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Monday, September 13, 2021

Flame Princess Cült, a Free Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG Zine


These LotFP RPG zines are all still free. I got some art and several articles in these (new classes mostly). Download them and check them out for yourself. \m/

Friday, September 10, 2021

Rant: Left, Center, & Right, Just be Decent


I've always seen us role-players as a welcoming bunch of freaks & geeks. Sometimes I'm the weirdest person at the table, sometimes I'm the most Mr. Vanilla Joe Normie player. I've had fun in like 99.5% of those games.

Playing at clubs, conventions, and in games I joined from online player databases exposed me to a lot of other types of people with all sorts of wide-ranging political, religious, philosophical, etc. opinions. I've played with conservative ex-military types to radical storygaming rewilding environmentalists. It was only the most vocal out of character extreme position comments that caused any issues, and often we kicked those players to the curb and kept having fun.

If you are going to disrepect a person sitting across from you, get the F away from my gaming table. If you want to have a political chat in the middle of a scene where the characters are storming a castle, get the F away from my table. If you threaten violence, racial hatred, etc. get the F away from me and go hide in your backward cave. If you want to censor games like Mothers Against Dungeons & Dragons tried to in the 80s get away from me.

Play games, have fun, screw the haters, and ignore all the negativity that's online.  


Saturday, August 21, 2021

Retiring a Character to be an NPC: AD&D Dwarven Cleric of Dumathoin

Have you ever retired a character to NPC status due to the events of a campaign or because you just couldn't see them adventuring with other characters one more day?

I did that yesterday in the AD&D game I'm playing in, and it wasn't a planned thing by me, but it just felt right. It surprised me, especially since I just spent a whole lot of energy revamping his spells via the spheres of influence in the back of Tome of Magic. Lol.

After our wizard talked to the Lich that we've been fighting the whole campaign under suspicious and mysterious circumstances without communicating it to the rest of us... my Cleric of Dumathoin was done with him. I was playing my character with the town in mind most of the time, so he feels like a part of the setting now. It was like letting a bird fly free of a cage in some ways.

I gave the player of the wizard character several chances to explain in character, but those responses weren't good enough. My character felt taken for granted as well... so off he went. A direct message from his deity about what was going on was a nail in that relationship too.

I had a blast playing Ulfgar, but it is time to play something else, something a bit more challenging for me. So, I'll be playing a "Thief" with hidden Assassin abilities next. It seems someone with a more flexible moral compass will get along better with the other characters. I've never played an evil character, so here goes nothing.

The other players think I'm nuts to stop playing a 7th level character to start over, but I'm looking forward to trying to keep the new character alive. Hehe. I do like low-level play.

Artist: Jorge Santiago

Monday, July 19, 2021

Everburn, Free Fantasy RPG Setting: #100StatementSetting


This setting was built from making 100 statements of a few sentences each by a group of cool gamers and myself over on MeWe. I love when a collaborative project actually works out. :D

A GM can add to or ignore these statements as they wish and run the setting in their own way. Most of the statements are systemless and left a bit vague. Have fun with it.

Thank You: Brian Boring, Cassius Lucious, David McGuire, Gregorious 21778, Jason Beardsley, Mazirian the Magician, Rod Thompson, Stephen St. John, Yenz Maelstrom, Yusef Masudi, and Zeus Johnson.

Everburn: Life Under the Blazing Skies

1. The upper layers of the world's atmosphere are churning constantly in a state of burning conflagration which hides the stars and sun.

2. As astrology is not possible, the main method of fortune telling is interpreting cloud shapes. Cloudseers perform this for a modest fee.

3. The Haerobi people have 16 rites of adulthood that involve the removal and burning of small patches of flesh in various shapes which are meant to sanctify and purify them so that their angry gods don't torment them in the afterlife beyond the skies.

4. Large slug-like creatures with 8 leg stumps that never sleep have been tamed for hauling large quantities of goods from settlement to settlement. Most of the land-based trade guilds use them, but a few insist on using smaller more sure-footed beasts.

5. Without stars to navigate, mines where natural magnets can be found are greatly sought after. Tamed sea monsters that know the ocean currents, and can innately tell direction have become a great boon to the sea-going folk.

6. Because the continuous fires rage ever overhead demonstrating the fury of the Gods of Light: Moira, Our Lady of Darkness, leads the pantheon of good Darkness deities.

7. Ramaayar, The Dancing Shadow in the Sky Firelight, is the Trickster god. She taught the people how to protect themselves from the destructive fire falls. She is also the one who lit the sky on fire in the first place.

8. A major coastal trading city by the name of Olnesh rests on the delta of the powerful Jallna River. People from all over the world reside there in relative peace and prosperity. Discipline is handed out swiftly by the red-clad Dinaal Legion who has all authority in judging and convicting criminals.

9. There are 6 seasons: Spring (Malhama), Monsoon (Sheshil), Summer (Vellara), Fall (Somnaya), Drought (Krelsht), and Winter (Gahrenn).

10. The Green Wizards rule over their mountain kingdoms, hereditarily passing rule, knowledge, and consciousness using highly coveted logic crystals.

11. The aquatic Khaenii people, have created an expansive trade network that uses the world's lakes, rivers, and streams to move goods. Their rivals that use overland trade routes often sabotage them, and both organized groups fight each other in small skirmishes.

12. Those few magical folk who have traveled to other worlds and returned with stories and illusory pictures of sun, moon, and stars, are either revered or mocked as fools.

13. Local gods and goddesses are said to dwell in each field that is tilled for farming, and farmers make blood pacts and offerings so that their crops might flourish. Some farmers are more devout than others.

14. The primitive Zharrgite people bring gifts throughout the year on holy days to the Green Wizards to assuage their wrath. They believe them to be half-divine.

15. There are only four varieties of Dragonkind in the world, and they are: Red, Pyroclastic, Styx, and Tarterian dragons. (MM and Draconomicon).

16. In a rainy and fog-covered mountainous land, magically created hybrid apemen fight petty wars with each other and ignore the outside world.

17. The Green Wizards work to complete the Monsoon Fountain ritual over the course of millennia, which they believe will extinguish the Sky Fire and bring peace and tranquility to the land and everlasting power to themselves. The Khaenii oppose them in the belief that doing so will cause the rivers and oceans to run dry.

18. The herds of the reptilian Thrurr beasts, are followed by hunters from many peoples and kingdoms. A roaming "town" follows their migrations, and most kingdoms have accepted their chaotic travels as part of the natural order of things and give them no trouble.

19. There are those who believe a great swarm waits outside until Ramaayar's light in the sky goes out. They also believe there are agents of the swarm who work within the nations of man to bring down the sky fire, in order to bring the swarm its newest feast. Green Wizards are known as prime suspects.

20. Since there is no sun, those races and species which usually live underground because they cannot stand sunlight in other settings (orcs, drow, etc.) may move freely above ground with no penalties. They may prefer their underground abodes, but are not stuck there.

21. Due to the conflagration above, there are no arctic zones. The poles get a little chilly at best (50°F/10°C). As a consequence, Cold Magic is not only very rare, but quite devastating.

22. Giant Kikho birds kidnap humanoids, drop them from great heights, and then weave the fresh corpses into their nests for their young to eat.

23. The gods of other realities occasionally drop in to have brunch with the gods of this world. They do so at a particular tavern, that is well known, and widely avoided.

24. The pub in question (see #23) is The Flying Swan in Brentford. Don't go there during Happy Hour.

25. Deep underground lie the peaceful and temperate lands of the dwarves and the goblin-kin. Their kingdoms squabble among themselves for resources but forget all differences at the first sign of intrusion of the conflagration-influenced surface dwellers into their subterranean paradise.

26. There is a crystal atop a mountain that when energized (struck by sky-fire), causes those who gaze upon it to go insane with rage, and zombify when killed. Even the gods are unsure who placed it there, and though many people have attempted to destroy it, none have succeeded.

27. The Brethren of the Faelgromm perform monthly rituals in their hidden grottoes that allow the pure of heart to see a vision of the world without the constant firestorm. Those who see these vision can enter a mystic trance at will thereafter, which allows them to detect falsehoods spoken in their presence.

28. Sages in the city of Carson Water have tracked the Thurr beast migrations for years.  They report the allosaurs that prey on the Thurr beasts are increasing attacking the hunting parties instead.  They posit the allosaures are becoming more intelligent.

29. There are 2 well-hidden caves, each on the opposite side of the world from the other. In one cave is a laser rifle with 10 power packs. In the other is 1,000 power packs with no laser rifle. Each cave has directions to the other written in a magical (futuristic) language none can decipher save with Wish or Miracle.

30. Great spiraling winds like hurricanes occasionally appear. When one appears while the great conflagration is at its peak it can catch fire and rampage across the land. It is only extinguished when passing over a body of water.

31. One of the world's oceans (Vlestara) wraps around the whole world, while the 2nd (Clentosh) is landlocked in the largest continent.

32. During Krelsht (Drought season, see #9) the Panuuna people of the Firepeak Mountains trade magic crystals for sentient beings to sacrifice.  Many lowland traders hire new 'apprentices' for the journey to the mountains.

33. On the Isle of Thell, erosion from the ocean waves has revealed mass graves of enchanted blue-green bones from a forgotten civilization. The sand on the beach sand is mixed with bone chips.

34. The larvae of the Dlakka moth through a difficult 5 step process can be turned into a potent drug that enhances magical abilities.

35. In the myriad underlevels of the largest city in the world (Shengh'lasha) there is said to be a pool of light green water with an egg submerged deep within in. The water heals all maladies, but the pool is protected by a thieves guild named Ungfa (The Broken Fist) who charges for its use.

36. In the Great Garmush Swamp, there lives the very small, very rare, and quite poisonous Uth Frog. But if the frog is caught, washed in the Falls Of M'lish G'naq (many miles away, but it feeds Garmush), and eaten alive, it will permanently imbue the person with great strength and immunity to all poisons. It is highly sought after by the kings of the world.

37. Yivvin Traglov is a tribe of assassins, raised that way from birth, who believe the Uth Frog is sacred. Their sole purpose in life is to protect the Uth and it's habitat from all intruders.

38. The fisher-folk of Gorinsk, on the southern shores of the inland ocean, harvest not only fish, but the pliant tendrils of the great kelp forest. These are then woven underwater in a secret pattern, followed by a painstaking series of alternating drying and soaking phases. Upon completion (at least six months, and up to two years), a rope of incredible strength and very light weight is produced, resistant to cutting and fire.

39. To celebrate a successful fishing season, the Gorinskers will use a very long kelp rope, woven with the bladders of the Vafroka fish, to raise a portion of their catch into the upper heights of the atmosphere. These conflagration-smoked fish convey a limited protection from fire to those who partake of them.

40. A dozen fisher-folk are chosen after the feast to confront the pyrolisks that threaten the shoreline villages, drawn down from their mountainous lairs by the scent of drying fish.

41. The Festival of Sheshil's Demise (Monsoon Season, see #9) is a grand affair and many cultures celebrate the end to the constant rains. It is a festival of preserved foods and often consists of large groups of people repairing damaged homes and buildings from the floods.

42. During Gahrenn (winter), the polar regions are said to experience fire falls and fire blizzards, when the very flames of the sky freeze and fall as snow. Travellers in those regions are told to look carefully at the snow crystals to distinguish fire snow from regular snow.  The fire snow spontaneously ignites when the temperature rises.

43. Forges fueled by fire snow can be used to craft magical weapons that deal both cold and heat damage. Given the unstable nature of fire snow, this can be a dangerous endeavor even to those who possess the required knowledge.

44. About an hour East of the city of Shengh'lasha a series of stone humanoid statues move every time you blink to form new acrobatic formations. No one has ever seen them move, but those who visit the site feel like they have witnessed a miracle of stone.

45. Every spring the unmarried young men of Shengh'lasha enact an acrobatic performance based on the statues recorded movements the previous year.

46. The Reshurian Emperor made the City of Shengh'lasha her capital after she let loose a shadow plague that blinded and made mute the entire original populace. Her soldiers wiped almost all of them out before brining in settlers. Small pockets of the original dwellers plot deep below in the underlevels.

47. A figurine of cracked jade known as The Heart that Mourns burns with a dark flame, and absorbs the life force of most who get too close to it. This artifact is said to be the urn of a forgotten dead goddess, and it is worshiped by an unnamed death cult in the bowels of the City of the Honored Dead.

48. A species of blood parasites has infected the royal families of the Kingdom of Quellnassa, and controls prominent members that control most of that rich country.

49. The abandoned lands of the old Slentauthians is a dust bowl without a single blade of grass. The cabal of wizards which ruled the land unleashed demons upon their own people (instead of on their enemies as they had planned). Desperate scavengers brave the wastes to escavate the bones of the possessed, as they have residual spiritual energy which can be harvested for ritual casting.

50. The mountain chains of the world are ancient and have been weathered by eons of time. Powerful half demon /half trolls lie dormant beneath them awaiting for the right time to rise and rule the weaker beings once more as they had in times forgotten.

51. The dreaded necroswamp of Mal'vur, with a dense forest of bonespruce and the fleshwillow trees, is teeming with fetid unlife and half-dead creatures; someone or something calls it home.

52. In some rural communities a tradition of planting new tree seedlings in the skulls of loved ones that have passed on has provided protection from the undead which shun those areas. Weapons made from the wood of these trees also seems to damage them more than it should.

53. The great Kingdom of Yenz'lund resides upon the vast plains and light forests of Yenz'lund. The people have had very few troubles, and are known for their plentiful harvests and their love of donkeys. Their military primarily consists of militia, though the nobility do provide knightly shock troops. Their King keeps cordial relations with his neighbors as best he can. Magic is heavily regulated, as are most things when done in public (in private, it is the reverse).

54. The mercenaries of the Isle of Prote are known for their accurate archers, and their ability to go days without sleeping. Many royal honor guards have at least a few of these elite soldiers.

55. The Ever-changing Abode of Arlus the Wyrm moves every day when the sun is at its zenith in the noon sky. Each time this massive arcane lair travels it takes on a new form for its half-draconic owner who is cursed to never to live in the same place.

56. Khrelnost Forest has a myriad of trees that live nowhere else in the world. Several varieties of these trees emit poison gasses that keep harmful insect and bird populations low. The colorful "fog" above the forest is breathtaking during a Summer sunset.

57. The yubindo, small simians of the Khrelnost Forest, have adapted a natural immunity to most poisons from their constant exposure to the poisonous tree fogs.

58. The yubindo are identical in appearance to the harufta-monkeys used in most royal courts as food-tasters to foil assassination attempts. Unbeknownst to most, the guild of assassins periodically sends out expeditions to capture young, trainable, yubindo.

59. Meteor storms bombard the world every 88 years like clockwork. Weapons made from them are innately magical and make the sharpest weapons.

60. In the Holy Umbral Temple, the priests of Moira drop great screens of wood and cloth over the temple courts and walkways everyday.  Only the most faithful worshippers are allowed in the temple precincts during the ceremony to experience the mythical time of day known as "Nightfall".

61. In the secluded Valley of Ch'trith, there is a vineyard which produces the best wine in the world. It is because a leviathan died there many millennia ago, and its still decaying flesh fertilizes the ground -- unbeknownst to those living there.

62. Many kingdoms over the years have stolen shoots from the Valley of Ch'trith, but could not understand why the wines eventually made from their fruit do not taste as good as those directly from the valley. Spies have been sent in to discover the secret, but none have been successful. The investigation is ongoing.

63. Shards of Sylnathian Crystals are said to be anathema to fey creatures and the undead. They grow at the bottom of lakes and in still pockets of rivers. Divers harvest them and sell them to merchants who bring their wares to the strange and haunted places of the world. Amulets of the crystals provide protection, and weapons made from them deal vicious unhealing wounds against Fey and Undead.

64. Triple-headed poisonous and vibrantly colored snakes are worshiped as gods by the short hairless Llembla people. The discarded snake skins are wrapped around the arms of these people and considered luck charms.

65. Buried in the walls of the Temple of the Unknown Gods are preserved saints who hear the prayers of the local populace. They put their pious spirits together to sway the events of the nearby lands to aid these people.

66. Unknown anyone, the Leviathan of Ch'trith is the larval stage of a new god.  Pupation takes tens of thousands of years before the new deity emerges from the ground, a being of cosmic strength and intelligence paired with an uncertain temper.

67. The purple-and-black-capped Skigazia mushroom can be found in nearly all climes of the world. Ingesting it will induce a trance-like vision state in sentient beings that cannot be ended without powerful healing intervention.

68. In the land of Ketrinn is the Temple of Unbridled Pleasure. Any vice can be found there, and enjoyed for free. But unbeknownst to anyone, any who partake are actually selling their souls to an unknown god, thereby increasing its power. Eventually, that god will attempt a coup to take over the world.

69. The gnomes of this world, through a genetic quirk, are able to control the trance-state of the Skigazia. It is a jealously guarded secret that, while in this state, they can pierce the veil of the perpetual conflagration and see the universe beyond. They have a vast hidden lore of astronomical knowledge as a result. However, other peoples see the gnomes as mushroom-addled halfwits and treat them with either contempt or pity.

70. Every 88 years, as the meteor storm approaches, the dwarves of the deep open an embassy to the gnomes. The gnomes share where the largest meteors will strike, so that the dwarves can retrieve as much of the previous ore as possible. There is a legend of one dwarf clan who attempted to enslave the gnomes instead of trading for this knowledge; that clan was wiped out in a large meteor strike that year. Perhaps coincidental, but no dwarf had disrespected a gnome since that time.

71. There is a connected system of trees in the Hybrin Forest that allows the order of Druids that dwells there to teleport from tree to tree. These trees are said to be inhabited by the spirits of Druids long dead.

72. Gateways to the Hobgoblin Markets appear in seemingly random places, and they never appear twice in the same location. The items there have strange costs, such as the memory of a mother's laughter, a deep regret, a final tear shed for a fallen King, etc. Often the items have a boon and an equal bane. Those that commit violence in that extraplanar locale can never return.

73. Illiatarmeno (The Final Crescendo) is an epic and tragic song written by a mad bard who was found dead on the pages containing the notes of it penned in his dying blood. When played the bodies of musicians cannot stop performing it, and their blood begins pouring from their torn skin. Those who hear it often die as well, or they are driven mad.

74. A generation ago, meteorite that feel from the sky cracked open to reveal an ox-sized, irregular ember-like crystal with a pulsing glow coming from its inside. With a radius of about 7 miles, people are struck by painful seizures when they try to engage in violence. Those within 700 yards of it suddenly understand each others language, even if they do not, but only do so while at least this close. Those that come within 7 yards will -experience- the thoughts of all others that are within 7 yards as well. A monastery had been build around „the Skyember“, and a small town around the monastery by now that is called „Skyember“ as well. The monks of the monastery have developed strange yet mighty powers of the mind, and may people do their biding without telling it. They, who are called „the Silent Will“ regulate access to inner sanctuary, where the Skyember rest in the pit it made for itself upon impact. The town of Skyember is a place full of philosophers, seekers of peace, fugitives from harm... and much poverty and hunger, as the few villages around could not really feed the town even if those inside had anything to trade. The buildings are crude and simple affairs of bricks made from backed sand.

75. Gorinsker youth dare each other to attach themselves to the long kelp ropes and a many Vafoka fish bladders to ascend into the sky and "see beyond the horizon".  Occasionally these ropes break causing the youths to ascend uncontrollably and be fried in the sky fires.  Prevailing winds cause their bodies to be dropped among the cannibals of the Islands of Lonely Trees.  The cannibals refer to these as "Crispy Sky Nuggets."

76. Beware the silver whakaata trees on the hilltops and mountain sides. When the wind blows, their heat reflecting leaves may focus on and burn objects up to 50 feet from the tree itself.

77. Another danger of the hillsides are the thursinials. These highly territorial bears can grow to twelve feet in height and have vicious appetites in the warmer seasons. In late summer and early fall, they grow a thick, long coat of insulating fur. This protects them from the heat of the whakaata trees; in drought season they will feed on the leaves, whose properties will keep them warm through winter hibernation. Drought season in these regions is known for the pervasive scent of singed bear fur.

78. Lately, more and more people became suspicious of the disappearances of apprentices from lowland trade caravans that travel towards the Firepeak Mountains during Krelsht (see Statement #9, #32). The traders by now have problems to find new apprentices, and others simply left their masters in the middle of the night right before the or during the last drought season. The lowland reacted by founding a guilt by now, and ruled that an apprentice “that flees the contract with his or her master” would be punishable by having the tongue cut out and being reduced to a menial laborer for the rest of the "apprenticeship“. Furthermore, it has been made known that fine bounties will be paid to those that return „runaway apprentices“ before and during the coming Krelsth (Drought Season).

79. Living boats and ships are created by coaxing the roots of the fast growing Thlell plant to grow according to the shipwright's will. It takes a week to grow a small boat, and up to a decade or more to grow a massive ship, which is grown from 100 or more plants simultaneously.

80. The Piper has been seen countless times on the beaches of the Sienoth Sea playing love ballads and dirges to his long lost lover. She was killed by seafaring raiders and her body was dismembered and hurled into the waves to taunt her father the king. His loss has somehow made him immortal.

81. Changeling assassins have three factions that plot and war against each other through rival kingdoms. Their eternal fighting has caused countless innocents to die. Life is a game and people are only pieces on a board to them.

82. Members of the Herront Trading Guild have mastered a form of subtle hypnosis and suggestion that is comprised of 4 quick hand motions. Their merchants are renown for always getting the best deals, and for being very persuasive.

83. Colonies of various forms of vegetation absorb toxic gasses from bogs and float up to a houndred miles away through the lower atmosphere.

84. The Sienoth Sea is haunted by a wraith of haunting dismembered beauty. She was murdered violently to enrage her royal father (see #80). Only the sounds of The Piper calm her severed limbs from dragging victims below the waves.

85. The largest desert on the planet Yar'los (literally boiling sky) is named this because any rain clouds that would pass over the area are boiled away due to the great conflagration being especially low and active in this area.

86. Some believe that the center of the Yar'los desert is the site where the great conflagration was originally ignited. And possibly the source of what keeps it fueled. Traveling to the center is an extremely dangerous prospect however.

87. There is a hardy species of intelligent and small Insectoids that act as guides for the foolish who want to explore the desert of Yar'los. The Yarimbe have biological filters in their lungs that absorb water moisture from the air, so they can go a week without drinking a sip of water.

88. Due to the recent increases of allusaurus attacks on the hunting parties that are after the Thurr beasts (Statement 28), there is a growing number of hunter groups in "The City That Follows" that advocate to kill off the allusaurus. Not just -hunt- them for flesh, leather and bone but to kill them off, destroy their nests and offspring, till they are culled. The most vocal among them is a young but capable hunter named Naran. It is said that he even pays people with gains from successful Thurr Beasts Hunts to join hunting parties under his own command that set out with the sole purpose to slaughter allusaurus. He seems to actually hate them with abandon.

89. The Gnomes of the world (see #69) have dug out many protected underground highways between the largest cities. Often guards from the cities will post guards to help protect them as well. They provide mostly safe passage to those who can afford the tolls at the checkpoints.

90. In the great encircling ocean, the Lebnorach people have formed great floating cities out of the kelp and seaweed of the ocean. They are all connected by rarely used walkways ("Only the old and infirm choose to walk instead of swim!") which keep them from straying too far away from the others. Due to the weight, the tallest buildings can only be two stories high, and only the most wealthy live in them. There is one main city in the middle, with 10 others distributed concentricly around it. The whole thing is caught in a circular current and never goes near land. The people are not aware of the outside world, and the outside world knows nothing of them -- yet.

91. The Lebnorach people are great swimmers and can easily hold their breath for up to 20 minutes, even at great depths. They have an uncanny knack for finding the largest pearls, which they use as currency.

92. In the Hybrin Forest (See #71) a cabal of Fungal Cultists who use their flesh to grow mushrooms have begun a secret feud with the Druids. So far they have been able to leech away life from the trees, and absorb the energy of the teleportation rings. They have been studying the magics used in the root system and have duplicated it on a much smaller scale.

93. Hidden deep underground in a massive cavern, is the great city Detran. This city is actually futuristic. Vehicles fly through the air, robots clean the walkroads, screens flash advertisements to passerby. Any who enter have a choice: stay or die. That is how they keep The Secret of their existence. That, and technology that can cancel magical scrying.

94. The Haerobi (see #3) and Khaenii people (see #11) have forged an alliance by marriage recently, and bands of Haerobi warriors have been helping to defend the Khaenii water trade routes against the raids and sabotage caused by other trading companies.

95. The War Shamans of the Zharrgite people (see #14) have developed a technique of rupturing skin and tissue with guttural chanting. They leave a path soaked in blood and littered with bodies on the battlefield. Their Death Chant kills them and any in a nearby radius unlucky enough to hear their final notes.

96. A tribe of three-eyed Orcs (See #20) have been fighting other rival Orc tribes and Drow, and they have bound many others under their banner. Their Nechtgruk Empire has been making exploratory missions to look for weak points to expand their subterranean territory on the surface.

97. In the center of the Isle of Thell (see #33), at its highest point rests a small portal that takes those who stand on it down to the depths of an expansive religious structure devoted to ancient gods and godesses: Felnastia the Chalice of Flesh, Szoltash the Binder of Dreams, and Belgarnin the Opener of Lost Gateways.

98. A prophet called Vlaktal (The Rejuvinator) has entered the Mal'vur necroswamp (See #51) with a group of devoted followers. Their mission is to destroy the Undead or to convert them to their Master's teachings. They have also begun making sturdy bridges and pathways there.

99. Every 9 years, a brood of flying and biting insects called The Nervrall emerge to devour the bark of trees, often killing large swaths of forests. They will bite any animal or humanoid that gets between them and their next tree. These bites bring a malady of diseases and infections that are sometimes fatal.

100. Every 1,000 years, a particular god spends a lifetime walking the world, so he doesn’t lose touch with his people.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

OSR Explorer (Ranger): Revised Labyrinth Lord Class

I plan on running a Dolmenwood hexcrawl campaign eventually, so I've been looking over a variety of OSR systems to use as a chassis to bolt house rules onto. I've always liked Labyrinth Lord and my players tend to like AD&D, so here I am tinkering on classes.

I plan on having the players use the core human classes (cleric, fighter, magic-user, and thief) and a non-magical explorer/ranger class. I want to give them a few extra abilities, and tweak them a bit.


Requirements: None

Prime Requisite: STR and WIS

Hit Dice: 1D8

Saving Throws: Same As LL Fighter.

Explorers have a THAC0 equal to the standard LL Cleric for melee weapons, but their THAC0 for ranged weapons is equal to the LL Fighter.

Explorers are vagabonds that travel the world, and they are accustomed to spending time in the wilderness. They wear only leather or studded leather armor (or armor made from hide or natural components). They get a damage bonus that increases at higher levels on ranged weapon damage as well as an increased chance of getting critical hits with those weapons. Rangers can use any weapons, and they can wield two weapons with both hands without penalty. They attract an animal companion at 3rd and 7th levels. At higher levels Explorers can shoot ranged weapons more times per round. They are only surprised on a 1 on 1D6.                                                                                                                                                      

018 HPExplorer Skills, Two Weapon Combat
1,56522D8Archery +2 Dmg.
3,12533D8Animal Companion I
6,25144D8Rate of Fire: Twice per Round
12,20155D8Ranged Critical (19 & 20)
25,00166D8Archery +4 Dmg.
50,00177D8Animal Companion II
100,00188D8Archery +6 Dmg.
200,00199D8Ranged Critical (18-20)
300,0011010D8Rate of Fire: Thrice per Round
Explorer SkillLvl 1Lvl 2Lvl 3Lvl 4Lvl 5Lvl 6Lvl 7Lvl 8Lvl 9Lvl 10
Foraging and Hunting39485664717884899396
Hear Noise1-21-21-21-31-31-31-41-41-41-5
Move Silently41505866738086919598
Surprise Others1-21-21-31-31-31-41-41-41-51-5

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

OSR Thief: Revised Labyrinth Lord Class

I plan on running a Dolmenwood hexcrawl campaign eventually, so I've been looking over a variety of OSR systems to use as a chassis to bolt house rules onto. I've always liked Labyrinth Lord and my players tend to like AD&D, so here I am tinkering on classes.

I plan on having the players use the core human classes (cleric, fighter, magic-user, and thief) and a non-magical explorer/ranger class. I want to give them a few extra abilities, and tweak them a bit.


Requirements: None

Prime Requisite: DEX

Hit Dice: 1D6

Saving Throws: Same As LL Thief, but see class abilities for a bonus vs. traps.

Thieves have a THAC0 as per the standard LL rules.

A thief usually belongs to a Thieves Guild from the character's local town, where they can seek protection, shelter, and information between adventures as long as they pay their dues... Thieves cannot wear armor heavier than leather, and they cannot use shields (but their AC improves at levels 4, 7, and 9). They can use any weapon. A thief can backstab if they can roll a successful move silently and hide in shadows skill. This grants them a +4 to hit and will multiply all damage by 2 (but this increases at higher levels). They get a bonus to saving throws vs. traps at 2nd and 5th level. Finally, Thieves at 3rd and 8th level can reduce their falling damage by the amount in feet shown if they can use a nearby wall to slow themselves.

Note that there are a few new thief skills below and that their percentages are higher than the core LL ones.

XP Lvl HD Abilities
0 1 6 HP Backstab, Thief Skills
1,251 2 2D6 Save vs. Traps: +3
2,501 3 3D6 Slowfall: 30'
5,001 4 4D6 AC: 1 Better
10,001 5 5D6 Save vs. Traps: +6
20,001 6 6D6 Backstab: x3 Dmg.
40,001 7 7D6 AC: 1 Better
80,001 8 8D6 Slowfall: 60'
160,001 9 9D6 AC: 1 Better
280,001 10 10D6 Backstab: x4 Dmg.

Thief Skill Lvl 1 Lvl 2 Lvl 3 Lvl 4 Lvl 5 Lvl 6 Lvl 7 Lvl 8 Lvl 9 Lvl 10
Climb Walls 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
Escape Bonds 35 44 52 60 67 74 80 85 89 92
Find and Remove Traps 41 50 58 66 73 80 86 91 95 98
Find Secret Doors 1-2 1-2 1-3 1-3 1-3 1-4 1-4 1-4 1-5 1-5
Forgery 39 48 56 64 71 78 84 89 93 96
Hear Noise 1-2 1-2 1-3 1-3 1-3 1-4 1-4 1-4 1-5 1-5
Hide in Shadows 33 42 50 58 65 72 78 83 87 90
Pick Lock 43 52 60 68 75 82 88 92 96 99
Pick Pockets 45 54 62 70 77 84 90 93 97 99
Move Silently 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 94 97 99

OSR Fighter: Revised Labyrinth Lord Class

I plan on running a Dolmenwood hexcrawl campaign eventually, so I've been looking over a variety of OSR systems to use as a chassis to bolt house rules onto. I've always liked Labyrinth Lord and my players tend to like AD&D, so here I am tinkering on classes.

I plan on having the players use the core human classes (cleric, fighter, magic-user, and thief) and a non-magical explorer/ranger class. I want to give them a few extra abilities, and tweak them a bit.


Requirements: None

Prime Requisite: STR

Hit Dice: 1D10

Saving Throws: Same As LL Fighter

Fighters can use any armor or weapons. At various levels they get a variety of abilities. At first level they can sacrifice a shield to negate all damage from one attack. They get better at opening doors with force at levels 2 and 6. At 3rd level when a fighter kills an enemy they get a free attack on another target in melee range. They can specialize with a weapon at levels 4 and 8 which grants them a +1 bonus and +2 to damage with it. At levels 5 and 10 the fighter gets additional attacks per round. At levels 7 and 9 fighters deal a dice of extra damage each time they hit. 

XP Lvl HD Abilities
0 1 10 HP Splintered Shields
2,035 2 2D10 Open Door +1
4,065 3 3D10 Cleave
8,125 4 4D10 Weapon Specialty I
16,251 5 5D10 Two Attacks / Rnd.
32,501 6 6D10 Open Door +2
62,001 7 7D10 Extra Dmg. +1D6
120,001 8 8D10 Weapon Specialization II
240,001 9 9D10 Extra Dmg. +1D8
360,001 10 10D10 Three Attacks / Rnd.

Fighters have THAC0 of 17 at 1st level and it gets one better at each level (2nd = 16, 3rd 15, 4th 14, etc.). They have the best to hit numbers in the game by far.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

#RollForInitiative Ash Ogre (Narcosa)

Here's another random monster from Rafael Chandler's Narcosa.

Ash Ogre  

Ascending Armor Class: 13  

Hit Dice: 1D8  

Hit Points: 5  

# Attacks: 3 (fist, fist, fist)  

Damage per Attack: 1D4 + 2D6 Fire  

Size: Small  

Move: 30 (No Special Movement)  

Baked Intelligence: 5

Type: Neurist - Alters your brain chemistry if it touches you; all potions and drugs have random effect for 1D4 days. Save vs. Poison negates.

Special Defenses: Immune to cold-based attacks.

Treasures: 1d100 silver, 1d1000 Copper, 2 magic items.

#RollForInitiative Acid Snake (Narcosa)

I'm rolling up some random monsters based on some tables in Narcosa by Rafael Chandler.

Monster #1: Acid Snake 

Ascending Armor Class: 13 

Hit Dice: 4D8+2 

Hit Points: 20 

# Attacks: 3 (Acid Spray, Bite, tail) 

Damage: 1D10 per Attack 

Size: Large 

Movement: 30 (No Special Movement) 

Amped Intelligence: 15

Type: Inhaler - Drains your soul if it's close enough to sniff you. Save vs. Magic or lose 1d100 XP. Counts as an attack.

Spells Known: Charm Person, Plant Growth.

Special Defenses: Only struck by magic weapons (or spells).

Treasures: 1D20 Platinum, 1D100 Silver, 2 Magic Items.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

H is for Hriháyal (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021



H is for Hriháyal, the Dancing Maiden of Temptation, Whore of the Five Worlds, Mistress of the Thirty-Two Unspeakable Acts, and Corhort / Handmaiden of Dlamélish.

She is the hedonist of mysteries, the wanton goddess of the innermost desire, the forgotten dream remembered, and the lady of luck. Her temples are often found scattered in the depths of the underworld away from the prying and judgmental eyes of society. 

Her temple is one of extremes probably best left unsaid. I imagine a game with a priestess who belongs to this goddess often fades to black a lot before it turns into a Friday night on Cinemax. Hehe. 

Astrology: Unknown.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Diaphanous robes of green and purple, anklets and bracelets of silver chains, and headdresses of silver shaped like snakes.

Colors of the God: Green, black, purple, and silver.

Holy Symbol: A silver oval with a wavy emeral line drawn through it horizontally.

Numerology: Unknown.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

H is for Hnálla (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


H is for Hnálla, the Supreme Principle of Good, the Lord Whose Name May Not Be Known, Master of Light and Foe of Evil.

This god is the final goal of the other gods of Stability. In many ways this god is the extreme version of that alignment. It is opposite in all ways to the Lords of Change. It's a typical sun god/goddess in most ways and has some monothiestic traits from our real world. It opposes evil and darkness, and it is almost bland in a way because of that. I find the other gods to be more interesting.

I do like that this god/goddess is treated more like a vague force than a regular deity. The fact that it is treated as being beyond gender is the most interesting thing about it. 

Astrology: The heavenly body associated with Lord Hnálla is yellow-white Tuléng, the Sun.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: White robes and silver skullcaps.

Colors of the God: White, clear substances, and silver.

Holy Symbol: Infinity symbol with wings attached.

Numerology: the number 1 and the letter K.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

D is for Durritlámish (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


D is for Durritlámish, the Black Angel of the Putrescent Hand, He of the Rotted Face, Opener of Catacombs, and Cohort of Sárku. He is often depicted as a rotted corpse seated upon a throne of broken bones, and holding a bowl from which smoke issues forth. It is said that the cohort can view all of the life-skeins of the creatures in the universe. He aids those who deal with the undead, and aid the creatures of the underworld. 

I ran a few sessions of Empire of the Petal Throne at my local gaming club, and all of the player characters were devoted to Sárku or his cohort Durritlámish. In the end all of them became Jájgi (intelligent undead) as a reward for their service to both of their temples. They had to go down into the depths of the underworld to recover various artifacts devoted to their gods. They had to fend off a few other adventuring parties (also hired by the temples...), as well as a host of other nasty monstrosities, and even a metal humanoid that time had forgotten. Good times.


Astrology: Unknown

Clothing of Priests & Worshipers: Brown and purple robes, brown lacquered armor, and they paint their faces like corpses. 

Colors of the God: Black, Brown, and Purple.

Holy Symbol: A stylized Vessel of the Vision of the World.

Numerology: Unknown

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.


G is for Grugánu (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021



G is for Grugánu, the Knower of Spells, Black Sword of Doom, Reader of the Incantations of Evil, and the Servant of Ksárul. He is depicted as a hulking half-human anthropoidal monstrosity concealed in voluminous black robes. Its head is that of a vicious buzzard. 

Those who work evil in the shadows and cast evil spells, and perform dark rituals often call upon Grugánu and his demons. The god capriciously aids those who fight goodness/stability by granting spells from bygone eras. He is said to search and collect these forgotten arcane incantations, rituals, and spells for his master.

In many ways I think of this god as Ksárul's minion / sidekick. He is a bit one dimensional, but he does not have to be. I can see him more in contact with the demons and rituals used to bring them forth. He would make for a great messenger as well since his master is trapped in the Blue Room. Grugánu is always searching for the keys needed to bypass the walls imprisoning his master, and he would most likely aid any who share his goal to free him.


Astrology: Unknown

Clothing of Priests & Worshipers: His priests and priestesses wear robes of black and purple, and their headdresses have black felt with the god's symbol upon it.

Colors of the God: Black, dark purple, and a blue so dark that it is almost hard to distinguish it from black.

Holy Symbol: An open hand with clawed fingers outspread with silver upon it.

Numerology: Unknown

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.


Friday, April 9, 2021

F is for the Force (Star Wars) #AtoZChallenge2021



F is for the Force from Star Wars. What can I say about the Force that you haven't heard already? Good question. Hmm...

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

Even as a child I had a tough time buying that line. I've always thought of the Force Abilities as mostly localized phenomena, like choking a guy, or influencing stormtroopers. There are exceptions of course, like the following quote. 

“I felt a great disturbance in the if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

There are some abilities that can travel great distances, such as Leia receiving telepathic messages from Luke, and Vader sensing Luke (and vice versa).

These abilities are rather "miraculous" which is why I put this post in my alphabetical series on RPG gods. I've used a generic form of the Force in several fantasy campaigns, and if you think about it there are many similarities to the Dragon in the movie Excalibur that Merlin talks about.

“Remember, A Jedi’s Strength Flows From The Force. But Beware: Anger, Fear, Aggression – The Dark Side, Are They.”

On one hand I like the Good/Evil dichotomy, but I like to think about Grey Jedi who balance the light and dark in some balanced and nuanced way.

“Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”

That part about the living things got tarnished with the Midichlorians in the prequels, so I tend to take a more original trilogy / mystical approach to the Force. In some ways, as in many sci-fi games, these abilities are described as having biological origins in the brain. In my own version of the setting, I would emphasize the mystery and enigma of it without explaining it to death.

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well, you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.”

Here Yoda talks about spirit or soul or something similar; a form of energy that can persist beyond the natural lifespan of a mortal. This is again rather supernatural (cough, Force Ghost, cough). 

Star Wars to me is one of the best sci-fantasy settings out there. I know there is a lot of nostalgia and bias in me, and that's... okay. :D

“Remember, the force will be with you, always.”

Thursday, April 8, 2021

E is for Erlik (Conan / Hyborian Age) #AtoZChallenge2021


E is for Erlik from the Conan / Hyborian Age setting. He as known as the Flame Lord, and The God of the Yellow Hand of Death. The devout Hrykanians following his tenets founded the Turanian Empire. His teachings are struct but his priests do not follow the devine edicts to the letter of the law. 

Erlik is said to have been the first living human but born without a soul or spirit. As a punishment for him trying to create other living creatures he was banushed to the underworld. 

The priests teach that the soul must be strengthened through deprivation, hardship, struggle, and toil. Once the soul has departed, the god claims them for his own. All those who draw not breath are his, including the undead. 

Terrible knowledge of necromancy is known to Erlik's priests, who are also able to sink bodily into the bowels of the earth.

I tend to like fire deities, but this one gets the bonus of focusing on undead as well. What's not to like? Perhaps only fiery undead pillaging a town would be cooler. *Whoosh*

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

D is for Dilinála (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


D is for Dilinála, The Lovely Maiden of the Turquoise Crown, Aid of Lovers, Solace of the Weary, Handmaiden of Avánthe, and Spiritual Daughter of Hnálla.

She is represented as pure and holy, offering care to those who find it not in the corrupt world. She is the innocent maid, the loving sister, the confidence of a mature woman comforting her lover in times of trouble. She is often called upon by women in various stages of life, to share their concerns and troubles with. She provides strength in the wisdom gained through trial and tribulation.

Out of the cohorts she is one of my favorites.

Astrology: Unknown

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Blue and white robes, and small tiaras of emeralds, turquoises, or other blue gems. 

Colors of the Goddess: Blue and white.

Holy Symbol: A hand extended, palm down.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

D is for Drá (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


D is for Drá the Uncaring, The Singer of the Hymns of the Gods, The Unkempt One, and Cohort of Hnálla.

Drá is an odd cohort, one that is perhaps beyond the understanding of humankind. He cares not for many things one would think a deity should care about. I think I like him because of that though. His mind must be filled with original music and the old classics. Perhaps he is focused on ideals that are loftier than the mundane concerns of us mere mortals.

His worshipers are a mystical lot, and attempt to mimic their cohort's indifference to the world, and ignore its joy and misery. Drá reminds me a little of ascetic Hindu and Buddhist monks and I rather like that. Perhaps he espouses that attachment equals suffering, but even that seems like too much work for this god. Hehe.

In many ways perhaps he is like Morla the Ancient One (the big tortoise or turtle) in The Neverending Story. He has grown indifferent to the fate of mortals and most likely only cares about musicians and their music.

Astrology: Unknown

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: They tend to wear patchwork white and tan robes and care little for their outward appearance.

Colors of the God: White and tan.

Holy Symbol: Two circles connected horizontally with a wavy line.

Numerology: Unknown.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

Monday, April 5, 2021

D is for Dlamélish (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021



D is for Dlamélish, The Green-Eyed Lady of Fleshly Joys, Mistress of Demons, and Obsidian Lady Princess of the Damned.

She cares not for the bygone past, or the irrelevant future for all that matters is the ever present NOW. Why wait to give into your desires when you can enjoy them now? Eat, drink, and be merry. I often think of Dlamélish as a female version of Bacchus; you know, fun at parties and sacrificial ritual gatherings!

Dlamélish wants to experience every sensual detail and live moment to moment from the highs, to the lows, and through all points in between. She has such delicious miseries to show you... She wants to drink deeply of life and to suck the marrow from its bones. She delights in hedonism and selfish experiences. All others exist for her pleasure, and her followers live by her example.

In some ways she is the opposite side of the coin to Avánthe. I like how both of their followers sometimes work together for specific events, or worshipers of one might call on the other while in the throws of passion, or when the crops are failing. 

Astrology: Emerald green Gayél, the larger moon.

Clothing of Priests & Worshipers: Her priestesses dress in thin revealing emerald robes and wear silver tiaras and bells.

Colors of the Goddess: Emerald green and silver.

Holy Symbol: An emerald drop falling into a silver oval.

Numerology: The number 10, and the letter B.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

I've been making up some new spells for Empire of the Petal Throne recently, and here are two of them. The first is a Group II Bonus Spell. The second is a Group III Bonus Spell. Both are only usable by spellcasters who are aligned with Change.

Dlamélish’s Hideous Dance: The victims of this spell cannot stop involuntarily moving their limbs in an exhausting dance of death. The victim cannot cast any spells that require the movement of their limbs in precise arcane gestures. They will not eat, drink, or sleep (even if forced) and will continue on that way until a Remove Curse spell is cast or they die. A saving throw is permitted.

Dlamélish’s Final Sigh: The victim will be filled with uncontrollable passion directed at the spellcaster, or to any other victim that the user touches. A saving throw is permitted of course.  The victim’s heart will cease beating at the user’s command. The duration is a number of days equal to the spellcaster’s level. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

C is for Chiténg (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021




C is for Chiténg, Lord of Red Spouting Flame, Drinker of Blood, Reaper of Cities, and Cohort of Vimúhla. He is the patron of the armies of Change, the besieger of cities, and the overseer of torments. He is covered in tough scales and he is often depicted as having a lizard's head. It's large opalescent eyes behold all, and nothing. Bloodsong is the name of its wicked two-handed sword. Often jails, prisons, and slave pens employ his adherents to oversee things. Only Aridáni female warriors filled with the cohort's bloodlust are accepted as priestesses.

This cohort revels in destruction, forest fires, pain, sadomasochism, and the tearing down of all things.


Astrology: Unknown.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Robes of orange and purple. If available they wear ancient helmets of iron or steel.

Colors of the Cohort: Orange and purple.

Holy Symbol: A fiery Two-handed sword.

Numerology: Unknown.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

C is for Chegárra (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


C is for Chegárra, the Hero-King, Swordsman of Glory, Victorious Lord, Cohort of Karakán. 

This courageous cohort is normally portrayed in armor and with a thick beard fighting against the forces of evil. He takes interest in those who would stand against a demon in single combat, and he wields a heavenly axe which is doom to his enemies. He is the patron of wise generals and experienced soldiers on the battlefield doing their Lord's will. Only Aridáni female warriors are accepted as priestesses.


Astrology: Unknown.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Red and white-checkered robes over silver armor, and helmets of bronze or gold.

Colors of the Cohort: White and red.

Holy Symbol: Stylized double-bladed axe. 

Numerology: Unknown.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

C is for Crom (Conan / Hyborian Age) #AtoZChallenge2021


C is for Crom from the Conan / Hyborian Age setting.

I think my entry today will be from Conan of Cimmeria from 1969 (Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague de Camp, and Lin Carter).

The cold light struck icy fire from the jewels in Bêlit's clustered black locks as she stretched her lithe form on a leopard skin thrown on the deck. Supported on her elbows, her chin resting on her slim hands, she gazed up into the face of Conan, who lounged beside her, his black mane stirring in the faint breeze. Bêlit's eyes were dark jewels burning in the moonlight.

"Mystery and terror are about us, Conan, and we glide into the realm of horror and death," she said. "Are you afraid?"

A shrug of his mailed shoulders was his only answer.

"Im not afraid either," she said meditatively. "I was never afraid. I have looked into the naked fangs of Death too often. Conan, do you fear the gods?"

"I would not tread on their shadow," answered the barbarian conseevatively. "Some gods are strong to harm, others, to aid; at least so say their priests. Mitra of the Hyborians must have a strong god, because his people have builded cities over the world. But even the Hyborians fear Set. And Bel, god of thieves, is a good god. When I was a thief in Zamora I learned of him."

"What of your own gods? I have never heard you call on them."

"Their chief is Crom. He dwells on a great mountain. What use to call on him? Little he cares if men live or die. Better to be silent than to call his attention to you; he will send you dooms, not fortune! He is grim and loveless, but at birth he breathes power to strive and slay into a man's soul. What else shall men ask of their gods?"

"But what of the worlds beyond the river of Death?" she persisted.

"There is no hope here or hereafter in the cult of my people, answered Conan. "In this world men struggle and suffer vainly, finding pleasure only in the bright madness of battle; dying, their souls enter a gray, misty realm of clouds and icy winds, to wander cheerlessly throughout eternity."

Bêlit shuddered. "Life, bad as it is, is better than such a destiny. What do you believe, Conan?"

He shrugged his shoulders. "I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom's realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaultrd halls of the Nordheimer's Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know tge rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my plate, the hot embrace of arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."

The story Queen of the Black Coast (where the quote above is from) was originally published in 1934 in Weird Tales magazine. 

P.S. Here's a great site for some more information on Crom and the Hyborian Age.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

B is for Belkhánu (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


B is for Belkhánu, Lord of the Excellent Dead, Master of the Paradises of Teretané, and Opener of the Gates of Heaven.

Belkhánu is a god from the setting of Tékumel (Empire of the Petal Throne / Bethorm).

I tend to look at Belkhánu as more as an opposite to Lord Sárku than as a god that stands for his own spheres of influence. I guess I tend to be more of a fan of the Gods of Change... The god has some monotheistic traits in my opinion even though he is part of a larger pantheon. I can see many calling upon him while in their deathbeds or on a field of carnage.

I bet an undead hunting character devoted to this god would be a lot of fun to play.

He is represent by no planet or moon, but the space between them and the planes are his.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Yellow robes, and tall yellow-tinted headdresses. Priests tend to wear a coif of gauze to mask their faces. 

Color of the God: Golden yellow.

Holy Symbol: Stylized ship sailing on waves.

Numerology: The number 4 and the letter Q.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.


I wrote up an EPT spell based on this god. It's a Group II Bonus Spell for those useable by those devoted to Stability.

Belkhánu’s Repose: This spell cast after a battle will ensure that all of the slain on both sides will be prevented from rising from the grave as undead. It can also be cast on piles of fewer numbers of corpses. Undead that are destroyed on the field of battle and have the ability to return once again get a saving throw to resist this spell or be destroyed utterly.