I have spoken about giants and the local legends before in When is a rock not a rock? Now it just so happens that I encountered a couple more giants last weekend then they deserve a bit of an honourable mention, especially as they stood still long enough for me to catch them in a photo.
One of the things I like about the Forgotten Realms setting is that unlike so many other settings the non-human races are not ghettoised.
Take middle earth for example, if you are looking for a dwarf then they are pretty much allowed to live in Erebor or the Iron hills. Need and elf? That will be Lorien or Rivendell. If Hobbits are your problem then head to the shire.
Pretty much the entire planet is human with just these little nature reserves or enclosures for the non humans. Greyhawk was not much better with elves being found in Celene, Highvale, the Lendore Isles, Sunndi, the Duchy of Ulek, the Valley of the Mage, the Vesve Forest.
Broadcryers are part of the fabric of life in Waterdeep. These are the newspaper hawkers that we know selling the single page ‘broadsheet’ short scrolls that are popular in Waterdeep.
Short scrolls are a single sided scroll maybe 20cm by 30cm (8″ by 12″) that pass for a newspaper. There are several available and each is printed within the city. The most popular are ‘The Vigilant Citizen’, ‘The Blue Unicorn’, ‘Daily Luck’ and ‘Northwind’.
You may have noticed that I have not mentioned that much about RMU. The truth is that I have had a collegue on annual leave, I have had to go on 6 sessions of full day training, I have been away my self (a paintballing weekend) and various other demands on my time (blame the Greeks). I simply have not had time to read the books in the detail they deserve and conversely there is a really detailed discussion going on on the ICE forums that is far better than anything I could write with the added advantage of feedback from the actual authors.
I was thinking about your typical party campsite the other day. We assume both as players and as GMs that a lot is happening during those hours camping that we do not normally play through. The fighters are practicing, repairing bits of armour, food is prepared and pots washed and so on.
It is easy for a typical PC to be ‘learning’ 15 to 20 skills each level and all of these will require a certain amount of practice time. I used to work in adult education and we would allocate about 20hrs for a student to grasp a basic skill. It is also generally bandied about that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill.
Now this is a different beast!
Everything I disliked about Creature Law does not apply to Spell Law. It looks like a professional, high quality product and give or take the odd rough looking table, it is. It is still a weighty tome but you have to look at it from a players point of view and a GMs’ point of view. As a player you could easily print off just your spell lists and you would have one page (sometimes two) per spell list and you get all the parameters, spell descriptions and any applicable notes that are important. Every spell list stands on its own two feet. This necessarily means that the spell list section if physically large but you do not have to read it all back to back.
Take a little look at this photo. You may well think that this is a rock, quite a big rock but a rock all the same.
The thing is that this isn’t just a rock, this is ammunition!
The rock is sitting in the valley below a hill fort known as Trencrom, Anyone who has read any Conan books just has to love anywhere that ends in “-Crom”. Aside from being a neolithic enclosure and iron age hill fort Trencrom was the home of Trecobben the giant. Trecobben killed Cormelian, wife of Cormoran the Giant living on St. Micheals Mount by hurling a hammer at her and Cormoran returned fire with rocks and boulders. What you see above is one of Cormorans ‘near misses’.
There are often discussions on which is the best or most powerful profession, bsst or most powerful spell or spell list and so on. I am going to share my thoughts on Spears.
A great many professions can only realistically expected to develop one weapon skill. This is especially true of the pure and hybrid spell casters whose points cost are normally along the lines of 9, 20, 20 , 20 and so on. If your concept of the spell caster was layed down in your formative years playing D&D then it is almost instictive to think dagger or staff for your weapon. The lord of the rings movies atleast give Gandalf a sword. I think spears should be the ‘go to’ weapon of choice.
It seems like a lot of the fantasy fiction I have been reading lately has been more about relationships against a fantasy background that the hack and slash of yesteryear. In the same way that Trudi Canavan explores relationships against the backdrop of the magicians guild in The Black Magician Trilogy and other works so it is with Terry K Amthor’s Shadowstone Chronicles Book One The Loremaster Legacy.