Articles By Author - Brian Suskind

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or Bowing Before the Spider Gods

Part 9, Bowing Before the Spider Gods (Ruined Pages—Fragments) Monks…slavers… …affixed the chains to our wrists and connected us to the line of other slaves. …they eat their foes….dragged…. A portal in the archway… …elsewhere…high-plateau, very arid… …now near a brackish lake, we… …thermal spring…leaping snake shot like an arrow…which poisoned Agosto!… ….Never should have left home… Sharp teeth…taste of webbing… …torments abound…...

Alchemical Warfare

Alchemical Warfare Alchemical weapons have a long history in RPGs. It is a safe bet that the first gamers found themselves in a situation where igniting a flask of oil seemed like a great idea. Thumbing through the pages of history it is easy to find references to chemical weaponry. Chinese generals used clouds of vapor distilled from mustard seeds to blind their enemies. Indian alchemists used a serum distilled from certain tree roots, plants...

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or Captured by Monks

Part 8, Captured by the Monks of Leng Woe and calamity! Imagine the worst that might befall a traveler, and that thought pales in comparison to what has happened to Agosto and I! Desert duststorms drove us Northward for three more days in clouds of choking grit and sand. But on the fourth day, the sky cleared, and it was then that we saw the black city lurking at the base of the cliff-like mountains. We stopped to refill our waterskins at an...

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or Rescued by Yakfolk

Part 7, Rescued by Yakfolk When a traveler leaves Khubara, the local people have a quaint custom in which they attack the departing voyager and attempt to rob him of both goods and life. Such was the farewell we experienced upon our own leave taking. Now, I shall not say all in Khubara advocate such behavior, for I did not see all of them waylay us, but there were a significant number of them. I should like to say that my stalwart blade flashed...

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or Cities in the Sky

Part 6, On the Plains of Qaen, Flying Cities, and the Mountains of Beldestan A traveler who leaves Rhaga to journey eastward rides for seven days across the Plains of Qaen. No lodging houses operate in this land except in a few remote locations. Many beautiful groves of date palms grow here and abundant wild game makes for plentiful hunting. It was while traveling across these fine lands that I first beheld one of the fabled Flying Cities of...

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or Parthia’s on Fire

Part 5, On Parthia and the Fire-Worshippers of Atashkala Upon leaving Tabur by barge, it’s a twelve-day journey upon the Lumeta River. We fended off centaur raiders twice before reaching the eastern edge of the empire at the fortress town of Kazan. An impressive fortification, the town rests on both sides of the water and features a wall stretching beyond the bounds of the settlement to the horizon both north and south. The Gorgan...

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or the Province of Hariz and the City of Tabur

Part Four, On Traveling Eastward Let us pause a moment and speak on the decision to leave for the East via the city of Tabur. There are some who would advise a traveler to depart instead from the fortress city of Sarkland in the Gizmiri province. This advice is the height of folly. Though it is true that the Campaign Trail does stretch to the East from Sarkland, that road wanders through endless fields of the empire’s past battles with...

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or Betik and the Book

Part Three, On Betik, Province of the Book A prominent province indeed, Betik is well known as one of the greatest provinces of the entire Mharoti Empire. The road from Qiresh to Betik runs some 550 miles through high passes of the Dragoncoil. Yet this is not a hard journey as well-appointed hostels and waystations dot the trade road. Once clear of the peaks, the land opens to pleasant valleys, scattered with lakes and rivers. The slopes are so...

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or On the Road to Mharoti

Part Two, Qiresh and the Roads of the Mharoti Empire On the coast of the Ruby Sea is the town of Qiresh, which is a bustling centre of trade. You may depend on it that spices and cloths and all manner of valuable things from the interior are carried to this town. Qiresh possesses a sheltered harbor flanked by high cliff walls, and it is upon these cliffs that the town itself resides. It boasts the great Ringing Temple, the second-greatest...

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or So It Begins

Introduction, In Which We Meet Our Narrator and Learn Of His Reasons YE emperors, kings, dukes, marquises, earls, and knights, and all other people desirous of knowing the diversities of the races of Midgard, as well as the diversities of kingdoms, provinces, and regions of all parts of the East, read through this account, and I will relate the greatest and most marvelous characteristics of the peoples especially of Beldestan, Khandiria,...

The Imajaghan: Blue Turban Paladins of the Desert

In the Southlands Kickstarter, backers just unlocked some martial traditions for the blue turban warriors. To give you a sense of what’s in store for the blue turban paladins, Brian Suskind provides you with another quick peek! Read on! Wearing indigo-colored cheche, a garment that is both veil and turban, and flowing white robes, the Tamasheq of the Crescent and Sarklan Deserts are a simple tribal people journeying endlessly from oasis...

Oddities and Items of the Abandoned Lands

In the center of the Southlands is the great Kusini Plains: a serengeti-like savannah home to countless numbers of wildlife, megafauna, and towering dinosaurs. Many kingdoms and civilizations have risen and fell in this massive area, leaving only remnants and ruins behind. With the detritus of so many destroyed and once overlapping cultures littering the landscape, characters are sure to run across strange oddities and mysterious bits of junk....

The Aeromancers of Aerdvall, Masters of Air Magics

Join us for another look at the colorful and evocative gaming options provided by the Southlands project, which is currently being Kickstarted. On the opposite side of the crescent desert from Nuria-Natal lies the wondrous sky-city of Aerdvall. Roughly 2,100 years ago, refugees from far Sikkim raised their city to hover high above the foreboding Black Lotus Mesa. Today, seven bridge-connected districts orbit the Celestial Waterfall, which is a...

From Screenplay to RPG: Noncombat Conflict

Without looking too hard, you can find tons of adventures teeming with interesting encounters all of which have built-in conflict. They have monsters to fight, devious traps to disarm, and cunning puzzles to solve. But what about the other encounters in the campaign world? What about the traveler the heroes met on the road, the gate guard or the shopkeeper? All the stuff that happened before and after the fighting—those encounters need conflict...

From Screenplay to RPG: Interweaving Plotlines with a Three-Act Structure (Part Two)

Last time we looked at how to construct three-act subplots, and I used three example subplots from my own campaign. Remember, you are not limited to any number of plotlines. It’s just a question of how many balls you can keep track of. Layering the Subplots in a Three-Act Structure Using the examples from my campaign, here’s how I would layer the three subplots together in an overall three-act structure. Act One Learning about the Revenant...

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