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Archive => Indie Game Design => Topic started by: Sylus Thane on April 16, 2003, 09:46:48 AM



Title: Dawn of the Magi setting intro, opnions requested please. :)
Post by: Sylus Thane on April 16, 2003, 09:46:48 AM
here is the setting intro I wrote up for my setting Dawn of the Magi. I'd like to get some feedback onit and asks a few questions.

1. Do you feel it invokes a feel for the setting?
2. If so what feel do you get for it?
3. What portions of it perk your interest?
4. What does it make you feel should be included with the rest of the setting onformation in order to play a proper game?


Thanks ahead of time, here it is.

In the beginning, all was clay, seething with untapped energy. The old gods, seeing the potential of the world, molded and shaped it into form, coaxing the energy into breathing life into it all. Phoryan was born.
   Then, feeling that the world had matured, the gods began to create the life that would dwell upon, under, and above its surface. Forged from the very clay of the earth, each god shaping a likeness that pleased them, then, when they were content, Phoryan breathed the breath of life into them. And so the races of the world were born.
   Ages would pass, great cultures would rise and thrive, magic being at the heart of them all. Throughout all of Phoryan the pulse of magic could be felt by its inhabitants, life would be good. The gods would look upon their creation with happiness and pride thinking nothing could tarnish it. But, all good things come to an end.
   Over time, as magic became more ingrained, some would find that what they had been given was not enough. An order of magi, known as the Ma’Jahn’fey, would rise into power throughout the world. Their purpose, to achieve power over magic that rivaled that of the gods. As their rule spread they drew unto themselves all those who showed true promise and power. Those who would not join them were killed or driven into hiding in fear of their own lives. Soon their rule would be absolute.
   The gods, having been complacent, and wishing to allow their creations to be uncontrolled and free to pursue their own destinies were too late to interfere. The Ma’Jahn’fey would bring their war directly to the gods. The ensuing battles would lie waste to a great portion of the world. When the dust cleared, the old gods were gone, new younger gods in their place. The age of the young gods had begun.
   In their greed, and lust for power, the younger gods failed to learn the true key of creation. The powers, greatly diminished from the battle, were unable to breathe life into new creations, their abilities to answer their followers pleas and desires were minor.



Meanwhile, the surviving people of the god war lived in uncertainty and fear. As time went on their fear would become overwhelming, and magic would be to blame. People and creatures thought to be born of, or possessing magic would be hunted to extinction or driven into hiding. Soon magic would be forgotten and the Age of the Sword would begin.
Throughout the following centuries, countless empires would rise and fall. The races of Phoryan would make war upon each other until uneasy balances had been made. The young gods, inept and relatively powerless contented themselves with merely interfering in the lives of Phoryans inhabitants. As history had shown however, change was inevitable.
Slowly at first, magic has slowly begun the slip back into the world. Children, born of ordinary parents, begin to show unnatural signs of their abilities to control their surroundings. Warriors begin to rise carrying amazing weapons found in the forgotten areas of the world. Adolescents begin reading books containing a ancient language, unlocking mysteries forgotten by inhabitants of the world for ages. Old gods, once thought gone, began to weakly answer again the cries of their children. It was a new age and the signs were clear, the world’s inhabitants may have forgotten magic but Phoryan had not.






The Dawn of the Magi had come.


Title: Dawn of the Magi setting intro, opnions requested please. :)
Post by: Thomas Tamblyn on April 16, 2003, 03:25:31 PM
Hmm - why aren't the Ma’Jahn’fey still around?  If the old gods gave as good as they got and killed them off, you should say so.

Also, you're using the future tense far too much.  While technically correct usage (just) its very confusing.  I'd drop it and make everthing perfect tense instead.


Title: Dawn of the Magi setting intro, opnions requested please. :)
Post by: Sylus Thane on April 16, 2003, 03:49:55 PM
Hey Thomas,
Actually the original Ma'Jahn'fey became the young gods. The rest of the order, in a way, became their followers, but most were killed off during the Age of Cleansing. I'll have to try and make that a little more clear.

As far as the tense used, I was just typing as it came out. It made perfect sense to me as I read it, Part of the reason I put it up for feedback.

What do you think about the other questions I asked in regards to it?

Thanks
Sylus


Title: Dawn of the Magi setting intro, opnions requested please. :)
Post by: Christoffer Lernö on April 16, 2003, 09:09:32 PM
Hmm... As usual, it's friggin hard to say anything. Like Ron said in another thread: "The answer is "No, I 'would' not play it." But it is also, "If you write it, I will play it." It's hard to say if something is enough before it's completed.

If you really want to know, then:
    1. Do you feel it invokes a feel for the setting?

    No, not really. If there is any feel then it's that it's "just another fantasy backstory", nothing special.

    3. What portions of it perk your interest?

    Nothing.

    What does it make you feel should be included with the rest of the setting onformation in order to play a proper game?

    Who knows. Write the game, then we'll be able to tell you.[/list:u]
    Ok, that wasn't very helpful was it? When I asked the same questions about my game Yggdrasil I didn't get any helpful feedback either. It took a while to understand why.
    It's frigging hard to evaluate an incomplete game, and something that initially won't get you excited can turn out to be really cool once you get into it.

    Example in question: My friends weren't very interested in Shadowrun when I first bought it (I was all excited though). Once they started playing they loved it (but ironically I hated it).

    An intro doesn't stand on it's own. If you have a strong vision about this game, just write everything and keep this intro. Then once people have a playable version, then you can ask what they think.

    Because if I say it's good or bad frankly doesn't matter worth shit - yet. It took me a long time to understand that this was really the point people was trying to make. I hope I can spare you a little of the confusion that plagued me.

    Just go for it.


    Title: Dawn of the Magi setting intro, opnions requested please. :)
    Post by: Walt Freitag on April 17, 2003, 07:09:57 AM
    Hi Sylus,

    Quote
    4. What does it make you feel should be included with the rest of the setting onformation in order to play a proper game?


    I'm going to focus on this question because my answer touches on your other questions as well.

    What would be needed to make this setting interesting for me -- and it would make it very interesting -- is a system for discovering magic in play.

    Whether this makes sense depends on the time scale you're talking about for the return of magic to this world. If this is a thousand-year-long process, so that essentially nothing changes during the time scale of play, then never mind; all that back story becomes pretty meaningless except as the justification for why the world has a particular level of magic use rather than less or more of it. But if this is a rapid process that the players can actually get involved in and affect, then I'm more interested.

    Many years ago I did a fantasy game using the Hero system (then Fantasy Hero) based on the idea of characters discovering "the laws of magic" as they explored. The Hero magic system has essentially three layers:

    first, the core system, which details how magic spells are acquired and cast, including the system by which spells are priced in character points based on their effects, advantages, and disadvantages;

    second, the lists of effects, advantages, and disadvantages themselves, which plug in to the first part of the system and are used modularly to build a particular spell and determine its build cost and casting costs;

    third, the specific spells, which are usually created by players at char gen and for char advancement, as well as by GMs when creating NPCs, and also available pre-fab in sourcebooks.

    Normally the players have full access to and knowledge of the first and second parts of the system, and they explore the system by doing the third in play (including at char gen). In my game, the first part of the system was fully in place, but the characters had knowledge of only a few of the components making up the second part. Additional effects, advantages, and disads had to be discovered from the setting through play.

    The point is, this didn't work very well. The game wasn't a disaster but it didn't have the sense of mystery and discovery I was hoping for. One reason was that the players already knew the system so they already knew, as players, what they expected to find even though the characters did not. It also amounted to a kind of railroading as far as the discovery-of-magic aspect of the story was concerned, because the "destination" (the final complete magic system) was already known to everyone and in the end all I could do was delay and complicate the process of getting there.

    So: Solve that problem. Invent a system that allows new magic to be discovered in play, with the players' actions affecting what gets discovered (rather than just what order things are discovered in, as in my game). The game text must cover the generalities of how discoveries are made and used, but must not specify the details of what can (or cannot) be discovered. This must be able to come out differently for every group or campaign. (I'm assuming the discovery process is on a campaign play-time scale, with individual discoveries every session or so.)

    As a conceptual starting point, think of Hero Wars' "Hero Quests" and how they can ultimately establish new mythology in the Glorantha setting. Imagine taking that a step farther, so that the accomplishments of the heroes, the myths they create, also determine or affect the "laws" of how magic works in your world.

    This wouldn't be easy. I'm not even sure it would be possible. But you asked. :-) And your background would certainly set the stage for it well.

    - Walt


    Title: Dawn of the Magi setting intro, opnions requested please. :)
    Post by: Sylus Thane on April 17, 2003, 09:41:02 AM
    Walt,
    For the setting, the coming of magic is fairly sudden but not fully understood. So yes, the players can effect how things become discovered or important. As far as the issue of all the rules being available before play, therules for magic actually come with the setting itself, not the main rulebook. So yes you could have players learn as they go if you wish.

    Chris,
    Don't worry, I'm gonna go for it. Just occasionally I feel like I could use an outside opnion on things that have me stuck for one reason or another.

    Thanks guys,
    Sylus