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Thursday, January 28, 2010

[Gaming][RPG][Milieu] A Locale: Kelzsyn's Bluff-

I have changed the permissions regarding this piece.  I retain all rights to this work.
20th August, 2014

Copyright (c) 2010 Kyrinn S. Eis

Kelzsyn's Bluff-

Location: North-central Riverland Peninsula, Marnharnna
Environment: Subtropical/Temperate-Warm
Terrains: Wilderness (Grassland, Rough, Woods, Subterranean)
Population: 360
Major Centres: Eastford, Highgate, Kelzsyn Proper, Lowgate
Capitol: Kelzsyn's Tower

Weather: Mild misty precipitation with occasional thunderstorms
Resources: Trade, Fresh water, Fishing, Agriculture, Botany, Guano, Light Industry
Threats: Dokirin raiders, Humanoid tribes
Culture: Traditional transitioning to Open via trade and cultural exchange
Relics: Kelzsyn's Tower
Status: Independent
Beliefs: Traditional transitioning to Post-Traditional
Prosperity: Increasing, leading to Stratification of economic classes
Freedom: Pre-democratic
Government: Guild Council
--Leader: Guild Council members

An otherwise unremarkable piece of elevated flat ground surrounded by creek-fed woodlands and marshes dotted with unexplained coral 'boulders', it is Kelzsyn's Bluff's history of a costly three-way battle between well-established Dokirin (Honey Ant, Swimming Hawk, and Roaring Monster clans), and a moving conflict comprised of Abbekqorru-led Humanoids and Vrun colonists that put it 'on the map', as it were. Prior to this unresolved battle, the spot had merely been a water, gunnery, and lookout tower built by Vrun colonists fresh from their ships and eager to duplicate their successes in the Latter Humanoid Wars on the Vrun continent. Records indicate that Kelzsyn and his immediate family were the only residents prior to the Battle of the Bluff.
Flora and fauna here is varied (occasionally startlingly so) due to the number of subterranean animals that have ventured forth over the centuries to forage or hunt in the woods. The most common animals are foraging herbivores and manifold hosts of birds and other avians. While there are some numbers of fur-bearing reptiles in the surrounding ponds and lakes, for the most part this is a woods-animal region, and the main predator are the ubiquitous wild dogs of the Humanoids. Said beings have enjoyed increased peace and prosperity due to the dwindling numbers of hostile Dokirin still in the area enjoining them in raids against Federated City State supply convoys to aid the beleaguered garrisons and forts further into the wetlands south.
One hundred homes, a few score workshops, and dozens of warehouses and sundry walk-in businesses dot the community within the antique specular-iron fence. The tower sports but four cannon, but is dotted with hundreds of rifle loops, manned by the local millitia in times of need. Most of the town is dedicated to the central and well-patrolled market, much respected and liked within the sub-region, and used by many nascent adventurers as a meeting place for expeditions into the Old Green Ruins, some 23 XsM to the west-north-west along the shores of the broad and cold Symmelliem river. Foods from various ethnic traditions bring Dokirin hunters to market in a meat-for-meal arrangement that seems mutually agreeable to the much friendlier (and money-minded) merchants of Kelzsyn's Bluff.

Local Rumours-
6 – Three hostile Humanoid clans dwell in the wilds surrounding town
5 – Founder Kelzsyn's steady drinking won him the remote outpost duty
4 – Nearby village of Boylyn is a clearing-house for local historiana
3 – Old 'Lizard Man' artefacts found in the karsts and nearby creeks
2 – The narrow tunnels within local karsts go on for hundreds of XsM
1 – Tech artefacts can sometimes still be found on the slopes of the bluff

Common Establishments-
12 - Fat-`Annii's: The lonely are well-attended to for the price of a meal and a warm sherry
11 - Holten Maqharst's Weapon-house: Colonial-style weapons and accoutrements
10 - Chapel of the Bleeding Rock: Bluff's unexplained mystery; roped-off from touch; donations accepted
09 - Hammisan & Vayel, Traders: Looking for hard-to-find items of a 'country' sort? Try here first
08 - Panner House: Reasonable lodgings with a hardroll with lard breakfast; no ruckus tolerated
07 - Daesyl's Dive: A short flight of stairs down leads to this well-kept maritime-themed pub and grille
06 - Tallfeather's Book Exchange, Survey Library & Reading Boutique: Leave/take a book and sit a spell
05 - Miss Dunferry's Tea House: Proper attire, language, and behaviour required for service
04 - Zettager Cask House: Wine and spirits, cheese and biscuits, smoking den; well-defended
03 - Blue-skin's Barrow and Bluff, Tour-guide: Grizzled Dokirin scout; virtually silent but efficient
02 - Zzrkhwv's Kennels: Well-trained Attack and Defence dogs of all sizes and costs
01 - Uncommon Establishment (see)

Uncommon Establishments-
12 - 'Doc' Suthurlend's General Practice, Barber, and Dentistry: Bring your own anaesthetics; good work
11 - The Turquoise Dove Music Shoppe & Lessons: Mostly strings and fifes, a few drums and pipes (bag-)
10 - Clatter, Sail, and Whittle, A hobby shoppe: From junk to high-price items, kits, tools, etc.
09 - Bluff's Book Repair and Antiques: Dusty, maze-like, unusually large interior; rare books/items
08 - Field Flowers & Indoor Holidays: A bright and happy brothel (two locations)
07 - Tower Tours: As the name implies, there are tours of the Tower, but why is it located across town?
06 - Malfyrd's Marks and Letters: Reading and scribing service, couriers in constant need
05 - Swathlyn's Everful Mug: Watery ale and mouldy biscuits, but meaningful local news and travel reports
04 - Ehrykh's Cutlass and Musket School: Den Ehrykh is a sixth-generation native and master Wildsfighter
03 - Saint Hildebrant's: The local office of the Heirophantic Church; Sister Ohn, three female neophytes
02 - Logla Swyl, Dreams & Portents: He is hidden in the shadows, but is terribly interested your dreams
01 - Rare Establishments (see)

Rare Establishments-
06 - Maythynz' Brothers Antiques & Repair Boutique: From Imperial tech to contemporary Chronometrics
05 - Spin the Bottle: Ostensibly private locals-only gutter-ball dive; hard-core and surly
04 - Zykh's Museum of Supremacy and Futility: Pro-Vrun, anti-everyone-else 'natural history museum'
03 - Office of Dokirin and Humanoid Affairs: Local 'zealots' made somewhat presentable; see above
02 - Field Flowers & Indoor Holidays: A bright and happy brothel with an indoor picknic theme
01 - Very Rare Establishments (see)

Very Rare Establishments-
06 - Kalin's Prosthesis and Mobilechairs: Quality wooden works for those suffering disabling wounds
05 - Metter Halsdon Club: Practical and theoretical 'corrections' swinger's club; well-defended
04 - Sunwort House of Healing: Free apothecary and bed-rest; donations accepted
03 - The Glass and Mirror: A drugs establishment; well-defended, tended, and high-class
02 - Blackcoven: A dark, decadent dancehall with mechanical ('goth') music from the WICE and Bereme Oykh
01 - Hard to Find Establishments (see)

Hard to Find Establishments-
06 - Hidden entrance to the Underground
05 - Empty house hidden within an unobtrusive warehouse: Seemingly unused, with Underground access
04 - Tower School of Vigilance: In the hidden Underground; Scouts and Surveyors (and magickers?)
03 - The Bright Woman's House: Local quasi-deity gifted in discernment; maintains no following
02 - Hallowed Ground: deep under the bluff; used for secret treaties with Dokirin, Humanoids, etc.
01 - Underground entrance to Rare and Very Rare Establishments (see above)


66-51 - What did you ask for?: Only available on doubles (11, 22, etc.), and at +31 on Prices (below)
46-31 - Rare: (41+) and +21 on Prices
26-21 - Uncommon: (31+) and +11
16-13 - Common: (13+) and -11
12-11 - Abundant: -22


66-51 - As high as they can extract from visitors without violence erupting
46-31 - Not unexpectedly high
26-21 - Locals' prices (fair or thereabouts)
16-13 - More than fair, or with added extras of a minor sort
12-11 - Unusually low prices for goods or services

Miscreants & Misfortunes-

66 - Non-Human Whatsits!: Best warn the militia, for lo, They're a'comin'
65-56 - General Mayhem of Indistinct Nature (multiple fights, property damage, possible fire)
55 - Out For Blood: Odd = non-local
54-45 - Riotous Drunken Brawling Spilt out into the Streets
44 - More Than Down and Out: Poor wretch begging for scraps or small coins
43-34 - Bravado and Swagger or 'We Don't Like Your Kind'
33 - Just Looking For Fun: First Blood is fine as long as it isn't theirs (or other local's)
32-23 - Wealth Redistribution Specialists, Local Chapter
22 - Ask Him Again: Will abduct and beat to within an inch of their life for 'information'
21-12 - Aftermath of some other event (re-roll) on this table; treat another 21-12 as an 11
11 - I Need Your Clothes and Kit: Infiltrators? Fugitives? They want ALL of your stuff

Law & Order-

66-64 - Hanging (1d6 days hence, at dawn)
63-31 - Steep Fine (number rolled is amount)
26-13 - Jail Time (number rolled - 1d12 days)
12-11 - Asked to join Militia

66-45 - Thunderstorms (2d4 Hours; on [4,4] lasts another 2d4 Hours, etc.)
44-23 - Misty and very Humid
22-11 - Clear, Humid, Breezeless

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

[RPG] Working on the Players' Manual final(ly)-

After my father's death, a few key e-mails, and a general frustration trying to make UWoM fit a strange mould, I took time off to work on PBAM. During that quick two or three weeks, I realised that I had found the nucleus of the new version of UWoM.

That, coupled with having discovered through play a few less-efficient fiddly rules from the Alpha/Beta .pdfs, I set about the re-write and integration of both the MICRO-scale rules, better and clearer support for D&D-conventions/conversions, and fuller integration with the optional Point-design system.

I've made great effort to show how the Setting and even a few rules/guidelines can easily be included in various D&D-pattern games, --still operating the game in the familiar and desired way.

The current Character Control Record needs a few additional entries (Initiative, etc.), but with its formalisation came the humorously named, 'Long Form Tour' through the multifarious tables upon which one may roll to get the full immersive feel for the setting. Naturally, I would think it best to include the Point-Design System to the mix, but Race/Class characters may want this level of detail, but no greater. The play-group's preferences determines this matter.

I had asked recently for more input regarding 'Edges', and I will ask again what the consensus is regarding their inclusion.
--I am undecided.

I hope to reduce Combat down to 6 pages from 9, but I make no promises. :D

Blood Magick is coalescing, and with it Spontaneous Magic.

Debating a new sort of Aberration (mutation) system that eliminates the need for ever more tables upon which to roll.

Seeing Mid to Late summer 2010 release of the Players' Manual -- in time for autumn. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

[RPG] Wetlands Encounter Tables-

Here's the LINK to a 2 page .pdf.
--Hopefully you'll find it useful. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

[RPG][Milieu] The Best of All Possible Worlds (of Magic)-

This is a primer regarding the in-setting explanation of the hows and whys of magic in the milieu, and allows for Daily-Slot, Spell Point, and true Spontaneous Casting (of the Ars Magica/Lords of Fantasy sort) to all exist (among countless other variants and other methods) simultaneously on Urutsk.


Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Thank you very much,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

[Gaming] D&D is Only as Good as the DM-

Excerpted from:

by Gary Gygax

(The Strategic Review Vol. 2, #2 -- The Last issue before The Dragon)

It is reasonable to calculate that if a fair player takes part in 50 to 75 games in the course of a year [!] he should acquire sufficient experience points to make him about 9th to 11th level, assuming that he manages to survive all that play. The acquisition of successively higher levels will be proportionate to enhanced power and the number of experience points necessary to attain them, so another year of play will by no means mean a doubling of levels but rather the addition of perhaps two or three levels. Using this gauge, it should take four or five years to see 20th level. As BLACKMOOR is the only campaign with a life of five years, and GREYHAWK with a life of four is the second longest running campaign, the most able adventurers should not yet have attained 20th level except in the two named campaigns. To my certain knowledge no player in either BLACKMOOR or GREYHAWK has risen above 14th level.

By requiring players to work for experience, to earn their treasure, means that the opportunity to retain interest will remain. It will also mean that the rules will fit the existing situation, a dragon, balrog, or whatever will be a fearsome challenge rather than a pushover. It is still up to the Dungeonmaster to make the campaign really interesting to his players by adding imaginative touches, through exertion to develop background and detailed data regarding the campaign, and to make certain that there is always something new and exciting to learn about or acquire. It will, however, be an easier task. So if a 33rd level wizard reflects a poorly managed campaign, a continuing mortality rate of 50% per expedition generally reflects over-reaction and likewise a poorly managed campaign. It is unreasonable to place three blue dragons on the first dungeon level, just as unreasonable as it is to allow a 10th level fighter to rampage through the upper levels of a dungeon rousting kobolds and giant rats to gain easy loot and experience. When you tighten up your refereeing be careful not to go too far the other way.

[Bolding mine]

[RPG] Common Items Found in Ruins-

Common Items Found in Ruins-

Table 1-

General Find

1. Table 2 – Personal Items
2. Table 3 – Common Items
3. Table 4 - Tools
4. Table 5 - Medical Items
5. Table 6 - Weapons
6. Table 7 – Oddities & Wonders

Table 2-

Personal Items-

11 – Medicated Pads
12 – Burn Ointment
13 – Toilet Paper
14 – Medicated Spray
15 – Briefs, Boxers, or Panties
16 – Belt
21 – Stomach Potion
22 – Diet Shake
23 – Girdle or corset
24 – Sun Tan Lotion with SPF 30
25 – Birth Control Device
26 - __________________________
31 – Asthma Inhaler
32 – Antihistamine Pill
33 – Perfume / Cologne
34 – Air Freshener
35 – Incense
36 – Smokables
41 – Heart Medication II
42 – Heart Medication I
43 – Rhythmic Regulator
44 – Moderate Quality engraved jewellery
45 – Well-worn Book or Trivid
46 – Framed Image of Family / Loved One
51 – Public Notice of Criminal Conviction
52 – Dishonourable Military Discharge
53 – Public Notice of Moral Violation
54 – Personal Recording of Song / Music
55 – Letter of Protest
56 – Survival Stockpile Checklist
61 – Sex Images / Trivids
62 – Trivid Collection of Animation
63 – Sports Paraphernalia
64 – Special Interest Documents/Trivids
65 – Vrun Religious Writings
66 – Translated Durnish Prayer Book

Table 3-

Common Items-

11 – Facial Tissue Dispenser
12 – Waterless Hand Wash
13 – Perfumed Towelette
14 – Disinfectant Spray
15 – Suspenders
16 – Rubber Band
21 – Cleaning Fluid
22 – Spray Foam
23 – Packing Tape
24 – Vehicular Wax
25 – Rubber Gloves
26 - __________________________
31 – Light Industrial Mask
32 – Paper Dust Mask
33 – Air Freshener
34 – Incense
35 – Smokables, Exotic, Legal
36 – Smokables, Illegal
41 – Stomach Potion
42 – Seltzer Water
43 – Clock
44 – ‘D’ Quality Painting / Print
45 – Book or Trivid
46 – Framed Image of Nobility / Celebrity
51 – Notice of Fees Paid in Full
52 – Honourable Military Discharge Papers
53 – Notice of Moral Violation Warning
54 – Personal Trivid of antics etc.
55 – Letter of Loved One (Reconciliation)
56 – Survival Training Documents
61 – Artist’s Sketchbook
62 – Trivid Collection of Comedy Series
63 – Sports Paraphernalia
64 – Special Interest Documents/Trivids
65 – Vrun Political Writings
66 – Science / Technology Periodical

Table 4-


11 – Hand Towel
12 – Degreasing Agent
13 – Liquid Oxygen in Canister
14 – Disinfectant Spray
15 – Elastic Chords
16 – Stapler
21 – Solvent
22 – Industrial Spray Foam
23 – Electrical Tape
24 – Vehicular Emergency Repair Kit
25 – Insulated Gloves
26 - __________________________
31 – Heavy Industrial Mask
32 – Civilian Hazard Mask
33 – Fire Extinguisher
34 – Ionic Smoke Trap
35 – Industrial Gasses, Flammable
36 – Industrial Gasses, non-flammable
41 – Stomach Tablet
42 – Flavoured Soda
43 – Calliper
44 – Nudie Calendar
45 – Technical Instruction Book or Trivid
46 – Framed Image of Wanton Woman
51 – Notice of Land Deed
52 – Military Decoration
53 – Notice of Civil Citation Award
54 – Personal Vacation Trivid
55 – Letter from Loved One (break-up)
56 – Survival Ledger, graphic accounts
61 – Triphoto Documentation of Invasion
62 – Trivid Collection of Soap Opera
63 – Sports Paraphernalia
64 – Special Interest Documents/Trivids
65 – Vrun Humour / Satire Writings
66 – Popular Periodical Collection, 3 Yr.

Table 5-

Medical Items-

11–16 Living Bandage Roll
21–26 Antitoxin Vial
31–36 Portable Oxygen Mask & Canister
41–46 Sterilizing Laser
51–56 Artificial Ligaments / Tendons
61–66 Trauma Stapler

Table 6-


1-4 = Armour
5-6 = Weapons


11-23 Light Helmet
24-33 Light Vest
34-43 Armoured Boots
44-53 Riot Shield
54-63 Riot Helmet
64-66 Riot Vest


11-33 Small Weapon
34-53 Medium Weapon
54-63 Large Weapon
64-66 Ranged Weapon

Ranged Weapons-

11-23 Distraction Weapon
24-33 Bow, Handcross, Boomer, etc.
34-43 Javelin, Spear, etc.
44-53 Firearm, Igneous
54-63 Firearm, Electronic
64-66 Beam Weapon

Table 7-

Oddities & Wonders-

11 Pellet of Freezing: When placed in any volume of water up to 2,100 Gallons, the water freezes solid (starting at the surface) for one hour, at which time thawing begins.

12-15 Ring of Locations: Acts as a magnetic compass as well as recording coordinate locations set through use of buttons and dials. Stores thirty locations.

16 Earring of Hearing: When worn (pierced ear) hearing Tasks are given a bonus of +05, and the wearer is no more susceptible to loud noise than before.

21 Nose Stud of Sniffing: As above, but relating to the sense of smell, and offensive odours.

22-25 Amulet of Apparitions: Records up to one hour of holographic video and sound. May be split between subjects. Playback from same unit, up to 30’ distant under clear conditions.

26 Collar of Seduction
31 Henna of Illusions
32-35 Machine Pack
36 Second Skin
41 Flame Discs
42-45 Low-light Solution
46 Automedic
51 Seeking Grenade
52-55 Portable Room
56 Disintegration Fountains
61 Unused Dataslate
62-65 Skim Hawk Vehicle
66 Onyx Pod

[RPG][Milieu] Half-Abbekqorru Edge: Humanesque-

Copyright (c) 2002, 2010 Kyrinn S. Eis

This is adapted from my web-published Guild Houses of Blood RPG (was published in a T&T e-zine, altered for T&T 5) set on Aqmlk, Urutsk's red neighbour.

I have been editing the text to be current with the UWoM rules, saving loads of time on things I need to include, such as several magic systems and spells, and a much larger Gear, Armour, and Arms selection.
:: Another addition I am debating, are Edges, which may take a much more intensive cost (instead of a character gaining a Magnitude/Level), but I am still undecided and could use
your input.
Half-Abbekqorru are alchemically created hybrids of the starfaring Bear-wolf-like humanoid creatures which the party has had a few dealings with,or news of, and humans.

Humanesque | 02/+01_ | This Edge allows the character to take on a surprisingly human-like appearance for (½ Cumulative Magnitude) Hours each 24 Hours. At Magnitude 10, the character may stay in Humanesque form indefinitely.
:: The time may be split between several transformations.
:: It takes one Turn to transform between forms, during which the character is largely helpless (all Attribute Scores temporarily reduced to 02).
:: Taking the second Rank of this ability allows the character to alter their Humanesque appearance between the various ethnicities the character has tasted the blood of, as well as being able to switch that form’s apparent sex.
:: Altering the Humanesque form requires five Rounds of Concentration.
:: The Difficulty of perceiving the character for hir true self is (08 + CNV PM + Magnitude [+ Infiltrate Ability Rank if possessed] @ Disguise Rank). This also serves as the form’s CNV score.
:: Humanesque forms always appear a bit wolfish and predatory, or wild and handsome to those more inclined to those qualities. Animals (as well as Qemrin) are not fooled by this ability, however.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

[RPG] UWoM Blood Magic-


I am starting to weigh the pro's and con's of various magic systems I have created over the past ten years, and am currently trying to retain the most D&D-friendly, while still Urutskan, system for the game.

Blood Magic can be blamed directly on Groakes (a subscriber here and a friend from Mike's Moorcock's Miscellany site) when he gave the extant .pdf version a whirl and created a character and a critter, and fought a sample battle.
--It was just the kick in the seat that I needed to solidify the setting's unique qualities, and so I am trying my best to make it my best effort.

So far, I have tentatively rejected my d6 constructive die pool method, due to recent development on my Spectral Index (semi-unified-mechanic colour chart abomination) which operates on an index of one of 16 ratings with a 2d12 roll in place of the flat d100 rolls I had been using.
--Both have their strengths, but I think the 2d12 is fastest and most D&D-friendly, which actually does matter to me. Since both contain the same Colour Logic, it really is simply a matter of design aesthetics.

What I can tell you so far is that the Magic system will be based on pairings of the Sanguine Elements and one of the six character Abilities (Conviction, Agility, Fighting, etc.) in a manner similar to Ars Magica or the slightly pared-down version found in the ultra-rare Lords of Fantasy rpg from the '90's, in which a magicker would combine, let's say, Create and Air to do something defined by what Create entails, and what Air is and can do. However, tying it to the sixteen Sanguine Elements and pairing them with the six Abilities will give a bit more internal consistency to the system's outlook on the setting.

Players of all characters would define six Blood Magics for each character that further their particular character's idiom (perhaps through Tags like, 'grizzled veteran' or something vaguely 'Narrativistic') while providing lateral development potential more than increasing one's rating in any of the six apart from 'super-powers' or the like in the Latter Autumn era.
--This would then reduce the frequency of dedicated magickers ubiquitous in other RPGs.

However, this then diminishes the connection to canned spell lists and the like, which certainly have a lot going for them.

I know that some of you are decidedly interested in an UWoM that is most-compatible with D&D and the simulaclones of late, while others (Groakes, and perhaps also Rob Kuntz at this point) are more inclined to have UWoM be true to its milieu rather than attempting to shoehorn it into an ill-fitting mould. My own inclination is, of course, a happy medium between the two.

Comments, requests, thoughts?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

An old Tunnels and Trolls character of mine...-

This game was run by my dear friend, Brian Penn, using the Minarian setting of the old TSR boardgame, Divine Right, although using his heavily house-ruled Tunnels & Trolls setup.

NAME: H'Yuz Almshare Ki Taanvaaq're
|>Subtlestly Wrought Power, I Proceed from Spirit, a Sylph, not of this earth, but of the Highest Ever-Wise Glory, and dispatched as [His] angel<|

6'8"; female; elf; ash-wood white skin; dark purple hair; grey-blue left eye, right eye: leather patch; thin, cold lips; somewhat disingenuous smile; Piercing gaze. Lean and wiry build.

Taanvaaq is an amazonian elven woman draped in a mottled green tunic with matching breeches. Wears mottled green leather armour; armed with a sword-breaker, and a battered scimitar. An outcast among Elves of Neuss for deviant behavior, Taanvaaq was unable to complete her Wiccan initiations, and now wanders the outlands. Prone to interest in Gunnes and Alchemy rather than vernal traipsings, Taanvaaq blew-up a powder keg she found off a frequently traveled road through the nearby glade. A child was injured, losing her hearing, and Taanvaaq was cast out. She then entered less isolated lands, and began to interact with other kindred. She has heard many snide remarks regarding Elves, and so she has become the opposite. Gregarious, not-overly witty, and has gone out of her way to befriend any willing Dwarf she has met. She has a great love of the outdoors, but is equally delighted with tools and chemicals. Her main goal [was] to become an accomplished Gunnes user, Gunnesmith, as well as an Alchemist. After a very costly trek through the Goblin Mountains, Taanvaaq pursued a warlock who had been supplying the goblins, hobgoblins, and other dark kin with weapons, armour, and bare supplies. As he had been the impetous for the killing in the mountains, Taanvaaq spared no effort in avenging the blood of her lovers and friends.
Taanvaaq launched herself off Djaks and scrambled for a few yards on all fours. By the time she had her footing, she leapt over a fallen tree and did not miss a step upon landing; leaves scattered behind her.

By raven wing I speed my flight; by wheeling hawk I learn to fight; by moon above to give me light; I pass unhindered through the night; to taste the blood of my foe's life; by fire, water, earth and sky lead me through in the Maker's might!

But to others her chant was a ravening howl that receeded into the darkness.

She pursued him into the Eastern Lands, from whence he hailed, and after slaying him in a filthy alley, discovered that he was an official to the Great King. Now with a bounty upon her head, and Immerian charges of dissertation, and possibly murder, she has made refuge in the province of Anatom.

Most recently, she founded the Order of the Blood Star, serving the king of Anatnom to search out the goblin hordes that are infiltrating the walled, mountain pass city.


Taanvaaq finally overcame an anti-magical curse that had befallen Anatnom which would have prevented the mystical device, the Dawn Star, from shining over Anatnom and exposing her infiltrators and enemies, had she not succeeded in empowering it through her self-sacrifice.

I later had her appear as a minor divinity who helped those who love the land, but Taanvaaq always had a frightful wild side, and this manifested in a great likelihood of her slaying her petitioner if the cause was unjust or duplicitous.

She is a bitter-sweet character to Brian, due to her suicide through which her blood was used to cast a 'wish'/'prayer' to let the watery blood-red light shine in the darkness --a recurring theme as readers of this blog may have noted.
--To me, she was my only successful player character in nearly thirty years of gaming, insofar that she accomplished her goal.

Her name, and that of her created Magicked weapons, are derived from the Vrun language.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

[Playtest Campaign] 15th, January-

Before starting the session, we hammered out Tybylt's particular sort of magic, which, at this point is still derived from canned sources, namely the 3.5 Shadow Magics, and the Warlock, but will eventually be drawn entirely from the native Urutsk 'constructive magic' rules. I've been too diffuse already to dedicate time to the magic system, and I am unwilling to write up a bunch of canned spells -- the Retros and Simulcs do that job well, as does the above edition -- but it just isn't my vision of magic, and hasn't been for decades.

After that, I had Ashta spend some of her free Adventure Points on purchasing competency in the Aelbaan Technology she has become increasingly exposed to and comfortable with, due to her partial Aelbaan ancestry (Western Isles Vrun).

I rolled my trusty d12 about a dozen times to divine a loose line of internal inquiry, in which I determined a future encounter that 'made sense' given the current situation, as well as the main point, namely, to introduce more stuff/tech for the PCs to have the opportunity to procure/purchase/trade-for, etc.

My d12 methodology is ubiquitous:

* Frequency/Intensity/Proximity of Encounters (in the extant Referee's Manual .pdf)

* Clock-overlay directions ('I've got your 6', man, now advance up to that cover and survey our 10 o' clock.') I extend this to geographic scale to determine the general continental region, and then use refinements of these rolls to determine exact origin not only at the governmental/national, etc. level, but even districts, quarters, and so forth.
--Don't mistake my organic Top-Downism for Non-Oracularism. ;)

* Intensity of Reactions, etc.

* Quality of goods, etc.

* etc.

My SO and her brother were regarding my mostly silent, unwritten die-rolling burst, and then I recapped what had happened the session prior.

While many moments in the play were notable, I will condense further, as there is so much to cover (we wrapped a bit after 1 AM, having played for at least seven hours).

* The Aelbaan sphere was utilised to assist the friendly ground forces, until a missile attack was partially deflected by Tyb, using the Wand of Plant Control, and partly due to the geometry of the craft. The payload was some sort of alchemical viscous fluid that appeared to possess both corrosive and electrical properties (in fact it is a Plasmatic Acid payload, aboard a small cruise missile).
--Using the sensors, a flight path was reverse-projected, and the firing craft, a sailing vessel about a mile offshore, was identified and set after. Much futzing about resulting in that ship going down, but only after the Humanoid crew (4) who were overseeing a literal skeleton crew (16) gave the party a bit of trouble, including the Humanoid captain using a beefier version of the Jaunt-type spell trying to scuttle his ship so as to prevent its weapon from being captured.

* Back over the island, the initial resistance by the pirates was crushed, but only at the cost of most of the local ships (including the WICE Misty Sea), and heavy loss of life. Her captain, Qeurryk, lost his left arm and foot, but was saved alive.

* Dealing with the wounded. Dealing in a cultural context with the need to dispose of the dead. During this time, as captives are being centralised, it becomes apparent that a large number of the pirates are unaccounted for.

* Accusations of individuals harbouring the pirates begins to erupt into street 'justice', and in the subsequent Truth and Reconciliation trial, dozens of names are brought up, but between eyewitnesses and sphere/probe sensor logs, fifty percent of those in question are cleared of wrongdoing, while a new thirty percent were proven to be guilty, mainly upwardly-mobile businessmen and noble houses.
--The second trial results in Tybylt's executive decision to draw and quarter by horse those found guilty of the greatest offences. Three are killed before two are ready to spill the names of fellow traitors. The entire merry Tea-Time Magical group, and all but one member of House Ahzenbakh, including the Ahzenbakh kennel master, are directly implicated. Tybylt does nothing yet to alert them of his knowledge of their treachery. At the same time, the two final to be d/q'd are instead stripped of 90% of their wealth, and exiled. Private individuals who, out of humanitarian drive, provided shelter to individual pirates (as in the case of three boys who served with the pirates) were never brought to trial.

* As a prison is being constructed, it is determined that up to 20% of the prisoners are Humanoids, and Tybylt decides to keep their number separated, and refuses to bring them to swift execution (as is the way across most of Urutsk, especially if the Humanoids have attacked a Human population centre). Instead, he has a second facility built for them, and begins to investigate the connection between the Humanoids and the pirates. This exposes the contract-work the very organised (and strangely 'civilised' [the religious leader claims to be a starship captain, and possess a following of over 250,000 of his Abbekqorru kinfolk, apart from being a Class III Phaser technician]) Humanoids had with the pirate network. A hinted-at number of agents of his are somehow able to blend in with the Human population (the Half-Abbekqorru's Humanesque ability to shape-shift, like a jackalwere).

* Salvaging sunken cargo, etc. underway with Ashta, Qeurryk, and another highly Aelbaanesque WI Vrun, Yan Tsurmen, utilising the Aelbaan sphere's TK abilities to greatly speed up and make safer the operation. Six days and all of the PMH containers are centralised for Doran's arsenal. Ashta finally bunks down after sleep deprivation begins to catch up with her.
--Instantly she is whisked away by some unknown force and brought up through the atmosphere to an Aelbaan ship that de-cloaks as she is brought inside and thoroughly interrogated as to the whereabouts of Delver Denab. She overhears that while his sheath (cadaver) had been handed over to them (see the post regarding the underground Dryvv ship sections, etc.), they cannot account for the whereabouts of his spirit. As she is being returned, one of the congress slips something into her mind/brain and she has to deal with that.

* Negotiations with the Abbekqorru leader results in his being allowed to speak freely with his leaders of hundreds and tens, dressed in full armour and weapons, and he informs his people that they are now under contract with the Governors of Doran. Plans to utilised one thousand of them for tunnel-clearing operations (to flush-out the remaining pirates) are initiated.

* Ashta struggles with the news that her prefrontal lobe is being altered by an Aelbaan protein so as to develop her latent Psionic powers (the Aelbaan are powerful psionics). She eventually chooses to have it removed and go back to being herself rather than risk being brought 'into the fold' against her choice. The operation is performed by the Abbekqorru, and assisted by Mela, but the ship, now an extension of Ashta, merely trimmed the protein chain so to, in a hypothetical future, allow Ashta to willingly activate Telekinesis.
--I explain that, in effect, Ashta can now control the craft without much in the way of conscious thought.

We held it there.

Friday, January 15, 2010

[Playtest Campaign] 8th, January-

With the DropBox testing confirming a success, I hope to tidy-up a few files and share them with you and the rest of the Interwebs. Thanks! :D

I've got the game today (to the best of my knowledge), and wanted to provide a brief catch-up on last session:

* The party returns to the first island they visited (the one with the Dryvv Shadowship/city underground), where piratical types are checking out their ship, but not doing much more than provoking their crew. Holes through the sails and other light harassing by the PCs before they and their very shallow draught ship set sail out of the Flooded Plain, back into deeper waters.

* A-ha! Except, there are pirates in the shallows, just at the bottleneck, and some combat was involved. Telekinetic weapons are far superior to cannon, BTW. ;) Minimal sinking involved, maximal show of superior force, as well as using the sensors on the Sphere to determine which of the ships was the pirates' cargo/treasure vessel (the one out in open waters, dontchaknow?), and a threatened sinking of that craft was met with compliance in allowing the party's damaged (torched and shot-up) sailing ship to escape to open waters.

* Maurvys Island was the party's switch-point where they had traded their middle-draught ship for the shallows ship. Rumours that all the ships and guns in port had been snatched up by what appeared to be a pirate attack fleet a week earlier (the party have been away from Doran now for about 3 weeks). Tyb purchased about twelve one-pounder deck guns, hired another ship of fighting sailors, and then met an out of work, decommissioned WICE tallship and her restless crew. The captain of 200 Royal Marines recognised Tyb and his countrywoman, Ashta, as the governors of Doran, and determined an equitable price for his ship's services in the defence of Doran, their former port city.

* Nearing the island, the PCs spot over 200 ships surrounding Doran, with the port in flames, and cannon upon the hill (where the noble houses are located) firing down into the warehouse district. An undersea battle with an unknown, tentacled mammal (like a tentacled narwhal) threatens the sphere, and it is dragged down by the creature until it is finally repelled. A ship is sunk once it is determined that within its hold are thousands of containers of ammunition or fuel (the PMH pellets described in the Weapons/Armour articles), with plans to scavenge it after the enemy is repelled.

* Street fighting. Orphanage set ablaze. The sphere is a tremendous psychological weapon against the pirates. Fighting in the hills. Two-headed dog hunter/killer sweep teams sent out by the noble houses. The Magical Tea Time group Tyb is part of has a redoubt protected by a big shield-type spell. Underground entrance to the Ahzinbakh noble house. Tesseract redoubt in the Escher-like labyrinth complete with robot guards.

So, that's where we begin today.

I hope your gaming goes well this weekend.


Testing DropBox: Please test this link...thx-

Hi F/folks,

I've decided to give DropBox a try and have loaded a copy of the newer (but still out of step) PC Control Sheet.pdf.
--Do you mind (trying) downloading it? I certainly hope it works. Building Character: Market Daze will be easiest to read in .pdf format, and I want this to work for you OS types who have given so freely of your time and effort (labours of love aside).


Thursday, January 14, 2010

(not) Hosting .pdfs, and how you can get a cookie!-

You see, doc, once this weird stuff was going on with my Firefox, I couldn't upload to Google Docs or even MediaFire. I have stuff to host, but don't know what's preventing me from doing so.
--Any suggestions?

"Yes. Write a blog entry asking your tech-savvier friends to assist you. Perhaps entice them with free stuff useable with their particular brand of roleplaying games. Either that or cookies. Everyone loves cookies."

Hmm... I guess you're right, doc.
--Cookies, hmm... How would I send them all cookies?

Other Blog Re-Post-

While not planning on using it myself, I thought this was fun for the types of games I read you folks dig.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

[Gaming][RPG] Macro-Mini-game in the Works-

I am currently writing up a fairly complex mini-game that has three stages of competition:

1). Mapping, Navigating, and Utilising a randomly determined Marketplace, including micro-quests and random events (attacks, happen-stance, etc.), toward the goal of completing a list of items/ingredients/invitations.
:: During this stage, as Wins are accumulated, Power increases, making Tests easier to pass as well as earning spending coin. At each graduation to a higher Power score, a Test to gain employment with an Adventurer is offered. Declining or failing a Hire Test instead rewards the character with a Booster Die, used to slightly improve one's odds in any Test by substituting its result, if better, with any one die in the normal pool.
:: Since the Hire Test can be refused, it is possible for some characters to voluntarily remain at that stage.

2). Hired On-
:: Winning the Hire Test results in the second stage of the game, in which the character acts as either a Hireling, or a more-trusted Hench, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and a possibility to switch types during play.
:: Exposure to traps, creatures, and environmental hazards has treasure and continued personal development (prowess and skill) toward the goal of the Graduate Challenge as its reward.

3). Graduate Challenge-
:: In this final stage of the game, the character has gone from a simple errand-runner to an Adventurer, if terribly naive about the scale of dangers and riches that await those good enough to live by their wits. Now, they must face-off in a true combat to rank the Graduates and determine what grade of Adventuring Party each is hired by. Ranking low can dramatically reduce the PC's chances of survival, but that will have to wait for RPG sessions, because, by this time, a fully-formed RPG character has been created, ready to get the chosen system's (by default, UWoM) scores converted and standard count (coin) determined toward equipping.

I'd say more, but I'd better get back to writing.
--I'll blog around the next few days, but may be otherwise silent.
See you in a few.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

[RPG] Weapons of the Ancients: 06-

:: Painting costs 3 shots
:: Rotary/Long costs 2
:: Pulse costs 1 shots

('Artifice - Specialist - LASER')
* Type: Multi-Frequency Multi-Beam Painting LASER Rifle
* Effect: Explosive/Heat 5d6x5 Painted; Explosive/Heat 3d6x5 Rotary-only; Explosive/Heat 2d8x5 Pulsed
* Range: 2,000 Yards Optimal Terrestrial Environment; 200 Yards Realistic
* Ammo.: 10-shot (5d6 Shot-Life, ea.) Cyclode with 10-Round recharge-rate (1/Round offline)
* Weight: 10 Lbs.
* Frequency: R

:: Following the development of the low-power energetics project to a fieldable weapon system, designers sought to replicate the light and elegant found Grand Ancient beam weapons in a contemporary manner. The Xveim is the result of that broad period of global development, and stands not as an individual weapon, but a host of national and factional standards and their hoards of sub-variants and mission-specialised versions. Resembling the basic pattern of the KMH rifles, their ergonomics proved intuitive for anyone familiar with the KMH class of arms, and they are able to work the essential controls, including eject/load new cylinder and basic diagnostics. This purposeful move insured a swift adoption of this class of weapon, and furthered the depth and breadth of the global human arsenal.
:: Painting comes from putting multiple laser beams onto the same point on a surface. The early rifles were not painters, nor pulsers, but 'long beamers' of a single frequency. This proved inefficient, and the projects around the world were stymied. Groups of dispersed civilians solved the problem through a variety of solutions, one of which is the 'Rainbow Painter' which sets multiple and diverse single frequency laser beams on a spinning cylinder mounted on a track manually positioned by the firer to overlap in one spot on their target, and then powering-up to full intensity and fire all of the beams in unison, or pulses of the same multi-chromatic energy frequency. LASER wounds are explosive internal steam catastrophes, and not the simple tiny hole drilled through one's body-scenario often imagined.

KVadrXveimum ('Artifice - Specialist - LASER Pistol')
* Type: Multi-Frequency Multi-Beam Painting LASER Pistol
* Effect: Explosive/Heat 3d6x5 Painted; Explosive/Heat 1d10x5 Long-beam; Explosive/Heat 1d8x5 Pulsed
* Range: 1,000 Yards Optimal Terrestrial Environment; 100 Yards Realistic Outdoor Dry Maximum
* Ammo.: 15-shot (4d6 Shot-Life, ea.) Cyclode with 03-Round recharge-rate (5/Round offline)
* Weight: 7 Lbs.
* Frequency: S

:: The pistol version of the painting LASER is a sonar/radar-ranging auto-painter, although the rotary feature is absent, and the number of frequencies is reduced to three (low-mid-high) beams. Their wounds tend to blister and disrupt unevenly due to the trinary beam pairing two frequencies with wave overlap.
:: The higher fire to recharge ratio was a primary goal in the development of this class of weapons, and as a result, the shot-lifetime of each cylinder is lower. Subsequently, only officers and independent specialists tended to be issued these sidearms. Rifle and Pistol cyclode cylinders are not usually interchangeable, although some examples of field conversions and prototype adapter units exist.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

[RPG] Weapons of the Ancients: 05-

Weapons of the Ancients-

KVadrXtsayukd ('Artifice - Specialist - Low-power Particle Gun')
* Type: Low-energy Particle Beam
* Effect: Lethal 3d6x10, Fire/Heat 2d10x2 10'x20x10' VoE behind target
* Range: 0-85 Yards at Full Effect, 86-267 Yards at Half Effect/VoE
* Ammo.: 15-shot Cyclode with 5-Round recharge-rate (3/Round offline)
* Weight: 18 Lbs.
* Frequency: T

:: A 48" hard-chromed cylinder connected by a single large cable to a hip or backpack mounted cyclode generator. The generator is fuelled by Eiadu (Aether-infused clay) vapour mixed with purified antimony, tin, and other metals. This mixture comes in a slender cylinder roughly 7" in length, and each contains enough breeder material to donate one shot's-worth of matter for the cyclode. There are fifteen such cylinders in a hip-mounted cyclode.
:: When a shot is available and fired, a quantum-plasma of neutrons is created as the relatively dense matter sheds its electrons and protons within the target. The effect is essentially the same as large-calibre ballistic damage, minus the entry and exit wounds, and carries a fair amount of imparted physical impact at the reaction site/wound-path. Figures nearby a target will suffer flash effects from the flare-up of light particles, and this can easily affect electronics in the 2,000 cubic feet Volume of Effect behind the target.
:: Backpack mounted cyclodes have twice the number of shots, and can fire a quick follow-up shot at +2d6 (Lethal 5d6x10, Fire/Heat 2d10+2d6x2), but this also adds 15 Lbs. to the weight. Generally, anyone armed with this weapon had only a knife and sidearm with them due to the weight and bulk of this unit.

* Hip: 15 shot battery, regenerating 3-shots per Round of inactivity (for a full recharge in 5 Rounds of inactivity).

* Backpack: Twice the number (30) & 6-Shot regen. per Round of inactivity (still 5-Rounds for full recharge).

:: Each cylinder has a 10d6-shot-lifetime.

Friday, January 8, 2010

[RPG] Weapons of the Ancients: ##-

The grenade-rifle-

KMerThayk ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Throwing Device')
* Type: Grenade Rifle
* Effect: Varies by Grenade-type, but grants a +01 Combat Bonus to use
* Range: 675 Yards on level ground
* Ammo.: 25-Stick, 72-Drum
* Weight: 3 Lbs.
* Frequency: K

:: This stand-alone weapon duplicates the capabilities of under-barrel grenade-launcher systems common to the Yaeshani ranks of the Far East, but is set into a stout and utilitarian wood or synthetic stock-set, making a rifle-length grenade-launcher of incredible utility and precision both in Direct and Indirect (arced) Fire modes.
:: It is a magazine- (stick or drum) fed system with an additional single-feed port for spur-of-the-moment opportunity shots with a particular grenade type not loaded into the magazine. Some heavy Arctic versions found are dual- or multi-feed magazine systems and are built for sustained rapid-fire in -120*F weather. Those particular weapons were found smashed or slashed open.
:: Skilled Grenadiers were the bane of enemy units, and were a frequent high-priority target, which necessitated of the Grenadier to quickly adopt the best scout tactics and skills. Heavy Urban units consisted of an equal mix of Grenadiers to Riflemen, so effective their support capability compounded by their precision as a primary shooting unit.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

[RPG] Gear of the Ancients 2-

KXem|K| ('Artifice - Portable Computer - Mechanical')
* Type: Hardened Mechanical (non-digital) Processing Unit
* Strength: H (81%)
* Power Requirement: 0 -- Accessories may require Power
* Weight: 22 Lbs.
* Frequency: D

:: A wonder of PicoEngineering, this entirely mechanical computer is capable of any equivalent digital-electronic computer programme, but is entirely hardened against electromagnetic burst attacks which would otherwise neutralise their circuits. Interface cables to powered peripheral devices require powered adaptors, each adding weight to the setup.
:: Ultra-thin metalloid plates Pico-Etched and magneto-scribed with hard-coded analogue processes allow the computer's configuration to be changed or upgraded with a minimum of effort, although upkeep and maintenance are more specialised.
:: When paired with a KSkermAm (Radio), its memory can be written to and accessed by the Xem|K|, even altering the computer's command plates programmes. When plates/units are found in the field, the most frequent data discovered is Operational and Map Data, with battle recordings a close third. Each region exhibits different keyboard and function key layouts, as well as particular variations ranging from brightness of electroluminescent backlighting to Interface Standards (making them incompatible with foreign Standards).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

[RPG] Gear of the Ancients-

I am beginning to run low on standard hard-tech examples of Ancient technology without simply enhancing stuff we have in our present toolbox, while still preserving them in a 'useful to Player Characters' context.
--Unless I receive requests for specific types of gear, this is likely to be among the last of the HardTech doohickeys I'll present.

That said, here is the super-radio:

Gear of the Ancients-

KSkermAm ('Artifice - Radio - Portable')
* Type: High-power VLF Pulsed Laser-Phasic Radio Communications System
* Range: Line of Sight and over Horizon
* Power Requirement: 01 Unit per transmission to maximum range, less at shorter distances
* Weight: 4-6 Lbs.
* Frequency: M

:: Due to its Very Low Frequency waves and its pulsed nature, the carrier wave is capable of excellent transmission (wave propagation) over bodies of sea, brackish, and fresh water, while drier earth and dense jungles reduce the range to roughly 8.1 miles (at which point the curvature of Urutsk prevents LoS). However in such unfavourable terrain, other factors, such as the extensive and pervasive ionisation of the atmosphere can begin to degrade propagation as early as 4-6 miles.
:: While near instantaneous, there is a discernible delay at extreme ranges, such as from sea to sea transmissions which travel beyond the horizon. The data is compressed, with a multithread factor of 10, and on military models can utilise a ternary/trinary-qubit rough-equivalent of 16,384-bit encryption. Storage memory on most common models exceeds 100 Terabytes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

[Gaming] Praise of a Blank Planet v. Fear of Failure?-

The guys in the OSR are still feeling their way through the issue of legitimacy regarding 'Each Hexism' versus 'Grand Visionism', which still baffles me to a great deal.

Having thought it wiser a few times to not publish remarks to various blog posts on this subject, I have instead mulled it over and have this incomplete thought to offer for derision or consideration:

Urutsk started out as a single city, Kryssan, but by the end of that first discussion (not session, as the system hadn't even been created, let alone an existing game system chosen) with my players, everything else began to follow as links in a chain, until, very shortly thereafter, I had a nation, culture, and internal politics. This 'big picture thinking' was, and still is, one of the things I am most noted for in gaming, fiction, and analysis.

I am not entirely certain why the OS seems afraid to embrace the middle-path between philosophically-engineered settings and the pride of retaining ignorance about what is in the rest of the one hex on the map.
--Isn't it 'game how you like'? Why expound dogmatic philosophies; selectively cite the 'Elders'; and then reward likemindedness while deriding holistic vision as part of the dreaded Third Wave Railroading / 'Frustrared Writer' syndrome, when nothing about it is that absolute or soluble to a repeatable process, let alone a design philosophy (supposedly 'the FORGE'-istic in nature)?

I think (as in, the jury of my mind is still in deliberation, and this is not a dogmatic opinion from which I cannot be dissuaded) complete worlds make many folks fearful that they'll 'play it wrongly', and it is that rather than the case of their taking some sort of moral highground that randomised exploration of each hex is the superior path to gaming enjoyment.
--As such, it may be difficult for (mostly) men to admit that sort of fear/sour grapes, and instead meet in agreement of the clan's chosen method and proceed in happy perpetuation of the 'tradition', so as to reassure that theirs is the One True Way (even though some make a real effort to make clear that their words, however unintentionally weighty, are not imperial edicts, but rather merely their own opinions, based upon their careful investigations and interpretations of the source materials).

While I would be glad to host such a debate here, I offer [a] Middle Path, namely, knowing what one wants the world-setting to be like in general, while still employing the 'Hexploration' methods to detail one's individual conception of an established and well-documented setting.
--I, too, believe in the 'Oracular power of dice', but also believe that preparation makes for more effective and safer undertakings.

Just a few Monday-midday thoughts. Nothing absolute, dogmatic, nor intentionally inflammatory.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

[Playtest Campaign] 1st of December, 2010-

Ymyk used the mechanical bow taken from the Xarj' corpse that Tybylt had fetched after his hideous near-petrification event last session. Although his physical strength isn't high, Ymyk has the equivalent to the GW mutation 'Heightened Strength', which adds a flat +3d6 to all melee damage he does. I have also allowed him, at times, to simply add 3d6 to his various prowess-related rolls to simulate the idea of his great strength. Anywho, this bow adds an additional 3d6, an the javelin-like projectiles do 1d10 each, for a whopping 6d6+1d10 (07 | 26.5 | 46) points of damage. This proved instrumental in the upcoming fight with these things.

Tybylt decided to investigate a malign-looking metal torch the party had picked up earlier in the weird complex (in a vast jungle, under lavender skies) and discovered that its operation required the immersion of the crown in blood. With handy fallen baddies nearby, and after a bit of jumping up and down on the cadavers, said blood was procured and the item (after the undisclosed command word was uttered) spouted a blood-red flame in which the writhing souls of the deceased could bee seen. This fell arcane light was shed to 30' and looked like rivulets of blood in water, and proved effective in countering the effects of The Void in which the citadel was located (behind the mean/nasty door that had led Tyb to the petrification trap he only narrowly escaped).
--Armed with this, the group left their +/- Lightning followers behind, and moved on to retrieve Tybylt's two fey daughters. Coming to one of the many portculli in the citadel's wall, they looked through and saw Khark and Kaukara humans dressed in very little clothing going about their business. I made it clear that this was a caste society, and that many of the porters showed signs of early and frequent flogging; their backs carven with scourge scars.

The party, stealthy as ever, lasso the lever and let themselves in, at which point, one said slave backs away without drawing attention to anyone else, namely the four-armed 12-15'-tall critters. Sadly, that didn't last, as one of the creatures spotted them and moved forward to investigate/hold the choke-point. I rolled for CiCi's behaviour and she lobbed an alchemical firebomb at it and scored a direct hit, but the spatter caught a noble-woman's gossamer 'dress' alight and surprise was utterly lost.
--Although there were four of these creatures, and each had 4 attacks per Round, I was not rolling well, and the party was, and the four were quickly neutralised.
---Horns were sounded throughout the citadel.

Spellcasters cast at the party and Mela was bedazzled by the pretty blue lightning bugs she saw, and was out of commission for three or so Rounds. During all of the fighting, Ashta had pressed on, always looking for a fight, while everyone else was still controlling the gateway of the portcullis, being badasses.
--A glittering whirlwind of chert and gypsum shards would have made short work of Tybylt, but we rolled off to see if his Shield spell was effective, and his player won that Round. His action was to grab the female caster's imp or whatever (that was the one actually casting the spell) and fling it away, upon which time Ymyk shot and slew it.

A shield wall of heavy infantry blocked off the street they were nearest and poked poisoned spears through the wall for added effect.
--A Round or two later, a 'rhino-rider' smashed through the shield wall and used his flaming segmented sword to attack the force-field enshrouded Darius, who took about 30 points, but transmitted about twelve electrical back along the weapon and ticked the rider off. More importantly, Tybylt cast Sleep on the steed and it took a nap, but the rider was able to jump off without getting pinned under it. He didn't last too long: First a Bleeding (Condition Three) leg wound, then enough wallop to KO him.

The party again asked for the two fae-girls, and a few minutes later, down the two streets that hug the citadel's walls, came two litters preceded by scribes and virgins carrying bowls of lit incense, and made their way to the area in which the party had entered, and stayed (hoping to demonstrate that they were not invaders, but merely interested in collecting what was theirs).
--Each street procession was attended by a temple representative carried upon a litter. On the right was a bald man with a bright red chevron painted upon each side of his head and wearing a necklace of large gilded wooden links. He was accompanied by an Undead man thickly covered in aromatic resin. This individual (clearly a reasoning being) acted as the priest's representative and addressed Tybylt, asking him to accompany them back to the temple for a feast. At roughly the same time, down the left street came a reddish-brown haired woman wearing a solid (green) jade torc. She was represented by a perfectly symmetrical and flawlessly beautiful nude woman. Tybylt was forced to attempt a Control (Spells) Critical Test (due to her unearthly beauty and the lust it provoked) and just succeeded.
---The Undead and this Symmetrical Woman both spoke via some sort of translating magic, and both spoke of their patron's respective temple (The Devouring Worm, and The Golden Goddess), and I made certain to demonstrate that their source language was significantly different than anything they'd ever heard before, with only Ymyk understanding one word in ten of untranslated speech. Tybylt, much to the Horse-archer's protests, accepted the invitation to the feast, and was encouraged to hear that the girls were still intact and could be traded for, and slaves were offered but instantly refused, with brief mention that they had battled slavers. This was translated back to the priest of the Devouring Worm by a scribe who had not been addressed by the priest. After receiving the impertinent informant's info., the priest smacked the other's head sending him to the ground, whereupon he was speared by at least three guards in the procession.

Following the priest's procession (they would have been carried upon shoulders, but all refused, and those kicked away by Ymyk were also slain by the guards for failing to please the 'demons' --as the PCs were addressed). The central plaza contained a cubic temple decorated with electric blue and electrum-inlain murals of the dragon-headed Devouring Worm, replete with images of wailing corpses and undead falling from his maw and clawed hands as he writhed in and out of the ground of the surrounding jungle countryside. The Golden Goddess' temple was a tall, stylised phallus atop an irregular-faced dais.

The party entered the temple of the Devouring Worm where they were asked to kindly extinguish their blood torch. Tybylt asked for blood to re-ignite it, and a temple virgin girl was slain on the spot and her blood collected in a golden bowl. The players were dismayed, and my SO, Tybylt's player's sister, made a comment about morality as did Ymyk's player, to which Tyb's replied that having already died once and his spirit being used to power a Dryvv Shadowdrive craft, there wasn't much worse he thought could happen in an afterlife. I laughed knowingly and we proceeded. The party saw that the priestess of the Golden Goddess and her retinue entered from an underground passage on the side nearest their temple.
--Within the rather large structure were hundreds of face-painted adherents, dragon-masked warriors, undead, and other monsters, including upright reptilian warriors, some of whom sported maces at their tail tips (this starting to sound familiar yet?). These reptilian warriors demonstrated feats of strength by fighting amongst themselves in mock combat with their wickedly curved and serrated longswords, and then fought 7-8' tall powerfully-built humans in dragon-motif armour > wink < who invariably lost the fight and were torn, limb-from-limb as the party either sat or stood at the banquet table (only Mela partook of the fare and found it richly flavoured: for example, long-grain and wild rice with blanched almonds and currants, mixed with cinnamon and slivers of mango-like fruit). Eventually the two fae-girls were brought out, and Ahni (the eldest of the three girls) Jaunted to the stage and attempted to save her favourite of the two (Vania), but was prevented from doing so by one of the lesser Worm priests.
---Ymyk took that cue to shoot the man, but suffered half of the damage as both he and his target saw that the 'arrow' occupied both places simultaneously before disappearing in a flash. This, however, was enough to disrupt the psychie/spell, at which point Ahni Jaunted back with Vania and urged their father to ingest the Shadow Travel potion he had received directly from Lord Shadow. The chief priest then cast a mass Hold spell, and only Mela saved, but had to burn through two DP to be able to act and re-ignite the torch by lifting the bowl of blood to the item and encanting the command word. Rather than leaving one of his daughters behind, Tybylt used his new combination of Levitation and his Shadow mysteries to pick up the cage in which the third (we've forgotten her name) was held. There was a moment where all looked lost, but as the priestess of the GG and her retinue departed, one dispelled the priest's Hold spell and the party dipped by falling into Tybylt's shadow. There were shots fired and a few characters took hits, but not enough to '86 them. He left last and made certain they weren't being followed.

They emerged, not in Shadow, but back at the canal in the underground gypsum city of the Lightning Undead. They navigated the marketplace after purchasing a few grounding staves, and DiDi'd back to the still-cloaked Aelbaan craft (outlined nicely by the rain).
--We held it there. The secondary characters (and Ymyk) each received about 4500 Adventure Points, and the Primaries one half that much. A few were close to matriculating to the next higher Magnitude, but were still at least 1k or so away.