Polyhedron #108

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Polyhedron #108

Transcript of Polyhedron #108

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  • Notes from HORemembering to Laugh.. .I discovered role playing garnes in 1982,when my brother Martin and I droveback from a family reunion in Durant,Oklahoma. I had heard about theAD&D'game, but was a bit intimidatedby its complexity. Martin, who'd playedin college, explained what characteris-tics, hit points, and character classeswere. I asked questions, and hepatiently listened and replied. By theend of the two-hour car ride, I was curi-ous and ready to try it.

    My frrst game was a Private one; mYbrother was the Dungeon Master, and afriend, Daryl, played a frghter. I playeda half-elf magic user/thief named Elron.We had a good time, though Elron,swinging through the trees at the end ofa rope, was squished between the root-like toes of a passing malevolent treant.We all laughed, and Martin urged me toroll up another character.

    Eventually my brother tired of run-ning his game. I searched for anothergame, and discovered that some peopleplayed at local science-fiction conven-tions. I soon discovered that our localcons were not especially good gamingvenues, though I did learn to appreciateand enjoy those conventions for whatthey did offer: free munchies, greatauthors and artists, and new friends,

    One year, after taking a look at theGuN CoNt Game Fair pre-registrationmaterial in [email protected] Magazine, I madeup my mind to attend. I got a cut-rateairfare, stayed out at Sandburg Hall (onthe University of Wisconsin4Vlilwaukeecampus), and had the time of mY life:four days and nights ofnon-stop adven-ture! I made up my mind then never tomiss such an opportunity again.

    The next year at the Game Fair, Iplayed in my first [email protected] Network tour-nament, The Black Rose. I joined theNetwork right after I got up from thetable. I returned.to Oklahoma knowingthat I had to bring this same excitementback to the conventions at home.

    Donald Dennis and I ran our firstNetwork tournament that same fall atSoonerCon, and the response was elec-tric. Everybody'aranted to play, and wealmost couldn't find enough judges. Iactually wore a tie to judge the frnals (atradition that I maintain to this day).

    From that point on, the Network was onthe rise in Oklahoma.

    The Network was something to takepride in, something to rally around. Myfriends and I ran games at every con-vention that we could, and the dernandfor events andjudges soon outgrew ourabiLity to supply them. We formed thePlayers' Guild of Central Oklahoma,and together the ten ofus organizedgaming at most of the Oklahoma con-ventions those next two years.

    I still went to the Game Fair, andeach year Jean Rabe asked me to dosomething new. I judged, and loved it(though I must admit I had that firsttournament memorized by slot one).Then something amazing happened:Cheryl McNally-Frech asked me if Iwould judge the feature, and handed methe round. I was stunned, but I got mYplayers seated, and after a while, I wasrunning one of the best games of mYlife. I don't think I have ever thankedher for challenging me like that, butthanks, Cheryl!

    I played in my first masters tourna-ment and had what I consider to be mYpeak experience in role playrng. Sufficeit to say that our team, the Army of thePurple Lace Bloomers, beat up a bunchofawestruck ogres and rescued ourhalfling friends. All six players and thejudge were rolling on the floor withlaughter afterward. No one wanted tovote; we already knew we had eachbeen a winner. When first place wasannounced and my nanne was called, Iwas flabbergasted. The other people onmy team stood up and cheered for me,and I was speechless. Larr'1r, Fran, Phil,Dennis, and Robert, I owe each ofYou aCherry Coke. I stood in the awards linebehind Don Bingle, the ranking Net-work player, and he congratulated me. Ialmost passed out.

    As you might imagine, everythingafter that has been pretty much down-hill. I got to work security at GnN CottNetwork HQ, where an older gentlemanwith long mustaches and a glrarledwooden staff sat next to me and chattedamiably with me one Sunday morning.We talked about role playing, the GameFair, the Network, and made jokesabout how serious everyone seemed to

    be. The guy turned out to be FrankMentzer, the first Network coordinator.

    I have gained many opportunitiesthrough Network membership: a shot atwriting for the Newszine, the chance tobe a club president, and the good for-tune to help others by being a RegionalDirector. Through the Network I havegotten the opportunity to game withwonderful players, judge incredibleteams through club competitions (andeven dance awaltzwith Marshall Simp-son at the Game Fair awards cere-11161iss-f,6 a Clint Heilman rap). I havehad so much.fun and met so many newfriends along the way, I feel the moneyI've spent on membership has been thebest investment I've ever made.

    And now I get to pay the Networkback for all the good times I've had, allthe excitement, all the fun. I still can'tbelieve how fortunate I am to have thisopportunity to serve the Network, toactually get paid for doing things IVeloved doing for years.

    As I look at the Network, what it hasmeant to me as a member, and what itmeans to so many, I begin to see how Igot here: the Network's commitment toquality. I enjoyed Network eventsbecause they were so much better thanthe ones in which I had played before' Ijoined because ofthe distinction thatwent with being a Network player andjudge. And I continued to renew mYmembership because I believed in thatquality, that dedication to excellence.

    I affirm that commitment to excel-lence in role playing games-all roleplayrng games. It has always been andcontinues to be the Network's mission.

    As I take on the responsibilities heldby'individuals like Frank Mentzer, KimEastland, Penny Petticord, HaroldJohnson, and Jean Rabe, I am remindedof that mission, but also of the gentle,self-effacing humor with which each ofthem served the Network.

    I hope we all remember to laugh atourselves every once in a while...

    REHYLoP

  • 3Volume '15, Number 6lssue #108

    SPECIAL FEATURE9 Races of Cerilia, Part l-by Rich Baker

    An introductory look at the races of TSR's new BIRTHRICHT^ setting

    FEATURES13 hwmlunau* o&A

    Clarifications and corrections for Meranna: rrm Ln'rxc JuNcr'n

    15 Jungle Lore-by Kevin MelkaNew proficiencies for Lruxc JuNcr,s characters

    18 What's So Bad About the Dark Side?-by Lester SmithStudents of the Force must walk a nalrow ethical path

    22 Author, Author!The new Por,vmnnox Newszine writing guidelines

    28 Weeds of Wonder-by Greg FerrisA collection of useful Malatran plants

    EDITORIAL2 Notes From HO

    DEPARTMENTS4 "Forgotten" Realms Deities-by Eric Boyd

    Sebek. Lord of the Werecrocodiles

    5 Ravens Bluff TrumPeter

    6 Elminster's Everwinking Eye-by Ed GreenwoodThe end of the road in Turmish

    20 Video Drone-by Brian and Donna ThomsenThe Crow andDick TracY

    24 Weasel Games-by Lester SmithBluffing, an essential element of any weasel gamer's repertoire

    25 Living Galaxy-by Roger Moore"Wh; if Napbleon had had aB-527": Alterniverse gaming!

    oRDEH

  • 4Forgotten DeitiesSebek

    Fall ofthe Gods, had largely died out.All crocodiles are said to be the chil-dren ofSebek. Some sages speculateSebek was once worshiPPed in thesoutheastern Realms as Haaashas-taak, Master of all Lizardkind, but thesame claim is made more strongly forUbtao, Lord ofChult, lending doubt tothat claim.

    Like other minor gods, the alreadYweakened Sebek was an easy tatgetduring the Time of Troubles. Malar,the Beastlord, took advantage oftheopportunity and slew the Lord of Croc-odiles in a titanic battle that destroyedlarge sections of the AdderswamP.Malar has subsequently revitalized theCult of Sebek and turned the CitY of

    the Werecrocodiles into a growingregional power, filling the void left bythe collapse ofthe city ofLuthcheq.Bands ofwerecrocodiles have beguntaxing all trade in the Bay ofChessenta, and are responsible for thedisappearance of several small compa-nies of mercenaries frghting in the warbetween the Airspur-Soorenar allianceand Akanax. The reptilian lycan-thropes have claimed all of the Adder-swamp and the Bay of Chessenta astheir domain, although none of the sur-rounding cities have commented onthis development. Previous conflictsbetween wererats dwelling in theAdderswamf and the werecrocodileshave been smoothed over by analliance of lycanthrope priests of bothspecies who worship Malar orMalar/Sebek. Malar's domain in theSouth is likely to be strongly chal-lenged in the immediate future by thesurrounding human cities concerned bythe werecrocodiles' increasing militarypower and the effects of the additionaltaxation on trade.

    Sebek's Pr iestsAll priests of Sebek/Malar must bewerecrocodiles, and all are specialtypriests. True lycanthropes are l im-ited to 5th level, while thosehumans and demihumans infectedwith lycanthropy are l imited to 3rdlevel. Priests gain an additional Ld4hit points per level.

    AB Con 12*, Str 18 (note that a l lwerecrocodiles have an 18 strength,as descr ibed in FR IO Old EmPires);AL NE; WP any; AR none; RAnone; SP All, Animal, Combat, Ele-mental, Plant; SPL nil; PW aswerecrocodi les, 3)suggest ion(W3)(only to convince the victim that thepriest is truly grieving-see theCombat section in the description ofthe werecrocodi le in FR 10 OldEmpires),5) st icks to crocodi les (asst icks to snakes (P )) ; TU ni l ; QSanimal horde (entire horde com-posed of crocodi les).

    f

    by Eric Boyd

    Power: Demi-Plane: PrimeAoC: Rivers, crocodilesAlign: N (E)WAL: NESymbo} Crocodile headSex: Male

    Sebek is an ancient minor Unthericdeity, depicted as a crocodile-headedman, who was worshiPPed in the wet-Iands of ancient Unther, away from thecities. This cult has been persecutedfor several centuries, and