Sunday, February 14, 2010

On Lupercalia, 2010 CE

Today is the 56th day of winter, in the 2,010th year of the common era. Today is a celebration descended from the Roman ritual of Lupercalia, celebrated in a colorful way by them, and renamed by the Christians after one of their saints, in the usual way.

Today we took possession of our snow-blanketed house. Another snowstorm is due tonight.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Temple of Amun

Kemetic temples had a number of distinctive features and layout. The Temple of Dendur was a small Nubian temple built by Augustus and now located at the Met. Other smaller temples include the Temple of Debod, the Temple of Taffeh, and the temples of Ptah, Osiris Heqadjet, and Opet at Karnak. The Temple of Amun at Karnak is one of the largest religious complexes in the world. Even smaller temples like the temples of Khonsu and Mut are extensive. These temples consist of hypostyle and peristyle courts and a naos or adyton, accessed through pylons. A sacred lake adjacent to the temple provided symbolic water for ceremonies.

Here's a map, which fits on a 24x30 gaming flip-mat, of an imaginary temple that has some of these basic features. One square is 5 feet. A smaller version of a minor temple, with an analogous layout, is at bottom.

All doors are closed and locked, and all interior surfaces are carved with bas reliefs, inscriptions, and cartouches that describe the temple, its ceremonies, and patrons.

1. Pylon Gate
Access to the temple courtyard is through a gate of pylons. Another pylon gate 50 feet to the east defines the outer courtyard and the outer perimeter of the temple complex.

2. Peristyle Court
This enclosed, open-air courtyard is surrounded by a colonnade that offers modest shade and shelter. It is in the open-air courtyard that priests meet with visitors, receive gifts, and administer services.

3. Hypostyle Court
Immense graven columns, colorfully painted, support a flat wooden ceiling high overhead. Clerestory windows over the central aisle allow some illumination. This fully covered interior court begins the private areas of the temple closed to the public. An altar can be set up in front of the doors to the inner sanctum.

4. Closets
Locked storage areas contain ritual implements, supplies, and other goods.

5. Inner Sanctum
This room contains the cult image of the temple's primary deity.

6. Accessory Sanctums
These small chapels house the cults of subordinate saints or demigods.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

RPGs—A feather token

Too bad my submission to Paizo's RPG Superstar 2010 competition, the portable latrine, didn't make it to Round 2. The item below, released under the OGL, is superficially similar, and is what I used in my home game as part of "The Coils of Set".

Feather token—conveniently conveyable cesspit
Aura Strong conjuration; CL 12th
Slot —; Price 400 gp; Weight
Like any feather token, this wondrous item has a special power to suit a specific need, and can only be used once. Often created to assist military logistics, the conveniently conveyable cesspit aids in the quick construction of sanitary latrines and toilets. When cast onto a solid, nonliving, material surface on which the user is standing, it creates a hole or pit no more than 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep. This pit is fitted with a wooden toilet seat on the side adjacent to the user.
Requirements Craft Wondrous item, major creation, move earth, disintegrate; Cost 200 gp


Sean K. Reynolds points us to Shapeways, which appears to offer 3D printing on demand. Very cool stuff. Ceramicwombat offers stainless steel dice; Bathsheba offers mathematical sculptures like hypercubes; and there is stuff like gyroscopes, astrolabes, orreries, and rings. The company also has a StampMaker and RingPoem maker. They also have a cool blog.

Open Game License 1.0a

All Open Game Content on Panglott's Garden will be clearly marked as such and linked to this license.


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Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Panglott's Garden, Copyright 2009-2010, Jeremiah Rose.

Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

Tome of Horrors. Copyright 2002, Necromancer Games, Inc.; Authors: Scott Greene, with Clark Peterson, Erica Balsley, Kevin Baase, Casey Christofferson, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Patrick Lawinger, and Bill Webb; Based on original content from TSR.