Archive for September, 2014


Tuesday Magic Item – Emeraldsmile’s Pewter Tankard

30 September, 2014

“What will you have?” asked the stout dwarven woman, the obvious matron of the Smoke Ring.  The Smoke Ring was a coffee shop, restaurant and general gathering place for the students from the nearby Asterdahl College of Magic, paneled in dark wood and decorated with maps from around the world and handbills from around the city.

Drink up!“Coffee?” the young man ventured.

“Spiced?  Sweetened?  With Milk?  Lemon?” she asked, drawing a cup of coffee from one of the casks.

“Ano . . .” he stammered, “how do you take yours?”

“With honey, milk and cinnamon.”

“Like that please.”

She nodded and mixed in the honey and grated a cinnamon stick into it, then she traced a rune on the side and it began steaming.  From a crystal pitcher, she added milk and slid it over.  “It is hot but enjoy it, young man,” she said with a smile.

Emeraldsmile’s Pewter Tankard

Mass produced in the Dwarven magical workshops for Dwarven establishments across the Sea of Stars, these heavy tankards are usually marked with a design representing those who commissioned it.  The workshop that made it will have their hallmark on the base.  Rarely, they are made with glass bottoms.

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Campaign Report – Evard’s Black Orchestra*, First Symphony

27 September, 2014

*the greatest musical show that hasn’t happened yet, name subject to revision (it is noted as such on all their posters).

So,  we were playing the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure, but our DM got sick, so I stepped up to GM the Sea of Stars under the new 5th Edition D&D rules for the players that could make it.  This is the story of that game:

The character are all siblings who share the same father, Alamarian Dulcimer, a famous bard.

  • Amethyst, overconfident half-elven bard who has been raised as her father’s protege.  Lead singer and viola.  (Half-Elfin Bard 1, played by B2.)
  • Lewis Dulcimer, big on plans and short on action, he hopes to advance off of the talent of others.  Bass sitar.  (Human Ranger 1, played by J2.)
  • Ren, raised in a monastery where he learned to hate his father (from his mother), only recently brought into the Dulcimer fold.  Lead dancer and hand drum.  (Human Monk 1, played by R.)
L is just this guy, you know?


Brought together by L, Alamarian’s manager, lawyer and confidant in the city of Asterdahl because he has received an invitation to the Dominion Court Music Tournament in the city of Vine.  Alamarian is out on tour and will not be able to attend, so L want Amethyst and company to seize this chance.  He gives them twenty gold (as a silver based game, this is a serious amount of money), access to a tailor, use of his personal dogsbody Igor and a week to get ready to go.

Wisely resisting the temptation to blow it all on an epic party. they set down to discuss their plan to win the music tournament.  They came up a plan to stage a full music cycle  “The Burning of Cedric” about a rebel who opposed the dragons and ultimately failed to cast them down, to impress the ruler of the Dark Star Dominion, the black dragon known as B’Ai’Ai (the dark behind the stars).

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Tuesday Magic Item – Pindhari Tulwar

23 September, 2014

Sharp and swift.The lead warrior flicked blood off of his tulwar and then wiped the residue away on the exposed sleeve of the man he had just cut down moments ago.

“Anything good?” asked the rider, reining in his horse.  “The others escaped across the river.”

“Pity, these warrior were well equipped and found of decoration,” the lead warrior gestured to copper bracelets and silver rings.  “Shame we were not able to catch more of their leader, they seemed to favor gold for their ornaments.”

“Well, there is always the next battle.”

“Indeed,” grinned the lead warrior beginning to strip the body, “there is always another battle.”

Pindhari Tulwar

These Tulwars are made for the mercenary cavalry who trade their martial skills for the right to plunder the defeated.  Their hilts are often decorated with valuable metals and occasional gems.

The owner of the tulwar gains a +3 competence bonus to Perception checks to locate or spot valuables, even if hidden.

The Tulwar is a +1 scimitar that gains the keen enhancement against a fleeing target.  Further, it gains a +1 bonus to damage if the target is carrying ten gold worth of valuables, this bonus increases by +1 for each order of magnitude up from ten the target has (i.e. +2 for 100-999, +3 for a 1000 to 9,999, and so on) in valuables.

Aura moderate divination; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 7,315; Weight 4 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, keen edge, owl’s wisdom; Cost 3,500 + 315 for the tulwar

Notes: The Pindari were an Indian warrior society that fought for various group in exchange for the right of plunder.

The photo is by Nazanian  is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license found on WikiMedia Commons.


Review – Street Grimoire (for Shadowrun)

20 September, 2014

Shadowrun: Street Grimoire is all about magic in the Sixth World, from both from a roleplaying and mechanic side.  It is a useful book, almost required if you intend to highlight the magical side of a Shadowrun campaign, but it could be more tightly organized and better edited, a few parts being confusing to read.  That being said, it does have a lot of useful material allowing for magic to be used in much more interesting ways and it should spark a host of ideas for any Shadowrun GM even though it lacks any explicit GM direction in the book. Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Brand of Exile

16 September, 2014

Marked permanently“You are sentenced to transportation to the penal colony of Rastonia, where you will serve at the Crown’s convenience building a better land for all,” announced the black robed judge followed by the striking of his gavel.

“But me Lord,,” protested the prisoner, “it was only a pie.”

“No matter, the law is clear,” said the judge.  “See that the prisoner is bound over for transportation and branded a criminal and exile in the eyes of the law and his countrymen.”

“Please no,” wailed the prisoner as they were dragged away by the bailiff’s thugs.

Brand of Exile

A solidly built iron brand with a decorated handle, usually marked with the symbol of the nation that had it made, the brand itself is usually simple and easily recognizable, marking the recipient as a criminal who is no longer welcome in their home country.

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GenCon Adventure 2014, Part the Second

11 September, 2014

Part 1 here.

Day 2

Up early for shower and breakfast before my first game, at 1pm in the afternoon, but I had gotten my schedule mixed up and thought that I had a morning game so I suddenly found myself at loose ends and so, back to the dealers hall I went.  Which gave me a chance to drop by and say hello to my artist friends Drew Baker and Talon Dunning (who was selling commission like they were going out of style) and picked up a print of I’m the Villain from NEN (who also did all of the art for PostHuman Studio’s new Shinobi Clans game).  I also had the chance to learn how to play the Furoticon card game (NSFW link here) which was quite fun and surprisingly deep play mechanics given its framework.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Weather Crystal

9 September, 2014

Is a storm brewing?“Check the crystal, will today be a good day for planting?”

“I’ll look, I’ll look, but my bones tell me it will be.”

“But what does the crystal say?”

He sighed and studied the crystal.  “Clouds coming in, patchy rain in the afternoon.”

“Then planting we will go.”

He sighed again and placed the crystal back atop the mantle.

Weather Crystal

These enchanted crystals are about a hand’s width in length and about the size of a finger in diameter.  They usually mounted in some fashion to keep them safe and occasionally placed in a cage for use aboard ship.

Each dawn, the weather until the next dawn will be revealed in the crystal: the weather at dawn at its tip and moving down in patterns of color throughout the length of the crystal.  The pattern is set each dawn and is accurate for the local area, it does not change if moved. Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Coach Cushion of Comfort

2 September, 2014

Colorful ComfortI started in envy at the wealthy trader who sat across from me as the coach bounced and rattled across the the post road.  Over the last four days as we traveled across increasing rough and dangerous roads, but my constant companion never seemed troubled.  Not by weather, or rough roads, or well, anything.

I finally worked up the nerve to ask about this.  “Good sir, how is it that you maintain your equanimity in the face of such difficult travel?”

He smiled.  “Long experience of travel.   A positive view of the future.  But most important,” he patted the padded cloth he was seated upon, “is this magic cushion which keeps my expansive girth in comfort.”

Coach Cushion of Comfort

These cushions are made from the highest end fabrics, threads and stuffing and are designed to be used in a coach, so they are not excessively thick as they are usually taken with their owner rather than being left behind.   When made they are almost always marked with the original owner’s mark in the form of color choice, embroidery or both.

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