Archive for May, 2016


Tuesday Magical Item – Celestial Compass (for Pathfinder and D&D5)

31 May, 2016

Where do you need to go?“Are we on the right path?” asked Voddick.

“I believe so, unfortunately, the path is barely worth the name,” answered Gollaon looking at the compass.  “But north-west we need to go and this trail is leading that way, more or less.”

Voddick drew out a axe from his backpack.  “Well, time to make the trail a little wider, agreed?”

Gollaon drew his second best short sword.  “Agreed.”

Celestial Compass

These compasses are works of art usually made of brass and decorated with silver or gold, except for the compass needle, they are complex with multiple moving parts combining into various celestial patterns.

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Toward June, Goodbye May

30 May, 2016

May is almost over, hope that all my American reader are having a safe Memorial Day.

June will see the seven-year anniversary of this journal!   So, the theme for June will be the Sea of Stars in general and the Empress in particular.  As usual, if there is something you would like to see, please let me know.

May, 2016, saw the following posts:

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Creative Sunday – Dave Cain, maker of chain mail jewelry

29 May, 2016

Bracing, no?It has been a while since I have done a creative Sunday, but here is one:

Dave Cain has been a friend and member of my gaming circle for years, he used to make chain mail, first of steel and later of aluminum, for LARPs but he then branched out into working with precious metals and has become a full time, independent jeweler now.

Read the Red and Black’s, the University of Georgia student newspaper, interview with him here.

It will not fly awayHis work is really quite impressive, you can visit his Etsy Shop and he is also happy to do custom work.  So if you are in need of a unique, handmade piece for yourself or as a gift, take a look.

Edit: And he now has a Patreon where he teaches how to make mail jewelry!


Tuesday Magic Item – Sunrunner Sandals

24 May, 2016

Stylish and magical tooVoddick watched the young man run from spire to spire, his feet gripping the air as though it were solid.  “Ah, to be young and foolish again.”

“It certainly beats being old and foolish,” grinned Gollaon.

“Ain’t that the truth,” agreed Voddick.  “Now I need a drink.”

“Now that is a foolishness I am happy to share in.”

Sunrunner Sandals

These sandals are made of fine pale leather, sometimes dyed white, gold or blue with fittings polished to a golden sheen.  Dirt and muck slide off the sandals within moments of them being stained.

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Beginning of the End, the Gods War and Sundering as the End of the World

21 May, 2016

So the RPG Blog Carnival theme for May is At World’s End dealing with the end of campaigns as well as end of the world scenarios (Rising Phoenix Games is hosting the Blog Carnival this time around).

Thus the world endsIt occurred to me that the Gods War that sees the dragons triumph over and kill the majority of the gods and the Sundering that follows, shattering the world, could very easily be read as the end of the world.  The old order is cast down and destroyed, all that was once worshiped has been shown to be powerless before the might of the dragons and the very world itself has been torn apart.  You do not get much more apocalyptic than that!

But it is not the end of the Sea of Stars but the beginning, all of this forms the deep background of the campaign world (though I have run a few short stories set in the immediate aftermath) but there is no reason that it could not be center stage.  Either with people joining in the (doomed) fight against the dragons or just trying to survive in the aftermath adjusting to a radically different world.

Imagine just being out for a stroll in the city square and suddenly screams erupt as the bodies of charred angels and mangled dragons start falling from the sky, crashing into the building and trading stalls.  Looking up, the sky is split by rifts of light and shadow and flashes indicate that something is happening but it is too far away to see . . . until another body plunges down to earth.

Or, you are in your village up in the mountains when the light from the sun, at midday, goes red and the earth shakes.  Everything just seems wrong, the animals are terrified and running all over the place.  Then, for a moment, every seems to return to normal, the sun is again bright . . . and the earth splits, tearing mountains away from mountains and the crack is heading straight for the village!

There is a lot of possibility for drama and action with fights against dragons or the elements (or both) at the end of one world and the beginning of the next.

Art is the Great Day of His Wrath by John Martin and held in the Tate Gallery and the image is in the Public Domain.


Down in the Streets of Seattle (SR Campaign Report) and a new Seattle Scream

19 May, 2016

I have started a new section of my Seattle Shadowrun campaign, this time with characters starting at street level (i.e. poor and inexperienced) which is my favorite way to play Shadowrun.  It started as a one-shot for a friend who was back in town but we had so much fun that we are having our third game tonight.

Among our characters are: a Troll ex-boxer and shark mentored alchemist, an actor looking for his big break, a fashionista elf, a kitsune shaman, and a few others.  A very wacky and diverse group, quite different from any of our other teams and collections of characters.  They are strong on the magic side of things and weak on tech, the reverse of our other group (PinkCat’s NorCal team).

Wish me luck for tonight.

And enjoy the 50th(!) issue of Seattle Scream.


Tuesday Magic Item – Pilgrim’s Practical Staff

17 May, 2016

Let's go!“These pilgrims are very well organized, I must say that I am impressed,” said Voddick.

“You just like the easy work,” grinned Gollaon.

Voddick shrugged.  “Makes a nice change.  And running off those ruffians was work!”

“But not much.  They saw our swords and ran like rabbits.”

“And we should complain?  The pilgrims are happy, their silver is good and the food is filling.”

“True, there are worse jobs.”

Pilgrim’s Practical Staff

These wooden staves are stout and often rather battered, smoothed by years of use but still sturdy and ready to be used.  Indeed, it fits quite comfortably in your hand.

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “2 Dye 4” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

13 May, 2016

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 Twenty One: 2 Dye 4

Bright!Guest Starring: DD and Double Up.

A new craze is spreading through Pink’s school, hair gel that makes your hair bio-luminescent!  But no one seems to know who makes it and it is only sold by shady rat who operate out of beat up vans.  Pink finds this suspicious and convinces the team to help her investigate.  Lots of sneaking about and following vans that mysteriously disappear but eventual they track the rats down to a secret lab lead by a chihuahua mastermind who is using the students as experimental subject for not-quite perfected cosmetics.  The team exposes the lab to the media forcing it to shut down but the mastermind escapes south.  And all of the kids who used the hair gel find that if causes their hair to fall out (which, in best cartoon fashion happens to all of them simultaneously).

What really happened:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Bank Note

10 May, 2016

Something like this“Paper money still strikes me as odd,” said Voddik flapping the note around.

“It is really the promise of proper money, actual specie, once we have completed our mission,” said Gollaon.  “But this is easier to carry,” he plucked the note from Voddicks grip and tucked it safely away.

“So, we had best get the job done.  I will feel happier with silver and gold weighing me down.”

Bank Note

These are printed and written on high grade paper, they come in matched pairs, one for the person set for the task.  Some use seals, others stamps and a very few require marks or signing in blood

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Dark Future Ahead 15 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

5 May, 2016

About to run Shadowrun tonight, not stealing anything directly from the articles below but hopefully they will prove inspiration to others.  Now, tune in for the latest interesting and cyberpunk inspiring stories that I have found:

Sometimes extreme measure are needed to protect endangered animals, rangers authorized to use lethal force to protect rhinos in Kenya.  Surely there is a place in a cyberpunk game for this.

Wearable technology finding its place in modern fashion at long last?

The global language of music is found in heavy metal?  Metal music is everywhere and increasingly as a international, cross cultural genre.  Fascinating.

Using modern technology to spread ancient thought, Xian’er the robotic (Buddhist) monk is here to help and teach you.

Your lead singer is a hologram?  Wasn’t that a 1980s cartoon?  But jokes aside, the Japanese have created a realistic(ish) holographic singer and she tours.

The Belgian military is using drones to keep an eye on their ports.

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?

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