Magic Mondays

One step closer to the first release of the Journal of Array Designs and this week we show you another array that you can find in there.

This week we give you the Quicksilver Mettle array.

Notation: Transmute Human into Mercury if Human Blood is present and Contain that transmutation.

Description: Ever saw a man bleed silver? It is as painful as it sounds. The Quicksilver Mettle array falls under the broad category of “poisonous” arrays along with the likes of the Crypt’s Breath and Peace of Mind arrays. These arrays are much more lethal than most arrays in that they only need to scratch an opponent to be lethal. The Manstopper and Hatchling arrays may cause more damage and look more impressive, but the poisonous arrays are far more insidious threat.

Where other poisonous arrays use arsenic, this array, as its name implies, uses Mercury and this is for two purposes. Mercury poisoning is a slower death sentence than that brought on by arsenic, and it is one that you know is coming. Gang members, warlords and politicians are often found shot with rounds inscribed with this array as it sends a powerful message to those left alive. Mercury poisoning begins with a terrible itch as if live insects are crawling under your skin. The itch never stops, no matter how much you scratch. Then comes the swelling, the skin and hair discolouration and skin peeling. This progresses to sweating, increased heart rate and blood pressure, hair and teeth falling out, before the mercury begins attacking your liver and your stomach starts bloating and your eyes turn yellow.

That is not the worst, however. The worst is the madness. There is a reason they say someone is “as mad as a hatter”. Hatters use mercury in felt production, and they all lose their minds eventually. So do victims of the Quicksilver Mettle. That is why this array is used. It’s all about sending a message. And that is also the second characteristic of this array: the silver blood. It’s not truly blood, and it’s not truly silver. It’s simply the mercury leaking out through the bullet hole. But it sends a message to the victim. It tells the victim that they will die in pain and madness.

It’s all about sending a message.

Inhuman Fridays

This week we continue with series of character sheets looking at the Inhumans who began the Great War nearly 2000 years ago.

When playing as the Inhumans, remember that the runes and arrays were given to humans only, meaning that while the Inhumans could draw and use the runes, there wouldn’t have been much of a chance to do so when they were at war with humans. Also keep in mind that only human blood can activate the arrays (other than energy and orichalcum of course). Inhuman blood has no effect on the arrays just like animal blood.

Next up this week are the Kwendyr!

The scholars of Middelburg say that the Kwendyr are what we humans could have become had we not been uplifted by the grace of the gods. They are beastial and savage and this is reflected on their character sheets. In mental tasks they are worse than us humans, and you can see this with their max 40 in Runes and 50 in Lore. However, they start off with a 40 in Fight and Shoot and 50 in Athletics, so when it come to the physical side of things, they have a headstart in life. None of their skills go above 100 like some other Inhumans, so some humans can have the upper hand over them, but they do start off better.

Some excerpts from The Runed Age Corebook about the Sauddyr.

“Like miniscule ogres were they, unable to comprehend speech, script or runes, gutterly barking at each other in order to be understood.”

“They did not fight us on the field with honour. Like the other inhumans, they had no concept of this word, preferring the dark and the element of surprise to attack us. Where the Froskdyr would wait for us in the rivers and swamps, the Kwendyr would await us in the trees, waiting for a caravan to pass by before dropping onto us.”

“Of the inhuman races, we know the least of the Kwendyr. We know that they never progressed past stone tools, being given metal weapons by the Sauddyr. We know that they lived by the absolute rule of “might makes right” as so many beasts do, with the strongest among them (predominantly males) ruling over however a number of Kwendyr he could control and having the pick of any mates he so chose. Beyond this, there is little I can tell you.”

To learn more about the Kwendyr, all the other Inhumans and the lore of The Runed Age, you can purchase the book from DriveThruRPG at: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/165870/The-Runed-Age-Corebook

Coming Soon!

Before we get to The Ruined City coming out in June, we’ve got another release coming soon to DriveThruRPG just for you!

The Journal of Array Design will collect every array we have posted thus far in a neat and tidy pdf format, categorised for your convenience. If you have ever thought about using the arrays we post in your game, it will now be so much simpler with everything you need in one document, right at your fingertips!

This will be the first volume and you know that means there will be more! After this volume, we will start collecting all our arrays together until we’ve gotten enough for a second volume. And if you have ever wanted your magic out there for the world to see, well here’s your chance to have your own array designs included in volume 2. Simply send us the array and a description and your name will go down in history along with the greatest of mages, wizards and sorcerers and having taken part in the writing of a spellbook!

And to add the cherry on the top, the Journal of Array Design will be completely free! It’s a gift from us to you to make your games all the better.

Magic Mondays

This week we give you a sneak peak at a very important array that will be used in the Ruined City, the first campaign for the Runed Age coming out in June.

This week we give you The Prophet’s Blood Array.

Notation: Transmute Copper, Gold, Iron, Lead, Silver, Tin and Wood into Water. Create Light and apply this to the transmuted Water.

Description: Last week we had a defensive array focussed on fire and this week we have one focussed on water. Other than the opposite elemental natures of the Flame Ward array and The Prophet’s Blood array, there is also a significant thematic difference. The Flame Ward is the epitome of defence by offence. The Prophet’s Blood is defence by unyielding will.

From a purely defensive point of view, this array could have stopped after transmuting the materials into water. At that stage whatever needs protecting has been protected. Other than a clever technical use of the array, the secondary array that creates light plays a vital psychological role in the defence that this array creates. The secondary array simply creates light, but by applying this effect it means that all the water in the area of the array’s effect creates light. This in effect means that this array creates glowing water.

At first glance, creating glowing water may not seem at all to be much of a psychological advantage, but have a second think about it. Imagine that you have just been shot and rather than seeing blood spurt out (or noticing anything at all because your Middelburg Standard saved you) you see a patch of brightly glowing liquid. You know for a fact that your life had just been saved, you know your arrays work and you know the enemy just wasted a shot. If you were of a religious persuasion, you might also see it as your divinity of choice literally taking a bullet or blade for you. I would say that would put a spring in any man’s step.

As to your opposition, the psychological effects depend entirely on being ignorant of The Prophet’s Blood. If you didn’t know this array existed you would see a man you just shot bleeding light. You don’t even have to be of a religious persuasion to see this as something supernatural, something otherworldly. It would be even more of a fright if this enemy expected this to happen and is even glad to see it. What sort of monster would be glad to see itself glowing blood? More than one man in Middelburg has thought that discretion is the better part of valour after shooting someone with The Prohphet’s Blood.

On the other hand, it must be said that this array comes with a glaring flaw. By creating glowing water, it is also painting a target onto whomever is bearing the array. Once one shot connects, every other shot is sure to follow. This array is definitely not made with prolonged combat in mind. It is for those who prefer the shock and awe approach.

Inhuman Fridays!

This week we begin a new series of character sheets for you and, due to popular demand, we are taking a look at the Inhumans who began the Great War nearly 2000 years ago.

Only one of the six Inhuman species still survive to this day, the giant Ogres, but if you are keen on playing some sessions set in the mythical times of ages past, then these will definitely help you.

When playing as the Inhumans, remember that the runes and arrays were given to humans only, meaning that while the Inhumans could draw and use the runes, there wouldn’t have been much of a chance to do so when they were at war with humans. Also keep in mind that only human blood can activate the arrays (other than energy and orichalcum of course). Inhuman blood has no effect on the arrays just like animal blood.

First up this week are the Sauddyr!

The Sauddyr are perhaps the closest in stature and abilities to humans and as such you can see they range in Skill Levels from 30 – 100 just like regular humans. The only skill where they are worse than humans are of course Runes, which start at 0 but can, if the Sauddyr study hard enough, reach 100 like regular humans.

Some excerpts from The Runed Age Corebook about the Sauddyr.

“No two specimens still existing or draughted in old manuscripts look the same. The sheer variety among the Sauddyr are extraordinary. Oh, they share similar features: eyes that can move independently of each other, a lizards tough scaly hide, a propensity for horns and barbs and spikes, but that is where the similarity end. Some have barbs and spines across their body, making them akin to a hedgehog while others sport massive horns from their crowns in an assortment of numbers. Some are as green as a summer forest, while others could hide amongst the basalt of an active volcano.”

“While the Sauddyr were not overly fond of clothing, each surviving taxidermied specimen is riddled full of holes meant for piercing, again showing the vanity of these creatures who would bedeck themselves in so much precious metals in order to show that they alone are the best. Amid all the historical records of the Sauddyr, this last thought is repeated again and again. The Sauddyr were positively obsessed with showing off their splendour and power. Each one had to outdo his neighbour in order to show who was the best among them.”

To learn more about the Sauddyr, all the other Inhumans and the lore of The Runed Age, you can purchase the book from DriveThruRPG at: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/165870/The-Runed-Age-Corebook

Magic Mondays

This week for Magic Mondays, we bring you an explosive defensive array.

Today we give you the Flame Ward array.

Notation: Transmute Copper, Gold, Iron, Lead, Silver, Tin and Wood into Fire and Push the Fire at a speed of 4m/s. The Fire excludes Water.

Description: An unsubtle name for an unsubtle array. The Flame Ward array takes the idiom of “a best defence is a good offence” to heart and makes every attack on the bearer of this array a lethal risk.

At its core, it is a very simple array. It transmutes a variety of materials (those most often used to create weapons and projectiles) into fire. As a defensive array, this is par of the course. You can have the array transmute the materials into air, light, sound, water and it will protect you just as well. The Flame Ward, as its name implies, has a specific use for the fire and that is to fling it back at the enemy.

After the materials have been transmuted into fire, this fire is then pushed away from the array at a speed of four metres per second. This shows how this array was meant to be used on shields for melee combat, since if you are within striking distance of a person, you are definitely within four metres and that means a ball of flame will take less than a second to make it back to you.

For ranged combat, this array is less than ideal. Over any significant range, the fire will take far too long and will die out before it hits the attacker, although a skilled user might be able to angle to fire to a closer enemy. At the very least, the array will still protect you from incoming projectiles.

The other unique bit about this array is that the fire excludes water. This means that while the fire is inside the array’s area of effect, it cannot touch water. Not useful until you remember that this means that water cannot touch it either, meaning it is unquenchable as long as the fire remains inside the array’s area of effect.

Animal Fridays!

Today is the last of our Animal Friday series where we give you some animal character options that you can use in your games.

First we gave you man’s mighty steed, then we gave you man’s valiant hound and last week we gave you man’s ferocious foe. This week, us humans become the predator.

This week we give you our third animal: the noble stag!

Much like last week’s bear, the stag won’t often be seen in Middelburg outside a butcher’s, so you will have to travel deep into the woods to find this majestic creature.

One thing that is immediately apparent is how close the stag’s profile is to that of the horse from a few weeks ago. That is not just a coincidence because horses and deer share a few similarities. There is a very game-y, mechanic-y reason for this. If you remember three weeks ago with the horse character sheet, horses aren’t quite what they seem in The Runed Age. Rather than making horses by breeding small ponies selectively like we did in the real world, the humans of The Runed Age selectively bred goats to make their horses, meaning the horses in Middelburg, and elsewhere in the world, have horses, tufts of hair on their chin and are remarkable climbers.

However, not all cultures went the way of the goat for their mounted animal needs. The Tolians and some Uttosian cultures instead ride domesticated stags. Among the Tolians, the reindeer is the most coveted mount, but they domesticate and ride many kinds of stags. So, if you are playing an Uttosian, a Tolian, or perhaps a northern Westerner or Cael that grew up close to the Tolian borders, you might well be more experienced riding a stag than a horse. If that is the case, feel free to amaze the people of Middelburg by bringing a stag into the city. You will surely be the talk of the town. Just make sure no one thinks you’re bringing the stag to slaughter!

That’s it for the animal kingdom. Yes, there are plenty of animals still out there, but none that you will meet in Middelburg or its surroundings that need a character sheet for the game.

Next week we start a new series that will take you back 2000 years to a time of myths, legends, heroes and when monsters still walked the lands!

Magic Mondays

There are many ways to kill an enemy in The Runed Age and most of these are cruel and inhumane… and here’s one more to add to that list!

This week we give you the Hatchling array.

Notation: Create a cylinder of Iron as wide as the array’s circumference and 100 times as tall if a Human is present within a distances one tenth of the circumference of the array.

Description: To understand the Hatchling, one must first understand how it is used. A Hatchling array is always carved onto a sphere and hurled at an enemy in some form or manner, whether it be thrown, catapulted or shot by cannon, pistol or musket. The array is always carved six times across the sphere for maximum effect (one on each front, rear, both sides and top and bottom of the sphere). When it reaches an enemy, that enemy must then touch it. If thrown or catapulted, this usually happens because the enemy picked up the sphere not knowing what happens. The most desirable effect, however, is if the sphere is inside the enemy.

Once the enemy touches the sphere, a cylinder of iron erupts from the sphere, skewering everything in its path, first and foremost being the enemy. If it is on a musket or pistol round, then all six iron cylinders shoot out at once in all six directions, “hatching” from inside the enemy.

This is not however where the cruelty comes in. Hopefully, for the enemy’s sake, they have died by this, but if they have not, then they have six iron cylinders sticking out them. If the array was inscribed on a musket or pistol round, these cylinders are more than a metre in length! Now that the enemy is looking like a porcupine, he will not be able to move 9 times out of 10, meaning that the next shot to kill him will be far, far easier. And that is why this array was designed: to incapacitate enemies it could not kill outright.

Animal Fridays!

First we gave you man’s mighty steed and last week we gave you man’s valiant hound. This week, however, we aren’t giving you a pet to play with.

This week we give you our third animal: the ferocious bear!

Definitely not an animal you will encounter in your daily life in Middelburg, except for a pleasant trip to the zoological gardens, but there is more to Alfresia than just one city. If you ever think of venturing outside Middelburg, especially on foot, you better beware because the east-Fresian brown bear is powerful and ornery creature.

Middelburg, as it name implies, sits between two mountain ranges. Should you leave the city by any means other than boat, you will find yourself in the highlands and that is where the native brown bear makes it home. In recent times there has been a decline in the bear population as the roads become more frequently travelled, but once out of sight of civilisation you will find more than enough to keep you occupied.

For the purposes of gameplay, bears are incredible combatants. With a minimum Constitution of 60 and Fight of 70, you have to be particularly brave or stupid (or both) to take on a bear single handedly. If you think running away will help you, you might forget that an angry and hungry bear is one of the fastest things on four legs and with an Investigate and Perception minimum of 40, you will be hard pressed to escape it.

A bear is a dangerous beast, so act accordingly.

Magic Mondays

For Magic Mondays this week there will be no devious offensive arrays or cruel bombs, but rather a tool that you can use in your games.

This week we give you the Phantom Cell array.

Notation Top Array: Send Human within an area twice the size of the array, if Antimony and Sulphur is present.

Notation Bottom Array: Receive Human from within an area twice the size of the array, if Mercury and Arsenic is present and Pull Human.

Description: The Phantom Cell is an example of what can be done when you combine the arrays with technology. At first glance the arrays seems quite simple: they simply teleport a human from one array to another. However, it is the details of it which can confuse you if you don’t know how it is used. The arrays only send and receive within a very short distance, they have to be right next to each other, so it seems a rather useless teleport array. Not to mention the odd requirements for activating it: antimony and sulphur to send and mercury and arsenic to receive? Seems rather restrictive doesn’t it? Not the sort of thing you would carry around every day. It just doesn’t look like something you can use in combat or any other rushed situation.

That is until you know how it is used. The Phantom Cell is inscribed onto two metal plates not much larger than the palm of your hand and held inside a metal “booklet” that can fold closed for easy carrying. This metal booklet also holds four vials for the four triggers and handy little levers that, when pressed, will empty the contents onto the send or receive array. So now you have a booklet that can send and/or receive a human at a push of a button. But why would you?

The answer is quite simple. To send anything, the send array needs to be powered. That much is obvious, but it also is true for the receive array. If the receive array isn’t powered then it doesn’t receive. So, you might be thinking, what happens to something when it is sent but the receive array isn’t powered? The answer is that whatever is being sent, a human in this case, is caught inside the receive array and kept there until it is powered. No time passes for the person inside the receive array and they can stay in there for as long as the array remains intact, but if the array breaks the person disappears forever.

So what does this mean for the Phantom Cell? Well simply put that, by pressing one of the levers on the metal booklet, you can capture someone within the array and leave them there until you have need of them. The Phantom Cell is exactly that, a prison cell that doesn’t actually exist.