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Rumors and Tales
Plots  (Coincidence)   (Single-Storyline)
Kassil's comment on 2006-12-16 09:51 AM
As two dwarves walk along...

"Did ye hear tell of the black sheep of the Shalecliff clan? Word is, he's bred some new type o' fungus, 's as good as a full meal and just as tasteful."

"Aye, I hears of this fungus... An' I hear tell it's a drug. Powerful one, but deadly."

"I heard none o' this..." Go to Comment
Teaching the Rules
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Game Mastering)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-14 10:14 AM
Personally, my method to handling it is generally to work the new player through a sample combat or two. That pretty much takes care of all the die rolling right there...

However, I can see how this method would work rather well. Go to Comment
Cantrips
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-10 02:06 PM
Spark - used to light candles and pipes; a favorite of the students who are too lazy to get up first thing in the morning. Might also be able to light a torch, if the spark was sustained.

Flicker - an illusion for the aspiring mage, it ceates a faint motion in the air, just enough to attract attention and distract people.

Magelight - a ball of pale light that hovers around at the caster's will. It sheds only enough light to allow a mage to read within a 2' radius, and allows sight to perhaps 10'. Go to Comment
Cantrips
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-10 02:14 PM
Serpent Charm - the cantrip counter to tangle, it unravels tangles of laces, hair, rope, twine, etc with little trouble.

Tune - a favorite of bards, this cantrip tunes any stringed insturment to perfection.

Puff - conjures a puff of smoke; often enough to distract a guard for several minutes. Go to Comment
Music during a game
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-08 10:18 AM
Believe it or not, the Diablo 2 soundtrack is a good source of general background music. Last few games I've played have had most of the playlist running in the background to great effect. IIRC, you can download them from the Blizzard website, too. Go to Comment
Music during a game
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-08 10:19 AM
For those who dip into occasionaly technological settings... What music do you favor? Personally, I've found a few nonlyrical songs by Kansas that work - and surprisingly, quite a few anime songs work rather well. I'm still trying to track down the music that plays in Bubblegum Crisis 2032 when Largo uses his little black box to bring down satstrikes everywhere... It's truly a grand moment of background music for the moment when a truly technological monstrosity is unleashed... Go to Comment
Music during a game
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-08 10:23 AM
While an entertaining idea, I have to say that I don't care for most MIDI files; sound that runs at 8 bits tends to have a rather highly artificial feel o it that can demolish most game moods...

And I have to say that Mahler's symphonies do, indeed, have some rather interesting background music potential... Go to Comment
Music during a game
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-08 10:24 AM
In truth, I'll admit that a fair chunk of my background music, when played, originates in video game RPGs. Specifically, I own every Final Fantasy soundtrack from 3 through 10, as well as both Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. All of them together provide a wonderful selection of music... Go to Comment
Music during a game
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-08 10:25 AM
With a CD-R and a CD player, much of the trouble just goes away... Custom-burned CDs are useful when paired with repeat-1 or Random... Go to Comment
Music during a game
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-08 10:27 AM
MP3s are simply songfiles like the ones found on CDs, in a more compressed format to save on space. After all, the WAV format takes up a fair bit of room... Go to Comment
Fantastic elemental forces
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-07 11:09 AM
...Y'know, that's a really unique idea. I like it. I may try to figure out how to implement the magic system based around this sort of thing. Go to Comment
Fantastic elemental forces
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2005-12-07 11:18 AM
Holy mother of Chaos, Moonhunter. *boggle*

...I fear if your awareness ever loses self-containment someday. The world would drown beneath ideas and information. Go to Comment
Fantastic elemental forces
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2007-12-27 05:24 AM
After working on this off and on for a story of sorts...

Magic System
-Four forces
-Mages can be balanced, polarized, or specialized
-Warlocks defy Mage rules

-Forces
-Creative
-Orderly
-Destructive
-Disorderly

-Creative Force
-Can summon creatures, create items and energy, and renew things (healing?)
-Things and creatures brought forth will be 'rough' - creatures will be almost like crude sculptures without the smooth movements of a "true" creature
-Nothing may be directly damaged or destroyed with this force, but indirect damage - calling forth fire beneath an opponent, for example - is possible
-The nature of things cannot be changed with this force.

-Orderly Force
-Can shape and mold things to a more perfect form, whether turning a crude natural bridge into an elegant walkway, forming the 'rough' creations of the Creative into "true" creatures and items, or aiding the labors of a craftsman to turn raw materials into a finished product
-Cannot directly create a finished item, only shape it from raw materials
-Cannot deal damage, but can heal.
-Unable to truly alter something from what it is. A piece of wood shaped to become a sword is still wood, and lead shaped into bars cannot be made gold.

-Destructive Force
-Can break down things, deal direct injury, and banish things.
-Cannot create things except in the crudest way - breaking blocks to make a rough sculpture, or making a tunnel by destroying the earth.
-Cannot be used to shape things save as above; fine control needed to make a finished product is impossible as the energy 'spills over'.
-Cannot change a substance, only destroy it.

-Discordant Force
-Can transform things from one form to another, or one type to another. Shapeshifting and transmutation are quite possible.
-Cannot create things, although previously existing items and creatures can be made into something else
-Cannot make a finished item by turning a crude item into a finished one, but can change the nature of a finished item - lead bars becoming gold bars, but not a wooden staff becoming a metal sword or a frog into a wizard.
-Cannot actually destroy things, only transform them, although the result may fall apart naturally - a castle wall with the bottom row turned to soft mud will naturally fall apart.

-Mages must undergo a test to determine the forces to which they are attuned.
-Balanced mages are uncommon, as they may use all four forces equally but have no special power with any.
-Polarized mages show a measure of attunement to two forces, but not opposed ones. Thus, Creative/Orderly, Orderly/Destructive, Destructive/Disorderly, and Disorderly/Creative are the only four possible Polarizations. Polarized mages are the most common.
-Duality mages specialize in opposed forces - Creative/Destructive and Orderly/Disorderly. Extremely rare, and often more than a bit insane.
-Specialized mages focus solely on a single force, and can wring measures of strength from it that lie beyond other, more generalized mages, at the cost of versatility. These kinds of mages are about as uncommon as balanced mages, and often work in teams with other specialized mages as befits their profession of choice.

-So-called sorcerers exist (sorcerer being the wizardly term; normal non-spellcasters tend to call them warlocks out of a sense of fear at their 'unnatural' magic) who can tap into the various forces without training and in strange ways. They are extremely rare, however.
-Like wizards, most warlocks are Balanced spellworkers. Their inherent grasp of magic and the nature of their gift, however, makes them roughly equivalent in power to a Polarized or Duality mage.
-Polarized warlocks are extremely rare, while duality warlocks tend to be more common and quite thoroughly off their rockers.
-Specialized warlocks achieve heights of power unknown to anyone else, but usually end up destroying themselves by reaching too far.
-Extremely rarely, Warlocks exist who tap three of the four forces, a thing unheard of among Mages. This unorthodox combination is abnormally powerful, as well, but the imbalance tends to rapidly turn them into gibbering lunatics of no importance.
-Rumors exist of warlocks who can tap a 'Fifth Force' of some kind, doing things that leave Mages and other Warlocks alike completely dumbfounded; distortion of space and time are often featured, but discounted as impossible wives' tales.

-Any spellworker may be 'biased' toward a given force over another while still remaining able to tap into the others. Certain forms of magic are only possible for a given force-dominance or force-balance. The animation of golems, as an example, requires a perfect balance of both Creative and Discordant Force, to summon up animating energy and shape both it and the material of the golem's body together.
-If a 'Fifth Force' exists, it would be linked to the energy and structure of the 'barriers' of space, time, and the planes; a Fifth Force Warlock would likely be able to teleport, augment their own speed, and potentially open portals to other planes. However, such a talent would likely be unfathomably rare in this system. Go to Comment
Fantastic elemental forces
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2007-12-27 05:28 AM
And nine months later, the lunatic responsible for it in the first place returns with a submission of his own... Go to Comment
Garan- The Name of Magic
Systems  (Mystical)   (Defining)
Kassil's comment on 2006-03-23 03:48 AM
This is just absolutely spectacular. The only thing I find myself wondering is - was there ever a 'first' Garan, and might it still exist, somewhere, possibly "grown" in some immense fashion? Maybe even rooted deep within the world itself... Go to Comment
Sword-Draw magics
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2005-11-30 01:41 PM
Quote from: "Siren no Orakio"
In terms of classical races, I can see this being very favored amoung elves: Many would want to mix the traditions of the longsword with their love of magic, but perhaps few would have the talent and ability to focus at that level? Humans lack the raw gift for magic, but the increased ability to focus on the now would make up for that? Gnomes, perhaps, if they can find the discipline, and an appropriately sized sword? Dwarves, I think, would be rare indeed, with their distrust of magic, and general preferance for not-swords. It's hard to draw an axe in this matter. Halflings are too busy stuffing themselves with tea and scones to get fat for passing trolls. Orcs and their kin lack the discipline, though wild talent may exist. The non-elven Fae will likely have rare champions that use this art, but most would disdain a sword, I think?

Or it could be that elves would have a bit of trouble adapting to the curved blade style - they are a race inclined towards stasis in most things, after all. That, and while elves may have the knack for magic, not many have the raw burning drive of unfettered will to drive it; they're too chaotic and mercurial by nature. Some would manage it - in particular, I can see some dark elves mastering it, in time - but likely not many.

As for the others races, I generally agree, though I think that perhaps a half-orc would be highly dangerous as one - the combination of human focus and orcish warrior-spirit would be impressive... Go to Comment
Sword-Draw magics
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2005-11-30 01:42 PM
A possible low-to-mid level ability: Inviolable Blade. (Admittedly for this class in a more scifi-ish setting, it'd be a higher-yield skill...)

In essence, the spirit of the wielder sheathes the blade in an ultrathin layer that makes it impossible to demolish through normal means. A rust monster could still eat it, and a rusting spell would still ruin it, but normal usage won't damage it, as long as it remains in his hands... Go to Comment
Creeds
Articles  (Setting Building)   (Game Mastering)
Kassil's comment on 2008-02-12 02:48 PM
Tools for the GM toolbox; this is one of those things that can add both vitality and depth to a game world. Go to Comment
Kitchen Gods- Modern Day Deities
Systems  (Divine/ Spirit)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2005-11-22 05:11 PM
Actually, to note something, Murphy did not say the line he's so famed for. Murphy was an Air Force lieutenant, when they were testing jet engines. One day, one of the techs hooked up the sensors to the test pilot, but he did so pretty much backwards, ruining all the test data. As a result, Murphy is said to have commented, "If there are two ways to do something, and one will result in utter disaster, some idiot will do it that way."

Finagle later came along and condensed this to "Anything that can go wrong, will." and then instantly became victim of his own law as everyone credited it to Murphy. Go to Comment
Kitchen Gods- Modern Day Deities
Systems  (Divine/ Spirit)   (General)
Kassil's comment on 2007-12-27 05:41 AM
The Traffic Demon

A malevolent, spiteful entity whose sole existence, it seems, is to be the cause of those mysterious, inexplicable slowdowns, traffic jams, and other such events which make commuting in any large city an absolutely pain in the neck. Often seems to single out individual drivers and plague them for days at a time, then just as mysteriously turn its attention elsewhere.

Fnord, Spirit of Conspiracy

Often invoked by conspiracy theorists, Discordians, and others of similarly fringe nature, Fnord is the essence of the inexplicable when trying to explain it. Fnord is often blamed for almost anything, if a conspiracy can somehow be blamed for the event, however implausibly. Originally an innocent joke by the writers of the Principia Discordia, Fnord has taken on a dramatic life of its own in the lunatic fringe. Go to Comment
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