Crystal Punk?

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The Dread Polack
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Crystal Punk?

I've been playing with an idea for a setting for quite a while (decades, I guess...). It has been a combination of space opera and fantasy that was partly inspired by Spelljammer, but mostly fit into actual reality. No crystal spheres, etc. It would involve a system of "technology" that was based on magic. If you can imagine a society much like a typical RPG-style fantasy setting where people realized it was actually easier to develop magic-based devices than using chemistry and physics. Eventually, a major turning point would come when the figured out how to put magic into the hands of mundane people without any innate ability to manipulate it through will (i.e. magicians, wizards, sorcerers, etc.). This would lead to the point in where space travel and many other sci-fi tropes would be part of the setting, but look fairly different from Star Trek or Star Wars.

Anyway, I'm under no illusions that it's an entirely orginal idea, but I think it's unique enough that I'm going to take a stab at writing it up for Savage Worlds. I'll post links to it here for anyone interested.

The reason I bring it up here is that I'm catching some similarities in what SPF has mentioned in regards to the background to Starfall and the Builders, etc. While I don't plan on making it fit exactly into the Shaintar realm, I think you could stick it there without too much trouble. It'll be interesting to see how closely it fits with what SPF has in mind that he hasn't shared yet. :)

Steven C
Steven C's picture


I'd be interested in the idea. You could use Portals for teleportation also that Star Gate, Earth Final Conflict and others used as well. I'd be also curious to see how you want to handle non magic technology, if it exists or if something in the setting stops certain advances from working.

Reading the Legends Unleashed I actually thought of running a campaign set in another world in the Shaintar oversetting where unlike Shaintar and Starfall the world was most left on its own in a post apocalypse world:

“My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember the Wandering Warrior. The man we called “Max”.

To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time. When the verse was powered by the amber rock. And the desert sprouted great cities of fire and steel. Gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes, one of the Stars and the other of the Night, went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without the spire, they were nothing. They built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders fought and fought until it all shattered. But nothing could stem the avalanche. The verse crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Builder began to feed on builder.

On the roads it was a white-line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a cargo of the rock. And in this maelstrom of decay, ordinary men were battered and smashed. Men like Max. The warrior Max. In the roar of arcfire, he lost everything. And became a shell of a man, a burnt out, desolate man, a man haunted by the demons of his past, a man who wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here, in this blighted place, that he learned to live again...”

The Dread Polack
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One of my thoughts was to have several different methods of FTL travel. Something akin to "hyperspace" which might be explained more magically, like Astraldrives; teleportation "jumpdrives"; "stargate" portals, etc.

Having scanned through the SF Companion, I would like as much of it to conform to that as possible, for ease of learning, but differences in individual methods would be noted.

Any mundane technology beyond the early industrial period would be uncommon. My initial thought was not that it wouldn't work, but that magic usually provided a better solution. SPF mentioned that the reason gunpowder didn't work in Shaintar wasn't because of any change in physical reality, but because of a specific cause unique to that place, so my ideas wouldn't be incompatible.

It's verging on philosophy, but it also occurs to me that if magic is real and understandable, then in a way, it really isn't "supernatural" any more, and it's really just another aspect of nature that can be studied through science. That's something that I'd have to address in the fluff. The trick is to make it still feel something like magic, instead of just advanced tech.

And, one other major theme was that the gods stopped talking to the people of this universe generations ago. Some of the younger races are beginning to doubt they ever did, but the longer-lived ones remember a time when they did. Some "cleric" types seem to still have powers, and there are different ideas about why. The idea was to create a dark and interesting theme to be explored in the setting.

If I wanted it to be more compatible with Shaintar, I'd probably include an appendix with notes on how to tweak things to make it a better fit.