Character Creation Guidelines.   Posted by Crom.Group: 0
 GM, 1 post
Sun 17 Feb 2019
at 05:25
Character Creation
Characters will be built using the Standard Heroic Guidelines:
175 points / 50 points of Complications (25 max from 1 category)

Maximum Value Before Cost Doubles Are
Characteristic: 20 (over 17 requires Ancient Bloodlines perk)
SPD: 4
REC: 10
END: 50
STUN: 50
Running: 20
Swimming: 8
Leaping: 8
Skill Roll: 13-

Everyman Skills
Acting 8-
Climbing 8-
Concealment 8-
Conversation 8-
Deduction 8-
AK: Home country or city 8-
CuK: Home country or city 11-
Native Language (no literacy)
Paramedics (Healing) 8-
Persuasion 8-
One PS 11-
Shadowing 8-
Stealth 8-

Armorsmith, Divination, Hoist, Feint, Poisoning from Hero System Skills are available (see next post for descriptions)

Combat Skill Levels - only 2 point and 3 point levels allowed, all will have Limitation Requires a Fighting Tricks Roll (-1/2), no more than 2 levels in an area at start of game.  If skill levels overlap only 1 set may be used for OCV and the other for DCV.
ie: 2 levels with Swords (small group) would cost 4 points & 2 levels with Block (single attack) would cost another 3 points for a total of 7 points.  When blocking with Swords player would likely apply the Block levels to OCV and the levels with Swords to DCV.
Penalty to roll depends upon total Active Points of Combat Skill Levels character is trying to use.  ie: 2 levels with Swords would be 6 Active Points and would impose a -1 (6/10 > .5) to roll.  If character chose to only activate 1 level (3 Active Points) and would impose a -0 (3/10 < .5, no modifier).

Languages - Languages of surrounding lands are considers to have 3 points of similarity (characters may make INT rolls to understand phrases and cost -1 to learn).  See section on Homeland below and consult Maps (link to Maps) for surrounding nations.   If a character's homeland has multiple-dominant languages they may purchase any of those languages at a cost of -2 to learn. These are cumulative.  For example: if a character knows both Argossean & Kothic they may learn Ophirian at -2.  Minimum cost to learn a language is still 1 and Literacy always costs 1.
NOTE: cost reductions are NOT retroactive

Martial Arts - only available for related Fighting Tricks skills (no reduction in cost for this requirement).  Each maneuver is bought for a specific weapon group (including unarmed), extra groups cannot be added.
- No Damage Classes may be added.  Increased damage should be bought through Combat Skill Levels; every 2 levels allows a +1 DC

Penalty Skill Levels - examples include vs Range OCV penalties, vs Fighting from Horseback OCV penalties, vs Encumbrance DCV penalties (does not negate movement penalty), vs Hit Location OCV penalties, etc...

Power Skill - Used for Fighting Tricks.  Fighting Tricks must bought by specific weapon type (ie: Brawling Tricks, Sword Tricks, Dagger Tricks, Axe Tricks, Hammer Tricks, Bow Tricks, Javalin Tricks, Spear Tricks, etc...).  They maybe be used to:
- Impress others
- As a skill roll for talents/combat skill levels
- Perform a maneuver or stunt not explicitly covered by the rules (for example:  to keep an inexperienced opponent from drawing a weapon without harming him)
- Perform a one-time trick normally defined using Talents or Powers (-1 to roll/5 active points, 20 active points max)

Skill Levels - note that through Ancient Bloodlines it is possible to have skill levels for related skills higher than 13-.  Characters are already paying associated costs through the Perk and for related stat over 20.  Only actual skill levels themselves to further increase ability have their costs doubled.

Ancient Bloodline
Indicates that you are obviously descended from one of the great fallen civilizations, people whose physical and mental facilities we're greater than the folk of the Hyborian Age.  Whether their parentage descends from the isles of sunken Atlantis or the ruined empire of Archeron, you visibly stand out as a beacon of excellence...or depravity.
Game Info:
  2 points - character may buy stats above 17
  3 points - character may buy stats above 22 (costs still double after 20)

Fringe Benefit - Social Caste
0 - Farmer/Herder (default caste)
2 - Crafter/Merchant/Warrior
4 - Knight/Priesthood
6 - Petty Nobility
<higher ranks not allowed at creation>

Escaped Serf/Slave or Outcast social caste taken as a Social Complication.

Money - not available at start

Combat Luck
- No more than 2 levels
- Has the additional Limitation: Not while wearing > 15kg of armor (-1/4)
- Costs 5 points/level

Danger Sense
- Must be Intuitional

Deadly Blow
- only Very Limited Circumstances/Targets

Weapon Master
- not allowed

Talents from Fantasy Hero are allowed except for Magesight, Magic, Protected by Fate, Shapechanging, Spell Augmentation, and Turn Undead

New Talents can be reviewed in a case-by-case basis.

Fighting Stunts - should require an associated Fighting Tricks skill roll.  Minimum of -1 total Limitations, max 15 points real cost.  Subject to GM review/approval.

Enhanced Senses - only for Normal senses, max PER 13- for any sense

Luck - max of 4d6, requires minimum -1 limitation, bought as a Talent.  Example: Not in the Face! 4d6 Luck, Only to Avoid Getting Hit in the Head (-2), 7 points.

Mental Defense - Confronting Horrors from the Outer Dark or other terrors of Hyboria may be resisted with Mental Defense.  Max of 10 points at start.

Autofire - max of 3 shots

Encumbrance is used along with penalties to DCV/DEX and Movement (6E2 p46)

Sectional Armor is in use.

Sorcery is not available at the start.  Characters wishing to walk this dangerous path may find opportunities during play.

1. If Requires a Skill Roll Limitation applied, Skill roll is at -1 per 10 Active Points as normal.  Option to instead choose -1 per 5 or -1 per 20 apply normally.

2. If using Fighting Tricks to simulate a power character has not paid points for, ability limited to 20 Active points.  Final roll modifier will depend on which Skill Roll limitation was selected (-1 per 5 or 10 or 20 active points).  Once successfully used, same Fighting Tricks skill may not be used in this manner again until next encounter/scene.

3. Any power character has paid points for is not limited on Active Points but its final, Real Points must be 15 or less.  May use as often as they wish.

4. All combat powers must have at least -1 total Limitation.

5. Base END cost is always 1 per 5 Active Points (whether just raw STR, STR to meet STR min of weapon, or power/Talent, whatever).   Reduced END Advantage applies normally.

6. All subject to GM review/approval.  Especially for ! or Stop-sign abilities or any other nefarious concoctions the players devise that the GM didn't consider and feels might imbalance the game.

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:50, Sat 11 May 2019.

 GM, 2 posts
Wed 20 Feb 2019
at 04:03
Character Creation - New Skills
  Type:   Agility Skill (roll:  9 + (DEx/5) or less)
  Cost:   3 Character Points for a base roll, +1 to the roll per +2 Character Points
  Base Time: Varies by armor and whether creating entire set or simply repairing
Allows a character to manufacture, modify, or repair primarily metal armors such as brigandine, chainmail, or plate armor. A character with Armorsmithing knows how to manufacture metal armors (including special techniques required to make specific pieces of an overall suit of armor, the tools and facilities needed for armorsmithing, and the like). He knows about prominent (and sometimes not so prominent) armorsmiths and can identify their work based on its quality, style, or special marks.

  Type:   Intellect Skill (roll:  9 + (INT/5) or less)
  Cost:   3 Character Points for a base roll with one primary and two secondary methods of divination (see text), +1 to the roll per +2 Character Points, +1 additional primary method of divination for each +1 Character Point, +1 secondary method of divination for ½ Character Point
  Base Time: 1 Turn and up varying by method used
Represents a character’s ability to foretell or foresee the future — typically the future as it pertains to a specific person or question, but sometimes generally. A character with Divination knows how to foresee or predict the future based on using one or more methods (list of methods available or make your own). He can also recognize other methods used for fortunetelling, and knows about other oracular practices, belief systems, and abilities generally.

Buying Divination The base cost of Divination is 3 Character Points, like any other Intellect Skill. For that cost a character knows one primary method of Divination and two secondary methods of Divination, representing the ways of foreseeing or predicting the future he’s most comfortable using. For each +1 Character Point he can purchase +1 primary method (which might involve “upgrading” a previously-chosen secondary method, or learning an entirely new method). For each ½ Character Point he can purchase +1 secondary method (since the minimum cost of anything in the HERO System is 1 point, the character should either always choose two additional secondary methods).

Using Divination Using Divination typically requires at least 1 Turn, and often much longer. It all depends on the method of divination used, the difficulty of the question the character wants to answer, and other such factors. To use Divination, the character must have a question to answer. Usually this question is a fairly specific one asked by a client or petitioner (such as, “Who will I marry?”, “Will I win the battle tomorrow?”, or “Will this business venture succeed?”). However, the question can be more general — the client may simply seek to know the overall course of his life in the days to come, or may want to know how he should conduct himself generally (for example, “Should I avoid sea voyages?”).

Method Used When a character uses Divination, he must select the method to use. If he uses any of his primary methods, he suffers no penalty to the roll. If he uses any of his secondary methods, he suffers a -2 penalty to the roll. If he uses any other method that’s neither a primary nor secondary method for him, he suffers a -4 (or greater) penalty. If the method chosen relates to the question asked (such as using Geomancy to try to determine the best location for a new mine), the character receives a +0 or greater bonus.

Timeframe The other main modifier for a Divination roll concerns the timeframe involved. A character can use Divination to answer any question concerning matters that will take place within 1 Day at no penalty. For each step down the Time Chart beyond that, the roll suffers a -2 cumulative penalty (see the Divination Modifiers table). Thus, predicting the distant future is possible, but difficult.

Success and Failure If a character’s Divination roll succeeds, he learns the answer to the question asked of him — the more the roll succeeds by, the greater the accuracy of his foresight. But even the most precise and accurate oracular answers tend to be indirect, full of allusions, and subject to multiple interpretations. Rarely do the fates answer outright... and even when they do, the questioner often lacks the wisdom to listen to them. In short, the GM should provide an answer that legitimately responds to the question, but without simply revealing valuable information to the players — the answer should be a dramatic element within the story being told. However, since the character has paid Character Points for the Skill, it’s only fair to occasionally provide hints and other helpful interpretations so that he derives some actual benefit from Divination. If a character’s Divination roll fails, two results are possible. For most failures (failure by 1 to 3 points), the character simply can’t see an answer to the question. His foresight fails him, the future is cloudy, or something blocks his oracular powers. Worse failure (by 4 or more) often means a wrong prediction — the character sees something that definitely won’t come to pass, or significantly misinterprets what he does see.

Divination Methods - include Alomancy (casting salt), Anthropomancy (using entrails of a human sacrifice), Ariolism (using an altar), Astrology (position of stars/planets), Casting Runes/Bones/Beans, Haruspicy (entrails of sacrificed animal), Hydromancy (scrying using water), Libanomancy (using incense smoke), Oneiromancy (interpreting dreams for omens), Ophiomancy (using serpents), Pryomancy (casting items in fire to see how they smoke and burn), and many more...

  Type:   Intellect Skill (roll:  9 + (INT/5) or less)
  Cost:   3 Character Points for a base roll, +1 to the roll per +2 Character Points
  Base Time: Full Phase prior to actual lifting
Allows a character to determine the best way to lift heavy objects.  A successful roll may temporarily increase the character’s STR for purposes of this particular lifting task (or, at the GM’s option, for tasks involving moving or shifting heavy objects). This simulates the character figuring out the most effective way to lift the object, the character somehow obtaining improved leverage, or the like. The GM determines if the character can use Hoist this way in a given situation; it may not always be possible. If the GM allows it, the character’s STR for purposes of that lifting task increases as follows:  if the roll succeeds exactly, by +1 point; if it succeeds by 1-2, by +2 points; if it succeeds by 3-4, +3 points; if it succeeds by half, +4 points; if it’s a Critical Success, +5 points. If the roll fails, the character gains no extra STR; if it fails badly (by 4 or more), reduce his STR by 1 point for every 2 full points the roll fails by.

LEATHERSMITH: leather version of ARMORSMITH.  Works with leather and reinforced leather armors

  Type:   Agility Skill (roll:  9 + (DEx/5) or less)
  Cost:   3 Character Points for a base roll, +1 to the roll per +2 Character Points
  Base Time: Half Phase Action
Allows characters to trick or outmaneuver their opponents in HTH Combat, thereby obtaining a short-term advantage in the fight. It’s most commonly used in armed HTH Combat, such as swordfights, but also applies to unarmed combat. Using Feint requires a Half Phase Action. If a character’s Skill Roll succeeds, his opponent automatically gets to make a PER Roll or Feint roll (opponent’s choice) in a Skill Versus Skill Contest. (The GM can allow the use of other appropriate Skills, such as a Knowledge Skill of the fighting style the character’s using or a relevant Analyze.) If the opponent wins the Contest, the character gains no benefit from Feint. If the character wins the Contest, he obtains a +1 OCV bonus for his next attack. (This might increase to a +2 if the character’s roll succeeded by half or was a Critical Success.) He must use that bonus for his very next attack (either in the same Phase or his next Phase) and must make that attack against the opponent he engaged in the Skill Versus Skill Contest with. If he attacks anyone else or doesn’t make an attack as his next Action, he loses the bonus. (However, at the GM’s option the character could perform a Zero Phase Action or Action that takes no time before making the attack that gets the bonus.)

Repeated Use Using Feint becomes progressively more difficult against the same opponent as he learns to see through the character’s tricks. Each time after the first a character uses Feint against a particular opponent in a combat, he suffers a cumulative -2 penalty to his roll. At the GM’s option, the opponent may receive a +1 bonus to his PER Roll in later combats because he remembers some of the character’s moves. Thus, sooner or later a recurring enemy learns how to avoid the character’s tricks. (The GM may cancel this bonus if the character improves his Feint technique, i.e., buys up his Feint roll.) Other characters who have watched the character fight, or who make the character’s Positive Reputation roll (for a Reputation pertaining to his fighting skills), may also know of his tricks, thus earning the same bonus even if this is the first time he’s ever fought them.

  Type:   Intellect Skill (roll:  9 + (INT/5) or less)
  Cost:   3 Character Points for a base roll, +1 to the roll per +2 Character Points
  Base Time:  Create poison/antidote - 1 hour/10 active points, Harvest poison - 5 minutes+, Apply poison - Full Phase (dangerous) or 1 Minute (safe), Evaluate poison - 1 Turn+
A character with Poisoning know how to manufacture and use poisons — the ingredients involved (and where to find them), how to compound or brew them together, how to apply poison to an object, how to introduce poison into a target’s body, and so forth. It does not confer any broader knowledge of chemistry or the use of drugs (that requires various Science Skills) nor of how to use weapons (that’s Weapon Familiarity). A character with Poisoning also knows about standard and common poisons (and perhaps even about rarer or more obscure ones), famous poisoners and acts of poisoning, and the like. Usually this requires a basic Skill Roll (if a roll is even necessary), but the GM should impose a penalty if the information is rare or obscure. Although Poisoning is an Intellect Skill (primarily because it requires extensive knowledge of poisonous substances and what can be done with them), the act of introducing poison into a person’s body may require deftness more than wit. In that case, the GM can base the roll on DEX rather than INT (see page 11 for more information), or even require a successful Sleight Of Hand roll before the character can make his Poisoning roll.

Uses A character with this skill can create poisons, harvest poison (from creatures), create antidotes, apply poison to weapons/traps/etc & evaluate poisons.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:08, Wed 20 Feb 2019.

 GM, 3 posts
Wed 20 Feb 2019
at 04:25
Character Creation - Sample Talents
Example Talents, not directly related to combat.  Effects can be lowered to reduce cost/end/skill roll penalties or even changed to represent different situations.  Players can create new Talents for GM to review/approve.

  Effect: Aid STR 3d6, Side Effect (character becomes Berserk)
  Target: Self
  Duration: Instant
  Range: Self
  END Cost: 4
  Cost: 10 points
  Game Info: Aid STR 3d6 (18 Active Points); Only Aid Self (-1), Only When Fighting (-½), Side Effect (automatically becomes Berserk in combat while Aid remains in effect, can only make 11- recovery rolls after all Aided points fade; -½), Cannot Be Used Again Until All Points Fade (-¼) (total cost: 5 points) plus Physical Damage Reduction, Resistant, 25% (15 Active Points); STUN Only (-½), Only When Fighting (-½), Side Effect (-½), Linked (lasts only as long as Aid lasts; -½) (total cost: 5 points).

  Effect: Regeneration (1 BODY per Hour)
  Target: Self
  Duration: Persistent (but see text)
  Range: Self
  END Cost: 0
  Cost: 8 points
  Game Info: Regeneration (1 BODY per Hour); Requires Rest (see text; -0).

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:25, Sat 23 Feb 2019.

 GM, 4 posts
Wed 20 Feb 2019
at 05:09
Character Creation - Sample Fighting Stunts
Combat related Talents are Fighting Tricks/Stunts and should always (barring GMs permission) require some type of Fighting Tricks Skill Roll.  Effects can be lowered to reduce cost/end/skill roll penalties or even changed to represent different weapons/situations.  Players can create new Talents for GM to review/approve.

  Effect:  NND for up to 20 STR
  Target:  One character
  Duration:  Instant
  Range:  No Range
  END Cost:  4
  Skill Roll Penalty:  -2
  Cost: 10 points
  Game Info: NND for up to 20 STR (defense is Life Support [Self-Contained Breathing] or rigid covering over the torso [Hit Locations 10-12]; +1) (20 Active Points); Must Follow Grab (-½), Requires A Brawling Tricks Roll (-½).

  Effect: Reflection, Only Versus Thrown Objects
  Target: Self
  Duration: Instant
  Range: Self
  Cost: 9 points
  END Cost: 6
  Skill Roll Penalty: -3
  Game Info: Reflection (30 Active Points’ worth) (20 Active Points); Only Versus Thrown Objects (-¾), Requires A Dagger Tricks Roll (-½).

  Effect: Trigger (when kills an opponent) for up to HKA 4d6
  Target: One character
  Duration: Instant
  Range: No Range
  END Cost: 6
  Cost: 15 points
  Game Info: Naked Advantage - Trigger (when character kills an opponent in battle with a HKA weapon, Activating the Trigger takes no time, Trigger requires a Half Phase Action to reset +½)  (30 Active Points); OIF (Weapon of opportunity; -½), Requires a Sword Tricks Roll (-½)
  - NOTE: Archery Tricks version could be similar.  Brawling Tricks version could be when opponent knocked out and does normal damage instead of killing, no Focus limitation.  Any version could lower max damage to reduced cost.  Changing triggering condition to "when hit by or Blocks an enemy's attack and wants to strike back" and this becomes RIPOSTE

  Effect: Autofire (3 shots; +¼) for up to HKA 4d6
  Target: One or more characters
  Duration: Instant
  Range: No Range
  END Cost: 3
  Skill Roll Penalty: -1
  Cost: 7 points
  Game Info: Autofire (3 shots; +¼) for up to HKA 4d6 (15 Active Points); OIF (weapon of opportunity; -½), Requires A Sword Tricks Roll (-½).
  Note: For Bows this becomes RAPID ARCHERY

  Effect: WF: Thrown Sword (or the like)
  Target: Self
  Duration: Persistent
  Range: Self
  END Cost: 0
  Cost: 1 point
  Game Info:  WF: Thrown Sword (1 Active Point); Requires A Sword Tricks Roll (-½)

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:30, Thu 21 Feb 2019.

 GM, 5 posts
Wed 20 Feb 2019
at 05:11
Character Creation - Homelands, Languages & Cultures
KingdomLanguageCultureMajor GodsSomewhat Equivalent
AquiloniaAquilonianDark AgesMitraMedieval France
Barachan IslesArgossean or ZingaranDark AgesMitraCaribbean Islands (Tortuga)
Border KingdomNemedian or HyperboreanDark AgesMitra, BoriEstonia or Latvia
Bossonian MarchesAquilonianDark AgesMitra, BoriMedieval Wales or Scotland
BrythuniaBrythunianDark AgesMitra, BoriMedieval Germany, Poland, or Lithuania
CimmeriaCimmerianDark AgesCromGaelic Ireland and Scotland
GunderlandAquilonian or HyperboreanDark AgesMitra, Bori 
HyperboreaHyperboreanDark AgesBoriMedieval Rus / Novgorod
NemediaNemedianDark AgesMitra, IbisGermanic Holy Roman Empire
Nordheim: Asgard or VanaheimNordheimerDark AgesYmirViking-age Denmark or Norway
ZingaraZingaranDark AgesMitraReconquista-era Spain
ArgosArgosseanRoman AgeMitra, Ibis, IshtarMerchant-ruled Italy
CorinthiaCorinthianRoman AgeMitra, AnuMedieval Greece
KhauranShemitish or KothicRoman AgeIbis, Ishtar, MitraMedieval Syria
KhorajaShemitish or KothicRoman AgeIbis, MitraConstantinople or land known as Outremer
KothKothicRoman AgeMitra, Ibis, Ishtar, Bel, Anu, IshtarByzantine Empire
OphirOphirianRoman AgeIshtar, MitraMedieval Sicily or Malta
HyrkaniaHyrkanianMid-EastErlik, TarimMongolia and Scythia
Iranistan or AfghulistanIranistani or AfghuliMid-EastAhriman, ErlikCaliphate Iran
TuranTuranianMid-EastErlik, TarimSeljuk Turkey
ZamoraZamorianMid-EastYezud, Adonis, Anu, Ashtoreth, Bel, Derketa, Ishtar, TarimPersia, especially Baghdad
KhitaiKhitanEasternJhebbal Sag, Jungle Cults of KhitaiFeudal-era China
VendhyaVendhyanEasternAsura, Yajur, Hanuman, Jhebbal SagMughal India
KushKushiteAncientDerketa, Set, Ibis, Jullah, JhilAncient Kush
PuntPuntAncient Ancient Somaliland
ShemShemitishAncientAdonism, Anu, Ashtoreth, Bel, Derketa, Ibis, Ishtar, Thugra KhotanWest is Iron Age Levant (Canaan) and Assyria, East is Arabian
StygiaStygianAncientSet, Ibis, Derketa, Thugra KhotanAncient Egypt
ZembabweiZembabweinAncientDerketa, The King in YellowAncient Zimbabwe
The Black KingdomsKushite, Keshani, Punt, or DarfariSavageDerketa, Jhebbal Sag, Jhil, Jullah, Ollam-onga, Set, Thog the AncientAncient African
DarfarDarfariSavageCannibal CultAncient Darfur
KeshanKeshaniSavage Ancient Nubia
Pictish WildernessPictSavageJhebbal Sag, Jhil, JullahCombination Scotish Picts and Native American North America

Ancient/Dead Languages: Acheronean, Ancient Stygian and those of the previous Thurian Age such as Atlantean, Lemurian, Valusian and others.  Max level of fluent with literacy to start.  No language similarities cost savings, though Linguist Skill Enhancer applies normally.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:36, Sat 13 Apr 2019.

 GM, 16 posts
Sat 23 Mar 2019
at 22:52
Major Gods
Also called Tammuz.  Adonis is far more than beauty and physical perfection. His perfect body is the strength of muscle hard-tested in the fields and, to his worshippers, he is not just a god of desire; he is the personification of primal, sexual attraction.  It is little wonder that the fertile field and the sprouting seed represent Adonis for he is, in his nature, both beauty and atrocity — representing life in all its cycles. Said to be born from a god-touched tree, he is the child of the earth itself. Tied to the seasons as inexorably as the tides to the moon, it is said that during the warm months, he oversees all growth — in both field and family.

Widely worshiped.  A fixture in the societies of Hyboria.  A religion serving its members the words they wish to hear.  From their temples, the priests of Anu make themselves the indispensable mediators between the wealthy and the poor, between the criminal and legitimate, between the stolen artifact and its new owner. In any city where a temple of Anu has been built, there is almost nothing which cannot be found out through the greasing of an Anu priest’s palm; nothing which cannot be procured with a priest’s word in the right ear. A criminal who needs to sell a recently stolen chalice or reliquary goes to the Temple of Anu where he knows the priest will sell the precious item and take a percentage, but that the thief will receive his fair share. And, most importantly, the priest will not reveal his name to the watchmen investigating the crime. For the priests of Anu are nothing if not practical, and they know that their existence purely as a criminal enterprise would not long be tolerated, even with the apparent sanction of a god.  In ages to come the word "corporation" will be born; until then, there are the temples of Anu.

Bel, the greatest of all gods, the finest of all thieves, and the first to remind everyone of it.  Bel values all the fineries in life. The sweetest wines, the freshest food, the most extravagant clothing, the most beautiful jewels — these are all cherished by the thieves’ god, and thus make excellent offerings.  Stories insist that he began a mortal man and, at the culmination of not only discovering each god’s weakness but stealing from each of them their most powerful artifacts, they were forced to grant him godhood. Since then, the tales tell, the other gods are at odds with Bel — and Bel’s answer is, of course, to laugh all the harder, all the louder, and continue bestowing his blessings to rogues both brave and foolish enough to follow in his footsteps.

In the time since the oceans swallowed Atlantis and washed away kingdoms such as Valusia, Lemuria, and Mu, no man had a greater mark upon the world than Bori, a barbarian chief whose fame made him a legend and then a deity, with a people and even an age named for him. Since King Kull of Valusia, few individuals have had so great an impact on the world, but Bori transformed an age, creating an empire out of the sheer force of his will, and altering the course of history forever.  Few who pay Bori heed believe in his divinity. Unlike deities like Mitra or Ishtar or Set, Bori is not, and never has been, a true god in the way that other gods are known.  Few would dispute his mortal existence, and none of the
remembered tales of Bori ascribe to him anything other than mortal abilities, though tales often exaggerate his battle-prowess and his lifespan, as well as his physical attributes. There is no tale of any passing from mortality to godhood, and his influence beyond the grave is as a spirit and a symbol, present in the land and the people who bear his name, rather than inhabiting some mythic otherworld or ascending upon death to a divine state.

Derketa is the goddess of fertility, sensuality, and death throughout Kush, Zembabwei, the Black Kingdoms, Shem, and Stygia. She is not usually worshipped exclusively. Instead, Derketa is paid homage through explicit birthing and funerary rites designed to ensure the deceased is put to proper rest. It is the belief of the Kushites that a spirit at peace joins the protective ancestors and, once the ceremony of death is concluded, Derketa grants the living the protection of the dead, and celebration can commence.

Erlik is a god brought from the east, by Hyrkanian invaders around the Vilayet.  Erlik is a grim, unforgiving god for a kingdom, for he is the god of death and sin and disease.  Erlik was the first man on Earth, created by a still older god called Ulgan. Yet Erlik had no soul, in anima, and was therefore imperfect.  Somehow, Ulgan vanished, though theologians debate why, and left humanity entirely to the hands of Erlik. So now, in his frozen Hell under the mantle of the world above, Erlik collects the souls of those who die above. He sits on his Black Throne as judge of each of the newly dead.

Of all the beauties in this world, and of all the many gods and goddesses who embody love, Ishtar is certainly one of the most well-known and worshipped in the world today. While lesser names and smaller gods may touch upon greatness, none might ever be as universally adored as Ishtar, she who is love and beauty, fertility and sex, passion and war.  One of the great equalizing and inclusive aspects of the goddess is that there is something within her that speaks to every person, regardless of status, age, gender, or nationality. While her name may be heard sung throughout the world, her passions stir the greatest number of hearts in her native lands: those of Shem and Koth. There can be no argument that Ishtar may be called an eastern goddess, though her fierce love both tantalizes and unquestioningly conquers more western hearts with each day.

Though not the original god of the Hyborians, Mitra is now pre-eminent, worshipped throughout the Hyborian kingdoms. As patron of cities, Mitra’s following has grown and widened in parallel with the spread of civilization.  Centered in Aquilonia, the religion has spread into Nemedia, Brythunia, Zingara, Argos, Ophir, the Border Kingdom, and Corinthia. Mitra’s aspects are perfectly suited for the rise of civilization, as he is a god of contracts and binding word, and of opportune meetings.  Mitra is a protector of truth, all-knowing, ever-present, supreme above all other gods. He is called upon for blessings and protection against evil influences, even by nonbelievers.  Mitra is a god of friendship and alliance, though his earlier aspect was more military, with wars aplenty fought in his name. Once a patron to lords, generals, and soldiers, now his aspect is that of a peacemaker and diplomat, a god of scholars and sages, teachers and scientists, bureaucrats and court officials. His emissaries are encouraged to convert others to the cult through right action and the compelling truth of his teachings.

To those who inhabit Stygia, a nation dedicated to the worship of the Old Serpent, the cult of Set is the central element of their lives. It prescribes the time at which they must awake, to assume the positions of obeisance before the serpent. It dictates feast days and plucks those who are to be sacrificed from the unfortunate prisoners and criminals and slaves, readying them for the strike of the knife or the envenomed fang.  Although his cult
has spread across the world, it is in Stygia where his name is incanted with the greatest fervor and where humans are thrown, still living, to the mighty pythons who guard his temples.  Set is one of the most powerful gods of the Hyborian Age but, as with all things which are called gods, this is as much to do with the number and dedication of his votives as it is with the miracles the god might perform.  Set’s cult is as dangerous and volatile as the great serpent it names its god.

Most widely known and worshipped in the growing empire of Turan, Tarim does in fact predate the rise of those ambitious Hyrkanians. In Turan, Tarim is a measured, temperate god who leans to the side of light. In this way, some theologians of the West compare him to Mitra. The comparison is apt as far as a western mind cares.  He is the sun and the sky and a man who walks the earth. Once called the Three-Faced God, Tarim was both the cosmos and its manifestation all in one. He once stood in direct opposition to Erlik, however in
Turan, the two coexist and are worshipped by both peasants and nobles.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:00, Sat 23 Mar 2019.

 GM, 17 posts
Sat 23 Mar 2019
at 23:15
Minor Gods
An old god once fallen out of favor within the Black Kingdoms and Tombalku. The dominant Aphaki ruling class and priests worship Jhil and drove any other gods out of the country. In Conan’s time, however, Ajujo’s worship has enjoyed a resurgence among the common people of Tombalku, through the direct intervention of the new king, Sakumbe, and his witchman Askia. When the two arrived, Askia’s display of sorcerous might, granted by Ajujo, humiliated the priests of Jhil in front of the common folk, and now Ajujo’s cult has become more popular.  Ajujo, the Dark One, is a god of magic, and his priests are all accomplished witchmen and sorcerers, able to inflict curses upon their enemies and disbelievers, and to accomplish a great many feats of necromancy and alchemy.

Ashtoreth, or the Horned Lady, is revered by the Shemites as a guardian, fiery warrior, and fierce lover. Where Adonis is the beauty, strength, and primal need that rules over vegetation and its corresponding circle of life, and where Ishtar is the blindingly resplendent, all-encompassing erotic love and passion, Ashtoreth is the ferocity of the protective mother. She is fertility, hard-fought and aggressively defended.

Where Yajur is the cold reality of death, Asura is that which sees beyond states to a larger whole. Some say Yajur herself parts the veil because that veil is death. The faithful of Asura know that death, too, is an illusion.  In Vendhya, Asura is the chief deity of worship, but he is also worshipped to some degree in many eastern nations. Asuran priests hold political power in Vendhya in a way largely unknown outside Stygia or

The chief of the Cimmerian pantheon of deities, Crom is the lord of the dead and patron of battle. He and his dark kin of war-gods and worse dwell atop a great mountain in a dreary, desolate realm of ice and eternal fog. He is a harsh and unforgiving deity, well in character with his dour followers, who know little joy but that of the battlefield.  Crom is unique among gods in that he is barely worshiped — dreaded rather than celebrated. Only the Cimmerians pay him heed, and no Cimmerian prays to him, preferring instead to delay their encounter with their patron deity as long as possible.

The ape-god, Hanuman the Accursed, has long been forsaken by those weak, decadent Hyborian nations who have invested their faith in deities like Mitra or Asura. Even the barbarians of Cimmeria, Vanaheim, and beyond have no love for Hanuman, though their gods are just as cruel and just as savage as the brooding Lord of Apes. Hanuman, and those few who have dedicated themselves to him as members of his priesthood, have no false promises to offer those timid pilgrims who furtively enter the scant dozen remaining temples of the ape-god. Hanuman offers neither salvation through love nor salvation through arms. The god and his few still-loyal priests offer only memories as rewards to those who leave their meager offerings before the vast granite ape which lurks at the center of the solemn, looming edifices.

His worship originating in Stygia, Ibis is a god of knowledge and enlightenment, of unearthing truth behind mysteries, and the sharing of new ideas and established wisdom. Stygians once venerated Ibis as the patron of all forms of lore, from mathematics, astronomy, writing, sciences, and religion, to civil issues such as judgment and laws. He divined and laid down the paths by which the stars and the sun and moon would move through the heavens, and in his role as a force of equilibrium, Ibis was the mediator between good and evil.  Despite his opposition to Set, Ibis is neither good nor evil, a mediating force rather than a revolutionary one. He is an enemy of Set because Set is an enemy of humankind, an embodiment of that which is secret and occulted.

Across these untamed, endless snow dunes of Asgard and Vanaheim stalks Ymir, the great frost-giant, the god of the ice and of the snow itself. And, like the ice of which he is god, and from which some claim he was born, Ymir seeks to make those who would follow him hard and cold and steely.  Those who have wandered in the trackless wastes of the north have heard stories of the frost-giant’s daughters — beautiful, elfin women who lead men from their camps and from their companions, luring them into the wilderness where Ymir’s other children, lesser frost-giants, can feast upon their warm, bloody hearts.  Though many worship him, they do so through battle and drinking. They do not congregate at shrines and offer prayers to him. He is a god of a wolfish age, who cares nothing for incense and reverence.