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Tabletop Game / Rym

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Rym is a Science Fantasy setting placed on the Web by artist Ollie Canal. It's set up as material for a tabletop RPG.

The premise: alien necromancers are slowly draining the life from a planet already suffering from past apocalypses, including the fall of civilization and the death of five out of six gods. A kingdom of noble heroes arose to fight them... and got slaughtered. You come in well After the End.

The setting is divided between multiple Web sites and is very incomplete due to the author's elusiveness. The main setting site is here (here to skip Flash intro), with info on a default campaign setup here (continued here) and a more complete collection of links here.

This setting provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Zigzagged with the "City Mind", a "computer god" that was created by the Creators to challenge and defeat the gods. Whilst it was only doing what they asked of it, the trope is still played straight in that it proved willing to fight on to achieve victory even if this meant annihilating the Creators in the process.
  • After the End: Twice over! The high-tech Creator Empire fell thousands of years ago, killing five out of the six gods and wrecking the world. The Spiral Order, a race of alien liches, invaded six hundred years ago and were battled by a great union of Rym's native races called the Solinar, but the Solinar were defeated after one race, the cepn, suddenly switched sides and betrayed the Solinar, including assassinating the Solinar king. This allowed the Spiral Order the opportunity to reverse their fortunes, shatter the Solinar alliance, and spend the next six centuries consolidating their power, erecting magitek fortresses designed to literally suck the life out of the planet as part of their unholy terraforming project.
  • Always Chaotic Evil:
    • Cepn have the reputation of being this amongst other races, as they betrayed the Solinar by siding with the invading Spiral Order and assassinating the Solinar King on their behalf, resulting in the failure of the Siege of Arborat and the ushering in of the Age of Oblivion. It's not a stereotype without justification; cepn society is defined by its obsession with sleep and death, with the young being honed into masterful killers through torturous training that has a very high mortality rate. Social promotion is based largely on a combination of skill, intimidation and assassination. The capacity for love is basically beaten out of cepn as they mature — ironically, they find it easier to establish bonds of admiration and love with other races than they do with each other, and even so, most cepn never come to truly understand the concept of love or loyalty, simply moving on when the whim takes them. And you can bet that if they treat each other that badly, then they treat other races worse. The cepn refer to non-cepn as, simply, "prey".
    • The gorg literally depend on enslaving and abusing other races to survive, as they waste away if they cannot fully sate their hedonistic ways. They are brutal slavers, have no loyalty other than to whichever side is the most profitable, and exploit every dirty tactic in the book to get more money out of those unfortunate enough to deal with them.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 2 (most humans and others die) in the backstory. The Spiral are working on Class 5 — they're terraforming the planet to suit their own undead biology — and probably X long-term.
  • Apocalyptic Log: One of the last radio broadcasts was: "We are all dead. Our world has become death. Stay away."
  • Beast Man: Most of the known player races in the setting are this; whilst supposedly there are humans and demihuman races, only the elves and the machines receive any major attention.
    • Hoomiku: A race of hyper-genius Cat Folk aliens whose aging colony ship crashed in the deep deserts of Rym. They are incredibly xenophobic, largely because their culture has become repressively hierarchical. They are heavily focused on repairing their ancestral ship to escape Rym.
    • Lutrai: Hedonistic otters whose race evolved along spiritual rather than technological lines; naturally infused with an affinity for Rym's magic, they never developed advanced technology or a cultural level beyond the tribal because they didn't need to.
    • Koba: A race of strong but dim-witted Lizard Folk who are surprisingly passive and docile, despite being one of the biggest races on the planet. Herbivorous saurians resembling humanoid Parasaurolophus, their lack of a need to develop advanced brains or an advanced society has left them one of the most primitive peoples on Rym. Despite this, they are generally an easy-going, friendly and affable people who would be friends with everybody... if only they weren't so valuable as slaves. They get on best with the Lutrai.
    • Cepn: Loathed and hated, the cepn are a race of Bat People who betrayed the Solinar to the Spiral Order. Originally, there were two distinct cultures; the carnivorous and haemophagic Nizril and the fruit and flower-eating, dream-revering Kizril. The former genocided the latter to cement their allegiance with the Spiral Order. They are assassins and mercenaries.
    • Skole: A Wolf Man race who were once noble allies of the Solinar, but who have largely fallen into irrelevance since the Solinar's destruction, having been reduced largely to slaves, escape slaves, and roving packs of nomadic hunters and warriors. They are the setting's resident Proud Warrior Race and noted for being grim, silent, and big on Brutal Honesty.
    • Gorg: A malevolent race of plutocratic hippos who consider all other lifeforms as fit only to be slaves, which themselves are disposable (and edible) — unless they have money. Although highly intelligent and surprisingly charismatic, they are quite bad winners, and even worse losers, and thus assassinations, blackmail, and defamaing campaigns are fairly frequent occurrences in gorg society. Incredibly hedonistic, the only thing really holding their society together is that, whilst they consider abusing loopholes, fine print and other underhanded tactics to be perfectly acceptable, a written contract is sacrosanct and not to be broken. Loyalty is on sale to the highest bidder, and they are notorious slavers and war profiteers.
    • Czath: A race of drug-addicted, dim-witted Lizard Folk used as berserker slave-warriors by the Spiral Order, having been corrupted with the Spiral's dark religion and indoctrinated to view themselves as worthless, save for their ability to kill on the Spiral's behalf. They have become Death Seekers, and throw their lives away in great Zerg Swarm rushes.
  • Crapsack World: Besides the alien necromancers trying to annihilate all life, and the fact that the ecosystem and magic are collapsing, there's a slavery-heavy empire, a race of berserk drug-addled lizards, a corrupt greedy merchant race, and several whole civilizations devoted to getting off the planet. Oh, and there's a black hole in the vicinity.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Elementals exist on Rym as a kind of golem created by taking one of the four major elements — Earth, Air, Water, Fire — and infusing it with the fifth element, Quintessence.
  • Elemental Powers: Magic on Rym is derived from the six elements, each of which is further divided into three aspects; Earth (Stone, Dust, Mud), Air (Wind, Clouds, Storms), Water (Ice, Liquid, Steam), Fire (Flame, Lava, Smoke), Quintessence (Life, Soul, Thought) and Wasting (Death, Entropy, Void).
  • Element No. 5: Quintessence, which is the element of life, and Wasting, which is the element of death. The former is native to Rym; the latter is the power that animates the alien liches of the Spiral Order, and its infusion into Rym is killing the planet.
  • Fat Bastard: Gorgs require ten times the normal volume of food and drink consumed by medium-sized humanoids, and some are barely capable of even moving under their own power. To sate their gluttony, they will financially ruin, enslave and even cannibalize others.
  • Humongous Mecha: Visible overhead is Nigh, an ancient giant nuclear-armed god-slaying robot raven.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: The Decider is an immortal empress, apparently a mighty sorceress, and the richest person on the planet.
  • Magitek: In general, technology on Rym uses magic as its fundamental power source, allowing it to achieve incredible feats. The precise flavor of magic varies depending on races, with the Spiral Order in particular using horrific necromancy-based technology that consumes the souls of the dead and the unborn for fuel.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Creator robots, though some have developed their own personalities.
  • Mordor: The area around the three Spiral towers, especially Nirn's perpetual burning ash-storm terrain.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: There's one that's more of a necromantically-raised dragon skin pumped full of cursed soul-dissolving oil, and something more horrific: another dragon posing as a human politician.
  • Our Elves Are Different: They have tails and have been all but wiped out; the last civilization is so heavily adapted to their forest environment they suffer morale penalties outside of it. They have also largely decided that Rym is no longer worth defending, and are increasingly cannibalizing their own civilization for the raw materials to build a great Ark with which to leave the planet by fleeing into the Astral Plane. Ironically, the efforts of the aristocracy to hide the Ark's construction so their enemies can't destroy it has kept their own population so ignorant of what they're working towards that they are starting to face revolutions amongst their own people... which is being spurred on by the council of mages, scholars, and artisans working to complete the ark, as the ark barely has the space to carry half the elven population as it is.