Friday, January 15, 2016

So 5e has an OGL and SRD and... The DM Guild...

So if you have not heard the news, WoTC has finally come out with their plan to have 5e conquer the gaming universe! Frankly I am very excited and have already begun laying down plans. Of course I realize this takes away from my own fully original designs (Pommels as well as EODL) but this is a marathon, not a race. So it looks like I will be taking advantage of both avenues to purse rpg publishing for 5e.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Subversive Game Design

So I have recently been doing some thinking about who I want to be as a game designer. I wan to subvert ideas, not start a revolution. I want to create compelling settings that do not rely on orcs for their common denominator. I do not want to get rid of tropes as much as I want you, the player, to question the tropes.

Now the real trick is to turn it into something concrete.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Setting Some Goals

(Repintd from my blog over at BRP Central)

So while working on the game this weekend, I came up with some goals I want to reach, so that I do not wear myself too thin making content no one is playing or reading. I decided that if PDF and POD versions of Skaerune and Salt Island sell 500 and 250 units respectively, then it might be worth it for me to pursue more content.  I would be honored if others liked the world enough to create content for it, but I will not presume people will do so.
Along those lines, here are the three potential adventure packs I came up with. 

The Vagabond Series
Crodspear's Lament: Adventures in the Badlands
Past the reduced borders of the Second City lay the ruins of civil war. When the Second City fell from prominence the Wroleclaw family and their allies fled into the Badlands to the west. Here they carved out some territory from the trolls and Cormoran giants of the Cold Lands. Now they live in a valley with seven keeps and a dozen villages that are constantly at war with each other. The land is dotted with ancient ruins and more modern ones and mercenaries are treated well. A bloody and vicious land where the only thing of value is a sword, a heavy coin purse, and the promise of a warm meal.
Chief among the temptations is an aged keep once home to the powerful Duke of Mreghome, Crodspear Wroleclaw. Now it is a troll infested ruin that still holds the secrets and possibly the Torc of Wroleclaw, possession of which could alter the balance of power and portend more troubles for the Second City.

The Myth Walkers Series
City on A Mountain of Clouds
There are many rumors of failed cities. Some sages suggest as many as seven such cities exist around the world, though no one has mapped them all. One such city known only the City of Turtles lies on the great Cloud Mountain. It is a flat plateau that reaches so high clouds obscure its top. All that is there are bones and stone dragon turtles, one for each direction. Deep in the eastern wastes, few come here except the Fire giants who see it as a holy place.
Of late there have been strange tidings in the area and the Fire giants have seen lights on the mountain. Rakshasa caravans have disappeared into the wastes on secret missions for the m'Raaj. This is of interest to the Emir of Setch and his ally, the Khan of the High Days. They are seeking out heroes brave enough to walk the Eastern Wastelands in search of the City of Turtles. To find the city wll require more than digging in dusty and lonely mountains; it may require walking through time itself to when the world was much different and today's allies may be yesterday's enemies.

The Cosmic Countdown Series
Empire of the Drowned
Kej Veho has long been thought dead, drowned in the Sea of Woes by his one time ally the dwarf Orobok. Orobok himself soon faded from view and is thought to have been destroyed long ago. With the cleansing of Nightmare Isle and the transformation of the Orange Princess, much that was hidden has come to light. Apparently Kej survived and had been creating an army of drowned men and women, along with beasts from the deepest parts of the sea. The Drowned Leiche has not forgotten Orobok nor has the dwarf forgotten his former ally. Working through agents the two enemies have each set into motion events that could summon the Fifty City far sooner than anyone has predicted. Black Dukes, angry Archons, and an army of elves all could become involved in a war to end the world.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving & I am making a game

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, to everyone. It is not a holiday like Xmas where the whole world could join in regardless of religious beliefs. But it is a good day to think on life and the things we are really grateful for.

Right now I am thankful for and the home they have given me for Skaerune'. Its got a little bit of buzz going, but what it has done is kept me on task with game design. I feel better than ever and moving forward will do even better. So yeah, its going to be a good end of year.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

MORPH... added to the list

So I may be running some modern horror for the home group. We will be running a 5th Saturday game all next year with a different system than our normal game. There are five 5th Saturdays in 2016.

So I did not really like any of the systems, but the settings were fine. I decided I would make a quick one. As usual I didn't make it quick. It is called MORPH (Modern Occult Role Playing Horror) and it its system code name is Wind n Stone: Tapestry.

Hooray! More work for me.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Adept (Pom & Par)

And here is the Adept.

The Adept
An Adept is one who has been touched by the Universe itself, often in the form of “gods” or their minions. Able to channel these raw divinities, the Adept follows a path that leads him or her further into the divine mysteries, towards legendary paths that broaden and deepen their understanding. Valuable as medicine men and folk magicians, the adept also has the ability to put up a good fight in defense of their growing religious beliefs. Wanderlust often hits the Adept early in life and some are pushed out of their homes when too many choose the path. These mercenary Adepts join with others and are well paid for their services. Their experience with the world makes them great assets to their particular religion.
In General. An Adept is an acolyte or initiate of a religious or philosophical organization. They may begin as trainees or merely helpers of the local priest or priestess, but there is a divine spark within them. Whether purposely or by accident, this spark grows until a real divine connection is created. In your campaign, this can be a devotion to a god or goddess, a secular organization that taps into the latent power of humanity (or elf kind, what have you), or anything the MP decides.
On Priemordon. The Adepts of Priemordon are typically children who have seen “The Serpent”. At the center of the world is the great Serpent who holds all wisdom in its venom for mortals to partake. It acts as a conduit for the powers of the Old Daemor, the Heathen Gods, or the power of the Demagogues. As in all things, knowledge carries with it a price and the venom and elixirs imbibed by the Adepts of Priemordon often lead to odd and debilitating effects. Many die before they can fully give themselves to their particular religion.
Those that survive however, become powerful heroes for their cause and find great renown in their chosen vocations. The Adept can choose to follow the path of the Priest or the path of the Templar.
Abilities By Level
General Abilities
Physical Defense: 0
Magical Defense: +3
Wounds: 50 + 1d6 per level
Stamina: 50 +2d6 per level
First Level Adept Abilities
Spark of Life & Light. An Adept gains the ability to turn Stamina into spell power. Each spell will require a different amount of stamina. For spells that require an attack or activation roll, the Adept uses his or her Willpower in addition to any bonuses of the spell itself. Some spells do not require rolls to activate.
Activation (Attack) Roll
1d20 + WP + Spell Power
Adept Spells. The Adept may choose three (3) spells that he or she knows. These are chosen from the Adept Spell list.
Combat Skills. The Adept chooses two (2) weapons that he or she has trained in. These should be chosen from the Commoner Weapon List. An Adept is also trained in Dodge.
Armor Skills. The Adept is trained in Hide, Leathers, and Quilted armors.
General Skills. The Adept is trained in Medicine, Religion, and three (3) other skills of his or her choice.
Imbibe Venom. An Adept may imbibe snake or plant venom to power their spells. Each time the venom is taken in, it gives the Adept 2d6 free “Stamina” that can only be used to cast spells. Once gone, it does not regenerate like normal Stamina would. The extra Stamina stays around for 1 hour per Adept or Priest level. In addition, the Adept loses 1 Wound and 1 Stamina permanently.
Second Level Adept Abilities
Adept Spells. The Adept may learn two (2) spells from the Adept Spell list.
Seer of Five Senses. An Adept may prepare a circle and cast the Ritual of Five Senses. He or she may choose a particular sense and enhance it to great levels. Then they may choose a time within one day in the past or future and they will get information based off of that sense. Activation of the ability is based on Willpower. The Adept gets a bonus of +1 per Adept or Priest level.
The MP decides on difficulty based on time difference and may give a bonus based on location or the abilities of those who could be sensed by the Adept.
  • 6 Hours or Less +3 Difficulty
  • 7 to 12 Hours +6 Difficulty
  • 13 to 24 Hours +9 Difficulty
Third Level Adept Abilities
Adept Spells. The Adept may learn two (2) additional spells from the Adept Spell list.
General Skills. The Adept may learn two (2) additional General Skills.
Roll the Bones. For the cost of 10 Stamina, an Adept may Roll The Bones. He or she uses a divination method (of choice) and may ask the MP a Yes or No, Weal or Woe question about the character's or party's actions. The player rolls all dice in a set of polyhedral dice (or any combination of seven dice the MP wishes to use) and as long as no die rolls a 1, the answer is genuine. If one or more dice roll 1s, the answer may or may not be accurate. If the player wishes he or she may sacrifice 1 permanent Stamina per “1” to turn it into a “2”. This twisting of fate allows the character to have confidence in his or her prophecy.

The Blackheart (Pom & Par)

So I finished the initial specifications for the Blackheart. I like it but as the rules settle out, I will massage it a bit in regards to wording.

The Blackheart
As a child you didn't bother bullying the other children because you were too busy dissecting insects and animals. When a local witch died, you stole a glance at her corpse before they set about burning it. You got into fights not to prove your own strength but to test the pressure points on people. Growing up you spent more time studying people than interacting with them. They called you strange and antisocial but you were too busy learning all of their dark secrets and habits to care. It served you well when life forced you out on your own
Now when people need a dirty job done, they look you up. You've made coins breaking knees, stealing powders, and placing the occasional curse on someone. Now some of the locals are looking to tackle a dungeon or three and a friend of a friend gave them your name. Wonder what you will find down there? Wonder how many of them are coming back?
In General. The Blackheart is on a path that leads him or her away from the light. It is not that such a person is evil, but he or she pursues a path that doesn't create empathy with other people. Whatever dark impulse drives the Blackheart allows them to focus on the art of delivering pain and discomfort to the world around them. Ethically their minds are free of worry even if morally they fight for a good cause. A Blackheart gladly uses friend and foe alike to gain advantage over enemies or achieve goals and doesn't lose sleep over hurt feelings or dead friends.
On Priemordon. On the world of Priemordon, the Blackheart has caught the eye of the Old Daemor Tuonatar. The Lord of Death rarely touches soul of an adept, for his rituals are too dark and so his temples few. Where his hand does rest though is on the heart of those have been bruised by the world around them, but not broken. A single moment of thought against the established order allows Tuonatar to plant a seed and widen the gulf between his chosen and the rest of the world. Some resist his call and some die along the way, but those few who survive often rise to great power or prestige.
During his or her days as a Blackheart the adherent learns a great deal about the world, its people, and the best way to destroy them. As they move beyond their early training the Blackheart can pursue the path of the Assassin or the way of the Necromancer.
Abilities By Level
General Abilities
Physical Defense: +2
Magical Defense: +1
Wounds: 50 + 1d6 per level
Stamina: 50 +1d6 per level
First Level Blackheart Abilities
I Disappear. A Blackheart is excellent at using his or her innate experience and intimidation to fade from memory of those who may see them. This can be an informant or an enemy in combat. In non-combat situations the Blackheart can use this ability in conjunction with the Intimidation or Move Unseen skills. In either case, they use Willpower as the supporting stat.
1d20 + Int or MU + WP vs. the Target's WP + 10
Combat Skills. The Blackheart chooses four (4) weapons that he or she has trained in. These should be chosen from the Commoner Weapon List. An Blackheart is also trained in Dodge.
Armor Skills. The Blackheart is trained in Hide, Leathers, Quilted, and Brigandine armors.
General Skills. The Blackheart is trained in Black Lores, Intimidate, Move Unseen, Medicine, and three (3) other skills of his or her choice.
Second Level Blackheart Abilities
Combat Skills. The Blackheart learns two (2) weapons from the Militant Weapon List.
Deadly Punch. With their training in anatomy, the Blackheart is excellent at wounding an enemy and disabling them. When using the Deadly Punch, the Blackheart spends 2 Stamina and makes an attack as normal. If the attack hits, the Blackheart can do one of the following:
Inflict 4 Wounds in addition to their normal weapon damage
Inflict 10 Stamina instead of their normal weapon damage. This will normally stun or knockdown an opponent.
Third Level Blackheart Abilities
Necromancy Spells. The Blackheart may learn one (1) spell from the Necromancer spell list.
General Skills. The Blackheart may learn two (2) additional General Skills. He or she may also improve two (2) Trained skills to Expert.
Macabre Habits. After so many years studying the anatomy people and animals, a Blackheart can determine the cause of death of a corpse OR the reason a living person or animal is unresponsive or unconscious. This becomes more difficult as time passes.
1d20 + Med + INT
The Blackheart receives a +2 bonus for each Blackheart, Assassin, or Necromancer level. Base difficult is 10 for a corpse or limp body that has been this way for six hours or less. Difficulty rises by +3 for each additional six hours maxing out at +12 difficulty.
Determine Poison. By using Black Lore, a Blackheart can determine any type of normal poison just be interacting with it in a safe manner. The Blackheart can also handle poisons safely. This is mundane poisons only. Magical poisons are beyond the Blackheart's experience at this level.