Archive for June, 2022

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Into July, Goodbye June

30 June, 2022

Writing and dictating, busy man this CaesarHope all of my readers in the Northern hemisphere are enjoying Summer, it has already been hotter than I care for this Summer so I hope the rest of it will be more moderate, and those in the Southern hemisphere are having a safe winter.

As many will know, July was named after Julius Caesar after he adjusted Roman Calendar and created the Julian Calendar (which is also named for him).  So, in honor of Caesar, this month we shall be looking at governments, organizations and ambitious people in the Sea of Stars and elsewhere.  As usual, if there is a particular subject you would like to know more about or see more of, please let me know.

Looking back over June, 2022, we see a fair amount of posting:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Shoes of the Wilis

28 June, 2022

Let's danceGollaon frowned and moved to get a better look at the dancer.  Voddick thought nothing of it at first, used to his friend trying to get a better look at handsome folk, but then he noticed that his friend’s attention was focused almost entirely on the dancer’s shoes.

Voddick sidled up to Gollaon.  “What is it, my friend?” he asked in a whisper.

“Those shoes, there is something about them, but I just cannot put my finger on it . . .”

Voddick looked closer.  “Something fae perhaps?”

Shoes of the Wilis

These shoes are always well made from the best of materials, though no iron or steel is ever used in their construction.  While obviously of the highest quality and value, to those who appreciate such things, they are never overly decorated or gaudy. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Supporting a Friend – Western Gothic RPG

23 June, 2022

So, my friend and part of my local gaming group, Benjamin Ainsworth, has finally released the RPG he has been working on for years, WESTERN GOTHIC, A Player’s Guide to the Weird West.

Back in the before times, we did some playtesting on this with Ben GMing it, it was fun, played pretty well and had an interesting and unique (from my experience) card-based system for task resolution.  Though I do not know if it has changed significantly since then, I am sure any changes have only been improvements.

As Ben says, “So sit down at a table with your pardners, ante up a few bits, and try your hand at bein’ a desperado. There’s enough scribblin’ and scrawlin’ in here to fill 140 pages and change. With that much ground to cover, best to gitty up and go.”

Note: The drivethruRPG link is an affiliate link and if you purchase through it, this journal will receive a small sliver of the money.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Solstice Ring

21 June, 2022

Ring around my heartGollaon gently played the viola as the happy couple took their vows under the Summer sun.  It was a beautiful day and the couples’ whole extended family had arrived.

Voddick oversaw the drinks that had been brought passing them out and, occasionally, keeping more from those who had gone too far down the path of inebriation.

As the event wound down, the two friends met up.  “A task well done,” said Gollaon.

“Indeed, may they be happy and safe together,” nodded Voddick.

Solstice Ring

These rings are always made of gold or a gold alloy, as gold is the metal of the sun, and are usually undecorated on the outside though they sometimes bear an inscription on the interior.  These rings draw upon the light of the longest day to bless and protect those pledged to each other with the rings.   Read the rest of this entry ?

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Along the Way to a Review – The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel, and Trade, Vol 1

16 June, 2022

To adventure!So, I visited the University of Georgia’s Science Library and on their shelves of new arrivals was The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel, and Trade, Vol 1 (Ancient Egypt through the First Global Age), Stephen K. Stein, Editor.  How could I not check that out?  And, as an aside, it was really cool to borrow a physical book from a library, it seems like forever since I last did that.

Full review once I have finished the book, but here are a few ideas for adventures, or even campaigns, pulled from the book so far:

Restoring Maritime Power– Ancient Egypt was briefly a major maritime player in the Eastern Mediterranean, we think, but then fell into internal conflict and when they emerged they had a lot to catch up on.  So, campaign idea, land recovering from civil strife, now trying to restore trade, the player characters are the crew (or at least the officers) of a ship sent to explore, trade, and rebuild the nation’s place on the maritime stage.  Lots of chances for exploration, adventure, trade, and even politics (if your group likes such things)!

Voyage to Punt- The Egyptians traded with the people further South in Africa, an area they referred to as “Punt” which covered modern Eritrea, maybe Somalia, and sometimes Yemen, probably.   The area was reached by the Red Sea, which meant that wood, supplies and people had to travel over the desert to the coastal strip, construct the ships, sail down to trade and then make it back, dismantle the ships and drag it all back to the Nile valley.  They cut caves and storage slips into the side of the coast and some supplies were probably left there between trips.  Obviously, such a major undertaking could only be financed by the Pharoah and were almost certainly partly done purely for prestige.  But what an adventure!  Besides the obvious challenges of getting the ships together, there is the danger of the travel itself, having to negotiate with the people you are hoping to trade with and then the trip back.    You could easily add political intrigue and even sabotage to the problems faced on the expedition.

Defending the Thalassocracy–  Thalassocracy (“Rule of the Sea”) is the name given to the time when the Minoan civilization was dominant in the Aegean Sea, their ships sailing and trading near and far.  It is said that their King Minos used his navy to sweep the Aegean free of pirates.  The player character could be assigned to a ship on anti-piracy patrols, but in a fantastic world, they would also have to chase off sea monsters and other supernatural problems.  And have to deal with merchants and traders, local and foreign, and possibly agents of other polities.  It would be easy to adapt this sort of idea into the Sea of Stars with the player characters members of the Imperial Navy tasked with routing out pirates and creatures dangerous to trade while not offending the local factions in the area they were assigned to.

All of this makes me think of what Ken Hite always says “Start with Earth.”

Notes: Photo from NOVA on PBS and used without permission.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Librarian’s Ring

14 June, 2022

So many booksVoddick looked up at the seemingly unending shelves of books.  “So much knowledge,” he whispered.

Gollaon nodded in agreement.  “This library has been gathering the written word for centuries. I suspect they have books they do not even remember.”

Voddick gave a low whistle.  “If only we had more time.”

“Truth, now let us find that librarian.”

Librarian’s Ring

These items are usually in the form of a signet ring bearing the seal of the library they were made for.  They are usually undecorated apart from the seal, though sometimes a motto or such is inscribed on the interior of the ring. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tuesday Magic Item – Guitar of the Golden Singer

7 June, 2022

Play me a songGollaon leaned forward, waiting for the next song to start.

Voddick handed his friend a glass of wine.  “You seem very excited about the singer.”

“They are very . . . dynamic,” replied Gollaon, taking a sip of wine.  “It is a whole new way to present music.  It may be the birth of a new style.”

Voddick shrugged.  “They do play well.”

Guitar of the Golden Singer

These guitars are beautifully made of finest woods oiled and polished to a golden sheen, sometimes with a small amount of gold used in decoration.  Their creator’s name is inscribed on the back and each new owner should add their name as well.  The strings are made of finely drawn silver wire.  The first one was made for the songmaster known as the Gold Singer for their love of cloth of gold garments.

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Dark Future Ahead 30 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

3 June, 2022

How dark is the Future?  As dark as you need it to be for an interesting game.  (Personally, I am pretty hopeful but happy, shiny futures are not as interesting to play in.)  Let us see what interesting things await us in the near future:Underwater Garden

Food thefts become more common?  Look at the case of the purloined pistachios.  At the very least it would make for a different sort of adventure.

Looking at alternate forms of powers, what about harnessing the power of the wind through kites!  Kites can be used to generate power in several different ways and take up let space than a windmill and can even be mobile.  Or perhaps you would rather convert obsolete oil tankers into floating energy generators and maybe even factories as they travel the world, fishing for power.  Seems like a great place for a job.  Other companies are working on modular turbines that can be used in rivers and tidal basins and easily connected into existing grids (or create new ones in isolated areas).  This sort of turbine powering a small, out-of-the-way community could be a good centerpiece for a magnificent seven sort of scenario.  Interesting ideas all.

Speaking of interesting ideas, what about underwater greenhouses?  Using the water outside for temperature regulation, maybe hook them up to some of the generators above for a complete closed system.  A fascinating idea but harvesting and retrieving the plants grown seems a bit tricky.

Water systems seem to be a theme, Bechtel is working on ways to use water to improve the efficiency of cooling data centers, which is a huge energy sink apparently, so reducing energy costs for cooling such is important for a variety of reasons.  Again, another interesting place to set a mission.

So, who is watching you?  The Electronic Frontier Foundation has advice on how to know who is watching you and how at street-level surveillance.  Good things to keep aware of.

And more ways to use technology to learn things, there is a way to use a single laser to “see” what is in a room, useful if you need to break into that room, troubling if someone is planning on breaking in on you.

Need a campaign idea?  How about rescuing stranded and damaged container ships?  It is likely to be a growth industry, requiring specialized skills and nerves of steel, sound like player characters to me.

Now, to wrap up on a lighter note.  Need some ideas for new and almost real media for your game world, try NestFlix!

Photo underwater greenhouses from Nemo’s Garden and used without permission.

 

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June Shadowrun Campaign News and a new Seattle Scream Prop (#76)

1 June, 2022

Containers everywhereOur Shadowrun campaigns continue:  we did get to play some more in NorCal, adding a new player and character.   My campaign is still mostly on hold due to other commitments, but I am still carving out time to CH a game a month (usually on every first Saturday at Tyche’s Games please drop by and join in if you are ever in the Athens, Georgia, area).

I did find time to review the latest Shadowrun book, the Sixth World Companion, which is currently only available as a PDF but will have a hard copy release sometime soon.  It expands massively on character options with new character creation methods, new variant metatypes, more qualities, rules options, an d more.

Now for something completely different, the latest Seattle Scream (#76), the Frontier Market story links back to a game some time ago while the Rusted Stilettoes report ties into two stories from last issue.  The MetroPlex in my campaign is changing, just in a different way from the official metaplot.

Notes: Image found of Google image search but its original source seems to have vanished from the web, it is actually of the Port of Oakland and ties into our ongoing NorCal mission.  Though it could refer to the Seattle dock upgrade as well.

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