Welcome to the second installment of the Backgrounder series! I’ve expanded the scope of these posts to include regions and peoples in addition to monsters, and the first post up is also the first one ever polled from the POCGamer fanbase. So let’s talk about Durpar. This was a bit more challenging than anticipated, so I’ve broken it into two parts, the first being an overview of what’s known about Durpar, the second being a theoretical framework to introduce Durpar into your campaign or as a subsetting in your campaign. Read more
Lore is at much of the core of Dungeons & Dragons; it’s involved in shaping perceptions of the game, guides interactions with certain aspects of it, and is a big part of how the game is learned. The mechanics of the game may shift and change, but lore remains relatively consistent. Major events still occur in roughly the same ways and times from edition to edition, and monster lore persists even more strongly. So what happens when lore starts to be altered on a large scale, as in the case of the Elven Pantheon and the backstory of Lolth, as happened in the recent release of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes?
The year is 1992, and Rifts is a breakout success. It’s the gonzo RPG experience that no one knew they wanted, and people are screaming for more. The books out are selling like crazy, but the world is still insanely under developed. World Books One and Two, The Vampire Kingdoms (Northern Mexico) and Atlantis respectively, were well received. 1993 is supposed to build on the successes of the last few years, with Dimension Book One: Wormwood, and the third and fourth World Books, England and Africa, planned for release. Things didn’t go as planned.
Someone asked, so here we go, the first in what will probably be a number of lore and speculation fueled screeds about monsters, specifically underappreciated/potential player-race monsters that don’t get the love that they deserve. This all started as a commentary on how in-game characters like Mordenkainen and Volo are, at best, unreliable and biased narrators and witnesses to the events, monsters, and races they describe. Basically, they can’t be trusted, only the stat-blocks can. Then it turned into a rant on how awesome Gnolls are. So, this is the supporting, hopefully more readable post to support my Twitter craziness.
The core of any fantasy setting, especially ones in the mode of Dungeons & Dragons, is its cosmology and mythology. This is because, unlike our own, mostly mundane world, in these fantasy game worlds, these are very real things that have active and tangible effects on the world around them. So this is where Fixing the Realms starts.