Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lizardfolk of Monvesia

Image result for lizardfolk

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Language Analog: Lizardfolk speak dialects of the monster language Draconic, which has no real-world analog.
Inspiration: Traditional lizardfolk from the various editions of D&D.
Lizardfolk, in BD&D, are just a monster.  I had not considered their overall place in the world when I made them the inhabitants of the Temple of Akhnaphar.  Their presentation in that adventure is "explained" here.  
They are presented as a playable race in 5th edition in Volo's Guide to Monsters. As lizardfolk are rare, lizardfolk player characters are very rare.
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Tainted Counterpart:  Troglodytes

Temperamental Association:  By dominant scale coloration.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Monvesian Culture: Elfish Gender

Since the creation of the setting, the elves of Monvesia have been a sexual other.  Though there was an elf character in the first campaign, his player merely played him as a sexual addict and predator.  A valid interpretation of the race, particularly for a faun among humans, but not the ideal representation. The magnitude of elfish sexuality and gender always hung at the back of my mind, undeveloped beyond cohorts and mentorships.  By exploring the nature of half-elves in Monvesia, the following was developed.
Gender is a cultural concept related to physical sex, but not bound to it.  Layered within gender are separate concepts of gender identity/expression and gender role [keep in mind, I am over-simplifying]. Among the humans of Monvesia, issues concerning sex and gender are comparable to the same in modern society.  These issues repeat in pretty much the same way among dwarves, gnomes, rakasta, and goliaths--where cultural norms are basically the same with minor variation.  Among elves, however, there is greater variation.

The elves of Monvesia are have a more striking sexual dimorphism than other races in the world--males (fauns) and females (nymph)  have drastic physical differences beyond their sexual organs.  Because of this, the race has somewhat rigid gender roles--and the two sexes even live in their own communities.  A third sex (lares) also lives among the other two, with far more muted features than their exotic counterparts.  Until puberty, however, these differences are virtually irrelevant--for prepubescent elves have no physical sex.  They have no distinguishable sexual organs or secondary characteristics.  Juvenile elves just look like rounder, squatter versions of their mothers ... without flowers or leaves in their hair.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Factions of Monvesia: Purifiers & the Fifth Sphere

While not mechanically part of the game until 5th edition, even my original BD&D incarnation of Monvesia included something akin to Factions.  Six religious orders, one for each temperament, had influence over the local area of the Honderreich:
  • Order of Saint Jostin [Altruist, ally], which has become one of the independent Orders of the Northern Triad
  • Divine Order of the Rose and Shield [Materialist, antagonist], an independent order which has moved to Gierland
  • Chroniclers of the River [Dynamist, neutral], a relatively minor player that has remained in obscurity--though has come to represent Anceint orders
  • Universal Order of Spiritual Thought [Idealist, neutral], part of the Universal Orders in Communion with Sena
  • Society of Saint Ignatius [Vitalist, ally], which has become one of the independent Orders of the Northern Triad
  • Disciples of the Fifth Sphere [Nihilist, antagonist], once identified as an indepenant order, it had never really been a priestly or crusader organization; this faction now appears below

With the two new additions below, the modern factions of Monvesia still follow a temperamental distinction.  Unlike the original factions of the Honderreicher Minor Baronies, these new factions are not outwardly religious in nature.  Each as a unique perspective on history, and has unique goals toward shaping the future.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Return to Monvesia

While I have been happily (and sporadically) posting about Monvesia for ... goodness me ... two years now, I have done so as a way of exploring the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition rules.  But, I now have the chance to actually run a game in this world again.  The best part?  A player asked to play in this world. Before I can run the game, however, I need to revisit what I have established for the setting, and decide if I have truly gone in the right direction with it.

Simply put, it is time for a retcon.

So much has been released for 5th edition since I last posted an adaptation.  So many options have already been folded into the world that make it seem a bit ... unwieldy.  While I don't need to revisit everything, there are some key elements that I will need to re-adapt.  Below, I will review some of the simplest ones.

Related image

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Monvesian Great Old Ones

The warlock entry in "Mages of Monvesia" offered the briefest look at the Great Old Ones of Monvesia--a class of beings called the HMDJVNW (pronounced "am-DIV-new"), which had once been worshiped by ancient humans and goliaths in their homeland of Desolation.  Seven HMDJVNW were named in that early post, but little else was offered beyond these names and an epithet each.

In this post, I will take some time to explore each of the HMDJVNW, including their individual roles in the world of Monvesia.
Behind the Scenes:  The name HMDJVNW is an adaptation of the initialism AMDIVNU--the the seven Temperaments, including Universalism.  Originally, AMDIVNU (whose name is always capitalized, and never replaced with a pronoun) was only one Great Old One; and AMDIVNU was once considered was the "god" of mages (or at least the originator of magic, see ENSHZRYD).  As the history of goliaths and humans has evolved with the setting, so has AMDIVNU also evolved--into the HMDJVNW.



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Monvesian Culture: Vasyl's Legacy

After uniting the petty kingdoms of Voztok under a single banner, Tsar Vasyl Vladovich Korolov (r. 890 ye - 105 ye) lived an unnaturally long life--long outliving his own children. Unlike Jostin or Ignatius, Vasyl did not ascend to sainthood.  Instead, he transformed his body into something new, like the transcendence of elvenkind.

The Order of the Rose and Shield has perpetuated the rumor that Vasyl was a warlock sworn to the Undying patron.  The tsar's isolationist policies have allowed that rumor to spread and flourish.  Since the independence of Volka, however, a new rumor has surfaced:  that Vasyl was a a blood mage (or even a bloodline sorcerer).

During his life, Vasyl passed his secrets on to his grandchildren and other members of his inner circle.  These acolytes further spread what they learned, establishing a cult in Voztok--and, by extension, the Granitsa region of Cuorria.

Two institutions have thus survived Vasyl to this day:  1) The Dominion of Voztok and the Tsardom of Volka, remnants of Vasyl's empire; and 2) the Sanguinati, a faction that shares Vasyl's obsessions.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Alignments of Monvesia 2: Codifying Perception

Last year, I posted an overview of Monvesia's alternate alignment system.  In this setting, alignment is more about public perception than it is about personality or creed--a character is not a good person, but is believed to be a good person.  The actions one chooses to perform and vocations one chooses to pursue will color the way a character is perceived.  Using the Temperaments of Monvesia, I am going to outline how alignment can be treated as a mechanical property of the game, instead of an arbitrary description of character.

As a game mechanic, player characters will earn alignment points (AP).  Characters earn these points in all temperaments simultaneously.  Generally, the temperament with the highest score will be a character's perceived alignment--and this is the alignment that the character is "bound" to when dealing with spells such as detect evil.

The Seal of Mohas
representing the Six Temperaments of his philosophy

Starting Alignment Points

The first APs that a character receives are based on their race, initial ability scores, starting class, and birth season.  These associations are detailed in the previous post about alignment.