Sunday, 17 December 2017

Egradus: Hacks

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 are as follows:


I have also added a couple of additional races and classes that are available in Shaxecan, as well as some general tweaks to the system.


General

- All characters use the Fighter's XP progression track. (I hate having to keep track of different XP levels and having added up all of the different class tracks in the corebook the average XP needed to get to second level is 2100, which is near enough to the Fighter for me to not care). Restrictions on the total number of levels gained at once remain in effect.

- Characters gain 10% bonus XP if they spend their loot on pointless or extravagant purchases, i.e. wild parties, fancy clothes and finery, lavish feasts etc.

- No class restrictions on Dwarves and Halflings, but Elves are still Chaotic-aligned and thus cannot be clerics. Other races will be detailed as and when relevant.

- Non-human races use their own Saving Throws as per the main rulebook. Additional races are detailed below.

- The magic system in the core rules is replaced with the system in Vaginas are Magic. This is extended to Cleric spells, who run the risk of incurring divine anger when they cast without a free slot. Elves begin play with no spells.

- Clerics begin play with 3 spells rolled randomly from the Cleric spell list in the core rules, in addition to 3 Rituals of the Faith which vary from god to god. Rituals of the Faith will never be miscast and do not need to be prepared. Their spells are recorded in their Holy Book, which functions as a spellbook. A Cleric who wishes to cast an unprepared spell must read from their Holy Book while wielding their holy symbol. Clerics gain new spells upon levelling up as Magic-Users do and can transcribe divine spells from certain sacred texts, given time and resources.


Skills

- Dwarves have a 3-in-6 Climb skill that increases as per their Architecture skill.

- Halfling Bushcraft skill is replaced with Sailing.

- Halflings have a 2-in-6 Stealth skill instead of 5-in-6. This applies to all areas, not just wilderness.

- Halflings need rations every other day.

- The Search skill has been removed. Elves substitute this with Languages.

- The general skill list has been changed and now includes the following (with thanks to Dragons Gonna Drag for inspiration):
  • Animal Handling (training and commanding animals, and driving carriages)
  • Appraisal (determining the value of items, trade goods and treasure)
  • Arcana (determining specific magical auras and effects)
  • Architecture
  • Bushcraft
  • Climb
  • Languages
  • Medicine (heals double HP when resting in a safe location; can revive characters under 1hp but they suffer a -4 penalty to all rolls until they are healed; can stabilise characters at -3hp but they will remain unconscious until healed properly).
  • Riding (riding animals and driving carriages)
  • Sailing (piloting watercraft)
  • Sleight of Hand
  • Sneak Attack
  • Stealth
  • Tinker
- All non-Specialist characters receive a skill point at 2nd level, and every even level thereafter. Racial skill bonuses do not stack with points already invested. These can be distributed in the following ways:
  • Cleric: Appraisal, Bushcraft, Climb, Languages, Medicine, Riding, Stealth.
  • Fighter: Animal Handling, Bushcraft, Climb, Medicine, Riding, Sailing, Stealth.
  • Magic-User: Appraisal, Arcana, Architecture, Languages, Medicine, Stealth, Tinker.
  • Specialist: No limit.
- Characters can pay to be trained in a skill, up to a certain level. The training period must be continuous and uninterrupted and each increment must be completed in order. The cost and time varies depending on the character's current skill level:
  • To train a new skill to 1-in-6 - 3d6 weeks, costs 1d10 x 10sp/week. This represents an a skilled amateur level of skill.
  • To train a skill to 2-in-6 - 3d6 months, costs 1d10 x 50sp/month. This represents an apprentice level of skill.
  • To train a skill to 3-in-6 - 2d6 years, costs 1d10 x 600sp/year. This represents a journeyman level of skill.
  • Skills generally cannot be trained past 3-in-6 - master craftsmen are busy and time is money - but certain masters of trades may agree to train a character if said character assists them greatly. This is down to the GM's discretion.


Equipment

- Characters may dual-wield weapons of Medium size and smaller. Halflings may dual-wield weapons of Small size and smaller. A character who dual-wields their weapons offensively may roll each weapon's damage and choose the better result. Dual-wielding with a dagger or other minor weapon in a character's off-hand provides a +1 bonus to Melee AC.

- Bucklers are available as equipment and provide a +2 bonus to Melee AC. A buckler does not count as an oversized item and costs the same as a shield.


Races

Orc:

- d12 HD, minimum 10hp at level 1.

- Saves as Elf.

- 3-in-6 Tinker skill (ascends with levelling as per a Dwarf's Architecture bonus).

- +1 AB at level 1 and every 3rd level thereafter. This stacks with the Fighter's additional attack bonus.

Beast-Man:

- HD as Fighter.

- Saves as class.

- Must be Chaotic in alignment.

- +1 STR modifier.

- 3-in-6 Bushcraft skill (ascends with levelling as per a Dwarf's Architecture bonus).

- 5-in-6 Stealth skill when in wilderness areas.

- When creating a Beast-Man the player must state which creature they represent - they then take +2 to any reaction rolls made when encountering said creature. A Beast-Man's reaction roll is always made with a -4 penalty when encountering 'civilised' peoples, unless said peoples have a good reason for interacting with them at the GM's discretion.


Classes

Mage-Engineer:

- HD and Saves as Magic-User.

- Begin play with a spellbook and 3 random spells. Casting restrictions as Magic-User and must be Chaotic in alignment.

- Gains new casting slots at half the rate of a Magic-User. For example, they receive no extra slots at level 2, and gain a second 1st level slot at level 3.

- Gain the skill Arcane Engineering at 1-in-6. This skill allows a Mage-Engineer to analyse, interact with and disarm magical traps and devices.

- Increase skills are per Magic-User in the above section.

- Mage-Engineers can attempt to create magical devices and machines, infused with spells that they know. The player should discuss what they want to create with the GM, who will have the final say on what is and isn't possible. Guidelines for the time taken and cost for doing so are below:
  • Small device, i.e. clock-sized: 4d6 days, 30sp/day.
  • Medium device, i.e. safe-sized: 6d6 days, 40sp/day.
  • Large device, i.e. wagon-sized: 7d6 days, 40sp/day.
  • Huge-device, i.e. train-sized: 8d6 days, 50sp/day.
  • Colossal-device, i.e. house-sized: GM discretion. Likely a very long time and very expensive.

Cleric of Auric (Goldblood)

- HD and Saves as Cleric.

- Must be Lawful in alignment.

- Skills as Cleric.

- Begins play with a Holy Book containing 3 randomly rolled spells from the Cleric spell list in the core rules, as well as 3 Rituals of the Faith, seen below. The Rituals do not need to be prepared and will never miscast, but otherwise act as spells:
  • UPHOLD THE COUNT - The Cleric can instantly determine the number of coins or gems in a container with a touch.
  • HEART OF GOLD - The Cleric absorbs 1 gold coin into their flesh and heals 2d6 HP, or cures a single disease. This takes 1 round and counts as a full action.
  • BALANCE THE SCALES - The Cleric focuses their will and alters the weight of a person or object that they touch. The target's weight varies from feather-light to leaden, as determined by the Cleric. The effect lasts indefinitely provided that the Cleric maintains contact and concentrates (they can take no other actions).



The above is likely to change as and when I think of new ideas or see more cool stuff that other people have made! I'm fairly happy with what I've got down so far, and it covers the bases that my players and I discussed in Session 0 with regards to what they wanted from the system and the classes they liked the sound of.

The only other thing to do is think up some adventure hooks and local personalities, as I've finished the hexmap for their starting area around Shaxecan:


EDIT 18/02/2017: Changed Halfling skill from Bushcraft to Sailing for lore reasons. Changed Halfling Stealth skill from 5-in-6 to 2-in-6. Added Halfling ration trait.

Changed Orc AB to 3rd level.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Class: Cat-Speaker

Credit, Rahim Rahimi

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 themselves understood to their animal audience.

Most Cat-Speakers end up employed by the Grey Halls as interpreters and negotiators between the church and the Clowder-Clans, but it is not unknown for independent shadow brokers to establish themselves or for the wealthy Guilds to hire a Cat-Speaker on retainer. Some are even rumoured to be employed as agents of the Clowder-Clans themselves.


Lamentations of the Flame Princess

SAVES
As Specialist

HIT DICE
As Specialist

ADVANCES
As Specialist

SKILLS
Cat-Speakers begin play with an extra skill - Cat-Speaking - at rank 1. This replaces the Bushcraft skill. They may invest skill points in it as normal. This ability may be used to attempt to communicate with any feline creature. Reaction rolls must be made as normal and the GM may impose a penalty on the skill roll if interacting with a creature from another land (as per the Languages skill).


This is just a minor tweak of the Specialist class for lore purposes. A Cat-Speaker can prove quite useful in Ramliya, but they have little to no experience in the wild country due to having spent their lives living in a decrepit metal tower-city.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Religion on Egradus

"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.

Source unknown.

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 gods have priests, very few have clerics - it takes a lot of power to create a cleric and few gods can afford to take the risk of investing such power.

The gods are capable of setting foot on Egradus and some do so to mingle with their worshippers at important religious festivals. Some of them even spend most of their time on Egradus, squirrelled away in some distant part of their domain. Generally, they don't particularly care for the mortal world beyond being worshipped, and it's generally not wise to seek them out unless you have a very good reason. Otherwise, many of them carve out their own fiefs in the Red City at the centre of all realities. They tend to be the least disturbing thing there.

A god can be killed in one of two ways. The first involves cutting off its supply of worship - gods rely on the beliefs of mortals to fuel their power, no mortal worshippers = no power. Sometimes an army conquering a city will burn down shrines and temples and massacre worshippers as they go if they believe that a city's gods have been working against them. This rarely works as it is nigh on impossible to prevent the remaining citizens from backsliding in their religious habits, and shortly down the line the occupiers usually find themselves stricken with strange curses or attacked by freakishly strong zealots until they permit worship of said god to resume.

What most people don't know is that killing a god's worshippers only works up to a certain point - a low or middling god might fade into nothingness with the deaths of their faithful, but beyond a certain point gods seem almost indifferent to mortal belief. These gods tend to be even more removed from mortal concerns than normal, though they become ingrained in much of the fabric of life in Egradus. This is a topic of great debate among certain scholarly circles.

The second is by outright killing them in combat. This is even harder. First you need to find them, and seeing as they can step through the walls of reality almost at will this usually requires intricate and dangerous binding rituals. Then you need to somehow weather the rain of curses, elemental forces, crushing blows and otherworldly presence of a god-in-flesh and strike a killing blow with a weapon so enriched with chaotic magical energy that the wielder has maybe 30 minutes to live after picking it up. Even the Church of the Sacred Fire has not made use of this against the other gods of the Black Coast, though there are rumours that they are attempting the creation of such a weapon.

Angels are the beings that attend to the gods and carry out their commands, mostly as intermediaries to the mortal world (see the above about not caring for mortal concerns). Angels are either created by gods or spontaneously manifest around them, not even the gods are sure which, and their appearances and demeanour reflect the personality and powers of their god. Unfortunately for mortals neither of these tend to be very pleasant, so they do their best to announce their arrival with the proclamation: "BE NOT AFRAID".

This has varying degrees of success.

An angel's power corresponds to its god's - an angel of Xixher, Fire God of Amon-Klar and worshipped by all on the Black Coast, will be orders of magnitude more powerful than an angel of Old Greenthicket, harvest god of Melside village.


Credit, Alexey Rudikov


The Three

Though most of the deities on Egradus have a very limited geographic reach, there exists a trio of deities with worshippers throughout the world (at least to the knowledge of Izoa and Oloris, the two continents I have mapped so far). With such widespread worship, they possess incredible power. I'll write some more about them in further posts.

Xixher, Fire God of Amon-Klar

The cult of Xixher originated in the city of Emberseat, previously Veloran, in the nation of Amon-Klar. The cult never numbered more than a hundred members or so and was never out of place among Emberseat's plethora of temples. This changed when the Plague of Illysin ravaged the nation a couple of centuries ago. The people exhorted their gods for salvation from the tide of sickness that threatened to drown their cities, but were met with silence.

Xixher's cultists were struck with a vision - the gods of Amon-Klar were unable or unwilling to deliver the faithful from the plague. The fires of Xixher could aid them, but the fire required fuel. The cult's members found themselves fortified against illness and filled with unnatural vigour. They started storming the shrines of other cults and burning their artefacts and members in holy fire.

With each sacrifice, their strength and numbers grew. Soon the cult was several thousand strong and the message spread from Veloran. The pyres blazed all across Amon-Klar as the cult waged the War of Light - a campaign of theocratic extermination - and the Church of the Sacred Fire was left standing in the ashes. Amon-Klar had found deliverance from the Plague of Illysin.

Only the Gilded House of Auric was untouched, protected by its vast wealth, once the fires had burned out.

The Church has consolidated its position in Amon-Klar and expanded across the Black Coast by waging several Cinder Crusades against faiths in its neighbouring nations. While the Crusaders destroy and convert the non-believers they are careful to leave the political powers intact, lest their efforts be confronted by the armies of the kings and despots of the Black Coast. This has led to the region sharing the same faith, while still being riven with political divisions. Autocrat Harua of Amon-Klar has recently been making efforts to declare himself Protector of the Faith, leading the other states of the Black Coast to band together in opposition.

Arch-Lector Mehr Fereydoon heads the Church from the Cathedral of St. Emil, the first martyr in the War of Light. St. Emil still guides the Church as its spiritual head from his urn made of the scorched bones of his murderers, but the Arch-Lector is the de facto leader.


Credit, Piotr Uzdowski


Auric, God of Coin

Auric's church - the Gilded House - is incredibly old and has existed in some form or another since shortly after the arrival of humanity on Egradus and the collapse of the old orcish empires some several thousand years ago.

The Gilded House has outposts in every major settlement and acts as a banking and mercantile exchange. It is said that no coin passes hands in Egradus without Auric’s consent. Offerings are made by merchants and those seeking good fortune, and anyone who banks with the Gilded House pays a yearly tithe to the church. Adventurers are often hired to find valuable artefacts and new sources of wealth.

The church is tolerated in Amon-Klar due to its incredible wealth - any move against them by Xixher's disciples would cause a financial catastrophe. The Gilded House funds efforts against the Church of the Sacred Fire, which is an open secret, as is the fact that the Church occasionally unleashes gangs of zealots on unsuspecting priests of Auric. Reports that the Church of the Sacred Fire are seeking to create a god-killer have been met with alarm by the faithful.

The faith is headed by the High Usurer, who is selected by a popular vote of the Priest-Treasurers after nominations based on personal wealth pledged to the church. Bribes, contracts and loans between candidates and voters are an accepted and encouraged part of the process. The current High Usurer is Teunis Chantal, though she rarely leaves the Vault - the Gilded House's main stronghold in the mountains of Shaxecan.

Priests of Auric are known to be honest and independent witnesses to legal and financial matters. They wear black robes embroidered with metallic thread - copper for the Counters (the lowest ordained rank), silver for the Abacai (bishops), gold for the Priest-Treasurers (archbishops) and platinum for the High Usurer. Priests ascend through the ranks by accruing wealth for the church and themselves. A bit of embezzlement is tolerated, and even expected, so long as customers are not harmed by it. Any sign of a defrauded customer is swiftly and mercilessly dealt with - the church has the finest mercenary companies and assassins on retainer and makes liberal use of them when its interests are threatened.


Credit, Manticorra Mioro

Yenta, Goddess of Silence

Yenta is a deity with a widespread following across Egradus, save Amon-Klar. Her church - the Grey Halls - is a peculiar one, preaching cryptic, esoteric rites and extolling the virtues of knowledge and secrecy. Its main headquarters lies in the upper reaches of Ramliya, the towering City of Whispers, and a church representative sits on the Council of Thirteen who control the city. The Grey Halls in Ramliya are rumoured to contain untold knowledge and secrets, including some of the Nine Billion Names of Creation. Anyone who fears the unknown prays to Yenta.

The church’s tithe is paid in secrets and rumours and thus the Grey Halls are perhaps the largest intelligence network on Egradus - secrets can be traded for other secrets and once the trade is complete the previous secret is literally forgotten by the church. Priests of Yenta are thus prized as diplomats and couriers.

Priests give up their names when they join the church - these names are literally destroyed in a divine ritual. Some survive the ritual, others are reduced to Thralls and spend the rest of their lives mindlessly performing simple tasks. The survivors start out with the rank of Forgotten, rising to Brother- or Sister-Cognisant when they have learned their secret name whereupon they also take a new public name. They next ascend to Remembrancer after curating a suitably impressive list of secrets. The final tier is Whisperer, which they ascend to after uncovering the secret name of one of the current Whisperers, who is then ritually compelled to suicide. Above that lies the Reticent Pope.

The Reticent Pope ascends to the position by learning one of Yenta’s own secrets. No-one seems to know who actually holds the title; it is possible that their previous identity was a secret that was forgotten by the church. It is possible that the Reticent Pope may not actually exist.

Crows and cats are engaged in a constant Cold War for the affections of the Grey Halls, as they naturally seek to hoard secrets for themselves. The church knows this, but the beasts always provide a good trade in secrets. The cats are currently ascendant.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Class: Weaver

Credit, Cosmin Alexandru Radu

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 coated in fine, fuzzy bristles that aid them in climbing. Their mouths are covered by a pair of chelicerae and sharp fangs, but they are still capable of speech and eating and drinking as a regular human. These fangs contain a potent venom that causes weakness and feverish symptoms in those bitten. Their eyes are human-sized, but glassy and black.

No Weavers are capable of silk-production - they instead act as attendants to the enormous Spinners who drape huge swathes of Ramliya's cavernous halls in silver gossamer threads. Only Weavers are permitted to tread in these sacred places under pain of death, intruders are bundled in silk and spirited away to their deaths.

To see a Weaver outside of Ramliya is rare, but they do occasionally depart either of their own accord or on a mission from the Honourable House of the Spinneret. What these missions entail is a closely guarded secret.

Lamentations of the Flame Princess

SAVES
As Specialist

HIT DICE
As Specialist

ADVANCES
As Specialist

SKILLS
Weavers start with a 3-in-6 Climb skill. This advances in-line with a Dwarf's Architecture skill.

Their Stealth skill has a 5-in-6 chance of succeeding when in urban areas, like a halfling.

SPECIAL
Weavers apply a +1 bonus to their Dexterity modifier.

Weavers traditionally wear scarves, veils and loose robes when interacting with non-Weavers. If they are exposed they take a -4 penalty to reaction rolls with 'civilised' peoples. This is reduced to -2 if within the city of Ramliya and only applies to the lower classes.

A Weaver may declare that they are attempting to bite their opponent and envenom them. The Weaver must make a successful attack (dealing 1d2 damage) and their opponent must Save vs Poison. If they fail, they suffer 1d4 Strength damage. A Weaver can take this action a number of times per day equal to their level, only counting on a successful attack.

Like Beast-Men, Weavers have a 5% chance (when rolling the character) to be spellcasters. If so they start with Read Magic in their spellbook and must obey the same restrictions as Magic-Users when preparing and casting their spells.


Credit, Sebastien Ecosse

The Black Hack

Starting HP: d6 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: d6
Weapons & Armour: All Swords, All Bows, Daggers, Gambeson, Leather, Small Shields
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising, 1d2 Bite

SPECIAL FEATURES

Attempt to bite and envenom - 1d2 damage on successful attack. Enemy must test CON or take 2d6 damage. This may be performed once per day, per level, but only counts on a successful attack roll.

Roll with Advantage when testing DEX while climbing, performing acrobatics, dealing with ropes or engaging in stealth in urban areas.

Roll with Advantage when testing CHA in a mercantile transaction or negotiation, or when testing INT to determine an item's value or discern magical properties.

Roll with Disadvantage when testing CHA to influence non-Weavers.

LEVELLING UP

Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for DEX or INT.


The above classes are intended to provide mobile characters who excel in urban areas - they have the ability to sneak around the city and/or interact with mercantile movers and shakers. Though this class is not as strong as a frontline fighter their unique attack gives them additional flexibility in fights through weakening their opponents, and never underestimate the ability to drop down from the ceiling in the middle of a fight. I've added a bit more lore-heavy stuff but feel free to strip it out and think of alternative ways to fit spider-people into your world!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Cosmos


Credit, Nathan Wood

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 thing?), and their actions formed the core of the cosmology behind Egradus.

With that said, I should probably start from the beginning. This should hopefully give a brief background to the cosmic underpinnings of the universe that Egradus exists in.

Credit, Tim Barton

The universe started roughly as ours did - nothing, then a a huge explosion and then everything. The Axioms came into existence at roughly the same time as the universe. Whether or not they are 'beings' is up for debate. The Axioms embodied the physical and metaphysical laws of the nascent universe, being intrinsic parts that permeated it in its entirety even as they acted within it to enact whatever Great Plan this universe had come into existence to fulfil. To us they are known as things like strong nuclear forcegravity and potential energy - underpinning forces of the universe that we may never be able to fully comprehend*.

Other universes existed around this one, some with hugely different systems and some very similar, but like good neighbours they respected each others privacy and the universe of Egradus was able to conduct its Great Plan of ever increasing universal perfection for billions of years.

The interruption, when it came, was unexpected -  a comparatively tiny pocket universe nearing absolute entropy breached the walls between universes and latched on like a lamprey. Safeguards were enacted to deal with this threat and the parasite was limited to the occasional morsels of energy that slipped through the aether walls of reality. A further solution was unable to be put in place due to what emerged from the parasite.

Imagine you had built your dream home in a nice neighbourhood. You've painted and decorated and filled it exactly as you want, only making a few additional improvements here and there. Your neighbours might have their own oddities but they keep themselves to themselves and seem nice enough. Then one day a beaten up Winnebago covered in shit and with  a near-empty fuel tank tears up the turf of your front lawn and smashes into your living room. You do your best to tidy up and make the place safe prior to the Winnebago being removed but before the builders arrive a troop of baboons pile out and start trashing your house. Then, when you try and get them to leave, they eat one of your kids. That's essentially a scaled down version of the Great Old Oness arrival.


Credit, Dan Hunt

Alien entities poured through from their near-dead home. The laws of this new universe twisted and changed them, even as they did the same to it. Many Axioms were shattered or destroyed even as they attempted to methodically cleanse and exterminate the intruders. The universal engine broke down, its perfect systems warped and damaged by the conflict. Shards of broken Axioms floated through the void, each an island of weird physics unknown in the wider universe. Cysts spawned by the Great Old Ones likewise hung dreaming in the cold vacuum of space. The war petered out with the surviving Great Old Ones entering hibernation in the hidden places of the universe and the Axioms retreating to try and repair the horrendous damage that had been wrought by the entropic madness of the intruders.

A system of perfect order had been thrown into chaos. The universal engine was broken down in parts, overclocked in others. The Great Plan was unsalvageable and needed to be altered, and while the Axioms were distracted and the Great Old Ones slumbered, something else took root in the universe - life. The chaotic disruption of energy in an ordered system had borne fruit.

Fast forward a few billions years and here we are.

*I'm not a physicist so my understanding of this is likely wrong. I intended this to add an air of bullshit mysticism.

Yoon-Suin: Classes

I'll be using the following classes in my Lamentations of the Flame Princess game set in Yoon-Suin: Warrior Thief Magician Holy-Man...

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