Thursday, September 29, 2011

Calander of Martapa

So the calender...which I seemed to as follows:
There are 365 days in a year. This is known thanks to the residents of Tayke.

There are 12 months of 30 days with 5 holy days.

The 5 Holy Days are each of the equinoxes and solstices, as well as Year's Renewal.

Weeks are 5 days long and termed a "a five day". Each month has six. Holy Days are not included in each month. They are separate.

Days are 24 hours long.

The day is broken up into: Sun Rising (6 AM is), Sun High (noon), Shadow Fall (5 pm ish), Dark (8 PM ish) and Full Night (Midnight).

Days of the Week are simply numbered.

Months: Cold Dark (Jan), Deep Snow (Feb), Melting Snow (march), River Rain (April), River Swell (May), Green Planting (June), Warm Sun (July), Sun Scorch (Aug), Harvest (Sept), Leaves Turn (Oct), Leaf Fall (Nov), No Grass (Dec).

So for example if you wanted to do something on the 1st day of the 3rd week of July you would say: On the 1st day in the 3rd week of Warm Sun.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXX

2180 PA (Post Avatar)
The text found of Tayke explain how to make fixed locations to use for translocation. The formulas are high magic and the most capable mages are sought to try making such objects.

Water is discovered in Weathered, a small, abandoned village outside Sunvale, where none had been for centuries. Druids are brought in to encourage flow and the ruins of an old city are found because of it.

Jousting tournaments are held in Calabay as a new tradition to end blood feuds and disputes. Everyone from peasant to noble is welcome.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Terrors in the Night

Terrors in the Night started as a familiar shop, offering cats, bats, rats, and other normal familiars. But after a time mages wanted more exotic and fantastic familiars or just odd pets. Now Terrors holds all sorts of creatures.

Most creatures are small, about dog sized or smaller. But some have been larger then a horse. Griffins and bears have been known to grace the cages of Terrors and even once a basilisk, (though this was killed quickly because it kept turning people to stone).

Terrors sells exotics for absorbent prices and will buy them if available, but only for 20% of the list price. They often hire adventurers to hunt down creatures for them, but only pay when the creature is brought in.

Skylar and Thebes Benshaw currently own the place and have several priests of Wesa on staff to heal creatures.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Character: Raphael Bloodhelm

Raphael is a solid six foot tall, full of muscle and handsome beyond belief. His blond hair is curly, hanging to his shoulders. His chin is chiseled from stone, his blue eyes the color of the deep ocean. He has a handsome face women would die for and he is well aware of the fact.

Though a pretty package, his insides are rotten. The heir of House Bloodhelm loves control and power, and having power over others. He's been known to kill a "lesser" on a whim and expect his father to cover it up. And he expects what he wants to be done at the snap of his fingers.

He wears the finest clothes but is a fine warrior in any attire. He goes through horses like water and women just the same.

The only way player characters would interact with Raphael, unless the player is a noble, is in a duel or being treated badly as he goes about his business. He will feel no hesitation to strike out at the players, who he will immediately assume are lessers. Even nobles, unless he knows they are firmly on his side, will not be treated well. Beware the heir....

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Pegasi are winged horses of all sorts of colors. from white to black, purple to green tinged, depending on the area they are at. They live in herds with one dominant male, a dominant female and three to ten other females and their young. Males older then five years old form bachelor herds until they can take over a herd of their own. Females stay with their birth herds unless run off.

They nest in cliffs, though some nest in meadows. They can fly with passengers,thus are coveted as mounts. The Elven Clan Warriors of the Pegasus clan usually bonded with Pegasi. They are herbivores but bite, kick and trample to protect themselves. They live for up to 100 years, though Clan mounts live quite a long life because of the bond.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXIX

2179 PA (Post Avatar)
Because of the year's previous drought, peasants attack the Imperial soldiers, small villages and outposts for supplies, the Empire sends more troops to quell the uprising and hires additional mercenaries to help.

Riots erupt in many of the major cities on the east side of the Tsalagi Mountains, causing sections of the cities to burn down or be destroyed by magic. The uprisings are forcefully put down by the local authorities and the Wizards.

The Tayke writings found the year before hint at a lost civilization on some flooded island. The civilization seems far more advanced with magic and mechanism s then the current age.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Location: The Golden Rose Inn

The Golden Rose Inn is a faded flower. In the past this three story inn was lovingly built, with painted wood carvings on many of the faces. Stout shutters, a porch with stout tables and covered from the elements, and large, comfortable rooms made her the bell of the ball. But as the city grew, the Rose grew less important.

Situated near the front gate but not on the bizarre of Bloodhelm the place has changed hands many times. Under Selvan the third the place has fallen into disrepair. The rooms are still dry, the food passable, but the ale is watered and private rooms are expensive. Several rooms are saved for local whores who pay Selvan a good cut of their take. Treat the Rose as a common inn, but with prices about 10% higher then common inns. The first floor is a tavern and the top two floors are rented rooms. T here are thirty rooms in all but Selvan tries to shove as many people in as possible.

Two bouncers are in the tavern at all times, most humans. Stables are available but cost 10% then normal and the feed and care are questionable.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Character: Veo Sunstar

Veo Sunstar was tall and lithe, with tanned skin and vibrant, red hair which he kept in a topknot. He wore hunting leathers of blues and green, decorating them with feathers and shiny pebbles. Veo was a ladies man, but also a man of the woods. He was at home in a ballroom as much as he was tracking deer.

Veo was also a trouble maker. He chaffed at rules and boundaries. He saw the Gods as obstacles and when he lost his father, the King, to assassins he vowed to protect those who were important to all the world from harm. Targon heard his vow and took it one step further.

Targon made Veo the father of all the Clan Warriors. He brought together Veo's friends and formed the Warrior Clans. In exchange Targon gave Veo extra long life and the boon that only his line of elves would bare red hair. But, being such the ladies man he fathered the leaders of all the Clans. Though many claim this as a tale, it is oh so true. Thus all Clan Leaders have been of Veo's blood since the beginning.

Most likely the players will only encounter Veo if they are an elf in the time of Veo himself. They might see him in passing, if he is traveling somewhere, but most likely if they are not elves they will not meet. If a PC meets Veo, he should be the utmost gentlemen, especially if the PC is female. And who knows what will happen after that...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Creature: Fairy Dragons

Fairy Dragons are no bigger then two feet tall with a long tail. Their wings are colorful butterfly wings and their scales are so small their skin is actually smooth. Their tails are long and are prehensile.

Their colors vary by region, but their bodies are usually tiger striped. They live in small family flocks, where the males leave when they are old enough.

They are curious, innocently taking off with people's property. They are resistant to magic and have the ability to put humanoids and animals to sleep. They speak telepathically with whom they choose and can speak many languages. Many mages love them as familiars, though they will leave if not treated well.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXVIII

2178 PA (Post Avatar)
This a year of drought. Water becomes scarce on the east side of the Tsalagi Mountains and northern Ariella. Food supplies run low and price gouging occurs.

Writings in the Tayke language are discovered in a forgotten tomb in northern Ariella. Scholars rush to the scene to translate.

Fairy dragons swarm Calabay. They cause no harm, but they just won't leave either, getting into everything and sleeping everywhere.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Place: Myari's Weapons

Myari's Weapons is located near the front gate and the Bloodhelm manor in Bloodhelm. This two story emporium and blacksmith carries all sorts of weapons, both magical and mundane. The current owner, Myari, began the business thirty years before, making her own blades. Now her business is thriving and in her golden years has a staff of blacksmiths and enchanters. She has two blacksmiths, three enchanters, and two apprentices for each staff.

Myari keeps many blades and weapons in stock, but will make weapons on commission. She will also buy used blades, but only if they are good quality. The blacksmith is behind the building, the enchanters work room is above the showroom. Prices here are list price, though commissions do cost 10% extra.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Character: Captain Reed

Captain Johnathon Reed is normally the kind of man who doesn't like to be noticed. Heavy set, not much over six foot and his thinning dark hair beginning to gray at the edges. His face always has a rosy hue to it, as if he's been in the sun too long. He'll look a person in the eye and offer his opinion if asked, but won't put forth an idea if he's not asked.

A faithful man of the militia, he is married to his lovely wife Rose with six children, one of which is nearly ready to be out on his own. He doesn't always enjoy his patrons, the Bloodhelms, but he is loyal. He is particularly fond of Tarkil, simply because Reed finds him a bright spot in the darkness.

He can be found at the gate of the Bloodhelm manor either late afternoon, or evening shifts. He is friendly, helpful, but won't sit and gab for the fun of it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Messing with the Rules

After playing a roleplaying system for awhile, you start to notice where rules fall flat, where they give the players too much play, and where the rules are just too restrictive. This is when an experienced GM should start making calls of their own. In all honesty, the idea of the game is to have fun, so any GM can make the call on rules.

Here are some things to keep in mind, though, if you do want to change or tweak rules:

Is the rule truly broken? My husband is great at finding rules that are giant loop holes to jump through and break a campaign. Spells that are three levels too low, attacks that really should be for a higher level character, etc. Look at these kinda of rules closely. Are they causing your campaign to be unbalanced? Are you killing PC's with these rules more often then naught? This is a good indication if the rule is broken. If the spell is to low level, bump it up. If the ability should be for a higher level character, bump it up. That light spell is 20th level and really shouldn't be any higher then 1st, bring it down.

Are you changing the rule because it's broken or because your players are complaining? I've been known to complain about a rule or two in my time, but the husband always jumps in and says why it's that way. Look at it from both fronts. There is a reason a fireball is third level. Would you want your first level PCs casting a spell that does, on average, 3 points per level in an area when the creatures they are fighting at that level may only have 3 points of health? No, of course not.

Spells, spells, spells. This is where I have to defer to my husband. He is the spell expert, and maybe your group has one too. Listen to them. Making new spells (or tweaking old ones) can be a game buster. Make sure it is balanced for its level. Look at other spells that level to see if they do similar damage amounts or affects (granted if the system is already broken, this may not work.) And if the player has a good reason for it being a certain level, though you don't want it to be that level, make it hard for him/her to research if you don't want it busting your campaign.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thoughts on Writing

This week of school starting has put into perspective just how little time I have to write. With kids, their after school activities and my volunteering for every activity under the sun, I realize I need to give myself some time to do what I like. Here are my suggestions:

Set aside a time. I give myself the hour after I drop the kids off at school to work on my writing projects. No housework, no bills, no yard work. I avoid answering the phone if I can. I put on my favorite music, pop open the laptop and try to write. I don't always use the whole hour, but it's there if I need it.

Don't worry about progress. Some days are better for writing then others. Some days the muse is with me and I whip out a good two or three pages. Other days its simply working on an outline. And yet others it's all editing (which I dread like I dread taxes). Don't worry about word count, sometimes just thinking about your novel or short story is all that you need to do that day, it's still should count as a good day's progress.

Make sure you actually get to write! This is my big tripping point. I spend so much time editing at this point in my novels (I mean 400,000+ words takes times to edit) that I don't always just get to write fresh stuff. So I have a few side projects that just allow me to WRITE. I may never use the stuff I write, but it lets my creative juices flow

Happy writing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Roleplaying Game Aids

So everybody has their favorite things to bring to a roleplaying table. Here are just a few that I like to use.

Maps and Hex boards. As much as I dislike 4th edition D&D (we use the books to prop up our monitor) they did do one good thing with the Dungeon Tiles. These pre-made tiles with everything from pit traps to forest scenes come in really handy for battles and just having a good time at a tavern. We also have an old vinyl mat with squares that fit miniatures that can be drawn on with erasable marker. Both are good to liven up the imagination and show exactly where your characters are during battles.

Music, Music, Music. I don't use this as much as I'd like, but music does set a mood. Classical/instrumental are good for setting up a battle or even a romantic interlude. Even songs with lyrics might be good for a tavern with a bard. I like a lot of John Williams, In the Halls of the Mountain King, and a lot of game music, including World of Warcraft. Believe it or not a lot of video games hire full orchestras to play their sound tracks.

Minatures. My kids love to see their characters represented by miniatures, even if they aren't quite right. Most hobby stores sell the little miniatures and Blood Bowl/Warhammer has some excellent miniatures for use as masses of bad guys.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Items: Banners

Banners, a sign of status and importance, are earned by nobles, merchants, mercenaries and even adventurers. They vary from area to area but there are common threads with them all.

Each has two colors, one dominant, one as a border or interspersed with the dominant color. Colors vary, but usually compliment each other. Colors can be solid with trim or broken into two halves or four quarters with alternating colors.

Most have a picture, either in the center or on one or more of halves or quarters. Borders vary in thickness but that is up to taste (though some nobles insist the thicker the border the more important the noble family). The same House might have different flags over the centuries, depending on the taste of the leaders, changes to status, or in rare instances, changes in Leadership. Colors will stay the same through the years, though.

Noble Houses usually carry a smaller version of their mother House at the top of their banners, as might mercenary groups or adventurers who are allied with a House. It is considered a great insult to have a banner lost or stolen and many will foolishly go after a banner if it is taken. (For those who have an honor system in their game, the loss of a banner should be harsh if your PC's have one and should be imposed until they retrieve said banner).