Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Roleplaying and History

Someone just commented on my post on arms and armour in Mesopotamia, saying how they had used it for extra research for a school project, which made me realise how much role playing has influenced my life, and, I think I would be justified in saying, all of our lives.

Role playing really started my love for history, researching into various periods to add an extra level of detail to my role playing, before it became an interest of its own. Before long, I had taken to history just because I loved it, and started to learn both Akkaddian and Koine Greek as extensions of my interest.

Because of this little bit of research I once did for Dungeons & Dragons, I studied several units of history, and am looking to get a B. A., probably majoring in history. Because of this one thing, I got far more involved in literature, reading the ancient epics. I am not ashamed to say that I only read Spenser's The Fairie Queene because of Scott's blog (the current one's name escapes me at this moment), and his mention of it as canon for his campaign setting.

It was, quite simply, mainly from the Fairie Queene that I took to reading more poetry, above the little I was forced to read for schoolwork, and actually found myself loving the literature.

In short, role playing games formed me. They shaped me into the man I am today. Where will they lead me? I don't know, but that is life. This, I believe, could be said of all of us.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apology and Note of Interest

First off, I must apologise for the lack of posts, and also mention that they are highly unlikely to pick up anytime soon, due to uni work and other stuff happening in my life, so sorry about that. I'll try to post something, but it probably won't happen...

Also: James Hutchings. Don't know if you remember him, but he's the guy behind Age of FableTeleleli, as well as the author of The New Death and Other Stories. Well, he's writing an online serial, which is pulp superhero detective. It's called 'The Case of the Syphiliptic Sister', and you can read the first chapter online here.

It seems quite interesting, as well as fairy amusing, and I am definitely looking forward to the other chapters of his novel!

Friday, June 22, 2012

How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love Gunpowder

Or, why I feel sorry for our gm. So, we're playing WFRP, and had just started the Shadows Over Bogenhafen, and had the whole bit with the secret temple. Our plan? Buy/steal as much gunpowder as possible, and then blow up the temple as we ride away...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


The post I did on Mesopotamian weapons and armour is getting a lot of hits........

Anyway, does anyone know what happened to that Fight On! book of random tables thing?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New Death Again

Just quickly. I realized what the New Death reminded me of: the writings of Lord Dunsany.

Just thought I should put it up so I could remember.....

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Just a quick thought...

I've recently been playing the video game Powerslave, which is just an awesome 90s shooter. But it has one thing which has sort of stuck in my mind: When you pick up items, they have one use of each, though you can have several of them. However, using an item uses a certain amount of magic (yes, you have a limited amount) depending on the item. For instance, Full Health uses roughly half, Increased Weapon Power about a quarter, and Invincibility all of it.

So, I was thinking of introducing magic points into my rpgs, with items using a certain amount. Players could roll something like 3d6. If you wanted, this could lead to magic points instead of fire-and-forget, but I probably would not do that.

You could have, as well, items which have multiple, or even infinite, uses, but use a lot of magic. Which could be fun. Especially if you made them only useable by one PC.....

So, yeah, anyone got any thoughts on this?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Art & Rolemaster

Just a quick thing, but I've always preferred the art in Rolemaster to D&D. I mean, yeah, D&D, T&T, and WFRP all have cool art, and I find them all to be inspiring. But the illustrations in MERP and RM!

I mean, just look at the cover for Rolemaster in the 90s:

I mean, to me, that just yells for me to roll up some characters and go adventuring. It has danger, non-combat awesomeness, the citadel in the distance, the griffon/hippogriff/I can't remember the difference flying in the background.

Man, I think I should change my new setting to Rolemaster.... Does anyone know a good character generator? That's always been my big problem with the game...

Friday, February 17, 2012

The King in Yellow: The Great Joke of Ur-Nannu

Centuries ago, when a great war was waged between Law and Chaos, the Sorcerer Ur-Nannu, renowned for his power, went with his armies to fight the King in Yellow. After many victorious battles, Ur-Nannu's forces were finally overrun in the Skaldian Pass. Ur-Nannu was taken to the King in Yellow's fortress, were he was tortured for many years for the devastation he had unleashed upon Chaos.

Ur-Nannu eventually escaped, and swore that, in revenge for his torture, he would make a mockery of the King.

And so it was that he wrote the play, The King in Yellow, which drove all who read the second act to insanity and despair, and placed them under the power of the King in Yellow. It is considered the greatest of the King's tools.

Yet the King despises it, for it mocks him. It is a work of art, admittedly, despite it's evil, and it is a work of culture and civilisation. For this, the King in Yellow hates it.

For this, though few realise, Ur-Nannu has his revenge. Through this, he has made a mockery of the King.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Setting

Well, I have decided to create a new setting, loosely based on the Celts, but sort of mixed with the traditional fantasy campaign. I am, however, going to be using my last post as a basis for the setting.

I have yet to create a new map, but I am just going to be doing the initial thinking first.

The initial map will be a medium-sized region, divided between several small kingdoms, with a few more independent barons and counts thrown in for good measure.

The west will be dominated by two or three kingdoms, centred around a cluster of small cities in a large bay, with heavy fighting around one main city-port. The further east you go, the wilder it becomes, being more and more dominated by Chaos.

The Chaos forces will be semi-united under the service of the King in Yellow, who has forced Madness and Insanity to do his bidding.

While Law and Chaos will not be fighting at the time, I think it is a good idea to have that card in reserve, and to make the Civilised Lands a bit less prone to war. Although there will still be fighting, the kingdoms will be trying to organise against the possibilty of war with the King in Yellow.

Religion, Alignment & Alignment Languages

Ok, just as a warning, this is sort of a stream-of-consciousness post, so I apologise before-hand if it seems a little incoherent or if it just comes off as a ramble.

Right, now that's out of the way, onto the post: I was up thinking about this last night. I had been reading Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, which is basically a dialogue in the old Greek style. Now, this is mostly irrelevant, except for this one fact that spawned the whole post: You see, in the book, when Boethius is imprisoned, he is consoled by Philosophy in the form of a woman who discusses life, fortune, etc. with him.

So, this struck me as a sudden thought: What if, instead of worshipping the god of writing, and the goddess of magic, the people in my games worshipped Writing and Magic. I then thought, 'well, what about alignment? Do they all worship the same thing?'

After that, I decided to group the various things into Law and Chaos (you see, I tend to lean more towards B/X than other editions of D&D). But then it occured to me: What if it was the entire structure of the world?

Now, I have a feeling other people have posted about this before, but it only recently struck me.

So, with the alignments, they would be where you stand with regards to civilisation. The Lawful characters are the defenders of culture and learning, while the Chaotic characters believe in the 'beautiful savage' and other such things. This would give more of an over-arching, well, plot to the setting.

The orcs destroy libraries and murder scholars, not just because they are evil, but because they are opposed to all that they stand for. The great soldiers of the kingdom who sell their lives dearly, do so not just because they are fighting for their families, but because they believe they are fighting for something greater than themselves.

You can take this even further. Let's say there are two deities, one representing Law, and the other representing Chaos. Now, the Neutral characters are those who do not understand, know, or care about the war being raged in the heavens, nor do they care that it has spilt into the land. They will only fight the orcs to safegaurd themselves and thier families. The Lawful characters could be the educated, whether they are aristocracy, scholars, or priests, who are aware of the great battle being fought for civilisation as a whole.

The Chaotic creatures then, would just have a burning hatred of civilisation, and would serve the deity of Chaos.

This brings us to alignment languages. With this system, these could actually make sense. The Lawful language would be the equivalent of Latin or Greek, as the Lawful characters would be the educated ones, for the most part, while Chaotic could be something analogous to Celtic, having many dialects, but with someone from the South being just able to get along with someone from the North. Neutral could then just be a sort of 'trade tongue' amongst the various neutral creatures and characters, a sort of pidgin common, with bits and pieces of various languages thrown in. Most people would know enough to get along, but not really enough to carry on a proper conversation.

What do you think of this? And again, I apologise if it seems a but unclear.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Update, Take 2 or 3

Right, been a long time since I've posted on this blog, so happy new year and all that.

Onto the update: I actually do have some things to post up here eventually, and I have been playing in a WFRP 2nd edition campaign, first as an Agitator who lost his arm, then a slightly insane rat catcher who stuck trophies of everything he killed on his rat catcher's pole. Since then, I have moved onto GMing the campaign, which is quite entertaining. It's been a long time since I've done that.

Not much else to report, just did some changes to my profile (though I'm sure you're all fascinated by this.....), and, on a non-gaming note, some friends and I have just started thinking about starting a hardcore/screamo band, which, if it gets off the ground, should be fun.

I've also started to get back into writing, so this blog should see some more writing whenever I have something to put up.

Hopefully write soon!