D&D 5E 101 Lore Tidbits from my Forgotten Realms games


We all create little libraries of random facts in our Dungeonmaster's notes over the years. By the time you're forty-one, like me, you might start turning them into novels. Which, given I'm an author, I have. However, these are some fun tidbits I've accumulated and thought I'd share. Some are ridiculous, others serious, and others ridicu-serious or dramedic. I hope they bring a smile to your face and the more you know about Dungeons and Dragons, specifically the Forgotten Realms, the more you'll probably enjoy these.

1. Asmodeus suffers a massive penalty to any interactions with a PC of peasant background, named "Jack", or a hero who challenges him to a fiddle contest.

2. The Dungeons and Dragons cartoon protagonists are actually real in the realms. Some deranged gnomish archwizard transported a bunch of teenagers to Toril in order to torment them. Decades later, they're all hardcore killers and want to kill him.

3. Psionicists and Sorcerers instinctively dislike each other for stealing each other's bit.

4. The fact good and evil are literal things in the world mean that evil and good don't actually mean positive or negative things to many races. Realms alienists have divided the brain into Good (Superego), Id (Evil), and Neutral (Ego) terms.

5. Gruumsh plays the game of golf and it is a popular orcish sport.

6. By the time of the Sundering, the "time of the adventurer" is largely over and most of the ruins, tombs, and easily-slaughtered humanoid tribes are played out. This reflects the changes in gaming styles between editions.

7. Historians take a very dim view of adventurers who went into humanoid territory to kill things for treasure. Changing morality and all that.

8. Nuances actually exist even in alignment planes. Acheron is LAWFUL evil and a place for repressive and callous gods. The Nine Hells are lawful EVIL where the cruelty is the point. Mount Celestia is for orderly good people and Arcadia is stifflingly confromist Ned Flanders land.

9. A class exists in my game called "Heretical Priest" where they claim to be a representative of a god but actually get their powers from Asmodeus while spouting the exact opposite of their deities' dogma. It's just the Devil's way of screwing with people.

10. See 9#, Asmodeus does this with evil gods too and has Lawful Good priests of Bane and Lolth is just misunderstood.

11. Elves fetishsize humans every bit as much as the reverse. All the muscles and curves.

12. Goliaths are just orcs, half-orcs, and ogre descendants with better hygeine.

13. Drizzt Do'Urden copiers are in fact a thing in-universe. Many surface drow tried to ape his look to avoid being murdered. Drizzt notably HATED this.

14. A lot of Realms deities are actually elf gods and vice versa: Corellon = Lathander, Sehanine = Selune, Hanali = Sune, Mask = Vhaeraun. This is because gods love worshipers and know their followers are racist.

15. Tieflings really are the product of demonic/human couplings. No one wants to admit just how many voluntary ones have happened throughout history or how quick to get busy with the forces of evil people are.

16. Elminster and the Chosen of Mystra among other forces of good are almost never available to do anything due to near constant distractions. Whenever there's a threat to the Realms like Tiamat coming to Toril or Auril covering the place in eternal winter, they're often trapped in Barovia or visiting an alternate Toril stop their evil alternate universe counterparts.

17. See 16#, in fact there are about 3-4 equally powerful forces of evil for every champion of good and about 20-1 lesser but still potent evil doers. While their stats don't reflect it, Manshoon, Fzoul, and Szass Tam among other archbaddies could kill the good guys in a straight fight. Which is why neither side ever has them.

18. See 17#, this actually leads to the humorous fact the only reason the Realms hasn't been overwhelmed by evil is because the forces of evil are usually fighting each other. Thays, Zhents, and Sharists all agree that if they can't rule the world then the other guys can't either.

19. See 18#, the forces of good are more interested in keeping evil at each other's throats and being subtler than trying to beat it outright. Whether this is a good idea or not is anyone's guess but they're often afraid of evil power vacuums.

20. The Wall of the Faithless finally came down during the Spellplague. All of the souls in it, even those thought destroyed, have been released. Some have actually begun a lawsuit against Myrkul, Kelemvor, Jergal, and other deities from Sigil with the help of the Athar as well as Fraternity of Order. No one is sure how they would enforce any judgement.

21. Faithless souls now go to their alignment plane or may stay in the Fugue Plane, which has some nice places even if it's distressingly neutral.

22. There are copies of the Hand and Eye of Vecna among other Oerthian artifacts on Faerun. It is widely speculated this is just Vecna and other deities being an ass.

23. (Dragonlance) Kender actually know exactly what they're doing and the childish kleptomaniac thing is a popular scam.

24. Gnomish lack of safety standards and questionable steam technology is actually not that funny as well as the result of Victorian Era-esque capitalism.

25. Halfling is a slur but if it's any consolation, they have their own versions for humans ("Doublings") as well as some nastier versions.

26. (Ravenloft) Strahd has actually been killed literally hundreds of times by adventurers. It's part of his curse and really as much a cure for his boredom as searching for Tatiana.

27. A lot of settings are actually magically post-apocalyptic with their walled cities, hordes of monsters, and shattered ruins of greater cities. A lot of people don't realize this because they're used to thinking of it as normal.

28. There really are just 666 layers of the Abyss but since every layer is infinite and chaotic, it's kind of a moot point.

29. Drow skin tones come in purple, slate gray, and midnight black. Similarly, elves have solid gold, green, marble, and various browns.

30. Yes, there's plenty of non-evil drow just like Feanor and company illustrate how even the nicest elves can go off the deep end.

31. Good, Evil, and Neutral actually come off in a spectrum even beyond Law and Chaos. If your paladin pings someone as evil, beware if they're not just a self-centered jerkass whose behavior can be corrected with a stern talking to versus a guy who eats kidneys.

32. Kobolds are actually quite terrifying as if you leave them unchecked, your town will rapidly become the one from Gremlins.

33. Kobolds are not remotely related to dragons but no one is willing to point out the Napoleon syndrome at work here.

34. Tiamat literally does not notice Kobold worship and pays it less attention than human cultists.

35. [Spelljammer] There are technological realms in the universe but the Crystal Spheres and giant physics breaking beings cause most starship captains to be dismissed as lunatics when they report them. The "Dungeon Sector" and its worlds is considered something akin to the Warp from Warhammer 40K outside it.

36. There are worlds where hit points actually isn't an abstraction and some people can just tank being shot in the face. This is as terrifying to other people as it sounds.

37. Fzoul and Manshoon are lovers (Fzoul bi, Manshoon gay). Alusiar and Caladnei were consorts (with open relationships to several others--mostly adventurers). Same sex relationships are just accepted as normal in the Realms.

38. The protagonist from Baldur's Gate became a good-aligned minor deity while Abdel Adrian is just another Bhaalspawn who survived.

39. Halastar Blackcloak has monitoring spells set up all around Undermountain and literally spends most of his time munching on popcorn while viewing adventurers get killed in his obstacle courses. All the treasure lying around are "prizes" for the winners/survivors.

40. Being a Lich is actually a particularly crappy existence as "transcending all mortal flesh" turns out to be not so much fun. Many Liches actually possess mortals or hang around Outer Planes to get back their old sensations.

41. Talos is the most avuncular pleasant Chaotic Evil god you're likely to meet. He loves exploding things, heavy metal, and expects nothing from his followers but making big booms. He's basically Mr. Torg from Borderlands (or Macho Man Randy Savage for an older reference).

42. Incredibly impractial sexy armor exists all across the Realms. They come in male loin cloths like Conan, Chainmail decolatage for women, and other fashionable choices for both sexes. Magic makes them work.

43. Mirt the Moneylender runs the equivalent of the World of Warcraft bank. Trading magical items, storing massive amounts of coin, and selling adventuring equipment is his primary stock and trade. He's also the only one you can trust with it all.

44. Torm is basically Luke Skywalker. Unlike Disney Luke, he got over his enormous reboot-induced funk, though.

45. The Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity isn't actually a cursed item but a medical device. You can certainly figure out who and what it was made for as well as why it was designed not to be removed.

46. Maztica is the reason why a lot of modern foods and vegetables are inside Faerun. It's avoided the majority of colonialist problems, though, in part because Cure Disease is a 3rd level spell.

47. Cure Disease actually provides immunity to whatever nonmagical disease it is used against after being cast. Which increases its utility considerably.

48. Yes, Paladine is Bahamut and Takhasis is Tiamat. We always knew it to be true.

49. Velsharoon the God of Undeath and Necromancy is incredibly pathetic as a deity with not even Thayans worshiping him. Myrkul is considering stealing his portfolios but isn't sure it would be beneath him.

50. See #49, Velsharoon is considering wholesale plagarizing Vecna's religion and impersonating him. The problem is that due to the way the Outer Planes work, it could very well end with Vecna absorbing him and becoming a Faerun god.

51. [Ravenloft] The Dark Powers of Ravenloft actually aren't nearly as awesome as they seem and are really just petty dicks. Their secret origin? It's a pantheon of gods exiled from other pantheons for being petty dicks.

52. Archdemons and Archdevils are not gods in any shape or form and can be slain on their home plane. The exceptions being Asmodeus and Lolth who are gods-gods. They can grant spells, though.

53. Much like Mutants and Masterminds, I grant some beings a Challenge Rating of X. Like meeting a god on their home plane, it has the stats of "You lose." You can, however trick them or defeat them with plot Macguffins. The Ultimate Nullifier, Rod of Seven Parts, or what not.

54. Mongrelmen are the result of wizards patching together a bunch of dead bodies with a shoddier cheaper version of making a golem (Create Monstrous Assistant is a 5th Level Spell). Almost all of them are named Igor or Boris some other common name as well as inherently servile to spell-casters or mad scientists.

55. Princess Glaysa of the Nine Hells often shows up to party with adventurers, dump them in horribly threatening situations, and then peace out after the high of sex as well as drugs wears off. Disturbingly, she may actually be the eternally rebellious teenage avatar of Asmodeus.

56. Asmdoeus will occasionally ask for a hero's marriage instead of their soul. This is an incredibly stupid thing to take and no true Chaotic Good hero would do it.

57. Bane is so painfully Sauron that it hurts with all the spikes, black armor, orc minions, and so on that it hurts.

58. Cyric was never able to be taken seriously as a god until he started dressing up in clown makeup. Now there's just something about him that terrifies people.

59. There's speculation that Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul never came back. That it's actually Xvim (Bane), Velsharoon (Myrkul), and Cyric (Bhaal) impersonating them. But if you impersonate a god too well, they become real due to the way belief works in the Outer Planes, so what does it matter?

60. Lolth squandered being a Greater Goddess and is back to being a Lesser Goddess because she got bored and wrecked everything. She doesn't have plans, she has whims.

61. Each of Tiamat's heads is a genius and scheming against the others. Except the White Dragon head, who is easily distracted by shiny things and just wishes they could make friends. If you're a dragon cultist, pray to the White Dragon head. Just don't expect much in return.

62. Eventually, the Lady of Pain let all of the Factions back into Sigil but they're now on probation with lots of more philosophical oddballs having joined the group. The Pratchetness of the place has only somehow increased.

63. Lawful Stupid Paladins are very rare because of the Wisdom requirement but when they do screw up, they tend to screw up EPICALLY. It doesn't help when Asmodeus does the Heretical Priest thing with them too.

64. A multiverse of alternate Torils, Oerths, Krynns, and so on exists in addition to the Prime Material Plane. Thus all games are canon.

65. Vecna's rampage was organized by, you guessed it, Asmodeus. Alternatively, it could be Orcus but they're the two sides with brains.

66. Asmodeus is responsible for the D&D Satanic Panic.

67. Gra'azt is either Asmodeus' wayward son or another avatar.

68. Orcus isn't a god, he's an UNDEAD god. He's responsible for the destruction of the Knights Templar on alternate Earths, is quite the party animal, and many a goat sex joke.

69. The side of good, despite being outnumbered, is STILL prone to infighting as the Order of the Gauntlet considers the Harpers to be a terrorist organization and works to eliminate it.

70. The Lords Alliance also considers the Harpers to be a terrorist organization but uses it whenever it is conveinant.

71. Tyr is significantly less humble, kind, compassionate, an forgiving than Torm. Tyr tends to favor Helm over Torm and thinks the world would run a lot smoother if not so much that he conquered it but everyone was converted to worshiping Lawful gods under him. Other deities have to remind him he's NOT the king of the gods or Ao's favored son.

72. Bahamut bears a suspicious similarity to certain alternate Earths' idea of God in many respects and is the god who lives at the top of Mount Celestia. He, Torm, and Ilmater have been suspiciously known to hang out.

73. Archdevas exist just like Archdemons but you almost never hear of them because they're not trying to make waves.

74. Io is just the dragons' name for Ao (and vice versa) as they're a race with a better understanding of celestial alignments.

75. Helm and Tyr are survivors of a now-defunct pantheon from displaced humans in Icewind Dale. I can't imagine what they were like.

76. Realms coinage is debased and a gold piece is actually about 10% pure gold. Ditto all the other coinage except coppers and everyone hates coppers.

77. Your typical Realmsian doesn't worship a single patron god but the entire pantheon. You pray to Talos for rain and Chauntea for good crops with no contradiction.

78. Durnan of the Yawning Portal tavern is Sean Connery. They look and sound identical.

79. In my games, if you pass 20th level, you automatically ascend to demigod status. Mind you, that doesn't make you invincible as many have found. You become the smallest fish in a larger pond.

80. In modern Realms times, orcs, bugbears, and other humanoids live normal lives among other races. The Spellplague brought everyone together. Mind you, tensions still exist as do them generally being dicks.

81. Xanathar the Beholder has the personality of Jabba the Hutt, including his bizarre court as well as monster musicians. There's absolutely a pit trap over a basilisk lair in his headquarters.

82. Despite how the books have portrayed them, Manshoon and Fzoul are absolutely deadly enemies and genius schemers equal to Lex Luthor and Doctor Doom. Yes, they've failed a lot but they're still hanging around too.

83. For all the elves claims of back to nature tree hugging. Their cities are actually incredibly intricately designed biospheres and magically engineered lifeforms. They can sit around all day and do nothing because the trees provide baked bread and free water at will.

84. See #83, this is also why elves react so negatively to humans because it's not chopping down random trees that ticks them off but the fact they've chopped down power lines and sewer systems.

85. Dwarves love dogs. This is an underdocumented feature of their race.

86. Elves primarily love cats. Much is explained.

87. There's a not entirely unbelievable argument by certain elves and dwarves that humans, in fact, are just orcs that became "civilized" due to their lack of a racial creator god. Either that or were some magically altered or hybrid race. People who argue other gods made their races from humans get a thorough beating in an alleyway after class, though.

88. The Zhentarim are the best people to have as merchants in your area due to the fact they're as happy to supply weapons, magic, and party supplies to "good" parties as "evil" parties. It's an awkward situation that many Harper-funded revolutions and underdefended towns deal with.

89. There are many stories of humans being abducted by strange creatures, experimented on, and returned to their homes. These are absoluely true and done by Spelljamming Illithids. We're not sure why they also take cattle and leave intricate pretty circles in crops.

90. Psionics are related to ancient Illithid experimentations on humanity and touching the Far Realms.

91. Clerics generally don't charge for their spells unless it's dirty-dirty adventurers. It's just they usually devote their spells to the caring of their parishioners. After all, every Raise Dead they waste on you is one less for a child who died prematurely.

92. Adventuring is usually a euphemism in the realm and generally means some combination of mercenary, assassin, exterminator, legbreaker, grave robber, and (oddly enough) archaeologist.

93. See #92. Most adventurers ARE some combination of such and generally have a "day job" inbetween looking for the next big score. It is a thoroughly disreputable profession.

94. It says something about life in the Realms that Shar promises oblivion to her followers and still has a fairly consistent number of worshipers.

95. Ghaundaur, Tharizdun, and Jubilex are all the same entity. The archdemon is actually an avatar of the former two to give you a sense of how powerful it is.

96. See #95, Jubilex's pet parrot from Castle Greyhawk is, in fact, canon.

97. Dragons actually routinely crossbreed and produce members of their various colors and types. These include temporary matings between Chromatic and Metallic dragons. The salvation of the race is at stake, though.

98. See #97, shockingly, as a result, all dragons take adventurers destroying eggs personally.

99. Chultian Elves REALLY hate if you call them Jungle Elves or confuse them with Drow.

100. Bards are generally considered less like annoying minstrels and more like professional spies and assassins. You're more likely to get James Bond from them than Jaskier/Dandelion.

101. The huge number of monsters just wandering around Faerun are primarily due to wizards of Netheril having some weird hobbies and menageries. Plenty of them are immortal constructs while others are descended from breeding pairs. How do you think they got the owlbear and displacer beast? Very popular pets circa -3876 DR.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


102. Worship of Devils and Demons was almost unknown outside of the Underdark prior to the Time of Troubles. The deaths of so many gods combined with their (usually atrocious) behavior during the event resulted in many people seeking alternative forms of worship.

103. The deity that Asmodeus slew for his divinity was Amaunator. The Devil was cheated, though, because it was actually said deity wishing to be reborn as a god of good rather than order. It also bound Asmodeus to war against Demons eternally as servants of chaos.

104. Demon cults are tiny things usually with only a rare one like Lolth, Asmodeus, or Orcus growing to anything resembling a religion. Even gods of evil tend to have more redeeming qualities than fiend worship. A dozen members is a large one.

105. The Dungeons and Dragons cartoon took place in the Time of Troubles (why Tiamat was running around) and in the Border Kingdoms.

106. Durnan married an Alias clone who was, of course, an adult when he married her. She'd been in the Feywild for a century.

107. Festhall bard is a perfectly legitimate profession and many bards get their training at them. Some of the best, most inventive music comes from those places.

108. The "best" endings for all video games are canon. Which means that, yes, Mephistopheles is dead in the Forgotten Realms' Nine Hells and Aribeth was redeemed. Its not like there's not other fiends to take his place.

109. The Tarrasque is real but the general strategy is to just evacuate people away from it and rebuild afterward. Only complete morons attempt to slay it, stirring it up, or control it. Which means that there's adventurers hired to stop these fools.

110. See 107#, Like Godzilla, it spends most of its time underwater and sleeping with it only coming up every few decades to feed.

111. The Demogorgon has no cults, no religion, and one genius head and another emotional head. It still has people who venerate it simply because it is the strongest of all evils. It also loves chatting.

112. The Demogorgon used to have a third head before it was cut off by Bahamut. Previously, it was a far vaster danger to the rest of the Multiverse as two heads would team up on the third to inflict misery and doom on the Multiverse.
 

Bitbrain

Glory to Ka!
Well, I’m not ready to throw 101 random facts from my games in one go, so here are the first 10:

1. Halfling is a catch-all term for any intelligent humanoid species of Small size that A) did not originate from the Feywild and B) is not part of the goblinoid genus.

2. Hin are the dominant halfling species of Mystara while Kender are the same for Krynn, Rhul-Thaun for Athas, and Talenta for Eberron.

3. I’ve mentioned this one before, but my version of Eberron’s Zilargo is less a police state and more a nation-wide opium den. The Gnomes of Zilargo are therefore all dreamlily addicts.

4. Eberron is actually an alternate timeline. In the original, the Day of Mourning never happened and the war continued for twenty years. Aundair eventually fired a prototype magic WMD, but the explosion traveled outwards in space and backwardsin time.

5. On Krynn, brass dragons like to disguise themselves within humanoid societies as custom-made clockwork-machines.

6. The Dragon-Armies of Krynn aren’t limited to just the bad guys. There are also good Dragon-Armies. They function more like a UN peacekeeping (and humanitarian relief) task force than a conquering army though.

7. On Athas, the current batch of Sorcerer-Kings are not the same ones that achieved victory in the Cleansing Wars and broke the world millennia ago. Instead, they’re just the latest generation in a long “line” of magocratic tyrants who benefit from the ecological status quo.

8. Each athasian sorcerer-king has two forms: a humanoid form and a draconic monster form. These draconic monster forms are unique to each monarch.

9. Dragons and Elder Brains were created by the gods to serve them in the Dawn War as living artillery/siege weapons and strategists, respectively.

10. Corellon was a primordial, not a god, and was killed by the god Gruumsh during the Dawn War.
 

Mad_Jack

Adventurer
9. A class exists in my game called "Heretical Priest" where they claim to be a representative of a god but actually get their powers from Asmodeus while spouting the exact opposite of their deities' dogma. It's just the Devil's way of screwing with people.

Although it's not a mechanically codified thing, in my games any character who gets their magic from an outside source (clerics, paladins, warlocks, druids, sorcerers) doesn't necessarily have to be getting their magic from the source they think they are... One player wanted to play a paladin/warlock, so we came up with the backstory that instead of being called to become a paladin by his god he'd instead been tricked into a warlock pact by a demon who was posing as a servant of the character's god. The demon was providing his magical "paladin" abilities until the character realized what had happened, and became an actual paladin, sworn to only use his warlock powers in the service of good.
I once personally played a character who gained his clerical abilities simply because he so devoutly believed that he wasn't a cleric, but actually on his way to ascending to godhood himself. Essentially, his faith was in himself, lol. Another character of mine hails from a "lost village" of hereditary warlocks who long ago made a pact with an outsider they worship as a god. She also made a personal pact with a being she believes to be her village's patron, but in fact that being was slain long ago and the contract of the village's pact has since been repeatedly sold and stolen by nearly a dozen other various beings - her personal contract was made with a minor imp merely pretending to be her village's patron, who barely had the authority to offer her a deal. And even worse, that imp is now dead, and both contracts now sit collecting dust in some lost and forgotten vault full of forgotten contracts in the dungeon of Asmodeus' palace.


13. Drizzt Do'Urden copiers are in fact a thing in-universe. Many surface drow tried to ape his look to avoid being murdered. Drizzt notably HATED this.
30. Yes, there's plenty of non-evil drow just like Feanor and company illustrate how even the nicest elves can go off the deep end.

I sometimes have non-evil surface enclaves of drow - they're extremely rare and usually small, but when I do add them they're also ancient and well-established enough that nobody's actively lining up to destroy them.

Back when drow first became playable as a race, long before I'd ever read any of the Driz'zt novels, I rolled up a female drow character who was a Sworddancer of Eilistraee that fought with twin longswords, based largely on the artwork of the goddess herself. Part of the reason she was on the surface was because she was working as a trader for her family back in Menzoberranzan. She was basically the anti-Driz'zt, proud of her noble drow heritage even though she had little interest in engaging in the typical politics and backstabbing of her culture - she made a point of walking around without a hood or cloak on, and as a merchant spent a great deal of time talking to people.
Later on, when I first became aware of all the Driz'zt hate, I retconned her background so that she'd actually known Driz'zt back in their younger "teenage" years, and thought he was a total wanker, a whiny emo kid who needed to pull his head out of his arse... :cool: :p


15. Tieflings really are the product of demonic/human couplings. No one wants to admit just how many voluntary ones have happened throughout history or how quick to get busy with the forces of evil people are.

Tieflings in my worlds run the gambit from the old-school 2e tieflings who might barely show their heritage to the current red skin, big horns and tail version, and their appearance could be the result of anything from biological to mystical. There are tieflings who are literally half-outsider, true-breeding tieflings who are directly descended from outsiders as well as those whose ancestors were cursed or made a pact, tieflings who are the only one in their family to show their heritage for a dozen generations, and tieflings who ended up like that because of a personal curse or pact. They also don't necessarily need to be of human stock either - they all use the same game stats, but players can pick any humanoid for their heritage and choose whether the outsider part is demon, devil or something else.


33. Kobolds are not remotely related to dragons but no one is willing to point out the Napoleon syndrome at work here.

In my worlds, they're about as closely related as modern birds and whatever crawled out of the oceans to later become the dinosaurs - even the most learned sages have to squint pretty hard to see the connections, but the kobolds still claim to be the spiritual children of dragons despite the only real evidence linking them being scales and that kobolds speak a debased form of Draconic.
I have a kobold character named Krik'ik'kik't'kik, a sorcerer/rogue who dresses in nice human clothes like a wizard (including glasses) and gets raging mad any time he's not treated like a respected and powerful adventurer. He claims his name translates from Draconic as "Heart of Dragons", but the literal translation is "Wyrm Guts", lol.


42. Incredibly impractial sexy armor exists all across the Realms. They come in male loin cloths like Conan, Chainmail decolatage for women, and other fashionable choices for both sexes. Magic makes them work.

In my games, even regular armor looks like whatever the players want it to, and is powered by plot armor - if they're wearing more than a couple square inches of chainmail, they're wearing chainmail. So chainmail could be anything from Red Sonja's costume to a full set of historical Norman mail.


43. Mirt the Moneylender runs the equivalent of the World of Warcraft bank. Trading magical items, storing massive amounts of coin, and selling adventuring equipment is his primary stock and trade. He's also the only one you can trust with it all.

I have a sleazy merchant named A'li Al'Ras'Ghul (a play on "a little rascal") whose desert-style tent randomly shows up in the markets of cities all over the world - players have left him behind in one city only to pull into another and find that not only did he beat them there but he's been there for weeks. Although he comes across as nothing more than a sleazy second-hand junk dealer, information broker and occasional quest-giver, there's a reason he says he can get you anything you desire...
A'li Al'Ras'Ghul is actually a minor player, schemer and instigator on a planar level - his tent is magically larger on the inside and actually contains a portal nexus with doors to Sigil and a couple other places. No one is quite sure what plane or world he's from, how he gained his current level of power, what his endgame is, or if he even has one, and that uncertainty coupled with the fact that he seems to be far closer to the Lady of Pain than his minor status would indicate have let him get away with some serious shenanigans over the years.

53. Much like Mutants and Masterminds, I grant some beings a Challenge Rating of X. Like meeting a god on their home plane, it has the stats of "You lose." You can, however trick them or defeat them with plot Macguffins. The Ultimate Nullifier, Rod of Seven Parts, or what not.

In my game, you couldn't kill even the Minor God of Slightly Burnt Toast through physical or magical violence no matter what plane they're on. Like you said, there are ways to trick or defeat them, but you don't get to 20th level by being dumb enough to try something like that without dire necessity.


Gnomes in my games aren't generally seen as the stereotypical cutesy almost-a-joke race that most people seem to have made them. There's a famous and highly feared mercenary company called the Hell Badgers, a company of sappers and siege engineers made up entirely of gnomes who announce their presence in battle by screaming like the dire badgers that accompany them and tossing incendiaries and fireballs like beads at a Mardi Gras parade. In my games they're a bit closer to Rumplestiltskin than they are to lawn gnomes - people are well aware of their fae heritage, and as a race they have a reputation as being sly tricksters and are perceived as slightly untrustworthy and slightly dangerous. Their use of both technology and magic makes most people a bit nervous - rather than having separate subraces of gnomes the differences are merely due to an individual gnome's choice to focus more on either magic or technology. People tend to be polite to them, and most folks have the common sense not to pick a fight with one or make fun of their size - it's well-known to generally end poorly, as "You get what you give." is an old gnomish proverb and gnomes have long memories (and many gnomish friends).
 
Last edited:

Bitbrain

Glory to Ka!
Here is 11-20. This thread is a lot of fun for me!

11. Gnomes are a subspecies of dwarves. They’re also the same height as other dwarves and therefore considered of Medium size.

12. Each of the seven subspecies of dwarves were created by the god Kagyar/Reorx out of different metals, at least according to legend. The most popular theory on Mystara/Krynn goes:

  • Gold = Buhradar/Hylar
  • Silver = Everast/Daewar
  • Copper = Wyrwarf/Neidar
  • Iron = Torkrest/Duergar
  • Mercury = Hurwarf/Klar
  • Lead = Modrigswerg/Theiwar
  • Zinc = Skarrad/Gnome

13. House Jorasco doesn’t exist in my Eberron because the Mark of Healing never arose. Providing medical services in its place are the Priesthoods of the major religions of Khorvaire.

14. In my Eberron, the Sovereign Host is a functionally dead religion. After the Day of Mourning, something within this faith just broke and it was almost entirely abandoned.

15. By contrast, the Silver Flame, Blood of Vol, Dark Six, and Cults of the Dragon Below have come out of the Last War stronger than ever and seen a huge influx of new worshippers.

16. In my Mystara, Darokin doesn’t exist and the Broken Lands cover the entirety of what is officially the Darokin “Heartland”.

17. The Broken Lands are not fully unified under King Thar. Thar’s Kingdom of Orcus Rex does exist, but it’s a beacon of civilization in the volcanic and monster-infested hellscape that is the expanded Broken Lands.

18. The trade route connecting Thyatis, Karameikos, the Broken Lands, and Glantri is Mystara’s equivalent of the Silk Road, with arcane research and spell components replacing expensive fabrics.

19. Gruumsh and Luthic are husband and wife, but Gruumsh is the Father of Cyclopes, while Luthic is the Mother of Orcs.

20. The presence of a froghemoth anywhere means that the Oard are back and need to be stopped, before their time traveling shenanigans can turn history fluid for the millionth time...
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Oh, this sounds like a fun idea! I’ll list a few facts about my world too, in no particular order.

1. Horses are an extinct animal on Salvera, having died out during the tail end of the Creator Wars (my world’s Dawn Wars) due to being overused as mounts and being overkilled. Their remnants became the Drasill, a species of benevolent undead equines with eight legs that protect souls from corrupt forces and guide them to the afterlife.

2. There is a Gnomish town within the Dwarven kingdom of Huneldur that holds reverence for a town protector called the Chilling Lady who also runs a tavern and inn that has several accommodations that makes it a popular stop for merchants and travelers alike. To the surprise of many first time visitors, the Chilling Lady isn’t a Gnome like many expect, but a young adult White Dragon with a knack for both fire and ice magic.

3. Halflings are one of the friendliest races on Salvera, making friends with all manner of other races, even those that are often mistrusted due to past prejudice.

4. Halflings friendliness is the reason why they have such strong relations with Gnolls, who view the small humanoids as honorary kin. It is not uncommon for Gnoll clans to come to the aid of nearby Halfling settlements.
 

113. [Planescape] Sigil is not actually a particularly enlightened place despite its pretensions as the center of the Multiverse but a location that bends towards philosophical neutrality in all things. Which in simple terms means that everyone who believes very strongly in something will find their beliefs humbled, mocked, or dulling the longer they're in Sigil. Angels and demons gradually become more and more mundane while zealots in the service of any cause, no matter how just or injust, look like fools. It also attracts misfits and oddballs of all stripes to the point that reality acts more like Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman wrote a D&D setting than Tolkien or Gygax.

114. [Planescape] See #113, this actually means that seasoned planar champions of gods, clerics, and even the philosophically devoted HATE Sigil and avoid it at all costs. The very fabric of reality eats at one's sense of grandeur and capacity for awe. It's the kind of place where you go if you think living a life purely for gold or routine is sensible. Only its status as a gateway to everywhere keeps it in visitors.

115. [Planescape] See #114, Vecna seizing control of the city and almost destroying the universe helped make many of its own residents realize this as more than half of the city exited when their response to it was, initially, "Huh. Isn't that strange." Their regained a good sense of perspective upon leaving.
 

Here is 11-20. This thread is a lot of fun for me!

11. Gnomes are a subspecies of dwarves. They’re also the same height as other dwarves and therefore considered of Medium size.

12. Each of the seven subspecies of dwarves were created by the god Kagyar/Reorx out of different metals, at least according to legend. The most popular theory on Mystara/Krynn goes:

  • Gold = Buhradar/Hylar
  • Silver = Everast/Daewar
  • Copper = Wyrwarf/Neidar
  • Iron = Torkrest/Duergar
  • Mercury = Hurwarf/Klar
  • Lead = Modrigswerg/Theiwar
  • Zinc = Skarrad/Gnome

13. House Jorasco doesn’t exist in my Eberron because the Mark of Healing never arose. Providing medical services in its place are the Priesthoods of the major religions of Khorvaire.

14. In my Eberron, the Sovereign Host is a functionally dead religion. After the Day of Mourning, something within this faith just broke and it was almost entirely abandoned.

15. By contrast, the Silver Flame, Blood of Vol, Dark Six, and Cults of the Dragon Below have come out of the Last War stronger than ever and seen a huge influx of new worshippers.

16. In my Mystara, Darokin doesn’t exist and the Broken Lands cover the entirety of what is officially the Darokin “Heartland”.

17. The Broken Lands are not fully unified under King Thar. Thar’s Kingdom of Orcus Rex does exist, but it’s a beacon of civilization in the volcanic and monster-infested hellscape that is the expanded Broken Lands.

18. The trade route connecting Thyatis, Karameikos, the Broken Lands, and Glantri is Mystara’s equivalent of the Silk Road, with arcane research and spell components replacing expensive fabrics.

19. Gruumsh and Luthic are husband and wife, but Gruumsh is the Father of Cyclopes, while Luthic is the Mother of Orcs.

20. The presence of a froghemoth anywhere means that the Oard are back and need to be stopped, before their time traveling shenanigans can turn history fluid for the millionth time...

13. That does increase the role of religion in the setting.

14. Poor Sovereign Host. They always get the shaft of Eberron religions.

17. The Orcs of Thar is funny because it's the only time Ed Greenwood seems to have canonized other D&D material in the Realm as there's a Thar in the Realms too.

18. I really like this!
 

Bitbrain

Glory to Ka!
21. All dwarves only LOOK male. They are actually an intersex species. It’s just that the overwhelming majority of dwarves (19 out of every 20) prefer male pronouns.

22. The metal called “mithral” on Mystara is the same one known as “adamantine” on Krynn and “tyrian iron” on Athas.

23. The planetouched humanoids called “tieflings” on Toril are called “diaboli” on Mystara. The majority of them live in Glantri.

24. Speaking of which, the principality of Belcadiz in Glantri is inhabited by diaboli, not elves. They’re still rapier-obsessed hot headed Zorro rejects though.

25. While the overall shape remains unchanged, the Known World region itself is larger. Hexes are 12 miles per hex, not 8.

26. Both hin and kender use bugbears as war mounts. Think Pippin from LOTR atop Chewbacca from SW, with both of them throwing stones at you.

27. On Mystara, ostland nobles (jarls) ride domesticated woolly mammoths into battle.

28. When not swinging from tree branch to tree branch, athasian halflings (rhul-thaun) tend to walk on all fours. It freaks out my players to no end.

29. Each world of the Material Plane has its own extraplanar cosmic structure. Athas connects to a variant World Axis model, Krynn connects to an Underworld-and-Overheaven model, Eberron has the Orrery, and Mystara connects to something that vaguely resembles the Great Wheel.

30. On Eberron, the Daughter of Khyber is the first and most powerful of the Children of Khyber. Similarly, the Tarrasque is the first and most powerful of Eberron’s children.

31. On Mystara, there isn’t one single Feywild, but four. Each is based on a different season and referred to as a specific “Season Court”.
 

Bitbrain

Glory to Ka!
32. [Mystara] The gurrosh “gatorfolk” of the Malpheggi Swamp worship Ka, a t-rex who ascended to godhood.

33. [Mystara] The Five Shires is less the Shire of Tolkien and more the Hidden Villages of Naruto.

34. [Mystara] In today’s episode of Unusual Cultural Traditions: in the Northern Reaches, regardless of actual sex, full and half arcane spellcasters are always considered to be (and treated as) female.

35. [All] I’ve shared this one before, but my dragons don’t have wings and can’t fly, at least not without the aid of magic spells. They make up for this with a boatload of resistances and immunities.

36. [Eberron] In Breland, manifesting an aberrant dragonmark is a crime that will get you stripped of most legal rights and protections.

37. [Eberron] In the absence of House Jorasco, the dwarves of Clan Soldorak have cornered the body-alteration market.

38. [Eberron] If you were to draw a straight line between Eston and Kalazart, and then use that line to determine the radius of a circle within the Mournland, time within the area would move faster, at a rate of 50% in 20 mile intervals towards Eston.

39. [Eberron] Within Eston itself, this effect is stronger. Time here is accelerated tenfold, at least when compared to outside the Mournland.

40. [All] Why do goblinoids hate elves so much more than any other humanoid species? Because the goblinoids evolved from the quaggoths, who were driven into the Underdark by the elves.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top