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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Failures of 2009

No, this isn't some bitter rant about all that was bad about last year! I use TiddlyWiki to organize my blog posts. I have a 'draft' tag I use to track ideas that have popped up but haven't really come together as an article yet. I started a new wiki for 2010, which left me with a handful of undeveloped articles in last year's file. I suspect these are ideas that may never come together since some of them are close to a year old, but I thought if I aggregated them they might spark something for someone else. Here goes:

Aberrations of Black Secrets

This was a book of spells I actually used in a 2nd edition AD&D campaign. Most of the spell list was pretty boring (though I did write about some of the spells here), but the book itself was a magical construct. It consisted of five sub-volumes, each protected by a magical seal. Attempting to open a sub-volume without the proper ritual released the section's demonic guardian to attack the interloper, but if the proper ritual was used, the demon could be invoked and controlled.

Gem of Knowledge

Another refugee from an old campaign, this gem was an artifact designed to reveal magical properties and abilities. In AD&D terms it allowed the use of Identify, Detect Magic, Read Magic and Detect Evil on a regular basis. In the end I concluded this was nothing special so it went nowhere.

Intelligent Worms

I wanted to create an NPC race based on the lowly earthworm, but it never really came together. Here's what I have so far:

Their physical form is earthworm-like, except their tail subdivides into a cluster of tentacles they can use to manipulate things. They exude an acidic slime that allows them to burrow through solid stone if need be. They are blind, but have well developed vibration senses (perhaps something else as well). Their body and mental functions are distributed across multiple clusters of nerve fibers, with larger specimens having more developed nervous systems and potentially, more intelligence.

They dig communal burrows with networks of radiating tunnels that cover large expanses. Individuals can communicate and carry out organized activities as a group.

Lizardman Variations

This was a skeleton article for a set of lizardman encounters that never really came together. I'll probably end up making use of this sometime this year, since I do love the lizardmen.

Numerology in the Campaign

This was a brief paragraph about implementing numerological systems in the campaign world, but it never really went anywhere. Another potential article for the coming year.


This was an article on an earth based magical material. I never really devoted any time to it, so it went nowhere.

Sandbox Toolkit

This started as a series of posts about creating a sandbox campaign from scratch. I hadn't looked at this article in a while and I was surprised to see there's a fair bit of writing here. I may revive this and finish it off sometime this year.

Token Magic

This is pretty much a cut and paste of a house ruled system I've used in the past to create magic items with short lifespans. It's quite dependent on the game system (2nd edition AD&D) and I never spent the time porting it to a neutral format. Another potential article for this year.

World Building

This was intended as an article on bottom up vs. top down world building, with some thoughts on using both methods simultaneously. I think this got lost in the shuffle, since there's the basis of a good post here.

So there you have it, the failures of 2009. Maybe some of them will see the light of day in 2010. Anything sound interesting?
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