Reading: I’ve got Space Viking on my phone and Book of the New Sun next to my bed. Space Viking is kind of a hot mess but it passes the commute on days when I don’t have room to lug around a hardcover and Book of the New Sun took a while but 200 pages in and its got me again. I’m glad I’m re-reading it. I should finish it this time.
Planning: Urban Shadows! Apartment tidying! Grappling!
Writing: Project Codename Knife Fights in Space is taking shape, slowly but surely.
The worlds are ending, shriveling up and dying like leaves in autumn, succumbing to some unknowable Doom. Perhaps this is just the natural way of things.
You have been chosen by a seed, a place/force/entity, that exists outside of time and space, floating like pollen through the planes. The seed will grow as you bring back pieces of doomed worlds. Right now it can provide about a small hunting cottage’s worth of space but it will grow with you. It will feed you along the way.
You can only take 3 from the list below with you to this safe haven between worlds. You and your party will traverse the worlds, saving whatever you can from the doom and slowly building something new.
Imrijka the Inquisitor
Feya the Witch
Reiko the Ninja
Ooloch the Warpriest
Balazar the Summoner
Enora the Arcanist
Crowe the Bloodrager
Lirianne the Gunslinger
Hayato the Samurai
Damiel the Alchemist
Alain the Cavalier
Alahara the Oracle
Seltyiel the Fighter/Wizard
Lini the Druid
Amiri the Barbarian
Sajan the Monk
Lem the Bard
Seelah the Paladin
Harsk the Ranger
Ezren the Wizard
Kyra the Cleric
Merisiel the Rogue
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This is a world where two ideas of death are at war. The Raven Queen is a young, ambitious goddess who has recently taken up winter and fate into her portfolio, to compliment death. Her black winged angels take souls to their final rest without mercy but are known for allowing a ghost one more soft breeze through the hair of a loved one or a final look back at the mortal world before venturing to Her Winter Kingdom.
Vecna sees death as his personal vault of secrets and lore. He plunders the dead for arcane knowledge and perverts cycles of life and death to make his undead minions and hordes of lifeless bodies to march for his army’s glory. His cult is made up of one-eyed mages who thirst for secrets and power.
Their war would do terrible harm to a world.
Unnatural Events Table
- An unnaturally long or cold winter takes hold of the world.
- Corpses whisper secrets when you whisper secrets to them.
- Anyone near-death can see the paths of fate that their life might take should they survive.
- Wizards who take out their own eye gain a level and powerful Necromantic spells in their spellbooks.
- Statues of angels’ wings turn to onyx and gain strange powers.
- Cemeteries become cold and covered in ice and snow.
- Fortune telling becomes painfully accurate and fortune tellers are Raven-bound to be truthful.
- Flocks of ravens announce there whereabouts of undead beasts.
Raven Queen’s Forces
- Holy Knight(s) of the Order of the Raven Queen’s Consorts (1d4)
- Undead hunting team (Van Helsing style)
- Pilgrims, visiting the great necropoli of the world
- Murder of Ravens doing something ravens don’t normally do
- Holy winter nuns of the Raven Queen, taking a body to its final rest miles away
- Raven Queen’s faithful peasant spear-folk
- Death Knight and entourage
- Zombies (2d10)
- One-eyed wizard cultists (1d6)
- One-handed Ghouls
- Demi-Lich general and entourage being brought to Vecna (roll 2 more times on table for entourage)
- Ogre Zombie Lord and peasant levies
- Kaz, here to mess with his ancient rival
- Githyanki ambassadors, here to treat with Vecna and arrange a marriage between the Lich Queen and the Lich-god
- Orcus cultists, here to sew discord and weaken both sides
- Gnolls eating the dead of a recent battle
- Orc mercenary company that eats their own dead.
- Priests of a dead god, hoping to get their deity brought back.
They are looking for:
- A local necropolis
- A battlefield with many dead bodies
- A gate to the Quietlands
- A recently dead dragon
- A key fortress/bridge/crossroads/mountain pass
I ran several games of D&D 3.0 and one longish campaign but my comfort and the game fizzled at around 8th or 9th level. I found it hard to come up with challenging encounters and the sweet spot seemed like 1st through 6th levels to me. Apparently, some folks not only agree they took it a step farther and made a game out of it.
I’m late to this party and with a new edition of D&D coming out as I write this, it seems like a silly time to get interested in a hack of the edition that isn’t old enough to be old school but far enough back that there is an edition between this new hotness and it. That said, I’m smitten by this thing.
P6 Codex (P=Pathfinder)
I’m thinking about house rules. If a character wants a Feat that isn’t on their class list, they have to find a tutor to teach it to them. Is that just too tedious?
I’m considering zones for distances, getting away from the maps, grids and miniatures. Maybe with an athletics check to move zones in the midst of combat if it is contested.
I’m worried about the combat-y feats getting in the way of being creative during combat. My introduction to this came from a G+ thread about how the player felt that his options in combat were limited and that there were mechanical disadvantages to doing anything creative in combat without the proper feat to aid you.
Why is this grabbing me right now with Whitehack, LotFP and other easier to manage options on my shelf and a new edition of D&D coming? I have no idea.
I have this odd urge to grab Arcana Unearthed and make it more alien with more Vance-inspired science fantasy and more splashes of Dune and play the hell out of it.
If anyone cares to share play experiences I’d love to hear about them.
Reading: I’m reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and at 3/4’s of the way through it is interesting. It is a second world, just-turned-modern Quasi-Russia with folks who do magic that is called the Small Science. The characters are intriguing and the world building is solid. I’ll finish it this weekend and write up a review.
It captures that dark Russian sense of humor in the face of terrible events pretty well.
Planning: Tonight I’ll be on This Imaginary Life. Our only question so far is about how to deal with a failed roll that threatens to grind the game to a halt. If you have other questions, post them to my on twitter, my e-mail, in the comments below or in the G+ thread I’ll start soon.
Creating: I’m writing up notes for some games-a-coming. I’ve been away from the gaming table for a few months now but I’m gearing up for an Urban Shadows game with visiting friends and a Burning Wheel game with some folks over Hang-outs.
It has me looking over the 7 Kings Mountains again, which is good fun.
The Lich-Queen’s forces are coming to your world. Roll 6d6 and get the session started.
Inspired by the July RPG Blog Carnival
Why are they invading?
- Illithid Infestation
- Githzerai Haven
- Red Dragon Cabal
- Key crossroads World in greater planar campaign
- The Lich-Queen has taken offense to one of your deities
- Someone stole a Silver Sword and won’t return it
Githyanki Random Encounters
- Red Dragon Air Cav Wing
- Warlock Summoning Platoon
- Warlock Skirmish Squad
- Silver Sword Battalion
- Illithid Hunting Posse
- Psionic Urban Unit
The above Githyanki are looking for a:
- Gate to their home
- Illithid or Githzarai
- A place to allow red dragon steeds to graze
- An escaped prisoner
- Stolen red dragon eggs
Something from Githyanki culture that is catching on
- Board game (like chess but with no kings, only a single Lich-Queen who eats pieces from both sides if they travel too far)
- Disdain for religion
- Hatred of Illithid
- Bigotry against Githzarai
- Gith poetry
Something from your world that is catching on with the Githyanki
- A goddess
- A type of music
- A drink
- A drug
- A battle tactic
They’ve brought some kind of fungal infestation with them from another world that causes:
- Trees to spread their roots through the lower planes and become a gate to hell.
- Vines to choke animals to death, gain the hit points of the beasts it kills, becoming stronger and stronger until burned to the root.
- Vegetables glow different color based on the alignment of those nearby.
- Ponds to become scrying pools that show the nearest Illithid or Githyanki
- A usually edible vegetable to cause a character to make a save or else hallucinate for 1d6 hours, also causing you to re-roll your hit points or one stat (GM’s’ choice) depending on how you reacted to the hallucination.
- Causing all trees to become Treants.