Archive for the ‘Accross the Web’ Category

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Support this Kickstarter – Shadowfist: A Better Tomorrow

2 November, 2017
The Warrior

Join the fight!

As I have posted before, Shadowfist is my favorite among the collectable-ish card games.  Sharing its HK action movie sensibilities (along with its background) with the superb Feng Shui RPG.

Inner Kingdom Games has an ongoing Kickstarter for the new Shadowfist: A Better Tomorrow expansion.  Like all card gamers, I like new cards and hope that you do too.

If you are new to Shadowfist, you can include various starters products as part of your pledge at a very good price.

Please take a look and consider joining us for some equal opportunity buttkicking!

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Superstitions in and of the the Sea of Stars

26 October, 2017

A last minute inclusion for this month’s RPG Blog Carnival, the theme of which is Superstitions and hosted by of Dice and Dragons.

The Sea of Stars is vast with many unique, mixing and often contradictory traditions and beliefs.

Here are a selection of superstitions from across the lands:

The Moon signals change

Seeing the Moon indicates change is comingThe Moon, as the last free god, has gone quite mad and when she is seen smiling in the sky, there is usually mischief and chaos afoot.

Since the death of the gods, it is ill-luck to speak the names of the gods.  By the modern era, most of the names of the gods have been lost and in the rare cases they are referred to, it is by their aspect (the Warrior, the Law Lords, Prince of Mercenaries and so on).  Now, this superstition may have less to do with the metaphysics of the death of the gods and more that many dragons actively rooted out believers in the aftermath of the Sundering.

Speaking the Empress’ title attract her gaze.  As the Empress is known just by her title it is intimately associated with her being, she does has a personal name but it is not widely known and even less used.  Most people refer to her obliquely, “the Highest Queen”, “The Great Ruler”, and such like.  The Imperial Breaucracy and the Draconic Houses do not subscribe to this superstition as a rule.

Destiny is written in the Stars.  Many in the Sea of Stars follow their horoscopes and seek advice from astrologers, this is not necessarily wrong.

Dragons will not eat X and rubbing yourself in X (or the fat/oil of X) will keep you from being attacked by them.  This in one of the sillier ones and occasionally surfaces when a group decide to oppose a dragon.  What X is varies from place to place and usually has to do with the eating habits and preferences of the local dragon.

Drinking dragon’s blood will give you magical powers.  This one is not entirely wrong, though dragon’s blood is more of an enhancer for existing magic, especially for wielder of natural magic.  Though the real challenge is getting it.

If a dragon’s shadow passes over you, your death is near. This one is self-explanatory I would think.

It is good luck to make a Visse laugh.  This may be just getting on the good side of someone who is likely to be a member of the bureaucracy or there may be more to it than that.  In any case, the Visse are delightful when they are amused.

Notes: Photo by “a dancing cresent moon” by Seán A. O’Hara is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Ada Lovelace Day – Cleopatra the Alchemist

10 October, 2017

Cleopatra the AlchemistToday is Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating the contribution of women to the sciences, technology and knowledge.

As is my wont on ALD, I choose to highlight notable women of ideas of the Ancient World (see my 2011 and 2012 contributions) and today is no exception:

Cleopatra the Alchemist

Considered one of the finest alchemist of her time, roughly the 3rd Century CE, and was said to one of the four women alchemists who had mastered the philosopher’s stone and were capable of changing base metals to gold.

Alchemical secretsSadly, not much beyond that is know of her, there is a single page of symbolic notes she is believed to have written.  But the school of alchemy that she was attached to was well known as using advanced technology, she is associated with the early use or even invention of the alembic, used for distilling (and still used for distilling alcohol).

Notes: Images from Wikimedia Commons (seal) and Wikimedia Common (symbols) both are in the Public Domain.  You can read more about Cleopatra at Wikipedia.

Today’s magic item is inspired by her.

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Dark Future Ahead 23 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

29 September, 2017

As you head into the weekend, time to share some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my expeditions into the matrix.  Enjoy the news:

A discussion of the rapidly increasing use of weaponized drones, quite interesting.

OA-X in actionBut for now, the US Air Force is sticking with piloted planes, but they are testing the final two competitors for the OA-X light attack plane contract under actual war flying conditions.  Sounds like a short campaign to me.

A look at how the regions of the US actually break up into greater metro areas.  Which megaplex are you closest to?

The business of lab growing meats, with an emphasis on test-tube tuna.  Lots of opportunities here for theft of recipes and sabotage.  But lab grown fish seems like it will be viable before the replacement for farm animals.

A news team visits the ruins of an abandoned Soviet bioweapons lab, with an emphasis on how difficult it is to kill anthrax spores.  Very worrying but some great setting ideas.

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?

Notes: OA-X photo edited from U.S. Air Force Photo by Ethan D. Wagner. Used without permission.

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Dark Future Ahead 22 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

29 July, 2017

My latest scores from my time jacked into the Matrix, hopefully you find this as weird, wonderful and inspiration for cyberpunk gaming as I do:

Fashion advice from several sources on how to confuse and distract surveillance.

Where does the French Foreign Legion fit in the modern world?  See this article for some answers, still a good background option for mercenaries and ex-soldiers.

The Russian company Android Technics is developing robots and drones for a variety of uses including FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) a humanoid robot their have taught to use pistols.

A company called UrbanAlps has developed the Stealth Key using 3D printing technology to make nearly uncopyable keys.  Steal the key or the source file to get in (or pick the lock but that is boring).  You can visit the UrbanAlps site for more information and advertising.

Stealth Key System

Image from the UrbanAlps site and used without permission.

Such things are probably a good idea, as a team of hackers have built a simple robot that can crack safes.  Not perfect yet but such things can always be improved.

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?  Any skies the color of television, tuned to a dead channel?

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Doomsdays and Dystopias of the Sea of Stars

14 July, 2017

The theme for this month’s RPG Bog Carnival is Doomsdays and Dystopias hosted over on Daemons & Deathrays.

What a messThere are two major doomsday points in the Sea of Stars:

The Fall of the Gods and the Sundering, the war between the gods and the dragons had considerable, to use the current term, collateral damage.  While the dragons did not seek to destroy any more than necessary, looting rubble is less productive, there were situations that required significant devastation especially in the cases of the gods who choose to live among their worshipers.  The combats in those cities were massively destructive to life and property.

But the damage caused by the Gods War pales by comparison to that of the Sundering which followed immediately afterward, as the world itself shattered and pulled apart.  The loss of life was immense and some area were rendered uninhabitable as rivers were diverted, lakes and oceans drained away, mountain ranges crumbled or emerged.  In less than a day, the world was irrevocably changed.

However, with the help of their new rulers, the dragons, the world was slowly rebuilt.  Some areas took longer to recover than others . . . and a few never did leaving ruins in formerly fertile areas that were now deserts or marshes or worse.

If massive environmentally disruption is your idea of a good campaign, the Sundering has everything you could imagine.

A much more focused doomsday is the Sen’Tek Revolt, the attempt by a conspiracy within the Visse servant class and Imperial bureaucracy to overthrow (and replace) the draconic overlords.  The deep conspiracy planned across decades was forced to act prematurely when it was revealed to the Empress.  While many dragons and dragonkine were killed, the plot as a whole was foiled, and many, many Visse were slain.   Though the core of the conspiracy escaped deep into the far mountains.  Even this failure caused deep disruption to draconic rule as the dragons turned upon the weakened houses and sought to benefit until the Empress stepped in and reorganized the survivors.

If you want a survival horror type scenario it could be run on either side of this: either dragonkine nobles trying to survive against servants who know their every foible and weakness or a group of Visse, possible mixed conspirators and innocents, avoiding dragons and trying to escape.

For dystopia, well, it is a world ruled by dragons after killing the gods, for many, they could not imagine a worse world.  For the dragon rulers who had to “reeducate” formerly pious societies, it was not a pretty task.  While, in general, the dragons take a claws off approach as long as they get their taxes, there are always exceptions.

So if you are looking for unhappy places, there are no shortage such as the Kingdom of Laccini and its militant knights backed by necrourgists or the Dark Star Dominion and its ruler, Ba’a’ai, the Dark Star himself.

Other dystopias must exist as well but I cannot immediately think of any more.

 

Notes: Photo “Ruined Castle” by Grant is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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May RPG Blog Carnival Review – Occult Mysteries and Magic

31 May, 2017

May is almost over and with it, my first time hosting the RPG Blog Carnival, you can learn more about the RPG Blog Carnival and visit the archives at Johnn Four’s Roleplaying Tips page.

The theme was Occult Mysteries and Magic and my first post can be found here, with Parts the Second and Third following.

I also presented some thematic magic items: Assassin’s Eye and Cloak, Library Bane and the Secret Society Ring (and some idea for its use).

BooksThe contribution from across the web include:

Warlock Lodge: Masters of the Invisible College and Using witches, magic and occult practices in your games and the Psychic Witch from The Other Side.

Occlusion from Infinite Adventures.

D&D 5E: Rituals and the Occult from Harbinger of Doom.

Occult Mysteries (of Eberron) from the Codex Anathema.

Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe and Supah Seekrit from Inspiration Strikes!

Spiritualist Sorcerer and Exorcist Background from Daemons and Deathrays.

Cult Magic Failures from Tales of a GM.

A Secret Society Of Character-Hunters For Your Campaign from Roleplaying Tips.

Greater Rituals (for D&D 5E) from the Dragonsmith.

Thank you all for your contributions and support!

Overall, a success I believe and I will try and host again sometime in the future.  Next month’s theme is Gonzo and cross-genre gaming.

Notes: Photo “Antique books” by Juan Antonio F. Segal is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

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