The world of Kalunga is a vibrant underwater realm, suffused with the essence of magic and creation. It is heavily inspired by various mythologies that were affected by colonialism, particularly sub-saharan African ones, as well as Abrahamic traditions of angelology and demonology. The species and worldbuilding also takes inspiration from the periodic table, but no periodic table knowledge is required.
(More on the world can be read here:
https://toyhou.se/~world/129580.kalunga/page/76711.the-two . Once the game begins, knowledge discovered by players will be added to these pages.)
The Discord RPG me and my friends have been working on, Familiar Gods, begins in the world of Kalunga, and is heavily inspired by old-school forum RPGs. It's mostly sandbox, with players feeling free to adventure, create factions, and compete as they wish; there is an overarching story that's optional to participate in via Quests, lead by GMs and populated with vibrant NPCs. It's 13+, but immature and petty behavior will not be tolerated.
It utilizes a custom PBTA-type RPG system that's rules-light and easy to learn, and you can ask questions at anytime. Players begin as capricious nature spirits, drawn back to their ancestral homeland from the multiverse through mysterious dreams of a wailing serpent. The land is littered with indecipherable ruins and magical contraptions, elemental demons roam the seas, and every spirit feels a burning hunger–a hunger for enough magic to ascend to divinity and unlock sacred creation magic, and a strangely destructive compulsion from a god who no longer breathes.
The spirits do not remember much, but they are shepherded by two mysterious and seemingly all-powerful figures who seem to be at odds, leaving knowledge in their wake.
The main playable races are the Apotheokith, or Kith for short, though more species will become available over the course of the story. The Kith are a semi-open species, but there's no strict rules or masterlist or anything, and you don't need to be active in species communities to understand them--you just can't make a Roholim (proto-god) without an adopt or earning it in-game, and you can't design one with an element outside of its species' designated group. A designated species thread is coming soon!
The species are:
- The Carcanizath. Part crab, part feline, these feisty critters are inspired by halogens. They prefer to dwell within cool fertile seas, and are considered generally unsettling by other Kith. They communicate with quiet ominous clicking and feet-taps, and the structures that look like eyes on their face aren’t actually eyes–they see through their necks. Their Divine Drive is turning everything into crabs. The ruins of Carcanizath structures are filled with very detailed diagrams of living things and electron configurations.
- The Cephalophim. Strange, elandlike noble gas creatures with parasitic octopus-halos. They use these to communicate telepathically, a useful skill in their dark, cold deep-sea environments where countless monsters with extremely sharp hearing lurk. They have patches of neon on them they can also light up to signal. They’re most drawn to the deep-sea mushrooms, for reasons nobody quite understands. Their Divine Drive is for complete moral purity of all they come into contact with–by their standards, anyway–or death. Cephalophim ruins contained endless frantically scrawled notes; the only decipherable words are furious references to “Xenon”.
- The Reefelines. Nudibranch-like cats with ties to the lathanides and actinides. True to their names, they live in reefs–usually warm reefs, but occasionally cold ones as well. They are eusocial, and communicate via a song that hums constantly in the backs of their brains. The Reefelines have the highest magical potential, due to their ability to mysteriously draw magic out of even inactive Steads. Their Divine Drive is kidnapping–specifically, a temporary kidnapping to a strange coral realm all Reefeline have access to. Their victims return, eventually, with new magical understanding but also with a bit of trauma. Reefeline ruins carried strange magical contraptions, the most befuddling of all being the gem-inlaid cubes in every room.
- The Alkadilians are crocodile-shrimp creatures with ties to the alkali and alkali earth groups. They have no ruins, they have no Divine Drive, and they have no homeland, for reasons none know. They feel discomfort when staying in the water for too long; Alkadilians are usually the only creatures who will brave the Floating Islands and Space Planes for extended periods of time, for it is the only place where they feel truly comfortable.
The players take on the role of leaders in newly-formed villages, guiding villagers while exploring ruins. The emphasis is on player agency and discovery–players have the onus when forming the culture of their species or groups, forming pantheons with each other, and even over the physics of the regions they inhabit–the most powerful pantheons in a given Kalungan region have limited power over the very nature of reality and magic within that space. Furthermore, via the questlines players can unlock new ways of hunting magic, new spells, new imp and familiar species, new playable races, and even new worlds–all while discovering if the mysterious waters of Kalunga are truly a place of honor.