So, I was inspired by some images on Pinterest (I am using Pinterest to gather reference images for an artist I hope to commission for Knights of Judah), and have spent a few hours making notes for a game I hope to run sometime next year.
The inspiration was the art of a Polish man, Jakub “Mr. Werewolf” Rozalski. I am taking it a bit differently from where he appears to go with it, but with images like these:
… I had to do something!
So I am stealing some ideas from a couple of my previous projects (that are on hiatus while I try and figure out how to move forward on them) and merging them with images like these to create a game world. After all, I am a sucker for flying ships (sci-fi, fantasy, science fantasy, what have you), supernatural creatures (like giants!), and fantastic elements added to everyday, mundane activities. I could hardly leave this be!
I thought I’d describe it here, so I can lay out most of my ideas (so I can get back to Knights of Judah.)
Worlds of Rozal
It is 1905, and the reigns of the multi-worlds empires are only getting more sure and settled as time passes. Starting in 1687, the uncovering in Poland of a way to pass from this Earth to other similar, yet empty, Earths has been a constant revolution on the lives and livelihoods of the rich and the poor alike. Land and resources are cheap and plentiful, with the slowed industrialization process only just finally reaching the point that it is possible to for manufactured goods to be plentiful to the masses.
In the new worlds, new minerals open new doors of possibility for millions. Sylphite enables new flying vessels, armed and armored like warships, to take to the skies. Automatite makes it possible for men to control and machines like extensions of their own bodies, making it possible for metallic constructs to lumber across the landscape of the many worlds. And ilyasium, the rarest of the newly discovered materials, acts as a long-lasting power source for the new mechanical beasts and birds, providing the necessary heat for powering steam engines and energizing purified minerals alike.
The Nineteen Powers rule the worlds: the Kingdom of Ethiopia, the Autocracy of Timbuktu, the Rajah of Jaunpur, the Empire of Jin, the Ottoman Empire, the Song Empire, the Empire of Austria-Hungary, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Imperial Constantine, the Princely State of Ferrara-Roma, the Empire of France, the Grand Duchy of Holland, the Muscovite Empire, the Novgorodian Republic, the Scottish Republic, the Imperial Spanish Republic, the Native Confederacy, New Azatlan, and the Imperial Republic of Brasilia have divided up each world as it has been discovered, with much squabbling amongst them over the massive riches.
But every world farther down the two world-branches has more of a new problem–the fey-kind. Entire regions of each world are too dangerous for large numbers of people to travel, allowing only small numbers of cautious, skilled travelers to make their way through the otherworldly dangers fey-kind represent. Even there, however, Man finds a way to eke out a little living, with small numbers of exiles making fortified farms in the backwoods of fey-dominated regions. Whether they tame the land or become more like the fey they resist is largely up to interpretation.
Webs of alliances and rivalries tie together the many worlds of Rozal, but what happens next is up to the players!
Anyway, I am really looking forward to cooking this game up, and I might end up posting more notes for it later. In the meantime, have a look at the first map I’ve cooked up for it (this is the Earth Prime):