Saturday, March 21, 2015

Some More Thoughts on my Campaign Settings: Low Magic vs. High Magic

I don't really like Low Magic settings. It really requires a lot of work to get me to like something where things that are fantastical and set the setting apart from our world are really rare. Also, in low magic settings, they are very dreary, with lots of hate and prejudice throughout the world. For all of those reasons, all of my fantasy settings except for one are high magic.

In Vantek, magic is just a normal part of life. Magic runs all technology, and everybody owns some magic items. Everybody knows for certain that the Gods exist, and so there isn't much hate related to religion because of that. The world is a very large place, but you can easily bypass this with the right spell, or with one of those magic-powered trains. People respect other people more because of how common magic and other really weird stuff is. Why would you worry about whether your neighbor likes men or women when there are horrifying monsters hiding in the woods and even stranger creatures floating far overhead, calling themselves the Gods. It is essentially a utopia, not because there isn't struggle, but because people are much more accepting, and they are much better at stopping sexism or racism or whatever when it appears. Of course, everybody has prejudices or believes in certain stereotypes, but it is not to the extremely institutionalized extent like it is in our world. All of that is because they live in a world powered by miracles and magic.

In the Supernatural Earth, it is just as high magic, but not in the same way as Vantek. Magic is more folkloric, and not much technology is powered by it. Everyone knows that the gods exist, but they fight over which pantheon is the best, or which god is the best. The Catholic Church is very unaccepting, but it is a religious minority due to its hatred of magic and nonhuman people. Slavery is still a problem, but it has been abolished in almost all parts of the world, excluding the United States. Racism does exist, but it is mostly between humans and nonhumans, rather than between different ethnicities of humans. Even with slavery, many slaves in the United States are hobgoblins or dwarfs, but many are black humans. Generally, people are much more accepting of different people in the Supernatural Earth, but there are still plenty problems relating to just how accepting are people, such as how women cannot vote in the United States.

The Megadungeon is the closest setting of mine that you could say is low magic. In the Old World, it is definitely low magic: the Great Church has an immense hold on almost every nation in the Old World, and wizards are rare, as is non-divine magic. Nonhumans are quite rare, and many people (humans) do not like them. However, in the New World, it is a much different story. The Great Church does not have such a foothold on the continent, and so because of that wizards have flocked there in great swarms to escape prosecution. As stated in the Alignment in the Megadungeon post, the New World is a very chaotic continent, and so unnatural monsters, such as demons, faeries, and monstrous creatures from the stars are more common, as are servants of order. The elves, gnomes, and other faeries that would steal your kids and ruin your crops are much more common and powerful in the Megadungeon, and it is the Old Worlders that are the intruders this time, not the fae. This is their home, and so they are much more out in the open. Every town and city is built atop a seemingly infinite network of tunnels, filled with monsters and treasure. In the Megadungeon setting, the Old World is low magic, but the New World is closer to high magic.

No comments:

Post a Comment