The Way of the Grasping Hand: a Midgard “monastic” Tradition

I am writing this for use in the Midgard setting, but I should state upfront that this can be used for just about any setting. A grappling style Monk would fit in just about any setting that allows monks. I recently wrote a blog post about the weird misconceptions held about martial arts and how they shape their presentation in D&D. One of the reasons I wrote that was because I could see some specific archetypes for Monks in Midgard I wanted to make.

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Non East Asian Versions of Monks and Martial Arts

So, there is an idea out there that monks have no place in a western European inspired campaign setting.  Settings like Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk owe a lot to western European history, legends, and literature for their basis, and monks are not part of those traditions, or so the argument goes. This came to mind while looking at the Midgard setting and noticing they had many character options for the range of character classes, but not for monks. I asked about this and was directed to this blog post about monk weapons characteristics, which is awesome, but was also told there was not a lot of places for monks in Midgard to be from. That feels like something I can counter. Note: I love the Midgard setting and I am not offering criticism here.  I am writing this because I feel this is a common sentiment that maybe should be countered.

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Burning Orcs

Trinity_Test_Fireball_16ms

When I began writing a post apocalyptic fantasy setting, I knew a radiation or toxic corruption would be a recurring theme.  It is part and parcel in the genre. The Blight Elves were part of that, and so is today’s offering. There will be others.  Thing is, I am not personally afraid of all things nuclear.  I grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This is where the material for the first atomic weapons came from. My grandfather was scientist at the labs, and I grew up understanding that nuclear was not necessarily a bad thing. Nuclear medicine was saving lives daily and nuclear power, while not yet perfected, was easier on the environment than coal burning plants.

That said, nuclear war is the thing that kept you up at nights back in the cold war. It was terrifying to think of a war where dying in a flash was probably the “good” option. This vision of apocalyptic war shaped the genre. The irradiated mutant is a trope that comes up often. With this in mind, I wrote this little variation on orcs.

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Rogue Magic: 5 Magic Items For Thieves

I like utility magic items. My favorite magic item, hands down, is the Immovable Rod. It practically begs you to think creatively about how to use it. The magic weapons are fine, and the powerful artifacts are great macguffins for your story, but utility style wondrous items are often great ways to relay magic without having to change a power level. It is also provides some flavor to a character and how they interact with challenges. Having a few clever toys can be as much of a statement as a Holy Avenger.

 

I am also fond of rogues and other thieving ne’er-do-wells. You might have figured this out in by all my posts about thieves guilds. They are very pragmatic in their approaches to problems. A thief who murders every problem doesn’t actually last long. Having useful tools to avoid that is ideal.

 

I decided to combine these two loves, so here are a few roguish magic items.

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The Myths of Monsters

Monsters are often born of myths and legends. Oh sure, there are some born of fiction. There even some created specifically for games, like the Beholder. Many of the iconic monsters pull from real world legends, though.

The Dragon is one of the oldest of man’s monsters. There are legends of dragons all over the world and they seem to even predate written language. Could be someone saw a dinosaur fossil and wondered about the monsters.

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The Kingdom of Durnam

This post is an experiment. I will do a second part soon. My favorite gaming supplements over the decades have been the ones with an in character commentary. This is my attempt at that sort of thing. Here is a travelogue style bit from a scholar traveling through the Kingdom of Durnam. I have included a random encounter table at the bottom, and some other game information. I also made sure there are some story hooks in there.

This is set in the post-apocalyptic setting I have written about in the past. It is hundreds of years after the giant Space Gods came and reeked enormous havoc on the world. The Hollow Mountain Library, found in what is now Cheyenne Mountain sent our narrator out to survey distant lands and see to the state of the world now that civilizations begin to reform out of barbarism.

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Criminal Variants: Con Artist

 

Decided to take a pass at making a background. This time around I am making a background for a variation on Criminals. The general Criminal background is fine and I even use it for one of my PC’s but it seems to me that there was space for more. Criminals come in a wide range and having backgrounds to reflect some of those variations could be useful.  I thought I would start with a Con Artist.

 

A bit of trivia. The term “Mark” is a reference to a mark that was made on the back in chalk at carnivals.  The mark was to indicate the subject was susceptible to trickery. The chalk mark would be applied with a pat on the back. It has come to mean the subject of a confidence job in general.

 

On to the Background…

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Beware the Blight Elves

Trinity_Test_Fireball_16ms

Fantasy and science fiction have always overlapped a little.  In post-apocalyptic fantasy you have permission to combine both a little more freely.  I am going to swing at this idea which has been bouncing around in my head for a while. This is also pulling a good deal from my recent post about God Thrones, a post apocalyptic fantasy setting in my head of late.  The idea of course can work in other settings.  As an example,  is a crashed spaceship in the classic Mystara setting. That ship is leaking radiation and causing a range of problems. This might fit in there.

 

Anyways….here we go

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