Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thinking again

As always, the beginning of the school year leaves me with little time to get anything done. I have been doing some thinking. I like the idea I saw on another blog about mages being able to use magic swords at a certain level, because that satisfies my problem of allowing mages to use swords, without making a big deal of it. I have also been contemplating saying that all starting PCs have to be classed humans, and making demi-humans even rarer (and only possibly allowing them as PCs at later levels). Still thinking. I have also been pouring over a lot of old Judges Guild stuff, and seeing if I can fit some of that stuff into my world (specifically Caverns of Thracia and Tegel Manor).

Friday, August 20, 2010


If anyone who reads this can get ahold of JB at B/X BLACKRAOR blog, tell him I can't access his blog anymore, as it says I am not invited to read it anymore. Tell him to shoort me an email at matrix27(at)mts(dot)net

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More thinkerating

As always, even with the advice of Rob Conley's How to Design a Fantasy Sandbox, I found myself paralyzed by inaction. So many choices! But then, I realized.... if this ever gets off the ground, it is going to be with a small group of newbies. So, don't overthink this. I decided to make life easier. Since I am going to use Keep on the Borderland, I'm just going to make a map of the are around the keep... I'm not even going to worry about a continuent, or anything like that for now. The Keep, I'm going to put a (mega)dungeon in the "cave of the unknown", expand some of the wilderness encounters, make a nearby town as a base, and just add some stuff around that locations (I'm thinking of using Rahasia in there too, or maybe some of the stuff out of B1-9).

Oh, and I made one more decision. I'm going to use B4... but instead of it being located in a desert..... it's going to be located in the middle of an Arctic wasteland.

Yes, I've been reading too much Lovecraft again. 8)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Religions of Haume - a sneak peek

I've decided to call my sandbox world Haume. ;)

I started drawing up the religions of Haume tonight. I still need to do some work on the demi-humans, and the Fallen, but this should give you an idea of where my head is at.

Non-human deities:
DURRAK, "The Father" --> deity of the dwarves; maker of the world
AELEISHA, "The Mother" --> deity of the elves; goddess of life, magic and beauty
CAELIS, "The Child" --> deity of the halflings,; patron of innocence and wonder

The Thousand Saints
Humans don't have "gods" they have "saints", although functionally, there is very little difference between them. The theory is the saints were once mortals, who transcended their earthly bonds. Some of the important ones:
Saint Acca of Hexham --> patron sain of magic-users
Saint Scholastica --> patron saint of sages
Saint Edward the Marytr --> patron saint of lost causes
Saint Seraphina --> patron saint of healers
Saint Maximus --> patron saint of battle
Saint Finbarr --> patron saint of thieves and liars
Saint Amberyl --> patron saint of love
Saint Andrei the Iconographer --> patron saint of artists
Saint Xenon the Righteous --> patron saint of justice
Saint Margaret the Barefooted --> patron saint of the destitute
Saint Abundias --> patron saint of farmers
The Venerable Saint Bede --> patron saint of the elderly / wisdom

The Fallen
These would be the "bad guys". Again, most of them are thought to be ascended humans, but no one is quite certain of some of them...
The Dark Knight
Lady Midnight
Saint Opportuna --> patron saint of greed
Saint Abadios --> patron saint of murderers and thieves
Saint Helen --> patron saint of lust
Saint Dismas  patron saint of envy

The Spirit Realm
This will be for those who worship nature, in all its incarnations. I'm also toying with having these guys tied into my idea of using ancestor worship somehow...
The Old Man of the Woods
The Lady of the Lake
The Dark Hunter
Old Crow
Howling Wolf
The Cat of Kayseer
Brother Bear
The Merman & the Mermaid
The Stones Who Speak

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I've been wondering today... maybe i'm making this too freaking complicated. Instead of thinking about everything, and ending up with a million different things I want to do, maybe I should just shut up and DO something, and worry about integrating changes later. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, after all....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

ELves as Spellswords

I've been thinking about what to do with elves in my sandbox today. After a little thinking, I would like elves to still have magic-using capabilities, bu I would rather have them focus their spell selections on spells that would enhance their combat capabilities. I envision the elves in my world as creatures who are constantly seeking perfection in everything they do, so their magical abilities would be used to enhance their fighting abilities, to make them the greatest fighters in the world (but, I'm toying with making them the greatest TECHNICAL, rather than PRACTICAL, fighters... for the most part, elves are really good at putting on impressive fighting DISPLAYS, but you drop them into a REAL combat, and they find that they aren't as good as they think... except for PC elves, who have realized and embraced this truth). As such, I'm looking for some ideas for spells I could convert to B/X to be part of the elves spell list. I'm already thinking of putting a version of Bless in there, and a few others (cconverting Shillelegh, and Stoneskin, perhaps?). Ideas anyone?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On Saints

Wow. So, I decided to start poking around a little for ideas for names of saints. God bless Wikipedia! Did you know thee are over 100,000 CATHOLIC SAINTS?!?!? And almost ALL of them have names PERFECTLY SUITED for a D&D campaign. This part will be far easier than I thought. 8)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Religion and miracle workers

(Author's note: for the second time in as many posts, I spent an hour doing up a long, detailed post about my ideas for my sandbox campaing... only to have an error occur when I was done, and lose everything. GRRRRRRRR.)

I spent today (well, actually, last night during a late-night drive to the cabin on an adrenaline rush) thinking about how religion is going to work in my sandbox. I was thinking of having clerics being more like "miracle workers" in this campaign (but after watching a documentary on the "real" Robin Hood, which said that monks like Friar Tuck were more like military warriors, having returned from the Crusades with military experiece to go with their spiritual guidance, I'm not sure), so here's what I was thinking....
- the main "deities" will be non-human. In my world-view/creation myth, the three main divinities were the Mother (Elvish), the Father (Dwarf), and the Child (Halfling). They will be the big three, along with a few others added for flavor, meaning there is basically one pantheon of gods, followed primarily by non-humans.
- humans, on the other hand, will not have a pantheon per se, but rather will worship a variety of saints (imagine Catholicism without God or Jesus).
- this serves a couple purposes for me. One, I am going to use it to explain why only humans can be "miracle workers" (since the other races know they are descendents of divinities, they don't see the need to go around showing off through magic; humans, on the other hand, have had to create their own divinities, hence the saints, and their need to show off for the other races through the granting of miracles)
- I kind of see it as, the non-human deities are "gods", whereas the human saints are "Immortals" (ie. ascended humans). This will also explain some friction between humans/non-humans, as the non-humans are a little ticked that the race basically created as toys for a divine child get to go around working miracles
- pursuant to this idea, I am going to change ALL the clerical spells so that they are actually prayers to specific saints. Some spells may be grouped together under a certain saint (ie. all healing-type spells being different prayers to the patron saint of healing), but each "spell" is an actual specific prayer. That way, I can still explain how they work as spells (you have to know the right prayer to invoke effects). I was also toying with the idea of allowing non-clercs a 1% of having low-level prayers "answered" under EXCEPTIONAL circumstances (ie. death situations, or extremely pious followers). Rare clerical spells can be explained as prayers to smaller or forgotten saints, or little known stories of bigger saints.
- nature worship will be covered by animal and plant spirits (which is what druids will follow), and I'm toying with including the idea of ancestor worship in this too, as it would fulfill the "circle of life" idea.
I think I can still find a way to have these ideas co-exist with the idea of warrior-priests, so it should be interesting to see how this works out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thinking Redux

So.... I'm contemplating starting a sandbox campaign, because all the cool kids are doing it. Because I know that any gaming group I have is going to be noobs, I'm running with the Rules Companion Edition ruleset for now. I may switch to straight B/X once I get a gander at the B/X Companion project. Are there any significant differences between RC, B/X and BECMI, other than rules caps, and optional rules like Druids and Mystics?

Anyways, other considerations.....
- I plan on using lots of fiddly bits from all over the place, especially looting the spells and magic items from the Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets blog
- I want magic to mysterious again. The spell lists for each level are going to be the "commonly known" spells. Mages are going to jeaously guard the more unique spells, and part of the fun will be finding new knowledge. I plan to do some converting of spells from AD&D, just to have more "forbidden lore"
- after reading the first two anthologies of Glen Cook's THE BLACK COMPANY, I am toying with the idea of all magic-users having true names, like demons et al. If you can find out a mage's true name, you can strip them of all their power. Haven't quite worked out the mechanics for this yet...
- I was debating about allowing mages to do spontaneous casting of any spells they have in the spellbook, instead of memorization, but havne't quite decided yet. I had a cool system worked out for AD&D, where only mages who memorized spells could benefit from additional spells for high INT, but since B/X doesn't have that, I'm not sure yet how I'm going to work that
- I am contemplating renaming clerics as "miracle workers", or maybe "zealots". Haven't figured out how I'm going to explain them in my sandbox yet
- I have a basic Creation Myth for my world, I just have to find where I saved it. It kind of explains all the creatures, great and small... even halflings. 8)I am also toying with some ideas for the races. For instance, darves are obsessed with magic because they cannot use magic at all. The most skilled dwarven craftsman can create weapons of such great quality that they can mimic the weakest of magic weapons (ie. a +1), but they are obsessed with magic because they cannot wield it. Gnomes are either going to be dwarves who end up being able to manipulate magic, but at the cost of being far more slight and fragile than their dwarvish cousins, and therefore outcast, or halfings who have been corrupted by magic. Halflings are so called because they were created half of the divine essence of the Mother, and half of the divine essence of the Father. Elves are all born almost albino, but the longer they stay in the world and use magic, the darker their skin become. Hence, grey elves are about 50/50 corrupted by the world, and dark elves have become almost totally corrupted.
- I plan to use some house ruling to allow mages to use swords. I also plan to use druids, but maybe not as outlined in RC. That's why I need a bunch of extra druid spells, probably from AD&D. I am also contemplating allowing clerics to turn woodland creatures (and eventually, some magical creatures) as a regular cleric turns undead. Still thinking about this one...

So far, that's what I'm thining. Now, if only I could find the motivation to put this onto a page, instead of sitting outside in the sun, drinking imported beer and playing guitar. 8)

Thinking (again)

I just spent an hour typing out a huge post about what I've been thinking about for the sandbox I'm thinking of creating... but I lost it all. So, I'll retype it tomorrow.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Long time no post

I just had to post this. I went to a local gaming store that I only infrequently get to today. As I was perusing the goods, I found a box of old Ral Parth packages. They were clearing out a BUNCH of OLD lead Ral Parth official AD%D figures, fo anywhere from $3 to $8 a package. The TRUE gem though? 4 packages of official, licensed GAMMA WORLD FIGURES, still on the Gamma World cardboacks. Pics when I get a chance, and then... let the offers begin. 8) I can think of a least a couple of bloggers who might drool over these. 8)