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Egradus: Hacks

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I sat down with my players a few days ago for the Session 0 of our Egradus campaign. I've run them through some OSR adventures using Lamentations of the Flame Princess before, so the general feel of the system was fairly familiar but I wanted to see if there was anything they'd like to do differently as well as getting an idea of where they wanted to start out in the world. They eventually settled on Shaxecan - a prosperous orcish merchant nation on the Crescent Sea where new technological devices are being made and perfected on a staggeringly regular basis.

One of the things that they mentioned was wanting to split character race and class, which are combined by default in LotFP. As such, I've decided to expand on a homebrew race/class system made up by lotfp666 on Tumblr (which I highly recommend for additional game materials and artwork), as well as using some additional homebrew classes that they've made. The rules they've created for separate race and class ar…

Class: Cat-Speaker

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Ramliya, the City of Whispers, towers above the lands around it. Its great metal bones stretch towards the grey sky where the air thins and its halls are filled with rumour and secrets. The Grey Halls hoard these things as offerings to their Goddess of Silence, Yenta, accompanied by feline companions with a voracious appetite for mysteries.

For those who live in Ramliya, cats are constant companions and every household has at least one living under its roof. This arrangement suits the cats perfectly, not only do they get fed and housed but eavesdropping on humans becomes child's play. This too is accepted as a fact of life in Ramliya and the secret-sniffing habits of the cats are given no mind. That is, except by the Cat-Speakers.

The talent manifests at a young age and typically in an isolated child with little human interaction. Subtle feline vocalisations and body movements soon reveal themselves to be an intricate language all of their own and the Cat-Speaker is able to make …

Religion on Egradus

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"Not at all similar are the race of the immortal gods and the race of men who walk upon the earth." Homer, Iliad, Book V.

Every setting needs some gods, whether real or false. Belief and faith are powerful things and the forces directing them can wield incredible influence over the lives of their followers. I considered a few options for Egradus - Skerples has gone for monotheistic pseudo-Catholicism while Goblin Punch has opted for monotheism-but-also-polytheism - but eventually decided on a polytheistic approach for my setting.
Gods and Angels Egradus has a staggering number of deities. Most of them have virtually no power at all and are little more than glorified village harvest spirits capable of granting a few minor boons or bringing good weather. Towns have their own gods that they pray and give offerings to though some more organised regions and city states have whole pantheons of gods with a wider worship. Some few have followers spanning continents and while all go…

Class: Weaver

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Beast-Men often live a rude and miserable existence, either persecuted by their non-mutant brethren or drive into the forests and mountains to eke out lives as raiders and outlaws. However, this is not true of all Beast-Man strains - the Weavers, indeed, do quite well for themselves.

The spire-city of Ramliya towers above south-east Izoa like a steel mountain, with its upper reaches stretching towards the sky like iron bones staked into the earth. The Council of Thirteen controls the city with the wealthiest and most powerful guilds holding seats, one of which is the Honourable House of the Spinneret. The fact that its members represent nightmarish fusions of spider and human is tactfully ignored as the Honourable House produces one of Ramliya's key exports - silk.

A Weaver stands about the height of a human but with a slim chest and shoulders atop a more rounded stomach. Their legs are jointed backwards and their hands and feet look roughly human but end in small claws and are co…

The Cosmos

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One of the first things I considered with Egradus was the cosmology of the world and wider universe. I had already decided that I wanted to include a sci-fi/science-fantasy element and Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa proved to be perfect for use as a base for a wider universe. For those of you who haven't read it, Carcosa features barbaric human tribes (divided into 13 colours) fighting for survival on an distant planet where the Great Old Ones sleep, sorcerers conduct blasphemous rites to control unspeakable horrors, aliens drop by for the occasional laser-filled visit and the remnants of cruel and ancient empires linger in the dark corners of the world.

The remains of an empire of Serpent-Men, who engineered the 13 colours of humanity, dot the planet, as do the remnants of things even older than them. These seemed like a perfect element to incorporate into a wider setting, as did the Great Old Ones (because when are ancient and incomprehensible eldritch entities not a good thin…

Class: Beast-Man

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It is said that magic is a wondrous thing. It gives mere mortals power over the constraints placed upon them by the universe. It can renew life or snuff it out in an instant. It allows those who wield it to see the true nature of things, and they see the roiling mass of chaos that surrounds everything. This chaos seeks to twist and change all it touches, corrupting the very fabric of reality and those who dwell within its fragile shell.

Accursed and feared, Beast-men are those poor mortals who succumbed to the insidious warping influence that uncontrolled arcane energy has on mortal flesh. What was once a young apprentice who fouled up a spell, or a miner who happened upon a lode of unrefined wytchfire stone, now stands as a twisted slab of muscle and gristle with the features of a wild animal - a Beast-Man.

Hated and feared by their non-mutated brethren for what they represent, most Beast-Men are killed or driven into the wilds to fend for themselves, where some survive and multiply…

Space Goblins

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I've veered somewhat heavily into sci-fi/science-fantasy territory in my setting design, with Egradus existing against a backdrop of a galactic war and in sort of post-post-apocalyptic state. Not Fallout or Mad Max levels of post apocalypse, but far enough along that the planet and the things on it have largely recovered from whatever ravages have wracked it.

This has led me to cast my eye over stock fantasy races and think about how they fit into this world. I've settled on plenty of them being genetically and/or magically engineered in one way or another by long-dead progenitor species, or mutated through exposure to magical fallout, actual fallout and other environmental contaminants. As such I've decided to take a slightly different tack with goblins, with some liberal inspiration from Warhammer 40,000.

















Everyone in Egradus knows about goblins. They harass your livestock, sour your milk, make off with your children and burn your barn down. Goblins are, in fact, respons…

A Game of 40 Questions

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Skerples over at the excellent Coins and Scrolls has recently posted a set of answers to Jeff Rients' famous twenty quick questions for your campaign setting. In a fit of genius or madness they also decided to answer Scrap Princess' slightly more eclectic set of questions. I'll go ahead and throw my hat into the ring with the following, and will link to further posts of relevance as I write them.

JEFF'S QUESTIONS

1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?

This is a bit of an open-ended one - there are a multitude of deities on Egradus, ranging from village harvest spirits to nation-spanning gods of incredible power. The main faiths are those of Xixher (fire will purge all darkness, the darkness conveniently being that which is not Xixher), Auric (gold and banks and interest and debts, especially the debts) and Yenta (whispers, secrets and mysteries).

The role of clerics on Egradus is more similar to a paladin - they are chosen by their deity and infused with thei…

A Beginning

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I've started this blog as an effort to contain my various rambles, fleeting thoughts, and other RPG-related things that run through my brain from time to time. Mostly this will equate to me posting half-baked, vague and wholly unoriginal ideas about a new setting that I'm designing (and hopefully, at some point, running) for my group.

For the first time since stepping into the GM's seat, I've written up a campaign primer for my players. At first I thought it was far too long but my players seem happy with it, particularly as an aid to choosing their starting position in the world and coming up with a few character ideas. Readers will probably notice that I've inserted pre-written settings in there wholesale, such as Noisms' excellent Yoon-Suin and both Fever Dreaming Marlinko and Slumbering Ursine Dunes from Hydra Cooperative, because why rely on my own anaemic imagination when some of the finest minds in the OSR movement are churning excellent stuff out at a r…