Legends & Lore: A Few Thoughts

March 28, 2011

I’ve been looking over Legends & Lore (2nd Edition) to get some ideas in my head for what I will eventually do with the deities presented in it, and I must say, the gameplay information is pretty lackluster. The avatars are fairly statistically unimaginitive and unvaried, the specialty priest abilities and requirements are both very basic and at times rather overpowered (quite a few get a daily Raise Dead, and I can’t really see why; another priesthood immediately advances to 11th level upon gaining 10th). And the circles gained by priests (especially in the Native American mythos) are abysmal! (Priests of Sun have major access to All, Sun, and minor access to two others. *That’s it.*) Anyway, I’ll probably revamp them almost entirely when I get around to working on them.


Squerrik the Ratlord

March 24, 2011

Time for another deity write-up; this time it is Squerrik, the Wererat god. Upon reading through what had been written on wererats and Squerrik himself, I was surprised no one had drawn upon some obvious folk mythology. So I decided to add it in.  :)  I also modeled some elements of the priesthood and culture after aspects of rats themselves, since it seemed fitting.

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Pantheon Names

March 24, 2011

I was thinking a bit today about how to identify the various real-world pantheons while avoiding real-world ethnic names (i.e. Celt, Greek). For example, for the Greek pantheon, they can be referred to as the Olympians and the Titans. Ideally this would be the name these gods use to refer to themselves. So let’s run down what I know of for sure:

Greek = Olympians, Titans
Celt = Tuatha de Danaan
Egyptian = Pesedjet (added 04/13) or Netjeret (8/26)
Finnish = ?
Norse = Aesir, Vanir
Chinese = Celestial Bureaucracy
Indian = ? (Vedic is used, but it isn’t a proper noun; you can’t say “he’s a member of the Vedic”)
Japanese = ?
Native American = ?
Central American = (Aztec, Mayan, etc.)
Sumerian/Babylonian = (See below)

Now, there are some conspicuously missing pantheons that I would eventually like to work on, and those are:
Mesopotamian (aka Sumerian/Akkadian [Assyrian and Babylonian]) = Anunnaki/Igigi
Hittite = ?
Hurrian/Urartian = ?
Aegian (Minoan/Etruscan/Cypriot) = ?
Roman = ?

Clearly I need to do some more research on these mythologies. I’m open to suggestions.


Trishina the Waverider

March 20, 2011

Sorry for the delay on this one. When writing about Trishina, I drew heavily upon what had been written for Deep Sashelas, since the two faiths are so closely intertwined. I also based aspects on Eldath, since I saw that there are a number of similarities between their faiths and attitudes. Overall, Trishina was another really fun one to write, and gave an opportunity to explore some aspects of cetacean culture, including some very unusual ones in the Spelljammer setting.

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Maglubiyet the Mighty One

March 14, 2011

Okay, you were probably expecting Trishina next, but she has been slightly delayed (off berrating Deep Sashelas for pursuing an elf maiden, I imagine). Instead, I bring you the chief of the goblin and hobgoblin pantheon, Maglubiyet! Compared to Gruumsh, there was surprisingly little canon on the Lord of Depths and Darkness, so I wasn’t very constrained in my writing. I’m definitely getting a better feel for these documents, too. After working on this one, I’m kind of looking forward to working on Bargrivyek, as I think I’ll turn him into one of the favored gods of spelljamming goblins. That will be a little while off though. Anyway, without further ado, here is Maglubiyet.

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Grolantor the Steading Lord

March 6, 2011

Giantcraft, while fairly poorly designed, actually has a wealth of good information on giantish culture. I found it quite handy for this part of my project, and am looking forward to working on more of the deities, particularly Hiatea. Hopefully, what I’ve written here on Grolantor will inspire people to make some more interesting adventures involving hill giants, mountain giants, or ettins.

Sadly, I could not think of any Spelljammer references to make for him or his priests.

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Ramenos the Great Frog

February 24, 2011

One of my favorite tactics as a DM is to surprise players with creatures that are normally weak and pretty much push-overs, like kobolds, by tossing in some that have classes or skills the PCs aren’t used to seeing. However, you can only use kobolds so many times before the PCs begin to expect it.  So you need to mix it up, and this latest entry to my Monster Mythology update project allows just that, with bullywugs.  I had a lot of fun creating the spells for Ramenos’s priests, and it gave me an opportunity to cite one of my favorite monsters. If anyone uses the specialty priest in this write-up, let me know!  I’d like to hear about the PCs’ reaction.  :D

It’s a lot of fun dropping in Spelljammer references and adventure hooks, too.

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Skerrit the Hoofed Lord

February 15, 2011

As I mentioned in my previous post on Bahgtru, I’d burned out a bit working on another evil orc god. So for this update to Monster Mythology, I decided to work on something completely different, and Skerrit jumped out at me as something that could be a lot of fun, and it was.  I really enjoyed working on his writeup, and I think most of you will agree that he is makes a great addition to the existing set of nature deities, such as Silvanus and Rillifane Rallafil. Hopefully my additions to Spelljammer and the Forgotten Realms will be useful, interesting, and welcome.

Which actually reminds me.  I’d like to add some Greyhawk flavor to some of these write-ups, but I don’t know the setting all that well, and I don’t want to step on any toes, so to speak. So if anyone knows of any specific locations that are holy to one of the (non-demihuman) gods in Monster Mythology, please let me know! Alternately, if you know of a good location to put something, that would be welcome too!

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Bahgtru the Leg-Breaker

January 24, 2011

Here’s my third update to Monster Mythology; this time I worked on Gruumsh’s son, Bahgtru. I was originally planning to do all the gods in order, but I found when working on this one that it burned me out a bit to be doing the same sort of thing, so I’m going to start skipping around.  That way each one feels fresh while I’m writing it, and there will be a wider variety of options available to players and DMs earlier. Despite the issues I had with this one, I think it still turned out very well, so enjoy and let me know what you think!

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Gruumsh One-Eye

January 12, 2011

Okay, here’s the second entry in my project to update the gods of Monster Mythology to the 2nd Edition “Faiths & Avatars” format.  This time we have the chief deity of the orcish pantheon, Gruumsh.

This time I’ve created a couple spells for Gruumsh’s clergy to use, so I’m interested to hear thoughts on them, too.  One is a modification of an existing dwarven spell, and the other is a codification of a special ability granted to Gruumsh’s priests in Monster Mythology. I plan to do that for similar abilities listed for other gods.

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