Tag: Fantasy (Page 1 of 3)

Salamanders of House Draax

A Mighty House

Rich and Powerful House Draax influence the world of Naalrinnon by sea. Draax, Dragon God of the Boiling Seas cultivated her army of priests and marines into a powerful force. This House plots the total domination of the world of Naalrinnon. Their dream is to see every species, and god bow low to their might. With twisting plots and nefarious schemes, Draax and her three Merchant Queens seek to subjugate all life. New Gods of Mankind and Anointed Heroes must reckon with this power.

Salamanders of House Draax introduce this pugnacious and boisterous culture to the world of Naalrinnon. Within the pages of this book game masters and players will find.

Salamanders of House Draax Richard Leon

  • Salamanders of House Draax introduce this pugnacious and boisterous culture to the world of Naalrinnon. Within the pages of this book game masters and players will find. Details on the cultural, religious and political structure of House Draax Every Salamander Port with each district described How to create a Salamander of House Draax Player Character Add some unique villains to your next table-top role-playing game.
  • Dark Skull Studios
  • 101 pages
  • Details on the cultural, religious and political structure of House Draax
  • Every Salamander Port with each district described
  • How to create a Salamander of House Draax Player Character
  • New Anointed Powers for House Draax
  • New Anointed Skills for House Draax
  • Weapons and Equipment for House Draax
  • Ideas and Plot Hooks for New Gods of Mankind and Anointed games
  • Stats for Shimmering Fang Marines

Add some unique villains to your next table-top role-playing game.

Get the Book on Drive Thru RPG Here or RPGnow Here.

Or buy it from our website direct here!

How to Use This Book

A New Flavor to Anointed/New Gods of Mankind

Within the New Gods of Mankind universe a player will first experience the environment she creates with her fellow players. Playing in the world of Naalrinnon takes imagination and work. In character creation, players form tribes, with just a couple of thoughts or background such as Nautical in Anointed. Over time players flesh out their tribes and territories with each player creating villages, buildings and a unique culture. This microcosm is the heart and soul of the game and we encourage players to develop their own unique place in the world. It’s when you step away from the familiar and go on a quest; you should know what the world of Naalrinnon has in store for you.

Salamanders of House Draax adds a much needed cultural flavor to this world. House Draax dominates the seas of Naalrinnon and every god will run into a representative of this house at one point in their brief history. To dominate such a vast area requires an organization deep in discipline and martial prowess. Combined with the ruthless, seductive ways of Draax, Dragon God of the Boiling Seas this culture influences a lot of other ports in this world. Despite the ugly use of slaves, this naval empire with its fortified ports and fleets of ships runs the coastal waters of this world. Even their great rival, Celudynn and the Undines do their best not engage her large fleet.

This book introduces every Salamander Port of call with details about each district of the port. If you need to travel to Xila in Sssnamon to visit the Burning Moon Spice market you can do so. A price guide to purchase food, drink, goods, and services sits in its own section in the back. The food and drink menus show some of the culture as well.

House Draax is a Matriarch Theocracy built on organized trade of slaves. This theocracy believes salamander lives are superior to other life. House Draax views females to be superior to males. And Draax, Dragon Goddess of the Boiling Seas to be the prime creator of all life on Naalrinnon. It is this arrogance which leads them to believe salamanders are first, above all others. Slavery is a gift, cruel but needed to show the other races what civilization looks like.

When using this book, as a game master, made sure to understand how Draax thinks. She truly is a goddess of chaos and order combined. Creating an environment of tension within her priesthood is her main goal. Draax wants to control her minions to ensure only she holds power. Draax constantly puts in motion several plots such as assassinations, seductions, exiled embarrassments and more, to check one of her three queens. Her goal is not to win at the game but keep her minions’ ambitions ruled in until it is time to act on one of her other plans.

The Shimmering Fangs, a military order of Marines form the backbone of her naval power. Many other armies try and imitate their style. Their fighting style is one of swift attacks and retreats to counter attack. They love to ambush beach heads at night and take towns slaughtering the males and capturing females and young. Several young human nations including the navy of the human god Morgis uses these tactics. Shimmering Fangs should serve as one of several bad guys for any game in New Gods of Mankind. Use Salamander Marines like Storm Troopers in Star Wars. The Anointed Stat blocks are in the back.

Full descriptions of Powers for Bravery, Fire, Storms, Seduction, Water, and Wind stand in their own section.

We introduce the idea of Elemental spirits as part of the New Gods of Mankind World.

New Skills added like Astronomy, Navigation, Cartography, Lore (Elemental Spirits), Geometry, Minerology, several different Lore Skills, Seduction and a new Salamander unarmed fighting style.

A whole section detailing the size of each type of ship in House Draax is there for you to use in your game.

And…

If you wish to make your own Salamander Player Character, the rules are in their own section. Playing an exile in the world of Naalrinnon gives an exciting twist to playing this game. Also if you as a game master want to make powerful salamander non-playing character for you gods or heroes to face, please do so.

Gods can fight more than their rivals or a few Leviathans. The villains define what the story is about. Humanity is only 600 years old. But now more than ever Mankind needs to strive towards their place in the world of Naalrinnon.

New God's Handbook Richard Leon

  • New Gods of Mankind: New God’s Handbook 1st Edition is a core rulebook created for the player and the GM alike to get started in the world of gods. Assume the roles of ancient warriors or magicians, spirits or even demons that have gathered followers to your cause, ascending to the Celestial Gardens and to godhood. Your very being personifies major and minor aspects of the world and mortal life: War, Death, Birth, or the Sun itself is yours to become. Create miracles, command your followers, and smite your enemies at your whim.
  • Dark Skull Studios
  • 162 pages

Get the New Gods of Mankind book here. Get the Anointed Heroes Supplement here.

Anointed: Mantle of the Gods Darrell Hardy

  • Anointed: Mantle of the Gods is a Table-Top, Pen and Paper Role-Playing Game made for casual, narrative storytelling with simple, easy-to-follow rules for miniatures. You will need a standard dice set from die 4 to die 12 (the die 20, 30 and 100 is saved for high powered miracles in the New Gods of Mankind Ruleset).  This book serves as a heroes supplement to New Gods of Mankind. It can be played by itself.
  • Dark Skull Studios
  • 124 pages

Changes to Our TableTop Game Store

Game Store Changes

Hey everyone,

We made a lot of changes to our Tabletop Game Store!  We added several sections including a Dungeons and Dragons section and a market affiliate program with Amazon. Darrell Hardy kindly put up some of his books up here in the Ghost Puncher Section. Angry Ogre put some PDFs into the store for their selection of Board Games. We plan to add more products soon. Sales of our products in the store fund our website and help us to expand. If you need to buy a D&D book, or any other table-top game material consider our portal.

Richard Leon has slacked off of posting so apologies. This will become a weekly thing now. More Game content from now on!

New Gods of Mankind Salamanders of House Draax

Salamanders of House Draax is right around the corner. We plan to release it by next week. Next Monday is the goal. Edits are happening. New content added. Check out an edited excerpt below.

Naalgrom Ports

Sssnamon

Qann

Qann sits to the far east of Naalgrom, a lonely port city burning night and day. Once an outpost during the War of Elements, it grew into an elegant port city befitting its benefactor, Draax. Surrounded by inhospitable wastes and hostiles this port stands isolated and well protected. Here the main temple to Draax stands erects to the Dragon God of the Boiling Seas. Gray stone walls and cobblestone white streets stand in contrast to wooden blue shops with white dragon tiled roofs. A dark blue granite temple trimmed in gold stands at the heart of the city. The Needle of Draax, towering over 300 ft into the air guides ships into the secured harbor. Artificial sea walls stand erect around the port, with small towers at every corner. Inside the small city a healthy trade of exotic slaves and beasts takes place.

Landmarks and Noteworthy Places:

The Needle of Draax

The Needle of Draax looms over the Bay of Qann near the main harbor, isolated on a small outcropping of rocks. Once destroyed by an Undine fleet, the bronze and white marble tower stands rebuilt. It gleams during the day casting a bright yellow-orange flame with a green tinge across the surrounding coasts. A huge mirror inside the top of the lighthouse helps push the light around. The bright yellow-orange flame with its special green ting aura is unique in the whole world. This special light signals all who come near this port, this area belongs to House Draax and the goddess herself.

The Main Harbor of Qann

Large, blue grey walls towering over 50 feet protect the main Harbor of Qann. An underwater sea maze of artificial stones, wave barriers and levies hampers unwelcomed vessels. The harbor master protects the harbor with a garrison of three Shimmering Fang Companies. Shimmering Fangs companies patrol each sea tower and wall. Human, Gnome and Undine saboteurs still continue to attack this harbor.

Draax’s Main Temple

Draax’s Temple towers over the whole port city a huge sea blue granite building cut by the goddess herself. The structure itself has over four wings connecting to a central pool area and sits in the center of the town. Near the central pool is a vast throne room covered in gold and lapis lazuli for the Merchant Queen of Naalgrom. Inside the Merchant Queen’s room is an inner sanctum where the Merchant Queen can commune with the goddess herself. In front of the temple’s southern gates is a life-size statue of Draax herself, painted in detail to look like the goddess incarnate. The boiling sea pools within the center of the temple are world famous.

During the summer months thousands of members of House Draax come to Qann for a pilgrimage. Worshippers make this pilgrimage to Draax’s Temple at least once during their lifetime. Every salamander house knows the Feasts of Draax, is a wild orgy event. Many salamanders conceive during this season long festival. Hostels and Inns fill up during the summer months in the City of Qann.

Slaver’s Market

Inside near the warehouse district sits the Slaver’s Market, a selection of unique people from all over the world of Naalrinnon. This market is an internal market for members of House Draax only. A majority of the slaves are humans, but the occasional Undine, Wood Nymph and Gnome make their way into the market. Several Sylphs help to run the market and do their best to keep it a secret from the other species of Naalrinnon. The summer months is when this market does its best business, right along with the Festival of Draax.

Exotic Beasts Market

The Exotic Beasts Market is a recent addition to Qann. Originally started as a Sylph emporium, it turned into a huge market ran by Salamander Merchant Priests, Sylphs and a few humans as well. Merchants procure and sell all types of beasts including many types of Lashon and the mimic predator, Nassyx. Many salamanders from every House visit this place in this walled off district. Fresh meats from these exotic animals fetch a high price.

Oh and check out the awesome cardstock buildings we have in the store. 

Temple of the Gods Richard Leon

  • Time to worship your god. Some places require a place of worship. Give your followers a place to call home with our set. Customization flames and pillars set this set apart from other buildings. Check it out and bring your village to life
  • Dark Skull Studios

The Old Sylph On The Mountain

Artwork by Chris Malidore. Find his excellent work here.
Galt climbed the mountainside, inch by inch, tortured by heat and pain.
With his two daggers, Frostfang and Venomblade, he punched into the rock, one at a time. He tied a rope, twenty paces long to each dagger and threw it eighteen paces. Slowly he climbed the rope, a good white hemp rope made by folks down near the Crystal Lakes, hand over fist to the dagger lodged in the granite stone.
If one was to look at Galt’s progress up the mountainside, all you would see is three sacks, rope, and daggers.
Galt, blessed by his god of Shadows, was given three gifts. The first two gifts were the daggers, enchanted by his god, one made to freeze and the other to poison. His last gift gave him the ability to blend in to his surroundings. Galt looked much like the beige granite mountainside he was climbing. Even Galt’s shadow was blended in so no one would notice. He is the perfect hero for a god who loves death, dances in shadows and plays with snakes.
During the climb he thought about his god’s command: “Go find the old sylph, the one who lives in a cave near the top of Thumbstone Mountain.” Why would he go find a cranky old sylph? The old ones are unusually cunning, full of words and themselves. They smelled like musty old leather that needs to be oiled along with whatever strange weed they were smoking. And the teas, always strange, made of exotic compounds such as claw of harpy and eye of Lashon, with some mint for taste, of course. The older sylphs had desks, inks and parchment made of strange leathers and papers so they could write out whatever claptrap they knew. Gold and secrets, it was their stock and trade.

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Should PCs Act Responsible in a Fictional World?

When you escape into a game, should you escape all responsibilities as well?

Escapism is a HUGE part of our culture. Everyone wants to soar with the eagles, surf the volcanic moons of Jupiter, or dive deep into the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately our lives turn into moments of waiting in lines, going to work, and paying bills.

Being responsible.

When the gang gets together to “escape it all” on the weekend, be it for a round of Call of Duty or a night of 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons (he said 4th edition!!!), do you throw down your sense of being responsible for anything, or anyone?

Heroic adventuring takes gamers into fantastic worlds. When you enter those worlds, another facet of your personality comes out.

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The Future of New Gods of Mankind

Hey Gang,

Earlier this year on my old website I posted about not seeking to do another Kickstarter. I felt like the fan base was not there and I did not want to go through all that trouble for nothing.

Well I am about to go back on that.

Currently I am in talks to get the official license for Savage Worlds. Right now the Kickstarter will depend on if I get official backing.

If New Gods of Mankind becomes an official Savage Worlds product, I will do a proper Kickstarter.

What will change?

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Tommy’s Take on D&D 5th Edition Monster Manual

Monster books for D&D and D&D-like games are kind of a thing. No real surprise, then, that the second core release for D&D 5e proved to be the Monster Manual.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Retail price is about $50, and the book is smidge over 350 pages. It provides the monsters for your D&D game, though you can check out the free DM Guide to get a selection of monsters, and all the stat blocks you need for Tyranny of Dragons are either in the respective adventure books or the free supplements.
So really, you have a lot to work with, already…but you can download and read those for free. The Monster Manual costs money, so I’m going to talk about that.
The production values are fantastic, as should be expected. I like the art direction for Fifth Edition, for the most part, and several of the art pieces look fantastic and evocative, like the Slaads (I love the Death Slaad), the vampire layer, most of the dragons…special props go to The Death Knight which, if it isn’t Lord Soth, it certainly evokes him, and the Werebear, which spells out the difference between a bear and a werebear by brandishing a battle axe.
There’s not a ton of surprises here for the  D&D faithful: Orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, chromatic and metallic dragons, drow, mind flayers, beholders, nightmares, demons, devils, the various giants…even The Tarrasque. Honestly, I’m not sure there’s anything I expected to be here that’s missing. A couple of things have been renamed (Titans are not Empyreans, for instance), and some (like Drow and orcs) get multiple statblocks to show off the variances within the race.
Stat blocks are a bit more streamlined in some ways, one of the most notable being that creatures with reams of spell-like abilities have been greatly reduced (this may have happened in 4e, I honestly do not know)…with dragons, demons and devils standing out to me as having reduced (or missing altogether) spellcasting capabilities. Monsters do keep Ability Scores, however, something I approve of greatly.
The bigger and nastier monsters get Legendary actions, which often give them extra attacks after other characters have gone, and some get Lair Actions, which make them even deadlier if you fight them on their own turf (lookin’ at you, dragons). Fight a red dragon in its lair and it may start a spontaneous earthquake, or take on a lich and find that it can summon the spirits of the those that passed in its lair and use them to tear away at a target. Another awesome touch is that creatures with lairs actually impose their will on the surrounding terrain, twisting it to reflect their temperament (like creepy fog that grip the land when a vampire takes a lair, or people within a mile of a copper dragon’s lair becoming prone to fits of giggling).
The monster entries typically provide about three plot seeds/lore tidbits per entry (sometimes more, sometimes less, but that’s probably a fair average), though some (like liches) get more, but the Monster Manual infamously omitted indexes by environment or challenge rating, as well as the guidelines for actually creating monsters (all of which were found in the DMG).
It’s a good book but not strictly necessary, especially if you are running the Tyranny of Dragons pretty much as written, or if you are comfortable looking at the free monsters and extrapolating from there, and while I do enjoy the book, for sheer utility the 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual trumps it, in my opinion.

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Tommy’s Take on D&D 5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide

I have reviewed the Player’s Handbook, the Monster Manual and the Hoard of the Dragon Queen…but I got sidetracked before I reviewed the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Honestly, I think this review is going to be a bit better than it would have been, because the first impressions have washed away, and I’ve been using the book in play since it was released.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: The book retails for $50, but you can get it for less all over the internet. It’s a stocky 320 pages that contains no *essential* rules, but tries to act as guide to unlocking 5th Edition.
Part 1: Master of Worlds is all about setting up your campaign, even if you are using an established campaign. Yes, they say in plain English that if you are using Forgotten Realms, that it becomes yours from the moment you start running it and the adventures affect the world. This chapter attempts to look at campaign creation from both the top down and the bottom up, beginning with the overall world concept as well as just beginning with a small settlement. Guidelines are provided for advancing up in factions, random charts for massive, world-shaking events, and even a breakdown of the tiers of play (based on character level) and how they are envisioned to interact with the world. There’s even a section breaking down various “flavors of fantasy” (like Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Wuxia, War, Intrigue and so on). Forgotten Realms examples are prevalent in this section, seemingly cementing it as the unofficial baseline for D&D.

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Tommy’s Take on D&D Player’s Handbook 5th Edition

First off, apologies for all the reviews I’m behind on. I did, however, cave and pick up the D&D 5th Edition Player’s Handbook, and given my vocal anti-D&D stance, I’ve actually been asked by a few people to do a review, so here goes:

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: First off, this book was not provided by Wizards of the Coast as a comp. You can get it at your local game store for $50, or on Amazon for noticeably less. You can also download the basic rules from the D&D website, which covers the four iconic races (elves, dwarves, humans and halflings) and the four iconic classes (fighter, wizard, rogue and cleric).

The next thing you should probably know is where I come from: If you haven’t been reading my #RPGaDay posts, I got started with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition, and I used to have a massive collection across most of the campaign worlds. I tried the earlier versions (I don’t like “Race as Class”), and I DMed 3.5 for a while (and it is entirely too much work for the reward for me). I’ve read 4th edition but only played the 4e-based board games (which are crazy amounts of fun). I signed up for the playtest but never really got a chance to take it seriously, though I was impressed with the speed of character creation. I played a session online with a group, which was alright, but a) I’m not used to playing online and b) I’m not used to being a player instead of a DM/GM. Of course, I read the basic rules but they left me flat.

For some reason, despite preparing a 13th Age game to scratch the D&D itch, I caved and got the Player’s Handbook.

One thing that is screamingly obvious is that D&D is completely shaped like itself now. It makes references to D&D literature from the past (especially Drizzt and Dragonlance novels), drawing specifically on what came before as much as it does things like The Lord of the Rings or Lankhmar.

In addition to dwarves (hill and mountain), elves (high, wood and dark), halflings (lightfoot and stout) and humans, the Player’s Handbook adds dragonborn, gnomes (forest and rock), half-elves, half-orcs and tieflings. The additional classes are barbarian, bard, druid, monk, paladin, ranger, sorcerer and warlock.

There are no race or class minimums or restrictions, and even classic alignment restrictions are removed, so you technically can be a Chaotic Evil Halfling Paladin if you so choose.

Now, and this raised a stink among some folk, the first two levels are generally easy to blow through. Level 2 is only 300 XP and level 3 is only 900, but this is by design…essentially, they are “training levels”, and every class makes a meaningful choice at (generally, but not always) 3rd level that causes their character to branch out. Barbarians adopt a Primal Path, Bards join a College, Clerics…okay, they’ve already made their big choice, Druids join a Circle (at 2nd level, not 3rd), Fighters adopt a Martial Archetype, Monks adopt a Monastic Tradition, Paladins swear a Sacred Oath, Rangers adopt a Ranger Archetype, Rogues select a Rogueish Archetype, Sorcerers reveal a Sorcerous Origin at 1st level, Warlocks make a pact with an Otherworldly Patron (at 1st level) and Wizards embrace an Arcane Tradition at 2nd level.

Gone are Prestige Classes, and class progression is much closer to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, with customization coming in the form of the path you take your character down, as well as one of my other favorite mechanics: Backgrounds. What were you before you were an adventurer? An Acolyte? A Charlatan? An Entertainer? A Sage? A Hermit? A Noble?

Get the Player’s Guide here. 

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Lysandra Fights the Salamanders

Lysandra climbed the steep hill, pounding her feet into the dirt. Determination and anger gripped her visage, a countenance of holy wrath.
She could see the summit now, a circular tower made of gray stone, cushioned on a large red hill poking out of a yellow plain of grass, a huge stack of wood beside the structure. As the sun set, the tower caught rays of the fleeing sun, turning the tower and the dead bodies strewn around its base blood red. Lighting the timber was her goal, a signal fire ready to ignite and warn allies of her god, Morgis.
Scaly watchers protecting the signal tower spotted her black helm and midnight cloak marching up the hill like an oncoming black storm. The Four guards, salamander warriors, dressed in scout leathers, guarded the strategic point from anyone who would dare light the fire. The watching enemy moved to intercept her.
Lysandra, anointed champion of Morgis came to harvest them, for they were weeds choking life in her god’s realm.

Get Anointed-Mantle of the Gods bundle pack on Drive Thru RPG here

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What New Gods of Mankind Should Know

New Gods’ View of the Elder Gods and History

(30 Years after the Frinthian Wars)

Humanity is only 600 years old.

The elemental elder species have histories going back thousands of years.

Humanity is the world’s first invasive species coming to Naalrinnon several thousand years ago.

Humanity on Naalrinnon is a mixture of what humans should look like from ideas and the flesh and blood of Undines. Plthunlos recreated man over 600 years ago.

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