Author Archives: Mage Mistress

I Love My Friendly Local Game Store

So…it seems that the World of Darkness will no longer be available in my Friendly Local Game Store. This saddens me tremendously.

On the one hand – I get it. The production of print books isn’t cheap. Shipping them around the country isn’t cheap either. I get it – I do.

And yet, I had no idea that there even WAS a new World of Darkness until I walked into my Friendly Local game Store (FLGS) some years ago. That’s where I purchase my books. That’s where I ran my very first game. It’s where I run my campaign. It’s where I met the people I game with, all of whom have become very good friends of mine over the years. I have spent hundreds of dollars on World of Darkness books, and the players at my table have snapped them up too. I have run World of Darkness at local conventions, and people have come up to me afterward (at future conventions) and mentioned that they have their own campaigns going now because they had so much fun at my table. It’s what I talk about on Twitter, and the inspiration for this blog. If those books hadn’t been on the shelves at my favorite place I would never have known they existed. I wouldn’t have spent my money on them, my players wouldn’t have spent their money on them, and they wouldn’t have been able to tell other people just how much fun they have playing in this system. Without my FLGS none of that would have been possible.

Now, my understanding is that retailers can get the books – but there’s a catch. The books will wind up costing the retailer more than the cover price. So if my FLGS wants to have World of Darkness books on the shelves they have to lose money on every single book. Alternatively, I suppose they could charge more than the cover price for each book but that’s kind of ridiculous isn’t it?

The whole thing makes me sad.

In the end my loyalty has to go to my Friendly Local Game Store. Will I continue to run my campaign in the World of Darkness? I imagine so, for a while at least. After all, we did buy the books and it is fun. Will I continue to write one-off modules to run at game conventions in the World of Darkness? Not so much. Part of why I run one shot adventures is to support my FLGS. What that store has given me goes beyond the books and dice and GM screens and assorted gaming paraphernalia that I’ve purchased there. That store introduced me to some great people, has provided me with countless hours of fun, and I’ve walked out the door after each session with great stories to tell. If I can help to bring a new customer through the door that’s my way of paying for all those priceless, intangible things the store has given me free of charge. So I’ll be looking for a new game system for my one-shot adventures, and I know just where I’ll find it: on the shelves at my Friendly Local Game Store.

Mages Make Me Cry


How Much XP Do I Get For This?

So, I moved. Or rather, I’m moving. Most of my stuff is actually in my new place now (snow and train derailments have slowed this process considerably) and unpacking is happening little by little. It’s actually a bit frustrating since I only just packed the stuff a couple of days ago (at most 2 weeks) and already it’s coming out of the boxes I paid way too much money for.

Where’s a Portal gun when I need one?

Or a Portal spell?

Rotten Mastigos Mages are never around when you need them.

Perhaps the most… interesting… part of the move was my black couch. It’s a black leather two-seater (so technically a love-seat I suppose) with absolutely no handholds. getting it DOWN the flight of stairs from my old apartment wasn’t too terrible. Getting it into the doorway of my new place (also a second floor) went likewise reasonably smoothly. Getting it up the stairs… now that was a challenge!

At first we went for the Strength+Resolve approach of trying to shove it up the staircase. This worked well for some other items, but the black leather plushy comfortableness of the sofa was not having any of that. It snagged against the edges of the steps mercilessly and almost killed two people! (Tricksy Sofa!)

Fortunately I have a couple of dots in Science, and no shortage of Wits, and blew a Willpower Point to come up with a plan. Knowing that I had previously broken down two of my bookcases, and knowing that those bookcase parts were in my new place, I MacGyvered the side boards of said bookcases into a ramp that was narrow enough to get your feet on the stairs to either side of it. We then slid that bad boy up the staircase with minimal expletives being harmed.

of course, then there are all the boxes of RPG books (and other books) that had to make their way up the stairs.

RPG books get heavy real fast.

So, it’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I know I’ve owed you some World of Darkness related blog posting – and this is a pretty weak example of that but I’ve been crazy busy taking apart and rebuilding furniture. At least the computer is mostly assembled again. And the coffee machine… coffee is soooo goooooood.

Now I have an adventure to plan for Ravencon this weekend at Ravenblood Games! I’m trying to decide between running “Your Safety is Our Number One Concern” and “Quit While You’re Ahead“. Both are Hunter adventures (the system I’m signed up to run), and I was smart enough to mark the box the modules were packed in. WHEW! I may wind up bringing both and letting the players decide when I get there.

Now if you’ll excuse me I should probably try to find my Hunter book and the GM screen I assembled with my cheat notes for both of those modules. They’re in a box… how hard could it possibly be to find one of those around here?

Mages Make Me Cry

Elf Needs Coffee… Badly

I have spent crazy hours moving all my stuff, and now I need to rebuild a bunch of furniture. 

But it’s worth it.

Sorry no post this week. Hopefully I’ll have things up and running again by next week.


I Have A Lot Of Crap!

I had been planning on moving 6 months or so from now.

Instead I’m moving on Saturday. THIS Saturday. You know… the day after this posts.

I blame the Acanthus. 😉

Seriously though it’s a nicer apartment and I’m psyched, but packing boxes as fast as I can means no time for a post this week. Sorry guys!

Wish me luck!

Mages Make Me Cry

Consilium 101: Narsil and Glamdring

So the Mages manage to rescue Aenaiyah’s sister from the Fae Wild, and they return Sara to her family of Seers. Everybody wins!

Everybody except Narsil that is. He’s still under oath to the Seers, which isn’t exactly the way he wanted things.

Narsil has family members too, you see. He has a mother and a younger sister, his father having passed away some years ago. Narsil’s family was not well off. They got by, don’t get me wrong, but college isn’t cheap and his sister isn’t THAT much younger than he is. Narsil decided to sign up to be a reservist in order to supplement the scholarship awards he won by being a really smart kid in order to study linguistics with a minor in archaeology. He earned his Masters, and then September 11th happened.

Narsil was called into active duty, and wound up serving with army intelligence deciphering coded transmissions. He was very, very good at his job, and finding that he enjoyed it he earned a position with Special Forces. He was not Awakened at that time.

Enter Glamdring:

Glamdring is also with Special Forces. She can kick ass and chew bubblegum without needing to wait until the bubblegum runs out. She is a helicopter pilot and uses her Shadow Name as her call sign. On a trip up into the mountains of Afghanistan one of the soldiers asks what the hell kind of name Glamdring is, earning himself a look of imminent death from the no nonsense red-head in the pilot seat. At this point a certain linguistics expert being brought up the mountain on that very flight points out that it is probably not a good idea to antagonize anyone who chooses to go by the call sign “The Foe Hammer”.

Glamdring had Awakened many years earlier, and not seeing any indications that this man was Awakened (though knowing that she was masking such signs for herself) she simply went back to the controls without killing anyone that day.

The two got along well while they were stationed together, though not knowing much about him or having any way to find out more Glamdring kept a certain distance. She suspected that he was not Awakened because he spoke openly about his relatives back home, but for all she knew he was making it all up. For her part she kept mostly to herself until several months later. Narsil (though he wasn’t using that name at the time) was arguing that they needed to move because somehow or other they had been compromised. It wasn’t what was being said in the messages he intercepted, it was in what wasn’t being said. The chatter had changed in tone, and it felt like they knew that they were being listened to. The man in charge laughed right in his face until the bombs started falling on them. Maybe it was simply luck, maybe it was Fate, maybe it was Glamdring’s Thyrsus abilities to pump up her strength and agility… or some combination of these things… but Glamdring managed to shove her favorite linguistics expert into a supply cave before it was blasted shut. On the one hand, it sucked because they were sealed in and Space Magic had never been Glamdring’s strong suit. On the other hand they had plenty of supplies and she could deal with the air situation without the non-Mage being any the wiser. Hopefully someone from the Arrow would catch wind of what had happened and figure out how to get them both out of there covertly eventually.

Fortunately they didn’t have to wait for that. At some point (hours…? days…?) Narsil Awakened a Mastigos. Mastigos Awakenings tend to be unpleasant, and considering what had just happened to everyone that the group had been stationed with Narsil’s Awakening was no exception* but it did give him access to the Space Arcana. It also gave him access to Glamdring’s memories of a Space ArchMaster’s attempts to teach her to use Portal spells.

These attempts were most certainly not a triumph. There was no success.

There was, however, enough of those lessons buried in her memories for Narsil to figure out how to get them both somewhere safe though. This is how Narsil came to join the Consillium as an Adamantine Arrow. He chose his military nickname as his Shadow Name: Strider.

Strider was an apt pupil, and quickly made a name for himself in the Arrow. He was the ideal person to send along as a bodyguard for Mysterium Mages on relic hunts because he could not only handle the physical demands of the job, he could also decipher languages and knew a bit about archaeology as well. Strider, Glamdring, and a Mystagogue called Reenie made quite the name for themselves besting the Seers to relic after relic, which you might bet would make the Seers quite mad at them. You would win that bet.

A Seer Operative named Morgan who had ties to the military (and the FBI, and various other groups under a variety of names and appearances) figured out who he was. He arranged for Strider’s younger sister to be kidnapped, and then pushed the Guardian’s claim on him. After all, as a member of an intelligence agency the Guardians should have had the Right of First Refusal as per various treaties that kept the Consillium Orders working together instead of at odds. Morgan pointed out what a pity would be if some accident were to befall this poor, innocent young girl. What was Strider to do? The threat was only implied, but clear. He reluctantly joined the Guardians, and in return his sister was given a cushy job in the offices of a medical research facility. It was at this time that he took the name Narsil: the sword that was broken.

The Seers, or rather The Guardians, had been under the impression that they had broken up a swearing in ceremony. They had  thought that he was not yet a fully pledged member of the Arrow. (The Arrow do love their pomp and circumstance!)  That’s because they didn’t catch sight of what Glamdring was wearing. Morgan didn’t see her because he was talking to Narsil and it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding.

So how do you think Glamdring reacted when she was casually informed by one of the Mages that they told the Seers that they knew that Narsil was compromised and that the Guardians were really the Seers in stealth mode? Do you think she was pleased to find out that this secret knowledge, which they had been using to turn Narsil into a (willing but by necessity unknowing) triple agent was now formerly secret?  Did she leap for joy at the thought that The Seers could now use his sister as leverage to force him to take overt action against the Consilium since the jig was up anyway?

That’s OK though. I mean, Narsil seems like a nice enough guy and all, but if we have to kill him so be it.

Mages Make Me Cry

*If you’re all very good I’ll post Narsil’s Awakening here next week.

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