Archive for January, 2014


New Magic Item – Third Hand Scarf

29 January, 2014

Fashion and functionThat Hollovar is an expressive man, he uses his hands almost as much as his voice when he talks . . . and he can talk for hours upon hours.  His clothing often seemed as expressive as his hands, his scarf flying about, his sleeves flapping.  But he is a good fellow, if a bit of a chancer, a wide boy, if you catch my meaning.

But the other day, as he was leaving, I could almost have sworn that his scarf waved good bye to me.  I must be drinking too much, my friend.

Third Hand Scarf

A slightly tattered scarf that seems to shift more than wind or the wearers movement would account for.

Beyond the normal use of keeping one’s neck warm, the end of the third-hand scarf acts as an extra hand.  While it can only lift up to 5 lbs it is still extremely helpful.  Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Rain Basket

28 January, 2014

A tight weave will hold waterWhile I do not usually mind travel by ship, being as it is a quick way to cover area, but until this time, I had never experienced the doldrums . . .

By the twelfth day without wind, things were starting to get tense as water was getting short.  Arshon the Priest brought out a basket he had been weaving, a very tight weave, and called a set of prayers to the sky, a few cloud scudded in and rain began to fall but only around the basket. and it rained hard, and a few minutes later, the basket was full of fresh rain water.  That lifted everyone spirits but not nearly as much as the fresh breeze that followed the rain.

Rain Basket

These baskets are very tightly woven to be able to contain water, many of these have sacred symbolism woven into the basket’s pattern but not always.

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Review – The Justice Corp

26 January, 2014

The Justice Corp [sic] is a supplement for M&M and part of the AHC (Actions Have Consequences) universe of products.  Unfortunately is not good, the author/ designer/ editor/ illustrator Loius Danhoff obviously has a strong idea of what he wants to present but it suffers from poor organization, worse editing (including typos, unexplained shifts between description and fiction and repeated text) and odd design choices (including a too dark water mark on almost all of that pages that makes the text over it near impossible to read).  All of this might be excusable if the organization presented made any kind of the sense: the Justice Corp is a branch of the US Government yet is given full authority to act anywhere by the UN, why Russia and China would have allowed such is not explained, it supposedly has legions of highly trained agents according to the Rules and Regulations present as it deploys battalions (300+ troops) to trouble spots yet no tables of equipment and organization or stat blocks for the agents are provided though information on four of their vehicles are.  The eleven characters included might have redeemed this product but none of them is given a proper personality, there is no advice on using these characters in play, no hooks for scenarios and their descriptions are choppily mixed with fiction making even the information presented on them difficult to clearly understand.  This product needs a complete ground up reorganization and  rewrite to be useful for gamers.


Tuesday Magic Item – Meinrad’s Vestments

21 January, 2014

Traveling only with faithThe kindly hermit approached us with a wooden tray containing bread and a pitcher of water.  “Be welcome and be blessed travelers, my home is yours.”

“We saw bear tracks,” mentioned Little Karl, “a little way back, heading this way . . .”

“Oh, that is just Blackpaw,” the hermit said, “he drops by for scraps of bread now and then, as long as you do not bother him, he will not bother you.”

Little Karl seemed unconvinced but accepted the bread anyway.

Meinrad’s Vestments

 These consist of a tunic covered by a scapular and cowl with a hood made of plain but sturdy cloth, often but lovingly repaired.

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Greenwheel Carnival – Ivorysmile’s Mobile Apothecary and Medicine Emporium

18 January, 2014

As my contribution to Role Play Craft‘s Green Wheel Carnival collaboration:
Sign of Quality

Ivorysmile’s Mobile Apothecary and Medicine Emporium

Ivorysmile’s wagon is large and heavy, taking four unhappy looking oxen to pull it from place to place.  The green paint scheme on the wagon is enhanced by various plants growing in window boxes and climbing up the sides of the wagon which is painted with stylized herbs and plants, the real and unreal intertwining.

When open for business, there is a canvas awning set up and straw mats placed on the ground.  Tables of gathered herbs, bottles and jars full of plants, seeds and odd powers and are stacked up and small boxes contain the more exotic materials back with Ivorysmile has a set of scales, mixing bowls, pill makers and more, all ready to “cure any ill and treat any ailment” as he puts it.  Any common medicine or cure, along with a variety of common nostrums for those who will not take his advice, is available along with some more exotic remedies which he keeps close at hand and away from sticky fingers.

Aurson Ivorysmile is tall and thin with heavily-lidded dark eyes.  His fingers are long and dexterous and most have rings on them.   His skin is pale and -in some lights- has a slight green cast.  He wears simple robes with pockets everywhere and often covers his bald head with a tightly wrapped turban.  Ivorysmile happily plays up his foreign and exotic appearance, making obscure comments on occult subject to confer an air of otherness about himself.

Ivorysmile is an amazingly competent apothecary and alchemist, his current focus is tailoring cures and potions to various species.  As part of this he is willing to offer potions to people at highly competitive rates if they promise to report back to him on the effectiveness of the various mixes and tweaks.  He is always interested in acquiring potion, alchemical items and -most of all- research and formula of such, for those he will offer a fair price in coin but a very good value of trade.

Ivorysmile is distantly related to snakemen or dragons or both, even he may not know, but he is able to speak with snakes and reptiles and is near immune to their venom.  He has access to a variety of occult and secret alchemical techniques that he has gained in his travels and researches, all of his notes and journals is kept in his personal cypher.  Among the things that Ivorysmile keeps in his wagon is a wide variety of poisonous snakes, that are all very friendly to him.  But uninvited guests are likely to have a rude surprise.


L5R Children of Destiny – Episode 5 “Hunting Shadows”

16 January, 2014

Shrine and DojoAfter having defeated the spirit centipede, the characters returned to the Capital and spend three months in minor tasks and training.  Much to his annoyance, the Otomo finds himself pulled into the orbit of Doji Akira and again forced to travel with the yoriki.

As mid-Summer passes, the samurai are again called before Doji Akira and again dispatched to the Lion lands, having done so well with the spirit centipede, they are sent much further north to the Valley of the Two Generals, the site of one of the most famous battles in Rokugan, where there is a spiritual imbalance.  Again, the Lion lack shugenja to investigate, the majority of them having gone with the Lion armies to fight the yobanjin to the North.

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Short Shadowrun Reviews + a Dystopian bonus

14 January, 2014

A pair of older resources for the Shadowrun RPG and one for all dystopian futures:

Neo-Anarchist’s Guide to North America, is what it says, a guide to the non-Native American nations of North America (in 2050).  Just read the opening section that defines the Neo-Anarchist philosophy, the first four paragraphs really tell you everything you need to know (the rest is just wacky economics). It is an interesting look at the early ideas for the United Canadian American States, the Confederated American States, the California Free State and Quebec, some of which have evolved considerably in the last twenty years.  It is obviously an early effort but it remains a useful reference for certain sections of North America and an interesting look back to an early era.

Rigger 3 Revised, is the Shadowrun 3rd big book of vehicles and rigger rules covering everything that drive or flies in detail.  While designed for the 3rd edition of the Shadowrun rules much of the general discussion and information is still usable in later versions.  The discussion of what vehicles will be like in the Shadowrun future and the expenses (licences, insurance) is an interesting read.  There are discussions on the role of riggers, security riggers (who operate building security systems), vehicle design and customization rules and a combined list of 3rd edition vehicles

The general information and ideas are still excellent reference and full of useful data and ideas, unfortunately it is almost totally incompatible with the current edition (or even the 4th edition) of the rules.  Still, if your campaign makes wide use of vehicles and drones it may just be worthwhile.

Instant Teams For That Violent Dystopian Age Pro-Sports League, that title is almost longer than the product!  It is a list of fifty (American) cities and fifty team names and a table for generating team colors.  I would have liked the city list to have been weighted but population so you were more likely to see teams from New York or LA than Waco or Detroit.  But other than that complaint, it does what it sets out to do.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.


Tuesday Magic Item – Proclamation Seal

14 January, 2014

A Proclamation!The bells rang out as the King-Lord of Kerison and the Seeress-Queen of Seriasa affixed their royal seals to the peace treaty and the presiding robed servitor of the Keeper of Pacts placed the witness seal of the watchful keeper on the parchment as well.

Around the city, the specially placed placard displayed the text of the treaty for all to read and rejoice now that peace again ruled the land.

Proclamation Seal

These heavy seals are made of a carved stone seal on an oak handle, with tasteful decoration in gold.  They are usually marked with the sigil of the organization they were created for on the base.  Up to ten placards can be prepared and keyed to a seal when it is created, these are usually made of solid oak with brass fittings.

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Tueday Magic Item – All Consuming Candle of Sardanapalus

7 January, 2014

Out of the pyre that was made from the Duke’s furnishings and works of art that had been hazardously piled in the courtyard of this, the least of his castles, a single candle, slightly melted, rolled free.

All good things . . .Jago the Royal Hunter, picked it up and looked back to the fire.  “Trust the Duke to deny us the satisfaction of killing him after all of the trouble he has put us through.”

“Bastard,” spat Rozilda the Poison Witch, “killing himself to escape his fate.  May he be hunted across the Realm of Shadows and torn apart by the thorn-mouthed hounds.”

“His servants perished within as well, even in death, he caused more misery,” said the Priestess in Silver.

“I am more offended that he destroyed all those valuables,” said Mouse, frowning over crossed arms.

All Consuming Candle of Sardanapalus

These candles are made of plain, ivory-colored wax with a braided wick that is made of spider silk and shed snake skin, a rune for rebirth is carved into the base and usually covered with silk taken from a shroud.

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New Year, New Game Sale at DriveThruRPG!

6 January, 2014

Ready for some good gaming in 2014?  I know I am, December was a rough month for my gaming, what with holidays and post-gaming sickness.

As is now traditional, DriveThru RPG is hosting a New Year, New Game Sale featuring  over 80 RPG core book PDFs 50% OFF for one week!   The sale lasts Monday the 6th and runs through Sunday the 12th.

Not sure if I am going to be trying out any new games in the short term as I am already committed to GMing Legend of the Five Rings, Pathfinder and Shadowrun and to playing some AD&D.

Hope you all get some great gaming in!

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