Paradise City (aka Maltese) is a dimension hub city, it exists on an alternate Earth that most resembles a mix of cyberpunk and rifts, big tech cities exist surrounded by monster filled wilderness. Most tech cities are built away from the wild magic areas, but Paradise City sits right over the top of a large intersection or power hub (nexus point in Rifts). Paradise sits at the southern tip of Florida in a drained or built up section of the Everglades and is surrounded by ocean, lakes, swamp, and farmland as well as being close to the key islands. The name Maltese came from the shape of the 4 intersecting magic power lanes (Ley Lines in Rifts; 2 run north and south slightly angled from each other and the other two run east and west slightly angled from each other and where all 4 meet they make the shape of a Maltese cross). Each line of power provides a boost to magic and can be used to power low cost magic items that only work on the mystic power grid, but the extra power comes at the risk of wild surges (points where they cross the boosted energy and risk are both increased).
All levels of magic and technology work in Paradise City, though along the lanes of power magic can have unpredictable side effects. Paradise city is home many forms of prejudice but the three major ones are race, style, and wealth while minor ones like religion, language, origin, and politics are a factor they tend to be less definite. Racial bias is almost always by neighborhood with a lesser bias for races that are traditionally neutral or friendly and a stronger bias for races with traditional enmity (an elf in a human neighborhood would experience minor bias, but in an orc neighborhood they would experience major bias). Style is all about presentation, most neighborhoods are themed after a culture and/or a historical period so being slightly out of period/region causes a minor bias while being severely out of theme is a major bias (in cowboy town a person in cowboy style but carrying a modern gun or a Victorian period outfit would be a minor bias while a knight in plate mail or an 80s style business suit would cause a major bias). Wealth is the display of or knowledge of a person’s wealth, in a wealthy neighborhood a middle class character suffers a minor bias while an obviously poor character suffers a major bias and the reverse is true as well; both the poor and the wealthy would feel a minor bias in the middle class neighborhood. In game terms each minor bias is a -2 reaction penalty while each major bias is a -5 penalty (a stone age poor orc in a wealthy elven cyberpunk neighborhood would take a -15 penalty to reaction rolls).
Paradise City is on a version of Earth similar to Rifts and Cyberpunk combined. In general the areas between cities are considered lawless wilderness, though there are small communities in the wilderness they may be heavily fortified or potentially vanish after a couple visits due to monster and bandit predation. What is left of the central governments concerns themselves with getting revenue from the big cities and corporate enclaves and has no desire to secure the wilderness. Magic and non-human races as well as more extreme monsters are a part of life though there are places that make themselves exclusive to one race and/or ban magic or technology. Technology up to that used in Cyberpunk 2020 is manufactured locally, but technology from higher tech places is known to exist and sometimes available with Star Wars level technology being a bit more readily available than Star Trek level technology.
The Lanes of Magic are places where magic energy flows extra rich and can be tapped into for more power. The immediate game result for characters is their effective caster level is increased by 1 but every spell cast requires a d20 roll with a natural 1 resulting in a wild surge the same as Wild Mages experience (Priests of Mystra are immune to the surge but still get the extra caster level). Where two or more lanes intersect a hub is formed a person in the point of intersection gains a bonus equal to the number of lanes they are in (2 lanes would give a bonus of 2 to caster level while 4 would give a bonus of 4) but the risk of a surge increases as well increasing the chance by 1 in 20 per extra lane (second gives a surge on a natural 20, third gives a surge on a natural 2, fourth gives a surge on a natural 19, and so on). A secondary effect of a magic lane is it can be used to power a minor magic item, a crystal and some other materials can be tuned to sustain a spell indefinitely as long as it remains on the lane of power (will stop functioning if removed but work again if brought onto a lane of power again).
Low level spells are frequently available at chain outlets (about as common as a pharmacy) while higher level spells require more specialized shops generally equal to a jewelry store or car dealership. Most casters will be of the default level unless some special arrangements are made. When requesting a spell there is often a delay, roll 1d10 subtracted from spell level for time in days before spell is available (a roll of 1 on a 9th level spell means an 8 day wait, a roll of 9 or 10 means the spell can be cast the same day).
Standard Spell Costs;
1st level spell (caster level 1): $100
2nd level spell (caster level 3): $600
3rd level spell (caster level 5): $1,500
4th level spell (caster level 7): $2,800
5th level spell (caster level 9): $4,500
6th level spell (caster level 12): $7,200
7th level spell (caster level 14): $9,800
8th level spell (caster level 16): $12,800
9th level spell (caster level 18): $16,200
Player spell casters may want to cast spells for extra money, but unless they want to go to work full time as spell casters they are at the mercy of the market. Casting legal spells means working at a clinic or church which will take an average of 75% of the money from freelancers castings and require a freelancer to dedicate a number of slots with a 24 hour notice and to be available for up to 8 hours for clients to arrive (generally each available slot has a 50% chance of being used on the day of service with a notice of which spells to use the day before; wizards without high demand legal spells won’t get checks for slots not usable by the company). Freelancers working under the table can generally get 50% but require some street dealing encounters or a black market magic contact. A character with a back market contact still needs to set up 24 hours in advance, but has a 50% chance of selling each slot for 50% of the base market price on the next day (may require meeting multiple customers through the day to finish the job).