Today, we will be talking about the world of our first tabletop roleplaying game - Freelancer. Our goal setting out was to envision a fantasy world in the age of industry. The world of Freelancer may remind players of our own world near the start of WWI, but through the aid of magical means the technology has branched a bit from our own.
In this world, dragons are hunted for the magical power in their blood, which can be harvested and processed into a volatile substance known as dragon oil. Using this dragon oil as ink, magical runes can be made, which allow the creation of new and wondrous machinery. This includes the airships that traverse the skies. From the beginning, players will have a small airship that serves as their mobile home base as they go off on their adventures.
These runes have also allowed for enchanted equipment that can change the course of a battle as bullets bounce off of a breastplate with runic enhancements. They also have changed the daily lives of the citizenry as runes can be used to create perpetual electrical generators, vehicles to make travel easy and safe, refrigerators, and many other technologies. Players will use these runes to bolster their own abilities, making their characters capable of feats that most mortals could scarcely dream of. However, players will take on the role of mundane heroes in a magical world, and survival and victory will depend upon the wit and willpower of the heroes more than magical enhancements.
The setting is mainly focused on a single nation within this world: Tolindia. By the year 1908, Tolindia has been the economic and political powerhouse of the world for over a hundred years, but nearby expanding empires and growing internal strife threaten Tolindia. While Parliament currently governs the nation, the old aristocratic families are growing increasingly discontent as more and more of their former privileges are being stripped away. Political factions have formed that seem to have irreconcilable differences. To make matters worse, a growing secessionist movement is starting among the elves in the west of the nation, and the mighty Tolindia looks to be in dire straits. The world around Tolindia is also beginning to descend into what could become the largest war in its history, and Tolindia's fragile neutrality in this conflict is beginning to crumble as their longtime allies seek aid against aggressive empires. Standing out from all these is the neighboring Gryzun Empire, which has begun their ruthless eastward expansion once again. Only a fool would think that Tolindia is not in the Empire's sights. Beset on all sides by potential threats, it is no exaggeration to say that the nation is in peril.
As a Freelancer, your job will be to maintain the peace and uphold the law in these tenuous times. In our next post, we will explore what it means to be a Freelancer in more depth, and what options players have when building their own Freelancer.