Saturday, May 31, 2014


Tomorrow is June 1st. I love June. It's my favorite month. My birthday is exactly a week before the 4th of July, and I can often arrange my schedule to have two long weekends in a row, with a 3-day work week between.  June is spiced tea and rhubarb pie; finally getting to swim in the swimming hole after eyeing the water since the end of April; canoeing down the river; hiking Mt Kearsarge; and generally being outside and alive. June and December are the two times I miss New Hampshire the most (in December it's the snow and the New England Christmas feel).

Anyways. Tomorrow is June 1st. June is awesome and deserves to be celebrated. Tenkar's Tavern's 5th anniversary is today, which made me check my own blog calender, and lo and behold, I'm due a celebration too! I'm not doing it today because I don't want to be the girl who announces her pregnancy at someone else's wedding, to completely  steal that analogy. Plus, tomorrow I might have something else to announce, if I get my stuff together and put in some work tonight. AND, maybe there will even be a third thing. I dunno. Some stuff I have no control over.

Now go raise a glass at the Tavern!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Spell: Atomic Eye

I was playing with the spell name generator on Abulafia a while ago and came up with "Atomic Eye". It struck me as simultaneously the coolest and possibly least likely spell name in D&D - so I posted it on the S&W G+ community to see if anyone could handle the challenge. Jeff Faller and Reese Laundry could.

Jeff Faller:
Atomic Eye
Level 5 MU spell
Duration: 1/2 MU's level in rounds
Upon a successful casting, a flaming 3 headed flail appears in the hand of the MU. This item is weightless, and when swung with any amount of force will cause the chains to extend up to 10 feet. At the end of each of the three flame spitting chains lies what appears to be a swirling mass of flame and fire in the shape of an eye.
The MU may swing this around his / her head in a constant blurring motion of flame, anything w/in a 10' radius of the MU will be struck for 2d6 hp of fire damage, and be forced to save versus spell or shrunk down to 10% of their original size. This effect will last for 2d4 rounds.

Reese Laundry: "This plays off the Atomie being the smallest of the fey in S&W..."
Atomic Eye
Spell Level: Druid, 2nd Level
Range: 40 feet
Duration: 1 hour + 10 min/level
This spell grants the recipient the gift of second sight, allowing him to see through the glamour of any fey creature (fairy, pixie, etc) and recognize the creature for what it is, even if invisible, polymorphed or shapechanged.

New Race: Half Ling

Last of the ling sub-races. An overview of the ling race, and the brute ling PC race, can be found here. The first ling PC race is here. The advanced ling race is here.

Half Ling
Half lings are the rarest of creatures, a successful result of a union between an advanced ling and a non-ling, usually a human. They appear as a member of their non-ling parent’s race, but with a faint blue tinge to their skin, refined features, and white or silver-streaked hair.

Half lings feel an innate disdain and disgust for full ling. As children they are revered and spoiled by the ling, but they invariably seek to escape at the first opportunity. They are curious about the world and rarely settle in one place, preferring instead to keep moving and exploring. This also serves to keep them ahead of the first ling forces the advanced ling send out to retrieve their wayward children. Half ling can speak Ling and their non-ling parent’s native tongue, and live up to 150 years.

Racial Abilities
Half Ling have a +1 bonus to every attribute, and a +2 bonus to saves versus magic. They are adept linguists and can learn twice the normal number of languages.

Character Classes
Half ling can be Bards (unlimited) if such a class is available, Fighters (unlimited), Magic-Users (unlimited), Monks (unlimited), or Thieves (unlimited). They never earn bonus experience for high attribute scores.

Racial Class
Half Lings use the Fighter table for experience and the Cleric table for saves, Hit Dice, attacks, and spell progression. They choose their spells from the Magic-User list, but can only learn a number of spells of each spell level equal to the entry on the Number of Spells (By Level) chart in the cleric entry. They do not need to prepare spells; they select which known spell they want to cast as they cast it, and they do not need spellbooks or mundane spell components.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Race: Advanced Ling

An overview of the ling and the brute ling race can be found here. The first ling race can be found here.

Advanced Ling
Advanced ling stand between seven and eight feet tall, with blue-tinted skin and white eyes. Male advanced ling are entirely hairless, while female advanced ling have white hair around the sides and back of their heads. They believe themselves to be the most advanced creatures in existence, as far beyond the religious superstitions of the first ling as the first ling are beyond the struggles of the brute ling, and that all creatures exist to serve them. Their populations are rarely large, and they create magical enclaves in the mountain peaks, each home to one or two hundred advanced ling, several thousand first ling, and countless hordes of brute lings in the deepest chasms. Even in their paradises they are bored, though, and send out first ling to capture slaves for their entertainment.

Racial Abilities
Advanced ling can instantly understand and speak any language. They have a +4 bonus to their starting Intelligence attribute, but a -4 penalty to their Strength and Constitution attributes. They can use detect magic at will, and have a +4 bonus to saves versus magic.

Character Classes
Advanced ling can be Magic-Users (unlimited), Illusionists (unlimited), and Psychics or Psionicists (unlimited), if such a class is available. They do not need spellbooks or mundane spell components (valueless components, such as sheep’s wool or guano), and automatically learn a number of new spells at each class level equal to their Additional Maximum Languages number. However, advanced ling are also prone to crippling bouts of ennui that render their entire existence meaningless. To advance from 1st to 2nd level, the character must roll a 5 or higher on a d20. This repeats at each new level, and the target number increases by one at each level, maxing out at 15+ to reach 12th level. If the roll fails, the character succumbs to the belief that everything is pointless and loses a level’s worth of experience. They must then repeat the level they just completed (so an 8th level advanced ling who is about to move up to 9th level, but fails the roll, must redo 8th level). If the roll fails three times in a row, the character has reached the pinnacle of their ability and can never again earn experience.

Racial Class
Advanced ling use the Magic-User table for experience, saves, Hit Dice, and attacks, with the changes noted in the Character Classes section.

Monday, May 26, 2014

New Race: First Ling

The overview of the ling race, and the brute ling as a PC race, can be found here.

First Ling
First ling are human in appearance, with brown skin, black hair, and striking blue eyes. Their faces are broader than normal, and their hands are longer and larger than human hands. They are masterful builders and smiths, and excavate cavern-cities beneath the mountains, protected from the elements but close to the surface. Early first ling keep themselves isolated from non-ling, surrounding their settlements with brute ling warrens, but as the first ling population grows they increase contact with the outside world, often conquering lands near their mountain strongholds and establishing realms similar to others nearby. First ling speak Ling and Common, and live about 70 years.
The first ling believe themselves to be the first race of humanity created by the eldest god. The other, younger races and their gods were jealous of the first ling, and tricked the ling god into falling asleep. While it was asleep, the younger races killed all the first ling. The younger gods continue to keep the ling god from awakening, but his dreaming mind is powerful enough to keep recreating the first ling.

Racial Abilities
First ling have a +1 bonus to damage due to their natural understanding of weapons and fighting. They have a 3-in-6 chance to detect unusual construction and features in stonework, including secret doors, sliding walls, shifting rooms, pit traps, and so forth. They can create or repair weapons and armor with access to the proper tools.

Character Classes
First ling can be Fighters (8th level) or Thieves (7th level). A first ling with a Wisdom of 16 or higher can be a Cleric (7th level), but they must worship the sleeping ling god, and cannot receive spells of 3rd level or higher.

Racial Class
First ling use the Fighter table for experience, saves, Hit Dice, and attacks. They gain Strength bonuses to hit and damage as a fighter, but do not gain the Parry or Multiple Attacks abilities.

New Race: Ling & Brute Ling

The ling are an ancient, brutal race that live in the deep mountains. Ling exist in three forms: the brute ling, the first ling, and the advanced ling. Brute lings are hairy, apelike creatures that dwell in caves, caverns, and crude shelters. Periodically a “first ling” will be born into brute ling tribe; this marks the start of a rapid transformation in the tribe. The birthrate increases dramatically, and all of the children born subsequently are first ling. First ling are close to human in appearance, but with a broader face and longer fingers. They instinctively understand technology, and in the course of a few years construct weapons and fortifications; sometimes using these as bases from which to raid surrounding lands and capture slaves.

Eventually, advanced ling are born to the first ling. They are tall, nearly hairless creatures with blue-tinted skin and the unshakeable conviction that they are the pinnacle of life. Advanced ling understand magic and technology as the first ling understood construction, smithing, and warcraft. Advanced ling often create floating citadels and other wonders during their time, but are mostly interested in creature comforts and a life of leisure. They see brute ling as nothing more than guard beasts, and first ling as servants, roles both races are happy to play. Non-ling are fit for nothing more than slaves. Unfortunately, advanced ling cannot breed with other ling, and invariably seek other means of circumventing their fate, usually by kidnapping members of other races and using them to breed half-ling hybrids. Most of the results of these unions are brute lings, but monstrosities of various sorts are common. The advanced ling, frustrated by their failure to extend their line, fall into depression. Many commit suicide. Invariably the advanced ling civilization fails, the first ling die off, and the brute ling return to their caves and caverns until the cycle starts again.

Brute Ling
Brute lings are stooped, hairy, ape-like creatures with blue-tinted white fur. Their technology barely extends to fire; they cannot make armor and their most advanced weapons are crude spears and clubs. They lair in cavern complexes in isolated mountain ranges, doing little more than breeding and eating until a first ling is born. Brute ling barely communicate with each other, and concepts beyond “food”, “hit”, and “sleep” are beyond them. They live no more than forty years.

Racial Abilities
Brute ling can see in the dark (darkvision) with a range of 60 feet. They have a +2 bonus to their starting Strength and Constitution attributes, but a -4 to their Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. They are incredibly hardy, and have a +2 bonus to their saving throws against cold, disease, poison, and petrifaction. They cannot use ranged weapons or shields.

Character Classes
Brute ling can be Fighters (7th level). If a Barbarian class is available, brute ling are Barbarians instead.

Racial Class
Brute ling use the Fighter table for experience, saves, Hit Dice, and attacks. They gain a +2 to their hit points at each level, but cannot use armor, shields, ranged weapons, or any weapon that might be considered exotic or specialized.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Link: More Races

I don't really do reviews, but I will do suggestions.

If you're interested in races, Stuart Marshall has a great article in Footprints 21, with the following races.
Human Subraces: Amazon, Atlantean, Citizen of the Celestial Empire, Northman, Pict, Southman.
Gnome Subraces: Fir Bolg, Fir Domnan, Gailioin.
Dwarf Subraces: Domovoy, Leshiy, Vodnik, Vozdushniy
Elf Subraces: Polder elf, Warden elf, Liminal elf
Half-Elf races: Changeling (elf-brood), Changeling (man-brood)

These are obviously drawn from folklore for the most part, and are pretty interesting adaptations; much less conventional than most D&D races.  I'm not wholly convinced that there aren't good folkloric possibilities for halflings (that's what I consider domovii and related spirits, for instance), but that's a difference of opinion, not a flaw in the article.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Call and Response: The Basic Illusionist version

Tim Brannan wrote an incredibly nice overview/review of The Basic Illusionist on his blog here, and I thought it'd be fun to answer some of his questions, comments, and speculation.
(If you're feeling TL;DR: Tim gets why I made The Basic Illusionist and that makes me happy.)

"That is a cool ass cover. I am not sure what made Nathan Irving choose this piece ("Beauty and the Beast" by Edmund Dulac) but I love it."
Well, I loved it too. ;) I thought it had a nice sense of the fantastic and wonder without being really overt about MAGIC and ILLUSION and stuff, and leaving some questions. What is the illusion? Is she the illusionist or the illusion? It was illusion as ambiance, not attack, which is something that's not often portrayed in rpg literature.

The title works in seemlessly, like they were meant for each other."
The title font is called EddaCaps. I was introduced to it by an artist that did an amazing cover for a book I haven't yet written. It's got a nice art nouveau feel that works well with Dulac. Also (and here's a little trick) the color inside the title is sampled from the picture itself, so you've got the color palette working for you.

"The book starts off with a helpful FAQ. Personally I think Nathan should also put that FAQ on his blog as a page so every knows why they should get this."
Good idea.

"There is even an Illusionist variant class called the Mountebank. Which is more of a con-artist. Not sure how it compares to other classes of the same name."
Not really similar, I think. The "original" mountebank is more of a thief with illusion abilities; this mountebank is much more magical than the original.

"One of the best features of the book is a guideline on illusionist magic and how to play with illusions. Great even if you never play the class."

"What follows next is over 150 Illusionist spells. Many we have seen before and come from the SRD. That is not a bad thing. Having all these spells in one place and edited to work with the class is a major undertaking."
My goal here was a complete resource of illusions; no flipping between books. Spells were selected with the aim of including more or less every illusion spell from the core 1e, 2e, and 3e rulebooks. I streamlined and edited all of them, rewrote several entirely to make them better/more interesting, and added new spells to fill in gaps as necessary.

"I think Nathan has has actually fixed the classic Illusionist and brought it more in line with the Wizard."
That was the goal. :)

"Another great free product. Theorems & Thaumaturgy comes to us from +Gavin Norman and introduced his Vivmancer class. Vivimancers and Illusionists are about as different as one can get really. But Theorems & Thaumaturgy does have some things that the Basic Illusionist can use. For starters there some more Illusionist spells in T&T that the Basic Illusionist could use."
Ayup. For sanity's sake the goal for The Basic Illusionist was the spells that were in the core rules of earlier editions. I've got at least as many new illusions from various sources, including Theorems & Thaumaturgy. Someday!

"Witches and Illusionists share the ability to cast various figments and charms/mind affecting spells. I would say that in any game that has both classes that Illusionists should be limited to charm spells up to 5th level and witches any type of figments up to 5th level. Illusionists then get all (or most) of the Illusion spells and witches get all the curses."
When (not if) I finish The Complete Illusionist, it'll include guidelines for illusion-use by different classes, including witches. The FAQ in Basic Illusionist already covers magic-users.

"I would love a print version of this. It would really be awesome. At 34 pages it is a bit smallish for print, but that is easily fixed. Add a few more spells (plenty of OGC), some illusion based magic items, a couple more monsters (not a lot) an appendix for using this class in different retro-clones (LL, OSRIC, ACKS) and maybe even stats on adding gnomes as player characters. Call it "The Complete Illusionist" sell it for a couple of bucks on DriveThru and get a print copy made. "
That's pretty much the plan...if by "a few more spells" you mean 100-200 more. ;) Gnomes are in, as are a few other illusion-oriented races. Definitely an appendix for different rulesets. Magic items and monsters, absolutely. And some additional variant illusionists. Good 'nuff?

"Bottom Line: This is a great book. I loved the awesome art and the fact that it is free. Though I would have gladly paid for it."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spells: Psychic Mist, Signet of Frost, Unseen, Evanescent Woe

It's hard to come up with a spell to replace invisibility that isn't just "invisibility with a different name".

Psychic Mist 
Level: 1
Range: 10’ radius around caster
Duration: 10 rounds
You create a protective aura that interferes with charms and other controlling spells. Anyone within psychic mist has a +2 bonus to saves against charm, sleep, fear, commands, and similar magical effects. If such an effect is already enjoined, the individual gets a second save to throw off the effects for as long as they are within the mist. Creatures that can see invisible or aetherial objects see the psychic mist as a shimmering cloud around you.

Signet of Frost
Level: Mage 1
Range: Touch
Duration: Varies
You create a small raised symbol that you can imprint on yourself or another target. The exact effect of the signet of frost depends on the target. If you retain the signet, you are immune to cold damage for 10 rounds. Placed on another creature, the signet of frost paralyzes them with cold for 1d4+1 rounds, or slows them (half movement and half attacks) if they succeed on a saving throw. Placed on a door or other operable portal, the signet lasts 24 hours and causes the portal to be stuck, or adds a -1 penalty to an Open Doors roll if the door is already stuck.

Level: 2
Range: Touch
Duration: 10 rounds
You cause yourself or another creature you touch to go almost completely unnoticed. If you take no overt action in a round, you are ignored by all creatures. If you move, creatures within melee range of you get a saving throw to notice you and act normally in that round. If you attack or cast a spell, anyone within melee range automatically notices you. If you inflict damage or otherwise affect a target, unseen ends against that creature.

Evanescent Woe
Level: 3
Range: Personal
Duration: 1 hour per level or until discharged.
You avoid the permanent negative effects of the next attack. Evanescent woe lasts 1 hour per caster level, or until you are subject to an effect that lasts longer than a single round, including physical damage, mental control, petrification, and so on. The round after you suffer the effect (or effects), evanescent woe negates the effect, returning you to the way you were at the beginning of the previous round. You cannot control when evanescent woe discharges or what triggers it. If the effect is ongoing, you suffer the effects again as usual.

Spells: Brilliant Burst, Moonsight, Mystic Shield, Staff of the Stars

Brilliant Burst
Level: 1
Range: 30 foot radius / 60 feet
Duration: Instant
You release a burst of light. Everyone within 30 feet of you (but not you) is blinded for one round and dazzled for 1d4 rounds afterwards. In addition, a powerful beam of light strikes one creature that you choose within 60 feet , inflicting 1d4+1 points of damage (save for half).

Level: 1
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 hour
You give a number of creatures equal to your level plus your Intelligence bonus the ability to see clearly at outdoors at night (nightvision).

Mystic Shield
Level: 1
Range: Personal
Duration: Concentration
You create a shimmering shield of force that gives you a +2 bonus to your AC. The mystic shield disappears if you cast a spell or make an attack.

Staff of the Stars
Level: 2
Range: Personal
Duration: 1 hour/level or until dispelled.
You create a faintly shining staff of energy. The staff of the stars inflicts damage as a quarterstaff and can hit creatures struck by magical weapons. It sheds light in a 10’ radius, and creatures with nightvision can see normally for 30’ around it.
The staff can be used to generate a mystic shield or brilliant burst; either use dispels the staff of the stars.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Game / Campaign

We had the first session of the new game last night, and contrary to what I expected, we ended up going hardcore 3.5. Starting characters? 3rd level gestalts. I don't have a problem with this, although my brain was a bit more exhausted than I would have liked and poring through pdfs looking for just the right feat & spell (to overcome, at least in part, a Wisdom of 6) got old eventually. I won't be able to make the next session, so I've got two weeks to wrap up the little details. Suits me. I'm half-a-decade out of touch with this stuff.

Apparently my silence was stressing the DM out, though. I told him I'd talk more as I got accustomed to the character.

For those playing along at home, we're currently a party of 4, with a (lesser) tiefling beguiler/swashbuckler, a kenku (athasian) bard/?, a half-orc barbarian, and an aasimar druid. I'm the tiefling.

The interesting part is going to be translating the characters to Swords & Wizardry.  It's actually not terrible, but it should be interesting. The druid might be the most problematic - shapeshifting is a really big part of the modern druid, but a much smaller part of older druids, particularly mine.

I'm going to use a 13-15/+1, 16-17/+2, 18/+3 ability score/bonus scheme, with d20 knacks and skills swiped from Pars Fortuna.  Boons will be used instead of feats. Just need to write up a few classes to match the martial classes from last year.

We've also discussed playing Adventures of the Space Princess, but not quite yet I think.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Summertime and Table: Warriors I

Posting will be light throughout the summer. I've decided that last year is probably approximately accurate as to how this summer is going to go - I've got a lot to do, and a lot of daylight to do it in, which means not so much time inside by the computer. The inside time I do have I'm going to spend on finishing material for Secrets rather than try and split time between that and writing new blog material.

I'll still post stuff on here, but I'm not going to try and match the wintertime pace.

In the meantime, have more warriors of Arthur's Court

Warriors I
1. Moren Mynawc himself
2. Dalldav the son of Kimin Côv
3. The son of Alun Dyved
4. The son of Saidi
5. The son of Gwryon
6. Uchtryd Ardywad Kad
7. Kynwas Curvagyl
8. Gwrhyr Gwarthegvras
9. Isperyr Ewingath
10. Gallcoyt Govynynat
11. Duach
12. Grathach
13. Nerthach
14. The sons of Gwawrddur Kyrvach (these men came forth from the confines of hell)
15. Kilydd Canhastyr
16. Canastyr Kanllaw
17. Cors Cant-Ewin
18. Esgeir Gulhwch Govynkawn
19. Drustwrn Hayarn
20. Roll twice

Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Races (draft synopsis)

The aten are an elegant race with silver-hued skin, violet hair, and golden eyes. Links between them and the jouri seem possible but nothing is certain. The aten were once the rules of the Aten Empire, but were overthrown and now live in isolated towns or ghettos, surrounded by fading remnants of their greatness. They worship a single deity, who they call The Singer. Should his song stop, the Earth would end, so the aten sing to accompany him.

The avia are humanoids with feathers in place of hair. They were once slaves of the aten, but overthrew their masters and established their own domain instead, the Feathered Realm. There are four avia lineages: the aristocratic aurad, the cunning craw, the gregarious magdel, and the high-flying syrin.

The ipotane are a bipedal humanoid race with horse-like legs. The travelling ipotane live in the high northern steppes and make their living as raiders and marauders, while sedentary ipotane live a more pastoral and agricultural life in the river valleys. The ipotane are industrious workers but somewhat dull conversationalists, and have a weakness for alcohol.

The jouri are a pale skinned race, with red hair and yellow, cat-like eyes. They are tall and lean, with grim expressions and an indomitable nature. They claim to have been the aristocracy of an great kingdom, but no trace of this land remains. They are rare in this age, and live only in the ancient city of Imre, in the desolate northern mountains.

The ordali are a delicate, almost waifish race of engineers and scientists. They are related to the nekali, and have pale skin and light hair, and slender tentacles where facial hair would normally grow. The ordali have come to worship the aten’s Singer, and the two races are natural allies.

The verex are a large, ogre-like race with spines in their scalp and arms. They are violent raiders that inhabit the western plains beyond the mountains. The most direct route to the rich fat lands of the east is through the north, but that way also leads beneath Imre of the Jouri, the only city and the only people to have repeatedly defeated the verex. The verex usually veer south through the Denjim Hills instead.Although verex raiding is frequent, the various tribes are scattered and disunified, so they rarely form hordes large enough to pose a serious threat. They worship an eclectic and bloodthirsty pantheon headed by a thunder god.

The tumae are a tall, slender race of people with golden skin, dark hair, and pale blue eyes. They are travelers and have an almost perfect sense of direction. Rather than towns or cities of their own, the tumae establish hostels, inns, and waystations that double as places of sanctuary and information to other tumae.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Race: Bast (Lynxkin)

Draft version of the bast.

Bast (Lynxkin)
Bast are bipedal felines that most resemble an upright lynx. The average bast stands 4’ tall and weighs 60-70 lbs. They have silvery-grey or silvery-brown fur that darkens in summer; some bast are spotted or lightly striped as well. They have golden eyes and tufts of black hair on their ears.

Bast are fickle, primal creatures most interested in satiating their desires to hunt, sleep, and mate, but with a healthy dose of curiosity and independence. Bast range where they please, but are most often found in the deep forests and small cities of the north. They do not form large settlements, but lead largely solitary lives, meeting occasionally to trade information or mate. Most bast keep several “dens” and move freely between them as the mood strikes. In dangerous areas, or places where they are greatly outnumbered, they sometimes form packs for protection, but memberships in a pack is fluid and ever-changing.

Bast are too self-interested to be Chaotic or Lawful, and prefer to live free in the wild or sneaking through the cities.

Racial Abilities
Bast can see in the dark (darkvision) with a range of 60 feet. They have a normal move of 12, but can drop to all fours to move at a speed of 15, and climb walls at a speed of 6. They Climb Walls as a Thief of their level, and their claws grant them two attacks a round, each inflicting 1d4 points of damage.

Character Classes
Bast can advance as Assassins (5th level), Fighters (5th level), or Thieves (unlimited). Thief bast have a +15% to their Climb Walls skill, +10% to their Hear Sounds skill, and +10% to their Move Silently skill.

Racial Class
Bast use the Thief chart for experience, attacks, saves, and Hit Dice. They cannot use weapons and only wear light armor. They have the ability to Climb Walls, Hear Sounds, and Move Silently as a Thief of equal level.

1d6 Random Reasons for Bast Adventurers
1. Bored;
2. Hungry;
3. Saw something shiny;
4. Because someone told you not to;
5. Want to buy something expensive to sleep on;
6. Slept on something expensive that wasn’t yours; ruined it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Table: The Sons of Erbin, Ermid, Iaen, Erim, and Nwyvre.

There are SOOOO many names in Culhwch and Olwen alone....  I want to do the whole list in an issue of Secrets, but it might be too big.  Will have to work on it.

The infamous Sons of Kaw are hungover from the riotous affair that is the Kaw's Mother's Day celebration. Who do you recruit at Arthur's Court instead?

1. Gwittart the son of Oedd king of Ireland
2. Geraint the son of Erbin
3. Ermid the son of Erbin
4. Dyvel the son of Erbin
5. Gwynn the son of Ermid
6. Kyndrwyn the son of Ermid
7. Teregud the son of Iaen
8. Sulyen the son of Iaen
9. Bradwen the son of Iaen
10. Moren the son of Iaen
11. Siawn the son of Iaen
12. Cradawc the son of Iaen. (They were men of Caerdathal, of Arthur's kindred on his father's side.)
13. Uchtryd the son of Erim
14. Eus the son of Erim
15. Henwas Adeinawg the son of Erim (With Henwas Adeinawg, no four-footed beast could run the distance of an acre, much less could it go beyond it.)
16. Henbedestyr the son of Erim (With Henbedestyr there was not any one who could keep pace, either on horseback or on foot.)
17. Sgilti Yscawndroed the son of Erim (With Sgilti Yscawndroed, when he intended to go upon a message for his Lord, he never sought to find a path, but knowing whither he was to go, if his way lay through a wood he went along the tops of the trees. During his whole life, a blade of reed grass bent not beneath his feet, much less did one ever break, so lightly did he tread.)
18. Gwynn the son of Nwyvre
19. Fflam the son of Nwyvre
20. Roll twice

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Appendix N

This is post #200 on this blog, and I thought I'd do something a little different - so here's my personal "Appendix N".  Most of my books are in boxes; I'll come back and update this post with additional names, titles, and commentary as they are unearthed.  The initial list here is fantasy, but I may expand it in the future to other genres.
Entries marked with a * are ones with a clear and sustained influence on my campaigns.

Abercrombie, Joe
*Anonymous: The Mabinogion, particularly CULHWCH AND OLWEN.
Brackett, Leigh
Bradbury, Ray
*Cherryh, C. J.: the "Morgaine" cycle; The Tree of Swords & Jewels
*Cook, Glen: "Black Company" series; "Dread Empire" series; et al.
Crowley, John: LITTLE, BIG
*de Troyes, Chretein: Arthurian Romances
*Dunsany, Lord
Eco, Umberto: Name of the Rose
Gaiman, Neil: Sandman comics, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), etc.
Hobb, Robin: "Farseer" trilogy, "Tawny Man" trilogy, "Soldier Son" trilogy; et al.
*Holdstock, Robert - Mythago Wood, et al
Hughart, Barry: Bridge of Birds et al.
*Jemisin, N.K: "The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms" series; et al.
*Kay, Guy Gavriel: TIGANA; "Fionavar Tapestry" trilogy; et al.
Le Guin, Ursula K.: "Earthsea" series; et al.
Leiber, Fritz: "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series; et al
Keyes, J. Gregory: "Fool Wolf" stories; "Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone" series; "Chosen of the Changeling" series
McKillip, Patricia: "The Riddle-Master of Hed" trilogy; A SONG FOR BASILISK; THE BOOK OF ATRIX WOLFE; et al.
Mieville, China: "Bas-Lag" series
Moon, Elizabeth: "The Deed of Paksenarrion" Trilogy
Moorcock, Michael: STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" series (esp. the first three books)
*Rohan, Michael Scott: "Winter of the World" series
Tolkien, J. R. R.: THE HOBBIT; "Ring trilogy"
Wells, Martha: The Ile-Rien series
Wolfe, Gene: "The Wizard Knight" duology; et al.
*Zelazny, Roger: JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" series; et al

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Secrets #1

This is the official information post for Secrets #1.

Secrets #1: Omens & Artifacts is a 24-page digest-sized fanzine from the Secrets of the Shadowend blog. Within these 24 pages are:
  • 24 spells for clerics, druids, and magic-users;
  • 24 magic items, including the infamous neverburning candle, the eldritch blade Sacnoth, and the much-sought-after Codex of Dungeons;
  • 3 new monsters: the cockerel-horse alektrequus, the amnesia-inducing alkonost, and the magic-seeking vouivre;
  • 2 adventure seeds: A Day at the Races (for the alektrequus), and The Village That Forgot Itself (for the alkonost);
  • the Shaman, a Druid class variant, and a complete spell list for the Shaman;
  • and an introduction to the Shadowend campaign setting.
Secrets is covered under the Open Game License, and 100% Open Game Content.

Prices n' Places

$0: Secrets isn't free, but The Basic Illusionist is, and it's moved to the d20PFSRD Store!

$4: The print version is available for $4 through the Paypal link in the sidebar, and each print zine includes one of twenty different magic items as a sticker insert. 

$6: Print + pdf. Order through the Paypal link to the right, and I'll email you the pdf ASAP and send you a print copy.

International orders are the same price (yes, really), but it's a little easier on me if you order the print + pdf, and then you can enjoy the pdf while waiting for the envelope (although it only took 3 days for it to get to Barcelona, which is pretty darned good - I think it took longer to get to some USA addresses.)

Tenkar's Tavern likes the zine and particularly the magic items. "Holy crap but there is some fun stuff here." He also calls this blog " awesome gaming resource." So I'm kinda pleased.  ;)

The Land of NOD says "It's a great compilation of spells, monsters, and magic items for Swords & Wizardry (hallowed be its name) that you can fit into your long-running campaign to throw your players a curve, or use to launch a new campaign for old timers who already know the best way to skin a gnoll." Personally, I don't remember putting new gnoll-skinning techniques in the finished issue, so John must have one of the ultra-rare draft editions.  ;)

Gothridge Manor just posted a compilation/summary of all the different zines he has, and Secrets is included. Tim says: "This one has new spells, old spells with a twist, a big batch of magic items, monsters and a cool addition, a unique magic item for each issue on the back cover. I'm really glad Nathan got into making zines. I'm already looking forward to issue #2."

What Would Conan Do? Conan would buy Secrets again, that's what he'd do. Daniel Sell reviewed Secrets #1. He particularly likes the monsters: "They're weird and charming and best of all come with a mini-adventure attached. These little vignettes place them firmly in the world and show you how the author intended them to be used." Writing the mini-adventures is awesome fun, so hooray!  :)

5-9-14: I just found out there's a font in the pdf that didn't embed; if you have a copy from before this date and want the pdf to look as it should, download and install the Verdict SF font on your system. It's free and available at lots of sites; but it's under what seems to be an antiquated (1990's) license that doesn't allow pdf embedding. Anyone getting the pdf after this date shouldn't have an issue, as I replaced Verdict SF with two Windsor fonts. (As of 5-18-14 I've replaced the Windsors with Fritz.)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dungeon of Lost Coppers map

Dyson ran a quasi-contest/giveaway a few months ago, giving away (something?) to a random person who finished the Dungeon of Lost Coppers map.  I started on it but didn't finish.

It's still not wholly done - I've rediscovered how much I hate hatching without a grid or a drafting table - so I need to roll back an iteration (scan often, kids!), add the grid back in, and hatch it properly. I like it, though.