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Thread: DnD Head Canons

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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    When Asmodeus fell he likely took a layer of Celestia with him. It seems the kimd of thing likely to happen upon a whole bunch of archons turning evil. Akin to when one of the layers of Arcadia fell into mechanus when its inhabiyants ceased being good
    Nice numerical coincidence: That means originally, there were eight heavens and eight hells, eight being the number of perfection.
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    When someone without the requisite training tries to speak a word of the Dark Speech it comes out as a beep like they were swearing on network television
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2019-09-15 at 02:54 PM.
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    I am convinced that Githyanki and Githzerai are supposed to be Kingons and Vulcans. They were 'the same' in the sense that illithids captured them from the Star Trek universe. One one set is brutal warriors in space and the other are logical bozos in space.
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
    Quote Originally Posted by illyahr View Post
    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    I am convinced that Githyanki and Githzerai are supposed to be Kingons and Vulcans. They were 'the same' in the sense that illithids captured them from the Star Trek universe. One one set is brutal warriors in space and the other are logical bozos in space.
    Romulans and Vulcans, perhaps?

    Of course, Fading Suns revisited the idea with the Ur-Obun and Ur-Ukar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    I am convinced that Githyanki and Githzerai are supposed to be Kingons and Vulcans. They were 'the same' in the sense that illithids captured them from the Star Trek universe. One one set is brutal warriors in space and the other are logical bozos in space.
    The githyanki remind me more of the Alternian trolls from "Homestuck". Given the whole thing where they live their adult lives on the astral plane but grow up on material planets, they have psychic powers, they lay eggs, and they are rules by a sadistic queen with formidable supernatural powers

    EDIT:

    On an unrelated note, stuff owned by gnomish nobility has a tendency to be worn out and ratty but not look it. It starts out as nice luxurious stuff that is backed up and enhanced by illusion magic to make it nicer. Eventually the actually item wears out but the illusion remains so you wind up with stuff that's worn out and broken but still looks and feels luxurious

    EDIT:
    Also, at least some of the monsters that seem to be mashups of other kinds of creatures - such as the owlbear, the sphinx, etc. - are likely not related to the species they resemble (In much the same way that the Platypus isn't closely related to either the duck or to the beaver)

    EDIT:

    Also, the Slaad language sounds like the vocalizations from the "Crazy Frog" remix of Axel F
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2019-09-30 at 08:13 PM.
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    Wee Jas is the stage name for that deity's rap career, like Lil Jon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
    Quote Originally Posted by illyahr View Post
    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    The githyanki remind me more of the Alternian trolls from "Homestuck". Given the whole thing where they live their adult lives on the astral plane but grow up on material planets, they have psychic powers, they lay eggs, and they are rules by a sadistic queen with formidable supernatural powers
    The Gith well predate that, though.

    As for my personal headcanon: Once the Dark Powers grow bored and complacent, one day Ravenloft will end.

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    In the 4e cosmology, Bahamut and Tiamat were created when the brooding loner Io tried to take on a Primordial all by himself. For his trouble, Io got literally cleft down the middle into two halves...which almost instantly re-formed into the siblings. They then kicked the Primordial's s#!t (one of the few Primordials actually slain IIRC). So...all the evil, mean, and wicked parts of the God of Balance got split off into Tiamat, and the nice and noble parts got sent to Bahamut. Headcanon: Bahamut is the ultimate god of Good.

    Also, separately: Bahamut and Kord are lovers. Their relationship can be tempestuous (figuratively and literally...) but they always patch it back up. That's why Kord hangs out in Celestia, despite it not being his own divine domain (since he seems to lack one).

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    Many deities have a different alignment now than they did during their mythic background. This is mostly how I justify Corellon Larethian both being Chaotic Good and being, well, Corellon Larethian. They used to fluctuate from LN to CN. Now they've realized they were a jerk but can't undo the damage they did to the elves, they encourage personal freedom and expression as much as any racial deity can, and they try not to curse entire populations any more.
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    The astral plane is an explosion of color and light, everything being in sharp clarity and vibrant, while the ethereal plane is muted and dry, all objects warped and indistinct. This is because the astral plane connects to the planes that exemplify and expand on material plane phenomena and ideas, and the ethereal plane connects to planes that are syntheses of material ideas, like the core elements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAshley View Post
    I have always been a fan of the "Pelor: the Burning Hate" theory, to the point of currently playing a Blackguard of Pelor in my current 3.5 campaign.
    Oh man, I have an idea for a 5E character I've wanted to play for a while now. A fallen Cleric of Pelor who buys into the Burning Hate Heresy and is now a Celestial Warlock. His patron claims to be an angel who has also discovered the truth and needs a mortal agent to help expose Pelor and eventually take him down.

    Whether or not any of it is true (the Heresy, his patron's identity, or any of the rest) I'd leave up to the DM.

    Bonus points if it takes place in Matt Mercer's campaign setting. Haven't you ever wondered why there are two sun gods? WAKE UP, SHEEPLE! (Yes, I know, I know. It's because they switched from the Pathfinder pantheon to the Standard Issue D&D pantheon when they changed from a private home game to a streaming show, but they didn't want to change Ashley's character's god because that would just be a weird and awkward retcon. But just leaving it at that is not how crackpot headcanon theories work, you see.)

    The other major headcanon I hold unwavering loyalty to is the Great Modron Marketing Survey.
    Last edited by Grey Watcher; 2019-11-16 at 02:18 PM.

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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    I'll be honest, The Burning Hate headcanon has always bothered me. It's kind of a pizza-cutter (all edge and no point) of an idea, trying too hard to be cynical and I don't get why it's caught on so strongly with D&D players...
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    *There are two forms of the Infernal language. A highly exact, restricted, and deficient Newspeak like form for day to day use, and a flowery, highly metaphorical, easily misinterpreted version for contracts etc.

    *Souls sent to Baator are literally assigned genders. And it's deliberately chosen to be the one that will cause them the most trouble
    adding to this: in exact infernal names are more like descriptions of a person rather then a constant referal to an entity, also those descriptions are very precise: [had 2 eyes but lost the right one] sounds nothing like [naturally one-eyed]
    also in exact infernal a word has exactly one specific meaning

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    I'll be honest, The Burning Hate headcanon has always bothered me. It's kind of a pizza-cutter (all edge and no point) of an idea, trying too hard to be cynical and I don't get why it's caught on so strongly with D&D players...
    Partially, I think, because it stems from the rules-based nitpicking that drives discussion of D&D. In AD&D, it wouldn't make sense, because "evil" spells were "you better have a damned good reason", not "are completely unavailable".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    I'll be honest, The Burning Hate headcanon has always bothered me. It's kind of a pizza-cutter (all edge and no point) of an idea, trying too hard to be cynical and I don't get why it's caught on so strongly with D&D players...
    I can see the appeal from a DM perspective: if you think your campaign is going to get near or all the way to level 20 (or whatever the equivalent in your system of choice is), it's a decent hook. Unless your whole table are completely new to the game and its attendant lore, you don't have to waste time explaining who Pelor is. And having a what TV Tropes so succinctly calls a Villain With Good Publicity gives a good reason why you can't call in the proverbial cavalry of more powerful entities: everyone's either been suckered by the ruse or is in on it.

    Alternatively, it being so wildly incorrect and absurd can be a great world building detail. Your setting's answer to flat earthers. I guess that's what I would want to play with with the character I described. In character, he's thoroughly convinced, but until at best the very end of the campaign, you'd never really know. The end of his arc would be either triumphant validation or a bitter disillusionment.

    I guess I'm not 100% on board with buying into it as true per se, but I certainly like it as an idea that's out there in the setting's culture. The fact that it does rely on such flimsy evidence, involves heaping load of Begging the Question, and runs entirely on confirmation bias isn't a bug, it's a feature.

    Though I do think plenty of people readily do accept, even IRL, that that's what the character is meant to be. I think that tendency speaks to something well beyond the game. Maybe because we're so used to mortal authorities using a righteous facade to hide unscrupulous behavior that we're inclined to assume the same of gods. Maybe it's just a tendency in the modern world towards iconoclasm: look around the internet and you can find plenty of blogs, articles, and whathaveyous detailing how this or that figure who's widely regarded as heroic or a role model has done awful things. So, again, maybe there's an inclination to assume that a god must be the same way. Therefore, as soon as someone posts a silly joke about deliberately parsing everything in the worst way and leaping on editing errors as evidence, everyone loves it and it goes all viral and stuff.

    Like I said, I think it's best used as an in-universe plot element or setting detail, with the truth of the matter only established if the campaign is specifically geared towards that (whether by the DM's original intent or whether driven there by the player). And honestly, maybe not even then.

    EDIT: Oh, and speaking of the in-universe world-building, plot hook uses, it's also a decent way to do the "dangerous underground cult" thing without having to have everyone worshipping the Dark God of Wedgies and Obvious Ironic Comeuppance. I mean, you can only have so many people buy into the Original Position fallacy before it starts to just get a bit stale.
    Last edited by Grey Watcher; 2019-11-16 at 03:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    I think that tendency speaks to something well beyond the game. Maybe because we're so used to mortal authorities using a righteous facade to hide unscrupulous behavior that we're inclined to assume the same of gods. Maybe it's just a tendency in the modern world towards iconoclasm: look around the internet and you can find plenty of blogs, articles, and whathaveyous detailing how this or that figure who's widely regarded as heroic or a role model has done awful things. So, again, maybe there's an inclination to assume that a god must be the same way. Therefore, as soon as someone posts a silly joke about deliberately parsing everything in the worst way and leaping on editing errors as evidence, everyone loves it and it goes all viral and stuff.
    I'd say it's probably three factors working together. First is the one you mention here; in any alignment debate or "How good is Good?" discussion you'll see people conflating D&D morality with real-life morality because it's a common reference point, even though there's a big difference between the two both socially and cosmically.

    Second, there's tons of Good-aligned stuff in the game (monsters, classed NPCs, items...) that rarely gets used in an antagonistic capacity because comparatively few games involve evil PCs. A group that's already seen a lot of (and gotten used to the standard flavor and tactics of) demons, devils, evil cults, and so forth can find a squadron of Pelorite paladins mounted on pegasi with some Radiant Servants of Lathander support to be a refreshing change of pace against which a lot of standard tactics and gear prove ineffective. That's probably why the Burning Hate more frequently shows up in the context of DMs wanting to throw something different into their next campaign rather than PCs wanting to play clerics of evil!Pelor.

    Third, a lot of settings have Evil (or sketchy-leaning Neutral) gods among the most common pantheon(s), and authors and DMs tend to have to go to some trouble to explain why people would put up with churches of evil gods in polite society at all--Umberlee the Sea B*tch is worshiped to keep her away from shipping, Bane is all about civic order (or else!), gods of death can be worshiped as gods of "please let my dead grandpa stay dead and not spontaneously animate as an undead creature" if you squint, and so on--which also happens to make the gods feel more three-dimensional and make the setting feel more immersive since real-life gods are rarely God Of This One Particular Thing and tend to be more multifaceted. Fleshing out some Good gods and giving them closet skeletons like Zeus's dalliances, Thor's anger problems, and the like can give you more verisimilitude in the same way.

    (And, as a side effect, it can help turn Neutral gods from "Why the heck would you ever fence-sit between obvious Good and obvious Evil!?" to more of "Well, the Evil gods aren't all puppy-kicking jerks and the Good gods aren't all sweetness and light, so at least the Neutral gods aren't putting a big PR spin on things," which adds yet more believability and also opens up more Neutral antagonist options.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by a_flemish_guy View Post
    adding to this: in exact infernal names are more like descriptions of a person rather then a constant referal to an entity, also those descriptions are very precise: [had 2 eyes but lost the right one] sounds nothing like [naturally one-eyed]
    also in exact infernal a word has exactly one specific meaning
    I actually have a more elaborate (and therefore more useless in actual play) one for Infernal.

    Infernal isn't actually the language of Devils. At least, not the one they use when talking to each other. It's a highly simplified version specifically for use with mortals, possibly literally a constructed language. When Devils talk to each other, there are hugely complicated and very, very precise rules dictating what speech patterns, grammar, vocabulary, and sometimes even entire dialects, you're supposed to use with a given other Devil, depending on your relative ranks in the hierarchy and some other factors (eg there's a subset of rules for what happens when a Devil assigned to tempting mortals is talking with another one who's working in Hell's military legions). If you don't want to handicap a player that took Infernal too hard, you might say that for-mortals Infernal can at least get the gist of a conversation you might be eavesdropping on. But there's probably a lot of information passing between them about rank, role, station, ambitions, etc. that a mortal who just speaks "Infernal" is going to completely miss.

    It's not impossible for a mortal to learn to speak Infernal like a native, but it'd take decades of research, lessons, and probably first hand experience living in Hell to get even passable at it. And most Devils know that mortals using Simplified Infernal is fine (only so much can be expected of such limited creatures after all). But if you don't know exactly what you're doing, trying to speak fully-fledged Infernal is arguably more dangerous. You do not address a Lord of one of the Circles of Hell the same way you would address just any Pit Fiend, and accidentally using rules for "speaking to Asmodeus himself" when speaking to anyone else would be literally seen as open treason or rebellion. And if you're speaking non-simplified Infernal, you're expected to know better, so if you want to claim it was a mistake, you better have a sky high Persuasion check on top of a natural 20 too back out of that gaffe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Campbell View Post
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    Choosing a patron deity in the Forgotten Realms is approached much like investing in the stock market. Deities like Chauntea or Grumbar are stable, low-risk investments, whereas gods like Bane or Torm who tend to get into fights and tangled up in divine soap opera are higher risk.

    Mystra is in a risk category of her own.

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    St. Cuthbert speaks with a Scottish or Northern English accent.

    Wee Jas has the voice of Grey DeLisle.

    Most of the worst stuff of the Spellplague in the Forgotten Realms actually didn't happen at all, and the 'restored to normal' of 5th Edition was literally just people realising that rather than listening to tall tales. I personally blame Volothamp Geddarm.

    Literally all of the cosmological models from the Great Wheel to the World Axis are have varying degrees of truth and falsehood, and rather than being the actual intrinsic structure of the universe they're an attempt by very limited mortal minds to comprehend things that just aren't actually completely possible to comprehend.

    Golarion is pretty much part of the D&D multiverse, since it's closer to the standard than even some major settings like Dark Sun and Dragonlance.

    Due to the links between universes that have kind of been hinted at repeatedly through various spells, characters meeting one-another, and the whole concept of Planescape, there are a whole bunch of interloper deities shared between settings even beyond the elven, dwarven, etc. pantheons. Some Faerûnians worship Boccob, for instance.

    EDIT: the Wall of the Faithless does not actually exist
    Last edited by Scots Dragon; 2019-11-17 at 04:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon View Post
    Wee Jas has the voice of Grey DeLisle.
    Huh...I always imagined her more as Natalie Portman. Her art kind of even LOOKS like her (Grey DeLisle still works though, after all, she DID voice Padme in the animated Clone Wars)!
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2019-11-17 at 07:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    I actually have a more elaborate (and therefore more useless in actual play) one for Infernal.

    Infernal isn't actually the language of Devils. At least, not the one they use when talking to each other. It's a highly simplified version specifically for use with mortals, possibly literally a constructed language. When Devils talk to each other, there are hugely complicated and very, very precise rules dictating what speech patterns, grammar, vocabulary, and sometimes even entire dialects, you're supposed to use with a given other Devil, depending on your relative ranks in the hierarchy and some other factors (eg there's a subset of rules for what happens when a Devil assigned to tempting mortals is talking with another one who's working in Hell's military legions). If you don't want to handicap a player that took Infernal too hard, you might say that for-mortals Infernal can at least get the gist of a conversation you might be eavesdropping on. But there's probably a lot of information passing between them about rank, role, station, ambitions, etc. that a mortal who just speaks "Infernal" is going to completely miss.

    It's not impossible for a mortal to learn to speak Infernal like a native, but it'd take decades of research, lessons, and probably first hand experience living in Hell to get even passable at it. And most Devils know that mortals using Simplified Infernal is fine (only so much can be expected of such limited creatures after all). But if you don't know exactly what you're doing, trying to speak fully-fledged Infernal is arguably more dangerous. You do not address a Lord of one of the Circles of Hell the same way you would address just any Pit Fiend, and accidentally using rules for "speaking to Asmodeus himself" when speaking to anyone else would be literally seen as open treason or rebellion. And if you're speaking non-simplified Infernal, you're expected to know better, so if you want to claim it was a mistake, you better have a sky high Persuasion check on top of a natural 20 too back out of that gaffe.
    I love this idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    The githyanki remind me more of the Alternian trolls from "Homestuck". Given the whole thing where they live their adult lives on the astral plane but grow up on material planets, they have psychic powers, they lay eggs, and they are rules by a sadistic queen with formidable supernatural powers
    This is a good idea, but I think it kind of falls apart when you try to integrate Doc Scratch and Lord English.
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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Most of the traditional races evolved to be distance hunters, like humans. However, humans came out on top in the civilization game.

    Elves beat out humans by being fast and having to sleep less; even though they might have to rest more often, they don't need to rest as long. They got out-competed because of low birth rates.

    Orcs tried to beat humans by being overall tougher, able to run for longer. However, they are much more dependant on eating meat, and other races developed agriculture, so they weren't able to create stable large societies.

    Halflings are small and energy efficient, allowing them to eat less and travel in larger groups. They invented agriculture early, but a racial lack of ambition (similar to the neanderthal's lack of wanderlust and curiosity) made them less inclined to build more than necessary.

    Dwarves don't fit into this, because they're actually carrion-eaters, with extra constitution, resistance to poison, and a slower speed. Their alcohol is a byproduct of fermented mushrooms which they eat to pad out their diets when there isn't enough meat to go around. Also, the rare dwarven hunter is basically a trapdoor spider with handaxes that hunts deer.

  24. - Top - End - #264
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Quote Originally Posted by SunderedWorldDM View Post
    The astral plane is an explosion of color and light, everything being in sharp clarity and vibrant, while the ethereal plane is muted and dry, all objects warped and indistinct. This is because the astral plane connects to the planes that exemplify and expand on material plane phenomena and ideas, and the ethereal plane connects to planes that are syntheses of material ideas, like the core elements.
    Random note:
    Those already exist. They are called the Plane of Shadow and the Plane of Radiance [Dr. 321].


    So... when is it some random head-canon and when is it just your own personal homebrew cosmology? Cuz I could rant a lot about the latter. A lot.

    For the smaller stuff...
    I don't do monoculture races, so this does not apply universally, but I like completely ridiculous combinations such as
    - Drow that sound like russian immigrants
    - Minotaurs that sound like posh british butlers
    - Redneck orcs, etc.

    P.S. Is there any word on why Sigil is called the Cage? Someone mentioned the idea of it being a prison for Her Serenity, and that name fits rather well, so how much of actual canon could we have there?

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Quote Originally Posted by martixy View Post
    Random note:
    Those already exist. They are called the Plane of Shadow and the Plane of Radiance [Dr. 321].
    IIRC there's actually TWO planes of radiance. The Demiplane of Radiance and the Quasielemental Plane of Radiance
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  26. - Top - End - #266
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Quote Originally Posted by martixy View Post
    P.S. Is there any word on why Sigil is called the Cage? Someone mentioned the idea of it being a prison for Her Serenity, and that name fits rather well, so how much of actual canon could we have there?
    Everybody knows that the Lady of Pain is a canonically five psionic squirrels in fancy dress with a magic item.

  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Demons are responsible for the worst crimes of the multiverse. The Abyss is their divine prison, and the devils are their jailers. The Blood War is simply quelling a jailbreak. Yugoloths play both sides as the god that made them was infamously one who double crossed people and played both sides in the divine conflict.
    See that cool Teifling? Thanks, potatopeelerkin! If you want something like it, they have more avatars up for adoption in the thread with the same name...

    Hey, I have an extended signature now!

  28. - Top - End - #268
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Everybody knows that the Lady of Pain is a canonically five psionic squirrels in fancy dress with a magic item.
    And since squirrels are just fancy rats, the Lady of Pain is a cranium rat.
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  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Everybody knows that the Lady of Pain is a canonically five psionic squirrels in fancy dress with a magic item.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    And since squirrels are just fancy rats, the Lady of Pain is a cranium rat.
    Ah, but this is kinda backwards.

    All rodents are avatars and aspects of the Lady of Pain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    A game setting does need to be designed to be fun and functional to game in.

    But there's more to good worldbuilding than piling the "parts to game in" on a big pile.

    Farmland isn't there to be adventured in, primarily, but one assumes it's still there and part of the landscape -- just because adventurers don't go there often doesn't mean it doesn't or shouldn't or needn't exist.

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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Everybody knows that the Lady of Pain is a canonically five psionic squirrels in fancy dress with a magic item.
    I really wish people would stop making up ridiculous "facts" like that about beloved Planescape NPCs.

    She's six, non-psionic squirrels, geez. Get it right.
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