"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Sunday, August 7, 2011

CM4 Earthshaker!, Cassandra's Mystical Scibe, Origins - Theodore Dobbins

CM4 Earthshaker! is a Companion level module written by Zeb Cook and released in 1985 by TSR. The module is twenty four pages long with a cover by Clyde Caldwell. This is a module I have never had a chance to run or even play in. The level range is set for 18-22 which makes it higher than any characters I have ever had in a legitimate campaign. I say legitimate as I have had one or two DM's that were way to liberal with experience and let the games get out of hand.

Unlike what the cover would represent the adventure is not the players versus the Earthshaker. The adventure deals with the players versus groups that want to take control of the Earthshaker. The Earthshaker is an invention of the gnomes. It is controlled from the inside and this is where a portion of the adventure actually takes place.

The adventure also has to deal with the players acting as stewards for the Barony of Vyolstagrad. They are assigned the task of running the realm while the Baron is away at the king's court. As if that was not enough of a problem a carnival comes to town and with it the attraction that is Earthshaker. The attraction would not normally be any problems but there is a group that want to attain control of it for nefarious reasons.

I am guessing the module could be scaled down if the DM really wanted to have a giant robot be part of their adventure. The idea sounds cut and would probably make a great short story or an animated bit for some show. The idea to me always seemed a little too lighthearted in nature for someone who has characters who are that high a level. I guess I am a bit of a hypocrite though because somehow having 8-12 level characters exploring a spaceship on the Barrier Peaks is OK.


Cassandra's Mystical Scribe

Level: Sixth
Range: None
Duration: Special
Ares of Effect: One Tome
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: One Round
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user summons to them a magical entity whose  sole purpose it to transcribe a single tome or similar writing. The Mystical  Scribe will appear as a glowing vapor like human. They will not be able to  communicate to the caster but will follow directions given them as long as  they pertain to transcription.

The writing that they are assigned to copy may be a tome of any size. It can  be a mundane book or a spell book. If the tome is non magical in nature then  the transcription will be flawless.

If the writing is magical in nature then there is a base 5% chance of there  failure with an additional 5% chance per maximum level of the spell in the  tome. The percentage of the tome that is faulty will be determined by taking  the number the chance failed by multiplied by two. The DM will then start  with the highest level spell and continue on until the percentage is met. At  no time should the player know if there was failure or what percentage.

The time it takes for the scribe to copy is a tome is not the same it would  take a human. The time required will be reduced by a factor of four. The  magic user can task the scribe with taking twice as long when doing magical  writings which will halve the chance of failure.

The material components of the spell will begin with the actual materials it  will take to copy the book in question as these are not provided by the  scribe. The caster must also provide the scribe at the beginning of the work  a gem whose value is equal to 2 gp per page for mundane works and 5 gp per  page for magical writings.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups  last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology  may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I  did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any  duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :)  Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If  anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in  advance and all I ask is proper credit.

Origins - My Best Acquisition

Since GenCon is going on it seemed like a good time to write about my experience at Origins :)

Actually not my experience but one of the best items I brought back.

I know it is sort of taboo to talk about characters so I won't go into detail on them. In short the character I have played the longest is Theodore Dobbins. He started as a one shot NPC for a session I DM's and I ended up playing him out of need the next week and I just kept going. He did start at 1st level so I don't feel like it was cheating.

The item I brought back is a character sketch. The icon I use on the blog is from White Plume Mountain and I have always associated that with what Theo looked like. At origins I asked Lorraine Schleter who was one of the artist to do a sketch for me of him. You can find her work using her name as a link above. Below is what she provided me. I would make one or two minor changes but over all I think she captured what I gave here well. I welcome your feedback and I promise not to talk abut my characters again!

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