Saturday, September 21, 2019
The Eight Elements by Aleksandar Petrovic November 2019 - True Mask Games Available on Drive Thru RPG I had already developed a five-tier system - Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Void. This small booklet gave me my "Void" magic. Their "Duul" seems fairly close to my Void Magic, and then adds two more - 'Nature', and 'Metal'. I've read the "Malazan Books of the Fallen" and know a bit about how their magic system might work. The addition of Nature (green growing living things) and it's opposite, Metal (no growth here - just solid metals), seemed to me to be even closer to what I want for my setting! Elementalists are one of the most respected and powerful magic users in my world! This was great! I'll be using this quite a bit in my newest campaign worlds and settings!
Friday, September 20, 2019
"The Anglo-Saxons" by Matt Clayton ("A Captivating Guide to the People Who Inhabited Great Britain from the Early Middle Ages to the Norman Conquest of England") Published by "Independent" ISBN-13: 978-1096156635 This small, almost pamphlet-sized document tries to put the entire history of the people and lands finally known as Anglo-Saxon into one place. In its mere 136 pages, Matt Clayton manages to put more of the history of these people, how they lived their daily lives, and how they defended their territories against invaders, into one place. The people who became known as the Anglo-Saxons were from primarily Germanic stock, the Angles and the Saxons. This covers from the time period when both the Angles and the Saxons came to Brittania in about 450 AD, to 1066 AD, the Norman Conquest. Since this covers a great deal of history, one cannot expect this 136-page booklet to go into very much extended detail. But this booklet should stimulate the reader to find out more about these people and this time. Its chapters include: 0) An Introduction 1) The Anglo-Saxons Arrive 2) Early Anglo-Saxons 3) Culture of Anglo-Saxons 4) Everyday Life 5) Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms 6) Anglo-Saxon Legacy 0) A Bibliography, Reference Works, and Notes Oddly enough, the author begins by referencing what seems to be a totally unrelated book - or is it? The inclusion of George R. R. Martin's masterwork, "A Song of Ice and Fire" makes obvious comparisons between that work and the real history of the Anglo-Saxons. Martin based his whole story (more or less) on the history of the Anglo-Saxons. For instance, "Westeros" is clearly the Island of Britain. Then Clayton's book heads back to the main points. First, we seen Britain under the rule of the Romans. But with the declining power of the Roman Empire, they paid less and less attention to ruling Britain. It is said that the end of Roman Rule in Britain was the year 410 AD. After that, the story of the Sub-Roman rule follows. Many examples of culture and social structure are given. Finally, a glimpse into the legacy left behind by the Anglo-Saxons is presented. Reading this study, one can get a sense of what life might have been like in that era. By addressing their culture, what they did in life, their religions, the fracturing into small kingdoms and from there to the growth of larger kingdoms, and leaving off with the legacy left us by the Anglo-Saxons (including much of what was to become the English Language) makes the remainder of the work provide the casual student a good idea of what went on, and also provides for a great jumping-off point for a more thorough study of those times. This is one of many "Captivating Guides" by Matt Clayton available. I rather liked this one, especially when presented with the similarities between the real Anglo-Saxon beginnings and their connection to one of my favorite novels. Recommended.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Men and Monsters of Ethiopia by Michael O Varhola Skrmisher Publishing - 50 pages ISBN-13: 978-1935050698 Although small, this booklet packs a very large information database for both the men (tribesmen, etc) and the Monsters of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is an extremely old area of the world and has a very rich history of the country of Ethiopia at its beginnings, and also the legends and myths of the Tribesmen that populated that area. The author, Michael O Varhola, has included first-hand research of this nation, its peoples, and its mythology. Cracking in at only 50 pages, you will be amazed at this small, but comprehensive guide. My high recommendation!
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
"Lands of Porphyra" by Perry Fehr Published and distributed by Purple Duck Games ISBN-13: 978-0-9937702-8-9 As a long-time GM, I can tell you that I'm familiar with all kinds of types of RPG's. From Fantasy to Science Fiction, to Horror, and many more. My current favorite series is Monte Cook's "Numenera" setting. It's sort of like a combination of Science Fiction with Fantasy. The variety of this never fades. But, if I had to pick a new game to run, I think I would have to choose Pathfinder (1.0) with Purple Duck's "Lands of Porphyra" setting. In its 216 pages, it presents a setting even more bizarre than Numenera! The first thing you get to is the info on the book, info on the world, info on how the world is set up, a one-page history, and then - an incredible fifty-two different areas of the world and its inhabitants! Believe it or not, there are an even more incredible 72 different races, most of which are playable! Following this are Religions, what life on this world is like, Trade, Flora and Fauna, Giants, Languages, Weather, Magic, and a host of new spells to go with it, Organizations, Regional Traits, an NPC section, and finally a quick start dungeon crawl! The full color really helps the reader visualize some of the things you might see, and all this is packed into the setting book! So, if you are looking for a book to use to help Pathfinder 1.0 go out with a big bang, I'd highly recommend this!
Saturday, August 24, 2019
The following comes directly from Rick Loomis' own "GoFundMe" account..... Fate is a strange mistress. For today is August 24th and that is Rick's Birthday. Unfortunately, today is also the sad, sad day that I have to tell you all that Rick Loomis passed away, just seven hours before his birthday of complications of his cancer. Rick was an amazing person. He had the ability to inspire and nurture talented people to be more talented than they thought they could be. He had the ability to give his people the freedom to develop their own solutions to problems and then he would calmly guide them. He did this in every facet of his life, whether it was in gaming or management or even his church softball league. Maybe that's one of the reasons why so many people loved Rick and loved working with and for him and why he attracted so many talented people like Mike Stackpole, Larry Ditillio, Liz Danforth, Jennifer Roberson, Ken St Andre and so many others who went on to create entire worlds and realms -- Rick encouraged that in a way few do. Rick sacrificed his life for a dream. A dream of wonderful, fun games and worlds of adventure. Games that inspired creativity and fun. Rick' s games were always in the end, about fun - not winning. Rick's dream will live on and we who he has left behind will do our part to carry that dream forward. And we will never forget what he taught us - patience, persistence, fun, and kindness. That is what Rick stood for. His loss will leave a hole in our community, our industry, and our hearts - but I urge you to remember to be kind to each other, be patient with each other and don't let go of your dreams. Rick never did. The world is lessened by your absence Rick, and you are missed... https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-gaming-legend-rick-loomis?member=2733348. A howl greets the Warriors of Sto-Vo-Kor today. A true giant of the RPG industry has now arrived. Bruce Gray
Friday, August 16, 2019
"Exploring Tarot Using Radiant Rider-Waite" by Avia Venefica Published and distributed by U. S. Games Systems ISBN-13: 978-1-57281-809-5 Although I am an experienced reader, I've been looking for a long time now for a book that I could recommend to people who want a book for beginners. This =is= that book. In its nine sections, it beautifully illustrates using the Rider-Waite Tarot, and specifically the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot. I cannot recommend this book (and, for that matter, this deck) highly enough to beginners as well as to those like me who would like to refresh their reading skills. Basically, the book is broken down into major parts - the beginning, the cards, reading the cards, the four basic spreads, spreads for specific questions, and three appendixes. In Section One, there is a bit of info on the Tarot deck itself, how to use your natural intuition, using allegory, and your dialogue, then a bit about how to use this book, and a glossary of Tarot related terms. In Section Two, certainly the largest section of this book, are the cards - the 22 Major Arcana, then the suit of Wands, the suit of Pentacles, the suit of Swords, and the suit of Cups. Each card from the Radiant Rider has an illustration of that card, some info about the card, and, most importantly, the meaning of that card in your readings - both in an upright and in a reversed position. The guidelines for quick reads is a great starting point for beginners and comes in four parts - what that card may represent in the areas of love, money, career, and family. Although each card is only given two pages each, you are given quite enough data to interpret each card. In Section Three you will see reading basics. how to ask questions and how to get answers, and your readings! Four basic spreads are included: #1) Past, Present, Future #2) Daily Encounters Another three-card spread, this time into #1) You, #2) Encounters, and #3) Outcome, #3) Take Action A four-card spread of #1) You, #2) The Known, #3) the Unknown, and #4) action and #4) A modified Celtic Cross with only six cards. After that is parts about Financial Forecasting, Love & Relationships, and a Whole Health spread with seven cards. Finally the Appendixes - a FAQ, Symbolism, and the Index. I don't believe I've ever seen a better book for beginners! Every card spelled out, simple direct meanings of upright and reversed cards, and much more, all in the same vivid color of the Radiant Rider Tarot! And it accomplishes this with only 264 pages! As a long-time Tarot reader, I get asked frequently about a book I'd recommend to novices. As I said in the beginning, this =is= that book!