Religious Temperance as a quantified NPC descriptor

Religious Temperance (RT) measures a character's interest and involvement in a Religious Institution -- be it a small congregation dedicated to a particular deity or set of concepts, a worldwide cult, or a primitive folk-faith.

Measuring RT:

  1. Non-religious and disinterested
  2. Nominal affiliation with a Religious Institution
  3. Regular practitioner w/in a Religious Institution
  4. Avid membership and involvement w/in a Religious Institution
  5. Devoted functionary occupying post w/in a Religious Institution
  6. Zealot; possibly a priest or holy warrior

Each deity has its own requirements of its clerics or priests. For instance -- a jealous god would demand at least avid membership [RT: 4 to 6] from those who pray to it for spells. A more laid back kind of deity would be more liberal with its magic -- maybe even a guy with nominal affiliation could receive a boon now and then.

RT also indicates the likelihood that a character will succumb to certain Social Manias. Check the character's RT score with a d6 roll to determine whether he/she falls under the Mania's sway.

Example Manias:

Witch Hunt: The character's Institution is out for blood and targets its collective hate at a particular person(s), place(s) or thing(s). The character must roll greater than or equal to his/her RT on a d6 or be compelled to participate.

Weird Festival: The character's Institution is observing an important holy day with an ostentatious celebration, typically held outdoors. The character must roll greater than or equal to his/her RT on a d6 or be compelled to participate.

Ritual Sacrifice: The character's Institution is performing a sacrosanct murder and demands that all members attend and bear witness. The character must roll greater than or equal to his/her RT on a d6 or be compelled to participate.


What's Cookin'

  • TBA -- An adventure situation for LotFP with my Continental accomplice Gavin Norman. Something short, a silver plate bearing an assortment of appalling delights and beautiful grotesques. It will not transpire in the same world as DOLMENWOOD -- being grounded in the early Modern weird-Earth setting of other LotFP modules. I'm still going back and forth in my mind about what format/style the map will take.
  • DOLMENWOOD CHARACTER ARCHAICS -- A sourcebook of N/PC races/classes native to the DOLMENWOOD setting. With Gavin Norman, Matthew Adams (interior art) and Andrew Walter (cover art).
  • HOLMESIAN CAMPAIGN CYCLOPEDIA -- A glossary of info on Dr Holmes' home campaign(s) sourced from MAZE OF PERIL, his short stories in A&E and DRAGON and his non-fic work FANTASY ROLE PLAYING GAMES. It's going to be a free PDF and a low-priced POD offering. I'd like to do it in hardcover possibly. 
  • TBA -- A book of magic (possibly) with the author of the Chthonic Codex, Paolo Greco.


Underworld Lore | Passages from the Vermeil Cacodoxy

vermeil (adj.) "bright-red," late 14c., from Anglo-French and Old French vermail, "bright-red, scarlet, crimson" (11c. in Old French), from Late Latin vermiculus "a little worm," specifically, the cochineal insect from which crimson dyes were obtained (comparekermes), in classical Latin, "larva of an insect, grub, maggot," diminutive of vermis "worm." As a noun in English from 1590s.

cacodoxy (n.) late Greek kakodoxia heretical opinion, from Greek kak- cac- + -doxia (from doxa opinion, from dokein to seem). First known use in 1716.

A cryptical work that is part-grimoire, part-liminal-tunnel to a dismal sub-world called Riddle. The longer one spends mulling over the book's contents, the closer Riddle encroaches on the reader's reality -- until finally there is only Riddle-town, and Riddle-town is all that ever was.

The Cocodoxy's text is a patchwork of aphorisms, cabalistic formulae, unfinished sonnets in odd meter, unknown symbols and the sporadic appearance of pressed insects that are somehow exotic and yet deeply familiar to the percipient. Some passages seem to describe the reader's most fragmentary, half-obliterated memories in clinical detail. Other sections instill a profound and unidentifiable emotion that denudes the external world of its surface-reality and reveals the moist and undulant ghost-flesh that glistens beneath. This is the arrival of Riddle.

[More on this/ had to eject it from the head]


Underworld Lore | G+ Community

Click here to check out UL's new home on G+. You need not join to continue to contribute to the zine, but I figured this would be useful as an alternative way to access info about it and share new ideas.


PETTY GODS | Re-Revived!

Big ups to Richard LeBlanc at New Big Dragon! He has singlehandedly rescued the PG project from its vicissitudes. Click on the graphic above to read his official announcement. We're looking at a 300+ page tome, kids! Richard brings classy design skills, boundless energy and his own old school-styled artwork to this cyclopedia of godlings. 


We need more artwork to make this thing happen. If you've got the skills and the time and the divine inspiration, contact Richard post haste: pgart (at) newbigdragon (dot) com



CONTENTSculled from current image bank

All claims must be filed with your local compositor or pluted functionary. Void when inhibited. May contain traces of peanuts and chipmunk farts. Drink responsibly. 



KICKSTARTER | Assault on Fortress Moon

So this looks absolutely amazing:
A strategic tabletop wargame where retro scifi miniatures fight for control of the Moon! Will the Earth Forces conquer or be defeated!

The want is strong!


DOLMENWOOD | St. Cuthbert, His Colleagues

Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel is the combative deity of Wisdom, Dedication, and Zeal. Originally created for the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, he was later made part of the generic "core pantheon" for [3E]... Although St. Cuthbert quickly became widely known due to references made to him and his shrines in Gygax's short stories and articles, Pholtus would remain hidden inside Gygax's home campaign for the next decade.

"St. Cuthbert was more of a joke than otherwise. Consider the advocacy of pounding sense into someone's head by dint of blows from a club." -- E. GARY GYGAX

In Gygax's home campaign, followers of St. Cuthbert (LN) -- including some of the game's PCs -- served as a foil for the devotees of the sun-god Pholtus (LG). Pholtus' priesthood were strict monotheists that denied the existence of other deities. Cuthbertines, on the other hand, appear to have been portrayed as monolatrists.

Cuthbert is of course based on the historical Northumbrian saint of the same name. Although Cuthbert is typically described as a deity, his stature as a saint suggests that he serves a Christian-esque godhead in the manner of historical Christian saints or their Buddhist equivalents (see bodhisattva).

The setting Gavin Norman and I have been developing might be described as a sort of pseudo-folkloric early Middle Ages that includes the presence of a monotheistic, Medieval-esque Church dedicated to the "One True God" (or OTG for short). The idea here being that a referee could change all references to the OTG to the name of an analogous Lawful deity in his home campaign, if he chose to set the Dolmenwood there. Along with this Church business comes the presence of Saints who may be worshipped in the manner of Cuthbertism. Players can choose to be Clerics or traveling Friars (a class that will be included in the Dolmenwood Character Archaics) dedicated to a particular Saint who ultimately derives his/her power from the OTG. Shrines to various Saints are scattered throughout Dolmenwood's hexes as boons, hazards and oddities.

Being impartial, we have chosen to ground the followers of the OTG and their foils -- the Witches and Drunes who inhabit the depths of the Wood -- in a bedrock of morally gray terms. But the referee is entitled to treat them however he likes -- all three camps possess gruesome and admirable qualities in relatively equal amounts. By default, PCs would enter the game from the perspective of the world external to Dolmenwood, and so would have more in common with the Cuthbertines than the indigenous weirdos.

Some Saints known in Dolmenwood

St. Clewyd ["klood"]
St. Cuthbert
St. Hester of the Shepherd's Crook
St. Howarth


UNDERWORLD LORE | #5 Approacheth

Scrap Princess provided us with cover art (see below) for the next issue of UL. The focus this time is on hacking the Dungeon and discovering new uses for standard elements of the game. We're turning monsters into delectable treats and mining the campaign world's strata for esoteric minerals.

There's still time to come at me with article ideas. 
As ever, I am open to your weird genius, World.