Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Undying of Monvesia

In some settings, the undead are the creation of bored, evil gods who seek to terrorize the mortal world.  In Monvesia, they are a natural offshoot of the transitive region of the Necrosphere.  This region goes by several names:  the Plane of Shadow, the Plane of Fear, the Domains of Dread, the Nightmare Realm.  All undead are powered by this place, and it is in this place that the most powerful of their kind have come to live eternally and rule over their fellows.  These are the Undying who make pacts with warlocks.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Archfey of Monvesia

The archfey of Monvesia have already been visited briefly in two previous posts:  first the warlock entry of Mages of Monvesia, and again when exploring Elfish Gender.  Here I will explore each of the five archfey in some detail.  Though each of the archfey are members of one race or another, all are unique and powerful creatures.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Classifying Monvesian Creatures

As has been pointed out in previous posts, the nature of Monvesia is different from that other D&D worlds.  To accommodate these differences, there needs to be some minor shuffling of creatures.  A few new monster types have even been created.  Below, those creature types which are new or altered are listed.


Beasts

Many creatures normally classified as monstrocities are included among the beasts of Monvesia. 

Daemons (Multiple Types)

Daemons are a family of several monster types, each tied to the transitive aspect of one of the Spheres. Four of these types already exist in the game, and two are new: Celestials, Fey, Fiends, Hybrids, Tulpa, and Undead.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Foolishness Check

While running a "summer slasher flick" one-off adventure for d20 Modern, I wanted to make sure that the characters still acted like the idiots we normally see in horror films--particularly since all my players were horror fans, and certainly knew better.  Below is the mechanic I settled on.  It added a sense of plausibility to the genre, and the players loved it.

Since the trope ultimately has its origins in gothic literature, the Foolishness Check would also be appropriate in a gothic fantasy setting/story.  It may now, however, be used as frequently as in a modern horror game with victim-style characters.  Since that slasher game, I have kept the mechanic in my back pocket to use whenever I feel the need.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Elementals of Monvesia

In order to accommodate a world with a paradigm that includes six elemental forces, new monsters need to be introduced in order to support them.  Below are new variants on creatures fundamental to the game:  elementals and genies of light and void.

Elementals


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Light Elemental

A light elemental is a radiant personage hovering in midair; its exact features are hard to distinguish, but limbs and head are often discernible.  Sometimes, it appears as little more than a pillar of light.  As a being of pure radiance, it is the fastest of all elementals--gliding through the air or across the land with equal ease.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Monvesian Culture: Rakasta Qrisjarr

Qrisjarr (KREE-sharr) are artisan blades crafted in the rakasta tradition.  Each blade has an asymmetrical wave shape, and a distinctive blade-patterning common to the tjakeer steel used to make them.  Each weapon is unique, built on a common pattern with several opportunities for personal choice and artistic expression.  These weapons are treasures, but are more valuable than their mere monetary cost.

Qrisjarr are given as gifts by njanarr* to warriors who have proven to be brave, skilled, and who embody rakasta honor--which includes a "healthy" dose of arrogance.  They are as much a symbol of status as they are combat tools.  Anyone gifted qrisjarr is considered a djiqic, a rakasta knight.  To wield a qrisj without having been given this honor is an insult.  Any non-rakasta with one is treated with suspicion until a rakasta of standing (djiqic, elder, shaman, or njan) can confirm the bearer's status.

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 (nymphs)  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 (dactyls) 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.

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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.