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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Silverthorne Games returns!

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A recent thread over at Paizo.com got me thinking about how I started out as a writer in the mid d20 era (not as long ago as it sounds). Basically, I wrote a lot of publishers asking for advice and then I offered them a challenge. Or rather, I asked them to challenge me, with a small free writing assignment with a tight deadline.

The first publisher to take this challenge was Ian S. Johnston over at Silverthorne Games. He was developing a few monster books at the time and so asked me to create 3 unique (and interesting) monsters for him. Which I did, of course. He liked them, but didn’t currently have a project in mind for them. He gave me some valuable feedback and that was that, basically. Later that year, I submitted a spellbook to him that he also liked but didn’t have the time to publish, he did, however, tell me that one of the other publishers were sure to pick it up. It was… not bad!

He was right, of course. Adamant Entertainment picked it up and published it as the Dread Codex II: the Necromancer’s Tome.

So, thinking about my first writing experiences, made me want to see what the dudes over at Silverthorne Games were doing. Its been a while since they last published anything, but apparently that is about to change. I sure hope that they will jump aboard the Pathfinder train, especially if they have plans of making a Pathfinder version of their famous Book of Templates. I do love a good template, and the way they are written in the Pathfinder RPG, they are much more accessible. If you feel the urge, check out their site… there is a link up above.

And so, the circle is complete, as I deliver my advice to a young and aspiring writer… I do hope that he makes it!

[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] Classes…

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The second piece of statistics is concerned with the classes and how many spells each has.

Exclusive spells (to one class only): 117 (48,3%)

Bard spells: 59 (24,4%)

Cleric spells: 88 (36,4%)

Druid spells: 60 (24,8%)

Paladin spells: 19 (7,9%)

Ranger spells: 35 (14,5%)

Sorcerer/Wizard spells: 176 (72,7%)

This is pretty much what I expected, however, there are no spells exclusive to rangers and paladins… and I might like a few of those.

[Eldritch Secrets] Spell types…

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Ok, so here is the first piece of statistic for Eldritch Secrets… it is concerned with the three types of spells found in the compendium.

Spells in all (approx.*): 242

Offensive spells**: 98 (40,5%)

Defensive spells**: 40 (16,5%)

Utility spells**: 151 (62,4%%)

* When I say “approximately”, I do so because there can be small variations in this number, I am (afterall) only human!

** Has been updated after a more thorough walkthrough of the spells.

Eldritch Secrets!

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Today is all about doing statistics on Eldritch Secrets! I want to find out if there is a balance between the classes, levels and spell types (offensive, defensive and utility spells).

If any class is under-represented, I may have to add a few spells for that particular class, but honestly, I expect the book to be rather balanced.

I also hope to find out exactly how many spells are exclusive to only one class. Each class should have at least a few spells that are exclusive to them, even the ranger and paladin class!

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