Author Topic: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...  (Read 2240 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Arachoid

  • Tempest Top Dog
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • A new musical revelation...
    • View Profile
Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:37:08 pm »
Well, okay... Here's my spur of the moment idea that I'd like to develop. The setting interests me and seems like a good place for a game or story.

It's a terran, earth-like world with your basic fantasy staples such as dragons, mid evil humans and magic. The difference here is, whereas in most settings only a select few have the patience and wisdom to harness magic and becomes wizards (or witchs or warlocks or whatever), in this setting everyone has some magical ability.

Thousands of years before any stories/games would be set, there was a great and prosperous kingdom, Arcanikaz (working title). As you may have guessed, the inhabitants wielded Arcane magic, a very special school of magic that will be explained in more detail if y'all want. But you see, Arcanikaz had a problem; it was becoming less of a nation and more of a city as horrible urban sprawl set in (think Zul'Drak from warcraft).

As the great city began spreading further and further from its center, the focal point of all magic and the source of the population's arcane powers, the more far-flung citizens noticed bizarre changes in their magic. They were losing their mastery of the arcane, and began to develop the ability to warp the surrounding elements.

However, the so-called pureblood center dwellers, those that still practiced the arcane (and were also the wealthiest of citizens) did not take kindly to this, and enslaved these "lesser" peoples. Civil war broke out within Arcanikaz, and while the huge city was reduced to ruins, the various peoples fled far from each other, losing contact for hundreds of years, and eventually forgetting that the others had ever existed.

A few hundred years before the game/story/whatever is set, these scattered tribes have regrown into prosperous nations. While technologically primitive (think Vikings-era), they have mastered their respective fields of magic and, for the most part, have rediscovered each other. They now get along (again, for the most part) and trade flows freely. Everyone wins!

During the time period of the game/story... The great nations are at war! It has been discovered that someone has poisoned the Great World Tree, whose roots hold the very planet together; if it dies, the planet will collapse. Everyone is quick to accuse one nation or another of doing this deed, and they all hate each other. But now, military movement has begun. Rumors circulating throughout the world tell of a great artifact located in the (now lost) ruins of Arcanikaz that can cure the tree... And bring power to the wielder.

Now the nations are tearing at each other's throats, trying to cure the world tree but too bigoted to do so in a timely manor. To make matters worse, their powers are changing in new and unpredictable ways, branching out into more specialized fields within each element.

Critique?


I say NO! to all limits.
Unfortunately, I don't think we're far enough into the Civ stage to have deveoped into the 'Infinite-ghz processing' research tree yet...

Offline Andrew Ryan

  • Simon Belmont
  • *****
  • Posts: 5361
  • A man has a choice, I chose the impossible!
    • View Profile
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 09:58:38 pm »
Sounds a bit too similar to Warcraft for my taste. Ditch the world tree, it's really cliche, and replace it with something else like the heart of a volcano or mountain or something. Also, maybe you could have the people who could warp the elements also get warped themselves, as in their physical appearance is changed a bit as they change with their respective element. It seams a bit more natural than simply having them all hate each other for using different magic. Stick with skin color and religion, that makes a great base for racial prejudice. Also I think you need to develop your reasoning behind why the magic changed more, it will help you later on down the line.
"Don't worry 'bout me. I wouldn't worry about me. Don't you worry about me. Don't you worry 'bout me!" - Talking Heads, Don't Worry About the Government

Offline Doomsday

  • Track and Field Jock
  • *****
  • Posts: 2475
  • And, boom goes the dynamite.
    • View Profile
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 10:39:52 pm »
Sounds a bit too similar to Warcraft for my taste. Ditch the world tree, it's really cliche, and replace it with something else like the heart of a volcano or mountain or something. Also, maybe you could have the people who could warp the elements also get warped themselves, as in their physical appearance is changed a bit as they change with their respective element. It seams a bit more natural than simply having them all hate each other for using different magic. Stick with skin color and religion, that makes a great base for racial prejudice. Also I think you need to develop your reasoning behind why the magic changed more, it will help you later on down the line.

Everything is cliche, the World Tree as a concept is not the problem but making twisting it and making the idea unique and work in your world is the important bit. Besides, Norse Mythology doesn't get as much attention as it should. It's always Greek/Roman Mythology or various perversions thereof.
"Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down. Never gonna run around and hurt you." - Elvis Presley

Offline Yuu

  • Civilization Emperor
  • *****
  • Posts: 10050
  • = )
    • View Profile
    • KOSMOSIS CHRONICLES dA Page
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2009, 12:35:06 am »
Valkyries are just pure awesome.

Offline Andrew Ryan

  • Simon Belmont
  • *****
  • Posts: 5361
  • A man has a choice, I chose the impossible!
    • View Profile
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2009, 03:07:51 am »
Sounds a bit too similar to Warcraft for my taste. Ditch the world tree, it's really cliche, and replace it with something else like the heart of a volcano or mountain or something. Also, maybe you could have the people who could warp the elements also get warped themselves, as in their physical appearance is changed a bit as they change with their respective element. It seams a bit more natural than simply having them all hate each other for using different magic. Stick with skin color and religion, that makes a great base for racial prejudice. Also I think you need to develop your reasoning behind why the magic changed more, it will help you later on down the line.

Everything is cliche, the World Tree as a concept is not the problem but making twisting it and making the idea unique and work in your world is the important bit. Besides, Norse Mythology doesn't get as much attention as it should. It's always Greek/Roman Mythology or various perversions thereof.

Bah, I still feel he should go with something more earthy.
"Don't worry 'bout me. I wouldn't worry about me. Don't you worry about me. Don't you worry 'bout me!" - Talking Heads, Don't Worry About the Government

Offline Huckbuck

  • Balloon Fight Aerialist
  • *****
  • Posts: 4498
    • View Profile
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2009, 08:52:25 am »
Stick with skin color and religion, that makes a great base for racial prejudice.

This is what made me ignore your post completely.


I like your ideas Arachoid, one thing I thought of though was the poisoning of the World Tree. You make it sound like someone just poured some cyanide in the ground close to the tree. This doesn't create the epic feel that the tree is something mighty that really keeps the world together. I don't know but I would have gone with something like an unknown spirit has manifested itself and disrupted the ballance of nature or magic or something like that. The World Tree should be something very strong, and it beeing sick should mean something very bad is happening.
@davidramnero

Offline Ultimatum

  • Wild Gunman Gangster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3329
    • View Profile
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2009, 11:55:18 am »
Personly I think "The tree of life" sounds much better  :)

Offline Yuu

  • Civilization Emperor
  • *****
  • Posts: 10050
  • = )
    • View Profile
    • KOSMOSIS CHRONICLES dA Page
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 05:35:41 pm »
You could say that someone was able to climb to the top of the world tree, it's only weak spot. Make it so that it is extremely difficult to get there alive. Maybe due to some kind of ancient guardian, an army of elves or whatnot.

Offline Neoadept

  • Fooblitzky Fooble
  • *****
  • Posts: 4267
  • Has a nice hat
    • View Profile
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2009, 09:41:40 pm »
The solution to the "poisoning the world tree" problem isn't making the world tree something else, or making the thing destroying it more powerful, or making it harder to get to (though that's a good idea).

The solution is changing it from back story to a plot element.  Instead of war breaking out over the poisoning of the tree, have it break out over the results.  The land is dying, crops are failing, hope is failing, that is why the war should be fought, not over a petty squabble.  Push the tree itself into the background, no more than myth or legend and not very important until you come to the revelation that the tree's sickness is causing the world's sickness.  The nature of the sickness doesn't matter too much and can be left mysterious if you so choose.

The original focus of the story can be the powerful object, which they think can heal the land directly or something, and later it is revealed to be connected to the mythical world tree.

Perhaps the tree's death is natural, it has come to the end of it's life and nothing can stop it's death.  The item can be it's only seed, ready to be planted to take it's place (explains why it wasn't used during the great war, growing season hadn't come).  It is powerful because anyone who guides the new tree's growth will have control over the how the world is changed by the growth.
Nefarious?  Nearly.  Ne’er-do-well?  Never!  Neither nearly names this narrator.  Naive and knowledgeable, notorious and inscrutable, this nascent Nero is known naturally as Neoadept.

Offline Yuu

  • Civilization Emperor
  • *****
  • Posts: 10050
  • = )
    • View Profile
    • KOSMOSIS CHRONICLES dA Page
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2009, 11:43:56 pm »
Neo pretty much nailed it right there.

Offline Kcronos

  • Boulder Dasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 3651
  • The Dark Time Lord
    • View Profile
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2009, 03:28:24 pm »
What if this World Tree was so big, that whole civilizations have taken root there?  Perhaps the world tree IS the world.

Just a suggestion.
* Plank of Wood slaps


GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF MAN. THE REVIEWS DO NOT EFFECT ANYTHING EVER.

QFT

Offline PatMan33

  • Fable Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 28788
  • M I RITE? STICKERS?
    • View Profile
    • DuckDuckGo
Re: Working on a fantasy setting, need advice...
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2009, 08:14:42 pm »
Neo's post makes a lot of sense... definitely try to incorporate what he's saying.

What's getting me though is its similarity to the story in the Mana games and Final Fantasy IX. Most of what was written in the introductory post happened in one, the other, or both. The cliche stuff is fine, most stories seem to have been written already... but some of the stuff seems a little too similar.