Worldbuilding Notes

From Asmythe

Here collected are unsorted notes about Asmythe. The information here is unknown to the people that inhabit Asmythe and these notes are intended to give Game Masters an understanding for why Asmythe is the way it is.

This is a scratch space intended for GMs and system developers. It contains spoilers for players.

History and Culture

Human and Orcs were space civilizations at war with each other. A battle occurred over Asmythe and destroyed all but a few escape pods which crashed onto Asmythe; humans in Altazar and Orcs in Cozak. Each race brought with them their culture and scientific knowledge. On Asmythe computers and industrial technology don't function and both races were severely crippled because of it. They lost all their technology but their cultures persisted; mainly navy/army cultural roots adapted to interstellar war.

The culture of the Armada empire is based on space navy culture, tempered through the centuries by the realities of life on Asmythe. Orc culture is also based on their space military, but it isn't similar to human culture.

The Primal Dagapesh, the gods of Asmythe, are giant monsters of immense magical and mental power. Imagine Kaiju like Godzilla, Tiamat, or Cthulu with unlimited magical power. The Dagapesh are not super intelligent and they act as much, or more, on instinct as with reason.

At the end of the first age the Ilthura created the moon Rolene from an land previously in the middle of the Soliander Ocean and fled Asmythe to live there. They were forced to leave Asmythe by the Primal Dagapesh; that was the last time the Dagapesh were awake on Asmythe. They were on Rolene when the humans and orcs brought their battle in space above Asmythe and were probably influential in the outcome of that battle.

Magic has shaped culture and technology on Asmythe in many ways.

  • Industrial technology doesn't work, except for dwarven magi-tech.
  • Both arcane and primal magic can communicate magically over vast distance. (??)
  • Humans and orcs use magic for power and war; elves and dwarves use magic for stability and sustainability.
  • Arcane magic can create energy , which makes it perfect to drive ships and to power some industries like metallurgy. But the rarity of wizards means that such energy sources are not ambiguous until the third age.
  • Magical creatures are attracted to magical energy, both arcane and primal. Many of these creatures "eat" magic.
  • Lifeforce, "soul", is a magical energy that dissipates when a creature dies. It is not possible to communicate with or ressurect the dead.

Elves and dwarves are the same species but time and environment has split them into different races. Though able to interbreed they don't; differences in habitat and culture keep the two races far apart. Dwarves are inspired by the dwemer of Elder Scrolls and Tolkien dwarves. Elves are inspired by ElfQuest, sylvan elves, and Tolkien hobbits. The elves and dwarves in each region, and often each settlement, have different cultures. The elves of The Verge and the elves of Babalar have cultures as different as those of Europe and Africa.

Death is the end and there is no "afterlife" in Asmythe. The souls of all creatures on Asmythe disappear immediately after death, they do not persist in some other plane of existence. They either dissipate into the AEther or are consumed by the Primal Dagapesh. Under some conditions it is possible to "burn" the soul of a dying creature for energy before the soul dissipates.

Beasts and Monsters

Monsters tend toward "dark/gothic horror" style, rather than traditional greek/roman mythic, especially for elemental creatures.


Technology is limited by the size of metal parts, which has some interesting effects. Because metal object less than a centimeter (about half an inch) aren't reliable many things we take for granted aren't possible. Without nails, wires, hinges and such you can't have chainmail armor. Wooden, leather, and bone work for many things, but they wear out much more quickly than metal would.

Dwarves, being magical smiths, are able to get around the limitation by enchanting the metal. Dwarves also have access to a much wider range of metals than surface dwellers, so they are able to create better steel and other alloys. Dwarven tools and chainmail are some of the most valuable things in Asmythe.


"Subspace", "Feywild", "Otherworld", "Upsidedown", "Plane of Shadow", "The Dark", ... There is a material plane parallel to the world of Asmythe that can be entered and traversed with enough magical power. The world is dark and poisonous and inhabited by gothic horrors. Time and distance are different in subspace, so that something in subspace does not age relative to Asmythe and a mile in subspace is like a hundred miles in Asmythe. Subspace is not a mirror world and there is no natural light (that creatures of Asmythe can see). Artificial light reveals a colorless landscape similar in geography to any world. Light is dimmed and sound muffled, reflections and echoes are chaotic.

There is no magic in subspace and any magical items brought into subspace instantly crumble into dust. (except artifacts?)

When the Ilthura left Asmythe they went here, and possibly came to Asmythe from here. (The Ilthura are the "Fey"/"great old ones".)


  • A way to travel and send messengers "instantaneously". But only if an exit portal already exists, which must be guarded against subspace invasion coming through. It is impossible to open a gate while in subspace because magic doesn't work there.
  • A source of monsters in Asmythe.
  • Maybe a way to have a "fairy court" in a monstrous way. (No, keep Ilthura civ secret.)
  • Is this the afterlife? No.
  • How does magic work in subspace? No.
  • Does technology work in subspace? Yes.
  • Mostly important for the fourth era, where civilization can maintain roads through subspace.
  • What is the Dagapesh relation to this world? Unknown, if they are aware of it they can't enter it or project into it.
  • What is the geology and ecology of subspace? How much does that affect Asmythe?
  • Invasion from subspace destroys the world at the end of the fourth era.
  • Opening a gate requires both arcane and primal magic.
  • There is an ancient stable gate in Amren that is used to banish the worst criminals. It is walled off because sometimes things come through from the other side.
  • The process to create a gate is discovered early in the fourth era when a team excavating an ancient Ilthura ruin figures out how to restore and open a gate.

Balancing Supernatural Backgrounds

I used the "Fantasy Add-on - Wizards and Mystics" to create and balance the new supernatural backgrounds.

  • Alchemy: 2 powers x2; 4 power points x2 (10); +1 signature power: fuse elemental; -1 weird devices only; +1 shutdown backlash
  • Diva: 3 powers x3; 4 power points x2 (10); -0.5 load and clear; +0.5 signature power: empathy; 0 keep casting
  • Druid: 3 powers x3; 2 power points x1 (5); 2 starting edge: imbuing; 0 ceremonies only
  • Sorcery: 1 powers x1; 4 power points x2 (10); 1 free skill: sorcery; 1 all in my mind
  • Wizard: 1 powers x1; 6 power points x3 (15); -1 Enabling tool; +0.5 Signature Power: elemental manipulation; +0.5 exchangeable powers

Good and Evil

"Good" and "evil" are nothing more than thoughts and actions brought into existence by the creatures of Asmythe. These terms are often used in common language to mean "actions that help others" and "actions that harm others."

With respect to Asmythe, "good" and "evil" are only conceptual. Creatures are neither good nor evil even when they have generous or destructive tendencies. The only exception are the creatures of subspace, which are powerful and strange enough to be considered "good" or "evil".

In game terms: powers, abilities, and traits that specifically affect "good" or "evil" creatures only affect beings that:

  • Originate from subspace.
  • Have supernatural abilities.
  • Have an alignment or nature that is specifically "good" or "evil".

All creatures native to Asmythe, regardless of origin or nature, are not affected by spells or abilities that only affect "good" or "evil" creatures.


Edit the Sidebar MediaWiki:Sidebar