Thursday, July 24, 2014


I found this one to be quite taxing.  What does one come up with for fungi?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Several of the animal groups will be very similar to one another - by separating out the animals, however, the power of each study is limited.  There are always small changes, however.  Here are Birds, that I overlooked previously (begins with a 'b').

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Flowers & Sprigs

Here's today's addition - I've had to add 'sprigs' to the flower list in order to round out the subject material.  Some of the stuff here is very interesting and fills holes in the production of magic that - for me - results in magical creation having a greater sense to it.  See if you don't agree:

I agree, it doesn't keep with whatever anyone else connected to D&D has ever done - but it certainly fits into my system, it enables more than the druid to benefit from things like nectar and shamrocks, while at the same time I don't think anything here overbalances my campaign.

I continue to astound myself that I'm able to come up with a whole page of info about a subject as dreary as 'flowers.'

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bushes & Shrubs

I am really thrilled with this study, because it worked out about a million times better than I expected.  I had left all the various sections of plant life for the druid's sage table separate, thinking, "Well, you've got to at least try to come up with a series of abilities or facts that would be associated with those."  This morning, I found myself facing "bushes & shrubs" - only to realize the possibility of my coming up with something was fantastically remote.  With a heavy heart, then, I opened wikipedia and got started.

The results are miraculous:

I may have overdone it, given too much power to these things.  I'll have to see.  It typically takes 3-4 levels to hit 20 points, 6-8 levels to hit 40 and about 12-15 levels to hit 80, so this may be all right.

Certainly fleshes out the druid, I'll tell you.  I don't think there's a thing on this list that I've ever thought of before.

Bugs & Spiders

Many of the druid sage abilities will be very similar - only the specific animal form will need adjustment. Here are Bugs & Spiders, with a few tweaks to differ them from Amphibians and Reptiles:


Well, a few days off and I'm starting to shake off some of the intensity of the last few weeks.  Maybe I can start working on things again.

Well, more for the sage tables: the druid's Astronomy study.  I like that this doesn't have to 'balance' with other studies, since in effect the player gains all the different studies, just at different speeds.  Each has its own character, none offer expressly powerful abilities (they shouldn't, so if I've misjudged something I will have to claw the skill back).

Incidentally, I also made a few changes to the amphibians & reptiles page.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Amphibians & Reptiles

I have not forgotten about the sage abilities I was working on months ago, nor this blog.  I'll be getting back to doing more work on both soon, as I clean up the last of my book.  Sigh.  Good to work on D&D again.

Below is the new format for how I'll be working on the sage abilities going forward.  Rather than going back and fixing up Cleric, and making those abilities cleaner, I'm going to concentrate on going forward, with the expectation of managing all the classes before going back and cleaning up the earlier, rougher work.

For those interested, YES, I'm going to do for every class.  That means fighters, thieves, assassins and monks will also get 'sage abilities,' although I am working on a new name for those since they will be based on entirely different principles.

I want to stress that these 'skills' are still class-based, not pay-for-skills based.  I have written already on how the points (pts) are distributed, so I won't do it again for the moment.  When I come back around to those, I will tidy up the original pages.

The above should be suggestive of some interest shit I don't think I've seen offered characters before.  Note that to be a 'sage' takes 80 points, and that points are accumulated slowly.  A druid would have to be, probably, 12th to 20th level to breed creatures.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

C 08 - Angara

For RISK fans, the map below would correspond more or less to the Irkutsk (minus the bottom third). You might be able to vaguely recognize the shape in the gray border, or that might be my imagination:

Showing Lake Baykal on the bottom right and the Angara River flowing from bottom left of
centre and then off the left side of the map after making a 90-degree bend.  The very large
Lena River rises just west of Lake Baykal and flows off the right edge.  The top of the map
is the Tunguska Plateau.

Back in 2009, when I spent a period living on unemployment, I just kept going east through Russia - I did most of these last four maps during that time, and a whole string of maps to the south of these. Russia just goes on an on . . . but the reader can see some pink hexes in the upper right corner, those being part of the Yakutsk territory (called Trak Dran in my world, a big norker kingdom).  I haven't done that area yet.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

C 07 - Lungos

I have been working, in bits, on maps moving steadily east.  The last map I posted is coded C-06 (the Ob & Irtysh basins).  Here is C-07:
Shown is the upper course of the Ob River on the left and the middle course of the Yenisey
River on the right.  The highlands at the bottom of the map (brown hexes)
are the Altai, Khakass and Savan Mountains.  The yellow sloped line marks the
90th Meridian East.
I've shown below how C-06 overlaps with the above map.  North is the upper right corner, and along the 90th meridian the direction of east-west turns 60-degrees.  This is, as ever, due to mapping a round Earth.

Here all three rivers are shown, from left to right, the Irtysh, the Ob and the Yenisey.
All of the C 07 map is occupied by non-humans, mostly hobgoblins of the Vostoch Empire (Lungos Nad and Lungos Sog are the north and south territories along the Yenisey Basin).  The very bottom left and centre of the map is the edge of the dwarven kingdom of Altslok.  All of these are my own D&D names for the territories . . . the Russian names would hardly work for flavour.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Druids Sage Abilities & Alchemy

This could change dramatically, but for the moment I thought I would make at least an effort to do something other than make more maps.  I have included exactly one druidic study . . . but it is an interesting one:


A field is a sphere of activity or interest that covers a wide range of knowledge. Each field is comprised of specialties, which are distinctive lines of inquiry or interest. Possible specialties which the druid does not choose are called studies. Studies within the druid’s field are called field studies, and those outside the field are called non-field studies.

For example, from the list below, a druid chooses ‘Animal Life’ as their field and ‘amphibians’ as their specialty. This would mean that reptiles (etc.), birds and sea life would all be ‘field studies.’ All the other possible subjects, such as astronomy or trees, would be ‘non-field studies.”

Druids possess three fields: Animal Life, Earth & Sky and Plant Life. The studies within these fields are listed below:

Animal Life: 1) birds; 2) bugs & spiders; 3) golems; 4) jellies; 5) mammals; 6) morphing creatures; 7) reptiles; 8) sea life
Earth & Sky: 1) alchemy; 2) astronomy; 3) geography; 4) geology; 5) oceanography; 6) physiology
Plant Life: 1) bushes & shrubs; 2) flowers; 3) fungi; 4) grasses & grains; 5) mosses & ferns; 6) trees

At 1st level, druids gain one field, and one specialty within that field. This reflects the knowledge that the druid was able to gather while studying their religion while in the wild and from their master’s teachings. This knowledge is then expanded as the druid increases in level, for it is presumed that the druid is naturally inquisitive, experimenting, chatting with other persons, observing, along roads or at the inn, even if the character never expresses their intention to gather knowledge. Moreover, some of this knowledge, such as that pertaining to earth or oceans, could be gained by the druid through visions, dreams and other non-traditional sources.

The knowledge is measured by points, awarded to all possible studies, though in different amounts. The druid’s chosen specialty is awarded 10 points; each field study is awarded 1d6 minus 1, which the druid rolls; and non-field studies are each awarded 1d4 minus 1.

Upon gaining a level, the druid increases all non-field studies by 1d4 minus 1; field studies by 1d6 minus 1; and specialties (for later on the druid gains others) by 1d10.

At 5th level, and every four levels thereafter (9th, 13th, 17th, etc.), the druid gains an additional specialty from the druid’s field studies (that is, within the druid’s present field). At that point, the druid begins rolling a d10 for additional level gains in that specialty. Suppose that a given field study rated 11 points at 4th level, the druid having rolled 4d6-4 up until then. At 5th, the druid chooses that study as a new specialty; a d10 is then rolled (for gaining a level) and added to the original 11.

At 7th level, and every six levels thereafter (13th, 19th and 25th), the druid gains an additional field. All the studies in that field henceforth become field studies, and increase at 1d6-1 per level. Druids may choose additional specialties from any field they possess.

For every 10 points of a druid possesses in any study, the druid is entitled to one piece of knowledge about persons, places, objects, creatures, living things or features, the exact knowledge depending upon a) the chosen study; and b) the competence of the druid.

Competence is graded as follows: possessing 10-19 points in a study defines an enthusiastic amateur; possessing 20-39 points defines an authority; possessing 40-79 points defines an expert; and having 80 points or more defines a sage.

The questions that can be answered, depending upon one’s competence, are listed below. Note that knowledge is not meant to provide any special ability or power. It is employment of knowledge, not the knowledge itself, that offers power through the creation of tactical planning. Some of the below studies, such as astrology. will offer minor skills gained from continued study.


Amateur: distill liquid, identify substance, prepare ingestive poisons, smelt natural metals
Authority: fabricate minor acids, ointments & salves, identify uncommon substance, isolate gas, prepare insinuative poisons
Expert: fabricate & identify major ointments, paints & potions, smelt magical metals
Sage: fabricate exceptional elements

Each of the above presumes that the druid is in possession of the necessary space, tools, furnace, materials and ingredients required to create each of the above substances. It should also be clear that, unless the druid possesses other skills that may originate elsewhere, the various metals, earths, liquids and so on that are created cannot be then manufactured into items. For example, while the expert may be able to smelt mithril, it does not follow that the individual would then be able to process that metal into a sword or armor. Such would require an artisan with those skills. Similarly, while the druid might be able to create a potion of fire resistance, it does not then follow that this ability could be installed into a suit of armor or a helmet. The druid can create the potion, not the effect as it would occur in other mediums.

Moreover, note that none of the above is created by spell or magic, but rather by hard, difficult work. Some items, such as the creation of the portable hole (which is a pure elemental substance) would be subject to danger rolls, in keeping with the DMG’s discussion of such things. The creation of these things will take time, effort and coin, along with potential loss of health.

Distilled liquids would include pure water and alcohol, along with a host of other liquids that could be obtained from their source by the druid. Identify common substance gives the name for natural earths and liquids. Ingestive poisons must be drunk to be effective. Natural metals include those which may be obtained from earthly minerals.

Minor ointments and salves include quicksilver, gripcolle, prepared aloe and healing salve. Acids include all naturally occurring destructive liquids. Uncommon substances consist of natural concoctions or preparations. Insinuative poisons can be applied to weapons or otherwise introduced through the skin.

Major ointments include Keoghtom’s ointment. Paints are those with magical effects. Potions include all those listed among magic items. Magical metals include adamantium and mithril.

Exceptional elements include the lodestone or luckstone, the aforementioned portable hole, the smoke contained in the ever-smoking bottle, along with a host of other similar magic items where the substance itself is the magic.