The Bogeymen of Panzoasia, Part II – Kobolds

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The Kobolds of Panzoasia

Panzoasian Kobolds are (in)famous for their bizarre machines, which are typically made of re-purposed items stolen from other species, and constructed to function in as improbable and indirect a manner as possible. They particularity love chain-reaction type contraptions. Kobolds never do anything themselves if they can build a machine to do instead – however inefficiently. In Kobold eyes, however, the highest use of a machine is the infliction of pain and suffering on larger humanoids. Naturally, they excel in the construction of incomprehensibly elaborate deathtraps, baroque torture devices, and outlandish war-engines. As often as not, however, the machines strewn throughout Kobold tunnels don’t seem to serve any actual purposes.

Appearance and Costume

A typical Kobold stands just under 3 feet tall, and has a whiskered canine face, reptilian brow, rodent-like teeth, lizard-like eyes, and reddish-brown skin that is both scaly, and sparsely studded with long bristles. Atop a Kobold’s head is a pair of segmented growths. On Kobolds that live close to the surface, these growths look exactly like small, sharp horns – but on deeper dwelling Kobolds the growths are actual, ant-like antennae. A Panzoasian Kobold’s forearms have several spines running along the ulnar edge, and their nimble hands are clawed. Their legs are canine, but hairless. Their two-toed feet resemble those of giant ants. A Kobold’s long tail resembles that of a rat. Kobolds have no external genitalia or secondary sexual characteristics (mating like birds by means of a cloaca), and it is impossible for non-Kobolds to distinguish males from females.

Kobolds do not always wear clothing. When they do they actually prefer donning mismatched and re-purposed items in clashing colors. Matching, symmetrical outfits of the kind a Human would consider beautiful actually look outlandish and ugly to Kobold eyes. Kobolds don’t re-purpose objects because they are unable to make things for themselves, but rather to show how clever and resourceful they are.

Kobold Culture and Society

Of all the Bogeyman races, Kobolds have the most obvious senses of humor. Unfortunately, most of their humor ultimately involves the infliction of pain or distress on some other intelligent species. One could easily be amused by the apparently madcap antics of Kobolds – right up the point where a swarm of them starts stabbing, slashing, and biting. If one wasn’t locked into a Kobold skinning machine, one might be amazed at its whimsical design.

Kobolds lay eggs, and only certain Kobolds, selected from birth, are ever allowed to reproduce. These “Breeders” actually do nothing else but mate. The bodies of recently hatched Kobolds resemble bloated, scaly maggots, their limbs lengthening every year until they reach full maturity at the the age of ten. The maturing young are raised communally – if somewhat haphazardly. In fact, Kobolds have no regard for their offspring at all, and those who have raided Kobold tunnels report whelps actually being used as projectile weapons. Sometimes, Kobolds even eat their young.

The largest Breeder in a Kobold community is its Queen, a bloated creature who almost never leaves her guarded chamber.

Kobolds always consume their own dead. Besides humanoid flesh, Kobolds primarily eat insects, fungi and cave slime (which they love to lick directly from the rocks). Gnome noses are considered a delicacy. The widely feared Green Slime is a harmless snack for Kobolds – so their lairs are often filled with it. Sugar is an intoxicant for Kobolds, and they will go to fantastic lengths to obtain honey and candy. The most prized possession of a Kobold Queen is often her enormous store of surface-made sweets.

Kobolds are the best miners of any species – superior even to Dwarves and Gnomes. Unlike Dwarves and Gnomes, however, they have no interest in symmetrical, even structures – preferring winding tunnels that may look haphazardly excavated, but have actually been deliberately constructed for stability and defensibility.

Kobolds at War

Kobolds love to make helmets out of leather boots captured in raids on Human settlements, and will often wear pieces of giant insects as armor. A typical Kobold Shield is made from a giant beetle carapace – or the lid of a stolen cooking pot. Likewise, their weapons are often made of re-purposed items. Like Gnomes, Kobolds often employ the repeating crossbow, often tipping their bolts with various poisons.

Animals and Allies of the Kobolds

Kobolds have domesticated rats of every size and variety – using them as food, mounts, beasts of burden, and to power various machines. The Kobolds’ pheromones allow them to to communicate with giant ants, and the two species often dwell symbiotically.

Among the other Bogeymen, Kobolds are simultaneously disliked for their strange senses of humor, and sought out for their engineering skills. It is common for the traps in lairs of Orcs, Hobgoblins, and other Bogeymen to be of Kobold design. For reasons known only to themselves, the Kobolds will often deliberately build such traps in such a way that they can be disarmed by sufficiently clever adventures who can solve a nearby riddle or puzzle.

Dragons despise Kobolds. In return, Kobolds are known to spread the insulting joke that their species arose on account of Dragons secretively mating with dogs.

The Kobold Language

Kobolds communicate by a combination of spoken language and emitted pheromones. To Human ears, their language sounds like a mixture of small dogs barking, rats chittering, and mocking laughter of children. Their various pheromones result in the strange “Kobold smell” that vaguely resembles rotten eggs, musk, and spoiled coconut. Because of its olfactory component, it is impossible for most other races to communicate well in the Kobold “language” without magical aid – the best that can be achieved is a kind of crude pidgin. The actual “name” that Kobolds use for their own species, for example, is a squeaky sound that is most closely rendered as “Yamakaba”, accompanied by a scent similar to overripe fruit. Oddly, Kobold is written with the same letters used to write Western Gnomish (albeit with the addition of pheromones smeared on the inscription). How such a strange fact came to be is a source of constant debate among Gnomish sages.

Alignment and Religion

Being sent on a mission to the Kobolds is considered among the worst assignments in the Antichurch of Darkness. Kobold tunnels are completely inhospitable even to the most depraved Humans, and the impious little monsters barely pay attention during Black Masses – when they bother to attend. Kobolds do their required service at the Bogey Mounds, but only for the chance to play cruel tricks on adventurers – and other Bogeymen.

Before they turned to Evil, most Kobolds were apparently Neutral in Alignment. Deep in the Wasteland there are said to be ancient, abandoned Kobold tunnels filled with wonders, testimony to the greatness of which Kobolds were once capable.


Elements of a Kobold Machine

d100, 2d4 times

This Kobold machine incorporates…

1 – 8

a normal rat in a wheel.

9 – 15

a giant rat in a wheel.

16 – 21

absurdly complicated gearwork.

22 – 27

springs (one of which pops out of the machine).

28 – 29

scissors and string.

30 – 31

2d12 coins falling onto a plate.

32 – 33

in intricate series of ropes and pulleys.

34 – 35

a heavy weight falling onto a raised lever.

36 – 37

a glass tube being filled with water.

38 – 39

a hammer striking a target.

40 – 41

small balls moving downhill through a labyrinthine track.

42 – 43

a vent that emits a puff of smoke.

44 – 45

a crossbow.

46 – 47

a candle.

48 – 49

an inflatable bladder.

50 – 51

a bellows.

52 – 53

a wheel of shoes.

54 – 55

a seesaw.

56 – 57

a scales.

58 – 59

a helmet.

60 – 61

a bat in a cage.

62 – 63

pipes.

64 – 65

a small ball traveling along a track.

66 – 67

a pendulum.

68 – 69

weights on chains.

70 – 71

a roller bed.

72 – 73

the broken hand of a statue.

74 – 75

an actual gemstone. (value d6 x d100 gp).

76 – 77

a dinner plate.

78 – 79

a fork.

80 – 81

a spoon.

82 – 83

a ladle.

84 – 85

metal pipes.

86 – 87

leaky metal pipes.

88 – 89

leather hoses.

90 – 91

hoses made from intestines.

92 – 93

a skull.

94 – 95

bones.

96 – 95

small marbles falling onto a pan.

97 – 98

an hourglass.

99 – 100

an old boot filled with sand.

A Gnomish Tinkerer can make an Intelligence Check to discern the intended function (if any) of a Kobold Machine.

Adventurers of Panzoasia 4: Halfling Rover – Available Now

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Adventurers of Panzoasia 4: Halfling Rover is the fourth in a series of modular supplements presenting re-imagined Character Classes, variant rules, and setting information for Classic-style fantasy adventure games.

Includes everything you need to play a Halfling Rover character:

  • A redesigned 14 Level “Halfling” Class, presented in a concise tabular format that fits on the back of a character sheet.
  • A large-scale map of the Ultimate West of Panzoasia, and a single-page overview of this accessible, yet surprising, campaign setting – where Orcs are colonizing industrialists, the Monsters are invasive species, and adventurers reclaim stolen lands and treasures.
  • Easy-to-reference modified rules for the Classic B/X and BECMI systems, including a rethought “five-point” Alignment model, and a simple system for advancing PCs by hours played.
  • A page of facts about the long-suffering but resourceful “Humblekin”, or Halflings of Panzoaia.
  • A table of popular names for Panzoasian Halflings, and a flavorful list of suggested starting equipment.
  • Setting-integrated Destinies for 9th and 14th Level Halfling Rover PCs. Characters can accept the fate decided for them by the Starry Archons – or resist it in the cause of Free Will!
  • Class variants, including Dwarven, Elven, and Human Rovers.
  • Descriptions of wondrous minerals familiar to the Halflings, including Meteoritic Steel than can strike creatures normally immune to non-magical weapons.
  • Wondrous flora familiar to Halflings, such as Sword Lacquer Tree – with sap that dries as hard as bronze.
  • Cross-compatible creature stats for the bipedal (and seasonally dangerous) Fool Hares of Panzoasia – and the giant Perdurable Snails they sometimes ride.

Also available:

Adventurers of Panzoasia 1: Dwarven Dungeoneer

Adventurers of Panzoasia 2: Elven Warrior-Wizard

Adventurers of Panzoasia 3: Gnomish Tinkerer

Adventurers of Panzoasia 3: Gnomish Tinkerer – Now Available

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Available now on DriveThruRPG, the third in a series of modular supplements presenting re-imagined Character Classes, variant rules, and setting information for Classic-style fantasy adventure games.

Includes everything you need to play a Gnomish Tinkerer character:

  • A new 14 Level Class, presented in a concise tabular format that fits on the back of a character sheet.
  • A large-scale map of the Ultimate West of Panzoasia, and a single-page overview of this accessible, yet surprising, campaign setting – where Orcs are colonizing industrialists, the Monsters are invasive species, and adventurers reclaim stolen lands and treasures.
  • Easy-to-reference modified rules for the Classic B/X and BECMI systems, including a rethought “five-point” Alignment model, and a simple system for advancing PCs by hours played.
  • A page of facts about the Gnomes of Panzoasia – as (in)famous for their bizarre hats as their strange contraptions.
  • A table of popular names for Panzoasian Gnomes, and a flavorful list of suggested starting equipment.
  • 58 Gnomish Contraptions, in an easy-to-reference concise tabular format.
  • Setting-integrated Destinies for 9th and 14th Level Gnomish Tinkerer PCs. Characters can accept the fate decided for them by the Starry Archons – or resist it in the cause of Free Will!
  • Class variants, including Dwarven Tinkerers, and Elven Toy Makers.
  • Descriptions of the wondrous minerals known to the Gnomes, including the poison-neutralizing Toad Stone, and fire-producing Terrabolam stones.
  • Wondrous flora known to the Gnomes – such as the beloved Glistenwood, whose lumber glitters in the light,
  • Cross-compatible creature stats for the Serpentine Dragon, and the fabled Saganic Gnomes – elemental people of Earth who who inhabit Buried Cities deep underground.
  • Bullet-pointed facts about the lands of Ultimate West, and the adjacent realms.

Also available:

Adventurers of Panzoasia 1: Dwarven Dungeoneer

Adventurers of Panzoasia 2: Elven Warrior-Wizard

Adventurers of Panzoasia 2: Elven Warrior-Wizard – Now on DriveThruRPG

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ElvenWarrior-WizardCoverDTRPG

Now on DriveThruRPG, the second in a series of modular supplements presenting re-imagined Character Classes, variant rules, and setting information for Classic-style fantasy adventure games.

Includes everything you need to play an Elven Warrior-Wizard character:

  • A redesigned 14 LevelElf” Class, presented in a concise tabular format that fits on the back of a character sheet.
  • A large-scale map of the Ultimate West of Panzoasia, and a single-page overview of this accessible, yet surprising, campaign setting – where Orcs are colonizing industrialists, the Monsters are invasive species, and adventurers reclaim stolen lands and treasures.
  • Easy-to-reference modified rules for the Classic B/X and BECMI systems, including a rethought “five-point” Alignment model, and a simple system for advancing PCs by hours played.
  • A page of facts about the mercurial, many-hued Elves of Panzoasia, who live for a thousand years – but can only remember the last thirty.
  • A table of popular names for Panzoasian Elves, and a flavorful list of suggested starting equipment.
  • 190 Spells across 7 Levels, in an easy-to-reference concise tabular format.
  • Setting-integrated Destinies for 9th and 14th Level Elven Warrior-Wizard PCs. Characters can accept the fate decided for them by the Starry Archons – or resist it in the cause of Free Will!
  • Class variants, including Halfling Warrior-Wizards, and Human Elf-Friends.
  • Descriptions of the wondrous minerals known to the Elves, including Cloud Silver that floats in the air, and Viridantine – green metal that grows like a plant.
  • Wondrous flora known to the Elves – such as the massive Zoswood, whose hollowed-out trunks shelter Elven communes.
  • Cross-compatible creature stats for giant Riding Cicadas, Elven Riding Deer, War Elks, the phosphorescent Hercinia birds, and the Saganic Sylphs – elemental people of Air who are allies of the Elves.

Also Available:

Adventurers of Panzoasia 1: Dwarven Dungeoneer

Adventurers of Panzoasia 1: Dwarven Dungeoneer – Available Now!

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Available now on DriveThruRPG, the first in a series of modular supplements presenting re-imagined Character Classes, variant rules, and setting information for Classic-style fantasy adventure games.

Includes everything you need to play a Dwarven Dungeoneer character:

  • A redesigned 14 Level “Dwarf” Class, presented in a concise tabular format that fits on the back of a character sheet.
  • A large-scale map of the Ultimate West of Panzoasia, and a single-page overview of this accessible, yet surprising, campaign setting – where Orcs are colonizing industrialists, the Monsters are invasive species, and adventurers reclaim stolen lands and treasures.
  • Easy-to-reference modified rules for the Classic B/X and BECMI systems, including a rethought “five-point” Alignment model, and a simple system for advancing PCs by hours played.
  • A page of facts about the body-painted, megalith-building Dwarves of Panzoasia, who survived the Reign of the Monsters by allying with the Saganic Salamanders who dwell in fiery rifts underground.
  • A table of popular names for Panzoasian Dwarves, and a flavorful list of suggested starting equipment.
  • Setting-integrated Destinies for 9th and 14th Level Dwarven Dungeoneer PCs. Characters can accept the fate decided for them by the Starry Archons – or resist it in the cause of Free Will!
  • Class variants, including Gnomish and Human Dungeoneers.
  • Descriptions of wondrous minerals known to the Dwarves, including black Calidurum metal that softens in the cold, and the Lithic Ice needed to forge Adamantine Steel.
  • Wondrous flora known to the Dwarves, such as the glowing (and ambulatory) Gloamtree Fungus.
  • Cross-compatible creature stats for the legendary Hrycus (whose burning blood can melt almost anything), the hardy Dwarven Riding Goat, and the fabled Saganic Salamanders – magical people of elemental flame.
  • A discussion of the lost and current treasures of Panzoasia, and an overview of the common calendar of Panzoasia’s Ultimate West.

Presented in the freewheeling spirit of 1980s gaming– when fun was all that mattered!

The Anti-Manifesto of No-School Roleplaying

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1. Fun is always the point.

2. If it might be fun let’s try it.

3. Original intentions don’t matter.

4. Ideology is not fun, and games aren’t lessons.

5. Sometimes there’s a story, and sometimes there isn’t.

6. As many or as few rules as needed.

7. Of course we can mix that in!

8. Characters can “buy it”, but their lives aren’t cheap.

9. Game rules mean whatever you need them to mean.

10. The Anti-Manifesto is not an ideology, and has no single interpretation.

The Bogeymen of Panzoasia, Part I – Orcs

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Orcdoodledark1

The Orcs of Panzoasia

The Orcs of Panzoasia’s Ultimate West are best known for their obsession with mass production, and flagrant wastefulness. Their culture places no value on workmanship or artistry, valuing quantity over quality. Orcs go into battle with wagons filled with large quantities of cheap iron throwing axes, and other disposable weapons. Orcish clothing is mass-produced, and poorly made – but the average Orc has piles of it. Orcs live in (and underneath) stark, boxlike factory-forts of plain brick (which are usually in disrepair), surrounded by enormous mounds of garbage – and thick clouds of smoke. Sometimes the garbage mounds around a factory-fort become so large that they become essentially defensive walls – complete with gates. Above all, Orcs never repair what they can just replace. When an environment gets too polluted even for them, they simply move on to a new one.

The Appearance and Costume of Orcs

A typical male Orc resembles a human in overall body shape, but with a boar’s head, and skin covered in bristly, dark hair everywhere except the belly (which can be quite pronounced in older and high-status Orcs). Female Orcs, on the other hand, are nearly hairless, with sow-like heads, and bodies that are otherwise practically identical to Human women in every respect.

Basic clothing for a male Orc consists of a leather bib apron with pockets, and leather pants (preferably Human hide). Orcish females, on the other hand, wear sleeveless smock dresses of printed cloth. Orcish women are not allowed to wear footwear of any kind when indoors. All Orcish clothing and armor noticeably features the sign of the factory-fort where it was produced. As with everything else they own, Orcs never clean or repair their clothing, but throw it on the garbage pile when it becomes unwearable.

Orcish females are expected to wear heavy facial makeup that looks quite garish to Human eyes, and as much cheap, showy jewelry as they possibly can. The mates of high-status Orcs may actually wear real gold and jewels stolen from the Five Peoples (or purchased from the Hobgoblins), but lower status Orcish women usually just have mass-produced items of ceramic or lead, painted gold or silver, and accented by glass “gems”.

Male Orcs are socially expected to wear as many weapons as they can carry – most of which are purely for show, or so cheaply made as to almost useless. Their leather boots tend to fall apart quickly – like everything else that comes out of Orcish factories.

Every Orc has several brands on their body. Soon after their birth, an Orc is branded with the sign of their clan, the sign of their factory-fortress, and sign designating their social class. Once they reach adulthood, male Orcs are branded with the sign of their profession. Female Orcs are further branded with the sign of their father, and later, the sign of their mate.

Orcish Culture and Society

Orcs conduct constant raids for raw materials, and to waste weapons and armor (so more will have to be made). Most of all, the Orcs wage war to take slaves. Halfling slaves are particularly desired for their nimble fingers. Orcish practice is to work their factory slaves until they die, and replace them with new ones. Orcs also operate mines – particularly coal and iron – for which they also prefer to use bound labor. The garbage dumps around the Orcish fortress-factories are another source of slaves, since Halflings (and also Kobolds) find them irresistibly rich sources of repurposable objects.

Orcish society is extremely patriarchal and hierarchical. Orcish women are regarded as the property of males, and any male feels free to treat his “sows” in any manner he pleases. Naturally, Orcish males practice polygyny, and will purchase as many wives as they can afford. While Orcish mothers sometimes show real love for their children, their mates believe that the more whippings an “orclet’ suffers, the better adult they’ll make. Lower class Orcs are routinely abused by their “Bosses”, who are in turn subservient to the “Barons” and “Captains” who own the factory-forts. The Orcish Engineers who know how to build and maintain the factory machinery form a separate, hereditary caste.

All male Orcs are considered employees of their factory-fort, and are paid in worthless wooden tokens that can only be spent at the factory store. Theoretically, an Orc could redeem their tokens for actual coins from the treasury, but in practice any Orc that tries to do so will be taken behind the factory-fort and beaten by the owner’s personal bodyguard of goons. The only actual coins a low-status Orc will own is what they have stolen in raids, and managed to keep hidden from their Boss. The economic ideal of Orcs is Autarky, where every factory-fort is completely self-sufficient (one day making ceramic pots, another other forging axes), and Orcs have no trade outside their strictly-controlled borders.

Orcish dwellings are extremely cluttered inside, crammed with factory-made objects, and some better-quality items stolen in raids. Unlike Dragons, however, Orcs do not attach any real sentimental value to these objects, and regularly dispose of them to make room for new ones. Art objects made by other races are hoarded by high-status Orcs, but are regarded purely as status symbols.

Until they reach the age of maturity at nine, an Orc’s name is just a number designating their birth order and father’s name. For example, a young Orc might be named “Seventh of Skullhammer”. An adult Orc uses a name conferred on them by the owner of their factory-fort. Orcs of high-status or well-like fathers may be given names like “Brightsteel” or “Wolfblood”. The children of low-status or disliked fathers will be saddled with names like “Scumbucket” or “Rottenmouth”. Rebel Orcs who have fled the factory-forts, on the other hand, often eschew speaking Orcish, and might adopt new names in Western Common.

Orcish cuisine consist of two dishes – Slop and Barbeque. Orcish Slop, which is always prepared by females, consist of all the flesh, bones, entrails, vegetables, and seasonings on hand, hacked up, thrown into a big iron pot, and boiled. Orcish Barbeque, always cooked (and only consumed) by males, consists of whatever animals or people the Orcs captured on a raid, slow cooked (possibly alive) by a smokey fire. They especially love to roast Human babies on spits.

Orcs have a single sport – Faceball. Every factory-fort also has a Faceball team. A Faceball field is one hundred paces in length, and at either end is a prisoner tied to a post. A ball made from a skinned and stuffed Human, Elven, or Dwarven head is place in the middle of the field. Each team of nine Orcs runs from their own end of the field to acquire the ball. The goal is to hit the other team’s prisoner in the face with the ball (which scores 3 points), or else hit their body (scoring one point). The ball can be kicked, thrown, or carried. Any and all means, short of murder, may be used to acquire the ball from the opposing team. Once a goal is scored, the ball is placed again the center of the field, and the process is repeated twenty or more times until one team is the clear winner. Disputes about scoring are settled by each team appointing a “Puncher”. The two Punchers trade blows to the face, and the decision goes to the team whose Puncher endures the longest. Faceball games regularly devolve into deadly brawls involving both players and spectators,

Dead Orcs are disposed of in whatever way is convenient at the time. Often, they are simply thrown into one of the piles of garbage around the factory-fort (where all other kinds of waste are also flung). Eating the dead is not out of the question, particularly during hard times.

Contrary to popular stories, Orc males find the thought of touching a “flat-faced”, non-Orcish woman disgusting. Female Orcs, on the other hand, are often attracted to sufficiently strong and hairsute men of Human and Dwarven descent.

Many young Orcs rebel against their brutal society, and Orcish females in particular resent the abuse they suffer from their mates. There are said to be entire settlements of these runaway and rebel Orcs, who have acclimated themselves to the bright light of day. Rumors persist that the women in these settlements have somehow acquired potions allowing them to assume Human form, and have children by Human or Dwarven fathers. It is further said that many of rebel Orcs have even embraced the Chaotic and Good Alignments, and plan to one day reform all of Orcish society along egalitarian lines.

Orcs at War

Typical Orcish armor consist of a battle apron of leather riveted with metal plates, studded leather gauntlets, and stiff leather boots. They use square shields of metal-bound wood, that frequently splinter and break. Leaders will occasionally have better armor of Hobgoblin make. Orcs generally prefer hacking weapons, such as axes, falchions, and bardiches, or else two-handed mauls resembling sledgehammers. Their favorite weapon of all is a large cleaver similar to a carcass splitter.

Orcs tend to attack in massive frontal assaults intended to overwhelm enemies with relentless brutality.

Animals and Allies of the Orcs

Orcs employ Giant Boars as battle steeds, and are the only race that manage them. They also raise slobbering, pug-faced Orcdogs for use in war, and as guards. Other animals are raised (under inhumane, factory-like conditions) by the Orcs’ slaves. Orcs may also hoard animals that other races consider valuable. Orcs often purchase the services of Ogre and Troll guards, and the factory owners sometimes bring in Hobgoblins as military trainers (despite the fact that Hobgoblins despise Orcs). Orcs sometimes ally with Devil Swine, and the most brutal Wereboars. Boreynes often choose to dwell near Orcs, and may run along with them on raids. The Boreynes may even decide to attack invaders obviously intended to harm “their” Orcs.

The Orcish Language

Orcish is an extremely vulgar language, and Orcs speaking other languages will always pepper their speech with obscenities. There is actually no way to be polite in Orcish – the only tones possible are groveling submission or contemptuous disregard. Orcish is written with exactly the same Runes used for Dwarven. Dwarves tend to get offended and very angry when confronted with this fact.

The Alignment and Religion of Orcs

The Gnomish sages claim that in the days when the Wasteland was still green, Orcs were predominantly Neutral worshipers of Life and fertility who lived in forest caves. Then, their culture became increasingly Lawful, as they discovered mass-production. In fact, many Orcs are actually still Lawful, and only support their twisted culture because it is “The Traditional Orcish Way” (even though it wasn’t always). Evil, however, has infected every aspect of modern Orcish life. The average Orc will usually repay mercy with brutality, and kindness with sadistic cruelty. There may still be some hope for Orcish society, it is distant and faint.

Like most Bogeymen, “pure” Orcs cannot cast Spells, or perform Miracles. However, every Orcish factory-fort includes a chapel to the powers of Darkness, staffed by one or more Human (or Half-Orc) Depradators. Keeping the Orcs devoted to Evil is said to be a top priority for the Antichurch of Darkness, and having served in a mission among the Orcs is fast-track to the upper echelons of leadership among the Clerics of Evil. Besides worshiping the Lord and Lady of Darkness, Orcs often pay homage to the Evil Immortal Ishannakael, who led them into the lands of modern Maeland during the Reign of the Monsters.

Half-Orcs

The Half-Orcs sometimes born to Orcish mothers resemble either thickly built Humans with narrow eyes and large mouths, or else tall Dwarves. Males will have prolific body hair. Their skin color is the same as their Human or Dwarven father. They usually have a “piggish” noses, large teeth, and slightly pointed ears, although about 1 in 10 could pass for a “pure” Human or Dwarf upon casual observation.

Half Orcs can follow the same Character Classes as Humans or Dwarves. If they follow a Human Class, one of their Class’s Special Abilities will be replaced by “Infravision”. As mentioned above, they often become Depradator priests and priestesses. They are also sometimes found among the ranks of Thieves in the largest cities. If they are not Evil, they tend to be Chaotic – since the Friends of Chance are the only other religious community that freely welcomes them.

The most well-known Half-Orc of all was Strax Meat, the famous Beserker who was actually son of a Human Ranger and the runaway daughter of an Orcish Captain. While feared for his incredible strength, and the ruthless skill with which he wielded his famous cleaver, he also had a playful side – and was also known for his kindness towards children.

A Concise Cleric

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Here’s a concisely-presented version of the revised Cleric Class I posted last week. This presentation eliminates much of the flavor text specific to the Panzoasia setting (especially the 9th and 14th Level Destinies). This entire block of characteristics could be printed on the flip side of a character sheet for easy reference.

CLERIC

A militant religious warrior granted special abilities by the Divine Powers.

Ability Rolls: Str: 1d10+8 | Int: 3d6 | Wis: 1d8+10 | Dex: 3d6 | Con: 3d6 | Cha: 3d6

Hit Dice: d8 per Level, until 9th. Add 3 Hit Points per Level thereafter.

To-Hit-AC 0 [Attack Bonus]: 19 [+0]

Improves by 1 point at 2nd, 4th 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th Level.

Saving Throws: Death-13 | Wands-14 | Paralysis-15 | Breath Weapon-16 | Spells-12.

Target numbers decrease by 1 point at 2nd, 4th 6th, 8th, 10th, 12, and 14th Level.

Alignment: Lawful, Chaotic, or Good. Player Character Clerics may not be Evil.

Starting Age: 20+d4

Starting Language(s): Western Common. (+Alignment Language if used)

Armor and Weapon Familiarity: Cleric can identify all common arms and weapons, and can discern quality and materials with an Intelligence Check. Can use any armor, and any weapons not prohibited according to Alignment. (See Prohibited Weapons below).

Heal an Ally: Cleric can restore Hit Points equal to own Experience Level. Usable a number of times per day equal to the Cleric’s Experience Level.

  • Example: 3rd Level Cleric heals 3hp per use, up to three times a day.

Recipient must have have lost Hit Points fighting by by Cleric’s side.

Perform Miracles: Total Levels worth per day equal to Cleric’s Experience Level minus 1.

  • Example: a 6th Level Cleric can perform a total of 5 Levels worth of Miracles per day.

Maximum Level of Miracle allowed is equal to half Experience Level of Cleric.

  • Example: a 6th Level Cleric can only perform 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Level Miracles.

Cleric can perform any Miracle on the list of Clerical Miracles (up to maximum Level allowed) without prior preparation, but cannot perform the same Miracle more than once per day.

Cleric must be at be at least 2nd Experience Level to Perform Miracles.

Religious Knowledge: Cleric automatically recalls facts regarding own Alignment and religion (including Planar Spirits of own Alignment). Can make Intelligence Check to recall similar knowledge relating to other Alignments, religions, and their Planar Spirits.

Turn Undead: Wisdom Check to overcome 2HD worth of Undead per Cleric’s Experience Level.

  • Example: A 4th Level Cleric can try to Turn a total of 8 HD worth of Undead per attempt.

Lawful Clerics make Undead cower, Chaotic Clerics make them confused, Good Clerics make them flee, and Evil Clerics can command them. Effect lasts 1 Round per Cleric’s Experience Level. Undead with 4 or less HD than Cleric must Save versus Spells or be destroyed. At 10th Level, Cleric can affect Planar Spirits of other Alignments.

Prohibited Weapons: If Lawful, cannot use missile weapons or poison. If Chaotic, all weapons must be based on tools with other uses (spiked clubs, hammers, etc). If Good, cannot use edged weapons or poison. If Evil, cannot use blunt weapons.

Spiritual Obligations: Must always zealously follow own Alignment, fight the opposite Alignment, seek to convert others, and obey superiors in Clerical organization.

Experience Point Requirements per Level (or Minimum Hours Played):
2nd: 2,250 (12 hours) | 3rd: 5,000 (24 hours) | 4th: 9,000 (36 hours) | 5th: 16,000 (48 hours) | 6th : 30,000 (60 hours) | 7th: 60,000 (72 hours) | 8th: 120,000 (84 hours) | 9th: 220,000 (96 hours) | 10th: 300,000 (108 hours) | 11th: 420,000 (120 hours) | 12th: 540,000 (132 hours) | 13th:: 660,000 (144 hours) | 14th: : 780,000 (156 hours)