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Showing posts from August, 2018

Important Characters of Santa Severina

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Barone Gregorio di Barena appeared on Barena twenty years ago, during the Orc War. A mighy warrior, he helped turn the tides and save Santa Severina, before settling in as its lord. The Barone has always been reticent about his past, but this much is generally assumed. He was a minor noble from Sicania, probably a younger son in a large family who was not going to inherit anything. He made his own way in the world as a soldier of fortune. He became captain of his own company, and must have served in Crescentia, where he met his wife. He came to Barena with his company and helped defeat the orcs at the Battle of Santa Severina. Afterwards, he appointed himself lord, and built himself a castle on a hill overlooking the town. He hasn't been a particularly good lord, however, and there's lots of grumbling in the town. It hasn't progressed past that stage yet.

Baronessa Faziah di Barena is Gregorio's exotic Crescentian wife. The people of Santa Severina don't like her, b…

Movie Review: The Agony and the Ecstasy

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I just finished watching The Agony and the Ecstasy, and wanted to talk about it! This is an old movie from 1965 about Michelangelo and the painting of the Sistine Chapel, based on the book by Irving Stone. Michelangelo is forced into undertaking a mammoth commision that he doesn't want from Pope Julius II  He ends up creating one of the most sublime works of art ever made.

The highlight of this movie is its amazing visuals. Every scene is sumptuous with colour and detail. From the assembled cardinals, to armies at war, and the tavern that Michelangelo visits, every scene is full of life and detail. This is, of course, to say nothing of the art that is the true star of the movie. There is also a wonderful look at what life was like at the time. The costuming and scenery are incredible, and the movie also shows a lot of how art was made - in particular, the stonecutters' quarry and the methods for painting frescos. The central relatonship triangle is also very compelling, since …

Santa Severina and the Isole Sopravvento

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The main Dragon Princes campaign, Carnevale, has hit an unfortunate snag: coordinating the spare time of eight people is not always easy, and at the moment, there is no time that everyone can attend a session! That's going to end soon, I hope, but in the meantime I'm starting a more casual second game. This is based on the classic D&D adventures 'The Secret of Bone Hill' and 'The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh' and their sequels, but converted to Tirenia!

Off the south-western coast of Tirenia, just north of the island of Sicania, are a small chain of volcanic islands, some of which are still active. They are the Isole Sopravvento, the Windward Isles. A long time ago, they were said to be inhabited by giants, but humans settled them before the beginning of the Auromian Empire. The Isole Sopravvento have not gone through the same upheavals as the rest of the world. They were spared the chaos of the empire's fall, and were converted to the Church by the loc…

Character Creations: Ideals and Flaws

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Characters in Tirenia have ideals and flaws, just like in other worlds. Living up to their ideals, or giving in to their flaws, can be a source of Inspiration for them.

In a Dragon Princes game, instead of using the standard lists of options, consider using the religious virtues or sins instead. This helps to tie your character more firmly into the setting.

The seven virtues are:

Charity (Caritas): The Church states that helping those in need is virtuous. Giving of oneself - whether time, money, or anything else - to aid others is its own reward, and should not be done with the thought of reward or recognition. This can also mean donating to the Church, which is capable of helping people on a larger scale.

Chastity (Castitas): The moderation of sexual impulses. Tirenians generally do not believe in celibacy. They are also quite accepting of extramarital relationships, which are quite common for the upper classes. For them, chastity is about faithfulness to one's spouse or lover, and…

Campaign Conversions: Princes of the Apocalypse

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Princes of the Apocalypse is set in the Dessarin Valley, an isolated frontier area. To convert it to Dragon Princes, consider putting it in the northern White Mountains. There are several valleys and passes in the mountains, occupied primarily by humans and gnomes. The white dragon overlords are indifferent at best, meaning that they cannot be relied upon to save the world from Elemental Evil.

Elemental philosophy is widely taught in philosophical academies throughout Tirenia. To most, the elements are the raw building blocks of creation. The four elemental cults consist of madmen and the deluded, who want to harness this raw energy for their own ends. Consider playing up the temporary alliances and enmities between the different cults. They are also not attempting to 'summon' an elemental god (as no such entities exist in Tirenia) but to create one. Their efforts will throw the elements out of harmony. If the Eternal Flame cult becomes ascendant, for example, there will be a …