Archive for August, 2016


August ends and September begins

31 August, 2016

Now we move into September (and hopefully some cooler weather here in Georgia, USA, as it has been a hot Summer), the seventh month of the Roman calendar.  September does not seem to have any particular ties to myth or tradition among the Romans, however,  as Seven is usually viewed as a magical number, magic and spells will be our theme for this month.   Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see.

During the week of 4th-12th September, I will be in Washington, DC, with family visiting them and museums.  My plan is to set the journal to update during that time but I will likely not be able to approve comments from new people but I will do so as soon as I can.  I shall return with new and inspired ideas and photographs of the wonders of the Smithsonian.

August, 2016, saw the following posts here:

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Review – Fursona 5E

31 August, 2016

Fursona5eFursona 5E provides a set of tools for incorporating anthropomorphic (human like) animals in a D&D (5e) campaign and it does a solid job of doing so, it is a little light on the campaign advice side but very strong mechanically.  If you are thinking of including anthropomorphic characters in your campaign, it is worth a look. Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Jellyfish Discus

30 August, 2016

Getting a grip on you“What was that?” cried Voddick watching the whirling disc continue on beyond him.

“Get down!” shouted Gollaon, taking shelter behind a wall.  “Do not let them hit you.”

“What are they?”

“Terrors of the sea reformed into weapons against those on land,” replied Gollaon, stringing his bow.

A cry went up from one of the other soldiers, now enmeshed is writhing tentacles.  “Nasty,” mutter Voddick, snapping a shot with his crossbow.

Jellyfish Discus

These throwing discs are colorful, rubbery and damp to the touch, which many find unpleasant, but they are exceedingly well balanced for throwing and glide though the air when tossed.

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Rokugan SRIU Episode 9 “To the North and Winter, Part 1” (L5R Campaign Report)

27 August, 2016

The core unit is back in the capital, having sorted out the mystery of the missing paving stones (and covered up an embarrassment to the Crane).   It is now late Autumn and the skies have become grey and the winds howl, winter is almost here.  They are looking forward to a relaxing winter in the capital but it is not to be.  A new member arrives:

Tonbo Sanetomi, a Dragonfly without talent for speaking to the kami or divination and thus trained as a Miromoto swordsman.  Unfortunately, he is prone to be both argumentative and less than truthful and after a small altercation at a minor court has ended up with the SRIU.  (Mirumoto bushi 2, played by M back from exile.)

Just in time to join the next mission: to take a set of files to the Imperial Magistrate Togashi Shisõ (the only Togashi to serve as an Emerald magistrate) at Kyuden Isawa.  And, as they are already going to Kuyden Isawa, they can escort Doji Akira’s cousin, Asahina Chiaki, to the Phoenix Winter Court being held there so she can meet her husband to be.  Chiaki is accompanied by her Yojimbo, Kakita Noriko, they are also transporting a portable shrine in semi-secrecy though they do open it every morning to preform prayers and sacrifices.

As they pack up their horses the next morning, Doji Akira gives each bushi a pot of jade paste and Bayushi Kaeru, a scroll of Wrathful Glare of the Sun, with a note from one of her sensei.  Hida Kenta explains the use of jade paste to his companions as they travel.  The route takes them north, a road out of the capital they have taken many times already.  They travel first to Dragon’s Guard city, then to the Palace of the Emerald Champion (who was absent) and into the mountains.

Through the mistThe travel through the mountain pass is slow and unpleasant due to rain and mist.  On the last day of travel through the pass, the last watch notices that the shrine is missing!  The Tonbo shouts an alarm and casting around, see a shape moving away in the mists.  He points this out to the others and get two shuriken in the chest for his troubles.  The Akodo, Hida and Otaku (who leap strait from her bedroll to her horse) close and find a line of grey clad men between them and the group carrying away the portable shrine.  The thieves trying to slow the samurai are not warriors and two are quickly cut down and another badly wounded.  The ones carrying the shrine drop it and run when the Scorpion summons the air kami to disperse the mist around it.  Most of the thieves vanish away but the injured one is captured by Hida Kenta who prevents the thief from taking his own life.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Eavesdropper’s Earring

23 August, 2016

Good for twoVoddick sipped at his wine.  “Well, serving as bodyguards at a party is not a bad job.”  His free hand fiddled with his collar.  “Even if the clothes are a bit ridiculous.”

“You have no sense of fashion, my fiend,” replied Gollaon scanning the crowd.  “Take a note of the young woman by the arch, she is an agent but I am not sure if she is an ally or enemy.”

“The one with the long braid and the distracted look?”

“Precisely. Let me know if you see her playing with her earring.”

“As you wish,” said Voddick following the statement with another sip of wine.

Eavesdropper’s Earring

These earrings are fashionable but not overly flashy, except for often being set with multiple stones or decorative elements.  The other component of this item are one, or more, “echo anchors” of at least coin size with an ear displayed upon them, usually worked into the design of a portrait of a person or animal.

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

22 August, 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 Three: Making Movies

Guest Starring: Double Up, Toru and introducing:

  • Jove, an arrogant skinflint ex-military eagle.  (A stand in for Joshua, an elven physical adept.  Played by M.)

Lights! Camera! Action!There is a movie being filmed near to the school where Pink, Sparky and Toru go and all of the students want to watch / see the actors / be extras.  Double Up and Jove are hired to work security for the movie company so Pink and co have to work out how to help the students without getting their friends in trouble.  So lots of misdirection and working together mixed with misunderstanding and working at cross-purposes.  Finally ends happily after Pink hacks the script and adds a scene at a high school that allows all of her classmates to appear as extras and meet the stars.

What really happened:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Regal Guitar (for Pathfinder and D&D5)

16 August, 2016

Music for allGollaon leaned back, letting the music flow over him.  He watched the singer, they seemed more attractive after each song yet he was barely sipping at his wine.

“Quite a talent,” whispered Voddick once the song had ended and the mistral took a break.

“Indeed,” nodded Gollaon, “but I think it is talent given a helping hand from some subtle magic.”

Voddick looked a little disappointed but then brightened as another set was begun with a strum on the guitar.

Regal Guitar

These finely crafted guitars often show signs of hard use and travel, yet they still play beautifully.  They are made of rare woods occasionally inlaid with ivory or other precious materials but most are simple superb examples of the guitar-makers art and when properly tuned, they produce lovely music.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Kettle of Mist

9 August, 2016

Fancy a cuppa?“Fog is not usually one of my favorite types of weather . . .” began Voddick.

“But today, it seems quite comforting,” finished Gollaon, pouring more water into the kettle.  “As long as the deception holds and our employer’s enemies are too cautious to move into the fog, we should be safe.”

Voddick tilted his head, listening to the other solders stomping around, trying to make it seem as if there were many more troops in the fog.  “How long do you think it wil work?”

“Long enough for us to slip away if it seems to be not working,” whispered Gollaon.

Kettle of Mist

It is widely beieved that these items were initially created by mistake but their usefulness has caused the process to become formalized.  They are sturdy metal kettles, usually fairly large, often with carved wooden handles.  There are runes inscribed on the inside of the kettle which can be seen when the lid is lifted.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Chain of Majesty (for Pathfinder and D&D5)

2 August, 2016

MayoralChain_SouthMolton_DevonVoddick stepped out of the way of the hurrying noble and scowled at the man’s back.  “Using wizardry is cheating, you fop,” he grumbled.

“Compelling magic?” asked Gollaon before taking a bite of peach.

Voddick nodded.  “All they have to do is ask and I’ll step aside, I have my manners . . . unlike them.”

Chain of Majesty

These chains are always highly visible if not positively ostentatious, gilded if not made of gold and ofttimes bearing coins and medals.

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