Saturday, February 28, 2015

Regular Posting Returning Soon...

A month and a half has gone by with no new posts here.  I started off 2015 with a buzz but got taken off the tracks by real life stuff happening at the same time and the blog had to take a hit.  There are posts I am working on that will be up soon.  In addition, I also have a guest poster that will be published here soon.  I think his upcoming post has some great content and I hope he will pop in from time to time with more posts in the future....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

[Trailer] Seventh Son

I have seen this trailer over 12 times in the last two days and I want to see this movie!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Threshold Magazine #1 to #6 Available at the Vaults of Pandius

Just in case some of you are unaware of it, the Vaults of Pandius has six issues of Threshold Magazine available for download so far.  Threshold is a free fan-written magazine that serves to generate continued interest in the campaign setting.  Each issue has a unifying theme and there are other things like interviews included in most every issue.  Head over and check out this resource for the fans by the fans.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Free Town Supplement: Adventures in High Wold

Over on the Original D&D Discussion forum the creator of a free town supplement called Adventures in High Wold has posted the lulu page for his product.  It comes in at 9 pages but offers maps, rumors, NPCs, and more for use in your campaign.  Check it out!   

Do You Have a Dragon Head on YOUR Wall?!

I am sure this video has probably been posted before but I was catching up on some reading at The Piazza when I stumbled across the following video. 



I can not take credit for stumbling across this coolness; it was Havard that originally posted about it on the forums.  He also pointed out the web site of the artist.  Pretty cool stuff!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Little Reorganization & Some Thoughts

I have been pretty satisfied with the posting so far in this new year.  I aim to keep the momentum going and add much more content in the upcoming weeks and months.  Here are a few highlights of the reorganization I have done around here and some thoughts about what I need to do from here on out.

It is almost time to revise the About Me tab again.  The final paragraph could use a little bit of updating but I will probably hold off for a few weeks to see if more changes take place.

The Collected Posts tab at the top of the page is gone.  It had grown bloated and messy so I split up the contents.  There is now a separate tab for Adventures in Fantasy and Perilous Journeys instead; of course, the contents of those tabs correspond to their respective labels.  The other information that was previously contained in the tab is still available on the blog but I just took this opportunity to clean up some of the clutter.  

The Adventures in Fantasy tab will see some expansion with posts covering the AiF Restatement project.

The read through of Perilous Journeys is complete but that is not all I have planned for the game.  Expect posts covering new resources such as magic items, new flaws, new edges, and other resources.    

I have added links to two posts focused on religion under the Toldara tab. The other posts covering religion will be added upon completion.  My goal is to offer something more than "there's a religion that people can join" by giving some actual details.  I fully expect a lot more information to be added to this tab over the next year.  There should be plenty of details on a Swords & Wizardry adaptation to come.  

The Projects & Downloads tab has several things listed that I need to get completed.  In no particular order, the SteamCraft character creation reference and the MicroToldara rules are the two I am aiming to complete first.

That is a pretty good summary of what has taken place so far and what is coming up.  The only other additions I can see that I need to mention are that I am going to start posting Steampunk Saturdays at some point and the Robotech Posts are probably going to start with the extras DVDs. 

It is time to wrap this up and get back to reading posts by all of you...







    




[Toldara] The Revivalists

This post is an expansion of the information originally posted in The Fractured Faith of Humanity.

Fair warning - this post is related to my campaign world Toldara but contains absolutely no game stats whatsoever.  I have always had all of these ideas in my head for expanding the information on the world and one way to do that is to detail some of the religious movements.  In real life, I am absolutely fascinated by religions and comparative religion in particular.  I thought I would combine my interest in real world comparative religions and my role-playing hobby in a series of posts.  This is a first pass but I also wanted to keep the information short to give a general idea of the particular faith in question.  I am sure that there will be additions - symbols, relics, etc. - to this material as time goes by and players interact with these groups.  Just to be clear, this is information for use in a fantasy role-playing game and any similarities between this information and real world groups or beliefs is entirely coincidental and unintentional.  I am just putting down information that seems to fit together for game purposes.

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The Revivalist Church
The Revivalists are a grass roots movement among the faith of humanity seeking a return to an early, more primitive form of their church.  This movement sprung up due to opposition to all the pageantry that has overtaken other forms of the church.  The main focus of their adherents is showing reverence and respect for THE ONE in contrast to formulaic rituals and gaudy ceremony of other faiths.  Their meetings are often held the houses of members if it is a small group or in an open spot outside large enough for the group.

General Membership
Membership is open to all that respect and revere THE ONE to the exclusion of all other gods and spiritual entities.  This faith does not have multiple tiers of membership such as priests, acolytes, etc. with varying levels of responsibility.  There is only one body of general membership among their believers.  It is difficult to get an estimated membership count because although this faith is large it has no central governing body.

Priests and Officials
The Revivalist Church has no priesthood level of membership.  In effect, all members of the faith are considered priests and priestesses of THE ONE.  All are free to speak to the members at any meetings or services.  That does not mean there is no structure to the organization.  A coordinator is elected every year for each local group.  This coordinator ensures that the other members are aware of all meetings and is responsible for passing along other information and coordinating efforts with other groups in other locations.

Other Information
The membership looks to their holy scriptures and the writings by renowned past members of their faith to guide them.  They believe that the other branches of the faith have corrupted the teachings of THE ONE by concentrating on ceremony, grandeur, money, or other areas other than reverence.  They do not encourage animosity to the members of these other branches but try to emphasize that it is not too late to correct their path.

The Revivalists adhere to a book of scripture called THE WORD OF ONE.  It is their belief that this book was recited to early members of the church by THE ONE.  Although there are several translations available, they only acknowledge the original version as authentic and strictly use it for reading and study. 

The Revivalists believe that they are rewarded for a life spent in faithful service and reverence to THE ONE by transitioning to a spiritual paradise plane upon death.  All who enter will have restored perfect bodies, live in harmony, and want for nothing.

Currently, there is much debate among the membership about the status of non-humans.  Many believe that THE ONE will reward all sincere followers of any race into paradise.  Others believe that non-humans will be admitted to paradise upon the basis of how well they satisfied the requirements of their own respective religion.  A small faction of the faith believes that just as non-humans are separate from humans in life then they will also be separate from humans in paradise.  Without a central governing body there is no official answer on this topic and Revivalists are left to study their scriptures for the answer. .  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Freebie: Shores of the Dead Book 1: The Rising by Josh Hilden

If you are a reader and like zombies Amazon has the ebook version of Shores of the Dead Book 1: The Rising by Josh Hilden for FREE at the moment.  Just spreading the disease er, uh...word!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Peak at Perilous Journeys 7

This will be my last post covering the contents of the Perilous Journeys rule book; now I can concentrate on providing resources for the game.  I have discussed the sections covering character creation, professions, guilds, terminology, and other topics in previous posts.  That leaves only four sections that I have not covered: Gameplay, Appendix A: Advanced Combat, Appendix B: Creating and Modifying Professions, and Appendix D: Monster List. 

The Gameplay section covers all of the rules that basically tie everything else together.  Some of the topics include what the numbers mean, combat, movement, experience points and application, carrying capacity, encumbrance, and saving throws.  These sections are written just as clearly as the rest of the rules so everything can be easily implemented in play.  Also included in this section are optional rules such as Fate Points and Reputation.

Appendix A: Advanced Combat, similar to the guild rules, is a short section that has a larger impact than its size.  The simplest way to explain this section is that if you use it in your game then the warrior type characters will have something more to do than just swing an axe, sword, etc. every round of combat.  The rules describe a simple system of special moves that can be learned and used in combat.  Of course, the more skilled your character is in combat the more moves they can learn; any character can learn them, though.  It just makes sense for the warrior types to be more capable in this area.  The use of these special moves is regulated by an Endurance Pool.  An example of a special ability is presented below.

Disarm          Endurance: 6
The PC is able to attack a target is such a way as to cause the target to drop his weapon.  The target is allowed a save vs. Speed to avoid dropping the weapon.

The Advanced Combat section ends with a section covering Advanced Magic.  Rules are presented in this part to explain spellweaving and spell weaving.  Spell Weaving is producing an effect by mixing two or more spells together.  Spell Failure in Perilous Journeys could mean one of two things; the spell could fizzle out with the caster still using the Mana or an additional effect like double Mana loss, loss of memory, the spell’s effect is reverse, or more.

Appendix B: Creating and Modifying Professions discusses some guidelines for when a player desires to play a character type not covered in the rules.  The gist of this section is that it makes more sense to modify an existing part of the game to accommodate the player rather than making unnecessary additions.  That really makes a lot of sense if you think about it.  In essence, what is the difference between a Paladin and a Cavalier, a Thief and a Bandit, or any other similar professions?  If it can be simulated by swapping out one or two abilities then it should be, right?  I like this approach and I wish that some of the older games would take a similar approach instead of just adding an endless barrage or new material. That does not mean the rules disallow creating completely new professions at all.  The rules simply encourage that you ensure any new additions are truly unique and can not be handled by simply swapping a single ability or two.

The final section I have not covered, Appendix D: Monster List, provides statistics for 43 monsters; that number is deceptively small because several of the monsters have multiple sub-entries to illustrate the difference between common variety, leader, etc.  The entry on Dragonkind alone provides enough information for 45 different types when you take into account size, color (for Drakes), and element (for Dragons).  In addition to the Dragonkind category there are also categories for Humanoids (covering PC races, goblins, orcs, etc.), Spirits and Undead (covering ghouls, lich, skeleton, etc.), Netherbeings (covering demons, devils, oni, etc.), Large Monsters (covering ogres, giants, and trolls), and Insects and Animals (covering bear, snakes, tiger, etc.).  The entries typically cover the attributes, description, number encountered, combat, and treasure.  The only omissions I could see in the monster entries are monsters from classical myth such as centaurs, Minotaur, hydra, medusa, etc.  On the other hand, it is kind of refreshing not to see the same old monsters fleshed out for yet again fantasy game and I believe the Minotaur and medusa are both unique anyway.  The best way to deal with those two monsters might be in an adventure that showcases them and their background as part of the story.

Final Thoughts
I should have completed this read through of the Perilous Journeys rules a long time ago but I got side tracked.  I am glad that I picked it back up and continued on because I continue to be impressed by the rules.  They are easy to understand and put to use.  The rules accomplish the same things that many other games do but they accomplish it in far less pages and that is a good thing.  I hate giving a numerical rating to anything like this and this is not a review but I would definitely rate it as an “A” effort.  There is a lot to like in this slim volume and I look forward to seeing what comes about in the second edition.  I was given a sneak preview of some of the stuff and all I am going to say is that it looks like it just keeps getting better.  If you are interested in a new set of fantasy rules I highly recommend picking up Perilous Journeys.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Palladium Books® 2014 Christmas Surprise Package Extended to January 11, 2015!

If you are a fan or just interested in any of the games offered by Palladium Books® you still have a chance to buy in at a discount.  In short, for the price of $42 plus shipping you get a minimum of $84 worth of product! You can also request shirts, autographs, and other items.  For all of the details, read the announcement at their online store page.