Saturday, March 31, 2012

Be A Better Player 10 - No you can't play that.

Player one – Hey I found this really good prestige class and I was wondering if you would let me try it.

GM – Well I'm trying to just stick with the base stuff out of the core books. Not wanting to branch out into to many other sources.

Player one – Awww, c'mon it's the 'Undead Slayer' prestige class it looks like it rocks.

Player two – Undead Slayer? We haven't even seen anything undead in this entire campaign.

GM – Yeah I'm not using undead in the current campaign at all, it doesn't fit whats going on in the least.

Player one – But it's really cool, just read it and you will say yes.

Player three – So how are you going to become and undead slayer when there are no undead to slay?

Player four – That would be some trick wouldn't it.

Player one – You guys are assholes, just don't want anybody to have any fun except for yourselves!

GM – What? How do you come to that conclusion just because I won't let you use a prestige class that's not from any of the books that I said we are using?

This is something that can happen in just about any game line where they have released a pretty extensive amount of material. Any edition of Dungeons and Dragons, the World of Darkness books, Shadowrun, and many more. Sometimes there is simply to much material to keep track of in your head. But when you try to limit it down to just a few books somebody just can't stand the idea of it.

I cannot say enough in these articles that most GM's put a lot of effort into the games they run. They have plot lines, lists of things that are going to happen, time schedules, lists of NPC's. It's no small chore. So when they try to make things a bit easier to control by limiting the scope of their game it's usually because there is more than they can handle otherwise. So they aren't out to stop you from having fun by not letting you play your current flavor of the month character type, they are trying to insure themselves that they will also have fun planning out and running the game.

Many times I've been a player in games where there were limitations on what we could choose from. It just made me be more creative with my selections. Also it never hurts to ask if you can use something, especially if you have a valid reason for it, the worst they can do is say no. If they do say no don't get pissy about it and move on.

Also don't let the discussion of this halt game play or carry a simple character creation session into an hours long ordeal. Asking about it should be fine and rather quick, but trying to get a full on discussion about why you should get to play a Lasombra in a Camarilla only vampire session can get really old real fast. Not just for the GM but also for those others who are wanting to play.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Screams from the Outhouse - Wax Seals

It's been a while but now I'm ready to start back up again. So to start off I'll be putting up five uses for wax seals in fantasy like games. At the bottom of it I'll also provide a link to an online store that specialized in wax seals, stamps, writing instruments and more. Enjoy.

Wax Seals

Seal of obscuring. Popular among diplomats who can afford it as the expense goes up considering it requires a special ink, wax and stamper. The message they wish to convey is written as usual only using the specially made ink. When finished and the ink has dried the paper is folded up and the wax seal is placed on the flap. It is during the placement of the seal that an incantation is spoken by the person sealing it. Now whenever it is to be read the person opening it must repeat a second line to the incantation. If not the ink starts bleeding through the fibers of the parchment and totally obscuring the print making it unreadable.

Seals of spell containment. A spellcaster writes a spell onto a specially prepared sheet of parchment. Then while rolling it up and placing the seal on it he casts a low level spell that will actually cast the one on the paper but holding it in place until the seal is broken. This allows the scroll to be sold to anybody to use, all they have to do is break the seal and the spell is cast. Afterwords the parchment disintegrates into a pile of pulp.

Seals of passing knowledge. This particular seal is placed on documents that are usually long and require a bit of time to read. Using this seal anybody who knows the activation phrase can place their fingers on the wax and have the knowledge passed over into them. The actual transfer sounds like somebody reading the text to them (usually in the voice of the person who placed the seal), nobody else hears it and it only takes a few moments in real time although to the person getting the transfer it may seem to take quite a while. There are reports of books with multiple seals for different chapters, special sections and such.

Seals of identification. These are made ahead of time, usually by visiting diplomats and royal families. They are done using a very specifically created wax that remembers the person who used it. The person makes their seal and signs their name below it. Now anytime it is needed the person can place their thumb on the wax and say their name out loud. If it is really the person who made the seal it will glow slightly, if not it will turn black and crumble. This can help insure the identity of who you are talking to.

Seals of killing. Sometimes you have to beware of the message more than the messenger. This seal looks completely normal until it is broken. Then it activates a contact poison that is laced into it and the paper. As the person reads the message it seeps through their skin and into them thus slowly insuring their demise. It has also been used to kill thieves and the people who hired them by leaving false poisoned documents in a 'secure' place.

Nostalgic Impressions - for all your wax seals needs.