@Quaesitor, @Nahrenne, @Exitiumm, @Naraku, @TiggerBane, @Fossil, and everybody else who might be interested, this is a preliminary check to see whether or not to start a Dark Fantasy/Horror roleplaying game, I've been developing with some aid from Quae. Introduction When the world laments the fallen hero, curses at the traitor losing his head, a woman cries as she feels her lover going cold and his corpse twitches in the mouth of an ancient beast, something happens in a place beyond, one of which the world barely knows. You are one of those lost souls, after burning yourself like a blazing sun in the world of the living to achieve deeds of importance, you have been sent to the realm of the dead, and like in a dream you look on, seeing a vision of your being from aside, processed and turned into something else. A mere spirit, passing through the void. The view changes, and you see a man of stone, whose body is made of endless pillars, arches, stained glass, and pipes. He is bigger than everything you've seen before, an abberration upon the world, facing three directions at once, his limbs merging their ends with the chamber he is locked inside. The man screams into the opening of the chamber above, light pouring out of his eyes and mouth, the glass in his structure, that courses around his body like veins and capilaries. This is the conversion of your soul, as the last vestiges of the mortal coil are converted into a form more suited for existence after death. The light converges into a wisp, shooting up through the vertical pathway among endless gothic high rises, criss crossed by industrial devices, themselves etched with glowing runes and formations, the stained glass with alien murals reflecting your light moving up. Exiting a well way up above, you take shape, seemingly the same as before, with you an item you held dear in life, now part of you for eternity. You look around to see the cityscape covered in venomous light, a sky of blood red and poison green stretching above it. Around you spires of black, grey and metal reach into the deadly hued clouds, fire and lightning coursing around the walls on aqueducts in and out of one spire and the other. You look behind, a mix between a hellenistic temple and a cathedral opening its doors, a warm shine beckoning you from within its halls. A horned woman in white, white haired and golden eyed welcomes you, and guides you inside. "Welcome to Elysia," she tells you, "Would you like to open a bank account?" General rules General Forum Rules and Community Games Forum Rules apply. Characters can be anything so long as it fits the fantasy theme and is your own original. This means no modern day characters, Cthulhu, and etc. There is a level system, so your character should start out weak compared to the setting. You can still have a heroic level warrior, wizard, tinkerer, demonspawn, kraken or w/e you feel like playing, but they have to start out reasonable. No gods and equivalently powerful beings. As per General Forum Rules (Making a thread 2.) Mature content will be allowed in spoiler tags. If you intend to post mature content, no NSFW images are allowed, and you must obtain the consent of any players whose characters are involved, otherwise you may not post the content. Godmodding is strictly forbidden. Additional rules are set per each thread. In the case of a conflict between the General Rules and Thread Rules, the rule in the sub thread supersedes. A character can die upon the player's decision or if a specific Thread Rule states so. Combat between characters outside the PvP designated areas will only take place in a RP fashion, and cannot result in death. Setting Spoiler: Setting The world of Elysia is an endless gothic magitech cityscape, for all you and everybody else you know is aware. Its secrets and strange sights that remain beyond that will be allowed to only those that survive and thrive in the nightmarish realm. As any soul that has passed onto this realm increases its power, it will invariably turn into something inhuman in both nature and form, but in turn get closer to the truth of the universe that originally birthed it, and may one day master it. In the world there already exist many such beings, but Elysian nature itself has many (technically) living creatures that will encounter, as they exit the safe areas, searching for the resources they need to sustain existence in the realm. That being said, souls can live for eternity as weaklings in the safe areas, and never achieve a thing, unless their shrewdness allows. The world itself is known to exist in 12 main states, which exist in a dynamic system of harmonies and disharmonies, upon which everything that is is based. Souls that come from the realm of the living naturally exist in a balance of all 12, which is skewed toward particular aspects, as they adapt to the world. See below for more information. Affinity Since this is a spirit world, all abilities can have a magic property that affects the world by creating a miracle. As such they possess a mystical affinity with other abilities or traits. The affinity bonus is the same for both sides of an interaction. All abilities fall under 12 schools in total. There are three types of affinity, which affect abilities*: Spoiler: Types of Affinity Cancelling (-2): Between a pair of primaries or secondaries of the same row. Interactions between phenomena caused by such schools will be hard, as they do not affect each other easily. The most complex spells fall into this type of affinity, thus they provide the most miraculous results at the expense of power wasted (e.g. blocking lightning with a fire wall or vice versa is nearly impossible to achieve, but raw power can compensate through allowing the manifestation on one side to engulf the other). Interference (-1): Between primaries and secondaries of the same row. These schools create combinations of medium difficulty (e.g. Conjuration is interfered with by life and death, but mutually exclusive with illusions; in practice this means conjuring things that are either alive or otherwise perpetual is unstable, thus conjured items, constructs and creatures will cease to exist after a period of time, and it is very hard to conjure something non-tangible or affect an illusory existence by creating things out of thin air). Harmony (+1): Schools on the same column (e.g. with the above example, it is possible to enhance the properties of conjured items, etc, and conjuring ones that possess the symbolic property of Fire, such as magic cores and other constructs which manifest raw power, will be more successful than anything else) Manifestation domain: Light Primary Light Secondary Dark Primary Dark Secondary Physical Fire Metal Lightning Ice Spiritual Conjuration Life Illusion Death Mental Enhancement Fate Transmutation Void *If an affinity doesn't obtain a bonus from the chart, it means the Schools don't affect each other's potency, but the abilities still interact. Spoiler: Mystic Schools Mystic Schools: The mystic laws of the world are founded on four elements with three types of manifestation, existing in a duality of Light and Dark. Schools of Light focus on the creation and preservation of the order of all things in a system, while the Dark schools focus on returning these things to a state of primordial chaos through any means. Fire – Fire is the Spark of Creation. In this world it doesn't consume fuel, but rather is fuel for things that exist in an ordered state. Fire miracles will overpower an opponent through physical means, or provide power for items, beings and constructs. Conjuration – The next step in Creation, these miracles manifest anything imaginable, but require more raw power, the more the manifested thing lacks similarity to primal order. The easiest thing to conjure then, would be demons and constructs of the fire or metal variety, while it is nearly impossible to create an illusion that actually exists. Enhancement – Once a thing exists in an ordered state, its properties can be improved. This school focuses on strengthening a chosen aspect of an object in existence. It is easiest to enhance tangible properties, and hardest to enhance abstract ones, such as the ability to change, properties over time, and nearly impossible to affect things like one's volume and location without targeting another property. Metal – While Fire is the active element of order, creating existence itself, a more stable form of existence in the spirit world is Metal. Metal symbolizes structure through which powers are manifested. Metal miracles create stable phenomena, such as barriers, spell arrays, and magic circuits, making this school the basis of systematic magics. When creating a metal structure, this structure will find it hardest to control the other elements in their primal state, and is best at giving structures to things with a perpetual property. Life – Life is the existence of things as self-perpetuating systems. Life miracles affect reality by reiterating and mending the structure of beings in general, but also of non-living creations, such as constructs and items, to a lesser degree. The most basic Life School abilities are such that heal or duplicate, finding it hardest to so for non-beings that do not exist within the natural order of the world, such as conjured objects, illusions and the dead or destroyed. Fate – A force seeking to order time and space in the simplest possible structure. Its miracles enforce outcomes to occur over time. Within its domain are miracles that slow or speed up time for an object, curses and blessings, and the freezing of time. All Fate miracles ultimately fade and return the target’s state to the one prior. When doing so proves impossible for any reason, a toll is exacted upon the target causing as much drawbacks, as it previously did benefits. Exceptions to this would be curses that lead to stagnation, and blessings upon acts of construction or Life/regeneration, as these increase the total order in the world, dispelling the effects of chaos. Order aims for a perpetual existence, and as such Fate cannot include curses that cause chaotic effects easily, or at all, especially transformations and death, while having a hard time controlling the outcome of strongly manifested properties. Lightning – The Lightning School is centered to the element that best represents chaos. Lightning miracles may often look like lightning, but actually use a force that destroys the order within things that exist. Simpler lightning spells are purely offensive, while more complex ones are used to break through or weaken other abilities. Fire miracles are practically unaffected by Lightning, while the other two primal elements and their schools have a resistance to its effects, thus causing mutual weakening. Another aspect of the element is its capacity to increase the power of illusions and space based miracles, due to weakening the resistance of their targets. One prominent example is the creation of a stable transfer gate, which uses lightning as a destabilising agent for the fabric of reality itself, allowing the teleportation phenomena to persist. This is the most dangerous school to use, since it is most likely to cause random anomalies as a result of order breaking down, while requiring enormous amounts of power for all but the most basic magic (lightning strikes). Illusion – Illusions are a form of non-existence that causes disorder in the fabric of reality. Illusion miracles work by forcing a target to exist between a state of order and chaos. There are two ways that Illusion miracles work. One is to create visible anomalies in reality that look real, but do not function as something tangible. These interfere less with the world, thus are more common. Another is to eat away at reality, replacing it. This type of illusion miracle will try to enforce a chaotic state upon a target, resulting in an object becoming partially immaterial, cutting it off from fully interacting with the rest of the world, or having it do so in a twisted way. Illusion spells fare the worst against conjured targets, which are not an original part of the fabric of reality, while finding it hard to affect life and death themselves, as both of them are stable against something which exists as a process between order and chaos. Transmutation – While the spirit aspects of chaos focus on denying ordered reality through a change in its basic state, Transmutation miracles are focused on changing the properties of manifestations themselves. Such a miracle can be anything from the basic transformation of an object into a different object (men to sheep, steel to sludge), to altering the nature of the manifestation itself, through altering the property manifested, at the expense of that property’s strength of manifestation. A simple way to use this is to alter gravity, weakening it, or to make armor brittle, but more fine changes to properties can be a target’s reactivity to other similar or dissimilar objects. For example it would be very effective at giving lighting an affinity toward targets with particular properties, as well as changing the properties of illusions, create an attraction force between two different pieces of matter, catalyse chemical reactions otherwise impossible, but find it very hard to affect things that are well ordered, such as objects with enhanced properties, or space/time attributes. This makes transmuting something into non-existence only theoretically possible. Mental confusion and other such hexes fall under this, as one of the harder miracles in this school. Ice – The property of chaos to halt the march of order in the world. Ice miracles have a subversive effect on the activity of a system and cause it to become inert, preventing its active manifestation. This often results in the environment freezing where this effect has taken place for the most basic of miracles. Ice miracles are capable of draining power from an ordered source, but cannot affect the structure of ordered reality. In practice this means that it's possible to dispel or drain away abilities and phenomena, but not affect barriers and the completed structures of arrays and circuits. Death – Death is an ever-present process of decay and recreation of chaos. Its miracles cause changes in the structure of things, causing it to deteriorate, with the eventual result of virtual non-existence. Death miracles have a harder time affecting Illusions and Conjured things, due to the former barely existing, while the latter existing beyond the scope of natural chaos. Void – A force seeking to create disparity in the world, it seeks to manipulate and enforce the differences between manifestations within space and time. Void miracles deal with the subversion of ordered reality, either by reshaping or destroying connections between its manifestations. Theoretically it is possible to time travel using Void miracles, causing cascading changes across time and space, or rearrange matter into something different, but for its more practical uses the Void school focuses on bending and rearranging space in a limited fashion, with the greatest known functional magic being various means of teleportation, creating warp bubbles and localised spatial disparities in volume or direction. Doing more is extremely dangerous and always has unexpected results, and all Void miracles are resisted by ordered mater through the effects of Fate. Spoiler: Manifesting Abilities Magic, Mysteries and Rituals: There is a distinction between the use of functional magic, the evocation of a mystery, and the conducting of a ritual. Functional magic typically produces a miracle that enforces a result on reality based on the logic of the School’s conceptual laws. Mysteries on the other hand evoke a phenomenon to transpire, by strengthening the pre-existing influences of a chosen concept or concepts within an area that represents them. Rituals require that an exact prerequisite event and/or form representing the concepts involved is to be present in the affected area or object, thus creating the result (magic circles are prepared, a certain interval in time pass passed since an event, etc). All three may be conducted through the means of vocal, physical, and mental actions and/or actions that require an object as medium to carry out one’s will. Despite this distinction, a combination of any of these can be counted as a single ability. Spoiler: What Happens When You Favor A School Aspect Evolution: Favouring the use a school, or a harmonious group of schools would result in the character forming traits symbolic of this. For example mutations that reform the being closer to the physical element respondent to a school or the being would manifest anomalies in their manifestation, such as existing in different points in spacetime simultaneously, having a particular property exaggerated, or constantly conjuring a characteristic type of object/another being. As the character becomes more in tune with their aspect evolution, these traits would become more useful. Creature Information Creatures exist in three types: Elementals, Demons and Constructs: Derived from their tier of manifestation, creatures exist that personify simple phenomena. These are classified by the inhabitants of the world, according to the Mystic Schools into these three, but actually have a more elaborate classification in types. Spoiler: Types Elementals: These are phenomena that mainly manifest a pure physical entity in the world, but in order to organise as a being they must also have a higher order aspect to them, at least at the a spiritual level. Fire elementals at their most basic would be capable of conjuring matter in basic geometric shapes, or at most crystalline forms. More advanced Fire Elementals would then develop an ego, and be able to provide blessings of Light. As Chaos corrupts these, they would eventually start to manifest more destructive properties, and particularly ancient Fire elementals are phenomena that travel through time and space, altering it into simpler patterns, or such that possess other creatures reshaping them through questionable boons, while enhancing a property of theirs. In all cases, an elemental is however simple-minded, if at all, and would merely seek to manifest its basic property through any means possible. Elemental possession, when it occurs, happens only to beings that have a harmonious affinity with the aspect an elemental possesses. Demons: Demons are spiritual manifestations first and foremost. They do not possess a physical body of their own, instead they cause events to occur in places with affinity to their nature. Demons more often than not possess a mind of their own, thus it is possible to communicate with them. These minds however do not have motives, wants, or needs, but rather senselessly exhibit behaviour that imitates such whenever a particular aspect of theirs is strong at a time and place, or sentient mind. A demon latching itself to a mind would appear omnipresent, and begin to manifest through the creature it has latched on to. They most often latch onto less complex creatures, such as Golems, Wisps, Nymphs, and other beings with the capacity to manifest a concept, but not exhibit much variety in their manifestation. Once they do so, they begin to twist and enforce their own nature upon the creature, modifying its behaviour to serve the manifestation of the demon itself. Sentient beings that favour a School too much would often communicate with demons, as their affinity with such beings would become higher. Constructs: Constructs are mental creations that exhibit a highest order manifestation. Typically these would trickle down back to simpler forms to manifest a simulacrum of themselves. Most constructs are in fact limited within the bounds of space and time, and thus have lifespans, while possessing a sentient mind. Constructs however are the least capable of manifesting physically of all the three types, since they do not have a strong, but instead a complex pattern of existence. Examples of Constructs would be living objects, such as living statutes and items with a will, traditionally angelic and demonic beings, the majority of non-human creatures in the world, and voidlings such as time-eaters, void projections, and similar entities of anomalous nature. The ecology of the world is typically a food chain topped by the simplest of manifestations in theory. At the very bottom of it are the Constructs, whose nature inclines them to adapt to the seemingly senseless tides of competition for a right to manifest in the world. This does not make any of the types more powerful than the other, however, since all could exhibit a minimum or maximum potential in various circumstances. The low ranking of Constructs is related to their stable nature, and their inability to exist outside the confines of a fixed period of time, before simpler forces extinguish them. Notes: The combat system will be able to take into account retinue, or even armies as part of combat, in a manner that is quick enough to reasonably use. There will be a crafting and trade system in place. More information will be available, should this pick up. Yes, you can do whatever you want with mobs, the environment, and NPCs, so long as the game rules make it possible. Write down suggestions and requests below.