Sunday, August 26, 2012

Enigmundia: Spheres, Magical Fields, and Outsiders

In a gamer's life -- especially a young one playing D&D and seeing stats for a god in a D&D sourcebook -- there often comes a time when one chooses to measure one's self against these gods, perhaps even engage them in combat, perhaps even win.

This can be attributed to an improper appreciation of scale. After all, most game systems tend to a handle a relatively tight range of characteristics, and appeals to 'players just die' tend to smack of either killer DMing -- with players sometimes asking to see the written down stats.

But let's take a look at where players are coming from: the point of view the gods and outsiders are just really high level PCs (usually on a more or less linear progression of characteristics and spell abilities). The expect a chance against other PCs.

They don't see them as forces of nature -- which is what gods have been defined by some. If they did, they would treat them like that series of death saves some PC must make when trying to survive being crushed by the pressures of the deep, deep ocean while avoiding suffocation (hopefully with a magic item or a spell without a verbal component).

This is my rationale of such beings, as well as the various magical fields and disciplines, in Enigmundia -- a rationale that hopefully will help players understand what they're playing with when tackling gods and outsiders and other things that operate on a planetary and even universal scale.

This is the Magical Field of Enigmundia
Okay, it's actually a representation of the magnetic fields of the Earth, but it's my starting point. The reason that there are conflicting tales about Enigmundia's Hollow Earth is because the 'center' of the world actually a collection of spheres that roil and revolve and rotate inside Enigmundia's aetheric core.

What are in the spheres? Some are Ages, preserved spheres of magical reality that act as reservations for races, zoos for creatures, and prisons for gods, titans, demons, and other terrible creatures. Others are pure spheres of magical principle. Others are broken remnants of realities, dimensions, and universes, and perhaps a dead or dormant god or three. Despite their seemingly chaotic dance within the aetheric core, they have settled into a semi-regular pattern for certain intersections with the material plane, resulting in cities and worlds that intersect with Enigmundia on constant, daily, nightly, weekly, monthly, yearly cycles, or the occasional weird every 100 years.

Their movement and interaction has made possible the current, mostly stable set of magical laws that work on a relatively thin layer of the world's material and aetheric atmosphere that eventually shift and even get chaotic as you go further out. There are, of course, nodes of strange magic that wander here and there, and (very) occasional catastrophic changes in the overall magical field due to some inherent instability in the Dance of Ages, leading to (if lucky) the subtle changing of magical rules to (if unlucky) a rewriting of the rules of reality.

However, the existence of this field protects us from the outsiders, who -- try as they might -- cannot penetrate this powerful, chimeric, chaotic field of energy borne from the fierce interactions between powerful sources of reality bending Ages, spheres, and realities. They covet the fragile and bountiful world of Enigmundia, and seek to sear their influence on us as multiple suns would sear life from our world through multiple barrages of solar wind.

The gods of Enigmundia, are parts of this massive mechanism -- some more aware of their role in the grand defense of the world from outsiders, some its secret architects from long forgotten and rewritten eras and eons -- and they fragment their attentions to occasionally deal with the mortals of Enigmundia.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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