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Showing posts from June, 2013

Nicholas Berquist's "The Rising Dark" ~ Not Quite a Review

The Rising Dark – Not Quite a Review
I’m currently reading “The Rising Dark” by Nicholas Berquist and I have to say I am surprised it is holding my interesting. Let me explain that I have nothing against Berquist or his writing/design and really have nothing but praise for what I am reading. Instead my issue is with the dark fantasy genre in a general sense as I have never been able to understand the appeal of it. If I want grim and dirty I can drive the two hours to Philly.
However, despite my general dislike of the dark fantasy genre I find myself continually sneaking glances at “The Rising Dark” due to pure ability of the author not only to turn some common things on their head but in the immersive quality of the world Berquist is creating with each world.
The menagerie of gods presented pretty much at the beginning of the book is a joy to read, even if each god only gets a scant paragraph. Complete broad deities all of them unique in some way claw for attention, and as a player w…

An Albatross Around My Neck

To be quite honest I do not know what to write about. The last two weeks have been a rollercoaster in my and my family’s life. Job losses, job changes and problems with everything from a toaster to my car have pretty much beaten the hell out of any creative juices I may have. That said, the re-kindling of my “beast”, the PC I built eight years ago and have managed to keep current, is blunted by the thought that the money I have spent on the new RAM for it could have gone to far more important things like groceries or bills.
My favorite poem of all time, one I have had memorized since middle school, is Samuel Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. I have always enjoyed the lyrical style of the poem, the visuals it created in my head and the true message of the poem. That message is that we, not God or some other external power, are the makers of our own fate by doubting and turning away from grace/luck/faith/what-have-you. For me that has always been an important message and I’ve…

Back in Action

Memory for my PC is due in today so after an install tonight, the big beast shall be back up and running. I've also finally (fingers crossed) fixed the connection problems on my Linux box (Ubuntu 12.04 does not like me).

What this means is that regular posting should return tonight.

Computer Down

The desktop has died. I'm left with my phone and my linux box. So this means no D&D Chronicles of Mystara tomorrow since that harm doesn'trun on Linux.Sorry everyone.

Boggats and their Kin - Creatures of Eira Preview

Boggarts are minor Genius Loci who inhabit areas of Eira that have known violence and strife. Mildly intelligent, the boggart of any area spends its time in acts of mischief and petty violence such as moving road signs, toppling walls, tripping passer-bys and the like.
Boggarts have no natural form, but when made manifest, use materials from the surrounding land (usually dirt, stone and plants) to create a body. In this form they appear as squat, gnarled toothed creatures, with huge feet and clawed hands.
Boggarts who attack others do so out of a perceived slight. Maybe the passer-by spit on the boggart’s land, sang a song the Boggart didn’t like and so forth. boggarts, can however, be bargained with, and are prone to liking food, shiny objects, and perceived positions of power (i.e. granting the boggart the title of Protector of the Homestead). Boggarts have little memory for faces, and as such will not remember any who it has faced or lost to in battle.
As Genius Loci, boggarts…

Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles this Monday

Just a quick one before work, but this coming Monday (June 24th) I'll be hosting a Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles game from 2000-2200. More information will be coming on this later as I figure out how to better host an online game.

Select your character, and help take back Mystara!

Enbarr - Creatures of Eira Preview

Legends speak of the Enbarr, a race of horse from the Eternal Lands of the Au-Sidhe, rare in Eira but glimpsed in fear dream. Long and limber of limb, with flowing manes the color of lightening, the Enbarr flies across the land, faster than a Pixie's flight, more silent than a Un-Sidhe assassin and hearty than any exotic Dwarf. Only once in the memory of the world did a human mount and ride an Enbarr.

Fada, son of the first King of Men, betrothed to the least of the Sidhe's daughters, to win the hand of the  Lorei Princess, did Fada steal his way into the Eternal Lands and with gift of heart's blood and solemn oath did he gain the mount of Aobarr, the chief of the Enbarr. Over cloud, ocean, ice and grass did Fada and Aobarr travel through the lands man and Sidhe to the darkness of the Otherworld, seat of the Un-Sidhe ...
Enbarr a rare, intelligent fae horse from the Eternal Lands of the fae, an old and sufficiently intelligent Enbarr has the ability to cast spells equal ac…

Quarters Not Included!

Back when I was nine-years-old, I like many of my generation, spent far too much time in dimly lit, loud and smoky places deemed to be havens of depravity and generation wasting; arcades. Every summer, every cent I made mowing lawns, watching kids, or found in the bottomless pits of furniture went into the coin-slots of my local arcade, a small neon laced hole-in-the-wall at the corner of the mall known as "Space Port". Pole Postion, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, X-Men and Ninja Turtles swallowed coin after coin. But one game, ruled them all, one game that bound me to the arcade and held power over my existence and shaped my years to come: Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom.

For three years I played Capcom's greatest beat 'em up game. I never beat it, I would always die fighting the dragon near the end, but that didn't matter. Death never mattered, winning never mattered. To my young self, the adventure the paths ways and slim decisions, the beautiful artwo…

Divine Guardians and Beings - Spells for High Level Clerics

After a long weekend and a Father's Day full of my daughter running a game for me (instead of the other way around), I am long overdue for getting my writing done.  The following is a massive work in progress, something that I don't even know will ever pan out in the long run, but for the moment I'm running with it.

Summon Divine Guardian Spell Level: Cleric, 7th Level Range: N/A Duration: 1d6 rounds Other:  10% for successful summon
The Cleric prays for aid in battle summoning a  divine being of the deity he or she serves. When summoned the Divine Guardian will attack any and all creatures within 90 feet of the caster who are the opposed alignment of the deity that the Guardian serves.
Once the Guardian is brought to 0 health or below it and all its possessions will vanish from the mortal plane and cannot be summoned again for 1d6 days.
Once summoned the guardian cannot be again summoned for 1d6 days. On every summon the cleric rolls a d%, with an increasing +10% for each s…

Wayne Rossi's Dungeon Crawl

A few days ago when browsing through Drivethru for anything of interest I ran across a simply named fanzine called Dungeon Crawl. At the time I did not know of +Wayne Rossi in any of the Google+ communities that I frequent/lurk. The magazine, the second issue in fact, was one of drivethru's new "pay what you will" titles, and after dropping a few bucks I got the issue and have slowly been making my way through it. The fanzine is OSR generic meaning that for the most part the content can be showhorned into almost an of the old school clones and "what-if" rule sets. Honestly, I have been rather impressed so far by Dungeon Crawl. The production is excellent for a one man show, and the articles (the majority by Rossi himself) are well done. I can't lie, the adventure has me a bit confused, but that is less Rossi's fault and more about my inability to understand how old school modules and adventures are set-up. Besides my confusion with the adventure, howev…

The Azure Tower, The Physician and The Assistant - Places of Azure Marsh Preview

A few weeks ago I revealed some information on the town of Azure Marsh in the northern valleys of the Land of Eira. That information was on the haven of scum and villainy known as The Half Blind Crow. Today I continue to reveal some of Azure Marsh with a preview of the town's must enigmatic denizen. The Arch-Mage known only as "The Physician"

This is copyrighted material of Genius Loci so I ask that you don't try to pass it off as your own. Still I hope everyone find this entertaining and wets the mouth for the eventual release of "The Mad Magus' Tomb".

The Azure Tower is a blue, five-storey tower located on a small island about a half a mile off of the coast of Azure Marsh. Legend states that the tower appeared mysteriously during the night fifty years ago. That night, the older locals will say, was one of thunder and strange noises and flashes of light never seen before. Once a stone bridge linked the town of Azure Marsh to the island but that was shat…

Cat-Sith Cartographer - Clases of Eira Preview

Earlier I discussed the idea of race specific and how in my own development I am creating two to three classes per race in my setting. The following is one of the classes, however, I have not [for the moment at least] released the basics information for the race.

The Cartographer was an interesting creation in that at the same time I wanted to create something much like Indiana Jones and something unique in OSR settings. While I do not feel that was wholly successful in this I am pretty happy with the result.

This class is open for players but not for publication in other places as it is intended for the setting I am developing. However, if anyone wants to use the cat-sith in their home games then by all means please do. I only ask that you tell me how the class performed.

Cat-Sith Cartographer
The Cat-Sith Cartographer is, as the name implies, an explorer and artist who strives to map the whole Eira. From the Highlands to the Coasts and the deepest dungeons and caves.  For the Cat-Sit…

OVA: I am promoting a non-OSR Kickstarter!

To be quite honest this game does not in any shape, way or means need to be promoted. It is already at 1,200% of goal, so this is a successful game. The reason I'm promoting this game is that it looks slick! Just based on the 3 free character books that the publisher has issued over at the Kickstarter show a game with easy to learn rules, a fast combat style and a fun system that enables so many possibilities.

To me, this game encompasses what BESM was really trying to do in the late 90s/early 2000s. Essentially the game is a dice pool system, with modifiers adding or subtracting from the total amount of dice that the player can use. These rolls can be further augmented by "drama dice" pulled from your endurance. However, your endurance is vital to ... well, living, so it adds a bit of a danger element to the game as well as up the "Nose bleeds" of trying to hard in anime and comics.

Anyway, OVA seems to have some real potential to create the fast moving realm…

On Spell Components

Before I begin, I must once again stress that I never or rarely play a spellcasting class. When I do, it is typically a Bard or a Cleric. As such there exist aspects of the typical arcane spellcaster that I do not understand and, given my reluctance to play as one, probably never will understand. One of these things I do not understand are the need for magical components to help a spellcaster facilitate his or her ability to cast spells.
When it comes to magic, I come from the Pulp/Urban Fantasy style of magic. That is, that magic is a natural part the caster, they may need a focus (as in the Dresden Files were words and wands aren’t needed but help the human mind with magic from a psychological perspective) or a sacrifice (as in the Mercy Thompson/Alpha & Omega series’) to draw the magic to the caster.In my own creation I have used the idea of self-sacrifice in the Blood Witch to act as the agent that facilitates magic.
So it is with the Pulp and Urban Fantasy ideas that I typic…

Darkholm Keep – Places of Azure Marsh Preview

Darkholm Keep – Places of Azure Marsh Preview
The Following is a preview of the lost dwarven clan, The Dark-Irons, home in the Forest of Eternal Night. It will feature in rumors and possible side-quests in a lot of the Eira material I’m making. Especially the Azure March/Mad Magus adventure I am slowly crafting.
To that existent, the information posted here are more or less my notes on the Keep as they currently exist. Not everything is done (I have a single cross section of the keep proper on a napkin for instance) and some information is likely to change.
I haven’t posted anything on Genius Loci yet about how Dwarves (a mythological/folklore creature of Northern and Eastern Europe) fits into a world that is primarily based on Celtic and Welsh mythology and folklore.
If any internet Indiana Jones types want to find a little of dwarves in Eira I posted a bit on them in the +Swords & Wizardry Discussion a while back. However, I’m planning on posting a revised version with more informa…

Vacation incoming.

A quick heads up from my phone.On the way to a short vacation with the family. Wife will be taking the phone away when I get there. Updates on Eira, musings on OD&D and retroclones and Star Trek stuff will return on Thursday.Oh and I've been watching Torn Uprising. Be prepared.