Thursday, June 25, 2015

Augury Magic - Compare and Contrast

I've done some research on the spells we regularly use to predict the future and speak with the gods. I thought I would share my findings here:

An augury can tell the caster whether a particular action will bring good or bad results in the immediate future. It has a 75%-ish chance of answering a yes or no question correctly. Good for questions like, "Would putting this salve on the lizard man's wounds be a good thing?". It is a second level divine spell.

A divination is a 4th level divine spell in ACKS. A divination spell can provide the caster with a useful piece of advice in reply to a question concerning a specific goal, event, or activity that is to occur within one week. The advice can be as simple as a short phrase, or it might take the form of a cryptic rhyme or omen. It should always be cast with the phrase "Oh elders fleet and strong and wise...". Good for questions like, "What could happen if I escort these completely random folks out into the Badlands without support." If the caster doesn’t act on the information, the conditions may change so that the information is no longer useful. The base chance of a successful divination is 60%+ level of the spellcaster, but that could be altered depending on whether the question is posed in the form of a proper rhyming couplet or whether it serves the plot or not. Also, if it is awesome.

The most powerful of the three divination spells, it is a 5th level divine spell. This spell puts the caster in contact with the great powers he serves, who will answer three yes-or-no questions. The being contacted may or may not be omniscient, and further, though the being is technically allied with the caster, it may still not answer questions clearly or completely. The ritual to cast this spell takes 1 turn to complete, and may be performed but once per week. Once a year, possibly upon the patron deity’s feast day, the divine spellcaster may ask twice the normal number of questions.

Contact other Plane
Although most augury magic is the wheelhouse of divine magic, this one exception is available to arcane casters. It is a 5th level spell, so it is more costly than the divine spells. The caster sends his mind to another plane of existence in order to receive advice and information from powers there. The powers reply in a language the caster understands, but they resent such contact and give only brief answers to questions. All questions are answered with “yes,” “no,” “maybe,” “never,” “irrelevant,” or some other one-word answer. The caster must concentrate on maintaining the spell in order to ask questions at the rate of one per round. A question is answered by the power during the same round. The caster must choose how many questions to ask before the spell is cast. The number of questions to be asked determines the power and proximity of the contacted being. The more questions asked, the further away the contacted plane is and the more powerful the being is.

  • Augury is good for a single, immediate good/bad call
  • Divination is appropriate for getting a nebulous rhyming or allegorical answer to a vague question
  • Commune is good for three concrete yes-or-no answers. It is particularly powerful on festival days.
  • Contact Other Plane is like calling up a demon and asking stuff. All questions are answered with “yes,” “no,” “maybe,” “never,” “irrelevant,” or some other one-word answer.
  • Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    Where Are We?

    In an effort to answer the question, "Where in Baldgarth are we?" I did a little reverse-continuity snooping. If your ship can go 15 knots (which is generous for a longboat, but we do have the services of a mighty weather-controlling Shaman) from our province of Gatavia (marked as the red dot) we can cover 12.6 200-mile province sized squares in seven days. That means that from the length of our trip we could be at one of the following places:

  • Frost Island - An isolated island scouted by Northron Sailors (#4)
  • Jotunheim - An ancient island of Giants and Frost (#1)
  • The Cape of Drakkar - The Ancestral Home of the Northrons (#2)
  • Drell - A bare, rocky, kingdom of Neanderthals (#5)
  • One of the Haunted Islands - A series of mysterious islands filled with danger, magic, and treasure (#9)

    It makes most sense that we landed at the coast of Jotunheim because of the direction of travel and the description of the place we landed. We have seen a whole lot of giants and frost there. However, that might mean that the cloud giant fortress was sitting just off the coast and that our travel took us over the island of Ulban (#8). That shouldn't be much of a problem though, since this island is mostly a battle ground itself not unlike Gatavia.
  • Thursday, June 4, 2015

    Hackamore's Family in Cavano

    While the Skull Collectors were dealing with the island of Noviodunum, The Masked Archer was shadowing his best henchman Hackamore as he travelled to Cavano to check on the news that he was the long lost son of a famous merchant there. Since Dave gets a reward no matter what happens (he gets a GM share of our treasure and XP for the adventure), and the result is only interesting in that it throws off some plot points we can work with for the future. To that end, I've decided to use the Mythic GM emulator to determine the outcome of this thread. Please enjoy!

  • Hackamore travels to Cavano with The Masked Archer trailing him incognito. Is Hackamore *actually* the lost son of the Leech merchant family, and the new heir to the Leech family fortune as Caravan Master Cassius (pictured) tells him?
    Odds: Unlikely Roll: 86 "NO"

  • If the purpose of luring Hackamore to Cavano wasn't to give him gifts, was it to leverage his association with the Skull Collectors for some nefarious purpose?
    Odds: Somewhat Likely Roll:02 "EXCEPTIONAL YES"

  • Lots of people harbor grudges against the Skull Collectors. Is this a trap to try and capture one of the Skull Collectors for ransom?
    Odds: 50/50 Roll: 63 "NO"

  • Cavano might also have a lot of enemies themselves. Is this an attempt to get the Skull Collectors to do something for them?
    Odds: 50/50 Roll: 48 "YES"

  • Is it something that the Skull Collectors might want to do anyway, like a mission to invade a dungeon or topple a dictator for money?
    Odds: 50/50 Roll: 24 "YES"

  • Why didn't they just send an emissary to the Skull Collectors directly? Why be so sneaky? Does this adventure or mission go against the wishes of one or more of the other Skull Collectors?
    Odds: Very Likely Roll: 32 "YES"

  • Chances are that king Amicus wouldn't approve of this freelancing. Would this job attack the interests of the neutral faith?
    Odds: Likely Roll: 21 "YES"

  • Is the mission to sneak into the quarters of the local priest of Jupiter and have him die messily in order to "teach him a lesson" for opposing House Leech's interests?
    Odds: Unlikely Roll: 51 "NO"

  • Is the mission to break into the newfound tomb of one of Saturn's greatest heroes and make off with an ancient artifact that has been lost since the dawn of the empire?

    Odds: Unlikely Roll: 05 "EXCEPTIONAL YES"

  • Does Cassius realize that the Masked Archer is shadowing Hackamore, particularly since they nabbed him specifically for this purpose with an "EXCEPTIONAL YES"?
    Odds: Likely Roll: 29 "YES"

  • Does Cassius charm and hold Hackamore hostage until The Masked Archer delivers the artifact to them?
    Odds: Very Likely Roll: 31 "YES"

    So here are the only questions left, and I'll leave Dave to answer them in-game:
  • What was the artifact that was stolen and recovered for the House Leech?
  • How will Hackamore break the charm that Cassius have on him?
  • What are the resources of House Leech? What is Cassius? Does he have henchmen?
  • Why did Cassius need the artifact of Saturn?
  • Monday, June 1, 2015

    New Spell: Summon Crab Gods

    Amicus wants to create a new spell. I've got a question, though. Are Crab Gods 10HD monsters? How many "special abilities" would you rule they have? All I remember is that they have a metric buttload of armor and some mid-level magic resistance.

    The Sinister Jug

    Does anyone recall what we decided to do with the jug? It is obviously very important. The last I remember Gorna decided to take it and use his divinations to discern the contents.

    Session 42 - Action Shots

    I was totally tickled by being able to alter the spell on the wall just by carving a new word into it.