Saturday, July 17, 2021
The gods walk the roads and fields of Tellene from time to time, some say. On these occasions, they are suspected of physical unions with mortals, perhaps resulting in offspring. The Vicelord and the Laugher are most frequently associated with these unions, but the Great Huntress, the Raconteur and the Founder are all associated with stories of offspring with unusual talents.
Godspawn are different from their peers in some obvious way. They might glow with an ambient light when angry or excited. The music of stringed instruments might accompany their voice when they speak. The air around them might feel tense and charged, like an impending storm. Their body might radiate uncomfortable warmth at all times.
The history of Tellene has produced a rare few godspawn. For example, it is said that a godspawn Dejy sorcerer from the Khydoban led a short but eventful life within living memory, while a godspawn sage attempted to gain complete control of a secret society some one hundred years ago, bringing a terrible focus and dedication to this group of recluses. Even further in the past, before the division of the Brandobian Empire, a half-elven godspawn wizard of exceptional beauty and grace led the Empire's armies to war against the hobgoblins of the Odril Hills.
The character known as a Godspawn has divine blood somewhere in their heritage. Whether first-generation or merely a pure descendent through many generations, the character is especially blessed with the power of his immortal forbearer.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
For the three linked settings I've been working on (Mutant Dawn, which is mutant animals in the modern day; Mutant Rise; and the forthcoming Mutant War, which will be post-apocalyptic), I'm including a Life Path system to help create characters. The system can be ignored without much penalty... the only nominal advantage is that, in certain configurations of Birth, Upbringing, and Education, you will get skills that exceed your attributes or Edges you don't technically qualify for.
Musician is one of those Educations, along with Drone Monkey, Hacker, Infiltrator, Mechanic, Reporter, Salary, Scavenger, and Security.
"Musician: Punk’s not dead, it’s just louder and the growls are a bit more realistic when they come from a Were's throat. Musicians gain a bonus die in Spirit, as well as three dice in Performance, and one in Common Knowledge, Persuasion, and Taunt. Making a living as a musician means you have Fame, but also a Minor Habit, and either Poverty or a Minor Obligation (i.e. the dreaded Day Job)."
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
So, 2e Psionics had a couple different versions, the Complete Psionic/Will and the Way version, and the Skills and Powers/Way of the Psionicist version. This system is somewhat of a compromise between the two, heavily favoring Complete Psionic/Will and the Way, but making psionic combat, especially a combination of the two. Attacks against other psychics deplete PSPs, but contact doesn't require them to be without PSPs... just sufficiently overmatched (or unlucky) to be hit several times without getting any hits in return. This required a rewrite of attacks and defenses. I also rewrote Telekinesis, because the Complete Psionics version really sucked... it was not worthy of being called a science.
Friday, December 18, 2020
Clerics of certain faiths (most often nature-based ones) have access to a series of spells to Enthrall Animals. With a lengthy casting and a failed saving throw, the cleric can bond one or more animals to them for the rest of the creature’s life. The spell grants them an incredible rapport and, even without their own skill in training animals, the cleric is able to teach the animal various tricks and tasks, making them a more useful companion.
For many clerics, this is a means of attracting and connecting with a useful animal companion; a pet and helper. Some within the Brotherhood of the Bear will also raise animals for sale, or to give as gifts to those who will care for them. Priests of the Merry Marksmen are less likely to do so, as they do not like to train their beasts for hunting. A Golden Arrow may enthrall a dog or mountain lion, and may hunt with that animal, but the animal will not be trained to the hunt; rather, they will hunt free of training, and the cleric will hunt with them.
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Friday, October 23, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
This is actually the original of what became my HackTrade article. I wrote it because a player had too much money, and wanted to invest some. I came up with a modified version of what I call "The core crunch" on the spot (it was more generous, and made a positive return likely), and then built the article around it. When I got into Hackmaster a bit later, I polished the idea into HackTrade.
Capital and Caravans
Basic Investing for Castles and Crusades
There comes a point in many games when the characters simply have too much money. They may have purchased everything the CK will let them purchase, may be on the move and unwilling to buy real property (houses, bars and the inevitable stronghold), or may simply be wanting to make more money when they’re in that limbo between being having to scrape every last copper and being able to destabilize the local economy without half trying. Some mercantile-minded players may turn their minds towards investing some of their rewards in commercial ventures, hoping for a return in wealth and influence. Unless you truly wish to be playing Capital and Caravans, however, most CKs will seek to abstract this process a little, letting the game flow without preventing the character from spending his wealth as he sees fit.
Investments are of two different types: caravans and in-place businesses. Many of the same principles apply to each, but some modifiers will have different effects depending on whether or not the business venture travels.
The Core Crunch
Before I spend a long time discussing the options in dealing with investment, let’s look at the core mechanic of simple investing: 2d8*10%. That’s the average return on investment for the gentleman adventurer. For those who don’t do the probabilities in your head, this means that, on average, an investor will see 90% of his money back; if he gave the merchant ten gold pieces, he gets back nine, for a net loss of one gold. This is intentionally not fair. A great many business ventures lose money, and if all the character has done is toss money at an investment, he will likely lose money. This number is, also, simply return on investment. It does not include taxes that might need to be paid or fees that accrue, which tends to drive returns even lower.
The average time for maturity on any investment is one month. This allows a trade caravan to make it to another city, sell its wares, buy more, and sell those upon return. For an in-place business, this covers a period of purchases and sales. Some investments may take longer to mature, or players may look to make quick money through short-term loans of a few days or weeks. All of these can be handled through similar mechanics, but shorter-term investments tend to carry a LOT more risks, while long-term ventures tend to be more stable. For short term investments, I suggest a return of (1d20-1d4)*10%; you’re far more likely to lose your shirt, but your returns will rarely be much higher. For longer-term investments, I suggest (2d6+1d4)*10%; the floor is higher, the ceiling about the same, and the average about the same.
What makes merchants (and adventuring venture capitalists) profitable is research, hard work, and a bit of luck.