Monday, May 29, 2017

Meet your God

This is a lore post that contains spoilers.  If you're a player in any of games I would recommend not reading below the page break.  The part your characters would know is included here.

There is a distinction drawn in Denethix between being in the eye of the gods or being where the gods can't see you.  It's widely believed that gods see and judge everything we do in places where you can see the sky.  Behavior in outdoor marketplaces, open fields etc are generally held to a higher standard of godfearing-ness.  While being indoors or under a cloudy sky isn't total license to do as you please, it's held that gods have a more difficult time learning about our behavior when they can't see us. For this reason, temples are always constructed either as an open amphitheater or with a literal God's Eye within the building (a screen the gods can watch through.) Amphitheaters are usually considered more "old-school,"  and many of them date to periods where the state religion was the only one permitted.

Godkiller Rocket Orcs

I've discussed orcs in this setting before, but this is a larger write up on their culture, with goals and adventure hooks.


Orcs are recognized as the most spiritually attuned race, with each orc having a personal connection to at least one god in the heavens.  Unfortunately, this "personal connection" usually takes the form of radio transmissions beamed into their skulls from the god's star as it orbits the earth.  These radio transmissions reverberates among the orc's teeth and can produce anything from voices to an incessant series of numbers. Since their main interactions with the Gods are to be screamed at by them, orcs are generally considered to be hated by the gods. Orcs are highly aware of the location of their god's star in the sky, as the location influences the volume of the transmissions. Orcs are highly regarded as astronomers (the sane ones) and soothsayers (the insane ones).  Orcs are often held up as an example of the damaging effects of extreme religiosity.


Orcs live in the Worthless North, a place of cold winters, shattered settlements and howling void. One thing it has in abundance is spaceship parts.  A huge pile of second and thirdhand steel parts from previous civilizations is the seat of orcish civilization, and all orcs desire to have access to the Spaceship Graveyard.  They need access to the parts to build their own spaceships and go on crusades.

Orcish Crusades 

After years of infighting, tribal warfare and interminable theft/kidnapping of valuable spaceship parts/engineers, one tribe will have enough parts, know-how and rocket fuel to march to the Launch Pad and declare a crusade.  The crusading tribe will build and launch a rocket out of scrap, with the goal of flying into the heavens and killing a god.  Thirteen crusades have been launched so far, with three successful god-kills.  The kill usually takes the form of the spaceship crashing into a random god's star and destroying it, leaving the clerics and followers of that god bereft of spells, divine intervention and spiritual succor.  The orcs still on earth who had a connection to that god find that the voices in their heads are blessedly silent.  (This is why you will occasionally find a sane orc.)  The only exception is the Quiet God's Star, which was long ago reached by orcs yet still remains in the sky.  The First Crusade was lead by Orc-Pope Michael the Unloved against the star of Cyric, the God of Lies.

4 Quests

1. Two competing orcish commando forces are each attempting to kidnap a professor of Engineering from the Academy of Enlightened Thought.

2. A poorly constructed spaceship has crashed into Denethix, with dozens of half dead orcs and their engineer slaves sheltering in the wreckage.  The townsfolk want to kill everyone on board and sell the ship for scrap.  Representatives from the Academy want to kill most of the orcs, save the engineers and take the ship to study. The orcs want to pull their spaceship to the top of a nearby mountain and try a "gravity launch" (pushing it off the top and hoping the boosters are powerful enough to catch the ship before it hits the ground).  The engineers want to get out alive, hopefully without anyone knowing they were ever slaves.  Due to Denethix's complicated legal system, all four have the legal right to do what they desire.

3. An orcish priest dedicated to destroying a god the party hates invites them on a crusade to fly into heaven and kill that god.

4. Orcish regiments stole a large quantity of nuclear rocket fuel from the dinosaur clerics of the northern mountain.  They are moving it to the Worthless North via an ancient train.  The clerics hire the party to steal it back, giving them velociraptor mounts to accomplish their train heist.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

5 Campaign Ideas

Some of these would be easy to slot into any edition of DnD.  Some probably require a new game or at least heavily modified mechanics.

1) Polynesian style island chains.  Magic, war and culture are all heavily influenced by Polynesian mythos.  Party starts on a island, earns a boat by heroic deeds and then sails around the ocean discovering new islands and fighting evil spirits.

2) Toy Story: Wizard brings inanimate objects to life in order to find his glasses, which have been stolen.  The players are the objects, which are rolled up like normal characters but instead of a race they have properties based on their object.  What does it mean for scissors to have high strength?  What if a pencil has a high con? The players start with no inventory but themselves, and are small objects in a huge and dangerous wizard's tower.

3) Warring States Period. Mainland China split between warring kings, brilliant tacticians, and travelling schools of rival philosophers. The outlandish personalities of the period go very well in high fantasy.   Cao Cao, Liu Bei, and Sun Quan could be fantastic patrons, rivals and villains.  Start them off as guards to a legalism philosopher, put them in a warlord's court and start the assassinations!

4) Osmosis Jones: The players play as white blood cells (5 types, 5 classes), medicine or whatever else they can reasonably justify.  They travel around the body fighting infectious diseases and cancer cells. Everything is highly anthropomorphized and the terrain is three dimensional and dependent on blood vessel structure (capillaries give you more freedom of movement than you'd think).  

5) WWE:  Players are star pro wrestlers tasked with planning and executing thrilling, dramatic shows for their AMPED UP fans.  Half showmanship and planning, half real combats, all EXTREME.  Name your wrestler and their catch phrases/moves, execute a series of betrayals, team ups and rivalries to give the people a show.  Extra points for playing Stone Cold.