The Sorcerer Supreme . . . most ill

Jemma Salume's studies in mythology and desire to engage with the Marvel canon's Dr. Strange are two aspects of this artist that make her an immediate draw for me.

Add to this the concept of Mos Def as a Sorcerer Supreme. OMG!

I wish her all the best in the future. Not only is she a talented artist, but appears to have a cunning sense of humor as well. I will buy her a (drink or comic of her choice), should we ever meet. Then, we'd chat about Dr. Strange for a while.

Boo and Yah!

Also; Wanderer is actually being written. But so are about four other projects, two of which I'm being paid for. So, the going is slow. The holidays are a time of celebration and writing for me. More will make it out of my subconscious and into my keyboard this week. Hang in there. For reals.


[Comics] Dr. Strange's Villains, redesigned

There was once a time when Marvel's occult aspects were the only thing I was reading from the publisher. It appears difficult to maintain a magic meta-plot for any length of time, which is a real shame.

I *love* Marvel's Lovecraftian-influenced outer gods and parallel realms.

I should write down all the ideas I have for the Dr. Strange franchise and associated characters. Maybe someone could use them to re-invigorate this downtrodden milieu in the Mighty Marvel Manner?

Take a look at an artist's re-design of several of the Sorcerer Supreme's opponents. Beautiful work, thoughtfully designed, clearly implemented with engaging color schemes. W00t! It has my creative juices flowing, just looking at the sadistic looking Baron Mordo and the world-dwarfing Shuma-Gorath.

What in the world is the Dread Dormammu doing in that awesome armor?!?

Djinns and Shaitan and Efreeti, oh my!


[Wanderer] RPG.net Swords and Sorcery thread

It would appear that the urge to use the simple Traveller-style RPG system for a more . . . fantastical setting is common. Witness this thread over on RPG.net. These intrepid souls are using the Mongoose Traveller implementation for their base system.

Things haven't gotten too deep as yet, but they've got a focus and are getting things done.

So, in the immortal words of Doc Grognard, "...and three of us makes conspiracy!".


[Pathfinder] Sirrian's Tome of Changes

Sirrian Lightchaser’s Tome of Changes
Description- The Tome of Changes is a square, approximately three hand-spans on a side. Polished darkwood covers bind together one hundred and twenty pages of thin, strong paper. The covers of the Tome lay flat against its pages, with a strong set of metallic cords penetrating the darkwood and pages in a regular pattern creating the hinge which opens the book. Both the cording and the paper of the pages are unique, with each owner of the Tome researching their potential origin without success.
The Tome of Changes is unusual in that it appears to have started out as a working field-notebook, then evolved into a more serious record of Sirrian's development as a mage. Reflecting this, there are three distinct sections to the book. Each section is detailed below.


[IMCotD] Cultists Everywhere

(9:34:30 AM) Gerall: the number is from Madison
(9:35:15 AM) Kevin: yep.
(9:36:43 AM) Gerall: so, who is it if you know so much?
(9:37:11 AM) Kevin: that guy from the Jersey Shore reality show: The Situation. :D
(9:37:41 AM) Gerall: whew- i was worried it was coming out of Lovecraft country...
(9:38:02 AM) Kevin: dude, he's a cultist. I'M SURE OF IT!
(9:38:44 AM) Gerall: so, what you're typing is that's not a *real* 6-pack?
(9:39:13 AM) Kevin: it is most certainly not.
(9:40:02 AM) Gerall: ::shudder::


Under the Broken Moon

Session 1: Ariel's Plea

This past Saturday, me and three of my friends went to our FLGS to play the Gamma World-Thundarr mashup. I had a blast, and, from what my players said to me, they did too. We didn't get through the whole scenario I created, but we have only about an hour left to roleplay - two major encounters. Here's more detail on how the game went.


[WWIR] DnD3e / Pathfinder - Dark Prophecy

What Would I Run? - Forgotten Realms
I've re-read some excellent 3.0 / 3.5 material recently; namely, the Shining South source book for the Forgotten Realms setting. There's something about the nation of Halruaa and the mages who run it. The nation is nicely meshed into the metaphysics of the setting, including their fervent Mystran and Azuthian Churches. Given my habits as a GM, I want to include a cult or coven to Shar as well... I love using cults - just ask any of my players. And I wanted to give the characters something different to chew on for this game.

So, add all these habits and drives up and what do you get? What would I run using 3.x Forgotten Realms?

Short answer: The PCs would be members of the cult of Shar hidden among the Halruaan nobility. The coven is busy, working toward the fulfillment of The Prophecy. For more details, check it out after the break...


[DnD4e] Under the Broken Moon - Thundarr Roleplaying

By Kevin Morrell (aka The Splash)

One of my favorite cartoons is Thundarr the Barbarian. Thundarr is a very heroic figure that fights for freedom and justice and that appealed to me as a little kid of 10 years. It has been more than 30 years now since it aired. This cartoon aired before I even dove headlong into rpgs!

So, I bought the new version of Gamma World. I like what they've done with it. 4E seems very flexible. After watching a few episodes of Thundarr's ass-kicking, I thought, "Why not a Thundarr-Gamma World game?" A match made by the Lords of Light.


Dwimmers of the Fanhir

The Fanhir have taught their ways for generations in Rhovanion, the vast Wilderlands of eastern Middle-earth. Their name Fanhir means "Cloudmaster" in the tongue of the Sindarin.

Mastery of the Sky and Clouds is the magic they possess and they teach it to few people as they deem their dwimmers secret power that sorcerors would use without wisdom to dominate others.

Few Fanhir are left to pass on their magic. Many died at the end of the Second Age fighting Sauron's dark power. The Third Age still has a few of these secretive wizards left and they still wage war on the Dark Lord.

Here is a short selection of the Fanhir's dwimmers I have created for the Song of Arda One Roll RPG. Hope they inspire you.


[How To] Read Only Game Stuff From This Blog

Here's an RSS feed for game-only stuff from Strange Glyphs. Copy this URL and put it into your news reader of choice. Then it'll be nothing but Wanderer, Traveller, Greyhawk, Pathfinder and BRP... and whatever else Kevin contributes to the blog. :)


[Debian GNU/Linux] Epiphany Slowness - solution found!

My tumblr-hosted technical blog appears to have disappeared into the aether, so I'm going to be posting more non-gaming stuff here. If you're into gaming posts only, you'll want to read only the material with the RPGBloggers label. That'll keep you on top of my gaming strangeness.

My laptop runs Debian GNU/Linux. With the latest update, my favorite web-browser Epiphany is slow as a goat on the initial load of a web page from a given domain. Once we get the PAINFULLY SLOW first page loaded up, further requests to that domain load up lickety-split. So, it was looking like a DNS issue...

Tech details after the break!


[Review] Pink Lady Apples

No, this is not a gaming post. I'm trying to remember specifics about which kinds of apples I enjoy. Hence, the creation of these posts about various breeds of apple and how they make my mouth feel. You can skip this if you're not into food like I am.

However, the format for this post will mirror other review-style for future posts. Each review will consist of 5 categories, and each category gets a grade from 0 - 20. Total review metric is the summation of all the category's scores. Dig it...


[LotR] Song of Arda - A Dwimmer & An Enchantment

Well, I can't wait for Cubicle 7's new Hobbit RPG. I'm in the process of using the One Roll Engine (ORE for short) for playing in Middle-earth. I'm calling it "Song of Arda." Not original, I know, but I like it.

ORE is the same ruleset for REIGN and Wild Talents and Nemesis, among a couple of others too.

This post is specifically about MAGIC. I'm using 4 types of magic, all using the same rules from Wild Talents Miracle creation. Each has a slightly different flavor and power level. These are lifted from other LotR rpg's out there.

Spell-craft & Spells: lower-powered, more personal magic.
Dwimmer-craft & Dwimmers: more powerful, larger scope.
Enchantment: Even bigger, long lasting too.
Lore-craft & Secrets: Crafting items and stuff usually magical stuff.

So, below are one dwimmer and one enchantment, both Attack magic. Flame of Anor is a dwimmer used by those who serve the Secret Fire as Gandalf does. Fires of Udun is an enchantment and sorcery used by those who serve the Shadow. These have been adapted from the Decipher Lord of the Rings RPG.

I've added some Extras and Flaws. I'll explain some of those in another post. Just wanted to show people what I'm working on.

Flame of Anor (1 Point per die)

This dwimmer, one of the most powerful weapons the Wise have against the Shadow, projects a bolt of white light bright enough to pierce any gloom. The beam harms on the servants of the Enemy – ranging from Nazgul to Orcs – and other evil creatures as well. The bolt does Width+2 in Shock and Killing plus Burn and Daze and can Penetrate 1 HAR. Flames can be extinguished with Coord + Athletics roll. This requires one action to attempt and can be attempted only once each round.

Attack+2: Capacity: Range, Burn +2, Daze +1, Penetration +1, Chants & Gestures -1, Exhaustion -2, Can be Extinguished -1, Direct Feed -2, Only vs. Shadow -1

Fire of Udûn (5 Points per die)

This sorcery calls upon the fearsome power of the underworld, Udûn, to consume in flame every living thing in its path, whether friend or foe. It produces a sphere of fire 30 feet in radius anywhere in Range. Each creature in the area suffers Width+2 Shock and Killing, plus Burn and 3 Area Dice.

Attack: Capacity: Range, Radius +2, Burn +2, Area +3, Traumatic +3, Base Will Cost -4, Direct Feed -2, Exhaustion -2, Chants -1


[MetaGame] How would you stat prehensile hair?

One of the fun aspects of the gaming hobby is getting to translate characters from comics and fiction into game. I read all kinds of comics, and have enjoyed all kinds of supers-oriented games. So, the $50k question: if I were to stat up, say Medusa from the Marvel Universe for an RPG excursion, how would you do it?


[IMCotD] Gygax Ascension Day

(9:21:52 AM) Gerall: Ernest Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008)
(9:23:52 AM) Kevin: ah.
(9:24:19 AM) Kevin: that's a friday. I should have that off.
(9:24:29 AM) Kevin: we should game that day. :)
(9:25:18 AM) Kevin: or roll up a 1st ed. ad&d character.
(9:27:03 AM) Gerall: Boss: "What do you need that day off for?"
Gerall: "Gygax Ascension Day..."
(9:28:29 AM) Kevin: yep. good name for it.
(9:28:57 AM) Gerall: we need to create some 1st ed ADnD characters and post them to the blog
(9:29:26 AM) Kevin: sounds good.
(9:50:44 AM) Gerall: i get to play the gnome illusionist!! COLOR SPRAY!!
(9:51:55 AM) Kevin: sounds like after the scourge. true?
(9:52:28 AM) Gerall: i haven't gotten the urge to Gnome it up out of my system yet.
(9:53:01 AM) Kevin: "gnome it up" lol
(9:53:39 AM) Kevin: gnome: verb. To hit a person with a Color Spray.
(9:53:49 AM) Gerall: LOL


[Android OS] Tablets and Aesthetics

For those who may not be aware, I am a gadget junkie. Free Software advocate wouldn't be an inaccurate description for me either. Given this combination of interests, I've gone bonkers over the latest batch of tablets using the Android OS. I have a ViewSonic gTablet (currently loaned out to another gamer), and a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. Given these differing devices, I've come to a few conclusions about my personal sense of "portable computing aesthetics". Enjoy my ranting after the break!


[BRP] Chronicles of Future Earth, the setting that almost was...

Sarah Newton is more creative and prolific in her writing than anyone has a right to be. I was brought into her development of the The Chronicles of Future Earth via quiet PM on the BRP Central forum, and was astonished.

This release from Chaosium is only about one-third (one-quarter?) the material Sarah had intended to shoe-horn between its covers. She's documented a far-future world populated with miracle technology, sorcery, and an Immortal God-Emperor ruling The Venerable Autocracy of Sakara. The monstrous Gene Wolfe vibe makes me squee.

Add to this that the Autocracy's capitol city Korudav is approximately five times the area of Glorantha's Pavis (including the Rubble!), and you'll begin to sense the tremendous breadth of setting here. I've seen her full-maps of a re-envisioned Urth, not just the snippet included in this release. I am happily paging through my copy of this now (purchased from Chaosium's website - in the interest of full disclosure), and am enjoying fitting this wonderfully unique bit of gaming into my imagination.

My hope is that this supplement will prove popular enough that Chaosium looks upon the scraps on their cutting-room floor with future interest. I haven't spoken with Sarah Newton much (since I deleted my Facebook account), but I wish her well with her new position at Cubicle 7. Given her momentum for the project two years ago, and the horrid time she endured waiting for the manuscript to see the light of day, I can only imagine she's moved on. Ah well.

Fun facts to know and tell: there's an adventure set in TCoFE already in print! Take a look at Sarah's submission in the BRP Adventures book. Yeah, I'm obsessive. So what?


[Android] Blogger's Android client - finally!

This will help me get ideas into the blog, no doubt. Here's something simple from my tablet. Vaati Monks, and a tribe of dragon-tainted centaur wandering the central Flanaess on Greyhawk have kept me writing. Plus, the deeply baroque effort on Wanderer hasn't stopped.
Hang in there! There is lots more to come.