Role-playing reviews

Reviews related to role-playing games, with a focus on Gods & Monsters, and a bit of superhero gaming.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons


Jerry Stratton, February 27, 2016

Sun Behind Stonehenge: “Stonehenge in your face, taken on December 27, 2008 by Simon Wakefield.”; Stonehenge; sunset

(Simon Wakefield, CC-BY 2.0)

How many divine presences are in your temple or shrine? Hidden in the stones, icons, and gilded veneer? In the March/April 2016 Archaeology, Eric A. Powell reports that archaeologists have confirmed the sources of the 43 “bluestones” that are used at Stonehenge. However, the rocks were quarried around 3800 to 3500 BC, but transported to Stonehenge “sometime around 3000 BC”.

This suggests that the megaliths may have been quarried and erected in the immediate area long before they were transported to Stonehenge. “We suspect that there is a dismantled stone circle monument somewhere in the area between the quarries,” says University College London archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson, who led the team.

Why was it moved? Was it completely moved, or merely scavenged? Was the older monument from a completely different, defeated religion, or was it a schism? Is it a humiliation for the older gods for their shrine to be re-used for a shrine to the newer gods? Were their worshippers put to the sword?

In a world where the gods are real and walk the earth there is a lot of adventure potential in a shrine that is composed of pieces of other shrines. Perhaps the ghosts of the old priests still haunt the stones, but only on days important to their religion, holy days from a calendar long abandoned. Perhaps there is power in the old stones, just waiting to be activated by one who knows the old rituals. Some relic buried in the stone. A golden medallion hidden in the stolen relic, and only the murdered priests knew it was there.

Or perhaps, written on the stones and now jumbled into the wrong order are clues to some ancient treasure or divine artifact.

And what if the stones hadn’t been stolen for another shrine? What if they were scavenged slowly over time for homes, castles, or city buildings, by the clueless descendants of the conquering army? What if the shade of an angry god haunts the tax assessor’s office? Or the Prince’s bedroom?

What if one of the world’s powerful relics now lies dormant in the mausoleum in the center of the local cemetery? Or sits above the cornerstone of the local schoolhouse? What does that mean for the dead who are buried there, the children who are taught there, the people who come under the tax man’s thumb?

What if?

  1. <- Legendary manor
  2. Saber-toothed salmon ->