Monthly Archives: February 2017

Spell: Minor Miracle

It always seemed odd to me that there’s limited wish before wish, but nothing like it at 7th level for clerics. I mean, we have the term minor miracle, why not use it? But since miracle works a little differently than wish, and doesn’t always have a material component cost, you need to be careful what options you give minor miracle.

Minor Miracle

School evocation; Level cleric 7
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S; see text
Range see text
Target, Effect, or Area see text
Duration see text
Saving Throw see text; Spell Resistance yes

You don’t so much cast a minor miracle as request one. You state what you would like to have happen and request that your deity (or the power you pray to for spells) intercede.

A minor miracle can do any of the following things.

Duplicate any cleric spell in a domain or subdomain granted by your deity of 6th level or lower.
Duplicate any other cleric spell of 5th level or lower.
Duplicate any other spell of 4th level or lower
Undo the harmful effects of certain spells, such as feeblemind or insanity.
Have any effect whose power level is in line with the above effects.
Alternatively, a cleric can make a more powerful request. Casting such a minor miracle costs the cleric 1,500 gp in powdered diamond because of the powerful divine energies involved. Examples of especially powerful minor miracles of this sort could include the following:

Swinging the tide of a battle in your favor by raising a fallen ally to continue fighting.
Duplicating anything that can be accomplished by a limited wish.
Moving yourself and one ally, with all your and their gear, from one plane to a specific locale through planar barriers with no chance of error.
Delaying an earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood, or other major natural disaster for a number of hours.
In any event, a request that is out of line with the deity’s (or alignment’s) nature is refused.

A duplicated spell allows saving throws and spell resistance as normal, but the save DCs are as for a 7th-level spell. When a minor miracle spell duplicates a spell with a material component that costs more than 25 gp, you must provide that component.

Become a Patron!

Hey folks, do you enjoy the content on this blog? I can only take the time to do longer things like this, because I have patrons supporting me! Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! Or you could even become a sponsor, and get me to link to YOUR content!

Advertisements

Simplified High-Level Pathfinder

Simplified High-Level Pathfinder

Rather than gain a new character level from 11th or higher, you simply gain the ability to potential overcome any one obstacle foe or challenge you are directly facing. Your chance is 45% +5% per level above 10th, , and each time per game session you do this your chance of it succeeding when used again that game session goes down by 10%.
Describe how you used your areas of specialty to succeed. You can use this ability no more than once per encounter. or twice per encounter if you are 15th level or higher.
Also, gain +10 hp and +.5 to all saving throws for each level above 10th.

Simplified Mythic Pathfinder

Rather than gain a new character abilities with each mythic tier, you simply gain the ability to potential overcome any one obstacle foe or challenge you are directly facing. Your chance is 50% +5% per tier, and each time per game session you do this your chance of it succeeding when used again that game session goes down by 10%. If you are only facing creatures with no mythic tiers,. or mythic tiers no greater than half your own, you gain a +25% bonus to this roll to succeed.
Describe how you used your mythic role to succeed.
You can use this ability no more often per encounter than half your mythic tier (minimum 1).
Also, gain +10 hp and +.5 to all saving throws for each mythic tier.

Become a Patron!

Hey folks, do you enjoy the content on this blog? I can only take the time to do longer things like this, because I have patrons supporting me! Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! Or you could even become a sponsor, and get me to link to YOUR content!

Worldbuilding Week: Merothian Emnities

We’re continuing Worldbuilding week with a look at who the Merothians as a group hate, and who hates them. They say you can judge people by their enemies, so this both helps form a background a player can draw from, and gives guidance for things like common bane weapons and favored enemies. It also helps a GM know what to use for “Merothian” combat encounters.

We already did a brief history of Merothia here, discussed Merothian traits characters could take here, and looked a Merothian culture here.

Merothian Enmities

Merothia was once a powerful coalition of proud baronies, feared by its foes and respected by its allies. Free Knights were well-known champions of freedom and liberty, and honored in every city that looked toward the light.

But now, everyone (except dwarves) look at Merothia as a failed land and see Merothians primarily as peasants who proved they cannot manage (and do not deserve) self-rule.

Some Merothains are bitter about this. Others aren’t, but know that in lands outside their own they are likely to be seen as bumpkins, idiots, or worse small-minded villains who seek only to steal the silverware.

In the days of the High Barons of Morothia, the three great threats to peace were mountain giants (and their orroc minions), orc raiders, and the garm. The epic tails of clashes against these forces are still told around bowls of donnersop, and most of the few remaining relics of Old Merothia are weapons carried into battle with names like Wolfsplitter or Jotunslayer. Orcs and orrocs, in particular, often raided into once-peaceful Merothians settlements when the Baron Kings fell, and though that was generations ago the memory of the Merothians survivors runs deep.

Because of the constant wars with orc and orroc tribes, many Merothian communities dislike and mistrust orcs and half-orcs, especially those from the Raudak. Though the orcblooded people of the Raudak have no direct connection to the orcs who plundered Merothia at the end of the Age of Tyrants, the fact the Raudak hold many Merothian towns as protectorates and has entirely taken over the few major Merothian cities near it causes current-day Merothians to heap the hate and fear of ancient orc tribes onto the modern-day Raudaki.

Though the old Jotun mountain giants appear to be gone, their degenerate offspring the stone giants and hill giants (and even larger tribes of orrocs) now control much of the Basalt Mountains. Such giants can raid with impunity into some Merothians towns, and are a constant threat to others. The orc tribes that answer to them, and the orroc who share giant blood, are much more likely to be actually encountered than a true giant, but the distrust, fear and hate for all these groups runs deep.

As the Njor often raid down from the north and clear have some Jotun blood, some groups of Merothians are suspicious of any Njor. However, the fact that Njor Giantslayers often travel into the central Basalt Mountains seeking to kill off specific storied villains of giantkind cause many Merothians to appreciate the value of a friendly Njor. A single Njor, or a couple of Njor travelling with other races, are more likely to be viewed in friendly terms than a band of multiple Nor, at least until livestock begin to go missing.

Though true garm are extremely rare since the Age of Tyrants, their close cousins the worgs and winter wolves remain threats throughout Merothia. If anything these canine creatures hate Merothians even more than the Merothians hate them, and worg shamans often gather small warbands together during storm season to destroy as many Merothians villages as possible.

Become a Patron!

Hey folks, do you enjoy the content on this blog? I can only take the time to do longer things like this, because I have patrons supporting me! Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! Or you could even become a sponsor, and get me to link to YOUR content!

Naming the Planets of TRAPPIST-1

Obviously when naming TRAPPIST-1a through TRAPPIST-1g, there will be a strong temptation to use the names of some famous set of seven things. Noting that the most-likely of these to have life are TRAPPIST-1d through TRAPPIST-1f, here are some suggested naming schemes with notes on the potential pros and cons. I’ve bolded the ones I assume have life (and cultures and all sorts of stuff there’s absolutely no real evidence for) to keep in mind which of these 7 names I think are the most crucial in each set.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, >Wednesday Thursday, Friday<, Saturday
Has the advantage of being able to do travel posters saying “Thank God, It’s Friday!”

Avarice, Envy, Gluttony, >Lust, Pride, Sloth<, Wrath
Gives built-in cultural suggestions. “We’ve sexy, we know it, and we’re not doing anything about it.”

Aventine, Caelian, >Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine<, Quirinal, Viminal
One of my only two actual serious suggestion. I really like the sound of these, and it makes me thing of a vast interplanetary empire controlling multiple worlds on one system.

Ji Kang, Liu Ling, Ruan Ji, >Ruan Xian, Xiang Xiu, Wang Rong<, Shan Tao
My second serious suggestion. I like it a lot, though obviously it would encourage renaming the star from TRAPPIST-1 to Bamboo Grove, which might not be fair to Trappist.

Kambei Shimada, Gorōbei Katayama, Shichirōji, >Kyūzō, Heihachi Hayashida, Katsushirō Okamoto<, Kikuchiyo
You could fudge the order to be alphabetical, or course. The main shame here for this order si I think Kambei Shimada and Kikuchiyo would be the most interesting planets to live on.

Goat, Lion, Peacock, >Pig, Snail, Snake<, Toad
All I have is a marketing campaign “At least you don’t live on a toad!”

Doc, Dopey, Bashful, >Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy<, Happy
So first, if we are doing this, I want to force Disney to pay for probes to go there, so at least we get some benefit from the corporate advertising.
Second… I don’t want to live on any of those. I’d be okay living on Happy, but who the hell wants to be a native Grump?

Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, >Curufin, Caranthir, Amrod<, Amras
Not a serious suggestion, but I wouldn’t mind. But if this happens, we’d better get GOOD fantasy movies out of it.

Cup, Diadem, Diary, >Locket, Potter, Ring<, Snake
Okay, I’m only in favor of this if the inhabitants of Planet Potter turn out to be wizards.

Father, Mother, Maiden, >Crone, Warrior, Smith<, Stranger
Don’t recognize this set?
SHAME! (bell rings)

Lunia, Mercuria, Venya, >Solania, Mertion, Jovar<, Chronias
My biggest issue here is no one gets to live on SEVENTH heaven.

F, C, G, >D, A, E<, B
This has my vote for the Worst Idea On This List. First, naming planets for the seven natural pitches that form the C-major scale is weird. Second, renaming TRAPPIST-1a to just “F” screams confusion.

Become a Patron!

Hey folks, do you enjoy the content on this blog? I can only take the time to do longer things like this, because I have patrons supporting me! Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! Or you could even become a sponsor, and get me to link to YOUR content!

Diesel Pulp: Fordlandia and the Argentinian Reich

Fordlandia and the Argentinian Reich

In my Diesel Pulp setting, Henry Ford is a full-on Nazi. Given his strongly antisemitic views, the damage he did spreading those views, and his company’s willingness to use slave labor in Germany, I don’t feel bad about this at all.

I also have Fordlandia being both hugely successful, and being in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in far-southern Brazil. With so much technological effort being put toward compression gears, Cavorite, and other Martian-inspired technology, synthetic rubber does not develop, and rubber trees remain crucial right through the end of the Global War. With the British controlling most European-owned rubber plantations, and Japan being too far away for its holdings to make a good supplier for Germany, Fordlandia in southern Brazil is a crucial supply for the Nazi.

So, my setting assumed a Nazi-backed military coup takes control of Argentina early in the Global War, likely 1939, and quickly pressures Chile and Paraguay to join the South American “Argentinian Reich.” German-backed forces then strike into Brazil to cut off Rio Grande do Sul, taking both Fordlandia and Porto Alegre (the state’s capital and a major port). I feel a little bad about having these nations become Nazi allies… but given how long Argentina stayed neutral and that I am creating a new government backed by Nazis, I don’t feel too bad. And, any real-world historical group or figure in Argentina at the time that doesn’t deserve to be tarred with the broad brush can be added to the South American Resistance that pops up to oppose the Nazi-supported government.

This results in Brazilian and Mexican forces (with the aid of the US, economically at first with Lend-Lease, and then military assistance after 1941) fighting in South America against Argentinian Reich through the Global War. All other South and Central American Nations support the Allies against the Axis, at the minimum sending aid and in many cases (especially Bolivia, Peru, and Uruguay) troops.

I suspect this means no Brazilian Expeditionary Force, but since those troops are literally defending, and ultimately taking back, their homeland I don’t think that’s selling short Brazil’s contribution to the war. Similarly the Mexican Aztec Eagles and Fuerza Aerea Mexicana operations are going to stay closer to the continent, but remain heroically involved. The Pan-American Highway remains a high priority for the US and the Allies, and also gets pushed much closer to completion, though the route changes to more greatly favor Brazil.

A lot of this is, of course, ridiculous. But I like my Global War having actual fighting on every continent (sorry Australia), and like the idea of turning Fordlandia into a corporate-fascist autocratic city-state, as a place and idea for stories and events. And in a setting that assumes the War of the Worlds inspired walkers to be the main Diesel Age military technology and masked “irregulars” becoming common as military assets, I don’t mind some ridiculous alterations.

Become a Patron!

Hey folks, do you enjoy the content on this blog? I can only take the time to do longer things like this, because I have patrons supporting me! Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! Or you could even become a sponsor, and get me to link to YOUR content!

Top Ten RPG Mash-Ups! (2017 edition)

I haven’t done a new Top Ten list for a while, so in-between bouts of cleaning up my modeling mess last night, I wrote:

Top Ten RPG Mash-Ups! (2017 edition)

#10. Dungeons & Danger International, 6th edition
(Still a non-existent classic! Back cover promises “The Ultimate Game of 1970s and ‘80s Action Heroes going into Ancient Tombs, Killing Things, and Taking Their Stuff. Also, terrorists.”)
(And the main villain group is the “Department of Raids, Anarchy, and Generating Ongoing Nightmares”)
(And yes, the equipment lists include Vorpal Uzis, +5 Holy Walther PPKs, and Hip Flasks of Holding.)

#9. Deadlands: Hell on EarthDawn
(The foreword is “Even in an Underground Vault, Things Have Gone To Hell.”)

#8. Legend of the Five Fading Suns
(Honestly you’ll barely notice the difference.)

#7. XCrawl of Cthulhu
(It’s the game of professional cultist-killing reality TV, for ratings and glory, and the constant risk of going insane or accidentally destroying the world. Character Creation is titled “There Won’t Be Season Two!”)

#6. Weird War 40,000
(In the Grim Darkness of the 1940s, there is only War. And Panzers. And jetpacks. And Psychic Russian Half-Chimpanzees.)

#5. 7th SenZar, 2nd Edition
(Tagline: “It’s Still gaming in God Mode. It’s just… look have you READ any classic mythology? Gods have to deal with politics, and romance, and sometimes getting killed. Yeah, we added a story.”)

#4. Mutants & MasterMage: The Awakening
(The first supplement is “Magic and Superpowers and Complications, Oh My!”)

#3. TrekWarFinder
(The word “Star” does not appear in this sci-fi RPG. Not even once. Except just now, but that’s it.)

#2. Eclipse Phaser
(With Chapter Six being “Yes, you can play a hologram. Or a half-Vulcan. Or just about anything, really. But you have to be part of Star Fleet: Firewall Division.”)

#1. Shadow of the Toon Lord
(And its launch adventure, “Who Summoned Roger Rabid?”)

Become a Patron!

Hey folks, do you enjoy the content on this blog? I can only take the time to do longer things like this, because I have patrons supporting me! Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! Or you could even become a sponsor, and get me to link to YOUR content!

 

Worldbuilding Week: Merothian Cultural Touchstones

We’re continuing Worldbuilding week with a look at little cultural notes or “touchstones” that GMs and players alike can use to build on Merothian themes. We already did a brief history of Merothia here, and discussed Merothian traits characters could take here. While the history was pure prose (with no rules to speak of), and the traits were solidly in the realm of rules (though with flavor text, of course), these cultural touchstones include elements of both.

Merothian Cultural Touchstones

There are some common elements of Merothains society that cross the boundary of a single village or group. Some are tied to specific rules elements, but others are just ideas a GM can hang a story or encounter on, of a player can use to craft a particularly “Merothian” background.

Arming Sword

The legendary Free Knights of Merothia carried a distinctive blade known as an “arming sword.” Similar to a longsword, an arming sword has a shorter handle with a cruciform hilt and a large lozenge-shaped pommel. Classically, Merothian knights carried an arming sword for use with shields, and had a greatsword for use in situations where heavier blows were required. This set them apart from most other sword-using elite warriors of the era, who carried bastard swords and adjusted their grip as needed.

Arming swords act like longswords with the following exceptions:
*A Medium arming sword deals 2d4 damage (and arming swords were not normally crafted in any other size)

*Because it is designed to work best with one hand, attacks using two hands with an arming sword suffer a -1 penalty to confirm critical threats.
*Because it is so well balanced and offers a firm grip with one-handed attacks, critical hits with an arming sword deal 2 additional point of damage (after all other calculations).

Community Granna and Granther

Generally every Merothian community has an elder woman and elder man respectfully known as “Granna” and “Ganther” respectively. These are often, but not always a married couple, and some communities have more than one of each (generally resulting in using the gran honorific as a title, such as “Granna Maeth” and “Granna Hilde”). They often act as receptacles of oral lore, teachers and babysitters of the very young, and impartial, unofficial arbitrators of minor community arguments. Though not officially in positions of rulership, these are seen as town elders, and are generally included in any community planning meeting so their opinion is heard (though traditionally they don’t then weigh in on the right course of action, just give historical context and opinions based on their own experiences).

For Merothians being a Granna or a Granther is not explicitly about age, which is why they don’t automatically accord the same title to any centuries-old dwarf or elf they encounter. Instead, Granna and Granther are revered because they continue to survive despite having lost the vitality of their prime, and must now act with the knowledge they are closer to death and less able to save themselves. This distinction is well understood by most dwarves, but is often lost on elves of Te Astra and Te Essar who often feel they should all be treated as even more revered than the eldest of humans.

Donnersop

Whenever anyone hunts, farms, butchers, kills, weaves, tans, or otherwise crafts or gathers materials, scraps are given to Granna and Granther. If the scraps are edible, they are generally turned into a soup by one of the these two elders. If they are a fabric or covering, they are sewn or weaved into a quilt or shawl. If they are wood, they carved into something useful, or if metal adapted to a new purpose with a stick and rawhide.

Granna and Granther uses these items for their own upkeep, but also give them out as needed to families having trouble, or call for an event where a segment of the community comes and enjoys these patched- and stewed-together offerings.

Both the tradition of giving scraps, and the materials made from them, are known as donnersop, a uniquely Merothain word. When offered up to a segment of the community for communal enjoyment, this also becomes a time when tales are told, history recited, old songs sung, and initial long-term plans discussed.

While character’s can’t normally “buy” donnersop, they can receive goods worth 1-5 gp or less as donnersop if they seem sufficiently destitute, and worth aiding. Meanwhile a character who donates as little as 1 sp a week of material to a community’s donnersop stores gains a +2 circumstance bonus to Diplomacy checks to gather information in that Merothian community.

Weapon Inscriptions

Merothians often inscribe letters onto their weapons, a practive that dates back to the Free Knights of Old Merothia. These are usually letters in Celestial, though older traditions use letters in Fey. The letters are generally just the first letter of several words that are a phrase or motto important to the weapon user. Many famously use CMAS which refers to the ancient knight’s cry corie meroth aeter sang, Celestial for “The Heart of Merothia Bleeds Eternally,” a promise that the Free Knights would suffer any hardship to fight for freedom and justice. Current Merothains often don’t speak either Celestial or Fey, and may ask an Abthanian priest or a druid to translate a phrase meaningful to the individual into letters.

Those familiar that own an heirloom arming sword with such an inscruiption consider it an object that must be maintained, and given to a family member who has proven the willingness and ability to use it. Since Merothians communities often can’t afford to make new swords, the inscription tradition has been extended to the more common axes, spears, bows, and knives poorer Merothians depend on to protect themselves.

While most inscriptions are not magical, for 15% above the normal cost of a scroll, a magical inscription that functions precisely like a scroll can be etched onto a weapon as an inscription. This is normally only done by Merothian spellcasters with strong ties to Old Merothia, most often druids, Abthanian priests, and witches.

Become a Patron!

Hey folks, do you enjoy the content on this blog? I can only take the time to do longer things like this, because I have patrons supporting me! Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! Or you could even become a sponsor, and get me to link to YOUR content!

Worldbuilding Week: Merothian Traits

We’re continuing Worldbuilding week (which started here) with a look at traits available to Merothian characters.

Merothian Ethnic Traits

These are all traits available to characters that are Merothian, and who were raised in Merothia or a neighboring region where it was known they were Merothian. These serve both as specific tweaks to character abilities that help players with Merothain PCs feel like their backgrounds matter, and as data points to help reinforce to players a culture and tone for Merothia in general.

Blessed are the Humble (Faith trait). Even the gods seem to know that Merothians have gotten a raw deal. If a divine spellcaster casts a spell with harmless in the saving throw or SR entry, treat that spellcaster’s level as being one higher when determining the spell’s effects (including amount healed, duration, and so on).

Born to Serve (Race trait). Since the fall of the High Barons, numerous groups (most often spellcasters from Te Essar) have made adjustments to Merothian bloodlines to make them better servants, often in an effort to prove Merothains are an inferior race of humanoids. Your family comes from such an altered bloodline. When you aid another in combat, your aid another bonus is +3 rather than +2. For skills, your aid another bonus is equal to 1 + 1/10th your total aid another skill check.

When you make an aid another check to help a nonhuman creature with a humanoid subtype you have never aided before, roll 1d20. If the result is a 20, this trait actually increases your aid another bonuses by +1 for all creatures of that subtype.

Distant Kin (Family trait). You have an extensive family of Merothian relatives who are commoners, peasants, and serfs. When in a settlement that has a population of at least 500 Merothians, in Merothia or a neighboring region, if you make a successful Diplomacy check to gather information you also find a distant cousin who may help you. Calculate how many followers you would have if you had the Leadership feat. This is the maximum number of cousins you can find over your career (though as your leadership score goes up, so do the potential number of cousins you are put in contact with). These cousins are randomly assigned npc class levels by the GM based on what follower slots you have remaining, are within one step of your alignment, and begin with an attitude of friendly.

Hard to Kill (Combat). Most Merothian families have more than one ancestor who survived outrageous wounds and long odds to live long enough to have children. The trait for survival is often passed on. Add your character level to the negative number of hit points you must reach before dying.

Old Magic (Magic). There aren’t many Merothian spellcaster left, but tales of the Witch-Knights, Green Mages, and Holy Kirks make it clear there were once many eldritch traditions in Merothia. Some of that old lore has been passed down to you, allowing you to occasionally surprise a foe with a different way of doing things. Once per day (plus once per day per 5 caster levels) when you cast a spell that is not the highest-level spell you can cast, and the foe succeeds at a saving throw, you can force the foe to reroll the saving throw. If the foe fails this second save the spell takes effect, though if it deals damage it deals minimum damage, and if the spell is not instantaneous its maximum duration is 1 round.

Used to It (Social trait). Things often suck for Merothians, and to survive they have had to simply learn to manage under harsh conditions. When you have a penalty of -2 or more that applies to d20 checks (such as attack rolls, skill checks, saving throws, and so on), as a move action you can cut that penalty in half for one round. You can’t reduce the same penalty from the same circumstances multiple times.

Become a Patron!

Hey folks, do you enjoy the content on this blog? I can only take the time to do longer things like this, because I have patrons supporting me! Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! Or you could even become a sponsor, and get me to link to YOUR content!

Worldbuilding Week: Merothia

So, this week I am planning on putting up a set of four linked posts that are an example of how I like to combine game rules, broad mythology, and a selection of small details to build an element for an RPG campaign setting.

This week I’ll be going over Merothia, a region appropriate for PC origins and adventuring in a fairly typical fantasy-style Pathfinder RPG game. I’ll also be mentioning a lot of things that tie into Merothia but don’t get full write-ups just yet, which is also often how I expand a world — toss out details to players, and see which ones they find interesting enough to justify my spending more time on them.

Merothia

Once, Merothia was a series of 27 semi-independent baronies rules by he High Barons, who had significant autonomy in all local matters (and could even wage war on one another to a limited extent), but who all swore to obey a single Baron King in all dealings with foreigners. Merothians were fiercely independent and had strong dedication to building a world that was “fair,” and it was often said “Twelve Merothians will starve rather than eat unevenly sliced bread.”

In the Age of Quests, this fierce independence generated numerous heroes and small bands that kept Merothia safe. During the Age of Tyrants, it lead to most of Merothia being conquered by the elven nation of Te Essar. Since the end of the Age of Tyrants, Te Essar’s near collapse and the rise of Te Astra and the Silent Empire have left Merothia largely ununified.

Most regions of Merothia are now officially protectorates of some foreign power, but generally only those in the far west that answer to the Raudak and those in the south-east that are oppressed by Te Astra actually see any benefit for the taxes they periodically send to their distant foreign rulers. The notable exceptions to this are villages in north-central Merothia that have managed to become official Craft Homes to the dwarven Clan League, which enjoy significant advantages for their formal membership (though it is much more common for a Merothian town to have strong alliances with the League rather than be able to claim Craft Home status).

Merothian settlements that aren’t formal protectorates fall into a few broad categories. Some towns have powerful enough local rulers (usually a retired crusader, Njor raider, mid-level Tarsian merchant-prince, minor aething half-blood Te Astra or even Te Essar noble with casual support from their homelands, or someone who also happens to run a nearby Abthanian church or monastery) to maintain independence, though generally under restrictive rule that favors a small non-Merothian upper classes. Other towns and villages have agreements with varying levels of officialness with bandit bands, raiders, local petty tyrants (ranging from hags and dragons to powerful priests or other spell casters) or monster packs.

Notable and well-known exceptions to this trend are the Free Harbor of Auvant, which uses the combination of its access to natural harbors and river routes and distance from any similar ports or major political entities to make enough money to buy mercenaries that keep its ruling council at least nominally in charge; and Whurrak, the mountain holdfast that carefully enforces equality for itself and the Merothian towns and villages that support it economically.

True Merothians rulership in the style of old may only still exist in far-off Presthor, if the storied last Merothian Free Barony (supposedly locked in an endless crusade that keeps its knights and nobles from returning to Merothia proper) even exists.

Merothians

Ethnically, Merothians are humans descended from the High Barons of Merothia, before that suzerain’s fall. They are generally typical in human appearance, with a trend toward light tan skin tones, darker hair and eye color, and thick shoulders, hips, wrists, and ankles. Those with more Njor blood tend to be taller, those closer to Te Astra and Te Essar tend to be thinner and paler (though not as fair as aething half-bloods), and those close to a port or harbor are often darker skinned, and may even be mistaken for Tarsians or Akkesh.

Become a Patron!

Hey folks, do you enjoy the content on this blog? I can only take the time to do longer things like this, because I have patrons supporting me! Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! Or you could even become a sponsor, and get me to link to YOUR content!

Quick Spoiler-Free Geek Movie Reviews

My thoughts on movies have I seen recently:
John Wick, Chapter Two: It’s a Vampire Game, but with Assassins instead of Vampires.
Lego Batman: Not as good as the last Lego movie, but a lot better than the last Batman movie. Surprisingly deep in its geekery.
Godzilla Final Wars: Spectacularly weaponized cheese. Awesome to mine for ideas… as long as those don’t need to be ideas on how to make a good movie.
Death Race 2050: I think is is a ‘Sploitationsploitation movie. It’s a movie that exploits exploitation movies. For the curious, I do not consider this a good thing, but (no pun intended) it’s a lot like watching a car wreck.
The Wave (Norwegian: Bølgen): A Norwegian disaster flick with the heart of a horror movie. I loved it a lot, but I don’t think I ever want to see it again.
The Rezort: This is very clearly World War Z combined with Jurassic Park, but without the budget of either. It is also not the worst zombie movie I have ever seen.