Monday, June 27, 2016

Embrace Your Hate

A suggested hate mechanic for old-school games.
Hate: Intense or passionate dislike that engenders a loathing, aversion, and a desire for revenge.

A player can either randomly generate a score for how hateful they are or designate what the character hates or if the DM wishes a set of backgrounds and related hates can be established.

Random Hatred: Roll 3d6 that score determines how much hate a character has. For each 3 points of Hate (or fraction there-of) the player should generate one thing that is hated.
So a character with a hate of 3 would have but one thing they hated, while a character with a Hate of 16 to 18 would have 6 things they hate. Players can choose what the character specifically hates or roll it up randomly.

The generic Hatred table starts with a specific hatred and narrows it down if that score is rerolled

Sample Generic Hatred Table
1- Dragons
2- Insects
3- Giants
4- Avians
5- Wizards & Withces
6- Clerics
7- Dwarves
8- Goblinoids
9- The Same Sex
10- The Opposite Sex
11- Elves
12- Halflings
13- Gnomes
14- Fairies
15- Knights
16- Nobles
17- A Foreign Ethnicity
18- Thieves & Bandits
19- Berserkers & Barbarians
20- Slavers

Designated Hatred: in this method a player is free to specifically choose what a PC hates.
Each particular hatred earns a character 3 points in the hate score.

Campaign Background Specific Hate: this requires more work on part of the DM (and player) who should establish background options for characters along with associated hates that come with those backgrounds. This is useful as there is campaign building involved and eventually players will learn details like The Gabberclap Clan of the North Hills hates Lord Raticus of Darkhold and the Guttergut Mercenary Company that serves him. This is campaign specific stuff that really shouldn’t be generic and as such can’t be covered in detail here.

Using that Hate
 While a player is free to have a character act as they wish sometimes hate can get the best of them or prove a useful tool.

Embracing Hatred: a player must roll their hate score or less of 1d20, if successful the character gain a +2 bonus to actions against what they hate. On a failure no benefit is gained but the player is still free to act against the source of the PC’s hatred. Chaotic characters may get an EXP bonus for acting on hatred.

Controlling Hatred: There are situations where self control is important and comportment must be maintained and individual hatred set aside. Mechanically one must roll over their Hatred score to avoid worsening short term reactions with a source of hatred. If a hatred is commonly known both sides have a 1 pt reaction penalty but if one can not contain themselves the reaction is one step worse. Lawful characters may get an EXP bonus for controlling hatred when it benefits others.

Specific Hatred (optional): a character can have a general hate that get’s more and more specific. By Example: A character could Hate Dragons, hate chromatic dragons, hate red dragons and hate the dragon Embyr that roasted mom and dad. this would count as 4 hates and could be recorded as Hate Dragons>Chromatic Dragons>Red Dragons>Embyr.
Outside of the benefit of fine tuning who a character relates to things in the campaign it also allows for more serious hatred granting additional bonuses against the target of hatred. A DM might allow additional bonuses to actions for each step after the first. But the problem here is intelligent foes will use that hatred against a character and on a successful saving throw may be able to gain temporary houses equal to those of a characters hatred.

Targeting Hate Adjustments (optional): the bonus for hatred might not be palatable to a player or campaign as a flat adjustment vs a target of hatred. It may be appropriate to restrict that hatred to a specific bonus such as to-hit rolls, initiative, damage, armor class,saving throws, or similar mechanical functions in the game.

Defeating a hated foe: If a specific individual is hated it is recommend that an experience bonus be granted for defeating that hatred. Less specific hatreds challenged and defeated may be awarded a minor bonus to experience gained but if a character has a strong hatred against a group and completes a major act against that group the reward should be substantial. Getting revenge against a hated foe does no in itself reduce the hate score.

Acquiring new Hates:A player may add one new Hate per character level directed against foes that have foiled them or destroyed allies of the character. This does not change a characters Hate score.

Reducing Hate: A player may consult with healers, sages, and clergy to get over their hatred (this may require an expense of time or action) or have a sudden insight following a beneficial encounter with the subset of their hate. Strike the Hate from the list of hates when so done and reduce the hate score by 1d3.

Resisting the Temptation to Exact Revenge (optional): It is possible for a character to find themselves in situation where they have the capacity to exact revenge against the target of their hate but they genuinely do not wish to do so at the time to resist taking the attempt a character must control their hate (as above) by rolling over Hate on 1d20. Good or Lawful characters may be rewarded for avoiding the temptation immediate base revenge.

Wanton Hatred(optional): A player may choose to have a character be very active and wanton in the degree of hate they have for targets of their hatred. For every vile act of hatred they commit they are allowed to add one point to the Hate score (once per character revel max). Wanton hatred will be acts that would inspire disgust an disdain from others and may in some campaigns be considered Alignment violations. DMs should not punish a player directly if they violate alignment but associations and grouse they belong to may demand redemption.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Xorish Armors

Xor-men, flensers, and freaks have a vast array of materials on hand when crafting their gear here are a few armoring options.

Undying Integument: A suit of this full armor wraps the user in multiple layers of undying  xor-skin that must be must supple and alive with regular oiling, and nutritious blood dips. Anyone wearing an undying integument has a reaction bonus when dealing with semi-intelligent and dumber xor-pests. AC: 5[14], wt-60, 90gp

Callous Sheath Armor
: This cumbersome armor is fashioned from the big strips of callous xor skin and is stitched together in large strips that sheath the wearer. If allowed to dry the armor class will improve by 1 point but must save vs damage each time the user suffers a blow of 6+ pts of damage.
AC: 4[15], wt-50, 120gp

Barnacle Transplant
: Instead of a separate suit of armor of armor those that protest themselves with a barnacle transplant have allowed themselves to be infested with the barnacle like growths that can be found sprouting here and there in the fleshpits. It takes about a week after initial application for the barnacles to provide enough cover to serve as armor, after this happens one must spend a half hour each morning having the barnacles trimmed and scrapped off or lose a point of Dexterity due to the impairment caused by the ever growing and cumbersome coating. If a “wearer” of Barnacle Transplant fails a save vs a breath weapon or gas attack make a save for the transplant as well or it will die back to the point it provides no AC bonus and it will require a week to grow back. Permanently removing a barnacle transplant typically causes a loss of 1 point of CON to the former user. Civilized folk away from Xor away from Xor will be horrified by anyone  hosting a Barnacle Transplant.
AC:6[13], wt-10, 30gp

Wicker-Hair Shield: A shield fashioned from a wicker woven from adequately thick Xor-hairs. It is heavier than a normal shield but it can serve to improve one’s chance to hide from unintelligent creepie crawlies within and upon xor.
AC: as shield,wt-10, 50gp

Tumor Padding: Even viler than it sounds this armor is created by injecting tumorous xor tissues under the skin, if it takes (following a successful save) it will grow large tumorous growths that serve to improve natural AC by 1 point and increase hp by 5 each week of growth but this growth will lower Dexterity by 1 point each week as well in addition to reducing movement by 3 each week after the first. The tumors must be surgically removed or poisoned now and again to check growth or they will overwhelm the host. Normal armor and clothing constructed for the hosts species will not fit over the tumors. As with barnacle transplant above civilized folks will not react well to somoen encumbered by these growths.
AC: special, wt-20lb/week, 500gp

Shield-Snail Symbiot: the shield snail has to be tricked onto crawling onto the wearer with a hormonal treatment that must be reapplied each month of the Shield Snail leaves. A Shield Snail Symbiot has 2Hd of it own and improves it’s wearers AC by 1. A shield snail will not drown if submerged in xor-fluid but must make a separate saving throw vs area attacks or suffer damage. Consider a shield snail to have the same total Ac of it’s wearer if anyone want to attack it directly. A wounded shield snail will recover 2hp an hour by draining it’s host of 3hp so be careful out there. A shield snail symbiot can detect and warn it's user when they are beingobserved by psionic or magical methods of detection.
AC: as shield, wt-15, 300gp

Tick Helm: A few species of Xor Ticks can be encouraged to attach to an individuals head. The tick will effectively lower the wearer hp by 1 per level. The tick helm will improve the wearers AC by 1 point if wearing armor otherwise inferior to plate mail. In any case after a week the Tick Helm and wearer will will sense each others emotions and perceptions which effectively halves the chance of the wearer being surprised.
AC: special, wt-10, 700gp

Nail Scale: growth similar to toenails sprout here and there over Xor and these can be harvested, trimmed, and attached to a backing to provide a decent set of non-metallic scale mail. Any time fire damage is suffered by the wearer of this armor a save is required for the armor or it degrades by 1 point of AC. The wearer has twice the chance to surprise creatures that depend on the sense of smell to detect foes.
AC: 6[13],wt-40, 75gp

Slime-shroud: This armor is a shroud of specially harvested Xor-cells that when worn provides but a one point bonus to AC. The true benefit of the slime shroud is the cells it is made of will provide a +4 bonus vs poisons and gasses to the wearer. If someone is somehow paralyzed or immobilized while wearing a slime-shroud it will begin to devour them consuming 1 hp per round and can’t be removed unless 5 or more points of heat damage is suffered in a single attack (half of which will be suffered by the wearer).
AC:special,wt-15, 1500gp

Xor-skin: plain old leather armor fashioned from the skin of Xor. A wearer does receive a minor bonus (+1 or one level) in their chance to hide while wearing Xor-skin armor upon or within xor.
AC: 7[12],wt-25, 50gp

NOTE: AC statline at the end of each description is as per Swords and Wizardry. AC would be the same in systems starting AC at 9 and going down or as per the brackets if Ac starts at 10 and goes up. Anyone using BFRPG or AD&D like AC scores should likely increase the AC score by 1 as appropriate.

Fleshmaze dressing:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thoughts on MacroDungeon Terrain

For most of the history of dungeons in Fantasy RPG a dungeon has been mapped out foot by foot, the specific location of every room and it’s exact dimensions has been noteworthy. there have been exceptions to this and the most famous being the D series of AD&D modules but in that even the vast domains mapped out under the earth were really little more than and adventure flowchart as beyond focal points the only difference was how wide and well used a route was. To have a dungeon that is truly a megadungeon it may be wise to move up in scales to have a macro dungeon where the general characteristics and likely features are of an underground area are described in as general a fashion as outdoor terrain is described at larger scale.

Here's some possible types of MacroDungeon terrain:

Passage/Tunnel- as with venerable source material an area defined as a Passage or Tunnel is much the same as noting where a road is on a surface map. The ease of travel may be indicated as can the frequency of use by locals.

Damp Caves- an area of damp caves is one where some water is still active and part of the cave formation, passages follow the flow of the water that slowly seeps through. While damp caves may have even present moisture they may never have adequate running water for surface dwellers but will be adequate for a variety of local life.

Dry Caves- an area of dry caves is a rocky desert far under the surface of the world. Areas will have tumbled and collapsed long ago or simply be waiting for hapless travelers to bump their heads or set a foot down wrong and cause and extensive collapse. Dry caves will have few if any local life and be a very dangerous place to travel to those unfamiliar with the terrain.

Mine- a mine is an excavation intended to aid in the extraction of ores and minerals from the earth. The specific nature of a area of mines will surely vary but the general function and traffic flow of an area of mines will be to get to good deposits and get those despots off to refining and to market. An area of Mines isn’t about crossing distance but locating the riches sought for. An area of mine will be defined by the materials begin sought, who was doing the mining, and how long ago the mining was begin done. An area of goblin or dwarven mines will surely be different to cross based on an adventuring parties relationship with goblins or dwarves but it may also be influence by the habits of the miners.

Maze- a maze in a Macro Dungeon is a twisting, turning mess of tunnels either meant to conceal something within, trap the traveller, or offer chance at enlightenment by the experience of traversing the maze. A maze is easy to get into but probably not easy to get out of. A maze area in a Macro Dungeon need not note every twist or turn in fine detail but is should always be made clear to those traveling in one of they are enroute as expected or stumbling about as minotaur bait.

Waterway/Undersea- seemingly not much different from a passage at first but underground waterways may be channeled into pipes or flow into natural channels where there are no air spaces or clearance to permit a boat to be used. All the hazards of exploring waterways on the surface must be considered but one also has to be contend with ceiling height. Another hazard with sunken waterways and underseas is that of chemistry, on the surface the chemistry of waters and where they flow is seldom an issue but deep underground the chemical reactions of water flowing through minerals can more readily cause toxic air, poisoned waters or even flows of acid. 

Under Canal- as with canals on the surface and under-canal is expressly constructed for the purpose of moving goods quickly and more readily than would be expected on foot. A well maintained canal is far safer than a would waterway unless travelers are not on good terms with the canal keepers. Ancient canals may be used long after their original builders are gone and may hide threats from direct observation.

Mushroom forest- the fungal forest is a classical feature of underground exploration in fantastic realms and will offer similar challenges to traveling forest int he surface realms but the nature of riotous fungal growth will create different challenges as the fungus surrounding intruders try to feed of the energy provided by travelers, spores, molds and slimes may well seem to descend on travelers with a seeming carnivorous voracity even if there are no actual mushroom monster present. footing may be difficult, paths may quickly become overgrown in a riot of fungal growth, and the air itself can be full of opportunistic and deadly spores.

Fungal Groves- a fungal grove is a tame cousin of the Mushroom forest but as the mushroom forest is wild and untamed the fungal grove has been recently or is begin currently groomed for use by intelligent species. Travel through a fungal grove will be much easier than within a mushroom forest but the chance to encounter the locals is very high.

Slime Pits- A cousin of the Mushroom Forest but instead of more useful mushroom like fungus growth the area is covered in an array of slimes, jellies and oozes some of which may present little more hazard than slippery footing but some may be pools that can be drowned in or cousins to more familiar voracious dungeon scavengers.

Flesh Pits- a flesh pit is a vast area occupied by a massive organism or organisms. Passages and rooms are between natural openings in the body of the organism or inside the tissues and organs of the creature(s). A Fleshpit may appear to be more traditional caves and tunnels with an overgrowth of fleshy tissues or it may be like trying to sail through the belly of a leviathan or to squirm through it’s intestines.

Moss Caves- not as seemingly dangerous or impressive as a Mushroom forest or slime pits but they can present unexpected hazards because o fthe manner mosses can grow and support delicate structures. Moss can grow cover the surface of relative still water presenting a surface no different from that around it that can send one tumbling down into the waters to drown. Moss also attracts species of underground herbivores and the predators that feed upon them.

Root Forest- the roots of mysterious deep dwelling flora can reach far into the earth and erosion and other factors can exposes a vast stretch of roots or the roots can overgrow and choke off other spaces beneath the earth. Not all roots are as passive as surface dwellers may think as some burrow deep looking to feed on the flesh of sleeping dragons, slumbering giants, and great unnamed things

Crystal Jumbles- some crystal caves may seem little different from other caves but the environment and minerals that allow vast and extensive crystal growth can be very dangerous. Temperature, moisture, and occult energies can make crystal jumbles unpleasant or lethal. Those attempting to cross a Crystal Jumble can find themselves clambering on vast, slippery delicate structures high above pits covered in diamond hard shards or simply on floors covered in razor sharp slivers of broken crystals.

Lava Tubes- Lava tunnels are formed by the flow of magma and are not designed by any intelligence so are dangerous, convoluted and dimly difficult to travel without even considering the danger of a fresh flow of lava bursting out to flood a tube and incinerate anything within.

Lava Pits- an area of lava pits is hideously dangerous, the floor one walks on can be a mere eggshell above a lake of molten rock and fire. Molten lava can pour down from fissure far above and lakes of fire shoot out searing heat and toxic gases making travel to mortals madness. It is the very dangers presented by Lava Pits that draw some to them for the defense provided, the warmth, or the exotic nature of the molten minerals.

Vaults- these are not treasure vaults but vast chambers and halls expanded or excavated by intelligent folk. Traveling through vaults is not unlike walking down a major road or through a city park. If vaults are not abandoned and forgotten they will be a very busy place with much in the way of locals.

Gateway/Portal/Door/Bridge - such a chokepoint underground as a gateway, vast portcullis, drawbridge or well built door offers an obvious impediment to travel. those worth noting on a MacroDungeon Map will be significant affairs in scale or in utility (based on the scale of areas separated). For such a place to remain it must be useful and protected by some significant defense.

Catacombs- these are vast areas constructed to house the dead of a civilized people. They may be as confusing to traverse as maze and fiercely defend by locals once intruders are discovered rooting about in the remains of the dead. Catacombs may be trapped or conceal areas of entombed kings and queens remain surrounded by unimaginable wealth and deadly defenses.

Undercity- an undercity serves the same purpose as a city on the surface some may even be cities of old swallowed by the earth or transported by magic. A great danger of an undercity is it’s inhabitants and possible bizarre customs in an eat or be eaten environment. An under city will be shaped to house it’s inhabitants and engineered to provide for their needs along with the industry that provides (provided) purpose to the undercity. Factions may battle it out over control of the undercity or authorities may have walled off vast regions to retain control so even if an under city seems to be a populated civilized space it can be surrounded by dangers.

Bastion- a bastion is a fortress in the deeps. The corridors and halls in such a place are built to provide for defense of those within with communication routes, travel routes, barracks and armories for the garrison.

Rock- ever presents the very strata of the deeps provides a wealth of possibly fortunes and hidden miseries. Rock may be strong or fragile, rich in resources or of little material value.

Minerals- it’s worth noting the placement of vast mineral reserves concealed in the deeps under the earth. Such minerals are part of why the races of the deep remain hidden from the sun.

Bones/Remains- the locations where one can find the remains of dead dragons, giants, godlings, and forgotten begins of the past provide a wealth of opportunities both mundane and magical. What was buried with the dead demigod? What was in the crop of the ancient earth dragon? What wonders can be carved from the tusks of long buried giant beasts? More recent remains present a host of hazards and opportunities as well: Can a man breath in a dragon graveyard deep in the earth? the only way across a an undersea may be upon the floating carcass of a dead titan, beware the scavengers that slowly devour it’s rotting flesh.

This isn't all virgin territory in figuring out how to present really big underground realms and megadungeons in the deep depths of fantasy worlds but it's worth considering as a different way to present adventure location in a fantasy campaign.  Depending on scale of time and distance MacroDugneon terrain is designed for a DM would have to consider the chance to get lost, travel times, the chance to find local resources, odds of random encounters/events, and the placement of lairs. (There is room for one or more other posts on all this).

a couple other megadungeonn posts:
Vast spaces in megadugneons:

Megadungeons need Neutrals:

Monday, June 13, 2016

Soundscape for D&D

Here's a video clip that my six year old and I both think is the coolest darned music video and I can't help but admit it hits a lot of my old cultural cues for D&D and RPG.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Nerve Tapping Neuronauts.

The nerves of Xor are ever-growing and shifting communicating a vast array of stimulus to an incredibly complicated body. These nerve signals carry every sensation and convey a wealth of information beyond what most immortals imagine a simple structure like a nerve would. There are those upon and within Xor that tap into this flood of information and sensation for the enlightenment and revelation provided.

Tapping into a nerve requires cutting into the flesh and tissues of Xor this alone is not without it’s dangers and when the nerve itself is found it has to be cut and spliced in with the nerves of the neuronaut.  The flood of pain that must first be dealt with can overcome even and experienced neuronaut and the sensations that follow have to be sorted out. An individual neuronaut opens themselves to all others that have tapped into the nerves of Xor and to the body of Xor itself; getting lost in the neural-space of Xor is a serious threat to the nerve tapping neuronaut.

The neurospace of Xor is the unconscious physical reality begin communicated to Xor it is a personal hommunculi of immense complexity and scale and while it is not always completely accurate it does contain a vast array of insight and information. A neuronaut is able to sense the world as a subset of Xor does at an organic level these insights can appear to function as extra-sensory perception does to unconnected beings and is initially all that is sought by fledgling neuronauts. Those able to clamber about within the neurospace can find out secrets that would be difficult or impossible to discover otherwise.

Many of the insights discovered by neuronauts would best be described as being similar to he effects of magical powers and psionic abilities similar to clairvoyance, and clairaudience. Detection of magic and invisibility is well within the range of sensations that can be sussed out and realized by a neuronaut along with remote-viewing mentioned above.

The neuronaut has to be cautious because exposing their limited self to the flood of sensations Xor exposes itself to can be overpowering. Everytime a neuronaut taps into the nerves of Xor they are exposing themselves to sensation on a cosmic scale and the pain, pleasure, and irritation conveyed can simulate a “bad trip” experienced by a durg-user or far far worse as the limits of self most mortal men experience are not shared by the scale of a being such as Xor.

A neuronaut is also limited by their ability to tap into the nerves themselves. A nerve must be tapped and spliced into the actual nerves of a neuronaut at first simple contact allows for insight a neophyte can bear but as one is more and more experienced thichekd nerves are thought out and the connection must be dearer with nerves being joined at the spine or even directly into the brain; the physical procedures required are difficult and dangerous. While the neuronaut is tapped into Xor they are indeed physically tethered to Xor despite the ability of their consciousness to explore the neural space of Xor and this can be dangerous due to the host of parasites that would gladly fall upon an unwary neuronaut and the defensive systems of Xor itself reacting to the physical intrusion.

Just a general description of the concept for now, I've been pondeirng on how to express this since I wrote the cults post a couple days ago.  So what would it take to fit nerve-tapping neuronauts into a campaign upon and within Xor? How can one avoid the tedium introduced by hackers and net-runners in some games?  Should the Neuronaut be a magic-user, a psionic, is nerve-tapping and journeying in neuro-space a skill based option, should it have its own character class or can anyone daring and foolish enough tap in once they gain enough knowledge on how to do so? Is neuro-space best expressed as an alternate astral/ethereal plane within Xor?

My inspiration and more Xor here:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Eye of Bim.

This is my recollection of a character known for part of his adventuring career as “The eye of Bim”. Many years ago during one of my longest running D&D campaigns one of my players wanted to play when none of the other players were around but with one of his normal characters (everyone had 2, 3 even 4 characters in the campaign). After decide he wanted to use his elven Mu/Thief (mostly a thief) Crisium I said, sure I’ll work some stuff up. The first solo-session he chose to raid the tower of a plane-hopping wizard where he acquired a magical gem. It took him some time to figure out what the gem was for (it was a focus for plane hopping) and after a few more mundane thiefly exploits he managed to get the gem to function and it swept him to an alien land.

This alien land could have had a name, but it’s lost to the sands of time (this would have been 88-90 in the real world) but it’s name would likely not have stood out the most what was strange was it’s organic nature, the planet (the whole plane?) was a living thing. The grounds was skin covered in here and there in fungus, hair, and festering sores, there were deserts covered in dry cracked skin and while water (outside the deserts) fell from the sky the general fleshy damp nature of a living world resulted in lakes and ponds of all sorts of unusual fluids.  There were occupants of the worlds and they were strange indeed mostly one eyed things which hope don a single leg or growled about as centipedes.

Crisium sighted some mountains of exotic aspect far in the distance of his point of arrival and headed out for them not aware that he was a hunted elf. He was unaware that the gem he stole had been stolen from what might have been the mightiest sorcerer on this plane and soon fell into the clutches of Bim. (I actually forget the description of Bim itself aside from begin a powerful one-eyed alien sorcerer with spells that focused on shaping and conjuring.)

Following his capture Crisium was awarded a new role in life and a new gem placed in the center of his forehead that appeared as an unusual third eye, this gift (punishment) was used by the sorcerer to call the character Crisium from his home plane back to the the realm of Bim where the demonic aspects and thinly skills of an elven mu/t in this world was fairly useful and he served as “The Eye of Bim”.

There were solo-adventures over the following year or two on Bim’s home plane and elsewhere in the cosmos, we even had one session of the main campaign where a number of the PCs tried to make a raid on Bim to break the bond he had on Crisium no one was slain but it was a disaster. As a DM I was fortunate to have a player that was eager to play and absolutely went wild over truly weird fantasy.

I bring this up these memories now because this is a recollection of gaming past and the postings on Xor brought it to the surface. I’ve always enjoyed odd and bizarre settings even if for occasional diversions (maybe they are best as that), to have expectations challenged and just thrown away entirely by changing ones relationship to the terrain itself can have significant and entertaining impact on a campaign.

Oh what happened to Eye of Bim himself? With the help of another PC he learned how to minimize the ability of Bim to summon him so he got called less often and as many of the characters in that campaign did he became a victim of the the great TPK (that itself was a baffling wonder as the players had multiple characters all over the campaign world, on other planes, and in other times and still managed to get together 90% or more of the PCs in one place and screw up really badly).

Monday, June 6, 2016

8 types of factions and occupants of Xor

Here are 8 additional factions/tradesmen/oddballs that may be found on and within Xor. Factions are not cults in any traditional or religious sense but they may still exercise customs as fervently as zealots adhere to their faith.

Tumor Grooms: This faction seeks out, nurses, and protects tumors of Xor until they are deemed ready  to harvest. The odd tumors of Xor are rumored to have unique properties and flavors which most attribute to the reasoning behind the practice of the Tumor Grooms.

Scabrous Sculptors: these artsists cut into the flesh of Xor to release blood and other vital fluids which are directed and shaped as they harden over the inflicted wounds into a variety of esoteric sculptures.

Lice Whisperers: small bands of Lice Whisperers roam about claiming to be able to charm the lesser vermin of Xor and use them as scouts and minions. Lice Whisperer bands will work spells and sell talismans to ward against lice infestation and attacks; curiously enough those that purchase such spellworks are seldom attacked by lice soon afterward.

Skin Crawlers: these folk believe it is uncouth to walk about in one's own skin and fashion garb from the skin of Xor and the host of other creatures that dwell within and upon.  The more grotesque a mask, the higher a peaked hood, the grander a cape, and the longer a scarf are all goals and signs of status among Skin /Crawlers.  They find cloth contemptible and nonsensical in the presence of so much skin.

Womb Wardens: this faction of tradesmen has learned how to transplant a living fetus and see it brought to full term within a specially formed pocket-womb within the flesh of Xor. They guard the wombs from predators and charge a fair price for the overall service.

Mawpicks: scavengers that survive by picking the remains caught in the teeth of the many maws of Xor. Some carry the practice so far they will only dine upon beings they have captured and hurled into a maw.

Tickherds: the plentiful vermin that infest the skin of Xor are a resource that some depend upon and a variety classified as ticks have come to be herded as med off-Xor herd goats or sheep. The Tickherds dine upon the flesh of the ticks, "milk" the blood harvested by them, and fashion much of their gear from tick carapace.

Sweatmongers: these peddlers know how to collect, store, and mix the vast array of Xor fluids. They can seem as simple as water bearers or as erudite and schooled as alchemists depending upon their their personal range of lore and talents.  Some groups of Sweatmongers maintain breweries that draw customers from far afield.


Yup I was infected with creativity upon reading the original Xor post.  A pocket-campaign setting like Xor can fit in to liven up any boring spot of a more familiar campaign setting like the Dale Lands, Darokin, or pretty much anywhere on Krynn in addition to fitting in very well with Carcosa or somewhere outside Denethix.  A Gamma World/Mutant Future campaign within and upon Xor would also feel fairly different from the more familar ruin strwen wastelands.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

6 Cults of Xor

Among the host of visitors, parasites, and scavengers that trod upon and within Xor there exists a number of cults seeing a connection with the divine. These cults can be alien and just as dangerous and zealous as any cult worshiping the gods with unseen bodies.

The Eternal Flesh- disciples of the eternal flesh preach of the immortality that comes with bonding with Xor and becoming of Xor. The Surgeon Acolytes of the cult of The Eternal Flesh take the infirm and connect their bodies with the sacred body of Xor, the blood of Xor is redirected to flow into the undying vessels, the flesh and other tissues of the undying vessels is peeled back and grafted onto Xor. In time the undying vessels lose all physical vestiges of their personal identity becoming one with Xor, never to die, never to be apart from the cult.

The Scriveners- this cult seeks to inscribe all knowledge upon the flesh of Xor with massive and elaborate encyclopedic tattoos that can wind of virtually for miles, some of which can only be truly appreciated or comprehended from afar or by those with extra-human observational skills. The cult can be found looking for ideal locations to lay down these tattoos, searching and brewing choice pigments, and fashioning implements to properly lay down the wisdom.

The Milkmen- many have mistaken The Milkmen for xor-dwelling nomads because they do not understand the complex physical and (according to the cult) spiritual voyages that The Milkmen take to travel from teat to teat do draw upon the milk Xor. The Milkmen will travel in small vagabond troops singing and engaged in bizarre dance empowered by the milk of Xor. They will trade in the Milk (and in their songs) but seek and see little profit from it seeming to settle for just enough to continue on their unending pilgrimage.

The Thirsters- the thirster clans are dangerous zealots who seek to draw upon the liquid of xor and return all liquid onto xor that have been stolen by parasites and scavengers (as they view them). Any who ever partake upon any of the myriad fluids of Xor that are not of the Thirsters are considered blasphemers. Clearly The Milkmen and The Thirsters will never get along unless the two cults somehow join together, such an aspiration would be heresy among many of The Thirsters but as each clan is led by an ancient charismatic elder the specifics of how each clan functions is variable.

Fleshweavers- the flesh weavers seek to expand upon Xor by bestowing the worthy with grafts form the body of Xor. Fleshweaver saints, guardians, and champions will grow to massive proportions as they accept multiple grafts over their lives for the faith. Among the Fleshweavers there is some contention to the end goal of the weaving and sects have not all agreed if the goal is to become a worthy offspring of Xor, to become a brother ox Xor, or to become a mate of Xor. Some of the less reputable shrines have been known to sell the Holy Grafts to those outside the cult sometimes reasoning it away by pointing out that Xor clearly approves when the graft is successful.

Droning Dreamers- this cult of xor is easy to spot as practitioners will seek the high points upon the body of Xor to perch upon and engage in lengthy droning hymns that if done properly will be rewarded with a meditative dream-like state full or euphoric and prophetic visions.

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