Starlight Mage Number 3

²1988 Steve Marsh

P.O.Box 2552

Wichita Falls, TX 76307

I've had a project, Mistworld, that I have played with for years and years (since 1982 or so). I've decided to pull in for a while until I get it done.

Anyway, that means limited zines in The Wild Hunt for a while.

This zine has the rules for an Avatar Campaign based on the Chaosium family of related rules. A bit of fun I dreamed up last year and finally am putting into print.

Assume that there is a magical shadow of this world. Known in 70s speak as Mythworld, it is a setting for an Avatar campaign currently called Three.

Every person born into Three receives three "gifts" at birth. Anyone who crosses over from our world into Three receives three gifts (of the player's choice for the character). They also receive one point of will and one point of luck.

Will is used/spent to improve a character. Every point spent allows the character to be improved by 1d6% in a skill or requisit (will is spent for successful training or learning by experience).

Luck is used to be lucky. Each point spent (after the fact) averts one bad thing.

Players are awarded player points after each session of play (usually -3 to +3 points with an average of 1 point per session). The player must invest the points in luck or will before the next session.

Currently, Three has the following six axis power struggle shaping up on the continent that the characters enter into:

Chicgo, home of dragons and demonologists;

Norlon, linked to the great old ones;

Vale, home of powers;

Old Town, sorcerors and shamen;

Plexus, star bound;

Plains, tribal feuds.


+3d6 to one requisit (alternate, + 12 pts); +2d6 to one requisit, +1d6 to linked requisit (alternate, 8, 4); 20 point Superworld power (alternate, 3d6+3 points); 6 point spirit magic (alternate, d3+3 points); 2 point rune magic (alternate, d3 points); 3 point sorcery (alternate, d3+1 points); +20% skill (alternate, <d3+1>*5%); Call of Cthulu spell; 30 point Stormbringer familiar; RQ II magic item; +3 points of luck; Chaos gift (with chaos taint)

Each player creates an avatar, picks three gifts and begins play. Usually play begins when the players get pulled through a weak space connecting the two worlds. Play continues from there.


SIZ = your weight / 12; 180 pound person would be size 15.

STR = Bench press / 10; If you bench press 160 pounds you have a strength of 16.

CON = 1/2 of STR + 7; If your strength is 12, then your constitution is 13.

CHA = 1/2 of POW + 6. So POW 12 = Charisma of 12.

APP = 13 or comparative; the average of your group should be 13.

DEX = (<%test score * 1.5>/10) + 4; If your test on your state's employment test is 50% then your dexterity is 11.5.

INT = (GRE or SAT <Math/100 + 2*Verbal/100> + 2); 300/300 GRE = Intelligence of 11.

POW = INT + (d6-3) (use best of three rolls, POW = luck too); INT of 12 probably means a power of 13.

SAN = (POW x 5)% + 20% alternate: enlightened; POW of 13 means a sanity of 85%


Canada/Chicago = Stormbringer Rules & powers;

Europe/New York = RQ III (emphasis on Sorcery);

Mexico/New Orleans = Call of Cthulu (with the cthuloids walking the streets);

Japan/California = Superworld (characters based on 60 points + experience);

Texas = Ringworld/Traveller/SPI Universe (the high tech area);

Scandinavia = Elfquest;

Washington D.C. = Dreamlands;

Asia = RQ II (emphasis on Rune Magic)

Great Plains = RQ (emphasis on shamen and spirit magic)


Scenic Route: Actually, I have reliable information that someone made two GOR movies (shot them both at the same time) . . . // Ok, now that weapon grade Uranium Oxide is hard to get, here is the fifty second method for making a medium yeild nuke. Step one, crack open canister with the oxide powder. Step two, pour the powder into a shaped charge cone, seal in place with Saran Wrap. Step three, slap the cone onto a block of (very) mild steel with a core hole drilled into it.

The shaped charge will force the oxide into the block. Presto!, suddenly you have uranium oxide with a one foot (plus) reflector. And they said it couldn't be done.

Thanks for coming back. I really enjoy your zines.

Annals of Anarchy: David -- you should have warned me sooner. I've been sending people sample characters from GURPS Gods SUPERS to let them do their hacks for Musical Chairs in GURPS format. Alas, Jessica Pilferbaby got to the last of the sheets. I'd love to see you as a hacked character.

Enjoyed your write-up.

Open Letter: Scott, have you gamed with Sean Summers? He wrote up a campaign quest very similar to the one you are writing up. I'd love to hear more.

Hurried Comment Zine: Would you consider doing two Musical Chairs hacks on yourself. One, a serious essay on how you feel a superhero should be and two, a light hearted hack? // I'm looking forward to more write-ups from you.

Scott Bennie: You'll be pleased to know that I.C.E. is giving Musical Chairs a serious review (much to my surprise). // I'm hoping to see more prozine fiction from you.

Dancing at the feet of the Moon: Glad to have you back. Congrats!

Knights of the Iguana: I've written for more otter comics. The author/artist lives in San Diego (which slows down his response time). // Do a hack using GURPS.

The Golden Dragon: Thanks for the character sheet. // I feel strongly about verbal violence. I am angered by certain authors (and fans) in SF and RPGs who feel that verbal violence is "pure" (but who would be very upset to be beaten up physically in return). // I will note that I sent my Indo-European essay out for pre-review to everyone I could think of who might be offended by it. I'm trying.

Seems that now that Glenn has a computer we need to get Goldberg a typewriter. Everyone who was going to donate to Glenn (but who didn't), here is a worthy cause.

Typing Practice: I hope that your life goes better.

BS from Beyond the Hills: Musical Chairs may actually get played. The concept is useful for rotating "stand in" charactrs into an existing campaign when a regular player or two can't make it.

Fenris Speaks: I'm glad you found Musical Chairs amusing. People have worried that you would be offended. // Re: Lionfire, I still tend to do Superworld type things with Champions. In SW a forcefield gets whittled away and bought back. A were-lion with fur that gets burned/cut/etc. away and regenerated back fits the SW forcefield concept better than armor does.

In the latest edition of Champions you pay the EC cost and then match it (or better) with each slot. So, 30 point EC + 30 point slot = 60 points of powers (or a 4d6 attack). Sorry that wasn't clearer in the write-up.

On Central America, I wish someone were telling the truth. You are right, it sure makes for a mell of a hess.

On Drugs, the intelligence community used to take the profits away from drug dealers. Like shearing sheep. Leave the drugs alone, just take some of the money (since drug dealers are stuck with dealing in cash -- usually American dollars). I am still uneasy with the idea but have often wondered what would happen if the process were open to all.

On the Russian Economy, my source for the 0% growth has been Jack Anderson's quotes from the C.I.A. group B analysts. Lots of heavy debate on the right wing about 1) "Are they correct," and 2) "Since they probably are correct, does this mean that we try to negotiate peace or push the SSRs over the edge." It has been regular in the local editorial pages.

Commotion in the Shrubbery: The new format is superior!

The Murdered Master Mage: Since Win is from "Mellowdelphia" (she is from Walnut Creek) and having been married there (the Oakland Temple), I really enjoyed the spoof.

Dicin' Sphere: Herakles' cult was monotheistic. Pretty sophisticated. // Frazer's god kings were sacrificed before they could become imperfect. I'd say that Frazer's view (emphasis intended) is distinct from Christianity. Anyone who got only the viewpoint could well be lost. // CTHULU IN SPACE (Alien, etc.) is being batted about by Chaosium. // I subscribe to the Cthulu as vulnerable to nuclear weapons school.

Australia is a good "real life" example of bizaare evolution.

Madwand's Memo: Thanks for the review. I'll skip Melissa Scott's first two books.

[Heroquest] [Norns] [Diablo] [WingCommander] [e-mail] [©1996-1998 Stephen R. Marsh All Rights Reserved]