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Author Musings: Empires of Glory – The First Races

Empires of Glory 3 – The First Races

The third in a series from Curtis Baum.

Working together, Pyren and Menea began to create the world. They took the essences of elements and merged them into a great ball that could sustain life. Pyren formed the sun from a piece of his Disc of Light and it shone brightly upon the world. Menea opened a portal to her Well of Life and plants and creatures both flowed freely into the new planet. Plants covered the land and filled the seas. Animals crawled across the land, forming nests and beginning to multiply. The oceans were filled with all manner of fish and life thrived.

Wenin watched as his siblings formed the world and brought forth fabulous creatures. He observed that the brilliance created by the sun was causing many of the plants to wither and some of the animals to suffer. He approached his brother and sister with a recommend and compromise. He knew they would not let him bring his own creations to life, but he showed them that too much light and warmth was causing their own creations to suffer and die. He suggested that he could bring an essence of his own domain to counter partially the effects of the sun, allowing respite from the heat and allowing more life to thrive. After seeing his evidence, his siblings agreed. Wenin created the night, a period of time that he controlled without his brother’s influence.

Pyren and Menea then began to change the life that inhabited their world. First, they took the elemental cores that forged their planet and implanted them into reptiles, creating the great dragons and their kin. Then, they took apes and refined them into massive beings of intellect and power, the giants. They then refined the process into the smaller and shorter lived humanoids (elves, humans, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes.)

Pyren and Menea soon found that they had more creations than they could reasonably manage. They sought the greatest samples of their various creations and imbued them with wonderful powers. The pantheon began to form from all races and the authority over creation was divided amongst them. The elder gods had created helpers and gave them divinity.

What they failed to see was how Wenin was able to slowly corrupt all of their creations. He turned the hearts of some of the giants and dragons into cold greedy creatures. He tortured some of the elves, turning them into dark elves and orcs. Nothing his siblings had created was immune to the lure of darkness that Wenin provided. His influence even took a toll on the pantheon of gods themselves.

A clash between the powers of light and dark was brewing and the results would be devastating to the world.

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Author Musings: The First Gift

Empires of Glory – The First Gift

The second in a series from Curtis Baum.  The first Empires of Glory – Mythology – The Creation can be read here.

 

When Pyren and Wenin saw what their sister, Menea, had created they sought her aid in bringing their creations to life. Menea saw beauty in both of her brothers creations, but wanted to see what they would do with a living creature. She gave both of them a simple pigeon and asked them to change the bird into the most beautiful thing they could imagine.

Pyren took the small bird to his realm, the Disc of Light. He looked at the marble statues and grand columns that he had created. He considered the purity of his creations and the brilliance of the light that filled his domain. He held the pigeon in his hands and purified the gray coloring, cleansing it (in his eyes) of imperfection. When he was finished, he held a white dove in his hands. The dove, however, did not have food and eventually perished. Pyren was horrified with his lack of understanding of life and death.

Wenin took his pigeon back to his Pit of Suffering. Unlike Pyren, Wenin knew death very well. His version of beauty was a creature that not only survived but thrived when other creatures perished. Wenin took the pigeon and tortured it until it had lost most of the feathers around its head. He replaced the desire for seed with a desire for flesh. Wenin turned the pigeon into the first vulture and was proud that he had created something that could feed on the death and decay of other creatures.

When the gods returned to Menea to reveal what they had done, Wenin went first. His vulture, perched on his shoulder, searched around for carrion to feed upon, but found none. Menea was intrigued, but asked Pyren what he had created. Pyren held out his lifeless white dove, tears in his eyes for having not been able to keep it alive.

Wenin’s vulture swooped from his shoulder, plucking the dove from Pyren’s hands. Pyren and Menea both looked on in horror as the vulture devoured the dead dove. Pyren, in agony, collapsed to his knees. Wenin was filled with pride at his creation and couldn’t understand why his brother and sister were not equally impressed.

Menea took another pigeon and placed it in Pyren’s hands. She gently asked him to create another dove. Pyren choked back his tears and formed another dove for his sister. Menea had made her decision and agreed to help Pyren create a grand world on which they would place their creations. Wenin was furious that Menea had agreed to help his brother. As he left the Well of Life, he vowed vengeance.

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Author musings: Empires of Glory – Mythology – The Creation

Empires of Glory – Mythology – The Creation

At the beginning of time, three ideals took form: Order, Chaos, and Creation. These principles coalesced into the first gods, long before there was a world. The concept of Order called himself Pyren. Chaos became known as Wenin. Creation, the only female among them, formed the being called Manea.

The three gods originally withdrew from each other, creating their own realms as they deemed perfection. Pyren crafted the Disc of Light, a realm filled with brilliant energy and hope. He created beautiful white marble pillars and golden statues. However, he lacked the ability to imbue any of these objects with life and soon grew lonely.

Wenin formed a land of pure darkness. Within his Pit of Suffering, he created massive obelisks of basalt and statues depicting pain and agony. There was no light in Wenin’s realm; it was filled with an oppressive darkness that consumed everything. But, like his brother, Wenin grew lonely. He lacked the ability to bring his creations to life.

Their sister, Manea, had a different problem. When she created her realm, the Well of Life, she started with a spring of fresh water. From there, a plethora of small creatures sprung forth. Birds filled the air, fish filled the spring and surrounding streams, and animals crawled through the lush grass that filled the realm. Manea, however, lacked the artistic gift to make statues, pillars, or obelisks like her brothers.

After a countless amount of time, the lonely gods reunited. They each wished to share their creations with their siblings. Pyren brought his brother and sister to the Disc of Light. Manea was impressed with the beauty of the realm, but Wenin recoiled in disgust at what his brother had done. Likewise, when Wenin brought the gods to his Pit of Suffering, Pyren was horrified and Manea was intrigued.

Lastly, Manea brought Pyren and Wenin to the Well of Life. Both of the gods were impressed with the work their sister had done. Neither of them were able to imbue life into their own creations, and both sought Manea’s aid in making a new realm, full of beauty and life.

Manea considered the offers of her brothers and created a test for them. She gave each of the gods a bird to raise and reshape as their own. This test would be the beginning of the world of Antaran, the continents of Menron and Zaenteth, and the people and creatures that fill them.

GM Notes:

Realms are slightly different than planes. Where a plane is infinite in two dimensions, a realm is finite and less accessible. Details of realms will be released in Rcane’s Guide to Planar Travel, by D3 Adventures.

Pyren, Wenin, and Manea are powerful creator gods. They are not currently dominant religions in the world of Antaran, but the details of these gods will be released on the D3 Adventures website in the near future.

 

 

 

GM is Curtis Baum

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GM tool – dungeon tiles Romp! Infested Sewers

For both Pathfinder and 5th Edition games

Romp! Adventure Tiles. This package contains random encounter tables for both Pathfinder and 5th Edition. It also has 18 6″ x 6″ maps, all 3D rendered and interchangeable, and complete room descriptions. These are included with printed 1″ lines for use on your gaming table and without lines as separate PNG files for use on virtual table top (VTT) gaming

tangent adventure 30 percent off sale

Romp! Infested Sewers
Regularly $4.99, through Halloween $3.49

Romp!
Title: Infested Sewers
Author: Curtis Baum
Cartography: Curtis Baum
System: Pathfinder, 5th Edition

Pages: 18 6″x6″ maps + random encounter tables

Beneath most cities are sewers crawling with disgusting creatures and evil humanoids. Romp! Infested Sewers brings these threats to life like never before. This package contains random encounter tables for both Pathfinder and 5th Edition. It also has 18 6″ x 6″ maps, all 3D rendered and interchangeable, and complete room descriptions. These are included with printed 1″ lines for use on your gaming table and without lines as separate PNG files for use on virtual table top (VTT) gaming.

 

horror-halloween

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Guest post: Turning a Bat’leth Into a Demon

Turning a Bat’leth Into a Demon, by Chandra Reyer

A demon. A demon coming out of a portal was the assignment I got for a D3 Adventures supplement. I was being given a lot of freedom on this assignment, which is just amazing for an artist to get. I had so many ideas that went beyond the usual bat-winged, red skinned devilish demon most commonly depicted.

The title sounds like a magic trick, but for me as an illustrator and comic book artist, it’s just Wednesday. I’m not talking about drawing a bat’leth, that uniquely shaped weapon of the Klingons from Star Trek, and then turning that drawing into a demon. This was a real, metal bat’leth that had been used in stage fighting.

I had given the bat’leth to an actress friend of mine, who agreed that she would be a reference model for me in the future if I needed her. She didn’t specify for demonic purposes, but that’s what I needed. When I asked if she’d mind being a demon, she said yes immediately. Okay, maybe the affirmative was more enthusiastic and less PG than just “Yes”, but you get the idea.  Actors are great for models because they really get into the character. They do more than just pose in place. My demon had plans, ideas and an odd facial structure. My friend gave my demon intent, and some make-up which made her look less demonic, but like motion capture marking trackers would help me when it came time to make the face look less human.  What proceeded next was an hour of photography, improvisation, cardboard armor and what probably looked really insane to someone from the outside. That’s the best thing about being a fantasy artist, maybe an actor, too. The totally weird, un-glamorous things required to pull off something fantastic.

As an artist it’s important to never be a slave to any reference used. Yet, it’s equally important to use reference, because something an artist wouldn’t have thought of out of their head will come out of it. This painting became so much more than I had originally envisioned thanks to my friend.

All it had cost me was a Klingon weapon of destruction.

 

Qapla’!

 

Art covers coming soon from Chandra Reyer at Greystone Studios to D3 Adventures also include:

 

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5E Compatible Products for Your Gaming Table

GMs are always on the look out for products to supplement their game.  Here at D3 Adventures we have several products available for 5E compatible games.

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Salt Lake Gaming Con (booth 2500)

If you are visiting Salt Lake Gaming Con this weekend, be sure to stop by and see our booth (we have bonus material).  Also, Curtis Baum, line developer and author for D3 Adventures will be running several roleplaying games.  You can see a schedule as well as many “pick-up” games happening frequently.

booth

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in art?  Regan Shupe, one of our freelance artists, will be there with his portfolio.

 

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Extras! Quantum Collapse! Issue #0 is now available

For mutants and mastermindsWe took our best selling “Extras!” and applied it to our new supplements for M&M, “Quantum Collapse!” and here is the result.  Meet Hurricane, a former football player turned meteorologist.

In a universe with infinite possibilities, there are some interesting phenomena. What if a super-hero existed within several different realities?  How would he advance in power if the energy from his parallel identities was spread amongst the survivors? How would he be different in a world where the American Revolution never happened? What about if the Allies lost World War II?

Hurricane is presented at power levels 6, 8, 10, 12, and 16. Additionally, see how his world would be different with four alternate world histories. Hurricane is ready to be a friend or a foe in your Mutants and Masterminds game, featuring the Quantum Collapse campaign setting.

Buy it now directly from D3 Adventures or from Drive Thru RPG

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Check out Romp! Adventure Tiles

Exclusively from Drive Thru RPG, Romp! Adventure tiles are now available as a physical product!  The tiles are the same design as currently available in PDF and PNG formats, but printed on a thick 6″ x 6″ card.

Our first product is Romp! Infested Sewers.  Beneath most cities are sewers crawling with disgusting creatures and evil humanoids. Romp! Infested Sewers brings these threats to life like never before. This package contains random encounter tables for both Pathfinder and 5th Edition. It also has 18, 6″ x 6″ maps, all 3D rendered and interchangeable, and complete room descriptions. These are included with printed 1″ lines for use on your gaming table and without lines as separate PNG files for use on virtual table top (VTT) gaming.

Example of one of the tiles in the PNG set of Romp!
Example of one of the tiles in the printed set of Romp!
The same tile, without the lines, for use with your VTT.
The same tile, without the lines, for use with your VTT.

Here are some helpful tips for your printed map boards.

Do:
1. Dry erase markers work incredibly well on the coated boards. I write on mine regularly with a light color to stand out against the background. I intentionally left some writing overnight and it easily erased. I would test your markers on the included encounter tables first, but dry erase markers came off easily for me.
2. Clear tape can be used to hold your maps in place. In our experiments, we used the cheapest tape possible. It worked very well, but it left some residue on the map boards. It was not damaging, but it was visible if you looked very closely. Be careful, but it is a great option to avoid maps shuffling during play.
3. Use a lightly damp paper towel or washcloth to wipe up spills. I dropped some soy sauce on one of my boards and left it alone for about 20 minutes. A damp paper towel cleaned it up without a problem.

Don’t:
1. Wet erase markers do not work well on these boards. They appear to leave a stain in the coating. I was unable to completely erase a wet marker after only a few minutes of it drying on the board.
2. Folding the boards will bend them permanently. They are fairly light weight, but also thick enough to be effective. However, bending them significantly caused one of my boards to warp.
3. Although the boards are water resistant, I would refrain from bathing them. I have not tested this, but I am pretty sure they are also not dishwasher safe.

Due to the physical nature of the printed Romp! Adventure Tiles, these are available exclusively from Drive Thru RPG.

 

Buy it now on DriveThru RPG

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New Release Extras! Elven Explorers

The latest set of five characters from Curtis Baum, Extras! Elven Explorers, are made especially for 5th Edition campaigns.  For your purchase you will receive the character sheets (first level) for 5th Edition, as well as summaries and character histories.

Extras! Elven Explorers CoverCaraneal, The Scoundrel, has had a rough start to life.

Llyranthal, The Cloud Elf Chronicler, is curious about the world.

Fyrentian, Son of Sand and Fire, is a devout cleric.

Garatha, The Sea Sworn, is exploring the beautiful world.

Henantaka, The Misfit, is learning her place in the world.

Don’t miss out on this new release! Buy now from

Buy it now on DriveThru RPG