Burn out never, Steam Forever – More Steamspace

The Aftermath by RhysGriffiths on DeviantArt

Steamspace, that which holds the greatest minds in the greatest crystal sphere.  Should you seek glory, invention and the power of a new age; Steamspace is for you.  Consult with the Steam Corps Recruitment Agency, found next to Lorenzo’s Museum of Wildspace Weaponry.
– From a flyer posted around The Rock of Bral

Steamspace is an odd land of many extremes.  There are miniature worlds with diametrically opposed harsh weather.  There are havens for artifice, but one of the most hostile refuges of nature found in the multiverse.  Ideal landscapes for urban empire exist in some realms, such as the Moon of Victoriana or the world of Valiance.  For the rest, it is a testament to ingenuity and innovation; powers of arcane engineering battling the deadliest that nature and the supernatural have to offer.  Beyond deserts of sand, icy tundras, wastelands under darkness and strange seas of green; there are other perils too.  Shadowy drow conspire while ancient elves channel forces of the light.  Battles still wage for the powers of lightning to some day overthrow dependence on steam.  Many mysteries line the sphere too.  The most advanced of the people here are actually ancient tribes that once belonged to a unified world, long blown up by mysterious tragedies.  Numerous societies hoard secrets on the creation of deadly weaponry that could risk annihilation of whole regions.  Many hide the literal deeper layers and depths to even their cities.  None the less, this does not dissuade brave souls looking to reinvent both themselves and reality around them.  Should success come to all and peace ring true, then there is hope for these wondrous creations to spread to the multiverse.

Author’s Note: One more for Steamspace!  Yes, I realize that Bashar and Destiny Expanse are getting a fair bit here.  Beyond that, references to silent horror cinema, Stephen King and various dystopian fiction.  Just because I’m not letting this get too dark doesn’t mean I won’t stuff plenty in there.

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Worlds and Cosmos of Spelljammer – Fantastic Space!

 

Spelljammer Collector's Guide | BoardGameGeek

Arcane Space, a strange place for those not initiated.  Plus, for those lacking the essential tools of travel, it’s deadly.  There is no natural air here, likewise the heat is very unnatural.  This is especially the case within the traveling warp known as the phlogiston, a realm of burning energy that can shuttle protected spelljammers in rapid time.  Yes, it truly is wonderful.  And for many, it’s a far more logical alternative to the planes beyond.  Why discover what lies beyond life when you can learn all that life truly has to offer?  There are countless worlds already out there, all within the Prime material.  Plus, the metropolitan space hubs prove far less pretentious than the likes of Sigil anyway.  No weird slang to make yourself feel smug.  Or well, less of it.

Author’s Note: Spelljammer?  But of course!  October will probably make a shift back to Ravenloft, but Spelljammer always needs love.  And past that, more Docker’s Catch, crossover with other settings and a massive reference to Sea of Thieves (again). So with that, have a double post… IN THE SAME WEEK!  Give or take.

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Planar Explorations, by [REDACTED] or “The Narrator”

“I hate this Ramon DeLeon, barmy liar has brought many to their dooms!  My brothers feel it’s in best interest to visit the bard, as well as his monastery friends in due time.  I lack the muscle of some compatriots, but I can only hope my word craft and reason is enough to get this menace to stand down.  And if he doesn’t, may his long ears be ripped off his head!  Now, where’s my wine?” – Gerard Claude Dupois, Renardois-folk Lupin of Petite Renardie

Where’s a primer to go to learn all there is upon the planes?  Why, to Sigil of course!  And where from there?  Well, competition has floundered in the claws of a beast named Ramon!  His biased words paint a different story of the planes, bringing glory to some and chastisement to others.  But, be assured there are far stranger truths than those cooked up by some hairball hacking mutant with a knack for storytelling.  And within such stories, many things are best left alone.  Because of his foolish idealism, a racial war begins to boil… not unlike that of the gith.  But, enough tearing of one’s fake character.  It’s time to explore the planes with a tighter focus and sense of scrutiny.  Dare you discover what truly happens within realities beyond?  Of course you do, that’s why you’re here!

Now, who might I be?  Why, the Narrator, of course!  Do you think I’m like the Editor?  Because you shouldn’t!  I’m far more charming and more elaborate.  No cryptic absurdity here, only the upfront truth and the deepest of dark you can muster.  Besides, he seems to have given the city the laugh for a while.  Good for him, I say.  You work hard, you eventually catch a break.  So, why can’t you see me?  Well, disclosing such information is dangerous.  Surely, you can understand this.  So, let us not waste too much time.  Turbulence and conflict bubble and ooze around the cage, especially in these trying times.  Methinks another age of upheaval is upon us.  But, whose to say?  I surely can’t, I’ve moved onto other business after ages of merc blood-work.  But, onto other matters then.

Author’s Note: Yup, split post.  Unrest still hovers over the greatest city in the multiverse.  And as one can assume, not all like the traveling bard.  Some think he’s a foul swindler even!  But, what other stories can be told of the planes?  Plenty, I can tell you!  Also, I wanted to explore an even darker look at the fey.  I don’t care for Disney takes on Faeries, give me gothic style aliens any day!  And yes, it overtook the post.  And once again, The Evil Dead inspired something for me to work with.  In addition, we have strange elementals, trade war, a sentient astral pocket and a drifting piece of New Jersey!  Also, as the name might imply, one of my greatest inspirations for Planescape content is the Grimjack/Mundens/Cynosure universe.  Science-fantasy hodgepodge, multiversal antics, a grim mercenary tone often used, lots of it already felt Planescape, even if it predates the setting by around a decade.

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Lost Chapters of the Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 5

Ghost ship (Stephen Fabian, Ravenloft module RA2: Ship of Horror, TSR, 1991)
Dead Men Tell No Tales

“Ah, setting sails on the high seas?  Well, let me tell you of grim tall tales.  I speak of ghostly vessels rising from watery graves.  I have witnessed water beasts infused with the deadliest poisons known to man.  I have seen angered spirits more than capable of sinking your ship, even from a distance.  And this is to say nothing of the strange island you will find along the way.  The ones I fear the most are controlled by wicked sorcerers who reject the divine in favor of their own prospects.  And that’s to say nothing of the pirates.  Even in distant lands, the brigands will emerge.  One such heinous gathering caused me crew to run aground.  And that was to say nothing of the horrors to come.  I speak of flying creatures that resemble women, but only their top half!  The accursed harpies had slain too many good men.  I speak to you today, only thanks to some priests who witnessed the carnage.  The life of a sailor is no kind one.  Pray that it’s only nature you have to worry about!”

The old man, beleaguered by his past, sits back down.  However, for the rest of the evening, he maintains a glassy stare that is equal parts ominous and worried.  His staring is only interrupted by the loud slurping of grog from his mug, most of which staining his mostly white beard.  Even as you ready to depart, the solemn and sorrowful figure remains haunted and scarred through the terrors of his own past.  Pray that you do not suffer much like him.

Author’s Note: I’m back once more, since my previous post split off into another part all its own.  I wanted to tackle a look at Sri Raji, as well as stealing from the new book to make their new domain feel more Ravenloft (though that’s a common complaint I have with the book).  As a whole, I give my own remake to The Steaming Lands, now the Steaming Wrath, with the addition of two wholly new domains (one based off of a Bruce Heard article for Dragon of course).  Likewise, I have returned with more Ravenscape crossover, detailing the fate of Antorek and how it relates to the Wildlands.  Also, PIRATES!  I love me some stuff with pirates.

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In Which Calamity Reigns – More Planescape Lore

Street Riot | MTG Arena Card Library
“To the Armory, CHAAAAARGE!.”

“Those Anarchist twits, sparking more violence within The Cage.  They think they’re turning the people against the factions, all of them…  Not quite.  It all plays into our hands.  Besides, this has lead to our greatest dabbling, remote shops to distribute weapons from The Armory better!  Tuck them under the Legals’ noses, give ’em the laugh at the right moment!  The smell o’ fresh blood wafting along the Lower Ward smog, ain’t it just grand?  Besides, nasty things are brewing in the planes, it’s best for the locals to arm themselves.  Bloody shame with those pirates though, I wish they were working for us…” – From the letter of a Sinker, commenting on recent “acceleration” within Sigil

Horrible things transpire across the planes, but what do they mean?  Likewise, dread things from realms unknown have found their way into The Cage.  The few paranoid greybeards within The Dark point towards The Demiplane of Dread and its machinations.  But, they can’t say for sure and can’t say why.  Through the Prime Fabric, a version of Terra languishes at the wrath of the planes beyond too, something that should be impossible.  As it is, rising tensions within Sigil point to something grim.  Some figure that Factol Darkwood is up to something, but he has been on the hush since violence against any faction/non-guild has been on the rise.  Even laws passed and enforced by the “lawful three” have been subverted and sometimes abolished by outside forces.  The Lady, as always, has remained silent until her call to action draws near.  In the meantime, both Anarchists and Indeps are getting much of the heat of the blame, alongside various Guilds of the Guildhall and Market Wards.

Author’s Note: This post is all about two themes: darker things in the planes… and war.  By war, I mean urban warfare, world war, proxy war, war of ideals/words and war over technology.  But also, we have more Planescape content, as well as potential “Ravenscape” material.  As always, references galore!  This includes some personalities in real life.  Shout-out to The Foxy Bard of Renaissance Faire performance fame.  I still say if you toss on a monocle, you could rock a Harkon Lukas cosplay!  Mind you, Lukas was an inspiration for my character too.  Also, this one is a smidge rougher based on looks at an apocalyptic Earth, as well as uproar in the Cage.  Keep an eye out for many, many callbacks throughout the post.  I love to self-reference.

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Lost Chapters of the Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 3

More Forgotten Places and Hidden Realms

Image result for asbury park paranormal bookstore

“That is all from me.  I must close for the night.  Should you wish to aid my master in some other way, do not hesitate on it.  The Wizard King will not turn away valid support…”

Author’s Note: I was never interested in covering ALL known domains, mostly just the core and former core ones.  However, I wanted to use this to help flesh out a disliked domain or two.  Also, huge credit to Ryan Naylor for reinventing Jack Karn and being the basis of my Farelle post.  Likewise, shout out to the Fraternity of Shadows for making I’Cath so much better. Also, my take-that at the lack of appreciation for the Birthright setting only succeeded in making me sad, hehe.

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Ramon’s Guide to the Inner Planes

The inner planes | Fantasy map making, Sigil, Astral plane
Details on more comes later!

Circling the prime are realms where natural life is abundant, even the opposite is present too! This is the circle of the Inner Planes. Looping forms of elements dancing endlessly, the fabric of natural matter locked in a glorious display. So, why not explore them? A novel idea, and what better host for such an adventure? If I do say so, myself. Follow my mad scribblings and even madder musings as we quest to see the workings of the Inner Planes, uncovering many secrets and hidden goodies along the way.

A word of warning, many of the inner planes are truly primal. You feared the forces of the Outer Planes, but many of these are broken into base primordial essences. And no, I don’t mean like Primordium; such a strange place is still rather dangerous in its own right. I talk of the place that gave the inspiration to build Primordium in the first place! It’s amazing how something so simple can be so awe inducing. To me, those are the Elemental Planes. Let us not dally.  Admittedly, my venture to the Upper Planes lasted quite a while, the better part of many primer yearly calendars. So, do stay close and protect yourself against the correct force, one of many elemental vortexes are just a jump away!

Author’s Note: Before we continue, because I don’t say it enough, a big thanks to Todd Stewart for being a huge inspiration.  His work in pathfinder’s planar content gets a nod from me partially because of it!  While I doubt I’ll ever really jump back to Paizo, I can appreciate the work the some of the people over there are doing.  Besides, I’m more so feeling Cyberpunk 2020 or one of many other seemingly relevant dystopian games for this day and age…  Anyway, jokes and other topics aside, the Inner Planes always felt like they needed more to them.  The Inner Planes book itself jokes about this while giving some neat suggestions, but I want to add my own touch.  Hell, it calls out the people who aren’t imaginative enough to make those planes work.  I’ve seen too many silly complaints about the Inner Planes too, in part because it puts your mind in a challenge…  Anyway, here are the results of my own elemental plane challenge.  Well, part of them.  I have much more where this came from!

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One with the Gun – Options for Gunslinging Shootists

Fantasy Rifleman by BrotherOstavia
The Order always prepares for adventure!

The Order of the Shootist, it’s a name claimed in both fear and mystery. They arrive with their incredible weaponry, unleashing thunder claps and smoke. And in mere instants, their enemies drop dead from incredible blasts of metal and fire. Only warriors worthy of their cause are admitted into their ranks. People know plenty about the mythical “fire brands”, as they have for countless years. However, most people are barely proficient. Even more fail to use them properly to begin with! The Shootist rises above these average folk. They hold sacred knowledge about not only wielding a gun with finesse, but a myriad of skills to truly champion their weapons.

For a Knight of the Shootist Order, there are many key features. One must move with a certain panache. Not only must they be graceful with their guns, but their steps must be constantly fluid. One slip up and you are shot down. A shootist has little time to stop and study their enemy, but must make a quick observation on the go. In addition, you won’t see armor worn as often within their ranks. Only truly strong and brisk warriors sport the arms and speed of a gunslinger with the armory of your traditional knight. Such individuals command both respect and a charismatic presence all their own. Some take to the shadows to get in the most brutal surprising shot possible, unleashing a devastating barrage.

Author’s Note: Lots of folks have asked a long time to revisit my shootist post. And since my theme for this month is Gaslamp Fantasy and Weird West, it was the perfect opportunity. So, let’s not just revisit the Shootist, but have a list of new options for the Rogue! Both of these were made with my own take on firearms, which is similar enough to 5e core. Don’t worry, there’s no misfire included. Take aim and fire, here’s a shooting gallery’s worth of options! However, these can easily be repurposed into a general ranged specialist if firearms are not allowed in your games or not common enough to allow training in.

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