Archive for October, 2019

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Tuesday Magic Item – Bloodsnake Venom

15 October, 2019

Red blood, red belly“Ambush!” Voddick shouted, snapping a shot at the attackers with his crossbow.

Gollaon deflect an arrow aimed at their charge.  “Thrice cursed bandits!”  He turned to see one of the other guard writhing in pain and his spilled blood congealing into a serpent that in turn attacked its progenitor.  “Assassins!”

“Bastards!” said Voddick as he stomping on the snake and then recocked his crossbow.

“Let’s get out of here!” Gollaon lent actions to words, pushes their charge before him as he caught another arrow with his sword.

Bloodsnake Venom

This foul concoction is made of various magical and rare ingredients, many of which are related to snakes and serpents, the end result is a greenish-red paste that smells of dry copper and that adheres to most weapons.  It must be kept sealed in opaque glass or porcelain or it loses its potency.  A container usually contains enough for three weapons.

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Review – Shadowrun: Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia

10 October, 2019

NeoAnarchy, baby!Shadowrun: The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and lets you know a little bit about a lot of things in the Sixth World of Shadowrun. It is edition agnostic, making it a useful book no matter which edition of Shadowrun you play though timelinewise it is set at the start of the new Sixth World Edition (2080), so some of it could be spoilers for games set earlier in the timeline. It is a fun read and a good way to provide an in-game look at the world to players but by no means a required book.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Houndmaster’s Spear and Collars

8 October, 2019

To huntVoddick took aim with his crossbow and fired to be rewarded with a yelp of pain.  “I hate fighting animals.  They did not ask to be here.”

“And we did?” said Gollaon helping his friend up higher on the hill.

“Well, no, but we knew the risks.”  He paused to recock his crossbow.  “If we can just get a shot at the hunter.”

“We can finish this,” nodded Gollaon, nocking an arrow.

Houndmaster’s Spear and Collars

These spears usually appear very practical and plain, especially for an enchanted item, with minimal decoration around their hardy shaft and brutal spear point.  Most include a butt spike for bracing into the earth against the charge of animals.  The collars are equally practical, usually studded leather echoing the colors and design of the spear they are tied to.

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History Resources for your Game [3]

4 October, 2019

A variety of interesting articles and sites about history I have found recently and wish to share:

Gamers will be pleased to learn that dice and games of chance have been with us a long time, the Romans even used dice towers to ensure randomness of the roll!

A canal in Amsterdam was drained as part of a construction project and they cataloged and photographed it all.  You can delve below the surface and see what they found by the date it was lost here.

Fish Pond in Hawai'iAquaculture, that is, the controlled raising of seafood, is not a new thing.  The Hawaiian have been doing it for centuries and they recently set about restoring one of the fishponds, very interesting and a good idea of what clever people can do even with limited technology.

In the late 19th and early 20th Century, railway work was so dangerous that the companies retained their own railway doctors who pioneered early trauma surgery.  Seems like a great background for a character to me.

A fascinating article about travel in the Ancient Greek World, which is full of useful information and ideas.

California City was designed to be a massive metropolis but it never happened.  Now there are just echoes and roads to nowhere.  Seems like a great place to visit or the seed for an alternate history.

Have you found any intriguing or fascinating history you would like to share?  If so, please do!

Notes: Image of the Hawaii fishpond from Atlas Obscura and used without permission.

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Catfolk of Felix Talis, for Dungeons & Dragons 5E

2 October, 2019

Play some music, you cool catYou can learn more about the Catfolk here,  But as I have a player in my D&D game who wants to play one, figured I needed to update them for play in 5E.

Catfolk Traits

Your catfolk character has a variety of natural abilities, the result of being a magically uplifted cat.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity and Charisma scores increases by 1 each.

Age. Catfolk mature slightly quicker than human, becoming fully adult around the age of fourteen, and their life span, on average is just slightly shorter usually living around three score and ten, if something does not happen to them first.

Alignment. Catfolk, like the cats they evolved from, are fiercely independent, seeking their own way even when going along would be the easier path. They are notable self-centered and self-satisfied. But they are firm friends and spiteful enemies.

Size. Catfolk fall in the human ranger, averaging around five foot, eight inches range (172.5cm) and then toward a lith and slender build. They are fur-covered, in any of the patterns typically found on cats, with a nimble tail and large cross-slitted eyes, their ancestry is quite obvious. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Animal Ancestry.  Due to your unusual heritage as an uplifted creature, all catfolk remain vulnerable to spells and magical effects that target animal. However, you do gain advantage to resist such spells and effects.

Darkvision. Like the cat you are, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Keen Senses. You have cat-like sense and thus you have proficiency in the Perception skill.

Natural Stealth. They do not call sneaky people cat-footed without reason, you have proficiency with the Stealth skill.

Languages. The catfolk have an efficient, if eclectic and informal education system and you can speak, read, and write the Felix Talis dialect of the Imperial Tongue.

Subrace, or you a semi-wild alley cat or a more stylish urbane cat?

Alley Cat
You are used to surviving on your own, relying on your wits and quickness to get you our of whatever trouble you end up in.

Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity Score increases by 1.

Cat-like reflexes: You gain advantage on Initiative checks if you are not surprised.

Urbane Cat
You rely on charm and your innate sense of society functions to get by.

Ability Score Increase: Your Charisma Score increases by 1.

Polyglot: You have a natural talent with languages, choose two more languages that you can speak, read and write. The first time you are speaking to someone in their native tongue, if you roll a 1 on the d20 for a Charisma check, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.

Notes: Image closer detail from the lower margin of the folio of a cat playing a fiddle from the British Museum and used under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Monster’s Mask

1 October, 2019

Before monsterfication“Again with the masked people,” hissed Voddick,his hand dropping to his weapon.

“And these do not seem very friendly,” answered Gollaon quietly.  “I think they are trophy hunters so they are probably after beasts rather than us.”

“Probably?”

“Hopefully.”

Monster’s Mask

These masks are plain, at least before their magic is activated, though solidly built and inscribed with magical runes.

Its magic is activated by painting fresh blood from an animal, monster or beast slain by the mask’s wearer.  The mask then takes on the visage of the creature whose blood was painted upon it.  This gives the following abilities:

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