Archive for May, 2017


Creative Sunday – Moria Mining

7 May, 2017

What is happening in the apartments?

It has been a while since I did one of these but some of my old gaming group back in Portland, OR, finally have their Moria Mining site up for their miniature building, diorama construction and gaming.

There is a fun selection of dioramas for a variety of genre along with information on how they were built.  The Glom Co section references a long-running Call of Cthulhu campaign we all playing in back in the day.

If you like miniatures and building fun things, CoC or dwarves, of all of them, check out Moria Mining.


Help out Cats and enter a fantastic Raffle

5 May, 2017
Give for the catsDavid Baity is running a charity raffle for Kits n Kats Rescue which includes many, many fabulous prizes including a beautiful DDC-themed wooden bound book by Ken Campbell which you can see in the photograph here, you can find out more about the raffle here.
I have tossed in some money for a good cause, won’t you join me?  And you may even get rewarded for your good deed.

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

4 May, 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 Eight: Safety First Redux

Guest Starring: Clawz and DD.

WhirrThe school is on a field trip to a fully automated local factory when a power surge first shuts down their robotic tour guide and then starts everything up.  So the rest of the episode is a adventure crossing the running factory floor to get to the control room to shut everything off so that the rest of the class can get out safety.  It takes cartoon liberties with scale and distance and plays off of classic exploration and adventure tropes while also having PSA-style undertone of best practices when visiting/working in a factory.  Eventually they make it to the control room and reset everything, the robotic tour guide restarts and they finish the tour as if nothing happened.

What really happened:

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Plot ideas for the Secret Society Ring

3 May, 2017

I was a little rushed getting the Secret Society Ring out, and some ideas came to me tonight, so some thought on how to use the Secret Society Ring to drive adventure:

What secrets do you hold?Firstly, I was thinking that the identification sensation would vary from society to society: a spider cult would feel the sensation of spider legs along their spine, members of a celestial back conspiracy would see the other member with a halo, and so on.

So someone who is sensitive to magic emanations might still get the sensation that the ring triggers when member exchange handshakes when they touch someone wear one of the rings.  How would they react?  And what might they do to find out why that sensation was triggered?

A flawed ring, one that just requires that it be worn for a day to align it to the wearer, and that wearer would suddenly be treated as a friend and ally by people they had never before met.  How long can they keep up the charade?  What about when other member of the conspiracy start asking them for help and expected that it will be given, what then?

What is the group found a stash of these rings and the ritual to activate them?  What would they use them for?  And if they do use them, how will they react when they start encountering other people who have activated rings of the same type?

How would you use the rings to spark adventure?

Image “Ring” by Celtic via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0


Tuesday Magic Item – Secret Society Ring

2 May, 2017

Who are you?“The local nobles seem especially cliquish,” muttered Voddick over his mug of ale.

Gollaon nodded.  “More than just usual exclusion, I believe.  I suspect we are in a den of conspirators and not just one conspiracy but several,” he said in a quiet voice.

Voddick sighed.  “Idiots.  Open debate and honest disagreement produce a stronger polis than continually fragmenting conspiracies.  One day an outsider will come along and kick down the whole rotten house.”

“Agree, so we had best make our money quickly and move on.”

Secret Society Ring

These rings are defined entirely by their magic and rarely have any fixed appearance, they are made for expansive secret societies that for, whatever reason, have a far-flung membership and need a way to recognize each other that is more reliable than coded phrases.

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May RPG Blog Carnival – Occult Mysteries and Magic

1 May, 2017

While I have participated off and on in the RPG Blog Carnival, this is my first time hosting.  You can learn more about the RPG Blog Carnival and visit the archives at Johnn Four’s Roleplaying Tips page.

During May, the Sea of Stars journal will act as the central list for all the articles. If you write something as part of the Carnival, then please leave a comment with link below that it can be found by all interested.

This month’s theme is:

Occult Mysteries and Magic.

Deep OccultWhile we tend to use the word Occult is a general sense of magic and strange things, its original meaning was simply hidden or secret, so we will be looking at the secrets behind and intertwined with magic in the world and in campaign settings.  We can think about questions such as:

  • Is magic practiced openly or only in secret?  Are there legal or social punishment for magical practice?  Or are only some kinds of magic banned?
  • How is magic used behind the scenes in a setting for good or ill?  Are there magical conspiracies afoot?  Does magical power imply other kind of power (political, criminal, economic)?
  • Who controls magical knowledge and its dissemination?  Can anyone learn magic?  Or is it confined to particular people?

Obviously different types of campaigns will answer these questions very differently, the occult landscape of a modern supernatural game (say Unknown Armies) is literally worlds apart from the standard fantasy world (say D&D or Pathfinder).

I will try to answer all the three trios of questions for the Sea of Stars over the month, but I will start with the first triad today:

Is magic practiced openly or only in secret? Openly, the Sea of Stars only exists and thrives because of very visible magics, such as the captive Sun and the floating islands.  The use of magic is common but not omnipresent, though every settlement the size of a town or larger is almost guaranteed to have some sort of magic worker, and even villages often have a minor priest or practitioner of natural magic on hand.

Are there legal or social punishment for magical practice?  Some societies, and some dragons, actively oppose certain kinds of magic but societal ostracism is a more common punishment than legal methods.   Though some dragons have outlawed certain magics in their realms for reasons known only to themselves.

Or are only some kinds of magic banned?  Only the Moon Sect is banned outright, it exists only in secret societies and underground cells.  While the Empress disapproves of summoning and necrourgic magic, only the opening of permanent gates to other realms and the creation of self-replicating undead is expressly forbidden.

Other ideas that you might want to pursue:

  • Secret Societies.
  • Lost or hidden books or libraries of magical knowledge.
  • Mystery Cults.
  • Fallen civilizations, especially if magic caused their downfall.

At the end of May, I shall write a short compilation article gathering all the submissions. I look forward to reading your contributions.  Good luck and have fun!

Contributions so far:

Warlock Lodge: Masters of the Invisible College and Using witches, magic and occult practices in your games and the Psychic Witch from The Other Side.

Occlusion from Infinite Adventures.

D&D 5E: Rituals and the Occult from Harbinger of Doom.

Occult Mysteries (of Eberron) from the Codex Anathema.

Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe and Supah Seekrit from Inspiration Strikes!

Spiritualist Sorcerer and Exorcist Background from Daemons and Deathrays.

Cult Magic Failures from Tales of a GM.

A Secret Society Of Character-Hunters For Your Campaign from Roleplaying Tips.

Greater Rituals (for D&D 5E) from the Dragonsmith.

Notes: Photo “Warenology at the Warren’s occult museum” by 826 PARANORMAL is licensed under CC BY 2.0








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