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Tuesday Magic Item – Elegant Eyes

25 November, 2014

The eyes have itThe dowager duchess entered the ballroom, still elegant and commanding for all of her advanced age.  Her quizzing cane was not in evidence and she moved with a confidence that she had not displayed in public for years.

Intrigued, I approached.  Giving her a deep bow I was unsurprised to see her eyes were still white from their cataracts, but today she wore a headband set with two eyes made of opal.

“Marquis,” she smiled, “how good to see you again.  You remain as handsome as I remember.”

I returned the smile.  “It is delightful to have your perceptive gaze back upon us, your grace.”

Elegant Eyes

 These pieces of jewelry are almost always worked into the shape of eyes or creatures with eyes, with the eyes themselves being made of gems.  Headbands are the most common but other forms are not unknown such as necklaces, broaches or even bracelets.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Ground Nightmare

18 November, 2014

Nightmares in processDoctor Thoston cleaned the sliver needle as he looked down upon his bound patient, twitching and jerking in the throws of some terrible dream.  “Fear not, I will not let you suffer for long.”  With that he inserted the needle into the patient’s temple and they immediately quieted.  With a sharp twist, the Doctor withdrew the needled, pulling with it a twisting worm made of a shadowy grey substance and placed it into a crystal box where it writhed and twisted until the lid was sealed.

The Doctor stroked his patient’s forehead, wiping away the drop of blood.  “Rest well, I have freed you of your nightmare.”

Ground Nightmare

This glossy black material is made of round grains the size of pinheads, seen out of the corner of the eye they seem to be moving on tine legs like spiders.  By touch, they are smooth and break into a charcoal grey powder is any pressure is applied, the dust is so fine that it quickly dissipates.  It can be eaten, dissolved in liquid and drunk, inhaled or smoked.

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Campaign Report – Evard’s Black Orchestra*, Fear and Loafing in Vine

17 November, 2014

*the greatest musical show that hasn’t happened yet, name subject to revision (it is noted as such on all their posters).

Having escaped the clutches of the cultists, the band finally reunited in Vine, Capital of the Eastern Storm Empire and host to the Dominion Court Music Tournament.  Jet immediately grabbed a local ne’er-do-well, pushed coins in his hands and told him to bring him someone who could provide the best local drugs.  They then make there way to the Seven Ravens, an inn secured by Igor for their use, where he, Lewis, Martin and Ozzi are awaiting them.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Unit Helm

11 November, 2014

RainonHelmets“Brave soldiers of the Union,” the young officer addressed the soldiers, mostly raw recruit fresh out of training, “we face enemies that would destroy our way of live, overturn the world we have built.”

He gestured to the gate.  “Out there, are the enemies we must defeat.  Now, ready your weapons and prepare for combat.  Today we make a stand, today we turn the tide.  For the Union and our homes!”

“For the Union!” echoed back the soldiers.

Unit Helm

These items are mass-produced by societies that have advanced in the use of magic and suddenly find themselves in need of a mass army quickly.  They are made as inexpensively and as quickly as possible to equip hastily raised military units in defense of the nation.

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In Remembrance of the Brave and Noble Who Served

11 November, 2014

Time moves on and we have reached another Armistice Day (in modern parlance Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the US).  It originally served as a remember of the end of the Great War, the Armistice that ended the war starting at 11:11am on 11 November, 1918, and those who served and died there.  Since then, it has been expanded to include the many others who have served and died for their country in honorable service through the years.  This year, being the hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War, evokes the memories of that conflict with a deeper resonance.

If you remember, pause for a minute of silence to honor the brave soldiers and other members of the armed forces that have guarded us -and still do- at 11:11am.

While it has been my wont in recent years to find poems from lesser known war poets, this year, partly in honor of the superb and moving field of poppies display at the Tower of London (properly called “Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red” by ceramic artist Paul Cummins), I am using the poem which inspired it:

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “The Sword in the Studio” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

7 November, 2014

To understand what is going on here, you had best read the first PinkCat: Running in the Shade post, but short summary, this is a campaign report for our Shadowrun campaign set in NorCal through the filter of a cartoon made by one of the team members.

Episode Four: The Sword in the Studio

Guest Star:

  • Usagi-kun, a literal street samurai -katana, topknot and all- and a rabbit.  (Representing Oda Nobunaga, bioware driven street samurai who has totally bought into bushido.  Played by A.  Having his animated alterego be a rabbit is entirely a tribute to Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo.)

Do the monkey with me.The team (Pink, Glitter and Usagi-kun) is hired by Mr. Suit to sneak into a music industry luminary’s penthouse and steal a magic sword.  The music industry guy is portrayed as a cross between Elvis, Bono and Johnny Bravo and shows up a lot more in the cartoon than he did in the adventure.  In the cartoon, the team tries to sneak in in various ways, disguising themselves as pizza delivery people, pretending to be reporters, replacing the window washers (which is what we should have done in game, but I only just thought of it) all of which are inadvertently foiled by the music guy before finally scaling the building like a mountain while the music guy is off at a concert.  In the cartoon, it is a big golden sword stuck in a big golden record which will not fit through the door to the roof and they only get away with after the building security shoots enough pieces off the record that they can escape with it.  The cartoon ends with them driving off in the van with the hilt of the sword sticking out through a back window.

What really happened Read the rest of this entry »

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Human Variant – Kanamit (for Pathfinder and D&D5)

5 November, 2014

To serveThe tall Kanamit are hairless and have a dusky lavender-grey skin, their heads have an enlarged  skull and their eyes are dark.  Once, they were servants and agents of the god of libraries and  knowledge but they survived the death of their divine patron.  Their numbers are not large, less than twenty thousand, but they are noticeable wherever they travel due to their towering height and distinctive appearance.

They primarily live on an isolated island dominated by the monastery-city of Kanam, the land is fertile and intensively farmed.  Great trees serve as hatcheries for silkworms that provide cloth for the Kanamit and their bark is turned into paper for the scribes of Kanam.  They export finished cloth, paper and books, primarily hand copied from the Great Library of Kanam.

The monastery-city of Kanam is overseen by the Sage, one of the Dragon Empress’ direct representatives, or, more usually, by a Governor appointed by the Sage.  The Kanamit organize themselves into guilds, including one of farmers, whose grand council in turn works with their dragon ruler.

Kanamit are found usually visiting the cities of the Sea of Stars selling silk and books, seeking rare working to add to their libraries and organizing the importation of food.  For with great size and great intellect, comes a great need for food.  An average Kanamit eats as much as three normal humans.

The Kanamit value the acquisition of knowledge above money, ever seeking to expand their library and their personal knowledge.

Kanamit Standard Traits (Pathfinder)

  • Ability Score  Traits: Kanamit characters gain a +2 racial bonus to Constitution and Intelligence but a -2 to their Dexterity, they are hardy and deep thinkers but their size makes them unwieldy.
  • Size: Kanamit are Medium creatures (only barely) and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Base Speed: Humans have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Languages: Kanamit begin play speaking the Imperial Tongue. Kanamit with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).

Feat and Skill Traits

  • Large Appetite: A Kanamit must eat as much as three normal people to keep sufficiently fed.
  • Scribe: All Kanamit are intensely trained to read and write, gaining Craft (scribe) as a class skill and a +2 racial bonus on such checks.
  • Strong Mind: Kanamit gain a +2 racial bonus on all Knowledge skills and a +1 racial bonus to Will saves against all mind-affecting abilities (raised to +2 against Confusion and Fear).
  • Wide Back: Kanamit are treated as have a Strength four point higher for determining their ability to carry and move items, their Strength is considered to be two higher when calculating their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Defense.

Offense Trait

  • Larger than Most: When using a non-light weapon sized for a Kanamit, their Strength is considered to be two points higher for the calculation of damage.

Kanamit Traits (D&D5)

  • Ability Score Increase.  Your Intelligence increases by 2 and Constitution by 1.
  • Scribe.  You start with proficiency with scribes tools.
  • Strong Mind.  You gain advantage on all Knowledge skills you have proficiency in and to resist Fear and Confusion.
  • Wide Back.  Your Strength is treated as being four points higher for calculating your ability to lift and carry.

Secrets of the Kanamit Read the rest of this entry »

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