Archive for May, 2012


Review – Shadowrun: Spy Games

31 May, 2012

Spy Games is about the divided city of Denver and the conflicts and opportunities such provide for spies and shadowrunners alike.  The city, it inhabitants and ways to make money there are detailed.  If you like spies or Denver (or both) in the Shadowrun setting, this is the sourcebook for you.

Spy Games: A Deep Shadows Sourcebook for Shadowrun written by Bill Aguiar, Lars Blumenstein, Rusty Childers, Jason M. Hardy, Adam Large, James Meiers, John Schmidt, Brandie Tarvin, Malik Toms, Tobias Wolter, Russell Zimmerman and published by Catalyst Game Labs.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Highwayman’s Crossbow

29 May, 2012

A bolt sped through the air, knocking the heavy crossbow from the hands of the carriage’s guardsman.  The driver reined in the horses as the road was blocked by a felled tree.   “Stand and deliver!” cried the flashily dressed woman holding a loaded crossbow standing astride the toppled tree.

Valuable Crossbow for a Villain“No one need be hurt,” she cried.  “But you will leave here poorer if you wish to avoid harm.”

Highwayman’s Crossbow

These light crossbows are sturdily made and often decorated with trophies taken.  The names of their owners is usually carved into the stock.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Elementals, in general and in the Sea of Stars

28 May, 2012

I had mention in an early post that the elemental realms (elemental plane in D&D terms) still interacted with the Sea of Stars, but I have decided this is not longer so as there are no elemental realms anymore.  Not as it “they have been destroyed” but rather, that they never existed.

Elementals All


Reading James Maliszewski‘s It’s Elementary article reminded me about the origin of elementals in D&D and that the elemental planes were a later addition to the D&D cosmology which may have some literary antecedence in Moorcock’s works but I am not sure.

In retrospect, the elemental realms is a concept that is not needed for the Sea of Stars as the realms beyond simply do not play a major role in that setting.  In the Sea of Stars, an elemental is the awakening of the essence of that element, a spark of life and intelligence, but rarely full sentience, imparted to an element.  So, the elements are not summoned, only the animating spark.

Therefore, to create an elemental you need:

  • Magic to create or summon the animating spark.
  • The element you are awakening.  The larger the elemental you wish to awaken, the more of the element you need.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Pathfinder: Gate of Sorrow – Pilot Episode

25 May, 2012

Having the characters and the last thing they remember, the open scene is:

Each character comes to instantaneous, complete consciousness, and finds themself dressed in loose clothing of fine cloth at a table piled high with food of all varieties.  Across from them, against the wall is all of their gear in neat piles and a tall woman with black hair, that flashes gold in the light and golden eyes with diamond shaped pupils.  She introduces herself as Mariassa Sorrow, Satrap of the Gate City of Caracossa and invites them to partake of the feast, construct servants serve them all (except the elf is not given wine and must be content with water).

After dinner there is some questioning, Sorrow explains that the characters are better off here than they would have been had her people not picked them up and in exchange, she expects them to use their talents for her.  In return, they will be equipped and rewarded.  But, they must also agree to act as her agent and wear their choice of a necklace or bracelet of polished black stone, which flashed with her mark as it was donned, which would allow her to locate them as needed.  Sorrow is seeking the location of the Eighth Gate, for only seven of the eight gates have been discovered, and the prize for finding the Eighth, well, it would be astronomical.

Servant without clothes

Sorrow’s Servant

Read the rest of this entry ?


New Pathfinder Campaign – Gate of Sorrow – Characters

22 May, 2012

So, I have started running an occasional Pathfinder campaign.  The characters are:

Aisha, an oracle of the angel of war, an order called by some the fallen angels.  From a desert kingdom, her last memory before the opening scene was of standing over the bodies of four bandits, bloody sword in hand.  (Oracle 3, human, played by L, my lovely wife)

Falla, once a member of the Order of the Wind, claims to be 147-years old but looks thirteen.  Says that she was the victim of age-renewal magic gone wrong which not only regressed her body but her mind.  Some of the other characters are dubious.  Her last memory before the opening scene was of fleeing out of the back on an inn, two enforcers of the Order of Wind in close support.  (Monk 3, human, played by Z)

Palin She’Are, noble by birth from the Eosiant Kingdom, though claiming to be but a simple swordsman.  Owns a sword of black steel that comes to his hand when asked.  He was fleeing knights in service to his family.  (Noble 1/Fighter 2, human, Played by M)

Esarian Ivyblood, elven wizard from the White Isles and trained in the prestigious College of Gold.  (NPC, so the party had access to a scholar and wizard.)

From their last memories, they awake in . . . <to be continued>


Tuesday Magic Item – Candle of Soul Protection

22 May, 2012

A guarded nameBurning ForeverIn the main Cathedral of Voskh, known as the Blue Cathedral, there are rows upon rows of black candles each burning for eternity with a pale blue light.  There are everywhere, in tiered chandeliers, on window sill and in rows along each wall.  Each bearing the name of a son or daughter of Voskh who went to war against the Shadow Lord and his deleathless minions.  As long as the candles burn, they will not return in unliving form to trouble their kin.

Candle of Soul Protection

These candle come in different forms for differing faith, but most common is a long white taper dipped in red and then black wax.  The wax and wick must be purified and blessed before the candle is made.

Read the rest of this entry ?


More Short Pathfinder Reviews – Spirit Warriors and Fabricants

18 May, 2012

Short reviews of two products from the Necromancers of the Northwest for the Pathfinder RPG,  one a new class and the other a new race with a complementary class and other support.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Review – The Danse Macabre

17 May, 2012

The Danse Macabre opens a wide vista of options for Vampire and to a lesser extent other World of Darkness games.  If you wish to expand your campaign in any of a variety of directions, this book is full of useful tools and inspiration to do so.

The Danse Macabre is a 266-page PDF (260-pages if you remove the covers and ads) for Vampire: the Requiem (and the World of Darkness in general) RPG written by Russell Bailey, Benjamin Baugh, David Brookshaw, Christopher Cowger, Bethany Culp, Matthew McFarland, Greg Stolze, and Chuck Wendig and published by White Wolf Publishing.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Review – Dreamchipper

15 May, 2012

Dreamchipper is a blast from the past, an adventure for the original version of Shadowrun.  It is still a fun read and a fun adventure but a few additional pages with suggestions on ways to update and adapt it to the current edition and setting would not have been amiss.

Dreamchipper for Shadowrun written by James D. Long and published by Catalyst Game Labs (and originally published by FASA in 1989).  It is an 84-page PDF which reproduces the original FASA module.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Mace of the Infernal Duke

15 May, 2012

The warlord styling himself the Emperor of the North paced his throne room, pausing to look at maps and reports.  Snapping at servants and drinking rice wine.

Clubbing you to deathHis trusted lieutenant, his armor damaged and his head bandaged arrived with a long box under one arm.  He kowtowed and offered the box.

“You have found it?” asked the warlord.

“Yes, my Emperor, it cost the lives of most of my command and all the wizards you sent to retrieve it, but the mace of the infernal duke is yours.”

Mace of the Infernal Duke

Despite the name this was made for a mortal, but not a kind one, the infamous Duke of Xin.  It is a eight-sided steel shaft that ends in a flanged head, each flange decorated with runes of dark power inlaid in silver.  The grip is sharkskin and the symbol of Xin is embossed in gold on the end.

Read the rest of this entry ?

%d bloggers like this: