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Friday, January 20, 2023

Auldgoryan Witchcraft, parte the seconde

Between guitaring, lyricing, music theory and watching gaming grow apart from the D&D IP-owners, I continue to work on Auldgory.

Here is some more on Auldgoryan Witchcraft.


Witchcraft, as a Sympathetic system, requires implements and incantations.  Implements which are tied to the symbolic relationship with the subject and object of the spell.  In one system: Air is represented by a Blade used to stir the air, and as a symbol of rulership (and lightning) -- this blade is the Witch's trusty Athame; Water is represented by a Chalice; Fire is represented by a Staff or Wand; Earth by a metal or stone Talisman.  In this system, Invocations to the four elements in the cardinal directions (different by tradition and coven) while ritually presenting each of the Implements focuses the power of the caster(s) into the desired outcome, and this enacted Symbolism is not merely lip service, but rather the Witch acting at their rung on the ladder, co-operating with the cosmic synergy: 'the power is rising'.

[] Alchemy: A ritual Alchemical casting is used to produce Potions (including Inks), or, to imbue a Magic Item with powers like the spell.

[] Thaumaturgy: A ritual Thaumaturgical casting is used to perform fantastical and spectacular displays of power, where the volume of display diminishes the power, so that a large number of people in a given area would witness a light display full of terrible sounds, but using the same amount of power, a single target could be reduced to smouldering remains with no indication of outside influence.  Casting against targets, as discussed above, invokes the sympathetic reaction on a basic roll of 9- on 3d6, but the light and sound display not being cast against targets would not be subject to the rule.

[] Theurgy: A Theurgical rite is essentially prayer to the Cosmos to enact the invocation as stated, or as the Cosmos best needs perform the Work to maintain its Weave.  If the rite is hostile, the Rule of 9 is in effect, and the Witch who fails thus will know that the backlash is due, sooner or later.  Again, the F# is the Effect upon the Witch or Ally; if the rite was to directly smite a target, the Witch will be struck by the same effect, whereas if the rite was intended to cause woe against an ally of the target for purposes of spite, then the most closely-resembling peer in the life of the Witch will instead suffer the effect to F# degree.

Should the Witch have the prescribed implements, know the appropriate invocations, and have the time to perform the ritual casting, the player controlling the figure may then roll their dice at Favour and add-in the appropriate Ability Score and other circumstantial modifiers.  If the resultant total equals or exceeds the GM-assigned Target Number, the spell has been successfully cast.
Failure usually only results in lost time and any expended resources.  However, the 9- die total rule is enforced if the casting is directed _against_ a target ('Against' means to harm).  On this miscast result, any said resources are consumed, the casting time spent, and the result is instead visited upon the Witch and/or their Coven or other significants to a degree based upon Failure Margin from 10.  Thus, if on the 3d6, the controlling player rolled a 07, the Margin of Failure is F03.  Simply, each 03 or fraction thereof, inflicts one Effect-step upon the Witch or allies.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

O/A/D&D Saving Throws: Energy Type; Alternate Method

Saving Throws & Damage

This originally came to me in a 3.x, three-category saves model, but since Hasbro is doing this to us, -- instead, here is the O/AD&D version.

TL;DR Takeaway: fast, flexible, player-facing damage/effect determination.

When a power word, or glyph, or similar energy effect (MA/GW) confronts a character, the appropriate D&D type Save is attempted.  On a success, the figure takes one-half their Save Number (or none, depending upon the specifics determined by the DM), whereas failure results in the character's full Save number.

Both the Save number and the resultant damage can be modified independently so as to lower the number, but increase damage on a failure, or conversely, to increase the number but cap the maximum damage sustained, or any combination thereof.

Challenges to the premise are welcome.  :D

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The ARGUS2 system by Alternate Reality Games, is not now, nor has it ever been OGL/SRD


Yeah.  Having read, The Prince, at 13, I was never going to trust the OGL to keep my IP, mine.

So, I'm hoping to work with Old School publishers (perhaps you?) to bring the ARGUS2 system to the OS community, for their consideration.  I'll need to make it officially Open, and, Irrevocable (at least while I draw breath).

My plan is to release a Character Sheet which literally illustrates the system and its muto-chimeric heritage, as well as its applicability to any/no genre.

Ever-vigilant: ARGUS2

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

DCC/MCC AULDGORY: Easternmost Signal Fire


I think I may have been disinvited as DCC/MCC GM; no one showed, and the store guy seemed a little gleeful to inform me nothing was scheduled for tonight.

Its too bad.  I had just spent two days detailing the PCs' families, shared homeland, and developing background events.  The PCs were to report to Outpost; Firerook with their findings regarding the mass death at the Lybrti Garden.

Outpost: Firerook is the Easternmost Signal Fire, the network of which spreads across the Rockies-analogue.  It is located in Westera Tribal lands, Goat Hill Clan, which has just recently been nine-fold decimated in an attack the surviving leader blames on the Elder Warmage in charge of the outpost.

That surviving leader of Goat Hill Clan is the mother of the Merchant-Healer PC CBR.  She had given her son to be raised in the east to her lover, a foreign volunteer not seeking citizenship.  His father is a Durnsman, from that Hoary Stock of peoples from the First World Age, Lazman Hazeh.

On another side of the mountain, in Port Quema, the lush rainforest mountain backing the lagoon traps sea-mist along a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees and tall shrubs.  Quema is teeming with fish and crustaceans as well as unknown alien and mutant life thought delectable.

The HWO (Heavy Weapons Operator) has his origins here, and his mother still lives here operating as an assassin under cover as a fishwife and fry-cook.  She's supernaturally beautiful, luminous. and applies makeup to appear more plain and normal.  She can party like a god, and loves to do so, and was not a very present parent.  His father was a foreign sailor, who left the boy a carved sea serpent on a sharkskin leather thong.  Mom took him to the youth training centre, knelt, and told him in broken Starspeak, 

    "Remember son, to the sea always be true."

She then gave him the necklace and handed him over to the trainers.

On the third side of the mountain, nestled between sea-breeze and runoff-fed tributaries and forested dells, and the rain shadow of the mountain with three names, a herder and ranching people are the origins of the GRN PC.  His father was a Lt. in the First Western Cav (W^1st), lost in the Moorwraith Wars which don't receive much press back East.  Further, PC's brother, also a Cavalryman, was recently reported MIA in another Moorwraith conflict over Ancient Auldgoryan ruins.

The PC had a dream the night of the fight with the zombie-shepherd where they both had been transported bodily to some weird chaeotheric realm.  In the dream his brother was calling to him from a tower shrouded in mist.

Ah, well, just more fodder for the setting.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

DCC/MCC AULDGORY Session at local shop

 Yeah, gaming stuff.

#DCC #MCC #Auldgory

Used my Auldgory setting for the DCC/MCC mashup/

At least two of the three gents seemed happy with it; third looked tired from work.

o 15 year old, Squire (attached to a Lt.), from Merchant background, with a Mental Domination spell-like-power (one of the _Ways_).  He's the CBR -- Combat Rifleman.  Blooded into the Ayqon's Inquisitors, after absorbing the Agony Runes -- he's capable of sharing the agony with others.

o 19 year old, Squire, Ranching background, don't think we got around to his power.  He's a GRN -- Grenadier, bloop-tube-style, carrying 40 grenades of various loads.  Blooded into Bledra's Bladedancers, where he had to navigate a timed obstacle course and bound a Moorwraith's dagger to himself.  This becomes _Important_.

o 21 year old, almost a Private, Sea-Fisher background, HWO -- Heavy Weapons Operator (in this case, a 'mini-zooka') carrying 3 or 5 rockets, and armed with a pistol.  Blooded into Wraicastle's Rooks, where he was subject to 'extended interrogation.'  Success saw him first branded, and then tattoo'd with the Raven.

The leader of the three was given the option to perform a mission in the East, or one atop the southernmost peak of the Lashan ranges, or, one out West, heading further West upon completion.  He chose the last.

They encounter a shepherd of zombies, she, glowing with a faint blue-white light, an apparent Half-Moorwraith.  She contacted the CBR while he dozed in the carriage as it sleet outside.  ~"We are coming, do not resist."~ Some of the zombies are their compatriot Banner Ranks personnel.

The next few days are uneventful, and these are not the players to play through Fellowship-phase activities, so we FF to the point where the carriage can no longer move West for the terrain, and ask to be permitted to fall-back to the first Fort West of the Lashans, 'We Made It!' (yes, I used it) if the PC didn't return in 3 days.

Day 1-

GRN killed an Outlier girl sight unseen firing a grenade from an underground loading bay after the girl made noise and cursed herself for it and then ran off -- but, alas, she went excite all over the Ancient site.

10 Fam then rushed to her, and the PCs cursed the day, and I broke the 4th Wall to offer a do-over, and they accepted.

Day 1 (redux)-

This time they went to the village first, then met, Dabos, whom I described as looking like the actor who plays MCU Loki.  He was pretty obviously not only foreign, but anachronistic, wearing an amazing suit, with a talking wristwatch.  Dabos gave them permission to take the 'softwood' boxes, and even ordered his locals to transport them to the Carriage who drove the firearm parts back East.

They then headed out and encountered a Lybrti Garden, normally established behind a wall, but this one looking intentionally grown in this open space.  Motherists build these FoB/Altars from which Lybrti is better able to effect Her power.  Climbing atop the mound where the altar is situated, they spot dead troopers and a few in civvies.

After collecting weapons and charge packs, the PCs don't rifle through personal effects, instead burning their bodies to deny the shepherd more flock.  Sure enough she arrives and is angered that they have done this, the GRN throws his Ghost-dagger and strikes her in the upper torso, and as he rushes her to drive it further, they are both transported to some aetheric somewhere with floating ruins amid a breathable gel of differing densities lending hues with each level.  Moorwraith begin to appear and the PC withdraws the blade and he returned to normalspace entirely bleached white, including all he carried.  He now has a ghostly scent of paper smoke and lavender which follows and moves around him.

We held it there, and I awarded them 02 XP toward their 10 for 1st Level.

Monday, December 19, 2022

From Autumn to Winter's Edge

My time in Tennessee has, so far, been very pleasant, environmentally.

I've been learning guitar and music theory and writing both lyrics and music, but haven't yet really made that breakthrough in my playing where the fifteen or so chords, and what little of the Pentatonic Scales I have learnt, unite in a moment of emergent play.

I'm still working on AULDGORY, and B/X Blackrazor is still working on B/X URUTSK, so, don't despair loyal readers, when his work is released, I'll be posting Gaming Content here again.

In the meanwhile, my amateur photography is improving nearly every day, with changing foliage and fiery fuchsia and electric plum sunsets.


Under an Old Umbrella
-- Marissa Nadler

And I met him yesterday
Under my old umbrella
And I met him yesterday
Under the skies of azure
And turquoise was the color of his eyes
And bitter were the color of mine

For me, this song always evokes Cabanel's, Fallen Angel.

Talk again,

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Combo: Gaming & Gaming-Adjacent


The West Wards: The Watershed

Lybrti seeks to reunite the Auldgory continent from Storm Sea, across the fruited plain, over the Mountlands, to the Cold Ocean.

Of all the difficulties facing the Banner Ranks and other specialists in the employ of the Starry Empire, even beyond the timespace anomaly which is the Necropolis Sprawl, are the ruins of the Watershed.

Warlords and cultists of various stripes wage near constant warfare over navigable routes, potable water, and ranched foods, animal and otherwise.  Catamaran and canoe brave flooded streets beset with snipers and bombardiers eager to scrap or snatch-up anything at all of value from their peeling and crumbling cement apartment complexes along what centuries prior had been numerous cites of the Saints and the Angels.

Captain Tixa Ioq had briefly transposed there, following back to their source, corsairs attacking Northfork ships of the East's Battered Shore.  These same had been brought through from the sundown shore of the west coast to the whitecaps of the Starry Banner Navy's premiere shipyards and submarine bases.  Brought through a continuous portal by a demon, these desperate cutthroats and Cold Ocean denizen creatures fought with a ferocity previously unmet in battle.  Things went poorly for the Empire in this regard until other, tangential powers could be brought to bring desperately needed relief: namely, the adoption of the Wastelander-spirit of Blastar Firebloom in the person of Black Guard, Overcommander Zhanit Sworn.

Now, Lybrti, armed anew with the mysterious power of The Wasteland, the West Wards shall be brought under the Aegis of the Banner.



Writing lyrics which depict scenes and events from across the Grand Tapestry, including three from Auldgory, and one (so far) from Urutsk, at the point of the Shorrannin invasion.

More about the early days of my musical journey can be found here.