Legends of Anglerre/Cloak of Steel: Animal Men

Since my first choice of system for a second edition of Cloak of Steel can no longer go ahead I’ve turned my thoughts back to Legends of Anglerre and Starblazer and the version of FATE that is to be found in these books, as well as my own subspecies of FATE derived from these for Agents of SWING. This and the previous article about this might be considered preliminary, probing thoughts towards how that edition might look.
Cloak of Steel doesn’t have many playable races. Really you’r down to humans (with their various cultural differences) and the half-men. The result of magical experimentations in the past and, now, a self-perpetuating human subtype looked down upon as less than human in many quarters.


Half-Men are the result of ancient manipulation of human and animal essences to produce something that is not, quite, either. A half-man’s personality tends to express itself in the animal traits that they grow into and while some show the special capabilities of their animalistic appearance this is by no means true of all.

Typical Occupations: Worker, warrior, technician, beggar, criminal, slave.

Half-Men Aspects


Half-Men are usually at the bottom of the social heap in the societies of Tierplana. This can be good, and bad, for them.

Invoke: Being ignored, eliciting sympathy from some quarters, being underestimated.
Compel: Being considered for promotion, being trusted, high/middle class society.


Due to their social situation the half-men have a lot to prove, both to others and to themselves.

Invoke: Reinforcing your will, keeping going against the odds.
Compel: When you really should give up and not carry on, losing your temper against the prejudiced.

Half-Man Stunts

Half-Man stunts are typically based around their animal ancestry or appearance and grant a +2 bonus where they apply. For example a dog man might choose from the following stunts, though this by no means describes them all:

  • Bloodhound: +2 when tracking/sensing smells.
  • Keen hearing: +2 when using aural senses.
  • Terrible Jaws: +2 damage on a bite.
  • Cheerful disposition: +2 when cheering people up or in most informal social situations.

Other possibilities might include claws, paralytic poisons (at fair strength), swimming, gills, even flight. All of which should be considered skills at that level +2, modifiers or powers. Multiple stunts may be stacked for increased effect, at the Games Master’s discretion.

Cloak of Steel (Mantel D’Acier) News/Poll

I can now reveal to you that I was in negotiation to use the Heavy Gear 2nd Edition rules-set to power the next incarnation/edition of Cloak of Steel. Unfortunately those negotiations fell through at the last minute and so the prospect of a new edition of the game is now set back (perhaps not a horrible thing since I already have so many other projects – big and small – on the go).

It does leave me with a problem though. I no longer know what system to develop the new edition of Cloak of Steel for. I was rather dead-set on using HG2 as the Silhouette system is simple, graspable, scalable and easy to use for things like minis gaming if people wanted to take it in that direction. Now I don’t know quite where to go with it.

Cloak of Steel is a fantasy game with magitech and anime stylings, it draws inspiration from Escaflowne, Sakura Wars, White Knight Chronicles and a host of other influences drawing them into a fantastical version of Europe on a magical flat Earth with a detailed background and a distinctive array of cultures, peoples, religions and technologies. It’s also one of our only games to be translated (into French) as Mantel D’Acier.

Developing a new system would be frought with problems at this time and extremely time consuming.

Using Pathfinder wouldn’t fit the theme/mood of the game without a great deal of rules tweaking to make it work. It would also too closely resemble the old d20 version, which I want to move away from.

Xpress – our house system – isn’t as suited to high octane adventure and doesn’t scale to the kinds of mecha and vehicles that this game would include particularly well and would get bogged down at this scale of play for similar reasons that the same thing happens with Exalted.

OSR systems are manifestly unsuited, class/level does not – IMO – suit this style of play.

Wayfarer/RQII – Too gritty, unsuitable.

FATE, I like FATE and I’ve already done some makeshift conversion work but I don’t like putting all my development work in one basket.

D6 system, could work, but I have two projects developing for D6 at the moment and it might not be good to have three all together at once.

4C, an open version of the rules that powered Marvel Superheroes back in the day. Simple, fast, eminently scalable but possibly too simple.

At the moment I’m leaning towards FATE, using a modded version of the Agents of SWING rules set.

Opinions? Suggestions?


Cloak of Steel for Legends of Anglerre

I’m hoping to have some positive news about a new edition of Cloak of Steel at some point soon. I’m still waiting on some contractual/licensing negotiations with another company. A potentially very interesting development that really only needs a final contract signing before we can go ahead.

In the meantime, here’s some kitbashing for using the mecha portions of Cloak of Steel in Legends of Anglerre.

Cloaks are Scale 3 (Medium)  devices. Magical suits of armour that a character can don and then use to launch into battle more even-handed against giants, dragons and other Cloaks. Cloaks have access to Gigantic Creature Stunts but also take Monstrous Weaknesses when they do, typically Huge Target.

Cloaks have a base of 7 physical stress and 7 system stress. They have a base of three Aspects and two Stunts that are built into them. As armoured suits Cloaks have an Armour Bonus of -2 and the negative aspects Heavy and Slow. They can take a total of six consequences, being big, heavy, tough devices. They’re considered to have Endurance and Redundancy skills at 3 each and the Might skill at +1.

Squires are at the upper end of Scale 2 and are bulky suits of personal armour rather than the ‘vehicles’ that Cloaks represent. Squires have a base of 7 physical stress and 6 system stress. They have a base of 2 Aspects and one Stunt that is built into them. As armoured suits Squires have an armour bonus of -2 and the negative aspects Loud and Heavy. They can take a total of six consequences. They’re considered to have Endurance at +3, Redundancy at +1 and Might at +1.

Cloaks and Squires alike pick up and use weapons, rather than being equipped with them in the normal manner of vehicles.

Airships are Scale 3, 4 or 5.

  • Scale 3 – Physical/System Stress 5, Skill Points 7, Aspects 3, Stunts 1
  • Scale 4 – Physical/System Stress 5, Skill Points 10, Aspects 4, Stunts 2
  • Scale 5 – Physical/System Stress 5, Skill Points 16, Aspects 5, Stunts 2

Airships use their skill points to describe their weapons, special abilities and so forth in the same way as normal constructs.

Cloak of Steel


Gigantic metal warriors clash in the world of Tierplana.

Ideology and faith are the points of conflict, not ‘good’ and ‘evil’ or the bidding of gods.

Powered by Postmortem’s Live System OGL implementation Cloak of Steel has…

  • Streamlined, deadly and more cinematic OGL combat.
  • Classless & levelless character creation.
  • Feat based magick implementation, using ‘mana points’.
  • Rules for Cloaks (mechs), Squires (powersuits) and Airships.
  • Extensive and well thought out gameworld.
  • Art by Raven Morrison & Icymasamune of ‘Shadowlark Symphony’.

Don your Cloak and enter battle for your future.

Reviews & Comments
“A valiant way to mesh mech/character style interactions, and great world building.”

“I’m a sucker for mecha in fantasy settings.. and this book does an excellent job of making a D20 game of it.”

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