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Lost Legacy: A Fantasy RPG

NPC

sleep researcher
This is a re-tooling of an RPG idea I had here a couple years ago. Unlike other forum RPGs, Lost Legacy will have a structure more akin to tabletop role-playing games. The players will sign up as characters going on an adventure, but their actions and choices will determine the course of the story. I'll play the role of GM, controlling enemies and NPCs, and writing how the world reacts to the players' actions. However, there will be no dice-rolling, number-crunching, or the like; it's still a prose-based forum RPG.

The Story

Lemuria is a seemingly endless world, a vast and unknowable planet populated by every conceivable beast, monster, creature, and ghost. The great continent of Refia, where our story takes place, is still wild in many places, vast stretches of land full of mysteries and perils. Though kingdoms have risen and fallen, heroes have ventured into the unknown, and powerful magic has been discovered, the essential enigmae of Refia remain as always. Chief among these mysteries is that of the Ancestral Race.

Legend has it that untold millennia ago, before the current races populated Refia, the Ancestral Race dominated the entire planet of Lemuria. They achieved this through a combination of arcane magic and advanced technology that the current inhabitants of the planet couldn't even begin to comprehend. They crafted airships out of living beings, grew crops on the bottom of the sea, and their knowledge went beyond the clouds and sun of our world, well into the distant stars.

Though the Ancestral Race left great ruins and ancient artifacts behind, basically nothing is known about who they were, how they lived, or why they disappeared. Old wives' tales have cropped up over the centuries, but nothing is substantiated. Even the one gift that the Ancestral Race left to the future children of Refia--the automata--offers no clues to solve this mystery.

But that doesn't mean that everyone has given up. Knowing that the Ancestral Race held the key to unimaginable power, many have searched for their lost cities and treasures to no avail. Even today, wealthy tycoons and power-hungry nobles assemble parties of adventurers in the hopes that they may find the motherlode at last, the origin of the Ancestral Race, and harness their power for absolute domination.

Of course, most adventurers simply make a wrong turn somewhere, are devoured by some beast or aberration, and are never heard from again.

But worry not! I'm sure that's not your case. You are, after all, someone who has answered the call to adventure, summoned to the lavish estate of a certain noble who believes he has found a clue to the secrets of the Ancestral Race. And you, out of curiosity or necessity, have signed up for the trip.

Premise

The story of Lost Legacy begins when the player characters are summoned to embark on a quest in order to find the secret lair of the Ancestral Race. After this, the players are free to progress through the world as they wish, interacting with others, exploring locations, and facing monsters. The party makes general decisions regarding what to do next, and I, the GM, write what happens as a result. This will be a free-flowing process with no formal structure.

If the party enters combat, things will be a little more rigid. In order to avoid Mary Sue-ing and the like, each participating character gets one turn, during which they get to perform one action. Then each of the enemies gets a turn of their own, as controlled by the GM. The player characters cannot act again until their opponents have had their turn.

A player character can die if the GM determines as much. I will obviously not kill off characters for arbitrary reasons. However, if your character decides to do something monumentally stupid, like jump off a cliff or charge into battle alone with an almighty dragon, don't expect plot armor to save them. If a player character dies they can choose to make a new character and keep playing.

For the beginning of this RPG, I'm expecting to have 5-6 players.

The structure of this game is very open-ended: you may end up discovering the secret of the Ancestral Race, or you may end up doing something completely different. This is why the story is open-ended as well. However, in order to create a character that fits into the setting of Refia, you will have to do some reading on its background and lore.

Sign-up Template

This is the format you need to fill out in order to sign up. I'm not interested in ten-page sign-ups, but rather in fleshed-out characters:

Name:
Race: See the Races section for playable races.
Age:
Gender:
Class: See the Classes section for playable classes.

Appearance: If you use an image, you will still have to write a description.

Personality:

Background: For ideas on where your character comes from, see the Major Locations section.

Abilities: This includes your special abilities, physical skills, magic spells, and anything else worth noting, including out-of-combat abilities (cooking, painting, carpentry, music, etc.). If your character is a magic user, see the Magic Disciplines section for examples of the types of spells you can cast. Because you are a novice adventurer, your abilities and/or spells should be pretty basic. They will improve over time.

Companion: Your character may optionally have a small pet or companion. Your companion must make sense with your character's race and class.

Starting Equipment: Your starting equipment should be very basic, and make sense with your character class. You will obtain new stuff as you go.

Races

Refia has six playable races. Three races are common, two are uncommon, and one is rare. I will let 3-4 players sign up as common races, 2-3 players sign up as uncommon races, and only one player sign up as a rare race. In general, and for the sake of variety, I recommend signing up as races that other players haven't already chosen.

Hybrid characters (the offspring of two different races) are not allowed.

1. Human (Common Race)

The humans of Refia look exactly like the humans of the real world. They come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Their average height is 5'7" for males and 5'5" for females. Their average lifespan is 82 years.

Humans are one of the most common races in Refia and have spread all over the world. Their societies quickly developed technology that has no comparison among the other races. They have proven to be adaptable, settling in all manner of environments, and turning trading outposts into bustling cities. Though humans are not as individually durable or gifted as some of the other races, they have found strength in numbers and cooperation.

Humans rarely live alone; they are usually found in large communities where individuals share responsibilities. They are accustomed to dealing with other races and are less likely to be prejudiced.

Humans are well-suited for any job or trade; they are capable of training their bodies or studying the use of magic. They may not necessarily excel at any of these particular tasks, but they perform them well enough.

If you play as a human, you will be competent at just about any class. Most races get along well with humans, but some beast-folk distrust them due to their lack of respect for nature.

2. Beast-folk (Common Race)

Beast-folk are anthropomorphic beings of various types. They are basically humanoids with animal traits. They are divided into hundreds of different sub-races depending on their species: there are tiger-folk, horse-folk, turtle-folk, crow-folk, fish-folk, and so on. Most beast-folk are about the same size of humans, but there are exceptions. Most have a similar lifespan to humans as well, but some, like turtle-folk, live far longer.

Beast-folk are the most populous race in Refia, counted all together. Though there is a sense of unity among them, in practice they don’t act as a single race; most sub-races live only among their own kind. However, all beast-folk are proud of their heritage and feel a sense of duty to their communities. Most beast-folk place great importance on tradition and preservation, living in close communion with nature. While some beast-folk have integrated into human communities, others distrust humans and keep them at arm’s length.

Beast-folk normally live in small groups with members of their own sub-race. Some, like wolf-folk, form nomadic tribes with strict hierarchies, while others, such as frog-folk, live in agrarian communities with no real leader. Beast-folk who migrate to larger, mixed-race settlements are sometimes ostracized by their clan.

Beast-folk are physically gifted in ways that vary depending on their sub-race: bear-folk are very strong while cat-folk are lightning-quick, and rhino-folk have impenetrable hides. They also have the talents and abilities of animals. They are capable of using magic, but prefer to learn it by meditating in nature than by poring over ancient tomes.

If you play as a beast-folk, you will have superior physical skills depending on your sub-race. You also start out with a special ability depending on your sub-race; for example, owl-folk can see in the dark, while fish-folk can breathe underwater. Beast-folk get along with the other races in general, though some sub-races have long-standing feuds.

Visual Reference: Beast-folk look similar to the anthros of the Breath of Fire and Suikoden series. (Examples here, here, here, here, and here.)

3. Pygmy (Common Race)

Pygmies have an average height of 4’1” for males, and 3’11” for females. They are generally similar to humans, but much shorter. Their large pupils take up the entirety of their eyes, while their round faces and button noses give them a childlike appearance well into adulthood. Some have the same hair colors as humans while others may have lime green, bright gold, or even pink hair. Their average lifespan is 128 years.

Pygmies are the third-most common race in Refia. They are usually artisans, laborers, or builders, and the quality of their work is recognized everywhere. They are happy to do simple work and take pride in whatever they do. They are generally easy-going and get along well with the other races, especially humans.

Pygmies mostly live in southern Refia, where their major cities are located. They have large families that often live under the same roof, and pass their craft or trade down the generations. Every pygmy family takes pride in their line of work. Pygmies are also opportunistic, which is why many have migrated to human-dominated lands. However, they have a famously hard time getting accustomed to technology, and prefer to do things the old-fashioned way.

Pygmies are surprisingly strong despite their stature: they can lift well above their weight and have ample stamina. Many spend their days plowing the fields or cutting stone. They are recognized as reliable soldiers in times of war. However, pygmies are accustomed to a tropical environment and find cold temperatures unbearable. Some decide to study magic and approach it like a craft, which they work on every day.

If you play as a pygmy, you will have similar physical and magical skills to humans. However, you will be skilled in a certain craft or trade that has been passed down multiple generations of your family. You could be a blacksmith, merchant, beast tamer, chef, carpenter, or anything else. Pygmies get along with just about everyone else, especially humans.

Visual Reference: Pygmies look similar to the Lalafell race of Final Fantasy XIV. (Examples here, here, and here.)

4. Alp (Uncommon Race)

Alps have an average height of 5’3” for males, and 5’1” for females. They look very similar to humans, but are somewhat shorter. Their eyes come in colors like purple, gold or grey, while their hair can be silver, white or dark blue. They also have pointed, elf-like ears. Alps are usually slender or skinny. Their average lifespan is 416 years.

Alps are distant cousins of humans that migrated to the northern lands of Refia untold millennia ago. Unlike humans who developed technology, they chose to focus on the study of magic, which allowed them to survive on the frozen wastes. Alps are cold and distant like their homeland; they try not to mix with the other races, as they generally consider them inferior. Most have never ventured outside their home city. Their long lives allow them to study art, philosophy, and arcane magic, and their knowledge is respected around the world.

Alps live in northern Refia, their ancestral home. They are rarely seen far from it, though some have ventured beyond for personal reasons. Alps are ruled by a philosopher-king, and live in pursuit of knowledge; their self-education never ends. Every member of their race wishes to leave their own mark on the world. However, they only care about making their own people proud, and care little about the opinions of other races.

Alps are not as physically strong as other races, but they can be quite agile. They also have a natural talent for magic, which is like second nature to them. Alps usually focus on one school of magic, and can spend literal years in libraries, studying dusty tomes.

If you play as an alp, you won't be as physically strong as humans or pygmies, but will be naturally talented at magic. Alps are respected by the other races, but not necessarily liked, and it may be hard to get close to others.

Visual Reference: Alps look similar to the Newman race of Phantasy Star Online. (Examples here, here, and here.)

5. Ogre (Uncommon Race)

Ogres have an average height of 6'00" for both males and females. They are similar to humans, but taller on average. They have uniformly dark skin and are born with geometric markings all over their bodies, which are unique for every individual. They also have horns of varying size and number. Their hair and eyes come in almost every conceivable color. Their average lifespan is 93 years.

Ogres are a historically troubled race. They originated in the eastern deserts of Refia and clashed with humans and pygmies for resources. A popular religious doctrine condemned them as descendants of demons, which resulted in decades of war. After suffering heavy losses, both sides agreed to retreat to their respective territories and live in relative peace. Ogres are a proud and small race, but even today they are often eyed with caution by others. Some humans and pygmies treat them with outright hostility, which is why ogres tend to live among their own kind. They live in small but strict societies that admire strength and beauty above all things.

Ogres live in the eastern deserts of Refia and rarely venture beyond them. They are fiercely independent and leave home at an early age. Some yearn to see the world and travel the land, taking up odd jobs or temporary work. Though they are not warmly received everywhere, ogres are tough both physically and emotionally. They are also known for being fiercely competitive and taking pride in their powerful bodies.

Ogres are the physically strongest race, and tough-skinned as well. Though they are capable of using magic, very few choose to pursue it. They are fearsome warriors and tireless workers.

If you play as an ogre, you will have superior physical strength and resilience compared to the other races, but you will not be very adept at magic. Many humans and pygmies distrust ogres, so you may be met with disdain or outright hostility.

Visual Reference: Ogres look like the Auster race of Suikoden Tierkreis. (Examples here, here, here, here, and here.)

6. Automaton (Rare Race)

Automata are androids made by ancient machinery. They have humanoid body structures, but are entirely robotic, and endowed with artificial souls. Their design and appearance is unique for each individual; some look more human-like than others. Some automata drape clothes over their bodies, while others feel no need to do so. Automata are technically immortal; as long as they keep repairing themselves and consuming energy, they can continue functioning.

Automata are an artificial race created hundreds of thousands of years ago by the Ancestral Race. They are the result of combining advanced technology and alchemy. Despite having artificial souls, they are fully-sentient beings with thoughts, feelings, and needs of their own. Due to their artificial nature, they are completely incapable of using magic.

Automata are created in the ruins of Central, the ancient machine city. The self-sustaining factory of Central operates with technology that the other races cannot hope to understand. Automata are created and thrust into the world, with no purpose or explanation. Automata themselves have no memory or record of the Ancestral Race, and no idea why they were created.

Automata have no natural family, so they tend to live alone or in tiny communities. They generally stay away from the other races out of fear, but some choose to travel the world in search of a purpose. When an automaton becomes tired of living, they wander back to Central, where they cease functions permanently. A new automaton is created to take their place.

Automata consume energy to function just like people do, and need to recharge, much like the other races sleep. However, their bodies don't have the limitations of organic lifeforms. Many customize their bodies with armor, built-in weaponry, or all manner of tools.

If you play an automaton, you will not be able to use magic, but your robotic body will give you many advantages. You may also have built-in weapons or tools in your body.

Visual Reference: Automata are androids made with ancient technology. Examples of how that might look like are this, this, and this.

Classes

Your character's class determines their general role in battle, the weapons they use, and the abilities they acquire. There are fifteen classes: eight physical classes, and seven magic classes. If you sign up as a magic class, be sure to read the Magic Disciplines section for the types of spells you can use. If you sign up as a class that someone has already taken, try to put a different spin on it in order to avoid being redundant.

I will not allow more than two players to play the same class.

1. Knight (Physical Class)

Knights are warriors with a cause. They have sworn an oath which they fight to uphold; it may be an oath to serve their ruler, to protect their people, or to avenge a fallen friend. Their commitment to their oath is the source of their strength. Particularly virtuous knights are known as paladins. By contrast, there are knights who break their oath and embark on a quest for pure power, known as fell knights.

Knights are physical fighters. They normally wear heavy armor, use a shield, and fight with a melee weapon such as a sword, axe, or mace. Knights may also have a steed as a companion in order to travel the land and help carry their wares.

Knights who follow the way of the paladin can strengthen themselves with holy magic, while followers of the way of the fell knight can come in contact with black magic.

2. Berserker (Physical Class)

Berserkers thrive on the battlefield. They live for the thrill of combat and seek to become ever-stronger. Many charge into battle wearing next to nothing, utterly unafraid of death. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all berserkers have bloodthirsty or reckless personalities. Normally they live simple lives, or roam the land in search of worthy opponents.

Berserkers are physical fighters. They normally wear little armor, or the pelts of wild beasts. They carry massive melee weapons such as greatswords, battle axes, or hammers. Berserkers can lose themselves in a battle rage, where they attack with fearsome might.

Berserkers can use rage to transcend their physical limitations and temporarily gain overwhelming destructive power.

3. Mercenary (Physical Class)

Mercenaries are drifting warriors. They travel from village to town, offering their sword arm to the highest bidder. Some mercenaries have a personal moral code, and seek to better themselves through training. Others care about nothing but money and have no problem tormenting innocents. Every mercenary has their own story and background. Some mercenaries are former soldiers, while others are glorified bandits.

Mercenaries are physical fighters. They strike a balance between offense and defense, usually wearing medium armor and/or a shield, and using melee weapons such as swords, axes, or spears. Mercenaries may also travel with a steed or beast of burden.

Masterful mercenaries can hone their weapon skills to slice boulders in half, make hyper-precise cuts, or destroy projectiles in mid-air, among other feats.

4. Monk (Physical Class)

Monks are dedicated ascetics. They train for years in the isolated monasteries of the cloud forests or the eastern mountains, practicing martial arts. Instead of using weapons or armor, they train their bodies until they surpass physical limitations. Meditation and clean living are important to their doctrine. Monks who abandon their order and become vagrants or ruffians are considered disgraceful.

Monks are physical fighters. They use no weapons or armor, preferring martial arts instead. Monks can channel and summon their life energy, or chi, to create an aura and strengthen themselves, transfer energy to heal others, or expel blasts of energy.

Monks can control chi to surpass their body’s limits, go days without food or sleep, and manifest their vital force as energy.

5. Rogue (Physical Class)

Rogues are crafty tricksters. They are masters in deception, robbery, and underhanded tactics. They may not excel in hand-to-hand combat, but if you need someone to infiltrate enemy ranks, steal a well-guarded treasure, or locate a rare artifact, rogues are the best choice. Many are petty criminals or thieves, while others are treasure hunters or adventurers. Rogues are normally independent of allegiance and only interested in loot.

Rogues are technicians. They use light armor and light weapons such as daggers or throwing knives. They have various utility skills such as picking locks, disarming traps, using sleight of hand, lying skilfully, or attacking from the shadows.

Rogues normally specialize in one of three areas: deception (disguises, information, sleight of hand); infiltration (stealth, robbery, espionage); or assassination (poisoning, trailing, stealth kills).

6. Hunter (Physical Class)

Hunters are dedicated exterminators. They normally make a living by getting rid of troublesome pests or dangerous monsters. Others specialize in more esoteric creatures, such as demons or the undead. They are hardy survivalists who know how to track beasts, hit their weak spot, and collect the bounty for themselves.

Hunters are mixed fighters. They use melee weapons such as swords and spears, but also ranged weapons such as bows and crossbows. They have various skills in areas such as survivalism, tracking, setting traps, and hunting. Some hunters may travel with a hound to help them track and locate targets.

Hunters normally focus on hunting a specific class of monster (beasts, fey, demons, etc.) and learn everything there is to know about them. (See the Monster Classes sections for more info on that.)

7. Ranger (Physical Class)

Rangers are guardians of nature. They usually make their home in the wild, living off the land. Some are employed by villages or towns to protect their natural resources from bandits, while others are dedicated to defending the environment. Rangers understand and communicate with animals, which they often keep as companions.

Rangers are long-range fighters. They use ranged weapons such as bows and crossbows. Most rangers travel with a wild animal as a companion, such as a wolf or a hawk, that can assist them in their work and provide support in battle. They have skills related to survival, acrobatics, animal handling, and sniping.

Rangers can form a supernatural bond with their animal companion that lets them act together in battle.

8. Grenadier (Physical Class)

Grenadiers are soldiers and bounty hunters. Armed with firearms, a recent invention, they can maim or kill targets from unprecedented distance. Grenadiers lie in wait for hours, hidden by camouflage until they can line up the perfect shot. They are usually employed by nobles or military leaders to get rid of traitors, deserters, and runaways.

Grenadiers are long-range fighters. They use firearms such as pistols and rifles, which have great power and range but are useless at short range, due to the need for constant reloading and maintenance. They have skills related to stealth, sniping, weapon maintenance, and tracking of targets.

Grenadiers can learn how to assemble sophisticated weapons like cannons, ballistae, and explosives.

9. Warlock (Magic Class)

Warlocks are users of elemental magic. Their magic allows them to command the elements--fire, water, air, and earth--to cast fireballs, storms, or quakes. Their magic can be fearsome and destructive. Warlocks seek to test their abilities through experience, and will often join any militia, research group, or adventuring party.

Warlocks are offensive magic users. They cast elemental spells that deal massive damage. Most warlocks focus on one of the four elements in order to develop their magic further. They cast their magic using a staff or rod. Some travel with a small familiar, like an owl or cat, which they keep as a pet.

Warlocks generally avoid melee combat, and depend on their magic instead.

10. Scholar (Magic Class)

Scholars are users of particle magic. Their magic allows them to manipulate matter and space: teleporting or duplicating objects, synthesizing materials into items, transforming, enlarging, or shrinking matter are only some of their abilities. They are seekers of knowledge who diligently study magic tomes for years to master their discipline.

Scholars are technical magic users. They cast particle magic which allows them to manipulate matter. They can perform alchemy, teleportation, telekinesis, and similar skills. Their magic results from careful study; they cast it using a tome or scroll. Some scholars travel with a fey creature, like a fairy or pixie, to provide them with counsel.

Scholars generally avoid melee combat, as they have spent most of their lives studying.

11. Cleric (Magic Class)

Clerics are users of peaceful holy magic. Their magic allows them to heal wounds, summon protective barriers, and bless allies with magical strength. Many clerics travel the world in order to spread their faith and convert others through good deeds and counsel. Their outfits and practices depend on the specific deity they worship. Others become disappointed with faith and wander the land, casting magic for profit.

Clerics are supportive magic users. They cast peaceful holy magic, which allows them to heal, defend, and support themselves or others. They cast their magic using a holy sceptre, or by playing an instrument and singing songs of praise.

Clerics may carry simple weapons for emergency situations, like a dagger or a hatchet.

12. Chaplain (Magic Class)

Chaplains are users of warlike holy magic. Instead of healing and protecting, chaplains cast rays and bolts of light. They can exorcise demons and ward off or destroy the undead. Chaplains are usually employed by the Church of the Demiurge to defend their interests or hunt down users of black magic, but there are some who have gone rogue as well.

Chaplains are mixed magic fighters. They cast warlike holy magic, which manifests as rays, bolts, and spheres of light, and is especially effective against demons and the undead. They also wield melee weapons such as a club or axe, and know how to fight.

Chaplains are trained in melee combat, and use weapons in tandem with magic.

13. Mystic (Magic Class)

Mystics are users of spirit magic. Their magic allows them to borrow the power of nature spirits, commanding plants or animals, gaining the abilities of beasts, or summoning great spirits to do their bidding. Mystics seek to achieve union with nature and are opposed to its plundering. They are often lost in meditation or wandering through forests.

Mystics are mixed magic fighters. They cast spirit magic, which allows them to command wildlife or plants. They can also gain animal abilities temporarily by channeling spirits, or summon spirits to command in battle. Their powers allow them to communicate with Eidolons and nature spirits. They also wield melee weapons such as spears and polearms, and know how to fight.

Mystics train in melee combat, and generally know how to survive in the wild.

14. Necromancer (Magic Class)

Necromancers are users of black magic. Their magic allows them to summon and converse with demons, speak with the restless souls of the dead, and even raise the undead to do their bidding. Most people denounce black magic as heretical, so necromancers must often hide. Practitioners believe that black magic is an agent of chaos, necessary to bring change.

Necromancers are technical magic users. They cast black magic, which allows them to raise the undead, summon demons, converse with spirits, and poison or corrode life. They cast their magic using a tome or scroll. Some keep a small undead pet as a companion. Black magic is a rare art forbidden in many places, so necromancers often live as outcasts from society.

Necromancers avoid melee combat, as their magic is complex and requires concentration.

15. Shifter (Magic Class)

Shifters are users of shape magic. Their magic allows them to disguise or transform their bodies, taking on the appearance of someone else, or shifting into a fearsome monster. Shape magic is an extremely rare art, and its remaining practitioners live in remote locations. Many of them live as hermits, while others choose a life of adventuring.

Shifters are technical magic users. They cast shape magic, which allows them to change their appearance and even transform into monsters that they have seen. When not transformed, they normally use light weapons to defend themselves, such as daggers or throwing knives. Shape magic is the rarest of magic disciplines, and its few remaining practitioners were usually raised among worshippers of Manus.

Shifters may carry simple weapons to defend themselves when they are not transformed, but usually avoid combat in this state.

Magic Disciplines

There are six magic disciplines in Refia: Elemental magic (used by Warlocks), Holy magic (used by Clerics and Chaplains), Particle magic (used by Scholars), Spirit magic (used by Mystics), Black magic (used by Necromancers), and Shape magic (used by Shifters). Each of these disciplines allows for the use of various different spells.

1. Elemental Magic

Elemental magic controls the four primary elements: fire, water, air, and earth. It allows the user to cast spells that use these elements for mostly destructive purposes, though it has also been used for construction and general utility.

The patron deities of elemental magic are the four Great Dragons: Agni (Fire), Ryujin (Water), Long (Air), and Canaan (Earth). These immortal beings are worshipped in eastern Refia. People pray to them for luck, rain, and bountiful harvests, among other things.

Elemental magic is used by siphoning energy from your surroundings and channeling it through a rod or staff to cast a spell.

The users of elemental magic are called warlocks. Examples of elemental magic spells include:

Launching a fireball
Summoning a giant icicle
Forming a water bubble around a target
Whipping up a small twister
Calling down a bolt of lighting
Causing a localized quake
Rolling a boulder at a target

Beginners in the use of elemental magic can only cast small or weak spells. In order to advance, most warlocks focus on mastering one of the four elements. Advanced water warlocks can freeze foes in place, while advanced air warlocks can fry enemies with electricity.

2. Holy Magic

Holy magic has two aspects: the peaceful aspect and the warlike aspect. It allows the user to call upon light-elemental energy to heal, protect, or punish. Peaceful holy magic is used to restore and support, while warlike holy magic is used to banish and destroy.

The patron deity of holy magic is the Demiurge, the masculine artisan-god who built and maintains the world. The Church of the Demiurge is widespread and powerful, especially among humans and pygmies, and in the past was instrumental in the persecution of the ogre race.

Peaceful holy magic is used by reciting a prayer or singing songs of praise, while warlike holy magic is used by reciting commandments or requesting the favor of a god.

The users of peaceful holy magic are called clerics, while the users of warlike holy magic are called chaplains.

Examples of peaceful holy magic spells include:

Regenerating a flesh wound
Curing poison or disease
Creating a magical barrier
Blessing an ally’s weapon or armor
Creating a ward to detect evil
Creating a guiding light of holy flame
Blessing and purifying water

Beginners in the use of peaceful holy magic can only cure flesh wounds, but masters have been known to bring people back from the dead.

Examples of warlike holy magic include:

Firing a ray or bolt of searing light
Enchanting a weapon with light magic
Reciting a prayer to exorcise a demon
Reciting a chant to destroy the undead
Summoning holy white fire
Summoning an arrow that finds heretics
Creating a weapon of pure light energy

Beginners in the use of warlike holy magic cannot yet face demons or the undead; those are reserved for experienced warriors.

3. Particle Magic

Particle magic controls, shapes, and manipulates matter. It allows the user to cast spells that can warp time and space, defying the laws of physics.

The patron deity of particle magic is Sophia, the feminine philosopher-goddess whose words and thoughts bring the world into being. She is primarily worshipped by the alp race, who pursue knowledge above all.

Particle magic is cast by reciting spells from books or scrolls. Learning to recite them correctly and control their power takes years of study.

The users of particle magic are called scholars. Examples of particle magic spells include:

Shrinking or enlarging an object
Synthesizing materials into a new item
Teleporting
Controlling objects through telekinesis
Passing through walls
Levitating
Dispelling illusions

Particle magic is complicated and beginners often fail in their attempts to use it; usually they focus on one aspect in order to master it.

4. Spirit Magic

Spirit magic controls nature and nature spirits. It allows users to borrow the powers and spirits of the natural world by channeling them.

The patron deities of spirit magic are the Eidolons, thousands of nature spirits that exist all over the world. Lesser Eidolons protect meadows, creeks, or trees, while greater Eidolons protect mountains, rivers, and forests. They are worshipped primarily by beast-folk, who offer them tribute in reverence for nature.

Spirit magic is cast by opening one’s mind to nature and becoming a conduit for its spirits.

The users of spirit magic are called mystics. Examples of spirit magic spells include:

Communicating with wild animals
Commanding and controlling plants
Borrowing an eagle’s sight or a bear’s strength
Calling for rain or mist
Blending perfectly into foliage or snow
Summoning and commanding lesser Eidolons
Forming a summoning pact with a greater Eidolon

Users of spirit magic must protect nature in order to retain its favor. While lesser Eidolons can be easily called, a user of spirit magic must make a pact with a greater Eidolon in order to summon it.

5. Black Magic

Black magic allows users to call upon dark-elemental energy to warp and corrode life. It has historically been considered a heretical art for its ties to demons and the undead.

The patron deity of black magic is Ahriman, the chaos-god who rules over demons in the Netherworld. Ahriman was traditionally worshipped by ogres, but many abandoned this faith centuries ago. Many consider him a heretical god, while his few followers believe that chaos is necessary for change to come about.

Black magic is cast by chanting spells or performing a complex ritual.

The users of black magic are called necromancers. Examples of black magic spells include:

Communicating with restless souls
Summoning and interrogating a demon
Raising and commanding the undead
Corroding or poisoning living things
Casting curses or hexes
Expelling corrosive acid
Enchanting a weapon with dark magic

Black magic takes a long time to master and must usually be practiced in secrecy. The most fearsome users can command entire armies of undead.

6. Shape Magic

Shape magic allows users to change their own shape and size. By acquiring the shape of another, they temporarily gain their traits and abilities as well. This is the rarest magic discipline.

The patron deity of shape magic is Manus, a curious trickster-god who was worshipped by remote tribes in the jungles and forests of Refia. Today, the cult of Manus, much like shape magic, has become very rare.

Shape magic is cast intuitively, with no need for chanting or rituals.

The users of shape magic are called shifters. Examples of shape magic spells include:

Taking on someone else’s appearance
Transforming into a monster
Communicating with monsters of the same species
Using the abilities of transformed monsters
Retaining a transformation temporarily
Domesticating small, weak monsters
Transforming only a part of their body

Users of shape magic can only transform into people or monsters that they have seen. A novice’s transformation might be imperfect. Masters can transform into powerful monsters and retain their shape for a long time.

Monster Classes

The land of Refia is full of fearsome and strange creatures. The more dangerous among them are called monsters, and divided into various classes:

1. Beast

Beasts are part of the natural ecology of Refia, such as giant boars, manticores, and unicorns. They are similar to wild animals or insects, but may have magical properties or greater intelligence. Beasts are usually not hostile unless they feel threatened or their territory is invaded.

2. Plantoid

Plantoids are biologically similar to plants or fungi, such as alraunes, man-eating trees, and giant Venus flytraps. Many are harmless, but others are carnivorous and actively hunt prey. Some are human-like in their intelligence and capacity for speech.

3. Humanoid

Humanoids are monsters with human-like shape and levels of intelligence, such as giants, trolls, and naga. These are usually capable of speech and live in their own communities with rules and traditions. However, they tend to be savagely hostile to intruders.

4. Spectre

Spectres are ethereal monsters born from curses and black magic, such as banshees, phantoms, and shadow-stalkers. They usually roam the land with a single, malicious purpose. Some have corporeal forms, while others are intangible.

5. Dragon

Dragons are reptilian monsters. Rare, ancient dragons are known as True Dragons, but there are many “lesser” species, such as drakes, wyrms, and wyverns. Most of them are aggressive, but others have been domesticated by Refians.

6. Fey

Fey are magical creatures of nature, such as fairies, pixies, and gnomes. They usually have human-like intelligence and live in remote communities, wanting nothing to do with the outside world. Some are playful tricksters, while others are openly hostile.

7. Undead

The undead are corpses reanimated by black magic, such as zombies, skeletons, and ghouls. They have no will of their own, and are commanded by whoever created them. They are almost universally hostile, usually created for violent means.

8. Demon

Demons are extra-dimensional monsters from the Netherworld, such as imps, beholders, and black hounds. Their exact nature and purpose is unclear, but they are always hostile, and often intelligent. Some lesser demons have been captured by magic users.

9. Primordial

Primordials are ascended, often immortal beings, such as demi-gods, the Great Dragons, and the greater Eidolons. They usually do not intervene in mortal affairs, but can be fearsome if provoked. Most Primordials are incredibly ancient, intelligent, and powerful.

10. Construct

Constructs are artificial beings created by technology or magic, such as golems, mimics, and homunculi. They normally have no will of their own and follow the “programming” of their creator. Automata are technically constructs as well, but aren’t considered monsters.

Major Locations

This is a list of major cities and towns in Refia. Your character may originate from one of these places. There are, of course, thousands of other towns, villages, hamlets, and outposts that aren't named here.

1. Arhelm, City of Man

The largest city in Refia is located on the central grasslands. It is mostly populated by humans, but there are large beast-folk and pygmy populations as well. Arhelm is the place where every trader and peddler comes to do business, and where just about anything can be found. The city is divided into three tiers: the maze-like slums, the urban artisan quarters, and the closed-off houses of nobility.

2. Moorland, Town by the Sea

The peaceful Moorland is located just a few hours away from Arhelm, on the placid coast. It's a small town with picturesque buildings and an easy-going population. It is known for beautiful sunsets and beaches. The population is evenly split between humans and agreeable beast-folk. People normally come here to rest or to collect themselves after a long journey.

3. Baraka, City of Beasts

Baraka is the ancestral city of the beast-folk, but now lies in ruins. When the Beast-King ruled over all beast-folk, his great stone palace was located here. After the fall of the monarchy, the various beast-folk sub-races separated into communities of their own. The ruins of Baraka are still splendid, and the place is still populated by merchants, monks, and scholars, among others.

4. Kamorra, City in the Mountain

The beast-folk settlement of Kamorra was directly carved into the face of a cliff near the southern forests of Refia. Stone buildings and structures were carved by powerful beast-folk over hundreds of years. Now it stands as a symbol of days gone by. However, the city is still populated and economically supported by mining.

5. Ghiza, City in the Dunes

Ghiza is the largest ogre settlement, a beautiful mirage in the middle of the desert, built around an oasis. The gleaming marble buildings and gigantic statues carved from single blocks of stone are a sight to behold. The city's architecture reflects the ogre race's appreciation of aesthetic beauty. However, reaching it requires days of harsh travel across the desert.

6. Ixion, City of Ice

Ixion is the ancestral city of the alp race. By using magic they made beautiful spires and massive watchtowers out of ice and stone. The entire, walled-off city looks like a fairy tale castle inside a snowglobe. However, reaching it requires days of hard travel, and alps are known to turn almost everyone away. The libraries of Ixion are crammed with precious magical texts.

7. Omori, City of Flowers

Omori is the largest pygmy city, located on the warm southern coast of Refia. Its sprawling architecture is built around the pygmies' family-sized artisan clans. The agreeable climate and crystalline sea make it a relaxing destination. It is also the place where one can find some of the finest craftsmanship on the continent, courtesy of the pygmy race.

8. Central, Ruin-City of Machines

Central is where automata are born. The ruin-city of the Ancestral Race is littered with the bodies of automata who returned there to end their lives. At its center is the Factory, a solid obsidian cube, six stories tall, where new automata are created through an inscrutable process. Central has been periodically investigated by other races, but nothing of value has ever been found.

9. Setna, City in the Clouds

The soaring city of Setna is built upon a great stone spire that rises above the cloud forests of eastern Refia. This remote city is populated by scholars, monks, and others who wish to learn in solitude. Nearby are various monasteries located on similar stone spires where monks train tirelessly. Setna is a quiet and faraway place that isn't easy to reach.

10. Pampa, Town in the Swamp

The sprawling Pampa was established upon the south-western marshlands of Refia. It consists of rickety wooden buildings, and rope bridges instead of streets, extending over the endless swamps. Due to its location, there is a constant, powerful stench all over the town, which is only tolerated by amphibian and reptilian beast-folk, and a small population of hardy humans.

11. Boranapur, Prison-City

Boranapur is an island off the western coast of Refia where the largest prison in the continent was built. Dangerous criminals from all over the world are sent there to serve long sentences. The only people who live there are prisoners and wardens; its location makes it nigh-impossible to escape from. The prison is so large that it has become its own kind of community.

12. Pualla, City under the Sea

The underwater city of Pualla is populated by fish-folk and other beast-folk accustomed to living underwater. It lies a couple miles off the southern coast of Refia. Its beautiful coral buildings are one-of-a-kind, but impossible to witness unless you're capable of breathing underwater. Merchants regularly make the trip to the surface in order to peddle their wares.

13. Comja, Lost City

Comja was a once-prosperous city where all races converged in order to trade goods, knowledge, and information, but the great wars of the past centuries ended in its destruction. Now it lies in ruins near the western Refian jungles. Comja was also the center of worship for Manus, and for the practice of shape magic, both of which are now considered rare.

14. Rangun, Ashen City

Rangun lies on the foot of a great, semi-active volcano, for which it is constantly covered under a cloud of soot that blocks out the sun. This is the city where young ogres are sent to train under the masters until they return home, ready to take upon adult responsibilities. It is a harsh and remote place, fiercely protected by ogre guardians.

15. Kobaia, Moving Legendary City

The legendary city of Kobaia was supposedly built on the back of a massive sea turtle that lazily travels along the world's oceans. Thus, nobody knows its exact location, as it is constantly changing. Kobaia is the place where many fairy tales and ancient myths take place, and thus most people don't actually believe that it exists.

Alright, that's about it. I know it's a lot to take in, so feel free to take your time!
 
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