Monday, September 24, 2012

Sky Divide session 2

Not much to say about this one. The party is in negotiations with a minotaur locksmith.  A pet emergency cut the game short. Hopefully tomorrow's session will be better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back to Basics: Fantastic Races

Having recently rediscovered Basic Fantasy (a pseudo-retroclone that aims to combine the 'best bits' of various editions of D&D to get an oldschool feel with streamlined mechanics), I gave the game a read through, and after seeing the simple presentation of the races, I thought I'd try a few of my own. So without further ado, my fantastic races.


Description: Centaurs appear to be half man, half horse, having the torso, arms and head of a man in the position a horse's head would otherwise occupy.  A centaur is as big as a heavy horse, but much taller and slightly heavier; average males are about 7 feet tall and weigh about 2,100 pounds, and females are just a bit smaller.  There is a 2% chance that any female centaur born will have traits similar to a Unicorn, including a horn which grows from the forehead.
Restrictions:  Centaur may become Fighters or Clerics.  They are required to have a minimum Constitution of 12.  Due to their large, somewhat inflexible frames, they may not have a Dexterity higher than 17. Female Centaur born with unicorn traits may become magic users.
Special Abilities:  All Centaur have Darkvision with a 60' range, and, in addition, receive a special Trample attack (As warhorse)
Saving Throws:  Centaur save at +4 vs. Death Ray or Poison, and +3 Paralysis or Petrify.

Description: Appearing as green skinned women with serpents in place of hair, the Medusae are the offspring of those individuals cursed by the serpent gods.
Restrictions:  Medusae may become Thieves or Magic Users.  They are required to have a minimum Int of 9.  Suffering from an aloof, cool nature, they may not have a Charisma higher than 17.
Special Abilities: Medusae possess a lesser version of their namesake’s horrific gaze. When not wearing spectacles of magically smoked glass, anyone meeting the Medusae’s gaze must make a successful save vs Paralysis, or be paralyzed for 1d4 rounds. This ability affects friend and foe alike. Using a mirror negates the ability, as per the monster entry.
Saving Throws:  Medusae receive no special bonuses to saving throws.

So there you have it. Not the most elegant presentation, and they could probably use a bit of play-testing, but for those interested, have at! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DM Blues

This has not been a good week for gaming.   One of my two players is sick for Sky Divide, so we'll be attempting to run that tomorrow or Saturday.  Talislanta has been put on hiatus until further notice. I'll be picking it up again when I can.

In Review! The New Death and Others

With rare exception, the things I review on the blog are games of varying pedigree. So imagine my surprise when an author contacted me, requesting I review his book! Feeling like a fancy lady, I agreed, and now after absorbing the text, I feel I'm ready to offer a review.

Written by James Hutchings, "The New Death" is a collection of stories and poetry that sits in a peculiar place. One part fiction, one part Aesopian dialogue, the text reads in a charming tone that I associate with the late eighteen and early nineteen hundreds.  The stories range from engaging, to feeling a bit forced, but as a whole, I enjoyed it. Several of the stories contained fodder for gaming purposes, too. From the sorceress Abi-Simti to death himself, there are multiple characters just ripe to be placed into a campaign setting, and I'll be filching (with due honor), certain aspects to be seen at my table.

Unfortunately, some of these characters are buried amidst somewhat clunky writing. While not bad, per se, there were several places that could have used another pass or two of editing.

That said, I suggest folks acquire a copy for themselves. The cost of entry is extremely friendly, and there are handfuls of diamonds to be found.

PS, read the introductory piece, it's ripe for laying the foundations of a pantheon. "The Face In The Hill" is an excellent read, too. It tries (and for the most part succeeds), in meeting a voice that reads like something from Amazing Stories.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Wow, I never thought that would happen! As of this writing, my blog is sitting at 1,004 views since my first post.  I've known for a while now that I've had a silent audience, as well as a random one, if my stats are any indication.

So, for those of you who check my blog, even semi-regularly, thank you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Bit of Dungeoncraft

While browsing The Welsh Piper for hex map templates this morning, I came across this chart for generating ruins. Being the curious sort I am, I decided to give it a try, and got the following results:

Type: Castle (14 levels)
Ruin: Angry God(s)
Interest: Plunder
Major Domo: Fighter1, Demon, Fighter2
Minions: Humanoids (F1)
Animals (F1)
Bandits (F2)
Animals (F2)
Worms (Dn)
Weird* (Dn)

Pretty slick, no? One thing I like about charts like these, is when elements come together to help tie to a theme. What we see is that we have a castle that was ruined by an Angry God. Why was it ruined? Well, we see that one of the main nemesi is a demon, and that its minions are worms and something weird. The 14 levels help too. I COULD build a tall castle, but where's the fun in that? Assuming 2 levels for towers, 3 'main' levels, 1 level for the dungeon and 2 for the catacombs, that leaves 6 levels. What lies beneath the catacombs, that could refer to a demon? Why not an old temple? Suppose that in expanding the royal catacombs, the builders unearthed the entrance to an ancient temple complex, and in exploring, awoke the demon originally worshiped in Pre-Stygian times. The reigning monarchs fell back into old worships, a pall fell across the land, and the dominant deity decided enough was enough.

Now, for the fighters, suppose that Fighter 2, with his band of bandits (a mercenary crew?), went a-lootin' and dug up ol' squirmy?

The thread continues from there, spinning out a dungeon that could occupy a stalwart group of adventurers for many a session. I think I'm going to have to write this out and torment entertain my players...

So there you have it! Pop by the Piper, give the chart a roll, and see what you get. Be sure to post creations you like in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sky Divide Session 1 recap

No, I haven't abandoned Talislanta. Life's kept me busy, and you can expect a recap on Friday. I have, however, started a Savage Worlds game for a few friends. Read on for the events of the first session.