Festivals require a certain amount of preparation, but what happens if that preparation ends? More importantly, what caused it to end, and can the adventurers help start the preparations again? If you want to roll randomly for one, use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.
Working on the Tyranny of Dragons project has been something of a dream come true for me. Like a great many folks playing RPGs today, I grew up playing D&D. As an 11- or 12-year-old avid D&D player and aspiring artist, I used to spend hours marveling at all the adventures and rulebooks, daydreaming about how cool it would be to actually work at TSR when I grew up. Well, I’m all grown up now and I’m lucky enough to work in the RPG industry for some amazing companies and people, Kobold Press and Wolfgang Baur obviously heading up that list! However, for the 12-year-old D&D fan still very much inside of me, getting to work on an official D&D product, not to mention the very first adventure for the new D&D rules, is positively surreal!
As the primary person choosing the artists, assigning the art, and then working with the artists, I was determined that the art in these books would be as awesome as possible. One of the artists I knew we had to get involved was Guido Kuip. Guido had done lots of work for us in the past and I’ve always enjoyed working with him so I was confident he could deliver. And deliver he did!
Anima are raw emotions given tangible form. Unfortunately for those encountering this creature, the strongest emotions can come at the time of death. Fear, pain, and despair are some of these passions turned into monstrosities.
Some among society know the secrets of pulling the power of emotions from a dying person; the time when emotions can be at their highest peak. An even smaller subset of these individuals even know how to manipulate the swell of emotions that linger over battlefields and other places of intense circumstances.
All anima have a vaguely humanoid shape of corporeal shadow. Streaked throughout this form are dull colors that relate to the emotion has been captured. The easiest way to tell when you have encountered an anima is how your own emotions begin to become manipulated and brought to the fore in disastrous ways.
Anima can be created from a variety of emotions. If you want a specific emotion, pick one from the following list; otherwise you can roll. Included is the color that identifies the type of emotion.
This collection of Nebula Award winners has been published annually since 1966, and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America chose these stories and the editor of the anthology. You’ll find that this collection contains contributions from some of the best of the best, and it includes poems, novels, novellas, short stories, and much more.
Most of the content in this year’s anthology leaned toward science fiction, and much of that felt very old school in subject matter, but not in a bad way—lots of alien worlds and alien abductions. I would sum up this year’s collection as being esoteric excellence. Reading this book was very similar to watching the Academy Awards. In fact, many of the stories were the written equivalent of some of the movies that win Academy Awards. The book starts talking about the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, then transitions into the history of the Nebula Awards and finishes with the 2014 balloting. Then the book is broken down into the winners of each category, including some of the finalists for a few of the categories. Then, after all of these stories, this book explains the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award and the Rhysling Awards. Each of these explanations is followed by material about or from the winners, or both, in the case of Gene Wolfe, the winner of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.
It’s Game Day!
So you’re ready to go and you bring all your gear to the right room at the right time. You find your table and meet your players! Before things really get started, take time to introduce yourself and the adventure ahead. Now the gamers coming to your table will most likely have never met you or each other. Ask them to introduce themselves to the group by giving their names and what games they’ve played. Afterward do the same for their characters. This gets everyone oriented and ready to game. It’s also a handy idea to provide stick-on name tags and use character names so they don’t end up calling each other “elf” or “fighter guy” all the time.
Remind everyone how long the game is expected to last. If it’s going to run longer than three hours, make sure you tell them there will be a fifteen-minute intermission about half-way through. This gives smokers and bladders a break and also gives you some time to refresh yourself before you go back into the ring. Any experienced GM knows refereeing a game takes a lot of energy, so meal up beforehand and pace yourself throughout the event. Everyone at the table made a commitment to be there to play and have fun, so remind players to turn off their cell phones or, if they must take a call, to take the call away from the game table. You’ll keep an eye on the player’s character until he or she returns, but don’t stop the game because of one player.