Archive for March, 2011


Slipping into April and Review of March

31 March, 2011

April begins shortly or may have already begun bepend upon where  you are.  The origin of the name of the Roman month Aprilis is unclear, it may refer to the opening (aperire) of buds and flowers as Spring arrives or to the goddess Venus, to whom it is a sacred month.   So, what themes shall be explored this month?  Spring?  Romance?  Opening?  Your thoughts, dear readers?  Suggestions are welcome.

Edit: I am also doing the the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for April so expect a lot of magic items based on Greco-Roman mythology especially the gods.

March saw the following pieces here:

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Death and the Underworld in the Sea of Stars

30 March, 2011

Part of this month’s Blog Carnival – Life and Death in RPGs hosted by Campaign Mastery:

Everyone knows that the Dragons defeated the gods in a great war.  Only two gods survived the draconic conquest, the Sun, without which the world would become cold and dark and who was condemned to an eternity in chains, and the Moon, who was too capricious to be caught and who hides among the stars.  But in fact, that is not the whole truth, Death, without whom there is no end, survived, chained by the Dragon Empress to his iron throne the palace of ice and twilight in the Underworld beyond the Realm of Shadows.

La Porte de l'Enferphoto © 2009 Cayetano Delgado | more info (via: Wylio)
Death continued in his duties, for he was bound by laws as inexorable as his own role, but as he was trapped his ability to guide and direct the souls of the dead to their proper places was limited.  Further, his four Heralds had been slain during the war with the Dragons.  Because of this the system of the Underworld increasingly broke down, spirits that should have been reincarnated went astray or were lost all together, souls had difficulty finding their way to their expected afterlives.  The entire necrosystem was in danger of complete collapse.

To solve this problem, a new group of four Heralds needed to be recruited to act as Death’s agents in the Underworld and the Realm of Shadows.  To do so, they would have to met Death, venture through the Realm and Shodows and the Underworld to retrieve the four symbols of the previous heralds and reshape them into their own talismans of authority . . . Who would be up to such a task? Read the rest of this entry ?


New Magic Item – A Gentleman’s Anti-footpad and Anti-rain Device

28 March, 2011

From an Advertising Broadsheet in Old Landarium Town-

Gentlemen, do you fear for you lives and property when venturing off the main streets?  Do you seek a way to protect yourselves and your fine clothes from the vagaries of both weather and and ruffians?  If so, than look no farther!

Doctor Cadlulian’s Patented Rain Shield and Portable Armory

umbrella traditional tattoo flashphoto © 2008 oliver | more info (via: Wylio)Is the device you have been seeking.  Combining protection from the rain with a temporary shield from more bodily harm and a concealed blade with which to drive away any threat you your health and purse.  Available from all fine gentleman’s stores.  Ask for it by name!

A Gentleman’s Anti-footpad and Anti-rain Device

These solidly constructed umbrellas often have handles of horn or ivory.  The cloth of the umbrella is usually black but some nobles have been known to have the panels done in their house colors.

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Review – Sucker Punch (movie)

26 March, 2011

From the trailers and ads, you would expect Zack Snyder’s new movie Sucker Punch to be a gamer’s dream unfortunately, it is not.  Not even close.

Short, no spoilers review:  The all too brief CGI-fueled frenetic action scenes cannot save a movie with a weak and incoherent plot, flat acting and an incredible lack of dramatic tension.   If you must see this movie, wait and rent it so you can freeze the action scenes and appreciate how much is packed into them and fast forward through the rest.

More spoilered review after the cut: Read the rest of this entry ?


New Magic Item – Bridge of Roots

21 March, 2011

The warriors of assembled tribes of Lorcornis found their route blocked, the recent heavy spring rains had cut a deep channel through the ford at Comarding and swept away the bridge above it.  The waters still ran fast and icy cold with more rain expected any day.   The first scout sent to look for a new ford were swept away when they lost their footing on the loose and slippery stone and mud.  Only one was recovered some miles downstream, nearly chilled to death.Jembatan akarphoto © 2010 ilham saibi | more info (via: Wylio)

The druid Liyn who accompanied the warriors studied the deadly river and found a place where two trees were almost perfectly placed across from each other.  She produced a twisted root, ancient and ripe with the power of the green.  With a prayer to the forest she touched it to the tree on her side and threw it across the water.  As it spun through the air, roots from both trees reached out for it, meeting in the middle of the water, wrapping around the ancient root and each other forming a bridge of roots wide enough for two men to pass each other on.  And the warriors continued on their journey.

Bridge of Roots

These are old and twisted roots taken from ancient groves.  They shift slowly as if seeking a place to root itself.

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New Feats – Simple Yet Deadly and Simple Killing

18 March, 2011

Agilon of the Club was a simple man, wielding a simple weapon yet few could stand before his club.  He faced down swordsmen, axe fighters and lancers with nothing more then his trusty length of wood.

Simple Yet Deadly (Combat)

You have mastered the potential of a basic weapon and turned it into a better tool for killing.

Prerequisites: Weapon Focus in a simple weapon.

Benefit: The damage for the simple weapon increases by one step on the following list, as if the weapon’s size had increased by one category. Damage dice increase as follows: 1d2, 1d3, 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 2d6, and so on.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.

Simple Killing (Combat)

In your hands, a simple weapon becomes a tool of unprecedented death and destruction.

Prerequisites: Simple Yet Deadly.

Benefit: The critical multiplier  for the simple weapon increases by one.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.

Notes: Just pondering ways to make simple weapons more dangerous and give characters more options.  As Harbinger of Doom suggests below, they can be rolled into one feat with little fear of it being overpowered.


New Magic Item – Shielding Stylus

15 March, 2011

The first attempt on the Dictator of Varanda’s life failed when his stylus left to his defense buying him enough time to draw his dagger and call for help.  Two more time, his animated stylus would save him from attempts on his life but it would prove no protection against poison administered by his latest mistress.

Shielding Stylus

These come in many forms from simple reed stylus to dyed quill to decorated fountain pen.  But they are something a bureaucrat or a politician can keep close to hand without attracting attention.

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New Magic Item – City Fighter’s Halberd

14 March, 2011

The elite pioneers of the Storm Guard carry custom built halberds to aid in their tasks which usually involve shattering gates, smashing doors and cutting chains.  Halberdphoto © 2007 Delphine Ménard | more info (via: Wylio)

Their most famous action was the destruction of the Northheld Bridge while under heavy fire preventing the armies of Khanate of Vashik from advancing into the heart of the Kingdom.

City Fighter’s Halberd

The shaft of this halberd is made of thick wood reinforced with steel wrapped with stout cording, the blade is heavy steel often scarred or soot blackened.  Used by elite city fighters to clear the way for others.

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Review – Legendary Items

13 March, 2011

A useful source book from Purple Duck building on their Legendary Item line providing another set of items that evolve in power with the characters that use them.  Even if you do not want to use evolving items they provide a good set of ideas for magic items at various power levels.

Legendary Items is a 28-page PDF (21-pages if you remove the credits/OGL page) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Mark Gedak and Stefen Styrsky and published by Purple Duck Games.

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New Alchemical Item – Training Salt

11 March, 2011

Training salt was originally developed by the harsh Sarpathians for their final training session before a young man was granted the title of warrior.  Its use spread to other militant societies and groups as ways to prove their toughness and bravery in the face of danger, pain and the threat of death.Salt Crystalsphoto © 2004 Dawn Endico | more info (via: Wylio)

From these almost admirable uses, its use has further spread to slavers and to torturers.

Training Salt

This alchemically treated salt is finely ground and clings to any metal it is applied to giving it a crystalline sheen.  It must be stored in watertight containers, usually made of ceramic.  A standard container of training salt has enough to coat one two-handed sword or two one-handed swords or six daggers or eight spear heads or a dozen arrows.

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