Monday, June 8, 2020

Return of the Space Wizards

This is another riff on a different sort of post-apocalyptic D&D.

There was once a human empire with dominion over many worlds. Despite its mastery of magic, the empire was eventually overthrown, but it's rulers made plans for its eventually return. They built the dungeons, caches of treasure and magic meant to tempt and challenge the humans who would come after, the unknowing heirs to a power that could be re-awakened, returning the long slumbering empire to its former glory!

Not only does this give a rationale for the existence of dungeons and a background that the players could uncover, but it potentially provides another ethical dilemma for the players. Do they support the re-awakening of the human empire or try to thwart it?


JB said...

Space wizards, space elves, or space dragons. These are the three ideas I've gone over (numerous times) in my head to explain the existence of magic in a post-apocalyptic world.

Anne said...

"Nuclear war releases magic back into the world" seems like an oddly common trope, maybe because of Capek's "The Absolute at Large"? (Or maybe something more proximate?)

I like the idea of dungeons as underground supply caches, but for some reason, they make more sense to me as a place the builders planned to return to, but never got the chance, rather than as something intentionally left to indoctrinate a future civilization into the old ways.

Trey said...

Both ideas work but former is more worn and familiar, and "dungeon as the crucible to forge the new army of conquest" has the advantage of explaining "leveling up" diegetically.