Defilers and Preservers: The Wizards of Athas by Nicky Rea

The sourcebook we’re looking at today is Defilers and Preservers: The Wizards of Athas, published in 1996. It is softcover and runs 96 pages. The book is divided into 5 chapters. This supplement was written after the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Expanded and Revised edition was released and thus uses the updated timeline of Dark Sun.  

Chapter One: Athasian Magic
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a general overview of magic and casting on Athas and within the Dark Sun setting. Already by the second paragraph we start to diverge from the 4E setting. Mention is made of the Cerulean Storm, the Gray and the Black. The Cerulean Storm is a consequence of the advanced timeline. In this case the Storm was created when the originator of magic and a hero from the fiction books collided in a mighty struggle that saw Athas change. To include this presents a couple of problems. The first and most obvious is that the Storm is not part of the 4E “canon” and thus will be disruptive to any future adventures or source material WotC may release for the 4E setting in the future. The second is that a DM may want to wait on timeline in order to use the timeline as a base for upcoming adventures. If neither of these bother you, feel free to include the Storm as a source of magic.

The Gray and Black are alternate planes. The Gray is listed as the plane of the dead, where those that die go. This is different than the 4E take on the Gray (the Shadowfell), but using the 4E version should allow a GM to mesh the two versions together.
However, the Black is a null void surrounding all. It is described as being similar to the demi-plane of shadow. This sounds a lot like the Shadowfell. A GM has a few options here. He can ignore the Black and any mention of it; he can rule the Black/Gray/Shadowfell are all the same thing; he can use the Black as written in the 2E sourcebook and add it to the 4E setting.

The chapter next touches on the differences between defiling and non-defiling magic. It goes into the concept of the Energy of Life and how it is used to power spells. It then expounds on the differences between defiling and preserver magic, with preserver magic being a conscience effort to not harm the planet. It then goes into the game mechanics that simulate this difference. However, these game mechanics do not work with the 4E rule set (slower spell progression and the system for memorization of spells) as they are too different to integrate. A table is provided for a caster who uses defiling casting techniques to determine exactly how much area is defiled while casting. It goes off the level of the spell (which is not on the same scale as 4E powers) and the type of terrain it is being cast in. A GM could triple the level of the spell on the table to bring it close to the 4E equivalent if he was so inclined. This table is more for fluff than any real game changing effect.

Next up is The History of Magic. This is also a history of the world setting, just seen from the point of view of magic. It is a fascinating version of the history of the world. The 4E setting goes out of its way to avoid the topic of the setting’s history, stating it is lost or hidden from the average person/adventurer, so there is no “canonical” version of the history of the world. As such, it is real easy to accept this version of history as your official version. The history is rich in detail and makes for a wonderful background to the world. It also doesn’t contradict anything in the 4E setting.

Chapter Two: Paths to Magic
The chapter starts with a basic discourse on spell books. After that it discusses the Threefold Path. According to the sourcebook there are no specialist wizards, like illusionists or abjurers. It then discusses three paths, Path Sinister, Path of Concurrence and Path Dexter (no, not the serial killer). It then takes the 2E specialist wizard types and lumps them into the three Paths. Sorta like having specialist wizards but not wanting to call them that. Either way, all a caster gets is a bonus to learning spells. 4E has largely done away with much of what the section discusses so it is not of much use for a 4E campaign.

Next is a Comprehensive Spell List. This topic lists all the spells within the 2E system (specifically from Tome of Magics and Complete Wizard’s handbook) that are compatible with the Dark Sun setting. It then goes into any alterations that are needed for other 2E spells to make them compatible for Dark Sun. After that is goes into mechanics showing how a Dark Sun wizard can progress from level 20 to level 30 (the ability to go over level 20 was a new addition to 2E at around this time). As such this section is not of any use for a 4E campaign.

The following section deals with the question of Switching Roles from being a defiler to a preserver or vice versa. As 4E handles the use of defiling magic as more of a choice at the time of casting and not as a result of the spells chosen, this section is not of much use. Unfortunately, most of this information is mechanic and doesn’t provide for any role-laying aspects of an NPC or PC wishing to make a change in their spellcasting style; otherwise this section may have been of more use.

This is followed by a treatise on the Veiled Alliance. The information is broad and generalized and nothing is added that the 4E book does not already cover.

Next is one of the more useful sections of the book. It is all about Advanced Beings, specifically about how to become a Dragon King or Avangion. The 4E book has both of these as Epic Destinies. This book goes into a lot of fine detail about the process of becoming one of these great beings. A person gaining these epic destinies undergoes a physical transformation and this book describes exactly how this transformation occurs from levels 21 to 30, listing how the person changes at each level gained. It is a useful addition to the process and makes gaining such an epic destiny feel truly epic.

Also briefly mentioned is Oronis a reformed dragon king that is now the worlds first Avangion. This is part of the advanced timeline and is part of a section of Athas that is not detailed in the 4E campaign setting. However, he could be included in a 4E setting if a GM is so inclined.

Chapter Three: Character Kits
2E used a lot of character kits. These are essentially watered down character themes. In 2E they were used more as role-playing guidelines, as they provided minimal advantages to a character. This chapter discusses various character kits that could be used by a spellcaster in the Dark Sun setting. As written it is of little use in a 4E campaign, except as an idea factory for creating your own themes or as a concept for a particular NPC. All together there are 13 kits mentioned.

Advanced Being- This is the kit for a person wishing to become a Dragon King or Avangion and as such is already covered in 4E by their respective epic destiny.
Arena Mage- As you would suspect this is a kit for spellcasters who use their magic within an arena. As such, they focus on broad displays, while working to hide the fact they are using magic. This could be adapted into a theme, though it seems rather narrow.
Cerulean- These use the Cerulean Storm as a power source. Since the Cerulean Storm has not happened yet in the 4E setting (nor may it ever in your own campaigns), this is of little value.
Chasseur- This kit describes a spellcaster who uses his magic to hunt and hurt other spellcasters. They were often once in the employ/slave of a sorcerer-king, but had at one point escaped their hold. This would make for an interesting theme wherein most of their powers would be directed to disrupting other spellcasters. This sounds a lot like a controller.
Earth Defender- These actively and aggressively work toward preserving and protecting the blighted land. 4E has the Primal Defender character theme which can easily cover this kit.
Exterminator- This kit is all about defilers who get off on destroying as much of the world as possible with their defiling magics. Again this is more of a role-playing aspect and does not require a full-blown theme.
Free Wizard- A spellcaster from Tyr and thus is not required to hide his magic. Not worth a theme.
Illusionist- Already within the 4E rule set.
Mercenary- A spellcaster who sells his magic to the highest bidder. Again, a role-playing shtick not requiring a theme.
Restorationist- This is a preserver along the same lines as the earth defender. The subtle difference might be that the Restorationist is more about making the land green again as opposed to simply protecting what is already green. Again, 4E has the Primal Defender character theme which can easily cover this kit.
Shadow Wizard- A spellcaster who uses the Black (Shadowfell) as his source of magic. This could be turned into a theme, but is more a thematic choice than a real theme.
Tribal Wizard- A spellcaster from a tribe. This is a role-playing background.
Necromancer- Casters who gain their power from the Gray (Shadowfell). This is more about spell choices and how they are used as opposed to something that requires a theme.

Chapter Four: New Spells
There are 61 new spells listed. It would take a lot of work to integrate these into the 4E setting and rule set. However, there are a lot of good ideas to be found here if you are willing to do the work. Some spells would be rituals and some could be used to augment an already established spellcaster class by adding another power choice at certain levels. Some could also be applied toward turning one of the above kits into a theme.

One thing to be careful of is the spells that negate the harshness of the 4E setting. Within the 4E setting book it is mentioned that certain spells should not be allowed within the setting as they negate the dangers of the setting (such things as easily obtained water). For example, the first spell mentioned in this chapter is Cooling Canopy, a spell that negates the sun’s damage and reduces the need for water; as such it should not be included in a 4E setting campaign.

Chapter Five: Proficiencies
The last chapter deals with proficiencies or the 2E version of skills and weapon feats. It introduces some new nonweapon proficiencies, but these could be considered to be already covered under the broader 4E skills. Therefore this chapter, as a whole, is not of any use.

Three are 16 pieces of art within the book. However, while the quality is good, they are not of much use as set pieces or to show a scene.

Overall: The majority of the sourcebook is mired in 2E trappings and is difficult to make use of in a 4E campaign. There are a couple of kernels of useful information (the history and epic destiny progressions) but these are rare.

The Will & the Way by Richard L. Baker III

The sourcebook we’re looking at today is The Will and the Way published in 1994. It is 96 pages long with 8 chapters and 3 appendixes. Its goal is to try and cover psionics in Dark Sun.
I will say it now, psionics has changed considerably between 2E and 4E. All of the mechanical aspects in the book are of no use in a 4E campaign.


I don’t normally cover the introduction because it is usually just an overview of what is to come and doesn’t provide any relevant information. However, this introduction does have a couple of interesting bits in it.

We get a definition of what the Will and the Way mean. Will is innate psionic ability while Way is the study of psionics. With the prevalence of psionics on Athas the distinction has merit. The 4E setting book describes the Way as the use of psionics, a semantic divergence.

Also, mentioned is made of Tarandas, a noble of Raam who codified the disciplines of psionics and opened a public academy for the stuffy of psionics, in effect opening up the power of psionics to the non-privileged. The 4E setting book makes no mention of Tarandas; in fact, 4E psionics do not make use of disciplines as a concept.

As a side note, I have always felt that psionics was a core concept of the Dark Sun setting, one of its main characteristics. However, in the Introduction of the 4E book, the prevalence of psionics is not listed as one of their Eight Characteristics of Athas. I understand that the concepts of psionics have changed between 2E and 4E, but with the inclusion of wild talents for characters, I still see psionics as a core part of the Dark Sun setting.

Chapter One: Masters of the Way
The chapter starts with a discussion on how each of the various races looks at and uses psionics. This is then followed by how those in Society deals with psionics, covering such social strata all the way from sorcerer-kings down to tribesmen. The chapter ends with how psionics can affect laws and vice versa.

This chapter has some good insights into how a character can role-play their reaction to psionics. Players can use it as a guideline and DMs can use the information to help play an NPC. Since it is all fluff it does not interfere with the 4E setting.

Chapter Two: Psionicists of the Tyr Region
This covers the city-states and a lot of the major villages throughout the Tyr region. Each section goes into a brief (very brief) description of the prominent people and schools within that location. Sometimes a map is provided of a school, or 2E stats and a background is provided for a major NPC in the settlement. All together this chapter is a nice overview for each location, if sparse. The information herein could be used as a catalyst for adventures.

Things mentioned in this book as well as in the 4E setting book include the House of the Mind school in Draj, the Gulg Seers, the Exalted Path Monastery and Temple of Thought in Nibenay, Urga-Zoltapl in Ogo, the Psiumarkh school and Yellow Monastery in Raam, and the King’s Academy in Urik. A lot of other information is not mentioned in the 4E book, but including them does not present a problem with using this chapter in a 4E campaign.

Chapter Three: Psionicist Character Kits
A number of 2E kits are presented here. With some work they could be used as concept pieces for a paragon path.
Auditor- A person who works with contacts to gather information. An interesting concept, but I’m not sure how it fits into a psionic class; this seems like something that could be used by anyone. It also reminds me of the contact system in Shadowrun.
Beastmaster Psionicist- Works with animals. Simply taking a multiclass or hybrid with Ranger should cover this.
Mercenary Psionicist- Sells his abilities, pretty straightforward.
Noble Psionicist- The character would start as a noble, which is more of a feat or DM decision than a path.
Psiologist- An academic of psionics. Feats can cover this kit.
Sensei- Basically this is a multiclass or hybrid with a martial class.
Tribal Psionicist- This is more of a role-playing and background shtick than a path.

Chapter Four: Proficiencies
This short chapter provides some skill-like abilities. Unfortunately, they will not work at all for a 4E campaign.

Chapter Five: Mental Combat
Combat between two people wielding psionics in 2E was ever evolving (mostly because no one liked the psionic sub-systems). This chapter provides for a sub-subsystem wherein psionic combat could be further broken down into what they called Constructs (defenses) and Harbingers (attacks). A chart is provided for their interactions (some attacks work better or worse depending on the defenses chosen). Basically this was a visualized form of combat where the participants imagined what an attack would look like and used that vision to reinforce their attack or defense. Charts are provided for sample visualizations. An extensive sample combat is even provided.

Does this fit into a 4E campaign? Not at all. However, if a GM and players like the concept of visualizations they can still make use of the examples provided to enhance their descriptions of a character’s use of psionics.

Chapter Six: The Disciplines
2E divided psionic powers into a variety of Disciplines that more or less organized them by type. This chapter goes into a general overview of each Discipline and even provides a list of which powers are gained at what level. While providing exhaustive information, none of this is of use in a 4E campaign since psionics are radically different than the 2E version.

Chapter Seven: Meditation and Research
In 2E characters had to do research to gain access to new powers. This chapter provided for a means to do just that through the act of Meditation. It provides a general overview of Mediation and then goes into how it can be used to learn new powers. At the end of the chapter mention is made of the High Sciences, high end powers that are meant to be the ultimate power for each Discipline. Again there is no use for any of this information in a 4E campaign.

Chapter Eight: Psionic Items
This short chapter is designed to help DMs and players design their own psionic items. 3 items are provided stats here as examples. Other than providing some ideas for conversion, there is nothing here for a 4E setting campaign.

This is divided into 3 parts, A (New Psionic Powers), B (Complete Psionic Powers Index), and C (Revised Wild Talent Charts). This is a colleting of psionic information from other source material and some new powers. Obviously none of this information can be used as written, but the new powers can be used as a source for ideas for new 4E powers.

Artworks There are 17 pictures in the book, all by Baxa, and none that can be shown to the players to set a scene.
: Only the first two chapters can be readily used in a 4E campaign. The rest of the book is given over to mechanics, mechanics grounded in 2E concepts. There is not even enough information here to make it worth converting the mechanics into the 4E system. Unfortunately, the fluff information to be found in the first two chapters are fairly generic and I’m not sure they offer enough to make this sourcebook of value to a 4E campaign.

Dragon Kings by Timothy B. Brown

 The sourcebook we’re looking at today is Dragon Kings published in 1992. It is hardcover and runs 160 pages. The book is not divided into chapters, but instead has 8 sections (very much like chapters), 3 appendixes and some new monsters at the end.
I would like to note that I have already written about the Foreword for the book (that article can be found at Usually I would not cover in detail a foreword, but I liked that one so much I had to write about it.

Legends of Athas
The section starts by making mention that Athas has no gods and to make up for that their society has replaced their mythos with their own tales of legends and myths. The section provides 4 such legendary stories. They are written as old parables or fables, but with a Dark Sun twist to them. They are actually good stories and would work well as told by an NPC around a camp fire. The beginning of each section also includes another legend.

One change from the 4E setting lies in the second story, Drake and Maiden. In it the drake is intelligent which is contrary to the write-up for a drake as found in the Dark Sun Creature Catalog. However, since this is a legend, perhaps legends state drakes were once intelligent.

This provides a general overview of the concepts of Advanced Beings; the epic destinies in the 4E setting. It describes the Psionic Enhancement concept. This is not a form of psionics, but rather the use of psionics to advance oneself into an advanced being. This falls outside the 4E version of advanced beings and really has no place in a 4E setting.

There is a nice list of the Sorcerer-kings and how close they are to becoming dragons, but the Dark Sun Creature Catalog already covers this information.

The section also goes into where the sorcerer-kings harnessed their ability to grant clerical magics, the living vortexes. According to the section these vortexes were a unique occurrence and can not happen again, so any future sorcerer-kings will not be able to grant powers to their followers. This is different from the 4E setting. The section ends with a brief description of what Kalak of Tyr tried to do and why it failed.

The main thrust of the book is about how to bring characters up from the previous level limit of 20 to the new limit of 30. In essence it was bringing an epic tier of adventure to the 2E rule set. This book covered each of the predominant classes of 2E and explains how each class can progress up to level 30. The first classes covered are the warriors; fighter, ranger, gladiator.

It starts off discussing arguably the most prominent “ability” an advanced warrior had access to in 2E, followers. It talks about how a GM can arrange their arrival and what options might be available to a warrior as far as use of these followers. While 4E does have companions to augment a party, it does not have followers in the tradition of 2E. There are no rules for armies in 4E and that is the ultimate goal of having these followers. As such this is of no use in a 4E setting. There is a Hordemaster Epic Destiny in the 4E Dark Sun Campaign Setting book, but it utilizes allies instead of followers and is not a direct relation to the 2E version of an advanced warrior.

From there it talks about Challenge Combat. This is a ritualized form of combat between two army’s champions. It discusses what is allowed in the fight and what is not. Of note is how each race approaches challenges. For instance, a thri-kreen will only accept a challenge from another thri-kreen and the two will use no weapons. Also mentioned is what happens if someone cheats during a challenge. The topic ends with an interesting note on how these challenges can bring the fight of armies back down to the level of the party; this is of particular worth in a 4E campaign.

The warrior section ends with an extensive list of army units that can be used in Battlesystem. This was a sub rule set for 2E that allowed for combat between large armies. This is not something to be found in 4E and is of no worth in a 4E setting campaign.

War Vehicles
At first glance this would appear to be a subset of the Warrior section, since it pertains to combat vehicles, but it is given its own section in the book. There are 6 vehicles noted; heavy Chariot, Light Chariot, Cliff glider, Mekillot Ram, Undead War Beetle, Silt Skimmer. Each vehicle is discussed as far as Construction, Crew, Tactics (special rules hat apply) and Battlesystem Game tactics. There is also a picture provided for each vehicle. While the vehicles are interesting, the game information is useless since it is all in 2E. With some work however, they could adapted to the 4E rule set.

Wizards progress beyond 20th level by either transforming into Dragons or Avangion. Each is discussed as far as level requirements, the Metamorphosis spell, how they interact with psionics and magic, the progression of advancement, and how they can be role-played. The 4E Dark Sun book does provides for the Dragon and Avangion Epic Destiny, so many of the core concepts are still in place, but done in a 4E manner.
Psionic Enhancement, the 10th level spells, were new to 2E and allowed for spells beyond the highest level of spells up to that point; in 2E spells did not progress past 9th level until this sourcebook came along. Also included is a discussion on how to deal with the Wish spell since that was the former ultimate spell. Also covered are some specific spells from a 2E source book, the Tome of magic, and how they apply to Dark Sun.
All of the above is of no use in a campaign utilizing the 4E rule set. They are far too specific to the 2E system.

However, next up we have Sensory Effects of Spellcasting. This is a comprehensive look at spell effects and how they can be customized to an individual spell caster to allow his spells to give off a unique effect. The effects usually work on the senses; sight, sound, smell, taste, touch. Such things as variant color or sounds can be added or changed for the spells each caster is capable of using. This part of this section is a nice addition to allow a spell caster to tailor their own character to make them unique.

The section ends with a brief discussion on Familiars and Hideaways. Familiars of a spellcaster on Athas tend to be unobtrusive, due to the biases against spell casters. Hideaways of a wizard are their lairs and some suggestions are given of what to expect in such a hideaway, but these suggestions are very broad and common.

The 2E setting still allowed clerics to exist; they worshipped the elements instead of the gods. In fact, instead of turning into a Dragon or Avangion at 20-30th level they transformed into Elements themselves. Similar to the portions in the Wizards section, this section includes all the same information on how to turn into an Elemental higher being.

Mention is made of the Templars and how they can not progress past the 20th level. Druids are also mentioned and they are allowed to progress past 20th level. However, they do not have access to an advanced form, but instead forge closer ties to the land they are sworn to protect. Druids in 2E are divergent from the 4E version and much of the information is of no use in a 4E campaign. Also, thankfully, templars are a theme in the 4e campaign setting and as such they can progress as their core class.

Next the book discusses the priest spells beyond 7th level. Similar to the wizard, clerics in 2E were limited to 7th level spells and this supplement allowed them to learn spells beyond their normal restrictions. Again notes are made of specific spells from the 2E Tome of Magic sourcebook. Since 4E uses a different spell and power system this information is moot.

From there the section goes into the Planes Beyond. It is a discussion on how the various planes all fit together. The 4E campaign book sticks fairly close to the typical 4E cosmology. This is slightly different from the 2E version of planes, different enough that the two bits of information are just incompatible enough so they can not be used together.

The section deals with the topic of Clerical Organization. The basic gist is that clerics are loners and rarely form congregations. Mention is made of these rare exceptions. Since the 4E sourcebook recommends not allowing clerics (or divine characters) into the campaign this information is useless unless a GM wanted to use it for a charlatan NPC.

Here we get into the rogues and bards and how they progress past 20th level. This is fairly straight forward as they gain more points to spend in their thieving abilities (in fact this is the shortest character section in the book only running 5 pages). In 2E thieves gained access to exclusive abilities, such as Climb Walls or Open Locks. This sourcebook added some new abilities, Detect Magic, Detect Illusion, Forge Document, Bribe Official, Dig Tunnel, and Escape Bonds. Specifics are given for each of the new abilities. However, these abilities now fall into the skills of 4E and thus this information is of no use in a 4E setting campaign.

This sourcebook introduces the Order. This is a group of high level psionicists above 20th level that have loosely banded together to control psionicists above 20th level. It provides a brief description of the organization, how it is laid out, how to enter it, what its agenda is, how a person can fit in, how to integrate the Order into a campaign and its outlook on the sorcerer-kings and other advanced beings. As written the Order is exceptionally controlling and if a character does not adhere strictly to their mandates (doing “good” is considered to be non-neutral and thus prohibited), the character is hunted by the Order. The Order is set up to antagonistic toward adventurers and it will be rare that a psionicist character will be able to stay on their good side.
In contrast, the 4E Epic Destiny, Mind Lord of the Order (the only mention of the Order in the 4E book), is a bit less stringent. While they still want to keep wild use of psionics under control, the definition of what constitutes a divergence from a neutral outlook is more lenient. However, if a GM wanted to play up the harsher constrictions it could make a campaign more intense.

There are three Appendixes, each describing new spells and powers for wizards, priests and psionicists, including the new 10th level spells. This fully covers 72 pages of the book, nearly half the book. Since the 4E rule set takes a completely different approach to spells and powers, as written, all of this information is of no use. However, if a GM is willing to do the work he could conceivably convert these spells into powers and rituals for the 4E rules. Otherwise, half the book is of no use in a 4E campaign.

Monstrous Compendium Entries
Here we have the Dragon, Avangion and Element advanced beings written up as 2E monsters. And when I say they are written up, they are all given stats of varied and then a chart is provided for the stats of the various advanced beings at each level of their progression. Because they are written for the 2e rule set, they are of no use in a 4E campaign. If you wanted to use them in a 4E game you can use the Dragon of Tyr entry in the Dark Sun Creature Catalog as a basis for the other two.

There are 45 pictures to be found in this book. Other than the pictures of the war vehicles and progression of the Dragon and Avangion forms, the artwork can not be used to showcase things the characters will see during an adventure.

Overall: While this book was something innovative for its time, it usefulness for a 4E setting is minimal at best. Class structures have changed radically from their 2E counterparts and translating the two is too difficult to truly be effective. Bringing the information herein into the 4E rule set is simply not worth it. There are a couple of interesting bits that could be brought into a 4E game, such as the Sensory Effects of Spellcasting, but overall the book is not of any use for a 4E setting campaign. 

The boss is back!

Pretty cool! I had three tickets for april! Live show of Bruce Springsteen on Madison Square Garden! I feel many friends coming to my door! For information, only one of my three search a graceful hand!

Return to the Keep on the Borderlands

Keep on the borderlands was my favorite adventure upon being introduced to Dungeons and Dragons in the late 80's. I remember the first time I played I stayed up all night at old man Babcock's. With the 25th Anniversary book release of this classic I can return to the keep on the borderlands once again. The module has different surprises than the first release so it keeps you hungry. My 18th level Magic User can hardly wait to enter the Dungeons one last time to use his magic and not his manta.

T&Q... And it's fair!

when the plaintive cries of my brave adventurers have finally stopped, we could see that finally, a few trolls and quaggoth could not overcome a force for good as impressive as theirs! That's nearly the end of the adventure The Mines of Mycodian... it remains just a nice little monster to slay!

Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad

The best of the three-module Lost Tombs set. The DM is provided with a wide selection of puzzles, riddles and combat encounters, so many in fact that less than half will probably be used, leaving the remainder available for use in other scenarios. A few of the puzzles and riddles are of the groaner type as in "who's buried in Grant's Tomb?" and the algebra problems get somewhat repetitive, but overall I thought they were fairly entertaining and quite a bit different from the usual chestnuts that pass for riddles or puzzles in published scenarios. Hack and slashers need not despair, there are plenty of combat areas and failure to figure out the puzzles in time usually results in a fight as well.
Most of the encounters have some Greyhawk "flavor" added to them and Reynolds cleverly includes a few encounters that utilize scenes from the classic Greyhawk modules of yesteryear. The Greyhawk references are certainly not overwhelming, however, and a real strength of the adventure is that it could easily be adapted to any other campaign.
There are a few Greyhawk timeline errors in the background information, but nothing fatal. If the writing has any real faults, it might be an overdependence on overwhelming magical coercion of the PCs and tacky plot devices that rely on magical means to attain mundane result. Both methods smack a little too much of that other (ick) campaign world where wizards routinely waste telekinesis spells on fetching themselves a mug of beer from ten feet away. These are certainly minor quibbles, the Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad should prove useful and amusing for GMs in any campaign.

Sexy dice pad!

Hey, japaneese eat sushis on young and sexy girls, why players doesn't take the same idea when they rollin' dices! This is an artwork with my great and totaly hot friend Cassandra, also a conquest of my hungry-love Ylo, and of course, seeing two girls so perfect in love, it's a huge pleasure!

Castle Ravenloft BG!

I got the opportunity to play through Castle Ravenloft with a couple different groups of people at the PAX convention during the first weekend of September and was thoroughly impressed. The game is a great one-nighter for anyone who's played Dungeons and Dragons before, and a quick and easy introduction to the role-playing game for anyone who's never played before. Themes and some basic mechanics from the D&D game are kept in place, though greatly simplified allowing players of almost any age to jump in and have a great time. I probably wouldn't recommend trying to play with kids under ten though, the game is a bit harder than the average board game.

The game includes a large number of unpainted miniatures that are to-scale and pulled from various past D&D minis products, so even if you're unsure how long you and your friends will stay interested in the game, it still has great value for fleshing out any other D&D genre games you might play.

it's Renaissance time!

It was a very pleasant moment! Ylo love this age, she love the costume and the attitude of Renaissance people. We let Nathanael in his creepy lair, because his the Historian, so is hurt by modern details, and it's sucks! So, Ylo, Pierce, Loren and I, we are in Ren Fair! Excuse my lack of costume, he was scratched by a little dog on the road, but it was cool to see gorgeous Ylo in costume (yes Nathanael, eating a burga in Renaissance costume is bad!), look at the stature of bearded Pierce, he's the king of the world like that! But focus on my girl and her sexy girls! Special mention for Lo, who fight many men with her rapiere, like always, she surprised everyone!

Experiments With Alternate Currents of High Potential and High Frequency

Here is an AUTHENTIC source of Tesla's work. It is a reprint of the original edition. "Experiments with Alternate Currents of High Potential and High Frequency" which is a lecture Tesla presented at the Institution Of Electrical Engineers, London. Included with this lecture is an appendix on the "Transmission of Electric Energy Without Wires" by Nikola Tesla. If you want to understand how Tesla thought & worked; this book will allow you to gain real insight into his mind. The future he envisioned can largely be seen in our everyday lives. But this was over a hundred years ago!
Nikola Tesla is a craftsman with an intimate relationship of his work and materials. He innately grasps the nature of electricity. Dubbed the "Electric Magician" by the public, he amazed even engineers & scientists of his day. Henry Ford & Thomas Edison did their best to see that Tesla was forgotten. Neither the Ford Foundation nor the Smithsonian can silence history. Ford & Edison were great entrepreneurs. Tesla was a true genius and humanitarian! This book stands as a testament to his brilliance.

Music of Shannon

This is Shannon, great friend of my girl Ylo, she's her ancient lover and a really good girl, I hope a friend for now. She's awesome with a piano, and want to be shot with her sexy attitude, a gift for us and for you. Enjoy the beauty of the artist.


daytrippin' in China town, for taking some pictures, some instants, some people. I love this place, the smells, the noise, the smiles, all this things are different, exotic, even at the centre of the city. Great day for my photographer fiber!!!

Siege prologue

Norman Osborn calls a meeting of the Cabal (Doctor Doom, The Hood, and Loki) to discuss Asgard, the last hold out in Osborn's consolidation of power. Namor and Emma Frost are absent due to their betrayal during the events of Utopia, and are replaced with Taskmaster. During the meeting Doom expresses his displeasure with Norman's actions against his ally Namor. Doom accuses Osborn of attempting to kill off members of the group that are not obedient to him, and orders Osborn to bring forth Namor. Upon refusal to do so Osborn has Doom attacked by an unknown assailant. After the attack Osborn examines the body to see that it is not Doom, but a small swarm of robotic insects inside a Doombot. The insects attack the Cabal and under the suggestion of Loki, The Hood flees. Avengers Tower is ordered to be evacuated, with only Osborn staying to attempt to fight off the swarm. When his shields (as the Iron Patriot) are about to fail, Sentry comes in to destroy them. Osborn is later seen talking with the President of the United States to try to secure permissions to invade Asgard under the claim it poses a national security threat. The President does not feel the threat is serious enough to warrant an invasion and orders Osborn to stand down. Loki, listening to the conversation, reminds Osborn of the superhuman Civil War, explaining that it all started with a tragedy in Stamford, Connecticut and that a similar tragedy could be used to gain approval for an assault.

node in the hair

This dess amazing me, like all her new clothes buyed this week. It's a new look for my girl, and except the strange node in her hairs, I like that, perfect for night dates and clubbing times!


Fishes in chinatown... awesome shot by... me!

New Avengers #61

Steve Rogers makes his triumphant return to the Avengers, but is he too late? With the SIEGE on Asgard begun, he must act swiftly, but who can he turn to and trust in a world with Norman Osborn in charge? When the gods fall, what chance does a Super Soldier stand?
After Captain America reborn, this is a new begining and a quick transition to siege! Cap is not my favorite, no more than an interesting hero, but in this dark reign era, it's a good base for new intrigues! I hope so!

The snow men

It was the challenge of my bunch of primitives; Creating/ finding snow men beofre midnight, in all NY!!! My score? Five, two less than Yloni, but one more than Lo!

Red So shot

This beautiful, cute, handsome and most sexiest redish haired girl in the world is So, for Sonia. She's my friend for many years now, and also friend of heart and lips of my One, Ylo (the big furry's called... Red). I try some shots with her, in the wood near my home. It was a pretty cool moment with many big smiles. Red So's here!

Yloni in light.

Truly my best shot of my One, she's ready for a long try with me, even if I'm not the best photographer of this side of the river! I took many shots of her, sometime nude, sometime not. Of course I took her beautiful face and smile, but I think this one is my best...

Return of the king ending

Ending of the arc! I congratulate the writer, Ed Brubaker, and the penciller Michael Lark for their work on this serie! I don't great admirator of the red devil and his universe, but the name of the arc intrigated me and I choose to let my Thor faves for this more human but no less heroe Daredevil. I discover a new Kingpin, more tougher than ever, more human, sometime fragilized by the death of his wife. He teamed-up with his old foe against the Hand, for vengeance. Nice arc! I read more DD now!


Italian painter, specialized in imaginary architectural perspectives and harbour views, in which the figures were executed by other artists, most notably Jan Miel and Michelangelo Cerquozzi. His pictures were praised by contemporary and near contemporary writers, and during the 17th century were popular with private collectors in both Florence and Rome. However, many of the paintings mentioned in contemporary sources remain untraced.
He is first documented in Rome in 1628, when, with Andrea Sacchi and Pietro da Cortona, he worked on the fresco decorations of the Villa Sacchetti (now Chigi), Castelfusano (near Ostia), to which he contributed personifications of the River Nile and the River Rhône. He became a member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome in 1634, and after 1635 he was engaged on frescoes depicting sacred subjects in S Maria in Vallicella, Rome. From the mid-1630s onward Salucci collaborated with Miel on the imaginary architectural subjects for which he is best known. The two artists also collaborated between 1640 and 1645 on a series of four important Imaginary Architectural Perspectives. His most typical paintings date from c. 1650-60.

I discover this painter when I search architectural pictures for my work. His oils are stunning and I search about him.

Diatoms could triple solar cell efficiency

EE Times

Microscopic algae called diatoms could help triple the electrical output of experimental, dye-sensitized solar cells, according to researchers at Oregon State University and Portland State University.

By trapping light inside the nanoscale pores of thin-film solar cells coated with diatoms, the engineers claim that more incident photons are captured to boost electricity generation, thereby greatly increasing efficiency.

"In our system, photons bounce around inside pores formed from diatom shells," said OSU professor Greg Rorrer, "making them three times more efficient."

Dye-sensitized solar cells work by absorbing photons on an inexpensive thin-film composed of dye molecules attached to a titanium oxide layer on a glass or plastic substrate. When the dye molecules absorb a photon, the resultant excitation injects electrons into the titanium, which transports them to the negative electrode.

Dye-sensitized solar cells are favored as a thin-film material because they work in low-light conditions and are fabricated with environmentally benign materials compared to silicon solar cells. However, silicon cells have more than twice the efficiency, as much as 20 percent compared to less than 10 percent for dye-sensitized solar cells.

If diatoms could triple the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells, they could potentially offer comparable efficiency at a lower cost, especially in low lighting conditions.

The Oregon engineers fed titanium dioxide to living diatoms so they would build shells from the photovoltaic material instead of silicon dioxide, from which they usually build their shells.

"We have found that diatoms will readily accept titanium dioxide in place of silicon dioxide if that's all we make available to them," said Rorrer.

The engineers have grown diatoms on a substrate. They have also bred them in bulk, then coated a glass surface with the material. In either case, the pattern of intricate nanoscale features both boosted the photovoltaic surface area available and trapped incident light inside the pores.

After removing the organic material from the shells, leaving behind the diatom's nanoscale skeletons composed of titanium dioxide, the researchers mixed the material in a dye. The resulting thin-film solar cells had three times the efficiency, according to Rorrer, than the same thin films without diatom nanoscale patterning.

The technique is still experimental, and is expected to add cost to conventional methods of fabricating dye-sensitized solar cells. But Rorrer claims the increased efficiency could justify the extra cost. One reason is that because photons bounce around inside the pores, they have a much greater probability of energizing the dye molecules, thereby coaxing them to release more electrons.

Next, the engineers plan to measure the efficiency of a tiny solar cell consisting of a single diatom. They also plan to optimize the material, which is still not sufficiently efficient for commercia use.

This morning. Ylo.

I like the morning, when you sneak outside the bed and hide in the bathroom. This morning, there was a spy behind you! You're beautiful my sweet, and I love you.

Bloc Party - Helicopter

Searching for new home !

This is a high building in NYC, I walk many times around him, and it's just now I took a pix!

In the grey world.

Yloni & Me.
a loving moment.


She's absolutely nice!!! great gallery with many sensual girls and demons, bu also some angels with fancy style!!! It's the artwork from YUNI, a girl for somewhere on this planet. Great jobs for this artist I like!!! Follow the link... HERE!

Kreen of Staten Island!!!

I like this place... Uuuuh not staten island himself, but the botanic garden! It's a great place for all the vegetal smells, the wind and the silence, despise the city. It's a magical place for me, for writing and reading (Ilium, from the huge Dan Simmons!!!).