Archive for January, 2013


Tuesday Magic Item – Hemloth’s Lunar Harness and Plow

29 January, 2013

Away from the prying eyes of the lord’s greedy tax collectors and the church’s grasping functionaries, a large clearing had been made in the forest.

“Are you sure about this, Herrick?” asked his son.

“We need crop that we can count on, that will not be taken for war or taxes,” replied Herrick, a grizzled old farmer, as he pulled on a harness clearly meant for a horse.  “Now grip that plow, we will need to get as much work done as we can tonight.”

His son did so, his knuckles white.  Herrick took the bit between his teeth as the moon rose above the trees.  As the light struck him, his body grew and shifted, painfully changing him from man to horse.  Only his tight grip on the bit between his teeth kept him from screaming through the ordeal.  Once he was fully horse, he began pulling the plow which cut an easy and deep furrow in the recently cleared ground.

Hemloth’s Lunar Harness and Plow

These items are of great age but clearly well cared for and mended, the harness is of leather and blackened iron while the plow is hardened oak with a iron share (blade).  They often are of quite ancient design.

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Pattern Seekers – Episode 12: Shells, Wyrmlings and Man-Eating Plants

27 January, 2013

Having moved to gain allies in an urban setting, our heroes were next summon for a more traditional venturers task: recovery.  Summoned by the Shaper they are dispatched to an isolated valley to retrieve dragon egg shells.  They are assured that no actual dragons will be present at the start of their mission.

They arrive through a portal on a slope leading down into a lush jungle valley.  They start to blaze a trail through the undergrowth which proves hard going off and on.  Soon they come to a crystal clear stream winding its way through the valley with no obvious ford or bridge crossing it, though it is only about eight foot (2.5m) wide it is deep and quick flowing. Read the rest of this entry ?


More Cyberpunk Inspiration

24 January, 2013

Military and militant corporations are a staple of cyberpunk futures (and actually exist, look at Academi formerly known as Blackwater).  But they do not have to be the bad guy, they might just be useful employers and allies.  Maybe you are having problems with pirates?  Then you could hire a private navy like the Typhon company to provide one!  It seems like there could be some good adventure in working for (or against) a company like Typhon.

Extrapolating from current trends, you should be worried about the ever present surveillance state and very worried about closed circuit camera (CCTV), facial recognition software and drones?  (And if you are not, you probably should be.)  What about a privacy visor to counter facial recognition software?    Or perhaps some anti-drone fashion to make life more difficult for those spies in the skies (more on stealth wear here)?

Need a clever way to store data?  How about on strands of DNA?  How much information could be hidden in a cat?

I will also link to my Cyberpunk board on Pinterest again, it is slowly growing as new pieces are found.


New Magic Item – Surgeon’s Needle

23 January, 2013

For a sharp task“Hand me my case, Mister Mate,” said the ships Doctor, looking over the injured man.  Fragments of splinted wood were embedded in the poor sailor’s side.

The doctor tsked softly as she looked over the wounds, “Good thing I was on hand, he will not last much longer without help.  She opened her case and began setting out tools.  “Open the treated thread, it is in the blue tine there.  Be care, try not to spill any of the liquid.”  With a keen eye and deft hand, at best one could be on a rolling ship in any case, she set to work.

Surgeon’s Needle

These needles are almost always made of metal, usually steel but occasionally mithril, with a slight curve to them.  They are preternaturally sharp.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Cossack’s Shashka

22 January, 2013

Cossak's Shashka“Again!” roared the hetman, wheeling his horse around for another charge.

The rest of the cossacks, though still able to in any case, cheered and brought their mounts around.  Their shashka flashing in the midday sun.  Their lance having all been used or lost after the first charge.

With a mighty shout, they urged their horses into another run at their enemies.

Cossack’s Shashka

These swords are sharp, single-edged and guard-less sword with a slight curve.  The pommel is large and usually decorated.  The scabbards for these swords are made from carved and decorated wood.

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“You want the truth?” Scene from our Out of Time M&M game

20 January, 2013

I am playing in a Mutants & Masterminds game, low powered (PL8 for those who play) where the framework is we are playing characters from various points of time (ranging from the ancient world to 1982) who have been given special abilities, programmed with information on modern technology and the world and then returned to the present to do . . . something, information is hazy on that last point.

We are newly back into time and on our first task working for a shady megacorporation that goes under the name of the Eschelon Organization.  We are trying to track down a stolen piece of experimental technology that allowed two criminal to escape from a Federal holding cell in downtown Chicago (based loosely on real events) and we have been told that we are acting as corporate advisers to the FBI, specifically to Agent Charlotte Jones.

We had been doing out investigations and Agent Jones, perceptively,  realized that we were keeping things from her as she was driving us back from the Federal Building.  The debate went back and fourth until finally my character (Anne Archy, punk rocker from 1982 who I will present in more detail soon) snapped:

We are time travelers from the past, given superpower and returned to the present to save the future.

And then Agent Jones threw us out of her car.  Now we need to find a new governmental Liaison.


New Magic Item – Fire Stone

17 January, 2013

Niko disliked the weight of the stone, but the ability to keep warm without fire or smoke was worth it when you were watching someone and did not want them to know they were being watched.

He set the bread and cheese on the stone to warm keeping an ear open for movement on behalf of his target.

Fire Stone

These rune-covered stones are drawn from a well-used hearth, often with ash embedded in the cracks and runes.

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Review – Eldritch Races: Runeborn

16 January, 2013

Eldritch Races: Runeborn presents (surprise!) a new race for Pathfinder, the Runeborn are accidental exiles from the moon and are bonded with lunar silver making them half-constructs thus able to survive in inhospitable habitats such as their home.  They are an intriguing race well suited to play as adventurers or be encountered in unusual and unexpected locations.

The Runeborn has an interesting set of abilities, mostly from their status as half-constructs but also due to them being tied to both the moon and the magic of words.  The society of the Runeborn is sketched out as is their relation with other races and religions allowing them to be easily adapted into a setting.  Supporting the race are variant racial abilities (and examples of how they can be expressed in as racial subtypes), favored class options, five new feats, one piece of new equipment (only of use to the Runeborn) and a new spell round out the product giving a good amount of material to work with.  The author includes the Advance Race Guide’s scale of points to show how the racial mechanics fit together and where they are in relation to the abilities of others races while another sidebar talks about other useful character options from non-core Pathfinder books.

Overall, the Runeborn are an unusual race but one with considerable possibilities for use in a campaign.


Tuesday Magic Item – Mouse Bridle

15 January, 2013

The assassin sped away on a horse, that the guard captain was sure had not been there a minute before, speeding away from his pursuers.

Unbridled Mice


But the guards knew the city better than the killer and the townsfolk were more than happy to direct them after the man who had so foully attacked the Prince.

The alley he had been spotted riding into had no exit.  But when the guards closed in, they found no horse and the dead mouse with the foam-specked mouth was trodden underfoot.

Mouse Bridle

These items are delicately crafted bridles made of leather and wire of the size to fit a mouse (or other rodent), usually there is a tag hanging from the bridle which has the command word upon it.

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Reviews – Cats and Angels for Pathfinder

13 January, 2013

If you like your catfolk stalking the plains in dangerous prides, Racial Ecology: Guide to Catfolk will provide a good set of tools to realize that.

Racial Ecology: Guide to Catfolk is just that giving a society background, ideas for appearance and names, and a cultural framework.  These catfolk are a nomadic tribal people fiercely independent and proud.  This is backed by new mechanics for two weapons, two magic items, alternate racial traits (four), traits (six) and feats (three) to round out the catfolk.  Lastly a short adventure, complete with a new monster and an example catfolk ranger complete the package.

This version of the catfolk no longer fully aligns with the official Pathfinder version since the release of the Advanced Race Guide but it provides another viewpoint on the catfolk which may be useful for some campaigns.

Aasimar: Heirs of Glory is a work expanding on the place of aasimar, those with celestial heritage, in a Pathfinder game.  It is quite successful, providing both interesting background on the aasimar, new mechanical options and a variety of example characters.  A solid resource if you use Aasimar in your campaign, you will find useful material here.

Raging Swan’s Aasimar: Heirs of Glory provides a wealth of information and character options for aasimar characters.  New alternate class features (for cavalier, clerics, monks and paladins), feats and character traits are provided.  Additionally, there are rules for variant assimar bloodlines leading to options for skill bonuses and spell-like abilities.  A lovely random table for determining special features of the aasimar’s appearance is provided as is one for aasimar origins.  Lastly, seven aasimar characters are provided taking advantage of the options presented in this book.

This version of the aasimar no longer fully aligns with the official Pathfinder version since the release of the Advanced Race Guide but it provides a useful set of options for aasimar players and GM who wish to use this race in their campaign.

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