The world runs in a manner similar to Oberron: High Magic, and the beginnings of Steam technology.
—Cannons exist in my world, but have not yet been miniaturized into personal scale. That means siege weapon cannons exist, cannon golems exist, gunpowder kegs exist, but firearms do not.
—Eastern weapons exist and are relatively easy to access. Katanas, sirukens, kamas, tetsubos, nine ring swords, be it Japanese, Chinese, or Indian themed, these weapons are available at only a 5 DC higher to find them than european weapons.
High availability of magical goods and services:
—Finding a wand of cure light wounds is as easy as visiting the local pharmacy. Though the potion of Staunch is probably a lot more affordable for the average customer.
—Alchemy is so commonplace, there are entire farms dedicated to harvesting common materials. The same can be said about numerous magical components for spellcasting.
—Geas, bindings, zones of truth, hallowed (and unhallowed) areas, everburning torches are part of the everyday realities of the everyday man.
—At least 10% of the world’s population is capable of spellcasting of one type or another. This is known as being “Magically Literate”, and is comparable with being Computer Literate in our present world. It is clearly an advantage over the average person, but it will not make a person’s career. This also means magically literate people have access to Scrolls and other such trained magical gear, which in turn reduces their expenses, further facilitating their lives.
Legal system that takes into account magical realities:
—Summoned creature bindings is regulated by laws. Turns out the creatures actually do come from somewhere, and they hold a grudge. After a few particularly spectacular rampages, laws were created to limit people’s capacity to summon creatures. This is similar to having a driver’s license: summoning small to large animals can be acquired by almost everyone, but summoning monsters of the size of 18 wheelers takes specific paperwork and tests.
—Enchantments exist with a complex spectrum of legal consequences. Casting Charm or Suggestion is legal grounds for voiding a contract, for example. Casting Dominate, on the other hand, is legal grounds for rape. Law enforcement is typically equipped with the necessary tools to detect traces of such influence, in a manner similar to drug kits.
—Necromancy and raising the dead, on the other hand, is typically legal, assuming prior consent of the owner of the body. The average person has included a clause for this in their will, much like signing away one’s organs for donation in case of accidental death, or donating one’s body to science. This is typically done with a certain financial compensation for the inheritors.
—Mindless undead are commonly used in a number of industries. Due to the fact that they are typically dumb as a post, that they are often decomposing, and that labor unions really did not appreciate the competition they brought, they are only used in specific industries that are dangerous, tedious, and far from the public’s eyes. As such, they are essentially the robots of this world, often working in factories.
—Some privacy laws exist, in order to protect from some of the effects of divination. These are typically difficult to enforce, leading to cases of corporate espionage, nation spies, and more than a few cases of upskirt photography. Restrooms equipped with anti divination magic is considered a mark of a well managed building.
—Laws are typically based around the rule of Consent. Transmuting someone into a pig is usually considered an illegal act, without extraordinary precautions being taken beforehand.
—Typical law enforcement officers are equipped with goggles of Detect Magic, which allows them to scan for questionable activities. Police stations are typically installed with extensive analysis equipment, such as Zone of Truth interrogation rooms, to properly interrogate suspects. Clinics are usually equipped with equipment to reverse average harmful magic.
Dragons, being the effective rulers of this world, are typically well above and beyond such laws, which were created to keep the humanoids from complaining too much. Giants, their servants, usually pay lip service to the laws, but are not normally penalized for breaking them.
The Fey Courts, both Seelie and Unseelie, usually ignore these rules. They are not known to care much for the laws of humanoids.
The Guilds publicly hold these laws sacrosanct, and relish in the opportunity to discover each other’s nearly endless transgressions, without getting accused of industrial espionage.
Since Dragons can fly and teleport and have other such rapid and efficient methods of transportation, they initially did not care much for the transport of goods and people across vast distances.
Problems started happening when they realized they couldn’t take their servants with them. At least, not without considerable embarrassment of carrying their servants.
Various mechanisms of transportation began to get developed, which soon led to the creation of Guilds. The guilds became the industrial core of civilization, and quickly took over the business of carrying goods and people across continents.
The Dragons, happy someone else dealt with the problem, allowed this to happen, leading to the mega-corp -like power of the modern guilds.
Commonly available mechanisms of moving:
—Airships are expensive but rapid, and ignore most terrain features. Only their high production and maintenance costs prevented them from becoming the dominant form of transport. They are comparable to airplanes, though considerably slower. Airships are the method of choice to move people and small goods (like letters), as well as quantities of Portable Holes.
—Steam Trains are reliable and have decent speed, but only operate over land, as well as requiring considerable investments to get started. Though railroad tracks snake through the landscape, they typically only connect major population centers.
—Naval crafts are usually the method of choice to move large and bulky cargo with no expiration date. They require relatively little infrastructure, save docks and boat construction facilities, and can operate anywhere there are large bodies of water. They are also relatively unreliable, and vulnerable to storms and krakens and other such calamities, which is why they carry only rarely passengers.
—Teleportation circles exist, operate extremely quickly and safely, but require enormous investments to set up. Usually only the very wealthy can afford to use these, though they are very effective. They are almost uniquely used to carry passengers, being prohibitively expensive to carry cargo.
—Roads exist. In case that wasn’t intuitive.
Average large cities have transportation hubs, operated by the Guilds. These hubs centralize most of the transportation methods into a single, huge compound, facilitating the transition of cargo from one method of transportation to another.
The widespread influence of the Guilds has led to a fairly rapid globalization of the planet. Though the average person can only dream of circling the globe, the infrastructure does exist for it.
Everyday life in the big city
Sanitation and healthcare
Thanks to the near universal deployment of conveniences such as the Create Water spell, mechanisms similar to running water exist in all buildings, save the truly destitute.
Though the city does not produce or purify water to send to its buildings, sewers to collect the wastewaters do exist and are deployed in most cities.
Water closets are virtually ubiquitous, baths are part of people’s weekly routines, and face washes are part of their daily routines.
Middle class houses have access to warm water, rich houses have dispensaries of various alcoholic beverages.
The connection between Sanitation and Illness has been made by the population, and it is in the best interests of the Dragons to keep their population sufficiently healthy to do their bidding.
It’s usually cheaper for average humanoids to “just tough it out” for minor sicknesses such as the common cold, and clinics can usually handle the tougher stuff instantly with the proper application of Remove Disease or Remove Poison.
Since these solutions are typically instantaneous, hospitals in the proper sense do not really exist, as there is usually no need for long term patient care. Patients walk, hobble, or get wheeled in, and they typically leave an hour or two later, on as many feet as could be saved for their budget.
There is no ambulance service per se, but the very wealthy have teleportation magicks ready to be used if they need immediate care.
Labor unions have advocated for funds to help cure problems caused by industrial accidents, such as loss of limb, which normally would be beyond the finances of the common workers.
Insurance does not exist properly in this society, due to widespread fraud.
Poor humanoids usually must acquire and process their foods themselves.
Middle class workers usually have a home cooking magical item which serves them fully cooked meals, saving time and money in going to the market, and cooking meals.
Rich people typically hire skilled poor workers, which actually know how to cook, to create their meals, which usually taste much better than what the average magical items can create.
Restaurants, inns, pubs, and other such places of consumption are plentiful, which allow the middle class to gain advantage of the skills of poor cooks. It is a common family activity to ditch the food processor and go to the restaurant.
Airship food is reputed for being of poor quality, and nobody really knows why. Typically, the guilds are blamed for this.
Entertainment and communication
At-home entertainment comes from a variety of mundane games, up to some magical ones.
Due to the complexity and unpredictability of magicks, not to mention the continuous interference of the big cities, there are no “broadcasting” technologies. There is therefore nothing similar to a Radio, or a Cable Television.
Performance entertainment does exist, but comes in pre-recorded crystals, typically placed in display boxes, that create the illusionary spells of the recordings. This is similar to television, except it only works on pre-recorded material.
Concert halls, opera houses, theatres, all exist, but due to the infrastructure, and specialized staff necessary to operate them, typically cost more than what poor people can afford. Though recordings are commonly made available for low prices.
Since communication spells typically have a relatively low range, or are prone to interception, they are only used for low importance, everyday business, in a manner similar to cellphones.
The Guilds offer a range of communication services, from intercity and intercontinental communication hubs, from reasonable prices. These function like telegraphs, can only contain limited information, but work relatively rapidly.
Letters and parcels are also commonplace, also operated by the Guilds. These can be secured for confidentiality, much more lengthy than the telegraphs, and contain items, not simply messages. They can even be teleported from one city to the next for same-day service, though such options are quite pricy.
Media is typically a trickle effect. Since there is no way of broadcasting information in a live fashion, in-depth information usually wins the business, such as newspapers (which are usually displayed on fragile but reusable magical clay tablets). Good news usually involves full pages of information, background, and contents per story, allowing relatively few topics to be covered on a daily basis, but these topics are well detailed.