Ambientació: Un futur apocalíptic conegut

Article en català /Articulo en catalàn / Blog entry in Catalan

Avui us porto un rerefons postapocalíptic una mica canalla. L’he creat per una partida online al forum de Talpimon que utilitza el sistema de Per un Grapat d’Anells i intenta cobrir la doble demanda de fer una partida en un ambient de western i post-apocalíptic alhora. M’han mencionat Deadlands, però com que no conec aquest ambient i sempre m’agrada crear o trastejar amb histories més locals, he acabat amb això entre mans. Sense enrollar-me més, us deixo el material.

Salut,
Xavi

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L’any 2015 Catalunya declara la independència. en un primer moment no passa res violent i sembla que serà un fet la independència, ja que Europa no dóna suport ni s’oposa a això, però adverteix Espanya sobre les conseqüències d’envair. Veient com ha anat la cosa, la conca del Ruhr i algunes altres regions alemanyes decideixen independitzar-se també. I aleshores sí que es lia parda.

Alemanya fa marxa enrere sobre la seva neutralitat prèvia i envia tropes al Ruhr, incitant a Espanya a que faci el mateix. I ja que s’hi posen, l’exèrcit del Reyno envaeix també Gibraltar a més de Catalunya. Els anglesos envien vaixells al Penó i ja posats, decideixen que la independència d’escòcia tampoc els sembla bé al final i també ataquen aquest ex-territori. Irlanda, veient com va la cosa i que els anglesos estan liats en altres fronts, envaeix Irlanda del nord apuntant-se a la festa. El Marroc aprofita per tornar a envair Perejil. De Ceuta i Melilla passa mil, ja que són més una càrrega que un avantatge.

Aprofitant la crisi interna i la falta de poder executiu patent per part de les institucions europees, Rússia intenta envair alguns països d’Europa de l’Est començant pels Estats Bàltics. la comunitat internacional posen el crit al cel i la OTAN es mobilitza (sobretot EEUU i els països americans, que els seus aliats europeus ja la tenen muntada ben grossa). Un comandant de submarí americà hackeja el seu propi sistema de claus de seguretat i autoritza un atac nuclear sobre Moscou. La resposta és immediata.

Les grans ciutats són destruïdes i milers de milions de persones són anihilades. Els països del primer món són els que pateixen més, però ni tan sols Àfrica es salva del desastre. Fins i tot es desmunta internet. I no hi ha series online ni pagines porno. Fins i tot talpimon desapareix! :o És una involució tecnològica de primer nivell.

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I arribem a l’any 2050. La societat s’ha recuperat en part. El desastre atòmic va ser menys brutal del que s’esperava. És cert que la majoria de la població té mutacions menors i que el càncer és la principal causa de mort, però no ha estat una destrucció total del planeta. La natura, especialment, s’ha mostrat prou resistent i adaptable al desastre. Sembla ser que el desastre nuclear va tenir la inesperada conseqüència de carregar-se moltes de les malalties i insectes que més negativament afecten la flora i la natura s’ha recuperat bé. Alguns animals com les vaques es van extingir, però se n’han creat d’altres mutants, generalment a escala local., No obstant en general la natura es podria dir que té una gran salut.

La natura, reconquerint les ciutatshttps://i0.wp.com/wpmedia.o.canada.com/2013/04/thelastofus2.jpg

La pèrdua de coneixement ha estat massiva, i sobretot s’ha perdut la majoria del teixit industrial. La humanitat es troba més o menys com a mitjans del segle XIX a nivell tecnològic, tot i que algunes mostres de tecnologia “moderna” de fa 40 anys perduren, tot i que la majoria falla o té “personalitat” per falta de manteniment.

La humanitat ha tornat a poblacions més petites i els mitjans de transport mecànic s’han abandonat en favor dels mitjans animals o de vent. les noves poblacions tendeixen a estar en llocs prèviament poc poblats, on la radiació és menor. Les comunitats tendeixen a haver adoptat una actitud de tipus far west, on l’autodefensa és primordial ja que el protector extern ha deixat de tenir massa sentit en molts casos. La màxima autoritat local tendeix a ser un alcalde, i generalment hi ha algun tipus d’autoritat de l’ordre local, però poca cosa. En molts casos aquestes comunitats depenen d’un capitost local, ja sigui voluntàriament o per la força.

Típica familia a la seva granja. Zona poc contaminadahttps://i0.wp.com/i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news-700/The-Last-of-Us-Remastered-for-PS4-Targets-60fps-Framerate-Dev-Says.jpg

Amb el nou món emergeixen noves societats i nous centres de poder. El sistema té més a veure amb organitzacions a petita escala, en alguns casos de tipus feudal, i en altres amb sistemes democràtics locals o semi-democràtics. Fins i tot algunes societats han aconseguit mantenir una certa cohesió i mantenir un sistema de coordinació de la seva acció local. En molts casos s’han rehabilitat castells medievals i torres de guaita, que esdevenen centres de poder un cop més. En diversos punts fins i tot sembla esta-se implementant un sistema de poder més ampli.

Aquest és el cas de l’antic territori dels països catalans. Després de la destrucció de les capitals, la nova gran àrea urbana del territori es troba a Amposta, on el riu navegable i el fàcil accés al mediterrani han propiciat el desenvolupament d’un poder local força eficient. Els nous boscos del camp de Tarragona han propiciat una industria manufacturera de vaixells de primer nivell. La població ja té gairebé 12.000 habitants! i poc a poc va incrementant la seva àrea d’influència, especialment al llarg de Lo Riu i la costa mediterrània. No obstant, altres zones més muntanyoses com els Pirineus romanen encara lluny del seu control. A la zona pirinenca, Berga es la ciutat més important degut al seu important potencial miner, seguida per Besalú. Degut a la difícil orografia, el burro català s’ha convertit en un important vehicle a tot el territori. Al territori valencià el cavall és més comú. Hi ha rumors de neo-dinosaures al pirineu, i les zones més contaminades com l’antiga àrea urbana de Barcelona són molt perilloses en aquest punt. Les grans ciutats són entorns on només els molt agosarats s’endinsaran, ja que pocs cops els folls que s’atreveixen a entrar-hi en surten vius o en plenes facultats mentals. No obstant, el cant de sirena de l’arqueo-tecnologia fa que molts inconscients s’hi endinsin.

Nadius dels Pirineushttps://i0.wp.com/www.cinemablend.com/images/gallery/s56276/Last_Of_Us_13701172911614.jpg

Barcelona, entrant per la Diagonal. Zona molt radioactiva

Amposta no té un poder efectiu massa potent pel que fa a legitimitat, encara, però si que té una important eina de poder: diners. És capaç d’oferir recompenses per treballs fets en nom seu. A més de reconnectar infraestructures de transport mig destruïdes que incrementen els seus ingressos i popularitat (i importància com a centre comercial), realitza una hàbil utilització d’aquesta política per capturar malfactors al territori i acabar amb abusos de poder locals oferint recompenses. Aquesta política ha anat estenent la seva influència. La important població mutant a les rodalies de Barcelona i a Montserrat fan que aquest territoris encara es considerin inhòspits, aixi com zones dels Pirineus ocupades per mutants d’Aragó, Lleida i Girona.

Entrant a les terres dels Navallers, a prop de L’H.

Els encarregats de dur a terme la recerca dels malfactors són grups de caçarrecompenses. No acostumen a ser la gent d’ideals més elevats, però si alguns dels que tenen el gatell més ràpid amb les armes del taller Puig. La Puig 2014 és una de les armes més apreciades a la conca occidental de la mediterrània per la seva duresa i facilitat de manteniment. Els fusells més famosos són els Herba de la casa Sants Migjorn & Garriga (coneguts com SMG), de Mallorca.

Són especialment destres com pistolers i tropes de terreny feréstec els Castellers, antics habitants de l’àrea de Tarragona reconvertits en hàbils combatents arrel d’haver de lidiar amb la vegetació mutant del Penedès i priorat després de que les vinyes mutessin i convertissin la zona en una zona perillosa. Aprofitant les seves nocions de fer castells, s’han especialitzat també en desfer-los: avui per avui son algunes de les tropes d’assalt a fortificacions més ferotges d’Europa.

Altres grups paramiliars famosos als antics països catalans son els diables i els bastoners. Els bastoners són especialistes en combat cos a cos, especialment utilitzant vares ui porres de fusta a cada mà. Aquests caçadors especialitzats tendeixen a especialitzar-se en capturar animals mutants vius, tot i que també poden fer servir les seves habilitats per deixar KO un humà, o esberlar-li la closca.

Els diables són famosos especialment al país valencià i a Berga. Utilitzant salpetre i altres materials, s’especialitzen en la utilització del foc com a eina i com a arma. Tendeixen a estar una mica grillats, però això també es aplicable als altres grups, o sigui que poca gent s’hi amoïna gaire.

Les incipients forces armades ampostines (uns 500 homes en total) contenen importants destacaments de tots aquests tipus de tropes. És especialment famós el Quart de Burrelleria, infanteria muntada en una constant lluita amb els mutants de Montserrat, els coneguts com a Els Ampatxes un grup de mutants sorgit (segons la llegenda) a partir de grups mutants de pares de les AMPA de Manresa i Barcelona.

La majoria de poblacions locals han desenvolupat els seus propis sistemes de govern, ja que la influència d’Amposta és encara molt tènue. L’autoritat policial local tendeix a tenir el nom d’Urbano. Molts d’ells no reconeixen l’autoritat d’Amposta, però si que s’aprofitaran de les partides de caçarecompenses que Amposta paga per mantenir certa pau al territori.

Operant en zona radioactiva

Les guerres de baixa intensitat entre senyors locals són freqüents. Els seus exèrcits rarament contenen més d’una cinquantena de combatents. Com a molt.

Vandellós

 

Altres detalls de l’ambientació

  • El joc de capçalera als bars són partides de botifarra.
  • Hi ha grans ramats de senglars gegants recorrent el territori. Tant els supervivents com els mutants els cacen.

Mutants. Es coneixen com a mínim 3 grups de mutants a les rodalies de Barcleona

  • Ampatxes de Montserrat.
  • Chayans. Part sud de Collserola (Sant Joan d’Espí). Deriven de les comunitats dels estudis de reality shows de la zona.
  • Navallers, Entre L’Hospitalet i Montjuïc. Grans lluitadors cos a cos. Tenen el seu centre sagrat a Can Tunis.
  • Als pirineus també hi ha importants comunits mutants, així com a les rodalies de Lleida

Rumors i llegendes

  • Diuen que hi ha uns mutants anomenats capgrossos.
  • Diuen que hi ha gegants als boscos de pins. les cançons d’abans del Gran Boom ja els citaven.

 

Esteu preparats per sobreviure en aquest ambient?

https://i2.wp.com/hd.wallpaperswide.com/thumbs/the_last_of_us_6-t2.jpg

 

 

Publicado en Ambientació, Apocalipsis, rol, Western | Etiquetado | Deja un comentario

Por un Puñado de Dados v1.26

Buenas a todos,

Buenas a todos de nuevo. Tras un parón bastante largo en el blog por temas de curro y lúdicos (¡mejor jugar que escribir!) vuelvo a las andadas 🙂

Una de las cosas que he estado haciendo es testear y acabar de pulir el reglamento de Por Un Puñado de… Aqui os traigo la que es la versión 1.26 de la beta. Creo que ya está bastante definitivo y le daré el estatus de versión definitiva en breve. Ahora ando testeándola en una partida online y pretendo hacer por lo menos otra partida en mesa antes de darlo por acabado, pero ya va siendo bastante fijo.

Sin más preámbulos, aquí tenéis el reglamento en castellano y català. Los ejemplos corresponden a la tierra media, que es donde lo he testeado hasta ahora. Por ello el nombre es Por un Puñado de Anillos / Per un Grapat d’Anells. Sin embargo se trata de un reglamento genérico, asi que sirve para cualquier ambientación.

En este caso me he dejado de intentos de que cupiera todo en 2 caras de A4. El texto queda mejor ya que no tengo que reducir tanto la letra y puedo explayarme más en algunos puntos. Total cabe en 3 caras de A4, asi que tampoco es que sea mu largo que digamos 🙂

Aqui los teneis:

Per un Grapat d’Anells (Català)

Por un Puñado de Anillos (Castellano)

Saludos,
Xavi

 

Publicado en Downloads, Por un Puñado de Dados, Reglas, rol | Deja un comentario

Saga Palantir: Recuerdos

Hace unos dias Ricard, el jugador de Eldelborn durante la Saga Palantir, me comentó el momento en que se encontraron con el joven Theoden en el cruce del Issen, y como moló eso junto con la batalla que hicieron luego, aunque la recuerda mucho menos que el encuentro con Theoden.

Ayer, Borja (el jugador de Aravinc) también me recordó la presencia de Theoden y Grima en la partida, asi como algunos otros recuerdos que él recordaba especialmente de la partida: la huida generalizada frente al tumulario, a Carnalforn intentando ligarse a la chica que acaban de secuestrar y el asalto a la casa de Hasselhoff, y el momento en que intentaron desvalijar la casa del hobbit al que tenían que rescatar.

Queda claro que darles algunos elementos clave a los jugadores va bien. La segunda partida (en la que asaltaron una cueva orca) nadie la recuerda mucho excepto por la pifia del principio de la sesión. Por contra, una aventura en un entorno que mola (las quebradas de los túmulos) y los encuentros de Sandbox de Tharbad y Rohan los recuerdan con cariño.

Lo que queda de una campaña al cabo del tiempo son esos pequeños momentos recordados. Para mi es gran parte de lo que le da sentido al rol, que la historia sea buena al ser jugada, pero también al ser recordada. Esto segundo creo que es más difícil, y en este caso estoy contento de haber tomado algunas “decisiones editoriales” que parece que han tenido buen resultado. Quería compartir con vosotros este pequeño punto 🙂

Saludos,
Xavi

Publicado en General, Saga palantir, Tierra Media | Etiquetado | Deja un comentario

Magia Vanciana: una explicación atractiva

Andaba yo mirando cosas sobre es excelente juego Barbarians of Lemuria (más sobre esto en otro mensaje, esperemos que en breve) cuando me he encontrado una explicación de la magia Vanciana. Se supone que es el sistema de “dispara y olvida” de D&D, pero el mensaje lo pone bastante en duda, y da una explicación alternativa muy coherente y buena.

Vancian magic

Y ahora es cuando le pongo nombre a esto y vemos que hace…

No tengo el gusto de haber leído nada de Jack Vance no puedo opinar sobre si el mensaje tiene razón o no (aunque tiene toda la pinta de que sí), pero desde luego es una explicación fantástica para cualquier sistema de magia freeform o libre como el de Barbarians of Lemuria, los universos tipo Espada de Joram o incluso Ars Magica si quitas la magia formulaica. Hace el sistema de magia muchísimo más atractivo que el presente en el 99% de los juegos de rol. la magia es… mágica y acojonante, no una cosa que actúa igual una y otra vez hasta aburrir. Es un arte, no una ciencia. Un Ars Magica, no un Academe Magica. Creo que es el espíritu que debe tener la magia para ser atractiva, y lo que nos flipó a todos cuando leímos por primera vez sobre la magia. 🙂

Os lo dejo para que o disfrutéis.

Mensaje original de Korwagr en este tema del foro Lord of Lemuria:

What is the function of Vancian spells in the fiction, the Dying Earth novels?

The names are rather “baroque” like “Excellent Prismatic Spray”. But what does it do?

What such a Vancian spell acutally does in the story is to provide a kind of “wildcard” to put into ANYTHING that saves the magician’s day!

So having “memorized” 4 spells of rather strange and quite unspecific names (compared to more functional names like “Fireball” or “Finger of Death”) is the equivalent of having 4 “magical Hero-Points” to “edit the scene” using a kind of magical “trapping” to describe the outrageous effects, by which the magician works his way out ouf trouble.

If you put aside the actual misnamed thing that is D&D-like fire-and-forget-magic, and take a look at Vance’s stories, then you’ll see that those stories actually do NOT really use a kind of fixed descpritive spell system, but in fact only “talk about it”, while actually leaving the reader for the most part in the unknown about what the hell this strangely named spell might do.

When it is time, that the hero is in dire straits, unable to save himself by physical prowess or glib tongue or sharp thinking, those spells give him a kind of “flashback preparation”-moment (like in the TV-series Leverage).

Although the reader (or player) does not know, what magical effect might be needed in an adventure, the character SEEMS to know it in advance (though actually he doesn’t, because even the author or the player couldn’t see into the future).

So, when the spell is used, it takes effect in a way, that promotes the story, that saves or benefits the magician protagonist, that let’s him show off how AWESOME he is to think up the necessity of such a strange spell in advance!

The function of Vancian magic is to promote the AWESOMENESS of magician characters. – This is nearly the opposite of a “fixed formulaic spell, decide in advance, fire&forget”-spell-system!

So, what is needed in BoL to correctly represent Vancian magic and Vancian mages? – Nothing new! – When a magician character declares, that he would use a magic spell, he has to NAME it – just then, not beforehand, no deciding in advance! Then he performs this spell, employing the necessary amount of Arcane Might and other requirements of the spell, and then this spell is considered “gone”.

Gone in the FICTION of the played story. Not in any kind of rules-mechanic kind of sense.

The Arcane Might expended on the spell comes back after some time. What does the magician do in this time? – Well, obviously he “relearns”, he “memorizes” this spell or another one in the off-time while waiting for his Arcane Might to regenerate.

As a matter of fact: In no BoL game I’ve ran any mage used the same spell twice. Ever. – Even if similar effects were desired, it always was a remarkably different spell.

So no typical spell-point-system feeling like “I cast fireball”, “I cast fireball again”, “I cast another fireball, because I have enough points to do that”.

Also no ignoring of useful, but not so generally powerful (= killing) spells like in D&D, where many, many spells nearly never ever were memorized, because some method of magical killing is universally more useful, than a Spider Climb or a Mend now and then.

In BoL the magician PC may declare: “I’ve foreseen the need to ascend this tremendous, unclimbable heights in my Lotos enduced vision dreams last night. Therefore I’ve memorized ‘The wondrous Climb of the nifty Spider’, a powerful spell, that allows the recipient to climb this sheer wall of despair. Any volunteers?” – And then this First Magnitude spell is handled by the normal BoL rules.

BoL actually captures the FEELING of the magic as presented in different flavours in different author’s Sword&Sorcery novels quite well without any rules changes needed. The feeling is all in the description, all in the story. So reading (and re-reading) of novels by a certain author helps to maintain the correct flavour.

Vancian magic is the magic of pure awesomeness performed by highly competent, smart and strong willed characters. – I suggest to measure any BoL house rules for Vancian magic against this yardstick. (In my opinion, the D&D-like spell system delivers quite the opposite feeling by having to make decisions as a PLAYER in advance, instead on relying on the awesomeness and experience of the CHARACTER to implicitly decide, what spell might be needed. Therefore the “Vancian magic” in D&D falls several miles short from any of the Dying Earth stories’ magic.)

So much for my “Most astonishingly lengthy and wordy Display of Thoughts” spell.

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Iusto Fiedere: Covenant Items

here come the items of the Iusto Foedere covenant. They tend to be useful utility items that can be found in most covenants with a modicum of resources and history behind them.In the end the list is composed of 12 items. They hold a total of 240 spell effects, so it costs 96 Build Points to buy them all.

 

Cross of the Triad CrCo31
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Room; 2 uses/day

This cross activates a Room +12 recovery effect. It needs a prayer to activate at sunset and sunrise. The cross is in a healing house that is not part of the covenant proper, but located in the nearby village and administered by covenant servants. This healing house was created as part of the agreement between the covenant and the local bishop for the covenant to get the lands, and the healing house must attend the nearby villages and the nobility of the area if they ask for it. The recovery bonus has proved extremely popular among women giving birth, and has caused the covenant to gain a positive reputation at level 3 in the area as wise men and pious healers. The cross presiding over the sick bay is not detected to be a hermetic artefact, but the strong association of the healing house with the church is something that has not gone unnoticed. The grogs of the covenant also use the healing house when they get wounded, even if they tend to be hidden behind a canopy to prevent too many questions being asked about those huge claw marks in their shoulders and the like…

(B5, +1 touch +2 Sun, +2 Room; 2 uses/day +1)

Carving Knife (covenants, p52) ReTe15
R: Touch, D: mom, T: Part; unlimited uses

A chisel that cuts stone easily. This carving chisel has been used in the construction of the covenant, to dress stone and perform most of the delicate carvings, since it allows carving stone as if it was soft wood.

(Base 2, +1 touch, +1 part; unlimited uses +10)

The Strong Man’s Hands (ReTe16)
R: Touch, D: Conc. T: Individual; 50 uses/day

This pair of gloves allows the wearer (generally a grog) to manipulate big and heavy items easily. Teamsters find these items extremely useful, both for hauling merchandise and for transporting heavy stuff. Foresters and hunters also appreciate them, so these items tend to be on high demand at the covenant and the autocrat needs to assign them carefully. (Based on The Unseen Porter)

(B2, +1 touch, +1 concentration, +1 size; Item maintains concentration +5, 50 uses/day +6)

The Strong Man’s Hands (ReTe16)
R: Touch, D: Conc. T: Individual; 50 uses/day

The high demand of the previous item has caused the magi of the covenant to create a second and third pair of these items. One of the pairs was destroyed in an accident, so there are only two pairs remaining. This is the second one

(Same parameters as above)

Hanging Hood Against the Rain (ReAq10)
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual; 24 uses/day

This hooded cloak inscribed with the sign of the Order of Hermes in the clasp, hangs from a peg by the side of the covenant’s door. The covenfolk touch the clasp and say “Iusto Foedere” before going out if it is raining. When they do, the effect activates and makes the water run around them instead of soaking them. They still use hooded cloaks when going out of the covenant’s grounds to avoid attracting too much attention towards this unnatural phenomenon. This means that the members of the covenant are much less likely to catch a cold than most inhabitants of the Stonehenge tribunal. The item could be moved, but generally hangs there to be used by all members of the covenant.

(B1, +1 Touch, +2 sun, +1 slightly unnatural; 24 uses/day +5) (Based on cloak of duck feathers).

Travelling Hood Against the Rain (ReAq10)

R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual; 24 uses/day

This cloak is identical to the one that hangs by the door of Iusto Foedere. It is used by travelling parties from the covenant. The extra uses allow a party to remain dry even if they have to be outdoors after sunset (normal while camping outside). When travelling, one of the companions or grogs uses this hooded cloak. By touching the other party members and activating the effect he can prevent them from getting soaked in the frequent English and Welsh rain. He cannot cast it on magi since it has a zero penetration, though.

(B1, +1 Touch, +2 sun, +1 slightly unnatural; 24 uses/day +5)

Pendant for Power (InVi18 + ReVi17)
R: Touch, D: Conc., T: Vision; 6 uses/day
R: Touch, D: Mom., T: Individual, 3 uses/day

This enchanted pendant contains a holed stone with 2 mystical effects. The first one allows the user to see concentrations of vis when looking through the stone’s hole. The second effect allows the vis to be gathered in a concentrated form that the grogs can gather and transport (like a fang of a creature, or a small bottle of water) when the stone is placed in contact with the item and the recipient in contact with the stone. This item is extremely useful for grogs to detect and gather vis when no magi are present. Generally this item is in the hands of the foresters of the covenant.

(First effect “detect vis”: B1, +1 touch, +1 concentration, +4 Vision; 6 uses/day +3)
(Second effect “gather vis” B10, +1 touch, 3 uses/day +2)

Touch of Winter (ReAq14)
R: Touch, D: Circle, T: Ring; 12 uses/day

This spell freezes the water present in a circle at the time of casting. Generally this is done by putting something in a barrel of water and casting the spell around it to keep stuff frozen. Ice is a natural state of water, so the magic ends when the ring is broken, but the water does not revert to liquid form immediately. The ice is used to freeze foodstuffs, but also to chill wine and other beverages during the summer months by placing the mugs and bottles on ice. This item is controlled by the cook of the covenant.

(B3, +1 touch, +2 circle; 12 uses/day +4)

The Motivated Plow (ReTe15)
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Part; unlimited uses

This plow loosens the earth in a path across, leaving it well plowed and ready for sowing. It is a very popular item among the grogs charged with tiling the soil of the fields belonging to the covenant. Sometimes the grogs have started to lend it to the local farmers more “in the know” about the magics of the covenant, but the magi are unaware of it and are likely to be upset if they find out.

(B2, +1 touch, +1 part; unlimited uses/day +10)

Fireless Light (CrIg16)
R: Touch, D: Circle, T: Ring; 50 uses/day

This small candle wick tied to a stick can be used to light items. By tracing a circle on a surface that already contains an engraved circle, or by drawing a circle on a soft surface (so that it stays) it generates a source of light equivalent to torchlight. There is no fire in the spell, though, only light. Is useful while on expeditions, since it can be used underwater without the light source disappearing, but it is less useful in the covenant since it cannot be used in the public places. The private areas of the covenant, like the council chamber library and the labs and rooms of the magi are illuminated using this item, though. A second Fireless light stick disappeared with the missing founder, when he went to explore an underground river in Wales.

(B3, +1 touch, +2 circle; 50 uses/day +6)

The Obedient Horse (ReAn24)
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: individual; unlimited uses

This is a stick that appears to be a carrot on a cursory explanation. When you touch a horse with it (or a horse tries to bite it) the horse is calmed and becomes docile. A horse enchanted like this will allow a magus to ride it, so it tends to be used for the magi when they go on expeditions. Up to 12 horses can be calmed (or 6 horses twice per day, at sunrise and sunset), so the item can make the whole party’s horses be unafraid of the magi, something useful since horses tend to be edgy when magi are nearby. A horse enchanted like this will also be way less scared of combat, allowing palfreys and courses to be ridden in battle without much fuss.

(B4, +1 touch, +2 sun, +1 size; 12 uses/day +4)

Field Chirurgeon

This coil of bandages is enchanted with two effects that help a party after they have suffered damage, generally as a consequence of battle (but can also due to accidents and magical botches). The first one stops the bleeding and the second one holds the patient’s wounds stable so it can move without his wounds becoming critical. Movement while wounded is a bad idea, so this item is a good way to keep a party active either going on or (preferably) returning to the covenant for proper treatment.

Bind Wound (CrCo15)
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: individual; 24 uses

Prevents bleeding for Sun duration.

(B3, +1 touch, +2 sun; 24 uses/day +5)

Touch of Asclepius (CrCo15)
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: individual; 24 uses

Grants a +6 recovery bonus for Sun duration. Movement while wounded causes Recovery checks to see if you get worse, so a bonus to these checks is important if you have wounded members in the party (likely after an engagement)

(B3, +1 touch, +2 sun; 24 uses/day +5)

Hearth Axe (CrHe10)
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Part; unlimited uses

This enchanted axe creates a Moon duration oak tree trunk about a foot wide by 10 feet long when it is wielded towards the ground. The head hits the recently created trunk. The trunk needs to be chopped to pieces afterwards to create logs usable in a fireplace. This item saves a lot of resources to the covenant in terms of lumber and the effort that needs to be done to heat the covenant in winter. Only a fraction of normal wood needs to be kept around to keep the fires going when the new moon rises and the spell effect ends. On emergencies it can be used to erect a temporary wooden barricade, but nobody has needed to do that so far.

(B1, +1 touch, +3 Moon; unlimited uses/day +10)

Publicado en Ars Magica, Iusto Foedere | Deja un comentario

3000 visitas

Hoy este blog ha llegado a las 3000 visitas. Es poco para un blog, pero me ha hecho ilusión 🙂 Gracias a todos por las visitas. Espero que os hayan resultado interesantes.

Today  this blog has reached 3000 hits. It  is low for a blog, but I liled it anyway 🙂 Thanks to everybody for visiting. I hope you enjoyed your stay here. See you around!

Avui aquest blog ha arribat a les 3000 visites. És poc per un blog, però m’ha fet il·lusió 🙂 Gràcies a tots per passar-vos per aqui. espero que us hagi resultat interessant. Ens llegim!

Publicado en General, Random stuff | Deja un comentario

Frozen: Disney juega a Ars Magica

El otro día me vi Frozen, la última peli de Disney. Aparte de tener todos los clásicos elementos de una peli de Disney (con todos sus pros y sus contras, nobleza que gobierna por derecho divino y es de puta madre, pueblo feliz, el malo más malo que la quina…) tiene un elemento que me pareció brutal: un personaje que a efectos prácticos es una maga de Ars Magica. Y no una muy experimentada. Una maga de Aquam con un foco en hielo o invierno, concretamente. Su canción central tiene efectos de CrAq y/o ReAq más que potentes.

Aquí el vídeo:

un buen video con un montón de desarrollo de personaje en 3 minutos y medio.

La parte graciosa es que esa canción se puede jugar tal cual en Ars Magica. El comportamiento de la maga también da bastantes indicaciones de sus virtudes y defectos. Con Performace magic y teniendo elementos que ayuden a lanzar los hechizos (un puente de hielo y una torre, básicamente, 2 hechizos de 4ª y 6ª magnitud más o menos)

VIRTUDES:

  • Foco Menor: hielo
  • Maña con Aquam (+3 a Aquam)
  • Afinidad con Aquam (probablemente)
  • Performance magic (cantar)
  • Circunstancias especiales (estando en la nieve/hielo)
  • Inmunidad al frio (virtud mayor)

DEFECTOS

  • Secreto Oscuro (dark secret), luego, Enemigos
  • Baja Autoestima, luego Orgullosa
  • Warped magic (la magia se manifiesta por si misma con sus emociones)
  • Maldición menor: herir a su hermana

Las V&D se pueden modificar, pero esto más o menos creo que esto muestra lo que enseña en pantalla. El video es el punto donde se deja de hostias y acepta lo que es: la reina del invierno.

Además de lo que sale en el video, en la peli es capaz de crear golems de nieve y hielo, asi que su Aquam debe ser bastante alto, y como técnica yo diría que Rego y Creo serán las mayores. Habiendo estado estudiando durante todos los años que se pasa en el palacio, no seria extraño 🙂

Que lo disfrutéis!

Publicado en Ars Magica, Inspiración, Random stuff | Deja un comentario

Por un Puñado de Dados, actualización (v1.21)

Le hemos dado un último repaso a las reglas de western de Por un Puñado de Dados. la versión 1.21 tanto en català como en castellano están disponibles en este mismo mensaje asi como en la sección de descargas del blog.

Se han pulido varios aspectos gracias al feedback de otros aficionados al hobby, y creemos (un servidor y Ryback, el otro autor) que es una verión bastante acabada. No queda más que batirnos. O hacer el playtest 🙂

Versió en català (Per un grapat de daus)

Versió en castellà (Por un puñado de dados)

Publicado en Por un Puñado de Dados, Reglas, rol, Western | Deja un comentario

Oldest and Fatherless: Secrets of Tom Bombadil

Últimamente he estado leyendo cosas sobre The One Ring, el juego de rol de Rhovannion de Cubicle 7. Hoy os traigo un texto de otro blog que he encontrado a través de su foro. Una visión alternativa de Tom Bombadil que hará que la relectura de esa parte del Señor de los Anillos no sea una parte tan loca y sin sentido como hasta ahora…

Os cuelgo el texto aquí, en genuino guiri:

Old Tom Bombadil. Possibly the least liked character in The Lord of the Rings. A childish figure so disliked by fans of the book that few object to his absence from all adaptations of the story. And yet, there is another way of looking at Bombadil, based only on what appears in the book itself, that paints a very different picture of this figure of fun.

What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is fat and jolly and smiles all the time. He is friendly and gregarious and always ready to help travellers in distress.

Except that none of that can possibly be true.

Consider: By his own account (and by Elrond’s surprisingly sketchy knowledge) Bombadil has lived in the Old Forest since before the hobbits came to the Shire. Since before Elrond was born. Since the earliest days of the First Age.

And yet no hobbit has ever heard of him.

The guise in which Bombadil appears to Frodo and his companions is much like a hobbit writ large. He loves food and songs and nonsense rhymes and drink and company. Any hobbit who saw such a person would tell tales of him. Any hobbit who was rescued by Tom would sing songs about him and tell everyone else. Yet Merry – who knows all the history of Buckland and has ventured into the Old Forest many times – has never heard of Tom Bombadil. Frodo and Sam – avid readers of old Bilbo’s lore – have no idea that any such being exists, until he appears to them. All the hobbits of the Shire think of the Old Forest as a place of horror – not as the abode of a jolly fat man who is surprisingly generous with his food.

If Bombadil has indeed lived in the Old Forest all this time – in a house less than twenty miles from Buckland – then it stands to reason that he has never appeared to a single hobbit traveller before, and has certainly never rescued one from death. In the 1400 years since the Shire was settled.

What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is not what he seems.

Elrond, the greatest lore-master of the Third Age, has never heard of Tom Bombadil. Elrond is only vaguely aware that there was once someone called Iarwain Ben-Adar (“Oldest and Fatherless”) who might be the same as Bombadil. And yet, the main road between Rivendell and the Grey Havens passes not 20 miles from Bombadil’s house, which stands beside the most ancient forest in Middle Earth. Has no elf ever wandered in the Old Forest or encountered Bombadil in all these thousands of years? Apparently not.

Gandalf seems to know more, but he keeps his knowledge to himself. At the Council of Elrond, when people suggest sending the Ring to Bombadil, Gandalf comes up with a surprisingly varied list of reasons why that should not be done. It is not clear that any of the reasons that he gives are the true one.

Now, in his conversation with Frodo, Bombadil implies (but avoids directly stating) that he had heard of their coming from Farmer Maggot and from Gildor’s elves (both of whom Frodo had recently described). But that also makes no sense. Maggot lives west of the Brandywine, remained there when Frodo left, and never even knew that Frodo would be leaving the Shire. And if Elrond knows nothing of Bombadil, how can he be a friend of Gildor’s?

What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He lies.

A question: what is the most dangerous place in Middle Earth? First place goes to the Mines of Moria, home of the Balrog, but what is the second most dangerous place? Tom Bombadil’s country.
By comparison, Mordor is a safe and well-run land, where two lightly-armed hobbits can wander for days without meeting anything more dangerous than themselves. Yet the Old Forest and the Barrow Downs, all part of Tom’s country, are filled with perils that would tax anyone in the Fellowship except perhaps Gandalf.

Now, it is canonical in Tolkein that powerful magical beings imprint their nature on their homes. Lorien under Galadriel is a place of peace and light. Moria, after the Balrog awoke, was a place of terror to which lesser evil creatures were drawn. Likewise, when Sauron lived in Mirkwood, it became blighted with evil and a home to monsters.

And then, there’s Tom Bombadil’s Country.

The hobbits can sense the hatred within all the trees in the Old Forest. Every tree in that place is a malevolent huorn, hating humankind. Every single tree. And the barrows of the ancient kings that lie nearby are defiled and inhabited by Barrow-Wights. Bombadil has the power to control or banish all these creatures, but he does not do so. Instead, he provides a refuge for them against men and other powers. Evil things – and only evil things – flourish in his domain. “Tom Bombadil is the master” Goldberry says. And his subjects are black huorns and barrow wights.

What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is not the benevolent figure that he pretends to be.

Tom appears to the Ringbearer in a friendly, happy guise, to question and test him and to give him and his companions swords that can kill the servants of another evil power. But his motives are his own.

Consider: it is said more than once that the willows are the most powerful and evil trees in the Forest. Yet, the rhyme that Bombadil teaches the hobbits to use in conjuring up Bombadil himself includes the line, “By the reed and willow.” The willows are a part of Bombadil’s power and a means of calling on him. They draw their strength from the cursed river Withywindle, the centre of all the evil in the Forest.

And the springs of the Withywindle are right next to Tom Bombadil’s house.

And then there is Goldberry, “the river-daughter”. She is presented as Bombadil’s wife, an improbably beautiful and regal being who charms and beguiles the hobbits. It is implied that she is a water spirit, and she sits combing her long, blonde hair after the manner of a mermaid. (And it is worth remembering that mermaids were originally seen as monsters, beautiful above the water, slimy and hideous below, luring sailors to drown and be eaten.) But I suggest the name means that in her true state, Goldberry is nourished by the River – that is, by the proverbially evil Withywindle.

In folklore and legend (as Tolkien would know well) there are many tales of creatures that can take on human form but whose human shape always contains a clue to their true nature. So what might Goldberry be? She is tall and slender – specifically she is “slender as a willow wand”. She wears a green dress, sits amidst bowls of river water and is surrounded by the curtain of her golden hair. I suggest that she is a Willow tree conjured into human form, a malevolent huorn like the Old Man Willow from whom the hobbits have just escaped. If she is not indeed the same tree.

So, if this is true, then why does Bombadil save and help the ringbearer and his companions? Because they can bring about the downfall of Sauron, the current Dark Lord of Middle Earth. When Sauron falls, the other rings will fail and the wizards and elves will leave Middle Earth and the only great power that is left will be Bombadil.

There is a boundary around Bombadil’s country that he cannot or will not pass, something that confines him to a narrow space. And in return, no wizard or elf comes into his country to see who rules it, or to disturb the evil creatures that gather under his protection.

When the hobbits return to the Shire after their journey to Mordor, Gandalf leaves them close to Bree and goes towards Bombadil’s country to have words with him. We do not know what they say. But Gandalf was sent to Middle Earth to contend against Sauron and now he must depart. He has been given no mission to confront Bombadil and he must soon leave Middle Earth to powerless men and hobbits, while Bombadil remains, waiting to fulfill his purpose.

Do I think that Tolkien planned things in this way? Not at all, but I find it an interesting speculation.

To speculate further and more wildly:

The spell that binds Bombadil to his narrow and cursed country was put in place centuries ago by the Valar to protect men and elves. It may last a few decades more, perhaps a few generations of hobbit lives. But when the last elf has gone from the havens and the last spells of rings and wizards unravel, then it will be gone. And Iarwain Ben-Adar, Oldest and Fatherless, who was ruler of the darkness in Middle Earth before Sauron was, before Morgoth set foot there, before the first rising of the sun, will come into his inheritance again. And one dark night the old trees will march westward into the Shire to feed their ancient hatred. And Bombadil will dance down amongst them, clad in his true shape at last, singing his incomprehensible rhymes as the trees mutter their curses and the black and terrible Barrow-Wights dance and gibber around him. And he will be smiling.

 

Publicado en Inspiración, Tierra Media | Deja un comentario

Iusto Foedere: Boons and Hooks

Despite being a vanilla covenant, Iusto Foedere needs Boons and Hooks. Boons and hooks offer opportunities for stories, and open up ways for the covenant to get some special stuff that plain build points will not get you.

I decided against using the Covenants book and rely solely on the core book of Ars Magica 5th Edition.  This is supposed to be a starting covenant, so the special features of Covenants do not need to be around necessarily. As such we remain with the core features. It is trickier to get this down using only the core book, but not impossible.

First things first, the covenant looks like Stokeshay Castle. Despite its name, Stokeshay is a fortified manor house, not a castle. Stokeshay was built during the Ars period, so it could have been the covenant easily. Despite its impressiveness, this covenant could not withstand a protracted siege. it can resist a raid easily, though, and the hall and tower are quite impressive. That gives us our first ideas for Boons and Hooks.

BOONS

Fortification (minor). The covenant of Iusto Foedere can withstand an assault, but not a siege or a magically-assisted attack; the central building and the tower are sturdy enou8gh to ensure that. At this time the gatehouse will not exist, and only a wooden palisade will surround the compound.

Buildings (tower). An impressive tower dominates the compound. One of the covenant founders has his lab here, while the other resides in the upper floor of the manor house. More labs could be locate din both buildings, or in less sturdy buildings around the compounds, as the players see fit.

Prestige. The covenant runs a small chapel and recovery facility for the poor in the village. This has caused them to have a good reputation in the area as good God-fearing and soul-caring Christians.The installation is specially effective thanks to Hermetic magic items that favour recovery. This construction is part of the agreement they have with the church. Running this establishment grants a good reputation at level 3 to the covenant and its members. The chapel and recovery house is specially popular with pregnant women and people with dangerous jobs like hunters. The covenant also uses it when its grogs or other covenfolk (or God forbids it, its magi) get wounded.

Hidden Resources x2. There are 500 build points available for the construction of the covenant. However, these are not readily available to the player characters. These might be parts of the library or vis stores open only to the older members of the covenant, items that have been lost in the vaults or stored when the stuff of the old magi was moved to make space for the new magi, vis sources still to discover….  A mix of lost items, books, vis sources, vis stores and stuff that is simply not available to the player characters yet because the NPC magi control them or are unaware of them. These Hidden Resources are a source of stories and growth: play them accordingly before handling them to the troupe as “treasure”.

HOOKS

As well as boons, Iusto Foedere has a number of Hooks as well.

Beholden (minor). The covenant owns favours to the bishop for letting they settle here. So far they have not been asked to provide anything extreme, but that might change. They are not a vassal, but well, they are not free to do as they please either since they are renters. They have also been asked in the past to provide support in an investigation about a reported demon infestation in one of the villages belonging to the bishop’s demesne (it ended up being dark faeries at work) and help in solving the problem. They have also had to build the small church and recovery house in the village. However, the current bishop is getting old, and his likely substitute is not as well predisposed towards magi as the old one was… The Quesitores are not very happy with the renter status of the covenant (they can pay the price easily so far, since the rents are regular for a household of the covenant), but so far they have not found anything improper in the agreement between the two parts and are staying quiet. They have an eye in the agreement, though.

Road (m). Watling Street, one of the oldest roads in Britain, passes by the covenant. The road connects the Manx coast to Wales, passing through London and other important locales. That means that it is a fairly well trodden road. This brings mundanes from time to time to the doorstep of the covenant, mundanes (or not-so-mundanes) that bring stories with them.

Superiors (m). The player characters do not administer the covenant: the older magi are permissive and cannot order them to perform specific chores, but they take the important decisions. This fits with (part of) the Hidden Resources boons above, and potentially to the Hooks below.

Unknown x2. There are 2 unknown hooks. This is an open letter to the troupe to define them in play. A contested resource (from the Hidden resource spool, for example) or a nearby Monster are clear options, for example.

The Unknown hooks are balanced by the Hidden Resources boons, so as a starter covenant Iusto Foedere is balanced between Boons and Hooks. If the troupe prefers, they can ignore both the Hidden Resources boons and the Unknown Hooks, but they are here to provide a troupe with customization options well inside the context of the game.

Publicado en Ars Magica, Iusto Foedere, rol | Deja un comentario