Opal Empire is a new setting I'm creating for 13th Age. It's inspired by Eastern history rather than Western medieval history, but I wouldn't say it's Chinese or Japanese or Indian or anything in particular. I borrow ideas from all over the place and try to twist them into something unique and original.I'd love to riff ideas with you guys.
* The nature of divinity and divine magic. (Starting here.)
* Elf QueensDivine Magic
So in this universe, ages ago, the elves and dwarves and humans worshiped decent gods and goddesses the way you'd expect in a typical FRPG world. Then the indecent deities from the underworld started winning the divine war. As hordes of demons started flooding through the gates of heaven, it looked like the forces of Evil would destroy the Good deities. The good races had very powerful magic by this point and used it to shut the gates to heaven and hell. This was a hard and permanent choice.
Shutting the gates of heaven meant no connection to deities anymore. That means:
* No divine spells.
* Nowhere for souls to go when you die.
* No parental deities proscribing morality nor punishments for violating the rules.
Over time, people solved some of these problems. They figured out that people produced divine mana through prayer, ritual, and belief. They refashioned their temples as efficient mana collectors and learned how to imbue their priests and monks with magical power (divine spells).
They quickly realized that disembodied spirits could be helpful or troublesome and developed funereal rituals to prevent a wide undead plague. Culture evolved to embrace a sort of spirit worship. Some people figured out how to capture spirits for magical purposes (new arcane spells) or for personal power ("leveling" by possessing spirits).
Without deities taking souls to heaven or hell, people are easily resurrected (into their own body, if it's not too damaged) or reincarnated (into any handy, empty body). It used to be hard; now it's easy. Not exactly cheap, so it's reserved for the wealthy. Hell, you can just "upgrade" from one body to another with a ritual, if you get tired of the old digs.
Philosophy has evolved. Elves follow a belief system based loosely on some elements of Buddhism and Taoism. Dwarves have a belief system based loosely on Confucianism. Mostly, they don't need gods anymore. Human religion evolved into an optimistic "some day our gods will come back to us, you'll see" system. What are some other implications of this world?
Culture, religion, philosophy, magic, technology, and so on?