Monday, September 30, 2013

Kawani, Red Tail Hawk

Okay, what's this, you say?  A bird as a character? Before Sebastion Blackthorn married Noshi Bluecrystal, Heir to Varanath, he was a mercenary and he loved the challenge of getting things in hard to reach places.  One such place was the royal rookery.  He and Derangos broke into the rookery one night on a whim and stole a red tail hawk egg.  Sebastion wasn't sure what to do with it, but decided to keep it warm until he did.  The next morning, Kawani hatched.  As tough as he was he instantly took to her and fed her until she was big enough to take care of herself.  She lived nearly twice as long as any normal hawk, brooding many nestlings and was always by his side, even when she died.  She was smarter then the normal bird, able to give Sebastion warning of incoming trouble and even able to retrieve certain objects Sebastion may have wanted.  If you are working on Intelligence of 3d6 (or something similar) she'd have been at least a 6.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bracelet of Tracking

Originally made for the royal wizards to track the royal family, in case they were kidnapped, these bracelets have evolved into something more.  These bracelets, mostly made of some fine material in a pleasing design, usually carry the sigel of the House they belong to, (or later on merchant house or personal symbol).  They are imbued with magic to allow a designated wizard with a matching piece (crafted at the same time as the bracelet) to find the wearer of the magic.  The wearer feels a tingle about his wrist every time some one tries to use the magic to find him or her.  If the wearer is unaware of what the bracelet is, he or she will just feel the tingle but not know what it is.  The distance doesn't matter, but the closer a person is, the stronger the feel of magic to the person looking for the bracelet wearer.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mountain Hold

A day's travel east from Goldleaf is the small village of Mountain Hold.  Set at the foot of the northern Tsalagi Mountains, this small village is set for mining during the better weather of spring and summer.  The rest of the year the village mine is under snow and thus unminable.  About three hundred souls brave the mine and keep the miners fed and clothed during the busiest part of the year.  The rest of the year there are about twenty hardy souls who watch over the mine and homes from thieves and wildlife.  There is a general store, about forty small houses and a few bunk houses for the single men.  The mine is House Goldleaf's so it is run by a House foreman who is fair, but expects hard work.  Pay is good for the miners and those who come to support the miners.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sara the Druid

Many druids spend all their time in the wilds, only coming out of the woods or wild lands to bless the land for farmers or stop the invasion of humans into a sacred grove or such.  But  not Sara.  Though she loves nature and animals, she also loves the people of the world.  She likes to get out among the farmers and peasants and help them learn about nature, how to use nature, and how to treat nature.  She wanders around from farm to farm in the Merryweather to Devonshire area, really just going where she wants, (which is what most druids do).  She stops to talk to farmers about animals and crops, when the best time to plant is and if there is anything they can do to help her out.  Not only does she talk crops and animals, but she is a very established healer with both magic and herbs, and she tries to heal where she can, both people and animals.

The players might encounter her in need of help or perhaps she is looking for help to aid a village.  She doesn't have wealth to give in compensation, but she may have information about something the group is searching for.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Some Gaming Ideas

When you are gaming there is always rules you have to follow.  Some GMs follow to the letter and others do the rule following when it's super important.  Here are some guidelines I like to follow, being a sort of a middle of the road sort of person.

1) Combat.  This is the most important time, in my way of thinking, to follow the rules.  This is the nuts and bolts of the rules and the rules make combat more balanced.  I'd follow the rules as closely as possible, but if you can't remember them off the top of your head and looking them up will slow down play, just go with your best guess and move on.  Fun is more important the rules lawyering.

2) Skills.  This is one you can fudge on.  If your player has worked hard at gathering all the stuff for a fantastic magic item and he had to adventure long and hard to get them, fudge their roll if need be.  One roll should not ruin the fun.

3) Roleplaying.  Let the rules be stretched here, though not so far that the campaign is overwhelmed by super ninjas or anything.  A swashbuckler making the catch on a chandelier, even though he would have missed, will liven up the moment.

4) My suggestion for knowing the rules is to brush up on the rules relevant to your game that night.  If you know there is going to be a lot of combat, brush up on combat.  If there is going to be alot of roleplaying, look at skills.

Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spellbook of Spellstoring

The problem with mages and wizards is that they have to carry around spellbooks full of their spells they have researched so they can study them everyday.  Kinda like they are studying for a quiz everyday, only with real world applications.  If a mage lives long enough they acquire quite a lot of research and spells, thus translating into many books that are likely to get lost.  Master Marba was a man who liked to travel out of necessity.  Something to do with his relationships with women, the history books think, and thus needed his stuff to be easy to transport.  Thus, after much research, he came up with a single book which could hold all his spells.  The book appears to have fifty or so stout pages which are fire and water proof.  The only pages that has writing upon it, though, is the first few pages.  These pages are a list of spells, but no spells follow.  If the mage knows the activation phrase, which is created with the book, they may speak the phrase and the spell name and the spell will appear on the next few pages until the book is closed.  To write a spell in, first the phrase has to be spoken, then the title of the spell written in the list and then the spell copied into the next few pages.  The phrase is spoken again and then the book is closed.  There after it will be in the book.  No one knows for sure how many spells can be held in a spellbook of storing, but they are certainly a prize for any mage.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Village of Stone Cave

On the east coast of Taina and near the House seat of Karoon is the small village of Stone Cave.  Amongst the cliffs overlooking the ocean are many small caves sea birds use for nesting, but there is one cave so large a small village lays within.  The cave itself is very large, almost six hundred yards long and one hundred yards wide at the opening.  The only way in, other then the ocean side, is a lava tube that comes out at the surface some half mile from the ocean opening and wide enough for two, small wagons to be driven through.  This opening can be blocked off at any time, making the village pretty much impregnable.  The houses of the village are in the walls of the main cave, usually made from old lava tubes that are in the walls of the main cave.  So house size can vary from two wagon size to a small manor.  There is a natural spring in the cave, which has never run dry and has no surface openings so can not be spoiled or poisoned unless the person is actually in the cave. Several of the lava tubes have been set aside for food and other supply storage and they have enough supplies to last for several months.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lady Nye

Lady Nye, Queen of the Elves, oversaw the kingdom of Qalataqa during the time of the Chosen.  Hidden away as she and her people were, she still knew what was going on in the world and tried to keep her people away from the horrors, though still informed on what occurred out of their sanctuary.  She was a wise queen, tall and beautiful with flowing hair which changed colors, not unlike the Goddess Catiana's was supposed to be able to do.  She loved all her people dearly, but her heart held a special spot for the Wolf Warriors who protected her people, though they had no charges of their own.

Lady Nye was long lived, living nearly 1500 years before succumbing to being "too tired to live any longer".  She was born to Venar and Thela Sunblossom, King and Queen before her.  Nye eventually married an elven man named Tavaen, a blacksmith and swordsman.  They had three children of their own.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Timelines for your game

Though you can't get your players to go where you want or when, it's an excellent idea to have your own little timeline of what is going on in your world.  It doesn't have to be elaborate, as in George did this on this day and this on the next day, but world important events.  You might have a list that reads something like this:
Day 1 (or your world date): group gets together
Day 2: Bad guy sends peons out to gather maidens
Day 3: group goes after peons
Day 4: bad guy sends for more peons

And so on.  Not only are you then keeping track of days (and for some things that is important) but you have an idea where your bad guys are in their plans as the party goes about their plans.  Players aren't the only ones to have plans or need magic items made, so this helps you keep track and not cheat (too terribly bad) on where your bad guys are in making/planning stuff.

Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Weaver's Port

This port, which sits on the northern shore of Ariella and far west of Notitia, is a freeman's port.  It is not part of the Empire and all of it's citizens hold to no government, except for the one of Weaver's Port.   The Port itself isn't huge, it can hold half a dozen big belly traders and twice that in smaller vessels, but it's a stopping spot for many trading ships as they head either to Tridon or to the Empire's center.  There is one repair bay and the repair men are excellent, though slightly expensive.  There are plenty of taverns, a few inns, a brothel or two and plenty of trade shops, where some captains take on more cargo.  From here the trade spreads to the four winds, carried by camel caravans and individuals who set out to find the nomads, Akicitia, and small, human settlements that abound in the plains beyond.  Most speak not only Ariellan, but High King's speech as well.  Both Tridon's and the Empire's money is taken here, but depending on the day, either may be worth more then the other.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sandra the Dressmaker

Sandra is the most highly sought after dress maker in all of Bloodhelm.  This small, petite woman with bounding auburn tresses loves to talk to her customers so as to find  the best style and color which would bring out the best in them.  She works in anything from wools to silks and all are beautiful.  The dresses, and dress suits, are more expensive then the normal outfit (20% more the book price, at the very least) but they are superior quality and color then anything else you could possibly find.

Sandra talks to all her clients, usually the nobility or wealthy merchants, so she learns a lot.  And there are people who would pay a lot for what she knows.  She keeps careful records of what she learns and then shares that information, for a price, with certain groups of people, depending on their source.  Her prices are high and she doesn't give information to people she think will harm Bloodhelm herself.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Barter System

Though all gaming, and story, worlds have money, the lower class usually deals in bartering, not hard coin.  Here are some simple things to remember when your characters are bartering with NPCs:
1) They have to offer something of similar value.  If the character wants to buy a horse, even a plow horse, a water skin of wine or a simple blanket isn't going to cut it.  Check the prices in the equipment list and compare.
2) This doesn't mean the NPCs won't try and cheat the PCs.  If the player thinks its a good deal, who are you to disagree with them.
3) Even large items, like magic or homes, can be bartered for.  In the case of magic items, maybe the person holding it may want the group to go do some task in exchange for it.
4) Be reasonable.  Don't let your characters get away with murder.  They can't exchange something for a title (like being King) or for relics.  That would break your campaign in no time!

Happy Gaming.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Temple of Sarjon in Bloodhelm

The Temple of Sarjon is just as big as all the other temples in the city, but the building of stout marble is plain in comparison.  The marble columns circle the outside of the temple and the walk way to the altar inside.  Arms and coats of arms line the inside of the building, and any public or gathering place in the temple, recognizing those families or individuals who have held true to the ways of Sarjon.  All the priests are dressed in chainmail, except at meals, and each helps in the maintenance of not only arms and armor, but the grounds itself.  The cells which the priests sleep in are sparse, with only the essentials, and the only thing bright is the coats of arms and any blood that may be upon them.  The building is three stories tall, with a cellar below.  The first floor is the altar room and the training spaces.  The second floor is meant for study and teaching rooms, and the thirds is the sleeping rooms.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Teachers of Mage College of Bloodhelm

With the first day of school upon us, I thought it might be fun to talk about the teachers of the Mage College.  Not only does the Mage College teach mages, but they also house the tutors for the rich and teachers for the common folk.  Calabay started the trend of teaching it's populace to read and work sums, and Bloodhelm would not let itself be out matched.  Bloodhelm pays for anyone who wants to learn to read and work sums to come for a small amount of time each day.  The students change day to day, because peasants have to work to make a living, but there might be anybody from six year old to old grandmothers, all rapt on learning how to read and write.  At any given time there are three teachers available for such task.  There is one for reading, one for writing, and one for sums.  Lady Alex is the youngest daughter of Noble House Taladon and spends her time helping the poor learn to read.  Her father approves, for it keeps her out of trouble and helps make Bloodhelm better.  Trevon Thunderhorn teaches writing, is a strict man and wants only perfect handwriting, though he is a big softy at heart and will bring snacks for the children who's families are very poor.  Von Sunsetter is the sums teacher and he is brisk, efficient and expects his pupils to pay attention at all times.