Draconian Academe: A Background

Draconian Academe It is a citadel of robes and scrolls, of science and magic and murmuring bells. A draconian metropolis, bristling with spired academies and domed observatories. Whispering libraries, clinking laboratories, and muttering menageries rise at every turn. The city of Betik has for centuries stood as the arcane heart and intellectual jewel of the Eastern Dragon Empire. This sprawling capital of the “Province of the Book” is a...

Heroes of Nuria Natal: The Way of the Southlands

The Way of Nuria Natal Oh, the lands of Nuria Natal! Today, you bring us fantastic miscellany from the south. Where gods walk and men think it nothing to seek immortality. Where riches abound and fortunes are to be made in markets and in ancient tombs. Where the dead walk and the sun bakes. Nuria Natal is a land of wonders, whether you are a native or just passing through. Contained herein are options for characters who would explore Nuria...

Trapmaster: The Over-Under

The Over-Under Mira sighed as she slathered on the last of the warding gel. The opening looked quite dusty, and the gel was certain to pick it up as she squeezed through. Getting her clothes clean afterward would prove a bother…  No lock or handle graces the iron door slightly too small for the frame. Light from beyond leaks through a space of almost an inch between jamb and door around the entire perimeter, interrupted in five spots on...

Spenser & Sword: Mythical Items from Literature

Spenser & Sword Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene is one of the most important epic poems of the English language. Formed by six books of rhymed verses, it narrates the allegorical adventures of a group of knights embodying fundamental virtues like justice, temperance and so on. Like many other old poetic works depicting warriors and battles, it inspired and influenced fantasy writers and artists as well. The protagonists of The Faerie...

Out of the Frying Pan: Fugitive of Hammerfell

Fugitive of Hammerfell Encounters have consequences. Every slain bandit has friends who will want revenge, and every devil banished back to the Eleven Hells reports its failure to its Dark Lord. What happens when the PCs’ daring deeds come back to bite them? The following encounter chains are more than just random encounters. Each conflict flows organically into the next, sometimes without even giving the PCs a chance to catch their collective...

Deep Magic: Ring Magic Now Available

Deep Magic of the Dwarf Rings Since the dawn of the world, dwarven smiths have fashioned rings of surpassing beauty—but it is not for the sake of beauty alone that these rings are made. There is power in them, which can be unlocked by the wise. Ring magic practitioners channel their magic through these rune-etched metal bands, increasing the devastation wreaked upon their foes; and can even imbue them with spells that someone else can unleash...

Wastelander: A Background

Wastelander From the Pillars of Uxloon to the fields of Verrayne, from Flensing Gulch to the Silk Thicket, you have wandered countless leagues of the Western Wastes. You know its seasons, its savagery, and even some of its secrets all too well. Warped, decaying energies and dark memories of the trials of survival in that alien desolation linger, sometimes still displaying their influence on mind, body, and soul. The term “wastelander” refers to...

Trapmaster: The Woodpile

The Woodpile Reaching out to grab the handle of the axe, Mira sighed and thought to herself, “This is why I left the farm. I never did much enjoy morning chores…”  A 35-ft.-long tree trunk rests on the ground in the middle of a 15-ft.-by-55-ft. chamber, a whirring saw-blade spinning four feet above the felled timber. A woodbin just inside the door holds twelve split pieces of wood. A similar bin on the far side of the room...

Actual Play: Corpse Mound in “The Last of the Direwish”

What have we done? The following is a dramatic reenactment of actual play. The role of the corpse mound was played by the corpse mound from the Tome of Beasts. No actual players were harmed during this session, though both PCs and NPCs gave their lives. The half-orc Zazuk stared before the party as they exited the boundaries of the forest, looking at the devastation before him and feeling the weight of his soul crumbling beneath him. The party...

Magic & Munchausen: Mythical Items from Classical Literature

Magic & Munchausen The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe (1736-1794) is one of the most widely known examples of proto-fantasy. In the book, which narrates the astounding and weird deeds of the fictional German adventurer, we can find a lot of elements familiar to tabletop RPG players, including monsters, space travels, fantastic places, and, yes, magic weapons. Stats for two of them are provided below. The...

Midgard Notebook: Villains and Corruption

Villains and Corruption One of the great elements of Midgard since the earliest days has been its villains and cults. These draw their power partly from their magic and secrets but also from the flaws of each heroic race. In particular, cults and villains thrive because humans are especially susceptible to corruption, such as by devils, ancient shadows, and simple greed, fear, and wrath. That theme continues in the revised Midgard Campaign...

Heroes of Nuria Natal: Feats of the Southlands

Feats of Nuria Natal Oh, the lands of Nuria Natal! Today, you bring us dread feats of the forgotten sands. Where gods walk and men think it nothing to seek immortality. Where riches abound and fortunes are to be made in markets and in ancient tombs. Where the dead walk and the sun bakes. Nuria Natal is a land of wonders, whether you are a native or just passing through. Contained herein are options for characters who would explore Nuria Natal...

Out of the Frying Pan: Loyalty Beyond Death

Loyalty Beyond Death Encounters have consequences. Every slain bandit has friends who will want revenge, and every devil banished back to the Eleven Hells reports its failure to its Dark Lord. What happens when the PCs’ daring deeds come back to bite them? The following encounter chains are more than just random encounters. Each conflict flows organically into the next, sometimes without even giving the PCs a chance to catch their collective...

Trapmaster: The Hands of Time

The Hands of Time Mira cursed as a gobbet of molten iron landed on her shoulder. A partner would have made the riddle of the clock easy to bypass. As it was, her only course had been to spike the pendulum. She thought the sweat on her brow beaded from concentration as she picked the lock, but looking up, she realized it was from the heat of the iron spike that was now red hot and flexing under the pressure of the axe-shaped pendulum. Breaking...

Dirty Jobs: Parent

Parenthood Hervard the Steady was one of the greatest wizards of his time: a capable adventurer and a renowned university lecturer. Intelligence and perseverance made him a great wizard; generosity and patience made him a great teacher. And he had great talent for divination. Legend has it that on his last day of life at the age of 176, he informed his students that class would end early, handed them all their final grades, sat down at his...


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