Thursday, October 5, 2017

Superstition in Wermspittle (October 2017 Blog Carnival)

The Theme for this Month's RPG Blog Carnival is Superstitions and it is being hosted by the Of Dice and Dragons blog.

A Selection of Superstitions in Wermspittle

"There are things one does Always, Never, and Sometimes. So long as you remember that 'always' doesn't mean every time, that 'never' rarely lasts, and 'sometimes' is just another way of saying 'when it counts.' Like most everything else in life, these will be best defined each for themselves, according to experience and circumstance. In the meantime, let us cover a few of the most common folk practices and urban remedies you will likely encounter..."

Mistress Alicia's Compendium of Expectations, Explanations and Ettiquette
with Guidelines for Dueling, Dating and Discourse (both kind and dire)  
(Expurgated Third Edition),
Wermspittle 1156

Ahem. In Wermspittle it is considered expedient, efficacious and possibly estimable for one to (almost) always do the following...

  • Always mind your own business, especially as it pertains to your person, your mind, or any dealings for which you will be held accountable.
  • Always lock your door, seal any windows, and check under the bed before retiring. Salt, wards, charms or other such sorcerous or religious bric-a-brac will not defend or protect those who do not also use due diligence or good sense.
  • Always keep one eye out for opportunity. Of course, you may use the other one however else you like.
  • Always remember that loud noises attract attention and that in most instances, especially when one might be inclined to make a loud noise, such attention is very likely not desired; thus it behooves one to always carry some rags, old socks, or such-like in order to muffle things, or however else makes the most sense.
  • Always check your boots after traipsing through damp regions; a moment's offhanded inspection could save your toes, preserve your feet, or prevent you from a crippling deformity or even a nasty death.
  • Always use a stick to test for traps. Better yet--get someone else to do so for you. At a safe distance.
  • Always consider how your words might sound coming from the lips of an enemy. To prevent all but the most determined of foes from twisting your words after the fact, consider first sipping some green mead before engaging in any confrontational exposition or contested oratory.
  • Always check your bed before--and after--you lie in it.

...and to Never do these things for they are considered egregious, erroneous, and even evil in all the worst ways.
  • Never ask what kind of meat is being served, and by no means should one inquire as to how it was acquired.
  • Never leave a mirror un-covered, especially if it should be exposed to moonlight.
  • Never spill salt without following it with a flame or three unhallowed nails. No one knows the reason behind this practice. It's just something one does.
  • Never remove a stake, spike or similar device from any corpse, cadaver, or skeleton you might encounter under any circumstances. This is believed to be a hold-over from the old days when vampires where more common, but in any case it is a good idea nevertheless.
  • Never cheat the Little People. They never forget, rarely forgive, and can extract a terrible price for any perceived slights, trespasses or transgressions. Fortunately, they are often amenable to bribery, flattery or subterfuge.
  • Never shave on Wednesday.
  • Never accept a charm, talisman or amulet for free--these things always come at a cost, so make sure you are aware of what you will be expected to pay up front and not after the fact. Also, be certain to get a full and honest explanation of just what the thing is intended to do; never assume it will serve in a particular way, shape or form out of lazy ignorance and empty hope.
  • Never look a gift-horse in the mouth; one can learn far more from examining the beast for parasites, open sores and assorted diseases, maladies or poxes by use of a sliver of podgir horn, or better yet just ask an expert.
  • Never tamper with someone else's spirit-traps, small-bindings, or un-examined effigies unless you are properly prepared for the consequences. Keep in mind, almost no one is ever really, truly prepared for every eventuality.
  • Nothing ruins a friendship quite so thoroughly as an addiction, a debt, or a noble cause.
  • No charm ever offered more benefit to its buyer than it brought upon the one who crafted it in the first place.
  • Never engage in a pact you wouldn't feel inclined to have reversed against you.
  • Never accept a challenge to enter into the Mao Games unless you are surely ready to forfeit your soul...or worse...should you lose.
  • Never cheat a fortune-teller. If they are competent, they will know where, when and how best to ambush you or interfere with your plans. If they are incompetent, they probably have connections or friends in low places whom they can call upon to make your life more miserable than necessary while costing you far more than their initial fee.
  • Never wear new gloves to perform an old task. Likewise, never start a trip in new boots.

When circumstances dictate or an opportunity presents itself, it may be advantageous to do the following...

  • Sometimes it is better to love and lose than to hate and win, but that is philosophy and few have much patience for such tripe. Best to keep philosophy to a minimum in public. It is bad luck to enter into serious arguments without the soothing balm of good food and the social lubrication of liquor. Hungry, sober people make poor philosophers, lousy debaters, and worse audiences.
  • Only ever leave something to the experts if they are working on your behalf, or you have effective leverage over their actions. The second-best academic or authority is often far more pliable, amenable and susceptible to an entreaty, offer or request than the pre-eminent scholar or most respected author on a particular subject.
  • On occasion it can be beneficial to show kindness to strangers, so long as you are prepared to confront the unkindness of strangers, neighbors or your own kin in return.
  • Sometimes even the basest, foulest, most ridiculous rumor, lie or innuendo is preferable to the bald truth.
  • Only take-up protection against that which you feel is warranted -- of course it is often difficult to tell what is truly warranted or needful or appropriate until after things have run their course...after which time it is too late to take up any further such protection. So choose as best you can, then let it be; either you've chosen well, or you'll just have to do your best to muddle through.
  • Sometimes it is better to study another language than to rush to acquire a new spell.
  • Generosity will overcome most social ills, but it might cost dearly. Fear, however, will often serve as a more immediately useful goad to action, but where past generosity might accrue some benefit from the recipient's tardy recollection, fear never bears remembering and is seldom recalled without stirring up feelings of vengeance and wrath.
  • Sometimes even an ignorant lout has a better grasp of the fickle nature of fate, destiny, or luck than any prognosticator, diviner, scryer or the like.
  • Fire doesn't always kill everything. Pay attention. All things have vulnerabilities, if you but know where to look, what questions to ask, and apply the principles of informed observation. It is for this reason that a well-prepared person will carry more than one kind of weapon, damage-inflicting utensil, or a range of harmful substances to test-out as called for by the prevailing circumstances. It is also a good idea to just not get in a fight with things you don't understand how to kill in the first place...if that is an option.

Last Month's Blog Carnival was hosted by Roleplaying Tips,
The theme was 'Short Dungeons & Adventures,
and you can find the Summary/Index post here.

The RPG Blog Carnival this month is hosted by the Of Dice and Dragons blog with the theme 'Superstitions.' Check out the RPG Blog Carnival page as well as the Archives for past Carnivals over at John Four's Role Playing Tips site.


  1. I like these! I might have to adopt some of these for my games.

  2. Wermspittle is the most underrated thing in the OSR.

    If you ever put out a WS setting book, I'll be first in line.


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