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Dreams of the Red Wizards recap, 4 Feb 16

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, the published document going off the rails, attempts to regain a farm, reading of spellbooks.

In the session, using an addition of my laptop to improve on the data entering Infiniscene, the party took care of the rest of the Thunderhammer Group, which was revealed to be little more than a ruse for the Red Wizards of Thay (The dwarf running the group happened to be a Dwarven Red Wizard Archmage!!) The Thayan sacrifice bore fruit (and not because the dwarf might end return as a lich) and a portal opened up in Firehammer Hold. The dungeon is now a portal to Thay and undead are streaming out.

Typical Shit Hitting the Fan scenario.

Meanwhile, the group managed to catalog the many spellbooks that they collected. They wanted me to list them here, for their own use. All of them are written in Thayan so it will need some translation, but there is some idea on what they are.

Thegger’s book has the following spells listed, it also doubles as an organization notebook on what was going on earlier in the story, including the gnolls and necromantic progress on creating dread warriors. There was also mention of the devil Baazka who has been possessing many people, including Shalendra Floshin, the elf that Pancheska has claimed as her own. Baazka showed a bunch of other contingencies, and Firehammer Hold became the most viable one.

Cantrips: blade ward, light, poison spray, chill touch, true strike, prestigitation, ray of frost

Level 1:  comprehend languages, detect magic, false life, identify, mage armor, magic missile, sleep, witch bolt, cause fear

Level 2:  darkness, misty step, phantasmal force, invisibility, blindness/deafness, hold person, ray of enfeeblement, sound burst

Level 3:  animate dead, bestow curse, fear, feign death, vampiric touch

Level 4:  Evard’s black tentacles, fire shield, phantasmal killer, stone shape, blight

Level 5:  cloudkill, contact other plane, contagion, teleportation circle

The books by “The Black Dragon,” are more variable. One of them is an tome on how to create all kinds of undead. (It takes a total amount of Spell Slots/Points and hours of uninterrupted ritual to reanimate an undead equal to the number of hit dice for the monster. But it is automatically an Evil act. And next season’s Ravenloft.) Another one is a Manual of Flesh Golems (page 180 in the DMG) and the third is an expansive journal listing his knowledge from both the Red Wizards of Thay, and the Cult of the Dragon. The last several entries tell of his betrayal at Castle Naerytar, and a vow of revenge on both parties, with plans for both. (I would have him write about him getting a rifle of his own and taking out a certain chronic stutterer who got granted some land that used to be elven, but that’s in an alternate reality.)

In the next session, we get them back into Firehammer Hold, and into the bowels of Hades.

Out of the Abyss recap, 6 Feb 16, and Living Parnast Update

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, lack of combat, going through two chapters back to back, and excessive stuttering.

I expected this particular session to be as important as it is combat free, and it didn’t disappoint. The party made their way to the Gravenhollow library of the underdark. I figured out that the group wasn’t the kind that would go through much roleplaying. (Some groups don’t mind the interacting, while others prefer to just have some action, and my Encounters group is the latter.) I took them through most fo the visions in Chapter 11 including a couple that refers to my other campaigns, Living Parnast, and the upcoming Curse of Strahd. The way I take it is different from the traditional mists transporting the party. I took advantage of the Sundering bringing realms from different locations into my Realms, and replace the Sunset Mountains (between Baldur’s Gate and Cormyr) with an in-realms Barovia and Ravenloft; in effect bringing the module to the party instead. Whatever or not Barovia remains in the Realms, however, is another tale. It depends on what kind of motivation Strahd has in mind.

And whatever or not he’s actually a bona fide villain. For all we know, he could be my answer to Dexter Morgan.

I still have some time left in my session, so I ad-libbed my way through the Araj chapter as well. The party met Vizeran and decided to join him in his efforts of driving back the Demon Lords and ruining Lolth’s day in the process. Yes, true believers, Lolth did it again. I had her shenanigans with Eberron cause the Sundering in the first place, and it’s obvious she is incapable of learning. Almost like a college student these days, more interested in narratives and feelings than a decent education. He gave the party his shopping list (page 165, column 1 in the module) and the party decided to work on them from the top down. Which means that Wormwrithings is next. I think I can get a good two months of material in the last five chapters, which is where things really are getting good.

dms guild logoOn to Living Parnast though.

My design on Liberation from the Dragon Queen is running along nicely, especially when I have several people willing to playtest it. Nothing like having expecting players to keep me motivated to finish this module.

But first, I have to tell you a bit more about the campaign world. This is not going to be part of my Forgotten Realms. It’ll have some results of how I played Hoard of the Dragon Queen, such as the involvement of two former Cultists, one being “The Black Dragon” and the other Talis the White. Also, they’ll be some techonological advancements as well—WotC can’t have IP copyrights to the steam engine—and the main NPCs are indeed futurists who make inventions meant to change the Realms into something like Æthercoil (an OSR version of a Steampunk setting, instead of the more traditional Victorian era). However, Living Parnast will take place in its own universe, an alternate Forgotten Realms, which can get plugged into any campaign world, or another DM’s own Forgotten Realms. I had to do this for the sake of the Dungeon Master’s Guild.

You can see the different version of the realms used by the different version of the NPCs involved. Most of them are more familiar NPCs in my campaigns, set in my personalized Realms. I just gave them some tweaks to make them different from the ‘cannon’ version.

Justin Protrait
Living Parnast’s Justin

Take Justin Mercurial, for example. He’s the patron NPC in Living Parnast. He’s the one who hires the party—and in the case of younger characters becomes the party’s mentor—and takes them to Parnast to rescue the village from the Cult of the Dragon. In Living Parnast, technology is not as prevalent as it is in my ‘cannon’ Realms; guns are pretty much in their infancy with only the half dozen flintlock rifles floating about and handguns more associated with pirates in the open seas than anywhere else. (They call them ‘hand cannons.’ Cute.) Instead of a wire-based telegraph, there is a Clack system a la Diskworld using a set of panels stationed every 30-40 miles, and there’s no railroad.

In this setting, Justin is quite a visionary and futurist in his inventions. He modified the Clack system, which sends characters in a set of shutters (think of Lord Murray’s model) to send more characters at once, accelerating the travel of the message. He also helped some gnome with gun technology to create the first bolt-action sniper rifle that uses cartridge-based rounds (That contain the flint, powder, and projectile in one item) with which he was able to take down a dragon. From a mile away. With a headshot. And in the early parts of the module, he had a steam engine built by Dwarven Labor from Gauntlgrym (Union Label and everything!) which will get the party over to the Graypeak Mountains in a little over two tendays.

However, there is the clear need for me to keep Justin from going into Mary Sue territory, not to mention keep him from becoming a medieval Tony Stark, and I thought of an excellent flaw for him: Justin Mercurial has a stutter. A very pronounced stutter. The kind of stutter who would make people go “All right, enough fun and games, where the fuck’s the real Lord of Graypeak?” He had this stutter since he was a child, found in the river overlooking Daggerford. And while he had a pretty decent upbringing by the followers of Lathander there, whatever unspoken Lemony Snicket style crap he got before there effected his self-esteem enough for that stutter to be pretty much permanent. Even a blessing from the God of the Morning, which lead to his connection to the Weave, was not enough to cure his speech impediment. In the end, his stutter is similar in nature to the bum leg of his mentor, Sir Isteval. It’s there to keep him from hubris.

It also keeps him from being taken seriously at times, especially with nobles from some southern cities. While he’s more than proven himself with the Lord’s Alliance, and will be very depended on as the Lord of Graypeak. There will be some that will just plain reject him outright, up to and including laughing at and talking down on him because of his lack of articulation. Even call the leaders of the Alliance out for claiming that “this unintelligent vagrant” has the distance record for a dragon kill, or allowing that emergency message to go from Baldur’s Gate to Neverwinter in just over four hours. Some would right out refuse to acknowledge Justin Mercurial’s accomplishments or even his existence.

Not just the village of Parnast, the party will have to assist their patron in his goals of pushing his technological advancements to the Realms, and facing those who put a stigma on those with such a handicap will become a regular source of an encounter or two.

I get the feeling that Living Parnast will end up resonating with some youth.

The Standard Holiday Greeting

There isn’t much going on this week on the D&D front, not even in Encounters.  My main crew had a special event with John as the DM instead of me, I played a character that I might highlight sometime next week, but nobody else showed up (and the usuals had to go to a Christmas Church event later on that night.)

So I’m just going to take this week off and give you the yearly line I always say about this time:

In this point in the calendar year, there are a lot of Holidays.  For some, it’s Christmas.  For others, it’s Hanukkah, and for others, Milad un Nabi.  There’s even Kwanza, Humanlight, Yule, Festimus, and a miryad of other holy days.  Some of us even call it Friday.

But whatever you call tonight, however you celebrate it, or even what you celebrate or even if you celebrate just being alive, make it a good one, you all, and have a safe and peaceful day with well wishings to everyone around us and every kind of holiday it is.

For everybody, there is a December 25.  It’ll be a December 25 whatever you make it merry or not.  Might as well have a merry one.

Important Notice to the Princes of the Apocalypse Table:

The Roll 20 outtage kept me out of finishing this session for tonight (11 DEC) just as I was about to round it up with a meeting in the Sacred Stone Monastery.  My apologies for the major SNAFU.  I’m posing this to let you know that you have gained 350 XP each for the Orge Battle (last encounter of the session) and I will bring you up to the set up for the next session with the recap.

D&D Recap, Dec 2-4, Part 2

Item: Dreams of the Red Wizards: The Fountainhead Business Report

Between getting Shalendra Floshin out of her catatonic state by making the elf her own thrall, and cataloging (and replacing) all of the stuff the party took for themselves, and keeping tabs of all the businesses in the Sword Coast, our resident Succubus assistant had a pretty busy tenday, so much so that she had to swoon some unloved soul every evening to blow off some steam. The party saw the result at the end of the Shalendra battle where she brought a whole bunch of maids with her to clean up the estate. Oh, and before you ask….

Cursed Maid Uniform
Wonderous Item, Attunement Required, Cursed

The Uniform is that of a Maid’s Dress, complete with apron, headband, and Mary Jane shoes. The Curse is two parts. When worn by a male, he is transformed into a female as if by a belt of Gender Change, and is not reversed, even by removal, until Lesser Restoration is cast. The gender will become cis female as well.

The second Curse occurs when the uniform is worn. For the duration of the costume is worn, the wearer is considered Charmed by the owner of the costume; the owner putting a hair of a fingernail in a pocket in the back collar of the uniform. The wearer will consider the owner her Master or Mistress and will obey every command that does not involve getting into direct harm regardless of Personality Trait or Alignment. When not obeying any commands, the wearer will have a compulsion to clean or tidy anything she sees that is even the slightest out of order, and will do it regardless of danger to herself. Resisting either of this will require a WIS Check of DC 15 plus one for each consecutive turn. On the first fail, she loses all will to resist and cannot attempt it again after a Short Rest, although her immediate area needs to be pristine and she cannot leave the room (or is told to stay.)

Only the owner or a Wish spell will allow the costume to be removed.

…no, they’re not all girls. Pancheska likes to disguise those she has under her bat wings so that they won’t be recognized. I imagine what Succubus!Shalendra would look like. (Note: Pancheska will restore them to their original form and pay them quite handsomely for their services, provided they’d actually want to leave.)

Well, Pancheska managed to catalog the entire hoard the party acquired:

  • 65 Arrows in 3 Quivers
  • Wire Flowers (50 GP)
  • 6 Outfits for a female elf, three of which Pencheska took for herself, and 1 very seductive dress which she put on Shalendra that nobody else knows about. (Shalendra will also keep her traveling clothes)
  • 250 GP worth of jewelry in light gold with moonstones. Pencheska took the rest of the 500 GP lot.
  • Bag of Holding
  • Cloak of Elvenkind
  • 50 GP Crystal Decanter
  • 25 GP Wine Glass
  • 200 GP pair of Silver Candlesticks set with red garnets
  • Three Scroll Cases of ivory, inlaid with a rampant two-headed griffon in Gold (50 GP Each)
  • Scroll of Protection from Undead
  • Scroll of Rope Trick
  • Scroll of Plant Growth
  • Scroll of Protection from Evil
  • A 150 GP Lanceboard of crystal, wood, and gold
  • 3 crystal bottles of exceptional Elven wine, 100 GP each
  • 2 Jars of honey, with unknown magical healing properties. It’ll take a while for these properties to be identified.
  • 3 Potions of Healing

Pancheska kept the silvered Stiletto, and Shalendra’s Magic Armor and Sword for when she returns the elf to her family.

While you are heading to the Firehammer Hold, Shalendra reported to the Floshin family that their mansion and their prodigal daughter are safe (or so they think, as far as the daughter is concerned.) Pancheska took the 1000 GP total reward and, for lack of a better place to put it, thrown it into the business with the hopes that it’ll generate some interest.

Part of this investment went to cover the 680 GP expenses from the previous report. That leaves 320 GP in change as well as what profits they occur below:

The Fountain Guildhouse

The new guildhouse has seen a lot of use in this tenday, especially with the regular meeting with everyone in the Lord’s Alliance. In fact, Neverwinter’s Lord Protector Dagult Neverember, and his wife, Lady Stephanie Alagondar, stayed there and they were quite impressed. The Guildhouse earned 105 GP after expenses.

The Portal Network will take one more tenday to be completely operational

The Farm

The potion making project in the farm, which the party stayed after the Floshin Estate chapter, ran into a snag right after you left. An infestation of rats nearly overtook the farm, and it took 10 GP to exterminate and dispose of them all. Progress will resume once you enter Firehammer Hold, but it was delayed. A setback, but not the end of things.

The Mangus Scroll

Chou’s local microbrew is bringing everyone to the bar, and there is also a local group who is running a regular tabletop Roleplaying Game every third evening there. The business gained a 100 GP profit.

The whole business at the end of the report has a current bottom line of 8515 GP, after a 320 GP Investment and 195 of Profit.

 

Out of the Abyss Recap, 08 Oct 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Halloween Session Plans

The party had enough torches and food to last them throughout the trek through the Darklake region which will probably take them two sessions, including this one. I’ve got a simplified Event Deck system going: I draw until I get a number card, Aces being 1. If I get a red card, I add 10. I then consult the table for the results like a d20. For a d12, I just add Jacks for 11 and Queens for 12.

The session was pretty uneventful, expecting for a travel montage episode. Nothing much for me to report here, but there’s something else I wanted to announce here.

In three weeks, on the 28th, is the Halloween session in Encounters, and for that, I’m going to have a special one-shot session: A zombie apocalypse scenario that uses a regular villain of mine: Dralmorrer Borngray, the Black Dragon.

In my Hoard of the Dragon Queen campaign, I had Dralmorrer be left behind by the Cult of the Dragon when the heroes retook Castle Naerytar. Seeking revenge against the Cult of the Dragon, he delved deep into Thayan Necromancy to create a Zombie Apocalypse in Faerun.

In my Halloween scenario, I’ll be setting the party up against The Black Dragon in an encounter with him at full power. When he kills the PCs, he also reanimates them into becoming his army, and the players join my side of the screen and go after the survivors. Those still living when they finally get the Black Dragon down…or manage to escape with their lives…will have a reward waiting for them in they return to the campaign.

Those interested in playing this one shot will need to make a 6th Level character, and you can min-max on this one. I’ll have a real life session on the 28th, and if any of the Roll20 players want to, I’ll make online one-shots of the same scenario as well.

 

Out of the Abyss Enounters, 23 Sep 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Experimenting with the Event Deck, Ad Libbing out of my asshole.

Today starts the Party’s quest to get the bleep out of the Underdark, while the place is in Nutking Futz mode, all the while with the Drow from Velkynvelve in hot pursuit. The party once got out of a jam by using Wind Walk (from the Prayer Beads that they picked up from the previous campaign; remind me to nerf that while they’re still down there) which kept them some steps ahead of the drow, so that they can focus more on getting to Blingdenstone, and the nearest place to go back to the surface.

My method of travel had several stages per day, a stage to tell what lighting they’ll use, if they lost their way, if they could find food, and two possible events.  In some cases, I draw cards until I get a number card, and if it’s red, add 10 for a d20 roll.  The machine isn’t perfect, so I’ll be working on it for the next session.  The people on the table should know by now that I tend to work on mechanics as I go, and at times I get some feedback.

All the while trying to keep their Stress Quotient up. Unfortunately, some people in my party want to go insane! Like the guy (who is recovering from a scooter accident IRL) who just up and bit at a Shrieker! He got a nasty vision of the PAX Prime Acquisitions Incorporated session for his troubles. They also saw a good view of a rock octopus that could’ve been a demon in its own right. At least had enough Cthulhu theme to do some Stress Quotient damage. But I was too busy getting the hand of the traveling machine I’ve been working on. They also had some lights from fire beetles, which they can use when the moss—or the faerzress—isn’t present.

But then I ran into my own misguess on how much to prepare. The party managed to find their way to Sloopbludop, a village on the way to Blingdenstone, but something I didn’t prepare for. Therefore, I mostly ad-libbed their interactions with the Kuo-Toa where the party finds the populace split between those who worship the Sea Mother (the patron deity behind the Kuo-Toa) and this new Deep Father (which will be regarded as telling.) The followers of the Deep Father commandeered the party and the village elder fishhead (There’s a lot of yucks around when I described their arguing as a bunch of catfish swarming on a dock popping their mouths at the surface.) for a PC sacrifice. However, the Prayer Beads come into play again, when its owner summoned a Deva.

Next session’s encounter’s going to be a lot more interesting, let me tell you.

Meanwhile, a bit of Disappointment for Sword Coast Legends. And it’s not their moving the launch date to October 20 (At least they’re granting me Head Start Access). I found out that I can’t set up a 4 custom PC character party at the start. I have to start with Marcie and use three NPCs to work with. Oh well, I can adjust.

ÆTHERCOIL Worldbuilding Blog Entry 4

“It began with the Cubs winning the World Series, and it went downhill from there. The world we knew collapsed under its own weight in the manner of years, vanishing into memory, and then not even that. A dark time befell this world, with warlords and tyrants ruling over the people, until a bright light appeared in the East, heralded by the Princesses driven them all away.

It is 300 years since the old world fell, and the world stands upon the beginning of a new renaissance. A coalition of bright kingdoms now explore the world around them, searching lost civilizations and rediscovering inventions to progress civilization. But evil and chaos are still present, and they lie in wait for an opportunity to reclaim their power. Heroes are called, and adventurers present themselves, as they begin the Age of Rediscovery.”

Now that I got what I hope is the most sensitive part about creating this world out of the way, I can move on to the better parts. I have some parts to work in now, but there’s going to be I need a sequential order in how to do it.

The next part of course is setting up a pantheon, but it’s currently incomplete. I’d like it to have an combination of several historical belief systems, classical fantasy settings with more traditional deities, some of my own unique spins on a couple belief systems, some deity-less religions, and any other cool stuff I can toss in. You’ve seen what I did with Jesus Christ—yes, he is Yeshu in the setting—and there may need to have Correlon, Moradin, and the many Dragon deities. (Note: There will be no demons or devils, but there will be beacoup dragons running amuck, some good, some bad.) Buddhism and Shintoism will be in play, with some Hindu, Norse, Aztec, Mayan, and North American beliefs tossed in for good measure. And then we deal with the Furry Race deities. That outta be fun.

Oh, and before you ask, there will be Cthulhu.

That presents the still-to-be-set thought in my head, and the best way for me to sort them out is to go through a global overview, where I break down each area on the planet and describe what happened to the region, some of the countries, and how they changed when the world turned from the modern world to Æthercoil.

But, before I can do that, I need to address something that definitely needs changing in my setting: Alignment.

Exit: Traditional D&D
Enter: Magic: The Gathering

I want to steer away from the traditional D&D alignment array for two reasons: One is because I wanted to focus more on the Lawful-Chaotic axis rather than Good-Evil. The other is that as a social construct goes, Good and Evil are suggestive. More often than not, in a severe pitched battle, both sides think they’re on the side of Good. It is when the leaders go into “Ends Justify the Means” is when one side is perceived to be Evil, even though they have the best of intentions.

Hence I needed a replacement of the two-axis alignment area for something that is more detailed and nuanced, and I found it in Wizards of the Coast’s other flagship product.

350px-Color_WheelMagic the Gathering’s Color Wheel can easily be plugged in place of traditional alignment, and I’ll be using it in Æthercoil. It addresses a character’s personality and drives before assessing the Goodness or Evilness of a character, and it allows for more nuanced morality scenarios.

Mark Rosewater has made, and revisited a series of five articles that describe each of these colors, which can easily translate into using the Color Wheel as Alignment.  I’ll include them in the below table, with descriptions I gathered elsewhere in Wikipedia and magic.wizards.com (References: [1]; [2]; [3]; [4]. Don’t expect me to go create AMA-legal reference listings for every source I use just yet. I’ll wait until I make the initial manuscript for this setting for that, thank you very much)

As you would see, you are not focused on a particular color, you can have a combination of different colors which combine into a new alignment all its own. You can even take one alignment and ‘splash’ a bit of an outside color to further customize, or maybe even corrupt if need be, an alignment to suit your character.

But for right now, I’ll start with the basic five colors, the two-color guilds, and the three-color shards and wedges. That will result in 25 basic alignments, as opposed to the traditional 9, which I will work with as I continue worldbuilding.

 

Æthercoil Alignment Array

Color Magic Source Description
Basic Colors
W   The Great White Way Revisited by Mark Rosewater
U (U for Blue) True Blue Revisited by Mark Rosewater
B (B for Black) In the Black Revisited by Mark Rosewater
R   Seeing Red Revisited by Mark Rosewater
G   It’s Not Easy Being Green Revisited by Mark Rosewater
Two Color Combinations, aka ‘Guilds’
WR Boros The concept of Might equals Right, and that order and peace must be kept with the use of strength. Such belief can be channeled into a strong defense, but it can also be used as an overbearing and oppressive force.
GB Golgari Believing that Death is an important part of life, and that death should occur naturally in order for the life cycle to continue. Some GB-aligned beings might use plagues, poisons, and even necromancy to achieve this goal.
GW Selesnya Life should be in balance with the natural order of things. This is a traditional hippie and environmental mindset, but some take it to the point that individuality must be squelched in favor of the greater whole, sometimes to the point of hive minds.
UB Dmir Stay in shadows, keep your secrets close, and control the world from the background.   This might be needed for secure information networks, or the use of assassins and blackmail.
WB Orzhov The official alignment of Objectivism if there ever was one. WB people are true Randian heroes, focusing on their business and their own personal development for their own, and hopefully other’s betterment. Care must be taken to avoid the dreaded “Bioshock” scenario.
RG Gruul Be one with their savage nature, shun civilization, and be one with the wilderness.   Most Wild Elves will be RG as well as most native groups. RG groups can also strive to undo civilization’s efforts.
WU Azorius Always by the book, no matter the circumstances. Most government-related people have this alignment, either to maintain order or to ensure that their idea of order is uphealed by making everything else a crime against the state. Most people in the SJW movement are WU
BR Rakdos This is what Chaotic Neutral becomes. Enough Said.
GU Simic The alignment of Science. To experiment, explore, figure out how things work and how they can make it work for a better world. How to do it, however, depends on your own moral center.
Three Colors — Shards
RGW Naya Life, passion, community, and the wild—life is celebrated and instinct triumphs over machination. Here titanic predators are shown respect, while the intelligent peoples seek to revere and respect nature.
GWU Bant The alignment of benevolence and grace, where the dream of of an angelic utopia.   Conflicts are resolved through ritualized combat, and duty and honor are the bedrock of their kingdoms of light.   Most Paladins will be of this alignment
WUB Esper The alignment of magic and logic, where the brightest minds forever shine. Everything here is observed and controlled. The forces of high magic rule supreme.
UBR Grixis Necromancy rules supreme in this Alignment. The Undead and Dread Lords run the show, and what gets dead doesn’t stay dead around them. It is every ghoul, demon, and necromancer for themselves.
BRG Jund The law of the jungle, survival of the fittest.
Three Colors — Wedges
WBG Abzan We must all stand together as one in order to survive. Duty and Family are mainstays, as well as a strong defense—including an overpowering offence—against all who would wish to destroy them. Ancestral traditions and maintaining a connection with those before them are hallmarks as well.
URW Jeskai The alignment of martial artists, mystics, and wandering warriors. The ultimate goal is discovery and enlightenment, constantly striving to ascend to every greater levels. Cunning and Strategy are hallmarks, and age is something to be revered.
BGU Sultai Ruthless and Exploitive, this alignment is the Lawful Evil alignment. No action is beneath those who want to get ahead at all costs. Even to the point of using people as mere tools and discarded when they’re outlived their usefulness. Most of the rulers of this world until the Ascent of the Princesses were of this Alignment.
RWB Mardu Strike Hard, Strike Fast, and overwhelm everybody in the way. Live for the moment, You Only Live Once, and all that jazz. These people just flit between one awesome thing to the next, without any care of the past or plan for the present. He who dies with an empty bucket list wins.
GWR Temur Be strong, be fierce and be sufficient. Bow but not break, bloodied but not fallen. Pain is temporary but Glory is forever. When everyone tells you to move, your job is to plant yourself by your own convictions and morals and say “No, you move.”

With this list and the related sources stashed in my One Note, I think I have the needed tools to go on with the world-building. Entry #5 will have more big-picture information as I go around the planet and break things down region by region. Another mind-map will be in order.

Oh, and by the way, will I be picking any other inspirations from M:TG? I think I already have: Jeshu’s past is pretty much set in religious records, certia -2XXX WR. I just outed him as Jesus Christ at the top of this blog entry after all. Most of you have already know his story, especially if you’ve seen Passion Play movies. Now keep in mind that a Planeswalker Spark usually ignites in moments of extreme stress or a pivotal moment.

Getting Crucified seems stressful enough to ignite a Planeswalker’s Spark, wouldn’t you say?

And he did get up some time afterward. Later on he even walked up a mountain, continued walking to air, and then vanished. That’s looks like a Planeswalker to me.

What we have here is an example of spiritual exegesis that doesn’t suck.

The Cold doesn’t bother me…but…

…I knew it would bother some of my players to have to lug around in sub zero wind chills last Wednesday (18 Feb 15).  Hence I cancelled Encounters last week.  Fortunately I have a couple blockbuster climatic encounters for the next two weeks–the final weeks of Hoard of the Dragon Queen–and have it done in time to start the next season, Princes of the Apocalypse.

Getting it video casted, however, will take some doing, becuase I have some problems getting a decent computer set up right.  I need to get a new one for the Twitch Channel which will show online games as well as showing artwork, which will occur in a couple months, but I think I can get something working in the interim:

phpotywzkMeet the Raspberry Pi.  A fully functional–if not exceptionally powerful–computer the size of a credit card.  The card itself is $35, which goes to about $50-60 when you add the other necessities like the Micro SD card for the hard drive, and a compatable video cable.

This is essentially a hobbiest computer, capable of powering robots and creating your own personalized Game Boy.  But I wager that it could make a decent video camera as well, since I have a web camera, some spare extra components (Like a mouse and keyboard) and a spare monitor to hook this baby up to.

It’ll cost me about $80 for all the parts, but I think I can have a great video recording device out of this machine, which will be perfect for recording videos.  And it’ll be well into my budget to boot.

I’ll let you know how this bit comes up.