Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Things that exist: Battle Abbey

The Battle Abbey was an abbey that William the Conqueror ordered built in Battle, East Sussex, England on the site where the Battle of Hastings was fought. It was meant to atone for the bloodshed his conquest of England created and the altar itself was supposedly built on the very spot that Harold Godwinson, the king prior to William's conquest, was killed. Unfortunately, the abbey was partially destroyed in the 16th century during an event called the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII was a huge douche. Today, only a few buildings associated with the abbey, like the gatehouse (picture above) survive and are used as part of a boarding school.

Aside from the awesome name, the abbey invokes some interesting fantasy and roleplaying images. It would be used as a model for an abbey that trains clerics and paladins. Maybe the abbey was abandoned in the past and an order of paladins takes possession of it as both a headquarters and a training ground for paladins. You could even include the abbey's partial destruction as the result of a titanic battle between the paladins and an evil army and turn it into a location for your players to explore.

Oh, the possibilities!

Circe: A potential baddie?

Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus, by John William Waterhouse.
Who is Circe? I'll let Wikipedia explain:
In Greek mythology, Circe is a minor goddess of magic (or sometimes a nymph, witch, enchantress or sorceress), described in Homer's Odyssey as "The loveliest of all immortals", living on the island of Aeaea, famous for her part in the adventures of Odysseus.

By most accounts, Circe was the daughter of Helios, the god of the sun, and Perse, an Oceanid and the sister of Aeetes, the keeper of the Golden Fleece, Perses and Pasiphaƫ, the wife of King Minos and mother of the Minotaur. Other accounts make her the daughter of Hecate.

Circe transformed her enemies, or those who offended her, into animals through the use of magical potions. She was known for her vast knowledge of drugs and herbs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A matter of weapons

Swords! They're the standard weapon in fantasy and gaming and it's not surprising why, either; they're a versatile weapon and can easily be made in large numbers quickly. They're also symbolic of heroism. The problem is that they weren't the only weapon in days past and shouldn't be used like they are. The genesis for this was inspired by a post on Daddy Grognard's about a campaign he DMs for his children. What caught my attention was that one of the players uses a trident wielding fighter. People normally associate the trident with Poseidon and his Roman counterpart, Neptune, but it was a legitimate weapon used by both gladiators and in the field. Tridents could snag an enemy's weapon between the points and had the advantage of creating three wounds with one stab. Not bad.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Stay awhile and listen

Just an update that there will be posts coming down the pipe. Computer games (not of the Diablo 3 variety, despite the post's title) and reading have gotten in the way, along with household stuff. As for reading, I found an absolutely beat to hell paperback collection of Conan stories - a mix of Howard, de Camp, and Carter - at the library and fell into its thrall. Aside from that, I also snagged Kull of Atlantis and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pirates of Venus, along with Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom. I originally went for the latter, but couldn't resist the others. What can I? I'm a fool for fantasy.

The Tower of the Elephant is pretty good. The Thing in the Crypt had a very roleplaying/D&D feel to it, which I dug.

Now for the posts, I think you'll like them. One will discuss alternatives to swords and was inspired by a blog post I saw elsewhere. The other is going to be about a fantasy western subgenre, its viability and general musings. Now, I just have to write them. This ought to be fun.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Grace Holly > Red Sonja

Because plate armor is way better than running around in a chainmail bikini. Chafes less.

The Realm of Zhu.

The Realm of Zhu.
I rest my case.

In which I make some D&D and OSR geeks jealous

Look at what I found at a yard sale today.

Apologies for the poor picture quality, I had to use a webcam to take them. Anyway, I got the first DM guide and the Player's Handbook during the first visit. We went back a few hours later after everyone had finished setting up their tables and I found a second copy of the former and a module, Dwellers of the Forbidden City. The mindblowing thing is how little I paid for them - the guide and handbook only cost six bucks total (he had them marked eight apiece), while the second guide and the module were but fifty cents each.

I thought the two Dungeon Masters Guides were identical at first, but as you can probably see in the first picture, there's a slight differences with the covers, mostly with the TSR's logos and name - the first copy has TSR Games, while the second has TSR Hobbies, Inc. I have no idea when the guides and handbook were printed other than 1979-1981. They're definitely for 1E AD&D.

I'm considering doing a contest in the future with one of the guides as the prize.

I would've failed my saving throw if that guy had had the Monster Manual too.


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