Recent Posts

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Keep Them Engines Rollin'

For a long while I have had in the back of my head a steampunk-ish campaign. (I didn't even realize how "long" I've been bouncing around the idea until I checked the date on the logo I made - above - and saw I originally made it in '04.)

As you can see from the logo, I call it Fey Engine. The idea being that all the steampunky "tech" in the setting will be powered by fairies - fairies encased in amber or trapped in glass jars and used as batteries that is. To ease the process for myself I had the thought the other day of using the Cyberpunk 2020 book as a template. I will follow it page by page and convert it into a steampunk/fantasy setting. So the Rocker will become a bard like class, the Solo is the fighter class, etc. The biggest divergence being that netrunning will be replaced by magic. (Though I am contemplating a way to convert it into a kind of astral realm that magic-users enter and thereby effect the material world. Thus "programs" can be converted into "spells" and would be a more direct conversion. Just can't remember if netrunning was a broken system or if it functioned reasonably well...)

I think it will be an interesting experiment and I look forward to converting cyberware into fey-powered, magical accoutrements.

I am not abandoning my '50s scifi/fantasy mash-up setting. I will just bounce between the two. Posting on whichever topic moves me on a particular day.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Here be Dwarves

Dwarves are renowned for their outgoing and oft times boisterous attitudes. They are also know to be shrewd hagglers who "know the value" of precious metals and gems. For these reasons they are natural merchants. Dwarves are nearly as wide as the are tall, averaging a height of approximately four feet and a weight of nearly 11 stones (150 - 160 pounds). Due to their short stature dwarves cannot wield two-handed weapons or longbows. Their skin, hair and eye colors tend toward the drab side of the spectrum. With many a dwarf being described as "mossy" or "earthen" in appearance.

Dwarves live in cliff or cave dwellings known as cairns. These structures house every aspect of dwarven society, with each building being built one atop the other. Thus, allowing their private living quarters to be hidden deep within a complex network of rooms, tunnels, staircases, walls and ladders. These living conditions have resulted in dwarves having a 2 in 6 (roll a 1 or 2 on 1d6) chance of detecting traps, false walls, hidden construction, or noticing if passages are sloped. Dwarves must be actively searching for these abilities to function.

In addition to these abilities, dwarves have infravision up to 60 feet and have a strong resistance to magic, as reflected in their saving throws. Further, a dwarf character will speak the trade language (common), dwarvish, and his own alignment language. Because of their frequent interaction with underground creatures, dwarves will also speak goblin, myconid, and kobold.

Saving throws, classes and skill adjustments are the same as those listed in the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion with the following changes:

Assassin - 9, OUT

Monk - 9, IN (again, probably not keeping the name Monk but it will suffice for now)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Inspirational Imagery: Location, Location, Location

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ins, Outs, Buts and a few Maybes

To start, let's clarify a few things. I am currently using Labyrinth Lord and the LLAEC as the basis. I will also be altering rules and dove-tailing other rules from other sources as I see fit. Shocking, I know, because that is never done. ;)

So here is a quick list of what is in, what is out and what is in but with a twist or certain reservations at this point…

Racial Classes & Subraces with classes - both IN, so you can be an Elf or an Elven Ranger. Not sure what I want to do about racial limits yet. I've never liked them but don't know if I want to spend the time thinking up a balanced way to replace/eliminate them. Also, I think I will have variant builds for each class (perhaps the only thing I like from 4e). Probably a campaign specific variant (ex. Piecemeal Warrior [fighter variant]) and a race specific variant, for a race that breaks the standard mold (ex. Fetchling Witch [cleric variant]).

Assassins - OUT, will probably be a thief or monk variant.

Bards - MAYBE, but only if I can guarantee that they turn out like this:
Clerics - IN

Druids - OUT, kind of. Fetchling Witches are nature-clerics.

Dwarves - IN, standard dwarves just "showed up" at some point and no one knows where from.

Elves - IN, BUT elves are the descendants of human-martian hybrids (the result of genetic experiments not racial interbreeding). During the Martian Wars the alien invaders began experimenting with human-martian hybrids as a way to assimilate the best of both races. Now, many hundreds to thousands years hence these "elves" have formed their own culture.

Fetchlings - IN, surviving "Martian Pod People" evolve into their own species with shape-shifting abilities.

Gnomes - OUT

Goblins - IN, BUT they are the direct descendants of the martian invaders.

Half-Elves - OUT

Half-Orcs - IN, BUT they are simply called Orcs and are the result of human-elf interbreeding, instead of half-elves.

Humans - IN, with a "mutant" class option so humans have a racial class, too.

Fighters - IN

Halflings - IN, BUT are not hobbit-like. Halflings are literally shrunken humans. At some point in the distant past as humans (and martians) went underground to escape the fallout a small enclave led by a scientific genius shrunk themselves to half their normal size to avoid overcrowding in their underground habitat. This isolated group form what is now the Halfling race.

Illusionists - MAYBE, possibly psionic (see Mystics below).

Magic-Users - IN, BUT I'm not sure how I want to handle them yet. I want more of a magic as super-science feel but have not figured out how to do it.

Monks - IN, BUT more of a pugilist or improvised weapon expert than a martial artist.

Myconids - IN, to paraphrase "God, shmod, I want my mushroom men."

Mystics - MAYBE, I am toying with the idea of psionics.

Paladins - OUT, if I kept them I would make them more of a knight class and for that you can just make a Fighter, or even a Ranger, with a code.

Rangers - IN, BUT no magic. More of a scout/archer.

Thieves - IN

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Remember: Alien Spacecraft as Dungeons

This is what I am talking about. This is the entry to a "dungeon" in my campaign.

Instead of this...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Solidifying the Mash

The Rob Sato inspired mash-up setting was originally supposed to be a simple experiment to get this blog rolling. But as usual I can't leave well enough alone. The idea has expanded and is going to garner further exploration. My own attempts to simplify the mad ramblings of the previous post has spun my thoughts off into a new and I think more interesting direction.

Junk Punk meets Weird-Fantasy is how I classified this mash-up. Spacecraft as dungeons. A post-apocalyptic, junk-culture with a fantasy RPG slant. But, no more Robotech. So, where did all the spacecraft, giant robots and alien technology come from? Martians - 1950s-style martians.

I am going to be taking stuff from history, movies and books. Beginning of the timeline below (will tweak as I progress):

1938 - War of the Worlds docudrama broadcasted to cover-up failed "Martian" invasion - Area 51 established at Groom Lake, Nevada - military scientists begin reverse engineering alien technology

1941 - Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Manhattan Project begun

1945 - First A-bomb tested near Alamagordo, New Mexico

1950 - the US population was 150,697,999 and the world population was approximately 2.3 billion

1951 - Atomic energy to generate electrical power: Arcon, Idaho

1952 - Hydrogen Bomb tested at Eniwetok Atoll

1954 - much bigger one at Bikini Island

1955 - Finney's Mill, California - first "Martian Pod People" invasion

1957 - The Space Age - Soviet "Sputnik 1" satellite launched - US Vanguard explodes on the launch pad a few weeks later (caused by "Martian" infiltrators)

1958 - Laser, invented by Townes & Schawlow

1960 - the US population was 179,323,000 and the world population was approximately 2.5 billion - 0.1% (about 250,000) of world population replaced by "Martian Pod People" many of whom are in key positions of power

1962 - full-scale "Martian" invasion begins during the grand conjunction on February 4, the "Martian Wars" have begun

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Post Apocalyptic Robotech Fantasy Mash-up

I posted the Rob Sato "Inspirational Artwork" as my first post for just that reason. It was running into the first picture in the post below, while traversing the Inter-webs, that inspired me to want to get off my ass (though I suppose blogging doesn't exactly get one off their ass now does it) and actually start a blog. Something I have avoided for many years now. Not out of some Luddite inspired hatred of modern technologies but because it borders too closely to what I do for a living and I felt compelled to keep work and "play" separate. But no more.

The decrepit and dilapidated Valkyrie style robots got me thinking about a fantasy / post-apocalyptic world where crashed space-craft fill the role of ancient fortresses and dungeons for the players to explore. One would just need to track down the old Palladium Macross II Deck Plan books and you would have a treasure trove of dungeons to populate with nefarious villains and monster hordes. Actually, I think I may have some Jovian Chronicles "Ships of the Fleet" books filed away somewhere. I may have to go dig them out.

It would be a world where a farmers horse-drawn wagon could be made out of the chassis of some long rusted-out car. Where giant, sentinel robots are used as scaffolding for villages to build watchtowers or windmills (think Valley of the Wind). A world where ancient, alien technology can still be found and harnessed. Junk Punk meets weird-fantasy.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Inspirational Imagery: Rob Sato

Check out more of his work at: