Sunday, March 17, 2019

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners Update

Updated an image or two.

I have uploaded a new version of Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners which includes more than 50 character professions. The update addresses some issues with the text, many typos and some minor changes to mechanics.

Now included with the download is a very old school character sheet. The sheet is two sided has 8 blocks for character information. The first four blocks are the familiar entries and the back page contains 4 blank lined blocks for notes.


The attribute block has a handy way of recording unavergaed die rolls in each corners of each stat.

Additionally, the sheet is plain black and white to allow for sketches and coloring right on the page. My suggestion is to attack these white spaces with a highlighter so you can quickly determine which character is which.

If you have already download this item, simply check your email for the update or log into RPG Now or DriveThru RPG and click the library tab to get the update.

Thank you again for downloading my book.






52 Weeks of Magic - 12 of 52 - The Obice Cardeam

This week's magic item comes in pairs. The Obice Cardeam are a pair of knuckledusters or as the Romans called them, cestus. The name Obice Cardeam means "Cardea's Barrier".

They come in three forms, one for warrior types, one for magic users and one for clerics. All three types count as +1 weapon, however only the warrior's cestus has a +1 bonus to hit or damage. Each one does 1d4 points of damage plus any other bonus.

The clerical version has a divination power, once per day they can identify a cardinal direction (any) or point the direction to the nearest holy site of Cardea. If used inside a shrine to Cardea, they will point to either the closest larger or closest smaller site and the wearer will be aware of which it is. In the picture, the device is shown to have points. These are not blades or sharp edges, so clerics can use them. 

The magic user type has the ability to cast Knock or Wizard Lock a door once per day. Note, wizardly types using these weapons will not be able to cast magic spells as they are iron and they restrict finger movement.

Fighting types can utilize all three kinds, but will not be able to access their magical abilities. They will find the lack of damage odd. If a cleric wears the magic user type or the other way around, the wear will know of the additional abilities, but will not be able to activate them.

All three types have a special power when defending a threshold - they grant the user regeneration at a rate of 1 hp per round. To trigger this effect, the user must be defending some sort of entryway with a clearly delineated threshold and must be within 50 feet of it. The threshold must be an item that has been constructed or refined to qualify. For example, the mouth of a cave would not count but if that opening was decorated or carved to show the difference between inside and outside, it would count. All doorways count, even if the door has been removed or destroyed, as do gates, portcullises, etc. Mere holes in walls do not count. Magical gateways, such as those generated by spells do not count due to the temporary status.

Monks may wear these items, however, they do not increase the damage done over their normal hand to hand damage. They merely convey the ability to strike creatures which require a magical weapon to hit. In the hands of a monk they are equal to a +3 weapon as monks have special knowledge of hand to hand weapons.

Navigation:
Week 1 of 52 - Magic Lamps
Week 2 of 52 - The Rat Bag
Week 3 of 52 - Emulous Cursed Sword
Week 4 of 52 - The Cloak of Peaceful Repose
Week 5 of 52  - The Cowl of Death
Week 6 of 52 - Scimitar of Smiting
Week 7 of 52 - The Symbol of Sol Invictus
Week 8 of 52 - The Equi Phalera
Week 9 of 52 - Libertatem
Week 10 of 52 - Sorrow
Week 11 of 52 - Aemilla Carna
Week 12 of 52 - The Obice Cardeam

Now, the commercial. I have a little book called Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, over at DrivethruRPG. I am obviously thinking of writing another. Please let me know what you think in the comments. 

House Rules - Combat Tempo - Swinging Two Weapons

Many PLAYERS attempt to gain an advantage by swing two weapons at once. The various sets of rules accommodate this in one of two ways:

1) the character is simply swinging two weapons very fast, like a skill-less boxer.
2) the character is high level and receives extra attacks.

The first has a significant penalty, while the second does not.

My house rules handle these events slightly differently. Unarmed characters, who are not monks, can punch or kick twice per round. They receive no penalty unless they are making a last attack after losing a morale check. Failing a morale check removes any strength bonuses as the character is panicked. They are kicking and punching to get away, not to do damage.

By the way, punches do 1d2 points of damage per hand and kicks do 1d3.

Having established that it is natural to attack with both feet or hands and that panicking is bad, we move to the next scenario: Weapons. If a player has a weapon and a free hand, they can attack with the weapon and punch or kick at the same time. There is no penalty, as being unshielded is a penalty enough.

Characters may use a shield as a weapon, but they operate paradoxically. Bucklers do 1d3 points of damage plus strength bonus, while larger shields are relatively ineffective as weapons and do not do damage. A large shield, although it does no damage, it can disrupt a spell casters ability to cast and can foil a missile attack against another character. To hit someone in this fashion with a shield, one must normally be able to use a shield. Fighters, clerics, assassins, etc.

Now let's add in that second weapon. A character with a long sword and a dagger, 1d8 damage and 1d4 respectively, can use the tempo of combat to strike or threaten with both weapons each round. Only one attack roll is made. The effect is that the damage is shifted to a point between the two weapons: 1d6. Maybe they hit lightly with both weapons or perhaps they used one to force an opponent into dropping their guard for a single attack with the opposite weapon. Which one happened is not important, we are merely empowering players to act out realistic scenarios as they see their characters behaving. If a character is using two equal weapons, say two short swords or a mace and short sword which do 1d6 each, there is no change to the damage. It is simply a 1d6 roll.

In the AD&D rule set, there are significant penalties to swing both weapons at once. These rules should remain in effect when a character is unskilled, panicked or otherwise unwilling to be subtle in their attacks. Given the choice of using combat tempo or taking a big penalty, when would a character desire the penalty? Attacking massive creatures that can't strike back, attacking from behind, attacking creatures where a little damage is worse than no damage.

The last scenario, when a fighter gains multiple attacks can be handled either by the combat tempo rule which reduces damage, OR they pick one weapon to swing OR they can do the crazy "two at once" swing with a penalty. The player should choose based on the needs of the situation.

Did you know I have a little book called Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, over at DrivethruRPG? It contains all kinds of rules you can use in your campaign. Give it a try, it's pay what you want.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

House Rules: Oh, no you don't!

I've always like the idea of counter magic. On several occasions I have thought of implementing it into my campaigns.

For a dirty hack applicable to most game systems, I would use the following system:

1) Magic user knows the spell being cast at them,
2) Is not prepping a spell themselves,
3) Makes a save vs. magic,
4) Enemy spell is disrupted and fails to function.
5) Enemy spell caster does not lose the spell.

1) Magic user knows the spell being cast at them,
2) Magic user has the exact spell memorized,
3) Is not prepping a spell themselves,
4) Makes a save vs. magic,
5) Enemy spell is reflected on to them.
6) Both spell casters lose that spell.

1) Magic user knows the spell being cast at them,
2) Magic user has the exact spell memorized,
3) Magic user chooses to prep that spell themselves.
4) Target magic user makes a saving throw vs. magic, Spell is reflected back at enemy,
5) Enemy makes a saving throw vs. magic. If passed, the spell is reflected back at the original target.
6) Cycle repeats until the spell strikes either caster.
7) Every cycle adds 1 to the damage roll, if applicable.
8) Whoever is hit by the spell loses that spell, the other caster does not lose the spell.
9) Magic users hit by spells in this fashion will experience subduing damage, meaning that they can't be killed outright in this fashion.

A couple of other thoughts. The subduing damage is there to encourage players to use this ability. First, being a magic user effectively allows you to shield the rest of the party. The magic users, friendly and enemy casters attract spells meant for other targets while countering magic. A magic user struck by a spell with an area of effect is a barrier to that magic. The effect of the spell will not pass a plane defined as a wall 90 degrees to the angle of the spell's path. People standing between dueling magic users can be hit by an area of effect spell, but those standing behind either caster are unaffected as the magic user absorbed that power.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

52 Weeks of Magic - 11 of 52 - Armilla Carna

My campaign setting is based off of the Roman Empire. The common tongue is spoken by all cultures and is the true lingua franca of the Peninsula of Plenty. It is rendered as modern English. Demi-humans each have their own language and humans speak Latin.

This week's Magic item is reflective of this. The Armilla Carna is a magic charm carried by followers of the goddess Carna, the embodiment of health and heart. These charms are not magical in and of themselves, but contain a magical concoctions prepared on the feast day of Carna. Most people will call them "heart lockets" or "Carna's Charms" in common. Priest of Carna always refer to them as "Armilla".  

The most common style of charm is a locket containing a tiny amount of beans and pork prepared on the feast day. This small portion of food imbues the charm with the ability to heal the wearer when their hit points are at 1 or less. When a character hits one hit point via any kind of damage, the charm will heal one point per hour to a maximum of 4 hit points. 

If, by some chance, a person dies while wearing one of these charms it will char. Not only won't it work again, it is considered to be very bad omen. Typically, this occurs when someone dies by murder, drowning and poison. The small charm is not able to overcome the damage done by these kinds of incidents. It is a tradition to create a new charm as a burial gift. Taking one of these gifts from a grave is common law crime and the punishment is stoning or exile.  

The discharge of magic from the locket's consumption of the food stuffs will cause the device to warm and glow faintly while working. When the healing is complete, the wearer will find the locket has been completely cleaned and appear new.  

Anyone can create one of these lockets, however it must be blessed by a priest or priestess of Carna. Once blessed, it can be filled by anyone on the feast day of Carna to regain it's power. A priest of Carna can recharge the items if they have preserved foodstuffs from the feast day. Temples to Carna will do this for a small donation, usually an amount necessary to put on a small, simple feast on the holy day. 

The charms tend to be very rustic and primitive in nature, being made of string and large hollowed out beans. Traditionally, family member will make one for their children, cousins, parents, etc. to celebrate their first attendance of the feast. 

These items are very popular with soldiers. Their lockets tend to be more ornate and sometimes very valuable. Manufactured charms tend to be metal copies of the simple string and bean construction of commoners, despite being made of higher quality materials.  

Navigation:
Week 1 of 52 - Magic Lamps
Week 2 of 52 - The Rat Bag
Week 3 of 52 - Emulous Cursed Sword
Week 4 of 52 - The Cloak of Peaceful Repose
Week 5 of 52  - The Cowl of Death
Week 6 of 52 - Scimitar of Smiting
Week 7 of 52 - The Symbol of Sol Invictus
Week 8 of 52 - The Equi Phalera
Week 9 of 52 - Libertatem
Week 10 of 52 - Sorrow
Week 11 of 52 - Aemilla Carna

Now, the commercial. I have a little book called Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, over at DrivethruRPG. I am obviously thinking of writing another. Please let me know what you think in the comments. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

52 Weeks of Magic - 10 of 52 - Sorrow

This week's magic item is a sword with a terrible curse. The sword's name is Dolorem, but anyone witnessing it's power will it render it's name in the common tongue: "Sorrow".

The sword is both a defensive and offensive weapon. Merely having the weapon in ones possession conveys a -1 to AC. Offensively, it is a +2 weapon and when drawn, immediately confers the same bonus as bless spell upon the wielder and his or her compatriots within the range of the spell (5"x 5" square). All opponents within the area of effect will be afflicted with a reverse of this blessing (blight), a -1 to hit and a -1 to morale. Everyone except for the wielder is entitled to a saving throw vs. this effect. The wielder effectively has a weapon which is +3 to strike and +2 to damage.

The cursed nature of this sword becomes apparent when combat begins. Anyone under the effect of the blessing or blight is consumed with a bloodlust for whoever they were arrayed against. They will find themselves unable to stop attacking opponents, until they are all dead. Combatants will strike at even unconscious or helpless foes. Sheathing Sorrow, being disarmed or otherwise losing the sword does not change this status until all opponents are dead or removed from the battlefield.

If someone is forcibly removed from combat, knocked out, completely restrained or otherwise prevented from fighting, they will becomes sick for 8 hours. All of their abilities drop by 1 for this time. Being teleported away from combat could end the curse, but this separation must be far enough to make rejoining the battle impractical. For example, being teleported into a cage, to the top of a cliff or tower, or into a significant body of water will all end the curse. Remember, the people affected by the curse will immediately become sick and weak when forced from combat. Being stuck in a web or paralyzed will also cause the curse to end.

The curse is limited to those within a 5" x 5" square when the sword is drawn. Anyone outside of this area will not understand the nature of the problem, unless they have encountered it themselves. The sword causes mayhem, as some people in combat will not be affected by the curse.

If a character has been previously witnessed the curse (but not necessarily affected by it), they are entitled to a +2 on their saving throw, but this is a choice of the player in question, not a requirement. Anyone affected by the blight will certainly invoke this bonus.

If the sword is drawn and sheathed multiple times in a single combat, nothing further happens. It cannot effect more people by sheathing and redrawing or force another saving throw. However, if one combat ends and new opponents appear later, the sword can be drawn again to invoke the curse again.

Sorrow does not compel the owner to draw it, nor does it compel the owner to use the sword in combat. If a person is helpless, sleeping, unconscious, etc. when Sorrow is drawn, the are not subject to the compulsion to fight when they wake nor does anyone with the bloodlust see them as a valid target so they do not gain a bonus to strike. Sorrow cannot compel people unwilling or unable to fight, nor does it allow the bloodlust to be used against them.

If the owner attempts to draw the sword against the helpless, not only will the curse fail to trigger, their companions may think less of them. Much less. Retainers, hirelings and followers may end their relationship with the owner if this happens.

Sorrow has empathic and telepathic powers, but is not intelligent. The owner will immediately be aware of the curse, so the invocation of curse cannot be an accident. Sorrow's curse may only be invoked by the owner and only if the owner desires a fight. Merely unsheathing the weapon for cleaning, inspection, appraisal, etc. does nothing. The owner must have an intelligence greater than 5 to invoke the curse.

In the unusual circumstances that someone other than the owner draws the sword with the intention to strike anyone, not only will they be unable to invoke the curse, they will lose 1 point from every ability for 24 hours. They need to make a saving throw vs spells to avoid passing out. Sorrow's curse cannot be invoked if the owner is charmed or otherwise compelled to draw the weapon. Characters struggling over the weapon cannot invoke the curse, unless the owner draws it to defend themselves. Having the sword unsheathed by magic spells or powers also does not invoke the curse.

If remove curse is cast upon Sorrow, it is demagiked for 1 hour and the bloodlust immediately for all involved. This does not cause weakness like being prevented or removed from a fight. The owner is not compelled to use the weapon, so a remove curse spell will not cause them to set it aside. Any time the weapon is sheathed, the owner can choose not to use it.

Sorrow's sheath is not special in any way and any proxy for a sheath can be used, such a wrapping the sword in a cloth, putting it away in a backpack, a chest, etc. If Sorrow is found without a sheath, anyone picking the weapon up will still be affected by the weapon's benefits, but cannot trigger the curse until one of the conditions above occur. The owner will also know this limitation.

Navigation:
Week 1 of 52 - Magic Lamps
Week 2 of 52 - The Rat Bag
Week 3 of 52 - Emulous Cursed Sword
Week 4 of 52 - The Cloak of Peaceful Repose
Week 5 of 52  - The Cowl of Death
Week 6 of 52 - Scimitar of Smiting
Week 7 of 52 - The Symbol of Sol Invictus
Week 8 of 52 - The Equi Phalera
Week 9 of 52 - Libertatem
Week 10 of 52 - Sorrow

Now the commercial. I have a little book called Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, over at DrivethruRPG. I am obviously thinking of writing another. Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Friday, February 22, 2019

52 weeks of Magic - 9 of 52 - Libertatem

This week's item is another sword. It has a special purpose from which it takes it's name: Libertatem or liberty.

It is a +3 gladius, or short sword. It is +5 vs. undead. Libertatem has the special purpose of freeing slaves and freeing captives unjustly imprisoned and has a bonus to strike undead and animated dead as a side effect.

The sword has one primary power - to heal once per day. Libertatem has one special purpose power: disintegrate. The nature of the power is limited to specific items but nearly unrestricted in usage. When the sword comes into contact with non-magical bonds, it will disintegrate them. Once per day, the disintegrate power can be used over an area 25 feet in radius freeing many bound people at a time. It can cleave magical bonds on a to hit roll. If the holder is bound, only the pulse effect can free them from non-magical bonds, unless they can contrive away to get the sword out and touch their own bonds.

If confronted by a person who is compelled by a charm-like effect, the sword will glow and smoke in frustration. The holder is entitled to a +5 save verses spells which compel, such as charm or command. If the spell is successful in affecting the character, Libertatem will either grant or refuse the bonus to hit, depending on the circumstances. In extreme situations, the sword can come into conflict with a charmed character and escape their grasp.

Libertatem has no power in a court of law, so long as the law is actually being followed. If justice is perverted in the court, the sword will literally smolder and glow. This is merely a show of force, it does not actually generate heat. The sword will use telepathy to make this determination. It is not particularly good at judging at relative justice, such as a goblin court of law and may go silent in these cases.

The sword radiates a magical and good aurora. Casting a detect alignment spell on Libertatem will not reveal an alignment, only it's purpose of liberty. Strangely, the sword will allow itself to be held by anyone who values freedom, justice and/or law regardless of alignment. It has clear preference for demi-humans over humans.

Libertatem has the ability to speak human (Latin), common, dwarven and halfling, in addition to using telepathy. Libertatem chooses to communicate in a very limited fashion, often in single words or short phrases, which can come across as bossy.

The sword has an Ego of 19. If the sword comes into conflict with a character the sword seeks to resolve the conflict as peaceably as possible. If the conflict is not extreme, such as a character being afraid to free others or enter combat, the sword will allow the character to set it aside or give the weapon away. If it becomes apparent that the character does not wish to free slaves and prisoners, the sword will try to worm it's way out the character's hand when drawn. Every time the sword is drawn or swung, the character must make a save vs. dexterity or lose control of the sword and drop it. Once freed, the sword's point will spin towards the character when they attempt to recover it. If the character persists in picking it up, the sword can strike them.

The sword will never express conflict in the form of adornments, the shedding of other magic and weapons, seeking creatures to slay, payment, or anything else that would restrict a character's freedom. It will try to talk it's way into a better characters hands, but only when a conflict exists.

Only those who actively subvert the law to unjustly imprison or enslave cannot hold the sword. If confronted by undead, the sword will allow any living person to pick it up and use it for as long as the immediate danger exists.

This weapon is close to being an artifact. The creation process required four wishes. This weapon is dwarven, and all dwarves are proficient when using it. The sword was deliberately forged as a traditional human weapon, as it was felt that a gladius would rally humankind to it.

Navigation:
Week 1 of 52 - Magic Lamps
Week 2 of 52 - The Rat Bag
Week 3 of 52 - Emulous Cursed Sword
Week 4 of 52 - The Cloak of Peaceful Repose
Week 5 of 52  - The Cowl of Death
Week 6 of 52 - Scimitar of Smiting
Week 7 of 52 - The Symbol of Sol Invictus
Week 8 of 52 - The Equi Phalera
Week 9 of 52 - Libertatem
Week 10 of 52 - Sorrow

Now the commercial. I have a little book called Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, over at DrivethruRPG. I am obviously thinking of writing another. Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

52 Weeks of Magic - 8 of 52 - The Equi Phalera

The Equi Phalera is an award given by the Eqiotes order to a man or woman who actions save the lives of those in that group. The endangered Equites would vote to make the award and the device is then constructed by the priesthood. Non-equites can receive the award and become an honorary member. Extreme bravery or very unusual circumstances could elevate a non-equites to that class which includes to the gift of land, money and a horse. These devices are silver, not copper.

The design on the Phalera told the story of how that person received the award. The Phalera is typically made of copper. Silver Phalera can be awarded for extraordinary actions. Gold devices are profoundly rare, usually less than one per life time of the Emperor or Empress and are award by them alone. Due to the uniqueness of the award, it can take weeks or months to receive one.

The device gives the wearer a benefit +1 to all actions on horseback, including attacks. It also gives the user an excellent ability to ride and care for horses as if they were the most skilled equestrian. After a year of using this benefit, the wearer will actually obtain horsemanship skills to this level through practice, regardless of the possession of the device. If the wearer's mount is required to make a saving throw, it is done so at a +2. In the event that the mount is not entitled to saving throw, this device will allow one. This benefit may separate the mount and rider's die rolls, to the benefit of the horse.

If the wearer dies, the symbol's magic is broken and the loop securing it shatters. It will slowly tarnish as pictured above. These tokens are unique and valuable for reasons of honor, especially in the broken form. If recovered and returned to an officer of the Empire, a reward of 100 gps will be given. If given away by a recipient, the Phalera will lose all powers within a year and a day. If stolen intact from a recipient, they will tarnish and lose power immediately. Additionally, if the thief attempts to mount any sort of equine, it will refuse. The mount will then flee. This includes warhorses and other magical equines. This curse is permanent short of a wish. It may be ended by return of the Phalera to the proper authorities or owner AND remove curse is cast on the thief.

Navigation:
Week 1 of 52 - Magic Lamps
Week 2 of 52 - The Rat Bag
Week 3 of 52 - Emulous Cursed Sword
Week 4 of 52 - The Cloak of Peaceful Repose
Week 5 of 52  - The Cowl of Death
Week 6 of 52 - Scimitar of Smiting
Week 7 of 52 - The Symbol of Sol Invictus
Week 8 of 52 - The Equi Phalera
Week 9 of 52 - Libertatem
Week 10 of 52 - Sorrow

Now the commercial. I have a little book called Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, over at DrivethruRPG. I am obviously thinking of writing another. Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

52 Weeks of Magic - 7 of 52 - The Symbol of Sol Invictus.

The Symbol of Sol Invictus appears as a simple brass device, perhaps an ornate hairpin or some sort of clasp for a cloak. The device is actually much more than it seems. To be functional, the Symbol may be accompanied with a loop of metal, a leather strap or some other means of use. This secondary item is non-magical and does not effect the power of the device in any way.

In the early history of the Peninsula of Plenty, worship of the sun or Sol as a god was very common. Sol was not personified as in other religions but was viewed as an all-powerful beneficial force for good and order. In the third century of the Empire, the title "Incivtus" was bestowed upon the Emperor after his victory over a particularly vicious series raids by the Northern Tribes. The Emperor had been truly "unconquered" on the field of battle, but he resisted the title to defer to the gods he worshiped. It became common for people to add the honorific to heroic, beneficial, lawful and good deities, including Sol.


Priests of any sect may use this object as long as they meet the alignment requirements and the deity of the priest is not strongly opposed to healing or sunlight. For example, a lawful evil god of darkness will oppose using a Symbol of Sol Invictus while a lawful evil god of power and war will not have a problem with it. The priest in question may start referring to their god with the post-title "Invictus". The Symbol of Sol Invictus is merely inoperable for people of certain alignments, it will not harm them to handle the object.

An unadorned Symbol has three magic powers. First, it will heal 1d6 hit points once per day in the hands of a good or lawful person. It will heal any creature of any alignment, except undead. The recipient of this healing will be struck by a beam of light, which means the device's power is line of sight. To trigger this effect the holder must think of good or beneficial thoughts of or for the recipient.

The second power is to smite Undead. They will suffer 1d6+2 points of damage from this "healing" beam. In the case of undead the beneficial though is a desire for final peace, freedom or resolution.

Once either effect is triggered, the symbol will glow with the strength of a torch until the next sun set. This effect could last hours depending on when the power is used. It may be covered, not extinguished.

The symbol can be used to heal one person and smite one undead creature once per day. The Symbol has no charges, only the daily limits on each power. The glow is either active or not based on the usage of the other powers.

All of these of these symbols have 3 rough, bar shaped impressions on the rim. If a diamond worth more than 10 GP is placed in any of these slots, the device becomes much more powerful. Placing the gem only requires contact, it does not require a jeweler or skill. The gem will assume the shape of a bar. For each diamond added, the Symbol will heal and smite one more time per day for a maximum of four times each. Additionally, the brightness of the symbol will increase from the hazy fire of a torch. One diamond will flood an area 20 feet in radius with light. Two will cause the symbol to glow with a rich yellow light for 40 feet. 3 diamonds cause it shine as full daylight out to 120 feet.

An odd side effect of this Symbol's power is, if the holder attempts to heal someone who does not need healing or attempts to smite a non-undead creature, it will still glow. This glow will attract injured people of lawful or good alignments for a radius of 1 league, if any. As soon as the injured person moves into the line of sight of the Symbol, they will be healed instantly. The beam of this power will reveal the recipient and they will be compelled to thank the holder, so long as there is no dire threat preventing it. The device desires to be used for good and order, but will not compel a person to risk themselves or others to pay thanks to it's holder.

While the device's primary purpose is healing humans and demi humans, it can be used on any creature such as animals, natural or supernatural. The glow of the device never attracts such beings.

Navigation:
Week 1 of 52 - Magic Lamps
Week 2 of 52 - The Rat Bag
Week 3 of 52 - Emulous Cursed Sword
Week 4 of 52 - The Cloak of Peaceful Repose
Week 5 of 52  - The Cowl of Death
Week 6 of 52 - Scimitar of Smiting
Week 7 of 52 - The Symbol of Sol Invictus
Week 8 of 52 - The Equi Phalera
Week 9 of 52 - Libertatem
Week 10 of 52 - Sorrow

Now the commercial. I have a little book called Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, over at DrivethruRPG. I am obviously thinking of writing another. Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A funny very short

Molly’s husband asked if they had a thermometer because he wasn’t feeling well. Her initial answer was, “I am feeding two babies because I am their mother, not yours. I am not the keeper of thermometers so you need to go look in the bathroom.”
Several minutes later, her husband comes back down stairs and asks, “Do we really need three thermometers?”
She turned to see him with a glass thermometer in his mouth and replies “You have one in three chance of wanting me to answer."
Molly is now officially the keeper of thermometers in her house.

Destiny evolution to 2 - No love for hunters

I've been plowing through my json file for G+.

Back in May of 2015, my son was playing Destiny with me. He was 9 or 10. In the middle of a mission, he stopped and climbed into my lap. I asked him what was wrong.

"I need a hug."
"Are you a Titan?"
"Yes."

I gave him a hug. He asked why it matter if he was Titan. I told him: "No hugs for Hunters."


I uploaded a crude screenshot of his Titan and my Hunter to the Destiny Community page in G+. This started my long time habit of heckling hunters in that community. 

Now, heckling is all in good fun and I suspect that Bungie had some fun with me and my son. Here is a screencut from Destiny 2. 


What are the chances? 


The Almost Ugly, Unicorn Princess Story

Nothing is ever perfect, until it is.

Within the first 24 hours of dating my wife, I did something unusual that has been a part of our lives ever since: I read a book to my wife. It was a passage from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It doesn’t matter what page or passage, it was the one I meant, and it wasn’t a thing I intended to do. Nothing is so perfect, but it left a mark on us that still exists today.
Fast forward many years. My wife brought three wonderful children into this world and I made damn sure that I read to them as I did her. Reading is incredibly powerful. It requires no money, no power, no station or status but it can enrich a mind in ways that exceed all of those things.
I read to my kids and I still read to them even though they can do it for themselves. I read to my wife and I read for myself. And sometimes, a tiny bit of magic can come from such a simply pleasure.
My daughter was born with a hemangioma. It was a strange, tumor-like structure on the bridge of her nose, about the size of a golf ball. Most of the time, they are very benign. Often, hemangiomas do not require any treatment at all.
However my daughter, Cat’s hemangioma was different. Located on the bridge of her nose, there was the danger that it could affect the development of her eyes. Cruelly, this would not be direct damage to her eyes but a subtle impingement on her visual perception. Her brain would learn that something prevented sight in that space between her eyes and compensate by ignoring input from that area. If it wasn’t removed, she could have a large blind spot that her brain learned not to see. If that happened, there was a chance her sight would be destroyed.
All that and it was unsightly. Having a child with a tumor on the face has the side effect of pulling every a-hole out of the woodwork to point, stare and lecture.
As I mentioned before, hemangioma are structures that typically require no treatment. It turned out that our insurance didn’t want to treat it at all. My wife fought an epic campaign to make them understand why it was so critical to have this one, special case treated. She found the best doctor. She worked with him to get the best treatment while battling the insurance company into submission. Our daughter had the best care, from the best people at every step of the way. No BS. My wife, Jennifer really did it all.
At the time, I was doing the best I could to provide. I would work like a dog, come home and did the things that needed to be done. I did my part, the best I could. My place was to support. And I made damn sure that if the kids wanted a bedtime story, they would get it no matter how tired or frustrated I was.
I read The Hobbit in a sing-song voice. I read Watership Down because of the bunnies on the cover. I read The Last Unicorn over and over again as it was my wife’s favorite. Stupid, nerdy stories that were age inappropriate; but they put my family in magical, far-away places.
At the end of the day, Cat’s hemangioma was excised but she was not left unmarked by it. On the bridge of her nose was a scar. And it was more than a red splotch. To this day, she calls her scar “her marker”.
A couple of months after the her treatment, I found Catherine playing with two neighborhood girls. There seemed to be a small row happening on our front lawn. The girls were dressed as princesses, complete with copious amounts of make-up. It was comical, except my daughter standing between the other girls armed with a red permanent marker. The other girls looked very concerned.
“What are you doing,” I asked.
“Playing Princesses…. Unicorn Princesses,” Cat answered.
“Unicorn Princesses?”
“Yes, we all need markers”
“For what?”
“To be Unicorns.”
I took the marker away and Cat blew her stack. It was obviously nap time, but I had this niggling feeling that this was somehow my fault.
After a nap, I asked her what a “Unicorn Princess” was. Surprisingly, shockingly, she explained that Unicorn Princesses were princesses that had a red marker on their foreheads where their horn used to be. If the other girls wanted to be Unicorn Princesses, they needed the same marker she had. Otherwise, they would simply be plain-old princesses.
Oh boy, it was my fault. And then some. I was so lucky I happened on the scene when I did. Otherwise I would be explaining a livid, semi-permanent, red mark to two sets of parents. That would be a very ugly conversation, indeed.
That night, situation defused, I read to my wife The Last Unicorn. I started where the trouble and the magic began:
“Molly smoothed the strange hair, and Schmendrick noticed on the forehead, above and between the closed eyes, a small, raised mark, darker than the rest of the skin. It was neither a scar nor a bruise. It looked like a flower.”
I can’t think of any other words that would be so perfect.