Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Monday, 31 August 2015

fantasy Art: A Poster of Ideas

Year of Chaos: Week Five

Dungeon Mastery: Writing that introduction to B2 Boneharrow



A little under a century ago a faction of dwarves led by a chaotic dwarf cleric named Urga left Rockhome rather than face persecution at thr hands of the clerics of Kaygar. They travelled south to the black peak mountains and established a monestary. Unfortunately they also discovered gold in the rock at the base of the cliff which they mined. The mine, an extensive network of tunnels and chambers known as the sapworks were ultimately abandoned because the gold had been depleated and if they continued, subsidence might destroy the temple. The Siegetemple and its wealth quickly drew the attention of the local mainstream religious faiths and they banded together to eliminate the monastary of chaos and its occupants. The dwarves were promptly exterminated, The temple was looted and the main entrance bricked up.  The area abandoned, the Sapworks became a nest for humanoids which needed to be regularly cleared out. The Siegetemple on the otherhand has remained abandoned until recently when an entropic cult looking to control the humanoids nesting in the sapworks found a way into the temple. Now they secretly direct the actions of the humanoids to raid the surrounding territory while they create an army of undread warriors. Of course no one knows there are clerics hold up in the Siegetemple. Thats something the adventurers will discover once they clear out the humanoids.

Getting the Players Involved

A reasonably balanced out party should have at least one Cleric, Magic-user, Thief, and a bunch of Fighter types (Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings included). A selection of adventure hooks are provided below. They should be located in Penhaligon for this adventure although Dukes Road Keep is just as viable a start Location.

A word in the right ear...

As Father Jarnos raked in the church graveyard and pulled up some old bones with his harrow-rake. He is immediatly stricken with a strange sensation that this was more than just an accident. The word 'Boneharrow' strikes a chord. Investigating the history of the grave Father Jarnos discovers the bones were those of a warrior who was present at the Siege at Boneharrow almost a century before. Father Jarnos is certainly too old to go himself, but perhaps if he whispered of Boneharrow in the right ear others might look into it in his stead.

To the party cleric read the following:

Old Father Jarnos encourages you closer as he rakes around an old gravestone."See this one. He was at the Siege of Boneharrow. Its not a tale told in any church record other than a few notes in this fellow's Journal. The church of Traladara learned of Chaotic dwarves establishing a monastary up in the hills just north of Penhaligon." Jarnos coughs and after a pause, continues his tale."They went up there with an army of the faithful and found a monastary perched on a cliff overlooking a narrow Valley. The Dwarves had mined gold beneath their monastary and were farming food. They exterminated the Dwarves, cleared out that temple, and bricked it up."  Jarnos rakes a little more before he gets to the crust of his tale."Apparently goblins hit a caravan on the Dukes Road just north of Penhaligon and vanished. It seems to me that those mine-workings might be a place for their warband to hide out." 

...and the wrong ear

Aren Col discovers a gold coin while crossing a stream just east of Penhaligon. Its identical in shape and size to a Halav (a Traladaran copper piece) except the face is that of a dwarf and the reverse is some sort of symbol he's never seen before. Having seen the dwarf currency out of Rockhome he knows the dwarf isnt one of their kings - this one doesnt have a crown. The only writing on it is on the edge and thats definitely dwarf.  Still, its gold, and gold is meant to be spent.

To the party dwarf read the following:

You have been sitting about in the tavern for a while when you notice a scruffy human playing with a gold coin. Even from where you are the shape of it looks like one of those Traladaran copper pieces, except this one has a dwarf on the face and dwarf writing down the side...Bone...Harrow...and then as he flips the coin to examine the opposite side you see something that makes you feel as though your beard were being used to strangle you: The dwarven symbol for chaos...long forbidden by the clerics of Kaygar. No dwarf in his right mind puts the symbol of chaos on a gold coin and yet there it the hands of some idiot human.

If the dwarf PC approaches Aren Col about the coin Aren offers to trade information about it. He says he wont part with the coin (and any offer will most certainly get his attention) but he will trade the location of its discovery for a translation of the writing on the coin, and the meaning of the symbol.
Aren Col (chaotic 3rd level Wizard) will follow the dwarf (and the party) discreetly using his crystal ball. He will then proceed to direct his own party of adventurers to Boneharrow with a plan to kill and rob the pcs, loot the temple and basically get rich over everyone elses dead bodies.

Gathering Information about Boneharrow

If the adventurers choose to make inquiries about Boneharrow Roll 1d20 and add the PC's charisma bonus to determine the amount of information these sources are prepared to part with.

Next time...the journey to Boneharrow.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Optional Rules: Psionics for Rules Cyclopedia D&D

Psionics doesnt exist in the d&d rules cyclopedia. That doesnt mean it cant. Charisma is the core talent for Psionics. Its all ego. That flies in the face of all those psychologically oppressed teens who erupt with face melting Carrie level talent unless we assume charisma is what they have in spades and attacking them psychologically triggered an ego backlash.

Is Arko the Murderhobo a Mind-witch?

So lets say there is a zero percent chance of Psionic talent. It means you not only need to roll 1d100 and score a hundred your murderhobo needs a charisma bonus you can add to that roll. That means your murderhobo needs a charisma minimum of 13+ to qualify for the chance.
So roll 1d100 and add your character's charisma bonus. If you get 101+ your murderhobo has Psionic talent.

Arko is a Mind-witch but what does that mean?

We want our version of Psionics to work different to AD&D on to D&D 5.0. We want it primitive and raw so lets roll up a power on the existing spells list. That spell is it. The sum total of your murderhobo's talent. Rolling up 'magic missile' isnt going to throw your first level game out of whack but rolling up 'wish' will, but lets say rolling up 'wish' is okay. Your first level murderhobo boldly walks into a dragon's lair and wishes Smaug into the sun. If he survives, its a long fly home. Meanwhile Arko the mind-witch is rich. Until everyone else learns of his wealth and come looking. So what we need is the dungeon master to determine the talent. It means that Minotaur could be a Mind-witch with the maze spell or hallucinatory terrain spell depending on how nasty the dungeon master is feeling.

How does Arko the mind-witch develop his talent further?

Lets call it experience based. If you rolled 'wish' then there is nowhere you can go short of being able to use it more often which by tying to Hit Dice means improved but not excessive use. Whereas development allows fine tuning so if you got cure light wounds, it would be useful to develop that talent up a tier to cure serious wounds then again to cure critical wounds. Use vs. Development. You the dungeon master need to determine which talents belong to developable tiers and which are all your murderhobo will ever be. Levitate (level 2) might be evolved into fly (level 3) By burning a hundred thousand experience points.

Use: Hit Dice divided by spell level is times per day or days between re-use.
Development: sacrifice 100,000xp per spell level difference to advance.

It means that Psionic dragon with 20HD might use wish twice a day looting all those other dragon hoards and pissing off dragons everywhere. Meanwhile Arko the 1HD mind-witch can use 'wish' (9th level spell) once every nine days. It means at best Arko will use his 'wish' talent once a day: 9HD being the human hit Dice limit.


Murderhobo Economics: The Hyperinflation Economy

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Fictionary: Building your own Westeros/Middle Earth

Looking to cash in on the whole game of thrones thing? Need to create your own Lord of the Rings film franchise? Lets start with mapping the world. This can be easy and random. The basic world globe can be laid out on twenty triangles. Unless you have an idea as to what the world looks like you can decide what the chances of geology occuring are:

So you roll once for each triangle and build a world map.

Thats big picture. Up next you focus on the local area your work is in. Middle Earth, Westeros are small regions in a large world.

Having come up with an idea of the local setting we have a map with a bunch of places on it. So lets give these places economic value. The reason the political situation exists is because of the haves and have nots.

So roll 1d100 for each geographic region over and over until you get a no Mine result and then move on to the next area. Count multiple results. The number constitutes 0-none, 1-little, 2-some, 3-considerable wealth.

Piecing it together
It all means the mountains of doom and those who dwell there had considerable copper and tin which feed the bronze age. To a lesser degree those in Weselwood also had copper and tin so they also have bronze age potential. This provides for conflict between the mountain folk and the Weselwood folk. The Kron hills are ripe for plunder without bronze.
 The southlanders and the folk of the Greatwood can trade tin and copper to achieve a bronze age, and given southlanders have access to sea salt, a primitive currency to buy tin. So here we have bronze age alliances, and foes. The southlanders, mountain folk, greatwoods and Kron hills have gold and the Weselwood dont so there is wealth disparity across the river po. The Weselwood folk can harvest sea salt so they have a currency.
The Kron hill folk, without even bronze technology will likely be butchered in the middle as greater foes battle over the Kron hills. Peoples of the Kron hills are taken as slaves by the mountain folk and others become refugees. The Kron hills might become borderlands.
 By the iron age we find only the southlanders and the mountain folk have iron and coal. The old treaty between the southlanders and the folk of greatwood is at an end. Thus the rivalry of the bronze age carries into iron age conflict. Weselwood have iron but no coal so they might finally be dominated by the southlanders or mountainfolk.
There isnt any salt deposits or silver so currency is salt from the ocean. This means the southlanders have dominated in trade and the mountain folk raid for salt. There is a long history of raids by mountain folk. Now they dominate in conflicts with iron weapons.
The Iron Age ends with Book One: The Doomed Crown. It is a tale of a massive invasion as Tark the mountain king invades to occupy the Southlands and take it all as his great kingdom. Outflanking the southlanders His war Rafts come down the river Po. Many wealthy southlanders flee south across the Sea in primitive fishing boats with most of their wealth, soldiers and supporters, betraying those who stayed to fight...
As this is a tale told from various character perspectives add a list of character experiences:

Tark: After a battle for his position in which he gains a gold torc crown and declares himself king of the mountain folk. He somehow has a dream through the eyes of his messenger that the southlanders reject his demand to surrender. offended by the refusal of the southlanders to concede to his rule Tark sends half his army through the greatwood. The other he sends down the river Po on War Rafts- himself included. On the way south he sees a witch of the greatwood through the mist on the banks of the river po bow to him. Emboldened by this omen, Tark claims the Southlands.

Haas: A southlander scout discovers a Barrow in the Kron hills while being hunted by mountain folk falling in through a chimney in the rock. He finds a gold torq crown of the ancient Kron people and a great stone ax engraved with the pictures of the Kron. The crown is taken from him and he is enslaved. He is sent to southland with a message from 'king Tark' to demand the southlanders surrender. He initially does not but a witch curses him at the Barrow forcing him to obey Tark who thanks to her magic can now see from Haas's eyes. The southlanders imprison Haas as a madman. He escapes during Tark's attack and flees by boat across the Sea.

Rulk: A mountainfolk warrior who comes into posession of the gold torc crown of the Kron. He fights Tark for control of the mountain folk but is gravely wounded and thrown from the falls where the river Po begins. A witch of the greatwood pulls him from the water alive. She uses him for sex before killing and cooking him.

Mawi: A witch of the greatwood forsees the discovery of the torc crown of the Kron, she pulls 'the lesser evil' from the river po and having used Rulk's broken body for sex, kills and cooks him. Her child will one day challenge Tark. She journies to the Barrow to retrieve the ax and has a run in with Haas. She curses Haas forcing him to deliver Tark's message and she carries off the stone ax. During the invasion mountain folk passing through her area attack her but she curses them. She bows to King Tark as his war raft heads down river.

So there you have the beginnings of a setting and the layout for a story. There is also a set up for the death of Tark by stone ax at the hands of Mawi's son 'Maw' whose rise to manhood will be in Book Two: The Witch's Maw.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Short fiction: Faith


A tale in two parts.


Shiji stumbled drunkenly from his market stall spilling his sampled wares, the smell of cattle strong amongst the fermentations, pointing at the column of light that now fountained skyward from To island, the peasants and merchants around him alerted to the impossible phenomena as the young man, face covered in unshaved stubble and reeking of alcohol and diverse other impolite perfumes, now forcing them to turn from their daily routine of buying and selling and pay close attention to this once in a lifetime moment. Shijo market emptied in pursuit of Shiji, who now walked barefoot in the muddy filth of michi road that divided the island of shima, descending for now through the city of Toshi toward the ever bountiful light with a gathering of followers that grew until they filled michi road to choking, forcing those in their way to retreat into buildings and side alleys or be swept forward down the hill until they reached the fishing boats beached on the grey pebbles.

The waters that separated Shiji from To island needed to be overcome and as he placed his hands against the timber of the nearest vessel ignorant of ownership other hands, understanding his intention to cross the wide water way to that part of Toshi city that occupied To island - port minato - pushed with him and the fleet of fishing boats descended into the water in pursuit of Shiji climbing into the boats as he climbed aboard and taking up an oar meant to close the distance to the call that beckoned him and his hundred followers and hands joined his hands until every oar was manned and Shiji pulled himself forward to a vantage point where he might row with a full view of the column of light. The great bell of shiro castle that had overlooked Toshi city sounded a warning only used to call in the fishing fleet but Shiji, deaf to all but the song of light that illuminated his mind ignored the bell's demands to obey continuing to paddle forward, and while his followers faith withered by a third those who remained continued digging their oars deeper into the rough grey waters emulating his every driving stroke until his desperate progress stalled.

Shiji didnt even acknowledge his fellow companions fears of the retribution of a shared master. Need overcame rational thought and Shiji dove into the water in pursuit of his oar with a driving, unstopable need that he might yet swim to shore. Each kick became the drawing of his breath. Each stroke became the beating of his heart as Shiji struggled to remain above water and his weight pushed the long wooden pole under. Shiji focused on the light that beckoned. The light that filled him. Come. Come. Come. The calling of it was overwhelming. Come.

The wood halted against the great dock of stone and Shiji abandoned his simple vessel, the pain overwhelming as he reached up to the edge of the stone in search of an impossible fingerhold. Come. His view of the light wasnt lost as he clambered along the edge of the wretched, unclimbable wall until his feet, submerged in the grey water, found a foothold. Shiji climbed. Pulling himself up out of the burning cold. Come. The chill bit at him as Shiji again collided with people, drawing their attention to the column of light that peaked skyward over the walls and pushed past those who did not yield to the compelling light that beckoned the rational mind forward. Come.

Shiji pushed past the crowded docks, the stone paving unique in that it was unlike the muddy michi road. Come. Shiji ignored the burning breath that attacked his lungs and climbed the stone stairs that led from the port, up a fissure cut into the hill, to a great coral white tower from which poured a fountain of light. Come. You are so close. Just a little further. Come. Skyward it ascended, the light blinding, burning white. Come. Overwhelming and bright. Come. Shiji pushed through the brush that lay in the shadow of To Tower, pushed aside the dead branches, the scratching briars that dug at his flesh and rags. Pushed aside the green growth. Come. Shiji could see the white coral of the tower, and he pushed once more and was rewarded with physical contact. The message changed as Shiji collapsed in an embrace of To Tower. Faith. Have faith in this moment. The idea was unfamiliar. The word was new to Shiji. Faith. Faith had compelled him forward, driven him to cross the grey waters.

Shiji felt cold. The sensation of pain. Overwhelming and ignored pain. Shiji looked down at the spear-tip, barbed, soaked in a dark, unfamiliar thing. Was that blood? Something pressed against his back and then jerked repeatedly. The sensation ended.

"faith." a shadow stepped into view.

"what did you say?" the voice, unfamiliar with the word.

"have faith in this moment." Shiji looked up at the fountain of light, the pain vanishing, and became one with it. Come.


The smell of sea-salt and fish assailed Shinpo. There are days when I wish I was lord of this island. Shinpo dropped three ceramic coins into the fish-monger's coin box and claimed the large fish taking a moment to look up hill at the castle. If only.

Voices. The crowd of the street pressed down on him, pushing him into the fish.

"Who dares?" the fish stall collapsed under the weight of Shinpo, the fish, and several other individuals caught by the press of the crowd.

"guards! Guards! Send to the castle!" others screamed in pain at being trampled. Shinpo pulled himself across the spilled fish stall.

"what lunacy is this?" Shinpo, covered in mud and the stench of fish struggled to his feet that he might confront the mob but they had continued down Michi road toward the boats on the beach. Shinpo looked at the departing mob and noticed the fountain of light.
What? What is that? The fountain of light rising skyward from To Island spoke to him. I can grant you your wish.

Shinpo hurried down Michi road after the mob, pain burning in his knee. At the boats, the pebbles crunched beneath his feet, and Shinpo joined the mob who seemed focused on the actions of the leader of their band struggling to push a boat into the water.

"all to the boats!" Shinpo seemed surprised that he had even spoken the words. Hands joined the leader of the mob and boats pushed forward into the water. Shinpo climbed into a boat allowing others to take up oars.

"Row!" Shinpo found himself compelling the mob toward To Island. Power. Shinpo looked at the man rowing in a distant boat, head always looking up at the fountain of light. Almost. Not quite yet. Shinpo wiped a sweat from his mouth. How?

The bell of shiro castle sounded a return to port. The bell seemed to have broken the spell on several of the boats and they began to turn back toward Toshi city. No! A number of his own oarsmen put up their oars and Shinpo was filled with anger.

"forward! We must go forward! Row!" an oarsman looked at Shinpo as though he were mad sparking a need in Shinpo to get to To Island. All the more determined to make a discovery that would unleash him from other men, Shinpo held up a coin.

"a coin for each of you. Row!" the oarsman snatched the coin and returning his oar to water was mimicked by the others. Each paid, the boat paddled forward. On another boat, where the oarsmen had come to doubt the leadership compelling the mob forward, the madman who had initiated this blind rush for boats on a beach dove into the water with his oar and made for the docks of Port Minato. Shinpo watched him struggle to keep from drowning.

"forward! We cant stop now." Shinpo compelled his oarsmen forward to the docks. His rival reached the shear wall of stone that was the docks and Shinpo watched as he moved along, clumsily, eyes ever skyward, to a position where he could climb out of the water.

Shinpo clenched his hand into a fist and pounded the timber of the boat in frustration.

"get me to the docks now!" the oarsmen pulled at the water to close that little distance remaining. The boat scraped against stone and the oarsmen struggled to straighten the vessel. Shinpo slipped over the edge of the boat and landed awkwardly on the docks. Struggling to his feet he was overcome with a sensation of loss. His enemy had vanished onto the docks of Port Minato. Where? Shinpo looked up at the fountain of light and smiled. He would be headed for the source - To Tower.

A dolphin spear, brutal and barbed, rested on a rack with a half dozen others. That would be sufficient. Shinpo claimed the spear and forced his way through the crowded dockside pushing gawkers who had only now noticed the fountain of light pointing skyward.

There. Shinpo spotted his quarry climbing stone stairs at the edge of the port. Between two stone columns they led up a ravine to the tower of To. Shinpo climbed up the stairs at a distance where he could watch his rival vanish into the brush. Shinpo picked up the pace, climbing quickly with the barbed spear, and caught sight of the dishevelled man he was hunting. The smell of fish mingled with the smell of fermented substances all too familiar. Was he drunk? The madman before him ignored the clearly visible path that wound around the briars, dead trees, and green brush.

Shinpo closed quickly on his enemy who had pushed through that last wall of easily avoided brush and collapsed at the base of the Coral white tower. Shinpo closed for the kill taking a strong grip on the dolphin spear and drove it through the back of the dishevelled and bloodied madman. Shinpo placed a foot against the spine of his prey but was unable to free the weapon.

"faith." Shinpo hadnt quite heard the word. Had not understood the word and he stepped into view of the dying man at his feet.

"What did you say?" Shinpo looked down at the dead man.

"have faith in this moment." Words. Words that were power.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Spotlight: Art Equals Fun?

I will admit that drawing my own art, as shity as it might be, really gave me something to hold onto beyond the lifetime of filling hard drives and notebooks with text or 'maps'. It has become enjoyable and enriching (psychologically...I dont get paid to draw like better artists). I mean...look at that guy. Granted he was meant to be a drawing of Christopher Lee's Dracula, but he is unique. Now I have a portrait of that random NPC with a worried look on his face. You know he's seen some distressing shit and needs a band of murderhobos to deal with it.

You sit there thinking 'I cant draw...' but you can. Its about owning your work: The crap and the Gold. So go pick up a bunch of pens (yes...I said pens...nice fine point ink ones) and a ream of printer paper and go to town on that thing. Doodles, sketches, scrawls. It doesnt matter. It gets better. I photographed this guy straight off the paper and adjusted the image in photo. Contrast and brightness killed the 'looks like a photo of a drawing' version and made it stand out.

Maybe i'll stat him and put him on a card.

Thanks to monsters and manuals for the adopt a blog title suggestion.

starwars: police brutality

Classic Adventures Reminder: B5 Horror on the Hill

Year of Chaos: Week Four

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Shout Out: Tenkar's Tavern and the Murderhobo

Tenkar's Tavern has created an actual murderhobo character class for labyrinth lord. Its pretty much convertible to rules cyclopedia dungeons and dragons.

Hannibal Lecter: murderhobo (chesapeake ripper can be considered name-level so 10th level+), Int(18), Cha(18), other stats(12-13); languages English(common), French, Italian, Japanese ; skills: disguise (so he doesnt look, smell, or act like a murderhobo), cookery (fine cuisine), knowledge (other murderhobo, famous and infamous), profession (physician/psychologist); weapon mastery: kitchen knives, scalpel (dagger should cover these).
Personality: A cultured and educated conversationalist -likable even after he has convinced you that you are the most murderous murderhobo of all time and you need to get to the source of your emotional problems by Hannibal cooking (for) you.


Sunday, 16 August 2015

Year of Chaos: Week Three

map of the week: Boneharrow

The Siegetemple sits two hundred feet above on a cliff. A stronghold filled with undead and evil clerics. Below it are the Sapworks: a network of chambers and tunnels occupied by humanoids.

Dungeon Mastery: Hacking B2 Keep on the Borderlands

You are probably aware of the adventure module 'B2 Keep on the Borderlands' where you go explore some caves teeming with humanoids, undead, and evil clerics. The overlaying contours were not accurate, and parts of the dungeon would have been above the surface. It even had stairs somehow descending seventy feet upward. So in need of a new dungeon, this is how we get one...

MS Paint and Graph Paper
Microsoft Paint is an easy map design tool to use so take the time to learn how to use it. Simply right-click on your blank graph paper jpeg and open with Ms paint.

The Network Map
This is a basic map of any room with a number and the links between them.

So there are the caves of chaos in their reduced form. We can now move ahead with turning the network maps into any dungeon layout we desire. You get to see 'Boneharrow' in this week's map of the week.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Campaign Setting: Character Races

Physical Height for Non-human Races

Ogre 8' - 8'11"
Elf 4'8" - 5'8"
Goblin 3'6" - 4'6"
Dwarf 3'8" - 4'4"
Gnome 3'6" - 4'
Halfling 2'10" - 3'2"
Pixie 1' - 2'

Descended of the Albho branch of the Dhwergher family tree (the only non-meat eaters because iron is poisonous - or perhaps poisoned by iron because they dont eat meat), there are two distinct pixie clans: The Ma-gur and the Da-ngi. While the Ma-gur have wings you would consider much like a butterfly, the Equatorial  Da-ngi have wings like dragonflies.
The Ma-gur have a very limited diversity in naming conventions as they name male offspring Gul, while Females which always occur as empathicly connected twins are named Aul and Adul after the first twins to occur amongst the Ma-gur. Occasionally the Ma-gur will kill one of the twins at birth to create a new colony queen.
The Da-ngi on the other hand are a more culturally diverse clan. Males may be named: Thap, Khag, Hadr, Gendr, Andr, or Moha. Female names available are: Ndra, Pau, and Amm.
It is however an ill omen amongst all Pixies to name a female child with the mother's name. Da-ngi Paupau was a vile tyrant who sought to unify all Pixies under her rule subjugating the Da-ngi and slaughtering the colony queens of the Ma-gur, forever creating a hatred between the clans.
Naming Conventions of the Pixies: Name + Mother + Ma-gur, Da-ngi + Name + Mother
Examples: Guladul Ma-gur, Da-ngi Gendrpau.

Nomadic foragers, the halflings have always kept away from lands settled by other races as they have by experience encountered hostility when foraging for food claimed by others. They have no clans, rather they are diverse family units named for a vegetable food. R'c, B'n, Pl'm, Wh't, F'g, and P' are common family names. Less common are meat names such as C'rp, H'n, W'rm, or P'x. First names can be any name to which a halfling parent takes a fancy. They will strip out vowels which they are unable to pronounce. Male names might be J'hn, R'tr, P'l, P't, Th'pp (a pixie name). Female names could be Cl'r, K't, S'r, even P'p (an ancient pixie queen).
Naming Conventions of the Halflings: Name + Family
Examples: C'ssndr P'x, J'hn B'n.

Related to Dragons, Gnomes are an enigma. Due to the rather tragic history of gnomes, there is only one Gnome clan: The Wick. Originally allied with the earth element, one clan discovered fire and were outcast fo that betrayal. Unfortunatly some burrowing horror came for the gnomes and only the Wick survived, driving it off with fire. Amongst the gnomes there are family divisions. Common Family prefixes include Bush, Fens, Tar, and War which are added to the -Wick suffix. only males are granted an individual name such as Avi, Obi, or Ull. Females only get the Family and Clan name.
Naming Conventions of the Gnomes: Family + Clan-Male
Examples: Fenswick, Bushwick-Ull.

Descended of the Ku, they originally lived in a fertile river valley between jungle and desert fed by snowy alps. They were ultimately displaced by primitive humans. That isnt something you forgive or forget so when humans began to achieve early civilization the Na-ge (or 'death-earth' clan) skilled in alchemy and assassination sold their services to human civilization corrupting it from within.
Goblins are super-polinators meaning they can mate with other species to produce intelligent offspring - hence barghest (wild dogs + goblin), pooka (wild ponies + Goblin), bugbear (giant cave bears + Goblin), knocker (kobold + Goblin), hobgoblin (hob + Goblin).
Goblins dont grant clan names to their children until they complete a naming quest. Until then they are considered clanless. A name quest will consist of an act of terrorism directed at humans in the form of a location such as a wood (small forest) or a ville (human settlement) and a task such as burn, or chaize.
Once clan status is earned the Goblin recieves a name that combines a caste prefix such as arku (warrior) and the clan suffix (na-ge).
Naming Conventions of the Goblin: Quest Name / Caste Prefix + Clan
Examples: Wood-burn, Arkunage

Descended from the human eating Geant branch of the Dhwergher family tree, ogres are divided into clan groups. Common clan suffix include Sun, Sen, San, and less common Zeng. Common Male Name prefix include Ko, Aa, and Mur. Females are named for their clan suffix only.
Naming Conventions of the Ogre: Name + Clan, Clan
Examples: Aa-sen, Sun.

Descended of the human-eating Dweorg branch of the Dhwergher family tree, there are two Dwarf families - the Mi and Ma. The Mi are forest dwelling black dwarves who work in fire-hardened wood while the Ma mine and work in metals. Name suffix include Urga, Rolo, Ath, and Kebb.
If Dwarves are a clan, the Dwergi (or dire dwarves) are not a member. These man-eaters are more intelligent than the Mi and Ma and work with forbidden technology involving the harnessing of electricity. They dont give out their names.
Naming Conventions of the Dwarves: Family + Name
Examples: Mi-kebb, Ma-ath, Dwergi.

Descended of the human-eating hob branch of the Dhwergher family tree, there are simply things the elves dont discuss with anyone outside family and their Birthsong (which adds a letter every birthday) are amongst them. Where elves deal with outsiders and a name is necessary, it will be short and sweet. Names will have L, V, U, N, or K as a prefix, in, il, it, im, if, is, and ie as a middle, and er, a, or t as a suffix.
Naming Conventions of the Elves: Birthsong, Prefix + mid + suffix
Examples: Selystryanirianniyl, Lina

A diverse people, more so than the non-human races, humans are destined to slay the gods and stand in their stead.
Individual names are anything desirable, family centric, or earned. Common family names are built from prefix such as D, C, A, G, S, K, P, J, V, F, H, L, or T, a twin letter middle of nn, ee, rr, or oo, and a suffix of o, e, n, s, l, m, a, or y.
Naming Conventions of Humans: Name, Family Prefix + mid + suffix
Examples: Redd Anne, Pria Loom.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Optional Rules: Generating Physical Height

Creating Diversity
Human physical height is a lot more diverse than you (or d&d) imagine. Its why we have stories of giants and dwarves. And now you can generate your own...just roll 17d6+5 inches for a range of 1'10" to 8'11". It provides you with options:
  • Doing away with non human races and turning them into isolated human cultures.
  • Running physically diverse humans alongside non human races.
  • Allowing height diversity for human and non human races (you might remember a two foot tall ogre named Toady hanging around duke igthorn).
Its all about diversity in the game.

Extreme Physical Height
While they like to tell us physical height extremes are genetic disorders and diseases it looks to be a family tree extending back thousands of years. This is indicated by a specific phonetic marker showing up in family mames.
  • Gheorghe  Muresan 7'7"
  • Sun MingMing 7'9"
  • Zeng Jin Lian 8'1"
  • Sultan Khosen 8'3"
  • John Aasen 8'9"
The Khoe-San are the bushmen of Namibia. While we might think the diminutive bushmen cannot be related to the family tree of the tallest people in the world we might consider physical height a weapon. Does anyone remember the warrior Conan the Barbarian being bred to the finest (female) stock. Imagine a time when the Khoe-San were very tall. Someone shows up and says lets take the tallest for our army thus depleating the tribe of their tallest (and the genetic pool of the Khoe-San). Those giant warriors are then bred to women in the east to create a warrior caste.

Khoe-San sounds a lot like the word Chosen, so lets assume that this exchange in millitary grade genetics occurs at a time when words are being created for European languages. Now, having seen a documentary some ten years ago in which the Hittite civilization in Turkey is generating proto-european words its not too far fetched to think the Hittites might have picked up some tall warriors from amongst the Khoe-San for their army as well as breeding stock.

The Short End of the Bell Curve
The use of phonetic markers revealed the Khoe-San family tree for great physical height So a similar approach may work in our search for a family tree for the origin of shorter genetics. Two potential candidates come up:
Jason Acuna
Peter Dinklage
The name of particular interest would be na-ge. If you have had the opportunity to read early issues of dragon magazine - in this case the articles on the ninja NPC and weapons of the ninja then nage teppo, a hand grenade or smoke bomb might be familiar. The phonetics, despite this Japanese link are protoindoeuropean in origin. Na-ge is 'death earth' and teppo refers to 'pottery/manufactured'. Potentially a pot of 'death-earth'.
Ninja comes from the protoindoeuropean roots: ni(ng)-atto or 'under orders of the father', the 'father' in this case being not a male parent, but rather a word for one who raises you like a cult leader or adopting parent who has raised young children to be assassins. So how has a Japanese assassin cult come to be west of china? Lets say they begin with a protoindoeuropean or indo-iranian origin before migrating into Japanese culture.

You are probably thinking that Peter Dinklage and Jason Acuna are descended from a five thousand year old proto-japanese family/cult of alchemist-ninja dwarves peddling gun-powder to indo-iranians west of China. Currently Its speculation - But the apple rarely falls far from the tree. So what do we need to point further at a proto-japanese culture of diminutive genetics somewhere west of china?

The Ku Phonetic
In northern european legend gremlins, goblins, kobolds, bugbears, hobgoblins, barghest, and pooka represent a family tree of mischievous or malign creatures that find their origin in gobelin, kobolt, and ultimately Ku - a protoindoeuropean root phonetic.

The Ku as a Tribe
The Ku phonetic appears in several languages in the word Tribe as well as other similarly related words.
Su-ku (indonesian): tribe (people's place)
Su-iso-ku (Japanese): to gather
Zu-iso-ku (Japanese): tribe

Geographical Markers for the Ku
The nature of a phonetic is the people who use that phonetic do so to build more complex words. So when they build their dictionary, they include geographical words that include the use of a phonetic.
Several Japanese geographical words include the Ku Phonetic describing geography that isnt found on the islands of Japan.
They describe a location bounded by Alps, jungle, and desert, with ravines. The jungles in India end at the desert in Afghanistan bounded by the mountainous Alps. Pakistan and the Hindu Kush sit in the middle. A homeland where one tribe became two and were ultimately displaced by other peoples - a people who were not considered humans by those who displaced them and yet they are.
Again it would require genetic analysis of various peoples to track the DNA and define the family tree in which short height in humans occurs.

Monday, 3 August 2015

A Halfling with a Derringer runs toward you...

Welcome to my new blog. Its going to contain some dungeons and dragons stuff.
  • Map of the week for dungeon masters.
  • Poor Wizard's Almanac entries for those folks exploring Mystara.
  • Other random dice rolls
Warning: apparently blogger/blogspot/google uses cookies...FYI.