Archive for September, 2012


Seattle Scream (#36) and Shadowrun campaign report

29 September, 2012

Shadowrun continues its slow momentum with monthly games, oddly, this is forcing a coincidence between the time of year on the Seattle Scream and when we are playing the game.  Players are starting to create additional characters so we have the beginning of character stables.  The latest issue of the Seattle Scream (#36) is available for anyone who has use of such a prop where I actually tie some of the official Shadowrun history with the announcement that Knight Errant will be taking over as Seattle’s police next (game) year as they are the Seattle Police Force in the Seattle 2072.

We have managed three games since the last Scream, the sarin attack and the runner fashion reflecting two of those, while the third may show up next issue.


Playing In Other People’s Worlds – September Blog Carnival

28 September, 2012

This is part of the September Blog Carnival: Running Games In Established Settings kindly hosted by Dice Monkey.

Generally, I do not play in established settings, early experience with the Forgotten Realm left a bad taste in my mouth for such for D&Dish fantasy games and since then I have been fairly aggressive about building my own worlds and settings.  Same for superhero games, I love supers but the existing worlds (DC and Marvel) are so bogged down in their own convoluted histories that they are near unplayable for me.  I want a world that in mine and, because it is mine, I understand how it works.

Now, there are two exceptions to this, Legend of the Five Rings and Shadowrun, both of which I have run off and on since each of they released.  We will look at them in reverse order:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Ancestral Death Mask

25 September, 2012
Death Mask

Ask me

Oland hated this part of the monthly family ceremony when they went to speak to the ancestors, he fidgeted and tried to keep to the back but his mother spotted him and called him forward.  He dragged his feet but one of the servants propelled him forward.  He stood there, staring at his sandals.

“Tell your grandfather about your problems at school, Oland,” prompted his mother.

Oland stepped up to the row of death masks and whispered in the ear of the mask for his grandfather.

After a moment the mask began to move, a fine rain of dust shaken free.  Its blank eyes opened, and it spoke in a dry voice, “Young Oland, you bear my name, you must stand up for it . . .”

Ancestral Death Mask

These masks are cast from pristine materials soon after death and sacred magics bind an echo of the person’s soul into the mask.  The masks may look fragile but they are very resilient and difficult to destroy.

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Short Pathfinder Reviews – Rite Publishing Edition

25 September, 2012

A variety of short reviews of a variety of products for Pathfinder by those talented people at Rite Publishing.  Are you sitting comfortably?  Then we will begin,

In the Company of Henge is a sourcebook for playing hengeyokai, Japanese animal spirits specifically for Rite’s Kaidan setting, but adaptable to any Pathfinder world. Read the rest of this entry ?


Review – Grimtooth’s Traps (PDF)

22 September, 2012

Grimtooth Traps for all!Grimtooth’s Traps is a sourcebook of traps absurd and marvelous and a delightful look back at a different era of adventure gaming, when dungeon crawling was nearly a competitive sport between players and GMs.  Enjoy the deviousness of old school trap design in this wonderful update of a classic.

Grimtooth’s Traps provides traps wondrous, deadly and bizarre mostly designed for a classic dungeon-type setting.  The book was originally published in 1981, so for some (like me) reading it is tinged with nostalgia for old school gaming and the wacky, early days of dungeon adventuring.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Herrenvold’s Slavecatcher

18 September, 2012

The  warning bell rang out, slave-catchers spotted!  A chill ran down my spine and I dashed for the temple.  Even the slave-catchers do not dare to challenge the Goddess of Freedom in her temple, whatever the laws may say.

Joining the flow of newly freed, we dodged though the narrow streets.  Alert for catchers and spotters.  The temples doors came into view, acolytes with staves stood ready to defend us.

Jebes next to me cried out as metal bands closed around  his waist, pulling him back.  A spark flashed from the metal, stinging me as I ran on.  “Go,” Jebes cried out.

Herrenvold’s Slavecatcher

These mancatchers are styled after the one owned by Herrenvold the Bloodhound, capturer of escaped slaves.  They are made of polished steel and brass over good hard wood and marked with tags of authorization from the various entities employing the slavecatcher.

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Trip to DC – Part II – Freer to Flying Home

16 September, 2012

(Part I of the trip) Started Thursday with a visit to Labyrinth Games, which is a lovely shop specializing in family games, puzzles and board games and beginning to get seriously into Magic and lightly into RPGs.  If you are in the area, drop in and take a look.  (We dropped by as a friend works there, sadly, we missed him.)

Then to the Freer and Sackler Galleries, which are the Smithsonian’s Asian art collections, which was wonderful as always.  Lots of things we had not seen before had been rotated through the collections and their was a special exhibit called Nomads and Networks which looked at the  culture and artifacts of Kazakhstan.  Laura has a fascination with the steppes nomads, so that was a real treat for her.  But both galleries are well worth the time to explore with wonderful collections and always intriguing exhibitions.  Then a dash over to the National Museum of Natural History to see the Hope Diamond, their wonderful collections of gems and minerals, the titanoboa and a few other things before they closed.

Back to Alexandria for dinner at Eamonn’s – a Dublin Chipper for fantastic fish and chips, lovely fried cod and hand cut chips.  Oh, so very tasty,  Wish it was closer.  If you like fish and chips and are in Alexandria, give them a try.

On Friday, Read the rest of this entry ?


Pondering Alignment, in the D&D / Pathfinder sense

14 September, 2012

So, we have been messing around with the D&Dnext playtest and we have a new player in that group, both of which led to a discussion of alignment in D&D (and similar games) and what it means.  These sort of debates is why my Sea of Stars campaign (which uses Pathfinder rules mostly) just ditched alignment entirely.

However, I thought that I would post up about what the various D&D alignments mean to me, I am making no claim to universal applicably in this, but this is how I interpret them:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Reporter’s Notepad

11 September, 2012

I was chasing down “Big Mike” Mahoney for a quote about what his boys had been doing during the dock strike that became a riot when a bigger fish passed by in the form of Reginald “Golden Reg” Rymond, owner of the Golden Sea Shipping Line.

What secrets does this contain

Reporter’s notes

“Mr Rymond!’ I called, “Any comment on the dock strike?”

His bodyguard, big as a gorilla and twice as ugly, tried to block my way but my press card and notepad caused him to pause.  Rymond sighed.  “Walk with me, muckraker, I can spare you a few minutes.”

I smirked and flipped open my notebook, “So, about the strike . . .”

Reporter’s Notepad

These notepads are usually held in leather cases, though canvass, metal and even wood are occasionally used.  Most are personalized by their owner, usually noting their name and organization.  They all have some way to seal them, be it tied string, clasp lock or something more exotic.

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Visit to DC – Part I – Arrival through Alexandria

9 September, 2012

Our journey to the Washington DC-area was uneventful, though it was our first time flying Southwest Airlines and we were quite happy with them.  Arriving late on Sunday, my mother and her husband drove us in from BWI and we settled in for the days ahead.

Monday, Labor Day, was our first expedition into DC using the METRO (subway) system which now wants you to have plastic SmarTrip cards, rather than the old paper farecards but makes it very difficult to obtain them (more on that later).  It was Labor Day, so DC was nearly deserted apart from foreign tourists, there was a stretch of about 90 minutes where the only English I heard spoken was between Laura and I.

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