Random Freemasonic Title Generator

Oh, hey, finally some D&D content on Cirsova, amirite?

Last night, I had the idea for a freemasonic title generator.

[optional superlative] [adjective] [administrative title] [location east of Crete and south of the Black Sea]

Roll 1d8 on each of these tables to determine your poobah’s title!

Image

[disclaimer: this is just for fun. please do not report me to the Orient of Arkansas]

Also, be sure to check out our Kickstarter for Julian Hawthorne’s Strange Recollections of Martha Klemm!

The United Caveman Federation

Ringo Starr in Caveman 24x36 Poster at Amazon's Entertainment Collectibles  Store

If you’ve had a chance to back The Paths of Cormanor, you should read up on what’s going on in Jeffro’s Trollopolous game.

Jon has a pretty good brief overview at War in a Box.

Most of our gaming related feed can be found by following #UnitedCavemanFederation.

Jim Breyfogle’s The Paths of Cormanor Kickstarter Live!

LIVE NOW ON KICKSTARTER!

Amara smoothed her cloak of feathers. She and her sisters were going to dive for a prince today. The youngest prince, but a prince nonetheless, and she didn’t want to stand out because her feathers were out of place.

Amara is a young woman of Cormanor, a household whose womenfolk have the ability to transform into cormorants to fly and dive for fish. Kellen is the youngest prince of the realm,  a seventh son of a seventh son, and wishes to see these remarkable women for himself.  During the pageantry upon the lake, Amara’s cousin falls into the water and is spirited away by the Grimly, a malign creature of the elder world! Kellen braves both water and monster to rescue the boy. However the Grimly manages to trap the prince’s soul and mark him for death! Amara tracks the Grimly to her lair, slays the wicked beast, and restores life to the young prince… but a piece of Kellen’s soul is trapped within Amara!

The death of the sinister Grimly is just the beginning—Kellen must find the means to recover his missing piece of soul, while Amara and her family are haunted by the vengeful offspring of the monster she had slain! Kellen and Amara each must undertake their own harrowing journey, meeting delightful friends and dastardly foes, along the Paths of Cormanor!

Jim Breyfogle’s beautiful new novel of fantastical romance is inspired by Eastern and Northern European myth and fairytale and sure to delight readers of all ages.

Cirsova is excited to bring you this new original property by Jim, showcasing some of his finest writing!

“D&D is Lord of the Rings: the Game”

Every once in awhile, you get someone who comes along and insists that despite all of the evidence to the contrary, Dungeons & Dragons is nothing more than Lord of the Rings: the Game–everything that is not taken from Tolkien is just window dressing that Gygax added because he was sued by Tolkien’s publisher to distract from the fact that D&D is just Lord of the Rings.

To these people, challenging this notion that Tolkien is the be-all, end-all of Dungeons & Dragons and “the basis of all fantasy” is the same as hating the man and denigrating his works.

It’s so very tiresome…

But what if D&D were “just” Lord of the Rings? How much of the window dressing would you have to strip away?

Well, we’ll start with the PCs:

Hobbits and Dwarves are in, naturally. I think we can keep them without any real changes.

Fighters? Yes! Fighters are very much a hallmark of Lord of the Rings, and you don’t see them in very many other fantasy works.

We’re off to a great start!

Now, Wizards and Magic Users… are out, because Wizards are actually a race and there are only like five of them, and they don’t really cast spells from the spell list. So, uh… NPC Wizards only.

Elves: this should be easy! I mean, we’ll have to give them all 6-12″ in extra height, but that’s no problem! But they’re all fighters except for the NPC elven kings and queens who have access to very subtle magics.

Thieves: these guys are pretty universal, but I don’t recall a lot of traps or locks that needed dealing with in Lord of the Rings.

Clerics are right out because there was no organized religion in Middle Earth since the second age, and there aren’t that many undead to turn, and since nobody has magic except for the Maiar and the eldest of the Elves, no humans, dwarves, or hobbits could be clerics. Maybe give 1st level cleric spells to NPC elven kings? Oof, this is starting to get not very D&D-like!

You’d probably have to roll Ranger’s woodcraft abilities into some kind of non-magic proficiencies, and without religion, no Paladins, either…

Um… let’s go to monsters! Maybe we’ll do better there!

  • Goblins – check
  • Orcs – check
  • Nazgul – check
  • Wights – check
  • Balrogs -check
  • Ents – Check
  • Wolves/Wargs – check
  • Giant Spiders – check
  • Trolls – well, they’re radically different from D&D trolls, but we’ll call this check
  • Dragons – no check…? There’s only one dragon left in the Third Age and if you’re playing a “Serious” Lord of the Rings game, he’ll probably have plot armor. You might find more if you play in a First or Second Age game, but that’s not “Lord of the Rings” is it?

Okay, you’ve got a decent basic monster list, but you’ll probably have to leave out the overwhelming majority of monsters D&D is best known for if you’re going to go with “D&D is just Lord of the Rings.”

Appendix N and Atomic Rayguns in D&D

There’s always a bit of a discussion on just how gonzo D&D should be and those “weird” modules that had rayguns in them.

How can you have rayguns in D&D? It doesn’t make sense! Why would there be swords and magic and ALSO rayguns!? It’s just not supported!

Except it totally is.

Chieftain of Andor by Andrew J. Offutt

I’ve been reading an Andrew. J. Offutt novel, Chieftain of Andor [hat tip to Schuyler Hernstrom], which features stone age atomic death rays.

The setting is a Sword & Planet world where there are explicitly no firearms [lack of saltpeter is cited], primitive swords are the weapon of choice for most civilized peoples, and sorcery is real [‘A does not necessarily equal A’]. Yet the hero ends up with an atomic death ray. How?

Two races of mermen live in the caverns underneath a mountain composed in part of a radioactive mineral. The blind albino mermen in the upper part of the mountain have devised a weapon: a small obsidian mirror-box that contains a tiny chunk of highly radioactive material. There’s a door flap that is opened by pulling on a simple trigger. Whatever is in front of the box gets Lou Slotined.

Of course construction of the device is always fatal to whomever harvests the rock and assembles it, so there are necessarily very few and they are only made when absolutely necessary.

The hero observes that in the hands of anyone else on the world other than the blind albino mermen who never leave their mountain, the device could lead to a devastating holocaust, and he’s reluctant to accept the one that is gifted to him for saving the beautiful blind albino mermaids from the chief of the not-blind albino mermen.

So, uh… yeah. If you need some sort of justification for why or how you might have death rays in your AD&D game where swords and wizardry are the words of the day, you need look no further than Appendix N.

Playing Around With HeroForge – Mongoose and Meerkat Minis

One of the things we did with our Mongoose and Meerkat project with Jim Breyfogle was create D&D stats for a few of the stories so they could be run for B/X.

Something I’d love to do for a future Kickstarter would be include some minis for Mangos and Kat. The idea had me playing around with HeroForge, which is a site that allows you to create custom one-off minis for tabletop.

The only problem is that HeroForge DOES NOT allow commercial licensing, so even if I made some awesome minis using their tools, we wouldn’t be able to offer them as part of a Kickstarter or anything else.

That didn’t stop me from coming up with these as sort of a ‘proof of concept’ based on Dark Filly’s designs. If we’re able to, in the future, we’ll have Filly do some model art and get a 3D modeler to make us some 3D models for real minis. In the meantime, I thought these were kinda cool.

Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat Volume 1: Pursuit Without Asking, by Jim Breyfogle, is out now on Amazon!

Already read Tales volume 1? The adventure continues in The Golden Pearl, in the Spring issue of Cirsova, out now!

Hunt of the Mine Worm will be out in December in our winter issue.

…and Almost Finished with Game Content!

I spent a pretty good chunk of the evening working on bonus content for Mongoose & Meerkat!

The result is roughly 3,000 words of gaming content, including:

  • How to drop the Battlefield of Keres into your hexcrawl map
  • Suggestions on how to run a short adventure based on Brandy & Dye
  • Scenario for Sword of the Mongoose
  • Encounters in Terzol
  • Statblocks for monsters and encounters, ranging from the Hands of the Bursa and the Terzoli Remnants to Isak Yan and his undead to  Keres’s magical anomalies
  • Much much more!

I’ll be putting the finishing touches on it soon then will be running it by Jim Breyfogle for approval.

Once he gives it the OK, it will be added to the Appendix of the hardcover.

In fact, we’ll be adding all of the bonus material to the hardcover [except for the list of backer names, of course] this week, at which point the hardcover will be officially Almost DoneTM.

Once we have a page-count, we can do the layout for the hardcover’s dust-jacket.

No promises, but this could begin fulfilling by as early as June!

6 x 9 cover

Mongoose and Meerkat Author, Jim Breyfogle, on Geek Gab with Daddy Warpig and Dorrinal

Cirsova author Jim Breyfogle was on Geek Gab over the weekend, talking about the Mongoose & Meerkat project and other fun stuff.

Check it out!  And once you do, be sure to back the kickstarter today!

We’ve met our $2k goal and are well on our way to meeting our initial $3k stretch goal to create gaming content based on these adventures.

Mongoose and Meerkat Volume 1 Kickstarter is Live!

The Kickstarter is live for Jim Breyfogle’s Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat: Volume 1 – Pursuit Without Asking!

This volume collects Kat and Mangos’ first five adventures with illustrations by the incredibly talented DarkFilly and is available in four formats:
  • Digital – Some people love digital and prefer that to the weight and warmth of a book in their hands; we aim to please all of our readers, so this one’s for you!
  • Pocket Paperback – Our buddy JD Cowan recently observed that publishers cutting out the pocket paperback format drastically changed the writing landscape for the worse, and he opined the days of the pocket paperback.  Well, we’re bringing the pocket paperback… back, exclusive for this Kickstarter! Get the pocket paperback edition at a pocket paperback price.
  • Trade Paperback – This is your standard 6 x 9 trade format book. Solid, robust, and standard. This edition will remain in print and be available through retailers, but you’ll get yours ahead of everyone else! It’ll look nice on the shelf with other contemporary Trade Paperbacks, such as our Duel Visions anthology from last year!
  • Deluxe Hardback – If you’ve ever bought one of our hardcovers, you know how nice Cirsova Publishing’s hardbacks are. This will be a gorgeous deluxe edition that will not only include all five Mongoose & Meerkat stories and the all new novelette, it will include an appendix of unused art and sketches, TTRPG character sheets for Kat and Mangos, a listing of all backers, plus any bonus content unlocked!
This volume features…
  • The Battlefield of Keres – An ill-conceived bet brings Mangos and his new companion Kat to a vast no man’s land full of relics and magical anomalies in search of a fabled helm!
  • Brandy and Dye – High atop rock spires, above the breeze from the Devil’s Arse, men toil to collect the valuable guano of the Minix bird for Royal Dye, but when the production is threatened by distillers at dizzying heights, the dyers hire Mangos & Kat to bust a few heads!
  • The Sword of the Mongoose – When a shady merchant loses a bet with Mangos, he has nothing to pay with but the story of where a masterwork blade may be found! Can Mangos reach his prize before other treasure hunters?
  • The Valley of Terzol – Kat and Mangos are hired to accompany an adventurer to the ruins of Terzol in search of a lost delivery: a thousand-year-old receipt offers a clue to either fabulous rewards or certain death!
  • The Burning Fish – Seeking out the fabled Burning Fish for a client, Mangos and Kat instead find a strange cult devoted to keeping a simple life and protecting the secret of the fish at any cost!
As a bonus, this collection will feature Deathwater, a never before published original novelette!

6 x 9 cover

 

Reminder that Frogs are Creepy and Spoopy and Turn Bogs into a Nightmare

Was walking my border collie last night by the boglands near the river. It was a horror-show of sounds with cheeps and peeps and under it all, cackling laughter. A menacing “HA HA Ha Ha ha…” from the murky dark behind the trees and tall grasses…

At one point, the trail goes straight into the bogs, and my border collie flipped out, all “nope nope nope, not gonna do it, evil goblins that way, let’s leave!”

Take a listen to some of these frog sounds, particularly the Coastal Plains Leopard Frog.

http://www.herpsofarkansas.com/?n=Frog.HomePage

File this post under “D&D inspiration”.