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Friday, January 28, 2011

Worlds Enough and Time: An Urutskan Travel Log-

I was thinking of all of the adventures I can remember gaming on Urutsk, as well as fiction I have written for it, and came up with these locations and time periods:

The Marnharnnan Continent: From the Fall of the Ancients, through the Vrun Colonial period, and the years of play in Latter Autumn, and into the surrealistic dark-fantasy of the Winter Era.

The Vrun Continent: Pre-history, Spring Era, Summer, Autumn, and bits of Winter (7,000 years of history). From the Crystal Pyramid through hunter-gatherers; from the standard fare of 'mediaeval fantasy' through Sci-Fantasy of the war against the Aelbaan; Late Summer and Early Autumn's mass-warfare campaigns, cults, disease and famine; The Humanoid and Frontier Campaigns; the pseudo Napoleonic gatling-gun and cannon period of Consolidation; the rise of the Vrun Continental Authority and highlights of the First Tyrrhean War with its necroborgs and gas-masked cavalry sorties; Latter Autumn's Second Tyrrhean War and the urban malaise of capitulation to the People's Automatic Union; all the way into Winter's madness and desperate subterranean scramble.

The Black Crown / Marnharnnan Yirinn Empire of Bereme Oykh: Autumn and the Departure, and Winter's Discontent.

The Chaos Isles: Scattered incidents throughout Autumn.

Tuliri / Lhoman Border region: Late Summer and throughout the Autumn Era, especially during the Second Tyrrhean War. Hours and hours of miniatures wargaming took place in this region, as well as a religious insurgency on the Tuliri side of the border. Martial Arts action, Pulp adventure involving serpent men, and the rise of an Immortal.

The Durn Continent: Early Autumn's visitation by the contemporary Playtest Party as well as a one-off with a Big Game Hunter, his trusty sidekick, and a powerful Durn Holy Warrior versus Guild Council slavers; Latter Autumn's challenge to modernise, and the Durn Maximist Covenant's polite refusal of the PAU's invitation.

All of the above is but a small percentage of the total gaming done in the milieu, and fails to touch upon the exploration and colonisation of Aqmlk, the Red Planet, and its latter eras; the entire span of the Space Age with its Hyperspace Shunt Network and Dragon Wars; Alien worlds crawling with unspeakable horrors and confounding alien technology; and the actual Sphere of Stars built around the galactic core; and other bits and bobs throughout these past 26+ years of my cultivating this wild and wending garden.

What adventures will you have here?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another Update-

As the Player of the Khem, Yirinn, and the character Kitsune will be away tomorrow, there's no weekly game.

I am presently working on the Vrun alphabet as a True Type font.
--It is a bit of a hit-or-miss process, as it isn't always exactly WYSIWYG, but a far cry better than that freebie that was linked to around the OS blogosphere some time ago.
---Perhaps the best part is that I can map the entire standard keyboard output to meaningful Vrun equivalents, including the mathematical operators and non-standard punctuation marks.

With the four-month to print-in-hand deadline very clear in my mind, I am doing my best to write, edit, and simplify all at one time, which isn't the best way to do anything of this sort, but fortunately, I have multiple proofreaders, game editors, and veteran RPG developers on my side.
--I'm not proclaiming typos or inconsistencies won't creep under the wire, rather, that it won't be a jumbled mess.

I have an excellent Classic OS artist producing the (TBA) Referee's Manual cover, and was fortunate enough to have garnered two artists in Minneapolis due to Jeff Berry's kind assistance.
--My sweetheart has also provided a few illos so far, and one is the Urutsk logo which I hope to release in the not-so-distant future.

A Skype UWoM game with both Milwaukee and Minneapolis players is in the works, and will consist of a number of the Players who attended my game in the Tekumel dungeon. ;)

Reed Decker of the Watchsun novels has written an early draft of an article on Diceless Gaming for inclusion in the Ref's Manual, but don't hiss and make X's in the air at me, it won't be the standard mode.

The beta documents from LuLu look pretty nice for what they are.
--I expect the VPM will be many times nicer if only by way of the artwork and actual layout-work.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jan 21st Game Session-

New batch of the bug.
--This one was nipped in the bud with a shot of Lysol, Airborne, and a Zycam Swab. Now it is just fatigue and occasional headaches.

I forgot to mention this last time: Both Officer Max Rockatansky, and Lt. S. D. Bob Plissken are aboard the Aelbaan shuttle and have a gaggle of semi-feral kids native to the Aelbaan Starship as their wards. These two are along for the ride, and have felt suitably upstaged by the PCs.
--This is the second time that the duo have appeared in one of my games.

After the Khem's tele-experiences on the planet, the Yirinn character who had been gifted with a Black Metal alloy seven-bulbed lamp-stand (decorated to appear as a braid of roses) lit the oil reservoir with Elemental Fire. This produced softly writhing fractal shadows that fell in a circular pattern around the device.
--With this effect, the Aelbaan Starship changed attitude and began to alter its course as almost palpable Shadow Plannar effects could be felt by Tyb.

The Aelbaan who had occupied one of the System Ships (in which the shuttle the PCs are occupying is located) began to launch the System Ship. The System Ship then re-entered 'normal space', which was anything but, and the craft began to shake and shudder as its relativistic velocity and the wrinkle in timespace they were immediately caught in did not mix well.
--The Aelbaan informed the PCs that they needed to jettison roughly the same mass as the loaded shuttle to act as an explosive charge in their attempt to break out of the rut of the rolling space fold. Quick calculations by the PCs suggested that they would fail.

I'd like to explain more, but the blog is a poor substitute for the detailed information contained in the forthcoming Vrun Players' Module product.

The Party bickered a bit, but ultimately, the shuttle was jettisoned and sucked directly into the Charged Vacuum Emboitment. This was no surprise to the Khem, whose ancestor had heard that the other colonists had experienced the same event which led to their finding the curious planetary system.
--Debris started to cling to the shuttle's hull as Ashta saw a swirling multitude of possible timelines and past/future events.

Players had to leave early for various reasons (a date, and us fetching C.'s and M.'s sister at work), and so we called it there.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Playtest Campaign, etc.-

Last week I was ill and there was no session.

Previous session amounted to the group having a combat that they won in perhaps 3 Rounds (I can't roll Initiative for my NPCs to save their lives), which then granted the whole kit and caboodle of them (including the Blue Tree and the Humanoids) to gain the system-ship's shuttle.
--Ashta took control of the shuttle's escape pod, to make up for the loss of 'the pearl' that had been converted to Void and subsequently piloted by Delver Denab.

Thursday I spoke with one of my Players who is newer to the group, and who, although possessing two characters roughly on par statistically with the rest of the veteran PCs, is behind the curve as far as raw weirdness and power. We talked out a few of his Khem fencer/bodyguard's off-screen activities, and that opened up a few pertinent facts about the path the Aelbaan starship is taking, and why that is likely inimical to their continued existence.

The character was gifted by the Santa-soldier with a sort of glass harmonica which evoked a genetic memory of an ancestor upon a human starship, who narrowly escaped to a habitable (and inhabited) planet.
--We discussed how the differences between the ancestor and the descendant blurred even on the causal level, and that concerns about 'simply repeating the ancestors actions' proved unimportant as the actions the character in the present would want to undertake are the actions the ancestor apparently did take. More than simple glimpses of scattered ancestral memories, the Khem is experiencing an entirely different life at a rate of days and weeks on the planet to hours on the constantly accelerating starship.

I wonder if I'll have enough time to one day write the secrets of the Khemesh origins?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rotha Tieroxh: Beastborn-

C. and I frequently game on Saturdays, and she has two solo characters operating in two different locations: The Baroness Averdyn, and Rotha Tieroxh. I've discussed the Baroness' game before, so I'll share this bit from Rotha's run.

Rotha is one of the mysterious Human births to Humanoid parents (along with full animal siblings, all in the same litter), and was born to a mated pair of Abbekqorru. Raised without the benefits of pelt or claws, Rotha developed an astounding personal Conviction as well as growing well towards her Human limits. Upon reaching majority/breeding age, Rotha earned fighting claws and was accepted into the clan as a healthy Abbekqorru female.

Having viewed a vision of a visiting Human dignitary on route to make contact with the local tribe, Rotha was dispatched to meet the other rider and guide her safely to the tribal foraging grounds. The Locale is on the VCA/Black Crown border in a section of a vast palace complex nearly a one thousand year old ruin overgrown with forests and desolate stone gardens atop a mountain ridge. The same mountain had been home to a shipyard utilising spiral canals to lower the massive battleships to their sea-cliff launches, all the while the ships were capable of bombarding Vrun forces miles away on the grassland plains and ferny foothills. The huge cloven bas relief landscape wall sections covered for centuries in lichen and mosses spoke of great geomantic power unleashed by the Hierophantic Legions during the height of the Second Northern Campaign, and made for tricky terrain.

After that, a series of choices of direction led (after the loss of her river-lizard mount) to a vast stone and manicured garden setting patterned after Renaissance and Enlightenment castles brought curious perils from arrow firing statues to traps and tricks. It was there that Rotha spotted the wounded rider and spindly-legged horse and made contact. Almost immediately thereafter, in forest cat encounter, the third woman joined the group: Opel -- a 400 storey tower arcology dweller (and Alchemist) off to make her fortune in the larger world. The three defeated the cats and went on to have a series of combat encounters, natural hazards-tests (flooding in a subterranean complex beneath the now wild preserve-forest), and resulting in the perpetual wounding of the rider woman from a Vae Monarchy: Maryn Haram of Bynvert (Yirinn/Western Isles Vrun) descent.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Attack of the Hlutrgu!-

We drilled the hands of the spear and staff holders, and then painted up 60 of the critters.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Minneapolis, Tekumel, and Urutsk (Pt. 1)-

Chirine's Minnesotan Retreat-

Selected Photos-

Scroll Tube. My girlfriend, C., was inspired to purchase the sister object, at a local market.

Select TEKUMEL Photos-

Lady Anka'a (Deborah N.) costume

Chirine baKal (Jeff Berry) costume. It is composed of hand-made chain shirt (weighing in on the order of 30 Lbs.), a back and breast plate (etc.), and the ?brass? helm.

__________ (Janet Moe) costume. The mail is comprised of rather sharp metal platelets all set together in a most exacting manner. The 'square head' and accompanying mask really make the costume, and the much sharper sickle adds that extra touch. The figure represents one of the more unusual (for Tekumel?!) groups in that they are adherents of one god while serving Ksarul, after their god's betrayal of Ksarul in the gods' eternal battleground (been there. Wacky place.)

__________ (Don K.) costume. The priestly drape is made up of sigils/letters, and each of those is comprised of semiprecious beads, 15k+ in total if I recall correctly. The helmet was wrought and etched and enamelled and re-polished to that shine. The critter in the detail atop the piece is carved from a single piece of wood.

Later posts will be of the Tekumelani miniatures that inhabit the basement.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pre-Session Warm-Up-

Well, folks, 2011 is off and running, and promises to be very interesting in the proverbial Chinese manner: Bird kills, religious posts engendering i-net kerfluffles, Florida Atlantic University being the first university (at least in the State) to ban Smoking anywhere on campus (including one's automobile -- which in Florida is considered legally part of one's home wherever one may be in it), and Miami hosting the first (officially) US-deployed surveillance drone. Yay! I'm so happy, can't you tell?

Still, I'll get those lovely photos of Jeff Berry's truly awe-inspiring collection of minis, the costumes they have produced, as well as recounting the events and meetings with personages of import that transpired while C. and I were there in the land of snow and ice.

For those of you in a tiff over my posting TaNaKh on my blog, I urge you to move on. It's bound to happen again, as will my posts on mysticism, and even human nature. I can assure all, however, that my usually droll adventure recounts and other miscellany will dominate the content, and I think that if everyone is fair in their assaying, I usually am personal-content-free (apart from the posts while my father was dying). I cannot say the same for other vetted blogs out in the OSR, but then again, their controversies swirl around die-types and edition flames, or the applicability of percentile thieving skills. Meh, to each their own, I suppose.

So... I'm off to the grooming station before I open the apartment door to my weekly gaming crew (a mixed lot of Atheists, Buddhists, Catholics, and Jews :: Wait, that sounds like the beginning of a joke...) where we plan on resolving the Party's immediate concerns of escape from the course-locked Aelbaan starship and the possibility of returning home to

URUTSK: World of Mystery.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No Good, Eh? Perhaps This is More to Your Liking...

Netherwerks blog

Neither to the Left nor the Right: A Brief Digression-

I have many wonderful things to recount to you regarding my sweetie's and my visit to the gracious Berry home in Minneapolis, MN., but I will have to collect both thoughts and photos to properly convey the events that transpired there.

Instead, the L-rd has impressed upon my heart that I first take the time to acknowledge Him and all the marvellous things His Providence has afforded me, and so, without further ado:

Genesis 14:17-24, 15:1-

On Abram's return from defeating Kedoralamer and the allied kings, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh, which is now the King's Valley.

Then the king of Salem, Melchizadek, brought food and wine. He was priest of G-d Most High, and he pronounced this blessing upon Abram:
'Blessed be Abram by G-d most High, Creator of the heavens and the earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.'
Then Abram gave a tenth of all the booty.

The king of Sodom said to Abram, 'Give me the people, and you can take the livestock.' But Abram replied, 'I lift my hand and swear by the L-rd, G-d Most High, Creator of the heavens and the earth: not a thread or a sandal-thong shall I accept of anything that is yours. You will never say, "I made Abram rich." I shall accept nothing but what the young men have eaten and the share of the men with me, Aner, Eschol, and Mamre; they must have their share.'

After this the word of the L-rd came to Abram in a vision. He said, 'Do not be afraid, Abram; I am your shield. Your reward will be great.'

Psalm 121:2-

My help comes only from the L-rd, Maker of heaven and earth.