Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Year 3 (and a bit) in Review

 There years! I have been writing and creating through Welcome to the Deathtrap for over three years now, and I am very proud of what I have created.

And I am going to start this review by saying how much I appreciate my readers. You have kept me excited to sit down and write every single day.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Classy World Building (pt. 9)

 So whats left?

I have a few gaps left that I will ultimately want to fill to make the game feel complete:

  • A culture of vivacious necromancers who appreciate life more than most because they know so much about death.
  • A race of nomadic sailors.
  • I need a heavily armored fighter type with a twist.
  • Some kind of underwater people - I am thinking crabs that come in several different levels of human/crab hybrid, kind of like the Yuan-ti or the original Kahjit lore from the Elder Scrolls.
  • A fire-themed group to round out my accidental elemental magician set.
  • A psychic class; maybe a bird-like race of visionaries, with a spell list that is mostly divination with a few telekinetic abilities for good measure.

I feel that this would give me a good, rounded-feeling, but I do not need them immediately; I can afford to spread them out.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

The Skullduggery Die

Ossuary Bone Dice Set CC-BY 2.0 Mindmax

This is an idea that was shared in the comments find my most frequent commenters and loyal reader McChuck and I decided to run with and do the number crunching for.

The credit is therefore not mine but my mission is to share the awesome.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Classy World-Building (pt.8)

 Lets move from magic and the planes to technology. Some of the cultures of the Drowned World make up for a lack of magical ability by turning to technology.

Classy World-building (pt. 7)

 I am taking s more thematic stab at world-building with here. This time with a unique take on Law vs. Chaos.

Redeem Your Demons

One idea I want to play with was the idea of the berserker as shape changer. Most of the myths of the barbarian going into a holy battle rage come to us through folklore muddled together in Sword & Sorcery lit. The term "berserker" ("bearskin-shirted") was used for a professional duelist who served as the right hand of a Jarl in Scandinavia. 

The idea of them being wild and animalistic comes from images of some of them chewing Shields while they hype themselves up for battle.

But actual superhuman berserker rages are more the fare of Celtic myth with characters like Cu Culhainn, who transformed into a fire-haired one-eyed and fanged monster when he became enraged, and had to be calmed through confusing and embarrassing him usually by sending troops of naked girls to collect him and dunk them in cold barrels of water.

Robert E. Howard and some of his contemporaries were big fans of Celtic heroes and they wove them into their Sword & Sorcery characters. Conan has some of Cu Culhainn's rage, but without the monstrous transformation.

I wanted to play with the idea of a berserker turning into a superhuman monster as the core character trait of their class. So, I decided I wanted a race of warriors who were possessed by demon spirits and could unleash them to transform into monstrous creatires. Statistically it's not much different from drinking a Potion of Stone Giant Strength, (statistically  the most common magic item in AD&D,) which is something my players do every chance they get in my Silver Gull campaign.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Classy World-building (pt. 6)

 I didn't want standard-issue magic missile hurling wizards to be too common in this setting. Instead, I wanted a variety of magicians with very different thematic spell lists.

When designing magician for the drowned world, I wanted to be sparing with damage spells. Instead, I wanted to grant PCs a collection of problem solvers that can offer a lot of battlefield control and tactical play. I have always believed that the best magic-user isn't the one toasting the enemies with fireballs, but rather the one who .make sure the fighter is invulnerable while he splits skulls, and the thief always backstabs. These are my initial takes:

Friday, May 12, 2023

Classy World Building (p.5)

 So, let's get a bit Gonzo!

I don't want this setting to feel like another bland quasi-Medieval Western fantasy world. I want it weird and full of oddities. Making some characters that are definitely not you regular human PC is the best way to go about this. Accordingly, I have made a few very odd character races: some inspired by the earliest days of D&D, some with inspiration from the various games and media that have been the basis for this project, and some from my fevered imagination.