Friday, March 30, 2012

What does WFRP have to do with China?

my recently (re-)acquired WFRP 1st edition hardback
Yeah, what does Warhammer Fantasy Role Play have to do with China?
To be honest, not a whole lot, unless you take the weird fantasy elements of WFRP, mix in Kung Fu movies, a bit of twisted history, some gonzo from Big Trouble in Little China and mix them all together. I will be giving some more teaser information in an upcoming post.

That is going to be some of the flavor of my Allterra Project setting: Legends of Wei - The Celestial Empire. It is a fantasy faux-China setting.

Allterra is a shared settings "world" which will have several GMs. Each will run their own setting, with PCs transferable between settings. My portion of the Allterra Project is humming away.  I am currently working on game mechanics and my sandbox setting, itself.

Allterra will run on several different game systems, with characters converted back and forth for transference between settings, if need be. Allterra will also be Flailsnails Compatible. Indeed, if it were not for the original Flailsnails Conventions, this in-progress project would possibly not have even been conceived. In this regard, much is owed to those original masterminds, Flailsnails GMs and players that have participated in it. I have enjoyed Flailsnails games much myself. It is in that spirit that I am hoping Allterra will give back to the Flailsnails community by being Flailsnails Compatible.

In fact, Brother Damien Bernard, my now 5th level Cleric, was made specifically for Flailsnails. I used the Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Grindhouse Edition to generate Brother Damien. As a retro clone, the LotFP system had the feel of weird fantasy to it, so I chose it above others.

an interior shot of the score I got for 20 bucks...and it's a first GW printing straight from the UK!!!  (Click for a larger image)

With Legends of Wei: The Celestial Empire, I want to impart a flavor that is a bit sweet and sour ;)

The influences that I choose besides those that come from my own head are an important factor, so I guess that is what Warhammer Fantasy Role Play and a host of other things have to do with China.

(more to come...)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Judges Guild Goodies

Recently I made a score of some related Judges Guild publications for Runequest.

All three were in the original shrink wrap and in near perfect mint condition! It was a thrill to unwrap a "new" Judges Guild product after so long.

I got them at a decent price, so it wasn't as painful as purchasing some of the more sought after JG products. You can click on any of these images for a larger view.

Of special interest to me was the "main" of the three-pack: the City of Lei Tabor.

To be honest, I had never even heard of this one before. "Back in the day" there were some good rule systems/settings that I never got to play, because either I didn't have the loot to get them or no one I knew played those systems. With my acquisition of the Avalon Hill Rune Quest Deluxe boxed set and

Lei Tabor, I have a mini campaign in my hands.

What is interesting about the City of Lei Tabor is that is what I would call the Runequest equivalent of the excellent Judges Guild City State of the Invincible Overlord. At 96 pp, Lei Tabor packs just as much of a wallop as City State, as regards publication size. Similar weirdness, encounters and places to get into trouble at in Lei Tabor are given in a similar manner as how City State was set up. The best part about that format for Lei Tabor is that it is much cleaner and has a larger type font than CSIO did.

The contents of the City of Lei Tabor read just like you would imagine a Runequest City State would: History, Map, City Night Life Encounters, etc.

I will be using Lei Tabor as a template for one of my Allterra Project places of interest. Hopefully I will get as much bang-for-the-buck from these three Judges Guild products as possible.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring in Sylvaeon: Passing of the Seasons

image from

In Sylvaeon the season has passed from Winter to Spring.
One character, Smyrynel, witnessed the rite of The Passing of the Seasons. This druidic rite occurs at the equinoxes and solstices. During these times, the most powerful druids of the Realm gather to pass the Staff of the Seasons from the keeper of the prior season to the druid that guards and guides the next.

The druid Mellion appeared to Smyrynel as she was tending the earth planting pine seeds at the end of her retreat to the cave shrine at the Shattered Cliff.  Mellion transported Smyrynel in spirit to the rounded pavilion set in a secret glade. The pavilion serves as the focal place of the ritual of The Passing of the Seasons and The Staff of the Seasons serves as the focal object.

When Smyrynel first saw Mellion, who had finally arisen from his period of Winter sleep, he held the staff. It had ice and snow upon it, but they were melting. At the top of the staff, amidst the ornate carving, were small unopened buds. Once they had arrived to the place of the ritual, Smyrynel saw the pavillion covered in snow. Around the pavilion were standing stones similar to what she had seen before. A snowshoe hare hopped in the snow beneath the pavilion. A cardinal sat in the bare branches of an oak tree. The scene was quiet and serene.

Eventually, druids robed in various colors marched in procession into the sacred grove, taking their places around the pavilion in a ring. Mellion ascended the steps to the pavilion and held up the staff, announcing that according to the ancient custom that he would now pass the Staff of Seasons to the one who would guide Spring. A woman garbed in a robe that shifted slowly across the color spectrum, which created scenes of Spring bloom and life upon it, ascended the pavilion with Mellion. Mellion held out the staff to her, which she took. Covering his head with his cowl, Mellion left the pavilion. The woman let the cowl of her robe drop, revealing that she was an elf. She held aloft the staff and it instantly began to bloom. The snow melted almost instantaneously from the pavilion as the tree budded fort and tender leaves came from the buds. Birds began to fly under the pavilion and chipmunks and other animals seemed to be foraging. The scent of earth wafted into the previously sterile environment. As a brief, gentle rain passed through the pavion, the smell of ozone filled the air.

Now, with the passing of the seasons, the woman left the pavilion and the druids turned to acknowledge Smyrynel with a short bow. They filed away as they had came. The simple but important ritual was complete.

Spring has come to Sylvaeon once again.

(In honor of Spring, I have also changed the blog theme from Winter, back to a Spring one.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Paladin's Guide to Reforming Goblins

The Paladin's Guide to Reforming Goblins
(a lesson in training goblinoids from Session #10 of the Aeternal Realm of Sylvaeon)

Previously, thirteen goblinoids had surrendered to the party at the Moon Well. Great evil had been wrought under the leadership of the goblin shaman, as the Red Moon was summoned.

The problem that the party had was that goblnoids had never surrendered before. In the past they either fought maniacally to the death or ran away to fight again another day. Some of the PCs wanted to kill them outright anyway, but Sir Parcifal decided that an attempt to reform the goblinoids should be made.

The party marched their prisoners to the Warden Outpost. Once they arrived, Parcifal began the process of reeducating the goblinoids. One spoke the common tongue, so he was the go-between for the Paladin and the rest of the creatures. The Sword SIster Airyka spoke their tongue, so she made sure that everything was as Parcifal said. She also helped oversee the dastardly little devils and maintain some semblance of order when things would go wrong.

In a conversation with the  only of the unlucky 13 goblinoids that could communicate with him, Parcifal discovered that they did not understand the concepts of hope and freewill; knowing only fear, servitude, strength and weakness. As a man of virtue, Parcifal began to lecture the goblinoids about ethics and civilized concepts, during which the goblinoids stared blankly at him. One even fell asleep. Later, the green-black miscreants became even more bored, because they had no mischief to do. To relieve the monotony, they began to poke each other with sticks or knock one another over the head with rocks.

Seeing that this approach was not working, the Warden Master GIldaril suggested that Parcifal give the goblinoids the task of building their own shelter somewhere outside of the Outpost. Parcifal took a risk that eventually turned out to be a wise decision: he marched them to the river to resettle them in an area somewhat removed from the Outpost. It was risky, because the little terrors were not under the direct supervision of the Wardens anymore.

Gibble, the goblin that spoke the common language, announced that the thirteen had decided that they wanted to build a fort, like the Wardens had. Parcifal agreed and gave a hatchet to Gibble with the instructions that Gibble would give it to the one most capable of using it -  Gibble announced that he was and raised it in triumph, announcing that he was now the leader of the thirteen goblins, at which they all cheered. At last, the goblins set to work in a pathetic attempt to replicate the fort. Airyka had to teach them how to cut and drive small trees into the ground as post and how to make lean-to shelters as places to sleep. The goblins renewed their efforts, taking to the work gleefully.

However, during the night, the goblinoids began to fight amongst themselves again, as there were only 6 shelters built and there was thirteen of the goblins. Only 2 could fit into a shelter at a time, so one hapless goblin was kicked out of every shelter and decided he was going to drag one of his brothers out of a shelter, so that he would have room to sleep. Airyka had to break up the fight and made another shelter. Now everything seemed to be alright… but it was not, because later in the night the goblinoids were fighting again about who would et single occupancy of the new shelter. The next day, Airyka made sure that each of the malcontents had made their own shelter to sleep in and that solved the problem.

After some days of working, a five foot high post wall was created and a wooden gate attached. The goblin fort was ready! Working together finally made the goblins more of a team and there was less trouble over time.

Once the fort was finished, Gibble asked if the goblins would continue to receive rations from the Wardens or if they could have weapons and go hunting. Airyka was a bit concerned about giving the little greenies weapons, but Gibble convinced Parcifal to lend them a dagger so that they could sharpen makeshift spears for themselves. Parcifal allowed the goblins to go out in pairs. Because their were thirteen, the goblins drew lots using darker and lighter stones, determining which one would remain behind at the goblin fort. Parcifal approved, as the goblins were showing increased signs of community and less aggression when conflict or self-interest came into play.

Charging them not to go more than a day's journey away, Parcifal released the pairs to go hunting. Some did not return that night. Parcifal rode off to find them the next day. He found some sleeping in the woods, no more than a day's journey away. Upon seeing Parcifal, they waves and showed him the squirrels they can hunted, chattering at him in their incomprehensible language. Hoisting their kill, they marched confidently back to the fort without being told to.

Upon seeing that it might be possible for the goblins to exist now as a cohesive community, he set up a shield with the White Rose standard of the Lady over the small gateway. The goblins jumped and cheered, because in their minds, they were now just like the Wardens and their outpost.

Before taking leave, Parcifal charged the creatures with a few simple guidelines, which Gibble scratched into wood with his claws. Parcifal said he would return sometime to check on them. The goblins waved goodbye to the paladin and the sword sister and began their new existence as semi-reformed goblins.

Hopefully they will not cause too many problems in the future  ;)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

System Conversion & the Allterra Project

News about converting Old School to Basic Role Playing or other related percentile systems & the Allterra Project:

What began a few months ago as an idea to convert my Sylvaeon campaign as seamlessly as possible from AD&D/ OSRIC to Chaosium's Basic Role Playing system is taking on shape as a conversion project. Kyrinn Eis and myself have been working on this and will be releasing the book sometime in the near future.

Even though it has initially been focused on converting Old School characters to BRP, one of the things that we are doing is making the conversions work with the related games to BRP, such as Legends, Runequest, Stormbringer, Call of Cthulhu and the like.

This conversion system will allow Old School characters to play in the native percentile system of some of the Allterra Project world settings. Opening up the various settings and games to work together is very exciting.

Jack Ackerman is working on his Ruins & Ronins-based Setting. My own counterpart post-Warring States faux-China setting is also in the works. Other Allterra GM's that have so far volunteered settings include Kyrinn Eis, Michael Henry, Reynaldo Madrinan.

I am thrilled to see these two projects integrated. It will make a great test-bed for conversion initially and hopefully long-term fun for those that visit these world settings!

More information to follow shortly...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cultures of Sylvaeon - The Folk

Cultures of Sylvaeon - The Folk

The Folk are the descendants of the oldest human race to inhabit the Realm. The Folk generally have a ruddy brown or fair-skinned in complexion. Most range from 157 to 177 centimeters in height. Common hair colors vary from black, brown to red. Their builds tend to be medium, but that also can vary. The Folk are mostly farmers, fishers or tradesmen. Their dwellings and villages are homey and tend to impact the environment minimally.

They first appeared approximately 4000 to 3500 years prior to the current year 10,000 of the Sylvaeon Revised Calendar. In the past, the Folk quickly became allied with the various Elven tribes in the areas that the Folk initially inhabited upon their arrival in Sylvaeon. The Folk are not a particularly warlike people, but during the Great Wars 3000 years ago, the Folk joined with the Elves to fight in the great conflict that swept over the known lands of the time.

The Folk almost as a whole have reverence and love for the White Lady and hold a deep respect for the Aeternal Realm of Sylvaeon. The ones that felt the most affinity with the land became the first of the Druid and Foresters, who worked to preserve the Balance of nature and the harmony of the Folk with all of the creatures they dwelled in the land with, whether Fey or feral.

The Great Wars decimated much of both the Elven and human populations. After that time, the surviving Folk emigrated from the decimated land to other portions of Sylvaeon that were less tainted. Over the millennium, the land has become restored. During the past few centuries, some of the Folk have returned to their old places of dwelling. Some of the past monuments to the heroes of the Great Wars remain, but little else. The past culture of the humans in these areas has effectively been erased. Having preserved the ancient lore and traditions of the Realm, something calls the Folk back to restore what was.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Map of Sylvaeon as the PCs know it

The two rivers in confluence towards the middle of the map are:
The Broken Arrow River (coming from the North)
and the Drake's Wash (coming from the West)

The last two sessions took place primarily at the Goblinoid Totem/Burial area & the Moon Well, both to the North.

Soon the PCs will be headed to the Outpost (except one who is going for a retreat to the Cliff cave shine) and then to the Wayfarer's Inn (which sits at the confluence of the two rivers)

The village at the Eastern edge of the map is Arrow's Mouth. The village population is approximately 500 people. 98 % are human, the rest being Elves and Gnomes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Session #9 of The Aeternal Realm of Sylvaeon part II

Having purified the Moon Well and the Nymph that dwells in it, the PCs were told by Gildaril, the Warden Master, that Sir Parcifal and the rest of the Warden Patrol were to accompany him back to the Outpost, shortly. The characters were also told that they would soon be given a period of leave, in which they could rest, train, research, etc. Smyrynel chose to go on retreat back at the river-side cliff cave shrine that the party had restored. Parcifal chose to attempt to rehabilitate the Goblinoids captured at the Moon Well. Kelvin has voiced interest in gathering components for his infamous flash bombs and researching the mysterious scroll that the shaman had in its possession. The Sword Sisters opted fro martial training. All of the characters will meet at the Wayfarer's Inn in a couple of weeks to look for the Loremaster so they can get some questions about the past history of Sylvaeon answered. A bit of relaxation at the Inn was discussed, too.

Before they PCs set out, they participated in a meal with the Nord-Landers and the Acolyte Druid. The spot was chosen by the Druid among ancient burial mounds from the time of the Great Wars, over 3000 years ago. In this area, Airdane, the Druid buried the unknown elf who had served as an unfortunate living sacrifice during the summoning of the Red Moon. There, atop the highest of the mounds, under the night sky, as the cleansed aurora danced overhead, the party had a solemn meal. Afterwards, Erel Jolfsen, the Nord-Lander leader, said that during the times of significant event the Runes of old were often sought among his people. While they cannot foretell the future, Erel said, they can aid in unlocking and understanding aspects of a person's Wyrd. All of the PCs drew from the Runes, but their significance is as yet unknown. The wizard kelvin was sternly warned by Erel that the study of the Runes has given great power to the one they call Loge the Despiser, known to the Folk as the Corrupter. Erel said that the twisting of the Rune lore was one of the things the Corrupter has done as he slipped ever deeper into the seduction for power. Leaving the party to return to their search for more Elves and Folk of the Realm, the Nord-Landers parted in peace.

The Paladin of the White Lady, who recently shows skill in the Way of the Balance, the ways of the Druids, was taken aside by the young Acolyte. He told her that the sacrificed elf's spirit may not be returning again to the Realm, which sorrowed him. He also spoke of how he marvelled that humans, who only come once into existence in the Realm should ever give their short lives to the cause of Sylvaeon. Smyrynel and Airdane exchanged gifts of fellowship amidst the burial mounds.

Now, with no charges or quests before them, the PCs will be finding themselves adrift in the Realm. Their Wyrd lies before them, such as they choose to make it...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Session #9 of the Aeternal Realm of Sylvaeon

Session #9 of The Eternal Realm of Sylvaeon

Last time, the PCs had just defeated the Goblinoid horde which was melting some sort of slag from a nearby mine. The two large large hulk-like goblinoids that the PCs killed were dumping it into a hole in the ice into the Moon Well. The tribe's shaman had summoned the Red Moon with power drawn from the Moon Well through an elaborate ritual involving a shine placed at the center of the Moon Well, the burnt sacrifice of an Elf (which the PCs were sadly unable to stop) and a desecrated standing stone devoted to the White Lady, which had a red moon crescent drawn on it with the elf's blood.

The first of the obstacles to the liberation and restoration of the Moon Well had been overcome; namely the defeat of the Goblinoids. Now the PCs set to disabling the red aurora and its pillar manifestation that emanated from the center of the Moon Well. The Sword Sister Airyka thought that the pillar might be some transport to the Red Moon and placed her hand inside of it. Whether it was a transport or not, she did not figure out, because she was violently thrown back and went skidding unconscious across 70 feet of the ice.

Some of the party began to chop the ice around the aurora pillar & the goblinoid shine at the heart of it with the aid of the newly arrived Nord-Lander Warden, Erel Jolfsen, and some of his fellow clansmen. After an hour's labor the shine fell into the lake with a steamy explosion that rocked the ice, sending Nord-Landers tumbling into the cold water of the Moon Well. These were rescued by the mighty aid of Brynn, a Sword Sister of such prowess that she almost effortlessly drew several of the large Nord-Landers from the waters.

Smyrynel dove into the water to rescue one Nord-Lander that had sunk. As she tied him off to a rope held by another Nord-Lander above and signaled that the rope be drawn up, she spied a water nymph struggling to break free from the slaggy muck that now polluted the bottom of the moon well heavily. The evil shrine that had sunk to the bottom was pulsing fading light and had illuminated this scene, so Smyrynel caught the Nymph's ethereal hand, which became tangible in her grasp and plucked her to the surface of the small lake. The Paladin of the WHite Lady, Smyrynel cleansed the nymph with the water that she had gotten from the magical stream in the druid's grove. When she saw this was effective, she swam back to the center of pollution at the bottom of the moon well and cleansed it by releasing the stream water into the heart of the moon well. This caused the pollution to scatter almost sentiently, but it did dissolve the pollution of the moon well in a brief period of time.

Kelvin the Curious wizard had searched the shaman's body and found he wore a carved bone ring that said "Me No Sleep" upon it. He deduced that it was probably the reason his sleep spell upon the shaman failed in the battle that had recently raged. Kelvin also found the scroll that the goblinoid shaman had used to perform his summoning ritual. The scroll contained lore and spells of the goblinoids that Kelvin decided to decipher better at a later time.

In the shelter structure near the moon well was found a druid acolyte that had previously been tasked by Mellion to seek out the forgotten moon well which now lay in goblinoid territory and to discover its plight.  The moon well had alerted the the great druid to its distress somehow, but Mellion was nearing his time of Winter hibernation and could not go himself. The acolyte was beater and cut, but was alive. Kelvin aided the young druid in removing the body of the burnt elf for burial.

Sir Parcifal helped Brynn, Airyka and the Nord-Landers to tie up the remaining living goblinoids that had either been entangled or had emerged from the mine in surrender. Gildaril, the Warden master and Lydia, the elf maiden that had been rescued from the sink hole, arrived on the scene around this time. Gildaril agreed that Parcifal could attempt to reform the prisoners at the Outpost and placed him in charge of this task. Lydia gave Parcifal a white scarf to carry in her name and told Parcifal that she wished it to bring him good fortune. Being gallant, Parcifal kissed the maiden's hand and the two set about calming and herding the very frightened goblinoids in preparation to take them to the Outpost. Parcifal did need to recapture one of the frightened creatures, which slipped its bonds and tried to run off.

Erel told Airyka that a couple of the Nord-Landers wanted to know if she was interested in marriage. She politely declined, but was given a Nord-Lander axe as a sign of respect for her battle prowess.

The Pcs finally managed to clean up the desecration of the Moon Well. The aura obove it is a now a faint white, but the smallish red moon still glows in the night sky…

(more to come)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Gem

click for larger image

First edition WFRP adventure modules and such are not always easy to find. When you do, they are usually a bit on the steep side price-wise. I scored Volume 1 of The Enemy Within Campaign (to add to Death on the Reik vol 3) on the cheap. I don't think I will ever run this as a straight up adventure, but I can use it as a resource for ideas. I really love the 1st ed Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play world. This copy has a minor crease in the lower right corner, but the pages inside are clean and crisp and the the handouts are still attached in the back :)

As always, the art in the original WFRP products brings out the feeling that it actually is a "Grim World of Perilous Adventure"!

This "adventure" is a great source book, because it contains such things as:

  • A Brief History of the Empire
  • Political Structure of the Empire (Provinces, Noble Houses, Guilds, Taxes, etc)
  • Religion in the Empire (Imperial & Chaos Cults)
  • Geography of the Empire
  • Herb Uses
  • Travel Movement Rates for land and sea
  • Imperial Calendar (complete with festivals)
  • and of course, an adventure relating to a conspiracy to destroy destroy the Empire and all of the machinations that go with such a plot!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

20 Questions Quiz Circulating Around The OSR Blogosphere

20 rules clarification

  1. Ability scores generation method?

For OD&D/S&W I do 3d6 assigned to the stats straight down in order.
If I am using AD&D/OSRIC, then I use a point buy system OR 4d6-lowest with the player assigning them as they wish.

  1. How are death and dying handled?
Back in the day, 0 HP was death, plain and simple. I am seriously considering that being the rule for my Sylvaeon campaign... this questionnaire is timely in that respect, because I have been considering this hard. I have used other methods, such as up to CON in negative damage (with possible Saving Rolls vs Death each round), but I am open to input here.

  1. What about raising the dead?
A rarity at best... an impossibility most of the time. However, I do have a “secret” rule, where Elves reincarnate anywhere from 40 days to 1000 years later!

  1. How are replacement PCs handled?
In Sylvaeon, I use the Arduin Hit Point System. Replacement PCs can easily adventure along with an established party and be able to take similar damage... of course, they do not have the same skills. If a party is extremely high-leveled, I may bump the starting Class Level of a replacement PC to ¼ of what the lowest party member has, if I am in a good mood that day ;)

  1. Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
D10 (counting down) individual initiative for PCs. I may roll a group initiative for similar monster types or individual for leveled humanoid PCs and similar. I allow DEX bonuses to be counted to the d10 if the current melee circumstances of a PC allow it.

  1. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
Once more, back in the day, I have had many characters of my own die hideous and quick deaths because of a crit inflicted upon them using the Arduin Critical Hit Table (or even the Fumble Table!). I used to say what's good for the goose is good for the gander and have monsters and NPCs do critical hits the same way. Now I have modified it to double damage for Natural 20s for both monsters/NPCs and PCs, EXCEPT PCs may get a critical upon an opponent if they roll the max damage for their weapon type. I stole that last part from Michael Moscrip, because I found it was a reasonable option and limited the number of crits. Even though it isn't a perfect solution, it works in practice very well.

  1. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
Yes, your character has nice head gear and their noggin is protected from head-specific damage.

  1. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
Yes! It happens frequently in Sylvaeon when PCs fire into crowded combat or misfire, etc.
  1. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
There is a chance to “defeat” most encounters via combat or often times in another way. Ot everything is for killing and I give experience for overcoming encounters creatively. However, there are encounters that will bring almost certain death if they are not avoided or disengaged from. I let the dice fall where they may in such cases. I have been foolish enough to hang around when death was imminent, but there have also been times I have triumphed in the face of overwhelming odds, so I cannot blame my players for doing either – but they will suffer any consequences.

  1. Level-draining monsters: yes or no? No – I dislike level draining, but I do substitute other types of damage that simulate this.

  11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death? Rarely, yes, but that would be discretionary. I'd rather death resulted as a consequence of actions, not random chance only. It really depends on the actual situation. This question is a bit hypothetical and open-ended for me.
  1. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
For carrying treasure, yeah, I will use encumbrance. In Sylvaeon this is important, because the PCs are extremely mobile and currently have no base of operations to dump loot. Also, resources are critical in Sylvaeon. If you don't have rations and don't hunt or run out of water, you WILL die! Sylvaeon is a wilderness hex crawl and in wilderness environments resources are critical to survival.

Note to PCs: If you guys are keeping track, you would know that you only have one day worth of rations left (except Brynn, who has more) :D

  1. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
The PCs in Sylvaeon are in a constant state of training. I allow for leveling in the middle of an adventure. If there is a specific case for training or other requirements for leveling (rare) I will have them work that out in down time or in game time as I see fit. It could make for a nice little side adventure :)

  1. What do I get experience for?
Defeating” encounters, for life-changing or special events, etc.
Sylvaeon is not always about how many bodies you can pile up, nor is it about loot earned. Experience for treasure is only given for how it is used, if at all. Usually, treasure is its own reward.

  1. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
If you are actively looking for traps, both methods come into play at various times.
  1. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work? At this point, retainers are antithetical to the philosophy of the characters in the Aeternal Realm of Syvaeon. The PCs are sworn to protect others, not to use them as fodder. If there are ever followers or hirelings that will be used in the game, how the CPs treat them affects their Wyrd, their reputations and a host of other things.

  1. How do I identify magic items?
Almost always by trying to use them or by subtle clues as to what the item is. I never announce “This is a +1 sword!”. What does that mean to the characters anyway? One could also visit a Loremaster or the Hermetic Order of Wizardry for possible insight, but this option is rare.

  1. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
  1. Can I create magic items? When and how?
YES!!! This is encouraged. PCs creating spells, items and such makes me happy as a GM. They may need study time, components or whatever, but if it is plausible I am all for it!

  1. What about splitting the party?
That is often a bad idea, but sometimes it isn't. If the players want to do that, I will let them.

More Recent Additions To The RPG Collection

I have had many issues purchasing from IPR which I will not go into detail about here, but I am happy that I FINALLY got my copy of A Dirty World. This Film Noir-type game has simple mechanics. I hope to play it soon! This is a 70pp,  about digest-sized printing and it really is a beauty.

The Wilderlands of High Fantasy purchase may come in handy with my Sylvaeon campaign in several ways.

Firstly, I love this Judges Guild wonder and I could easily use most of it straight up as an easy way to generate encounters when my brain goes dead. JG stuff is the goodness! I am very pleased with this purchase... besides some minor wear, the thing is in great shape and is as usable as the day it was printed!

Secondly, I am gathering resources and thoughts for creating more of my own wilderness terrain and encounter charts. I have gotten great advice from people and am scouring everything I can get the time to, but eventually I will have a way to practically let random hex generation & encounters blossom of their own accord! When i first started the Aeternal Realm of Sylvaeon campaign the Wilderlands of High Fantasy was one of the first things I thought of and having it in my grubby hands I remember why!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Session #8 in the Aeternal Realm of Sylvaeon

The events of session #8 in the Aeternal Realm of Sylvaeon were perhaps a hallow victory for the party.

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The last session ended with the encounter with the goblinoids back in their home turf and also with the mysterious "Old Man" (see previous post). The wizard, Kelvin the Curious was still wreathed in the black flames cast upon him by the Old Man. Trying to put the flames out in the snow availed naught. The black fire was not burning Kelvin's skin, but was consuming his very essence, so he called upon the aid of his Wyrd to cause them to subside.

Night now descended as the waxing crescent of the Silver Moon rose. Deciding to move on towards the North, where a few of the goblinoids had escaped to and where the Moon Well that was reported to be in peril lay, the party pressed on into the darkness. Soon a strange phenomenon that none had seen before illuminated the Northern skies. A red aurora that seemed to sometimes have the shape of a dragon from the old tales lit up the night. Smyrynel's Kite companion returned with a message that "new" Wardens would meet the party... and Sedgewick the giant snowy owl arrived shortly afterwards to confirm the message that wardens would join the party to the North.

During the night, whole families of animals were seen to move through the forest to the south, fleeing the direction that the PCs were moving towards. After a brief daytime rest, the party continued to follow the tracks in the snow of the fleeing goblinoids, who made no attempt to cover their escape, but were moving post-haste deeper into their territory. During the day as large black cloud swallowed up a flock of hundreds of crows that were also fleeing from the north. As night descended again, the red aurora was seen again and the aurora pillar was originating just up ahead of the group.

 Coming upon the Moon Well clearing the PCs heard the cries of "Lady have mercy!", as to their horror the beheld the burning sacrifice of an elf and a chanting goblinoid shaman... and to the polluted moon well which had become the center of great evil caused by the green-black menaces. Some goblinoids worked to mine slag while others heated it in a huge kettle. An eight foot tall hulk of their kind was pouring the boiling mess into a hole in the moon well ice, as another hulk tried to push down one of the giant standing stones around the moon well. Yet another standing stone near the shaman and his grim sacrifice had been turned into a totem. It has been augmented with large, bat-like wings and a red moon crescent was painted upon it in the elf's blood.

The party decided to split into three groups in order to attack the three main congregation of creatures... rushing in on horseback, they had the surprise!

Airyka and Brynn, the two sword sisters fought one of the hulks and several lesser goblinoid and had a tough melee against them. One sister was pounced on the hulk, while the other dispatched the other goblinoids, but ultimately it took them both to take down the foes together.

The male paladin, Parcifal tried to save the elf, but was blocked by the alpha Black Wolf that he had encountered once before and grudge battle between them ensued; swords and teeth flashing! Kelvin was "called out" for a wizard duel by the Shaman and it got pretty nasty after spells were exhausted - the shaman kicking the Wizard with his clawed feet, biting and trying to knife him!

Oban the Ranger and Smyranel the female elven paladin/druid rode across the frozen moon well, avoiding the horrid red aurora pillar at its center. On the other side they faced two of the black wolves, which brought down Oban's horse. The miners were entangled by Smyranel in the wintered thorn vines that snaked across the lower forest floor. Then the hulk began to pound mercilessly on Smyranel as she sliced it again and again. Oban shot arrows at the hulk to further wear it down and managed to kill one of the wolves that had caused him to have to leave his horse.

At the end of the battle, tall men with fair skin and blondish hair, dressed in heavy chain mail and furs
(quite unlike the usual Folk of the Realm) came crashing through the woods, killing goblins that were fleeing into the clearing from them.

Eventually only the alpha Black wolf and one of his pack members escaped... before the shaman was dispatched, it cackled and pointed to the sky, saying it did not matter that he lived or died because "he now comes"... the "he" being a large red light in the sky that was larger than a star.

The moon well is still tainted as the evils of the goblinoid tribe continue their course... there is a new red light in the heavens.... an unknown group of new humans has arrived on the scene... what will next week bring?