I ranted about elves before way back when but I still wanted a little extra something to make them more alien and just a bit different. Nor your tree hugging wild elf or that mysterious high/gray elf or whatever you want to call them. Somewhere in the bowels of the internet someone made the comparison of old D&D elves to Elric. I like that. Then this little idea popped into my brain that focuses on the standard fighter/magic-user type elf.
In ancient times, the elves make a pact with an ancient being whose name has been long lost. They wanted the power magic and immortality. The elves were granted both but not at the same time. The elves learned the power of magic and would each live for 1,000 years. They had magic but using would cost them years off their lives. The elves created an empire and rules the world for millennia but due to their arrogance and decadence their empire has crumbled. Many elves venture out into the mortal world out of boredom.
The Game Mechanics:
When the elf casts an arcane spell, roll 1d20. If the result is less than or equal to the spell’s level then elf permanently losses HP equal to the spell’s level.
And since I’m on a Dungeon Crawl Classics kick, there’s a little variation for those rules. Elves do not suffer from Corruption. Instead, any time a Corruption effect occurs, the elf loses permanently HP as above plus suffers the effects as if the character had Spellburned a number of points equal to the spell’s level (but doesn’t gain any bonus to the spell check). Additionally, Elves may voluntarily “Spellburn” HP at rate of 2/1 (1 HP=+2 bonus to the spell check). These HP are permanently lost.
It’s been a long time since I messed around with Savage Worlds. Well, here’s the first alien race for player characters.
Imagine a cross between a monkey and an iguana with a sick sense of humor, warped knack for technology and a love of money. Then you have the Gremlox.
Gremlox Ingenuity: Gremlox gain a +1 bonus to Repair skill rolls. However, any other character (including other Gremlox) have a -2 penalty to attempt to repair or maintain that equipment.
Tough Little Bugger: Gremlox have -1 Toughness but also have the Hardy Edge.
Gremlox Technology: Gremlox love gadgets and tinker around with “new and improved” ideas. They are the only race with the AB (Weird Science)*
Quirk (Sick Practical Joker)
*It may sound strange to use Weird Science in a space opera game since there’s already so much technology. But unstable nature of Weird Science and those possible Glitches make it perfect pulpy fit.
There will be more on the way and some house rules too.
Here’s another post on Durth. This time the Elves. While Durth isn’t your standard fantasy world, I wanted to keep the standard races but make them a little different and since they’re Elves they should feel a little alien (without changing them mechanically). That way GM’s can easily use whatever rules they want.
The Elves of Durth make their home on the 13th Moon where they use their arcane talents to create ornate castles from the living stone found there. Elves who are found on the surface of Durth are usually exiles, fugitives, or explorers. Most Elves never set foot on the surface of Durth voluntarily.
It is easy to tell the difference between Elves who willingly travel to the surface of Durth and those who are exiled. Exiles have all their fingers. The elves believe that to maintain a connection to their natural arcane abilities, they must have a physical connection to their home. Since their home isn’t even on this planet technically, they have to leave part of themselves there. Most travelers and explorers will sever the little finger of their left hand before they travel to the surface and leave the finger in a specially prepared shrine in the Elven city. Exiles have been know to sever their own fingers in an attempt not to look like an exile.
And for those of you who passed the reading comprehension part this test, yes, Durth has 13 moons. But more about them later.
Doing my best to stay on top of things folks. Let’s recap. I’ve ranted about Durth. Gave an overview. Showed the first of the new classes. It’s time to mess with one of the standard races. I know I’m going to have to say this a thousand times. Everything is a suggestion. Do stuff how you want. I really didn’t want to change any of the game mechanics surrounding the usual races but I wanted to mess around with them bit. So here’s the suggested Dwarves of Durth and little bit about the land they come from.
The Dwarves were once a race of mighty warriors and skilled craftsmen. Now they are a twisted and degenerate species. When the world was torn apart, the great Dwarven cities were turned into tombs. A few Dwarves attempted to dig their way out and came across the gigantic body of a mad sleeping god. The Dwarves were starving and saw when they cut its flesh; the god would heal but it was also nourishing. They built their new city around and inside the body of their new god.
The Dwarves of Durth can only eat meat. Eating vegetable matter makes them sick causing them to burp, belch, and have other lower intestinal problems. But for some reason they can still drink ale and beer without any additional side effects.
One of the Dwarven delicacies is the infamous Dwarven god jerky. The Dwarves quickly learned that they ate their god faster than it could regenerate. The solution became to feed small amounts of the divine flesh to animals. These animals were driven mad, strangely mutated, but tasted delicious (to the Dwarves, anyway).
The Dwarves have made their home in The Land of the Mad Dreamer. IT is a is a warped and twisted region. The flora and fauna have been mutated nearly beyond recognition. The water is foul and putrid. The land itself gently heaves slowly in rhythm with the breathing of an ancient sleeping god. The Mad Dreamer’s presence has warped reality in the region. Arcane magics become even more wild and unpredictable while Clerics are unable to call on the power of their gods. Those attuned to nature quickly go mad in the domain of the Mad Dreamer.
Work continues on Durth at a flail snail’s pace. Day job and mundane life keep getting in the way. Things aren’t at a stand still, just going slower than I would like.
As I mentioned earlier, the idea is that Durth will work with whatever retro-clone you want to use. So I won’t be recreating the normal classes for it. Heck, for non-spell casting classes there is nothing change. For the spell casters, things are a little different. There’s no change to the individual classes but there are things and places in the world that will affect them.
The same goes for races pretty much. There aren’t going to be any major changes other than what the world has done to them. Humans, generally the most generic of races, has no change other than the world is a screwed up place. Dwarves, elves, and halflings aren’t so lucky. Each has some minor mechanical changes and/or interesting quirks. But more on that as I start turning insane notes into something other people can actually understand.
So what’s going to be new? There’s going to be two new classes. The Wastelander and the Super Science Sorcerer. I had every intention of posting the Wastelander this week but I really wasn’t happy with it yet. Additionally, there’s The Mutant. I mean you can’t have a gonzo post-apocalyptic world without mutants.
But let me give you an overview of them.
The Wastelander: This one is pretty much your barbarian from the wastes. Tough. Resistant to all sorts of really bad things. Good with weapons but not so much with armor. And can scrounge up food and water in the worst of terrains.
The Super Science Sorcerer: This class is very similar to the Magic-User except no spells. They can use all the magic items and scrolls that a Magic-User can. They do have some rudimentary arcane power which allows them to blast their opponents, create magical protection around themselves, and heal. Their key niche is going to be understanding and using super science gadgets.
And finally The Mutant: There’s an age old debate in OSR circles about racial classes. So there will be two options and GM’s can use whatever one they wish. As a race, Mutants have a randomly rolled appearance and a couple of randomly determined weird abilities. As a class, you start off just like the Mutant as Race but each level, players roll to see what new and strange ability the character gains.
Yes, I know still speaking in generalities here but when I start throwing things out there, I want to at least be happy with the beta versions. So more detail stuff is coming up. Stay tuned till next week.
A long time ago, I did a Sexy Alien Elves post. I’ve been meaning to go back and spruce up that idea but just haven’t gotten around to it. But then there’s this fine post popped up on Elfmaids & Octopi (which is a really cool blog) and that got the creative juices going again on this idea. So here you go.
Elves are powerful magical beings from another plane. In the ultimate act of arcane hubris, they destroyed not only their home world but the entire plane. A few managed to escape to this plane of existence. The elves feel no regret nor guilt about the destruction of their home. They are still bold and arrogant, and view the native races as simple and inferior. They are not above treating the other races like disposable playthings.
And here’s the crunchy bits, mainly designed around Swords & Wizardry: The Alien Sorcerous Elf
Of course, if you’re paying attention to the tags on this post. You’ll see Durth. Yeah, that’s one of my new projects. Here’s the elevator pitch: Thundarr The Barbarian, He-Man, and Carcosa with some gonzo OSR flair thrown into the blender of my imagination. We’ll see how this goes.
Work continues on Stark Space. That’s my own little gritty dystopian supplement for White Star which is an awesome game in its own right. Stark Space takes it the gritty rough and tumble reaches of Blade Runner, Aliens, and Outland.
I wanted to make some core classes to better reflect the Stark Space universe. In general, these are meant to replace the existing classes but this the OSR GM’s should do what they want to make their games awesome. As I mentioned in my previous post, there three classes.
The Muscle: This one should be pretty obvious. This is the fighter, mercenary, soldier, thug, martial artist, and hot shot pilot. One thing I wanted to do is make them shine a little more in combat so they’ve got three class abilities. Combat Expert is a bonus applied to combat with a certain type of weapon like small arms, space weapons, melee weapons, or unarmed combat. Combat Sense provides the character with a bonus to Armor Class. And then there’s Combat Style. While Combat Expert reflects the character’s training. Combat Style reflects the character’s approach to combat by being a Brute(Damage bonus), precise (bonus To-hit), or mobile (bonus to AC).
The Brains: These are your tech’s, engineers, medics, hackers, and walking encyclopedias. They can jury rig equipment. Get a bonus to whatever skill they specialize in. Re-roll failed class skill rolls. That’s pretty much the standard stuff. Brains are also the planners. So I threw in couple more things. They gain a bonus to initiative and they can provide bonuses in combat to other characters by relaying crucial tactical information.
The Face: We got the Muscle and the Brains, now somebody needs to do the talking. Brains are con artists, detectives, and other social types. Like Brains, they gain a bonus to their specialized skill. They know where to find the right people and how to act around people. They can distract and demoralize opponents. They have a little bit of luck to help with those Saving Throws.
Now on to Races. Once again, I’ll refer back to my original post. I’m not using race in the real world sense but in the game mechanics sense. Since Stark Space is that Gritty dytopian future, I opted for no aliens as player characters. But once again, this is something that GM’s can change if they wish. There’s four options for “race”.
Human: That one is pretty obvious. I wanted to add a little punch for humans. So bonus to skills and saves. They’re humans so I don’t need to explain that much about them.
Max-Gene: Take a normal human and do some genetic manipulation and attempt to turn them into a super soldier or hard labor drone. These characters have good physical stats but terrible mental stats. They prone to all sorts of add psychological behaviors. The basic mechanic around them is reduce mental ability scores and improve physical scores at character generation.
Simulants: You’ve seen Blade Runner, right? There you go. As they level, there’s a chance that they’ll start to degrade and lose points from their ability scores. It can be repaired but that’s very expensive and illegal.
Psi: There had to some sort of mental abilities. The powers of these characters have much less effect than the Gifts or Meditations from the core White Star rules. While these powers could be considered minor, they’re the only type of power in the implied setting. It works off the skill system but more on that later.
There you go some more rants on the classes and races. I’ll have more rants in the future about skills and inspiration. So stay tuned.