Monday, November 30, 2009

Introduction to the Known Lands

Knights,Fantasy Adventure

Yes, for a long time, on this blog, I have been writing down my ideas about the Known Lands. The ideas are disapparent, not very organized, and something of a person with a active Right Brain would write down.

The world you are entering is will appear very familiar and strange at the same time. The Known Lands, on an Earth, is a world much like our own. Its sun and solitary moon are much the same, except the moon has a slight blue cast. The stars, however, are different. Different constellations hang in the sky. The flora and fauna are identical to our Earth's, since this Earth is also an index of DNA. The human cultures have analogs to our historical cultures in the Middle Ages. But, this Earth is different.

It is a magical planet. The wilds of this Earth are prowled not only by lions, tigers and bears. The wilds also harbor griffons, dragons, unicorns, and other magic beasts. Evil spirits rise from their tombs to stalk the night. And humans, the most common race, share the planet with elves, orcs, dwarves, goblins, and numerous others. In some areas, its peaceful. In others, its in conflict and turmoil. This Earth's history was home to the Ancients, humans from another Galaxy who settled this galaxy in order to spread human life. The Ancients created the other races -- mostly elves, orcs, and halflings; through genetic manipulation of their own species to populate certain planets. However, two interstellar wars -- one against a race of cephalopodic humanoids, another against the goblins. It is these two wars that brought the Orcs, Elves, Halflings and all the others to this Earth to find solace.

This Earth is a place where our Earthly fantasies are a reality. To one who is jaded and unimpressed with our world, this Earth has wonders and exotic cultures. It's deserts are just a little hotter, its winters are colder, and its forests more expansive. Wizards and warlocks weave arcane magic, and brave warriors battle creatures of legend. On this Earth, you will find adventure, romance, intrigue, and mystery. Those who yearn to perform great deeds may do so -- if they have the courage.

The Caithness Archipelago

The Game is set on the Continent of Hyperia, with the Continents of Shaleesa to the south and Ashera to the East. Hyperia is like Ancient Europe: forested with mountains and few plains. Ashera is a lot like Asia, and Shaleesa is a continent of deserts and jungle, like Africa. The center of the game takes place in the Caithness Isles or Archipelago. This area is a little larger than the British Isles, plus they are peopled with a familiar culture -- English Culture in the 11th and 12th Centuries A.D. but with some changes.

Caithness itself is the nation forged by Christians, Sacred Lighters, and Pagan humans. To the East is Tir'Tangier, twenty miles off the coast to the west is the sacred isle of Anglesey -- which has been conquered by the violent, and determined Massalian Elves. Fifteen nautical miles to the west is the Island of Killyronde, which is the new home of the orcs and several monstrous races. Caithness shares its land with Scotland and Pictland to the North. And on the Eastern island of Angland some ten miles from the South Eastern shore of Caithness is an island of people in a land that is dominated by the dead.

Fifty nautical miles to the east is the cape of Hyperia, where stands other Christian nations and nations of pagans and infidels -- and cultures of wonder and excitement. Of the three human kingdoms of Caithness: Caithness and Scotland are followers of the Sacred Light and Christian, while Pictland is pagan. Killyronde is Shamanistic, Tir'Tangier is pagan, and Angland is Atheistic. Massalia itself is monotheistic infidels. A final island kingdom, that seventeen miles to the northeast of Caithness, is the island of Kuragos, which is divided between dwarves and halflings. The land is pagan with Christian colonies. Finally, there is the isle of Skara Brae to the north, some six nautical miles beyond Pictland and Scotland. The isle is claimed by humans who claim to be Hindu as well as Pagan.


Like GURPS Fantasy or GURPS Banestorm the religions are presented here are real religions. Shamanism is a real spiritual path of Animism, and Christianity, Hinduism, and Pagan religions are real. There is one pagan religion that is not real in the same sense, this religion is the Worship of the Ancients. Also dominating the religious landscape of Caithness is an entirely atheistic religion -- the Path of the Sacred Light. It's home is in Angland, but the Anglish have spread it to Caithness and Scotland.

How Faith Works

Faith works in the Known Lands according to the Law of Cause and Effect, or in modern parlance: the Law of Attraction. But how a person's faith works is basically up to the GM's conscience, whim, or sense of drama. Although I suggest that the GM study the Law of Attraction and do his or her best to run faith according to the knowledge of that Law. The world works because there is but one God -- but many religions. Its up to you ultimately, GM, to run the world and to make faith work in the game according to your conscience.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Elves, Dark

Dark Elven woman by ~Atlantean6 on deviantART

Those who toil.

Description: The dark Elves are descended from the Eladrin of Arborea. They are a conquered people that are the result of Eugenic breeding as a slave race to the Pelagasir, or the High Elves. Forced to wear clothes, the Dark Elves have slowly become a depraved people deprived of their basic freedoms to rule themselves.

Once in the ancient past, the Eladrin were one people. However, during the War of the Ancients a group of Eladrin was forced to flee Aborea their ancient homeland. Cut off from the planet Arborea, the Eladrin lost their magical glow in their eyes, becoming in short; the Elves. The elves split into different tribes: the fair elves of Arcadia, the Pelagasir of the Mountains, and the brown elves of Nuitari. However, Nuitari has faced invasions from the Pelagasir, destroying many cities and taking many of the brown elves of the tropical climes away into captivity.

Hundreds of years of breeding, slavery, rape, and bondage has transformed the brown elves from their African faces and body types into body types that more typify the High Elves. In the age of the nation of Tir'Tangeir, the dark elves, as they have come to be known, live as simple peasants and serfs to their High Elven overlords.

Over the years, the Dark Elves have become quite fed up with their serfdom and they are looking for ways to break their serfdom and to gain freedom. Either to start their own self styled kingdom somewhere or carve their own nation out of the Tir. The High Elves of Tir'Tangier is becoming somewhat tiresome and the old traditions of Dark Elf being serf and peasant upholding the High Elven overlords is becoming frankily . . . a problem. Still, the dark elf fights with resolve and studies arcane magic of their own, creating small libraries in their homes and learning from human wizards from Caithness.

Into this formenting chaos comes two cults: one dedicated to piece, and one dedicated to overthrow. The latter is brought about the self styled prophetesses of the Spider Queen, who whisper promises of dark elven domination over their High Elf masters. They whisper of a nation where they will be the overlords. A nation ruled by dark elves and controlled by Dark Elves created from the bones of Tir'Tangier itself. No one Dark Elf is master over all in this scenario, but all dark elves will be masters. This movement has flocked many to the Queen of Spiders and her prophetesses, but some wise women who remember the old stories, believe that it is Anansi the Spider up to his old tricks again.

Eilistraee by ~Atlantean6 on deviantART
The second movement is that of a moon goddess. The priests of the moon goddess also promises freedom, but the will to uproot and leave their masters for another land where they can be free. The priests and priestesses of the Moon Goddess call themselves the Luminari of the elves, and that the moon goddess carries a sword and is usually nude to represent freedom and fighting for one's freedom. At least to the Dark Elves.

The dark elves harbor little love for other races such as the halflings, and the humans, who are aligned with the High Elves. They have been an enslaved race for so long that they covet freedom and the ability to strike at their hated foes. Some dark elves harbor dreams of conquest and take over of all the Caithness isles. Others harbor dreams of let live and let bygones be bygones and dream of uprooting themsleves and plant themselves on new soil in a fabled lost land across the sea.

Appearance: Dark elves once had African faces, but centuries of interbreeding with High Elves and Eugenic manipulation has caused their faces to gain a Caucasian bone structure. Their skin ranges from gray to dusky brown, and their hair ranges from stark white to platinum, to a deep blue and violet. Males are lightly built, as the race tends to be ectothermic. Females are also lightly built ranging from lithe to slightly voluptuous. Unlike the orcs, which have been bred to be mesothermic, an elf looks like a delicate flower: but this is very wrong to assume. Eye colors include blue, green, golden, neutral, violet, and red.

Technology: As a whole, dark elves enjoy the technology level of the High Elves; which is Tech level 4 in GURPS terms. Dark elves have the wheel, they enjoy roads, they have the astrolabe and other implements of navigation. However, they mostly use Tech Level 3 -- Medicine isn't advanced, and they are forced to toil for the High Elf overlords.

Religion: The dark elves are caught between two extreme religions. One espousing vengeance, pride, war, and violence and the other espousing freedom. There isn't any middle ground except for High Elven religion, but that seems corrupt to the typical dark elf since the High Elf priesthood has beguiled most of the whole race into knowing that being poor is a virtue and that having riches is an evil beyond the pale. As a result, the dark elves resent and hate the rich for their abundance when they have so little as a race. Some dark elves are turning to Christianity to solve their Spiritual problems, entreating the humans for missionaries to teach them the Christian Gospel.

Naming: Dark elves use high elf parlance to name their children, but some who follow the Spider Queen has come up with their own unique names. Others look to their ancient heritage for naming.

Dark Elf Traits:
These traits are in addition to the high elf traits, except where noted.
  • +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma.
  • Darkvision out to 120 feet. This trait replaces the high elf’s low-light vision.
  • +2 racial bonus on Will saves against spells and spell-like abilities.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Elven, Massalian. Additional languages include: Abyssal, Aquan, Draconic, Drow Sign Language, Gnome, Goblin. This trait replaces the high elf’s automatic and bonus languages.
  • Favored Class: Wizard (male) or rogue (female). This trait replaces the high elf’s favored class.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Orcs

Talun-karku and Khepri by ~Atlantean6 on deviantART
To everyone outside of their lands, the orcs are nothing more but rapine savages. They are a barbaric race that barely knows how to eat with a fork or a spoon, much less than a knife. Orcs would sooner rape a human than they would try to marry one of their own kind. The rape is irrespective of gender, which does make them monstrous in human eyes. They are cunning, they are cruel, and nothing has been done to fade the memories of the wars against the orcs of the past. In time, the Makonde tribe of orcs: a loose gathering of tribes really, became the horde and was used for warfare for many days.

That is, until two young orcs changed everything for the Horde. The two young orcs became the leaders of the Makonde, slaying the former Warchiefs and the dark warlocks who guided them. They were brothers, Anghâsh Greywulf and Talûn-karkû. Born of Darûk, known as the rat; the brothers became known in battle. However, they felt that war had consumed the orcs. So, they carefully planned an idea that would preserve their race. And in a major campaign against the humans of Caithness, Anghash and Talûn-karkû made their move. They slew Warchief Shakgriig, known as the the Hammer and killed most of the leaders of the Shadow Council. After that, the orc horde was defeated and the brothers led what few clans would join them into isolation. With Anghâsh Greywulf as the leader, and his brother Talûn-karkû as the Shaman; they reshaped the tribes of the Makonde into clans and led them to the lands of Kallirond across the sea to forge a new nation.

The orcs are brutal in combat to be sure. But they fight with a style, a grace, and a passion that matches the best fencing student. The orcs believe that skill in battle brings them honor and prestige among their peers. This concept of honor was brought into orc culture by Talûn-karkû, who introduced personal honor as a step towards law and order for the orcs. The adoption of honor is much more thorough than many believe. Honor, the orcs believe, is what separates the savage orcs from the civilized orcs.

The Orcs, known as the Makonde horde, is one of the most populous races of the Caithness Isles. They control two fourths of the island of Kallirond, forging a new nation in the process. While the elves of Massalia, Tir'Tangier, and the humans of Caithness and Umber, and the strange people of the island of Saxony regard them as brutish and savage; they have managed to create their own complex society.

Technology: Orc technology is an oddity. In GURPS (General Universal Roleplaying System) terms its tech level 0; they use animal skins, leather, and other primitive devices. They don't have the wheel, and they don't have organized roads or other devices of transportation. However, they are capable of smelting iron and creating steel. As weapon smiths, they are unparralleled, creating more flexible weapon blades. They have the astrolabe, an aid in Navigation, and they also have managed to create a government under one person. They do not, however, have walled fortresses. Their main building materials are wood, stone, horn, and leather. The boats they use are still paddle boats, but they are quickly developing sails. They managed to domesticate cotton and grains. So they are Neolithic (tech level zero) but very advanced in navigation, metalworking, and government.

Appearance: Orc males are massive and brutish looking creatures. Weighing in at 250 to 300 pounds and standing from 6 to 7 feet in height, they are not a small race. Even orc women tend to be only a half-foot or so shorter than most males (and some of them are equal in stature to their male counterparts), having broad shoulders and muscular, powerful bodies. Males range from muscular to husky, and females range from cut to voluptuous to husky.

Orcs tend to have bristly hair and beards, often black or brown in color. Their skin ranges from a light green to a dark drab olive. Eyes range in color from a fierce red to a pale blue. Orcs have broad, flat noses. Males have tusk-like teeth jutting from their lower and sometimes upper
jaws. Females have fangs. Both sexes have large, pointed ears. They favor clothes of hide, and armor and arm themselves with a variety of gear.

Names: Male names stem from the Black Speech, while female names are Ancient Egyptian and Indian. Male names: Aklash, Anghâsh, Bagronk, Búbhoshum, Burzum, Dugbúrz, Ghâshbúrz, Glob, Globuk, Globum, Gûlbúbhosh, Gûlburzum, Gûlghâsh, Ologbúrz, Pushdug, Sharkû, Snagabúrz, Snagaburzum, Snagaghâsh, Snagagûl, Snagasharkû, Talûn-karkû, Urukbúrz

Female names: Afrikaisi, Akana, Bahiti, Banafrit, Dendera, DJABENUSIRI, EBIO, EMUISHÉRÉ, Femi, Halima, Haqikah, Hasina, Hathor, HETSHEPSIT, Iboni, Irisi, Jendayi, Khait, Khepri, Monifa, NAFRETIRI, Nofritari, Theoris, Zahra

Orc Racial Traits
• +2 Stamina, –2 Intellect. Orcs are incredibly tough,
but they are more likely to follow their passions instead
of reason.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, orcs have no special
bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Orc base land speed is 30 feet.
• Low-Light Vision: Orcs can normally see two times
farther than a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight
and similar conditions of poor illumination. Orcs retain
the ability to distinguish color under these conditions.
• Battle Rage: Orcs long ago learned how to harness
the ferocity that dwells within their fi erce hearts. This
ability functions exactly as a barbarian’s rage, except for
the differences noted below.
The orc may rage only once per day.
If the orc belongs to a class that already
allows access to a rage-like ability (such as
the barbarian class), the orc’s racial battle rage
ability allows him to rage one additional time per day.
Regardless, an orc may rage only once per encounter.
• +2 racial bonus on Handle Animal (wolf) and
Intimidate checks. Intimidate is a class skill for all orcs.
• +1 racial bonus on attacks against humans. Orcs
have a longstanding enmity with humans.
• Weapon Familiarity: Orcs may treat orc claws of
attack as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Orcish.
• Bonus Languages: Goblin, Low Common, Massalian, Taur-ahe.
Orcs tend only to learn the languages of their allies.
• Favored Class by clan: Silverwolves: Shaman; Desert Vipers: Rogue; Black Talons: Hunter; Elks: hunter; Battered Axe: Barbarian; Shining Sword: Fighter; Flaming Sword: Warlock. A multiclass orc’s favored class does not count when determining whether he suffers an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Orcs and Klingons

Today, in modern fantasy, the Orc is the fantasy version of the Klingon. Klingons, with their value on Honor and Society, have influenced how orcs are treated today in Fantasy gaming such as World of Warcraft. Today, there is little difference between an Orc and a Klingon except when you remove the bone ridges, add tusks, a little nose, and a wide jaw; then you color the skin green.

Orc Shaman by da-answer by ~warcraft on deviantART

Orcs in World of Warcraft and also in D&D are visibly influenced by the Klingon race. To a klingon, his honor is his life. To a Warcraft orc, honor is also his life. Klingons find glory in battle. In Warcraft, Orcs find glory in being Victorious in battle as well. Klingon society was pretty much one dimensional during the ToS series. Tolkien introduced his orcs as being basically one dimensional as well.

By Star Trek: the Next Generation; more of Klingon society was revealed. Kahless the Unforgettable was expanded upon, so was Klingon religion. They were shown to have a deeper understanding of Honor. And everything from martial arts, to becoming of age, death, marriage, to cuisine had been touched upon.

Inevitably, all of this revelation of klingons served to change the Orcs forever. In World of Warcraft, the orcs have their Khaless -- Warchief Thrall holds the position of Khaless. In World of Warcraft, Orcs relish victory and honor, another Klingon parallel. The major changes were how the Horde operated.

Orcs in Warcraft are shamanistic. They worship the Spirits of Nature and seek peace and communion with nature. Klingon religion is much more deist, even though the Gods were killed by the first Klingon couple (alluding to the warlike nature of the Klingon, or perhaps an approach to authority). Orcs in Warcraft have some things in common with civilization -- they have an intelligence agency (the Shattered Hand) and an element of demonic influence (the Shadow Council). However, I believe a lot more can be explained. You've already seen tidbits of what can be explained within Orc Culture of the Known Lands. As civilization grows within the Orc communities of the Known Lands, so does culture and so does Art.

But as you can see, the Klingons influenced Tolkien's race of miscreants. Thank god that Tolkien's Orcs, the name and the idea -- are public domain. Although different from the Orcs of Lord of the Rings, the ugly big green men are evolving and will continue to evolve. Perhaps, maybe, orc culture will come to be influenced by other fictional sources other than the Klingons. Maybe, if Babylon 5 is continued to be viewed, creators of tomorrow will see the Narns as a resource of inspiration for orc societies of later works.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

4th Edition: A boat dead in the water?

What is it about D&D and WotC's dropping of the Open Game License? Well, Greywulf looked at it pretty hard as to why it was dropped. But there are a few disenting opinions. My answer is that the reason why 4th Edition sales have dropped off is that:

I. WotC treats its customer base like children (or is that Hasbro?). It must be one of the two.
A. Changing the STL back when the Book of Erotic Fantasy was announced.
B. WotC not sharing all their toys after an appropriate time has passed.
C. Dropping the OGL and using the GSL. Only to make the GSL so restrictive that its legal language scares away people who could be providing good 3rd party support.
D. The revoking of all their PDFs, leaving the only way you can get a Wizards' PDF is through filesharing.

Really, most of WotC's customers now are my age. Some of us smoke, some of us drink, some of us have kids of our own who we are sharing the hobby with, and some of us still think of ways to change the World like the Hippy and Flower Child generations before us. We are adults now, and we are still treated like children. By companies run by people our age who grew up with us and the times we've experienced.

Another reason why WotC's 4th edition is dropping off in sales is that some people who played 4th Edition have decided that the edition doesn't work for them. Case in point, my cousin Eric and his group all made the decision that 4th Edition does not work for them and so they stopped playing it and took up Pathfinder instead. So, why is that WotC's 4th Edition of D&D doesn't work for a lot of people who played D&D for years?

I can't personally answer that question. All I can say is that Hasbro/WotC has not treated me or my peers as adults. But we are in our thirties now, we are an age group that can really affect change. We are an age group bringing up our own children, and we are an age group that has come into our own. Some of us are representatives in Congress. Some of us are Senators, and some of us could be Governors of our states in the not to distant future. So, why the missed love? Why the missed appreciation? Why doesn't Hasbro/WotC just treat us like adults and have the good faith to produce 3rd party support for 4th Edition or to buy PDFs?

Well, besides we Libertarians and our case against Copyright, there is a Pirate Party that has been organized. Apparently, the Copyright Laws give private companies to police their IP, and they don't really care whether IP is a myth or not. This includes WotC.

I really think people in the World are getting fed up with Copyright. The U.S. Pirate Party, the Swedish Pirate Party, and other Pirate Parties all have platforms that fight abuse of copyright and to reform copyright to make it more liberal and just for all, and not only gives a few the power. I support my fellow Americans in the reformation of the Copyright Acts, and the revocation of the DMCA. While I can't answer any personal feelings about 4th Edition, I do have personal feelings about Copyright abuse.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Love and Sex in the Known Lands

Okay, so I need to talk about Love and Sex. Eventually, someone will play erotic campaigns in the Known Lands, with all the fun and consequences that can result. So, lets take a look at how Love and Sex works in the Known Lands.


Humans, with their own creation myths, sex is often reinforced as a sin (in the case of both the Religion of the Divine Light and Christianity), something to pursue for pleasure (Worship of the Ancients), or something good and used to seek enlightenment and creativity (in the case of Tantric cults and philosophies). On the whole, while humans run the gamut of sexual pursuits: heterosexuality, homosexuality, masturbation, monogamy, single-partner, casual, recreational, and more . . . the people of Caithness is a closed, restrictive society when it comes to sex. Nudity is not something to be seen, although there are no laws against public nudity. Taboos are believed according to each religion: Generally the populace of Caithness looks down on all the cultural taboos except perhaps Masturbation. Incest with extended family is an exception: in a Medieval World, 1st and 2nd cousins may find each other attractive and may even marry.

Marriage in Caithness is "Till DEATH DO YOU PART!" or "For time and all eternity." Marriage is mostly monogamous, although its a shame as to look at the statistics there are often two women for every man. Polygamous weddings and group weddings are frowned up on by the Government. In some cities its down right unlawful to take more than one wife at a time. Other communities, especially places isolated from others, polygamous and group marriages may be performed. In very few human communities, the Pagan element may do away with marriage altogether.

However, in the great cities of Caithness, Prostitution -- or the more colloquial term "pillowing" carries on like no one cares. The Crown frowns on prostitution, but it's nigh unenforceable. Every once in a while, the Crown rounds up prostitutes who are not apart of the Courtesan's Guild or the Prostitution Guilds and makes examples of them. Courtesans are protected by the Law, and Prostitution Guilds depend on bribing the local shire reeve to continue operating without molestation.


Dark Elves
The Dark Elves, or the peasantry of the High Elves, have been under control of the High Elves that they are repressed sexually. Dark Elves (characterized by darkened skin), are clothies -- worse than humans. Nudity in public to the Dark Elf is a grave sin. A dark elf would report to a High Elf on her own kin if she is naked in public. This repression by High Elves have created extremes.

Dark Elves are big on Sadomaschochism, Bondage, and Master/slave scenarios. Homosexuality is rife in dark elf society, a dark elf homosexual is more overtly homosexual than a human would be. Put a dark elf homosexual in a sea of men, and the dark elf would be propositioning everyone to satisfy his lust and desire not only to see male genitalia but to play with them as well.

Dark elves commonly perform sex clothed, getting a dark elf naked is really hard to do, as some dark elves have been known to go catatonic unless in front of her husband or his wife. Dark Elves believe that nudity is strictly between man and wife. Clothes are worn to the extreme, and they are really publically repressed. However, when a dark elf maid is often seen on the slave auction block, such exotic beauty is often bid upon by anyone. As a slave, a dark elf maid can release her inhibitions and become the mythical highly desirable sex slave to her Master; who ever that may be: human, elf, orc, or otherwise. However, some cool heads prevail and some dark elves do fall in love.

But due to dark elf religion, which itself is extreme, being affected and influenced by the High Elves as well as depraved dark elves seeking sexual release in the worship of he Spider Queen; the indoctrination exists. The dark elves, sexually repressed, see little hope except in the Tantric religions of the humans. A few dark elves studied these religions, lived them, and experienced visions of a goddess of the moon which teaches freedom of expression. Dark elves who participate in this religion participate in a mystery cult of tantric sex, passion, and freedom.

The High Elves
The Descendants of Pelagasir, the High Elves, control most other Elven societies in Tir'Tangier -- including the grey elves (which were the Fair Elves the Pelagasiri conquered), and the dark elves (which they conquered as well). The High Elves and their polytheism conquered most of the fair elven territories and used repressive sex doctrines and religion to cow the other elves. However, the High Elves themselves are very open about sex in their society. Tir'Tangier is the only nation in the Caithness Isles where sex is practiced openly by the aristocracy.

Nudity or near nudity is common among High Elves, after all it is their right to be nude. It's a High Elf's privilege to be naked in nature. It's the high elf's right to mate with whom they please, after all they are the Elven Aristocracy. Marriage among High Elves happen to be open, casual relationships. This often means that marriage is a casual affair where the couple often live together. Sex is casual among the high elves as love is non-existent.

Every once in a while, the high elves participate in drunken debauched orgies or celebrations of fertility in order to give every elf a chance to mate and feel close to someone. These are often held in isolation away from the eyes of their peers. Fertility nights are the rites of spring where the elven goddess of Love is celebrated and sex is joyful. The ugly and the unfortunate in love are always invited and are given a chance to have sex and to feel loved intimately. The debauchery orgy takes place around harvest time where sex can be explored in the areas of the taboo. Yes, the High Elves, its seems don't have a care in the world. But everything changed when the Massalians took over the sacred isle of Anglesey.

Massalian Elves
When the Massalian Elves conquered the sacred isle of Anglesey, the island sacred to druids of all races and under jurisdiction of the High Elves of Tir'Tangier, it brought a wake up call as the sacred land was violated.

The Massalian Elves are a driven people, they have lost their brothers, their ancestors in the Pelagasiri elven invasions of their ancient homeland. They lost Massalia to an invasion of trolls and ogres when they were driven out of Occitannia. They lost their capital, the ancient City of the Sun; to the ravages of ogres, trolls, and hobgoblins. Driven from their home, they conquered Anglesey with perfection.

The Massalians, as they are much more warlike, surprisingly treat sex as a natural affair. The Massalian culture is patriarchal and dominated by the rougher sex. When they founded Caer Massalia they did something that they vowed that they never do. They enslaved the High Elves. The Massalians Elves are slowly creating a new race of elves from their slaves, recreating the mythical fair elves.

The High Elves of New Massalia (Anglesey) are never allowed to wear clothes. They are nude all the time. The humans of New Massalia are also never allowed to wear clothes, since they are also a conquered people. Only the massalian elves are allowed to wear clothes as they were the conquerors.

Massalian Elves are mostly heterosexual, and take mates for life. Sex for them is a way to experience the higher joy of life, and many use human tantric techniques in their lovemaking. Many are faithful to their wives, since they must preserve the species. Although there are some Massalian elves that take slaves for "the pleasure of themselves and the health of their bodies."

Male slaves are often used for manual labor: stonecutting, quarrying, and heavy construction work. But the rare beautiful male slave may be taken as a pleasure slave by either Massalian elven women or men. Female slaves have it easier. They are reserved for menial work, or pleasure. Sometimes, however, love may spark between an elven man and his elven or human slave, and love slavery is often the result.

Often, offspring may issue forth from a slave. This offspring is usually considered legitimate or apart of the family as a Massalian. Whether they are half-man or full elf. Some are also regarded as bastards to be enslaved by the more evil Massalian elves. The most depraved use their slave-offspring in heinous rituals. Such people, when discovered, are put to death to remove the evil from Massalia.

Homosexuality is accepted as long as it is behind closed doors and, and the homosexual Massalian elf does his duty to sire offspring. Also Homosexual elves are expected to form long lasting relationships with their wives and their lovers, as long as they don't make their homosexuality a political means to an end. Annoyingly promiscuous homosexual Massalian elves may face execution by stoning, as open promiscuity is considered a capital sin. Homosexual Massalian elves who make their sexuality or marriage with their partner a political means to an end are often banished from New Massalia to live among the High Elves of Tir'Tangier. This also means prostitution is also a capital sin to the Massalians.

Bestiality and zoophilia is considered to be a grave sin, and often the bestial Massalian elf may see his beloved animal summarily executed in front of his eyes. Then the offender may be drawn and quartered in order to remove the evil from Massalia. Masturbation is frowned on, but seen as a necessary substitute. Necrophiliacs are given a chance to change their ways, if not they are banished from elven society. Sex with people outside Massalian culture is definitely frowned upon, and children produced from intercultural relationships can cause trouble. And Rape is potentially harmful. The offender may be forced to marry the person they raped if she were a virgin, if not then he is killed as rape of a married person is a capital offense.

Despite this: Massalian Culture accepts multiple partners, polygamy, and polyandry. Group marriage is also accepted as long as the love between all partners is proven true. Although Massalian religion is male dominated, sex is seen as a way to reinforce and strengthen relationships among those loved. Lovers are encouraged to have sex, since strengthened intimate relationships lead to a healthier society. Even sex is allowed among close relations, as long as children aren't produced.

Love is a very important emotion to Massalian elven culture. Still, couples where the love is unrequited on one side can happen. It's tolerated, after all you can't force anyone to love, no matter how terrible the case is. However, divorce is always a possibility. Massalians allow divorce if Adultery is the result of one or the other partner, but in that case the court often sides with the Man.

A Massalian elven woman may only sue for Divorce if she can prove that her husband is neglecting his duties to his children and his own wife. If it can be proved, then the writ of divorcement is granted. A man may sue for divorce from his wife often on the first case of discovered adultery, since the woman has proven not to love him. Predatory adulterers, who prey on weak family bonds face banishment or if their adulterous affair destroys a family, may face death if they proved that they wrecked the life of an entire family.

There are no alimony payments made by an adulterer, but he or she may find themselves excommunicated. Also, adulterers are treated worse than thieves, and an adulterous noble may be stripped of his title, his lands, his arms, and his family name.

Unlike the high elves, the Massalian elves do not see love as a game, or a casual pastime. Love is the lifeblood that pumps through Massalian culture, making it alive and giving the people it's driving force. Love is the most important part of Massalian culture -- even though the Massalian elves are quick to make war and circumcise their males at twelve years of age.


Among all the races, the orcs strive to build civilization from a disjuncted, and non-unified tribal system. One of the revolutions made by the War Chief Anghâsh Greywulf is the reformation of the orc tribes into clans. Every clan has a say in the councils of the new Orcish nation.

The orcs, with their strong myths of their gods being birthed from the cosmic egg, marrying, and then making love to produce their race shows how they accept sex. Orcish sexuality isn't the barbarous, bestial thing that the Clan of the Battered Axe often display. It can be rough, or it can be gentle. It can be sublime, or it can be casual. Sex is an accepted part of orc life and culture.

Since civilizing and rediscovering their Shamanistic roots, the totem spirits of each clan have returned to the orcs to guide them in their Shamanistic ways. The orcs have mostly put away their bestial "slam, bam thank you ma'am!" way of sex. The liberation of women by the War Chief Anghâsh Greywulf also changed their culture in ways that surprise the most jaded human. In an effort to civilize his people, Anghâsh Greywulf removed the chattel slavery state of orc women and reinstituted marriage among all the clans.

Women now demand the right to be pleased by their men, and the right to orgasm; which has been denied them for so long during the time the tribes worshiped demons and demon gods. Reconnected with nature, the orcs have reconnected with love and sex.

Love has long been a foreign emotion. During the dark time, an orc who felt love for another was seen as weak and brutally sexing with your chosen mate was seen as a strength and the measure of a warrior. Overpowering a woman, orc or otherwise, was seen as a rite of passage for the young orc during the dark times. Especially if the union resulted in a child (which usually happened among humans; which made them a favorable race to raid and rape). Talûn-karkû, who's name is ironically the orc name for semen, is the present War Chief. He instituted the value of Honor among the orcs and named his clan -- the Silverfangs, to be the paragons of Honor.

From now on, Honor is what guides the young orc's life. Honor in Battle, Honor in Life, and Honor in Love and Sex. Honor is Integrity to the young orc. Among the orcs, Chastity before marriage is considered part of integrity and Honor. Mating before one can lawfully take a mate is considered to be a grave dishonor since it makes the old guard remember the days when brutality and rape was acceptable and even encouraged.

An orc who has been dishonored in this way is shunned by his clan and can only redeem himself by proving his honor by marrying the girl he dishonored. Then he and his mate are expected to stay together to maintain the honor of himself and the girl.

Adultery is considered a dishonor. The cuckolded husband has a right to call a trial by Council, while the accused may feel that his Honor is slighted and has a right to call a Trial by Combat. If a trial of Council is called, the dishonored orc has to pay in recompense in kind. Although, if a Trial by Combat is demanded by the accused, he must redeem himself to First Blood. If the accuser draws first blood, then the accused is guilty. If the accused draws first blood, then he is considered innocent. Aside from that . . .

The Orc Nation is still new, and is still trying to find its true morals and refine its culture. As the clans continue to exist as united, a unified set of values towards sex may come to life. However, each Clan has its own way of viewing sexuality and has its own taboos.

The Silverfangs

The Silverfangs view adultery, homosexuality, sodomy, multiple partners, sex toys, prostitution, transvestitism, bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, rape, and unmarried sex to be taboos against personal, family, and Clan honor. Marriage, chastity, and fidelity are considered to be honorable since the Wolf share these traits.

The Desert Vipers
The Desert Vipers, since they have their roots deep in the desert, are strongly patriarchal. A woman desert viper have a lot to prove to her peers that she is actually considered equal. Despite this, male homosexuality is not considered to be honorable, but is considered to be acceptable among the desert vipers. In fact, initiation rites are often had among young male vipers which they are "tutored" by older male vipers in the fraternity. Back when the clan was a desert raiding tribe, this served to build comraderie among the troops. Among female desert vipers, lesbianism is considered an aberration. However, young female desert viper orcs, in order to show that they are the equals of men; have their own "tutoring" rites among the sorority.

Other than that, Marriage is considered to be honorable within the clan, as along as the homosexual relationship stopped altogether.

The Clan of the Battered Axe

The Clan of the Battered Axe is the only orc clan where homosexuality is openly encouraged. Homosexuality is considered honorable among the males of the Clan of the Battered Axe. This is meant to create comraderie among the troops as the Clan of the Battered Axe is the only clan that raids. There is even a special unit of Battered Axe warriors and barbarians called the Brothers of the Bear where everyone in the unit is openly homosexual. Although the bear isn't homosexual in and of itself, the lifestyle somehow encourages ferocity.

Bestiality is considered to be a dishonor in the Clan of the Battered Axe, and so is polygamy. Marriage is seen as a way to continue the race or the clan, and is often regarded as a simple civil contract rather than something spiritually binding.

The Clan of the Black Talons

The Clan of the Black Talons regard adultery, male homosexuality, sodomy, incest, birth control, promiscuity, and sadomasochism to be dishonorable. Lesbianism is accepted, since the Clan of the Black Talons are strangely matriarchal. Bestiality is frowned upon, and open bestiality is regarded as dishonorable; however hunters among the Black Talons have been known to practice it.

The Brown Elk Clan

The combination of two tribes: the Elk and the Impala, the Brown Elk clan regard marriage as honorable, but attach a dishonorable taboo to almost everything except Masturbation, sexual positions, and bestiality. But only in a special way. Every spring, the Brown Elk clan would practice a fertility festival where a virgin must mate with one of the livestock in order to represent the Clan's binding and relationship with the land. The practice was had among the Impala tribe in the ancient days to show the tribe's connection to their totem. In this case, an impala was mated with the Shaman in order to ensure that the link between tribe and totem wasn't broken.

The Clan of the Flaming Sword

The clan of warlocks, and their Shadowy Ways, keep their attitudes of sex: what ever they are, secret. Everything about sex is secret to the Clan. Some whisper of sex with demons, others whisper of sadomasochism, homosexuality, and strange tastes within the clan. But among the Clan of the Flaming Sword, a clansman and clanswoman is expected to keep their sexual attitudes and relations behind closed doors.

Warlock Spell List by DC

I've completed the Warlock spell list for the Known Lands. A warlock deals in black magic, and some of these spells are terrible and awful. Perfect for a being who traffics with demons, and casts magic powered by devilish energy. Some spells are from Relics and Rituals, and others are from the World of Warcraft Roleplaying Game.


Acid Splash: 28
Arcane Mark: 15
Detect Poison: 15
Detect Magic: 15
Mage Hand: 15
Read Magic: 17
Resistance: 16

Alarm: 22
Burning Hands: 20
Cause Fear: 20
Confusion, Lesser: 21
Grease: 22
Fiendish Skin, Lesser: 16
Magic Weapon: 22
Shocking Grasp: 20
Summon Monster: I: 23
True Strike: 22
Unseen Servant: 21

Ethereal Bolt: 28
Flame/Frost Weapon: 26
Fog Cloud: 25
Curse of the Sphinx (touch of idiocy): 25
Mellisande's Acid Arrow: 28
Orb of Annihilation: 25
Scare: 26
Summon Monster II: 28
Summon Swarm: 27

Animate Shadow: 30
Bestow Curse: 30
Chain of Tethering: 32
Dar'Tan's Shadow Bolt: 31
Explosive Runes: 30
Fiendish Skin: 31
Gaseous Form: 31
Purifying Flames: 36
Summon Monster III: 33
Wall of Fire: 35
Water Breathing: 31

Confusion: 35
Dimension Door: 34
Dimensional Anchor: 34
Eye of Gorûrz: 45
Fear: 35
Ganest's Farstrike: 32
Curse of the Glutton: 35
Dalug-hai's Black Tentacles: 35
Meldawen's Mnemonic Enhancer: 38
Minor Creation: 35
Phantasmal Killer: 34
Rain of Fire: 35
Shadowform of Lyrand: 36
Shadow Shield: 35
Summon Monster IV: 37
Water's Embrace: 37

Belsameth's Strife: 38
Bleed Lifeblood: 40
Bleed Energy: 45
Chain of Tethering, Greater: 40
Contact other Plane: 48
Dagronk's Faithful Hound: 43
Dagronk's Secret Chest: 50
Dismissal: 36
Meldawen's Telepathic Bond: 39
Mind Fog: 38
Planar Binding, Lesser: 48
Shadow Evocation: 38
Shadow Weapon: 39
Summon Monster V: 41
Verminplague: 38

Acid Fog: 45
Declaration of Death: 46
Death Blade: 45
Disintegrate: 43
Ray's Forceful Hand: 44
Fiendish Skin, Greater: 44
Geas/Quest: 52
Greater Shadow Evocation: 48
Guards and Wards: 55
Mislead: 42
Planar Binding: 52
Power Word, Thunder: 50
Repulsion: 44
Soulgem: 59
Summon Monster VI: 45
True Seeing: 43

Banishment: 44
Daggers of Vaul: 47
Aryavalië's Instant Summons: 47
Ilajam Fire: 45
Phase Door: 45
Prismatic Spray: 45
Power Word, Stun: 48
Shade Evocation: 48
Shadow Walk: 42
Summon Monster VII: 48
Twilight Transformation: 48
Limited Wish: 48

Antipathy: 64
Clone 62
Discern Location: 60
Greater Circle of Seeing: 57
Horrid Wilting 49
Incendiary Cloud: 48
Mind Blank: 48
Planar Binding, Greater: 58
Power Word, Blind: 45
Screen: 58
Summon Monster VIII: 51

Gate: 61
Imprisonment: 51
Dalug-hai's Disjunction: 51
Dominate Monster: 51
Meteor Swarm: 51
Soul Bind: 53
Prismatic Sphere: 51
Summon Monster IX: 54
Wish: 101

Feel free to suggest new spells to be added to the list. The spells have to have a theme: curses, demonic, and destructive spells should be the theme of the warlock list.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Known Lands have Class

The Known Lands is a d20 system compliant product taking advantage of some of the innovations by independent companies that has happened over the years. The biggest one happened to be Advanced d20 Magic. It is also OGL compliant and is planned to be released under a Community Commons Commercial Share-and-Share-Alike license (version 3.0).

So, why the title of this Blog Post?

So you know what kind of classes will be included in the campaign setting. Here's the list:

* Barbarian -- Quite the staple, isn't he? A barbarian is truly a lifestyle; a foreigner that is strange to civilization. Conan the Barbarian is the most famous of this stereotype. His stories are basically how a barbarian from Cimmeria interacted with the civilized world outside of his homeland. Orcs typically fit the Barbarous lifestyle, but there are humans that do too.

* Bard --- Not included. The Bard's abilities are taken over by the commoner and aristocrat. Such professions as Jester, Cook, Painter, Dancer, Acrobat, and so forth are all handled by the commoner and aristocrat.

* Courtier -- the courts of the Known Lands can be interesting places for storytelling. Courtiers are specialists in the so called Great Game, where people play politics and intrigue. Often the fate of commoners and nations are decided in the Throne Room, where courtiers try to bend the ear of leaders. Orcs, Elves, and humans have courtiers.

* Cleric -- The cleric stands, representing the religious and spiritual world of the Gods or Organized religion. Such as the Ancients or Christianity, Tantra, or the Sacred Light.

* Druid -- The druid seeks spirituality from pastoral forests and nature. Druids represent the ancient, pagan religions of Western Europe or the Celtic Culture of Western Europe. Their culture extended from the Danube and deep into Spain and up into the British Isles. There was also a small island of Celts in Asia Minor called Galatia. The Picts are possibly an exception -- which is true since everyone knew they existed but no one really can tell who they are. In the Known Lands, druidism is practiced by High elves and humans.

* Fighter (called Warrior or Soldier in other sources) -- Fighters study fighting and warcraft in the Known Lands. They study primarily armed combat learning the ways of Mars.

* Hunter -- the Hunter is imported from the World of Warcraft RPG and reduces the amount of magic in the Known Lands considerably by replacing the ranger. This also helps keep spells within a manageable amount of classes (with priests, druids, shamans, paladins, wizards, necromancers, and warlocks running around -- who needs a ranger?).

* Monks -- are not included in the initial campaign setting. The reason is simple, the Monk class is much, much too oriental in taste. While monks exist, monks usually follow a circular pattern of thought rather than a linear pattern of thought. The difference can be illustrated in this article . Unarmed Martial Artists have to come from a different class.

* Paladins -- The Champion of the Sacred Light or a Christian Knight in Caithness, a Blood Knight in Massalia, and the Chosen of the Orcs -- the Paladin is susposed to be a fighter that follows a bizarre path of fighting and piety. Many paladins are the paragons of their culture -- they are what defines a follower of the sacred light, a Champion of righteousness and virtue. Paladins protect their people from the undead and demons. Paladins are members of the organized Knights of the Platinum Dragon, the unorganized Christian knights, the organized Blood Knights of Massalia, and the unorganized Chosen of the Cross among the Orcs.

* Rogue -- There is always a need for rogues, whether lawful as part of an intelligence agency, or unlawful part of the crime scene. Rogues make up the seedy part of the underworld (some fighters do too, but rogues do it best). The class "rogue" covers everything from Intelligence gathering, to espionage, to assassination, to pickpocketing, to burglarizing, to petty theft. Practically all races available for play has the rogue -- the Humans have the Impossible Mission Force or the "Department" ("As always, the Department will disavow of your actions should you be captured or die."), the High Elves the Lia-Kavir, the Massalian Elves have the Prince's Hands, and the Orcs have the Shadowed Hand. Rogues can also play a part in court intrigue, so the rogue class can also include such characters as Silverblade in the "Lady and the Highwayman."

* Shaman -- Available almost exclusively among barbarian tribes and the orcs, the Shaman class comes from the World of Warcraft RPG (there is a version produced by Wizards of the Coast, but it's not shared -- which is a good thing since the WoW shaman is a LOT better). The shaman follows a different path of nature than the druid. While the Druid's path of spirituality is much more visceral reverence of nature, shamans seek communion with the spirits or the four elements (Earth, Fire, Air, and Water). A WoW Shaman have a lot in common with Rokugan's Shugenja than they do with Druids or Clerics.

* Warlocks -- Also taken from WoW, Warlocks are Wizards who the premier Conjuration specialists. Warlocks give up knowledge from the schools of Divination, Transmutation, and Necromancy in order to focus on magic that allows them to Traffic with demons and use demonic magic (Afflictive, Demonologic, and Destructive magic primarily). Warlocks are universally feared or shunned. But practice of the dark magic began in the Known Lands with the arrival of the Orcs from Outland. Warlocks cast curses, use magic that summon and control demons, and can cause destruction.

* Wizards -- Wizards represent the other side of Arcane Magic. Wizards may specialize in any school -- giving up two schools in the process. Typically, though, wizards who specialize in Conjuration are better off taking the Warlock class.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Magic Spell lists of the Known Lands

By going with Advanced d20 Magic, you have to pretty much divide your magic spells. All of them can be potentially used by every spellcaster, bringing confusion to your players.

So, lets take a look at the magic casting classes in the Known Lands:

Cleric Type -
* Priest: Civilized leader of a church or temple. (Standard Cleric)
* Druid: Caster that reveres nature. (Standard Druid).
* Shaman: Priestly caster who concentrate on spells dealing with animal spirits and elements. (Shaman from WoW)
* Paladin: A paragon of virtue that fights for Justice and battles demons and undead. (Standard Paladin)

Wizard Type -
* Mage - Your usual cast spells to blast people with. (Standard Generalist)
* Necromancer - expert in magic dealing with life and death. (Standard Necromancer)
* Warlock - Conjuration expert that uses demonic and devilish energies and traffics with demons and devils. (from World of Warcraft)

The Shaman and the Warlock are pretty easily defined:
Here are the lists from the WoW RPG (yes, Shadow Bolt and the Curses are missing)

0-Level Warlock Spells
Acid Splash: Orb deals 1d3 acid damage.

1st-Level Warlock Spells
Cause Fear: One creature of 5 HD or less fl ees for
1d4 rounds.
Demon Skin, Lesser: As demon skin, except +1
natural armor and 6 temporary hit points.
Mount: Summons riding horse for 2 hours/level.
Summon Monster I: Calls extraplanar creature to
fi ght for you.
Unseen Servant: Invisible force obeys your

2nd-Level Warlock Spells
Orb of Annihilation: Touch attack deals 4d8 damage,
plus 1d8 damage to those nearby.
Summon Monster II: Calls extraplanar creature to
fight for you.
Summon Swarm: Summons swarm of bats, rats or

3rd-Level Warlock Spells
Demon Skin: The caster creates a layer of dense
scales that protects her from harm; +3 natural armor
and 18 temporary hit points.
Hooks of Binding: Immobilizes a demon or undead
Summon Monster III: Calls extraplanar creature to
fight for you.
Water Breathing: Subjects can breathe underwater.

4th-Level Warlock Spells
Eye of Kilrogg: Invisible, floating eye moves 30 ft./
Ner’zhul’s Black Tentacles: Tentacles grapple all
within 20-ft. spread.
Rain of Fire: 3d6 bludgeoning and 2d6 fi re damage,
20-ft. radius, no save.
Summon Monster IV: Calls extraplanar creature to
fi ght for you.

5th-Level Warlock Spells
Carrion Swarm: A swarm of vermin attacks creatures;
1d6/level damage.
Drain Life: Target takes Stamina damage, you regain
hit points.
Drain Soul: You draw the vital energy out of your
Hooks of Binding, Greater: Immobilizes a powerful
demon or undead creature.
Planar Binding, Lesser: Traps extraplanar creature of
6 HD or less until it performs a task.
Summon Monster V: Calls extraplanar creature to
fight for you.

6th-Level Warlock Spells
Acid Fog: Fog deals 2d6 acid damage/round.
Demon Skin, Greater: As demon skin, except +6
natural armor and 32 temporary hit points.
Planar Binding: As lesser planar binding, but up to 12 HD.
Soulstone: A gem forged from dark magic restores
you to life.
Summon Monster VI: Calls extraplanar creature to
fi ght for you.

7th-Level Warlock Spells
Dark Metamorphosis: Caster gains potent defenses
and attacks.
Phase Door: Creates an invisible passage through
wood or stone.
Summon Monster VII: Calls extraplanar creature to
fight for you.

8th-Level Warlock Spells
Planar Binding, Greater: As lesser planar binding, but
up to 18 HD.
Summon Monster VIII: Calls extraplanar creature to
fight for you.

9th-Level Warlock Spells
Gate: Connects two planes for travel or summoning.
Summon Monster IX: Calls extraplanar creature to
fight for you.

0-Level Shaman Spells
Flare: Dazzles one creature (–1 penalty on attack

1st-Level Shaman Spells
Burning Hands [Ds]: 1d4/level fi re damage (max
Lightning Guardians, Lesser [El]: As lightning
guardians, opponents take 1d4+1 electricity damage.
Roar [Wd]: Your great roar gives allies +1 morale
bonuses on attack and damage rolls.
Stasis Trap: Totem explodes and dazes creatures.
War Drums [Wr]: Allies gain +2 bonus on damage

2nd-Level Shaman Spells
Augury M F: Learns whether an action will be good or
Flaming Sphere [Ds]: Creates rolling ball of fi re, 2d6
fi re damage, lasts 1 round/level.
Frost Armor: Grants +4 armor bonus to AC and
chills attackers.
Call of the Spirits [Si]: You gain a +5 bonus on one
die roll.

3rd-Level Shaman Spells
Bloodlust [Si]: Spirits give subject extra attacks and
+4 Str.
Frost Nova: Explosion of cold damages and chills
Healing Ward: Totem’s positive energy heals allies,
damages undead.
Lightning Guardians: Globes of electricity damage
anyone who attacks caster.
Serpent Ward: Totem releases fi reballs at targets
within 30 ft.
Shockwave: A powerful wave of force shakes the
ground and damages creatures.

4th-Level Shaman Spells
Freedom of Movement: Subject moves normally
despite impediments.
Immolation: Flames covering you damage opponents
and protect you from cold-based attacks.
Nondetection M: Hides subject from divination,
Reincarnate: Brings dead subject back in a random

5th-Level Shaman Spells
Commune with Nature: You learn about terrain for
1 mile/level.
Fire Shield [El]: Creatures attacking you take fi re
damage; you’re protected from heat or cold.
Lightning Guardians, Greater: As lightning guardians,
opponents take 3d4+3 electricity damage.

6th-Level Shaman Spells
Chain Lightning [El]: 1d6/level damage; 1 secondary
bolt/level each deals half damage.
Find the Path: Shows most direct way to a location.
Move Earth: Digs trenches and builds hills.

7th-Level Shaman Spells
Earthquake [Si]: Intense tremor shakes 80-ft. radius.
Resurrection M: Fully restore dead subject.
Wind Walk: You and your allies turn vaporous and
travel fast.

8th-Level Shaman Spells
Fire Storm: Deals 1d6/level fi re damage.
Whirlwind [Si]: Cyclone deals damage and can pick
up creatures.

9th-Level Shaman Spells
Elemental Swarm [El]: Summons multiple
Foresight [Si]: “Sixth sense” warns of impending

This pretty much means that the necromancer specializes in the spells of Necromancy and some destruction, while the mage pretty much specializes in Evocation and Transmutation spells. As for the Shaman, he gets his own two domains: elements and spirits. While the Druid is tied to reverence the material, the Shaman reverences the spiritual.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Schools of Fighting

One of the difficulties of Roleplaying a fighter with capabilities is that most players would always make their fighters resemble one another. One of the interesting things to encourage roleplaying is to actually split what the fighters learn into different schools. Each country or nation has three basic schools -- a Military School, a School of Defense, and a School for streetfighting. So, fighters learn three basic different styles:

Swordsmanship -- the basic martial art of Swordsmanship allows the fighter to learn the usual techniques of fighting. The martial art specializes in attack, and teaches some defense. A fighter in a swordsmanship school learns these basic feats:
Power Attack, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, Improved Disarm, Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Improved Critical

The Arte of Defence -- The martial art of Renaissance Fencing is also taught in several schools. The basic art specializes in personal defense with your rapier and then attacking when you see an opening. While Swordsmanship is fluid, the Arte of Defence is even more so. A fighter or combat oriented Rogue learns these basic feats:
Combat Expertise, Parry, Intricate Swordsmanship, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Dodge, Mobility, Improved Critical

Streetfighting -- Street fighting is taught to fighters, thugs and rogues who are combat oriented. Also, since Streetfighting is barbaric in nature, barbarians often learn the style as well. Axes and other weapons can be taught to be used to great effectiveness. Streetfighting concentrates on overpowering your opponent, by any means necessary to win the fight. The basic feats taught are:
Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Sunder, Improved Overrun, Improved Critical, Weapon Focus, Improved Critical, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack

The Schools of the Nations!

There are several basic schools for each nation or culture that teaches swordsmanship.


Grey Wolf Academy of Orc Martial Arts
Fighter, Rogue, Barbarian

The Grey Wolf Academy of Orc Martial Arts teaches honor in fighting, and to respect your enemy. Honor, the orc's virtue of Integrity, is the style of orc martial arts that mainly specializes in the Axe. Orcs learn axe fighting, and how to conduct themselves with honor. The Grey Wolf Academy teaches Combat Oriented Rogues Orc Martial Arts and Orcish conduct in fighting. The academy is maintained and run by the Silverfang Clan.

Skills taught: Battle, Intimidate, Appraise, Knowledge (Weapons)

Feats taught: Weapon Group (Axes), Weapon Focus (one handed axe), Power Attack, Combat Expertise, Improved Critical, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, the Way of the Wolf, Anghâsh Greywulf's Technique

The School of Vipers
Rogue, Courtier

This is the orc nation's premier training academy for the Orcs' intelligence organization -- the Shadowed Hand. The School of Vipers teaches orc rogues the art of subtlety and orc courtiers the art of grace. The school is maintained and run by the Desert Viper Clan. The school teaches the Arte of Defense, but it also specializes in dirty tricks (sneak attack, Improved Evasion, spell stopping, and finishing moves).

Skills Taught: Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Gather Information, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge (almost any), Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Survival, Tumble, and Use Rope

Feats Taught: Weapon Group (Light Blades), Combat Expertise, Parry, Intricate Swordsmanship, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (dagger), Weapon Focus (rapier), Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Dodge, Mobility, Improved Critical, Skill Focus, Nofritari's Technique, Way of the Viper

The School of the Battered Axe

Barbarian, Fighter, Hunter

The School of the Battered Axe is a school specializing in strength and power. This is the archetypical Orc school, as the martial art of the Clan of the Battered Axe specializes in savage fighting, hacking, and overpowering your opponents. The School emphasizes brute strength, and runs orcs who are weaklings through strength training programs designed to build muscle and endurance.

Skills Taught: Battle, Intimidate, Jump, Survival, Swim

Feats taught: Weapon Group (Axes), Weapon Group (Heavy Blades), Weapon Group (Exotic Weapons), Athletic, Blind Fighting, Brawl, Iron Will, Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Critical, Greater Critical, Improved Sunder, Greater Sunder, Improved Bull Rush, Raakhuga's Technique, Way of the Bear

More orc schools and more about these three orc schools will be provided in a future supplement: THE ORCS OF THE KNOWN LANDS


Academy of the Art of Mars
Fighter, Hunter, Rogue

The Academy of the Art of Mars is named after the pagan God of War, Mars. The Academy specializes in human swordsmanship, pure and simple. The school teaches battle techniques, survival on the battlefield, how to parry and dodge your opponent's attacks. The basic sword taught is the Arming Sword, and basic strength training is emphasized.

Skills taught: Battle, Intimidate, Jump, Survival, Swim

Feats taught: Weapon Group (Heavy Blades), Weapon Group (Polearms), Weapon Group (Spears and Lances), Weapon Group (Bows), Weapon Group (Maces and Clubs), Power Attack, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, Improved Disarm, Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Improved Critical, Greater Critical, the Way of Mars, Jason's Technique

Department 7
Ninja, Rogue

Department 7 is the teaching academy of Caithness' Intelligence agency, the Impossible Mission Force. Department 7 is where human rogues specializing in subtlety and assassination learn their trade. As the Impossible Mission Force focuses on missions of document recovery, shadowy intrigue, intelligence, hostage extraction, and assassination; human rogues are expected to be trained to handle many situations.

Skills taught: Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Gather Information, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge (almost any), Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Survival, Tumble, and Use Rope

Feats taught: Weapon Group (Simple), Weapon Group (light blades), Weapon Group (Crossbows), Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (Dagger), Weapon Focus (Light Crossbow), Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Precise Shot, Self Sufficient, Skill Focus, Lightning Reflexes, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Stealthy, Nicolas' Technique

Donatello's School of Fencing
Fighter, Rogue, Courtier

Donatello's School of Fencing is one of the most prestigious schools of defence in Caithness. The style taught is akin to Elizabethian Fencing -- specializing in two weapons: the rapier and the dirk, or the rapier and the fencing cloak. Nobles from around the kingdom of Caithness come to learn how to fight and also to learn style and grace in court. The school was named after Alexandro Donatello, an expatriate from the land of Genoa who brought Genoa's Art of Defence with him.

Skills taught: Battle, Appraise, Balance, Climb, Concentration, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense Motive, and Tumble.

Feats taught: Weapon Group (Light blades), Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Fencing Cloak), Combat Expertise, Parry, Intricate Swordsmanship, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Dodge, Mobility, Improved Critical, the Way of Defence, Donatello's Technique

The Bastion of Light

The Paladins, the highest paragons of human virtue and faith; are taught in the Bastion of Light. Here they learn the way of Faith and how their Faith in the Holy Light will increase their power and might. Pages and squires of paladins are taught virtue, morals, and ethics and how to uphold them. Paladins are also taught how to use many weapons: including swords and hammers and the best way to use their shields. They are honed as mighty warriors, and then they are inducted into the Knights of the Platinum Dragon; the Paladin Order in Caithness.

Skills taught: Paladin class skills

Feats taught: Martial Weapon Proficiency (Hammer), Weapon Group (Heavy Blades), Power Attack, Iron Will, Great Fortitude, Skill Focus, Spell Focus, Improved Sunder, Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Way of the Light, Galahad's Technique

More on on these schools and more martial art schools will be presented in: CATHNESS

Next: Martial Art schools of the Elves

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Anatomy of the arm

Here is the anatomy of the arm.

Human Bone and Muscle by ~Atlantean6 on deviantART

What do you think of my drawing skills? Did I do an okay job?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What I learned from Pornography

Okay, I learned a valuable lesson from porn.

A. It's not porn if you don't make it be.

B. It's okay for people to enjoy sex.

So, why avoid it? It can be used as a springboard for temptation. You could put yourself into a position to be tempted to have sex when you aren't ready to. Or you can descend into acts of adultery and fornication. But avoidance is BAD!

Why is avoidance is bad?
There will be more opportunities for you to avoid pornography. *shrug* The more you avoid pornography, the more pornography will be there for you to avoid.

What can be done?
Focus on the opposite of pornography.

What is the opposite of pornography?

You read me.

Nudism? Doesn't that have to do with sex?
It can, but mostly, it doesn't.

Wait, how can getting naked and being naked with people other than my (wife/husband) be the opposite of pornography?
It's not easily explained, but the best way to explain it that it fosters self control.


I don't believe it!
Fine. But that's how I feel.

Magic of the Known Lands

Magic in the Known Lands is different than your standard Vancian or 4e power system. While the Vancian system is dated, and the 4e Magic Power system is what is hot these days, Wizards in the Known Lands use the Dynamic Spellcasting System presented in both Sovereign Stone d20 and Advanced d20 Magic published by Guardians of Order (defunct).

The system works like this:

Casting any spell is a standard action that requires no special words or gestures and no other ingredients. A character that knows a spell may cast it as often as he or she desires, with no preparation time or additional study required. Spellcasting is draining, however, and most people will get worn out after a prolonged session of working magic.

In game terms, casting a spell requires a Fortitude Save against the spell’s Drain. The result of the Save determines the amount of Drain suffered by the caster. If the Fortitude Save is failed by 10 or more, a Control check will also be required to determine if the spellcaster can maintain control over the flow of energy coursing through him or her.

The casting DC of a spell is given in the spell description. This is the DC for the Fortitude Save to resist Drain. If the spellcaster is using the Metamagic Feats, the modifier for the Metamagic effect adjusts this DC. When determining the Drain, use the spell’s total DC, including any modifiers for Metamagic. The character makes their Fortitude Save and consults the Spellcasting Fortitude Saves and Spell Drain tables to determine the actual Drain suffered. This Drain is
normally deducted from the character’s Energy Point total, or in the case of the system we are using, it inflicts non-lethal damage.

This allows wizards to bust some heads with the fighters, but provides its own terrible balancing cost. Too much drain (non-lethal damage) can cause fatigue, exhaustion, or outright unconsciousness.

Drawbacks: record keeping and mathematics, but that is about it. A calculator maybe required to quickly add and subtract any modifiers to a spell's DC.

What's wrong with 4E's Powers?
Uhm, you can only do some powers once a day. The Dynamic Spellcasting system lets you cast any particular power or ritual as many times as you want as long as your character has the stomach for it. This includes the Wish spell (which has a DC of 101, good luck casting that ten times a day and not having your wizard go unconscious).

I hate math, I want to use another system!
Okay. Go ahead, I'm not making you. But the Dynamic Spellcasting system is the official system. Any one spellcasting NPC will have Dynamic Spellcasting statistics.

Okay, Why the Dynamic Spellcasting System?
I like the system. And I'm the one writing the game, so I'm using what I like. You can use any system you desire that is easier for you, but like I said, the Dynamic Spellcasting system is the official magic system of the campaign.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Orc Clans of the Known Lands

There are several Orc Clans of the Known Lands, each clan or tribe of the Horde has their own culture and their own way of doing things. Each Clan is further divided into families. But more on that later.

The Silverfang Clan
The Silver Fangs are the Leaders of the Horde. From the Silverfangs come the Shamans and the Warriors that maintain the Orc Nation. In fact, the Chief of the Orc Hordes, Talûn-karkû, is a Silverfang. They lead the nation, directing its spirituality, secular, and religious life. All shamans of the Silverfang Clan pay homage to the wolf totem.

Favored Class: Shaman. Shamans of the Silverfang Clan have the Ghostwolf ability.

The Desert Viper Clan

Formed in the deserts of Outland, the Desert Viper Clan was once a wandering tribe of orc barbarians that would prey on the unwary. Inducted into the Horde and taught the ways of civilization, the Desert Viper Clan has become the clan that protects the Horde from plots and evil secrets that seek to destroy the Orc nation. All shamans of the Desert Viper clan pay homage to the Viper totem.

Favored Class: rogue. Shamans of the Desert Viper Clan have the Dreamsnake ability.

The Black Talon Clan

The Black Talon clan was a clan of orcs that specialized in breeding Deinonychus in Outland. They become linked to the Deinonychus spirits and emulated the efficient hunters. The Black Talon clan was then inducted into the horde's civilization and became the pre-eminent hunters and farmers of the nation. The Shamans of the Black Talons revere the deinonychus totem.

Favored Class: Hunter. Shamans of the Black Talons have the Ghostraptor ability.

The Clan of the Flaming Sword

The Clan of the Flaming Sword is totally taken over by Warlocks and demon worship. They have no totem, but they represent the Arcane magical side of the Horde nation. Once, they were the Black Horse Clan, but their shaman was seduced by demons and created and mastered the magic of the Warlock. Changing the clan's name from the Black Horse Clan to the Clan of the Flaming Blade, the Clan Chief took control and united most of the clans of Outland. When the Illithid came and fought the Ancients, the Clan of the Flaming Blade had led the horde into the Known Lands. However, events in the past two thousand years have brought the clan low. They are replaced by the Silverfangs. The Clan of the Flaming Sword has no totem spirits and mostly trains Warlocks, rogues, and fighters.

Favored Class: Warlock.

The Brown Elk Clan

The Brown Elk Clan once managed the elk and impala that ranged Outland. They were once two tribes: the Elk tribe and the Impala tribe. They both formed the clan when civilization was introduced. The Brown Elk clan manages livestock for the Orc nation and actually reveres two totem spirits, the Elk and the Impala.

Favored Class: Hunter. Brown Elk shamans can have either the Ghostelk ability or the Spirit Impala ability, but not both.

The Clan of the Battered Axe

The Clan of the Battered Axe is the clan most people think of when someone says, Orc. The Clan of the Battered Axe never did fully embrace civilization. They are the most rapine and violent of the orcs, both in Outland and in the Outlands. The Clan of the Battered Axe revere the Cave Bear as their totem, an animal that has gone extinct in the Known Lands.

Favored Class: Barbarian. Shamans of the Clan of the Battered Axe have the Ghostbear ability.

The Clan of the Shining Blade

The Clan of the Shining Blade are the Orc Nations soldiers. Although they have the leopard as their totem, the Clan concentrates on perfecting their fighting techniques. Their fighters specialize in tactics and strategy. The Desert Vipers specialize in dirty fighting, the Black Talons specialize in teamwork, the Brown Elks specialize in deftness and quickness in their fighting, the Battered Axes specialize in use of brute strength, and the Silverfangs specialize in honorable combat.

Favored Class: Fighter. Shamans of the Clan of the Shining Blade have the Spirit Leopard ability.
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