Clear chroma comes from people and from most animals - anything complex enough to have emotions. It seems to be produced naturally, but nobody has yet found its source in the body. Running out of chroma is at first merely painful, preventing action until one recovers, but it's possible to be drained even further to the point of unconsciousness or coma. This is what monsters do to their victims, and Guild halls will almost always have a treatment room for this. (3/3)
When we expend effort on something meaningful, something that we are tied to emotionally, we are putting chroma into it. When stress or panic sets in, chroma leaks out into the world. When we're out of chroma, we feel drained. Some people can store more of it than others. Chroma is the same thing as "spoons", but as a real measurable phenomenon. The chroma a mage uses to cast a spell is exactly this, which is why learning to meditate and focus is an important skill for them. (2/?)
Chroma is more than just the substance of magic. Maginaria's bodies are made of it (and in fact larger ones prey on smaller ones for energy), but more importantly it's inside us as well. Chroma that comes from people is colorless, working as a "wild card" when it comes to spellcasting and leading some to believe that this is chroma's true form, but it's more than just "magical energy". Its true role is emotional. (1/?)
Relying on this is a terrible idea. Maginaria are capricious and will find ways to subvert the intent of a spell, or just misunderstand it. It takes a big intelligent maginaria to do anything complicated, and that gets pricey. Then there's the argument that all of it - gestures, runes, even the colors - is just an artificial system anyway and the maginaria don't even have to follow the rules. Breaking the Arrangement would be terrible for everyone, though, mortal and maginaria alike. (4/4)
These are the same monsters hunted by the Guild and processed into the chroma that daily life depends on; the monsters can't just use it to go home for the same reason that you can't eat your own body and come out ahead.
Bind chroma into a contract that signals passing maginaria saying "perform this task and you get this chroma", and this is a spell. It's all one big cycle. Spells are written in runes corresponding to gestures; the language of magic is signed, not spoken. (3/?)
Just as mortals can temporarily visit there, the maginaria can visit the physical realm in short bursts. Maginaria aren't constrained by any normal laws of nature, and they can use their own powers to affect the physical world while they're out before they have to return home. Maginaria are powered by chroma, and they need to save a little to go home or else they become stranded and starve, losing their minds and becoming monsters who attack other sources of chroma (e.g. people). (2/?)
Delyria contains more than just the physical realm. There is an entire parallel world, a realm of dreams and nightmares and spirits and gods and demons - the Maginary Plane, named for its inhabitants, the maginaria. These range in size from barely-visible motes to impossibly huge beastscapes, with a similar range of power. This is where mortal minds go when we dream, and one can train to project oneself there at will too, but it's most important as the source of all magic. (1/?)
🌐 About chroma (longish) Show more
Delyria is squarely a "high fantasy" setting, where magic is common enough that nearly everyone relies on it daily. This is actually a terrible idea for reasons I'll get to later, but for now think of it like multicolored electricity. Chroma in its refined form comes in seven colors, with elemental associations.
Red: fire and heat. Cooks your food and keeps you warm at night.
Orange: light and thunder. Lampposts, signs, and crystalline lanterns that light houses and halls.
Yellow: earth and metal. Strengthens and repairs walls. Protects cities.
Green: life and organic materials. Fertilizes the soil and feeds the world. Heals the wounded.
Blue: wind and water. Provides clean and safe drinking water, and cooling in summer.
Purple: time and space. Transports goods and people around the world, and allows for "bigger on the inside" storage.
Silver: sensation and emotion. Lets people communicate in an instant, or project entertaining illusions.
Thanks to the Guild, the people of Delyria live in safety and comfort, but there's another layer to this all that I'll get to tomorrow.
The Adventurers' Guild is an organization that spans Delyria, with Guild Halls in every town, ranging in size from "a few people in a corner of the lodge" to "trade college". Members slay monsters in the wilderness and then sell the "cores" left behind back to the Guild to make their wages. These cores are then refined into raw chroma, which the Guild pipes back to the populace to power all the convenient magical effects daily life has come to rely on. They are a worldwide energy corporation, with all the associated baggage. (2/3)
To start talking about Adventure roles, I'll begin with the odd one out: Adventurer itself. This doesn't rely on any specific pair of attributes; anyone can be this, and most if not all of a standard party should have this role. Adventurers learn how to survive in the wilderness, basic fitness to stay in shape, and how to wield a sword against the monsters they're paid to slay. Monsters don't fight like mortal opponents; they don't have the same self-preservation instincts or anatomy. (1/2)
Side note: it's possible to make a character with two ++s and four -s, but this makes them an all-or-nothing prodigy with only one thing they can ever do (but which they do amazingly well). With Roles meant to synergize, specializing like this isn't a great idea on its own, but in a supportive party it might do well.
Resolving short conflicts between characters is easy; look at the attributes in play and roll the corresponding dice, and whoever has the higher roll wins. In general, you roll 3 dice and take the maximum for a +, the middle one for a 0, and the minimum for a -. On a ++, roll 6 dice and take the maximum. I'm not 100% sure which dice to use, but let's go with normal six-siders for now. This system is still undergoing some refinement, so parts of it are going to be sketches for now. (3/3)
For instance, Cedar Rivertrail has Might 0, Vigor +, Grace 0, Savvy 0, Poise 0, and Charm -. It's important not to have too many minuses, because that will limit the kinds of Roles you can take; every Role in a setting is associated with a pair of Attributes, and if you have a minus in either of them, you can't take that Role.
The reason there are 6 Attributes in the Adventure setting is so there could be 15 Roles, each roughly corresponding to one of the nations. Nice and symmetrical. (2/?)
Within the Adventure setting, every character has six Attributes. Other settings have their own lists, but I'll get to those later. An Attribute is, in general, a permanent statement about what kinds of things a character is good or bad at, and can take one of four values: ++, +, 0, or -. The six Adventure attributes are Might, Vigor, Savvy, Grace, Poise, and Charm. This part of creating a character is simple: assign values to the attributes so the pluses and minuses balance overall. (1/?)
I'm not entirely happy with the term "setting" here, but it would feel weird to talk about the group switching premises. They're the same characters, doing different things with their lives.
Also, I should make it clear that a single character can take multiple roles within a setting, and often this is a good idea. The rules for each Adventurer role might seem limiting on their own, but they're meant to be combined and reinforce each other.
The Delyria role-playing game emphasizes the word "role", and supplements it with many other terms from drama. Characters have Roles that belong to Settings and are played in Scenes, and the overall goal of a single session is to tell one episode of an ongoing story.
Settings are terms that describe what the group is doing. Adventure is the traditional RPG Setting of exploration and combat, but you could be crewing an airship or performing as a band, and those would be their own Settings.
Just a random Jacalpan dude. Earrings are common among the races of Delyria who've got the ears to pull them off, and... well, they're jackalopes. There's a lot up there to decorate.
I've compiled the worldbuilding posts into a PDF, and added a few entries to the end. This is a good start, I think, and I think the coming weeks I'll talk some about the game mechanics.
Having been developed in such an isolated place surrounded by unusual natural resources, the Sri-Kata culture and lifestyle can seem alien and hostile to outsiders. There are stories of explorers being eaten by cannibals - these aren't true (it's far more likely the giant insects ate them instead) but this is typical of how outsiders see the Sri-Kata. The people are no more or less people than anyone else on Delyria, though, and their bee curry is actually pretty good. (3/3)
The Sri-Kata people are somewhere between dragon and chicken in appearance - muscular scaled bodies with matching wings, feathered heads with fleshy crests, and taloned hands and feet. They can fly just about well enough to leave the crater freely, and many of the cockatrice-folk who flee the political drama and constant upheavals of their home (not to mention the climate and the beasts) find a much kinder world outside. (2/3)