Friday, 25 March 2016

Building a system from bits

Eric Diaz over at the Methods & Madness blog has opened a new and interesting challenge - designing a game-system in modular fashion, one page at a time, and letting the user chose which rules to incorporate, so each person's 'rulebook' is a personal collection of hacks, mods and house-rules (in this post here).

I rather like it. I will be submitting some things I think including the rules for 'Elementary Staunching' that I use with both my gaming groups. Which means, I will have to write them up in a logically-organised and coherent fashion. Watch this space...

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Imagination training 2

This followed the first by a couple of days: I certainly didn't stick to any timetable, and nor have I done any more. I'm not sure they're any better than the first lot - but of course, I was supposed to do this every day six days a week and that was just the first exercise in the training regime.

Results - finding out I'm not very disciplined, which is no surprise really.


Str 11
Int 6
Wis 13
Dex 9
Con 6
Cha 9

This tall cleric is earnest but not very clever. He always wears white robes and sings hymns to his god almost constantly.

Magic User

Str 11
Int 16
Wis 11
Dex 11
Con 8
Cha 9

This MU is always seen carrying a large tan-coloured sack, from which an improbable collection of things emerge.


Str 14
Int 12
Wis 12
Dex 13
Con 10
Cha 15

Dark-haired and always smiling, Elorius carries a distinctive curved sword that he claims he won from a Southland champion.


Str 7
Int 16
Wis 17
Dex 15
Con 7
Cha 12

Young and beardless, Ornferill wears takes his devotion to his deity very seriously. He carries a long staff with blue feathers tied to the head.

Magic User

Str 7
Int 13
Wis 8
Dex 9
Con 12
Cha 13
Jaren delights in fire-magic; her red robes are decorated with flames worked in gold thread.

Magic User

Str 4
Int 11
Wis 9
Dex 8
Con 5
Cha 12

Essuran is a dour, pale-looking fellow with surprisingly piercing eyes. Many have wondered what terrible sorceries he has performed for he seems weakened by unnatural forces.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Threshold Calendar and Calendar of Issek redux

Just been over at Tower Of the Archmage for the Sunday Inspirational Image which, as it's a temple, reminded me that I need to do some work on my Church of Issek Calendar.

The Church of Issek is a development of a cult found in Deities and Demigods, from the Nehwon Mythos of Fritz Leiber. Issek's is a martyr-cult; all his avatars are people who have died while being tortured. In the original work, this is limited men on the rack; in my iteration, it can be men or women and any kind of torture. The illustration over at Tower of the Archmage is perfect as a giant cult statue of a female Saint of the Church of Issek, as far as I'm concerned.

The reason it needs work is that I've downloaded some more of the lovely Labrynth Lord stuff and gotten a lot more info about the Church of Law and Order that I'm patterning my Church of Issek on. Specifically, because I've now got the guide to the City of Dolmvey, I have a calendar for the city that conflicts in major ways with my putative calendar that I published when I only had a list of names of Saints derived from Brave the Labyrinth 5.

I will produce a hybrid. Where the difference between the two calendars is small, I will probably stick with what I have; where it is large, I will generally go with the 'official' calendar. This is because I suspect I'll be using other LL products in the future, and therefore sticking to what is already established seems more useful. But I can get away with minor variations I think. It's a long way from Threshold to Dolmvay (probably though not definitely the model I'll use for Specularum, which in my version of the Known World, is the seat of the Church of Issek in the same way Dolmvey is the seat of the Church of Law and Order), and Saints being celebrated a week adrift is not significant I think.

So; the Saints that have conflicts (not all the Saints I've used are listed for major festivals in Dolmvey, in fact only 12 out of my 48) are as follows (in the format Name: Official Date; My Date)

St Klaus: 20-27 Dec; 25 Dec - keep
St Johanna: 1-3 Feb; 15 Oct
St Valen: 1-31 Mar; 6 Apr - keep; in Dolmvey, festival lasts for month leading up to St Valen's Day
St Mari: 1 May; 26 Apr - keep
St Leandra: 21 Jun; 14 May
St Meschil: 28-30 Jun; 17 Aug
St Poul: 1 Jul; 26 Aug
St Aleena: 14-20 Aug; 14 March
St Ronand: 5 Sep; 1 Feb
St Garan: 26 Sep-3 Oct: 18 Aug
St Harald: 1 Nov; 27 Sep
St Lucilla: 10-17 Nov; 21 Jun

All the others will have to move I think. Some can possibly swap with others, and there are of course the 36 lesser Saints still on the calendar.

St Aleena can replace Sts Meschil and Garan on the 15 & 18 Aug (24 & 27 Lion by Threshold calendar) as her week-long feast last approximately from 14-20, and St Garan can move to replace St Harald at the end of Sep; St Johanna can replace St Ronand at the beginning of Feb. St Aleena can replace St Meschil in the middle of Aug. St Leandra can replace St Lucilla.

Having done the necessary replacements, I'm now left with 5 Saints (Aleena displaced 3 with her 5-day festival) and 3 days, so I'll generate another two days of religious holiday. These will be 3 Cow and 2 Twins (days 123 and 152) and will be sacred to St Luwagen of Castell and St Jon of Naponek respectively.

So the new calendar looks like this, for the religious calendar of the Church of Issek.

1 – Winter Solstice & New Year: Offerings to Issek
3 – Feast of St Klaus
17 – Feast of St Gregor of Carech
20 – Feast of St James

1 – Feast of St Josep
11 – Feast of St Johanna
20 – Feast of St Wallis of the Hood
27 – Feast of St Margaret of Calesto
29 – Feast of St Bando

21 – Feast of St Sha-Un of Corrland
24 – Feast of St Callor
30 – Feast of St Pater of Willemsburg

13 – Feast of St Valen of Vay
23 – Feast of St Beatrix

3 – Feast of St Luwagen of Castel
5 – Feast of  St Mari of Galask
23 – Feast of St Seth
24 – Feast of St Clarissa the Wild

(Month of the Twins)
2 – Feast of St Jon of Naponek
23 – Feast of St Kristoff

(Midsummer – 5 days)
3 – Feast of St Leandra the Lady of Blossoms (Summer Solstice)

7 – Feast of St Meschil the Prophet
9 – Feast of St Poul of the Shield
23 – Feast of St Carmichael (St Mikael the Victor)

8 – Feast of St Timhart of Paratime
24-30 – Festival of St Aleena the Beautiful

4 – Feast of Sts Mincival and Tara the Sailor
13 – Feast of St Ronnad of the Flagon
30 – Feast of St Emiliana the Red

6 – Feast of St Garan
13 – Feast of St Raymont
21 – Feast of St Walden

5 – Feast of St Lucilla the Kind
10 – Feast of St Harald of Plenty 
18 – Feast of St Brandon the Navigator
26 – Feast of St Cuthbert (St Keth)

7 – Feast of St Alfar
14 – Feast of St Giles

In addition, there are various festivals which have some quantity of church approval, without necessarily being theologically or liturgically sanctioned. Some are connected with particular Saints, others with historical events or folk superstitions.

The whole month leading up to the Feast of St Valen of Vay (14 Fish to 12 Sheep) is a festival in Dolmvay, as well as a period especially important to the judiciary when courts are held across the Grand Duchy.

King's Tournament (21-27 Sheep) ending on King's Day is a week-long tournament in honour of the old Kings from before the dark times of the Slave Lords, who invaded the Grand Duchy from Southern Ylaruam around 200 years ago.

The Spring Festival is celebrated as part of the Feast of St Mari on 5 Cow, with betrothals, the gathering of flowers and decorating the home.

The Festival of Planting takes place at the Summer Solstice, and is regarded as part of the general Midsummer celebrations connected with St Leandra of the Flowers.

Liberation Day takes place on 20 Twins, celebrating the defeat of the Army of Slave Lords.

Harvest Festival takes place - hopefully! - on 13 Maiden, to coincide with the Feast of St Ronnad of the Flagon. It is regarded as bad luck if the harvest is not gathered by this date.

Ancestor Night on 9 Scorpion is a celebration of deceased family members, who it is believed can influence events in the family for good and ill.

The Night of Blood on 10 Scorpion, coinciding with the Feast of St Harald, is the traditional time for slaughtering the stock before winter. It is also a time when executions are especially likely.

Midwinter (27 Archer- 3 Goat), culminating in the Feast of St Klaus, is a week-long festival of gift-giving and jollity.

So now I need to go back and do the Threshold Calendar... but not tonight.