I have been working in the background on a setting that is growing out of my older posts for a fantasy setting, but adding some new ideas and tweaks to the system. Essentially, it is a world being torn apart by a battle between the civilized world and the raw power of nature. Each is vying for control but neither is winning. The base of the system will be first edition Pathfinder, but using the SRD and taking everything needed, customizing some parts, stripping out others, and in the end being a complete and comprehensive guide to playing in this world.
The core of the setting is the battle between untamed life and controlling it. The heroes can be on either side of the battle, though having players on both sides would be difficult.
Years ago, the essence of life, a being without a name (or at least, unnamed for now), was locked away and held in a prison. Life still existed and grew, but it was more controlled, directed and manipulated. Civilization expanded as well as technology. I have not yet decided the level of technology yet, but it was also infused with magic. Most of it was termed magitech, devices powered by Arcanum, but useable by anyone. Batteries that power other devices hold elementals locked in a small magic jail cell. Depending on the type of elemental, the device can do different effects. Cold, Fire, Electric, Acid can all be fired from the same “gun” depending on the power cell inserted.
Other devices can be used as well. Vehicles that can travel through air or water, tunnel through rock and dirt, or rocket straight with an explosion of fire. Protection items could have a resistance to any of the elements. Subtler devices could make screens of wind, change the environment, or any number of other things.
These magitech devices are still out there, though the science to build them has been lost or destroyed by the agents of Nature. Magitech alone will be a complete chapter or even a whole book all to itself.
Beyond that, the agents of Nature have been corrupted by the chaotic force of life as it spreads and dominates like a cancer. The first being to discover the prison of Nature was touched by its alien and inhuman mind and became its pawn. It spread the knowledge of its existence, long kept secret by the Gods, and built the foundations for its return.
When it did break loose, there was a war. Soldiers of the gods came forth to fight back the hordes of beasts and mutated creatures. The gnomes, being the foot soldiers of Nature, were deformed into the monstrosities now present. They were tainted and warped, becoming more than gnomes, but less than intelligent, civilized creatures.
The final battle was waged between armies, envoys, and gods. In the end, Nature won. The Gods were destroyed and their deaths caused their essence and portfolios to spread across the globe. Those closest were infused with great power, some of them becoming the new gods of the world. Others were touched but not granted full deific power.
With the spread of this power, what could be called planetouched in other worlds have instead a bit of deific power in them. The gods of the elements created the various elemental beings of each race. The gods of life and death created beings infused with life and power, or a state of near-undeath. There are other touched beings as well, such a saurian, scaled and reptilian taint, an avian branch, and a water-breathing fish caste.
On the Nature side, the being that is the force of pure life, taking over everything, has distorted and mutated the gnomes to be beasts. Gnome-bats and Gnome-bears, who knows what else. Maybe a Gnome-spider-centaur-thing.
And now, war wages between the hordes of Gnome-things and cancerous Nature-beasts, and the forces of civilization. There are monasteries of the mind and body, creating a Jedi-like order of psionic monks. There are paladins of the new gods, some higher ups infused with the power of the old gods to wield strange and dangerous powers.
With druids, there is a schism. On one side are the agents of the raw force of Nature, dark and twisted and using force and chaos to destroy and semblance of development. On the other side are those who wish to see harmony between the civilized world and nature. They wish to allow both intelligent people and animals to exist together.
The other classes will need some work. I still have my idea of elemental sorcerers who develop madness. The sorcerers are beings infused with the raw power of the old elemental gods and cannot control the influx of power surging through them. It creature microfissures in their brain, causing them to develop mental illnesses to the point of becoming psychopaths or sociopaths.
Wizards are largely unchanged and still require years of learning and study to be able to harness the Arcanum to cast spells.
Other classes may be either wholly unchanged, or use specific and limited archetypes as their base. I have to go through all of them to figure out which ones work best and go from there.
From here on out, I’ll be tackling one issue at a time. Not sure which I’ll start with, but I have to keep focused on one idea and work through it to completion.