Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Magic School: I have Hogwarts on my Miskatonic U!

Mulling some ideas over lunch today.

My kids have both over the years expressed an interest in more Lovecraft and Cthulhu themed games but not really wanting to go full on Call of Cthulhu.

So a few things came to mind right away.

- San Scores and Sanity rules.  As a former QMHP and someone with degrees in psychology, I have been largely critical of most of the "sanity" rules I see in games.  In fact, most of them suck.  My son is using an elegant option for sanity. Your wisdom modifier plus your constitution modifier plus 10.   I will still use San points as Sanity x 5.

- The College of Dreamers is gone.  If I am using the 2nd Ed Glantri school of magic as my base, then I am going to say that the School of Dream was destroyed last year.  No one knows why and because of that attendance and new admits are way down.  What happened of course is they connected to the Dream Lands and the Far Realm (mixing my CoC and D&D 3 terms) and it killed them all.  This is the first phase of the return of the Old Ones.  Totally stealing this idea from the Wizards 101 MMORPG.  This is the big mystery of the 1st Years, what happened to the Dream College (not to be confused with the Dream Academy).  They won't learn till later in the term or even next year.

- With the Dream College gone, the School lessens admit standards.  What this means is Bards are now allowed. I am even considering a type of healer.

- All characters will have a Psionic wild power.   This is another side effect of the return of the Old Ones.  I just have not figured out if I am going to use the wild psionic powers of Basic Psionics Handbook or Realms of Crawling Chaos.  I am going to use both books in other ways.

So this game will have much more horror influences even though I am planning on avoiding using demons and devils for the most part.  Undead will be fine. It is Glantri afterall.  I will add some of elements from Ravenloft, though "Gothic Horror" and "Cosmic Horror" are not always a good mix.

Not 100% sure how this will all fit into the "War of the Witch Queens", but I have lots of time to figure that one out.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekend Gaming: Treasure Hunters Crawl to the Forbidden City

This weekend we spent an inordinate amount of time cleaning my game room this weekend.  It needed to be done,. plus I needed to sort my minis too.

Once that was done we had a couple of hours to play.

The Treasure Hunters of the Second Campaign made it to the front door of the Forbidden City.

But before that, they had to deal with a bunch of pterodactyls.


We had quite a bit of fun fighting these and grabbed a bunch of old dinosaur toys for when they leave the  City.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Magic School: Going Back to Glantri

Curse my gamemastering ADHD!

So despite the fact that I have not one, not two, but THREE D&D 5th Edition games going, I was working out some details of my Magic School game using the D&D Rules Cyclopedia.

So last night I pulled out my GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri by +Bruce Heard and my Glantri: Kingdom of Magic.

I thought I might run it set in Glantri's past, 800 or so AC.  OR even 1000 AC which is close to the present day for the Gazetteer.  My current year is 1414-something AC.

But there is so much great stuff here.

This is going to focus 100% on the magic school so the political goings-on will be part of the background noise.

Though I DO want to expand on my whole Ravenloft is from Mystara/Glantri idea some more too and introduce a young professor of Alchemy from Boldavia, Strahd von Zarovich. Gives me an excuse/hook to drop in Ravenloft II.

But back to the school.

There are the Seven Secret Crafts of Magic in the Glantri School of Magic; Alchemy, Dracology, Elementalism, Illusionism, Necromancy, Cryptomancy (rune magic), and Witchcraft.

These were restructured in the 2nd Ed book, notably Witchcraft becoming Wokanism and Illusion dropped in favor of Dream Magic.  I am keeping Dream Magic from one and Witchcraft from the other.

I am thinking of adding others.  I would love to add a School of Healing; an exception to the normal rule of priests/clerics.  And MAYBE Druids.   I know they don't fit, but I like them.

Couple things I am considering.  Back in the Day I had a wizard character, Phygora, who was a
Glantri trained mage, but he "disappeared".  In reality, the mini I used belonged to my old DM.  He recently sold them all to me so now I have all these REALLY old lead minis including a recently repainted Phygora.  So guess who is now the new Headmaster!  Dosen't matter if I set this in the present or the past since in my game Phygora became something of a time-traveler.

I know that this campaign will go from level 1 to 7 (or 0 to 6), after that I want to move it over to my War of the Witch Queens.   I was talking with +Brian Isikoff this morning and he is considering doing something with Magic School grads and Bruce Heard's Calidar.  I think that is a fantastic idea!
Flying magic ships, flying circuses, I am SO there.

I just need more time to play!
But in the meantime, I can work out all these details.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

D&D Rules Cyclopedia Unboxing and Pre-review

I wasn't going to post today. Really busy at work. But this really could not wait.



I got my Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia in the mail today and wanted to check it out.



I could not decide if I wanted the hardcover or softcover.  So I got both.





As you can see the cover is more cream colored than the original white. I kinda like it to be honest.
There is a huge border of it on the front cover.  Less noticeable in the soft-cover edition.




The color is good, not as strong as the original but still extremely readable.

These books compare very favorably to the original.





You can see the colors are stronger in the original, but the paper is much thicker in the POD versions.


The pages of my original print are a little yellowed with age. The new ones are still bright white.

Compare this to one I made a while back on Lulu. I call it my "Wizards & Demons" Cover.




I also still have a really beat up version.


All in all I am really happy with these.  Looking forward to playing a game with them!

This Old Dragon

Not happening today.  To much real-world shit going on.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

New Witch Tradition: The Sisters of the Chalice and the Moon


In Wormskin 8  +Gavin Norman details the Witches of the Dolmenwood (introduced in Wormskin #7). They are the inheritors of a strange magic that goes to the very essence of the Wood’s history and creation.

Sounds like my kind of witch!

In these 12 pages, he details this new witch tradition and their patron Gods, The Gwyrigon.
A lot of what he has here can be mapped on to my witch class with little to no effort.  No surprise I think since we are looking at similar source materials for our witches.

New Witch Tradition 
The Gwyrigon Tradition of Dolmenwood.
AKA Witches of the Wood, The Sisters of the Chalice and the Moon.
These witches and this tradition are detailed in Wormskin #8.

Occult Powers
Least (1st level) Familiar: These witches gain a familiar in the form of hare or rabbit.  These rabbits are long lived, intelligent and can speak to any witch. While a rabbit may seem like an odd choice for a wood as dangerous as Dolmenwood but it actually a testament to the powers of the Gwyrigon that their chosen messengers seem so weak but can pass unmolested in these woods.

Lesser (7th level) Magic of the Wood: The witch can cast the following spells once per day without need of preparation, charm person, augury, remove curse.

Minor (13th level) One with Wood: When the witch pledges herself to a particular Wood God she gains a greater measure of their power now.  The powers of  Errta, Hasturiel, and Limwdd are detailed in Wormskin #7 (p. 62).

Medial (19th level) Commune with the Wood: The witch can enter into a trance to commune with the spirits of the wood; the gwyrigon, though others can be communed with. This divination allows the witch to learn anything (GM’s discretions) that happens in the Dolmenwood.  This even alerts the witch to malign creatures in the wood such as undead and beings from outside of reality.

Major (25th level) Remove Malign Influences. The witch can place on one subject (or herself) the combined effects of Aid (2nd Level Cleric spell), Remove Curse (3rd Level Cleric spell) and Healing Circle (5th Level Cleric spell, target only). The total benefits are +4 to attack, +4 to saves involving fear, +6 to any ability, 19+1d6 additional temporary hit points and heals the character for all but 1d8 hit points. This lasts a number of hours equal to the witch’s level.

Superior (31st level) Timeless Body: The witch appears to stop aging and her effective lifespan is doubled. She also can’t be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred remain in place. The witch still dies of old age when her time, doubled as it is, is up.

Witches and the Drune 
In the rare cases when witches and Drune (Wormskin #5) work together they form a Grand Coven as per the rules in The Green Witch

New Spells

Create Corn Dolly
Level: Witch 1
Range: One crafted Corn Dolly
Duration: 1 day per level
During the harvest festivals, the witch will gather rushes and other bits of discarded plant life from corn, wheat, and barley.  What many do not know, but the witches know all too well, that the spirits of the harvest remain in these discards.
With a ritual and a repeated rhyme, the witch can fashion a rough poppet that the witch can then animate. This corn dolly can then be sent out to spy for the witch.  With concentration, the witch can hear through this dolly. The range is limited to 100 yards + 10 yards per level of the witch.
The dolly can’t move, it has to be placed by the witch.  The dolly has 2 hitpoints and takes double damage from fire.
Material Components: Rushes from the previous harvest festival. Material older than a year will not work.

Summon Woodgrue
Level: Witch 2
Range: 10’ per level
Duration: Special
The witch can summon a special demi-fey, a Woodgrue, (see Wormskin #7).  At the end of the casting, the Woodgrue appears at the location of the witch where she must gift it a cup of single malt whiskey. Once that is done the witch can compel the bat-faced fey to perform one task for her. The task must be something the woodgrue can complete but not something that will result in his or another’s death.  Such tasks would be “return to me the coin I lost in the wood this past fortnight” or “harass Goodwoman Kolya for the next week for treating me rudely in the market.”
Once complete the Woodgrue is freed to return to where he likes.  The witch can only summon one woodgrue at a time.  Continual repeated summoning of woodgrue may be looked down upon by the Gwyrigon (ie. the Game Master) and be denied.
Material Components: A cup of single malt whiskey.



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