Monday, June 30, 2014

New Monster: Crested Worm

The young kobolds arrayed themselves around the field, each pair standing next to a hole as big around as their thighs. *Ready?* Krik asked her clutch, who flicked their tails in acknowledgement. As one, they dumped their buckets of excrement into the holes, then held the empty buckets over the holds.

Each yipped out a short note once the buckets were down. *Be ready* Krik cautioned a moment before the buckets began to slam beneath them. *When you feel it in the bucket, flip and cover it!*

The kobolds holding the lids each stood ready, and one by one, their companions tipped the buckets quickly over, and the lids were slammed down. One of the lids didn’t come down fast enough and the bright flash of green, orange, and red told Krik that at least one of her clutch wouldn’t survive the night.

Crested Worms
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 1+1* to 2+1*
Move: 90’ (30’)
Attacks: See below
Damage: 1d4 + poison
No. Appearing: 1d12 (1d12)
Save As: F1
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: Nil
Intelligence: 2
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 19 to 35

Crested Worms aren’t actually worms at all, but are a cross between a snake and a millipede, with thin black striped jade green scales, a bright orange crest atop its fanged head, and red jowl-like poison sacks hanging down below its mouth, and seemingly hundreds of tiny legs along the bottom 80% of their length. They range in size from 4’-8’ long.

Crested worm venom is highly corrosive, and is used to allow them to burrow through the ground, creating massive warrens, even in stone. They can spit their venom up to 15’ away, taking a -2 to hit at 10’ and a -4 at 15’. Anyone struck by the venom will take 1d3 points of damage, and must make a saving throw vs dragons breath. Failure means the venom will continue to burn for 1d3 damage for 1d6 additional rounds, and any armor worn will be reduced in effectiveness by 1 point for every round the venom burns.

Nothing like waiting till the last day to do my entry into June's RPG Blog Carnival "What's in the hole?" hosted by Moebius Adventures

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Charm City Game Day is 7/19!

Attention Greater Baltimore Gamers!

The semi-annual Charm City Game day is scheduled for July 19th at Games and Stuff in Glen Burnie. There are morning and afternoon games being played... 14 in total! And you'll find everything from Traveller to DCC to Star Wars to Fate to Dungeon World... I've had a blast every time I've gone, and I'll be running a morning DCC session: +Daniel Bishop's Prince Charming. Reanimator.

Signups are open today! I hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ancient Sagas of Everlance: 6/15+6/22

From the Journal of Brother Caswyn:

Thunderday 15th Arist, 1096 md. Continued

When Gloriana is in your heart and your sword hand, the purity of battle can cleanse the earth of the foulest corruption.

Our exploration of this dwarven temple revealed some amazing discoveries, including some fabulous treasure… guarded by a black wyrm! Truly though, calling it anything more than a hatchling would be a stretch, and our coordinated efforts managed to slay it before it could land a solid blow. Blessings to Gloriana for giving me first blood on the foul beast. The existence of a black dragon with the kobolds does make me wonder at their dark desire to take the egg of Galversharn.

We also discovered Idhrenwen, along with two captured goblins that our guide was on the lookout for. We kept our word, and released them back to their tribe.

Further into the temple we found the sanctuary itself, and two kobold sorcerers performing a dark ritual that involved the egg, and a hammer. The panic that seized my heart when the foul sorcerer picked up the hammer… I flew at them across the room while my companions shot at them with their crossbows. Gloriana’s blessing was surely upon us, for the sorcerer with the hammer tried to go through me to get to the egg, and slipped on some of the spilled blood, falling to the floor! The battle was fast, and we managed to save the egg, though we did have to wash it clean of the blood that had been poured on it.

Further exploration of the dwarven temple revealed more treasure, a magical sword, and an undead giant snake. The necromatic energy that animated the snake was swiftly beaten out of the dead body.

We’ve opted to carefully pack the egg, and depart in the morning to return it. Thankfully Idhrenwen knows where the wyrm lairs, so we don’t have to protect the egg longer than absolutely necessary. She says the journey will take 2-3 days. While I want to be return the egg as quickly as possible, it needs to be intact.

Firesday 16th Arist, 1096 md.

The beauty of the sunrise is Gloriana’s call to arms. Whether you go to plow a field, or reap on a battlefield, do it with the strength of the light in your heart.

We struck out early, taking what Idhrenwen called the safer path. The day was blessedly uneventful, save for the occasional verbal sniping between our dark elf paladin Dobh, and Idhrenwen.

Swordsday, 17th Arist, 1096 md.

Keep your arm strong, and your heart stronger, so when you go to battle Gloriana can keep you from the darkness.

Idhrenwen opted not to kill the bear that was ahead of us on the path, instead shooing it off. Not necessarily the choice I’d have made, since a bear skin cloak would be wonderfully warm, and bear steaks for dinner would have been a bit more palatable than my rations.

The path continues to be clear, and otherwise uneventful. Dobh and Idhrenwen have settled into an uncomfortable silence.

Saintsday, 18th Arist, 1096 md.

Gloriana wields a sword in one hand, and a shield in the other. In the same way, you should find balance in your life.

Dragons… are stunning and awful to behold. We returned the egg, and quickly departed. The paths stretch out before us… Which to take? We should return to Caer Brennau first to let them know of our success to ease their minds and hearts... and, I must admit, to satisfy my own prideful desires to be hailed as heroes.

Perhaps after we should return to deal with the goblins now that our truce with them is passed? I will have to pray on it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Free RPG Day Actual Play: Prince Charming, Reanimator

I arrived to Titan Games & Hobbies bright and early… a little too early it turned out. It was scheduled to be a busy day, starting with a small Warhammer Fantasy tournament, Free RPG Day events, and a magic tournament, plus the usual open gaming and hobby activities. I claimed a nice big table in the middle of the store to run DCC, and then spent a while watching the Warhammer games.

Around 1pm I had enough players to sit down and start playing. My table consisted of 2 guys who were pretty familiar with D&D, though neither had played DCC, and a mother and her younger son (8? maybe 10?). I dropped the pile of level 0s on the table, and let them pick their 4 to play. I went over the basics of DCC, and then jumped right into the adventure.

***Warning: Spoilers for FT0***

One weird thing - no one else brought dice! I don’t go anywhere without at least one set (I keep a spare set in the car… you never know). Luckily I brought my dice bin, and shared out some d20s, d6s, and d4s for everyone to use.

I ran Daniel Bishop’s FT0 Prince Charming, Reanimator, and my players made some really smart and lucky choices, making it into the castle without any combat or damage. They encountered Dr. Chapman’s lab right away. As they searched around, the kid found a 3-headed imp in a bottle. I had it beg, plead, and lie trying to get them to free it. It offered a wish, promising that it was a lawful being bound by strict rules! I even did a funny impish voice for it. Try as I might, I couldn’t get them to open the jar…

Dr. Chapman did his thing, and the peasants were suitably impressed by him. I did decide to add to his titles a bit - “Doctor, Doctor, Magus, Court Wizard of Castle Sefton, Wizard of the 9th Circle, etc. etc.” He passed out the holy symbol, orb, and buckler.

From the tower the peasants made it into the castle’s courtyard. The tax collector decided he wanted to bring his pony into the castle, so tried to go through the gap in the wall. The other 15 peasants watched in horror as rose covered vines shot out wrapping the tax collector in their thorny embrace, draining him of all vitality, and dropping his dry brittle bones to the ground.

They opted to explore the stable, and found the tunnel to the kitchen. The drop-crawler freaked them out more, but missed it’s attacks. Pulling the terrified peasant from the tunnel, the drop-crawler chased after them, and was smashed repeatedly in the general head area by shovels. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief… until the second one crawled out of the hole! This one was also dispatched, and then the dwarven stone-worker went through the tunnel, and declared that the kitchen was both unsafe and empty of anything of value.

The peasants then decided that they’d go straight into the castle’s main keep. Seeing the poor condition of the great doors, they used their 10 foot pole to try to open it up. They succeeded, and as I described the door falling, I slammed my hand on the table, causing all of my players to jump. They very carefully entered the great hall, and one of the dwarves smashed skeletons as he went. The 5 ladies asleep at the table woke as the peasants entered, and distributed their gifts and words of wisdom. I’m not entirely sure they picked up on who the ladies were….

Climbing the stairs they found the pile of roses… that nearly caused a TPK! If it hadn’t been for a few lucky fumbles, criticals, and a flaming sword, things would have gone quickly south…

A judicious use of the golden orb pointed the peasants in the right direction to find Aurora.

The bottomless pit flummoxed them a bit, though they did manage to get a rope tied to the far door with an improvised grappling hook. The first character made it across ok, but the second fell… Eventually someone used the mirror of truth, and dispelled the illusion for the party. The same trick revealed the truth of the sleeping princess.

Deciding that they’d accomplished their mission, they bundled the sleeping princess up and rushed from the castle, retracing their original path. The prince was thrilled, until he wasn’t, at which point the party opted to follow the core tenant of the OSR - Oh Shit! Run!! I still described in gruesome detail what happened as they ran…

3/4 of my players hung around to level up their remaining characters, including the mother and son, and everyone who played (and a few who didn’t) said they were VERY interested in knowing if I was going to run something regularly.

All in all I thought the adventure went really well. I was disappointed that the players missed the hobyahs completely, and kind of glad that I avoided a TPK with the dragon. Especially since I had a younger player at the table. Didn't stop me from killing off a few of his level 0s... in fact everyone lost at least 2 characters, except the guy to the bottom left in the pic above... he didn't lose a single one! The guy to the bottom right lost 3, and his 4th was injured.

My favorite part of the adventure was playing the imp. I’m pretty sure I was *this close* to getting them to open the bottle. I'm hoping that when I run this at the next Charm City Game Day, they'll stick around for Aurora's awakening.

Aside from my game, I know someone ran some Kobolds ate My Baby but that was the only other RPG I saw getting played. The free stuff wasn’t even pulled out until my game wrapped up, but then that meant I got the pick of the litter, snagging the 3 things I really wanted: The DCC/XCrawl, LotFP, and C&C modules.

I was pleased to see just how busy the store was, I just wish a bit more was RPG related. However, given that it’s the closest store to my house, I’m strongly considering doing a DCC campaign there.

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Monster: Mudmaw (giant demon toad)

Armor Class: -1
Hit Dice: 12***
Move: 90’ (30’)
Leap: 240' (80')
Attacks: Tongue/kick*2/mud burst
Damage: 3d6 + special/2d8+knockback/1d10+1
No. Appearing: 1 (unique)
Save As: C24
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: H, I
Intelligence: 6
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 3875

Monster Type: Demonic Animal
The Mudmaw is a giant 6 legged toad demon covered in spikes, plates, and warty bumps. It is incredibly lazy and disinclined to move from the mudpits it creates around itself wherever it is found. The sticky sweet smell of rot permeates its lair, while the buzzing of the giant flies that are drawn to it both drowns out most sounds, and drives most humanoids to distraction (save vs spells or suffer -1 to AC and attack rolls).

In combat, the Mudmaw will use it’s barbed tongue to entrap its enemies, and try to swallow them. Anyone struck by the tongue must make a save vs dragons breath or be caught and unable to move or attack. The following round the mudmaw will pull the victim into its mouth, swallowing them. Anyone swallowed will take an automatic 3d6 points of damage every round until dead. If the tongue is attacked while holding someone and 12 points of damage are done to it, it will release it’s hold. This damage is not subtracted from the Mudmaw’s total. It will target the smallest and least armored foes first, since they’re easier to chew.

The Mudmaw can also cause the mud around it to boil explosively. Every round, the Mudmaw will pick a spot that will begin to bubble. The following round the mud will explode, causing 1d10 damage to everyone within 20’.

Anyone who closes in to attack the Mudmaw from behind, hoping to avoid the tongue will be kicked for 3d8 points of damage, and will be knocked back. The Mudmaw can kick twice every round.

As a demonic entity, the Mudmaw is immune to non-magical weapons, sleep, charm, and hold spells. It takes damage from holy water, and can be turned as a lich. Turned results will cause the Mudmaw to sink into the mud, and refrain from using its tongue attack for 1d6 rounds. It will still use the exploding mud effect, and anyone foolish enough to come within range will still be kicked. A Destroyed result will banish the demon back to the chaos it was formed from.

When the Mudmaw reaches half hitpoints 2d12+6 Mudskippers (larval Mudmaws) will emerge from the Mudmaw’s back, diving into the mudpit and attacking anything they can reach.

The Mudmaw’s treasure is all found within its gullet. Any potions and scrolls will have a 75% chance of having been ruined in the beasts gullet. If banished, the treasure goes with it!

Image from Unleaded Artists

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Inspirational Image: Beach Day

There's a chance I'll be at the beach today reading my Free RPG Day swag, so I wanted to pick something thematic for today.

This is 75-Ton Creature by VegasMike

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Free RPG Day

If you didn’t already know, today is both the first day of summer and also (more importantly) Free RPG Day!

I’ll be at Titan Games and Hobbies, set up to run DCC for anyone interested in playing, and I’ll have a nice little swag pack thanks to Goodman Games to share with my players.

One thing, if you do go and snag something, remember that it’s free for you, but it wasn’t free for the store. Support your FLGS, and buy something while you’re there. Maybe a new set of dice, or a mini. Maybe a new game?

Need to find a participating store? Click here!

Friday, June 20, 2014

DCC Podcasts: Spellburn & Iron Tavern

As I mentioned in my previous DCC post, I’ve (almost) completely burned through the DCC Spellburn podcast, and the DCC actual play podcast Iron Tavern. (A new episode of Spellburn was just released, and I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, and I’ve still got a couple of episodes of Iron Tavern to go yet.)

Spellburn is part of the Wild Games Productions/D20 Radio group, and follows the same basic format as it’s other shows, starting with what the podcasters have done in gaming, then hitting e-mail, and then getting into the meat of whatever topic they’re covering from the player’s perspective, then the DM’s perspective. As with the other D20 Radio shows, I think the breaks between the different sections takes just a little too long, and is a little too loud as compared to the rest of the show. This is a big deal for me, since I usually listen to podcasts using headphones. Having it suddenly get really loud just reminds me too much of those TV commercials that used to blast out at twice the volume of the show that it interrupted.

Aside from that relatively minor quibble, the content is really solid. The first set of episodes focuses on the core aspects of the DCC game, from basic rules to character classes (1 per episode!) to the spell system, to monsters. It’s basically DCC 101 over something like 12 hours as taught by two judges (DMs) and a player.
Spellburn starts out with a cast of 3 judges: +Jobe, +Jim, and +Jeffrey. Judge +Jen joined the band with episode 22. One of the nice aspects of this is that none of these guys are pros, and there are times they interpret rules differently, which leads to some really in-depth discussion including their at the table experiences.

In addition, their guests on the show have included notables in the DCC-verse as +Michael Curtis, +Harley Stroh, and +Daniel Bishop.

The Iron Tavern is the actual play podcast of one of the judges from Spellburn, Jeffrey Tadlock, and follows the adventures of his long running (since August 2012) DCC group. The podcast picks up with most of the group in the level 4-5 range, so drops you into the middle of the action without much background. Personally I kinda liked that. It was very Episode IV that way.

The players are nicely invested in both their characters and the game world in general, and shows very clearly how well DCC can work with long term campaigns. One of the things I didn’t expect was how the players seemed to really embrace the weird results. For example, in a later episode, the cleric continually failed to cast spells, and kept racking up disapproval from his god. In game, his character pointed out that his god didn’t approve of the groups course of action. This same player/character switched gods earlier in the game (pre-podcast) for what sounded like similar reasons.

If you’re at all interested in what DCC is all about, these two podcasts are a great place to start.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New Magic Item: Ring of Dark Desire

“What is it?”

Feris held the black band in his hand. “I’m not sure. It has some very minor binding magic, but beyond that I can’t tell.”

“I’ll take it” Nimble declared, palming the ring. He slipped it onto his finger, sparkle of diamond chips flashing in the light against the dark metal. “It isn’t cursed is it?”

Feris smiled. “Lucky for you, no.”

The streets sweltered with the stench of the unwashed, and no movement disturbed the stillness of the midday sun. The companions rested like nearly everyone else in the town in the stone basements that offered a shadowed hint of coolness.

“Feris, can’t you do something about this?” Nimble whined.

“I could… but I won’t.”

“Gods, why not? This is unbearable.”

Rathgar shifted slightly “Nimble? Stop adding to the hot air.”


“It’s too hot.” Rathgar grumbled as he shifted to his feet. “I’m going to get another pitcher of water.”

“I’d give anything for a cool rain right now…”

The companions shivered as the basement filled instantly with a cool drizzle. “Anything?” a voice hissed in Nimble’s head.

Ring of Dark Desire

This ring is crafted of a near black unknown metal set all around with small diamond chips that radiates a faint magical trace. When worn, and a desire expressed, there is a 50% chance that something will reply with an offer to fulfil the wearer’s desire. The something (usually a demon/devil) usually does not have the wearer’s best interests at heart. This is not as powerful as a ring of wishes, and is cataloged as a ‘Ring of Petty Desires’ in Emirikol’s Grimoire of Infernal Secrets.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Revised Magic Book Name Generator (Now using d30's!)

Back in 2010 I came up with this Magic Book Name Generator. Not bad, and it still gets viewed pretty regularly. However, after 4 years, it needed an upgrade from rolling d20s to d30s.

Revised Random Magic Book Name Generator
Roll 1d6
1. Roll once on columns 2, 3, & 6
2. Roll once on columns 2, 3, 4, & 6
3. Roll once on columns 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6
4. Roll once on columns 1, 2, 4, 5, & 6
5. Roll once on columns 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6
6. Roll once on columns 4, 5, & 6

1AlabasterAlbumAccursed ApocryphalAlchemyAbaris the Hyperborean
2AncientAtlasBoundlessArcaneArtsAkihiro Miwa
5BoundCollectionDementedCabalisticConjurationBaba Yaga
10ExpandedFormulaesInsidiousEsoteric EssokinesisJ. Dee
11GildedGrimoireLuminous ForlornGolemancyJabir ibn Hayyan
15IllustratedManual Obscene    LunisolarMaleficarumMazirian
19OldeOpusculeSpiritOnymaticRitualsQueen Jadis
20PoisonousPlates Student'sPalladianRunesThelema
22RevisedPrimerUnequaled   ReconditeSecretsTobin
27UnboundTomeTrans-Dimensional UmbralUnknownVon Rikten
28UncannyTreatisePropheticVeiledVodunZhang Guo
29VileVade MecumTabooVillainousWhitchcraftZosimos
30WonderfulVolumeBewitchingWhisperingWizardryZu'l Zorander

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Getting into DCC (Literally!)

I had the good fortune to find a first print copy of the DCC rulebook at a used book store for $25 around Christmas. I was wary of DCC initially. I’d had the beta PDF, and liked it well enough, but I didn’t really see anything special about it at the time.

Clearly I hadn’t done a very close reading of it.

At the bookstore I flipped through their copy, trying to decide if I wanted yet another d20 based game. The page count was daunting and I definitely didn’t need another massive rulebook… but most of the page count is spell charts, not rules. Then I saw the art…

DCC makes a conscious decision to emulate the *ideal* of the 1970’s gonzo gaming roots found in Appendix N. This should not be confused with the reality of 1970’s gaming. This is a game that doesn’t take itself seriously, that turns it up to 11 by capping PCs to level 10, but starts them at level 0.

The best thing about DCC is that the rules actually support the playstyle that the art implies, yet at the same time it’s serious enough that you can still take it semi-seriously. There’s solid long term campaign potential with DCC. In fact the combination of gonzo and lethal seems to make players more attached to their flawed characters.

So I spent the better part of my holiday break reading the rulebook cover to cover… and there was a lot that was different. More than I realized when I look at the beta. Not only was it different, there was a lot that I liked, especially (this is probably not a shock) how DCC handles magic. I appreciate the patrons, the weird spell effects, the corruption. I wouldn’t want to do it for every game, but I think it’s the single biggest thing DCC has going for it. Given the space turned over to spells in the rule book, I think Joseph Goodman probably agrees with me. Or I agree with him, I guess.

It probably didn’t hurt any that as I came to the end of the book, and started reading the appendices (specifically Appendix O on page 445), that I saw this:

Wait, what's that down near the bottom?

How cool is that? It certainly helped cement my interest in DCC!

Fast forward to a little bit ago, and Michael Curtis, the author of Stonehell (still waiting on part 2) and the Dungeon Alphabet (along with a whole bunch of other stuff) posted about a DCC adventure he had written set in a fantasy Appalachia that he and Goodman Games were Kickstarting. As part of the publicity for it, he sat in on an episode of Spellburn, the DCC podcast. I’d never listened, but I like Michael’s stuff, so I listened, and then got in on it.

Then I listened to the first episode, then the second, etc. In the span of a couple of weeks, I listened to the entire run of the podcast, and then I followed that up by listening to the Iron Tavern actual play DCC podcast.

And now I’m signed up to run a game on Free RPG Day at Titan Games in a week, and another a month later at the Charm City Game Day at Games and Stuff.

Of course all of this comes right at the time 5e is about to hit...

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Monster: Anura

"Are the preparations complete?"

The anura Mogrimm's throat bulged before she answered. "Almost" Her fleshy lips smacked together. "The chamber is ready, and my knot is out collecting the last of the sacrifices."

"Excellent" the cloaked figure's laugh was accompanied by the tinkling of small bells. "The dark moon approaches swiftly, and we wouldn't want to be late..."

The girl's scream was the only warning Rathgar heard. Smoke drifted through the barn's boards, and the horses stamped nervously. Grabbing his blade and his shield, he sprang up from his bed roll on the hay, and rushed to the small door. Allianora was already there, and Nimble right behind him. "Where's Feris?"

"He left to use the necessary a couple of minutes ago."


"Probably." Nimble answered innocently.

As they opened the door, the smoke from the burning farmhouse blew heavier toward them. "Nimble, take care of the animals. If one ember makes it over here..."

"On it"

Squat figures moving about were silhouetted against the flames. "I hope Feris is ok." Allianora whispered.

"Me too" Rathgar swept his gaze across the scene, and pointed to a cluster of the figures. "Let's go."

Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 3 (M)
Attacks: weapon (1d6)
Special: Spits napalm
Move: 8
HDE/XP: 5/240

These lumbering frogmen are belligerent, arrogant, and absolutely convinced of their own superiority. They’re also pretty stupid. They prefer to fight at range by spitting small fireballs at their opponents. These cause 1d6hp, and the target must make a saving throw or catch on fire. For melee combat they use polearms in combat, unless they are close to death, in which case they will switch to daggers and other close weapons. This suicidal tendency is due to the fact that upon death Anura tend to explode for 1d6 damage to all within 10’ who fail their saving throw.

This was my entry into the 2nd round of Tenkar's OSR Superstar contest.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Misc. Maps

It's Friday the 13th, and it seems like bad luck not to post something. Unfortunately my post about DCC isn't anywhere near ready for posting yet, so instead here are some maps that I've done recently (this year).  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The World Cup

Feris crouched on the roof next to a smoking chimney. “Nimble?” he whispered.

“Shh!!” Nimble hissed behind him. Feris felt Nimble right behind him, and in a voice so quiet that ‘whisper’ was far too a descriptor “The hatch is locked and warded. I need you to dispel the ward before I can pick the lock.”

Feris nodded, and started toward the hatch as Nimble clamped down on his shoulder. “Quietly.” Feris nodded again, and began to weave his magic. He took his time, and Nimble waited as still as a statue. After agonizingly long minutes, the deed was done, and Feris nodded at his partner.

Nimble’s job was faster, and after unlocking the hatch he oiled the hinges, and then gently began to lift. No light or noise emerged from the small gap, so Nimble eased the hatch all the way open. He then fed the rope tied to the chimney through the hole. As Nimble made ready to decend, Feris stopped him. “Another ward on the floor.” With a wave of his fingers over Nimble’s boots, Feris nodded.

Nimble’s boots never touched the floor. An odd sensation, but it ensured that the floorboards never creaked, in addition to bypassing the magical ward.Feris followed, and they soon found themselves in the display room of numerous treasures. In the center of the room was an ancient grimoire, a golden sword, and a crown of platinum leaves all sharing a red velvet draped plinth.

Nimble and Feris ignored these treasures, and went to the far corner of the room where on a marble pillar stood a small statue. The artfully twisted pair of angels forming a column that cradled a sphere and was encircled at the base with strange runes.

“I thought it was supposed to be a cup?” Nimble whispered.

“It is a cup, it just doesn’t hold liquid.” Feris squinted. “There’s so much magic in here it’s hard to tell what’s what… But I don’t think there are any wards or curses on it. Nimble checked all around before he finally slipped the little statue into the small latched box. “Ready?”

Feris closed his eyes a moment, and muttered another spell. Nimble saw the cup appear back on the pillar, and started to object when he noticed the weight of the cup still in the box. They smiled at each other and went for the door.

The World Cup is an ancient, powerful, but subtle magical artifact. Its power can extend over an entire continent, or be limited to a small city state, depending on who holds it. When it is within the boundary of a state (of whatever size), and the people within know that they have it in their borders, there is a general improvement of the state’s morale and pride. This often manifests as higher production rates, an increased aggressiveness toward their neighbors, and (oddly enough) increased birth rates. The origin of The World Cup is lost to time, but every historical mention of it involves some type of conflict, including wars, games, and intrigue, between nations all trying to possess it. References to Stanley’s Cup are believed to reference the earliest state to possess the World Cup, though one sect, The Canuck Brothers of the Moose, vehemently (and sometimes violently) claims that it is a completely different item.