Thursday, November 14, 2019

'Round These Here Parts...

1: Posthumously marry the foes they kill, to mollify their wrathful ghosts.
2: Wear live toxic creatures in vessels like kettles. When a weapon needs coating, they press on the kettles’ covers to crush the creatures and produce a dose of poisonous slurry.
3: Replace their teeth with serrated metal dentures as a weapon of last resort.
4: Are expected to seal their hands away in things like thick thumbless mittens when in the company of people who haven’t killed before.
5: Believe that to look into a dying man's eyes is to invite death upon oneself, and so kill from as far away as possible.
6: Know the tournament list by heart, each accounted for in their own ranking. To the highest goes the prize of a magic sword which obeys only the unrivaled victor.

1: Paint their brows with the juices of bioluminescent fish dredged up from the depths, so as to have a source of light that won’t risk igniting delicate pages.
2: Since time immemorial have recorded their spells in the very land as enormous geoglyphs, readable only from the highest towers, which the wizards compete to build and sabotage.
3: Learn their art at the feet of inhuman beings that dream trapped twixt the roots of rotting trees, taking on apprentices to pass on the debt demanded by this learning so it doesn't dog them into the hereafter.
4: Maintain a complex parallel cuisine based on the capture and consumption of their enemies' familiars.
5: Have been expelled based on a rather credible prophecy.
6: Wear cages around their heads to keep the spells from getting out. It’s a matter of sectarian violence as to whether these cages should be heavy and barbed to most discourage escape, or gilded and silk-cushioned to encourage stay.

1: Have all had their names stolen from them, and go by obtuse titles instead, like Lily-Foot and whatnot.
2: Pierce holes down the side of their throats from which they can produce a secretive whistle-language, covering them with a scarf or flesh-toned clay when not in use.
3: Are promised a pardon for all their crimes if they manage to steal the king's stomach back from the rogue royal alchemist.
4: Are raised as such from orphanhood, bought and tossed into a hallucinogenic maze. Those who survive and escape are inducted into their obscure order. Those who survive but do not escape degenerate into things like pale, fungal minotaurs.
5: Rumour of the ultimate prize of their sort: the crown of the unking, law-giver to the lawless.
6: Keep smuggling routes crisscrossing beneath the land, built out from the sapping tunnels of an old war.

1: Imbibe an entheogen distilled from the ecstatic tears of anchorites, which gradually crowds their sockets with eyes.
2: Wrestle with the sacred animals of other religions to prove the superiority of their own faith.
3: Enjoy an inchoate charisma among the common folk, and can rile up a rabble with a few minutes of preaching, the fierier and brimstonier the better.
4: Denote their doctrine by the magnificent size and decoration of their hats.
5: Advance through their ranks by means of novel exegesis, rewarded for both mystic insight and politically convenient interpretation.
6: Are bound to use the blood they spill to paint the lips of their idols, and so tend to prefer either blunt and strangling weaponry or to build idols into the hilts of their blades.

1: Are civilization's slave-breakers, living on the rim of rural life and forging the wilds into pastoral utility.
2: Keep the soft, uncalloused skins they shed when they fled into the wilds, to cloak themselves in an urbane guise when they stalk the cities.
3: Plant seeds in the flesh to grow thorns, barky armour, and suchlike.
4: Resort to a form of gu in times of great crisis. A druidic circle will seal itself within a cave, and the druid who survives and devours the rest will emerge swollen with their power.
5: Enact the last, simple wishes of the animal dead, the casualties of nature's red teeth and claws, so that their spirits may cycle out of stagnation.
6: Are advocates of a natural democracy, giving voice to the needs of the smallest and most populous sorts of life (which more often than it might seem leads to plague-spreading and verminous hordes).

1: Defend peasant communes where land and property is held in common.
2: Fight in tandem with a guardian angel bound to them by gossamer chains.
3: Find each other by way of guiding stars that only the inspired can see.
4: Are believed to reincarnate, and after one’s death their successor is found by searching for the child whose grip on their sword matches theirs in life.
5:Wear dog-masks with the muzzles stuffed with fragrant herbs, both to avoid inhaling heathen airs and to display their status as sheepdogs of the shepherd of mankind.
6: Experience revelatory visions by lying in a pit of mirrors at noontide until they get sunstroke.

1: Fear and covet the music of the secret sphere, the nemesis-planet Nibiru, which whispers through in the laments of the suicidal and the screams of the war-maddened.
2: Threaten ungenerous patrons with an instrument that, if tuned just right, whips out with a coiled steel string that cuts like a razor.
3: Harbour a heresy that seeks the perfect coda for the universe, a chorus to cancel out "Let there be light".
4: Strain under the puritanical prohibition of all music but hymns.
5: Steal inspiration from the birds with draughts of diluted dragon-blood that grant them snatches of understanding of the avian tongue.
6: Are served by creatures like backwards bats, that project fleshy feelers from their sound-based true forms. Only true bards know how to strum the addictive tones that command them.

1: Seek to disrupt the demiurge's illusions by striking vital points and creatures in its creation.
2: Practice a sort of alchemy which uses their own bodies as vessel and crucible.
3: Literally shadowbox, as their shadows are seen as a source of impurity and so severed and imbued with an antagonistic intelligence as part of their training.
4: Believe that enlightenment can be found at the root of the cosmos, and so when they grow too old or too ambitious to linger they venture down into the depths.
5: Are in the middle of a miniature civil war between the staid traditionalist styles and a charismatic cult of maximally efficient violence.
6: Act like a sort of philosophically-driven vice squad that cracks down on what they see as impurity in the body politic.


  1. I love these! Particular favourites are Wizard 6, Druid 4, Monk 2 and honestly any from the Bard list. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thank you, all these are very good.

  3. Planning to use these in a campaign next year. Thanks!

  4. wow! these are super useful and a great source of worldbuilding/inspiration. definitely inclined to shove these in somewhere or borrow the format for my own games.

  5. Absolutely fantastic. Communist and/or Stand-hanving paladins are just too good.