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July already, Farewell June

30 June, 2015

Summer arrived with the Summer solstice and it certainly feels like it here, with some brutally hot days, hope things are more mild wherever you may be, dear reader.

July is -of course- named after that all around skilled politician Julius Caesar in his re-formalization of the Roman Calendar which created the Julian Calender (which, naturally, is named for him too).  So, in honor of Caesar, we shall be looking at governments, organization and people of ambition in the Sea of Stars in July.  As usual, if there is a particular subject you would like to know more about or see more of, please let me know.  I will be off to GenCon at the end of the month which may affect my posting schedule somewhat.

Looking back over June, which was -as it happens-  the sixth anniversary of this Journal and also saw my 1,300th post.  Not bad if I do say so myself.  If you like what you read here, please consider supporting my Patreon.

June, 2015, saw the following posts here:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Gallowglass Locket

30 June, 2015

A simple locket“That big fellow’s locket is quite nice,” whispered Voddick with a discrete gesture.

“I had not realized he was a bodyguard,” replied Gollaon, equally quietly.

“Indeed?” queried Voddick.  He started looking for threats now, after all, they were hired for the same task bu the Graf von Eisenstahl.

Gollaon nodded.  “I recognize the style of amulet.  It is common among the sept lords to hire mercenary bodyguards who will not have ties to local politics.”

“Considering their tendency to be murdered by their cousins, seems very sensible.”

Gallowglass Locket

 These lockets are made of bronze or steel and decorated with gold or silver and usually marked with the symbol of the family it was made for, inside there is a place for a miniature portrait or a lock of hair (rarely both).   The locket’s magic is protective and it is activated when given, with a portrait of or lock of hair from the giver inside, to the recipient.

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Rokugan SRIU Episode 4 “Paper Street” (L5R Campaign Report)

26 June, 2015

The characters have just returned from Ryu Bannin Toshi and their tiger hunting and temple building where they are rejoined by the Otaku and introduced to the new member of the unit:

Suzume Ryosuke, a brave and heroic Sparrow bushi . . . who likes the ladies.  (Suzume bushi 2,  Played by C1.)

The next morning they head to Kamimachi (“Paper Street”), Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Shadowrun: Data Trails

24 June, 2015

Shadowrun: Data Trails provides information, tools and background for the Matrix, the successor of the web in the Shadowrun future. Is it vital to your Shadowrun game?  Yes, immediately, if you are a GM running a Matrix focused game, and at some point otherwise as it has enough useful information on the Matrix and deckers to be widely useful for any Shadowrun campaign.  The product could have been better organized and the GM’s section deserved to be much larger but still a useful addition to the Shadowrun range.
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Tuesday Magic Item – Book of Withered Souls

23 June, 2015

One reciepe at a time“Funny how the duke just took sick,” said Voddick, slicing onions for the stew.

“And so soon after his brother’s death too,” said Gollaon peeling carrots.

“A tragedy for the family it is,” agreed the old cook, unconsciously patting her book of recipes in her apron pocket.

The Book of Withered Souls

The origins of this most sinister tome are much debated but it seems to be an artifact of the darkness within people rather than from some outside power.  The book itself is surprisingly nondescript, looking more like an overstuffed recipe book, which to some extent it is, perhaps formerly owned by the cook employed by a merchant or petty nobility.  The recipes within are a bit strange but they do product tasty food.  It is when someone with ill-thoughts looks through it, they will find . . . other recipes those for curses.

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Summerland Blog Carnival – the Empress’ Birthday

22 June, 2015

The Sea of Stars is unusual in that all of the lands upon it have the same seasons, indeed the same length of day, as the Sun is allowed out for longer times during the summer and shorter periods in the winter.  As the Empress likes summer best, it lasts for four months, rather than the three for each of the other three seasons, and in the middle of Summer on the day with the most daylight, her birthday is celebrated (or at least recognized) across the Empire.

Enjoy the show!The tradition has evolved to have a huge party in the Capital starting at dawn.  The Empress mingles with her people and gives out gifts and recognition to the Imperial bureaucracy and military and, occasionally, to one or more of the Draconic Houses.  In the later afternoon, she ventures out to visit other celebrations, bringing stories, entertainments and gifts.  The appearance of the Empress at one of the distant celebrations is a great honor . . . and a terrifying experience.  There are rumors, never proven, that one insult will lead to the wrath of the Empress and the extermination of all who participated.  But no one has visited such a place, or even met someone who has, but always a cousin who met someone who knew a traveler who found such a ruin.

Feasts, contests and fireworks after the Sun returns to his prison are the traditional entertainments and Imperial duties and taxes are suspended for the day, the Empress wishes everyone to enjoy the day, at least, so her proclamations say.

While the Empress’ Birthday is celebrated, her age is never discussed.  (Though it is believed to be well over two millennia possibly as much as three and a half.)

Notes: My contribution to June Blog Festival – Summerland hosted by Tales of a GM.

Photo by Kevin Dooley and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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New Spell – Spectral Skirmisher (for Pathfinder)

18 June, 2015

“More of them?”

Spectral Skirmisher
School conjuration (creation); Level magus 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, summoner 1; Domain war 1

From small beginningsCASTING
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a toy soldier)

EFFECT
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect one semi-visible skirmisher
Duration 3 rounds + 1 round/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

DESCRIPTION
This spell creates a humanoid form of magical force that serves its creator as a skirmisher.  It can attack once a round using its creators base attack bonus with either a “sling” (1d4 bludgeoning damage, 50 range increments) or “javelin” (1d6 piercing damage, 30 range increments), the weapon choice made when the skirmisher is summoned, if the caster has any feats that apply to the weapon used (such as point blank shot or weapon focus), the skirmisher has access to those as well.  The skirmisher’s attack is treated as is it was a magic weapon at 5th level and gains a +1 enhancement bonus to attack and damage at 7th level, increasing to +2 at 13th and +3 at 19th level.

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