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D D A A N N N G G E R R O O U U S S
D D AAAAA N N N G EEEE RRRR O O U U SS DI "Issue" #7,
D D A A N NN G GGG E R R O O U U S Early January,
D D A A N N G G E R R O O U U S S 1996
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A forum for the free & unmolested IIIII DDDD EEEEE AAA SSS
exchange of ideas submitted to me I D D E A A S S
by members of Mythus-L and all our I D D EEEE AAAAA SS
friends who love the Mythus Game I D D E A A S
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Read it in good health... IIIII DDDD EEEEE A A SSS

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Dangerous Ideas is an electronic-only (unless you print out a copy for your-
self) forum for any and all players and Journey Masters who use or merely
enjoy the Dangerous Journey Multi-Genre Game System and the Mythus Fantasy
Role-Playing Game, written by Gary Gygax and Dave Newton, now unfortunately
owned by T$R. Note that almost everything discussed in this more-or-less
periodical is in one way or another related to Dangerous Journeys and the
Mythus game. The game and all its related copyrights are owned by TSR, and
are used without permission. This implies no infringement upon their
copyrights or trademarks.
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Dangerous Ideas is now put together by Scott Payne, better known on the Net
as Praetor, but is really written by the members of Mythus-L, who submit their
ideas to me for inclusion herein. By doing that, they do NOT relinquish any
of their rights to their created material, so if you plan on using some of it
somewhere, do us all a favor and ask...
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===============================^============================================
TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. Introduction (Short one)


2. Why Won't My Players Train in Foreign Languages?
3. Developing Religions in AErth
4. Magic Items
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1. Introduction
Well, here is another Dangerous Ideas finished. Now don't get
your hopes up that the rest of my issues will be put out this quickly,
unless of course you flood me with submissions. That is what I need,
submissions. Some of the sections that I am hopin g to start and get to
be a regular part of this thing, is a section with various ideas to be
used as either background events or possible adventure seeds. Another
section I would like to have started is a cross-genre section. I know
Mike Phillips and myself are working on separate genres (for the Prime
game right now), but I would like to see others conversions or completely
new genres. People, this thing is yours, I am only your editor. Whatever
you send me will make it into Dangerous Ideas. So if you want to see
something in here, send it in.
Until Next Time
Scott Payne
Praetor- Editor in Chief of Dangerous Ideas (until brain overload sets in).
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2.Why Won't My Players Train in Foreign Languages?

By: John Schmidt (schmidtj@win.bright.net)

Interesting role-playing situations can occur when traveling in foreign


lands or meeting foreign people. One common problem to overcome is
communication. Many castings are dedicated to solving this problem,
however, the most direct way of communicating is by speaking the same
language. This article is designed to stimulate some rules governing the
use and advancement of language knowledge/ skill areas. First off we must
discuss when it is appropriate to use a Foreign Language and what
difficulty ratin g should be determined. Later sections will explain
methods of advancement and other special cases which might come in to use
on occasion.

I. Understanding Languages within the Mythus System.

Before delving into other languages, it should be noted that Native Tongue
is the language of the entities home land or where they grew up. Now keep
in mind that a person may live in the US, but not understand all the
subtleties of the language. The dif ferences in any language will be
handled by dialects and complexity.

In general, there are two aspects of language to keep in mind, dialect and
complexity. Dialect is a different pronunciation of syllable and possibly
some other deviation from the core language. Complexity is the ability to
understand difficult words, in tertwined sentence structure, and
subtleties of the language. For game purposes, dialects will be
considered to be different foreign languages and complexity within the
language will be viewed as the K/S steep score in that particular
language. Dialects and related languages function in a similar manner.

Dialects should be considered different languages from the core language,


but not too much to be considered a totally different language, thus
called a dialect of the core language. American English could be viewed
as having at least two dialects (and m any others). As an example,
consider British-English and Australian-English, whereas the later two
could have a 75% relationship to American English. (My apologies to my
biased views to those players over seas.) In Mythus, all three are
considered se parate languages, thus a persona with British-English would
have 75% relationship to the other two similarly. An HP with any one of
the three languages could use the other two at a 75% steep. If the player
has both, simply use which is highest, the prim ary language in question
in comparison to the percent relationship of the cross-over. Referring to
the chart on DJ1 (p146-147), one can see how other languages are used in
this manner. In a sense, the HP has those dialects as additional K/S
areas, just at lower steeps. Note that this relationship only applies
during play and does not cross-feed into another K/S foreign language
during HP generation. If a HP has both the core language and a dialect,
treat them separately. High steep in a language will enable a persona to
understand the subtleties and difficulties of a language more clearly.
Those personas with higher social class, verbal training, and/or formal
education will have language skills beyond the normal reflect ed in higher
steeps. Such differences could include technical words, buzz words, words
with multiple definitions, complex sentence structure, subtle meanings,
etc... Remember, most people in the typical Mythus genre have had little
or no schooling, thus their grammar and word recognition will be low. In
contrast, a person of High society is expected to keep up with all the
local news and printings, where many language use changes occur and will
tend to have a higher steep. The following is a table fo r which to base
steep vs. fluency:

STEEP Fluency Level


00-10 Knows only the essential words, not effective communication.
11-20 Simple vocabulary with sentence fragments, cannot follow
conversations or read written works beyond children's books.
21-30 Basic conversation level; can read simple books without aid.
31-40 Competent conversation and reading level; non-native speakers
will not have the proper accent.
41-50 Advanced conversational and reading level; non-native speakers
will have partial accent if listened for.
51+ fully fluent and literate with sophisticated vocabulary;
non-native speakers possess proper accent.

II. Establishing communication.

The purpose of language is to communicate ideas. This particular


perspective of communication will be neglecting the non-verbal gestures
that accompany our every conversation. Since different cultures have
different or even some similar non-verbal comm unication, it is assumed to
be part of the foreign language. For a more details on non-verbal
communication see the section on Lip reading and Sign Languages. To
establish communication it must be determined how difficult the subject
matter is to convey. The following is a suggested chart using the FL
steep.

DR Subject Matter
easy* base communication, choppy and slow at times but
understood
moderate* fluid communication without gaps or pauses
hard(*) detailed exchanges of an informative nature such as
technical data, plans of a complex nature, scientific
explanations, aristocratic jargon, or political platform
speech.
difficult noticing or conveying a pattern of speech that has an
encoded message within the syllables, first letters,
double meanings, etc.
* A persona need not roll when using native tongue for these, and in most
cases not for the hard DR unless the material is clearly over the
comprehension of the persona. In addition, any foreign language steep
above 50 can be considered proficient enough not to have to roll these
checks (at JM's discretion.)

Normally the opportunity for such a roll occurs when traveling in a land
or district where a foreign tongue is used or when first meeting an entity
speaking a foreign tongue.

When using foreign languages for short stays in an area, HPs are allowed a
time frame roll once per day at their desired DR of communication. This
reflects the amount of consideration and concentration they wish to expend
before venturing forward. If th e HP wishes to upgrade the form of
communication, it may be done by an additional checks for each encounter
throughout that day. If the initial roll is failed, communication is
considered to be garbled and not productive. Any individual checks done
that day are one DR harder for the duration of that day. For longer
stays, checks can occur on a weekly or monthly basis.

At any time when HPs are interested in overhearing or speaking to


individuals in a foreign tongue use the above chart (remembering the DR
modifier if they missed the initial time frame roll.)

III. Reading, Writing, and Translating.

Reading and Writing a foreign language is more difficult than speaking it,
but if allowed the time and resources to do so it can be done easily. If
someone spends enough time with reference materials such as dictionaries,
translators and the like, the jo b will only be as difficult as the
material itself. The problem of translating develops when the HPs need
the information immediately or if they are willing to spend some time
interpreting it. Use the following table if the script is viewed only once
and read in a normal reading pace where the object is to get a paraphrased
summary:

DR Subject Matter
hard notes, letters, lists of mundane names of items or people
difficult Books, excerpts of tablets, instructions, part lists
very difficult police reports, technical readouts, spell research
extreme spell books

Modifiers:
gain a very general overview - 1 DR easier
take time to mull over and reread- 1 DR easier ( if days are spent up to 2 DRs)
have references available and time - 1 DR easier
(up to 2 DRs if cross referenced)
successful Drawing at DR hard - 1 DR easier (this may not always apply)
brief look or rushed - 1 DR harder
translating verbatim - 1 DR harder
translating Magick research (including spells) - 1 DR harder
using Linguistics instead of FL - 1 DR harder

# Spellbooks in this particular system can involve as much as two language


checks depending on what you prefer. These systems will be explained
later in the Arcane Magickal section or in the Appendices. Unlike
conversational language, written language can be attempted many times.

Keep in consideration the length of the message. A short message reread


in a five minute period should be 2 DRs easier, however, a five hundred
page excerpt on the use of Ph�r ee metals in Heka forging may take weeks,
months, or more and require multiple rolls (perhaps one per 50-100 pages.)
A failure would mean the translation does not make sense. However, a
special failure would mean the work has been mistranslated and the HP may
have no way of knowing it. For this reason the JM may wish to determine
this roll if players are not willing to roll play out the part.
IV. Spoken Only or Written Only Applications.

As an option, a persona may desire to have the ability to communicate in


either verbal or written form only. In this case, the persona forgoes any
possibility of performing the language in the undesired form. He or she
was simply not trained in it. In response to the personas specialization
in their chosen form, he or she is rewarded by a 1.5 multiplier on the FL
steep. This would be expressed in the form: Foreign Language - Atlantlin
spoken (40), where the applied steep would be at 60. If at a later time
the HP is interested in gaining the other form, he or she would have to
train in that area. Thus in the above example, gain Foreign Language -
Atlantlin written. When the two steeps match, then the HP would have the
complete language: Foreign Lang uage - Atlantlin (40). As an incentive,
some JMs may wish to give the higher steep of 60 after both have been
obtained at forty.

V. Impressing other Persona and Verbal Combat.

Some HP may be challenged to a 'dual of words' from time to time.

This is an excellent opportunity to use native tongues in the ability to


out-compliment or over-insult a person. Such repartee' was common during
battles of sword and foil. Although most JMs prefer to hear the real role
playing comments, if an HP wanted to impress a young lass or defend the
virtues of another through verbal combat, here is an option and
opportunity. Handle by a K/S vs. K/S contest with the two individuals (as
per page 127) using the language steep they are conversing in.

Trying to impress another persona by using large words and complex


structures of the language could also be done using the same method,
however the object may not be necessarily to win. Stalemates might be
considered a success. Allow the HP to go for th is goal if chosen by
making a success or a special success to be whatever is desired. In this
manner, a metal based character can initiate some impression in higher
social circles without charismaticism. This may initiate some fun when
using K/S areas s eldom brought forth in play.

VI. Impersonation of persona outside your SEC.

The best way to impersonate is to have the impersonation K/S area, but to
impersonate outside you SEC class the persona must also have a Native
Tongue of at least 41 (as per page 155.) Also, allow impersonating a
different SEC class using another languag e, if appropriate, if the FL
steep is at least 51. This of course must be appropriate for the person
or class of person being impersonated or else all is for naught. If
impersonating in the incorrect SEC (low, middle, or high) assign a 2 DR
penalty. It is also possible to mimic a person by using a dialect you
have a cross over with using the chart on pages 146-147. This mimicry is
as effective as if you had that language at the particular percentage of
the cross over and are imitating within the HP 's SEC. It does not allow
a persona to correctly mimic an SEC outside there own unless the cross
over steep is at least 51. ( Note that with certain additional castings it
could be: Mah Chi as an example )

VII. Lip Reading and Sign Language

For lip reading one must consider that the HP must know the language spoken. In
addition, range is also a modifier in that ability. Start with a moderate score,
and for every twenty feet removed from the person reduce it one DR. Also consider
these mod
ifiers:

Special Circumstance DR modifier


a direct view of two people conversing 1 DR easier
use of spell to increase sight range 1 DR easier
use of optical device to assist 1 DR easier
person is very well lighted or stands out 1 DR easier
acquainted with observed person 1 DR easier
looking at the persons profile 1 DR harder
observed person is eating or drinking 1 DR harder
in a traffic area 1 DR harder ( at least )
bushes or other cover in between 1 DR harder
dim lighting or in shadows 1 DR harder

Sign language is the ability to communicate with gestures, most commonly


hands. Many uses include talking to the mutes to operating covertly and
silently. When created, the HP should have choose sub-areas from the list
on page 154. Most of these langua ges are not designed to explain
detailed information, but to efficiently provide instructions or
communication. Material of a detailed nature is best written out unless
there is long time to sign it out.

DR modifiers will vary depending on each circumstance. Range of sign


language depends on the material or message sent. One signaling danger or
attack in a soldier language could be many rods apart whereas someone
having a conversation with a mute should be relatively close. The above
modifiers may be useful in assigning DR, but be open minded and liberal
when possible. Usually start with DR easy and work from there. The sign
languages are usually more streamlined and efficient in order to
communicate using hands and gestures.

VIII. Reading Gestures Without Knowing the Language.

Second guessing another persona's intent by reading gestures is a


psychology K/S area. Until that time when it is used in this system, or
the HP changes genres, discourage players from this abuse. If they are
trying to read lips, use the appropriate K/S area. If they don't know the
language or do not possess the K/S area, possibly allow a Mental
Perception roll at Extreme or Very difficult. Only if the HP has
collected previous information should the JM allow easier DRs as the
situation demands.

IX. Linguistics.

Linguistics is a global language K/S area meant to establish base


communication with anyone. This K/S is not meant to replace all the
individual FLs, but is to be used until a better form of communication is
utilized. After all, an HP can't have every FL. Linguistics is extremely
useful for the well traveled, but for fluent communication, linguistics is
much harder than FL. Using linguistics, it is also much more difficult to
establish detailed plans or transfer scientific/magical research without a
v ery high steep. In all other aspects, treat it as though it were a FL.
Here are some base modifiers.

DR Subject Matter
easy Ability to determine overall intentions, very incomplete, no details
moderate base communication, choppy and slow at times but understood
hard fluid communication without gaps or pauses
difficult detailed exchanges of an informative nature such as
technical data, plans of a complex nature, scientific explanations, aristocratic
jargon, or political platform speech. very difficult noticing or conveying a
pattern of speech that has an encoded message within the syllables, first letters,
double meani
ngs, etc.

As with foreign languages, allow one roll per time period (typically one
day unless using over a prolonged period) at their desired DR of
communication. This reflects the amount of consideration and
concentration they wish to expend before venturing forw ard. If the HP
wishes to upgrade the form of communication, it may be done by an
additional checks for each encounter throughout that day. If the initial
roll is failed, communication is considered to be garbled and not
productive. Any individual check s done that day are one DR harder for
the duration of that day. For longer stays, checks can occur on a weekly
or monthly basis.

At any time when HPs are interested in overhearing or speaking to


individuals in a foreign tongue use the above chart (remembering the DR
modifier if they missed the initial time frame roll.)

When reading, writing, and translating using linguistics assign an


additional DR harder and use the table as in section III.

If both the FL (or some partial dialect of the FL) and linguistics is
possessed for the purpose of speaking or otherwise, allow two rolls.
First, off of the FL steep. Then, if it is a failure, allow a roll off of
linguistics after applying all the appro priate modifiers.

X. Trade Languages.

This language is used to initiate commerce and communication among


shipping and trade routes. It is most often an accumulation of many parts
of many languages. A potpourri of communication used for barter and
exchange of goods and to some point, inform ation. Most trade languages
are not meant for aristocracy, research, or magick. It simply doesn't
have the complexity to handle such specifics and technicalities. It is
often viewed as vulgar and gruff, thus these languages are almost
exclusively used by middle and lower classes, but rarely by the upper
classes. Such guttural speech is far beneath the station of the well to
do. Even though most people understand it, the wealthy often prefer to
ignore it, justifying themselves as promoting national pride. In
conclusion, these languages are used for travel and trade and is
interpreted to loose and general meanings, except when money is concerned.

XI. Gaining STEEP in Foreign Lands.

Players tend to concentrate on improving Combat and Heka areas above all
others. In order to stimulate breath in K/S areas, some incentives have
been put into place. The first is an AP/S bonus to HPs who spend a great
deal of time in one country. The s econd type of bonus is for those who
study abroad. The third bonus is for those who actively spend AP/Gs while
spending time in a foreign land. These bonuses only apply to HPs who have
spend the time, effort, and APs to initially get the FL. It does no t
apply to the point where the HP has a steep greater than forty. Beyond
forty, the HP must train or spend APs in the appropriate ways as detailed
in DJ1 (page 134-136.) The justification for these bonuses is the ability
to learn "by hard knocks."

The reason for the cut off at forty is that some solid research or
justification should be done for a person to obtain a doctorate level.
Initially, the cut off was at thirty (certainly an option for a JM), but
forty seemed more justified due to the fact that languages can be mastered
through travel and concentration. This level of mastery would appear to
be the same as though someone studied at an institution and received a
masters degree. It is agreed that study and travel is the best mix, but
to be balanced, forty seemed to be the right choice. There is a point,
however, where pure exposure would not be enough. Thus it is justified by
not allowing the HP to advance beyond forty by this method. JMs should
also keep in mind that if the HP spend all his or her time in the slums
and taverns a more appropriate cap might be 20. Whereas those who are hop
nailing with the rich and royalty as well as those who are well read with
the local merchants, investors, mages, and priests should be capped at
forty . The following is a suggested chart for where HPs should be capped
on using this bonus system.

Social Areas HP Attends Steep Cap


Bars, Wharf, Taverns, Slums 20
Businesses, Markets, Laborers 30
Temples, Politics, Schools, Theaters 40

Be loose with these AP/S. If the HP has spent a great deal of time
conversing, running a business, involved with the local militia or
government on a day to day basis, perhaps a bonus every three or six
months is more applicable. But, if the HP never me ets the public, is
always researching, is in solitary confinement, the reverse may also be
true. In most instances, HPs are justified, even if they only go out to
the market once or twice a week. As a general rule, the HP should be
spending 90% of his or her time in the country to get this bonus.

When HPs are based for long terms in foreign lands they may find it
necessary to adapt to the language most used. They may wish to become
more versed in that particular language. As a general rule, HPs gain 1
point of steep per every year in a foreign l and as long as they possess
the FL K/S steep between one and forty. If the HP has spent time and APs
to initially learn the FL, he or she will be able to learn some more of
the language by continuously being exposed to it and its culture. Country
jumping to gain as many points as possible should be discouraged. The
incentive system is meant to be a bonus to reward players for adventuring
and spending time in other areas of the world to produce a worldly
role-playing persona. Players who lord rules like these over the JM
should have the appropriate anti-joss in addition to their demands.
Similarly, some JMs may allow the same type of advancement for Native
tongue for those patriots who stay at home or Trade language for those
merchants traversing the world. The fastest way to learn a FL is to train
in a country where that FL is the primary spoken language and then
practice it. Typically it would take two-thirds the time to study ( 1/3
with Linguistics at hard.) Again, bonuses should not be allowed past a st
eep of forty.

If APs are spent, allow a bonus point for every point purchased.

This would only come into effect after the HP has spent at least three
months in the country. The bonus should not be allows past forty. These
are all mere suggestions, but it may help players decide to branch out and
expand their personas to include new role playing K/S areas not commonly
used. As a JM, encourage the use of these K/S areas and you will find
more roll playing opportunitie s in your campaign.

XII. Arcane Magickal.

Arcane Magical is not completely described in the Mythus rules.

Some JMs have ruled that this is the language of spellcasting. At first
glance this may appear a simple explanation, however it may not be that
consistent. Consider the argument of the Priestcrafter. Should he or she
learn arcane magickal to cast spell s or should prayers work. How about
the Astrologer, Apotropaist, Exorcist, Hekaforger, etc... It is far to
complicated for each heka casting area to have its own language. It is
equally unjustified that all these areas, whether physical or spiritual tr
aits, must be dependent on a mental trait K/S area to perform. Also note
that in the vocations documented, only the Dweomercraefters have this K/S
area.

A more reasonable explanation would be that is it specifically meant for


dweomercraefters. Although there could be many possibilities, only two
will be explored. The first is a mages language meant solely for those
whom cast and research dweomercraeft s pells (or eyebites, cantrips,
etc...) This language is used to communicate, share ideas, coordinate
castings, or identify other casters of the craft. This would be similar
to the Thieves Cant language or other languages used by secret
organizations.

A second possible explanation is that Arcane Magickal is the script used


for writing spellbooks and is a heka language that is written only. Even
though it is under a mental trait, other heka casters could certainly hire
this out as a service or develop it on their own, but it is not required
in order to cast. Base cost for scribing in such a form is 100 heka per
hour. Mages, scribes, and anyone with this K/S can then scribe
spellbooks. Arcane Magickal would then allow the persona to channel heka
to copy spells. This conveniently disallows the printing press potential
of spreading castings around and creates a balanced consequence of
reproducing spellbooks. For a more detail explanatio ns and
possibilities, see Appendix I : Spellbooks.

XIII. Acknowledgments.

Most of this project was done by A J Schmidt. He is most willing to


entertain new ideas, interpretations, criticism, and additions. Please
contact him through SchmidtJ@win.bright.net. Many thoughtful insights and
additions came from John Teske and Steven Gullerud. Remember all of
these are mere suggestions and personal interpretations of Mythus. Use
all, any, or none and above all...Have Fun! Good gaming!

Appendices

The following are topics not directly related to Languages, but indirectly
discovered when completing this work. Languages are used in the creation
of the following, thus they are included as an afterthought of
possibilities. Again, these are only suggestions used to clarify some
rulings.

Appendix I : Spellbooks.

There exist many theories of how spells are (or should be) recorded in the
Mythus game system. The following appendix is dedicated to describing two
methods. The first best matches the Mythus system rules, but has some
drawbacks. The second is a modification of the Arcane Magical FL to
solve some of those problems.

The first method requires no heka. A typical spellbook is simply a tome


of great quality with the written instructions of how to evoke certain
castings. This tome can be written in any language, encrypted with
symbols, translated by a mental game, use any type of visible spectrum ink
(including infrared through ultraviolet ), or be written in invisible ink.

The second method is consistent with the Arcane Magickal section discussed
earlier. All spellbooks would be written using this heka language at a
cost of 100 heka per hour. AM is the language how to write spells on
prepared parchment, paper, cloth, or the like. The writings are in an
arcane scripture, designed to hold and protect the power of heka castings.
The language itself is phonetically designed to be compatible to any
language the writer wishes to use. This is assuming that verbal
components of spells are similar (variances do certainly exist.) Thus an
HP can use Arcane Magickal to scribe his or her spells using the Celtic
language. This tome could be used by anyone who can read Celtic and has
the other appropriate means ( K/S area, STEEP, etc...) In addition, this
language also reveals the somatic needs of the castings by having them
encoded into the script. When a capable persona reads the casting, the
somatics are placed into memory and described perfectly. This is why it
is a heka language, for no translated language is perfect. The gestures
of castings are far to precise to be left to mere words to explain. AM is
simply the means of writing down the casting. It is a precise and
complete method.

The cost of such spell books will vary through out campaigns, worlds, and
geographical locations. The books can be made by any quality, but should
be enchanted by a heka forager or the like to preserve the quality. As a
perspective, consider a scribe as paid at least 20-50 BUCs per hour (more
or less may depend on the campaign and the commonality of scribes.) As a
rule, assign one hour per level of the casting and use the following as a
time multiplier depending on the type of casting.

Type of casting Multiplier Type of casting Multiplier


eyebite .25 spell 2.0
charm .50 formula 3.0
cantrip 1.0 ritual 5.0

Using this as a guide, one can determine the cost having others write
spells in spell books. The base cost for the book and ink is highly
variable on the genre and campaign, as stated earlier.

Upon completion of the time requirements, the scribe must make a roll
verses arcane magical at moderate. The scribe should be in a relatively
quiet area working without distraction. Under normal circumstances, the
casting should be written in one sitting where the scribe works
uninterrupted for the complete time. It will be necessary for the scribe
to make an endurance roll at moderate dr. at end of each six hours in such
a position. Some JMs may consider progressively harder DRs at every six
hours.

Those scribes without endurance may instead roll verses physical trait at
extreme. For each failure, the roll vs. Arcane Magical will be one dr. harder.
Also consider the following suggested situational modifiers:
Alone in an enclosed area undisturbed 1 dr. easier
Reference material for Arcane magical is available 1 dr. easier
Double time is spent on the transcribing 1 dr.
easier
Each interruption (like knocks, sleep, etc...) 1 dr. harder
Noisy, stressed, distracted (each) 1 dr. harder
Uncomfortable conditions (cold, hot, ill) 1 dr.
harder

This method of copying spellbooks is not altogether unreasonable when


reviewing the Mythus system. The genre supports most castings to be known
or recallable, not in books. In addition, the mentors and teachers can
easily demonstrate somatic gestures and movements while tutoring, while
written language, even with pictures, would make that quite difficult
(perhaps extreme!) Remember these are all optional rules to be modified
at the JMs discretion.

Appendix II: Some vague notes on Scrolls.

Since any spell can be read out of a spellbook, there is not strong
support for scrolls as they are used in novels and EGS. Scrolls would be
created as any other magical devise, although individuals may run this
differently.

Scrolls should be written using Arcane Magickal under very special


circumstances. First special inks must be created out of reagent material
with enough heka to power the casting. The ink or paper must also have
the appropriate components built into the ink or the parchment. If the
components are not feasible, alternatives should be researched. Possible
areas to do this may include : Arcane Magickal, Heka Forging, Alchemy,
and/or Herbalism.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3.Developing Religions for AErth

Michael S. Phillips, mike@lawlib.wm.edu

I have done a significant amount of work with religion development for


the Mythus game, and particularly for AErth. Before undertaking said
activities, I did quite a bit of work with some other settings. One might
say that I tended to emphasize the religion of the characters during
campaigns, perhaps overly so, in reaction to other campaigns, wherein I
saw that aspect of the setting ignored.

On AErth, of course, there is a wealth of background if you know


where to look and how to adapt it. Unfortunately, the game went into
a hibernation of sorts, and the material being developed vanished,
never to be seen again. Into this (to me) gaping void I boldly
ventured, attempting to capture the flavor of given pantheons and
deities for gaming use. Of course, there are special considerations
in developing material based on real mythologies for gaming purposes.

The biggest consideration when developing anything for AErth,


regardless of whether it's a culture, a religion, a technology, or a
nation, is that AErth's level ranges from ancient through late
Renaissance. Christianity never took hold, and whole sections of the
history are parallel enough that, for all intents and purposes, cultures
and such survived on AErth for anywhere from 500 to 2000 years more than
they did on Earth. There will inevitably be changes.

The Norse culture, to pick a random example, lasted a solid 1,000


years longer on AErth without records being obliterated by well-meaning
individuals. The church had time to develop sophistication, the people
became more entrenched. I simulated this to some extent by postulating
some overall shifts within the pantheon.

First, the religion is at once wide-spread and personal. *Everyone*


pays some homage to a few gods (Thor and Odin at least), and many would
pray to lesser beings to intercede on the supplicant's behalf. A sailor
might drop a petition to Njord, where a fisherman would to Aegir.

Second, the pantheon would evolve. More figures would be added to the
pantheon, covering spheres of interest which were ignored or not recorded
on Earth's sketchy records. Svipdag, for instance, a mage who sought
knowledge to reach his true love, might become a significant figure for
dweomercraefters. Or Volund might become a god of smithing (an activity
which would not fit well into Thor's domain, despite his hammer and
thundering reputation). Frigga's handmaiden could very well evolve into a
representative of unrequited love.

Third, religions will interact with each other. Popular concepts will
pass across borders. One such potential crossing would be a softening and
idealizing of Freya, at once incorporating some aspects of Venus and
Minerva (whose spheres Freya already loosely agreed with). In fact,
depending on the exact interactions, Freya and Minerva might become very
close in kind to the outside observer, with only the devoted able to tell
the difference.

Fourth, no matter how you slice it, it's still a game. In a game
setting, religion is not an all-consuming thing, it is not the primary
focus. Certain things are expected, and certain things are expedient,
particularly in a world where magick works (again, Svipdag would probably
become the heroic warrior-mage). The pantheon should be internally
consistent and draw on the mythological sources, but accuracy can be
sacrificed to make it more appropriate for the setting and the campaign.
Don't hold the game to historical accuracy to the exclusion of an
enjoyable setting!

Working out such changes is time-consuming, particularly in keeping


them (hopefully) logical and accurate. I made only minor additions and
changes, but the Norse mythology purist probably will not approve. I can
only hope that the Mythus player approves.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. Magic Items

This collection by Keith Russell (gearz@auracom.com)

Hammer of the Stone Cutter

Uncharged: 4D6 blunt


Charged: Smashes rocks to dust DR modifier according, 30" sphere + 200 heka
4D6 electrical damage + pt. for every 3 heka
Must charge every month, 1900 heka per month, stored in head to be called
upon in battle
Negates 7 pts of armor either charged or uncharged

Dimensions
head:
1" x 6" x 6"

Background

Only seven of these tools of lore were made by a powerful heka forger to
be used by master masons during the construction of his secret lair built
inside a mountain. In payment to the masons they were allowed to keep
these magical tools. Centuries later the hammers were all but stories in
local folklore until 3 of them were re-discovered by Egyptian soldiers and
turned over to the Pharaoh who carried them into battles and used their
great power against his enemies.

The high Priests in Egypt considered these hammers to be to powerful to be


used for war and in a power struggle the hammers were stolen and sent to
the Temple of the Stone Cutter where they remained hidden for years.

These hammers appear quite large measuring 3' 6" long and having a head 1"
x 6' x 6' and have Latin script written down the handle with a magical
glyph of two hammers crossed at the handles on each side. This glyph
negates the withdraw of heka from the hammer.

When uncharged the hammer appears to be made from onyx and gives the
impression of being of exceptional quality

When charged for battle the head of the hammer glows a soft incandescent
blue with occasional flickers of lightening giving it an immense aura of
power.

The Six Swords

Each sword has an individual power


speed increases attack speed by 1D6 multiplier
honor increases BAC by 1D6 multiplier
protection increases armor by 1D6 Multiplier
magic increases the power of any magical incantation by 1D6 multiplier +
mental control
power increases damage by 1D6 multiplier
healing heals 1D6 per CT and increases healing potions by 1D6 multiplier

Dimensions:
3"3' long from tip to hilt

Background:
The six sword were created before AErth's great reckoning. Some say they
were created to ward of a great prophecy of a battle in the future. The
swords were scattered around the world so that the chosen one of each
generation must quest to find them. Anyone can harness the power of each
individual sword but if one of the unchosen holds two swords at once a
dark fate is said to the befallen of which they can not escape. The
blades of the swords are not decorated in any way making the difficult to
tell from an everyday bastard sword only of an older style. Only
searching for heka in the swords will reveal their enormous power.
Looking at two swords at once while detecting heka has been known to blind
some wizards. Also they have a lower speed factor than a normal bastard
sword of about 5.

The Serenity Dagger


This dagger was made for a thief. The ability of this dagger is that it
makes a sphere around the user that renders the handler silent. There was
only supposed to be one of these weapons made but greed overtook the
creator. 9 were created before the craftsman was murdered. Never more
than 4 have been accounted for at any one time in history

WP C S DT Dam Reach
Dagger 5 M 1 P 2D6 1
Description
25" long

Leather bound gold hilt with heka light and a red gem in the center on the
hilt.