Showing posts with label D&DGII. Show all posts
Showing posts with label D&DGII. Show all posts

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Deities & Demigods II Updates, 2024 Update

 It Sunday night. I have tomorrow off which is good because it is like -9° F with a  wind chill of -31° outside right now. I said I was not going to complain about the cold this year, but this is testing my resolve.

Instead of freezing my ass off, I am poking at my Deities & Demigods II.  I have all the text in the layout, but I am in a quandary.  I love the work I have done on it, but I can't in good conscience sell it anymore or even give it away for free using AI-generated art. 

I am going still play around AI art for personal fun, but not for publishing this particular project. 

This is an issue since the Black Forest Mythos has two dozen gods and a dozen or so monsters. I need to find some art.  I really don't want to spend a ton on art and not see a return on it. I am fine not making a profit for this sine I was doing it for fun (and potentially for free) but I would like to recoup any money spent on art now.

So. Trying to figure out my next steps.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Monstorus Mondays: Saving Throw Clarifications

Edith Hamilton's Mythology
 Just a quick on today. Really busy.

I got an email over the weekend asking me to clarify some of my Saving Throw notations on my various monster stat blocks.

I can't say that I am surprised. I post a lot of monsters here for a variety of games, and sometimes I do hybrid stats without really thinking about them.

For example some of my recent demons I have posted for my Tomb of the Vampire Queen have OSE style saving throws, with the addition of another type of save, "SS."  In this case SS is "Single Save" and is the saving throw you roll if there is no other category that makes sense. These numbers are from Swords & Wizardry's saving throws.

Some recent examples:

I hope that clears things up.

Deities & Demigods II Updates

Still working on the PDF. Hope to get it out to you all for Christmas. A reminder this is will be a free product.

I was visiting my parents for my Dad's 94th birthday and his and my mom's 55th wedding anniversary this past weekend. Had a great time see family. My mom had a stack of books for me and in it was this copy of Edith Hamilton's classical work "Mythology."  

This was not my original, I think my cover was black, but this the same book I had. I thought this might have been the book I remembered that had Greek and Norse myths as well as Beowulf, but this one only has Greek and Norse.  Still. Wonderful to have again.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Fata Norne, the Fates

I am now at my last set of gods (or whatever the Fates are), which brings me full circle. Today, I want to talk about the Fates.

Fata Norne

When I began this project I talked about this book of mythology I had that had stories of the Greek myths, the Norse myths, and ending in Beowulf. In my young mind, these looked like a continuum, one set of tales flowed into the next.  While age would teach me that these were separate myths, later age would also teach me they are still just one set of myths from an even older source (Proto-Indo-European, which I still want to tackle one day). But even way back then (I want to say 5th Grade) I saw the similarities between the Greek Fates and the Norse Norns. Three women, each representing the Past, Present, and Future, spinning, weaving, or otherwise looming the fate of humankind. Each person, from birth until death.

The image was powerful, and I was sure there was a connection between them. Even doing the briefest of surface research (ok, briefest of literature review. I am particular how people throw the word "research" around) one kind find similar beings all over the Earth and across time due to their PIE origins.

  • Albanian: Fatia
  • English: Wyrds
  • Greek: Moirai
  • Hinduism: Tridevi
  • Hittite: Gulses
  • Lithuanian: Deives Valdytojos
  • Norse: Norns

Those are only the most obvious. 

For my Pantheon here I want to include them. They were important to the Greeks and Romans in their guise of The Fates (Moirai) and very important in Norse myth. Indeed, in Norse mythology, every living creature had a corresponding set of Norns that measured out their fates. 

I will also admit (and a little begrudgingly now) that some of my ideas of the Fates have also been colored by the Piers Anthony book series, The Incarnations of Immortality, with Book 3 With a Tangled Skein chief among them. The first five books were fun. The next two ok to falling apart at the end (it's like he had painted himself into a corner among other issues) and the last one? Well I have not read it despite owning it, I heard it was terrible. 

Fata Norne

The Fates of the Black Forest Mythos are not gods in the traditional sense. They are immortal, or more accurately, unending. They often appear as three young, mature, and old women in similar aspects of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, though that is not who they are. Instead, they are Future, Present, and Past respectively. They can also appear as three identical sisters of indeterminate age. It is their job to measure the fates of the Gods and Mortals alike. No one, not even the Gods, can escape their decrees. It has led to a saying, "Once Fate has spoken, it is so."



MOVE: 24" 
HIT POINTS: 300 each

SIZE: M (5')
SYMBOL: The faces of three women or a loom
PLANE: Erde (Prime Material)

CLERIC/DRUID: 15th level Cleric
MAGIC-USER/ILLUSIONIST: 15th level Magic-user
MONK/BARD: 10th level Bard
WITCH/WARLOCK: 15th level Witch
S: 23 I: 25 W: 25 D: 16 C: 24 CH: 10

Fata Norne, the Fates, are the goddesses in charge of all fates, from the lowest vermin to the mightiest gods. They do not interact with mortals save in the direst of circumstances. They avoid direct contact with the other gods; likewise, the gods avoid and possibly fear them.

If the Fates are encountered, they need a mortal agent of fate to complete some quest. They will give this mortal what they need but no more than that. It is assumed that since they know all creatures' fates, their choice is correct, but that is not the same thing as the mortal succeeding or even living through the quest.

If anyone is foolish enough to attack the Fata Norne, they can pass the Decree of Fate. Which removes the threat permanently. They decree that the attacker was never born and they cease to exist; no saving throw is permitted. In some cases, the offending mortal (or god) is instantly replaced with an alternate version who lived the same life but was not as foolish as to attack them. 

They can't be hit by normal weapons; even magic is ineffective. In addition to the radical removal of the offending attacker from all existence, they can, more simply, remove their attacker's knowledge of whatever magic they would use to attack. 

At their choice, they can cast spells as a 15th-level spell caster, either as a Cleric, Magic-user, or Witch.

No one worships the Fata Norne, and they do not grant spells to clerics.


There you have it! All the gods and monsters of this syncretized set of myths. Hope you can find some uses for them.

Now to produce a PDF of these.


Monday, November 27, 2023

Monstrous Mondays: D&DGII Ulmenfrau

Ok. Back it! We had some measurable snow here in Chicagoland, and I thought a snow monster might be nice for today. But while working on it, it morphed into something else.  So I might bring those original ideas back later, but for today let do the monster that came out of this process. The Ulmenfrau.


The Ulmenfrau, or "Elm Wives" are what my Roman-Germanic/Norse Pagans call the tree spirits of the Black Forest Mythos. They are related to the Norse Askafroa of the Ash Trees.  They also fold in elements of the Nisse of the Scandinavian countries, the Greek Pteleai (Elm Dryads), and the nymph Chione.  There are some elements of the Norse myth of Ask and Embla here as well.

Ulmenfrau are tree nymphs, so they most like dryads but can move further away from their trees. It is believed that Ulmenfrau are actually tied to a grove of elm trees rather than a specific singular tree.  It is said they are the daughters of the North Wind and can be encountered most frequently after the first snowfall.

They are closely associated with the European White Elm ("Ulmus laevis").

NO. APPEARING: 1 (2-12)
MOVE: 90"
HIT DICE: 5+10 (32 hp)
% IN LAIR: 100%
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 club or spell
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Immune to charm, hold, sleep, and other mind-affecting spells. Immune to Cold attacks, vulnerable to fire and iron.
ALIGNMENT: Neutral (Good)
SIZE: M (under 5')

The Ulmenfrau, or Elm Woman or Elm Wife, is a type of woodland faerie creature similar to nymphs and dryads. Indeed, she may be a type of dryad and shows many similarities to the Askafroa found in ash tree groves. The Ulmenfrau as the name suggests, is the spirit of the Elm tree, though this fae is not tied to any specific tree, but rather the grove at large. A grove of 100 trees can support a dozen or so ulmenfraus. Larger groves can support more but often no more than a dozen will ever be spotted. When dealing with mortals they typically agree on a single ulmenfrau to interact.

Ulmenfraus are not combative as a rule. They can attack with a club when needed, but they mostly will attack and defend with magical spells, typically that of a 4th-level Druid or Witch. They will avoid using fire-based magic.  If their need is dire then a group or three or more ulmenfrau can cast Control Weather as if they were a druid circle or a coven of witches. They will use this to blanket their grove in deep snow and sub-freezing temperatures. 

All ulmenfraus are immune to mind-affecting and altering magics. They can not be charmed, held, or put to sleep. They are also immune to the effects of cold, either magical or mundane, and thus do not take damage from cold-based magic. Like many fae creatures, they take extra damage (+3 to damage per hit) weapons made of cold iron. Cold iron weapons are those that lack carbon to make them steel. They are hard and heavy weapons that break easily. Also, they take double the damage from any fire-based attacks.

Ulmenfrau are hard to find in summer months, where they are busy making sure their grove is growing, they can be spoted in their humanoid form most often in the winter. Here, they appear as slight (only 5' tall) elven women light grayish brown skin that gets lighter as they age with white hair. Like many dryads their hair changes with the seasons, but green-haired and red-haired ulmenfrau are harder to find. They are thought to venture out in winter to explore and potentially find mates. Though unlike other dryads the ulmenfrau have no magical ability to charm. 

It is believed that the ulmenfrau are the offspring of the North Wind and the Wood Maidens.


Monday, November 20, 2023

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: References

O. Von Corven "The Great Library of Alexandria" Artistic Rendering of the Library of Alexandria, based on some archaeological evidence.
The end is nigh! I have one more set of gods I want to do for this project, and then I'll see if I can put together a PDF for everyone.  

I said I was not going to treat this as an academic work. Especially since I blatantly ignored things like real archeology, anthropology, and ethnographic studies. But I thought others might be interested in some of the legwork I did to get where I am on this today.

This is not a comprehensive bibliography, not even a targeted one. It is a catch-as-catch-can one based on the books I was reading when I started having these ideas.


Daileader, P. (2013). The Early Middle Ages. The Teaching Company.

Drake, J. (2020). Viking Mythology: 2 Books In 1 – The Complete Guide to Norse Mythology and Celtic Mythology Including Legends, Beliefs, Norse Folklore, Norse Gods, and Celtic Myths. Josh Drake.

D’Aulaire, I., & D’Aulaire, E. P. (1962, 1992). Book of greek myths. Doubleday Books for Young Readers.

Gaiman, N. (2018). Norse mythology. Bloomsbury.

Gosden, C. (2021). Magic: A history: From alchemy to witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the present. Picador.

Hale, J. R. (2013). Exploring the Roots of Religion. The Teaching Company.

Harl , K. W. (2011). The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity. The Teaching Company.

Harl, K. W. (2005). The Vikings. The Teaching Company.

Higginbotham, J., & Higginbotham, R. (2018). Paganism: An introduction to earth-centered religions. Llewellyn Publications.

Lecouteux, C. (2016). Encyclopedia of norse and germanic folklore, mythology, and magic. Inner Traditions.

Lewis, S. (2018). Mythology mega collection: Classic stories from the Greek, Celtic, Norse, Japanese, Hindu, Chinese, Mesopotamian and Egyptian mythology. Scott Lewis.

Line, P. (2015). The Vikings and their enemies: Warfare in Northern Europe, 750-1100. Skyhorse Publishing.

O’Donnell, J. J. (2016). Pagans: The end of traditional religion and the rise of Christianity. ECCO an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

River, C. (Ed.). (2018). The Ancient World’s Most Mysterious Religious Cults: The History of the Cult of the Apis Bull, the Eleusinian Mysteries, and the Mysteries of Mithras. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Voth, G. L. (2013). Myth in Human History. The Teaching Company.

Waggoner, B. (2009). The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok. The Troth.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Schmied, the Craftsman, Smtihs, and God of Fire

 One of the last major gods of this Pantheon is Schmied, the god of craftsmen, ironworking, fire, and dwarves. He is often depicted as a dwarf.


Schmied is a syncretic god who combines aspects of the Greek Hephaestus, the Roman Vulcan, the Norse Sons of Ivaldi and the myth of Weyland the Smith and thus Goibhnie of the Celts. All of these figures are related and likely all trace their origin back to a Proto-Indo European Smith God. Given the book I am reading now on PIE language reconstruction this could have been the God credited with giving humanity the wheel.

Schied here has a bit of all these gods as seen through the idea of the grumpy dwarf. I opted to take this somewhat stereotypical route because I figure he is the source of this archetype. I wanted him dour, grumpy, and largely unlikable. This comes, I admit, more from my readings of Goidhnie (Gowan) of the Celts. Though Vulcan and the Sons of Ivaldi were not going to win any popularity contests. Which interestingly enough, gets me to the first myth of the god.

Both Hephaestus and Vulcan are married off to their myths respective Goddess of Love. Here is where I wanted to differ. I honestly can't see Liebhaberin getting married at all. She is too busy cultivating young (and thus pre-married) love. But I did want to have a myth where Schmied got married to a beautiful woman, largely by trickery. Like I said he is an unpleasant god.

Schmied and Skalda

Skalda (note: not exactly Skaldi) was the beautiful goddess of Song and Poetry, in particular epic poetry. She decided one day she needed a husband. So she sought out the Gods to find a suitable candidate. Skalda wanted to find a husband among the greatest of Gods so she announced her attention. Her eye was set on Jäger and she began to openly court the God. His sister Jägerin, would not have it seeing Skalda as trying to improve her own standing among the gods. So she convinced Schmied, who she knew desperately desired Skalda, to begin to send her gifts.  Schmied fashioned a lute of pure gold that would play itself if commanded to Skalda. He sent her a breastplate of gold. A spear fashioned out of the rays of the sun. And automaton handmaidens carved out of pure ivory and inlaid with gold that were indistinguishable from living nymphs. 

Skalda, who believed that it was Jäger who sent her all these gifts swore before the Gods that she would only marry the God who had sent her such wonderful treasures. Expecting Jäger to step forward she was shocked and disgusted to see it was not the Bright God of the Sun, but the twisted God of Smiths.  But an oath before the Gods is an oath unbreakable. 

They did produce a son, Künstler, the God of fine art. But she has refused his bed ever since. 

SCHMIED (God of Smithing, Crafting, Fire and Dwarves)

Intermediate God

MOVE: 9" 
DAMAGE/ATTACK:  1d10+5, 1d10+5
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +1 or better to hit

SIZE: M (4' 1")
WORSHIPER'S ALIGN: All, smiths, craftsmen, dwarves
SYMBOL: A large hammer
PLANE: Erde (Prime Material)

CLERIC/DRUID: 10th level Cleric
FIGHTER: 5th level Fighter
MAGIC-USER/ILLUSIONIST: 10th level Magic-user
S: 23 I: 12 W: 20 D: 16 C: 24 CH: 8

Schmied is the god of craftsmen, smiths, fire (in its creation aspect), as well as dwarves and kobolds. He appears as a heavily muscled dwarf covered in soot and grime from working in the forge. 

Schmied has very little to say to others. He prefers to spend his time in the forge working with his brothers (who have demigod status) creating items of great art. It is said that his forge can create anything and the magic items the gods wield were all created here.

In combat, he swings a giant hammer for 1d10+5 points of damage twice per round. He has the spell-casting ability of a 10th-level magic-user and a 10th-level cleric. He is quick to anger and will use his hammer attack first and his six brothers will join in (1d8+4 for their attacks).

He is also the god of the dwarves and kobolds, or knockers

Animal: Ox
Rainment: (Head) bare (Body) none
Color(s): Red, Black
Holy Days: The three days prior to the Summer Soltice and the three days after. 
Sacrifices: An ox or bull, sacrificed and cooked in a large fire. 
Place of Worship: Forges and Cave mouths. 

He is married to Skalda, the beautiful goddess of epic poetry and song, but she wants nothing to do with him.

He maintains a large home for them both in Himmel, but he stays on Erde in a cave where he toils over the forges with his brothers and their kobold assistants.


Skalda is the beautiful but haughty and arrogant goddess of epic poetry and music. While her skill unmatched, she is jealous of the other goddess and always wants more. Though when she is sitting with her lute and creating new poems, few can match her charm and eloquence. 

Skalda, the Goddess of Epic Poetry and Music

SKALDA (Demi-Goddess of Epic Poetry and Music)

MOVE: 12"
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Charming voice
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Inspiring aura

SIZE: M (6' 2")
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
PLANE: Erde (Prime Material)

CLERIC/DRUID: 9th Level Cleric
MAGIC-USER/ILLUSIONIST: 5th level Illusionist
MONK/BARD: 15th level Bard
S: 13 I:12 W: 16 D: 18 C: 14 CH: 21

Skalda is the demigoddess of epic poetry and music. She is beautiful, eloquent, and utterly vain. She knows that her gift is required by the gods to remain in mortals' minds. The apples of Ôstara may keep the gods young and immortal, but it is Skalda's songs keep them in their hearts.

This goddess appears as a very tall (6' 2") warrior goddess. She wears a golden breastplate that only fits her, granting her very low armor class. She wields a spear that when thrown, will return to her hand and her golden lute. Once she sets the lute to play it will play independently of her. 

Her voice has a constant Charm Person effect that is effective against all save for dwarves. Failing to save vs. spells means the victim is charmed and will do no harm to the goddess. She can also use her voice to inspire, granting all that hear it an additional 1d8 roll to use as needed: to attack, damage, saves or any other roll. This can be granted three times per day. 

She does not have many worshipers of her own, but all Bards pay her homage. 


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Vater Meeren

 Working through the remaining Gods for my D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos. Today I have the God of the Sea.

Vater Meeren

Vater Meeren

Vater Meeren is an odd one for this group of gods. He is powerful and is a greater god since he controls the Oceans and the Sea, something that was very important to both groups these myths come from. But he is also a remote and distant god to these Pagans since at the time these myths would have been created, say the 6th and 7th Centuries CE, they are a little removed, geographically, from the sea. I also have this group as being fairly insular so their myths can grow with out the "contamination" of what is going on around them; ie the Christian conversion of Europe.

Vater Meeren himself combines aspects of Neptune/Poseidon along with other aspects of Odin (Odin had so many aspects his DNA is in every god) and Thor when he was a maritime God.  I also wanted to give him aspects of Ullr who had been a more important god. Thus Vater Meeren is the God of the Sea, Oceans, Death as a process (a Psychopomp), and Winter.

He is the brother of Unser Vater and Hüter, much like their Roman counterparts, but also refers to Odin's two brothers Vili and Vé in their role as Gods of Creation.

Like Neptune/Poseidon and Odin this god is also fond of horses.

VATER MEEREN (God of the Sea and Oceans)

Greater God

MOVE: 12" // Swim 48" // Horse: 36"
DAMAGE/ATTACK:  1d10+5, 1d10+5, wave
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Wave, control weather
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +3 or better to hit

SIZE: M (6' 1")
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
SYMBOL: A wave
PLANE: Erde 

CLERIC/DRUID: 20rd level Druid
FIGHTER: 15th level Ranger
MAGIC-USER/ILLUSIONIST: 10th level Magic-user
MONK/BARD: 10th level Bard
S: 23 I: 15 W: 22 D: 18 C: 20 CH: 17

Vater Meeren is the God of the Oceans and the Sea. He lives under the waves and everything that is not land or sky is his. He had once been more powerful, equal to his brother Unser Vater, but his power has waned, though he is believed to have another ascendence soon.

Vater Meeren appears as a heavily muscled man in his prime with a full head of red hair and beard with bright blue eyes. These eyes turn gray and cloudy when he is angry, which is often. 

When he attacks he uses a giant spear made from the horn of a titanic narwhal. He can also attack with a giant wave of water, doing 6d6 hp of damage (save for half). Additionally, he can control the weather around any body of water, summon up to 100 HD worth of sea creatures three times per day, as well cast spells as if he were a 20th level druid, 10th level magic-user, and a 10th level bard.

One of his roles is to make sure the dead are sent to their proper afterlife, either in Himmel or in Hölle. So in this respect, he works hand in hand with his brothers. 

Vater Meeren is not allowed to set foot on dry land. So if he has business he needs to attend to he will travel by horse. His horse for these tasks is Schnelläufer and he can run on water, land, or air with equal ease. Since neither Vater Meeren nor Schnelläufer need to rest, eat or sleep, they can run for days to complete whatever task they need and be back in the sea as they need too. 

Animal: Horse, Narwhal
Rainment: (Head) crown of coral (Body) none
Color(s): Blue, Red
Holy Days: Nights of the Full moon
Sacrifices: Gold, weapons offered to the sea. 
Place of Worship: Sea shores, near lakes or any body of water.

Vater Meeren took the Celtic-Roman Epona as a wife (one of many) and it is believed this is the origin of the Nøkk.


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Verwildert, the God of Wild Nature and Wood Maidens

 Today's god leans a bit more into the Greek/Roman side of the equation, though there are still bits from the Norse and even Norse-Celtic influences.  Introducing Verwildert, the God of Wild Nature and the Protector of animals, grains, and other parts of nature.



This god combines aspects of Pan/Fanus as well as Bacchus/Dionysus.  From the Norse side, we get wilder aspects of Odin and Freyr, especially in Freyr's roles in fertility and fecundity. Many of Æsir gods of the Norse pantheon have more in common with Pan than the other Greek/Roman gods. 

My group of Pagans here are living very close to nature (and Nature). Not, out some sort of neo-pagan ideal dreamed up by 20th Century writers (and 21st Century game writers), but because that was their reality. This group was a bad winter away from total barbarism and they knew that. A God like Verdwildert was the manifestation of that. The god that gave them grains and crops they could cultivate, the wolf that ate their sheep, and the storms that destroyed their farms and homes.  

Nature is always just a few steps removed from madness.

VERWILDERT (God of Wild Nature)

Intermediate God

MOVE: 36"
DAMAGE/ATTACK:  1d8+3, 1d8+3
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Inspire Madness, Druid magic
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +2 or better to hit

SIZE: M (5' 9")
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
WORSHIPER'S ALIGN: All, Farmers, Druids
PLANE: Erde 

CLERIC/DRUID: 23rd level Druid
FIGHTER: 10th level Ranger
MONK/BARD: 20th level Bard
S: 18 I: 15 W: 22 D: 18 C: 20 CH: 23

Verwildert is the God of and the Protector of Wild Nature. He first taught humans how to cultivate land, not to tame nature, but to learn how to work with it. He is not an agricultural god, per se, but he is the patron of all growing things. He is also the god of the storm and flood that destroys, the wolf that kills, and secrets hidden it dark places. 

This god appears as a grizzled old wild man of the woods, with the antlers of a stag as headdress. He is hairy and bearded. Often, his idols feature an enormous phallus, which some claim is true for the god himself. Verwildert has little time for humans, though he is not overtly hostile to them at first. Like all nature, he is dangerous and can destroy.  Even he fears the raw power of Nature herself in the form of Mutter Natur, who is his own mother. Despite this human worshippers usually find Verwildert to be more approachable than Mutter Natur.

Verwildert can attack with two great fists or cast spells as a 23rd-level Druid. Three times per day, he can Inspire Madness, which will cause those who fail to save to drop their weapons (or whatever they are holding) and attack anyone close to them. Spellcasters are unable to cast spells. 

Animal: All, but the Wolf is a favorite
Rainment: (Head) horns of a stag (Body) none
Color(s): Red, Green
Holy Days: Nights of the New and Full moon; Also May 1st
Sacrifices: Everything is sacred to Nature, the weakest animals culled so the pack may survive
Place of Worship: Any natural setting. 

Verwildert has two groups of followers/worshipers he is associated with. The Wild Hunt and Wood Maidens.

The Wild Hunt

This band of hunters is known across the continent. In the times when Verwildert leads them, they ride and run across the land on the nights of the New Moon. These hunters are a mixed lot. Supernatural hunting dogs (like Hell hounds), undead hunters (wights), ghosts of hunters who died while hunting, and warriors not allowed into Himmel. 

Wood Maidens

Wood Maidens are a type of demi-goddesses, or semi-goddesses, that are the personification of wild nature. They appear as nymphs, but are more akin to the Maenads of Greek/Roman myth. These goddess represent nature run wild. They are the goddesses of wine, ecstasy, and fertility. It is said that they are active to still the blood of men and women.

They are the face of Nature that humans try to tame but ultimately cannot. 

Wood Maidens

WOOD MAIDENS (Demi-Goddess of Wild Nature, Ecstasy, and Fertility)


MOVE: 36"
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d6+1/1d6+1 (claws)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Inspire ecstasy

SIZE: M (5'2")
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
SYMBOL: Maiden's face
PLANE: Erde (Prime Material)

CLERIC/DRUID: 4th level Druid
WITCH/WARLOCK: 5th level Witch
S: 13 I: 14 W: 16 D: 15 C: 18 CH: 24

Wood Maidens are demi-goddesses representing wild nature and the power to renew life. They are also the demigoddess of wine, ecstasy, and fertility. They claim they are the offspring of Verwildert and Liebhaberin or even Verwildert and Ôstara. Possibly both are true. 

They can be found roaming the lands, inspiring ecstasy to renew life where they can. But they also represent nature running wild; they create life and they also can destroy it. The same ecstasy that bring lovers together can also drive them apart, or drive people to jealousy. This aura extends 60' from their person. This is increased by an additional 30' for each Wood Maiden in a group. There can be as many as dozen in a single group. This will produce an aura up to 400'.

They appear as wild women. Often running through the wilderness wearing simple clothing and often barefoot even in the deepest of winters. When they run they often have wolves accompanying them leading to the belief they are werewolves (they are not).

Wood Maidens are the chaotic counterpart to the Ides.

May 1st, May Day

On the First of May, the Wood Maiden gather in large numbers of a score or more. They can be seen running across the land, where their wild aura can extend even further. At this time they are chased by the Wild Hunt. Overtly it is so the Wild hunt can run them down in an etiological myth of Man vs. Nature. Often the Wood Maidens are captured by members of the Hunt. Just as often the Maidens kill the Huntsmen. In the case where a Maiden is captured and she doesn't kill the Huntsman, the Maiden becomes a normal human; often as a high priestess of Verwildert. The moral here is that Humankind can't tame nature, much less conquer it. 

This is symbolically celebrated in a fertility rite where the young women of the community run through the woods in an attempt to be captured by the young men. The women wear flowers in their hair which they can give to whomever finds them. This is considered akin to a marriage proposal. It is said that any child conceived in these rites is blessed by the gods. 


Of all the myths I have written, this is the one most likely to have survived to modern times to feature in NIGHT SHIFT. It is a Folk Horror sort of tale. Think "Midsommer" and "The Wickerman."

A good hook is something from Norse/Germanic myths. The PCs are on some sort of hiking trip, and they come across a nearly naked young woman running through the woods chased by something.  The PCs naturally try to help her, only to discover that she is part of an ancient rite.  Is she innocent? Is she the monster? Likely it will be more complicated than that. 

I'll need to develop these more.


Monday, November 13, 2023

Monstrous Mondays: D&DGII Doppelsauger

 Trying to wrap-up my entries for my Deities & Demigods II: The Black Forest Mythos this week. Here is a monster I have always wanted to include somewhere. A particularly horrific little monster.



The Doppelsauger, or "double sucker," was a creature I ran into very early in my vampire research. Back when I was known more as "the vampire guy" than "the witch guy."  It appealed to me then because the name is so evocative and descriptive of what it was; a creature that sucks twice. The first time when nursing milk from its mother and then again with blood.

MOVE: 6"
HIT DICE: 4+8 (26 hp)
% IN LAIR: 60%
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 bite
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d4 + Blood (Con) Drain
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Vampire traits
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: S (under 2')

The Doppelsauger, or "twice sucker" is the vampire revenant of a child that had been weaned, but had gone back to the breast later on. It would have died sometime after this point. Some claim that the death of the child needs to be intentional, such as leaving it out to die of exposure or via disease. In either case, the undead creature returns to feed on the blood of its mother and other close family members. 

The doppelsauger needs to find a way into the home of its victims. This must be their former home, and their victims can only be family members. It won't feed on non-family members.

Like the common vampire, this creature can charm its victims. The charm is similar to the spell of the same name and the vampire ability. Family members save at a penalty of -2 and its own mother at a penalty of -4. The doppelsauger can turn into mist like a common vampire and can summon 2d10 rats. It takes damage from sunlight, holy items, and holy water, as do other vampires. It can't enter another home, but its home is always open to it. It said that it must enter via the same way it left their home. If this entryway is blocked, the doppelsauger cannot enter.  Garlic flowers, wolvesbane, and holy items will keep it at bay. They are turned as Shadows (Type 4).

Their attacks are weak, causing only 1d4 hp per attack, but its greatest attack is its ability to drain 1 point of Constitution via blood loss. The doppelsauger prefers to feed off of their mothers first, then other family members. One of the ways to know a family is being attacked by a doppelsauger is if they all start showing signs of anemia and losing weight. 

To stop (or prevent) a doppelsauger a board with a semi-circle cut-out must be fitted over the neck of the creature and hammered into its coffin. One can also be stopped via a stake in the heart and then removing their head with a sharpened shovel. 


Thursday, November 9, 2023

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Kriegskönig, The God of War

Getting down to the last few gods here before I can call this project done. I ended up with a lot more entries than expected. This is good for the first run I think. Even ended up with more feedback online. 

Now I just need to come up with a name for this collection. "Myth, Monsters, & Magic" has a nice ring to it, but is that too close to "Man, Myth, & Magic?"  I mean there is nothing wrong with "Deities & Demigods II" but I was going to put them on DriveThruRPG (for free) to get better distribution.

Anyway, let's talk about a guy whose sphere of control is on a lot of our minds right now. Kriegskönig, the War King, The God of War.

God of War


The Kriegskönig, aka the War King, is the god of war for these peoples. I am taking some liberties here with both Ares/Mars and Tyr/Tiwas. I am going to lean in more on the Tyr side of the this and make this guy more Lawful Neutral than Ares' Chaotic Evil.  Mostly because Ares was always my least favorite god in Greek Myth and I felt that by the time he became Mars, he had "matured" more. I think this has more to do with the different approaches the Greek and Romans had to war.

Similarly, Tyr is more of a Justice god and he had more prominence in the Pagan Germanic tribes' worship. After all he gets a weekday named for him (Tuesday) along side Odin (Wednesday), Thor (Thursday), and Frigg (Friday). 

So my Kriegskönig should also be important, but his demeanor is different since I decided that when these two groups of different Pagans met up they did not go to battle with each other but instead blend into a community. This might not be very historically realistic, but it serves my game purposes well. Besides I have gods of hunting, and for berserkers, and one more of wild nature and violence coming up.

Kriegskönig then is the God of War, but war as a last resort. He battles not because he lusts for it, but because he is very, very good at it. He was the leader of the armies of the Gods that fought Die Hüne. He is the one who fights the hordes of demons to keep Érde (Earth) safe.


Intermediate God

MOVE: 24"
DAMAGE/ATTACK:  1d10+4 x3
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Enspire Battle Frenzy
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +3 or better to hit

SIZE: M (6' 8")
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Neutral
WORSHIPER'S ALIGN: All, Fighters, Warriors, those that seek justice
PLANE: Himmel

FIGHTER: 20th level Fighter
MONK/BARD: 20th level Bard
S: 20 I: 17 W: 18 D: 18 C: 20 CH: 18

Kriegskönig is the War King, the God of War. He does not seek to start wars but he is there when he is needed. He appears as a very tall imposing warrior. His face is scarred from his many battles. 

In battle, he wields a great sword that he can use thrice per round. He has bonuses to hit and to damage due to his high strength. Though he is not a mindless brute in battle. Kriegskönig is well know for his battle strategies and can use 10 warriors to do the work of a 100 if needed. He can inspire a battle frenzy or battle trance where anyone under his command is a more effective fighter. This grants anyone in combat on the same side he is fighting an extra attack per round. Warriors in his armies or fighting by his side can never be frightened.

The Kriegskönig is not just the god of War. He is called on for matters of justice and legal disputes, so in this aspect, he is also the God of Judges. It is said that when souls go to their reward in the Afterlife it is Kriegskönig who decides where they go and what they will do in eternity.

Animal: Hawk
Rainment: (Head) warhelm or bare (Body) armor
Color(s): Black, red
Holy Days: Tuesdays
Sacrifices: War is sacrifice, so fallen enemies
Place of Worship: Battlefields, both present and former

Kriegskönig is not a demanding God except in times of war. Then he expects his worshipers, especially his warriors, to be brave. Clerics of this god tend to be dual-classed fighters or paladins.


Wednesday, November 8, 2023

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Betrüger, The Trickster God

 Keeping up with my gods of The Black Forest here. I said originally I was not trying to replicate the Proto-Indo-European Gods, but I think I have been drifting in that direction. So trying a bit of course correction.  Today's god actually got his genesis back when I was reading Robert A. Heinlein's "Job: A Comedy of Justice."  In it one of the main characters, Margrethe, talks about how Loki is not just other version of Hermes/Mercury.  This was followed by discussions in Dragon magazine on whether or not Loki should be Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil.  

These ideas, all circa 1986, have led me to this god. 

Betrüger, The Trickster God


Betrüger is a trickster god. One of the big archetypes for gods really. He often appears in the form of a talking fox, but due to his nature he can appear as anyone or anything. His favorites are a young androgynous man, an old man, a beautiful young woman (where he often plays jokes on Magni and Muthi), and various talking animals. His jokes can be somewhat dangerous, but he is rarely cruel. He saves his cruelest pranks on the dull-witted and those in power.

He adores humans, though in the same way a person might adore a particularly strange pet. His stories abound with him talking advantage of those unaware and rewarding clever behavior. His tongue often gets him into trouble as well as getting him out of it. He sees himself as the smartest of all the gods.

BETRÜGER (Trickster)

Intermediate God

MOVE: 24"
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Charming voice, Spells
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +3 or better to hit

SIZE: M (5' 7")
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
WORSHIPER'S ALIGN: All, Bards, Illusionists, and Thieves
PLANE: Himmel

FIGHTER: 10th level Fighter
MAGIC-USER/ILLUSIONIST: 20th level Illusionist
THIEF/ASSASSIN: 15th level in each
MONK/BARD: 20th level Bard
S: 16 I: 23 W: 18 D: 20 C: 20 CH: 20

Betrüger is the trickster of the Gods. He is fond of jokes, lies, stories, and general mischief. To say "Betrüger is bored" is the same as saying there is trouble brewing somewhere.

This god typically avoids combat. Not that he can't fight or is unskilled; he is quite adpet. He just finds combat beneath his dignity. He would much rather talk his way out of a scrape without needing to raise a weapon of spell.

When pressed, he can fight with a raiper twice per round doing 1d10+2 per hit. He can sneak attack as a 15th-level thief and he can also cast spells as a 20th-level illusionist. 

He is the patron of thieves, con men, illusionists, bards, jugglers, and any who make a living of their wits alone.

Animal: Fox
Rainment: (Head) horns or bare (Body) simple, but well-made garments
Color(s): Black, red, green
Holy Days: Fridays
Sacrifices: A coin tossed into a well or pool.
Place of Worship: Anywhere.

Betrüger requires his clerics to multi- or dual-class into thieves or illusionists. He also requires that they have an intelligence score of at least 13. A score of 15 or higher is recommended.


Monday, November 6, 2023

Monstrous Mondays: D&DGII Strix

 Today's monster is a bit based on creatures like the harpy and siren of Greek and Roman myth with features of the Swan maiden of Northern European lore. I started thinking about what kind of creature this could be. Some sort of bird-woman, either cursed or can transform via a cloak of feathers (like Swan Maidens or Freya), but also would have lived in the environs of the area I am using; the Black Forest region.

This got me thinking about how scary the forest would have been to a pagan in the 6th or 7th centuries. All sorts of monsters live there. Certainly witch-like monsters.  So I decided to adapt another idea I had had. Something of an "Owl Witch" or a Strix.  The name is Latin in origin, and the concept is largely a Norse/Germanic one.



The Strix are a type of evil witch that lives alone in dark woods. They have the ability to transform into large owls. This ability comes from a magical cloak of feathers they can don. Typically they do this at night to hunt for prey; their favorite food is children that wander too close to the forests.

MOVE: 12" [6"/24"]
HIT DICE: 6+12 (39 hp)
% IN LAIR: 90%
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2 talons or Spell
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d6, 1d6 or by Spell
SPECIAL DEFENSES: None [+1 or better weapon to hit]
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: M (5')

Strixes are witches that can assume the shape of a large owl via the use of a magical cloak of feathers. The witch is connected to the cloak, and only she can use it.  Numbers in brackets [] indicate her stats in owl form.

The Strix in owl form can attack via two talons on a single target. Three times per day, they can also scream for 4d8 hp of damage, save vs. Spells for half. In this form, she can't use magic.

In her human form, she can cast spells as a witch (or magic-user) of the 5th level. In this form, she can only scream once per day.

It is said that if a man can steal the Strix's cloak of feathers, then she will be forced to marry him. She will be a dutiful wife as long as the feather cloak stays hidden. If she finds it she will devour her children and fly off, never to be seen again.  Any children who manage to live to adulthood will become powerful wizards or shamans. 


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Hüter, Lord of the Dead

 I didn't get as many of these done as I wanted, but that is okay, it can extend into November.  Today is Halloween so I thought the Lord of the Dead might be a good choice for today.

The Romans and the Germanic people had different views on their Lords of the Dead. The Roman Pluto was not exactly the same as the Greek Hades. In truth, the Greek Hades was not even the same over time. Pluto is more of a blending of Hades and the god of riches Ploûtos. Conflating things further in the Eleusinian Mysteries, Pluto, or Ploutōn, became the God in charge of the Earth that helped the seeds to grow.

Greeks, and to a degree Romans, would never say the name of Hades/Pluto. Fearing doing so would attract his attention. Contrast this with the Norse and Germanic myths. While there was Hel, the protector of the dead was Odin or Wotan. Odin was held in very high regard and his name (all of them) was used many times.  Somewhere Hüter, my Lord of the Dead, needs to strike this balance.  Balance here seems to be the key.

Hüter, Lord of the dead


Hüter is the dispassionate Lord of the Dead. He is neither good nor is he evil. His role is to make sure the dead stay dead. Therefore undead are blasphemous to him. He controls the underground realm and thus all riches that come from the ground are his.

The Lord Underground does not cause death or control the dead but he does keep the souls of the dead under his care and protection. Prayers to Hüter are made in silence, not in fear of his name but in respect of his silent realm of Hölle. Here in this realm, he rules silently over a silent horde of the dead.  

HÜTER (God of the Dead and Riches)

Greater God

MOVE: 24"
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Aura of Silence 60'

SIZE: M (5' 10")
PLANE: Hölle

CLERIC/DRUID: 20th level Cleric
FIGHTER: 15th level Fighter
MAGIC-USER/ILLUSIONIST: 10th level Illusionist
THIEF/ASSASSIN: 15th level in each
MONK/BARD: 15th level Bard
S: 20 I: 23 W: 24 D: 18 C: 20 CH: 16

Hüter is the Lord of the Dead and Riches. He rules from his dark throne in the center of Hölle. Here he is surrounded by the dead and the riches of the land. He is the protector and guardian of the dead. The dead enter his realm never to leave. He is not their jailer, but their custodian and protector. He allows none to enter who do not belong and none may leave.

He has many names. The Silent One, The Rich One, the Lord of this World, the Last Confessor, the Whispered One, the Dread Lord, the Gray Lord, and many more. It is said that even the Gods themselves fear him. 

The Lord of the Dead prefers not to attack. Anyone who gets into his realm has already passed through Helga (who many believe is his daughter) and Heuler. If they have gotten this far it has been with his permission. If he does he has a sword of black steel that does 4-48 (4d12) hp per hit. He can command one creature per round to die.  Death in Hüter's realm is permanent and once dead they cannot be raised. On his command, he can also impose Silence 60' radius around him.

When communicating with his cleric the Dread Lord speaks in signs and portents that they must translate. Often these are in the form of his chosen animal the Raven. 

Animal: Ravens
Rainment: (Head) crown made of horns (Body) Rich garments of black. Robes of black
Color(s): Black
Holy Days: None
Sacrifices: All the dead are sacrifices to him
Place of Worship: Places of death.


RPG Blog Carnival


That is the final entry for this month for my RPG Blog Carnival.  I have more gods and monsters for these myths and that will continue.