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world building

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

The World

1. The Basics

  • The laws of nature and physics are the same as our own. Magic exists and can bend the existing rules. Much of magic can be explained by pseudo-scientific analogy without specifics as to how it technically works.
    • e.g. stretching of limbs is accomplished by bending space-time, but I do not have the equations.
    • e.g. magic is generally enacted as the increase of minute possibilities into reality. How is not within my ability to answer (oh! cause it's fiction)
  • It is an Earth-like world. Atmosphere is fairly similar to ours, carbon-based life forms. The magic fixing organisms defy our biological knowledge. By all of humans examinations they "shouldn't work"
    • There are only a few intelligent races.
      • The primary race is the Shashnimyn
      • Seconday races are: the termita, the animal kingdoms (leaders are the intelligent ones), the demons
    • All organisms but the magicophores and the demons evolved on the world. (Gods not incl.)
    • The world is larger than Earth size but has only about 3 billion Shashnimyn inhabitants. This is due to more careful breeding habits, available habitat and competition with large and powerful native creatures.
    • The magic occurs in only the organisms capable of using it. It is an ambient energy that can be pulled out of nowhere. The magic potential of a given region can be modified by external factors.

Not Earth at All

  • Shashnia is slightly larger physically. It is coveredx by more jungles, deserts and mountains (extreme ecosystems). The ratio of land mass to water is greater than that of Earth, but there are more continents (less continuous chunks of land than Earth).
  • The non-myn inhabitants of the Earth include all the animal cultures, demons and other communities of note. They are a large number, but no one has censused them due to their nature and varied affiliations (feel free to make guesstimates).
    • Some of these non-myns are restricted to certain settings. e.g. a jungle cat group in the jungle, etc. Notably, the demon populations are almost exclusively within their domains or behind the walls at the Pole.
    • The group of myn that have taken to darkness and underground living are still primarily located within the caverns and fortresses of the mountains, though some will venture out.
  • There are two moons, one which has a lesser impact than the other. Two Moon Effects Discussion
  • Most of the land is habitable
  • The tilt, orbit and year length are functionally similar to Earth (was thinking of synchronizing them to make things easier. Or have two Shashnian days to one Earth day... depends upon the rules regarding addiction/overplay etc)

2. Physical and Historical Features

* The sotry for player characters can take place anywhere in the world. The locations are primarily desert, jungle, mountain, the poles, cities, the sky, everywhere. The primary epic narrative (which contains the displaced humans) will not cover the entire globe, but a path from the major communities and ecotypes. Shashnia is an interesting planet because its continents are so isolated from each other. The vast tracts of deserts, frequent seas and incredible mountain ranges make long range travel arduous. Communication at long-distances is facilitated by the global web which is connected by the numerous communications towers.

* Territories are not specifically delineated by the species. However, there is a generally correlation between Myn type and local environment. The same goes with animal and monster types; being generally refined to appropriate ecological niches.

* Climate and Geography section needs more work

* Natural Resources section needs more work

* The records of historical events in this world go back very far >10k years. There are a few key events that are widely known. The more recent events are more well known, all records are accessible at the Grand Library.

* Not all the old tales are still believed, but much is. Belief is less of a factor than common knowledge. Over time, some information has been purposely suppressed or hidden (but cannot be destroyed).

* The Shashnimyn and all other Myn of the world evolved in situ over a period of a few billion years. The gods arrived later see origin of the pantheon

* the non-native species (demons and their kin) were attracted to this world after the pantheon had established itself. They travel across space physically by seed and are then capable of bringing more by the expenditure of magic energy.

* the magickophores are not native either, but they have been on the world for a few million years and have been completely integrated into the biosphere.

*The culture of the Shashnimyn parallels Earth culture in many ways and could provoke interesting discussions of the ideal trajectory of a society.
* It differs a bit more in the enforcement of globally-elected ideals and adherence to a larger social contract.

* It is very similar in analagous historical events and cultures. Scenarios, peoples and such are welcomed to be designed to reflect and discuss Earth's history.

* Where the origin of civilization on Shashnia began is still a topic of much debate. Around the time that there is evidence for civilization, it is difficult to determine between the two main theories.
* The first theory is that there was a single point of origin which lead to colonization of the main sites over a short period of time.

* The second theory is that the three main sites where the is evidence of early civilization arose independently.

* The sites where there is evidence of early civilization are in the three major ecotypes of Shashnia: the jungle, the desert and the frozen mountains.

* Magic was not a major factor in the development of civilization until after the magic war

* It is difficult to determine the effect that god have had on the development of civilization since their actions range from obscure, subtle, aggressive or benevolent.

* There has been constant cycles of alliances and conflicts. The current civilization is more or less homogeneous with access to technology and information only changing as is necessary to adapt to the regional environment.

* There is one main calendar with a few variations and modifications which reflect traditional or local events of relevance (geothermal activity, masting of a pest, tides/lunar magical influence, etc.)

* There is a single major trade language and a proliferation of smaller tribal languages. The trade language is taught to all Youth and is the one used in major works of information. Most tribal languages can be moderately understood with a good knowledge of the trade language.

* specific country history section is skipped for the time being.

Magic and Magicians

  • Magic is potentially unlimited. However, the more an act differs from the standard laws of reality, the more energetically expensive it is. This makes performing extravagant deeds prohibitive.
    • Accumulation of subtle effects can often lead to large end results without as much energy investment as a single act. Powerful and strategic magicians can be regarded as 'schemers' as a result.
    • The sharing of magical energy via ritual and collaboration is another way to make large effects slightly more feasible. The magic war was a great example of this. Each side would often have platoons of experienced mages working together to cast large and powerful spells.
  • Magic is an energy source which can be depleted. The price of using it is that is must be recharged in the self or drawn from an external source. It appears to be renewable, but is not fully understood. Sometimes areas will go through cycles of magical energy boom and busts.
    • Another price of magic is the potential for feedback or misfire.
    • Mastery of magic requires investment of diligence, study, effort, and will. Some abilities can come naturally to myn but this is uncommon.
  • Miracles are seen as random benevolent events that are a result of magic. Sometimes magic can act of its own accord, creating random effects. miracles can also be the direct acts of the gods. The name miracle only refers to the context.
  • Magic comes from magicophores. And is weilded through the will of the spellcaster. The will can become fatigued or damaged. Magic resources can be exhausted in certain situations.
    • Long-term health side effects due to magic use are variable and inconsistent (depends how lucky you are and how you use your magic. evil-intention spells might just eventually warp you into looking like a demon).
    • Different races have different inherent abilty to weild magic but all draw from the same common pool. This makes areas of magical concentration a highly sought after resource which needs a cooperative balance in the community, or constant aggression/subterfuge/etc.
  • For the Shashnimyn, becoming a magician is as natural as learning a language. Each myn has the inherent ability to weild magic, it just needs to be developed. Other species know magic by instinct or through their biology.
  • Spells can be cast via a variety of methods. Some require an additional focus of energy through ritual, ingredient use, ceremony, dance, song, incantation, chanting, symbolism, gestures, etc. Others can just be enacted physically as part of movement.
  • Some spells can be cast nearly instantaneously. Other spells require longer concentration and action. Spells can be made as enchantments on items that are permanent, require invested regeneration or time/use dependent. Larger spells tend to take longer times to cast.
  • Magicians can team up to combine spells and energy. Their degree of success is dependent upon their overlap in abilities.
    • e.g. two mages that can create balls of ice and propel them will have a much better result than an unexperienced mage helping one with ice-ball-throwy mastery.
  • Magic does not have any direct degredative effect on its users. But they do expose themselves to the chance of it backfiring or acting strangely.
  • Magic is intensely studied but is still not wholly understood, even by the gods. It is a strange force that can be bizarre at times. Magic seems to suspend the other laws of reality at times.
  • For the types of magic see magic
  • The ability to do magic generally increases with age due to experience. If it is not used for a long period of time, the body/mind/soul is less used to controlling the energy and the aptitude can atrophy. There could also be disastrous events which affect the future ability of a myn to perform magic e.g. lobotomy
  • Magic is incorporated into religion and respected by it. It can be used as a method of worship or a result of worship (through meditation, devotion, prayer a/o focus, spell effects can be gained). Many preists have magic abilities that are
  • Magic is a study that can take years.
  • Magic can be used as a profession, or as art. They are pretty much everyone, engineers, healers, farmers, etc.
  • Magicians have their own guilds for those that like to focus on certain types of magics.

Relevant Links

http://www.sfwa.org/writing/worldbuilding1.htm - An article from the Science Fiction Writer's Association that was an inspiration point for this document.

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