Sunday, April 10, 2016

Routing Portals to the Underhalls and Catacombs of the Necromancer Elite

Routing portals to the Necroverse requires a basic understanding of the structure of the Necroverse, and its myriad levels. While the big book on Necro portals is in the process of editing, fortunately for my readers there are some simple rules which I will be graciously posting on this blog in the meantime. 

So, first, let us look at the following diagram. 

The majority of the time, your player characters are unlikely to come upon a Necro portal by chance alone. Unless, as a matter of course, your players are grave robbers or tomb raiders. No. For the most part your campaign will intentionally seek the entrance to the portal due to some key components in a quest. 

Motives can be anything from grave robbery, unreasonable encounters with the undead, or kidnappings where shadows are rumored to carry off the mayor's numerous offspring to the city's graveyard, where they disappear, and are never seen again (or perhaps they're seen again as zombies or ghouls). 

Finding the portal will depend on whether the portal is disguised, hidden, or literally invisible. Thus the means to discovering the portal entrance will vary by design. 

Now, as to how the entire Necroverse (the quasi universe of the necromancer elite) is organized, this post details the routing of portals to the Underhalls. That is, the first level, or prequel to the Necroverse. 

A portal in a graveyard will typically route to another graveyard, a cemetery, a shunned temple, or a foresaken place in nature. Let us say, for the sake of example, that your portal in the graveyard is disguised as a headstone over a grave. The magic user in the party casts a remove illusion spell. A dim light appears in the form of phantasmic mist over the headstone portal. The portal transports anyone who steps through it to an accursed asylum, long ago forsaken and abandoned. 

Now, at this point there could be hours or days upon days of adventure just searching within the asylum for the necromancer who stole away with the crown of the King. The key portal on this map will route to the Underhalls. 

Once within the Underhalls, players sense that space and time are disrupted. The long rows of catacombs stretch for miles in each direction at the threshold of a crossroad. Selecting the next portal, the one which leads to the innermost heart of the Necroverse (where the necropolis and other fouls realms coincide in an evil coalition against the world of the living), will require some thought and imagination. 

The portal routing to the innermost heart of the Necroverse will reside in one of the corridors' chambers. Perhaps the sarcophagus of the pharaoh or the tomb of an ancient King will house the nefarious greater portal. 

Keep us bookmarked for updates to the next 9PRPG book, Necro Portal.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Epoch of Primordius and the First Diabolic Portal for RPG

Drip. Drop. A distant sound of water falling in a pool somewhere. Perhaps, a well, the black robed figure thought. He followed the sound to an enclosure in the caverns far below the city of Talos. In an alcove the man saw a podium fixed into the brimstone floor with heavy bolts. Upon this surface rested an ebony stone. 

The cowled man examined the stone more closely. It was, it seemed, a perfectly smooth sphere of crystal, placed into a fixture which resembled a nest of serpents intertwined. As the man gazed into the black surface of the stone, he had an uncanny feeling that someone, or some thing, returned his gaze with a vexed malice. 

He could not take his eyes from it. So, the black robed man stood in a sort of trance, fixed upon the beauty and charm of the object. 

It seemed an epoch before the man reflected upon his purpose. 

Adventure is for the young and restless. Treasure is for the self-obsessed materialist. Death is for us all, but what do I care for such things? My purpose is the written word. The word is the only true path to immortality! 

After a time, the man began to feel weary. A sort of tiredness stole over his arms and legs. Then, without warning, something reached out of the stone. It was, in that brief and terrible moment, what had appeared to be an inky, black hand. Six fingers which ended in points like claws had ceased the cowled man, and pulled him in to the stone. 

It was the darkest creature imaginable which confronted the robed man. He gazed into a black space, like an inverted mirror, seeing himself as the terrible creature, whose name is shunned eternal... Primordius! The clawing chaos of the ultimate void. Clawing at nothing, for there was naught to devour in the eternal present of darkness victorious. 

Therein the depths of space, in the recesses of darkness, in the expanse of all time, and in the irony of timelessness, the great enigma of existence was known to Primordius. All was known to him. And then there was nothing. 

Like a spark in the pitch blackness of space, a dream awakened the ancient creature. He stood in the dream, looking around, and at first disoriented, for in one moment he slithered or floated as a primordial force or simple creature, consuming all, and in the next he was a humanoid form. There in the darkness of the caverns under Talos, Primordius walked into the world as a man. Behind him ebbed the powerful currents of the galaxy's first diabolical portal. The portal of Primordius yawned into infinite darkness. 

A cowled, black robed man ascended from the caverns, and strode eagerly into the lively peninsula city of Talos. Vibrant and joyous were the people of Talos. 

To learn how to implement dynamic portals and maps in traditional role playing games, please purchase the Portals Manual ebook for Kindle.