Archive for November, 2013


December aproaches and we say goodbye to November

30 November, 2013

Today is the meteorological start of Winter, and it is nice and cold here to underscore that, December (as the “Dec” at the beginning implies) was the tenth month of the Roman calendar.   December is also a month filled with holidays.  So, the themes for this month on the Sea of Stars design journal will be Winter, festivals and gift: cursed gifts, divine gifts, magical gifts or whatever else we can think up.

If there is a particular idea inspired by the themes that you would like to see expanded upon, let me know and I will try to realize it.

The posts on the Design Journal were a bit thin in Novermber, 2013, seeing only the following posts: Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Heartfire Oil

26 November, 2013

Burning for youSargent Kastry broke the burned beam with a foot.  “We must find out who started these fires and stop them before they do so again, too many lives have already been lost.”

“The destruction of buildings is no less a disaster,” replied Finder Ghem, “those who survived are without homes or livelihoods.  Whoever would cause such distress is a monster or mad.”

“In either case, we will hunt them down and stop them from causing more damage.”

Heartfire Oil

This thick oil is the bright red of fresh arterial blood resting on a polished jet.  It must be kept in airtight containers of ceramic or glass, as it will eventually corrode through most metals.  The oil is created by soaking a fresh humanoid heart is a mixture of oils and herbs for at least thirteen days and then straining and sealing the resulting mix at night.

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L5R Children of Destiny – Episode 3 “Of Lion and Ghosts”

25 November, 2013

Hidden DangersHaving dealt with the not-goblins, our heroes are preparing to head back to the capitol when they are met on the road by Otomo Shitaro, a courtier, and a Kuni witch-hunter sent by Doji Akira with a new task in Lion lands.  Akodo Shinno, son of the former Lion Clan champion and in competition with his siblings to become the new Champion, has requested Doji Akira’s aid with a supernatural problem (as asking for aid from the Phoenix would be problematic).   They find Akodo Shinno in the midst of a Lion military camp preparing for war, not against the Crane or Phoenix but in the far North, against the Yobanjin.  He explains that some of the villages in the newly conquered territories have fallen under the influence of evil spirits, the Kitsu have confirmed such, but Shinno cannot spare the Kitsu needed to solve the problem as they are needed for the war effort.  So, that is what the new yoriki, with assistance, have to deal with.

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Shadowrun Campaign report and new Seattle Scream (#42) prop

20 November, 2013

Have not been playing as much Shadowrun as usual what with conventions, holidays and magic events cluttering the calendar.  Managed a few games with the usual suspects and one with my indie games group (who managed to break the game).  The main group have managed to provoke both the Seattle Yakuza and the Spikes, but in both cases, the provoked nether have full information about the team nor a serious motive to strike. . . yet.  The current arc is heading for an explosive climax and it will be full of fireworks, one way or another.

So, the Seattle Scream again jumps forward a few months as I am trying to synchronize it, more or less, with our current month with limited success.  You can read all about it here: Seattle Scream 42.

Continuing to study Shadowrun 5, still not sold on certain aspects but liking the new combat system, and found this amusing rant about it.


Tuesday Magic Item – Guardian’s Broach

20 November, 2013

Careful, you might stab yourself“Take the princess to safety, I will hold them off,” said the Tutor, loosening her cloak and draping it around the young woman.  “Flee, my dear student, and do not stop until you are safe.”

“But tutor,” whimpers the Princess, “they will hurt you.”

“I have been hurt before,” the Tutor said as the broach in her hand glowed and expanded into a sword and shield.  “I was a soldier before I was a tutor.  Now go.  I will hold them as long as I can.”

Guardian’s Broach

These come in all styles and fashions, though a sword and implied shield motif is common.  They are always made of the harder metals, nothing softer than copper but alloys and magical metals are more common.

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Dark Future Ahead 3 – More News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

18 November, 2013

What about a not so dark future, with glowing trees instead of street lights?

Be fashionable and bullet resistant thanks to Garrison Bespoke (as I am not sure how bullet-proof these suits actually are), more information here.

Tired of soy and algae-based food, what about some nice protein-rich insect flour?  Yum yum.

Another step towards a viable powered exoskeleton, the Titan Arm.

Remember 90% of everything is shipped by water there most be some potential plots in the shipment of goods and manipulation there of.   Hackers and drug smugglers have already been active in highjacking port computer systems to slip shipment through.

And from the gaming side of the spectrum, Rob Donoghue discusses the place of Ethical Cyberpunk in roleplaying.

And a blast from the past, cleaning up some old files and found this gem by Victor Brueggemann clipped from a net discussion (c 1997):

Then there are the “Immortal posers”. They wear trench coats, and skulk around, have cordial conversations in abandoned churches and then kill each other the next time they meet . . . and they all carry swords.

“Hey, chummer. That guy over there just gave me 20 cred to tell you ‘There can only be one’. Does that mean anything? Well, see ya . . .”


L5R Children of Destiny – Episode 2 “Night Goblins”

16 November, 2013

320Having achieved the first task set before them, our heroes finally arrive in the capital where they are immediately set to training in the laws of the Empire and understanding of matters courtly (no montage sadly).  Doji Akira meets with each of them personally to learn about them, he does not like surprises.  Then they are gathered, with the new Seppun, and invested with the rank of yoriki and given a jitte to symbolize such (though only the Hare has the proper skill to use such a weapon well).  Then Akira tosses a bag to the group, which the Soshi grabbed it, so he placed the Soshi in command of the group for their upcoming mission.

They are sent to the northern Crane lands where there are reports of bakemono (monsters) raiding some of the villages.  Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Curative Perry

12 November, 2013

Drink up!The physician uncorked the bottle and poured a goblet full of pale golden liquid. “This will help you recover from the ill-effects, drink up, drink up,” he said handing over the goblet.

It was both bitter and sweet but, he was right, it did make me feel much better.

Curative Perry

Made from pears grown in specially tended orchards, this fine perry is usually keep in bottles once it has been fermented and sealed with wax bearing the sigil of the brewer.  The perry is a pale gold in color with a sharp scent and an odd, bitter-sweet taste.

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In Remembrance of Honorable Soldiers on Armistice Day (2013)

11 November, 2013

We have reached another Armistice Day (in modern parlance Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the US).  It originally served as a remember of the end of the Great War, the Armistice that ended the war starting at 11:11am on 11 November, 1918, and those who served and died there.  Since then, it has been expanded to include the many others who have served and died for their country in honorable service through the years.

If you remember, pause for a minute of silence to honor the brave soldiers and other members of the armed forces that have guarded us -and still do- at 11:11am.

Though do not let us forget, “It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it.” -Robert E Lee

And, as is my want, a war poem, to stir memories, this one from an Austrian poet:

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L5R Children of Destiny – Episode 1 “Pilot”

9 November, 2013

Ill fortuneHaving gathered many of the samurai that he intends to induct as Imperial yoriki, the Imperial Magistrate Doji Akira, meets with them in the Western Hub Village outside of the capital.  Since there are still others en route, he sends the six who have arrived early to deliver late wedding presents to one of his cousins, newly installed as the lord of a small village, and check up on him.

They are given the gifts and horses and head out over increasingly less traveled roads as they get closer and closer to the village.  On the third day of the journey, they met an Imperial tax collector heading from the village who is very disgruntled and has no kind words for the place he has just left.  At a bridge they are attacked by a trio of ill-equipped and poorly fed bandits whom they end up pressing into service as ashigaru only a little the worse for wear.   Almost to the village, a naked madman runs across their path and is briefly chased before vanishing into the forest.  In the twilight, some notice that the fields are doing poorly.  They make their way through the silent village to the lord’s house, where the gardens are ill tended and overgrown, and the door is answered by the oddly dressed lord himself (he explains that the servants were useless and had to be let go).  They are then taken to the tea house to meet his wife and the last servant, who has obviously been ill-treated, they accept the gifts without much interest and invite the characters to stay.

The characters retire.  Doji Miwako finds a poem slipped under her door.  The wife scratches at the Hare’s door and lures him back to her room.  Toku Kumo seeks out the servants.   Miwako visits the Scorpion to discuss the poem.  The wife’s face melts into nothingness, the Hare goes crazy and tries to stab her to death, she restores her appearance and screams for help.  Confusion reigns as everyone gathers in the wife’s room and finally ends with her again trying her vanishing face trick, sadly to no avail.  A confused combat ensues which ends with the monsters revealed and slain and the characters slightly the worse for wear.

The servant is revealed to be the actual wife of the young lord, and the mad man is the lord.  They discover that the shrine to the local kami has been polluted and the shugenja set about cleaning it while the rest capture the mad lord.  The kami of place return with the purification her shrine and sets the young lord back on the path of healing.  Successful, they return to the capital and their soon to be new lives as yoriki.

Notes: Since I did not have the full group together, I ran with this one based on Beneath an Opal Moon which worked out quite well.

Campaign Framework here for reference.

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