Showing posts sorted by relevance for query necropolis. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query necropolis. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, July 30, 2021

Kickstart Your Weekend: Necropolis

Dangerous Journeys Necropolis
Gary Gygax's Necropolis is an odd bit of my personal RPG history. About 25 or more years ago, before I had kids I was working downtown Chicago, this gave me access to the transit rail system and dozens of libraries.  While Wizards of the Coast was scanning and putting up old AD&D modules for free on their website the number of scanned PDFs was non-existent.   So I did what anyone with my resources would do. I checked out all the RPGs books I could from various libraries.  I was young, just married, working on my Ph.D., and had no money.  

In my searches, mostly for books written by Gary Gygax, I found Dangerous Journeys. While the game system was terrible (sorry, it is) I loved the background fluff.  So much so that I add his Ægypt to my own world. I read the Dangerous Journeys and Mythus version of Necropolis many times over. I even finally got my own copy (which I frustratingly can't find right now!!).

It became a central part of my desert region, the Deserts of Desolation and Death, and merging it with bits of Dark Sun is has become the capstone adventure for my Second Campaign.  Though instead of using the DJ version I am using the d20 version from Necromancer Games, published some 20 years ago.   I should note that The Mystical Trashheap blog has a nice conversion of the DJ version to AD&D.

So imagine my excitement when Fog God launched their newest Kickstarter!

Necropolis: An Epic Adventure in the Desert Sands

Frog God Necropolis

So this is for 5e and S&W.  While both are nice, it is the 5e version that I am going to use the most since the Second Campaign is a 5e game.  Since it is the capstone I am going to have to make it a bit deadlier.  I am just not sure if I need the hardcover version since I want to print it out to write notes on.  BUT I also don't want that wear and tear on my printer.

Delivery is scheduled for the end of the year, so that works fine for me, even if it is a little late. 

I just need to figure out which level to pledge at.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ærypt and Zakhara

Following up on my previous post on Desert Elves & Orcs, I thought I might detail the region they live in some more.

Ærypt is a pastiche of Arypt, Erypt, and Egypt with Gygax's Necropolis and Ravenloft's Har'Akir thrown in.
So Zakhara was detailed in the Al-Qadim boxed set and I am going to use that as much as possible. Ærypt is different. I mentioned that I want to use Gygax's Necropolis product as a basis. "Necropolis" is actually two products. The first was Gary's "The Necropolis - And the Land of Egypt" for the Mythus RPG. The second was "Gary Gygax's Necropolis" for d20. Both offer me something that my Ærypt needs; a springboard.

What if we took 3rd or 4th Dynasty Egypt, and then made it very evil and full of undead? We get Ærypt. I will also borrow from my other favorite setting, Ravenloft, and use the background for Har'Akir and its Darklord Anhktepot combined with the Masque of the Red Death background on Egypt and Imhotep. I never liked MotRD's treatment of Imhotep, but Anhktepot is fair game! I have some ideas here, but I also have an issue now. My Ærypt is sun-baked deserts and Zakhara is a land of sands, dunes, and trade routes by camels and oasis's. Looking at the Mystara Map, Arypt is a land of some savannas, scrub land, and jungles! That won't do at all.

So I was comparing these two maps. One is of Arypt of Mystara and the other is Erypt of Oerth. The shapes are similar and fit well with the "Lower Ærypt" on my map. What can account for the changes? Simple. Dark Sun. Or at least the ideas from Dark Sun. Combine those, knowing that my starting point is lush Pre-Dynastic Egypt and my ending is the sun, baked, undead infested lands like Har'Akir or Necropolis, I have my history. Plus the nice thing is I am using the Mystara timeline, but about 640 in the future.
Here we go:
Long Ago* the lands known as Ærypt and Zakhara were once a fertile plain. The inhabitants were few, but they made peaceful lives. To the far west Jungle Gnomes and Jungle Elves lived. Along the Eastern Coast lived tribes of Catmen, known as Rakastas. Till one day a great hole opened in the sky and down came gods (Humans really) they brought with them their slaves (orcs) and began to settle. While the peace of the land was broken, there was no outright warfare. The Gnomes went farther west to avoid contact, but elves were fascinated by the new gods. The Rakasta found much in common with these humans and were soon integrated into their society. Yet as the years grew on it was obvious that these gods were not the benevolent kind. To erect their giant pyramids they soon took elves as slaves as well, with the Rakasta as their cruel task masters. For years untold the elves suffered under the yoke of the humans and watch as their forests were plundered and cut down to build more and more temples, all for the glory of the Sorcerer Kings. But even this was not enough.
The latest Sorcerer King, Anhktepot craved more and more power. Eventually he came upon a ritual that would enable him to take magic from the very Earth herself. He drained the land to fuel his own urge for power. The there was a price. The land around him died and became a desert and he became a withered undead thing. The growth of this desert was horrifically fast. Within 100 years the lush green land was nothing but sands. Having enough of this the tribes of Elves and Orcs banded together and overthrew the Sorcerer King. Anhktepot was defeated and buried alive deep in his own pyramid in the dead city of Har'Akir.
The elves. Homeless began to travel the deserts in search for a new life, but unwilling to leave the lands of their birth.
Let the place simmer for 500 years and voilà. Instant new land with history and reasons to adventure. All that treasure that the locals won't touch. Danger, mystery, everything we game for.

Enjoy your Fourth of July weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Witch Wars and Second Campaigns

Again, no gaming for me this weekend. So when I am not working on my current 5e game my mind tends to wander a bit. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about what needs to be done next.

A brief recap though.

I started playing with my kids when my son turned 5, so about 2005 or so.
That adventure was the start of what would become the Dragonslayers campaign. There was no over arching plot and we made a lot up as we went along. The rule system was a modified version of D&D 3.0 with bits of Mutants & Masterminds, BESM d20 and Star Wars thrown in for good measure. Soon my youngest son joined and there was a rotating cast of characters (sometimes joined by their friends) under the vague notion of stopping the threat of evil dragons. Eventually the party decided that they had to stop Tiamat herself. We went through many of the classic adventures and a lot that were completely made up on the day of gaming.

When D&D 4 came out we tried a couple of times to get a game going under that but to no real success. Though those failures lead to what we called the Order of the Platinum Dragon games, or what I have been calling here the Come Endless Darkness game. Like every time I have changed rule systems I usually use the children of the characters I was playing before. This time, we started using AD&D 1st Edition. We played that for a couple of levels, notably for adventures B1 and B2. When D&D 5th Ed came out we switch wholesale over to that with flashbacks using AD&D1 and D&D Basic.

Now I want to try something a little different.

The Second Campaign is (in theory) supposed to run in parallel to the Come Endless Darkness game. Different characters, but the same world and time. One of the elements of this game is that one of the characters that went missing from the CED game will show up here. That game is limited to only 12-14 levels, then for the big finale all the characters would come together in the end. BUT...that might not work so well since I didn't get the Second Campaign started when I should have. Or rather, the CED game had too much momentum and we kept going. In the CED game they are going to deal with the Lolth-Orcus threat, in TSC it will be Dagon and Demongorgon.
Since it is a "Second Campaign" I want to follow the model of the "First Campaign" or Come Endless Darkness and use classic modules. These are the ones I am considering.

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God, levels 1-3 (novice)
U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, levels 1-3
U2 Danger at Dunwater, levels 1-4
U3 The Final Enemy, levels 3-5
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, levels 4-7
I3 Pharaoh, levels 5-7
I4 Oasis of the White Palm, levels 6-8
I5 Lost Tomb of Martek, levels 7-9
X4 Master of the Desert Nomads, levels 6-9
X5 Temple of Death, levels 6-10
I9 Day of Al'Akbar, level 8-10
Gary Gygax's Necropolis, levels 10+

The only one that I am 100% sold on is Necropolis.

Since these are all AD&D modules (save Necropolis) I might stick to AD&D, but it is far more likely that this will be a combination of Basic/Expert D&D, Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, Adventurer Conqueror King, Basic Fantasy RPG, Labyrinth Lord and any other OSR book I have laying around. It is a mix-mash that I often refer to as "Black Box Basic".

The trouble it that it make much more sense for this game to use Castles & Crusades. Converting between C&C and D&D5 is a no brainer really. Super easy. I want to play C&C. I also want to play Black Box.

The only ones I don't have PDFs for.
The campaign after this will be my War of the Witch Queens.
That one will be run under Castles & Crusades and also use a variety of adventures.

The Stealer of Children (LL), level 1
B7 Rahasia (Basic D&D), levels 1-3
The Ruins of Ramat (S&W), levels 1-3
Return of the Warlock (S&W), levels 2-4
The Manor Issue 6 (OSR), low level (roughly 3rd)
Witch of the Tarriswoods (OSR), 3rd level
Saga of the Witch Queen (DCC), 4th level
A3 Wicked Cauldron (C&C), levels 3-5
Night of the Spirits (C&C), levels 4-6
No Salvation for Witches (LotFP), not mentioned, likely levels 5-7
Witches Court Marshes (AD&D_ish), around 7
Fane of the Witch King (3.0/d20), levels 10+
Dark Druids, AD&D1/OSRIC, levels 8-12
The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga (AD&D_2e), levels 7-20
The Witch Queen's Revenge (Pathfinder), levels 15+
The Witchwar Legacy (Pathfinder), levels 17+
Winter of the Witch (D&D4), Epic levels

One campaign has a variety of rules, but adventures that are for the same system. The other uses one set of rules, but each adventure is for a different system.

One day I'll do something easy.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Deserts of Desolation & Death & More

It's a blah rainy day here in Chicagoland.  Great day to do some prep on my Desert portions of my Second Campaign.

I am currently re-reading all the desert adventures I own and working out a coherent narrative.

Right the idea is the PCs head out to the desert in search of the reptile cult that has been plaguing the land.

The adventures are:

The Desert of Desolation series:
and the Desert Nomads/Temple of Death series:
and then the two stand-alone adventures:
The adventures span several designers, worlds and even games, but all link back to the idea of ancient Egypt.  Known as Eyrpt on Oerth, Ayrpt on Mystara, and Aegypt in Gary Gygax's original Dangerous Journey Necropolis and then later Khemit in the 3rd edition version.  I combine them all into one place I call "Ærypt". The series is called "The Deserts of Desolations and Death".

But I am missing some bits.  Originally I thought that I could gloss over some of the missing ideas (at least in terms of my campaign plans) with B4 The Lost City, but there are some issues there.  One the module is too low of level to fit with what I want exactly, also I ran the kids through it years ago so likely they will remember it even with some changes.  But most of all the Elder Evil Zargon is a bad or more exactly problematic fit for the current game.  Besides if I do bring back B4 it will be as part of a game using Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea as Eric Fabiaschi often talks about.

No, I am going to need something else.  Thankfully something almost exactly like what I need dropped into my lap.

Venger Satanis sent me a copy of his latest publication in exchange for a fair review, but it was on on my radar anyway.  There are a few reviews ok for it now, so I am going to gloss over some of the "reviewy" bits in favor of how I am planning on using it.

Cha'alt is 218 pages, full color, desert-themed adventure in Venger's normal gonzo style.  The rules are his O5R system which is a mix of OSR and 5e, so it works with just about any game. 
There is a "Campaign Map" of sorts with twelve areas, but only a few of them are heavily detailed.   The campaign map and the sandbox nature of this adventure gave me a few ideas for use in my own desert-themed games,  so that made the review worth it to be honest, but there is a lot more here than just that.

Like all of Venger's books there is a high-quality production value here.  He is not afraid to spend the money to get high-quality artists and layout.  Also, true to his style, there are plenty, ok LOTS, of tongue in cheek pop-culture references throughout the book. Ranging from 80s nostalgia to yesterday's internet humor. 

The adventure is gonzo as I mentioned, so there is a fair bit of science-fantasy thrown in for good measure.  Enough that is t makes me think it too is also a good fir for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.  The levels are more in line with AS&SH than my current campaign, but that is fine. Though in either case, I'll need to figure out what to do about the giant sandworms, spider droids, and hunter-killer robots.

In true old-school fashion, there are plenty of random tables and charts. Advice for surviving in the desert and plenty of new monsters.

The Black Pyramid
The biggest feature of this book is the Black Pyramid. 
The obvious inspiration for this portion is the venerable Lost City, but again through a darker, slightly warped lens.  As with the rest of the book, this section is full self-referential humor and nods. So of it works, some of it doesn't. Adventure-wise the pyramid is full of eldritch weirdness.  At 111 rooms not all of them are great, but there is enough here to keep the players all busy and adventurers entertained.

There is a lot of fun to had with Cha'alt.  I have quite a lot of ideas of things to do with it, none of which are as it was designed.   Still, there is a lot of material here and plenty of ideas. For me, I am likely to remove many of the sci-fi elements if I run this as part of a campaign, or at least tone them down if I run it using AS&SH.

If you are familiar with Venger's work then you will find more of this here though this might be his best looking work to date.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

OMG: Egyptian Myths, Part 2

Wrapping up the myths of Egypt today for One Man's God.   A brief note about the objectives of these posts. I am trying to go through the various myths as presented in the AD&D 1st edition Deities and Demigods and trying to reconcile them with the implied cosmology as presented in the AD&D game and Monster Manual in particular.  Sure I can, and will, draw from many other sources from real-world mythologies and religion to other editions of D&D and even other games.

Ok back to the business at hand.
You can find Part 1 here.

Last week I talked a lot about Apep.  He has been a lot on my mind of late.  From the reviews I did of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2E to Serpentine - Oldskull Serpent Folk, snake gods are getting a lot of coverage on my blog of late.  This is really no surprise.  My Second Campaign is gearing up for the trek into the great desert of the world and it will have a lot of Egyptian influences as well.

Right now my plan is to take the big desert adventures of classic A/D&D and make the end of my campaign with them.

The Desert of Desolation series:
and the Desert Nomads/Temple of Death series:
and then the two stand-alone adventures:

The adventures span several designers, worlds and even games, but all link back to the idea of ancient Egypt.  Known as Eyrpt on Oerth, Ayrpt on Mystara, and Aegypt in Gary Gygax's original Dangerous Journey Necropolis and then later Khemit in the 3rd edition version.  I combine them all into one. I call my series "The Deserts of Desolations and Death".

Apep and Yig will play a big part in this.  If Apep/Yig (yes I combine them) is an Eodemon like Dagon, then also like Dagon he invests some power in Demogorgon.  Demogorgon is a Greek name, so maybe the Egypt of my adventures is similar and this represents the Ptolemaic/Greek rule era.

Not mentioned in the DDG is the god Aten, the god of the sun disc.

Already we are getting into something about the Egyptian myths that I will talk about more in detail later.  Aten is the God of the Sun. Ra/Re is the God of the Sun.  Who is the god of the sun here?
Well, both.  And for a while, it was also Osiris.   Egyptian gods were more fluid than say the Greek or Romans ones (but they still had this quality).  Gods could be subjected to Syncretism where two of more gods were fused together into one god, their beliefs fused.  We see this in Amun-Ra (the King of the gods and the sun god).

The biggest deal with Aten was his worship by the Pharaoh Akhenaten, who may have been the father of Tutankhamun, was the pharaoh that brought monotheism to Egypt in 1350 to 1330 BCE.  This predates the other big monotheistic religions including Judaism and Zoroastrianism (and obviously Christianity and Islam, thought the roots of all of these go back that far).

When working on my ideas for Sol Invictus I always wondered what it would have been like if Egypt had continued the worship of Aten.  Or if Aten instead of being wiped out of existence with the return of the original gods and Amun-Ra had been killed by Set or Apep.   Since my campaign deals with events of the Dawn War and He Who Was, maybe that is the same sort of god as Aten.

Aten is a great place to start if you want to make a monotheistic religion in D&D's otherwise polytheistic approach.

I have not looked at length but I think Kobold Press has Aten in some of their books.

Hermes Trismegistus
Now back onto the topic of syncretism. What do you get when you take Thoth the God of Knowledge and combine him with Mercury the Messanger of the Gods and a dash of Imhotep?  Let it stew for a bit in Ptolemaic Egypt?  You get Hermes Trismegistus or the Thrice Great Hermes.

From Hermes Trismegistus, we get Hermeticism; a pre-science esoteric way at looking at the nature of the world.  In many RPGs (Mage and Ars Magica are good examples, as it WitchCraft) this leads to the Hermetic Traditions.  These are magical and alchemical traditions.

Often the Hermetic Traditions are classified as "High Magic" with witchcraft and pagan practices as "Low Magic".  Disclaimer. This is a remarkably simplistic view of what would go on to be one of the largest movements in Western Esotericism. I am just going to the beginning and following one branch of this tree. 

In any case, Hermes Trismegistus is not a god you would find in the DDG.  If some he could be an Egyptian/Greek god of Alchemy and Magic eventually (as sadly these things happen) taking over the role of Magic from Isis and Hecate.  Maybe there is this God in my campaign along with Aten.

Library of Alexandria 
So from this, I am building a Ptomliac Egyptian area that is post-Aten-heresies where Hermes Trismegistus is the god of Alchemy and Magic and Apep is still a real threat.

Spoiler for when I do the Greek Myths (and I think I should do them next).
How are Heka the Egyptian God of Magic related to Hecate the "Greek" (and I'll explain that later) Goddess of Witches, Magic and the Underworld?

Next time on One Man's God.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A to Z of Adventure! N is for Novice Series

N is for Novice Series.

Although I also thought these were called the N series because the first one was written by Douglas Niles.

The idea behind the N series was to provide yet another set of adventures for starting players. It makes sense really. You will have far more low-level characters than high-level ones.

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God
N2 The Forest Oracle
N3 Destiny of Kings
N4 Treasure Hunt 
N5 Under Illefarn

Of these, it is N1 that interests me the most.   It is ranked as 19 of the top 30 greatest adventures of all time and Douglas Niles was an author I have grown to respect over the years; especially for his contributions to AD&D.   Plus for me this module was published in that "Golden Age" of adventure design in 1982 when so much great stuff was going on.

Against the Cult of the Reptile God is also the unofficial name I give to my "Second Campaign" adventure series. These adventures include:

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God, levels 1-3 (novice)
U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, levels 1-3
U2 Danger at Dunwater, levels 1-4
U3 The Final Enemy, levels 3-5
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, levels 4-7
C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, levels 5-7
I2 Tomb of the Lizard King, levels 5-7
I3 Pharaoh, levels 5-7
I4 Oasis of the White Palm, levels 6-8
I5 Lost Tomb of Martek, levels 7-9
X4 Master of the Desert Nomads, levels 6-9
X5 Temple of Death, levels 6-10
I9 Day of Al'Akbar, level 8-10 (if I can find a copy)
Gary Gygax's Necropolis, levels 10+

Just so much good stuff out there.

Of the N series, N1 is the best known to me.  I have read through it many times and always wanted to do something with it.
I started playing N3 once, back in my college days, but I don't think we got very far.
N4 Treasure Hunt is an interesting one since it is the only AD&D adventure I know of that has the characters start at 0-level.  Very interesting choice if you ask me and maybe something I should try for my "Second Campaign".

For people reading this and have no experience in gaming, these are all great places to start. Well except for N2 and nobody likes that adventure!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Releases Tuesday: I9 Day of Al'Akbar

One of my favorite old-school adventures has finally made it to PDF at OneBookShelf.

I9 Day of Al'Akbar.

Gotta love that 80's hair.

Of course, back then we always called it "Day of Admiral Ackbar".

Now my PDF collection is complete for my "Second Campaign".

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God, levels 1-3 (novice)
U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, levels 1-3
U2 Danger at Dunwater, levels 1-4
U3 The Final Enemy, levels 3-5
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, levels 4-7
I3 Pharaoh, levels 5-7
I4 Oasis of the White Palm, levels 6-8
I5 Lost Tomb of Martek, levels 7-9
X4 Master of the Desert Nomads, levels 6-9
X5 Temple of Death, levels 6-10
I9 Day of Al'Akbar, level 8-10
Gary Gygax's Necropolis, levels 10+

Each day I think Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is the best choice for this one.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The "Second Campaign"

So yesterday I started talking about something I am calling the "Second Campaign".  It's not really a second one (more like a 20th one).  The idea is a set of adventures, maybe set in the same world, using classical adventures but with a new set of characters.

Now I am not yet sure I'll have the time for this but if I am setting it in the same world then I might want to lay a bit of a foundation.

So a theme that has come up a few times in my games, either D&D-like, CineUnisystem or other modern supernatural, is human(oid)s vs reptile invaders.  I first got the idea when I was going through the Fiend Folio and I noticed there were a lot of different reptile and amphibian races.

I later (likely through Chill) thought of a snake like race (maybe similar to the "Deceiver" creature) but I could have also been influenced by Doctor Who.  In any case they are there, squirming around in my brain.

I would love to take this do something with all these other cool adventures that share a theme, add a bit of backstory (not much) and maybe....just maybe run it all under Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

So here is my thought:

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God, levels 1-3 (novice)
U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, levels 1-3
U2 Danger at Dunwater, levels 1-4
U3 The Final Enemy, levels 3-5
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, levels 4-7
C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, levels 5-7

And that is about as far as I got.

I also have a series of "desert adventures" I want to try.

I3 Pharaoh, levels 5-7
I4 Oasis of the White Palm, levels 6-8
I5 Lost Tomb of Martek, levels 7-9
X4 Master of the Desert Nomads, levels 6-9
X5 Temple of Death, levels 6-10
I9 Day of Al'Akbar, level 8-10.
Gary Gygax's Necropolis, levels 10+

I could fold them into each other.  There are 13 here, so I like that number.  But they all don't fit in together thematically, unless I am saying that Set is somehow involved.  Which could be cool really.

I don't have a copy of Day of Al'Akbar anymore and it has not shown up yet on DriveThruRPG.  So I could make it 12 adventures.

Also I could take a page out of True20 and just have everyone go up a level at the end of each adventure.  It would make things easy.  If so then AS&SH might just be the right choice.  I would want to ratchet up the pulp feel.  But not really use any Lovecraftian beasties.  I am kinda burned out on them really.

Something to consider anyway.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

No More Secrets in Saltmarsh

Over the weekend we continued with what was going to be the Second Campaign.  Still is...but I'll get to that.

The boys made some new characters and we started the "Treasure Hunters" group.  Overtly this group is getting together to hunt treasure. We have a band centered around "an expert treasure hunter" (a ranger), a cleric of the god of Knowledge and warlock.  Joining the group is my favorite character to date, a gnome druid named "Erky Timbers", played by my youngest.

I took them through U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.  We had such a great time we played for about 10 hours, only stopping to quickly grab a bite to eat.

We played it under 5e and I used +Mark Stout's  "Classic Modules Today" conversion of U1 to help us out.

Though this proposes and interesting problem for me.  This is the adventure I wanted to use to start the "Second Campaign", the one that runs parallel to the "Come Endless Darkness" campaign.  At some point, after 15th level, the survivors of both campaigns will come together to fight a larger evil.

I supposedly started the Second Campaign back in March with the Forgotten Realms.  But so far we are only one adventure and two sessions into that one.  Plus that one is in the Realms, the Come Endless Darkness is very much Oerth/Greyhawk.

So. I might change that game to a simple "Into the Forgotten Realms" game and pick the Second Campaign Game up here in Oerth.  I was vague on where Saltmarsh actually was, so I can still decide. Given the adventures, I am pretty sold on it being in Greyhawk.

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God levels 1-3 (novice)
U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, levels 1-3
U2 Danger at Dunwater, levels 1-4
U3 The Final Enemy levels 3-5
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, levels 4-7
I3 Pharaoh, levels 5-7
I4 Oasis of the White Palm, levels 6-8
I5 Lost Tomb of Martek, levels 7-9
X4 Master of the Desert Nomads, levels 6-9
X5 Temple of Death, levels 6-10
I9 Day of Al'Akbar, level 8-10
Gary Gygax's Necropolis, levels 10+

With a break right after I4 for the Council of Greyhawk. This group will be sent to the desert but unlike the Order of the Platinum Dragon the Treasure hunters will not be transported back.

This could end up being quite epic.  Hope I am able to get it all done.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Desert Elves & Orcs

I was working on a desert based adventure for my son's game the other day and I got to thinking about some things I really liked from AD&D 2nd Ed. Desert Elves and Al-Qadim. In my Mstaroerth world I have an area that is roughly equal to the Sahara desert. I am thinking of putting some the Al-Qadim stuff there. I would include Desert Elves, that also appeared in 3rd Ed. For me the desert elves would be tall, thin, dark skinned and be the merchants and royalty of the land. I would use them to typify what is thought of as the best stereotypes of Muslims and Arabs (the hospitality, the reverence for tradition and religion), not that there would not be "Bad" ones per se, but I am saving my bad guy role for another race. Humans. Humans of this land fell prey to the Necromancer Kings and thus most humans are seen as defilers, infidels and outright evil. Most of the time this stereotype will play out.

But what about Orcs? Well if the desert elves are the sultans and emirs of the land, then the orcs are their body guards. That's right. I want elves and orcs working together. What happened was many millennia ago when the Necromancer Kings rose to power it was the elves and the orcs that fought them. Once united they then discovered that they had skills that were mutually beneficial to each other. Orcs are still militaristic with small war cadres connected to powerful elf families. For an orc it is an honor to serve since the more powerful the elf family the stronger their own cadre is respected. The stronger the orc cadre, the more respected the family is and the more likely they will get goods to trade. An elf sultan will travel without his wife for example, but never without his orc escorts. I am also thinking that these groups of elves and orcs have also never heard of the elf-orcs wars that plague their cousins. Again stealing a bit from Al-Qadim here, but that is cool. Unlike Al-Qadim I was thinking of making these elves monotheistic and the orcs still worshiping altered versions of their own gods. For example Grumush was a great military leader, not a blood thirsty killer.

There were no Halflings, gnomes or dwarves here. But I will use Yuan-Ti, or rather my world's counter-part, the Ophidians. I have not decided on classes yet, but I am sure they will be slight alterations on the existing ones. For example a Sha'ir will be a normal magic user in OD&D or Spellcraft & Swordplay, and maybe a special kind of warlock in 4e. I have not figured out all the lands yet other than basics, but I am getting the urge to pull down my Al-Qadim information. I'd add some Dark Sun into it as well, IF I felt it fit and it really doesn't. Dark Sun always felt more "John Carter of Mars" to me than "Arabian Nights". What I like most about this idea is it is not Tolkienesque-fantasty-Europe.

I mentioned my Ærypt is a pastiche of Arypt, Erypt and Egypt with Gygax's Necropolis and Ravenloft's Har'Akir thrown in. So this is the lands west of that.

Looking forward to seeing where this takes me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 6, Room 13

 While within the Necropolis, the party moves near an open temple. As the party approaches, they are surrounded by Shadows moving in. Though before they can attack, a haunting music can be heard. The Shadows move back and surround two elves, a male and a female. The woman is playing a long double flute that looks like it is made of bone.  The man is holding a skull with eyes of balefire.  

The shadows move back into the ground.

Runu and Urnu

When the last of the Shadows have gone, the woman stops playing.

They are dressed similarly and even look the same, obviously related.  They look like the shadow elves you have seen, but their skin is darker, and their hair is lighter.  The woman greets you first.

"Greetings. I am Runu, and this is my younger brother Urnu," she says.

There is a snort from the male, and a "younger by mere seconds." escapes his lips just loud enough to be heard by all.

Runu points to a rune on the ground that one of your shoes has kicked dirt onto. 

"The Rune of Ake keeps the shadows confined to the temple. When you walked over it broke the magic. But no matter." She brushes the dirt away, and the great circle of runes glows briefly and then fades.

They tell you they are Shadow Elves, but they are also Drow/Dark Elves and therefore despised by all elves. More importantly, they tell you they are not under the sway of the Vampire Queen.  

They mention they need a particular jewel from an idol in the central temple.  The idol is that of the Demon Lord Orcus and the temple is his.They causally mention they know they are searching for the tomb of the Vampire Queen. ("Why else are you here? It's not the scenery!")  They also add that the large temple is the access to the lower levels. There is a secret door under the idol.

If asked why they are helping, they will say that the Shadow Elves will kill them on the spot, but the adventurers are a curiosity to them and they have a chance to reach the temple.

If asked why they need it, they will claim it was stolen by the Vampire Queen, and they want to return to their home temple. 

If the party tries to attack them, they use their Rings of Invisibility and sneak away. They do want the adventurers alive to face the monsters in the Temple.

The double flute are "Pipes of the Susurrus" and they require training to use.

There is nothing of note in this local temple.


Note: Runu is a Profane Necromancer, Urnu is a Gothic Witch. Most of what they tell you is true. Save for a few details.

- The Shadow Elves will kill Runu and Urnu true, but they will also kill the adventurers. Runu is playing up how many Shadow Elves are here.

- Runu summoned the shadows herself to scare the adventurers. 

- They do need the gem, the Eye of Orcus, but it is far more dangerous than they let on.

- They want the adventures to face the monsters of the main temple. 

- They have no love for the Vampire Queen

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

#AtoZChallenge2024: U is for Universe

 Often times the campaign settings of Dungeons & Dragons are known as "worlds." If there are multiple worlds then there must be a Dungeons & Dragons Universe. 

So what are these worlds, and where do they come from?  My "map" below features the names of the worlds, so when I talk about them below, I'll go by the "Campaign Setting."
The Universe

Let's start with the three "Core" worlds and work our way out.

Greyhawk (Oerth)

Greyhawk was one of the first campaign settings released. It was certainly the first full setting. Blackmoor, created by D&D co-creator Dave Arneson, was published first, but it was never a full world. Both Greyhawk and Mystara would later adopt different versions of Blackmoor for their own world. The World of Greyhawk setting takes place on the world of Oerth and was the home setting of Gary Gygax.

Greyhawk is often considered to be the core D&D world for 1st Edition AD&D.

Forgotten Realms (Abeir-Toril)

This is the world that most people are familiar with. It got its start during the end of 1st Edition but really grew in popularity during AD&D's 2nd Edition. It only got bigger during 3rd edition and today is the setting of the insanely popular Baldur's Gate 3 video game.

Created by Ed Greenwood as a place to set tales of his own invention. He later sold it to TSR for D&D after spending years writing for Dragon magazine.

I have spent all year talking about the Realms and I really enjoy them. 

The "world" of Abeir-Toril, is really two worlds that exist in the same space just shifted. It's weird and its fun and I really love it. I am going to spend some more time talking about it here.

Kara-Tur, Al-Qadim, and Maztica

These are all larger settings in the world of Toril in the Forgotten Realms. Kara-Tur began as part of the World of Greyhawk (in theory), but it was later moved here.

Dragonlance (Krynn)

The world of Krynn is home to the Dragonlance Saga introduced in AD&D's 1st edition as part of the so-called Hickman Revolution. Created by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman it was TSR's first attempts at epic storytelling. It had adventures, books, novels (especially novels!) and even a movie. Ok, lets not talk about the movie.

Krynn is often depicted as being very removed and remote from all the other worlds and fiercely guarded by its gods. I put it closer to the core because of the importance it has to D&D's history.

As we move out to the rim worlds, as Star Wars or Traveller might call them.


The world and campaign setting of Mystara was introduced with the Basic/Expert sets known as "The Known World."  It could have been a core world, but I wanted to limit it to just three.

Hollow World and Red Steel

These are two larger settings for Mystara. Mystara is a hollow world with people and creatures living on the inside! I have also included Birthright with Mystara.


This is totally cheating. Mystoerth is my camping world that combines Mystara and Oerth. It's my map, I get to make the rules. My world also includes Kara-Tur, Blackmoor, and an Al-Qadim/Dark Sun/Necropolis mix.


Urt was the name Frank Mentzer gave for the world of the BECMI set before it was renamed to Mystara. In his vision, Urt was akin to Oerth. Also, Urt was not hollow but a living planet! There are gates between Urt and Oerth but not between Urt and Mystara.


This is the world of Dark Sun. This is a desert world ravaged by magical despots.  Everyone has some level of psychic powers, and the world is brutal. I have not talked much about it, but I have stolen a lot of ideas from here.


This world was developed by Keith Baker for a setting search conducted by Wizards of the Coast for 3rd Edition. This world has some similarities to the other worlds. Low-level magic is common, but higher-level magic is much rarer. There is also a steam-punk feel to it. 

Kingdoms of Kalamar (Tellene)

This is one of the non-TSR/Wizards of the Coast worlds on my list, but due to the working relationship between Wizards and Kenzer & Co. There have been 1st and 3rd Edition versions, with the 3rd Edition published by Wizards of the Coast.


This world is from Magic: The Gathering and added to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. It is a rather fun mix of Greek and Roman myths.


This is the world of Pathfinder. While early versions were part of D&D 3rd edition, it became the home to Pathfinder 1st and 2nd Edition. 


This is the world of the Campaign setting of Critical Role. It began as a D&D 4e world, switched to Pathfinder, and finally D&D 5e. The books published for it are all D&D 5e. 

It is between Golarion and the Core Worlds because they share some gods. 


Aihrde is the world of Troll Lord Games' Castles & Crusades. It shares a gritty feel with Oerth and the fact that Gary Gygax contributed to it in the last years of his life. As I have said many times, Castles & Crusades is really the spiritual heir to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.


This is my oldest son's campaign word. This is my blog, so I get to include it! It has heavy Lovecraftian influences and Gods from both Oerth and Toril.

The Missing Worlds

Some worlds are not on my map above because they do not fit the general idea of a world but are campaign settings.

Ravenloft is my favorite campaign setting, but it is an extra-dimensional pocket accessed from all worlds. It has no world to call it's own.

Planescape deals with the "Outer Planes" of existence where alignment, ethos, and philosophy are all important. 

Spelljammer is...well D&D IN SPACE! The 2nd Edition rules had your characters using "Spelljamming" ships that moved through the phlogiston of space. In D&D 5th Edition, the phlogiston is still there, sort of, but now your characters travel the great Astral Sea. 

My map above was made with my limited knowledge of Spelljammer. I was not trying to replicate anything, but something I could use in SJ if I wanted. 

All these worlds allow access to the other worlds. Though Ravenloft is more like a "Hotel California" characters can get in, but they can't get out.

Other ways for people to travel to these other worlds are by gates and at least one special place. A while back, I suggested that the infamous Temple of Elemental Evil exists in all worlds simultaneously. You can go in but never be sure of where you will come out. Also, my own Tomb of the Vampire Queen has many unstable portals to many worlds.

There are many, many more worlds out there. I have not included them all, but I could have included a dozen more, and that is not counting all the ones I know about. 

It doesn't even count the newest one I have been playing around with, Oestara, which is a reflection of my own Mystoerth world. I don't have anything on that one just yet. 

Tomorrow is V day, and of course, I am going to talk about Vampires.

The A to Z of Dungeons & Dragons: Celebrating 50 years of D&D.

Monday, June 12, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 6, Room 12

To the side of this city is a large burial area.

Room 12

In this shadow elf necropolis, the party will encounter 1d4+3 Spectres and 1d6+4 Wraiths.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Night Videos: More Vampire Songs

Welcome back to Friday Night Videos as we continue the Vampire theme for Vampire Month here at the Other Side.

These songs are ones we used in our games for the few times I used music.  I do sometimes like to set a tone with some music before playing, especially when I am doing horror.

Back in the day I wrote an adventure for my group called "Ravenloft III: The Necropolis".  Yeah, it was not originally named, but some of the things in the adventure later appeared in other adventures and games including what would later become the biggest "vampire game" in my life: Buffy.

The Who's Behind Blue Eyes was the "theme song" for the main anti-hero of the tale. A vampire that you were supposed to feel sorry for and help.

Queen has cemented their legacy as one of the best rock bands ever. But there was a time when this was not the case. Undaunted Freddie and crew still took risks with this song, "Who Wants to Live Forever", from the album A Kind of Magic which also served as the soundtrack to the movie Highlander. Of course a different kind of immortal was featured in the movie, but the song works for either. If you have not listened to this album I suggest you do so.

Yes it is cheese pure and simple, but Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell is one of the very, very few albums I can play D&D too.  In fact my Freshman year in college I ran Ravenloft I6 while playing this album.
Also Meatloaf should get special mention here since the video for Bat Out of Hell premiered on Friday Night Videos before it did on MTV.

Not much else on this album is D&D-ish or even Vampire-ish, but this song still has a special place in my black heart.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Review: Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys: Mythus (1992)

Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys: Mythus (1992)
 This week is Gary Con, so I thought while I am celebrating 50 years of Dungeons & Dragons, I would also spend some time with Gary Gygax's other two games he made after leaving TSR, where he created D&D. This week, I am coving Dangerous Journeys: Mythus.

A bit of background for those not 100% up to speed. Back in 1985, D&D brought in a lot of money, but the publisher, TSR, was in debt of $1.5 million. These reasons have been explained better and in more detail elsewhere; suffice to say that by the time the dust settled (almost), Gary Gygax had been kicked out of the company (but not yet the industry) he helped create.  He spent some time doing some novels with his New Infinity Productions where he also published his near-universally reviled Cyborg Commando. No, I am not going to review that one. Plus I don't own it.

After a little time away he returned to RPGs in 1992 with his new game, "Dangerous Dimensions," or DD for short. Well, TSR was not going to have any of that and threatened to sue (in fairness, it is from a playbook that Gary helped write), and his new game became Dangerous Journeys, and Mythus became the fantasy setting. 

Dangerous Journeys would be his new core system with Mythus, the Fantasy RPG. There was a mention of the supernatural horror game Unhallowed, which would have been fun. Plus, I would have loved to have had a fantasy RPG and a supernatural horror RPG that used the same system. 

Eventually, more pressure from TSR would kill Dangerous Journey, leaving only Mythus produced.

But what is Dangerous Journeys, and what is its setting, Mythus?

Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys (1992)

Gary Gygax with Dave Newton. 416 pages. Color covers. Black-and-white interior art. Some full-color art plates.
Published by Games Designer Workshop.

First some clarifications.

Dangerous Journeys is the system being used here. Mythus is the Fantasy RPG that uses the Dangerous Journeys system/rules.  Mythus is also divided into Mythus Prime, which is a basic game and Mythus Advanced, which is the advanced or full game. This book covers both the Mythus Prime and Mythus Advanced games.

This game was designed to address some of the perceived shortcomings of AD&D, though Gary could not come right out and say that. He had to be a bit oblique about it.  This book is huge and there is lot going on. 

Welcome to the Mythus Game

This introduction introduces us to the game and some RPG ideas like what an RPG is, what a Gamemaster is, and so on. None of which I think are needed here to be honest, its a bit much. But the meat is the Game Premise and, in some ways, the most interesting to me. Mythus takes place on Ærth, a world like our own but 1000 years in the past, so at the time of publication, 992 CE. Here, the myths of old are real, and we know about them because of Ærth's connection to Earth. So elves, dragons, and vampires are stories here, but there they were/are real. The trouble I am having with Ærth as presented is there is very little to differentiate it from our Earth save for window dressing. This is disappointing really since I feel there is something here if given the chance to grow a little. The maps and hints throughout the book are tantalizing but not enough.

Here we are also introduced to the next two books in the line "The Epic of Ærth" and "Mythus Magic." Of those two, I only have the Mythus Magic book. We are also introduced to the concept of the Basic and Advanced games. 

Your character in the game is a persona, or Heroic Persona, or HP. This game uses regular d6s and d10s for all the rolls. There are also d3 and d5 rolls here, but most will d%.

Dangerous Journey Mythus

Mythus Prime Rules

Note: There is also a "Basic Set" sold separately as "Mythus Prime" that is a 144-page book. It is essentially the same as this section, with some expansions. 

This is the "Basic" game designed to get people started in the Mythus game. It is like the Advanced Mythus game in many ways but obviously simpler. I am not going to delve too deep here. I have read it many times over the years and I like some of the ideas here. But I can talk about them when I cover the Advanced Rules. This does cover the next 45 pages or so. Reading the chapter Creating your Heroic Persona, though, is a good one since the Advanced Mythus points back to it for character creation. There is more in the advanced game.

HPs (remember, Heroic Personas) have three Traits: Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. It is not a bad division, really, Tri-Stat would later do it to much success. In this Basic section all the steps are outlined by an example. So choose SEC (Socio-Economic Class), Traits, Vocation (not a class...), choose K/S (Knowledge/Skills), and STEEP points (Study, Training, Education, Experience, Practice); get your finances and possessions., and round off your character.  Compared to the flipping through pages, one has to do with AD&D 1st ed. This is an improvement, but compared to other games from around 1992, like, say, Vampire the Masquerade, it already felt dated. Still better than World of Synnibar, released the year before.

All characters get three K/S for free, Perception (Mental), Perception (Physical), and Riding/Boating.

There is a chapter on rolling and success. I go into that in detail with the advanced game. The same is true of the chapter after the next on Combat.

The third chapter is on Heka, or the force of Magic in the Mythus world.  Now this was an interesting one to me. In the 90s I was dying for a new magic system. It is interesting but wildly crunchy. Heka is determined by your HP's magical K/S. Again, more on this in a bit. 

Improving Skills & Abilities is after Combat, and the rules here as simple enough. you spend APs (accomplishment points, our XP stand-in) to improve. This one also gets more complicated in the Advanced Game.

A Chapter on Playing your HP, moving to the Advanced Game and some Gamemaster advice.

I like the idea of a simpler game to introduce the more complicated one, but I can't help but feel that the real game, the one that would been more successful, isn't somewhere in between. I mean we all did the same with Basic and Advanced D&D.  Feels like the same mistakes are being made here for completely different reasons.

There is a brief adventure for the Basic game, High Time at the Winged Pig, at the end of this section. To be honest, it's not really all that interesting, especially given that this is the same guy who gave us B2 and the TGD series. I mean the HPs meet in a tavern. Fine for 1974-1977, but 1992? We deserve better than this really.

Advanced Mythus

Now 55 pages later, we are now in the Advanced Mythus game.

We are referred to the Basic Mythus game often, but the steps for character creation are pretty much the same.

1. Determine Socio-Economic Status. It may not be the best way to run a game since no one will go here first anyway. People choose a concept and/or a class first. This, though, does have effects on what your HP can and can't do. A table of the percent of the population of every SEC level is also presented. Not sure if it is here for illustrative purposes or if you are supposed to have your character population conform to it. I should point out though that frequency distribution for "rolled characters" will never match the SEC Populations table, no matter what you do. This is why I wonder why it is here.  A lot depends on your HPs SEC. If the acronyms get to be too much, remember this is a Gygax game, and there will be a lot more. Now personally, I am not a fan of so much to be dependent on my HPs SEC (damnit now I am doing it), I mean I have my Taxes for that. I want to make kick-ass characters. Honestly, I'll just choose my vocation and then find an SEC that fits it.

2. Generate numbers for Traits/Categories/Attributes. We have the same traits as before, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. These are divided into two categories each. Mnemonic/Reasoning (Mental), Muscular/Neural (Physical), Metaphysical/Psychic (Spiritual).  Each of these six has three Attribute scores: Capacity, Power, and Speed. So a total of 3+6+18=27 numbers to describe your character, I mean HP. That seems a bit excessive. Granted, we only need to roll up 18 of those (OR assign 6 in the point spread) and the others are derived. These scores range from 6 to 20, with 8-11 as the average. The maximum of any human attribute is 30 for physical (cap, pow, or spd) and 40 for mental or spiritual (cap, pow, or spd). There are two ways to get these numbers. The first is a point distribution method. You get a range of numbers to divide among the 6 categories the split them up for the cap, pow and spd scores and then add them up for Mental, Physical and Spiritual. The second is a 2d6+8 rolled for all 18. Again, examples are utilized here which helps. These numbers are used to determine "Critical Levels," "Effect Levels," "Wound Levels," and "Recovery Levels." They will also be used to determine an HP's Heka. 

3. Calculate STEEP for the HPs Knowledge/Skill areas. Players are encouraged to look over the vocations to see what areas they need to increase here. The same basic vocations are here, but a lot more are added. Now, vocations are not classes. Classes are picked in other games and then the skills are given. Here you start with the skills. While there are vocational packages that feel like classes, you could in theory ignore them and build a vocation of your own. There is an Appendix (E) here for that.  STEEP scores are 00 to 91+ with 00 as "no knowledge" and 91+ as Ultra-genius. There is a K/S of "Witchcræft," and it is sadly presented as nothing but pure evil. Even Demonology here is not so vilified.  Yes. I am taking this as a challenge.


4. Choose the HPs K/S sub-areas. This goes along with the various vocations. In the advanced game, there are three additional automatic skills, Etiquette/Social Graces, Native Tongue, and Trade Phoenician, which is the "Common" of Ærth.

5. Determine Personal information. This can be random or chosen.

6. Calculate the HPs Resources.  This is random based on SEC. The unit of currency is the BUC or...Basic Unit of Currency. So 50' of rope costs 10 BUCs. I am not sure if this is clever or irritating. 

This all covers about 70 pages. I glossed over a lot of it. 

Core Game Systems

These are our core rules. Rolls are made with the K/S areas. The six difficulty levels all have a multiplier to the HPs STEEP. They are Easy (x3), Moderate (the default x2), Hard (x1 [one would think a x1 would be the better default]), Difficult (x0.5), Very Difficult (x0.25), and Extreme (x0.1).  So if I want to read a scroll and my K/S in Dweomercræft is a 20 then if this were an Easy Challenge, then my chance to succeed is 20 x 3 or 60%. Moderate is 40% (20x2); if it is Very Difficult, then 20x0.25 or 5%, and 2% for Extreme. While so, a lot of the math is front-loaded on figuring out those K/S scores. These are roll-under abilities (roll under or equal). So, rolling 96% or above can be considered an automatic or even a special failure. 

We get guidelines for combining efforts, for rolling a K/S vs another K/S and so on.

There is also something called a Joss Factor (JF) which work like luck or hero points. At least...I think they do. There is not much here about it at all. If there are rules about how to regain Joss (and WHY is it called that?? Oh, I found an "in game" reason that explains nothing.) I have not found them. 

Spending APs is also covered for Traits and K/S areas. For this, advanced K/S descriptions are given. 

Combat is largely an application of the appropriate K/S areas. Combat is done in units called Critical Turns (CTs) of about 3 seconds each. The initiative is a d10 roll.  Armor reduces damage so HPs can take a lot of damage.  Combat can target hit locations, given the names with damage multipliers of: Non-Vital (x1), Vital (x2), Super-Vital (x3), and Ultra-Vital (x4). This is to account for creatures that might have different sorts of vital parts. It feels weird, but given what this game was trying to do, I can see the utility here. 

There is an insanity and madness mechanic, but as I have said before, I am never very fond of these. 

Heka & Magic

Heka was the god of and the word for magic in ancient Egypt (or Ægypt in this book). Now I will freely admit, this is also one of my favorite sections. It is a wonderfully complicated system that would have made Isaac Bonewits proud. We get a few spells, but there are more in the Mythus Magic book (Thursday).

More on Personas

This covers anything that can change in an HP, like a change in SEC to becoming a vampire. This also covers some basic monsters.  There are some examples of NPCs, or er...NHP? Oh, actually, they are OPs, or "Other Personas."  The "monsters" are divided into three categories: Evil Personas (EPs), Monstrous Personages (MPGs), and Mundane Personas (MPs).  Other than being descriptive, there is no real difference between these that I can tell, save for name/label. Maybe if they had different point spreads.  There are also Friendly Personas (FP), which are what they sound like. 

Magickal Items

Pretty much what is says on the tin. There isn't a lot of stuff here.

Condemned as Galley Slaves

An adventure for new HPs. 

Appendices follow.

So. This game. 

Let's be honest. It is not good. It's actually kind of embarrassing how bad it is. Not to say there are not good things in it.

There are a lot of things I do like about it, though. I love the idea of Ærth, and Necropolis is still a fun adventure. The Mythus Magic was also a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to going over it again on Thursday. That said, I love some of the fluff here and there are things I could use, but it is a lot od shifting wheat from chaff here. 

Larina ferch Siân
Larina ferch Siân of Ærth

The over-heavy-handedness of the "Witchcræft is pure evilTM!" and the inclusion of "wicca" vis-à-vis through the Wisewoman/Wiseman vocation (or Mystic, the book is not very clear on this) is just too tantalizing to pass up, even if character creation in this system has been universally reviled.  I think I will try the character today and some spells on Thursday.

I did find some character sheets online, but I am going with the one in the back of the book.  I considered doing the point spread, but I opted to roll up a new character instead. The numbers I got were a bit higher, but not very different from the point spread or the sample character. It also works out since I wanted a character similar to her AD&D stats.  

I admit that rolling up the characteristics and getting my derived scores was much faster than I expected. But then I got to the K/S area, and things ground to a halt. It is not that it is hard, just tedious.

Note: For all the talk that this is a Class-less system, the Vocations are classes in all but name really. 

So, our basic K/S skills are figured out as follows:

  • Etiquette/Social Graces: SEC Level (6) x 5 = 30
  • Native Tongue (Welsh/Keltic): 30 (above) + MMCap (16) = 46*
  • Perception (Mental): 2d10 + MRCap (15) = 31**
  • Perception (Physical) 2d10 + PNCap (12) = 28
  • Trade Language: SEC (6) x 3 +MMCap (16) = 34
  • Riding: SEC (6) x 5 = 30

* In some places it says SEC x5 for language others SEC x3.
** The formulas are reversed for these in the book. 

Now, I have to pick my Vocational K/Ss. I picked Wisewoman for Larina since that fits well, but be sure I'll be bumping up her Witchcræft. Since this is a spiritual Vocation, I can choose which perception to use, so I chose Perception (Mental). I think I could figure out how to knock together a "White Witch" option per Appendix E, but instead, I am just going to tweak the Wisewoman a bit.

For this, I just shifted the same K/Ss around and kept the same number of STEEP points (248).

Crap. Forgot to adjust for age. Not going to do it. Say I rolled the appropriate number, and those above are the adjusted ones.

Attractiveness: Got a 16. Not bad. Should adjust for age or other factors I am sure, but not going too.

Joss: Rolled a 62, so 10 Joss factors. 

Not rolling for birth rank, despite some fun things for a 7th child of a 7th child. This character is way established in my mind as the 1st born daughter. 

She is from Cymru (Wales), and her birthplace was near Gŵry (Gower).

Quirks: A bit of roleplaying fun here. A lot like Qualities and Drawbacks in point-buy games. I'll choose two as long as they don't change any trait numbers (good or ill). I am not recalculating all of this. I'll take Psychic Awareness and Heka Channeler. For "Conter Quirks" I'll take Obsessive/Compulsive and Low Tolerance to Alcohol. 

Connections: She gets two of these, so I am giving her access to the local Druid Hierarchy and an Apothecary; both of these are due to her parents.  

Results below.

Larina ferch Siân of ÆrthLarina ferch Siân of Ærth

Larina ferch Siân of Ærth

Ok. That was fairly tedious, but in the end, I got a character that I think will be fun to use IF I ever play this game.  I'll figure out her Heka and do spells on Thursday.

I need a mental break now.