Nor-Du-Mag (Part III)

Final Words on Nor-Du-Mag, and the Mysteries of Porphyrite…

Not to brag, blog followers, but I have been hitting the beach every day for the last week or two, so double thumbs to all of you working stiffs suffering this summer LOL.  Just want to continue some of the observations of adventuring in the magic-dead wasteland of Nor-Du-Mag… I suppose it is a bit of a stereotype that a region in a magic-normal world would be a wasteland, but it kind of stands to reason that it would be a ravaged place- or is it?  The Shire of Tolkien bore no magic that I could remember- though the coming of The One Ring changed all that, didn’t it?  And Gandalf came often enough with his magic fireworks… my point is that playing in Nor-Du-Mag should take a harrowing turn, in the spirit of the Mad Max movies, the excellent Rutger Hauer movie The Blood of Heroes, Steel Dawn and Tank Girl.  Throw in poor old Chekov finding the lost home of Khan Noonien Singh on Ceti Alpha ummm… 5? And you will have it.  No comfort.  No safety.  Grim survival.  If you are lucky, finding a local to band together until you can reach the Dwarven Mines, and then… will they let you in?  And, no doubt, the lands on the other side of the western porphyrite border will have resources to deal with those who dare to cross over to the “magic side”… Not to harp on this fascinating region, moving on.

New General/Metamagic Feat

Porphyritic Magic

By means of the magical mineral porphyrite, deeds of magic can be done!

Prerequisites: any Spell Focus feat, able to cast porphyrite passage or Porphyrologist global trait

Benefit: You can modify the effect of spells you cast, by expending a porphyrite flake as an added spell component.  The available effect is listed by school of magic, with an added effect for schools that the caster possesses Spell Focus upon.  Wizards cannot use Porphyritic Magic on spells from their opposition schools, if they have any. “CL” in this case indicates caster level for the spell in question.  0-level spells cannot be modified with Porphyritic Magic.

Drawback: Any spellcaster practicing Porphyritic Magic suffers a +CL bonus to opponents using Spellcraft against them to identify the spells they are casting; practitioners are suffused with a radiant purple glow when they cast their spells, about the same brightness as a candle.

Special: This feat can be taken in place of any metamagic feat, if such is offered as a bonus or class feature.  Though it does not increase the level of the modified spell, any spell modified by Porphyritic Magic must be cast as a full-round action.

 

Abjuration +1 deflection bonus to AC for 1 round/ 4 CL

SF: DR 1/ 4 CL vs. elemental subtype creatures for 1 round.

Conjuration Add 1 round to duration of summoning spells [summon spells do not change casting time]  

SF: add additional 1 round/ 4 CL to elemental-typed spell durations.

Divination You may combine 2 detect spells in one casting, their durations are concurrent.                     

SF: You may combine any divination spells in one casting, their durations are concurrent.

Enchantment Add +1 to mental-related skill checks for 1 round/ caster level after spell is cast.

SF: elemental subtypes are dazed for 1 round if affected by spell.

Evocation Add 1 to Spell Penetration rolls/ 4 CL OR +1 untyped damage (if part of a damaging spell) /4 caster levels.                                                                                                    

SF: add an additional +1/ 2 CL to spell damage vs. elemental subtype creatures.

Illusion Add an addition +1 to the DC of saving throws vs. illusion spells.

SF:  Add an additional +1 to the DC of saving throws vs. illusion spells-  though the illusion must have significantly purple elements.

Necromancy Add +1 to non-magic-related saving throws that affect the body for 1 round/ 4 CL

SF: elemental subtypes suffer -1/ 4 CL to saving throws if affected by spell, 1 round/ 4 CL

Transmutation Add +1 to a physical ability score for 1 round/ character level.

SF: elemental subtypes lose 1 DR/ 4 CL if affected by spell, OR reduce SR by 1/ 2 CL if affected

Alchemy in Nor-Du-Mag

Kemmers in the Cloven Lands!

Getting by in a non-magical, uncivilized land is hard, and life in Nor-Du-Mag, the magic-dead Cloven Lands west of The Middle Kingdoms is doubly so.  Making life a little easier (or harder for others, as the case may be) are the deadlands kemmers, non-magical alchemists that make fire and ice, and have most of the firearms of The Deadlands.  It is unlikely that a kemmer would prosper outside Nor-Du-Mag, but their increased martial prowess serves them fine within their harsh homelands. Enjoy the deadlands kemmer, I got a real Mad Max, the Road Warrior feel from the archetype.

Deadlands Kemmer (Alchemist Archetype)

Deadlands kemmers (a local term for “alchemist”) are prized members of any clan in Nor-du-Mag, the Cloven Lands, as they fill the vacuum left by the absence of magic in the departments of healing, area damage and other conveniences.  Smarter than average half-ogres and ogrillons usually fit the bill for ogre clans, though the business of kidnapping other clans’ proficient kemmers is a constant occurrence.  Kemmers are skilled at making alchemical items out of the most base materials, though they usually have a base camp where a primitive lab is kept.

Class Skills: As they serve little purpose in the Cloven Lands, deadlands kemmers remove Fly, Knowledge (arcana), Spellcraft and Use Magic Device from their list of class skills.  Deadland kemmers add Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Knowledge (engineering) to their list of class skills.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Deadland Kemmers are proficient with light armor and hide armor (medium armor), and are proficient with one type of firearm (one or two-handed), they are not proficient with shields.  They also gain proficiency with one martial weapon at 1st level, and gain proficiency with another martial weapon at 8th and at 15th level.

Field Alchemy (Ex): The signature weapons of a deadlands kemmer are their often rickety looking firearms, and thrown alchemical weapons, especially alchemist’s fire.  Deadlands kemmers add their Intelligence modifier to the damage done by thrown alchemical weapons, and can, with a full-round action, concoct a container (it need not be glass) of acid, alchemist’s fire, or liquid ice, if the make a successful Craft (alchemy) check.  This may be done a number of times per day equal to their alchemist level plus their intelligence modifier.  A deadlands  kemmer must successfully forage for materials every day that they make alchemical items, making a DC 15 Survival check in the wilderness.

This replaces bombs.

Guns in the Wasteland: At 1st level, a deadlands kemmer starts play with one of the following firearms of her choice: blunderbuss, musket, or pistol. Her starting weapon is battered, and only she knows how to use it properly. All other creatures treat her gun as if it had the broken condition. If the weapon already has the broken condition, it does not work at all for anyone else trying to use it. This starting weapon can only be sold for scrap (it’s worth 4d10 gp when sold). The gunslinger also gains Gunsmithing as a bonus feat.

This replaces brew potion and the use of alchemy extracts.

Exceptional Mutagen (Ex): Deadlands kemmers may use mutagens as other alchemists, but their mutagens are Exceptional, not Supernatural, and provide only half the bonus as appropriate.

Deadlands Discoveries: Only the following discoveries can be chosen by a deadlands kemmer.  All discoveries that have the word ‘bomb’ in them only apply to thrown mundane alchemical items such as acid, alchemist’s fire or liquid ice.  All effects are (Ex) effects.

Feral mutagen, greater mutagen, grand mutagen, healing touch, lingering plague, lingering spirit, malignant poison, mummification, preserve organs, purging mutagen, spontaneous healing.

Grease bomb, greater plague bomb, plague bomb, poison bomb, stink bomb, smoke bomb.

The Cloven Lands!

Greetings, hope everyone is enjoying their summer!  Aren’t the lands of men much more civilized now?  I mean, relatively… Mankind is looking to space where once they looked at the deserts, the poles, the jungles as uncharted territory, Explorers once regularly lost their lives exploring, as the examples of Robert Falcon Scott and his party, Umberto Nobile in his ill-fated airship, Sir John Franklin and his lead-sealed tins, and poor Amelia Earhart, flying into oblivion.  On the Patchwork Planet of Porphyra, there are many lands that could use exploring, including the Eternal Ice of the extreme south, thought to be inhabited by ith’n ya’roo of strange demeanor; the deep interior of the Northlands, said to be the domain of the exiled Ice Tyrant, member of the Elemental Lords; much of the trackless wastes of the southern deserts, much of which the zendiqi have forgotten and themselves avoid, especially the eastern Ghadab; many of the jungle-covered Rainbow Isles, ignored by the femanx in their glittering resort; even parts of the Great Green, the forest-continent, much of which the elves leave as a sacrosanct preserve for creatures wild and strange.  But an odd land stands out, the shunned land of Nor-Du-Mag, the Cloven Lands, the Deadlands, sundered from all magic, arcane and divine, a large magic-dead wasteland literally on the doorstep of many of the most populated, progressive and prosperous lands on Porphyra, the Middle Kingdoms, the Trade Consortium of Blix, and the Gardens of Meynon.

But as we all know, the porphyrite borders of Porphyra can hold famine next to feast, blizzard next to sunburn, and antimagic next to the power of gods.  Passing over the border into Nor-Du-Mag shuts everything magical off, like it never was; summoned creatures wink out of existence, continuing magical effects cease to be, the gods cannot be contacted, channelling energy does not work, and magic items are just ‘items’… though a magic weapon or piece of armor is still of masterwork quality!  In game terms, all (Sp) and (Su) effects cannot be accessed or used, though all (Ex) effects are just fine.  This makes Nor-Du-Mag the warrior’s domain above all others, no matter what the Jheriaks say.  No spell-like abilities, no potions, not even a simple orison.  Monsters that dominate the Cloven Lands megahumans; humanoid bandits, ogres and giants- and of those the ogres are probably the most successful, as they have developed survival skills of great finesse, living in the dust in their tunnels wrapped in cloth like so many trap-door spiders.  Giants, to their racial shame, often have to herd giant goats or sluggish lizards to have enough to eat.  Dust-ogres- “dust’res” disdain husbandry, hunting and raiding for their sustenance, which does not seem to be much.

Alchemy is the only science that has any sway here, for any mundane alchemical items can be produced that do no have any magical aspect to them. Alchemists are revered here, and some do claim godlike powers, but it is a precarious position, as kidnapping skilled alchemists is a dominant activity in the Cloven Lands.  There seems to be a lot to say about Nor-Du-Mag, the Cloven Lands, so I will continue this next week with some more antimagic musings… make a comment or drop me a line if you want me to talk about anything else regarding Porphyra, or anything at all!  ‘Til then, a little tidbit, the dust-ogres…

Dust’res (Variant Ogre species)

Dust-ogres, or dust’res, are a widespread variant of the standard ogre adapted to live in the sere wastelands of the Cloven Lands, Nor-Du-Mag.  They resemble large humans more that their brother ogres, with rough brown skin and tiny eyes. They swathe themselves in long rags and plant fibers, and cover the eyes with bone eyeshields; they wield large spears (1d12 damage) rather than greatclubs, carry a sheaf of javelins, and most carry garrotes and lassos.  One of their favorite tactics is to string a number of their clan (typically no more than 12) on a ridge with the setting sun behind them, to spark terror in the hearts of caravans or travellers trying to cross the Cloven Lands, a silent promise that they will not reach their destination…

Quick Rules: +1 to AC, initiative, thrown weapon attacks; -1 hp/HD, +4 racial bonus to Stealth in Nor-Du-Mag (deserts)

Rebuild Rules: Ability Scores +2 to Dexterity, -2 to Constitution Special +4 to Stealth in desert terrain, proficiency with lassos and garrotes; Endurance as a bonus feat

All Aboard!

Hello again, welcome to the blog!  I spent today watching one of my favorite movies Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World; can’t get enough of it, best movie ever!  So, this translates into creating the navy of the “most powerful” of the Porphyran world, ready to travel for the service of the Twenty-Seven Gods (but really, only the one…)

Ships of the Line- The Kamaarian Naval Service (K.N.S)

The nation of The Middle Kingdoms still acts much like the “police force” of Porphyra, and the sea needs patrolling as much as the land.  What follows is a summary of the naval forces of this powerful Deist nation, which allies with its Deist partners whenever possible.

Ship Combat simplification: A ship’s weapon breaks down with a roll of natural “1”, an ordinary miss with a 2 or 3; range increments are -2 for each increment.  GM can rule on environmental factors such as fog, smoke, rough conditions and the like, which impose -2 penalties.  Ship’s cannon are -6 to hit in any case, but have a long range.  Critical hits are indicated with a “20” or “19-20” for ballistae.  Barrages aimed at stern or bow impose a further -4 penalty.  A hit that penetrates hardness and does damage removes from hull points 70% of the time, damages crew 20% of the time, and weapons 10% of the time.  This can be further simplified by the GM to speed combat play.

“Captain #” is the assigned captains “Profession (sailor)” modifier.

Flagship of the Deist/Middle Kingdoms Fleet

The current flagship of the Deist (Middle Kingdoms) fleet is the intimidating galley Treaty of Siwath, resplendent with precious metals dressing its flanks and sails.  Captain +15

K.N.S. Treaty of Siwath

Enormous flagship of the fleet, typically circles the island of Calopia; normally armed with 8 heavy ballistae, 4 firedrakes and 3 naval ship’s cannon on firing platforms.  Modified with: bronze ram, extended keel, magically treated hull, oars and sails

Territorial Flagships

Heavy war-galleys crewed by natives of the four kingdoms; typically armed with 40 heavy ballistae, acid treated to bypass 2 hardness.  Modified with rams and sturdy hulls.  One territorial  flagship  leads the Southern Guard fleet in the Eastern Cold sea, watching possible Elementalist activity. Captain +12

K.N.S. Geranland- currently with the Southern Guard fleet.

K.N.S. Rotwald

K.N.S. Pium –captained with clerical officers, stays within flag distance of the Treaty of Siwath.

K.N.S. Vinterre – currently with the Pyramid Fleet.

Warships of the Line

Versatile warships that prowl the seas of Porphyra representing the might and power of the Middle Kingdoms and the Deist cause.  They frequently cooperate with foreign fleets in joint operations and always contain at least 50 troops that can act as marines. Typically armed with 6 light ballistae and 4 light catapults on each side, with a variety of purposed shot. Captain +10

K.N.S. Arbitress –with the Southern Guard Fleet

K.N.S. Belle Ville

K.N.S. Codion- typically stays with the home fleet in the northern Bay of Sphinxes.

K.N.S. Gerana’s Dawn- stationed off the Rainbow Isles, with the so-called Pyramid fleet.

K.N.S. Justice- with the Southern Guard Fleet.

K.N.S.  Nachtburg

K.N.S. Regent- old and decrepit, the “punishment duty” of the fleet, currently running prisoners to Gulag Black

K.N.S. Thame

 

Sailing Ships of the Line

These third-rated ships are the workhorses of the Kamaarian Naval Service, replaced on a regular basis if needed and of various configurations.  Most are built in Klemt, from the endless forests of Rotwald; all are made with sturdy hulls. Captain +10

K.N.S. King Arturus- assigned to the Pyramid Fleet

K.N.S. City of Gold –fleet tender for the home fleet

K.N.S. Port of Kamaar- well known to be a company ship of the Purple Hands intelligence service.

K.N.S. Port of Klemt

K.N.S. Sea of Ithreia- permanently assigned to the Sea of Ithreia, protecting Deist interests.

K.N.S. Silent Monastery

K.N.S. Serenity Guard- with the Southern Guard Fleet.

K.N.S.  Three Rivers

K.N.S. Vindictine- assigned to the Pyramid Fleet.

Royal Trading Frigates

Sometimes dubbed the “merchant fleet”, these semi-independent vessels are free to ply a mercantile trade under the auspices of an auxiliary fleet of the Kamaarian Naval Service.  Through an onboard magical message service, they can be called into service at any time to serve the needs of the Deist cause.  Royal frigates have the statistics of a ‘junk’ vessel, armed with ship’s cannons fore and aft, and banks of six light ballistae on each side of these fierce traders.  It is an old tradition that the R.T.F. be given names of flying monsters, regardless of their intent.  Captain +10

R.T.F. Chimera- currently crewed by Purple Hand intelligence operatives, trading between Erkusaa and Sharira.

R.T.F. Cockatrice

R.T.F. Dragonnel

R.T.F. Hippogriff- in drydock for repairs in Freeport; crew not behaving themselves

R.T.F. Manticore

R.T.S. Pegasus- currently engaged, with Peryton and Phoenix, blockade running to New Karkoon

R.T.F. Peryton

R.T.F. Phoenix                                      

R.T.F. Sphinx- crewed entirely by non-humans, a common strategy in the Naval Service

R.T.F. Wyvern

Codionic Offsets in the Middle Kingdoms

Hello again, welcome to my second installment of the blog.  Campaign-wise, the iconic Middle Kingdoms are a good place to start in regards to Porphyra, as they are a mostly-safe, stable land that nonetheless has a plethora of rules and regulations that the typically free-wheeling party of adventurers will have trouble obeying. They are:  no gratuitous use of the “elements”; varying degrees of racism towards non-humans (except half-outsiders, who are usually treated with awe); and implied monotheism, in spite of the collective victory of the Gods as a plurality- with the “True” god being Gerana the Arbitress.  Add in an observant population and the vigilant ‘police’ force that is the para-palatinate Codionic Knights, and you have a minefield of social niceties that will try role-playing skills on many levels.

The introductory adventure The Ruins of Greencastle in the Lands of Porphyra campaign setting is a great place to start a party adventuring in Porphyra, especially if the GM wants to begin a 20-level campaign to bring At’f’aal, the Rainbow Child to the Material Plane and heal the rift of faith factions- but we’ll speak more on that in later blogs!

The Middle Kingdoms

Whereas the four principalities called by Porphyrans The Middle Kingdoms consist of Vinterre, an agricultural land steeped in lively arts; Geranland, of varied terrain and industry supported by a powerful wizard’s guild; Rotwald, a heavily forested land with wild and monster-haunted corners; and Pium, seat of Sanctus Templum, the Golden City and headquarters of the vast Church of Gerana, and its leader and potentate, the Codion.  This quadripartite confederacy is bound by their world of origin, their faith, and their common cause in the NewGods War, which had an effect of solidifying what was once drifting apart in the World-that-Was.

 So know that The Middle Kingdoms has an overarching law, the Code of Four, which precludes overuse or overdependence on the four classic elements, so revered by their enemies, the Elementalists.  Earth alone is casually utilized, as Gerana is deity of that element, and so farming, mining and stone-work are performed with little comment. Dependence on fire is frowned upon, as is flight and swimming.   The Kamaarian Navy is titled for its port, not its nation or faith for this reason, though they are as pious as most, if a little rough.

Midlanders, as they are so yclept, tend to remain in their villages and cities and wax industrious there, so there are opportunities to explore little-frequented regions of the Middle Kingdoms, perhaps to seek ruins abandoned during the turbulent years after The Calling, or old battlefields from the NewGods War, of which there are, sadly, many.    The Sowmoors in the south, the central Moonwood of Rotwald, and the sad environs of Greencastle are all places ignored or abandoned by the Codionic Knights- though they have every right to do so, as I acknowledge as a historian sanctioned by the Codion’s Inner Council, long may he preside.”

-Gazetteer I, Lands of the East, Odulaki the Seer

Mundane Item

Codionic Offset

These small metallic tickets cannot be counterfeited, as they are manufactured by the Hall of Sanctions in the Iron Basilica of Sanctus Templum.  They are sold or granted in four different colors: white, brown, red and blue, and allow the bearer a dispensation to engage in ‘elemental’ activity in the eyes of the authorities and populace, temporarily bypassing the regulations of the Code of Four.  Thus, a white offset holder could cast a fly spell without sanction, dig a deep trench for non-commercial use or cast an expeditious excavation spell, burn off a section of scrubland or cast a fireball spell, or dig a well or cast a control water spell.  Though not magical, the bearer gains a +1 morale bonus to concentration checks when using a codionic offset.  Offsets are licensed by date or duration, with a sliding scale of cost according to the task or tasks described to the attending cleric-bureaucrat.

Cost: 5 gp per spell level or day-length worth of activity (0-level = 1 gp/ day)

Dragon Thanes of Porphyra

Dragon Thanes of Porphyra- bow down or perish!

In the hidden places of the Patchwork Planet of Porphyra, powerful godlike beings known as Dragon Thanes collect the most precious dragon-hoards of all- whole cultures.  Moon-dwellers revere Dervayi the Outer Thane, secluded militant elves follow Ohla Pasom the Metallic Thane, demidragon converts fanatically obey The Porphyrite Wyrm, and a host of other mystical metareptiles for your perusal.  Written in the style of Purple Duck Games’ faith books, Aaron Hollingsworth and Perry Fehr bring you Dragon Thanes of Porphyra, detailing the intriguing cults of these most favorite of tabletop gaming beings.

Eight dragon thanes are intricately detailed, with tables displaying all information, and included are powerful demi-artifact magic items and new and interesting spells for each dragon-thane faith.   Also included are great new rules for dragon growth, dragon-cults, and the intricacies of dragon worship, so that all may join the ranks of the truly reverent of Scalykind!

So if you want to discover the mysteries of dragon-dom, get Dragon Thanes of Porphyra today from the reptilian reprobates at Purple Duck Games, where our games are what you want!

Available Exclusively From Rpgnow.

This file also includes a bonus monster called the Lavalantula!

Lands of Porphyra – Global Traits

Welcome to the Lands of Porphyra blog! My name is Perry Fehr and I am part of Purple Duck Games, in my role as writer and editor.  I will be blogging weekly here, talking about the nations of our campaign setting, the Lands of Porphyra!  I hope to impart some interesting tales about the various lands in the Lands, and I will try to include some crunchy bits for those that are adventuring there and want more flavor for their setting- I hope you enjoy!

“For the Patchwork Planet of Porphyra is a celestial body, in that it spins in the vastness of the Vacuum that contains, presumably, other worlds, such as the Femanx and the Xenarthan, among others, have spoken of.  Porphyra is a small planet, as such bodies go (again, compared only to tantalizing bits from ‘extraterrestrials) though it has two moons, colloquially called Vaar’s Eye and Shakhil’s Chair- but they are called many other names by many other peoples…”

-from Of the Patchwork Planet by Odulaki the Seer, samsaran mystic

Global Traits

This is a new category of traits that can be taken by any being born on the Patchwork Planet of Porphyra.  Beings that have the extraplanar or extraterrestrial type cannot take global traits.

Faction Savvy: You can easily tell whether a community is pro-Deist, or pro-Elemental, a good survival strategy on Porphyra. You can perform a Sense Motive and a Knowledge (religion) check as an immediate action once each per day.  You gain a +1 bonus to one of these skills.

Globetrotter: You were able to travel the breadth of Porphyra as a child, and have seen many of the wondrous lands therein. You gain +1 to Knowledge (geography) checks, and that skill is a class skill for you.  You start play with a flake of porphyrite.

Neo-Porphyran: You wish, foolishly perhaps, for a time when all peoples shall be together in brotherhood, regardless of nation or race. You can, one time only, cast the spell rainbow promise* as a spell-like ability; thereafter, you gain +1 to Diplomacy checks with races other than your own.

Porphyrologist: The porphyrite borders of Porphyra fascinate you, and the magical crystal element itself is worth more to you than gold. You gain +1 to your Knowledge checks when within sight of a porphyrite border or large (1 ton or more) deposit of porphyrite.  You start play with a flake of porphyrite.

Pre-Calling Heritage: You are from a Landed territory, and can trace your lineage back to the World-that-Was, and woe to the “Porphyran” that plucks your beard. Pick one subtype other than “human”; you gain either +1 to hit against that type, or +1 to saving throws required by attacks that type makes other than spells.

Wanderlust: You yearn to travel to all the Lands of Porphyra, Landed and native, and you know that someday you will do so. You gain access to the world map* of Porphyra, though without descriptive data at present.  You may add 1 mile to overland travel for any small (<10) group that you are part of.

 

*found in Lands of Porphyra