Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Clay Masonry (sage study)

Distinct from construction in that the study describes building materials formed of baked and unbaked clay, earth and other mineral organic materials, most notably brick, tile and moulding. Course materials are primarily used for the making of individual homes, whereas brickwork is a popular medium for constructing multi-storied buildings and even monolithic structures, such as ziggurats, baths, canals and extensive raised gardens. Clay masonry is often used as an additional expressive and practical augmentation of wooden or stone building forms, for roofing, flooring and pipes, as well as for decorative shaping and motifs.

  • Adobe, permits the making of domicile structures of mudbrick (unbaked clay), up to 10 feet above the ground, usually structured so that the floor is sunk up to 5 feet below ground level. Allows ceilings up to 15 feet between earthen walls. Includes structures made from subsoil, fibrous organic material and straw.
  • Brickwork, enables the making of bricks from raw materials, and the creation of block shapes and vertical walls, and structures, where the height to bed ratio of no more than 10:1, with an overall maximum height of 20 feet.
  • Kilnwork I, permits the making of small crude kilns and knowledge of how they are properly cared for and stoked. The skill allows for creating kilns of sufficient heat to anneal and fuse glass and make all forms of ceramics. The study also allows for the making of kilns to dry materials such as tobacco, malt or lumber. Any kiln can be employed by the character.
  • Tile-work, enables the making of tiles from raw materials, and the simple covering of floors and roofs, providing a flat surface and structure waterproofing.

  • Brick House-making, combines brick, adobe and tile-working skills to make a domicile structure of these materials up to four stories in height, with a height-to-base ratio of no more than 15:1.
  • Forge-making, enables the construction of a brick-smithy that will enable the heating and tooling of raw metal.
  • Kilnwork II, permits the fabrication of high quality kilns, sufficient to smelt small amounts of ore, heat limestone or act as a crematorium.
  • Moulding, the use of ceramic or wooden materials to cover transitions between surfaces or for decoration. Requires additional skill in glazing, metal work or sculpture to give additional decorative quality to moulding.

See Bard Sage Abilities

Monday, November 25, 2019

Ceramic Ornament (sage ability)

Enables the amateur ceramic glazer to transform a pre-existing modelled article of clay pottery, stoneware or porcelain into a warm, idiosyncratic object that has the potential to be immediately adored by a character for the sake of its dilettante quirkiness and modest imperfections.


Unless the glazer also possesses sufficient skill to make the ceramic to be transformed, the object must be obtained from a potter of at least amateur ability, prior to the object being fired. The glazer then makes the flux, decides if the object requires an underglaze or overglaze, as well as other considerations that may apply, and these together are fixed to the object in order to create an ornamental piece. This may be any aesthetic object made of ceramic, such as a cup, pitcher, bowl, plate, spoon, urn and so on. The object is limited in size to the hand span of a typical human, or seven inches in diameter.

A minimum of tools is required to mix the flux and apply it ~ a small putty knife, brush, half a dozen pots for mixing the flux, a hand fan for drying, with other materials to be named. The image may be of any conceived variety, including geometric patterns or even just the effect of a rich or desirable color that catches the light. Application of the design will be 2-5 hours, with each turn in the kiln taking a full day, to fire and dry the piece. A kiln worker can be hired if the character does not own a kiln, or does not know how to operate one. The cost of materials and kiln varies depending upon where the work is being made.

Most probably, the glazer will need to make several attempts at the object. A success upon the first try is 5%, +5% cumulatively per attempt thereafter. Thus, a glazer would have a 25% chance of success on their fifth try. If the glazer is not operating the kiln, another attempt can be made while the first object is fired; or several attempts can be made and fired all at once. Success cannot be determined until after the ornament has been fired.

Objects made after the first success will continue to increase in likelihood (so that some efforts may yet fail), but after a measure of 100% has been reached, the glazer may continue to turn out like objects, each requiring no more than two hours per ornament.

Appreciation & Benefits

Once the ornament can be regarded as a success, the glazer should then share the piece around for others to view. Of those who see it, 1 in 20 will regard it as something special enough to want it for their own. The actual value will not be high ~ approximately three times the typical cost of the original ceramic. The glazer may charge for the ornament or give it away ~ but none of the benefits for generosity listed below will accrue to the maker of the ornament.

The character (NPC or Player) who then possesses the ornament will quickly begin to adore and appreciate it as something sentimental, so long as it is not broken or otherwise ruined. Once a week has passed, the pleasure of using or handling the object for a minute a day will convey a sense of well-being that will affect the character’s good spirits, particularly with respect to others. Whatever act of selfless acts the character might perform, in the way of spells, work done, kindness provided and so on, gains a 10% bonus. Acts must be truly selfless for the bonus to take effect.

A healing spell would heal 10% more hit points, work would be performed 10% faster, an effort to save a person by carrying them from danger would increase the encumbrance capacity of the ornament’s owner by 10% and so on. Risking all to defend a helpless friend would add 10% to the d20 roll. Further examples may be included here once they have presented themselves in play.

A single character only has enough personal love and adoration for one such object, sadly.  A character may possess both a ceramic ornament and a keepsake, with both active; but the effects cannot be combined.


If two persons or more, viewing the object while still in the possession of the glazer, both roll a 1 on a d20, it should be noted that the object cannot be shared. However, the first person to renounce the object out of generosity for their peer, will gain a +20% bonus to all selfless acts that day (while the new owner would receive no benefits for another week). No other immediate benefits would be gained by the generous character after the day had ended (count sunset as the end of each day, with the new day beginning immediately thereafter).

However, should the ornament ever come back to the generous character, as a legacy of the owner who has passed on or has retired their character from the campaign, the ornament then becomes a keepsake. As a keepsake, the piece will now benefit its new owner in the ways described above, AND the new owner will also gain a +1 to the ability stat matching the primary attribute of the previous owner. For example, if the previous owner was a cleric, the new owner’s keepsake would increase the new owner’s wisdom by one point ~ so long as they used or handled the object pointedly that day.

Once the object is broken, all benefits are lost. There are no negative penalties for a broken ornament.

See Glaze

Glaze (sage study)

Provides skill in adding an impervious layer or coating to ceramic forms, including the decoration and artistic expression possible as the glaze is applied. Glazes have a wide variety of forms, incorporating wood ash, feldspar, lead, salt and tin, in addition to other ceramic fluxing agents. Skills in glaze also apply to enamel or the application of gold leaf. Any ceramic material, including bricks and roof tiles, can be glazed.

The chief impact of bardic glaze as a study is in its aesthetic appeal and the creation of a beautiful object, which can affect the possessor of the object experientially and passionately. Objects that are superlatively glazed can also bring wealth and social status to the maker.

  • Flux I, enabling the character to mix and apply ceramic flux to earthenware pottery, stoneware and porcelain, to seal the vessel and make it waterproof.
  • Ceramic Ornament, an inspired embellishment of made ceramic, conferring sentimentality and personal value to other persons.

  • Ceramic Object of Art, a professional embellishment of made ceramic, like an ornament but additionally conferring a legitimate tradable value, as well as further personal benefits to the owner.

  • Ceramic Thing of Beauty, a fabulous embellishment of made ceramic, like an art object but additionally offering a sense of respect and appreciation, even from those unaware of its value.

  • Ceramic Masterpiece, an embellishment of surpassing excellence, like a thing of beauty but of such astounding appeal that it accumulates a quality of fame.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Modelling (sage study)

The act of making ceramic ware, such as pots or vessels, figurines and other objects, formed most commonly on a potter’s wheel. The study includes some knowledge of the mechanics and tools of making pottery, including the use of a kiln to fire clay. Some natural aesthetic is included in the study, as the natural color of the clay is brought out by the firing process, but the study does not include any special knowledge about design, materials, nor even the building properties of pottery fashioned for endurance.

  • Pottering, the art of making earthenware pottery from clays that are fired at low temperatures, in pit-fires or bonfires. When fired but left unglazed, the final result is called “biscuit,” and is an intermediate stage. The potter is not ordinarily able to make specialty glazes, but is able to make an ash glaze from various kinds of wood or straw.
  • Putty & Knife, enabling the repair and preparation of pottery vessels, so that they can be made to save at +3 (or count as a “save” when the vessel can be repaired after the break), or vessels can be made to break with a +3 bonus when hurling oil and holy water, or when otherwise desired. Also counts as a bonus proficiency, doing 1-2 damage.
  • Wheel Balance, which gives much experience with the smooth movement of wheels, which allows application to the potter’s wheel and wheels for other varied purposes.

  • Glassblowing, enables the process of inflating molten glass with the aid of a blowpipe to produce bottles and other vessels. The ability includes the annealing of glass and great skill at producing multiple vessels that are very like to one another.
  • High Pottery, the application of pottery skills in the creation of stoneware and porcelain, as well as with figurines. The ability allows extensive use of jiggering and jolleying to produce more elaborately shaped objects.
  • Kilnwork I, permits the making of small crude kilns and knowledge of how they are properly cared for and stoked. The skill allows for creating kilns of sufficient heat to anneal and fuse glass and make all forms of ceramics. The study also allows for the making of kilns to dry materials such as tobacco, malt or lumber. Any kiln can be employed by the character.

  • Kilnwork II, permits the fabrication of high quality kilns, sufficient to smelt small amounts of ore, heat limestone or act as a crematorium.

See Bard Sage Abilities

Use of Materials (sage study)

Provides extensive knowledge into the use of materials to improve stresses and strains on structures, through advanced mathematics, the understanding of chemistry and engineering and the properties of materials such as their yield strength or plasticity. This understanding allows the architect to give greater strength and aesthetics to an architectural design, while reducing the amount of materials needed.

In terms of game-play, the study provides basic abilities in choosing materials and towards increases in the other three architectural studies, aesthetics, construction and fortification. DMs and players with practical knowledge in the subject may wish to enhance the study in novel ways; here, only a simple approach to the subject is employed.

  • Material Tradecraft, granting one ability to the architect, gained through interacting with building sites. The character chooses from masonry, pottering, prospecting, puddling or stonecutting.
  • Strengthen Material, so that stress on the material is reduced, allowing the need for less overall material to be employed in making the structure, thus saving on costs and time required to build while achieving the same overall results.

  • Insulate, improving the comfort of interior spaces against extremes of heat or cold through the use of natural or growing materials, enabling a thermal equilibrium of pleasant temperatures.
  • Lighting, improving the manner in which exterior light is allowed to reflect and spread through the interior of a building, by means of reflective material. The technique increases work flow and reducing the overall amount of artificial light and associated costs thereof.

See Bard Sage Abilities

Fortification (sage study)

Provides knowledge that enables the character to design defensive military fortifications such as walls, towers, harbours, mottes and baileys, gates, drawbridges and siege engines. The knowledge extends to making plans ~ for the most part, actual construction may take years and even decades, and can be performed by simple labourers under the guidance of skilled workers.

The study includes a knowledge of how nature can be used to provide the most effective natural defences, such as large hills, cliffs, rivers, lakes or even caves. Additional details, such as machicolations, crenulations and parapets, are part of the study. The actual construction of these things is dependent upon others, but the architect can explain how they are made and where to place them for best effect.

  • Defensive Obstacles, providing the character with training in the making of field fortifications such as abatis, caltrops, cheval de frise and trou de loup. Ditches, earth or sand filled gabions and revetments, used collectively to make a military camp improvement also counts as part of the ability.
  • Rudimentary Structures, allowing the design of practical, essential foundations and structures without elaborative features, such as palisades, simple curtain walls, square gatehouses and the like. The ability includes ditches and hinged gates.
  • Siege Weapons, allowing the design of devices intended to break or circumvent castle doors or walls, such as battering rams, trebuchets, catapults, ballista and mangonels are part of the ability.

  • Bastion-making, in which the character’s knowledge grants a full understanding of how basic structures can be enhanced with established defensive forms, such as those listed in the description above. With time and financing, most structures can be made impregnable to ordinary siege attacks.

Construction (sage study)

The process of constructing a building or improvement, such as residences, workshops, mills, roads, bridges, tunnels, aqueduct, sewer and the like. The study integrates knowledge of surveying, excavation, masonry, carpentry, financial considerations, contracting and the ongoing management and productivity of labour.

Some practical skills are included, but the focus of the study is upon planning and overseeing work gangs who will perform the actual work. Naturally, construction will be expensive and will often require considerable time.

  • Construction Tradecraft, granting one ability to the architect, gained through interacting with building sites. The character chooses from carpentry, excavation, glazing, masonry or thatching.
  • Foreman, providing skill at keeping a team of up to eight persons, with no more than two trades, continually active and productive on a work site.
  • Simple Design, the creation of functional architectural plans for square-construction buildings without elaborate features such as arches, pillars, domes and so on.

  • Generalist Architecture, the ability to produce load-bearing structures without limitation, along with landscape design, except that construction must retain a comparable design with structures already existing. The level of knowledge is not sufficient as yet to produce truly unique structures.
  • Site Management, providing skill at managing up to five foremen, with up to 40 workers and 8 additional specialists operating under direct supervision, continually active and productive upon a construction site.

See Bard Sage Abilities

Architectural Aesthetics (sage study)

Describes the relationship between architecture and the life of society, in which the design of buildings and urban space sets out to define a social purpose, beauty and personal relationship with the viewer who lives and acts within that space. The study surpasses the functionality of the building and invests it with expression and taste, raising the mood of the inhabitant and offering protection against those who would defile the bard’s work.

Space is organized for the purpose of easing movement and functionality, with emphasis on attractiveness to enhance the dweller’s happiness and sense of cultural awareness. The knowledge does not permit the creation of full architectural plans (see Construction), but will allow the adaptation of existing plans or existing structures to provide the aesthetic details that will lift the building beyond its functionality.

The knowledge provides no practical skills related to building. Work that is proposed must therefore be hired out to others. A refit of an existing structure will typically cost 15-20% of the structure’s original value and will require time. An aesthetic architect is usually paid a 5% fee for adding stylistic features to a functional architect’s work.

  • Bring Comfort, which allows the character to transform a home or living space into a place of activity and consolation. Time is required. Once work is completed, the space will increase productivity and health by 8-15%, depending on form of construction and materials used.
  • Building Allure, allowing a refit of existing shops or operating businesses, in turn producing an increase of 7-12% monthly sales.
  • Site Judgment, an ability to assess the relative comfort and social importance of a construction through sensory, emotional and intellectual means, recognizing the site’s social, cultural and beneficial merits.

  • Architectural Style, the gift of transforming a building or other structure into one that is notable or historically important, beyond the immediate limitations of fashion. The building must be of a certain purpose ~ schools, libraries, arenas or religious, or it must have some cultural magnificence, such as monuments or monoliths.

See Bard Sage Abilities

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Tortoise (Mordenkainen's)

Profoundly gentle and of genius intelligence, these rare and highly prized reptiles are descendents from an egg that was crafted and hatched by the ancient wizard Mordenkainen in the 10th century.  It is less accurate to say that the animal can be counted as domesticated than that the animal is willing to give its allegiance to those who earn its respect.  This is commonly given to those who are able to hatch the animal from an egg.

In addition to being highly defensive and able to cause effective damage in its attack, the tortoise possesses a like dweomer to that of a paladin, in that it provides a continuous protection from malevolence, which surrounds the animal, extending outwards for two combat hexes, that any friend of the tortoise may enjoy if within that radius.  Naturally, this moves with the tortoise, which in any given round is able to advance one hex forward, or employ its single attack.

The tortoise's jaws are able to snap so quickly that it always gains initiative against its enemies.  Additionally, the tortoise's neck is able to stretch, so that it is able to attack creatures up to two hexes away, provided they are directly in front of the tortoise (within a 60-degree arc).  Because the snap is so quick, there is no chance for enemies to attack the tortoise's momentarily exposed neck.

If raised from an egg, the tortoise must be communicated with, and taught how to generate its magical dweomer, or else this will have to emerge naturally.  A spellcaster with the spell, or a paladin, possessing the ability to speak with animals, can teach the tortoise within 3-12 days.  Both speak with animals and protection from malevolence spells must be cast (the paladin need not cast the latter) each day of instruction.  If not taught, the tortoise will acquire this skill within a year.

Typically, it requires four months before the tortoise can snap with its full power (add 1d4 per month of growth).  The ability to reach a further target will take 5-8 months to acquire.