell, the Constitution and the original Old Glory.

If you're wanting both magic & science be prevalent, you might add the restriction that only certain people can actually perform magic on a greater scale. You would have the 'no magic' people (who have some access to magic tools and other people's talents) who are the greater population and therefore have the need for science in the long run - as magic is ill suited to feed, cloth and protect populations as large as those of humanity, then you have the 'some magic' people (those who can use magic with restrictions or effort) who are the 'hedge wizards' of society who can cast spells that must be linked to items, places or complex mixes of components - essentailly your 'typical' alchemists, arcane farmers and builders with the occassional, full-blown master wizard thrown in here & there for fun, and then your 'all magic' beings who are somehow linked to the 'source' of power and have the ability to cast magic easily and tend to live more under the influence of magic than science - althought some likely do both or even avoid their magical heritage.

Needless to say, this all depends on how you want magic to work in your proposed setting. Even with magic, there are rules, as it is kind of a science in its own right. Is there any kind of magic you don't want? Or, is everything on the table?

There is also the question of 'faith' or 'divinity' within your proposed framework. Are angels real? What about God, gods, demigods & demons? Eden? Hell? Purgatory?

If you're designing a game setting, do you want to start with the 'play area' and work out & backwards in geography & history respectively, or did you want to start from 'scratch' in a "In the Beginning..." sort of way?

Starting in your proposed 'play area' would let us flesh out the city/town, state/region, and country/nation aspects & work on the crunchy bits of history as we need it. We would just need to know what kind of place you're looking to kick things off in, and what, if any, limitations should apply. You might even throw in a concept or two of 'major NPCs' or 'Heroes & Villains' so we can see how the concepts interact with the type of characters you might be playing with here.

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Neo-Paladin » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:15 pm

Glad to hear you are thinking about this. I will respond to this when I have more time tomorrow but i can already say that I decided for the following solution to the faith "problem".
You can summon nature spirits, demons and even angels...but they, too, just believe in a creator. Most angels would not admit to ever having met Him/Her.
There are several rather unpleasant dimensions stacked in a neat row with those closest to earth being more accomodating and things getting weirder and/or more horrible the more one moves away from our realm.

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby cobalt-blue » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:17 am

Look at Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality. That's a world like that. You may also like to take a look at Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series- although the latter has become a "fang bang" series.

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Neo-Paladin » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:29 am

I know...the first three books of the Blake series were what i read and they partly inspired me to do this.

@Damren: nice idea about George Washington. Yes, this is what i had in mind.
Also, the Cthulhy Mythos is at least partially real but humanity has the means to defend themselves against such entities if it becomes necessary (kind of viewed like a meteor strike).
While there is the conventional A-Bomb, there is also a more enhanced version (similar to nitrogen bombs in our world) that actually rips open a hole through the fabric of the universe into a dimension out of synch with ours, the Court of Azatoth. Needles to say, these weapons have been officially banned.

Also, agreed on the way magic is dispersed among the population. If it is like advanced mathematics like I envisioned (or you need to achieve a transcendental state like a shaman) then only few people can get really good at it. More people can grasp and use the basic concepts...and your average Joe is forced to rely on, for example, wands enchanted by others.
Science, on the other hand, is capable of producing more results that anyone can benefit from. You only have so many people who can heal with a spell but medical equip can be used by anyone with a little training.

Basically, most magic is possible. Yes, you can throw fireballs. Yes, you can raise the dead. No, you probably shouldn't do either...

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Summer in Santee - A Court Agent Prelude

Postby Damren » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:42 am

Will you be using this in a pending game? Did you want to start somewhere/time specific? Are we sticking to a certain style of 'superhero' genre, or is this pretty much open to anything? Any areas of emphasis you would like to see? Street level, historical timeline, daily life, specific region (US Southwest, New York & East Coast, South America, Europe)?

~|~

A lone figure leaned on the guard rails of the north tower pier in the stark light of the early morning. The view from Coronado Island was as impressive as it was bleak. When the sun was low in the sky, the old building tops were just visible just beneath the waves, and a tiny forest of antenna and flag poles still protruded above the surface. On the nearby islands in the distance, one could see the fortress walls and grand buildings that heralded a new age of cooperation between the Governors and their scientists, and the enigmatic Court of Stars - the fifty greatest Magi of the post-colonial states. Even so, one could never truly forget the tragedy of what happened here.

In retrospect, it was likely that only a tragedy of such magnitude could have created such an alliance. The Southern California Islands had been in existence for over forty years, a victim of the December 7th assaults of Japan's Imperial Magi. Pearl Harbor, San Diego, Phoenix ... the attacks were devastating. But, America survived and rebuilt, with impressive speed. Whatever the grandeur of the recovery, it never quite wiped out the memory of everyone, and everything, we lost on the Day of Infamy.

What most didn't understand back then - not that they had the time or the will to understand in the face of such horrors - was that the attacks had rended the wall between our world and ... what lay beyond. Pearl had recovered, almost completely - an unlikely event, but for the presence of those hallowed defenders who died, yet still stand watch to this very day.

Phoenix, however, was the other side of the coin. Still black and barren. Witch-lights hovering in the night skies. Horrors tilling the wreckage for scraps of ... anything. America rebuilt, of course. That's what "we the people" do. Endure, fight back, and create a better tomorrow. New Phoenix was a shining twin to the old city’s ashes, and the guardian of the wall between the black bones of the lost city, and the nation that still endures it.

The SoCa Isles were a bit of a mix. The breaches had been sealed, for the most part. Although the area still attracted a curious number of arcane theorists and street magi, craving to either understand those distant, horrific powers, or tap into them. The military still maintained a strong presence on Coronado, and added one of the Court's Watch Towers to the many regional defenses. Its light was above the piers, illuminating the nearby land and sea - and revealing any aberration in the threshold between the real and the 'not,' as well as any spell or creature that would normally remain unseen. The less noble street magi and gang warlocks hated it, and tended to keep to the shadows - but, even they understood its importance, and respected the power of the Court.

The Isle of Santee was just visible to the North East, and it had recently become a focus of concern for the Court. Several aberrations had appeared in recent weeks. They happened, occasionally, but the Court felt that something was building. They were even considering giving Santee it's own tower, if it was in the budget. But, that was still being debated. For now, they wanted "eyes on the ground" on Santee, and the lone watcher's legacy as a Southern California native was seen as perfect for the assignment. It also didn't hurt that he was once a warlock in the largest and most ruthless gang in SoCa - the Kraken.

A simple incantation brought forth the markings of his youth. His street cred. Tattoos of the "Krak" as well as the Ice Snake, Water Witch, and Iron Gun - just a few of the new Zodiac brought up from street lore over the last decade. The Kraken was still the heaviest gang in SoCa, and were feared by many. It was unlikely that anyone would question whether or not he was still an 'active' member. After all, if you were still alive, you were still an active member – and sometimes even when you weren’t - or, so the story goes.

As the ferry horn pulsed in the distance, he realized it was time for the depressing - but thankfully short - ride to Santee, over the streets of old that were still visible below the waves. Time for the 'game face' he thought, as he left the rails, heading toward the ferry. His tattoos shimmered with arcane light, their power revealed by the mystic aura of the Court's Tower. Hell, he laughed at the irony of it all, this might even be fun.
Last edited by Damren on Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Neo-Paladin » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:54 am

No pending game (yet)
Current day and age, maybe an overview of the state of the world and then go into detail about countries, cities etc.
No specific genre, in such a world, any genre could be used, from crime to horror to political thriller.

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Hot Spots

Postby Damren » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:01 pm

What about things that might be sort of cliche ... like Atlantis ... Excalibur ... Martians ... and such?

Did you want to use current events as a guide to the modern world, or would you rather have a more divergent timeline.

And, how much detail are you looking for in general? Just a sentence or two, a paragraph, or something more?

I was thinking, since we're talking about gaming here, it might be good to put in some potential challenges, hooks, etc. that still reveal some details about the regions.

~|~

Hot Spot Report – Court of Stars

Locus – Arctic Circle
Russian forces have placed tactical vessels and exploratory platforms in the region, violating NORPAC (Northern Pacific & Atlantic Coalition) treaties. While their claims of sovereignty are still moving through the world judiciary, they have sought to shore up their claim by maintaining a strong presence in the region. American ambassador to Russia, Alfred Whitt, has made the strongest protests possible, and has been rebuffed by the Soviet State, and told in no uncertain terms to either remain in his embassy or leave the country.

Court agents in the region believe the Russians have an alternative motive for seizing the area and are simply buying time in which to entrench, or complete a thus far undisclosed plan. Prussian Warlocks have successfully countered all Court attempts to scry the area and their counter intelligence crews are using optic laser arrays to disrupt satellite views. Researchers are presently looking for clues in historical texts, maps, as well as air and sea hazard reports that go back for decades.

Locus – Australia
Wildfires continue to plague the outback. Preliminary investigations indicate the use of elemental magic as a probable catalyst for the first round of fires. Who caused them is still under investigation. Secondary fires seem to be a combination of copycat acts using conventional sources and accidents – some of which have yet to be fully explained.

Australian firefighters are at their limits, but neighboring countries are responding with aid and several Court Magi are also en route to provide support both against the fires themselves and in the investigation process.

Locus – Central Africa
The conflicts between the Prides of Zulu are increasing, as they usually do during the Centennial of Shaka Zulu’s life. The African King’s decedents still vie for the royal seat in the hopes that they can once more unify the continent. While each is powerful in his own right, they pale in comparison to the progenitor’s legacy.

The Majestic Kingdom of South Africa has closed its borders to the central kingdoms and is presently shoring up its defenses by shifting troops and special operatives to their northern regions, even as it calls for international aid from top world leaders.

Madagascar, which is still recovering both economically and spiritually from the 2004 Tsunami that devastated much of the kingdom, has broken out in street violence. Both conventional media and mystical contacts have been blocked, leading directors to the conclusion that the activity is more coordinated than it first appeared.

Locus – Great Britain
The assassination of leading members of the Royal Family has thrown the country into disarray. While both the White House and the Court Triumvirate have thrown support behind the Crown Prince, forces both outside the country and within are seeking to bring down the monarchy once and for all.

Court agents are seeking to aid Prince Harry in gaining the resources his brother needs to ensure stable rule, even as William continues to defend the throne against political, military and magical attacks.

Locus – Greece
Court agents have successfully traced back the recent unrest in Greece to the discovery of the Tomb of Eris. While global newscasts reported the tomb to be empty, on-site investigations indicate it may not have been. Most of the original dig crew have either died or disappeared, with only the senior archeologist, Professor Imar Odan, a researcher and Magi of the Nobel Council, still known to be active. Agents are attempting to track him down, but he has proven to be mysteriously elusive.

Locus – Gulf of Mexico
The drilling disaster and its aftereffects are still under investigation, and Court agents are in the area. Several reports of, apparently mutated, sea and coastal life have come in. While local authorities have been able to deal with problem, it does not appear to be abating. Agents are suspecting a link to some instigating agent, possibly a contagion from the energized oil, or some entity – real or otherwise – that is coordinating attacks.

As you know, the cause of the disaster itself has never been completely explained, nor has the reason Court Watch Towers revealed a magical essence within the spilled oil.

Locus – Middle East
Fighting continues between NORPAC Coalition forces and the Unified Tribal Armies of the Moorish Sorcerers, even as the Clerics of Islam call for peace and work to halt the bloodshed. American Commanders are defiant against Tribal aggressions and taunts. With American soldiers still seeking vengeance for the violence against their countrymen that precipitated the conflict and the UTA still bolstered by converts, no end to the widespread acts of aggression is in sight.

Court Magi have recently gained an edge by applying defensive wards to drones and missiles which ground forces have used with deadly precision, breaching the mystic defenses of the Moors.

Locus – North America
The recent economic disruptions have triggered an uptick in magical use by commoners and street mages. While some are simply attempting to survive, others are using the opportunity to gain greater influence regionally. While few federal or state interests are threatened, civil unrest has begun to take a toll on resources.

Watch tower captains have noted increased mystical activity in both the Phoenix lights, in the waters around the Southern California Islands, and at various other historical disaster points across the globe. This could be a natural surge, as has been reported before, or a response to increased solar activity – which also has precedence. But, it could be a sign of something else, thus a global watch alert has been placed to all operatives.

Both the Rocky Mountain and Great Lakes border towers have reported increased predator activity within the Canadian domain. We have forwarded abridged copies of those reports to the Canadian Embassy, but have received no meaningful responses thus far. In fact, it has been reported by Inter-Coalition border Enforcement (ICE) that the ambassador left the country, without notice, eight days ago.

Court Sheriff Becca Cortez has recently encountered and slain an aberration in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its source point is still under investigation.
Last edited by Damren on Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anyone wanting to help with this?

Postby Neo-Paladin » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:19 pm

I like the way you presented these places and the hooks you included.
Well, Atlantis I am not so much a fan of. Excalibur and a host of other magic artifacts sit in museums under lock, key and warding spell. No Martians ;)

The big events should be basically the same (or very similar. Take, for example, the JFK assassination. A magic bullet would have been believed by everyone...unfortunately, the projectiles were 100% mundane...), though the details can very widely.


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