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Name of Legend

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 3:46 pm
by Mr. Author
Was thinking last night, and started a story...then I thought...hey, this would make a great campaign setting, so I wrote it up as a setting summary.
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[b]Name of Legend[/b]
[i]Copyright © 2003 Adam Thaxton[/i]

[b]Core Ethos Statement[/b]

Heroes of myth and legend wander the land, righting wrongs and battling the forces of evil.

[b]Who are the heroes?[/b]

The heroes are Legends. In fact, they are not humans (or their respective races at all). They are beings formed from a single truth, a basis in fact that has taken on a life of its own. A randaom act of kindess here, a daring risk there, a gentle musing in the night, each of these is the seed of Legend, a tale and story. As these tales are told, and the heores take shape, the subconscious mind of humanity gives birth to beings of legend and myth. They are shaped by their stories into good or evil, but once born, they are given free will, a spontaneous birth that wanders without check from place to place until a realization comes over them. They then know who and what they are, but in so doing, much of their power is taken from them. As they travel and perform the deeds of legend that spawned them, they grow in strength. These are the heroes name is Legend.

[b]What do they do?[/b]

Legends wander the land, seeking to reclaim their lost power. They are born from ideas and myths, however, and their attitudes and powers reflect this. These beings are often stronger, faster, and smarter than normal representatives of their race, and their acitivities reflect the nature of tales. A Legend of a hero may travel righting wrongs, and a Legend of evil may seek to destroy the world. Whatever their choice, one can be certain that it is extreme, and that it forges new tales. A Legend born may even come into conflict with its source, as a peasant or adept who is the source of the original tale discovers an eternally young, more powerful double of him or herself and reacts accordingly. Other heroes are their original selves, whom through dedication, dangerous accomplishments, and adventuring with Legends, have become newborn Legends themselves.

[b]Threats, conflicts, villains?[/b]

An evil Legend is a true threat and force to be reckoned with, but there are lesser dangers, here, as well. Monsters do wander the world, and their respective Legends are also quite dangerous. Arith is a world where enough belief can make a thought into reality, a God real, and change the face of the world. There is a new threat as well, one that is much more silent and sinister. It is the force behind all advancement. Science and technology seek to quantify the world, changing randomness into rigid thought. Much of science holds no love for stories, tall tales, and superstition. It seeks out Legends and monsters, destroying the tales and boiling "monsters" down into exagerrated animals and superstition.

[b]Nature of magic[/b]

Magic is mostly done through Adepts, but Legends can be any sort of spellcaster, be it Clerics, Wizards, or Sorcerers. They do not cast spells, but instead believe they are casting spells, their powers of Legend allowing them to bend reality and truth to fit the perception of what they are. Since most spells are inaccessable to "real" practitioners, new spellcasting NPC classes have been added. Magic is a side effect of a Legend's world bending abilities. If a story speaks of a Legend using magic, that Legend is capable of such.

[b]What's new? What's different?[/b]

The heroes are not usually real in the usual sense. They become real when they realize what they are, be it through a bizarre string of coincedences or a fluke of their Legendry allowing them to notice where they've been and that they are not truly wandering from place to place and instead merely appearing. Legends may understand what they are, but they may not know the scope of what they do, or how they do it. Legends who realize what they are deliberately act on large scale, spreading their stories and tales far and wide. As their tales grow, so does their power, and as long as people tell the stories and believe, the Legends will continue to wander Arith.

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 8:04 am
by Grimbones
Great setting idea. It has me daydreaming about the possibility of evil Legends taking over governments and trying to force people to forget their folk tales. Burning books, employing thought censors, that sort of thing.

... all of a sudden your game has a wonderful political bent.

I dig it!

I haven't read "American Gods" yet but there might be some source material for comparison in there...

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 8:59 am
by Mr. Author
I poked around with this idea a little more since I came up with it - the idea was tha "NPC" classes are very much weaker than base core classes, with the difference between a warrior and a fighter of the same level being more drastic.

In such a setting, bandit leaders aren't fighters - they're higher level warriors with tons more minions. It's Epic without being Epic, is what I guess I'm saying. The thought is to mimic things like the Iliad and other sundrytales of great deeds.

I'd even drummed up some prestige classes to mimic some of these powers, like the "uber-sailor" with endurance-type abilities and superb brawling powers. It's kind of like a medieval "super heroes" feel. Larger than life, and characters will almost always have a prestige class that gives them a single "special power" that gets better or broadens in range, since most real-world legends talk about it, like Helen of Troy and her super beauty, or even Popeye and his conditional strength - hey, if enough people beleived in "Popeye," he'd be real.

I haven't done anythng lately, though. Got this novel project I'm working on.