Archive for March, 2017


Things Out in the Dark

30 March, 2017

This month’s theme for the RPG Blog Carnival is Things in the Dark, hosted by Mobius Adventures.

There is considerable darkness beyond and between the islands that compose the Sea of Stars, the space between the stars is all around, above and below the islands.  And some things both fantastic and terrible live in that darkness.

UmrayOne type of such creatures are the Umrays which haunt and hunt in the spaces between the islands.  These manta ray like creatures move through the space between the stars as though it was water but are not confined to the flat plane of travel that starships are bound to.  However, they almost never venture on or above the islands for reasons unknown.

Other creatures live and hide away in the dark from the gaze of mortals and -more importantly- dragons, beings from the lower and higher realms trapped when the gods were slain.  These beings have found places to avoid the dragons that hunt any traces of the divine, some of these being plot revenge, others just . . . wait.

There are also the ghosts, spirits and damned souls of those who have perished by plunging into the dark between the stars.  The subject of many a chilling tales by sailors upon the Sea of Stars, all new travelers upon a starship will be subject to multiple stories of sinister and bloodthirsty ghosts.  Fortunately these revenants are exceedingly rare but excessively destructive when they do appear.

Lastly, there are the strange and unknowable creatures that are native to the depths of the space.  Most who encounter these creatures do not survive to tell about it.

Notes: A very late entry for the Blog Carnival but I wanted to contribute.

Photo for the Umray is a slightly modified version of “Flower Garden Manta Ray” by NOAA’s National Ocean Service is licensed under CC BY 2.0




Tuesday Magic Item – Heart of Battle

28 March, 2017

Victory!“Our new officer is quite the tactician,” said Voddick, carefully slotting new quarrels into his box of such.

“Agreed.  But it may not all be natural talent,” said Gollaon waxing a bow string.

“Ah, you noticed the amulet too,” grinned Voddick.

‘”Ha!  That’s right, your people use the same technique do they not?”

“Truth.  Once you have seen a shard of a crystallized heart, it sticks with you.”

Heart of Battle

These amulets are made from the fragment of a hero’s heart that has been magically turned to crystal after their death, some are just the shard on a chain, others set the crystal in precious metal decorated with other gems.  The crystal faintly glows and once it has been worn for a day and a night, it flickers in tune to the wearer’s heartbeat.

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What Character Archetypes do you enjoy playing, reprised.

24 March, 2017

We were discussing what character types our current group tend to gravitate to, so I thought I would repost this article and see what people think of it (almost seven years later):

The Naive Expert / Talented Innocent

Who to be today?This is one of my favorite character conceptions, someone who is very, very skilled in a specific field but naive about the greater world.  These character are very good at what they do and very confident of their own abilities in their field and totally lost once they step out of that narrowly defined area.  They are usually young and without much in the way of social or combat skills, at least at the start.

Why play this archetype?

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

23 March, 2017

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 Seven: Grabbed

Guest Starring: Clawz and DD

Pizza is friendship!Glitter is missing!  She was last seen walking home but she did not make it.  Someone saw her talking with someone in a van.  Everyone is all a tizzy, thinking that she has been kidnapped.  The rest of the team splits up looking for her and searching for clues.  So, lots of traditional cartoon schtick as they look for her.  But it just turns out that Glitter met an old friend and she forgot to call and her battery ran down, so none of the calls to her made it through (cue scene of Glitter looking at her newly charged phone “1,812 missed calls?!”) and they find her having pizza with her friend.  Discussion among the friends about how it is important to keep in touch so that people do not worry.  Yes, it is a very PSA episode.

What really happened:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Cornerstone Shield

21 March, 2017

Superior protection“Moon’s Gaze!” cursed Voddick as the cowering slave he was escorting away from the combat fell into two bloody pieces with only a bare squeak of pain.

Gollaon pivoted around, looking for the source of the attack, but no enemy was near to them.

Voddick knelt down.  “Dead.  But how?”

“The leader of the blighted realm, he has a magical shield, yes?” demanded Gollaon.

“Yes.  A massive and ancient thing,” replied Voddick closing the slave’s eyes.

“Damn all slave owners to hell!  We need to find out where he is fighting,” said Gollaon, pulling Voddick to his feet.

“What?  Why?”

“The shield’s magic is killing the slaves to keep its master alive!”

Cornerstone Shield

This shield is a masterwork of craftsmanship, the decoration depicting the subjugation of the some people to their, obviously in the ideology of the shield’s maker, superiors.  It weighs much more that it should, until it is strapped up, then it is as light as a feather if the bearer is a slave owner, otherwise its weight renders it unwieldy and clumsy.

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New Magic Item – Movable Feast Cloth

20 March, 2017

Eat, drink and be merry“Nice of them to share their feast with us,” said Voddick tucking into a drumstick.

“We did drive those brigands off,” said Gollaon after taking a sip of ale.

“Truth.  But still, mercenary vagabonds such as ourselves are not always welcome.”

“But we are stylish and well dressed mercenary vagabonds, welcome most everywhere.”

Movable Feast Cloth

These embroidered cloths are obviously made by skilled local crafters, they do not show the technical sophistication or consistence of guild-made works but the love and care of people doing something they love.  The decorative motif is usually tied to the local religious traditions and adored with representation of local produce and dishes.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Court-Martial Drum

14 March, 2017

Justice of a sortVoddick paced.  “I do not know why we are needed for this.”

Gollaon shrugged.  “Impartial witnesses?” he suggested and took a bite from his apple.

“I do not like it,” grumbled Voddick.

“Nor I, but they run their army the way they want and we get paid for standing around rather than being on a battlefield.”

Court-Martial Drum

These large drums are used for military signalling, thus they are often decorated with the symbols of the military unit they are attached to, and also for the trails of those brought before military justice.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Message Runner’s Baton

7 March, 2017

In commandVoddick checked his crossbow and looked out across the field as the mists slowly burned away as the sun moved across the sky.

Gollaon idly counted arrows as the enemy ranks were revealed by the fleeing fog.  “Good sized army,” he said mildly.  “Glad we are holding ground rather than trying to take it.”

“It will still be rough if they choose to fight.”

“At least we have the better trained army and good communications,” he nodded to the runner, pointed with his baton.

“Discipline is all well and good,” agreed Voddick, “but I would not mind having a few more soldiers on our side as well.”


Message Runner’s Baton

These are made of hardy wood reinforced with metal, usually bronze or brass, and clearly marked with the symbols of the military that they were created for.  They are designed to be sturdy and distinctive but not flashy.

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