Category Archives: Hubris Campaign Setting

Hubris Session 3- Exploring Undra the Great Spire

It’s been awhile since we’ve continued our monthly Hubris game as we took three sessions to playtest the first draft of my first Hubris module.   The playtest was quite a bit of fun and the group had a great time fighting orcs on a train!

Aside: Hubris PDF and POD here.


Angie- Human Thistle Druid- level 1.  Named Ageo.

Nate- Avarian Trickster- level 1.  Named Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch.

Tyler- Mutant (squishy, oddly-shaped body, flamingo legs, and ant colony in his veins that he can release once per day as an attack)- level 1.  Named “Ant” Squishy.

Jamie- Human Cleric  (follower of Set)- level 1.  Named Spike.

Not Present This Session

Kevin- Human Thief- level 1.  Named Herr Schmierkase (means cottage cheese in German)

Emma- Half Demon- level 1

Sammi- Human Blood Witch- level 1.  Named Willow

Strolling Through the Grand Bazaar

I decided to draw a picture of how I saw Undra in my mind to help orient the players.  I have MAD art skillz.


We kicked off our session this session with the group standing on the first level of the Grand Bazaar, taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells.  The group decided that the first priority was to figure out what the scroll found on the body of the beastmen they killed last session said.  They debated just going to the top level of Undra and turning over the piece of paper to the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun, but figured they wouldn’t be able to find out what it means.

They decided to mill around the bazaar and see if anyone could translate the document, or at least recommend someone who could.


Example layout of the Grand Bazaar

Spike, cleric of Set, noticed an ancient looking woman in drab clothing making exquisite sculptures.  He recognized her necklace (that of an open book) as the holy symbol of the God of the Terrible Whisper.  Spike approached the old woman and struck up a conversation with her.


“I’m actually only 40 years old!”

Spike and the old woman talked about the fickle love of their gods- Spire referring to the serpentine-like scars over his eyes for gaining Set’s disapproval.  The old woman laughed and showed him the start of a clubbed/deformed hand and said, “I have angered my god many times…  I am actually only 40 years old!”

Spike began inquiring about a sculpture on a shelf behind the old woman; it was of the Four Gorgons of Desire- four female humanoid bodies all merging together onto one serpentine body.  Spike noticed the same elegant script as found on the letter.

The woman looked at a piece of paper and read the translation, “Beware the serpents, for all wait in the dark, ready to strike.”

Spike asked if she was able to translate the language.

“No.  I do not know it.”

“Where might we get something translated?”

She coughed and spat a large phlegm ball, “Go to Junk Town.  Top level.  You’ll find a dilapidated library for the God of the Terrible Whisper.  Inside you’ll find The Watcher.  You’ll know him when you see him.  He can help you.”

The group thanked her for her time, tipped her some copper pieces and went on their way.

Ageo, the Thistle Druid, tried to haggle with an old hag for some healing potions, but instead was offered a thick bubbling black liquid that the woman claimed to be rejuvenating potions.  Ageo asked what they did.

“Why they keep you alive silly girl!  Would you believe that I am 190 years old?!  And I’m a HUMAN!”


Ageo got the hell out of dodge and the group decided it was time to venture down into Junk Town.

The group took the elevators down to the top level of Junk Town and were amazed by the amount of clutter, refuse, and junk piled in the area.  Large tubes poked through the ceiling, dumping garbage at a steady stream.  Some tubes went through the level, disappearing into the floor to drop their contents on another level of Junk Town.

Ant Squishy used his hound dog ability to see if he could detect any nearby mutants.  After a few seconds he felt four mutants nearby.  He walked up to the first one- a lithe cloaked female and attempted to strike up a conversation.

“Do you know where the Watcher is?”

“Wwwhhhat do you want with meeeee?”

The woman turned and revealed a slender serpentine face, extremely long arms with spider leg-like fingers.  She was filthy and looked hungry.

The group talked to her for a few minutes, eventually she said they needed to go on a sky bridge to another district.  There they would find the library they were seeking.


Ageo gave her four copper pieces for the info and the group turned to leave.  I had Angie make a Luck roll- she failed.  Unfortunately, other hungry scavengers in the area noticed Ageo’s generosity and decided to take the coins from the woman.

The group turned and told the group of men to leave the woman be.  The braggarts, no doubt bolstered by their numbers, decided it would be a good idea to mug the party instead.  With the distraction, the woman disappeared into the junk piles.

Crimshaw decided to transform from his Avarian form into a human one.  Bones snapped and popped, poking through his flesh, as mucus-like fluid oozed from his flesh.  All the bandits were horrified and nauseated at this sight.  Ageo pulled out her bone spear and gutted the first thug while Ant Squishy released his ant horde on a thug.  Spike channeled the wrath of Set and bellowed “Bow!” and pointed his finger down.  Three of the four remaining thugs did so.  The fourth made a run for it, disappearing around a large pile of junk.  With a final shriek, the man being attacked by Ant Squishy’s ants died.  The group made their way towards the land bridge, while Ageo stayed behind to completely castrate all the other men so they would think twice about their actions against women.


Sample map for Junk Town

Aside: I’m taking a page of Vornheim’s book on generating city territory as needed.  I wanted to have a sample floor ready for my players to explore Junk Town.  What I decided for Undra is that some floors wouldn’t be completely delved out into a cavernous hollow.  Instead they would be delved into large “rooms.”  So I created a chart (see below) that would tell me what the shape of the room is.  Then simply connect them via passages or sky bridges.  

District Shape
Roll 1d6 Result
1 Triangle
2 Square
3 Circle
4 Rectangle
5 Diamond
6 Pentagon

The group made their way into the next district and found the library in the distance.  The group entered the old building, which was a large pillar of rocked connecting the floor to the ceiling of the district.  Inside was a monk of the God of the Terrible Whisper, sorting through books that were still in decent conditions from those that needed repair and replacement.

Spike asked after the Watcher.  The monk was hesitant to give out such info, but a few coins for the cause of repairing such important books, loosened his tongue.  “Go through this archway to the central chamber.  There you’ll find many of my order repairing these books.  The Watcher is in there.”

I then asked each of the group to create a quick story based on an emotional aspect (I used my Bonds thinger).  I gave them a few minutes and then asked them for their story.

The group made their way into a large central room, torches in brackets with eeirie cool blue light illuminating the area.  Several monks bent over desks scribbling away, repairing books.  In the far end of the room, the light faded, but a large shape could be seen.

The group entered the room and then the sound of heavy pages being flipped filled the room.  A soft, but strong voice began speaking.  It summarized a challenging time for Ant Squishy, where is arrogance nearly cost him everything… Then it spoke of the alienating feeling Ageo has with others, not sure they understand the importance of nature and its balance… Crimshaw caused the death of a comrade due to his greed and (at the time) lack of skills… and finally Spike was worried about not being worth of Set and that his god would abandon him, or worse, punish him…  All the while, the pages kept flipping.  The figure stood, massive, and covered in shadow.  The figure began walking towards the group, the sound of heavy bare feet slapping against the rock floor.

Coming into the light was The Watcher.

Monster 11

“All these stories are in the annuals of time… One simply has to know where to read.  What do you need of me?”

And that’s where we left off.  It was a fun (albeit short) session.  We will be playing again at the end of May.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the players interact with The Watcher and more delving into Junk Town.

The group is torn between staying in Undra and finding work and coins (i.e., hunting beastmen, picking up other odd jobs, etc), getting the scroll translated by The Watcher (or someone else), or saying screw all and packing up and heading to Razar in the Unsettled Expanse (because several in the group wants to go hunt fucking dinosaurs!).

Hubris Review Round Up!


Entrails Reader and Conspiracy Theorist Occupations by David Lewis Johnson

For older review click here, here, and here.

Aside: If you’re interested in DIY RPG Productions apparel, you can find that here!

Hubris has been out for a couple months now, both PDF and POD and a few more reviews have come out in that time.  If you’re still on the fence about nabbing Hubris, these may answer some of your questions about the setting.  Here are a few questions answered here.

Edit: I’m a total jerk and forgot to include Christopher Helton’s great review of Hubris!  I am a bad person.

Murder Machine 1

Murder Machine Action shot by Jeremy Duncan

Erik Tenkar has done a piece on the book.  Here’s a snippet, “I’ve reviewed part of this book and it is simply amazing. Solid 5 star reviews on RPGNow”.

Sophia Brandt did a great review of the book not too long ago.

Noism did a mini review of the book over at Monsters and Manuals.

Canyons of the Howling Red Rock

Canyons of the Howling Red Rock with a Red Colossus by Angie Groves

And finally two new reviews have popped up on Drivethru/RPG Now.

One be a Derek H

In addition to all the previous reviews there is one high point for Hubris- it may have the best section on gods found within all Dungeon Crawl Classics supplements. Other sources provide plenty of wizard patrons and few have paid any attention to clerics and their gods. Hubris not only provides some new examples of the divine, it adds a new spell-like mechanic for calling directly upon them for a miracle. Another high point is the few pages devoted to wizard spell books and how they reflect their master and their master’s patron, if any.

This setting skeleton is just about perfect for a DIY Judge who wants ideas and generators rather than concrete examples. It isn’t a six star product, but it does deserve a five.

And here is another review by an anonymous reviewer:

I suck at writing reviews. I keep trying to start and other than saying “This book is amazing” I struggle to put the words together to express my opinions. Usually because I don’t think I’m critical enough of a product. There’s no way, for example, that a book can be this good…no offense intended to Mike Evans, but nothing is perfect, there are always areas to improve…especially when you’re talking about a monster tome the size of Hubris, and also a company’s first product release? Come on. I’m sure there was tons that could have been done better with Santa is Dead, but I have the luxury of that product not getting scrutinized year round and being viewed through the lens of a christmas farce (although it’s truly anything but, thanks to the amazing talents of Evey Lockhart and team).

But there is nothing bad I can say about Hubris, other than maybe I want more out of it, but I’ve no time to play it. That’s not Mike’s fault though, that’s my own…so even that isn’t a problem with the product in any way, shape, or form.

This is a hefty book that you need to physically have at the table. Not because you need to flip back and forth and reference it constantly, but because you’ll want to. You’ll want to turn to a random page and pull out a detail and use it. You’ll want to throw your players into the middle of this world and set them loose upon a place that yearns to destroy them…no, to change them, to warp them until they are as twisted and infected by the cruelty that permeates this massive landscape.

There are terrible things here, wonderful in their awfulness, and this place begs to be explored in its entirety. Which may be an impossible task; but you’ll find yourself coming back to it again and again, as I have, looking for inspiration.

I just wish I had something critical to say. Maybe when I’ve finally run it, and finished it, and can say “There wasn’t enough in this book”, but I honestly doubt that will happen.

Which is a shame, because if the bar is set this high by Mike Evans, what hope do I have of putting out something better?


Even the demon imps that kill your character and eat eyeballs have a good time in Hubris!  Art by Wayne Snyder

Hubris Print on Demand is Now Available! As is New DIY RPG Productions Apparel Page



Hubris is FINALLY out on POD on both Drivethru and Lulu (although Lulu is softcover only)!  I am thrilled the Hubris is finally out and done!

I want to thank everyone for their excitement, support, and interest in my book!  This project has taken six years of my life to write, but it was a fun challenge and I’ve learned quite a large amount about creating RPG books, project managing, etc.

This isn’t the end for Hubris by any means.  I currently have a 3rd level adventure in playtesting that will be released this year (hopefully) as well as a supplement in the future.  Also, there are other DIY RPG Productions works coming out this year and next.

I’ve also created a DIY RPG Productions Apparel page if anyone wants to buy a t-shirt, coffee mug, etc.!

Cthulhu- Invoke the Name Mechanics for Hubris and DCC

The other day I did a blog post about Illithids and how I would run them in my Hubris campaign (or DCC in general).

I wanted to create Invoke the Name rules (found in Hubris: A Visceral World of Adventure).  The basic jist is once per day a cleric can speak the name of their god, channeling immense power with just that one word.  The cleric rolls 1d20+Personality Modifier+level and consults the table.


Behold the Great Cthulhu


Here’s the PDF version: cthulhu-invoke-the-name




A person loses their mind from the terrible corrupting power of Cthulhu




The holy symbol for a Cleric of Cthulhu

Thoughts on Illithids for Dungeon Crawl Classics and Hubris


Cody Mazza asked if I would post a Discussion of the Day over on G+ about Mindflayers (he also did a blog post about them).  There are many good comments about how people handle them, but it got me thinking about what I would do if I inserted Illithids into my Hubris (or a Dungeon Crawl Classics) game.



I think of Illithids as beings from the native plane that worshiped Chaos (were they elves that fell too far down the well in their magical experimentation, were they humans that dabbled with powers no human should meddle with or are they a long-forgotten race now obliterated from history?).  In their pursuit and devotion of Chaos, they broke through the barrier and touched it.  These beings tapped into this unlimited power (perhaps even leaving the native plane for thousands of years) and harnessed it, learning dark and nefarious secrets of the cosmos.  This grand knowledge and power came with a terrible price, however.  By feasting on Chaos, their bodies were altered, becoming vile, twisted, and evil.

Thus the Illithid was born.

Illithids are Chaos junkies.  They feast on it.  Without it they are nothing, reduced to a weakened pathetic creature.  Going too long without feasting on Chaos will permanently reduce an Illithid into a Husk.

Through their exploration of Chaos, the Illithids touched the consciousness of the great Cthulhu and were cowed, becoming devoted servants of this great being.

Illithids feast on humanoid brains because they lack a sense of self.  They have hideous intelligence, but without the sense of self, they become apathetic and listless.  When an Illithid consumes the brains of a target, their personality reemerges and they become motivated and devious.  An Illithid also gains all knowledge and memories of their victim while full from their “feast”.  An Illithid usually consumes one humanoid brain every two weeks, but can go up to a month before they begin to succumb to the ravages of starvation.

Illithids are corruptors.  Everything they touch becomes slimy, covered in stringy bits of ectoplasm and sticky mucous.  Spend too long in the company of an Illithid and this corrupting influence will begin to manifest physically and mentally on an individual.  Slaves of Illithids often lose their minds within a few short weeks and eventually become loyal thralls to their masters.


An Illithis Slave: once a human, now a monster

They have no fashion, instead wearing cobbled together clothing they find in ancient armories or taken from their victims.  Somehow this cobbled together aesthetic gives the illusion of fashion to the Illithids eneimes.

Illithid’s are covetous and easily jealous of the belongings and achievements of others.  This is reflected in their society.  Illithids constantly scheme, backstab, and attempt to thwart one another in an attempt to gain power, notoriety, and knowledge.  There is only one way to climb the ladder in Illithid society: murder.

Illithids are cunning and rarely attack head on, instead using trickery, illusions, slaves, or beasts in their stead.  However, should an Illithid attack, they are not to be underestimated.  They are powerful spell casters and have the ability to blast a target with psychic energy, stunning and disorientating them.



Decide whether the Illithid is an Arcane or Divine caster.

Divine casters are worshippers of Cthulhu and use clerical spells and add a Cthulhu-style bend to them them.

Consider the rank you want for the Illithid and consult the tables below.

Illithid Statistics by Rank


HD AC Initiative Attack Modifier Action Die Fort Reflex Will Claws Damage Target DCs for Special Attacks
1 1-2 9-13 +1 +1 to +3 1d20 +1 +2 +4 1d3 8-12
2 3-5 10-14 +3 +3 to +6 1d20 +2 +4 +6 1d4 12-14
3 5-7 13-16 +5 +5 to +10 1d24 +4 +6 +9 1d6 14-18
4 7-10 15-20 +7 +8 to +15 2d20 +5 +7 +9 1d8 18-20
5 10-20 17-22 +10 +12 to +18 2d24 +7 +9 +13 2d6




Illithid Rank


1 Low-light vision 30’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+2 check)
2 Low-light vision 50’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+5 check)
3 Low-light vision 60’, darkvision 30’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+7 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 1 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 2-3 HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.  Targets of 4+ HD are immune to this effect.
4 Low-light vision 80’, darkvision 50’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+12 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 2 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 3-4 HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.  Targets of 5+ HD are immune to this effect.
5 Low-light vision 120’, darkvision 60’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+18 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 4 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 5+ HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.



Illithid Caster

Rank Arcane Spell Level Arcane Spells Known Cleric Spell Level Divine Spells Known
1 2 3 1 4
2 3 6 2 7
3 4 9 3 10
4 5 12 4 12
5 5 16 5 14



Illithid Rank Immunities
1 Half damage from non-magical weapons
2 Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 2 HD or less.
3 Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 3HD or less.
4 Immune to weapons of +2 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures 4 HD or less.
5 Immune to weapons of +3 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures 5 HD or less.



Illithid Mindblast
Check Result Effect
1 Mindblown.  Roll 1d8: Headache- 1-5) stunned for 1d5 rounds; 6) Hemorrhage- suffer 2d6 damage; 7) Migraine- fall unconscious for 1d8 hours; 8) Scanner- Brain explodes.  Killed instantly.
2-11 Mind-numb.  Can’t use ability again for 1 hour.
12-13 The Illithid blasts a target within 30’ with psychic energy for 3d6 damage.  Target can make a Will save for half damage.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 2d5 rounds.
14-15 The Illithid blasts a target within 60’ with psychic energy for 3d6 damage and stunned for 1d4 rounds.  Target can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 2d4 rounds.
16-17 The Illithid blasts a target within 90’ with psychic energy for 5d6 damage and stunned for 1d4 rounds.  Target can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d8 rounds.
18-19 The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 5d6 damage and stunned for 2d3 rounds or blast two targets within 5’ of one another for 3d6 damage and stunning them for 1d4 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d6 rounds.
20-21 The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 6d6 damage and stunned for 2d5 rounds or blast two targets within 10’ of one another for 4d6 damage and stunning them for 2d3 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d5 rounds.
22+ The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 7d6 damage and stunned for 3d3 rounds or blast three targets within 15’ of one another for 4d6 damage and stunning them for 2d3 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d3 rounds.


Battling Beastmen and Arrival at Undra, the Great Spire- Hubris Season 2

This week my group and I continued our adventures in Hubris.


Angie- Human Thistle Druid- level 1.  Named Ageo.

Nate- Avarian Trickster- level 1.  Named Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch.

Tyler- Mutant (squishy, oddly-shaped body, flamingo legs, and ant colony in his veins that he can release once per day as an attack)- level 1.  Named “Ant” Squishy.

Kevin- Human Thief- level 1.  Named Herr Schmierkase (means cottage cheese in German)

Jamie- Human Cleric  (follower of Set)- level 1.  Named Spike.

Not Present This Session

Emma- Half Demon- level 1

Sammi- Human Blood Witch- level 1.  Named Willow

Aside: Art pictured is from the Hubris campaign setting unless indicated in the caption.


We began the session by recapping Herr Schmierkase‘s failed scouting attempt on a fort occupied by vicious beastmen, being discovered, and then the group running pell mell away (watch the video below), finally losing them, and hiding and making camp.


The session stared with the group continuing to make their way to Undra, when the sounds of combat greeted their ears.  The group decided to do some recon before charging into battle.

Ageo used her Animal Shape ability to transform into a hawk.  She rolled her manifestation and rolled a four.  Every time she uses this ability, roots shoot up from the ground burrow into her flesh, tearing it away.  Globs of clear liquid oozed from the wounds, as her skin fell away, falling loosely to the ground, revealing a hawk.

Ageo soared into the sky and saw twelve beastmen attacking a band of humans.  Bodies littered the ground, a cart was overturned, and only six men were left fighting. Ageo sped back to the ground, transformed back into her normal form, and relayed the information to the group.

The group got close to the battle and observed the humans being overwhelmed and slaughtered.  Five beastmen resembled anthropomorphic hyenas and one was human-shaped with the head of a fly and large wings on its back.  This one had a wicked-looking halberd and was sucking the brains of a man with its pseudotrachea.

Herr Schmierkase used his thiefy ability to sneak up on an unsuspecting beastman and fire a crossbow bolt through his head, blowing the creature’s brains out.

Spike, a worshiper of Set, attempted to sneak up on a beastman that was gnawing on a dead humans leg failed miserably and was attacked by the creature.  Jame was viciously stabbed by the creature and its comrade, dropping to zero HP before combat even really began.

With Spike getting the group discovered, battle ensued and was pretty brutal. Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch was attacked by the fly beastman, nearly gutting him with his halberd and put him at 1 HP remaining while Ageo and “Ant” Squishy were dropped below 3/4 of their HP.

The combination of attacks from the group and human NPCs eventually overwhelmed the beastmen and they were slaughtered.

A health potion was used on Spike to revive him as well as Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch and “Ant” Squishy.  After regaining his senses, Spike prayed to Set for the blessing of healing to restore Ageo to full health.

While the group caught a breath and the human survivors looked over their dead and righted their toppled cart, “Ant” Squishy set to looting the bodies.  A few pouches of gold, silver, and copper, some wicked-looking jagged short swords, the badass halberd, and a crumpled rolled up parchment were taken from the bodies.

The parchment was unrolled, revealing an elegantly written script that none of the group immediately recognized.  Atop the scroll was a strange image (see below). Crimshaw of the 7th Clutchlooked over the script and, while he was  unable to read it, he recognized the language.  It was an ancient language used by a cult, the Black Serpent.  He had heard the cult had been spreading throughout northern Hubris and was known for its reverence of snakes, but he heard rumors it got its start on the southern continent.


The Mark of the Four Gorgons- Not from Hubris

New Allies

Wandering up from the group of humans was a bald man with a braided beard and wearing a black leather skirt.  He introduced himself as Fabian, the leader of the band.  He thanked them for their help, for surely they would have been killed by the Beastmen.  The group accepted the thanks, and showed Fabian the scroll.

Fabian spit on the ground at the sight of the image atop the page.  “That is the symbol of the Four Gorgons of Desire!  They are hideous creatures that rule from Xynath, the Shattered Keep.  The keep used to be a monastery for the monks and priests of the God of the Terrible Whisper, but the Four Gorgons and their beastmen overran it, slaughtered everyone inside, and have used it as a stronghold ever since.  They lay siege to the human territories of Undra, slaughtering us wherever they find us.”


The Four Gorgons of Desire- art by David Lewis Johnson

The group agreed to travel with the remaining humans to Undra.  Fabian presented Ageo with a small sack as way of thanks for their help in saving their lives.  Within the sack was 50 gold, some torches, a smoke bomb, a glue flask, and a small metal ball, much like a cannon ball, and a metal crown (constructed of the same metal).

Fabian pointed at the metal objects, “We found the crown and ball on a skeleton in the Unsettled Expanse, near the Metallic Fortress of End Times.  Closest we ever got to that place.  We’re not sure what it does, or if it is even magical.  Figured you may have more luck with it.”

Ageo tried it on, forgetting that to wear anything metal is to cut herself off from nature.  She felt her powers leave her (heh… she’ll remember not to do that anymore- which got me no small amounts of dirty looks from my wife).

Undra, the Great Spire

The group could see the  massive 2,000′ high boulder even from a distance.  As they got closer, they were awed by this wonder.  Patios, bridges, ladders, windows, and outcroppings were all delved into the outside of the boulder.

The group funneled through a shanty town of settlers outside the spire.  Tents, rickety wooden structures, and hovels lined the road.  A large gate barred access to the recesses of Undra, several guards moved through the crowds, collecting taxes, inspecting goods, moving beggars along.  The guards were wearing leather skirts with golden leather breast plates, an emblem of a sun setting behind the canyons on it, and a helmet with a black crest on top.  They were armed with shields, short swords, and a short spear.


The Royal Guard of the Setting Sun.  Elite soldiers of Undra.  Picture not in Hubris


As the group made it to the gate, they were greeted by a Praetorian.  His armor was similar to the other guards, but his helmet was gold with a red crest.  After exchanging greetings and asking their business in the Great Spire, the group poked Fabian to explain what happened and how they all met.

The Praetorian was highly impressed that the group risked themselves for strangers.  He waived the 5g each entry fee to the spire and allowed them to pass. “Ant” Squishy asked where the group should go in this monstrous city.  “Take the lift up to the 249th floor of the spire.  That is the start of the Grand Bazaar.  You’ll find any supplies you need.  You’ll also be able to find someone to translate that scroll for you.  If you’re looking for work, head to the top level and visit the headquarters of my order, the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun.  We are always looking for brave souls willing to fight against the beastmen.

The group bid the Praetorian farewell and boarded the lift.  The smell of sweat, refuse, and sounds of daily toil were found on the first levels.  Insufficient lighting made it impossible to see very far.  As the group rose higher, the smell of garbage still hung in the air, but torches and lanterns could be seen delved into the lift’s walls, and outside on the inhabited area.  Fabian pointed at an area, “that’s Junk Town.  Shady lot lives there.  Won’t find anything good with those rabble.  Elevator doesn’t even stop on these floors.  You have to crawl down from the higher floors.”

The lift slowly continues to go up and torches and lanterns become more prevalent.  Eventually the group starts seeing glowing orbs on the wall, like little bits of sun.  The group begins seeing large delved structures and houses.  It is clear that these are the residences of nobles and the wealthy.  After a long ride up, the sounds of garbled noise of thousands of voices echoes through the elevator shaft.  The lift stops and the group sees a huge reflective pool in front of them, the ceiling magically enchanted look as if it were the sky (a gorgeous blue) with the sun high above.  People are swimming.  Tents and structures of every kind, some dilapidated and poor, others extravagant with bright vibrant canvas, or delved into the walls.  Other vendors built atop of one another.  The group starred at this huge market. Fabian chuckled, “Welcome first timers, to the Grand Bazaar.

We ended here and gave out experience.  The group (most of them) are just under halfway to level 2 (and they are chomping at the bit for that).

It was a fun session, albeit short (only two hours).

Before we parted I asked the group what they wanted to do next session.  Here was the vote:

  • Explore the Bazaar.
  • Investigating Four Gorgons of Desire and get scroll translated.
  • Resupply.
  • Gain info on Unsettled Expanse and see if its somewhere worth going.
  • Root around Junk Town.  See if there is some fun (and profit) to be had there.

Info on Undra (from Hubris, pg 84)

The metropolis of Undra has been a work in progress for millennia, with artisans constantly delving out and shaping the monstrous 2,000’ high boulder in which the city was created. Most citizens of Undra do not know the history of when their great city was founded, nor do any of those who live throughout Hubris. That information is carefully guarded in the secret Halls of the Imprisoned Queen, which lies in the depths of the earth, below the very foundries and base of the city.

The warm weather of Undra is more hospitable and welcoming than the other areas of Hubris, allowing people to wear light flowing robes or togas, rather than bulky clothing for warmth.

The Grand Bazaar makes up roughly one quarter of Undra, almost reaching the top echelon of the spire. The bazaar sells almost anything one can imagine from around the world, and some things, merchants have even claimed, from worlds beyond.

The top level of Undra is home to the nobles, the Offices of the High Merchant who oversees the Grand Bazaar, the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun, and the Palace of the Searing Sun, where Queen Valandria rules her court. The people of Undra consider her a goddess of the sun as she is always first and last to be touched by its warmth on Hubris.

The poor live on the lower levels, mostly in Junk Town. These vagrants, lowlifes, and ne’er-do-wells sell illegal and discarded objects that they find in the refuse heaps that gather in their areas.

Undra has been at war with the Four Gorgons and their beastmen armies for 5 years.


This is not in Hubris.  I found this piece when I first started the concept phase/flushing out Hubris and it really inspired me to create a massive city.  Undra was the result. 

Hubris Has Gone Silver, a Great Review By Jeff Rients, and T-Shirts COMING SOON!

This has been a grand weekend!  I got to go cross country skiing for the first time in two years (I couldn’t go last season due to wrist surgery- insert your choice of “spanking it” jokes here)!  I also saw that Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure went silver on Drivethru RPG and even BETTER Jeff Rients posted an awesome review of Hubris on his blog!  I have long respected Jeff’s work on his blog and his standing in the OSR community, so having him enjoy my book is very humbling and exciting!

Here are a few clips of the review:

Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure is a 350 page campaign setting from Mike Evans.  When I first opened the PDF file I hesitated for a moment, because I’ve reached a point in my life where a two or three hundred page infodump does not meet my needs as a referee.  Fortunately, Mike understands this problem and offers a solution to it.  But I’ll get to that in a bit.


My favorite parts of the book require no real changes whatsoever, while much of the rest can be adapted with just a little tinkering.


As I paged through Hubris I got a very specific vibe from it.  That vibe is playing D&D inside the World of Heavy Metal Album Covers.  Eddie from Iron Maiden would fit into the world of Hubris, as would lycanthropic Ozzy barking at the moon.  Korgoth of Barbaria would probably do well for himself in this setting.


One way Hubris communicates how this world differs from others is by offering a bunch of new options for PCs.  I highly approve this method because new stuff enters play organically, rather than being pooped out in boxed text the DM has to read aloud.

and finally:

The real meat of this book is chapter 3, called “Territories of Hubris”.  In about a hundred pages ten regions of the world are detailed.  The format here makes all the difference.  Instead of an encyclopedia entry, we get the following format for each locale:
  • A few short paragraphs giving the basics of the region.
  • A d100 “Lay of the Land” chart providing thumbnail sketches of locations in the region.
  • A d100 encounter chart for the region
  • One or more brief write-ups for special locations, with rumors/adventure hooks
  • Some extra thing unique to the region, like rules for eating the mushrooms of the Bogwood Swamp

The trick here is that, taken together, this stuff is suggestive rather than comprehensive in nature.  Pick a region (or roll d10), throw percentile dice a couple of times, and select an adventure hook.  The result isn’t a complete adventure but it is sufficient to launch sketching out an evening’s gameplay.  You can’t move across this world strategically and explore every nook and cranny, as one could with a numbered hex map style campaign book, but you can easily achieve the effect of the Ace paperback version of Conan the Barbarian, where individual adventures are loosely connected.  I’m quite taken with this approach.  It makes me rethink what the heck I’m doing with my own campaign setting.

Again, I want to extend a huge thanks to everyone who has reached out prior to and after the Hubris release to express their interest and appreciation of the book!  It’s been a very awesome and kick ass experience!

I am nearly done with the first draft of the a Hubris adventure.  I plan on this being a level 3 adventure, however I’ll need to playtest it to see if the numbers are right.  I’ll most likely run some G+ Hangout games after I fine tune the mechanics with my home groups.


I am expecting the proofs of the softcover version of Hubris to arrive at my house any day now!  If they look good and I’m Jake with them, they’ll be up for sale on Drivethru/RPGNow very soon.  The Hardcover formatting took some tweaking and I have submitted it to Drivethru for approval.  Once that happens, I’ll request my proofs!

I will soon have DIY rpg shirts for sale in the near future!  For those who want to support DIY RPG Productions, but don’t want a huge middle finger on your chest, I have created a “PC” friendly logo!  The shirts will be coming soon.


Art by David Lewis Johnson