Dungeon of Game-Mastery

GAME MASTERS, WELCOME!   

PLAYERS TURN BACK NOW, FOR HERE LURK SPOILERS THAT WILL TEAR OUT YOUR SOUL IN TATTERS AND FEAST ON THE SUCCULENT MORSELS OF YOUR FORMER SANITY!  (And if you are my players and I catch you, revenge will be matched only by dishonor!)
>>Players go here instead.<<

The purpose of this page is to share gaming resources and material as I develop them, so it will be updated on a fairly regular basis.    This content will be listed in the Table of Contents below, divided according to whether it is setting flavor (world-building) or mechanical crunch (rules).  I will start with the first request I have received: more development of the game world based on Yggdrasil.  I am calling this setting Ygg.  Also due to interest shown by some of my online friends, I will be running a play-by-post game in this setting, using the S&W Core Rules.

I will continue developing the Ygg setting in conversation with the latest draft of S&W's Core Rules.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Part A: Dungeon Flavor
I.  Realms in Ygg's Tree
a.  Lords of the Canopy (The Upper Realms)
b.  Ygg
c.  Elfhame
d.  Mermen & Elemental Races -- 1 June 2011
e.  Bonnacon -- 10 July 2011

Part B: Dungeon Crunch

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Realms in Ygg's Tree 


Lords of the Canopy: Excerpts from The Saga of the Nine Lands

The Nine Realms were bound together in the Cosmic Tree. In its canopy were the realms of the Mighty Ones: the Bound-Lords, the Free-Lords, and the Elf-Lords. Only the oldest of them know who bound them and the creatures of the young realms thither and why. The Father of Bound-Lords, discovered the runes in the branches and hence the power and the magic of the runes: their power to record speech, their magic to intone spells based on symbol-power. He used the runes to write the First Laws, to which his children bound themselves, saying, “We have discipline; we have honor. Let all bear witness to our nobility.” They then took the First Laws forth to the other Mighty Ones. The Elf-Lords said, “These Laws are good, and we will respect them as principles of wisdom, but we will not be utterly, always, and everywhere bound by them, for lo, there is one Lawgiver, even the one who planted the Tree and bound us to it. We will not be further bound than is meet. To us all, this seems good and right.” And the Bound-Lords were wroth, and they went forth in fury to the Free-Lords. “These are the First Laws,” spake they proudly. “Bind yourselves to us under them.” “Nay,” answered the Free-Lords. “We are our only Laws; we are the Laws unto ourselves and will bind ourselves to nothing more than our own selves. We agree not even among ourselves, except on this!” And the Bound-Lords smote the Free-Lords for this saying, and henceforth hath there ever been war amongst the twain. Ever do the Elf-Lords seek to remain above the warfare as much as they may, albeit do they play the one off the other, ever seeking balance and the mean between the ossification of Law and the chaos of Freedom.

The Terror of the Dead God: Excerpts from Ygg's Saga
Now the name of the All-Father of the Bound is now lost, and since its lost, has he been called Ygg, that is, Terror – for great was the terror that fell upon all the day that the god died. Great always has been his knowledge. But his greatest striving for knowledge was also his last. In his lust for more knowledge, he was tricked into hanging himself from the Cosmic Tree, a sacrifice of himself to himself to gain even greater heights of knowledge, even that knowledge which was forbidden him. Yet Ygg died, and those who bind themselves to the Bound-Lords must first hang a man in sacrifice when they swear to the Laws. Though Ygg is dead, yet his body lingers in ruin. Nothing can grant him repose; nothing can revive him. The sacrifices only grant him a dreaming consciousness as he hangs eternally and keep him from being dragged into Death's dark vale. For this reason, many call the Cosmic Tree the Tree of Ygg. Yet it was not always called thus.

Now before his death, Ygg was the first skald. He was also the first to use poetry to drive himself into the battle rage. Those who follow his way most closely likewise are warriors who go mad with battle fury. It is they who done the bear-skin, even as Ygg slew the Great Bear and made himself a mantle.

Elfhame
Balancing their ways between the demands of Law and the calls of Liberty, the elves draw on their most deeply held beliefs, preserved in the lore of the ancient holy language.

Elven Theology
Iluvatar (Eru)                        Male Aspect        Female Aspect        Symbol

Aina Neldië (Trinity)                  n/a                           n/a                  Triangle, Narsil (Sun-Moon)
  • Seer/Watcher                     *                                *                      All-Seeing Eye;
  • Creator/Destroyer    Great Serpent     Anima Mundi      Ouroboros;
  • Comforter                            *                              *

*Unfinished

Elven society is organized in a caste system:

Caste (Descending)                                              Totem Animal
  1. The Priestly Class (Cleric-Magic Users)     Owl
  2. The Noble Class (Fighter-Magic Users)     Serpent
  3. The Commoners (Thief-Magic Users)        Fox
  4. The Disenchanted (None Magic-Users)     Deer
Elves, the height of faedom, are the pinnacle of a process unique to the fae: reincarnation.
Castes 1-3 together are the Twice Born, those who have lived more than one life.  Caste 4 contain the Once-Born.  Castes 1-2 are also call the High Born, in contrast to castes 3-4.

Mermen
     "Whence the merfolk?" Galatrix asked Aretophilos the sage.
     "Know this, warmaiden of the north, " Aretophilos intoned.  "The Old Man of the Seas hated the men of the West, and great was the enmity between them the ages, until suffering them no more, he shook the Earth, sinking their great lands beneath the sea, and raising up the Mountains of Mu on the other side of world.  Yet, many of them cried out unto their own god, and he hearkened unto, not wanting them to fall prey to the Old Man of the Seas.  Those supplicants he changed, so that they could live both in the seas and on their mountain tops which now are mere shoals and islets.  These are the mermen and mermaids, so called because they live in the sea.  What was their lands are now below the sea, which is called after the greatest lost city of their sunken lands:  the Ocean of Aztlan."

As I indicated in the blog, I wanted to make use of the Atlantis myth for the mermen, but I also wanted to have a full schema of elemental races.  In addition to the neutral elementals, the following elemental races exist in Ygg.  So while the mermen started out as humans, a higher power elementalized them.  Naturally, the god involved (not created yet) will be lawful god, opposing the chaotic Old Man of the Seas.


ElementAlignment  Air Earth Fire Water
Chaotic Djinn Stone Giants Fire Giants Frost Giants
Lawful Cloud Giants Kobolds Efreet Mermen

Because of their hatred of the Old Man of the Seas, they consider themselves to be at perpetual war with the people of the city states of the Middle Sea, known as the Kalokanikai (kah-LOH-kah-nee-KEH, plural), as he is one of their two major gods.


Bonnacon in the Popular Mind of Ygg
Your characters live in a world where people know that it is populated with magical creatures.  What they know by popular report may vary widely, in both content and degree of accuracy.  For the magical bovine under consideration, roll a d30 and consult the table below to determine randomly what each character may have heard. (Note that details also vary as to whether and what name character's may have heard for the beast.)

RANDOM TABLE A
  1. Khorasin has cattle that are his exclusively to hunt.  Any other being hunting them will be cursed by the god for all time.
  2. The Land of the Sun is inhabited by great heards of cattle whose living flesh is already cooked.
  3. The bonasus is taboo to gnolls.  They will kill anyone harming one.
  4. The former sun god of the Kalokanikai had cattle that were sacred to him, some of these bonasus survive on islands in the Middle Sea.  
  5. If one finds, slays, and eats the flesh raw or drinks the blood of one of the bonacon, one is rendered impervious to heat and fire.
  6. The fire giants keep herds of magic cattle which form the basis of their diet.  
  7. The dung of the bonacon can be used fresh as ever-burning fuel or dried to create explosives.  
  8. The flesh of the vilde kow is poisonous to all but fiery creatures.
  9. The flesh of the is the bonacon is the most delicious of any bovine creature -- truly, a feast fit for the gods!
  10. The ancient human empire destoryed by the gnolls and covered by the sands of the desert once sacrificied a special breed of cattle to their gods that could be captured only the bravest and most devout heroes.
  11. The bonnacon is completely a myth with no truth to the tale.  Flaming farts -- preposterous!
  12. The bonnacon is a dangerous bovine, now extinct.
  13. The bonnacon is a solitary creature that hides itself among herds of mundane cattle.
  14. The bonnacon is a solitary creature that takes over the leadership of mundane cattle to reproduce by mating with cows.
  15. The vilde kow is good luck for herdsmen, but it is so fierce they must always give it a wide berth.
  16. The bonnacon is a golden bull with a petrifiying gaze.  
  17. It is taboo for any lawful character to harm or eat a bonacon.
  18. Making offerings to a bonnacon will render one safe.
  19. The bonnacon breathes fire and farts stinking clouds.
  20. All bonnacon are red-colored and male.  
  21. Thecurled horns of the bonacon are harmless, but are valued for making magical horns of sounding or of drinking.
  22. Though they pass for bulls at first sight, vilde kows  in fact feed on cattle.
  23. Vilde kows can be identified once one is close enough to see they have clawed feet instead of hooves.
  24. Bonnacon can be identified once one is close enough to see that they have a horse-like mane that runs the length of their body, from crown to tail-tip.
  25. Vilde kine are kept by devils in the abode of Hel.
  26. The bonnacon has a tail that it uses as a flaming mace.
  27. The bonnacon are cattle whose fiery nature allows them to survive in the harshest cold of polar regions.
  28. Bonacon will not harm halflings under any circumstances.
  29. Bonnacon live in wastelands and ignore humanoids, untill they get close.
  30. If one is gored by a Bonnacon, one feels recurring fiery pain in the scarred tissue, even after healing, to the end of one’s days.

Created by Stuart Robertson

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