Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Using The Petty Gods OSR Resource Book For Your Old School Science Fiction or Science Fantasy Campaigns

Petty Gods has been unleashed on an unsuspecting OSR and rpg public, they've taken to it as the grand resource that it is. There are over four hundred pages of incredible old school goodness but can this sucker be used for other stuff besides the usual  fantasy or sword & sorcery campaign? 
The answer is a resounding yes you can! And then some. Petty  Gods contains divine and semi divine creatures drawn from across the bright and scattered bits of  pop culture, imagination, major writers, fans, and every damn part of the collective landscape of fiction that the authors could. This was a community effort and a major undertaking for Greg Gorgonmilk, Richard Leblanc, and co.
Before I even begin here's all of the ordering information: 

Links and pricing via Richard LeBlanc, PG's editor-in-chief and a major contributor to this work:

Petty Gods: Revised & Expanded Edition (Casewrap Hardback) $22.47 (USD at cost)

Petty Gods: Revised & Expanded Edition (Premium Softcover) $13.22 (USD at cost)

Petty Gods: Revised & Expanded Edition (PDF: no watermark) FREE

Time,space, and all of reality are the providence of the gods of this massive work and they're not something to be taken lightly. Say your space heroes are cruising across the galaxy,collecting treasure, exploring strange new worlds, boldly going where no man has gone before when suddenly you run smack into a high handed alien pantheon. Suddenly your party  runs into 
Amber Blood Sword
(petty goddess of battle blood-lust and feminine protection)
Titles : The Amber Protector, The Great Vindicator
There are going to be some real issues if your crew happens to be dealing rotten with some of those green alien maidens or princesses.  Or Aspix
(petty god of the Butcher’s Alley*) by Glen Hallstrom who happens to resemble a certain murderous entity from a much beloved science fiction cult classic show but there are other rather nasty circumstances that go with this entity. Another horror that might send a crew packing is God of the Iron Urn (petty god of madness and sacrifice) by Geoffrey McKinney that has some dangerous connotations for a star ship crew and could affect an entire adventure by itself. 

So let me crack a beer and tell you right off that there's no need to order some other add on book for Petty Gods in order to use this book with your favorite science fiction or fantasy retroclone or old school setting. All of the guidelines are already in the book right at the beginning chapters of the PDF. You can use this wonderful book with original D&D, Swords & Wizardry, etc quite easily and that is the beauty of the book. Imagine your playing Gamma World or Metamorphosis Alpha first edition and your party happens to find a giant stone head that covers a very juicy and treasure laden set of ruins? One of your mutant adventurers wants to smash into the the interior of the head and pilfer the contents within. You might actually be facing down Azwa (protector of giant stone heads in the wilderness) Titles : The Protector of Giant Stone Heads in

the Wilderness, The Head of Heads by Thomas Denmark. But what will this god's reaction be? Well here's where Petty God's shines because like the Judge's Guild product The Unknown Gods from which Petty God's takes its old school lessons from. There's a random reaction table for this god, and suddenly things are about to get very interesting in the post apocalyptic landscape. 
And right in the middle of all of these wonderful divine entities that can really complicate the lives of your adventurers are a pack of  lesser known Cthulhu related entities - Cthulhu (mythos)
Please see individual entries related to the Cthulhu mythos.
Related Entries : G) Bokrug, Chaugnar Faugn,Nug, Quachil
Uttaus, Rhan-Tegoth, Yeb; M) Being of Ib, Formless Spawn,
Guardian of Laam, Hound of Tindalos, Miri-Nigri, Voormi
All of these are very well done and just waiting to be added and dropped right into the backdrop of your space going campaign. From Realms of Crawling Chaos to Goblinoid games to a handy little campaign of White Star, these entities are solidly done and with all of the handy little add ons that you need to run their cults, servants, treasures, story hooks, and more. There's even Robert Howard's Crom lurking and brooding in between the pages. Just waiting to be unleashed.
But these beings are called Petty Gods surely they can't affect a star ship? Let me introduce you to Chicxulub (petty god of decaying orbits) by John Everett Till who can easily ruin a crew's day or week on star ship such as those found in Stars Without Number. How will she react to your crew of adventurers? Roll on the reaction table to find out. If you want someone or something truly alien and weird I recommend Cunnian
(petty god of potential knowledge) for those pointy eared and logical types of adventurers and know it all's. By Mike “Carlson” Davis, she or he seems above the petty concerns of gender, sex, race,etc.. And is here to observe and create its own universe whist monkeying with ours. According to the entry : 
The truth, unknown to all save Cunnian, is that she is a god
from another universe, and has come to ours for the purpose of
creating a universe of his own. To that end, Cunnian appears
on the Material Plane regularly, observing the local conditions
and then changing some aspect of it to see what results, seeking
ever for the combination of traits that best appeal to her as the
basis for his universe.
Needless to say that this could be very, very dangerous for adventurers and she might fit right at home in a session of Lamentations of The Flame Princess or even Star Ships and Space Men second edition keeping a star ship crew confused and dangerously close to the edge of reality in the local space time continuum.
Pity the crew of adventurers who encounter  Diplodias (petty god of crop rot and poor harvests) by Dave Traube for this god is perfect for a game of Mutant Future or any old school post apocalyptic campaign where food is a matter of life and death. On a colony world this god might be a nightmare of epic proportions. While Divine Worm (petty god of stillborn infants) by Logan Knight could be a nightmare for and a reason that a failed colony is waiting in the darkness. While  Drasheeng (petty god of drunken misperception) by Trey Causey might just give that roaming star ship captain a run for his money and a real headache.
Elder Elementals are one of the many monsters that has incredible potential for planetary adventure applications from terraforming to acting as a planetary guardian of some ancient ruins. These monsters could give even high level adventurers pause. They're very dangerous and completely alien.
Expiurge (petty gods of chaos embound) is perfect entity for those crystalline aliens that seem all the rage today to worship. This entity by Porky is a really nasty bit of completely alien business. Speaking of alien gods how about using the Patchwork god by Colin Chapman as the head god for your population of androids or golems.
The Minions, Servants, and Knights chapter is a really fine example of mid level pantheon entities who could cause all kinds of potential misfortune and misadventures for space going or science fantasy adventurers. According to the introduction: 

Almost as old as the stories of the gods themselves are the
stories of the servants of the gods. In fact, the Mesopotamians
believed that human beings were created simply so the gods
would have servants.
     Which is exactly the sort of entities that PC's will meet should their space craft or adventurers get a wee bit too close to the edge of the workings of creation. Those places and planes where the seams of the great machine of creation show through. These entities should be used with caution because even more then they're masters. These beings are very dangerous. As Crichton from Farscape says, "Godlike aliens! Man, do I hate godlike aliens. I'll trade a critter for a godlike alien any day." A good example of such an entity that party's of adventurers might be running into is Giant Space Baby by Jonas Mustonen. Because unlike a certain space child from 2001 A Space Odyssey these things will serve various master's causing all kinds of mayhem and life changing bits for a party of adventurers. There are far, far, too many fantastic entities to taunt,torture, and bedevil adventurers with in this section. Seriously this section alone would make a perfect old school semi divine monster manual into itself. Remember how when Deities and Demi gods came out no one would actually use the damn book as the resource it was intended for? Well this section into itself has enough entities that you could run an entire Trek's worth of campaign and still comeback for more. 
     Right which brings us to the divine item section of the book, these are the toys,tools, tricks and items that god's use and adventurers are bound to encounter. Here's in some remote corner of the dimensional darkness or far flung alien plane is where many of these entity's toys are likely to be encountered. Many of these items are adventures unto themselves and the Petty God's book is full of a solid number of items that could completely change the landscape for a party of adventurers. Everything from the Eyes to rings of divine aspect are in this section and these items could give a party of high level adventurers a run for their gold pieces. These are the sorts of items that pre code horror and science fantasy comics thrived on in spades! Some excellent stuff in this section. 
 The spell section is like something out of the early days of the old school rpg hobby. Many of these spells cross right over into the realm of science fantasy easily. There is a bunch of Barsoom related spells that words can't describe the divine happiness I have reading these. Simply a great load of spells that could easily change the direction of campaign. Some of these could crack the spine of a Star Knight with relative easy and give a party in Hulks and Horror's nightmares. Of special mention is the Jale God by Matthew W. Schmeer. Just go and read all of the sections on this god and its spells, appendix and more. You won't be disappointed and its so nice for use with a science fantasy campaign.
 There is a whole campaign's worth of Barsoomian material in this book as well. The Gods of Barsoom by 
Michael Curtis have a very well done section which includes gods, spells, items, and more. Each of the spells in this section relates back to its referencing god and these are not simply for clerics but wizards, druids, etc. 
   The appendixes and Indices are worth their weight in god pieces for science fiction and science fantasy campaigns. These sections include the essay How To Start A Religion In Your Spare Time For Fun and Profit By M.A.R. Barker, this is an essential read for anyone wanting to use religions within old school campaigns and provides everything from set up to guidelines for running such within the frame work of a campaign. 
Gods of Barsoom is everything it sounds and puts the divinities of Edgar Rice Burroughs classics right into the waiting hands of a DM. By Michael Curtis this is a real treat to have access to as DM.
Legends and lore of the Jale God is mind blowing and provides a DM with all of the essentials of running this entity within the bounds of a campaign.
Petty Foods of the Petty Gods is a section of truly mind blowing details of food stuffs from the tables of the gods and any of these could play havoc with an adventure party but even one with access to the super science of space based games might be very hard pressed to handle the effects of some of these.
Rounding out the book is a section of Petty God's Classified by Matthew W. Schmeer reminds me of some of the Bloody, Bloody Arduin or Dragon Tree press material and could provide an adventuring party in a space tavern or other other dimensional location a number of adventure hooks right into the deep end of Petty Gods. 


  1. Pretty extensive review. It is going to take a good long while to read through this tome...

  2. No kidding and that's not even touching Jay of Exonaught's blog fame's entry. That one get's its own blog entry all of its own.


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