Archive for December, 2019


Out of December and into the Year MMXX

31 December, 2019

Arch of JanusIt is almost January, 2020, and with it the New Year!  Good fortune to all in MMXX!

January is, naturally, named after the god of doorways, Janus (Ianuarius), who is usually pictured as looking both forward and back.   So in January, we will return to the themes of doorways, transport and travel to open new possibilities for the New Year.  As usual, if there is something on this theme you would like to see, let me know.

Looking back over December, 2019, we find a very quiet month but not without interest:

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Tuesday Magic Item – New Year Dagger

31 December, 2019

Time has pointsVoddick looked back at the town and sighed. “Well it was nice while it lasted.”

“Truth.  But such a place in not for the likes of us,” said Gollaon.  “Not yet.”

“Why do news of serious threats to the future of the world always find us?”

“Part of being heroes, my friend.”

“You think we are heroes?” said Voddick with a frown.

“Well no one else is riding out to stop the evil are they?”

New Year Dagger

The origin of this singular weapon is unknown but it is believed to have come from elsewhere, it consists of a three-sided cloudy crystal blade with a grip made of some unknown dark metal fused to it.  It is surprisingly heavy and always cold except when it is using its magic, when it is nearly unbearably hot.

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Superheroes – Tomorrow and Today – A Campaign Idea

27 December, 2019

The cat's out of the bag!I have been playing in a Necessary Evil campaign (which uses Savage Worlds, perhaps not the perfect match for Superheroics).  This has totally reawakened my love of superheroic gaming (which playing Masks at GenCon a few years back had also stimulated).  Unfortunately, playing s superhero campaign means having players who are willing to buy into the genre and right now, I do not have groups that have the right sorts of players.

This does not mean that I have not been thinking about the sorts of superheroic campaigns I would like to Games Master, if I can find a group (or, heaven forfend groups).  This is my current thought for a campaign that would work with two groups or one group with players that drop in or out, as the campaign takes place in two different -but deeply interconnected- time periods.

Superheroes – Tomorrow and Today

It is a time of difficulty and change, the US is locked in an endless war with an implacable enemy spending blood and money fighting in foreign fields, technology is changing rapidly and changing how we view the world, the generations are in conflict over what direction the country is going, radicals on the left and right are tearing the nation apart . . . It is the 1960s . . . It is 2020.

A brave group of new heroes in the 1960s gather together to build a better world out of the chaos of a changing world.

Two generations later, a new team of heroes emerge, taking their inspiration from the heroes of the 1960s, some of which were their ancestors or mentors, to do the same. Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Festival Blessing Token

24 December, 2019

Take this and be safeVoddick put his feet up by the fire and sipped at his posset.  “Good to have some time to just rest without madmen and monster chasing after us.”

Gollaon swirled the mulled wine is his goblet.  “Truth, my friend.”

“While reflection, indeed, having the time to reflect, is not in our usual purview,” said Voddick, “it occurs to me now, that this is why I fight.  To allow people to have these happy times, free from fear.”

“It is a good goal,” nodded Gollaon. “And, yes, one I share in.  I would love to see a peaceful world, full of festivals and good cheer.”

“And it would give you more time for your preferred pursuits,” replied Voddick with a wink.

“There is truth to it though . . .”

Festival Blessing Token

These simple tokens are given as gifts during festivals, usually by friends and family, and their magic lasts until expended (or a year has passed) which ever comes first.  In fact, their magic only is activated when given as a gift during a festival, they tap into the enchantment generated by the event to activate their abilities.  Though a person may only have one of these items active at a time, not matter how many they received.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Festival Dice

17 December, 2019

Game with friends!Gollaon took another drink and tossed the dice.  “Ha!  I win again!”

“Good throw,” said Voddick around a mouthful of sweet bread.

Gollaon handed him a bowl of wine and shared part of his winning around.  “Time for us to be moving on.”  He waggled his eyebrows.  “I have someone to meet.”

Voddick gratefully took a drink.  “I suppose I will find myself some ceremony to watch while you enjoy yourself.”

“You can find someone to be with too, my friend.”

Voddick shook his head.  “Not today, I will just explore the festival.”

“As you like it, my friend.”

Festival Dice

These dice can be anything from simple knuckle bones to fancy carved bone or inlaid wood, there is always at least a pair and they are usually simple cubic dice (though other platonic solids are occasionally used).  Holding them, one just has the feeling that they want to be used.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Gift of Life

10 December, 2019

Like the phoenic, you riseGollaon coughed up blood and sat up, his eyes wide and starting.  “Wha . . .” he coughed again.  “What happened?”

“You took a spear to the chest, hit your heart and lung,” replied Voddick.

“Sounds bad,” croaked out Gollaon.

“You have no idea, you were stone dead, my friend,” replied a grave Voddick.

“Then how?”

“That your lover of yours, the one you charmed last week was more taken with you then I thought.  They pushed themself to the bring of death to bring you back.  We have them wrapped up in warm blankets, they should recover, given a few days of peace.”

“Did we win that at least?”  Gollaon tried to look around.

“I think so,” nodded Voddick, “for the sake of both of you.”

Gift of Life

These tokens come in a variety of shapes and sizes, always made of silver or more valuable metal sometime decorated with designs in enamel or inlaid in other precious metals, the design call to healing, life and rebirth, a phoenix being especially popular.

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Shadowrun Campaign News with New Seattle Scream Prop (#63)

4 December, 2019

Ice skating in Seattle?My monthly Saturday learn to play / open campaign game of Shadowrun is back on track (at Tyche’s Games on every first Saturday each month, come and join in)and has successfully moved to the Sixth World Edition of Shadowrun.  To support that ongoing campaign, we have a new Seattle Scream (#63), the floating ice rink featured in the last adventure I ran.

Overall, liking the Sixth World edition, getting used to it and thinking about some small house rule tweaks to make it fit our play style better.

Other than that  Shadowrun gaming in our local group has been slow, but you can read about PinkCat’s latest adventure in NorCal here.  Hopefully once the holidays are done, we will get some more Shadowrun action going.

Photo “Ice skating” by AlisonKillilea is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.




Tuesday Magic Item – Highwayman’s Ice Bow

3 December, 2019

Are bandits hiding nearby?Gollaon leaned back in his chair and sipped at his mulled wine.  “It seems that the war has given way to general lawlessness, bandits everywhere.  Do you think it is worth our while to hunt some of them down?”

Voddick leaned over his mulled ale.  “Perhaps.  I do not much care for thieves even the polite ones like some highwaymen.”

“One of the local bands is making quite a name for themselves, they have a magical frost casting bow.”

“I had heard about that band, they seem more or less reasonable sorts,” nodded Voddick.  “Or at least they understand a goose only plucked can be plucked again later.”

Gollaon laughed.  “That I can respect.”

Highwayman’s Ice Bow

These bows are made of wood harvested at the height of winter, they are always decorated often to the point of near garishness with inlaid silver, crystals and blue and white enamels and paints.  The bow is cold to the touch and the string will gather ice crystals is left still for too long.

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Review – Shadowrun: No Future

2 December, 2019

No Future!Shadowrun: No Future is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and lets you know what the media landscape is like in the Sixth World of Shadowrun. It casts a wide net covering music, popular entertainment, news, sports and more. If you like this level of world building, this is the book for you, for others, there is general information on the world and run ideas but perhaps not enough to make this a required purchase.

Shadowrun: No Future, is a CyberPunk Sourcebook for Shadowrun, this particular book provides an overview of where culture is in the Sixth World, ranging from music to sports, media to fashion. The limited amount of game mechanics for the version I reviewed were for Shadowrun, 5th edition, but the cultural information is edition independent.

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December already? What happened to November?

1 December, 2019

Winter beginsWhere did the month go?

It is already the first of December and, thus, the meteorological start of Winter.  But did not November just get going?  And now it is gone.  Tempus Fugit, I guess.  December was, as you might expect, the tenth month of the Roman calendar and it is a month filled with holidays for us modern folk.

So, the themes for this month on the Sea of Stars design journal will be Winter, festivals and gift: cursed gifts, divine gifts, magical gifts or whatever else we can think up.

If there is a particular idea that those theme inspire, let me know and I will try to realize it.

Looking back over November, 2019, we saw the following posts here: Read the rest of this entry ?

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