Description: It was once a world much like our own. It was thriving, the three great continents dominated by great kingdoms and oligarchies. The glory days of the ancient Isllar Empire had faded, but the nations left in its wake were growing. It seemed like every day new progress was made in the new science, the magic of technology and mechanics. The ancient magic of the Recitors, the great mage-scholars that helped the Isllar Empire rule the world, was considered passe, out of date.
But then came Ripping. Some blame the gods, some blame the Recitors. Most are just trying to stay alive. After 68 days and nights of terrible earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, windstorms of unspeakable fury, and magic raging everywhere, the three continents were left ravaged. The new land is very different. Violent and dangerous creatures, horribly malformed, stalk the planet. Fertile plains and inlands seas are maelstroms of volcanic activity. How can humanity survive in this?
It seems the Recitors weren't so passe after all...
(Written or Played from the position of a small group, including several Recitors of varying abilities and levels, who are searching for the cause of the Ripping.)
Society knitted together by hierarchical social obligations. Ex: Middle ages Europe, pre-European Japan. "I am a serf of Lord Feigen"
The society has just gone through a sudden destructive shock. Ex: The Great Depression, Russia after Cold War
Society has achieved only minimal control over the physical environment, and it poses a significant threat in day-to-day life.
Mass production, steam power, telegraph, railroad, zeppelin, ironclad warships, dynamite, repeating handgun, direct current electricity, germ theory of disease, anesthetics, vaccines
Industrial Revolution (TL 5)
Permanent alternation of the human body is important; this can mean cybernetics, biological upgrades, chemical enhancement, etc.
Exotic locations, foreign peoples, strange creatures, unknown histories
Imperfect characters in an imperfect world
Magic based on an organized model of universal principals. Specific magical effects are instances of interactions between these principals. Mage and Ars Magica are good examples of this.
Magic dependent upon particular knowledge of an enormous number of topics, which may themselves be infinitely divisible. Practitioners will tend to specialize, and there are few universal principles. FUDGE uses this type of system.
Along with: Scholarly
Magic with highly variable outcomes based on the practitioner's success. The Spellsinger series of books and GURPS Rhyming magic both fit this model.
Magical energies and procedures may be used to permanently enhance the power of the practitioner. AD&D's Dark Sun setting includes this concept.
Spice: Personal Empowerment
Creation of potions and other single-use magic items.