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About Alcamtar

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    the Cleaver
  • Birthday 07/28/1967

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    Driver software engineer
  1. Nomunah, the Ghost Bear, is the Guardian of the Valley of the Ancients. The valley is a circular sinkhole in a tableland, ringed by vertical cliffs, open on one side to the outer world by a winding slot canyon. The valley is virtually unknown as the plateau is covered with thick clouds, which eddy and descend through the valley in a sluggish vortex, and exit through the Whispering Canyon. The Treasure of Nomunah is the Will of the Ancients, even their Testament, and is inscribed on the cliffs overlooking the valley in hoary and puzzling petroglyphs. The four thousand, three hundred and twenty-one petroglyphs are found at regular intervals on the faces of the rocks, descending in a spiral around the circumference; some covered in mosses and lichens, some behind wispy waterfalls, and others concealed by fog and protected by vertigo. The few who have found a petroglyph have neither understood it, nor been made aware of the others, for all must be known before even a single one is understood. Nomunah the Moaning One dwells in the slot canyon, where the foggy wind sighs and caresses the meanders of the canyon, his form obscured in the billows and his voice lost in the wind. Do not seek him at the shrine of Bear Rock, where the superstitious leave offerings of flowers and honey and fish, for he is not a stone nor does he grant blessings. Neither seek him in the cave of the obsidian throne, where the glittering gold of the ancients mingle with their bones in a deep cenote*, for he may not enter there. But for those with ears to hear, he murmurs the Song of the Ancients, of their Will and Testament. For the Song of Nomunah is the melody of the Inscription, and the Inscription is the words of the Song. And what is this Will of the Ancients? That their last Necromancer-King should rule forever from his obsidian throne, and that his enemies should mingle their bones at his feet. And so he shall, when the Seeker sings the incantantion of the glyphs while sitting on the obsidian throne, and thus breaks the spell whereby Nomunah is ensorcelled. The Seeker shall certainly have his reward, and shall be made an arch-lich and shall be a pupil at the feet of Nomunah, to learn all his black secrets and become his heir. For necromantic lore is his treasure, and power. And Nomunah shall cast down the Couatl that imprisoned him and the Sun, and shall bind them in darkness forever, and the Black Moon shall ascend and shine forth its black radiance, and the Seeker shall be his vizier and lieutenant. Such is the Will of Nomunah, the Ancient Demon, the Ghost who shall be Great once again. *Indeed, besides ordinary gold, the cenote contains the Dragon Orb, a head-sized crystal that stabilizes and strengthens the Dragons, but which also destabilizes and weakens Nomunah. If removed (by Gothormr for example), it will set into motion the inevitable escape of Nomunah, allowing him to immediately call and instruct some depraved and weak-willed madman to do his bidding. But a very clever seeker could wield the orb, such that when Nomunah is released he may be commanded through the orb. Doing so would require defiance of both Gothormr and Nomumah, and involves the weaving of a counter-spell into the incantation that releases the curse. Unfortunately that counter-spell was inscribed on a golden scroll, which Gothormr has already liquidated and lost, not knowing its value. Next: The Secret of Sorcerer's Spire
  2. Alcamtar was a character name from an example magic item build from the 1985 edition of Fantasy Hero. My first game was B/X D&D, circa 1981 or 82. That was also my first GM experience... I didn't have anyone else to play with so I roped my family into it. Currently prepping a Fantasy Hero (FHC) adaptation of Master of the Desert Nomads (X4/X5). This is the first Hero in some years, as we've been playing B/X D&D and ACKS exclusively, and Dungeon World before that. First played Fantasy Hero in 1985. Also played Star Hero once in 1986 (IIRC). Those are the only Hero genres I've played.
  3. I always teach Hero with an inverted combat roll: 1. Roll 3d6 2. Add your OCV 3. Subtract 10 4. The result is the highest DCV you hit. Easy to grasp, fast to calculate.
  4. Re: The Professions of Arms PS: Paladin (PRE) Prerequisite: Perk (some sort of blessing or clerical investment), KS Theology. Paladins are likely to have a smattering of familiarities and contacts. Note: I see the paladin as a humble servant of a good god. He is not necessarily noble or even particularly attractive, although he could be. A paladin who also happens to be a knight would have two professional skills, one for each. My favorite paladin concept is a gruff earthy dude in battered armor who gets the job done, is merciless to his enemies, yet humble and gentle toward the weak. Paladins have a frank and trustworthy demeanor that aids in disarming opposition and appealing to conscience. They often know where to find help, and have something akin to Streetwise when it comes to locating and contacting allies. This extends not just to humans but to "good" monsters as well. Paladins also have finely honed discernment when it comes to detecting falsehood, fear, or evil intent in conversation. This extends to intuition about the character of a person, or even a lingering taint on a location and may be complementary to Danger Sense (with respect to evil dangers). Paladins have a professional knowledge of demons and evil cults; they are able to identify major players, and can recognize "cultic behavior" when they see it. They have a working knowledge of their own religion as well as that of their enemies. Complimentary to: - Conversation (with respect to lies or dark secrets) - Danger Sense (for supernaturally evil dangers) - Deduction (regarding demons and cultists) - Find Weakness (against demons and evil spells) - Persuasion (getting help for a quest) - Oratory (for calming or stirring up mobs) Example of PS: Paladin in Use The party is traveling and stops at a local inn. During the course of the evening the GM has the paladin make a PS roll to notice that the people are suspicious and seem to be avoiding something, although nobody else in the party notices. The paladin is able to win the trust of a local tinker, who divulges that the town is stalked by a demon or something (complimentary Conversation). The party finds a priest's body with a strange wound. The paladin makes his PS roll to recognize this as a ritual cult slaying probably related to worship of the snake god. A paladin comes across a crumbling ruin and decides the spend the night. He makes a PS roll and senses that a great evil was perpetrated here long ago. Being accustomed to this sort of thing, he shrugs and lays out his bedroll.
  5. Re: The Professions of Arms PS: Knight (PRE) Prerequisites: Social Status Perk, Riding, at least familiarity with Sword and Lance. Most knights are educated in literacy, history, and warfare. Knights are well versed in mounted combat and knightly weapons of fine quality. They'll be able to analyze the artistry, quality, and origin of weapons. They know how to maintain their gear from their days as a squire, but these days someone else does it for them. They know how to care for a mount, how hard they can push it, etc. They know the rules of chivalry and of honorable warfare, and know how to play on another knight's psych lims. Knights are accustomed to command, whether it be squires or troops or crowds of people. Most knights have formal training in strategy and tactics, will be familiar with classic stratagems. Additionally they will often be professionally aware of the relative military strength of various nobles or mercenary units, the hiring and management of mercenaries, etc. Much knightly knowledge is related to administration and effective use of servants, rather than personal hands-on knowledge. Knights know how to train squires. Etiquette and protocol is second nature to a knight. Between their tendency to assume command and their knowledge of protocol, knights can often slip right through bureaucratic red tape. They know the proper forms of challenge, and also know how to weasel out of a challenge without losing face. They know how to influence rulers through flattery, and will recognize politically valuable or sensitive information when they hear it. Some knights or less noble character are adept at sneers, insults, intimidation, or bribery. Many knights are skilled in the arts of romance, and even if they are not, the knightly mystique works in their favor. Knights know how to dance and will typically be up to date on the latest court gossip; even if they have been away, an hour chatting and a successful PS roll will bring them up to date. Knights will know popular ballads and legends. Knights are familiar with hunting and falconry. Complementary to Bureaucratics, High Society, Oratory, Seduction, Tactics Examples of PS: Knight in Use The party is invited to a ball. The knight circulates and makes a PS roll to catch the latest gossip, and also makes a complimentary Seduction roll to win the favor of a lady, which he then pins to his surcoat in order to enrage a rival. The party needs to see a local baron but encounters a stubborn door warden. With a complementary Bureaucratics roll the knight establishes himself as the alpha male and twists the bureaucrat's excuses back on him, quickly winning admittance. The party is ambushed by bandits, but with a PS roll the knight realizes that they are using Korvad's Trap, a tactic taught among the southern provinces. Suspecting there must be another knight organizing the brigands, he issues a carefully phrased challenge that forces the other to reveal himself or be branded a coward. The knight realizes his horse needs grooming. He makes a PS roll and gets someone else (who by now is used to this treatment) to do it for him, while he kicks back and works on a poem he's writing to the fair lady Ismella.
  6. Probably, 'cause I've seen you around too . I tend to hang out at whatever board supports the game I'm currently running. In the past I hung around DragonsFoot (as 'Mike'), the PEG Savage Worlds forums, and ENWorld. Lately I've only frequented the Hero forums. But the name "Alcamtar the Cleaver" is from the original edition of Fantasy Hero, in the writeup of the magical dagger Demons Fang (IIRC). Maybe you saw the name there. Mike
  7. A book of nothing but character sketches would be just as cool, even with no backgrounds... :-) Mike
  8. Wow, I really like that. She looks like a real person, not exaggerated like fantasy women so often are. In fact, looking through Fantasy Hero, all your women have this quality. Out of curiousity, do you work from models or photos, or "out of your head?" As a GM I have little real need for a specific commission, but something I would love is a book of illustrations -- NPCs, castles, taverns, that sort of thing. I really like your NPCs and fantasy scenes. The details seem right to me, in a "yeah that's how I would do it too" kind of way. Anyway, an illustration book would be really cool; pictures that a GM could hold up to show players what an NPC looks like, or which provide a visual "adventure seed". I would be very happy with simple black-and-white sketches. They wouldn't need to be finished in an 'artbook' way, interior art quality or even sketch quality would be great. If the book were spiral bound so you could open it "flat" to a single page, and if each sketch were enlarged to fill a page, it would make a great visual aid. This sort of thing could make it affordable for a GM to acquire multiple NPC and adventure illustrations, be a lot cooler than "everyone flip to page 229," and give you a market for your rougher sketches. A downloadable PDF would work fine, as long as it prints with reasonable quality (sometimes PDF art looks kind of weird.) Really for NPCs that I might only use occasionally I'd much rather buy three cheap books of rough sketches than a single more expensive book of finished art (though that would be cool too). Anyway, just an idea. Mike
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