Sunday, December 29, 2019

Kithain of OtherSPΩRE

A Brief Description of Otherworld, OtherSPORE's "Dreaming"

The Otherworld is a parallel world that links all the realities of the TriCosm.  In the reality of GaiaSPORE it is called "Psychical Space"; while in LegacySPORE it is known as the "Astral Planes".  In all cases, these are the same "dimension", shared by all three settings.  This "transitive plane" (to borrow a term from Dungeons & Dragons) exists in three states:  one in "resonant harmony" with physical reality, another state at a "higher resonance", and a third at a "lower resonance."

The higher state is home to the benevolent, virtuous beings called eudamons; this state is known as Overworld or Celeste.  The lower state is home to the malevolent, vicious beings called cacodaemons; conversely, this state is known as Underworld or Chthonia.  The harmonic state is known as Middleworld or Limbo; its native residents (stereotyped as selfish and vain, though this isn't always true) are the agathodaemons.  All three "planes" are visited by otherkin and mundanes alike--particularly in a dream state.
In GaiaSPORE, the divisions of Psychical Space are called Hyperspace, Paraspace, and Subspace.  In LegacySPORE, the divisions of the Astral Planes are called the Higher or Upper Plane, the Parallel Plane, and the Lower Plane.
In most cases, the Dreaming refers to the neutral, harmonic state of the Middleworld; while Arcadia refers to the higher vibration of the Overworld.  Any unseelie holdings in the Dreaming would be the equivalent of the Underworld.

Concerning the Nature of Otherkin, OtherSPORE's "Changelings"

Tens of thousands of years ago, humankind was subject to the manipulative machinations of the Elder Things--ancient horrors from the far reaches of space and time.  Eventually, a group of humans would ascend to a power that rivaled that of the Elder Things; and they used that power to overthrow and imprison their oppressors.  These ascended humans were the first daemons.  The daemons and the Otherworld are inexorably tied to one another:  For it was the existence of an Otherworld that allows some humans to harness the powers that would make them daemons; yet it was the rise of the daemons that solidified the existence of the Otherworld.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Call to Hyperborea

Throughout the megaverse, there have been reports of a man of ice who kicks up drifts of snow as he walks.  He has been leaving messages written in fractal handwriting on frost-coated parchment with anyone in contact with mercenaries and explorers.  Most who read these notes laugh and dismiss them as a hoax.  You have had the chance to read one of these notes yourself:

It is time for the tyrannical rule of Sinterklaas to end in Hyperborea.  The gnomes have begun to free themselves and build an army of wooden soldiers--but the agents of the overlord may still be too much.  Those who respond to this summons will be entitled to any claim of the riches at the palace on Rupes Nigra, save for items of cultural importance to the gnomish natives.

To respond to these summons, cast this scroll and a sprig of holly into a fire burning on the night of the winter solstice.  Step into the flames, and you will be transported to the camp of the gnomish rebels on the plane of Hyperborea.  Exact terms of your employment will be discussed at that time.

Do you respond to the summons?  If so, comment below with your race, your class, and your world of origin.  Characters from any Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting are welcome {using 5th edition rules}.  Hyperborean natives--including tinker gnomes, warforged, or [sympathetic] drow--may also respond to these summons.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

New Domains for 5th Edition

MONVESIA RETCON NOTE:  This post is preliminary to an edit of "Priests of Monvesia" (which has temporarily been removed).
Since the introduction of the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, I have been dissatisfied with the scope of available domains for Clerics.  In my opinion, the portfolios of many deities (particularly historical) were not fully represented in the domains available to them.  Three particular domains were conspicuously absent:   Love, Revelry, and Travel.  The latter two were specifically necessary to round out these spheres of my Monvesia campaign setting; in the past, I had advocated the use of the work of other homebrewers--but with this post, I try my own hand at crafting these two domains.
I have broken from "tradition" and renamed the Travel domain the Wanderlust domain.
The Love domain is still one that I would like to explore in the future--but I do not currently have an immediate need.  While selecting domain spells for the entries below, I did consider the needs of the Love domain as well--but I could not yet determine an appropriate spell list.
In Monvesia, both of the following domains are available to Vitalist clerics--those serving the saints or ideals of the Pyrosphere.

Revelry Domain

The portfolios of the gods of Revelry include many aspects that more conservative deities might dismiss as vices--particularly all forms of physical indulgeance.  A love for wine and feasting are common among these gods; as well as the boisterous singing, raucous dancing, and playful atiudes that accompany them. Gods of revelry include Olidammara (Greyhawk), Skerrit (Nonhuman, centaur/satyr), and Dionysus and Pan (Greek).  Any god of celebration and wine would be included--as well as many gods of nature.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Hathi, Loxodons of Henjal

Language Analog:  Thai/Lao
Inspiration:  Elephant village from Thundercats (2011); Loxodons from Magic: the Gathering

Tainted Counterpart: None [yet]; with no early contact between humans and hathi, the elephant-folk race was not tainted.
Temperamental Association:  Idealist

Male Names:  Arthit, Kamon, Klahan, Kulap, Mongkut, Prasert, Preecha, Sakchai, Somboon, Somchai, Sompol, Somsak, Suchart, Sunan, Thaksin, Wattana

Female Names:  Ampol, Anong, Intira, Kanda, Kanya, Lawan, Malai, Mali, Pakpao, Porntip, Ratree, Sasithol, Siripol, Sukhon, Ubon


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Anepu, Dogfolk of Raviq

Language Analog:  Nubian (roughly, as related to Ancient Egyptian)
Inspiration:  Egyptian mythology (and, roughly, the Khenra of Magic: the Gathering)

Tainted Counterpart:  Gnolls *
Temperamental Association:  Nihilist
* While they use the same statistics, the gnolls of Raviq are a different species from those of Prace.  Pracian gnolls have short snouts with brown or tan fur; while Raviqi gnolls have long snouts and black or red fur.  The two races have an instinctual hatred for one another.  Fortunately, it is rare for the two to meet.
Male Names:  Aadan, Axmed, Berhanu, Cali, Dejen, Gadisa, Gudina, Ifa, Lelisa, Lencho, Maxamed, Moti, Sisay, Tadesse, Tafari, Tamrat, Tariku, Tesfaye, Workneh, Xasan, Yared, Yuusuf

Female Names:  Abeba, Aherash, Berhane, Bontu, Fadumo, Gadise, Hibo, Hiwot, Hodan, Kidist, Konjit, Lelise, Lulit, Meklit, Meti, Saynab, Seble, Worknesh, Xaawo, Xaliima

Unisex Names:  Alemayehu, Desta, Lishan


Monday, December 2, 2019

Tengu, Aarakocra of Raviq & Fuhon

Language Analog:  Korean
Inspiration:  Oriental Adventures, Egyptian mythology

Tainted Counterpart: Nagpa
Temperamental Association:  Altruist

Masculine Names:  Chul, Hankil, Hankyul, Himchan, Ho, Hun, Hyuk, Kun, Kwang, Mityum, Nakil, Namu, Narauram, Pitkaram, Putyul, Sem, Tal, Ung, Yutyum

Feminine Names:  Ara, Ari, Arong, Aryum, Chorong, Choyun, Guryum, Gusyul, Hana, Isyul, Kayul, Koyun, Mari, Mayum, Mirae, Napit, Naerae, Noyul, Napi, Napom, Nari, Pata, Pitna, Poda, Pom, Pora, Poram, Pyul, Raon, Ryum, Rin, Sepyuk, Serom, Seron, Setbyul, Sarang, Santara, Sora, Sori, Talrae, Tampi, Tare, Tasom, Yuryum

Unisex Names:  Che, Charam, Chi, Hanyul, Haru, Hata, Hayan, Hyun, Karam, Nara, Narapit, Nuri, Param, Sang, Sol, Sung, Syulgi, Turi, Uri, Yun


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Hengeyokai, Shifters of Fuhon

Language Analog:  No real-world equivalent (an Indo-European language with major Japonic influence)
Inspiration:  Oriental Adventures, Eberron

Tainted Counterpart: none; shifters were once humans who tried to prevent taint by giving in to lunacy.
Temperamental Association: Universalist; individual clans have their own temperamental associations (see below).

Male Names:  Aarabu, Aarobu, Adobiku, Arojun, Ayaan, Bibaan, Bibeku, Bihaan, Bisharu, Kamaru, Kiran, Korishan, Maheshu, Manishu, Porakashu, Poren, Reyanshu

Female Names:  Aaja, Aaraja, Aasha, Amaira, Anaya, Asomita, Binita, Gita, Kabita, Diya, Niharika, Rabina, Riya, Saanbi, Shorisuti, Sita, Sunita


In their exodus from Desolation, humans passed through Neshu, Minotaur, and Tengu territories.  It was the Tengu who led humans to the mountain pass that would take them out of Raviq.  On the other side of the pass, the exodus entered a valley populated by enigmatic spirit folk--a race relatively new to Dragon Island.  The spirit folk knew of the HMDJVNW, and recognized the Taint in the humans that fled those great old ones.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Alignments of Monvesia 3: Temperaments Across Orvemondt

RETCON NOTE:  The creation of this post has caused the two previous installments of the series to be edited--both "Alignments of Monvesia: Temperaments" and "Alignments of Monvesia 2: Codifying Perception."
While the basis of human religious tradition, the Temperaments of the Monvesia campaign setting are universal concepts that races throughout Orvemondt accept as being representative of the basic attitudes of intelligent beings.  From a cosmological standpoint, they represent the six spheres that form the world itself.  On a legendary level, they correspond to the colors of dragons and even the ancient giant races.  In daily life, temperaments are associated with race, birth date, occupation, and the like.

Geographic Temperament

Nothing in Monvesia is free from temperamental association--not even its geography.  Even each geo-political region of Orvemondt is associated with one temperament or another.  These are:
  • Altruist Fuhon, a land where people are concerned with Honor.
  • Materialist Prace, where the Drajan Empire is both church and state.
  • Dynamist Ombo, a place where natural law trumps civilization.
  • Idealist Henjal, the cultural center of psionic traditions.
  • Vitalist Xahaca, which is subject to the whims of the Frenetic Ocean.
  • Nihisit Raviq, home to the Desolation of the HMDJVNW.

The Crown is not listed above, for it is mostly uninhabited.  Races of the Crown are associated with a nearby region (neanderthals and duergar with Prace, firbolgs with Henjal).

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Deep Reflexions of Per Speculum

The Replica is an almost-perfect simulacrum of the Mortal Realms; anything apparent in the Mortal Realms can be seen in reflection in this region of Per Speculum.  It is an ordered world, though that order is reversed from a mortal's expectation.  Duplicating creatures fill this world with a society of their own--living, working, and worshiping according to their own ideals.  They have their own kings, their own priests, and their own criminals.  They also have their own gods.

The archdaemons of Per Speculum are ancient doubles who have transcended from their malleable nature to become pure mirrors to the Mortal Realm.  They have become immense, amorphous humanoids who skin has transformed into a solid, polished, reflective surface.  Four in number, each is the embodiment of a different type of reflection. Collectively, they are known as the Faal'sjern (while the lesser doubles of the Replica are the Faal'truen)
Homebrew to the Rescue!  Warlocks who serve the Deep Reflexions have the Man in the Mirror patron.  Furthermore, they typically choose the Pact of the Mirror--and often select invocations tied to that pact.  Archfey and Fiends (Vices) have also been known to offer this pact.
NOTE:  In other settings, these beings would be powerful aberrations, akin to Great Old Ones. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Planes of Monvesia: Dominions, Part 2

In the cosmology of Monvesia, demi-planes are called Dominions.  These are further divided into Greater Dominions and Lesser Dominions.  The former include the Thrones, which unite the Comic Marches with the Elemental Planes ans serve as home to aeons, angels, and archsaints; also the Powers, which unite the Mortal Realm with the Otherworlds and are home to particular otherworldly mortal races. Principalities are the lowest class of the Greater Dominions; these unite the Otherworlds with the Cosmic Marches, and serve as home to the immortal archdaemons.

The Lesser Dominions are all other demi-planes, great or small.  Though never as large as a Power or Throne, many lesser dominions do rival the Principalities in size.


The Principalities are shared by an Otherworld and three Cosmic Marches.  Each Comic March contains two principalities; while each Otherworld contains only one--therefore, their are eight Principalities.  These are the domains of the archdaemons--transcendent immortals of the otherworlds.

Mortals know very little about these planes--for few have conceived that they might exist, and even fewer have had the chance to visit them.  While not visible from the Mortal Realm by mundane means, they could be perceived through the use of extremely complex astrological equipment.  If detected, they would be seen as companions of the Powers.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Earthling Houses (Artifice Saga)

Robotech is a multi-generational story involving the members of two major families:  the Sterlings (Max, Miriya, Dana, Maia) and the Grants (Claudia, Bowie, Vince, Jean).  Along with these, the name of Hunter is spoken of with a reverence akin to that given royalty--a place of reverence earned in part by deeds done and in part by marriage.  To translate these tropes for the Artifice Saga, I present the Great Houses of "Earth" (with apologies to Game of Thrones).

Relevant great houses are listed below, with their coats of arms.  Any member of any Great House in service to the Artifice Expeditionary Company may select the noble background; and most others may also select either the soldier or sailor backgrounds--representing the officers, combat personnel, and support personnel of the Company respectively.  In addition to these, one or two other backgrounds will also be available to each house, representing its history or current role in the company.  If applicable, the religious affiliation of each house is also listed--though it is not uncommon to go against family tradition.
Humans and Language.  Since the human language is not the default common tongue in this campaign, all humans begin play knowing two languages:  Earthing ("human") and the Zentraedi ("orc") dialect of Common.
Orcs and elves speak their own dialects of Common--Zentraedi or Tirolean, respectively.  In addition, Orcs speak Earthling and Elves may speak one other language of their choice (typically Invid ["goblin"]).  Half-Orcs and Half-Elves speak Zentraedi/Tirolean and Earthing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Minotaurs of Raviq

Language Analog:  Akkadian (Assyrian, Babylonian)
Inspiration:  Greek myth (Minotaur),  Egyptian myth,  Old Testament (Moloch)

Tainted Counterpart: Minotaurs (Monster Manual)
Minotaurs are their own tainted counterpart.  When necessary to draw a distinction between the two, non-tainted minotaurs may also be called cattlefolk.
Temperamental Association: Materialist

Male Names:  See "Male Babylonian Names"
Female Names: See "Female Babylonian Names"

In the grasslands north of the Neshu's desert river valley, west of the Tengu's mountain nesting grounds, there are great cities and nomadic herds of cattlefolk--commonly called minotaurs.  This race resembles humanoid cattle, with subraces ranging from bull-like (cow, bison) in the south, to ram-like (sheep, goat) in the north, and even buck-like (antelope, gazelle) in the west.  They are a proud and ancient people.
NOTE:  Stag-like minotaurs resembling deer, elk, moose, caribou, etc. are not known in Monvesia.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Endowment Power Category (Revised Heroes Unlimited)

Endowed heroes are characters—ordinary or heroic—who have gained the extraordinary ability of transforming into a more powerful form.  Stereotypical, an endowed hero is weak or frail in their “normal” form, and they transform into a hulking, glorious hero under particular circumstances.  However, examples of heroic characters transforming into godlike beings are also common.
While heavily based on Mystically Bestowed characters, Endowed heroes replace the following power categories & sub-categories:  Enchanted Weapon, Enchanted Object, Mystically Bestowed, Empowered, Imbued, and Symbiotic (the latter three from Powers Unlimited 2).
Three factors govern an endowment:  Source, Focus, and Trigger.  By combining these in different ways, there is great variety in endowments.

Source of Endowment

The reason for a hero’s endowment determines the powers that are gained; it may also have a minor effect on the appearance of the character’s heroic alter ego.  Choose or roll on the table below.

Universal bonuses that apply to all endowment types are:
+2d6 to P.S. (minimum 20)
+1d6 to P.P. (minimum 18)
Multiply Spd. By 2d4 (minimum 24)
+ 3d4x10 to S-HP
These bonuses only apply when the character is transformed.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Monvesian Culture: Ren-Heka

My first encounter with true name magic was almost certainly A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (and the remainder of The Earthsea Cycle).  I would also come to appreciate the "genre" though Egyptian mythology, and even the tale of Rumpelstiltskin.  In terms of gaming, however, I fell in love with it via Wizard's Tome of Magic for 3rd Edition.  While this book did not present the most sound mechanics for this style of magic, it made a valiant effort.  My love was further cemented with Green Ronin's Testament, written for the same edition--though true names were a more subtle edition here.

I had once attempted to synthesize the systems from the Tome of Magic and Testament while simultaneously upgrading the result to the Pathfinder revision.  I have lost those rules, but do recall not exactly being pleased with the direction I was going.  It is not the easiest style of magic to present for tabletop RPGs--typically when every individual has their own true name.  This would explain the universal language concept used in Tome of Magic.  Paizo would later revisit a similar concept with their Words of Power system in Ultimate Magic.

Recently, Wizards has revisited true name magic for 5th Edition in an Unearthed Arcana supplement.  Here, it is called onomancy.  Below, I show how onomancy can have a place in my 5th Edition campaign setting, Monvesia.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Gazetteer: Kingdom of Montaigne

Image result for medieval french art

The Kingdom of Montaigne is one of the "independent" nations of Cuorria--referred to as such because it is not part of the Divine Drajan Empire.  The Empire had once sought to rule all of Cuorria, and even sent troops into outlying regions (including Montaigne) and occupied them for a time.

Montaigne is subdivided into four marches and several counties.  The marches are each governed by a marquis, while the counties are governed by counts and viscounts (depending on size and importance).  These are vassals of the King Roland of Montaigne.  The king has aspirations of adding Ulivo and Sabbia as duchies under his sovereignty, but these nations have not yet given in to his offers.  The Helvet was once offered the same, before it joined Waschbar.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Dragonborn of Monvesia

RETCON NOTE:  In addition to providing new information for the campaign setting, this post also necessitated edits to "Dragons of Monvesia" and "Lizardfolk of Henjal."  With lizardfolk, dragonborn are a part of a class of humanoids called scalikind; this grouping also includes kobolds, nagi, and even yuan-ti.  The scalikind races are all originally native to Henjal.
Language Analog: Dragonborn speak the monster language Dragon, which has no real world analog.
Inspiration: Dragonborn lore; dragons of the Palladium Megaverse

Tainted Counterpart: None; dragonborn are immune to taint
Temperamental Association: By color--
  • White - Altruist
  • Gold - Materialist
  • Green - Dynamist
  • Blue - Idealist
  • Red - Vitalist
  • Black - Nihilist
For the sake of starting Alignment Points, dragonborn gain 2 AP for the listed Temperament at character creation.
Names: As presented in the Player's Handbook; it is not uncommon for a dragon to have their draconic name (imprinted in their racial memory by their mother or parents) as well as a common youth name chosen based on the cultures in which the dragonborn spends their early years.

Monday, July 22, 2019

SPORE: BIO-E For Everyone!

Anyone who has tried to play the mutant animal rules from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness in Heroes Unlimited knows that there is a major power imbalance between those mutant animals and the other power categories.  This was somewhat alleviated in that game's second edition successor, After the Bomb--but I play revised-era Palladium rules (mostly out of preference, though partly for financial reasons).  So, I have come up with my own solution:  Give all characters BIO-E, mutant or not.

This method changes the way BIO-E is used, but not what it represents.  BIO-E is still used to purchase humanoid traits, natural weapons and armor, animal powers, and animal psionics.  It is also used to purchase any attribute modifiers associated with a given animal type.
Many of the house rules I use for the SPORE settings are drastic variations on the originals; what follows is a simplification of concept copatible with revised-era palladium rules as published.  Details used in my LegacySPORE campaign will be different because of other rules changes.

Starting BIO-E

The average human can be described in mutant animal terms as follows:
  • Size level 10, 45 BIO-E
  • No attribute modifiers, 0 BIO-E
  • Full human biped, 10 BIO-E
  • Full human hands, 10 BIO-E
  • Full human looks, 10 BIO-E
  • Full human speech, 10 BIO-E
  • No natural weapons or armor, 0 BIO-E
  • No animal powers, 0 BIO-E
  • No animal psionics, 0 BIO-E
  • Base Animal BIO-E:  85

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Legacies of Eternity

There are events in history so important that they continue to continue to shape reality long after their circumstances have passed.  On the Plane of Time, these histories have taken on a life of their own; they have become conscious and stared to govern the actions of that Plane.  These Legacies have become the archdaemons of Eternity.  Their influence can be seen throughout time, whether the events that define them occured in the past, the present, or the future.  Since all things occur simultaneously on this plane, the Legacies are always active.

Sometimes, Legacies are called the horsemen of the apocalypse--harbingers of the End of Time.  This is both true and preposterous.  This is true in that when all Legacies have come to pass, that the end of the known world will be nigh.  Likewise, there can be no end to time; it will ever flow onward--there can be only change.
NOTE:  Legacies are always spoken of with the definine article:  the Titanomachy, the Exodus, the Deluge, etc.  In a way, these archdaemons only have epithets, and not true names.
Warlocks with Legacy patrons may use the homebrew Horologius patron until such time as an appropriate "official" option is released.

Legacies of the Past

These Legacies' effects on the Mortal Plane were experienced and understood in history, but continue to have lasing effects.

The Titanomachy

The conflict between the HMDJVNW and the giants of Raviq lasted for centuries.  During its course, the giant races were decimated, and their remnants ultimately exiled from Orvemondt; their legacy was carried on in the goliath races.  The land of Prosperity was even physically transformed into the land of Desolation, and the Taint was unleashed upon the mortal races of he world.  Had the HMDJVNW not arrived in the mortal world, however, the war of the giants would still have occurred--instead against the might of the dragons!

The Titanomachy is the archdaemon of the giants (though giants do not dwell in Eternity).

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Neshu, Vedalken of Raviq

In this post, I take an element uniquely designed for another fantasy setting, and adapt it to Monvesia.  In the process of importing elements of my old Nefret campaign, I find that the elves of that world could easily find their way into Monvesia.  Instead of dividing the elf subraces between two Monvesian races, I realized the vedalken from the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica could be used for these similarly blue-skinned people.

Language Analog: Ancient Egyptian, Coptic
Inspiration:  Hieroglyphic illustrations, Vedalken of Magic: the Gathering (secondary inspiration)

Tainted Counterpart: none, neshu are immune to Taint
The HMDJVNW created the Taint to affect humans and goliaths; other races of Raviq--the birdfolk, dogfolk, minotaurs,and neshu--were initially excluded.  These races remain immune--though other races encountered by humans and orcs have become affected.  Given an otherworldly connection, neshu will likely always be immune.
Temperamental Association: Dynamist

Names:  See Ancient Egyptian or Coptic Names.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Elves and Orcs of Tirol

I recently introduced my take on the amazon race in order to accommodate the Praxians of The Sentinels.  This allows me to keep all of the elvish subraces for the Tirolean peoples. Paired with the orc races, the Tiroleans and Zentraedi can be accommodated in a fantasy setting.

A triumvirate of former high elves.


Tirolean culture is classist, and has existed in this way for millennia.  Over time, several sub-races emerged as differen parts of the population became specialized in different roles.  The core elf sub-races map to Tirolean culture as follows:

High Elves are the urbanites of Tiresia--nobles, merchants, and artisans who often take on leadership roles in the community.  The majority of the founders of the Artifice Masters were of this race.  [Cabell, Zor]

Wood Elves can be found living in he wilderness of the large island of Tirol.  Because of their experiences with hunting and exploration, wood elves are more martially inclined than high elves, so often find themselves in military roles.  The military forces of the Artifice Masters are primarily wood elves.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Amazons (D&D 5th)

Several homebrewers have tried their hands at creating an amazon race for 5th edition D&D.  None of which quite match my needs--a fantasy race that can adapt the all-female race of the planet Praxis from Robotech II: The Sentinels.  Below, I make my own attempt. 

This race is specifically intended for the Artifice Saga campaign, but could apply to other amazonian peoples of other campaigns.  It is not my intent to create new player races for all of the Sentinel peoples, only those for which a good analog is not quite available.  (This leaves open the possibility of a custom "shardmind" for the stone-men of Spheris.)

Image result for praxian


Amazons are a race of warrior women, known for their great strength and skill at war.  Sometimes stereotyped as haters (or even killers) of men, this is an extreme point of view.  Their society is unisex, however--and no man of any race is permitted to live among the amazons or marry one of their number (see Gargareans, below).

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Halflings of Henjal

RECTON NOTE: This posts revises and replaces "Halflings of Monvesia."  Much of the lore of Halflings has been updated.
Language Analog: Basque
Inspiration:  Hobbits from the Tolkien Legendarium, Kender from Dragonlance (vaguely)

Tainted Counterpart: none
Temperamental Association: Altruism

Names:  See Basque Names.

The first halflings were encountered in Prace over 100 years ago.  Based on their susceptibility to nipweed, it was assumed that they were distantly related to rakasta.  This assumption would later lead to a belief that halflings were un-tainted boggarts--a goblin-like creature often found associating with gnolls.  If this were the case, then halflings would have been the only species to have cured themselves from the Taint--after separating from their tainted parent race.  Experiments on this possibility, howevever, proved fruitless.
RETCON NOTE:  Boggarts nothing more than juvenile gnolls.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

5th Edition Cattlefolk

Minotaur has become a catchall term for "cattlle-folk" in modern gaming:  anthropomorphic races resembling bovidae (cows, sheep, goats, gazelles, buffalo, etc.) or other ungulates.  The term comes from Greek mythology, and literally means "bull of Minos;" for this reason, I reserve it for bullfolk below.  Other names are similarly drawn from mythology.  

A staple of this growing trope is that both genders have horns--which is not uncommon among the natural species they represent.  For this reason, the generic name for each subrace is based on the common noun used for a male of the various species represented:  bullfolk, ramfolk, stagfolk, and buckfolk.

To play an alternate cattlefolk subrace, disregard the features identified below as being specific to the minotaur. Instead, apply the traits of your chosen subrace.

5th Edition Birdfolk

Four varieies of "birdfolk" have been presented in secondary and tertiary sources for 5th Edition D&D:  The aarakocra was presented as a playable race in the Elemental Evil Player's Companionthe kenku in Volo's Guide to Monsters; and the aven and siren in two installments of Plane Shift (Amonkhet and Ixalan, respectively).  From three of these--aarakockra, aven, and siren--a common base race can be extrapolated; the remaining details of each race can then become the various birdfolk sub-races.

There are two methods of determining base traits:  1) Use the aarakocra traits from Elemental Evil, but disregard the features identified below as being specific to the aarakocra subrace; 2) alternately, use the aven base traits as-is.  In either case, apply the traits of the desire sub-race to the chosen base traits.  All birdfolk in the same campaign should use the same base traits. The only real differences between the two are alignment and age.
Kenku are specifically excluded from the birdfolk below.  Unlike aarakocra and aven, kenku are flightless--a feature core to the lore of the race.  Kenku should be treated as a unique race, related to other birdfolk as gnomes are [often] related to dwarves.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Otherworldly Humans of Monvesia

RETCON NOTE: This post is a revision of "Half-Elves of Monvesia," and replaces part of "Goblinoids of Prace."  "Other Races in Monvesia?" and "Languages of Monvesia" have also been revised as a result of this post.

Otherworldly Humans

Language Analog:  By human region (see "Humans of Raviq and Prace")
Inspiration:  Accident; "But I wanna play a haaalf-eeelf!"; Eberron races

Tainted Counterparts:  None.  All Otherworldly human races are immune to the Taint
Temperamental Association:  By human region (see "Humans of Monvesia, Part One"); no one otherworldly human is particular to any specific human culture.
For starting Alignment Points, follow the standard rules for humans; and add 1 AP im each temperament associated with the race's transitive plane.
Names:  By human region (see "Humans of Raviq and Prace"

Humans are a versatile and adaptable race. In addition to a rise in genasi births among human parents, humans are also capable of transforming into a number of races connected with the various transitive planes (also called otherworlds).  In each case, a human must become the new race in a process described below.  Once transformed, the being can no longer transform back into a human state, nor into another otherworldly state.

Among the positive side-effect of these transformations is that the human becomes immune to the Taint, like elves.  Unfortunately, also like elves, otherworldly humans are unable to ascend to sainthood.  They might be able to transcend to an immortal state appropriate to their associated plane, but this possibility has not yet been confirmed.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Elemental Evil in Monvesia

The Princes of the Apocalypse campaign is a perfect fit for the overall feel of Monvesia, and looks like it will soon be played out in that world.  That the campaign is plotted out to take place in a river valley leaves plenty of room for me to incorporate it nearly anywhere in Prace.


The Dessarin Valley will be adopted wholesale into Monvesia with a few changes.  As the rivers of "independent Cuorria" have not yet been named, calling the northernmost in Montaigne the Dessarin (which has a French-like sound) is more than appropriate.  Most of the other names will also remain.

Western Cuorria (48 mi/hex)

Monday, June 3, 2019

Classifying Monvesian Creatures: Fey [& Plants]

The fey of Monvesia are classified into courts--one for each of the elfish seasons, and roughly corresponding to the four common elfish genders or baseline elements.  These courts are ruled by the archfey which either inspired or created them.  Two new types of fey are introduced below:  Paracelsians, fey with a close relationship to the elements; and Thiasians, fey in service to a particular archfey.

In addition to seasonal court, three other subtypes or tags have also been applied to the fey:

Beastie.  Some fey are also animals--but not quite beasts.  They still have an innate connection to Faerie.

Elfkin.  Early on in the setting, I declared that elves are unable to ascend to sainthood; instead, I left them the option of transcendenceElfkin tag are those fey which were once elves.  For the most part, spring fey were once sylphids, summer fey sprights, autumn fey pucks, and winter fey ondines.  The exceptions here are: 1) fetches may transcend to any elfkin form; 2) sylphids may transcend to any thaiasia forms, despite those forms being semi-divine attendants on archfey other than their own.

Plant.  Several of the fey on the lists below are ordinarily classified as other types, particularly plants, but are treated as fey in Monvesia.  They are still treated seperately as plants, as well.  That is, spells and abilities that would affect fey would also affect plants; but those which only affect plants would have no affect on other fey.

Friday, May 31, 2019

History of Monvesia: Ancient Era

ybe = years before the [Divine Drajan] Empire
ye = year of the [Divine Drajan] Empire
The most likely "universal" date count.
ybk = years before the Kleimland
yk = year of the Kleimland
The dates as counted during my original campaign.
In the Ancient Era, ages are not counted, for no exact dates can be known.  Far before any mythical time of heroes, this period is as much prehistory as it is genesis myth.

In The Beginning ...

  • The Six Spheres are drawn toward each other, colliding at a single point.  Within the ensuing elemental chaos, the world of Orvemondt was formed.  Orvemont becomes an anchor tying the Spheres together; only the destruction of that world will release them.
  • In the wake of the Tumult of Orvemondt, the Aeons awaken at the cores of the Spheres.  They awaken the elemental and angelic hosts to serve them.
  • The Cosmic Marches and the Otherworlds solidify where two or three Spheres overlap.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Monvesian Culture: Dwarf-Kin Religion

The dwarf-kin--dwarves, gnomes, and neanderthals--venerate a pantheon of ascended beings called the Paragons.  Though they ascend through the same process as the human saints, they are far older.  Free from the oppression of the HMDJVNW, ancient proto-dwarves were able to learn of the paths to immortality much earlier than humankind.

Though they interact with the Paragons differently, all three dwarf-kin races recognize them as the eldest of their kind.  Eight paragons are universally recognized by all three races--these are the paragons presented in "Priests of Monvesia." They are known by their dwarven names, which is the eldest of the dwarf-kin languages.  The variation in epithets demonstrate how the culture of each race compares to those of its kin:  caste dwarves, traveler gnomes, and nomadic neanderthals.
  • Materialist Paragons
    • Mosamartle
      • the Magistrate [dwarf high caste]
      • the Lawgiver [gnomes & neanderthals]
    • Meomari
      • the Warrior [dwarf High Caste]
      • the Defender [gnomes & neanderthals]
    • Khelosani
      • the Artisan [dwarf Middle Caste & gnomes]
      • the Smith [neanderthals]
    • Meshakhte
      • the Miner [dwarf Low Caste & gnomes]
      • the Mason [neanderthals]
  • Idealist Paragons
    • Mekare
      • the Archivist [dwarf Middle Caste]
      • the Storyteller [gnomes and neanderthals]
    • Vachari
      • the Merchant [dwarf Middle Caste & gnomes]
      • the Trader [neanderthals]
  • Vitalist Paragons
    • Msakhuri
      • the Servant [dwarf Low Caste]
      • the Homemaker [gnomes]
      • the Fire-Tender [neanderthals]
    • Vaeltava
      • the Casteless [Casteless dwarves]
      • the Wanderer [gnomes]
      • the Scout [neanderthals]

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Index of Higher Beings in Monvesia

Higher beings of Monvesia include:  ascended beings (saints, paragons, and patriarchs of the various races), archdaemons, aeons, and genie lords. Though described in more detail in other posts, there are listed here for quick reference.  All of the beings listed below share a particular trait:  they are available as patrons/sponsors for ascension.

The entries below follow the following format:
Name (T), Alias(es).  Description.  Epithet(s).  Planar home.
Names are listed with the oldest name first; alternate names include secondary entries referencing the main entry.  (T) is temperament, using their initials as an abbreviation:  Altruism, Materialism, Dynamism, Idealism, Vitalism, Nihulism, and even Universalism.
The "cannonical" order of temperement is therefore:  AMDIVNU.  That the Great Old Ones of Monvesia are called HMDJVNW ("Am-DIV-New") is no coincidence--for the Old Ones are a corruption of the temperamants, representing zealotry, obsession, and madness.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Dwarves of Prace and Henjal

As the world expands, the way the established races interact with must change.  Humans and goliaths are not the only race to migrate. Elves and dwarves can be found on other continents as well.
Language Analog: Georgian
Inspiration: Dwarves in the Dragon Age franchise, Oriental Adventures

Tainted Counterpart: Hobgoblin
Temperamental Association: Materialist

Male Names: Amiran, Anzor, Archil, Avtandil, Bidzina, Givi, Gocha, Gurgen, Imeda, Malkhaz, Mamuka, Okropir, Otar, Revaz, Tornike, Vakhtang, Vazha, Vepkhia, Zviad

Female Names: Bedisa, Darejan, Endzela, Eteri, Gulisa, Khatuna, Lali, Makvala, Manana, Mzia, Nana, Natela, Nestan, Rusudan, Tinatin, Tsisana, Tsiuri, Vardo

From left to right: Crown Dwarf ("Duergar"), Pracian Dwarf,
and Fuhonese Dwarf ("Korobokuru")

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Magic Items in the Artifice Saga

In order to preserve the intended fantasy setting of the Artifice Saga campaign, many elements of its sci-fi inspiration need to be either removed or heavily modified.  While Robotech and its predecessors are anime of the mecha genre, mecha are virtually unknown in the Artifice Saga.  Instead, artifice is the art of crafting permanent magic items:  armor, rings, rods, staves, wands, weapons, and wondrous items.

Consumable magic items--potions and scrolls--are common in all cultures; they can be created using "standard" magical techniques.  It is through the manipulation of ether, the otherworldly matter of the Ethereal Plane, that permanence and even sentience can be applied to magical items.  However, the ability to conjure, contain, and use ether requires exceptional degrees of arcane skill and understanding.
Ether is a stand-in for the Protoculture of the Robotech Universe.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Lunacy & Lycanthropy in Monvesia

Lycanthropes are a staple of fantasy gaming, and not one that I plan on abandoning in Monvesia.  There has not been much cause to explore their place in this world, however.  Recently, I saw fit to reference these creatures while writing about both Dominions and Calendars.  In both cases, lycanthropes are referenced in conjunction with the moon.  Though rarely discussed by common folk, when they are it is always in conjunction with the ailment of lunacy.

Image result for hans holbein phases of the moon

Lunacy, a madness related to the full and dark moons, was once thought to be a precursor to the TaintGoliath medicine workers have come to rule out a connection between the two ailments.  While taint is most common in Inheritance and human territories, lunacy and lycanthropy are most common in Galtain, the Honderreich, and Cuorria.  It is almost unheard of among elves and goliaths.  That a connection exists between lunacy and lycanthropy is unquestioned:  All lycantropes are affected by lunacy--though not all lunatics are affected by lycanthropy.
Taint is a sociological ailment, while Lunacy is a psychological one.  While goliath medicine can be adapted to lunacy, it is specifically designed to combat taint.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Planes of Monvesia: Liminal Companions

The dichotomy of Faerie and the Abyss was introduced in 4th Edition, when the Feywild was set up as a counterpoint to the Shadowfell (an evolution of the Plane of Shadow).  In Monvesia, this relationship is repeated by making these two planes the Limninal Companions.  As companions, these two planes share a connection to the Lithosphere and the Pyrosphere.

While Faerie is a realm of life and creation, the Abyss is a realm of death and decay.  They are bound by Vaspyron, the dominion of the morning and evening star--dawn and dusk as reflections of these two planes.  Monvesia's mortal inhabitants further bind these transitive planes:  While the elves of Prace (or haltias) retain the race's original connection to Faerie, the elves of Xahaca (or hulders) have abondoned that plane in favor of the darkness of the Abyss.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

LegacySPΩRE: Firebird Institute

Firebird Institute & Ember Village

The Firebird Institute was founded in the early 1990s by Dr. Alexandre Bennu in order to continue the legacy of recently retired hero Firebird.  Originally a half-way house for parahuman rehabilitation, it grew over time to include research facilities and its own team of super-beings.  After Dr. Bennu’s death, leadership of the Institute passed to his protege, Dr. Brian Stoker—an open advocate for the Parahuman Homeland Initiative.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

SPΩRE: Parahumans

The various SPORE settings share several common elements--though, in many cases, these elements are substantially different than their counterparts in the other "realities."  For example, each setting has a class of people who are more than human, no longer human, or some combination.  They are known by the generic term parahuman.

Parahumans in GaiaSPΩRE

The term parahuman was created in initially for the GaiaSPORE setting.  Here, parahumans are a race of people created during the Century War (another recurring theme) to serve as living weapons.  The various factions of the war each followed the same basic process: animal DNA was spliced with human DNA to create specialized super-soldiers.  Dozens of different animals were used, but only a handful of parahumans proved to be viable enough to produce offspring.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

LegacySPΩRE: Sky-Shot & Sage

In my reboot/sequel Heroes Unlimited campaign--the guinea pig for my SPΩRE rules--a new generation of characters have made their way to the Firebird Institute in western Massachusetts.
My earlier players might better recognize the organization in question as the Phoenix Institution--where they once served on a team called the Phoenix Force.  These have since been retconned to Firebird Institute and Firebird Patrol.
Since the last campaign [20 years ago in both real and game time] the United States have collapsed, and a collection of new federations has come to dominate North America in its wake.  Furthermore, mutants and psionics have come to be recognized as a "growing issue;" these parahumans need to be dealt with--but the successor states cannot agree on how.  In Texas, Dixie, and Appalachia parahumans are feared and their population controlled; in New England, California, and Cascadia parahumans are celebrated and their population protected.  These recent events form the backdrop of the LegacySPORE setting.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Elves of Prace and Xahaca

Getting elves *right* has been difficult in this setting.  Here is my latest attempt.  This post replaces both "Elves of Monvesia" and "Monvesian Culture: Elfish Gender."
Language Analog:  Finnish (Prace), Hungarian (Xahaca)
Inspiration:  Greek myth, fairy folklore, Wicca

Tainted Counterpart: none, elves are immune to Taint
Temperamental Association: Vitalist

Names (any gender): Aamu, Aatos, Ahti, Aimo, Aino, Alli, Ansa, Armas, Armo, Arvo, Aulis, Eija, Eino, Hella, Hilja, Ilma, Ilta, Impi, Into, Jalo, Kai, Kaleva, Kauko, Kielo, Kirsikka, Kukka, Kyllikki, Lahja, Lempi, Lumi, Mainio, Maire, Meri, Merja, Oiva, Onni, Orvokki, Otso, Paiva, Pilvi, Pyry, Rauha, Ritva, Sade, Sampo, Satu, Seija, Seppo, Sini, Sirpa, Sisu, Soile, Sulo, Suoma, Suvi, Tahti, Taika, Taime, Taisto, Taipo, Tarmo, Taru, Tauno, Terhi, Terho, Terttu, Toivo, Tuija, Tuuli, Tyyne, Ukko, Urho, Vanamo, Varpu, Veli, Vesa, Vieno, Virva, Voitto, Vuokko