Atael: Take 2

What is the game about?

This is a high adventure swash-buckling game. If your cultured, think Dumas, if you’re a phillistine, think the Pheonix Guards. The world is an exciting place to be, despite the fact that it’s been destroyed.
Nine hundred years ago, the world was shattered in a terrifying catastrophe, and for the two hundred years there after, many peoples goals were to recreate that situation for their personal gain. But after a world wide war, an empire of various levels of tyranny things are getting better. Sure, some places a monsterous fog sweeps in destroys towns but this is why you use airships.

A brief cosmology:

There are eight basic elements: Water, Earth, Air, Fire, Light, Shadow, Order In Chaos (plants think a coral reef), and Chaos in Order (The moon, think fractals). All of these elements roil about in chaotic soup. In this chaos, the world was shaped by channelling the correct amounts of each element and lifted out of the chaos. For whatever reason, this also caused the Fey realm and the Shadow realm to come into existence
Then, life happened, civilizations florished and people used magic. Using magic they found other civilizations. Eventually a witch figured out a way to become really powerful, and opinion was split between those who wanted to join her, those who wanted to take her place, and those who wished she’d stop doing what she was doing.
Shortly there after the world exploded.
In the following years there was lots of magic, and a lot of warlords. Eventually some mages figured out how to replicate the witch’s power. Then a lot of powerful creatures moved to stop them. In time the mages were defeated, but the force that finally crushed them coalesced into an empire that Wasn’t Great. In due time, about 500 years, the empire collapsed on itself though it’s echos are still readily visible today.
There is less magic now than there was after the Catastrophe, and likely less than there was prior to the Catastrophe as well. People believe this to varying degrees and it worries them to varying degree. Most don’t know and don’t care.


There are two types of cultures those that survived the Catastrophe, and those that were saved by entire cities being swept into magical stasis. Cities trapped in stasis have some trigger condition which when met causes them to re-enter the world. This is sometimes exciting, but is a known fact of life.


900 hundred years of separation and massive differences in magic levels have caused many races to splinter and become distinct.
For example, Elves were once Eladrin who rather than live in magical cities had to survive in hostile forests while frequently being hunted by other races.
I’m not sure where ever race fits in. At present, I’m thinking that humans mostly came out of stasis, and their monsterous kin (like shifters) survived the catastrophe.
Dragonborn and Teiflings were both created after the Catastrophe in hijinks that ensued.
If you want another race let me know, and I’ll think about them. If you want that race to do or be certain things let me know as well (and if you want it to Come Up).


I’m assuming that all classes are open, and in general available without setting fluff. I’m sure I can be surprised. Let’s talk power sources:
Martial: Sure, in addition to being a good soldier, there are mystical teachers, ancient tomes of strategy, etc. Land based armies are uncommon and battles between them more so. War is often fought on airships, thus is costly and supply lines problematic.
Divine: There are a few types: Elemental who worship at temples dedicated to one of the elemental types. They are often women, and their magic is strongly tinged with their element. When a fire priest heals you, there’s a gout of fire because they pull mana that’s almost pure fire, and they need to burn off some of it to get the balanced mana that can heal you. God-worshippers are uncommon and frequently associated with the less civilized races. This is because they require worship to maintain their influcence, and less civilized races tend to go for that a bit more.
Arcane: Arcane wielder are rare. Blowing up the world and fighting over the fragments does that to style. Powerful wizards are more likely to encourage warlock-ism rather than ‘proper’ arcane magic. There is a School of Wizardry, every wizard is nominally a member and every apprentice is registered. This is so universal, either arcane magic makes you a curmudgeon, or their a powerful secret society ensure that it’s true.
Psionic: As a DM not a huge fan thematically, but I love monks. Unless someone cares, this is more DM kooky area rather than true of the world. If you do care, imagination is magic, and we can go from there.
Primal: Either from the Fey or Shadow realm, post-Catastrophe mists weirdness or mana attunement.

Power level:

As long as all the players agree it’s fine. My assumption is reasonable, but not crazy optimized. I haven’t read every feat in 4E, and neither should you. I’d like distinct characters, and backgrounds seem a way to do this. Be prepared for backgrounds to Come Up.
The wierder your class and race, the more my eyebrows will go up.
We’re going to use inherent bonuses, rather than replace +1 swords with +2 axes. I hope that this will make magic items cooler have a more lasting affect. This also means that magic items are more likely to be weird.

The first attempt, which is a bit too dystopian can be found here

Reflections and Echoes