Archive for August, 2019


Out of August, Into September

31 August, 2019

Seven of LemursNow we move into September (and hopefully some cooler weather here in Georgia, USA), 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.

At the start of the month I will be in Washington, DC, area visiting family and museums.  My plan is to set the journal to update during that time but I will slow 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 and other museums and historical places.

August, 2019, saw the following posts here:

Read the rest of this entry ?


Viscount Taviny zaKozrad – the Villain of the Piece

29 August, 2019

Viscount Taviny zaKozrad

A worthy foeQuote“A pleasure to meet you at last.  Please help yourself to some wine.  You may pour a glass for me and I will drink first if that puts you at ease.”

“We have much to discuss.  Please, let us talk first, they will be opportunities for swordplay later if that is your desire.”

Description: zaKozrad is slender and not unathletic but not overly tall (5’9″/1.75m), he carries himself with a noble air.  His black hair is worn in whatever the current style is in the local court and his dark eyes are alert.

He wears suitable clothes (with a mail shirt underneath when practical) tending to dark color.  He is always armed when local custom allows and when it does not, he has at least a knife or two concealed.

: While from a minor noble family, his mother was successful in court and she raised her son to build on her success, imparting her skills and ambitions to the boy.  Well educated among the children of the nobility, he is a social chameleon, finding friends and allies among all the classes and looking down on no one due to the circumstance of their birth.  zaKozrad is a loyal servant of the High King of Laccini, seeing to advance his nations cause (and his own) by whatever means necessary.

Presenting this Character
: zaKozrad is charming and stylish, well read and philosophical but most of all, an obvious villain.  He represents a Kingdom known for its expansionist agenda and use of necrourgy, he leans into all of the classic villain tropes.  His role is to focus the attention of the rivals to his kingdom by being the obvious, and even comic if that is required, villain.  His plots are obvious, overly convoluted and almost always not quite illegal.  Such as helping a local noble build up their private army or providing necrourgic magical support to a faction.
Read the rest of this entry ?


Down and Out in Taren Kost – Campaign Interlude 3

28 August, 2019

This adventure from Taren Kost follows from Episode 10 (you can find the initial adventures and cast list here).

Our cast for this interlude:

Reed Greenbottle and Skathfka

Interlude 3: Family and Comrades

Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Deflecting Dagger

27 August, 2019

Guardian BladeGollaon tightened the bandage around his right forearm.  “Ready?”

“I think we have him cornered,” said Voddick, weapons drawn.

“He has escaped before,” Gollaon prepared to place his hand on the doorknob

“We can but try.”

Gollaon nodded.  “Count of three?”

The door swung open.  “Come in,” said a weary voice from inside, “and let us end this.”

Deflecting Dagger

These parrying daggers are made of only the best materials, finely made and finely decorated, the blade is often etched with a motto of some sort.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Our brave cat, Joxer, goes on his last adventure

23 August, 2019

Joxer looking derpySadly, this morning we had to usher our brave and dear cat, Joxer, west across the rainbow bridge.  He was only thirteen but had suffered with FIV (the feline version of the immunodeficiency virus) for over half his life and his poor body was finally breaking down under the strain.

We adopted Joxer as a young cat, he was (like all of our cats) a rescue, and yes, he was named for Ted Raimi’s delightful character in Xena: Warrior Princess, Joxer the Mighty.  He was brave and loving and my wife’s dearest dear.  We have been with him through thick and thin and, although he was brave and was willing to stay with us for as long as he could, it would have been cruel to keep him any longer.  We made sure his last week was full of love and his favorite food, he had been on a restricted diet by not for this week and some medicine to chase away the pain.  And for the last week, he was our wonderful boy again, full of life and energy, bright eyed and proud tailed, but by this morning, he was beginning to flag and we could see it was going to be downhill for him.

About his tongue in the upper picture, one of the effects of the FIV requires us to get Joxer’s teeth pulled and without teeth, his tongue would slip out when he was at rest.

The lovely people at our local vet, the Animal Wellness Center of Athens, GA, helped us to see that he crossed over painlessly, with Dr Stacy and Rachel, one of the Vet Techs, in attendance with us as he left this world for the next one.

Be brave and enjoy your new journey and new adventure, my brave boy.  We will miss you.


Down and Out in Taren Kost – Campaign Report Episode 10

21 August, 2019

This takes place shortly after Episode 9, surprisingly, it is a straight chronology from one game to another.

Our cast for this episode:

Reed Greenbottle, Hartessa and Mercutio

Episode 10: What a Bloody Mess!

Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Bloodthirsty Sword

20 August, 2019

Look how many I have killed“I don’t like the look of this,” said Gollaon, rapidly doubling back into the alley.

“His men?” asked Voddick following, eye scanning for danger.

“Yes, and too many of them.”  He ducked down a side alley.  “Damn!”

Voddick readied his war hammer and drew a short sword with his off hand.  “I knew I shouldn’t  have left my shield behind today,” he grumbled.

Gollaon drew sword and fan.  “Well, at least he respects us enough to have sent his best thugs.”

“I am honored.”

Bloodthirsty Sword

While these weapons are usually of find make, there is something about them that appears disreputable and unwholesome, stains on the blade that never quite come of, a slight chip on the edge that always catches the light, and so on.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Minion’s Coin

13 August, 2019

Be loyal to coin“His men seem very loyal,” said Voddick watching the rough looking crowd.

“I know, you would not expect it from such ruffians and ne’er-do-wells,” agreed Gollaon sipping at his wine.

“He pays well, I expect,” agreed Voddick, signalling for a refill of his mug of ale.  “But it seems more than that.”

“I agree,” sighed Gollaon.  “It is not that he is without charm but . . .”

“It is not the right sort of charm for these fellows.”

Gollaon’s eye lit up.  “Then it must be another sort of charm!”

Minion’s Coin

These coins are predominantly silver and slightly thinker than the usual coin for the region, they have symbols but no mark of value or place of origin noted on them.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Pondering Wild Magic in D&D 5E

9 August, 2019

Wild?In my current D&D (5th Edition) games, I have two wild sorcerers, one in the Down and Out in Taren Kost adventures and the other in my learn to play game on one Friday night a month at Tyche’s Games.  So, I have been looking at wild magic in D&D and finding it . . . dull.

You can find the current wild magic table here and the effects range from “you accidentally kill the party” (07-08, fireball centered on you or 13-14, confusion centered on you), to nice for you (71-72, resistance to all damage for the next minute), to “you don’t get to have fun for the next in-game hour” (save or be polymorphed into a sheep for an hour) to “what? why?” (95-96, you and everyone else in 30′ become vulnerable to piercing damage for the next minute).  But they are both weirdly specific and static and do not give a sense of wild and chaotic magic, at least, not to me.

So, I am going to just go more free form and flexible.  I will use a deck of cards whenever a wild magic effect is triggered and the roll to trigger will be the spell level or less on a D20 when casting a spell, more powerful effects should be more likely to trigger.

My basic idea is:

  • Black card, negative effect (Spade, affects wild mage, Club, affects someone/thing else)
  • Red card, positive (Heart, affects wild mage, Diamond, affects someone/thing else)
  • Joker, draw twice more.

The higher value of the card, the greater the effect. Designed to be very free form and flexible.  I will post how it works out but it will be at least a week before I get to use it.

Notes: Image from a search for “chaos magic” and is “Veuve Clicquot HQ, Reims, France” by Matt Hamm is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.



Tuesday Magic Item – Villain’s Cloak

6 August, 2019

CloakedVoddick looked around and then raised his hand experimentally before letting it fall.  He leaned closer to Gollaon, “He has enchanted his cloak to blow dramatically even without wind?”

“Well spotted,” nodded Gollaon.  “It is a nice effect is it not?”

“Yes, I suppose so,” Voddick agreed grudgingly.  “Seems a bit of a cheat though.”

“Yes, entirely, that is the point,” said Voddick.  “It is all about attracting attention to the wearer.”

“Seems dangerous.”

“It has defenses too.”,

“Clever,” said Voddick studying the speaker even more carefully.

Villain’s Cloak

These cloaks are usually dark of color, black and crimson being common, and of a dramatic cut.  The fittings are also striking and often decorated with gems and arcane symbols.

Read the rest of this entry ?

%d bloggers like this: