Self-Published Authors Getting a Knife in the Back?

Interesting article about some potentially dodgy dealings from Amazon and the big six to negate the success of Self-Published Authors.

Not certain how true all of this is, but if it is correct, that doesn’t bode well for self-publishing.  Though really, I think it will just mean that self-publishing will move away from Amazon to another venue.


[House Rules-Classes]New Class List

Ok, I’ve got so many new custom classes, I decided it was time to create a place to link to them all.  I will try to keep this updated for purposes of indexing so when I create a new class, I’ll add it to the list.

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[House Rules-Classes]Black Mage

The following is a class built around…well, I’m sure you can figure that out.  Arguably, this class is unnecessary and the normal mage can fill the role, but I was flush with my earlier success so decided to play with something that had things like Elementalism and spell-like abilities ‘baked-in’.

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[House Rules]House Rules 4-Alignment

Alignment has always been a bit of prickly thorn in the side of D&D since it’s initial inclusion.  Gygax went for a more Moorcockian ‘Law vs Chaos’ model over the more traditional ‘Good vs Evil’, and nothing but debates and arguments have come from it since.  The Nine Point Alignment system was probably an attempt at a more nuanced system, where someone might believe in order, but be a tyrant (Lawful Evil), which was difficult with the three-fold model.  However, this has led to an even greater degree of conflict.  I don’t know if it was the intent, but the alignment model probably brought more philosophical discussion and debate to D&D than anything else.  Games might grind to a halt as players and DM’s wrestled with the questions that philosophers through the ages have been unable to answer: what is good?  What is evil?  Does the end justify the means?

To further complicate things, while it was implicit in the mechanics of the game that alignment exists as a ‘tangible force’ in the universe (I.e. there is such a thing as an objective good and objective evil that could be manipulated through various magics), very little was done to spell out what the cosmological rules were.  In a pantheistic universe,  there are a number of different ideological beliefs about what is ‘proper’ and ‘right’ yet there is only one Good and Evil.  In a modern world where moral relativism is a far more prevalent philosophical view, it’s often hard to conceive of a universe in which things are objectively black and white.  Such an idea is often viewed as ‘quaint’ or at the very least out of touch.

To avoid this kettle of fish entirely, I always stuck with Moorcock’s Eternal Struggle (as Elric was one of my earliest and largest creative influences).  Good and evil, such as they were, existed in the daily struggle of mortals more as a relative notion.  One nation’s good was another’s evil (much as in reality).  Meanwhile, the gods and their servants, fought the eternal battle between the philosophies of Law and Chaos.  This gave me the best of both worlds…people could have their shades of grey while still have a concrete system that can be effected (or at least detected and warded against) by magic.

But something was always missing.  Namely, there was little connection between the divine forces and those that follow them. I needed an actual mechanic.  I also needed something for those who didn’t follow any of the three factions.  So, this is what I’ve come up with…

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[House Rules-Classes]White Mage

The following is a class built around…well, I’m sure you can figure that out.  It is another for the world where gods are dead and people need to rely on other powers to help them through the dark times.  However, it would fit really in any setting as a alternate ‘Healer’ class.

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Sundered Empires Session Report 25

Read the previous play report

The characters awoke from the golden mist, refreshed and healed, only to find Lairn and his ally missing, while Kenan-Tal had been whisked straight from Threshold.  They have determined that the golden mist seems to pull people who have an emotional connection to those already in it to them, which explains Hannah’s presence (since she despised Alfric).  The party brought Kenan-Tal up to speed, all the while Jayna smiled and winked at him.

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