The Wager of Battle

Down in Yongardy they do things differently. They respect the law.

Every day there is a queue outside the courts to get a seat to see the latest up and coming barrister defend his case with three feet of steel. The people follow the careers of their favourite solicitors, watch all their cases, collect their portraits and sneak into the court after hours to dab the patches of blood on white handkerchiefs. All the better to be closer to their hero.

In Yongardy they love the law.


Guild law 

Guild law involves the formation, dissolution, and all other legal aspects of the administration of guilds. 
The typical guild lawyer (aka Barristers) will be sporting the latest in puffy jacket and pantaloons, accompanied by a fine blade with ornamental hilt, all of which will be the best their money can buy. This conspicuous expenditure serves to advertise the fact that they have had a long and therefore successful career, long enough to earn their money and possess a mind to spend it before their lives come to an end on the blade of another barrister. 

Guild law is the most profitable and one of the most dangerous (see common law) specialities of the lawyers of Yongardy. The various guilds and their bickering provide ample opportunity for the guild lawyer to earn his fortune.
A guild duel will usually be to first blood for most things (though still very often fatal) with death being reserved for only the most important cases.

A staple exhibition, always guaranteed good ticket sales.
Guild law in motion


Common law 

Common law focuses on behaviours that are sanctioned under criminal codes and defined as illegal, such as assault, rape, murder, theft etc.

Each common lawyer (aka solicitor) wields a thick duelling knife while holding a knotted rope that his opponent is similarly gripping. Their court cases are characterful and bloody, with the solicitors pulling and slashing and spinning. The loser is the first to let go of the rope, alive or dead.

Criminal lawyers are often characterised as being as bad as the clients they represent, going so far as to establish firms in the roughest parts of town and rubbing shoulders with those they may one day defend or send to the dock.

They take pride in the many scars they sport on their faces and arms, you often find in the markets wearing sleeveless garments to attract clients.

The court is often packed out. Though it's considered uncouth to watch such a bloodbath you will often find disguised well-to-do citizen skulking at the back.


Tort Law 

Tort law deals with intentional or unintentional wrongdoing that affects individuals. Cases involve quack chiurgeons/wisewomen/astrologers, accidental harm, shoddy workmanship, wrongful death, or workplace injury.

A tort lawyer (aka Plodds) defends his case with a thick plodd leather sjambok, leather breeches and a loose white shirt. The breeches are to protect their nethers while the shirt is to better illustrate the horrific injuries this weapon inflicts by tearing and showing off the blood.

Tort Lawyers are easily spotted due to their terribly scared and welted skin that has the appearance of thick serpents trapped and crawling beneath their skin. Tort cases are performed until surrender, however some Tort lawyers are so inured to pain that cases are settled out of court once each party is made aware of which lawyer each party has retained. A particularly senior and leathery tort lawyer is enough to settle even the most heinous case. When they do make it to court they are always popular amongst those who come to court for the blood.


Family Law

Family law focuses on legal relations between individuals in the context of the family. Lawyers in this field specialize in child welfare, adoption and divorce.

Family Lawyers look a lot like Tort lawyers, similarly bare chested and leather breeched, however they tend towards muscle and baldness. Only a very green or confident family lawyer would keep a head of hair in a free-for-all brawl. Fights are greased up and bare fisted but otherwise free-for-all and continue until one lawyer is forced from the arena. Often it’s merely a formality for the winner to drag his unconscious opponent out and declare the case closed.

Cases are bloody and long, and thus popular with the crowd who always pack out the court. Ticket sales alone ensure the lawyers make a comfortable income, even if they aren't the most often used.

Tort lawyers are known for being a close knit group who often exchange case notes with their prospective opponent. Their size belies their distinct sense of justice, and one often finds cases of blatant child mistreatment settled by one lawyer walking out of the ring before a blow is thrown. Consequentially, these cases rarely make it to court.


Kings Law 

Treason, poaching, destruction of public property, banditry and all other crimes against the state.

Two venerable royals discuss kings law
Kings lawyers (aka Royals) enter court with great swords and plate armour, leading to very long and mostly non-fatal fights. Kings court therefore rarely brings significant crowds unless a particularly popular bandit has decided to defend himself, which is not unheard of.

All the best kings lawyers are prosecutors working on permanent retainer for the state, leaving only the newest or disgraced to fight for the defence. As can be surmised, the defender rarely wins a case.

Because of the prohibitive set-up costs (plate armour and plate armour repairs are expensive) and relative comfort afforded, lawyers from other areas often "retire" to practise kings law when they are past their prime. As a result there is a preponderance of old skilled royals, some of whom are occasionally disillusioned or bored enough to stand up to the prosecution merely to cause some trouble in their dotage.


Estate Law

Estate law involves land or construction ownership, development, tenant rights, or landlord disputes. 

Estate lawyers (aka Doormen) argue with huge hammers and shields, unwieldy for practical combat outside the court room. The shields can be as large as the lawyer, so large that it is more a mobile barrier that is shuffled toward the opponent where the doormen then swing the massive mauls out from behind, hoping to shatter their peer's blockade or head. The fight continues until one of them is incapacitated or their shield is shattered.

Lawyers in this field often work on retainer for the city or wealthy landowners, used mostly as a deterrent to rowdy tenants. Because of the low cost (anyone can buy a sledgehammer and an old bit of wood) and risk involved in estate law you often find people representing themselves. Doormen are considered to be the lowest field of law by other practitioners, who consider it unskilled and dull.

Because of the rarity of death or injury and the plodding pace of a case, it doesn't have many dedicated fans, usually only drawing and significant crowds when an individual defending themselves has a large extended family.


I want to see my lawyer!

Need legal aid in a hurry? Have the authorities confiscated your baleful artefacts you just stole from the local temple of doom? Well grab a d30 and roll three times, I've got your defence all sorted out:

Roll D30 He/she's known for... And... But...

1 ...outwitting their opponents and pleasing the crowd desperate for work ... is a hopeless drunk
2 ...their great discretion quite young for a lawyer ..a complete misanthrope
3 ...being eager to please too old for this shit … a total bigot (choose specific bigotry)
4 ...their efficient combat style, tiring out their opponent ...being hard-boiled ...suffers panic attacks before appearing at court
5 ...never losing a case ...being an ascetic. All they need is a sharp blade and a client … bribes his opponents to take the fall. Is otherwise a terrible lawyer and will certainly lose when someone refuses.
6 … being obsessed with beauty. Their weapon is a work of art ...champions an experimental discourse style that hasn't caught on yet the spoiled scion of a fancy law school
7 ...owning a famous weapon ...comes from a foreign land … is very lazy
8 ...always being well dressed proud ...demented in some way
9 … being handsome, and rightly proud of it. Not a single scar! ...being very aggressive in court of practise
10 …being loyal to their client, un-bribable …entirely unambitious and content with their lot an excessive womaniser/man eater
11 .. their reputation as being forceful in court, pressing their opponent remorselessly ...very conservative court style. They might not be popular with the spectators, but they get the job done …callous. Their opponent is just a lump of meat and their cause is irrelevant if they get paid.
12 … being a well respected instructor in a famous law school … highly religious. Their career may conflict with this, but it's all they know in debt to a criminal outfit
13 … being articulate and well spoken ...a solitary law practitioner, refusing to join a firm brutal. They always inflict as much pain as possible. The fans love it.
14 ...being charitable with their earnings, and well liked because of it ...emotionally involved easily fatalistic. They didn't expect to live this long
15 ...being knowledgeable, and not only about their speciality retiring after this case …cheats at court. Razorblades in the sleeves, needles under the tongue. It's shocking they haven’t been disbarred
16 ...being worldly, has studied law abroad and brought back strange discourse ...practises multiple fields ...shockingly naive
17 ...being an old hand, well known and liked on the court circuit … has a liberal political stance really too old for this shit
18 ...their love of culture, often invited to the best tea rooms because of it ...supports a young family ...endlessly argumentative
19 … their kindness, does the least damage to their opponent possible without risking the case and always spares their lives if possible a member of a famous law school melancholic for the good old days
20 ...being passionate about their work. The crowd loves them … is terribly scared (if a plodd or solicitor, then extra-specially disfigured) ...a compulsive liar
21 good client advice ...has progressive views on human rights/race/women/men/non-fatal law … is greedy. Easily bribed
22 … their clean living (if a contradicting trait is rolled, “clean living” is just a façade) fiercely patriotic … very abrasive
23 …their huge muscles. Built like an ox and knows how to use it … very absent minded. Often has to send their secretary to get their back-up sword ...operates out of a shady neighbourhood
24 … being patient in court, waiting for their opponent to over extend themselves ...likes a drink ...has inflated opinion their own skill. Often gets them into cases out of their league and will eventually get them killed
25 … their energetic defence ...does this job because of a death in the family drug addled
26 … their high birth ...politically motivated ...has a gambling problem
27 … their witty remarks to the crowd, making them a fan favourite ...has connections ...has a morbid fascination with death
28 …a sentimental streak ...this is their first case an outright criminal off the court (racketeer, hired assassin, mercenary etc.)
29 ...always being optimistic, no matter who they are against always straight to business … is obsessive over an unrelated hobby. So much so it affects their work
30 … being a shrewd negotiator ...quiet. It's hard to tell if they're shy, nervous or just don't like you ...has a history of taking falls

Another 100 Random Possessions

A good bit of time ago I rewrote the majority of this table to fit my needs. I liked the idea, just not the content so I hacked away at it until it was in a shape that suited the campaign. Some of these entries are from the original list, some more are from The Dungeon Dozen, and the rest are mine.

The main addition was bad stuff (#58 being a favourite), free followers of dubious worth, and making them all unique in so much as they get replaced when rolled. Recently I added sub-tables to store past entries that have been too fun to just replace, you'll find those at the end.

I'm thinking of adding some more metaphysical stuff after the next batch of player deaths clears out some entries. Possibly a few secret cultist entries, "You are the chosen one" delusions/entirely-true-prophecies, and of course more STDs.

This list is a favourite of me and my players and I'm always looking to add to it, so do throw out or  point to similar stuff if you know of any.

EDIT: Come to think of it, pretty sure there's some stuff from Vornheim in here.

100 Random starting possessions list.

  1. Grandfather's broadsword, plain but quality. An unknown script runs along the inner side of the scabbard.
  2. A locket containing a tiny portrait of your dear mother.
  3. A scalped dwarf beard
  4. d6 gold pieces stitched into your clothing.
  5. A healing ointment of your mother’s, heals 2hp per application. Four applications.
  6. A sock full of copper bits (2d12).
  7. A small, white and friendly kitten with glowing eyes. The kitten will follow the party everywhere; if it is killed, the next night there are two kittens.
  8. A scroll of deposit worth 168 gold pieces if presented to a member of the Auric Brotherhood of money changers.
  9. A pair of well worn thumbscrews.
  10. A rusted shut prayer book to Vorn.
  11. Small tin of black lotus powder (d6 doses, the cheap knock-off variety that still gets you high but tends to kill repeat users)
  12. A genuine treasure map (5% chance of being real).
  13. Empiric phrasebook. Containing such common necessities as “You child of a long dead sow” and “Death to the Invincible Overlord!”.
  14. Two men-at-arms. Father paid for six months service up front. Armed with Chainmail, shield, and spear.
  15. There is small wrinkled conjoined twin somewhere on your body. It’s asleep most of time, but it has one savant power it can use once a day, if you wake it up and ask it nicely..
  16. Cosmopolitan Cruin: knows one language unknown to adventurers.
  17. A tunnel dog, loyal and well trained. A gift from "uncle Guorgi".
  18. At least half your body is covered in tattoos. These move and frolic about when no one is looking. THEY GUIDE YOU +2 wis.
  19. Book of rare poetry. Prized by manticores.
  20. Vial of unholy water.
  21. A mechanical Goblin Key that'll lock any door.
  22. A lucky Hand of Glory necklace (pickled hanged man’s hand on a rope)
  23. Ancient cube of gold, quite encumbering, 50% chance of being lead with thinnest veneer of gold foil
  24. Gems encased in blobs of lead for safe keeping (a troll practice).
  25. Damage-proof scroll case carved of leviathan ivory.
  26. Ornate ceramic vessel with cork stopper, decorated w/scenes considered quite erotic by certain folks, contains one gallon refined mineral oil, extra slippery.
  27. Small leather bag with embroidered mushroom insignia: weird loam within produces a new super-nutritious fungal lobe each day if kept moist, stinks though.
  28. Keepsake box containing set of pointy baby teeth dipped in bronze.
  29. Musical instrument of shining brass, obviously designed to be played by creature with multiple mouths, scads of digits.
  30. Giant-size coat of exquisite chinchilla-like fur, marred slightly by smear of indelible ink on massive sleeve.
  31. A holy symbol of Titivilla (an ivory dildo). Faith optional.
  32. Hermetically sealed box containing chunk of rubbery troll flesh eager to remake itself once exposed to air.
  33. Chest full of theatrical costumes.
  34. Father's old round shield, (medium), beneath the boss is the sigil of [insert valiant god], valiant conduct by the bearer may draw the eye of the God.
  35. Corgo the cognizant: able to remember important detail forgotten by adventurers. (Once per game)
  36. A bundle of letters to be delivered.
  37. Leprosy. You don’t feel much pain but are never sure when something has fallen off. +2 con but your HP is secret and the GM won’t tell you how injured you are until it’s too late.
  38. The Tale of the Nymph and the Acolyte, bawdily illustrated.
  39. Recipe for preparing a seven course meal using the components of a single monster (randomly determined) for all dishes.
  40. A trolls hand mounted on a three foot rod. It will grasp objects, or make a fist. commands, grabit, leggo, fist. You found it in the Forrest gripping a tree branch.
  41. A bestiary, allows the player to ask one question of the DM about any creature listed in the monster manual, fiend folio, or monster manual II, during the game.
  42. Munn the torchbearer/unemployed cartographer.
  43. A long stem pipe and bag of pipe weed.
  44. Ten or twelve sentences translated from your language into another random language, with phonetic spelling for the latter. "Surrender or die!" and "Where's the treasure?" top the list. 33% chance inaccurate.
  45. Small vial of cerebrospinal fluid of the mind-bat: imparts random knowledge following short pleasurable coma. D3 uses.
  46. Envelope of black mold spores: snorted for hours-long laughing jags, long term users identifiable by tell-tale nasal staining. D3 uses.
  47. Jar of skin secretions of the blind cave frog: dilute with brandy for an interesting buzz. D6 uses.
  48. Jar of pickled polychromatic fungi: mild hallucinogen, enables user to see in the dark. D3 uses.
  49. A travel sewing kit. Compact but comprehensive.
  50. A full face mask.
  51. Keen-eyed Kruun: more likely than average to spot objects of value.
  52. Wheel of gray cheese: overwhelms the pleasure centers for 10 minutes, then turns skin stone-gray and deadens emotions (cure: more gray cheese). 2D6 servings.
  53. Halifam the Half-hobbled: enchanted peg-leg allows one spectacular jump (as spell) per day, d6 roll required (1-5 leap succeeds, 6 peg-leg falls off).
  54. Bladder of War Juice(TM): tincture of white ape adrenal fluids and alcohol, induces battle frenzy/heart attack(5% chance).
  55. Flaegra, priestess from exotic realm: on pilgrimage of self-nullification, taking on menial/dangerous tasks such as hauling treasure, carrying torches, under oath to never use considerable powers.
  56. Spear-hole in both sides of neck, likes to smoke pipe for gruesome effect.
  57. A tiny jar of glitternight dust: Strong hallucinogen, induces violent euphoria. Fortunately also a paralytic.
  58. Syphilis. You don’t expect to live long enough to regret your heady youthfulness. -1 con +2 reflex rolls, won’t get past 50 without losing your mind.
  59. Mighty Bleena: possibly the world's strongest woman, suffered series of concussions earlier in career (still refuses to wear helmet), becomes confused in battle, 50% likely to mistakenly hammer friendlies who get close to her in melee.
  60. A pet snake.
  61. Huroo the mentally deficient yet totally bold and confident torchbearer: loincloth, torches.
  62. Cleem of the Pukarat people: two-handed sword, breechclout, a barbarian so ferociously savage and given to violence as to be a constant liability.
  63. Unbelievable number of concealed daggers (5D3).
  64. Packet of herbal virility enhancer.
  65. Forty feet of steel wire on a spindle.
  66. A bottle of mild sleeping tonic.
  67. A pouch around your neck containing a wooden likeness of your parents.
  68. An adorable piglet.
  69. A fully furnished pack mule.
  70. A really nice horse. Wow, what a handsome horse.
  71. A wax paper packet of blue dye powder.
  72. A pair of bear fur knee breeches.
  73. An elinguated eunuch warrior slave. You monster.
  74. Pot of analgesic body balm.
  75. Branded with insignia of notorious slaver, still on the wanted list. 50% hand, 50% face.
  76. A fine pair of trousers in your family’s tartan.
  77. A small sundial on a necklace.
  78. Frolees five page guide to moustaches and beards.
  79. A six inch Crystal lens.
  80. A small silver mirror.
  81. Corrective spectacles.
  82. A Ring of Luck, +1 on all saves, roll again on this list.
  83. Closed helm featuring faceplate shaped as caricature of cherubic infant face.
  84. A seven-fingered glove.
  85. A golden false eye to replace the one you lost (randomly determine which eye is missing).
  86. A copper tongue scraper.
  87. Emergency escape razor stashed in wrist wrappings.
  88. A bag of candied fruits.
  89. Pint of noxious hill giant repellent in sealed sheep's bladder
  90. A wand of eye poking. four charges. It will unerringly poke out the eye of target creature within arms reach. no roll needed.
  91. An excellent wool scarf knitted by your grandmother. Bonuses to resist cold.
  92. Unabridged History of the Slug Folk: 1000% more proper names than The Silmarillion, abundant w/tedious, highly repetitive minutiae of utterly pedestrian slug folk lives.
  93. Illuminated scroll containing abridgement of Ahknatar the Inscrutable's classic Lethal Pitfalls of Situational Ethics
  94. A live armadillo-like creature that clings tenaciously to your head, gives tactical advice, provides encouragement, sacrifices self to protect wearer from otherwise deadly blow.
  95. A small bag of uncut semi-precious stones.
  96. A dozen glow wasps in a round wire cage with handle. Equal to torch light at night. Require food and water daily.
  97. Disguise kit w/ wigs, false moustaches/beard etc.
  98. A collection of keys, hundreds of keys, of all shapes and sizes.
  99. Thick ragged scar from top of head to left heel, doesn't want to talk about it.
  100. Go to sub-table 1

Sub-table 1:

  1. Big brother’s favourite floppy hat.
  2. A large copper chamber pot.
  3. An adventurous kid has decided to become your henchman.
  4. Fake Fever Flixir; Induces flu-like symptoms for up to a week, depending on how much you drink.
  5. A scroll tube containing the deed to the Riven Tower of Ghasdac.

The Campaign Map

I think the campaign map is finally finished, at least in regards to towns and the general geography of the place. Ever since looking up some 16th century maps of Sweden I've been assuming there are exactly as many rickety roads and villages as I care to fit into every square inch of the place. It seems humans will live just about anywhere, making little communes within spitting distance of the last one. No respect for neat and tidy maps, damn them. So I've taken to marking down only the villages that are interesting or important enough to remember plus the main connecting roads. These main, red, roads are of the level at which I imagine a wealthy gentleman could ride his coach down without spilling his drink every few seconds.

 Click for a bigger version

Bigger version.

As for scale, it's about 5 miles per hex but I'm not too concerned with physical distance. Most movement so far has been thought of in terms of "how many hexes can we cover in a day?" Knowing that Kildear is 2 days from Vornheim is more useful than knowing it's 30 miles away.

Using this thing is going to be intimidating for me. So far my only stab at hexcrawls is the little journey from Gaxen Kane (no relation, I just liked the name) to the Slaughtergrid. It was a fun little hunt where the players didn't know the exact spot, just a general direction and rumour it was out there and full of gold. They ended up getting some rough ideas from locals, guessing, and beseeching a fickle god whose answers were 50/50 at best. After some tumbles with the local wildlife and indigenous tribes they ended up at their destination and we all had a jolly old time.

But by the gods, it's terrifying going all free-wheely hexcrawly on these things.

I decided I'd use random encounters to flesh out the map, ensuring the players really feel the world by living it (or dying to it, either's good). For example, until the session to find the Slaughtergrid we didn't know where the Silver Tower or Gold Citadel were, or even if they existed. I'd fashioned a big fat encounter table (using the one Slaughtergrid already provided and adding a bunch of other stuff) and just ran the session with it until the dungeon location got rolled up. I had plenty of material in there to occupy an evening, and if the dungeon turned up in the first roll we could just dive right in an do that sweet dungeon thing.

Things that are now true:

  1. Burke Birds live here, are arseholes, and should not be underestimated.
  2. Banth are hunted by the Gold Citadel.
  3. The Gold Citadel are a thing.
  4. They burnt down the Silver Tower.
  5. A serial killer is killing all the anchorites in the area. She's pretty okay though, gives good directions.
  6. Mudmen.

Points that arose:

All things that could just as well have not existed if it weren't for the roll of a die. Does that make them less interesting than a curated progression? 

The Gold Citadel popped into existence purely out of the juxtaposition of encounters and the particular way the players approached it. The Citadel could well exist in an entirely different form had it gone otherwise. The Duchess is pickled because it made sense at the time. And is true.

It would be cool and impractical to have a bunch of dungeons scattered around that the players know about and can go to. Improvising or memorising any one of those locations at a random point would be tough. Is it worth the actual freedom when an illusion of freedom is just as fun?

Could an entire area be built by a suitably vast encounter table? Could I make a 100 entry monstrosity and run a whole campaign off it? If each result was suitably worthy, i.e. equivalent to a room in a dungeon, I don't see why not. 

Can you make 100 encounters in one go that are interesting enough and cogent enough to not feel like you're playing through a list of cool stuff with a dungeon or town at the end?

How cool would it have to be to be forgiven?

All these need answering before the players crawl back out of the lady-robot with their oodles of gold and dead comrades. We'll see how it goes!


As a side note, a distraction from doing more useful things, I made a full blown earth-scale world map. The above map fits inside the tiny red square in the top right. It's not set yet as I'm not entirely clear what I want from the larger world. I made it primarily to help me think about what to do when the current map runs thin and to test out some ways of generating nice coastlines and fitting them together. I think it came out okay.

Gods of the Wild Places

This is my attempt at making some more earthy, grounded and decidedly pre-judaistic gods. They're pretty much just fancy animals, fancy animals that you could conceivably find and kill if you were so inclined. In Bashu's case it's shocking that this hasn't happened already.


Bashu the Summer Lord

Bashu the Summer Lord, Enemy of Infants, the Far Traveller

A god that needs to be hunted to be properly worshipped. 

Of course he has lay worshippers, hunters from the Spine to the Black Mirror will release an occasional animal from their snares to court his favour. The bigger the better, but as most hunters know there are diminishing returns in Bashu's graces. A rabbit might not merit much attention but a deer will feed your children for a month and freeing it won't guarantee anything. Bashu doesn't care. He's a simple creature and takes his vengeance on greedy trackers by showing the animals their traps and where best to hide.

If you manage to catch or corner him he will exchange knowledge of the animals for his freedom. He sees everything that the animals of his woods see.

All spell-receiving clerics of Bashu are hunters who have managed to catch him and traded his freedom for nothing but his gratitude. Bashu respects that and rewards them with insight. Clerics that worship Bashu get a point of bushcraft every second level.

Or you could totally just kill him and take his magic stick, but so far no one has. However the Gold Citadel is very interested in Bashu but have so far failed to catch him.

  • No. Encountered: One, if you're very very lucky.
  • Size: An 8ft tall hairy man/bear/tree
  • Speed: As fast as a healthy horse.
  • AC: 16. His skin is stiff like shark leather with hair so thick you can hardly find your way to the flesh.
  • D8+3  Pick something that won't take forever to beat him down on but enough so that they know they're fighting a god (5HD is probably good.)
  • Saving Throw: 8
  • Attack: Crutch of Summers (huge tree club 1d10+3)
  • Intelligence: He understands running and hiding, he knows where the game trails are and every good hollow tree and crevices. A good runner is also a good chaser, so he could probably answer some tough questions on finding what you need in the wild corners of the world.
  • Treaure: His walking stick, the Crutch of Summers, is huge and can be used as a clumsy great weapon with some difficulty by a normal fellow (1d8 damage), however if you take your time and lean into it like an old crone, your footprints will appear as whatever animal you wish them to be. Accurate enough to trick all but the most cunning and experienced tracker (-3 in 6 bushcraft roll to figure it out). Bashu can use it without all this fuss of course, it's his stick after all.
  • His voice sounds like old, stretched leather and he smells like autumn leaves. 


Invenit, who Makes Clear the Way

Invenit, the God of lost things

Invenit's most ardent followers eschew maps and wander around trying to be 'lost' as much as possible. Finding 'lost' items (treasure, etc) is considered a blessing from the god. Holy symbol is an open, empty hand.

Invenit appears as a shimmering blue goat with long braided hair, sometimes glimpsed at the crest of hills or the bottom of valleys, always watching and shimmering before unhurriedly trotting off. His appearance is thought to lead the lost where they need to go, even if it isn't necessarily where they want to go.

His followers are on a constant pilgrimage to find something. What "thing" they want is unknown, but they know they should be looking for it. To save time for their fellow pilgrims they tag where they've been. It isn't uncommon to find a crude carving of the open hand of Invenit in ancient temples in the heart of the most remote rainforests and on massive stalagmites in the deep dark crotch of the earth. As you can imagine they are a worldly lot and often carry the best and most juicy news from far away lands.

Some devotees think they are looking for Invenit. Some believe it is a metaphorical journey of discovery, and in fact the destination is not part of Invenit's plan for them (if s/he even has one). Some think it's gold, large quantities of gold. It can't be a coincidence Invenit leads them down those dungeons so damn often, can it?

Either way, they all agree s/he's a wise old goat.


And there you are. I like the idea of giving clerics bonuses without feeling obliged to penalise them at all. It makes sense that Bashu's secrets would make you a better tracker, it doesn't make sense that he would demand you stop using bladed weapons (for instance). You have him in a pit, he's exchanging his life for you being his cleric, I feel it's a fair exchange as it is. Besides, if a god is interesting enough players will limit themselves quite happily without any crunchy intervention. The last player to worship Invenit wilfully got herself neck deep in every adventure hook just because Invenit says so. I think that's penalty enough.


The Gold Citadel/The Silver Tower

Knights of the Gold Citadel are in constant search of new and exciting game.

The Gold Citadel
The Gold Citadel was built by Duchess Florka Haugen-Castellan as a menagerie and museum for her extensive collection of living and dead hunting trophies from around the world. The continued accumulation by her and her family demanded expansions and so the modest keep has become a sprawling complex of towers, halls and galleries spreading up the mountainside.

Duchess Florka in her pickle jar.

Upon her death at the tentacles of a particularly large sand-kraken she was preserved, as per her wishes, in a class cabinet full of fine white wine form her own vineyard. Her great-great-etc. grand children still parade their prizes past her and her case in the great hall and often share a quiet word with her. Grandmother Florka's hunting advice was always the best.

 Florka's family have continued to occupy the retreat, on down the line. In order to secure a female heir to the duchy pregnant princesses hunt the local banth and eat their fresh hearts, well known for its feminine humors. Alone, on horse back, and with nothing other than a banth pike they will scour the foothills for a solitary male. Giving birth while on this hunt is considered terribly lucky, it's not uncommon for the princess to take extra time so as to  increase her chance of birthing in the wild.

Prince Qadir Haugen-Castellan looking pensive
Knights of the Gold Citadel are hunters first and foremost, but a delicate pallate is just as admired as a strong spear arm and cunning eye. Journeyman knights live as gastronomic tourists, traveling the breadth of the world looking for rare and exotic dining experiences which they dutifully record and rate. No animal is too fierce nor vegetable too remote for them to track down, consume and critique; they value raw and cooked texture, serving suggestions, tracking pleasure, risk/taste analysis, complementary dishes, lairing habits, over-all preparation experience and pelt presentability, to name a few. Special merit is awarded those brave knights who go to the trouble of bringing back live specimens for the menagerie and attached kitchens.

The notebooks of journeyman knights are highly valued by restauranteurs and chefs. They would likely pay exceedingly well for them, no questions asked.

The male knights are made up of the husbands and brothers of the princesses. The brothers are forbidden to marry and so tend towards an itinerant life. If encountering a Knight of the Gold Citadel abroad it will most likely be one of these Princes.

Every year around midwinter select members of the zoo are boiled alive inside a huge copper mold, forcing them into an amalgamated human shape made up of all manner of exotic animals. The multifarious meat loaf is then served to the royal court to guarantee a year of prosperity and lucky hunting. The tributary villages are often gifted the generous table scraps, making the bleak months something to look forward to for the younger peasants who chase each other through the fields dressed in the mysterious jellied pelts found in their meals.

(left to right) Princesses Tasin & Aafreeda Haugen-Castellan
Item: Haugen-Castellan Annual Dining Guide #467
Description: A weather proof illuminated book for the chef on the go. Inside you find hundreds of illustrated recipes for a staggering array of animals, most of which you've never seen before or thought were purely mythical.
Effect: 50% chance to have information on cooking at least one edible dish with whatever animal you have in front of you, no matter how outrageously poisonous it may be.


The Silver Tower

The Silver Tower was built by Agerun the Progenitor (or more accurately by Agerun the Progenitor's various custom built chimeric crimes against nature) as a sardonic mirror of the Citadel. Previously he had held apartments in the Gold Citadel's unparalleled menagerie but had fallen out with the Duchess after the accidental death of Princess Trudel Haugen-Castellan to an experimental pan-dimensional banth/human hybrid. She had commissioned him to build a suitably cunning prey so he had smartly used Trudel's own blood to form the human aspect of the chimera, what could stand to outsmart the hunter but the hunter herself! Plus a very large banth, of course.

Unfortunately it was not to be, as upon releasing it from its plasmic womb to show the princess its progress the creature dissolved into 8 different yet perfect past versions of the young noble and tore her to pieces on the spot. After watching the rapidly discombobulating chimeric children fleeing the citadel with various royal vital organs in tow the wizard wisely decided his time at the zoo was over.

He had already left with his most mobile pets and started to build his seclusium on the far side of Loch Doldrum when the remaining princesses had finished hunting down their doppelganger sisters and resolved to kill the corpulent mage.

In some weeks they tracked him down through his obfuscations and trickeries and toppled the tower into the loch and put his aberrations to the torch. The knights and their militia never found the Progenitor's body so they hunt him still. No one knows better than a hunter the danger of a wounded animal.


Transplasmic Organic Bifurious Inductors, or Tobi for short.

The Wizard in the Silver Tower created and used them as a mix of goat and pig: a convenient method for disposing of waste and trimming the grass. Though you would think that with a mouth that big garden work would be a problem, yet you would be wrong since they have long, delicate, skin-shreddingly abrasive lips which can distend and be used with an alarming degree of finesse.

Tobis consume matter and process it into a universal nutritious soup/all purpose compost which dribbles out of their mouths unless regularly instructed to empty themselves somewhere more productive. Though generally better at eating purely organic items, such as sewage, table leavings or adventurers, they can ingest just about anything with varying degrees of success. They alternate between chewing and soaking in acid whatever it is they've been set to mulch, a rinse/spin cycle if you like.

Highly receptive to plasmic interference, the Tobi can be altered readily by a competent sorcerer with a firm grounding in Fundamental Transgressive Plasmology. Modifications include, but are not limited to: invisibility, form-mimicking, height reduction, teeth removal, hair transplantation, voice inclusion, blindness, liquefaction.

  • No. Encountered: Unless told to be somewhere or do something they will have wandered off and be on their own, otherwise it can be any number appropriate for the job they are performing.
  • Size: 4ft from hoof to to roof.
  • Speed: Faster than they look, slightly slower than an unencumbered human
  • AC: 12. They don't protect themselves especially.
  • 3Hit Dice, they're just big spongy sacks of acid and teeth. If you deal more than half its remaining HP in one hit you might get sprayed with stomach acid and whatever they're currently working on (breath save or 1d4 damage). They tend to all charge up on their theee short legs and try to manically force as much of you as they can into their mouths.
  • They like to grab and bite for 2d6 damage (+4 to hit, they don't care about getting hit and can fit a lot in that gob). Any grapple they perform will effectively be your limbs in their mouth. (save vs. device or lose it? Season cruelty to taste).
  • Once per day they can vomit up their last job (they can always eat it again later), requiring a save vs. breath every turn, dealing 1d4 damage regardless. Continues until you succeed a save or remove your clothes and wipe that nasty gunk off.
  • Intelligence: The base Tobi is about as smart as a dumb six year-old, however modifications are possible.
  • If you are crazy enough to sift through their toxic gut you may find some undigested heavy metals.
  • Reaction (pg. 56 of LotFP): -6 unless empty or instructed otherwise, in which case they will eat you.
  • Morale: Unless told otherwise they will eat unto death. If you fed them a red hot cannon ball they wouldn't spit that thing out (except to vomit on you).
  • They smell like someone farted through an onion and sound very similar.

RPG Profile

I'm currently running (at home): None

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (at home) include: Nope

I'm currently running (online): Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (online) include: Lamentations of the Flame Princess

I would especially like to play/run: Esoterrorists. The game is satisfying but an immense hassle and time commitment to plan and run.

...but would also try: Pretty much anything if it was run by someone that can sell it. And Talislanta. Yea, talislanta.

I live in: East London

RPG products other people made that I like: The Dictionary of Mu, The Original Planescape D&D stuff, Death Love Doom, the Fighting Fantasy game books.

2 or 3 novels I like: GOD KILLERS: Machivarius Point & Other Tales, On (good luck googling that), The Wizard Knight

2 or 3 movies I like: Beyond the Black Rainbow, Conan, A Field in England

Best place to find me on-line: Here.

I will read almost anything on tabletop RPGs if it's... persistently confusing.

I really do not want to hear about: Politically framed analysis of role play games. 

Games I'm in are like (link to something): This.

Concerning Mudmen

Mudmen cover themselves with the rich silty mud of Loch Doldrum
Legend has it that the Mudmen of Doldrum once lived in great cities, stone cities full of tall martial men and women who made war with their neighbors on the backs of fearsome Banths, a gift from their new god.

Banth numbers have dwindled due to over hunting. Conservation efforts are ongoing.

No one remembers the names of their cities and the Mudmen won't tell. Each one of them burned down to their foundations, nary an arrangement of rubble even the most optimistic adventurer could call a ruin left. Overnight all their conquests undone by their pragmatic and single-minded god: Tolhoth

Tolhoth, God of Mudmen

 Quite apart from the struggles of his worshipers, he waged war in the realm of the jealous gods, a dimension of unending strife between many gods.
As his earthly following grew, his own victories diminished in glory and reward, eventually leading to a string of stalemates and eventually defeats. He descended to the earth and consulted the Great Oracle of Pellan, whose vision extended throughout all dimensions. She told him that as he was victorious on earth, he would suffer defeat in the sky.
Tolhoth appeared as a fiery giant towering over the tops of mountains, destroying every person and every temple in every city of village where he was venerated. Nothing remained of the nation that had worshiped him, and the neighbors swarmed in to take possession of anything of value that remained.

 All except for the Mudmen. Sad and forced to flee from their conflagrating homeland into the cold waves of Loch Doldrum, they waited. Tolhoth saw them rise from the banks as the fires died and the cities crackled and popped. Covered in mud and hunched over from the crippling cold he thought they were restless spirits, quite understandably perturbed by his rending of the lands, and ignored them.

Still he fights his war, never quite victorious, never achieving his total monotheist dominion in the sky. We could speculate that he now doubts the words of the Oracle of Pellan, maybe even that he regrets losing one kingdom without gaining another, but it's unwise to speculate on the minds of Gods. The Mudmen certainly don't.

Loch Doldrum: big, deep, cold. Considered to be neither use nor ornament by everyone except the "Elite Brotherhood of the Potters of Gaxen Kane" who owe their success to the fine white mud that lines its shores.

Today the Mudmen are found primarily on the shores of Loch Doldrum and along its contributory creeks and rivers, never too far from their mud lest Tolhoth spies them and comes back to finish the job and finally win his war in the sky. In their minds the very survival of the physical world relies on that mud and who are we to argue?

A Mudman war party on the look out for careless Potters.
Their more traditionally civilized neighbors consider this superstition a great convenience as the Mudmen have lost none of their martial spirit and would undoubtedly cause all sorts of mischief were they to wander freely along the Spine or, worse yet, peddle their superior crockery in the markets of Gaxen Kane.

 As it stands their only regular contact with foreigners is through the Elite Brotherhood of the Potters of Gaxen Kane who regularly send well armed expeditions to collect the eponymous mud, and almost equally often don't return with a full compliment of staff. These dealings go some way to explain the Mudmen's reputation as marauders and cannibals, but since the white mud commands such respect in their trade the Potters are resigned to its cost.