Arth A Primer.   Posted by Nifty.Group: 0
 GM, 14 posts
Sun 8 Feb 2015
at 03:25
Arth A Primer
Here is thread containing general information regarding Arth. Arth is very much a work in progress. If you have questions post them in the "Questions About Arth" section. Note that the point costs are only for complex character creation rules. If you are using simple character creation feel free to ignore them entirely.

Arth In General
The Prometheus Bound campaign will begin in Arth. Arth is a world geographically and somewhat similar to early 1900s earth, but there are numerous differences. Technology is driven by clockworks or steam power through manipulation of key elements, alchemy exists, and empires still rule most lands. It is a world of lost civilizations, secret cabals, cults, organizations, languages, wonders, and mysteries.

Arth will have a decidedly pulp feel with steam punk elements and alchemy thrown into the mix. All characters in Arth must be human. There are no elves, dwarves, or alien races open to PCs.

Arth is very similar to 1920s earth. All the continents and many of countries are recognizable, but they have different names from the countries and continents of our world.

  • United States of Arcana: The United States of Arcana is not considered a leader in world affairs, but like pre-world war II America it is a sleeping giant. The US stays mainly in its own boarders. Its education and innovation is phenomenal. Even the powerful Napoleic empire sends scientists to the US to be educated.
  • Breiindirian (British) Empire: One of the largest empires. It came about when the substantial Brein Empire met the substantial Indirian Empire. Because of a powerful exchange policy and the Indirian pools, the cultures and royalty of the two nations merged. Not only does it control the Breiindirian isles and Indiria, it controls Castopa, parts of Uttica, has ports, but no inland presence, in Arcadia, Briindirian Milaya (Malaysia and Indonesia), and the most northern ports of south Arcana. The Breiindirian Empire is seeking to expand.
    - The Indirian pools, created by the great Alchemists, Lord Kelvien and Ghandaria, allow almost instantaneous travel between the Great Breia and Indiria. One pool swallows you and another spits you out at a different location. The pools, and creation of the pools, while several hundred exist in Indiria and Briea, have never been replicated. They are high traffic and tickets in a pool bubble are very expensive.
    - The Breiindirian culture is divided into a caste system, a combination of the Indian and Victorian era British class system. The castes do not generally intermarry or associate together outside of work, business, or master servant relationship. People show their different caste by their manners, their dress, their speech, and in a thousand ways that are recognized by the other castes. Not having the markings of a caste marks you as an outsider.
    o Aristos: 5 pts resource- A member of the Breiindirian aristocracy. Have the highest privileges.  Even if they have no money they have certain doors open to them in society.
    o Braemins: Priests, Alchemists, Scientists,
    o Katriyas: Warriors, soldiers, generally officers as opposed to enlisted, or martial experts that train the aristos.
    o Vaish: Land Holders, shop keepers, businessmen, those with property, the lower gentry.
    o Shud: The everyday workers who support the higher businesses, the clerks, servants, factory workers, artesians, etc.
    o Postremi: Counts as 1 complication. The lowest of the castes, the Postremi are the sewage workers, garbage workers, rag pickers, and day laborers. They are the people that live at the bottom and do the jobs no one else wants. They are looked down upon by all other castes except the Averus.
    o Averus: Averus are a class outside a traditional caste system. They can go anywhere, do anything, at times even break the law with impunity. On the other hand, many people in the Breiindirian society will not associate with them at all or even acknowledge their existence outside of an official position. They are essential nobody’s; only given personhood by their rank or position. They are often the secret police, law enforcement, or special agents of the empire.  They are occasionally found in the military.
    o Outsider: If you are not Breiindirian you are an outsider. An outsider, anyone not Breiindirian, holds a nebulous place in Breiinderian society. They don’t fit into any cast so usually they are treated like the caste they appear closest too. This can vary from person to person. So one person may treat an outsider like a Shud and another may treat that exact same person as a Braemin.
  • Runesia (Russian) Empire: Without access to firearms, and with more wisdom on the part of the Rusesian monarchy, communism and the revolution were crushed before they could get a hold of the Runesia. The Runesia empire is already big covering much of eastern Europe (soviet block states all the way to the borders of the Prussian Empire. It also extends as far south as Byzantinia.
  • Napoleic (French) Empire: In Arth Napoleon never set out to conquer the world through military might. He reorganized Freia, recruited the Neaderlands, which is now an independent province of the Napoleic Empire, and turned Freia into an economic powerhouse unrivalled in the world. Because it was so well run Itiery chose to join the Napoleic Empire voluntarily. The Napoleic Empire has expanded its political power carefully. All the countries they own have joined semi-voluntarily. They have several city states throughout the world. Even the port cities south of Floria (Key West) belong to the Nepoleic Empire. In addition they have several countries south of china, and control the Panama and Suez canals. The Napoleic Empire has abilities and technology that no one else possesses. Because they can replenish fire crystals without new Paraxite, they control much of the world’s energy supply. They also operate the great railroads of the world.
  • Prussian(German) Empire: The Prussian empire controls most of central Europe. Its western border is the Napoleic, its eastern border is the Runesian Empire, its southern border is Romania, and Greece. It includes what is in our world are, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Solvakia, and other small countries of the area. It also controls some areas of east Uttica, and South Arcana ports where Argentina is now. Prussia is looking to expand its holdings.
  • Carthagian Empire: Occupies most of North Uttica except for the Egypt and Nile strip, which belongs to Byzeniania.
  • Communist South Uttica(South Africa): Communism did find a hold in South Uttica. Surprisingly free of racism, south Uttica is becoming an economic industrial power house. Large muostone mines and assembly plants using rows of crafters allow them to build large steam powered machines. They have steadily worked their way north until they control most of the southern portions of Uttica. The jungles and rebels of the middle region have slowed their advance.
  • China: It still called China, but the golden kingdom has a few important differences, first is its resistance to invasion or imperial expansionism. China has the Great Aqueduct of China. Twice as tall and twice as wide as the Great Wall of China the aqueduct surrounds the whole country. Through the aqueduct flows the Liquid, an ancient alchemistical formula that protects the aqueduct from harm. Only through the gates of the aqueduct can people enter China. It is said the barbarians of Mongolia know or knew how to pass the Liquid of the aqueduct, but no one else does. Movement into China is restricted requiring papers stamped by the imperial bureaucracy. Governments may have embassies, but no soldiers or outside weapons are allowed through the gates of China. The customs inspectors of China are brutally efficient. Smuggling is a dangerous, if profitable art. Other than Arcadia, the Chinese practice the arts of alchemy more than any other country. While many Chinese alchemists stand out in history two are of general renown throughout the world, Confuzius, who developed the Formula of Heavens, which is responsible for the imperial bureaucracies quality, and Loa Szuo who built the celestial tower in the middle of China.
  • Yopan (Japan): Yopan is a very traditional kingdom. Not ruled so much by the emperor of Japan as the Shelegates. Yopan has resisted industrialization with the rest of the world keeping traditional ways. To ensure that they have enough power to counter the larger more industrialized and expansionist empires they have built an intelligence service that spans the globe. It’s a joke that every Yopan trader and ambassador is first a Yopan spy for their formidable Ninjista service.
  • Arcadia(Australia):Arcadia maintains the art of alchemy. Many of the empires have tried to dominate it over the years, but they often find armies mysteriously going to sleep and waking up far from their intended destination. Their spies have troubling dreams, and their technological devices don’t function properly. Arcadia is not a unified country. There are many smaller kingdoms and hamlets in its borders. If someone wants to practice Alchemy this is the place to learn it. There are several notable alchemy schools in Arcadia including Leonardo’s Academy, in the city of Mika. Almost every Empire has been allowed to establish a port city in Arcadia, and the Nepoleic Empire has a couple of railroads that cross through the interior.
  • Arabask (Arabia): There are no division between sectors of the Arabask world. There is no Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, or Iran equivalents. There is just Arabask, which stretches from the red sea all the way to Indiria, and north to the Runesia Empire and Byzentenia. Arabask is ruled by a number of shahs under the power of the Caliphate. The deserts are full of bandits and rebels. Arabask is a strange place to the rest of the world, but they are great traders. Arabaskians traders are found far and wide throughout the world. The Caliphate wants to expand his borders into Byzentenia in the north, and from there maybe to Grekia, but his ambassadors spies have been tied in knots by Byzentenian society. He fears sending armies to Byzentenia without the preliminary work. The Runesians attacked Byzentenia in the great war and lost a sizeable army without a trace. Yopan has also told him sending armies would be a serious mistake.
  • Byzentenia: Occupies most of turkey, parts of Greece, and Eygpt. Byzentenia is an old empire known for their use of intrigue. They are also the world’s foremost practitioners of clockwork design. They are decent steamworkers, and still practice alchemy more than many other nations.
  • South Arcana: Is occupied by the ancient and mighty Incan Empire. Most people trade at small ports around the periphery that are controlled by various countries. Little is known about the interior of the empire.

The Promethus bound campaign takes place across may cultures and nations. There are a multitude of languages both new and old. Players should take this into account if they are planning on doing some traveling. More languages will come up in the course of the game, but below is the starting list. Those marked with dead are written languages only. No one speaks them anymore. Dying languages may be spoken by a few really old people or outlying towns, but that form of the language is quickly becoming extinct. If a character has an idea for a language not on the list let me know, and give me a justification why it should be included.

  • New Arcanan (American English)
  • Native North Arcanan
  • Native West Arcanan
  • Native East Arcanan
  • Native Central Arcanan
  • Incan
  • Ancient Incan (dead)
  • Breiindirian (British English): distinct from New Arcanan. They only share about a 50% crossover.
  • Old Beiton (dying)
  • Old Indirianan (dying)
  • Runesian
  • Prussian
  • Frein
  • Byzenian
  • Old Byzenian (dying)
  • Ancient Byzenian (dead)
  • Arbaskan
  • Old Arbaskan (dying)
  • Cathagian
  • Ancient Carthagian (dead)
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese
  • Yopanese
  • Oceanan
  • Deep Uttican
  • Peripheral Uttican

Religion in the Arth:
For almost everywhere in Arth, religion is practiced in a form of liberal polytheism. Most people accept that there are many gods and anybody is free to worship whichever one they want as long as it doesn’t harm anybody else. The greatest exception to this rule is Motism. Motism is the predominant religion of the Arabast region, though the great temple is in Byzentenia. Motism is a form of monism, stating that there is only one god, but everyone worshiping the other gods are actually worshiping a lesser aspect of the great god Mota. Motists don’t understand polytheist, but as they believe all others are still worshiping an aspect of Mota in their own way they are very tolerant of the non-believers. From a game standpoint I do not intend to develop religions other than Motism. If a character wants to be a priest of one of the many gods or a religious figure, they are welcome to make up their own religion. Note that the gods to not grant benefits in game terms, there are no healing spells or blessings form heaven.
    Motism is based around worship of the great god Mota, who has numerous aspects. In Arabask the primary aspects of worship are:
    o Mota: Lord of All - White
    o Shaam: Lord of Peace- Green
    o Dis: Lord of Destruction- Red
    o Barmac: Lady of Prosperity (and fertility) - Blue
    o Mens: Lord of Affliction (Trials)- Black
    o Tamar: Lady of Mercy- Gold

The Living Land of Arth:
In Arth the land slowly regenerates. Mines slowly refill themselves, and caves often seem to have a mind of their own. Desolate or over plowed fields will eventually become fertile again after a year or two. The impacts of these facts can’t be overstated. A vein of gold, silver, Muostone, or paraxite can be mined and mined again given enough time. All currency is still in precious metal coin. Mines essentially never run out. Farming land never becomes farmed out; thus, sometimes mines and farms will stay with the same family for hundreds of years.

One of the things that sets Arth apart is its technology. Gasoline and other fossil fuels don’t exist. The source of all power and technology in Arth is in some way Alchemistical. The two keys of transforming Alchemistical power into technological power are the elements muostone and Paraxite. Paraxite a common crystal found in abundance on most continents that can be made into fire crystals by the simple means of leaving paraxite crystals out in the sun. Dead fire crystals can be powdered and mixed with moon dust to make mercrity, or mixing powdered paraxite with white sands makes flash powder. It is hard to control the power of fire crystals, flash powder, and mercrity, which is where Muostone comes in.  Muostone, a ceramic-crystal-metallic element, can contain hot crystals, mercrity, and explosive powders safely.

Fire crystals are the basis for heating and steam technology. Fire crystals will literally heat just about anything, but many things quickly catch fire or melt when heated too high. The only thing fire crystals will not continually heat is the ground which instantly wicks away all a fire crystals power, and muostone containers which essentially have an infinite heat capacity.  Fire crystals generally last about a month before they quit abruptly. Only the Nepoleic Empire has found a way to reignite fire crystals. Fire crystals in muostone fireplaces and air pumping units are used to heat houses. Specially constructed muostone containers also allow people to heat water to provide the power for steam engines and other heat based technologies.

Flash powder is essentially an equivalent to gun powder, but it can also be made into dynamite like sticks or explosive putties given the right materials and know how. To channel the explosive properties of flash powder properly however requires muostone. All guns, which are of all sorts of weird shapes and operative techniques, incorporate muostone components.
Mercrity operates somewhere between natural gas and electricity. Mercrity bottles (made of muostone) act something like batteries or a propane tank. The liquid/gas will flow through tubes and power devices that they flow through. Mercrity powered lights are becoming more common in wealthy households and there is even talk of creating mercrity engines. Unlike electricity or natural gas there is no easy way to tap or create mercrity or transmit it over long distances. Mercrity tends to leak out of everything not muostone and even then there is some loss. Mercrity tends to flow toward greater concentrations of starlight or moon light or certain configurations of muostone.

Working with muostone is a mental as well as physical process. So each piece of crafted muostone requires an individual craftsman that exerts both intelligence and will power on the element. In short, muostone, while it is mined with the arm can only be shaped with the mind. Muostone can be shaped for countless forms and purposes; it can be made translucent, polarizing versus heat, tunable, but the more strange the effect the harder it is to craft.
The other forms of technology in Arth, which are not alchemistical in nature, are generally mechanical, steam, or clockwork. Waterwheels can run factories and there are many clockwork devices throughout the world. Clockwork devices have even been occasionally incorporated into human beings. Steam power is an up and coming technology. Railways have been built on many continents, and you can see steamer mobiles used by the rich in the bigger cities.

Grafts: Occasionally in Arth someone makes clockwork grafts(cybernetics). These are small, individual, and unique. Each graft should be crafted and considered individually. Clockwork grafts that are created using crafting have no transformative proprieties.

Guns: Guns are fairly rudimentary on Arth. Most guns are built by individual craftsman, though with the last few wars bullet sizes have become fairly standard. Each one should be unique and built individually unless they are leftover from the great war. They are expensive to purchase. See more under equipment below.

Technological Nations
Here is a list of the most technological nations in Arth and what they specialize in:
  • Byzenenia: Foremost nation in clockwork design. They also employ some limited steam technology.
  • Carthagian Empire: A balance of steam and clockwork, but they are tending more toward steam as time goes on.
  • Napoleonic Empire: The foremost practitioners of steam technology. They also can do things with Paraxite no one else can. They are beginning to experiment with Mercrity Technology.
  • Prussian Empire:  Use steam and flashworks, but their biggest claim to fame is they make the world's best airships. And have the biggest Airship fleet.
  • Runesians: Favor steam, but also employ some limited clockworks.
  • Breiindirian Empire: Employ a balance of steam and flashworks and are advancing clockworks. They are also beginning to experiment with Mercrity and many houses and tenements in Londinium are lighted with Mercrity.
  • United States of Arcana: One of the few democracies in Arth. The primary language is New Arcanan. The new Ancanans are slightly ahead of everybody else in flashworks. They are really beginning to pull ahead in Mercrity technologies. Though they employ steam readily they are not as advanced as the Europa Empires. They have very limited clockworks. They are moving up fast in Airship technology.
  • South Uttica: a communist country. They care about steam and fireworks. Though not as skilled as the other countries they make up for it with persistence and standardization.

Money and Living
Coin currency is still in use in Arth. Generally prices for items are listed in gold pieces. To get an idea what something costs figure that 1 gold piece, 1gp, equals about 10 dollars of our money. So a single one shot pistol that costs 100 gp in Arth, would cost about 1000 dollars. This should also give you an idea what most other items would cost, such as beds, housing, food etc. 1 silver piece is about 1 dollar, and how much people get paid.
Starting Money: is based on wealth (see character creation). Above well off requires a justification. You do not need to use this money to buy equipment. You character can start with any reasonable equipment depending on background, personality, etc. but all equipment requires GM approval.

There's no such thing as telephones, telegraph, or radio yet.  If you want to get a message somewhere, you send it through mail, messenger service, courier, a street-urchin runner, or clockwork, etc.

The Napolonic Empire has an extensive shutter semaphore system. The Carthagian Empire has a number of flag semaphore lines limited to use by the government.


Firearms: Since their invention in the 1600s firearms are becoming more and more common in Arth, but there are some problems that limit their use. First, firearms use flash powder as opposed to gunpowder. Flash powder is more unstable and more powerful than gunpowder. Only Muostone can contain the explosion and channel it safely to create firearms. Since Muostone requires individual craftsmen, much like a stonecarver, manufacturing firearms is harder to industrialize and generally costs more. Since flash powder is so volatile it makes firearms a little more complicated with a tendency to jam. This will affect gameplay. The roll of the jam is based on the complication of the firearm. Because they are so pricey and can be unreliable, many people still carry melee weapons, at least as backup. Below are some examples of firearms found in Arth. Since individual craftsman make most firearms, they often have individual appearances and names. Characters should feel free to customize up their firearms a bit.

  • Single Shot Pistol: A single shot pistol is still the most common single handgun in Arth, and the cheapest with a very low chance to jam or misfire
    Cost 100 gp.
  • Revolvers: Revolvers were first developed in Arcana by Nicholi and Ziesman Muocraftsmen. They are quickly gaining more popularity
    Standard Revolver:  4 shots
    Cost 700 gp.
  • Rifle:  Rifles have become the most common firearm in Arth due to their prolific manufacture during the Great War. Generally single shot and then reload. They have good power and are very reliable.
  • Standard Rifle: 1 shot
    Cost 500 gp.
  • Auto Guns: These are new, rare, and usually only ordered from individual craftsmen. They are ruinously expensive as only a few craftsmen are skilled enough or have enough understanding to make them. Not available as starting equipment. They also have a high tendency to jam.
     AutoGun: 9 shots
  • Cost 1500

Bayonet: attached to the end of the musket or rifle, in use since the Nepoleonic wars, bayonets are blades attached to the end of a rifle turning it into a melee weapon.
Cost 100 gp. Need an acceptable rifle.

Gun Laws: Fire arms have different acceptability depending on the location. Every region has its own rules. In the United States of Arcana they can be worn openly. In the Neopolonic Empire they are considered acceptable as long as they are kept out of site. In Breiindirian they are only acceptable to specific classes. In Yopan firearms are outlawed entirely.

Swords and Other Melee Weapons:
Given the unreliability of firearms. Swords are often used as backup weapons, especially in the military and upper classes. Among the lower classes knives, daggers, and clubs are often used. Almost any melee weapon can be found or commissioned from a good weapon smith that keeps up the old practices.
  • Sabre: 1 handed blade
    Cost 100 gp.

Bows: Guns have replaced bows as the long distance weapon of choice in warfare, but bows remain popular in sport and hunting.
  • Short Bow:
    Cost 30 gp
  • Long bow:
    Cost 70 gp

Armor: Since a bullet can easily pierce most armors and armor is exceedingly expensive, armor is almost completely out of favor in most parts of the world.  It would be hard to find someone that even makes armor. Armor will protect against blades, spears, and arrows however, and may be useful to the adventurer, but is not allowed as starting equipment.

Artillery: Larger weapons are usually cart or vehicle mounted.
Rockets: Rockets are not easy to make because of the instability of flash powder. But supposedly the Chinese have been making fantastic fireworks for hundreds of years.
  • Cannons: Large tubes carved from Muostone. Cannons are common and can be found on both airships and ships of the sea. Most cannons are now breach loaders, making the reloading and cleaning process much faster.
  • Rifled Cannons: Since they require a higher degree of craftsmanship, rifled cannons are rarer than common cannons, but are becoming more common, particularly on US ships and vehicles.
  • Exploding Shells: Easy to make, just stuff some flashpower in a metallic or hardened shell of some sort. It will usually explode on its own on impact. Unfortunately it will also explode disastrously if fired from any type of cannon. Thus giving rise to the use of catapults again. They can also be dropped from airships with devastating effect.
  • Catapults: Out of favor after the invention of the cannon, these have now come back into use to hurl exploding shells at the enemy.

Light: Muostone lanterns, torches, and lamps have been used for thousands of years to create light. Almost every household will have one and a manor house might have several. Though in more affluent homes, Mercrity lighting systems are becoming popular, particularly in the US.
  • Muostone Lantern or Torch:
    Cost 20 gp.

Below is my guide to inventing in Arth. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Inventing and New Items and Technology:
Inventing as a skill is subject to modifiers. The modifiers will depend upon the campaign and the desires of the player and character. Examples for Arth Include: Clockworks. Mercrity Systems, Steamworks, Flashworks
Inventing new items is not necessarily a free process. If the character wants to invent an object the same or similar to another object already in Arth it does not need to cost character points. But a character may want to invent a new or better object than is usual in the campaign world.

Inventing is a two step process:
First, the character can make a design with a normal inventing skill task.  This means the character thinks he knows how it will work and comes up with schematics. The more fantastic the invention the harder it will be to design, and no invention can violate the principals or physics of the campaign universe.

Second the character must build a prototype, and will not know if the design is feasible until he does. The character will need the appropriate skills and sciences to create the object. The object will also cost resources. The GM must also determine what resources the PC may need to create the object. Resources can be bought with money, found through adventuring, or other creative methods. If the character loses his or her roll those resources are considered at least partially lost. The character may improve chances with appropriate labs, exceptional resources, complementary skills, and help from others with complementary skills, and taking extra time.

In addition to costing resources the object will also cost character pts. The character point cost is determined by how revolutionary the object is to the game world and how difficult it is to create. This price will be set by the GM. This only applies to objects that are significantly complicated or different from current technology in the game. If the character fails the invention task they will not lose the character pts, only resources, and in addition they will have learned what will not work and will get a +1 on their chances to redesign the object.

If the character has a working design for the object that should work, or found or stolen schematic, they may or may not need to undergo an inventing task depending how far apart the object is from their current abilities. They may even receive an additional bonus for having working schematics or special ingredients.

In return for the points spent the character gets the special talent: inventor of the object. This perk allows them to create the object whenever they have the resources again, and gives them a +1 with all tasks related to that object. Before the start of the game the character may buy this perk multiple times, one for each invention, without making any rolls. Just tell the GM what you want it to build, and if it is not unbalancing and your character has the necessary skills he will approve it.

Invention (special talent): Bonuses: +1 with any tasks related to that object. No challenge needed to reproduce the object if the character has the required components. Reputation as the inventor of the object.

The points may not need to come from the PC. In some circumstances they may come from resources used in the construction process or they may come from another person, group or agency. In such cases the character does not receive the perk invention, and it assumed they could not reproduce the object easily without the resources of the group, person, or agency.

Examples: Not all the examples given below are for Arth, but they give examples of inventing.
  • Marlon is a clockwork inventor. He has the skills Inventor: clockworks. SS: Clockwork Engineering. Mechanic: Clockwork. He wants to create a clockwork dog. The GM rules that this is a new and creative object, but it will not unbalance the game world significantly. He sets the difficulty at 3. Marlon succeeds with coming up with a design. The GM then determines that all the components Marlon needs to make the dog are readily available and should take about a week. Marlin takes a month for +1, uses a good workshop +1, He uses Mechanic (clockwork) as a complementary. He succeeds and has created the clockwork dog. He pays 3 character point and has the special talent Inventor: clockwork dog
  • Johan works for Arsonotec industries and they want him to design a new deadly gun, a Dart Gun. The GM rules that this is acceptable for the campaign. He uses the skill inventing and succeeds and comes up with the design. Johan is using Arsonotec’s great lab +2 and lots of help for an additional +1 and all the materials he will need. Because he is making the object at Arsonotec and they will keep the design and any benefits therefrom. They will pay the points. Johan succeeds and makes the weapon. He did not spend any points, so he does not get the invention perk.

In Arth, Alchemy is the the major power. The power limits of Alchemy are limited by number, the side effects, skill levels and ingredients. Alchemy does not restricted to potions. It can make powders, ointment, and other solutions. As the campaign goes on you will invariably see some creative ways to use Alchemy that I come up with. Feel free to do the same. You can have invisibility potions, transforms, darkness powders or potions, etc In addition of course all formulas, equipment, and new inventions need to go through GM approval.

Alchemy, while it can be extremely powerful in Arth, is no longer practiced as widely as it used to be, except for paraxite based “alchemy” and healing potions, which are fairly simple processes. Alchemistical powders and potion usually require special ingredients. And when accidents happen the results are disastrous. Many alchemists get themselves killed in their laboratory and workshops. There are a few very powerful alchemistical relics that remain in Arth. The Breiindreian Empires Indirian pools for example. There are stories of potions that gave long life and immortality to those that drank them, powders that when combined could destroy whole cities, and poisons that could wipe out countries, but these are generally considered tall tales.

Alchemy Inventing
You should have Inventing as Alchemy research.  You should make an alchemy research roll for coming up with the formula. Then an Alchemy roll with modifiers for making the initial formula. The rules are different for the cost. Since all alchemy based powers have a real point cost. Just pay the normal point cost instead of getting the invention special talent. Special ingredients may give you bonuses to your roll. I may also modify the difficulty depending on the formula.

Potions: Potions are available for sale from Alchemists. Healing potions, by far the most common type of potion, make fatal disease and injury very treatable in Arth. A standard healing potion costs 10 gp. It takes a decent alchemist about 1 hr to create a healing potion. If he makes about 8-10 a day, most alchemists will make a very good living. Other potions are rarer, are not available in all areas, and cost much more.

Alchemy Potions and Items:
  • Standard Healing Potion:
    Basic Healing
    Cost 10 gp.
  • Field Alchemy or Starter Kit: Every Alchemist needs some stuff to get those potions started. This basic alchemy kit contains mortar, pestle, bottles, mixing rods, etc , and even an enclosed Muostone box that can safely carry a firestone. 5 kg.
    Cost 30 gp.
  • Alchemy Lab: A really good field alchemy kit will still only get you +1 to your alchemy. An alchemy lab, such as the ones, at Aberdeen University can give you up to +2 or +3 depending on its equipment, but such a lab with muostone walls would cost around 10000 gp. Really good ingredients can give you additional pluses.

Centers of Alchemy Learning

The Chinese have always produced some great alchemists, but depend on an apprenticeship system rather than an institution. There is the Imperial Academy however that houses an Alchemy research wing.

Arcadia has several famous institutions if you can find a way to get to them
- Leonardo’s academy
- Aristotle’s Forum
- Dreamer’s Gate
- Mysrath Forum

Big known institutions that have alchemy programs:
USA: Abradeen University in Malthot
Breiindiria: has Oxward and Teliot.
Carthagia: Center of Alezandria
Russians: have an institute of Alchemy somewhere
Prussians: The royal academy has a dwindling program.
South Uttica: no program, very few apprenticeships

Arabask: has no center for alchemy. There are some apprenticeships.
Incan: No centers of alchemy. There are some apprenticeships.
Yopan: Relies on an apprenticeship system
Byzenenia: Has the Empirial academy, but this is a small program. The larger program is at constantioples center for the arts.

Ruins and Archaeological Sites:
Ruins can be found in most areas of the world if one knows where to look, but in the empires most known sites are well controlled, except perhaps in parts of Jndiria, but there may be many sites that are unknown or not deemed important enough for monitoring. The Carthagian Empire is supposed to have some spectacular sites as well as the great library in Alezandria which can provide history and lore going back thousands of year. For areas with lots of ruins you might want to look at the following locations that are still largely unexplored.
  • Central Arcana: full or ruins. Area covered in our world would be Central America and Mexico. Government. Mainly tribal. The Frien, the Prussians, and Breiindirian have all tried to establish extended states here, but other than some coastal city states, they have been largely unsuccessful. Language: Native Central Arcanan
  • South Arcana: A lot like Central Arcana. The main difference is the interior of the country is controlled by the mighty Incan empire, who don't like people traipsing around without a guide. You can pick a guide up at one of the many coastal city states. Language: Incan
  • Himalayan: Who knows what you will find in the Himalayan mountains, the mountains border on Runesia, China, Arabask, and Indiria. The western portion may speak many forms of Arabaskan. The Eastern you may find dialects of Cantonese. In the central who knows. Most of the central portion is unexplored.
  • Arabask: Is huge and the Caliphate controls many areas in name only. There are a lot of robbers and bandits though, so you may have to be careful in the vast deserts, mountains, and arid steeps contain the remnants of dozens of civilization.
  • Southeast Artrista: Southeast Asia. Although nominally owned and governed by various empires for the past couple hundred years. Southeast Artrista is largely still undeveloped with people speaking native languages. There are still many of these places with old ruins to be discovered.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:54, Sat 26 Nov 2016.

 GM, 33 posts
Wed 11 Feb 2015
at 20:05
Arth Rough Historical Timeline
Arth Timeline:

I thought I would add a timeline to further develop the history of Arth. This would be fairly standard knowledge for well-educated characters. I expect this timeline to grow as the campaign progresses, and will probably add subsections on different areas of the world.

Historical Eras:
Arth history is divided into three era’s. This division was originally done by Scholars in Alezandria hundreds or years ago.

Ancient Era (AE): Era that predates all others. Only speculation and rumors exist about this era. It is full of myths, gods, and vague stories. No specific dates exist for this era.

Mota Common Era (MCE): Anything from year zero back about 3000 years. Year zero is designated from the time that the Great Temple of Mota was built, or rebuilt. Modern scholars have accused the Alezanderian Scholars of non-rational thinking and giving one religion a place it does not deserve in history, but at this time the designation is so common that it has persisted.

New Mota Era (NME): From year zero forward to the present day.

  • 3000- 1000 MCE: The Lumerian empire rises and falls in the Cradle Lands.
  • 3000 – 332 MCE: Aegyption Empire flourishes at the mouth of the Nile.
  • 2100-1600 MCE: The Xai dynasty arises in China. China as a nation is born.
  • 1031 MCE: Ardmore Prophet of Mota is born
  • 970 -931 MCE: King Sulayman Reigns in the Cradle Lands
  • 961- 945 MCI: Queen Shaeba Visits King Sulayman
  • 900- 711 MCE: Rise of the Imperial House in Yopan
  • 771 MCE: The twin brothers or sisters (depending on who is telling the story), Carthagia and Raemus are born. They go on to found the Raemus and Carthagian Republics.
  • 571 MCE: Loa Szuo is born in China
  • 560 MCE: Carthage Becomes a Hegemony
  • 551 MCE: Confuzius is born China
  • 470 – 399 MCE: Socrates in Grekia
  • 385 – 322 MCE: Life of Aristotle
  • 356- 323 MCE: Alezander the Great Conquers from Raemus and Carthagia to Indiiria
  • 331 MCE: Alezandria is founded.
  • 313 MCE: Great Library and Institute of Alezandria are founded.
  • 231-203 MCE: The great aqueduct of China is started and has continued to this day.
  • 117 MCE: Great Houses rule in Carthagia, it becomes an empire.
  • 21 MCE: Raemans conquer Aegypt
  • 27 MCE – 14 NME: Occam Caesas First Raeman Emperor Rules. Reaman Empire is born.
  • 0 ME: Building (or rebuilding) of The Great Temple of Mota by Hyraene the Magnificent on mount Saenyra.
  • 324-337 NME: Emperor Constanine rules in Raema. He converts to Motism and moves the Capital of Raema to Constantioples to be closer to the Great Temple.
  • 355 NME: In a coup Princess Byzentia takes over the Eastern part of the Raeman Empire, ever after known as the Byzentania Empire.
  • 476 NME: Raema is sacked by Europan Mercenaries.
  • 531 NME: Carthagia takes Nile and Aegypt from Byzentanian Empire
  • 476- 1000 NME: Age obfuscation in Europa
  • 769 – 814: NME: Carlomagno Unites Europa. His union breaks apart after his death. Start of the Europan kingdoms known at present day.
  • 1185-1573 NME: Arise and Rule of Yopan by the Shelegates.
  • 1452-1515 NME: Leonaro Di Vynci in Europa
  • 1492 NME: Coilairus sails to North Arcana
  • 1603- 1868 NME: Edo Shelegate Rules in Japan
  • 1600-1700: NME East Indiria Company makes inroads into Indiriia. They find a fantastic source of Paraxite, spices, Muostone, and other goods.
  • 1502 NME: Byzentania takes Nile and Aegypt from Carthagia.
  • 1703 NME: The great Indirian Rebellion. Aided by alchemists and warriors. Mines are destroyed and thousands of Brein are killed. Brien is crippled without the flow of goods from Indiria.
  • 1706 NME: Prince George along with a fleet and large expeditionary force are sent to Indiria to “negotiate with force.”
  • 1707-1708 NME: Prince George meets with Seirut-Devi, Princess of the Muhal empire. Taken by her knowledge and beauty. He determines to marry her. The two create a plan to unite the kingdoms.
  • 1709 NME: Prince George arrives with Seirut-Devi in Londinium. They negotiate with Queen Anne.
  • 1710 NME: The edict of unification. To retain titles and lands nobles, including the royal family will be required to intermarry with Indirian nobles and royalty.
  • 1710-1910 NME: The great integration between Brein and Indiria takes place.
  • 1767-1769 NME: The Fein-Breiindiran War spills over into USA.
  • 1776-1780 NME: Arcana war of independence from Breiindiria breaks out.
  • 1804 NME: Napoleon becomes Emperor of Freia and founds the Napoleic Empire
  • 1848 NME: Karl Marx publishes the Communist Manifesto.
  • 1857 NME: Communist revolution fails miserably in Runesia. The supporters of the revolution are outcast.
  • 1869 NME: Communist revolution succeeds spectacularly in South Uttica.
  • 1871 NME: Emperor Inido Opens Yopan to the rest of the world.
  • 1848 NME: Lord Kelvien and Ghandaria Create the Indirian pools.
  • 1895 – 1901 NME: The Great War. In a surprise move Prussia attacks the Nordic states. They are rebuffed by the winter, but Runesia uses it as pretext to attack Prussia. Carthagia sends forces to help Prussia, and the Caliphate sends troops to support Runesia. The Napoleic Empires is trying to broker a peace deal when a Breiinderian general, Duke Wellingsly, acting independently, seizes part of the Napoleic coast. The USA then becomes involved and sent troops to first support Napoleic forces, and then Carthagia after it is attacked by South Uttica. By the third year the war has dissolved into great confusion and chaos with no seeming unified command on any side. Many fear the great empires will break apart leading to the next dark age. Yopan is making some headway negotiating small settlements and treaties between fighting factions. The tipping point comes in 1899 when Runesia sends an army into Byzentenia. The army was lost without a trace, and the Byzentanians decide to end the war. Within a year the Byzentanians somehow finagle all sides to cease hostilities and an uneasy peace is instituted.
  • 1910 NME: Campaign Start

 GM, 40 posts
Sat 14 Feb 2015
at 13:03
Nobility and Rank of Selected Empires
On Nobility and Rank:
Every major civilization handles their nobility and social structure at least slightly differently. Here are some notes on nobility and costs of many of the major empires.

New Arcana:
New Arcana does not have nobility they are a republic. You can get upper crust instead. If you want to be a political figure, I will be happy to tell you how much this resource costs.

Breiindiria, Runesia, and Prussia:
Breiindiria, Runesia, and Prussia have a uniform feudal structure for the upper nobility. The names may change depending upon the language, but they are pretty much the same. The same applies for the many of the smaller Europan kingdoms as well.
  • Royalty (cost 15),
  • Duke (cost 13),
  • Marquess (cost 11),
  • Earl or Count (cost 10),
  • Viscount (cost 9),
  • Baron (cost 8),
  • Baronet (cost 7).
  • Lower Nobility (cost 5): knights, lords, ladies, etc. May not be inherited titles. Called Aristos in Breiindirian Society.

Napoleic Empire:
The Napoleic Empire used to be like the other Europan nations until the rise of Napoleon. Now rank in the upper nobility is decided by relation to the emperor. The other titles all exist, but now they are part of the lower nobility. Note that there is beginning to be significant inbreeding in the Imperial line as nobility marries cousins and second cousins. Local areas such as Itiery or the Neaderlands are ruled by local parliament under the direction of an imperial family member. If the local parliament does not like the family member they may request a replacement.
  • Emperor’s Immediate Family (cost 15)
  • Scions: Sisters and Brothers of the Emperor (cost 13)
  • Cousins: Nephews and Nieces of the Emperor (Cost 11)
  • Progeny: Cousins of the Emperor (Cost 10)
  • 2nd Cousins: Children of the Progeny (cost 9)
  • Kin: Other relations of the Emperor (cost 8)
  • Compeer: Friends of the emperor that are not family (cost 7)
  • Lower Nobility (cost 5): Those with titles that are unrelated to the emperor

Carthage has a nominal empress, and they refer to themselves as an empire, but they are actually an oligarchy, ruled by a council (conclave) made up of the heads of the most powerful houses. The empress usually just follows the instructions of the Conclave. There are three levels of houses High, Medium, and Low. A house can drop or rise in station depending on status, money, and influence. The Carthagian Empire is very matriarchal, with females usually being the heads of the houses.
  • Conclave member (cost 15)
  • King or Queen: Head of a High House (cost 13)
  • Prince or Princess: Member of a high house (cost 11)
  • Raj or Raja: Head of middle house member: (cost 10)
  • Raju or Rajette: member of a middle house: (cost 9)
  • Sar, or Sara: Head of a Low House (cost 8)
  • Saru, or Sarette: Member of a Low House (cost 7)
  • Lower Nobility (cost 5): Captains, pilots, chieftains- usually not members of a great house, but still associated with a house.

The Caliphate of Arabask is ruled by the Caliph, who is always male. The position is handed down from father to his first son. Arabast is divided into 6 regions that are ruled by Sultans. Each Sultan has 6 Raja’s, Each Rajah, has 6 Emirs, and so on down the line. These can be female. The Caliph has no fixed home or palace. Instead he will move between each of the sultanates throughout the year. Except for the Caliphate the nobility is not technically hereditary and the Caliph has the power to appoint whom he chooses to each position. Usually the Caliph confirms the child of the Sultan or other rulers that has been prepared for the position when their parents died.
  • Caliph and Immediate family (cost 15),
  • Sultan (cost 13)
  • Rajah (cost 11)
  • Emir (cost 10)
  • Malik (cost 9)
  • Shah (cost 8)
  • Pasha (cost 7)
  • Lower Nobility (cost 5): Sheikh, tribal rulers, bey, Wazir, and children of the upper nobility.

Byzentanian politics are notoriously intricate. Outsiders never understand how it works, and even those that grew up in Byzentania only understand a small fraction of it. First there is the emperor or empress. It is not a hereditary title, they are chosen from the entire populace. Most often the title goes to a capable noble, but there have been some bizarre cases. For example, in 563 NME a beggar was given the title, in 1530 a clock maker, and in 1710 a ship captain. There is no apparent pressing or negotiating for the title. When the old ruler dies, the new rulers name will be read from an engraved black tablet. The tablet is sealed in chest that is held on a pillar in the center of Constantioples at all times. This chest is changed regularly on a random schedule.  There are numerous titles in Byzentania other than Emperor that have been borrowed from other countries. Thus you will have kings, queens, princesses, princes, grand dukes, barons, shahs, sultans, etc, but it may be hard to determine whether these titles mean anything or exactly what power or responsibilities people with these titles have. If a player wishes to have a Byzentanian character, they may be introduced to the peculiarities of these politics.
  • Nobility (cost 5): The character is considered a noble in Byzentania and will have a title. They may choose whatever title they want except emperor or empress. They will enjoy the same amount of privilege as if a noble of another country.

I am not outlining the nobility of other countries at this time. If a character wishes to understand the rank structure of another country such as China, the Incan Empire, or Yopan, let me know, and I will work up something.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:08, Sat 14 Feb 2015.