18 September 2023

Classic Fantasy Imperative now available!

Classic Fantasy is the Mythras version of classic (1970s and 1980s) “Dungeons & Dragons.” The “Imperative” version is a somewhat stripped-down version of CF – think “Basic” D&D rather than “Advanced” – but a complete game (i.e., it does not require the use of the Mythras core rules) and offered under the “ORC” License. 

If I weren’t currently focused on developing my “Ukrasia” setting for a future Against the Darkmaster campaign (and already playing in a Mythras campaign) I’d be sorely tempted to use CFI to run a classic adventure like B4: The Lost City.

Here’s the announcement from the folks at The Design Mechanism:
It's here...

Classic Fantasy Imperative introduces role-players to old-school dungeoneering and high adventure through the lens of the Mythras rule system. A complete game, with all you need for play (barring dice), Classic Fantasy Imperative provides full character creation, with four classes (Cleric, Fighter, Mage and Rogue), four separate cultures, and six races. Extensive rules are provided for Class optimization and Rank abilities, along with a comprehensive system of skills, innovative combat mechanics, and an extensive list of spells and magical effects. The book rounds out with sample monsters and enemies, and magic items. As it is based on the Mythras games system, Classic Fantasy Imperative is fully compatible with the Mythras range of games published by The Design Mechanism.

Classic Fantasy Imperative is a broad canvas intended for individual and third-party development. It is published under the ORC License, meaning that its Licensed Material content can be freely used and adapted, and even combined with other ORC Licensed systems. Developers are free to create their own variations, supplements, adventures and expansions, as long as they abide by the terms of the ORC license.

Classic Fantasy Imperative is available as a free, 155-page PDF with an accompanying Word file containing the entirety of the game text as a System Reference Document (SRD). The game is also available as a Print on Demand (POD) softcover book, priced at $29.99, from The Design Mechanism webstore and Lulu. A POD version will be available through DrivethruRPG in due course.

The Design Mechanism store



Don your armor, grasp your holy symbol, memorize your spells, and ensure you have all your lockpicking gear. Rumour has it that someone at the tavern is seeking adventurers for a special task, and your group may just fit the bill…
[The usual suspects…]

09 September 2023

Ukrasia: Planes and Deities

Here is another element of the setting that I'm currently working on, called Ukrasia (to be used in my forthcoming Against the Darkmaster campaign).


The world of Ukrasia exists on the ‘Mortal Plane.’ All known planes of existence are connected to each other by interplanar conduits known as ‘ethereal strands.’ The more ethereal strands that connect two planes, the more those planes interact. Ethereal strands may be created, strengthened, weakened, or destroyed over time. Ethereal strands terminate in ‘portals’ or ‘gates’ on the planes to which they are attached.

It is generally known that many ethereal strands connect the Mortal Plane to the following planes: 

The Tier Lands: 
  • Home of the Solar Court and other powers of Order.
  • Believed to be a range of perfectly symmetrical, impossibly beautiful mountains.
  • A place of Chaos, an endlessly changing maelstrom.
  • Regions of Flux are capable of being structured by the will of deities and greater powers. 
The Glade Lands
  • Home of the Glade Court and other greater powers of Nature, including the Beastlords. 
  • The strange, ever-changing dominion of the Greater Faerie and the Unseen Lords.
  • Some scholars claim that Faerie is actually part of The Glade Lands, namely, the wild “outer regions.”

The Underworld
  • A dark shadowy ‘mirror’ of the Mortal Plane.
  • The souls and sprits of the dead go here for a short period of time before migrating to their next stage. 
  • Some mortals (especially members of the Solar Church) believe that, if judged virtuous, they will go on to The Tier Lands, whereas the vicious will go to The Hells or Flux; others (followers of the “Old Faith”) believe that their righteous souls go on to the Glade Lands.
  • The Elves believe that, after a time in The Underworld, they are reborn in Faerie, shorn of most of their past memories and sorrows.
  • The Dwarves believe that their souls are reincarnated in the Mortal Plane (the more virtuous they were during their lives, the briefer their time spent in The Underworld).
  • “Restless” souls may dwell in The Underworld indefinitely or return to the Mortal Plane as undead (ghosts and the like). 
The Hells
  • The horrific sulphuric home of the orderly, hierarchical Devils. 
  • The souls of those who were especially terrible during their time on the Mortal Plane are believed to be reborn as lesser devils (some of whom may work their way “up” the infernal hierarchy over the ensuing centuries).

Other planes exist, but they are not widely known, and they exercise less influence on the affairs of Ukrasia.


Here is an overview of some of the gods worshipped by the mortal peoples of Ukrasia (many deities are not listed). The gods interfere very rarely in the affairs of mortals. Some individuals choose to worship no gods at all, seeing them simply as flawed but more powerful versions of themselves. Such individuals generally keep their lack of piety to themselves, however, in order to avoid persecution.

The Court of Chaos (Location: Flux. Ruler: None)

The ‘Court of Chaos’ refers to a loose association of deities and demon lords who dwell within scattered demesnes throughout the wild and constantly changing plane of Flux. The worship of Chaotic deities is prohibited in most civilized lands. Followers of such destructive gods invariably endeavour to keep their religious commitments secret.

Adodhamair (Goddess of fire and destruction)
Symbol: grinning flame.
Worshippers are quite rare, but a dangerous cult is said to exist, spanning many mannish realms.

Erebus (God of primal darkness)
Symbol: a black circle.
Worshippers include orcs, trolls, and dragonspawn. 

Eriss (Goddess of strife and discord)
Symbol: swirling whirlpool of blood.
Worshippers include orcs, trolls, and human berserkers.

Zaroxi (Goddess of seduction, hedonism and lust)
Symbol: flowing wineskin.

Everekka (Pale Queen of the Mists)
Symbol: circle of stars on a black night sky.
Once the leader of the Night (Star) Elves during the latter part of the Era of the Elves, Everekka now rules a beautiful fastness formed by her formidable will. She continues to have many followers on Ukrasia, and indeed remains keenly interested in events there. It is believed that she plans to return one day in order to resume her war against humanity. 

Infernal Court (Location: The Nine Hells. Ruler: Asmodeus)

The Infernal Court is openly worshipped only by certain ‘evil’ humanoids – e.g., Orcs, Trolls, and the like. In human lands, by contrast, worship of the Infernal Court and its devilish lords typically is prohibited, and punishable with death.

Asmodeus (God of domination and evil)
Symbols: many, including (a) bleeding pentagram; (b) ram’s head; and (c) rod. Others are less well known.

Glade Court
(Location: The Glade lands. Ruler: The Green Lady)

The deities of the Glade Court are revered as a unified pantheon by the Northric and Vilkorith peoples (that is, most followers worship the pantheon as a whole, not individual deities). 
In realms where both the Solar Court and the Glade Court are worshipped, the followers of the latter are referred to as adherents of the “Old Faith.”

Green Lady (Goddess of agriculture, nature, and beauty; ruler of the Glade Court).
Symbol: green circle.

Azure Mistress (Goddess of the sea).
Symbol: stylized blue wave.

Pale Hunter (God of hunters and wanderers).
Symbol: full (hunter’s) pale moon.

Iron Man (God of mortality, natural death, and final judgement; enemy of the undead).
Symbol: iron scales of justice on a pale background.

Grey Warrior (God of war and bravery). 
Symbol: stylized spear and shield, or sword and shield (the shield is always grey).

White Witch (Goddess of herbs, lore, non-evil magic)
Symbol: white staff on a green leaf.

The Beastlords (“Lords” of Cats, Dogs, Eagles, Owls, Horses, etc.). 

Solar Court (Location: The Tier Lands. Ruler: Amithos)

The Solar Court was worshiped as a unified pantheon throughout the Rylindar Imperium. Once a single hierarchical church – often referred to as ‘the Solar Church’ or simply ‘the Church’ – it suffered a schism following the ascension of the Autarch towards the end of the First Age of Humanity. The portion of the Church located in the lands that resisted the Autarch became known as the “Church of the Free Sun.” In the part of the Church under the control of the Autarch, emphasis was placed on the worship of Ulrika, Vanimos, and Zerrick.

Amithos (God of the sun and justice; ruler of the Solar Court)
Symbol: sun (orange) with stylized rays.

Fiona (Goddess of community and healing)
Symbol: white rose.

Murth (God of trade and travel)
Symbol: golden boot on a blue or green background.

Ulrika (Goddess of war and strategy)
Symbol: crossed red swords in front of stylized map.

Vanimos (God of knowledge and secrets)
Symbol: stylized eye (looking directly ahead).

Zerrick (God of discipline and control)
Symbol: white fist holding a stylized mace or rod.  


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).