“It’s better to swim in the sea below
Than to swing in the air and feed the crow,”
― Benjamin Franklin
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.” – Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
Cyric is a megalomaniacal deity with an immense following. One greater powers of Evil on Faerûn, he is petty and self centered, and enjoys misleading individuals of all inclinations so that they perform acts that ruin their lives or so that they make fatal mistakes. He drinks the tears of disillusioned dreamers and broken-hearted lovers. He is not above an alliance with another deity as long as he thinks he can betray the other deity and come out ahead.
The Church of Cyric is a large cult devoted to the Prince of Lies. They are a fanatical organization made up of the dregs of Faerûn society, willing to give their lives for their diety. They organize in small groups and sleeper cells, working together to kill those devoted to good and ultimately take over the world.
The Church is pledged to spread strife and work murder everywhere in order to make folk believe in and fear the Dark Sun. It supports cruel rulers and indulges in intrigue in such a way that the world won’t be overrun by wars (and thus fall under the sway of Tempus). His church is often beset by internal feuds and backstabbing, but this conflict has decreased in recent years as Cyric has gained better control of himself and has consolidated the churches of deities whose portfolios he took over.
Cyric’s clerics pray for their spells at night, after moonrise. Cyric’s church has few holy days and does not even celebrate the date of his ascension to divinity. Whenever temple acquires something important enough to sacrifice to Cyric, its high priest declares a Day of the Dark Sun to signify the holiness of the event. Eclipses are considered holy. They are accompanied by feasts, fervent prayers, and bloody sacrifices. Cyric’s clerics often multiclass as rogues or assassins. Because it was the place that Cyric aschended to godhood, Mount Waterdeep is a holy site for the Church.
The Church draws its powers from the madness of their worshippers. They are unpredictable, zealous, and self-destructive. They believe that in giving their life for Cyric they will be granted immortality as a demi-god.
The dieities of Faerûn obtain their powers through the faith of their followers. Therefore, Cyric grants his worshippers powers in exchange for murder, treachery, and deception against Cyric’s foes. Some assassinate influential individuals who govern or lead communitities. Others begin armed conflicts against temples and holdings of the more righteous faiths. Other follows simply want to “see the world burn” and carry out terrorist strikes in towns and cities. In any case, Cyric is pleased as long as kidnapping, murder, and espionage is being done in his name.
1st First edition D&D
2e Second Edition D&D
3.5e 3.5 Edition D&D
3.X refers to both or either of 3E, 3.5, above, Pathfinder, 13th Age, FantasyCraft or Mutants & Masterminds
3e 3rd Edition D&D
4e 4th Edition D&D
5e 5th Edition D&D
AC Armor Class
AD&D, ADnD Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
AD&D1 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1st edition
AD&D2 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd edition
AD&D2.5 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, revised 2nd edition
AL Adventure League
AMF Anti-Magic Field
AoE Area of effect
AoO Attack of Opportunity
BBEG Big Bad Evil Guy
BD&D, BDnD Basic Dungeons & Dragons, as opposed to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
BECMI Basic, Expert, Companion, Master, and Immortals Dungeons & Dragons Sets
BG Baldur’s Gate
Bg or Bckgrnd Background
BM Beast Master (Ranger)
BR Birthright campaign setting
CdG Coup de Grace
CE Chaotic Evil
CG Chaotic Good
Charop Character Optimization
CN Chaotic Neutral
CoS Curse of Strahd adventure
cp Copper pieces
CR Challenge Rating
D&D, DnD Any version of the D&D game
d% or d100 Two d10s die one as the 10s the other as the 1s
d10 A die of 10 sides
d12 A die of 12 sides
d20 A die of 20 sides
d20 System The system underlying 3e, v.3.5, Pathfinder and 4e
d4 A die of 4 sides
d6 A die of 6 sides
d8 A die of 8 sides
DC Difficulty Class, the difficulty level of a skill check, ability check, or save
DDG Deities & Demigods
DL Dragonlance campaign setting
DM Dungeon Master (see Game Master)
DMG Dungeon Master Guide, any edition
DMS Dungeon Master Screen
DnDNext D&D Next 5e during it’s development/playtest, Codename Anduril
DoT Damage over Time
DPR Damage Per Round
DR Damage Reduction
DS Dark Sun campaign setting
ECL Effective Character Level
EE Elemental Evil
EK Eldritch Knight
EL Encounter Level
EP Electrum Pieces
FF Fiend Folio
FLGS Friendly Local Game Store/Shop
FR Forgotten Realms campaign setting
FRPG Fantasy Role-Playing Game
FTW! or FTW For the win!
FWIW For what it’s worth
FYI For your information
GH Greyhawk campaign setting
GM Game Master
GP Gold pieces
Grognard An older gamer feels that the “old days” of gaming were better
GSL Gaming System License
HotDQ Hoard of the Dragon Queen
HP Hit Points
HW Hollow World campaign setting
IIRC If I Recall Correctly
IMHO In My Humble Opinion
L&L, LL Legends & Lore
LA Level Adjustment
LE Lawful Evil
LG Lawful Good
LMoP Lost Mines of Phandelver starter set adventure
LN Lawful Neutral
M:tG Magic The Gathering
MC Monstrous Compendium tome
Metagame Using information you know as a player, but is unknown to your character
Mini Plural minis; a miniature figurine
MM Monster Manual
MMORPG Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
MoP Manual of the Planes
MUD Multiple-user dungeon
Munchkin Sometimes a synonym for power gaming
N, NN, or TN Neutral, or True Neutral
NE Neutral Evil
Nerf changing the rules in some way
NG Neutral Good
NPC Non-Player Character
OA Oriental Adventures rulebook
OC Original Content
OD&D, ODnD Old/original D&D
OGC Open Gaming Content
OGL Open Game License
OotA Out of the Abyss adventure
OSR Old School Revival
PBeM Play by email
PC Player Character
PF Pathfinder rule set
PH, PHB Player’s Handbook, any edition
PM Private Message
PO Player’s Option books
PotA Princes of the Apocalypse
pp Platinum pieces
PP Power Player
PrC Prestige Class
PS Planescape campaign setting
PvP Player versus Player
RAF Rules as Fun.
RAI Rules as Intended
RAW Rules as Written
RL Ravenloft campaign setting
RoD Rage of Demons
RoT Rise of Tiamat
RPG Roleplaying Game
RPGA Roleplaying Game Association network
SA Sneak Attack
SCAG Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
SJ Spelljammer campaign setting
SKT Storm King’s Thunder adventure
sp Silver Pieces
SR Spell Resistance
SRD System Reference Document
ST Saving Throw
Stats The statistical representation of a character
TCG Trading Card Game
THAC0 To Hit AC Zero (ref ad&d)
ToD Tyranny of Dragons adventure
ToH Tomb of Horrors adventure
ToM Tome of Magic
TPK Total Party Kill
TRoT The Rise of Tiamat adventure
TSR Tactical Studies Rules. Original publishers of D&D
TWF Two-Weapon Fighting
TY Thank you
UA Unearthed Arcana
UMD Use Magic Device
VGtM Volo’s Guide to Monsters
WH, WHF Warhammer Fantasy
WoG WG World of Greyhawk
WotC Wizards of the Coast
XP Experience Points
A bunker is a defensive military fortification designed to protect people or valued materials from falling bombs or other attacks. Bunkers are mostly underground, compared to blockhouses which are mostly above ground. They were used extensively in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War for weapons facilities, command and control centers, and storage facilities (for example, in the event of nuclear war). Bunkers can also be used as protection from tornadoes.
Trench bunkers are small concrete structures, partly dug into the ground. Many artillery installations, especially for coastal artillery, have historically been protected by extensive bunker systems. Typical industrial bunkers include mining sites, food storage areas, dumps for materials, data storage, and sometimes living quarters. When a house is purpose-built with a bunker, the normal location is a reinforced below-ground bathroom with fibre-reinforced plastic shells. Bunkers deflect the blast wave from nearby explosions to prevent ear and internal injuries to people sheltering in the bunker. Nuclear bunkers must also cope with the underpressure that lasts for several seconds after the shock wave passes, and block radiation.
A bunker’s door must be at least as strong as the walls. In bunkers inhabited for prolonged periods, large amounts of ventilation or air conditioning must be provided. Bunkers can be destroyed with powerful explosives and bunker-busting warheads.
Wizards of the Coast has had a lot of surveys, and the one thing I always make sure to address in my comments is … GAME BLOAT!
Back in 2000, Wizards of the Coast released the Third Edition of Dungeons & Dragons … and it was a good thing! They also released an Open Content third party rule system called “The D20 System.” This was a new an exciting way to allow other publishers to make “official” D&D Third edition sourcebooks and material. It made sense, because back in the days of AD&D there were always some companies making AD&D books that were “unofficial” supplements to the game. For example, Role-Aids jumps to mind with their yellow corner shouting that it is compatiable with AD&D.
So anyway, the D20 license comes out and suddenly all these Third Party companies are making books for D&D Third Edition. At first it seemed great! It was a unprecedented phenomenon. Suddenly the market was flooded with all kinds of adventures and sourcebooks for use with D&D Third. We had companies like Necromancer Games, Malhavoc Press, Green Ronin, Goodman Games, and Mystic Eye pumping out all kinds of (usually affordable) books that flooded the market.
… FLOODED THE MARKET AND BLOATED THE GAME …
And FEATS were the worst part of it as far as I am concerned. There were a gazillion books that added a gamillion feats and they were usually absolutely terrible and annoying. It made the job of a Dungeon Master more difficult because players wanted to use all these KEWL POWERS that made the game unbalanced and less fun.
I remember sitting down with a player who wanted to make an Eldritch Knight. When we got together to create the character, he slapped down ive different Third Party books along with the Player’s Handbook. By the end of the session, I wanted to strangle him. It was horrible.
In fact, at one point there was an entire marketing campaign by D20 Monkey to create a Character Builder that allowed you to make a character for D&D Third using all the Core and Third Party publishers. It literally took a computer program to sort through all the nonsense a make a single character. By the time a player had a character built, and a DM could actually run a game it was obvious that there would be no killing that character within the storyline. I mean, who wanted to kill a character off and have to go through all the trouble of making another FREAKING character with that Character Builder program??! It suddenly made sense why Marcie was so upset. She didn’t want to have to use the D20 Character Builder to remake Black Leaf.
After a few years the D20 System wasn’t that awesome anymore. It actually started to become associated with licensed garbage. If you saw the pretty like white and red D20 symbol the first thing that came to mind was “yuck.” Most of the products being released were half-assed and absolutely horrible. “Oh look,” I’d think to myself. “The D20 Book of Half-Gnomes. Just what I wanted to go with the D20 Book of Erotica and the D20 Ultimate Guide to Treasure #5.” These low quality products filled the marketplace with junk and annoying material, including rules that were poorly tested and not thought out for game balance. All it was for these companies was a money grab with twenty sides.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the D20 products were great. I loved just aout everything that was put out by Necromancer Games, Swords & Sorcery, and Malhavoc Press. Rappan Athuk, Iron Heroes, and Blackmoor are some of my favorite D20 books. I also was happy to see D20 versions of Call of Cthuhlu and Star Wars but only so I could loot the contents and add things to my games of Dungeons & Dragons. If I wanted to play either of those games, I’d be playing the Classic version. For example, there is no better game of Star Wars – in my opinon – than the classic d6 system games! And I really enjoyed games lke D20 Modern and Dark*Matter. But the low quality of these other Third Party companies gave the impression that the D20 product line was garbage.
I’d like to point out books like “Good” and “Evil” by Alderac Entertainment Group. I admit that I did buy their “Dungeons” book but it was regretful to be honest. They literally just released a series of ONE WORD BOOKS with mostly fluff material and some half-hearted artwork.
As a Dungeon Master, I was happy to see that there were a lot of adventurers hitting the scene with the D20 System. There were awesome ones like the Rappan Athuk series.
But in the end there was just too much crap out there and the game suffered for it.
I’m glad to see that for the past few years, Wizards has introduced a good amount of material for D&D 5th edition without creating BLOAT. I like the idea that Wizards is working hand in hand with companies like Kobold, Sasquatch, and Green Ronin to produce materials. I’m happy that they made the DM’s Guild to allow folks to create materials under a license that it’s like the D20 license. And I’m really glad that Wizards is being smart in playtesting additions to their game through the use of articles and surveys.
Hopefully in 2017 the game continues to expand without BLOAT.
Happy New Year!
“You crest the last hill and finally the complex comes into view. In stark contrast to the lush greenery of the hills lies a large sunken graveyard laid out in the shape of a cross. Rather than towering above the ground, the graves have settled into depressions, and the main mausoleum, a building of strange green stone, rests in the deepest depression some 40 feet below the ground on which you now stand. At the other end of the grave-filled hallow stands what appears to be a stone well. There are no gravestones near it. The normal sounds of wildlife are gone, and large carrion birds circle overhead. An ominous silence rests about the place. Each of you knows in your heart that you have found the legendary dungeon of Rappan Athuk. And though none dare speak it, you wonder if you will live to return to the warmth of hearth and home.”