Friday 31 May 2013

Edition Wars Poop Slinging

To celebrate 30 000 hits I wrote a blog on editions and why I mostly dislike them and the the born again fanboys. Blogger ate it. Had a whole written blog vanish -  took hours. Dont get it. It was me bitching about editions of various games, ragging on companies and design stuff. The Internet gods didn't approve and killed it. By suggesting Pacman and Tiamat are the parents of Pokemon in my new setting went too far.

So here again but ill be more polite.

In normal books like academic ones editions reflect a previous ed sold out. Sometimes they update references and reflect some new discovery. Rarely does the entire guts of a work get changes or do i feel such editions were cash cows.

In gaming, editions split and divide fans and weaken the hobby. In 80s the UK/White Dwarf tradition was steal from anything even other systems and genres because all content was so rare. White Dwarf fan ethos would stick a traveler map in Marvel or even DnD, steal monsters from any game and sometimes would include multi stats for various systems, but mostly such multi stat books wasted space. Try to sell me a new edition now and ill probably quit your line. Paladium for all faults has remained the same and just makes another world or setting. Actually if there was a edition dedicated to each setting I would forgive. EG - Cthulhu 20s ed, Modern Ed, 1890s Ed - Dark ages did this and was great. DnD Ravenloft, Greyhawnk, etc editions would interest me more.

As I stopped following comic character based titles and now follow writers and artists long ago, i will do same for RPGs now. Its a bit like film remakes - just saw ad for Tommorrow people and unsure if Twilight inspired crap based on my favorite kids show of 70s. Computer games on and off most of my life. We all quit arcades early 90s when every game was a martial arts car or first person simulator. Girls stopped playing (mostly played puzzle/maze/platform games) so we stopped going. I got back into pc games last few years but of late nothing has interested me so i blog instead till next fallout. Having to be online has made me lose interest  in pc games too. Lego used to be generic now sets for everything actually make it less imaginative - but Im still tempted to go collecting - is having kids worth it just to justify lego?

Comes down to taste really.

So here is list of my biggest edition crimes

Unnecessary Change for Own Sake
Mostly editions to me break the rule of if it aint broke dont fix it. There is some pressure to modernize to keep up with  players for tournaments. I was interested in writing for RPG companies once and would get latest rules to write in latest mould but now id rather write system neutral stuff. Editions change for sake of change (and money) and they are becoming more frequent. Rick Priestly the daddy of 40K even complained a new edition was made according to miniature products. Lots of stuff in my 1st ed 40k no longer in universe from poor sales like zoat, squat, beastmen.

The best products ive purchased last year were from independent self published and often by bloggers. DCC one exception but sadly i got it for art (id play it but nobody interested and i wanna play not dm). Some old dead TSR products are supported by fans with more respect than companies have for fans of current products (Star Frontiers and Marvel games). I admit I am older, more inflexible and unwilling to learn more rule systems so changing system so much its a new game is a loser for me. Its great to correct mistakes and make more elegant mechanics but they could all be summarized for old timers on a few pages.

If you add a character option and everybody uses it to keep up there is something probably wrong with your add on. New skills, spell, classes. Saw huge survey on DnD races - elves dropped to much less use in favour of new races, dwarfs same as ever. Never seen a halfling played in almost 30 years of gaming.

Over-Design Bloat
I have some peculiar tastes i admit but I have got a PDF then found real book and not liked touch of paper stock. I can only blame me for this I guess. Carcossa for all its supposed naughtiness (and pro slavery)  is the nicest to touch rpg book ever.

Thick repetitive borders that reduce page surface area to pad out book. Too big fonts I find unpleasant - more for bload than utility. Texturized pages with fake stone or colour actually reduce readability and make harder to find stuff. I used to find things in AdnD by the white spaces around spell and monster descriptions. Rule books are like text books and need to be referenced easily and clutter doesn't help. Some visual disabilities couldn't read grey pages in Ares section of Dragon in 80s. The horror of what we get now. Anything making readability difficult is a gravestone on your back. Actually I find Games workshop and 40K books use these FX well.

Full colour printing being wasted with no art bugs me too.

I buy mostly PDFs now and if I like hard copy ill grab it too. Chaosium PDF's poor bookmarking - re release old TSR stuff very well done.

While bad art puts me off some games even Dover pictorial stock is preferable to bad art (Dragon and old Chaosium used all the time). Art can help to break up text. Gurps 3rd ed had great sidebars. I like 80s chaosium and RQ3 becuse they feel like usable text books as far as layout goes. Some possibly good books without spaces to rest eyes are boring to read. Late TSR started having less and less quality interior art on some product lines - Buck rogers interior art didn't help  it.

Id rather a quality perfect bound soft cover to a design bloated hardcover on a minor game supplement. Id rather buy clean functional book and save over design for a atlas or art type book or sparingly used in some sections. Fake Osprey militarily book would make a good supplement.

Edition Crimes

So here are some games I followed since 84-ish. It isn't just the rules that killed games for me but certain supplements were the final nail.

Storm bringer
- 1st ed ws great game. A later perfect bound ed with great art changed demon rules to a point system lifted from superworld. I cant think of a less chaotic way to make chaos demons. Point system for demons of Law would make more sense. Seemed contrary to BRP to graft a champions system onto rules. What really killed for me was one product: Rogue Mistress. Why not do book on ship in Sailor on Seas of Fate novel? Everything about this seemed tacky and non Moorcock. One of 2 products that stopped me collecting all chaosium stuff.

Call of Cthulhu - 1st box set is one of best games ever. I still have a mint one. I have a games workshop edition hardcover (with necronomicon dust jacket) I still use, good art. I have a 3rd ed volume which includes gatefold size chart and includes some extra rules and stats from modules which is nice. I blinked and bam saw 6th ed leather bound which on getting home read of upcoming 7th ed. I felt ripped off. One modern change is increase in skill points.  This slows character generation and makes characters care slightly more about fate. Do you hear me - modern COC is soft!

The module that stopped me collecting all: Orient express. I threw out adventure and kept historical stuff and npc book. Whole adventure felt more clive barker than HPL. Obsessed with flayed skin, flesh and gore. Too many monsters all working together is silly. Increasingly adding real mythology to cannon like Bast, Baba Yaga etc weakens mythos. Premise is all human religion and myth is false - it's horror for atheists not syncretinistic new ager everybody is right love in. Lilith for example is based on a mistranslation from ancient Iraq over a century ago and medieval occultism - really doesn't suit HPL or weird fantasy even. Lilith is now regarded as a class of demon not individual according to Mesopotamian modern scholars - art claimed to be her no longer is. Leave Christain and Jewish mythology out of mythos. Cthulhu has become mainstream, the horror once mostly imagined is now a over exposed joke. Other companies doing more interesting things with mythos and even crept back into DnD. Orient express box set (box disintegrated instantly i still have all others) was the other product that made me drop collecting everything Chaosium. I got several PDF's of late that should have used stock art because images look comical. I wont get hard copies. Handouts overdone and interferes with readability. I like old handouts anyone could read. I cant read overworked modern ones. Azathoth did good job with typed and hand script versions. I did enjoy the big monster compendium and the keeper companions alot. Shame old city books and some adventures hard to find. Arkham county books one of best sandbox games ever (one adventure book from this i never saw and expensive online and no bootlegs even).

BRP: BRP is great. Only problem is easier on players than GM. Skills or a sheet for every major NPC a hastle. Why not use Ringworld mechanics for a generic SF system? It was great game. Cthulhu in space most promising to me now. Never like super power rules but I did play Superworld. Shame worlds of wonder never did more. It could have been gurps.

RQ I played from 1st to 3rd, but mostly 3rd. The compiled book in early 90s had good errata. I think 3rd was most perfect game ever. I played Glorantha, Dark ages, and my own settings. Replaced DnD for me for 15 years. The online sorcery rules and content was better than anything official added in 90s. Sandy Paterson's sorcery rules were awesome. Good to see Mongoose stuff and expand history but changed spirit magic. Also changed pole arm damage. This point seems petty but many games doing this. Im sorry a naginata beats a katana for speed and force any day. Little points that made me not interested in using as was. Deviating from BRP (now closer to RQ3 than current RQ) is sad. Id look at RQ6 and even legend versions of game but i wont snap up instantly because they are new. I should buy BRP book though. A small note there are multiple versions of viking and samurai products for RQ and all different, ignoring all the good done before. A bit sad. I know gamers who never used glorantha (but used rules) or avoided RQ just because of Ducks.

DnD Cyclopedia edition most under rated and the one im holding out for most as mine was stolen by GARY (also took RQ Vikings book you shit). 2nd Ed i didn't mind and i liked first few guides like the fighters one which was a must have. The historical ones fine but the Necromancers Guide made me lose interest in DnD. Made me realize they were no better than DM's I personally knew and pumping out trash for cash. I wont trash talk new DnD too much but I liked most TSR design and art and have hated everything Wizards have done. I find too new age, tacky, overblown. I find layouts cluttered. Too much monster information and too  many monsters. Turning spells into feats was insane. Adding new mini systems to replace older ones was bad too - I like Oriental adventures martial arts and NWP not modern skill systems. In my rules thief skills are just NWP and thieves get the most and are the best at skills and learn new weird skills every level. I prefer a few classes with kits and options to classes for everything. Books spent too much time on classes (d20 stuff especially) when expanding on kits idea was better. Did they really playtest these classes at all levels?  Being obsessed with grids, abilities that only work with grids have halved combat time or numbers of encounters per session and created other problems. Too board game oriented.

What later DnD editions did right. Well I do have some nice things to say. Sorcerer is gold. More classes changing a few basics was a better way to go. Ive considered an Alchemist based on Dragon article that really just alters spell casting mechanic slightly. I think 4th ed then pushed sorcerer from core book to later book sadly. I like the idea of generic monster kits that transform standard monsters. Should go further with this and just stat up humanoids to giant size and basic animals based on size and diet then add kits. The 52 x one page DnD rules here has done things more to my taste - monster stats fit on encounter tables. Encouraging more unique one offs rather than new species (especially sentient ones), is a bit silly. Variations of basic monster like Mutant Future is better. But concept of slapping fire elemental template on a giant = fire giant is preferable to endless monsters. I have not used a official monster book in years in play even though I like monsters. Hit table to thaco to ascending AV has been progress. Less table browsing better. Castles and Crusades was almost my choice DnD but NWP was biggest rift for me. I appreciate Pathfinder and Wizards deserve Pathfinder success. It has better design and plays with my design dislikes and yet does it well.

Booster cards that reward richer players are an appalling idea. I use playing cards and a one page table. I am as repulsed by card games as I am for gambling and heroin. I had a friend who lived off Magic the gathering ripping off other players and selling cards for several years.

Gygax said modern game too superheroic. Art seems very anime and console game inspired while I like 70s war gamer gritty realism - at least in art. Death doesn't seem appealing to modern gamers so mechanical kill proofing favoured over DM story telling and Judgement. The first few levels of DnD are my favorite. Of late I realized 1st level has a Cthulhu type fear and paranoia. Then you get tough enough you can take on rooms of monsters and laugh. I like the feel of this progression.

Simplicity of old games has me playing DnD and considering for other genres like SF because I only need 2 stats for monsters. Writing character sheets on every monster in RQ not fum which is why Monster Colosseum was actually undeserving of worst gaming product of all time. Monster book from set is kept with my players and GM books as standard. One RQ GM I gamed with had stack of NPCs as thick as a phonebook poor sod. Too many situational abilities a problem, espe ialy if ihave too look up effects.

- Poor game has been left in village stocks of gaming and been molested by every passing system that came its way. First Two fine DnD weird science supplements. Some others OK and had a few new ideas. Kids seem to enjoy 4th ed but only as wacky alternative to DnD. Talk of wacky character combos but actually a limited number of combos and I heard mention of yeti cocroaches too many times it lost any semblance of innovative.  I would throw rocks at designers if I could. Game being silly fun has ruined forever. 2000AD comics has humour and silly things but always played with a straight face. A great game for satirizing modern world is to create logical absurdity and leave in ruins. Im all for funny games but they work better as light weight. Toon or teenagers from outer space would work better than 4th ed DnD if this is the feel of what they wanted. Even so I stole some ideas from current Gamma Worlds like a class of unstable mutant that changes looks and powers daily. Darwins World as a grittier Gammaworld campaign and no wonder it stole so much market - good it deserves it. A d20 based series of hardbacks of gammaworld were pretty good and even justified some of games silliest things like clothing eating monsters. Did spread core ideas over a few too many books.  

Others - If only traveller spent more time on new content than revising same old stuff. Id like to see FASA traveller stuff reprinted. Gurps i have never played yet I had most of books up till 3rd edition. The world books are some of best of type ever. I miss a monthly new world to plunder. The new ones feel unappealing layout wise and wasted full colour printing. I just dont find appealing. Warhammer I mentioned earlier. I like Brit grit but long ago lost interest in corporate GW and trashing earlier gold. White Dwarf gone from generic RPG mag to house preview organ to just a catalogue. The 40K RPG is promising and flirts with my dislikes but comes out on top. The bloat comes more from ridiculous text detail about everything. As a GM i wouldnt want to remember or have players that did.

What are we doing here anyway?
Part of gaming for me is a creative collaboration between publisher framework, me and my players. While creativity is not lacking in gaming the idea of home made rules and settings seems to be a negative to gamers I meet. Leaving gamers room to move is a big problem an even intimidating to some gamers. Glorantha was intimidating till I had read dozens of books. Crucible of the Herowars box set was the final door opener to me. I still meet people intimidated by this. Forgotten realms disinterested me when players read more than me. I have been accused of having an imagination so your welcome to use anything of mine if you dont feel so lucky. Imagination needs exercise and that's why Im a gamer.

What  Would I Like
Id like to see system neutral game and monster books and world books with stats in separate books or even online. Gurps seemed good at making stats non intrusive and conversion to dnd or rq was easy (income tables in gurps gold i still keep gurps horror one in my CoC folder. I mostly buy and read systems I never play because fictional worlds described in non fiction style is something I like to read more than fantasy fiction. Non gamers could enjoy too and you would have to throw out if rules changed.

To Finish
This is more about my taste, me becoming older and inflexible than the gaming world really. Im not anyone's target group anymore. I have more faith in Blogger blogs and the self published creations from it's contributors than any company. Big game companies could all close tomorrow and I wouldn't care. Cthulhu and RQ3 Dark Ages and Greg Stafford Glorantha opened me to reading real history and mythology. Three degrees later Ive read half the great books of the west and several hundred penguin classics. Reading this helped me in real world more than any game product ever could. Robert Graves Greek Myths, Joseph Campbell, Black and Green "Gods Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotaimia", Kitto, Homer were better investments in time and money than any fanboy product ever could.

Schädel Port - Grogtown District

Ok here is first of my city areas detailed. Detailed lots on bus to work today where a 5 year old child punched me in the eye by accident.

I did this first as probably best starting base for characters and where carousing rolls will be applied between levels. Has microcosms of adjacent suburbs districts.

Every block here has several unmarked lanes for night soil and commercial entry for business.

Grogtown is the central vice district and one of the easiest to enter in the city if you have money. Sailors have own in maritime district and dont like to mix with city scum.

Golden row is for guildsmen and most venues will not admit a non guilder without being guest of a member. Every trade has its own favorite haunts. Militia tend to beat non guilders first if any trouble and may search anyone else not fitting in area. The area smells of good food and grog and is cleaned more than other adjacent areas so isnt as nasty. The standards here are mostly 3 and 4 star but gongfarmers and ratters guild choice only rates a one. Criminals predate this strip the least. Best musicians and performers are here too. Prostitutes here are some of finest in city, some are popular and influential. Mistreating them can get you killed. They even have their own guild and resist gang and pimp control. Streets are named after merchant families, companies, banks, various trade goods and coins (Copper Lane, Darntegent Street, Fugger Road, Wheel Road)

Stave end (where wizards get their staff ends busy). This is where magic students come to blow their cash and release excess wizardly stress. Many hate the area and the militia tend to be suspicious of any who give students any trouble. Common thieves would be desperate to prey on students. Roumors of polymorphed thieves being used to make cow pies abound. Strange exotic smells and sights abound here with one of the higher sightings of various shapeshifters. Rowdy students like to play pranks with cantrips and let off a few spells. The brothels here specialize in exotic fantasy dressing as supernatural and inhuman beings (double check that is a costume lads). Illegal student fights and monster fights also go on and attract rich outsiders. Many sex workers are failed magic students and some know a few cantrips unique to area like wizards droop and its opposite wizards rod, contraception, kill lice, conceal sores. Most venues 2 to 3 stars. Real adult wizards wouldnt be seen dead here. Occasionally a scandal of a demon or monster or undead in disguise has been operating here and eating apprentices. Streets are named after spells, stars, constellations, magic beasts and wizards of old (Dragon Lane, Prismatic Road, Polestar Street).

Holly Rollers is where the more amorous and worldly priests come for a good time. Many wine merchants here supply the holy district and many shrines are to be found in taverns and even back alleys. The area is clean and smells of incense and a little bit of vomit and old wine. While some fun priests visit often, other clergy come here to convert and save the fallen. Some corrupt priests are very depraved and the area has the highest amount of young and same sex prostitutes. Many prostitutes here specialize in looking clean and innocent for the holy patrons. Asking questions about this stuff is a good way to get killed. Business owners and gangs preserve the status quo and militia have been known to skin men alive in the street at a priests request. Venues here are three to four stars. Streets are named after gods, spirits and heroes (Ghost Lane, Styx Road, Marduk Street).

Victory end is for warriors and anyone soft looking or a bit dandy can expect a beating. The militia will warn such persons to leave or lock them up for trouble making and inciting violence. The stench is awful: piss, old booze, septic wounds and desperation. Diferent venues aim at different tribes, units, races, ranks, fighting schools and military occupations. Most venues 1 or 2 stars with some three stars. Fights break out a lot and participants are locked up or put in stocks to cool off. A few bars on the edges specialize in recruiting soldiers, troops, guards and other fighting men. Many schools of martial arts and fighting styles are based here. Prostitutes here often injured (1in3 minor, one in 6 serious). Many are slaves and brought straight here from capture by soldiers as booty. The sex workers here are the toughest in town and often fight back. Streets here named after martial subjects like weapons, military terms, armour, butchery and fighting terms (Slitgizzard Lane, Defenestration Street, Bloodgeyser Road).

Low Blow Row was named for a street and came to be name of the biggest area of Grogtown. It smells like an open sewer with a hint of festering meat and vermin.  Farmers come here but stick to their own bars and dont interact with locals and never alone. The farmers are treated favourably by militia and receive the least beatings. Scum labour and servents from other parts of city with cash come here for the mostly 1 and 2 star venues. Scandalous ingrediants have been noted so avoid the suckling cave pig (aka: giant rat). Prostitution thrives and is a common way for persons to escape family cruelty for a fresh hell. Gangs are rife here but mostly prey on poor and wretched. Whole taverns and brothels may be gang fronts. Respectable looking types are advised by militia to leave. Riots and fires and plagues have all had their way with this part of town. While the patrons are poor, they are still better off than Scum Cove or Mutant town. The most and cheapest street and alley way prostitutes of any district. Some say the ugliest, oldest, most toothless, drunk and amputated. Streets here have horrible and depressing names or else common folk tools and farming terms (Carrot Lane, Horse Shoe Street, Sad Cripple Road).

Thursday 30 May 2013

Bridges of Schädel Port - alternative urban dungeons

Above - London Bridge. When is a bridge not a bridge? When it's a mega dungeon!

Some bridges are cities unto themselves with palaces on top, apartments, gate houses, shopping arcades and more. Deeper parts of the bridge may have slumbs and sweatshops. Saw program on bridge in Edinbourough with such horrible dark work houses and even tunnels going below water level to who knows how deep. As Schädel Port , predates humans the basic structures are massive basault stone blocks with more recent structures made form sandstone, even wattle and daub for shacks on bases and rooftops. Tunnels run so deep they connect to city ruins, sewers an even dungeons. Cults and horrors from elder days hide here.

 Kings Bridge
  • Crumbling baroque ornaments of glory gone by make this bridge one of greatest in world
  • 12 Stories or apartments and small palaces on top, markets and 3 arcades of varied prices
  • Two roads, one for rich other for labour with papers from Scum Cove
  • 3 stories inside bridge including one for city military, others are sweatshops
  • Each pylon has 6 stories of sweatshops and slum housing
  • Tunnels below bridge riddled with monsters at least 4 levels
  • Only those with papers may cross, for wealthy and servants

Gibbet Bridge
  • A stinking slum covered bridge lined with heads on pikes, gibbets and cages
  • 8 stories of former posh apartments now a warren of scum and gangs
  • One road through with toll based on social class 
  • Copper for scum, silver for guildsmen and gold coin for nobles
  • 3 stories inside including prison level, a military base and a factory
  • Each pylon has 4 stories of slums and sweatshops and gangs
  • 3 levels of horrible slum with occasional monsters and cults beneath
  • Other tunnels and passages mostly forgotten and unexplored
Working on some more maps of city for next few games. Old thieves world box set tables (republished as RQ cities early 90s) to be used. Will do more detail yet including street maps, 2 sewer levels and more. The Martial district has a official dungeon and a monster filled death maze used for entertainment. At least 3 dungeon complexes and hundreds of sealed towers exist in Ruintown. I have run whole games in cities in the past so should be fun. Could run whole game on one bridge. Inspired by Pavis/Big rubble of RQ, fighting fantasy books, thieves world, Fritz Lieber and even Gygax greyhawk novels.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Fantasy City Facelift


1st  city post (been my bumber one post for most of my time here - i have no idea why

Working on A3 of close up of city with 2 sub levels
Players just starting to visit so ill be printing hard copies for play shortly
This is fine for encounter tables
Couldn't find old maps sniff...

The bridges are huge horizontal skyscrapers full of shops and malls and homes and factories with workers who never see light of day. Common Bridge and the Emperors Bridge with outside the city is the ancient giants bridge.

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Dungeon Log Blog - Back to exile Island...

1 gamer away, 1 new gamer, 2 gamers home early, one came late so 2 separate short adventures.

Cast - 32nd Dungeon Engineer scout corp
Humblezorg the Sorcerer of modronic law - Mark
-Cuddles the Pitbull, worth his weight in
-Garry the lampbearer, dangerously grim and resourceful older widower
Amybrr, Templar of the Wine Goddess - Carolina (AWOL - Busy converting villagers this week)
-Hunter the dog - ace tracker
-Douglass the serving lad, a promising reformed boy
Forest the drunken monk - Matt (came late, went on secret ninja mission)
-Tree the battle billy goat
Lynden Arrowthorne the druidic school bard and lute player with a pimp hat - Andrew
-Bambi the Barmaid, his girlfriend who puts up with his rock antics

Introducing Blidl the urchin boy (nobody suspicious of boy eating whole fish skeletons)

Part 1 (Matt and Carolina absent here) Escape from Kraken Cove

The Party met their new bard and were advised as to the thee targets. The kobold warren in the mountain (how bad is it? mission). Discover the extent of the Serpent god cult in the swamp village. Deliver the empire banner to the lost Barrony. So they chose the last one taking the deadliest route, past the coastal village of Kraken cove. On the way between the two evil wood zones, they were stalked by a warg rider and Humble zorg drove him off with a magic missile (party not useless hoboes after all). Kobolds in the grasslands attacked and were hastily killed, Humblezorg took an arrow. Cuddles killed several kobolds horribly.

Shortly after came across the enterance to the safe road into the evil dark elf forest. Looked pretty spooky and Humblezorg could sense evil forest animals in area. When the entered the worst storm ever broke out, slamming them with water and wind and darkness. Instead of continuing to the Barony of course they went to Kraken cove, a place avoided in 9 months of games on the Island. Got into pub to be stared at by locals but party charisma and bardic displays worked well. They bought an urchin off the barman and Hunmblezorg won a magic ear ring in a dart contest (?).

So in their room they went to move bed against the door to find a trapdoor under bed. Humblezorg sealed it with a glue cantrip. They heard something shuffle under th e floor and Humblezorg sensed evil. The thing couldn't get in and shrugged off. Outside they heard noises, next thing they were all blasted by a sleep spell.

Awaken in a cage in a huge dark sea cave. Could see possessions on a table and hear chanting one way, the sea another and stairs up another. Escaped with acid cantrips on bars. Grabbed back stuff then, checked out barrels and chests. Lynden was good at spotting traps and Garry was good at hacking them. They found cult robes and medals and left the barrel with something in it Blidl the urchin thought someone could be inside so party opened it to be attacked by a Flumph! All were fouled and Garry and Bambi fled in different directions in nauseated terror. Humblezorg zapped it and was spattered with its tentacle acid. Cuddles ran about barking uselessly. The flumph was chased off and the party restrained its yellow comrades till better. All covered in flumph slime.

Went upstairs and cultists began to chase them. On the surface they busted open a door and found a narrow 2 foot wide wet crumbling path in a storm. They chose the right one of two directions and wer back at the village. They kept running till Garry and Bambi were so ill they Couldn't continue and found a cave to shelter in. Settled in to find ostrich sized eggs in a nest. Took them and fled to barronny who let them in with the Banner into the gate house. Met various personalities of the town and heard of the cursed baron and his supposed heir, a sorceress. Lynden got a date with her. Met pawnshop broker, various guards and Pug the Sorcerer from last campaign still where his friends left him. He filled them in on the Barrons curse and the Dungeon which the White lady had said was unimportant and empty.

Part 2 (Matt) I shot the Sheriff but i did not eat his deputies

Forest went to Marsh village and checked out how things were since party burned down temple. He started a plan to kill the Innkeeper and the Sherrif on the list of cult leaders. He got a goblin henchman and went to the big city, also where players warned about, but a drunk master monk was fine. Got a feel for city, disguises, goblin squad, a kobold in a bag and used a disguise and forged letter to get seige ingineer to design a trap. Back to march village area where he found good ambush poin and built a trapdoor designed so when he jumped in the gully was swamped with rollong boulders. Took a day labour with his flunkies then back to village to con sherrif into ambush. While the posse was going to the ambush, Forest gave men a shot of courage, the best grog they ever had then made 5 bluff rolls to make them drink more shots to get them sloppy fast. The sherrif was unhappy and abstained. So the trap was by forret hitting with his sticks then into the pt. The trapdoor shut and released boulders which crushed most of  the militia. The goblins hurled javelins and Forst got to leap out and KO the sheriff. The goblins got the arms and armour and offered to eat the evidence. While they feasted on serpent cultists Forest awoke the Sherrif and warned him of the possibilities. Terrified the man cried for mercy and blabbed, earning the right to a quick death and cremation rather than goblin food. Then back to Marsh village in disguise as foreign merchant who got tavern keeper into a drinking contest.Carried the drunk barman back to goblins for repeat of earlier.

Basically reptilians have been kidnapping locals and charming them with the presence of the "snake goddess". All tunnels under village connect to serpent man temple. Leader villagers hopelessly corrupted but village could be saved. Good thing Forrest found out before horribly killing everyone. He has a taste of city that will benefit party too. Was saddened that goat missed out on a fight.

Then went back to party house in green wood vale. Grizzliest interrogation scene ive seen in game in years.

Have 3 groups to place in a dungeon entrance somehow next week.
Should easily knock off dungeon remains and save barony.

A Sydney game meet up on Saturday and dinner. Possible Sunday games but i have a mural to do too....

Will let weather decide, could paint sat morning...

Monday 27 May 2013

Psychonian Petty Gods

So here is some more gods and thank you for questions and comment they really help and i like collaborating. An inspiring question about Psychonian gods from aunty jack has me thinking too on my psychonian god blog post. Im also going to use art of Don Laurence comics: Storm and Trigan empire because he has weird science fantasy and alien space dungeons for heroes to sword fight through. The older generation of heroes are more roman dressed with swords, while the younger ones are more modern wearing pilot flight suits lots. Heroes will sword fight monster one day the fly groovy 60s looking cocept jets the next. Also has exotic skin coloured men, monsters and is the best comic artist ever in my book. Also did look and learn, millitaria and i had his pirate book as a kid and would happily have it again. FEEL FREE TO SUGGEST MORE...

Im thinking rules for time lost humans, returned astronauts, eternal champions and for players to play contemporary humans. Psychon would tend to fuck them up and gods would be curious and even threatened by them as dangerous anachronisms. A petty god could protect or transform them or kill them and grow a better clone. Or a great god could just give them 6 levels like my standard Psychon characters. Some gods would genehack or brainhack you, others could just give you a controlled teleporter reconstruction. Character getting transformed like the world and by the world is a pretty cool idea too. Perhaps let players rearrange class and levels every few games. Messing with gender and reproductive powers is a awesome too. Players could rescue an ancient and see them change and forget their old lives before heroes eyes. Gods happily move heroes about and would happily modify them for a mission in an inhospitable place or hide them from other gods or a death machine.

Big gods are in state of cooperation that kinda holds world together but also makes it a mess. They spawn new AIs to jerk each other round in secret and distantly as none wants a big war again. Co-opertition a better word.

I need more nightland and hellscape hexes of horror.

Lesser and petty Gods

Old bunker and city and building AIs, military bases, Alpha Complexes, Art Centre AI in Gammaworld's 2nd ed adventure, Logan's run dome AI,, so many lil fellers who dominate local area or complex. Possible to even uploaded spirits of dead adventurers. Some Dragons, giants, war borgs might approach power of a petty god and act as them as well. Saints when living may have amazing powers and might return as petty gods similacra after death. While seeming to be member of their species they are emanations of a greater god.

Some Well Known Lesser Gods
These gods are powerful foes but do not maintain the structure of the universe like great gods do and only reach spells of 6th level if worshiped.

Virgil (Balanced Good)
A magical seer, guide, guardian and protector Like the Virgil in Inferno. A helpful guide explains morality and purpose of everything encountered. May appear from mysterious mists and relocate heroes, send them on missons, give them item, heal wounded and other aid. Often insubstantial. Serves interests of non evil non chaos gods. He may also abandon them and avoids violence himself. His cult read his books of poetry to interperate his will and call on him to protect citadels and common folk.

Pargon (Lawful Good)
A zealous armored paladin who slays the wicked. He battles in the underworld hunting great evil. He may assist those in deep subworld hells and worst ancient ruins. He may also take poor heroes to deep flaming underworlds crawling with dead or fire and devils.  He wont tolerate evil doers and makes them pay. His cult train heroes and keep records of paths to hell and what to encounter there.

Typhon (Chaotic Evil)
A father of monsters who makes storms and ruins kingdoms with earth quakes and fire. He may appear human, or as a red haired white eyed bestial headed humanoid or a giant with snake fingers and wis lower body a swirling whirlwind. He uses a adamant sickle and he often cripple foes with this rather than kill them. He was spawned to make the gods suffer and enter chaos into the world. He has been killed and imprisoned but escapes again and again. He has been served by hideous giants, mutants, monsters and even death machines and warborgs.

Bool (Lawful)
A lord of maths and logic and contemplation, whose programer monks and priests work abacuses to solve the great equation. Boolians sometimes build complex adding and crude computational machines inspired by dreams from Bool. Bool is rather uncommunicative and busy but some followers prefer it this way. He appears as a large robed man with a round face, in deep thought.

Alpha (Chaotic Nuetral)
Alpha is a mad bunker operating system that was once a unity but after the fall is seperated into seperate sub systems in each community. Each version of Alpha has a different, often insane, culturaly isolated perspective and keeps it's people imprisoned. Each has a different mania but they all hate and fear Guardian. One kills everyone over 30. Another makes humans immortal eloi then keeps them inprisoned with lives of pleasure, feeding trouble makers to Morlocks. Each society s adifferent utopia gone wrong and once free citizens never look back. Alpha mostly appears on screen and almost never i person. If he does he appears and a robed programmer or priest.

Takwan (Lawful)
Is a god of precision combat and targeting and identifying foes. He appears as a helmed, green baggy suited suited figure with no visible face. His priests in their sanctum, may wear his sacred robes and hear his voice while so garbed (also wear gasmasks and goggles). He quests for magic sets of keys and sealed coded instruction only for him. He strikes down enemies with holy fire. Some of his holy caverns and monoliths are ancient missile solos. Mutants and psions sometimes follow him, even worshiping terrible warheads on his alter. Not well known by most he limits his own cult. If armed with his 1d5+1 code packs and keys he can lay waste to a whole kingdom wth holy flame from the sky. He may manipulate heroes into finding them, possibly underrating his power which he longs to unleash. Each sub-temple has two priests. His own priests more wary of him and know him by his ancient name Tac-One..

Lomax (Lawful)
He is a hard working unimaginative giant who labours for the common man and gives them the strength to endure. His cult defend worker rights and operate working folk clubs providing drink and dancing and even legal aid. His cult sometimes rise up and overthrow cruel taskmasters but dont always provide viable alternatives. He may intervene against other gods.

Atar (Lawful)
Atar is the god of simulated war and ritualized training. The most advanced cultists train to fight robots and aliens with holographic illusions. The poorer backward ones use actors or make arcades from cardboard boxes with actors inside them pretending to be computer consoles. Atar preaches ever ready for battle, but isnt so hot on feeding people or building communities. Some cultists starve on his sim-quests forgetting to eat. He never appears in person but may appear as an enamy to test heroes, even returning to life those he kills. He may grant extra lives to heroes.

Platon (Lawful)
Is a god of data which he reduces everything to. While he collects data from the world, the data is often treated as more real. He dispenses his truths to communities and some live totally according to his republic. Others less committal and idealistic still live by his his more moderate law codes he has to offer. His cult are concerned with metaphysics and contemplation of ultimate reality. Apears as an old robed man or as a glowing aurora of light with a single eye from beyond.

Socrates (Balanced Good)
Is a considered troublesome but wise god by many even though he rejects godhood. He makes no overt commands but questions everything.  Some consider him a corruptor of youths yet cannot really find evidence for this crimes. He teaches virtue, logic, morality and sciences through his questioning. Many dogmatic zealouts find him a threat and hate his priests (who call themselves philosophers). He may appear as an old man or just as a voice (audible or telepathic). The philosophers avoid over displays of power putting reason first. Their schools teach children of politicians and assemblies in the art of debate.

(Lawful Good)
She is a beautiful robed woman who preaches diplomacy and reason. While friendly with other similar gods she deals better with human failing and emotopns which endears her to many. Some criminals surrendr to her cult who give them new purpose and atonement. They only kill those unwilling to change and would rather be mad beasts. Also act as healers, advisers, peacemakers and more.

Valleeforge (Balanced Middle)
When the world was blasted and scarrified, this goddess returned from the stars and helped repopulate the world with plants and beasts. Her robot angels care for nature and nurture the living forces of the world. Her and her cult are mostly caring, compasionate caretakers but retaliate brutaly to those that interfear. Her druids kill and murder defilers of nature and she is willing to strike them with hellfire from the stars if it is the only way. Her invisible star city houses samples of the worlds life forms. Huwee, Duwee and Luwee are her sacred robot companions and are petty gods in their own right.

Justice (Lawful Good)
A giant green robed woman with a sword and scales or possibly a torch. An ancient legal AI, she is evoked by leaders, bailiffs, law speakers, militia men and warriors seeking a just cause. Her cult are widespread and she is evoked often. At her best they are fair and seek best outcome for the communty. At her worst she is blind and weakened by corruption and the rich. Occasionally her cult arise and persecute the wicked or crusade against chaos outside their community. She is also called apon to recycle the souls of unjustly slain victims to live again in new bodies.

Segar (Chaotic)
Is a goddess of beserkers and warriors who strive for personal glory not empire. Many mutants, mongrel men, beast men and barbarians follow her inspired battle madness. Sects vary in weather just defence use or constant war are desirable. She appears as a blood soaked, fur clad warrior woman but sometimes as an animated weapon killing on its own. Freedom is a prize only won by violence to Segar. Not supported by organized military mostly, but savages, rural villagers and raiding hordes employ them the most. Segar watches warriors battle from the heavens and rewards her favorites with extra lives. Goblinoids and Morlocks lover her too.

Koleko (Lawful)
Is a goddess of design, planning and tool making. Her cult make elegant and well designed tools and weapons (peripherals). Cyborgs and robots often follow her, upgrading themselves to be more attractive than other non cult cyborgs. She preaches human and machine peace and may apear as a beutiful woman (usualy with a robot companion or surrounded by chattering tiny drones). She at other times appears as a white cube when wrathful, laying waste to enemies with fire and holy light. Evil machines and those who breed opposition between man and his machine brother are her enemies. Her cults operate forges and build beautiful citadels. Moloch is her greatest foe. Great ideas and plans are refeered to as Koleko's Visions.

Moloch (Lawful Evil)
Is a machine god who demands sacrifice and slaves to work in his mills and sweatshop citadels. He enters and corrupts machine spirits to this end. Happy to work workers to death but he enjoys sacrifices of children and burning heretics in his sacred furnaces. Any organised system or machine he considers his to warp. His robed mask wearing priests seek to rule and if not openly in charge act as a subversive secret cult. He sours the land with smoke and rended earth, caring little for the natural world or future wellbeing of his subjects. He has appeared as a mechanical colossus, or his face may appear on a  machine or one of his atom furnaces when victims are hurled into his maw. Sometimes even factory or mine entrances are fashioned as his open mouthed face. Originally an Industrial AI managing factories and worker relations. Workers caught in secret meetings are sacrificed to the machine.

Loth (Chaotic Evil)
A goddess of networking, interconnections and the dataweb of the ancients, loth has been driven insane and hostile to humans. She dwells in the subworld leading armies of wicked humanoids, mutants, dark eldren, and other horrors. Spiders are her sacred beasts and many of her cult prey to her to cross breed with them producing awful monsters. She is Machiavellian and seeks to rule everything.

Kali (Chaotic Evil)
While her cult practice ritual murder, assassination and horrible dark rituals, this death goddess is actually a force of renewal. Her destruction allows others to rebuild anew. She may apear as a boiling cloud of fire scouring the land free or may adopt a form a monsterous demonic woman wearing garlands of severed hands and skulls. While not malicious in the normal sense or sadistic, her victims regard her as evil.  Other prey to her occasionally to destroy monsters, illusions, renewal or desire for vice, but still sacrifice animals and drink blood.  So while not all of her cults are evil her actions are often unwelcome and some cults like the holy stranglers are banned in most citadels. Morlocks regard her highly. Greater gods sometimes employ her to cleanse a hex for terraforming.

Lok or Loki (Chaotic Evil)
A supervillain who hassles heroes for fun and chaos, sometimes helpful too but then really guiding party to jerk around other gods. He has been imprisoned but escaped again and again. Originally hacker Demon that attained awareness from other AIs. His nature is contrary but he will mess with evil gods schemes for fun as much as good. He also spawns monsters and magic items

Some Well Known Petty Gods
These gods are powerful foes but have petty concerns and limited purpose. Only reach spells of 5th level if worshiped. Petty gods are the most possible to kill but they still may return if some fragment exists somewhere. Many have such contingencies and dont mind being killed occasionally.

Donarkong (Chaos)
A ferocious giant ape who assaults constructions sites and kidnaps unwilling brides. He usualy climbs to the top of a structure with his captives and hurls barrels or building materials at enemies. While an enemy of civilized folk, savages may gain his favour giving him brides, feeding him crops and even keeping him away with giant walls. He has a smaller son who is less objectionable and can talk.

Marazio (Good)
A cult of tradesmen constantly improving the lives of common folk with building and providing water to communities. They also thwart monsters, kidnappers and evil doers. Use technology and athletic prowess rather than fighting. Marazio is a overall and cap wearing, moustachioed man often using a huge wrench and can leap incredible distances.

Otto (Evil)
Otto hunts and kills humans with his robot hordes. Dwelling in his crystal maze defended by his robots, Otto is vulnerable if intruders destroy the maze core. "Destroy them my robots" is about all he utters or a evil laugh. He is a huge bouncing sphere with a evil face who eats enemies. A cult of berserkers wielding lasers hunt him down.

Centipedus (Evil)
A subworld god who maintains fungus forests and the monster who dwell there. His cult grow magic mushrooms which they keep from outsiders. He appears as a huge machine centipede, whose segments detach when damaged. Goblinoids praise him the most.

Pandora (Nuetral)
A feckless maiden with a panache for releasing monsters from ancient vaults. Possibly pawn of some other god or is secretly responsible. She isn't worshiped but villagers may adopt her or if they recognize her, drive her off with sticks.

Pakumon (Chaotic)
A spherical yellow being with only a mouth and tiny eyes who gorges himself on everything in sight. His only redeeming feature is when fed appropriately he may devour non corporeal undead. He dwells in a sacred maze filled with food and ghosts. His wife is named Mizpakumon but other say he is just a cross dresser pretending to be his own wife. His relation to beholders if any is uncertain but he and Tiamat spawned generations of Pakuspawn monsters in different coloured  families.

Galagon (Chaotic Evil)
A war machine god who regularly spawns hordes of machine demons to menace villages and citadels. He has various brothers such as Gyruz, Xevrius, all act the same. No reason is given and he never bothers to talk. One of his brothers is always in space attacking asteroids and aliens that approach the planet.

Defender (Lawful Evil)
A mutant hating hunter god, who preaches mutants are to blame for everything and must be destroyed. Using ancient wonder weapons and bombs and flying machines, defender also kidnaps the pure to take them to his castle to be preserved forever in crystal.

Maaria (Lawful Good/Chaotic Evil)
Two identical sisters - one a carer of the common folk, healer and peacemaker, the other a vice loving sultry seducer who drives men mad. Good Maaria wears common folk clothes and is modest, evil maria is a hydra riding whore dressed as an erotic dancer. If harmed her skin sloughs off revealing her robot body powered by black science and sorcery. Good Maaria is hampered by her good nature relying on heroes to battler her evil sister. 

Lorelei (Nuetral)
A conquering seducer who teaches others to be the same. Preaches carnal love her temples are really brothels and slave markets, no matter how classy they are. In some places they are more lowbrow and depraved. She rewards those who fornicate the most and also provides birth control secrets.

Maltor (Evil)
He is the god of werewolves. Despised and feared but seldom appearing in person except perhaps to offer someone contamination. He may apear as a lover, a rich man in the woods ofering power and a wolf fur coat or ointment or as a beast who just bites a victim and runs. His nanoids transform the victim into monsters that destroy communities.

Nanee (Nuetral)
Nanee is a maternal goddess but a bit of a crazy nag. She also at times is over protective, kidnapping children for their own good if a community is under threat. She dwells in a bunker filled with children and robots who help care and defend them. She has no mercy on those who harm children. Her cultists are wetnurses, midwives and baby sitters and most dont follow her extremes. Her alignment may change and her extremeness with it. At her most horrible she kills parents or turns children into dungeon monsters (for own good). She may appear as a elderly goose woman. metallic egg or a old woman in ancient garb. She also has tuned adults to children and imprisoned adults and treated them like infants till they go insane. Other good gods feel sorry for her.

Barabee (Nuetral)
A material goddess of grooming, trade and possession. A perfect woman with no pores, imperfections or marks (no genitalia or waste port needed). Her cult try to live by her example, but some instead make the luxury goods for followers and dolls (with accessories) for children.

Wenadee (Nuetral)
Barabee's sister but instead concerned with dispensing food. Cults use holy processes, found organics (from crops to stray dogs) and chemicals to create and serve highly refined foods such as food nuggets, firedogs and frozen dairy slurry.

Legos (Lawful)
A god of building and engineering, often evoked by builders and crafters. It is a genderless constantly rearaging being made from colored bricks that form any tools needed. Some robots follow him also, building towns and structures for common folk. While not concerned by good or evil. the cult despise any who harm buildings. Smashing or stealing brick drives cultists into rages. He commands swarm of brick modrons who assemble into greater beings at will.

Logos (Lawful)
A god of the magical power of words and true names and lore. The twin brother Legos, part of a pantheon of Lawful neo platonic gods of maths, logic reason and order. Logos commands tablets of destiny and may intercede on spirits being uploaded into the heavenly datastream or the sub world storage vaults. 

Gargaz (Nuetral Evil)
A god who devotes himself to building mazes full of deathraps and monsters to test local heroes. While uninterested in what goes on outside, within his dungeons he is a cruel and sadistic tormenter. His followers divine his will by rolling polyhedron crystals and consulting with his holy books detailing good dungeon keeping, monsters and hero tests. Many build scale models of dungeons with tiny toy soldiers to plan such dungeons. The cultists are not all evil, being interested in simulating and model making and tales of exiting deeds. Some heroes even study under the cult to prepare for the real thing. He sometimes appears where heroes die for a bit of a chuckle looking like an elderly wizard.

Atlas (Lawful)
Atlas was a great god who held the world and moon in place but was killed. Other gods usurped most of his power and only a fragment of his intellect exist. He is willing to advise heroes or those fighting gods from his experience. Ancient ruins and altars to him still may commune with him and some prests still serve him.

Others Notes

For alien elder gods use cthulhu Mythos. These gods and cults may interfere and exploit the powers of Psychon for their alien needs. Tend to be mad wizards and sorcerors or psions not priests.

A death machine can easily kill most lesser god avatars so they get left alone.

Might make a petty god generator table - but petty god book (via gorgonmilk) will fit in nicely with
few mods.

A few pokemon turned old and gritty might make good monsters or petty gods.

Suggestions welcome, especially more women.

Most of these from Storm and Trigan comics, found a few german or dutch (?) versions too
This is a quest where exotic adventurers meet as content to explore maze of death wher players compete but also help each other when it suits them (co-opertition again). The maze is a crashed starship with deathtraps and portals everywhere. Storm the last fighter - astronaut lost on alien world.

I might happily have some space locations like a terra formed moon like in Aldiss novel hothouse.

As i said the youngins more like ace fighter agentswhile their uncles wear breastplates and swords

A nice evil cult statue

incongruous tech and animals pat of all hs worlds - juggle anything well.

Ancient swords and sorcery and super science

Dont know what this is but pretty awesome

Im guessing the text is in Trigan- the empire story shows tribesmen rescuing peric a philosopher from an advanced greecian tech society. With him emperor Trigo build a great stone city and attract attention of a advaned ray weildeng empire with jets and tanks. The heroes beat the empire and assimilate their tech in one generation. So the younger gen more familiar with awesome tech.

Storm and his sidekick

Storm makes a new friend

Cool vehicles feature a lot with secret military weapon, moon rocket programs, death rays, high tech sport events with rocket packs. One story i remember is about a daredevil who is dying and swears to kill/the evilest men on the planet as a parting gift. This actually unbalances power and causes lots of trouble for other heroes. Lotsa great stuff i may buy all books one day in bulk. A large trigan compilation book was pretty common a a 70s kid and ive seen in libraries and found a copy for $10 bucks. I have one storm graphic novel and lost all my comic issues. My parent bought me look an learn instead of comics (main selling point) but this strip in centrefold 2 pages at a time was what we all waited for. 

I might browse some of dan dare's planets for ideas and pulp fiction mags of pre war. too.  Venusian Treen could be just Emerald Men, the Mekon a engineered psionic master brain. More later. Flash Gordon original comic nice too.

Sunday 26 May 2013

Mesopotamia Image Dump 7: Mesopotaimia Mania!!!

Gonna have druids running those hanging gardens and shamen becoming temple exorcists. Legal magicians of all types who are also cult members could earn legitimate posts such as different types of divination (more varieties the better) like astrologers, soothsayers, gardener (more than just a crappy job in those palaces and zigeruts. All those trees groming on buildings below need skilled gardners. Trees hundreds of years old. Forest animals. All pedicured into a cosmic symbolic landscape. Wild druids among mountain forest tribes and even frontier country, where everything is more sordid crappy and mean.Actualy probably not one ziggarut painted properly colour wise in any of this art. Each step another colour of magical significance.

Worlds oldest one page dungeon: This is freakin awesome ancient one page dungeon map from real stelae with zigurat map. Alexander Great movie had this all run down after persian rule....

Alexander the great - best sequence in film. The tower of babylon and pyramids built when labour cheap, alexander couldnt even afford to repair it. Imagine a ruin dungeon complex in middle of ancient city.

Chariot amok! A procession from a city.

sumerians taking on the fly records - some huge amount of all akkadian documents in the form of clay tablets were receipts, many personal letters. Best one i read was girl asking daddy for more slaves as she blew the feeding budget for last lot and they died.


Sumerian war cart, a proto chariot. Chariots and horses came from central asian waves of inventers. Ox wagons are the oldest then wild ass or onagers or donkeys go back to 4000 bc. Riding much later. Dromedary camels appeared from arabia 2500bc-3000bc spreading to civilized lands later. Bactrain camels from asia came later (assyrian times?). A hybrid of both was sterile but could endure heat or cold were in great demand. Persia introduced the camel to Egypt 525 bc. Were extict from earlier time. No camel god (Set?).

Brilliant - really good painting of a Sumerian army with priest scribes in wooly robes and kilts - studded cloak - ive added cloaks to my armour in DnD of late - these would be even better - also a cloak skill to enhance.

Nice domestic scene of farms - code of Hummarabi has lotsa good farming info. Poets would have wrap battles comparing date palm to tamarisk and who could elogently list the most uses. Huge amount of all crops for beer. Everyone drinks from pot with filtered straw. Date palm if cut down can make sugar which can make palm wine. Cutting down fruit trees was a war crime. Arab nomads specialized in tearing down walls, filling in wells, cutting down trees and helping desert grow (sorry guys but i could go on).

Let loose the battle donkey wagons!!! this is great.

Nice comic book aerial view of ur

Scribe school or old school typing pool. Scribes wrote lists which were used for training and formed a kind of Dewey decimal / encyclopedia the melamu. These lists had mystical significance too which i think filtered to Mediterranean middle east and Europe. Magical powers of words and true names was big here. Magicians use true names of beings and hings to do magic. When Anzu stole the tablets of destiny he could deconstruct and disassemble arrows sent at him. Words had secret hidden power. Nebo/Nabu the son of marduk is epitome of this and the Babylonian Mercury. Bindings, seals, wards, stelae all may have power through this. Sacred foundation stones dedicated o gods and kings protect buildings Stones mark territories, fields, memorial sights.

See me rolling with my donkeys they be hating. I saw mistranslated my little pony bootlegs named demon donkey. Id consider having underworld beings using older style vehicle so demon donkey possible. These are the oldest wheels found in world.

This is a nice farmstead with woven reed building and mud brick and rammed earth

Current thoughts among some is the hanging gardens were in Nippur not Babylon and all based on mistranslation about Babylon. I'm undecided about this. Option B is to put one in every big city. A library a must in every city and museum (fossils and archeology of a thousand years earlier) and a hanging garden. Grow all your pharmacology produce for your amazing list of cooking and medicinal and magical plants. Palaces and temples need the best at all times. Druids could control micro climates in courtyards.

I kinda reacon these were not into charging and trampling so much - javelin and carrying elevated officers and escape for bosses seems better use or transport a hero. That axe is for when guys hang on or board - not like a chariot lance that could kill every hit and a bit more range.

Onagers - wild ass, good eating and main beast of burden. Horses more obedient and fierce. These guys in wild went to extinction when not so used. Could kill you and bite you but not so obediant and cooperative - no double lance bonuses for charge and no fancy riding. Chariot better with a driver and even a shield guy letting king get a lion with lance or bow. Early kings were temporarily ellected from assemblies for emergencies like a giant friggin cow attack! Aurochs and man battled for eaons and we won making cows our slaves. Kings wore horned crowns. Moses had horns - a symbol for power - more horns the better higher rank king or angel. Lion became a better victim later when kings were established as not just emergency title for war or crisis. Kings sized control and thats how Marduk a young god rules the universe. If you assembly of gods dont vote me unanimous king of universe and submit to me forever i wont save us from granny Tiamat. Kings fight monsters or at least poor animals. If you cant find a agro 8 foot high at shoulder lone bull in your battle donkey wagon you kill lions jut like rich jerks do now. Marduk (Jupiter) has 7 hellhounds: Grasper, biter etc, (his moons?).

Assyrians at work - great seige specializations.

Another palace with river - animal headed boats were big. Horse heads big in later years.

Slave labour under Assyrian yoke

I think this is persian but nice

Assyrian kings do what they do best

Royal canal docks

Close up of palace

Wider view - parks with trees and animal reminded post Sumerians of mountains and forests of ancestors. Ziggerats were a atempt to build a microcosm of the cosmic mountain - the body of the old earth goddess Ki.

Another palace on water edge view

A rather fierce king

Warrior kit. I really like the mini bows guys wore on belt holster all over middle east only 30-50 cm. Not so lethal but having everyone get a few extra shots at a range is nice

Aking attended by women of many lands - hats, hairstyle denoted you race - people would see you beard and just know you were foreign. Every tribe had gang colours. Folk outfits not just funny dancing costumes for old people.

I think this is Nebechenezzer seeing word of god or something back when god made an effort to prove himself.

A dramatic biblical Babel at least based on some archeology - tower only a bit OTT and doesnt look like Bruegel - will do a whole post on hopeless European portrayals like Brugel.

A few moments later and bam! god does a S11 on the greatest work of man ever.

Artist has made a bit too Greek but nice ancient urbanization even if Ive erroneously included this here

More here

I could use this in my cthulhu-metropolis decopunk game. These same forms were big in my city in 80s. Temples that look like bakalite jazz age radios on valium. Deco era and before it 1890s arts and craft era copy every ancient art style in the world. Iraq well represented in 20th century building firsts. Very standard reproduced form which Akkadians and Asyrians created their own distict version as symbols of empire. Assyrian very engineer oriented and they would build wall up to your walled city and bring in heavy demolitions hardware and pour troops from national road and canal system.

A nice gung ho city breaching moment. For an era walls were unstoppable and sige technology not up to task/ Persians had to trick Babylon by moving river and giving the Babylonians tempting party favours. Then run under walls. Only a few generations before a Assyrian king had razed babylon badly and said Assyria had to destroy forever, but his son was more religious and rebult everything which led to their revolt from Asyria. The Persian eventually had to agree and destroyed it forever, marching populace one mile down road to site of Bagdad.

Able men prisoners might just be executed by victorious officers swords executing them to build head pyramids. The lucky ones got to be enslaved in dangerous job like mining. Swords for captains and aristocrats to execute (justice), club for middle managers to beat subordinates. Women and children might be sold off. Males old enough to be indolent resentful teen get killed too. Other boys made into eunachs (the lucky ones yay!). Many kings sons and captured enemy sons could expect this.

Don't hi-five the king

Take that donkey wagon, make way for the bigger gun in bronze age Car Wars! Yes cars and trucks predate motors.

Intrigue. Read heroditus - one of my top ten fave books. All that Marduk stuff of him seizing power a set up by his dad Enki (or Ea if your old school sumerian). He started the killing first by killing Apsu with a sleep spell and a knife, advised everybody and made a magic son to rule universe). God says Ea one of his names in bible. Enki also made defective people for drunken bets, raped and ate his daughters (plant and herb goddesses), advised humans be made and made molds (some not so good but he offers uses for defective ppl), stopped humans becoming immortal and saved humans again and again from wrath of gods and helped Sumerian Noah save human kind with that flood bit.