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Monday, March 2, 2015

Campaign Sparks III

A campaign spark, as I've said before, consists of a few short paragraphs that describe a setting, a conflict, 2-3 NPCs, the stakes, and a twist. These details are designed allow a GM to generate and entire campaign from a single spark.

The Interior Bureaucracy

The Earth is hollow and contains a magical bureaucracy. The inhabitants, crats, are responsible for maintaining “nature” on the surface, including earthquakes, storms, seasons, hibernation, etc. To do this, crats have magical abilities.
Sving, Minister of Geological Transition, wants to cast down the surface world and raise up the Interior. Morrat, Administrator of Stratospheric Turbulences, wants everyone to simply abandon duty and live for themselves. N’setti, Subsecretary of Committee Formation, forms a “committee” of trained mages to oppose Sving and Morrat.
If Sving is successful, Earth will be razed. If Morrat is successful, Earth will tear itself asunder as the “natural” order breaks down. If N’setti is successful, the crats will renew the Great Bylaw and bind themselves to duty eternally.
Sving, Morrat, and N’setti are all aspects of the Prime Minister, giving the crats the chance to decide their own destiny after millions of years of thankless service.

Usually, that's all there is to a campaign spark. But I became particularly intrigued as this one developed, and so I've created a bit of additional material for it.


Magic in the Interior is highly regulated and refined. Crats tend to have very specific magical skillsets related to summoning dust devils, changing the color of leaves, applying frost overnight, or other similar job-related tasks. Aside from these inherent magical abilities, there are a few other types of magic that can be practiced by crats regardless of their positions.

Tea-Cup Sorcery

A powerful, but infrequently practiced, form of magic, tea-cup sorcery involves the creation and casting of spells via the preparation and serving of tea. The rituals are extremely complex and encompass dozens of variables including the size and material of the cups and saucers, the density of the biscuits, the temperature of the tea, and even the arrangement of the platter.

Pencil-Shaving Augury

Generally referred to as "reading the shavings," pencil-shaving augury is a method of divining information based on the formation of shavings allowed to fall from the sharpening of a wooden pencil. These auguries are very accurate, but also quite difficult to read.

Ice Writing

The quickest and most transient kind of magic available to crats is ice writing. In ice writing, the user invokes a magical effect by carving the spell onto a piece of ice and shattering that ice underfoot. The spell is temporary, lasting only until the last fragment of the ice on which it was written melts.

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