This is what I have been working on to keep my brain flowing. It is not finished by a long shot, so here it is warts and all.
Q: What are the players going to do?
Adventurers for hire, either as an independent, for the city, a private patron, or for the adventurers guild.
Q: What races can the players be?
Kitsune-shape changers, anthropomorphic foxes
Oni- Ogres, horns and fangs, very large.(variety of skin/hair colors)
Elves- Elemental spirit people-
Ice Elves (Blue hair-eyes-fingernails-lips, Albino skin),
Fire Elves (red hair-eyes-fingernails-lips, golden skin)
Marionette-magical constructs built for war or pleasure
Q: What Occupations can the players pursue?
Q: What is Money?
All children raised in a city attend primary education; in rural areas it is much less common.
Q: How does magic work?
There are two types of magic. One uses ancient symbols to unlock the powers of the universe. (External) The other uses the person’s will to affect change in (internal).
External is Runic magic. It takes longer to use but its changes are permanent until removed by the caster or a more powerful Rune mage.
Internal is Chi magic. It is Quick to use but its effects are temporary. Chi mage
Q: how are mages trained?
The Great Uprisings have just ended after a little more then a century with the coronation of a new Emperor. During this period all of the countries resources were put into warfare mode, so now that it has ended there are a lot of well-trained soldiers looking for employment. Outside of cities the wildernesses are full of brigands, rebel bands, and magically created abominations.
At first it was unheard of for there to be female soldiers but towards the end of the war the various state began enlisting women to fight.
During this period those who excelled at the art of swordsmanship were given a special runic tattoo on their left shoulder. This was done so others could see these special warriors for the professionals they are. The rune let everyone who read them know the swordsman’s name, what they had done, who had trained them ETC. It was a mark of honor that allowed the bearer to pass without incident while armed.
Now that the war has ended these professionals are seen as a potential threat to the newly established order and peace. So the tattoo now serves as a warning to others and would mean imprisonment if caught holding a sword. In general those so marked, having nothing left, have become heroes of the people. Protecting villages against the ravages of bandits and monsters in exchange for food and a place to shelter. Some settle down and become the protector of one village while others roam from battle to battle seeking an end to the life of the hunted.
Other soldiers have the similar problems, The war left a whole generation of people who were skilled at nothing but the art of war. Archers, gunners, foot soldiers, Horsemen, even the occasional magical construct were left with nothing to do. Turning to banditry to feed themselves.
During the war great advances in the magical sciences were made. What madness ceased the minds of some of these inventors is a mytery but Vapour was pushed beyond the limits. This included the attempted creation of an army of disposable warrior to bolster the ranks of all fighting parties. These warriors were called marionettes, and were fashioned to look like horrifically sculptured armor festooned with spikes and demonic face plates. What no one could forsee was that the Vapour that animated them would give them sentience.
This technology was also employed in the civilian sector to keep the populice happy. Resulting in Marionettes that looked and felt more human, mostly female in appearance with the occasional male model. They were used in the pleasure giving industry.
With the outlawing of prostitution and the coming of peace a call was made for the destruction of all marionettes. Many of this young race were destroyed by their creators while the others fled or hid among the populice craving human contact. The senior officials in the new empire rightly fear a marionette uprising..
The other way out is to be liscensed and employed by a Patron or the government
Only sanctioned people may possess a weapon larger then a utility knife within urban areas.
Vapour is a steam produced by magically heated crystal rods being submerged in water. Vapour is lighter then air, has a faint magical aura, and is a sickly greenish yellow. If it is contained it exhibits almost sentient qualities until it eventually condenses back down into a light green liquid. If left alone it slowly dissipates into the air. The green water produces either wondrous or horrific results if used on living things.
Vapour and airship use: A craft can be lifted using Vapour but as the steam condenses inside the air bag it must be siphoned off into a special holding area. Eventually the weight of the cooled Vapour displaces with the weight of the water and must be drained in order to sustain flight. Fortunately it takes a little over twenty-four hours for the cooling to begin making it usable. Reheating the cooled Vapour results in a black steam, which is highly acidic to human flesh, never cools, and constantly moans. In one notable case a Captain, in desperation to return, ordered his fleet to reheat their ballasts. By the time they returned to the port city, the black steam had adhered to the ships. The fleet then attacked their homeport enslaving its populace and leaving only smoldering ruins behind. The fleet then dispersed and occasionally these ghost ships are claimed to be sighted to this day.
Vapour and ground vehicles: Vapour is used to power trains either above ground or in tunnels. Also it has been applied to personal carriages although widespread use of these is impractical owing to the constant need to reload water. In both cases the Vapour is simply dispersed into the air.
Vapour and watercraft: Sea Captains are rigid traditionalists most of whom would rather be dead then caught even boarding a Vapour powered ship.
Vapour-Locke pistols and rifles work by firing a small iron ball using pressurized canisters housed in the handles. Pulling the trigger opens the canister valve
Vapour forged weapons- Weapons that have been cooled in contained Vapour. As the Vapour condenses it adheres to the item eventually bonding with it. This gives the item seemingly random magic abilities, and is an unsettling process to witness as the Vapour emits cold and hollow moans. Two things prevent everyone from owning one, 1) the unpredictability of the magical properties and 2) the cost to convince a weapon smith to make one. This process produces weapons of legendary power.
Crystal rods are mined from the earth and have no properties other then producing heat. These are used to heat homes and cook food.
So that’s it for the moment. If you have anything to add leave a comment, and as always…Thanks for reading!