Perukes of Power [Blood & Treasure]

Don’t know why … don’t ask …

Cadogan of Holding: This wig is grandiose and ridiculous, being woven from two different colors of hair and being quite tall. The wearer can reach into the wig and pull out various items she has stored there, per a bag of holding (I).

Concubine’s Wig: This Egyptian-style wig of perfumed black hair allows female wearers to cast charm person three times per day and charm monster once per day. Charmed men must make additional saves each hour or be overcome by their passions. The wig just makes men look weird.

Diadem Wig: This wig of tightly curled blond hair gives the wearer the ability to cast command three times per day, and improves their charisma by 2 points while worn.

Lousey Wig: This wig of chestnut hair is crawling with nits and lice. Once per day, by shaking it vigorously, the wearer can summon an insect plague, which rises from the wig itself.

Periwig of the Rake: This wig is highly valued by duelists. Examples are either stark white and tied in ponytails, or composed of a heap of black curls. The wig grants the wearer a +2 bonus when using special maneuvers, grants non-duelists the ability to riposte as a 1st level duelist and grants duelists a +2 bonus to hit and damage when riposting.

Wig of Decay: This full, curled whig of auburn hair is cursed, making the wearer break out in open sores and effectively reducing their charisma to 3. While it is worn, the wearer also suffers a -2 penalty to saving throws vs. disease.

Wig of Glowering: This white, powdered magistrate’s wig allows the wearer to cause fear (as the spell), once per day, by scowling.

Wig of Insect Repulsion: These powdered wigs, when fluffed or shifted vigorously, produce a 15-ft. radius cloud of white powder that forces vermin to pass a Will save to enter the cloud, and even then forces them to save vs. poison (Fort) each round they are in the cloud or suffer 1d4 points of damage. The cloud persists for 1d4+2 rounds and can be created once per day.

Wig of Medusa: This wig has long, red locks that hang down to the hips. They can be animated by the wig wearer, making three grapple attacks using the wearer’s attack bonus.

Wig of Sneezing: This powdered wig can, once per day, create a cloud of powder equivalent to powder of sneezing.

(Welcome to those from the Sneeze Fetish Forum! You’ve got to love the way the internet connects everyone to everyone eventually)

Sorry folks – no magical merkins for now …

The Battle of Gaudin’s Ford – Rounds 2 to 4 [Blood & Treasure]

Today, I continue with the Battle of Gaudin’s Ford. Things begin to get ugly for both sides.

ROUND TWO

The orcs are marching, the halflings are ready … let’s see what happens.

Orders Phase
The halfling commander is now going to order all of his missile troops to concentrate fire on the central company of orc yobbos. Everyone else is going to close ranks (i.e. go into a tight formation) and prepare for the onslaught. The halfling cleric is going to strike, though, this round. If the orcs get close enough, he’s going to unleash his 2nd level spell, sound burst, on them.

The orc commander is going to charge his yobbos at the enemy, even though they’re in a loose formation. He mostly wants them to screen his elite troops. Units G and H are going to plunge into the river and swim for the other side – it will be slow going, but he wants to nail those other halfling units down and keep them from harassing his elite troops. The crossbowmen are going to spend the round reloading their crossbows. The elites are going to march forward and prepare to charge!

Missile Phase
No need for initiative here, as the orcs are reloading this round.

The elves don’t score a hit this round, but the halfling slingers and archers do score some damage – 11 points in all. Yort has to make three saves and fails two, so he’s eliminated as well. That means Unit F has to make a Will save or flee, as they’ve now lost half their original hit points and their commander. The orcs roll a 9 and fail the save, so during the movement phase they will begin fleeing around those elite units.

Movement Phase
Again – no need for initiative, since the orcs are the only one’s moving. Unit F starts off by fleeing.

Melee Phase
No melee yet – next round for sure

Magic Phase
Orc Unit G is close enough, so the halfling cleric throws sound burst. Since it’s an area effect spell, it does normal (i.e. 1d8) damage to that unit, and it must save or be stunned. As it is, the unit suffers 3 points of damage, but is not stunned. Unfortunately, its commander, Fang, fails his save and suffers damage along with the unit – and that kills him. Fortunately for the orcs, the unit does not break (they never like him anyhow).

ROUND THREE

Orders Phase

The halflings are pretty pleased – they’ve eliminated one unit of orcs and a couple orc leaders. Unit I is now going to attack Orc Unit G and try to send them off the board as well. Units H and G are going to attack Orc Unit H. Unit F is going to send their stone sailing over head into Orc Unit D, and the elves are going to make that unit their target as well. With any luck, few halflings will fall this day. The cleric will cast bless on his unit, giving them a +1 bonus to hit and save vs. fear for the remainder of the battle.

The orcs, on the other hand, are having some problems. The orc commander had planned on sending his yobbos against the billmen, to allow his ogres and blackguards to form up in a tight formation before attacking. Now he’s worried that spending a round forming up will cause undo casualties from missile fire. Still, he decides to do it right – Units D, A and E will take a tight formation and charge next round. Meanwhile, Units G and H will begin swimming the river to harass the halflings on the other side. The crossbowmen will pour their shot into Halfling Unit A, to soften them up a bit. Orc Unit F, the one fleeing, has no commander, so they cannot rally – they’re out of the battle.

Missile Phase

Initiative: Halflings (5), Orcs (3)

The halfling player attacks with Unit I first. They score 3 points of damage on the orcs, not enough to cause them to flee. Lousy dice rolls!

The orc commander responds with Unit B, sending his black-fletched bolts into the billmen for 7 points of damage. The halfling commander has to make two saves, and fails one of them. He takes 3 points of damage and has 8 left. Integrating him with a unit might have been a terrible miscalculation in the long run. But the billmen have a bigger problem – they’ve been whittled down to under half their original hit points, which means it’s time for a moral check (i.e. Will save). Fortunately, they ace it with a ‘20’ and will stand and fight – for now.

[Here’s a quick aside. I might remove the moral check when a leader is killed. Leaders improve a unit’s morale checks and enable them to rally if they flee, but a leaderless unit has a weird advantage over them in that they have no leader to lose and force a morale check. I’ll have to think about this.]

The halfling commander is next, so he has Unit B – the elves – send their arrows into the ogres, scoring 4 points of damage. First blood on the ogres!

The second orc crossbow unit now let’s fly at the billmen … and fails to score any damage.
The rest of the halfling units can now go at it. Units G and H have no success against the orcs crossing the river. Unit F, on the hill, scores 1 point of damage against the ogres.

Movement Phase
Again, no need for initiative when the halflings aren’t moving.

The central orc units use the turn to form into a tight formation. They’ll charge next round. The other orc units begin swimming – they can move 10 feet per round swimming. Unit F finally quits the field. No plunder for them.

Melee Phase
Next round, for sure!

Magic Phase
Godwin now casts bless on Unit I.

ROUND FOUR
Time for melee.

Orders Phase

The halflings stick to the script, duplicating their orders from last time. Godwin, the cleric, will cast guidance on himself this round.

The orc crossbowmen are reloading this round. Units G and H are continuing their swim. Unit D, the ogres, is going to crash headlong into the billmen this round. Unit A and E will follow along, charging in the ogres stead if they are eliminated.

Missile Phase
The orcs are reloading again, so it’s all halflings this round.

The elves and hill slingers combine for 5 points of damage, forcing a morale check. The ogres say “screw this!” and are ready to quit the battle. They aren’t getting paid enough for this crap.
Meanwhile, Orc Unit G suffers 2 more points of damage. They’re still standing strong. The halfling slingers fail to do any damage to Orc Unit H.

Movement Phase
First and foremost, the ogres beat it. That leaves it up to the blackguards, who charge into the billmen. The other orcs continue swimming – they’re just about ready to mix it up!

Melee Phase
Finally, we have some melee in this battle.

In melee, both sides exchange blows. Only squadrons within a unit that can attack get to roll the dice. The orcs are using pole axes, so both squadrons (front and back) are able to attack. Likewise for the halflings, who are using bills. Two of the five halfling squadrons can attack. There’s no initiative here – all attacks are treated as simultaneous.

So, the orcs tear into the halflings, and their attack is devastating – 17 points of damage! Chief Thundergut scores 6 points of damage against the halfling sheriff, who makes his saving throws to avoid the rest of the damage – he alone survives, with only 2 hit points. Meanwhile, his troops fail to score any damage on the orcs in return! And Sheriff Brando scores no damage against Thundergut. A devastating blow to the halflings, to be sure.

Magic Phase
Godwin now casts guidance on himself.

ROUND FIVE … This Weekend!

The Gods of the Future! [Quickie]

Found a few images today that serve well as gods of the future that might travel back to hassle pseudo-medieval adventurers …

God of Telephonics

and thus also god of telemarketers and family

His priests wear rotary dials as amulets and wear armor woven from copper wire (equivalent to chainmail), and are capable of casting message by sacrificing a silver piece.

Goddess of Automobiles

and thus also goddess of freedom, getting laid and blood on the asphalt

Her priests wear gloves, buff coats and goggles over their armor, and the men are expected to cultivate glorious full mustaches; they bear the holy spoked wheel on their round shields and can cast stinking cloud once per day

Goddess of Aeroplanes

and thus also goddess of travel, air sickness and tiny bags of peanuts

Her priests and priestesses wear golden wing pins on their blue tunics and can cast fly once per day, but must be sitting in a cart or wagon to do so – they spell effects the cart rather than the priest or priestess; in addition, the priestesses can cast create peanuts and coffee or tea (a variation of create food and water) once per day, but only while in flight

The first image is from Love Truth Beauty

Battle of Gaudin’s Ford – Round One [Blood & Treasure]

Time to fight.

(Oh, and I made a mistake on my map yesterday, switching the places of the elf bowmen and halfling cavalry and mislabeling the halfling yeomen – sorry!)

As the rules now stand (yes, covering my @$$), mass combat is handled in the following phases:

1) Orders Phase
2) Missile Phase I
3) Movement Phase
4) Melee Phase
5) Magic Phase

During the orders phase, each commander writes down orders for each unit. These orders cannot be changed because of events on the field.

During each phase, each commander rolls 1d6 to see who moves a unit first, play then proceeding from commander to commander until each unit has moved or attacked during that phase.

So, orders for this phase will be as follows:

Halflings
A, C, D, E – Maintain a loose formation and wait
B – Stand ground and shoot bows at Orc Unit F
F – Stand ground and sling stones at Orc Unit G
G, H – Stand ground and sling stones at Orc Unit H
I – Stand ground and shoot bows at Orc Unit F

Orcs
All orc units are going to maintain a loose formation
All orc units except B and C will move ahead at normal speed, save the worg riders, who will have to match the pace of the units in front of them
Units B and C will target Halfling Unit A with their bows

With orders given, play proceeds with the missile phase

Each commander rolls 1d6 – Thundergut gets a ‘5’, Brando a ‘3’

Each squad of 10 figures makes a single attack, rolling damage if they hit

Thundergut has Unit B fire at Halfling Unit A, rolling a ‘13’ and ‘17’ and scoring 5 points of damage; Brando rolls a ‘18’ for his Reflex save and takes no damage

Brando has Unit B fire at Orc Unit F, rolling a ‘16’ and hitting for 5 points of damage; Sub-chief Yort rolls a 13 for his Reflex save and succeeds, suffering no damage

Thundergut has Unit C fire at Halfling Unit A, rolling an ‘11’ and ‘21’ and scoring 4 points of damage; Brando rolls a ‘25’ for his Reflex save and suffers no damage

Since Thundergut has no more missile attacks planned, it’s all halflings now

Unit F fires at Orc Unit G, rolling an ‘8’, ‘8’ and ‘18’ and scoring 2 points of damage; Sub-chief Fang rolls a ‘12’ on his saving throw and also suffers 2 points of damage

Unit G fires at Orc Unit H, rolling a ‘13’, ‘19’ and ‘17’ and scoring 4 points of damage; Sub-chief Nardo rolls a “1”, “12” and “22” on his Reflex saving throws, failing two and suffering 3 points of damage

Unit H fires at Orc Unit H, rolling a ‘2’, ‘8’ and ‘13’ and scoring no damage

Unit I fires at Orc Unit F, rolling a ’16’, ‘12’, ‘13’, ‘11’, ‘17’ and ‘1’ and scoring 4 points of damage; Sub-chief Yort rolls an ‘18’ and ‘20’ on his Reflex saves and suffers no damage

Movement now commences

Since none of the halfling units are moving this round, the movement all goes to the orcs.

Each square on the map represents 5 feet, and the orcs have a 30 foot movement rate. Thundergut has them move at full running speed towards the enemy, so they move 24 squares forward

No units are in contact, so there is no melee phase. No casters are casting, so there is also no magic phase.

So, at the end of Round One, we’ve seen some minor casualties on the orc side – nothing too dramatic yet, but we’ve only just begun the battle

Click to Enlarge

Epic Adventure in Three Rules (Dice Not Included)Image

Print this out

Image by Tom Gauld; found at Love Truth & Beauty

Roll a dice on it (or flip a coin or throw a dart)

That’s what you are

The Ref does the same to pick the antagonist of the epic tale

Anything you want to do that your character should be good at, you do on a roll of 1-4; everything else you do on a roll of 1-2

The size of the dice depends on the difficulty – usually it’s a d6, but the Ref can make it bigger if what you’re trying to do is harder, more epic, more dramatic or more final

Opposed rolls (like combat) are just that – whoever rolled the highest and still succeeded on her roll wins; oh, and opposed actions must always be prefaced by, “Oh yeah? Well I …” or they don’t count.

All done!

DUDE – POST 900!

The Battle of Gaudin’s Ford – Preliminary

Among other things, Blood & Treasure includes some simple rules for mass combat to support the end game of stronghold and army building. While I’ve been playtesting the good old-fashioned dungeoneering and wilderness rules for a while now, I have yet to make sure the mass combat rules actually work. So, to correct this oversight, I’m going to test them LIVE, on this blog. Without further ado …

When spring rolls around, a young orc’s fancy turns to thoughts of plunder. And so it was that the orc chief Thundergut, rousing from a winter’s sleep, decided that it was high time to show those civilized bastards down in the valley what for. To that end, he rallied his troops (it involved lots of screaming and head kicking), convinced a few ogres to join in, and set out for Gaudin’s Ford.

Gaudin’s Ford was a ford across the River Pepp, named for a trapper who once had a trading post in the area. It provided the easiest way for many miles to cross the river and strike into the heart of the civilized area known as the Downs, an area inhabited primarily by a halfling moot called Mottlesby, with elf and human lands beyond.

As the orcs marched, they were spotted by a flock of giant eagles, who sped to the elves to warn them of the impending danger. The elves dispatched immediately a squadron of wayfarers to warn the halflings of Mottlesby and prepare a hasty defense at the ford, while the various elf princes were roused for battle and the humans were given the alarm.

And so it was that the orcs of Chief Thundergut met the halflings of Sheriff Brando at Gaudin’s Ford.

Click to Enlarge

The above is my battle map, whipped up in Excel for ease of use. On the right, you see the display of the forces involved, along with leader types. My plan is to run a few rounds each day and see how things proceed, dropping in a few points about the rules as I go along. Consider today the set-up, with the battle being joined tomorrow.

The orc plan is to push forward, using the yobbos to soak up missile damage and then get out of the way so the ogres and blackguards can attack the lines in waves. The archers will try to engage the enemy missile troops and keep them out of the battle. The worg riders are kept in reserve.

The  halfling plan is to inflict as much damage as possible with missile weapons, and then hope the billmen can whittle the orcs down enough that they won’t overwhelm the yeomen and boyos.

In general, I’m trying to keep this simple and just test the mechanics. The troop types and leaders are drawn from the monster section of B&T and things like hit points were rolled randomly.

Oh – rhe dark green bits are woodlands, the brown blob a hill and the light blue bit is the ford in the river. The rest of the river could be crossed by swimming.

Dragon by Dragon … September 1977

Let’s get right into it, shall we? Because the first page we see past the cover is this …

Let the edition wars begin, I guess. Note the “For 3 or more adult players” [emphasis mine]. TSR would learn a little something about the purchasing power of the younger set in a few years.

The second page is an ad for 25 mm Minifigs D&D miniatures, which such evocative names as “5 Different Hobgoblins” and “10 Kobolds”. You can see some painted versions HERE, HERE (didn’t know hobgoblins were so randy) and HERE.

OK – to the meat of the issue. Our first offering is from Gygax, and is entitled Varied Player Character and Non-Player Character Alignment in the Dungeons & Dragons Campaign. The article is about the problems that alignment presents to DM’s. The line that caught my attention early in the article was:

“The most common problem area seems to lie in established campaigns with a co-operating block of players, all of whom are of like alignment. These higher level player characters force new entrants into the same alignment, and if the newcomers fail to conform they dispatch them.”

Nice to know that DM’s used to have help from the players in terms of managing alignment. It sounds like players with high-level characters could be real dicks back in the day.

Also interesting was this, about Gary’s Greyhawk Campaign:

“The Greyhawk Campaign is built around the precept that “good” is the desired end sought by the majority of humanity and its allied races (gnomes, elves, et al.). I have this preference because the general aim is such that more than self-interest (or mental abberation) motivates the alignment. This is not to say that a war of lawful good against chaotic good is precluded, either or both opponents being allied with evil beings of lawful or chaotic alignment. What is said is that most planned actions which are written into the campaign are based on a threat to the overall good by the forces of evil.”

Probably sounds a bit rail-roady to some of the old schoolers out there. If I’m honest, the article somewhat meanders a bit and didn’t really teach me much on its professed subject, other than to conclude that a variety of alignments is a good thing in a campaign. So that’s settled.

Next up is the continuation of The Finzer Family, the longest damn story I think I ever saw in a Dragon Magazine. I’m going to skip the continuation, just as I skipped the first part, but I will draw notice to this:

The gaming world is taking shape!

I’m going to post this next ad for miniatures because, frankly, they’re pretty dang nice. I tried to find some painted samples online, but came up short.

Almost 20 pages later, we’re finally done with the Finzer Family, and onto an article by MAR Barker entitled Seal of the Imperium. The article is designed to answer reader questions, but the first declaration of Prof. Barker is an interesting one regarding the difference between “real” Tekumel and the “game” Tekumel:

“Just to point up the contrasts, let me cite some differences: (a) “real” Tékumel has a lot less magic and magical paraphernalia lying about than one picks up in the game — with all the Thoroughly Useful Eyes and spells of revivification possible in the game, no citizen of Tsolyánu would ever have to die! — and there would be heaps of treasure and goodies for all”

The eternal problem with D&D. As Prof. Barker explains:

“All of these things, plus the ever-useful Divine Intervention, make it a LOT easier to succeed in the game than in “real” Tsolyánu. The same is true of “Monopoly” or “Alexander the Great”; games abstract, simplify, and simulate only those parts of “reality” which the designer feels are crucial.”

In other words – “Don’t sweat it, it’s just a game”. Good advice, then and now.

Brian Blume now rides in with The Fastest Guns that Never Lived (Part II), a list of actors from old westerns, along with their stats for Boot Hill. You have no idea how much this makes me wish I had the Boot Hill rules, just for the chance to put the Cisco Kid and Poncho on the trail of Lee Van Cleef.

James M. Ward now presents Tombs & Crypts. It’s a neat little graph for randomly generating the contents of a tomb or crypt. The table allows one to roll a d12 to get a set of modifiers for several other tables that determine the treasure in the crypt (gold pieces, gems, jewelry, misc. magic items, special items and artifacts) as well as the guardian and structure of the tomb. I’ll reproduce those last two tables:

Guardian
01-30: None
31-50: Magic spell (wizard lock, curse, etc.)
51-80: Invisible stalkers (1d4)
81-99: Creature from the 6th level monster chart
100: A stronger monster + roll again for another guardian

Tomb Itself
01-40: 1 room/cave/mound of dirt
41-50: Hall with spring trap of some type and a secret door at the end of it
51-60: A 2-6 room/cave complex with many doors leading to other areas trying to lure the robbers away
61-80: 1-10 rooms/caves with a secret door to the tomb and 1-10 traps in the rooms
81-90: 1-10 rooms with 1-20 corridors, with 2-20 traps guarding the rooms and tombs and a secret door
91-99: 1-10 connecting rooms with traps, secret doors, and magical guard spells (wizard locks, symbols, etc.) guarding the way
100: 1-20 rooms with traps, secret doors, and a being guard. It requires a special word to open the final door to the tomb. The word should not be found in the tomb.

Next cool ad:


I found a shot of a painted one HERE.

Almost to the end, and I discover another famous first for Dragon …

When you combine Basic D&D, White Dwarf, Wormy and a long article about alignments, I think you might be able to peg September 1977 as the beginning of the modern era of D&D.

See you next week, when I give the Blood & Treasure mass combat rules a whirl with the Battle of Gaudin’s Ford, pitting a moot of halflings against a rampaging orc tribe.

Oh yeah – the cover – no room for it up above, but it is pretty groovy …

New game – stat the cover.

HORST HAMMERFIST, 5th level fighting-man with psionic powers, an amulet of advanced mathematics and a +2 ray gun of lightning.

Friday Grab Bag

A grab bag of digital flotsam and jetsam that has floated past my perch on the cliffs that overlook the vastness of the World Wide Web …

Pirates + Goofy Headgear = Pirates in Goofy Headgear

The Victual Brothers were Baltic pirates who, frankly, would be much less groovy if they called themselves “The Baltic Pirates”. Likewise, every D&D party should have a name, awesome, goofy or otherwise. Thanks to that rule of my game, I can now tell tales of the Tender Blades and Wyld Stallyns and their adventures in Nod.

I think every good sword school needs to be named after a saint who, technically, should have been opposed to violence. And speaking of kickass names, these lads were officially known as the Brotherhood of Our dear lady and pure Virgin Mary and the Holy and warlike heavenly prince Saint Mark. “Holy and warlike heavenly prince” – eat your heart out Cuthbert!

I’m listening to these guys at the moment. I officially endorse them as my favorite depression-era swing quintet ever!

Pole arms kick ass.

I’m color blind. Just discovered, via my daughter, that Batgirl’s costume is purple. My love of her (my daughter and Batgirl) has increased immeasurably because of this.

If you thought Carrie Keagan made a spectacular Power Girl (she does), she’s also easy on the eyes as Princess Allura. And if you don’t know who Carrie Keagan is, then your life has been misspent (and not in the good way).

That’s all for today! Over and Out!

Grimm Continues … More Monsters for Mother Goose & Goblins

Yeah, I know, this is taking forever. What can I say?

Nixie: Nixies dwell in the rivers and streams of Fairyland, and are more apt to be seductive and cruel than playful and kind. They are aligned with Hearts, and are wicked 75% of the time.

Ogre: Ogres in Fairyland come in two varieties, the traditional man-eating lout who carries a club and takes great delight in frightening people with their fangs, and the spellcasting ogre mages who cultivate a veneer of civilization (though they remain just as thoroughly wicked and hungry for human beings), like the one who appears in Puss-in-Boots. Either way, they conform to the ogre and ogre mage stats in traditional D&D. Ogres are aligned with Clubs (wicked) and ogre mages with Diamonds (wicked).

Pixie: Pixies (or sprites) are the most numerous of the fairy folk. They dwell in meadows and glades and disguise their villages with cunning illusions. Many become attendants of fairy knights.

Rat Swarm: We all remember the tale of the Pied Piper, and thus know that great swarms of rats have a definite place in Fairyland. Many fairy tales were born during the plague years of Europe, and thus rat swarms in Fairyland always carry that disease with their bite.

Rat Swarm: HD 4; AC 5; Atk 1; Dmg 1d6 + save vs. disease; Move 150; Save as Ftr 4

Red Bull: Red bulls are two-headed, fire-breathing bulls that can be treated as chimeras without the wings, sans the dragon and lion bite attacks, but with two butt/gore attacks. They are aligned with Clubs (wicked)

Revenant: Zombies in MG&G are called revenants. They differ from traditional D&D zombies by retaining their intelligence and memories (and alignment), though they are always twisted and wicked in their dealings with the living. It is not uncommon to find them traveling with their coffins upon their backs.

Robber: Robbers are the bandits of MG&G, and conform to the stats for bandits or brigands. They may form small gangs (3d6 individuals) who waylay travelers through woodlands, or they might form larger bodies (up to 40!) who have their lairs in secret caves and attack entire villages for the purpose of plunder.

Roc: The mighty roc makes an appearance now and again in Fairyland, swooping in from balmy seas beyond the mountains of Jinnistan on its way to visit the east wind. They are aligned with nothing and nobody.

Satyr: Satyrs in MG&G are the same as in D&D, save they are a bit hornier and more frightening. Satyrs are aligned with Hearts, and though not completely wicked, they definitely push the boundaries of polite behavior and have significant difficulties in restraining themselves around females (save vs. spells).

Sorcerer: Sorcerers are men who practice the magical arts, and are thus capable of casting spells as fairy godmothers (roll level on 2d4). Sorcerers may be aligned with any of the factions, but 5 in 6 are thoroughly wicked and corrupt due to their willingness to deal with demons. 1 in 6 sorcerers is a white magician.

Sphinx: Sphinxes are not common in Fairyland, but they do exist. All sphinxes in Fairyland are gynosphinxes, and they are typically aligned with Clubs (wicked), as they enjoy throttling travelers who cannot answer their riddles.

Treant: The treants of Fairyland are pretty similar to those of traditional D&D, save they are usually incapable of moving around. A treant that isn’t talking is only recognized as a treant on a roll of 1 on 1d6 (or 1-3 on 1d6 for dwarves and fairy knights and other fairy folk). Treants do not get on well with woodsmen. Treants are often aligned with Hearts, but some trees are aligned with Clubs.

Troll: Trolls adhere to the same rules as in traditional D&D, with the exception that some of them turn to stone in the light of the sun (either permanently, or only until nightfall). All trolls must save vs. spells or run in terror when they hear the peeling of church bells.

Wicked Witch: Hags in MG&G are known as wicked witches. They are not, of course, old misunderstood women, but evil fairies who seek out the helpless and innocent to consume. Just use the various hag stats in D&D, but give them the ability to cast spells as fairy godmothers. Wicked witches are aligned with Clubs (wicked).

Law vs. Chaos, the William Blake Way

The internet is wonderful for stream of consciousness discovery. Last night, I was writing a bit about orcs for Blood & Treasure – specifically creating a table of military units – and in the process found a reference to the very interesting mythology created by William Blake in the last decades of the 18th century. Just like that, I had the perfect pantheon for Dweomer Bay, Nod’s nod to Colonial America.

If you don’t know about this little gem of creativity (I’m not going to pass judgment on is validity), I’ll do my best to present the basics, which, frankly, is all you really need for a fantasy RPG that has warrior-priests who mostly concern  themselves with exploring dungeons. If you’re looking for a stand-in for Christianity, it should work rather well.

In essence, Blake’s mythology would be one in which Chaos (or Chaotic Good, in 9-fold alignment terms) is “good”, and Law (or Lawful Neutral) is “not good”. It has a central figure, the giant/man/land of Albion, who is divided into four Zoas:

Tharmas: Tharmas is the primordial man, who represents instinct and strength. If I had to choose an alignment, I’d go Neutral.

Urizen: Urizen is reason and tradition; a cruel god of Law. Probably Lawful Neutral. He was the primeval priest, who separated from the other Eternals to build his own alienating and enslaving realm of religious dogma – a fallen universe – in which Los and Enitharmon enter to give birth to their son, Luvah/Orc, the spirit of revolution and freedom.

Luvah (Orc): Luvah represents love, passion and emotive faculties. He is known as Orc in his most amorous and rebellious form. Luvah is probably Chaotic Neutral. He is the embodiment of the American Colonies, which Blake apparently imagined would be a new utopia. Orc provokes the Angel of Boston to rebellion against the Angel of Albion, who considers Orc the anti-Christ. Orc considers the Angel of Albion to be the anti-Christ.

Urthona (Los): Urthona is also known as Los, and represents inspiration and imagination. This guy is Chaotic Good. He is commonly depicted with a hammer, and is the father of Luvah/Orc. Urthona is the redeemer of the fallen universe created by the rebel Urizen. Los himself fell and took on human form, and then went to work binding Urizen to a human form, a “Human illusion, in darkness and deep clouds involvd”.

Urthona (Los), Enitharmon and Luvah (Orc)

Each of these four Zoas has a feminine “emanation”:

Enion: Enion is maternal, and is paired with Tharmas.

Ahania: Ahania is celestial, and is paired with Urizen. She is discarded by Urizen.

Vala: Vala is seductive and shadowy, and is paired with Lovah/Orc. Her daughters are death and love human sacrifice, and must be confronted and defeated by Jerusalem to bring the Zoas back together as a single divine body.

Enitharmon: Enitharmon is musical, and is paired with Urthona/Los.

There are other “divinities” as well:

Rintrah represents “revolutionary wrath” (the fact that the American Revolution has an impact on Blake’s mythology makes it perfect for Dweomer Bay). His brothers are Palamabron (pity), Bromion (scientific thought – also the passionate man) and Theotormon (desire/jealousy – also the chaste man). They are the sons of Los. Bromion is loud and lustful, and eventually rapes Oothoon (the soft spirit of America, or female sexuality), symbolizing an America trapped by the the science of Newton and the philosophy of Locke.

Bromion, Oothoon and Theotormon

Urizen’s sons are Thiriel (Air), Utha (Water), Grodna (Earth) and Fuzon (Fire). Fuzon rebels against Urizen, attacking him with fire and then declaring himself God. This leads to Urizen accidentally creating the tree of mystery and nailing Fuzon’s body to it.

Los entering the grave