Archive for September, 2022


Autumn begins with October, goodbye September

30 September, 2022

It was the mash, the monster mashWhere did September go?  I turned around and now it is almost October!  October is, naturally, the eighth month of the Roman Calendar.  It seems the Romans had no special association for October beyond Autumn, but we have Halloween!  So the theme on the Sea of Stars Design Journal for this month will be Monsters and Monstrous Things!

If you have ideas for a Monster or monster-themed item you wish to see, let me know and I will try to make it happen.

Have a safe Autumn all.

September 2022, saw the following posts here:

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Review – The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel, and Trade, Vol 1

28 September, 2022

The BookFinally finished The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel, and Trade, Vol 1 (Ancient Egypt through the First Global Age), Stephen K. Stein, Editor.  it was well worth the effort to go through but one of the great things is that the information is divided into easy section:

Each section covers a discrete historical period and starts off with a good-sized overview of what was happening in that period of history as regards to sea travel, trade, and maritime technology.  Then there are lots of small sections by experts on narrowly focused subjects such as specific ship types, famous navigators, particular regions, and so on.

So you can just dip into the book, pull out the information you need for what you are working on and move on.  Or you can read sections and pull out things that inspire you for world-building.

Such as: the Orang Laut or “sea people” who used to live in family groups aboard longboats in the ocean off Burma and Thailand, where they made their living as fisherfolk and gather other resources from the sea (including pearls) and trade.  They were also often involved in piracy and sometimes worked for local states providing naval forces and acting as coast guards.  While they still exist as a cultural group their lives as travelers of the seas were destroyed by the rise of the nation-states who forced them to settle ashore.  Still what an interesting model for a society to encounter.

Highly recommended for people who like to use the real world as a model for their game worlds.  The only downside is the book is an academic work and thus exceedingly expensive but hopefully your local University library has a copy (which is how I got the copy that I read).

Notes: Some thoughts I had along the way to the review here.


Tuesday Magic Item – Huckster’s Hat

27 September, 2022

The price of this fine cane?Gollaon looked over the traveling dealer’s wears.  “How much for this scarf?”

Voddick watched the two debate price, quality, dyes, and other things, it was an intricate dance and finally, Gollaon paid for the scarf.

“You are quite good at that,” said Voddick.

“He was a good opponent, it was fun, and I have a new scarf,” smiled Gollaon.

Huckster’s Hat

These hats are usually fashionable or at least started out that way but they are immensely hard-wearing and remain a jaunty accessory even after years of hard use.

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D&D One – Playtest 1: Character Origins

27 September, 2022

Dragons and ThoughtsSo, I seemed to have missed the feedback window for the Character Origins playtest for D&D One (henceforth, D&D) but I thought that I would post some of my observations and thoughts here so at least they have a chance of contributing to the debate.  Now, I have not actually played much using these playtest rules, but my thoughts are based on 45-ish years playing D&D, and many other RPGs, in various incarnations.

The basic framework seems fine, though much in the race (and honestly surprised they have not changed this to kindred or something similar) section could be improved.  The X of many worlds section is weak, not giving much in the way of roleplaying hooks.  One of the useful things of kindred-based bonuses to statistics was that it gave you an idea of what that culture valued and was good at.  Now, not all X do Y, but it gave you something to hang your roleplaying hat on, either to embrace or to play against type.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Offical’s Hat

20 September, 2022

Clothes, and hats, make the manGollaon signed.  “The worse form of tyranny is bureaucracy.”

Voddick nodded.  “In some way, yes.  But at least this is only costing us time and some coin.  Not blood and bone.”

“It feels like it is costing my soul,” Gollaon grumbled quietly.

“I grew used to it at home,” said Voddick.  “Some things must simply be endured to be overcome. Bureaucracy is often one of those things.”

Offical’s Hat

These hats are made to exact specifications that depend on the culture they are made in.  But they are instantly recognizable in the land they were made in.  At the very least, they are expertly made, and some are noticeably valuable in their own right with exquisite decorations.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Hungry Hat

13 September, 2022

The biting edge of fashionVoddick started and carefully backed away from the Baroness’ guard.

Gollaon sidled up to his friend.  “What is it?” he asked quietly.

“That hat is dangerous,” replied Voddick, “the wearer may be as well but the hat definitely is.”

“Well, it is ugly,” agreed Gollaon, “but why dangerous?”

“I had been told there is a demon bound within such headwear but that may not be accurate,” said Voddick.  “But, whether or not that is true, the hat can attack on its own and sometimes does so unprompted.”


Hungry Hat

These hats are made of tough materials sourced from predators, sharkskin is a favorite choice, and a mouth full of teeth is suggested if not made obvious in their design.  Anyone who is near to the hat for more than a few minutes will get the sense that it is watching them as if it is sizing them up as a potential meal.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Raven’s Mask

6 September, 2022

Stylish Hat says RavenGollaon frowned.  “Something is wrong but I cannot for the life of me pin down what it is.”

Voddick nodded.  “I agree, there is something disturbing in the air.”  He looked around.  “I cannot help but think it is tied to that young courtier.”

“The one with the long black hair?”

“That is the one.  I think you may be right.”

Raven’s Mask

While called a mask, many of these items are in fact hats, but in either case, they are blessed by and tied to the tricker being of Raven.  Somewhere on each of these items sometimes subtly, sometimes not, is the image of a raven.

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September Shadowrun Campaign News and a new Seattle Scream Prop (#78)

2 September, 2022

Party!Back from GenCon and back into our Shadowrun campaigns!  Visited the Shadowrun room at GenCon and got some cool Catalyst Demo Team gear to wow the players with.  The next game I will be CHing will be tomorrow, the usual first Saturday game at Tyche’s Games, please come and play if you are in the Athens, Georgia, area.

Hot off the bit presses, the latest Seattle Scream (#78) nothing tied directly to recent adventures as the runner managed to get out fairly clean.  I ended up using the MetroPlex Marketplace Meetup (M3) from the last issue for three separate runs!  All taking place more or less simultaneously at different places around the convention.  Very pleasing.

Notes: Image from Pixabay and is free to use and ties into an extraction at a dance club during M3.


It is September now! August is over

2 September, 2022

Ah, September!  Been focused on my upcoming vacation with my lovely wife so the month slipped by.  September does not seem to have any particular ties to myth or tradition in Roman culture, so as Seven is usually viewed as a magical number, magic and spells will be the theme for this month.   Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see.

August, 2022, saw the following posts here:

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