Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday wishing it was Thursday Un-seriousness


We'll be at the Old School Renaissance Booth (#1541) at this coming Gen Con. All our old-school appropriate product will be there. Additionally, our Pathfinder material will be available at Paizo's booth, so if that's your cup 'o tea, we've got you covered there as well.

The last few days before leaving are always the hardest. I'd just like to get up and go right now. :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Before Gen Con

The Saturday before Gen Con has always been a busy one for us at XRP. We've been displaying since 2003 and Saturday is the "get everything done day" for us. For many of those years we were driving into Indy from Dallas, meaning that we'd leave on Monday to show up late Tuesday and get the booth ready on Wednesday. For the past 4 years, however, our drives only been 4-5 hours, which is a hell of a lot nicer.

Today I've got to print up all the character sheets for the Tourney Adventure (The Obsidian Sands of Syncrates) as well as a back-up copy of the adventure as that one's supposed to be delivered to us at the show. Speaking of which, I'm going to re-read the adventure to make sure I get everything right. I like running the tourney and would like to preemptively thank the two other GMs we've got running for us. Thanks guys!

The blog here will probably go dark for the next week or so 'cause of the Con and the fact that we have to move a week later. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Millisteer

Millisteer
Mutated Cattle (Basic)
C4 A4 S8 F6 R-3 I0 W1: Ego 8: Health 44: Fortune 20
Movement 15/132

Description & Information: These millipede/cow hybrids are common throughout the world below the shattered moon. They have a general cow-like continence excepting that they have a millipede-like mouth and dozens of legs upon each side of their 30-foot-long frame. Millisteer are generally docile and provide a great amount of “meat” in relation to the amount of food they consume. They can be ridden, but as they scare easily they are worthless when confronting any danger. They are a prime source of “leather” beneath the shattered moon.

Intrinsic Powers
• The thick hide of millisteer reduces all physical damage by 1 point per hit.
• Millisteer attack by trampling, dealing +5 bludgeoning damage and +4/ rank 4 combat condition.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Holy Crap, Batman! It's the Vulture Men of Waukegan!

The Vulture Men of Waukegan! is now up for sale as a $5 PDF at Your Games Now and rpgnow. I've been working on this one for more than a year... hell, maybe two come to think of it, and I think it's a great sandbox setting/adventure location for Sorcery & Super Science! as well as other post-apoc games. It feels good to have it done and out. The print copy will go on sale after Gen Con.

The ZZZ Quick Guide to North America has the following to say about the territory of The Vulture Men of Waukegan.

The Vulture Men of Waukegan
Tyranny: Chief Executive Officer William Howard Spence III
GTSL: 1337
Ruling from a roost in the ruins of ancient Waukegan, The Vulture Men of Waukegan control a small territory of roughly 100 square miles just north of the massive ruins of old Chicago. The Vulture Men have a strict hierarchical society based upon the corporate organization of the company that once owned their ancestral roost, and they believe they are the rightful heirs of Lancaster & Penn Real Estate Development, Inc. The territory has little to offer the average mutie, being composed of only a few small settlements, but the ruins in the area are ripe for exploration by scavengers. Scavs should expect a tax visit from the Vulture Men however, so have gifts at the ready. According to our sources, Vulture Men love to eat pickled fish
.

Although useful information for the general traveler looking at the Waukegan area, it leaves much to be desired in the way of specifics. This area gazetteer rectifies that shortcoming and should provide a Sorcery & Super Science GM with a robust and elegant territorial framework within which to weave dozens of successful and interesting adventures. The Vulture Men of Waukegan is a border territory

Rhinocerat

Rhinocerat
Mutated Rat (Basic)
C2 A5 S-3 F2 R-3 I3 W1: Ego 6: Health 12: Fortune 7
Movement 4/35

Description & Information: Rhinocerats look much like a big normal white rat except that upon their forehead is a single horn, much like that of a rhinoceros. Before the shattering of the moon, rats were the animal most widely experimented upon. They could be found in labs in nearly every continent. These lab rats have had their revenge however, for now they are the feared rhinocerat! Rhinocerats can be found in massive numbers among the ruins of the ancients.

Intrinsic Powers
• Possess senses greater than human, +2 on any sense conflicts.

Limited Use Powers
• Charge! (5 per day): A rhinocerat can charge an opponent and deliver a blow far beyond its size. As the rhinocerat charges, space-time compresses before it, releasing when it hits its target, dealing +8 bludgeoning damage and a +4/rank 8 combat condition.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monsters on the Brain

I've been combing through the legendary creatures list at wiki as inspiration for Worlds Apart creatures. I've decided that the tone of the creatures should fit in with a decidedly non-Western European view, as I think the Fantasy Opera style is better suited to the great sailing tales of history, full of strange islands with strange creatures. I've also decided to have a "monster list" with the various creatures briefly described, but not statted out. It's a bit of a strange choice, I admit, but I want the GM to have the ability to make a creature as weak or tough as desired. I'm exchanging convenience for GM flexibility and I'll see if I catch hell about it.

Nice side effect of all this effort however, is that I've been concurrently working pretty hard on more Sorcery & Super Science! critters. I've been having fun listening to music and making up baddies.

Thanks Gary!

Today's Gary's b-day, so I thought I should send out a big thank you to the guy who was so influential in creating the hobby that we all love.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lolth: Where was she and what was she doing in the early 70's?

She was hanging out in Japan, making little spiders.

Gygax Memorial Fund at the OSRG booth at Gen Con

Just wanted to draw attention to the OSRG booth at Gen Con 2011. The Gygax Memorial Fund is going to be at the booth this year. I think it's great news for a great cause.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Magical Society: India

I spent about 6 hours yesterday at the main library at Ohio State University. Suzi was doing a day-long orientation, leaving me free to wander the bookshelves. I, of course, headed right for the Indian history section, as a large research library should have vastly more resources than what I've been able to acquire. And I was right.

The section is still comparably small, but one side of a long row of books is more on Indian history that I have seen before. The trip was very fruitful, providing me with 4 different titles that I would like to have in my personal library, but all but one are OOP and quite expensive.

One book in particular has been a break-through discovery in terms of researching for A Magical Society: India. Moosvi's The Economy of the Mughal Empire is a gold mine of useful information. It is a detailed study and analysis of the Ain-i-Akbari. This provides information on crop yields and returns, income and expenses, military numbers and expenses, along with many other things of interest for MMS:I. It is, in short, what I've been trying hard to find to help pull back the curtain on history and bring it into a gaming environment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And my House is officially Sold!

Now I'm not so nervous. Our house is now sold. Lordy that's a weight off my shoulders. We sold the house in 2 months. In a town of 12,000 people.

We got sooooo lucky. :)

2:20 and Nervous

In a few hours I will, hopefully, have very good news. Until then I busy myself working on the bestiary for Worlds Apart.

Given the Fantasy Opera nature of the game, I've decided to create a stable of creatures that are uncommon for traditional fantasy role-playing games by plunging into the mythology of mostly non-Western European cultures. This should make the monsters as wild and fantastic as I'd like while also providing a solid-grounding in the mythological feeling I'm looking for.

Also, it should be educational for the reader. I think that a lot of people have forgotten that role-playing games can be educational in terms of vocabulary as well as culture. I'd like to do a little bit of that in Worlds Apart as well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tome of Tomes

The Chains of Religion
Author: Unknown
Dimensions: 4x5x0.5
Weight: 1 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Very rare
Fields of Study: Supernatural & unusual
Special Knowledge Categories: Metaphysics
Value: 85 gp

When this book was written is unknown, as is the author. Sages generally postulate it is at least 300 year old, if not older. It postulates that religion and the gods are illusionary and that they are chains weighing the spirit down to the material world. The author demands open and violent rebellion against religious orders for the benefit of the individual. This work is often banned and/or confiscated when found.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Advanced Adventures #20: The Riddle of Anadi PDF for sale!

Just put AA #20 up for sale at Your Games Now and rpgnow. It will arriving shortly at Paizo and e23.

The Riddle of Anadi is an OSRIC(tm) module designed for 5-7 adventures of levels 6-10.

The ancient name of Anadi is legendary among sages, mystics, and wizards throughout the land. It was the Great Sage herself who researched countless magical rituals and spells commonly used today. Yet none know what ultimately became of Anadi; rumors abound that she ascended to godhood, she was enslaved by some demon of the nether planes, or that she simply died and is buried in some long forgotten location.

Information concerning her fate was non-existent for centuries until a long lost journal written by one of her acolytes surfaced in forgotten ruins explored by enterprising adventurers. The scant information from the journal tells little of Anadi’s demise other than that she finally met forces she could not control. It does, however, direct the reader to her final resting place deep in mountains infested by trolls and other creatures deemed too dangerous to battle by anyone but the most determined souls.

The most famous scholar of the largest nearby city wishes to hire intrepid adventurers to seek out the final resting place of Anadi, plunder it for its secrets, and if possible, determine what ultimately happened to the great half-elven sage. He will pay handsomely, of course, and share any discovered magical knowledge gained with the clerics and wizards of the party.

Anadi’s final resting place awaits! Can your adventurers wrest the great riddle of Anadi’s fate from the dust of ages?

Tome of Tomes

Kenotaphion
Author: Unknown
Dimensions: 4x5x0.5
Weight: 1 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Very rare
Fields of Study: Supernatural & unusual
Special Knowledge Categories: Dweomercraft, metaphysics
Value: 4,500 gp

Written in ancient elven and extremely hard to understand even when the language is no issue, Kenotaphion is a guidebook to the various gates between the twelve dozen worlds. A small work of almost unimaginable age, Kenotaphion is highly sought after by sages, adventures, kings, and wizards. Most of the gates appear long gone, but hopes that a few remain drive treasure seekers forward with dreams of exclusive trade routes.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Soldiers - Worlds Apart

The last of the careers, soldier will surely be a common choice.

Soldiers
Soldiers are land-based warriors. They learn melee and missile combat skills, serve in cavalry units, or act as guards or other law enforcement in urban environments.  Skilled soldiers are always in high demand, regardless location.

Enlistment: End 5+
–1 DM for every previous career.

Assignments: Choose one of the following:
Infantry: You serve in the mud and the blood. When lucky, you perform garrison duty.
Cavalry: You serve from horseback, fighting enemies as ordered by a city army, a merchant guild army, or a noble’s army.
Guards: You act as a guard for a city, a merchant house, a caravan route, or a noble family.

Career Progress
Assignment
Survival
Advancement
Infantry
End 6+
Edu 6+
Cavalry
End 5+
Soc 6+
Guards
End 4+
Int 5+

Mustering-Out
Roll
Cash
Benefits
1
1,000 sp
Magic Item (weapon)
2
1,500 sp
+1 End
3
2,000 sp
Voyager Ship Share
4
3,000 sp
Crew Passage
5
4,000 sp
Magic Item (any)
6
5,000 sp
Private Passage
7
6,000 sp
2d6 Voyager Ship Shares

Skills and Training
Roll
Personal Development
Service Skills
Advanced Education (Minimum Edu 8)

Commendation Skills
1
+1 Str
Animals (riding)
Heavy Weapons (any)
Language (any)
2
+1 Dex
Athletics (any)
Medic
Leadership
3
+1 End
Melee Combat (any)
Melee Combat (any)
 Magic 0
4
+1 Edu
Melee Combat (any)
Stealth
Mechanic
5
Gambling
Missile Combat (any)
Survival (any)
Persuade
6
Melee Combat (unarmed)
Recon
Tactics (military)
Tactics (military)

Roll
Assignment: Infantry
Assignment: Cavalry
Assignment: Guards
1
Athletics (any)
Animals (riding)
Admin
2
Heavy Weapons (any)
Drive (chariot)
Advocate
3
Melee Combat (any)
Melee Combat (any)
Investigate
4
Missile Combat (any)
Persuade
Jack of All Trades
5
Stealth
Recon
Melee Combat (any)
6
Tactics (military)
Tactics (military)
Streetwise

Ranks and Skills
Rank
Title
Skill or Benefit
0
Soldier

1
Corporal
Melee Combat (any) 1 or Missile Combat (any) 1
2
Veteran
Recon 1 or Stealth 1
3
Sergeant
Leadership 1 or  Persuade 1
4
Lieutenant
Tactics (military) 1 or Leadership 1
5
Captain

6
Colonel


Mishaps
1d6
Mishap
1
Severely injured in action. (This is the same as a result of 2 on the Injury table.)
2
You survive a near-massacre of your unit by pretending to be dead after being injured. Roll on the Injury table treating 1’s and 2’s as 6’s.
3
You serve in some blasted hell-hole under a pompous ass of a commander. You survive a disastrous battle, but gain your commander as a Rival as you truthfully describe his inadequate performance to his superiors.
4
You decimate a troop sneaking up on your camp, only to discover they were on your side. Once the error is discovered by your superiors, you’re lucky to escape with your life. Leave your career and suffer a -1 to your mustering out throw. 
5
You put the finger on an innocent fellow soldier or guard. He is executed and you gain Enemies of his kin.
6
Injured. Roll on the Injury table.

Events
2d6
Events
2
Disaster! Roll on the mishap table, but you are not ejected from this career.
3
While patrolling, you prevent an ambush if you throw Recon  8+. If you fail the check, your unit triumphs if you throw a Tactics (military) 10+. If you fail both rolls, your unit is destroyed and you barely escape.  You may not re-enlist at the end of this term. If you succeed, you and your unit survive, you are commended, and you gain one free roll on the Commendation Skills table.
4
You spend a long time in an urban environment. Gain one of Streetwise 1, Carouse 1, Gambling 1 or Language (any) 1
5
You perform an exemplary service for your commander. Gain a +1 DM to any one Benefit roll.
6
You’re subject to a long siege and rations grow terribly low. Thrown Social Standing 8+ to avoid catching a disease and losing 1 point in a physical characteristic. If you fail the roll, gain Leadership 1; if you succeed, gain Persuade 1.
7
Life Event. Roll on the Life Events table.
8
While on patrol, you are captured and sold into slavery. You later manage to escape with help, but wander for over a year with the person who assisted your escape before returning to your unit. Gain one of Deception 1, Survival 1, or Magic 0.
9
You play an important part in a successful genocidal war against a non-human race, wiping them out in the local area. Gain one of  Stealth 1, Tactics (military) 1, Deception 1, or Leadership 1. When encountering members of the non-human race you warred against, they may recognize you as being involved if they throw an Education 12+. If they succeed, they immediately become rivals, unless you throw a Social Standing 10+, convincing them otherwise.
10
You single-handedly slay a war elephant with an amazing series of quick attacks. Gain +1 Social Standing.  
11
You save your commander’s bacon and he takes you under his wing. Either gain one level of Leadership, or take a +4 DM to your next Advancement roll.
12
You show great courage and valor in combat. You are automatically promoted.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Scouts - Worlds Apart

Below is the scout career for Worlds Apart. Development for this is just flying, I've only got equipment/magic items, monsters, world-creation, and small default setting to do. I'm at about 30,000 words.

Scouts
Enlistment: Int 5+
–1 DM for every previous career.

Scouts are one of the backbones of the seafaring world, conveying important messages, surveying border islands, and exploring the depths of the Forever Sea. They can be found at almost every port that launches into the deep sea.

Assignments: Choose one of the following:
   Courier: You serve as a message bearer for an important patron (organization, noble, trading company).
   Surveyor: You travel to border islands, assessing their worth to your patron.
   Explorer: You explore strange new islands, seeking out new life and new civilizations. Boldly going…

Career Progress
Assignment
Survival
Advancement
Courier
End 5+
Edu 8+
Survey
End 6+
Int 7+
Exploration
End 7+
Edu 6+

Mustering-Out
Roll
Cash
Benefits
1
500 sp
Voyager Ship Share
2
1,000 sp
+1 End
3
1,500 sp
Jack of all Trades
4
2,000 sp
Magic Item (any)
5
3,000 sp
Two Voyager Ship Shares
6
4,000 sp
Contact
7
6,000 sp
2d6 Voyager Ship Shares

Skills and Training
Roll
Personal Development
Service Skills
Advanced Education (Minimum Edu 8)
1
+1 Str
Navigation
Medic
2
+1 Dex
Survival (any)
Navigation
3
+1 End
Mechanic
Elemental Engineer (any)
4
+1 Int
Deep Sea Navigation
Language 0 (no specialty)
5
+1 Edu
Diplomat
Broker
6
Jack of all Trades
Melee Combat (any)
Jack of all Trades

Roll
Assignment: Courier
Assignment: Survey
Assignment: Explorer
1
Admin
Athletics
Deep Sea Navigation
2
Advocate
Broker
Missile Combat (any)
3
Carouse
Navigation
Navigation
4
Deception
Investigate
Recon
5
Diplomat
Persuade
Seafarer
6
Persuade
Streetwise
Stealth

Ranks and Skills
Rank
Title
Skill or Benefit
0
Scout

1
Traveler
Jack of all Trades 1 or Recon 1
2
Outrider

3
Vanguard
Pilot 1 or Deep Sea Navigation 1
4
Pioneer

5
Senior Scout

6



Mishaps
1d6
Mishap
1
Severely injured in action. (This is the same as a result of 2 on the Injury table.)
2
Psychologically damaged by your time in the scouts. Reduce your Intelligence or Social Standing by 1.
3
Your ship is damaged, and you have to trek your way back across the Forever Sea. Gain 1d6 Contacts and 1d3 Enemies.
4
You inadvertently cause a conflict. Gain a Rival and Diplomat 1.
5
You have no idea what happened to you –your ship was found abandoned and you unconscious.
6
Injured. Roll on the Injury table.

Events
2d6
Events
2
Disaster! Roll on the mishap table, but you are not ejected from this career.
3
Your ship is ambushed by enemy vessels. Either run, and throw Pilot 8+ to escape, or treat with them and throw Persuade 10+ to bargain with them. If you fail the check, then your ship is destroyed and you may not re-enlist as a Scout at the end of this term. If you succeed, you survive and gain Leadership 1. Either way, gain an Enemy.
4
You survey a virgin island. Gain one of Animals (riding or training) 1, Survival 1, Recon 1 or Natural Science (biology or earth science) 1
5
You perform an exemplary service for your patron. Gain a +1 DM to any one Benefit roll.
6
You spend several years Jumping from island to island in your voyager ship. Gain one of Deep Sea Navigation 1, Navigation 1, Pilot 1 or Mechanic 1.
7
Life Event. Roll on the Life Events table.
8
When dealing with a non-human race, you have an opportunity to gather extra intelligence about them. Roll either Persuade 8+ or Deception 8+. If you succeed, gain an Ally in your native realm and a +2 DM to your next Advancement roll. If you fail, roll on the Mishap table, but you are not ejected from this career.
9
Your voyager ship is one of the first on the scene to rescue the survivors of a disaster. Roll either Medic 8+ or Mechanic 8+. If you succeed, gain a Contact and a +2 DM to your next Advancement check. If you fail, gain an Enemy.
10
You spend a great deal of time on the fringes of the known sea. Roll Survival 8+ or Pilot 8+. If you succeed, gain a Contact in an non-human race and one level in any skill of your choice. If you fail, roll on the Mishap table.
11
You serve as the courier for an important message for a king or emperor. Either gain one level of Diplomat, or take a +4 DM to your next Advancement roll.
12
You discover a virgin island, a magic item or information of great worth to your Patron. You are automatically promoted.

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