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Thursday, December 31, 2009
KMerYulx ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Vest')
* Type: Battle Vest
* Class: Medium/+2/-
* Protection: 2d6x3 Torso (Abdomen [L5] and Chest [L6] only)
* Power: n/a
* Weight: 2 Lbs.
* Frequency: H
:: A bioglass/polycarbonate articulated shell, its main distinguishing factor is that of customisable/configurable integrated load-bearing 'webbing' (e.g., a place to put helicoils, combat blade, sidearm holster, hydration pack, etc.)
:: Cannot be worn over anything heavier than KMerM(A-Y)l (E-Sheath).
KMerAuhd ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Heavy Infantry')
* Type: Battlesuit
* Class: Heavy/+3/+4 v. Physical AoE CT (see)
* Protection: +3d6x3
* Power: 15/Hour + 45 Emergency
* Weight: 20 Lbs.
* Frequency: R
:: A metalloid-foam-enhanced bioglass/polycarbonate battlesuit capable of 10 weeks of sealed operation (submarine or vacuum) without maintenance or re-supply thanks to several mycelial and lichen cultures operating throughout the structure of the armour. These cultures not only process wastes (gaseous, liquid, and solid) but produce food and breathable air for the occupant, although air quality does begin to degrade toward the end of the tenth week, and the derived food leaves much to be desired by most palates' standards. Like the KMerSmou, myomer and mycelial systems produce electrochemical power available for internal systems as well as external gear demands.
:: In addition to the above features, suits of this sort have mounts for mission-specific ancillary systems, such as automated targeting acquisition units, EVA manoeuvring jets, or the far more frequent jumpjet packs. The wearer's functional strength is also increased by 20% (i.e., the wearer's Body score is increased by roughly +2).
:: These battlesuits were the pinnacle of 'hard-tech' personal military gear for over a century, although refinements and variants are found throughout that period, as well as ethnocentric design specifics that easily distinguish one example from another. Specifically, units of this sort found throughout Yaeshan almost invariably evoke mythic warrior and monstrous qualities, while those of polar climatic origin tend toward baroque elegance, incorporating Black Metal-suffused Auric ('Dark Gold') details.
KSvardXudem ('Artifice - Specialist - Armoured Power Frame')
* Type: Armoured Power Frame
* Class: Vehicular/+2/+2 v. Physical AoE CT (+)
* Protection: +4d6x5
* Power: 100/Hour (x5 if stationary)
* Speed: 30-35 MPH (290'/Round)
* Weight: 1500 Lbs.
* Frequency: Z
:: This is a vaguely humanoid vehicle with squat, heavy, near-pyramidal legs which, while articulable, are motivated primarily by knobby treads. Its arms are based upon hydro-pneumatic actuators enhanced with bundles of myomer fibres within laminated metalloid casing. The torso is the control servo and accommodates the operator in a seated position with the limbs operating the arm and leg actuators in real-time. These units are generally 'open-air' with clear polycarbonate screens, as the fumes of both fuels are toxic in high concentrations.
:: Powered by five dual-stage engines (the fifth articulates the torso servo) operating simultaneously off a form of Vetiver-like biodiesel, and vehicle-grade Polymethylhexanol pellets injected by a regulator system tied into the parallel exertion-ramp controllers of the actuators. This system determines whether the biodiesel vapour combustion will provide enough power to the actuators, or if the injection of a PMH pellet is necessary for additional stroke compression. The arm strength (each) is in excess of 1,000 Lbs. making melee strikes roughly x10 damage.
:: When found as an artefact in the field, it will be unpowered (both the biodiesel and PMH will have degenerated into respective sludges). However, restored units may be found in the possession of political entities ranging from metropolitan militias to national armies. Biodiesel will then be the primary fuel, with any intact PMH reserves kept for only the most important unit-operator ranks (generally elite heavy infantry, or mechanised cavalry). The Power value listed may be used to operate other devices/systems, such as search lights, radios, and weapons.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
'Class': The first value (Light, Medium, Heavy) is to determine proficiency. The second value is the bonus to Defence (for DAC users, simply apply this as a minus from 8 or 10, or whatever your rules set uses as the base, although GMs may wish to multiply the value by 2). The last value is a modifier to Critical Tests (Saving Throws) of an Area of Effect nature, including fireballs, dragons breath, etc.
KMerMoul ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Field Suit')
* Type: Camouflaged, Insulated, Water-proof Jumpsuit and retractable hood
* Class: -/+0/+1 v. Physical AoE CT
* Protection: see
* Power: n/a
* Weight: 1 Lb.
* Frequency: B
:: Just as stated, this is the most ubiquitous piece of military protective gear precisely because it offers so little additional benefit, beyond its insulated water-proof capability.
:: With the hood pulled over the head, the wearer not only receives the +1 on Physical (including Bio/Chem) Area of Effect Critical Tests, but reduces any damage sustained in such an Effect by 1d6 points.
KMerM(A-Y)l ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Environmental Suit')
* Type: Camouflaged, Self-sealing Protective Suit
* Class: Light/+1/+3 v. Physical AoE CT
* Protection: 2d6
* Power: n/a
* Weight: 2 Lb.
* Frequency: K
:: This type of protective gear was commonly referred to as 'E-Sheath', and once developed, became the standard under-armour and un-armoured covert operations suit for decades.
:: It is an extension of the previous Moul-type suit, but of a much more sophisticated weave and material which clings to the wearer's skin via an chemo-electrostatic field generated by the occupant. This degree of form-fitting insulation is further augmented by an inner layer of mycelial (fungal) cells that process the wearer's waste products and provide remarkable protection given its light weight.
:: With the hood pulled over the head, the wearer not only receives the +3 on Physical (including Bio/Chem) Area of Effect Critical Tests, but reduces any damage sustained in such an Effect by +1d6 (a total of 3d6) points.
KMerSmou ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Scout Suit')
* Type: Camouflaged, Self-sealing Protective Suit
* Class: Medium/+2/+3 v. Physical AoE CT
* Protection: 2d6x2
* Power: 10/Hour
* Weight: 5 Lb.
* Frequency: L
:: Composed of a thin (.67") bioglass-polycarbonate laminate, this chitin-inspired suit type offers significant protection at minimal weight. More impressive, however, is its faculty to convert a fraction of the wearer's movement and store it in a special myomer layer as electro-chemical energy, off of which its internal processes (air and water filtration and circulation [including stored air-supply], temperature regulation [+/- 30*F], integral sensors and Heads Up Display [HUD], camouflage circuitry, and data/gear/weapons port power) operate.
:: Archaeological evidence suggests that this style of suit was used almost exclusively by the Ancients who dwelt upon the Marnharnnan continent, as caches and battlefield finds are most ubiquitous there, with very little in the way of variation over decades if not centuries, although identical suits have been found on virtually all other landmasses in the same configurations, especially in the dense Lhoman jungle expanse (in great numbers, along with specific makes of KMH and KMSV weapons). Similar suit types are apparent in other regions, but none exhibit all of the above listed features, and many were tailored to meet specific environmental applications (cold weather and low pressure atmosphere, amphibian mode, urban, etc.).
:: This suit is worn over the E-Sheath, and is factored in with its protection. Without the E-Sheath, the v. AoE effect is reduced by 2.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Let me begin by thanking you for continuing this dialogue. :)
The first part of my response will deal with the game as a game: Have you seen how steep the 'XP' curve is for purchasing magic in my system?
--I have a player whose character is perhaps 7th-Magnitude/Level, and he is still only capable of casting 2nd-'Level' spells, and not for lack of trying. Granted, he has slightly diffused his energies by pursuing established spell-use and Shadow Magicks, but when I recently asked him for a ball-park estimate of points he's spent toward the Arts, his answer was roughly 2/3rds the total 'xp' he has earned.
---I designed the system expressly for the purpose of allowing a magicker to gain many low-power spells, but to severely retard their matriculation through the 'spell levels'. Given that, what would you expect a PC or NPC be able to accomplish that would out-live his own existence save create new spells and leave them hidden away in a spell book or a few scrolls? :)
Given that the above applies to NPCs equally, most 'breakthroughs' in magic come in the form of daisy-chaining 0th - 2nd or perhaps at best, 3rd-'level' spells into more costly (although, often more useful) spells than 4th or higher ones, as the casting-costs are cumulative (easier to calculate using a Spell Point system than the so-called Vancian method).
Now, from a setting perspective: Urutsken tend to be fairly bigoted and xenophobic folk, and that is taken to the next level when dealing with individuals pursuing lost arts and mysteries. There is little in the way of inter-cultural exchanges regarding such esoteric subject matter, especially in light of the general populace' fear of aberrations, which mages most certainly are perceived as in all but the most stable of metropolitan areas.
--That, coupled with high death rates due to environmental factors of a relatively unfriendly planet, predation by Humanoids and Monstrous Beings, and human-on-human warfare, most folk of that mental calibre are put to good use reasoning-out the functions of Ancient technology, rather than allowed to selfishly pursue dangerous, unstable, and Monster-attracting practices.
---What few number who do learn more than a few parlour tricks are fortunate if they are able to sequester themselves (almost invariably alone, or at most with manservants and support personnel) in a reasonably safe redoubt in the Humanoid and Monster-infested wilderness, and escape the attention of any of the three (other humans generally see them as complicit in aiding the non-human forces in the world and beyond), and with such little power at their disposal in comparison to mages in other game-systems, often fail to stay alive in the process of their studies.
Now, on an institutional level, there is at least one international group, a true cabal, known as the Kherstic League, who, when they find practitioners, give them one chance to join, or they are slain, and the research absconded with. The League is the only game in town, as it were, and their aims are fairly simple and straightforward: control knowledge of the Imperial Magick which still operates, albeit in a damaged and unstable manner, to this day, and slowly release its applications (perhaps the term 'technomantic' is best, here) as human society becomes more stable and less likely to destroy itself, or summon Lovecraftian-level non-friendlies to dominate or devour humanity's best bastion amid the Shattered Stars.
--The secret of the Kherstic Shards is at once amazingly simple, and on the other hand, such a vast paradigm-shift (Teslan v. Edisonian, with the former being centuries ahead of his time, and the latter being short-sighted and conniving), that its revelation would likely destroy the fabric of global society, undoing thousands of years of reconstruction and re-integration virtually overnight. In essence, the League is willing to sacrifice the lives of (wilfully-)ignorant practitioners to safeguard the hope for a better, stronger future position for all of humanity, and see it once-again take its place as the masters of the sidereal realm.
---Moreover, many folk who (in other games) would become M-U's, instead become involved in technology and restorationist projects, and take great pride in their accomplishments, regardless if they give a hoot about Humanity, or simply enjoy the privileges and notoriety that comes along with serving the temporal leaders who facilitate their research. Now, add the fact that most of these folks are also working with the League, wittingly or unwittingly, and the circle is more or less complete.
If I have not addressed your questions, please let me know, and I will attempt to do so.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
--I was fortunate enough to receive Season 5 on DVD for Hanukkah/Christmas, and caught a few epis I had missed watching them on TV.
---Yes, the final epi was, um, not good, I still feel it was an excellently produced series filled with good writing, appealing characters (notably many strong female characters, most of all typified by Torri Higginson's Dr. Elizabeth Weir), and a wonderful ensemble. Many of the epis were real tear-jerkers, esp. 'The Shrine'.
Having caught a few of seasons 1 and 2 of(ST:)Enterprise, I thought little good of it. However, although another thinly-veiled spin (this time on the September 11th, 2001 events), season 3's Xindi / Expanse episodes began to catch my interest. I am working my way through seasons 3 and 4 as we speak.
--I find Archer to be one of the least appealing of all ST captains, but the rest of the cast of characters at least don't make me sigh.
SyFy's condensed version of the first season of The Legend of the Seeker was enough to make me interested in watching the second (ongoing) season.
--Let me be perfectly clear: This is not much more than brain candy for me, and NO, I have not, nor do I intend on reading Goodkind's tortuously-long(winded) book series. The spin in this series is just beyond my ability to rationally discuss without a huge treatise on what is so wrong with media-fed brainwashing regarding religion (in general), but, it does have pretty women and landscapes to look at, and at 10 pm that's about all I care to invest in.
---I'll continue my frankness: I really dig the Mord'Sith, and thought that the episode in which Cara's backsory was revealed (while predictable and sappy) was a higher standard than most TV pabulum.
The new old Star Trek.
--A resounding, No.
James (I generally loathe his message) Cameron's AVATAR.
:: Having suffered through The Dragonsfoot's typically [nothing nice to say here] thread on this film, after having seen it yesterday, I am not certain whether my liking the film in almost every possible way will lose me Subscribers, but, there you have it: I was delighted by the film. I will go further, saying that I think it is the single most beautiful moving media I have ever seen. Period.
--Please keep in mind my work in High Risk Armed Security, and my general loathing of Cameron's worldview: I encourage anyone who likes Sword and Planet fiction even a smidgen to set aside their Left/Right, Panentheist/Monotheist/Atheist (etc.) biases and go see this film.
---Is the plot small, yes. Is it predictable: 90%. Is it revisionist wish-fulfilment: yes. Is it the most gorgeously executed CGI work yet: yes. Do I love freakin' large cat-like critters: Roger that big time.
So, judge me harshly if you will, that's my take on the stuff I have been watching recently.
My solution was to make magic available to anyone, but make developing its use so costly (XP-wise) so as to dramatically narrow the potential number of dedicated practitioners, as well as retard their rate of matriculation through the 'spell-levels'.
--Urutsk has always had magickers of some sort, due to campaign event specifics, but even in the Latter Autumn era in which vectored thrust air transports, LASERS, and ELF-communications exist, those who could use anything more than the occasional elemental bolt or Mirror Image --both of which are outstripped by technological equivalents-- were a rare breed which kept their knowledge hidden.
As Humanity took to outer space and colonies were founded, many such worlds were used as remote demesnes, and the Art enjoyed a local resurgence, especially when space-age technology failed and the populations became cut off from pre-Imperial society.
It wasn't until Mid-Winter, when the Sphere of Stars/Suns was founded, that Magick was brought to the fore, although that golden 'age' only lasted 111 years. Yet, enigmatically, it is this very period that created what is known as 'magic' in the setting, throughout its full cycle...
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Copyright (c) 1992, 1999, 2009 Kyrinn S. Eis, All Rights Reserved
Flynn: Yes, I have. It is the Vrun alphabetic language system and it forms the basis of virtually all of the languages upon Urutsk, as it was formed from the Empyrean Keys of the First Parents who fell to the planet in the 'War in the Heavens'.
--Only the Kaukara (now largely extinct) and the Durn have languages of significant variance from Vrun (and while the Western Isles Vrun language known as Majestic Vrun is understandable to a large degree by continental Vrun speakers, its written form is more pictographic, like ogham, and its grammar more like Durnish).
I have realised, in varying degrees of completeness: Vrun, Yirinn, Tuliri, Majestic Vrun, Durnish, and Yaesh, as well as the non-human, Dryvv (strongly related to Yirinn). Others are either one-offs or variants.
Most of the differences have to do with the character set limiting or expanding their thought-base, and the manner in which one inscribes and reads the characters.
--Durnish, for instance, is composed of arcs, spirals, circles, and lines layered in such a way as their mentality understands reality, and this is so significantly different from all other languages on Urutsk, save Majestic Vrun's 'ogham', as to appear more like artwork than even calligraphy.
In due time I will publish the core Vrun data, including its intrinsic numeric and 3D spatial aspects, but, as you can imagine, it is its own sort of undertaking, and requires me to draft the characters for use in a computer font creation programme.
As far as the difference between having created the language and creating words as needed, that is the nature of Vrun. Each character is an alphabetic particle, and each has a broad interpretive value, --a phoneme--, which allows for 'on-the-fly' construction of words/names to describe particulars.
--The ubiquity of the Vrun peoples has created easily as many 'dialects', and it necessitates actually thinking about what one is hearing or reading to gain accurate understanding of what is being said. While, to Westerners, that may seem a very subjective methodology, a parallel to the Chinese characters / Kanji being readable by many dialects/languages, but the spoken word being equally opaque to non-fluent individuals is perhaps the best analogy.
A friend of mine is an expert in Coptic, and a particular form, the name of which escapes me, and he, in discussing Vrun with me, stated that a language which is capable of constructing meaningful words via mono- or even duo-symbolic units is exceedingly rare on Earth, and that he has difficulty making heads or tails of Vrun's system. On the other hand, I have noted that coders and programmers seem to take to Vrun much more readily, which I find delightful, given the nature of the Empyrean Keys from which Vrun is derived were AI-Human interface characters.
I hope that helps a bit. :)
* Additional ammunition types for the KMH (Carbine/Rifle, and Sidearm) weapons:
* Type: KMH Ammunition
* Effect: Piercing 2d6x5 DP in a (Range * 0.2 sq. Feet) Area of Effect
* Range: roughly 750 Yards
* Frequency: N
:: This ammunition type is composed of a 'hive' containing roughly 20 individual flechettes, each of which produces the above listed damage. Everyone within the Area of Effect is susceptible to a strike, up to and including 30 potential targets, due to over-penetration of the flechettes: Attempt an Experience (Petrification) Critical Test for 1/2-damage.
:: Considering the above deals only with a single round fired, burst and full-auto fire earns the ammunition type its literal translation ('Subtle Artifice for Breath Termination').
* Type: KMH Ammunition
* Effect: Blunt 1d6x5 DP + Electrical 3d6x5 Stun; Health CT for half-Stun
* Range: roughly 250 Yards
* Frequency: Q
:: Essentially a pre-charged micro-capacitor, this type of ammunition has less than half standard range due to its shape and mass, yet its powered state delivers a significant electrical jolt proven effective in less-than-lethal operations where the target is to be captured intact.
* Type: KMH Ammunition
* Effect: 1d6x5 + Health CT v. Condition One
* Range: roughly 350 Yards
* Frequency: S
:: Depending upon the content, this sort of ammunition can be used to deliver a chemical/biological agent into its target's system, provided armour penetration.
:: The Referee is encouraged to concoct all manner of dose-loads, ranging from Tranquillisers to Toxins to BioWeapons. Antidotes or cures would be helpful, but by no means necessary.
Monday, December 21, 2009
KMerXhob ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Monoblade sidearm')
* Type: Power-assisted Monoblade
* Effect: Edged 2d6x5 DP (2d6x10 if a Charge is used)
* Reach: Medium Melee
* Power: 2d20 Charges per Power Cell
* Weight: 2 Lbs.
* Frequency: J
:: A 30" cultured monomolecular wedge of bio-glass composed of pearl and spider-silk, permeated with a bacterial laminate acting as both the substrate and outer coating of the wedge, and which maintains the fidelity of the single-molecule edge. It is translucent in varying degrees, but has multiple iridescent patches throughout the wedge.
:: This wedge is only sharp at the finest edge, and is mounted via three clamps, to the housing of the power-assist handle. It is this unit which uses electromagnets and high-tension springs to retract the blade in preparation for a strike. The stored mechanical energy in the springs launch the chisel-like blade into the target area at great velocity, but stops in its normal position for a follow-up non-powered strike.
:: With or without the power-assist, this is a deadly weapon: any strike against a limb or the head results in a Sever result if the damage past armour is equal to the figure's (Condition 3) value or greater.
KMerHiaysk ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Ballistic sidearm')
* Type: Assault Pistol
* Effect: Standard Ammunition: Lethal 1d6x10 DP
* Range: roughly 500 Yards
* Ammo.: 40/88/128
* Weight: 2 Lbs.
* Frequency: M
:: Like most other projectile weapons of the 'Kinetic Era' in the Ancient past, the assault pistols of this period are of a bullpup design, with the ammunition and action placed behind the pistol grip of the weapon, and are supplied by a helicoil magazine of varying size based upon capacity. Many were built to fire rifle-calibre projectiles, and these accept carbine/rifle magazines.
:: Accessory rails and power ports are generally a few iterations removed from their contemporaries' developments in longarms, but near the mid-point of this period, most pistols sported the same military specifications and were built to the same exacting standards. As such, many enlisted personnel would purchase these sidearms through the Corps Distribution markets, while ranks of [Lt.] or higher were issued these at their option.
KMerEkhl ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Electrified Striker')
* Type: Powered Compliance Baton
* Effect: Electrical Stun 5-15, by setting; Compliance v. Control CT (5 + Effect)
* Reach: Small Melee
* Power: 5d20 Charges per Power Cell
* Weight: 1 Lb.
* Frequency: P
:: This is a variable current electrified prod used in gaining physical compliance in times of Civil Unrest, or in the processing and transport of prisoners of war. Its Effect is applied against Alertness and when appropriate, whether or not compliant at that point, the individual goes unconscious.
:: This item is standard issue to all [Sgt.] during times of war or overseas deployment.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
KMerThmix ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Thrown Device')
* Type: Ultralow-frequency High-dissipation Explosive
* Effect: Lethal 2d6x10 DP in a 30' Radius
* Range: Rigged, Thrown or Launched 675 Yards
* Weight: 1 Lbs.
* Frequency: P
:: These devices create a powerful Ultra-low frequency sound burst as the primary mechanism of wounding, and any shrapnel from the item's destruction is coincidental and already factored in to the Effect.
:: Due to the nature of these waves, their destructive power quickly dissipates in Urutsk's thin atmosphere, while they travel extraordinarily well through denser media, such as stone, water, and earth. This advantage is employed in a localised collateral damage strike, such as demolishing a reinforced door, overturning/destroying cover, and in eliminating clusters of adversaries.
:: The phantasmal images of the Ancients show some Grenadiers so proficient with the time-settings of this class of grenades, as to clear entire rooms with a thrown handful of the 1" diameter, 4" long cylinders. Launched and ricochetted off of multiple surfaces, these same Grenadiers could reach otherwise inaccessible foes. Demolitions Specialists also appeared to appreciate the versatility of these devices.
KMerThmixAi ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Thrown Device - Fireball')
* Type: Fuel-air Grenade
* Effect: Fire 2d6x10 DP in a 60' Radius
* Range: Rigged, Thrown or Launched 675 Yards
* Weight: 0.5 Lbs.
* Frequency: R
:: This class of weapon is primarily utilised to inflict maximum casualties with a minimum of (initial) structural damage. It is a morale-testing weapon design, and soon necessitated the use of fully sealed Environmental Armour, and later, the E-sheath lightweight suit.
:: The fireball fills a volume of over [900 thousand] cubic Feet.
KMerThmixEi ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Thrown Device - Electrical burst')
* Type: Conductive aerosol Electrical/Low Power Plasma Grenade
* Effect: Electrical 3d6 DP in a 60' Radius + Fire/Heat 6d6 in a 45' Radius
* Range: Rigged or Thrown
* Weight: 2 Lbs.
* Frequency: X
:: A gallon-sized, cubic solid with one upper corner acting as a throwing handle. This weapon, when armed, produces a strong chemical adhesive and diamagnetic alignment of all six faces so as to adhere to virtually any machine, from Armoured Assault Frame to Strider Galleon, delivering its powerful electro-phazic effect. Its intended purpose was to destroy or disable any but the most hardened vehicle or fortification.
:: A much rarer, squat cylindrical version has been noted which has the same values, but rolls d12s instead of d6s, and three times (3x) the Radius, weighing 4.5 Lbs. This version must be fastened by its base, and has actual ferromagnetic material as the constituent of its casing which becomes electrified upon priming. This dates the period to roughly 5k years before the Early Autumn Era.
Friday, December 18, 2009
KMSV Ammunition and Payloads-
Isahey' ('Writhing - Speciality load - Anti-personnel')
* Type: Hydrokinetic Penetrator /Shaped Explosive
* Effect: Lethal 3d6x5 DP + Explosive 1d6x20 15' Radius
* Range: roughly 2,000 Yards
* Frequency: T
:: The term writhing is derived from the in-flight motion of the elastic, fluid-filled payload, once released from the gyrojet sabot. The properties of the combination of the elastic casing and the hydrokinetic fluid contained within increases the round's ability to penetrate light vehicular armour, as well as the heavier powered augmentation suits employed during this and later eras.
:: Once the elastic casing yields to impact stress or is shredded passing through a hard surface, a micro-fuze detonates two half-cylinder incendiary shaped charges, affecting personnel in much the same way as White Phosphorus munitions: a spinning shower of white-hot non-soluble fragments easily burning completely through human tissue and bone.
:: If a target is stuck within 1,000 yards, only the initial Effect is delivered, and the ordinance neutralised.
Tanheles ('Gliding Observer')
* Type: Robotic Surveillance Drone
* Effect: Intel 3d6+3 in a 180* arc out to 1 mile for 1 Turn (10 minutes)
* Range: roughly 3.5 Acres directed glide area, 6,000 feet altitude
* Frequency: V
:: Once launched (usually at a 45* angle), the remotely controlled drone can terminate the gyrojet sabot at any point past 25 Yards and begin assisted gliding at the designated altitude for use in real-time audio-visual and other sensor data transmission.
:: The ease with which these recon drones could be used later created a need for selective disruption of the enemy's drones while not affecting 'friendly' units in the same theatre, but those anti-recon drones have an X frequency, as they came late in the era.
:: Non-hostile uses included the recognition of fallen troopers 'IDSigs', as well as GPS-marking no-artillery zones which were fed-back to the automated guns to help prevent friendly-fire incidents.
Tsiumhx ('Aerial Insertion Mine')
* Type: Indirect-fire Anti-personnel Mine
* Effect: Explosive 2d6x10 10' Radius
* Range: roughly 800 Yards
* Frequency: S
:: More common than many other speciality munitions for the long-range rifles, these were employed in area-denial operations, such as covering tactical retreats as well as channelling the enemy into unfavourable terrain.
:: Once fired (usually 45* angle) the parabolic arc carries the insertion unit three-quarters of the way before the sabot is discarded and the projectile penetrates soft ground cover. On hard surfaces, most units are destroyed rather than leaving intact mines. Some nations or factions did produce hard-surface versions with limited degree of success, but most groups instead utilised grenade launchers with purpose-built ordinance.
:: Colour-coded with alternating bands of black and red on a green body, these ordinance are noticeably heavier than virtually all other gyrojet munitions.
KMerShiamVadr ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Long-range - Specialist rifle')
* Type: Precision Rifle
* Effect: Lethal 3d6x10 DP
* Range: roughly 2,800 Yards
* Ammo.: 01 (bolt-action)
* Weight: 6 Lbs. without optics
Many variations of these weapons exist, but all are long, heavy-barrelled sharp-shooter weapons utilised by highly trained and esteemed specialist troopers supported by a spotter and a guard to monitor the safety of the shooter/spotter team.
:: These weapons use larger and heavier projectiles of a gyrojet discarding sabot nature to accelerate the projectile over 3,000 fps. However, the necessary burn-time of the rocket makes this weapon less than effecient at ranges under 500 Yards, doing one-half rolled damage. At intended ranges, these weapons were employed in an anti-materiel and anti-officer ('sniper') role.
:: The optics for these weapons varied significantly, from small multi-laser bank 'painter' arrays, to large analogue high-fidelity scopes in the 2.8x48mm objective lens range, complete with UV filtration and glare polarising screens.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I will wait to gauge reactions/input before proceeding with additional offerings.
Weapons of the Ancients-
KMerHiayt ('Artifice - Standard Issue - Ballistic Hypersonic')
* Type: Carbine/Rifle
* Effect: Lethal 2d6x5 DP
* Range: roughly 1,000 Yards
* Ammo.: 50/100/300/case-fed
* Weight: 3 to 5 Lbs.
Many nations and honour-allegiances fielded variations on these weapons, each with slightly different mechanisms, ammunition(s), performance values, and specific applications, ranging from short-barrelled commando versions to long, heavy-barrelled sharp-shooter weapons.
:: For those that prefer more detail:
Of these, different eras within the same basic 'family' line demonstrate the Ancients concern for ever changing applications and an apparent desire for the 'ultimate' version of each such, as there are so many different sorts found in caches and the like. Most were caseless designs with independent propellant charges that could be 'hotshotted' by doubling-up the spheres of highly compressed chemical filaments. Ignition was generally through the use of a simple mechanical trigger advancing a diamagnetic ring/sleeve around the propellant chamber of the barrel which caused the bonds of the propellent sphere to loosen, explosively expand, and force air under great pressure against the projectile, launching it down the length of the barrel and along its trajectory.
:: In general the ammunition is a small synthetic or metalloid projectile so aerodynamic in design so as to exhibit virtually flat ballistics out to the maximum range, whereupon friction with the atmosphere results in the destruction of the projectile. The velocity of these projectiles varies with make and model, propellant charge, and projectile design and composition, but averaged over 4,000 fps (feet per second).
:: Although the velocity certainly accounts for most of the deleterious effect upon its target, the projectile designs, in general, were crafted to create elastic deformation of surface tissues to roughly the mid-torso point before fragmenting into two separate wound channels, almost invariably one pitching high and exiting at near vertical angle, while the second exits slightly lower on the target than the impact plane, and demonstrating considerable yaw.
:: Hydrostatic compression is the primary 'knockdown' mechanism with a secondary effect of explosive tissue disruption throughout the wound channels (at impact through fragmentation, and the subsequent secondary channels). Blood loss is correspondingly high depending on penetration depth, cross-sectional density of tissues (whether a limb or the torso were struck, etc.), and angle of incidence. In short, if body armour is defeated, the target is likely incapacitated.
:: Referees of a particularly insidious bent may wish to occasionally confound characters with incompatibilities between weapons and ammunitions, helicoil magazines, and of course, different accessory rail, and power-port standards.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
After 'refreshing' the Spectral Index to make it more intuitive, I rolled up a 'long-form' character and spotted a tweak or two in the order of tables, or a formatting glitch that needed correcting.
--I then decided to see if the background skills (Environmental Activities, and Training points) could be abused RaW, and when I saw that it could, I then placed a hard limit on the letter code (skill level in common parlance) that could be purchased. Now (although 'levelled' figures can increase Training through Adventure Points), starting folk (such as NPCs and the Base PC), cannot be more than an average of 75% proficient in any given Activity. When I upload the Spectral Index this will all make good sense.
I must make certain that even casual readers of the Players' Manual will not be able to confuse the 'long form' character generation routine with the 'roll-and-go' (ostensibly 'old school') method which allows for importation of many/most other 3d6-based characters.
--That EPT thread on Dragonsfoot sent shivers down my spine. I don't want to deal with anything of the sort.
My decision to switch over to a Gamma World scale for a figure's 'HPs' and weapons damage makes me very happy, and opens up a lot of great official and fan-based GW material for cross-pollination, so to speak.
--Since I've always favoured GW over D&D, this is a sort of 'homecoming' for me in a similar way to many OS bloggers'/gamers' re-discovery of 'the old ways.' That Mutant Future is enjoying the fan-success that it is only bolsters my confidence in my decision.
Now, parallel to that change, the implementation of many of the ideas/principles found in Ward's MA articles in The Dragon, and a general memory of Jorune chargen, 'long form' PCs are very playable without one drop of Point Design prior to game-start, which was one of my goals that hadn't been made clear in the beta .pdf, to my chagrin.
Since UWoM is another creature altogether, and I am not in the Orthodox Old School church, ;) I strongly believe in games that have official settings:
* Greyhawk (don't kid yourselves, you know 1e was keyed to reflect Greyhawk)
* The Vilani Imperium
* The Warden
* Gamma Earth/Terra via its series of adventures literally expanding the known world's map
* The Morrow Project's earth
* The world of Palladium
* Car Wars' earth
* Jorune, among others.
--Having a strong setting in no way diminishes one's ability to 'sandbox', and some of the above required one to do so if only due to the grandeur of the setting.
With a strong setting comes the knowledge of the world's baseline and the origins from whence a character arose. The parents/guardians, the local environs, pastimes and home-education in familial trades/crafts and culture-ways, as well as years of hearing of the daily goings-on 'at work', if not actually apprenticing in that field. Then the local society and its concerns, diversions, interests, mores and standards of conduct, pastimes, philosophies, religious thoughts and ideals (if any), sexual congress rites, and burial practises, etc.
--In game terms, even if a young (teens) character is rolled, these things are already resident within the person, and figure into their ability to navigate the considerable dangers upon Urutsk, while the player is still the one in charge, and the one challenged. The details of a character's background are a goldmine for gaming possibilities.
So, for gamers who enjoy Urutsk as a backdrop, but want to roll 3d6 six times in order and optionally pick a class, it'll work fine, as will it for folks who'll find rolling up a native in their full glory to be rather nifty.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
"As noted by one of the other posters, Tekumel isn't a 'fantasy' setting; it's better described as 'scientifiction' in the classic Gernsback/Burroughs mold, and with a lot of the influence of Lovecraft/Howard/Ashton Smith. As such, it doesn't seem to appeal to RPG gamers of the classic sort; the RPG gamer culture that has developed over the last thirty years has it's own set of cultural references that it applies to games and world settings.
Tekumel has always been outside that culture, as it has for miniatures gamers who have problems dealing with the idea of non-humans in what (to them) should be classical ancients wargames, but it does seem to appeal to F/SF fans who haven't had much assimilation into the gamer culture. I've got a dozen regulars on one Tekumel RPG group, with a second group of 12 in the process of forming, and very few of them are what I'd call experienced RPG or miniatures players; all of them however, are F/SF fans who have a taste for 'classic' F/SF.
Regarding the goofy names, I'm reminded of when we used to flog the merchandise for Dave Arneson at Gen Con; we had a guy who for three years running who would make a point of coming up to the booth and getting in our face about Tekumel's languages, and how he wouldn't buy anything for Tekumel unless we went through all the books and changed the words to something *he* could pronounce. The third time around, a bystander who had listened to the guy's diatribe stepped up to me, apologized for the guy's behavior, and suggested that he leave the area. The guy gave him some lip, saying "Who the f*** are you?", and Gary Gygax merely proffered his convention badge for the guy to read. It was, as they say, one of those moments you live for.
My advice, as it has been for the past three decades, is don't play what you don't like. Nobody is holding an Eye of Raging Power to your head and insisting that you must 'do' Tekumel, either as game or world-setting; play what you like! All I'd ask is that you do take a few moments to actually read what you critique; some of the reasons I've seen given for "Why I Hate Tekumel" seem to based on the same sort of logic that says "Dragons are real, because my sister's brother-in-law's third cousin what lives in the next duchy over says he heard that somebody's sheep got et by one!". These days, of course, it's "I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true!"
Speaking as somebody who has had the luck to play in three of what I guess might be called 'Old School' RPGs (Dave Arneson's "Blackmoor", Prof. M. A. R. Barker's "Tekumel", and Gary Gygax's "GreyHawk"), the 'sense of wonder' back in those far-off days was a lot more palpable and present; none of us knew what we were doing, of course, either as players or GMs, but that didn't stop us from having fun.
What ever happened to fun, by the way? I don't seem to see it much in gaming, anymore, but then maybe I travel in the wrong circles.
Just my two kaitars' worth - sorry, two GP... " -- Jeff Berry / Chirine ba Kal
That was much nicer than anything I could have mustered.
We updated the PCs (except for CiCi and the still deceased Delver) to the new rules-build, including Frame and the increased Dynamic Pool value with the Conditions, the Letter-rated Skill system, and Combat rolls made on 2d12.
--Things went smoothly, and I noticed that tracking damage via the Conditions was speedy and seemed to enhance play through the understanding of the character's status (Fit, Able, Pained, etc.).
---Ashta was upgraded to Bxhr, or amazon, and through that and other mods determined in chargen, ended up with the indisputable ranking of highest DP, topping it out at 109 points, primarily due to her score of 20 in Fighting (was Strength) and her previous 62 points. Next in line is Darius with 102, and Ymyk. Mela Mela was just edged-out by Tybylt, but their Coma/Dying values are within one point of each other. The percentile values on the Spectral Index may need a bit of tweaking upwards in the centre, but it played smoothly enough. --- The vexatious double door was attempted after the (previously unmentioned) fireman's pole was scouted out by Ashta's (previously un-used) ghost-rat (a rat skull with a command word that activates its non-corporeal body), which didn't like the floor of the pit to which the pole descended, so the party skipped that. The already tested knob (actually a latch but I just went with the knob thing to keep the game rolling) was the daisy-chain paralysis trap, and the right-hand door, but the other hadn't yet been tried. --Tyb used the 'Rope of Awesome' to curl 'round and turn it clockwise, receiving some electrical damage. He then turned it counter clockwise and the door was able to be pushed in, revealing a 3'-wide corridor down which the rat was sent. ---A four-way intersection which led to three doors: * 'west' = Fountain with eight radiating pools and seven additional doors facing the arms of the pool, within was seen jewellery, coins, and gems. * 'north' = room with 90+' deep crater and evidence of an explosion which also damaged the walls and ceiling, suggesting that the surface was reachable through it. A sewer grate led to a 10'x10'x40' sluice that terminated outside. * 'east' = when the rat passed through this door, it showed an all-dark room of great size that was, in fact, too large to be where it was without some sort of dimensional shenanigans, as it would overlap the northern room's sluice. The rat couldn't, however, find a door on that side, which the party correctly diagnosed as *not a good thing.* Ratskull was asked to check out the entire room and discovered a walled complex with several portcullis, and was ordered back to where it had first appeared. Tyb Jaunted to the other side of the 'door' and was greeted by extreme cold and dangerously low air pressure, so much so that the air was being forced out of his lungs even through his sealed lips. He quickly grabbed Ratskull and expended an extra Spell Point to Jaunt back with it at which time he informed the party of his findings. --A divination deck was consulted and 3 Turns later Tyb knew that his daughters were in fact in that black citadel; that there were two despotic figures running the show, and one was playing the other; and that these were behind not only the slave trade, but the tentacled things they'd fought in Qerzyk. ---Plans were made to 'open the door' (?!), and I asked which direction the lone and centrally-placed knob would be turned by Tybylt: Clockwise (remember what happened above ?) Tybylt disappeared and for a moment, I dealt with the party's reaction before turning to him: Paraphrasing myself -- "You dimly see arches and a covered roof. Around you are statues, some old enough to be pitted and moss-covered, others more recent. You find that your vision is dimming as your eyes are calcifying-over and you cannot move. Please give me an Experience Critical Test roll." Tyb passed the Test and Jaunted backward 5', knocking down and breaking another statue, as well as realising that his calcified dermis (as in his skin) as well as clothing had been left at his initial point of arrival, which meant he was spontaneously bleeding from every square Snk of his body, but was fortunately largely unaware of the sensation due to the loss of his surface nerves.
--I have him a freebie by allowing him to successfully drink a healing potion, and then had him roll for all of his equipment, much of which (including the rope and his magicked Black Metal garotte, and scrolls and potions besides) failed their Test and were destroyed. Of the few possessions which did survive, one was a potion of flight, which he imbibed and used to fly from the tower's top down to the entrance (to retrieve the Xarj' bow) and then (using a Change Self) greet the party where he then revealed his current state.
---A few regeneration potions, an ebony and pearl lightning protective skein, and his self-administered Shadow-infused lightning-ring bolt - later, his skin had regrown, turned Dryvv grey, and his eyes widened and his cheekbones grew more pronounced.
After that soaked-in, I held the session, suggesting that the party was in no condition to attempt the raid on the black citadel (in the Void).
Friday, December 11, 2009
* Referee forgot the PC sheets and it was largely off the top of our heads, except for the LGS co-owner who kept his sheet.
* Party descended into the rain-soaked central area of the city, cloaked, and sent a probe to follow the wake and particulate trail; went through the city filled with both lightning creatures of different human ethnicities, as well as different species; found a canal that, when the probe crossed, showed the Shadow plane in some detail before the signal died; the probe was able to return, however.
* PCs decide to travel in and quickly realise that they need 'grounding staves' to successfully navigate the bazaar without being 'turned' undead; meet a local guide who, in typical over-friendly/slightly menacingly lascivious manner, helped the guests procure said staves; if memory serves, she was quickly ditched.
* Tybylt inadvertently inspired local punks to join with them, and a few colourful events (namely one female slamming some of Tybylt's 'mysterious' shadow ink, which he could then turn incandescent blood red; Ahni then did likewise after it was demonstrated that Tyb could see through the other's eyes, and went ahead to help her da' to find the other girls.)
* The larger group passes through and quickly navigates to a nearby nyxteroid whereupon they discovered a fence and a gate through which they passed, arriving somewhere else entirely: lavender skies, vast untamed cold jungle rainforest, strange creatures, and an odd looking structure about three floors high.
* Fought what appeared to be Hierophantic Church folk (by uniform) with fleshy hoods over their heads, which turned out to be slug-like creatures that seem to disfigure the human face into something more 'orc-ish' (feral, toothy snout, pointed ears, narrowed and inhuman eyes, etc.). These were strangely easy to dispatch. An insectoid creature (a Xarj hive-worker) attacked the party with a very powerful bow, but the party's archer dealt pretty effectively with it, forcing it to gain higher ground, but it was still slain once concentrated Ancients gunfire pulped it.
* Entered and began futzing around and found all manner of oddities while I continued to drop hints that things were too easy. Fight with hoodies continues to go in the party's favour even after a belching sulphur cannon is brought to bear against them (althougha few PCs were rendered inert while choking) but Tyb flipped that and eventually baddies were routed and cut down, with one survivor who looked to only have worn the hood for a short time and was responding to the party in a positive manner.
* One polished stone mirror/door paralysed anyone who touched the handle or the paralysed daisy-chain thereafter.
* I don't remember if they were pressing on, but there were plenty of areas to still explore on just that level.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
--Mechanically, this works with both the Spectral Index, and traditional d100 rolls equally well, so both camps are accommodated without diluting the system.
Likewise, the micromanagement of Skill % has been eliminated through the introduction of the Spectral Index, which itself, eliminates the use of d100 while still maintaining as great a range through the addition of PC bonuses for Ethnicity, etc.
I have also updated the Dynamic Pool rules to align more precisely with Gamma World's (nd6) HP, where n is equal to the figure's Constitution score. Although, Urutskans are generally of a lighter build overall than inhabitants of a full G world, rather than .95 G or so of that smaller, watery world.
--Now, commoners and non-Fight-die gaining persons are still as durable as an average GW character, and any gained DP from Fight Dice are simply added to the total.
---The effect this has upon the Combat System is that Critical Strikes will conform more closely to the established 'Double Damage' sort of operation than my, 'straight into the negatives' method. Concurrent with that, however is a 'Wound Level' mechanism which emulates similar effects I find desirable in my games; namely that folks really ought to go unconscious before kicking the bucket more often than not.
Also Combat-related, Critical Strikes now occur only on iterative '5+ what was needed' results, and taken off of the raw die (dice) results of a '20', etc.
With all of the talk of Mass Combat and the Deendee End Game in the blogs, I brushed-off my work from earlier in the year and combined it with the Spectral Index to provide a standard wargamey matrix with the added granularity of a subjective, colour-logic system.
--I'm letting all of that simmer, but have taken efforts to support a seamless integration with the PCs so that 'on-the-fly' change of focus 'zoom' can be used to affect both the Strategic and PC scales of action.
---The results of 'heroes' are then stepped-down one level for the aligned warriors around them, but also, poor troop rolls can drag-down the heroes' efforts. It is the most synergistic and compact mechanism that I have seen in a system tailored to such high degree of integration with an RPG, so I hope I succeed in my lofty goal.
My entirely random character, Eresenkh Elik, using the CharGen tables, and before expending any 'PC' currency, is pretty interesting and serves to illustrate the sorts of folks who surround and support/undermine the PCs in their efforts/exploits, and from whence PCs are derived.
--This makes UWoM PCs somewhere on the order of magnitude between D&D and GW starting characters, which is where I intended.
---This ought to further facilitate the use of GW and UWoM materials back and forth between the two games, and a few of the tables are based on concepts put forth by James M. Ward in early Dragon articles for Metamorphosis Alpha.
I'm certain other bits are escaping me at present, but that's the gist of the changes.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
This has been simmering for a few weeks:
The exact Spell Magnitude number must be rolled on a die, with the number of dice equal to the number of Spell Points possessed and available, plus 01.
If the required number is the die result, that Magnitude of spell may be freely cast without the expenditure of the Spell Points.
If, instead, any other number is rolled, the warp and woof of reality did not support the harvested energy within the Kherstic matrix, and requires the expenditure of the listed SP if the spell is to be successfully cast.
If the figure has insufficient SP to cast a spell, DP may be substituted at a 1:1 ratio.
1-3 : d4
4-5 : d6
6-7 : d8
8-9 : d10
:: Eshylzbet seeks to cast the spell, Xhillsen Del Hamn 'Being a powerful working of the air into a duty-bound being; a being of subtle spirit from above; a servant of the Empyrean.' This spell is 4th-Magnitude, and costs 04 SP. At present, Eshylzbet has only 03 SP, and attempts to empower the Kherst matrix with ambient energy instead.
:: Her player rolls 4d6 (because 4 Mag must be rolled on the next-higher die-type than d4, which is d6; the number of dice is derived from the current number of SP she has available, plus 01): 1, 2, 3, 5 -- no success. For Eshylzbet to cast the spell, she must expend all three of her SP, and sustain a loss of 01 DP to make up for the deficit of 01 point.
However, crafting magic items, including single-use items such as scrolls, require too great a degree of focus to allow for the gathering of ambient Aether, and subsequently necessitates the expenditure of personal SP (etc.) reserves (although the SP/DP need not be given willingly...).
Thursday, December 3, 2009
|From The Grand Tapestry|
|From The Grand Tapestry|
I thought that intro was worth scanning.
|From The Grand Tapestry|
|From The Grand Tapestry|
Did someone say 'hexcrawl'?
|From The Grand Tapestry|
|From The Grand Tapestry|
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Jeff also painted a paler version of my N'luss character; her 'sister' appears in his game.
--I hope to have scans and photos to post next day or three.
[Beyond beaming,] all I can say to folks who suggest that Old School was 'simple' or 'rules-light', clearly were kept in very small (and strange) circles.
--Details on true settings make the play more tangible, and the game-reality more concrete and 'alive.' Tekumel, Glorantha, and (the Silver-, or Bronze-age) Jorune, being those that leap readily to mind.
--I'll see about posting a .pdf
So far everything on the character sheet is accounted for, apart from actual combat/weapons rules, and the Aberrations.
--Those still reside in their own sections (completed or unfinished).
Here are a few excerpts:
These tables are used to provide depth of character which integrates directly with the game system so that the Character Control Record is essentially all the information a Player needs.
Should another method of more rapidly preparing a character be to your liking, merely roll up the Ability Scores as above, and roll for starting Count for purchases in the Amour, Arms & Gear section, and the PC is ready to go. If this method is chosen, all charactrs must be generated in this manner. Likewise, bits and pieces that appeal to the Referee and gaming group may be retained or excepted.
If play is desired immediately, existing characters for most versions of The World's Most Popular Roleplaying Game, from editions O to X, as well as many other 3d6-scaled RPGs of the earlier age of gaming are highly compatible with UWoM, 'right out of the box'. I would be delighted to hear that some hybridisation has taken place in your local games, as that spirit of inventiveness and creativity is the one in which the entire milieu and RPG have been fashioned.
(Choose or Roll 1d10)
6+ - Female
2-5 - Male
1 - Special
(Choose or Roll 1d10)
04+ - Male, as above
03 - Female: Bxhr 'Amazon' +2 Ability Points, 1-Point Regeneration
02 - Male: Avemn 'Highblood' +3 Ability Points
01 - Other - see
(Choose or Roll 1d10)
03+ - Odd = Male, Even = Female, as standard, above
02 - Neuter
01 - Hermaphrodite
(Choose or roll 2d6)
11+: 16 Years
10 : 18
09 : 20
08 : 22
07 : 23 Years
06 : 21
05 : 19
04 : 17
03-: 15 Years
+01 Year per Primary Field, and +01 Year per two full Secondary Fields.
(Choose or Roll 2d12)
24-22 - Durn: +16 - Frame mod.: -02 - Scholars & Scientists
21-20 - Khem: +03 - Frame mod.: -01 - Carousers & Card-readers
19-17 - Western Isles Vrun: +08 - Frame mod.: +02 - Empire-Bringers
16-15 - Yirinn: +0 - Frame mod.: +0 - Warrior-Bards
14-12 - Vrun: +10 - Frame mod.: +01 - Dominators & Innovators
11-09 - Dokirin: +06 - Frame mod.: -01 - Farmers, Nomads, & Nations
08-05 - Yaesh: 3d6+06 - Frame mod.: +0 - Chaotic Cogs in an Empire Machine
02-04 - Khark: 1d4+19 - Frame mod.: -03 - Nihilists & Shaman
Monday, November 30, 2009
--He and Delver's player were the first two PCs in the game and died twice in a row with six goblin archers firing from darkness at their two 2nd-Level characters with max. HP at first, rolled for 2nd.
---Said guy was a few sheets to the wind which made everyone's enjoyment a bit less, but then we re-started for the third time, now with the characters at 3rd-Level, and soon had two additional intoxicated players --both of whom took the game more seriously and were really thinking for their characters.
The host's character was a 'Sorcerer', so I allowed him access to both MU and Cleric spell lists, but in the III re-vamp, we forgot to give him a second 1st level spell, but he did well enough with MM and Pro/Evil, which is essentially a more EPT version, insomuch that any hostiles are the 'evil'.
--His wife's character, Aradia (pretty cool), was a 'Priestess', and I gave her the same dual-list casting capability, but she chose Pro/Evil and Cure Light. --Both had d8 HD.
---The other guy was just a fighter-type w. d10 HD, and 'Delver' was thiefy, with d6 HD.
Version III's flowchart consisted of:
||= Cave Mounth leading to:
||= Hostile Elf on a Chain
||= Chest with Gems
||= Witch, L3 (cut down before she could cast)
||= Chute to 2nd-Level room with water enough for 0 damage
||= Jail Cells & Office
||= Other PCs
||= Secret Door in Office
||= Chest, Trapped and not opened
||= Stairs down to slightly flooded chamber with one obvious door
||= Door is opened, further flooding chamber
||= Secret door found which opens to stairwell-up covered in fine pale sand
||= Aradia finds a topaz-headed metal-hafted spear in the water before taking the stairwell
||= Stairwell-up leads to a vast room covered in desert sands and dunes at least 30' high, a silvery star-like light shining down upon the scene, two palm trees, and wall carvings similar to Egyptian Hieroglyphics, which Aradia decided she could read (so I let her).
She determined that the area was inhabited by jackal-headed creatures, guardians of a great treasure, and terrible monsters besides. With their 'cue', the PCs geared-up for combat and absconding, and were pleased when the Jackal-headed baddie brought a pedestal up from the ground, adorned, naturally, with a fist-sized pale-blue diamond.
As the host was slashing away and taking damage, Aradia dodged the creature's strike and grasped the diamond to find herself teleported back to the door of the local tavern in her home town, now holding a 100 gp pearl.
--The same occurred for the fighter-guy.
---The host's character, however, killed the guardian, and he was rewarded with a 700 gp. diamond. 'Delver's PC didn't survive.
New Tweak: I had everyone roll-off to see who would get struck with arrows, etc.
--It seemed to making things edgier and more competitive.
The folks were pleased as punch at the gift, once they realised it was for them, and I was asked back ASAP.
What are your thoughts?
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The previous week and this are dedicated to the Chargen. mini-game/game within a game with various rolls well beyond the initial Ability Scores.
--I hope to have something to show you by Thursday.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
| Originally posted by fusangite |
Now that I've slobbered all over you in another thread, Gary, here's a series of questions that have been bugging me for about a year:
1. D&D appears to be inspired from Aristotelian physics, judging by the four-element system and non-exponential falling damage.
(a) What are the implications to this system of of replacing the celestial spheres with the Great Wheel?
(b) What are the implications to this system of having elemental planes instead of confining the elements to Earth?
(c) Am I correct in using Aristotelian physics for questions of physical science when the rules aren't directly on point -- ie. relative speed of falling objects, object trajectories, how electricity interacts with water, etc.?
2. The popularization of polyhedral dice suggests that D&D is in some way paying homage to Platonism; is there any aspect of Platonism in the way the rules or world have been structured?
don't read the complex into what is pretty simple. The four elements are indeed drwwn from Aristotelian physics, but then leaped ahead some centuries to Paracelsius (sp?) and later Spiritualist writers. In all it is meant as a game system of workable sort and nothing more.
As for the non-exponential falling speed question, I corrected that later on--much to the dissatisfaction of many players.
The elemental planes had to be expanded beyond the material in order to exist in other parallel worlds, and to have existence in terms of Theosophy, such as the empyreal plane. By being so it also offers new realms in which to explore and adventure, places for elemental creatures. For example, without the elemental plane of fire being outside the mundane, where would the efreet dwell?
The use of platonic solids is coincidental to the generation of a wide variety of random numbers
Too cool. :D
--A few rolls on Snorri's One-page Sandbox Campaign Maker (Sean Wills pointed us to it) tables gave me the terrain, etc., although the 'Celtic' bit I rolled hasn't yet found an analogue.
Also last night, I had the players start using the 2d12 replacement for the d100 Technical Skills I have been working on, and in general, the curve it provides grants a bit more mercy than the flat rolls. The players seemed fine with it.
--Once I upload the 2d12 Density chart, I'll post a link to it here.
--I purchased The Early Years Star Fleet Battles rules module in the hopes of organising a Prime Directive/SFB (or Klingon Armada) game set in the same period as Enterprise (Bakula) in their Delphic Expanse campaign. It seems like a great sandbox for that setting.]
Considering the size of the Yaeshani 'dragon', the party evacuated the marsh area and in the process discovered that the lizardman, Sharru, was pointing out shelled molluscs he identified, through the outwardly-viewing invisible craft, as natural explosives of moderate strength. Ashta used the ship's TeleKinesis function to retrieve a dozen or so, and felt them in her hand as part of the feedback process, and placed them in an external hold.
--They then proceeded to the sheer cliff face with the carved dwellings, as the girls' Aetherwake, and microparticulate trail indicated they had travelled inland.
As they approached, a lifeboat from the old Yaeshani craft beached on the vegetation-choked shore caught their brief attention, its former occupants' skeletons mostly covered in a silvery-looking metal untarnished by the years. They chose to ignore that and followed the trail, launching one of the probes to scout ahead, and watching a hologram of the spherical view from the camera. I had them attempt Control CTs to avoid illness from the unusual display as they moved the probe in odd directions and at one point sent it rocketing toward orbit at well over Mach. Heh.
After a bit, the vegetation immediately fell away to reveal a desert plain of off-white loam dotted with what appeared to be naturally-occurring quartz crystals, and soon thereafter, the probe caught sight of footprints, although they veered from the wake-trail a bit. A few minutes later, on the horizon, a wagon with a cage came into view.
--Battle stations was sounded and the probe was cloaked by a cyclic-flicker of telekinetic effect, effectively making the thing invisible to human visual perception, then the probe was sent in to recon.
Three outriders, two wagon riders, and the strange bird-horse-lizard steeds were observed, as was Ahni, Tybylt's first daughter (the shadowy one), apparently well-enough, but unable to escape the crystalline bars of the cage.
--A 'fight' ensues using the ship's power beamed through the uncloaked probe, which shears off the portion of one steed forward of the saddle. Etc.
A few of the party deploy from the vessel and begin to personally engage the new enemy, resulting in a dead one, three escaped, and one captured via Tybylt's 'Rope of Awesome' as the player refers to it, 'unfortunately' doing 4d4+4 in damage to him as a dingy grey luminescence was discharged; the creatures revealed to be a humanish form made up of a somewhat chaotic mixture of elemental Positive and Negative Lightning.
-=[It begins to rain]=-
--A brief conversation with the captured individual reveals that to these folks, the party are interlopers, and the individual offers to act as envoy for the release of the other two girls, already captured. The creature explains that they are highly individualistic, with little to no importance placed upon others' safety, thus making it unlikely to utilise him in exchange. Ahni explains that they had fallen into a net buried in the loam, and it too was embedded with this crystalline material, making it much more difficult to escape -- and unable to bring either of her sisters.
---Left without much choice, Tybylt releases the creature to go on his way.
Sharru is spotted by the probe, slithering into the crystalline city via the loam flows in the rain, and due to that, the probe is lowered below the sheet of fog that obscured the down-tiered/terraced city, whereupon they see live images of a three-way fight that then turns into a 2:1 kill, apparently of the messenger. Interestingly, one of the lightning creatures appeared to be a 'converted' Abbekqorru.
We held it there.
Friday, November 20, 2009
--Apart from the limited arc of vision, I'm pretty much diggin' on it.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The LGS owner and player of the Yaesh (horse-)Archer was in rare form, as was his roomie, the player of the silent and largely non-reactive Ari (the other WI Vrun lesser noble), except joking that they ought to kill Cici as well. This owing to their dislike of Delver/Cici's player.
--Beyond this, whether genuine or more artifice, they both claimed ignorance as to the mission to travel to the island to cultivate the fae-pods, instead claiming that Tybalt had said that the submarine they had no foreknowledge of was their reason for the mission. At best this was due to the LGS owner's duties at the shop on Fridays.
---The best part is that they read this blog: Take a bow, fellas.
Anyway, Tybalt's player was more plugged-in and we did our best to game on, including an investigation of a two+ century-old shipwreck of a Yaesh warlord's expedition apparently travelling via a rumoured all-water route from the heart of Yaeshan, through eastern Vrun, and along the northern edge of the Durn continent, to enter the Ocean of Storms and wreck some time later laden with both Yaesh treasures, but also those of Qhattan, and unknown cultures. A chest glowing in high-density arcane emissions is later opened facing a tree, which becomes carven with Yaesh script describing something oddly similar to the Demon of the East and something else about massive change and perhaps a bit of doom, too.
--Other goodies found, besides.
The 'girls', Tybalt's fae-daughters, have gone missing on the island.
The saving of Mela by ponyboy from a big catfish-thing also occurred.
A lizardy person, perhaps a 'druid', used body language to ask to escape the island with them, and was OK'd by Tybalt.
Tybalt soon-after popped over the treeline to see what was making all of that racket in the woods: a very long, sinewy, brightly scaled, wingless, bearded, serpentine creature with four legs, and a head the size of an adult bear, gliding/undulating above the ground toward them.
Monday, November 16, 2009
--Sorry about the relative silence. My mom and I agree that we now have about 1/3rd-less mental energy than we had prior to my father's death. I hope you folks don't mind, but I am devoting much of the remaining 2/3rds to UWoM.
I will say, though, that I have been playing the snot out of the WARCOSM ASSAULT playtest rules for Brett Bernstein of Precis Intermedia Games, and in reaction, tried one of my all-time faves, LASERBURN to compare the wounding mechanisms and durability of troopers.
--Prognosis: Sci-Fi minis games need to take a few lessons from low-level RPGs -- these generic troopers are ridiculously tough in comparison to fantasy pansies...
---So, I'll finally write-up my suggestions for WA, and write up the house-rule(s) we've cooked-up for LASERBURN, namely, that if one falls down due to a wound, one is out of the fight, period. This makes leg-wounds much more efficient, as they ought. No more, |Ow!, thud, > dust self off <, shoot, get shot, ow!|-stuff. Nope.
WARCOSM led to me breaking out my Star Fleet Battles Basic and Advanced boxed sets, the Prime Directive RPG, Marines, and Campaign Builder's Guide, then, to purchasing Klingon Armada.
--Golly, I'd forgotten how much fun Kzinti drone-carriers are! :D Mreow!
Friday, November 13, 2009
I hope to have more tangible stuff to show soon.
Monday, November 9, 2009
When Delver passed through the screen, Tybalt executed a Jaunt, but was suspended in a 'buffer' of a nebulous milky-white light where he had the conversation with the voice.
I took Delver's player outside and explained that dying now would satisfy the bargain presented to Tybalt, that it would avert a danger that if he were present would be dire enough to cut the Threads of the rest of the party, and that the found non-magical sword (not detailed in the previous post) would house his entity until the blade were used to slay an, at least, human-sized creature from which he would reconstitute his body. This process was necessary for his eventual manifestation of his Avatar, an Aelbaan species meta-power.
I was greeted by Tybalt's player who then whispered that he was beginning to study Delver's character for 3 Rounds, as per 'waylay.'
Delver consumed his entire Dynamic Pool to telepathically call out to his compatriots to kill him for the above stated reason, and most of them obliged him.
--Their purses were heavier by d100 Platinum (ultra-rare).
The rest of the group then watched as Ashta took control of the craft.
They took the craft downstream as a whirlpool began to form (they chose not to investigate the source), and after a day of travelling, ran afoul of a giant aquatic variety of a Grell-like thing from which they fled down another opening and entered another section of the craft, clearly dedicated to dark practises. This area sloped upward and after they discovered how to operate the crackling 'electro-riser,' they eventually left it behind in the narrowing corridor carven with figures and reliefs too darkly mesmerising to detail here.
--Eventually, they blasted through the doors of a temple and came to rest.
Alighting, they entered the temple replete with additional figures, pillars, implements, and a low and high altar. A swarm of two-dimensional, light-absorbing, flying things flew out from among the toppled pillars and buckled ceiling and floors, but the damage was only spooky to one character. Ashta gave a polite order to Mela to begin the mummification process upon Delver's cadaver, which eventually would yield 1 cup of dust from 1 gallon of slurried sediment. Shadow creatures, illusions, and/or Dryvv speak with them and then Lord Shadow deigns to manifest, asking for a sacrifice.
--Tybalt, the Shadow-blooded (also exploring shadow-mysteries), was attentive and they finally settled upon Delver's mummified body (minus the stuffing which constituted the 'dust' reduction), which pleased the Elemental Lord. Tybalt's reward was a potion that would allow for limited planar travel, so long as the start and finish were in shadow, and that the elemental plane of Shadow were the conduit. He also learnt additional shadowy stuff.
With that over, the group left in the vehicle and encountered a stretch of lava tube that was encrusted with fungi that cast beautiful light in the Dark- and Ultravisual spectra, as well as a lesser show in visible light. Samples were taken and critters caught for specimen. They pressed on and saw daylight and a storm over the open seas beyond the island from which they emerged --clearly a different island from the one they had entered the underworld.
--They performed an initial survey of the coast, using the Aelbaan vessel's sensors and recording suite. They noted ancient dwellings in the sheer cliff face overgrown with vines and runners. three-quarters the way 'round the island (larger than the previous -- and believed to be the pod-island) they could see signs of great upset in the jungles and forest as trees were tossed-about while some great battle of beasts was waged out of sight.
We held it there.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
24+ : Alumeth - 'Infallible Perfection' - The very best possible outcome, no matter the odds against - Miraculous
23-22 : Eiryqos - 'Harmonious Emanations' - Sublime quality - A strike that knocks-sense into the victim - Virtuous
21-19 : Ienen - 'Cyclonic Pillars' - Awesome power, well restrained - Double Maximum Effect - Nullifying
18-16 : Oluniin - 'Incorporeality' - Move and Attack as a ghost - Lesser values pose no threat - Escape and Evasion
15-11 : Qelym - 'I, the Hermit' - Deep thought, examination, and investigation - Solving riddles/puzzles - Practise
10-08 : Uruden - 'Mountains of Contemplation' - Perfecting the art of observation - Present and Aware - Selfless
07-05 : Werenyn - 'Infinitesimal Substrate' - Stable for now - Temporal Success - True aim but windy day - Sandcastles
04-03 : Zaey - 'Little One of Great Potential' - Rough going, with setbacks and blood, but finally successful - Raw
02- : Y' - 'Cessation' - No influence - Enough knowledge to know one knows nothing - Base d24 roll
The preliminary work on a Descriptor-based task resolution system on d24 (or 2d12) for Technical Skills (Track, Scale, Repair, etc.).
--I'm one of those folks who actually admire the aim of the ACT chart mechanism of 3rd Ed. Gamma World, and have been tinkering with a colour-chart of my own which potentially may tie-in with this stuff.
---It looks spiffy in any case. ;)