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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday October 15th 2017

That adventure when the Lovecraftian underpinnings of my setting become horridly all too apparent.  The most number of Cope rolls in a single session, and somehow even the two NPCs managed to survive (Wayward Pines + Shudder Island + Green Inferno + Prince of Darkness) in the Drivers' Isles archipelago.  After action debriefer received a psychic burst-imprint of what the PCs had experienced, and they nearly went insane.

Good times: five out of five digits.  0,o

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Urutsk: Worlds of Mystery Combat Notes

Hit Points as Regenerating Armour did not work well enough to merit its inclusion as an Optional Rule because it required more recordkeeping than it was worth.  When used with Hit Location Body Points, it performed the same function as normal Hit points: to ablate with incoming damage, preventing bodily harm (or structural damage).  Projecting its effects, HPaRA would have made the optional Condition-Levels method of tracking Body Points in a slow 'death-spiral' a much longer, drawn-out affair which also would not have provided enough good with the bad of additional recordkeeping.

As it stands, Playgroups which prefer a kinder, more cinematic accumulation of wounds should choose the Condition-Levels method, while goreghouls should chose the Hit Location Body Points method; the OSR will simply use Hit Points and Shields Will Be Sundered anyway, so that resolves itself.

Being a goreghoul, nitpicker, bean-counter, I feel as though that portion of the entire expanded Combat section has worked so well at its design purpose: to model non-cinematic, mundane body trauma in a quick fashion while still incorporating Hit Points' intended function (essentially 'extra lives'), and Encounter Critical's Armour Saving Throw system (Save for Half/Save for None).  My addition of 1/10th AST as Damage Reduction makes wearing any applicable Safeguard (Armour, Screen, Shield, etc.) useful even without a successful save.

The Survival Roll at 0 HP now applies to 0 Body Points, or other, catastrophic injury (terminal Head or Heart shot, etc.), and, as written in EC, reduces the PC's future good luck across the board.

After years of running Saving Throw as after AST, I have begun to run it first, which makes the Mass Combat section easier by simply stating that only Hero, or exceptional figures receive the personal Saving Throw (PST).  Now, so-called Skirmish, and Mass Combat can be treated with the more Armour Class-like roll by the Attacker rather than the owning player's AST.

Action Points have changed EC's: Move, Melee, Missile routine to a Player determined sequence, but coupled with the Initiative Advantage mechanism makes this a dynamic sequence where going first doesn't mean that combats become one-sided affairs.  You'l have to see how this works in your games, but I think it will be remembered as an innovation.

Meat Healing and Stun Recovery and Fatigue and all of that is another topic.


Friday, September 8, 2017

The Field flows dynamically; its currents are complex and misleading

Three players and four PCs in the weekly Thursday night G+ Hangout game.

Gordon (Melee Guy, now Cyborged after having been blown up with a napalm rocket) has gained a follower: Dingbat, a seemingly young teen girl who knows entirely too much about all sorts of crazy, seedy, cybercriminal underworld stuff for her age.  She attached herself to Gordon as they sat waiting for Tacitus (Cleric of a Death god) to have his meeting with a Graver Cyberjedi-type.  Greg the Undying (a Toxic Avenger type guy who wields a 40' ancestral lore carved pole), was enjoying a direct cranial VR battle arena.  HUD, the genius droid, was researching part of the trail which leads to the Dark Adept crimelord who has sent various forces to attack the PCs ever since Gordon advertised they had alien sorcery available for sale.

Gordon learnt that the crimelord had started out as a gang member decades ago, disappeared, and resurfaced as a Dark Adept already well established in the criminal underground.  Combining what HUD and Gordon had learnt, and Tacitus' vision and communion with his two Elemental Patrons, and the newly acquired henchling, the group descended into a dimmer, dingier, bleaker underground until reaching a section of the megacity inhabited by aliens who built waspnest-like structures in the disused infrastructure.

From there, they passed into an Underdark like realm of phosphorescent fungi and other alien florafauna, some of which had covered droids, bringing them into the ecosystem.  Pressing on, they reached Dingbat's contact, Oumn who wears a spacesuit and mumbles in a language only Dingbat understands.  Oumn's treehouse cabin opened up to a vast alien forest of coloured light pillars I described as something one would see on a Halloween decoration.  Oumn treated everyone to flying, jumping, chirping gingerbread cookies, and they tripped out and some gained useful abilities or insights.  Greg had a bad trip, but stoically gritted his teeth through the multi-hour ordeal.

Tacitus has had two visions which seem to indicate that Gordon is moving into the darkness of the Field, just as the Dark Adepts had.  His two Elemental Patrons have warned Tacitus that trying to simply destroy the Dark Adept organisation will have its consequences, such as the vision of Dark Empire craft leaving the pocket universe in which they now dwell to return to planet Skovosk, the PCs' new home...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Regarding ECUWoM v.9

On internal version 0.9 (which is more like 0.95)

By hybridising ethnicities/races/species, and by combining classes (or classless), there are so many possibilities I can't easily count them.  Since I have gone with a Stat modifier system, filling in the Ability Scores (skills) is much faster than in BtB Encounter Critical.

Certain rules are still being revised, simplified, but expect a fairly granular wounding system with a moderately complex combat system: It isn't GURPS as far as strike and defence options, but it isn't Phoenix Command regarding damage, either.  Figures are always capable of being killed, but PCs don't have to drop like flies if that isn't desirable.  It is possible to die in chargen, if that box is checked off.

It is a d% resolution system, but there are other, non-d% subsystems, and polyhedral dice of all sorts are going to be used at the table.

That's about all I can share at this time.

OK... Stuff that has happened in the games (Delayed post)

Thursday night Hangout game: The group travelled to the Sphere of Stars prior to the Starshock, tried warning the folks they found there, and then they were attacked by invaders.  The PCs fought a bit, and then opened up a portal to the Nanoverse, where they and others escaped.  Fast forward: They build a ship capable of navigating hte Nanoverse, and set off.  They pick up a passenger and as they are leaving a magical world, the ship is nearly destroyed.  Instead, they find themselves in the 1x verse, but something very strange has happened: it appears that the Starshock hasn't occurred, but they discover that this is a mysterious future age, the 8th age, and the galaxy is overflowing with life.  Their Nanospace ship has been damaged, and repairs are needed to the Inchoate Refluxer.  Restraining the normally low key and level headed PsiWitch from broadcasting their presence to a pre Space Age culture, the party set down in a warehouse district outside of the major metropolis.  It is a Jet-age (jump- and jetpacks, too) with television, Dieselpunk meets Film Noir meets Tekumel, and two Ethnicities at odds.  The strange setting has arisen from the two Ethnicities relatively recent advancement from their respective cultures primitive, non technological backgrounds, to flying cars in perhaps as few as two thousand to as little as a few hundred years, with no sense of ancient times, or earlier cultures.  The planet shows signs of terraforming, but no one suspects that they may, in fact, be colonists from elsewhere.  The PCs can pass as one or the other Ethnicity,a dn they visit a museum / library, only to leave with a group of the minor ethnicic group who promise parts sales and fabrication access.  Once there, the PCs are familiarised with this Dieselpunk subculture, just before a PAU cyborg arrives to purchase the parts the PCs need to repair their Inchoate Refluxer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Chaos Corrupted Dragons Across Three Games

Sunday 1: 'Old Characters': After having blown themselves up out of mortal existence while fighting the chaos corrupted dragons, the PCs have ascended to Immortal status.  Helping the inhabitants of one of the many Shard Worlds recover from a magical crystal tech computer virus which, together with a planet-wide seismic event, had killed roughly 20% of the 4 million population, the world watched as one of the Immortals raised thousands of dead over the course of the first week, with the possibility of bringing back some of the fallen heroes of the last great war, roughly eighty years prior.  Each of the Immortals now has built centres around which to develop their cult, with roughly [16] thousand each.  In Godbound RPG terms, they have 01.5 points of Dominion.  Since we are using both Godbound and the Immortals Companion in conjunction with my Encounter Critical edition of Urutsk: World of Mystery, while the PCs have very little to fear from mortal threats, other Immortal scale dangers (including each other) still hold their concern.  Plans to begin operating separately in their own fleets, pursuing their Elemental Patrons' agendas in the former galaxy and beyond are taking shape.

Sunday 2: 'New Characters': Although a motley assortment of Humans and Non-Humans, these PCs have become co-labourers with Chapter Commander Lhorsk (Experience Level 68 Pswordlock) on Randev, Planet on the Edge of the Galaxy.  Faced with war initiated by starfaring chaos corrupted dragons and their servitor races, the PCs have brought the fight to the dragons, having struck a serious blow to the forces in the star system, and were captured for their efforts.  This session saw them infused with Dragonbone, and receiving their Hornung, making them immune to non-attack temperatures as well as allowing them to operate in a vacuum.  The bone transplant and hide grafts have begun to corrupt them, but it is presently 'manageable'.  Their first assignment was to man a perimeter defence network asteroid, looking out for incoming craft.  Learning of a self destruct mechanism in the base, the PCs began to disable it, making it with one roll to spare before it detonated due to their tampering.  While this was happening, the asteroid was being terraformed by  the Summer Court of Vael'Kyn.  A robotic repair ship was dispatched and promptly damaged by the Summer Court Naiads after the craft's probed attacked their garden.  The PCs escaped on the craft only to be 'rescued' by the draconics on a craft roughly 5x the volume of the Empire State Building.  Lucky turns of events provided unexpected allies, allowed the PCs to avoid being found out as the traitors they are, and to be reassigned to their homeworld.  On Randev, in the coastal city of Pearl, the PCs were able to join up with surviving freedom fighters drawn from several groups (including other at least one other universe).  Securing and repairing a shuttle, the group manage to scare off a fighter-bomber on patrol as they neared their home city.  City reinforcements provided cover and the PCs are reunited with the Commander.  My Forty Kay Sister of Battle / Rogue Trader PC and the NPC Pswordlock agree that it doesn't much matter which Emperor they are speaking of when he is answering them in battle against their chaos foes.

Thursday Hangout: Having fought off an attack by Chaos Marines, the PCs are now in the era of the Sphere of Stars, warning the Numeneurians of that period of the impending Starshock.  A distant telepathic message is received urging the PCs to find their way into the presence of the Emperor to avoid the Starshock, because the event will cause great damage across the Metacosmos.  One of the PCs learns that their species is nothing but the psychic projections of more powerful extradimensional creatures, and upon recoiling to its origin Person, learns that it is in league with the dread Shorrannin and has found a way into the Sphere of Stars.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Of particular interest to those with a linguistic or historic bent...

Link 1:

Link 2:

Link 3:

I will leave it to the reader to determine if this has any specific relevance to Urutsk, but, I caution against a 1:1 inference.

Those who have my Porphyry: World of The Burn product for T&T 5e / MSPE, have seen into the past of the planet which is later known as Urutsk (or Mada, to many of its native peoples), but there is a bit of chronological hinkiness at work, not to mention other world ages not yet published. G+  Hangout players have seen the Urutskan Underworlds, and at least one has lost his PC to an early age's curse.

Alright, then...
Let me tell you a bit about astronaut Laird Zeeth and his failed mission.  Propelled through a space anomaly in his experimental spacecraft, Captain Zeeth found himself on what he would come to realise was one of many alternate reality Earths.  Here, Humans were thought mythical, or at east so incredibly rare that their capture and study was more important than eating.  Monstrous folk of all imaginable sorts were the norm on this earth, and while there seemed to have been a prior Human civilisation, the ruins of such were at best, vine covered ruins, if not tels covered by unknown centuries of detritus and dirt, -- seen as dangerous and accursed dungeons.

On this Earth, Elves of all sorts were the dominant life form, with dragons, ogres, demons, etc., in smaller numbers.  When Captain Zeeth was finally brought before an Elven academic council, he was studied in a manner best depicted in Zardoz, as a lower life form, unthinking and brutish.  Demonstrating a resistance to magick and psionics, Laird Zeeth eventually gained his freedom and recognition as a peer to the Elves.  His quest to return to his Earth was not given much hope of success, and involved many globe- (and plannar-) spanning expeditions to secure items and specialists, and in the course of these travels, we lose track of the individual.

[more if you desire it]