Wednesday, December 31, 2014

games I didn't get to play in 2014

let's make this short & sweet

Curse the Darkness - a kickstarted game that I've owned for a while and still haven't put a game together of, not for lack of opportunity as people have suggested playing it, it's probably my own fault as I received the game at the same time that I was super excited about playing and GMing Apocalypse World and it's just been sitting on my bookshelf ever since

Poison'd - the gamers I know who have heard of this game have stated they don't want to play a game that includes rape as part of the rules, whatever

Our Last Best Hope - another kickstarter I funded, it's a GM-less storygame RPG about impending disaster porn, I read through the rules when I first received the print book but have yet to even actually attempt to scrounge together players to give it a go, totally my fault

Dogs in the Vineyard - I don't get it, what's it about? mormons and the old west and really violent conflicts that spring out of necessity, that seems to be what people are able to accurately explain to me, I want to try it but nobody I know seems to want to play it (regardless of whether they've played it or not)

Time Lord - an out of print RPG about timelords and time travel and Doctor Who, and shit! I love Doctor Who so why haven't I put together a game of this? no idea

Numenera - another goddamn kickstarted game! I have read the rules and I don't like them, but the setting is fucking amazing and I want to play in this world, I just don't want to use that stupid scaling difficulty system that feels like another version of d20

Murderous Ghosts - a 2-player game that my wife and I keep intending to play, but every time we make an attempt we just end up having sex instead

I just realized that most of these games were designed by Vincent Baker

Monday, December 29, 2014

thE aLicE class for 5e


You will need a copy of the 5th edition Player's Handbook to fully utilize this class.
Hit Dice:
1d4 per alice level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 4 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d4 (or 2) + your Constitution modifier per alice level after 1st

Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
Tools: Thieves' tools

Saving Throws: Dexterity
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth

You start with the following, in addition to equipment granted by your background:
  • (a) a rapier or (b) a shortsword
  • (a) a shortbow and quiver of 20 arrows or (b) a shortsword
  • (a) a burgler's pack, (b) a dungeoneer's pack, or (c) an explorer's pack
  • Leather armor, two daggers, and thieves' tools

    In times of unusual stress Alices may become Exasperated. This Exasperation causes fate to take notice of the Alice, and then to aid her. The Alice says or thinks something like “Oh I can’t conceive how I ever fell into this deplorable circumstance!” or “We are indeed doomed and now birds will gnaw our eyes.”

    Practically speaking, an Alice may express Exasperation once every real-time game hour (as games focus almost exclusively on stressful times, these represent the periods during which the gods are most likely to take notice).

    When this happens, the Referee should roll the dice on the Exasperation Table...

    At 1st thru 5th level roll d4, at 6th-7th level roll d6, at 8th-9th level roll d8, at 10th-11th roll d10, at 12th level and higher roll d12:

    1-A secret door is revealed where none had previously been detected. If the GM has made no provision for a secret door, it leads to the nearest unexplored area.

    2-The Alice realizes she has something in her pack, her hair, or otherwise secreted about her person. The object can be anything non-magical and generic (a key, not the key) that exists in the setting and that is small enough that the Alice could reasonably have it hidden it in her current condition or smaller than a breadbox, whichever dimensions are smaller at the time. The Alice may choose what this is.

    3-An ordinary animal--cat sized or smaller--appears. The Alice cannot directly control it but it will not under any circumstances hurt the Alice.

    4-A fact about the situation at hand occurs to the Alice--a piece of local or monster lore, perhaps something she read or was once told in a parlor or a lesson or in a kitchen.

    5-Someone of the Alice's choice falls down. (Line of sight.)

    6-The weather in the immediate area changes in a way decided by the Alice--the change is general and may not be targeted (no aimed lighting bolts or gusts of wind).

    7-A nearby creature is charmed by the Alice for an hour. (Line of sight.)

    8-An inorganic device or object of the Alice's choice breaks. (Line of sight.)

    9-Something not ordinarily able to talk (GM's choice) begins to speak to the Alice.

    10-Creatures present complete forget the Alice is there for as long as the Alice keeps making saves vs spell.

    11-Someone is sent to fetch the Alice out of her current predicament. If there is an obvious candidate from among the local NPCs (giant eagles, a friendly knight...), that's who it is. If there isn't, then: hey GM, time to make up a weirdo. The NPC does not automatically have the ability to extricate the Alice from the situation, s/he merely appears as close as is plausible.

    12-Someone or something of the Alice's choice begins to shrink at 1 foot per round down to playing-card size. (Line of sight.)

    These effects are magical and can be countered as magic.

    At 1st level, choose one of your skill proficiencies (or your proficiency with thieves' tools). Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses the chosen proficiency.

    At 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe's distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or ranged weapon.

    Every time you level up beyond 1st level, roll twice on the table below. When you roll a result, cross it off and treat re-rolls as the next result UP the table unless a thing tells you not to cross it off, it will also tell you what happens when you re-roll the same result instead.

    1-10 This seemed to Alice a good opportunity... Increase your SNEAK ATTACK ability by +1d6. Re-rolls increase the damage dice as described by the ability on pages 95 and 96. Cross this result off if you manage to raise your SNEAK ATTACK to 10d6.

    11 She could be very charming when she needed to be. You gain proficiency in Deception. If you already have proficiency in Deception then you gain EXPERTISE with Deception and cross this result off. If you already have EXPERTISE with Deception then cross this result off and use the next result on the table (12).

    12 Alice liked pies, although sometimes people did not want her to have them. Add your proficiency bonus to any attempt to locate any foodstuff of any kind. Do not cross this result off! Re-rolling this gives you EXPERTISE in finding food, then cross this result off.

    13 They kept talking as though Alice was a rhododendron in a pot. You gain proficiency in Stealth. If you already have proficiency in Stealth then you gain EXPERTISE with Deception and cross this result off. If you already have EXPERTISE with Stealth then cross this result off and use the next result on the table (14).

    14 She tried to remember what she knew about stoats. You gain proficiency in the Animal Handling skill. If you already have proficiency then you gain EXPERTISE with Animal Handling and cross this result off. If you already have EXPERTISE with Animal Handling then cross this result off and use the next result on the table (15-20).

    15-20 Falling down wells really improves the hand-eye coordination Pick up EXPERTISE for a skill proficiency of your choice (your proficiency with thieves' tools counts as a choice, but you may not make the same choice twice). Do not cross this result off! If all of your skill proficiencies have acquired EXPERTISE then re-rolling this gives you a new skill proficiency.

    21-70 Alice was then reminded of something she'd noticed before... Take the CUNNING ACTION Rogue ability. Do not cross this result off! Re-rolling this raises your Hit Points by +2.

    71-75 Alice felt that if there was to be any conversation at all, she must manage it herself. You can increase one of your ability scores by 1 point. Do not cross this result off!

    76 You're very perceptive, if nothing else. For each combat round you spend just watching someone (i.e. you're not doing anything except maybe moving and you are not being attacked yourself) you get +d10 to hit and +d10 to damage or +d10 to any attempt to trip, grab, or otherwise mess with the target when you finally do decide to attack. This only works on targets that are engaged in combat while they are being observed. The ability can only be used once per fight on anyone smart enough to notice what you're doing. Also: only works on things with organs (like, not on oozes). Do not cross this result off! Re-rolling this raises the die to d12 then d20. After that you start getting 2d10 then 2d12 then 2d20 etc.

    77 Her aunt had mentioned them and this made Alice wary You gain proficiency in Intelligence saving throws. After that, you gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws, then Charisma, then Constitution. If you manage to roll this result a fifth time then take proficiency in Strength saving throws then cross this result off.

    78-79 She did seem to offend people (and animals) wherever she went. You've become adept at dueling. You gain the UNCANNY DODGE ability (page 96) and the DUELING Fighting Style (page 72). If you already have either or both of these then you don't get replacement abilities or a re-roll.

    80 They began to throw stones, and Alice began to avoid them You gain the EVASION ability (page 96)

    81 She was not such a mouse as she used to be. You gain the RELIABLE TALENT Rogue ability (page 96)

    82 She listened attentively in the dark, Alice knw she was being surrounded. Gain the BLINDSENSE ability (page 96)

    83 "It really was curious," she thought--"How many times could this kind of thing happen?" You gain the ELUSIVE ability (page 96)

    84 She began to feel somewhat neglected. You gain the STROKE OF LUCK ability (page 97)

    85 Alice quite liked drawing, and had an impressive box of crayons at home. You gain the IMPOSTER ability (page 97)

    86 Oh, I do so apologize... You can super-easily trip any basically human-sized creature that is otherwise engaged with someone or something else on a successful attack roll (apply your Dexterity bonus to the roll). This only works once per fight unless the enemy is mindless like zombies or for some reason can't see you pull off this tactic.

    87 It was very shiny and stuck out like a soup spoon... On a successful melee hit, you may immediately make a Sleight of Hand attempt to grab an item (other than the target's weapon) off a target. This won't work twice on anyone above zombie-intelligence who sees it.

    88 Alice then did something quite astonishing... You are surprising. Use your entire charisma score as an attack roll bonus to hit with any suddenly improvised weapon the first time you strike against any intelligent foe (who knew what you could do with a gingerbread man?) and add your whole charisma score to the damage. This trick only works once per fight.

    89 The blue one certainly did make you taller, of that Alice was sure... When you use potions or substances with drug-like qualities, you can choose to double the effects or cut them in half.

    90 She knew to curtsey at times like this, and so she did. Despite the low company you keep, you've been working on your manners. Members of the upper classes instinctively recognize you as one of their own. You gain advantage on Charisma skill checks or saving throws when dealing with them.

    91 She had not known her mother's cousin very well, and decided that it was a bad thing that she had died... You have been willed 5000 units of the local currency (GP? SP? Kroner?) worth of random mundane (nonmagical) objects. Here's how it works: you have exactly ten seconds real time to say what you bought. You now have all that stuff, assuming it adds up to less than 5000gp.

    92 She thought it might be a saltcellar, or at least that seemed like the right word for it. You can appraise treasure to a nontrivial and nonboring degree: you can estimate the value of nonmagical things flawlessly and if a piece of treasure is not what it seems on any level you will get an inkling. As in, you'll go "Is this not what it seems?" and the GM will go "Yeah, you've seen a lot of jade urns in your day and this is not what it seems somehow--you're not sure how." If a treasure has some unusual or hidden feature of a mechanical or physical nature you will sense that it is there on a successful Intelligence saving throw. You won't know what it is, but you'll sense that it is there. If you re-roll this result you gain the USE MAGIC DEVICE ability (page 97), after that cross this result off.

    93 She closed her eyes and said the words as she'd been taught... You have learned one magic-user spell. It functions as if cast by a 15th level wizard or your level whichever is higher. Determine the spell randomly (d8 for level). It works once, that's it. Do not cross this result off! Same result always applies.

    94 Alice learned that nearly everything was dangerous if handled properly. You've become very skilled with weapons. Choose a Fighter's FIGHTING STYLE (page 70) for yourself. Re-rolling this result allows you to choose another FIGHTING STYLE from the same list. If you manage to acquire all six FIGHTING STYLES then cross this result off.

    95 All that hiding in the dumbwaiter has finally paid off. You know a secret. One of two kinds of secret, to be precise: either a piece of useful lore about a legendary treasure or magic item that you encounter or an embarrassing fact about an NPC. Mechanically: once per session you may astound your party's condescending wizard by pulling this lore or rumor out of your petticoat or pantaloon by making a successful Intelligence saving throw. If you fail, screw it, you can't do it this session. Re-rolling this means you try for this twice per session, then 3 times, etc

    96 It was so lovely, and--according to the book--it was right there. The dress made of manticoreflesh, the house full of lilacs, the magical fishgutting knife---whatever the thing that you always wanted is, it's there. 4 sessions worth of adventure away or less. Tell your GM, who then must place it.

    You must have a fair shot at it--like any other reward, but there's no guarantee you will get it. If you don't get it by the fourth session you can keep trying or let it go and roll again on this table. However if you choose to roll again and then you do get the thing somehow anyway, you lose whatever gimmick you rolled. GM think up some clever reason why.

    97 She knew from school what the word meant, but did not know if it was rude or not. Choose a new language to read and speak. Do not cross this result off! Re-rolls give new languages.

    98-99 Alice had seen so many unusual things lately, it had become usual. You've seen and done so much that nothing phases you--you are immune to insanity or confusion in any form. Even mind-altering cosmic horrors from the far edge of the cosmos are like whatever. You still do fear. Fear is good. Fear keeps you alive. Re-rolling this means any allies who can see you likewise get a bonus (+2) to their saves on account of your steady eye. Then cross this result off.

    00 Alice kept, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood. You may choose any one result from this table for yourself, but it is crossed off afterwards even if it says not to cross it off! Do not cross this result off!
  • Saturday, December 27, 2014

    Undead PCs, a decade of gaming later...

    Ten years ago I started GMing a 3rd edition D&D game set in the Forgotten Realms. One of my players had the crazy idea of playing this guy called "The General" who had been turned undead by a lich and could now remove his head from his body and use it to spy on people or search around corners. In truth, he confessed, the character was the lich but had been driven insane from his many years of lichdom and now was coping by denying that he himself was the lich. "The General" was just a fiction he had created for himself, or maybe it was somebody who had served him at one time but was now long dead and in his madness had adopted the identity.

    Back then, I allowed the character.

    I created secret caveats though. The player was already playing with madness and I used that to mess with him. I made the character a secret psionicist who didn't know how to cope with his powers, and rather than being an undead creature who could detach his own head, the General carried around a sock puppet head with buttons sewn on that he believed was his detachable head. At some point I retconned that he telekinetically flew around the sock puppet head and used clairvoyance/clairaudience upon it. But the first time he threw that head the other players were confused as hell, I let the player describe what the General was doing then said "Okay, that's what you believe you're doing" then turned to the other players and described what the other characters actually saw him do. It was a hilarious moment.

    Today, I would still allow the character but would create no secret caveats.

    The character would simply be as the player described, unless he gave me free reign to muck about with his backstory. But more than likely, I wouldn't. It's a unique and novel idea, and I rarely encounter players who have highly detailed ideas about what they want their characters to be. There are plenty of people who just play straight up classes with few eccentricities or no uniqueness, but it's a real treat to find a player who wants their character to have depth and a layered history before they even start playing. It gives reasons right away for a GM to engage that character into a story, and easy hooks to pull on.

    This is a rule that every GM should live by: If a player comes to you with a character concept that they really want to play, let them play it.




    Now I'm thinking about all of the times I had some rules-lawyering or campaign-minded GM who didn't let me play some unique character I had come up with, or found a way to cripple my concept within a session or two.
    I don't play with any of those assholes anymore.

    call it a rough draft

    I started fleshing out the idea of a campaign world based on the idea that I wanted Death Mountain (from Death Frost Doom) to be right next to the Deep Carbon Observatory (of Deep Carbon Observatory) on my map. Once the Stars Without Numbers game comes to a conclusion this is the game I'm going to run.

    Why am I doing it like this?

    I want to create random rumors that could spread across the region and draw players into different events, or potentially keep them away from others. I don't know if I'll actually use Vornheim since it's not an adventure, but I plan on using the book as a reference and I also want to seed portals to A Red & Pleasant Land all over the place.

    The only adventure I'm weakly familiar with is Dwimmermount. Oh yeah! That reminds me, the Dwimmermount kickstarter finally delivered! The book arrived some time ago... I want to say at the beginning of November. Honestly, when it arrived I flipped through the pages then put it on my game shelf and kind of forgot about it. I opened it up last night and started reading it, then started mentally rewriting some of the secret history to fit in with the campaign world I was already building. Anyway, I'm not all that familiar with it because I only just started reading it. It's suffered a lot of criticism and it's huge delay didn't help matters, but the work itself is solid and it is definitely inspirational. James Maliszewski has been silent for so long I had forgotten how intriguing his ideas were.

    I'll write a review for it once I finish delving through the material.

    Joesky Tax
    New cantrip: Annoying Question
    When a wizard asks a question of another person, outside of combat, and the topic is one of a basic, simple, or easy to answer nature, the person asked must answer the question if they know it, they must also make a saving throw vs spells (or vs Will). If they don't know the answer they automatically succeed on their saving throw. If their saving throw succeeds, they can answer the question however they wish. If they fail the saving throw, they lose their shit and throw an angry tantrum, answering the question but also really fucking pissed off that the wizard couldn't just figure this out on his own.

    Friday, December 26, 2014

    Jason the Morningstar

    This is an otherwise unremarkable morningstar in good condition, but anyone who sees the weapon instantly knows that the weapon's name is Jason. Upon learning this, the viewer must make a save (vs Will, vs Wisdom, vs Spell, vs whatever is appropriate) or be consumed with the burning desire to own and wield Jason the Morningstar as their signature and preferred weapon. This compulsion is as great and terrible as the compulsion to own an artifact.

    Monday, December 22, 2014

    A Red & Pleasant Land, by Zak S.

    If you buy the pdf but never hold the physical version of this book in your hands, then you are missing a key facet of the experience. Much like how Vornheim excels as a physical tool, the ambiance of owning A Red & Pleasant Land is in holding the finished tome in your hands.

    This book has a very distinct smell. Maybe mine was dropped into a canal beside a garden in Venice, the red-cloth cover is a little warped and bows outward, as if the book itself is trying to open up and invite me to flip through its pages. The pages have a distinct off-white look to them, which adds to the otherworldly and unusual nature of both the contents of the title and the method by which this volume saw publication. The gold text on the cover has flaked slightly, giving the red cloth a glitteriness which I am not sure is intentional. My fear is that with use the gold will eventually flake off and I'll be left with just a red cloth book, but that would still look cool.

    A Red & Pleasant Land takes place in Voivodja, which might be a stand-in for Transylvania, or it might be an alternate dimension lurking behind mirrors. Whatever it is, the land of Voivodja is ruled by families of vampires who identify themselves by card suits. They have an intricately complex society yet many of them seem to suffer from dementia or schizophrenia.

    The very first section of the book is called "How to Use This Book" and it suggests using the book as a whole setting, use parts of it, read it and not use it at all, or use it as a weapon. I think the author forgot to suggest that you could also use it as kindling, may you never be so cold that you resort to that option. I plan to use the book as a demiplane of madcapped grotesqueries & violent whimsy to cajole my players with.

    The first chapters throw all of the basic information about Voivodja at your game head. You'll learn about the strange nature of the landscape, the bloody customs and traditions of the locals, and Voidvodja's own mirror universe called the Quiet Side. There is even a custom class to work into your gaming group that seems suitable for a campaign set in Voivodja: the Alice. (Yes, that bit is free.)

    Roughly 1/4th of the book is composed of monster and NPC descriptions and this is the biggest highlight of the book, with many strange and wondrous versions of creatures to bedevil and bemuse players with. The spine has a red cloth bookmark and I'm currently keeping it on the page with my personal favorite, the Colorless Rooks.

    The next 1/4th of the book details two major castles for two of the vampire clans battling one another; Castle Cachtice, the Card Castle, and Castle Poenari, the Looking Glass Palace. There is a lot of information here and it's so dense with oddities and distortions that I know I haven't really absorbed all of it. The beauty of these locations is that each room has a minimal bullet point description that evocatively describes each area without bogging you down in text to read aloud. The weirdness of the castles are largely left to an individual GM's judgment on how to resolve bypassing a room.

    The other 1/4th (more like 1/5th, let's just call it 36 pages) comprises "Tables & Resources" at the back of the book and that is where a lot the fun stuff is. 'No Voivodja Required' is what I call it because several of the tables can be used independently of the setting and those that can't can easily be hacked for use in your own campaign. The best part of the "Tables & Resources" section is, in my opinion, the "Relationships Between NPCs" d100 table. Page 174. Go buy the book and look at that page first. I think it's a thing of beauty!

    So that's also my final verdict: buy this book.

    alternate magic idea for 5e

    What if arcane magic was corrosive to the body of the caster? Like smoking cigarettes, or chronic acid reflux?

    Casting a spell requires roll + Constitution modifier vs DC 15 + spell level
    Success = no Con loss. Failure = reduce Con by an amount equal to the spell level.
    Recover Constitution from sleeping or resting.
    Rest 2 hours = 1 Con. Sleep 1 hour = 1 Con.
    New skill = Meditation (Con-based), after resting for 2 hours roll+Con(+Proficiency) vs DC 20 to recover 2 Con.

    Crystal shards from the island of Kapuo are sometimes referred to as Kapuo, or Blueglass, shards.
    Blueglass shards are used to power internal forces, as a blueglass shard is used it's essence pours into the caster's body and causes strange effects.
    Consuming a Blueglass shard is more powerful, but will solidify the organs over time.

    Holding Blueglass during casting gives +5 to casting roll, on a natural 1 the Blueglass fades to a black color is now a worthless, brittle gemstone.
    Consuming Blueglass requires Con saving throw.
    Failure = Permanently lose 1 Constitution. Success = Permanently lose 1 Hit Point but can cast # of spell levels = Constitution without rolling for Con loss

    New Spell: Detect Blueglass
    works like Detect Magic but only detects presence of Blueglass

    make Blueglass magical so the wizard has one less spell to cast (by default Blueglass is not magical)

    Inflicting pain and bloodletting can power internal forces, and sacrificing life can be the most powerful form of personal enchantment.

    Spellcaster can inflict wounds on self to power spells.
    If wounding self with weapon they are proficient with, caster can declare how much damage they inflict up to the weapon's normal maximum.
    If wounding self with weapon they are not proficient with, caster must roll weapon damage.
    Damage inflicted on self = bonus to spellcasting roll
    Caster can inflict damage on others with a weapon to get a bonus to spellcasting as long as spell is cast on the next round
    (spells that inflict damage do not allow for this same bonus, caster must be the one to inflict damage)
    Every 2 hp damage inflicted on others = +1 bonus to spellcasting roll

    New Spell: Dedicate Blade
    2nd-level spell, cast on any edged weapon, permanent
    if the caster uses the blade to kill a creature then the next spell he casts doesn't require a spellcasting roll

    LotFP version
    all rules same as above, except
    Casting a spell requires Spellcasting skill roll, a 1d6 roll. Only arcane spellcaster classes have access to Spellcasting skill.
    Skill = level divided by 4 (round down) +1
    Wizard level 1 thru 3 have skill of 1, Wizard level 4 thru 7 have skill of 2, etc.
    No meditation skill, allow Poison save to recover 2 Con after resting 2 hours
    Holding Blueglass gives +1 to skill, rolling 6 causes Blueglass to fade
    Consuming Blueglass requires Poison save with same results.
    Every 2 hp damage inflicted on self = +1 bonus to spellcasting roll
    Every 3 hp damage inflicted on others = +1 bonus to spellcasting roll

    Sunday, December 7, 2014

    SWN: the Safe Worlds

    Our characters live on the fringes of the Safe Worlds, a extraplanetary corporatocracy run by several mega-corporations who control information and weaponry. The biggest mega-corporation is A Better Tomorrow which owns the biggest banking conglomerate, the Saif Bank.
    "Your money isn't safe, unless it's in a Saif™ bank."

    The Tinfoil is a 100-ton scout ship captained by Sil, an explorer from Cone, a world still recovering from the Collapse.
    Her crew includes:
    the Marvelous Mark, a con artist from Beautiful Home, a veritable wasteland of biological hazards and dangerously malfunctioning terraforming technology.
    Spishak, an adventuring warrior from Zyst, a failed colony world with an invasive atmosphere and toxic biosphere that terrifyingly alters those exposed to it for too long.
    Tau Bai, a mercenary from I-Tong, a well-established Safe world that is considered a capital world for the mega-corporations.

    The Tinfoil arrived at the Happy Safeport™ around Vallejo to meet with Diego, an information broker that is friends with Sil. They asked about the Jump Gun that was found on Vallejo and Diego said he knew that somebody was holding it on Sindarin Station. Diego described a starship that had gone missing that everybody wanted the schematics for, and proposed that if Sil could get him the schematics he would get them free access to Sindarin Station with no questions asked. They agreed.

    The planet of Vellajo has five countries locked within a cold war teetering upon mutually assured destruction. Elencia is one of the countries and their military had built the missing ship. Vallejo has eight moons but only three orbit directly above Elencia. Sil scanned the moons but found nothing - meanwhile they were followed by another merchant starship.

    The Vallejo system also holds a gas giant with seven moons and an asteroid belt, and Spishak suggested that if Elencia were testing a weapon they wouldn't do it around their own planet. They flew the Tinfoil to the gas giant and the merchant ship stopped following them. Sil scanned the asteroid belt, and found most of the belt was composed of a material that would explode when coming into contact with metal. There were also two Elencian starships in orbit but they ignored the Tinfoil.

    Sil moved away from the gas giant and began scanning the moons, but once the Elencian starships were out of sight returned to the asteroid belt and almost immediately found the missing starship. It was not crashed as was previously believed but had landed on an asteroid. Nearby were four bodies, apparently killed from vacuum decompression and wearing Elencian military garb. There were no external signs of damage to the ship.

    Sil took Tau Bai and Spishak down to the ship, leaving Marvelous Mark alone on the Tinfoil. They found it easy to access the abandoned ship's front ports, and after exploring several decks they found the computer, then it spoke to them. Calling itself Illuminator, it demanded fuel, and refused to let Tau Bai or Spishak leave until Sil agreed to recover fuel for it from the Tinfoil. Sil agreed to give some fuel and left to return o the Tinfoil while Tau Bai and Spishak kept exploring the Illuminator.

    During their discussion Illuminator said "crew designation Sil and Marvelous Mark essential, crew designation Tau Bai and Spishak non-essential"
    Sil replied "No! Spishak and Tau Bai are essential."
    To which Tau Bai said "We keep Sil and the other one alive, therefore we are essential."
    "incorrect, Spishak and Tau Bai useful but not essential"

    Illuminator then suggested that Sil commandeer the Illuminator and blow up the Tinfoil in its place - presumably so the Elencian vessels will believe their missing craft is destroyed. Illuminator was asked what it wanted and it replied "expand memory banks"

    When the Tinfoil approached, Tau Bai used an escape pod to leave the Illuminator but Spishak refused to leave the bridge. Sil moved the Tinfoil in an attempt to ram the front windows of the Illuminator's bridge, and Iluminator cut into her headset, saying "crew designation Sil owes 23 million credit debt, debt could easily be increased"
    Sil asked "Are you suggesting you could also erase my debt?"
    Illuminator replied with an audio clip from the Tinfoil's databanks "You'll never know."

    to be continued

    Friday, December 5, 2014

    Idelfyn's Folly

    The location of Idelfyn's Folly is not exactly known. The mountain lies beyond the southernmost range of the Crown and few have ventured north to locate it's position, those who have return empty handed or not at all. The mountain is known to be an active volcano which scorched the earth and rock around it so much that now there is no flora growing near, not even weeds. Idelfyn spent his final years building a laboratory inside the heart of the volcano, for purposes few can guess at. His last journey to the volcano was also the last time he was seen by any.

    The truth is that Idelfyn's Folly is no volcano. Idelfyn fostered those stories and rumors before he disappeared so that those foolish enough to follow them would be led astray. Idelfyn had built a laboratory inside of a mountain, but the mountain held the body of a dead god. Idelfyn had located the celestial corpse by accident, and carefully crafted a story to throw treasure seekers and bounty hunters off of his trail. He used parts of the body to make a series of interdimensional tunnels which he used to traverse the world quickly and discretely. His plans involved creating a network of informants who would report to him about local politics and strange or unusual events. But none of this helped to explain his eventual disappearance.

    One questions remains for those few who know the truth: Did Idelfyn intend to disappear?