The Sceptre of Seasons

During the age of creation, the seasons were a chaotic event. The primordials ruled the seasons and changed them on their whims. Certain parts of the world might be summer while others would be winter or spring. At any moment, the season could drastically change. The various races on the world struggled to survive and tried to appease the primordials with limited success. They prayed and offered sacrifices to hopefully calm the abrupt changes. Their prayers were answered when the gods declared war on the primordials.

During the Dawn War, Moradin crafted the Sceptre of Seasons as a weapon of control. He wished a magical artifact to wrest control of the seasons from the primordials. Deep in Mount Celestia, he forged the sceptre out of residuum infused iron and added four precious stones for the four seasons. He chose emerald for spring, ruby for summer, sapphire for autumn and diamond for winter. He engraved the symbols of air near the emerald, fiery symbols near the ruby, earthy symbols near the sapphire and watery symbols near the diamond. Those elemental symbols connect to each other and indicated a transition or transformation. The Sceptre of Seasons proved effective to counter the powers of the primordials in charge of the seasons. After defeating the primordials, Moradin returned to his other works of craft. The Sceptre of Seasons was given a place of honour in Moradin’s vaults. There it stayed for centuries and forgotten.

At the end of the dawn war, four deities shared rule of the seasons: Corellon; Pelor; Sehanine; the Raven Queen.They didn’t have full control over the season and merely managed it. They sent several enjoys to Moradin’s court to get the Sceptre of Seasons but he ignored each envoy. His standard response was that he was too busy with his craftwork.

Being an adventurer, Avandra was curious of all forgotten places. As Moradin’s vaults had many forgotten chambers, she loved visiting his realm in Mouth Celestia. She arrived unannounced but Moradin didn’t care as he was too busy working on his other projects. One day, Avandra explored Moradin’s vaults and found the Sceptre of Seasons. She found it a beautiful work of art and loved the magical transitions of the elements. She took it out of the chamber and discussed with Moradin. Moradin remembered his fine workmanship. He felt it did its work and was uninterested in managing the Sceptre of Seasons. He told Avandra she can decide what to do with this powerful artifact. Corellon, Pelor, Sehanine and the Raven Queen learned of her exploit and desired it to increase their control over their season. They approached Avandra with their claim to the Sceptre of Seasons. She negotiated a pact where they would share the sceptre. Each deity would have the artifact for a limited time before handing control to a different deity. Avandra would be responsible for moving the sceptre from one deity to another. The pact was ratified in front of Erathis who put the clause where if the pact is ever broken, she would gain control over the Sceptre of Seasons.

When a season is about to end and another begins soon, Avandra leads a caravan to take Sceptre of Seasons to the next deity. A variety of creatures and adventurers join this important caravan. In the natural world, various towns and cities hold festivals to entice the caravan to pass by. It is viewed as a great blessing to provide shelter for the caravan. Of note, Bahamut sends some dragons, dragonborn and knights to escort the caravan. Bahamut believes in the sanctity of this pact and endorses the caravan.

The journey from realm to realm is a perilous one. It can face many challenges until the Sceptre of Seasons is safely within the confines of a deity’s realm. Kord holds seasonal competitions to select a champion. This champion has the task to challenge the caravan in honourable combat. Whoever wins the combat gains control over the Sceptre of Seasons. Since the creation of the pact, no champion has won. They are getting bolder and closer to achieving that goal.

Asmodeus sends armies of devils to trick or wrest control of the Sceptre of Seasons. Bahamut’s forces usually faces Asmodeus troops. In the past, Bahamut requests help from Moradin and Bane to face Asmodeus’s troops. Moradin sends troops to protect his work of art. Bane sends mercenaries which Bahamut pays at the established rates. Currently, Bahamut sent requests to Bane for his rate and no answer was given. Does Bane have a new master? With recent alliance between Asmodeus, Bane and Tiamat, the caravan might be at risk.

When the caravan briefly travels through the natural world, the fauna and flora ambushes them. Melora believes in the freedom of the Sceptre of Seasons. She sends her natural creatures to take the Sceptre and lose it in the natural lands. Nature itself should control its own seasons. There are rumours that some of Melora’s creatures were experimented on. The church of Vecna sends some of their strange experiments to infiltrate Melora’s servants. They wish to “free” the Sceptre of Seasons and “lose” it too. Honestly, they wish to know where the Sceptre of Seasons will be so they can secretly control the change of seasons for their foul ends.

Although Gruumsh, Orcus and Lolth have their owns reasons to desire the Sceptre of Season, mostly due to jealousy, their cooperation is strange to behold. Gruumsh wishes to wrest control of it from Corellon and then spread untold destruction on the natural world. Orcus wishes to wrest control of it from the Raven Queen. Lolth does not wish her old flames, Corellon and Sehanine, to own such items of power. Each of them have received dreams where they take the Sceptre of Seasons and bring it to a far place. Their pride have refused to admit that Tharizdun might be sending those dreams. Tharizdun believes that destruction of such a powerful artifact might release him from his prison.

As a desirer of all things, Tiamat wishes to add the Sceptre of Seasons to her hoard. With it, her dragons could rule over the various seasons. She has designs to have five seasons based on her five heads. The standard: Spring; Summer; Fall; Winter and the fifth season would be Death. Her draconic servants show up during the caravan trail to seize the Sceptre of Seasons. Since Asmodeus and Tiamat have their alliance, one wonders how will it get strained if they acquire the Sceptre of Seasons which they both desire.

Yeenoghu, the Prince of Ruin, sees the destructive power of the Sceptre as something he can harness. At random times, his gnolls attack the caravan causing lots of damage. He doesn’t care if the Sceptre gets damaged. The Yeenoghu cult have a plan to corrupt the Sceptre through a powerful ritual. This corruption will make the seasons harsher than before.

The archfey Prince of Frost sees the Sceptre of Seasons as his means to transform the world into eternal winter. He is plotting to court the Raven Queen in order she keep hold of the Sceptre of Seasons for longer and hopefully give it to him as a wedding gift. As the winter in the Dreadlands is lasting longer than usual, is it the Prince of Frost’s plan coming to fruition or is it the white dragon, Ice Queen, expanding her sphere of influence?

Where is Avandra and her caravan at this point in time? Is she lost, trapped and distracted with another quest?

RPGaDay: Favourite non-rpg thing to come out of rpging

On August 31st and last day of RPGaDay, the topic is my favourite non-rpg thing to come out of rpging. I had to think a bit about this one. I have to say, my favourite would be all the contacts I’ve made over the decades.


I’ve made many friends and acquaintances over the years. Some contacts are good and some were not so good. I find them valuable as they permitted me to learn and experience. Those contacts showed me that rpging is a social game. I find that very valuable.

As I started with “Livres dont vos êtes le héros” also known as Choose Your Own Adventure books, I find the social experience important. I’m not this nerdy kid with his nose in a book who rolls dice or makes a decision and then consults which paragraph to flip to. I still have my nose in a book or pdf most of the time but when the game start, I interact with friends.

These contacts also permitted me to experience various things. I travelled to various conventions or organized game days around the world to play with different folks. I play-tested various games which either game out with my input influencing it or never came out for various reasons. I got to participate in various competitions (ex: Game Chef) and receive feedback from folk who are passionate of rpgs like I am.

Through trying and meeting folks, I went from being a regular guest of the Tome Show Book Club to guest host and now co-host. A fun experience which combines my love of reading and practising to speak in public without really being in public.

I’ve helped organize local clubs, manage local D&D encounters group, and now I’m one of the organizers of CanGames, Canada’s longest running tabletop games convention, which is celebrating its 40th annual convention in 2016. I am hoping you can join us and celebrate.

My favourite non-rpg thing is the community and building it. It’s not a finished job and there is still work to improve it. I imagine a community where anything who wishes to play a game can do so comfortably. Unfortunately, there are many social and political issues which I see or don’t see which unfortunately prevents certain folks to enjoy participating in a game. I’m still learning to notice them and especially notice societal habits in me which can be problematic. I’m not perfect and I make mistakes. I feel bad when I do but I try to learn and improve. I’m always happy to learn new stuff.

What is your favorite non-rpg thing to come out of rpging? How has it changed you?

I’d like to thank Dave Chapman to organize RPGaDay. I had fun doing it and it got me back to writing every day. Now I’ll go get some new topics for later.

RPGaDay: Favourite RPG playing celebrity

On August 30th, the topic of the day is my favourite RPG playing celebrity. Honestly, I don’t follow many lives of celebrities. I view them as fellow folks who have their right of privacy. So, unless they announce it, I might not know they play rpgs. Of those celebrities who have announced it, I prefer Wil Wheaton.


Even though my first experience of Wil Wheaton was in Star Trek: The Next Generation playing Wesley Crusher, I didn’t know he played games until his show Tabletop. By following Tabletop, I learned a few things about his loved on games. I learned his was on the Acquisitions Inc game a few years before I heard of it.

I love his passion he shows for games. His show, Tabletop, has done a great effect on the tabletop games industry. When he won the Diana Jones Award in 2013, I felt it deserved the win. I love his enthusiasm over games and how he encourages families to play games together.

As I grew up, my family played games together. I loved it and still do. Seeing Wil Wheaton play with his family on Tabletop brought a joy to my face.

At Ottawa Comiccon 2015, Brenda and I got to take a picture with Wil and Anne Wheaton. I wanted both because it show two couples who plays games together although I never played a game with Wil and Anne. Brenda plays a great game of Risk Lord of the Rings. We enjoy playing Settlers of Catan card game and Arkham Horror. For rpgs, she is creative and smart.

I found Wil Wheaton to be approachable at conventions even though I’m highly nervous. For rpgs, I enjoyed his style on his rpg show, Titansgrave. He encourages the other players ideas and makes them shine. He doesn’t focus too much on the rules although Fantasy Age is light on rules which permits such play. He appears to be a great improviser.

Which rpg playing celebrity do you enjoy? Why do you enjoy them?

RPGaDay: Favourite RPG website/blog

On August 29th, the topic of the day is my favourite rpg website/blog. I follow a variety of different gaming blogs. I’m not up to date on all of them. My favourite would have to be Gnome Stew.


Gnome Stew is a site dedicated to help out folks who take on the role of GM. The blog is system agnostic. They share many ideas which can used for rpgs. They also review review a variety of rpgs. Being an eclectic gamer, I enjoy it since I can grab stuff to apply to any game.

They are also responsible for a series of books through their publishing house, Engine Publishing. For inspiration, they have the books, Masks and Eureka, for NPC ideas and scenarios respectively. For management tips, they released, Never Unprepared and The Odyssey, which tackle session preparation and campaign management. They have their latest books, Unframed and Focal Point, which deal with tips on improvisation and running great game sessions. Those last two, I have read yet.

When someone asks for tips on the GM role, I give some tips and add you can find more at the Gnome Stew site. Their advice helps from all players of various experience levels. A new player taking the GM role gets great lessons to learn how to best approach a game. An experience playing gets new tools or a refresher on their tools for the GM role.

Another blog site which I enjoy is G*M*S Magazine which delivers great reviews of a wide variety of games. They are not limited to rpg and delve into board games, card games and miniatures. Their associated podcasts are entertaining in following news in the hobby. As I love games in general, I enjoy reading their reviews and articles about latest news and upcoming products in the games industry.

What rpg site do you enjoy? What rpg blogs do you recommend I follow and why?

RPGaDay: Favourite game you no longer play

On August 28th, the topic of the day is my favourite game I no longer play. Since 1990, I have played many different games. I have enjoyed many of those games. Only one comes straight in my mind that I wish to play again but I haven’t played in several years. The game system is Fudge by Steffan O’Sullivan.


Fudge is a universal system which uses a descriptive trait ladder. Yeah, a few years ago, I played a few sessions of Deryni Adventure Game which uses the Fudge system. In the late 1990s, I played a lot of the Fudge system. I played the role of GM for my own fantasy campaign, which I had modified from D&D. I was GM for one-shots at conventions.

In fact, at conventions (most notably CanGames), I would give out dice to players who participated in my adventures. I would either buy them or the wonderful Ann Dupuis of Grey Ghost Press, Inc would send me boxes of Fudge dice to give. Ann Dupuis was very generous of the amount of dice she would ship out. I stopped running Fudge at CanGames when I started having trouble mustering enough players for an adventure.

At conventions, my favourite Fudge game to play was Terra Incognita. I’ve spoken about it before over here.

For my Fudge campaign, I called it the Pheonix Experiment. It was trying to restore a world known as Beta Pictoris. I got the name from an article I read in high school of a potential discovered planet and their speculation on its conditions. I expanded on it and it was a world which was the source of magic in the universe. The setting was science fantasy with ether ships from Earth exploring the cosmos. The campaign started out in AD&D 2nd during my university years. I decided to return to the world and moved it 10 years later.

In Fudge setting, the world of Beta Pictoris was destroyed. The source of magic had shattered and various factions based on different schools of magic were trying to re-establish magic but on their own terms. If you were a magic user, the source of magic you tapped would fluctuate based on location and time. The amount of fluctuation was based on how far or close were the school from where you were. A narrative decision to determine a mechanical modifier. One major NPC returned from the original AD&D2nd camapgn, Norak, an elf illusionist who was now living through life support & interacting with the character as an illusion.

The group in that campaign were varied. Brenda played Sal, a human rogue who made pacts with shadow and go a shadow servant. A friend played a naga exiled princess with a manservant who had a shadowy past (he was an assassin sent by her family but we never got to finish that story). Another friend played a hobgoblin barbarian. Someone played a halfling healer and someone played a human necromancer with a sentient skeletal horse familiar. I played the skeletal horse family like Eeyore and one it got them into trouble.

Once, the horse remembered it hadn’t eaten in awhile so figured it must be hungry. It left the area near the dungeon entrance where it was left and went to the local village. It caused quite a stir in the village who had never seen this skeletal horse. Luckily, the party rescued the village from the skeletal horse who had been eating the horse feed and scaring the other horses.

I have other stories from that campaign like when the group decided to ignore the adventure and spent an evening at a dwarven tavern getting hilariously drunk. The player who was the shy halfling healer described how her drunk character was offering body shots by the end of the night. In the morning, the group had to rescue the hobgoblin from being dissected by the tavern owner’s daughter who had aspirations to enter the medical field.

I have fond memories of the Fudge system. I’d return to it in a heartbeat and I miss not playing it these days.

What game have you highly enjoyed playing and you miss? What fun stories do you have of your play?

RPGaDay: Favourite idea for merging two games into one.

On August 27th, the topic of the day is my favourite idea to merge two games into one. I love mash-ups. I love mixing two different products into one and imagine how they interact. I have an idea in my mind to merge Pendragon by Greg Stafford and Call of Cthulhu by Sandy Petersen.


My idea comes more from a story sense. Since Pendragon involves generational play and the Cthulhu Mythos has some plots which spans a long amount of time. Additionally, you have generations of Deep Ones in the mythos. I imagine a player knight discovering their heir has the Innsmouth look because his wife is a glamoured deep one. I feel those two could possibly work together.

Pendragon involves passionate characters and strong emotions. In Call of Cthulhu, the sanity mechanic is a rather simplistic personality mechanic. In the Cthulhu Mythos stories, you see strong emotions from folks. I could see it work with Pendragon’s personality mechanics.

In Pendragon, you have various mystery cults which you make them cults from the Cthulhu mythos. The deities are worshipped secretly. I’d just have to make a list of personality traits to represent the various cults.

In a way, Pendragon and Basic Roleplaying are close. Both systems use a roll under system. The difference is Pendragon uses a d20 and Call of Cthulhu uses a d100. This is a multiple difference of 5. A quick modification would be to either divide Call of Cthulhu monsters skills by 5. For Pendragon, you can multiply by 5 to get into Call of Cthulhu. I would need to make more changes to make it work as the skill list are very different.

I’ve place notes for myself. It is a project which I plan to work on from time to time. I refer to the Cthulhu Britannica book, Avalon: The County of Somerset for some ideas. It has some cool links in that book.

What two games do you wish to merge together? How would you do it?

RPGaDay: Favourite inspiration for a game

On August 26th, the topic of the day is my favourite inspiration for a game. Over the decades, I’ve been inspired by many sources. I’ll talk my current inspiration which is fueling me, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.


Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a Japanese animated series inspired from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. The series follow a group of teens who try to uncover the secret of the jewel known as the Blue Water. Along the way, they becomes passengers of the Nautilus, friends with Captain Nemo and face the secret organization known as the Neo-Atlanteans.

I watched the series over a decade ago while I was in University. I have the DVDS and watch it again from time to time. I’ve used it several times for scenario inspiration for Terra Incognita by Scott Larson. I’ve had NAGS society members do an escort duty for bringing Nadia, the main character of the series, to a circus which she starts the series in..

I love the Neo-Atlanteans who wish to regain the lost power and rule of Atlantis. I’ve had ideas in mind to plan a campaign surrounding Atlantis for years.

Lately, I’ve been reading books about Atlantis as research for such a campaign. There many interesting ideas in what Occult Atlantologist think for a fictional campaign. There are several historical figures which studied Atlantology and have their own ideas. You can use them as characters in a campaign as either protagonists or antagonists.

Folks think Atlantis was in many areas of the world. This adds the mystery to a game and potentially make a group determine what is actually true. Honestly, it doesn’t matter which theories are true but what the characters believes and what they will do.

I still plan to organize it using Terra Incognita as a game. I find it appropriate having a secret society inspired from National Geographic Society exploring the secrets of Atlantis. Additions, NAGS society has submarines which means it can explore the underwater remains.

What inspires your games? What is currently inspiring you and what are you doing with it?