Tuesday, 25 October 2011

To Coin a World: Genie Servants

Most adventurers know of Genies, how they are magical beings from another plane, and that they can be bound to serve mortals, even granting wishes.

Fact is, most adventurers outside Aratha have no idea how the nitty-gritty of all that works. They assume that genies are just like demons.

They're not. While a demon can be bound by magical circles, and compelled to perform services, either for free or in exchange for sacrificies, depending on the power of the binding wizard, genies cannot be bound by wizards at all. They can be summoned, but are under no compulsion to obey the summoner.

However, genies have rituals known only to themselves that can bind other genies, forcing them to serve whoever possesses a specified binding object, usually a lamp, amulet or ring. Genie lords often trade these indentured slaves to wealthy Sultans or powerful sorcerers on the mortal plane, in exchange for goods or magic that can't be found on the genie's home dimension.

Occasionally a noble genie will be bound to grant wishes. This is reserved for only the most hated enemies of those doing the binding. Wishes can only be granted on the mortal plane, and each wish granted tears away a third of the genie's very essence, with the third wish either killing the genie, or leaving it a withered husk. Understandably, these genies are bitter, and will twist the wording of wishes to cause as much pain and sorrow on the wisher as they can.

Friday, 21 October 2011

[To Coin a World] The Brotherhood of Sin Eaters

yet another order of mountain-dwelling holy men, the Brotherhood of Sin Eaters believe it is there holy mission to cleanse supplicants of sin, by taking the sin onto themselves an digesting it, using gluttony to fight its sibling sins. To have one's sins eaten, a supplicant must journey to their monastery, convince them of both the unique flavour of his sins and his willingness to have them expunged, and then be anointed in holy sauces and walk across hot coals, a process overseen by the order's Head Friar. Once this is complete, the Brothers will set to work with their Soul Knives, Forks and Spoons. The supplicant will leave cleansed of his darkest inclinations, and feeling strangely peckish.

Due to their diet, the Brothers are universally gluttonous, and after a meal, will often suffer the dark urges the latest supplicant. At least until they partake of a holy digestive wafer.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A thought about local linguistics

Recently I've been studying the Late Middle Ages/Renaissance, in particular in Italy. It's become increasingly apparent that 1: it's a great time and place for gaming, and 2: I already knew that, sort of, because how I've always imagined Pyresburg and various other bits of the coastal area near the Friendly Sea sort of matches up with what I'm learning.

Except for the names. The few locations I've actually given names that my players are aware of (the few-ness being a problem I need to fix...) sound like what they are: compound words, or purely made-up stuff. In both cases, chosen by somebody who can only speak English, and horrifically anglicizes any foreign words he comes across. What they don't sound like is Italian.

But maybe there's a (hastily ass-pulled) reason for this: they're "translated" to make them sound like they originated in the player's native tongue, much like in the game-world they originated in the character's native tongue and don't sound like they're "foreign".

Would you buy this explanation as a player? Have you used similar explanations before? Have I adequately explained my thoughts?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Tooth fairies

They collect teeth because they have none of their own. Their mouths expand to incorporate new teeth as they find them. The older ones have grins that even sharks would find unnerving.