View Full Version : Delightfully generic fantasy

06-13-2008, 03:50 PM
I've been pondering about an RPG I have that's on its way to being printed and put out for sale... I'm trying to find the subgenre of fantasy it falls in to. I believe the term "generic high-magic" is descriptive, but it may have meanings I am unaware of, so:

The game itself kind of riffs off of D&D in a way (the tagline for the online playtest forum was "because there's always some dungeon that needs to be plundered"), but there are no elves, dwarves, gnomes, etc...

I take that back: there may very well be all of those things, though they're not really covered in the book (character creation is entirely point driven, no race/class selection involved); one of our favorite playtesters played a gnome. And really, the world is deliberately left generic so he can do that and it fits. What setting has been laid down is set to act as a guide for what one might expect to find in the rest of the world; no bartenders have been statted out, but it wouldn't be a shock to find a level twenty fighter running one, I'm sure.

Magic is pervasive, somewhat like Eberron; locals are not going to be in awe of a wizard simply because he uses magic. Magical items that record surface thoughts or locate library books will likewise be reasonably easy to come by for citizens, but it's not like every child will conjure a pixie to dictate a teacher's lecture or anything like that. As in D&D, the bigger a settlement it is, the more pervasive magic will be in it (down to the villages who simply know of magic, though it doesn't do much for them as they lack any wizards living there, though anyone could become a wizard if they simply wished to hone their magical skills over other martial skills).

So what's the term for this? Generic high-magic fantasy? Or does that term have connotations I am unaware of?

06-13-2008, 06:28 PM
Generally I take high-magic to mean powerful magic for the most part. Epic, classic, and low are other types of generic magic settings that come to mind. Perhaps delightful translates into prolific magic, a rich magic atmosphere.

06-13-2008, 06:41 PM
Hmmmmmm... Nope, magic isn't really "powerful" in the setting, as you can get plenty of non-magical people capable of going toe to toe with sorcerers. Heck, even people without a single point in Magic can do the Hulking Hurler thing (okay, so maybe they can't throw the planet, but the idea is still there: pwning with their pure physical strength).

Actually, in a way the level of magic is a lot like an episode of Aladdin: there's some epic stuff out there, but there's so much epic stuff that you could just counter one epic artifact with another (and rather than it be a case of "We must find the mcguffin capable of stopping this evil force!" it would be more like "we need to find a mcguffin powerful enough to stop this evil force! And I happen to know a good one to go nab...").

But yeah, you had it right: prolific magic, an environment rich in the stuff. So would you think a term like "generic fantasy, common magic" would be better suited?