Archive for October, 2015

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Review – The Frontline series, Three SF Novels by Marko Kloos

17 October, 2015

The following reviews are as spoiler free as I can make them, while still being able to make a few comments, of the first three books of the Frontline series by Marko Kloos.

The three novels of the Frontline series Terms of Enlistment, Lines of Departure and Angles of Attack) follow Andrew Grayson and his service and adventures in the military of the NAC (North American Confederation) in the early 22nd Century.  The future Earth depicted here is a near dystopia, massively overcrowded, with the two primary power blocs, the NAC and the SRA (Sino-Russian Alliance) in a constant state of cold-to-warm war (other nations and groups, for example the EU and SAU -South American Union-, do not show up until the third book and then only in essentially a cameo).  It is implied from textual evidence that they was at least one more world war with limited use of weapons of mass destruction, leading to the banning of using such on Earth or the colonies.  Yes, colonies, an inexpensive form of FTL travel has been developed and humanity (in the form of NAC and SRA settlements) have spread to the stars.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Homeward Compass

13 October, 2015

Find your way homeVoddick rapped the compass against the table.  “I think it is broken.”

“Let me see,” said Gollaon extending his hand.  He took a close look at the decorated compass.  “That is because it has lost its bearing.  The previous owner must be dead.”

“Yes?”

“This sort of compass are magicked to point toward the owner’s home,” explained Gollaon, handing it back.

“Why doesn’t it work for me then?” Voddick asked, watching the lazily spinning needle.

“Because we don’t have a home.”

Homeward Compass

These rugged compasses are usually decorated with an inscription and often a scene of the original owner’s house or home city.  Almost always made of bronze or brass exterior, sometime covered in leather, they are extremely hard wearing.

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Creative Sunday – Nwain, the Knight who Wandered Dream

11 October, 2015

New (hopefully) weekly series of posts, I thought I should highlight some of the awesome creative things being done out in the world.  Today, we have:

Nwain, the Knight who Wandered Dream

Nwain ridingThis is an animated webcomic by Terrana Cliff detailing the adventures of Nwain in a very unique fantasy world.  Lots of problems solving and investigation so far with some greater mysteries hinted at.  Very good inspiration for a wide variety of games and campaign style.  Due to the fact is is an animated webcomic, the production of it is fairly slow so we only get a few new pages a month, though because they are animated, they pack in a little more information and action than a normal comic would in that space.

An example of the art is posted (borrowed from the artist’s DeviantArt page, and now used with permission).

If you enjoy the art and story, you can support Terrana Cliff’s creation of Nwain on Patreon.

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Club Catastrophe” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

9 October, 2015

To understand what is going on here, you had best read the first PinkCat: Running in the Shade post, but short summary, this is a campaign report for our Shadowrun campaign set in NorCal through the filter of a cartoon made by one of the team members.

Episode Fifteen: Club Catastrophe

Guest Starring: Claws and DD.

Dance Dance!DD inherits the almost derelict Club Catastrophe from her great-uncle Hugo and decides to try and restore it to its age of greatness.  DD rounds up acts and food, Pink does computer stuff and helps Glitter revamp the electrical and lighting systems, Claws does general gruntwork and gets to wear a nice usher’s uniform for the grant opening.  Of course, the Club seems to be haunted (“The Phantom Rocker!”) so there is some Scooby Doo-esque ghost hunting until it is revealed that the Phantom is a derelict rock star from the 2050s who burned himself out on chips and drugs and hid out in the club because he knew all the hidden ways and codes.  DD rehabilitates him and get him to preform again.  The big opening goes well, the former Phantom is reunited with his long last bandmates and Club Catastrophe is on its way back!

What really happened:

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Rokugan SRIU Episode 6.5 “Bandits along the Way” (L5R Campaign Report)

8 October, 2015

After handing off the evil gaijin artifact to the Asako Inquisitors, and endured a pointed questioning at their hands, our heroes were free to make their way back to the capital.

Some tsubaNaturally, that journey would not be without incident.  Traveling through back roads along the western edge of Phoenix lands, they arrive at Basket Weaving Village.  The villagers are unusually wary of the traveling samurai.  The Hida finally invites the innkeeper over to join them and the Bayushi offers food, the innkeeper is confronted with the situation and asked what is going on.  He admits that a bandit gang has moved into the area and is preying on travelers, it also keeps a close watch on the village and their attempts to sent messengers to get help has failed gruesomely.  They learn the bandits number around twenty and that the village is expected to report to them about travelers and the innkeeper asks what they want the bandits to know.  There is some debate about what to say, but the message that reaches the bandits is that the samurai have been riding hard to get their sick friend to treatment.

The next morning, our heroes head out, prepared for battle underneath their straw cloaks.  Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tuesday Magic Item – Bloodgate Bracelet

6 October, 2015

BraceletVoddick gripped his sword tighter.  “Ritual sacrifices never presage anything good,” he said in a low voice.

“I entirely agree,” said Gollaon, equally quietly, his crossbow readied.  “When sent to bring in a simple wizard and one finds such signs . . .”

Voddick nodded.  “One can only hope that one has the right wards.  Wait, do you hear animals approaching?”  He turned to face one of the corridors.

Bloodgate Bracelet

These bracelets are made from gold and silver set with gemstones carved with the images of animals, they are usually heavy and made for a man.  There is always a faint scent of blood around them, though it is not always obvious as the source.

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New Monster Template – Bloodmade

6 October, 2015

Template: Bloodmade (CR +0 or +1)

Creatures with the Bloodmade template are created through the blood summoning spell, their origin is unknown but they look like normals animals -albeit with red or rusty brown coloration- except for their eyes which seem to be pools of blood. When killed they dissolve into a pool of blood before vanishing.  Only animals can be subject to the Bloodmade template.

A Bloodmade creature’s CR increases by +1 only if the base creature has 5 or more HD.

A Bloodmade creature’s quick and rebuild rules are the same.

Senses gains darkvision 60 ft. and scent

Defensive Abilities gains damage reduction and energy resistance as noted on the table.

Special Attacks
All One Blood (Ex)
Bloodmade creatures (from the same source) have an instinct for cooperation and innately cooperate to their best of their abilities.  When adjacent to their summoner or another Bloodmade, they gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Armor Class and when two of more Bloodmade creature attack the same target, they gain a +1 circumstance bonus to attack rolls.

Blood Anger (Ex)
Bloodmade creature gains a +2 morale bonus to damage rolls, Fortitude and Will saves when they have taken damage equal to half their hit points or more.

Special Quality
Guard the Source (Ex)
Bloodmade creatures will attempt to guard their creator if not given other instructions.  When a single Bloodmade of size large or two or more of size medium or smaller are adjacent to their creator, she gains a +1 circumstance bonus to Armor Class and the Bloodmade can made a single attack of opportunity each round against anyone who attacks their creator when they could have attacked the Bloodmade.

Hit Dice     Resist Acid and Fire           DR

1–4                          5                            —
5–10                       10                         5/magic
11+                          15                       10/magic

Notes: To go with today’s magic item.  Though they can be used interdependently as well, of course.

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