Friday, January 20, 2012
AEG - Guilds, Mirror Universe
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:
Benefits of a Guild
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.
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
PC-owned fantasy guilds
Complete rules for creating your own guilds, from the ground up
Area of Effect: One Mirror
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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