Sci-Fi in Fantasy
As I alluded to in my previous article, Sci-fi can be so much more than robots and spaceships. In fact even traditionally fantasy specific games can be sci-fi. The two are not incompatible. Allow me to weave some ideas for a sci-fi fantasy setting.
With a thought a mage focuses and is connected to a great humming web of magic. Millions of mages the world around sending spells and tidbits of arcane lore to each other using raw magic as the conduit. For the cost of a few motes of spell power the casters mind obtains the incantation they're looking for. A few words and gestures are fed directly into their mind and their hands and voice follow along automatically. Perfect casting every time. Even the humblest of spellcaster can access ancient forgotten magic as long as they can pay for it with their own arcane essence. The Spelltender elementals, carefully trained and mindless constructs of magic, filter and sort this magic. The mage focuses on finding good offensive spells, ones with casting components that they already have. But with a frown they expand their search to include spells with material components within 100 miles, and once they choose a spell a simple unobtrusive illusion visible only to them forms a glowing line directing them to where they can get the missing ingredient.
The warrior places her palm on the wooden door. The dragon leather glove she wears grows warm and the reptilian eye on the back of its palm opens. She sees with the prowess of the dragon, detecting each foe in the next room. A lightly armored goblin packing three different wands. Three orcs, one wearing an animated suit of armor, the other two brandishing finely machined falchions. She formulates her plan, wordlessly she directs the two small, and rather expensive, homonculi to action. They each grab one of the small magical spheres from her belt. One would fill the area with a potent cloudkill, ideally it would eliminate her foes. The other would create a powerful and deafening sonic blast. Cut off sight and sound and then attack anyone that survives the initial assault, focusing on the goblin with the wands.
"Planar date, 332836.5 Our journey into the depths of quadrant E of the elemental plane of wind proceeds smoothly. Our Vessel, "The Intrepid" continues to provide all that we need without waste, without loss, and without the need for other fuels. If I live another thousand years I'll not have had every meal our ships' conjurors drives can produce. Our mission is to go forth bravely into the infinite unknown of the planes, to seek out new life and new civilisations. Though our vessel brims with powerful arcane cannons, force wall generators, and invisibility technology we hope to never need any of it. Our people have long ago passed the need for violence, and now we seek only peace, understanding, and knowledge."
These are just three simple little prompts that can help you take your fantasy game and add a light, or even heavy dose of sci-fi into it. By using magic as a substitute for technology, and monsters for aliens, it's simple to take many common tactics, storylines, and plot devices and use them in your existing fantasy game. Hopefully this has helped make your game a little more exotic.