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The Fantasy Apocalypse
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TheFlatline
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I did a setting where the old pantheon of gods had a pact where they regulated the seasons, prevented horrendous natural disasters, etc... in exchange for worshippers, rites, etc, that provided power to the gods.

As the millennia rolled on, religions changed, rites changes, and the power of worship weakened the gods. Eventually, their ability to hold back changes and regulate the seasons failed, and 10,000 years of natural disasters, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, etc... that had been held back wracked the world in the span of 10 years.

In the aftermath of that, humans declared a pogrom against metahumanity, blaming them (erroneously) for the disasters. Metahumanity fought back, and pretty much the remaining pockets of civilization were razed for the world.

After a long time, beings, in the form of dragons, offered a deal: peace for subjugation. Most people accepted, some didn't. There was a bit in there about a group of people who refused the offer of peace but swore instead to uphold the oaths made that day. The dragons strangely enough accepted that and imparted some powers on them that was central to the story I was telling.

Up shot: divine magic doesn't work the way it used to. What used to be divine magic is called willworking and everyone *thinks* it works the way that White Wolf Mage works: Impose your will on reality, reality bends.

IIRC I made it inflict subdual damage to cast spells and made magic take longer to cast. More subdual damage, faster the spells went off. I applied something similar IIRC to arcane magic to try to slow down the quadratic mage effect.

Actually I remember that mages had to straight up use a mineral to cast spells. Didn't have 3 grams of special mineral? Couldn't cast fireball. Mage Towers basically were erected on top of mineral deposits and were guarded fiercely. There was an in-game reason why you needed a physical resource to blow shit up and it was part of the whole apocalypse/pantheon disappearing thing.

The trick was, nobody was quite sure what the dragons were. They're probably gods. New or old, nobody really knows. And you can still find like... potions of healing and divine scrolls and they *work*. Which is really weird in character. People who slept in the ruins of especially potent altars to the old gods risked becoming paladins by attuning to the old gods.

Paladins were also the generic name for anyone who goes batshiat crazy and starts worshipping one of the old gods as an extreme zealot. Named after a family called the Paladins who undertook a geas to seek out what happened to the old gods in the early days of the apocalypse, but came back as lunatics who worshipped abstract concepts like Judgement, Strength, Death, etc... They also are the only ones who can resurrect in the setting, and the only ones with access to traditional divine magic. So while potent, everyone hates paladins because they're zealots.

There was some other shit too. I probably still have all the documents on the setting I wrote kicking around. A lot of it was early 20's fantasy wanking and Gygaxian "fuck yous" to my player group, but it had a few decent ideas.

So the general idea is that traditional D&D magic was better than in-setting magic, and could still be found by scavenging. The power structures that were established were hungry to send adventurers out to scavenge the old tech and magic. Wizards were insanely powerful like always but tended to stay geographically in one area- both to make sure they had access to mage fuel and to make sure nobody stole their mage fuel mine and used it to fuck them over. Lower level magic you could generally assume to find and carry around sufficient mage fuel to go adventuring, but as your power level grew, it became harder to maintain a portable supply.
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phlapjackage
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Joined: 24 May 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:
phlapjackage wrote:
Kaelik wrote:
This series, whether it knows it or not, is actually a centuries or millenia later sequel series to those books:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Broken_Empire_Trilogy

"It" just recently found this out last year. Mr. Green

It's weird, as a kid I read a few Swords books that my library had, but the library only had like 2 or 3 of them, and my whole life I had this feeling of "what happened in that series ?!?" Then last year, this whole "internet tubes" thing clicked for me, and I realized I could complete my dream of finishing the Swords books...which led me to also find the prequel trilogy as well. Technology, how cool...now get off my lawn!

*edit*
I think you mean this trilogy instead?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_of_the_East_series

If not, I've got some more books I have to read! Smile


No, I'm saying the Broken Empire Trilogy is written by a different author who may have read those books in the 70s-80s and been inspired by them, or may have parrallely come to the same conclusion.

The series takes place in an empire millenia after a similar event. The advanced humans did something that opened up magic, but instead of happening within the relatively recent past, it happened so long ago that almost nothing seems to have survived (at least at first). The people of the empire have long established histories that all take place post change, even the magicians have somewhat faded into the visible background, as they have started playing their own game of thrones behind the scenes.

It's not an official sequel, but it's based on the same root concept, and I suspect was heavily influenced by that series.

Ah shit, I completely misread your post then, sorry! It's readin' time...
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infected slut princess
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There is an adventure from 2E called _The Apocalypse Stone_. It was released before 3E to provide an adventure that would destroy your old 2E campaign world before making the switch.

THere are a lot of really stupid things in the adventure, but it also has some fun ideas scattered throughout. I recommend maybe... you know... "getting" a copy of the PDF and taking a look.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: The Fantasy Apocalypse Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Had the idea to do a post apocalypse D&D game the other day. Not "D&D is a post apocalypse setting" but a game set in D&DLand after some manner of apocalypse.

The immediate idea I had for the nature of the apocalypse was a physical repository of spells "detonating" and causing lots of wild magic zones and permanent spell effects in addition to physical damage.

What other kinds of apocalypses might befall D&DLand?


I once had an idea for a traditional final battle between good and evil style apocolypse, where the gods basically killed each other and devenstated the land. And Fantasy Australia was actually the intertwined corpses of Tiamat and Bahamut. And the whole thing would have been an age of exploration/early industrial setting with magitech powered by crystallized god blood harvested from all the giant divine corpses lying around, many of which had since become mountain ranges.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

When it comes to "apocalypses", there's all sorts of scales and forms before considering any supernatural types. The real trick is figuring out what you want the world to look like afterward. Is is copper or iron using dark ages Earth after the Bronze or Roman collapse? Is it a toxic wasteland something like Fallout? Is it a constant turmoil due to ongoing upheavals a la Rifts?

infected slut princess wrote:
There is an adventure from 2E called _The Apocalypse Stone_. It was released before 3E to provide an adventure that would destroy your old 2E campaign world before making the switch.

THere are a lot of really stupid things in the adventure, but it also has some fun ideas scattered throughout. I recommend maybe... you know... "getting" a copy of the PDF and taking a look.


I recall this BS adventure. The premise for the DM undermines the purpose given to the PCs. Forcing the players to try and stop an apocalyptic event, but making it happen anyway is probably peak railroading.

A more appropriate adventure would be one where the PCs are overseeing the destruction of their planet. I even ended up having dreams about what such an adventure might be structured back in the 1990's a bit after reading this adventure. As the goal is totally non-standard (the archival and demolition of cultural and geolgraphical features in order to facilitate the local Dieties regularly scheduled 100k year "rebuild" of the planet), the outline for the adventure was equally so.

Complete with a city-sized Eldrazi-like "mount" that the party (and any souls remaining for "archival" on the planet) travel on the back of. While the PCs actions are focused on directing towards the next cultural or geological feature that the local dieties have earmarked for archival or demolition for their "rebuild" of the planet.
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Dogbert
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
A more appropriate adventure would be one where the PCs are overseeing the destruction of their planet.


Now THAT's a premise I could get behind.
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Mord
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
A more appropriate adventure would be one where the PCs are overseeing the destruction of their planet.


Seconded. That's nifty as hell.

That's a much cooler idea than anything having to do with the notion of "deities need worship to keep being powerful," which is a concept that was played out 10 years ago.
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Occluded Sun
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A wizard makes a perpetual motion machine that runs on magic, and drains all the magic from the world. Civilization collapses.

Hundreds of years later, magic is slowly regenerating - meaning that depowered artifacts are once again becoming dangerous, and ancient magical techniques that had been abandoned as useless are being taken up by power-mad lunatics trying to take over the world.

Can your ragtag band of mystics and warriors defeat the ancient magics?
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FatR
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Once upon a time mages, and clerics, and whatever, created great wonders and made life safe and secure for everybody. Then they died out naturally or fucked off in one way or another - maybe turned themselves into undead or something esle that no longer gave a shit about people in attempts to attain immortality. Then nobody was capable enough to even understand how arcane technology maintaining the civilization worked, because in a safe and secure society nobody had to wade through rivers of blood and climb mountains of corpses towards high levels anymore. And then, once enough of the automated defenses have failed, barbarians came and burned everything they could safely burn. What they could not is now dungeons that can only be penetrated by adventurers.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There's this substance called salt found in the ocean and it makes you live a long time and gives you magical power so it's super valuable and noone knows where it comes from but there's giant slugs that swim around knocking over salt ships
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JigokuBosatsu
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

ethergaunts
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There's that other thread about an elliptical orbit creating weird seasons...if the seasons were centuries long they could cause civilisations to fall and be replaced when the weather settles down, only to be lost again next time.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

No, developing a society takes way too long for that to fly.
Cmpared to deleting a society at least.
And the only thing it would do, if the seasons were not planet wide, would be to basically evolve them into a completely nomadic species/society.
And if you have seasons that higher life/society can not survive in, then you won't have higher life/society on that planet.
They could go subterrannean maybe and simply tell the weather to go fuck itself, if they can manage sustainable farms and cattle underground.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The continents woke up and started mating with each other. It turns out everyone was living on the backs of sleeping megafauna on a ocean world all along.

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Josh_Kablack
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think this thread is missing the element of fantasy as political allegory:

The Libertarian Fantasy Apocalypse:

Basically, the plan from this monologue is the past of your campaign world. The ancients developed tech/magic/training/breeding, etc which allowed every single adult in their society to attain MAX LEVEL trivially. Predictably, this meant that any minor squabbles involved forces that could level mountains -- and the post-collapse survivors think that the magnitude of the devastation is what destroyed the ancients. But during the course of the campaign, the PCs slowly discover that the ancients had access to healing,purifying, and rebuilding wonders to match their wonders of destruction, and the PCs quest to uncover some of these, which remain inexplicably unused. The PCs eventually puzzle out that what really did the ancients in was that in a realm where everyone is on the top, nobody had anything to truly strive for, and that society cannot function unless some folks can rise to lord it over the others.

The Conservationist Apocalypse:

This time out, The Lorax is our backstory

The Elves used to live in small, sustainable psuedo-neolithic tribes in the great forests of not-Truffula trees. Then the humans showed up, and exploited the hell out of the magical properties of the not-Truffula trees, building Suessian wonders, destroying the ecosystem, polluting the water with toxic byproducts. Now the elves have all gone, and the left-behind humans are struggling to hang on in a post-peak polluted wasteland. At the start of the campaign, the not-Oncler, the last to have known the elves himself hands the PCs his greenhouse of original flora and some notes about how to slowly purify the toxic landscape to help them spread and return biome to what it should be. Except, the rest of humanity is still desperate, and the not-Truffulas the PCs grow can be used to power those left over +4 super-axe whackers to fight off other desperate humans or Suessian shovelers to dig away toxic topsoil much faster and easier than backbreaking manual labor. The campaign is a realm-management game: where you have access to a unique resource that everyone else wants. Without exploiting the magic of the trees, you cannot defend the trees against everyone else, but every time you burn a tree for magic, you get further from your end goal.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"What a strange game. The only winning move is not to play at all."
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The apocalypse is a person, cursed to be the luckiest person alive, some thousands of years ago. But luck if a zero sum game, and the curse works be draining luck from everyone else. As a result, improbable disasters follow this person wherever they go, while they themselves escape unscathed, and mostly oblivious to the damage. Over the centuries, this person's curse has destroyed civilization multiple times, but they really haven't noticed.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Trigun?
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erik
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Groo?
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Both are inspirations.
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