Dima the Crow

So, it looks like I get to play D&D. And it’s set in Innistrad, the horror setting for Magic the Gathering.

So, I’ve built a Nephalian Warlock pledged to the Raven Queen (pure Poe goodness), called him Dmitry/Dima, and we’ll see how it goes.
I’ve not played a Warlock before, so I’m not sure if I’ve built it very well. I know where I’m going for the next few levels, but that’s all I’ve got figured out so far.

Of the other characters, I know there’s a Yuan-ti sorcerer in the group – and they don’t have to fit in with Innistrad if they’re a planeswalker. Quite how that power level will fit with the setting I don’t know. Maybe their planeswalker spark has only just lit?



State of the Old Crown

Continuing the theme of what’s currently going on with my thinking for various projects, what’s going on with the Old Crown?

Not much, it turns out.


The biggest development was me changing the map around a bit more. It made less sense for the home of the Wildfolk, who are part plant, to be in a northern tundra than in a nominally temperate/tropical location, so I switched things around a bit. Now the swamplands to the south of the Old Crown are to the north, and so on.

It doesn’t really change much.


I think if I run the setting again, I’ll be steering clear of using any D&D rules. I’m more inclined towards FATE Accelerated or FATE Core, or possibly Cortex or Gumshoe, though I’d need to actually look more at the rules of that last one.

FATE Accelerated is nice and accessible and seems to do most of what I want, but the different organisations might be harder to model. That’s part of the problem I had when I was looking at Cortex a few years ago.

I could probably make the thing work fine with FATE Core, though I might end up using a version of the skill groups from Atomic Robo. I liked how they fit pretty neatly with some of the ideas for racial and organisational character abilities. I plan on tinkering a bit.

Though that would be easier if I’d actually played some Atomic Robo.


Will I ever pull the whole thing together and actually run more than one or two sessions? I’m eternally hopeful. I think it needs a little bit of streamlining, which I might manage to do at some point.

After Ginnungagap. And FATEPunk. Or more likely, at the same time as.


I really need to finish a project.

City takeover

The other day, I ended up having a scroll through some old blog posts and one caught my eye that I’d completely forgotten about.

Since I’ve written that post, new novels about that hinted-at history have begun rolling out, but I’m ignoring those until I get my hands on a copy!


Anyway, the point being, I’m now thinking about how this could be pulled off in an RPG. How best to apply the rules, and what rules? Taking over a city is basically the main goal in any Vampire: the Masquerade game for any half-decent coterie, so I might ignore that.

What then? FATE, D&D, Cortex, Savage Worlds all give potential, as does just homebrewing or mashing a few of them together. D&D would be easy to pick up for most of my players, but FATE might give me the god-like messiness that gives them the chance to really take on a city.

I may have been playing too much Saints Row and falling back on my love of the Authority comics in brainstorming this. And then I remembered the post I made before my original city takeover and thought about connecting the players to an old forgotten temple or something like that.


Anyway, we’ll see. So far, my options for a new RPG are either this, Space Viking D&D, or an intro Vampire game that people might be interested in. We’ll see. It’s been far too long since I rolled some dice!

Vikings! An Update

My great habits of updating often have suddenly fallen by the wayside. I’m claiming it’s because of only having a semi-functional keyboard, but I could still use the phone or my tablet (as I am now)  if I really wanted to.

I’ve been very slowly thinking about the space viking game. I’ve had a rethink about a few things, worked out how Bifrost works (a cross between movies Thor and Stargate), turn Yggdrasill into a kind of space elevator, and had more of a think about guns.

Since they’d be replacing bows for the most part, the general idea would mean most ranged combat is actually using modern rifles. I might dig through the old d20 rules and see how easy it would be to port them across.
I don’t want to be as bogged down in choice as the d20 games, I just want more of an idea of options.

Guns so far in the game:
Common modern pistol
Advanced modern pistol (burst fire option)
Common modern rifle
Advanced modern rifle (burst fire)
Laser pistol (double base damage of modern pistol)
Laser rifle (double Base damage of modern rifle)

So thinking d8 for the pistol, and d10 for the rifle, but I might change that still. Maybe change the lasers to 2d6 and 3d6 or something. They’re dangerous, but hopefully survivable.

Enemies – still not sure. The undead maybe, via a cybernetic virus? Some kind of nanite plague making monsters? Certainly gods warring somehow. All of the above probably.

The trick will be balancing magic and tech, because there’s going to be some mad anachronisms all over this setting. People sitting by the fireplace in a long hall drinking mead, listening to the scalds tell tales, and reading the latest news on their data slates.
Monsters attacking in the night, fought off with rifles, axeblades and “smart steel”, by soldiers with genetic and cybernetic enhancements.
Wizards conjuring physical forms from the Datasphere into the real world, either as familiars or fireballs, again probably from cybernetic enhancements (like the technomages in Babylon 5 maybe).

Anyway, that’s where I’m at so far. I’m debating adding some animal uplifts as player races, but I might stick with what I have for now before I tinker too much.
I might need to tweak some classes yet, which would be more important than the races for now.

More of the same soon, hopefully this week!


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a Viking-styled d&d game, and I’ve come up with a few ideas.
However, since I’ve also been playing a lot of Mass Effect, been reading some of Marvel’s Battle world stuff and thinking about the Thor Corps, AND partly inspired by the article over on the D&D website, I’m making the setting a bit more scifi than just plain Vikings.

So, how’s this working exactly? I’m. Mixing together a bunch of notes as I write this post, so hopefully it won’t be too disjointed.

The World Tree, Yggdrasil, can be travelled. The interaction of the different realms has long been a fact, and so many races exist across the many realms, not just their own homes.
In scifi terms, they’re all originally human stock, but for some reason or other had been ‘locked’ into their own world so long that they evolved into separate races. Then the barriers came down.

Many of these worlds were more like pocket dimensions, but Midgard, the ancestral home, is huge, and filled with baseline humans.
Other races that now live in Midgard:
The Aelfr and Svartaelfr – elves and dark elves, though I might make them more grey elves than drow.
Dvergar – dwarves
Svirfneblin – gnomes
Niflungr – goblins
Trolls – orcs (maybe? Traditional d&d trolls would become Jotun – giants!)

In theory, I could also throw in:
Dreki – dragonkin
Djöfullinn – Tieflings
And then Aelfblood and Trollblood for half elves and half orcs, respectively.
I’ve taken out half lings for now, and replaced with Goblins. Because I like goblins!

Next up, classes. At this stages, I’ve only reskinned the names,but I’ll be fiddling a little bit too. All translations taken from Google Translate.
Bard –  Skald
Barbarian – Berserkr
Cleric – Prestr
Druid – Hamaskr
Fighter – Hermathr
Paladin – Vaeringjar
Ranger – Skógarvörthr
Rogue – Fantr
Sorcerer – Galdramathr
Warlock – Norn
Wizard – Töframathr

Now, this being scifi influenced as well, I’m flying to add in the firearms rules.
That means anyone who gets full weapon proficiency is also likely to pick up guns as a proficiency (fighters, some clerics etc).
The guns available will be the modern pistol and rifle, though access to laser rifle and pistol is a possibility, and I’m debating making these more like Stargate’s Jaffa staff weapons and Zzzats. Either way, they’d be rare or the equivalent of magic items (maybe the gods run around with them?)
Armour would likely gain a damage reduction against ballistics, but again that’s something I need to work on. I don’t want to make the weapons too lethal, as they’d break the game, and ammunition needs to be important.
In the case of laser weapons, I’m tempted to make them recharge over time, so they have a very limited number of shots that only recharges on a rest, and possibly only partially for short rests. Again, something I’m still working on.
At the moment:
Modern pistol: 1d8 damage
Modern rifle: 1d10 damage
Laser pistol: 2d6 damage, option to stun
Laser rifle: 2d8 damage, option to stun
Light armour: 2 DR versus ballistics, not against lasers
Medium armour: 4 DR versus ballistics, 2 DR against lasers
Heavy armour: 6 DR versus ballistics, 4 DR against lasers
(I’d probably get a bit more detailed and make it certain armours, not the entire rating)

On to important aspects of the setting!
I want to add in the Honour ability score. It’s cool and I think it fits. Oaths are important. Oath breakers, called Nith, are very important.
The pantheon is the standard Aesir/Vanir of Norse mythology.
Dragons are a thing. They are called Hoggr.

I’m ripping social classes and such out of a combination of Saxon and Norse stuff, should be familiar to Skyrim players.
The castes are broken down into
The King/Rix. Probably one for each realm.
The Etheling. Nobles, both Jarls and Thanes.
Freemen. Karls/churls.
Thralls. Slaves tied to a person and serfs tied to the land.

Felags are communities to which a character belongs. They might be obliged to serve in some way, as the felags are usually centred around a trade or military venture.
A big army barracks is surrounded by support people, so is a large vineyard or weapon manufacturing centre. Even a town known for art will have charcoal burners, quarries and paper makers all around it, plus farmers etc.

The sib is the basic family unit. Hence the term sibling.
Fostering of the children of blood sworn kin is also common, though these are the links between the various sibs.
Injury between sibs can be collected upon through fines, called weregild (the worth of a man). Weregild is claimed at annual Things (the meetings of a populace) and decided upon by Gamuts, a court of popular vote. Sometimes an ordeal might be issued.
Gamut can also declare outlaws, who are banished on pain of death, their rights revoked and their marriages dissolved.

So where does this leave my current idea?
The characters are all. Members of the same Felag, which involves trade with other settlements and sometimes other realms. Travel through Yggdrasil will be happening, but has become more difficult of late.
The group is attached to a caravan to carry wares to another settlement, then on to another realm. I’m imagining that the ‘branches’ of Yggdrasil are gateways to travel through, perhaps an astral or shadow realm.

Ultimately I want to involve Ragnarok, or the fear of Ragnarok, and perhaps a villain being sponsored by the Jotun or the Dragon Nithoggr, or both, to bring Ragnarok about.

Y is for: Yaninda

The known world, the realm of mortals, is not the only part of existence.
The spirits live on an adjacent place, a place that some few are able to pierce through to with magikal power.
These world’s beside the realm of mortals are known as Yaninda.

Ancient legends speak of such places, such as the place the ancient Oon came from. Generally these are referred to as origins in ancient texts, though the birthplace of the Oon themselves is referred to as Origin, believed to be translated from their own language by the ancient Lizardfolk Empire.

Several realms in the Yaninda are known to exist, and are documented in ancient legends and modern texts of scholars and Arcanists:

The Deadrealms are the easiest to visit, as all mortals that die pass through the place to wherever it is souls go after death. Rituals of witches and Arcanists have long allowed brief travel to the place, if only as a shade of the mortal body. The Deadrealms is home to the Shores of the Dead, and the unceasing siege of the Fiend against the Black Lady’s forces.

The Spiritrealms, sometimes called the Greenrealms, are the home to various spirits of nature and the elements. Which travel to the Spiritrealms is impossible for mortals, if it possible through long ritual to at least blur the boundaries of the mortal world and see into and barely interact with the place. Such rituals are used by Witches seeking a soulbond with a spirit.

Whilst the Dreamrealms might seem like the easiest to reach for mortals, in reality it is the dreams that bleed over to the mortal world, and sleeping mortals are the best able to perceive these bleeds.
Some legends tell of spirits making their home in the Dreamrealms, but whether these stories are true or not is much disputed.

The Darkrealms are the only known Yaninda tied to an elemental power, that of elemental Dark.
Spirits of Darkness are most easily able to slip between here and the Spiritrealms, though their methods are entirely unknown.

Several theoretical Yaninda exists, based on knowledge of the above. Elemental aligned realms, fore fire and water and so forth, are believed to exist, though many spirits of these elements claim no knowledge of them.
The Lightrealms, believed to be a mirror to the Dark, have long thought to be lost somehow, as no spirit of Light has ever been encountered. That hasn’t stopped sages and mystics throughout history from hunting it.

Lastly, the Godsrealms are thought to be on the edges of the mortal world, perhaps bordering the other realms. It’s believed the Green Lady inhabits an area close to the Greenrealms, whilst the Watcher in the Night is said to be able to travel to the origin of Dreams.

W is for: Witchblood

In the Old Crown, those touched by a lineage of magikal power are known as Witchbloods. Whilst hereditary, sometimes the witchblood skips generations only to appear again.

Long ago, the natural order of the world brought forth individuals who had innate magikal abilities. Some speculate it may have been caused by interference by the legendary Oon, though most legends also speak of their downfall because of the innate gifts of the races they created.
The witchblood allows those gifted with it to perceive natural magik much more intensely, to perceive it at a level much deeper than normal mortals. Whilst most might experience a feeling of being watched or a prickling sensation on the back of the neck, a Witch can perceive any flows of magik or the auras of nearby powerful spirits in a similar way to sight, sound or taste, and even sometimes as these senses. They can usually pinpoint magikal sources in the vicinity with ease, or even blur the edge of realms to see and speak with spirits themselves.

The Witchs’ affinity for spirits of all kinds can be seen in their ease at the spiritbond. Arcanists can train themselves for decades and rarely hold a bond as strong as an apprentice Witch, whilst Oathed might gain such a temporary bond via the power of their Ascended patron.
Using a spiritbond, part of the soul and animus of a Witchblood permanently joins to that of a spirit, and the equivalent exchange is made by the spirit also. This touch of the spirit world is enough to allow the Witch great control over the certain magiks that their companion can also control. The reward for the spirit is a greater ability to manifest in both the spirit realms and the world of mortals caused by an accompanying rise in power.

Mostly Witches bind to peri, the spirits most closely associated with the natural world. This is the source of the power of the witchblood as a healing obligation, so that Witches become the centre of communities and important public figures, healing the sick and teaching the young and so forth.
Some Witches instead bind with the elemental jinn, gaining greater focus in elemental abilities. Rarely this is to the exclusion of all else, though the stories of the Sundancers that come from legends of the Wick would make it seem that binds to fire greatly limit healing abilities.
Theoretically, it should also be possible to bind with a Wight, as the spirits of the restless dead are still spirits, and readily able to manifest in a way similar to daimon despite scholar’s arguments to the contrary.

The Seawitches are a particularly strong bloodline of Witchbloods that make their lives travelling across the known world.
Their abilities tend to manifest at a much younger ages than other Witches, and rarely is a child born without some.
They also have a curious ability to spiritbond with animals, though generally these animals are exceptional in some way – albinos, crossbreeds, having some touch of the jinn about them, and so forth.

Witchblood has been seen as both a blessing and a curse. It brings an individual with great personal power, and often many responsibilities. Being so closely tuned to natural magik energies can draw the attention of both friendly and hostile spirits, not to mention manifested daimon.