Saturday, December 31, 2016

Flame of Rebellion - A Brief History of Dorn

Attend me my children, for I, Chanter Anon the Galdr, first scribe of the Library Tower, shall share with you the secret history of our people….
In ages past, beyond the veil of memory, the People of Dorn took to their longships and set out across the cruel sea in search of new lands to conquer and new treasures to plunder.  The voyage was fraught with peril and many ships were lost, but in time they arrived upon the emerald shores of a pristine, virgin land, Eredane.
In Eredane, the People of Dorn found civilizations soft and ripe for plunder.  The Elves they routed and drove deep into their forests.  The Dwarves, a hearty folk but unprepared for the brutality of the Dornish attack, were also routed and took refuge in their mountain fastness.  The lesser races, the gnomish people and the elf-kin Dunni, were enslaved and made to serve the Dorn.  The Dorn were unstoppable, conquering and settling all lands between the Elvish forest and the Dwarven mountains, from the icy peaks in the North all the way south to the Sea of Pelluria.
For many lifetimes the Elves and Dwarves resisted, but finally, bloodied and desperate, they sued for peace.  The Dorn settled the lands and began to build a new civilization and there was peace for many generations.
Then, without warning, a shadow rose in the North.  A being of immense power and corruption led its forces south, slaughtering and desecrating everything and everyone in its path.  The Elves and Dwarves cried out for aid for they said that this shadow had risen before and was a threat to all life on Eredane.  The People of Dorn rallied to their aid.  Led by the Bloodborn heroes of Dorn, Dayne, Dale, Redgard, and the rest of the heroes, the Dorn smashed the invading humanoid army and sent them scurrying back to the North.  The queen of the Elves, Aradil, honored the Dornish heroes with the creation of mighty, enchanted swords.  For Dayne, the greatest among them, was forged by the Dwarves a crown of unmatched beauty and majesty.  Dayne and his fellow Bloodborn founded Great Houses and ruled their respective regions of Eredane.  The mighty Dayne was crowned High King and was loved and honored by his people.
The Dorn, in their wisdom, consulted with the Elves of Erethor and the Dwarves of the Kaladruns and built a great wall, the Fortress Wall, which ran across the breadth of the continent.  Surely, the Shadow would not penetrate such a mighty structure.  
For two centuries the Dorn kept a wary and watchful eye on the North, but the Shadow was dormant, perhaps never to return.  They were caught unaware, however, by an invading force from the South.  The dreaded and feared hordes of the Sarcosan, who had driven the Dorn from Pelluria in the distant past, had arrived to conquer a new continent.  With their great hordes of mounted warriors and their dark magics and vile alchemy, the Sarcosans struck like a spear into the heart of the Dornish kingdom.  The Dornish resistance was fierce and they drove the Sarcosans back toward the sea.  The Elves, ever protective of their forest domain, drove the Sarcosan from their groves.  At last, unable to defeat the combined might of the three Eredane races, the Sarcosans sued for peace.  They were granted by Queen Esmir Dayne all the lands south of the Ardune, a small inland sea, in exchange for a permanent end of hostilities.
A long period of relative peace followed in which the Sarcosans, ever the raiders and would-be conquerors, clashed with the People of Dorn to their North, but nothing much ever came of it.  The people had forgotten the threat of the Shadow and turned their eyes from the North and abandoned the Fortress Wall.  Perhaps it was for this distraction that the Shadow had awaited, none can say, for the forces of darkness once again surged south from the broken and twisted lands of the far North.  The Fortress Wall was pierced in multiple locations and the swarm of corrupt humanoids again ravaged the country of the Dorn as well as the forests and deep holds of the Elves and Dwarves.  Even with the aid of the Sarcosans, the South was losing.  The loss of life was staggering and the Fell ravaged among the survivors.  Cities were burned and the land was made arid.  If not for the intervention of dragons, the war would surely have been lost.  When the smoke cleared and the ashes had settled to the charred ground, the survivors were few, but the hordes had been repelled and the Shadow was once again safely imprisoned in the North.
Peace, however, was hard to come by.  Though ten generations had passed since the Shadow had been vanquished, the foul orcs still harried and assaulted the stalwart Dwarves, causing them to dig ever deeper into their mountain tunnels.  Soon, they were cut off from the world and the doors to their great underground halls were closed and sealed.  The Elves, too, were under constant assault as orcs from beyond the Fortress Wall constantly tested their defenses and ambushed any unwary Elf who strayed too far north beyond the boundaries of their forest.  The Elves grew hard and bitter and turned their backs on the world of Man.  
There would be no peace for the Dorn either.  High King Valik Dayne, the last of his line, was betrayed and murdered by his closest friend, Duke Ivass Torbault.  The Torbaults slaughtered every living Dayne in a massacre we now call The Night of the Black Knife.  Backed by the Sarcosan Kalif, the Torbaults took the Crown of Dayne and surrendered the capital, Erenhead, to the Sarcosan Kalif without a struggle.  The Great Houses fought, to be sure.  Led by Houses Dale and Redgard, the Dorns mustered an army to take back the capital, but the Sarcosans were too powerful and claimed victory after victory against the Dornish footmen.  Soon, reluctantly, the Great Houses were forced to surrender and accept Sarcosan rule.  One by one the Great Houses bent the knee and swore fealty to Kalif, now High King, Omar ibn Akani.  
The era of Dornish independence had come to an end.
The campaign begins 25 years after the Night of the Black Knife.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Star Trek Adventures Alpha Playtest

Today I had the opportunity to run a playtest of the new Modiphius game, Star Trek Adventures.  I gathered players from around the world on Roll20 and we set out to test these new and exotic rules.

As with any new rule system, the majority of the session was comprised of rules explanations and interpretations.  In our three hour session, we managed to get through about 3 pages of the actual scenario.  That was fine, though, as we covered most of the basic rules and were able to get a pretty good grasp on the fine points of the system.

Though there was some dispute, most players felt that the system played like an episode of Star Trek. The initial confusion about the rather complex rules gave way to admiration as we learned just how flexible the system can be.  Though it has a rigid rules structure, there are methods by which a player or GM can gain narrative control, which allows for a very personal and interactive experience.  The Momentum/Determination/Threat economy was quickly mastered by the players and they used it to great effect.  

I'm looking forward to the next update so that we can explore ship-based adventures and maybe a bit of space combat.  I'm also hoping to see some much-needed rules clarifications and character creation rules.

Well done, Modiphius.  So far, so good.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Flames of Rebellion - Luke's Questions

What's the Big Picture? What's going on in this setting that makes it ripe for adventure. What's changing, evolving, declining?

The Dornish society, long dominated and ruled by their southern neighbors, the Sarcosans, are inching toward rebellion.  A few Northern Houses, like House Dale and House Redgard, are vocal proponents of rebellion.  House Torbault, the current Dornish ruling House, opposes rebellion and will go so far as to take up arms against their brothers.

Unbeknownst to the the two kingdoms, the great evil, Izrador the Fallen, is stirring to the north after a 1000-year dormancy.  He has sent spies and infiltrators into the kingdoms of Man to search for those he can manipulate to his ends.  His hand stokes the wrath of the Dorns and drives them toward rebellion.

Little is known of what transpires within the Elven and Dwarven kingdoms as they’ve had little to no contact with the Humans for hundreds of years.

What's the world's culture? What are the cultural analogs? Analogs can be taken from historical earth, current events or fantasy works.

The Dornish people are analogous to Vikings and Scottish Highlanders.  They are large, boisterous, and prone to violence.  They have suffered greatly under Sarcosan rule and they are a broken and desperate people now.

The Sarcosans are analogous to the Mongols and Arabians.  They are masters of horse and science, both of which they make use of to conquer their foes and dominate the continent of Eredane.  Sarcosan cavalry is greatly feared and with good reason.  Sarcosan science has allowed them to master the alchemical arts, creating weird mixtures that can be used in a variety of ways, from a simple light source to the scourge of the battlefield, White Fire.

What's the conflict in which the characters are involved? What are the sides? What's wrong?

The players may choose to side with the Dornish houses in their bid to overthrow their Sarcosan masters.  They may choose to fight against the rising tide of darkness in the north, taking the fight to Izrador and his dark hordes.  They may choose to side with the Sarcosans, attempting to keep peace in troubled times and quell the ridiculous Dornish rebellion.  They may choose to play as agents of Izrador, looking to foment rebellion and soften the Human kingdoms for the coming invasion.

 What physical place does this conflict take place in? What ecology, environment, place?

This campaign takes place on the continent of Eredane in the Midnight RPG setting.

What's the name of the most important place in this setting? Not the capital or any dumb shit like that, but THE PLACE where all the action goes down?

With luck, the action will range up and down the continent, from the Icy crags of the far north, beyond the Fortress Wall, to the Kasmael Sea in the south where Sarcosan traders cut the waves on their way to sell their products in the exotic ports of far off Pelluria

What's the name of a faraway place that folks talk about, dream about or mutter under their breath about?

The Scar, an area far to the north of the Fortress Wall, is said to be the place that Izrador landed after he was Sundered from the realm of the Gods.  From the Scar, in an area known as the Veil of Tears, His shadow spreads across the land and corrupts all it touches.

Who are the antagonists? Who is opposing the goals of the characters?

TBD after character burning.

Imagine all of the characters are standing a room/ruin/field with the antagonists or their minions. What do the antagonists want from that meeting? What do the character want from that meeting? That's where your game begins.

TBD after character burning.

Alternately, imagine the characters standing at the scene of some great disaster or calamity clearly caused by one of the antagonists. What's the disaster? How did it happen? What are the characters going to do about it right now?

TBD after character burning.

What type of magic exists in this world? Pick one or two of the magic systems: Faith (and Blasphemous Hatred), Sorcery (and Abstraction), Natural Magic, Spirit Binding, Summoning, Enchanting.

Magic in Eredane is rare among the Humans (though quite common among the Elves).  The ability to practice magic is trait that is determined at birth.  It appears to be a completely random trait, never passed down from parent to child.  Those among the Dorn born with the gift are known as Galdr, or Chanters.  The Sarcosan gifted, known for having blue eyes, are called Starborn.  They are feared yet respected in both societies. 

There is no Faith on Eredane as the world has been cut off from the Gods by Izrador’s Sundering.  Faith is available, however, to those who choose to worship the Fallen One.

If Sorcery is used, what's it's idiom? Does it require speech? Gestures?

TBD after character burning.

If Sorcery is used, what spells are available? Which spells are inappropriate to the game world?

TBD after character burning.

If is Faith used, what is the Faith idiom? What are the religions? Is Faith universal or does it only affect believers?

Faith is universal but the touch of Izrador cannot be disguised.  Non-believer affected by Faith know they have been touched by Izrador.

What character stocks are in play in this world? Which are restricted and why?

Players may choose to play Human, Elf, or Dwarven stock as long as they can justify it in the fiction.

Will you allow only character burns or will you allow monster-burned characters as well?

No monster-burned characters will be allowed.

What cultural traits apply to the characters of this game world? Pick three character traits for each culture.

Dorn Cultural Traits:

Born of Steel (Dt)
The Dorns have always been a people of strong stature and great build. Their physical prowess and fitness is renown amongst the lands of Eredane and is one of the chief factors which have allowed them to combat their occupation and survive under the iron heel of the Sarcosans.
Due to the Dorn’s physical prowess, a starting character receives the Robust Die Trait for free.

Stern Demeanor (Char)
Dorns receive this character trait for free due to their inherent visage of hardness. Even a calm and merry Dorn will appear quite imposing and unsettling.

Sarcosan Cultural Traits:

Stargazer (Dt)
The common belief in the influence of the stars is widespread among those of Sarcosan descent. As a result, deference to the favor of the stars is given whenever possible; crops are harvested, marriages are sealed, and even raids are planned by the alignment of constellations.
Because of this natural affinity those of Sarcosan descent begin play with Astrology available on the character’s Master Skill List whether he would have taken a Life-path with Astrology available or not. The skill may be raised as normal with regular or general skill points.

Horsefriend (Char)
Above all else, the Sarcosans are a people of the horse. Their long history is one intertwined with and dependent on horses and it is they who first brought them to Eredane. It was from horseback that the Sarcosans built their great empire, it was from horseback that they rule Erenland.
Due to this ingrained element of society, Sarcosans begin play with the Horsefriend Character Trait.

Child of the South (Char)

The Sarcosan race is a people in stark contrast to their Northern neighbors. Rather than the milky white flesh of the Dorns, the Sarcosans bear an olive tone to their demeanor which tells of their ancestry of Pelluria. This allows a character of Sarcosan descent to be readily recognizable by any of the races of Erenland with even the most miniscule intelligence.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Flames of Rebellion

Coming Soon
 The Flames of Rebellion
A Burning Wheel Campaign

A Campaign set in Eredane, the world of Midnight

GM:  David Benson (Dork Rage)
Players:  Redring, JoesToes, Roee AV

Sunday, November 27, 2016


I think I'm finally ready to run a BW campaign on Roll20. I have a couple of game pitches but I'm open to almost anything. Here's what currently interests me: 1. A game set in the Midnight RPG campaign world, but during the end of the third age. For those of you familiar with the setting, it's before Izrador rises for the third and final time. The game will have a political focus as various Northern houses foment rebellion against their Sarcosan rulers to the South, all while the shadows gather in the North as Izrador marshalls his strength. I like to think it's a combo of Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. 2. A game set in Ancient Rome centering around a Roman House that is having some financial problems of late. The game will have horror elements and a vague Cthulhu Britannica vibe. Here's the catch, though: I'm only available to play on Tuesday mornings at 8:30am PST. I know that's tough timeframe for most people, but could be pretty good for European players. I already have 1 or 2 players (though that's not confirmed). I'd like to go into the campaign with 3 solid players. Any interest?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Masks of Nyarlathotep

I have tried playing play by post role-playing in the past, with limited success.  Storium offered a year or so of amusement, but ultimately couldn't scratch that itch.  Storium is mostly a collaborative story game and not really a role-playing game.  Many people have attempted to shoehorn role-playing mechanics onto the framework of Storium and failed spectacularly.  I did run a long and enjoyable game set in my version of S.M. Stirling's Emberverse, but attrition and waning interest eventually killed that.  It's fun to go back and read it, though.  I had some players who were semi-professional writers and it reads like a dark and brutal story of survival in a world gone mad.  Fun stuff!

But I still have that itch, to write and to role-play.  My face to face gaming opportunities are limited.  The friends I live game with are busy professionals who can barely manage to meet monthly.  I'm no better (not nearly as professional, but equally as busy).  My weekly Roll20 game has been reduced to just one other person due to scheduling difficulties. It's fun, but lacks that group dynamic that makes role-playing so enjoyable.

So, I decided to give Tavern Keeper another try.  I wanted to run a game I'm familiar with, so I fell back on that old standard, Call of Cthulhu and the mega-adventure, Masks of Nyarlathotep.

I've attempted to run Masks several times in the past.  The first time while in college, if I remember correctly.  The game ended in a TPK and that group never returned to it.  The second time I ran Masks as a vehicle to learn Fate Core.  The game lasted only a few sessions, but was highlighted by the fact that the characters included Tarzan, Dr. Watson, Frankenstein's monster, Lamont Cranston, and a young Indiana Jones.  Of course the game was doomed to fail!  You'd think because of that cast, but you'd be wrong.  Fate Core was just not a great vehicle for horror games, at least in our inexperienced opinion.

So now I turn to play by post to try to run this venerable campaign.  We've only started, having completed most of the first scene, but it's been a rousing success.  PbP games offer me both the chance to role-play and to write.  I was skeptical at first, but I think, given the right players as I have now, I could learn to love this as a gaming outlet.  Finger crossed!

Follow along, if you dare, but beware of spoilers.  If you have any desire to play this wonderful and rich campaign, then make your sanity check and steer clear.  Spoilers abound!

Masks of Nyarlathotep on Tavern Keeper.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Star Wars: Episode Two

Episode Two:  Out of the Shadows

Our young heroes returned from a job done to the Drunken Kowakian Monkey Lizard.

Their Beliefs—as of now—are:

1.     Zellara is but one thing Gudra has taken from me. He will not live to take another. His dog, Yargin Balko, will join him in a pauper’s grave.
2.    The strong have a responsibility to the weak. I will be one of the strong, and protect those in need.
3.    Zellara had a list of names stored with two lightsabers. I will find the purpose of this list, beginning with identifying the legendary Blackjack

1.    A Mandalorian always pays his debts. Gudra will pay for the years he stole from me.
2.    Yargin Balko killed Zellara. He will die by his own acid. I will track him down at the old fishery.
3.    I seek to uncover the mystery of Zellara. I will track down Blackjack to find out more.

Upon returning to the bar, Grundo appears agitated. Bitterly, he lets them in without much protest, however. Gyra must have had a word with him. 

The bar is busy now. Humans, twi'leks. A rodian and a duros sit privately in a booth. 

They approach the bartender, and ask where Gyra is. The bartender tells them that he's out back, making a deal. Just wait and he will be in in a moment.

Ant begins worrying about his droid, M1T3. He should have come to Ant when he walked through the door. Desperate, he asks the bartender for his holocom, to triangulate the mouse-droid's signal. After some grumbling, the bartender hands it over, alongside two musk ales. The young men sit in a corner table. 

Ant fiddles with his datapad and the bartender's holocom, and discovers that M1T3 is, in fact, in Gyra's satchel, who is approaching them now.

He apologizes to them before complimenting them on a job well done, allowing him to conduct his shady business. In fact, because of them, he actually made quite a profit. He slides them a couple of credit-chips (1D of Cash each). "Ah, I almost forgot!" He produces M1T3, and hands it to Ant. "Caught Alnada playing with him. You best be careful, and be glad I ain't one of them barkeeps who don't serve their kind here!"

A quick inspection reveals that M1T3 has been tampered with, but Ant doesn't bring this up.

Ghost cuts to the chase. "What about our deal?" 

Gyra scratches under his eyepatch. "Blackjack, eh? Hell, he's a tough man to find. Only way you can reach him is by dead-dropping a holopad. He's done some work for me before, but he's very particular about what jobs he takes. Real righteous fella'. Totally useless when it comes to anything not involving the authorities or the throne. Hell, won't even respond to me if the job isn't right up his alley. I set up a meeting with him for you."

He instructs them to meet Gyra back here at the Monkey Lizard in two days’ time, before midnight. 

The boys go back to their tiny apartment and sleep. The next day, Ant begins working on M1T3, to find out what's wrong with him.

        He ties a Computer vs. Slicing test. Not being the defender, he fails.
He discovers that Gyra had the droid sliced for surveillance footage of the two of them testing the newly-found lightsabers, and that that footage was sent directly to an untrackable holopad.

Never wanting this kind of breach again, Ant begins work on a firewall for the little spy.

         He rolls 3 successes on a Graduated Computers test to set an Ob 3 if someone attempts to slice M1T3
The holonet news blares in the tiny workshop. 

//Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the Palace Seneschal, Neolandus Kalepopolis, for the past week are unknown. Needing a replacement for public relations during this time of uncertainty, Queen Ileosa has appointed a new position of Press Secretariat. In a recent statement, the secretariat has claimed that the Seneschal is 'currently disposed in political matters'. This was followed by a statement claiming that Imperial diplomats are arriving soon to discuss the future of Korvosa and the Empire with the Queen. This has led to unease—and several small altercations—in the streets, as Imperial supporters gain confidence. What was once thought to be a strongly decided anti-Imperial populace of the planet, Korvosa is now considered divided nearly in half of Imperial sympathizers and people opposed to the Empire. The throne has released one final statement of late that there will be a decision made, and soon, about Korvosa's future. I'm Basha Kamilla, reporting for KVNN//

During this time, Ghost sets out to case Gudra's new hideout, the old fishery. First, he needs a holocorder to capture images. He decides to spend his recent earnings on a new holocom, equipped with a holocorder.

·         His resources is 0, but he spends the 1D cash and a persona point to pass an Ob1 Resources test

Using Zellara's map, he discovers the fishery located in an old, near-abandoned industry district near the harbor. There being not a lot of people around to slip through crowds, Ghost must rely on his abilities at sneaking through shadows. If he is seen by someone, it could throw off their entire plan to sneak in to Gudra's hold. He wants to get up close to discover any alternate entrances to the building

·         He wins a Stealthy vs. Observation, linking to a Perception test at Ob 4, which he passes.
Ghost discovers a refuse hatch on the backside of the building. It appears to be a dump chute for fish cleanings. An ancient, rusty iron ladder leads up to it. Ghost gets a few reconnaissance snapshots, and heads back to the apartment.

The two of them head out to meet Gyra. They arrive at the bar where Grundo remains ever vigilant (as much as a gamorrean can be)

Entering the Monkey Lizard, they find it to be "Closed". Seskerin is mock-cleaning at the bar, regards them. Alnada is watching intently. In the center of the room, Gyra stands over a white, opened crate, finishing up a conversation with a Kubaz. The alien leaves the bar, and Gyra greets the two boys. A quick peek in the crate reveals it is full of Stormtrooper E-11 blaster rifles, stolen, and obviously highly illegal in the hands of a civilian. Gyra doesn't keep this information from Ant and Ghost, and goes on to say that if things heat up with this possible new deal with the Empire, Gyra isn't gonna be caught with his pants down. Getting the guns before anything happens is key.

He speaks with them, and claims that Blackjack will be scared off if Gyra isn't there with them. If they want to see Blackjack, they need Gyra. He goes on to discuss details about what to say, and how to say it in Blackjack's company. Never turn your back on him, always have both hands in the open, leave holocoms on the ground where he can see them, etc.

Gyra is interrupted by his earpiece. "What? They're here? Hold them off, Grundo! Hold them off!" He dashes over to the crate. "That kubaz must be workin' for the imps!" 

Unbeknownst to Gyra, the real reason why the stormtroopers are here is because his gang pistol was found and tracked to him.

Blaster fire. Grundo comes careening in through the front door, and crashes to the floor in a limp heap. White armor emerges in the door, and Seskerin begins to shoot. He takes a shot between the eyes. Alnada screams and disappears. "Looks like the Monkey Lizard's outta' business, fellas!" Gyra fires his blaster at an imperial stormtrooper trying to step over Grundo's bulk and lands a clean hit. He tosses them each a blaster. "C'mon! I gotta couple swoops out back!"

·         Range & Cover! 
·         Both teams set objectives: Gyra & the PCs need to make it to the bikes. If they get "Out of Range" they make it out the back, to where the speeder bikes are. The Imperials want to capture the PCs and Gyra alive (If possible). They will need to force a team hesitation or injuries, or get in to "Too Close to Shoot". 
·         Range is set at Optimal for both teams (Same weapons). Cover is widely available in the forms of tables, benches, the stage, etc.
·         The PCs make a Steel test for surprise, with advantage from Grundo's warning. Gyra hides behind cover, screaming like an idiot (Fall Prone). Ant just stands there fiddling with the E-11's safety (Stand & Drool). Ghost drags his partner behind a banquette before a hail of blaster bolts rains down on where they were standing (Passed his Steel test). Phew! Close call!

·         Volleys:
o    1st Volley: PC's Sneak Out (Moving through cover of the debris and smoke among the tables) vs Imp's Close (Getting through the entry-way and in to the bar proper.) Ghost tests Stealthy without any help (his friends are hesitating) and beats the stormtrooper's double Ob penalty for Speed. He takes a shot with his rifle, but misses. He spends another success to move the group behind the bar for a better position. They move to Extreme range.
o    2nd Volley: PC's Withdraw (Getting out the back door while blasting at their pursuers) vs Imp's Flank (trying to fan out to get better angles.) Ghost tests his Speed+2D with Help vs the stormtroopers' B3 Tactics with Help, and barely wins after spending a Fate! 
o    They make it out the back door, Out of Range for both teams, and R&C ends, rather quickly, I might add.

Gyra runs over and pulls back the canvas covering some illegal swoops. The three bicker about who is going to drive these things when the Stormtroopers begin blasting at them. They take off, Gyra on the back, blasting at two pursuing Imperials on speeders themselves. They want to get away, unharmed, undetected, and on time to meet Blackjack!

·         Ant tests Beginner's Luck Driving, plus Help from Gyra's Rifles skill and Ghost's Agility vs the Imperials' B4 Driving with 1 Help. The Imps get 1 measly success, and Ant pulls out a whopping 10 successes after spending a fate point. This brings his net to 5, and the party screams off in to the night on their swoops.

They arrive at their destination, an old city park, overgrown and abandoned. They get off their speeders and approach the hollowed stump of a great maska tree. From within, a soft voice questions the young men and their guide. "Were you followed?" Gyra speaks up first. "No, we were not." The voice ignores Gyra. "Young men, I ask you, and I think you will know. Were you followed?" The two think about the question, but assured, they both say "No. We were not."

"Why do you seek my company?" Ghost produces the list of names, and reads them aloud, along with where they found it, in a Jedi's home. 

"Zellara? She was no Jedi." Gyra's services here are no longer needed, and the voice sends him off. Gyra, feeling hard done by, asks for his illegal blasters back, says his farewell to the boys, and mounts his speeder, ushering the other one by remote. The sad image of their broken ally rides off as the voice speaks again. "Your lightsabers," It asks. "Show them to me." The boys do so, and a dark figure materializes out of the tree. Black, well crafted cloak, a fine-lined silver blaster pistol at his hip, and a mask covering all but his chin.

He looks at Ghost. "That. That lightsaber, I have not seen it in many years. May I look more closely?" Reluctantly, Ghost hands the dark stranger the weapon. "It is mine, though I have not had claim to it in a long time." He pockets it, assumingly, and to Ghost's silent dismay. "The two of you must have had a very rough day. I feel the Force is strong with both of you. Though you have only just met me, would you trust me enough to shelter you for the evening? Perhaps you might have the answers you seek." They agree, and follow him through the dark, gnarled old city streets, to places long left to rot. They arrive in an underground hovel, and Blackjack goes on to light candles.

He tells them of the Force, of the dark side and the light. He offers them training, to unlock their potential to use the Force. He lets them sleep on the decision.

Before sleep, Ant asks M1T3 to spy on the mysterious man.

  • M1T3 failed an Inconspicuous test to spy

In the morning, Ant is woken with a terrible thud to his chest. M1T3 squeeks from on top of him, as Blackjack stands menacingly above. "The next time you try and spy on me, try to be a little more subtle than a mouse droid?" M1T3 Whirrs a foul-mannered response.

End of session.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Burning Wheel Codex

Update:  Funded!  Get to work, Luke.

+luke crane and Burning Wheel Headquarters have announced a kickstarter to update the Monster Burner, Magic Burner, and Adventure Burner in a single tome, The Burning Wheel Codex.

We fans of the BW have been waiting a long time for this.  Don't miss your opportunity to get in on the ground floor and support this wonderful RPG company.  You won't be sorry!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

More Burning Wheel...Please!

I'd like to take a moment here and step up on my soap box.  Luke Crane, creator of Burning Wheel, has expressed a desire not to see his work released and distributed in PDF form on social sharing sites.  I can certainly respect his wishes there.  But...he has refused to reprint and make available books that, while designed for an older version of BW, are directly referenced in his newest and current version of the game.  I don't want to download illegal PDF's of games.  I want to see the creator paid and rewarded for his or her hard work.  I want to encourage future publications with my credit card.  I want the system to work as it's supposed to.  Bottom line, though, is I want to be able to purchase and own Luke's work!  It will enhance my experience with his game and put a little money in his pocket.

I know that Luke has scheduled an announcement on Tuesday, so I'll wait for that, but I want to encourage him to rethink his position and either release the books in question as PDF's or reprint the books and make them available for purchase.  Either way, I'll buy them.

Bottom line:  Luke, take my freakin' money!

P.S.  Luke, the books are brilliant.  Don't sell yourself short.  We love and respect your work and only want to encourage you to create more.  We have your back.