Pseudodragon - August 2020
Battlecry Liason Officer
Sarah Albom and Harry Unsworth
This has certainly been an eventful year. Every month, it feels like we get a new, strange problem to tick off of the bingo sheet. Luckily, our little country at the end of the world seems to have done quite well. It’s a team effort; thanks to all of you, we came out the other side very quickly and with very few Covid-19 cases.
On the presidential side of things, it’s been good to see how our club has handled everything. Our shiny new discord channel was able to host several campaigns over lockdown. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say how much nicer it is to be playing games in person again, but the ability to catch up with players every week while social distancing helped me retain my sanity. And now that we are in person again, we’ve been able to host some successful One-Shot Tuesdays and our America’s Cup convention. If you’re wondering what to do, don’t forget about Tuesday roleplaying and Wednesday board games night. They both happen at Commerce A, 6:30pm start.
This edition is a mix of fun material from our creative members. From octopuses to distant galaxies, we have a mild focus on creating game material.
– Sarah Albom
Roles of the Officers
Positions in the Auckland Roleplaying Guild
Roles of the Officers
Positions in the Auckland Roleplaying Guild
The role of the President is to:
a. ensure that this Constitution and the bylaws and regulations are followed,
b. convene Meetings and establish whether or not a quorum is present,
c. chair Meetings of the Club and the Committee, deciding who may speak and when,
d. oversee the operation of the Club,
e. organise sponsorship for the Club,
f. provide a report on the operations of the Club at each Annual General Meeting.
The role of the Secretary is to:
a. record the minutes of Club Meetings and Committee Meetings,
b. keep and maintain the Register of Members, and the Constitution, Bylaws and Regulations of the Club,
c. keep and maintain records of:
· any terms and conditions of affiliation imposed on the Club from time to time by the University,
· any waiver by the University of any terms and conditions of affiliation that would ordinarily be imposed on the Club by the University, and make such records available to Members on request,
d. hold the Club’s records, documents and books, except those required for the Treasurer’s function,
e. make the Club’s records, documents and books available to Members, and to such organs and officers of the University as the University may from time to time require,
f. provide such notice to the University of acts, omissions and decisions of the Club as the University may require,
g. receive and reply to correspondence as required by the Committee,
h. arrange bookings of venues for Club events, including but not limited to regular game nights,
i. organise storage for such of the Club’s fixed assets as are not in the custody of the Librarian,
j. forward the annual financial statements for the Club to the University upon their approval by the Members at an Annual General Meeting,
k. advise the University of any changes to the Constitution.
The role of the Treasurer is to:
a. keep proper accounting records of the Club’s financial transactions to allow the Club’s financial position to be readily ascertained,
b. make such records available for inspection to Members,
c. keep and maintain the Club’s fixed asset register,
d. prepare annual financial statements, in accordance with the Club’s accounting policies, for presentation at each Annual General Meeting,
e. provide a financial report at each Annual General Meeting,
f. provide such financial information to the Committee as the Committee may require.
The role of the Vice President is to:
a. convene and chair meetings of the Club and the Committee, and carry out the President’s other duties, during the absence or incapacity of the President,
b. notify Members of Club Meetings and other Club events as directed by the Committee.
The role of the Tournaments Officer is to organise, arrange sponsorship for, advertise and run the Club’s gaming and role-playing conventions, and to ensure that Members are given the opportunity to attend and participate in such conventions.
The role of the Board Games Officer is to ensure that regular Club activities are scheduled and held for the purposes of playing board games, card games and other games of a like nature, and that Members are given the opportunity to participate in such activities.
The role of the LARP Officer is to:
a. ensure that regular Club activities are scheduled and held for the purposes of playing live-action role playing games (“LARPs”), and that Members are given the opportunity to participate in such activities,
b. where reasonably practicable, ensure that the Club holds at least one such LARP within the first month of each academic year of the University.
The role of the Magazine Editor is to:
a. solicit, select and edit content for the Club magazine, which shall be known as “Pseudodragon” until the Committee decides otherwise;
b. release issues of the said Club magazine at least once annually (in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting) and more often if input allows,
c. arrange sponsorship of the magazine and advertising therein.
Officer Outside the Committee
The role of the Librarian is to:
a. organise storage for the books and games of the Club, and for such other Club Assets as the Committee may from time to time direct;
b. assist the Treasurer in maintaining the Club’s fixed asset register;
c. lend books, games and other Club Assets to Members on such terms and conditions, subject to decisions of the Club or the Committee, as he or she shall think fit.
The role of the Marketing officer is to maintain the club website, email list, social media pages and other similar electronic resources as directed by the Committee.
The role of the BattleCry Liaison is to represent the Club to BattleCry Incorporated and to protect the Club’s interests in respect of the BattleCry convention and the “BattleCry” brand.
NPCs can be a great way to break up a campaign, allowing a break from the main direction, or help and hinder the players to succeed in their goal. If you ever need a new NPC, one that lurks in the caves of a seaside town, a horrid witch feared by the local towns, I might have you covered. Meet Doug.
Doug is a simple man. Born and raised in the nearby fishing village, he quickly found he wasn’t good enough. His weak bones meant he couldn’t hold up in the forges or on the boats, nor nimble enough to repair the fishing nets. All this led him to “work” under the town elder, a woman whose eyes sparkled with magic. Doug wanted to follow in the elder’s footsteps, to bless the town with good harvests and strike fear in the heart of all ill-willed. There was just one problem.
Doug couldn’t use magic.
Don’t get me wrong, he tried everything. Learning from the books, willing for magic deep within, but even the gods seemed to take no interest. He approached the local druids and prayed to Gaia, trying to get his hands on even a glimpse of magic. They all said no. Thankfully, Doug knew of another option, orbs of utter blackness that whispered ominously in the ears of anyone that approached. He pulled some favours and hired the right people to get his hands on it. Though a massive contraption (and mood lighting from a passing storm) he managed to syphon this energy and bind it to himself. Suddenly he was stronger, smarter and quicker. He could now cast magic! There was just one problem.
The spell went wild.
Now Doug, partially polymorphed into an octopus and shunned by the town, lives a quiet cave down by the beach. Your party could find him building other contraptions or asking them for help to find one of these strange orbs. No matter what, visitors who dare enter his house will be met with a cup of tea and many tales of previous adventures.
Author: Nathan Miller
COLONY: Terra Nova 2300AD
Science Fiction World-Building
In the last issue of the Pseudodragon, I wrote very general guidelines about science fiction world-building. This time, my intention is to take the reader step-by-step through the process as I construct my own world. This particular project is for a future game, wherein the players are part of the new colonisation effort. In this issue, I will focus on the planet and its home system.
Nuts and bolts:
First step: pick a star. For entirely personal reasons, I chose a K2 V star that is about 27 light years away from Earth. A quick(ish) Google search turned up the following information that I would need for the system generation I prefer to use (in this case, 2300 AD):
Stellar mass: 0.791 sol
Temperature: 4,900 K
From these numbers, I can calculate the life zone of the star using the charts in the director’s guide. The formula is 𝐷=,-𝑘 𝑥 𝐿., where K is a constant (Inner zone k= 0.72, optimum zone k= 1.0, and outer zone k= 1.45), and L = stellar luminosity, in this case 0.74. The results were inner = 0.72, optimum = 0.74, and outer = 1.073, reading off of the table (GDW: 1988). For the respective zones, this gave me the distances of inner 0.68 Au, optimum 0.83 Au, and outer 1.20 Au (Au = astronomic units).
This sets the parameters for where to place our habitable world, and will also affect overall climate factors and hydrographic details as we proceed. We also note from the charts that this system has no untenable orbits where stellar temperature would otherwise vaporise any planetary bodies (GDW: 1988).
At this stage, we now rely on the random rolls for the number of planets in the system. For a K2V that’s 2D6, and I rolled average with 7 (GDW: 1988). This means 7 potential planets; there is the possibility that there could be fewer. First, roll for initial orbit. Mine turned out to be 0.2, and the second result is 0.7 au so we have a planet there. I repeated this process until I either filled all 7 planets positions or generated 2 empty orbits in a row. The results were as follows:
1. 0.4 Au
2. 0.72 Au (our world here)
3. 0.956 Au
4. 1.532 Au
5. 2.911 Au
Our rolls did not bring up a planet around the 0.83 Au mark. We do have a 0.7 Au (or 104718509.7 km), which is in the inner life zone near the sun, so we will situate our world here instead.
Normally, I would define all five planets at once, but for this article we are only interested in one, so we will now focus on the world itself and leave the rest for later.
To quickly recap, in the last article we suggested the world was Earth-like, with one moon and a ring system. In the Mega-Traveller system an Earth-like planet is categorised as having a size of 7 (DGP: 1989), hence we will use this number for the upcoming calculations that determine the planet’s physical properties.
Planetary diameter: (2D6-7 x100) + (7×1000) x 1.6. I rolled a 10 on 2D6, -7 = 3, and so 300 +7000 = 7300 Km, we can finesse this a bit by rolling d100 and adding the result (+42); thus, our world’s diameter is 7342 x 1.6 = 11747.2 km (DGP: 1989).
We already stated our world is Earth-like, meaning it has a molten core, so we do not need to roll for this characteristic. Density is determined by rolling 3D6 and consulting the chart in the world builder’s handbook. I rolled 6 total, giving me a density of 0.88 of that of earth or 4.84 grams per cubic cm. That’s close enough that I don’t have to fudge the result. Now that we have the density, we can calculate planetary mass and gravity.
Mass = ,M=Kx,R/8.-3., where K is density and R is 7, our result is 0.59 Mass (DGP: 1989).
Gravity = G=M x (64/,R-2.), where M is mass and R is 7, our result is 0.77 g. This sets our world in the top end of low gravity worlds, rather than having an Earth normal gravity; this will create complications for our settlers (DGP: 1989).
Orbital period = P= ,-,D-3../M, where P is the time in Earth years, D is distance in Au’s and M is the stellar mass of the sun. Our result is 0.659 standard earth years, or 240.699 standard Earth days (DGP: 1989).
Rotation period = P=,2D6−2 x4.+M/D, where P is the rotation in hours, M is the stellar mass of the sun, and D is the distance in Au. The Dice roll was 7-2= 5, so our result is 21.13 standard hours (DGP: 1989).
Checking the Director’s guide for satellite positions, we find the ring is orbiting at 5 planetary diameters (58736 km) from our world, and its single solid moon is at 20 planetary diameters (234944 km) from our world. We will detail this moon later (GDW: 1988).
Now that we have got the crunchy maths out of the way, we can tally up just how the world is coming into shape. It is an Earth-like planet, with lower gravity, slightly less density than Earth, a short year, and a day almost as long as a normal Earth day. It’s close to the size of Earth and has an active core like Earth.
Already, we can see challenges for the players emerging. The lower gravity will take time for them to adapt to, and the shorter day will interfere with circadian rhythms, resulting in potential mental pressures. So it will be a tough world to colonise, but not so tough that the next generation will not adapt to it.
Also, recall in the previous article that the ring system was formed as a result of another moon being pulverised in prehistory. So, we know that falling rocks may also be a danger. Not to mention, the DM can choose to make the lost moon’s destruction a campaign hook.
As of yet the world is not fully formed; it’s still a rocky sphere surrounded by its ring system and orbited by its moon, but we now know how long it takes for it to orbit its sun, how long its day is, and that settlers will have some physical issues to overcome due to gravity and time scales.
Next time, we will focus on creating the essential elements for life, atmosphere, water systems, and perhaps find more challenges and mysteries for the players to resolve.
(DGP: 1989), “Megatraveller. World Builders Handbook” pp 54-70.
(GDW: 1988), “2300AD Directors guide” pp 84-94.
Author: David Harrop
Better known as ‘The Observatory’
This set of maps was originally created for a custom science fantasy-esque 5e DnD campaign. Outpost Ankotio was originally operated by an advanced amphibious race who abandoned it long ago for unknown reasons. As it was designed for an amphibious race in mind, there are parts of the area that have been sealed off by ice from the water being slowly frozen over by time and neglect, or have still operational naturally water submerged facilities. Most of the accessible areas are formerly iced-up areas that were cleared away by ravenous rust beetles (weakened rust monsters that can spit and eat magic items to pose some threat to already high level characters) eager to get into the abandoned tech inside. There is no natural light here in this underground subterranean space. Torches are recommended.
It’s also called the Observatory because it had a huge telescope used to observe a developing planet back when it was still operational. In my game, the players’ objective was to explore and survey this ancient outpost, and root out any unsavoury denizens that may have taken root. In this case, it was mostly a rust beetle infestation since the mission this was designed for was a breather episode for Level 8-10 characters.
The Outpost can be transplanted and customized to your game if you need some sort of observatory or shopping mall area. Below is a small map sample, but the whole design can be found online by requesting access to the following Google Drive link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17ahRldK1oJ-_TGsMQnsC7UTDXMjTuDwb?usp=sharing
Ray was a resident of the spirit realm, who travelled to the Material Plane to regain his fading magic. To do so, he journeyed with an adventuring party, making magical pacts with those who he helped. His appearance started off as a 6-year-old, but each pact he made increased his age.
Chanel is a fire genasi barbarian from a huge family of fighting champions. A little eccentric, she has a lot of personality. While she can be hot-headed at times (hence the flaming high ponytail), she’s ALWAYS the life of the party. You never know what she’ll do next.
Author: Jaimieann Tulloch & Sean Vartiainen
The Giantslayer Axe
How Our Quest for a Legendary Weapon Turned Us into Wanted Criminals
It begins after a battle outside the town of Triboar, where an army of orcs, elementals, and giants decided to assault the town for no apparent reason. Nonetheless, we were able to save the day, and impressed the locals with our heroics. One of them hinted to us that there was a Legendary Weapon, known as the Giantslayer Axe, which could be very helpful against the Giant Menace that had been plaguing the land as of late.
As an overview – in our little D&D party, there was I, the Draconic Sorcerer and Acolyte of Bahamut, a Gnome Criminal Wizard, a Dwarf Paladin, and a Human Barbarian, all around level 7. Both the Dwarf and Paladin became very excited at the prospect of getting their hands on a powerful weapon, and so we accepted the quest.
After making a few stops along the way, we finally made it to Zymorven Hall. Allegedly, the son of the local lord there might have more information on how to acquire the weapon. Unfortunately, the lord’s son was nowhere to be found, and the lord informed us that he had disowned his son, who apparently had committed some kind of crime in the town of Yartar. Oh well! So off we went, to the Town of Yartar. Luckily, we also had befriended a couple of wizards who ran a local teleportation network, making fast transportation a breeze.
Arriving at Yartar, we found that the town was run by a Waterbaron and his guards, the latter of which we were told had a corrupt reputation. Initially, we tried contacting the Waterbaron herself. Our first stop was an administration building, where a desk clerk was organizing the Waterbaron’s schedule. No matter how much we tried to talk to the clerk, he wouldn’t let us see the Waterbaron. That said, I had recently learned the Suggestion spell, which could allow me to influence the clerk to get my way, and I was itching to try it out.
“I suggest you let us see the Waterbaron at once. This is important,” I said. The clerk immediately gave me a dark look, called the guards, and informed me that trying to influence a public official with magic is against the law. Ouch! I was carted off to a jail cell in the Waterbaron’s dungeon. Meanwhile, all of the players around the table were laughing heartily at my misfortune. The party continued on without me, for now…
The party proceeded by talking to the guards. They confirmed that they had arrested the lord’s son, and had confiscated all of his personal possessions. They refused to let us have a closer look at the items, and eventually became suspicious to a point that the party was asked to leave. Not long after, they wandered the streets and came across a squad of guards harassing the locals. The guard leader, a big fellow, was carrying a Great Axe with strange runes on it. The party, not having any of the guards’ behaviour, attacked and killed them all.
Unfortunately, they ended up not only with their clothes and armor covered in blood, but also being witnessed by some bystanders. The party then made the sensible decision to leg it out of there. Covered in blood and gore, they escaped to the wizard operating the Yartar teleportation circle, and SOMEHOW managed to convince him to get them out of there before they could get arrested.
Meanwhile, I was in the Waterbaron’s dungeon. My cell, a 10 foot x 10 foot space made of stone, had filth everywhere, and a bucket in the corner for private business. I also noticed a small window with iron bars, leading to the outside. I realized I could easily escape this dungeon by either using Misty Step or Polymorph. However, I was a Lawful Good character and a believer in due process, so I decided to stay.
I also had a cellmate. A male, in dirty clothes, with an unkempt beard and a scowl on his face. We introduced ourselves, and told each other what crime we had committed. “I charmed a public official. What about you?”, I said. The prisoner laughed hollowly. “I came here after my father disowned me. I used to be the heir of Zymorven Hall. But that was before I ran off with that b****. I felt good killing her. And now I will hang. Pfft, good riddance. This place is horrible anyway.”
It would seem that I had found the lord’s son after all. However, he didn’t have the Axe on him, and when I asked about it, he confirmed that the guards had taken it from him. Just then, a guard had arrived with a bowl of some brown, unappealing sludge. “Are you going to eat that gruel?” the son asked. I gave the food Bahamut’s blessing, and let him have it while I sat and prayed to my god.
And so, the next day came. I was let out of my cell and told to accompany the guard to the magistrate. I turned towards my cellmate, telling him, “May Bahamut give you the mercy and justice that you deserve.” But the lord’s son only stared at the wall, lost in his thoughts.
Thus, I arrived at the Court of Yartar. I was told about the accusations against me – I had charmed a public official – and would thus have to face punishment. Using my high charisma, I was able to convince the magistrate that it was all an accident because I didn’t have full control of my powers yet, and that I was very sorry for causing harm to the people. Luckily, the court was swayed, and I was ordered to pay a modest fine of 64 gold pieces. I was also told never to set foot in Yartar ever again. I thanked the court for their lenience, and walked out, only to find that my friends were nowhere to be found. Eventually, I asked the teleportation wizard, who confirmed that they had all been sent to Silverymoon, and so I followed, and eventually caught up with my friends. They told me about how they had fought a bunch of corrupt Guards, one of them carrying a Great Axe with strange runes on it…
At this point, realization dawned, as it became apparent that the weapon we had been seeking all this time had been right under our nose, and that we had left it behind as we were all trying to get away from this horrible town.
All in all, we had embarked on a quest to find a Legendary Weapon, only for me to return 64 gold poorer, with a sentence of banishment, and the rest of my party being wanted murderers. A session well spent!
Author: Martin Lundqvist
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