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

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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, nagini, 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 the Temporal Plane

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 the Temporal Plane.  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 on the Temporal Plane).

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Neshu 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
The HMDJVNW created the Taint to affect humans and orcs; other races of Raviq--the birdfolk, dogfolk, minotaurs,and neshu--were initially excluded.  They remain immune--though other races encountered by humans and orcs have become affected.
Temperamental Association: Nihilism

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.