[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Wednesday, 2016-03-02

John Wick

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 20:49

I enjoyed John Wick. It’s another Keanu Reeves movie: more or less a remake of Payback, but still a lot of fun. It built its own little world. I like that.

This reminded me of the good old days, with Lloyd Montgomery​ GMing and Dan Donovan​ playing the guy they won’t let retire in peace.

Sometimes a whole lot of people just need to die.

John Wick

Monday, 2016-02-29

Zombie Apocalypse: The Reality

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 09:23

Zombie Apocalypse Fantasy vs Reality

Saturday, 2016-02-27

Knock Knock

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 21:31

Tonight we watched a Keanu Reeves movie, “Knock Knock“. This is so bad. So very bad. It’s basically a remake of the Ann-Margret/John Forsythe movie, “Kitten With A Whip” (as seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000!), but with more-idiotic characters. There’s not a single character who behaves in an even vaguely sane way in the entire movie. Seriously: not one. Not the two kids. Not their parents. Not the homicidal maniacs. Not even the guy with asthma who is … I don’t know, some kind of art dealer? Assistant for the artist? Whatever. Every single character is an idiot.

Except the Uber driver, who hangs around a few minutes, and then leaves. I wish we had done that.

Knock Knock

Wednesday, 2016-02-24

Protected: Mountain Brook Of Troy, Inc. legal unpleasantness

Filed under: Home — bblackmoor @ 13:07

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Monday, 2016-02-08

Superman vs. Man Of Steel

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 13:03

It’s no small secret that I don’t even consider Man Of Steel (2013) a Superman movie. It’s not a bad science fiction film, in the same vein as Hancock (although I prefer Hancock), but the guy in that costume is not Superman.

Superman knows right from wrong, but like Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Fleet”, he is very careful about using his power to save people from *themselves*, because he knows that it often makes things worse, and he respects the rights of individuals even if their decisions disappoint him.

Superman has a sense of humour, and he’s easy-going. Why wouldn’t he be? He is powerful enough to deal with any ordinary problem, and there is virtually nothing that ordinary people can do to hurt him. He’s like a lumberjack in a room full of puppies and kittens (we’re the puppies and kittens).

Above all, Superman cares. That’s why he fights corruption as reporter Clark Kent — contrary to what some people have claimed, Clark Kent is not the disguise. Clark Kent is who Superman *is* — a man raised by decent people, who cares about others, and who wants to help make the world a better place.

He also just happens to have the powers of a god.

Fantasy Age arcana: Thought

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 09:30

Fantasy Age logo

This is the fourth and final new arcana for the Spellbinder specialization: Thought.


Thought Arcana

Thoughts are as clay to be molded.

  • Novice: Learn Sense Minds and Share Thoughts.
  • Journeyman: Learn Sift Thoughts; gain the focus Intelligence (Thought Arcana).
  • Master: Learn Insert Thought; one spell stunt at -1 SP when casting Thought Arcana spells.
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net

Sense Minds

  • Requirements: Thought Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 4+
  • Casting Time: 1 Minute
  • Target Number: 11
  • Range: 10 yds
  • Test: Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Bloodhound, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You can perceive the presence and location of thinking entities. When you first cast the spell or as a major action during the duration, you can search for minds within 10 yards of you. The spell can penetrate barriers, but 2 feet of rock, 2 inches of metal, or a thin sheet of lead will block the spell. You can’t sense a creature with an Intelligence less than -2, one that doesn’t understand any language, or one that makes a successful Willpower (Self-Discipline) test vs. your Spellpower. If the target fails the Willpower (Self-Discipline) test, you know their precise location, but you can’t actually listen to their thoughts. This lasts for 10 minutes, and you can keep it active for 2 MP per further 10 minutes. While the spell is active, you will be able to cast spells from the Thought Arcana against the target as though you could see them.

Share Thoughts

  • Requirements: Thought Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 4+
  • Casting Time: 1 Minute
  • Target Number: 11
  • Range: 10 yds
  • Test: Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Voices Of The Wind, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You can silently converse with any single person or creature within 10 yards of you that you can see or that you have located through the use of the Sense Minds spell. An unwilling participant may block the communication with a successful Willpower (Self-Discipline) test vs. your Spellpower. An unwilling participant is under no obligation to respond to you if they fail this test, but they will still hear you. You can switch to converse with a different target within range as a major action. Share Thoughts lasts for 10 minutes, and you can extend it for 10 minutes for each 2 MP you spend.

Sift Thoughts

  • Requirements: Thought Arcana (Journeyman)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 8
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 11
  • Range: 10 yds
  • Test: Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Burning Shield and Ensnaring Roots, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You can perceive the thoughts of any single person or creature within 10 yards of you that you can see or that you have located through the use of the Sense Minds spell. You can’t perceive the thoughts of a creature with an Intelligence less than -2 or one that doesn’t understand any language. The target may attempt a Willpower (Self-Discipline) test vs. your Spellpower. If the target succeeds on this test, the spell ends, and the target becomes aware that you were attempting to pry into their mind. If the target fails this test, you learn their surface thoughts — what is uppermost on their mind at that moment. As a major action, you can either shift your attention to the thoughts of another creature within range or attempt to probe deeper into the same creature’s mind. If you probe deeper, the target may attempt another Willpower (Self-Discipline) test vs. your Spellpower. If the target succeeds on this test, the spell ends, and the target becomes aware that you were attempting to pry into their mind. If the target fails this test, you gain insight into their motivations, their emotional state, and their general intentions. Sift Thoughts lasts for a number of minutes equal to your Willpower, and you may, if you wish, monitor the thoughts of a single target this entire time.

Insert Thought

  • Requirements: Thought Arcana (Master)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 8
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 14
  • Range: 10 yds
  • Test: Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Watery Doom, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You can insert a single clearly stated thought into the mind of any single person or creature within 10 yards of you that you can see or that you have located through the use of the Sense Minds spell. You can’t place a thought into the mind of a creature with an Intelligence less than -2 or one that doesn’t understand any language. The target may attempt a Willpower (Self-Discipline) test vs. your Spellpower. If the target succeeds on this test, they recognize the thought as not being their own, and they know that you placed it there. If the target fails this test, they believe the thought to be their own. They will treat the thought with all of the same seriousness as any other sincerely held belief, and they will act accordingly. This is not mind control: the target is not your puppet. How they respond to this new thought will depend on their existing desires, fears, and loyalties. Some examples of appropriate thoughts are:

  • “I will be richly rewarded for bringing [the caster] to my master.”
  • “The nobles are plotting to kill me.”
  • “These are not the gnomes I am looking for.”
  • “I have much to gain by trusting [the caster].”
  • “My father wanted me to make my own path, not follow in his.”

Friday, 2016-02-05

Fantasy Age: The Stunt Die

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 19:55

Fantasy Age logo

An ability test uses three six-sided dice (3d6). Two of the dice should be one color and the third a different color. The off color die is known as the Stunt Die. The three dice are rolled and added together, and then 2 more is added if the character has an appropriate focus (3 if the character has taken the focus twice). The final number is the test result.

Test result = 3d6 + ability + focus

The test result is compared to a static target number (TN) in the case of a Basic Test or the test result of another character in an Opposed Test. A character wins a Basic Test by meeting or beating the target number and an Opposed Test by beating the opponent’s test result. The results of the Stunt Die can be used to determine the degree of success and to break ties in the case of an Opposed Test.

[…]

  • Leave the dice on the table after a roll because the result of the Stunt Die may be important.
  • The Stunt Die only counts for successful tests.
  • In opposed tests, ties are broken by the Stunt Die, or the higher ability if those too are tied.

(Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook, “Mastering The Rules”)

Tuesday, 2016-02-02

Fantasy Age arcana: Faerie

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 15:20

Fantasy Age logo

A new arcana for Fantasy Age: Faerie.


Faerie Arcana

You know the proper etiquette for dealing with faeries, and can use some of their powers yourself.

  • Novice: Learn Faerie Bargain and Glamour.
  • Journeyman: Learn Transmogrify; gain the focus Intelligence (Faerie Arcana).
  • Master: Learn Walk Unseen; one spell stunt at -1 SP when casting Faerie Arcana spells.
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net

Faerie Bargain

  • Requirements: Faerie Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 4
  • Casting Time: 1 Minute
  • Target Number: 11
  • Range: 100 yds
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Voices Of The Wind, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You offer a small but appropriate gift to a minor local faerie, and get a small service in exchange. The gift offered is up to the caster to choose, but it is always some item of negligible value that the caster may be assumed to have on hand (a piece of cake, a silver coin, a saucer of cream, etc.). The magic of the Faerie Bargain guarantees that the type of faerie desired will appear and will accept the bargain. Some examples are:

  • A brownie will perform a single domestic service, such as cleaning and mending someone’s shoes or their clothing, repairing a household item, or cleaning and organizing a living area.
  • A gremlin will sabotage a single mechanical device or contrivance within 100 yards, to the extent that it will take a human at least an hour to repair it.
  • A leprechaun will lead you to the most valuable unattended item or collection of items (in the opinion of the leprechaun) within 100 yards, not including that which belongs to the leprechaun.
  • A sprite will scout the immediate vicinity for you (no more than 100 yards), answering three questions honestly but precisely (be careful what you ask for).

The etiquette of the bargain prohibits you from acting against the faerie’s interests, such as tricking it into attacking someone or leading it into a trap. If you have Faerie Arcana (Master), the number of services is doubled (for example, a sprite would answer six questions).

Glamour

  • Requirements: Faerie Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 2/hr
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 8
  • Range: Touch
  • Test: Perception (Seeing) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Arcane Lantern, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You project a minor illusion which makes you appear to be clean, healthy, attractive, and wearing clothing just slightly better than anyone around you. A target who has a reason to doubt the reality of the illusion and who makes a successful Perception (Seeing) test vs. your Spellpower will see you as you truly are. Glamour lasts for 1 hour and you can extend it for up to 5 hours for a cost of 2 MP per hour. This spell can be cast on others.

Transmogrify

  • Requirements: Faerie Arcana (Journeyman)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 8
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 14
  • Range: 30 yards
  • Test: Varies
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Ill Omens, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You magically transform a thing or creature into something else until a specific reasonably common condition is met. If the specific condition is not met within 24 hours, the thing or creature will revert of its own accord. What you can turn it into depends on what it was to begin with.

  • You can transform a thing or a small collection of identical things into any other thing or small collection of identical things. The things transformed may be as small as a coin or as large as a wagon. For example, a pumpkin could be transmogrified into a carriage until the stroke of midnight, leaves could be transmogrified into gold coins until someone tries to buy something with them, or a crude meal of tubers and gruel could be transmogrified into a grand feast until someone complains about it. Things are not able to resist the spell, but they must be unattended or under your complete control — you can’t change a chest into a matchbox if someone is in it.
  • You can transform a single animal into another animal that you have seen or into a person. The animal transformed may be as small as a shrew or as large as an elephant. For example, a mouse could be transmogrified into a horse until the stroke of midnight, a raven could be transmogrified into a man until it eats something, or a tiger could be transmogrified into a bunny rabbit until it falls asleep. The target can resist the transmogrification with a successful Constitution (Stamina) vs. Spellpower test. Each of the animal’s attributes are equal to its natural attribute or the attribute of its new form, whichever is greater, and the animal’s general demeanor is unchanged — a tiger transmogrified into a bunny rabbit is still quite dangerous. Animals transmogrified into people are able to speak and understand the caster’s native language, although they may not have anything interesting to say.
  • You can transform a single person so that they have the characteristics of an animal you have seen, but are otherwise still humanoid. For example, a man could be transmogrified to have the head of an ass until someone voluntarily kisses him, a woman could be transmogrified to have the head of a bear until she sincerely apologizes for her unkind behaviour, or a child could be made to have the tail of a pig until they share something they have with someone less fortunate than themselves. In each case, the transformation confers no useful abilities, the target must be told the condition that will end the spell, and it must be something within their power to perform. The target can resist the transmogrification with a successful Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower test.

Walk Unseen

  • Requirements: Faerie Arcana (Master)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 10+
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 15
  • Range: None
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Winds Of Flight, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You move ever-so-slightly into Faerieland, allowing you to move unseen, unheard, and unsmelt in the mortal world. You remain invisible, inaudible, and unsmellable until you take an attack or Cast action, whereupon you immediately become visible, audible, and smellable. Walk Unseen lasts for 10 minutes and you can extend it for up to an hour for a cost of 2 MP per 10 minutes.

Monday, 2016-02-01

We will not be missed

Filed under: History,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 16:42

Two centuries from now, humans will still be able to read The Iliad and The Declaration Of Independence, but there will be a huge gap where the late-20th and early-21st centuries were.

Atoms survive. Bits do not.

Monday, 2016-01-25

Fantasy Age specialization: Spellbinder

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 11:25

Fantasy Age logo

A new specialization for Fantasy Age: Spellbinder.


Spellbinder

While most mages use their arcane arts to impose their will on the world around them, spellbinders concentrate their attention on the subtlest of the arcane arts: the line between what is real and what we only think is real. This focus on the ephemeral gives spellbinders greater effectiveness in wielding (and resisting) such manipulations, and eventually deepens their understanding of the nature of reality itself. For some mages, this expertise is used to conceal and deceive, while others study this power to seek a deeper truth.

You have a talent for spellbinding magic. Choose one of the following magic talents to be your favored arcana: Enchantment Arcana, Faerie Arcana, Illusion Arcana, or Thought Arcana.

  • Novice: You gain a +2 bonus when resisting spells from your favored arcana.
  • Journeyman: Your knowledge of the subtle arts is deep. When casting spells of your favored arcana, their cost in magic points is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1.
  • Master: You understand the relationship between perception and reality. You can choose a second favored arcana from the list.
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