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Tag: Eye of the Needle

2020 Hopes

Around the holidays, I was able to post quite a bit about magic systems and a few other things. I've been quieter within the past 2 weeks, though, because I have been writing offline quite a bit. As a result, here are the things I hope for in 2020:

Words of Power Series

I plan to finish these up pretty soon. Mostly because this set of posts leads into the next project.

Regional Magic Book

I have been trying to generate D&D-ish magic systems for years. Once, I even created a system based on the Paydirt footbal game. I have finally managed to create a series of systems that different from each other, yet can inform each other. These systems include systems that feature gematria, alien scripts, spontaneous casting, spell building, artifact hacking, found magic, and more.

I've mentioned some of the systems before like salt magic, spontaneous casting, and gematria. I found that making any individual system work came from making them interrelated. I have a campaign world that explains why they are different and common threads that make them all related. It's been a long, ground-up world building that I hope is useful to others, at least for mining ideas, if nothing else.

The document should be ready for testing in Feburary and out in PDF in the Spring for Swords & Wizardry. (I would love to have it for OSE, but there are conventions is S&W that appeal to me.) If I am lucky, a month later will have a 5e version. I have one more magic system to tweak before working on editing this month.

Eye of the Needle

Using M20 Spacecraft as a starting point, I want to finish this setting in the Summer of 2020. A lot is already written, but I need to finish the trading system. This will be less of a priority than the regional magic book, but one it is a passion project for me as I love the central location in this setting, a hole in the ground that takes you to another planet.

EPiC Engines

I have written this Black Hack & SAGA-inspired game that uses only a deck of cards. I stopped work due to 52 Fates, a system that just works differently in many wonderful ways. That said, I still want to give this to the world. I had so much fun making and testing this.

No time limit on this, but if I can get other projects completed, this is a document that just needs some editing and tweaking of the magic system.


I plan to make some non-traditional games with all kinds of wild ideas on my nascent itch site. (No link because, well, no content.) I have a bunch of half-finished games that use odd dice combinations, tokens, and custom cards.

Tyrian Purple is an example of the types of things I want to post there. It doesn't have any custom components, pro se, but it is a competitive card game that playtested well. I still want to simplify bartering, though.

2020 Plans

Those are the plans. As I mentioned earlier, I will finish the Words of Power series of posts. The podcast will fire back up with little bits of goodness here and there. I also plan to post more on 5e as my kids want to play it. So far, I have all manner of sidekicks and creatures inspired by their adventures.

Oa, E-Po, and The Artificer Priests

Non-fever Dreaming MiƩrcoles

I woke up Wednesday morning dreaming about the Eye of the Needle, an airship based setting I sketched out some time ago. I'm positive that this happened because I was reading the Unearthed Arcana named Ships and the Sea. I had been thinking in my little bit of spare time about reverse engineering the ships to create a process for building custom ships.

Before talking about the Artificer Priests, it's important to read the post linked above. If you don't have time, the key piece of information is that the airships can travel through the needle back and forth for several days in a row with plenty of reserve engine power. Unfortunately, they can only travel 20 miles, a hard limit, from the needle once they exit. Any attempt to surpass that limit fails with the ship gently coming to rest exactly 20 miles from the nearest edge of the needle.

The Artificers

The engines that power the ships traveling through the needle seem semi-intelligent with an ability to avoid collision with other similar ships. Both the ships will drop into a much slower speed until the threat of collision is gone. The engines themselves have a similar barrel shape with no obvious means to propel the ship. There are no visible controls on the engine, yet turning, pulling, and pushing the ships' wheel directs the ship effortlessly.

The folx that make these engines have a religious devotion to the creation of the engines. They are happy to share how the engines are created, but no one has been able to push through the dense religious tomes and iconography to understand the process. The information about how they came to the knowledge of engine creation is provided below. The source comes from their own writings.

Oa Worship

In the side of hill a day's journey away from the city, lies the Temple of Oa, the Creator, the Originator of Breath, and source of the divine language. The Artifice Priests have journeyed daily to this temple to perform sacred rituals and take holy sacraments since the needle was discovered and the city built around it. At that time, however, they did not call it The Needle, instead calling it the Endless Chasm.

Oa was discovered by the first pilgrims, but she spoke in an unknown tongue. As pilgrims and priests listened, she revealed wonders and miracles in visions and later written books. All in a language neither recognized nor understood.

The thousands of E-Po were discovered soon after. Each egg shaped object lay motionless and spoke the language as Oa when approached. Inside the eggs were more tomes and treasurers, all beyond understanding. Oa was vast, but the E-Po were small by comparison, about the size of three people.

The First High Priest

The woman that became the first High Priest listened for years. She listened to the pilgrims' ignored questions and to the comforting, but alien voice of Oa.

She decided one day to tell Oa the history of her people before they moved to the Endless Chasm. She told the old stories and described the basics of how people survived. She talked about her culture and the lands of others that lived far away. She wasn't sure why she made this decision, but she continued for weeks and months. Every day, for a couple of hours, she told Oa about her life, her people, and her understanding of the world around her.

One day, Oa asked her a question in the young woman's language. Oa's questions became discernable and her answers to questions were pieced together. Oa taught the pilgrims her language and the written language in all the books.

The First Artificer

As Oa and her followers began to understand each other, a pilgrim asked about the the Endless Chasm was. Oa answered that it was a trade route to a city that lay on the other end. She described it as a tunnel, but it was she that named it The Needle. She described a large, egg-shaped rock in the middle that she called The Eye.

An older pilgrim asked how she could travel to that city.

She created the first airship to travel the Needle. She learned from Oa the secret of using one of the thousands of E-Po to create a magic engine to push the ship through the Needle before coming out the other side to that city.

The Master Artificer

When the Master Artificer was a young student, he asked The Question. E-Po were becoming harder to find and some of the engines made from them did not work. Oa answered with a message that described error and corruption. But then she asked her own question of the young acolyte.

"Did you wish to repair this error?"

After a pause, he stammered a yes and offered obseqious praises.

Then Oa revealed the secret to making engines without sacrificing an E-Po, master creation of Oa. She taught him how to create a vast well. Although the surface appeared as water, it was pure, divine energy. Free to make engines from more the common materials was wood, iron, and semi-precious stones, it became possible for more and more travellers to journey between the two cities. The engines could be made in any size, large or small. Cargo ships could be constructed.

Cities on both sides of the Needle grew, however the Second Question arose when it was discovered that the new engines could travel no further than 20 miles from the Needle's edge.

When the Master Artificer asked the Second Question, Oa spoke again of corruption and error. She asked again if he wished to repair the error only to reply that he could not do so at this time. From that time forward, there was a prophecy of a Great Artificer that would come and answer the Second Question. The Great Artificer would be worthy to dispel the corruption and error that enshrouded this knowledge.

Life of the Artificer Priests

Artificers that worship Oa are called priests by each other. They speak and read the language of Oa as well as Common. They make many kinds of objects to provide for their welfare, the most profitable of those, the airship engines. They will not, however, make weapons of any kind.

They make harvesting golems and mechanical clocks. They repair older machines and wonders as well as farming implements used in nearby fields. They are generous and thoughtful, rarely raising their voice in anger, eager to help others through their creations.

The Other Temples in Town

Many students have created shrines and temples near the Needle. Recently, one shrine, the Children of E-Po, boasts that their members can walk the Needle in a day without fear of pirate attacks. They claim to understand the runes engraved on the sides of the Needle.

They offer their services as couriers between the two cities.

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