Saturday 8 May 2021

Tales From the Magician's Skull #3

Tales From the Magician's Skull #3
was written by William King, Joseph McCullough, John C. Hocking, James Enge, Violette Malan, Howard Andrew Jones, Sarah Newton, and Terry Olson (DCC stats). Art is by Samuel Dillon, Justine Jones, Doug Kovacs, Brad McDevitt, Russ Nicholson, Stefan Poag, Matthew Ray, Chuck Whelon, and Sanjulian (cover). The publisher is Goodman Games.

Disclosure: I backed the successful kickstarter for a four-issue subscription beginning with issue #2.

Although there is no Vizier's Views article for this issue, I will again be focusing on the gaming material provided. This should not be taken as a criticism of the issue's excellent fictional content; it is simply a consequence of the blog's focus on treasures for the Dungeon Crawl Classics game system! 

At with the first and second issues, it should be noted that statting out materials from fiction is as much an art as it is a science. Sometimes the game material is inspired by the source material more than it is a faithful reproduction thereof. The same is the case here.

The Face That Fits His Mask: Herein you gain statistics for the sunstone which is a magical light in the darkness. As a brief aside on the fictional end of things, this is the third "light bringer" object we've gotten in three issues. Personally, I would love to see more modern sword & sorcery writers let their characters grope in the Stygian gloom of a Cimmerian darkness! More interesting are the ratkin, which are not your standard wererats and which require four sets of stats based upon their age.

By That Much: We are presented with The Gravedigger’s Ritual, a level 1 ritual spell "designed to summon a victim, kill them, and lay them to rest in a recently shoveled grave."

Tyrant ’s Bane: We are treated to the level 1 spell, blindsight, which "affects sighted individuals by narrowing their field of view to see only the caster or her conduit". We also gain a new type of nobleman’s comfort (see Issue #1), statistics for the rather nasty silver risen un-dead, and the tyrantsbane dagger, which allows its wielder to store memories (or misery) of death and use this to kill others.

Five Deaths: Terry Olson provides statistics for the harthrang, a type II demon. He also provides the level 2 spell, aether bolt, which "continues to feed on a target for a duration of time until it dissipates."

The Forger’s Art: The hidden sanctum is a magical item which creates an interdimensional sanctum. There one can heal quickly in comfort and safety, with some small risk and limitations on how often it can be used.

The Second Death of Hanuvar: We are provided with the 1st level ritual spell, Entice She of the Dark, which calls upon the dark mistress, who may be a goddess of love, god of protection, patron of supernatural darkness, protective mother, seductress, or manifestation of the death-rebirth cycle.

Wizard of Remembrance: Statistics are provided for the memnovore. I would tell you more about this, but I forget. We also get the wand of ebon vitriol, which "fires a lambent black missile that automatically hits a visible target within 100’ and does corrosive damage to its target as well as splashing those nearby." A spell check is required, and on a "1" the wielder finds themselves the target!\

Tales From the Magician’s Skull is a fantasy magazine dedicated to presenting all-new sword-and-sorcery fiction by the finest modern crafters in the genre. These stories are the real thing, crammed with sword-swinging action, dark sorceries, dread, and ferocious monsters — and they hurtle forward at a headlong pace.

Issue #3 features fiction by William King, Joseph McCullough, John C. Hocking, James Enge, Violette Malan, Howard Andrew Jones, Sarah Newton, Terry Olson. The magazine is edited by Howard Andrew Jones and published by Joseph Goodman of Goodman Games, with layout by Lester B. Portly.

Each story is lovingly illustrated by industry stalwarts, and issue #3 continues the amazing high standards of art from the first issue.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.