Reaver and Cleaver

Cleaver and Reaver

The great white wyrm raised its head looking to strike yet another fatal blow the to one of the members of the party.

It was then that a young dwarf, Rlog Nuraald, who had been told to hang back and protect the rear of the party from any sneak attack charged the beast. The look of shock was upon the face of the other members of his company as he raised the two twin headed battle axes he had forged himself those many months ago by moonlight in the heat of his father’s forge. The same weapons that nearly every member of his group had scoffed at, jeered him about, and told him he should go buy better ones that they would even be willing to pay for them.

Weapons no one thought would last a moment in a real fight.

The wyrm turned to face this new threat when the first axe struck and bit deeply into its flesh slicing it open as though its tough hide wasn’t even there. The cold that came from within is said to have caused that axe to glow with a bluish light and thus was born Reaver.

The giant jaws snapped at the air where the young dwarf had been. He was moving with a speed rarely seen for his kind, and then the eyes of the beast went blank as the head was severed from the body with a blow from the second axe. It is said that the blade seemed to be sheathed in fire as it struck, pulling power from the very forge it was born from. Thus was born Cleaver.

This month the RPGBA blog carnival was hosted right here at of Dice and Dragons and we shared posts about Weapons of Legend. I thought I would close out the month’s submissions with a pair of battle axes, Reaver and Cleaver.

The above story tells of how these two, rather plain looking weapons, finally showed their powers to their weidler and the world at large. It is something I find frequently missing when I see weapons brought into a campaign or story line, what’s the back story?
An example from the well known book, The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

“I will give you a name, and I will call you Sting.” – Bilbo Baggins.

Bilbo named his blade after his battle with the giant spider based on what happened during the battle – it gives it meaning. It makes it a character in the story, something of value to the other characters or in the case of a table-top RPG, the players. It forms a bond with them, something they want to keep.

So, the next time your players are given a Weapon of Legend have a backstory for it. You don’t have to tell it to them directly, maybe they can quest for it, maybe that old storyteller by the fire at the inn can fill them about those strange runes carved on it.

Or maybe, just maybe, they will be the ones that write the legend.

May your dice roll well.

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What makes a good Dungeon Master?

What makes a good Dungeon MasterThose of us that sit around the gaming table often talk of days gone by. We talk of sessions when there were legendary battles fought and epic tales were told. When you look back at those sessions what do they all have in common?

A Dungeon Master at the top of his game.

Over at Power Score, Sean tackles that very topic in a recent post, The Difficulties of Being a Dungeon Master.

What’s nice about this article is that it isn’t just your usual post about what one person thinks makes a good Dungeon Master, instead Sean goes to reddit and actually asked others what kind of DM they were.

I decided that I wanted to see where other DMs of the world were at mentally. So I asked people on reddit to talk about what kind of DM they were, and I collected the responses. I have sifted through this information, looking for trends and common themes, to see if there are any particular things that most DMs have in common. What are people struggling with? What kind of games do they run?

And find some common themes and ground he did.

In fact, some of what he found was near and dear to my heart in his sections on style and campaign.

It appears, at least based on the responses he got, that as many as 1/3 “make it up as they go” (I’ve heard something similar to that statement before). I have to admit that while I do envy those that can pull it off I’m more of a partial prep type. The kind that has an outline for the session, maybe a couple of prepared encounters in my back pocket but then just goes with the flow.

The other item that hit home from me is the overwhelming stamp of approval on home-brew campaigns. It would appear that although there is a huge amount of material published every year for a DM to use, many prefer to develop their own. Many use an establish setting as the starting point but then take it in a direction all their own. For me, I’ve always built it from the ground up, the setting and the campaign – I like the intimate knowledge it gives out which makes the “winging it” during a session easier.

Sean also brings some attention to general issues, like the game being to easy or two difficult, and problem players (“you forgot a pencil?”) which rounds out the post and makes it well worth the read.

May your dice roll well.

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July 2015 Blog Carnival: Weapons of Legend

Weapons of Legend

They are unique, mythic, and transcend the mere ordinary, they are . . .

Weapons of Legend

and they are also the topic for this month’s RPG Blog Carnival.

When someone speaks of a legendary weapon most folks immediately go to those that have been called out in stories for centuries or popularized in the novels and movies of today. Some examples would include:

To most that’s all there is to it but there is another category that is just as interesting. These are the weapons that are legendary not because they have some mystical power, no they are legendary because of who used them or for what they were used for. Weapons that would fall into this category would be ones such as:

  • The rifle used to assassinate John F. Kennedy
  • The pistols used by Billy the Kid
  • La Tizona the sword of El Cid
  • The Mourning Sword worn by George Washington to funerals

rpgblogcarnivallogoSo for this month’s submission to the Blog Carnival please share a Weapon of Legend. Feel free to include one from either category (or both!), maybe share the story that created the legend, or a story of the weapon being used. There topic is pretty open and let’s face it, wielding one these weapons is something that many would dream about, after-all, who wouldn’t want to swing The Vorpal Sword at least once?

Be sure to include a link back to this post in your article, or stop by and add a comment with a link to your post.

Looking forward to seeing the arsenal that is assembled.

May your dice roll well!

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Carrying on the RPG Blog Alliance Tradition

RPG Blog AllianceAs many are aware, and as mentioned here, the existing RPG Blog Alliance is closing, in fact it is due to shut down in just a few days.

A number of members expressed a desire to have the RSS feeds placed in a file that they could then import into a newsreader of their own and after a bit of work the file folks are looking for is linked to at the end of this post.

While that was something I did to help the community out, and after giving it some thought, I’ve decided to help the community continue on, at least in the spirit I believe was intended by its founder.

So in addition to providing the RSS file for download I’m providing the following to the community as well.

The Google+ Community: RPG Blog Alliance

Available now on Google+ is the RPG Blog Alliance Community. The community itself is public but you do have to request to be a member of it, I’m doing that primarily to help gate potential spammers not to keep anyone out. Please, if you’re an RPG Blogger and on Google+ stop by and request to join.

RPG Blog Alliance Posts on Twitter

I know that many members enjoyed the twitter feed that was generated by the Alliance so I’m now pushing as many of the member posts as I can through the twitter feed of this site: To distinguish them from other tweets in the thread they will be tagged with the hashtag #rpgba.

I would like to thank Jeff once again for all his hard work in creating this Alliance and wish him well with his future endeavors.

Want the the RSS file? You can grab it here.

May your dice roll well!

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