Old School Hack variant setting.
GREAT MURDEROUS LAND
Old school hack is a system I really want to play more of. The awesome point system did not seem to work that great on g+ hang outs, and that is my main source of gaming.
So that has made be distracted by other things, but it's definitely on my brain.
Anyway, GREAT MURDEROUS LAND is an idea that came out of Jez Gordon riffing off some grand titles and shit being talked about making a setting for it. Now me being one to take a joke long past its natural shelf life, I on and off again monkey punched some kind of red box system for it.
Anyway that slowed to a trickle (a monkey scratching?) and then I decided to can it.
And then I was like oh I could quickly finish it off as an Old School Hack variant.
So here I go.
GREAT MURDEROUS LAND is a post apoc fantasy setting. Think a mash up of tank girl, mad max, wizards, and..the dying earth trilogy.
A big red desert land with ancient and surreal rock formations with sporadic ruins and oasis.
Up the far north is thriving rain forests teeming with dinosaurs and time exiled jaded decadent immortal sorcerers in the style of an Indonesian Mobieus
Deep South becomes increasingly forested , and a maze of mountain ranges, fiords and sounds, in a unlikely patch work geography. Inhabited by fierce birds of the land and sky, grounded bats, and weta the size of horses. This eventually gives way to a vast ice land , the realm of terrible space moose , goliath white bears, and spindly towers shooting beams of light into the sky, one of the few remaining structures of the Stupids (as the ancients are known).
In this land , populations of humans (now a riotous mix of mutations , ethnicity, and animal parts) are clumped in villages, trading towns, and citadels. There is no organization of population beyond that of a days walk region. The Guilds however, extend beyond petty boundarys.
Each Guild is centered around an applied philosophy, a philosophy which gives them techniques and potencies beyond that of everyday talents.
Beyond this in common, the Guilds are diverse. Some are knight errands, traveling peace keepers and monster slayers. Others, assassins and mercenaries, or scholars of unbelievable things.
You character is a member of one of these Guilds. Guilds have no over reaching political goals, the individuals are free to apply their skills however they see fit.
Great Cat of nine tails
Sharpened stop sign
(note: most peoples mental concept of a boomerang is actually the one used as a practise thing or for hunting birds. These stats refer to the one which was used for beating people with and skimming along the rock hard ground to break kangaroo legs. )
Ludicrously Big Tetsubo
leather, inner tube hauberk , hide, sports equipment, road kill (flattened ,dried and sewn together) croc or dinosaur skin
Chain (made from bicycle and motorbike chains), tortoise plate (either a single shell or made out of more smaller ones), bone, street sign ( bend crudely to wrap around chest), phone books (duct taped together, also made from encyclopedias and glossy magazines), car tyres (cut into strips and overlayed like scale mail)
Heavy armours : Boiler (parts of an old pot bellied stove), car parts, Ned Kelly ( crude plate as made famous by Ned Kelly), Glyptodont hide
Brutal armours (very heavy) :
are works of artifice and madness renowned and feared : they include such things as the MostofaCar plate, RendererBeetleChitin, HalfaTractor and lost battle suits of the Stupids (as the ancients are commonly referred to)
They are such things as a thick metal oven tray, a tortoise shell, a cupboard door , a stop sign, as well as the classic small or buckler shield. Also excessive Patroons , big spiky bracers or flared stylish Vambrace , and gauntlets count as small shields. You may not stack this bonus with additional shields, re-enforced bin lids, small tables, and your classic knight or round style shield, manhole covers, triceratops head frills.
“Chaos As Cover”
The squabblers guild teaches exploiting opportunity , using chaos as cover, and risk as a jilted lover. What ever that means. This guilds skills are passed down in a loose apprenticeship system. They are loose cannons, mercenaries, thrill seekers and bounty hunters. Outlaws
Risk Suss: you may make a cunning check in order to get a general impression of the game statistics and overall threat or capability ilf a monster, person, trap or hazard.
You may also use to get a general sense of risk or danger.
Limitation: You are a chronic trouble maker, lever puller ,adrenalin junkie and generally all around sugar crazed child
As per the thief talent "Distraction" but using your Commitment instead. This talent works by unleashing a torrent of abuse , mockery and challenges, luring or provoking the target where you want them to be
Escalate : (rested)
You make a series of unbelievable brash and reckless actions (such as setting yourself on fire, tying your weapon to your head, making as much noise as possible, shooting the balloon or more than likely all of the above). This forces the d.m to do atleast 3 things that "feed the bowl" but makes any awesome points you spend count as if you had spend 1 more than you had until the end of this encounter.
Exploit Weakness (as fighter)
Charger (as fighter)
Quick Reactions (as thief)
Lv1 : Tetchy
lv5: Rancorous Rex
"we are not in the least afraid of ruins"
Agitators: Subscribe to philosophies of barely coherent social darwinism and oppose all forms of charity , privilege, status quo, inheritance and child-parent relationships. They rarely reveal themselves as Agitators, preferring to disguise themselves as soapbox speakers of whatever is a undercurrent political stance. Other notably activitys include vandalism, burning rich houses, swapping babys and kidnapping children. The guild passes on its secrets hidden in
classifieds in the newspapers, bizarre manifesto, incoherent arguments, and initiates new blood
from childhood with in the manner of Fagin and his child thieves.
ShitStir: (rested) You make a charm check to shift the reactions of an individual or a crowd against
someone or thing. The individual or crowd cannot be swayed if they know you are trying to
shitstir. You can shift the targets reaction from Love to Like, Like to Neutral, Neutral to Dislike,
Dislike to Hostile, Hostile to Riotous. This takes at least half a hour of conversation. You may
only shitstir one individual or group of people in a week.
You fear complacency and stagnation, and abhor being beholden to others.
Disguise: (constant) You may make a awareness check to disguise yourself as someone different, given access to the appropriate disguises and makeup. You can also make an awareness check to for general blending in and looking like you belong.
Work The Room (as cleric)
FireStarter: (rested)Given a day to spend going about bars, and social centres, and with a
successful charm check, you can trigger a riot if there is a reasonable amount of social unrest. How much it spreads or is contained depends on d.m
Cloud Reason: (arena) You can call upon strange potency to thicken the thoughts of others, making it hard to think clearly and act decisively. Anyone not currently parallel to your aims in the current and neighbouring arenas suffers -2 to Daring checks
Sew Doubt: (arena) As Cloud Reason, but instead doubt flickers into the hearts of those not for your aims. They suffer -2 to Commitment checks.
level3: Cage Rattler
"We Will Punish You"
Armoured warriors with the ability to rebound magics. Avengers and vigilantes.
Teach their skills in small informal schools like a martial dojo. Philosophies of justice and
standing up for the underdog, but slightly in a “it’s all about me” batman kind of way.
Chastigators are stubborn and determined trackers and amateur psychologists. You
make awareness checks with anyone you have a grudge against to track them andl in a more general “what would I do if I were that fucking kangaroo grog stealer, would I
be disguised as a apple cart pusher or hiding on a rooftop with a bowling ball?”
It’s the d.m’s call if you have enough of a feel for the person to use this one them. Generally it
means at least one conversation or battle with them, or 3-4 hours researching them, asking
questions of people that knew them, or going through their stuff.
You cannot let a slight nor favour go unchecked or rewarded.
Make An Oath (as dwarf)
Face Breaker: (constant)
If you have a grudge against someone or they are between you and the target of your grudge all your attack die are face die against them.
Armour Of Scars: (as fighter)
Counter Spell (as wizard)
Bulwark of the weak (arena): You can make commitment rolls on behalf (if they want you to or not) of anyone in your arena. If you fail however, they and not you , are effected as per normal, and you cannot spend any awesome points (or use this ability again), until the end of the encounter, or until they make a successful commitment check against something.
"Keep Calm, and Do as I Tell You"
Hammer wielding fighters dedicated to stability, preservation, and not being too hasty now. This guild teaches their skills in a formal gyms with this purpose, and runs programs kind of like the boy scouts.
Sorting Things Out: You can calm or sober people up.After addressing a person or persons and successfully making a charm check everyone within earshot of you calms down and/or can make another save if they have been affected by some kind of mood effecting drug or spell or advanced manipulation technique.
Busybody. Seriously , you always feel compelled to give your opinion or step in, or try and sort some one else's problems out.
Hammer Mastery.(Constant) You are +1 to any test using a
hammer. In combat, you can choose: +1 to hit or +1 wound
+2 to saves versus any effect trying to change your emotions towards any extreme (but not away from)
Armour of Scars (as fighter)
Command:(rested) You can shout a one word command at someone (or someones if they all are engaged in the same activity), roll commitment vs there commitment , if they lose they must immediately do this action. It must be an action they can normally consciously do, ie not sleep or die, but fall or drop would work.
Nay!:(rested) If you have not already acted in this round (but can have declared something that has not resolved yet) you may interrupt someone elses use of a arena or rested ability, and if they cannot beat you in an opposed commitment check they ability automatically fails. This counts as your action for this round
"Pain is just weakness leaving the body"
Maddening devotees of pain and running. Fight with cat'O'nine tails of vast ruinous size. Can take on others wounds, and share they own out. Graft a dik-dik's face onto their own at first level, then moving up to the duiker, and later springbok as they progress in their status.
Applicants wanting to become a flagellantelope must apply to a master who will make them undergo grueling challenges before beginning their training.
WayOfWounds: You may make awareness checks when studying a corpse, injury or scene of violence to learn the source of the violence.
You may not wear armour or use a shield. If subject to healing magics , you must hurt yourself at the same time.
Add +4 to any commitment rolls involving running
Add +2 to any brawn or daring rolls involving jumping
Inflict a wounds on yourself and either inflict 3 wounds automatically automatically in your or and adjacent arena, or assign 3 wounds between anyone in your arena (so 3 people could receive a wound each)
Physical punishment and discipline have toughened your body. You can make
a Brawn test to reduce wounds inflicted from each attack by 1.
Share the Cup(arena)
Inflict one wound upon yourself to heal 2 wounds in another who is in your arena.
"How To Disappear Completely"
Covert sneakerists, who convert their essence to that of a inverted reality.
Teach a kind of murdery zen buddhist philosophy . If you wanna join you have to have the initiative and the cunning to find and enter one of their bizarrely hidden shrines. As they progress deeper into the black wisdom of the antipode the colour leechs from their eyes and skin, and then personal effects , until around level 4 they appear as inverted black and white photography people.
Insinuation: You can see in the dark juuuust fine. In addition you get +2 to any checks (other than ones directly because of a talent) involving sneaking, picking locks, hiding or remaining unoticed
You really hate doing or saying anything the direct or obvious way, and will avoid doing so to the very best of your ability.
Shadowkin (as goblin)
If no-one is directly paying attention to you, you can automatically move to another arena, as well as take another action.
Make a cunning vs someones commitment check , if you succeed an effect they just targeted with you does it opposite.
Photophage:(rested) choose a light source in the same arena as you, the light source no longer emits light and you heal one wound.
Dark Path (as Forest step for elves, but replace Forest with Dark environments)
"One draws power from where one stands , and with power one may stand where they choose"
Stalwart defenders, mages of gravity and rocks. Talk about leylines and stuff all the time. Like dashing old “lets catalogue everything” victorians, but not genocidal. Still patronizing though. Teach their guild skills at “universities” which are called that even if it’s a tin shed with 5 people in it.
lodenode: you are naturally magnetically sensitive. You always know which way is north unless near a large amount of magnetic ore, in that case you know where that is instead. You may make intelligence checks to sense a proximity and general direction of large amounts of metal (about a ton) or electricalness (equivalent of a generator capable of powering a small house), Up to a kilometre range.
Podeans cast their spells with weird humming, which is mostly ultrasonic. If they can draw a decent breathe of air , they can hum. They can cast in Magically induced silence if they are still in skin contact with a large amount of earth/sand/rock. If they are not in contact with the earth they need to be able to make noise to get the spell to work.
They must sleep in contact with the earth to count as rested. You sleep fine on bare earth/rock/sand, and that’s bare earth that’s still in contact with more earth. Like atleast city block worth of earth/rock/whatever. This always counts as a good nights sleep for you, unless it’s below freezing or 50 degrees.
Geode:(rested, only one pet rock at a time)
You have a pet rock. It can float around head slowly, and it’s pretty much a familar. You can sense the electrical fields of things around it with enough sensitivity to register that of living things. If it is destroyed you permanently lose a point of Commitment. It talks in your mind with weird rock vibes
Orbiters:(arena) You can make up to 3 small stone or metal objects move around as you desire. They move about with as much speed and force as if you were carrying them (but use your commitment instead of brawn ). If you use them to shield you , you get +1 armour class
Surge: (as magic missile for magic user, but inflicts 1 more damage on anyone standing in water or wearing metal and one less damage on wood or other non-conductive materials)
You summon up reserves of electricity from the earth and discharge into a target
Internal Gyroscope:( Constant) Gains +2 to checks or saves to manage treacherous footing, like
heaving wet ship decks or patchy rope bridges or the rooftops of market stalls.
Magnetize:(arena): As a focus action magnetize a metal object you can touch. It will pull any (or be pulled towards if it's lighter than) other metal objects in the arena towards it, using your commitment score in the case of any brawn checks that might result.
Lightly clad fighters specializing in acrobatics and dragon pole. Capable of balancing themselves atop their weapon in the midst of furious melee
Philosophy is something akin to parkour and/or zen. Pass skills on in a apprentice type system.
Inherent:Vaultitude: Using a reach weapon (that in someway is a staff) in Open arena gives you a +2 bonus to any rolls to do with attack , impeding or moving in combat.
Most of your talents require a staff of some kind. You also do not get the arena bonuses for any other type of weapon other than reach.
Acrobatics( Arena)Cut falling damage in half, rounding down. Also, as a focus action, maneuver to
attack a foe ignoring the foe’s reach weapon AC, shield, and 1 level of armor.
Perfect Balance (constant): You can stand on a rope, upright pole or other absurd place like it was the most solid of ground. You never need to check to see if you can keep you balance, unless another factor is a foot (like grease, or someone sweeping you). In that case you get +2 to the check
Maypole of Mayhem (rested) as a focus action you can resolve your attack roll against everyone in your arena, by spinning around you stationary pole and bicycle kicking everyone
Crane Swooping (Constant) If you roll a face die you can choose to move that target into an arena of your choice.
Skyscraper (constant) If you start in an arena other than tight or cluttered you can jump 4 times the height and length of other characters, with a running pole vault.
lv4:Knight of the Post
lv5:Queen of Wands
Another 6 murder guides coming when I get some sleeeeep