Thursday, January 31, 2019

FLINTLOCK FANTASY: Campaign Notes II: Peoples


So I hammered out some notes on the main species, again just trying to keep it simple as. I also thought it'd help the players with the new setting if I'd make a list of sample characters to inspire them. The ones that don't get chosen I can use as NPC ideas.

  • The conquerors, bastion of civilization, bringers of light, inspired thinkers.
  • Dominant species throughout the island contient of Thaumatria, and the world.
  • Founders of the Thaumatrian Empire now fractured and divided.
Main religions:
  • The Church of Carcassara: veneration of a Leviathan that gave its flesh so that humans could live. Currently undergoing a major schism resulting in war across the continent. Venerates sacrifice and atonement for actions.
  • The Jugger Behem: placation of a pantheon of cruel monstrous gods through sacrifice and bloodshed. Venerates violence, power and control.
  • Meliorism: devotion to the purity of science and mathematical absolutes. Venerates technological advancement for the betterment of humanity.

  • Owlfolk from the frigid northern lands.
  • Carnivorous, dark-sighted and silent fliers that prefer the night.
  • Mercenary “Vorrhun” sellswords arrived in Thaumatria a century ago.
  • Famous for their skill as hunters and warriors.
  • Infamous for their merciless treatment of their enemies.
  • Worship a pantheon of northern nature deities ruled by the god Voroshka.
  • Welcomed for bringing their ice magic to the heat of the desert.
  • Roost in eyries located high in the cities or upon mesa peaks.
  • Family oriented with clan loyalties, sending tribute to their distant king.
  • Freely mingle with other cultures, but regarded with wary respect.
  • Cultured, speaking Thaumatrian and their own Tylluan language.

  • Small Catfolk that might be descended from wizard’s familiars.
  • Carnivorous, dark-sighted and silent fliers that prefer the night.
  • Capricious, erudite, self-serving, and captivating.
  • If they have a god, it would be The Mog, the first of their kind.

  • Small Ratfolk bred to serve as slaves for the Thaumatrian Empire.
  • Omniverous, dark-sighted, keen sense of smell.

  • A general term for the monstrous peoples from the southern jungles.
  • Shrouded in mystery, rumor and fear, few facts are certain.
  • Snakes, reptiles, great lizards, all in a myriad of horrible hybrid forms.
  • Carnivorous, cannibalistic, heat-sighted, and most active during the day.
  • Famous for their exotic temples and strange arcane practices…
  • … infamous for said practices involving human sacrifice and suffering.
  • Once invaded the southern archipelago of the Thaumatria continent.
  • Several enclaves of Gorgon strongholds still remain, but most reconquered.
  • Pay homage to demonic creatures from beyond, usually in prisoners.
  • Gorgon slavers plague the Thaumatrian coasts in stolen vessels.
  • Also trade in illicit narcotics sourced from deep within the jungle.

Interesting that they're all witch's familiars. Unintentional.


  • A veteran Thaumatrian soldier scarred from endless desert campaigns against the Gorgons.
  • A youthful marine eager to prove their mettle on the high seas.
  • A determined high-born bodyguard assigned to protect visiting dignitaries from the Capital.
  • A mercenary Tylluan swordclaw devoted to their family’s blade.
  • A shackled Gorgon gladiator hungry to win their freedom.
  • A bloodthristy Bruxi seadog in it as much for the pillage as the plunder.
  • A skilful Mog duelist out to take on allcomers whatever the size.
  • A Tylluan musketeer who takes too much pleasure in their trade.
  • A honey-tongued Mog charlatan happy to lighten fool’s pockets to feed their addiction.
  • A worldly merchant noble in exile eager to slay their ennui.
  • A sunkissed buccaneer on the run from and arranged marriage.
  • A dashing pistoleer who wished they didn’t have to use violence to get the job done.
  • A black-plumed Tylluan thief who steals strange artefacts brought back from southern jungles.
  • A well-connected Bruxi street urchin who knows all the bolt holes across the city.
  • A poverty-stricken dirt farmer forced into banditry to appease the king’s taxmen.
  • A pluckskulled Tylluan street thug who rejects the old ways and embraces the new.
  • A troubled Carcassaran inquisitor who has read too many heritical texts.
  • A devout noble cultist who will never abandon the monstrous pantheon of their ancestors.
  • A serene Tylluan ice priest happy to share the blessings of Voroshka the Winter Wind.
  • A charming Carcassaran healer determined to share the curative flesh of their dead god.
  • A drunk Thaumatrian visionary touched by the strange beings that lurk in jungle ports.
  • A self-absorbed Mog agitator hell-bent on being worshipped as a god.
  • A curious Tylluan scholar searching for evidence of the true origins of life.
  • A pompous Meliorian industrialist who will bring the benefits of science to the betterment of all.
  • A nervous Bruxi war wizard, educated in Thaum but unproven in battle.
  • A monstrous high-born arcanaut corrupted by sorcery and desperate to find a cure.
  • A grieving military captain who sold their soul to devils in return for unearthly power.
  • A haughty sea mage in constant employ by merchant rivals who demand alliegence and loyalty.
  • A grim Thaumatrian weaponsmith eager to test their inventions in the field.
  • A cultured Mog diviner employed by a noble lord for their insights and advice.
  • A broken-winged Tylluan exile resolute on regaining flight by other arcane means.
  • A talented grave-robbing treasure hunter well versed in the family trade.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


So I'm running a new campaign this year for some local friends, and thought I'd document how I'm putting the world together and the creative process I use. I have this map I made four years ago:

It was part of the Dead West setting. The island continent of Thaumatria was meant to be the Old World where the people in the Dead West had fled from after a major calamity. And I kept coming back to it...

... anyway. Three of the lads — Kurt, Tom and Gus — are in, and a newer friend Gabby is joining us. I really want to keep the prep as minimal as possible, cause I have a rep for overprepping then burning out a few sessions in, and I want this to last the year.

Here's my early overview of things I wanted to include in the setting:

Urban/exploration campaign, exotic elements, magic is very rare and dangerous, cultural and religious wars, reconquista/crusade/inquisition, humanocentric.

  • Humans - the great conquers, bastions of civilization, bringers of enlightenment.
  • Tylluan - owl people from the frozen north.
  • Mogs - cat people, tricksters all.
  • Bruxi - ratfolk slaves bred to serve the Thaumatrian Empire.
  • Gorgons - mutant snake people from the jungles south across the seas. The "Enemy".
  • Others - very rare, from distant lands or the result of monstrous experiments.

  • Dry, semi-arid, badlands, mesas, dusty mountains, cities of tall cool buildings, intricate architectural details, colourful bannerets and shady bazaars. Madrid, Cordoba, Marrakesh.
  • Stifling tropical jungles, pungent with flora and death and spice, ruined temples to dark things, dangerous seaports, pirates and armadas. Yucatan, Amazon, Zanzibar.
  • Verdant plains and great rivers, giving rise to beautiful cities, all scarred by war. 
  • Many small political entities and countries, each with their own agenda.

  • Akin to early-mid Renaissance Europe, 1600s, so more advanced than your average medieval fantasy, with long swords, spears, bows, full plate and chain giving way to rapiers, pikes, matchlock firearms, muskets, breastplates, and cannon. But firearms are noisy, tricky to maintain and dangerous, and a skilled archer can be much faster, just as deadly and far more quiet.
  • War is a constant: a great enemy lies to the east, The Leviathans, and all live in fear of their attack; yet any grand alliance is marred by political intrigue, clandestine subterfuge and petty wars as each nation vies for survival. Nations are defined by their religious persuasion.
  • One great religion dominates the continent: Carcassarian, named after its Leviathan founder, but it is fractured by schisms and at war with itself. Other, older beliefs still exist on the fringe. 
  • Exploration and colonisation of distant lands as nations seek to expand their resources; strange cultures and customs are filtering in with the stolen bounty of these lands. Seafaring is vital.
  • Magic is very rare, very dangerous, and corrupts the body and mind, but definitely plays a role in society, and is almost always under the control of local powers that use it to their own advantage. 

  • ALATRISTE, the Spanish pseudo-historical film starring Viggo Mortensen as a world-weary soldier. Ponderous film, but basically this campaign is that film with monsters and weird occult stuff. Must. Watch. The opening scene is a great demonstration on how you can have firearms and blades in the same setting. OH HEY IT’S YOUTUBE.
  • PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN, dumb but entertaining and the right mix of real world pillage and plunder and supernatural. Most characters are average humans, magic lurks on the edge of reality. 

I also set about looking for visual inspiration on Pintrest original page here: .

I may have found something... I'll post more info as I go.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Year Ahead

The death of G+ is gonna hurt, baaaad. It's been my main RPG connection to the rest of the community since its inception, and there really isn't another social media platform quite like it.

G+ was responsible for giving me my break into the RPG industry, and has been responsible for 90% or more of my connections, work opportunities, and most importantly friendships I've made online since 2011.

I'm really, really gonna miss it.

Here's where you can contact me:


or drop a comment in any blogpost here.

I'm yet to find a suitable replacement for G+, and I've let this blog wallow for the last couple of years because of the amount of good stuff that went on there. So I'm gonna fire this blog up again while I work on a bunch of things that'll include:

• FERAL RPG - the big thing I'm working on
• graphic and information design commentary for RPGs
• freelance design, illustration and cartography projects I'm working on:
  - Odious Uplands for Jason Sholtis
  - Orcs! A High-Octane Adventure for Mike Evans' Hubris RPG
  - whatever else gets lined up
• The Greyhawk Gang - my weekly meatgamers' 5E D&D game that's been running since April 2016, starting at 1st level with B2 Keep on the Borderlands, now currently 11th Level at the end of G123
• My search for the best iteration of d20 D&D rules
• Star Wars D6 Rules Essentials - my ongoing pet project taking the best from all the SW games
• Random RPG material - whenever it turns up

Also gonna update this blog, starting with the RPG Graphic Design page with all the stuff I've worked on since 2011 -

If you want to check out Feral RPG you can download free playtest PDFs and character sheets here:


And I'll post updates and community stuff here:

FB Page:
MeWe Group:

If you want to support Feral RPG:


You can check out my Star Wars D6 Rules Essentials PDF here:

and download character sheets from here:

So I'm not certain exactly how the year ahead's gonna pan out online, but I'll be hammer and tongs Feral and other stuff whatever happens.

Stay in touch.