Archivum - ‘Resources’

The Gods of Fomalhaut

csütörtök, augusztus 25th, 2011

by Gabor Lux

Due to its great distance, the gods of our world are generally unknown on Fomalhaut, or are of such a weak power that their presence is all but unnoticeable. In its later cycles, shortly before the planet’s long decline and return into the ice from where it was lifted by the sages of older eras, several new or long-slumbering gods declared their powers and assumed the leadership of new-found followers. Some came from the deep chasms of the underearth; others from the dim reaches of space between the stars. Yet others were mortals who had acquired divine powers, and drunken with it, started testing the extent of their might. So it was in the last years before the coming of the glaciers.

On Fomalhaut, relations between gods and mortals differ from the conduct of other worlds. Indeed, very few consider them a reliable moral compass, and those who do are usually dangerous fanatics. Common men, and even most priests, assume a considerably more pragmatic, even cynical perspective; the basis of deals is common self interest. On the other hand, approaching gods, even directly, is a less involved process: it may be accomplished with little trouble if the reasons are good and compensation attractive.
(tovább…)

The Alternate Primer for Old School Gaming

péntek, április 8th, 2011

by Gabor Lux

This one-page document was first included in Sword and Magic: Adventures on Fomalhaut as a sort of “mission statement”, intended to offer a personal view on old school gaming. It is consciously specific and highly subjective. Similar to The Quick Primer for Old School Gaming by Matthew J. Finch or Philotomy’s Musings, it represents a possible take on running and playing old school games in a way we find rewarding in our campaigns. I have recently realised it may be of interest separately from the system itself, so I am reposting it here. All that follows is unenforced personal opinion.
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Sword and Magic: Adventures on Fomalhaut. Fantasy Roleplaying Game

hétfő, január 17th, 2011

by Gabor Lux

This 24 page document represents the distilled core rules of Kard és Mágia, my homebrew old school OGL variant. Published in 2008, the game has surprisingly attracted some attention outside Hungary, and some of my friends on international message boards have asked me if I could translate it some day. That was not possible: the original consists of altogether 190 pages of dense 9-point text, a tremendous task to recreate in English. I have also felt some of it would not be interesting for the English-speaking audience, since the game was written not just to present a way of playing games in the classical style while also retaining the elegance of the basic d20 rules framework, but also as an introduction to the concept of old school gaming (a style virtually unknown in Hungary) and, to an extent, a polemic against the state of the Hungarian gaming scene, where imagination, adventure and the primal strangeness of original fantasy have largely been suppressed by an inflexible and dogmatic preference for mundane detail.
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The House of Rogat Demazien

kedd, május 4th, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“Rogat Demazien’s house is an old, crumbling building located in the Beggars Quarter of Zothay, right next to its western gate. It is surrounded by empty houses; some of these are sealed to prevent unlawful entry, whereas others are known to be the dwellings of thieves and vagrants. In any case, this is a place where few choose to live, unless they are short on money or don’t mind the proximity of the vilest city scum. Since the entire quarter is protected by a treaty that keeps out the watch, one can only count on his own devices to guarantee the safety of his life and valuables. Despite the squalid conditions, it is precisely this house – formerly a prosperous cloth merchant’s home – which Rogat Demazien purchased a year after the previous owner died without leaving an heir. He paid the authorities a modest yet fair amount and moved in with his simple belongings. Since then, he has become known as an authority on the strange an unusual, with an interest in subtle enchantments and ancient history.”
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Zothay

kedd, május 4th, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“Zothay is a small walled town on the coasts of Damkina Bay, a mostly calm haven of the vast Winedark Sea. The lands about are varied: to the north and northeast lie desolate wastelands with a few small rivers winding their ways through deep canyons. Only hardy weeds and stunted trees grow here, although a few Altanian herdsmen also try to make a living. To the southwest, one can find thick, almost junglelike forests where live the elves of Onhir – these master gemcutters are friendly to the inhabitants of the town and are found there in large numbers, especially higher class areas and the fertile peninsula to the southeast. Further to the west, the rugged peaks of the Ered Perack loom over unknown valleys. Many have been lost looking for abandoned tombs and the like. The virgin priestesses of Hecate live in their domed temple on the lower slopes. Their divinations and omens are sought by the wealthy and the foolish – for these services never come without a price.”

“The city supplement you are reading right now is a fan’s vision of Zothay, a smaller city state found in the lands of Barbarian Altanis. The information found below is not intended to be taken for official – indeed, as its elements were drawn from my home campaign, there are certain differences between this interpretation and what is found on the pages of the Player’s Guide to the Wilderlands or the forthcoming Wilderlands of High Fantasy boxed set, both published by Necromancer Games and Judges Guild.”
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Kauran: The House of Thieves

hétfő, március 22nd, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“In his life, the wizard Ardaxas was feared by everyone, including his few apprentices. At the end of his living days, he retreated below his mansion and built himself a tomb befitting an overlord, with all sorts of magical traps to protect his remains. With all other work finished, Ardaxas achieved lichdom and went beyond the limits of human existence. All he left to his apprentices was a set of instructions to reach him if they sought consultation with their old master. These instructions were later copied and passed on to others, but the location of the vault was eventually forgotten, and the keys to its secrets became useless. In the City of Vultures, a section of the slums is still called „the Wizard’s Maze”, but the connection to Ardaxas is rarely if ever made.”

Description and contents: A trilogy of sequential adventures based in the City State of Kauran (Barbarian Atlantis 4502, named the City of Vultures in my campaign): an encounter with squabbling merchants leading into a murder investigation scenario, followed by a chase through the Undercity with a very deadly tomb-robbing scenario on the side, and finally ending with an assault on an abandoned bathhouse held by a gang of thieves. To this date, only the Undercity section has been released (omitting the aboveground merchant’s house, which would make for a short but decent break-in scenario on its own): in addition to areas mostly for colour, it features a wizard’s tomb jam-packed with traps so deadly that only the careful and correct interpretation of clues left behind by the builder will see a party through safely. The bathhouse, although it was an exciting and tension-filled exercise in tactical combat, was designed with 3.0 thieves in mind, and would therefore need some thought to work in classical systems.
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The Garden of al-Astorion

hétfő, március 22nd, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“It is said that there is a valley in the southern jungles which has been long forgotten by the short memories of the city people. Until now, even its existence had been a well-kept secret, and only the wise knew of its lost civilisation and cannibalistic half-men. But with the return of the explorer and adventurer Mal Bazhar, all has changed. His improbable stories about the strange garden and its magical fruit trees have drawn the attention of many. Who would write the final page in the history of a people sunk into evil? Who would find the treasures of the wizard Ladgloun or the hidden temple of the monsters lurking underearth? And finally, who would dare face the power that (or who) had already destroyed Mal-Bazhar’s company? The Garden of al-Astorion is only the first, but as we hope, not last among Hungarian-developed d20 adventure modules. On its pages, the Gamemaster can find everything needed – adventure hooks, detailed maps and the descriptions of the main adventure sites as much as the statistics of new magic items and creatures.”

Description and contents: Conceived as a throwaway encounter with a demented hermit (“Shalastar: hermit, follower of Emoré [LN]. Seventy years, has been living in small valley for thirty. Hates druids!” – see image below) but quickly expanded into a much more expansive adventure under a single evening before a game convention, The Garden of al-Astorion is probably best described as a wilderness dungeon branching off into multiple self-contained mini-dungeons incorporating various sword&sorcery and weird fantasy ideas. The legacies of fallen cultures and failed people living on beyond their allotted time is the central focus that binds together a lot of rather deadly encounters that otherwise wouldn’t belong together; the experience, although quite non-linear, is likely to conclude with the exploration of an abandoned garden populated by the horrors of plant life and the still living remnants of people who had attempted to discover its secrets.
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Strabonus

vasárnap, március 7th, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“The treasure-filled burial mound of an ancient warlord! The news spread like wildfire along the coast, right after reports of raids by hyena-men hungering for human flesh. But if the treasures have rested so long underground, what manner of traps, guardians and enigmas might protect them? Who will be the one to challenge the infernal cunning of a long-dead mind? (Not to mention the hyena-men…) The labyrinth of Strabonus has already claimed many lives, and it will take a man of great cunning to unveil its long-kept secrets.”

Description and contents: Strabonus was conceived for our second Wilderlands adventure series, the Wormshead Peninsula campaign (City State map, hex 4006), and was unfortunately the last hooray for my old group early 2004: after two sessions spent exploring the tomb, multiple participants moved away (two as far as Great Britain) or got overwhelmed by real life. As a relatively small but very compactly designed scenario, Strabonus involves demanding mapping, combat and puzzle-solving challenges in a six-level dungeon, with very generous rewards for those who brave it to the end.
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Broken Wastes

csütörtök, március 4th, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“In the wastelands beyond civilisation, raw might triumphs over all: he who can best others by weapon, treachery or magic holds wealth and power. But not even the wealthy and powerful are immortal, and the wasteland is more powerful than any of them. This module contains the description of a desert outpost where crafty adventurers can find shelter and get involved in dark designs; the descriptions of caravans and NPCs who may become strong allies or implacable enemies… and two adventures for those who would test themselves against the power of the wasteland.”

“The Quean Wastes is the second large supplement I have created from the materials of my Wilderlands campaigns. Unlike Zothay, which was a medium-sized city state treated in a compact and thorough manner, Queans Waste is much more modular. Beyond some simple background information, it is essentially a colourful mosaic of locations for use by the Judge. There are multiple mini-dungeons, a village and no less than four small strongholds described herein, with a number of ruins, relics and lairs to round out the picture. Together, they form a sort of perspective into how I imagine the setting, and how I use it in actual play. In several ways, this use is divergent from the officially released Wilderlands materials, which should be evident on a brief perusal. A number of differences have been noted in the next section. Such changes aren’t just accepted, they are highly recommended – as it has been written elsewhere, „please alter, illuminate, expand, modify, extrapolate, interpolate, shrink, and further manipulate all contained to suit the tenor of your campaign.”
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Isles on an Emerald Sea / Sea Lords

szerda, március 3rd, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“So many worlds! It has been said of the seas that there are no two isles alike in them, and ten lives would not be enough to map them all. Although this saying is questioned by many, it is certain that he who embarks on a sea voyage sets sail towards lost empires, megalomaniacal tyrants and ancient ruins. Among the isles, everything and everything’s opposite is possible. This module contains the maps and descriptions of five major isle realms, several lesser islands and a handful of marine encounters. And those who would prevail over all: they are none other than Sea Lords!”

Description and contents: A collection of adventure modules centred on a lost civilisations theme. Serialised in Knockspell Magazine as Isles on an Emerald Sea and collected in the Hungarian as A Tengerek Urai (Sea Lords). The overlap is imperfect, as the former has not yet been concluded, while the latter lacks two major islands which will probably have to go into a sequel or separate collection. The whole series includes:
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