Sunday, June 19, 2011

One Skeleton?

Well, it wasn't just one skeleton.   It was a skeleton and a psion.

I have chosen to introduce my characters to the graveyard of Phoenicia on Thursday.  And I used a skeleton thief -- animated through psychic means -- to do it.  Just one skeleton thief.  That's it.  Nothing more, nothing less.

They, the players, took the bait.  I originally thought it was a lich, after all, why would a skeleton be moving around in the city?  Then I made it just a simple skeleton and see how the players reacted.

They reacted beautifully.

So, they chased the skeleton all the way to the graveyard.  One of them, however, became the victim of a T.K. maneuver power.  He was lifted into the air and then summarily dropped.

Yes, I know the power's description doesn't say "Lift into the air."  But it ain't fun if you can't do Jean Grey/Phoenix stuff in D&D or Pathfinder.

So, I sent a skeleton soulknife after them.  Word to the wise, the dice has worked against me, the DM.  I could have cheated, and have the skeleton soulknife rip them apart, but I let the dice stand. *shrug*  However, the best that GMs can do is fudge the dice when they need too in certain situations.  But it's best to play by the rules most of the time.

Anyway, the players are in an ancient crypt.  It isn't time to reveal the first hints of a really bad guy ( a psionic lich ), but perhaps it's time to do so.  Don't you think? ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Orcs of Galatea

The Orcs of Galatea chapters are being consolidated at the moment.  I've been taking them and consolidating them so that they will be ready for publication sometime this summer. :)

I haven't done the cover art for it yet, but rest assured, it will be spectacular.  The entire book will be both covered by the Creative Commons License and the Open Game License.   With guidelines on which is covered by the Creative Commons License and which is covered by the Open Game License.

So that publishers of d20 media can pick and choose which they want to republish, and which they would like to make a derivative (just so long as they share too).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chapter 9 of Pheonicia: the Docks

The Docks

In the Hellenic and Desert Quarters of Phoenicia is the docks of Phoenicia.  Five miles down river is the Sea, and the river here is wide enough and deep enough beyond the cateract to service seagoing ships.  A dozen ships moor here in the deep waters of the Sardis river at any given time.  Sometimes many more than a dozen. This is a particularly rough area of Phoenicia and includes the city's famous "red light" district.

Part of the Sardis Estuary, the docks are full of warehousing, shipyards, hostels, and taverns.  These establishments service the merchants and sailors who use them extensively.  Connected to the Old City on one side of the Sardis River and the Poor city on the other, the Docks district seems like its own separate community.  Of course, many residents of Phoenicia live out their lives without going there.

By Ángel Serrano Sánchez de León (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5-es (], via Wikimedia Commons
The Flavor of the Docks
The smell of fish and the river pretty much dominates here.  The sound of the falls can also be heard all the time, but the further one is away from it, the softer the sound is.  Also, depending one which side of the river you are on, the larger than life statues of Zeus (on the Hellenic side of the cateract) and Buddha (on the Vedic side of the cateract) carved into the escarpment dominate the skyline.  There are dozens of seagulls in the air, each of them trying to find food.  The wooden buildings of the docks is stained with grime, but not necessarily salt.   The district boasts few new buildings; with several old buildings that should be condemned and torn down.

The streets bustle from daybreak to midnight with sailors and all manner of folk that support the shipping industry.  Basically, dockworkers and shipwrights, carpenters and warehouse laborers, harlots and strumpets and innkeepers, and so on.  These are hardworking folks with rough demeanors living roughened lives. Most are looking for strong drink and entertainment when not working, especially sailors who are off the ships getting their land legs back.  The two sides are not a place for those who love to be offended or people who worry about little details.  It's really no coincidence that the Hellenic and Vedic Nobles live on top of the escarpment that is responsible for the cataract falls in the first place.  They are as far from the docks as anyone can get, both vertically and literally.

Many types of ships come into the harbor.  Zebecs, dhows, biremes, triremes, reed barges from fabled Khemet, galleys, galley barges, baghlahs, and other ships.  These ships carry passengers and cargo.  Cargo to trade, passengers to buy or sell or to settle and make a living.  Large ships often drop anchor in the river and rely on smaller ships to transfer their cargo.  However, this is rare and it is to avoid the daily user fees for docking.

The Docks were constructed on either side during the Vedic occupation of the site.  Which is why they are connected to the Old City in the Hellenic Quarter.   Since the conquest of the Hellenes, the docks on the Hellenic Quarter was razed as a matter of course, and was built according to the manner of the Hellenes.  The Vedic docks still retain their distinctive flavor.

by Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906)
One the Hellene side, a temple to the god Poseidon dominates the merchant roads of this district.  While on the Desert side a temple to Varuna was constructed.  That temple had fallen into disrepair.  The temple to Varuna was eventually demolished and a temple was built to the Desert Elves' One God, forcing Hinduism to retreat from the Docks.  Despite this, though, Middle Kingdom immigrants built a small Taoist shrine in the Docks to take advantage of the Feng Shui of the region.

(end of Part 1)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Disney's Version of Dungeons and Dragons

This is what you get when Dungeons and Dragons is disney-fied. The Gummi Bears.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Creative Use of Body Paint

Here's a creative use of body paint. :)

By Ed Schipul (originally posted to Flickr as trick or treat) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 

Now that's a very creative use.

Nudists often use body paint as well.  They paint their whole bodies with it.  Well, leaving some for the skin to breathe.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Electric Universe

[This paper is primarily for Christians and people who are honest in their hearts.]

For years, Cosmologists have been beating into our heads about the Big Bang.  The Big Bang is a theory of the origin of our universe, that states that all the universe was created with a single event that starts with a single singularity (or neutron) that exploded and filled nothing with a lot of somethings.

The theory is stated as elegant because it "remains entirely outside any metaphysical or religious question." -- Georges Lemaître  

Proponents of the Big Bang states that something must have happened because the galaxies and stars are flying away from us.  However, there are a couple of things wrong with the Big Bang Theory.

1. It depends on Gravity, which is little understood.  It's described in an equation:

But as to actually what it is, Gravity is not described.   Newton never did proceed to explain what it is, only what Gravity does in terms of Force and Inertia.  Also, Einstein replaced Newton's equations of Gravity with the General Theory of Relativity -- which makes Gravity's action on us abstract and not tangible.

2.  The Big Bang now depends on exotic matter, exotic energy, and exotic forces in order to be true.  However, there are problems with this.  Exotic matter -- this Dark Matter -- has never been directly observed.  It doesn't interact with light, it doesn't reflect light, and light passes through it.  Other exotic matter include Neutronium -- the material neutron stars are said to be made of, and Black Holes.  Black Holes, something so dense that not even light can escape -- needs no explanation as to what they do.  And Neutronium is matter composed primarily of neutrons all densely packed together in one place.  But in nuclear chemistry it's been observed that Neutrons repel each other and because of this, it is impossible to tightly pack them together.

The problem with Black Holes is that they haven't been directly or indirectly observed in any capacity.  A Black Hole should show up on photographic plates bending light around it while sucking more light and matter around them inside.  The problem with this that there should be white holes -- miniature big bangs that eject matter and light.  These also have not been observed. 

Dark Energy -- what physicists call the Zero Point Energy -- isn't Dark at all.  Zero Point Energy is energy detected at the zero point -- or absolute zero.  Many physicists were perplexed by the existence of zero point energy in their calculations, because at absolute zero a gas is absolutely at rest.

The problem is that Zero Point Energy isn't Dark Energy because Zero Point Energy can be detected on photographic film.  Doctor Wilhelm Riche was the first to detect Zero Point Energy and how it interacted with living organisms.  He called it the Orgone Energy, and have even built devices that take advantage of the Orgone Energy.  He created numerous devices that can detect orgone energy in living beings or fruits and vegetables.  He created devices that can make people well, and other devices that use Orgone Energy on grander scales -- but never for power generation.

However, Orgone Energy is the blue haze that can be seen in certain photographs.  Certainly of the Earth and galaxies -- in which it can be seen as a halo around the Earth and the galaxies.  But this blue haze of energy has also been photographed on Earth -- around forests and even human beings.  Especially those walking on the Moon.  There is no dark energy because what they are calling Dark Energy has certainly been photographed and can be seen by everyone.

Astrophysicists describe dark energy as fueling the expansion of our Universe.  But there is no proof that this is the case.  In every case, dark energy seems more of an attraction agent than a repulsion agent.

Dark Forces -- Dark Forces is especially problematic to the theory.  Scientists say that cosmic dark matter and cosmic dark energy are one and the same -- the dark force.  They use this to explain why we can't detect dark matter or dark energy (which we can detect on photographic film).  One scientist calls the dark force -- dark fluid.  Again, another abstraction.  According to this theory, dark fluid is like the atmosphere.  But it can't be detected or felt, maintaining a vacuum.

It is because of these abstractions that the Dark Energy theory is being used to prop up the theory that gravity controls everything in the universe.  However, gravity is certainly weak and it is certainly variable.  The gravitational Constant isn't constant, and this fact has been observed on Earth with experiments.

3. The Big Bang depends on the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verses 1-4.  What is ironic that the theory, which is said that it doesn't depend on an Intelligent Creator or Surpreme Intelligence directing creation, depends on the Book of Genesis.  Genesis is a book of history written by Moses that contains an account of the Creation -- both in a literal sense and in an allegorical sense.  However, these few verses are applied to the entire universe and was pushed by a Jesuit priest.

So, the Big Bang theory depends on:
Gravity -- which is real.
Exotic matter, energy, and force -- which isn't real.
The Book of Genesis -- which is inspired writings by Moses translated into English, German, and French -- the three languages of Science.

So the conclusion is that the Big Bang Theory is not science at all, but pseudo-science based on pure speculation around the theory of gravity and a book most learned men discount as having any authority over them what so ever.  Although the theory has a lot to offer Christians and Creationists, most Christians and Creationists really do reject this theory as plausible.

The Electric Universe

This theory, which is as old as the Big Bang, has been getting a lot of attention lately.  Unlike the Big Bang theory, which is based on pseudo-scientific mathematics, computer models, built around gravity, and depends on the Inspired Word while denying the power of the Inspired Word -- is a theory based on Observation: both Ancient and Modern.  It is also supported by experiments.  While it is hard to perform experiments in Astronomy, it is not hard to perform experiments on electricity, electromagnetism, and plasma.

Electromagnetism is several more times more powerful than Gravity.  And it has been recently discovered that Plasma makes up most of the observable universe.  Plasma makes up Galaxies, Quasars, suns, nebulae, nebulous formations seen in space, and the solar winds that fill the Interstellar Medium.

Plus, space isn't electrically neutral, neither are the planets in our Solar System.  All of the planets are electrically charged, and try to reach electric equilibrium with the solar environment by creating lightning and auroras.  

The theory never supposes that there is a beginning to the Universe, or an End to the Universe; like the Big Bang does.  The theory works from observed phenomena and is supported by experiments that recreate certain phenomena.  Planetary rings, auroras, lightning, plasma formations; all have been created in the laboratory using plasma equipment.

Successful predictions have been made by Australian Physicist Wallace Thornhill on how comets act in our Solar System when interacted by spacecraft from space.  Gravity is described as the ashes of electrical discharge and electrical systems by the theory, and the theory predicts the actions of certain planets in the Solar system -- such as Saturn's mega lightning, planetary auroras, and Io's plasma ejections as it tries to reach equilibrium in Jupiter's environment.

Does the theory use Genesis as a basis?  No, it does not.  Does the theory presuppose the actions of a Creator?  The theory doesn't need a Creator to work, because it doesn't make the assumption of a creation or destruction.  It just works from observed data and experiments.  Does the theory need an Intelligent Designer, or a Supreme Being?  No, the theory does not need an Intelligent Designer or a Supreme Being because it describes only the observable, and objective.   The Electric Universe has proponents such as Benjamin Franklin, Anthony Peratt, Dr. Donald Scott, Halton Arp, Nikola Tesla, and Hannes Alfven. 

From a theological standpoint, the theory has a lot to offer Atheists and Evolutionists since it does not make the assumption that a Creator exists.  In fact, it cannot, since the presence of a Creator or an Intelligent Designer cannot be detected by this theory.  The theory doesn't explain anything of supernatural terms -- just the actions of plasma and electromagnetism in the Universe.  The theory has nothing to offer to the Creationist or to Christians.   However, the theory has been accessed by more Christians and Creation science blogs than the other theory, which is propped up by a failing priesthood of aging Atheists and those that believe in Cosmic Evolution according to the Big Bang.

The question begs, why?  Perhaps this is the reason.  The theory has been tested with experiments and observations.  The theory isn't all that beautiful, in fact it takes into account Catastrophic beliefs and explains those.  It doesn't have any complex mathematics to understand.  It just simply attempts to explain the action of plasma and electro-magnetism in the Universe.  Which is the better theory for you to believe?


Works Cited

Big Bang Theory
Schirber, Michael. "New cosmic theory unites dark forces - Technology & science - Space - -" - Breaking news, science and tech news, world news, US news, local news- Version 1.0., 11 Feb. 2008. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.

P. van der Marel, STScI, Roeland, and David T. Schaller. "HubbleSite: Black Holes: Gravity's Relentless Pull." HubbleSite - Out of the ordinary...out of this world.. Version 1.0. Hubble Site, n.d. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.

SpaceRip. " YouTube - ‪The Largest Black Holes in the Universe‬‏ ." YouTube . Version 1.0. SpaceRip, 28 Sept. 2009. Web. 9 June 2011. <>. 

quantomQ. " YouTube - ‪Q- What is The Dark Matter & Dark Energy ." YouTube. Version 1.0. QuantomQ, 27 Feb. 2010. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.

Electric Universe Theory
Souperdragon42. "Plasma Cosmology .net." Plasma Cosmology .net. Version 1.0. Souperdragon42, 6 Sept. 2007. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.

J. Lerner, Eric. "No Big Bang" No Big Bang : Contents. Version 1.0. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.

Thornhill, Wallace. "The Electric Universe." The Electric Universe. Version 1.0. Me, Myself, and I, n.d. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.

Thunderbolts home." Thunderbolts home. Thunderbolts Team, n.d. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.

Zero Point Energy
GREENPOWERSCIENCE. " YouTube - ‪Wilhelm Reich and the Orgone Energy‬‏ ." YouTube. Version 1.0. Natural Energy Works, 15 May 2009. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pathfinder and the Open Gaming License

[Note, this article contains some observations that I had for a long time.]

This article should be titled How Wizards of the Coast Killed the Open Gaming Movement, and how Paizo saved it

But that's just too much.  Recently there was a thread on Paizo's boards were a poster was concerned that the Pathfinder SRD Wiki (Pathfinder OGC) was posting material before it was published.  However, Paizo came to the site's defense and said a public thank you.  Several other publishers followed their lead.

Paizo supports the Open Gaming Movement, as the company now carries the torch for Open Gaming.  This is because they use the OGL, or Open Gaming License, which is been generally good for the creative side of our little interest.  So, why is Paizo carrying the torch?  Why isn't Wizards of the Coast still carrying the torch?  That's simply because they dropped it.

About eleven years ago, Ryan Dancey convinced Wizards of the Coast to open up and release the Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition System to all of us.  This is simply because Dungeons and Dragons was the most popular roleplaying system in the world (followed by GURPS, et al.)  And it is true, most every RPG markets their system as different from D&D.  There is a lot of D&D hate, and a lot of love at the time.

In truth, I wasn't going to buy in to the system, as 2nd Edition really is something I was content with.  I was frustrated over the rejections I've been getting so I prayed that I wouldn't have to go through TSR or Wizards of the Coast to publish my ideas.  Well, the OGL was an answer to a prayer!  From my perspective it was the best thing to happen in a long time!  Well, that is until Wizards of the Coast reserved the right not to OGL everything they came out with.

I went -- "huh?"

So began years of non-support.  Wizards of the Coast did not support the d20 system.  Yet, they were coming out with a lot of good stuff that should be put in the System Reference Document.  A partial list includes:
  • Kalashtar
  • Warforged
  • Shifters
  • Tactical Feats
  • Several Feats
  • Racial Substitution Levels
  • The new NPC format

Plus, they were bought out by Hasbro, which was not a good thing.  Wizards of the Coast had lost their self-determination, and many of their products started going downhill.  d20 was dying.  Not just because of all the not so stellar products, and how the FLGS treated the d20 market; but also because Wizards of the Coast did not give any support.  There was no reviews by Wizards of the Coast staff on what they liked.  There was no referrals, there was no use on really what they liked, except for one or two pieces.  And every new product they put out, except for d20 modern products and Unearthed Arcana, information wasn't added to the SRD.

The SRD was dying.  And the death knell was the 4th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons.  Good bye SRD, good bye WIzards OGL.  The d20 System was going to die, after all, 4th Edition is a completely different game than from the other three. Most established publishers (creative types) got frustrated with the GSL, and they didn't want to adopt the new system and publish derivative works for 4th Edition.  Only a few got on the ball, and they had to work around the GSL to publish.  After all, the GSL was designed to really inspire creativity and originality.  I guess no one ever got the memo, no one ever has.  The OGL Movement seemed dead.

However, all is not lost.  Enter PAIZO PUBLISHING.

Paizo,  got its start by publishing the Dragon and Dungeon magazines.  Paizo broke off Wizards of the Coast to publish these magazines for Wizards of the Coast.  This was a good thing until WotC cut off the license to print these magazines.  The reaction was less than stellar, as WotC thought it was better to make them apart of their DDI.

Paizo responded by creating Pathfinder.  Pathfinder cleans up the 3rd Edition of the D&D game.  The System itself streamlines the 3rd Edition and makes it work.  Clearly a derivative, Pathfinder took two years to write and edit before it came out on the market.   When Pathfinder was published, several companies were started and they jumped aboard.  The OGL movement was restarted anew.

It also made it easier that PAIZO couldn't pull the same trick that Wizards of the Coast did.  That is, claim full ownership over the d20 System and any derivatives they pumped out.  Each new book had an OGL attached, meaning that the d20 System was still owned by Wizards of the Coast.  The Pathfinder OGC site was started, where the whole gaming system could be documented and referenced besides the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document (or PRD).  Paizo offered full support to 3rd Party Publishers.

On the Paizo Blog, the Paizo folks would -- by all accounts -- review 3rd Party products that used the d20 System on their Blog.   Plus they sell 3rd party products, and allow people to critique them.  The mistakes that Wizards of the Coast had made it seemed that Paizo has learned from.  Where Wizards of the Coast now acts like a bully, Paizo is much more respectful of creativity.

Most say that Copyright is a good thing.  It was designed to forment Creativity and help authors produce new works.  However, it's not necessarily so now.  Copyright serves the publisher today, and the publisher only.  However, the OGL is the best thing that happened to gaming and creativity in this arena of Roleplaying Games.  After all, despite of the lackluster products for the d20 System out of third party publishers, there is no doubt that the d20 System (D&D and all) is enriched because of stiff competition.  It's an experiment that works in opening a game system and provides output.

For other personal opinions on how the Open Gaming Movement has been good I have a few references here:

Monte Cook's The Open Game License, as I see it pt 1
The Open Game License, as I see it pt 2
Copyright and Game Rules
Why do we need Open Source Games?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Warlock Infernal Companions

([I was going to force people to pick up the World of Warcraft Monstrous Manual, but it's no longer available on Drivethru and possibly RPGnow.  Since Blogger doesn't like tables, I will try to work around that with information on which infernal companions are popular and which can't be summoned.  Definitely Balors and Pit Fiends can't be summoned -- although a Warlock worth his salt might try to put them in chains.]

Warlocks tend to summon infernal companions as part of their repretoire.  Although, in theory, any Warlock of sufficient power can summon and bind a demon to him, there are a number of demons and devils that don't mind the service.

The format is this: name: ; Warlock Level: ; Advancement Level (roughly corresponds to Level Adjustment); Level of Spell Slots Sacrificed

Darkhound --> Warlock Level: 1; Advancement level: 0; Level of spell Slots Sacrificed: 1
Imp --> Warlock Level: 1; Advancement Level: 0; Level of Spell Slots Sacrificed: 1
Void Demon --> Warlock Level 5; Advancement Level: -4,  Level of Spell Slots Sacrificed: 3
Succubus --> Warlock Level 9; Advancement Level: -8; Level of spell Slots Sacrificed: 5
Barghest --> Warlock Level 11; Advancement Level: -10; Level of Spell Slots Sacrificed: 6
Nightmare --> Warlock Level 13; Advancement Level -12; Level of Spell Slots Sacrificed: 3
Horned Devil --> Warlock Level 15; Advancement Level -14; Level of Spell Slots sacrificed: 8

(Monsters in the original, 3.5 format)

Small Outsider (Chaotic, Demon, Evil, Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 3d8+6 (19 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+1 size, +3 Agy, +1 natural), touch 14, flatfooted 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+0
Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d6+1)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: —
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., resistance to fire 5, scent,
demon traits
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +4
Abilities: Str 13, Agy 17, Sta 15, Int 3, Spt 12, Cha 6
Skills: Jump +9, Listen +8, Spot +8, Stealth +8 (+12
hiding), Survival +6*
Feats: Bloodletter, Skilled (Listen and Spot), TrackB
Environment: Temperate Forest
Area: Tirisfal Glades
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (3–12)
Challenge Rating: 1

Darkhounds are purple wolves with two horns sprouting from their heads and another two horns sprouting from their shoulders. 

Darkhounds stalk their prey, shadowing it for hours until a suitable ambush spot presents itself. They then dart out, attempting to bring down their victim with overwhelming numbers and sharp teeth.

Skills: Darkhounds gain a +4 racial bonus on Jump checks.
*Darkhounds gain a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.


Medium Outsider (Demon, Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)
Hit Dice: 5d8+15 (37 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+6 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+8
Attack: Slam +8 melee (1d6+4 plus tormenting strike)
Full Attack: Slam +8 melee (1d6+4 plus tormenting strike)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Tormenting strike (DC 14)
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., bracers, consume shadows, damage reduction 2/good and truesilver*, spell resistance 13, demon traits
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 16, Agy 11, Sta 17, Int 8, Spt 5, Cha 14
Skills: Climb +11, Concentration +11, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (the planes) +7, Listen +5, Spot +5, Swim +11
Feats: Improved Initiative, Power Attack
Environment: The Twisting Nether
Area: The Twisting Nether
Organization: Solitary or pair (1 plus master)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always lawful evil
Advancement: 6–14 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: —
* This substance appears in More Magic & Mayhem.

A void demon is similar to a shadow demon, except it's hulking and blue.  A void demon is also less intelligent than a shadow demon.

A voidwalker does not hesitate to follow even the most suicidal commands its master gives. A void demon's master often sends it to block a threat leaving the master free to cast spells or use other abilities without interference. A void demon takes its orders literally; when out of communication with its master, it continues to obey its last command, even if that command is tactically unsound.

Tormenting Strike (Su): The touch of a void demon brings a victim’s most painful memories rushing to the surface; for a brief moment, she can think of nothing but destroying the source of this mental anguish. Any creature with an Intellect score of 3 or more that takes damage from a void demon’s slam attack must attempt a DC 14 Will save. Failure means the creature cannot make melee attacks (even attacks of opportunity) against anything but the void demon for 1 full round.  The save DC is Charisma-based.

Bracers (Su): Void demons, whether summoned to Galatea or arriving of their own free will, wear a set of magic bracers. These bracers form automatically when the voidwalker leaves the infernal realms, tying the voidwalker to Galatea and allowing it to exist outside of the infernal realms. A voidwalker that loses its bracers also loses much of its power and might inadvertently return to the infernal realms.

A voidwalker that loses its bracers must make a DC 19 Will save or return immediately to the infernal realms as if targeted by a banishment spell. If the voidwalker makes its save, it still takes a permanent –5 penalty to Strength, Agility, and Stamina.  Only a limited wish, wish, reality revision, or miracle can reverse this penalty.

Voidwalker bracers possess a hardness of 15 and 15 hit points each. Destroying a single bracer has no effect on a voidwalker.

Consume Shadows (Su): A voidwalker can absorb the darkness surrounding it, thereby healing itself of wounds; using this ability provokes attacks of opportunity. A voidwalker in total darkness can spend a full round concentrating (losing its Agility bonus to AC for the round), drawing the darkness in and producing a faint indigo light around its body. The voidwalker heals a number of hit points equal to its Hit Dice + its Stamina bonus (8 points in the case of the voidwalker presented above).

A voidwalker may consume shadows in shadowy illumination but heals only half this amount.  If the voidwalker takes damage while it using consume shadows, it must attempt a Concentration check (DC 10 + damage dealt) or fail in the attempt.

Damage Reduction (Ex): A voidwalker has damage reduction x/good and truesilver, where x is equal to 1/2 its outsider Hit Dice (DR 2/good and truesilver in the case of the voidwalker presented above).

Spell Resistance: A voidwalker has spell resistance equal to 11 plus 1/2 its outsider Hit Dice (13 in the case of the voidwalker presented above).


OGL Section 15:
 Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game Copyright 2005, Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: More Magic & Mayhem Copyright 2005, Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: Monster Guide Copyright 2007, Blizzard Entertainment

Orc Sorcery

Except for orc Warlocks, orcs have a hard time learning arcane magic -- especially wizard magic.  If the power of the Warlock wasn't so seductive, an orc would not learn arcane magic so formally.   However, that is not to say that orcs cannot practice magic through instinct and improvisation.  Sometimes, magic can erupt from several different bloodlines.

Orcs capable of sorcery display the Abyssal bloodline, and are probably descendents of Orc tieflings or orc warlocks mating with their succubi.   Although a small percentage manifests an elemental bloodline connected to fire.  But a rare few can trace their magic back to the legendary chieftains that led their people into the World when they crossed over to conquer it.  These powerful sorcerers have the pure ancestral bloodline connected to the Ancient Lionmane Clan -- the Ancient Royal Dynastic Clan that was blessed by Nwali himself.

Orc Bloodline
The rage of your ancestors burns within you, and the taint of savage orc blood flows through your veins. Your anger is never far from the surface, giving you strength and driving you to seek greater power.

Class Skill: Survival.

Bonus Spells: burning hands (3rd), bull’s strength (5th), rage (7th), wall of fire (9th), cloudkill (11th), Naskil's transformation (13th), delayed blast fireball (15th), iron body (17th), meteor swarm (19th).

Bonus Feats: Diehard, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Intimidating Prowess, Improved Overrun, Power Attack, Toughness, Widen Spell.

Bloodline Arcana: You gain the orc subtype, including darkvision 60 feet and light sensitivity. If you already have darkvision, its range increases to 90 feet. Whenever you cast a spell that deals damage, that spell deals +1 point of damage per die rolled.

Bloodline Powers: You are heir to the bestial power of the great orc warlords of the past. You feel their rage in your blood, and must take care lest the urge to despoil and destroy consumes you.

Touch of Rage (Sp): At 1st level, you can touch a creature as a standard action, giving it a morale bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and Will saving throws equal to 1/2 your sorcerer level (minimum 1) for 1 round. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.

Fearless (Ex): At 3rd level, you gain a +4 bonus on saving throws made against fear and a +1 natural armor bonus. At 9th level, you lose your light sensitivity, gain immunity to fear, and your natural armor bonus increases to +2. Strength of the Beast (Ex): At 9th level, you gain a +2 inherent bonus to your Strength. This bonus increases to +4 at 13th level, and to +6 at 17th level.

Power of Giants (Sp): At 15th level, you may grow to Large size as a standard action. At this size you gain a +6 size bonus to Strength, a –2 penalty to Dexterity, a +4 size bonus to Constitution, and a +4 natural armor bonus. You may return to your normal size as a standard action. You may remain in this size for up to 1 minute per character level per day; this duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be used in 1 minute increments.

Warlord Reborn (Su): At 20th level, you become a true orc warlord of legend. You gain immunity to fire and DR 5/—. Once per day, you can cast transformation as a spell-like ability using your sorcerer level as your caster level.


OGL Section 15

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document. Copyright 2000. Wizards of the Coast, Inc; Authors: Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Pathfinder Companion: Orcs of Golarion. Copyright 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Steve Kenson, Rob McCreary, Richard Pett, Sean K Reynolds, and JD Wiker.
Orcs of Galatea. Copyright 2011 by Elton Robb.  Not all rights are reserved, see the Creative Commons License shown above.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The NPC Races of Phoenicia

The following races are typically reserved only for NPCs in Phoenicia. Players who want to play one of these races should ask their DM for special permission.  For full details on these races, one should consult the Pathfinder Bestiary.


Aasimars are the result of a Celestial bloodline mixed with a human one.  Although following this logic, all humans are aasimars, the Celestial bloodline is often made stronger by a Celestial becoming mortal enough.  Aasimars who are recognized as Aasimars command respect and awe.  Most aasimars often reinforce their reputations by committing acts of Benevolence and Heroism.  And it is said that some of Humanity's greatest heroes are Aasimars.   Virtually all aasimars are good aligned.  They typically are spread out among the population and may be as much a beggar as they are a noble.

Drow (Dark Elves)

By myself, of course

The Fifth elvish race are known as the Drow (pronounced Drau as in "cow") most everywhere except in the Hordelands and parts of the Northlands where they are known as the svartálfar (or black elves).   They have a reputation for being evil, wicked, and fiendish.  Their culture, although extremely individualistic and clannish, is in opposition to human and elven culture.  They have a reputation of being crafty, duplicitous, and nasty.  It is said that they value deception and guile and scoff at honesty. There were times in the past when these fears were confirmed when two drow armies tried to invade Phoenicia before the Hellenes conquered the city.

They succeeded once, but were driven back and destroyed and they never succeeded again.  Phoenicia under the rule of the dark elves was a place of near anarchy; except when the dark elves at the time laid a heavy hand.  Whether or not dark elves now are virtuous or kind its not up to debate.   There is a law that has been in place before the Hellenic Occupation that if any dark elf is discovered then they are to be arrested and imprisoned or executed without trial.

Deep in Phoenicia I, the Dark Elf Madame Ssapinitra Kennett maintains a haven for her kind.  So far, it's secret and no one knows how deep it is.


Half dragons are the result of unions or magical experimentation between a humanoid and a dragon.  Dragons typically live a long time, and young dragons have been known to dally with "mortals" (humanoids) or most anything.  Or, crazy wizards may do breeding experiments to produce a particular monstrous result.  What ever the case, half-dragons have been known to be the result.

Half-dragons of a humanoid nature in Phoenicia usually come from Silver Dragon, Red Dragon, or Gold Dragon stock.  While silver dragons are the friendliest and gold dragons are often caught up with humanoids, Red Dragons have been known to play with their food if it's intelligent (or sometimes even fall in love with them).

Half dragons are both respected and feared.  They are rare and tend to be more humanoid than not.  The humanoid types, though, form small communities in the poor sector and call themselves the "Dragonborn" in response to racism.  Generally though, the population is law abiding despite any tendencies individuals have towards committing evil.


Orcs are beyond the Dragonwall and come from the Hordelands.  Although exceptions such as the Desert Viper Clan exists, most orcs live in the Hordelands and typically do not bother anyone in Phoenicia.  Orc Myth say that they were born of a forgotten orc god -- which they call the Creator or Nwali.  Nwali, however, is not worshipped and the orcs revere their ancestors or practice animal reverence (through Heathen Shamanism).

Although there is no question that the Orcs brought a codified demon magic through Warlocks into the world; the orcs are generally honorable if slightly antagonistic towards humans.  Although a full scale war between humans and orcs was committed years ago, racial tension is there and every once in a while war erupts between the two races somewhere on the planet.

Generally, the relationship between Phoenicia and the Desert Viper clan is cool.   Every once in a while the orcs raid the city.  The city has never been conquered and it has never been destroyed by orcs.  But no quarter of the city has not felt the orc torch.


If aasimar exists, so do tieflings.  Tieflings are the result of infernal blood being mixed in to human(oid) bloodlines.   A tiefling is typically the descendant of a human-infernal union -- either through a succubus/human mating or a horned demon/human mating.  Tieflings of elven and orc stock are typically called something else.  Tieflings are either warriors, spellcasters (of these, they are typically Warlocks), rogues, or clerics of evil gods.  Most tieflings are evil, and some are chaotic.  It is rumored that one noble family is all tieflings.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Races of Phoenicia -- Minor Races

The minor races are so named not because of their stature, but because of their Rarity. It's up to the GM to decide if these races can be played by player characters or not.

An Elan, by me.

The Elans are humans that have changed themselves to take advantage of the psionic energy around Phoenicia and it's sister cities -- Syracuse and Sybaris.  Elans have changed their physiology so that they will never age and never die of disease or of "natural causes."  Their bodies are capable of converting psionic energy into bio-energy; to the point of sustaining the biological functions of their body -- enough to stave off entropy.

The result is that they have psionic talents beyond those of the regular human.  The ritual for creating an Elan is similar to that of creating a psionic lich.  But there are enough differences that an elan is not an undead.  Still, an Elan is an aberration because the transformation changes how the body processes energy.   The ritual is guarded and considered sacred, almost to the point that the society of elans are often considered to be a secret society or a mystery cult (like those that worship the Spirit of Truth).  The fact is, there are only three known places in the world where Elans can be created.  These three places are Phoenicia, Syracuse, and Sybaris.

What is unusual that the religion of the Elan doesn't seem to change.  An elan would worship the gods she or he worshipped in life before becoming an Elan.  He would have all of his life experience as a personality -- but the transformation results in a forgetting.  A forgetting of knowledge and skills.  In a strange twist of fate -- a new Elan knows everything about himself, just in the area of profession and skill he's like a newborn baby.  The people who developed the ritual still don't understand why, but they are unable to figure it out to the satisfaction of perfection.  They write it off as being "born again" or "born anew" as the new Elan has cast off his old life to begin a new life.

Elans are brimming with energy, psychic energy.  This energy is drawn from the world around them and simultaneously converted into biological energy. Their eyes seem to shine, their skin seems to sparkle, and their hair seems to be made of strands of color in the wind. Elans typically resemble humans in size and weight, with males typically slightly taller and heavier than females.  Their appearance is diverse, as elans will adopt whatever type of dress and physical style of the society they are in.

Racial Traits

  • +2 to one ability score: Elans gain a +2 bonus to one ability score chosen at creation to represent their varied nature.
  • Aberrant Blood: Elans are of the humanoid (aberrant) subtype.
  • Medium: Elan are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Elans have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Aberrant Nature: Although human in appearance, elans suffer from a nature slightly off from the rest of the non-elan society. They suffer a -1 penalty to Charisma-based skill checks when dealing with non-elans.
  • Naturally Psionic: Elans gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If an elan takes levels in a psionic class, she instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Resistance (Su): Elans can use psionic energy to increase their resistance to various forms of attack. As an immediate action, an elan can spend 1 power point to gain a +4 racial bonus on saving throws until the beginning of her next action.
  • Resilience (Su): When an elan takes damage, he can spend power points to reduce its severity. As an immediate action, he can reduce the damage he is about to take by 2 hit points for every 1 power point he spends.
  • Repletion (Su): An elan can sustain his body without need of food or water. If he spends 1 power point, an elan does not need to eat or drink for 24 hours.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When an elan takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  • Languages: Elans begin play speaking Common. Elans with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).

Maenad  (placeholder)

The Maenads are a dichotomous race created from humans by an accident.  From far out to the west in the known world, the accident that created them stemmed from experimenting with psionic lichdom.  Rumor has it that an explosion was involved in their creation.  Very rare, the Maenads are said to be under the curse of Dionysus by the superstitious, since they have strong emotions.  Emotions that take a great deal of discipline to control.  As a result, Maenads have become philosophers, poets, artists, and warriors.

Standing slightly taller than humans, roughly shoulder to shoulder with half-orcs, maenads are physically impressive. Male maenads are usually equal in height, but slightly heavier than females. They have thick, dark hair on their heads, but lack any other hair on their body; instead their skin is covered in flecks of sparkling crystals, giving them a peculiar sparkle. The coloration of these crystals define the look for each individual maenad, ranging from pale white to jet black, and many believe that the coloration is determined by their most powerful emotion. Maenads are naturally graceful and have fine features, possessing an elf-like beauty. They prefer heavier clothing, and wear armor if available, but tend to go barefoot, especially when aboard a ship.

Maenads are attracted to religions that soothe their emotional spirits, and many are attracted to the Spirit of Truth.  Most maenads are lawful, seeing the structure of rules as helpful toward maintaining composure and self-control. Generally, they seek to help others also maintain their own self-control, and have a tendency toward good alignment as a result.

Racial Traits
  • +2 to one ability score: Maenads gain a +2 bonus to one ability score chosen at creation, to represent their varied nature.
  • Medium: Maenads are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Maenads have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Naturally Psionic: Maenads gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a maenad takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Maenad Psionics: Maenad gain the following psi-like ability. 1/day—energy ray. A maenad can deal only sonic damage with this ability. It is accompanied by a tremendous scream of rage. The manifester level is equal to 1/2 Hit Dice (minimum 1st). The DC for this power is equal to 10 + the power’s level + the maenad’s Charisma modifier.
  • Sonic Affinity: Maenads add a +1 to the DC of any spell or power with the sonic descriptor.
  • Outburst: Maenads can dampen their mental processes for an increase in raw power called an outburst. As a result, they take a -2 penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom but gain a +2 bonus to Strength. The character must spend one power point at the beginning of each round during an outburst and may stop an outburst at any time.
  • Inner Rage: Maenads are able to rage one additional round per day should they have the rage ability and they gain an additional round per day every odd character level. In addition to using these rounds for rage, maenads may use them to fuel their outburst, instead of power points.
  • Ordered Rage: Maenads may take levels in the barbarian class even if they are of the lawful alignment.
  • Natural Sailors: Maenads have a +2 bonus to Swim and Profession (sailor) checks. In addition, they gain a +2 bonus to Acrobatics and Climb checks made on sailing ships.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Maenads are proficient with flails. Maenads treat any weapon with the word “maenad” in the name as a martial weapon rather than an exotic one.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When a maenad takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  • Languages: Maenads begin play speaking Common and Maenad. Maenads with high Intelligence scores can choose can choose from the following: Aquan, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, and Goblin.

Half Giants
Half-Giant (placeholder)

Somewhere in the deep deserts the Half-Giants came.  The result of experimentation in mating between humans and giants, half-giants were created as a slave race by deranged sorcerer kings that rule their desert city states.  Now they escaped, and they live in tribal societies.   The most important thing to Half-Giants is their liberty.  A half-giant is individualistic, and he will fight for his life, his liberty, and his property against those who would use force against him. Some myths claim that the half-giants were spawned from fire giants, while others say that they were spawned from sand giants. Regardless of the truth, half-giants are more resilient to heat, a trait that serves them well in the present, as they have a tendency to dwell in arid lands and deserts.

Standing over eight feet tall, half-giants are the largest of the common races, towering above even half-orcs, with males slightly taller and heavier than females. Their size makes them imposing but slow to react. Their skin ranges from nearly complete black to a deep tan, while their hair is almost always black. Their eyes typically range from blue to green, but a fair number have red eyes, making them stand out against other races. Most half-giants tend to wear little clothing, or very heavy armor, depending on the situation; in a social gathering, their tribal clothing covers very little to account for their tendency to reside in hot lands, and most half-giants are proud of their bodies and physical looks and prowess. In combat, they prefer to wear heavy armor, taking advantage of their natural strength and stature.

Half-giants most commonly organize themselves into nomadic and shifting tribes, following charismatic and wise leaders for brief periods. Many half-giants have a tendency to drift into and out of tribes over time, while a portion of a tribe may split out and start a new tribe, which may later merge with a larger tribe. When enemies gather, empires rise, or war looms, the half-giant tribes might unite under their strongest and wisest leaders, protecting each other from the threat of oppression. In times of peace, they splinter into hundreds of individual tribes, enjoying the freedom they hold so dear. As societies go, the half-giants are generally composed of nomadic hunters, taking down the giant sandworms of the desert or hunting elephants across the savannah and plains. Half-giants enjoy dancing, drinking and games of physical prowess such as wrestling, running, and spear throwing.

Worshiping gods relating to freedom, nature, summer, and the hunt, half-giants are devout but very naturalistic. They manifest their worship with totem poles, believing the gods to be pleased with depictions of their power, thus protecting the tribe from evil. Most half-giants tend to be neutral or chaotic good, striving to help both the tribe and others as well as they can, although their belief in following the law to avoid incarceration can result in lawful half-giants. This does not mean that a half-giant won’t resort to violence at the slightest sign of evil. Indeed, to most half-giants, jail, incarceration, and slavery are all seen as equally evil and to be fought to the last breath.

Racial Traits
  • +2 Wisdom, +2 Strength, –2 Dexterity: Half-giants are tough and intuitive, but not too nimble.
  • Giant Blood: Half-giants count as both human and humanoid (giant) for any effect related to race.
  • Medium: Half-giants are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Half-giants have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Low-Light Vision: Half-giants can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. See Vision and Light.
  • Fire Acclimated: Half-giants receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against all fire spells and effects.
  • Powerful Build: The physical stature of half-giants lets them function in many ways as if they were one size category larger.

    Whenever a half-giant is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for a Combat Maneuver Bonus or Combat Maneuver Defense (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the half-giant is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him.

    A half-giant is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature’s special attacks based on size (such as
    grab or swallow whole) can affect him. A half-giant can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. The benefts of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject’s size category.
  • Naturally Psionic: Half-giants receive Wild Talent as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a half-giant takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Half-giant Psionics: Half-giants gain the following spell-like ability: 1/day—stomp. The manifester level for this effect is equal to 1/2 the half-giant’s level (minimum 1st). The DC for this power is equal to 10 + the power’s level + the half-giant’s Charisma modifier.
  • Psionic Aptitude: When a half-giant takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
  • Survivor: Half-giants gain a +4 racial bonus to Survival checks.
  • Languages: Half-giants begin play speaking Common. Half-giants with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, and Ignan.

Half - Ogres
Francisco Bayeu [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Half-Ogres in Phoenicia are of Psychic Ogre stock rather than regular ogre or ogre mage stock.  They are incredibly rare, and are born of rape between an ogre and a human, an orc, or an elf.  Usually, there is a dichotomy in the ratio of ogre males to females -- instead of 55% female to male in humans, it's 45% female to males in ogres.  So the ogres that are incapable of getting mates often go out to capture a pretty elf, human, or orc to breed with.

In very rare instances, half-ogres are bred to serve in a particularly vicious army. In either case, a half-ogre’s upbringing is rarely a happy one, as they are tolerated for their usefulness and shown little love. Those half-ogres that do manage to survive to adulthood with their sanity intact are solitary creatures, putting their muscles to use while understanding that most civilized folk will give them a wide berth. The half-ogre much prefers the country to the city, where urban architecture rarely accommodates their bulk. Half-ogres have miserable tempers and are quick to anger, but those that show one kindness will never have a more loyal friend.

While technically medium creatures, most half-ogres straddle the line at around 8 feet tall. Like dwarves, half-ogres are stocky creatures for their size. From a distance, a half-ogre can pass as a large human, and many ancient legends about extraordinarily large human warriors probably referred to half-ogres. Up close, the wild stare and unkempt appearance, in addition to his larger height, unmistakably mark one as a half-ogre.

The Psychic stock of the Half Ogres of Phoenicia (and Sybaris and Syracuse) allows the Half-Ogre a great deal of psychic potential.  Once, the ogres were the Titans.  Most titans, except those associated with the Planets, were deposed by the Olympians and then cursed to walk the earth, cursed to reflect the ugliness inside themselves.  While some ogres are definitely Beautiful and Handsome, others are incredibly ugly.  Some have horns,  others are afflicted with a great many warts.  Some look like apes, some look like ugly humans.  Some are terrible to behold and to look upon.  All are regarded as enemies due to their appearance.  Now, they walk the earth as living monstrosities, most of the time breeding true, and at other times breeding with other humanoids. 

Half-ogres get along well with half-orcs, especially since they share similar life experiences. Half-ogres also get along with humans who find their strength useful for labor and military purposes. The smaller races tend to be intimidated by half-ogres and the feeling is mutual; half-ogres fear that gnomes or halflings can play tricks on them or steal their stuff without getting caught. Half-ogres don’t enjoy the company of elves or half-elves, as they often have the beauty, grace, and acceptance that was denied to the half-ogre.

Racial Traits:

  • +4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom: Half-ogres are immensely strong and hardy, but somewhat slow-witted and brash.
  • Medium: Half-Ogres are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Half-ogres have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Darkvision: Half-Ogres can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
    Naturally Psionic: Half-giants receive Wild Talent as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a half-giant takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
  • Imposing Figure: Half-ogres are intimidating without trying. They get a +2 racial bonus to Intimidate checks.
  • Ogre Blood: Half-ogres count as both humans and ogres for any effect related to race.
  • Languages: Common, Giant. Half-ogres with high Intelligence scores can choose any of the following: dwarven, goblin, orc, or giant.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

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