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We had come to the end of the path, and the thief was before us, with her henchmen.

A spider queen, a young one, filled with bile, with several of the tiev g'nack vermin in armor, and the running, bony ones as skirmishers.  Her ambush had failed and she grabbed for a philtre around her neck, breaking it with a grim smile. The magic washed over us, our fire mage employer overcome by it, but it didn't touch me at all and I slew the last of her guards as Indigo's curses wracked her.  She looked at me in disbelief.  "You are a virgin" and then the last of the magic took her and she died.

There were things in the fir bolg, against some of which purity was an aid. I may have been of a part-elvish house, but that did not mean I was a fool or given to weakness.  We are a long lived clan, and patient hunters, in all things.

Our employer missed the interchange, though with her death he began to shake off the spell.  Indigo just smiled.

The Oni are the "Ben Oni" or "Sons of Sadness" -- not the oriental Oni (a word with a completely different meaning).  As described earlier, there are actually two tribes of them, the common and the greater ones.  At some point an Oni will be seized with the desire to wander and then it will split open and a maw will emerge.  The maw kills and animates its kills, except instead of rising as zombies, they rise as Oni.  The Oni work to bring more bodies to the maw and often will build walls or other shelters for it.  They serve an evil chaos demon who is trying to breach into the world from the area that is founded on the City of the Revenaunt.

Ben Oni
Ben Oni Greater Ben Oni Maw
Common: 4d6 appearing Uncommon 2d6++1 appearing Common: One
Armor Class 7 (-2 to damage) Armor Class 6 Armor Class 4
Move 9" Move 8" Move 0"
Hit dice 3d8+3 Hit Dice 4d8+4 Hit Dice 4d6+1d6 per oni
%lair 100% %lair 100% %lair 100%
Treasure Type K Treasure Type K Treasure Type K
Attack Tongue for d6 or spell Attack Tongue for d6 and spell Attack tentacle for 2d6 and spell
Intelligence:  low Intelligence:  average Intelligence:  low
Alignment Chaos/Evil Alignment Chaos/Evil Alignment Chaos/Evil
Size: Small Size: Medium Size: Large
one 1st level anti-cleric
two first level magic-user spells
Tongue also casts random 2nd
level illusionist spell (2d6)
Tentacle hit also casts 2nd level
clerical spell (on 2d4+1/detect+hammer)

On Granularity.

Game design has two approaches.  The first makes everything even graduations.  The other makes them granular -- distinct from each other.

I prefer to have skills break down as follows:

-- The Skill

--  Applications of the skill.

--  Mastery of the skill.

And I prefer granularity.

For example, Mastery can mean:

  • Also is physical or solid (e.g. Fire becomes solid fire, % as fire, % as physical damage)
  • Also is magical (e.g. sword blow also does magical damage)
  • Penetrating (e.g. penetrates armor or resistance)
  • Cheaper to use (e.g. requires less magical or physical energy)
  • Stronger (more effect, e.g. more damage of the same type)
  • Longer (increased duration)
  • Faster
  • Maleable (in shape or form of expression)
  • Concealed

nRQ3 sorcery just had all sorcery pretty much subject to all mastery, rather than doing masteries as bundles.


Fire Wizard Harpist
Physical firebolt does fire and physical word:  would do physical damage as well as stun
Penetrating Would ignore some armor Would be heard through ear plugs
Would overcome resistance Increased chances against resistance/saves
Cheaper Cost less mana Cost less endurance/fatigue
Stronger More fire damage More stun
Longer Additional strike ranks Stunned longer
Faster Fewer strike ranks to cast Spoken faster
Malable Change appearance or shape of bolt Change shape of area of effect
Conceal Reduce visual effects Reduce volume -- make silent

Using the Wizardry system I have on-line for an example, a character would have the skill of fire wizardry (for example).  They could also have additional skill in the various effects fire wizardry can evoke.  Their particular school might offer a mastery bundle as well that would combine some mastery effects.

the City of the Revenaunt as a First Edition AD&D Scenario Setting.

The first scenario reprises the meeting with the fire mage that they had earlier.  It then takes the party to an interplane (not the heart of the plane of fire, but the land of the fire eagles).  They come out on the edge of the silver sea, meet some of the fire eagles, have the chance to engage in a rescue and a raid on the vultures, find a map, follow it into some ruins, regain a fire rune node that allows the mage direct access to fire and increases his mastery.

They then return, fight off an incursion by tiev (who also come to the plateau for similar reasons) and return to the castle city..

Copyright 2005 Stephen R. Marsh and Heather N. Marsh
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