Pinned toot

Iโ€™m Max Kaehn, probably most known for my old Shadowrun page at , though Iโ€™ve been more into narrative systems like Feng Shui and Fate and Gumshoe lately. My main Mastodon account is; is where I blather about gaming.

This article begins a series on respectful religious representation in games and fiction. First, let's learn to identify common misconceptions and pitfalls which marginalize traditions outside the colonial mainstream. The default doesn't have to define us.

If you donโ€™t have enough over the top epic fantasy movies to watch, hereโ€™s a an awesome one from Tollywood: Baahubali

A useful detail for people giving Norse names to their NPCs: a gender-neutral -bur suffix, instead of -son or -dรณttir.

I was going to leave orcs out of my next high fantasy campaign setting, but this post persuaded me to include Hot Orcs.

Currently pondering badgers as a good basis for a sentient species that fills the โ€œdwarfโ€ niche. Omnivores, good at digging, gruff temperaments.

Now we have a clue as to what fire giants eat when theyโ€™re at home. And now you donโ€™t just have to worry about giants throwing boulders at you, you have to worry about volcano goats head-butting you into the lava. THE WIZARD BACK IN TOWN HIRED YOU TO GET SPARKBEE HONEY AND NOW YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE TRADE DEALS WITH FIRE GIANTS.

Lava clover, emberberries, and ifrit peppers can sink roots even into igneous rock, where they are pollinated by sparkbees and eaten by pyroguanas, igneous turtles, pumice voles, and volcano goats (some of whom can reach 800 pounds). Lava ants are a form of army ant; their venom causes burns, and can be harvested for an assassinโ€™s use to cause a body to burst into flames, making the target extremely difficult to resurrect. Intermediate predators include salamanders and obsidian owls.

I figure it starts out with fleshing out the ecology. Where do all these top-level predators come from? Gotta invent some magic-infused ecologies that live on volcanoes and glaciers, and in the Underdark.

Iโ€™ve been pondering a fantasy setting where thereโ€™s no shortcut for detecting good or evil and conflict arises from consistent motivations. Going through the 5e and Pathfinder source material, there is a whole lot of โ€œtheyโ€™re just wired that way and donโ€™t really have free will in the matterโ€ or โ€œa god told them to do itโ€ in there. Lots of room for inventing more interesting motivations.

Iโ€™m still pondering a good denizen for the dwarf niche.

For the halfling niche, Iโ€™m going with ursine creatures with enough variation in ear and muzzle shape, body type, coat pattern, tail length, and furriness that some look more like bears, foxes, or cats.

Since my brain doesnโ€™t want to let go of the notion of building a world based on Dungeon Meshi metaphysics, I figured โ€œhey, letโ€™s break some of the usual eurocentric tropes as long as weโ€™re here.โ€ So in place of elves, I have the xylic, who are much more like the sylvari of Guild Wars 2; in place of gnomes, I have a species that evolved from something like the kakapo parrot.

Fatbergs are one of the most horrifying urban elementals. Few can summon them and keep hold of their sanity.

I'm running a historical space fantasy on Friday nights and prepping a Shadowrun campaign so OF COURSE my brain wants to come up with a high fantasy setting based on the Dungeon Meshi manga.

Show more

A Mastodon instance for tabletop gamers.