Friday, December 16, 2016

Lexicos, Miasma, Phrenology, Pickers, Name Level

Oh, whistle, in Scarabae, and I'll come to you...

This is my attempt to describe a setting through its material culture, which is probably foolish since I'm not an archaeologist or anthropologist. 

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Painting of the Lexicos Spire (1)
The Lexicos Spire, a tower erected by the magical rites of the Lost Matriarchs, is an enchanted edifice that transmits knowledge of the Common tongue to all within Scarabae so that we might communicate easily.





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A gas mask (2)
Since Scarabae is plagued by outbreaks of disease, such as the Yellow Doom and other various miasmas, it is best to always travel with a gas mask at your side, just in case.








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Ornate cigarette case (3)
This case was once owned by Mr. Mancible Raunch, an etterchap operative of the Montcrief & Worthing Detective Agency.






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A picker's tool kit (4)
Pickers are people who believe that the future lies in reclaiming the things of the past; they can be found scrounging through scrapheaps and warehouses looking for “rusty gold” to salvage.




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Pistol of a name-level adventurer (5)
When an adventurer achieves infamy, they are said to have risen to “name level.” It is customary for those of name level to choose an alias, such as Adamant Bell, Night-Blooming Amethyst, Fractious Blade, Droll Willow, Green Lyric, Deprived Phantasm, or Swift Winter.


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(1) - See here for more on the Lexicos Spire.
(2) - You can not have a meaningful campaign unless it is riddled with plagues. Inspired by Dishonored and K. J. Bishop's The Etched City, mostly.
(3) - See here for more on Mr. Mancible Raunch.
(4) - See here for more on Pickers.
(5) - "Name level" in old-school D&D is such a goofy concept, but I wanted to put a new spin on it via the outlandish names in Alistair Rennie's BleakWarrior and also the self-given names the freelancers give themselves in the Saga comics.