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Friday, April 25, 2014

The Ladies of the Night in the Forgotten Realms

V is for VAULT... as in, THE DOOMVAULT
Heads up, partner. This blog post is about "ladies of the evening", if you know what I mean. The more you scroll down, the dirtier this post gets.

It looks like I'll be testing out some Spelljammer D&D Next stuff tomorrow night, we'll see how that goes.

The great Dungeons Master site has all the news on the new D&D Encounters adventure. Here's some of what we learned:

- It's a mega dungeon. Awesome.
- The PCs start at 6th level. This means my players get to keep using their characters! Thank you!
- Free cool black dice for everybody! YUSS
The Anti-Life Equation?
This has got me very excited about Encounters, which is... some kind of miracle.

I become darkly amused when I read how this dungeon can be run with multiple groups going through it at the same time. I can barely get one table of Encounters running at my store. Nobody... and I mean nobody... wants to DM the Encounters program around here except me. Personally I'd much rather DM than play, but apparently I'm in the minority.

Ed Greenwood's online archive continues to be a treasure trove of ideas useful for any D&D campaign. His list of nicknames for prostitutes is so long it goes beyond parody. It is unreal how much thought was put into this.

I also found some other cool stuff, like: 

Godspawn: These are plants that contain the essence of the deities. If allowed to fully grow, they can become spare bodies for the gods. What a cool idea. Maybe there's a hidden godspawn garden somewhere, with empty bodies sitting in huge pea pods.

"...both Eldath and Silvanus have spawned spare bodies for themselves in the form of various plants that remain small, exquisitely-shaped, never-dying (no matter how abused or neglected) specimens unless or until either deity sees the need for a new avatar-body in Faerûn - - whereupon they manifest within the plants, able to see, speak, cast spells, and so on normally as the plant swiftly expands in size and grows human-like limbs.

At any given time, either deity will have over forty of these 'proto-bodies' waiting, all over Faerûn, and some of them may well be found and "harvested" for houseplant use thanks to their superb appearances and vigor. They may never see divine use, and possession of them gives a being no power over, or direct link to, the deities at all - - but the deities can sense what happens to each of these plants, nd can travel into any of them at will, either perceiving, speaking, and casting spells through it (which need not affect its appearance at all), or actually possessing it (which will cause it to grow and transform).

So PCs beware: while leaning over your potted plants, don't murmur any curses against Eldath or Silvanus - - or you may taste retribution."

The Thareea: You've probably asked yourself, how do adventurers wipe themselves? Ed has you covered:

Question: "What do adventurers do for the wiping of the behind when deep into a dungeon or similar areas? No leaves, no vinegar, no moss... hummm... what about my cloak of protection +3?"

Ed replies: "Adventurers typically carry along (in a belt pouch, or sometimes strapped to boots [under the cuffs of turned-down bucket-top boots, for instance]) a thareea (the scented brown bum-wiping cloths, for those who missed my earlier replies) folded and wrapped in an oiled-innards leather pouch.

Wipe with just one side of it, fold it up around that soiled side, and rinse (in a pool, stream downstream from where drinking water's taken) or wipe (on grass, for example) it clean, the first chance they get - - and wash it properly as soon as they can."

Amazing. I can't even... wow. And now we come to the main event! Your game will never be the same!!

Can we not...?
 "...what are specifically Realmsian terms for prostitutes? I don't mean the specialty... ah... ladies... such as Calimport's bearded entertainers..."

Cue record scratch noise. Bearded entertainers?! Are they talking about bearded dwarven women?? WHAT

"...(whom you have already dealt with at length).."


"...but the everyday, run-of-the-mill sex professional. Also, are there specific "terms of art" to refer to the entertainers from Kara Tur and other such exotic locales who might be considered prostitutes by the undiscerning, but who really do "just" entertain in intimate situations without doing the wild thing?"

Ed responds with a list. A list of THIRTY FOUR NICKNAMES. I'm going to give you the highlights:
A classic Larry Elmore Warmflanks of Nulb

Bedwarmers: " can imply either gender, and everything from a personal maid who literally warms a rented bed with a bedpan and then departs, perhaps never being seen by the renter, to a regular companion hired repeatedly by a given traveler on every visit to a given establishment; usually means "good, hard-working, trustworthy prostitute"

A rented bed with a bedpan??

Snakehips: "An exhibitionist and willing sexual partner who is either contortionist or acrobatic, or "willing to try" precarious sites for trysts, such as rooftops, high tree boughs, atop wagons, high windowsills, hanging from ropes or balconies, on horseback, and so on; again, need not be a professional"

Hanging from ropes, you say? My spidey sense is tingling.

Willing-arms: "...usually used to refer to a village whore, as in "ah, this'll be the local willing-arms"

Warmflanks: "A very 'polite' way of referring to prostitutes; can be said in polite social conversations by or in the hearing of anyone, including disapproving old matrons and children."

Everyone should own at least one prostitute mini

Whiplovers: "... its use broadened to include masochists venerating Ilmater, and finally all sexual masochists; recently, has seen use in Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan as a term for those who offer their bodies to be whipped in return for coin"

2 silver per whippin'!

Footwarmer: "...the term literally means to provide companionship in bed for the lonely, so they have a warm body to warm their feet against; increasingly, this term is applied to aging, less athletic and adventurous prostitutes."

She-eel: "A snarled near-curse, implying someone who teases, takes coin, and then slips away [or robs clients], OR an approving advertisement for someone very supple and willing to use her skills for adventurous sex or to increase the pleasure of clients."

Banner: "A male prostitute."

What, no description? Are there He-eels? Why don't we pause here and take in Gary Gygax's own AD&D HARLOT ENCOUNTER TABLE:

A saucy tart!
Darksail: "Someone who makes love for pay while masked, or with identity magically disguised; originally many elves and half-elves of Waterdeep used a "shiftmask" spell that covered their faces - - except for their eyes - - in amorphous darkness; this spell is sometimes cast for hire on wealthy wives and husbands who want to "cheat" at masked revels... 

...the spell can also be cast to cloak most of the body, so once garments are removed, the body can be felt more than it can be seen, an aid in concealing wrinkles, or identifying marks that betray identity"

That's a cool one. Well, except the wrinkles. If they are elves, remember that their ears are erogenous zones.

Slyblade: "Prostitute who dresses as a man, to woo female clients or as protection against the disapproving or lawkeepers, when meeting male clients who know her true identity and profession very well, or are "tipped off" by prearrangement plus a card, message, or signal."

Hmm that's an interesting one too. It's like that movie Sleepaway Camp. Or maybe not at all.

Catclaw: "Prostitute who likes rough sex or domination, or who will for coin try to seduce others, or act the role of a slave, spouse, conquered war-captive or former rival who is now a willing lover [in other words, benefit or enhance the status of a paying client by her acting, from wearing chains and willingly accepting abuse to pretending to have been smitten by the sexual prowess of the client"

OK we're really uhh... chains? Pretending to be smitten? I'm sorry, paying someone to pretend to be smitten, that's really sad. Hmm might make for an interesting NPC...

Slapthighs"Low-rate or coarse or willing-to-be-abused prostitute; the term is descriptive, NOT pejorative"

Awww... that's a sad one.

Glimmersheath: "A strikingly beautiful prostitute, or a male crossdressing prostitute; in either case, the term refers to eyecatching beauty and willingly receiving the "dagger" of the male physique."

!!! Ed has thought of everything. He could make a whole sourcebook out of this stuff. And really, now.. the dagger of the male physique?

Gold Tigress: "A prostitute who likes to wrestle with or fight [to be "conquered"] clients, or to bite and claw them..."

And for the record, Ed Greenwood has never gotten a prostitute. But...

"...though a (gaming!) business partner once sent a lap dancer to visit him for a "private dance" as a joke (Ed kept his hands to himself and let it be just that: a dance), and on another (gaming convention!) occasion Ed was taken to a club where ladies dance nude and then ask clients to buy them drinks; drinks were duly purchased, pleasant chat was enjoyed, and further offers politely declined. Ah, self-discipline.

Or as Ed put it: "My eyeballs certainly enjoyed that."

Leaving a Con to go to a strip club seems so wrong to me. How dare you sully a weekend of dice-rolling with your She-eels and Gold Tigresses? Fargles, I say.

See you tomorrow.

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