Archive for July, 2012


Tuesday Magic Item – Snakestrike Cigarettes

31 July, 2012

I snapped open my steel cigarette case and offered them around.  “We act as soon as we are done, yes?”

a cobra vai fumar

a cobra vai fumar

They nodded and we lit up our cigarettes, the snake scale pattern to the paper flaring brightly as they were lit.   We all kept our thoughts to ourselves, checking and preparing our weapons in the faint light from the burning tips of the cigarettes.

I took one last drag and tossed the butt to the ground, crushing it under my heel.  “Now, for our country and liberty!”  Together, our weapons at the ready, we rushed forward.

Snakestrike Cigarettes

These cigarettes are sold in packs marked with a pipe smoking snake and under a variety of brand names, though some are higher quality than others.  The cigarettes themselves have a snakeskin-like appearance to their paper and its has a slight golden color as it burns.  The tobacco in them has been blended with some herbs, spices and other alchemical additives which causes the smoke of these cigarettes to have a grayish color.

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Review – Star Hero

30 July, 2012

Star Hero is a comprehensive sourcebook on the science fiction genre for the Hero System (6th editoin) weighing in at almostStar Hero 400-pages, it looks at science fiction from a variety of angles and provides a wide range of tools for Game Masters and players alike.  Most of the book is system neutral and useful for anyone planning a science fiction game though its high price is a barrier for non-Hero System gamers.

Star Hero is filled with information on science fiction, all nicely bookmarked and with a comprehensive index.  It covers multiple subgenres from cyberpunk to space opera, hard science fiction to planetary romances, time travel, alternate history and psionics all get treatments in the rules.  Additional, notes on mixing genres such as including mysteries or humor or mixing SF with the superheroic of Champions are included.

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Short V&V Reviews – Chances to be Superheroic

27 July, 2012

Villains and Vigilantes is one of the oldest superheroic roleplaying games out there and it has recently been revised by the original authors and available from Monkey House games.  As V&V is a fairly direct system, conversion to another superhero system should not be that difficult for any of these works.

Each of the V&V books comes with a set of full color counters of the characters and bystanders (and sometime more) that can be printed out for game use.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Sleep Thief

24 July, 2012

“Here is your gold,” said the man in the grey clothes, gesturing to the pillows so carefully doctored, “now see these make it into the rooms of those ‘adventurers’.”

The servant nodded, tucking the gold coin away.  “You are sure I will not get in trouble?”

“I am sure.  There is another gold in it for you if you keep quite until they have left town.”

The servant gathered the pillows and left.  The grey man stroked the vials around his neck and smiled.

Sleep Thief

These insidious items appear as two small crystal vials worn on a silver chain, one holds a dark blue liquid, the other may hold a sky blue liquid.

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Short M&M Reviews – Multiple Threats

23 July, 2012

The Threat Report series of characters produced by Green Ronin for their Mutants & Masterminds game provide a useful resource for M&M Games Masters who might need a certain type of villain quickly.

Each of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file.  Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publically known about the character described.  Each character is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

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L5R New Lands to the North – Winter Endgame

22 July, 2012

Following Autumn’s harvest, the Valley of White Flowers prepares for war as the days become shorter and the nights colder.

A problem of living in valleys, even without winter weather, is that communication is slow moving between them.  So, while they know that there are rumors and warnings of the Yobanjin being on the offensive, news is fragmentary.  The two Kempeitai Matsu Legionaries returned, one of them (Matsu Matsui) presenting his permission from his commander to duel Shiba Shyuan over the matter of the slander (from the Matsu’s view) of his former commander, Ikoma Koki.  To everyone surprise, Shyuan won the duel and the Lion lets the matter drop, officially.

A hawk rider circles the castle and delivers a warning -tied to a javelin- Read the rest of this entry ?


L5R New Lands to the North – Autumn to Winter

18 July, 2012

After the unusual events of Autumn, rumors of war reach the Valley of White Flowers as the days become shorter and colder, omens of hardship and worse abound.

Daimyo Isawa Natsumi, sees that the harvest is properly stored and protected, thanking her people for their hard work and a job well done.  She steps up training of the new locally raised ashigaru, sadly weaponry and armor is in short supply for them, and works with the Akodo to improve the defenses of the Valley.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Turtle of Resistance

17 July, 2012

It was just a small green turtle carved of some hard green stone worked into is shell was the motto:

The turtle know what he is and perseveres.  The turtle knows what is right and stands firm.

The man turned it over in his hand before clenching his fist around it.  Like the turtle, it was time to stand firm before injustice, The Turtle Enduresthe corruption of the magistrate and his cronies would not stand,  the innocent would be freed. 

“My friends,” he said to those nearby, “today we take a stand.”

Turtle of Resistance

These carved turtles are usually made from greenish stone, though always from very hard stone, and often have motto carved into them noting the durability of the turtle and the need to stand firm when righteousness is challenged.

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Short Pathfinder Reviews – Merchandise, Smugglers and Ioun Stones

16 July, 2012

Three short reviews of various Pathfinder products:

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L5R New Lands to the North – Autumn

14 July, 2012

Crossing into the endgame as we move from Summer, via various actions, to Autumn.  Autumn is the harvest time and much to everyone’s relief, it looks like the harvest will be good, not only the first rice harvest but the other crops as well.  The local shaman asks the Asako ishken-do to seek the Daimyo’s permission for him to bless the harvest.  He does so and it is given, Asako Taysuke is allowed to help with the ritual, so he has more time to observe how the Yobanjin shaman work his magic.Harvest time

Shigeru and the visiting monk Ennin manage to recruit a handful of youth, mostly orphans, to become novices of the Brotherhood.  Ennin is a persuasive speaker and was able to assuage the fears of the local townsfolk but he has left their training primarily to Shigeru who will be staying in the area.  Kemuri the ronin has heard rumors of a new group of bandits to the south, notable in that they seem to Rokugani in origin.

Akodo Raion finds an unexpected guest in his office when he returns from patrol, Gunso Ikoma Koki of the Kempeitai (Military Police Corps) and his four field grey armored soldiers.  He is interested in the situation here . . . with the people.  As Koki is here under an Imperial writ giving him sweeping powers to root out and destroy rebellion in the new lands of the Empire.  Koki questions Raion intently before being escorted to the Kitsuki, his presence dampens the spirits of the samurai on leave in the town (and Kemuri watches several of the more questionable of the transient workers vanish).  There he continues his questions, trying to understand what happened in Apple Blossom Village.  The Kitsuki take him back to meet the daimyo, where he presents his writ and generally scares the hell out of everyone.

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