Sunday, April 28, 2013

Design Diary: The Songbird and Her Cat

The Throne of Stars campaign opened with a question. Two questions, really: What is Aimeel, and why does the Empire want its greatest musical sensation silenced?

Nuwmont 7, 998 AC: Kurest Hurgon

First Quarter Moon (on or about Nuwmont 7, 998AC)
The dwarf slid from the back of the mule, landing with a heavy, metallic jangle punctuated by a snarled curse as he staggered, favoring his right leg.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Handmaidens of Petra: Windrush Woods

“What was that?” Jasna asked. She slowed, then stopped, head cocked to the side as she listened.
“If we’re going to stop every time you hear something, why, I’ll…” Brynne said, shaking her quarterstaff at the other girl.
“Quiet!” Jasna and Petra hissed at the same time.
The sound came again, a dry rustling, a groan.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Curtain call: Act 1 complete

The first act of the Throne of Stars Campaign finishes up, and work is underway to bring Act 2 online within the next few weeks.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

From the Armory: Demonbound Weaponry

From the Netbook, Chapter 6: Dungeon Mastering Thorn's Mystara:

Weapons of Magic: Demonbound items

Nightfang (HungerEbon’s Call, BlackRazor, Lifestealer) is said to be one of the first demonbound weapons, the hilt forged from the slag iron skimmed away during the creation of the Well of Souls.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Minor Update: The Armory

The Armory page has been updated with information on the Spellshear effect, and how different dragonstone-bound knives made use of the phenomenon.

Design Diary: Unveiling the Handmaidens

Names. If they don’t simply spring into my head, characters can go for weeks, or months before they gain a proper name.
In converting Thorn’s account of the dungeons beneath Mistamere into a proper adventure, I needed names. Lots of names.
Thank goodness for Google, Wikipedia, and a host of “name your baby” sites on the interwebs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Handmaidens of Petra: Lake Windrush, II

Justin closed a hand over his sword hilt, but the shrike’s hand closed over his wrist. The blue stone entwined in the bracer flickered, briefly, and she shook her head.
“Nieah,” she said, adding something else in a stern tone.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Design Diary: Every Army Needs Officers...

I grew up playing the Wing Commander series, and one of the things I hated most were escort missions. Babysit the corvette, fend off two or three attempts on it before finally getting to the final way point. I lost count how many times I replayed certain missions in WC I and II, until I finally managed to get ol’ Blue Hair back on the winning path.
I hated those missions mainly because they were so hard — just me and my wingman, no reinforcements. There was no going back to the carrier to rearm.
Hey, wait a minute — limited resources against seemingly overwhelming odds… where have I encountered that formula before…?
“Rescue the damsel” missions usually mean slaying the dragon and walking away with the fair maiden and living happily ever after, right?
 But what if the heroes go in looking for the dragon’s gold, and should stumble across the maiden by accident? Or they find the maiden, but no dragon… only to encounter the dragon waiting as heroes-- maiden in tow-- are about to reach the cave’s mouth?
It’s enough of a challenge keeping one’s own hide intact in the dungeon, but now the heroes also have the well-being of the no-armor-low-hp NPC to worry about.
Escort mission. Babysitting.
Silva’s Army began as sort of a collective NPC. At the time of their initial writing, I hadn’t really cemented fixed faces, or even names. It was a lot like my senior year of high school, when I spent time as a teacher’s aide: before there were students, there was “the class.”
Gradually, several distinct voices and personalities emerged. Katarin was the first, and became the daughter of Eltan’s Spring’s Wisdom.
Brynne was next, and her bond with Katarin probably began in the ogre attack scene.
Jasna was the last, but oh, what an entrance she made. 
Thorn and company certainly had their hands full keeping the pack of girls in line and safe from the kobolds, spiders and ogres of Bargle’s dungeons beneath Mistamere. 

Those who’ve played through TC1, what have your groups’ experiences been?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Design Diary: On Building an Army, part 1

Scoundrel. Thief. Murderer. Infamous.

If you are like me, and have read through Frank Mentzer’s Basic Set Player’s Booklet, there should only be one name that springs to mind on reading those four words:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Falling Throne

Last image of the Third Throne, as seen from the Seventh, in the year before the Twilight Rebellion.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nuwmont 6, 998 AC: The Farstride

It seemed that the world passed beneath our feet too quickly, even faster than a blink of an eye. All too soon, the troop of brass-clad soldiers came into view, around a corner that should have taken us a good twenty minutes of hiking to reach.