Hollow Earth Expedition
Timeframe: 1930’s. Most people are poor. The rich are fabulously wealthy. This story is the beginning of the RetroFuture. Expect many world altering technologies to become available over the course of the campaign (based on how long it lasts of course).
Surface Earth: Alternate version of our own history, with the addition of the Hollow Earth. Also, Zeppelins are still in fashion. I will draw from historical sites, people, and events for our campaign, but mix, match, and mash them up as I see fit. The existence of the Hollow Earth is virtually unknown by people on the surface. Whether more people find out will be dependent upon our story.
Hollow Earth: They know the surface exists, and that it is populated by diverse peoples. How to reach the surface is virtually unknown by those who dwell below. The few that can travel back and forth hold a great deal of power in the Hollow Earth, and possibly on the surface…
Magic: It exists, some of the ancients were masters of it. Today Surface magicians know party tricks. Hollow Earth magicians know more, AND they know the source of their rituals and more about the mechanics of magic.
Weird Science: There are smatterings of it upon the surface. Slightly more prevalent inside. Hollow Earth weird scientists have ancient devices to copy and extrapolate from. Surface weird scientists are creating stuff through good old ingenuity, steam power, harnessing the earth’s magnetic field, and oil/petroleum powered monstrosities.
Psychics: The rarest of the disciplines, or the one whose practitioners are the most secretive…
Starting Characters: Go ahead, grab all 3 books, peruse them and make the character you want, then discuss it with me for final approval. Let’s limit magic, psychics, weird science, and artifacts at first. If you want to pursue those avenues in game there will be opportunity to delve into any of that you want. There will also be opportunities to procure magic/psychic/weird science/artifacts that your character can use, even if you don’t know how to create it yourself. Some talents, like magical aptitude, are only available at character creation per the rules. Don’t worry about it. If you want to pursue magic later, you can “realize” you had magic potential all along but didn’t know what it was. Ditto for most other “only during character creation” options.
Last, everybody is going to be a human from the surface world, no lizardmen, etc.