House ruling / Reskinning the setting to tone down fantasy elements

I need to make some adjustments to the setting in order to fit in some things I want. What I don't want is to lose the excellent general feel of the 9th world, so I would like to have ur advice on how to do it.

What I would like to add/modify
1) I want to have some firearms and/or industrial age tech going around. No assault rifles, but some shotguns, sniper rifles and maybe older muskets. Also I would like the sight of an airship to be rare but not incomprehensable. (like in Nausika of the Valley of the Wind).

Maybe there are craftsmen with the knowledge of producing firearms but as there is no factory to produce them, all firearms are handmade and uncommon if not rare.

2) I want to tone down the fantasy elements from the PC chars - only. Yes one character, lets say the Nano, could have some special background were he wields fire or ice etc. But having all characters wielding energy powers and having special backgrounds to support it results in a feel I would like to avoid.

Is it fair / game breaking to allow only one player have special power focus? Is it ok if I allow them to all players but the spec powers are drown from artifacts they have, not from some personal inner energy?

3) I have the following idea in mind. The civilization which precedet the 9th world is recently destroyed. In fact the 9th world is the descentants of the 8th world survivors of a Post Apocalypse. The 8th World had reached an early industrialization phase. Maybe it was Solar Power based and it was destroyed by some short of Ice Age, or an Eclipse that lasted for decades. That was maybe 900 years before.

Does this break the logic the 9th world is build upon? Again I don't want to advance the technology age the world is in. I want it to be pseudo ancient / medieval but were some items of tech are more common. Like some of the items up to industrial age are not considered magic, but technology.



  • Those ideas do not break the basis for the ninth world.  I think they're great!  The fantasy element of the game is something you will not be able to totally get rid of though.  In fact I believe you will probably want to keep a lot of it.  Questing for answers and possibly wanting or needing quests for ancient technology but It will be a lot of work on your part to impart the feel of your ninth world with the various descriptions that you will be using.  And you'll want to start a story that will also blend easily with the changed setting.  I would start looking into the various books, movies and anime that use a similar setting for inspiration.  It sounds, to me anyway, very "Steampunk" and Nausica is a good start, but also look into the Full Metal Alchemist anime series and the Steamboy anime.  Books like Boneshaker by Chiere Priest, Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series, Kieran Larwood's Freak's series or Stephan Hunt's Kingdoms Of... series.  The Girl Genius web comic.  There is a great deal to be learned from even the Indiana Jones series or the Golden Compass series of books and movies as well.  All of these use a steampunk like setting to help their stories and most use a war between two or more of their countries to for the backdrop.  Old world and new world Lore will be REALLY important to the game to maintain that feeling that you want.

    1) The fire arms.  I would handle them as in-game artifacts with a depletion roll after each use and a short list of malfunctions for the player rolling 1s.  But if the player takes a repair skill allow them to be able to fix the weapon when it does malfunction, using the artifact level as the difficulty.  Long guns and large guns being 6 dmg, heavy pistols and smaller two handed guns being 4 dmg and light or small pistols (like a derringer) to be 2 dmg.      

    2) Nanos, I would eliminate them and replace them with similar characters types from the basic Cypher System or make there powers accessible through technological devices only.  Which like the guns could have depletion and repair roll.  Changing them to a scientist like character.  

    3) The ideas for your world are good but I do not feel that you are taking the monsters of the setting into consideration.  Once again the Cypher System core book will help with the "real world" creatures wolves, rhinos and such.  But the other more fantastical creatures that will have to inhabit your world in the spaces between the cities should be explainable too.  Maybe they were militarized creatures for wars in your 8th world that have now gone feral or since adapted from the catastrophe that ended the 8th.  or maybe even some crazy cooked up critter from mad scientists from your 9th world.

    Try those on for size, and lets us know how it works out.  Happy Gaming! 
  • Thanks for the response and ur advise.
    I seem to be misunderstood. I prob didn't express well enough my thinking.
    I love the setting and the way science is so advanced that seems fantasy / magic. Love the monsters, the wierdness etc.
    I also don't want to change the medieval understanding of the setting.

    I  just need to introduce scattered and scarce 19th - 20th century objects which are not considered magic by the commoner of the world, but mechanism of the remains of the previous civilization (the 8th world). A firearm, a flashlight, maybe a laptop with crucial info, or a lighter. The collective memory of the 8th world will be present in communities. Some of the royal families of the Kingdoms descent through the generations from the leaders of the various survivor groups, survivores who endured the Ice Age that destroyed the 8th World.

    Now, the older civilizations reached far greater tech than the prev one. There are cyphers and monsters and artifacts of a far far tech level. Remnants of the 4th, 6th, 7th world. Just like the official setting.

    I like the idea that the Nano wields power that seems magical but is super high tech. My problem is that while a player can have a background which makes him special is awsome, having all 3-4 players build that way will have this appear more common to the table, when I want to be, well, special.
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