Posts Tagged ‘RPG Blog Carnival’

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Dragons! Ending this month’s RPG Blog Carnival

28 February, 2022

Today is the last day of the RPG Blog Carnival for the Month of February, 2022, on the theme of Something, Something, Dragons so still time to join in!

DragonsI had hoped for more participation, but this has been a wierd month with lost of distractions (especially over the last few days!).

Codex Anathema talked about the Draconic Prophecies of Eberron (in Spanish!)

Curato Alain linked to this thread on RPG Geek: Not your Usual Dragon.

My contributions were: Read the rest of this entry ?

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Dragons and their forms in the Sea of Stars

10 February, 2022

While the dragons, in theory (as well as in Imperial law and pretty much in fact as well) rule the Sea of Stars, they are fairly rarely seen, or are they?

dragons_dance_by_vsales_depmnuk-preArguably the most powerful beings in the Sea of Stars are the Dragons, they defeated the gods and usurped mortal rulers to claim the entire world as theirs. Yet, while immortal, they are not invincible, the gods slew them in their hundreds, the Visse Conspiracy -now called the Sen’Tek- murdered scores and many more have been lost to other causes (not least to intra-draconic conflict).

Each dragon is unique but each is knowable, draconic powers follow their boodlines and with proper research a dragon’s powers and possibly weaknesses may be revealed. Confronting a dragon head-on without knowing anything about it is suicidal, confronting one with proper knowledge, preparation and a plan is just exceedingly dangerous. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Dragon Empress, the pinnacle of power and an enigma in the Sea of Stars

1 February, 2022

EmeraldsIf there can be said to be a nexus of power in the Sea of Stars, it would be the Empress, while she was not the largest, oldest or strongest of the dragons, she was one of the most thoughtful.  Further, she proved to be the one who could inspire and unify the dragons into a single terrifying purpose.  Partly, she did this through promotion of the philosophy of Dominae, a philosophy that flattered the sensabilities of the dragons, and partly by being charming and convincing.  (It has been argued that the Empress is the most charismatic of the dragons, at least to other dragons, but it is hard for non-dragons to know.)  Once the gods were torn down, she and her Seven Stars seized the majority of divine weapons and artifacts, and the Empress used them to make herself the most powerful among the dragons through that theft of divine power.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Dragons! Beginning this month’s RPG Blog Carnival

1 February, 2022

Welcome to the RPG Blog Carnival for the Month of February, 2022, on the theme of Something, Something, Dragons.

Obviously, the important part of the theme is DRAGONS, creatures so central to our conception of roleplaying games that they are half of the title of the “world’s most popular roleplaying game”.

So, let us talk about Dragons.  Some ideas:

The Seven-Headed Dragon, Fairy Tale by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Illustration by Kay Nielsen, 1925

  • Tell us how dragons fit into your world or do not.
  • What dragons are well known in your world?  What myths and legends surround them?
  • Tricks and techniques of successful dragon hunters.
  • Why do dragons gather hoards?  And what do they hoard in your campaign.
  • What can be made with dragon bone and dragon scale?
  • If you eat a dragon’s heart, what happens?
  • Stories of encounters with dragons from your games.

Let your imagination soar like a flying dragon (and how do dragons fly?).

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 as in a hoard in a final 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 Dragon Empress.

Notes: This will be the fourth time the Sea of Stars has hosted the RPG Blog Carnival, the first time back in May, 2017 with the theme of Occult Mysteries, the second time in February, 2019 with the theme of Making Magic Wondrous, and the third was February, 2021, on the theme of Divine Artifacts.

Thanks to Daemons and Death Rays for hosting the RPG Blog Carnival last month on Political intrigue, Courtly drama and Factions.

Image The Seven-Headed Dragon, Fairy Tale by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Illustration by Kay Nielsen, 1925, from the United Archives, and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

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Political intrigue among Dragons (RPG Blog Carnival)

13 January, 2022

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival theme is hosted by Daemons and Death Rays and is on Political intrigue, Courtly drama and Factions and, as I am hosting next month, it seems only right that I contribute to this month’s carnival.  And the theme is perfect for the Sea of Stars in any case.

dragon-princeDragons are the rulers of the Sea of Stars from the Empress at the top who, in theory, ultimately controls everything to the lowest of individual dragons who only rule over a single island (for no dragon does not have at least a small piece of land that belongs entirely to them).  Each of them (except for the Empress, perhaps) is seeking to advance themself and gain more power, preferably at the expense of other dragons for everything is better when it is taken from another, thus proving one’s strength and a rival’s weakness.  Yes, dragons are usually right bastards.

But the dragons rarely descend to physical conflict with each other, as that is risky even with proper preparation, so they primarily focus on political maneuvering which, in many ways, is more satisfying in any case as it proves you are cleverer than your rival.  As dragons are functionally immortal, they have time to craft long-term, and occasionally absurdly complicated, plans to gain advantage over their rivals.  This is less of an advantage than it sounds as the rival they are acting against is also functionally immortal with the ability to prepare equally elaborate defenses or even counter maneuvers.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Festival – The Empress’ Birthday (RPG Blog Carnival)

27 May, 2021

The year in the Sea of Stars runs as dictated by the Empress and is universal across the entire world, the year consists of thirteen months of twenty-eight days each and one epagomenal day in the middle of summer, the Empress’ Birthday.

495px-Pantomimes_of_1866_-_Hush-a-Bye_BabyWhile the Empress does not demand or enforce celebration on this day, though naturally all of the lands she personally rules do, most communities celebrate it in one fashion or another.  It is often combined with other civic festivals, founding days, name days, all sorts of events get rolled into the big day.

Popular ways to celebrate include parades, speeches and firework displays.  Some groups have martial displays, gladiatorial combats are not unknown.  Plays, songs and other performance art celebrating (or at least acknowledging the power of the Empress) are expected not least because the Empress often visits out of the way communities on this day, sometime she is said to have visiting multiple places across vast distances but that can not be true, can it?

Over time, the plays have evolved from very formal and stately celebrations to more popular entertainment.  Many now use the plays and performances to comment on and satirize local politics and notables.  In a fashion similar to commedia dell’arte or the English Pantomime, the former usually performed by professional with the latter begin more ad hoc productions.  The Empress (and local dragons) are usually not the targets for such frivolity, as most dragons are rather thin skinned, though the Empress is occasionally (and somewhat ironically) cast in the role of deus ex machina on occasion.

How the characters could get involved:

  • Attend a play or celebration.
  • A wizard, or other spellcaster, could be hired to provide fireworks or illusions.  Especially at the last minute after the prepared firework got wet.
  • If the characters are well known, they could be asked to perform or be drafted to act in the Panto.  Once in, they might be paid or pressured to include political commentary damaging to one of the local factions.
  • Rumors say the empress has been spotted!  At our festival!

Notes:  This is in support of this month’s the RPG Blog Carnival, Adding Festivals, Holidays, and Birthdays to Your Game hosted by Full Moon Storytelling.

Image Details from “The Pantomimes of 1866”, found on Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain.

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RPG Blog Carnival – the Parable of the Bridge

8 March, 2021

Bridge to SomewhereIn support of this month’s RPG Blog Carnival Say yes to your players(hosted by the Roll4 Network) I thought that I would tell a story from some years ago that taught me a vital lesson.

So, I had gathered a group of five players. Their characters had all been drawn from across the Sea of Stars to the edges of civilization by a set of powerful dreams.  They arrive in the city of Asku-Korla, once a wealthy city that sat astride a major trade route, which has been slowly dying since the Sundering changed the world.  Much of the city is abandoned and the core is now ruled by the Bronze Lion, a Conan type former adventurer who deposed the former king.  This will be important later.

They find each other at an inn, the Compass, knowing but not knowing each other, where they each receive a letter inviting them to a tomb to discover the truth about the dreams.  Together, they venture out to the tomb, defeat some monsters and each recovers an item from the tomb that seem to be of a deeper significance, almost as if it was made for them.  Emerging from the tomb, there is Burns Brightly, a sorcerer and the source of the letters, who ask them to join her in her plans of conquest as together they can ascend and rule.  The characters refuse, a fight ensures, Burns Brightly escapes, vowing revenge and the characters return to the city.

So, here we have the characters (and the villain) as reincarnations of great heroes (actually demi-gods, but the characters never learned this) set up for a classic conflict of good against evil as they try to reclaim their birthright!  But it did not happen that way . . .

One of the characters, Kao Li, was one of the apprentices of a famous magistrate of the Jade Pillar Dynasty and disliked by his rival apprentices.  An attempt is made on his life and they trace it down to the Resident Magistrate of the Dynasty, who was acting on a request from one of the rival apprentices, depose him and install Kao Li as the new Resident Magistrate.  When they visit the Bronze Lion to introduce themselves, it goes well, and they learn who Ashu-Korla was once a rich and prosperous city on the trade route from the Dynasty to the outside world but it is rarely used now as it marginally easier to sail around the island than travel over it.  The characters decided to rectify this by . . . building a bridge!  Making travel to and from the Dynasty easier and restoring the ancient trade routes.

The rest of the campaign was devoted to the task of building that bridge: gathering materials, drawing up plans, making deals on both sides of the bridge and so on.

But that was what the players were excited by, so that is what the game’s focus shifted to.  That was the important lesson learned, follow what the players are interested in even if it is not where you thought the game was going.  I was a bit surprised at first (“My beautiful campaign idea!”) but quickly adapted and since then, I have never made big plans and let the players choose their direction (if any) for campaign arcs.

Image Suō Province: Iwakuni, Kintai Bridge (Suō, Iwakuni, Kintaikyō), part of the series Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces, No. 51 (Sanyōdō group) by Hiroshige, found on Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain.

 

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

28 February, 2021

Gifts and CursesFebruary comes to an end and with it, my time as host of the RPG Blog Carnival, though I am sure that I will host again soon.

The framework for Gifts of the Gods, divine artifacts, is here.

Firstly, Roleplay-Geek provided thoughtful advice on handing out A Gift from the Gods.

Moving through time and space to Campaign Mastery who presents the Forbidden Weapons of the Omega Archive, a very Whovian trove of items but with suggestions to adapt them to other settings.

Out of the mists comes Owlbear Games with a look at how divine gifts might be twisted in the realm of Ravenloft.

A silver flame leads us to Codex Anathema exploration of the Relics of Old, with a focus on Eberron.

The gentle flow of water is the core of Full Moon Storytelling‘s tale of how the Everflow became a central point of their campaign world.

At Five Foot Square we are introduced to the mysteries of the Hidden Queen in A Gift or a Curse?  The Cult of the Hidden Queen.

Cruel Trinkets of the Mad Gods are presented by Rising Phoenix Games as their contribution to the Carnival.

My contributions were: the Third Celestial Armory, where the gods used to keep their weapons and now the Draconic Imperium does.  Divine Artifacts in the Sea of Stars, where to look for them and where the few new ones come from.

Thanks to everyone who participated and spread the word!

Notes:  March’s RPG Blog Carnival is Say yes to your players, hosted by the Roll4 Network, hope to see you there as well.

Image “Keith Haring – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell [1985]” by Andrea Sartorati is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Tuesday Magic Item – God Seed

23 February, 2021

Do you seek to ascend?“Something feels wrong,” said Gollaon, suppressing a shiver.  “Something in the air?”

“I feed it too, like the sky before a storm,” said Voddick.  He scanned the way ahead, his crossbow at the ready.

“I fear it is tied to that amulet of employer has, it has a powerful aura, and it is calling upon powers . . . well, powers that are not always welcome,” said Gollaon.

“Well, at least we were paid half in advance if we have to scarper.”

God Seed

These fragments of divinity come in many forms as varied as the divine being that they are tied too.  Direct symbols are the most common: swords for martial deities, a lantern for a god of travellers and so on though amulets engraved with divine symbols have been used by all. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tuesday Magic Item – Powdered Chaos

16 February, 2021

More magic, safely(?) contained“I would have asked for double if I knew we would be fighting hollows,” said Voddick loading another bold into his crossbow.

“Agreed,” said Gollaon.  He paused to draw another dagger.  “It has cost me two daggers already.”

“Out employer had better have a solution, these hit and run attacks are costing us nearly as much as the damage we inflict on the things.”

Gollaon looked back to see.  “I think they have something that will help . . . but we should give them room.”

Powdered Chaos

This substance is as much metaphysical as physical, magic as material.  It changes from moment to moment, from small pebbles to fine dust, multicolored to dull brown, never the same twice.  It is used to enhance spell casting adding special punch against the agents of the Law Lords. Read the rest of this entry ?

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