so for years ive been entertaining the idea of a setting for games, stories, tabletop rpgs, card games, and anything else i can use it for.
ive never really written it down or worked out some of the kinks, so here goes nothing i guess.
Sheer / Share Madness
so the name is something i just came up with the other day. its a work in progress and it doesnt sound great but i like it.
the setting, like all shitty homebrew settings, is old victorian, or something to that effect, however the concept itself works in almost any setting. Settings that contrast well with magic are best though.
so someone once said that each great story needs a “hat”, a hat is something that you can say is true for your world, without needing to justify or explain it.
harry potters hat is that a school such as hogwarts exists
marvels hat is that superpowered individuals exist
the hat for sheer madness is simple:
all hallucinations are shared among everyone who is hallucinating.
what does this achieve? well.
magic does not exist in my setting. except it sort of does.
if you are mad enough to believe you actually can throw fireballs, then you can.
anyone else mad enough to see things that arent there, can suddenly see your fireballs.
anyone who isnt visually hallucinating won’t see or be affected by anything.
the more you actually believe what you can do, the more powerful stuff you can achieve in the eyes of the mad.
people are affected by magic differently, based on how sane they are. however, no man is truly sane, and as such even the people who are not hallucinating visually may still be subject to effects from a powerful mage.
madness as a whole is more widespread. the world that opens up at small levels of madness is enough to make someones condition worsen
many people prefer the world of the mad, a sort of plain-sight secret society where people can do what they dream of.
infiltration agents from the sane side that take hallucinigenics to participate in magic and gather intel.
people unaware of this side of life who just think drunkards are fighting in the street or people are being weird.
mages who have gotten so strong that their mind survives in the minds of everyone who believes they are immortal, long after their physical body has gone.
anti-mage weaponry in the form of anti-psychotics to act as a sort of kryptonite
cults bringing their god into “reality” through their belief
the balance between power and sanity
powerful individuals too insane to properly focus their power, may be the equivilent of “trickster” gods
searching for a depressed individual who’s mind has trapped them in an alternate universe, but left hints out of fear.
there are a couple of things to sort out proper, namely keeping an interesting balance between the magic and non-magic world, and having a reason for them to interact.
i think it could make a really neat tabletop setting, especially if it starts off without the players having knowledge of magic, and slowly getting in deeper and deeper.
one day i’ll do something in this setting, for now, consider this the first step.
i exist in the minds of others