Posts Tagged ‘Meta’

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Divine Artifacts in the Sea of Stars

15 February, 2021

We are about halfway through February’s RPG Blog Carnival for the Month of February, 2021, on the theme of Gifts of the Gods, divine artifacts, so time to add some more to that theme.

What will you make today?Unlike many worlds, the Sea of Stars has almost no new divine artifacts being created, almost all of the such items date to before the Sundering.  The God of Smiths, whose portfolio also included creation, was slain before the Gods War even began, throwing the primary chain for the creation of artifacts into chaos and confusion.  Of course, the forges of the militant gods keep working and the Law Lords and the Shadows of Chaos prepared for the coming war, sadly, they were preparing for the wrong one.

But at the end of the Gods War, almost all of the surviving divine artifacts were seized by various dragons, the majority (about three fifths) were grasped by the Empress and her agents, the next largest amount fell into the claws of Ba’ai’ai, the Dark Star, with the remained shared among the other dragons, almost every dragon who fought in the Gods War managed to acquire at least one divine artifact in the process.  Over the years, the Empress has drawn more and more of the surviving artifacts to her, soliciting them as gift, accepting them in lieu of taxes or fines, or, rarely, purchasing them. 

The Empress keeps these artifacts sealed against times of great need, for example she is well equipped to repulse any attempt by the Law Lords or the Shadow of Chaos, should either return by some means, to restore their power using the arsenals prepared by their opposites.  Further, the Imperial Arsenal lacks no number weapons optimized towards the slaying of angels, demons and devils.  For most situations, normal draconic might and enchanted weapons are sufficient, divine weaponry is only used when it is desperately needed.

Naturally, there are very few divine artifacts made in the Sea of Stars now, the Sun Cult produces a small number of items (such as the Sun-Blessed Diadem) but no weaponry . . . that the dragons know of.  (There may be a cyclops smith still producing Sun’s Champion’s Blades somewhere.)  The Moon Cult sporadically produces divine items for its members use, though with little rhyme nor reason.

There are a handful of hidden artifacts left, placed for divine quests which were . . . interrupted or never started.  It is possible that someone could stumble onto the items or into the quests (and thus, eventually to the items).  Unfortunately, the cyclops who made the divine artifacts were almost wiped out, a few were captured by the Empress, if any other survived they were likely hidden away by one of the Draconic Houses or the Dwarven Holds, the only groups with the resources to hide such a valuable being from the eyes of the Empress.

Notes: Who makes the divine artifacts in your campaign world?

Image “Venus at the Forge of Vulcan” by Louis Félix de La Rue (French, 1731-1777) is marked with CC0 1.0.

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Gifts of the Gods, divine artifacts, beginning the RPG Blog Carnival

1 February, 2021

Is all right in the heavens?Welcome to the RPG Blog Carnival for the Month of February, 2021, on the theme of Gifts of the Gods, divine artifacts,

Such items figure in highly legends such as:

  • The Aegis of Athena, the shield that protects her (and indirectly the Olympians).
  • Mjölnir, the hammer of Thor, popularized in the Marvel comics and movies.
  • The Yata no Kagami (the sacred mirror) of Japanese legend.
  • And in fiction with such items as Stormbringer, the soul-drinking demonic sword and tool of the gods of Chaos.

A small number of such items, the thunderbolts used by Zeus, are mass produced.

So, let your imagination run wild!  Make up new items or stat up those from myth, describe places where lost items can be found or quests set by the gods for those who wish to “borrow” item for an important task, what artifacts would your campaign villain seek?  What is the craftsman of the gods working on?

I hope you find inspiration.  Please leave a comment on this post with a link to your submission.  As people post link, please take a look as the idea is to share, inspire and bounce of one another’s ideas.  At the end of the month, all of the links will be collected in a wrap up post.

If you are not a blogger hopefully you will be still be inspired.  If you start a relevant thread on Reddit or Discord or a forum or whatever, then please post a link to it in the comments so that can be shared too.  The more people involved, the merrier!  Let us create some wondrous things together!

My first contribution, the Third Celestial Armory.

Notes:  This will be the third time the Sea of Stars has hosted the RPG Blog Carnival, the first time back in May, 2017 with the theme of Occult Mysteries, and the second time in February, 2019 with the theme of Making Magic Wondrous.

Image Royal Armory at Leeds by Lofty found on Wikimedia Commons and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Into February and a new Blog Carnival

31 January, 2021

War in HeavenJanuary is quickly ending as the year moves ever onward.   February gets its name from Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa performed at this time of year.  The Romans considered February an ill-omened month which is why it is only twenty-eight days long. 

Normally, I use the theme of curses for February but as I am hosting the RPG Blog Carnival on the theme of Gifts of the Gods, divine artifacts, I will be focusing on that.  I do hope you can join in on the RPG Blog Carnival, it is good fun and good inspiration.

What was published on the journal in January, 2021, was:

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August begins, July passes

31 July, 2020

August, named after the Roman first citizen (or Emperor if you prefer) Augustus Caesar, will be a month of personalities from the Sea of Stars (and possibly other places).  If there is someone -or something– in particular you would like to see, write a comment or otherwise let me know.

I am really missing GenCon, I know GenCon Online is going on but it is just not the same though I wish it well and hope that everyone has a great time.  Honestly, missing face to face gaming and interaction overall.

July, 2020, saw the following posts published in the journal:

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Game Theory – Charming Morals (or the Morality of the Charm)

19 May, 2020

Is it charming?My, it has been a while since I did one of these.  I was reading a discussion on social media where it called out the original designers of D&D as essentially bad people for having included charm spells in D&D.  That seemed . . . well wrong to me. As I believe charms were included as part of the long tradition of such magics in myths, tales and legends not for any other reason.

Thus this discussion which is focused on the GM’s use of charm magic:

To start with, Charm spells and their variants (love potions, suggestion, dominate, and so many more) are troubling, deeply so in fact because they take away one of the primary aspects that make playing roleplaying games fun:

Agency/Autonomy, when your character is under the effects of such a spell, you (the player) are not getting to play the character you signed up for.  You are being forced to act against your will and it is just not enjoyable.  This is an extremely important point, such effects basically steal the character from the player for the duration and is very likely a “you do not have fun” moment for the player.  Do not do that, it is rude and will stress the social bonds of the group.

Now, some people will say, well just get rid of Charms all together.  This is an option but using magic to subvert peoples’ control / emotions / will has a long tradition in myths and legends and is a good indication that anyone doing so is evil.  Arguably, fear of such control is one of the reasons people have historically been so afraid of the idea of magic, if it can make you do things you do not want to do or want to do something so much that you violate laws and morality, it is something deeply terrifying.  Again, depending on your group, these may not be subjects they people wish to explore but they can be interesting and terrifying to encounter in a game setting.

Now, there are still ways to use Charm effects successfully in a game, but you need to warn the players and get them onboard first. For example:

The Big Bad has enacted a powerful ritual that gives them control over the Royal army, the characters are part of the army so . . . If the players agree, they get caught up in the spell.  Montage of autocratic control over the land and then the character end up somewhere that breaks them from the spell.  Now, they have to try an free their home from the Big Bad, possibly while being concerned with the safety of their former comrades, possibly (if people want to) grappling with the terrible things they did while controlled.

Or:

The Evil Noble wants to get the Royal to marry them and slips them a love potion . . . it works!  And the characters have to free the Royal from the induced false love before something terrible happens.  Or, the comedy approach, thing go wrong and one of player characters now has a Royal in love with them or has fallen in love with the Evil Noble (or both!).  The humor version requires a light touch on everyone’s behalf though.

Some players will still not be be willing to let their characters be charmed (or love potioned).  Do not force them, it is impolite and not being a good friend.  But others will enjoy the chance to try something different with their character.

As always, communication is king.  Talk to your players to learn what they want to see and try in your game and what they definitely do not want.

Notes: Another in my occasional discussion of game theory.

Image A strange portrait from “Spring-heel’d Jack: the Terror of London. A romance of the nineteenth century. From the The British LibraryPublic Domain Mark.

 

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Into February, Goodbye January

31 January, 2020

Pray for good fortuneJanuary is quickly ending as the year moves ever onward.

Our month of February gets its name from Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa performed at this time of year.  The Romans considered February an ill-omened month which is why it is only twenty-eight days long, or twenty-nine is a leap year like 2020.  For this month, we again return to the theme of curses, cursed items, ill-fortune and, perhaps, defense against such terrible things.  As usual, suggestions, comments and ideas are welcome.

What was published on the journal in January, 2020, was:

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August and GenCon begin, Goodbye July

31 July, 2019

Yes, I am rather famousAugust (named after that very unhumble Roman first citizen Augustus Caesar) will be a month of personalities from the Sea of Stars (and possibly other places).  If there is someone -or something– in particular you would like to see, write a comment or otherwise let me know.

I will be off at GenCon from the end of July to early August but page updates should continue during that time (and this is where you can find me at GenCon).  If you have not commented before, your comments may have to wait to be approved once I get back (sorry).

July, 2019, saw the following posts published on the journal:

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Sean’s GenCon Advice 2019

11 July, 2019

GenCon!GenCon is about three weeks away (where did the year go?), so, I thought I would (again) share my hard-earned experience and try and help out people who are going as I do every year.

Preparation:

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Questions about the Sea of Stars? Ask away!

27 June, 2019
Debate and discussionAsk me anything about the Sea of Stars campaign world, if I do not have an answer I will like come up with one as a new addition to my world.  There are a very few secrets that I wish to keep hidden from players and questions relating to those will be noted and answered as much as can be without spoiling the eventual reveal.
 
To whoever originated this exercise, well done!

Some of the answers will probably include links to previous posts, as I have done quite a bit of world building here.

Notes: Image The three estates from BL Arundel 71, f. 39v, Charles Soillot. From The British Library. Public Domain Mark.

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Campaign Stat Block – Star Signs (Shadowrun)

20 April, 2019

Inspired by the Planejammer ChroniclesCampaign Stat Block for framing a campaign, I made my own (comments welcome).  I have not done one of these for a while I thought I would adapt it for my upcoming Shadowrun sub-campaign.

Shadowrun – Star Signs

Start with a bangA group of runners new to the Seattle shadows have been brought together by the fixer, Star, to help them gather pieces of a puzzle involving the megacorps.  They will help you find your place in the shadows in exchange for help with their goal.

Setting: This will be set in the Shadowrun version of Seattle, starting in 2074.
•    Continuity: Episodic with arcs.
•    Rating: PG in general, some unpleasant situation may be touched upon but will not be the focus of the campaign.
•    Style: Adventure, investigation and crime with occasion social situations.
•    Tone: Action-adventure.

Rules: Shadowrun 5.

Characters: All Core metatypes, magic traditions and upgrades are available, if you want something from outside of core, let us talk first.  A zodiac/astrology theme is suggested for street names but not required.
•    Character History: A paragraph or two about who your character is and where they are from.  Characters will have worked together, at least a run or two, before the first game so I would like some PbtA style ties between all the characters.
•    Starting Power Level: Street Level, if you want to play a decker, rigger or street samurai, we will work out some extra equipment or ware for you.

Where do we Play?: Tyche’s Games, Thursday, 6-9ish PM.
•    Down Times: Players are welcome to have their character undertake tasks between games, communication via written note or email for such so it does not slow down our limited face to face gaming time.
•    Social Contract: Usual for our group.

Notes: Photo “Happy New Year from Seattle, Washington’s Space Needle, USA – pink and white” by Wonderlane is licensed under CC by 2.0.

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