Tuesday, December 21, 2010

[Downloads] Lost MMRPG files!

Metaorganizations are a component in Dave Arneson's Blackmoor MMRPG (Aka Living Blackmoor). They can also be of use for regular Blackmoor gamers as they provide information about various organizations and groups that operate in the setting. Unfortunately, some of these Metaorgs were never published and have been unavailable to the general public until now:

New MetaOrganizations
The final three MetaOrgs (as of December, 2010) that were released for the MMRPG were Followers Of The Gnome Pantheon, Scroll And Blade, and Ordo Elementarum, bringing the total number of available MetaOrgs within the MMRPG to nineteen.

Updated MetaOrganizations
There was a final update to the Blackmoor Military and Skandaharian Cultural Society MetaOrgs in August 2008 which revised the MetaOrg membership certificates. The Fairwind Circus MetaOrg was also updated at that time to clarify progression between levels.

Finally, as of January, 2009, the Silent Guard was updated to include a new entry-level membership tier named "snitch". The requirements for snitch are that the applicant cannot be evil, they must spend 1 TU to join, and they must have at least 1 rank in each of Gather Information, Sense Motive, and Knowledge (local). The benefit is a +1 on Listen checks to pick out pertinent information during an overheard conversation.

Thanks to the authors, I have been allowed to share these files on my website. You can download the metaorgs here!

With these files, along with the Mystara BC2300 Campaign Setting and the History of Dragonkind, you have no reason to lack reading material this Christmas!

Best Wishes for the holidays!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Mystara BC2300 Campaign Setting [free download]!

The Mystara Fan Community, from their main headquarters at the Piazza, keep coming up with high quality setting material. Last month I talked about the excellent History of Dragonkind book. Today, the Beta version of the Mystara BC2300 Campaign Setting was released.

Mystara BC2300 draws on the legacy of Blackmoor as well as remnats from the Carnifex Civilization. At the heart of the setting you have lands like the Lizardman controlled Mogreth and the Shimmering Lands, described as the Last Beacon of Blackmoor.

The booklet, while a Beta version, contains enough information to run a campaign in this era, as well as maps of the countries of the setting. In the release announcement, it is promised that more products for this era are on the way. Clues to these products are also included within the booklet. One of the authors, Chimpman, is launching a BC2300 PbP campaign in the near future.  The Mystara BC2300 Campaign Setting can be downloaded here.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peshwah History

 I have been writing a bit on the Peshwah lately, talking about the different Peshwah Tribes and the kind of weapons and armor the Peshwah use. Now the time has come to present a part of Peshwah history:

It was the Great God, Hak, who had created the Horses and the Centaurs who lead the Peshwah into the promised grasslands which they named after their god. Hak had three sons who lived among the Peshwah in those early days, many centuries ago. The oldest was Hadeen, a proud hunter and master Archer. Calelrin was the middle brother, always in the shadow of Hadeen. Jealous of his brother, Calelrin plotted to kill the Peshwah leaders. Calelrin's Thonian assassins killed the chieftains Hurghast and Herutu and for this crime, Calelrin was banished to the demon realms. Hadeen, living on as a champion of the Peshwah was eventually invited to live among the Gods. The youngest son, Raelralataen also later achieved true godhood.

For a full timeline of the Peshwah, go here.

Image Source


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peshwah Equipment

The D20 Blackmoor Campaign guide provides a wide selection of equipment that is particular for the Peshwah. In the Riders of Hak Sourcebook, some of the items are designated especially to some of the individual tribes as favored weapons or armor.

The Arbir is combination of a spear and sword, or a spear with a long sword like blade attached to one end.

The Bulova is a wicked looking hand axe.

Grazer spear
This spear is an unusual looking weapon, similar to a spear, but with a crossbar near the spear point.

Sickle Sword
This is a sword with a long sickle like blade, almost like a scimitar, but with an even more pronouced curve of the blade.

Sickle Mace
This weapon looks like a pole with a sicke blade at one end and a mace at the other.

Prophet's Shield
A Shield constructed with bone framining and painted with the symbols of the God Yoosef.

Spidersilk Armor
A leather-like armor made from the special silk harvested by the Peshneath from spiders.

I have always liked the idea of different cultures using weapons characteristic for them. The Peshwa are different enough from the Blackmoorians and Thonians that it makes sense that they have different traditions when it comes to manufacturing such items. In a 3E campaign, the attributes for these weapons are given in the Campaign Sourcebook. If you are using BECMI or another version of Classic D&D, I would simply use damage and effects of the weapons they resemble and keep the visuals for flavour. They are too good ideas to not be used. Do you allow any exotic weapons in your campaigns?

Image Sources
Curved Sword
Weapons, DAB D20


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peshwah Tribes

As some of you will know, I have been reading up on various sources on the Peshwah lately. The Peshwah are a horseman culture living to the south and west of Blackmoor. The D20 Blackmoor line defined the different tribes of the Peshwah in detail, but I could never get a clear picture of which tribe belonged where and was associated with what. Above is a map by DaveL, which I have modified to show where the different tribes are commonly found. Below is a quick run down of the tribes. This is a work in progress though, so feel free to comment and criticize what I have so far:

The Adiel aret he archetypical Peshwah. They are the most numerous tribe and know to be master horsemen. Many Adiel prefer the Sickle sword in combat.

Briela (Not on map)
The Briela are a kind of Gypsies, travelling all over the world. They are known as storytellers and diplomats. For centuries they have devoted their lives questing for the Bow of Hadeen.

The Bortai are the most savage of the Peshwah, living like the horsemen did in the earliest days. Interestinly they are not xenophobic however. And due to Peshwah na Shepro, they have formed an alliance with Blackmoor. Man Bortai use a special hand axe called the Bullova.

Unlike most other Peshwah, the Falleem are city dwellers.  They are a religious lot and good merchants. Many Falleem use scimitars in battle.

The Irfat are grim warriors. They see themselves as “The Black Riders” of the religious texts. This tribe lives for war. They often fight with twin short swords. 

The Leron is the tribe guarding the border of the Valley of the Ancients. Due to their proximity to the Valley, they have access to many strange items. They are paladin-like guardians. Many join the order of the Dragon Knights, a group of warriors with unique magical abilities. Some of their warriors use Greatswords in battle.

The Ornidri are the best archers among the Peshwah. They have often ventured into the lands of Ten. They are good horsemen, but also breed hounds to be used for hunting.

This tribe have abandoned the way of the horse and are village dwellers. They are excellent craftsmen and known to produce wonderful items made of spider silk. Peshneath warriors sometimes use a weapon called the Arbir. It looks like a cross between a sword and a spear.

The Qulaam are riverfolk and fishermen, living near the root river. They distrust anyone other than the Peshwah. They have giant weasel companions

The Somhak are the traditional leaders of the Peshwah. They are master strategists and their word carries great weight among the other tribes. Hadeen was a Somhak before he ascended to the Godly realms.

The Sufz are the spiritual leaders of the Peshwah. Many are druids.  They are completely nomadic and have no permanent settlements at all. They are often seen wearing metal skull caps in battle.

Zah are known to be the seers and magic users of the Peshwah. They live near the mysterious Salt Tower.  Their leaders are women. In battle they often use a special kind of shields known as Prophet’s Shields.  


Monday, December 6, 2010

Tékumel (2005) in the mail and other news

Tékumel - Empire of the Petal Throne just arrived in the mail today. This is the 2005 version published by Guardians of Order for the Tri-Stat system. One of my reasons for wanting to get more into this setting is because of all the connections between Arneson's and Professor Barker's Campaigns that I was discussing last month.

In other news, I have begun doing some research on the Peshwa. I am currently working on a timeline for these Horsemen and reading up on the Riders of Hak supplement. Hope to have more for you on these guys later on.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blackmoor Player's Guide

Last week, my friend Rafael wrote a review of the Blackmoor Player's Guide over at the Comeback Inn:

1 of 5 smashed Afridhi skulls.

Ahh, the infamous BMPG. Why infamous? - Because the book was published as a nearly unedited manuscript,
without proper editing, spelling correction, or indexing (yeah, that means placeholders in the ongoing text).

This is, by far, the worst edited roleplaying book I've ever seen, apart from Wizard's "Expeditition to Castle Ravenloft". And I have seen a lot.

So, alone for that, the worst possible grade is well earned.

The content itself is not bad, though, basically being a summary of much that was introduced in the MMRPG in the first two years of its run, if maybe a bit too generic for my taste.
- In fact, I even took quite a bit from the BMPG book for my own game, and never regretted it.
BUT the book's presentation and layout are simply unacceptable for a piece that supposedly cost 35 bucks back in its day.

Basically, if you can get this one for cheap, enjoy it.
But if some crazy ebay seller wants to sell it for a fortune, gladly pass.

The paizo and amazon prizes are fair, but, as I said, don't expect anything above average from this book.

The review is a little harsh, but I guess this isn't my favorite in the D20 Blackmoor line either.  Still, if you are a D20 fan, there is plenty of stuff in the book that you could use. There are new classes, new prestige classes, new feats, new spells and so on. I guess what I am missing in the book is more Blackmoor specific setting information. My favorite parts of the book are the sections on various organizations and the section on temples. I really liked the idea of the players being able to become apprentices of some of the official Blackmoor NPCs this is a great way of including those NPCs in the campaign. 

For this and more reviews of Blackmoor products, check out the Merchant's Guild section at the Comeback Inn Forum.


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