Magic & Technology
A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
Though it might seem very apparent considering the fact that there is magic (and magitech) in Domain, the land of Tulun is NOT Earth. Especially from a technological standpoint, it may mirror certain eras of Earth, but many advances in science and industry may seem chronologically incorrect or muddled when setting it against our own historical timeline. When considering the general tech level in Domain remember that the same discoveries that led mankind to their scientific achievements may well have occurred differently or not at all in this world. Similarly, advances that would have taken place later in our own timeline may have happened earlier in Tulun. Add in the inclusion of magic and many more sentient races and it is likely things may vary from what we expect.
Technology, Magic & their relationship
Though magic did exist in Tulun’s past, and indeed was exceptionally potent at more than one stage in the world’s long history, it has taken a relative back-seat to the advances in technology and industry that have progressed the myriad people of Tulun forward.
For almost seven hundred years magic has ceased to exist and has faded from the collective memories of the younger races, only existing in tomes and stories of some of the longer-lived species. Though technology walked hand-in-hand with magic through the ages, when the magic died the progression of technology sped up exponentially, starting in 600 BR in the time later referred to as “The Industrial Era”. Until The Reckoning – 85 years before the game is set – the world relied completely upon technology to progress, and it was into this that nations poured the resources.
Since magic’s return it has been treated with superstition and fear, suspicion and finally a tenuous level of acceptance. Though nowhere as common as technology, magic is a growing power in the world once again, no longer reserved solely for the stuff of legends.
The exact level of technology in Domain is hard to place, especially when using our own historical timeline to compare it with. A good estimate for the average level of technology would place it at around 1830 AD, with some significant points worth mentioning:
- Firearms are available, and are considered as “Commonplace Guns”, and use breech loader technology.
- Electronic components do not exist .
- Travel is still done primarily by horse and carriage, but steam-powered trains, boats and airships are also widely used. The bicycle is a new invention which is yet to catch on significantly.
- Lighting is Gas-powered, and is found in most built-up areas. Rural and poorer communities tend to use Rushlight.
- The Printing press has been replaced by the High Speed Printing Press making mass printing relatively common, especially in major cities – newspapers are the preferred mass media.
- Large stone hearths are still used for cooking.
- Photography has not yet been invented, meaning most portraits are painted or posters, and most newspaper articles use artists’ impressions for images.
- Steel is the metal of choice, though Iron is still used considerably, especially when cost is an issue.
- Sewer systems exist, especially under larger cities and either lead out to sea or into vast underground cisterns.
- Despite the revival in magic, it is still considered an important job to be an engineer and many people are not ready to let technology fall by the wayside.
- Glass-working is ahead of most other technologies in Tulun (chronologically speaking compared to our own timeline), being at about the 1849 AD mark. Glass is cheap and commonplace, with silvered " Mercury Glass " being the latest trend.
Though magic has only re-appeared in the world in the last 85 years, its roots run deep. Through the Gods it was given to the world and it seeped into the very being of the planet, its inhabitants and its paradigm. Though not as powerful or potent as it once was, magic is once again a force in the world, shaping the very existence of some species and flowing through others. Like regular Pathfinder two distinct forms of magic exist, though it is debatable as to whether a third, less identifiable sub-group intermingles the two:
- DIVINE MAGIC: The first of the magic to return to the world and also the oldest, “Divine Magic” is literally the control and adaption of magic through divine intervention. All Divine Spellcasters are able to cast magic through having the power of a greater being channeled through them. All of the Domains and Sub-domains listed in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook are accessable to Divine Spellcasters, determined by their parent diety (see"Gods & Religion":https://pathfinder-domain.obsidianportal.com/wikis/gods-religion for specific info). These domains are:
AIR, ANIMAL, ARTIFICE, CHAOS, CHARM, COMMUNITY, DARKNESS, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, EARTH, EVIL, FIRE, GLORY, GOOD, HEALING, KNOWLEDGE, LAW, LIBERATION, LUCK, MADNESS, MAGIC, NOBILITY, PLANT, PROTECTION, REPOSE, RUNE, SCALYKIND, STRENGTH, SUN, TRAVEL, TRICKERY, VOID, WAR, WATER, and
Divine spellcasters are on the whole associated with the Gods themselves, especially Anti-Paladins, Clerics, Paladins and Priests. Others which also call upon the Gods / other forces who cast Divine spells include Druids, Inquisitors and Oracles. Though Clerics, Paladins and Priests are regulated and funded by the church, Anti-Paladins, Druids and Oracles work on their own, communicating with their sponsor-being or the very nature of reality itself.
- ARCANE MAGIC: The middle school of magic yet the one which is growing at the highest pace due to improvements in communication, Arcane Magic is the manipulation of magical energies using tested methods, experimentation and ritualistic behaviour. It is creating effects out of raw magical power, to be controlled and manipulated by the caster. At its simplest, Arcane magic can be considered “taught magic” and as such is the most heavily regulated on the mystical arts. In the more civilized corners of the world magical schools and academies exist to teach students who possess innate magical gifts, and many other Arcane Spellcasters learn their ways from mentors and teachers.
The same Arcane Schools presented in the Pathfinder Roleplaying game are available to players in Domain, being:
ABJURATION, CONJURATION, DIVINATION, ENCHANTMENT, EVOCATION, ILLUSION, NECROMANCY, TRANSMUATION, and UNIVERSALIST. Players may also select Arcane Spells from the Elemental Schools of AIR, EARTH, FIRE, METAL, VOID, WATER and WOOD.
Lastly, an Arcane Spellcaster may choose to Focus in an arcane school (as per The Advanced Players Guide).
Though by far the most commonly known of Arcane Spellcasters are Wizards, the likes of Summoners and Witches are also technically Arcane Spellcasters as they cast Arcane Spells via instruction from a mentor. Similarly the Magus is an Arcane Spellcaster due to the training they undergo to learn and master both magic and traditional combat techniques. Finally Alchemists, though often confused with simple chemists, create their Extractions through magical methodology perfected and passed down through tutorledge and as such are technically Arcane Casters as well.
Meaning quite literally “self-taught”, the third school of thought behind spell-casting is not an official grouping, nor is recognized as such, but consists of those individuals who seem to possess an natural affinity with magic and are able to spontaneously cast it. With no specific training, they are able to control magic to suit their ends, and they don’t seem to need to be a conduit for a more powerful being either. Often misunderstood and treated with suspicion, these individuals rarely seek out others of their own kind, and are reluctant to share their knowledge when they do. Autodidacticistic Casters are interesting in that they straddle both Arcane and Divine spellcasting.
By far the most obvious and common Autodidacticistic Casters would be Sorcerers; seemingly able to weave magic with little or no training whatsoever, but it should also be noted that Bards with their ability to create magical effects through music, and Rangers who seem to be able to persuade the wilderness to aid them in a limited manner similar to a Druid share a very similar mindset. Lastly, Monks and Ninja technically count as Autodidacticistic Casters though they possess no actual spells; their ability to manipulate the power of Ki to create spell-like effects is actually a type of magic, though a very specific and focused form.
The newest form of magic, one which is truly in its infancy is that of “Magitech” – quite literally the blending of magic and technology to create a third, new subgroup. Originally developed in the magic-potent Kingdom of Kajir, Magitech takes the best from both magic and technology to create magically-powered devices: trains that run faster than their technological counterparts using lightning and wind-powered systems, guns that require no ammo or that have an elemental effect attached to them, etc. Alas, Magitech development has been fraught with unpredictability and dangerous side-effects meaning it has been slow to develop successfully. Even now the vast majority of Magitech items are in the sole possession of the Kajir government and military, with only the occasional items making it into circulation.
MAGITECH AS MAGICAL ITEMS:
Due to their rarity and powerful features, all Magitech (weapons, armour, vehicles and items) count as Magical Items. This is also due to the fact they have at least some magical components to them.
THE ADVANTAGES OF MAGITECH
Magical Item Bonus:
As previously mentioned, all Magitech Items are technically magical items as far as the rule system goes. Regardless of what the item is, it has a minimum of a +1 Enhancement Bonus as standard, before any other modifiers or features are added. This means that items are able to benefit from magical protection, and weapons are able to strike creatures which are immune to non-magical attacks.
Much like a magical item, anyone with the Use Magitech skill can attempt to use a Magitech Item. If that item is already attuned to someone else it will automatically fail, but the person using the skill will become aware of that and may attempt to attune to it themselves (if they can). If an item is not attuned to any one user, it can be used on a successful Use Magitech roll, but this will need to be done each and every time the item is used, until it is attuned.
THE DISADVANTAGES OF MAGITECH
For a Magitech Item to work it must first be attuned to a user. Attunement links the user with the item, pouring some of their magical power into the device, activating otherwise dormant capabilities. Attunement works as follows:
- Only one person can be attuned to a Magitech item at a time, though if the person attuned to the item dies or the item has not been used by the individual it is attuned to for at least one month, the attunement collapses.
- Attunement takes 1 hour of uninterrupted meditation
- Being attuned to a Magitech Item means sacrificing one spell slot to do so if you are a caster or 2 Ki from your Ki Pool if you are a Monk or Ninja.
- A non-attuned person attempting to use an attuned magitech item will find it simply does not function.
- Anyone with the ability to cast spells (and therefore sacrifice a spell slot) or use Ki can attune to a Magitech Item
Due to its unpredictable nature, Magitech Items are prone to going wrong. Though not quite as common as some nay-sayers would like to believe, there is definitely a larger chance of a Magitech item malfunctioning than normal. Perhaps it is due to the twisting of fate or two opposing forces working against one another. Nobody is certain. For now, it is just a hindrance.
Normally in Pathfinder if a natural “1” is rolled, the player gets to see if it is considered a “fumble” by rolling again. If the roll is successful, it just counts as an unsuccessful check. If failed, it counts as a fumble and something exceptionally bad happens.
With Magitech items the “fumble chance” is higher. A natural 1, 2 or 3 on a d20 roll counts as a fumble rather than a natural 1 when using Magitech Items.