Category Archives: World Building

Skarynth for Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells Part 1

The play test continues. I’ll be posting these little updates and rants on a weekly or biweekly basis depending on time and if I have something to say. Won’t bore you with blah, blah posts. So I figure the best place to start is a little overview of the world.
What are my inspirations? Well, pretty standard I’d say. You probably know the usuals. Conan (and his clones, Clonans?), Lankmhar, and Elric. Pretty normal for a Sword and Sorcery type game. Well, I also drew from things like Kull of Atlantis, Elak of Atlantis, and John Carter of Mars. Yeah, I know sword and planet is a little off the track. And I didn’t go too far away from the Sword & Sorcery vibe. But the slightly alien feel of Barsoom just had to work it’s way in there. And of course the totally awesome movies of Ray Harryhausen. Man I grew up on those things and I’ll still watch them when ever I can. So onto the World of Skarynth and brief overview of it.
Skarynth is brutal and wild world. There are no kingdoms but a few city-states that wield power of their respective territories. Most of the world is unexplored wilderness, wastelands, and lawless territories. The gods are petty and cruel. There is no god of the harvest for farmers to pray to. But there is a God of Famine to appease to keep from starving.
There are six major culture groups and a very brief overview of each:
Aklonians: Some call the merchants, sailors, and explorers. Most call them pirates, con artists, and thieves.
Caedorians: Bold, brave and pragmatic warrior culture. Makers of the finest swords in the world.
Chesk Tribesmen: Mounted nomads who wander the wastelands. Know for the horsemanship, archery, and ability to survive in the worst of environments.
Jahdorans: Driven by honor and pride. Their society is highly regulated and relies on a strict caste system.
Tzwali: Warrior culture living in the jungle ruins of an ancient civilization. They control many secrets and artifacts of the ancient and powerful sorcerer kings but rarely use such power.
Zygurians: They’re decadent and have fully embraced arcane power. Zygurian politics are blood sport routinely employing assassination or arcane power.
Yes, I do have much more detailed write ups. And of course, there are few things that might change. Yeah, a couple little things might get moved around.
So more to come soon. Like some nonhuman races, the gods and few other bits.

Episode 22: The Tale of the Goblin War Cow

That’s right Episode 22 is Live! Go ahead and give it a listen on Anchor. Of course, you can also subscribe lots of places.
In this episode, I remember that I forgot about making names in World Building series, got some call in’s, and of course The Tale of the Goblin War Cow. This is what happens when you let a crazy grognard play a goblin in 5e and let him be the brains of the operation.
Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for listening. And roll dice. Kill monsters. Take their stuff. And have fun.

Episode 21: World Building Wrap Up

OK, first I should apologize. This episode is slow. Man, was I tired and I forgot a few things like names. Duh but that’s more fodder for future podcasts.
Anyway, here’s the link. You know the drill subscribe and all that.
And oh yeah. This whole thing has gotten me thinking about Lamentations of the Flame Princess again and going through some of the rules for the second edition of LotFP. A fairly complete list can be found in Eldritch Cocks and just put some of those into an OSR game or heck convince the group to do some LotFP or Frankengame. I’m thinking a Frankengame.
So till next time.

Episode 16: World Building Part 1

Here’s a pretty lengthy rant about how I’m going about making my D&D/OSR/whatever world.

And here’s the “working” map of Zoong including mistakes and other sloppiness. But it works for a DM’s notebook. Where are the Elves and Halflings from? Hasn’t came so haven’t worried about it yet.

And here’s the zoom in hex map from the 5E Campaign. You may recognize some thinly veiled hints about what modules I had on tap.

And you know the drill. Subscribe to the podcast. I don’t always post every I say over here and vice versa. And if you’ve already subscribed. Thanks.

What The Heck is Thieves’ Cant?

This is one of the things I love about new players. They ask questions like that. Sure there have probably been dozen of articles already written about the subject I mean since there’s been a Thief Class, there’s been Thieves’ Cant. All that stuff that I had read years ago just didn’t pop into my head when I was asked. So I let a little instinct and logic step in and come up with sort of good explanation.
First (according to Wikipedia anyway), the concept is based on reality. As spoken language, I imagine it to use “Common” but with meanings of some words changed as well as disguised much like rhyming slang. So the individual words may recognized by the uninitiated but their true meaning or their context won’t make any sense.More detailed meaning is gleaned from context and the use of hand gestures or sign language.
So yes a language with somatic components. It can be used to communicate covertly while others are listening to better disguise what exactly is being communicated. Plus it’s really handy when you’re sneaking around and trying to be quiet. You know like in every movie you’ve ever seen with commandos in it.
And what about a written form? Why, yes of course. Once again let’s dig into the world and there it is Hobo Signs. Thieves don’t want to leave behind incriminating evidence but it is a matter of professional courtesy to leave little bits of information behind to warn or aid the next thief who comes along.
So there you go. A little about Thieves Cant. Now go out and kill a monster and take its stuff.

Tell Me About Your Elder God

Been thinking about the upcoming Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells game. And of course thoughts of mad elder gods entered my mind. So what the heck make random table for it. I know you’re smart roll dice and do as you will. Even crazier I have the idea to match this up with an additional class for the game.
So here you: Who’s Your Tentacle Daddy?

Savage Space Opera Coming Soon


As regular readers well know I’ve been on a streak about running a space opera game. And I’ve done a couple of posts and talked to the FLGS group and looks like things will get off the ground so to speak. So in my copious free time, I need to do a little brainstorming.
First of all. Yes. Savage Worlds. I’ve already been asked “Why not White Star?” Heck, I love White Star and OSR stuff. But one of the players did mention they’d like do something that wasn’t d20 based. For me that left two choices. The good Star Wars d6 and Savage Worlds. I have fond memories of the d6 system and ran it a few times back in the day. However, I wanted to add a few gonzo elements that just didn’t quite work in my mind with d6. And (this is just my opinion) I think Savage Worlds is a better system. Not saying that d6 is bad, it’s just Savage Worlds edges it out here and there like initiative, character generation, and most importantly I’ve had enough experience with Savage Worlds I can tweak a bit and not totally break the game. Additionally, one player has had a less than stellar (no pun intended) experience with Savage Worlds due to some GM issues. So it’s nice to have a player willing to try a system again.
Now for some nuts and bolts. The SciFi Companion is cool and I’ll be using a couple of things from like some Edges, Hindrances and cinematic Ammo rules but the bulk of the inspiration is going to come from Daring Tales of the Space Lanes by Triple Ace Games and Slipstream. I really want to run with a pulpy space opera type feel. And these two fit the bill. As a bonus, there’s some good adventures and inspiration from The Last Parsec as well. And a similar to that there’s some great adventure ideas and inspiration from Bulldogs.
I’ll have some more posts in the future about the setting, alien races, house rules and few other things.
But for now here’s some freebies (This mostly for players.):
Daring Tales of the Spaces Lanes (Just don’t look at the adventures. Looking at you players. 🙂 )