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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Age of Empire, Gaze Reflection


Age of Empire is a game I picked up somewhere but for the life of me I can not  remember where. I know I have been fascinated with the Victorian setting for  games. I thought that the era with it being one of exploration and discovery  made it ripe with ideas for adventure. I had thought of it as strictly in a  "modern" setting though.

Age of Empire and Castle Falkenstine before it opened up whole new avenues of  adventure for me to consider. I am afraid that there has only been avenues for  me to explore in my head to this point with Age of Empire. The groups I have  been able to play with since discovering these were interested in strictly fantasy or science fiction gaming. I have to make a point of finding a pick up  game of this at a convention some time.

Not having played this I can't give it the proper review that it deserves but I  wanted to write a little about it. This sets itself apart from Castle  Falkenstine by being a game that adds fantasy the Victorian world and not adding  Victorian elements to a fantasy setting. The differences may seem small but in  game terms it will make a difference in the way the games play.

The system seems fairly straight forward and lean. I think it is a game that  would be easy for players and the DM to pick up and be playing fairly quickly. I  have said before that I favor less complex games as I think that rules often  inhibit role playing. The game uses dice as opposed to the card based mechanics  of Castle Falkenstine which will help make it seem less foreign.

I understand that the game may be harder to find than others though. To begin  with it was released by a smaller company who was later bought and then that  company discontinued the line. There was apparently also some issues with the  name and it being thought to infringe on the Microsoft Age of Empires computer  games. In the end though I know I see this periodically on eBay and have seen it  in used book stores. I would say that if you are a fan of Castle Falkenstine but  have found yourself thinking why not just make it set in the Victorian era this  is the answer for you.

Published: 1995
Pages: 108

From the back cover:

In the Age of Empire, the players take part in creating tales of adventure and  fantasy in the Victorian Age. From the gas-lit, fog enshrouded streets of London  to the wilds of the American west, from the depths of Africa to the hidden  treasures of the Orient, the world of the late 1800's teemed with the intrigue  and excitement of the real world. Age of Empire takes the Victorian setting and  turns it on it's ear. Adding to the mix all manner of fantasy trappings, secret  societies, bizarre technology, alien invasion, criminal masterminds etc.



Spell:

Gaze Reflection


Level: Fourth
Range: 6"
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Area of Effect: 1 Creature/Level
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When cast by the magic user this spell will bestow a immunity to attacks that  are based on gaze. In addition to this the spell will also allow the attack to  be reflected back on the attacker.

While under this spell gaze based attacks such as that of a Medusa will not  affect the intended victim. The intended target should still make a saving throw  versus the attack though. If the saving throw fails then nothing will happen  other than the intended victim being unaffected. If the save is made then the  attack is reflected and the attacker will need to make a save, albeit at a +2,  or be affected by the spell.

The material component of this spell is a small silvered mirror. The mirror is  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.

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