The Coming of the Triphibians

The triphibians have their origin in a delightful Japanese film with numerous titles, the most common in the U.S. of A. being The Monster from a Prehistoric Planet. Another title (Gappa: The Triphibian Monster) refers to the monsters in question being triphibians. I really dig that word, so I decided to make them into more useful monsters for the average fantasy/sci-fi game – i.e. I resized them as humanoids rather than uber-massive kaiju. Here then, are the triphibians, compatible with Blood & Treasure and other OSR games.


Type: Humanoid
Size: Medium
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 15
Attack: Slam (1d4) or by weapon
Movement: 30′ (Fly 90′, Swim 30′)
Save: 16; +3 vs. poison
Intelligence: Average
Alignment: Neutral (N)
No. Appearing: 1d6*
XP/CL: 200/3

SD—Immunity (electricity), resistance (fire)

Triphibians look like beaked humanoids with scaly skin and large wings which they can fold onto their backs, nearly hiding them. They are emotional creatures, and their scales change colors to match their emotions. They are not desirous of contact with other species, and do their best to maintain a wide buffer between their lands and those of other creatures. In their own territory, they are highly aggressive towards intruders, especially when they are protecting their eggs and their young. In battle, they fight with swords, spears, bows and javelins, and sometimes use shields.

Triphibians can fly and they can breath underwater, making them a triple threat. Nations that have gone to war with them find their skies blackened by their warriors dropping heavy stones or bombs, and their boats falling prey to their attacks from underwater. Triphibians do not believe in fair fights, and use their abilities to the fullest to get an advantage.

Triphibians dwell in tribes of 1d6 x 60 warriors and twice as many noncombatants. They usually make their home underwater near thermal vents or in secluded mountain strongholds near lakes. It is not unusual for 1d6 tribes to live within a mile of one another, forming a confederation.

Triphibian tribes are commanded by a 6 HD king or queen who can breath a 10′ cone of electricity (2d6 damage) three times per day. These kings and queens undergo a secret ritual that increases their size to Large and their intelligence to High. The king or queen is attended by a bodyguard of 3d6 warriors with 2+1 Hit Dice. There is a 36% chance that a tribe has a spell caster, usually an adept (roll 1d4 for level). This philosopher, as the triphibians call them, is a spiritual teacher to the people, attends the king or queen on matters of state, conducts public rituals (including coronations) and joins the tribe in battle.

NOTE: These monsters would work very well in a PARS FORTUNA campaign, substituting for the larger humanoids like gnolls and bugbears that appear in traditional fantasy. By adding ray guns and such to their weaponry and putting them in serene bubble architecture above or below the sea, they would also work in a sci-fi setting such as Space Princess.

Bloody Basic (Revised) Stats

Size: Medium
Type: Humanoid
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 16
Movement: 30′ (Fly, Swim)
Attacks: Slam or Weapon
Saving Throw: 16
Alignment: Neutral
CL/XP: 3/300

Rediscovering Pars Fortuna

Bo’al, Ilel, Caledjula and Cakrol

It was about seven years ago that I published Pars Fortuna, my first game. It used the Swords & Wizardry engine, with a few alterations by myself just to test out ideas for alternate mechanics. Seven years, and now it’s time for a little revision.

Revising seems to be my main hobby at the moment. I’ve just done a 2nd edition of Blood & Treasure, so I’m now working on revising the two B&T supplements, the Monster Tome (to be re-titled Monsters II) and the NOD Companion (to be re-titled Esoterica Exhumed). That goes on apace, one piece at a time. Now I’ve started delving into Pars Fortuna, and it has been fun to explore that weird little book.

The idea at the time was to make a random RPG. This meant removing the races, classes, spells, monsters and magic items that we all knew and (mostly) loved, and replacing them with things that had their genesis from random generators. At the time, I described it as reminiscent of Talislanta (“no elves”). For the most part, that’s what I did. Random classes just were not workable at the time, though I later developed a random class generator. To deal with classes, I went the race-as-class route. Random spells had the same problem, so I just rolled randomly on some lists of OGL, but non-SRD, spells.

Now I’m revising, and that means re-reading, and I’m amazed at how much I wrote that I do not remember writing. A couple of the races receded from memory and were nice surprises to me now. Many of the monsters were forgotten, and now I’m realizing how much monster art I’m going to need.

In Pars Fortuna Revised, I’m going to bring the rules more in line with what will be, next year, a revised Bloody Basic. Mostly just messing with saves and skills – nothing earth shattering. The race/classes will get some more options (essentially a warrior, skill monkey and magician class for each race). Pars Fortuna’s spell system will remain intact, and I’ll add in a few extras that I created after it was published and maybe a few things that have been bouncing around my head for a while.

Speaking of art … art was the weak spot for me when I wrote Pars Fortuna. At the time, I had zero budget to work with, so I convinced my wife that sinking $120 or so of our money into this silly project was a good idea. I contracted with Jon Kaufman to give life to the bizarre races in the setting, and I still remember the feeling of absolute delight when I got that first illustration (at the top of the post) from him. It’s still one of my favorite things ever from my years of commissioning art for games.

And then came the monsters. I tapped a fellow named Michael Stewart for a few pieces (gongthrottle over to the left is among my favorite, but the hamazak and qward are also awesome), as well as Russ Nicholson (who I’m proud to say is now working on a cover for B&T Monsters II) and Rhiannon McGuiness (who did the delightful illustration of ouphs). All great illustrations, but … there were so many more monsters to be illustrated! Almost all of the monsters in the book are original (to some extent), but I didn’t have the money to commission more art for them. Seven years later, I have a bigger budget to play with, so I plan to commission quite a few more monster illustrations. Here are a few that are on my list of potential targets for illustration:

Arahkhun – giant racoons, as big as bears and excellent grapplers

Armadillox – armadillos the size of oxen and used as draft animals; a cakrol (pangolin man) mounted on an armadillox would be just dandy!

Bebb – bears with curled goat horns

Gangarou – glossy black giant kangaroos, sometimes used as mounts

Haloot – owl-lions – quadrupedal raptor, with cheetah speed

Jumart – horned horses with shaggy hair

Mursa – furry, white walruses with bear-like legs

Olph – carnivorous sheep with wide faces and toothy maws

Opur – penguins the size of orcas, filling a similar niche

Woin – sleek wolverines with skin membranes that allow them to glide

Abominid – a giant spider stitched together from humanoid arms and legs by a vivimancer

Fulminator – five bronze spheres joined together by arcs of electricity and moving like a humanoid

Mercurial – animated mercury in the vague shape of a rat

Ningyo – animated wooden puppets with demon faces

Retriever – clockwork dingo

Sanctus – animated statue of a saint

Skeloid – animated skeleton bound in silver and gold wire with its head replaced by a wooden raptor or crow head

Tinker King – mechanical man with gemstone eyes

Nine – furry humanoids that look something like otters or seals, but with four eyes; extremely fast

Nizzertit – slimy burrowers with big eyes; keep guard cats

Nurg – short, hairy men with savage tempers; have large fists

Spenwanan – spider people of dungeons and grasslands

Zimbad – humanoid pterosaurs

Goon – evil underground humanoids who wear crowns and cause trouble

Ingalas – amazon nymphs of the jungle

Meagle – stunted moor-folk who like like a combo of hedgehog and bat

Osk – golden humanoids with sharpened teeth; covet jewelry

Tomb Robber – tiny men with grey skin, white eyes and oversized black claws

Azimok – towering crimson humanoids with protruding foreheads; urbane philosophers in daylight, raving madmen at night

Booglemoon – bear-sized wingless turkeys with crushing beaks

Cavern Crawler – terrestrial octopi

Crystalline tree – can throw beams of searing light

Dreak – look like polliwogs with the faces of human children; lake predators

Floating Horror – floating eyeball formed of protoplasm

Hyari – feathered carnosaurs with long snouts and who can leap like fleas
Idekel – cross between alligator and boa constrictor with illusion powers

Lady-of-the-depths – plant that uses illusion to look like a dainty woman; enslaves people with tendrils, who then serve as her handmaidens

Nanc – coppery capybaras with spiny tails

Oroboros – worms with lamprey mouths on either end; Pars Fortuna’s answer to color-coded dragons

Palasm – look like faceless baboons with distended bellies

Pellucid – colonies of translucent crystals

Pyroceros – stone rhinos with cores of magma

Sand rat – scaled rats with sapphires embedded in their foreheads

Sagebane – large frogs with psychic powers

Snurl – mastiffs covered in lobster-like armor

Wyveroon – like little wyverns; they adore magic rings

Zavvo – body of giant serpent, head of bat, wings of vulture; surrounded by darkness

Archfiends – Haaqugo the Burning One, Ac’ishlath the Elder Goddess and Y’dhortshagg

Lunarch – slightly amorphous silvery bear with a cluster of spider eyes on its head

Malhora Swarm – tiny moths that accelerate time

Nokt – evil spirit that looks like a five-headed green crow

Pillar of Fire – ’nuff said

Volp – crystalline wolves

Zax – energy creatures (look something like 9-bit designs from old arcade games)

If I can manage to commission a third of these, I’ll be pretty happy. If I can do more than that, I’ll be ecstatic. If you have any favorites from the list above, let me know in the comments.

I’m thinking of doing a separate setting book for the game, and both rule book and setting book (if I do separate them) will have adventures in them as well. Should be a fun project, and a nice chance to resurrect one of my first attempts at making games.

The Caves of Llosh

The Caves of Llosh is a multi-part dungeon for the Pars Fortuna rules, for characters level 1-3 that I decided to publish here, piece by piece. I’m going to start doing the same for Space Princess and the Catacombs of Old Mars soon … let’s see how it goes.

[No Map Yet … Been busy but wanted to get this ball rolling, and the intro area is pretty straight-forward]

Well beyond the city of Viacrux and the Pyroxist Mountains, past the steading of the cyclopeans and to the west of the Titan’s Door, lie the Caves of Llosh, one of the many entrances to the infamous Spire that lies at the center of creation and, they say, offers one a chance to rewrite that creation if only they can climb to its pinnacle.

The caverns are accessed via a small cave in the base of a mountain shrouded in spiny ygoraa bushes that drip their maddening sap when the moon is full. The upper reaches of the mountain are stark and on the rocky ledges perch beady-eyed hraeths (giant ravens), who often attack adventurers making their way to and from the caves (3 in 6 chance, 5 in 6 if laden with treasure).

HRAETH (1d8): HD 1; AC 15; ATK 1d4 (talons); Move 3 (Fly 18); Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.

1-1. The entry cave measures about 50 feet wide and 70 feet long, and the ground and ceiling both angle downwards from the entry. The floor and walls have been worn smooth by dozens of adventurers who have dared the caves, and bits of graffiti are to be found chiseled into the walls, including a large admonishment to “Never Bite an Oort” and a plea to “Bow to The Dam”.

There are three exits from the cavern. One is a sinkhole with glistening walls (not wet, just a characteristic of the rock). The sinkhole has an opening about 15 feet in diameter – a sort of cone – with several iron spikes driven into the rim, and usually (2 in 6) a rope tied to at least one. About 20 feet down, the air becomes foul and difficult to breath (save or suffer -1 penalty to attack and save for 2 hour; or simply cover mouth and nose with a thick cloth), and about 40 feet down you might come across additional spikes driven into the walls, where people made a perch for themselves and tied off additional ropes. In all, the sinkhole is 80 feet deep and leads to chamber 3-1.

The next exit is a rather large cave mouth at the back of cave 1-1. The air in the mouth of this cave is quite chilly, and one can even see crystals of frost on the ground leading into it. This cave leads into a tunnel about 40 feet long, that winds back and forth gently and descends at a 15-degree angle to chamber 1-2. The tunnel is guarded by four cavern crawlers with mottled, white skin that allows them to blend in with the frosty tunnel (surprise on 1-2 on 1d6).

CAVERN CRAWLER (4): HD 1d4 (4, 2, 2, 2 hp); AC 12; ATK suffocate (drop); Move 12; Save 18; CL/XP 1/15; Special: Suffocate (see monster description).

The final exit is hidden by an illusion, making it look like part of the east wall. It is a stone portal, large enough to be carved by bo’al, and bearing the tell-tale signs of their aesthetic (i.e. boring, angular, sturdy, etc.). Beyond the illusion (not the work of bo’al, but of a party of caledjula who long ago met their demise within the caves) there is a hallway about 10 feet long and an iron door (locked, trapped with an acid spray that deals 1d6 damage and has a 13% chance of ruining a thief’s lock pick). Beyond the iron door there is a spiral stair that leads down about 30 feet to chamber 2-1. This engineering feat was a result of a party of bo’al being guided by a prophetic dream, and breaching the second level of the dungeon from a pathway its inhabitants never quite expected.

Nomes – New Race

Illustration by John R. Neil, 1921

The nomes are akin to the fey oumphs, and dwell underground with them, sometimes cooperatively, but just as often in opposition. They are natural miners, with eyes that can pierce the blackness of the underworld as easily as human eyes can pierce the daylight; however, in light they are just as blind as a human is in the dark, and must shroud their eyes or use spells of darkness to see even dimly.

Nomes are short, standing only 2 to 4 feet in height (1d3+1). They have spindly arms and legs and skin that ranges from flinty grey to rust brown in color. Their eyes, like little black beads, sparkle in light or dark, and give them a look of conspiracy. Nomes are easily agitated and can fly into a rant or a rage at the drop of a hat, though the more adventurous of the race are moderately better at controlling their temper. They cover themselves with tattoos (really more akin to engravings), and from these tattoos they draw mystic powers.

Nomes adventure in search of “the mother lode” that will make them wealthy and powerful. They adventure with a mind to one day constructing a grand fortified mine, settling down, having children and amassing an army of nomes to do their bidding. They call this “the plan”, and most things they encounter are either “all part of the plan” or “not part of the plan”. When a nome is happy, they’ll muse that, “oh yes, the plan is coming along nicely”. The fact that most folk do not know what “the plan” is, paired with the conspiratorial look in their eyes, makes most people suspicious of nomes.

.nobrtable br { display: none }

Level Experience Hit Dice Hit Bonus Save
1 0 1 +0 14
2 2,000 2 +0 13
3 4,000 3 +1 12
4 8,000 4 +2 11
5 16,000 5 +2 10
6 32,000 6 +3 9
7 64,000 7 +4 8
8 128,000 8 +5 7
9 256,000 9 +6 6
10 350,000 9 +2 hp +7 5
11 450,000 9 +4 hp +7 4
12 550,000 9 +6 hp +8 4

As mentioned above, the nomes can see without light, but do not see well with light. In bright light, they must fight blind unless they have their eyes well shaded, and even then suffer a -1 penalty to hit. Their skin is tough and thick, and provides them a +2 bonus to AC. Nomes have a knack for noticing odd stonework and construction, as well as a knack for finding more cunning traps, picking locks, and sniffing out deposits of copper, silver and gold. Their small size prevents them from using large weapons. Finally, nomes can sense vibrations in the stone, and thus can only be surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d10 while underground.


Prime Requisite: Constitution, 13+ (5% experience bonus). Nomes are tough little buggers.

Hit Dice: 1d6+1 (2 hp per level after 9th level). Nomes live a rugged lifestyle, and often come into conflict with other species underground (due to the need for living space as much as their irascible personalities). They are not as militant and well-trained, though, as the Oraenca.

Armor Restrictions: Nomes can use any type of armor, though they prefer to avoid heavy armor because it makes movement through the underworld more difficult.

Weapon Restrictions: Nomes can wield clubs, daggers, flails, maces and swords without trouble. Axes and spears require the use of two hands, and two-handed swords and pole arms are just too large for them. They can use any ranged weapon, but prefer crossbows and slings.

Special Abilities: Nomes are magical folk, though not as skilled as the Caledjula or Nif in the working of spells.

Nomes can use cantraps (level 1 to 3 spells) without any difficulty and using the normal magic rules.

Nomes can cast invocations (level 4 to 6 spells) only by engraving sigils into their skin. These spells can only be spells that affect the nome personally, and once engraved, they can be invoked at any time using the normal spell check mechanism but with a +2bonus to their spell check.

Personal Invocations: Armor of Deflection, Ghost Walk, Touch of the Mystic, Viper Strike

Nomes can likewise work rituals (level 7 to 9 spells) into their skin, powdering the necessary gemstone into their engravings. They must re-apply the crushed gemstone once per month to keep the sigil active and energized, but while it is energized, they receive the same +2 bonus to their spell checks.

Personal Rituals: Body of Fire, Change Form, Consume Soul, Mindshriek, Temporal Abstraction

Nomes are doughty men and women, and their irascible personalities are not inclined towards fear. Whenever a nome must save against fear, there is a 3 in 6 chance that they ignore the fear effect and instead fly into a raging fit. While throwing this fit, the nomes focus their attacks (and are unable to use spells) on the source of the fear. They gain a +2 bonus to hit and damage for 1d6 rounds plus their constitution bonus. At the end of their fit, they are exhausted and must now roll their saving throw against fear.

Needless to say, folk who know nomes well take great pains to avoid startling them.

The Corundar

Image by John M. Stater

Edit: Now with crappy art by yours truly

The corundar are a silicon-based lifeform native to volcanic areas. They grow in and consume mineral salts in solution, but can survive on humanoid blood if necessary. Most corundar lair around a mineral spring, preferably underground, using the spring as a hatchery and as their main source of food.

Corundar consider themselves creatures of perfection. They attempt to beautify their lairs by making the walls, floors and ceiling smooth and angular. They likewise favor perfection in living creatures, both in mind and body. Corundar will always attack creatures with a combined intelligence and charisma score of less than 20, and always attack creatures with the lowest combined score first. Generally, three corundar will rush the imperfect creature, while others will circle them and provide defense until the imperfect specimen has been destroyed.

Corundar look like pyramidal lumps of crystal, about 3 to 4 feet in height and colored red, blue, orange or green. They are supported on four stubby, crystalline legs and have three long mineral straws protruding from their main body mass. These straws can move in the manner of tentacles, and are razor sharp on the edges. Corundar have tiny motes of light moving through their bodies, originating in their hollow center, where they maintain a pocket of mineral salt solution. They can control these motes as a means of communication (a difficult language to learn, requiring a minimum intelligence of 15). They can see with their entire bodies, making them very difficult to surprise. They can sense vibrations from the air and ground as well, making it possible for them to understand speech.

Corundar attack with their straws, whipping and slicing with them or using one of them to spray a corrosive solution of mineral salts (10-ft. long cone, 2d6 points of acid damage, save for half damage, usable once per day). Corundar are immune to acid and cold and suffer only half damage from fire and electricity.

Corundar (Pars Fortuna)
HD 4; AC 16; Atk 3 straws (1d6+1) or spray; Move 9; Save 13; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Immune to acid and cold, resistance to fire and electricity (50%), surprise on 1 on 1d10, acid spray (see above).

PC Race: +1 Con, -2 Dex; surprised on 1 on 1d10; acid spray 1/day, immunities and resistances; knack for finding secret doors

Corundar (Space Princess)
HD 4; DEF 16; FIGHT 10; SHOOT 7; MOVE S; STR 6; DEX 3; MEN 5; KNO 4; DL

PC Species: Mineral (new type, see below) / multiple arms and multiple legs (must spend 1 point of Luck to play a Corundar)

Mineral Alien: Mineral aliens are composed of rock or crystal. They have slow movement and DEF +2.

Sample Lair:

1. Empty Cavern: This cavern is untouched by the corundar, who use it as a buffer between their lair and the outside world; they have erected a crude “scarecrow” here – essentially a skeletal corpse on a slab of rock

2. Guard Post: Two corundar are always on guard here; when not otherwise occupied, they are grinding the walls with their straws

3. Low Cavern: This cavern hosts a hot spring that was insufficiently infused with minerals to serve the corundar; it is a 10-ft. deep pool of scalding water (2d6 damage per round) that sends a thick mist into area [1]

4. Guard Post: Three corundar are always on guard here

5. Workshop: Five corundar work here grinding stone into tools and other pleasing shapes and turning shed crystal into lenses for the temple

6. Temple: The corundar worship a clear crystal pyramid that represents perfection to them; small lenses are hung from the ceiling by thin chains; the temple is guarded by two corundar and the idol is attended by a priest who cast spells as a 5th level magician

7. Laboratory: The corundar high priest [7] maintains a laboratory here; the walls are carved into shelves holding various jars and beakers of mineral solutions; a vat has been carved from the stone in the center of the room – there is a 1 in 10 chance that it holds the makings of a potion

8. Guard Post: Two corundar are always on guard here

9. Forge and Foundry: This room contains a vent of super-heated, poisonous gas (the corundar are immune, of course, since they need not breath, but the gas does mar their appearance) that they use for purifying and working copper ore; there is a 30% chance that two corundar are here working

10. Mine: This cavern connects to a seam of copper that is mined by the corundar; there are usually 2d6 corundar here collecting the ore

11. Rest Chamber: Corundar need to sleep about 6 hours a day; this chamber holds 2d6 sleeping corundar

12. Mud Chamber: This chamber is filled with steaming hot mud; the corundar have created a pool for the mud and channels leading from the walls; they bathe in the mud when damaged

13. Guard Post: Two corundar guards

14. Vibro-Chamber: This space has acoustics that allow the corundar to create pleasant vibrations – in essence, a corundar concert chamber

15. Mineral Baths: There are 3d6 young here and 2d4 adults

Potential Google + Gaming

This post is really just for me to organize my thoughts and put them in pixels before I completely forget them. If any of these ideas grab your imagination, let me know.

For the Money, For the Glory, and For the Fun
The Duke of Raleigh has a challenge for any crew of mutants who want to earn a big payoff – travel west into the Rockies and bring him back a load of the most valuable beverage in post-apocalyptic America … Coors! This would be a Mutant Truckers game, in which (if enough people were interested) two or more crews would complete to make the journey to Colorado and back for a load of Coors.

Assault on Eagle’s Nest
This would be an Action X game (yeah, I’d probably have to finish those rules first) in which a crack team of heroes assaults Eagle’s Nest (Hitler’s command complex). The characters would all be based on literary, comic and movie characters who would have been active during World War II. No super heroes, just guys and dolls who can hold their own in a fight. Indiana Jones, Boston Blackie, Mademoiselle Marie, D.A. Grant Gardner, Sgt. Rock, Maj. Reisman, Pvt. Kelly, a young James Bond, etc.

Silver Age Madness
A Mystery Men! game in which silver age characters deal with all the challenges of the comic books of that period (nosy mates, turning into a gorilla, being split in two, etc.) while trying to keep the world from ending by a mysterious assault from something beyond their reckoning.

Crawling Through Nod
This would be a hex crawl through Nod using Blood and Treasure. A band of diverse heroes (all the races and classes I’ve published in Nod would be open game) doing what they want, going where they want in true sandbox style. There could be a few epic quests hidden in the sandbox for folks who like that sort of thing. No limits to this one – everything would be open from Hell to the Firmament.


The Catacombs of Old Mars
Using Space Princess rules, a band of heroes delve into the ancient catacombs of Mars in search of a mad scientist, who is attempting to unlock the Shiva-Force, a formula that could end the universe as we know it.


Fortuna’s Wheel
This would be a megadungeon delve using Pars Fortuna rules, as characters win their way into the Great Spire at the center of the world, atop of which there stands (reputedly) the Wheel of Fortuna, with which one can gain their hearts’ desire. All you have to do to get it is make your way through a mile high spire of stone that supports hidden kingdoms and every monster you could imagine.


The Streets of Shore City
Another Mystery Men! campaign, this one pitting low-powered heroes against the criminal elements lurking in the alleys of Shore City. Gangbusting, random patrols and maybe a chance to show up the “super heroes” when things really hit the fan.

Monstrous Evolutions

Today, while thinking of something to do with the blog (and this is one of the best things about having a blog and trying to update it every day – it forces your brain to be productive) I was struck with the idea of evolving fantasy monsters. I mean, we have plenty of beast-people in fantasy games and literature – cat people, dog people, etc. But what about monster? Primates evolve into humans – what might rust monsters evolve into. Since the idea seems to fit with Pars Fortuna, here are a couple such races designed for that game.

The ustte are humanoid insects that stand about 4 to 5 feet tall. They have hard, chitinous skin of steel gray, smallish, roundish heads that bear two glossy, black eyes and long, feather-like antennae, wide, slit mouths with long, red tongues (for lapping up corroded metal) and six limbs – two legs, two large arms (like a humans arms) and two smaller, vestigial arms below them. From their abdomen they have long tails that end in “propeller” shaped protrusions.

The ustte dwell wherever there is iron to mine, for though they can corrode most metals and live off of them, iron is their preferred diet. Families consist of a male and multiple females (the species produces roughly three females to one male). Each female is capable of producing a single brood. Broods always consist of four children. These children are given the same name and live with one another as a unit until young adulthood, when they might join with other ustte to form a new family.

Ustte lairs are usually subterranean, though close to the surface. Ustte respect strong physiques and sharp, insightful minds. They compete constantly – in athletic games, tests of skill and craftsmanship and in contests of poetry. Ustte literally wear their “honors on their sleeves” in the form of tracings in gold or silver ink on their chitin. Non-ustte see these fanciful shapes as tattoos, but to an ustte they are a record of their life’s accomplishments and very important.

Racial Abilities
Ustte have thick carapaces that give them a natural Armor Class of 12. Their delicate antennae can detect metals, from iron and copper to gold and platinum, up to 120 feet away, assuming they can conceivably be scented. The touch of their antennae is corrosive to non-precious metals (silver, gold and platinum). Any metal object touched by these antennae (requires a melee attack) has a 1 in 6 chance of being corroded to the point of being useless. Ustte feed on iron and steel, though they can consume other corruptible metals in their place, requiring one pound of metal each day to survive. This makes copper coinage very attractive to ustte adventurers, and some carry the metal as rations.

Class Abilities
Ustte are driven to excel as warriors and artists. Their prime requisite is Charisma. Ustte roll 1d6+2 per level for hit points (+2 per level after 9th). They can wear light and medium armor and use shields and any weapon weighing 3 pounds or less. Ustte are precise warriors, studying the fence as an art and fighting the way a sculptor sculpts. Their passion and drive give them a +2 bonus to save vs. fear effects if already engaged in combat and their ability to draw their opponent into a mistake give them a cumulative +1 bonus to hit and damage every round their foe fails to hit them in melee combat, up to a total of +5. This resets whenever the ustte scores a hit on an opponent. It is for this reason that ustte prefer not to win initiative. This bonus is lost if the ustte is aided in combat by another (i.e. another attacks the same target they are fighting). Whenever an ustte defeats a superior foe in combat, they may apply a new design to their carapace and will always compose a song in their own honor.

The eaoro are a race of tall, bulky humanoids that dwell in farming villages in the midst of wooded regions. They value their privacy; the only eaoro most folk will ever meet are those who must begrudgingly leave their enclaves to trade and those who have suffered exile from their community due to sinful behavior.

Eaoro are sexually dimorphic, the males being much larger than the females. Male eaoro stand about 7 to 8 feet tall, with rather short legs and long, arms. They have narrow shoulders, giving their bodies a distinct “triangular” shape, but are thickly muscled. Females are shorter, averaging 5 to 6 feet in height, and have longer legs and shorter arms. Males are hairier than females, and both sexes have heads covered with feathers rather than hair. Their skin is naturally pale, their eyes large (and telescopic) and they have black, hooked beaks in place of mouths.

Eaoro are vegetarians, though certainly not pacifists. They dwell on farmsteads composed of a central longhouse constructed of stone and logs, maybe one or two outbuildings for storage and a surrounding rampart of earth and stone that stands about 5 feet high. Farmsteads support a family of a bonded male and female, their young (anywhere from three to twelve children) and maybe older relations incapable of surviving on their own. These farmsteads are situated quite near to one another. Eaoro communities are referred to as clusters and usually consist of 20 to 100 farmsteads. Somewhere in the cluster there is a hill cleared of trees that serves as the cluster’s moot.

Eaoro are deeply religious, believing in litany of sins handed down to them from their forebears. When conflicts arise, eaoro must submit themselves to judgment by the moot. Sins are tallied, and judgment always goes to the less sinful eaoro. If this doesn’t cause eaoro to strive for righteousness, it certainly drives them to strive for sneakiness and to pry into the lives of their neighbors, keeping a close “sin count” in case a conflict should arise. Eaoro with too many sins to their names are usually exiled from the community.

While all eaoro are taught magic from a young age, male eaoro tend to be better warriors than mages and females better mages than warriors. For this reason, each is considered separately in terms of class abilities.

Racial Abilities
Eaoro are born farmers – even those who have since been cast out of eaoro society. This gives them a knack for predicting the weather and in all other matters related to the growing of crops and mending of farm implements. They also have a knack for casting cantraps. All eaoro start the game knowing three random cantraps. They can only cast them by making a spell roll and suffer the consequences of failure just like any other spell caster. Their innate strength gives eaoro males a +2 bonus to their strength score and a -2 penalty to their dexterity score at character creation. Females have a bonus and penalty of +1 / -1. These modifications cannot improve a score beyond 18 or lower it below 3. Since most eaoro adventurers are outcasts from their communities and have had to live for an extended time in the wilderness and then on the fringes of society, they have a knack for wilderness survival and pick pocketing.

Eaoro Class – Female
Female eaoro have Intelligence as their prime requisite. They roll 1d6+1 per level for hit points (+2 per level after 9th) and can use light armor, shields and any weapons.

Female eaoro are magicians, and thus can cast magic spells. They have no particular skill at casting a certain kind of spell, being dabblers at the art. They are skilled at picking pockets, palming small objects and at bluffing.

Eaoro Class – Male
Male eaoro have Strength as their prime requisite. They roll 1d6+2 per level for hit points (+2 per level after 9th) and can use light armor, medium armor, shields and any weapons.

Male eaoro are skilled at picking pockets, palming small objects and bluffing. They are known for their ability to present a frightening display when they enter combat, forcing all creatures with 1 hit dice or less to pass a saving throw or flee. Creatures backed into a corner or defending their loved ones will not flee.


Cyclopeans – Playable Race for PARS FORTUNA

Having watched Krull over the weekend – a dandy fantasy movie, in my opinion – I was inspired to do something inspired by the cyclops in that movie. The cyclopean is designed for PARS FORTUNA, but should be readily usable in other old school-style games …

The Cyclopeans are tall, rugged humanoids with a single, large eye located in the center of their face. Cyclopeans have skin tones that range from the color of aged parchment to a rich, glossy umber. Their hair is usually worn long and shaggy, and is always blue-black in youth and adulthood, turning white as a Cyclopean enters his or her later years. The Cyclopeans eye might be any color in the spectrum, with amber and blue being the most common colors, and mauve and mottled green/brown being the rarest.

A warlike people, the Cyclopeans nonetheless have a philosophical side – probably an artifact of their unique ability to see into the future. Born fatalists, they know well the curse that accompanies their power, and take care to only pierce the veil of time when their lives, or the lives of their loved ones, depend on it. Most Cyclopeans dwell in the wilds or on the fringes of civilization, making a living as trappers, hunters and bandits. They have a passion for fighting, but lack the organization of the Oraenca or their flair of the Ilel. Cyclopeans like to rush into battle, casting their military forks and then drawing their hand weapons to close with the enemy. Cyclopean warriors usually wear light or medium armor and carry shields, military forks and broadswords. They might also carry slings and knives.

Cyclopeans see in the Skathra kindred spirits, both for their wild ways and their divinatory powers. They respect the Bo’al, Oraenca and Olvugai as worthy warriors, and though they fear the deadliness of the Ilel, they can’t quite bring themselves to respect them.

Cyclopean names are short and to the point, and are usually followed with a wad of spittle if the name is despised or a clang of the fork on the ground if revered. Common names include Bach, Brel, Cert, Oban, Tohr and Venn for males and Azra, Jula, Kento, Mala and Trena for females.

Cyclopeans adventure for money, fame and a love of action. Cyclopeans like to stay on the move and stay in the action, for it helps to keep their fatalistic moods at bay.

Racial Abilities
All cyclopeans have the following special rules:

1. Cyclopeans have poor depth perception and peripheral vision. All opponents are treated as though they have a knack for surprising them. Cyclopeans suffer a -1 penalty to hit with ranged attacks, except when using their military forks, with which they train from childhood.

2. Cyclopeans have a knack for wilderness survival and reading people’s faces. This helps them discover falsehoods and guess at intentions.

3. No more than once per day, a Cyclopean can peer into the future. They will either glimpse a moment of Weal or a moment of Woe (50:50 chance). The moment glimpsed will be connected to their current endeavors or goals, and can be described with as much or as little detail as the Referee thinks appropriate. A Cyclopean might, for example, glimpse himself or a friend opening a door and being struck dead by a trap, or looking behind a curtain and discovering a secret door. Perhaps the door or curtain is unique and the Cyclopean will easily recognize it when they come to it – perhaps not. Perhaps the Cyclopean will never come across the possible future they have glimpsed. In general, this power acts as a free “clue” to something in the Cyclopean’s current adventure.

4. Whenever a Cyclopean glimpses the future, they hasten their own demise. For the next 24 hours, the Cyclopean suffers a -2 penalty to saving throws made to avoid death, damage or danger.

Class Abilities
Cyclopeans have the following class abilities:

Prime Requisite: Constitution (+5% bonus to earned XP if 13+)
Hit Dice: 1d6+2 (or 1d10), +2 hp per level after 9th
Saving Throws: As warrior
Attack Bonuses: As warrior
Restrictions: Cyclopeans can use any weapon, light and medium armor and shields.
XP Advancement: As the Oraenca

Cyclopean characters turn their racial knack for reading faces into a skill.

Cyclopeans can go berserker once per day. This berserkergang can only be entered once they have suffered damage in battle or once they have inflicted damage in battle. Once the berserker state is entered, the Cyclopean remains in it for a number of rounds equal to their Constitution divided by 3. They cannot exit the berserker state prematurely without passing a saving throw, and will attack anything in reach while under its spell. While berserk, a Cyclopean gets two melee attacks per round and inflicts +1 damage with melee attacks, but suffers a -2 penalty to Armor Class. A Cyclopean suffers from exhaustion for a number of hours equal to the rounds of combat they spent while berserk unless they spend a full turn after the battle resting.

Picture nabbed from HERE

PARS FORTUNA Discount and the Zwunkers

I present the Zwunker from the aforementioned PARS FORTUNA as a playable race.

Zwunkers (Sea Dogs)

Zwunkers are black-skinned dwarves with long manes of gold hair. Their eyes are faceted and resemble yellow diamonds.Zwunkers stand anywhere from 3 to 4 feet tall, and they are heavier than they look. Zwunkers are usually found working as sailors or hired muscle, so they tend to dress simply and prefer to let their arms be bare to show off their mighty thews.

In the PARS FORTUNA setting, Zwunkers seemingly have no home. Most ports have an itinerant population of the little buggers working as sailors, bodyguards, thugs or laborers. Zwunkers like to move around, and in fact often need to move around to stay ahead of the trouble they get into. When they do settle down, it is usually to dwell in caves overlooking the sea. These caves are decorated with flotsam and jetsam and all the bric-a-brac you would expect a person to collect in the course of dozens of sea voyages.

Zwunkers are wanderers and, often, troublemakers. They enjoy stirring things up and seeing what happens – introducing a little chaos into otherwise staid and steady lives. Although not overly fond of alcohol, they are downright obsessive over gambling and wagering, and most of the trouble they get into starts as a dare-turned-wager. Zwunkers are hard, diligent workers, taking great pride in out-working other folk. This makes them popular with Oraenca. Their disregard for authority makes them popular with the Kyssai. Most other races see them as a nuisance.

Zwunker adventurers aren’t much different from normal zwunkers – they like to see new things, annoy new people, walk further, climb higher, etc. Many Zwunker adventurers got their start when somebody bet them they wouldn’t climb into a hill or plunder a tomb.

Zwunker names are little more than nicknames. They are usually monosyllabic – names like Zurk, Yan or Gord for males and Tua, Offa or Zee for females.

Zwunkers have a knack for seamanship, including navigation (even away from the sea – they have an excellent sense of direction), climbing and swimming. Zwunkers are also very anti-magical in nature, receiving a +1 bonus to save vs. magic, and actually creating a zone of magical interference within 30 feet that creates a 5% chance of spells cast in that zone or into that zone going awry and not working.


Prime Requisite: Constitution, 13+ (5% experience)

Hit Dice: 1d6+1 (+2 hp per level after 9th level)

Armor Restrictions: Zwunkers can wear light and medium armor and use shields.

Weapon Restrictions: Zwunkers can use any weapon except two-handed swords and pole arms.

Special Abilities: A Zwunker character’s anti-magic zone increases in power as they increase in level, adding a 1% chance per level of spells going awry (i.e. a 1st level zwunker’s zone has a 6% chance of ruining spells, while a 10th level Zwunker’s zone has a 15% chance of doing so). Once per day, a zwunker can control winds (and only winds) per the spell Control Weather. A 10th level Zwunker gains the ability to use the Control Weather spell, as written, once per day. Finally, Zwunker characters are skilled at climbing, navigating and other nautical tasks.

Zwunker Advancement

Level Experience Hit Dice Hit Bonus Saving Throw
1 0 1 +0 15
2 2,000 2 +0 14
3 4,000 3 +1 13
4 8,000 4 +1 12
5 16,000 5 +2 11
6 32,000 6 +3 10
7 64,000 7 +3 9
8 128,000 8 +4 8
9 256,000 9 +5 7
10 350,000 +2 hp +5 6
11 450,000 +4 hp +6 5
12 550,000 +6 hp +7 4