A brand new Savage Tale: Bitter is the Bark.
This fantasy adventure for a group of Seasoned or Veteran characters is centred on the party having to obtain the material components for a cure for lycanthropy; wolfsbane from the grave of a saint, blood from the werewolf that bit the victim and an aliquot of quicksilver. The components have to be assembled and administered before the next full moon for them to work, otherwise the victim will become permanently afflicted.
The wolfsbane can be obtained from a nearby monastery, although the monks there are less than forthcoming and the plant will need to be obtained by guile. The werewolf will need to be tracked down to its lair, identified and neutralised so that blood can be obtained from it whilst in its human form. The quicksilver can either be found in an abandoned dwarven mine or obtained from an alchemist in exchange for a rare alchemical component.
Skynet becomes real
Completely off my normal topic, but why isn’t this all over the geekosphere? The UK has today launched a Skynet military satellite: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20781625.
No-one seems to be making the obvious connections: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_%28Terminator%29
Maybe the Mayans were right after all…
As a Christian who plays RPGs I thought it worth reposting the following review article on roleplaying and the public/media. I’m still very careful about who I tell about my roleplaying. With colleagues because I don’t want to face ridicule, with Christian friends because I don’t want to face suspicion. Which doesn’t mean I don’t tell either group, it’s just that I choose my confessors wisely.
Planning a tour in the alps
There is something incredibly satisfying about a map. The way symbols and signs promise wonderful landscapes and adventures untold. I can still vividly remember a geography lesson on map reading from my first year at secondary school some 33 years ago and the thrill of understanding how the whole thing fit together to give information. How hills were drawn, what the building on the canal was, how to find the nearest pub…
To this day there are few things I find more satisfying than buying a new map, opening it and studying it for possibilities; new hikes to plan, new routes to discover.
One of my earlier maps
And the RPG world is no different. There are some very clever people out there for whom I have nothing but admiration and respect regarding the superbly crafted maps they come up with. The website Cartographers’ Guild is a favourite haunt of mine when looking for mappy inspiration, and you only have to enter the terms “fantasy map” in Deviant Art to come up with some absolute masterpieces. In fact I joined the CG just to have download rights so that I can swipe maps for my own (personal) use.
One of my favourite formats, particularly for town and the like, is the cutaway. One of the best examples of this is Domigoron’s Town of Berem, which shows a delightful little seaside hill town. It’s half-way between map and sketch and gives me as a GM a real thrill and tons of ideas regarding how to implement it in an adventure.
When I’m buying scenarios or flipping through RPG magazines, it’s often the maps and the artwork that catch the eye rather than the story itself. But is it all necessary? I found myself needing to come up with a map recently for a wilderness adventure that I want to send my players on. I ended up throwing it together in 5 minutes using Google Docs. It has all the pertinent information (that the map needs), it’s clear and it’s fast. Minimalist. But it wouldn’t sell my scenario if I were to try to market it. At the end of the day, most of the maps that we see are little more than eye-candy for the GM that don’t even make it to the players, who get some poorly sketch-it-as-you-go version.
But I don’t want the mappy goodness to stop.
The map for my latest adventure with all the necessary information for play.
Too good not to share. Came across this passage this morning in our devotional. My wife immediately identified it as a 3,000 year-old prayer against GMs
The Aventurer’s Prayer – original image stolen from Andrew Olson
In case you can’t read the text:
God, get me out of here, away from this evil;
protect me from these vicious people.
All they do is think up new ways to be bad;
they spend their days plotting war games.
They practice the sharp rhetoric of hate and hurt,
speak venomous words that maim and kill.
God, keep me out of the clutch of these wicked ones,
protect me from these vicious people;
Stuffed with self-importance, they plot ways to trip me up,
determined to bring me down.
These crooks invent traps to catch me
and do their best to incriminate me.
Psalm 140:1-5 (The Message)
I’ve just been surfing around for inspiration for a castle in the north of Ellesworn in Legend and stumbled over Fortress Hohentwiel in south-western Germany. It’s built on the top of an extinct volcano.
The English Wikipedia entry isn’t terribly exciting, but the German one is brilliant, full of useful information, maps and pics.
They’ve even got maps of the place with a key. Who needs to buy this stuff from DriveThruRPG?
A. Alexanders Bastion
B. Karls Bastion
C. Eugens Bastion
D. Ludwigs Bastion
E. Friedrichs Bastion
F. Dukes Bastion
G. Small Bastion
H. Rondel Augusta
1. Alexanders Gate
2. Ludwigs Gate
3. Barack Watch-house
4. Eugens Gate
5. Sergeant’s Quarters
6. Press Building
7. Quarters and und Cart Store
8. Apothecary, Regimental Surgeon, Stables
10. Troop Barracks
11. Cistern (covered)
13. Lookout between lower and upper fortress
15. Sentry Post
18. Newgate with Bridge
19. Powder Store
20. Original Abbey with Cloister, later Barracks
21. Parade ground
22. Wilhelms Watchtower
23. School and Rectory
25. Eberhards Watchtower
26. New Building
27. Church with Tower
29. Council Chambers
30. Prince’s palace with inner courtyard, cistern accomodation and stables
33. ‚Altane‘ (Highest point oft he castle)