Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
These rituals are one time use and are always tied to unique or specific circumstances. For example, The Dance Of The Nine Stars rite can only be performed when nine of the stars found in the constellation Yugora's Maw align in a double triangle formation. A conjunction that occurs only every 13 to 14 thousand years. The nine star rite also specifies the stars must be visible from the Star Giant's plateau framed by the Millennial Trees that grow there. Thirdly the ritualistic must bring representatives of the of elements, life and spirit. Bringing all these elements together at the right time fulfills the requirements for the rite and allows the ritualist to invoke its power.
Rites vary in the power they provide and most often take as much as they give. Not all of them are as time locked and rigid as the DAnce of the Nine Stars. Here is an example of a more "loose" rite that martial artists can pursue:
RITE OF THE EARTH MOTHER'S BOSOM
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Joppa is a layered pastry that originated in Zhirhane. It has surged in popularity in Arduin and can be found everywhere among the street vendors. It keeps well too when wrapped in wax paper and has found its way into the packs of numerous adventurers.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Kain, set forth in your mind the way clear and choose your doom.
Will it be to the to the Copper Arm Mountains, to battle a Srkaln, fierce raptor, death made of feathers?
Or will you tread the foam and take to the ocean to battle an Inil-daen, rider of waves and foe to ship and man? Or does your courage lie in the south of Aradnast, where the ocean beats the sand with waves and the faces of the lost gods peer forth from their earthen graves! Nornid Lyost, a stretch of beach in the southernmost of Aradnast, home to the graves of the oceans gods forced into stone form in some titanic battle of the past. There darkling warrior Kaerie Ninesworn seeks powers from the lost gods - he is your foe should you take this road.
What road do you walk, faithless one?
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
The ambush rules are pretty straightforward but sometimes you just surprise a foe or get into a situation where one person or group has an advantage over the other. In those instances, you have a situation akin to an ambush but where the setup was accidental, unnecessary or completely visible but one side has an advantage of time to prepare. In these circumstances, you would give them one or more of the following to account for the advantage:
- Bonus to ATK. Usually a +10 to +30 bonus.
- Set CF to 40 for the melee round. Essentially gives them a "leg up" on the other person.
- Bonus to an action. Usually a +10 to +30 bonus.
Pretty much the GM gets to decide when this may apply and its very situation driven.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
For those of us with a more earth-aligned taste palate, jhoeve is similar to wassail, and made from juices, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg. It also has crushed Golden Madag Nuts (only exists in Arduin, sorry!) that mix well with the cloves.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Oh! The Light! doth shine and glow,
greenly wan and cold as snow.
Yet dark and black the winding way
into the cold rock, there to stay.
Before it was the evil did rise,
its doom its heart, its heart the prize.
Aglow with the power of that which ever is,
the heart ever beats, the power is ever his.
'ware the steel jaws, agrin in timeless glee,
yet the left hand of god points the way for thee.
Gold and jewels abound in fair numbers,
yet near to it all the ultimate doom ever slumbers.
A Tombdance for heroes in quest of their fate
A Death song, a poem, the final gate.
Thus it was written, thus it has been,
for time immemorial beyond human ken.
Note: Yes, this poem is related to the Quest of the Dark. How? Hey, that's for you to figure out!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
In the days of old walked a gray bent mage
of furrowed brow and time worn frame.
World walker, star traveler, bone weary but sure
A player in the Great Game.
To his rest, one crystal morn, he came
within the dread tower of blackened skulls.
There lay he, long centuries, even eons now
'midst the tower's grim secrets, its treasure store.
To find his bed 'tis three down, the center heart true
Yet 'ware his guardians, night fanged two!
But light, glorious light can save the souls
and wing you to your farthest goals.
Or so its said!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The drawing nigh, the reddened dark,
doth enwrap and enfold, the golden mark,
yet ever beats the heart.
So goes doom, fire fall true,
on black behind red and beyond the blue,
louder beats the heart.
Seven steps to seven bells,
black as hate, grim as hell
The heart thunderously throbs;
The door a gate, silver beckoning,
the path is pat the True Tarot's reckoning
Silent is the heart.
Dawn and golden light rises anew,
the green, green and bloody dew
where the still heart lies;
Bring it, burn it and buy my time!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The legend so distant, time hoary and old
speaks of Dark Stars, a universe so cold.
Not yet lit, those lamps of gold joy and star fire,
still black hell writhing, an eon old, evil mire.
Thundering sound, silent though to our kin
for they had not yet, nay had not ever been.
That which was, is ever and twill be,
the dark which must wait, for you and for me.
Its reach is such that none may be beyond its reach
and this is the sole lesson, this legend must teach.
For to know that there is such as to darken the night,
is also to know that in balance, there is ever light.
Monday, January 16, 2012
- BUSINESS (base use of skill)
- My Credits Good - You can try to extend your credit a little farther than normal when making a purchase that would result in a loan. If you can succeed at the set TD + 50, then you double the amount of time you get to repay the loan. If you fail, you fail the whole thing. If you succeed, the penalties for non repayment are doubled as well.
- Haggle - You can use to lower the amount of repayment necessary. Any secret that modifies or replaces this skill use applies as well.
- Loan Management - If you have a loan, you can make installments on the loan instead. Start with base TD 50 + double the loan value. Each installment you break the loan into reduces the TD by 10 but adds to the total loan value. Multiple the split in payments by 3 to determine this value. So breaking a loan into 5 payments would add 5 x 3 or 15% to the total loan. You can only make this check once so if you fail the TD you can't manage the loan. However, if your wealth grows, even if by one, you can try again.
- Manager [Trained Secret] - You reduce the surcharge to the loan levied by the Loan Management base use of skill by -1% per 25 skill ranks.
- Find Capitol [Experienced Secret] - You add +20 bonus to the My Credits Good and Loan Management base use of skill checks.
- Large Scale Management [Specialist Secret] - You only use a TD 50 + the loan value to determine the TD for the Loan Management base use of skill.
- CRIME (base use of skill)
- Skip Out On The Loan - You can bully your way out of a loan. Make a TD 75 + the value of the loan. If you succeed you don't have to repay the loan but the Trust the loaner had in you is lowered by the loan value. If it becomes negative the loaner will seek recourse of their own, either socially, criminally, business or as appropriate for the contact.
- Gutter Rook [Specialist Secret] - Trust loss for using the Skip Out On The Loan base use of skill is halved.
- SOCIAL (base use of skill)
- Talk Your Way Out Of Debt - Attempt to weasel or talk your way out of a debt (Wealth Loan) you owe someone. The TD is 75 + the value of the loan. If you succeed, you can remove the debt by paying 20% of its value. The loaner loses -d20 Trust as their distrust and antipathy increases.
- Trustworthy [Proficient Secret] - Gives you a +10 bonus when making the Talk Your Way Out Of Debt base use of skill check. Loaner's Trust only decreases by d12 also.
- Magnify Presence [Experienced Secret] - Gives a +10 bonus when making the Talk Your Way Out Of Debt base use of skill check (stacks with Trustworthy). Also lowers the value you must repay by -1% per 20 skill ranks.
- Acumen [Expert Secret] - Gives a +20 bonus when making the Talk Your Way Out Of Debt base use of skill check (stacks with all other bonuses). Loaner loses no Trust as an outcome of the skill use.
- UNDERWORLD (base use of skill)
- I've Got Friends - Your connections to the shadowy underworld can get you out of debt (Wealth Loans). Convert the loan value to Copper Wealth to determine your TD. If you succeed at the TD the loan is forgiven but it lowers the Trust by any but Criminal or Underworld connections or contacts, including business, by 1/20th the value.
- Confidence [Trained Secret] - This secret allows you to use Silver Wealth instead of Copper Wealth for the I've Got Friends base use of skill.
- Circle of Influence [Experienced Secret]- Removes any penalty to Trust by using the I've Got Friends base use of skill. Also adds a +10 bonus to the roll.
- Covert Influence [Expert Secret] - This secret allows you to use Gold Wealth instead of Copper Wealth for the I've Got Friends base use of skill.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Okay just to clarify things, Wealth is a form of social influence whose output is a service or item you gain for yourself or another. You don't expend anything other than the "influence". Wealth can be substituted 1 for 1 for coin values unless your GM tells you otherwise. What that means is if you have 50 silver wealth, you have the equivalent to 50 SP that you can use monthly. Please note the use of equivalent and see below.
Very simply, you determine the value of the item or service you desire (given by the GM usually) and double it to determine the Wealth TD. So the formula looks like this:
Make sure you convert the value to your type of wealth before rolling for the TD.
As a note, for Wealth purposes, 10 CP = 1 SP, 10 SP = 1 GC, 5 GC = 1 GS, 5 GS = 1 GB.
The wealth levels are Copper (CP), Silver (SP), Gold (GC), Noble (GS), and Royal (GB).
So with this in mind, let's say you want to use your wealth to pay to have your horse stabled for 13 days. The value is 13 SP (1 per day; hey, its close to a city so don't yell at me...). If you have 67 Copper Wealth, you would need to covert 13 SP = 130 CP and then double it to TD 260. Not good odds.
Now if you had the same Silver Wealth, the TD would be 13 double or TD 26. Much better odds.
Nobility would barely notice, having a scant TD 4 and Royalty wouldn't even have to ask for it, since negative TD means whatever it is happens automatically.
Once you use the Wealth, decrease your Wealth value for the MONTH by the VALUE (not the TD) of the item or service. If the amount would make your Wealth TD a negative value, then you have been LOANED the item or service with an expectation of repayment.
Loans are given a grace period of days equal to your original Wealth value, converted to the Wealth standard (Copper, Gold, Noble, etc.) that you used to pay them back. Loans must be redeemed at 150% item or service value.
Loans not repaid permanently lower your Wealth -d4 per day until you pay it back. Additionally, every point of Wealth lost in this manner is added together to formulate a percentage that legal or illegal action will be pursued. Which is undertaken depends on who provided the loan and ultimately the GM. Regardless, if either action is taken, it will erode the trust of contacts, connections, businesses, markets, fame in social motifs, and other like values by -d4 daily until resolved.
If your Wealth reaches zero or a negative value, you are demoted to the next lower level, and set at a value of 100.
Example: You have a 39 Silver Wealth but want a 60 Silver sword. You make the TD 120 but 39 - 60 = -21 so you have taken out a loan for it. You have 39 days to repay the loan and it will cost you 90 SP to do so. You fail to scape up the money and went out adventuring instead. You come back 9 days overdue to repay the loan and find your wealth has dropped -17. The GM secretly made a roll each day and succeeded on day 7 for illegal action to be taken to repay the loan. As they terrorized your contacts while you were out, their trust fell -3 overall as well impacted your budding reputation in the town. A couple of tough looking guys waited for you on the edge of town. Being bloody and tore up didn't seem to phase them any so they broke your legs to add to your excitement, not to mention killed your mage buddy's familiar. All in all, life is not looking good for you.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Here is the rule of thumb for distinguishing between the two.
- If the magic in question requires significant time, multiple components, locations or a sequence to enact, then its probably a ritual. Anything simplistic or quick to use, that disregards location, environment and so on, is likely a spell (or equivalent).
- If the magic is requires some complication, measuring or particular exactness to use then its likely a ritual.
- If the output of the magic is something long term (say, > minute), then its likely a ritual.
- Magic to someone something requires the inscription of a magic circle or equivalent protection.
- Magic to create wall of stone, wood, earth, etc.
Now some magic is borderline and the GM will have to make the choice of which path to take. Take the Heavy Helper spell in the system. It makes a permanent pile of sand appear. However the measure and complexity to utilize it is simplistic and the caster has little control over how and where the sand appears other than distance. While permanent, the sand is normal and not introducing an unnatural element, such as bringing forth a wall of fire or ice and keeping it within a certain proportion. So, once created it does what any pile of sand does.
So as you can see, some magic will require you to make choices to place it appropriately. It will just require your best judgement to do so.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Each option you have, whether under race, culture, profession, skills or elsewhere, is there to make the characters you build seem not only more realistic but different from one incarnation to the other. If you sit down six guys to make six warriors, in AE the chances of them coming out the same are minuscule. They will be different, probably in concepts but definitely in the mechanics and background that created them.
The game helps build this when you create the character. And yes, I understood that in doing so it would lengthen the character creation process. And equally yes I'm very and completely fine with it.
Its like that saying in the quality assurance world: Fast, Cheap and Good; now pick two.
Anything good will be either cheap but slow or fast and expensive. The three never exist as one entity.
So have a good time building characters. Or make yourself a template that you can follow quickly to rough one together.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
everyone has a different approach when it comes to making characters. However, one approach that is common to DnD that doesn't work for AE is to think you can roll up a bunch of stat lists and then apply them towards what you want. The folks I'm bringing into the fold here in Texas mentioned it and I had to show them how that just doesn't work in AE.
Attributes are important but AE treats them different than in other game systems and especially in contrast to DnD (pick whatever version you like). They provide a bonus, an important one, that gives you an edge but not an overwhelming one.
Understanding this fact is tough for some i've found, especially if they are used to playing where attributes can rule the roost. Keep this in mind when you are bringing new players into the fold, especially if they have played DnD or other games where small changes in attributes can sway the mechanics of conflict in large ways.
Just think about differences plunking a couple of points in any one attribute in AE would make and then contrast that with your favorite game system to see the difference. It will help in explaining things. Fluctuation in strength or con in AE, for instance, would definitely be different if you did the same in DnD. Same for Runequest or M&M or any other game you choose.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Its actually quite simple. Take any culture and for the sake of an example I'm going to use Texas (it seems appropriate). If you think about Texas a few things might quickly come to mind.
- Big; the state is huge and anyone who lives here gets used to that fact. Which means they don't think about driving 10-25 miles to get the simplest things or drive 50 miles to go game with someone. Its a part of the social fabric of the state. So, we might have a cultural influence here revolved around travel, where the influence handles a factor of travel.
- Large amounts of land; texans are known for everything big and owning land is one of them and not in tiny lots either. This could be another influence if desired; one with unlanded nobility as a possible or anything else that seemed appropriate.
- Patriotic; You can throw a rock and not hit a Texan that hasn't or is currently serving in the military, government or some community organization. National Charge, National Pride and other like nation-based influences are very appropriate here.
- Border Life; Texas sits on the borders and this influence is a good one to incorporate.
- Multiple large cities; Texas has numerous large cities so any of the serveral urban based influences are appropriate
- Commerce; Texas has a lot of commerce and several of the economic and business influences could be incorporated
- Resource Rich; Texas is rich in resources and you can make influences that revolve around the acquisition, movement and sale of such things
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
Cost: 19200 GC
CHARGE Bonus: 0
CF/Dodge Penalty: 0
Move/Maneuver Penalty: 0
- Insulates to cold and wind up to 200 HP potency and stronger potency seeps through at a rate of 5% per 50 HP potency beyond 200-HP. The strong cold or wind doesn't harm the silk just penetrates it.
- +20 Dodge bonus
- +30 all Saves (Fear, Disease, P/V, and Shock).