New Setting Guide!

Posted January 6, 2011 by cityofmages
Categories: Adventure, Artwork, Cartography, Crunchy bits, General Info, Location, roleplaying, RPG, Thoughts

Its been a while since I last wrote anything here, and I think its about time that I did! I mean… its not like Mor Aldenn is dead or anything, in fact, the setting may be more alive now than ever before!

And what do I mean by that?

Well, just this;

At the moment, a bunch of awesome designers are currently working on fleshing out and expanding the setting further, and adding a bunch of very cool rules for the Pathfinder RPG. You will see new monsters, lots of NPCs, feats, spells and yes, even a new base class!

Also, you’ll see a couple of minor adventures in the near future, staged in and around Mor Aldenn, of course!

To kickstart the new year, I have decided to open the bag a bit (just a bit!). Every thursday, from now and the next few months, I will try to reveal a little something from the City of Mages. Since this is a city setting, why not start by showing you a location?

Green Elixirs

This small shop is nestled between larger buildings in the southern part of Mor Aldenn. A small sign above the door display a couple of potions in varying greens.

Type shop (average), residence; Size small (1 floor, cellar)

Owner Vastian Breth (male human wizard 5, CG); Staff none

Typical Visitors adventurers, mages, wizards; Famous Visitors Lord Balsadarus


This small shop is owned and run by a guild mage named Vastian Breth, who (deep within his heart) is more alchemist than wizard. Vastian is well-known and liked around the mage guild, yet choose to live here, away from his friends. He does this, mostly because of his many experiments. Lots of amazing potions grace the windows of Green Elixirs, but none of them are real potions. Vastian makes potions on request, but only to other guild mages and his closest friends.

Looking for alchemical items? Well, Vastian has lots of strange concoctions and weird items on display in his shop. If you are ready to take a chance, you might even buy one of his more experimental items, but remember, all of these come with a severe warning!

Items bought at half price have a 75% chance of working, while items that are even cheaper have a 10% chance of exploding, causing 1d8 points of damage to the user.

This is a pretty typical site within the City of Mages. The location is supposed to be useful, to the GMs and to the PCs, and bring tiny rules that are unique to each site.

What kind of locations would you like to see in a City of Mages?

Also, because I want everyone to experience Mor Aldenn, I’ve decided to create a big bundle of goodies, available for almost… nothing.

You can find it here, at

And what do you get? Well, both the Player’s and GM’s guide, the Mor Aldenn cartography, an adventure, a very cool map pack of the Barrowdelve, an inn named the Ugly Harpy and lastly, insight into one of three gods that exist in the City of Mages!

I truly hope that you’ll enjoy these, and dont worry, we are not altering much of the information here, we are basically adding new material in the upcoming Expanded Setting Guide, so all this wonderful material will be useful even then!

Welcome to the City of Mages, hopefully you’ll enjoy your stay!


Know Direction spotlight!

Posted July 18, 2010 by cityofmages
Categories: General Info, RPG

I should really take the time to cruise other sites more often, especially those containing Pathfinder news and podcasts.

I remember giving Ryan Costello (of 3.5 Private Sanctuary) a review copy of the Player’s Guide to Mor Aldenn and A Trail of Poison, but I hadn’t visited his podcast for some time (I’m speaking, of course, about Know Direction). It turns out… that I should have!

In Know Direction 011, Ryan gives Headless Hydra Games and Mor Aldenn approximately 5 minutes worth of his time! 5 wonderful minutes, btw!

He reviews the basics of the Mor Aldenn setting, but also finds the time to criticize my first adventure, a critique, btw, that I totally understand. I may have added a few rather boring rules to the beginning of the game, but as I remember it, I did it to add realism to the “journey through the dark woods” scene.  If I ever do an update, and I probably will, I will definitely look into this and crunch it up a bit.

If you want to check it out, along with the other wonderful Pathfinder news that Ryan delivers, please follow the link below;

Know Direction 011 – Mor Aldenn spotlight

In case you want to fastforward to the good stuff, err, I mean the Mor Aldenn stuff, go to 1.42.00, approximately.

I hope you enjoy!

Spell Preview, Day Six

Posted March 20, 2010 by cityofmages
Categories: Crunchy bits, D&D, RPG, Thoughts

Tags: , , , ,

Today’s spell is exclusive to the bard class. I originally intended it to deal damage to Intelligence, but ended up making it skill checks instead. It is, afterall, a cantrip spell…



School evocation; Level bard 0

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)

Duration 1 round/level (D)

Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

The target gets a really bad headache that makes it harder to act and think clearly. The target takes a temporary -2 penalty to all skill checks that uses Intelligence. Furthermore, the target takes a -1 penalty to all Will saves.

Spell Preview, Day Five

Posted March 18, 2010 by cityofmages
Categories: Crunchy bits, D&D, RPG, Thoughts

Tags: , , , ,

I’m happy to see that so many people have joined the Spell Compendium project of late – this is really what I was hoping for when I first thought about the project. Sure, I could just publish a bunch of my own spells, but really, I’m not that creative… I need other people’s cool ideas!

Today’s spells are some that I’m particular proud of. They reinvent simple classic ideas/spells. They also take their name from a goddess, the goddess that (sort of) invented the spells. Her name is…



School abjuration [good]; Level cleric 3, druid 3, paladin 3

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, DF

Range touch

Target creature touched

Duration 10 minutes/level; see text

Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

Your touch fills the subject with a sense of wonder and awe. For a moment, the subject gazes into the heavenly realm of the goddess, Alastra. The subject receives the blessing of Alastra which gives her a +3 resistance bonus to all saves.

An aggressive action, such as attacking a creature, effectively ends this spell.



School conjuration (healing); Level cleric 1, druid 1, paladin 1

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, DF

Range 0 ft.

Effect creates a magical healing flower

Duration permanent; see text

Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You conjure forth a beautiful magical flower with five large petals. Each of the five petals have the power to heal 1d6 points of damage, however, a single person can only eat one petal each day. Once a petal is eaten, the creature falls asleep and dreams nothing but good dreams. If the creature is awakened before at least four hours have passed, he awakes, but finds that he is exhausted for 10 minutes.

Spell Preview, Day Four

Posted March 14, 2010 by cityofmages
Categories: Crunchy bits, D&D, RPG, Thoughts

Tags: , , , ,

A few of the problems that I try to tackle in the coming Spell compendium are;

* Damage dealing bard spells (there are surprisingly few of these)

* Spells that use other spells, like arcane mark. Arcane Mark is a cool, but neglected spell that needs to see more use.

* Unique signature spells for the various classes.


Today’s spell tries to add a bit of uniqueness to the druid class. Not a damage dealing spell, but one that could prove quite useful and may even turn the tide in just the right fight.



School traansmutation [cold or fire]; Level druid 1

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range touch

Target weapon touched

Duration 1 round/level (D)

Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You alter the damage type of a single weapon, so that it now deals either cold or fire damage. The weapon does not count as being magical for purposes of bypassing damage reduction.

This spell cannot alter the damage type of a magical weapon.


Designer’s Notes: Why is this spell useful at all, you ask? Well, imagine fighting a creature vulnerable to either cold or fire… your weapon now deals double damage! Of course, on the higher levels, you probably have a magical weapon, making this spell useless… unless, of course, you have a mundane weapon lying around!

This spell was inspired by a feat a created a ways back, also called Elemental Strike. The feat, however, was inspired by Arcane Strike… another feat!

[Spells] Favorites and least favorites…

Posted March 14, 2010 by cityofmages
Categories: RPG, Thoughts

Tags: , ,

I’ve been thinking a lot about spells lately, about which spells work and which spells doesn’t. There are just some spells that I always pick when playing a wizard and some that I never give a chance. It’s not that the spells I never pick are bad, they are just… not very useful.

Let’s look at the low-level sorcerer/wizard spells from the Core Rulebook. Which spells do I always pick and which ones do I never pick!


Top 5 (0-level)

1. Detect Magic

2. Dancing Lights

3. Ghost Sound

4. Resistance

5. Mage Hand

Bottom 5 (0-level)

1. Read Magic

2. Arcane Mark

3. Ray of Frost

4. Flare

5. Bleed

Top 5 (1st level)

1. Shocking Grasp

2. Magic Missile

3. Shield

4. Mage Armor

5. Floating Disc

Bottom 5 (1st level)

(Note that I’ve never taken any of these spell…)

1. Hold Portal

2. Magic aura

3. Erase

4. Jump

5. Animate Rope


What are your top 5’s and bottom 5’s? Are there any spells that you have never taken and used in the game?

…and yes, this for research purposes! 🙂

Spell Preview, Day Three

Posted March 13, 2010 by cityofmages
Categories: Crunchy bits, D&D, RPG, Thoughts

Tags: , , , ,

Today’s spell is another one that came to me in the early hours of morning. You can ask me why, but I honestly couldn’t give you a fulfilling answer. The idea was just suddenly… there.



School necromancy; Level cleric 0, sorcerer/wizard 0

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range touch

Target 1 cu. ft. of plant material, or 1 plant creature

Duration instantaneous

Saving Throw see text; Spell Resistance yes

As you touch the plants, they start to wither. You can use this spell to either wither 1 cu. ft. of plant material or to deal 1d6 points of damage to plant creatures of large size or smaller. Plant creatures of Large size gets a Fortitude save for half damage.


Designer’s Notes: This is the plant equivalent of Disrupt Undead. Useful? Well, I know there aren’t a lot of plant monsters in the core books, but hey, who knows…maybe coming bestiaries will contain lots and lots of plant creatures!