The 'Uncanny edge' is the term used for the 'off' feeling you get when you spot something which closely mimics life, but isn't quite there - you get it a lot in robotics lately, apparently. That is likely how it would feel spotting an undead wearing this mantle.
If it were me, id have the party learn of the mantle's power, but not the makeup. Then have them go hunting to Kormack's lair (as a dungeon) and at the end of it, have them hear the cried of children like the blacksmith did, and burst in on him creating one of these! Only then is the true horror revealed, and the motivation for killing Kormack enhanced.
gruesome and kinda neat!
Also, it amuses me how the Shivenhusk blatantly introduces itself :p Go to Comment
There are parallels/similarities in this with Jesus (travelling preacher, spreading the word dispute persecution, thought of by some as a god etc) which I am guessing are intentional. John serves as a solid historical figurehead for Lunism and the religion definitely benefits from his story.
It is a little bland, but then again something doesn't have to be flashy to be useable; a good npc to further the believability of Lunism in a game. Go to Comment
Aah, a dark secret; a nefarious twist! This is the kind of thing that the sub needed; a fellow of high morals preaching about his religion until he died was a bit dry, but have that person harbor a secret life of taboo arts... That makes things more interesting.
It would be tastier if some of the 'higher ups' knew this secret, and then when the pcs decide to hunt for clues as to johns tomb, they suddenly find a secret lunist organisation trying to assassinate them. After all, having the truth of a religious figurehead being a necromancer come out will be very damaging for the faith! Lies, coverups, scandals; you have turned this sub into a very 'Da Vinci code-esque' kind of drama.
And when the pcs finally get to the tomb and learn the truth they have a choice: reveal the truth and damage the reputation of someone who did actually do some good in the world, or destroy the evidence. Go to Comment
I find this a great, believable sub.
My personal belief (and one that doesn't affect my standing with the sub) is that Mortes would be more suited as the full moon and Vivenus as the new moon. I feel its more suitable for the religion plus it would be a cool switch. Mortes's symbol can be the blinking eye and Vivenus the opening eye (Vivenus's eye is represented by the waxing phases of bew to full, the 'opening eye', and Mortes by the waning of the full moon to new - the 'blinking eye'.
This seems more suitable as to mimic life: we are born an empty slate and as we grow our life fills with experience like the Waxing moon and Vivenus's opening eye. When we reach the pinnacle of life, Mortes casts his eyes gaze on us, and our life wanes: we grow old and age and illness deteriorate us. Under the gaze of Mortes's slowly blinking eye we pass, and when the eye is shut, death takes us.
In this way it seems more suitable that Vivenus and Mortes would be considered the more 'major gods', and the others part of their domains.
Also, in line with this, perhaps Lunists would believe in some kind of reincarnation: as their life wanes away to nothing, Vivenus takes their soul and breathes new life into it; just like the never ending cycle of the moon, their soul is born anew.
I like that people are born under their 'lunar signs', sort of like star signs. And the barbaric way that some sects might slay their child born on the waning change phase is a nice touch - has a very 'witch-hunt' feel to it.
I would have it tradition for places of gambling within Lunist cities to close when Alea wanes.
This is a cool religion, Caesar, and as Val said; its believable. I wouldn't be surprised if at some stage in history ancient man had a religion nit dissimilar to this. Go to Comment
A little rough around the edges, but as it is an Oekaki submission that is to be expected.
It is an interesting place; a demon-possessed pedestal which can only be found by those who will have the drive and motivation to create a cult. I'm a little confused as to Culthus's motivations. So he wished to stop demonic summoning, but then got captured, and now is trying to free himself be making people splatter blood over the pedestal?
What will Culthus's moves be if he is freed?
Also, it would seem wiser if Culthas didnt't strike the circle from history: any up and coming cultist who had heard about it would surely think it would be the ideal place to do their rituals, and would seek it out, which would be better for Culthas.
I looked this over when you first posted it without the descriptions; I was going to give it a 2.5, but I saw you were going to expand the list in the comments. I'm glad I waited: ingenious uses! Detail is the difference between a 2.5 and a 4.5; thank god you expanded this, DustyJ :D
I like the nine sacred animals; very colourful. Also, I see plenty of uses for the Vitralara and their creation ritual. Anyone in the business of performing the rites would pay good money for exotic animal blood; and may also send people on missions so collect the blood of fabled creatures.
I can see a tribal like society of these living in the forest, preying on travellers and scavenging, what remains of their human minds telling them to build ramshackle shelters and form a society of sorts. Naturally, the strongest would be a leader.
Can one use Vitralara blood in the rituals to create far more diverse and less stable horrors? I'm sure that if so, eventually the bodies would simply fall apart. Go to Comment
Spooky! I would have no explanation for the mists; just an unexplained anomaly of the world, a focal point for the weird. Some way to defend against the mists would be nice - perhaps wearing a particular metal that tastes bitter to the living smoke or something. Or maybe have it attracted to those who wear steel...
In fact, that could be another reason for its origins. A malevolent spirit of a warrior fallen in a crossroads skirmish by a steel-clad night. Now the spectre lingers on in this mist form, choosing to eat away at any who wear steel. Go to Comment
Plenty of potential plotlings from this. As I mentioned some time ago; reminiscent of Temple of Doom.
I can imagine a massive coup/revolution starting from within these mines. The PC's find a ghosted noble who wants revenge, and eventually they manage to overthrow the mines and spread out their civil war south into Vartanadel proper.
In fact, that sounds like a bunch of fun. Espionage and secrecy. The PC's can start off, level 1, as just a bunch of prisoners who were thrown into the mines with a couple of other NPC's. After a few days of mistreatment they are approached by a ghosted nobody who was a former noble and has a plan... Then have them eventually overthrow the mines and spread out. Once the revolution is over, you have a few 3rd-5th level players who started out in Vartanadel, and now have the whole world of Decathros to branch out into! That's how I shoulda started the other game :p
Was gonna vote a 3, but kept talking myself up with this thought, and now I wanna give this a 4!
Also, I enjoy the backstory/lore of the trio of dragons. Go to Comment
I think the Guarshan serve Vartanadel and the emperor faithfully to the end, Goss, as opposed to any specific house.
I find ghosting and this game of houses great fun! It also has a slight feel of the Wheel of Time's 'Great Game', where everything you may or may not do is being watched and judged. I think its fitting and good that the emperor is as much a pawn of the game as the nobles and he must be wary about empowering one house too much. Go to Comment
I somehow feel this would be more suited in the 'society' category, rather than plots, though I see how it can fit in plots as well.
A very nice and thought out historical writeup on a once glorious group of individuals, and with plenty of use to 'springboard' players into any number of plotlings. Good to see you around still, Eric! Keep it up! Go to Comment
A fair call, Caesar. I felt that the plot use of the tomes wasn't given enough detail in the item sub, so I expanded on it in an attempt to give people a coherent start-to-finish reason to actually actively seek and learn more about the tomes. Also, I am using this to expand on Lazarus Lightward - he, and now also Skezemo, will feature in some future quest lines, I think. The next step is to find the fabled Hell Knight!
Also, yes, I will link those subs when im on my computer next, good point :D Go to Comment
As Strolen mentioned; this kind of thing is already somewhat exists in one form or another, which doesn't make this antly less useable! A decent, solid sub which can be used actively, or as background information in many modern campaign. Go to Comment