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Tabletop Game / Palladium Fantasy

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The eponymous tabletop RPG by Palladium Books first published in 1983. It was initially called "The Palladium Role-Playing Game", but was later amended to "Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game" by its second edition in 1996. The setting of "The Palladium World" is fairly generic for a fantasy RPG, taking place on a massive Pangaea-esque continent which has Ley Lines shared with other Megaverse games. There's also over fifteen follow-up books that flesh out the basic setting, surpassing even some D&D settings in scope.


This tabletop RPG provides examples of:

  • All Trolls Are Different: They're available as a player race. They are the largest, strongest and dimmest race available, and they sport claws that cause quite a bit of damage. Beyond that, however, there is nothing particularly unusual about them.
  • Character Class System: Three different types, like many Megaverse products: Occupational (OCC), Psychic (PCC), and Racial (RCC). Occupational Character Classes include: Assassin, Diabolist, Druid, Knight, Long Bowman, Mercenary Warrior, Monk, Palladin, Priest of Darkness, Priest of Light, Ranger, Soldier, Summoner, Thief, Warlock, Witch, and Wizard.
  • Character Level: Classes tend max out at level 15.
  • Class and Level System: This RPG uses classes and levels.
  • Crossover: Palladium's rules are intended to work in other settings of their "Megaverse", but bringing fully functional Mecha from Rifts into a fantasy setting often invokes Power Creep, Power Seep.
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  • Cursed With Awesome: The game has a table of curses, some of which provide benefits, such as Glowing Red Eyes, which provide a bonus to intimidation, and Frog Legs, which provide a bonus to leaping distance.
  • Experience Points: Used to determine level, and each class typically has different experience point values required to get to a given level.
  • Functional Magic: In six different flavors: Alchemists use Alchemy, Diabolists specialize in Wards, Summoners make Circles, Warlocks work with Elemental Magic, Witches make pacts with Alien Intelligences, and Wizards use Spells.
  • Kappa: Kappa are peculiar creatures resembling short, implike humanoids with turtles shells, webbed feet, and crablike faces and claws. They live in all major bodies of water in the world, both fresh and salt, and delight in playing cruel tricks on other creatures such as spoiling food, cutting anchor and fishing lines, tangling nets and sabotaging boat rudders.
  • Kirin: Ki-lin resemble short, tailless Asian dragons with horse-like legs and hooves and with a single short, two-tined antler growing from their forehead. They are highly magical beings — they are often scholars of magic lore — and can run in the air, and while they often avoid humanoids they also never shirk from aiding people beset by danger, evil, sickness or other misfortunes. This penchant for crusading and helping those in need, however, also means that they are often in the crosshairs of demons and other evil beings whose plans they spoil.
  • Ley Line: Lots of them, criss-crossing the world. Each leyline nexus (where multiple lines cross) has the potential to connect to other world of the Megaverse.
  • Lizard Folk:
    • Lizard men are a reclusive race of humanoid, semiaquatic reptiles native to the Yin-Sloth Jungles. They are a Dying Race, as constant conflict with other jungle-dwelling species and the aggressive colonization efforts of the Western Empire have taken a steady toll on their numbers and society.
    • Lizard mages are a distinct and more draconic species that ruled the world in ancient times. They were eventualy overthrown by their servants, and are now a scattered and uncommon race of reclusive scholars obsessed with amassing knowledge and magical power.
    • Eandroth are another reptilian species mostly found as nomads in deserts and grasslands. They're proud and aggressive warriors, and ride theropod dinosaurs.
  • Mars Needs Women: Many ogre women are infertile, but ogres can reproduce with humans, so many ogre tribes kidnap human women to be Breeding Slaves.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Inscribing runes onto paper makes the paper indestructible. Before you can even start thinking about exploiting that fact to make some armor, the book provides a lengthy explanation for why magically indestructible paper makes lousy armor.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Played straight with modern dwarves: short, bearded people who live underground and are natural miners and smiths. Though go back into the race's history, and it's mentioned that they were once masters of ancient magic, and the inventors of rune weapons. In the modern age of this world, all dwarves, even the most vile outcasts, universally obey the cultural taboo against magic as if it were a law of physics. Dwarves can learn and practice magic, and on other worlds they do, but on the Palladium Fantasy world it never happens.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: They come in most of the same flavors as in D&D — frost giants, fire giants, mountain giants and cyclopes most notably — and also include the noble Titans and the mutant, often-insane Gigantes.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Griffons fit the standard fantasy mold in terms of physical appearance, live in high mountains in northern climes and will generally leave humans alone unless threatened or hungry.
  • Our Manticores Are Spinier: Manticores are foul-tempered predators resembling lions with goblin-like humanoid faces and tails tipped with clusters of poisonous quills. In addition to being dangerous hunters, they also have sadistic streaks a mile wide, something luckily tempered by their rarity.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: They're a playable race, though most are evil and monstrous. However, they have fully human intelligence, and are in fact an ancestral Human Subspecies. They can breed with humans; the offspring are ogres.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Orcs are a playable race. They're stronger and more savage than humans, but they're otherwise a civilized race.
  • Our Perytons Are Different: Perytons, also known as demon deer, are winged deer of mysterious origins that cast human shadows instead of their own. They are vicious predators and particularly enjoy hunting intelligent humanoids — one of their favorite tactics is to attack a ship in numbers and destroy its masts and sails, crippling the vessel and allowing them to pick off the sailors at their leisure — although they go after unicorns, pegasi and other beautiful and benevolent creatures as well.
  • Our Sphinxes Are Different: Sphinxes are the classic winged, human-headed lion version. They are obsessive scholars and greatly interested in the study of history, magic and cultures, and have a taste for expensive food and drink. They are sometimes enticed to take residence in temples with offers of rare texts and delicacies, and are often among the first creatures drawn to discoveries of ancient texts and ruins.
  • Pegasus:
    • Pegasi are extremely rare creatures only found roosting on high mountains far from civilization. They used to be a lot more common and were often used as steeds by the elves, but they were almost completely exterminated during the great dwarf-elf war in the distant past.
    • There are also the dragondactyls, essentially pegasi with clawed feet and draconic tails and wings; additionally, male dragondactyls can breathe fire. They are more common than the nearly-extinct pegasi, although not particularly numerous in absolute terms, and despite their monstrous appearance are relatively even-tempered beasts and no more difficult to domesticate than most horses.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Page 256 allows greater supernatural beings, most creatures of magic (definitely dragons) and magic practitioners above 3rd level to sense a Crystal Ball is watching them, and can expend PPE to cloud the crystal and prevent viewing for 4-16 hours.
  • Proud Peacock: Adrams are incredibly vain, self-obsessed creatures obsessed with getting others to marvel at their beautiful forms — which, besides humanoid bodies and horse heads, include very large and showy peacock tails.
  • Psychic Powers: Psionics come directly from a character's mind, without the ritual or mandatory belief system underlying magic. They run off Inner Strength Points (ISP), which are a refined form of the Potential Psychic Energy that fuels magic.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Dragons and Gods forces the Egyptian Pantheon's major deities into two pantheons, one "of Light" and the other "of Dark", with gods such as Set and Anubis subject to Demonization and Set recast as Apepi's master instead of as the god who fights him off.
  • Savage Wolves:
    • Dragon wolves are monstrous wolves with the wings and tails of dragons; although not as vicious and aggressive as other examples, they are conniving, treacherous and untrustworthy beings with little regard for morality and laws.
    • The game stats out many types of animals, and timber wolves get some decent stats.
  • Sea Serpents: Sea serpents are large, aggressive marine reptiles found in the world's outer oceans, and prone to capsizing boats. A number of distinct varieties exist:
    • Horned ramrods have heavily armored heads and rhinoceros-like horns. They charge into ships like battering rams in order to break them open to get at the crew.
    • Jormund serpents are immense creatures, up to 400 feet in length, and highly territorial. They typically mistake ships as either intruders or prey and attempt to smash them to pieces, after which they devour any sailor they find in the water.
    • Northern stranglers are very ophidian serpents that kill their prey — large marine animals, including other sea serpents — by crushing it in their coils. They have also learned that ships are easy source of food, whether in the form of garbage pitched over the side, nets full of fish, whales caught on harpoons or sailors fallen in the drink, and will often follow larger vessels to glean such morsels. Smaller ships, of course, are just crushed to flinders from the get-go.
    • Snaggle-toothed gobblers resemble primordial sea monsters, with four paddle-like limbs, barrel-shaped torsos and thin, toothy mouths. Instead of sinking ships, they just snatch sailors right off the deck.
    • Viper serpents have long, clawed arms and the heads of deep-sea fish. Unlike other serpents, they kill for pleasure instead of just for food.
  • Unicorn: Unicorns, resembling horses with goat beards, leonine tails and cloven hooves, are natural passive telepaths capable of sensing whether other beings are of good or evil intent. Being by and large retiring and somewhat distrustful creatures, they shun contact with all but the most morally upright or innocent humanoids; they are particularly fond of children and youths, leading to the in-universe myth of their affinity for virgins.
  • Unicorns Prefer Virgins: Unicorns are believed in-universe to have an attraction to virgins. In truth, they actually prefer people of very good character and are especially fond of children and innocent souls, even allowing them on their backs, which led to the origin of the myth.
  • The Wall Around the World: The game takes place on a single massive continent and the surrounding oceans. Far beyond the last settled islands, at the so-called "Edge of the World", is a black wall of death that extends up into the sky and as far underwater as anyone has ever been able to travel. Anything that tries to cross the wall is disintegrated — or maybe just teleported to a random place in the multiverse.


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