Archive for July, 2011


Advancing to August, Exiting July

31 July, 2011

As we move into August (named after that all around swell guy Augustus Caesar), things are hot where I am.  Hope that the weather is treating you better.   Not that we follow themes too closely here, but we will being looking as personalities and persons this month.  If there is something you want to see, write a comment or post in the Sea of Stars forum.

Sadly, I am not making it to GenCon this year but hope that everyone who does has fun (and check out my advice for those going).

July month saw the following articles on the Journal:

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Review – Ultimate Options: New Arcane Discoveries

30 July, 2011

Ultimate Options: New Arcane Discoveries builds on the new arcane discovery mechanic introduced in Ultimate Magic, providing a variety of new possibilities for modeling classic wizards from fiction and making more interesting wizards for all.

Ultimate Options: New Arcane Discoveries is a 10-page PDF (9 pages if you remove the credits/OGL page) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Owen K. C. Stephens and published by Super Genius Games.  This is part of Super Genius Games’ Ultimate Options line.

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New Feat – Sorcerous Vis

29 July, 2011

The elven sorcerer laughed as the clumsy Ducal swordsmen -well, he made them look clumsy- tried to grab him as he ran down the table.  A group the got too close were bathed in flashing rainbow light and fell away.

“All I wanted was a kiss from the Duchess,” he complained, leaping to another table.  “Is it my fault she decided she wanted more?”

“Get him!” screamed the Duke.  A trio of crossbow men fired.  Two of their bolts deflected off an invisible shield, but the third struck home.

“I am wounded!” cried the sorcerer, speaking a word and leaping to a open window, half way up the high ceiling.  “I know when I am not wanted.”  With that he pitched himself out of the window.

“Find him!  Kill him!” frothed the Duke.  I just shook my head, knowing the sorcerer as a ham and that the wound he suffered would soon be as vanished as he was from the Duke’s presence.

Sorcerous Vis
You draw health and life energy from your magic.

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New Feats – Armored in Sorcery

28 July, 2011

The sorcerer laughed as his conjured fire burned through the first rank of soldiers.  The volley of crossbow bolts that rained down upon him were deflected by a haze that radiated from him like heat.

“Fools!” he shouted.  ‘Not only does my magic destroy you, it protects me!”

Another bolt of fire from the sorcerer’s hand destroyed a wagon and the three soldier behind it.  “Now . . .” the rest of his boast was cut off as a silver shafted arrow pierced his breast.  “What!?”

The Silver Band had finally arrived.  Now the sorcerer would have a real fight on his hands.

Armored in Sorcery
Your magic creates a momentary aura that protects you from harm.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Mage Killer Rod

26 July, 2011

The day had come, years of preparation and hundreds of lives lost, to put all of the pieces in place for the rebellion, the rebellion that would end the tyranny of the sorcerer-king.

Mage Killer Rod

Mage Killer Rod

The bravest and strongest took the special rods, built with layers upon layers of prayer and faith, they knew that using them w

ould consume their mortal flesh but would protect their fellows.  The other took the weapons that has be collected, made and smuggled in over the years.

As dawn lightened the skies, the rebels struck.   The sorcerer-kings soldiers fell quickly, the survivors retreating to the citadel where the king’s pawns, sorcerer in their own right were prepared to strike the rebel down with thunder and fire.  But their magics failed them, the rodsmen shatter their spells as they were formed and the citadel fell as the servants inside turned on their hated masters.

Dozen of brave men, new ones taking up the rods as the wielders, spent their lives to guard their friends and family.  The sorcerer-king fought to the last, when his magic could not be countered, it torn through the ranks of the rebels but most of his magics died, as the sorcerer-king did as well.

Mage Killer Rod

These rods were created by a religious sect to battle against the sorcerer-king who oppressed their people and their faith.  These were the items they created to defend the leaders of the uprising, made of intricately carved wood bearing line after line of prayers and protective script, capped with silver, a holy symbol on one end, the mark of death on the other.  The rod is heavier that its construction would imply and any sound made by striking it against something seem muted and hollow.

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Inspirational Viewing – I Sell the Dead

25 July, 2011

Stumbled across this movie from 2008, I Sell the Dead, it starts with a execution by guillotine and moves into the story of a pair of grave

I Sell The Dead Poster

Never Trust a Corpse

robbers in an 18th/19th C. Englandish place.

It is a little slow paced at the start, but soon picks up.  It borrows its look from the Hammer Horror movies, consciously aping the style, look and pacing of that era.  It has interesting undead, villainous humans, grave robbing and Ron Perlman as a monk.

If you do not mind a mix of campy horror and humor, give this movie a look.  I suspect that someone could build a nice Fiasco scenario out of the pieces of it.  It would also be an excellent inspiration for Warhammer and other gritty fantasy.

Take a look if such craziness interest you.

Image borrowed from the IMBD page for the film.


Review – Once Upon A Time: A Guide to Fairy Tales (for Pathfinder)

24 July, 2011

Once Upon the Time is inspirational with some useful ideas, unfortunately it is hampered by a poor conversion to the Pathfinder rule set.  I hope that a second edition with a cleaned up and  improved set of rules for Pathfinder will be released soon.

Once Upon A Time: A Guide to Fairy Tales for Pathfinder is a 46-page PDF (36 pages if you remove the cover, OGL and ads) written by David Caffee and published by Avalon Games.

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Sean’s GenCon Advice

22 July, 2011

GenCon is less than two weeks away, sadly, I will not be attending this year.  But I want everyone who is going to have a great time.  So, I thought I would share my hard-earned experience and try and help out people who are going.


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Wandering the Web [11]

20 July, 2011

A variety of interesting bits of information that I have encountered recently.  Hope you find them as useful and thought provoking as I have.

Brilliant re-envisioning of modern technology if it was produced in the 1970s, look at Alex Varanese’s Alt/1977 with the Pocket Hi-Fi, the LapTron64 and MobileVoxx.  Brilliant and inspirational for retro campaigns, especially supers.

Wearing armor is, unsurprisingly, very tiring University of Leeds proves (though one suspect that someone used to wearing armor day in and day out would be less effected).  Also, a nice video showing someone getting into one of Henry VIII’s suits of armor.

Those interested in ‘small wars’ (i.e. guerrilla warfare and other ‘low intensity’ conflict), should know there is an online journal devoted to such, the Small Wars Journal.  Primarily useful for modern, historical and science fiction gamers I suspect.

Take a look the military side of modern fantasy with Myke Cole who has an interesting site supporting his books.

And for something lighter, a video with the complete (two minutes long) theme for the Big Bang Theory performed by the Barenaked Ladies (and some info about BBT moving into syndication too).

Edit: just read this and need to add it, Snape Lust: 10 Reasons Snape is Hotter than Harry.


Tuesday Magic Item – Serpent Tail Blade

19 July, 2011

Vellan let the sword unwrap itself from around her forearm and slide into her hand.  “Shall we fight then?” she asked of the trio of men blocking her path in the alley.

Serpent Tail BladeTheir eyes followed the arc her sword traced.  “We did not know you were armed,” muttered one.

“You prefer prey that cannot fight back?” she said, eyeing them carefully, shifting to be ready to lunge.

“We don’t want trouble,” said another.

“Then you should not have followed me,” she smiled but there was no mirth in it.

 Serpent Tail Blade

These weapons come in all sizes from daggers to great swords, the metal of the blades usually has a faint green tinge but other colors of snake are occasionally found (one great sword has a pale red blade with a blade stripe, for example).  The blades are usually curved or wavy in design.  The grips are carved in snake-scale patterns or, or rarely, wrapped in snakeskin.

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