#RPG #DnD5e – D&D Month: Grimdark

addtext_com_MTMwNzU5MjUwNTg

Art by Nikolay Razuev

A new month, a new blog project.

I’m thinking ahead to my next crowdfunded project, though I don’t know when I will get around to it. There’s no harm in thinking on the issues involved though.

5e has taken a step back towards the ‘old school’ style of play and improvisation, coupled with a few story elements from the indie scene. What is, perhaps, missing a bit is the grittier, nastier side of dungeoneering.

The setting I will be creating is a harsh, horrific setting – a closed off city that has been left to the undead, into which criminals, heretics and the foolhardy are cast – never to return.

For this I need a deadlier, nastier take on the standard rules and need to expand them to take other things into account. I want a low/no magic setting, slightly more technologically advanced setting.

This is going to take a considerable amount of changes, innovations and new approaches.

Starfinder month was open, D&D month will be paywalled for Patrons and Minds.com subscribers. Tasters will be here, but the full text will be found there.

#Starfinder – Starfinder Month: Psibernetics

tetra-final

Art by Maciej Kuciara

Psibernetic prosthesis use synthetic synapses and hardware to convert energy into raw magic and then to channel it through a number of pre-loaded chips to produce magical effects. There is no truth to the persistent rumours that this technology depends on harvesting nervous tissue from magic-capable androids.

Fitting a psibernetic prosthesis uses your Brain and Spinal Column systems and is made up of two parts.

Part One: The Psibernetic Processor (Brain)

  • Apprentice Processor: Level 2, Price 1000, Caster Level 2, Spell Slots 3, Maximum Spell Level 1.
  • Adept Processor: Level 5, Price 3000, Caster Level 5, Spell Slots 4, Maximum Spell Level 2.
  • Master Processor: Level 8, Price 10000, Caster Level 8, Spell Slots 5, Maximum Spell Level 3.

Part Two: The Psibernetic Converter (Spinal column)

  • Imp Converter: Level 2, Price 2000, Power Capacity 20.
  • Demon Converter: Level 5, Price 6000, Power Capacity 40.
  • Prince Converter: Level 8, Price 20000, Power Capacity 80.

Spell Chips

Cost and power-drain by Spell Level per Spell Chip (swapping chips in and out takes ten minutes per chip)

  • 0 – 10, 5 power.
  • 1 – 100, 10 power.
  • 2 – 4000, 20 power.
  • 3 – 90000, 30 power.

Spell Chip List

0: Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Energy Ray, Telepathic Message, Transfer Charge.

1: Comprehend Languages, Detect Radiation, Detect Tech, Flight, Identify, Jolting Surge, Keen Senses, Magic Missile, Overheat, Supercharge Weapon.

2: Caustic Conversion, Darkvision, Daze Monster, Fight, Fog Cloud, Knock, Logic Bomb, Microbot Assault, Recharge (yes, really).

3: Arcane Sight, Arcing Surge, Discharge, Dispel Magic, Entropic Grasp, Explosive Blast, Fight, Haste (self), Instant Virus, Irradiate, Probability Prediction, Resistant Armour (Lesser), Slow, Tongues.

#Starfinder: Starfinder Month: Integrated Systems Environment Armour

andrew-ariza-artstation-mwezi-test6

Art by Andrew Arzia

Integrated systems are an armament company based on the frozen moon of Gelida. Colonists there have had to deal with some of the harshest environments in the cosmos, but settled there to explore and to identify the life that exists beneath the icy crust. With every join and module a potential weakness, their environment suits are designed as a single whole with full integrated systems – efficient, but unable to be modified further.

ISEA Squad: Level 12, Cost 35000, EAC +17, KAC +13, Max Dex Bonus +7, Armour Check Penalty -, Speed Adjustment -, Upgrade Slots 0, Bulk L, Comes fitted with Gray Force Field, Mk 2 Thermal Capacitor, Radiation Buffer and Tensile Reinforcement.

ISEA Elite: Level 15, Cost 250000, EAC +20, KAC +16, Max Dex Bonus +8, Armour Check Penalty -, Speed Adjustment -, Upgrade Slots 0, Bulk L, Comes fitted with Green Force Field, Mk 2 Thermal Capacitor, Radiation Buffer & Tensile Reinforcement.

ISEA Specialist: Level 20, Price 2050000, EAC +24, KAC +20, Max Dex Bonus +9, Armour Check Penalty -, Speed Adjustment -, Upgrade Slots 0, Bulk L, Comes fitted with Prismatic Force Field, Mk 3 Thermal Capacitor, Radiation Buffer, Tensile Reinforcement, Backup Generator and Close Combat Computer (Ignore penalties to close combat attacks).

Prismatic Force Field 2 (2), Mk 3 Thermal Capacitor 1 (3), Radiation Buffer 1 (4), Tensile Reinforcement 1 (5), Backup Generator 1 (6), Close Combat Computer 1 (7)

IS Combat Picks

Primarily meant as an aid to climbing and capable of penetrating even Gelida’s super-dense ice, the IS Combat Picks have also become a weapon of choice for some special forces operatives and bounty hunters.

IS Combat Picks, Level 6, Cost 5000, Damage 1d4 P, Bulk L, Special: Analog, Penetrating, Bonus to climbing of +2/+3 (single/pair).

#RPG The Cave of Gold Released!

CaveOfGoldFrontThumbIn this adventure for the Tales of Gor roleplaying game, the characters are charged with investigating peculiar tales of a golden cave on the fringes of the Northern Forest.

Jailbreaks, bandits, panther girls and strange monsters all stand in their way, before they finally uncover a plot that has been unfurling for almost fifty years.

This book also contains Games Master tips for portraying alien mindsets and using smell in your games, especially with reference to the Priest Kings.

PDF Download

Print on Demand

gor_slavegirl_alphaFor the next couple of days you can use the check-out code FIFTEEN to get a discount on the PoD.

Gor Tshirts are coming!

#Starfinder – Starfinder Month: Themes

237412

Character Themes give an additional level of flavour and characterisation in Starfinder and that’s almost always good. The examples given in the base book are:

  • Ace Pilot
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Icon
  • Mercenary
  • Outlaw
  • Priest
  • Scholar
  • Spacefarer
  • Xenoseeker
  • Themeless

There’s obvious overlap with class choices, allowing specialisation or broadening of character capabilities.

For the kinds of game more suited to MotSP I’d want to see some additions.

  • Animist
  • Blademaster
  • Fanatic
  • Gearhead
  • Gunslinger
  • Hoodlum
  • Mastermind
  • Noble
  • Officer
  • Seducer
  • Sleaze
  • Zwilnik

Taking ‘Noble’ as an example…

Noble: +1 Wis

You have been bred for generations and trained since you were born for comportment and the capacity to lead. A strangely high number of interstellar societies bind themselves using tradition, and monarchies give them a strong sense of identity. Thanks to genetic engineering and technological learning tools, the ruling class can now be empowered to be truly benevolent dictators, not that it always takes. Still, you have a sagacity and an aura of command that comes from your noble birth and which gives you a great deal of influence. You can’t buy class, you have to be born to it.

Theme Knowledge (1st)
You have an encyclopaedic knowledge of bloodlines, heraldry, marriages and relationships between noble houses. When attempting a skill check to gain knowledge relating to noble (or mercantile or religious) positions, relationships or history you gain a +1 bonus. You gain Culture as a class skill, or gain a +1 bonus if it already is a class skill. You also gain an ability bonus of +1 to Wisdom.

Poise (6th)
You have the noble bearing that comes with your blood and your rigorous manners. You gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate towards anyone who recognises your authority and standing (subjects, diplomats, fellow nobles etc).

Authority (12th)
Your bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate doubles to +4 and even those who do not acknowledge your standing cannot help but be impressed by you, giving you +2 to these checks against them.

Court Intrigue (18th)
You can hold court up to twice a day, officiating and meeting with people for at least an hour. At the end of the courtly session, you recover 1 Resolve point. Holding court is also a good way to gather information using Culture, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense Motive and Profession skills. Tests you make of these kinds during court gain a +2 bonus in addition to other bonuses.

#Starfinder – Starfinder Month – Introduction

Alienf09

June is going to be Starfinder Month here on the Postmortem Studios blog. I’ve been thinking of doing a Machinations of the Space Princess conversion and some rules modifications for the game and that’ll be the core of what I do this month. I’ll take some suggestions too though, so if you have a picture of a cool spaceship, alien or some sci-fi gear you’d like to see statted up for MotSP or Starfinder (or both), comment with a link to the image below!

This month’s content is going to be free for everyone, sometimes – however – I paywall what I write other than a preview. If you want to support me you can do so for as little as $1 a month on Patreon or 1 token a month on Minds.com.

13526800816820

So what we’re going to do, to start with, is we’re going to go through the Starfinder book, chapter by chapter, doing some modified rules and some sexy, sleazy, swords and sci-fi twists.

You can expect balance to be thrown halfway out the window, racial options to be thrown wide open, some potential new classes and feats for your characters to take. You can also expect the armour and weapons ‘levels’ to be fixed in a way that – at least to me – seems less retarded, some new starship options and combat rules and psionics and tech magic.

You’ll also see some new religions and whatever the heck else turns up in my fevered little brain while I’m working away.

You can also consider this a dry run for a potential Starfinder version-book of Machinations of the Space Princess.

#RPG #TTRPG #DnD – Things by me that aren’t sold by me!

You can get a lot of stuff on RPGNOW, and some of my freelance work is up there too. If you buy using these links, I also get a kickback, which is helpful to me! So worth pimping some of these out! Plus, I wrote them, so you know they’re cool. I’ll get a kickback if you use this link to purchase anything from there, so if you want to help me out on a more regular basis, you can bookmark that link and use it whenever you go to RPGNOW!

57401

Like a hell of a lot of other game designers, I did a lot of stuff for D&D 3.5/Pathfinder. Amongst those, I wrote a good chunk of CITY OF STORMREACH for Eberron, bringing the setting from D&D Online (which I was in the position of having played) into tabletop. It was a bit of a challenging project with far ‘too many cooks’ making it hard to coordinate, but people seemed to like it!

Books of feats and other rules faff were a plage on 3rd edition, and I did more than my fair share of spreading that plague, but always with an eye to making things fun rather than just making things for the sake of it. I did a couple of Unorthodox books, RANGED COMBATANTS and MONK FEATS.

Louis Porter Junior is a rapid-fire powerhouse of OGL material and I worked with him on two things. One of these, the underdeveloped Pirates of the Bronze Sky, had me fleshing out races such as the KAYLATHEON and TOCARRA. With a little work these might even make interesting character races for Starfinder.

Much more complete was our horror/post apocalyptic setting ‘Obsidian Twilight’ over which I had a lot more influence. There’s a lot of material available for that, some of it free. So do check out the OBSIDIAN TWILIGHT CAMPAIGN SETTING and other material like THE WELL OF DEAD FLESH, OBSIDIAN APOCALYPSE, and more.

I also wrote an unusual adventure ‘Cross City Race’ for 4e in DUNGEON, but easily adaptable to other versions. That was good enough for me to win signed copies of the 4th Edition core books. Cool then, a source of eternal shame now!

For 5th Edition I’ve written a couple of third party products, freelance, for Asatania. THE PRISONER OF SPUR ROCK and THE NEW MINE MASTERS, which have been praised for accessibility and atmospheric writing.

Way back in the mists of time, when men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures were called halflings, I wrote a d20/OGL PUBLISHING GUIDE. Some of this is out of date, but since the OGL is still being used it’s not quite as out of date as it could have been. You may still find it useful.

Outside of D&D I’ve written material for lots of people. Not all of it is still available, it seems, or I’m not listed as a contributor, but of those that do there’s still plenty.

84193For Victoriana I contributed material to FACES IN THE SMOKE and FAULKNER’S MISCELLANY. I always preferred a more grounded type of Steampunk, so you may find the parts I wrote – at least – suited to other Steampunk games than the Victorian Shadowrun that Victoriana brings to mind.

While my relationship with the SLA Industries team has become a little fraught since Gamergate they still make very good stuff, and Dave Allsop is an artistic genius with a mind for horror that is unparalleled in games media, in my opinion. More recent material the publish with my name to it include URSA CARRIEN and HUNTER SHEETS 2.

If you’ve like my other fiction, you might enjoy the story I contributed to the DARK HARVEST collection, a number of stories set in the Legacy of Frankenstein RPG setting.

Some of my stuff has been republished in nicer format by Chronicle City, where I am still partnered with keystone of the UK RPG scene, Angus Abranson. We hope to get back into production there eventually, meanwhile you can buy the following things there:

FOREVER SUMMER: You play as a gang of children solving mysteries in the town Oceanview. If you liked Goonies, Monster Squad, Explorers, Eerie Indiana or even Stranger Things you might find something fun here.

@CTIV8: This is the second edition of my activist game, drawing on influences such as Anonymous and Global Frequency, it’s about ordinary – but skilled – people, making a difference in the world. This second edition is much tighter and more playable.

ARS GOETIA: If you’re after an ‘old school’ magic system that isn’t just the same old ‘whiz-bang’ Vancian magic or similar, this is for you. Based on the Goetia, a ‘real’ book of magic, this allows you to create a magician whose power and skill derives from his pacts and command over demons, angels and spirits – and whose soul is always at risk. This would work well with RPGPundit’s Lion & Dragon, with a bit of kitbashing.

dice-png-transparent-images--png-all-4100 SEEDS: I still publish most of these myself, but several turbocharged editions were created for Cubicle 7 and the rights have since moved to Chronicle City. So if you want the more professionally laid out versions of 100 FANTASY, 100 SCI FI or 100 HORROR adventure seeds, you know where to look!