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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baroness Vanya Averdyn-

There was no Mutants of Marnharnna game this Friday, as two players were unavailable.

However, C., my girlfriend, and I played a bit both Friday and Saturday in her Baroness Averdyn solo-game.
--(The pace of the assembly, fitting the refinements in alongside complete revision, clarification, and organic development of the character's background, baseline attitudes, ambitions, etc. -- It is so conducive to a nice dynamic interplay between Top-down and Bottom-up building on a neighbourhood/borough-level.)

We've sorted out that she was not raised at the Park Estate in the centre of Old Yovend (not to be confused with the Yoven Garrison in OLD Yovend), rather, she was raised on the North Coast of Byrtheq. Her upbringing in her youth was pastoral in her wanderings, and the crash of the waves on the 'Bloody Coast' upon the sheer cliffs that overlooked the quarantined isles of the Savage Folk. They are forest dwellers who never succumbed to the Continental Empire, nor the soft words of their Isle brethren in joining them in the Bronze, and Vurenym-Alloy Ages.
--It was in this instalment that she learnt that her character, the Baroness Vanya Averdyn, is derived from this stock admixed with diluted Aelbaan blood.

Her time spent at the inherited Winter Home was yearly in her youth, and occasional when she moved to Yovend to attend Academy, where she studied the Essentials, and favoured Art Theory, and Art History. She had two friends, both male, throughout school. One, a Law Student from modest means, the other a minor noble from Lhoma. It is from her Lhoman friend that she mastered fencing methods unorthodox to the West, such as parrying and disarming with the held scabbard.
--At academy, and later throughout life, Vanya was challenged by 'The Duchess' (later reduced to the non-aristocratic honour of Baronetess [Btss.] after her husband, a Duke, was stripped of his Admiralty and executed as a traitor for conspiring with Humanoids) Byniir Aeryx, a (perhaps) full-Aelbaan woman at least 20 if not 50 years Vanya's senior, although she appear younger than the Baroness.

The gristly murder of a young woman upon the Estate was the first mystery, but in the course of play, others have surfaced at nearly every turn:

* The Estate was built as an internal and external fa├žade which covers an ancient fort, possibly of Latter Qhattanian provenance, explaining the odd layout of the Estate and her childhood memories of secret hiding places she couldn't later find in the floorplans.

* Silt-aligned Humanoid creatures with a mane of writhing earthworms have been at run within the 'false walls' of the Estate for an unknown period of time. They are able to dissolve into Silt, and even this stuff then steams and sparks away into nothing.

* The current ground and street level of Yovend is at least 30' higher than the foundation of the fort, and the hills in the landscaping may all be barrow mounds (Isles of the Dead, when the floods came)

* What's more is that Vanya just discovered that at least one of the sites is Qobryn, and that a teleportation framework was in place throughout linked locations she has no geographic marker for, although she is aware of facing in different directions when she stepped into a new location's chamber. One was active, with cooking fires in a cave formation, another was a grotto with light shining up through crystal clear water, upon which a dinghy is moored, while the third location was a king's throne/burial room, but the skeletal figure is pierced by what appears his own broadsword.

* A malfunction in the T-Frame kept her pattern in the buffer for 10 months before reconstituting her. She found her way back to the chamber panelled in the Qobryn yellow-orange alloy they were/are renowned for, and accidentally activated some sort of energy column that burnt a hole through the ship timbers that had been used to seal up the site from whence she had disappeared after descending by line into the underground chamber.

* In the intervening ten months time, her rival, the 'Duchess' Aeryx had approached Vanya's lawyer friend about running the charity and sweets shoppes in the Baroness' absence. All of the money could be accounted for, and an increase in profit was seen for the four+ months the business had been back in operation.

* Wireless Telegraphony in the Estate has increased with Karl's (the ghillie) anxious search for sign or word of his Lady, and his having scoured his stable of Sig-friends from around the globe via telegraphonic rumour and library sites. More vacuum-tube aethertronic technology has been invested from the weathered man's income, and a harmonic attack by him seemed to 'muck-out' the Silt humanoids as their resonance frequencies became disrupted.

* The young lad (likely the son of the murdered woman) had been remanded into the State's custody, although as soon as Vanya heard this, she moved to foster him. Her lawyer friend found this an easy task to accomplish.

* Hints of conspiracy with the Constabulary now lead Vanya to a meeting with the Department Head of the Omniprecinctual Yovend Metropolitan Constabulary, who claims to have been good friends with her uncle (and fellow Astronomer's Lodge member).

...and other stuff. :D

Monday, September 20, 2010

-=Guild Houses of Blood (an old Tunnels and Trolls 5 URUTSK Resource)=-

This LINK is to an old T&T5 version of my 'Red Planet' in the Av star system in which Urutsk revolves.

Body Types, fewer Bloods, Natures, non-human Species and alternate Human populations of the sister-planet, more fiddly bits, customisation, classes. Spelling and name changes are prevalent.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mutants of Marnharnna Pt. 07- (10th September)

In the confusion, the [two] surviving and still in the saddle cavalrymen fumbled about for a Round or Two before one raced off for reinforcements, sounding a bugle. The other sought to tend to the thrown riders, and was attacked by Phlavius' improvised grenade, but was not incapacitated.

General milling about and kibitzing by the PCs provided ample time for the cavalry -- er reinforcements to arrive. Prior by a few Rounds, Zalder of the Winds took skyward to spot encroaching trouble, and spotted it in the form of a heavy dragoon lancer (actually wielding a Bright Metal lance crackling with + Lightning) charging into the fray at great speed.

Fretting over the heavy calendar stones, Raylyss' reptilmalian friend sacrificed himself and his bonded pet so that Raylyss was able to become a quadruped and bear away the weighty stone artefact. The transformation was near instantaneous, and R found himself with 20 additional discretionary DP while in that form.
--The largely incapacitated Osyl was borne along as well. As they departed from the charging horsemen, a tornado formed too nearby and caused a great distraction as the lancer bore down upon the cart and hapless Snappy.

For while Osyl's bleeding form lay upon the gory rushes, she was contacted again by Lady Arctise, her Elemental Patron. In these remote experiences Osyl and the Lady were outside the Nahzar Et’an <‘The Blessed Chapel’> which houses the Yirinn mountain-top arcology of Iirkys Lemharn, the Empire's premier Locomotive Station. The Lady gave Osyl a tour of the poor destitute who huddle tucked into corners of the massive black structure in the hope of staving off hypothermia and frostbite.
--"Your life is mine now, to do with as I please. Is that understood, Osyl?" --"Yes my Lady."
---:: A tour brought forth the chill spirits of those who had perished under Arctise' tender care, who inhabited the station seeking some wan warmth and comfort in immaterial undeath. It was here that the Lady purchased Osyl's ticket on a Ghost Train that would one day bring her spirit to Arctise' frosty mountaintop lair. It was from these visions that Osyl awoke from near-death, colder than normal, but still with a languid and belaboured heartbeat.
----(the tornado was accidentally formed when Osyl used the Lady's power within her to rapidly cool the local air-mass in the hopes of staving off the lancer).

Phlavius attempted to start a grassfire with alcohol, but found that the wet grass (it had been raining) didn't take-to, well. A brief flare-up projected an image of the lascivious Pant the It, ruler of Steam, but the weather's fouling gave the Yellow Ghoul more to worry about, and he then Cloaked and raced off Westward (as did the Cloaked quadrupedal Raylyss).

Zalder then experienced the sound he had heard at the Grinder's unveiling: wings, too close, above and behind him, and when he looked, Zalder saw to his concern a much larger specimen of the reptilavian they had brought down for the feast. This led to cool aerobatic manoeuvring and the plucking of two plumes from the creature as it flew in and picked-up two horses and riders before losing one due to its squirming, and the great flyer's returning to the higher, colder altitudes. All of this as the tornado threw about debris, including the bulk of the cart to which Snappy had been yoked.

The group headed from the plain into a hollow where a nice pond/lake was bordered by scattered copse of trees. Zalder secured a riderless horse, and managed to drive it down the slope toward the water.
--As Raylyss entered the water, his new hindquarters sloughed-off and dissolved into Silt. He searched his mind and found that he was not entirely certain if he could activate the quadraform at will. The bonus DP was reduced to 10 points.
---Snappy arrived late but basically unharmed, trailing the cart's bench still hooked onto its train.

The Nomads appeared from the trees and returned the girls and the eggs in the sealed trunk, and then explained that they had already been killed by West to East expanding Vrun moving to meet-up with the Eastern forces.
--The party were admonished to care for all trees they would encounter, as the last echoes of the slain Nomads could possibly aid them if they did as was bid of them.

The group took shelter in the woods, only to find that they hid subducted or overgrown subterranean ruins (perhaps a sunken tower), which (in the morning) were initially explored (a Simplex Push-button lock sort of affair). Phlavius' and Raylyss' Players both departed and Osyl and Zalder's remained. A room was entered, but Osyl was unfortunate enough to fall into a watery pit occupied by a tentacled creature.
--Melee (and one triple-strength TK Blast by Osyl) ensued and the dumb beast simply could not fail its Resolve Test to withdraw or cease fighting in whatever capacity, so both Osyl (clenched in two tentacles), and Zalder (almost stripped of the Air-crystal) took a good beating, but emerged victorious.
---Parts of the creature were salvaged: six fleshy bulbs connected beneath the things cartilaginous brain case, which appear to be its Water nodes. Zalder plans to collect the Quaternary Elemental Nodes for a gadget of some sort.

We held it there.

At some point in the session, it was revealed that the Lancer was in possession of a powerful Lightning artefact and as long as she wielded it and aberrants or magickers would use the Elements, powerful side effects would occur.
--It was apparent that the woman who wielded it was an Anti-Shre crusader, making it increasingly likely that the PCs would hear from her again.

---

Baroness Averdyn's mini-adventure and planning sessions went well both last week and on Wednesday night.

Key Words: Confections shoppe, Wireless Telegraphony, Heavy Weapons Master.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tremulous Antennae: Mementos of the Ancients-

LINK

A Letter from Ken St. Andre to Jim Shipman-

I am reposting the letter Ken sent me (and likely others).

James,

I received your package yesterday with some surprise. Received six copies of the revised Gristlegrim Dungeon. This dismays me, as I told you to quit publishing it back in January of this year when I broke with you. If this parcel was an attempt at a reconciliation between us, then I appreciate the effort you took, but I reject it. Our friendship and partnership is broken and done forever. I do not wish to collaborate on Gristlegrim or any other project with you. Not now! Not ever again! You had no right to add your material to my work. You have no right to continue publishing and selling it. Please stop!

James, you no longer have any right to publish or sell my works. We have no written contracts. We have no formal accounting of royalties. Your habit of sending money and or copies of the items is no longer good enough. Any informal agreements we may have made in 2009 and earlier are terminated on my side of the deal. I no longer wish to associate with you, either professionally or informally.

Find some other outlet for your creativity. Leave me, and leave Tunnels and Trolls, alone. I am rejecting any further association with you.


I hope this is clearly understood. Do not publish anything with my name on it as author. Do not presume to collaborate with me on my projects. Do not keep attempting to infiltrate trollhalla.com under false names--you are banned and unwelcome on that site. Do not attempt to rewrite the history of Tunnels and Trolls on Wikipedia or any other online sources. Do not send me money. Do not send me product. I do not want it from you. However, I am under no legal obligation to send back things that arrive unsolicited in the mail. I won't waste the money or the effort to send them back. I am not interested in theatrical gestures. I simply wish to terminate our association and to move on with other things in life.

I hereby reclaim my rights to anything I ever gave you to publish. In particular, I assert my right to the novel Griffin Feathers which consists entirely of my own work with some input in the short sections of the book from the members of Trollhalla.

I am forwarding the "royalties" that you sent me to Jeff Freels, the artist whose work you have re-used to illustrate this version of Gristlegrim. He deserves compensation for his work.


James, I am not angry at you, and I do not hate you. I simply will not associate with you ever again. For several years we were, I thought, very good friends. Outlaw Press did a lot for Tunnels and Trolls. You know why that time has ended. Let it go. Move on.

James, I will be publishing this letter in open forums on the internet, so that all the world can see how I feel, and how I react to what I can only believe are attempts to manipulate me and to gain control of Tunnels and Trolls. If you have no ulterior intentions, then forgive me for being suspicious, but I no longer feel that I can trust you.


James, you have your own unique style of creativity. Please go and do your own thing, and stop messing with me and with Tunnels and Trolls.



Sincerely,
Ken St. Andre

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The games these kids are playing these days...-

I'd love to talk about all the layers of Player interaction in my friend's Pathfinder game, but I'll confine this little 'get off my lawn' monologue to the slogging monotony of making a multiclassed character in the post 1e era.

I was faced with a slight re-build and one level increase for my LN Cleric of Heironeous, now that the Paizo Advanced Player's Guide trumped the Adamant Entertainment Tome of Secrets stuff. My eyes were practically bleeding by the time I had finished allocating my 17 Skill Points, and I still had PAGES of entries to complete: Special Abilities, Feats, Channelling, Spell DCs, ...
--For the love of Moshiach! When did this all go so horribly wrong? Is GURPS to blame? Starfleet Battles? Chivalry & Sorcery? !!!

There is entirely too much stuff to track; and 12 page character sheets?!
--I was exhausted before I even had my first scene in the game.

Where's my Geritol?
--I'm off to bed.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mutants of Marnharnna Pt. 06 and a New Solo Game-

With the Stone Calendar in their possession, and Osyl and 'snappy' the cart-puller out of the homestead/camp, the group fell back to their rally point and then realised that they were being tracked by two scouts from the camp.

One of the items dumped onto Osyl's cart in compensation for the hootch she provided the men was a heavy grinder of some sort of metal. When Osyl cranked it to see if it worked, it seemed to her that she was being pulled forwards in time at a rate faster than the normal passage of the equivalent time. However, the other PCs each had a different experience: The sound of bombs falling/detonating (Raylyss); distorted Calliope music starting up (Phlavius); and the sound of wings far too close for comfort above and behind him (Zalder).
--And while 'debate' sprang up, there were a few humorous moments, and a lot of kvetching about how to properly ambush the scouts and whether or not to use the grinder, etc.

Fabricated woollen propellent was created by Phlavius, and he fashioned a half-dozen small grenades (more like sound makers with a short shrapnel radius) from food tins, and gave them to Zalder to use to lead the cavalry (looking for the scouts), which was successful -- to a point.
--The fight against the scouts consisted of Raylyss and Phlavius, both Cloaked, and resulted in the near instant death of one scout from an arrow shot from each of the PCs, the first shot striking the vitals, and the second shot splitting the first arrow. The surviving scout rolled under Osyl's cart, who then double-strength TK-Blasted him (shattering his primary forearm) and moved to attack him with her Vae short sword. Raylyss TK-Gripped him and dragged him out from under the cart, where Zalder landed and dealt with the scout.

Five of the cavalry swept in and one rider was thrown as Osyl dropped his horse with a revolver shot, missing a second one. The remaining three charged in and Osyl was shot in the head and was reduced to Dying, but that rider, too, was un-horsed, leaving only two.
--We moved to begin another Round, but two of the Players left at 8PM.

-----

Vanya Averdyn, Western Isles Vrun Baroness, began her adventuring career in my girlfriend's solo game.
--Vanya's decrepit estate is on a 0.56 sq. mile (358.4 acres) plot of wilderness in the heart of old Yovend, capital of the southern Island of Byrtheq. It had been three times the size in past generations, but the land had been sold off to fund the family's dual passions for travel, and their ancestral (Latter Qhattanian) holdings on the Isles. A slew of mysteries confronts the Baroness, far too many to meaningfully recount here.

I may update her adventures here, but I thought it deserved mention, as it is a very different sort of game than the others have been running in for roughly two years.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Old URUTSK Minis Combat Rules (Primitive to Modern)-

URUTSK COMBAT
EDIT: 1998/09/08
(c) 1998, 2010 Kyrinn S. Eis

* Scale: Open (1/2 of an Average Figure' Height = 01 Yard)
* Time: 01 Round = Approximately 06 Seconds

Range
Increment Penalty

Point-blank: 0
Short: 1
Medium: 2
Long: 3
Extreme: 4

Pass Ammo. check: '6', including appropriate Weapon Ability score.


RANGED COMBAT-

Roll 1d6, and add 'Ranged' score.
--Range and Cover Penalties are then applied.

* A Modified Result of '1' or less is a Clean Miss

* Results of '2-5' indicate a 'hit' has been scored, applying the same total as Hit Points to the previously nominated targets/figures.

* A Result of '6' or more allows the die to be re-rolled, adding the new result to the total. This grand total is then distributed among the nominated target(s).

Other factors discussed later modify the low and high end results.


Misses-
(Roll 1d6):

1). Forced Ammo Check
2-5). Normal Miss
6). Strike another figure within 01 Yard to either side of the original target, regardless of range (nearer or further).


Group Ranged Combat-

* Dice for all involved per side are rolled
* Apply Range and Cover penalties to each die
* 1's are not added, and each removes a single high(est) scoring roll (preventing additive re-rolls for that die removed)
* A result of 6 on any (remaining) die is then added with its re-roll. This is performed only once per die.

* Total the modified rolls
* This is distributed to the pre-nominated targets, with those without cover (even in further ranks/rows) receiving the brunt of damage first, then those in partial cover, and lastly to those in full cover.


Autofire / Volley Modifiers (Single)-

* Modified results of '1' are treated normally
* A '2' may also indicate a 'miss' if the weapon condition is poor or the item is damage, defective, etc.
* A result of 5+ is an additive re-roll
* Continue as normal


Autofire / Volley Modifiers (Group)-

* 1's (and 2's if the gear is damaged or poorly maintained) are not added, and instead each subtracts a single high(est) scoring roll (preventing Additive Re-Rolls)
* 5+ is an ARR
* Continue as normal


Burst-Effect Weapons-

* 1's act as normal
* 4's, 5's, and 6's are ARRs

* Figures without cover, within the range of the effect, are automatically subject to 12 Hit-points, before rolled points are distributed to those with cover.
* The area affected by the burst is often devastated and poses its own hinderances, namely fires and broken terrain.
* Structures in the area are treated as figures without cover, and sustain 12 hit-points. Although this is often not enough to destroy the structure outright, it is usually enough to deteriorate the integrity of the structure, and can cause dangerous conditions (collapses, etc.)
* Figures with cover provided by damaged structures may have survived the initial blast, but may still persh from their refuge's collapse. In these cases, 2d6 are rolled:

* If the results are doubles (5, 5, or 3, 3, for instance), they are treated as ARRs
* Any other results are simply added, and hit-points distributed among the figures in the structure. This damage represents injuries suffered from falling debris or other special effects from such an event.


MELEE (CLOSE) COMBAT-

* Roll 1d6 per unit (based on combat scale), and add the Close score
* Ties result in an ARR for both parties, with the figure wit the higher Close score breaking a further tie.

Parries & Ripostes-

A number of Hit-Points of damage a melee or unarmed fighter generates, up to its Close score, can be used to interfere with incoming enemy hit-points. If this amount is equal to the incoming hit-points, then the strike is negated. If the total is greater, and a '6' was rolled, the enemy is disarmed. Any remaining points may still be used to inflict injury as normal.

Breaking-off in Melee-

On occasions where a figure wants to disengage from its opponent, the opponent is entitled to an unopposed roll (adding its Close score) to determine the effect of its strike.

Mass Melee-

When more than one figure engages an enemy in Melee combat, follow standard One-on-one Melee Procedure, as expanded by the following rules:

* Parry and Riposte points may be spread among one-half as many opponents (round up)

* Command Checks must be made each Minute of such combat


COMMAND CHECKS-

* Figures must be within 10 Yards of a Command-capable figure when a Command Check is required, or the figures are Out of Command (OoC).
* Figures which are OoC will attempt to join other friendly units, even if they are also OoC, rather than remain isolated.
* Groups of OoC troops are under the Referee's control.
* Groups of troops with a Command-capable commander are Detachments, and act as sub-units with all the same properties as the main unit in regard to Command Checks.


Mass Melee Charges-

* Roll 1d6 for each side.
* If the Charging Attackers are at 21-40 Yards when the charge begins, 6's are ARRs for their side. If at 20 Yards (or less), 5's and 6's are ARRs.
* The Charged Party receives ARRs based on preparedness, and longer ranges. If the Charging Attackers are at Medium Range (for the weapons employed) then 6's are ARRs. Long and Extreme Range permit 5's and 4's, respectively. Readied weapons lower the ARR threshold by one, but never lower than '4'.
* Overwhelming numbers of Charging attackers (3:1 or greater) additionally force 2's to be discarded by the Other/Receiving Party. Autofire/Volley are conducted normally. Command Checks are necessary versus Disruption.
* The Grand Total for each party is applied to their opponents.
* If both parties Charge, treat each side as the Charging Party.
* Once the two forces engage, Standard Melee takes place.
* As with any instance of Mass Melee, Command Checks are required each Minute of Battle.


Disruption-
(Roll 1d6)

1). Staggered: Lose Next 02 Rounds
2-5). Stunned: Lose Next Round
6). Unaffected: May act as normal


HIT-POINTS-

Regardless of the source, any hit-points attached to a figure are compared to the figure's Fate score:

* If less than that score, the figure remains active, though at a Fate score reduced by the hit-points not negated by defences.
* If attached hit-points are equal to the figure's Fate, the figure is Injured.
* If the hit-points exceed the figure's Fate score, then the figure is Incapacitated.

Injuries-

* Injured figures may resume action on the second Round after suffering their Injury. the Fate score is reduced by 01. If faced with an enemy, the Injured figure may fight back, but 1's, 2's, and 3's are penalised as previously discussed.

Incapacitated-
(Roll 1d6):

1-2). Dead
3-5). Immobile: badly wounded and in serious pain. as a result, they are very likely to be noisy
6). Unconscious: 1d6 Minutes before regaining Consciousness, then treat as Injured

[END]