Thursday 20 November 2014

Worlds Expamded, Very Big Spaceship

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I did another fleshed out campaign setting for the 52 page rule book (in the tools side bar) as a follow up to this post here

This World is a Very Big Space Ship. It's not entirely real and it travels through peoples dreams and some of them get in.
It is mostly composed of Meadows, Corridors, Engines, Sleepers , BulkHeads and Nightmare Castles.

Meadows are huge rooms often 20 kilometres in size. They have a disconcerting mix of plants from all different biomes and time periods growing. They are essential to the function of the ship. Most of the player races are supposedly descendants of species grown to maintain the meadows.
The fruit and nuts and less identifiable things growing here easily supply to the nutritional needs of those that live here.

Corridors connect the meadows .  They are also vast and sprawling, but more conventionally constructed from steel, wood and obsidian.

Engines are found in nooks, alcoves and chambers off from the corridors .They are huge and like cathedrals worn smooth under 10,000 years of rain. They do things, occasionally. Some of them have interfaces and can request the players attention to be directed at this nightmare castle or another. They usually have a few Attendants , greatly variable in power and function. Other than that an Engine can be broken by anyone willing to spend the time dismantling , though its parts are not rare or valuable and presumedly they do something 

The Sleepers sleep in great ice, more mountains , shapes in mathematical law than things.

Bulkheads are doors that lead to the dreams outside. Some seem to vent waste into that space , other seen forth Mercury Squid to harvest things. Sometimes they just swing open and really should be shut . Going through a dream is a great short cut to get to another part of the ship vast, though the nature of each dream is its own.

Nightmare Castles are when dreams get into the ship and make themselves at home. Some are merely physical like a glistening slime or an ashen stain. Attendants from the Engines usually clean these up, eventually. Other NIghtmare Castles refer to a colony or a settlement of sentient beings , who would otherwise vanish with the dream they are from. NIghtmare Castles generally have their own physical laws around them. The Engines send their Attendants to dismantle Nightmare Castles where they can and ask of people that live in the meadows to do so .

Maybe many generations ago this was more hotly pursued , but the those living in the meadows always thought it was best life to the Engines Attendants and only the most zealous or provoked attempt to destroy with any real motivation .

Some meadow dwellers move into in Nightmare castles. There is crime and money and art and all kinds of new and things change here.

The players will gain Exp from stealing and destroying from Nightmare Castles or , alternatively, advancing the interests of one. There is no need pick a side , though you can gain exp from only one side each game. The Engines and The Nightmare Castles reinforce those that serve them like roots pushing through soil.

The Player Races are:

Nemos are dreamers that got caught in their own dream and now live here (or the descendants there-of). They look like a child grown up, but a childs idea of grown up so with too long limb or a childs proportions on adult size or just too big eyes or some other caricaturation

Nemos can choose to be unaffected by any aspect of a dream or a Nightmare Castle, but just one aspect at a time. So ignore the antigravity but be effected by the words igniting toads or whatever

Pink Elephants:

Pink Elephants are Pink elephants with dextrous snouts and pads. They can expand/contract their mass and size to twice or one half. They are most commonist to the meadows


Shadows are very flat and black, like planarians with variable limbs or a Balinese shadow puppet They can have all the advantages of being very flat and black. They were originally from the Corridors but that matters much less these days

Tooth Fairy:
Tooth fairys look mostly like people with sprinkling of glitter and insect parts as drawn by a child. Not always the most stable of children either. They used to attend the Bulk heads and some still fish with the Mercury Squid. Mercury Squid and Tooth Fairys are the only thing that can volutary bring something from a Dream into the ship, though Tooth Fairys are limited to just one thing. This has made them more than most to seek the Nightmare Castles, having a skill valuable there .

Any other races or thing could also be considered, all things dreamed of could of immigrated here with the Nightmare Castles

The Classes are aligned based on their approach to challenges. Confronters go head on and directly . Sneaks are basically the opposite of this favouring  subtly, indirection, and ambiguity  . Snipers favour precision and a ruthless pragmatism and don't hesitate to stay the hell out of way.  Skin thieves obviously fill the last option and wear things skins to turn into them.

(Athletics and Stealth as the page rule book, Notice combines Notice detail and Hear Noise and new skills are Discombobulate  and Ascern, and are described after classes.)

Confronters confront, pushing at things to see the truth, rising to challenges and matching their stubborness to others Strength
Melee: +2
Saves: Body and Mind are plus 8 speed is plus 3

Bonus to the following skills:

hitpoints roll 4 d6 and take highest.. Apply constitution bonus if positive, ignore if negative

Can use any armour or weapon

level 1 : No: If you can directly interfere with what someone is doing you can make the same kind of roll as them (for example an attack roll) and if you get higher you prevent them from doing that. This counts as your "turn" for the round. If the action you are interfering with doesn't have a roll associated with it (like a hypnotic charm both parties make an appropriate save or stat check and if you get highest you stop them doing it)
The form of interference can be yelling over the top of someone trying to cast a spell or repeating what they say in a dumb voice or it can be a physically interruption like a tackle . It has to be the same "form" of action though. So you could throw rocks at someone shooting at you but not do a flying tackle.

level 3 No Fucking Way:  That thing about how you have to do the same form of action? Yeah that doesn't matter anymore. You can yell at someone charging you to confuse them or demand answers from an Spicey Arsonist as they try and set you on fire
level 5: Stubbocerous : When nailed with an attack or spell or other effect you can make a body or mind save to have to take effect next round instead. You can keep putting it off as long as you keep making saves , but only one attack at a time.

Sneaks are sneaky.  Greedy for secrets and strategies  and complicated alternate pathways.

Melee: +0
Missile: +1
Body:+3 Mind:+7 Speed:+9

Bonus to the following skills:

Hit points are roll 2d6 and keep the highest. Apply con modifier, minimum hitpoint is one

Can use any armour or weapons

level 1: Sneakings: If a player has not declared their character to be doing anything they are always assumed to be hiding or  just naturally  blending or remaining  unnoticed. Unless specifically known about and looked for they will not be the first targeted in an combat.

level 3: Knowings: at the start of each session the g.m must pass a note to the Sneak player containing a secret that is at least somewhat relevant.

level 5: The d.m must give you access to their credit cards. Misdirections: you can "No Wait!" an action before the end of the round declaring that you are doing something else / or  additionally  instead. Not: you must do this before the dice are rolled, but can do after the immediate consequences are announced. This is not a time reverse power but more of reflection that the character has amazing reflexes and preparations. Assume that the character started to do the action and then quickly responded. So if you pressed a button to release a poison gas you could use this power to declare you actually are jumping away from the gas or putting on a gas mask.
 Basically it's like you can get an additional action after the repercussions of an action have been announced. I should of just explained it like that instead. Fuck it. I'm not rewriting it all the text is up there and I can't find the eraser,

Sniper philosophy is about having the maximum results from the littlest action possible. Analysis and decisive action and not being anyway near the trouble. Also shooting people while hiding somewhere. Don't forget that. The word sniper refers to someone who can shoot the elusive snipe.

 Missile +3
Body: +5  Mind: +7 Speed+5

Bonuses to the following skills:

Hit points are roll 2d6 and keep the highest. Apply con modifier, minimum hitpoint is one

Can use any armour or weapons

level 1: Grievous shootings when rolling damage for a missile weapon you can roll twice and take the one you want.
Trick shot: IF you use a one on your missile damage you can do a bonus effect like force an oppenent to save or drop their weapon or have Disadvantage on their next attack

level 3: Hinge Pin: you can use your Notice checks to tell the most crucial bit of something, the bit that if removed causes the most amount of damage. This can be a social infrastructure, physical structure or magical bereavement etc.
level 5: Carnival of Carnage You may select 2 targets for a single missile attack via richants , impalements or pass throws

Skin Thief
Skin Thieves believe in adaptation and using what others have done for themselves, and discarding anything the moment it is no longer useful.

Body:+3 Speed:+5 Mind: +11
Bonuses to the following skills:

Hit points are roll 3d6 and keep the highest. Apply con modifier .
Can use any weapons or armour

level 1: Skin Taking. If a skin
 (or significant amount of the things body , a rule of thumb being atleast 10 % of its mass or 50 % of its outer covering.. Skin is used to mean this in any text below)
is worn by a skin thief they become that thing for all intents and purposes , except mental stats (intelligence and wisdom)  become an average of the creatures and the skin thieves. If the hit dice of the original creature is higher than your level , the amount that it is greater is multiplied by 10 and used as percentile.
Roll this percentile at the start of any situation in where the original creatures nature  would dictate a different course of action than the characters. If the percentile rolled is under the g.m takes control instead.

. (you might like to have the player keep control instead , as long as they play appropriately. This works better thematically , with the Skin Thief still having some wiggle room to manipulate the drives )

If the creature is still alive double this percentage,
as the creature does not have to dead , just separate from a large enough portion of their body. This includes shed skins from anthropods or reptiles or saving enough hair from a mammal.

Changing from the Ship to a Dream or Nightmare castle causes the skin to be instantly shed.

level 3: Flesh Speaking: as speak with dead but can be used on any body part or fluid of atleast 2 kilos in weight or spread over at least half as square metre, regardless on the condition of the owner

level 5: Children of the Stomach: instead of wearing a skin the Skin thief can consume it and vomit it out later as an action. The skin takes the form of the original being acts under the control of the Skin thief, unless of greater hitdice than the skin thief, in which case the percentile control system is used.

Each of the Stomach Child's hitdice is rolled twice with the worst taken to determine its hitpoints.

Any skin kept in the stomach adds its weight to the emcumberence of the character, assume a line for each skin of humanoid size.  Although immobility is reached at maximum encumberece additional skins can be ingested, each requiring a Body save. Failing a body save causes the death of the Skin Thief and the immediate release of all the  Stomach Children who will remain alive until they see their reflection.


Discombobulate: Discombobulate is rolled whenever a player attempts to justify how the Nature of a Dream or Nightmare Castle work in their favour and the g.m does not have immediate surety of the likeness of it. It is can used to determine adjustment to disorientation from weird gravity or geometry or otherwise rapidly adapt to an alien situation.

Ascern: Ascern is used like notice but rolled to determine clues towards the nature of a Nightmare Castle , Dream or the physiological reality of a sentient being.

Examples of Nightmare Castle and Dream Natures (note Nightmare Castles are almost interchangeable with Dream , except the Nature will be adapted , harnessed or somehow pragmatizised by the founders)

1. Violent Cartoon: ridiculous slapstick damage. Double damage from any source unless the being responds in a spectacular and overboard fashion. Ascern to notice this, and a successful Discombobulate roll means damage is halfed.

2. The more afraid you are of something the more a distance will stretch in localised fashion, effectively slowing you.. Fear as the spell effect effectively paralyzes   Discomboliate rolls to resist fear. If a Nightmare Castle people will be caged near their phobia as way of creating additional space in a room. Sometimes a funnel channels a substance desirable to be compressed through the pockets of the terrified person causing it to be spilled and contained in the localized space. The unlucky person is then shot and the space snaps smaller compressing the substance into a tidy brick.

3. Speculating about something has a 1 in 3 chance of making it happen here. This is extremely dangerous if a Nightmare Castle.

4. 1d6 objects or aspects of the environment are trying to kill you at all times. Discombobulate rolls to try and select what objects are trying to kill you

5. Mirrors and similar reflective surfaces contain an opposite version of you , releasable if broken. Nightmare Castles will have some insane clone war shit going on

6. No one can die here, but still are inconvenienced and hurt by physical damage

7. Your weight here depends on your mood. The more negative you are the heavier. Assume a variance of 1% to 1000% of original weight. Discombobulate to try and switch moods rapidly. If Nightmare Castle expect people to use weaponized (or mechanized like operating a machine)  mood swings via drugs or scrap books of sad/happy pictures

8. Relative gravity , like the closest and largest surface is down. Discombobulate to make this work for you.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

This is not that list of questions for your campaign

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF So Jeff Rients of future man eating fame wrote a list of 20 useful and entirely reasonable questions for your campaign.

This is not that table.

This is an example of the other type of questions players will ask you and you should get some practise answering them now before all those bright keen faces are turned you with the first input they have ever done to a roleplaying game

1. Is there weaponized Squid? 
(follow up questions are below)  Can I start with one? How much are they? Can I have one as a pet/horse/best friend? Can I play one? Can I dual wield them?

2. Is there undead robots?
follow up questions involve the nature of consciousness and the existence of the soul in your campaign and can I play one? or have one as a pet or a gun that shoots them?

3. Do Icebergs walk across the land ?
can I be from one? Is godzilla frozen in one? Can I play a godzilla?

4. What do birds know?
(no further questions)

5. Does medicine work like it does here but no-one knows CPR or does it work like a cartoon so I cure amnesia with more head injurys or does it work like medieval euro people thought it did with demons in your teeth?
Do I start with demons in my teeth? Do I know CPR? Can I invent CPR? Can I give myself powers with additionally organs? What planet is in ascension in my spleen midmorning?

6. I want to play a hobbit but really I'm the fleas controlling the hobbit. Where is that in the book?
Could I take over a new guy with my fleas? Or another players guy?

7. How much could I rent my body out to spirits before I lost control of my character?
What are the names of the spirits? Are they cool?

8.What level do I have to get my character to before I am the g.m?
Can I half be the g.m at an early level? What about when you leave the room?

9. What is the dumbest thing I can spend my money on?
no dumber than that but cool. Like a pet with a pet with a weapon? Can pets dual wield?

10. How ugly can my guy be? Like Can I basically be a walking fish?
No wait I wanna be a walking fish. What is the reverse scuba technology like in this world?

11.The lamp oil? Is that like cooking oil, kerosene, white spirits or napalm?
How much can I buy of it?

12. How does physics work in this world?
What makes the planets stay up? Are there planets? Is it elves? Can I play an elf from another planet? Does everything work like how we though it did in the past? Can I discover stuff and pass it off as a magic? Is possible to use the scientific process to organise the concepts of magic?

13. Can I start with weapon hands?
What about crab claws? Can  I play a crab with human hands? Can I have one as a pet? Do they live on a different planet? Can we go there?

14. What cultures approve of cannibalism?
What about if we are super rich? Aren't rich cannibals be default , I mean if you think about it? How is the class struggle here anyway? Is there a Karl Marx? How receptive are people to the ideas of anarcho-syndicalism here?

15. Can my character not be real , but a hallucination of another character?
But I still wanna be able to do stuff. What are the stats for that?

16. Which is the rome but with lava fire country in this world? 
What about the ice circus country? Can I have a pet from there?

17. Can I invent an insect?
as a player like right now I tell you an insect and you put it in the game? Or as a character? Can my spells be insects that then exist in this world after I cast them? Can I play an insect who is actually a spell cast in this world? What about as a pet?

18. Is there reverse fire?
What about reverse water or earth? What do they wear there?

19. How much money can I make inventing siege engines?
Can I play a siege engine? In what ways are animals used in siege engines?

20.What is the most significant tree to the economy of the starting place?
Is it really a tree or maidens stitched together? If I play a maiden do I get spells or do people that worship me get spells but only if I'm mad at them?

Thursday 6 November 2014

Away from that MOnster cupboard encounter

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF 3 weeks already where has the time gone.
Well mainly it's gone working on The Velvet Horizon Bestiary  and skool and going man am I tired from skool.
Also the blog posts I keep drafting keep growing in complexity and the old days of just writing up a thought experiment as far as I could take it are faded.
Well not faded but  it's hard to just through ideas out without feeling disappointment that I wasn't taking to the time to brood them into a more completed form, like a book with pictures and everything or an otherwise useable game document. So I feel that the posts here will prob be more monthly that forenightly but maybe , occasionally, things shinier will emerge , as I concentrate the blogging energy on specific projects rather than split it between blogging and them.

And none of you fuckers get me anyhow.

Anyhowway while the draft for THe World is a Very big Space ship loiters around the draft folder some more I thought I would do this quicker thing that Cole asked me to do after I went and posted this on g+

"Encounter table idea : having all the creature encounters have a sign/tracks/trail description that you read out instead if they are rolled AND the party is being stealthy . Some shy creatures could have the reverse of this and have only signs if the party is noisy.
If the next encounter roll turns up a monster instead use the one previously indicated instead, though I guess if the party is still stealthy then maybe it is tracks again, which could be fun realizing that something is now following you , though it is currently not exactly sure where you are.
Guess it could turn up if you are too noisy with something else.
Also does anyone run predators as things that just follow the party until they can swoop down kill and/or abduct the weakest member and then flee? and like be never seen other wise?"

and he battered his eyelashes and said he would love to see an example of this.

So here we go, let's do one for Islands, that last post which if you can'r be bothered clicking back is about Cocofolk, Iguanas, Foamlings and Sand Hoppers living in islands chains that are actually the tops of submerged skyscrapers. And the skyscrapers are full of monsters.


1. Axe beak. Aggressive large flightless bird. Ambush predator. Often attacks out of territorism
Signs: territory markings in half cut down trees. Large bird scat w, containing bones and crab shells

2.Woefully Sloth : bear sized sloth with long anteater nose. Excellent camouflage. Hides up trees.
Signs: Will be wandering around digging up ant nests. Valuable fur and medicinal plants ggrowing on it, dangerous if cornered

3. Splinderpede : big as centipede that follows you from tree tops shooting poisonous spines at party weakening them helpful to fleeing leaving behind unconscious companions for it to pull into a tree and eat,
Signs: Carcass up trees. Spines embedded in ground and trees . Other animals reluctant to cross open ground , included those big enough to normally not be so skittish

4. Machine-Animated -By-Fungus : it's a machine thing animated by fungus from Below. It seeks out biological enzymes to suck into itself.. Unusual preferences in target select but overreacts when threatened Signs: dead animals covered in mould and stranger fungus but uneaten. Stray bits of junk metal and technogripple scrapped off on things.

5. Man-Hive: Bees that repurpose corpses into walking be hives. Dangerous if approached. 10% chance Hive is swarming, ie half the bees are going of to find a new home, preferably alive to kill hollow out and partially animate..

Signs: A knowledge eye will pick out man-hive bees (short wings, morel like a bumble bee with viscous jaws. from regular bees floating around the many many flowers that will be in the area (man-hives relocate). Also man-hive-bees will visit corpses to obtain things they use for maintained the hive. Mamhive honey does all kinds of crazy shit from memory transfer, raising the dead, preserving wounds and enpowering corpses. Getting the details right is a little tricky though

6 Voop: tiny blue men that will sneak up all the party and with sharp long straws each remove a hit point each from various partial organ slurping. This is hit point will not come back on it's on or with regular healing magic. THey will stalk the party and wait until they are sleeping or separately. The procedure is fast and painless.
Signs : None. They are tracking you know but are unsure of you number and exact position

7. Bruiser Squid: Large omnivorous land squid, has 4 main tentacles combined from each other. Moves like a drunk gorilla turning resentful circus tricks. Aggressive with tree shaking  hooting and mantle slapping and ink sprays if approached or near a food source. If they are hunger they will follow (oblivious) at a short distance and then signs of weakness or running will make it charge semi-arboreally bring tree down and moving rather fast .
Signs. Broken branches in weird places. Patches of ground swept clare, big fruit that have be masticated and slurp dry

8.Razor Ghost: Like a man made out of scissors shadows. From Below. Cuts you painlessly to pieces. This will not kill you for several weeks.
SIgns: entrance to below exposed, vandalized wards, animals missing limbs, very quiet birds