I’d love to say that I was shocked by the comments recently made by Donald Trump towards Haiti and the continent of Africa.
But I wasn’t.
Outraged, like so many other people? Yes.
But not shocked. 2017 taught me a few things, the most important of which was that the current president of the United States of America is a racist.
Seriously, why else would he refer to non-Caucasian countries with such hatred and disdain, while treating predominately Caucasian countries with rather better behavior?
Slightly off-topic, but nevertheless relevant, why would someone from Norway want to immigrate to America? The murder rate in Norway is something like 1 a year, they have a healthcare system far superior to our own, and their educational system makes ours look like a sick joke.
My D&D homebrew setting is called the 8th World.
So, just for fun and to give it some kind of countdown aspect, I decided that there would be 7 gods:
Chema, Goddess of Disease
Jahl, God of Courage
Misla, Goddess of Mercy
Palad, God of Light
Reio, God of Creation
Sargis, God of Violence
Zeboa, Goddess of Nature
These are the only gods in the 8th world, and their place is fixed. They cannot be overthrown or destroyed.
Most importantly, all of these deities possess (in their own way) both positive and negative aspects.
Which, frankly, is more true to real-world polytheism, when compared with the “divine alignment schism” often seen in fantasy.
Take Chema for example.
Every symptom of every illness inflicted upon mortal creatures is from Chema, but similarly, those who recover are thought blessed by her.
In any other settings, she would be an evil goddess of disease, and would almost certainly be opposed by a god or goddess of healing.
But this viewpoint of her being evil is wrong. Chema isn’t evil, any more than she is good or even “neutral”.
To a certain extent, Chema IS sickness. Sickness and physical debilitation.
To the dwarves, she is a “cruel trickster” of sorts, existing for no other purpose than to remind mortal life that no matter how powerful they are, they are not invincible.
Most often, clerics of Chema are those afflicted with incurable diseases, but who possess a degree of emotional and spiritual maturity rarely seen in other, healthier individuals.
Their reward for such wisdom is Chema easing their suffering (but not removing their disease) and granting them the ability to cast divine magic.
The elves of the 8th World are divided into three Peoples: the Drow (dark elves), the Eladrin (true elves), and the Malenti (sea elves).
The dark elves that live in GELMIR are different from the standard dark elves in the Player’s Handbook, just as they differ from the dark elves of CHIMERA and ECHINEIS.
For one thing, they don’t live underground.
Instead, they prefer an above ground, arboreal existence (similar to the Vulkoori tribe of drow in the Eberron D&D setting).
HISTORY AND ECOLOGY
The history of the drow is a source of pride to them.
Soon after the elven people crossed over into Gelmir, the Giants came against them.
While the Eladrin and Malenti were conquered and enslaved, the Drow were able to remain independent and preserve the traditions of their ancient culture.
When the current ice age swept across Gelmir, the drow retreated not into the Underworld, but into hidden valleys deep within the forests of the world.
These valleys—which the dark elves now call home—are long, deep, and relatively narrow chasms, with people living in the gaps between the cliff walls.
Imagine that someone drained the Mississippi River system, dredged out the river bed to make it even deeper, sprinkled pools of molten lava on the floor every two miles or so, covered the whole thing in banyan grove trees with a canopy so thick that it acts like a blanket (insulating the interior of the forest), and then covered the rest of North America in snow and ice.
By concentrating their population into these “rivers” of fog, vegetation, and heat, the drow have survived.
Caves and tunnels dot the sides of the canyons, many of which lead down into the Underworld.
In this way, different tribes of dark elves across the world are able to intermingle with each other, and also remain in contact with those humanoid races forced to flee underground.
Drow tribes are typically named after forest dwelling animals. The monkey, the spider, and so forth.
The Monkey drow would be the barbarians of the elves.
They are chaotically-inclined, delight in plunder and pillage, and are definitely not cultured by the standards of “High Society”.
They ride girallons into battle, and believe the yetis to be the Elder Race.
Venerating the monkey . . . Well, let’s just say that when you get a group of them together, they’re gonna throw a party, they’re gonna make a mess, and (if you’re lucky) the whole affair will end in a glorious food fight where literally anything can be used as a missile.
The Spider drow would be your standard D&D dark elves, only above ground.
Most of them are evil, due to their society falling to the worship of demons, but a few of them are decent and kind-hearted folks.
The nobility of the tribe are all Driders (half-spider monsters somewhat similar to centaurs), so the noble background is not permitted for adventurers belonging to this tribe.
They employ ettercaps as guard dogs, and use phase spiders in place of war horses.
Venerating the spider, they are reknowned for their skill with the fishing net as a weapon.
The Toad drow are a decidedly unusual, possibly whimsical, variety.
They employ Bullywugs as dimwitted (but very loyal) servants, bodyguards, and foot soldiers.
They use froghemoths as war elephants and banderhobs as cavalry. It’s both humorous and terrifying.
Venerating the toad, they put a lot of emphasis on throat-singing during their religious ceremonies . . . much to the great annoyance of their neighbors.
After reviewing the rules on thrown weapons in 5e, I’ve changed the drow from Strength to Constitution.
Not being a melee weapon, you can use your Dexterity modifier on attack rolls using a net.
Ability Score Improvement. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Drow Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the rapier, net, scimitar, and shortbow.
Additionally, when you equip yourself with a net, the normal range for you becomes 15 feet, and the long range becomes 30 feet.
Mask of the Wild. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by the surrounding environment.
Extra Language. You know one extra language of your choice. The most commonly taken extra languages are Bullywug, Undercommon, or Yeti.
Due to life getting in the way of things, I haven’t been able to be part of our regular D&D group.
It sucks, by the way, not being able to play with them anymore.
So, with no other option available, I’ve started DMing for my dad.
I created a world, factions, NPCs, a players handout, even a history of sorts, and we are now five sessions into my homebrew setting.
I’ve decided to share some information about it.
No spoilers for my current campaign though, dad doesn’t like them.
There are eight planes of existence.
First is the Abyss, realm of the vanquished Titans.
Second is the Overheaven, realm of the victorious Gods.
Third is the Ethereal Plane, the Worlds Tree.
Fourth is the Elemental Chaos, the substance between Ether and the Abyss.
Fifth is the Astral Sea, the fluid between Ether and Heaven.
Sixth, nestled on the first branch of Ether, is the Shadowfell.
Seventh, nestled on the opposite branch of Ether, is the Feywild.
Eighth is the Material Plane, standing between Shadow and Fey.
THE MATERIAL PLANE
Unlike the other planes of existence, the Material Plane is not a singular reality.
There are multiple variations of it. Parallel universes, even.
The two most well-known parallel universes are CHIMERA and GELMIR.
Chimera is a desolate, god-forsaken landscape ravaged by sorcery.
The oceans have either evaporated altogether, or else shrunk down to the size of lakes.
Civilization still stands, but the great cities suffer under tyrannical Mage-Kings.
It’s basically Dark Sun.
Gelmir on the other hand, is about two hundred years into a brutal, one thousand-year ice age.
In order to survive, civilization has fled into the Underworld. Only the bravest, or foolish, or most experienced adventurers emerge from underground to explore the surface.
A long time ago, back when the Flash was in production, I was a member of a Comic Book web forum, where I announced that it would be amazing if the CW managed to . . .
- Do a CG Gorilla Grodd
- Create more DC Superhero shows
- Recreate the Justice Society for the Arrowverse, seeing as how Smallville did a fantastic two-parter featuring the Justice Society back in its 9th season.
- Somehow pull off a good old-fashion Crisis Crossover (Crisis on Earth-2, Crisis on Earth-3, etc.)
My posted thoughts were met with some uncertainty.
No one else on the forum believed that the CW would ever attempt Gorilla Grodd. Spoilers: we’ve had Grodd since season 1, and he’s awesome.
Everyone was sceptical that we would see more shows set in the Arrowverse. Spoilers: we do. Legends of Tomorrow is particularly enjoyable.
Everyone wanted to see the Justice Society, but they wanted to see them back in the 1940s, and had no idea how the CW was going to make that happen. Spoilers: Time Travel. We got to see the Justice Society back in their glory days of the 1940s.
It being the Flash and all, everyone was hopeful that we would see Jay Garrick . . . But no one was giving any thought to seeing a Crisis on Earth-so-and-so. One guy even posted that I was better off forgetting about this one.
Spoilers: I have been proven right on all my hopes for the Arrowverse.
We have Grodd, we have Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, we’ve had the Justice Society in the 40s, and we’ve had a Crisis on Earth-3-type storyline in the form of The Flash Season 2, and we’ve even had a Justice League-esque event in the form of last years CW’s Dominator Invasion.
which makes Crisis on Earth-X the THIRD TIME we’ve had a good, old-fashioned Crisis Crossover.
SUCK ON THAT DOUBTERS! GUESS WHAT? MY FORUM POST LISTING MY HOPES AND DREAMS FOR THE CW’S FLASH TV SHOW FIVE YEARS AGO WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!!!
In my wanderings of the internet, looking for fantasy art pictures to help me develop my own D&D campaign setting, I have encountered many an excellent piece of artwork.
^A Cleric, Druid, and Wizard verses a Warlock.
^High-level adventurers at the end of a successful campaign. The barbarian still hasn’t forgiven the elderly wizard for embarrassing him on their very first dungeon crawl.
^With Dragons, it’s easier (and far less destructive) to ask for permission than forgiveness.
^Halfling Fighter with Sage (Teacher) background. “Remember class; those who fail to remember history–” *wham!*, *thud!*, “–are condemned to repeat it.”
Here are six Super-Heroes that I think could easily arise as a superhero team on a world where the Crime Syndicate once held sway.
Keep in mind, none of these selected heroes will be good opposites of DC supervillains (although some of them were chosen because they can easily function as such).
Plastic Man would be perfect in a hypothetical post-Crime Syndicate earth.
His origin is similar to the Joker’s (fell in a vat of chemicals, basically), but where the Joker goes mad, Plas decides to make up for his past misdeeds by becoming an eccentric superhero.
Vigilante can work just as well as Plastic Man in a post-CS earth.
In such a universe, Vigilante would exist as a kind of anti-Deadshot.
The Anti-Cheetah, Wonder Woman’s most classic foe.
Blue Devil’s origin, as best that I understand it, is that he was a Hollywood stunt artist who fought off a demon and won, and was therefore granted the powers of the very demon he had defeated as a reward for his bravery.
I submit to you that Blue Devil would work as a post-CS Green Lantern-type hero.
Not in terms of powers, but rather emotional themes.
Willpower, you know?
CW’s the Flash is already using her as Earth-2’s heroic successor following the defeat of Zoom, why not continue with it?
The perfect alternate universe heroic contrast to the Atom.
Where the Atom shrinks, the Atom-Smasher gets bigger.
In the CW Arrowverse, Earth-1 is the home of Green Arrow, The Flash, and so forth.
Earth-2 was the home of the villainous Zoom, but is now home to the heroic Jesse Quick.
Earth-3 is the home of Jay Garrick.
Effectively, Earth-1 is Silver Age earth, Earth-3 is Golden Age earth . . . Leaving Earth-2 as having previously been Crime Syndicate earth.
Yes, I know that the Justice Society has already appeared in the Arrowverse in the 1940s on Earth-1 (Legends of Tomorrow), but just because we see it on one earth in the past doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist on an alternate earth in the present.
More importantly, this is fiction. When has something not being seen on the screen ever stopped fan-fiction?
I should have noticed it earlier.
In hindsight, Zoom’s whole subplot with Velocity 6, 7, 8, and finally 9 was taken directly from Grant Morrison’s Earth-2 storyline, specifically the part revolving around the anti-Flash character of Johnny Quick.
In the Earth-2 storyline, Johnny Quick is a super-criminal who gains super-speed by dosing himself with a “speed” serum.
Zoom = Johnny Quick
And Jesse–Arrowverse Earth-2’s Flash–is Zoom’s successor to the title of Fastest Man/Woman Alive.
Instead of being a villain however, she is inspired by the Barry Allen of Earth-1 to use her super-speed for good.
In DC comics, whenever the Justice League defeats the Crime Syndicate, the heroes return to Earth-1 and afterwards, hardly anything is heard from the alternate earth which the Crime Syndicate know as home.
It’s actually kind of cool to think about what kind of Superheroes might arise on the Crime Syndicate earth after the Crime Syndicate’s fall from power by the Justice League.
Hypothetically, I would also expect that these “successor” heroes would come together and form themselves into an organization as well, inspired by the Justice League.
In fact, there are already a number of Superheroes from DC Comics who would work quite well in such a hypothetical story concept.
I got to see Justice League last night.
I loved it.
Each of the heroes was given a distinct voice, motivation, and symbolic aspect strongly tied to Greek Mythology.
Not to compare with Marvel, but where the Avengers had to be assembled by SHIELD and then manipulated into avenging Agent Coulson’s death . . . The League comes together of their own accord, like the coming together of Icons.
BATMAN (Hades and/or Hephaestus)
Bruce Wayne is the Atoner.
Because of his own paranoia and self-loathing, he was tricked by Luthor into weakening Superman.
He blames himself for the loss of Superman and the current threat.
He seeks redemption, first by assembling a team of heroic individuals strong enough to repel the invaders, then later by reviving Superman to bring hope and light back to the world.
Arthur Curry is the Outsider.
Child of both land and sea, he belongs to neither, but is champion of both.
He is the cynic, the voice of doubt that keeps both intellect and conviction honest.
In battle, he is the raging storm, swinging wildly and laughing madly one minute, then frighteningly cold and brutal in his precision the next.
WONDER WOMAN (Athena)
Princess Diana of Themyscira is the Moral Center.
She is the voice of empathy to the self-loathing, courage to the fearful, conviction to the uncertain.
She is wisdom and dependability, preventing the team from becoming disfunctional.
THE FLASH (Hermes)
Barry Allen is the Rookie.
He’s the beat cop who walks the streets.
He’s never been trained to fight an army, and he can’t go toe-to-toe with the villain.
But in spite of his inexperience, he can get the innocent victims out of harms way. He can deal with the little things, so that the others can focus their attention on the big things.
CYBORG (Briareus the Hekatoncheires)
Victor Stone is the Aberration.
Forcibly merged with higher-dimensional technology, his powers are not set.
They change, evolve, upgrade, and mutate themselves every single day.
He can never fully adjust to the physical changes he is subjected to.
And yet . . . It is because he is so different that he has value and importance.
Both the league and the world are made better by his presence.
STEPPENWOLF (Cronos and/or Typhon)
Steppenwolf is the Titan.
He is the straining giant who tries to remake the world and bring it under his booted heel.
In a film chock-full of elemental symbolism, Steppenwolf is the chthonic force that overpowers the terrestrial heroes (Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Cyborg), but is himself overpowered by the celestial paragon (Superman).
SUPERMAN (Zeus and/or Apollo)
And finally, Superman is the Ideal.
He is the measure by which the others heroes are judged and tested.
It is not until the other members of the League work together to try to calm down the newly revived and amnesiac Superman that they truly work in harmony.
Until Superman joins the fight at the climax of the film, Steppenwolf is winning.
Aquaman and Wonder Woman have been bested, Batman and Flash are overwhelmed, and Cyborg is being torn apart limb from limb.
Then Superman reappears, and hope is rekindled.
Steppenwolf cannot stand against Superman, any more than a volcano can compare to a supernova.
With Steppenwolf momentarily stunned into unconsciousness, Cyborg can finally hack into the Mother Boxes without fear of interruption and disrupts their programming, allowing Superman to separate the Boxes from each other and bring an end to the threat.
And with the threat ended, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Superman then trounce Steppenwolf at their leisure and destroy his flaming battle ax, causing his own parademon warriors to turn on him.
Symbolically, the Titan is revealed to be a poor usurper in comparison to the glory of the Olympians.
behold, my first homebrew 5e legendary monster.
If the storm giant is Zeus or Poseidon, this would be Cronos.