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Author Topic: How should Spellcasting work in a Magitech Western Setting?  (Read 68 times)
Straight Outta Johto

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« on: November 10, 2017, 12:17:04 AM »

So I've been working on my fantasy/weird western Setting Montesuma. This time I actually have a solid premise for the setting. A magically advanced empire called the Casamian Empire discovered how to travel across different planes and dimensions. Eventually they began to set up colonies inside of other realms. Eventually the Empire fell into decline, and the civilizations that rose up in other realms fell to isolationism, and developed their own cultures. One realm known as Montesuma has a culture that developed a pseudo american western ethos. Alchemical guns are the primary weapon of choice in this realm, and magic is primarily used as a technology base rather than as a secret institution as it was back in the old days of the Casamian dominion. In the absence of the Casamians, i'm thinking either a federal monarchial system arose, or a loose confederate Republic rose up in Montesuma. It comprises of three large states with one being more of a territory rather than a state, but it's close enough. There are structured cities with law enforcement, however out in the wilds it's a different stories. Marauders and  gangs terrorize pioneer groups and small villages, railroads bring goods across the land, but train robbers are always lurking around, and to make things worse there are all kinds of untamed parts of the land with all kinds of horrors and nightmares lurking around in the darkness.

So my main question is this. How should spellcasters work in this world? If swords have been basically phased out by firearms, what purpose does a traditional wizard have in this world if it's cheaper to just buy a gun that shoots a fireball rather than train a spellcaster to use the spell? This is going off of the logic that Sparkletwist often uses. Rather than having a handful of people that can use magic to expert levels of proficiency, everyone can use a little bit of magic, and that creates an environment where there are plenty of workers to maintain magical wonders. This is the logic that the official setting Eberron kind of functions on as well.

So what roll does the wizard play if magic is everywhere? Professors of magic that have studied magic all of their lives? The true geniuses of their generation? And if magic is technology does that mean that the wizard is a fundementally different class from the traditional Wizard? Would I be better off just re flavoring the Gearhead class from Pure Steam (I have the book and have been dying to use more of it)?

Also how advanced should this civliization feel? I'm tempted to put airships in this, but I feel like Railroads and a telegraph system should really be about it as far as it goes.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 12:19:20 AM by LoA » Logged

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