"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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Asylum - Staff Manual, Wave of Wonder


Not having played the game it is a fair assumption that the first supplement to the  game has not been used either. That would be an accurate one. Asylum - Staff Manual  provides the GM information on the saner of the insane....those that run the Wards. It  even provides information so that the players can now play the role of the staff. This  immediately brought to mind the song and story The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether.

I think this book is one that might give the GM enough material so that a sustained  level of campaign play might be possible. I can see this becoming something along the  lines of a Logan's Run situation where some of the players in the role of staff are  sent to recapture escaped inmates played by others. There are a number of possible  scenarios that I can see coming from that. In the end since the book can be picked up  fairly cheap if you have the other why would you not have this one. Not having it  would border on the insane....sorry had to do it.

Published: 1997
Pages: 124

Publishers blurb:

The first supplement for the Asylum game, this book details life as Staff. It  discusses Offices itself, in terms of general layout and routines, and also explains  such elements as education and training. The Staff are discussed in detail, including  several Staff Classifications never seen by Inmates in the Ward. A full character  creation process is provided, so that players can become Staff, and the book contains  several sample adventures specifically geared towards these nominal rulers of the  Ward. It's a whole new side to the insanity!




Spell:

Wave of Wonder


Level: Eighth
Range: None
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: 6" Radius
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user causes a wave of mystical energy to spread out from them in a circle. All touched by this wave will have something occur to them. These  waves continue as long as the caster is able to concentrate on the effect.

When the spell is cast the DM will need to roll for each potential target ion the area  of effect. The spell will affect all in the are be they friend, foe or bystander. The  effect will be determined from one of the four tables below. The DM will need to roll  a d4 to determine the appropriate table for each target and then percentile dice for  the effect.

Table 1

01-10    Target is slowed for one turn
11-18    Caster deluded in believing target is affected by second roll
19-25     Target affected by double force Gust of Wind spell
26-30    Target affected by Stinking Cloud spell effect
31-33    Rain falls on target for one turn
34-36    Target attacked by a wild rhino, elephant or giant mouse
37-46    Target affected by a lighting Bolt as if cast by a wand
47-49    Target surrounded by and blinded by 600 butterflies for one turn
50-53    Target is enlarged as per spell
54-58    Target is surrounded by a 3" sphere of darkness for one turn
59-62    Target is surround by entangling grass growth for one turn
63-65    Target is affected by a vanish spell. Non-living object become ethereal.
66-69    Target is diminished to 1/12 of usual size for one turn
70-79    Target affected by a fireball as if cast by wand
80-84    Target becomes invisible until broken or for one turn
85-87    Target polymorphed into a tree for one turn
88-90    Target pelted by 10-40 1gp base gems. Each hitting does 1 hp of damage.
91-97    Target surrounded by brilliant shimmering lights and is blinded for 1d6 rounds
98-00    Target is affected by a Flesh to Stone spell

Table 2

01-10    Target affected by a Web spell
11-18    Caster affected by a Shocking Grasp spell
19-25    Target is affected by a Reverse Gravity spell
26-30    Target affected by Otto's Irresistible Dance Spell
31-33    Area covered in 800 ceramic beads. All must save each round to stand.
34-36    Target attacked by a giant dove, a giant rabbit or a giant iguana
37-46    Target affected by a Chain Lightning spell
47-49    Target covered in liquid chocolate. Double wandering rolls until cleaned.
50-53    Target affected by a Haste spell
54-58    Target has Hold Monster/Person cast on them
59-62    Bottle of endless wine appears for one turn. Target must drink bottle leaves.
63-65    Target polymorphed into a random creature (DM choice on selection method)
66-69    Target spins for 2-4 rounds at a high rate with no control.
70-79     Target gains 1d8 hit points permanently.
80-84    Target affected by Magic Missile as per spell from wand
85-87    Target levitates without control for 2-5 rounds then falls.
88-90    Giant mouth appears and bites target for 3-18 points of damage
91-97    Target affected by a Potion of Fire Breathing
98-00    Target affected by a Disintegrate spell

Table 3

01-10    Target affected by a Scare spell
11-18    Caster afflicted with sever rash. Dex reduced to 3 for one day
19-25    Target affected by Darkness spell every other round for two turns
26-30    Target fumbles all attacks for 2-5 rounds in next combat
31-33    Target affected by an audible glamor spell
34-36    Target attacked by a giant eagle, giant lynx or giraffe
37-46    Target affected by Delayed Blast Fireball in 5-30 rounds
47-49    Target and random other in area switch all equipment
50-53    Target affected by a Confusion spell
54-58    Target affected by a Mirror Image spell
59-62    Target begins to sing for 2-8 rounds as if commanded by a Charm spell
63-65    Target attacked by a half strength Invisible Stalker
66-69    Target affected by uncontrollable Jump spell for one turn
70-79    Target shifted to Astral Plane for 1d6 Turns
80-84    Target affected by a Strength or Weakness spell 50% either
85-87    Anything target is holding affected by an Enlarge spell
88-90    Target covered in flaming oil and suffers 2d6 damage for three wounds.
91-97    Target affected by a Faerie Fire spell
98-00    Target affected by an Incendiary Cloud spell

Table 4

01-10    Target affected by Color spray spell
11-18    Caster affected by a Ray of Enfeeblement spell
19-25    Target loses one level but gains 1 point on 1d6 attributes
26-30    Target gains one level but loses 1 point from 1d6 attributes
31-33    Target attacked by undead. Roll as if cleric of same level to determine type
34-36    Target most valuable item replaced with bad fake
37-46    Target stunned for 3-12 rounds
47-49    Target laughs uncontrollably for 3 rounds (no other actions permitted)
50-53    Target gains ability to cast Improve Invisibility once per day
54-58    Target is always surprised from now on (remove Curse cures this)
59-62    Target changes sex
63-65    Target affected as if used a Gaseous Form potion
66-69    Target fails next 2-5 saving throws
70-79    Target attacked by clone of themselves
80-84    Target affected by a Stoneskin spell
85-87    Leprechaun appears causing as much chaos as possible
88-90    Target affected as if going through a Blade Barrier spell
91-97    Target becomes deaf and mute for 2-5 days
98-00    Target affected by a double strength Cone of Cold.

The caster will be required to make a saving throw versus magic to maintain their concentration for each round past the first. When they either elect to break concentration or it is broken then they must make a saving throw or be affected by a backwash effect of the spell. If the save is made nothing happens. If they fail then they must continue to try and make saves until one is made. For each failed save they will suffer the effects of one roll.

The material component of this spell is a Wand of Wonder that will have all of its charges depleted with the casting of this spell. Each time this spell is cast there is a 5% cumulative chance that the caster will attract the attention of a powerful entity from the plane of Limbo. This will most likely be a Slaad though the DM may choose any creature they desire.

Please note that much of the material for tables 2-4 were taken from the article in Dragon #147 by Richard Hunt. The effects from table #1 are from that article as well but I assume they mimic the original Wand of Wonder.

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, March 28, 2012

Asylum, Silence the Dead


It is said that Albert Einstein defined insanity as follows.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This has always hit a little too close to home for me but I can see it as being the one viable definition. Asylum is a game about insanity. It is one that I have not had a chance to play and I wonder if buying games expecting to play them at some point qualifies me as a suitable case for treatment.

The idea behind the game is one of the darker ones I recall having read before. There is no darker power behind this. Being driven insane by seeing one of the Great Old Ones or finding out they are real is better than the reason for it happening in Asylum. In the game premise is that a natural disaster has caused climatic change and that is driving the entirety of humanity insane. A little more jarring as this is something that one can see as possibly happening.

I want to inject that I want to be sure that by writing about the game I do not want to make light on the topic of insanity. People who suffer with any form of mental illness are not people to make jokes about. When I first saw the game I had reservations about this but my desire to see more of what it was about eventually won out. I think the game handles it well enough though using marbles as the randomizer was something I might have avoided but then this was written a few years ago.

I really want to compare the game to what I think the gaming offspring of World of Darkness and Paranoia might look like. I am not sure it is completely accurate but the game is very much story driven and the players will each have their own issues they have to try and deal with. The motivation for the game is different than most games as well. I am note sure this game would be for everyone though. If the group is more of a roll playing one than a role playing one this might not be for them.

One of the big pluses of the game for me was that it was very rules light. This leaves the game master with the option to not only allow the game to flow in the direction the players want but also to allow them to handle the topic of insanity as they and the group need to have it handled. The system can be manipulated by those wanting to Min/Max it but this is something that the game master can perhaps handle in other ways.

This is a game I struggled with buying for sometime but in the end I am glad I did. I think it is worth picking up to read if noting else even if you are never going to play it. In the line of White Wolf games there is in game fiction that is better than most of the White Wold fictional offerings and there are even part of the rules that are written as if in game though this is not immediately apparent.

Published: 1996
Pages: 176

From the back of the book:

Paranoids. Sociopaths. Pyros. Kleptos. Delusionals. They're all here -- and you're one of them. Enter the world of Asylum, where the United States has been reduced to a collection of walled Wards, built from former cities and surrounded by desolate wastelands. The sun has been gone for over a hundred years, hidden from view by the airborne algae called Blanket Seed, and everyone has gone mad. Those in the Wards are called Inmates, and they are cared for by Staff and watched over by the Orderlies who are as insane as they are.

Fight for your survival in the violence-prone streets or up on the Beltway. Ponder who you really are, and attempt to discover if any of the equally tenuous people nearby can be trusted. Try to eke out a living with your Occupation, selling your wares or your services in the bazaar-like Mall. But, most of all, whether you revel in it or despise it, accept that the world is no longer sane, no longer ordered, no longer normal.

Insanity can be strangely liberating.

 


Spell:

Silence the Dead

Level: Zero
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: Corpse Touched
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause the spirit or soul of the corpse touch to become incapable of being communicated with. This will not prevent any other actions such as reanimation of the corpse or a Resurrection or Raise Dead spell from being cast.

The casting of this spell will prevent any form of communication with the spirit from the Prime Material Plane through normal spells or abilities. The use of a Limited Wish or Wish spell will allow communication though the DM may find useful ways to allow that. The spirit or soul can communicate normally on the outer plane that they were to find themselves.

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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Art of the Dungeons and Dragons Fantasy Game, What's Important


The Art of the Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Game is another one of the art compilations  that were published by TSR in the 80's. All of them are good and I am not sure that  any one of them is better than the other. This one has a cover I like better than some  of the others but I am an Elmore fan and this is one that is not cheesecake....don't  get me wrong I like cheesecake....but heroes fighting dragons are nice every now and  then.

One of the problems with art books is that unless you are critiquing the art there is  not much to say about the book. In this one the B7W or line art is almost as big a  pleasure to look ta as the full color pieces. In total there is art from fifteen  artist included. Also included are quotes that surround many of the illustrations.  Some of these are quite good and make me want to go back and read the original sources  again. The index includes a list of the sources so this is something that would be  easy enough to accomplish.

I wanted to provide something on this book and rather than go through and try and  write something witty or insightful I though why not plagiarize the original DM  himself. Below is the preface from the book. I am not sure if I cite them if this is a  copyright issue or not. I hope it isn't because though not at his best this is still  some fair Gygaxian prose. In the end I have to say that if you are fan of art from the  heyday of the game this is a book you should own.

Published: 1985
Pages: 128


The Preface:

Fantasy takes many forms.

The epics of Homer were handed down by word of mouth long before they were  recorded.The fanciful carvings of mythical creatures in Egypt and the Middle East are  but early records of man's love for things of the imagination. The Brothers Grimm  entertain us with their prose, while the painter Goya fascinates with his depictions  of fantasy in flight.

Today, especially, there is an explosion of imaginative art - films, books, games, -  all employing  fantasy to relieve the tension and tedium of the mundane world. It is  with considerable pride that I recognize that the Dungeons & Dragons product line has  stimulated much of the this rekindling of our most ancient loves. Fantasy indeed!

Dungeons & Dragons gaming involves the creation of whole worlds in the mind and  imagination of the player. This is a shared fantasy in all respects, for the game  master and all who assume the personae of the heroic characters who will adventure in  these mythical realms of the imagination are linked through the medium of the play,  the excitement, and sheer wonder of magic and swords, dragons and strange creatures,  lost cities and vaults of treasure hidden far beneath the ground we walk upon.

It is axiomatic: One picture is worth a thousand words. If fantasy gaming is  adventuring in the mind, then how can it possibly exist without pictures? Words there  are aplenty, but never enough of the fantastic illustrations to help us "see" and  "explain" the beauty, horror and mystery of the realms where magic and monsters are  everywhere! Not before this work, that is. Here, at last, is the beginning of vision.

What visions you are about to experience! Masters of the Arts Arcane in full panolpy.  Heroes in battle array, and the Fair Damsels for which derring-do is done are here.  So, too, are the evil adversaries who must be overcome to win through to the mystical  grail at quest's end.

How do such creatures appear? In as many variations and forms as you can imagine! We  are dealing with fantasy, after all, and there are as many ways of imagining a monster  or a mage as there are different perceptions among us. You are given the enviable  status of Judge. You will select which of the works of art are true to the subject -  as you see it!

Just as I have long admired fantastic illustration, so too has TSR, Inc., done its  utmost to convey in pictures the wonders of fantasy. I am reminded of the beloved  picture books of my childhood as I contemplate the paintings offered herein. Children  will, in fact, marvel over them and dream. Aficionados of Dungeons & Dragons gaming  will certainly see these works as tools and adjuncts to their pursuit. Others, too,  will find excellence in the beauty and brawn, beasts and bravo so colorfully depicted  on the pages of this book. The wondrous world of neverwas, with all the scary stuff  and not a bit of the danger.....of course! Such visions are revealed for joy and  daydreams nothing more....nothing less either!

From its early inception more than ten years ago, the art of the game has improved -  just as the game has improved. We grow and mature, ideas take form, flower, and are  caught in that instant for all to share. In culmination of the process, TSR Inc.,  presents this work. You will find it suitable for any collection of art books. Each  illustration was done with the care and love that go into superior works of art. Leave  the book of your coffee table for friends to marvel over. Keep it beside the tomes in  your library, or have it as an adjunct to your fantasy game playing - nomatter. Have  it!

Prefaces are, after all, merely a few words to tell you what you are about to acquire,  or to bring you into a state of mind which attunes you to the work. Saying thus, I  hope that my few words have excited you sufficiently to make you desire to posses  this book or - owning it already - better understand just what the brilliant  depictions of mythical places and persons, creatures and things, are all about.

Enjoy now, the worlds of imagination and wonder. Don't let me keep you from them  another moment!

Gary Gygax - Preface (1985)




Spell:

What's Important


Level: Seventh
Range: None
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: 3" Radius
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user will cause all in the area effect of the spell to evaluate  what, in the way of material possessions, are important to them. This will include the caster so this spell  is not one that will be used lightly.

When the spell is cast all in the area of effect will be asked to select four items. Each victim is allowed  to select one piece of armor, one weapon, one piece of jewelery and one miscellaneous magical item  (spell books fall into this category). These items are excluded from the effect of the spell. All other  magical items will be required to make a saving throw or be destroyed.

The order that the items are required to make the save in are determined by the owner of the items. The  first has no adjustment and then each following item has a progressive -1 applied to it up to a total of -4.  A player may exclude items if they desire and the DM will need to make note of the total items excluded as  the victim will take 1d6 of damage with no save for each item saved in this manner.

The destruction of the items will not be all bad though. For each item destroyed the victim of the spell  will receive an adjust to their hit points equal to one point for every thousand points of experience the  item is worth (rounded down). Items such as artifacts and relics are immune to this spell and if any are in  the possession of a victim then the caster of the spell will need to make a saving throw versus magic or  lose an experience level for each such item.

The material component of this spell will be a focus that the caster has had made specifically for the casting  of this spell. The cost of the focus will be  equal to the caster's level time 100 in gold piece value. The  item will need to have a command word inscribed on it and this is spoken with the casting of the spell. The  focus will be destroyed with the casting of the spell. A magic user may have no more than one focus at any  given time.

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, March 26, 2012

AD&D 2e Arms and Equipment Guide, Bestow Essence


The 2e Arms & Equipment Guide (DMGR3) is one of both the most informative and at the same time least useful of the "splat" books. The information contained in the book is accurate and informative but the book does not really offer much more than the information. The image of the book I have does not have the DMGR3 designation on it so I am not sure what printing of the book this actually is. In the end I am not sure it matters unless there is some level of rarity that comes into plae and I sort of doubt that. As I said the book is useful in the information it provides but at the same time it is merely that....an informative text. In 1991 when the book was initially published that might have been enough. In the world of Wikipedia and Google finding out the difference between splint mail, banded mail and ring mail can be found easily enough and quicker than going to the book shelf to get this.

Published: 1991
Pages: 128

From the back of the book:

At one time or another every Dungeon Master faces questions like "What's the difference between banded mail and splint mail?" and "What do all these pole arms look like?" The DM and players alike will be thrilled to find answers to these and other equipment questions all in this book, the Arms and Equipment Guide. Lavishly illustrated, this book provides valuable descriptions and diagrams for a variety of armors, weapons and barding, as well as important items of clothing and equipment. This is the essential volume for the well-equipped character!



Spell:

Bestow Essence

Level: Eighth
Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: Creature Touched
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: None

With the casting of this spell the magic user bestows the target of the spell with a portion of their life essence. The gift is great but comes with a hefty cost to the caster in what they have to give up.

The casting of this spell will grant the recipient a number of hit points equal to twice the caster's level. In addition to the hit points it will halt and damage or other detrimental effects for a number of turns equal to the caster's level. In addition to all of this the spell will also keep the target from dying do an any current affects for a period of time equal to the caster's level in hours. This will affect damage from items such as poisons and wasting diseases but it will not prevent damage from new sources such as combat and/or spells.

This boon does not come without a cost to the caster though. When the spell is complete the caster is required to make a system shock check and if this fails they will fall into a coma like state for 2d6 rounds. In addition to this and even if the roll is made they will suffer 2d6 points of damage with no save allowed. Finally and most dramatically the caster will be dropped to the next lowest level of experience. If their roll was made this will be to the halfway point and if not the the very beginning.

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, March 25, 2012

Armory RPG Data Con, Unerring Missiles


Even predating role playing games the idea of the genre mash up has been in the  minds of children and the people who would eventually become gamers. How often  while playing Cowboys and Indians did someone want to use a weapon that was not  appropriate to the period or all of a sudden switch in the role of a superhero?

As children this was a topic of intense discussion and sometimes ending up in two  or more people rolling around on the ground flailing arms and hopefully not  connecting too often. In the early stages of the role playing the creator of the  genre discussed this in Strategic Review #5. The article was Sturmgeshutz and  Sorcery and in it we see how a Panzerfaust will fare against Trolls.

Even today, in an era where what is old is new again, we find the topic coming  up. Though not as sweeping as the magazine article we still have the FLAILSNAILS  standards or whatever they should be referred to as. Somewhere in between the Troll and the Snail a company called The Armory tried to come up with not a standard but a set  of conversion tables. This was called RPG Data Con Data Conversion Charts.

The premise behind this beauty was fairly simple. It presented the GM with a  means of converting fantasy characters into superhero games and vice versa. The  settings were actually much more widespread than that and most of the popular  game systems of the time were covered. This is a different approach from the  GURPS system or d20 standard. In this the statistics are actually converted.

I have never had a chance to use the product. I myself have never been a fan of  mixing the settings up too much (except for my beloved Shadowrun of course).  Except for the just mentioned system I have always held that I like my fantasy  fantasy and keep your firearms out of them. I have heard mixed reviews of the  product and I suspect that this may not be commentary on the product but more on  the viability of such conversion and people who are opposed to the idea. I have  seen it go for next to nothing and in some cases sell for quite a bit. I am not  sure I would spend a lot on it.


Published: 1992
Pages: 30

From back cover:

What you are holding in your hands is a complete set of charts and tables that  will allow you to take a character from within one Role-playing game "Genre" and  place them into another. Most major game systems are covered and include:  Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Comic Book, Horror, Space, Mech and Multi-genre... These  charts will give you the ability to convert to and from almost any system once  you become familiar with the conversion process.

From Introduction:

This is not to be taken as a Game Master's Bible, rather it should be used as a  general guide.

From tomeofstreasures.com

The RPG Data Con is a series of charts and tables designed to allow players to  convert stats of their characters for adventuring in other types of role playing  games that include AD&D, Call of Cthulhu, Traveller, Marvel, Star Wars amongst  many others to give you an idea of its scope and it is thorough if not complete.  This is sort of like the Amazing Engine game system developed by TSR for  interplay between its various gaming worlds/systems.



Spell:

Unerring Missiles


Level: Fifth
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Area of Effect: Target
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: None

By means of this spell the magic user will cause missiles shot from a bow or  crossbow to unerring strike the intended target. Environmental factors may or  may not affect the outcome of the shots even.

For the duration of the spell any ammo shot from a handheld bow type weapon or  even sling will unerringly find the initial intended target. The target must have  been in the range of the weapon when it was initially fired but can have left  the range before the missile finds them.

The target of the weapon does not even have to be in line of sight of the  attacker while this spell is in effect. If the target of the missile moves into  a place where there is a barrier between them and the attacker the missiles will  still attempt to hit them actually hovering at the barrier until the spell  expires.

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, March 24, 2012

30 Sided Character and Other Tales, Freezing Flames


This is the last of the 30 sided books that I have. I think there is one more  that may have been a self published effort but I am not sure. These are books that I bought and probably did not give enough attention to when I bought them. They are all packed away now and I am struggling with the idea of digging through all  the boxes just to find them. In the end I fear inertia will (has?) won out! The  information from Waynes Books apparently listed all the tables in the book which  in an of itself is a boon.


Published: 1986
Pages: 45

From tomeoftreasures.com

More 30 sided charts devoted mostly to character development and situation  within a gaming campaign. More of the same Liddil humor that amongst many others  includes dice generating charts called To Weird Classify and Childhood Drama  Affecting You.


From waynesbooks.com

30 Sided Character and Other Tales

"THE 30 SIDED CHARACTER
singing the p.r. blues
species with embellishment
the way you are
family and kinsmen who influenced you
what the gypsy read in the cards
how tall, how heavy and how unusual you are
things that make you different
childhood trauma affecting you
things you love and hate
the profession of your choice
things packed in your knapsack by your mother
combat wounds and traumas

THE 30 SIDED NON-PLAYER CHARACTER
people you meet out and around
people you meet in a bazaar
people you would find in a tavern
more people in a tavern
conversations with tavern owners
more conversations with tavern owners
conversations and encounters with gate cards
men, nearmen and notmen who can spoil your day
groups of men and notmen looking for trouble
encounter with a wizard
people you meet in a village
animals domestic or otherwise
the undead, near dead, never alive & very, very bad

THE 30 SIDED LAND
swampland and jungle trails
specialized terrain (mountains)
weapons, weapons
more weapons
treasure, treasure
alternate worlds
other alternate worlds
magic spells you never heard of on scrolls
mondo magic spells
cryptic clues and signs of the times
more signs of the times
close encounters of the indoor kind
yes-no table
too weird to classify"




Spell:

Freezing Flames


Level: Second
Range: 6"
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: One Fire
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 6 Segments
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user will cause a normal fire to become  something very dangerous to a weary traveler. The fire will seem to be  generating heat but in reality it will be feeding off of the warmth from those  around it. One unusual side effect of this spell is that the fuel for the fire  is never consumed so a fire could potentially burn forever if not disturbed.

The fire will be normal for a period of one turn after the spell is cast on it.  After that point in time anyone who spends more than two turns resting in the  area it would generate heat for will begin to suffer the effect of the flames.  Those up and about and moving in and out of the sphere of warmth will not be  affected.

For each round a potential victim is in the area of effect they will suffer the  effect of having their constitution lowered by one point. This will continue  until the victim leaves the area of effect of the spell. If a victim is in the  area of effect and their constitution drops below three they will lapse into a  coma and if their constitution drops below zero they will die.

Each round a victim is in the area and suffer the effect they are entitled to  roll to detect the effect though for every four rounds they are in the effect  the saving throw has a -1 applied to it up to a maximum of -4. If they detect  the effect and leave then the loose will stop. At this time they will need to  make another saving throw and if failed they will suffer one point of damage for  every point of constitution lost. If the save is made then they suffer no  damage.

Victims of this spell will need to spend time resting to recover the points of  constitution after leaving the area of effect. Points will be regained at a rate  of one per hour except for those below three. Points between three and zero will  require one full day of rest to recover. Being near an active warming fire will  reduce the time by half.

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, March 21, 2012

30 Sided Adventure and Other Tales, Blood Sacrifice


I am normally a sucker for random tables and I am sure there are some in here i  would like. I can't speak to it directly as I recall getting this while I was in  the inventory scanning phase (not sure if it was one, two or three though) and I  scanned it and packed it away with nothing more than a cursory flip through.

It was a little over a year ago that I posted on one of the other in the line  and I will post the last of three I have in next day or two. I am not sure I  recall any more about that one though.

On a final note when I posted about this books sibling last March there was a  project going on around the OSR to have people submit their own random tables  and then it would be compiled into a PDF and released out into the wild or maybe  it was sold. Either way does anyone remember anything ever coming of that  project?


Published: 1990
Pages: 52

Summary from rpg.net

Contains a set of tables to generate adventure ideas for fantasy roleplaying  games. It gives a seed and then the resulting die roll expands upon it. Also  includes the micro-module "The Search for Fezenclop's Treasure" and the short  story "Stopover at the Crying Lion".

From tomeoftreasures.com

The 30 Sided Adventure and Other Tales is a bit later entry into the 30 sided  series. The publisher is listed as the Bob Liddil Publishing Group, printed by  The Armory under license.

This book has the usual assortment of 30 sided generator tables that range from  the general to bizarre. The end of the book contains an adventure called The  Search for Fezenclop's Treasure' into which the tables set up the adventure.




Spell:

Blood Sacrifice


Level: Fifth
Range: Sight
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: 1 Target / 2 Levels
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user will sacrifice a number of their  hit points in order to cause damage to others. The blood letting is part of the  spell casting but is strictly ceremonial in nature.

The casting of the spell will allow the magic user to sacrifice up to one half  of their hit points in order to cause damage. The caster will then cause damage  equal to that number to the targets selected in the casting of the spell. The  caster will cause this amount of damage each round for as long as they maintain  concentration on the spell. The hit points sacrificed can not, even with magic,  be healed until the caster has spent at least one full night resting.

The targets of this spell are entitled to a saving throw and if made then they  will not suffer any damage and if they have suffered any damage prior to the  saving trow from any source they will instead be healed for the amount they  would have taken. Each time such as save is made the amount of damage the caster  does is then reduced by 1d3 points.

The material components for this spell, other than the caster's blood, will be a  small ceremonial knife and bowl. The knife and bowl may be reused but the blood  is used up in the casting of the spell.

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, March 18, 2012

Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth Worlds, Time Leap


I guess if you are going to have the core book of a game you want to play so badly you can taste it but will never get the chance you must also own the only published supplement for it...right!

Aria Worlds seems to take the creation up or would it be down a notch. It takes the creation in a little closer allowing the creation with smaller strokes than the core rule book. Though the name of the book is Aria Worlds it might better be called Aria Societies.

This game may not be for everyone and I suspect the actual number who would enjoy it as designed may be quite few. As a resource for world design the core book and perhaps even more so this book are a treasure trove of ideas and tools that will allow the GM or author to better flesh out their creation.

On a side note; there are many pieces of fantasy art I like and would like to have the original of. I think that the cover for this book ranks among the top five that I would like to have the original of.


Published: 1994
Pages: 302

From the back cover:

Awaken the Creator Within

Throughout history, peoples and cultures have told stories of their gods, heroes, and villains in order to better understand the world around them. These myths seize upon the hopes and fears of society; heroes embody a culture's highest ideals while villains manifest as ancient dreads personified. Aria focuses on the Journey of the Hero, the sacred quest of the Monomyth, which represents in mythic language the seeking of cultures after their own identity. Aria Canticle of the Monomyth is a roleplaying game system which attempts to embody this connection between hero and culture.

Aria is designed to function on several levels; during the course of a single game, players can assume the roles of individual personas, persona lineages, or even whole societies. All such interaction is directed toward the development not only of personas, but also of entire cultures and worlds. As an integral part of the game, Aria players weave together mythic, historical, and personal time into one great tapestry of life — a living history beginning with the first game session. Creating this vision of the Monomyth, where heroes and villains clash in a world as well-developed and as rich in character as its mightiest inhabitants, Aria players engage in the pageant of Mythmaking, the evocation of numinous symbols summoned from the collective imaginations of the entire gaming group.

Aria Worlds

In Aria Worlds you will find the tools to craft the environments of your world; if you will, the kingdom of a stage, on which your personas and societies will interact. Includes are the guidelines for creating detailed social structures beginning with a society's age and philosophical outlook, proceeding through an examination of its technology, subsistence, internal structure (political, familial, economic and military), and humanities (religion, art, scholastic and magic) and terminating with a hierarchical organization of its component social classes. Aria Worlds presents these considerations in a linear, comprehensive pattern enabling you, the player, to paint the backdrops of your own mythic stage more completely and richly than ever before.

Moreover, the Aria system of society design is telescoping: a village, a manor, a market town, a city, a kingdom or continent or world can all be designed from the largest continent down or from the smallest village up. The descriptive elements of all the social profiles can be interpreted in countless forms, ranging from the long vanished kingdoms to the primitive tribal communities.




Spell:

Time Leap


Level: Eighth
Range: None
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: Caster
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user is able to physically travel through  time. The unit of time is up to the caster and the amount is determined  physically being the actual distance the caster leaps during the casting of the  spell.

When the spell is cast the magic user will be asked to specify the unit of time  they wish to in The can select from rounds, turn, hours, days, months or years.  They will then take and actual leap and the distance they leap in inches will be  the number of units they travel forward. The caster can try to limit the length  of the leap but it will be impossible for them to get it down to an exact  amount. It needs to be noted than travel is only allowed forward and never  backwards with this spell.

The caster will arrive at the exact point they would have landed from their  leap but at a different point in time. For the world the caster will blink out  of and into existence. For the caster they will see the world pass by them in a  manner similar to time lapse photography the actual leap taking one full round  to complete.

The casting of this spell will have an effect on the caster. Altering the flow of  time will tax them physically. The caster will age a minimum of two years with  the casting of this spell and potentially 25 years. The caster will age one year  plus 1d4 years per unit of time traveled with 1d4 for rounds and topping out at  6d4 for years.

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, March 17, 2012

Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth, Treasure Slumber


Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth is a game that I love the idea of. I think of it  as being something close to The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen but  only on a superficial level. The idea of a game where the players have a hand in  the overall flow of the game at a broad strokes level is appealing. It might  take sometime to get the right group of players assembled but when it happened I  think it would be amazing.

This is a game I have never been able to find the time to play and I am certain  that groups I have played with would find this amazing stupid. In different  groups over the years there have been individuals that it very well might work  with but there have never been more than one or two in any given group. I fully  believe that this is game I will never get to used as it was designed to be but  it will instead be relegated to use as a mining source.

The idea of this appeals to me I think almost entirely because of a novelette by  Theodore Sturgeon called the Microcosmic God. This is one of my favorite science  fiction stories eve, You see a hint of it in Men In Black and in the first  episode of the revived Outer Limits (though this is attributed to a story  called Sandkings I think that drew from Microcosmic God) and in an episode of  The Twilight Zone called The Little People. I am not sure this game is for  everyone but I know as reference material to get the creative juices flowing it  should serve nicely.


Published: 1994
Pages: 308

From the unofficial Aria site:

Throughout history, peoples and cultures have told stories of their gods,  heroes, and villains in order to better understand the world around them. These  myths seize upon the hopes and fears of society; heroes embody a culture's  highest ideals while villains manifest as ancient dreads personified. Aria  focuses on the Journey of the Hero, the sacred quest of the Monomyth, which  represents in mythic language the seeking of cultures after their own identity.  Aria Canticle of the Monomyth is a roleplaying game system which attempts to  embody this connection between hero and culture.

Aria is designed to function on several levels; during the course of a single  game, players can assume the roles of individual personas, persona lineages, or  even whole societies. All such interaction is directed toward the development  not only of personas, but also of entire cultures and worlds. As an integral  part of the game, Aria players weave together mythic, historical, and personal  time into one great tapestry of life — a living history beginning with the first  game session. Creating this vision of the Monomyth, where heroes and villains  clash in a world as well-developed and as rich in character as its mightiest  inhabitants, Aria players engage in the pageant of Mythmaking, the evocation of  numinous symbols summoned from the collective imaginations of the entire gaming  group.



Spell:

Treasure Slumber


Level: Third   
Range: 9"
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: 4" Radius
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 4 Segments
Saving Throw: Negates/Special

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause all in the area of effect who  fail their saving throw to fall into a deep slumber. The length of this slumber will be varied.

The duration of the effect will depend on the level of the caster as well as how  much wealth the affected individuals have on them. For each level of the caster  the number of units of time will be increased by one from a base of one. The  units of time are in the table below. Those who make their saving throw will not  fall into the slumber but will be stunned and unable to act for the remainder of  the current and the following round.

Copper     Segments
Silver        Rounds
Gold         Turns

This means that an individual affected by this spell cast by a seventh level  magic user that had only copper on them would slumber for eight segments. If  they had silver it would be eight rounds and if carrying gold it would be eight  turns.

Individuals in this slumbering state can not be touched by any other living  creature or they will awake immediately. This will prevent the sleeping targets  from being slaughtered. If any attempt to harm one of the sleeping individuals is  made they will all immediately awaken.

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, March 16, 2012

Al-Qadim Reunion, Inner Demons


This is a module I have never had the opportunity to run or lay through. I t was  apparently initially a three part GenCon tournament module. I will not give too  much away but the premise makes it easy to see it as a three part tournament  module. I am not sure how this would play out in a normal campaign type of  situation. I really see this being better served as a one shot adventure perhaps  to introduce the setting.

Published: 1998
Pages: 32

From the back cover:

Once, the Tribe of Altair roamed the sands, free as the great eagle on the wind.  Now, caged by an evil mage, these desert riders yearn for their lost freedom.  But Fate takes a hand as a noble djinn seeks to fulfill an ancient wish....

In this unusual three-part scenario, players first take the roles of the men of  the tribe, who stage a revolt after being enslaved in the Pit of the Laughing  Efreeti and then try to battle their way to freedom. In the second part, the PCs  are the women of the tribe, who must escape the evil flame mage's harem and use  all their wits to win free of a strange city. Finally, the children of the tribe  have to slip away from an evil temple before they can be sacrificed, which calls  for them to embark on a magic carpet ride that promises to be the adventure of  their lifetimes.

An AL-QADIM adventure for up to six characters.




Spell:

Inner Demons


Level: Fourth
Range: 9"
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: 1 Target/ 2 Levels
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 6 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause each target to be confronted  with their "inner demons". These will take the form of some monster feared by  the target or lacking knowledge of that a monstrosity apparently from the lower  planes.

There is in reality no physical manifestation. The entity and the combat all  take place in the mind of the victim. Since the manifestation is taking the form  of something feared by the victim all attack and saving throw rolls will be made  at -2. The attacker will have the exact same stats as the target and access to  only the exact same spell, abilities or equipment though these will appear to be  in other forms perhaps. It is important to note that none of what happens in  this combat as far as damage or any spell/equipment use is real.

The outcome of the inner battle will determine the effect of the spell. If the  target defeats the inner demon then they will receive a boon of +2 to all attack  rolls and saving throws for the duration of the encounter with the caster. If  they fail to defeat the inner demons then they will receive a -2 and will have  their hit point total lowered by 25%. It is important to note that this spell  will affect an individual who has had it cast on them before regardless of the  previous outcome. They will simply be battling other inner demons.

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, March 14, 2012

Al-Qadim Arabian Adventures, Directed Fireball

The Al-Qadim campaign setting ranks fourth (maybe third) in my list of favorite  settings. The top two are Greyhawk and Mystara. I go back and forth or the next  two which are the Birthright setting and Al-Qadim. They are in a virtual tie and  I am not sure what would make it so I could make a decision one way or the  other.

I think the actual setting for Birthright I like more but it is the exotic  flavor of the Al-Qadim that brings it up into a tie. This setting as I have said  before appeals to me more than the Maztica setting for some reason, which for  the record comes in after Ravenloft but before the Forgotten Realms. Sometime I  will need to do a post breaking down the list with more details as to why they  fall where they do.

Growing up I remember reading stories from the Arabian Nights collection  somewhere and being fascinated with it. I am not sure if it was any more magical  than the Greek and Roman myths or even the Norse myths but the setting and names  were different than any I had read before. This fascination has always stuck  with me.


Published: 1992
Pages: 160

From the back cover:

Magic carpets, ghoulish vixens, genies rising from the sand in a whirlwind of  smoke and fire--such wonders, spun into tales by the fabled Scheherazade,  enchanted a king for a thousand and one nights.

The AL-QADIM(TM) campaign will enchant role-players for a thousand and one more.

You are about to discover an exotic realm inspired by the tales of Sinbad, Ali  Baba, and other classics from the Arabian Nights. The first in a series of  products, this volume features everything DMs and players need to launch the  AL-QADIM campaign:

- New rules for adventure, including desert survival, turning the hand of Fate,  and averting the mysterious power of the evil eye
- New roles to play: bold desert raiders, swashbuckling corsairs, clandestine  slayers, mystic clerics, wizards of fire, sorcerers who command the genies, and  more--over 20 roles in all!
- New proficiencies, from camel-riding to haggling at the bazaar
- New spells and a unique realm of magic, featuring the provinces of flame,  wind, sea, and sand
- An introduction to Zakhara, Land of Fate, a new setting for the AL-QADIM  campaign

Your flying carpet awaits; step aboard and let the magical journey begin.





Spell:

Directed Fireball


Level: Fourth
Range: 9" + 1" Level
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: 3" Sphere
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 4 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves

This spell allows the magic user to create a fireball effect without the full  area of effect affect. The spell will affect only targets in the area of effect  and not the environment.

The spell is similar in effect to a clerical Flame Strike but it will affect  every target in the area of effect. The caster has no ability to exclude a  target in the sphere even if desired. The spell will do the same damage as a  traditional Fireball spell.

The material component of this spell is the same as the third level Fireball  spell. That being bat guano and sulfur but for this spell there will be a  number of small balls as opposed to the single ball for the lower level spell.

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, March 11, 2012

Another Man's Treasure, Fire Seeds


A sign that you might have a problem is when you have almost as many things that  you can't remember buying as you can remember buying. There really should be a  multiplier to that when you have things you can't remember buying and you really  have no reason for buying. Welcome to my world and I present to you "Another  Man's Treasure"

I do not own the Tales of Gaea game so I am not sure why I would have bought  this. I suspect I had an idea to start designing a city at one point and perhaps  bought this to mine it for ideas. I do not recall ever even cracking the cover  so on the plus side whoever I bought it from might have used $100 bills to mark  pages and I am ahead of the game. Worse case scenario...well there are too many  options there and I am superstitions fellow. It is stored away in a box so I may  never know until I decide to rearrange the inventory I have.

I really wish I could write more about this but it is even hard to find anything  on the Internet. I do not know if that speaks to the quality of the product  because even bad products can get a good bit of press. It might also speak to  the level of support and/or popularity of Tales of Gaea. One thing I know it  does not speak to is the value of the book price wise. It can be picked up for a  little as $.01 plus shipping on Amazon. If I ever feel compelled to write an  actual review of the book it will be more cost effective just to buy another at  that price than to spend the time digging through boxes.


Published: 2003
Pages: 64

Publisher Blurb:

Another Man's Treasure is the first supplement for Tales of Gaea FRPG. It is  more than and adventure, more than a city guide, it expands the rules with new  classes like the alchemist and new skills like Investigation. Couple this with  new friends, foes, over 10 maps, and adventure seeds!

•Rules expansions
•New Skills
•New Classes
•Detailed locales within the city with room to expand
•Details of surrounding communities
•Full background of political intrigue for Shadazar, largest city on Narheim




Spell:

Fire Seeds


Level: Second
Range: None
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: 1 Seed/Level
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 4 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user will cause a number of fire seeds to come  into being. These seeds are  nondescript and will remain inert and useless until  they are combined with a liquid of some sort.

This spell will create a number of seeds equal to the caster level plus one.  Each of these seeds can be added to quantity of liquid and when added the liquid  is transformed into a flammable liquid. The liquid will not need any heat source  to combust. Once the seed is added to the liquid the container needs to be  sealed within two rounds  and then shaken vigorously or the liquid becomes inert  again.

If the container is sealed and shaken then the next time the liquid is exposed  to air it will cause 1d6+1 points of damage to a target if thrown at them. The  container of liquid can be no larger than one quart in size and no smaller than  one pint. Adding the seeds to larger or smaller containers of liquids will make  the solution ineffective or reduce the damage accordingly. Adding the seeds to a  liquid that is already flammable will cause the liquid to be doubly effective  damage wise.

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, March 7, 2012

Amazing Engine System Guide, Copycat


Unless I messed up on the naming system used for the inventory or I pick up one  of the missing books this will be last of the entries for the Amazing Engine  game system. The way I named the files caused the rule book to be the last  entry. This may be appropriate though since I think unlike many games the World  Books were actually just as if not more important than the system. This would  hold true for GURPS as well and no matter what you say the Amazing Engine seems  to be an attempt to simulate what GURPS does. Regrettably not nearly as well.

The system rules were sold individually and apparently in bundles with  individual world books. This is actually a nice way of doing things since each  alone is not playable. I am sure they come up this way on eBay and I have just  never paid attention. I am missing three books and will make a point of looking  for them now though perhaps in a passive manner. I guess this means that in the  future you might have pseudo reviews on Metamorphosis Alpha to Omega, The  Galactos Barrier, Kromosone and Tabloid!


Published: 1993
Pages: 32

From the back cover:

System Guide by David "Zeb" Cook

In this booklet are the rules you need to create a character core. With that  character core, you can create any number of player characters for any number of  game universes within the AMAZING ENGINE’ game system. You can create wizards,  mercenaries, alien technologists, xenoform thieves-any kind of character, from  nearly any kind of fantasy or science fiction setting, is possible with these  rules and the appropriate Universe Book.

This System Guide also explains the rudiments of combat (how does my character  hit things?) and skills (what does my character know?). Plentiful examples take  you step by step through the character generation process, and illustrate the  concepts behind this system’s skill uses.

These rules are designed to be used in conjunction with the Universe Books. You  must have this booklet and a Universe Book in order to play within the AMAZING  ENGINE game system.

Books in this system:

For Faerie, Queen, and Country
BugHunters
Magitech
Galactos Barrier




Spell:

Copycat


Level: Sixth
Range: Touch
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: One Creature
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: None

With the casting of this spell the magic user will become and exact duplicate of  the creature they chose as their target and touch during the casting of the  spell. The spell will cause them to become an exact duplicate as the target is  at that point in time.

The spell not only allows duplication of physical form but the cast will also  have the full memories of the target. The caster can target any creature though  and are not limited to other humanoid creature types. There may be some  limitations the DM may want to place on this though.

Once the new form is assumed the caster can remain in that form for as long as  desired but this is not without peril. The caster can remain in the form for a  period of time equal to their constitution (in their new form) in turns with no concern. For each turn after that there is a 1% cumulative chance that  transition will become permanent. If this occurs then the mind of the caster is  lost.

When the caster wants to end the spell they will be required to make a system  shock roll. If this is not made then the caster will not be able to resume their  normal form. They can make an attempt at this once per turn. Each time they try  this though their constitution score will be temporarily lowered by one point.  This will continue until such time as there is a successful roll made or the  constitution score would drop below three. If the latter occurs then the mind of  the caster is lost and they are locked into the new form barring use of a Wish.

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.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Once & Future King, Binding


This is the last of the World Books I will be posting about. I am not sure what  I am going to write qualifies as a post. This is a book that except for what I  have read on the back I know nothing about. The idea of Arthur In Space sounds  interesting th9ugh and it might be something I would play sometime if the  opportunity presented itself.

There was a movie from the early 80's called Knightriders. It was basically a  story about a group of bikers that were trying to live out the ideal of Camelot  but on Motorcycles and doing it as a traveling show. I know this is in no way  related to the book but I liked the idea of the movie so I can see an appeal  for me. Does anyone have any experience with this setting?


Published: 1994
Pages: 144

From the back Cover:

The year is AD 4485. Technology has advanced to the point that the entire solar  system is populated, a central mainframe computer links every household, and  normal humans are no longer genetically capable of violence. Life, however, is  far from dull. The Knights of Arthur's Round Table live again, and they have  molded civilization to their own liking. Masking technology's function within  the trappings of medieval form, these nobles travel upon robotic horses, bearing  electronic swords and armor. Meanwhile, the wonders of the royal court come to  life again as Morgan Le Fay and others weave their spells of intrigue and deceit  in hopes of bringing ruin to the king of Camelot.



Spell:

Binding


Level: Seventh
Range: 9"
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Target Creature
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user causes the target creature to become  bound to the location that they are currently in. The spell will prevent the  target from leaving until such time as they have fulfilled specific terms.

The target creature will become bound to the current location they are in. The  are must have a definable boundary. They can become bound to a room a dungeon, a  building a fort or even a walled city. Until such time as they have meet the  specific requirements stated during the casting they can not leave the boundaries  of the area specified. While under the affects of the spell the target will not  age nor will they need feed or water.

The caster will be able to specify that the target either answer a number of  "real" questions. The number is equal to the caster intelligence divided by  three. Real questions are ones that are stated as being as such. Asking them if  they are OK or the like will not be counted as a question. The caster can also  specify a single task be performed. The task must be one that can be performed  within the boundaries of the area the target is bound to.

The material component of this spell is a talisman that the caster binds the  target to. The talisman must stay within the boundaries of the location the  target is bound to. While bound they can not see or touch the talisman but  others can. If the talisman ever leaves the boundaries of the location they are  bound to the spell is broken.

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, March 3, 2012

Magitech, Learn by Experience


Since I started this blog to post images of my collection and write a little  blurb on them I am not sure why I am feeling guilty about not being able to say  more about the Amazing Engine products but I am. With that admission out of the  way let me go on to say that this is the third product in the line I have spoken  about and it is also the one I know the least about so far.

Part of the reason for my lack of knowledge may be as simple as the cover. I  have never liked the silliness of the cover for some reason. As a result I have  never been compelled to pick it up and read it. I recall this being in a lot I  purchased off eBay as I know I would never have gone out of my way to buy it. I  know you are not supposed to judge a book by it's cover and all that but what  can I say.

In looking for something to base what I would write about for this I find that  the "book and it's cover" may be true on this one. It supposedly has a fairly  nice magical system built into it. Other than that it very much to me sounded  like TSR wanted to come close to the Shadowrun setting without the back story.  That is just me taking it at face value from the blurb on the back. I have a  vision of Shadowrun in middle America for some reason. In the end I may have to  dig this out or buy another copy just to take a look over the magic system.


Published: 1993
Pages: 128

From the back cover:

"The world of the Magitech Game is Earth in the 1990s -- with a few twists.  Magic has long been recognized and studied, so that normal technology is  stunted, and magical items are commonplace modern conveniences. Other  intelligent species evolved with humankind, and now elves run a powerful Central  American nation, minotaurs govern the nation of Texas, and intelligent reptiles  control Southeast Asia. European colonization was halted by native magic, and  nations of Africans and Native Americans were established long ago, and remain  powerful today.

While most people lead normal lives, going to work and school, others choose a  life of adventure, exploring the ruins of a Europe devastated at the end of  World War II, searching for treasure in the jungle temples of a Venus colonized  more than a millennium ago, or facing the adventure of modern, magical  civilization.



Spell:

Learn by Experience


Level: Sixth
Range: None
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: Caster
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user will sacrifice experience in order to  learn something of their future. The sacrifice in experience must be something  that is meaningful and there is no guarantee of what the caster will find.

When the spell is cast the magic user will lose a base of 1% of their total  experience. They will then need to sacrifice experience to determine how far in the future they will be able to travel. The cost will 6000 xp per round that they  want to explore. The caster will need to make the declaration when the spell is  cast. Once this is made the DM will need to pull the player aside play out the  time period in question alone. The play will continue until the time period  specified is reached or the caster dies in the walk through.

Anything that happens during this time period will not really occur when it is  played out in the walk through. Once the spell is ended the same events may  occur provided that the caster directs the events exactly as they happened in  their walk through. Changing very minor events will not alter the experience  provided the timing stays the same but events that might attract attention of  others and anything affecting the timing could alter the experience.

In addition to the loss of experience the caster will age a minimum of one year  with the casting of the spell. There is a 1% cumulative chance per round  explored that the aging will become 1 year/round. The sacrifice of experience  must be from a pool that is being used towards advancement in levels as well. If  the caster is at their maximum experience level their experience point total  will be reduced as if they had been at the maximum point total for that level  and nothing higher.

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, March 2, 2012

For Fairy, Queen & Country, Hidden Item


"For Faerie, Queen & Country" was the first world book that was created for  the Amazing Engine game system. It was sold bundled with the game system but was  also available individually from what I have been able to find out. As I said  before I have not played any at all using the Amazing Engine system and though I  had read Bughunters I can not say the same about this book.

The setting seems like it might be a fun one to play in. I have been a fan of  alternate histories since I happened upon a book through the Scholastic Book  Club that put for the premise of what America would have been like if the south  had won the civil war. I no longer have that book and for the life of me can't  recall the exact title or author....but I digress.

This is not so much an alternate history from what I can tell but a world where  the myths of faerie were true (or if really true out in the open). The world has  a real Castle Falkenstine to it. I have even heard people using this setting as  the one for Castle Falkenstine as the like it better. There was a message board  where the magic system in this book was praised and I really want to either dig  this book out of storage or buy another copy to look it over.

When I look back at these games and some of the popular fiction and movies that  are common today I have to wonder if the writes or developers of the movies and  shows played games like this. Shows like Tru Blood and Lost Girl come to mind  and books like the Anita Blake and Dresden File series do as well. I have never  seen anything in writing attributing any of these to games like this but the  questions does come to mind.

Having not played the game system and this World Book in particular I most likely should not recommend the book. That being said I am going to do just that. This  book like Bughunters can be found very much on the cheap side and I have yet to  find too many books that can't me mined for $3 to $5 dollars worth of role  playing gold!


Published: 1993
Pages: 128

From the back cover

For Faerie, Queen, and Country is the first fantasy Universe Book created for  the Amazing Engine game system. The setting: Victorian England, 187-. The Tuatha  de Danann are represented in Parliament. America is a British penal colony. And  your character? She could be a governess to a family in Bloomsbury, skilled in  herbal lore and fairy lore because she was raised in Ireland. He could be a  consulting detective, half-faerie himself, with training in phrenology. Or, your  character might be a full-blooded Tuatha de Danann, bent on wreaking mischief  throughout London!

Step into the universe of For Faerie, Queen, and Country. And don't forget the  bit of cold iron for your pocket!




Spell:

Hidden Item


Level: Third
Range: Touch
Duration: 6 Turns + 6 Turns/Level
Area of Effect: One Item
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 5 Segments
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user is able to hide on item inside that of  another. There are limits on what items can be hidden and where an item can be  hidden as well as possible ramifications.

The spell lets the caster hide on item that is at least 50% smaller than the  second item in the second item. Other than the size limitation the only other is  that neither can be living. When the item is hidden the item it is hidden in  will gain weight equal to 50% of the hidden item and will gain a magical aura  which Detect Magic will show. True Seeing will show the outline of the hidden  item on the surface of the containing item.

The item hidden will not be expelled on its own and the caster will have to  command the item's extraction. If this is not done before the spell expires then  the item will become trapped in the other item. Spells such as Limited Wish and  Wish will allow the item to be extracted after the spell expires. It is also  possible to remove the item by returning it to the place of the spells casting  on the anniversary of the casting when it will expel itself automatically.

The material components of this spell are simply the two items that will be  used. Neither of these items are damaged in any way by the spell and both can be  used normally after the items are separated.

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, March 1, 2012

Bughunters, Merge Forms


The Amazing Engine line was intended to be a generic system along the lines of GURPS where the same rules could be used across multiple genres. I have not had experience with the system and have bought the books strictly first because of being a completist but also as reference materials for other games. In total there are eight World Books and then the Amazing Engine System Guide.

Bughunters is at first what seems to be an Alien clone or perhaps even touching on a Starship Troopers idea where the forces of Earth are at war with Aliens we encounter at some point in out travels. The premise is actually much more than that and touches on a number of different ideas from a number of different famous sci-fi movies or television shows.

The setting describes touches on Aliens and Starship Troopers as I have mentioned. There are also hints of Blade Runner and Babylon 5 that can be found in the setting. I also got a feeling of the series Space Above and Beyond when looking it over. Since the book predates the series I have to wonder if perhaps the setting was something that the show designers had either read or played.

The information in the book as far as the universe it is set in and the aliens that inhabit it are things that are worth looking at for possible use elsewhere in other systems. The book also provides a number of adventure seeds and some sample adventures. I am not sure I would use the Amazing Engine system but I think the setting would be worth porting over in total to another system.

All of the Amazing Engine books appear on a fairly regular basis in the secondary market and can be picked up fairly cheap. I know just recently I saw this book for $3 or so on eBay. I think it most often goes for a little bit more than that but it is something that comes up frequently enough that I would bargain shop it but would buy if I did not already have a copy and had any interest in a layers sci-fi space based game.

Published: 1993
Pages: 128

From the back of the book


Travel to exotic new worlds, see strange new life forms, and kill them . . . before they kill you!

The Bughunters role-playing game--part of the Amazing Engine line-up--casts player characters as protectors of the human race in a hostile galaxy. From orbital stations to fledgling colony worlds and Mother Earth herself, Bughunters PCs seek out and battle inimicable alien creatures while trying to piece together the secret of a horrifying galactic threat!




Spell:

Merge Forms


Level: Sixth
Range: Touch
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast the magic user is able to cause the forms of a number of willing recipients merge into one. The spell does not require that the caster be a participant and they can specify the form all are merged into. This spell requires that all the merged forms be of the same general type of creature.

The spell will allow a varying number of characters to be merged into a single form. The number is limited by the level of the caster as well as the constitution score of the primary form. There can be one form merged into the primary for every three levels of the caster. There can also be no more than half the constitution score of the primary form.

Once the forms are merged the spell will remain in effect for a period of time equal to the lowest constitution score of all merged forms in hours. Once in a merged form only the primary character that is the primary form can choose to drop the merge. The spell will also drop if at anytime the merged form engages in combat or if they are rendered unconscious. If the primary for were to die then all merged forms will need to make a system shock roll. Those that make this will break out of the merge form simply stunned for one round. Those that fail will be stunned for one round and then must make another roll and failing that they will die themselves.

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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