The Unhuman Wars as Allegories of History: Part 1

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Man-O-War vs. Mantis by Enildarion.  Source: http://www.http://lost.spelljammer.org/. Man-O-War vs. Mantis by Tilaurin. Source: http://www.http://lost.spelljammer.org/.

The Unhuman Wars are, in my opinion, some of the most interesting and sophisticated story elements ever to come out of D&D.  That’s because they are allegories for historical events.  One of the most significant allegories is the comparison between them and our World Wars.

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Scrospace (Dukagshspace)

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

The following is a brief description of Scrospace, called Dukagshspace by its inhabitants, from my Toy Soldier Saga website:

Home sphere of the Scro Empire; burial site of Dukagsh, founder of the scro race, for whom the principle world of the sphere is named.  Our campaign had free license to do whatever we liked with this sphere, since the canon sources have limited themselves to describing Dukagsh as “a harsh world,” and explaining that the tomb of legendary hero Dukagsh is fixed in a stationary orbit around the planet Dukagsh’s North Pole.  Even fan material rarely mentions it; only a novel series called “The Bri’kerzz Sweep” touches on it at all, describing the destruction of Dukagsh’s Tomb by the protagonist’s ship, and there is nothing on the sphere’s statistics itself.  Hence, we were free to engage in full-fledged flights of fancy.  This sphere is the primary location of the events…

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Of Physical Laws and Fictional Characters

Stories & Soliloquies

This is the final installment of a series on the tie between language and metaphysics, mathematics, and magic.

Most people are pretty clear that the laws of physics are real, and that fictional characters are not. But I’m not so sure the distinction is as easy as that.

When people, even people who are students of philosophy, hear the word “metaphysics”, they typically think of ghosts, gods, and souls. This list isn’t wrong, exactly, but it is terribly limited. Using this list as their guide, people reject metaphysics as anti-empirical, and affirm without a trace of irony that “reason” tells them to reject anything not empirically validated. But there’s a lot more to metaphysics than the supernatural – reason itself is a metaphysical construct, a grammar for thinking that has no physical form. Ideas and concepts are metaphysical. Descriptive categories are metaphysical. Mathematical abstraction is metaphysical.

In order to…

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By Any Other Name (Goblin Name Generator)

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

When role-playing in an Orcish environment, it often behooves the game master to have names for their goblin allies.  Below is a table designed to generate names for any goblin or hobgoblin PC or NPC.  Designed in the fashion of Owen KC Stevens’ By Any Other Name articles (dragon magazine #251, 260, 261, 262, 267), it should allow you to generate a name for any goblins, or hobgoblins, in your game.  To use the tables, roll a D20 and consult table one, then roll the appropriate number of percentile dice.

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Orcish Religion Amongst the Stars

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Regardless of subrace, orcish (and in fact most goblinkin races) society tends to take one of two distinct forms in wildspace: Independent tribes and organized nations. The independent tribes operate much as their groundling cousins, and in fact most truly are groundling tribes who somehow gained control of spelljamming vessels and migrated into space. These tribes still favor a single orcish deity as their patron, and the priests of that deity will dominate any other priests who reside with the tribe. Such tribes have few long term goals beyond increasing their territory, and subsist primarily on piracy and raiding.

The organized nations are a very different story; they are composed of multiple tribes and have more complex governance. While some are formed due to the might of a single orc warlord, those rarely outlast the life of that individual, breaking up into their disparate tribes upon his death. Those nations…

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Karr’Tahl the Controller and the Book of the Law

Worldbuilding – some important info about the goblins of the Scro Empire!

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

A great deal of legend surrounds Karr’Tahl the Controller and his Book of the Law.  People tend to think so little of goblins, that most reasonable scholars believe Karr’Tahl was probably a hobgoblin, orc, or human who dominated a goblin tribe.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

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