Spare ideas

2013-06-08 14:17

Was reading the Pathfinder (a tabletop RPG) book on game mastery, browsing their world-building stuff, came up with spare ideas.

I tend to have lots more ideas than time to do anything with, so, here’s a batch of spare ideas in case anyone needs them.

  • They pointed out that nomadic people tend to be lower-tech than non-nomadic people. What if it were the other way around? So there are wandering nomads who come to cities, where the people of the cities trade them high quality simple goods for fancy things like clocks that are too hard for the city people to make. (Why? I dunno. Magic maybe. Maybe mana is a limited resource which regenerates slowly, and running things like clocks uses it up, and you need more than that to make them, so you can’t do this in cities. Maybe it’s secret technology that the nomads jealously guard. I have no idea.)
  • They pointed out that the usual structure of feudal societies had nobility tending to be knights and such, with serfs being non-combatants. What if you had one feudal society in which swords were nobility, and mages were serfs, and one the other way around, and they were neighbors?
  • Moon-based magic. This presumes something similar to the D&D “spells are used up and then you get more”. So magic is based on the moon; you don’t get new spells for the day when you sleep, you get new spells for the day when the moon rises. But wait! There’s three moons. Different casters are aligned with different moons. Key war strategy: Attack at a time when your heavy-hitters will be able to unload most of their magic right before moonrise.
  • A technological revolution could make a really interesting fantasy RPG, although it’d be pretty far from the usual range of D&D.
Peter Seebach




  1. Your first idea is a little similar to an aspect of Asimov’s Foundation series. There is a nomadic Trader culture that travels from culture to culture to sell their wares, although the result of them having technology that their client cultures don’t is more a result of the decline of society/technology/intellectualism in isolated populations than anything. There are even some cultures that have reverted so far that they regard nuclear-powered devices brought by Traders to be magical, and there’s even a religion built around it. In another culture, nuclear Trader technology is strictly taboo.
    It’s really interesting stuff, and your idea just really reminded me of one of the many reasons I love that series so much.
    Also, I agree that an RPG based on a technological revolution sounds fascinating, I would definitely play!

    — Tegan · 2013-06-11 13:22 · #