Sunday, July 15, 2018

Last Great Campaign?

The past several weeks has been a real humdinger that reminded me again and again of human frailty.  It left me with this notion: Now that I and my family, friends, and gaming buddies are aging how many more campaigns do we have in us? Family and work can prove to make gaming tricky for the mature gamer but health and mortality oh they are much more decisive factors.

 GM's are famous for working on the next great campaign while running one or two other campaigns but do we ever plan on one being our last great campaign? We only have so many years left where our eyes, ears, hands, and even our minds will support our playing RPGs. Should we plan each campaign as if it is our last? How should The Last Great Campaign be structured? Should the Last Great Campaign be structured to end in a bang or should it be set up to to last until the bitter end?

My best campaigns have run from 4 to 8 years in length. They did so by adapting to my gadfly choices and the slowly revolving group of players. While I never really planned for any of those campaigns to run for so long they just did. Now as I age and some of my friends and fellow players have died or been limited by illness so much they can't play I have to wonder is there ever going to be another long campaign and is there going to be more than one?

Is it my duty to prepare for the Last Great Campaign? Should it be structured as a place to walk off into the twilight from, to swim in seas of nostalgia, or maybe just maybe it could be a shinning example to pass on to a future generation?

Heavy stuff. Lot's of questions and no answers just yet.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Look into the darkness for hope and the gutter for who shall answer the call

Those bothersome murder hobos just keep coming back. A princess needing saving, a realm under threat of an evil dragon lord, or a whole lot of bothersome orcs on the border and  it's only a matter of time before the murder hobos turn up. Sure some claim to be heroes or more honestly opportunistic mercenaries but they are wandering slayers of all the survey just as likely to use cloudkill and firebombs in a tavern brawl as they are against an unholy host in a forgotten necropolis.

For years I've Dm'd dungeons and dragons and related games and time and again the players expose their characters to be naught but murder hobos. So why fight it? Why not structure the campaign to expect that, to deal with it, to embrace it?  Are people, almost people, and not people at all that descend into the most dangerous of places imaginable to steal bar money really the right means to display heroic adventure.


I touched on shifting the classes to embrace murder hoboism:  http://aeonsnaugauries.blogspot.com/2017/01/working-away.html

I discussed part of what causes murder hoboism in the past:    http://aeonsnaugauries.blogspot.com/2015/06/murder-hoboing-as-reaction.html

There's a fairly fresh post on the whole murder hobo thing here at elfmaids and octopi:  http://elfmaidsandoctopi.blogspot.com/2018/05/merry-murder-hobo-month-of-may.html

So yes dear reader a few posts shall follow expanding on the care, feeding and torture of the murder hobo. How to structure a campaign to actually deal with them, how to reward players for actually being heroes (what?) , and how to deal with the consequences of actions.



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Hello, back at the old blog

Hello everyone.  After an absence I'm going to be back to game related posts here on this good old blog.  I'm starting up a campaign with way too many houserules that I'll be sharing here.  A lot of the old posts will of course still be part of the body that makes things what they are.  The "Undercity of Mog" is getting moved to a new world and renamed the ever so different "Undercity of Maug" for vague linguistic reasons no one is ever going to care about. Still going to be a mash-up of oldschool meets d20 so there should still be posts that appeal to a number of readers. I also hope to get more illustrations and maps up here on the blog.  So thanks for reading this and yes indeed there is more to come.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Where have I been?

Hello gentle reader I noticed I've gone some time now in failing to update this blog I have regretfully been busy getting involved with local and state politics.   I am currently running for the position of State Representative of Rockingham 4 here in New Hampshire.  

The state of politics nationwide and here in New Hampshire has motivated me to run as a Libertarian.  This is the first year in many a third party has gained access as a major party here in New Hampshire and I wish to support the option for voters to have a choice outside of the two parties that have dominated our politics for far too long.  There are many fine Republicans and Democrats in this country in office and among the general population that are not being well served by the parties they have supported and I feel fighting to open and maintain options is essential. 

So I'm taking the opportunity presented by the upcoming special election to be held on September 25th to run as a State Representative for Rockingham 4 as a Libertarian. When I win I'll be joining members of three political parties who each serve approximately 3300 citizens in their local district. Helping represent my fellow citizens while also contributing to the future shape of politics in this state and the country at large is an opportunity I relish.

My campaign page:
https://jdsivraj.wixsite.com/jarvisrockingham4

My campaign facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1097156713761775/


This blog isn't going to get overrun with political posts, this could be the last mention I make of it here prior to the election. I felt motivated to share this with the many people who have read this blog so they know I have not given up on gaming or on communicating with them.






Thursday, April 27, 2017

Well darn, that needs more work.

Posting a part I when you haven't finished a part II of post is always a risky business.  My last post was a part I. I had an annoying health issue to deal with that got a lot of  my attention so I didn't post or work on game stuff much. After a break ofa few days I reviewed my notes and the draft of part II of the post and thought "Well darn, that needs more work. What the hell was i thinking?". I should no better after blogging for years but i got cocky and used to being able to do a part II or II after I posted part I...instead of before hand.  Part II of Xor Cults is coming and will hopefully be better than it almost was.




Friday, April 14, 2017

Cult Encounters of Xor (part 1)

Encounter tables to randomly determine who the calm or crazed cultist one has bumped into on or within Xor actually are.


Xor Cult Encountered
Determine the cult with a 1d100 roll to find the faith and 1d6 for the general locus/classification of that cult if unknown at this point(to be used in the following tables to determine particulars).



1d6 for Locus Code
1d100
Cult
1
2
3
4
5
6
1-5
Sanguine
A
B
B
C
C
D
6-10
Choleric
A
B
C
C
D
D
11-15
Melancholic
A
B
C
E
E
E
16-20
Phlegmatic
A
B
D
D
E
E
21-25
The Eternal Flesh
A
B
C
C
D
E
26-30
Scriveners
A
B
B
B
E
E
31-36
Milkmen
B
B
B
C
C
C
37-40
Thirsters
A
B
B
C
C
E
41-44
Fleshweavers
A
A
D
D
E
E
45-48
Dronning Dreamers
A
A
B
B
E
E
49-52
Verminous Host
B
B
C
D
D
E
53-55
Cerebral
A
A
D
E
E
E
56-59
Erudite
A
A
D
E
E
E
60-62
Recondite
A
A
E
E
E
E
63-65
Rationalist
A
A
D
E
E
E
66-68
Passionate
A
A
B
C
E
E
69-71
Hedonist
A
B
D
D
E
E
72-78
Xor-Druids
A
A
C
C
D
D
79-81
Chaotic Grotesque
A
B
C
C
C
E
82-84
Chaotic Demonic
A
A
C
C
C
E
85-87
Chaotic Cthonic
A
A
C
C
C
E
88-90
Chaotic Necrotic
A
A
C
C
C
E
91-93
Chaotic Bedlam
A
B
C
C
C
E
94-96
Chaotic Plague Bearer
A
B
C
C
C
E
97-99
Chaotic Pestilence
A
B
C
C
C
E
100
Alien Mission
A
B
B
C
C
E


The Locus/Classification codes are:
A- Mystery Cult. A secret coven or cult hang-out.  Most will react poorly to interlopers. There is a small likelihood of a handful of additional encounters unless the mystery cult is involved in a major rite or working (and then there will be several).

B- Pilgrims/Processional. An open procession of pilgrims either traveling to/from a holy site or a parade of the faithful. There will usually be several other encounters of this general type within close proximity and sight.

C- Crusaders/Zealots. A militant band of the faithful. While it is possible this is but a single encounter it is also likely there will be number of others nearby. The initial encounter could be with scouts or hangers-on to a much larger militant force.

D- Temple. A publicly accessible place of worship or holy site. The size, time of day and activities of the faith will cause there to be a wide variation in the possible number of encounters. Encounters that result in violence or theft here may also turn into a general uproar among locals outside the temple.

E- Secluded Monastery.  A holy site where members of the faith seek enlightenment  and wisdom or simply a sheltered school  of the faith. There will likely be multiple other encounters nearby of this same kind due to the insular nature of the locus.

Identity of Cult encounter
roll 1d100 and consult column per locus determined above.
1d100
A
Mystery Cult
B
Pilgrims
C
Crusaders
D
Temple
E
Monastery
1
Fanatic
Beggar
Beggar
Beggar
Beggar
2
Fanatic
Beggar
Beggar
Beggar
Beggar
3
Fanatic
Beggar
Fanatic
Beggar
Beggar
4
Fanatic
Beggar
Fanatic
Beggar
Fanatic
5
Fanatic
Beggar
Fanatic
Beggar
Fanatic
6
Thug
Beggar
Fanatic
Beggar
Mercenaries
7
Thug
Beggar
Fanatic
Fanatic
Mercenaries
8
Thug
Beggar
Mercenaries
Fanatic
Mercenaries
9
Thug
Fanatic
Mercenaries
Flagellant
Flagellant
10
Thug
Fanatic
Mercenaries
Dancer
Flagellant
11
Flagellant
Fanatic
Flagellant
Dancers
Dervish
12
Flagellant
Fanatic
Flagellant
Dancers
Dervish
13
Vessel
Fanatic
Berserkers
Minstrels
Dervish
14
Vessel
Mercenaries
Berserkers
Cantor
Cantor
15
Vessel
Mercenaries
Berserkers
Thug
Cantor
16
Scribe
Mourners
Berserkers
Templar
Cantor
17
Alchemist
Cantors
Berserkers
Templar
Thug
18
Sage
Minstrels
Dervish
Templar
Templar
19
Wizard
Dancers
Dervish
Templar
Templar
20
Minion
Tambormen
Dervish
Templar
Templar
21
Minion
Juggler
Dervish
Templar
Templar
22
Minion
Acrobat
Dervish
Templar
Templar
23
Aspirant
Bard
Thug
Templar
Paladin
24
Aspirant
Flagellant
Thug
Paladin
Vessel
25
Dancers
Flagellant
Thug
Paladin
Scribe
26
Dancers
Flagellant
Thug
Paladin
Scribe
27
Suplicant
Flagellant
Thug
Merchant
Scribe
28
Suplicant
Berserkers
Thug
Vessel
Scribe
29
Suplicant
Berserkers
Thug
Vessel
Scribe
30
Suplicant
Berserkers
Thug
Scribe
Scribe
31
Initiate
Berserkers
Thug
Scribe
Scribe
32
Initiate
Dervish
Thug
Scribe
Alchemist
33
Initiate
Dervish
Thug
Alchemist
Alchemist
34
Initiate
Dervish
Thug
Alchemist
Alchemist
35
Initiate
Dervish
Templar
Sage
Alchemist
36
Initiate
Dervish
Templar
Wizard
Sage
37
Initiate
Thug
Templar
Wizard
Sage
38
Initiate
Thug
Templar
Minion
Sage
39
Initiate
Thug
Templar
Minion
Sage
40
Initiate
Templar
Templar
Minion
Sage
41
Initiate
Templar
Templar
Aspirant
Sage
42
Initiate
Templar
Templar
Aspirant
Wizard
43
Initiate
Templar
Templar
Aspirant
Minion
44
Initiate
Templar
Templar
Aspirant
Minion
45
Initiate
Paladin
Paladin
Supplicant
Minion
46
Initiate
Paladin
Paladin
Supplicant
Aspirant
47
Templar
Paladin
Paladin
Supplicant
Aspirant
48
Templar
Merchant
Paladin
Supplicant
Aspirant
49
Templar
Merchant
Paladin
Supplicant
Aspirant
50
Paladin
Vessel
Paladin
Supplicant
Aspirant
51
Acolyte
Scribe
Vessel
Supplicant
Aspirant
52
Acolyte
Alchemist
Scribe
Supplicant
Supplicant
53
Acolyte
Sage
Alchemist
Supplicant
Supplicant
54
Acolyte
Wizard
Wizard
Supplicant
Initiate
55
Acolyte
Wizard
Wizard
Supplicant
Initiate
56
Acolyte
Wizard
Wizard
Supplicant
Initiate
57
Acolyte
Minion
Wizard
Initiate
Initiate
58
Acolyte
Minion
Minion
Initiate
Initiate
59
Acolyte
Aspirant
Minion
Initiate
Initiate
60
Acolyte
Aspirant
Minion
Initiate
Initiate
61
Acolyte
Supplicant
Minion
Acolyte
Initiate
62
Acolyte
Supplicant
Aspirant
Acolyte
Initiate
63
Acolyte
Supplicant
Aspirant
Acolyte
Initiate
64
Acolyte
Supplicant
Aspirant
Acolyte
Initiate
65
Acolyte
Supplicant
Aspirant
Acolyte
Acolyte
66
Acolyte
Initiate
Supplicant
Acolyte
Acolyte
67
Acolyte
Initiate
Supplicant
Acolyte
Acolyte
68
Acolyte
Initiate
Initiate
Acolyte
Acolyte
69
Acolyte
Initiate
Initiate
Acolyte
Acolyte
70
Acolyte
Initiate
Initiate
Acolyte
Acolyte
71
Acolyte
Initiate
Initiate
Acolyte
Acolyte
72
Acolyte
Initiate
Initiate
Acolyte
Acolyte
73
Acolyte
Initiate
Initiate
Acolyte
Acolyte
74
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
75
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
76
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
77
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
High Priest
Acolyte
78
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
High Priest
Acolyte
79
Acolyte
Acolyte
Acolyte
High Priest
Acolyte
80
Theurgist
Acolyte
Acolyte
High Priest
High Priest
81
Theurgist
Acolyte
Acolyte
High Priest
High Priest
82
Theurgist
Acolyte
High Priest
High Priest
High Priest
83
Theurgist
Acolyte
High Priest
High Priest
High Priest
84
Theurgist
High Priest
High Priest
High Priest
Theurgist
85
Theurgist
High Priest
High Priest
Theurgist
Theurgist
86
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
87
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
88
Inquisitor
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
89
Inquisitor
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
Theurgist
90
Magus
Theurgist
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
91
Magus
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Magus
92
Magus
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Magus
Magus
93
Magus
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Magus
Magus
94
Magus
Magus
Inquisitor
Oracle
Oracle
95
Magus
Magus
Magus
Oracle
Oracle
96
Oracle
Oracle
Magus
Oracle
Oracle
97
Oracle
Saint
Oracle
Saint
Oracle
98
Oracle
Saint
Saint
Prophet
Oracle
99
Saint
Prophet
Saint
Prophet
Saint
100
Prophet
Prophet
Prophet
Prophet
Prophet

 Subtables for each encounter type above to follow in another post .These here are adequate to use on their own as idea builders.


Brief notes on the faiths.

Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic, and Phlegmatic cults are based on the classical notions humorism whereby human behavior was based on balances and relations ot the various bodily fluids. On Xor this deals much more with the affinity to such fluids and the temperaments related to that afinty where the humours of Xor are often present in some form.

The faiths of the entries for #'s 21 to 48 in the first chart are explained in earlier posts here on this blog.

The Verminous Host- worship the vast array of verminous parasites that dwell upon and within Xor as spirits made flesh. There is a wide range of these cults with some thinking certain vermin are demons or angels while others see them as the reincarnated ancestors ether being punished or blessed.

The Cerebral, Erudite, Recondite, Rationalist, PAssionate, and Hedonist cults tend to be relatively insular and generally prefer discussing and learning of their faith and philosophy over active worship and proselytizing. The Hedonists are probably the most fun to visit.

Xor-Druids aren't the tree-huggers of the outside world. Xor-druids powers come from their connection to Xor itself.  There may be cults with closer affinity to blood, bones, skin, or hair than others.

The Chaotics are a host of dangerous and annoying cults that are dangerous to locals and visitors of Xor along with Xor itself. Members and even entire orders of  of other faiths may be chaotic but they are not as dangerous and possibly destructive as these cults. 

Alien Missions are outsiders/vistors to Xor typically priesthoods familiar to visiting Xor but some could indeed be strange and alien visitors from beyond.