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#13855716 Sep 10, 2018 at 10:06 AM · Edited 1 month ago
1302 Posts
One of our community's members, @Vastarus, recently expressed concern in the Shoutbox about the limits of her(?) current lore knowledge impacting how much role-playing responsibility she should take on. I sent her a Private Message offering assistance, which evolved into a fairly substantial discussion of background for her new PC. I thought if that could be transcribed to the public forums it might be of interest and use to others in the community, and provide an opening for others to contribute, or ask further related questions inspired by it. Vastarus kindly gave me permission to do so.

In the following posts Vastarus's input will be in green text, while my responses will be in blue.


Hello, Vastarus,

I noticed your remark in the Shoutbox that as a newcomer to CO you don't feel well versed in the lore of the MMO. To help you rectify that, I want to point you to this free downloadable PDF Lore Primer for the setting, providing an overview of its main history, ground rules and major players. It was created by someone with impeccable credentials for the job, Scott "Thundrax" Bennie, a veteran the CO community who's also one of the leading authors for the tabletop pen-and-paper Champions RPG that the MMO is based on.

Admittedly, the primer only scratches the surface of available lore. Champions has been around since 1981, and the current official setting is detailed in literally dozens of books. But it will greatly help you get up to speed on who's who and what's what. I should also mention that Champions lore is kinda my thing around here, so if you ever have any questions I'd be happy to answer to the best of my ability (and the limits of Fair Use of the IP), or to point you to where you can read more on any subject.

And may I add, welcome to CORP! 😀



Hi Liaden,

Thanks for the warm welcome, I have bookmarked the pdf and have been reading through it quite a bit now. There is -way- more lore than I had anticipated, but it's all very interesting and offers a lot of freedom.
I do have a question regarding lovecraftian entities, since they've been somewhat reformed to fit the game as 'the kings of edom'. There is a creature, Daoloth, in the lovecraftian lore that's basically neutral, and is only destructive if he's not contained, he will not himself try to destroy things at a whim. Can I use him/her/it in form of a backstory and partial source to my character's magical ability? I have toned down what it can do tremendously, so it's not lorebreaking or too strong from the get go, as I wish to progress the character overtime.
#13855721 Sep 10, 2018 at 10:10 AM · Edited 1 month ago
1302 Posts
Well, first off I can assure you there would be no lore-derived issues fitting the entity you describe into the game. The Champions "multiverse" is practically infinite in scope and diversity, containing universes ranging from alternates of our own with minor-to-major differences in history and populace; to universes in which even the physical laws are radically different; to tiny "pocket worlds" created by magic, reflecting the desires of their creator. These "dimensions" are home to a vast variety of creatures, spirits, sapient races, and "monsters." They may be ruled by "dimension lords" (whose personal power can be widely varying), or even be the abode of entities embodying fundamental concepts of Existence.

All that being said, while the Kings of Edom are very clearly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Great Old Ones, from a lore standpoint one should be cautious to connecting a heroic PC to their power (assuming you wanted to play a hero). The Kings hail originally from a universe in the Qliphoth, a concept adapted from Kabbalah. In that tradition the Qliphoth is a kind of shadow or dark reflection of the Sephirothic Tree of Life, the scheme of the mystical cosmos which Champions also took inspiration from. Champions Qliphoth is made up of ancient universes, so decayed that they've become antithetical to "positive" universes like our own. Matter, energy, even life from Qliphothic worlds are fundamentally incompatible with ours. Contact with it inevitably warps and corrupts the body and/or mind. There are a few official Champions NPCs who derive their superhuman powers from the Qliphoth, but they're all villains, having been driven mad.

Because of the way Champions Online has chosen to portray Qliphothic worlds in the MMO, many players have come to assume it's just "CO Hell." Champions Earth actually does include every Hell that human religion and myth have ever imagined (their Heavens, too). No few CO PCs claim to draw power from the Qliphoth, but lore-wise that would be a doom-filled path to be on. It's safer to say the entity connected to your PC comes from some other dimension -- as I indicated, the Champions Universe has more than enough room. But if you really want to connect him or her to the Kings of Edom, you'll find you have no little company. 😉

Let me give you a few examples of entities who are official in the CU, and what powers could be obtained from them.

Astroth is the ruler of a small unnamed dimension who feeds on the fear and pain of sapient beings. He tries to lure astral travelers to his realm through deceptive illusions -- Astroth has complete control of the reality within his dimension, reshaping its appearance at will. Once visitors are drawn in he traps and tortures them with nightmarish visions. He's served by other lesser psychic parasites who live off the scraps from his "meals." Astroth could be the source of powers of illusion, telepathy or mind control. Astroth is described in the book, Hidden Lands.

Bromion is a "Lord of Order," a uniquely powered being in the service of Order, one of the "Four Zoas" which are the fundamental concepts underlying Reality (along with Chaos, Nature, and Artifice). Bromion rules a mechanistic dimension called the Millworks. Bromion himself is no more personally powerful than many Earthly superhumans, but the arcane machinery and drone laborers of the Millworks can, given time, create any magical artifact or effect of nearly any magnitude of power, and can even transform other living beings, physically and/or mentally. Magic derived from Bromion involves creation and transformation, or restraining the minds or bodies of others in bonds of Order. Bromion's write-up appears in Champions Villains Vol. 3: Solo Villains, a compendium of "enemy" NPCs.

Cassai is lord of a minor dimension, who's known as one of the best artificers of magic items in the Multiverse. He'll craft nearly any artifact for a "client" in exchange for concentrated magical energy. Cassai obsessively hoards magic energy, although no one knows his ultimate intention for it. Cassai is briefly described in The Mystic World, the primary reference book for the magical side of the Champions Universe.

Fuzon, aka "the Prince of Fire," is a Lord of Nature of destructive bent, who rules a dimension called the Burning Sky. Although it's not described, it's easy to assume the Burning Sky is a fire-elemental-type realm. There are well-known "super-mage" fire spells which draw on that dimension's energy. Fuzon is also briefly described in The Mystic World.
#13855722 Sep 10, 2018 at 10:13 AM
1302 Posts
I read on the Qliphoth for dummies thread that qliphoth is super bad for your health, and will just destroy you over time, so it might be in the best interest of the character to refrain from using that as a powersource.
That being said, given the character's personality traits, I think it would choose Bromion as a potential entity to derive power from. The powers given to it would mostly be that it's decent at creating portals and conjurations, but I wish for the powers to retain some connection to lovecraftian entities if that's possible.
Now the first question about Bromion is if he expects anything in return for his blessing/power/artifact?
And the second would be on how the given abilities by him would manifest themselves in the 'regular' CO world?



I just want to make sure my previous remarks didn't mislead you: What I wanted to illustrate is that there's plenty of room in the setting for you to place exactly the type of empowering entity you want, with whatever qualities would fit your PC concept. Civilization on Champions Earth goes back many tens of thousands of years earlier than on real Earth (although modern science doesn't recognize that), and a lot of that history involves non-humans. All manner of things have encountered humanity, and even been worshiped as gods. The above-mentioned Astroth is one example of a horror in the vein of Lovecraft, which as far as has been revealed has no connection to the Qliphoth.

Now, if you do want to connect your character to an "official" supernatural entity, I should point out that there are two ways to utilize their power. One is to employ spell-like abilities which draw power from them indirectly, without their conscious involvement. For example, Bromion was responsible for crafting a suite of restraining spells, "the Bindings of Bromion," which are widely used by super-mages in the Champs Multiverse. The other way is for an entity to deliberately bestow power on someone. The setting has many examples of heroes or villains empowered by mythic gods, demons, extra-dimensional creatures, and the like. Usually the empowering entity expects some type of payment or service in return, although sometimes no more than following its general goals.

In the case of Bromion, he'd definitely expect a return for his patronage. Bromion is one of the most militant proponents of Order in the Multiverse. He actively campaigns to bring randomness and free will firmly in check, which is why he's in a Villains book. 😉 I expect he'd make a pretty stern taskmaster. But there's a huge variety of beings of power statted or described in reference books for the CU. I could probably narrow down my suggestions if you wouldn't mind telling me more about the origin story you have in mind for your PC; what qualities and motivations you would want for him/her, and for the empowering being; and what type of powers you'd like your PC to have.
#13855724 Sep 10, 2018 at 10:16 AM
1302 Posts
Oh well I suppose I didn't read correctly in that case. The character I intend to play is a 22 year old student, female, and is absolutely zealous when it comes to learning new magic, or at least theory of it since she's not that gifted herself. Basically she will be able to, with the blessing of the initially neutral lovecraftian entity or any other being of power, summon portals to other planes, and conjure up shadowy limbs or humanoid figures.

I have the original backstory here, going on the notion that the lovecraftian entity would work. I made it in a word file initially before I would put it in the actual game:

Nothing but a rather studious mind, Abigail showed an interest in "magic" from an early age ever since she moved to the US, mainly due to cartoons about magical fantasy worlds. To her great surprise, one of the books she bought on a whim in the Magic Lantern bookstore, actually caused something paranormal to occur. Although it was only the lighting of a candle without external fire, this small event sparked her interest even further, and caused her to buy and collect many books dealing with the arcane and other supernatural occurences. The books she collected during her younger years didnt work for her unfortunately, it was only after she came into contact with a book detailing the outer god Daoloth that her magical career took off. Summoning the avatar of the Daoloth by sheer dumb luck, she was granted the reduced ability (Only her right eye has been granted this reduced ability) to pierce the veils of illusions, and the possibility of conjuring shadowy tentacles and humanoids.
Through her extensive research into Daoloth after the summoning, she has gained the ability to send maddening images, meagre glimpses of its presumed true form to others, briefly stunning them in mental anguish. Normally she dons her regular student/citizen outfit, wearing an eyepatch over her right eye


The idea for the portals was only in case 'Daoloth' doesn't work.
#13855726 Sep 10, 2018 at 10:19 AM · Edited 1 month ago
1302 Posts
Thanks for this info, it really helps. 😄 I also looked up Daoloth online, so I think I have a good idea now of what you're going for. And I believe I can suggest a comparable entity from the lore to give you what you want, with a rationale for avoiding the complications from direct contact with the Qliphoth.

Deizzhorath is one of the most powerful and alien of the Kings of Edom. It isn't composed of matter even in the Qliphothic sense, but of energy and mathematics. It's called "the Dissolver" because it has the power, and apparently the desire, to utterly annihilate matter and energy it's in contact with. The allied occult beings who defeated the Kings in the ancient past, imprisoned Deizzhorath at the nexus to a million dimensional gates, scattering its substance and consciousness throughout space and time, so it can't focus its perception on any one point. It's impossible for a human to comprehend the Dissolver's totality, and telepathic contact with its vastly diffuse mind is extremely disorienting.

Sorcerers and mystics sometimes propitiate Deizzhorath to gain visions of other places, times, or dimensions. It can also send travelers to such locations. Some mystics have developed spells to temporarily summon a tiny fragment of the King of Edom, called a "Hand of Deizzhorath," over which they have limited control.

My suggestion would be that your character accidentally summoned a Hand, from exposure to which she gained her powers; but rather than being spawned from Deizzhorath itself, her empowerment comes from the pan-dimensional spells which imprison him, which are not Qliphothic. Perhaps she had some latent genetic mutation which the event activated. Or perhaps contact with the Hand inspired a moment of insight, during which she glimpsed the underlying cosmic principles behind the Dissolver's prison. (That last has precedent in the lore. The "technomancer" Gyre, a member of the Devil's Advocates villain team, is a skilled physicist who became obsessed with studying the occult, and had a revelation of how together they underpin Reality. Her mind couldn't retain all the concepts she glimpsed, but she did learn how to combine technology with sorcery for unique and potent effects.)

If that doesn't work for you, or you have other questions, by all means send them along and we'll try to get it right. I find this sort of discussion stimulating. I'll just point out one last time, that if you really want to use Daoloth as written, or rename it but otherwise keep it exactly the same, nothing in the background of the game would be disrupted by that. 😎

BTW the Hands of Deizzhorath, and a great deal more information related to the Edomites and the Kings, can be found in the magical Villains book, Arcane Adversaries. Gyre and the Devil's Advocates are also written up in that book, as well as Champions Villains Vol. 2: Villain Teams.
#13855732 Sep 10, 2018 at 10:29 AM · Edited 1 month ago
1302 Posts
Deizzhorath sounds like a good one, although it wouldn't give the ability to 'pierce veils' (see through most illusions), but the creature itself is a little easier to handle for an aspiring mage and sounds better in line with the story I had for her, and Daoloth can always be put in later once she's more experienced, so thank you for finding this lovely creature.
And I found the Arcane adversaries and The mystic world books online, I'm reading it now and it's pretty interesting so far, there is a lot of material to read.
How does the champion universe look towards necromancy? Or maybe the summoning of undead, i.e. ghosts, ghouls, or other incorporeal beings from another plane of existence?

Oh, and is it possible to, let's say, in exchange for a magical seeing piece, she would try and enact Bromion's 'order for everything' regime? Or is he too much of a militant despot that dealing with him is almost always futile unless full devotion is part of the character?



I'm glad that was helpful to you. And yes, the magical side of the Champions Universe is extensively detailed and gives one a lot to work with. Really, outside of the two major comic publishers, the CU is the broadest and deepest superhero setting around.

Bromion's Millworks can remake someone mentally into as fanatical a devotee of Order as Bromion himself. Nothing about his story suggests he'd accept lesser devotion in an underling. However, there are many spirits of Order, up to the Prime Avatar of Order, Urizen the Lawgiver; not to mention the other Zoas. So if you really want to use a spirit from the Four Zoas who's less strict it's easy to invent a suitable one. In fact I could suggest an existing one that might also serve your purposes generally.

However, Deizzhorath's perceptions are literally everywhere at once. To me, tapping into them sounds like more than enough rationale for being able to see "past" illusions. Compared to the leaps in logic comic-book worlds often ask you to make, that one doesn't even rank. 😉

Although it isn't stated explicitly anywhere, I get the strong impression that magic dealing with the dead is generally perceived in the CU the way most pop culture views it, as a fundamentally "dark" activity. Most official undead are evil and destructive (although not all), and there are no purely "good" practitioners of necromancy. The closest thing to a benevolent necromancer is the vigilante called Dr. Teneber, whose write-up you'll find in Arcane Adversaries, as well as Champions Villains Vol. 3: Solo Villains.
#13855734 Sep 10, 2018 at 10:30 AM
1302 Posts
Reading the lore, it reminds me of star wars lore and how deep that goes, it's pretty incredibe to say the least.

Oh, I hadn't even thought of the possibilities that he's literally everywhere at once...
In that case I think I'm going to stay with the singular deity to sort of worship/extol, because I fear getting too much out there will become too difficult to keep track of at the moment.

As for the dark perception or necromancy, that's perfectly fine. My character is flawed in many ways, and she's not on the end of the spectrum regarding good or evil. She'll generally try to be a good person, but her zeal for acquiring knowledge might blur the lines sometimes for her, and she doesn't go out much into fights as well, so it's unlikely people will actually see her raise the dead. The idea was that the only way for her to raise the dead is to talk to them if possible, or in a last case scenario if she has to escape or save someone.

I'll also read up on Dr. Teneber then, he sounds like an interesting character to read about.
#13855918 Sep 10, 2018 at 03:29 PM
182 Posts
If there's any interest, my own Blitzkrieger played with a bit of that lore, having been from a city left warded but barely-intact in the Tatterdemalion (though canonically, Sanctuary was inadvertently destroyed my Shadow Destroyer's Q-muckings-around.

http://primusdatabase.com/index.php?title=Blitzkrieger has a bit of the reference; I think the official forum's PnP thread had more.
#13855941 Sep 10, 2018 at 04:17 PM
1302 Posts
Yeah, I transcribed the relevant parts of that origin brainstorming to the last couple of posts on this thread in the CORP forums: A Qliphothic Bestiary.
#13858462 Sep 14, 2018 at 03:54 AM
289 Posts
Thanks for this dialogue, good future resource.

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