Magic in Society: Saturation Levels

Intro's be damned, let's jump straight to the subject, shall we?

Overview:  These levels are used to indicate the commonality of magic in a society and/or community.  The higher the saturation the more (and more varied) magic is available.  People are generally less likely to fear it, more likely to understand it and the less regulated it may be (that's no guarantee though).  Also, the higher the saturation, the more organizations may be seen.

Saturation Levels:

Magic in Society: Attitudes & Reactions

We now come to the third aspect (fourth installment) in our Magic in Society series:  Attitudes and Reactions.  This installment is going to be pretty brief because for the most part it is self explanatory.

People within a given society are likely to mostly share the same feelings about magic, whether those feelings are the result of government regulation or propaganda, historical events, or culturally influenced.  There will still be some who have different feelings but in building a fictional setting it is convenient to set a general attitude about magic for each society.  So, getting right to it, here is a short dichotomous list of attitudes/reactions about/to magic:

Magic in Society: Accessibility

It's time for the next installment in this series, Accessibility, so lets get straight to it tonight!  When working on the aspects of magic in society one of the questions that kept coming to my mind was "How accessible is magic to the local populous?".  Are spells and the associated knowledge and materials freely available in every general store a'la Final Fantasy or The Elder Scrolls games or are they carefully guarded secrets, known only to initiates who closely guard their secrets and share them only with those who know the right symbol or word to gain recognition/admittance.

Magic in Society: Caster Personalities

HAHA!  You thought I forgot about this series already.  Well, you were right, but I'm back now with the next installment.  You can find the previous installment here, where I give the overview of what inspired this series and what it's about.

The information in this particular article in the series will be somewhat proprietary since I developed it for my specific world setting.  However, I'm confident you'll be able to adapt it to your own if you choose to use it.  That being said, let's move on to the meat of this article!

Magic in Society: Introduction

Things have been pretty quiet for nearly 8 months now.  I'm running an on-and-off post apocalyptic game that re-started in early January.  Schedules have forced us to miss a few sessions but we hope to be getting together again in another couple of weeks.  The system is pretty much done, but lacks a little tweaking, a lot of testing, and a setting.

Technically Renaissance can be used in any setting; heck, it's designed for medieval-fantasy role-playing and I'm using it for a post-apocalyptic sci-fi game.  However, there are some features about it that lend itself to a particular setting.  One I've always had kicking around in the back of my mind and could never quite get out on paper satisfactorily.  You know the one, you probably all have one kicking around the back of your mind too.

Well, I've been studying a lot of geography (a little) and doing a lot of mapping and re-mapping and re-re-mapping and a lot of personal debating about world features, feel, etc.  At the moment I'm working on pinning down exactly how much presence magic has in society and how it is felt.  I've formulated a series of notes, personal guides you might say, regarding the various aspects of magic within society.  Over the next week or so I'll be posting those notes for your review, enjoyment and opinions.  I plan a total of 5 articles, one for each aspect and a final one to bring it all together and discuss the "so what"; the worth and use of the guides.  From what I'm looking at in the notes right now, I think they're going to be very helpful in my setting building.  Hopefully they will be helpful to you as well.

Before I go, here is a summary of the aspects of magic in society I have noted and will be posting:

  • Caster Personalities/Purpose
  • Accessibility
  • Attitudes and Reactions (of the populous)
  • Saturation Levels

The Testing

When you're editing and proofreading a work of fiction, I imagine it would be useful to keep a set of notes to track consistency with character descriptions, events, behaviors, etc. When editing a game, however, this doesn't work as well, because there is so much that needs to be tracked. The only way (that I've found) to make sure your editing is sufficiently extensive is to play-test the material.

One Small Step...

... for me, one giant leap for Renaissance. Over the holiday weekend I finalized the latest editing of Renaissance: The Rebirth, 2nd ed., completed the rough table of contents, converted to PDF and have ordered my first test printing! I'm now working on designing a number of adventures to test the system with and a condensed rule-set for play-testers to use. Once those are complete I will be looking for people who are able and willing to run test games and provide me with feedback on their experiences. Once that process has begun, I will also be looking for an artist who can draw in the desired style and within my price-range for keeping the final book affordable.

If you're interested in running a few test games and think you and your group can provide effective feedback please contact me at renaissancetherebirth (at) gmail dot com.