(Posted 11:49 PM PST, 2012/11/11)
I don’t really want to call magic items in this setting “technology,” as that word tends to be associated with science, which is playing a limited part in my setting. The technological devices on the StarSea setting are magical in nature. So communicators, whether small badges or flip phones or little black tubes are all sending stones (per D&D 3.x and 4e), etc.
Some of the things I want to do are to include speeder bike-style vehicles with yokes stylized to look like animal heads, like horses or griffins. These are called “steeds” and might include a limited AI that allows it to avoid obstacles, and that it levitates, it can avoid difficult terrain. Similarly, there will be hovering small unit transports called “chariots,” and heavier “war wagons” that travel on the ground and carry heavy weaponry. Some wagons carry arbalests which fire energy called “titan bows.” Titans are larger than man-sized armored walkers how which the arbalests were designed. These walkers aren’t the huge machines typical of anime, but smaller, only being about the size of a D&D ogre.
A variety of space ships and stations will exist. The Arcanists will have Tower-class ships, as well as Collegium-class bases. The Clerists will have Shrine-class explorer vessels and Temple-class ports. I’m thinking the Psionics will have Monastery-class bases, but I’m not sure what I’ll call their ships. Of course, there will be a variety of ships of different sizes for each faction.
Space suits won’t see much play. I don’t want to have to force players to have yet another item on their equipment list, and worse, I don’t want to have to deal with the effects of suits on spell casting or requiring extra feats or other such quibbles. This is a fantasy space, after all.
Really in some ways, I want to embrace one of the 4e ideas: It’s that character’s abilities and powers that make him special. The players choices are more important. If I go with 4e, I might use the inherent bonus system for Martial power source characters who don’t have special weapons, or I might come up with a collection of special weapons for them. I know the 1,001 minor variations on magic items are annoying to have to dig through in 4e to find treasure to provide players in my current game. And while the tech is there defining the setting as fantastic and not Earth, I don’t want it to get in the way of telling stories.
Tomorrow, well, I don’t know what I’ll talk about. Maybe the Powers That Be…