Archive for December, 2020

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December ends and with it MMXX

31 December, 2020

Foreward and backThis year has both been agonizingly long and passed so quickly, I am still trying to reconcile that it is the end of the year.  But now it is almost January, 2021, and with it the New Year!  Good fortune to all in MMXXI!

January is, naturally, named after the Roman 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, 2020, we find a month but not without interest:

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Brave Folk (Badgerkin) for Dungeons & Dragons (5E)

30 December, 2020

Badgerkin (“Brave Folk”)
Badger the bard notIn the Crimson-Lined Valley, the Clans are guarded by the warriors of Drake’s Hold, the bravest of them are from the Badgerkin line. The origins of the Brave Folk are traced back to the Sundering when the Baron of Jackery drew upon all of their resources to defend the Crimson-Lined Valley from invasion. Among the defenders were the trained badgers of the young Baron. What happened has never made clear, but the Brave Folk returned from the battle having driven off the invaders, their leader was the young Baron henceforth known as Rolland the Brave.

Since then the Brave Folk have guarded the Crimson-Lined Valley from harm.

Physical Description: The Badgerkin are humanoid badgers, stocky and powerfully built, their bodies ripple with muscles under their wiry fur. Their fur is grey above and black on the under parts with a distinctive black and white striped face and white-tipped ears.

Their eyes are usually black, brown or amber, with the occasional green, blue eyes are not unknown but are exceptionally rare. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tuesday Magic Item – Soothsayer Sundial

29 December, 2020

Light Sorceress Sundial“Why are we hiding in a garden in the middle of the night?” asked Voddick in a whisper.

“To see who will avail themselves of the power of the sundial,” answered Gollaon passing a bit of candied fruit to his friend.

“What powers are those?” asked Voddick taking the fruit with a nod of thanks.

“Predictions of the future, I saw it being used at dawn.  But at the deep of night is when one asks about the darkest of deeds.”

Soothsayer Sundial

These sundials are always unique and unusual, speaking of something more than simple time keeping.  They are relatively large and difficult to move and will not work unless aligned properly so that they can display the time. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tuesday Magic Item – Solstice Spear

22 December, 2020

One  solstice or another“I knew we should not have gotten tangled up in the politics of the Fair Folk,” said Voddick hacking his way through the vines which seemed to gown back almost as quickly as they were cut.

“It seemed so easy,” said Gollaon pushing forward.  “Deliver the case, take payment and go.  How was I to know everyone would go crazy.”

“Fair folk,” snapped Voddick.

“Truth.  Never again.”

“That is what you said last time!”

Solstice Spear

This spear is a masterpiece of fae construction, the spear point is leaf-shaped with a long guard.  The shaft is inlaid with designs echoing leaves and vines.  At the height of the winter solstice, the spear point is silver with black runes and the shaft is dark gray with leaves the color of autumn, while during the summer solstice, the spear point is golden with red rune and the shaft is white with green leaves.  Between the two periods, the spear slowly changes from one state to the other. Read the rest of this entry ?

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History Resources for your Game [4]

20 December, 2020

A piece of historyA variety of interesting articles about history that have found recently and wished to share:

The story of the HOUGHTEAM, a secret unit sent into the ruin of Germany (while the fighting was still ongoing) to acquire the Nazi’s vast collection of maps and geophysical data for the US (and the keep it from the Soviets).  What a great plot for an adventure!

Some of the high valleys of Switzerland used to store cheese to be served at the owner’s funeral.  Funeral customs, apart from tombs to plunder, are often neglected in RPGs, so good food for thought here.

A very good discussion on oaths, how they are made and why can be found here.   Very useful for designing oaths for characters to take.  In fact the entirety of A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry is well worth mining for information on history.

Games have been with us forever, recently a Roman game piece has been found.   Many partial games have been found but is most case we do not have a firm idea of how the game was played.   Do your game worlds have any games unique to them?

Languages live and die with their speakers, and there are only about 2,000 people left who speak Tsakonika, a language descended from Laconian, the language of ancient Sparta.  It is one of the oldest surviving languages.  Have you used lost languages in one of your adventures?

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

Notes: Photo edited from the one at the Chester Standard and used without permission.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Superior Soap

16 December, 2020

“So, what is in the box we spent so much effort acquiring?” asked Voddick looking over Gollaon’s shoulder as the later finished opening the lock.

“Let us see,” said Gollaon as he opened the lid of the small chest. revealing many small packets each wrapped in paper with a label.  Gollaon picked on up and handed it to Voddick.  It smelt clean, like freshly laundered sheets.

“Granduncle’s Superior Soap!?”

Gollaon slit open on of the packages with a thumbnail and opened it.  “It is the real stuff.  Superior soap.”

Superior Soap

These bars of soap can come in any color but are usually white and can be wrapped in paper or come in a box or tin.  They usually have a clean smell but when used to clean something, that scent vanishes as does any scents of the washed person or item. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tuesday Magic Item – Sudden Snowflakes

8 December, 2020

Let it snow!“I had not expected that,” said Voddick wiping his brow before taking a swig of water.

“Truth,” said Gollaon, “this sort of desert has probably not seen snow in . . . centuries or more.”

“It is a good trick, we should see if we can get some of those snowflakes for later use.”

“Excellent thought.”

Sudden Snowflake

These devices are in the form of a snowflake, usually made of crystal or silver or a mix of the two.  Most commonly they are about two inches (5 cm) across but they can be larger or smaller.  Sometimes they are work on necklaces or as earrings.  They are used by throwing them, sometimes with a command word, and they trigger on impact. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tuesday Magic Item – Ghost Clock

1 December, 2020

Ghost of time“Something is . . . off about this place,” said Gollaon raising the lantern.

“Agreed, though I cannot say what,” replied Voddick looking around.

“Do you hear that?” asked Gollaon, tilting his head to listen.  “The clock?”

“The ruined clock?”

“Oh dear.”

Ghost Clock

These clocks are the remnants of once beautiful and complex pieces of time-keeping machinery.  Something has happened to them and their relationship to time has become detached and disruptive to the flow of time around them. Read the rest of this entry ?

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