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Steampunk Fantasy World-Building


Apr 8, 2019
I'm currently working on the mechanics sheet for an as-of-yet unnamed RP which is in a Steampunk Fantasy setting. The general idea for the world is that old civilization has crumbled in this universe and "modern" technology is now referred to as the "Lost Arts". These "Lost Arts" would only be available now in the ruins of said crumbled civilization, and lacking the knowledge to replicate this technology, people basically pick up what can be found and use it as long as it lasts. This trend has persisted through as long as civilization can remember, leaving what remains of the Lost Arts in the most dangerous places, such as very close to the ocean or other bodies of water, locations which house the most dangerous monsters on the planet. Due to the danger associated with bodies of water, it is said that the Abyss Goddess, Valice, cursed the world with these creations either to punish the population of the known world for the act which caused the fall of the previous civilization, or to punish the population for some other deed BY directly using these sea creatures to destroy the previous civilization. Due to these circumstances, people widely just use Steam technology.

What remains of civilization is now hidden behind giant walls, meant to keep the dangerous creatures which now roam the planet at bay. Not because these creatures cannot break through the walls, but because the walls hide the individuals and their structures from view, preventing the creatures from attempting to attack them in most cases. Rulers now live in castles, and with metal armor being the toughest form of defense that can be produced, and guns being incredibly rare and expensive due to gun powder being difficult to find, the most common form of army is one composed of knights.

This brings me to what kind of races are roaming this world;
Human: Your basic humans, those who are second-most commonly found on the continent on which this RP takes place.
Nephilim: Beings whose skin is covered with a layer of black nylon-like substance which slowly reforms when torn, and with a hard metal-like substance forming a series of dome-shaped structures on their back, which project tendrils of light. These entities are rumored to be descended from the beings, known as Angels, who serve the Goddess of Light, which is most commonly revered throughout the land. These creatures are incredibly rare, though not unheard of. They usually become Paladins.
Cambion: Creatures who are said to be descended from those who serve the Goddess of Darkness and Death, known as Demons, they have horns upon their heads, and skin which is typically red, purple, or sickly pale, and covered with scales. They are claimed to be trouble-makers, so widely so that they are often barred from even entering most cities. They are also widely rumored to be capable of breathing fire or channeling the powers of Darkness to impair the vision of those who threaten them. They often, supposedly, become Necromancers or Death Knights.
Ghedan: Pale-skinned outcasts, these creatures are the offspring of humans and undead, usually as a result of rape. Ghedan don't look all that different from humans, however they often have difficulty thinking or making precise movements, but are very strong physically. They are usually barred from cities, regardless of the disposition of the individual, due to a dark aura which repairs their decaying bodies using the world around them, thus causing damage to structures within a certain radius around them.
Dark Elf: Most of these creatures were formerly Ice Elves, however these Dark-skinned creatures, who now typically live underground due to having been the target of the Church of the Machine Goddess' purge many years ago, as a result of refusing the Inquisition's demand to convert. They typically only come to the surface at night, which caused them to develop very powerful night vision. Due to the lands outside the city walls being far more dangerous during the night than during daylight, the creatures had to become skilled at the art of stealth, making them very skilled rogues. Little is known about their general disposition, due to the creatures being extremely reclusive, darting off at the first signs of approaching individuals in most cases.
Wood Elf: Creatures who prefer to live in the forests outside the city walls, quite the impressive feat given the state of the known world right now, and have become quite adept at it. Wood Elf villages are speculated to be hidden by a strange and powerful cloaking magic, allowing the Wood Elves freedom to escape predators too strong for them to hunt by simply re-entering their village, and negating the need for a wall. These creatures are incredibly in-tune with nature, making them very strong Rangers, Hunters, and Druids. Despite being reported as the nicest people anyone could ever associate with, they are also very distrusting of other races. Outside of their chosen garb, they are very difficult to tell apart from the elitist High Elves.
High Elf: Light-skinned, Elitist creatures, with pointed ears, who live in their own personal city, barring other races from entering. Because of this, there are no reports of how their society differs from any others, only accounts of non-High Elves being mistreated by them. What can be seen, however, is that High Elves often wear very finely crafted armor, due to being spotted guarding outside or roaming the top of their walls. Those who do travel outside the cities refuse to divulge any secrets, however they are known to make quite skilled Clerics, and are often masters of the art of Bowmanship.
Ice Elf: Creatures with icy blue skin ranging from a dark blue to light, nearly white blue skin, who prefer to live in colder regions. This preference causes them to mostly associate with the city best known for its fanatical devotion to the Machine Goddess, also consequently causing a large number of them to have taken part in the great Dark Elf Purge as part of, or alongside, the Inquisition, which caused said Dark Elves to move underground. This makes a large part of this race partly responsible for the creation of the Dark Elves in the first place. These creatures, due to having lives in cold climates for many years, are very resistant to cold, and highly skilled at magic, much like other races of Elves, however they have a preference for ice-based magic.
Beastfolk: A generalized term for all of the part-animal creatures which roam the continent, ranging from Cat-people, to Fish-people, to bug-people, to Dragon-people, these creatures have a wide range of specializations resulting from the heightened dexterity, or strength, or senses which their part-animal state grants them. Most of them aren't treated any differently from humans.

As you can see, I gave each one a quick description, however most of them turned out pretty vague due to difficulty in coming up with a description for these races unique to this RP. The other issue that I'm having trouble with is that I feel like I'm missing some races, to give players more freedom to craft their own unique character, something which is very important to me. Sorry that this post is a bit of a mess, I had to kind of describe what I have come up with, without having already typed all of this in any organized way.
Apr 9, 2019
I'm thinking... lots of the steampunk pipes, valves and such, but with like... nature, like instead of metal, its branches and vines and leaves!
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