Saturday, September 30, 2023

OSR: Dog Knight

Most of the art for this post comes from here unless specified otherwise
The heroes of the down-trodden, Dog Knights are those who ride to the rescue of those for whom their is no glory of rescuing.  The workers in squalid conditions, the children in state-run orphanages, the people being ignored and abused by huge, indifferent governments and their bureaucracies, all these are the charge of the Dog Knights.  They walk among the common folk, aiding and supporting them whenever they can, relying on good-will and charity to get by.  

Dog Knights do not serve the powerful or the wealthy, they scorn the elite and at best, ignore them.  At worst, they confront them and try to prevent injustice.  But despite this fact, Dog Knights are not revolutionaries.  They know that most revolutionaries are nothing more than power-hungry warmongers, more than willing to sacrifice the plebeians to get what they want.

A Brief History: 

The Dog Knights are the spawn of a fallen order of Wolf Knights known as the Knights Lupus who once protected the Grand Duchy of Yashan.  At the time, the Knights Lupus were chivalrous and powerful, lending their strength and virtue to the Grand Duke and his ministers.  They uplifted the people and were lauded as heroes.  The Duke rewarded them richly with gold and lands, partially for their great deeds, but also to tie the Knights to the throne.  This worked almost too well, as the Knights and the Throne became gradually more and more connected, until the Knights were essentially running the government, the Grand Duke a mere puppet who always did exactly what the Chief Commandant of the Knights said he ought to.  

This, however, proved the Knights' undoing.  As the Knights became more tied to the Throne, the grew fabulously rich and powerful.  Now they weren't just a place for bright souls and noble hearts, but for those looking for an easy way to make money and accumulate influence.  Over time, these corrupt recruits spread rot through the order, until even the order's leaders forgot the Gods and cared only for their own steadily accumulating fortunes.  By the end of the order's life, the Knights were closer to bureaucrats and bean-counters then they were proud defenders of justice.  And as the order declined, so did the state, as they were essentially one and the same by this point.  

When the Duchy collapsed, the Order was dragged down with it.  There were few survivors.  The Duchy eventually did recover and even managed to regain a fraction of the independence and prestige it once wielded, but the order, blamed for the failures of the Throne, were swiftly marked as the scapegoats and any remnant crushed, with their lands and wealth being confiscated to pay the Throne's great debts or stolen by outsiders under a variety of pretexts.  

Though now the Knights Lupus are little more then a memory of better days, there were still those who remembered the original creed.  They had broken away years ago and formed their own motley order, a collection of stubborn do-gooders dedicated to upholding the order's original creed.  At the time, they were mocked as inferiors, wild day-dreamers, idealistic fools who didn't understand how pragmatic solutions were the best and countless other insults, many with a degree of truth.  The most common of these was 'dog', in reference to the Lupine order they broke away from.  In time, they came to wear this name as a badge of honor.  And when the dust cleared and their forerunners were left desiccated on the ash-heap of history, those proud, broken dreamers learned that while the wolf is feared and admired, every dog has it's day.   

Seriously, what are they?

Dog Knights are a pack of itinerant Knights-errant, nomads who travel from place to place, relying on mercenary work and the kindness of strangers to survive.  They are the inheritors of an ancient legacy of chivalry, martial honor and a zeal for justice.  The order has no official standing among the leaders of the Grand Duchy or any of it's surrounding states, though the common people honor them as true Knights.  They have no lands, no headquarters and no real hierarchy.  There are those among the Dog Knights who are more respected, but they have no central leaders.

They usually travel in small groups or solo, with each Knight dedicated to the cause but pursuing their own agenda.  They will collaborate, but due to differing perspectives they often feel it is better to work alone.  Those who wish to become Dog Knights must earn the patron of one of the Knights and be accepted as a squire.  Squires under the Dog Knights train for a period of time as determined by their Knight, usually until the Squire has learned everything the Knight feels he has to teach.  

Once a Squire is ready to become a full Dog Knight, they swear the oaths.  And while Dog Knights scorn most things considered sacred by society and have the manners of stray dogs, all of them prize their honor above all else.  A Dog Knight who behaves in a strange way will be found and corrected by the others, but one who breaks his oath will be hunted down and have their corpse left in the street, as a warning to others who would claim to help while abusing their power.  


I will become a Champion of the lesser and the common.  When the poor cry out, when the needy beg for aid, when the lowly want, I will be there to help.  

I will never serve Money or Power over Honor or the Common Good.  

I will work to make society as safe as possible, to mend it's wounds and ensure justice is done.

Dog Knight: 

Prerequisites: To become a Dog Knight, one must have at least 1 level in the Fighter or Carnivore (Berserker/Barbarian) class.  Alternatively, one must have at least 1 level in any class as well as a Constitution score of 13 and a Charisma score of 8 or less.  Your stats can increase past this, but you must have these to take your first level in Dog Knight.  

How to become a Dog Knight: One can only become a Dog Knight by defeating a Dog Knight in combat or a drinking contest.  If you do so, the Knight will agree to take you on as a squire.  Additionally, one can become a Dog Knight by proving to one of them your dedication to selflessness, humility and honor.  When you gain a level, instead of taking the abilities your class would ordinarily gain at that level, you can instead take the corresponding option below.

Fighting Spirit: As per Fighting Man 
Atk Modifier: As per Fighting Man

1: Steel Stomach, Iron Liver, Cat Hatred
2: Strong Jaws
3: Dogspeech, Bloodhound
4: Four-Footed Movement
5: Enhanced Senses, Ghost Tracker
6: Leader of the Pack

1: Steel Stomach, Iron Liver, Cat Hatred

Steel Stomach: You can eat almost anything, especially things that other creatures would get sick from.  You have advantage on all saves against ingested poisons.  You also have advantage on any saves against harmful effects that would result from you eating something poisonous, toxic or otherwise unsuitable for consumption by humans.

Iron Liver: You can consume far more alcohol than your appearance might suggest.  As per the drunkenness rules, you can safely consume twice as much alcohol as your CON modifier would suggest without needing to make the saves that result in COG damage.  For example, if your CON modifier is +2, then you can consume up to 4 servings of alcohol before you must start making saves against drunkenness.

Cat Hatred: Due to the source of your magic, Sirius, King of Canines, Cats develop a sudden distrust of you.  Evil Cats will see you as an enemy and will want to hurt you, while Neutral or Good Cats will find you unpleasant to be around in some way.  This may be because of appearance, smell or some other trait, but could just as easily be the result of your boorish mannerisms and general crudity.    

2: Strong Jaws

Strong Jaws: As an action on your turn, you can make a Bite Attack.  This Bite Attack does 1d4+Atk+STR damage and on a hit allows you to automatically grapple a creature, should you wish to grapple it.  

3: Dogspeech, Bloodhound

Dogspeech: You gain the ability to speak with dogs and other canine creatures, including but not limited to wolves, foxes, coyotes, jackals and more anomalous canines.  This 'language' is mostly non-verbal, with only the most important statements punctuated with vocalizations.  Dog Knights can also use this ability to speak with each other without being understood by others.

Bloodhound: If you have tasted a creature's blood, you can track them via scent like a hound.  You can always detect their trail, unless they do something to disrupt it, such as passing through a stream, bandaging their wound well enough or marking themselves with a more powerful scent.  

4: Four-Footed Movement

Four-Footed Movement: You can drop down onto all fours to move faster.  When moving on all fours, you have advantage on all DEX checks and saves, as well as to Pursuit Rolls.  Similarly, you have advantage on any rolls made to run away.  When running on all fours, you can only make attacks with a Quick weapon (held between your teeth) or with your Bite Attack.  Switching from all fours to bipedal movement is a free action.    

5: Enhanced Senses, Ghost Tracker

Enhanced Senses: You gain the ability to enhance your senses to a preternatural level.  You can, X times per day, where X is your COG modifier, enhance one of your senses, giving yourself advantage on any check made to perceive, detect or find something.  

Ghost Tracker: You can sense the presence of invisible or incorporeal creatures within 10*(COG Modifier)' of you.  You cannot see them or identify which one they might be, but you can tell there is something there.  You can also detect invisible or incorporeal objects if they are within the area you can perceive.   

6: Leader of the Pack

When faced with a group of dogs or other canine creatures (such as wolves, coyotes, etc) you can attempt to take control of the pack by challenging the Alpha.  If you beat the Alpha in a contest, you become the new Alpha and those creatures will follow your orders as long as they are reasonable and not suicidal.

As Alpha, you will be periodically challenged by younger members of the pack who feel they can do a better job of leading.  These challenges will grow more frequent if you're not caring for the pack or want them to do something they're not comfortable with.  Even if the younger members of the pack cannot overthrow you, but feel that you are a bad leader, they will start to slink away when you're not looking.  

You can release a pack at any time, relinquishing the title of Alpha.

The Dog Knights today:

The Dog Knights continue their current mission of doing good and aiding the common people, as well as those ignored by the power structure, but the order is not as static as it appears from the outside.  There is a growing tension within the order, centered on a new faction within the order.  This faction refers to itself as the Royal Hounds or the Duke's Dogs, but they are mostly referred to by those outside their group as the 'Dogmen'.  The Dogmen believe that the Dog Knights should organize themselves into a new structure and become a proper order of Knights once more.  Additionally and more controversially, they want to use this new order to overthrow the current Grand Duke of Yashan and install a new, more just, government.

And while this does seem to fly in the face of everything the Dog Knights claim to espouse, there are a surprising number of sympathizers to this cause.  Ever since the original dynasty fell, Yashan has been ruled by a series of Grand Dukes with a varying amount of power and independence but a generally equal amount of corruption and incompetence.  The current Grand Duke is a vassal of a foreign monarch and when he isn't submitting to foreign oppression, he is pillaging the people and trampling long-held precedent to satisfy his rapacious desires.  Tales of his debauchery are famous, if likely exaggerated.  The rest of his government isn't much better, more interested in lining their pockets and cowering before the foreigners then actually helping anyone but themselves.

Plot Hooks: 

1- When the party is in a tavern or restaurant, a Dog Knight challenges the strongest guy in the party to a drinking contest.  If the Knight wins, he will work for them, for free, for 2 weeks.  If their strongest guy loses, they pay his bar tab.  And his tab is ruinously expensive.
2- The party run into a group of mercenaries or rival adventurers.  The mercenaries tell them that they were hired to protect this village from a monster attack, only when they got there they found out the monsters were way more dangerous then the mercenaries were willing to deal with.  So they left.  They also say that they left one guy behind, a Dog Knight who refused to leave, despite the near-certainty of that village being razed to the ground.  
3- The party run into a group of Dog Knights who are tracking down one of their fellows for violating his oaths.  They are going to find the oath-breaker and kill him.  They ask the party to come along and observe, so that they have impartial witnesses to the fact that the Dog Knights take their honor seriously.
4- The party come across a group of dead and dying Dog Knights.  These Knights were attempting to slay an oath-breaker and traitor to the order, only to find him much stronger then anticipated.  They ask you to bring him down before he hurts more people.  
5- The party run into a Dog Knight who is being pursued by the authorities for sedition, treason or something of that nature.  The Dog Knight simply states that he was resisting tyranny and standing up for the common people.  
6- The party runs into a Dogman who is attempting to put together a revolutionary cell to overthrow the Grand Duchy of Yashan.  He will try to recruit them to his cause.        

Saturday, September 9, 2023

TwK: Weak Points in Time and Space

by FantasyMaker
The universe is not as cohesive as you might imagine.  The fabric of space and time is patchy and frayed, with places where it's worn thin, full of rips and holes and general wear and tear. This is both highly inconvenient and terribly useful, provided you know what you're doing.  

There is a phenomenon known as Trans-Dimensional Conjunction, where two different universes will become temporarily connected through naturally occurring rifts in time and space.  Normal people refer to these as 'Weak Points'.  

You can travel through these and end up in some very strange places.  Just be careful when doing so- not all Weak Points remain open long and it's very easy to find yourself lost, a stranger in a strange land, with no way home.   

To generate a Weak Point, roll on the tables below: 

Where is it?

1- In a basement.
2- In the cupboard/closet/wardrobe.
3- Under the stairs.
4- In a sealed door in an abandoned building.
5- A door set in the last standing wall of a collapsed building.
6- In a cave.
7- Along a forest path.
8- In a Fairy Ring.
9- Along a Fairy Road.
10- In the Attic.
11- Under the bed.
12- In a Crawl Space.
13- In a tunnel.
14- Under a bridge.
15- Through a storm drain/sewer drain/drainage pipe.
16- Through a gap/hole in a wall.   
17- Through a mysterious door that appeared where a door shouldn't be.  
18- In a hole in the ground.  
19- Underwater, at the bottom of a lake/pond/river.  
20- Underwater, just submerging yourself is enough to travel through it.  

It stays open for...

1- 1d6+2 minutes
2- 1d4+1 hours
3- 1d3+1 days
4- 1d6 weeks

Where does it lead?

1- To one of the Accursed Planes.  

2- To one of the Blessed Planes.  

3- An Empty World.  The world is exactly as yours is, with the single exception of 1d3 [1= All humans are gone, as if they were blinked out of existence; 2= All humans and domestic animals vanished without a trace; 3= All animals disappear, there is only the things humans built and plants left.]

4- A Parallel World that is very similar to ours except where where 1d8 [1= The alternate party is pursuing a different goal that they share with the original party; 2= The alternate party failed the last quest the party succeeded at; 3= The alternate party succeeded on the last quest the original party failed at; 4= The alternate party committed some sort of crime that the original party did not; 5= The alternate party has lost one member, either among the party itself or among their NPC followers; 6= The alternate party has a new member or follower; 6= The alternate party is different because one member of that party is a different class; 7= The alternate party is different because one member of that party is a different race; 8= The alternate party is exactly like you, except for minor differences in clothing, hair and equipment- ie, this is what you'd look like if you finally decided to get a mullet.] 

5- An Alternate History World.  Like our world, but something different happened in history that changed the face of this world.  This world is different from our world because 1d4 [1= The Black Death exterminated the vast majority of Europeans, Muslims colonized a (mostly) empty continent.  Technological progress was stifled, the Old World is majority Islamic, except for the distant East; 2= The Romans never abandoned Britain, but the colony there survived and became an independent Empire that lasted for much longer, syncretizing with the locals; 3= The Muslims never closed off the silk road, so Europeans never sought out alternative trade routes and discovered the New World; 4= The Chinese discovered America long before Europeans ever got there and began a trading relationship that brought Old World plagues, technology and domesticated animals to the New World centuries before Columbus ever found the West Indies.]    

6- An alternate History World that is 1d8 [1= Stone Age; 2= Bronze Age; 3= Iron Age; 4= Early Medieval; 5= High Medieval; 6= Renaissance/Early Modern; 7= Colonial Era; 8= Victorian Era], but with 1d4 [1= Dragons are an intelligent species that dwells in the land along with humans; 2= Alchemists figured out how to create useful things like potions of eternal youth, formulae to turn other metals to gold, etc; 3= Prophets and priests with magical powers are still around in this era; 4= Faeries did not withdraw from the world as they largely did in this world, but instead maintained bonds with humanity.  

7- The Elflands.  A vast, semi-settled land full of beautiful, alien creatures with a great talent for magic and a low ability, or care for, reason and good sense.  This is the homeland of the Fair Folk and their various sub-races, the Fauns, the Goblins, the Cait Sidhe, etc.  A terrible, beautiful, wondrous place.  Trust nothing and no-one while you are here. 

8- To the future of your own World.  Nothing you do cannot be undone, as long as you return to the past.  To those who remain in the past, it will be as if you blinked out of history.  The future you end up in is 1d6 [1= 1d6 hours into the future; 2= 1d6 days into the future; 3= 1d6 weeks into the future; 4= 2d6 months into the future; 5= 1d6 years into the future; 6= 1d20+5 years into the future] and is an outcome that is 1d6 [1= Extremely unlikely; 2= Unlikely; 3-4= Somewhat likely, maybe a 50%; 5= Likely to occur; 6= Extremely likely] to occur.  Note that the further you go into the future, the more likely you are to encounter drastic changes.    

9- To the past of your own World.  You are sent 1d6 [1= 1d6 hours into the past; 2= 1d6 days into the past; 3= 1d6 weeks into the past; 4= 2d6 months into the past; 5= 1d6 years into the past; 6= 1d20+5 years into the past].  Be careful not to change too much, if you do, you might draw the attention of the Guardians of Time.  Each change you make has an X-in-20 chance (as determined by the Referee) of being detected by one of these Guardians, and the chance increases the closer it is to the event.  The severity of the change will also affect it.  Trying to stop an assassination will change things dramatically, while eating a sandwich in the café that Hitler and Stalin used to frequent during their activist days will probably change little, unless you try to debate them on the merits of free-market capitalism or tell them about the potential of nuclear weapons.  

10- To a "fictional setting" of the Referee's choice.  Here are a few examples 1d10 [1= Warhammer 40K; Marvel Comics/The Cinematic Universe; 3= DC Comics; 4= Star Wars; 5= The Forgotten Realms; 6= The world of the Lovecraft Mythos; 7= The World of the Wheel of Time; 8= Roshar from the Stormlight Archive; 9= The depopulated world during The Stand by Stephen King; 10= Westeros from A Song of Ice and Fire.]

11- To one of your Referee's other settings.  The Referee should list and number them, then roll an appropriately sized die.    

12- A Mirror World.  This world is a perfect inversion of your world.  Your alternate in this world is the exact opposite of you and the same goes for all your friend.  If you are a nice person and live in an ascendant Empire, your alternate is an evil son of a gun who lives in a corrupt and crumbling shell of a once-mighty Emperor.  The evil necromancer you were fighting in your world, his alternate is a righteous healer trying to overthrow the old Empire and restore peace and justice to the land.  

by Zdzisław Beksiński

Saturday, September 2, 2023

OSR: Teleportation or "Oh God, Here we Go"

This is a power you should be very hesitant to give out to players.  Be careful and do not do it lightly.  Ideas borrowed from 5E.

by Tenjigen
Instant Transmission between points is considered one of the greatest achievements a Magi can ever obtain, along with achieving immortality and turning lead into gold.  However, as the latter two are often considered morally or politically dubious, the first is the one primarily researched.  

Almost all cultures have stories of how in ancient times, Magi or even normal people could instantly travel across the world with no more effort than crossing a busy street.  However, depending on a culture's records, feelings about magic and potential losses of knowledge over time, whether due to political purges, wars or the slow erosion of time and entropy, this knowledge is often lost.  If it is not lost, it is usually tightly controlled and often kept secret by either the most ancient and powerful Wizarding Orders or by a Cabal of State-sponsored Wizards: this may in fact describe the same group.

In other cases, the spell may be lost and concealed in the depths of an ancient ruin, a long desolate tomb, the laboratory of an extremely preoccupied Lich who was around when the precursor civilization your race squats amid the detritus of or flying freely through a turbulent region of the Astral Sea.  

In a more high-magic setting, Teleport is still a rare spell, but it isn't impossibly rare.  It is, in fact, a highly dangerous tool of espionage, assassination and state-craft.  Any nation that has access to Teleport will be able to dominate those of it's enemies that do not.  You will find agreeing to a treaty or military alliance much more convincing when you know that there is a risk that your rivals could teleport a pack of armed killers into your Sovereign's bedchamber.  

R: touch    T: objects    D: 0 
Up to [sum] touched objects and/or creatures are teleported to a location of your choice.  When casting this spell, roll 1d20 on the 'Teleportation Result' table and modify it based on the destination you choose and your method of targeting the location.

Teleportation Result:

1-5: Mishap.  Your journey is not smooth- all creatures and objects transported take 2[dice] damage.  Additionally, 1d4 [1= A stranger appears at your destination with you.  Roll on the 'Man out of Time' sub-Table; 2= You arrive 1d20 hours after you left, though you did not experience this time lag, to you it happened in an instant; 3= You are blasted with extra-universal radiation, you take 2d6 CON damage, save for half.  CON is restored at a point of 1 point per day.  If reduced to 0 CON, a creature dies; 4= You are exposed to alien geometries and cosmic knowledge- save or develop an insanity.  Roll on the Referee's favorite insanity table or roll on the 'Cosmic Madness' sub-Table below.]      

6-10: Similar Area.  You are transported to a similar area to the one you targeted.  For example, if you wanted to go to a your Wizard's Tower, you will end up in a Wizard Tower, but it could be one anywhere on the same plane of existence.  If you wanted to teleport to a King's Palace, you might end up in the Palace of a foreign monarch on the other side of the world.  

11-15: Off Target.  The DM should roll 1d10*1d10%.  The first d10 determines the direction you traveled and the second d10 determines the distance you are off target.  The directions for the first d10 are [1= North; 2= Northeast; 3= East; 4= Southeast; 5= South; 6= Southwest; 7= West; 8= Northwest; 9= Upwards; 10= Downwards.]  So, for example, if you tried to travel somewhere that would take 30 days to travel to and rolled 'Off Target' then got a "5" on the first d10 and a "3" on the second, that means you end up 9 days South of your intended destination.      

16-20: On Target.  You arrive at your intended destination.  


- Permanent Circle (+15)
- Associated Object (+10)
- Very Familiar Location (+5)
- Seen Casually (+3)
- Viewed Once (+2)
- Description (+1)
- False Destination (-5)
- Rolled Chaos (-5)
- Rolled Corruption (-10)

Man Out of Time:

1- The stranger is from a different era of your world.  He* is from 1d6 [1= The distant past; 2= The recent past; 3-4= The present; 5= the near future; 6= The distant future.]
2- The stranger is from a different plane of existence.  He is from 1d3 [1= One of the Accursed Planes; 2= One of the Parallel Worlds; 3= One of the Blessed Planes.]
3- The stranger is random copy of one living creature that was transported.  
4- The stranger is an Outsider, a Spirit, Angel or Demon that was accidentally snagged by the caster's spell and inadvertantly dragged to this location.  

*Obviously the stranger could be woman/female.   

Cosmic Madness:

1- "The Stars, they See!"  You become convinced the stars are watching, observing and judging you.  You must avoid them as much as possible.  Camping outside without a tent or something to cover yourself is impossible- being outside at night is difficult, any thing that means they might see you is painful.  
2- "Life is just one sick, demented gag."  The World is absurd, you realize.  You have a hard time taking anything seriously, as nothing means anything.  
3- "I am God made flesh."  You realize you are in fact, a God, a divine immortal stuffed into this frail, temporary vessel.  You may seek suicide, worldly immortality or apatheosis, but you cannot remain as you are.
4- "The End is Nigh."  The World is going to end, and soon, you realize.  You must prepare.  
5- "I am a Laughing, Walking Mockery."  You realize that you have utterly failed to live up to your potential/destiny and thus develop the most crippling case of imposter syndrome imaginable.
6- "The Weave of Fate is Iron Thread."  You realize your own destiny is absolute- it will happen, no matter what you wish to occur.  You develop a staggering fatalism and an apathy to match.

by CyberSkye
Terms to Know:

Permanent Circle: These are circles or locations inscribed with a unique series of arcane runes.  If memorized or studied before casting the spell, a Magi can 'lock on' to these runes, allowing the Magi to arrive at the destination with relatively little risk.  These Circles are often located within ruins or in the relics of older, more advanced civilizations.  If more contemporary cultures have built any, they are usually kept secret and under heavy guard to prevent enemy Magi from being able to use them to bypass other defenses.

Associated Object: This is an object associated with the location you want to go to.  For example, a stone from the Archmagi's garden.  Using this, you can teleport to the garden of the Archmagi with relative ease.  Note that Associated Objects only last 6 months or so, and must be regularly refreshed.  They also only take you to the same space as where they came from.  You can't use a stone from the Archmagi's garden to teleport into his parlour.

Familiarity: How well do you know the location?  Very Familiar means you have been there multiple times and have a good sense of the location, Seen Casually means you have been there once, while Viewed Once means you have only seen the location once, either from a distance or through some other means, such as a Scry-glass.  

Description: You have heard a description of a place or read about one in a book.  If the description you used is false or very inaccurate, this counts instead as 'False Destination'.    

False Destination: You attempted to teleport to a place that doesn't exist or is very different then you thought.  For example, if you tried to teleport to Atlantis but did not know it had been sunk beneath the waves.  Regardless of what result you roll on the Teleportation Result table, to determine your actual destination, the Referee should select a 'Similar Area' that most resembles what the spell-caster had in mind.     

How do I stop this?

Tetragrammatic Runes are symbols that when formed in the physical world, influence the effect of magic.  Some attract magic, while others repel it.  Tetragrammatic Runes are not magical themselves, but can produce similar effects when laid out in proper patterns.  One pattern, also called Gate Wards, prevent teleportation or the opening of portals within the warded area.  These wards are often carved into stones at the edges of important buildings, engraved into metal sheets which are placed against the walls or carved into wood or metal decorations around important rooms.  These protections are considered as paramount for the protection of vital assets and important personnel, such as the Sovereign and his/her family, important military leaders and etc.  Even in cultures where knowledge of these wards has been lost, the Ward-signs themselves often stick around as symbols of protection or good luck.

Plot Hooks: 

1- A group of Magi want to harm a rival.  They hire you to break into one of the rival's secure buildings and find the teleportation circle hidden inside.  Record the runic sequence on the circle and return without giving away your intentions.  If they discover you were after the runic sequence, they may destroy the circle and thus no one will be able to use it.  
2- A group of Magi want to harm a rival.  Convince them that you are a traitor to your employer's cause and give them misinformation, including this false runic sequence.  When they try to use it, it will only harm their rivals.
3- A group of Magi want to harm a rival.  Go to the location of their enemies and secret inscribe a runic sequence to allow the Magi to teleport something there.  You'll also need to trash any Wards against teleportation you find there.   
4- A powerful Magi wants to go to a location that is dangerous or inconvenient, but doesn't want to take the risks.  Go to the location and bring him back an item that will allow him to teleport there safely.
5- An artistic savant has been discovered who is able to flawlessly recreate things he has seen in highly detailed sketches.  He would be a great asset to our Magi and a threat to us, should our enemies manage to get their hands on him.  Find a way to recruit him to our cause or dispose of him, if the former option is impossible.  
6- A Teleportation attempt gone awry has led to a stranger who claims to be from the far future to appear in the present day.  The stranger also says that a catastrophe that he recalls from history has not occurred yet.  Find out if what this stranger says is going to happen is true.  
7- A Magi tried to teleport and instead never arrived.  A powerful Demon reached out to your employer and told him that the Demon knows where the Magi is and will exchange the information for something important, valuable or dangerous.  You have been hired to either bring the Demon what it wants, try to prevent the Demon from betraying your employer, double-cross the Demon first or some combination of the following.  
8- The party teleported and ended up in the past.  If they change things too much, maybe they'll be erased from history, Marty McFly-style.  Or maybe they need to help something occur, Prisoner of Azkban-style.  Either way, the overseers of Time are pissed off at this intrusion and are hunting the players.  You don't want them to catch you, as you'll end up in Time Prison, or worse.