Mor Aldenn Ley Lines… and another map!

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To celebrate the newly revised Mor Aldenn maps, I’ve decided to post a little preview of chapter 4: Ley Lines of Mor Aldenn. You’ll also find a preview of the ley lines map below! The ley lines map is, of course, a part of the revised map pack! Enjoy!

Ley Lines

The ley lines of the Ossindrillon are channels of primal energy focused from the life and death and turning seasons within the realm. This energy is useful for a variety of purposes to those who know how to use it. Many stories exist for how these lines originated, but they have been associated with mages, druids, and fey for as long as anyone can remember. Some of the villagers outside of Mor Aldenn call these lines “faerie roads” and hesitate to so much as cross them for fear of offending the fair folk.

All ley lines can be tapped for energy to help a character with the right feats or other resources to enhance certain magical actions. In addition, most lines also manifest unique properties effective without any sort of channeling. The nature of these properties depends heavily on what the line’s affinity is; they usually cause the line’s energy to freely enhance related actions such as spells or skill-using actions without any thought or effort from the person performing it. When a spell is imbued with a metamagic quality in this way, the spell does not use up a higher level spell slot or take longer to cast.

Special magical sites, similar to ley lines but limited to a single locale, are known as places of power. These places can serve as anchor points for ley lines and are often more powerful and better-known than true ley lines. For most purposes, a place of power is a ley line in its own right, whether or not it is located within a larger ley line. When places of power and/or ley lines overlap, all their properties have their full effect in the area.

A given ley line generally covers entire small locales, but not surrounding lands, being less than a quarter mile across. There are many separate lines cutting through Ossindrillon, but a significant number form a focal point at Mor Aldenn. They can sometimes be spotted on a map due to the straight line they form between two or more places of power, but rumors persist of minor or long-stretching lines that have curves or gaps within them. Aside from a few famous ones, the location of a ley line is usually esoteric knowledge—conventional maps are of little help, due to the fact that magical sites joined to ley lines are often themselves little-known.

Different legends claim the lines were always here, were created by ancient fey kingdoms now lost to the world, or were forged by the mysterious Trelmyrian archwizards. The only constant is that they have played a role in many momentous events as resources or signs of change. They have a constant connection to the recurring yet ever-changing turning of the seasons, a connection which causes them to respond to the ebb and flow of time and fate. Or, perhaps their sheer timeless, magical gravity allows them to curve that flow. Perhaps the relationship goes both ways. Whatever the truth, ley lines often herald times of change by growing more powerful, much as important alignments of the stars often happen simultaneously with momentous events. Aldennian mages whisper that only the great master of the Tower of Divination yet remembers the proper way to read their stirrings.

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Here is an example of some of the rules that accompany the ley lines chapter.

The Cairn Line

Perception DC to Sense: 20

Location: Leading south from Tower Hill. (Knowledge [geography or nature] DC 25)

Features: This line is known for the numerous ancient stone structures, including not only cairns but also megalithic circles, standing along it. Some are used for druidic rituals, while some are haunted by fey and undead spirits. (Knowledge [history, nature, or religion] DC 20)

The fey and undead spirits haunting the cairns in the cairn line are said to crave the reverence they once received from the peoples of Ossindrillon but have lost in modern times. (Knowledge [history, nature or religion] DC 25)

Properties: Transmutation spells are cast at +2 caster level. (Knowledge [arcana] DC 25)

Living creatures in the area also gain a +2 insight bonus on Craft, Disguise, and Disable Device checks and a +1 insight bonus on Combat Maneuver checks. (Knowledge [arcana, local, or nature] DC 25)

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And the map, of course…

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[Eldritch Secrets] As promised…

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…here is another page spread, but this one with an illustration! This illustration was done by Justin Hernandez, a very talented artist that I’ve been fortunate to work with on several projects now.

[Eldritch Secrets] Artists!

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I have finally found and signed those artists that I would like to work with on the Spell Compendium project. Its a small group of excellent artists, new and old (and by that I mean in the industry).

Let’s see;

The first I contacted and who agreed was… Darren Calvert. I remember seeing some of his work during the golden 3e era, and more recently, in some of the Open Design products. His style is slightly cartoonish, but also what I would call high fantasy. His colouring is even somewhat flamboyant and especially colourful, which I really like. I have a series of illustrations that will be perfect for his style, especially the following spells; Draconic Whip and Force Bombard.

The next to sign on was a chinese newcomer called JinnFeng. He actually works for a studio called Noah Ark Studio, and you can find some of their work here. I have only seen some of his environments, so I’m taking a bit of a chance here, since I need him to do mostly character and object work. He is apparently very adaptive and can suit his style to the others on the project. I really look forward to seeing what he can bring to the project. Some of the spells that he will be illustrating are; Armor of Flames and Stomach of Holding.

Then I talked to Florian Stitz. He is working heavily on other projects at the moment (Pathfinder projects, I believe), but really wanted to participate. He has promised nothing, but will see if he can’t find the time to do at least a few pieces. I’m really hoping that he can find the time for the following illustrations; Mirror and Gruesome Appearance.

The next to jump aboard was a young artist who had contacted me a while back. I didn’t have anything for him at that time, but I think this project will be well suited to his particular talents. His name is Carlos Torreblanco, and yes, if you are a Pathfinder fan, you might have seen his work in the Pathfinder fanzine, Wayfinder. I’ve asked Carlos to do a large amount of smaller illustrations, which among other things, will showcase some of the odd material components.

Next up was a Headless Hydra Games favorite, and yes, I’m speaking of Justin Hernandez! I’ve worked with Justin on several projects and he has always delivered excellent work. This time he will deliver colour work, and I really look forward to seeing the pieces that he will be illustrating. Justin will be illustrating the following spells; Arm to Pick and Animate Mageship.

At this point, I knew that I wanted at least a few full page illustrations. Why? Just because it would be cool and untraditional (not many publishers offer the money it takes to buy full page interior art). I was happy to learn that Jeremy McHugh wanted this gig! I remember seeing Jeremy’s art in many of the books that I really like, Bard’s Gate, among those! He will be doing two full page illustrations and a few minor illustrations, among those; Eerie Forest and Hand of the Chuul.

And of course, there is the cover art! This has already been commissioned and delivered, and if you are wondering who did it, well, his name is Adam Denton and you can find his portfolio here! You can see the cover… in colour… above!

Almost forgot to mention Rene Walk! He will design the logo/title and the background/borders for Eldritch Secrets! I really look forward to see what he comes up with, but I’m sure that it will exceed my expectations by a mile!

[Eldritch Secrets] Open Playtest!

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I’ve decided to make a small selection of spells available… for free! Of course, the plan is to get people involved in the playtesting of Eldritch Secrets, but really, there are no strings attached to this free pdf. If you just want to download them for use in your home campaign… please do!

If you are interested in seeing what Headless Hydra Games is working on, please head on over to our RPGNow store. Just follow this link;

http://www.rpgnow.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=2779&filters=0_0_0_0_0

If you have any suggestions, feel free to either write them here, to me personally (storyguide.axel@gmail.com) or at the Paizo messageboard;

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderRPG/licensees/eldritchSecretsOpenPlaytest

All suggestions are welcome, in fact, I would deep appreciate them!

[Eldritch Secrets] Levels…

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So, how are the levels represented in Eldritch Secrets? This is the third round of statistics… and once again, I’m not really surprised, except to say that I had imagined that there would be more 0-level spells.

0-level spells: 32 (13,2%)

1st-level spells: 47 (19,2%)

2nd-level spells: 43 (17,8%)

3rd-level spells: 45 (18,6%)

4th-level spells: 33 (13,6%)

5th-level spells: 28 (11,6%)

6th-level spells: 26 (10,7%)

7th-level spells: 12 (5%)

8th-level spells: 12 (5%)

9th-level spells: 11 (4,5%)

News time!

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It’s been a while since I used this blog, but I guess now is the time to take it up again… mostly because I have something to blog about!

I finally finished the last of the playtest pdfs for Eldritch Secrets, and yes, it has taken me longer than I would have liked. But anyways, the pdf has gone out to the contributors and now I await their last judgement!

I hope to begin the final design by the 1st of August, which is probably a bit optimistic, but you can always hope. I will also start assigning artists by that time, and I have decided to make this the first full colour project of Headless Hydra Games.

[Art Directing] An experiment!

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This idea actually came across when one of the artists created something entirely new for one of our creatures. Most of the creature was faithful to the description, but there was some rather creative ideas that I just couldn’t ignore. They were just too cool and got me thinking.

How about letting each of the artists design a monster of their own? They would have (almost) total freedom. The writers would then stat up the monsters, creating a bunch of entirely new monsters for Forgotten Foes.

Of course, when I say almost, it is not because I wanted any control over these creatures, but because a need for a change might… appear.

And it did.

One of the monsters, a really cool and original demon, had some rather strange… features that might not go over well with most customers or even the compatibility license from Paizo.com.

The artists are free to decline doing a monster of their own, but so far, all of my wonderful artists has accepted the challenge, and even a few has already delivered some seriously cool sketches that will (without a doubt) be turned into some seriously cool finished illustrations.

This is a reversed way of thinking, but why not use the creative energies from the artists? I’m almost certain that Mark and Stefen, the freelance writers on this project, will have a lot of fun statting these guys up. I know I would!

Just to give you a little preview of these new monsters. This is a demon with some serious animalistic features, especially in the face and the hairy body. I like demons and often use them in my games. I can’t wait to see what the writers do with this one!

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