But first some back story;
Eric is and easy guy to talk with, but when it comes to planning on Ganth, a hard guy to talk to. First off, he's a full time student/dad/homemaker. That's right, he wears the kilt in the family. I'm actually making jibes at him, since my kids told me that mom wears the pants in this family.
But he tends to stay busy and has poor communication skills. He's slow about replying to emails, texts, facebook, G+, and hates talking on the phone longer than 2 minutes. Actually, that sounds a lot like me, so...
On the bi-weekly gaming sessions we discuss some on Ganth. From those discussions, Eric has started making the maps, races, and classes. And I write the fiction. I'm lying a little, sometimes I bring candy too. Enough joking aside, this is Eric's baby. He kept these characters and adventures with him all these years. Ganth is his original idea and his concept. He let's me help and I'm grateful. If it was my world I'd do things different, but then again if it was my world, it would have already fallen apart. And with the creation of my own corner, I try to defer to him on most major ideas without giving too much away to him as a player. To free up some constraints, we decided that anything he liked from my campaign would be incorporated into Ganth and anything he didn't like would be left out or rewritten into a way that fits with his concept of Ganth.
From our discussions, my concept for the campaign were that Ganth is a world that has the following:
High magic with heavy chaotic nature and harsh repercussions for magic
Life means little to anyone other than themselves
The world itself is dying at an alarming rate
Divine magic is nearly nonexistent
So with those concepts I came up with the following ideas:
#1: Elven Metal
Elves are Fae in Ganth and cannot touch iron or steel. As immortals this is one major setback. I tried to figure a way to give them some kind of help. I know there are fantasy metals like mithril already in most games, but I don't want to use someone else's concept and in all the other settings the fantasy metal is much stronger than steel. It's not a disadvantage if the metal is stronger and being immortal they need the disadvantage. I initially thought one of the regular weaker metals and alloys like copper, tin, brass or bronze, or even using obsidian. But I didn't like any of them because they don't have a fantasy feel. So I invented two new metals, Moonsilver and Heartstone.
Moonsilver is a soft, white silver metal, stronger than copper but weaker than iron. It's also rarer than gold. Against weapons of iron or steel, moonsilver armor loses 1 AC, and moonsilver weapons lose 1 to attack rolls against steel or iron armor. But the major factor with moonsilver is it's natural attraction to magic (-25% time reduction/+25% chance to magically enchant). So for magic items in game, the majority of them are moonsilver. Obvious exceptions would be weapons or armor that only appear in a human only society. We haven't created them in game yet but imagine Aussies were only humans there, so no enchanted boomerangs made of moonsilver. (I know they're wooden, it's just an example)
Heartstone is a super soft, pinkish metal. It is a semi-solid (imagine jello) that can only be found inside large veins of moonsilver that do not touch any veins of iron. If heartsone is touched by anything other than magical means or moonsilver it instantly solidifies into a hardened state that cannot be harmed or destroyed by any means. Heartstone can only be forged through powerful enchantments and pure moonsilver. (pure meaning completely untouched by iron or steel) Once forged, heartstone is as strong as steel and can be enchanted with the simplest of means. (-75% time reduction/+75% chance to magically enchant) Moonstone is to magic items as heartstone is to artifacts. Most (not all) artifacts are made from heartstone. Heartsone should be and is VERY rare. Even in it's ruined state, heartstone is highly prized by most of Ganth's wealthy nobility. A few wars have started over a lump of heartstone smaller than a human thumb.
I know it sounds a little crazy for cybernetics in a fantasy setting, but stick with me here. I have always loved cybernetics, I'm not sure if it was growing up with a few of my close relatives having artificial appendages or my love of sci-fi, but in almost every Palladium Game (Ninjas and Superspies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Robotech, Heroes Unlimited, and Rifts, but not Palladium RPG since it's just fantasy based), GURPS (not gonna waste the space for every conceivable GURPS rule set), Car Wars, Battle Tech (Before and after it was called Mech Warrior), Star Wars, Star Trek, and so many others (I'm sorry for anyone I forgot but I would also like to thank my parents and of course god...sorry watching the Emmy's) I make either a cyborg or someone with some kind of small cybernetics (Like optic or hearing upgrades). I've seen everything from warforged to drow magic/radiation cybernetics to gnome steam powered in a fantasy setting, but none of them felt right. Then it hit me, goblins.
That's right, goblins make cybernetics. Not all goblins make cybernetics but a certain clan does. This currently unnamed clan of goblins discovered how to make living metal. After near annihilation at the hands of humans and their iron weapons, the chief of the clan went to his shaman and ordered him to find a way to make a metal stronger than iron that would not burn them. (Goblins like Elves are Fae and unable to use iron or steel)
Several failed attempts and the deaths of multiple assistants, the shaman discovered a way to make a metal stronger that steel. The first step of the process was to make an alloy, named Kruxsteel after the goblin shaman Krux, with iron and moonsilver. The alloy made a perversion of moonsilver and made it unusable to goblins, but the shaman found away around that. With powerful magics he discovered how to bind the living soul of a brownie to an ingot of Kruxsteel. Any pain from the steel in the alloy would be passed onto the soul of the brownie bound inside.
It was the secondary effect from the binding, that Krux never expected, that made the alloy a true prize. Kruxsteel was actually alive! If forged into a door handle it would actually open or close without being touched. If damaged, kruxsteel would heal itself over time. Unfortunately with brownies being pacifists, kruxsteel could not be forged into weapons or armor. It wasn't until after the chief removed Krux's left hand for failing to make a kruxsteel weapon, that he decided to try to make appendages. Once he forged himself a new, and much stronger hand, Krux crushed the chief head and became the new chief. After that day the entire clan started crafting and selling their magically limb replacements. This clan of goblins have since spread out into new areas and have amassed a monstrous amount of wealth. They currently offer limb, eye, and ear replacements for a hefty fee. (10,000 GP for simple working ear up to 1 million GP massive arm replacement with +4 strength -2 dex)