WORMSKIN

1/29/2014

Underworld Lore | Imaginary Inventory

Illustration by Mr. Beaudry


Ideas that want to break out and appear in future issues

Weird cults that don't necessarily worship a deity but operate under a very specific, often inane litany of rules and conduct.

The Loremonger is a male NPC-only class, a dark brotherhood that controls the dissemination of magical knowledge from their legendary cache of grimoires and herbals, rare and dangerous spell components, ancient maps of the surface and Underworld, etc. They often sell bits of knowledge for outrageous sums, but only under certain conditions. Namely, this knowledge cannot be transcribed in any fashion -- to do so means instant blacklisting -- no loremonger will ever deal with you or your associates again. Often knowledge is given on only a temporary basis and "recollected" magically by an unbreakable spell invented by the mongers. Loremongers have a close association with Necromancers and grant the black magicians a special "grace" that allows them to actually enter the secret site of their arcane hoard. No others are allowed to know the location of this place, let alone enter it. It is not that the loremongers possess ALL magical knowledge -- many wizards acquire their knowledge through masters and books not controlled by the mongers -- but suffice it to say that the amount of esoteric lore possessed by them is enough to dwarf all that they do not possess as a range of mountains dwarfs a lone hillock.

"Periodic" Table of Potions -- how they work, what happens when you mix them, what they smell like, etc. -- broken down systematically and exactly and presented in table format. A chart that would be made available to only those player characters who come into the lore in-game. This idea originates with my co-DM Josh D. and I really want to collaborate it into existence.

Gygaxo-Naturalistic Monster Generation -- a Traveller-like approach to generating scads of new monsters -- both threatening and non-threatening to populate otherworldly regions.

Zothiquean  Elements -- monsters, classes, locales -- presented in piecemeal as a regular feature.

Spell "Etymology" -- Demonstrate how spells could "evolve" over periods of centuries and present a series of examples of "snapshots" in the spell's history. Also discuss the magic-users associated with the spell's development.

As ever, I am open to collaboration with creators who are sympathetic to my particular weirdo flavor.

4 comments:

  1. Regarding weird cults, I wrote this generator for Secret Santicore 2011:

    http://untimately.blogspot.com/2011/12/weird-cults.html

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    1. I like! Would this be something you'd be interested in retouching for UL?

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  2. Re: the periodic table of potions and the spell etymology, I think there is definitely room for the creation of a byzantine game system of magic / cosmology from which these kinds of things would flow. This is something I've been gently ruminating recently, and is something I'd be seriously interested in developing. Very few concrete ides as yet, however.

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    1. When I have a serviceable prototype for the Potions table I'll let you have at it. I am pro-Byzantine magic, especially the sort that could be a logical extension of the existing system.

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