I’ve partially written many campaign settings over the years, and today I wanted to introduce you one of the latest ones.
Daellig: The Spirit Age
This is a fantasy setting that takes place on the continent of Daellig, which currently has no map. The world is animist in nature: humans and other humanoids coexist with many different kinds of supernatural beings. I wanted to combine Pokemon, Fate: Stay Night, Airbender, Studio Ghibli, LOTR, and other anime and high fantasy influences into a game, but not too anime.
I wanted to focus on an interesting economic system of magic. So, I decided to explore the idea of a barter economy of magic. In this system, anyone who wants to access supernatural powers (e.g. the Player Characters) must form a relationship with at least one supernatural being of some kind. For wild spirits, you can tame them and bring them into battle; for intelligent spirits, you can summon them for a price. Some maintain close connections with their ancestors including centuries-long obligations; some families have made deals with powerful elemental forces to give their progeny supernatural abilities, with expensive rent.
For now, the target game system for this will be Fate Core, as are all of my ideas. However, I want to write them generically enough so that you can use ideas where appropriate for your settings.
Time and Place
The supercontinent of Daellig doesn’t have a map yet; however, I plan on making something somewhat realistic that comes with all the major biomes on earth. Imagine a map of Pangea but split up into nations and you get the idea.
The tech level of Daellig is pre-Industrial, save a few experiments of the Alchemists, so, standard high fantasy, IMO. I may include clockpunk elements eventually, but I’m not familiar with that genre yet.
Nations and Peoples
The most stable nation-states in Daellig have at least one thing: a military, or a protective spirit. If two nations have spirits, their geopolitical stance has a supernatural dimension, and sometimes nations will go to war or sue for peace based on unseen negotiations between the spirits. Replace charasmatic leaders with noncorporeal ones, and you can generate many story starters 🙂
As for species/peoples, my campaigns accept all sorts but make sure they aren’t stereotypes. Since my campaigns use the Fate system, you can pay a Fate Point or Aspects to establish facts in the world, so players can be whatever cool non-humans they like. However, if this turns into a book someday, I’d have some sample peoples and example PCs from them to make starting out easier.
The Mystic Bargain
The Mystic Bargain is the institution that forms the basis of the magical economy. A Bargain has supernatural terms, and in that way it is idiosyncratic. The specific rules of the Mystic Bargain have yet to be written: I have not been able to playtest any of this due to the coronovirus. However, I’ll present the gist. Although the terms of any Bargain can be as simple as a promise or as complicated as a contract, one thing is always the same: each member of the Bargain gives up a small amount of magical energy to be added to the Bargain, and anyone who breaks the Bargain will have something bad happen to them.
One requirement of a published version of this setting would be to have lots of examples of Mystic Bargains, including the Pokemon one, so play doesn’t slow down at the start.
The Triad and The Traditions
The Triad is a Rock-Paper-Scissors elemental system. The Elements of Fire, Water, and Wood form a vicious balance:
- Fire burns Wood
- Wood drinks Water
- Water dowses Fire
Purified forms of Elements will always annihilate each other in the way described above, but lesser forms combine to create the world and all the different things in it.
The Traditions are schools of magic that form the education system of Daellig. Each of the Elements inspire a Tradition, so the first three are the Fire, Wood, and Water Traditions. Think Airbender. Then, there are the combination Traditions:
- The Alchemists combine Fire and Wood
- The Druids combine Wood and Water
- The Stormcallers combine Water and Fire
The final two Traditions are the Archmages and the Shadowmages. Archmages bring all three Elements together into one, and Shadowmages explore the mystic spaces where no elements exist. Both of these Traditions are more dangerous than the others.
That’s all I have for now! Writing this blog post actually helped me flesh out some of the details, so I may do more posts like this in future. If you liked this post, or hated it, or have any other comments, please use the form below.