The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?… or rather not)

Fennec Fox (photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)

I’m not sure exactly how they sound, but I’m pretty sure they don’t sound like this Norwegian song fortunately.

A more accurate representation might be found here or perhaps this description would help, but regardless of exactly how they vocalise, I think foxes are an interesting critter, particulary the markedly diminutive and somewhat adorable Fennec native to the North African deserts.

I’ve added ArM5 statistics for mundane foxes to the Mythic Arabia pages.

Storytelling 101

I’ve decided to enrol in an online storytelling course called the “Future of Storytelling” over at iversity here. I’m hoping it may give me some insight into writing about Faeries, and also about storytelling in the context of ArM5 – telling stories through RPG design but I suspect it will also be intellectually stimulating in its own right.

I have no idea how I’m going to keep up with any course work but the lectures are weekly and can be viewed online, so perhaps the stimulation and material will be get me motivated enough?

On Astrolabes

The spherical astrolabe, long employed in medi...
A Spherical Astrolabe (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons)

My fascination with astrolabes began a while ago, but I think it stems mainly from my fascination with clockwork and mechanical devices in general (I’m a bit of a steampunk tragic, but it’s tough to translate this into Ars Magica as it stands although perhaps exciting as a variant setting).

The image to the right is one of the most interesting I’ve found, a spherical astrolabe that would be almost impossible to craft with thirteenth century technology, but potentially simple with Hermetic craft magic.

I think a spherical astrolabe would make a great talisman concept for an astrological magus and is distinct enough from an armillary sphere to play a potential role in ArM5 Sagas. I’ll be detailing other astronomical devices (predominantly mediveal Islamic in origin) over time, but for now details for astrolabes are presented here.

Reread of Marco the Liar and Items as Faeries

I’m catching up tomorrow over lunch with Timothy Ferguson, line author extraordinaire and a great inspiration to me. To this end, I was rereading his collated “Marco the Liar” posts over breakfast. Theses short tales were originally written as part of an attempt at NaGaDeMon, but he became ill during the writing process, completing only 15 posts and then a final post that winds up some of the loose threads. It’s complete enough in its own right, although I do hope for more Marco tales in the future.

The Tales of Marco the Liar is not only a great piece of fiction IMO but also a very interesting insight into the subtle and sophisticated “Fergusonian” meta-game philosophy that underlies all of his contributions to the line and his unofficial material that surfaces in Sub Rosa or his “Games From Folktales” blog (itself constructed mainly from high quality offcuts and extras from his published works).

Continue reading Reread of Marco the Liar and Items as Faeries

Shameless Plug for House Diedne…


House Diedne
Matt Ryan and Tobias Wheeler, authors of the recent article “The Watchers in Diana‘s Sphere” article on House Diedne in Sub Rosa #13 have announced they plan to update their blog every Friday with new material on the Thirteenth House.

I’ve enjoyed the first two entries greatly and look forward to further entries to come – so head over there and sign up to follow them for updates in the weeks to come!

(And then come back here and browse around – more material coming soon!)

More Redcap Material

I’ve added some cut sections from my “Training Packages for Redcaps” article that recently appeared in Sub Rosa #13 (the “Diedne Issue” as it’s come to be known) to the Redcap Project pages. The original draft was longer (the final article is still ~7,600 words) and the following two sections had to be sacrificed.

The first is a section on pregnancy and its effect on characters – House Mercere has a focus on family and producing offspring most unlike any other Hermetic House and I wanted to have some way to model this for younger female Redcaps (and possibly magae that have not yet undergone a Longevity Ritual). It presents an abstracted simplification about the physical effects of pregnancy. I didn’t much care for the overly detailed mechanics presented in Sub Rosa #11 (“Conception and Pregnancy”, by Richard Wiles and Cameron Weedon) – I think such important aspects of a character’s life should be roleplayed rather than random, but I think some idea of the effects is warranted.

The second cut section is a brief note on designing Transylvanian Redcaps (as per Against the Dark, the definition of a Redcap in the Tremere’s home Tribunal is broader than elsewhere).

Birth of a Monstrous Child (Wikimedia Commons)

Crossbows of Genoa

I’ve just realised I posted this without completing it – still getting used to the arcane genuflections required for a WordPress blog I guess…

I’ve always been interested in crossbows and given that Genoa was once known for its famous balestrieri, it seemed logical to develop a crossbow grog using the rules from Grogs as an experiment in using the “Training Packages” approach, so I designed a typical Genovese crossbowman for use in ArM5.