Saturday, September 30, 2017

Welmo, Rogue Ithorian Geoformer

Welmo, Ithorian Geoformer 
(or, "Who needs a Death Star when you have Tractor Beams?") 

Welmo is a rogue Ithorian, banished from his herd ship... indeed, all herd ships... for his nigh-heretical views, and willingness to put them into action. Welmo doesn't simply believe in the Mother Jungle of Ithor, no... he believes that the Mother Jungle is, or should be, universal, and so seeks to geoform non-jungled terrestrial worlds into an approximation of the Mother Jungle. 

Like most truly dangerous creatures, he has a plan, and just enough knowledge and technology to try to carry it out. To Welmo, one of the big obstacles to the ubiquity of the Mother Jungle is that some worlds don't have a rich hydrosphere... worlds like Tattooine and Jakku have temperatures that could support the Mother Jungle, but don't have enough water to let them grow. What has a lot of water, not otherwise supporting jungles? Comets. So, to create the Mother Jungle of a desert world, one needs to hydrate it... and the simplest method of hydrating a world is to fling comets at it. 

Having an Ithorian's typical technical aptitude, Welmo has also hired several rogues to help him run his ship. 

Welmo, Ithorian Geoformer 

Blaster 4D 
Dodge 4D 
Ecology 7D 
Planetary Systems 7D 
Scholar 7D 
Astrogation 3D 
Communications 4D 
Sensors 4D 
Starship Gunnery 3D 
Starship Gunnery: Tractor Beams 5D 
Command 6D 
First Aid 2D 
Starship Weapon Repair: Tractor Beams 3D 

Blaster Pistol (4D), various scientific instruments, portable computer, commlink, "The Embracing Ocean" (modified Gallofree Medium Transport) 

"The Embracing Ocean" 
The Embracing Ocean is Welmo's ship, a modified Gallofree Medium Transport, specifically designed for his "great work", with suggestions from Gordwa, his Dug lieutenant. 
Most of the Embracing Ocean's interior storage is empty and typically kept unpressurized. Before an "operation", the Embracing Ocean will use its tractor beams to capture asteroids, providing it with greater mass with which to affect its targeted comet. After an operation, or when an operation needs to be aborted, it will vent the asteroids, providing temporary cover for the Ocean's escape. 
The Embracing Oceans statistics are the same as other Gallofree Medium Transports (REUP, p. 445), but with the following exceptions: 
*Typical crew skill: Astrogation 5D, space transports 6D, starship gunnery 
4D+2, starship shields 4D 
*Crew: 6, plus 3 gunners. Skeleton 3/+10 
*When empty, its space speed increases to 4 (it is 2 when full of asteroids or other mass; venting the asteroids requires opening the cargo bay and moving away at 2 for one move before acceleration to 4) 
*Shields have been increased to 3D (Gordwa sold this to Welmo as being necessary if they're going to be capturing asteroids) 
*The ship now boasts three tractor beams; two on the rear arc, and a third on the "bottom" arc. The third is only usable when the cargo bay is empty. These tractor beams have 3D damage and 1D fire control; optimized for strength over accuracy. The two rear tractor beams may be fire-linked; the ventral tractor beam cannot. Typical skill with the tractor beams is 5D 
*One of the Twin Laser Cannons has been replaced with a Heavy Ion Cannon (4D damage, 4D Fire control), while another has been replaced with a Concussion Missile Launcher (8D damage, 1D Fire control). This leaves 2 twin laser cannons. Each of these different systems requires a separate gunner. 

Gordwa, Dug Thug 
Welmo is a "True Believer". He KNOWS he is right, and that the best way to achieve his goals is to throw comets at inhabit(ed/able) planets until they have a "healthy" hydrosphere. Gordwa... Gordwa sees himself as more of a "big picture" kind of Dug. Sure, you can extort money from planets by threatening them with cometary bombardment, and maybe even make some money as a cometary-bombarder-for-hire, but piracy? Piracy is how you make some quick cash. When Welmo brought Gordwa on as a hand, he quickly realized he could manipulate the idealistic Ithorian, and push him in the ways Gordwa wanted to go. Does the Ocean need some repairs? Why not find a ship and take the parts that the Ocean needs? Why shoot all those asteroids out of the hold right away? Might some of them contain valuable minerals? And, hey, if we're going to another world ANYWAY, why don't we pick up some cargo from my friend and deliver it to this world on the way? 
Gordwa is not technically in charge, but he's screened the crew; aside from Welmo, all of the crew likes Gordwa's style, and is happy to engage in a bit of profitmaking under the guide of Welmo's "Holy Mission". Gordwa hopes to keep Welmo dancing on his string for a while, making money and directing him to lucrative targets. 

Gordwa, Dug Thug 
DEX 3D+1 
Dodge 4D+1 
Brawling Parry 4D+1 
Intimidation 4D 
Streetwise 4D 
MECH 3D+2 
Space Transports 4D+2 
Starship Gunnery 4D+2 
Starship Shields 4D 
PER 2D+1 
Command 4D 
Con 4D 
STR 3D+2 
Brawling 5D 
TECH 3D+1 
Space Transports Repair 4D 
Starship Weapons Repair 4D 
Blaster Repair 3D+2 

Heavy Blaster Pistol (5D), cybernetic claws on toes and fingers (+1D to Climbing skill, +2 to Brawling Damage), Blast Vest (+1D physical, +1 Energy) 

The rest of the crew (the Pirate Template is appropriate for all of them): 
Nodon, Cathar Mechanic 
Noodlo, Duros Pilot 
"Yo, Wee!", plural "The Weequay", three Weequay gunners, none of whom has an individual nickname 
Karsk, Bothan Communications Expert/Supplier 
3-5 others, usually human, zabrak, twi'lek, or other common species

New Republic Ewoks

Thirty years after the Battle of Endor brought their species to the attention of the broader galaxy, the Ewoks both on and off of Endor are a changed species. This is not to say that there aren't traditionalist Ewoks still living on the moon... indeed, they are the majority of the total population... but of the Ewoks active in the galaxy, most are more cosmopolitan... second generation natives of the Galactic Republic. Some traveled off-planet with the Republic; others remained in contact with the galaxy via the New Republic presence on their moon, taking part in Republic education and acting as native guides in efforts to recover parts of the the destroyed Death Star II.
Physically, New Republic Ewoks are unchanged from their more primitive kin. However, they're far better educated, and familiar with galactic technology Those currently coming of age, the grandcubs of the heroes of the Battle of Endor, are active both on their own moon and throughout the galaxy.

New Republic Ewoks
Attribute Dice: 12D
Dexterity 1D+2/4D+2
Knowledge: 1D/3D+2
Mechanical: 1D+2/4D
Perception: 2D/4D+2
Strength: 1D/3D
Technical: 1D/3D+1

Special Skills:
New Republic Ewoks may still improve the traditional Ewok skills of Thrown Weapons, Glider, and Primitive Construction, though they are less likely to do so.

Special Abilities:
Small: Ewoks are smaller than many other species in the galaxy. While this doesn't matter for a lot of things, in some cases, it can be a big problem. Vacuum Suits, space suits, and armor are frequently poorly fitted to Ewok physiques. Many standard starships aren't well suited to Ewok physiology, meaning an Ewok may receive a -1D penalty to vehicle operation, shield, and vehicle weapon skills if the vehicle isn't designed to adjust to their size. Ewoks like Sullustan craft due to this, as they are frequently able to adjust to the smaller size. This is, to an extent, a matter of GM fiat, but Imperial craft are noted for the relatively narrow range of sizes they will accommodate. Refitting a craft to accomodate Ewok crew members is usually an Easy to Moderate task requiring an hour's worth of work for each station to be converted.
Likewise, Ewoks find many standard-built weapons to be awkward; Heavy Blasters, Blaster Carbines, Blaster Rifles, and larger weapons require similar modifications to be used without penalty; blaster pistols, sporting blasters, and hold-out blasters can usually be used without modification. Melee weapons not adjusted for ewoks have their maximum damage reduced by 1D.

Smell: Ewoks have a highly developed sense of smell, getting a +1D to their search skill when tracking by scent; this ability cannot be improved.

Story Factors:
Protectiveness: Most human adults will feel unusually protective of Ewoks. Because of this, humans can also be very condescending towards Ewoks. Some Ewoks are tolerant of this human foible, but many New Republic Ewoks find it grating.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Gnome Tongue (Proficiency)

Gnome Tongue (5BP)
While most of the Gnome Titans... those gnomes native to the cantons of the Vrykarr Mountains... have lost the trick of speaking with animals, some few have learned it from their elders. With the Gnome Tongue proficiency may communicate with burrowing mammals as other gnomes do.

Prerequisites: Gnome Titan and Gnomish as a native language

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Castles and Crusades Sessions 1 and 2

I've started a monthly Castles and Crusades game with some other adults; I am the Castle Keeper, my wife and two other couples are playing.

For those familiar, I am combining two old-school modules... T1 and B2. Hommlet has become the Forgotten Realms city of Highcastle, in the High Dale, between Cormyr and Sembia, with the Keep on the Borderlands being the now-completed Keep of Rufus and Burne. The Thunder Way, which runs near Highcastle, is noted for connecting not much with nowhere in particular, with another route that gets you there faster and safer, and without going through the mountains, which are frequently closed to traffic through the winter. However, it is a pilgrimage site, being the location of the Dancing Place (aka the Caves of the Unknown on the B2 map), where several deities manifested a few centuries ago, leading to the formation of the Harpers. The part of the Hidden Vale, a (former) settlement of rock gnomes, is being played by the Caves of Chaos.

(These are all things that the party already knows, or would know if they asked; other aspects of what's going on are, obviously, being kept a bit secret for now).

Player Characters:
Gnome Wizard, Junior, who seems to have a bit of a death wish
Dwarven Druid, Nags, with an ant animal companion
Human Monk, Neb, who likes to hit things
Human Rogue, Nickles, always trying new things
Half-Elf Ranger, no name yet, who likes to drink

Session 1:

The party arrived as part of a trade caravan, the first of the year. Exploring the town, they found there is significant tension between the local druidic circle and the "new" temple of Helm; Rufus and Burne brought the worship of Helm in about a decade ago, and while it's somewhat caught on, their proselytizing and relative inflexibility and hostility to ecumenicism has chilled relations. There's also a local priest of Oghma, studying in the library of Rufus, and amiably making friends while he's there.
A lot was setting up the game, of course, and making characters, but the party did manage to expose a cheat in the Inn, getting him kicked out, and recruit a couple more people (Zert, who knew the caravan master, and Spugnoir, who desperately wanted to get out of town after having been stuck for the winter). While travelling out of town with the caravan, the party was attacked by a dozen hobgoblins, who they routed (along with some great help from Spugnoir's Sleep spell), and backtracked to the Hidden Vale.

Session 2:

Exploring the Hidden Vale, they first entered one of the goblin caves, fighting a neat little battle and learning from their prisoners that the gnomes have been gone for months, and that the cave next door is where the goblins have been putting a lot of their treasure. The party withdrew, giving their injured monk a chance to heal a bit. They decided to try the cave next door. The thief sets a snare, then goes in... and wakes the ogre. She retreats, and the slowly waking ogre looks up again... and sees a dwarf druid. She takes a pot shot at him, falling back. The monk steps forward and gives him a shot in the nuts, and falls back a touch, as the thief falls from above, backstabbing on her way down. Adam Ant chews on his foot, and he's angry.. so he smashes the HELL out of the Monk... 12 out of the 13 points he currently has. He tosses the monk back, but gets torn down by the rest of the party (eventually getting caught in a snare, one leg caught in the air). They quickly search the cave, finding a cache of cash, some cheese, and a keg of brandy... and a wall made out of unmortared brick, leading into the goblin caves. Opening a few bricks, they see the goblins have set up their table as a barricade, and are watching them. One takes off running, and the dwarf wings him, but he gets away. The monk, moderately healed by goodberries, Kool-aid Man's his way through the wall, then smashes into the table, killing all five remaining goblins with the table itself (REALLY horrible saving throws).
The party retreats to the ogre cave as more goblins head down from deeper in the caves... and then tosses a doctored keg of brandy onto the fire the goblins were cooking on, leading to a jet of flame soaking the goblin horde... not enough to kill them, but definitely sending them all into retreat. The goblins head back to the common room and begin to argue, sides forming as it's argued as to whether the chief is still a fit leader after that debacle... 11 goblins dead in two attacks, the ogre apparently gone, and then everyone else bathed in fire.
The party listens, and retreats to the ogre cave, and then hears the march of boots out of the other hallway... things are about to get interesting in the Hidden Vale.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

True Atlantean Nomad Iconic Framework

True Atlantean Nomad Iconic Framework
There are True Atlanteans and then there are True Atlanteans. The most young True Atlanteans aren’t that much different from standard humans… trained in the use of Tattoo Magic and the basics of using Stone Pyramids, of course, and with centuries ahead of them instead of mere decades, but, nonetheless, not too much different.
Then there are the Nomads. Many True Atlanteans set off on a time of wandering, learning the breadth and beauty of the Megaverse with their own eyes, their own senses. They seek far vistas and learn strange languages, relying on their wits and skills (and more than a bit of magic) to get from place to place.
The True Atlantean Nomad is old; at least a century, usually more. They’ve been around the Megaverse and seen a number of crazy things, and come out of it with a deeper curiousity and desire to see even more. They’ve also come out of it with a few enemies, a bit of paranoia about vampires, and a strong sense of self-preservation.

The Nomad Hero’s Journey
Nomads have two rolls on the Experience and Wisdom table, and three rolls on any other table (though few choose Cybernetics).

Nomad Bonuses and Abilities
All Nomads are True Atlanteans, and so have their abilities; Tattoo Magic, a basic understanding of Stone Magic, and the great dislike of Vampires and the Splugorth and their minions. For convenience, these are listed among a Nomad’s abilities and Drawbacks.

*Better Kind of Person: Nomads begin with plus one die type to Vigor, Spirit, and Smarts. They also begin with the Strong Willed and Nerves of Steel Edges.
*Great Experience: Nomads have been everywhere and seen everything. They begin with 20 experience points and the associated advances. They begin as a Seasoned rank character.
*Immune to Transformation: Nomads cannot be transformed by any means.
*Knowledgeable: Nomads begin with Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Megaverse), and Knowledge (History) at d6, as well as the traditional Atlantean skill of Stone Magic at d6. They also posses a d6 in Fighting and Shooting.
*Magical Dabbler: Nomads are able to make use of Ley Line Sense and Ley Line Phasing, like the Ley Line Walker Iconic Framework. They may take any Arcane Background not forbidden to them, but they do not receive it for free.
*Megaversal Traveller: Nomads are good at finding friends in all sorts of places; they begin with a +2 to Charisma and the I Know a Guy Edge.
*Tattooed Heritage. As True Atlanteans, Nomads have the Arcane Background: Tattoo Magic, and the Tattoo Magic skill at d6. They begin with the Smite tattoo (which will also create a sword) and the Protection from Vampires tattoo (which functions as Warrior’s Gift, but granting +4 to traits rolls and armor against vampires). They also begin with the Speak Language tattoo, and two additional Power Tattoos, either or both of which may be substituted for Minor tattoos. They begin with 5 PPE, plus one for every tattoo they possess (so, between 10-12 PPE). As with all tattoo users, they have +1 to Armor and Toughness for every 3 tattoos.
*Vampire Sense: Due to wide experience, Nomads can tell a Vampire just by looking at them; they may use Notice to ferret out any vampires within Line of Sight.

Nomad Complications
Being a Nomad doesn’t come with a huge number of drawbacks that don’t also come from being a True Atlantean.

*Enemies: True Atlanteans are well-known through the Megaverse, partially due to the actions of Nomads. They have a -4 to Charisma when dealing with Vampires, Splugorth, or their minions.
*Lack of Focus: Nomads are not men of magic, nor are they warriors. They may not take the Master of Magic Edge, nor any professional edges with Fighting, Shooting, or Arcane Backgrounds as requirements.

Nomad Starting Gear

Ley Line Walker Light Armor or ED-5 “Plastic-Man” Light Security Armor, Wilk’s 227 Pulse Laser Pistol, Techno-Wizard Specialized Tool Kit, NG-S2 Survival Pack, 2d4 × 1,000 credits.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Stone Magic and Magic Pyramids for Savage Rifts

Stone Magic

Stone Magic is an ancient form of magical technology, related conceptually to Techno-wizardry. Stone Masters are, at the simplest level, able to manipulate stone; mold it, move it, and shape it. However, with the proper materials, Stone Masters can create a wide variety of “traditional” powers, and, working together, can create massive stone pyramids; works of magical technology that heal people, extend their lives, and even piercing dimensions. All True Atlanteans are taught how to use Stone Magic technology; only true Stone Mages (those with the Arcane Background: Stone Magic) and Stone Masters (those with the Stone Master Iconic Framework) can manipulate the stone and call forth powers.

NOTE: This was edited on 2017/5/15 to reflect some great feedback I got on the Palladium Message Boards.

Tattoo Magic for Savage Rifts

Tattoo Magic
Tattoo magic is an ancient form of enchanting, imbuing living flesh with mystic power. Taught by the Chiang-ku to the True Atlanteans in the days of High Atlantis, it’s secrets were wrested by the Splugorth, either from rogue Chiang-ku or during the Atlantean diaspora after the Atlantean Cataclysm. For True Atlanteans, it is part of their culture; all True Atlanteans are tattooed young with the “Marks of Heritage”, including a sword bearing the crest of their Clan, and a mark providing protection against vampires.