"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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hidden Invasion, Reclaim

Hidden Invasion is another in the long line of games I own but  have never played and have barely looked at. I was shocked to see  that I apparently have two copies of this game as I was scanning  through inventory to find something to write about. It is a game  of secret alien invasions and occupations of planet earth.

It was released by Nightshift Games in 1995 and is listed as  being one hundred and sixty pages long. Based on information from  rpggeek.com it is listed with Cinematic Adventures, FUDGE and  Theatrix under RPG Item Version. It includes conversion  information to let it work with those systems in addition to  being its own self contained system.

There is little doubt in my mind that the game had some  inspiration for it taken from the X-Files. The information on the  back of the book reads like it was taken from the episode lists  of the X-Files. The only problem with that is I liked the weird  episodes more often than than I liked the conspiracy ones. And  yet somehow I have two copies of it. Below is information from  the back of the book and some blurbs on Noble Knight.

* Mysterious lights appearing in the sky
* Strange sightings from remote parts of the world
* Men in Black harassing innocent people about what they have  seen
* People abducted from their homes in the dead of night, by  beings beyond description
* And there is nothing you can do about it
* Or is there?

Based on actual reports, Hidden Invasion is your best weapon  against the alien beings that threaten our world." Are they here  to help? Are they using us as Guinea Pigs for twisted genetic  experiments? Are all the Aliens working together?

Included is information on the alien races active on this planet,  as well as their technology, underground bases, secret networks  under the earth, and more. Also included is information on the  human co-conspirators, working with the aliens to turn the people  into cattle. You will not believe who the aliens control!

Hidden Invasion uses the innovative Cinematic Adventure System  created for ease of play and versatility. Also included are  complete conversion rules for using Hidden Invasion with Theatrix  by Backstage Press and FUDGE by Grey Ghost Games, as well as many  other popular role-playing systems.

 
Noble Knight:

They're here...and you've already lost. Greys have taken control  of our government. Reptilians use our population as test  subjects. And ancient conspiracies among humanity are helping  them. You, and a few like you, know what is happening. Only you  can do anything to stop it...

The first revelation of the conspiracy! Hidden Invasion uses the  innovative Cinematic Adventure system to simulate exciting action  and suspense without bogging down in useless rules. Includes  stats for all major alien races and 2 sample adventures plus  more! The most extensively researched alien-conspiracy game ever  published.



Spell:

Reclaim


Level: Second
Range: 3"
Duration: Permanent
Ares of Effect: One Cubic Foot/Level
Components: V,S
Casting Time: One Round/Component
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user is able to withdraw the  base components of an item and reclaim them as pure components.  This would allow them for example to extract copper and most  likely tin from a chunk of bronze. A block of mud could be  extracted out into water and earth.

The spell will require that the caster have some sort of  container for the reclaimed components otherwise they will simply  appear on the ground next to the caster. The magic user will need  to spend one round be base element that they wish to extract and  can stop the process at any point in time.

This spell may open itself up to some creative uses and the DM  may want to be selective on how the spell could be made to work.  It is intended to work on items that an amalgamation of multiple  elements. Using it to extract poison from a victim will not work  but removing one of the base metals in an alloy will work.

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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Character Record Folio 3.0, Syphon Youth

The Character Record Folio by Green Ronin pictured here is for  the 3.0 edition of Dungeons & Dragons. There are newer version  available for the two later versions of the game. This product  was released in 2001 and won an Origins award.

The Record Folio is very much the son of the Permanent Character  Folder released for AD&D back under first edition. It features  all that was there and more. I am not sure I need to know all of  this information about my characters. The product features 16  pages of record keeping goodness if that is what you want to call  it.

The information below is for the newer version of the Character  Record Folio that is available for the fourth edition. I am not  sure that all of the items listed for the new version were  present in the older one. The copy I have is packed away so I  can't confirm everything. Still this gives you a good idea.

One Sheet to Rule them All!

The character sheet is the cornerstone of your Player Character  in any roleplaying game. As campaigns go on, your sheet can get  overloaded with abilities, magic items, powers, and notes. It is  way more than one measly sheet can hold, but that's all the  rulebook gives you to work with.

In 2001 Green Ronin changed all that with the d20 System  Character Record Folio, which went on to win an Origins Award and  provide yeoman's service to tens of thousands of gamers. Now the  original and best Character Record Folio is back for 4E, updated  and ready for the latest edition of the world's most popular RPG.  Now you can track your character for a whole campaign and then  some. Inside its 16 beautifully designed pages you'll find:

    * Forms for all your powers, including those gained from  magic items.
    * A character Advancement Tracker that lets you see and plan  your development.
    * A special page for your rituals.
    * A Campaign Log where you can record the details of your  adventures.
    * A page for your companions and another for henchmen,  animals, and hirelings.
    * Stats of legend, a record of your mightiest deeds.
    * Interior pockets that give you a place to store handouts,  index cards, and other papers.

And of course all the essentials you'd expect from a great  character sheet. Doesn't your character deserve the very best?



Spell:

Syphon Youth


Level: Seventh
Range: 6"
Duration: Permanent
Ares of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 6 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves/Special

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause the life energy  of the creature attacked to syphon into them. In game terms this  will have the effect of causing the victim to age and the caster  to absorb the energy thus becoming younger. The effect from this  is permanent and the morality of this might need to be considered  if the spell is used by a player character.

The inital round of the spell will cause five years of life  essence plus one for every two levels of the caster to be  syphoned. This will have the effect of causing two points of  damage for every years worth of energy pulled away. It will also  heal the caster for a like amount. The victim is entitled to a  saving throw and if successful, for the first round, then they  only suffer half the loss and damage and the tether between the  two is broken.

If the saving throw fails then the caster continues the  connection and the victim will lose a like amount of life energy  the next round. They are again entitled to a save and if made  then the connection is broken but they will lose the full amount  of life essence and take full damage though they only lose one  year per every two levels and only take one point per year on  rounds after the first. This continues until a save is made, the  caster stops or the victim dies of old age. If the caster is in  direct contact with the victim saves are made with an adjustment  of -4.

The material component of this spell will be physical remnants of  a ghost that was slain on the Ethereal Plane. The remains of the  ghost are no used up with the casting and may be reused.

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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The World of Erde Map - TLG, Cassandra's Spell of Extraction

After Winter Dark Fantasy Campaign Setting Map. I am not sure that I can say much more about this product than what appears on the tag from troll Lord Games. It is a 21" x 32" map of the world of Erde. This was the original setting for Castles & Crusades as I understand it. If that is wrong please let me know. The map was released in 2001 and I am not sure if it has ever been removed from the bag. I bought it in the off chance that I might someday run a Castles & Crusades campaign using their modules. One can never have to many maps can they?


Spell:

Cassandra's Spell of Extraction


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: Special
Ares of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user extracts the target from space and time. The target can be the caster or any other being in range of the spell. They are placed into a pocket dimension of the casters creation. The dimension they are sent to has no connection to any other planes and is unique to them and the caster.

In the dimension there is nothing. It will be a field of almost blinding white with no sense of reference spatially. There creature there does not need food or water nor do they have to breathe and there is no atmosphere. The place they are taken to is a void though not the void other items take beings to.

While there the recipient of the spell can perform any function they could normally perform. They can also at will return to the plane of origin they were on when the spell was cast. They will know instinctively that all they need to do is actively wish to return. They will have a sense of time while in the dimension and know how long they have been there.

The spell allows the recipient to stay indefinite period of time though after a period of time equal to equal to six turns plus two turns per level of the caster time will begin to flow at a variable rate for the recipient. For each turn past the normal duration the DM should roll a D6 and a D10. One a 1-2 time flows slower, on a 3-4 it flows normal and on a 5-6 it flows faster. The D10 determines the multiplier for slow or faster.

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.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Red Mausoleum - AA#2, Cassandra's Vorpal Wires

The Red Mausoleum (AA#2) is the second module released by  Expeditious Retreat Press for use with the OSRIC. Normally one  might insert an explanation of what OSRIC stands for but I think the audience of this blog already knows. The module was released  in 2006 and since then there have been eighteen other modules  released them for OSRIC.

The module was written by James C. Boney and is sixteen pages  long saddle stitched with a black and white interior. The actual  module portion of the product is fourteen pages long and packs in a good bit in those pages. The cover art on this module was done by the same person that did the art on first module they released  in the line. Both did a good job of evoking that first edition  feel.

The module is written for six to eight characters between levels  12 and 15. To this day I still don't have any characters created  under OSRIC that could play in this so the GM might need to create some pregenerated characters for the players to use unless they have characters that high already. The module has a three  level dungeon that will be challenging even to well played and  equipped characters of those levels.

I won't go into too much detail about the module itself for the  sake of anyone who might read this and intendeds to play in it  sometime as a player. I will point out that the module does add  two new magic items and a number of new monsters. I would really like to have seen the module expanded with more time spent at the  modules beginning and middle portions. The outdoor portion of the module could have been expanded in detail and encounters but I am a fan of outdoor adventures.

Below is the module summary presented on the product itself:

The populated regions north of the Sistermoors have enjoyed over  a century of respite from the wars that once plagued the area.  However, within the past year, baronial patrols have reported  clashes with undead and other dark creatures brave enough to  strike out from the moors into the forests of men and elves. The  Baron’s sage suspects that the undead issue out of the mysterious  ancient landmark known as the Red Mausoleum located somewhere on  the wild stretches of the moors! The Red Mausoleum is designed  for 6-8 characters of levels 12-15 and is compatible with 1st  Edition gaming.

I really need to make a point of picking up more of these  modules. I go back and forth between AD&D and BECMI as being my  games of choice and I often use a blending of the two. The  modules I have seen by Expeditious Retreat Press have been well  done and well received by the OSR community from what I can see.


Spell:

Cassandra's Vorpal Wires

Level: Seventh
Range:  None
Duration: Six Rounds + 1 Round/Level
Ares of Effect: 9" Sphere
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 6 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

When this spell is cast the magic user causes a sphere of nearly  invisible shifting wires to appear around them. The sphere can be  set out to a maximum of 9" in diameter but can be made smaller if  desired. The wires when seen will look like glittering metallic  strands of spider webs.

As beautiful as the strands may appear to be when seen they can  be deadly to those that pass through them. Anyone not in direct  contact with the caster that pass through the sphere will  immediately suffer five d4+1 in damage and be incapacitated from  performing any other actions for that round. Those affected will  suffer four d4+1 damage the next, then three d4+1 the next with  each round the damage done decreasing by one dice for a total of  four rounds. In addition the first round after being affected any saves and attacks will be made at -4 and then -3 the next decreasing by one each round as the damage does. Those who make  their save will suffer only half damage but will suffer the full  negatives.

Other caster who are affected by this will need to make a saving  throw each round they try to cast a spell while taking damage.  Those who make the save successfully cast the spell while those who fail have the spell casting interrupted. The magical nature of the damage and depth of the wounds from these wires will cause  any healing effects to be halved unless a Heal spell is used.

The material component of this spell is a number of braided  strands of wire. The wire will be a combination of mithril, adamantine and other wires that would be used in the manufacture of a vorpal weapon. They must then be enchanted in a process that  will take eight hours. The cost of the manufacture of these wires  will be no less than 500 gp and the DM may require the caster to  quest for them. The wires are not consumed with the casting of  the spell and may be reused.

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.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wilderness Encounters - Catalyst, Mannequin of Control

Wilderness Encounters is a product released by Flying Buffalo under the Catalyst line in 19991. It is another product that features short mini-adventures that can be dropped into a campaign or used as filler for when the GM does not have something ready or the time to get something ready.

As the tile suggests this book deals specifically with encounters that will occur in wilderness areas. I find these more useful than perhaps the urban type of offerings. I would think of using these as perhaps random encounters. There might need to be some modification or minor railroading to make it happen but these are better than the "you are attacked on x watch by, by y number of creature z....roll for initiative" fare.

The book has thirteen distinct encounters of varying size and complexity. Each though has the lair and these could be expanded upon into a dungeon if the GM desired. The book is 74 pages long so there is some depth to the encounters. The list of provided encounters are provided on the back of the book and are copied below.

Brigand's lair
Gigant's Lair
Gihuspid Lair
Goblin Cave
Haunted Pool & Ruins
Hornet's Nest
Lamia's Lair
Maze of the Man Bull
Ogre's Lair
Serpentmen's Lair
Tomb of the Vashkari
Tower of Amkazad
The Troll Hole

These types of products are something that will be useful to almost any GM. Some may hate using premade encounters or adventures by others but rare is it to find a GM who ran short of time and has to just wing it or even worse not be able to run something at all.


Spell:

Mannequin of Control


Level: Second
Range: 6"
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Ares of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user is able to exert a level  of control over the physical action of the target creature. This  is done through the use of a small mannequin that they will bend  and manipulate which will make the target perform a similar  action.

The actions will be movement based and they can not be something  that the victims body is not capable of performing. The caster  will also not be able to cause any direct damage through the use  of the spell. The effect is limited to what the mannequin itself  does but an act like throwing it will not cause the victim to be  hurled across the room in a similar fashion. The effect is  limited to the physical motion of the mannequin itself.

The victim is allowed an initial save and if successful then the  spell does not take effect. The caveat to this is if the caster  is in direct contact when the spell is cast then there is no save.

The victim will make any motion the caster makes the mannequin  perform as previously described but the victim can still attempt other action. Each round they want to perform an action the can attempt a save at -4 and if successful then they can perform the action. In combat the victim will have their AC reduced by a  factor of four and any to hit rolls are made at -4 and damage caused is halved.

While the caster is controlling the victim they can perform no  other action. If they do so then the spell is broken. The spell  will also be broken if they lose contact with the mannequin.

The material component of this spell is the mannequin that the  caster uses to simulate the motions of the victim. The spell is  limited to affecting victims in the same general body shaped  (humanoid, four legged etc) as the mannequin. The mannequin can  be reused.

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.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Foul Locales: Behind the Gates, Aging

Behind the Gates is the third in the Foul Locales series by Minds  Eye Games. The series is very much like the Book of Lairs in that  they include short encounters that can be sued as one shots. This  one since it deals with city encounters could be compared to the  Flying Buffalo Citybooks. This is clear since the encounters all  have plot hooks provided just as the earlier books did.

This came out in 2003 and was released under the D20 license. It  is 136 pages long and contains sixteen unique encounters that are  meant to be played individually though a creative GM could  combine them in different numbers to make something larger. They vary in level (encounter level) so it might be hard to combine  some but for the GM this is good as a wide range of levels are  included.

In addition to the sixteen different encounters the book contains  additional material that was all released under the Open Gaming  Content. Behind the Gates offers eight new magical items, six new  feats, two new pieces of equipment, a new domain, three new  diseases, eight new monsters (three of which are templates), five  new prestige classes (and a new base class), six new spells, and  a new form of martial arts. The encounters themselves have advice  on where and how the GM might utilize them in their game.

Some of the highlights of other included material are the rumor  tables provided for the encounters. These contain a good mixture of useful information and red herrings for the GM to provide the  part. There are also expanded zombie templates for the GM to use.  The different templates change the zombie based on how the creature ended up becoming a zombie. Finally there is another example of  the Witch as a class.

These types of books are something that a GM can always fine  useful. From the earliest examples from Judges Guild to the Book  of Lairs from First ad Second edition to these books one can  always find something to take from them. The trick is finding one that has a good return on investment. This one falls into the plus side of that measure in my mind.


Spell:

Aging


Level: Sixth
Range: 12"
Duration: Permanent
Ares of Effect: 1" Sphere Level
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 5 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

When this spell is cast the magic user causes a sphere of energy to appear at the desired location. The effect of this sphere could be considered a temporal fireball. Those caught in the area of effect will under an immediate bout of aging.

The number of years the victims will age is one year per every two levels of the caster. In addition to the aging effect the victims will also suffer damage due to the effect of the aging. Each person will suffer 1d4 for every year of aging. All in the area of effect are entitled to a saving throw versus spells. Those that save will have the aging effect and the damage halved.

The material component of this spell is a small vial of bone dust from a creature who dies from unnatural aging. When the spell is cast the vial is opened and thrown into the wind in the direction of the desired spell effect. Where the dust blows does not affect the spell in any way.

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.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

CN1 - Conan the Buccaneer, Summon Warriors & Conan Movie

Conan the Buccaneer is the first in the CN (Conan) series released for  the Conan Role Playing game by TSR. The module was released in  1985 and is 32 pages long. It is set during the period of time  when Conan was a pirate on the Hyborian seas.

I really wish I could provide more that that for this module but  I can't. I have a copy of the Conan game and have never ever  played it. I am not sure I have ever completely read the rules  all the way through. I love the Conan stories by REH and and some  of the additional materials published by others. I even liked  both of the first Conan movies though the first was by far the  better of the two.

I was able to find the following online. This is the module  description from the back of the product.

Many Argosseans have been forced out to sea by burdensome taxes  and penalties imposed by the king and his court. Most flee to  Messantia where a person can lose himself in the streets. Some  sign on to merchant vessels. And some become freebooters and  buccaneers who sail the western seas. Of those who feed off  other's labors, one group is of importance. Although backed by  foreigners, the captain and crew are Argossean. Their expedition  will take them far past the Isle of the Black Ones, past the  domain of the pirates of the Baracha Islands, in search of a lost  island kingdom and the untold wealth it contains. Their fame,  however, lies not only in what they accomplish, but in one of  their crew - a young barbarian. His name is Conan.


Spell:

Summon Warriors


Level: Fifth
Range: 6"
Duration: Special
Ares of Effect: 1" Radius/Level
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user summons a horde of low  level mystical warriors to fight for them. These warriors will  appear to be normal beings of any sort that the caster desires  but are actually physical manifestations of mystic energy called  forth from some unknown plane.

The number of warriors summoned will be one per level of the  caster. These will appear at the point the caster specifies and  begin attacking anyone or anything not connected to the caster.  The caster can maintain concentration and have a new set of  warriors appear for each round they maintain concentration and  perform no other action.

These warriors will attack as first level fighters and will  damage as per the weapon type the caster had them appear with  though the weapons must be hand held. The warriors will disappear  if they are successfully struck. Area of effect spells that do any  damage will also cause the warriors to disappear.

The material component for this spell is a single gold piece for  each warrior that is summoned. The gold will disappear from the  caster possession when the warriors appear. If the caster should  run out of gold the stream of warriors will cease.

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.

Conan 2011 Movie 

This is not intended to be a full review but just a simple blurb of commentary. I was finally able to go and see the movie yesterday evening. I had put it off and had planned on not even going after all the bad press and reviews I had heard. Then thanks to some of the posts and comments in the OSR blogosphere I started getting some positive feedback and decided to go.

I want to thank all that posted something positive about the movie. I will go on record as saying that this was no Citizen Kane not was it up to the quality of LotR but it was not meant to be either of those. If you look at it as a Swords & Sorcery summer movie it was good. It was better than most summer movies are in my opinion though that bar is not set real high.

The movie had all of the elements I expected to see in the movie. It had Jason Momoa who we already knew could play someone like Conan from his Game of Thrones role. The villain was one that was dark enough and up to being someone who could keep pace with Conan without being over the top. The villain henchmen were good and the daughter played by Rose McGowan was exceptionally creepy (I have to think she drew upon her ex beau for part of that). Sorry to be a little raw but there was some nudity which never hurts and some some comedic sidekicks in parts. Overall the movie hit on all the cylinders it needs to at least for me.

In the end I think the bad performance is an effect and testament to the power of the media. It got started off with bad reviews for whatever reason. The bulk of the media then ran with what was now expected to be heard rather than actually looking at it objectively. Again thank you to anyone that decided it was better than the mainstream media decided it was.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tegel Manor - Gamescience, Cassandra's Imaginary Trap

This is the Origins Prepublication Preview of the Gamescience reprint of Tegel Manor. When I bought this it was marketed as a limited print run and I paid more than I should have for it. You still see these for sale in the secondary market so I am not sure that it was all that much of a limited print run.

This is no different than the standard Gamescience version from what I can tell. I would not recommend this version of Tegel Manor if you can't pick it up considerably cheaper than the original Judges Guild version. I might even say that it would be worth it to pay upwards of double the price for the original.

This version never impressed me much in either print version, this one or the normal colored cover version. I think this product serves as a testament to how good the original version is as there is no reason for this to command the cost it does except that the original is that good.

There is nothing really wrong with the Gamescience version of the module it just lacks the original charm of the original. Like most of the "universalized" Judges Guild products they lack something that was present in the older products. In the end there is nothing fundamentally wrong with it but as I said for me the extra money is better spent to get the original.


Spell:

Cassandra's Imaginary Trap


Level: Third
Range: 6"
Duration: Special
Ares of Effect: Special
Components: V,S
Casting Time: One Round  
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user causes an imaginary trap to come into being. The trap can be anything that the caster desires be it simple or as elaborate as the location allows. The trap can be placed on an individual item, on a door or other lock or even be a free standing trap located in a room or hallway.

The trap that is created will be one that is detected by anyone who comes near it even if they are not actively searching for a trap. The DM should make a point of rolling dice to make it appear that the party thief of most appropriate person found the trap based on normal percentages.

The person detecting the trap will know what it is and can see what should be a way to disarm the trap. A thief will be able to make their normal attempt to disarm the trap but it will always fail. The only way that the trap can be disarmed is for the person attempting to disarm it to instead declare that they believe it to be an illusion. If an attempt is made to disarm the trap then any attempt to disbelieve should fail. If the trap is deliberately triggered the DM can determine the effect. Anyone affected by the trap is entitled to a save if they disbelieve the effect but otherwise will suffer damage accordingly.

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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BattleDragons, Poison Bane

BattleDragons is another entry in the ever growing list of how  did this find it's way into my collection entries. Sometimes I can remember buying the game and it not being what I thought it  would. Then at times like this I can not recall when, why or how  it got here. I will admit to never even cracking the pages on the  book. The cover does look nice though.

In doing some research online it is a game released in 2002 by  Spartacus Publishing. They have another game that I see often in  their product lines but this is not related to that. The book is  130 pages long and retails for $25. It is an RPG that deals with  Dragons battling each other, and mankind, but also seems like it may play as a  war game. It gets a fair review on rpg.net which you can find here.

Spartacus Publishing has a website that you can find here. The  information on the game from their web site is below:

Behold the terrible power of the Dragon.
Hear the cries of those who face the Dragon.
Know the carnage left in the wake of the Dragon.
Feel the strength running throughout the Dragon.
Exalt, for you are now the Dragon.

Field the most awesome engine of destruction ever crafted by the  gods, The Dragon. BattleDragons allows you to design and bring  onto the battlefield one of the most awesome beings in any  fantasy world. Let nothing stand in your way as you strive for  your own world order.

Destroy the evil that abounds. Lay waste to the cities of man.  Eradicate thoae who would rise up against you. Gather the  treasures of a thousand lands. Unlock the secrets of the cosmos.  Assume the power of the gods.

BattleDragons contains construction rules for the eight Dragon  races. Hundreds of Powers and abilities. Construction guidelines  for the humanoid armies. Easy to master combat. And most  importantly of all, the thrill and excitement of the greatest  battles in the universe.



Spell:

Poison Bane


Level: Fourth
Range: None
Duration: 2 Turns/Level
Ares of Effect: Caster
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 4 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user is granted immunity to all  forms of poison and venom that is naturally occurring. This will  mean anything that is made from materials native to the plane of  the caster and from creatures, even magical ones, that are native to the plane of the caster.

For poisons or venoms that are magical or extra planer in nature  the caster is bestowed an enhanced immunity as well. If the  poison or venom has no minus to the save them the caster is  entitled to a +4 to their save. The plus to the save is decreased  by one for every minus they would normally incur but while under  the spell they will never suffer any minus to a save versus  poison or venom no matter how strong.

The material component of this spell is a mixture of poisons and  venoms that will cost no less than 50 gp to make. The caster  takes but a small drop with the casting of the spell. The mixture  made will remain viable one month for every 50 gp the caster spends on it.

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. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gamma World Referee's Screen, Miscasting

Gamma World is a game I have indicated before ranks in the upper  tier of games I like to play. The Referee's Screen from the first edition of the game has one of the more memorable images from the  game. There is just something about this image that says Gamma  World for me. The cover from the first edition book is great but  it does not capture the feel of what is to come once you start  reading the game.

The screen does it job well enugh. It has the charts and tables  that the GM will need to run the game. It also features a mini  module which though I have never had a chance to use it I hear  very good things about. The module is "The Albuquerque Starport"  which though only eight pages long I have heard can change the  game dramatically if used though that is second hand. I would  pick this up even without the module just for the art though. If  you are going to run the game you need a screen right! As an added bonus it was printed in the USA.


From the screen itself:

Included in this package are a durable referee's screen and an  eight-page mini-module, The Albuquerque Starport. The screen  contains the combat, hazard, and reference tables used most often  by referees and players, arranged to make this vital information  easy to use. The mini-module is a complete GAMMA WORLD adventure,  in which players discover and explore an Ancient starport buried  in the desert sands.


Spell:

Miscasting


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: One Round/Level
Ares of Effect: 6" Radius Sphere
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user causes a sphere to appear based around the point specified. The sphere will cause a disruption in the flow and function of magical energy in its area of effect. This will affect spells but not magical items.

Anyone in the area of effect of the spell will need to make a saving throw every time they try to cast a spell. Those who make the save are able to counter the varied nature within the sphere for that round and successfully cast the spell. Those who fail will have the spell fizzle and they will still lose the use of that spell as if it had been successfully cast.

The material component of this spell is a page from a spell book that has been subjected to some fluid so that the text is smeared and unreadable. The page is consumed by the casting of the spell.

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.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dungeon #150 - WotC, Spell Catching

Yesterday I spoke about the ending of the print run for Dragon  magazine and how it marked the end of an era for me in my gaming  life. The same month and Dragon magazine ended as a print product  the same occurred for its sister magazine Dungeon. This was marked  with a little less significance in my world.

I had subscribed to Dungeon the same time I finally broker down  and bought the subscription to Dragon magazine. This was done  simply because it seemed expedient and I thought maybe I might  start using Dungeon. I had started buying Dungeon once it became publicly available through retail channels. My dedication to  buying it was no where near as religions as for Dragon though.

I am not sure why I never took to Dungeon the way I did Dragon  magazine. I suspect it was more me than anything about the  magazine. I had also slowed down the amount of DM'ing I did  before Dungeon became readily accessible. It was also at point in  my life where like the song says 'painted wings and giants' rings  make way for other toys".

Even now in looking at the contents of the final issue I don't  feel the same since of loss. The lackluster look back I  complained about for Dragon 359 is perfected in Dungeon 150. The  only redeeming item I can find in is is the index of offerings  which is impressive but I also found that part of the reason it  never took is that it was a 2e, 3.x and 4e product much longer  than a 1e one.

Still it deserved a mention of its own. I am not sure I ever used  any of the encounters/settings offered through it but it was part  of a routine near the end of its run and connected with something  much more significant so I owed it this much.


Spell:

Spell Catching


Level: Seventh
Range: None
Duration: Special
Ares of Effect: Caster
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user gives themselves the ability to catch spells that are cast at them. This will allow the caster to absorb the magical energy of the spell rather than suffering the effects of the spell. The ability only affects spells where the caster is a target of the spell and not simply caught in the area of effect. The caster may choose to not catch any spell even if catching it is possible.

The spell will remain in effect until the caster has captured all the spells that they can or until they either sleep, lose consciousness or die. The number of spells that the caster can catch and absorb energy from is a function of their intelligence and the level of the spells caught.

The caster can never catch a number of spells greater than one quarter of their intelligence rounded up. The caster is also limited to catching spells that are no higher than sixth level. The final limitation is that the total number of spell levels caught can be no more than their intelligence.

When a spell is captured the caster has to review the spell that they caught will be handled. If the caster has a vacant slot from a previously cast spell of that level and they know the spell they can store the energy for future casting. If they have a vacant slot but do not know the spell they can try and convert the enegy into that of a spell they know to store it to cast. To accomplish this they must make a save versus magic and if successful the spell is converted and stored. If they fail the energy fizzles away.

The last and most amazing one for the caster is if they capture the spell and they do not already know it they can try to learn the spell from the energy it contains. The chance for them to do this is equal to five times their level as a percentage minus five times the level of the spell as a percentage plus their intelligence as a percentage. After all that math is done if successful the caster must make a save versus spells at a minus four to learn it. If they fail the save they suffer two points of damage per spell level. If they learn it the spell must be scribed into their book within one day per level of the spell or the information needed to scribe it is lost and the spell is lost to them.

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.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dragon #359, Cassandra's Smoke Screen

September 2007 marked the end of an era for me in my gaming life. One of the  things I connected most with gaming ended. There will be people that say it  did not end as it is still published electronically but to me it ended. A  digital magazine is not the same. I prefer hard copy gaming material to a PDF  copy. The only PDF material I have ever bought were the Dragon Magazine and White Dwarf archives and copies of the RPGA  modules through Pazio a few years, or more, back.

Dragon 359 is what I am referring to as you already know. For the last five  or six years of its existence I had subscribed to the magazine, and before  that I made pilgrimage to either the FLGS or Borders, even though I had not  played any of the version of the game it was supporting at that time. I still  opened up every issue and at least skimmed every article though many I still  read in full. There is always something you can take from almost anything is  the way I try and look at it.

The issue was very much a serious let down. I am harsh with goodbyes and last  issues/episodes of anything. I want them to be full of things that will  remind me of the good times and both make me sad to see them go but feel good  about it at the same time. The final episodes of MASH and Babylon 5 come to  mind as good examples of this. Issue 359 of the Dragon was not. In the end  the best thing about it ended up being the Dork Tower strip but I love the line "So long, and thanks for all the fish!"

The only other redeeming parts of the issue were the cover art...thank you  Mr. Elmore though I did not really see it as all that much of a tribute to  the first issues cover. The next is the article "Unsolved Mysteries of D&D"  which was moderately reflective. Lastly was the Top Ten issues of Dragon  Magazine. I include the list only because it really let me know that it was  time for the publication to go. Below is the list of issues as they ranked  them:

1) #75
2) #76
3) #318
4) #336
5) #3
6) #72
7) #127
8) #315
9) #298
10) #116

I won't make commentary on this other than that they got two issues in the  list that deserved to be and close to where they should. To have three issues  in the 300s is just not right. Goodbye Dragon Magazine you had a great run and me from 50 to 359 which is longer than anything else other than the game  that started you.


Spell:

Cassandra's Smoke Screen


Level: Third
Range: 9"
Duration: 5 Rounds + 1 Rounds/Level
Ares of Effect: 1" Sphere/Level
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 4 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user causes a stationary field of smoke to  come into existence. The field will be centered at the point they specify  during casting. The field is composed of a smoke that is not physically  harmful in and of itself to those caught in it.

Beings caught in the field can not be detected by normal vision nor with  infravision or ultravision work. Those inside will not be able to see via  those methods either. Those in the field will be basically bind not being  able to see past one actual inch.

Those trying to move in the field will have a 16% or 25% chance, the actual  number is based on the sue of squares or hexes for mapping, of moving in the  right direction. For each turn moved the DM should roll a d4/D6 and on a one  the victim moves in the right direction. While in the field in addition to  the disorientation effect movement rates are halved.

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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Farscape - AEG, Summon Companions

For someone who doesn't read hard science fiction anymore I still seem to like the  games and TV shows. I think if there were more fantasy on TV then that  would not be the case. All that aside one of the shows I saw two or three  episodes of once was Farscape. Almost immediately I was caught up in the  quality of the show. I even went to the extent of recording every episode on VHS at one point  but never got the time to watch them all.

When I saw that they released a Farscape RPG back in 2002 I knew I wanted it  but I waited until I could find it used since I knew I would most likely  never play it. The book was released by AEG and was not a disappointment as  far as presentation. It is a big book being 320 pages long and it was done in  color and the production quality is very good. When you pick it up and look  it over you can not help but admire the job that was done putting it  together.

The concern is that it is yet another d20 based game. I know that the d20  system has made it easier for game manufacturers to release products. In some  cases these seem to work but in other cases it misses the mark. With Farscape  the material is good enough that it covers the fact that it misses the mark.  I love that the game is out there but I would love to see is if another  company could get the license and release it under its own system but keep  the quality of the AEG edition.

This is again one of those games that you see all the time in the  aftermarket. I don't see it so much in the used book stores. Apparently  either once you buy it you keep it or since I see it all the time on eBay  being sold as new I suspect that Farscape was not enough of a franchise to  have sold all the print run. This means you can get it cheap but for me it  ends up being a bad thing because unless it is taken on as a labor of love  there probably will never be a new Farscape role playing game.


Spell:

Summon Companions


Level: Fifth
Range: 100 yards/level
Duration: Instantaneous
Ares of Effect: Special
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: One Round
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user summons to them a number of their companions. The companions that are being summoned will sense that are to be pulled away and can resist this if desired. The companions will be called to a location that is safe for them to exist that is within 2" of the caster.

The companions that are summoned in addition to being within the range of the spell must be fully on the same plane as the caster. Beings that are out of phase will not be summoned. The summoned beings must be sentient beings who have an intelligence of 3 or higher. When summoned the beings will appear only with whatever gear is on their being when summoned.

The caster will be able to summon one companion plus an additional number based on their level. They can summon one additional companion for every five levels of experience. This is rounded up so at tenth level they could summon three companions and at eleventh the number would increase to four.

The material component of this spell is a personal item from each of the companions that are to be summoned. The items used must have been touched or in the possession of the companion to be summoned within twenty-four hours of the spell being cast.

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.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Player's Secrets of Binsada, Cassandra's Mystical Trip Wire

Birthright is the campaign setting that I most wish I have a chance to play sometime. Greyhawk will always be my first and I had the most fun in Mystara  but it is the Birthright setting that makes me want to play it the most for  some reason. I think it is for some reason to me, at least in my mind, it is  the merger of Greyhawk and Mystara. This is most likely way off base but that  is just my perception.

I love that each of the domains has its own specialized product. This is why  I think it adds the feel of Mystara in my mind. I have loved the Gazetteers  since I picked up the first one way back when and though not as in depth the  different domain products. I am not sure if I ran it I would have the players  take the role of the leaders but perhaps high level vassals. If I were to  have the chance to play it I would rather play it as a adventurer with the  chance to visit each of the realms.

I am fairly certain that I have all of the domain kits though they are in a  mixed state of inventory. Many of them are still in the shrink as the one for  Binsada is. I was able to find a wiki for Birthright that I want to explore  but won't in the off chance I may get to be a player in it some day. I am not  sure why I picked Binsada to show a picture of but it had to happen  eventually. Since I have not had a chance to read it, being in the shrink,  below is information from the back of the domain kit. Most of these have been  32 pages in length and feature a two piece card-stock cover that also serves  as a screen for the domain.

The many-headed Hydra slithers in the Harrowmarsh on your western border. The  Sphinx prowls its blasted lands, breathing a venomous wind upon the lush  savannah. The Harpy's birds of prey circle in coastal salt breezes, raiding  laden ships. It seems as if Binsada, your land of simple, nomadic cattle  herders, is hemmed in by monstrous enemies on all sides.

Binsada is a realm where honor means more than wealth. The ruler of this  domain must maintain the status of the royal family while not offending those  from other highly placed lineages. Foremost in the regent's thoughts must be  retaining the loyalty of her first lieutenant, Vorduine, and controlling the  ambitions of her cousin, Prince Daoud--without his knowledge, of course. This  regent must have a cunning mind, a flair for the dramatic, and an honorable  heart.

This BIRTHRIGHT domain sourcebook is designed for players who wish to take  the role of queen of Binsada. It may also be used by players portraying  noble, vassals of the regent, or adventurers from this domain.



Spell:

Cassandra's Mystical Trip Wire


Level: Second
Range: 9"
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Ares of Effect: 1"/Level
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Negates

When this spell is cast it causes mystical trip wires to appear at the  locations that the caster specifies. These will be invisible to the naked eye  and can not be detected as they do not exist until triggered and the effect  is not the same as a traditional trip wire. These will remain dormant until  anyone other than the caster walks over them.

When the wires are activated anyone that crosses their path must make a save  versus spells or fall to the ground. The victims saving throw will be  modified by their dexterity. Those with a dexterity over fifteen will get a  +1 for every point over fifteen. For those with a dexterity less than twelve  there will be a -1 for every point up to a maximum of four.

Those who make the save suffer no ill effect. Those that fall will take 1d4 of  damage and will need to spend either one or two rounds regaining their feet.  Players in leather armor or lower will need to spend one round. Anyone in  metal armor will need to spend two rounds.

The caster can cover ten feet per level though any portion of ten feet will  count as ten feet. The caster can create as many wires as they want within  the limit of the spell and can place them anywhere in the range of the spell.  Players will need to make a save for each time they cross the wires while in  effect.

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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

DCC #9 Dungeon Geomorphs, Forgetful Sleep

Goodman Games has a history of putting out some solid adventures. The Dungeon  Crawl Classics helped, at least in their advertising, bring back the classic  dungeon crawl for the gamer. Most of their modules I have read are well  written but perhaps one of my favorite items they have released is the Dungeon  Geomorphs.

The product was released in 2004 and unlike a traditional module it can get  used again and again with the same group. The book is 32 pages long and it  features over one hundred and twenty map tiles. These tiles have consistent  places on the map tiles where they can be connected so you do not run into  the occasional dead end (though those are not always bad).

The tiles come in different categories and are arranged by them. The  different categories included in the tiles sets are listed below. In addition  to these there are also blanks that you can use create you own tiles.

Caves
Castles
Ruins
Hallways/Corridors
Lairs
The Underdeep
Mazes
Dungeons
Temples

I like to think of myself as being fairly creative but drawing maps is  something I seem to struggle with. I was a fan of the original TSR Geomorphs  back in the day and keep a set of originals that I can make copies of as  needed and cut them up as the old ones get ratty. I know that there are many  online map makers but by using these I still feel I have at least a finger if  not a whole hand in the layout process.


Spell:

Forgetful Sleep


Level: Third
Range: 3" + 1"/level
Duration: 5 Rounds/Level
Ares of Effect: 3" Circle
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: None

This spell in most ways mirrors the first level sleep spell but with increased and altered effects. This spell combines the effect of the sleep spell with the second level Forget spell.

When this spell is cast the magic user causes creatures in the area of effect to fall into a light slumber. The length of time spent sleeping will be the same as that of the first level spell. The spell will affect all creatures in the area of effect regardless of level. In addition the victims will have no memory of any encounter they may have had with the party.

The sleep the victims are in will continue for the duration unless they are touched by any non affected creature in even the slightest way. Any contact will immediately waken not just the individual touched by all in the area of effect. The DM should be mindful that the intent of the spell is a safeguard to mask the passage of the party and not allow the spell to be renamed to Massacre.

The material component of this spell is the same as that of the first level sleep spell.

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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kin and Kinsmen - AEG, Cassandra's Imaginary Lock

Another of the AEG mini-modules. I apparently did not scan the whole stack of  them so I may be able to locate some of them and actually review them in a  little more detail. For this one Kin and Kinsmen I will have to refer to the  Amazon blurb.

Hidden in frozen wastelands and surrounded by untold treasures is the Kingdom  of the Seven-Day Sun, and home to wise King Jarrod. But times have changed.  At the peak of winter festivals, the head of Jarrod's guard finds his lord  dead upon his throne - murdered. As the castle and its grounds close by both  snow and suspicions, Crown Prince Hess and his council, the Table of Lords,  begin an investigation. During his coronation, Hess is also targeted and  everyone is suspect. Even his own kin, the Table of Lords, is not above  suspicion, for each is a potential heir to the throne. Fingers point and old  rivalries return as the truth is sought. In the dead of winter, among  murderous alliances and old bonds of blood, regicide looms large. The  greatest terror the land has ever seen grows terrifyingly close to the  throne, and all that stands between the Kingdom of the Seven-Day Sun and its  fate is a band of foreign warriors untrusted by all.


Spell:

Cassandra's Imaginary Lock


Level: Second
Range: 6"
Duration: Special
Ares of Effect: One Item
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: One Round
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user causes a lock that illusionary in  nature to appear. The lock will appear on any item that the caster wants  though having it appear on something a lock would not normally be on will  make it obvious as not being real. The lock will appear to be the appropriate  type for what it is would be on.

The lock when looked at will not be detectable unless the person looking at  it specifically states they think it is illusionary in nature and then they  make a saving throw versus spells. There is nothing to give a character  reason to be suspect of the lock so if players begin doubting every lock the  DM may want to start applying penalties to their saves.

If a thief tries to pick the lock you can have them go through the normal  process. When the attempt begins the caster will become aware of the attempt  to pick the lock. The thief will have their normal pick lock percentage  reduced by one percentage point per point of intelligence of the caster.  During the process if they succeed or fail the thief will get another save  this time at +4. If the lock is picked or a save is made the illusion  vanishes.

The material component of this spell is a small lock and key that will cost  the cater no less than fifty gold. The lock must remain on the caster if they  are to be made aware of the attempt and a new lock must be used for each  casting.

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.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Prison City of Hell's Reach - AEG, Mummy Touch

The Prison City of Hell's Reach. With a a name like that how could you not  want to buy this. Actually I did not buy any of the AEG mini-modules  individually. I purchased a stack of a dozen or more off eBay for a insanely  low price. I thought I would buy them and then convert them to whatever  system I was playing at the time.

As many things have they ended up getting scanned and inventoried long before  I ever got around to doing anything with them. I did look them over and I  recall thinking that the idea was good but the ROI was just not there. The  first issue was the size. I am not a fan of things that do not fit  traditional gaming book sizes. Next I would rather have a single normal size  book that I pay more for where there are multiple one shots. Still if you can  get them cheap like I did then they work out OK. Below is the material from  the back of the module.

According to myth, Hell spewed forth a foul seed of its damned terrain that  took root in the world and yielded the ruined city known as Hell's Reach.  Once a prosperous trading port that harbored pirates, outlaws, and worse  within its walls, the gods themselves punished the city for turning its back  on its one-time patron deity and embracing decadence, greed, and violence. A  tremendous earthquake sundered the peninsula that connected the city to the  mainland, leaving it a half-flooded island populated by small bands of  desperate survivors. Hell's Reach is now a dumping ground for criminals  deemed too dangerous to ever allow back into society and too likely to break  free from prison.

Though warships constantly patrol the waters around Hell's Reach, travel to  and from the city is not impossible. Smugglers and other criminals use  magical means to ferry weapons, armor, and other goods to the ruins, trading  such mundane items for poisons and worse. As a one-time prosperous port, many  fabulous treasures lie hidden within the city's crumbling walls, and more  than a few daring bands have ventured into the city. Those that make it out  speak of desperate bands of cannibals, highly organized criminal gangs, and  much worse that stalk the streets. Yet these same survivors often return  laden with gold, jewels, and magic.



Spell:

Mummy Touch


Level: Fifth
Range: 6"
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Ares of Effect: Special
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user enchants a number of weapons with an effect that in all ways, except for the amount of damage done, acts like the touch of a mummy. All of the effects of the mummy's touch will be present and can affect victims hit by the weapons.

Any individual or creature hit by the weapons will need to make a saving throw versus poison every time they are struck. Those who fail will have contacted the mummy rot and will not need to make any further saves. The effect from this is not immediately apparent so the DM will want to make note of who is affected and adjust how healing affects them.

The number of weapons the caster can enchant is based on their level. The caster will be able to grant the effect to one weapon plus and additional weapon for every five levels of experience rounded down.

The material components of this spell will be the wrappings of a mummy that was at one point undead. The wrappings are not used up by the spell and may be reused for future castings of the spell.

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.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Critter Commandos - Crunchy Frog, Mystical Weapon

Critter Commandos is a game I must have picked up under the assumption that  it either worked with Toon or that I would somehow adapt it for use with Toon. It has never been used after I picked it up. It is also possible that it  was included in some bulk purchase and I have forgotten where it came from.

I have never played it myself but it had received some fair reviews on the  sites like rpg.net. I have never been much into war games so I really am  surprised I have this. Still it never hurts to have another gaming book now  does it. I am going to post what appeared on rpg.net. I suspect it is from  the back of the book, which I can't get to as it is packed away, so I don't  think I am plagiarizing.

Critter Commandos is a simulation game of squad level (and larger) combat  situations that occur in a universe with different physical laws than our own.  All of the combatants are modeled after Saturday morning cartoon characters,  and that the damage caused by the weapons isn't really real! In the campaign  game, the "killed" soldiers mysteriously reappear the next day, safe and  sound!

This game is intended to be a fast and fun introduction to the world of  miniatures gaming, while also having elements of some of the role playing  games so popular these days. Each soldier has an "INDEX" that relates the  individuals abilities, as well as a list of the various items of equipment  that the particular soldier is carrying at the time.

The combat is quick placed and simple to learn. It utilizes a single roll on  a ten sided die to resolve any combat. The emphasis is on fun and  playability, not massive tomes of over complicated, supposedly "realistic"  systems that bog down in excessive detail. We hope we have achieved our goals  and that you enjoy the game!



Spell:

Mystical Weapon


Level: Fifth
Range: Touch
Duration: 6 Turns + 6 Turns/Level
Ares of Effect: One Weapon
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 5 Segments
Saving Throw: None

By means of this spell the magic user is able to transform a normal weapon  into a magical weapon. The weapon enchanted may be of any quality and once enchanted will become as sturdy as the finest weapons one could buy.

The weapon will gain a plus to hit and damage. The number of the bonus will  begin at +1 and increase by one for every two levels of experience the caster  has above ninth up to a maximum of +5. The weapon will count as magical for  creatures that can only be hit by magical weapons.

In addition to the enhanced combat nature the caster may also add some other  benefits to the weapon. The caster can specify that the sword will begin to  glow when a specific creature type is with 12" of the blade. Another option  is that the blade will glow as if it had been enchanted with a light spell,  with the duration as if it had been cast by the magic user. This ability can  only be used once. The final and most dramatic is that the weapon can be made  to have sparks run across its form when used in combat and will be heard to  emit a sound like laughter when striking an opponent.

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.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Evenings of Terror - Chill, Dancing Blades

Evenings of Terror is a collection of unrelated adventures for the Chill game system that the GM can use individually as filler for an existing campaign or when they need something on the spur of the moment and don't have anything ready. The adventures vary greatly as is often the case. This is very much the Chill version of the "Lairs" type of modules released by TSR. The list of adventures is below.

1. The Epidemic
2. Lanier House
3. A Little Room
4. Animal House
5. The House on the Hill
6. Still Life
7. Rounded by a Sleep
8. Crime Magazine
9. Haunt Thy Native Place

The module was released in 1985 and features a picture of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, on its cover. Having her as the face of the module is indicative of one a larger situation. One of the issues with older "modern' setting type games is that in twenty six years they are no longer modern. Some of the issues in these adventures are what is seen in older horror movies when viewed today. Now everyone, almost, has a cellphone or GPS etc. This means many of the plot devices no longer work. The GM will need to address these concerns unless they have their game set in the 1980's.

As I mentioned the quality of the various scenarios vary and some have complained that some are very cliched. I for one take all of that as homage to the theme of the module. The adventures are very similar to the types of movies she would have shown on the show she hosted. The adventures actually have her introducing and then closing the adventures for the GM. I think we often forget she was the original "Cryptkeeper" on TV.

One of the shows I watch fairly religiously is Supernatural. There was an episode in season four I think were the brothers got sucked into basically what was TV Land. I very much think something like that idea could be applied to all of these adventures making it into a campaign where some larger evil has pulled them into a "B-Movie Horror" universe for some nefarious reason.

In the long run the adventures are generic in theme enough that they could be ripped off for other games. There are some that have S.A.V.E. element but I think that those could easily be worked out or modified. I have been a Chill fan for years. It is not my favorite horror game but it is near the top. I would suggest getting this and most any of the Chill material, Pacesetter or Mayfair, that you can get your hands on.



Spell:

Dancing Blades


Level: Fifth
Range: None
Duration: One Round/Level
Ares of Effect: 6" Radius
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 4 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user causes the area of effect to fill with dancing blades. These will attack all who are opposed to the caster while they are in the area of effect. The caster can at will declare a target no longer valid and they will no longer be subject to attack.

The victims in the area will suffer a number of attacks per round as if the swords were being held by fighters of a level equal to that of the caster. In addition the swords will gain pluses just as a Sword of Dancing. The first round there will be no plus, then they will gain one plus per round up to plus four. After that they will reset and the process will begin again. The swords will be treated as long swords though the caster can specify a different appearance through the material component.

The material component of this spell is a miniature silver weapon. The design of the weapon will determine what the appearance of the weapons are. The caster can make it anything they want but the damage will be the same.

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.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Renegade Nuns on Wheels, Bind Item

Renegade Nuns on Wheels is the second offering in the Macho Women with Guns  product line. It was initially released in 1989 as a stand alone product in  the line. It was incorporated into the core rulebook of the second edition of  the game. The book itself is sixteen pages and is strictly black and white.

The game/supplement added driving rules to the game. The game features the  sisters from Our Lady of the Harley-Davidson battling a whole new set of bad  guys added in this edition including Hell's Angels and some mechs. It  included maps of roads that could be used and stand up counters.

Again this is a game I bought to own just because I was younger when they  came out. I mentioned in a post for Batwinged Bimbos that I thought this  would not get made as a new product in today's world. Below is the  advertising portion from Amazon.

"They're back! In the chaos and rubble that followed what was known as the  "Reagan Administration", the country was in shambles. Armed gangs roamed the  streets and highways of this once great nation, killing, burning, pillaging  and raping, in that order. Not even the people were spared. A time of gloom  and despair fell upon mankind. People were afraid to leave their homes, and  huddled behind makeshift barricades. Those who did try to leave quickly fell  victim to the predatory road gangs. It seemed that all was lost. But then, a  new force arose in the East (or West, depending on which way you went). An  ancient leader arose from his meditations, turned to the chosen of his faith  and armed them for battle. Given the power and the tools, they made  themselves ready and gathered before the ancient one. He looked down upon  them and said, "In God's name, get those &%#$$#*! bastards off the streets!"  Armed with Uzi's and the blessing of the Church, the sisters of Our Lady of  Harley-Davidson roared off into the sunset. A new force was loose on the  streets, and it would take more than a few Hail Marys to make them go away.  They're black, they're bad, and they're out to save your soul (even if it  kills you). They're Renegade Nuns on Wheels! Renegade Nuns on Wheels, the  game that treads the fine line between heresy and blasphemy. It plays alone,  or can be combined with Macho Women to deliver a punishing salvo of abuse to  just about everything you can think of."

Not making social commentary but it would appear that we are much closer to  this today than we ever were back when this was published. If you have played  the original or are a fan of gaming history I would suggest finding a copy of  this as can still be picked up cheap.


Spell:

Bind Item


Level: Fourth
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
Ares of Effect: One Item
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: One Turn per Item Number
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user causes the item the spell is cast on  to become bound to them. This will have two major effects in game terms. The  first is that the item will become unusable by others as long as the caster  is alive. The second is that the caster will have an idea on where the item  is at all times if they concentrate on the item.

The first effect will cause the item to not function properly or become  inert in the hands of another individual. This ability can be disabled by  the caster on a temporary basis should they need to lend out an item. For  magic items with triggered or persistent abilities these will cease to be on  or something that can be activated. For weapons and things that apply bonuses  these will disappear.

In second effect will allow the caster the innate ability to locate the  object that. The information they obtain will only be the a general idea of  the direction. This will become more and more effective obviously the closer  they are to the item and the caster will have a sense of the relative  closeness of the item.

The caster is limited in the number of items that can be bound to them. They  are limited binding one item per level that they posses. In addition to this  limit the casting time and material cost increase. The casting time is  increased by one turn for each successive item. The initial cost in material  components is one hundred gp and this will increase by an additional one  hundred for each successive item.

The material component for this spell will be a mixture of ground gems,  minerals and herbs. These are either sprinkled on or around the item during  the casting. If the casting is interrupted the items are wasted and will need  to be purchased again.

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.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wraith: The Oblivion Character Kit, Static Field

Wraith the Oblivion Character Kit is an accessory for the White Wolf game of the same name. It is a kit specifically created for the player to aid in their play as well as the character creation. It is compatible with both the first and second editions of the game. I am not sure it would work with the newer World of Darkness Wraith material.

The kit features a players screen as well as character sheets specific for the wraiths and shadows. In addition it also has a Certificate of Death designed for the player to fill out for their character. This will have vital information and events of note and such from the characters living life. Finally it contains a booklet that contains character generation information intended to clarify the process. The book also contains information on archaic firearms that will be found in the game.

Of all the White Wolf storyteller games Wraith was the one that I had the least interest in. It was the one that I also have the least understanding of so I might have had more interest in it if I had taken the time to understand how it fit in within the entire mythos that White Wolf had created. All of that aside if you are a player of the earlier editions of the game I can see how this would be useful...though I have never been a fan of player screens. I can see why a GM needs a screen but not so much the players. Still that is just my preference.


Spell:

Static Field


Level: Fourth
Range: 6" + 1"/Level
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Ares of Effect: 1" Sq/Level
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 4 Segments
Saving Throw: Half Damage

When this spell is cast the magic user causes a stationary area of static electrical energy to come into being. All beings or creatures in the area of effect will be affected by the energy contained in the field. This will include the caster and any party members if they are in the field when created or if they enter into it.

The field will affect creatures based on the amount of metal they have on their body. If they are wielding weapons made of metal will also determine how they are affected. The affected creatures will take on hit dice of damage plus one point per level of the caster while in the area of effect. The victim is entitled to a save and if made they only suffer half damage for that round. The type of damage per armor is below. Victims wielding a metal weapon take damage at the next highest level of damage.

Cloth or Leather Armor: d6
Metal Armor (except plate) :d8
Plate Armor: d10
Plate Armor (plus Weapon): d12

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.

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