Right, so we're back on Monster Island this week, and we're going to finish off the book by going through the final chapters, beginning with Magic.
The characteristics of magic on The Island are:- Workings take time and great effort. Magic is ritualised, so you can't exactly do a powerful sorcery spell of the wrist. Magic is culturally demarcated - some tribes do one type of magic, and other tribes do another type, and so on; and magical energies replenish very slowly, forcing magicians to
Last week, we began a look at Monster Island. Part 1 covered Chapters 1 through 4, covering the geography and geology of the island, its cultures, its hot nightclub scene, the hotel swimming pools and spas, the tourist spots, the bronze, four-armed, animated, female, Ray Harryhausen statues (you think I'm kidding? Check out page 112) and all the fun athletic activities you can get up to (climbing, running, more running, self-defence classes, Zumba, even more running ...).
The Rough Guide to
This blog post takes a look at Monster Island (MI). Monster Island Companion (MIC), and A Bird In The Hand (ABITH) will be covered in a separate post.
First things first. There is a beautiful, loving dedication on the title page, which sets the tone for this document, and provides the biggest reason for you to buy this much-loved supplement.
There are some things you can read, but you can't really point to specific words or phrases. How can you pojnt to a turn of phrase which shows f
Enter a fantastic world unlike any other you may have encountered before. A world of larger-than-life characters and situations. A world of pomp and beauty. A world written with love, where passions can often accomplish more than weapons.
Welcome to The Elder Isles; the Ten Kingdoms. Welcome to Lyonesse.
The late Jack Vance (1916-08-28 - 2013-05-26) was an author of fantasy, science fiction, and mystery stories. Born John Holbrook Vance, he created numerous s
Worlds United is The Design Mechanism's venture into the world of the pulp adventure genre.
Imagine that the Solar System had turned out exactly the way Twentieth Century science fiction authors had imagined it. Venus as a humid jungle planet, Mars as the home of a dying civilisation, and rocket ships routinely travelling between these worlds and the Earth.
Even a Moonbase or two, if you like.
Now imagine a world where a cataclysmic event had caused humanity to take to the stars -
The world around you is not what it seems. If you look out of the corner of your eye, you might catch a glimpse of something lurking in the shadows. Sometimes, whatever is lurking in the shadows turns its attention towards you.
The premise of John Snead's After The Vampire Wars is a world transformed by the discovery that the supernatural creatures of myth and legend, vampires in particular, have been living among you humans all this time, and you never knew.
Following from the last blog post, which looked at the newest Mythras setting, Destined, we're going to take a look at another Mythras setting, Luther Arkwright: Roleplaying Across The Parallels.
Luther Arkwright is The Design Mechanism's foray into a genre known as Steampunk. This genre of science fiction is characterised by strange, baroque steam-driven inventons, vehicles, devices and weapons. The Difference Engine by Wiliam Gibson and Bruce Sterling more or less made Steampunk mainstrea
I'm typing this from my tablet. The laptop from which I have posted all of my articles here to date went and died last Sunday. Worse, I got sold a lemon - and the replacement laptop lasted just 48 hours before it, too, was brown bread.
Posts will resume as and when I can get crowdfunded for a new one. ALso, wish me luck because I have found a halfway competent tech guy who might be able to fix my old laptop. We'll meet for the first time on Tuesday.
This week, instead of looking at Mythras, we look at the latest core rulebook to emerge from The Design Mechanism.
Enter a world of four colour Spandex action, where brightly-clad warriors for justice chase sneering bad guys across rooftops, and fight pitched battles in the grimy streets; where larger-than-life people stride through life like Colossi and dare to call themselves heroes.
Put on your costume, take to the streets and rooftops, and stand beneath the silver light of the Moon
And so your adventure leads the Characters up to a vast bank of primal trees. They look at the pitch darkness beyond their sight, take a look at you, and decide to go around the trees. And you probably can't blame them. Line of sight reduced to a few yards; light levels practically at pitch blackness; and every sound they make probably carries for kilometres as if to tell every hungry predatory beast exactly where they are.
You don't need to make a forest haunted or demonic to make the envi
A personal note before I begin this week's post.
Last week's hiatus could not have been more timely. I ended up going through a week from hell. I am not entirely convinced it isn't going to turn out to be a fortnight from Hell, but at least the crises I faced this last week have been resolved.
Can't speak for tomorrow's crises, but then again tomorrow doesn't exist yet.
What do you think of, when you think of ruins?
There are many types of ruins, but they all h
Rural environments lie between the cities and the wilderness. They are a broad liminal area, and as such they attract many kinds of encounters in between one state and the other.
This article will look at ways to make rural encounters interesting to the Adventurers.
Keeping The Players Motivated
Okay, so the Adventurers have just left the city limits behind them, and before they get to the wild part of the world they have to get through all this farmland. This is probably the most
So you and the Players are moving fast. They're on their way to investigate some ruin, or explore some place, and on the road they meet ... someone. Something. Only, the moment you announce the encounter, the Players decide to sidestep the whole thing or to hide until it passes.
How do you involve the Adventurers in the encounter without shoehorning them in or railroading them?
Bring in elements, such as hooks and shoves, which draw them in or shove them in the direction you want them
An integral part of enjoying any roleplaying game is encountering other beings. Since the Adventurers will all be together, every single encounter will be with a non-player character.
This entire blog post is dedicated to the Games Master. There are no secrets to be kept from the Players - but if you want to learn the Games Master's art, you can listen in and learn.
The Art of The Encounter
Encounters are what Games Masters do. And like everything else, it is an art form which Gam
Don't gloss over Survival skill.
Part of every wilderness travel phase of an adventure should be to test the Adventurers' mettle. Scenes of travel through an uncivilised environment should be about gauging the protagonists' reactions to crises, and their creativity and ingenuity in coming up with solutions to problems brought about by the environment.
This article looks at the fine art of making it from start to finish, without your Adventurers getting dead at any point along the way.
Just some very rough homebrew inspired by some of the recent talk on the Glorantha board, and the fact that I had nothing else to do today. Enjoy! Feedback is welcome too.
Orlanth Dragonfriend Arangorf the Inner Dragon
When Orlanth slew the Mover of Heaven, he gained the Dragon Power of his left hand. This power was, or brought forth, Arangorf the Inner Dragon, who danced with Orlanth and taught him the speech of dragons. Obduran learned this secret and sacrificed to Orlanth Dragonfriend,
Apologies for the last minute notice.
Tonight's blog will be delayed somewhat. I got called away to an important online conference.
I'm going to put the scheduled release back till Monday, about 23:00.
The locations where encounters occur are as important as the encounters themselves. Wilderness encounters present memorable moments for the Adventurers, as much as the sites of the adventures themselves.
Hans Christian Andersen's fable The Snow Queen was as much about the tests facing the hero, Gerda, as it was about the main action - the rescue of her beloved, Kay, from the clutches of the cold Snow Queen of the children's fable. Gerda's wilderness encounters were all obstacles and temptat