Virtual Adept

Mage, something of a restart

I had intended to discuss our previous gathering to this weekend, but I never did get around to doing it. For that I apologize, and I have to do it now so that I can explain yesterdays game.

The last time we had gathered, my players brought to my attention some concerns they had about the game. Primarily they were concerned about how much I expected of them in relation to figuring out the cards that were drawn and how they worked to predict the future. But they were also had concerns about what kind of game I was expecting to run. I don't remember a lot of the conversation now, and is part of the reason I'm kicking myself for not writing it up when I should have, but we came to a few conclusions as to how we would handle these concerns.

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Just had to make sure I could beat yusaku777

"SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen over 85 films, you have no life (well, obviously I don't have a life, lol). Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, post to your LJ/DW and paste this as a note. Then, put +'s next to the films you've seen, add them up, and use your number as the header"
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Virtual Adept

Mage, Session Five

New Cards Drawn:

1st Card: Temperance (reversed)

2nd Card: The Lovers

3rd Card: 7 of Pentacles

4th Card: 7 of Chalices

News items:

Dr. Teeth has heard about the Episcopalian claims that holy warriors took the Voynic and has now publicly demanded that these Episcopalians step forward and release the names of the thieves so that justice can be served and the Voynic can be recovered.

UC Davis has donated a large sum of money to the Cabot Observation Tower where a new class will be held.

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Steam Claw

I had mentioned that if Maynard were to put his recordings on the internet of our Steamclaw game I would try to link them here. Well, he did, some time ago to and I never got around to mentioning it. My apologies. That said, our recordings started out simply as that, recordings of our sessions. It was alright, but we were all new at this and Maynard was learning how to get the most out of what he had and the like. He now feels confident that he can record relatively well, but since we were posting those recordings on the internet for others to enjoy, Maynard also felt maybe a little more performance would be good, not just as entertainment, but also using each others characters names when we are talking to each other so that listeners would know who we are addressing or who we are talking about.

So with all that in mind we started over, and as such I'm taking that chance to post appropriate links.

Maynard keeps a word press blog at where each episode can be found along with a short text introduction. There was talk that Captain Volpe would be leaving comments as a captains log of sorts. We are all encouraged to make similar comments and I might take advantage of that myself as the navigator Ishmael.

Maynard has also managed to get the episodes available on iTunes as a free Podcast, just search for White Ship Destiny. Unfortunately I don't know how to link to podcasts in iTunes, or if one even can, so I can't link to it, but I've checked that search term and our game is the only podcast that shows up.

We've had fun doing them so please go listen, hopefully you'll enjoy them as well.
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Mage, thoughts

Its been a month since our last session. Things have come up, May is full of birthdays, and so we simply haven't been able to hold game. I've already asked about this coming weekend and it's already starting to sound like more other things are in the works so I'm not sure how it'll work out or when we'll all get back together.

In any case, I've had a lot of time to give thought to whats going on. I had noticed last month that the Makers Fair would take place and I thought it might be interesting to incorporate such an event. Obviously it would probably take place under heavy encouragement of the Sons of Ether, and I threw the idea out there for my players to consider.

That said I wanted to take the chance to express some of the thoughts I had. Collapse )
The journey

A Music Meme

From musesrealm

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line (or first and second line if it's completely impossible) from the first 15 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike out the songs when someone guesses both artist and track correctly.
Step 4: Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If you like the game post your own!

#1 I got an instrumental version of, but the actual song has the lyrics: "Where do I take this pain of mine
I run but it stays right by my side"

#2 "My heart bleeds look at you hiding all the things to endure me"

#3 "Closing in, closing down, its your cross I cannot bear"

#4 "You don't even know me, You don't even care"

#5 "If you could see inside my heart Then you would understand"

#6 "Let the fun and games begin She is vain and broken Skin is cold and white Such a lovely lonely night"

#7 "Bring the violence, it's significant to the life If you've ever known anyone"

#8 "I must offer to you a confession, I like movies that give me a fright."

#9 "There's another world inside of me that you may never see"

#10 "Pontius Pilate came to our town up to the dockyards to see the picket line"

#11 "Long ago, for many years white men came in the name of god"

#12 "Screams break the silence, waking from the dead of night"

#13 "You say you feel so down every time I turn around"

#14 "I don't need her money, I don't need a ride, I got enough connections, I don't need a piece of her hide"

#15 "love lies in pools of questions love stays away from me"
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Eberron, Things won't be peaceful forever

If you remember back to an earlier Eberron post I had been working on making Travis rather paranoid. To that end I was mostly successful. Perhaps I was a little too successful. When we started the game I had mentioned that I wanted the players to have already spent some time together. I wanted the players to be able to assume that they already knew and trusted one another. My hope had been that in handing out different pieces of the game to different players, they would be able to present those pieces to each other and be able to figure out the puzzle as a group. If anything I think this was the great failure of my game.

Cass and Eric both kept their secret benefactors to themselves, even after both had received very specific instructions to acquire a journal that they later found. Tyson was understandably unwilling to admit that he was being blackmailed, after all the black mailers had already threatened him to secrecy. More and more Travis was becoming aware that there were multiple things going on under the table, and while he and Tyson were working together on Tyson's lead, Travis didn't bring the others in on the problem. It was still early in the game however, and Travis was well on his way to figuring things out, so I didn't think much of it at the time. Unfortunately Travis picked up other obligations that demanded his attentions and it was about this time that he was unable to continue playing.
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Eberron, The Temple

Its been a bit since I've been able to return to this, for that I apologize, I've been catching up on a lot but I'm now in the position that I should be able to write a lot more.

Out in the Demon Wastes the group had been uncovering a temple that resembled something of an obelisk that had tumbled over, as well as something of an entire city that surrounded it. This temple was massive, even laying on its side. In its heyday the temple had passages that led well up into its spire leading to a few rooms that served druidic purposes. Now however the temple was tumbled on its side, they didn't have access to the base, but with the spire crashed and broken they had direct access to the stairwell that led up inside of it.

This allowed me to design one of the more creative dungeon crawls I think I've ever seen if I do say so myself. It was a simple dungeon for me to design, a switchback staircase leading up the center with various rooms leading off on its way up. Two large rooms like you'd find in a Church complete with pews (though the ceilings weren't so impressive), a practice room for the monks, a meditation rooms, and at the very top dorms for the senior druids. Very simple, just vertical. And then I tipped the whole thing on its side.

This made it very interesting for the characters to explore. The stairwell was firstly blocked by sand that had hardened after getting wet, their first obstacle was to get through this. Mostly this served as a time wasting barrier, Rick was called in as the tireless warforged to pick his way through it. Once through they had to navigate a stairwell that was laid on its side. The first set of rooms, the church rooms, were divided by a hallway that now ran vertically before reaching the doorways to the rooms. The rooms themselves were now relatively vertical with the pews and other various relics having fallen to a pile against a wall. They would have to descend by rope to reach one doorway while climbing a rather sheer shaft to reach the other. The bottom door would be packed in by the pile of pews and relics that were now against that same wall, while the top door would serve mainly as a narrow ledge before falling into the room proper. In these rooms they primarily found art type artifacts, the carved pews, the candle stands, some candles, tapestries and other wall hanging arts. I did include brass reliefs of two deities that are found in other D&D settings. One intended as a natural male aspect, the other a natural female aspect found in each room. This was primarily just flavor, but I felt it was a neat touch to explore different ideas of druidic theology.

Continuing the awkward clime up the stairs would lead next to the practice room, beyond some training wracks full of old weaponry that room would be relatively cluttered, but still vertical. In this room I included a floor design much like a large circle done up in the style of a celtic knot. I offered the more martial characters (Joey and Rick primarily) a feeling of familiarity but wouldn't immediately explain to them why. Later I would allow them to recognize the footing of a relatively obscure kata or "dance" that martial arts use to train the body to flow through various moves. This was meant as my hint as to what this room was used for. I wanted to bring together the idea that once upon a time druids and monks worked together as different aspects of the same study. Joey had rolled extremely well so I also allowed him to find secret cubbyholes containing well made and still useful scimitars.

Next the meditation room which would be least cluttered of all, though a rather artfully carved fountain head and bowl would be found carved into the far wall. In this room I included a magical effect that was used to keep the room nice and relaxing. It dimmed the noise, kept the temperature cool, and generally made the whole place nice. The fountain had a similar enchant that had failed after all the years, this enchant would have been used to keep the bowl relatively full and the fountain continuously running. I used this to express a concept that even magic would decay given enough time. I gather this from various concepts including the force, "Life creates it, makes it grow..." that with life around magic is strong, but absent that life magic itself too withers and dies. This temple had been buried for eons under sands. It certainly had the rare visitor for a time, but once the entrances sealed with sand nothing more would penetrate and visit. The fountain would have been endless, now its dry. Keeping the room cool and quite however would have been a relatively easier effect and so it lingers longer and is the first to react to the return of life.

Finally at the top of the spire the party would find the dorms for the senior druids. They had their extravagance but were still spartan compared to the Silver Flame or even the more well to do monasteries of the sovereign host. There were a few things in this section for the characters to find. Firstly on the main room floor the characters would find a circle of protection, surrounded by scorch marks. In fact the room looked as though an explosion had gone off centered on that circle with scorch marks reaching even the far walls. Most of this room was in shambles, all the wood was long since burned away, and what little metal might be found was twisted beyond identification much less repair. Hidden doors would be found easily, the doors weren't intended to be hidden as much as they were meant to simply remain inconspicuous. That said given the age and condition of the room as well as its sideways orientation I felt the doors would be a bit harder to recognize as such. Beyond those doors would be a few individual rooms that, save their orientation, were otherwise untouched. In one of these rooms the characters would find a journal, the journal for which I named the game (The Traitorous Journal).