Well, today i got a bit of inspiration and just had to write this down. Is for generating worlds for a fantasy game similar to Dwarf Fortress (maybe make it a mod). I want to clarify that i just had this idea ( i don't know if someone had it before) and wanted to share it, i'm not coding anything and i wont anytime soon at least.
OK, my idea was to have the procedural generated world advance through ages of technological advancement, and that each race would have its time to shine. The races are the regular tolkienesque ones, over which so many stereotypes have been built (just so player see them and know what they are). The technology development is roughly based on that of real history with several creative licences, and also the elven magic diminishing happens to be synchronized with tech advancement (canonically it wouldn't really be related, however the elves will assume it is).
The player could be able to choose between any variation of the four races and build from there with the technology available at the time. Of course they would be able to develop some more technology, but the world running its history goes much faster that playing a city.
So ill begin explaining my particular vision of the races, because although they're the same ones we already know, there's always some variance.
The humans are larger and stronger than elves and dwarves, and about the same as orcs. Their racial identity is based around trying to increase their own prosperity.
The dwarves normally live underground, and are fond of alcohol and minerals. They are sturdy and steady, and very smart and inventive. Their racial identity is based around labor and improvement of it, and booze. They're very proud of their crafts and industry.
The elves are more fragile than the others, however they're very agile and adept to magic (until it fades and disappears). Their racial identity is based around respect and protection of nature. During ancient times their magic made them believe they were superior to the rest.
The orcs are brutes who hate everything. They're strong and very resistant to live in precarious conditions, they're not very inventive, however some of them are quite smart and can figure out any technology they encounter. Their racial identity is mostly about waging war against everyone else. For some reason they also really like smoking.
And the ages i envisioned would be:
The first age of civilizations. Acquires its name from the fact that tools and weapons were made primarily of stone. Natural magic forces were very powerful.
The elves were the dominant race with their natural mastery of the druidic energies. They could command beasts and trees, and even modify the weather to the will. Other races often worshiped them as gods. They choose to live in forests and jungles, and around any magic node, on which they would construct shines (similar to Stonehenge). They favored use of their magic above all else.
The humans were organized in small groups, trying to survive against the dangers of the world often seeking help from the elves and offering them tribute. They lived mostly in villages and early cities in flat open ground where they could perform their agriculture and herding. In combat they favored stone tipped spears.
The dwarves were had not yet developed mining tools, so they lived in natural caves, reducing the places they could live on. Since they were shorter and weaker than humans, and did not have the magic of the elves they were often seen as inferior. They favored stone hammers and axes in combat.
The orcs could barely be called civilized. They preferred to pillage rather than making their own food. They possessed evil magic, related to diseases and the undead, wielded by powerful warlocks, unlike elven magic this power does not come from nature but from horrible sacrifices they perform. Hating every other race they were constantly at war. They used wooden clubs or any weapon they could steal from others, and their evil magic.
The bronze age began with the development of copper tools (apparently someone tried to cook a piece of tetrahedrite). Later on bronze would be developed, giving the name to the age. The working of other metals such as gold and silver also started soon afterwards.
The magic of the elves is starting to fade, however they keep its use. They keep using their magic, but also added the use of the bow.
The dwarves had already developed mining to expand their homes and extract the recently discovered metals. They are usually the ones who develop bronze for the first time (although sometimes its the humans). Bronze tools and weapons quickly become commonplace among dwarves and other races copy them. They favor bronze axes and war hammers.
The humans acquire bronze and also become more organized, from isolated villages and cities to the first kingdoms. They also develop new religions, leaving elf worship behind (they found out elves die when stabbed).
The orcs realized they couldn't live only from what they plunder, so they started herding animals and making weapons and tools, copying the technology from other races and adapting it. They favor bronze axes and spears, and keep using their evil magic which does not diminish as the one of the elves.
Iron working was developed. Iron tools and weapons proved to be an important upgrade over bronze, as they maintain the sharpness for longer time.
The elves have noticed the decay and diminishing of their magic, and have limited their use. Most have finally adopted metalworking as an alternative to consume all their remaining magic. Some other elves rejected metal and opted to live in seclusion and harmony with the environment. The elves who use metal favor bows (with metal tipped arrows) and swords.
The humans have grown in population and power. Seeing the decay of elven power they see themselves as the new rulers of the world. Because of their larger size and strength they are favored by the current trends of warfare. The most powerful kingdoms conquer their neighbors forming large empires, sometimes absorbing dwarves and elves in them. They also note the superior craftsmanship of the dwarves and value objects and weapons made by them the most. The use mostly swords and bows sometimes supported by their magic.
The dwarves, again main driving force of the technological advances that turned the age, slowly grow their wealth, often allying and trading with humans. They favor iron axes and the recently invented crossbows.
The orcs keep up with the technological changes, figuring out the working of iron. Their plagues can be very dangerous against human settlements, as they don't really have much of hygiene. They use iron axes and spears, supported with bows and their magic.
Steel alloys are invented, and also the world has changed a lot, new ideas and new distribution of power.
The humans keep growing and become more violent. Their empires fall and fragment in smaller factions, often fighting each other. They start depending on the dwarves, as their higher quality weaponry can turn battles. However they are still the most dominant race, being the strongest warriors, and the most numerous. Human knights in search for glory and wealth kill most larger monsters. They favor steel swords and bows or crossbows.
The elves have lost most of their magic and only serfdomly use it in order to preserve it. They begin to fear the grow of humans, as it is starting to trample them. They become very protective of forests, which often leads to humans killing them. They use their bows and little magic.
The dwarves keep growing their power and wealth. They offer banking services to humans, which makes a good profit along with all the stuff they sell them. The keep being the main driving force of advancement, forming important dwarven academies.
They keep favoring the steel axes and crossbows.
The orcs get more organized to counter the growth of the humans. Their magic doesn't fade, but it becomes forgotten. So many warlock have been back-stabbed by their apprentices that they just don't teach anything to anyone anymore, they prefer to try to live forever (as liches), however many die before from unfortunate accidents, like getting a sword in the skull. They use steel axes, spears and bows (or some few crossbows) supported sometimes by their magic.
The illustration age is an era of knowledge, science, reason, and of course guns.
The dwarves have become the dominant race now. They invented gunpowder, and really put it to use. The orcs were really surprised and scared when dwarves attacked them with “thunderfire sticks”. They still trade with humans, as they're a good source of income. The science of the dwarves becomes really important to them, having universities and laboratories where they study and develop all kinds of knowledge and technology.
They use mostly muskets with bayonets.
However some dwarves have become very traditionalist, rejecting guns and other advancements in favor of good old steel axes and crossbows.
The humans had their power diminished by their continuous fighting each other, however most of them still think they are the dominant race. Still they have looked into their past and realized their ideology was flawed, allowing new ideas to emerge. Several factions overthrow their monarchs to replace them with republics, or adding parliaments to existing monarchies. Many offer their services as mercenaries, mostly to the dwarves. They use muskets with bayonets, of dwarven manufacture if possible, although they can make their own.
The elves have diminished a lot. Their magic has almost completely disappeared. Their dominance and might long lost, they become saddened in a world the see they don't belong to anymore. Many of them choose to live isolated in the forests as primitive tribes, rejecting technology, as they blame it for the lose of their magic. Some, who did not retreat deep into the forests live among the other races, trying to find their place in the world. They use bows, and sometimes guns (they are rather good snipers).
The orcs REALLY liked guns, after they found out it wasn't dwarven magic, but something they could use themselves. Their craziness for guns often leads them to create unpractical oversized weapons, or attaching too many redundant weapons to their weapons. Their magic however is becoming a thing of the past. It has not faded, but only a few warlocks remain, and they don't share they knowledge, also diseases become less effective with the widespread use of soap and antibiotics. They favor shotguns, as the have rather bad accuracy.
The invention of steam engines and industrialization changed the world forever, and pollution is starting to become an issue.
The dwarves continue to have supremacy, their technology, science and industry being unparalleled. In battle they use rifles and powerful steam powered tanks and even flying machines.
The humans have become more cosmopolitan, accepting elves, dwarves and even some orcs to live with them. They still rely heavily on the dwarves, however they develop their own important industry. However some humans are more racist, embracing a concept of purity (often killing helpless elves because its easy), this human factions usually wage war against the more freedom oriented ones, although sometimes they ally to fight the orcs. They use rifles and steam powered tanks.
The elves had their tribal population reduced by several genocides perpetrated by humans, and the civilized ones often protest against the pollution and heavy industry (not that anyone cares about them). Some become Eco-terrorists, sabotaging factories. They have almost no independent factions. Their magic has completely disappeared, except for the slumbering druids. These are very powerful druids from ancient times who had foreseen the industrial pollution of the future and went to sleep in barrows to preserve they're immense power until the damage to nature would wake them, then they unleash the wrath of nature against polluting industries. If the ents fail they can masquerade inside a city as a regular elf and lead Eco-terrorist organizations.
With the invention of automatic weapons the orcs discarded the old slow shotguns for rapid firing machine guns (with superfluous weapons attached to them of course) and use oversized tanks, overloaded with just too many weapons. They keep waging war against everyone else as usual. Some few orcs have been influenced by the culture of other races and decided to change their lives, they now have an opportunity to do so (in other times they would have been killed either by the orcs or the other races).
Dark ages: This ages of terror come to happen when the orcs manage to dominate the other races. It can be any normal age. During dark ages orcish overlords rule over most the other peoples, they demand tribute, either of food, gold, weapons or people, and punish severely anyone how fails to deliver. However the other races can fight for their freedom and defeat the orcs ending the dark age. Dark ages usually end with the beginning of a new age (as the orcs are defeated with newly developed weaponry), however this may fail and a new dark age can begin (and the orcs get better weapons).
As I said i'm working on this and I don't expect anyone to do it, just came up with the idea ad wanted to share it.
Any feedback appreciated.
Thanks for reading.