Hey guys, welcome to Part 2 of Cooking the Cosmos, my series about world building for role-playing games.
I’ll be kicking this update off by creating a second campaign setting to use as an example throughout this series. After that I’ll discuss ways to expand on the details of your setting, and deciding on what you want your characters to focus on when first introduced to the world.
So, first up, let’s get another campaign setting going here. I’ve decided that I’d like to move away from the fairly traditional fantasy setting that I am using for Project Helleborus. I’ll still be using fantasy, but I’m looking at a modern-day urban fantasy setting, inspired by the Urban Magic series by Kate Griffin. I can not recommend this series highly enough, if anyone is interested in giving it a read please see the end of this post for more information.
Concept: A modern-day city with a hidden society of magic users and supernatural creatures. Magic has adapted to modern society, drawing power from industry and society rather than from nature.
Themes: Changing nature of magic; Hidden society; Urban magic; Clan warfare; Maintaining humanity; The pursuit of power; Keeping magic secret.
Now for a quick back story:
Magic has always been a part of the world, hidden from mainstream society. However, magic as a force is a mirror of the state of humanity and its environment. The shift from a rural society to urban living has had severe effects on the nature of magic and the methods used by practitioners. Where once sorcerers would summon vines to entangle their enemies, now they summon barbed wire. The herbs once used for warding away ill intent have been replaced with a spray painted image of a stop sign.
In the hidden magic societies within each city, there is a truce between the various tribes and clans of practitioners, as well as the supernatural creatures. However, relationships are strained, and small flare-ups are common. Sitting outside of all of this are the sorcerers, the rare natural adepts who are born with magic in their veins. They belong to no clan, but are respected, and often feared, as their powers are unpredictable and near unimaginable. Now though, someone is hunting down the sorcerers, and drawing together lesser magic users using fear and the promise of power. Those who resist, die.
I’ll be coming back to this setting whenever I need something to use as a comparison or contrast for Project Helleborus. For now though, I’ll leave it as is and move onto demonstrating start fleshing out the details for your world.