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WELCOME TO...

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D D A A N N N G G E R R O O U U S S
D D AAAAA N N N G EEEE RRRR O O U U SS DI "Issue" #4,
D D A A N NN G GGG E R R O O U U S Early December,
D D A A N N G G E R R O O U U S S 1994
DDDD A A N N GGG EEEEE R R OOO
UUU SSS

A forum for the free & unmolested IIIII DDDD EEEEE AAA SSS
exchange of ideas submitted to me I D D E A A S S
by members of Mythus-L and all our I D D EEEE AAAAA SS
friends who love the Mythus Game I D D E A A S
and the Dangerous Journeys system. I D D E A A S S
Read it in good health... IIIII DDDD EEEEE A A SSS

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Dangerous Ideas is an electronic-only (unless you print out a copy for your-
self) forum for any and all players and Journey Masters who use or merely
enjoy the Dangerous Journey Multi-Genre Game System and the Mythus Fantasy
Role-Playing Game, written by Gary Gygax and Dave Newton, now unfortunately
owned by T$R. Note that almost everything discussed in this more-or-less
periodical is in one way or another related to Dangerous Journeys and the
Mythus game. The game and all its related copyrights are owned by T$R, and
are totally used without any kind of permission whatsoever. That's okay,
since no one here is planning on stealing any of their business, making any
money, or actually publishing this thing for any kind of sale. If anyone
out there has a problem with this: tough. I really don't have time to deal
with the pathetic attempts by certain professions to make a living...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dangerous Ideas is put together by Jesse Griffis, better known on the Net as
Hawkeye, but is really written by the members of Mythus-L, who submit their
ideas to me for inclusion herein. By doing that, they do NOT relinquish any
of their rights to their created material, so if you plan on using some of it
somewhere, do us all a favor and ask...
You can join Mythus-L by writing to LISTSERV@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU and saying
"Subscribe <Your Real Name>" as the body of the message. If you need help,
ask whoever you know who knows about mailing lists, or whoever gave this to
you in the first place. Or, if all else fails, write to me and I'll tell you.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Send your submissions, flames, questions, etc., to me at the following:
/--------------------------------------------
V105NK9R@UBVMS.CC.BUFFALO.EDU | Send ALL mail to that address. Submissions
-------------------------------< _ought_ to have "SUBMISSION" or something to
Each submission will be tagged | that effect as the subject. I will need to
with the name and e-address of | see things from most of you for this little
the author--for copyrights and | thing to continue. Without your support, DI
other potential legal garbage. | will be nothing more than a memory...thanks!
Ask the author for permission >--------------------------------------------
to use any of his/her ideas... | School takes too much time...what a delay!
===============================^===========================================
TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1: News and Notes (from me)


2: An Alchemist's Musings
3: Mythical Revelations: Making a Casting Known
4: Nursery Rhymes? Some new Vocations...
5: Future Shock: Guns for Dangerous Journeys
6: A Twisted Idea--Magic: the Gathering in Mythus?
7: Magick is What? A different view on the background of it all
8: Magicks R Us: A plethora of stuff
===========================================================================
SLOWLY BUT UNSTOPPABLE: First off, sorry it took so damn long for me to get
around to putting this issue out. With school and the new job I started, time
was not a luxury to be had, especially while trying to run a campaign and play
in a number of others.
So, anyway, here it is. Thanks to all of you out there who gave me stuff
to toss in! That means a lot, that people are really taking the time. If your
creations did not make it into this issue, don't worry! They are the advance
stuff for the next one! I'd love to cram tons of stuff into a single issue,
but making them short makes life easier on myself. I do, in fact, have enough
submissions to make another issue after this one, but after that I will need
some more. So, feel free to send something in! And now, on to better things:

============================================================================
AN NEW WIZARD'S MUSINGS: Here's what will hopefully become a regular feature.
Anyone else willing to create 'regulars' will get preferential treatment from
me! :) Creating a background in which your submissions are immersed makes it
a lot more interesting and a lot more fun!

Aleksandr Gerasimov msphil@birds.wm.edu (Mike Phillips)

[To understand the following in its appropriate context, consider that the
persona described herein was run in a low-magic world. The gentry played
with magick (household and entertainment castings), but never on any
significant level, and the darker arts were actively suppressed by the
various churches, which also showed a low amount of prayer magick. In a
more magick-oriented world, where wonder is commonplace, the approach
Aleksandr takes to magick might not be as impressive or useful.]

_____ _____
/ ^^ \|/ ^^ \ From the Library of
/ ^^ ^ ^^ | ^ ^^^ ^ \
/ ^^^^^^ ^^ | ^^ ^^^ ^^ \ ALEKSANDR GERASIMOV
/__---~~~~~~~\ /~~~~~~~---__\
~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Aleksandr Gerasimov was born to a fairly rich merchanting family, who saw
fit to see him well-schooled. He quickly developed a love for philosophy and
magick, resulting in a solid 'classical' education and an attraction for the
Art, as he is wont to call it. He does not believe in Good or Evil, having
proved (to himself) the incapability of their existence. He believes that the
ends can be beneficial or malevolent but sees no harm in the knowledge, only
the action.
In his first grand adventure, he discovered (along with several
companions) a small stash of magickal writings, including several works on
necromancy and black dweomercraeft. The school he had attended ignored the
existence of the Black Art, and to him this discovery was particularly
fascinating. He quickly and secretly absorbed the work, resulting in a
passing knowledge with this dark skill.
During the day, for the next several months, he slowly constructed a
dweomercraefter's dream, a shop wherein various reagents and other magickal
components were traded, but in the nights, instead of sleeping, he researched
and read and practiced until he felt he was, after all, ready to prove
worthwhile to his boon companions.
Aleksandr sought a subtle approach, that of intimidation and quiet menace,
rather than outright destruction and devastation (though he would certainly be
willing to back up any threat).

This is a small sample from his early researches:

DWEOMERCRAEFT (BLACK), GRADE I:

DARKEYES CHARM:
Time: 1 AT per 10 STEEP Other Heka Costs:
Area: Self R&D: Nil
Distance: 0 Other: Nil
E/F/M: With the application of this Casting, the caster's eyes go utterly
black, devoid of any feature other than a menacing and void-filled stare.
Those subjected to a stare for one CT will feel uneasy and inferior to the
caster, and a continual gaze will eventually result in all but the self-
possessed and strong-willed groveling before the unblinking, black, and
menacing gaze. Obviously, nothing else can be going on, and combat is
generally too quickly paced to allow a caster the chance to transfix an
opponent.

DWEOMERCRAEFT (GREY), GRADE I:

WITCHFIRES CANTRIP:
Time: 1 AT/STEEP Other Heka Costs:
Area: One object R&D: Nil
Distance: Touch Other: Nil
E/F/M: This Casting causes little 'witchfires' to run over the object. The
fire is illusionary, shaped out of the stuff of shadow, but it appears to
be dancing along the object for the duration of the Casting. They cause no
damage, but touching them does not dispel them. Obviously, creatures without
sight will not even notice them, even if touched, as they have no substance
whatsoever. This is purely a visual effect, intended to be combined with
other visual effects in order to create an imposing image.

Notes: On first activation, this will cost 34, and it will drop by 10% for each
successful application thereafter, until it reaches 22, at which point a
Special Success while in a non-laboratory situation is required to drop it
to standard Grade I cost (20 Heka).

DWEOMERCRAEFT (GREY), GRADE II:

SHADOWY MENACE CANTRIP:


Time: 1 AT Other Heka Costs:
Area: Self R&D: Nil
Distance: 0 Other: 10:1 AT
E/F/M: By means of this Cantrip, the caster introduces a vague and barely
perceptible shadow around him, a faint suggestion that there is something
larger and nastier, and that the caster is but a cat's paw for this being.
While ineffective in impersonating, for instance, entital power, it is useful
in dealing with weak-willed and magick-poor personas. With the expenditure of
additional Heka, the caster may extend the duration by one AT per 10 Heka
spent, to a maximum of 1 AT per 10 STEEP possessed.

Personal notes:

Aleksandr is known to be witty and charming, when the mood strikes him,
and very skilled in philosophy. He is also known to have decent skill in
Alchemy, Astrology, Magick, Pantheology, Religion, and Grey Dweomercraeft. He
is a skilled writer, and quite the linguist. Few people are aware that he
possesses any skill in Black Dweomercraeft, although he is certainly learning
quickly.
It is said that he wears an intricate silver locket at his throat, said by
some to have carvings that store some fraction of his Heka. He often dresses
in darker colors, and black with silver highlights when he feels the need to
make an overpowering impression.

============================================================================
MAKING A CASTING KNOWN John Teske (teskej@dgabby.mfldclin.edu)

The time to needed to make an unknown casting "Known" is based on the


number of things that a HP can study simultaneously (from MMPow), read from
the chart on page 136 in Mythus 1. (i.e., an MMpow of 15 will give 3 'slots'
per day)

The base time for memorization is 1 slot per grade.

Casting time modifies total memorization as follows:

Eyebite : x1/4 total


Charm : x1/2 total
Cantrip : x1 total
Spell : x2 total
Formula : x3 total
Ritual : x4 total

The HP's STEEP in the area in which the casting is located also affects the
total study time, based on the normal difficulty at which the HP can use the
casting:

Easy : x1 total
Moderate : x2 total
Hard : x3 total
Difficult : x5 total
V. Difficult : x7 total
Extreme : x10 total

This time is to make Known an unknown or Studyable casting. If attempting to


make a Recallable casting Known, or an unknown/Studyable casting Recallable,
1/2 the time is required.

Once the total cost in 'slots' is determined, the HP divides that number by
the number of 'slots' he can use per day, as determined by MMPow.

Here are 2 examples:

Take an HP with 15 MMpow (3 'slots'/day) with an Apotropaism STEEP of 41,


trying to memorize Protection vs. Drowning Charm, an unknown grade 4
casting.

Grade 4 = 4 slots
charm = x1/2 total time
hard = x3 total time (grade 4 spell is at hard difficulty)
_________________________
6 slots

Making an unknown casting Known, so there is no extra modifier. The HP has 3


slots in a day, so the spell is memorized in 2 days.
Example #2
A Full Practitioner with a 41 STEEP in General Dweomercraft attmepts to make a
grade 6 Formula Recallable. His MMPow is 16. This spell is, with his STEEP,
at a DR of Very Difficult to cast.

Grade 6 = 6 slots
Formula = x3 total time
V. Diff. = x7 total time
Recallable = x1/2 total time
______________________________
63 total slots

16 MMpow corresponds to 3 slots per day, so this Formula would be Recallable


in 21 days, a formidible task.

As you can see, this system is weighted toward the quick memorization of
short, easily used castings. Long or difficult castings take a great deal of
time, as they must be understood as they are learned.

This only leaves the question of whether or not the HP can be interrupted
during the study of the casting. A simple way to interpret this problem is
to say for every two days the HP interrupts his studies, an additional day is
added to the end of the study time. So, in the second example, if the HP
studied the casting for 20 days, then took 4 days off, he will have to study
for 45 more days, rather than the 43 he would have without the modifier. This
represents the fact that if the HP is doing something else, he will slowly
forget what he has learned, and will need to move back a bit to remember where
he was.

============================================================================
THE BUTCHER, BAKER, CANDLESTICK MAKER...
Glen R. Martin (75050.2421@compuserve.com)

The Mythus game system offers a wide variety of vocation for heroic
personas to choose from. In the appendix section (p. 387) of the Dangerous
Journeys rules manual there is a section referencing a number of occupations
that would be suitable for the use in the Mythus game. Among these are a Spy
(Mental) and a Monk, Martial, Oriental (Physical). Below are descriptions of
how these occupation are used in my personal campaign. I hope they will prove
to be useful as heroic personas and other personas in your own campaigns.
To help facilitate the creation of these heroic persona vocations a new
persona-creation rule is needed:

RESTRICTED SUB-AREAS
A character may start the game with K/S Areas that have the condition
that only certain Sub-Areas of that K/S may be chosen when the HP is created.
The HP can learn other Sub-Areas of the K/S only if the opportunity presents
itself, it does not interfere with any Vows, and the gamemaster approves the
learning.

Example: Chin Su' Nygen is a Monk HP. His restricted K/S is Criminal
Activities, Physical. If Chin Su' Nygen's STEEP was 42, he would normally
receive four Sub-Areas of knowledge. Since this is a K/S with restricted
Sub-Areas he can only learn the three which are allowed. If Chin Su' Nygen
was to begin to develop the darker side of his HP while adventuring the JM
may allow him to develop the other aspect of this K/S (This may not sit well
with Chin's former instructors).

THE VOCATIONS
Vocation Category Level
Range HP SEC at Start TRAIT

OUTLAWRY
Spy 1-7 3 Mental
PRIESTCRAEFT
Monk, Martial, Oriental 1-9 4 Physical

Monk, Martial, Oriental: Monks posses an interesting array of talents. The


monk is excellent in unarmed and non-lethal physical combat. The monk is
centered around the Physical TRAIT, but has a variety of Spiritual, and Mental
K/S Areas as well. They also possess limited priestly abilities. Monks are
person as that are thoughtful, honorable, and stoic. Try to think of a balance
between the physical, mental, and spiritual sides of the monk when creating
the HP. Monks tend to use speed over might, think of this when deciding where
to place ATTRIBUTE scores (PN ATTRIBUTES should tend to be higher then PM
ATTRIBUTES).
The monk strives to be at one with nature, theirs surroundings, and the
cosmos. This vocation tends to use physical force as a last resort. When
force is needed the monk is properly trained to deal with most threats.

Monk, Martial, Oriental Vocation (Physical TRAIT)

K/S Area Base Steep Attribute


Combat, Hand-to-Hand, Non-Lethal 24 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5
Combat, Hand-to-Hand, Lethal 24 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5s
Medicine, Oriental 20 (SMCap+SPCap) x0.5
Priestcraeft* 16 SMCap*
Religion* 16 SMCap*
Acupuncture 12 PNCap
Acrobatics/Gymnastics 12 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5s
Combat, Hand Weapons 12 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5s
Criminal Activities, Physical r 12 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5*s
Endurance* 12 (PMPow+PNPow) x0.5*
Education 10 (MMCap+MRCap) x0.5
Foreign Language: [choice] 8 MMCap*
History 8 MMCap*
Logic 8 MRCap
Nature Attunement 8 SPCap *s
Pantheology* 8 SMCap *s
Survival 8 PMCap*
Yoga* 8 SMCap*
Apotropaism* 8 (MMCap+MRCap) x0.5*s
Divination* 8 SPCap *s
Demonology* 4 MMCap*
Exorcism* 4 SMCap*

Base STEEP Total 250

(Only the sub-areas of Sneaking, Hiding, and Ambushing may be chosen under
Criminal Activities, Physical)

Spy:The spy is an intriguing and formidable HP. The spy fits well in
campaigns involved in politics, war, and other "noble" endeavors. The spy
combines a knowledge of foreign lands with thieving abilities to be able to
complete any mission they might encounter. This vocation is based around the
Mental TRAIT, but also has enough Physical K/S Areas to help them in tight
situations. Think of double-crosses, intrigue, sabotage, quick thinking, and
covert action when creating your spy.
Spy Vocation (Physical TRAIT)

K/S Area Base Steep Attribute


Espionage 20 (MMCap+MRCap) x0.5s
Criminal Activities, Mental 16 MMCap *s
Criminal Activities, Physical 16 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5*s
Deception 16 MRCap*
Disguise 16 PNCap
Escape 16 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5
Combat, Hand Weapons 12 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5s
Criminology 12 MRCap
Cryptography 12 (MMCap+MRCap) x0.5
Etiquette Social Graces 12 MMCap
Foreign Language: [choice] 12 MMCap*
Linguistics 12 MRCap
Police Work 12 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5s
Combat Hand Weapons, Missile 8 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5s
Foreign Language: [choice] 8 MMCap*
Geography/Foreign Lands 8 MMCap
Influence 8 MRCap s
Streetwise 8 SPCap *s
Travel 8 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5
Combat, Hand-to-Hand, Lethal 4 (PMCap+PNCap) x0.5s
Current Events 4 (MRPow+MMPow) x0.5
Divination* 4 SPCap *s
Engineering, Military 4 (MMCap+MRCap) x0.5
Surveillance/Security 4 PNCap
Toxicology 4 MMCap

Base STEEP Total 256

============================================================================
FUTURE (HYDROSTATIC?) SHOCK: Dan Williamson (WILLIAMSOND@USA.RED-CROSS.ORG)

This article does not attempt to address the skills necessary to using
firearms in combat or otherwise. Certainly some kind of Gunsmith K/S Area and
certainly Rifle and Pistol K/Ss will be necessary. Only those weapons that
are historically possible for the assumed time period for Mythus (1400-1700
AD) have been included here, with the exception of the M16A3 which I included
because I felt some kind of comparison was necessary. The problem with using
the Dangerous Journeys system in modern settings is the large amount of damage
HPs can take. Because it is "realistic" for a modern firearm to kill on a
single shot to any moderately valuable vital area of the human body huge
numbers of dice need to be rolled (13d6, 30 times in a CT for the M16A3).
When I do rules for modern weaponry I will probably change some of the numbers
and ways of doing damage to make the dice more manageable. But that is,
pardon the pun, in the future. Also there are no guidelines for autofire here
so I wouldn't suggest using the M16, who knows what could happen.

NOTE: RC, DC, TL and the statistics of these weapons are based on the rules or
guidelines presented in Guns, Guns, Guns 3rd edition by the BTRC.

Wea
pon TL Spd WP Dam Cost ROF Clip RC DC
Pistols:
Hand Cannon 5 4 0 4d6 140 1 1 1 2
Triple Cannon 5 5 0 3d6 230 3 3 1 2
Cavalry Pistol 6 4 0 4d6 150 1 1 2 2
Double Pistol 6 4 0 3d6 180 2 2 1 2
Flintlock Revolver 6 4 0 4d6 130 3 5 2 2
Personal Pistol 6 3 0 4d6 140 1 1 1 2

Rifles:
Matchlock Musket 5 7 5 7d6 240 1 1 2 2
Double Musket 5 7 5 7d6 860 2 2 2 2
Wheellock Carbine 5 6 5 6d6 200 1 1 2 2

Shotguns:
Arquebus* 5-6 7 0 5d6 90 1 1 2 2
3d6x9* 1 1 2 1
For comparison:
M16-A3 11 6 10 13d6 1740 30 30 4 3

* The Arquebus (don't ask me how to pronounce it) can fire either
a single large slug or it may fire 9 pellets like a shotgun. See
below for special shotgun rules.

The cost of ammunition is .25 per bullet which includes the cost
of powder and other sundries necessary. The multiple pellets of
the Arquebus (3d6x9 damage) costs .75 per shot. A clip for the
M16A3 would cost about $10 and each bullet would cost $0.60
(Whole clip of 30 bullets would be $28).

TL: Tech Level; 5 = 1400 AD, 6= 1700 AD.


RC: Range Class; See below
DC: Damage Class; See below.
Clip: Number of shots the weapon may fire before needing
reloading. Except in the case of the Revolver and the M16, this
is also the number of barrels on the weapon.
ROF: the number of shots the weapon may fire per CT, this is not
affected by the skill of the firer.

Reloading time for muzzle loading weapons are listed below:


Pistols 6CTs + 5CTs for each additional barrel,
Rifles 8CTs + 5CTs
Carbines 7CTs + 5CTs

All ranges are in meters which are about the same as yards. :)

RC Table:
RC PB S M L E
1 0-5 6-10 11-15 16-25 26-50
2 0-7 8-15 16-25 26-50 51-150
3 0-10 11-35 36-70 71-150 151-400
4 0-15 16-70 71-150 151-300 301-1000

DC Table
DC Full 3/4 1/2 1/4 1/10
1 0-35 36-100 101-200 201-600 601-800
2 0-70 71-200 201-400 401-1000 1001-1500
3 0-150 151-400 401-800 801-2500 2501-3500
4 0-300 301-800 801-1500 1501 4500 4501 6500

Armor against firearms: In general, all forms of ancient armor do


not work very well against high velocity projectiles. Treat all
firearm damage as piercing and quarter the effect of all leather
armor and half the effect of all metal armors except rigid plate
(breast plates, plate armor). Conversely, Kevlar does not work
well against an Axe.

Combat Example:
A Cavalry Pistol is fired at and hits a knight 80 meters away
(Extreme range). The player rolls a vital hit location (x2
damage) and 17 points of damage on the dice. Total damage done
is 17 {rolled damage} x2 {Hit Location} x0.75 {Range
modification} or a total of 26 Piercing PD (round up in this
case). The knight is wearing an Breastplate over a suit of
leather armor and a gambeson (he's a poor knight) the piercing AV
is 19, which divided by 4 provides 5 points of protection so the
knight takes a final 21 PD. Probably only enough to anger the
knight, hit him in the head (U) and wait till he gets closer next
time, if you get a next time.

Aiming: These firearms are notoriously innacurate and any kind of


called or specific hit location shot is absolutely impossible.
Unless you have massed units of men, chances of hitting a target
are small, so the difficulty should be at least difficult (rather
than hard). However, remember that firearms produce a lot of
noise and smoke and even a bit fo flame so they are good at
scaring off many creatures, even if you don't hit them.

Reliability: These weapons are not very reliable, any to hit roll
over 95% will cause a potential problem. Roll again on the table
below to determine the exact situation.

Reliability Miss Dud Jam Critical Explodes


Class
VI -- 01-05 06-20 21-95 96-00
V 01-50 51-55 56-70 71-95 96-00
IV 01-75 76-80 81-95 96-00 --
III 01-90 91-00 -- -- --
II 01-95 96-00 -- -- --
I 01-95 96-00 -- -- --

1 Joss can reduce the roll by 20.

Miss: Nothing special happens, the round simply misses.


Dud: The round does not fire and will need to be cleared
before the weapon may be fired again (3CT's for most of
the weapons here, 1CT for more modern ones)
Jam: The round fires but becomes fouled in the action or the
barrel. It needs to be cleared before the weapon may
be fired again (5CT's and a skill roll).
Critical: The weapon is seriously damaged and will need to have
extensive repairs. These repairs require a gunsmith's
skill and several hours and possibly parts.
Explodes: The barrel explodes and the firer takes one half the
damage from one round, no armor and no hit location
roll is made. If the weapon has additional barrels or
a clip, roll for them also. Only count explodes
results. The weapon is destroyed.

Weapons Reliability Class


Class II: Cavalry Pistol, Double Pistol, Personal Pistol,
Matchlock Musket, Double Wheellock, Wheellock
Carbine, Arquebus, M16A3
Class III: Hand Cannon, Triple Cannon, Flintlock Revolver

The Reliability class worsens due to bad maintenance from 1-3


Classes (or more).

Also if any of the weapons (except the M16, of course) gets damp
or wet they will not fire. The TL 5 weapons are especially bad
for this. The modifiers for ROF only come into play if the
weapon has an ROF greater than 3. To preform maintenance the HP
must have some sort of Gunsmith K/S Area.

Shotguns (Multiple Projectiles): The pellets have a tendency to


spread after they leave the barrel so only targets hit directly
and at relatively close range will be hit by all of the pellets.
Remember to treat each pellet as a separate attack, and armor
affects each pellet individually.
Range % Hits Arquebus Hits
Point Blank 100 9
Short 80 6-8
Medium 50 3-5
Long 25 2
Extreme 10 1

============================================================================
MAGIC THE GATHERING Mike Phillips (msphil@birds.wm.edu)

Okay, with a header like that, y'all are already all mad at me :-)

I have been running a bastardized Prime campaign, set in the land of


Mordant, where image-magic is real. To throw the players a serious loop,
I am setting up a scenario where the villain is actually a teenaged kid
with a deck of Magic: the Gathering to fuel his magic (in other words,
each round of combat he can act like a normal 'turn' of M:tG play, BUT he
is restricted in that land can only be put into play if there is a piece
of land nearby of said type -- and in Mordant, that's mostly forest and
plains).

Here is a critter out of that encounter, probably the nastiest one there.
[A quick side note on the Prime-variation: I use damage types, but not
strike locations, so the armor table can be treated as averaged armor,
and the normal armor table for Advanced can be extrapolated. Also, I use
the CATEGORIES, but I use the Prime scale, so double each category before
dividing it up for advanced -- oh yes, and to avoid making them TOO nasty
if you want to use them in Advanced, put most of the categories into
the capacity]

Craw Wurm
Mental: 180 Physical: 240 Spiritual: 100
Mnemonic: 90 Muscular: 120 Metaphysical: 50
Reasoning: 90 Neural: 120 Psychic: 50
WL: 180
Weapons:
Claw (STEEP: 40, 2/CT, 4D6 piercing)
Bite (STEEP: 30, 1/CT, 3D6 piercing)
Tail (STEEP: 20, 1/2CT, 6D6 IMPACT)*
* the tail strike is limited to creatures behind the Craw Wurm, and
it can be used no more than once every other CT

Armor:
Cut Prc Bldg SmlArms Enrgy
36 36 24 24 12
[the party has no other types, treat energy and fire as the same]

Notes:
The Craw Wurm is a very very very nasty critter, being some 50'
long. It thumps and galumphs along, unable to fly, breaking through
foliage when summoned to the fray. Its scales glisten green, and legend
says that it can hide in the woods (although it has been very active
every time anyone has ever sighted it).
Few survive and tell of the damage it does.

============================================================================
A DIFFERENT VIEW danbeck@po-1.star.k12.ia.us (Dan Beck)

A Rationale for Magic in the Mythus Roleplaying Game System

Heka and Chi Energy

Magical effects are phenomena that appear to violate


physical laws of time, space, momentum and energy. All magick
practitioners are aware that, despite appearances, there is always a cost
involved (usually involving the Law of Conservation of Energy). They have
to meditate and store up personal reserves of internal life energy called
chi before they can gain access and control over the energy of magick known
as heka.
Chi energy is the source of all kinds of mystical powers,
such as used by yogis, faith healers, diviners, certain martial artists,
and even some poets and musicians (spellsingers). It is a part of all
living beings--plant, animal or person. The ability to manipulate this
energy to produce unusual effects does not violate any physical laws. It
takes a certain sensitivity to one's spiritual side, as well as faith and
self-confidence to be able to store up significant amounts of chi and use
it to affect yourself and the external world.
Heka energy is the source of all kinds of magickal
effects--especially those which seem to violate physical laws. Heka is not
native to this dimension. It is matter or energy which has been
transported from one dimension, where one set of physical laws holds true,
to another dimension having differing physical laws. If a plant or
creature were to somehow switch dimensions (or planes, as they are
sometimes called), they would be perceived as magickal by the inhabitants
of the new dimension.

The Relationship between Chi and Heka


The first true magicians were those mystics whose chi
levels enabled them to perceive the existence of other dimensions. They
used their chi to penetrate into other dimensions and carry some non-native
heka energy back into their native dimension. They discovered that, not
only did the heka they brought back produce strange and powerful effects,
but that their chi, while on the other dimension, also had unusual and
unanticipated effects.

These effects seemed to depend on the interaction of two


basic forces common to all detectable dimensions--the Force of Law and the
Force of Chaos. Their ratio is what determines how precisely defined
energy states and positions of matter become, and how random the momentum
of matter and duration of events become. The ratio of Law to Chaos is
constant for a given dimension, but varies along a logarithmic scale of -10
for total Chaos, unaffected by Law to +10 for completely static Law,
unaffected by Chaos.
The ability to produce magickal effects requires accessing
relatively Chaotic heka and moderating it with relatively Lawful heka. The
Prime Material Plane is considered to be located at +0 on the above scale,
and is ideally situated for simultaneously reaching into both extremes.
This is why beings of power from extreme dimensions often attempt to secure
a foothold on moderate dimensions, or gain the aid of spellcasters from
moderate dimensions.

Spellcasting

Access and control of heka depends on the ability of the


magick practitioner to gather and focus their body's chi to pierce between
dimensions. Once a link is established with the desired dimension, an
equal exchange of chi-for-heka occurs. The spellcaster must then direct
and control the effects of the heka on this dimension, using up still more
chi. The ability to accomplish this successfully depends on the inherent
capacity to store up chi and heka, the knowledge, skill and experience
built up from prior successful Castings, as well as unbroken visualization
and concentration during the actual casting of the spell.

The Establishment of Schools of Magic


Once they began reaching out into the manifold dimensions,
the first mages found that they were not alone! Extra-dimensional beings
of power were waiting, and were desirous of encouraging an exchange of
heka. The most powerful of these beings were perceived as deities, and
adjustments were soon made to appease them. A formal tutelage of magick
was set up, with apprentices being taught certain shortcuts to accessing
heka, requiring less of a sensitivity to the spiritual side of chi, and
more attention to gathering it up and shoveling it through to the "other
side". An equal amount of heka would be returned, and the exchange of
energy would be mutually beneficial to both sides. Different schools of
magick were established, subject to the differing philosophies, ethics and
goals of the sponsoring deities, but one thing held true for all schools of
magick: The sponsorship of extra-dimensional deities was a secret known
only to the highest initiates in the hierarchies of the schools.
Of course, magick development still takes place outside of
the established schools, with independent mages picking up whatever bits
and pieces of formal magick fall their way. There seems to be more of a
danger with this approach, as "demons" and other extra-dimensional beings
of power are quick to take advantage of the unwary untutored, absorbing all
of their chi and discarding their empty husks.

Priestly Magic
Certain deities have no wish to remain behind the scenes.
They wish to recruit as much heka exchange as possible. These deities
directly make themselves known to inhabitants of other planes, and have
their priests recruit worshipers. These predatory and expansionist "evil"
deities can ultimately threaten the balance of entire dimensions, and are
usually opposed by certain "good" deities who use sometimes similar methods
(i.e., priests and worshipers) to contain the expansion. The wisest of the
"good" and "evil" deities recognize the importance of balance and tolerate
the co-existance of the other, even while attempting to minimize the
other's influence. The less wise sometimes attempt out-and-out
extermination of the other. However, whenever a plane shifts further
towards Law or Chaos, its native inhabitants find it more difficult to
access the moderating heka of the opposite order. Ultimately, heka
supplied to the native's deities diminishes, and the deities must spread
their influence to a more moderate plane in order to continue their agenda
of aggressive gathering of power.

There exist certain deities who depend less on worshipers


and priests to provide them with large supplies of heka, than on a
continual, low-level intermixing of related dimensions. Their ability do
do this is threatened if major infusions of heka occur from any particular
dimension. Their priests are few in number and maintain a low profile, but
represent guardians of the balance. Their ability to utilize the heka from
interdimensionally-mingled plants and animals is almost unhindered, and
other priests tread lightly around them.

Types of Spellcasters
Mystics are specialists in the intricate and obscure ways of
utilizing chi to affect their own abilities, characteristics and traits, as
well as those of others. They have no need to access other dimensions for
heka, and refuse to obligate themselves to extra-dimensional beings of
power at the expense of their own independence. Their secret techniques
depend on manipulation of their own internal chi, stored either internally
or externally in crystals.
Spellsingers also do not exchange chi for heka across dimensions.
Instead, they use music and rhythms to gather, channel and direct the chi
of the natural world, contained in all living things, to produce similar
effects as mystics. Their focus of chi is not so much internal as
external, as suits their extroverted nature.
Certain spell effects of mystics and spellsingers seem impossible
to explain, unless some low-level access to heka is invoked. Regardless,
the emphasis of these two spellcasting disciplines remains on the internal
and external application of chi, rather than heka.
Mages usually train in a specific school of magick which is
devoted to a particular philosophic point of view, and which allows access
to particular dimensions. Independent mages do exist, but their access to
magick is somewhat hindered, since spell-sharing outside of one's school
seldom occurs. The independent (or generalist) mage also has a harder time
accessing the required dimension than the specialist mage (perhaps due to
the lack of cooperation of the "sponsor" of the school from which the spell
originated...)
Certain branches of magick seem equally accessible whether a mage
is a generalist or a specialist. These include the alchemical and healing
arts, the occult branches of necromancy, conjuration, sorcery and
witchcraft, the protective arts of apatropaism and exorcism, and arts of
foreknowledge and divination. These branches of magick are maintained and
passed on as expedient for individual vocations which find them useful, or
are sometimes even made the focus of a vocation.
Priests generally do have an agenda for the use of their spells,
because their deities grant them access to heka, making them less
chi-dependent. In return, they seek to further the goals of their deities
for this dimension. Priests have no established and formal schools of
magick, but their individual contact with deities of particular ethical
trends colors the churches and ceremonies they organize and supervise.

Full and Partial Practitioners of Magic


Some students of magick have higher potential than others,
and might come to the attention of a deity with an interest in accumulating
more heka from this dimension. A deal would then be offered--in return for
a Vow or Pact to serve the interests of the "sponsor", the ability of the
student to store up and access heka would be extended to its fullest
potential. Students who accept this offer become Full Practitioners, while
those who decline or who were never offered the deal become Partial
Practitioners, who must develop their potential unaided.
By virtue of patience, diligence, effort and luck, some
Partial Practitioners are eventually able to become equivalent to Full
Practitioners in regard to heka storage. However, the ease of access to
heka which occurs upon taking a Vow or Pact can never be otherwise
obtained. Such is the price of independence.

Summary of Additions & Modifications to Mythus


1) Chi energy is used to gain access and control of heka. Whenever the
Mythus books mention "heka generation" within a native dimension, it is
referring to the generation of chi.

2) Crystals, gems and minerals do not intrinsically contain heka, unless


they have crossed over from another dimension (such as the elemental plane
of earth). They can be imbued with the ability to store chi or heka, based
upon the value and quality of the substance.

3) Certain herbs and creatures have crossed over from related dimensions
(such as the Realm of Phaerie) and thus possess various amounts of heka in
this dimension.

4) The persona's basic chi store (Vocational TRAIT(s) plus chi generated
from their K/S areas and subareas) is the maximum amount of chi available
to a Partial Practitioner. This amount can be increased by the making of a
Vow or Pact.

5) There are ten Grades of preternatural heka Castings, to reflect the


ease of access to the various dimensions. Thus, a 5th Grade Casting is
required to access heka from a dimension at +5 or -5 from the caster's
dimension. Note that the more extreme the dimension, the more difficult
the casting grade is to obtain opposing heka of the same level.
Theoretically, a tenth grade of Preternatural Heka is
supposed to be the 1st grade of nine levels of Supernatural Heka, with its
tenth grade in turn being the 1st grade of nine levels of Entital Heka.
This is a false rumor, spread by extra-dimensional beings of power to keep
mere humans from poking into their affairs.
In truth, Supernatural beings exist in the dimensions from
+9 to +1 and from -1 to -9. They do indeed need to make Castings of 11th
to 19th grade in order to access heka from opposing dimensions. They
retain this Casting Grade capacity in whatever dimensions they happen to be
visiting (they like the moderate ones best!) But what they aren't saying
is that beings from moderate dimensions are tapping the same heka that the
Supernatural beings do! +8 Heka requires a 8th Grade casting from the
Prime Material Plane, but requires a 12th level Casting if the spellcaster
is on a -4 Chaotic dimension!

Actually, there is only one grade, not nine, of Entital


Heka. It is located at -10 of the Chaotic Dimensions (sometimes called the
Negative Plane) and at +10 of the Lawful Dimensions (sometimes called the
Positive Plane). The Entital Beings living on these planes can all make
20th level Castings.
The Mythus books refer to Entital Heka as being 10 X more
powerful than Supernatural Heka, and to Supernatural Heka as being 10 X
more powerful than Preternatural Heka (so that Entital Heka is 100 times as
powerful as Preternatural Heka). This is actually a reflection of the
ability of the Supernatural and Entital Beings to store up more chi and
heka than is possible for spellcasters from the moderate dimensions. All
this really means is that deities are magickal practicioners whose
differences from "mortals" are really more in degree than in kind! ( A
personal aside: IMHO, it's pretty tough to roleplay a deity as anything
OTHER than this, given the merely human nature of *most* gamers and journey
masters!! <grin> Of course, these modifications would be HIGHLY
inappropriate for truly high-powered games, such as the ones incorperating
The Primal Order, for one example. But they appeal to my own set of biases
and preferences. May they appeal to yours, too!)

6) Full Practice is available to mages and priests whose Vocational TRAIT


exceeds 100 and who make a DR roll of "extreme" against their Spiritual or
Mental TRAIT totals, with a bonus of +1 for each Physical TRAIT point in
excess of 100. Success means they may make Castings at 1 DR easier within
their school, if they in addition make a Vow or Pact to serve the ends of
a particular deity. Upon acceptance, they receive the X10 STEEP bonus for
purposes of heka accumulation.
Full Practitioners automatically have their Vocational TRAIT as an
additional personal store of Heka. Partial Practitioners have a 9 in 10
chance for this. Anyone with one TRAIT as a store of heka has a 1 in 10
chance of adding a 2nd TRAIT to that total. And anyone (Full or Partial
Practitioner) having two TRAITs as a store of heka has a 1 in 10 chance of
adding in the 3rd TRAIT, as well.
It is possible (but difficult) for a Partial Practitioner
to make a Vow or Pact to gain up to a X6 STEEP bonus to their heka total..
This would first entail undertaking a quest or great deed to gain the
notice of the deities concerned. Then, with appropriate surroundings and
ritual, the practitioner would make the Vow or Pact and try to absorb and
hold as much heka as possible. Now roll vs. your STEEP at "easy".
Success adds your STEEP to the total. Repeat for "moderate", "hard",
"difficult", "very difficult" and "extreme" DRs. Once a roll is failed,
the ritual has ended and may never be attempted again.
At least once each year, the recipient of this heka bonus
must undergo some sort of "test" of the Vow or Pact. Success would add the
practitioner current STEEP to his or her total (up to the maximum of 10 X
the starting bonus STEEP). Failure during the attempted test would
subtract the practitioner's current STEEP from his or her heka total (down
to the minimum of the starting bonus STEEP). Failure to attempt the test
would void the Vow or Pact entirely, removing all of the bonus STEEP from
the heka total (in addition to leaving the practitioner open to whatever
other retaliation or punishment the deity feels is warranted!)
A similar reduction of heka occurs for Full Practitioners
if they do not meet the obligations of their initial Vow or Pact. Again,
works of service and devotion may restore lost heka.

7) All practitioners must reserve 10% of their heka capacity to


psychically wall-off and protect a section of the mind from the effects of
heka storage (unnecessary for chi storage). If this wall is removed by
mystical or magickal attack, it must be reestablished or remaining heka in
storage drains directly from your Vocational TRAIT pool at a rate of
(Recovery Level - 10% of Heka left) per round.

8) For every 10 points of additional chi spent to access and control heka
(beyond the indicated ACE and TAD requirements of the Casting), the
effective STEEP of the spellcaster increases by 1 for the chances of
determining success for that Casting.

9) Priestly vocations, by virtue of having "divinely guided" access to


heka across dimensions, have the above bonus as: for every 5 points of
additional chi spent , their effective STEEP for the Casting increases by
1.

These additions and modifications to Mythus rules are only


suggestions, of course. They happen to fit comfortably within my own need
for a framework of logic and consistency (I'm a high school physics
teacher!). I believe that the assumptions I have made about chi-assisted
dimensional access to heka lead logically to the establishment of the
various magick-using vocations, as they exist in the Mythus sourcebooks.
The same set of assumptions will also work for any other "traditional" RPG
systems that utilize level-or skill-based spellcasting and various classes
of spellcasters.
One other thing: I have about 12 years of experience in the
practice of yoga and martial arts. Based upon what I have occasionally
been able to "touch" and perceive, I do believe that chi energy exists as a
tangible aspect of living--that it can be accumulated and manipulated (in
mostly minor ways) as described for mystics. In my experience, though, chi
energy is very transitory and if not constantly maintained, soon drains
away. I have never seen any evidence that it can be stored externally, or
that dimensional access is possible. Too bad...this reality could use a
little heka, couldn't it?

============================================================================
MAGICKAL TREASURES: Here is a short collection of some more of the magickal
items I have received. Like I've said before, this is my favorite part of
role-playing--the more imaginative the better!

Xerk's Amber Helm


ndb1@cec.wustl.edu (Nathaniel D. Brazy)

Xerk was a famous Dwarven Heka-Forger in the Early Era of the Dwarven
empire. He was known for his very unorthodox techniques and equally
effective equipment. The Amber Helms were developed by Xerk to be used by
Dwarven warriors in their battles against the mage supported Human armies.
A special squad of highly trained warriors wearing these helms would
spear-head an attack directly at the mages who were supporting the human
troops. These helms protected these warriors from the "evil" magicks that
the mages would try to use to stop them. These squads were very effective
at first, but the humans soon learned to protect their mages by more
conventional means.
The Amber Helms give their wearers an additional mental resistance
of 150 and a spiritual resistance of 50. They also provide 200 points of
mental armor and 100 points of spiritual armor. The armor doesn't
regenerate, but can be restored by infusing the helm with Heka using a
fairly simple ritual (but it's not as simple if you don't know what the
ritual is). The helm does have a small side-effect. The wearer will
always feel annoying sensation in their head as long as they are near an
active mage (as opposed to a priest). This helps sharpen their aggression
towards such people (be they friend or foe).
Not too many of these helms were made since they weren't that easy
to make and Xerk always had much better things to do than mass produce
things. Unfortunately his techniques were far enough from standard that
few other dwarves dared to try and duplicate them.

Magickal Rings John Teske (teskej@dgabby.mfldclin.edu)

Ring of Antitoxin - This ring is always magically active, and it immediately


lessens the strength of any poison encountered by the wearer (insinuitive,
ingestive, or contact) by 10, before any damage is accrued. Thus, for example,
if the HP wearing the ring was struck by a dagger, poisoned with an insinuitive
poison of strength 40 of an instantaneous type (all 100 damage at once), then
this would be reduced to a strength 30 poison of instantaneous type (75 points
all at once). At lessen strengths, this effect of -10 to the strength becomes
considerable. Some of these rings are more potent, and others delay the onset
of the poison to longer than the norm expected.

Ring of Protection vs. Drowning - This ring provides the same effect as the
Apotropaism spell of the same name cast at a STEEP of 100, for the mere
investment of 100 heka. This effect is considered an eyebite in effect once
the heka is invested, for purposes of how fast the effects of the ring become
manifest.

Ring of Mental Attack Perception - This ring will operate continuously for 24
hours for a mere 50 heka; during the 24 hours, it will flawlessly detect all
mental links to the wearer during that time, alerting its owner the same CT
the link is made by any means the DM so chooses (eg. flash, tightening, gets
hot/cold, etc.). If for any reason the wearer is not so able, the wearer is
also given the ability to channel heka into defense against a mental attack.
Some of these rings also grant a minor amount of Mental Armor. These rings
usually require more base heka to activate.

Ring of Spiritual Attack Perception - This ring will operate continuously for
24 hours for a mere 50 heka; during the 24 hours, it will flawlessly detect
all spiritual links to the wearer during that time, alerting its owner the
same CT the link is made by any means the DM so chooses (eg. flash,
tightening, gets hot/cold, etc. If for any reason the wearer is not so able,
the ring also grants the ability to channel heka into defense against spritual
attacks. Some of these rings also grant a small amount of Spiritual Armor;
these rings usually require more base heka to activate.

Ring of Mental-Spirtual Attack Percetion - This ring detects both Mental and
Spritual attcks; for the mere investment of 75 heka, it will flawlessly detect
all mental or spiritual links over the 24 hours following heka expenditure.
The ring alerts its wearer of a Mental or Spiritual link the same CT the link
is made. If for any reason the wearer is not able, the ring also grants the
ability to channel heka into defense against both mental and spiritual
attacks. These rings are considerably more rare than the above two rings; the
ones that provide small amounts of mental and spiritual armor are even more
rare and desirable, usually having an even higher base heka activation cost.

Orbs of Communication ndb1@cec.wustl.edu (Nathaniel D. Brazy)

Hundreds of years ago there was a guild where mages from all over
the continent came to learn, study and experiment. This guild had
responsibilities to the nations in which it was present and to the general
wellfare of everyone. To fullfill these responsibilities the head guild
members developed these Orbs. Their purpose was to allow a way for the
leaders of various nations communicate to each other directly without
having to go on long risky trips. It is not certain exactly how many of
these Orbs were made, but there was at least one for each of the nations
and there was a master orb that the guild kept to itself. Each orb had a
specific color associated with it and to use an orb, you would try to "call
up" another orb by concentrating on that color. If someone was monitoring
the other orb, they would see the color of the orb that you were using and
could choose to respond (or not). In their most simple form the Orbs could
allow two-way communication between any two orbs. This communication would
be through thoughts and emotions that were specifically directed at the
orb. In this way users could control what the other person "heard".
The orb that the guild kept for its own use was the White orb. It
could act like a normal orb (the color Black was reserved for the White orb
acting in this respect), and it had many other abilities. The White orb
could immitate an orb of any of the other colors and the White orb could
also eavesdrop on any conversation taking place through any two orbs
without the users of the other orbs knowing. Of course the Guild only used
this orb sparingly and with everyone elses best interests in mind...
A rumor that spread, despite the best of efforts by the guild, was
that it is possible to cast spells through the orbs to other users. If
this is true then the spells would have to be specially prepared or they
would have to be some sort of "priming" spell. It is also possible that
this use would only work from the White orb. Seeing as how the guild
denied these rumors, none of these spells are known to exist, but I'm sure
an enterprising mage might be able to recreate them with enough time,
effort, and luck (if they didn't kill themselves first).
Anyway during the [insert major catastrophe here], the guild was
destroyed (mostly) and many of the orbs were lost. Now many years later
only a few of the orbs have been recovered and these are guarded very
carefully. It is not known how many fo the orbs still exist and nobody
knows (or at least admits to know) the whereabouts of the master White orb.

============================================================================
FINIS: Hey, not bad for the longest issue yet! Hopefully we can keep this
thing going! Well, I hope all of you have a great time during finals! I will
try my best to come up with the next issue during these next two weeks, to
give you all something more interesting to read than a textbook!
In the meantime, keep the faith! Since, in our case, no news is good news,
perhaps those knuckleheads over at T$R will decide to do something favorable
with the Dangerous Journeys system... :)

Always Faithful: Hawkeye