Saturday, 30 December 2017

The Mana Inequity Principle

Just finished up a little extra bit for the setting on the philosophies and such floating around BREAK!!'s setting, and I thought this part would be fun to share: basically it's an in-game explanation between the discrepancy in abilities between "normal" folk and the main players in a campaign.

The Mana Inequity Principle
A stark truth of Outer World is that certain individuals can do things that others just can’t. Seasoned casters will spend their whole life studying at Magia’s university to master a few spells, while some cocky hedgewizard will have just as many under their belt with a fraction of the practice. Veterans of multiple wars will watch in awe as a youthful waif leaps along rooftops and displays master level swordplay to topple a flying beast, and so forth.

Both light and dark mana flow through all things, but it lingers longer and empowers certain individuals more than others. This leads to heightened physical ability, rapid personal growth and supernatural talent with magic and other skills. While these facts are easy to see, a question remains: why does this imbalance exist?

Early assumptions were attributed it to spiritual enlightenment or being chosen by fate, but ancient studies and modern observation have proven that mana attunement is not connected by these factors. In fact, there seems to be little or no consistency between those gifted few. Mana is as alive as any of us, after all, and is just as subject to whim and capriciousness as the folk are.

  • Arcane Progressivism
    • There is much debate as to exactly what a mana attuned individual should be doing. The most popular answer is “Whatever they like”, but in a close second is the primary edict of Arcane Progressivism, a philosophy created by prominent Akenian philosopher Dizah Gren.
    • It proclaims that all magic, including that which is under the power of an individual, should be used for the betterment of all folk. While there are numerous interpretations of the limits and responsibilities entwined with this line of thinking, its intent has inspired many a great hero (and more than a few villains!)

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Scripts of Outer World

Been messing with fantasy scripts so I can pepper the book's locations and artifacts with internally consistent(ish) runes, glyphs and text.


High Akenian: This language of a Ruined Empire is now only used for deciphering ancient tomes and runes. It’s flowery prose is beloved by linguists.

Design notes: Pentagonal construction, calligraphic, assembled into magical mandalas.

Bright Speech (left): The chosen tongue of the Devas and servants of the Light. A powerful, bombastic language that makes every sentence a decree.

Design notes: All capitals, Roman-Greco influence. 

Dark Tongue (right): Spoken by the Asura, the dead and the curious. It’s seductive whispering makes even the most horrible suggestions sound tempting.

Design notes: Snaking line with only typographic descenders.  

Biosorcerous formulae (left): Used for recording magical molecular structures by Calian flesh manipulators.

Design notes: Based on structural formula, needs a touch of shahmukhi!

Dream Call (right): Perhaps the first language, perhaps not. Haunting and poetic it’s used exclusively by the strange and Unshaped.

Design notes: Organic cloud like shapes that are sometimes abstract sometimes figurative.

Hoshi-Ban: This odd, speedy chatter was brought to Outer World by the Rai-Neko, from a Place Beyond the Sky.

Design notes: Quick to speak and write, evolved from this cat-like species early tree markings, cuneiform-ish. 

Fade Song: This melodious tongue  is famous for its onerous syntax which transforms the simplest sentence into a wondrous tale.

Design notes: Musical waves, written in continuous lines or 'ribbons'.  

Gleysian Code: The fallen Technocracy of Gley used an efficient, functional language. It’s used today to decode Techo-Relic instruction manuals.

Design notes: Runes based on nine point grid, dots added for circuit board vibes, vertical and horizontal construction lines. Diagonal variant.

Under Warble: Under Warble is constantly evolving tongue with many dialects spoken in the Buried Kingdoms.

Design notes: Geologically inspired symbols. Dwarves (left) use more strict geometric forms, Goblins (right) use looser more spikey shapes.

Creator’s Script: This written language of odd glyphs is found only in documents left behind by The Creator. An ancient enchantment prevents it from being spoken aloud.

Design notes: Technical, machine readable script. Uses colour in syntax. 


Design notes: May or may not find a use for these...