Create the world you want to see.
When last we left this setting design blog, a whole world descended from the 5D reality down into 3D/4D reality. You can find the full article here. Some beings remembered the time before when they could manifest anything they wanted just by willing it into existence.
There was a time and place when no animals preyed upon one another. No one ate meat. There was simply no need. Houses weren’t built so much as manifested from the land itself. Gardening and good will were the orders of the day most days. People devoted themselves to loftier causes such as art, music, literature, academia, and debate.
There were no swords. Axes and knives were rarely used. There was no war in the Fifth Dimension. No hate. Just acceptance and Universal understanding. There were no religions and political parties were merely window dressing. Everyone had an equal say. No one lived in lack. Everyone lived with the land. Land ownership was a completely alien concept.
One morning, everything changed.
The elders bid everyone farewell and departed presumably to a higher dimension. Then things became more and more solid. Suddenly, the small town where everyone the characters knew had always lived peacefully, became a fully harsh medieval landscape.
Survival became the order of the day. Animals who once communicated freely with people became somehow less intelligent and more feral. Some animals even became angry and carnivorous, which was previously unheard-of. It was downright frightening to those who used to speak with all manner of creatures every day.
This new concept called “fear” arose. This other new concept called “lack” came with it. The weather even changed. Specifically, no one seemed to manifest rain or sunshine any more. The people were completely at the mercy of the elements.
Trees were suddenly made into structures. Some people used to speak with the trees and shape them. One day, the trees of the forest were gone, but all of the various town structures and homes had appeared. No longer was the land manipulated to provide shelter. Beings were now at odds with all elements, it seemed.
All of the “regular” folk go on about their harsh daily lives blissfully unaware of a larger sphere.
To almost all of the Non Player Characters, the world is exactly as it always has been. Lords rule, peasants provide, clergy pray, armies fight, and merchants sell. As far as most beings know, this is how things have always been.
New people seem to have appeared overnight from the old 5D existence. They have names such as innkeeper, town drunk, and constable. Many of these newly titled beings don’t or won’t understand the larger former existence. Their memories were lost when they became mortal. But the Player Characters remember the time before. Back when everyone was an angel. Back before the Veil dropped and everyone forgot who they were.
Power, not overwhelming.
When the Veil fell, almost everyone forgot who they were, and the world when it was almost perfect. Suddenly lifespans were dramatically short. Time began to take on a different meaning. Almost everyone had their eyesight limited by the Veil. Suddenly, entire types of beings became invisible. The plants and the animals became less cognitive, focused mostly on survival. Plants, whose thoughts were slowly expressed already, became very difficult to understand at all beyond, “grow.”
But a few lucky beings remembered it all, even though no one else believes them! Others see the characters as if they had always been there in their dulled 3D selves. The time of the descent itself was blurry, almost overnight. Time became incredibly confusing to master.
There are some advantages to remembering one’s truly incredibly powerful self. For one thing, the characters have power. They can manifest a wide variety of effects, albeit through various rituals, spells, ofudas, trinkets, talismans, and cryptic technology. (Cyphers.) They still remember how to manifest. Some can still see into the rest of the spectrum. Others yet remember how to speak to the plants, animals, spirits, and elements. Some can even channel their bodies into this new strange behavior called, “fighting.”
These powers come slowly at first. Even though most of the people gifted know everything they could do, the actual ability doesn’t come back right away. Those who forget have begun to call these powers, “magic.” Basically, anything they don’t understand becomes, “magic,” including science. Technological advances would have to come back slowly at a rate everyone could understand. Those who remember technology remember it as history, just like engineering and chemistry. Such things just weren’t needed before.
A new kind of fantasy game.
Imagine a fantasy TTRPG with no elves, dwarves, or even dragons as far as we know. Throw Tolkien, Howard, Weiss, Lovecraft, Gygax, and Arneson out the window. Forget everything you know about Dungeons & Dragons. Using the Cypher System, we are going to explore outward from the town where the characters “landed” in this new reality.
In this new world, we’re going to find things familiar and unusual. There might still be some of the old familiar tropes that we see in other games. We’re still using Godforsaken and the Cypher System. I’m having fun coming up with this world. When I first rediscovered Cypher (*crazy as it sounds) I came up with several campaign concepts for fantasy and sci-fi games. Cypher makes it easier to focus on exploring and meeting new beings and creatures rather then just bashing monsters on the head and grabbing big loot.
I mean, sometimes a good old dungeon romp is lots of fun. We have other game systems for that, though. I’m a fan of several of them. I thought Cypher System fantasy deserved something different for one campaign. I wanted to do something that hasn’t been done a hundred times already.
Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you. Keep gaming. More to come.