Hey, I'm new here, sorry if I messed anything up. After being under a different section of the forum for a while, I saw that this section said "brainstorming" and realized I probably should have posted here anyway. I'm having a bit of trouble in creating a fully articulated universe for a session I will be gming... sometime in the next decade, if I can get this done.
Right now I'm at in the History and Science section of world building.
The present day world appears to be your "standard fantasy setting". Magic, people who hate magic, some ancient ruins, humanoid creatures (but no humans). These humanoids have cities, towns, kingdoms, dynamic social structures. "Magic" has one rule, and that is that all magic is verbal. But that's not my focus currently.
The backstory of this world, called "Tyrin", was that it used to be Earth. A couple hundred thousand years ago (approximately?) humans went and blew it up. In the vacuum left by them, a few intelligent life forms have evolved, knowing nothing of their ancestors except what they can gleam from the ruins of the past civilization.
(Problem 1: Would that wreckage still exist any helpful form, or would it have been long lost to time and disaster?)
Beneath the surface, a long lost race still dwells, protecting ancient monoliths which are their portals to the "Astral Plane". These long lost people are actually humans, driven underground to avoid the disaster and adapted to living underground, they've forgotten almost everything that they were, besides that they need to protect the computers...
These computers house the servers for a cyberspace where many humans escaped to survive the war. They live their now, eternally young but without physical form, in a sort of heaven.
(Idea: Organic Computers with machine caretakers would possibly be more efficient)
(Problem: I want this "Astral Plane"/Heaven/Cyberspace to be accessible somehow to the sentient fantasy creatures, and to become a source of religious and scientific inquiry. How exactly does it work?)
There's also the small fact that all these sentient creatures are humanoid and many have "magic". Did the subdwelling humans create them? For what purpose? Why do they have magic? If the subdwelling humans didn't create them why are they all humanoid? What is "magic"? Why can these creatures access it but humans couldn't? Perhaps magic always existed and humans just quashed it during the dark ages? Or did magic spring up after the destruction of past-earth? Or is "magic" just technology that creatures can't understand? Some type of mutation?
That's currently where I am right now. If I can find an elegant way for all these different pieces to work together, I'll be quite happy. There's also the potential for a space dwelling race of humans, so if there are any ideas concerning them I'm happy to use them.