To quote: "Naturally, there are forms of etiquette and protocol to be observed even in a magical society of nobles. Although it happens in the odd generation here and there, nobles would never resort to such crude measures as actual magical combat between each other or rain demons upon rival houses and the like. Subtlety and finesse are considered great virtues of magical mastery. Battle magic is as crude as warfare. Of course, it can be necessary at times, but to muddy one's own hands in such toil is hardly refined.
And besides, what could be more delightfully humiliating than for an enemy noble than to be assassinated by entirely mundane, albeit well executed, means?"
So yes, they are very well used to combat other spellcasters, with very definite and tricky means to deal with them. The overly aggressive combat mage would be probably manipulated into a duel with some noble... and die. Go to Comment
Not bad at all... yeah, okay, the generic +1 enchantments are not normally much of an excitement. But explaining them logically goes a long way for a magical system. It may not seem like much, but it is the kind of a short piece that is taken over without change. Good work! Go to Comment
Wonderful little creatures indeed. I am conflicted if they belong to the New Look on Elementals - they have a feeling of classical fantasy, and yet you don't see creatures like them very often. Go to Comment
As such, using the item in a game seems a bit problematic, but it can be a nice little carrot to hold in front of some PC's noses, reminding them of the legend every time they find some minor sword with fire-related powers. :)
Why would anyone pass through a strange, somewhat dangerous area? As was hinted, some avoid it, some don't. But let's see:
- because they are in a hurry (want to get fast _to_ or _from_ something?)
- because they want to stay undetected
- because they are curious
- because of a malfunction they drifted into the area
- because they don't know any better (or someone 'updated' their database)
...which are all perfectly valid reasons. What'd be the fun in a game, if all journeys were constant and safe? This region does not seem too dangerous, but it doesn't need much to make for an outstanding adventure background. As long as it is usable to some, it is worth considering. Go to Comment
Now this is a cool prison for your fantasy campaign - the regeneration of the statues makes the work so wonderfully pointless. Don't tell the Provosta, but I think there is a steady trickle of converts coming from the convicts, out of spite.
Not easy to apply, but once done, it provides chrome without end (and some plot hooks to boot). Go to Comment
It is quite a read, with many delicious details. I was a bit surprised that they are actually literate, sporting a hidden library of great wisdom on the side. It also seemed that they were quite friendly; this paints a more aggressive picture. Go to Comment
Probably the main reason why this happens, is the simplest one: old civilizations lost to the sands of time, often more advanced than the current one, are kinda cool. Besides the background, they also provide the Game Master with an easy excuse for any number of treasures, traps, monsters, and of course dungeons in all the colors of the rainbow. It is one of the easiest ways to prevent the inflation of magical items ("They don't make these anymore."). This GM's little trickbox, carefully applied, can greatly increase the fun factor of a game.
It has to be admitted, though, that believability of such a world tends to suffer, as you have noted. Luckily you provide fine tools to correct this oversight. Another 'poison' could be a great conspiracy, that keeps the technological level down for its own purposes. Another consequence to consider, is the disruption of trade and other contacts between peoples. That may easily cause new languages to appear and the old ones to vanish... and we could go on.
There is some solid thinking put into this article, fun reading as well. Great work, Scras! Go to Comment
Thank you for the chuckle. An immortal(?) creature of great power, that you can easily plop into any random poor neighborhood. And there ARE PCs, who would find a lesson or two from the hermit valuable (you can't help but see, that someone would send them to him).