"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
Friday, July 27, 2012
I have said before that the setting of Al-Qadim is one that I find the most interesting to play in. There is something about the middle eastern setting that simply captures my imagination. The domain of Khourane comes close to the setting in the Birthright system and if used as a stand alone campaign I think I would try to incorporate more of the Al-Qadim flavor into Khourane. That being said Khourane works well on its own without help. This not only has the advantage of an unusual setting but it also adds a fair mix of political intrigue and conflict. This would not be my first choice to play as a straight up Birthright domain but it is fairly high up there. As a domain to adventure in if used a setting it fares even better in the rankings.
From the back of the book:
Khourane stands out among the arid Khinasi lands like a blooming lily in a barren field. It boasts some of the most enviable territory in this corner of the world: mountains, deep jungles, and a stunning coastline.
These enviable features inevitably lead to conflict, however: The lands are coveted by the Serpent, the Magian, and the Minotaur. What's more, the elves still resent the humans who claim control of their hereditary forests.
Combine these problems with fierce trade wars, in a harsh climate, and a missing rule, and the result is trouble. Khourane needs a new regent in a hurry--is your character ready to face its challenges? The new rule of this domain will be challenged by some of the greatest problems-- and could realize some of the finest rewards--in all of Cerilia!
This BIRTHRIGHT domain sourcebook is designed for players who wish to take the role of Emir of Khourane. It may also be used by players seeking to play nobles, servants of the regent, or adventurers from Khourane.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The way that Talinie is described must be what places seem like before the explode into situations that most people could never have seen coming. Places that seem like everything is fine and then some event that seems like it should not have nearly the effect it did sends out ripple effects that shake a whole area. There are places and events in the real world that have experiences this. Some of these have occurred in the last century and even this one.
Played as the Birthright setting is intended to be played this would be a domain that would not be taken on lightly as a player. As a setting the turmoil that is brewing right beneath the surface is ripe with adventure seeds and roleplaying potential. I think this would be an excellent locale for the characters just below name level to have great impact and set themselves up to start down the road of becoming a ruler themselves...of course if you are playing the game as intended that has already happened but where's the fun in that.
From the back cover:
To the casual observer, the realm of Talinie seems a pastoral place full of hard-working, law- abiding citizens. But those who look beneath the surface - as a regent must - will see what lies beneath the beauty.
From the south, a power-hungry archduke has moved troops into two of Talinie's seven provinces, supposedly as a safeguard against goblin invasion. From the north, greedy guildmasters have encroached upon Talinie's lush forests and have ravaged large areas for the timber and ores they yield.
To keep yourself on the throne known as the Oak Seat, you must control these foreign interests without giving them reason to rise up against you, and at the same time beware of traitors within your own court - it is whispered that the death of your predecessor was not really an accident.
This package includes:
A full-color, eight page foldout cover containing detailed maps of the
domain and other information every Talinien needs.
Facts about the realm's history, geography, economy, and laws.
Descriptions of the major NPCs in Talinie, friend and foe alike.
Secrets and strategy tips to help the new regent manage the realm.
This BIRTHRIGHT domain sourcebook is designed for players who want to take the role of Thane of the realm, playing either a lawful priest or a paladin. Players of nonregent characters who live in or come from Talinie will also find this sourcebook useful."
Monday, July 23, 2012
If you are on the same side as the Theocracy playing in one can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you are not on the same page or in some cases in the same book as the ruling body then things can get a little dicey. Living in the United States I think we are somewhat shielded from the power that religion can have over the government. I will stop at that and ask that we not have any real world commentary as a result of that statement. The church in a fantasy setting can be one of the most powerful thematic elements in story telling if they are played right. More often than not they aren't played to their full potential though. If you want to test your players put them in Medoere and have them not be aligned with the church and run with it.
From the Back of the Book:
Ranging from the Spiderfell in the north to the Straits of Aerele in the south, Medoere was born of faith and the blood of revolution. As regent, you fulfill the duties of Archpriest of the Church of the Celestial Spell, leading the theocracy to greater heights of glory. The domain is yours to command--if you have the courage, the conviction, and the blood of kings in your veins.
This BIRTHRIGHT domain sourcebook is designed for players who want to take the role of Archpriest. It may also be used by players playing vassals to the regent, or adventurers who want to explore the mysteries of the theocracy.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Endier is a realm that I think I would want to try playing if I were going to play Birthright as it was intended to play. It is a realm that should not be where it is and it is only there through the guile of its rulers. I always thought of it as Switzerland if they had an agenda and weren't protected by impenetrable mountains. If playing it as a campaign setting, but not with the Birthright system, once the players found themselves in the realm the game would take on much more role than roll in the playing aspect.
From the back cover:
"Welcome to Endier, one of the smallest domains in Anuire. Carved from the treacherous forest known as the Spiderfell, it is precariously balanced between three of the more powerful realms in the land, playing a delicate game of politics and diplomacy to survive. One misstep could mean its ruin; the fate of the land rests squarely on the shoulders of you, its regent. It is said that with great risks come great rewards. If this is so, then the rewards of ruling Endier must be great indeed.
This package includes:
A full-color, eight-page foldout cover containing detailed maps of the domain and important locations within it.
Facts about the history, geography, and economy of Endier.
A summary of how the government works, and how the regent manages to keep control of it.
Descriptions of the major NPCs in Endier, friend and foe alike.
Rumors to keep the regent on the alert, and royal secrets to help keep enemies at bay.
This BIRTHRIGHT domain sourcebook is designed for players who want to take the role of the Lord of Endier, the thief regent of the realm. It may also be used by players playing nobles, servants of the regent, or adventurers of Endier."
Friday, July 20, 2012
Roesone is a realm that seems to have a perfect mix for those who like to adventure. It is recently carved out of wilderness so it is not overly civilized. It also has a good mix of terrain that would allow for varied wilderness type situation, though it does lack any mountains. It also has access to a seaport meaning that players could take a nautical adventure if they wanted to. The movers and shakers are all, or for the most part all, descended from rough and tumble adventurer types or maybe a little grittier than that even so that is plus. The one drawback in looking at using it is the fact that it says that it is monster light. If I were using it I would just simply ignore that line. This is the domain that I think most fits the standard starting type of location for campaigns.
From the back of the book:
Once a lawless frontier less than a century ago, Roesone is one of the youngest states in all of Anuire. as the ruler of the land, you'll find that Roesone is surrounded by uncertain allies and dangerous enemies. Plots and intrigues creep through the halls of your court and shadowed powers are moving against you. It will take strength, courage and determination to keep your crown on your head - and your head on your shoulders.
This BIRTHRIGHT domain sourcebook is designed for players who want to take the role of Baron Roesone, the warrior regent of the land. It may also be used by players playing nobles, servants of the Baron, or adventurers from Roesone.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
One of the thoughts I have long dabbled with in a campaign is that the races seem to get along all too well for things to be realistic. Nothing in the entire history of humanity has ever set the precedent that elves/dwarves/humans/halflings/gnomes should get along even in a fantasy world. Add in other races that appear even less human in appearance or are animal in nature and we have a powder keg waiting to go off.
This is represented to some extent by the domain of Tuarhievel in the Birthright setting. A once idyllic elven realm that has man introduced into it and in less than 100 years peaceful coexistence has turned into man deciding it is theirs to do with as desired. The result is the near complete defeat of man and then a resulting civil war situation amongst the elves because of their taking sides and then an extended uncomfortable stalemate situation. This sounds like a realistic fantasy world to me.
I have always been more attuned to playing elves than dwarves so this works better for me as a domain to play in. The dynamics of the realm also add a higher level of role playing potential in my mind. There may not be as many dungeon crawls out of this but there could be countless "Diplomacy" style evenings which is what Birthright was designed for anyway.
From the Back of the Book:
Before the humans descended on Cerilia, the continent was virtually untouched, inhabited only by those who understood how to live in harmony with nature. Since the human incursion, however, the natives have been forced to realign themselves with their homelands and their neighbors. No group has felt the effects of these maneuverings as much as the elves, who now engage in a daily struggle to keep a hold on their lands, fight off human interests, and preserve their heritage.
In Tuarhievel, matters have recently gotten worse. Prince Fhileraene has disappeared after being coerced into answering a summons from the Gorgon--but before he went away he transferred his bloodline to his consort, a human female named Savane Mhoried. Many of the elves of Tuarhievel consider this act to have been a betrayal of their heritage, even though the interim regent has promised to pass the bloodline to her yet unborn child as soon as that child comes of age. But in the meantime, the elven nation is in upheaval. The land needs a strong leader to prevent traditional values from clashing with the needs of the nation, lest it be torn apart. Can your character walk the fine line between tradition and necessity to unify Tuarhievel?
This BIRTHRIGHT domain sourcebook is designed for players who wish to take part in the rulership of Tuarhievel, either as regent of as the leader of one of the domain's noble families. This information is invaluable to anyone who might wish to approach Tuarhievel as a political ally or embark on adventures in the area.
Monday, July 16, 2012
I have never been a fan of playing Dwarves. In all my days of roleplaying I am not sure I have ever played one. I most likely did and have simply forgotten about it. I have played a gnome so I have to have played a dwarf, right? As a result this is one of the sourcebooks that I would most likely not have used as a player but as a DM it is nice to have if you want to use the Birthright setting as a stand alone setting.
From the back of the book:
Long before humans invaded Cerilia, the dwarves of the land had carved out a peaceful life for themselves, marred only by the persistent savagery of orog tribes. Since the human incursion, life has changed little for the natives of Baruk-Azhik, sequestered safely beneath the inhospitable mountains known as the Iron Peaks.
Baruk-Azhik is a domain of untold riches; there seems to be no end to the precious metals under the mountains, and surface-dwellers are always eager to trade. But the domain is not without perils. The orogs have grown more numerous and more cunning, and outside help may be needed to defeat them once and for all.
The character who ascends the throne of Baruk-Azhik assumes command of a mighty and loyal nation - but one whose existence hangs in the balance. Only a leader with nerves of steel, hardened determination, and superior command skill can guide the dwarves into a future full of promise and free of war.
This BIRTHRIGHT domain sourcebook is designed for players who wish to take the role of the Overthane of Baruk-Azhik. It may also be used by players playing nobles, vassals of the regent, or adventurers from this domain.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
I have never had the opportunity to use any of the adventures in this book. In looking them over they seem very much tied into the setting more so than many other adventures in other products.This is not a slur on the product as the adventures seem to be all well done and since it is a Birthright product why should they not be tied to the setting. It is just that I am not sure I could suggest picking this up unless you are going to play in the Birthright setting. It would be possible to change the information to adopt it into a unique setting but I feel the return on investment of doing that would be less than pulling from other sources. On an aside on of my top ten favorite monsters is the Ogre Magi and I would own the book simply for having one on the cover if nothing else!
From the Back of the Book:
Far in the future, bards sing tales of kings and conquerors from ages past--but from your present. The Hero-Kings of legend are your player characters from your campaign, who even now shape the course of Cerilian history.
More than simply an adventure collection, this 160-page book enables you, the Dungeon Master, to turn ordinary domain actions into opportunities for heroic exploits. Each of the eleven "legends" set forth here is based on a different random event from the BIRTHRIGHT Rulebook. Don't allow a mere die roll to decide the outcome of a blood challenge, rebellion, intrigue, or magical event--make the PCs forge their own destinies by confronting a madman who is "Blood Hungry," wresting the "Fang of Kriesha" from its evil wielder's grasp, thwarting a rival regent's "Double Dealing," and saving all of Cerilia from "The Gift of Azrai."
These adventures are suitable for PCs of all levels and classes--whether regents, scions, or commoners--and can take place wherever your campaign is set. This book also includes an appendix that offers advice for running different types of BIRTHRIGHT campaigns and creating your adventures fit for a king.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Much of what I said about the Book of Magecraft will be true for the Book of Priestcraft. If you replace the portions about alternate magic system with pantheons of deities then I could have almost used what was written again. I have often dabbled with the idea of removing clerics from the game to see what it would be like or making them a magic user specialty dealing with life magic.
It would not be a stretch to say that the format used to write up the entries for the pantheon in this book should be the format used for any similar products. It lays out the particulars of the individual deity and then provides information on the church and its operation. Next it lays information on clerics of the order and their limitation and benefits and then it repeats this for paladins of the order if there are any. It then also lists information on where temples connected with the deity can be located.
From the back of the book:
Priests are more than mere physicians tending the wounded and healing the sick - they are defenders of the realm, champions of their god, and the politicians of Cerilia. Whether they are ministering aid, performing diplomacy, inspiring the people, or dispersing undead legions of evil, priests command great power and authority. For the power of the Blood comes from the gods, and only their priests can make a king!
The Book of Priestcraft describes the devoted followers of the gods of Cerilia, their philosophies, tactics, and daily duties. It also details new battle and realm spells for priests, and examines the legend of Cerilian religious relics. This book further explores the investiture ceremony - the mysterious transfer of blood power from ruler to heir. And it contains advice to priest regents on diplomacy, ruling domains, waging wars, and beginning crusades. It's everything a priest must know to build an empire in Cerilia - or even to survive.
Come, don the robes of the true kingmakers of Cerilia!
Friday, July 13, 2012
If you intended to play Birthright I think this is an essential book to have. If you want to use the setting as a campaign without using the setting as it was intended this is just as essential to have. If you want to have book that lays out an interesting twist on the core magic system in the AD&D game to use in your game this is a damn nice book to have. If you just want something to mine for ideas connected with spells and magic this is a great book to have. I think I have made the point that for almost anyone this runs anywhere from essential to good.
From the back of the book:
Magic permeates the very air, earth, and sea of Cerilia - yet escapes the mastery of all but a rare few. Those who control the continent's magical energy can call upon forces incomprehensible to the rest of its inhabitants. These powerful figures are Cerilia's wizards: adventurers, advisers, and kings whose spells can affect the destinies of thousands.
This 128-page book contains everything players and Dungeon Masters need to make wizard characters more distinctive, mysterious, feared, and true to the BIRTHRIGHT setting. Inside are details on:
The secrets of sources and ley lines.
Strategies for building and maintaining a magical domain.
Spells unique to Cerilia, including new conventional spells, realm spells, and war magic.
Cerilian magical items and Mount Deismaar artifacts.
The status, philosophy, and role of wizards in each of Cerilia's spellcasting cultures.
The unique magician character class and the study of magic in Cerilia.
Near-mythical creatures said to grant boons to wizards fortunate enough to encounter them.
Warriors, priests, and rogues beware: The wizards of Cerilia have come to power!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Some may say I am beating a dead horse by saying this but as I have said before the Birthright setting is in my top five of TSR settings and could be as high as two depending on how the mood strikes me when it comes to rating them. This is not a book that I have had a chance to use though. IN reviewing it I am not sure I will ever use it as intended but it is full of material that gets the creative juices flowing. I am sure some parts of it will be used as written and other parts will at some point serve as inspiration for items I will build upon and most likely lay claim to them as my own.
From the back of the book:
Cerilia: Where gods died and kings now rule with divine powers. Where dark powers contaminate flesh and blood, and evil shows its true visage in the abominations that stalk the land. Where monarchs both true and corrupt clash over rulership of the Birthright campaign world!
This book, designed for the Dungeon Master, is a guide to the most dangerous creatures on the face of Cerilia: the awnsheghlien. Sovereign creatures of their own realms, these dark creatures wield their power with iron fists, and many seek to tear more power from weaker leaders. These 128 pages' worth of monstrous dictators and wandering nightmares will strike fear into the hearts of all blooded rulers from the Sea of Storms to the Isle of the Serpent!
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Faeries get a bad rap in my opinion. Even the cover of this book sends the idea that they are all the commercialized version of elves (before Peter Jackson gave us his interpretation of Legolas) that were made popular in cartoons and animated films. The stories of the Fey in cultures where they originated give us a much darker portrayal than the images that have made them popular. They were creatures not to be taken lightly and to deal with only if you had to and most times that would not end well for the even the best intentioned if they were not careful.
Other than the image on the cover I think this book does a fair job of trying to put them in a light more consistent with the legends that they sprang from. The book is a D20 offering so it has much of the overhead that comes with that in the way of prestige classes, feats and the like. If you are a 3.x player then these are at least average for offerings from that period. The book offers details on the lands of the Fey and background on the races that can be used in any game system as well as other material that taken into systems or settings. I think this is one of the better Bastion Press offerings I have read and am glad to have it in my collection.
Welcome to the Twilit Lands, where all is fey and faeries rule. This d20 guide to Faeries provides answers on the fair folk, the fey races and creatures more ancient than dragons and far more enigmatic than their sizes or shapes ever reveal. The secrets held by the fey far outstrip all the other races combined, and this book brings them right to players and Game Masters alike.
This supplement provides new rules and a new understanding of fey monsters as well as many new faeries for your d20 games. Players can learn more skills and spells, plus discover magical artifacts and secrets from the fey. Meet new monsters and fey legends that cross many worlds and cultures, from Old Man Winter to the Lady of the Lake. Best of all, the world of Faerie, a world as close as a dream and as magical as its denizens, comes alive with its legends and lore for the Game Masters and can easily be linked to all d20 worlds.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Books like this take me back to the days when Oriental Adventures and Unearthed Arcana were released for the first edition AD&D. Both of these featured new weapons and armor options that the group I played with were more than willing to milk for every perceived advantage they could. It was in those early days that I learned on of my most valuable DM tricks. That was that if the players can do it so can their adversaries. Nothing like having that same "rule breaking" option used on a player to make them see the folly of the option.
This book is one that I would never have really bought unless I had been able to get is cheap like I did. The material in it is not bad but the weapons selection seems too exotic as it were. I am not sure that there was ever such a varied selection of weapons in any one place, in history, other than a gaming convention in the early 21st century. If you can get it cheap the books is worth having but unless you want your players running around with weapons like Duck Spades and a Cicada Winged Sword while wearing Aeroglass Plate or Subdermal Armor I might limit its use.
From the back of the book:
Weapons of Valor
Weapons make the adventurer, granting a cutting edge against fearsome foe and cunning villains alike. Players and GMs discover new and innovative ways to arm their favorite personages within these pages. With more than 70 new weapon qualities and 100 new weapons, everyone can find something to arm their imaginations.
Armor of Faith
Bardic armor? Spellcaster's spidersilk? No matter the class, new types of armor await discovery. Coupled with more than 70 new armor qualities, armorsmiths the world over prepare to forge a host of new possibilities for the world's greatest heroes.
Monday, July 9, 2012
This is a supplement to a game called Murphy's World. Sometimes you buy a game for the cover, sometimes you buy it based on past experience, sometimes based on the reviews of others and then at times like when I bought Bob, Lord of Evil you buy it for the title and the premise of the game. I bought this knowing that I would never ever play it. I bought it simply to read it and to own it. I am not sure it is possible to be a better person for owning an object, I know for a fact it isn't but I am am a happier person having this in my collection and happier has to count for something doesn't it. I don't want to neglect mentioning the art which is so appropriate for the system it isn't funny...well actually it is. If you want to get an idea on why it is good to own this read the information on the publisher's site using the link below.
Link to more information
From the Back of the Book:
The Dark Lands, ruled by Bob, Lord of Evil, is a silly place where you can play light- hearted adventures with a techno-fantasy-horror theme. This book can be used with any existing system of rules - you're not required to generate a new Character to visit the Land of Bob, as Characters from other worlds can easily be brought to the Dark Lands via a crashed spaceship, magical backfire, or interdimensional teleportation gate. Characters could even suffer an individual or collective bout of unconsciousness and visit Tir Nan Bob in their dreams, er... nightmares!
What's inside? Everything you need to start Adventuring!
Sunday, July 8, 2012
I wish I could tell you that I didn't buy this game based on the cover. I am not sure what it is about the art but the first time I saw the core rulebook I had to have it. This is no less true about this book and also the World of Aldea book as well. There are times that judging a book by it's cover will lead you down the path of ruin. Luckily this was not the case with these books. I have not had a chance to play the system as of yet but it reads like it will be a solid play and the material is presented in an easy to read and yet still striking manner.
From the publisher's website:
Blue Rose Companion A Blue Rose Sourcebook Written by Chris Aylott, Elissa Carey, Joseph Carriker, Steve Kenson, Alejandro Melchor, Aaron Rosenberg, and Rodney Thompson Cover art by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law 120-pages, perfect bound ISBN: 1-932442-36-7 Every great hero needs a companion. The Blue Rose Companion expands upon the game systems and options for the Blue Rose fantasy roleplaying game. The Companion offers more options for creating your heroes, from heroic paths to new feats and arcane abilities. It provides game systems for arcane rituals, places of power, and creating arcane items. It also offers a selection of new arcane items and an expanded bestiary of monsters for your heroes to fight. With the Blue Rose Companion you can take your adventures in the world of Aldea to the next level.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
I have never played this game and am not sure I ever will. I remember picking it up because I had heard it was a setting that was accurate scientifically. The setting is one that I am not sure would find all that enjoyable though.I tend to prefer my science fiction games to be post apocalyptic anymore or tinged with horror. The game has been published at least three times and even has a GURPS treatment. It was originally done by Biohazard Games. I am not sure if this is the same Biohazard Games that has connection with Resident Evil or not though.
From the back of the book:
Welcome to Poseidon
The planet . . .
A waterworld, home to a savage ecology and awash in the mystery of an ancient alien past.
The human race . . .
Desperate and dying on a famine-ravaged Earth, reaches hungrily for the once forgotten colony world and its promise of ultimate survival.
The Long John . . .
Hidden below the ocean floor, a priceless, enigmatic ore that holds the key to human DNA and the promise of human immortality.
The colony . . .
Transformed into a lawless frontier as mining corporations wage brutal war and colonists fight for the survival of their adopted world.
The aborigines . . .
Inscrutable, powerful, and enraged in defense of a primal heritage as ancient and mysterious as the planet's darkest waters.
The game . . .
A compelling journey into humanity's dark future on a distant planet where life is hard and dying is easy. A world where GEO Marshals enforce the peace and wired mercs patrol deep waters in deadly fighter subs. A place where corporate greed and human desperation ravage an alien ecology, threatening to plunge humanity into a war of survival with an ancient legacy.
From the company's site:
The year is 2199 and life on Earth is a hopeless struggle between economic chaos and social decay. Incorporated city states dominate the political landscape and natural resources are virtually exhausted. Civilization has barely survived a seventy-five year dark age known simply as "The Blight". For more than three decades an engineered virus ravaged the world's agricultural crops while social panic reigned and billions died of starvation. The resulting chaos has only recently been stabilized, due primarily to the heroic efforts of the Global Ecology Office. This organization was created by the United Nations in reaction to "The Blight", and is all that still remains of most of Earth's original world governments. Powerful and benign, yet challenged on every front, the G.E.O. struggles to protect human rights and ecological integrity in the face of Incorporate inhumanity and social desperation. The G.E.O. remains the last best hope throughout the solar system, and the newly resettled colonies beyond.
In 2065, long before the outbreak of "The Blight", astronomers discovered an anomalous body beyond the orbit of Pluto. During the following decades a series of probes revealed the anomaly to be a rift in space, an example of the hypothetical, astronomical construct known as a wormhole. Further exploration eventually demonstrated that this phenomena was in fact a usable passage to another region of space. Humanity looked to the stars with collective awe when it was discovered that an Earth-like planet waited beyond the worm hole. A planet covered by blue oceans and teeming with life. A pristine world, unexplored and unravaged. A water world that would eventually become known as Poseidon.
As part of a long term plan to ease the heavy burden on the Earth's vanishing resources, the U.N. member nations began an intensive colony effort, seeding Poseidon with genetically altered, human colonists. The Athena Project did much to aid the Earth's failing economies and social morale. Unfortunately, 'The Blight' struck soon after the colony ships were launched, but before the planned resupply ships could be built. Desperate for resources to fight 'The Blight', and therefore unable to do anything else, the U.N. was forced to abandon the project and the colonists. This was the first in a long series of harsh decisions the U.N. would be forced to make in the years that followed.
In spite of the failure of the resupply effort, and the lack of contact with Earth, the colonists on Poseidon actually survived. As their technology wore out and failed, they learned to rely on pioneer ingenuity and their genetically engineered bodies. Spreading across the planet's surface in small villages and family groups, the colonists adopted a life much like the ancient Polynesians, settling the planet's countless island archipelagos.
One of the many discoveries made by the colonists was that they were not the only sentient life forms on Poseidon. Frustratingly alien in their actions and motivation, these aborigines became a source of fear and mystery for the colonists. Encounters often ended in bloodshed, and superstition grew as evidence of strange empathic abilities was discovered. The true origin and motivations of these beings lies in the ancient history of the planet and is a mystery as dark as the planet's deepest waters.
As the G.E.O. slowly salvaged the future of the human race, it again looked to the stars. In 2164 a small science vessel was built and sent through the worm hole in hopes of initiating a second colonial effort. No one had anticipated the survival of the original colonists, and those on Earth were stunned to discover the colony had not only survived, but had grown from the five thousand original colonists to over eighty thousand souls.
The recontact mission was met with mixed reactions from the original settlers; many were excited and relieved, many were bitter and retreated into uninhabited regions, but the majority were calmly indifferent. Poseidon had become their world, and they had become its natives. Contact was welcome, but essentially unimportant. They had made their peace with the planet and had no intention of giving up the lives they had built.
Traffic between Earth and Poseidon was minimal at first, and consisted mainly of scientific missions and Incorporate research and development teams. At first they had little impact on the natives or the planet, but as Poseidon began to give up its secrets, that quickly changed. The nature of the worm hole and it connection to Poseidon became the source of endless debate. The intelligence of the aborigines became a compelling mystery though all efforts at contact or capture ultimately failed. The planet's biological diversity and ecological intricacy defied understanding. The genetic code of the native life was found to be inexplicably based on DNA, explaining why the colonists had been able to initially survive, and subsequently thrive. And, in the planet's exposed crust, Incorporate geologists found a substance that would eventually motivate a colonial frenzy that not only threatened to change the colonists new way of life, but threatened to plunge humanity into a war of survival with an ancient alien legacy.
Longevity Matrix Ore, or Long John, was first discovered during an Incorporate mineral survey. Though initially a closely guarded secret, word soon leaked about the fantastic potential of the substance. This mineral could be processed to provide biochemical tools of such awesome power that nothing in the realm of genetics remained beyond the control of gene engineers. Nothing. Humanity had discovered the key to immortality!
On Earth, a world still foul with the smell of the dead, humanity exploded into a colonial gold rush the likes of which history has never known. Incorporate greed and human desperation sent millions rushing to Poseidon to stake their claims and to feed a market driven by humanity's primal fear of death.
So, in 2199, Poseidon is a planet of company boom towns and corporate mining facilities, native settlements and orbiting factories. Life is hard, fast, and amphibious. Frontier law prevails as G.E.O. Marshals try to protect native rights and enforce Incorporate regulations. The aborigines remain a mystery, yet are blamed for increasingly frequent acts of sabotage and carnage. Sea floor installations are guarded by squadrons of fighter subs, and corporate takeovers often involve marine assault teams. The natives have grown to hate the Incorporate and fear for their new world as environmental extremists incite ecological warfare in defense of the planet. Always new colonists flood in, hoping for a better life, as ruthless opportunists scavenge what they can. And, lost in the background, scientists preach caution, claiming there is something wrong, something strange going on below the water's surface . . .
Friday, July 6, 2012
This is a book I remember buying and when it was bought. It was at the last or next to last of a small convention that had been around for years. Origins had settled for it's extended and maybe permanent stay in Columbus and that spelled the end for CapCon apparently as it has never returned. This was sold at the auction that year with one or two other pieces of Bloodshadows material. I picked it up thinking it looked interesting and I was always looking for a new game to play. It was at that convention a buddy told me about a new card game he tried and a month or two later a mutual friend introduced me to crack (and by crack I mean Magic the Gathering). Needless to say I never got around to using the Bloodshadows system or this book.
From the back of the book:
BLOODSHADOWS CAMPAIGN PACK
Take a long trip through the Wilderness or a short trip through a gate and you might end up in Albredura. You could do worse, you could do better. Albredura's a city of survivors and cynics, hard magic and cold steel. Trying to turn a profit is tough in a town where breaking even might not even mean survival.
Mean Streets is a campaign supplement for Bloodshadows, the World of Fantasy Noir. It contains details on the isolated city of Albredura as well as gamemastering tips for the Bloodshadows roleplayer.
Also included in Mean Streets is the Bloodshadows Gamemaster Screen, containing many of the necessary charts and tables included in the Bloodshadows Worldbook and Masterbook.
Mean Streets is a Campaign Supplement intended for use with the Bloodshadows game.
A MasterBook Game
Thursday, July 5, 2012
This is one of those books that I really have no idea how it got into my collection. I know it was not a Half Price Books purchase because it has no sticker. It is possible that I just don't remember buying it individually but more than likely it was bundled with some other book that I wanted or bought as part of a huge lot. The sad part is that is all I can say about the book personally. This got bought (not sure how), scanned and boxed. Someone compared it to Fallout online but since it predates the games maybe the comparison should go the other way. For the record I have never played any of the Fallout games either.
In an instant, billions died. Now, sixty years after the nuclear holocaust the last vestiges of mankind crawl around in the radioactive hell that is the United States and Europe. In this desolate, post-apocalyptic world of magic, mutations, and machines, you as prophet must rebuild civilization. Out in the Waste, a bullet is worth two weeks of food, and reading and writing are illegal! Yet the fate of mankind lies in the hands of you and a few others. You cannot fail in your mission to take the Earth back from those who destroyed it.
Blood Dawn revolves around a group of Prophets (the players) who are sent out into the blasted ruins of Earth by the Underground Collective, a secret society devoted to taking the Earth back from those who destroyed it. The Prophets are a rag-tag bunch of misfits, humans, mutants, or worse, who have been selected by the Underground Collective and then "enhanced" to increase their power and survivability. The players must travel The Waste, winning its denizens over to their side, in the fight against those who live in the protected Dome cities, those responsible for the Earth's destruction.
Blood Dawn is a skill based system, utilizing a d20 as its base. Players can choose from six races to play, and equip them with a wide variety of skills and equipment to make each truly unique.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Any product that can provide you with a volume of magical or unique items, personalities associated with them and then plot hooks to get them involved in your campaign is something worth having in my world. Blade's Treasure Vault is just such a product. I have more often than not been impressed with the offerings from Blade/Catalyst and would rate them just short of being on par with most of the earlier Judges Guild offerings. I am not certain if I bought this when it was released but have had it in my collection for some time and have referred back to it for ideas often.
From the Front Cover:
A collection of 26 unusual items with 38 interlocked personalities in 57 suggested scenarios for any role playing game system
From the Back Cover:
A game-master's aid for all role-playing systems
You've trudged through miles of wilderness, crossed the swamp to end all swamps, fought creatures of the night and monsters of madness and you still have a light purse? Then unlock the doors to Treasure Vault!
These unique items, magical and otherwise, provide a fresh lure to exciting adventures for the most jaded character's spirit. The unusual personalities and tantalizing scenarios make this book a genuine treasure trove of ideas for the game master of any role playing system.
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