Magic Mondays

This week for Magic Mondays we bring you something completely different: an array that doesn’t work.

This week’s array’s name isn’t short, sweet, or even a pun. It is called “The Runegiver and His Companions”

Notation: In the centrum: Bür. For the loci, clockwise from the top: The two Brothers Riada, the Golden Pugilist, the Half-Man, and Woudas the Burnt Angel.

Description: While this array doesn’t have any effects, it is one of the most iconic and popular arrays in the world of The Runed Age. That is because it tells the story of how humanity received the runes and arrays. Every religion, whether organised or formalised, heathen or pagan, has the figure of Bür and his Companions embedded somewhere in its traditions and scriptures. Every religion and culture differs on exactly who and what these six mythic figures were, but there are some broad notions which remain the same, especially in Middelburg where the game is set.

In Middelburg, the Prodigalist and Progenitorist faiths largely agree on the story of Bür, if not the details: he came ashore on the eastern coast of the continent of Jytoh (or Alfresia if you ask any Alfresian) and immediately displayed his vast magical prowess to the locals. More than anything however, he came with a message; a message that was of the utmost importance during the hundred year long Great War with the Inhumans. This message was that humanity was special, humanity was unique, and with faith and a strong will humanity could triumph against the five evil Inhuman species. And with that, he travelled across the known human territories and taught the humans how the runes and arrays work. By the time he was done, the tide of the war had turned and humanity was on the brink of triumph. Then he climbed in a boat on the western shore of Jytoh and sailed off, never to be seen again.

But he wasn’t alone. The first figure Bür met was the Burnt Angel Woudas, cast out of the heavens for his transgressions and forced to guide Bür across the human lands as his punishment so all would see the evil in his heart displayed on his broken and burnt form.

But a wizard and a burnt angel was too much for many people and they fled from Bür as they would have from the Inhumans. This was when he found the Brothers Riada. Both were called Riada, but one was large of frame and the other wiry and thus Small Riada and Big Riada will forever be their monikers. They were as human as you and I and they presented the human and humane face of Bür so others would come and learn from him. For their service Bür gave Small Riada a horn as big as the wiry man, a horn that could topple mountains and be heard across the world. To Big Riada he gave the greatest of all mounts, a giant boar made of pure blue corundum.

Throughout their travels they met the Half-Man. Half human, half Ogre they say. He was an expert woodsman and tracker and could guide the party through any wilderness. It is said he could speak with animal due to his Inhuman heritage and the very earth came to protect Bür across his travels.

Lastly they met the Golden Pugilist. Skin the colour of pure gold, this warrior came to see the wise wizard and challenge him to a fight, for no one had ever beaten the Pugilist. Beaten within a second, he pledged his service to Bür and Bür tattooed him with arrays the likes of which the world had never seen again. The Pugilist could walk on rain drops, lift elephants with a finger and no blade could pierce his side. He became Bür’s bodyguard and was said to have slain the Akkedyr king himself.

So this array doesn’t have any effects, but it tells the most important story in the Runed Age: the story of why it is called the Runed Age.

Tsu

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Magic Mondays

This week’s array will be something completely different and, in fact, it will have nothing to do with the Runed Age whatsoever.

This week we bring you the tried and tested Fireball Spell.

Notation: Create and Contain a Ball of Fire and Push it at a speed of 32 m/s from the Right Hand.

Description: This array is not an array after all! It is a spell that can be casted! If you are a tad confused about how this is a spell and not an array, check out our latest video on YouTube that explains it all. What better way to show how to turn the arrays into a spell by using one of the oldest and most traditional of RPG spells: The Fireball. It is the locus outside the array that turns this into an array because it stipulates that the magical effects comes from the right hand. Without that part, this will just have been a normal array that shoots out a fireball, but now you can shoot it from your hand and aim it wherever you want it to go. You can change the rune in that locus to have the fireball come from any other part of your body if you want; you can kick a fireball at someone or even spit a fireball at someone.

Of course, magic in RPGs are almost always chanted or incanted or sung. It is what separates wizards from us mere mortals. This spell can easily be sung or chanted in just such a way, all you need to do is read it. If you were to say it in English, the spell would go something like: “Start, (Fire modified by Ball), affected by Create and Contain and (Push, modified by Quicken, modified by Quicken, modified by Quicken, modified by Quicken, modified by Quicken), Stop, From Right Hand.” It’s long and wordy, but that’s because it’s in English. All you need to do is make up some nonsense words for the runes and their connections and you will have your proper, traditional RPG spell.

In our made up language, this spell would sound like: “Behg Ob Vür Ant Bol Cob Dün Mok Non Hohd Non Ob Drieke Ant Fennigh Ant Fennigh Ant Fennigh Ant Fennigh Ant Fennigh Cob Ent Fin Regand.”

Princes of Middelburg

Last Wednesday we looked at the Prince who ruled the nation of Alfresia. Now that we have finished off with the four secular Princes, we’ll look at who controls the hearts and minds of Alfresia.

This week’s Prince is the High Priest of the Prodigalist Faith!

Clearly not the full title, no, not for someone of this stature. While he may be colloquially called the High Priest, his full title is “The Sovereign, Eternal and Most Revered Ordinary and Rector of the True Faithful in the Free State of Alfresia“. That is exactly why he is simply called the High Priest.

Alfresia never had a High Priest until it gained its independence a century ago. Under Prodigalist Canon Law, each sovereign nation can only have one High Priest to guide it in terms of spiritual matters. Thus when Alfresia was still only an archduchy of the Kingdom of Fresland, it was the Fresian High Priest who ruled the Alfresians Prodigals. Fresland, however, was a very large kingdom and so the Archduchy of Alfresia had its own Archbishop to govern it as the High Priest’s proxy.

Now that Alfresia is free it seems that the island is too small for both an Archbishop and a High Priest. For all intents and purposes, the Archbishop was the High Priest before the War of Independence; he ruled from the great Eternal Temple in Middelburg and already took care in the governance of each priest, bishop, monk and abbot on the island. What was there left to do for a High Priest? Some speculated that the Archbishop would be the one to become one of the Six Princes of Middelburg, but the new High Priest was a wily man, a politician at heart.

Leaving all the administrative work to the Archbishop, the High Priest was free to travel across Alfresia, letting every peasant and bourgeois merchant know exactly who he is and what he can do. The Archbishop continued on being the true head of the Prodigalist Faith in Alfresia and the High Priest became a figure head, but a figure head the faith can’t do without.

The High Priest has become the greatest lobbyist of the Prodigalist Faith, making it his life’s work to keep the interest of his flock in the forefront of every important politician and merchant on the island. The Archbishop may trade in souls and spirits, but the High Priest trades in favours and information, likely selling his soul in the process, but advancing the Prodigalist agenda one favour at a time.

Magic Mondays – Video!

This week for Magic Mondays we bring you a little something extra. We finished our video series on the Runed Age’s magic system last time, but this time we wanted to give you something that you can use in your own homebrewed games. The Runed Age’s magic system is a written system, it isn’t made for speaking or casting spells. However, using it to cast spells is exactly what this video is about. So now you can use it in nearly every fantasy RPG you can think of. Just like in the Runed Age, you create whatever spell you want and then your wizard or sorcerer or witch or mage can cast that spell just like a tradition RPG.

Have fun!

The year certainly has sped past and now we are already sitting at the end of October. This means that the launch date for The Runed Age is getting closer and closer. In fact, there are only seven weeks left till it goes on sale. So while we finish polishing the book off, keep your calendars nearby as the The Runed Age goes on sale mid December!

Princes of Middelburg

Last Wednesday we looked at the Prince who commanded the entire military might of Alfresia. This week, we look at the youngest of the Princes, but perhaps the most powerful.

This week’s Prince is the President!

There are some who argue (the Presidents’ supporters chief among them) that the office of the President is technically older than the Merchant League of Fresia, but this is mere political grandstanding. The Merchant League was created during the Alfresian War of Independence a century ago while the rebel President was only properly sworn in after the nation became free. This technicality is not just a piece of trivia to be used in a weekend’s pub quiz night. Among the six Princes of Middelburg, the rulers of Alfresia, influence matters more than all the money or might in the world; and as so often the case, the youngest sibling always has a lot more to do to gain that influence.

While the President is nominally the head of state for Alfresia, he has not nearly as much power as he would like. Some believe this is intentional, that the other five Princes ensured the President was hamstrung at every turn, so that they can do as they will. The first of these impediments is the Senate who runs the day to day affairs of the nation, passing the laws that keep the island running. While the President has veto power, it is not infinite and many a time a President’s wishes has been overturned by the Senate’s actions. The idealistic calls this the checks and balances of a democratic society. The cynical call it the effectiveness of bribes and backroom deals.

The second impediment to the President’s power are the Princes themselves. Only the Merchant League does not answer to the President, being its own sovereign nation; the other four Princes must, in theory at least, bow to the Senate and thus the President. After all, the Field Marshall and the Supreme Judge are public offices while the leaders of the Progenitorist and Prodigalist faiths are only citizens in the eyes of the law. The truth is a different matter and this is where the influence mentioned above comes into play. The Field Marshall controls the military, the Supreme Judge the courts and the priests the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of faithful Alfresians. The President can’t simply through his weight around, because he know if push comes to shove, the Princes could easily overpower him

This week’s Prince is thus a much more cunning and diplomatic Prince than the others, because only the most cunning, conniving and flattering survive as President. He may not have as much innate power as the other Princes, but hard work creates a power of its own. A lesson, perhaps, in democracy.

Magic Mondays

Right on the heels of last week’s array we bring you one of the many arrays that are banned in the city of Middelburg, and for good reason.

This week we bring you the Walking Bomb array.

Notation: Transmute Human, of a size 100 times that of the array, into Stone; and Push Stone at a speed of 64 m/s.

Description: By just looking at the array, you can immediately see why the constabulary of Middelburg have taken such a dim view of the Walking Bomb array. The name alone tells anyone that this array wasn’t made for any other reason than for murder, except perhaps an entertaining execution. If you carry musket or pistol rounds inscribed with the Walking Bomb array inscribed, the constables won’t think twice before arresting you.

The danger, and effectiveness, of the Walking Bomb comes not from transmuting human flesh into stone, but rather from the runic explosion that comes afterward. Turning a human into stone will kill them will them regardless of the Push rune in the array or not. The Sculptor array does this quite well. The true malice, or genius depending on who you ask, is that Push rune. By pushing the newly created stone so quickly, and from inside that very stone, the array creates an explosion.

The speed of the force rips apart the ex-human statue and flings it at everyone in the vicinity at a speed of 64 metres per second, or 230 kilometres per hour. This array was not create to kill only one person, it was designed to kill a room full of people.

As with all violent arrays there are some safety features built in. The Gargantuan rune modifying the Transmute rune means that there is an energy threshold that needs to be reached before the array activates, a threshold the energy from a musket and pistol won’t reach. This ensures that the array doesn’t turn your arm into a stone bomb as you fire the round. The Quicken runes modifying the Push rune works in the same way. This also ensure that the round goes into the victim’s body first before activating, causing maximum damage.

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.