Things in the Dark: Void Cubes

Sometimes the dark hides things so well that we can’t see them at all. We all know that some things hide in the shadows, but what hides behind the shadows? A while back I came up with the idea for a Void Cube. Imagine something along the lines of a Gelatinous Cube but made of…

Revisiting the Past: Spells — Slow and Haste

Apologies for the longer post today, but I think it’s an important topic for rules design and combat. Recently we had a group playtest one of our upcoming adventures for Mazes & Perils and Bill, the GM, ran into a few issues. Many of those issues were with spells: Missing duration for Shield, Slow, Protection…

Wisps of Smoke, a Lost Age magic

Smoke. Light something on fire and wisps of ash rise into the air forming clouds, whorls, and rings. It has been used to send messages (smoke signals), hint at decisions made (smoke colors at a Papal conclave), to commune with spirits, and even walk among them.┬áBut in the Den of the Dreamers in the Zumka…

Prophecies from the Pit of Serpents (Prophecies & Omens RPG Blog Carnival)

Phil over at Tales of a GM has been running this month’s RPG Blog Carnival all about Prophecies & Opens and they’ve had some fantastic entries so far. But it gives me an opportunity to provide another glimpse into the strange abilities some members of the Cult of the Serpent Queen have at their disposal…

Three Potions of Yore

When I think of potions, I think of the many “cure light wounds” potions my characters have quaffed over the last 25 years. More than I can count. Bumps and bruises? Potion. Broken bones? Potion. Death? Well, that’s a different potion. But recently I’ve wondered about the origins of some of those potions. So I…

One Item Three Ways

While discussing the last post with some folks on Facebook, it came up that it might be fun to show how a single magic item could be described in different ways to fit better into the setting and genre. That provided more than a few bits of inspiration, so I wanted to explore it a…

The Magic of Magic Item Origins

When you’re a player and you get a new, shiny +1 long sword to swing at your enemies, do you look a gift horse in the mouth? Not usually. Sure, you might be a little paranoid and hope it’s not cursed in some way, but usually you’re just happy to have a better tool for…

The Art of Illusion

What is Illusion? The definition is broadly defined as “a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses.” A wizard practicing the art of illusion uses the weaknesses of those same senses to fool their targets into doing or believing what the wizard wants them to do or…

Fear and Superstition

Superstitious people fear what they don’t understand, ascribing repeated events to strange, unexplainable, and sometimes unbelievable reasons. Many will prey upon the superstitious to gain power and influence. There is a brand of wizardry dedicated to the practice of this behavior… Superstitious Magic. “Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter…

The Misunderstood Art of Necromancy

Yes, I’m saying that Necromancy – the arcane art that brings dead things to life – is misunderstood. “Isn’t it evil? Isn’t it vile? Isn’t it disgusting?” Um. Well, it certainly can be. But I would argue that it can also be amazingly effective at treating health concerns that are not being handled well through…

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