Friday, March 24, 2017

Stones Landing

In my upcoming Advanced Fighting Fantasy game I will not be using the world provided in the book (which is called Titan).  Instead I will be using my own setting which has no title.  Hopefully I will be fleshing it out more with some regular blog posts here.  First up is Stones Landing, the city from which the characters will be embarking from for their adventures.


Stones Landing is the first, and so far only, established city along the Blighted Coast of the continent of Anmar. A continent that suffered much devastation in the previous sundering that nearly wiped out world clean. After isolation of nearly a hundred years Captain Abigale Stone dropped anchor in the remains of what was once a mighty sea side fortress forty years ago. The first years were fraught with peril from both a harsh environment and the twisted inhabitants what lived in the surrounding areas. The Bane was not kind to those who lived here before.

But with continued support from the Kingdom of Sil-Tarran there has been a slow claiming of the old keep and the surrounding areas. Clusters of houses, shops, stables and others structures have been erected with much haste and little planning. The result is a ramshackle city that resembles more of a township that simply keeps building on top of itself.

Nearby farmland has been replanted and is slowly providing crops once again. Along with a nearby mine that is giving forth ore after more than a century of silence. But the real bounty that is sought is that which is brought back by the brave few who venture forth into the depths of Anmar. Traveling what is left of the old roads and braving the creatures who lurk there. It has become a dream for adventurers seeking fame and, most importantly, fortune. But for every one who achieves this there are easily ten who have perished.

Some points have been mapped out and areas explored. But even those can warrant many hazards as the twisted remains of the Orc tribes regularly move around like blood hungry nomads. Or the occasional monstrosity created by the Nepentheans during the Sundering will make their way towards the new establishments of men. Entire small villages that have attempted to lay root at some distance from Stones Landing have vanished overnight. Leaving only burnt buildings, blood and the dead behind.

Those who seek to travel beyond the safety of the city can find anything they may need before leaving it's protected walls. Rations, arms and armor, information that may be of dubious worth, even some relics that others have brought back. Of course it's all for a price and coin is what the people who live here are after.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Two books ordered.

Finally got enough affiliate credit built up at Drivethru RPG that I am able to order a couple of print products.  One is a book that's been on my wishlist for quite a while and the other is from the new list of books that WOTC is putting up on POD now days.  Not sure how long it will take to get them in but at least I got them ordered.  Finally something new in my hands to look at.

First I picked up Spellcraft and Swordplay: Eldritch Witchery.  They have it in print for a pretty cheap price and you get the pdf for free when you do so.  That's what I call getting the double when ordering your POD stuff.

I had read some good reviews on this and got some good word of mouth from people whose opinions I trust.  Hoping that it lives up to the hype of having that OSR feel and look while at the same time having better writing than most stuff did from back in the day.

Then I also grabbed AC1 The Shady Dragon Inn for basic Dungeons and Dragons.  Being a big fan of the old BECMI series, and since they don't have the Rules Cyclopedia up yet in POD, I thought a good resource book would do the trick.  Always nice to have something handy to grab nearby when you need a quick NPC.    This will be the first reprint of the old TSR stuff that I will be able to lay eyes on so I'm looking forward to that. 

Hoping to add some more goodness from that era of DnD to my shelf soon.  Well after they get a few more books up that I want, although Hollow World is really calling to me already, and I get some more affiliate credit built up.

For those interested in the new POD material from WOTC for the older books that are no longer in print I have a page set up with everything they have (so far) divided out by edition.  I update it whenever they put up a new batch on Tuesdays. 

List of POD Dungeons and Dragons books now available from DrivethruRPG. 

Can't wait for these to come in.  I'll give you my opinion on each of them when they do.  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

City State of Kainis setting overview

A quick overview of some of the background setting for the City State of Kainis.  This is a rough draft so it may not read all that well.


Kainis is the largest city state on the continent of Sil-Tarren. Having grown from the ashes of what was left of the world from a great cataclysm which occurred a little over one hundred years earlier. A location where survivors of multiple shattered kingdoms came together in an effort to rebuild and survive in a land that was broken. Old grudges were tossed aside and those who were once enemies found themselves dependent on another. Cultures, ethnic traditions and race were all mixed together in one great melting pot to poor forth a new realm.

A ruling council comprised of surviving family lines of old lead this infant kingdom. Slowly pushing their borders out to retake what was once civilized country side that has now been reduced to wilderness and ruins. While dealing with smaller warbands and nomadic tribes also comprised of the descendants of those who survived. Not all are interested in joining with the new nation as it creeps across the land.

They have come to follow a religion that, like themselves, is comprised of ideas carried from many different cultures. All worked together into an idea of balance and dual forces that propel the world forward. Temples are built and prayers are answered for the clerics wield powers that come as a blessing.

A network of guilds have reformed spreading their trades in return for control and power. Various others have set up less savory organizations in their bids to shape things. There is still political infighting, backstabbing and greed as there always will be. Only the chessboard is different now.

Races of the old world have been changed forever. Humans are the most plentiful making up the vast majority of the population. Some Dwarves have survived the ages mostly still digging in the mountains beside Kainis hoping to carve out new numbers. The Orcs are gone, lost in their madness that came with the Cataclysm, those who are encountered are twisted and evil beyond imagining. Elvin kind with numbers over a handful at a time haven't been seen in over a hundred years. All others are believed to have been wiped from existence.

The roles of the characters in this world is one of two ways. First they could be the bands of adventurers, eager to make a name for themselves, spread their faith or fill their pockets. Heading out into the wilderness to help retake what was lost. Find the ruins of keeps and cities still filled with riches and danger. Or they could be tied up in the political fighting within the city. Representing a guild and pursuing their goals, maybe as members of a thieves guild plying their trade on the streets. Or even as servants for the ruling families.


For those who enjoy this blog, the various articles and session recaps and wish to show some support.  The DrivethruRPG and RPGNow links over on the right are tagged with my affiliate code.  Simply click through to their site and buy whatever you normally buy from them and I'll get a few pennies as a kickback.  Or if you don't like Onebookshelf you can paypal me directly at 'peteramthor -at- trulyrural dot com' as well.  Currently this is how I am purchasing new gaming material.  Hopefully I'll be able to get some stuff and start doing short reviews once again in the future.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Pick of the month - Artesia

Artesia started out as a comic from Archaia Entertainment many years ago.  I bought it back then starting with the very first issue and was hooked immediately.  Purchasing every single issue that came out for it until the series seemingly just stopped.  But the world the author/artist Mark Smylie created was just simply stunning.  So much depth in religion, politics and the art of warfare.  Every single page just dripped with inspiration coupled with his amazing art style.  Hands down simply one of the best comics I have ever read.

Three storylines were released; Artesia, Artesia Afield and Artesia Afire.  Also there were three annuals released as well and their stories are collected in the Book of Urgrayne which is also available (for free I may add).

While the series has stopped after three issues of the fourth volume got released (Artesia Besieged) and I'm not sure if it will ever be finished I highly recommend these books for anyone.  Both the comic and the later released RPG.

Issue one is available for free here.

Artesia the first collected trade is here.

Artesia Afield the second collected trade is here.

Artesia Afire the third and final collected trade is here.

The Free Book of Urgrayne is available here.

Then came the roleplaying game 'Artesia: Adventures in the Known World'.  A vast tome that won awards and was nominated for several others.  Using the Fuzion system pushed to it's furthest edges and detailing out the world more than most other games ever do.  It is a hefty read I will not lie, you have to dive into the setting and bury yourself into it.  There is no simply browsing to get a general idea.  Everything is so detailed and dripping with inspiration.  Also all of the artwork is done by the author/artist Mark Smylie so it really does feel like an extension of the comic.  Luckily I picked the hardcopy up when it was released and they seem to be getting a little scarce nowadays as people don't part with it often.

Artesia core rulebook is available here.

The FREE Artesia Compendium is available here.

More information can be found at the following website although it appears to be lacking an update in quite a long time.

Sword and Barrow

Hope you check these out and enjoy them as much as I have over the years.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Jordon and Joseph

Where Astoria and Aedarius represented the creation and end of life. The next to gods represent the creation and destruction of nearly everything else. The twins Jordan and Joseph are the opposites of one another but also necessary forces in the world for just as everything must be created in order to exist all things are eventually destroyed and cease to be.

Jordon the Creator. Dark brown skin with black hair kept tightly trimmed down. His portrayal is always that of wearing the clothing of the working class, a brick layers thick heavily shouldered shirts, a blacksmiths leather apron, a field workers simple robes. His physical size is always greater than that of a common man, taller than any other deity save his brother and physically massive beyond what is possible. On a belt he carries tools of various trades while in his hand he holds a cord knife as Astoria because of their relationship through creation and life. His followers tend to be masons, woodworkers and teachers.

Joseph the Destroyer. Identical to his brother in size and mass but with long unkempt hair in dreadlocks that hang down his back. While he is always shown wearing the armor of a soldier, battered, dented and very worn in. In Kainis it is realized that with military actions comes destruction with no way to avoid, but is necessary for the world to carry on. He carries various weapons strapped to his body but in his hand is an arrow of Aedarius because of their relationship through destruction and death. His followers tend to be soldiers, mercenaries and sorcerers.

They rarely have formal full scale temples set up in their honor. But do have numerous shrines and dedications. Battlefields and training grounds have those for Joseph while guild halls and schools have them for Jordon. In the capital of Kainis there is a formal temple for Jordon in the form of a great hall built from stone, a marvel of architecture in and off itself. Rows of books, scroll and tools line the halls. While Joseph has a temple in the form of a historical battlefield just inside the walls. Building are left as they fell and graves line what were once streets.

Astoria and Aedarius

Astoria is the Goddess of Life and her twin brother Aedarius, the God of Death. They are the two key figures of the pantheon, the beginning and the end, the circle that all life is trapped within.

Astoria is always presented with very pale skin and white robes. She is the one who represents the birth of life, from procreation to child birth and into adulthood. Her clothing depends on what part of the cycle she is currently being asked to influence, naked when it comes to fertility, full robes when it comes to being a mother, and so on. Sometimes when portrayed as defending her children she is shown wearing plate armor polished to a mirror finish. Also on her waist she wears a belt with three daggers each with it's own purpose: cutting the cord during child birth, defending your family and the last a simple tool for eating. Her clergy consists of healers, clerics and caregivers.

Aedarius is always shown as a hunter dressed in black leathers with a bow in his hand. Death is not seen a necessarily bad thing but an essential part of life that comes for every living thing. His skin is pale like his sister but he never wears anything of light color. Although when claiming the life of a lover he is commonly displayed wearing only a loincloth. A frequent saying is that when one dies they have 'caught the arrow of Aedarius' along with an animal being killed for food as a 'blessing from Aedarius'. His clergy consists of paladins, under takers and hunters.

Larger temples for the pair are commonly built as one structure but with a divide between the two. With only one inside door connecting the two that can priests may use, all others must exit one side completely before being able to enter the main doors to the other. The side for Astoria is where marriages are performed, children are taught and even children are born in side rooms specially made for this. Aedarius is for funerals and rites for the dead are performed. Along with cremation and rooms for those who are dying to pass along in as much peace as can be administered.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Jaded Gamer Diary - Division is inevitable

Fuck it.  Division is something that must happen.

I know everybody keeps wanting all the gamers in the world to sing in one song and be a big happy community.  Well in case you haven't noticed that shit ain't happening.  It will never happen by any stretch or leap of the imagination.  Some groups may get along but others will in no way ever get along with each other.

Honestly I'm fine with that. 

This is an opinion I have finally come to after years of being one of the hopelessly hopeful fools who thought gaming could over come all differences.  Railing against people who strived to create more fractures and divisions than were already there, putting up with people who I personally did not like at all and so much more.  It was over the last handful of years that I sat back and really just stopped attempting and just watched the fires.

But now I sit back and realize that there are several people I never want to sit down at a table with for any reason.  Whether it be political beliefs, various groups or movements they support or even just how they act in public.  There are so many damned hate spewing cowards with fan followings that I've lost count.  To much 'hug the bully' bullshit acting like victims who fight back are wrong. 

Now I won't ever publish a list of people to boycott or companies to shun.  There are people, who if I see their name in a book, will prompt me to not buy it no matter how good it may be.  Some companies whose logo is just a turd in my eyes.  I encourage everyone to fall into the splits and fractures however they want.  We don't need to be united in our hate just like we will never be united in what we love.

So love gaming but feel more than damned free to hate as well.