Archive for June, 2013


Into July, Exiting June

30 June, 2013

Welcome Summer (at least in the Northern hemisphere) though things have been hot here since June began, though not as hot in some parts of the country.

Now, some history, July was named after Julius Caesar in the re-formalization of the Roman Calendar creating the Julian Calender (which, as you no doubt guessed, is named for him too).  So, in honor of Caesar, we shall be looking at governments, organization and people of ambition in the Sea of Stars.  As usual, if there is a particular subject you would like to know more about or see more of, please let me know.

Looking back over June, which was -incidentally-  the four anniversary of this Journal, it was a fairly light month for posting but did see the following:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Gavel of Judgement

25 June, 2013

Guilty!  Guilty!  Guilty!Lawmaster Konratten brought his gavel down.  “The sentence is announced,” he paused, “the defendant is sentence to be taken from this place to the Island Prison of Savrossia, where he will work what jobs are required of him for the next sixty years.  If at the end of that time, should he still be alive, he will be free to return to his former live.”

Gavel of Judgement

These gavels are made from wood taken from trees at least two centuries old that have grown on land tied to authority.  Carved by masters and polished with rare oils, they are simple but beautiful symbols of judicial authority.

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Another set of short reviews of products for Pathfinder

22 June, 2013

A selection of short reviews of recent Pathfinder products:

Call to Arms: Archer’s Arsenal by Fat Goblin’s Games is Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Francyn’s Belt and Scabbards

18 June, 2013

Have you heard of Hassard Francyn?  He was a lawman in these parts, as well as a scout, a gambler, and an outlaw.  He was known for his black leather belt with a silver buckle and his matched sword and dagger in their black scabbards with silver fittings.  Francyn became famous in the Masulium Lands for killing two men in self-defense before he killed one of his wives while drunk and in a fit of jealousy.  He served nine years in the garrison-prison of Highspur before he was pardoned and left for the gold fields of Shaggra.  He remarried twice in Shaggra before disappearing. 

But occasionally, some swordsman or woman will appear, claiming his legacy by wearing a belt like Francyn’s.

Francyn’s Belt and Scabbards

Only one of these sets in known to exist, but copies may have been made.  It is a belt of black leather, worn by use, with a silver buckle, attached are two scabbards, one for a sword and one for a dagger, with silver fittings.

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Shadowrun Campaign Pitch – Unusual Solutions Inc (USi)

16 June, 2013

Unusual Solutions Inc (USi)

“We solve your problems.”

The characters are recently promoted/head-hunted/blackmailed on to one of the field teams of USi.  USi is a specialist micro-corp that deals with unique maintenance and repair solutions.  They have offices worldwide and a small staff of permanent employees but a large portfolio of freelancers.

The Seattle branch is located on the 13th floor of the Caulder Building, a nondescript tower block overlooking the docks.  In fact, they rent the entire floor and use it to host an ever changing host of temporary companies and start-ups spun off from USi.

Maria “the Wall” Wallenstein-Haines runs the Seattle office.  “The Wall” is a former Munich Valkyries (Women’s Global Combat Soccer League) goalie who retired after losing her left leg for the third time.  She has been with USi for six years after a brief stint in Sadler-Krupp security.

Shadowrun – Unusual Solutions Inc (USi)

Welcome to USi where “we solve your problems”, a specialist microcorp with global reach.  We will work with you to resolve your maintenance and repair problems no matter how unusual.

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Inspirational Viewing – Man of Steel (2013)

14 June, 2013

Short non-spoilered review of Man of Steel:

Well done special effects are no substitute for a well thought out plot and 3D only make poorly directed action scenes more confusing.  However, Henry Cavill rises above the material he is given to work with to prove himself a worthy actor to play Superman, of the other actors, Russell Crowe improves he scenery chewing skills and Michael Shannon proves he is no Terence Stamp in his portrayal of (admittedly poorly written) General Zod.  Wooden dialog, confused plot and over-exuberant special effects lead to an overall unsatisfactory return of Superman to the big screen except for Cavill’s portrayal of Clark Kent/Superman which managed to ground the film surprisingly well, if only he had had a proper plot and a better script to work with . . .

Still Krypton and Krytonian technology looks fantastic and we have an excellent actor for Superman, so if you like those things, probably worth watching (though seeing it in 3D is surely not necessary).


But Sean, you may be saying, you hate Zach Snyder and swore never to give him money again after the travesty that was Sucker Punch.  That is true and my wife was given tickets for her and I by a friend to see Man of Steel, so, I have kept my word and given no money to Mr. Snyder.

Longer, spoiler filled analysis of Man of Steel follows the cut: Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Pretender’s Amulet

11 June, 2013

Ties of bloodWhen the news arrived that the lost heir of the Oaken Throne of Cavarai had been found, everyone was overjoyed.  His ship had been lost in a storm almost ten years ago but it seems the young man survived and was taken as a slave by the Yraphan corsairs.  Naturally, he was welcomed back by his family.

Something about him never sat right with me, I could not tell you what it was, but he made me uneasy.  And I do not think I was the only one who was relieved when he was killed in that hunting accident.

Pretender’s Amulet

These amulets are exceedingly rare to the point of being rumors, be if such did exist, the very act of creating one would be considered treasonous in many lands.  They are usually simple amulets, often decorated with the coat of arms of ancient royalty.  A hidden catch reveals a thin layer of gold, smeared with blood if the amulet’s primary power has been activated.

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Several Short Shadowrun Reviews

9 June, 2013

A variety of resources, new and old, for the Shadowrun RPG:

Bottled Demon, the real deal from 1990 (complete with ads!), scanned to PDF for your reading and gaming pleasure.  Read the rest of this entry ?


Review – DragonFall

7 June, 2013

DragonFall is a setting in conflict between dragon overlords and rebellious humanity, it has enough parallels to my own Sea of Stars setting that I felt that I had to take a look and see where they went with these themes.  While there are some interesting ideas in the book, it never fully develops any of them nor provides concrete examples.  If you are interested in this sort of setting, this product may prove to have worthwhile information in it.

DragonFall is a Bare Bones Multiverse (BBM) source book for a fantasy world ruled by dragons, it makes an attempt to be system neutral and adaptable as a campaign overlay but unfortunately it is not very successful in either.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Saddle of the Sands

4 June, 2013

Let us go for a rideThe riding of the deep sands prize their camel mount, traveling for days and weeks through the desert.  The greatest of them use saddles blessed by the desert winds and gods to provide them with even greater endurance and speed.

No caravan that passes through the lands that they claim as they own is safe from their raid unless they have paid for protection and the sight of distant camel riders have been know to throw lesser caravan masters into a state of panic.

Saddle of the Sands

These saddles for camels are always highly decorated and often very colorful, bearing blessings and prayers and often token taken from the rider’s victories.  They are never found in new condition as the saddle must prove itself before it is deemed fit to be blessed.

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