Random Campaign Idea in Pictures

So, lately I’ve been listening to this:

Which lead to me reading, for the first time, this:

While thinking about running:

Yet at the same time I’d like to run:

Where this:

Has always been associated with:

And I’m really excited to get this soon:

Now, post holocaust after the Martians is nothing new. The Aftermath rules suggest it and a later return of the Martians was the ruin for one of their playtest games (even including the human hunters of men the artillery man envisions). Still, the idea of a devastating Martian war where humanity, but not civilization, is saved by monsters and magicians could be fun.

Base on The World After and this, among others, it’s clear I’ve internalized the D&D is the apocalypse trope. It’s also clear that I prefer it not be nuclear war and have a strong bent on the Devil did it (the multiple images above, for those who don’t recognize them, are from Prince of Darkness).

Twenty Questions about The World After, Part II

The first eight questions

Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?

Three societies of mages are openly known. The White Order of Vijerra is known for spells of protection and divination.  Membership in the White Order is perhaps the best protection against Hierarchy harassment although it also involves swearing off many practices including most offensive spells. 

Many adventuring mages owe allegiance to Società del Spinosi Rose which places emphasis on the dangers of magic and how that danger leads to its thrill.  Members of the Società are the most free in exchanging knowledge.  As you might guess their relationship with the Hierarchy is opposite that of the White Order.

Finally, rural mages who mostly work with practical magics are members of a fairly informal group known as The Brotherhood of the Hedge.  While they do share solutions to common problems the biggest purpose of the Brotherhood is to provide lodging and board for mages as they travel to attend to issues or gather components.

Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?

Most experts can be hired in Quavveniec although you’d have better luck finding an alchemist in Quatruscaj.

Where can I hire mercenaries?

Normal human mercenaries are found in Quavveniec as well as the city of Ypubina in the east where warriors gather to be hired to fend off the Hetokipp.

Human and monstrous mercenaries are found plying their trade in Quatruscaj.

Finally, all the Astrinoff princelings hire mercenaries in Vijerra to the north.

Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?

While magic isn’t outlawed it’s chaotic nature will lead to hassles for using it in Hierarchy controlled cities, especially Quavveniec. Every usage will be scrutinized and officials of the Hierarchy will use even the appearance of disrupting order with magic as a reason to assert any practitioner and his associates as an agent of chaos. This is doubly true of Elves.

Which way to the nearest tavern?  

Coyppored has two taverns and one inn.  The Il Flagon Ultimo is the rougher of the two taverns.  It customers tend to be guards for travelers leaving to the north and crossing the mostly open lands between Coyppored and the land of the Urgah Emperors and the Astrinoff Princelings they nominally rule.

The more gentile tavern, often frequented by those whose guards are drinking at Il Flagon, is The Adorable Fork.  Owned by a famed priest of Saint Rachel the Cook it often gets visitors from Quavveniec for his cooking.

Finally, the Inn of the Two Geese, is a comfortable and rather large inn.  While it has a common room with acceptable road fare the occupants of it’s three opulent rooms in its side annex tend to dine at The Adorable Fork.  In fact, the owner built the annex specifically to accommodate travelers from Quavveniec and other places heading to Coyppored specifically for said meals.  In its main building are several multi-person rooms on the second floor.

Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?

To the east the Soypvensu are bracing for a new campaign of conquest by the Hetokipp Warlords.

To the northeast the Urgah are preparing to try to unify the Astrinoff princelings under their rule. At the same time the Astrinoffs continue their on-again/off-again war with the Dukes of Dybrug and Apris (wars which supposedly date to before The Harrowing).

How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?

The Grand Arena of Quatruscaj is legendary for grand battles between heroes and monsters as well as the wealth winners can gain.

Twenty Questions about The World After, Part I

Specifically, they concern the Coyppored region.

The questions come from Jeff’s Gameblog:

What is the deal with my cleric’s religion?

You cleric is either a member of the Hierarchy or one of the Cults of the Thousand Saints.

Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

The closest place to get supplies is the town of Coyppored in the shadows of Mount Pabnaff.

Where can we get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?

The City of Quatruscaj is the best bet. Of course, Quatruscaj is in the center of a blasted waste and mere travel there is to risk death from Demons or the Curse of the Watery Blood.

You could get it done in Quavveniec which is much closer. It is about a day’s travel to it as opposed to nearly a week’s travel for Quatruscaj. Still, Quavveniec is the seat of the Hierarchy and having a monster with you could cause trouble.

Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?

Parkin of the Still Pastures. He lives in his tower to the far north among the Astrinoff.

Who is the greatest warrior in the land?

Ag Ribapid, whose mercenary band has never lost a battle.  He is currently serving to the east against the Hetokipp Warlords.

Who is the richest person in the land?

The great spice merchant Am Rroc Ypopo in the city of Quavveniec.

Where can we go to get some magical healing?

In Coyppored is a shrine to Holmes the Physician, one of the Thousand Saints whose priests are well versed in healing.

Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?

Minor diseases, poisons, and curses can be curred at the shire to Holmes by the local priest. Cures for more serious diseases, poison, and curses, as well as other serious offenses against the laws of nature are to be found in Quavveniec by priests of Holmes and the Hierarchy.

A cure for death is known to be possible but is considered an offense against the natural order and rare is the cleric of any order who is willing to undertake it. However, there are tales of witch doctors among the Hetokipp who are willing to traverse the spirit realm to restore the soul to the body.

I Want to Open a “5 & 23” Store

I mentioned in the last post my idea of how to write PDFs and how it falls into Zak’s “how I want to know about your setting” post. Yet, it came from much more random ideas on my part.

The idea behind a “5 & 23” supplement is fairly simple. Take an idea: character generation, artifacts, the Hierarchy, whatever and create two sets of things. First, you create 5 of something about the idea. These five are longer items like an essay or other exposition text. For example, with character generation you could make an outline of character generation, an alignment chart with explanations, a brief set of common knowledge, and a couple of other things. Then you make 23 shorter things, like sets of random tables, on the same idea. A logical one for character generation would be 23 sets of Devil in the Details tables. These might have some exposition but the core idea is these are at the game table usable things. In fact, they should be laid out so the GM can print out the charts on one page, complete and alone, and just pick the one he needs out of his notebook. For example, you could hand the elf tables to the player creating an elf while the one creating a cleric could pick the Hierarchy one or The Cults of the 1,000 Saints One.

Why 5 and 23? Because they are sacred numbers to Discordians and I’ve discussed before how influential Discordianism is for me and the setting. Influential enough that when thinking about making a product or two Discordian numbers guiding the form of product.

I was discussing this in early March with someone. While I won’t claim independent creation it’s nice to know I was at least thinking along similar lines to people much smarter than me.

What Do Welsh Porn Stars Know About D&D

The Welsh Piper expanded upon an excellent idea from Zak at Playing D&D with Porn Stars. GM oriented materials, especial setting materials, are written wrong. They are long tomes of text resembling histories or fiction instead of stuff you can use at the table.

Zak has since done a couple of posts that one could see as GM exercises similar to writing exercises. The first, as part of the original post, is “What’s Chewing On That Carcass? Table For The Last NonDungeon Place Your PCs Were…(roll d6)”. The second, a day later was “d6 Why Did that Happen?” table for the last city or settlement your PCs visited. The first seems less useful to me but the second is great in terms of explaining the secret behind what to me was just an event that the players fixated on.

Yet even the first, is useful if you look at Erin’s reasons this is so brilliant. It’s a weird, simple encounter table which makes it easier for me to customize my encounter/random event tables.

What really struck me is how my “5 & 23” idea for gathering PDFs of The World After info falls into this. It’s also a cheap and easy idea for blog posts.

Monday Pointers: Out Like a Lamb Edition

D4:Favored and Unfavored Abilities
Here’s a cool little house rule for generating ability scores. It’s from an abandoned attempted at the Fantasy Heartbreaker exercise by Mike Holmes and related by Ron Edwards in the second fantasy heartbreaker article. The irony is I found Madcat’s blog looking up one of my favorite heartbreakers, Fifth Cycle. Regardless, I think this idea will work it’s way into The World After, at least for generating non-humans.

D6:Produce a Setting Almanac, not Encyclopedia
This one is a bit old, but given I’ve got two posts in the hopper today that reference it I figured I should link to it. Zak, about to produce his first published setting, argues prose is the wrong way to present a setting. Instead we should have game rules materials: random charts, classes, lists, etc.

D8:Yet This is An Encyclopedia
The hot thing last week in the OSR seemed to be our very own wiki with many exhortations to link your favorite things.

D10:A Truly Random Contest
So, Fight On is having a random tables contest. The winners get to roll on a series of treasure tables for their prize.

D12:Not An April’s Fools
This Friday is the pre-order day for LotFPWFRPG: Grindhouse Edition and Vornheim (which is the above mentioned setting by Zak). I will be as close to #1 as possible to the point of considering writing a bot to do it.

Two posts in the hopper today (as in almost done) plus Thursday I’ll be putting up a “to be filled in as I go” index for the post a letter a day in April.

Inspirational Art: Hot Elf Chicks

For those getting the joke, yeah I’m late. I took a couple of weeks break from the D&D blogs. But, I figured I could still present various pictures of the Hot Elf Chick of all Hot Elf Chicks of The World After, Lilith, Mother of Elves.

For those of you going, “Hey, I goggled ‘hot elf chicks’ looking for some inspirational material and I’m getting stuff about some lame D&D world using artsy pictures, WTF?” let me explain.

This blog is connected to a large community of DIY oriented players of D&D and other roleplaying games. We are using a common bait and switch tactic: seeding terms we know people are searching to get people to visit our blogs who usually wouldn’t. We figure some of you either played games like D&D in the past but drifted away or might enjoy playing them with us

First up we have John Collier’s Lilith, which graced the post linked above. It is my favorite Lilith (obviously I would think) and one I consider highly erotic. You might not consider it “hot” in the primitive boner creating sense that seems to be the limit of 21st century male thinking on the Internet but I encourage you to move beyond that and imagine the sensual and sexual avenues this woman would open to you.

Next up is Dante Gabriel Rossetti who had a habit of painting the same woman from the same model (yet who looked nothing like the model). His Lilith is colder and more reserved than Collier’s Lilith. Given in The World After elves are the children of primal chaos the abandon and destructive sensuality of Collier is a much better match than the ice queen of Rossetti.

Next we have some more modern Lilith images. The first incorporates direct dragonic features into Lilith herself while the second maintains the serpent entwining nature we see in Collier.

Finally, we’ll finish with Vallejo’s Lilith.

One thing this post has got me wondering, I choose Lilith as the Mother of Elves for the World After without considering the strong draconic/serpent imagery. That said, the Marvel Weird World materials which inspired the elves without memory show one elf born fully adult from an egg in the skeleton of a dead serpent. Perhaps there is a strong connection there.

Finally, some links to learn more about the OSR:

THE Place to go to learn about the history and ethos of early D&D is Grognardia.

If you lost those old D&D books there are a variety of clones: Basic Fantasy Roleplaying, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, and OSRIC.

My favorite producer of new material is Lamentations of the Flame Princes who also produce their own D&D clone which is my rule set of choice.

Finally, if you want hot chicks and D&D how can you beat Playing D&D with Porn Stars.

If that’s got you interested, check the blog roll and the Old School RPG Magazine and Fanzine page for more.

Inspiration Art: A Link

Today I’m mostly posting a link for inspirational art because work has been busy. However, the art in question does have me thinking about OSR and what my old school gaming memories are. I’d like to say it will inspire a post but we know how good I am with follow-through.

Wanted, Classic 70s Sci-Fi Posters

However, I am going to post one of his images:

This image, more than any other on the page, screams out what science fiction and fantasy were about for me at the time I discovered D&D. They weren’t really separate and were mixed up with Yes and similar album covers, the kind of shows discussed at Space: 1970 (which is what pointed me to the poster site). It’s the same frision I still get from Palladium Books stuff and listening to Nightwish. It’s something I often try to capture. In fact The World After has huge dollops of it and part of the problems that campaign world has is trying to synthesize that with more serious elements.

Monday Pointers: The I hate V-day Edition

D4:Sure, they had Chariots but did they have magic items
Over at Grognardia James M. makes an interesting, but justifiable, addition to his Pulp Fantasy Library: Chariots of the Gods. For those of you who aren’t survivors of the 70s this is the iconic “space aliens built the pyramids” book. It’s not the most interesting (I reserve that for The Sirius Mystery: New Scientific Evidence of Alien Contact 5,000 Years Ago) but it is the iconic tome. If you want some science fantasy weirdness or an alternate conspiracy for your Mulder and Scully to run into it’s a great choice.

D6:Herb’s Horrendous Hiccups
Want a free copy of the next edition of Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy RPG? Well, come up with a prizing winning level one magic user spell. Even if you don’t come up with the winning entry you’ll have helped create a great resource of first level spells available under the OGL.

D8:My Memory, it is strange
Of course, the first ancient aliens appearance in the OSR to my memory was the heavy influence of Richard S. Shaver’s tales of underground mind controlling dero had on Scott’s World of Thool. Although the brilliant and very odd Thool is gone for a large part you can still find Shaver’s works online.

It’s been a short list today, but I’ve been busy. For those wondering where this weekend’s posts went, I screwed up and posted notes for upcoming entries, but starting this week Inspirational Art will start alternating with Inspired Creations which will draw on prior iterations of Inspirational Art for actual things I’m trying to use in game.

Speaking of in game, I’m looking to start an alternate Sunday evenings campaign set in The World After. Long term I’d like to start a third campaign as well for the alternate days featuring the latest ideas for A Demon Haunted World.

Finally, I hope to get a summary of the first four sessions of Crusade Beyond the Door up this week, hopefully followed by tomorrow’s fifth session.