Beings of Power: Sohmna

Sohmna is one of the Oyarsa. Cleric players can choose her to gain access to the Tempest domain

Sohmna, Sailor Beyond the Horizon.

Relationship with Followers
She is beloved by shipwrights, explorers and widows. While there was a time when Sohmna lived in human communities, few now living have met her in the flesh. Most of those who follow her have encountered her in dreams. She is a comforter to those who mourn for something lost, a guide to sailors, and a muse to would-be explorers who long for distant places and strange sights.

Teachings & Philosophy
Sohmna has no teachings. She is a mostly silent patron, and her disciples have only her complicated, sometimes contradictory example to follow. Some choose to focus on her strength, becoming clerics driven by duty and responsibility towards the world and it’s inhabitants. Some focus on her independence and ingenuity, becoming adventurers, or explorers.

Notes
Sohmna is the most complex personality among the allies of Mooros. Once the most approachable of the Maiar, she is now the most distant, although she has not lost her compassionate spirit. She is thought to play a very active part in the preservation of the universe; a role she requested of Mooros following the death of her mortal husband. Her undertaking keeps her on the periphery of the world, mending and repairing the cracked and broken edges of reality. The great Halls of Sohmna, long neglected and empty, lie somewhere beyond the edges of the explored world; legend says they stands at the place where the endless river empties into the void. She is depicted as a grey-hooded figure standing astride the deck of a white-sailed vessel on stormy seas, white-eyed, raven-haired, and haloed in lightning. In one hand she carries a silver spear and in the other a builder’s hammer.

Beings of Power: Svjart

Svjart is one of the Oyarsa. Clerics players can choose him to gain access to the trickery domain.

Svjart, Father of Merry Rogues

Relationship with followers
Svjart is perhaps the most erratic and inscrutable member of the oyarsa. In the past, his followers have been individuals who befriended him before they knew his true identity. He asks very little from his followers. More than all else, he abhors slavery and he expects his followers –  known to many as “the unholy men of Svjart” – to abhor slavery as well. A sense of humor and an ability to laugh at oneself is also a requirement. Many “unholy men” have had their power taken away as a penalty for “taking things too seriously.”

Teachings & Philosophy
Most oyarsa avoid formal teaching, preferring instead to lead by example. Svjart differs in that he does not seem interested in leading at all. Followers of Svjart come from many backgrounds and beliefs.

Notes
Svjart is associated with change, planning, and artifice. His true form is unknown, for he is able to take any form he chooses. It is often speculated that he has no true form. It may be that Svjart’s nature is essentially mercurial; one form is no “truer” than another, and his truest shape is the one he wears in the moment. Most often he appears as a winking rogue, clenching a carved floatstone pipe between his teeth, smoking like the 5 hells. Like Eldrethine, Svjart spends his time in Felmoor, having laughs at the expense of mortals. Jokes, pranks and swindles are his domain, although he has an enthusiastic collaborator in Mooros.

 

Beings of Power: Pejora

Pejora is one of the oyarsa. Cleric players can choose her to gain access to the knowledge domain.

Pejora, Attendant of Unexamined Knowledge

 Relationship with followers
The large majority of Pejora’s followers – record keepers, accountants, historians, scholars and writers – have met her in person exactly once, during the interview they underwent for the position of “librarian.” Librarians of Pejora are expected to devote themselves to the preservation of all knowledge. They must also memorize as many books as they can over the course of their life.

Teachings & philosophy
Pejora teachers that all information is knowledge, all knowledge is valuable, deserving of preservation, and forceful means are justified to that end.

Notes
She sits on the chair of records and is known to rarely leave her vast and ever expanding library, located in a sub-dimension only accessible by her librarians. She is largely disinterested in life and it’s challenges. Instead, She hoards written information of almost any kind; her dimly candle-lit halls are stuffed from floor to high vaulted ceiling with books, scrolls, maps, magical devices, folios and stacks of aging parchment that have become stuck together with drips of candlewax. Immortal Pejora, while ever youthful, is stooped, near-sighted, plainly dressed, and reclusive. and reads endlessly with the aid of quicksilver-framed spectacles.

Clerics in Felmoor

One of my favorite roleplaying podcasts, “Game Master’s Journey,” has been recording a series of episodes about the relative unpopularity of the cleric class, and how GMs can make clerics more enjoyable to play. They’ve echoed some of my own observations, and helped me think a little more clearly about what I wanted to accomplish when I created my own pantheon.

I think roleplaying works best when players feel that they have at least a minimum of orientation towards the world before they begin playing. Certainly, for me, I have never felt attracted towards a cleric or warlock character for that reason. D&D is fairly vague and careless in it’s attitude towards religion, deities, and the way that those concepts interact with the world and it’s inhabitants. Both the cleric and the warlock are conceptually dependent on a defining relationship with a supernatural world that is not clearly drawn.

In list form, here are some of the questions I thought it was pretty important to answer, and the answers:

Continue reading “Clerics in Felmoor”

Player Character Race: Half-Dwarves

Along with Human, Half-Dwarves are a really simple option. They take their flaw from humans, and their perk from the dwarves.

Half-Dwarves

Size: More or less human-sized.
Speed: 30ft.

Most half-dwarves are slightly on the shorter side, but like most folk, they are a diverse bunch. It is not uncommon for a half-dwarf to grow taller than a human. They are known for a tendency to grow into extremely tough, strong-willed individuals, and there are many legends told of half-dwarves who withstood an astonishing amount of punishment.

Max ability scores
STR DEX CON WIS INT CHR
22 18 22 20 18 20

Perk: Stone in the blood
At level 1, Half-dwarves gain a +1 bonus to AC. They gain an additional +1 bonus at levels 10 and 20.

Flaw: Broken spirit
The race of man was at the epicenter of the fracture, and they are still suffering the effects. Half-dwarves inherit this penalty and suffer a -1 penalty on all saving throws Vs. Magic.

Skill: An unknown destiny
1 free proficiency or feat or language.

Player Character Race: Dwarves

craft_pointsDwarves should be clever; not necessarily wise, or even particularly intelligent in the conventional sense, but clever. It’s a subtle distinction but important, I think, to their character.

Dwarves are not mundane. They are not merely small men (certainly not the stocky, angry, inexplicably Scottish men that modern pop culture has universally made them out to be.) What’s missing in most depictions of dwarves is an essential magic, an elevated, supernatural cleverness. We get our notion of dwarves mostly from Tolkien, of course, but they’re much older than that. In Norse mythology, the dwarves are closely related to dark elves, the Svartalfar. Like any good myth, dwarves are a metaphor: they fascinate because they represent the spark of creative, destructive magic. They combine intemperance with wonder and amazement.

The Norse dwarves were dangerous, sharp-minded, over-eager to invent, to dig deep, but they also were unattached. They didn’t belong in Midgard. I think Tolkien realized that and created a story for them which gave them an authentic connection to the world. My dwarves are definitely thematic relatives of the norse dwarves, but I’ve taken a page out of Tolkien’s book as well. The story of the dwarves is a developing tragedy; slowly, they are falling asleep and returning to the stone that they were illegitimately hewn from. If your connection to the world is a tenuous one, then a threat to that connection makes it all the more important. I’ve got a short story on the way that goes into it a bit.

Continue reading “Player Character Race: Dwarves”