Is it okay if you give somebody a lift? What if you give back answers? Do you get cheek-ache reading the news? Take a look at this curated collection of useful and colorful words and phrases of Victorian slang and make your 19th-century-inspired games more fleshed-out!

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by Jakub Wisz

In the previous part of the Aurorae dev blog I talked about the Khradi and their way of life around the frozen isles lost in the mists on the far orbit of the planetoid Maer. In this blog I’m gonna talk about the denizens of Maer, another major culture shaping the outlook on life in Aurorae – the Triveni, constantly dubbed The Mushroom People by Anna.

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by Anna Urbanek

In this episode we go on deep dives into my favorite topics: occult and plants. And we’re being very critical of what we read. I don’t know why, but I happen to apply higher standard to occult books, maybe because it’s so easy for them to go into ‘woo’ territory if the authors don’t pay enough attention.

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By Jakub Wisz

It’s been a while since the previous Aurorae development blog – and so here we are. I think the best next step in bringing the game a bit closer to you will be through a series of articles describing the lore and rules of the game interchangeably. In this first one of the series, I’ll describe (mostly quoting the current Core Rule Book draft) one of the playable Kinships in the game – the adventurous sailors known throughout the void as the Khradi.

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by Anna Urbanek

Welcome to the new series of posts on the blog! Librarian’s Nook will cover the latest books read in my constant pursuit of knowledge. These books are all, in one way or another, research – either for the project at hand, for the books planned in the future, or for satiating my endless curiosity of the world. As many of them will be useful to other worldbuilders, I’ve figured I might as well share my notes. These not reviews; there won’t be any rating systems, and the main criterions will be usefulness and general enjoyment.

What can you expect in this series? A variety of books, mostly nonfiction, covering natural sciences, history, occult, and folklore, with a side dish of other topics if I find whatever I’m currently reading useful from a worldbuilding perspective. Fiction won’t feature too heavily – I rarely read it, and when I do, it’s mostly fairy tales, myths, and legends. The majority of books will be in English, with an occasional Polish title.

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by Anna Urbanek

Get ready for the spooky!

Today we will be talking about the spookiest plants you can put in your Halloween game. We’re not here to discuss the most toxic plants, because let’s be honest – death by poison is a rather boring thing to play out at the table. Instead, we’re about to go for a deep dive into the weirdest, the creepiest, and most horrifying. 

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by Jakub Wisz

As a hard-scifi writer, I rarely get to venture out into the magical realms of fantasy. To make a long story short, I intend to change that. Consider this blog post an announcement of my next creation after Project Aphelion and Incitatus, Blazing Aurorae. It’s going to be a fantasy novel and maybe a tabletop RPG as well, set in a world very much unlike our own.

It’s going to be a tale set in the cold darkness of open space, in the tail of a comet full of life, civilizations, and wonders. Full of people living their lives on islands of rock and ice suspended in the icy clouds of the comet’s tail, loving, fighting, and exploring space on wooden ships thanks to the magic and technology of their ancestors.

The universe of Blazing Aurorae is far from your run-of-the-mill fantasy pot of tired old tropes and stories. It’s an unusual world with unusual creatures, but I want them to be intuitively understandable and relatable. There are magic elements and impossible conditions throughout; nonetheless, I aim to build it in accordance with known physics and biology. I believe it’s entirely possible to create a fantastic universe based on our real-world reality. In fact, I believe that a world created that way will be much more engaging, consistent, and original than a complete abstract based on nothing but desire to create something fantastic.

In this and the next blog posts, I’ll go through the process of building the setting step by step as I create the world.

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If you, like many people in tabletop roleplaying circle, are waiting for the newest expansion for Dungeons & Dragons to land, you already know you’ll be probably spending some months around Icewind Dale. Arctic adventures are on multiple schedules this year, and there’s nothing surprising about it. After all, Rime of the Frostmaiden promises the players an opportunity to boldly go where snowman has gone before.

Let’s go on an adventure!

If you’ve read my previous post, you know we’re big fans of player agency in this house. If you haven’t – go give it a read. I assure you, it will make it obvious why I’m suggesting some of the solutions and not the others.

All of the advice below applies to running arctic adventures, whether or not you want to have them in Forgotten Realms. We acknowledge and support everybody’s right to not play D&D.

Do you want to make your traveling through the arctic tundra fun, engaging, and memorable? Well, read on, because we’re just about to embark on a journey. From prep to random encounters, we got you covered here.

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You see, I adore Arthur Rackham, I care deeply for Gustave Doré, I spent hours redrawing Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations. But there’s one artist whose works I truly love. It’s Jan Marcin Szancer.

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At least for a historian. Seriously, those guys will raid your garbage bin and steal your receipts. And the humanity will be grateful. After a while. I’ve just put my hands on the last (well, fourth out of five, they weren’t delivered in the right order) volume of History of Private Life. It’s probably one of the best series about history ever written, especially if you’re interested in social changes, not the fates of battles and wars. And if there’s some study area I’d love more than social and cultural history, I haven’t found it yet.

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If you love the Victorian era and feel disappointed you haven’t lived a century ago, don’t despair – many things did not change anyway. Might be useful for your steampunk and Victorian-era RPG worldbuilding!

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Tired of feeding your party the same staple food everytime they go out to eat in a civilized place? We’ve got your back: follow us for some tasty medieval recipes, and historically accurate food lore.

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