Archive for December, 2010


Gazing into January and a look back over 2010

31 December, 2010

Fast approaching the New Year here and with it the month of January.   Best wishes to all for MMXI!

January is named after Janus (Ianuarius), the god of the doorway, pictured as looking both forward and back.   We will revisit the themes of doorways, transport and travel for January.  What with stepping into the New Year.  As usual, if there is something on this theme you would like to see, let me know.

Looking back over December, we see another month of light posting:

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New Magic Item – Spirit Compass

30 December, 2010

The Seeker’s face glowed in the pale blue light from his compass. “This way,” he hissed, leading us through the alleys.  “There!” he pointed.  Ahead of us was the sorcerer we were looking for, he seemed very surprised to see us.

Spirit Compass

These devices are made of silver and etched pale blue glass and are always cool if not cold to the touch.  The silver of these devices tarnish quickly and it much be constantly polished to be kept clean.

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New Magic Item – Ice-Walking Shoes

27 December, 2010

The midwives who travel between the hilltop villages wear these shoes, hard waring things that grip the ice and snow.  They are symbols of the brave midwife as much as her package of herbs.

Ice-Walking Shoes

These shoes are made of oiled leather lined with warm fur.  The soles are studded with bronze and layered over felt.

The wearer’s feet are kept warm and dry, protected from the effects of even the most bitter cold.  But the ability which gives them their name, is the fact that the wearer treats ice and snow as firm ground for all purposes.

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Pathfinder Campaign Report – Wyvern Hunt II “Ill-met in Asku-Korla”

26 December, 2010

Ill-met is Asku-Korla

The next morning our brave Imperial Wyvern Reclamation Party set out, with a freshly oiled wyvern harness among other gear, and an escort of the Lions of Twilight (the Bronze Lion’s personal guard comprised of former mercenaries) for the first leg of the journey.  Almost as soon as they left the palace they encountered Bertram Zirconia, great dwarven hunter, and his visse servant Neville, who -as a great hunter- wanted to get in on the wyvern hunting and decided to attach himself to Tae Boe’s party.  After a brief discussion, it was decided that a hunter of his skills would be a useful addition, they headed off into the hinterlands.

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Aspect of Winter [Template]

23 December, 2010

The guide’s hair had gone snowy-white at eighteen, we were told, and his eyes were a pure pale blue like ice.  As he lead us through the high pass, he never worried about his footing.  We were amazed, and a bit envious, of his skills but glad that we had paid the gold for his aid.

Aspect of Winter [Template]

Those granted the touch of Winter appear hard if a bit haggard, they are stalwart and unyielding.  Sometimes the chosen of winter skins becomes pales and their hair is prone to going silver or white and their eye color is always a pure tone, often blue.

Creating an Aspect of Winter

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Happy Solstice – Winter Seasonal Feats

21 December, 2010

Wishing all a Happy Solstice!  Here are some winter-themed feats for your use:

Aspirant of Winter [Fey-touched, Winter]

You have been seeking or have been touched by the Court of Winter, giving you the cold strength of winter and a strong ties to the snow shrouded.  You are armored by your season.

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Pathfinder Campaign Report – Wyvern Hunt I “The Road to Asku-Korla”

20 December, 2010

The Road to Asku-Korla

Beginning in the Jade Pillar Dynasty, our brave venturers: the young sorcerer-prince Touched by Golden Scales Zhuang Tae Boe, former knight Lorrend Littlehelm, Sagacious Lieu, and Tae Boe’s entourage begin their travel or exile.  Their journey to the edge of the dynasty’s lands is uneventful.  Crossing over by starship to the nearby island they then pass through the expanding village-town of Gong from which a bridge is slowly being built to the lands of the Dynasty to expand trade.

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Pathfinder ‘Wyvern Hunt’ Cast

20 December, 2010

The cast of my current short pathfinder game, originally titled ‘Wyvern Hunt’ and now Embassy to the Barbarians:

The ‘leader’ of the expedition, is a young sorcerer-prince Touched by Golden Scales Zhuang Tae Boe, hereditary Commander Third Horn of The Emperor’s Own Red Cloud Wyvern Riders of the Jade Pillar Dynasty and now Light of Civilization, Benevolence to Barbarians – His Most Excellent Imperial Ambassador, Grand Nephew of Heaven and High Admiral of the Second Exploratory Fleet.  He is a wastrel and rake but incredibly charming and -potentially- a powerful sorcerer.  (4th level Dragon-blooded Sorcerer, played by B, a long time roleplayer but his first time with Pathfinder.)

The guardian, the former knight Lorrend Littlehelm of Eosiant, recently a weaponsmith and arms trainer in the Zhuang House, and given the choice of escorting Tae Boe or being executed.  He resignedly chooses to accompany the young prince.  Breaking his armor out of storage and accompanied by his faithful warhorse Tulip, he carefully prepared and faced his new mission philosophically.  (4th level Cavalier of the Shield, played by J1,  also a long time roleplayer but new to Pathfinder.)

The scholar, Sagacious Lieu, knowledgeable about many things, including -hopefully- wyverns.  His attempts to teach Tae Boe have mostly failed due to the willfulness of his student but hopefully this time will be different.  Sadly, Lieu ends up as wyvern food at the conclusion of the wyvern hunt. (1st level Inquisitor / 1st level Monk, played by J2, who has had some experience with Pathfinder before.)
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New Monster – Spiritfire Skeleton [template]

17 December, 2010

Stepping out from the ruined building was a skeleton draped in ill-fitting mail and wreathed with blue-green fire, flames of which licked down the sabre it carried in its left hand.  “I am been commanded to kill all who try to pass this way, leave now before I must carry out my orders,” it said is a voice like that of a furnace speaking, yet somehow, it carried a note of sadness.


Spiritfire Skeletons are the animated bones of the dead, bound with a fragment of the creatures spirit, so they burn with an unending and unholy fire.  Spiritfire skeletons retain a glimmer of their past lives, and the skills they had learned in them, making them exceedingly dangerous.  Unlike some undead, a spiritfire skeleton is not mindless, though its intellect is limited, they possess a low cunning and talent for mayhem.  Universally, they hate their condition and seek both their own destruction and that of others, a strong hand is required to keep them in line.

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Through the Lens of History XVII: “By Jove!” Roman Religion and Superstition

13 December, 2010

Through the Lens of History: Using History for Better Gaming
Vision XVII: By Jove! Roman Religion and Superstition

The thief who stole this, may you consume his blood and take it away, Lord Neptune.”
– Inscription on a Roman curse

The Roman World of the Republic and Empire was rife with gods, cults, rituals and superstitions. Few events were so unimportant that they did not need the blessing of the gods and the approval of the heavens. Seeking divine approval for actions taken – and yet to be taken – was an important part of Roman civic and personal life.

Equally, the Romans believed magic and spirits were everywhere and that everyday life was rife with tasks to avoid ill fortune and bad luck. This vision looks at how to incorporate these thoughts into play.

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