There was a cheesecake free fantasy game

Of late there has been a lot of Elmore love.  Including at least one post all about the cheesecake.

I don’t think anyone who reads this blog is unaware of the issues of the images of women in gaming.

Yet, there is a well known RPG that including many, many female images and at most one or two are even remotely skimpy or sexualized. 

That game is Tunnels and Trolls 5th edition (and 5.5 which has only one new art piece as far as I can tell).

Let’s start at the cover:

We have a female fighter on the left.  She’s fully clothed and is wearing arm guards.  She also appears to be wearing a chain shirt under her tunic (and in the redo of this image for 7th edition she clearly is).

Next up is my favorite image from the entire game, the illustration from the Saving Rolls page:

A female adventurer walking a tight rope over a spiked pit.  Again, she is fully clothed in a quited tunic and pants.  She is barefoot (perhaps to add in walking the rope).  She is also as attractive as she is competent.

Sadly, checking the 7th and 7.5 edition there are plenty of bare mid-rifts although there is a good picture of a female adventurer wearing a breast and back suit and adding spaulder ruined by low rise pants.  From what 4th edition images I can find

Monday Pointers, DragonCon 2011 Edition

D4: The breadth of inspiration
Rob Knutz’s recollection of where many items in his and Gary’s early campaign drew inspiration.  If you think that because you’re playing a fantasy game means Iron Man comics and the products of Campbell’s Golden Age are off limits you really need to read this.  He explains much better (by showing, not telling) the idea I was after with the big list.

D6: Opening Pandora’s Box again
Timeshadows is right.  I’ve played T&T since 1979 and it’s my go to game for one-shots and convention games.  Which is why I’m running it at Consticon.

D8: A Far Northern Land
Thanks to Lin Carter’s anthology Lost Worlds, specifically his two “collaborations” with Clark Ashton Smith I got interested in the idea of a Greenland that was tropical and temperate instead of covered in an ice sheet. Wikipedia identifies Smith’s Hyperborea with Greenland although I’m not sure why (anyone got some pointers on that). Regardless, Wikipedia also provides us a map of Greenland sans glaciers with an awesome inland sea.

D10: Infinite Stars
Stars Without Number now has its own fanzine.  While you’re grooving in post-Scream space check out the game’s blog (just click on its title) for a bunch of clippings: little editions including some previews of  a Terra Post Dust supplement and the merchant version of Skyward Steel as well as adding wizards from your favorite old school game to SWN.  You could also use SWN’s psi class as an alternative to supplement three psionics.

I’m going to Consticon

Event: The Stone Roses 

System: Tunnels & Trolls (5.5/7.5 Mash-up) See below if you don’t own T&T

When: 

  • Atlanta, GA:Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 12:00:00 Noon 
  • Midnight between Saturday, September 3, 2011 and Sunday, September 4, 2011 
  • Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 8:30:00 PM 
  • Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 16:00:00 

Players: Room for 4

What to bring: 1st level character, human/elf/dwarf/hobbit. If you don’t own T&T get the basics of 5th edition here. There are only three more things you need to know:

  1. Roll a wizardry stat 3d6 (all kindreds have an x1 multiplier). This powers spells instead of strength.
  2. Warriors add their level to their combat adds 
  3. Pick one talent (acrobatics, slight of hand, herbalism, musical insturments) and set it’s initial value to an appropriate attribute + 1d6. When it fits you’ll use it instead of a stat for a saving roll.

Contact info: herb (dot) nowell at webmail of that big search engine which does G+ or here.

Twenty Questions about The World After, Part II

The first eight questions

Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?

Three societies of mages are openly known. The White Order of Vijerra is known for spells of protection and divination.  Membership in the White Order is perhaps the best protection against Hierarchy harassment although it also involves swearing off many practices including most offensive spells. 

Many adventuring mages owe allegiance to Società del Spinosi Rose which places emphasis on the dangers of magic and how that danger leads to its thrill.  Members of the Società are the most free in exchanging knowledge.  As you might guess their relationship with the Hierarchy is opposite that of the White Order.

Finally, rural mages who mostly work with practical magics are members of a fairly informal group known as The Brotherhood of the Hedge.  While they do share solutions to common problems the biggest purpose of the Brotherhood is to provide lodging and board for mages as they travel to attend to issues or gather components.

Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?

Most experts can be hired in Quavveniec although you’d have better luck finding an alchemist in Quatruscaj.

Where can I hire mercenaries?

Normal human mercenaries are found in Quavveniec as well as the city of Ypubina in the east where warriors gather to be hired to fend off the Hetokipp.

Human and monstrous mercenaries are found plying their trade in Quatruscaj.

Finally, all the Astrinoff princelings hire mercenaries in Vijerra to the north.

Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?

While magic isn’t outlawed it’s chaotic nature will lead to hassles for using it in Hierarchy controlled cities, especially Quavveniec. Every usage will be scrutinized and officials of the Hierarchy will use even the appearance of disrupting order with magic as a reason to assert any practitioner and his associates as an agent of chaos. This is doubly true of Elves.

Which way to the nearest tavern?  

Coyppored has two taverns and one inn.  The Il Flagon Ultimo is the rougher of the two taverns.  It customers tend to be guards for travelers leaving to the north and crossing the mostly open lands between Coyppored and the land of the Urgah Emperors and the Astrinoff Princelings they nominally rule.

The more gentile tavern, often frequented by those whose guards are drinking at Il Flagon, is The Adorable Fork.  Owned by a famed priest of Saint Rachel the Cook it often gets visitors from Quavveniec for his cooking.

Finally, the Inn of the Two Geese, is a comfortable and rather large inn.  While it has a common room with acceptable road fare the occupants of it’s three opulent rooms in its side annex tend to dine at The Adorable Fork.  In fact, the owner built the annex specifically to accommodate travelers from Quavveniec and other places heading to Coyppored specifically for said meals.  In its main building are several multi-person rooms on the second floor.

Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?

To the east the Soypvensu are bracing for a new campaign of conquest by the Hetokipp Warlords.

To the northeast the Urgah are preparing to try to unify the Astrinoff princelings under their rule. At the same time the Astrinoffs continue their on-again/off-again war with the Dukes of Dybrug and Apris (wars which supposedly date to before The Harrowing).

How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?

The Grand Arena of Quatruscaj is legendary for grand battles between heroes and monsters as well as the wealth winners can gain.

Twenty Questions about The World After, Part I

Specifically, they concern the Coyppored region.

The questions come from Jeff’s Gameblog:

What is the deal with my cleric’s religion?

You cleric is either a member of the Hierarchy or one of the Cults of the Thousand Saints.

Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

The closest place to get supplies is the town of Coyppored in the shadows of Mount Pabnaff.

Where can we get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?

The City of Quatruscaj is the best bet. Of course, Quatruscaj is in the center of a blasted waste and mere travel there is to risk death from Demons or the Curse of the Watery Blood.

You could get it done in Quavveniec which is much closer. It is about a day’s travel to it as opposed to nearly a week’s travel for Quatruscaj. Still, Quavveniec is the seat of the Hierarchy and having a monster with you could cause trouble.

Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?

Parkin of the Still Pastures. He lives in his tower to the far north among the Astrinoff.

Who is the greatest warrior in the land?

Ag Ribapid, whose mercenary band has never lost a battle.  He is currently serving to the east against the Hetokipp Warlords.

Who is the richest person in the land?

The great spice merchant Am Rroc Ypopo in the city of Quavveniec.

Where can we go to get some magical healing?

In Coyppored is a shrine to Holmes the Physician, one of the Thousand Saints whose priests are well versed in healing.

Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?

Minor diseases, poisons, and curses can be curred at the shire to Holmes by the local priest. Cures for more serious diseases, poison, and curses, as well as other serious offenses against the laws of nature are to be found in Quavveniec by priests of Holmes and the Hierarchy.

A cure for death is known to be possible but is considered an offense against the natural order and rare is the cleric of any order who is willing to undertake it. However, there are tales of witch doctors among the Hetokipp who are willing to traverse the spirit realm to restore the soul to the body.

Monday Pointers, August 22, 2011

D4: We are more metal than you, period
Just go listen…it’s all about the lyrics.

D6: Taking a bite out of the dungeon
While this class might seem odd or useless I think it’s classic golden age D&D where anything is possible.

D8: Sexy wood nymphs no more
Over on The Barbaric Frontier M.P. provides us with a horrific take on the dryad.

D10: The only thing we have to fear
An interesting alternative rule for “save for flee” horror effects.

D12: Don’t use rules to be lazy
Although the author focused on 4th edition you could argue the trend started with AD&D or maybe even Greyhawk itself.  So when you read it don’t get hung up on the title or the specific game mentioned.  Grok the idea.

Dead Sea Inspiration

Did you know one of the Dead Sea Scrolls was copper instead of being papyrus or parchment?

Oh, it’s also a treasure map.

Well, it’s more a description of over sixty locations all but one of which are caches of gold or silver. The logical candidate for the source of them is the Second Temple but others exist. However, before you go get your shovel and metal detector consider these sample locations:

In the salt pit that is under the steps: forty-one talents of silver.

In the cave of the old washer’s chamber, on the third terrace: sixty-five ingots of gold.

I think this is a great item to use to kick off a campaign. Give your party of adventures descriptions of a large number of treasures that are obscure references. Make sure the list is also valuable to some other group and let competition and investigation get the sandbox rolling.

For example, imagine instead of trying to write your own Temple of Elemental Evil or using T1-4 that in the moat house in Hommlet the party finds a copper plate describing obscure places across the Flanaess where agents of the Temple stashed it’s treasure after the Battle of Emridy Meadows.

Now, instead of heading in the ruins of the temple they’re encourage to race agents of the Temple to regain the treasure. Perhaps this could include parts of the artifact needed to stop the Elder Elemental Evil. Certainly, it will trip up people familiar with the “plot”.

More details can be found on Wikipedia.