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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Further recollections of Jectin the Mage

Here is where I will depart from the more personal recollections of Bohenstiehl’s family as they were truly excellent beings. I understood how Bohenstiehl became such a fine individual because of them. They were great friends, and I know of no better compliment.

My plan to rectify the blatant abuses and utter failure of the Majister’s rule was three pronged. I must say that while Bohenstiehl was still my student in the arcane arts, he was my friend, confidant, fellow conspirator, and wise beyond his years. Without him, the best of my plans would not have come to pass. We felt that we must do everything we can to immediately alleviate whatever we can of the people’s distress. Then we knew we must address the failure of the Majister’s Rule directly through the organization itself. Finally, as Bohenstiehl pointed out, our best efforts would not move the most entrenched selfish members of the government, so we must help the people to equalize the power imbalance. 

Food is the thing we decided as the best way to help the people. Stories of food spoiling uneaten in the Majister’s storehouses turned out to be horrendously correct. So we appealed to the greedy nature of the Ministry of the Purse. If food spoiled, it was money lost. The Office of Provisioning in their meticulous detail of sorting all data already had projections of food and resource requirements for decades in the future. So I convinced the necessary Majister Council members to allow the Ministry of the Purse to coordinate with the Office of Provisioning to buy only the amount needed plus 10% to be purchased from farmers instead of taking entire crops. The food was purchased at well below the cost to produce it anyway, so we, in effect gave the people more food not only to eat, but also to use for trade.

Secondly, we needed a way to gain standing in the ranks of the Majister’s ruling class. The Office of Research currently had posts left vacant by mages and witches who had no desire to work on anything other than their own experiments. It used to be an influential position, but years of lazy incompetence on the part of the former leaders led to most in the Majister’s ranks laughing at any who worked there. Unbeknownst to me, Bohenstiehl had fast friendships with some young and still idealistic researchers in the department. With their support, I became Majister of Research with only a little bribery and connivance. Naturally, I named Bohenstiehl as my Assistant Prime. 

It was also Bohenstiehl’s working relationship with the young researchers which brought us into contact with a brilliant young Höhlenmenschen male named Wozniak. The Höhlenmenschen Wozniak had so many ideas, he could barely keep them straight. When finally given support and staff to work with, he began producing many things. Some were entirely new; others were amazing refinements to existing things. 

One of Wozniak’s accidents was what turned the tide, and doomed many in the same moment. It is my fault, for I am the one who saw the possibilities, and suggested the final thing which brought about liberation and destruction. He had been working on a side project trying to make the black powder used to shoot fireworks and to make the dwarven blunderbuss more effective. He made it more effective, and I suggested more changes to the blunderbuss to make it more effective. It worked, so much better that I dared to hope at the time. How I regret that Wozniak is still given “credit” for the weapon I made him design. Would the world still be whole without the advent of the modern firearm?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm back! Again.

     I think I have gotten through the bulk of issues (divorce, death of my father, and moving) now.

     Though I haven't been writing on this blog, I have been writing. I have decided to share the first portion of my world's history as told by Jectin, the Mage.

The History of the World through the eyes of Jectin the Mage

                You asked for my history, I will tell you my thoughts and recollections. These are through my eyes, and the filter of my experiences. So let me start at a beginning of my choice.

                I was there at the true beginning of the shattering of this world. None still alive today know the things I am burdened with. The choices I have made have been speculated upon, and judged. I am not now perfect, nor have I been so in the past. As I gained more wisdom, I have only found how far from perfection I am. Perhaps wisdom truly is knowing my shortcomings, and in doing so, learning humility. So many terrible things could have been avoided if only I and others had learned this lesson much earlier.

I will call these times the Arcane Age. Much of my life before this point was not much different from others in the Majister Ranks. We knew only studying and researching very few of us were actually involved in ruling. More the shame upon us. I did not look to the plight of the people. I had no need to go into the city so I did not see the run down homes and sewage filled streets. I did not question where the food and opulent riches came from. I did not question why the servants looked upon us with hostility.

One day, I found one of my own apprentices, a fine young dwarf named Bohenstiehl eating scraps scavenged from the dinner table. I had known he always had threadbare robes, and had explained he was too busy to go get robes tailored, that his goals were too demanding for frippery. I accepted this, as his work ethic was indeed admirable, and he was progressing at such a terrific rate. On this day, he had not been at the meal before, and his robes were dirty and torn. Upon questioning him, I found he had gone into the city carrying his months wages and food from his own meals. He took the food and money to his family and friends.

I was so very shocked at this. I had to ask the questions of one who is ignorant, but had never thought to consider the whole truth. “Do they not have jobs? Are they not paid for these jobs? Is there no food in the markets? Why would they need extra?”

Bohenstiehl asked me to accompany him in order to do the research and get the answers myself. As this was a comment directly quoted from me, I had no reasonable choice but to agree. We scheduled the next day to spend with his family. To this day, I feel shame for overlooking what was so clear had I paid any attention at all to what was going on outside the confines of the Majisters schools.

Streets were well paved in the middle, but little more than mud and stones that might have once been a road were to either side. Yet the center road was unoccupied, having been reserved for Majister traffic, with a fine and prison time going to violators. The buildings along the main street were very nice, as they would have to be to make any Majisters visiting comfortable. Yet every building not directly in sight of the main road was crumbling. Some places looked to have been destroyed.

The market, which I had gone to many times was an enclosed affair, and only Majisters were allowed to shop there. I took but one step beyond the perfumed curtains and saw a completely new kind of market, full to the brim with desperate, thin people looking away from the guards all around like whipped dogs. The stalls selling food were rickety, and carried only things which the Majisters would throw away. In the area where actual items were sold, all were very worn and used, sometimes repaired by hand with makeshift parts.

How could I have completely missed this? I had always thought of myself as good and upstanding. As I looked into the sunken, hopeless eyes of the people around me, I felt guilt for my oversight. As I looked to my student and saw in his eyes the reflected misery of the people around me, I knew I must do something. From the purest confines of my heart, I began to plan. I should have known even then the chaotic vortex that occurs when plans and reality combine. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

What should I give away for free?

I've read a lot of blogs about how to market and generate interest in a new RPG product. One of the best and most effective things I have seen is to offer a free product.

However, more questions are raised than answered by that option. What should I give away? How do I get it in people's hands? How do I generate buzz and blog views? How can I represent my "brand" in an appealing and easy to pick up fashion? In short, How do I use a free thing to help market the product I am going to ask people to pay for? Since CnS is not yet complete, my strategy is to build up to the formal release of the game.

First up, I intend to release a free role-playing game. Who doesn't like free? If the free thing is actually fun, so much the better. Every page will have this blog's address, and a log line of sorts about Cyborgs and Sorcerers. The free game will be under 15 pages making easy to read, pickup and understand. It will have a very light, free-form version of the CnS rule-set. this will prepare the way for the basics of the full game when it comes out and create fertile ground for the real thing.

Second, I will write a few short stories regarding the setting of Cyborgs & Sorcerers.Major events in the history of Erealind will be featured, as well as a few slice of life vignettes which will featured in this blog, or as free downloads o whoever wants them.

Third, as I work on designs and plans for the game, and figure out a way to get art into the book, I will be able to release pictures of the world or parts of it to gain or enhance interest.

Fourth, if enough interest has been generated, I hope to create print on demand products, , even 3-d printed products should any cool ones come to mind.

Fifth, as I have beta session testing, I will have logs of the games events, and hopefully have guest writers in the form of my beta testers.

There are many things to work on still, but having a plan is the best way to succeed. As you can see, I have one. As you will see, I'll succeed.

Why I have been gone

Most often, when a blog is dormant this long, it is pretty much dead. This is not the case. Since my last post there have been a variety of family issues and sicknesses that made other activity basically impossible. MY dad finally returned home this weekend after his latest hospital visit. He has spent 80% of the time since my last blog post in the hospital. Since that time I have taken over my parent's finances, and filed for divorce.

I feel things are finally as close to on-track as they will be. So now it is time to write, and I shall indeed do so. To any who visit I welcome, to those who have kept checking this site (all two of you), I offer my abject apologies.

More to come...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Quotes that inspire me...

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
~ Maya Angelou

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of.”
~ Joss Whedon

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
~ Stephen King, On Writing

"It's not about what I got wrong, it's about what I can do better."
~ Me

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Effects of Using Magic

Effects of Using Magic
(An excerpt from Chapter 12: magic Rules in the Cyborgs & Sorcerers RPG handbook)

              Everyone knows that Arkein casters power their spells with portions of their soul and as a result engender the blessing of Ki the Word. Those who cast Naturalis spells use their own blood as a catalyst to gain the help of Enki. But what does this do to a person? What are the long-term effects? It is known that Dráva-Veid and Magus have extended lifespans which average three times what is normal for their given race. Even Sentinels and Wardens who do not have anywhere near the same access to power that the others do seem to live on average twice the normal span if they do not fall in battle.
            There have been many different opinions as to what causes this, but often the simplest is the best. In addition the great Magus Jectin has written a large tome on the subject which I will paraphrase here.
“Just as a weakling who exercises becomes strong, so does the Magus or Dráva-Veid as they practice their arts. Every spell used, every time they stretch themselves to their limits, and each moment they strive to understand the universe from a particular perspective, they become more than they were. Their Intellect and Insight grow as a tree drawing strength from the roots of the deep earth and the light of An.
The cumulative effective quickly seen is knowledge and greater capacity to cause their will to manifest. The unseen is this, they have changed themselves by these actions. At the cellular level, these spell casters who cause things to be are all the same causing themselves to be. If a mountain is moved, is not Erealind changed? Does not Enki feel and know this? Spell casters move much more, how could they not be changed?”
            In essence, Jectin is arguing that the more a spell caster uses magic, the more likely it is to change them including their lifespans and how they age. Just as a weakling cannot bend the bars of steel a strong man can, so novice Magus and Dráva-Veid cannot cast the spells. Their soul and blood does not have the potency is will. It is also argued that it takes time for Karus to build up in their bodies, which also makes them more capable of casting greater magics.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Money, Money, Money!

     Every fantasy world needs some type of currency. The main problem I had was coming up with something recognizable, but still manage to be unique. First, I had to determine which materials would be in use, then decide on their value in the world. Once i had all that information, I had to decide what to call it. I'm sure to most players, it will just be silver pieces and gold pieces, regardless of what I name them, but I want to put that extra effort in to make even the money mean something. So I present to you the currency of Cyborgs & Sorcerers from Chapter Seven: Commerce and General Equipment.

Accepted Currency
1 lead piece = 1 Parvus
10 Parvus = 1 brass also called Unum
10 Unum = 1 copper also called Decem
10 Decem = 1 silver also called Centum
10 Centum = 1 gold also called Mille
10 Mille = 1 Mithral  also called X or Decem Milia
Mithril is half the weight of steel and twice as strong. It is also acid resistant and does not conduct electricity or heat, and is rust-proof. Each Mithral piece is worth 0.3 grams of Karus.
100 Decem Milia = 1 ounce of Karus (30 grams)
Karus (meaning dear, beloved, costly, precious, high-priced, valued) can only be rendered from the heart of magical creatures. Generally, any magical creature's heart can be rendered down for Karus and generates 10 grams of Karus per 5 HD. Because of the rendering process, you must kill  15 HD of magical creatures  and render the hearts down through a special and expensive alchemical process in order to obtain 1 ounce of pure Karus.
Once a character hits level 5 and above, their bodies begin to change and, though not technically a magical creature, their hearts do contain a measure of Karus equal to magical creatures.
The only other way to obtain Karus is to mine for Mithral. Only around and in Mithral veins is Karus ever found in the wild. In order to purify and separate Mithral from Karus, a long, very sensitive process is required. This long process (too detailed to note here) is why mined Karus is just as expensive as that taken from the body of a magical creature.
Please refer to Chapter 16: Bestiary & Agricultural Compendium for further details about Karus.