Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Hand and Eye of Vecna

All this talk of Artifacts has got me thinking about my two favorites: The Hand and Eye of Vecna. I think you'd have to work in order to make a dull campaign with those two things in the spotlight. Think about it this way: if you put those in your campaign, there is going to be some evil dude trying to get his or her hands on them. Now, any villain that is actively seeking to chop off a hand and poke out an eye in order to gain immeasurable power is one bad-ass cat and is sure to make for a memorable villain. I think this one is going on the dock as a future potential campaign. Now, if only I could, you know, get some players....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Artifacts vs. +1 Daggers

Although our preferred play styles and the games we enjoy tend to be very different, Jeff over at Jeff's Gameblog always has great posts that get me thinking about my own play style and campaign setting. In his last post, he mentions Artifacts from an old D&D Supplement and that got me thinking about magic items in general in my own campaigns. I like the idea of doing away with most magic items - the rods, staves, wands, swords, shields and armor, rings, etc. I'd keep single use items like potions and scrolls, but any other magic item I introduced into my game would be an Artifact. So, the +5 Holy Avenger would be in there, and probably some very powerful Wizards Staff, but these would be legendary items that would be much whispered about. They would require an extensive quest in and of themselves to obtain, not just randomly discovered. I'll have to go through all my old DMG's and pick and choose some favorite Artifacts to include and come up with some decent history. 

EDIT: this ties in nicely (for me, not the players) with my Brotherhood of Valar who's duty it is to protect these Artifacts. So not only are magic weapons rare and hard to find, now you've got an entire group of people who's sole purpose is to keep these things out of your hands. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Asian Flavored Dwarves and Other Race Miscellanea

It just struck me how awful of a fit viking-flavored Dwarves are (oh, that wasn't an awkward phrase or anything). I mean, based on the standard Tolkien Dwarves, they really should have an Asian feel to them. They're isolationist, they cherish honor and honesty above all else, they both have dragon issues (ok, stretching it on that last one, but still, Dragons feature prominently in both cultures). This is all stereotyping quite a bit, and I certainly wouldn't make Dwarves Asian full-out, but just pepper the basic Dwarf with a few things that hint at an Asian influence. 

Also, it always struck me as odd that the original D&D had Elves and Dwarves and Halflings as Classes, instead of Races. But now that I think about it, it would do wonders for a campaign world in which you really wanted to strike home a very specific feel for what those races are. Not only that, but human versatility stands out even more when the other races are only classes and have no choice in their abilities. Something I'll be thinking about.