Posts Tagged ‘RPG Blog Carnival’

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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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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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Tuesday Magic Item – Sun-Blessed Diadem

10 February, 2021

“Must everything be so . . . bright in the Sun Temple,” said Gollaon, looking around through squinting eyes.As bright as the Sun

“You did not have to indulge so much last night,” chided Voddick.

“The wine was good and the acolytes were . . . friendly,” smiled Gollaon taking brief comfort in the hazy memories.

“Come on, the high priestess awaits.”

Sun-Blessed Diadem

These diadem are made for the highest priests among the followers of the Sun.  Made of gold, often decorated or bejeweled as fits the personality of the person it was made for (and the pockets of those commissioning it).  It is a potent symbol of status. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tuesday Magic Item – Red Banner Flight Lance

2 February, 2021

Charge!“While they would be useful, I am not sure if I would be comfortable on a flying horse,” said Voddick.

“Perhaps to your surprise, I agree,” said Gollaon.  “The fall from a horse on the ground can be painful enough.  And there you are only likely to break one or two bones.”

“Truth . . . and you are a much better rider than I.”

Red Banner Flight Lance

These lances were designed for the elite flying cavalry of the Red Banner Flight by the God of Smiths, though made by his cyclops servants for the most part.  The lances are beautifully crafted and perfectly balanced, the shaft is highly polished reddish wood, the spear head and butt-spike are of gleaming bright steel, though when it reflects light, it seems to be a crimson red.  Streamers and banners are common accoutrements but not universal. Read the rest of this entry ?

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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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Making Magic Wondrous – February RPG Blog Carnival Wrap Up

28 February, 2019

Magic is ColorfulAs is the way of February, it comes to a close quickly and with it, February 2019’s RPG Blog Carnival on Making Magic Wondrous comes to an end (though late submissions are always welcome).

The introductory article is here.  And I wrote a supporting piece, Everyday Magic in the Sea of Stars.

Contributions:

Roll4Net brings us the 3 Laws of Magic, showing how magic can work in a world.  And it is supported by the 3 Laws of Enchantment as well.

The Library of Legends uses an eponymously named article to look at magic items and gives advice I strongly agree with (I removed Detect Magic from the Sea of Stars years ago).

Codex Anathema looks at The Color of Magic to see what Magic: the Gathering can suggest to designing magic systems for RPGs.

Campaign Mastery, who is hosting March’s Carnival, contributed the math heavy but intriguing The Language Of Magic: A Sense of Wonder for the Feb 2019 Blog Carnival.

Thank you all for your words and thoughts!

Notes: Photo is “colour drops” by friedwater is licensed under CC by 2.0.

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Everyday Magic in the Sea of Stars

27 February, 2019

Magic is everywhere in the Sea of Stars, it is a constant, like air and sunlight.  Almost everyone knows a worker of magic in some form, villagers would know a hedge wizard, priest or witch, townsfolk meet alchemists, priests and wizards, while those in the cities may know those who follow an even more exotic path.

Many, even most, people know one or two small magics to make their tasks easier, charms to keep milk from curdling, a cantrip to keep a needle sharp for a seamstress, and other such things.  These narrowly focused spells can be used once or twice a day are with in the realm of almost anyone with even a spark of mystical talent to learn.  Guilds keep their specialized magics, no matter how small, secret and are only taught as people move upward through the ranks.  Farmers pass their tricks and charms to their children.

Colorful imageOver the years and centuries, many magic items have been constructed and enchanted.  Many of those are for small or frivolous things, enchanted combs, magical serving sets and such.  The dragons value luxury and convenience, leading to a continuing expansion in the creation of helpful items that have filtered down to the wealthy and even to the middle class (and no small number have become Visse family heirlooms).  While expensive, the durability and usefulness of such items often make them worthwhile purchases for major occasions, such as marriages, so their number in circulation grows.

Those who live in the countryside and the wilds have their own traditions of folk magic to call upon, it is rarely as long lasting as the carefully constructed masterpieces of the wizards and guilds but they serve their purpose of helping the community in good times and ill.  Druids and others with understanding of natural lore guide magic into living things, growing magic items for later use ranging from as simply as unspoiling fruit to as complex as living buildings.

If you listen in the right places, there are rumors of divine items predating the Sundering hidden in lost temples or abandoned shrines, must of these have long since been looted (not least by the dragons) but a few unspoiled troves of such valuable magics must still exist.

So, for those seeking magic there are many places to go searching.  Occasionally wizards guilds (or other magical organization) will organize expeditions to investigate folk magic, which do not usually work as well as either side might hope.  Others seeking lost magical items among the heirlooms and artifacts of families, treasure hunters and confidence tricksters to profit from acquring such, legitimate researchers and historians to study them.

This also mean that people who consciously eschew or avoid magic are looked at as being a bit strange, who would abandon such useful everyday tools?  But they are usually just viewed and treated as being eccentric, not actively dangerous, unless they start trying to stop other people from using magic.

Notes: A late add to this month’s RPG Blog Carnival.

Picture is from the ‘Talbot Shrewsbury book’ held by the British Library and is in the Public Domain.

 

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RPG Blog Carnival – Making Magic Wondrous

1 February, 2019

More magicIn February, 2019, the Sea of Stars once again hosts the RPG Blog Carnival!  We hope you will join in.

Magic is the defining characteristic of fantasy settings, it is even one of the primary way we use to define fantasy settings: the Low Magic (magic is rare and dangerous) to High Magic (magic is everywhere) spectrum.  But too often, magic just becomes another game mechanic and it loses the wonder and, well, magic of it all.

For this month’s RPG Blog Carnival, we will be looking at how to bring the wonder back into magic and the fantastical into fantasy games.  All ideas and contributions are welcome.

Some suggestions on themes to explore:

  • How magic works in your game world and ways to describe it.
  • The origin of magic in your world and how that shapes its form and function.
  • How the magic of gods and wizards differs or does not.
  • Do the different cultures in your world have different magical traditions?  If so, how does that express itself in play and description?
  • Is magic new or old?  Traditional or innovative?  Constrained or disruptive?
  • How do you make magic items more interesting than just their mechanics?

As to that last question, I devoted an article to it back when the journal was just starting up, Putting the Wonder Back into Wondrous Items. (And more recently, it has been discussed on RPGNet thread, Making Magic Items more Unique)  So it seems a topic of continued interest.

Expect more on other magical subjects here through out the month and please share links to your thoughts and posts in the comments section, let us get some ideas and discussion flowing!

Have a magical February!

Notes: The Sea of Stars previously hosted the RPG Blog Carnival in May, 2017 with the Theme of Occult Mysteries and Magic.

Photo “The Magic Flute @ BAM” by Global X is licensed under CC by 2.0

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Did the Gods build the Sea of Stars?

18 January, 2019

The proginators fallYes . . . and no.  The world that would become the Sea of Stars was, probably, built by the gods, after some fashion.  The legends have been mostly lost, well, not so much lost as deliberately destroyed and suppressed by the dragons.  Some of the stories told are:

  • There was a progenitor race to the gods, titans or such, that created the world or became the world when they were slain by the gods (or both).  The gods took over the rulership of the world from their progenitors until they, in turn, were supplanted by the dragons.  Does this mean that the dragons are destined to be supplanted in turn?  Obviously preaching such an idea will attract . . . unwelcome attention from the draconic authorities.
  • The gods created the world as a place for their worshipers to live, for without worshipers what is the point of being a god?  The world, by this reading, was a giant farm for the cultivation of worshipers.  Some philosophers thus argue that the dragons are better, at at least more honest, in their rule than they gods for at least they make their demands and desires obvious.
  • The world is composed of the body of some vast, once living being that those that would become the gods slew and consumed the vital parts gaining the power that would propel them to godhood.  The Sundering is the result of the dragons seeking the last edible pieces of that being to gain additional power, as dragons are always hungry for power.
  • The world was the shell of the cosmic dragon, bound by the gods, the shell cracked releasing the true power of the cosmic dragon to its descendants allowing the dragons to defeat the gods.  The fact that the sundering happened after the defeat of the gods does not stop this theory from existing.  After all, who really knows what happened (and in what sequence) all those years ago?

The dragons may know the truth of the matter but they are reluctant to talk of the times when the gods ruled, out of embarrassment or fear that speaking of the gods may give them a doorway to return or some other reason, who can say?  (Though accusing dragons of cowardice is not recommended.)

So the origins of the Sea of Stars remains shrouded in mystery but one can always seek answers to mysteries . . . but you will have to seek them in places from from the gaze of the draconic rulers.

Notes: This is my post in support of this month’s RPG Blog Carnival Divine Worldbuilding hosted by In My Campaign.

Image: The Æsir fight against the Vanir during the Æsir-Vanir War by Karl Ehrenberg found on Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain.

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