211 - Wall Wizard

Inspired by the hilarious way you regain magic juice in the new Final Fantasy. 


211 - Wall Wizard
It's common knowledge that magical effluvia gathers in liminal spaces such as the corners, ceilings or the gaps between walls. No magician would argue with that obvious fact. However most magicians are happy to shoot fire from their eyeballs and then accept that they will get a little bit winded, maybe need a little wizard-nap. But not Wall Wizards, they have found a way to tap that energy through arcane stretching, excellent upper body strength, overcoming fears of tight spaces, and the judicious use of pitons.

Possessions
Hammer and piton
Rope
Bent wizard's hat with chin strap

Skills
3 Climb
2 Sneak
2 Spell - Affix
1 Spell - Assume Shape
1 Spell - Breach
1 random spell
1 Second Sight
1 Astrology
1 Strength

Special
Wall Wizards receive phantom points of stamina to use towards magic. Although corners and doorways do accumulate plasmic effluvia the passage of people and brooms disturbs it. However if you wedge yourself inside a wall, or hang from a ceiling, or get onto a high shelf you may have 1 free point of stamina to spend towards any spells cast from that vantage.


It's more or less out

Due to unpopular demand, I'm putting Troika! on pre-sale in the run up to Dragonmeet. There are only 200 copies being printed, there might never be any more. The first 100 hard copies sold get a free bag of adorable tiny dice appropriate for use in the initiative system.

NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO PICK THIS UP FROM DRAGONMEET CHOOSE "Holy See" AS YOUR SHIPPING COUNTRY FOR FREE POSTAGE.

You can get a free artless PDF from the link above if you just want to get right to it. And do tell me if you run it!

Dragonmeet

The Melsonian Arts Council has started our first convention trail. We'll have a table at Dragonmeet in a couple of weeks and then every other UK convention we can afford a seat at.


To celebrate this excess of consumerism we have booted Troika! out the door and got it ready to be put into people's hands. Troika! is a response to decrepit UK RPGs as imagined by someone who has no right to do so. A "retro" RPG rebuilt without sentimentality, corpses of darlings litter the streets.

It won't be on general sale for a while, but it will be accompanying me to conventions, where you can find a copy or so for sale.

Crypts of Indormancy won't be there, unfortunately. But soon!

Something Stinks in Stilton will be though, so feel free to pick up a copy if you backed it through the kickstarter. I'll discount you some postage if you buy something.

A D66 list of backgrounds for Troika

11 Ardent Giant of Corda
Every giant has a different story about Corda, well told and interrupted with bouts of hysterical crying and laughter, of how they lost it and mean to find it soon enough but oh, what of today? We should drink and cheer, I’ll search again in the morning!

Possessions

  • An artefact of Lost Corda, being either an enormous blue star map offering +1 astrology when studied for 12 minutes OR a contraption for telling the weather (5 in 6 accuracy) OR a ruby lorgnette offering +1 Second Sight while worn


Skills
4 Heft
3 Astrology
2 Run
2 Climb



12 Befouler of Ponds
A wise man, a high priest, a pond-pisser, a typical but committed adherent of P!P!Ssshrp. The bloated toad god has no church other than the periphery of ponds where the foulness catches in the reeds and no congregation to address other than the gnats and dragonflies. You council them all the same.

Possessions

  • Sackcloth robes, caked in stinking mud and undergrowth. +1 to Stealth rolls in marshy terrain while wearing it, -1 everywhere else ‘cos it stinks
  • A large wooden ladle (damage as mace)


Skills
3 Spell - Toad Blessing
3 Swimming
2 Spell – Tongue Twister
1 Sneak
1 Second Sight

Special
May drink stagnant water without harm



13 Burglar
As a second-story man you often have cause to wander. Enemies come naturally from both sides of the law and it pays to keep ahead of trouble.

Possessions

  • Crossbow & 18 bolts
  • Roll of lock picks
  • Grappling hook


Skills
2 Sneak
2 Locks
1 Awareness
1 Climb
1 Trapping
1 Knife fighting
1 Crossbow fighting

Special
You may test your luck to find and get in with the local criminal underbelly, if one exists.



14 Cacogen
Those filthy born, spawned in the hump-backed sky lit only by great black anti-suns and false light. Your mother was sailing on the golden barges or caught in some more abstract fate when she passed you, far from the protective malaise of the million spheres. You were open to the power and the glory at a generative time and it shows in your teratoid form.

Possessions
  • Pistolet OR Fusil
  • 2d6 plasmic cores
  • Sword
  • Velare

Skills
2 Pistolet Fighting OR Fusil Fighting
2 Astrology
2 Second Sight
2 random spell
2 random spell
1 random spell
1 Sword Fighting



15 Chaos Champion
You no longer have the spiked brass armour  but you still have the ear of your Chaos patron. He’s happy for you to experiment with not plunging your sphere into disorder and, ultimately, darkness but the door is always open. Name your patron.

Possessions

  • Ritual scars
  • A huge hammer
  • Assortment of ragged armour (Modest armour)
  • Dream journal, almost full


Skills
6 Language - Kurgan
3 Maul fighting
3 Secret Signs - Chaos Patron
1 Random Spell
1 Second sight

Special
You may call upon your patron for aid once per day, to do so roll three 6s on 3d6, the GM will interpret his intervention.



16 Claviger
The key masters wander the universe fathoming the workings of all entry ways they can find. Though they’re quite fascinated with simple chests and doors they are most excited by metaphysical and metaphorical barriers.

Possessions

  • Festooned with keys (counts as modest armour)
  • A sledgehammer
  • Lock picking tools


Skills
4 Locks
4 Bash Lock
3 Trap Knowledge
1 Spell - See Through
1 sledgehammer fighting



21 Demon Stalker
You stake your reputation on your ability to hunt and kill demonic creatures and those who break bread with them. Goat men in the wilds, or the angel cults of the slums, all needs to be driven back off the edge of the map and into the shores of chaos.

Possessions

  • A silver sword OR 16 silver arrows and a bow
  • Pouch of salt


Skills
5 Language - Abyssal
3 Spell - Blood Shroud
2 Second Sight
2 Sword fighting
2 Bow fighting
1 Tracking

1 Sneak



22 Dwarf
You are a short, hairy, belligerent, alcohol dependent creature. The latter two may be linked, but you’ll fight anyone who suggests as much. Since there are no dwarf women (or men, technically) there are no dwarf children or dwarf families, so you can fully commit yourself to the important dwarfy endeavours of creating fine art in unusual places. You intend to find the most unusual places ever seen in all the million spheres.

Possessions

  • Masons hammer
  • Roll of artists supplies


Skill
3 Awareness
2 Sculpting
2 Painting
2 Metalworking
2 Construction
2 Hefting
2 Fist Fighting
2 Wrestling
1 Hammer fighting

Special
May eat gems and rare metals as a food replacement. You in fact far prefer the taste of rare minerals to mundane food.
Dwarves are genderless. You are immune to all compulsions that play on a creature’s desire for the opposite sex. This also means you don’t have sexual organs. Instead of urinating you excrete through sweating, thus explaining the odour.



23 Epopt
A roaming seer, selling your visions at courts and fetes. You are instantly recognisable by your yellow coif and habit as being open for business. Road weary and world wise, your unpopular visions cause you to constantly move on.

Possession

  • Yellow epopt outfit, padded for protection against unhappy clients (counts as modest armour)
  • Epopt staff, being a walking staff with seeing crystal on one end (counts as staff)
  • Collapsable tent, big enough for your stall


Skills
2 Awareness
2 Evaluate
1 Second Sight
1 Etiquette
1 Fist Fighting
1 Run

Special
May test their luck to get a yes or no answer to a question about mundane matters. The GM should make this test in private, not informing the epopt is they are accurate.



24 Exotic Warrior
No one has heard of your homeland, your habits are peculiar, your clothes are outrageous, and in a land jaded to the outlandish and new you still somehow manage to stand out.

Possessions

  • A weird and wonderful weapon
  • Strange clothes
  • Exciting accent
  • A tea set OR 3 pocket gods OR astrological equipment



Skills
6 Language - Weird Exotic Language
3 in the fighting skill of your weird weapon
2 Language - Local
2 in one random spell
1 Astrology
1 Etiquette



25 The Fellowship of Knidos
Mathmologists honour the clean and unambiguous truths of mathematics, and coordinate it with their observation of the multiverse. All things can be measured and predicted with the application of the correct mathmatical ratios, their methods applied to penetrate the ethereal surface to glimpse the fundamental numbers below.

Possession

  • Large Astrolabe (as mace)
  • Abacus
  • Lots of scrolls and writing equipment


Skills
3 Mathmology
2 Astrology

2 Spell – Find



26 Fellowship of Porters & Basin Fillers
Luggers are a servile group by nature, most often found in the service of others, weighed down by loads that would buckle a donkey. You take pride in that. Maybe so much that the everyday assignments of the guild could not sate your desire to serve and so ventured out in search of a real challenge for such a talented varlet.

Possessions

  • A wooden yoke which gives you +2 Heft while worn. Suffer -4 to all other physical rolls while wearing it
  • Brown over coat and soft doffing cap of the guild
  • A bale hook. Counts as a knife for damage and gains you a +1 on rolls to lift heavy objects if used to do so
  • Length of rope


Skills
4 Heft
2 Fist fighting
2 Run
1 Hook fighting
1 Sneak
1 Awareness



31 Gremlin Catcher
No matter what country, sphere or abstract dimension you may find yourself in, be sure that gremlins will be there digging their warrens.

Possessions

  • Small but vicious dog
  • Flat cap
  • A club
  • A sack
  • D6 empty gremlin jars
  • A jar with a pissed off gremlin inside


Skills
4 Tunnel fighting
4 Trap knowledge
2 Sneak
2 Awareness
2 Club fighting
2 Tracking
1 Swim



32 Journeyman of the Guild of Sharp Corners
You are an assassin in training, graduated from fighting dummies or branding practise clients, now you have a license to do it for real. You haven’t fully developed the idiosyncratic methods required of a master but you are on the path.

Possessions
Black clothes of the apprentice
Garrotte
Curved sword
3 vials of poison
Crossbow & 6 bolts

Skills
1 Poison
1 Sneak
1 Locks
1 Knife fighting
1 Climb
1 Awareness
1 Crossbow fighting
1 Swim
1 Disguise



33 Lansquenet
You were a mercenary retained in the exclusive service of the autarch, handsomely paid and sent to distant spheres on golden ships to spread the ineffable glory of your paymaster at the tip of your flaming lance.

Possessions

  • Exquisite pistolet 
  • Bandolier containing 18 plasmic cores
  • Great sword
  • Brightly coloured clothing with lots of tassels and bells (-4 to sneaking). Though frivolous looking it is in fact built with the autarch’s divine alchemy and considered modest armour while weighing the same as normal clothing


Skills
2 Great sword fighting
2 Pistolet fighting
1 Run
1 Golden Barge Pilot
1 Astrology



34 Lonesome King
You were a king! The ruler of all your surveyed, a great conqueror, a law-bringer! But your horse sped off into the pixie forest, or the court magician saw to it that you dissapeared, or you led a sortie into the stars to put your tsamp on that as well. Either way you are a lost and lonely king without a kingdom, no one has heard of you or your people. Most don't believe you and laugh, or worse they do believe you and shrug at the vagaries of fate.

Possessions

  • A nice weapon of your choice
  • A crown


Skills
3 Etiquette
3 Weapon fighting in the weapon of your choice



35 Miss Kinsey’s Diner’s Club
The Eaters know that there are only two worlds: the without and the within. They intend to insert as much of the prior into the later as they can while experiencing the finest delights available. All culinary experience is open to them, nothing is forbidden at Miss Kinsey’s. Try the other, other, other white meat.

Possessions

  • Sharp metal dentures (damage as sword) OR forked metal dentures (as knife, but on a critical you may cleanly strip all the flesh from one small appendage) OR blunt metal dentures (damage as knife but may be used to eat hard objects)
  • Embroidered napkin


Skills
3 Etiquette
1 Strength
1 Tracking
1 Trapping
1 Gastrology

Special
Immune to mundane ingested poisons. Also can identify any object if eaten, gaining knowledge of its material, its origin (if plausibly familiar), and its magical properties. Must be thoroughly masticated, not merely swallowed and passed. This does not grant special immunity to any effects it may possess.



36 Monekymonger
Life on The Wall is hard. One is never more than a few yards from an endless fall but those precarious villages still need to eat. This is where you come in with your edible monkeys (the distinction is purely for appeal, since all monkeys are of course edible). You used to spend days on end dangling your feet off the edge of the world watching over your chitering livestock while they scampered hither and thither. But there was no future in monkey meat, or future on The Wall. You wanted much more and so stepped off. Or you fell. Either way you and some unlucky monkeys are here now and that's all that matters.

Possessions

  • Monkey Club
  • Butcher Knife
  • d6 small monkeys that do not listen to you but are too scared and hungry to travel far from you
  • A pocket full of monkey treats


Skills
4 Climb
2 Trapping
1 Club Fighting
1 Knife Fighting



41 Necromancer
The least popular magical practitioners. Shunned by the major centres of learning, they’re left to their own devices on the edges of society, passing on knowledge in the time honoured master student dynamic.

Possessions

  • Dusty robes
  • The skull of your master OR a zombie servant OR a ghost with whom you have developed a codependent relationship with


Skills
2 Heal
1 Spell - Posthumous vitality
1 Spell - Skeletal Counsel
1 Spell - Torpor
1 Sneak



42 Parchment Witch
Known for your smooth skin, midnight gatherings and being fearful of rain and open flames. The parchment witches are long dead sorcerers who cannot give up the vanity of living and so cover themselves in perfect paper skin. A patiently painted and folded imitation of life to hide ancient bone and gristle.

Possessions

  • d6 rolls of parchment skin
  • Vials of pigments and powders 
  • Collection of brushes


Skill
2 Spell - Protection From Rain
2 random spell
2 Spell - Quench
2 Spell - True Seeing
2 Disguise
2 Second Sight
1 Healing
1 random spell
1 random spell

Special

You are undead so do not need to breathe, circulate blood, and so on. You takes double damage from silver weapons and regain stamina half as effectively from all sources. You must test luck if outside in the rain, made wet, close to open flames, or suffer general grievous wounds. A failure will see your skin ruined. While your skin is damaged you are very obviously a walking corpse and take damage from salt as though it were fire.



43 Poorly Made Dwarf
Dwarves are known for being the finest artisans of the million spheres. Give a dwarf a rock and he will make gold, give a dwarf a boulder and he will make a dwarf. You were supposed to be the finest expression of dwarfy craftsmanship, a masterpiece, a brand new dwarf like those made by the old masters. But you were imperfect and abandoned.

Possessions

  • Woodsmans axe
  • An empty firkin


Skills
3 Fist Fighting
3 Awareness
2 Hefting
2 Wrestling
2 Axe Fighting

Special
as Dwarf, but in addition...
Other dwarves completely ignore you as though you were an item  or openly examined and criticised for your flaws. Though to the non-dwarfy eyes you probably look like any other dwarf.



44 Questing Knight
You are on a quest for the grail, or the sword, or the throne, or for god, or a lost love, or some other significant object. Your sort are common enough, wandering the worlds acting out your romantic melodrama, accusing good folk of being demons or faeries. Generally considered to be harmless.

Possession

  • Heavy armour
  • A horse
  • Lance (as spear)
  • Sword
  • Shield
  • A never ending quest


Skills
3 Jousting
1 Sword Fighting
1 Spear fighting
1 Shield fighting
1 Awareness



45 Red Priest
Evangelist of the red redemption, wandering confessor, cauterizer of the wound of sin. Sin being the accumulation and recreational consumption of mass. How can your spirit fly free while shackled and flabby?

Possessions

  • Red robes
  • Traditional faceless metal helmet of your order (modest armour)
  • Symbolic (but fully sized and fully functional) single headed axe, to help batter down the door to Sin


Skills
2 Spell - Ember
2 Spell - Fire Bolt
2 Spell - Flash
2 Great Axe Fighting
1 Second Sight



46 Rhino-Man
The original Rhino-Men were created by an insane sorcerer several centuries ago, but rebelled and killed him. They are fairly rare creatures, serving as formidable and loyal guards to those who can afford their services.

Possessions

  • Horn (counts as dagger)
  • Thick Skin (rhino men always count as being modestly armoured)
  • Glaive
  • Knuckle dice
  • a half full firkin of Rhino-beer (20 rations worth)


Skills
3 Glaive fighting
2 Run
2 Bash Lock
1 Gambling



51 Skeptical Lammasu
Body of a bull, head of a man, forelegs of a cat and the wings of a swan, sweetest children of the gods. You, however, were not content to rest on your cloud and instead descended from the heavens (or crawled up from the abyss) and set upon finding your own path among the stars.

Possessions

  • Incidental sacred jewellery worth 10d6 monies if traded
  • Peaked hat
  • Claws (as Swords)
  • Hooves (as Clubs)
  • Wings, able to fly as fast as a running man over clear ground


Skills
3 Fly
3 Spell - Random
3 Spell - Random

3 Spell - Random
2 Claw Fighting
1 Hoof Fighting



52 Sorcerer of the Academy of Doors
Troika’s very own wizarding academy, pride of the city, experts in pan-dimensional mobility. You were an apprentice of the school and were able to penetrate the (2d6)th door. No master, certainly, but few outside your peers can claim to know more about the vagries of skyward travel than you.

Possessions

  • A small functional door, worn on your forehead. You channel your magic through it
  • Flashy robes


Skills
2 Second Sight
2 Spell - Astral Reach
1 Spell - Teleport

1 Spell - Web



53 Sorcerer of the 
College of Friends
You were trained in the sub-dimensional academy of the Cordial Wizard God. You spent your childhood learning about the fate of pixies, the colour of magic, ritual grammar and endless other theoretical topics. Now you’re out in the world, discovering that your education hardly accounted for any of it.

Possessions

  • Pointed wizard hat you received at graduation
  • Pocket full of wizard biscuits (2d6, each count as a ration)
  • Wand used to help focus new apprentices, now kept for sentimental reasons

Skills
4 Secret Signs - Witching Words
2 Run
1 Climb
1 Swim
1 Second Sight
1 Spell - Jolt
1 Spell - Amity
1 Spell - Mirror Selves
1 Spell - Protection from Rain
1 Spell - Helping Hands
1 Spell - Spark
1 Spell - Purple Lens



54 The Sublime Society of Beef Steaks
Brawlers believe the application of might and a good beef steak is the universal truth. Words do not have power. Words can no more define the universe than they can build a house, lift a cup, or sear a steak. Might can. Really, they have thought a lot about this.

Possessions

  • A weapon of choice
  • A small gridiron
  • 2kg of premium meat cuts
  • Waistcoat
  • Bottle of strong but fancy wine


Skills
2 in a fighting skill of your choice
2 Wrestling
2 Swim
2 Climb
2 Run
2 Fist Fighting



55 Temple Knight of Telak the Swordbringer
You were once (and possibly still) a fanatical monk set to maintain constant martial readiness in preparation for the end times when all doorways crumble inwards. You are never unready and always have spares.

Possessions

  • The blessing of Telak
  • 6 swords of your choice


Skills
2 Awareness
1 Sword Fighting
1 Greatsword fighting

Special
The blessing of Telak allows you to carry as many swords as you like and count them as a single item for encumberance purposes. While carrying 12 or more swords you count as having modest armour, while carrying 36 or more swords you count as having heavy armour. You must be overtly armed at all times or else Telak will take this blessing away until you forge, and donate to the unarmed, a brand new sword.



56 Thaumaturge
Wandering miracle workers, the depths of whose clothes are filled with pouches of unguents, holy icons and herbs. No matter the metaphysical need, they are always prepared.

Possessions

  • Thamaturgical fez
  • Staff, bedecked with charms and bells. May reroll one die on the Opps! Table if using this staff, however may never sneak up on anyone because of the ringing and clattering it makes
  • Curled Shoes
  • Voluminous robes

Skills
2 in one random spell
1 in one random spell
1 Second Sight
1 in one random spell
1 in one random spell
1 Astrology

Special
May test their luck to just so happen to have exactly the (common) mystical nicknack the situation requires



61 Thinking Engine
Your eyes are dull ruby spheres, your skin is hard and smooth like ivory but brown and whorled like wood. You are clearly damaged, you have no memory of your creation or purpose, and some days your white internal juices ooze thickly from cracks in your skin.

Possessions
  • Large cloak
  • Soldering iron

Skills
3 Golden Barge Pilot
2 Astrology
2 Pistolet Fighting
2 Healing
1 Run
1 Bash Lock
1 Fist Fighting
1 Cooking

Special
You don’t recover Stamina by resting in the usual manner, instead you have to spend an evening with a hot iron melting your skin back together like putty. For each hour of rest with access to the right tools you regain 3 Stamina. 
May recharge plasmic machines by hooking your fluids to them spending Stamina. 1 Stamina and 6 minutes per charge.
You always count as being lightly armoured.



62 Vengeful Child
Your village was burnt down by ruffians, or your mother was beheaded by snake cultists, or your father was hung by corrupt officials. Either way, you took up the sword and entered the world with a chip on one shoulder and oversized sword on the other.

Possessions
A too-big sword, +1 to Sword Fighting and Damage Rolls while using it. Only you may benefit from this bonus, it’s not magic just sentimental
An old hunting bow & 12 arrows

Skills
1 Sword Fighting
1 Awareness
1 Climb
1 Bow Fighting
1 Run
1 Swim



63 Venturesome Academic
You’re a classically trained academic, a product of the universities of the Brass City, the Palace of Tigers or some other less prestigious centre of learning. 

Possessions
  • Reading glasses in a sturdy case (you cannot read without them)
  • Small sword
  • Bundle of candles & matches
  • Writing material
  • Journal

Skills
2 Evaluate
2 Astrology
1 Healing
1 random spell
1 Sword Fighting 

Special
You may test your Luck to recall facts that you might reasonably be expected to have encountered relating to the natural sciences and humanities.



64 Wizard Hunter
Some people say man is the most dangerous prey. They're wrong. Can men turn into flocks of seagulls when cornered in an alley? Can men ignite the air and freeze your blood? No they can't. Wizards are the most dangerous prey.

Possessions
  • Large sack
  • Witch-hair rope
  • Crossbow & 12 bolts
  • Sword
  • d6 Poppets
  • Ruby Lorgnette

Skills
2 Tracking
2 Disguise
2 Crossbow Fighting
1 Sword Fighting
1 Sneak
1 Locks
1 Etiquette



65 Yongardy Lawyer 
Down in Yongardy they do things differently. They respect the law. Every day there is a queue outside the courts to get a seat to see the latest up and coming barrister defend his case with three feet of steel. The people follow the careers of their favourite solicitors, watch all their cases, collect their portraits and sneak into the court after hours to dab the patches of blood on white handkerchiefs. In Yongardy they love the law.

Possessions
  • Rapier
  • Puffy Shirt
  • Manual on Yondardy Law

Skills
4 Sword Fighting



66 Zoanthrop
At some point in your past you decided you didn’t need it any more. You found a zoanthropologist and paid him well to remove your troublesome forebrain and so elevate you to the pure and unburdened man-beast you are today.

Possessions
  • Nothing except a wooden club. Remove all starting possessions, cast off the shackles of civilisation. You are probably nude.

Skills
3 Climb
3 Run
2 Strength
2 Fist Fighting
2 Club Fighting
2 Wrestling
1 Swim

Special
You are immune to all mind altering effects. You are able to speak but usually choose not to. When making advancement checks in skills related to abstract thought, such as spells or astrology, you must roll twice and succeed on both or else fail.





Items

Astrological Equipment - +1 to Astrology when used. Requires twenty minutes, doesn't need to be outside. Consists of ruby specular, charms against reciprocal observation, and complicated charts of the spheres.

Grappling Hook – Test your Climb skill to attach the hook securely. Everyone climbing it gains +1 Climb skill.

Knuckle Dice – The nimble, petal shaped knuckle bones of goblins make excellent two sided dice. 

Manual on Yongardy Law - If you spend some time studying the manual you may forgo all advancement rolls to instead roll and additional time for Sword Fighting.

Pocket Gods – Little wooden statues made in the image of your numerous gods. If you whisper a secret to one and hide it somewhere you may regain 1 Luck

Poppet - A poppet allows you to reroll a failed Luck roll regarding magic directed at you. Successful or not the poppet is saturated with unwanted magic and is best thrown away.

Roll of lock picks: +1 Lock skill when using these. On a critical failure they break and need repalcing

Ruby Lorgnette: Gain +1 Second Sight will using these to peer at things. Requires one hand to use.

Tea Set - +1 to Etiquette skill when you have the time to sit down and make tea

Velare - A small metal brooch that, when activated, provides a perfect visual disguise for a day. Requires plasmic cores to recharge.

Witch-Hair Rope: Anything tied up with this rope will be unable to change shape.

The Simon Multiverse

The universe is not a great wheel with planes shooting off like the gaps in the spokes. The simplicity and finity of the metaphor make that clear; rings are contained, restrained, and binding. And more, the idea that we can stand at the centre and look out upon creation from a position of authority is either willfully delusory or utterly naive. We are not at the centre but rather the bottom.

Look at the night sky in Sigil and you see stars. In Baator, stars. Celestia, stars, stars everywhere, separated from us by a dome of shadow. Or rather a sea, one which we can cross on golden ships to those bright points of light. After crossing the Nothing you find yourself at another plane, maybe one you recognise. You realise that this is true shape of things previously obscured my short lines and strange paths.

It is a sphere of shadows with orbs of light. This sphere is the bottom and the centre, yet most outer. Our physical intuition can't imagine the hyper dimensional spaces of the macroversal model.

Like an ant meeting a deer. On bumping into its hoof you perceive a great beast made of horn, towering in a neat column. This is hardly a fraction of the truth but the knowledge of it will suffice for your limited interactions with it. For that ant to become a great sorceror, shooting through the astral dark in a womb made of light, he would have to imagine legs and fur.

Imagine the ocean. The true god sits in a boat, sometimes throwing waste overboard, things unneeded and useless. They fall to the bottom of the ocean miles below in the darkness where life briefly blooms around it. Creatures fight and breed and live and die in the usual cycles of living things. The gods as we know them are whales, we feed on their corpses. Some of live by the thermal vents of the light universe above (below and inside), semi permanent sources of nourishment.

In all cases the nothing will settle, erode the shores it laps against. In some places the horizon knights rove back and forth, filling the nothing with something, but they cannot stop the tide.

Crypts of Indormancy - Kickstarter

Oh my, what's this? Why it's an adventure by the inimitable Ezra Claverie, Undercroft regular and bottomless font of curious concepts, illustrated by one Andrew Walter, whose art speaks for itself.



“Crypts of Indormancy” is a an evocative location-based adventure compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess and most other Dungeons & Dragons clones. Set in a quasi-Polynesian island chain with a backdrop of postcolonial elves digging through their imperial past

This scenario is informed as much by sword-and-sorcery as by anticolonial politics, so you might say that it draws on a non-traditional "Appendix N," one that includes Aimé Césaire, Chinua Achebe, Frantz Fanon, Gyatri Spivak, and Edward Said.

This is the Melsonian Arts Council's first* stand alone, big-boy book and is being funded with big-boy money. How exciting! Let's hope it all goes well and gets funded so we can pay everyone and not end up living in the cardboard box the books get delivered in.

(*Oli Palmer's Something Stinks in Stilton counts sometimes, and will count even more if we hit the funding goal to have it reprinted all nice a pretty-like)

Some other initiatives

So, weird, useful and exciting initiative systems. Who's got some?

My current system is bingo calling/chit-pull initiative. I've written everyone's name on a token and pull them out of a bowl (I use numbers for monsters). Totally random, ensures I don't forget anyone, avoids having to roll dice and remembering an order.

 CHIT-PULL VARIANTS:


  • Write them on blank cards and shuffle them every turn. You can keep AC/HP/effects timers/whatever written directly on it for convenience.
  • Use actual bingo balls. Number everyone.
  • Instead of numbering monsters, just put a star on them. When you pull a star move a monster. Even less paper work.



EURO GAME INITIATIVE
Declare a leader token. This can be an actual token, or a hat, or a sceptre, or something hard to lose. That person goes first and play proceeds to their left. All enemy NPCs act on the GMs turn. Once a round has finished pass the token to your right.


DRAMA INITIATIVE
The player with the least health goes first and play proceeds down the line. The GM calls out "1, 2, 3..."etc and people chime in.


AUCTION INITIATIVE
The player willing to take the biggest penalty to all rolls goes first. Like the drama initiative, GM calls out from 6 and goes down. Or some other number appropriate to your system. GM also picks.


SIMULTANEOUS INITIATIVE
All things happen at once. Any actions that would cancel out another are done as contested rolls and the winner gets their way. Damage is simultaneous unless it obviously isn't.


TRACK INITIATIVE
You've got a track of actions, each player places themselves on a spot. Play proceeds top to bottom. On proceeding rounds the players are relocated in reverse order.

A manoeuvre is any non-combat non-magic action, like moving around or rummaging in your pack or pulling a lever.

  1. Reckless Magics -6
  2. Melee attacks
  3. Ranged attacks
  4. Manoeuvre
  5. Risky magics -3
  6. Manoeuvre and melee
  7. Manoeuvre and ranged
  8. Safe magics

In a non-fun game where you don't roll for magic, just do it all on the last one.


RONDEL INITIATIVE
Everyone starts with a little token on the shaded slice. Randomly pick who goes first and proceed left-wise for the first moves, after that the person closest to the shaded slice acts first. This can result in multiple actions in a row if they don't jump anyone.



  • Move 5ft - 1 space
  • Attacking moves you spaces according to weapon used (sword is 4, knife is 2, halberd is 5
  • Magic moves you spaces according to the spell (magic missile is probably 4, charm is 1)
  • Misc actions generally take 1 space.


Once you pass the shaded slice you may take no more actions until everyone has passed it. When the new round begins you start with the person closest to the shaded area. Moves continue from where the pieces are.

The Undercroft #10 is basically out



Say whaaaat? It's out already? But it's only been 3 or 4 or 5 or something months. Oh how time flies.

But don't mind that, mind that the latest issue of the worlds premiere, hyper functional, deluxe RPG zine is out and you don't own it yet. Exchange your boring, uninteresting money for pictures and written things by the industry's most talented humans in the world's most prestigious periodical.


Get it on RPGNow now! Now.

Order a print & PDF copy on my hot hot HOT shop shop SHOP (shipping end of the week)

Subscribe for future issues at something like a discount

WARNING: Don't buy the zine again if you already have this on your Patreon, you already paid me and I'm already sending it!