Saturday, 29 October 2011


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Done! My camera has finally died, which is kinda good, because it means I'll finally replace it. The curse of the not quite broken tool being more useless than the fully broken tool, because you stop using the fully broken tool.
Anyway, so I finding this guy punishing , and accidentally made a mummy, which I will upload, but not now, the camera has the photos has a big ass data card that don't fit in any computer, and the mummy is at home, and I'm at my friends at this is a boring storybnrountbbimrtbimr

So the movie Holy Mountain? There is scene here which was my inspiration
(at 6.30)

If you haven't scene this movie, it is a hilarious piece of psychotropic satirical batshitness / metaphysical exploration.
It is a great example of how absurdity, profoundness and sublime hilarity can blur like regenerating hasted cats fighting in a blender.

Yes Dispater is described as a red dude with horns. Also some  kind of underworld/fertility/crop god before that, which is a interesting take on an underworld figure with themes of death fertilizing life, etc. My information is coming straight from wiki so I wouldn't bother paraphrasing here. Seems like most of the unholy devil lords out of the bible was just other peoples gods with big coating of slander.
Anyway photos;

Mummy photos later...
Oh here is some stills from holy mountain
This is such a good movie.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Spells, Flux, Armour, Blather, Screed

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF I'm needing a name for this campaign, flux-engine is the working title, but for the world itself, I'm lacking.
I'm trying to give myself a fair amount of room with the world building, having a few cultures intwined in the middle of the map, and  Terra incognito in all 4 points of the compass., but with a definite feeling of "something out there".
I want there to be a feeling of strangeness and mystery , and while a sense of great age exists (the Tane took the emptying cities of the Kraus, yet they were little more than squatters, stringing clay brick walls around great square knives of buildings that pore water, 100 story fountains, even as the soil dries to red dust and the river to salt. And in the great basements of those, are doors that open on unfathomable cycles, leading to deeper worlds.) , the future is  thing yet unborn, with the past not having a hand in its genesis (The Tane are young and full of fire, and the boons of many cultures pore into their cities, as their lands and traditions unravel, the landscapes making them selves anew).
The Flux engines and the effects of flux, are to give a large amount me a lot of room, with the fabric of reality fraying at the edges, its a go-to explanation for any strangeness I wanna put in.
I want this strangeness to have a quality of its own though, not just a magic with a name change. My reach might be exceeding my grasp here...
Because I'm thinking that  magic  traditionally has a certain inbuilt anthropomorphism  , like its about overlaying an  narrative , allowing cleverness, or wickedness or wisdom to have a concrete reality.
So I'm hoping I can get the impression that the world here has been corroded by something outside, but there's not meaning to it, its just a stain in the nature of everything, like argh I hate to make this reference, the story of the haunted house in the animatrix (robots with fucking placards?), the wonder of discovering a Glitch , forever casting doubt on the absoluteness of actual.

So not like a drifting pie space wackiness, or a poop-in-your-mind-squid of chaos, or green lantern boxing gloves, or a hand waving its technology but super  but a sense of that no-one fucking knows what is possible.

Flux Engines being a definite suggestion of "super technology thats pretty much magic" however, so hopefully I can get the feeling across that people call them a Engine because they have no other concept for what it could be. No one in this world thinks of them as gods, and while the effects of them are often given folktale explanations, no one who has seen one up close has any illusion that it could be a god, or angel egg, or devil toy. They give an impression that strikes the viewer to the core that is completely irreverent to everything they understand, good or evil.

.... Disclaimer
yeah I know China Mieville and Torque from the bas-lag books, he did this kinda thing really well, and I'm pretending here that I'm not doing a poor thieving cousin of it, but yeah..
The Scar is my favourite book ever, (with the Winter Market short story from Burning chrome coming a close second) and its influence on me is probably unavoidable. I don't really wanna create a Bas Lag though, its grim, and gets all most perversely  masochistic about the all powerfully state , and I want the deluded grandeur of a fledgling empire in its prime in with blank map stretching vast and seductively around them.

Um. Yes. Where was I?
Okay so there's unknowable things that plasticize reality, and it means hooray monsters, and hooray goddamn tunnels everywhere because it can melt rock sometimes, and wahey an ancient city just appeared, but its been there forever because huzzah flux can retroactively fuck time, and oh noes this lake has tower drowned in it , and the tower has the vertical length near that of horizontal length of the country  because flux! And the sky doesn't end it goes all the way to the stars, so sharks and whales  swim in it and that's why space travel is dangerous because space is a great big ocean of monsters. (sans water). And that has nothing to do with flux actually, its just the coolest thing you can do with a whale, other than giving it guns for eyes, is to put it in space.

And Savants are people that have trained to exploit the flux besieged nature of reality by training and force of will, like a gymnast training against gravity , but if that gymnast actually beat up gravity and stole its shoes, savants can burn with a thought , shaping their fleshing like clay and ripping dogs in half.

Wizards in this world however magic in this world, are seen as cheaters, because magic is trick , a con, its not you , its the spells you stupidly let live in your head. The world "magic" is said dismissively, with a touch of fear, but no awe.
idea  from here
you fucking rock
Spells are dangerous, they are like word virus. The wise avoiding listening closely when a wizard speaks magic words, because for some they stick, echoing around and around and around your head, until you start speaking them aloud. Eventually you get the sounding just right, and It happens. Reality twists, and the spell inserts a sudden alteration of what is, like a viral code in your operating system. And the rush, will hook you for ever.
The first steps of wizardry is mad chasing of rumours of teachers, screaming things they heard in dreams, losing themselves in glossolalia fits and bizarre fantasy. In a couple of months, it stabilizes (those that aren't dead or drooling lunatics), and you carry a handful of spells in your head, and the burning need for more, for both the feeling of casting a spell and the sheer joy of scrawling your name on existence itself.

The word wizard in this world has the meaning and venom of drug addict or junkie.

Side effects of a being wizard may include insomnia, mild hallucinations, verbal and physical tics, tourettes ,  obsessive compulsive rituals , hearing voices, and spontaneous eye and ear bleeding.

A wizards spell book is a idiosyncratic thing. There is no formal written language of magic, maybe once, but no more. Each wizard generally invents their own shorthand not to write down the spells themselves per such, but methods of corralling, teasing and luring a spell so it stays where you want it inside your head.

Imagine a house, every night, darkness comes. If you have accurately and precisely memorized its layout and location of its entire contents , congratulations , you can use what's in your house. If not , not only will you stumble and lose your way, but the things in your house wouldn't stay still. In fact they might invite new things in. Or hide or breed, or devour each other.
The house is the wizards mind, darkness is  sleep and the houses contents your spells. The spell book is your mnemonic devices you use to keep your house in order. Some use shorthand, others rhymes (from crude limericks, to ballads) , pictures, idiot scribbles, collages and scrap booking. The spell book, doesn't have to be a book, it can be deviously knotted string, rosary beads, elaborate scarring or fresh cutting, tattoos or embroidery.  

New spells are gained by deciphering another wizards spell book ( a good reason to keep personal codes), taught one on one by another, trial and error from repeat viewing/hearing of a spell, or opening ones mind to where spells come from( via any number of dangerous , ill advised mind altering techniques). Some wizards report success through cannibalism.

Spells native habitat is called the substrate or the underhum, the buzz, the dream of the world, the Song, The fine print, The foot notes, and many other names. Wizards describe it not so much as a location , but a liquid library written in the atoms of the world, like those pictures made of 1000 smaller pictures, mosaics and gestalt switch pictures.

Sorcerers are different from wizards. Sorcerers are what happen when you expose a large population to flux radiation. Most die, some mutant horribly , some get Stuck or just burn endlessly. Sometimes people survive though, and if carrying child, that child might become a sorcerer. Or a paper skinned bag of teeth and hair.

The spectrum of flux radiation (as currently known)
is sienna , azure, stark, verdigris and slurring.
Sienna warps matter, stone flowing like water, and air hardening, but of course never predicable.
Azure mangles the property's of energy, starting fires and freezing lightning.
Stark, named because something tainted is seen with a lurching sharpness of detail, is to the flowering of life, and all its possibility. Stark quickens wombs with monsters.
Verdigris is matter's awareness of itself, ie consciousness. It most often occurs in mild doses, making thoughts drift from one thinker to another and memory easily relived. Of course higher strengths of verdigris become increasingly dangerous, hatching personaltys in minds like maggots in meat.
Slurred makes a heat wave appearance, the flux taint spreading to time and space. Forests without end, people frozen, or living twice as fast are all possible through slurred radiation.
There is 5 different  sorcererous bloodlines resulting from the wavelengths.

While a wizard hordes and corrals there spells, and lets the spells warp reality, a sorcerer skips the spell part and does the spells trick by themselves. To make a crude analogy , a wizard is a dj, a sorcerer a musician.

The cost of this is increasing physical instability and the gradual dissolving of the sorcerers physical nature, each wavelength giving a signature warping.

Fuck I was just going to post this armour list:
Putting on armour times kinda just pulled out of my ass.
I never really could get a grasp on the classic armour types, so just hashed up some ones I could easily in-vision and would  fit the cultural styles. I.. really have no idea how about how I feel about spell casting in armour. I'm tempted just to allow it no restrictions and see what happens.


Leather: Boiled and waxed leather, includes a chest cover, a short skirt , forearm and shinguards.
+2 a.c, max dex bonus 8, 1 minute to put on speed 30/20 easily available, cheapish, (say a weeks wages for your average labourer 

Munnish scrap: From the Lands of Mun, thick tanned animal hides, reinforced with steel or bone ribs, studded patches, attached steel plates, lucky charms and clannish embroidery.
Although generally a individual creation, a less loving crafted version is made for trade. Available in Munnish lands, or trade centres connected to Munnish Lands, say about 2 weeks wages

+5 a.c (if starting with it as Mun player character), +4 a.c for "off-the-rack", max dex +4 armour check -6, 5 minutes to put on, 20/15 feet speed

Crocskin: Layered thick crocodile hide, common to riverguard of the New dawn Fades and mangrove pirates.
+4 a.c,+4 max dex -2 armour check penalty. 1 minute to put on speed 30/20. Easily available and cheapish near NewDawnFades, more expensive the further in land

Glaze Bamboo Weave: Various island and mangrove groups, use a particular species of bamboo that becomes particular hard if rust is added to the soil it grows in. Elaborately woven together like a cane chair but way cooler, the bamboo has an unusual mottled browny and blue colouring. It includes a broad brimmed helmet, forearm and shin guards
It has been adopted by the navies of New Dawn Fades and Tane, but they still have to trade it off various clans and tribes who hold tight to the secrets of its construction. +5 a.c , max dex +4, armour check -2 5 minutes to put on speed 30/20 Not particularly great availability and will cost you about a months wages

Knotwork: plaited coconut husk, tight knots, and cross bracing of bone and wood. A floatation aid as well. Ratkings commonly use it, as they can make and repair it themselves. Tane's navy uses this as well,as a standby when access to Glaze bamboo weave is lacking.
+3 a.c max dec +6 armour check 0, +2 swim checks, except where boyency is undesired, then -2. 4 minutes to put on. Cheap, about a weeks wages, available at anywhere reasonably populated or near a port

Breast plate: A metal chest plate with skirt to protect thighs, +5 a.c, max dex +3 armour check -4, speed 20/15 4 minutes to put on.
A months wages easy, but anywhere with a half decent blacksmith could make you one.

Legion Plate: steel banding, with interlocking steel poltroons, with chainmail to provide flexibility where needed. Think roman legionary style armour.
+7, max dex +1, armour check -6, speed 20/15 , 5 minutes to put on.
After doing 2 years service, Tane soldiers leaving are giving the option of taking their armour with them, instead of the usual parcel of land in the colonies or 3 months wages. Otherwise the armour is kept by the army, the design of it letting it be readjusted to fit a range of sizes easily. The army does not sell the armour otherwise. You could either buy a stolen/looted suit for about a months wages, if you have the contacts. Unfortunately each armour comes with a pattern stamped into the front plates marking the regiment it came from, so you might want to find out where the legion was posted , in case you have to bluff old war stories with a veteran of that regiment. Wearing legion plate with the designs filed off is a chargeable offense in Tane. Bribing a talented black smith to make your own is of course illegal in Tane and expensive, and will cost about 2-4 months wages.

Chain drape: interlocked chain links made into a hooded poncho kinda thing. Common to gremlin soldiers and frontier sheriffs needing an armour thats quick to don.
+5 a.c max dex +0 armour check -5, speed 20/15 1 minute to put on, available pretty everywhere and costs you about 2 weeks wages

Carapace: a rarer , carefully crafted , armour from plates and shells from various big fuck off monsters and giant insects, and killer turtles and the like. A status symbol  for nobles in New
awn Fades, much work goes into the aesthics and tailoring off it.
Carapace (a chest plate and poltroons)a.c +9 max dex +0 armour check -5, max speed 20/15, 8 minute to put on
Grand Carapace (full body) a.c +10 max dex +0, armour check -6 10 minutes to put on speed 20/15
Available pretty much only in NewDawnFades, and specialized dealers in KingDust, it will cost you about a 3 years wages
ThunderHide: Used by the desert dwellers and trophy hunters of the Tane, New Dawn Fades and Mun, its rare because is made from large and dangerous thunder beasts, its prized for its particularly strong resistance to both slashing, blunt and piercing attacks. Plus it shows that you killed something really cool. Or just paid someone to.
a.c +6 max dex +3,armour check -4, speed 30/20, 3 minutes to put on.
Available as an off the rack armour, only in a handful of merchants open-by-appointment-only shops in the bigger cities and will cost you about a years wages. However buying the hide from a frontier trading post and paying someone to sew it for you will cost you pretty much the same, but its easy to do, if not longer run around.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

More Campaign notes

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF So I typed up the races I'm going to be using in the sword and planetesque campaign that's currently taxing round the runway.
And I'm putting it here for your perusal and gleaning.

Some design notes:
I'm pretty sure I read this else where (d&d with porn stars maybe?), but I'll parrot it here.
Naming stuff:
 You can either mash the key board and then stick y's where even the welsh won't and have yourself a bunch of generic fantasy names the players will never remember or use, and neither will you without constant note referral OR you can, say, name a bunch of places after Joy Division songs and its gonna stick like a stick in sticky mud.
Also absurd gets remembered better. And after enough exposure, its not that absurd.
Or just not funny.

I haven't yet taken the pathfinder system for  test run yet, but I'm already kludging on stuff, so disclaimer for that.
Is the pathfinder system  really that wonky? There's a lot of noise about being so, but it looks flyable to me. I meant the combat seems a tad weighed down with tactical bells/whistles, but I figure I'll use it when it matters and wing it when it doesn't.  Hack bits it off as you go, and then rush back to stick them on latter etc.
Disclaimer: The following text refers to tables. Those tables are as yet uncreated. I'll put them in a post a later date.
Also disclaimer: You might find the writing hammish and poor. Yes, yes it is.

 +2 on a stat of your choice


The Tane (pronounced tar-nay) are expansionist  culture, concepted as a kinda hybrid Maori Greek culture, who seized the decaying empire of the Klaus, and their understanding of themselves is now firmly rooted inland, around the capital city of Kingdust. There society is ruled by the First Family's, each family having a political portfolio, and one family elected every 5 years (with only the family heads voting) for the final arbiter seat. Below them is heads of mercantile, and , generals from non-first family heritages  (including the Klaus), trickling down to Village heads, Artisans, and then general plebs   and finally immigrants of less than 2 generations.
Art tends to simple architecture and sparse elegant swirls of  bird, fish, hook and skull abstractions, stone pendants and mosaic.
They are darkish skinned , with black, blonde and red hair, and known for their piercing gaze , regal poise and general newly crowned king of the shit pile demeanor.
+ 2 to a profession
+2 on two know ledges of your choice
(The cites of the Tane are a concentration of wealth and talent)

Can re roll two starting equipment checks (assuming a  can-your-character-have-that, lets-make-a-roll based-on-some-stuff system  rather than you get 3d6xblah-coins-go-shopping-i-wanna-see-those- receipts system)
(see above)

Starting Language:

Taking their cultures name from capital city and firmly entrenched leading House, the NewDawnFades are at the edge of the Tane's haltered southern expansion , and trade and heavy diplomatic ties have cemented their position as an ally. NewDawnFades is heavily reliant on Tane for food and basic materials,  and trades silks, perfumes, spices, novelties, drugs and jewellery, basically everything a expansionist culture needs to feel all hot shit about its place in the world. No-one feels like a conquer of world, eating dried meats and wearing hemp sacks. (Except maybe the Mongols. But that was never about the money. )
NewDawnFades is divided up between the houses, each having a capital city. Like any self respecting decadent hooded lidded  opium smoking orientist collage , intense complicated politicking manoeuvring is life blood of their drawn out languid swamp baroque river barge culture.
Noted for having elaborate bio ethanol engines , of exquisite detail and finesse, each handmade and used anywhere of great status and no where near something as boring and potentially society changing as basic goods manufacturing .
Also of note is that one of the houses has started producing alarming flesh devices, such as sea slug in a squeezing claw harness, spewing forth  acid, dog-guns retching up harpoons and giant crabs scooped out and made into amusing pleasure craft.
The appearance ranges from golden hued skin to pitch black, eye colours blue, greens and purples, with hair colour have a smaller range of black and also black. They tend to a short side with soft curved features.

+2 sense motive
(wily, saturated in social manoeuvrings)
+2 on two knowledge's of your choice
(the library of the NewDawnFades)
Can start with NewDawnFades esoteric items
Starting Language:

Strange tides and ill winds from beyond the horizon create a steady stream of refugees to the Tane, tight-lipped , strange scarred strangers, and tales of monster birthing winds, soils gone feral, islands that have melted, rains that never came, and wars lost to the weapons used to fight them.
Pretty much this is the box marked miscellaneous ,  for increased player character creation elbow room.
+2 survival
+2 diplomacy
(if you've made it this far, you have got have learned to eat fish heads, and make scary men laugh)
+2 to 2 skills of your choice
(representing your background)
Starting Language:
Your native language that you might share with ten other people

Spread out among a string of islands, is a range of island cultures, ranging from simple substance farming to more aggressive warring ones. Think of the pacific islands. Some have moved to the cites of Tane for employment or adventure, others populations pressures, and fleeing from strange inflictions leaving only devastation and sorcerers in their wake.
+2 Swim
+2 survival
+2 Climb
(you grew up on a island: fishing, cliff diving, and navigation were your mothers briny milk)
+2 to your choice (at character creation) to saves versus disease, poison, mind effecting , or body effecting magic/powers
(weird shit happens in islands. You are from stock that survived it)

A native language unique to your island with similarity's to Tane and other island languages

Desert raiders, and merry camel riding liars, known for their extensively footnoted and subclaused code of  honour. They will stick to their word , but you might want to check the definition of "stick" , "their" "word" and possibly "definition". They believe to encourage weakness is a cruelty and exploiting it is a kindly chastening , allowing the one so chastened  to grow.
The "nomads" as clumsily known by outsiders are instantly recognizable by their bright glowing blue facial tattoos, made from azure flux-radiative metals, ground to powder and carved into the face as initiation rite. These tattoos serve to impress everyone and see each other in sand storms.
Nomads have a surprising baize attitude to flux, to them , flux is the 5 winds that escaped god's giant bag and is chased around the world by giant giraffes with endless sacks for heads.
Despite perceptions of them as barbarians , there is a  couple of items of surprising technological insight.
One is the Clan-horse, a large lurching structure comprise of tall wooden stilts and bone, that ambulated with surpassing speed, powered by compressed air muscle allegory , that is pumped and stored by fin like sails on the side. Each "clan" (suggesting far more structure than is recognizable to the outsider) has one and is used to protect invalids, esteemed elders, heavily pregnant women, and children, as well serving as a weapons platform.
The other notable item, is brassy hued long spindly guns with a bulbous stock that are powered by compressed air, compressed by a hand reel. While lacking slightly the power of black powder , its non-reliance on a expensive resource, and quieter, smokeless firing make it the bane of the Tane military. Its construction has not been understood, as it requires some metallurgical tricks that are beyond even Gremlin and NewDawnFades artisans, and is in general a frighteningly robust engineering. It is generally agreed  that the nomads are being equipped by someone, but why and who , is a mystery lying far beyond the harsh red dune sea. No, your player character doesn't know. Every clan gets theirs off some other clan, a trade train with no end insight

+4 bluff
(nomads lie even better than they ride. Great pride is taken in remaining technically true)
+2 ride
Can start with Camel,
Can start with nomad weaponry
Starting Language
tuk tuk

The far colony of Tane, conquered for 2 generations, and assimilated in name only, The lands of Mun, are vast, with patchy copse of thick forest, rich farm land, and biting cold night winds. Tane has pored settlers in to try and pacify the restless Mun, but the colony is long , bitter, travel away, and the capitals taxes and tiefs sit chaffing on the settlers shoulders.
The Tane Governor stationed there prefers when the settlers and Mun to be at odds, as more they co-exist , the more they form a identity far separate from capital, ever hungry for its goods.
The Mun as a people , are hardy , keen to prove there individual merit, of pale skin and wild hair, a big strong stride and bellowing singing voices. There distinctive armour is a piecemeal affair serving as much as a trophy case as personal protection, carefully maintained and put together . ( yes, Celts being the lazy inspiration)

+2 intimidate
(mean stares and elaborate shit talking is the cultural highpoint among the Mun)
+2 Handle Animal
(goat herding , fur snake corralling(fur snake is not a euphemism), bear teasing , and dire wolf riding being  a close second  cultural high point)
+2 Perform (oratory)
(ballads, odes, and more shit talking)
Free suit of munnish scrap
Medicinal Herbs
(roll 4 times on a table  of pharmaceutically relevant herbs, brews, fungus and sticks, that I will make up sometime)

Note : you can mix and match these traits with that of a Tane if you are playing a settler going native

Mangals: (mangrove  tribes)
The Tane has yet to declare all Mangals automatically as  pirates, but the are sorely tempted. Possible the only thing stopping them , is that it would stop the opportunity to buy back at least some of what is stolen, if they automatically executed all Mangals on sight. That and the Mangals close relations with the peoples that guard the secrets to the ultra hard bamboos needed for naval armour and various ship related purposes.
The Mangal are short, stocky and swarthy, and seen as quiet and sullen. That's generally because the average Mangal doesn't trust anyone not from their particular tribe. Surviving assaults on them by the Klaus, NewDawnFades, Tane, and Hook Birds has justifiably lead them to this attitude.
The trade ships between Tane and NewDawnFades suffer from their predations, the navy being in dread of Mangals silent low in the water canoes, and single use semi submerged cannons made from hollowed tree trunks pulled gently behind dark oiled swimmers, with machetes clenched in filed teeth. (yes they get out of water before they fire the cannon.)

Once you get to them the Mangal are a right laugh, though, being a culture of ready jokes , easy physical affection, strong loyalty's, and complicated animist beliefs. Teeth are sometimes filed as a sign of prowess and facial scarification is common but not universal.

Mangal who stray from the murky humid water of there home, do so  because of exile, wanderlust , orphanage or to find trade opportunitys for their family.

+2 survival
(the mangroves are free from sharks. Unfortunately this is because the crocodiles eat them. Every Mangal learns how to avoid the crocodiles, murder monkeys, piranhadons,  mauling frogs and worse, while somehow finding something to eat that isn't poisonous and/or hallucinogenic or a disguised parasite egg sack)
+2 swim
(you could ride, but you'll have a devil of a time getting a snorkel on the horse)
+2 stealth
(see survival)
+2 perception
(see survival)

+2dex, +2 int, -2 str
(Wiry, cunning and inventive, gremlins bodies leans towards speed and economy and so bulk and brute strength have suffered.)
The Gremlin are originally from deep dark forest on the other side of the world, and learned cunning and ferociousness from the many dangers of that realm. They rapidly migrated when the shadows of the trees started to eat them however, moving into the alpine forest, where the forest wasn't thick enough
to pool darkness in murderous concentrations. The predations and mind shredding cannibal  howls of the wendigo however drove the gremlin into caves, and then deeper underground. It was here they discovered the secrets of black powder, and made cannons and blunderbuss to carve survival there in the bowels of the earth. In the last couple of generations however , mushroom crop failures, sudden frightening liquidation of stone, and increasing tetrafauna has made the Gremlin establish homes in the Tane cites, trading the secrets of black powder, for a social standing higher than what is normally granted to immigrants. The Tane have taken the room clearing blunderbuss of the gremlin and invented rifles, and while Tane military tactics haven't quite got to grips with the possibility , a new expansive wave is swelling. The Gremlin are fine with this, thinking its a nice change letting someone  else get killed for once.
Gremlins are short, with ears bigger than there heads, and small dark eyes, and more than a passing resemblance to bats. Unlike bats, they are hairless, with greys and greens, and rarely whites and blacks, being the skin colour. They are a confident yet pessimistic people . They expect the worse, but are expecting it with a large stockpile of  weapons.
Gremlins are capable of large amounts of children, but use strident birth control. A gremlin saying meaning "lets not be too hasty" is "lets not have to eat the kids now".

 Low light vision:
A gremlin can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish colour and detail under these conditions.
 ( blind fight feat, can detect basic detail of terrain up 60 feet)
base land speed is 20 feet.
Small: As a Small creature, a gremlin gains a +1 size bonus to Armour Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
+4 on listen based perception checks
(They have big arsed ears)
+2 craft
(if they can't build it...)
+2 disable device
(...they can definitely break it)
+1 racial bonus on saves
(Gremlin are hard to get rid of than dire fiendish scabies)
+2 saves versus fear, stacks with above bonus
(stemming from a cultural attitude of "I've seen worse")

Starting language:
Gremlin , or Gremish if you will (Gremlin is generally too high pitch to hear for non-gremlins)

+4str , -2 on your choice of wisdom, int or cha
(Looming mass of fur and muscle, the RatKing are slowly piecing together a cultural identity , and lack the social resources that nourish other races social and mental development. While capable of overcoming this, it does take its toll)

The  Ratking (Ratking is gender neutral) are refugees and cultural orphans. Breed and engineered as  experimental labour force by an unknown and freshly extinct nation, they fled the unnatural ravages of the war that consumed that dire nation. First finding asylum in the islands and amongst the fishing spiders, they slowly have made their way to Tane, having become proficient at ship craft, they are now common sight around the dock yards and navy's.
The Ratking are a somewhat shy people, often trying their best avoid trouble and gathering knowledge as they can about how to be actually be a people. As such there is no obvious cultural patterns, they are like the isolated foreign worker, accepted by his/her coworkers but at the cost of blankness, the co-workers never thinking of the foreigner as from somewhere, merely just "foreign"
Ratking gather in large groups yearly to trade stories and anecdotes, and take shaking steps to an identity.

In appearance Ratkings are massive, reaching ten feet easy, with a stooped gorilla posture, (and they can only reach their top speed by brachiating, as in take 20 feet off a run speed if hands are full or unusable). The head is that of a chisel jawed rat, and  flows seamlessly into shoulders with only a passing notion of a neck. The rats sense of smell and powerful gnaw is retained, but there hearing is not anything great. Their  hands are surprisingly delicate with long fingers, and small tidy nails. The tail is merely vestige to their rat origins being a foot in length. They are covered in fine hair , in shades of grey, black and brown. There voices are deep and bellowing but can still reach a surprising high pitched squeaked if alarmed. Most Ratking learn to loathe the ridicule this brings, although some notice how appearing ridiculous can ease the fears of those intimidated by them.
Ratking dress in the fashions of those around them, with a personal touch being elaborate knotted necklaces, bracelets and anklets, with coins, teeth , stones and items of personal significance woven in. Ratkings can have a surprisingly complex amount of information stored in these patterns.

Large size: –1 penalty to Armour Class, –1 penalty on attack rolls, –4 penalty on Hide checks, +4 bonus on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits double those of Medium characters.
Space/Reach: 10 feet/10 feet.
An Ratking’s base land speed is 40 feet. (but see above note about top speed running)
Bite: Inflicts 1d6 damage, subtract 6 from hardness of objects for damage purposes if spend a full round action gnawing
allows a creature to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Creatures with the scent ability can identify familiar odours just as humans do familiar sights.
The creature can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range.
When a creature detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range. The creature can take a move action to note the direction of the scent.
Whenever the creature comes within 5 feet of the source, the creature pinpoints the source’s location.
A creature with the Track feat and the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry’s odour is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Track feat. Creatures tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.
Water, particularly running water, ruins a trail for air-breathing creatures.
False, powerful odours can easily mask other scents. The presence of such an odour completely spoils the ability to properly detect or identify creatures, and the base Survival DC to track becomes 20 rather than 10.
+2 swim
+2 rope use
(Ratkings have been first to shine as sailors and ship hands and have clung to this.)

Starting Languages:
Glean (Ratking dialect of Creole, nigh impenetrable  to the outsider, and includes knot codes)

+2 wis, +2 dex, -2con
(observant , and agile, but have a light , fragile skeletal structure)
There's a trite saying thrown around about the Chinese character for crisis being the same as  that for opportunity. The Corbis see the world this way ,but take it further;not only crisis being opportunity, calm being an opportunity for crisis, a battlefield an  market place of the blind, and trouble just another way of saying hello or goodbye.
Its... an unfair but not entirely undeserved reputation for grave robbery, looting , and shit stirring that the Corbis have. Opportunists that are quite at home with making their own opportunity, the Corbis aren't amoral as such, but are very worryingly entranced by a situation rapidly changing for the worse.
In other words Corbis have a knack for showing up when the trouble starts, and more worryingly slightly before.
Personal enrichment motivates the Corbis above anything else, and sometimes this is material enrichment, but mostly a Corbis wants a life with adventure, excitement and great times making off with other peoples stuff.
Learning languages, secret words, seeing far horizons and delving mysteries all also have a powerful pull on Corbis
Corbis hail from mountain peaks, building precarious structure in chasms and cliffs. Most find enough to entertain them there, but more than a few drift done to Cities of the Tane, becoming gamblers, Fences, Go betweens, Gossipmongers and plain old thieves and mercenarys. The Corbis haven't really settled yet in the cities, preferring to return to the mountains to inspire hatchlings with their scars and stories. Assuming, of course, they live that long.
Corbis are pretty much a  4 to 5 foot high crow, with the legs  branching at the hip, and forming another pair of limbs which when not tucked away are used as arms.

Flight (ex): Corbis have a fly speed of 50 ft with average maneuverability. They take no damage from falling, and gain a +8 bonus on jump checks. All of these advantages disappear if their wings are restricted in any way (bound, injured, etc.) or carrying more than a light load. The fly skill is automatically a class skill
+4 to perception checks
(sharp eyed and curious)
+2 sleight of hand
(And quick to make good of it)
+2 linguistics
(Corbis have a talent with languages, often collecting dialects and words with same passion they have for excitement)

Small: As a Small creature, a Corbis gains a +1 size bonus to Armour Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
Corbis base movement of a rapid hop is 30 feet, faster than that of a small creature.
Starting Languages:
+2 bonus in addition to any from high int score, and may select obscure and difficult tongues, such as hookbird, Gremish, or glean.

+4 con -2cha
(Ghouls are descended from humans that survived the bale fire plagues, so are from great physical stock, but as well looking ash grey and half starved, you  tend to have the odd neurosis or general batshitedness.)

In the Tane's second expansion wave, added by cures for shitblood fever (from NewDawnFades), they plunged into the forests of the Hook Birds, seize land for much needed fertile farming land. The hookbirds, accustomed as they were to intruders being strangely deterred by shitblood fever (a threat of shiting out rotting hunks of your  intestine until you die alone in the mud, with the taunting cry of squibbons the last thing you hear, is rather deterring), were woefully ill prepared.
A good half of their domain was taken before they unleashed the bale fire plague.
This sickly lung coloured flame drifted like evil kitten hair on the winds, and would settle as gentle as the aforementioned kitten, and when on living flesh it would stay, burning not as heat, but a fire that takes the colour of the skin and the mercy from the heart. The Tane soldiers and settlers so inflicted, ran berserk, tearing and screaming, blazing still with languid oily flesh coloured fire, as they ran up spear to tear at eyes, and generally went murderously apeshit canoe.
The Tane responded by building a fortification that completely cut off the hook bird lands and leaving any settlers to there fate, shooting any that attempted to cross. After ten long years, Corbis mercenaries , hired to poke the whole situation with a stick, reported the plague had long burned out, but the simple farmers and settlers left behind had survived, but had been marked.
Marked with ash grey skin, and sunken eyes, and sometimes with skin discolouration of blood trails (especially from the eyes)  but otherwise human. After some were kidnapped , and studied by the Surgeon General, the quarantine was lifted.
The ghouls, as they were kindly named, had formed a surviving community, called Thrive, and haven't really gotten over the whole left to die thing. In fact they are somewhat more charitable to the Hookbirds, who are seen as unfathomable powers, that have given them a great and terrible gift, rather than someone who tried to kill them. Ghouls are like that, and it would be tawdry to call them morbid, but,  while they somewhat are, they are not necessarily  moody shits, and can be passionate explorers, and laughing cavaliers, brimming with joie de vivre. Think of people that have survived a close brush with death, and that's pretty much on the money for summing up the Ghoul. Some are haunted, some inspired, some sombre and calm, some treasuring each day as an undeserved gift.  You could be tempted to play them as race of teen goths, but why would you do such a thing?
The Tane have not yet recognized the ghouls mild succession, but as Thrive has nothing the Tane particular want, the issue is being ignored.
The ghouls tend toward mysticism and bizarre speculations of the nature of reality, and some have moved to the cites of NewDawnFades and Tane in ordered to feast on the rich knowledge there. Ghouls see themselves reborn, fresh faced in the ashes of the past, and while some attempt to strengthen the fledging community at Thrive, others seek the world, or attempt to began  communications with the Hookbirds , all are certain that the world awaits Them.
There is  about 2000 ghouls currently, and the mutations suffered are stable and pass on to the children. Ghouls are unable to breed with humans. Or cows for that matter.
A alarming amount of ghouls are sorcerers, and if this continues on to future generations, the ghoul could become of interest to the Tane, if they bother to pay attention  to living reminder of a military disaster.. This has been noticed by Shadowplay (a house of NewDawnFades) who are quietly encouraging ghoul immigration to their holdings.
Ghouls gain the feat;
Harsh conditions or long exertions do not easily tire you.
Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus on the following checks
and saves: Swim checks made to resist non lethal damage
from exhaustion; Constitution checks made to continue
running; Constitution checks made to avoid non lethal
damage from a forced march; Constitution checks made
to hold your breath; Constitution checks made to avoid
non lethal damage from starvation or thirst; Fortitude
saves made to avoid non lethal damage from hot or cold
environments; and Fortitude saves made to resist damage
from suffocation. (note all ghouls don't get the ability to sleep in armour without penalty from  this  feat, only ones with at least medium armour proficiency)
once a day you make a roll a table to see what sense of destiny and portents there is witching around you. Different ghouls have different methods, some formal as chiromancy or gutting things, or informal like a sudden chill, or a haunting dream.
This can give you boons such as a sense of invincibly, morale bonuses, handy insights or it ruin your day, and make you feel like you're  already dead but being hit with the shovel anyway.

Other Cultures Looming ominously in the background:
Selenite. Have stopped visiting Tane and NewDawnFades. Since the balefire plague, the hook birds have become obsessed with capturing one of the great moth used to fly to the moon by the selenite.The Selenites, while quite capable of defending the great moths, are playing it very safe, not wanting to risk the fiendish traps the Hookbirds can dream up, trade far further south now, the Hookbirds being  loathe to travel further than a days travel from the banyans.

Hookbirds: appearing not unlike a broken tar drenched crane rebuilt using broken umbrellas and meat hooks, hookbirds are not evil as such, just xenophobic as you would think for being ex p.o.w now marooned in a alien world. For a time a accustomed to making a place for themselves, but after the aggressive expansions of the Tane, the hook bird have been swept by a movement calling for a return to a promised utopia, far away in the depths of the black ocean of worlds.
They cluster in cabals, in mammoth banyan trees, hollowed and lit with a 1000 hues of cold fires.
Prone to experimenting on everything around them, as they see the majority of life here  too hideous to have feelings.

A culture that made the Ratking and then was destroyed

Another culture that destroyed that culture with maddened spell infected constructs that then went mad and ate each other until it was just one great looped snake of a factory city , endlessly devouring its tail.

Monday, 17 October 2011


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF  Also notice there is a page to your right that has a complete list of what has been done(with photos).
But yeah, here's the bone devil;
criminal moonlight
John I'm only Dancing But She Turns me on
 I heard the news today oh boy

Don't lean on me man because you can't afford the ticket
 ..religiously unkind...

Cried so much his face was wet, then I knew he was not lying
Smiling and waving and looking so fine, don't think
I saw boys, toys electric irons and T.V.'s

Then a flare glides over
But I won't look at that scar....

My camera, as I have said before, it not so good, and the slightest quiver makes the photo a blurry , and this time I put in a few of the ones that looked good.
Don't really have any entertaining tangents today. Dispater is next. bleargh.

Thursday, 13 October 2011


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Skinny red and spikey , I have fuck all to say about this guy,  except he came out rather fun loving looking.Prank playing rather than skin flaying if you will.
Even the spikes seem like a cheeky fashion statement.
Ah well..
I think I have a friend that dances like that last photo...

Monday, 10 October 2011


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Baalzebul! A sexy dude with fly eyes, and then , in latter editions a giant slug man, which maybe would  be exciting and all, but nah, I felt like making him a silvery poison dwarf pope.
I love the words "poison dwarf".

He doesn't really give the impression of authority of an arch devil, but more of a squeaky tirade about the other archdevils not taking him seriously and how he would show them all. I imagine him talking like Alpha from Up before he got the voice chip fixed. Barbed devil next, of the looming forehead and spikes.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Review of the New Death

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF So  James from asked me to review his ebook The New Death and Others , and I have done this thing, I have gazed upon the squirming words and have judged  there merit; It Pleases Me!
I don't know if have ever reviewed anything, other than in complain about movie/tvbook/music loudly at people kinda way , before , so here goes something:
Like its a bit of a blunderbuss discharge, ie hitting a range of style and subject matter, and mostly is the clever-punch-line-at-the-end kinda malarkey. There is some truly awful puns which might be  a pro or a con depending on your taste.
Particular high lights for me was the title story (it was cute and made me bare my teeth in a positive social gesture)  and How the Isle of Cats Got Its Name, which is ripe for harvesting for game material.
 How the Isle of Cats Got Its Name shows a real knack for gems of fantasy imagery and would totally be a direction to concentrate on if the author was in to taking advice from those who have blogs and failed high school.
That could be because my sense of humor doesn't mesh completely with the authors and so the humor pieces left me mostly luke warm and the poetry I never developed a taste for.
Overall I would say its worth a read, there's some good stuff in there, maybe the writings a tad rough at times but yeah its good.

you can buy it here:
and here:
and the blog is here;


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I had only the vaguest of concepts when I started sewing this guy, namely this kinda thing, (please ignore the middle panel there, where Lucifer is replaced by surly teenager , Chad )

or to take it even further some kinda effeminate evil eunuch, a stark contrast to the bestial in baator, like a softly spoken , utterly soiled , smirking 13 year old rent boy. Or something like
I think I'm in love.
Yes i know he's described as " appearing as a giant human, over 13 feet tall, with dark skin and hair, red eyes, handsome features, and small horns on his forehead. He dresses in regal finery of unimaginable expense".
Non-d&d sources have him looking like:
A particularly visually pleasing example from the "WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? A BUNCH OF FUCKING ANIMALS! STUCK TOGETHER! WITH A DUDES FACE! LADY PARTS! FUCK YOU AND A CROWN! A CRROOOOOWWWWWNNNNNNN!"  school of bearded-man-yelling-at-about-shit-he-saw-high

So it went all kinda ways when I'm making him, and wound up looking kinda like Eddie Izzard.

Which is probably heavily influenced by my decision to craft magnificent heels for him.
Fuck it, I was feeling bored shitless by the evil big horned red dude triad of Asmodeus, Dispater, and Beelzebub, so lets make em look like rent boys, trannys, or evil eunuchs. Which has unfortunate implications I'm sure, and if there were any deva, assimar, plantar in the first edition monster manual, I would totally make them so fucking fabulous, so it all balances out.
Damn, I wanna make them now. Maybe after I finished this book, I'll start on the monster manual 2.
Any way Dispater name comes from the greek Dis Pater , ie death father, which is actually quite rad. I'm thinking of making him look like this:

Check out if you don't already know of it, That's where I grabbed the batshit picture of Asmodeus , which is in turn form the Dictionnaire Infernal , which I now want a copy of. Holy fuck, I used to hate pictures in that style when I was growing up, now I think they fucking rule.
Lastly some cheap laughs in thee old search engine image surprise:
evil eunuch turned up:

and far less frightening;

And evil rent boy turned up:
Which also is a great concept photo for an archdevil. The subject of the photo was murdered by his step mother and I'm using his photo for a cheap laugh, but hey, its a really fucking creepy photo.

p.s James (, still reading your book, I'm liking a lot of it so far, will review it proper like when my heads less full of poison.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


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Yeah! dirty king of the gnolls! President scavenger lord! Dog man terrible!
Although you wanted to take gnolls  more in the style of hyenas, Yeenoghu would be their Queen,
Hyenas having a alpha female as top dog. With a surprisingly big clit , that she uses to maintain dominance by penetrative fucking the underlings. No I couldn't be bothered sewing this. My brief obsession with gentiatalizing is waning. For now anyway.  

Yeenoghu was getting to me as it was, the teeth being fiddly , then making him too big ,and then getting the legs the wrong way around, the texture of his skin looking like mummy wrappings, the ears looking stupid (look at hyena, they pretty much have mickey mouse ears! It looks fine on them in the flesh, but in facsimile it just looks daft)
 My original concept was a looming gaunt toothy leering shadow.
 It moved far from there , and turned into a he-man figure with a burned rat head. So I'm happy with it in other words.


  the picture in the back ground is by
this is more of their art. It is even better than spoiled meat.