Magic Mondays… err… Fridays!

Even though we did give you something amazing for Magic Mondays this week, we do still owe you an array!

This Week we give you Bür’s Grace.

Notation: Create a Large Containment field that excludes Humans if Humans are present within a tenth of the array.

Description: Named after the legendary figure who gave humanity the runes and arrays, this array is the last mercy that many criminals will be given in this life. That is because this array is the preferred method of execution in most of the world of the Runed Age.

It is called merciful because it results in an instantaneous death and thus by all accounts painless. It takes an especially heinous crime or a particularly sadistic ruler to inflict any other method of execution. The traditional method of execution for traitors to the state is beheading followed by the head being kept alive with the arrays for a minimum of an hour. Similarly, the mad king Markus VI ordered that all executions be performed by burning the convicted alive.

The reason why this array is so merciful in comparison is because how it is set up. If you exclude anything within a containment field, that object is instantly disintegrated into nothingness. However, once that containment field has been set up, the object it is excluding cannot enter it. This is how defensive arrays work. So the trick is the have the target inside the array before setting up the containment field.

That is where the If-Then statement comes in. Only once a human has reached the centre of the array (a tenth of the array’s size across) does the array activate. The containment field of the Bür’s Grace array is also large enough that, once in the centre, it will take care of any human of any size and shape.

It may be a morbid array, but the in harsh world of the Runed Age, you take any small mercies that you can.

If you want to know how If-Then statements in array’s work (or how to create arrays in general) check out our video series on YouTube. Our most recent video covered If-Then statements.

Princes of Middelburg

Last Wednesday we looked at the Prince who ruled over the execution of the law. This week we’re look at the Prince who control the might and power of Alfresia.

This week’s Prince is the Field Marshal.

This one man controls the entirety of the nation’s military. The Navy, the Marines, the Infantry, the Cavalry, the Artillery and the Provost; all six branches of Alfresia’s military reports directly to the Field Marshal. Nearly every coup, rebellion and revolution has been won or lost depending on which side the Field Marshal fought. In terms of armed personnel, there is no one more powerful than the Field Marshal and he knows this well. It takes a brave, or stupid, man to get on the wrong side of the Marshal.

The military title of “Field Marshal” is an ancient one and stems from Alfresia’s imperial days. When Alfresia was a vassal of the Heavenly Empire of Man, its military consisted mostly of the Imperial Legions drafted from the local populace. The Legions were the Emperor’s way of keeping its territories safe as well as a show of force to its vassals. The Legions were loyal only to the Imperial Throne and so kept the nobles in line. In those days the Marshal was merely the stable master of the Legion and every Legion outpost had one. A civilian rank, the Marshal was little more than a servant to the Legion.

As the years rolled by and the Legion became a more modern fighting force, the Marshal was brought out of the stables to care for the horses out on the field, ensuring that the Legion could be a mobile force. This necessitated that the Marshal be able to command Legionnaires if and when necessary. Thus the rank of Field Marshal was created, if only to be equal to a Lieutenant. It would take many more years for the Field Marshal to become the title of the commander of a Legion Cavalry Regiment.

By the time Alfresia, as part of Fresland, left the Empire, the rank of Field Marshal was given to the commander of the entire army. While mainland Fresland was happy with this, it did not sit well with the Alfresians. As an island, and a long skinny one at that, Alfresia has a greater need of a navy than an army. It is far quicker for men to travel around the island by boat than overland. Thus, in short order, the Field Marshal had control over the navy as well. “One army, one man” was a common idiom of the day. Such power in one man’s hands ought to have been feared, but as with most other titles, the title of Field Marshal was taken by the Archduke of Alfresia, to add to his already cast collection.

It was only in recent times, after Alfresia became a republic, that the problem came to light. Giving one man sole control of the entire military may not have been the brightest thing to do, but it was done and the Field Marshals over the years have resisted all efforts to reduce their power, even going so far as to threaten a coup or revolt. As it stands, there is a tense stand off between the political and military spheres of the nations, each vying for greater power while trying to reduce their opponents’.

Next week we’ll look at, perhaps, the most straightforward of the Princes: the man who rules Alfresia.

Magic Mondays Video

What better way to enjoy Magic Mondays than with the third and final video about the Runed Age’s magic system.

 

With these three videos, you know all I do about making arrays. Enjoy it, have fun with, and show me what sort of weird and wonderful arrays you can make.

 

Our next video will turn this drawn and written magic system into a spoken one, so stay tuned for that!

Alms! Alms!

While we are busy finishing off the next video, let me take this time to draw attention to a little something.As many of you surely know, art costs a lot. And no RPG book is complete without the art that can put a reader, a player, and a GM into the world we are trying to create.Stormforge Productions is not only busy with the Runed Age, but we have two other games also currently in pre-production as well as the first campaign for the Runed Age. This means we will be needing art by the truck load.If you like what you have seen on this page so far, have a think about donating to us and we will use that money to get more and more art to fill the books with. The more we get, the more art you get.We will never spend any donations on ourselves, no matter how much we like pizza, anything you give will go straight to the books we put out.

Princes of Middelburg

Last Wednesday we started our Princes of Middelburg Series by looking at that Merchant League we have all come to know and love. This week we’re changing track and looking at the arbiter of life and death in the city.

This week’s Prince is the Supreme Judge.

A sanctimonious title for sanctimonious men. This position dates back to when Alfresia was still part of the Heavenly Empire of Man, back when the Kings, and later Archdukes, were the sole arbiter of the innocent and guilty in Alfresia.

Along the line, when the system of courts became more structured and unified, the supreme judge in Alfresia became the title “Supreme Judge of Alfresia” that the Archdukes could add to their repertoire of titles and names, to show the world what pious and lawful men they were. Today, however the Supreme Judge is no longer an inherited title, although saying “any man can become Supreme Judge” is stretching it a bit. Like all politics, back room deals are worth more than all the knowledge in the world.

The duty of the Supreme Judge is to ensure the law is carried out in an honest, legal, and dutiful a manner as is humanly possible. It is his role, at least nominally, to oversee every judge in every court in Alfresia. This responsibility comes with great power as the Supreme Judge can overrule any lower judge anywhere on the island.

As well as poking his nose where it may not belong, the Supreme Judge also sits in court and presides over his own cases. Only the most politically valuable cases reach him, of course. Only those that are of great public interest, or politically sensitive is seen to by the Supreme Judge.

Lastly, the Supreme Judge must sign off on every execution on the island. As can be expected, most of this is merely stamped without really looked at, as there are more than enough executions occurring across the nation, but it does put him in an interesting position. Should he so choose, he can commute the death sentence of whatever convicted criminal he desires. There is a very good reason the Supreme Judge is always a very wealthy individual.

Next week we’ll look into the Prince the one who controls all the armies in Alfresia.

Magic Mondays

This week on Magic Mondays we bring you an array that can sink the Titanic.

This week we have the Ice Breaker Array.

Notation: Cool (at a speed of 32 degrees Celsius per second) a volume of Water 200 times the circumference of the array if a volume of water 200 times the circumference of the array is present within the range of the array.

Description: The short and the sweet of this array is that it creates icebergs. It is used by ships in order to slow down or even bring down enemy ships, usually to prevent enemy ships escaping or to give time for their own ships to escape.

As with most of the arrays in the Runed Age, there are some maths behind the workings of this one, although this week the maths will be far easier than normally.

Cannonballs came in all shapes in sizes, but in the main ranged from a diameter of 8cm all the way up to 17cm. For the sake of this array, let’s assume the ships would use their biggest guns in order to get the greatest amount of ice, so the 17cm diameter 19 kilogram cannonballs. A cannonball of that size with this array hitting the water would turn about 36 cubic metres of water into ice in less than a second. That is a lot of ice. That’s 36,000 litres of ice, or 17,000 two litre ice cream containers. Imagine a few dozen of these appearing in front of your ship in the blink of an eye.

The average temperature of ocean surface water is 17 degrees Celsius. It’s a bit warmer at the latitudes around Alfresia, but still well within the 32 degrees per second limit put into the array. Ocean surface water also freezes at -2 degrees Celsius, but even 19 degrees of temperature difference can easily be achieved by this array. That is not the problem, the problem is the energy cost of this.

Freezing 36,000 litres of water inside a second costs a lot of energy. It takes about 4200 joules of energy per litre per degree Celsius to freeze water. We have a lot more than that. For this array you will need 4.8384 gigajoules of energy. That is quite a lot of energy, more so that you would get from just firing the cannonball out of a cannon.

For this reason, these cannonballs are often “cooked” over a fire to store the energy in them until it is released. Ordinarily, energy is released automatically when it enters the array. The if-then statement in this array, however, means that no energy will be released until that is triggered. In this case, the trigger is to for the array to be surrounded by at least 36,000 litres of water.

Princes of Middelburg

Last week we finished delving into the families that comprise the Fresian Merchant League, that behemoth that seems to consume everything it touches. However it is not the only power in the city of Middelburg.

In the streets they call them the Six Princes of Middelburg. They aren’t actually Princes and there aren’t just Six of them, but symbolism is often more important than accuracy. The Six Princes are the six institutions which, together, control every aspect of life, not only in Middelburg, but in the entire nation of Alfresia. From the legislative to the judicial, the economical to the military, and even the two dominant religions, these Six Princes rule over the nominally free nation with an iron fist.

The Fresian Merchant League is one of the Princes, with the three Patriarchs and the Matriarch of the Four Governing Families acting as its liaisons. Not all businesses and stores in Alfresia are owned by the League, not for lack of trying mind you, but none can argue against the fact that League sets the economical policies of that nation. As the saying goes: whether you like them or not, eventually everyone ends up working for the League.

Next week we’ll look into the Prince that holds the executioners blade in Alfresia.

Magic Mondays

cartridge ignition

This week on Magic Mondays we show you an array that almost every character in the Runed Age, playable and non-playable, will use some time in their life, even if they don’t know it. It’s one of those arrays that is everywhere, but you won’t notice unless you look for them.

This week we have the unimaginatively named Cartridge Ignition arrays.

Notation: Top array: Create Fire if Copper is present and Send the Fire. Contain the Sending.
Bottom array: Receive the Fire and Push it at a speed of 1 m/s

Description: If the arrays didn’t give it away, the name most definitely did. These arrays can be found on firearm cartridges and are responsible for igniting the black powder in the cartridges, thereby propelling the pistol or musket balls out of the barrel at a, hopefully, terminal velocity. You will find these arrays on nearly every cartridge in Middelburg, it’s cheap and reliable and will therefore be staying around for quite a long time.
 
Because of the runes and arrays, the people in the Runed Age never developed percussion or priming caps. Because of this, they had to get creative with how they ignited black powder. The earliest runic primers were simple arrays of Create-Fire, but merely the act of carrying these around would impart enough energy into the arrays to activate them. Fire was a constant risk.
 
It was never that big of a concern until a century ago when cartridge bullet were invented. No longer would you have to load the musket/pistol ball, black powder and runic primer separately. Now you can carry “preloaded shots” in your pocket for quick and easy reloading. Now that the primers were always attached to the black powder, they had to come up with a safety mechanism so the bullets don’t ignite in your back pocket.
 
The Send & Receive arrays were the answer. By putting the Send array on the back of the cartridge and activating it only when copper (the firing pin) was in contact with it, there was no longer any risk of accidental ignition. The Send array would then send the fire through time and space to the Receive array on the inside of the cartridge where it would be pushed through the black powder, ensuring an even ignition.

If you want to know how to create your own arrays, check out our YouTube channel where we tell you exactly how to make some magic.

League Wednesdays

This week is our fourth and final look at the Fresian Merchant League, where we explore the third tier of the Merchant League and look at the workhorses of the League.

This week we look at the Jonkheer Families.

Jonkheer is an old Fresian title for the lowest rank of nobility and it quite describes this tier in the League. There are many, many more families below the Jonkheer Families, but they are in most cases actual literal families of a mere handful members that have become wealthy enough to buy their way into the League. Those families are called the Hearth Families and when a powerful trading family boasts of controlling a few dozen families it is of the Hearth Families they speak.

The Jonkheer Families are a different story. Not only do they have the money and power to sit where they are on the League totem pole, but in most cases they have history. It takes a lot for a family to even get to this tier, so even the newly inducted Jonkheer Families have a long history behind them. Some were wealthy farming families that have grown large and gained vast territories, others were old merchant guild members, having gained control of their guilds and lined their pockets in that manner.

That is not to say there aren’t some proper bastards in this tier. Quite a few families have risen from the Hearth Families through banking, investments and moneylending. They sit and do nothing while other men work hard to pay off their exorbitant interest rates. Investors, however, are much needed in the Merchant League. A favourite League saying is ‘the money must flow’ and flow is does. More money pass through League hands in a day than some nations see in a month, all thanks to their investors and bankers.

True to the name of Jonkheer, these families are like the old barons and knights of Middelburg’s past. They sit in their manors overseeing their workers and take their pound of flesh. While the families in the upper two tiers manage other families, the Jonkheer Families manage the guilds, the workhouses, the farming collectives, and the range of stores to make their money. They are not so low as to merely own one or two stores or farms, that is left to the Hearth Families and below. The Jonkheer Families each can own dozens of stores, handfuls of farms, a merchant guild here and there and perhaps a lucrative investment in the military.

The Jonkheer families are the faces of the League most often seen but rarely recognised. They do most of the work, yet get little of the credit.

In the image from left to right, top to bottom: For the bloody stag: Aalmer, Bauwer, Heeren, Mulder, Rosenwind, Schuttman, Sneijder, van Dal, Wilms, Wouters. For the iron eagle: De Boer, De Schild, Keil, Lauwens, Leitner, Sturm, Tiedeman, van Leeukop. For the shining gold: De Wit, De Wolf, Jonckers, Pender, Reinier, Roggeween, van Aard, Verhoeven, Voss. For the brass ship: Appeltuin, Hoekstra, Koolen, Lamar, Lavoie, Mercier, Rousseau, van Kwaad.

Magic Mondays

This week for Magic Mondays we will, once again, help you in your criminal exploits in Middelburg. You by now will have all the arrays needed to protect yourself and fight off any assailant, so now is the time to think about how to get away quickly after you have done your criminal deeds.

 
This week we have the Coach Express.

Notation: Cool (at a rate of 1 degree Celsius every 8 minutes) and increase the speed (by 100%) of Animals.

Description: In the age of electricity, technology in the Runed Age is moving faster than ever before. The ability of electricity to quickly and conveniently transfer energy to runic arrays, which can then store this energy, has revolutionised every technology under the sun. Unfortunately, those left behind in this technological race are quickly forgotten.

In a world with airships and electrically driven trains, carriages and coaches are quickly becoming yesterday’s news. The coaches and carriages have decided to fight back with an ancient array that has had some new life breathed into it.
The Coach Express has been in use for centuries, albeit sparingly as storing energy in an array was a time consuming affair before the advent of electricity. Now, however, you would rarely see a professional coach or carriage without one.

Simply put this array increases the speed of animals (most often horses) by 100%, meaning they move at twice their normal speed. This means that a horse at full gallop can now average 80-100 km/h. This is utterly fantastic if you are delivering goods and passengers between cities, or if you are running away from the constabulary, but it isn’t so good on the horses.

On a good day, a horse at a gallop can overheat within 20 minutes. At double speed that is only exacerbated. It is for this reason that the array also cools down the horses. If your horse dies on you because of heat exhaustion then no amount of speed will save you.

This array is also rife for modification. You can easily change the speed increase of the Animal rune as well as the rate at which the Cool rune cools the animals. This array is meant to be changed what you expect you will be facing.

To learn more about how time runes work, stay tuned this Friday for our second video on YouTube.

Our Clothing Line!

We are busy with the next YouTube video recording, but in the mean time, check out our clothing line on PrintMighty.
 
As time goes by, we will be adding a lot more designs on there, so check back often to see all the new goodies.
 
 
While I got this time, let me also draw attention to our Contact Us page. If you have ever wanted to publish your own tabletop TPG, have a quick read on our Contact Us page and drop us a line, we can help.

League Wednesdays

This week on League Wednesdays we delve deeper into the Fresian Merchant League and look at those trade families that serve the four governing families from last week.
 
This week we look at the Patrician Families.
 
There are sixteen Patrician Families in all, although it is not a fixed number or even a fixed title. At this tier and below, families come and go, and the only reason a specific trade family is called a Patrician Family is because the other families have recognised their wealth and power. Some of these families are as old as the Four Governing families and some predate them by centuries. Others are only as old as their Patriarch, having come into being in the last few decades through good fortune and better contacts.
 
As they are, they are the most powerful families (barring the Four Governing Families) in the Merchant League and it is through them that mountains of money flow into the coffers of the League.
 
While these families are far too rich to be said to have done an honest day’s labour, it is through these families that the work of the League gets done. In Middelburg when “the Merchant League” has done this-and-that, or the “van Rosedaal family” has procured so-and-so, it is almost always these sixteen Patrician Families that have made this happen. Perhaps more that the Governing Families, these families are the true heart of the League. They see that the League keeps ticking.
 
In the Runed Age RPG, when any of the Four Governing Families or even the Merchant League as a whole is involved your characters’ lives (by giving them jobs, being antagonists, or just happen to own the shop you want to burgle), more often than not it is actually these Patrician Families that you are actually dealing with. The Four Governing Families are merely taking the credit, which is their due one can argue. This is not to say that you won’t ever be dealing with the Governing Families, they do enjoy a bit of skulduggery as much as the next family.
 
The Patrician Families may be far richer than your characters will ever hope of being, but there is only one thing people with power want: more power. These Patrician Families dream of one day being the Fifth Governing Family, or better yet, replacing one of the current Families. This is where the true shadow wars occur. Each Patrician Family wants to be at the top, yet none want any of the other be, so they struggle and fight against each other while the Governing Families look on and laugh. Sometimes there is a family with a slim chance and the Governing Families start to take notice.
 
The Tuefel Family once got support of more than half the Heisenstein’s vassal families and was about to make their move. The van Rosedaal family was even lending secret support. However the Hugenbergs (as is ever their wont) enjoy the status quo and joined forces with the Heisensteins to put the Tuefel family in their rightful place.
 
In the image: For Hugenberg, left to right, top to bottom: Becke, Bösche, Erkens, Konig, Siegel. For van Windburg: Beullens, Breitbarth, Roijakker, Segher. For van Rosedaal: Arissen, Cuyper, Maier, van der Veen. For Heisenstein: Bisset, Arntz, Teufel.

Magic Mondays

12043109_847135772050284_8555143030253120754_n

For Magic Mondays this week we bring you an array that may have saved more lives than any other array in existence.

This week we give you the Saving Grace array.

Notation: Create and Sustain a Containment field in the shape of a Dome’s Edge that excludes Animals, Arsenic, Carbon, Copper, Fire, Gold, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Plants, Silver, Stone, Sulphur, Tin and Wood.

Description: At first glance the Saving Grace may seem like a supercharged Middelburg Standard array and that is because, from a certain standpoint, it is. However, where the Middelburg Standard is all about personal protection, the Saving Grace is about saving lots of people all at once. This was the array that saved Middelburg from the wrath of King Markus VI ‘the Incendiary’ during the Alfresian War of Independence. It was carved across the city so that the dome would encompass nearly everyone inside and once it was up, almost nothing could go in or out. The Alfresians sealed themselves off to protect themselves.

Of interest in this array is the use of the Shell rune (just to right of the central Contain rune). What this rune does is create a wall around the edge of the containment field and restricts the effects of the array to that wall. If this was not the case, the effects would happen inside the entire domed containment field, and seeing as it excludes almost everything, it would disintegrate everything inside it. With the Shell rune, you can stay safely inside the containment field without it harming you.

Of course, it can’t stop everything. By necessity air and water is allowed through, but all those things that the runes and array can’t target can come through, like bronze. As an alloy, the runes and arrays can’t target bronze and for this reason most of the musket and cannon balls fired during the war for Middelburg were made of bronze. However, this had to be done from a distance as the Saving Grace array excludes animals, and humans are animals.

To learn how to create your own array, go to our video about making arrays at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxKcGNjSpM4