Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review - Mystic Pangolin #1 - Fantastic First Issue

Review - Mystic Pangolin #1 - Fantastic First Issue

I don't know why but when I first read about this zine I had a good feeling about it. This is a real homerun of a first issue. It has a combination of useful tables and articles with, on my first read thru, looks like a nice little low level adventure.

Mystic Pangolin ranks up there with the Tim Short's 'The Manor' but actually surpasses it in size and more than doubles it with the inclusion of the 24 page zine adventure 'The Reliquary of Thazar Zul'.

A first glance through and the articles and tables were eye-catching. Each articles is extremely well presented and contains useful guides for any DM (useful for any system).

Casks and Barrels - Terminology and Definitions, be it Puncehon, Rundlet, Kilderkin, Pottle or Shook (there are a dozen different types defined) these were all new to me and should spice up room descriptions and get player's asking , "What the hell is a Kilderkin and how much XP do we get from killing it!"

Then there is a wonderful lexicon of Hobo signs to spice up a city adventure (4 pages of signs and definitions ). A great idea for an underdark adventure as well, where travellers leave various signs to warn of what may be lurking down the foreboding passages and caverns beneath the earth.

Next is a well illustrated article (with photographs) about manuscripts and scrolls including 2 pages of random tables covering types of manuscripts, their medium from clay, wax, bamboo and several materials I was unaware of to vellum.

Finally there is a write-up of a small coastal community with as small map (I love maps). A quick-read shows a nice amount of relevant detail that I can steal for my own campaign (and I was just working on a nice little Viking adventure where they sack a small Saxon village, very handy).

And Finally, Finally, there is the 24 page adventure that says pull out but is actually a nice stapled zine sized book in itself (I went for the A3 map as well. I'm not sure if it is in every copy though the center of the adventure contains a detailed DM's dungeon map).

The Reliquary of Thazar Zul looks to be (I haven't run it yet) a nice low level adventure (characters level 2-4 Swords&Wizardry, but easily converted to 1eAD&D, my game system of choice).  I see new monsters, a new magic item, challenges, rewards, twists and turns, and a nice looking map.

This is a hell of a first issue and I look forward to issue #2.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Noise That Seemed Afraid Of Silence

A Noise That Seemed Afraid Of Silence

Beyond the coasts of Sange is an island in the Sea of Twilight. The sea itself is a place of beauty and terror, but the island, which has no name, is a place of ending. When the people of Sange weary of all things they seek this island for there is no true ending in Sange only life followed by life.

The Sea of Twilight can only be sailed by Death and finding Death in Sange is a hard thing. To kill a man or a woman, an animal or thing is possible but death lasts only an instant and the spirit of those of Sange who are killed flies free like a gleam of silver moonlight before it is gone to find life again.

The spirit of the dead must be caught in a cage of mirrors baited with a dream; A dream of power, of love, anger, tears, betrayal, revenge or remorse. The cage is capped with the frozen eye of a mage and the breath of despair. Then the body of the dead will be at the command of the holder of the cage and the journey to the island can begin.

There is a fear that has come to Sange. Dreams have become nightmares and the land, though always hard and often cruel, has lost the wonder, pleasure and enchantment that made unending life a joy instead of a wearisome burden or horrific punishment. The soothsayers, the oracles and the prophets speak of the island on the Sea of Twilight and say that only there can the answer to this curse be found.

Someone or some group of someones must make this journey, find Death to sail the ship, cross the Sea of Twilight and walk upon the island from which no one has returned. Great dreamers are called to this quest from all of Sange, dreamers brave and strong, of the mind and arm, heart and spirit before the darkness which has settled upon the land has ended every song, silenced every voice, broken the spirits of those who have lived a thousand lives and made Sange into a prison of nightmare and torment.