Category Archives: World Building

Savage Space Opera Coming Soon


As regular readers well know I’ve been on a streak about running a space opera game. And I’ve done a couple of posts and talked to the FLGS group and looks like things will get off the ground so to speak. So in my copious free time, I need to do a little brainstorming.
First of all. Yes. Savage Worlds. I’ve already been asked “Why not White Star?” Heck, I love White Star and OSR stuff. But one of the players did mention they’d like do something that wasn’t d20 based. For me that left two choices. The good Star Wars d6 and Savage Worlds. I have fond memories of the d6 system and ran it a few times back in the day. However, I wanted to add a few gonzo elements that just didn’t quite work in my mind with d6. And (this is just my opinion) I think Savage Worlds is a better system. Not saying that d6 is bad, it’s just Savage Worlds edges it out here and there like initiative, character generation, and most importantly I’ve had enough experience with Savage Worlds I can tweak a bit and not totally break the game. Additionally, one player has had a less than stellar (no pun intended) experience with Savage Worlds due to some GM issues. So it’s nice to have a player willing to try a system again.
Now for some nuts and bolts. The SciFi Companion is cool and I’ll be using a couple of things from like some Edges, Hindrances and cinematic Ammo rules but the bulk of the inspiration is going to come from Daring Tales of the Space Lanes by Triple Ace Games and Slipstream. I really want to run with a pulpy space opera type feel. And these two fit the bill. As a bonus, there’s some good adventures and inspiration from The Last Parsec as well. And a similar to that there’s some great adventure ideas and inspiration from Bulldogs.
I’ll have some more posts in the future about the setting, alien races, house rules and few other things.
But for now here’s some freebies (This mostly for players.):
The Savage Worlds Test Drive Rules. Yes it’s for Lankhmar but the rules basics are there.
Daring Tales of the Spaces Lanes (Just don’t look at the adventures. Looking at you players. 🙂 )

A Random White Box Campaign

This should get filed under the “Ideas that I have but won’t get around to messing with for a really long time” category.
It’s pretty simple start off with Swords & Wizardry White Box then throw a bunch of the stuff by Barrel Rider Games then use a bunch of the great random generators like the d30 books by New Big Dragon Games and/or stuff like Wizardawn.
Then just roll up characters and start adventuring. Now predetermined ideas about anything just whatever comes up in play. Just worry about the places the characters are from, where they are at, and where they are going. That’s it. Let the dice and whatever random inspiration that pops up from the players and the GM take it from there and see what happens.
Yeah, you could use just about any game to do this but hey keep the game simple because there will be plenty of other things to put your mind to when the dice start rolling.

A Little Dungeon Crawl Classics Rant

I’ve still been able to keep swinging away at my DCC campaign at the FLGS and a few things came to mind about some things that I’ve really grown to like about the game.
Dungeon Crawl Classics is an awesome game. It’s solid and simple. While some disagree whether it truly is an OSR game, it’s close enough in feel and mechanics for me. Sure there’s page flipping when a spell is cast or there’s a crit or a fumble but these times are where the game really shines. In the sales blurb for a lot of games, there’s a plug that reads something like “the rules don’t interfere with the game”. You know things like not having the Walk and Chew Gum Feat (looking at you 3.x/Pathfinder). The rules for DCC don’t interfere with the game. They participate. It’s like having an extra GM and/or player at the table. Let me explain.
One of the player’s characters became a cleric. The character is Neutral. So I said of hand, “You could be a cleric of Cthulhu.” And the player jumped at the chance. Through the adventure (We’re playing Doom of the Savage King) The Elf went down. The cleric got there in time heal but nope. Disapproval. Later the dwarf was injured. Lay on hands. Nope. Disapproval. Again, heal the dwarf. Cthulhu says, “Hell no!” Disapproval. We get the point. Cthulhu doesn’t like demihumans. So here’s the setting house rule. Demihumans count as opposed alignment for clerics of Cthulhu. The rules helped add something interesting to the game.
While I’m on a little rant about there’s another one I’ve been using (lifted from Lamentations of the Flame Princess). No Weapon Proficiencies. Now I might add a penalty if a halfling tries to swing around a great sword. And I haven’t even mentioned this to players. Just letting them use whatever weapon they want. Fighters are already way better at fighting so it really doesn’t make any difference. Plus it makes for a neat story when it’s the Magic-User who takes out the big bad with a crit while wielding a hand axe. Yep, that happened last game session. It was a good thing too. The fighter couldn’t make the game. The dwarf couldn’t hit anything. And that Wizard was out of spells. That little quirk of fate made that fight just a little more memorable.
Remember folks. Have Fun. Roll Dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff.

Welcome to Gongberry

The “heroes” have to start somewhere and that somewhere is Gongberry. The little village where my Dungeon Crawl Classics campaign begins. Gongberry is small city/large village. It’s just big enough to have at least some representation of each of the races and barely be be self sustaining. Of course, traveling merchants make seasonal stops and fill young folks with wild tales of the outside world.
Gongberry lies in the middle of a large valley. To the east are The Really Steep Mountains and to the west The Really Big and Dangerous Mountains.The Languid River runs thru the middle of the valley and around the town. The river is used for irrigation for the fields south of town. To the north of Gongberry is the The Really Creepy Forest That Has Stuff That Will Eat You In It. Beyond the Forest, the river peters out and the area turns into That Boggy Marsh Filled With Really Bad Stuff. And just beyond the marsh at the head of the valley is The Ancient Scary Ruined Keep That Your Parents Told You Never To Go To Because The Place Was Evil And Monsters Would Eat You And That You Need To Be Good Or The Monsters Would Come To Town And Drag You Off.
That’s the starting point. Time allowing. I’ll get a map done.

Welcome to the World of Zoong

I keep talking about my upcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics game, so I figured I’d go ahead and create a little page for it here at the old blog. Welcome to the World of Zoong.
With all the other projects (plus a day job that’s really keeping me busy), I’m going to do what I can before things get rolling. But that’s not a problem. My very first campaign world didn’t even have any notes. It was Keep on the Borderlands and just run with whatever the players wanted and what modules I wanted to run after that. Of course, for this one, we’re doing Sailors of the Starless Sea as starting point.
As a bonus, I mentioned to the players that DCC turns things up to 11. Do they want it turned up to 12? It was hearty, “Hell’s Yeah!” Metal Gods, Crawljammer, and Broken Moon. Here we come. To sum up where I’m going to head with demi-humans just see this post. That’s right sexy alien elves, hillbilly dwarves, and mobster halflngs.
hellboy-2elf
dwrves
joepesci
Then of course there’s my own wild imagination and my own grognard feeling of nostalgia. If this image brings back memories then you gain 3 Grognard Points.
fingers

Curse of the Golden Eyed Medusa

goldeneyemedusa
She is older than any written language. She is so ancient that her true name is unknown even to her. She is cursed to turn any living flesh she gazes upon into gold. Every single gold coin, statue, icon, holy symbol, and trinket originated with her gaze. She is the Mother of All Gold. It’s creator. And she is cursed to live forever untill some brave (or foolish) soul slays her and the curse is passed onto that poor sod.

What happens a party of adventurers encounter the Golden Eyed Medusa? She will not tell them of her curse. She will not fight back. She will let them kill her and whoever lands the death blow either blade or spell is the new bearer of the curse.

What happens next? Every bit of gold that was created by her (i.e. all of it) reverts back to original form basically meat and throwing most economies into total chaos.

What happens to the cursed character?
First, the character has petrifying gaze of a Medusa but instead of turning targets to stone. It turns them into gold. The gaze only affects living organisms. However, the character cannot control when the ability triggers. And there is nothing the character can do to prevent it.
Second, the character is nearly immortal and cannot die of natural causes. Only by the violent acts of another. And whoever kills the character gains the curse.
Third, the character can only gain sustenance by eating gold. The character cannot starve to death if they do not eat but they will become emaciated and suffer incredible hunger pangs. The gold tastes like what it originally was.
Fourth, the character poops gold. See above. And yes.

What else happens? Player characters at first will think this is a cash cow. Unfortunately, as soon as they show up in a civilized area with gold, they will be met with anger and suspicion. Because, yes, they did cause everyone’s gold to disappear. They will be the target of every king, warlord, criminal, wizard and dragon in the world. Enjoy that. In some places, gold might be totally valueless now. Who knows that’s up to the GM.

Durth: Lord Skullmancer and The Skelenoids

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Remember Not Skeletor. If you go back to early posts on Durth, crazy Saturday morning cartoons are one of the inspirations. The two biggest ones are Thundarr the Barbarian and He-Man. This leads us to our first epic villain, Lord Skullmancer.
Lord Skullmancer is an insane and powerful lich, necromancer and super science sorcerer. He rules the Dead Realm from Black Skull Mountain Fortress (carved in his own likeness by slaves) with his army of Skelenoids. He’s always messing around with some forbidden arcane tome or an insane bit of alien technology. Or to put it more simply he’s lich with freaking laser beams.

Skelenoid Grunt
Armor Class: 6[13]
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: Laser-Staff (1d6+1) Range 60 feet can also be used in melee
Total Attack Bonus: +2
Saving Throw: 16
Move: 12
HDE/XP: 3/60
Special: Immune to poison, illusions, fear, charm, and mind control.

The shock troops and minions of Lord Skullmancer.

The Dead Realm is blasted, twisted, and barren. An eternal storm keeps the land is state of twilight constantly. No living creature calls the Dead Realm home. This is the land of the restless dead.
Special Rules for the Dead Realm:
Clerics cannot Turn Undead here.
Any character who dies cannot be brought back. Instead they are turned into an undead. The GM determines what type based on the character’s level. Low-level characters should be zombies. Higher level should be more powerful undead.