Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Dark World by Henry Kuttner


One thing that Paizo has been doing for a few years now is, no, not bringing sexy back, but rather, bringing old school back. I don't mean by supporting old editions of the game, but rather, by supporting some of the foundations upon which the old game systems were build. Today's fiction library is far different than yesterday's.
In that vein, what could you possibly gain from some old school fiction?
"Listen," she said, and I felt a soft touch on my shoulder. "You must understand this. You have lost your memories." (p. 28)
Memory loss is a great way to get a higher level campaign started. How does your character, whose never been heard of before, know how to do exactly what he does? Why is he so powerful?
Memory loss.
This can be useful for a wide number of things but is most often seen when the character was a former villain and is now on the side of angels. Next time one of your players is prepping a new character and he has a blank look on his face when you ask him about his background, ask him if he'd mind having memory loss and is a foundling. This will allow the Game Master to plug different pieces of the campaign around the character.
The important thing though, is to not overdue it. Unlike a novel, the role playing game has other players and each one should be as important as the next.
"Beside me, Medea had risen in her stirrups and was sending bolt after arrowy bolt into the green melee ahead of us, the dark rod that was her weapon leaping in her hand with every shot."
The Dark World at first seems to rely on a lot of wizardry but in fact, most of it is science disguised as magic.
"The wands. Though no technician, I could understand their principle. Science tends toward simpler mechanisms; the klystron and the magnetron are little more than metal bars. Yet, under the right conditions, given energy and direction, they are powerful machines.
"Well, the wands tapped the tremendous electromagnetic energy of the planet, which is, after all, sipmly a gargantuan magnet. As for the directive impulse, trained minds could easily supply that."
Which brings us to...
Exotic Weapon Proficency:
Black Rod: 1d12 damage, +3 profiency bonus, 10/20
A Black Rod is a device of science that requires a user to attune himself to the object through the expenditure of a feat. Unlike standard weapons, if the user is not attuned, he cannot use the weapon at all as opposed to just losing the profiency bonus.