New Setting and possibly… RPG

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At the beginning of august, I came into contact with a certain favorite fantasy author of mine, who told me that he was currently working on book 3 and 4 of a fantasy series that he started more than 20 years ago. We began discussing his setting and stories and I also told him that I had wanted to make his setting into a Roleplaying Game for years. He then told me that he had been working on a Codex for his setting and that he planned to make it a free download. Well, who better than Headless Hydra Games to help out in that department and make it an awesome download with maps and artwork! He agreed and this the work on this Codex will begin in january, with a possible february publication.

About a roleplaying game, well, I’ve been thinking heavily about that for the last weeks. Would it be possible to make a whole new RPG based on the fantasy setting, or should we perhaps use a system that already exists? And if so, what system would fit this particular setting? I can tell you that this setting is fantasy, but not one based on the classic races and archetypes from, say. Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder, no it has its own exotic and flavored races, such as Timberlimbs, Stoneskins and Murkmen, and its own archetypes, such as Fisters, Wardens, Consorts and SpiritLifters. I really love Pathfinder, would this be the best choice for such a setting? Since it is a low magic setting, I am not sure, but then what would be a good system? I’ve been looking and have found a few good choices, like Pinnacle Entertainment’s Savage Worlds, however, at this point, I am merely thinking about it.

So what’s the true intention of this post? Well, I am hoping to find designers who also have a great love for this author and his setting and who would love to help out creating a new setting and Roleplaying Game. I have left out the specific details of the author and his setting at this point, as we are merely discussing the possibility of a RPG based on his books. You might recognize the names, fisters, wardens, murkmen and stoneskins, in which case, you are probably the one I am looking for! Yet, even if you dont recognize them, you might still want to join the project, in which case you should definitely get in contact with me (storyguide.axel@gmail.com) if you do, I’ll gladly tell you the name of the author and setting, I just dont want to make any public announcement yet.

This will probably be the great Headless Hydra Games project for 2013! And by that, I mean a possible deadline around the Summer 2013.

Viridian Legacy: chapter One preview

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To celebrate the upcoming release of the first chapter in the Viridian Legacy adventure path, I’ve decided to show you a little preview. First, the introduction…

Life in Duny Slough has always been hard. On the frontier of land that falls within the protectorate of Mor Aldenn, Duny Slough is deep within the Spindlewood Marsh, moving deeper each season. Annually with the thawing of winter, the huts and wicker-halls of Duny Slough are rebuilt atop one of the marsh’s great peat bogs. Peat is then harvested until the first frost, when the village is again abandoned, only to be rebuilt in a new location the following spring. The gleaners of Duny Slough, mostly halflings, are no strangers to hardship so deep in the Spindlewood Marsh. Regular encounters with savage lizardfolk tribes and gargantuan serpents are commonplace and there is always the threat of bog giants, witches and their familiars, hags, and worse. The gleaners endure as they always have, their peat fertilizes fields and lights hearthfires throughout the region, their way of life a delicate balance of industry and adventure.

“The Wasting of Duny Slough” is the first chapter of the Viridian Legacy Adventure Path. Viridian Legacy takes place in the world of Mor Aldenn, City of Mages. Though all the information needed to run this adventure is contained here (within chapter one), additional resources for the setting are available in the Mor Aldenn Setting Guide. Though this adventure can serve as a stand-alone adventure in any home campaign, its primary purpose is to introduce players to the Mor Aldenn campaign setting, and it’s assumed the players and GM are interested in exploring this setting throughout the Viridian Legacy Adventure Path.

 

The Viridian Legacy Revelation

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When at least a hundred people downloaded the Viridian Legacy GM’s Guide, I promised to reveal who is going to write each of the twelve chapters of the Viridian Legacy adventure path for the Mor Aldenn – City of Mages – setting. We reached that number a few days ago, but now I am ready to reveal the great forces that is going to bring you a new adventure path, the first by Headless Hydra Games!

So lets not waste any more time… here they are!

Chapter One: The Wasting of Duny Slough (Thomas Baumbach and Ron Lundeen)

Chapter Two: A Flirtation with Fey (Greg Hanigan)

Chapter Three: Beyond the Serpentine Lock (Ron Lundeen)

Chapter Four: Past Tense (Bret Boyd)

Chapter Five: [TBD] (Mark Gedak)

Chapter Six: [TBD] (Ben Armitage)

Chapter Seven: Of Ghosts and Bones (Sean Holland)

Chapter Eight: Life’s Rich Pageant (David Schwartz)

Chapter Nine: [TBD] (Thomas Baumbach)

Chapter Ten: [TBD] (Ron Lundeen)

Chapter Eleven: To Still the Beating Heart (Larry Wilhelm and Scott Sharplin)

Chapter Twelve: Sky Fortresses (Ron Lundeen)

The Conclusion (Ron Lundeen)

The titles are all works in progress and may be changed before the final release, but I wanted them here for completion. I am proud to have all of these amazing writers aboard this epic project and I really hope that I’ll be able to make the products as beautiful as the words contained within! I can also tell you that chapters 1-3 are all close to being done as are a couple of the others, but since we’ll release these chapters over the course of a full year, I think we can wait for the rest.

The first chapter just needs the last pieces of art and a beautiful cover by Felipe Gaona and then I can release it. Hopefully this will be by the beginning of august.

Ah, I almost forgot… each chapter will also contain a small shortstory about one of the Exalted Champions, written by Jason Kimble, and some of them will contain advice on how to use and integrate feys into the AP by David Nicholas Ross.

Any questions? If so… shoot and I’ll try to answer them if I can!

Languages in Pathfinder

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While starting a new game, we (my group and I) started to talk about languages. I’ve always thought that fantasy languages were pretty useless, at least the way they are used in Roleplaying Games. Sure, the Core Rulebook describes the most common languages under the linguistic skill and offer some options under each of the races, but these are far from the only languages in the system. I mean, what about languages such as Aboleth and Boggard, are these not possibilities for PCs? Also, aren’t some languages built on the same foundation? For me, it is never easy to pick a language, as I am not sure if I will ever get to use it.

What if there was ONE language that were the first language? The original language of the universe? Lets call this Ur-speak. Then we could say that some of the oldest languages were built from that one language, meaning that they probably had something in common (languages such as draconic, celestial, giant, sylvan and the demonic tongues). These languages would become sort of our base languages, together with the first language, the Ur-speak. All other languages spoken, would then be connected to each of the base languages, sharing basic traits, meaning that if you knew one, you could probably understand and even speak some of the others as well (although hardly with the same skill as your primary language).

In this system, we operate with primary languages (the one you speak and can read and write), the secondary languages (the language or languages that is directly tied to your primary languages), lastly we have the tertiary languages (the ones that are connected to your secondary languages). This means that for instance, if you choose Sylvan, you get the following languages as your secondary languages (centaur, drow, elven and halfling). Of course, one of these could still be taken as one of your primary languages, meaning that you have a greater understanding of that particular language.

Also, in this language subsystem, you can only read and write your primary languages. Your secondary languages can be understood and even spoken, but you can only understand your tertiary languages.

This may not make perfect sense right now, but I am currently writing a short pdf that will eventually be released as a free download. Everything will hopefully be much clearer by then!

Below is an example of how this system will probably end up looking.

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SYLVAN

Scholars and linguists often refer to Sylvan as the ‘Language of Trees’, and it does indeed has its roots in the fey realms of the ancient forests. It is one of the oldest languages in the world and, together with Draconic, has the strongest ties to the primal language known as Ur-speak. Sylvan has changed little over the centuries and remain one of the most beautiful and poetic languages, often used by elven minstrels and poets to express feelings that their elven tongue can not capture.

Sylvan is the native language of the following races and creatures: dryads, gaiants, gnomes, mites, nymphs, pixies, satyrs, sprites, treants and unicorns.

Centaur: Centaurs are known as a a reclusive race that tend to keep to themselves and for this reason has developed a language that seems farther from Sylvan than any of the other sylvan tongues. The language of the centaurs is further divided into two dialects, those that roam the plains and those that hunt in the great forests.

Drow: Drows share a bloodline with elves, but has developed very differently in two different worlds, one above ground and one below. However, there is still a strong linguistic connection to the sylvan tongue of their ancestors.

Elven: Elven is derived from Sylvan and considered to be the oldest tongue of the mortal races. It is a far more complex language than Sylvan and elves from different communities tend to speak with their own dialect.

Halfling: The language of halflings shares its base structure with Sylvan, but since halflings are known to be a traveling folk, also borrows from other languages such as the human tongue. It is a very carefree and optimistic tongue which is said to have a thousand words to describe traveling and the road.

COMMON

This is the language most often used by the races that live above ground. It was developed by travelers and merchants who needed to understand the races that they met on the road and needed to trade with. For this very reason, Common is also referred to as either the Traveler’s Tongue or Tradespeak. Common is only directly connected to Undercommon, but carries within it many words and phrases of all other languages spoken above ground.

UNDERCOMMON

While Common is the language spoken on the roads above ground, Undercommon is the language commonly spoken below ground. Some, mostly outsiders, calls this language Underspeak. It is only directly connected to Common, but carries within it many words and phrases of all other language spoken below ground.

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Of course, with such a language subsystem, we need to look at every language and make an entirely new structure. As you can see from the example above, gnomes now speak Sylvan and not gnome, also, drows have their own tongue which is connected to Sylvan and only has elven as a tertiary language (drows understand elven, but can’t speak it nor read and write).

It still makes sense to take ranks in the Linguistic skill, because if anything, there will be more languages available in this system. For instance, in this system, Celestial will have a Higher Celestial language (spoken by the gods), Celestial (spoken by the gods’ avatars) and Lower Celestial (usually spoken by the clergy of the gods). We will do the same with the Giant tongue and we are even planning on dividing Draconic into several classes, such that the metallic and chromatic dragons get their own sub-language.

Any ideas/thoughts will be appreciated! Even if you just have a question, don’t hesitate to ask it.

Write a review!

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For years, I’ve told everyone that they should write a review of the products that they buy, but have I written any review of my own? Of course not! Yes, this makes absolutely no sense and so I recently started to do some reviews, beginning with all the Pathfinder products that I’ve bought over the years.

Here are some links to a couple of the reviews that I’ve written recently;

Legendary Classes: The Rook (by Purple Duck Games) 3.5 stars

Legendary Races: Medusa (by Purple Duck Games) 3.5 stars

Monstrous Races: Second Horde (by Purple Duck Games) 5 stars

Evocative City Sites: The Intimate Shape Festhall (by Rite Publishing) 2.5 stars

Wyrd of Questhaven (by Rite Publishing) 3.5 stars

A Dozen Armor and Shield Properties (by Rite Publishing) 3.5 stars

Midgard: Book of Drakes (by Open Design) 5 stars

Infamous Adversaries: Cytheria the Blasphemer (by TPK Games) 4 stars

So now I think I can say… go and write a review of one of the products you’ve bought within the last couple of weeks! :)

On behalf of all the publishers out there, I think I can also say this… we would love to hear what you think of our products, even if you don’t like them and especially if you have suggestions on how we can make them even better in the future!

Another 15 Specific Weapons… for less than $1

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Yesterday (on the worst release day ever) we just released another 15 Specific Weapons. This is our third volume, and while the title says 15 Specific Weapons, there is actually 17 weapons, the reasons for this is that there is also a minor and a major version of the Bolt of Inconvenience.

This volume also introduces a new artist to this line: Mike Burns. He helped out on the Mor Aldenn Setting Guide, but I am happy to report that he knows how to create weapons as well.

What you can see there on the cover is the Purification Stake. In this pdf you’ll also find the Arcanaphage (swordbreaker dagger), Bang Cutter (dogslicer), Bolt of Minor Inconvenience (bolt), Bolt of Inconvenience (bolt), Bolt of Major Inconvenience (bolt), Death’s Finger (sickle), Detonating Pilum (pilum), Firestorm Shuriken (shuriken), Grappler’s Gauntlets (gauntlets), Gul’s Ogre Hook (ogre hook), The Librarian’s Rejoinder (kukri), Lodestone Flail (flail), Purification Stake (wooden stake), Scarf of Lethal Beguilement (bladed scarf), Shadowbiter (punching dagger), Stonebreaker (dwarven maulaxe), Vengeance Spear (longspear).

You can find the 15 Specific Weapons, Volume 3 here: RPGNow.com and Paizo.com.

I hope you enjoy them!

Old products… last chance!

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I’ve decided to pull some old Headless Hydra Games products from the market. These were the first products that I created and mark a different time. Since I began working on the Mor Aldenn setting, a lot has happened and a lot has changed. Both in Mor Aldenn, but also in the world of 3PPs.

This is a 14 days notice.

If you want to keep your files, you should download them now (and store them somewhere), because in 14 days, they will no longer be available for download from either Paizo.com nor from RPGNow.com.

When the items are pulled from the market, I will also make the new Mor Aldenn Setting Guide available at a 50% discount. This discount is for everyone and will mark a new beginning at Headless Hydra Games.

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The following items will be pulled from the stores:

A GM’s Guide to Mor Aldenn

A Player’s Guide to Mor Aldenn

Gods of Mor Aldenn: Ehlora

The Ugly Harpy

Eldritch Secrets: Open Playtest

The Mor Aldenn Notebook

The Mor Aldenn Notebook Expanded

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Furthermore, the two published chapters of the Wizard’s Path serial have been made available as free downloads from both RPGNow and Paizo. They will remain free downloads henceforth.

If you have any questions or just want to tell me that it is either a good or bad decision, you can contact me here; storyguide.axel@gmail.com

- Axel

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