Archive for December, 2015


Looking Back over December and the Year MMXV as we move into MMXVI

31 December, 2015

The New Year and January are just around the corner.   Good fortune to all in MMXVI!

January is named after Janus (Ianuarius) the god of doorways, pictured as looking both forward and back.   We will revisit the themes of doorways, transport and travel for January what with moving into the New Year and all.  As usual, if there is something on this theme you would like to see, let me know.

My main goal for 2016 will be to get the Sea of Stars campaign setting finished and out to its backers.

Looking back over December, 2015, a fair number of posts were managed:

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Review – Weekly Wonders: Coin Magic

30 December, 2015

Weekly Wonders: Coin Magic provides the  magic of money, or at least coins.  While a few of the spells are too tied to game mechanics for my tastes there are some good ideas here but also one that could be abused by a clever player (or DM).  Good inspiration but be careful in your use of the spells contained within.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Shield of le Bon Chevalier

29 December, 2015

La_Continence_de_Bayard“I must say, I like our new commander.  Brave, loyal and true to his king,” said Voddick before taking another drink.

“Indeed, he is said to be the most noble of knights in both manners and deed,” agreed Gollaon.  “WHich means we must be very careful.”

“Quite true, such men are prone to heroic last stands.”

“Or glorious charges, but I think he is sensible enough.  He certainly has a fine singing voice as well.”

Shield of le Bon Chevalier

These shields are always of the finest make, decorated with the coat of arms of some martial family of the aristocracy.  It is rare to find them except in the best of condition.

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

27 December, 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 Seventeen: Holiday Special

Guest Starring: DD and introducing:

  • Double-Up.  A mole with a vague accent, well dressed and obviously ex-Corporate.  Uses two high tech pistols.  (A stand in for Double Tap, an Israeli ex-company man and shooter.  Played by J3.)

So many toysThe team is hired to locate a missing shipment of toys.  After searching high and low through a Christmas and other Winter Holiday bedecked city, including encounters with representations of the various faiths and holidays represented, the team finally tracks the toys down to a warehouse owned by Leon South Import-Export and staffed by a squad of heavily armed penguins.  The penguins had been stealing toys to corner the marked on several much in demand toys, intending to sell them at the last minute at a huge markup.  The team sneaks in, with much comic disguise and fast talk, reprograms the companies trucks to return the toys and ride them out into the night with Moonshadow’s version of Sleigh Ride playing.  Merry Christmas to all!

What really happened:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Long Shadow Shield

22 December, 2015

Not quite this shiny“I am thinking we should abandon this contract,” said Voddick, scraping ice off his boots.

“While normally I hold contracts sacrosanct,” replied Gollaon, “but you may be right in this case.”  he pulled his cloak tighter around his frame.  “In our defense, his plan to bring eternal darkness and cold was not included in his pitch.”

“Exactly,” agreed Voddick.

Long Shadow Shield

This shield is made of dark oak bound with dull bronze, it never glints or reflects light.  It is exceeding solid and heavily build.  On the interior are carved runes of darkness and night.  Its simple construction only conceals its dark purpose.

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Creative Sunday – Ron Randall

20 December, 2015

Not as I envisioned her but still coolRon Randall is an experienced comic book artist who I first met back in Portland (OR) at the occasional Portland comic book shows which I used to haunt when I lived in the Pacific Northwest.  He is a skilled artist who has worked across the spectrum of comic books including Justice League International, Star Trek and more.  But he is (perhaps) most well known as the creator of Trekker, the story of Mercy StClair a trekker (a sanctioned bounty hunter) in the future which he is still creating (and you can support via his Patreon).

When I knew him, Randall was consistently willing to pass on his hard won experience in the industry in the form of advice to new artists.  I am glad to know that he is still doing well and creating things that he loves.

He did a piece of art for me, many years ago, of my Shadowrun character Rebel Belle, which is now included with this post.  More recently, he did one of the Empress for me.




A more mythical Manticore for D&D5

20 December, 2015

Something like this but redIt has the body of a red lion, a human head with three rows of sharp teeth (like a shark), and its voice is a whistle that sounds like a melody from pipes.  The tail is that of a scorpion, curved and ready to strike.   It devours its prey whole and leaves no clothes, bones, or possessions of the prey behind.

The Manticore is usually a solitary hunter, though rarely a pack will form under some strange pressure, they prefer to strike from surprise and overwhelm small groups of prey.  A manticore is perfectly willing to flee from superior opposition but will seek revenge if it can.

They can, more or less, understand human speech but they can only communicate in a sort of sing-song nonsense, understandable to other manticora but gibberish to everyone else, but perfect for luring the curious to where they can be attacked.

All Consuming, sometimes when a manticore consumes a magic item, especially a potion or a scroll, it is temporarily imbued with magical powers but these tend to be spontaneous and uncontrolled but can be surprising both to the manticore and its enemies.

Large Monstrosity, neutral evil
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Tuesday Magic Item – Botanical Book

15 December, 2015

Maybe a bit smaller than that one“Books are not my favourite item to acquire as spoils,” said Voddick morosely, “they are heavy, have to be kept dry and finding a buyer is difficult.”

“But at least they are often quite valuable,” replied Gollaon, stuffing several more volumes into his backpack.

“True and you have some good contacts in the scholarly trade,” nodded Voddick placing another book into his bag.

“That one will be worth a score of dragons* or more.”


(*The Gold Dragon is the most valuable coin of the Draconic Imperium in common circulation.)

Botanical Book

These book are bound in strong waxed leather, water-proofed canvass or similar material to protect the pages within.  The pages are equally heavy and designed to resist tears.  Each page has an illustration of a plant which range from black and white sketches to fully painted and a full description of the plant and its uses are noted.

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Creative Sunday – Sam and Fuzzy

14 December, 2015

SamandFuzzySam Logan has created (and continues to create) the Sam and Fuzzy online comic.  Which is the story of Sam, an ordinary guy -we first meet him driving a taxi- who end up in increasingly improbable and often dangerous situations.  But he is always trying to make the world at least a little better.  Fuzzy is, well, Fuzzy, mildly insane, occasionally violent, but amusing.  The early comics are a bit rough, well, very rough.  But it gets better and moves into actually plotlines.

Sam Logan is a good guy, I have meet him at GenCon, and the world of Sam and Fuzzy is evolving and has some odd, strange and delightful places.  Especially, the Underground.  The world is also populated with fascinating and crazy characters such as Mr Sin (and his company, SinCo), the thief Hazel Kim and her cat(?) Brian, the band Noosehead and so many more.  It is just a fun world to wander through.

There is even a roleplaying game tied into the setting, The Underground.

Art from Sam Logan’s DA page and used without permission.  He also has a Patreon account.


PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Safety First!” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

12 December, 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 Sixteen: Safety First

Guest Starring: DD.

Wheee!The team is hired to find out who is spreading rumors about, and possibly sabotaging, the Big Wave roller-coaster at the Pacific Water World theme park.  So, they infiltrate the park as employees and investigate.  Jots of silly disguises and Scooby Doo-ish investigative shenanigans before discovering it is a corporate ninja/saboteur employed by BigStudio who were trying to drive the price down before a hostile takeover bid.  Crazy chase through the park follows to a musical score before the ninja is captured and unmasked.  Followed by the team enjoying a party in the theme park.

What really happened:

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