"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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Houses of Hermes, Disposable Wealth


In my entire collection (inventoried so far) I have two items from Ars Magica  that I can find. I suspect I have more but just not inventoried yet. I have  never played the game and know very little about it. I am actually surprised I  have anything from it and that I payed as much for this book as I did given I  know nothing about the game. It is packed away in storage so I can't speak to  why I bought it. I can only imagine it has to be amazing for me to pay $9 for a  game I have no interest in playing and have really no knowledge about. It is  possible I payed that much since it was a Wizards of the Coast product at one  point or that I recognized the name Jonathan Tweet. Regardless I am afraid I  can't offer much insight into it. I wish I could say more but I am only posting it because it was next in line in the inventory.


Published: 1994
Pages: 152

From the publisher website:


Learn the Secrets of the Magi

Houses of Hermes describes the twelve houses that compose the Order of Hermes,  their origins, their histories, and their recent actions. It provides important  and dynamic information for players and story guides alike, adding detail and  drama to any Ars Magica saga. It includes:

* A plot connected to each house. Each plot is grand enough to serve as the  focus of your troupe's saga.
* Story ideas for each house, for shorter-term play. These ideas bring the  natures and styles of the various houses to life.
* Sample magi who can serve as the player characters' masters, as non-player  character in your saga, or as models for mid-level magi.
* New spells and abilities representing the houses' differing specialties,  including faerie magic and the special spells of the quaesitoris.
* An in-depth treatment of apprenticeship, from the apprentice's and master's  points of view.
* A record of the Order's history, from ancient times to A.D. 1220, including  the crises that have shaken the Order and the growing threat from mundane  civilization.



From RPGGEEK:

This book was published with an Ars Magica fourth edition logo on the cover.  This logo does not refer to the fourth edition of Ars Magica that was eventually  published by Atlas in late 1996 (two years after Houses of Hermes) but to a  fourth edition that Wizards of the coast had planned to release in 1995.

The game mechanics in Houses of Hermes are completely compatible with third  edition Ars Magica they do not reflect the game mechanics changes that took  place with the release of fourth edition.




Spell:

Disposable Wealth


Level: Second
Range: 6"
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: 2" Sphere
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 2 Rounds
Saving Throw: None

With this spell the magic user is able to convert magical items directly into  coins or at their discretion gems. The amount received will be a small portion  of the actual value of the items.

When the spell is cast the magic user will need to have placed all of the items  they wish to convert into coins all in the same place. The items can not be  piled on top of each other and all of them must fit in a circle whose diameter  is no more than 20'.

When the spell is completed the coins or gems will appear in the middle of the  circle in place of the magical items. Only working magic items will be converted  and for items with charges the value will be a percentage based off of the  remaining charges. After the value is calculated the caster will receive 25% of  that value in money. This amount will be modified by the Reaction Adjustment percentage for the caster's charisma.

The material components of this spell will be the inks and chalks required to  draw the circle the items are to be placed in. This spell can not be cast  without some sort of magical items in the circle of course.

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, February 26, 2012

All the Worlds' Monsters Vol.3, Strength In Numbers


The third volume in the All the Worlds' Monsters line picks up right where the  previous two editions left off. The mixture is hit or miss as is most of the art. This volume adds another 238 monsters to the DMs arsenal. The issues with the combined tables are there as well. This one adds a table  for creatures by location which was absent in the other two but only includes  the entries from this volume.

There was only one printing of this edition where the others had multiple  printings. The introduction to this volume mentions the upcoming fourth volume  and that there would be some delays. To date that delay is either 32 years or just short of it. I still hope it might make it out this year! This issue  includes how to convert the monsters to RuneQuest which had been released  between the previous volume and this one. That might explain the delay in  getting the latest volume released.

As much as I have picked at these I still appreciate them for what they were. In  the early days of the hobby there was not the wealth of information out there  that there is today. There was also no means of sharing as openly and as freely  as there is today via the Internet. Often time we here that it is quality over  quantity but in a case where there may only be one of something then quantity is  king and items like this were few and far between. I may never ever use anything  in them in any game or campaign but having them is a pleasure and reminds me of  how much the things have changed and in some cases not for the better.


Published: 1980
Pages: 112

From the back of the book:

"Now! The long-wanted 3rd volume of the All the Worlds’ Monsters series is  here-112 pages packed with monsters and play-aids. Included are 238 new  monsters, an all-series index, a RuneQuest stats conversion essay by Steve  Perrin, and grouping lists by monster type, level, and appearance. The stats  were created by dungeon masters from across the United States and Canada. Each  monster is rated for hit dice, armor class, movement, whether and how well it  swims and flies, its intelligence range, dexterity, alignment, normal habitat,  the probability of it being present in its lair. by a die roll for number  present, the probability of the presence of treasure and its type, how it  attacks, and a description of general appearance and special characteristics."



Spell:

Strength in Numbers


Level: Fourth
Range: None
Duration: 1 Turn + 2 Rounds/Level
Area of Effect: 3" Radius
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user causes all in the area of effect to be  granted bonuses that they can distribute in any way they desire. The total of  the bonuses granted is based on the number of friendly beings in the area of  effect.

The total of the bonuses granted can not exceed the level of the caster or be  greater than the intelligence of the caster (limit of 18). The bonuses can be  divided anyway the recipient may want with some limitations. A single point must  be applied to each of the possible slots and that no more than four may be  applied to any given slot. The slots for the bonuses are as follows:

To Hit
Damage
Saving Throw
Armor Class
Hit Points
Attributes (one or more)

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, February 25, 2012

All the World's' Monsters Vol. 2, Happenstance


This is volume #2 of All the Worlds' Monsters. There is not much different  (except for the monsters of course of which it says it holds 243) that needs to  be said about this that was not said about volume #1. This is the third printing  where the other was either first or second printing and was loose leaf. I prefer  the bound copies and have a later printing of volume #1 that is bound. I had  forgotten what bad shape this was in though and may need to upgrade it.

The major additions to this are a compiled index of all the monsters from both  volumes. This is nice but I wish it carried over to the Monsters By Level  section. That section only includes monsters from this book and I guess since  that would mean having to have both books present for that but still why have a  "master" index and not "master" tables. This also introduces a section grouping  all of the monsters by type but again only from this book. Sources have stated  that some of these entries originally appeared in The Dungeoneer, Arduin books,  and Alarums & Excursions but I have not been able to confirm that.

The book also includes an official entry sheet for submitting monsters for the  next volume of the book. I am not sure if the idea of an OSR version of such a  product has come up or not. I am sure that there are thousands of monsters that  have all been created by budding DMs old and new since these books were printed.  This might be a fun little project to see. I am thinking if no one picks this up  and runs with it...or tells me you idiot it's  already been done...I might take  a stab at it some day. We could call it All the Web's Monsters. I would hope  that if someone beats me to it that this would be done OSR style which I think  could very well stand for Open Source Rules (or Roleplaying) and be a product  that was published for free.

Published: 1980
Pages: 106

From the back of the book (3rd Printing):

"In its third printing, volume II of the ALL THE WORLD'S MONSTERS series  contains 243 creatures from literature, fantasy, and nightmare. Included is a  conversion article by Ken St. Andre for "TUNNELS & TROLLS", and Steve Perrin's  historic "Conventions". Created by 54 DMs from across North America, each  monster is rated for hit dice, armor class, movement, whether or how well it  swims or flies, its intelligence range, dexterity, alignment, normal habitat,  the average times it's found in its lair, the die roll for the number present of  the type, any probable treasure and type, how the being attacks, and a  description of general appearance and special characteristics."



Spell:

Happenstance


Level: Fifth
Range: 12"
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: Special
Components: V,S
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: None

With the casting of this spell the magic user causes the things to occur just as  they would like them to. This spell is very similar in nature to a Limited Wish  spell but much less powerful.

The magic of this spell will not alter reality in anyway. The spell allows the  caster to describe a sequence of events that cannot involve bringing items that  do not already exist into the events. The events must occur within the area of  effect of the spell. The area of effect will be limited to ten yards per point  of intelligence of the caster.

Provided the description falls within the bounds of what the DM is willing to  allow then it will happen and should happen without any of the twists that are  often the case with wish spells. If the described events do not fall within the  allowance of the DM then the events will come as close to what is deemed  possible by the DM again with no intentional intent to twist the desire of the  caster.

The casting of this spell though not nearly as powerful as a wish will still tax  the body of the caster. The casting of the spell will have a 20% cumulative  chance of aging the caster by one year. If they age or not the caster will be  greatly drained and their constitution will suffer a loss of four points until  they have spent a full nights rest.

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, February 24, 2012

All the World's Monsters, Anarchy


The early days of roleplaying were a time where everything was new and so  expectations were perhaps a little lower than what they are today. That may in  and of itself be a more than slight understatement. Many of the products there  were released in the early days of the hobby leave a little bit to be desired.  This is true of today's item maybe more so than most.

All the World's Monsters which was released by Chaosium in 1977 is something  that most of us would not even give the time of day to if it were a new product.  The premise is a solid one as who dies not want more monsters to throw at their  players. It is the delivery and in some cases the product where it would fall  apart in today's market but in 1977 it was most likely the bee's knees.

The idea behind the product was that Chaosium had players and DMs send in  monsters they had created and then they would be compiled into published books.  Later printings suggest that there were over 50,000 submissions. The first volume  has 265 entices in it. These range from monsters that have appeared elsewhere, to  one I would use to ones you just wonder how they were conceived and under what  conditions. The monsters and the product are intended to be generic but would  work with D&D and the statistics offered seem to support that.

A concern for me with the books has always been the presentation method. Entries  may not be broken up as one per column and if not then they are separated with  just *****. This makes it hard to determine where one entry ends and the new one  begins. This is further aggravated by the fact that the font used is the same  for everything and that it is all done in uppercase. I am sure that this is a  result of the era and not in poor layout skills but it is still a distraction.

The art used in the book varies as well from things that were common for  products of companies other than TSR at the time. I have always felt that one of  the strengths of TSR and what may have helped boost D&D to become the dominant  game in the genre was the art they used in their products. The first edition  Monster Manual was so far ahead of most anything else published in its day it is  amazing. Much of the art in this product is similar in feel to that for some  early Judges Guild products. Some is better but more than that is on the lower  end of the scale.

The creatures themselves run the gambit as well as I mentioned earlier. One of  the things that caught my attention is that the submissions come from some names  that are now in the pantheon of early gamers. Names you see in here include of  course Perrin but also Bigglestone, Marsh and Hargrave. Oddly enough even giants  in the industry apparently came up with some ill conceived creatures.

The book is indexed which is nice. It breaks the included creatures down by the  level of the creature. The book then also includes a random table to roll  against for creature placement in a dungeon level up to a tenth level dungeon.  Since not all of the creatures in the book are dungeon based this does not  always work but it is the thought that counts. The book also includes the  "Henderson Monster Creation Table" which allows for random monster creation.  This much like the random tables in the back of the DM guide will allow for some  bizarre beasts.

All the World's Monsters is one of those pieces of early gaming material that  are worth having regardless of how useful it may be in today's gaming  environment. There have been up to three printings of this volume and you can  still find it today as PDF files. I would suggest buying a copy if you can ever  find one and if you want to check one out on the less expensive side the PDF  route is worth taking.

Published: 1977
Pages: 112

From the back of the book:

"This book is an encyclopedia of the strange, the bizarre, and the deadly. It  contains complete statistics for 265 monstrous and dangerous creatures, created  by dungeon masters across the United States and Canada. Each monster is rated  for hit dice, armor class, movement, whether and how well it swims and flies,  its intelligence range, dexterity, alignment, normal habitat, the probability of  it being present in its lair, by a die roll for number present, the probability  of the presence of treasure and its type, how it attacks, and a description of  general appearance and special characteristics."



Spell:

Anarchy


Level: Fifth
Range: 12"
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: 6" Radius Sphere
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 5 Segments
Saving Throw: Negates

When this spell is cast the magic user causes all in the area of effect to become susceptible to a field of chaotic energy that fills the area of effect. Those  who fail their save lose all control as well as become hostile.

Those who fail their saving throw will begin attacking the next closest creature  regardless of who or what it is. They will continue to do this until either that  target is dead or if the target flees as they pursue it another one becomes  closer. This will continue on until there are no available targets.

The effect of the field will persist even outside the field and can be  transferred to those not in the field initially. When attacked a creature has a  chance to become affected. All creatures are entitled to a saving throw and if  made once they will not need to roll again. The saving throw will be adjusted by  the alignment of the caster. Creatures of a Chaotic alignment will save at -4  while those of a Lawful alignment will save at +4.

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, February 23, 2012

All the King's Men, Rightful Owner


All the King's Men is a murder mystery. Many times these types of modules are  written for lower level characters. This module is written for characters of  seventh to ninth level which opens up the material that can be included.

The premise is pretty straight forward. The acting troupe known as The King's  Men are accused of murdering the archbishop who is well known for his dislike of  actors. The setting is very much a fantasy London and the them of the module is  Shakespearean even to the point that the theater when the performances occur are  the Orb Theater.

The module is written so as to be very non linear even presenting the DM with  two different hooks that can be used to pull the characters into the story.  After these all of the other events (called episodes) can be run in whatever  order the players end up getting to them.

The module has enough combat to make it something that won't bore the players  who like to roll dice. The real charm of the module is the level of role playing  that will be required to make it work. The module is stocked with well written  NPCs that will test the ability of the DM to role play. The story itself is well  done with a plot rich in twists and turns that will make the detective portion  fun as well. The module is also ripe with puns that will be painful to those who  do not like a bad one.

I think the fact that the module is written for higher level characters and is  written in such a way that it is generic enough to let it drop into most any  campaign is a huger set of selling points for the module. By the time characters  reach the levels the module are for they will most likely be thinking about  settling down. What a great means on introduction for a possible kingdom for  them to become involved in.

Published: 2002
Pages: 48

From the back cover:

Alas,poor Yorrick!

Filled with bizarre characters, twisted plots, and a macabre sense of humor, All  the King's Men takes the PCs on a wild romp through the dark underbelly of  Hamdon, a fantasy version of renaissance London. When the archbishop turns up  dead at the production of the latest play, the acting troupe known as The King's  Men is accused of murder. It's up to the PCs to track down the killer and prove  the actors' innocence. But not everything is as it seems in the world of acts  and actors.




Spell:

Rightful Owner


Level: Fourth
Range: Touch
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: One Item
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Rounds
Saving Throw: None

By means of this spell the magic user will cause any item to return to its  rightful owner. The spell will require that the item be accompanied to make this  possible though.

When the spell is cast the item that the spell is cast on will become invisible  and levitate. It will then begin to head in the direction of it's rightful  owner. The caster will need to follow the item once this begins. At no point in  time can the item be out of line of sight of the caster. Once the item is within  hte line of sight of its owner it will become visible again.

The item will continue to be invisible and levitate as long as it is in line of  sight and making some progress towards the owner. If there is ever a period of  time where caster falters in their attempt to return the item then it will  immediately return back to its point of origin and the spell is broken. For this  to occur then the caster will have had to have spent more than ten turns doing  something not related to or a result of trying to get the item to the owner.  Time spent resting overnight will not count as time not progressing.

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, February 19, 2012

Aliens:Colonial Marines Technical Manual, Mirror Walk


Way back in 1975 I think I got an allowance of $2 a week. We were living in Virgina at the time and there was an Italian restaurant we went to once a month or so. In  the shopping center where the restaurant was there was also a small book store.  I can't remember the name of either but I recall two books in there. One was the  Star Fleet Technical Manual and the Star Trek Concordance. Combined I think they  were $14 and change. This is the first time I can ever remember saving money to  buy something. I mention this for reference to the Technical Manual and the fact that it took me back there for just a minute.

Now onto the item at hand. This review is not of actual gaming material but is so close I thought it OK. The Aliens technical manual is very much in line with  the Star Fleet as far as what it is. The book is not connected with any role  playing game but I could not imagine playing the Leading Edge Aliens game  without a copy of this nearby. It is written as if it were a real world book  with no gaming content what so ever.

Unlike most if not all of the newer books of this sort and like the Star Fleet  manual this is a book filled with substance over style. The book features many  line drawings and a fair number of illustration and a smattering of photos from  the movie but in the end it is most likely 50% to 60% text. That may not sound  like much but if you look at books of s similar nature for more recent movies  the ratio is painfully lower and there are mostly color images to add flash  making up for a lack of substance.

Though it contains material specific to the Aliens universe much of the material  would also work in a "low tech" space opera type of game. This is not the stuff  of ST:TOS but in a grittier space type of game it would work well. It is perhaps  too gritty for most of the games but there is information that is less gritty  than others. I think much of the information presented here would be in line with the technology level presented in Avatar or close to it.

In th e end I think the book is worth buying for some people. If you don't mind  reading what is close to an entry level or slightly above text book or perhaps  an actual military manual then this is for you. If you want something with  actual game type statistics or a book you can simply flip through and get visual  inspiration then it is not for you. For me it is worth it just for the  similarity to the old Star Trek Technical Manual.

Published: 1996
Pages: 160


From the back cover:

The ALIENS COLONIAL MARINES TECHNICAL MANUAL is your official guide to the  equipment and organisation (their spelling not mine) of the United States Colonial Marine Corps. Packed  with never-before-published diagrams, technical schematics and plans, the manual  takes a detailed look at the guns, vehicles and ships of the USCMC, and the men  and women who use them.

Description from Wayne's Books:

"An official guide to the technology of the United States Colonial Marines  shares detailed diagrams and technical schematics; a close-up look at the guns,  vehicles, and ships of the USCMC; and a hypothesis of what could have gone wrong  on the colony planet known as LV-426."



Spell:

Mirror Walk


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: 2 Turns/Level
Area of Effect: One Mirror
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 6 Segments
Saving Throw: None

With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to use a pair of normal  mirrors as travel devices. Both mirrors must be in known locations with the  caster being at one of them.

In order to use a mirror on the receiving side the caster must have spent an  extended period of game time using the mirror. The minimum period of time for  safety purposes is 10 rounds. The caster must have spent that entire time simply  looking at their own reflection. If less time is spent than this there is a 10%  cumulative chance that the caster will be lost on the astral plane when they try  to use the spell.

If the spell is successful then the caster will emerge from the specified mirror  and along with any inanimate objects they were carrying. Only the caster will be  able to use the mirror for movement purposes. Once on the receiving side the  caster will have until the spell expires to use the mirror on that side to  return through the mirror on the departure side. The return trip does not have  the same viewing requirement as the original.

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, February 18, 2012

Alice Through the Mirrorshades, Chaotic Arcana



Paranoia is one of the games I have always liked from the moment I played it. I  have said before it takes a special group of players to have any sort of fun  with it. Given the very idea that all of the players have their own agenda in  addition to the overall agenda of the adventure can make for a stressful  situation if there are any underlying animosities in the group.

Alice Through the Mirrorshades is the first in a trilogy of modules that take  place after the Iceman Returneth. The module plays off the results of that  module and tries to remedy the situation. The premise is that a group of  troubleshooters will be sent back in time to makes changes in history to prevent  the crash.

This module has often been spoken ill of for some reason in may reviews I have  seen in the past. I myself don't find it to be a bad idea and if you are playing  Paranoia you should have come to expect silly by now. We have a module that  mashes up Alice in Wonderland with 12 Monkeys though it was published long  before 12 Monkeys. I have to wonder if the author of the module had seen Le Jetee?

The module is also one that allows for crossover with Cyberpunk characters since  there is an element of time travel involved. There are NPCs for that system  included if the GM does not have the game and the module includes advice on how  to translate the systems for characters.

I would say that if you can handle your adventures light of heart and a little  silly then this would work for you. If you are not a fan of silly then why are  you playing Paranoia anyway? This is for the second edition of Paranoia but I  think players of any edition would appreciate it. Why is there no Paranoia love  in the OSR?

Published: 1989
Pages: 40

From the back cover:


Help us, Troubleshooters... You're our only hope!

The Computer has crashed ... and that puts a lot of High Programmers out of  work. Rather than stand for the ignominy of the welfare lines (not to mention to  avoid a chainsaw haircut at the hands of disgruntled Infrareds), the High  Programmers conceive a desperate plan: retroactively prevent the crash by  traveling back in time to execute the man responsible. The success of the plan  hinges on a squad of six crack Troubleshooters - the Vulture Warriors of  Dimension X.

Which only goes to show how desperate the High Programmers really are. 




Spell:

Chaotic Arcana


Level: Fifth
Range: None
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: Caster
Components: V
Casting Time: One Segment
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user is able to reset the number of spells  that they can cast for the day. The spell is random in nature and the power does  come with a cost in the way of spells.

When this spell is cast the magic user loses all of the remaining spells that  they have memorized and will have them replaced with all new ones. The spell  replaces can replenish all off available spell slots though more often than not  this will not be the case.

The spells that replace the forgotten ones will be chosen totally at random from  the spells that the caster knows for each of the levels that have spells  replenished. The caster will in no way be able to determine what spells are used.  There can be no duplication of spells though so they won't get five Find  Familiars but they won't get five Magic Missiles either.

The spell has a 25% percent chance to restore all of the spells just as if the  caster had just fully memorized their allotment for the day. There are other  possible outcomes as well though. The chart for this is as follows based on the  roll of a d4:

1 - Cater gains their full compliment of spells for each level
2 - Caster gains no first level spells
3 - Caster gains no spells of the highest level they know
4 - Caster Gains one less spell than normal for each level

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, February 17, 2012

Heroes Magazine #8, Honor Amongst Thieves


When last I wrote about issue #7 I suggested that the issues began falling apart after that one. I had forgotten about this issue. It is very much the  calm before the storm of decline. This issue comes close to the very early  issues in the level of content. It is not as good but it is better than the the  previous and even issue #5 if you take out the city insert.

The issue has a number of articles that are Powers & Perils related which is a  nice after a long run of RuneQuest heavy issues. Not that there is anything  wrong with RuneQuest it is just that mixing it up is nice. The articles on the  Sea of Tears and Shadow Magic are particularly interesting and would be things  that could be incorporated easily into other systems by a GM if desired.

The issue also features an article for Lords of Creation. The article deals with  Dragonslayers and provides statistics for them. It also provides information on  the various dragons that they slew to earn the moniker of Dragonslayer. There  are also some RuneQuest specific portions which include a new and expanded  character sheet. I can't recall what the previous one looked like so I can't  speak to how "expanded" it was.

The Powers & Perils articles make the issue but the articles for other game  system are worth reading as well. The magazines can be found cheap so I would  pick them up just for reference material if nothing else.There aren't too many  more after this one.


Published: 1986
Pages: 48

Contents:

- "Expanded RuneQuest Character Sheet" by John T. Sapienza, Jr.
- "Fatigue and Damage Changes for RuneQuest" by Jonathan Tweet
- "A New Look at Sorcery" (RuneQuest) by B. L. Humphreys
- "Dragonslayers" (Lords of Creation) by William Wilson Goodson Jr.
- "The Sea of Tears" (Powers & Perils) by Richard Snider
- "The Priesthood" (Powers & Perils) by Richard Snider
- "New Skills for Powers & Perils) by Richard Snider
- "Shadow Magic" (Powers & Perils) by Richard Snider
- "Talents for RuneQuest" by Andrew Scott MacKenzie
- "Is Your Character Normal? (Conforming P&P Characters to Their Land)" by Mike  Olson
- "Tips for Tyrants: Imperial Tactics for Freedom in the Galaxy" by Trevor L.  Bynum
- "GM Friends" (RuneQuest) by Jonathan Tweet
- "Shield Law" (RuneQuest) by Morgan Woodward
- "Details, Details" by Craig Barrett




Spell:

Honor Amongst Thieves


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: None
Area of Effect: 6" Radius
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

When this spell is cast the magic user causes all in the area of effect to  suffer damage. The amount of damage suffered will be determined by each victims  lack of dexterity.

When the spell is cast DM will need to determine the Dexterity score of all in  the area of effect. Each affected individual will then suffer damage based on  their Dexterity score subtracted from 18. The damage will be equal to that  number plus a d6 for each point of difference as well. The victim is entitled to  a saving throw versus the d6 damage and if successful suffers half damage.

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, February 13, 2012

Heroes Magazine #7, Stomach Through It


Heroes #7 begins the second volume of the magazine. For those not familiar with  the magazine I will spoil this for you. The magazine will not finish this  volume. This issue of the magazine is the last one before you really start to  see that things were going south fast.

This issue is not one that has a lot of value unless you are a fan of RuneQuest.  This does not mean that it does not have value for those not playing RuneQuest  but most of the issue is dedicated to the flagship of Avalon Hill games. This  issue seemed like the magazine transitioned from a Dragon type of magazine to a  Dungeon type of magazine. There was also a problem with the issue and it not  having everything that it said it would in the table of contents.

The adventures are all good and these can always be converted. There are two  larger adventures designed for RuneQuest and then a shorter one designed for  Powers & Perils. The other item of note was a good article for RuneQuest on a a  new clan called the Ostrich Clan. This may not be to everyone liking but I found  it had a few points that I could borrow for use elsewhere.

This may have been the weakest of the issues so far as there was not much here  other than the items I noted. Even the items that had become standard fare such  as the discussion on James Bond were not present in this issue. There also  appears to have been a missed year in publication as the others were 1984 and  this jumps to 1986. It is still worth buying as you should be able to pick it up  cheap.

Published: 1986
Pages: 48

Contents:

- "The Ostrich Clan: Animal Nomad Tribe of Prax" (RuneQuest) by Mike Dawson
- "Journey to Falderbash: A RuneQuest Adventure" by Bill Williamson
- "Gruug's Cave: A RuneQuest Adventure" by Alan LaVergne
- "Three Quests for Curses: A Powers & Perils Adventure" by Mike Olson
- "RuneQuest Hit Points" by John T. Sapienza, Jr.

Listed in the Table of Contents but not appearing were

    Heroes Etcetera by Morgan Woodward & Jonathan Tweet
    Expanded RuneQuest Character Sheet by John T. Sapienza, Jr.




Spell:

Stomach Through It


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: None
Area of Effect: 6" Radius
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

When this spell is cast the magic user causes all in the area of effect to  suffer damage. The amount of damage suffered will be determined by each victims  lack of constitution.

When the spell is cast DM will need to determine the Constitution score of all  in the area of effect. Each affected individual will then suffer damage based on  their Constitution score subtracted from 18. The damage will be equal to that  number plus a d6 for each point of difference as well. The victim is entitled to  a saving throw versus the d6 damage and if successful suffers half damage.

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, February 11, 2012

Heroes Magazine #6, Discretion Is Valor


Having written about issue #5 earlier my attention today will be on issue #6.  This is the final issue of the first volume of the magazine. The overall value  of the magazine seems to fluctuate up and down more so than perhaps Dragon  magazine did at that time. This is very subjective though and to the gamers that  played the Avalon Hill games specifically RuneQuest this may not be the case.

The major reason to pick up this issue will again be RuneQuest related. There is  an adventure that is included in the magazine that can be used for RuneQuest or  with a little work could be adapted to another game. The real gem of the  magazine is the setting of Fonrit. The setting is where the included adventure  takes place but oddly enough is not located on the Fonrit map.

The issue continues the History of the Lunar Empire series which is a good read  and will provide the DM with some ideas to incorporate into their campaign if  desired. The other RuneQuest item of note should have been the Gods of Glorantha  preview except is was just a calendar and the calendar in RuneQuest is pretty  simple. The art included between the seasons were nice though. I did not recall  them from Gods of Glorantha and will have to find my copy of that to make sure  they were included.

There are a few other articles of interest including a very lengthy write up on  Dragon Pass and then a shorter offering for Dune. The issue is worth picking up  just on the strength of the Fonrit offering in my opinion though.


Published: 1984
Pages: 48

Contents:

- "History of the Lunar Empire: The Fifth (or Hone-eel's) Wane" by Greg Stafford
- "Advancing the Game: Commentary of Expanding the James Bond Rules" by Robert  Kern
- "Dragon Pass: Mastering the Unique and the Strange" (RuneQuest) by Brett  Murrell
- "New Skills for RuneQuest" by Greg Stafford and Sandy Petersen
- "The Big Hit: A RuneQuest Scenario" by Sandy Petersen
- "Preview of Gods of Glorantha: Gloranthan Calendar" (uncredited)
- "The Land of Fonrit" (RuneQuest) by Greg Stafford and Sandy Petersen
- "RuneQuestions" by the Chaosium staff
- "Nordic Magic and Madness" (RuneQuest Vikings) (uncredited)
- "The Winds of War Coriolis Style" (Dune boardgame) by Tom Snider
- "From Magic Markers to Mystic Tape" by Nick Smith
- "The Care and Feeding of Hungry Villains" by Criag Barrett
- "Simple Combat for RuneQuest" by Steve Marsh
- "A Matter of Gravity" (Lords of Creation) by William Goodson
- "Gaming My Way: Instant Cures for Campaign Crashes" by Quentin Long




Spell:

Discretion Is Valor


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: None
Area of Effect: 6" Radius
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

When this spell is cast the magic user causes all in the area of effect to  suffer damage. The amount of damage suffered will be determined by each victims  lack of wisdom.

When the spell is cast DM will need to determine the Wisdom score of all in the  area of effect. Each affected individual will then suffer damage based on their  Wisdom score subtracted from 18. The damage will be equal to that number plus a  d6 for each point of difference as well. The victim is entitled to a saving  throw versus the d6 damage and if successful suffers half damage.

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, February 10, 2012

Heroes Magazine #4, Twas Beauty


Next in the ongoing look at Heroes magazine is issue #4. This issue stepped the  game up again from the dip I suggested that occurred in the third issue. This  issue is still not up to the same level as the first two issues but it does have  good material in it. The material is still all Avalon Hill specific but it can  be used as is for those games, converted or used as inspirational material.

Glorantha is a setting that I have always held in high regard and it may be, my  conjecture only, the longest running continuous retail setting out there. That is  just my supposition though and if anyone knows for sure it would be great to  hear about the validity of that statement.

I mention Glorantha because the two best portions of this article are RuneQuest  related. The first is a write up on three deities from Glorantha. This is  apparently the first time these have appeared as official material but may not  be the only place they appear. The other item for RuneQuest is "The Wolfrunners"  a scenario written by none other than Sandy Peterson.

The third item that I think is of overall use is the additional material for the  dueling rules for use in Lords of Creation. The previous issue had introduced  the rules and now we are presented with write ups and statistics on some of the  great swordsmen from history and literature for use with those rules. This very  much put me in mind of the Boot Hill article in Dragon that gave numbers for the  great gunfighters. Even without the numbers or use in the dueling rules some of  the information was new to me and was a fun read.

There was another part of the magazine that would be of interest to those that  play Freedom In the Galaxy. This is a board game that I own but it was purchased  in the shrink-wrap so I can't bring myself to open it. This provides a good  overview of the game and some additional material. The other articles in the  magazine are still all good but the highlights are the ones above.

Published: 1984
Pages: 48

Contents:

- "The Coming of the Vikings: A Preview of the Next RuneQuest Product" by Greg  Stafford
- "More Accessories for Agents: The Newest Devices from Q Division" by Greg  Gordon
- "Pirates, Buccaneers & Highwaymen for Lords of Creation Dueling Rules" by Tom  Modvay
- "The Design of Octopussy" by Neil Randall
- "Gods of Glorantha: Orlanth, Hykim & Mikyh" (uncredited)
- "The Wolfrunners: A RuneQuest Scenario" by Sandy Petersen
- "Galactic Freedom: It's What the Emperor Wants, Doesn't He?" (Freedom in the  Galaxy boardgame) by Charles E. Duke
- "Science Fiction for the Wargamer" AH's Freedom in the Galaxy" by Nicky Palmer
- "A Primer for Combat" (James Bond 007) by Gerry Klug
- "Equal Time for Lycanthropes" by Quentin Long
- "To Challenge the WIzard's Quest" (Wizard's Quest boardgame) by Thomas Boeche
- "Gloranthan Pottery: First Wane" (uncredited)




Spell:

Twas Beauty


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: None
Area of Effect: 6" Radius
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

When this spell is cast the magic user causes all in the area of effect to  suffer damage. The amount of damage suffered will be determined by each victims  lack of comeliness.

When the spell is cast DM will need to determine the Charisma score of all in  the area of effect. Each affected individual will then suffer damage based on  their Charisma subtracted from 18. The damage will be equal to that number plus   a d6 for each point of difference as well. The victim is entitled to a saving  throw versus the d6 damage and if successful suffers half damage.

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, February 8, 2012

Heroes Magazine #3, The Pen Is Mightier


The third issue of Heroes is was a little bit of a let down for me from the  previous two issues. There was a continuation of the ongoing article series on  alien races for Lords of Creation. This has been in all three issues and looking  back this might be something worth review by DMs if they want to expand their  games with different races.

The only real gem in this issue was the Dueling rules for Lords of Creation by  Tom Moldvay. It was presented as a pull out game but I think it could be adapted  for other games. The rules are fairly detailed and since I have not had a chance  to use them I am not sure how much they might slow a game down. They are still  nice to have and it might even be something that could be played as a stand  alone venture as more of a beer and pretzel type of game.

The magazine features a few other articles and though there is nothing that is  terrible there is also nothing that stands out to make me say this is as good an  issue as the other two I have reviewed previously. This is not to say that  another reader may not find a hidden gem for their own uses.


Published: 1984
Pages: 48

Contents:

- "Accessories for Agents: The Newest Devices from Q Division" by Greg Gordon
- "Alienating Yourself--Seven Science Fiction Races for Lords of Creation: Part  Two" by Tom Moldvay
- "Creepy Critters: Insects for RuneQuest" by Sandy Petersen
- "James Bond 007: The History of the Game" by Gerry Klug
- "Careful Character Generation in Powers & Perils" by Richard L. Snider
- "Musketeers, Swashbucklers & Crimson Pirates: Dueling Rules for Lords of  Creation" by Tom Moldvay
- "Adventures in the Forest Primeval: Exploring the Mystic Wood" by Matthew  Pirrone
- "Weapon Masters of the Western Lands" by Richard L. Snider and David Kuijt
- "A Ship for RuneQuest: Waertagi Fastship" by Greg Stafford
- "Too Many Monsters" by Craig Barrett
- "How to S.C.I.M Successfully" (Review of S.C.I.M.M.A.R.S. computer game) by  David Kuijt
- "Gaming My Way" by Quentin Long
- "What's What & Where's Where in Glorantha" by Steve List
- "Worldview: Republican Fallacies" by Hal Heydt




Spell:

The Pen Is Mightier


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: None
Area of Effect: 6" Radius
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

When this spell is cast the magic user causes all in the area of effect to  suffer damage. The amount of damage suffered will be determined by each victims  lack of mental aptitude.

When the spell is cast DM will need to determine the Intelligence score of all  in the area of effect. Each affected individual will then suffer damage based on  their intelligence subtracted from 18. The damage will be equal to that number  plus  a d6 for each point of difference as well. The victim is entitled to a  saving throw versus the d6 damage and if successful suffers half damage.


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, February 5, 2012

Heroes Magazine #2, Might Makes Right


Issue #2 of Heroes magazine picks up right where issue one left off. This issue  features a pair of items that really make it stand out for me though. The first  is the articles on the personalities from Elric. I strongly advise anyone who  has not read the books and will eventually to avoid this. If you do not plan on  picking them up then this will provide you will an understanding of the  characters and for the DM ideas for some great NPCs. This I am also connecting  with the different Elric scenarios which are designed for the Elric game which I  have always felt was an underrated gem.

The largest article in the magazine is the Doom Manor adventure that was written  for Powers & Perils. It consumes almost half of the magazine and is worthy of  that much space. The only problem with the adventure is that it is written for  Powers & Perils which means that most people will never have had the chance to  play it. I think that this adventure is very deserving of a conversion to either  a universal format or better yet some version of D&D prior to 3e. This adventure  alone makes the issue worth picking up.


Published: 1984
Pages: 48

Contents:

- "The Making of Goldfinger, the Roleplaying Adventure" by Robert Kern
- "Alienating Yourself: Science Fiction Races for Lords of Creation: Part One"  by Tom Moldvay
- "History of the Lunar Empire, Part Two: Skyburn and the Coming of the  Conquering Daughter" by Greg Stafford
- "Of Hordes and Heroes: The Personalities of Elric" by Glenn Rahman
- "The White Wolf's Revenge: More Elric Scenarios" by Jeffrey K. Seiken
- "Doom Manor" by Richard L. Snider
- "What Does a Hero Want: A Selection of Artile Topics for Heroes Magazine" by  Heroes staff
- "War Fleets of Glorantha: Or, Cement Ships and Leafy Sails" by Greg Stafford
- "Hero at Work: James Bond 007" by Neil Randall
- "Once More Against the Hun" by David Kuijt




Spell:

Might Makes Right


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: None
Area of Effect: 6" Radius
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

When this spell is cast the magic user causes all in the area of effect to  suffer damage. The amount of damage suffered will be determined by each victims  lack of physical prowess.

When the spell is cast DM will need to determine the Strength score of all in  the area of effect. Each affected individual will then suffer damage based on  their strength subtracted from 18. The damage will be equal to that number plus  a d6 for each point of difference as well. The victim is entitled to a saving  throw versus the d6 damage and if successful suffers half damage.

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, February 4, 2012

Heroes Magazine #1, Command Appearance


I have written about an issue of Heroes magazine before. It was issue #5 and I am not sure why I picked that one over this one. As I have talked about in the past old magazines are like miniature time capsules for me. I love reading one and seeing what was new and hot at the time the magazine was printed. I have a great Science Digest magazine from 1965 with an article by Asimov on life in 1990.

Heroes was the house magazine for Avalon Hill and as a result talks about Avalon Hill products. There are quite a few great Avalon Hill products so this is not a bad thing though it is limiting. Being the first issue there are also some housekeeping issues such as telling potential contributors what to submit.

The magazine starts strong with a pair of articles on the History of the Lunar Empire and A Traveler's Guide to Donara. I have always been more than a little intrigued with the Powers & Perils game. I purchased it when it first came out and could never get a group interested in playing it. The setting for the game seems to be a rich one based on the article on Donara.

The two other highlights for me were the Lords of Creation adventure by Tom Moldvay. I am not sure that I would ever have call to use it. I own Lords of Creation but it is not something that I have ever felt the urge to run. I would love to play it sometime but it is not a game I want to GM. The concept is good but there are others in the genre I would pick first. That being said the adventure reads well and has so many tables to use in other ways. The review of Telengard also intrigued me. Back in 1984 here is a 50 level megadungeon. The review suggests that each level has over 10,000 rooms and hallways. That may be a slight exaggeration but even if it is a tenth of that number I want a map of the beast. The ad for Telengard got me as well. There is something about the map. It is on page 42 if you can find a copy of the magazine.

Overall I have found the Heroes magazine to have well written articles and material I can use even if I don't play the game it is written for. You can find them periodically on eBay and sometimes even in runs which makes it nice. I would suggest picky them up but then I am a magazine freak apparently.


Published: 1894
Pages: 48

Contents:


- "History of the Lunar Empire: Zero Wane" by Greg Stafford
- "A Traveller's Guide to Donara" by Drachir Redins
- "So What's So Great About Powers & Perils" by Richard Snider
- "Amoeba Wars: An Analysis" by Mike Bennighof
- "Survival Run of the Starnomads (A Lords of Creation Adventure)" by Tom Moldvay
- "What Does a Hero Want?: A Selection of Article Topics for Heroes Magazine" by Heroes staff
- "RuneQuest: New Face for an Old Friend" by Greg stafford
- "Down in a Darkling Dungeon (A Review of Telengard)" by Mike O'Brien
- "Dune Scenario: The Ixian Jihad" by Kenneth W. Burke



Spell:

Command Appearance


Level: Third
Range: 9"
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: Negates

When this spell is cast the magic user compels the target creature to assist  them. The sole function of this assistance will be to get them to the base of  operations for the highest "boss" they know of.

The DM will need to determine who the highest ranking official the target of  the spell might know. The spell is also limited in scope to the immediate  location the target is in. The smallest scale would be a dungeon level or  perhaps an entire dungeon. Even if the guard in the town knows the location of  the king 200 miles away he will not take the party there but he might take one  to the mayor or at least the commander of the garrison.

While under the spell the victim can not combat the party. It will take them to  their leader but they do not have to do it in the safest manner though the route  must be basically direct. When the location is reached the target will then turn  around and proceed at the fastest pace possible to the location the spell was  cast at. Once there they are free to act as deemed appropriate.

The spell does not grant any special communication ability with the target of  the spell. The victim will know what they are expected to do though and act  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.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Grimoire - Agone, Prehensility


The final book in the Agone system I have is "The Grimoire: Volume 1". I am not  able to find that there was ever a Volume 2 printed and released in the United  States. I suspect that there may be a French version of the book but can not  state that with 100% certainty. If there isn't then this is a good reason to  never print Volume 1 on a book when you don't already know there will be a  Volume 2.

I have actually read less of this that I have the Gray Papers. This is a book,  as the title would suggest, dealing with Magic. I really do want to dig the book  out of storage or if it is easier just find another copy and give it a good  reading. Since I am not sure I even cracked the book open before I ended up  scanning it and storing it I will have to leave you with simply the information  from the back and the assumption that it will be as good as the other books  written for the Agone system have been.

Published: 2001
Pages: 144

From the back cover:

The Muses are the creators of Harmundia. Since the dawn of time, Concordists  have paid homage to them with their opuses. But today the Concordists are few in  number.

Most mages do not concern themselves with the Magical Arts of Tune, Scansion,  Shape, or Vista. Instead they use the sparks of their Dancers to develop  powerful spells.

But the Enemy draws near, and neither the Cipher-sorcerer order, nor the  Concordists are able to deal with the threat alone. The Arts have been tainted  and the order is corrupted!

There is only one hope... It is time for you to rediscover the Arts of Magic.

The Grimoire Volume 1 contains all the knowledge necessary to complete a  player's understanding of Ciphered Mages and Concordists, as well as additional  information for the Eminence Grise revealing the most powerful secrets of  Harmundia, including the Square and the Cipher-sorcerer.

This sourcebook will disclose the techniques of the most potent mages, numerous  new spells and opuses, the fundamentals of the devastating practice of  Choreography, the methods of artifact creation, and other arcane mysteries  reserved exclusively for the most experienced players.

The Grimoire also describes numerous new assets and faults, and includes  "Requiem for a Dead Mage," a lengthy drama set in Lorgol.




Spell:

Prehensility


Level: Second
Range: 6"
Duration: 1 Turn/Level
Area of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 6 Segments
Saving Throw: None

By means of this spell the magic user is able to give the target of the spell  prehensile appendages. The spell does not add any appendages but modifies the  existing ones.

The recipient of the spell will have the same level of dexterity and range of  motion in the newly prehensile appendages as they do in their hands. This will  allow the recipient to perform action they would normally do with their hands  with their feet should their hands be otherwise occupied or restrained.
The spell will not allow additional attacks with the modified appendages in  combat.

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, February 1, 2012

The Gray Papers - Agone, Delayed Damage


The Gray Papers is a book that I purchased and have not done more that a cursory look over on. The purpose of the book is to help the EG (DM) expand the setting of the Twilight Realms. This is done through three means in the book. The first is by providing a set of guidelines for creating and also evolving a realm. I like the passage from the back of the book "Domains are like mortals...eventually they die". The book also provides a number of realms that have already been designed which can be dropped into a campaign. Finally it provides templates for NPC creation. The book also includes a drama which is always a nice addition.

As I have said Agone is a game I have not had a chance to explore in any great detail but am fascinated with. I think the book sounds like something that could be used even if one is not playing the system though. The creation of what the game calls realms is something I struggle with. Just the examples they provide on the back cover blurb would be enough for me to pick the book up and mine it for ideas. As with the other books I have written about in the system they can be picked up for a song basically so why not roll the dice.


Published: 2001
Pages: 144

From the back cover:

New intrigues abound!

Twin medusae rule together over the land of Scarletstone, yet they are immortal enemies...

Suleïdin's cravan relentlessly hunts Phoenix Flames across the desert of Keshe...

Holy Post is threatened by the menacing shadow of the Liturgicals... And who will stand in the way of the Lyphanian Horde?

Explore ten unique Domains, from Lightning-Dragon crest to the Barony of Arboline. in these exotic locales, players can find many new manifestations of the Masque, and perhaps even a little hope in their ongoing battle.

Domains are like mortals, they come to life, they struggle from day to day, and eventually they die.

The Gray Papers contain secret reports from the eminences grise, who have traveled throughout Harmundia. Herin are detailed a wide variety of Domains: baronies, schools of war, a caravan and even a simple haven. Explore their histories, points of interest, important personalities and the secret plots that threaten to destroy them.

These are ready-to-play lands, ideal for adventurous jaunts or long-term campaigns. Best of all, for each place you will find unique assets and faults to help you create a detailed background for your players' Troupe that is completely interwove with the storyline!

The Gray Papers includes Domain creation and management rules. This sourcebook also contains descriptions of numerous occupations that can be found throughout Harmundia. Finally, a lengthy Drama will lead your inspired through three different Domains that are mysteriously connected...

The shadowy path into the Domains and intrigues of the Twilight Realms begins here...




Spell:

Delayed Damage


Level: Third
Range: 9"
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: One Creature
Components: V
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause the recipient of the spell to only suffer half of the damage they would normally suffer for the duration of the spell. The mitigated damage will eventually catch up with the recipient at some point though.

The spell will reduce the damage taken by the recipient for a number of rounds equal to either the casters intelligence or the constitution of the recipient based on which ever is the greater of the two. The DM will need to record the damage taken as the damage is halved with the initial damage being rounded down and the delayed damage being rounded up.

The delayed damage will be held off for one turn plus a number of rounds equal to the casters level. The caster can end the delay at any time though. When the spell expires in addition to the damage the recipient will suffer one point of damage for every three rounds the damage was delayed.

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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