Archive for October, 2016


October fades, November writes

31 October, 2016

Happy All Hallows Day and Eve all!  Enjoy costumes, food and whatever else one does on this lovely holiday!  Tomorrow is the beginning of November with All Saints Day, November is the ninth month of the Roman calendar, and -in the traditional Irish calendar- the start of Winter.   Tomorrow also sees the beginning of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which I will be using to spur me forward in finishing off the Sea of Stars Campaign Setting.

In light of that, and seeing no obvious theme to November I will just write about whatever inspires me.   I will keep up with the Tuesday magic items and whatever else I can fit.  However, if you have any requests, anything you would like to see or any theme you would like me to expand upon, please let me know and I will try to fit it in.

October, 2016, saw the following posts here:

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Dark Future Ahead 19 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

31 October, 2016

Still sifting the feeds for news to apply to your cyberpunk games and writings.

It seems the Pentagon has been reading cyberpunk, one of their latest conference video spots sounds like a dystopian cyberpunk view of the future of megacities.  Certain good inspiration for the likes of us and you could see a megacorporation issuing a similar video before touting its technological solution to the problem.

An American company, Bloom, is making plastics from toxic algae and (hopefully) reducing the risk of dangerous algae blooms.  Lots of uses for bioplastics and the environmentally friendly part is great too.

MeyGen is moving forward with commercializing tidal power in Scotland.  So many people want to to succeed, surely others want them to fail.  Which side will hire you?

Meanwhile in Switzerland, the Cybathon challenges teams to show what their cybernetics can do.  It seems likely that technological competitions like this will continue with all sorts of opportunities for spying and sabotage (and protection from such) one has come to expect in the dark future.

An interesting article on bodyguarding celebrities which incudes a multitude of inks to various security provides (such as The Shadow Group -warning automatic audio on the site- which has its own branded apparel!) which should be useful for designing scenarios from either side of the security equation.

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


Rokugan SRIU Episode 11 “To the North and Winter, Part 3” (L5R Campaign Report)

29 October, 2016

This episode opens with the arrival of the missing Tonbo and the aftermath of the attack by podlings on Asako Neko and Bayushi Kaeru as guards and samurai swarm into the room, which is stripped and ritually cleansed, and the Asako decides to stay with the other yoriki.

OrigamiThe Tonbo is informed of what is going on and their current plans.  They suspect that Isawa Nobuhide is not the only member of the conspiracy here but they are not sure how to track down any of the other members, then they remember the creepy watchful peacock in his room.  So they troupe en mass to Otomo Mariko, Imperial Nakodo, to see if she know who might have given such a distinctive gift.  She spends some time sounding out the Tonbo but does manage to recall that the peacock was a gift from Doji Tatsuzo, a Crane courtier with interest in artifacts from Gaijin lands.

The following day, while their main suspect Isawa Nobuhide is off at the origami competition with Hida Kenta, the Bayushi and the Tonbo investigate the Isawa’s room, covering the watchful peacock with a cloth, they find a scroll recently coated in red dye that is drying in a case and a multitude of small knives but nothing firmly incriminating.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Four Cornered Flask (for Pathfinder and D&D5)

25 October, 2016

A little bit like this“Well, it is useful,” agreed Voddick, “but is it that much more useful than just having a canteen?”

Gollaon flipped the flask around.  “Maybe not, my friend, but you must admit that it is fun to have.”

“That may be so but I would rather spend my money on good drink rather than a contain for the drink.”

“Which is why I did not pay for this.”

“You didn’t . . .” began Voddick.

“No, I did not steal it.  I am to show it off and hopefully drum up business for the maker.  Now, let us go and find some good sack, ale and wine to fill it with.”

Four Cornered Flask

These square metal flasks have a cap at each corner, usually marked in some way such as different colored enamel or inset metal, and feel very solid and weighty when handled.

Each cap opens into a separate storage area, capable of holding up to 2L (3.5 pints) of liquid and maintaining it at a drinkable temperature (4.5-65̊ c/40-149̊ f) indefinitely.  It also retards, but does not stop, spoilage.  Liquids placed in the flask will remain fresh and usable two-three times longer than normal.

Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th
Slot – ; Price 750; Weight 2 lb
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, endure elements, prestidigitation, secret chest; Cost 375

For D&D5:

Wondrous item, uncommon

Otherwise as above.

Notes: Yes, it is a flask of holding!  Drifting a little from the potions and monsters theme but it is what came to me.

Photo by Ratomir Wilkowski and found on Wikimedia Commons and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


Rokugan SRIU Episode 10 “To the North and Winter, Part 2” (L5R Campaign Report)

22 October, 2016

The SRIU unit pushes through the inclement weather, having outmaneuvered thieves and outfought an oni on their way to Kyuden Isawa.  The Tonbo suffers a serious wound in a ‘bandit’ ambush and is left behind in Kyuden Asako to recover   Our heroes finally arrive, cold on exhausted at Kyuden Isawa where the Imperial Magistrate, Togashi Shisõ, greets them and assigns a young Phoenix to act as their guide:

Asako Neko, a fiery Phoenix, outgoing, overconfident and convinced that she knows it all.  Almost started a blood fued between her branch of the family and one of the Isawa branches, under the wing of Togashi Shisõ until she can be redirected.  (Isawa Shugenja 1, played by L2 who is new to L5R but not Japanese culture.)

It is cold in northern Rokugan

Our heroes settle into life in Winter Court, being formally presented to Isawa Soh, “the Gentle Wave”, Master of Water and Hostess of the Court, who serene and beautiful, seemingly untouched by her sixty years of age.  They have time to partake of some of the pleasantries of court while helping with the search for potential bloodspeakers among the guests.  To that end the Shrine to the Fortune of Truth is set up in the library where it may be used to observe some of the guests without being too obvious.

Otomo Mariko, one of the Imperial Nakodo (matchmakers), makes time to meet with all of the characters to sound out their future plans and amiability to marriage much to the characters’ discomfort.

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Tuesday Magic Item- Puissant Warrior Elixir (for Pathfinder and D&D5)

18 October, 2016

Charge!“While I have used potions now and then, but these warriors seem to use them . . . a lot,” said Voddick quietly, sipping his ale.

“I had noticed,” agreed Gollaon, equally quietly.  “I think we should let them take the lead in, well, everything.”

“Agreed,” replied Voddick with a slight nod.  He noticed the warriors looking their way and raised his mug to them.  “To our victory on the battlefield tomorrow!”

They cheered and Voddick and Gollaon exchanged glances.

Puissant Warrior Elixir

These potions smell of iron and alcohol, and taste of strong ale with a sharp metallic undertone, they are a clear deep red and generate their own heat when poured out.

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New Magic Item – Scorpion Stone (for Pathfinder and D&D5)

16 October, 2016

That's going to stingGollaon ducked behind the battlement just in time; the sling bullet whizzed over his head to crack against the far wall.  Gollaon started to reach down to pick it up.

“Leave it!” stated Voddick.  “I have seen stones like that before.  They sting with venom, nasty things.”

Golloan kicked it into a corner.  “Vicious.”

Further down the wall, a soldier yelped and dropped the stone he just picked up.

“Guess I should pass on the warning,” grumbled Voddick.

Scorpion Stone

These bullets, usually made of lead but occasionally of fired clay, are marked with a venomous creature usually a scorpion.  They should not be handled with bare flesh as they will sting anyone who does so.

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Shadowrun, Anarchy and a new Seattle Scream prop (#51)

15 October, 2016

Happy Haoweener!It is almost Halloween(er) Time!  Been running quite a bit of Shadowrun over the last two months.  We have some new players for the monthly game, including one who tried an in-game betrayal (which ended badly for the character and his ganger buddies)!  The games for this week have mostly focused on dealing with the crazy Seattle gang, the Halloweeners, which has been fun.  Hope to get in at least one more appearance by the Halloweeners by the end of the month.

This week, due to payer absences, we gave a the new Shadowrun: Anarchy system a spin.  It is very narrativist and pretty neat, but it will take some getting used too.  I do not think we used the system to its best advantage, but there is always next time and we will certainly try it again.

And now for the latest news from my Shadowrun word: Seattle Scream #51.

Photo by Damian Cugley and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.



Tuesday Magic Item – Potency Boosting Syringe (for Pathfinder and D&D5)

11 October, 2016

Injectable Power

Voddick turned away, his face going pale.

“How is it you can laugh your way through a bloody combat but medical needles make you blanch?” quietly asked Gollaon.

“I am not sure,” mumbled Voddick.  “At least I understand combat.  I can break a body . . . but putting it back together.  I would hate to kill someone by accident.”

Gollaon nodded.

Potency Boosting Syringe

These syringes are usually made of silver, high quality steel and occasionally alchemically hardened glass.  Usually they are part of a cased set including multiple needles and often cleaning tools.

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New Monster – Alchemical ReAgent

10 October, 2016

Friend?First Monster for October and something that plays into the RPG Blog Carnival theme of Potions.

In the abandoned quarter where the illegal alchemists ply their trade and vats of flawed mixture are dumped into the sewers, odd things have begun to emerge . . .

Alchemical ReAgent
These are beings spontaneously created by the interaction of magical and alchemical wastes mixing with organic and inorganic materials creating a disturbing imitation of life with a dim spark of intelligence.

Alchemical ReAgent    CR 3
XP 600
N Small construct (accidental, awakened)
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