Getting back on track.

Life, work, health and more as usual.  Details would be redundant.  Anyway, I have some more setting concepts I wanna get up on the blog.  Also, I have some patreon-related project stuff and Drivethru stuff that is also in the works.  For the former, I will hopefully put up more information for patrons soon.  A lot of other projects depend on where I am financially soon, and some depend on if Wizards opens content for their DM’s Guild license.  Anyway, stay tuned, as always!

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Dark Descent into Dawnsveil

F._Marion_-_LOptique

I wanted to expand on the previous post.  While the domain offers a fair bit of flavor to run Ravenloft games of your own, it still requires a few more things: stats for the domain lord, as well as stats for his nemesis, other monsters common to the area.  Take note, some of these monsters will be very deadly for a lower level party.  However, the more dangerous creatures are often brought upon by specific circumstances relevant to the setting.

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Domain of Dread – Dawnsveil

Tombstone

During the 4th Edition era of Dragon magazine, I recreated an idea for a 2E domain that I never got to run. Only a few notes were ever made, so it’s not like I got too much done in terms of progress.  This was mostly because Wizards advertised an article search, including the domains of dread column.  While I didn’t care too much for the 4E Shadowfell take on domains, I was more than eager to more or less make my own mark on Ravenloft.  Needless to say, the concept was rejected and has long since stayed on numerous hard drives over the years.  However, I’m gonna pilfer this grave and unleash the contents within!  Here’s my attempt at fleshing out this concept for your enjoyment.
Note: This post will focus on the lore of the area.  Stats are provided in a separate post coming shortly after.  This will include the Darklord, his foil and various other creatures native to the realm.  Also, I found out that my domain’s name shares the name of an expansion to MapleStory more or less.  Granted, I don’t know if my idea predates it or not (2011, I have the rejection date from Wizards of the Coast somewhere!) Also included is a modest attempt at a map, albeit without more in depth tools.

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Divine World Building – Arothe

Image result for azathoth

Say hello to the “Overgod”

The RPG Blog Carnival for January 2019 is more or less concluded, but I wanted to return to it once more with my own home setting.  I’ve talked about tons of aspects of the world already, but not too much in terms of “the divine”.  Though, to be fair, that’s a bit of an odd subject for my universe.

Similar to Mystara, deities are much closer to the “Immortals” of that world.  Heroes train, prove themselves and ascend beyond the prime material.  Out of a pact with other “Ascended”, interaction with the mortal plane is rare and only in dire emergency, where it can’t be helped.  Upon ascending, they become the embodiment of the ideals that they believe in, empower those who follow such beliefs and ethos.  Unlike the traditional D&D worlds, believers connect on a level of domains and ideology.  Those who try to directly connect to an Ascended usually go insane, as they’re unable to comprehend the sheer power and form that such beings wield.  Most religions of the world have adapted to fit this harsh truth.  In fact, most religious revolve around various metaphysical concepts as well as ideals.  Like with other traditional worlds, one could still see various religious groups inspired by a cause.  However, this world will not have them tied to a deity, unless they’re a mad cult.

But, what came before the ascended?  And what helps them move beyond mere mortality?  To answer both questions, one must look at what came before.  Arothe was created from an experiment on another world, trying to use transdimensional technology to create a wholly new universe.  The same laboratory reached out to countless realities (including a few versions of Earth).  Something terrible resulted in multiple malfunctions in the experiment at once.  Multiple old realities collapses and folded on themselves, while being absorbed into the new one.  A strange energy was discovered thanks to the experiments though, psychic power.  The power preserved the millions of minds of the victims, binding and bonding them to a single entity.  The mad hivemind eventually formed into a chaotic and discordant entity within the new universe.  Basically, a psychic powered Azathoth that’s too confused and lost to be fully aware of what it does.  However, this doesn’t mean that the Ascended escape its wrath.  Those who ascend are tethered to this mighty being.  And, in the off chance that they are slain, they can be eaten by this star horror should it desire more power and minds to sustain itself.

As for reality building itself anew, the hive at the center of the universe mostly shaped things from afar.  Terrain shaped itself naturally, as forces and energies of life spurred on evolution.  However, the hive itself influenced sentient life forces through subtle implanting of thoughts to outright bizarre visions.  As much of the hive is composed of former Earth humans, subjects of the world are slightly pushed in a direction similar to Earth’s many cultures.  Some mortals feel that they’re being manipulated by something, but few can ever prove it.  Many take the visions, strange dreams and signs as their own creations and go from there.  But all along, distant thoughts from Earth from equally distant sources find their way into the life of this strange, but oddly familiar world.

So there you have it, a little insight into how divinity works in the weird world of Arothe.

IMAGE CREDIT: Azathoth – Andy Tantowi

Ice Domain – A Chilling Cleric Domain

“We come from the land of the ice and snow, From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.” – A passage written by a traveling skald companion accompanying a communion of frost clerics.

Elemental Powers circle throughout known reality.  Heat can transform into fire or lightning, gusts of wind can carry even the mightiest of rock and the water itself can become a solid sheet of ice.  In a sense, a rival to the Tempest Cleric, the Ice cleric is at home in the realms of bone chilling temperature, the stinging sensations of ice and the comfort of powdery snow.  For them, the cold isn’t just the absence of warmth, but a holy communion among frigid elements; a raw and unforgiving form of nature.  Like the northern air, a frost cleric can travel gently like a light flurry or bombard foes like the harshest of blizzards.

Many Ice Clerics accompany hunters or are hunters themselves.  Through their devotions, they can trap creatures through sheets of ice, hollow snowy holes or other wintry tricks.  Like the ice cold, many of these clerics tend to be rigid and devoid of emotion and often passion too.  To some, it’s as if the cold has influenced their own convictions and values as well.  As such, neutral alignments tend to be the most common among their orders.  Likewise, neutral elemental gods of ice empower such clerics.  That isn’t to say that beings like Auril don’t use such power for evil though.  Many dress modestly, bundling up at almost all times.  In warmer regions, many of these priests might quickly feel out of place.  The idea of shedding layers is foreign, outside of bathing.

Author’s Note: There are plenty of elemental niches covered in the cleric, but a cold one is lacking.  So, let’s tackle that!  Also, I found my set of Reign of Winter books for Pathfinder.  So, there’s a big inspiration.

It looks like someone channeled the same idea as me several months beforehand.  Well, this is an awkward coincidence.  But, I assure you that this is literally the first instance of seeing another homebrewed take via D&D Beyond or the like, as I don’t go there for homebrew.  None the less, here is the version I stumbled upon a couple hours before posting this.  But, how much can you do with an ice theme, I guess?  Well, I may as well not name this Frost Domain anymore.  On to something more generic, I guess!

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