Posted on Thu Sep 10 2015 -- inept-sorcerers
I'm designing a few "campaign frames" for Inept Sorcerers, which provide the game with a more concrete tone and setting.
Down at the tavern, the old gaffers still talk about the Age of Magic. The days when flying castles and mystic barriers around cities were the signs of civilization. When springs of eternal youth and fountains of gold dotted the landscape. When heroes wielding talking swords thwarted ancient dragons. Then the bartender thumps the bar and tells them to pay their bill, and the gaffers resume drinking in silence.
Outside, a creaky wooden wagon hauls recently excavated dragon ribs to the smithy, where they'll be put to some practical use. A hunk of imperishable metal, once part of a mysterious device used by the ancients, props up a shaft in the nearby mine, where the strong men of the village do real work.
Last week, the village sorceress managed to light every candle in a room with a single spell. When you ask her about the old stories, she tells you the same thing she always does: once there was magic everywhere, and then it went away.
It seems like there's no power left in the world. Nobody else seems to know what happened to it. Your teacher has hope, though, and that's why she's training you and your friends: maybe you can find out. Maybe you can even get it back.
Key Themes: lost wonder; discovering one's dreams; finding your purpose.
"Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth." What is that truth? That fairies are real.
In London, circa 1905 A.D., the Institute of Psychic Research at 33 Belgrave Square has been conducting experiments to tap into the hidden magic of the Fair Folk that lies sleeping in every human soul. Across the Empire, reports are coming in of formerly mythical creatures, and sometimes of mysterious men and women wielding mystic dominion over them. Unlocking this power may soon prove vital indeed.
Unravel the mysteries of magic as an eldritch scholar, or deal with threats more directly using the amazing martial skills of Bartitsu. Awaken a fairy soul inside you and draw out its strength, but be careful. Some fear that if this power is let loose, the world will end. And others believe a new world is just being born.
Key Themes: dominion and power; social relationships; the cost of freedom.
You're a member of the Magic Club at your local high school. It's better than just going home, and now you have friends right? Too bad they're so weird.
The club president found an old book somewhere — in a cave, an attic of an old building, buried up in the mountains — and started deciphering it. It contains spells — real, actual magic. And you've all started to learn it.
What the book doesn't tell you is why to use magic. Is it okay to use magic for personal gain? Can you help the football team? Can you make your attractive classmate in Chemistry fall in love with you? And should you try, since every spell you try to cast does something unexpected?
Key Themes: innocence and maturity; teenage drama; the intersection of magic and the mundane.