Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Darkest Magic Play Session Report - The Use & Abuse of Mayfair Games Role Aids Arch Magic Box Set

We've gone from doing campaign notes to a quick update on Steve's AD&D/BX/OSR game latest play session report! So I've been getting it right in the neck. Steve's game ended with Apocalypse right now because of yesterday's blog entry.

Mostly  because I've been using a variety of old school sources & combining them with OSR resources to create the type of super hero & pulp campaign that my players have wanted.   Now my original campaign notes are a B/X & Advanced Dungeons & Dragons hybrid which had its roots in deep mythology with some classic modules as backdrop. I've been using Mayfair games Role Aids to help with some of the heavy DM lifting & lets continue to look at the Archmagic box set which delves into some of the blackest of magics.Going all the way back into Ninety Three the Archmagic box by

Daniel Gelon, Julian Jackson, Mike Nystul, & Doug Tabb
set didn't seem like it was going to set the AD&D world on fire & it wasn't supposed to. The box set was supposed to fill in a very specialized niche of the fantasy gaming hobby. And it did; "Adds high-powered spells and items to any fantasy campaign, but is "presented for use with ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS".
Rules for Archmages, Artifacts, Grimoires and Archmagics are presented.
Includes an adventure utilizing the rules within. Also includes maps of various mystic places and props depicting various powerful items.
64 page rulebook
32 page adventure
48 page map book
12 loose single-sided sheets of props"
Now the thing about this box set is that it ports right into the Demons line of Mayfair products in a reverse screw sort of campaign adventure way. Now I've already heard the teeth gnashing from Steve my friend about there being no conversions for Archmagic into the Original Dungeons & Dragons rules set. The Vaults of Pandius site came through an Archmagic to  OD&D  conversion by Scott Moore

This means that about 90 percent of the box set of materials will work with the Godbound rpg by Kevin Crawford. For Troll Lord Games Castles & Crusades or Amazing Adventures! Rpg we'll be using the system straight on!
One of the reasons is for their to be Arch magicians guarding reality & dealing with the problem of necromancers & black wizards from beyond. Another is that arch mages are often the fulcrum in comics between the 'gods' & various super heroes as well as adventurers. They recruit local talent & parties of adventurers  to take on Herculean tasks. This is the whole cloth premise of Marvel's Seventies comic book group  the Defenders! Who often seem to act more like adventurers at the table top then some of the polished fantasy novels I've read.

Now I've already talked about the rise of the Primordial dragons yesterday but one of the things that Arch magic box set brought to the table was the ability of very high level magicians to create planes themselves. As my buddy Steve said this is a show of  'local talent' on the part of the arch mages & directly under the purview of the gods. This is sort of like  when Marvel's High Evolutionary went mad; after the Beyonders looked at his version of  Earth  & put it on display in one of their museums.  This was an example of local talent for Marvel's 616 universe.
This brings me to Chessboards By Dave Howell for the Primal Order cap system which is their book on planes. That's a bit simplified. The Planes book covers ;"covers such topics as the various types of planes and their relationships, planar growth cycles, ways to planes, and several varieties of interplanar travel.For those using The Primal Order, it also includes expanded guidelines on planar use primal energy, planar artifacts, and advanced interactions between planes and deities. Five samples metaplanes provide inspiration and illustrate important concepts. Usable with any roleplaying system, this reference work will give GMs the tools they need to create exciting new planes, run multiple settings in one campaign, or link several campaigns into one logically organized multiverse."

Much of what's in Planes bares a striking resemblance to some of the material in the Godbound rpg fannon & rpg resources. So its very interesting seeing the parallel design work across the table on this material. 
This all ties into me inheriting my co dungeon master Steve's game where the PC's have just taken an artifact of Luz back to their Earth! Things are quickly going to Hell quite literally. The dragons have awoken. The party has now got a major succubus from the Amazing Adventures! rpg Manual of Monsters on their behinds! Steve read yesterdays notes & played out the ideas there as an actual game.
Now I've got to pull two of my best friends in to help me co dungeon master my way outta this! So stay tuned! 

Its all pretty glorious! Thanks for reading & we've got more coming up! 

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