Thursday, August 17, 2017

Monster: Aboleth


Brief: Lurking in Underdark caves, rivers, and even oceans is the terrible Aboleth. The best that Sages can offer is that the Aboleth were either a primordial being from some undoubtedly chaotic age when wicked things roamed the world, or a dimensional creature that traveled to prime material to plague mortals before being driven into reached of the Underdark. Either case, Aboleths hate everything, they are not too terribly fond of each and are able to lay eggs without intercourse with their species. Their flesh tends to be blue-gray or blue-black with a pinkish underbelly, three red eyes, a fluke for aquatic speed, and tentacles to help move it along the ground. Aboleths like to sometimes beach themselves and watch their stable/larder of mind controlled slaves. When hungry, an Aboleth will infect one of their slaves with the greasy film on their tentacles which turns mortal flesh into a soft, translucent membrane. The person is left helpless and in agony before the Aboleth decides to slurp them down. Aboleth will sometimes make deals with Underdark denizens, such as Drow or Duergar: Slaves for treasure the Aboleth has collected or answering some esoteric question that the other races might have.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d12, Strength d12+3, Vigor d12
Skills: Climb d8, Fighting d0, Intimidate d10, Knowledge (History) d10, Notice d10, Psionics d10, Swimming d12,
Traits: Pace: 3 / 10 (Swimming) / Parry: 7 / Toughness: 12; Size: +4 (Large +2 to Hit); Charisma: -4
Specials: Darkvision, Imp. Frenzy, AB: Psionics, Mucus Cloud, Slime, Aquatic

Tentacles: Str+d6 S: Slime: When an Aboleth strikes a target with exposed skins or in soft armor (such as leathers) the target must make a Vigor (-2) check. On a failure, the target's stricken area becomes a translucent membrane that must be kept moist with cold water or the target suffers a Fatigue. Upon Incapacitation the target is slain and degenerates into a pool of mucous. A Healing power applied in the first hour can be used to counteract the state, after the first 2 hours a Greater Healing Spell or potion is required.

Psionics (Power Points: 15): Powers includes examples such as: Bolt, Stun, Confuse, Puppet - Trappings for powers such as Bolt are typically Acid.

Mucous Cloud (1 per 2 hours): A swimming Aboleth may eject a cloud of inky mucous that acts as the Obscure power in a Large Burst Template area. Seeing as Aboleths live in dark, murky places, the penalty is typically -8 to normal humanoid vision.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

10 Things About Kyna: the Borderlands

Kyna: the Borderland

Precis: Adventurers find themselves in the buffer zone between two great empires. Intrigue, danger, and thrills are to be had exploring this nascent region of petty kingdoms, ruins, and small towns.

Conspectus: Kyna is two things. First, it is the great port city that welcomes most ships coming from the Cerulean Sea and just past the magister island of Nordwood. Second, it is the unofficial name given to the parcel of land carved by the Kingdom and the Empire to keep one or the other from ever easily invading each other again. Both sides also saw an opportunity to remove undesirables from this midst. Enemies of the state, groups that gave them trouble in the past, rebels and malcontents. All caught were removed and dumped into the Borderlands to further further discourage an attempt to invade. Now brought together, Elf and Orc, Man and Gnoll, Minotaur and Gnome, are forced to live and make something of the realm. That's where the trouble begins, that's when the heroes start to rise.

*Kyna is a Port City: Adventures can be had just inside the Port itself. The city is vast and divided by wards: Docks, Government, North, South, Market, and Starfish Island. An adventurer could fight crime in the dangerous parts of North district. They could be serving the well-to-do Mages in the South Side. Perhaps a self-made merchant-noble living in relative comfort of Starfish Island might have work for them that takes them to the outer islands. Pirates operate out of the Borderland, which is both an excellent way to generate income, but can also be a headache for legitimate shipping that runs trade between the Kingdom and the Empire and are looking to buy protection from the sharks in their midst.

*The Great Salt Marsh Holds Many Secrets: Further south from the Port is the mire known as 'Great Salt Marsh'. The black water and muck serves as a home for river trading Goblins, Ratfolk, and Grippli. Adventurers leaving the small town of Seaside can go looking for both ruined and active estates of Wizards, forts from the Great War, and temples to sinister powers that need to be raided. The Marsh is often the fallback point of the Red Knives, a group that wish to spread discontent and make the Borderlands 'fit' for Human to take their rightful place as rulers.

*Dig for gold or gems in Pit or Saturn Gulch: Between the Port and the swamps is dry country, the Red Hills. It's a realm of bandits, giant scorpions, and Gnolls who either have accepted the situation and work with the others or rebel and fight on. Great gem and gold deposits in Saturn Gulch and Pit have brought prospectors and adventurers. Perhaps some group wish to go into the mines of Pit and seek out Lady Hope, the Paladin guardian who is still lost in those mines.

*Watch out for bitter Elves: Most Elves who arrive to the Borderlands post the Great War are those who are perceived to be rebels, criminals, or traitors to the Elven crown. The Sun King's madness and paranoia knows no bound, so even innocent or loyal soldiers during the Great War find themselves displaced in a land that blames Elves for their troubles. The Exiles, a mercenary unit, patrols the Salt Marsh and is made up of primarily Elves with non-Elven auxiliary serving lesser rolls.

*The Borderlands is the homeland of the Minotaur: Explore the hills and barrows of Thulkar, the city of the Horn. Minotaur are native to the Borderlands and were not pleased to be stuck with other races. Still, most adapt either taking up jobs as members of the guard, frontier rangers, and the like. Adventurers can find work with the Minotaur, patrolling the land north of Port against Red Knives and undead held over from the Great War.

*What secrets does Algarita Keep hold?: Long abandoned since the Great War. The Red Citadel is perhaps empty. Rumors persist that witches or fiends inhabit the halls. That there is a connection that leads from the citadel's halls into the Underdark of the realm. Who knows until an adventuring group goes in there?

*Keep an eye on the Kingdom from Gorman's Junction: Gorman's Junction, so aptly named because of its strategic location at the fork of bordering river between Kyna and the Kingdom, serves as a natural embarkation point for folks moving south into the Borderlands either by force or by choice. The Junction swarms with Ratfolk, river barges, and banditry. It also serves as a good cover for 'merchants' heading north. Adventurers hired to spy or commit actions in the North might find the town useful.

*Harass Fort Vados of the Empire: There is some traffic coming from the Empire to the Borderlands. There are plenty of Elven rebel groups that wish to launch attacks and retake the Empire from the mad Sun King. Fort Vados stands as guardian between the South and the Borderland. If someone wishes to get into the South they'll have to sneak around or take the fort.

*Work with the Arcane Overwatch: Magic is very strong in Borderlands and one institution tries their best to keep powerful Mages from getting out of hand and committing some mistake that has terrible consequences. To that in, the Arcane Overwatch is a group that polices magic use and has their agents attempt to dissuade Mages from dealing in Necromancy or very destructive evocation spells (such as that Mage wanting to call down meteors). Adventurer's can find work, serving as extra muscle- but take heed, the Overwatch eyes all, including their allies.

*Establish your own domain: Large swathes of land is still considered 'open'. If someone wished to claim a parcel and can hold it, they might find themselves a self-made lord or lady. Perhaps they might spend a whole campaign turning the divided Borderlands into a single powerful state.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Power Word: Bolt

Power Word: Bolt

This next in the Power Word series has probably done more times than any. Especially in a Fantasy setting, we've all had many... many ways to come up with an object to throw and hit people with. So, here is my attempt at covering very, very well tread ground.

Magic Missile
Range: 12/24/48
Cost: 1-3

Effect: The caster conjures up to 3 arcane darts which they hurl as part of a rapid attack that does not incur penalty due to multi-action. The bolts are made of force energy, which has no known energy resistance. The bolts however are sensitive to force based Deflection powers. Targets using such a power causes a extra -1 added to standard penalties of the Deflection when targeted by a Magic Missile Strike.

Acid Arrow
Range: 12/24/48
Cost: 2

Effect: This fires a large bolt of acid at a target. The bolt deals 3d4 points of damage and 2d4 points of damage the next round unless anti-acid is applied to the target. On a raise, in lieu of bonus damage, the Acid instead corrodes armor or melts clothing. The victim rolls a dice on a 6 for Armor or a 5-6 when wearing normal clothing, the item either loses 1 point of protection or the clothing begins to burn off. Armor reduced to 0 are rendered destroyed. Special materials, such as Black Dragon Scale or Adamantine are immune to this spell.

Ice Spike
Range: 12/24/48
Cost: 2

Effect: This version of large bolt fires a shard of ice that impales itself into a target. The bolt deals 2d6 points of damage (cold). On a raise, the target takes 3d6 points of damage if the target retains a Shaken or more in damage the target's movement is reduced by 2 for 1d4 rounds as the shard continues to be impaled into the target. Victim may attempt to remove the shard with a Strength (-2) check. It is painful to yank a hunk of ice out your side, just saying.

Range: 12/24/48
Cost: 2-4 or 3
AP: 2

Effect: The Mage conjures either several small fire darts or one big dart that they throw at the target. Multiple darts thrown are not subject to penalty. The damage is 2d6 or 3d6 depending on dart's size and has AP 2. On a raise, along with bonus damage, the target checks to see if they are set on fire. The target rolls a d6, on a 6, they have caught fire.

Negative Energy Ray
Range: 12/24/48
Cost: 2
AP: 4

This large version of bolt becomes a beam of negative energy that deals 3d4 points of damage with an AP of 4. Against targets who are celestial in alignment, the d4's become d6's. On a raise, in lieu of damage, living targets must make a Vigor (-2) save or take a point of fatigue - life has been drained from them. Undead are immune to damage and on a raise may make a Vigor check to recover from any damage taken. Necromancer servants will sometimes use this power to heal their undead masters at range.

Shocking Bolt
Range: 12/24/48
Cost: 1-3 or 2
AP: Special

This version creates a series of small bolts or a large bolt of electrical discharge. Multiple bolt throws do not incur penalty. These bolts deal 2d6 or 3d6 depending on the size of the bolt. Targets who wear primarily metal armor (such as plate mail) are highly susceptible to electrical energy. The caster gets AP 2 when targeting people wearing plate. Flesh Golems are immune to damage and being struck with a raise allows them to make a Vigor check to recover from damage.

Range: 12/24/48
Cost: 2
AP: 4

The opposite of Negative Energy Ray. The Lightbeam fires a concentrated beam of Holy energy that deals 3d4 points of damage to targets. Targets who either Undead or aligned with the Abyssal region (Devils, Demons) take 3d6 instead. On a raise, in lieu of damage, targets are possibly set on fire from this damage. They must roll a d6, on a 6, they are set ablaze. This fire is holy in nature and reduces any fire protection by half. Celestials are immune to this damage and on a Raise can receive a recovery check. This is both a weapon and a tool for casters from the celestial realm, unfortunately the beam's holy energy is a little too much for mortal flesh.