"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

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ninja Wars, Faithful Guardian

When Oriental Adventures came out it was something that I took an  immediate like to. I think it was it's difference from the then  standard fantasy flavor. It was so different that it  reinvigorated by desire for the game and desire to play. Sadly  life situations at that time squashed that. Nothing bad just  friends moving away and me getting involved with a more rowdy  crowd.

I was only able to play a few sessions using the setting and by  the time I was back to a place where playing was something that I  had time to do and a group that was interested in playing  this  had faded from memory. I still have never been able to give the  setting the attention I wish I had been able to. I hope to some  day find a time to run an oriental based campaign.

I think that the oriental setting seems to support role playing  much more than what the traditional western setting does. I  attribute this to the nature of honor being important and there  being a strong need to adhere to protocol and appearance. I like  killing monsters and accumulating treasure as much as the next  gamer but it is role and not roll playing after all.

Ninja Wars is a module I really enjoy the idea behind. It  involves all the things that I think make up a good adventure.  There is a good mixture of opportunities to both role play both  combat problem solve. The module will also require the adventures  to figure out a fairly involved plot line for a module.

The module is 96 pages long but it concludes in just over the  first half of that. There are a fair number of plot hooks  included though the module calls them mini-adventures I think  they fall somewhere between both.

The module also includes a detailed section on the NPCs that the  layers might encounter in the adventure. The module goes into more  detail than a stat block and three or four sentences on then  important ones. It provides enough information that the DM will  ot have to wing many of the things that might normally have to  when the players ask questions.

The module also includes something that you normally will not  find in a module. It has a two page section on generating random  encounters. These are not encounters specific to the adventure  which makes it sort of different. The tables they provide though  general could be used as a template for almost any setting. I am  not going to say it is a great set of tables but it is passable.

The final section of the module is a series of I think five much  more detailed adventures. These again fall somewhere in between  what I would call a mini-adventure and something you would find  in a module. Some of them are more detailed than others and some  are better than others but it is still a nice inclusion.

In going over this module again I find myself wondering if this  was not something that ended up being cobbled together from a  number of different planned projects. The other option is that it  was a start of a another setting. It may just be me though. I  think this would be a great module for any DM to have and say buy  it if you can find it.

Published: 1990
Pages: 96

From the back cover:

"Behold The Shining Temple of Bishamon!

Located above the city of Aru on the island nation of Wa, this  shrine is the focus of a great pilgrimage. Every year, thousands  of people travel here to celebrate the Ceremony of the Three  Thousand Steps. For townsfolk and travelers alike, it is a time  of great celebrations and revelry.

For Benju Matsutomo, Daimyo of Aru, it is a time of worry and  concern. Something is wrong this year. A political rival has  hired a clan of ninja to disrupt the pilgrimage and disgrace  Matsutomo. But the daimyo has his own ninja, and just to be safe,  he decides to hire a party of adventurers to make sure everything  runs smoothly.

Of course, it doesn't...


Faithful Guardian

Level: Fifth
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 6 Turns
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user is able to turn a  currently friendly animal into much more. The animal will become  an animal guardian of the casters tower, stronghold or base of  operations.

The spell will grant the animal an increased intelligence raising  it to that of an average human. The guardian will also have it's  hit points increased by the an amount equal to the caster  intelligence. The guardian is close to a familiar in what it does  but is less and more at the same time. It is possible for the  caster to have only one guardian at a time.

The guardian must stay at the caster's base of operations where  the spell must be cast. It is possible for them to go other  places but the effects of the spell will be canceled while they  are away. If the guardian is away from the location for more than  one day per point of intelligence the caster has the spell will be  broken. The caster must wait a period of time equal to their  level in months before the spell can be cast on a new guardian.

As long as the guardian is at the caster's base of operations  then it will have other abilities besides the increased  intelligence. While there is will not require food or water and  will have it's aging process halted at the point where the spell  was cast. It will also gain the ability to speak but only the  caster will understand it. The guardian will also gain the  ability to regenerate health at the rate on one hit point per  round.

The caster will have some options available to them as well. They will immediately know if the guardians life is in danger or if  they were to die. The caster will be able to contact the guardian  up to three times per day and ask for an update. The update can  be up to two rounds in duration. Finally once per day the caster  can connect with the guardian and see what they see and hear for  a period equal to their intelligence in rounds.

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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