Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Essurans of Jaguan

A race of humans in my original campaign world.

The quick and dirty:
- Essurans/Essurons come from the semi-theocratic nation of Jaguan, their native tongue is Essurat.
- Skin tones and hair colors range from black to light brown, eye colors range from black to gold, though, magic users always have blue eyes.
- Essurans are famed for their prowess at sea as sailors and explorers.
- Essurans are noted for their odd economy which uses favors owed as monetized debt.
- Beautiful men and women typically veil themselves.

Tedious meta-description by an in-game sage:

From the notes of the Thrailish sage Xerex IV

Aside  from the obvious difference of their skin, the Essurons are notably different in their economic practices.

Rather than coin, value is placed directly on work, or service owed. The Myralonian Scholar Arontius famously called this system "The Whoring Commerce" in his review of the culture in 845, and while modern students must forgive his language they will no doubt find that 500 years have hardly rendered Arontius' conclusions false.

 Essuronion custom dictates that payment for any good or service is made by a good or service traded in kind. A night in an inn can be paid for by sweeping its floors or providing food or drink for the establishment or anything else the innkeeper desires.

Deceptively crude at first, this system of barter becomes infinitely more complex with the addition of slavery. Many slaves are themselves sold into bondage voluntarily in exchange for some great favor. The possible labor of slaves is owned by their master who can then freely barter with his accumulated "wealth".

Less formal means of servitude also exist where a man might pay for a meal with a writ of promise pledging a certain service or amount of goods. This writ may in turn be sold to another individual, thus transferring the original debt.

It is this web of debt that ultimately supports and sustains the larger Essuron economy.

As if to further complicate matters, all debts are periodically erased. Typically, the forgiveness of debt occurs every seven years, but is by no means guaranteed. Periods between forgivenesses of debt have been as short as three years and as long as 15. The event is always arranged by the high priestesses of the Essuron tiger God, who themselves are part of the royal family. When the time is right, the highest ranking priestess, who is said to be the most beautiful woman of all, will call a gathering of noble families and appear before them nude for one quarter of an hour.

According to folklore, this is a reenactment of the first business transaction whereby the folk hero Astor begged a woman for a vision of her beauty and was required to marry her in payment.

Upon viewing the naked high priestess, all debts owed by the nobles to the church and the throne are forgiven and likewise the nobles are required to forgive all debts owed to them and so on and so forth until all debt is forgiven and likewise, all slaves and servants released.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Did I pre-order an AD&D 2E PHB reprint today?

Did you eat my bike?


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Shit shit shit (I just felt like swearing)

BLOG, right?!

I haven't been drinking near my computer, and therefore have not blogged in a bit.

But I have played a game!

More specifically, ran one.

It could technically be called a "playtest", but I think that word is stupid.


The game is a multi-dimensional funhouse. The player characters are a hyper-sexed drug dealer from the future and an oddly prudish and demure flapper from 1920's land. She is in black and white and she sees everything in black and white, she's good with a gun, he is not. He also doesn't gender-identify, or does, but just checks the box marked "Yes to all".

At any rate, the duo blasted through the first "realm" I set them in. There was a bit with five people escaping in a two person sky-car that I think I should've made a bit harsher, but I tend to go with my gut, and my gut said that forcing the players to leave behind three NPCs would do nothing really but reinforce the idea that all NPCs should wear a red shirt.

If there had been a stronger motivation for one or both of the PC's to have been left behind.... tantalizing.

I've ran very little of the system we're playing and I'm learning much.

Firstly, it requires a light touch.

In a D&D game, to teach a player that knives are dangerous, you stab them.

In this game, you show them the knife.

There is a snap response and sharp corollary between violence and death. Ramping up the tension is something that must be feathered like a touchy throttle. I can't just throw waves of goblins at them and watch them cringe as their hit points get low.

I have to show them a really big fuck'n knife, introduce them to the man who uses it, and then let him wax poetic about how he's going to wear their tummies like a mask.