The Nemesis

topNemesis was the Greek goddess who punishes those whose arrogance is so awful that it offends the gods. In modern times your nemesis is your special enemy, like Superman and Lex Luthor or Batman and the Joker. In fantasy games, characters often meet, destroy, and pillage opponents within ten minutes of meeting them. This makes it a little difficult to have a nemesis unless the character in question is so powerful that death itself is not a barrier. In science fiction or horror, having a nemesis is easier, and it is a staple of super-hero RPGs. This post looks into having a nemesis as a game mechanic in a fantasy game.

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The National Day in a Fantasy Campaign

topThis post is being written just before Canada Day (July 1st) and the Fourth of July (July 4th), the national days, respectively, of Canada and the United States. Both celebrations involve fireworks, speeches, picnics, and parties. Cinco de Mayo, Mexico’s national day, is a national party. Norwegian independence day (from Sweeden!) features a huge parade. Having attended this parade, it is clear that the Tronheim Mustache Club is an incredible organization. The point is this: countries and towns may have national days, founder’s days, or other big holidays. If properly structured, such holidays can be an entertaining part of your fantasy campaign.

mustache

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Special Resource Zones

topThis post starts with one of those nights, long ago, when a referee did not have an adventure ready. The party had just finished a difficult slog and taken out a nest of evil in the previous week’s adventure with much treasure and gain in personal power. Everyone had leveled up and was itching for a challenge. The improvisation used was to have a huge cloud island, complete with giants and giant creatures, arrive above the city and demand ransom. A powerful wizard, elderly and frail aside from his magic, levitated the party to the cloud island as the giant demanded ransom under pain of a horrific thunderstorm with a few demonstration bolts reducing a wing of the dukes palace to a smoking ruin.

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The Mirror Realm

topThe mirror realm is a strange place that exists behind mirrors. This realm appears, mostly, as a huge compendium of white corridors and chambers with occasional windows scattered about. The things that appear as windows in the mirror realm look out through mirrors in the natural world — these are connected mirrors. Beings in the mirror realm can look out through connected mirrors and may or may not be visible in the mirror from the side of the real world when they are close to the “window” on their side. While it is the case that the windows of the mirror realm are mirrors of the natural world it is not the case that all mirrors of the natural world are windows of the mirror realm. Someone has to hook them up. Intrigued? Read on!

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100 Skulls

One of the more popular posts on Dan and Andrew’s game place, at least from the access logs, are our pictures that can be used as game content. This week we are publishing some clip art of skulls. The skulls are created with some fairly tricky math — continuous bijections of the unit interval — but we are just giving you clip art for logos, shield covers, and generally decorating things in your gaming environment. The skulls come in groups of 20.

First group

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Cursed Magic Items

topOne of the early takes on a cursed magic item in fantasy gaming is that (i) the item does not work correctly and (ii) you cannot put it down without a Remove Curse spell. This game mechanic has the advantage of being pretty simple, but there are so many other ways an item can be cursed. The King’s Ankus from the Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling is a story that shows how an item can carry a bitter curse without having anything magical about it at all — the curse lies in the minds of men. This post makes a number of suggestions that you might use for cursed items in your own fantasy campaign.

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Animism in Fantasy Games

topAnimism is a belief that almost anything can have a spirit, a living part. Animals, trees, rocks, rivers, places, the wind, the list is endless. Many indigenous cultures hold this sort of belief and, to them, it is so self-evident that they do not have a word for the belief or any concept that others might not share this belief. The actual term was coined by pioneering anthropologist Edward Taylor while attempting to explain the beliefs of those he was studying. In this post we discuss incorporating animism into a fantasy campaign.

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