History Resources for your Game [2]

9 December, 2017

A variety of interesting articles and sites about history I have found recently and wish to share:

Ever wonder what the medieval Europeans called their pets?  Well, wonder no longer!  Certainly an interesting snipped of history.

Travel times from England in 1914 (before the war, obviously) measured in blocks of days.  Very interesting and thought provoking and this is an era of steam ship and railways.  With horses and wind powered ships, it it going to take even longer.

International Station


And opened just after the Great War was the “Titanic of the Mountains”, the Canfranc railroad station linking France and Spain was massive and became at center of espionage during the Second World War and falls into disrepair in the 1970, but is being restored now.  Seems like the sort of place to inspire adventures.

There is a surviving secret pagan temple under Rome and you can now visit it.  Apparently built by a wealthy Roman family who were followers of Neopythagoreanism.

How easy it is to fight in Victorian dress?  One brave author tries to find out.

Any news of a historical nature catch your eye lately?

Notes: Photo By WikiPrisma (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Tuesday Magic Item – Snow Kettle

5 December, 2017

Cup of tea?Voddick looked down the snow covered hillside.  “I have always liked the snow but not the cold.  Why can it not snow when it is warm and we could enjoy it?”

“Well, at least we have hot tea,” said Gollaon, shoveling snow into the kettle.

“I am so glad you found that,” said Voddick rubbing his hands together.  “It makes guard duty much more pleasant.”


Snow Kettle

These kettle are made of metal, usually copper, and are rarely decorated.  They are practical items and often show signs of hard use.

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Dark Future Ahead 24 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

4 December, 2017

As you start a new week, let us look to the future and share some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my expeditions into the matrix.  Enjoy the news:

A supervillain's deightWhat better vehicle for a evil corporate CEO or power player than a private submarine?  Yes, Migaloo Private Submersible Yachts can provide what you are looking for!  Along with customized artificial islands!  Not that they have actually built either yet, but the are both technically possible and make great setting for an adventure.

The army is looking into replacing its heavy lift helicopters with tilt-rotor aircraft that fly further and faster like the Bell V-280 Valor.  Helicopters may be becoming a thing of the past at least for the military.

Troubled by pesky drones?  Use a laser-armed Polaris MRZR ATV to burn them from the sky!  Constructed by Raytheon from commercially available technologies assembled into a usable package.

Grow plants to trap carbon, brilliant idea, who would want to stop it?

A mission gone right or gone very wrong?  Missing Russian helicopter found in Norway Arctic sea.

And more anti-surveillance tech for you urban punks under the eye of the Man.

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?








Step into December! Waving goodbye to November

1 December, 2017

Enjoy the feasts of the seasonDecember is the tenth month of the Roman calendar and today is the meteorological start of Winter, though we have a sudden warm spell here.   December is also a month filled with holidays.  So, the themes for this month on the Sea of Stars design journal will be Winter, festivals and gift: cursed gifts, divine gifts, magical gifts or whatever else we can think up.

If there is a particular idea inspired by the themes that you would like to see expanded upon, let me know and I will try to realize it.

As November was consumed by a trade show, working PAX Unplugged, Thanksgiving and more work,  the posts on the Design Journal were few, sorry about that.  But November, 2017, saw the following posts: Read the rest of this entry »


Tuesday Magic Item – Martin’s Dispatch Bag

28 November, 2017

Dispatches to deliverVoddick shot another pursuer and worked to reload his crossbow.  “This is easier when one is not mounted.”

Gollaon twisted and released an arrow.  “True.  At least who are out of the siege.”

“And being hunted by half their cavalry!”

“It would not be fun otherwise.  Now we had best catch up with that courier we are escorting.”

Martin’s Dispatch Bag

These dispatch bag are made of tough and worn leather, sometime decorated with the symbol of organization that made it, other times with the mark of its owner.

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Haunted House” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

27 November, 2017

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 Thirty Two: Haunted House

Why didn't we notice that before?Guest Starring: BB, Double Tap and Toru.

Some of the students have been daring each other to go into the spooky house at the end of the lane, finally a group did . . . and they did not come back out!  Pink and crew decide to go in and rescue them, as heroes do.  Cue lots of Scooby Doo, Ghostbuster and other ghostly pop culture references.  There are chases by “ghosts” that turn out to be rats, bats, cats and wind blown sheets.  Eventually, our heroes make it to the basement where they find a secret dance club.  The students did not come out because they were having too much fun.  Big dance party to end the episode.

What really happened:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Storm-Cutting Glaive

21 November, 2017

Sharp enough to cut magic“Charge!” yelled the knight, his men-at-arms and mercenaries followed, some more rapidly than others.

“Charging wizards is not the best for our health,” muttered Voddick.

“They said they had protection,” said Gollaon, “and we are about to find out.”  He gestured to a warmage crafting a spell.

The mercenaries dove for cover as the mage unleashed a bolt of fire.  As it reached the knight, he reached in a blur of motion, his polearm cutting through the fire, weakening the blaze but not entirely dispersing it.  The remanant of the flame washed over the pair.  “That was surprisingly effective.”

“Hope he can keep it up.”

Storm-Cutting Glaive

These pole arms are decorated with elemental wards and often with other symbolism depending on the who it was made for.  The wood of the shaft shows damage from where it has been burned or otherwise damaged but intense energies but its structural integrity remains intact.

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