Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Titles of Martapa

Here is a quick list of possible titles that might be used through out Martapa:

1) High King of Tridon
2) Leader of House (fill in the blank)
3) Sir (name)
4) Lady or Lord (name)
5) Master Mage (name)
6) Master Priest of (name)
7) Master (name...usually used for the bard or warrior college teachers)
8) Emperor (name)
9) Council (name)
10) Advisor (name)
11) Any military ranks (Captain, Sergeant, etc)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Silver Lady Falls

These beautiful falls, not far from Varanath and Ardiango, is over three hundred feet tall and cascades down over the mountain from a bowl shaped pool even in the middle of winter.  There is a small bowl shaped pool at the top, where the river comes to the edge of the mountain, then the river plunges over the steep cliff into a bigger bowl shaped pool below.  At the base of the falls is an opening, leading to a network of natural caves.  These caves are fodder for many an adventure story for nearby locals, but few have actually been in them.  It is believed there was once a druid who protected the falls and the nearby lands named the Silver Lady, but little is known of her or why she chose this spot or even where she might have gone.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Noshi Bluecrystal

Noshi Bluecrystal started as a small doodle in my work notebook as I sat watching tree planters.  A bubbly lady with curly, black hair which hangs to her waist.  Her complexion is pale, almost porcelain white, with brown eyes that can beguile almost everyone.  A gypsy waif, or so she thought, she traveled the country side with her uncle selling their wares.  Her life is turned upside down with the death of her uncle and she starts on quite the adventure with Sebastion Blackthorne, Miyaca and Shadizar Snowbird and Derangos the dwarf.  In the end she finds she is the last living heir to Varanath and becomes lady of the House after many trials and tribulations. 

In the time of the High King's Sword she is nearing seventy, though she looks like a woman half her age.  Her hair is slightly streaked with gray and her son now rules Varanath in all but name, which works just fine with him.  She is a bubbly woman, who sees the bright side of everything, but she is still a practical woman.  She can cast magic of some powerful means, which is true of most Varanath heirs, and could use a longsword very well.  Varanath and Noshi side with the True High King, and  she has taken to mothering Cailus nearly as much as you mothers her own Daniel.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The King's Council

The High King, if there is one, rules from Stormvale, a city not within a House.  Stormvale is independent of all other Houses, because the High King rules all of Tridon, not just the area of a single House.  But the High King needs help from time to time, and thus has a Council to help him make decisions, (if he is so inclined to listen to them, though he doesn't have to).

The Council is made up of all the House Leaders, the head of Council of Priests, the head of the Council of Mages and the head of the Bard College, Warrior College and the head of the druids.  Usually the people upon the Council do not change often, but sometimes there is totally upheavals which throws the Council into disarray.

The High King asks for help in matters of state, such as going to war or major trade agreements, but ultimately the High King is still in charge.  His word is law.  Being on the Council is an honor with perks.  People who have the King's ear tend to be able to elicit favors more easily.

In game, the characters may have to sit in on a Council meeting as a squire or even as a guest of one of the Colleges.  This should only happen if the characters are very important (aka very high level) or if the High King needs them for some mission his normal troops can not do.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sleeping Rolls of Warmth

Mages don't travel often.  They have too many tomes and research that can't be carried around easily and they'd rather be researching then riding.  But for those mages who have to travel or just want to want to travel want to be comfortable.  One of those was the royal mage Sentorian.  He had to travel with the High King often, but was always cold in his sleeping rolls, no matter how many blankets he added.  Thus, after returning from one long adventure with his High King, he created a sleeping roll of warmth.  The roll emanates low amounts of magic aura, but works wonderfully.  It keeps the sleeper at a constant temperature, determined by the user.  It works for about 10 hours then has to recharge itself for at least 10 hours before it can be used again for anything other then a normal sleeping roll.  They used to be very common, but people aren't as interested in paying so much money for a sleeping roll, so they are harder to find.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Village of Sunberry

Sunberry is a small village near Karoon.  This village is small, maybe a dozen families, with adobe houses and small goat and sheep herds.  The people here are quiet, retrospective people, slow to address others and slow in their conversations, as if they have all the time in the world.  The landscape is mostly plains land, but a small stream burbles forth from a spring that is active all year.  Bushes of berries grow around the stream, providing lots of berries to supplement a limited diet.   Most people miss Sunberry, but those who wish to take a more direct route to Karoon from Sunvale may sometimes come across this small, unimpressive village.  The village's biggest secret is that a source of raw gold is near by.  The village doesn't talk about it and only a few elders know where exactly it is.  The gold is used sparingly, but it allows the village to buy necessary things they couldn't otherwise afford.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sorathen, Scholar and Mage

Sorathen would like nothing better then the world to go away so he could be at peace with his piles and piles of book.  This older gentlemen, of long greying beard and not so well kept robes loves knowledge.  He doesn't actually use any of it, he just like to have it.  He scours bizarres and libraries in other cities for magical and historical knowledge he doesn't have.  He lives at the Mage Guild in Bloodhelm, teaching history and magical theory to earn his keep, but his true love is finding new knowledge.  He pays adventurers well for any new book they may find which appears from a good source and is something he doesn't already have.  This last may prove challenging, but does happen.  He'll either buy the book or scroll or ask to pay a lesser fee to copy it.  He pays well, especially since he doesn't spend any of his stipend on anything but books he doesn't have.  He can be found at the Mage Guild in Bloodhelm or at random bizarres and libraries through Tridon.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lockets of Communication

Magical communication is a regular occurrence in my world, though it still hard on the mages who perform the task.  One way to overcome some of the stress is the magical mirrors.  For those who have no talent for the arcane there are lockets of communication.  The name is deceptive, for the people involved can not actually talk to each other, but they can sense the other person wearing the matching locket.  Each person can feel the others emotions, such as being happy, sad, tired, etc.  They can tell how intense the emotion is and how far the person is away, but they can not tell why the person is experiencing the emotion or exactly where the person is.  These lockets are expensive and highly coveted by royals, but even the odd adventurer can find them separate or in pairs now and again in their travels.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pre-House Varanath

Varanath, in some ways, is not the typical House city.  The keep of Varanath is actually separate from the city of Ardiango, instead of part of the city, as many Houses tend to be.  Before the time of Varanath and Houses ,though, Ardiango was a small hunting and wood cutting village.  Wood cabins were the housing of the day with a small, wooden palisade to keep out ogres and wildlife.  There were only a dozen families when the village started, the lumber being traded for food they could not hunt or find in the woods, such as wheat and sea going fish.  Pelts were also traded and used by the people of Ardiango.  This village would take centuries to grow into a large city, even after Varanath become a House.  It is such a far, out of the way place, that few wanted to travel there, let alone live there.  The people who lived in Ardiango were tall, burly men and good, child bearing hipped women.  They were no nonsense type of people who liked to talk about everything.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dustin, Minotaur Foundling

Dustin was, his adoptive parents think, the son of a caravan master and his wife.  It was hard to tell for sure, but when his adoptive minotaur parents came upon the shattered caravan it was all they could piece together for the toddler.  His adoptive parents were told to just rid of him, but Thera begged her husband Arani to keep the child.  As a blacksmith, he was entitled to pretty much anything he wanted and agreed.  He was distant with the child, but when Dustin seemed interested in blacksmithing, Arani showed him the way.  In time Dustin came to love blacksmithing as much as Arani and worked only to please his adoptive father.  He isn't able to smith everything his "father" can at the age of 17, but he can certainly do some very fine work.  Even the minotaurs of the city have come to appreciate his work.

Dustin is a large, heavily muscled human, with tan skin and black hair.  He speaks minotaur fluently, though he only knows a little High King's Speech.  He takes pride in his work and pride in the fact he pleases his adoptive parents.  He can be found on the east side of the Tsalagi Mountains, always in the accompany of minotaurs.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Roughing it with Your Characters

I know a lot of times the actual travel and camping part of adventuring gets left out, not only in books, (because who wants to read about that), but in roleplaying as well.  But if your characters are roaming the country side with enough items to fill several pack animal trains, maybe you should take the time to slow down and take stock.

1) Make sure that a character is not exceeding how much he/she can carry.  A little over, don't worry about it. Carrying two anvils and a forge, maybe you better audit the character.

2) If a player complains he actually does have all those items, make sure he has the pack animals and feed for those animals.  And as an added perk, the GM then can have more random encounters because the party is so big with so many pack animals.

3) Be realistic, but fair.  This is, after all, a roleplaying game, but don't let the players just have everything.  Make sure they got those big items down, but don't sweat the small stuff.  Sure they have food and water when they are in a forest, but in a desert?  They should definitely make sure they are stocked.  And unless those big, powerful magic items are located on their inventory sheet, then they don't have them.  No matter how much they whine.

4) Lastly, watches.  You can't just camp out in the woods and not attract monsters or animals with all those people and animals.  Make sure the party has watches which rotate through out the night and ask for order.  Order could be very important to the random encounter table roll.

Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Making Your Own Magical Items

Here are some rules that my husband and I use when allowing players and the GM to make new magic items.

1) Make sure it isn't covered by some other item that isn't just a different shape.  As an example is there a ring of polymorphing and your player just wants to make bracers of polymorphing?  If that is the case, just charge the same price and components and let the game go on.

2) Look for similar types of items to get a feel of how powerful or how much an items will cost.  If your player is looking for polymorphing and their is an item that does the spell shapechange instead, see how expensive it is to buy/make and what components it might need.  This will give you a good idea of how to start.

3) Don't let it overpower the game.  Do not allow your players to make a sword of +20 of killing dragons.  I mean, seriously?  Some GMs like to have lots of magic and please their players, but magic that is ubber powerful takes the fun out of the game. Don't get me wrong, everybody likes to be super powerful, but after awhile it gets boring when you  have to take on three full grown dragons for a challenge.

4)  Be reasonable.  If the player wants it more as a roleplaying item then for a game changer consider it.  I had a ranger who was a drow, (okay, who didn't), but she couldn't levitate.  So my GM and I talked about it and we found in one of our adventures an ioun stone of levitation to help with character development.  Making a magic item could be used the same way.  Even though I didn't  use the levitation that often it gave me a little roleplaying aid, which is really what you want.  So if that mage really wants to make a staff of his own with a little out there magical enchantment, you still might consider it.  If he/she says it's simply for that little added character development it might be worth it.  My husband had a mage who's hands would start flaming when he was scared or upset.  So we added a flame enchant to his staff that would only work when he was upset or scared.  It was powerful at first level, but there were stipulations as to when it would work.

Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Calabay, Pre House Status

I've been focusing mostly on the time of the High King's Sword, but as a GM you may want to do some adventuring well before that.  Let's start with Calabay.  It was once nothing more then a fishing village, with goat herders and some rough farming.  Picture Ireland with goats instead of sheep.  The village itself was perched on a cliff above a natural bay, with a natural wind break of stone.  About two dozen families lived there, most were fisherman, while the older boys would herd the goats and the women would spin the wool and try to farm.  (Yes, there are goats who have spinnable wool.)  The houses were made of wood and stone, only one level high with a loft for the children to sleep in.  The one floor had a spot for a fireplace, bed for mom and dad, and an open area to sit and do repair work or spin during the harsh weather.  Usually there was a cellar to store food and other supplies during the rough winter.  They did get quite a bit of snow, being so far north, so boats were always hauled out of the water in the winter.  (These weren't great sailing ships like they have in the time of the Chosen and the High King's Sword.)  The people of the village are wary of people they don't know, but if they like a person they make them feel right at home.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Armetrius, Caravan Guard

Armetrius has always been a quiet guy.  Not that he is stupid or slow, he just doesn't have a lot to say.  He likes to observe what is happening around him then proceed from there.  He looks for the best time to act or not act at all.  Thus he is a favorite amongst the caravans, known as a fair man who will work hard for the money he is given.  As captain of any caravans he will take no guff and won't allow people to slack off.  He takes a firm hand with his mercenaries or guards under him, but he is fair.

Armetrius is around six and a half feet tall, dark skin, black hair he keeps braided and he is broadly built.  He prefers mute colors and wears a well cared for set of mail.  He uses two short swords or a longsword with a shield, depending on the situation. He can be found pretty much anywhere on Taina, usually with a merchant caravan.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The 4th of July

This week is getting away from me with sick a husband and the 4th, so I'll just say thanks for reading and I'll be back next week.  Thank you, as well, to all the brave men and women who make my life as wonderful as it is.  Without your bravery and sacrifice we would not have this wonderful country we call America :)  And a special shout out to not only the 19 Hotshots who died this week but to all the firefighters who fight all the wildland fires in this country.  My dad was once one of you and I have a special, fuzzy spot in my heart for you all.  Happy 4th, everyone!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Crystal, the Ice Mage

Crystal of Devonshire loves everything about snow, the ice, the cold, the ability to make live sized shapes in it.  Because of that love, she became a devoted ice mage, specializing in ice and cold spells.  If ever there was an expert on ice and snow spells, it is Crystal.  She is the designated mage on call for the pass of Devonshire and protects her city like a mama bear.  She has several apprentices, though none of them have taken to ice spells like herself.  But when not protecting her city or training the next generation of mages, she has a side business of selling ice during the summer.  She creates ice in manageable sizes and delivers the ice to businesses around Devonshire.  She doesn't make a lot of money, but it makes her awfully popular during the summer.

Crystal is a human, around thirty five years of age, rounded at the edges and friendly beyond belief.  She loves to talk about magical theory, but definitely anything to do with ice or snow.  She'll teach anyone who is willing to learn about magic, but she only has a few apprentices at a time, so they get the most out of her tutelage.  She liveson the edge of town, near the gate so she's in easy reach of  what needs to be protected.