I’ve put together another issue of “Mysthead” my RPG fanzine. You can get it and the first issue by supporting me on patreon. CLICK THIS TO GO THERE. In this issue you’ll find lore about Mysthead’s elf and goblin populations, a playable gossiping spider race-class (“The Rumormonger Spider”) for Old School Essentials, and tables to generate whispering skulls, hot spider gossip, and elf-goblin political structures. So as not to make this post a complete advertisement, I’ve included the elf-goblin political structure generator below.
Take care for now!
Elves and goblins often have peculiar ways of governing themselves. While all manner of geases may determine what actions may or may not be taken when within either ones domain, there is usually some higher authority consulted in times of great peril or confusion. Often these have a clear criteria they follow: the most cunning, the eldest, those who achieve some renown. Other times the criteria is more obscure.
Below you will find an assortment of odd sovereigns to rule over your goblins and elves. Roll, choose, and/or mix and match:
- A class of astronomers who seek advice from the stars. Their wisdom is renowned.
- An ancient tree at the center of the Arkenwyld and served by an order of life-bound guardians.
- A sacred book that rewrites itself every day.
- A great elder abstracted with age and lingering on the brink of stupor.
- A young sovereign wrestling with their first bout of nostalgia.
- Your mom. My mom. Every body’s mom. The literal All-Mother
- An ancient ethernaut stranded in this world by the vortex shoals.
- A squabbling court of siblings intriguing against each other and eager to find allies.
- A council of ancients, so old they resemble cicadas. Time has no meaning to them.
- A singing harp, whoever can master its song rules for a decade.
- A council of white-coated priests who read the movements of rats in a maze.
- A set of bone dice kept locked in a vault. They bear no numbers or glyphs and can only be read by a trained seer.
- A human child, obnoxious and utterly spoiled. The child’s about eleven.
- Three gnomes in a trench coat. It started as a gag but now they’re in too deep.
- A spider of epic proportions that feeds on secrets and makes its lair in a darkness beyond reason.
- The movements of some infernal or divine beast like a hen or a pig. It is attended by priests and kept within a heavily guarded enclosure.
- The winner of an extreme athletic event done without assistance and far from sober. Not all who attempt it return.
- An odd stone that weeps a slurry that induces visions. It’s not from this world, nor even this reality. The hangovers are abysmal, but it works.
- An elf sovereign exiled from another land. They are keen to get their revenge and regain their kingdom.
- An intelligent monster like an ogre magi, dragon, or sphinx kept as a prisoner. They are treated with reverence but know they live in a gilded cage and long for their freedom.
What am I playing?
I ran a game for a bit until two TPKs got me a reputation in town as a killer DM. This made me sad, but my buddy took over the gaming duties. Now, I’m playing in his game and being the yahoo running amok. For laughs I’m a playing a goody two shoes who makes everyone’s life miserable.
I like 5e, but it takes forever to make a character and all the crunch gets to me.
(I’m also playing a f**kton of board games but that’s a subject for another post.)
What am I running?
The Stars Without Number game stalled out, then I killed a few parties with 5e, and ran a Numenera one-shot that never really became more than that because two of the players left town (although I wouldn’t have minded if it had become a longer running game).
Apocalypse World has been fun, but it certainly takes more reading the table, than D&D ever did. Also, D&D has very clear role demarcations whereas Apocalypse World doesn’t, so if you have a player who wants to do everything and control every other player, they will try to. Generally, this same person outside of the game is a bit of a bore.
What do I wish I was running?
Beyond the Wall.
The more 5e I play, the more I fall in love with this retroclone. Yeah, the YA protag thing could be a bit annoying – but as a system this might be my favorite iteration of D&D.
Who does it suck to game with?
Two kinds of people:
The never played D&D before but loves Wil Wheaton nerd who sees D&D as a signifier of their nerd status. It’s not just a game, it’s a pop culture reference! If there are no Cheetos and Mountain Dew on the table they feel slighted.
Chess players. Chess players are the worst.