"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

Friday, January 20, 2012

AEG - Guilds, Mirror Universe

Guilds is an AEG book that I have mixed feelings about. I am a  fan of it but I know that I can sometimes fall into a place where  I like to be a little too manipulative and control the plot of  the campaign. I know this is something that is needed but not  always wanted and perhaps not to the intent I like to take it  sometimes. Guilds allows the GM another great avenue to input  plot devices and control the players in some fashion.

The book is going to be very dry for most DMs in mu humble  opinion. Most players will also not see the implementation of  Guilds in a fashionable manner. I think it adds a layer of  realism and also an increased role playing potential. This can  sometimes split a party though. I recall a group with two  distinct camps where one group loved to role play almost  everything and the others half or so wanted nothing to do with  bartering in a city.

The book does exactly what it's name would suggest that it does.  It lays out the idea of guilds in a fantasy campaign in great  detail. It goes over this in such a way that I think it would  serve as a great reference to a fantasy writer who was going to  implement guilds in a piece of fiction. After reading it for the  first time I could even see a book written just about the guild  from the ground up. I think it would be a mash up of the Gord  series, Beckett and Pillars of the Earth from the perspective of  the organization. I can even hear "the Guild" as a narrator.

The book has five chapters and then an appendix. This book saves  the prestige classes for the last chapter as opposed to leading  off with them though they are still there. In the premise of  reference material for fiction I found this somewhat more  palatable. The chapters are as follows:

Guild Basics
Benefits of a Guild
Guild Creation/Operation
Sample Guilds
DMing Guilds
Appendix: Sample Contacts and Adventure Ideas

The first three chapters are the driest portion of the book but  even these are useful and informative. In addition to information  on the guild just reading these section gives the DM some ideas  on plot ideas even if the guilds are not used directly. The  second chapter is the one that would be of most interest to  players. It includes new spells, feats and equipment.

The fourth section was the one I found the most useful and  enjoyed the most. The DM can take any of these guilds and drop  them right into any campaign with only minor work. This section  gives the DM a Guild Stat Block which they can work from to easily create a high level overview of a guild.

Chapter five even with the prestige classes was good. It gives a lot of solid ideas and examples on adventures that can be used  with the implementation of guilds. The sections covering the  maintenance of a PD operated guild will be of great use if that  were to ever happen in a campaign. Some of the information could  even be adapted to other PC operated ventures.

The appendix may actually be the gem of the book though. Anytime  I can get a collection of premade and well described NPCs I am  going to be a happy camper. In addition to the NPCs there is also  a list of 100 plot hooks or adventure threads for the DM to use.  This is to a large extent something that could be sued even if  the players are not guild members or there is extensive use of  the other information in the book.

The book may not be for everyone but if you like the idea of  Guilds it will be essential or close to it. If you want to add  something that can either direct the characters or give them  direction a Guild might be an option that goes beyond quests or  adventures. It is very much like kingdom management on a smaller  scale. As with most of the AEG books the information is system  specific but can be worked into system neutrality. I am glad I own this one and think if it can be picked up at the right price  most would appreciate it.


Published: 2004
Pages: 160

From the publisher:

It's not what you know. It's who you know. Add more detail and  flavor to your d20 fantasy games with Guilds, a book that  introduces arcane orders, fraternal brotherhoods, secret  conspiracies, and other organizations. Member characters can  receive training, material support, and social connections.  Guilds introduces a new concept to the d20 system: chapters. A  chapter is a social institution that pursues a specific goal.  Characters can join chapters that match their aims, gaining  access to training and other resources that improve their  abilities and further customize their talents.

From the back of the book:

This is the key to the city.

Inside this 128-page book you’ll find rules for creating guilds  of all detail levels and how to manage fantasy economics. Inside,  you’ll find adventures for PCs as members of guilds, rules for  PCs becoming guild masters, and the benefits gleaned from guild  membership. This is not a rigid system locking in your  creativity. It’s loaded with advice, components for various  guilds, and detailed examples for creating a guild for any craft,  profession, class or interest you can imagine!

The hammer and the anvil are one.

New prestige classes
New feats and spells tailored to specific guilds
Six fully defined guilds and over a dozen class guilds
Guild NPCs and plot threads
New equipment
PC-owned fantasy guilds
Complete rules for creating your own guilds, from the ground up




Spell:

Mirror Universe


Level: Seventh
Range: 6"
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: One Mirror
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 8 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user converts a standard non  magical mirror into a magical portal. The mirror allows the  caster and in some cases others to enter a different dimension.

The dimension that is enters is actually not a mirror universe  but a pocket mirror universe. The entirety of the universe that  is enters is what is visible in the mirror when the spell is  cast. Entering that universe through the mirror gives access to  anything that is reflected on the mirror. Items inside containers  and such will be there as well. It should be noted that the  mirror in no way reflects those inside or shows what they are  doing. 

While in the mirror those inside will not age or suffer any  harmful effects from spells or any other ill effects from the  actions while in the mirror. Those inside will not need to eat,  drink or sleep while in the mirror. The caster can normally only  bring themselves through the mirror. If they have an intelligence  in excess of 19 they can bring one person per point in excess of  19 through as well.

Those in the mirror can stay there indefinitely. If the caster  leaves the spell is ended though. It is possible for the caster  to leave and strand any companions. There is a 5% cumulative  chance per day after a period of one week that the magic will  become unstable though. When this happens there are a number of  possible results that can occur. The possible results are below:

25% - Cast into the original plane outside mirror
25% - Cast into the original plane but at a random location
25% - Cast into an alternate plane of existence
15% - Cast into the Astral or Ethereal plane (equal chance)
10% - Trapped in dimension (Wish required to extract)

The material component of this spell is the mirror that the spell  is cast on. While the spell is in effect the mirror will radiate  magic. It is not unheard of for mirrors so enchanted to be  thought of as real magic items and moved to different locations.

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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