Friday, January 18, 2019

Siege of Hollowguard - Crossroads Campaign - Sessions 26-29

I am writing now from within our quarters in the Center, the investigation has proven that there are certainly outsiders at work within the world of Sharron. The town of Hollowguard had been taken in the past by the effort of a necromancer and now that necromancer had reached out to the outer powers for greater power. Apparently there is a coalition of sorts of necromancers within the world and this one had felt constrained by their restrictions and so he sought extra power to defy them. When we arrived the initial necromancer had already been slain by a one of the members of this coalition who was now engaged in a half of a siege.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Aki Satou - Chosen Scion of Ama-no-Uzume

Scions of the Second Refinement


D&D version of her, the scion version has no tail.

Background: Aki's conception was problematic to say the least in that she was certainly conceived after her supposed father died. Her mother, Kimun, reported that her husband came home from a position abroad one night and they celebrated as long parted lovers do. He left out the door the next day saying that he would return and the next she heard from him was a report that he had died in a car accident on another continent on the same day that he supposedly returned home.

At first Kimun and others assumed that the tryst was a matter of a ghost saying a final farewell and she sought a purification from the touch of the dead. Then she discovered that she was pregnant. She carried the child to term and gave birth to a daughter she named Aki. Aki was prone to sudden shifts of mood but was mostly well meaning just unfocused. Kimun sought help and learned that the apparition that had come to her was actually an oni with unknown intentions. Which is when she received a message to expect the creature soon and make his daughter ready for him.

Terrified for herself and her daughter, Kimun enacted a desperate plan. She set out a tea ceremony for her visitor who decided to appear in her husband's form, unaged from the last time he had appeared. Over the course of the meeting, she worked in subtle appeals to the Kami hoping against hope that they would help a simple woman such as herself. Luckily for her the Kami, or at least a Kami, heard and by the time the oni realized there was real power working against him, it was too late for him to act. He was forced to relinquish all his claim and influence over the child.

Unfortunately, Aki had snuck into a nearby room and witnessed the event and so she was present during the confrontation. As such while she was purified of the oni nature, it still left its mark on her. She had horns and her skin would range from shades of blue and red depending on her mood. Her mother worried that she would be shunned wherever they went. They'd already had to move from their first home due to the stigma of Aki being a cursed child, but there was no where to go where they could escape her cursed appearance. Fortunately, a cheerful woman stopped by their isolated house one day and asked for a chance to rest her feet. As she "just happened to chance" upon seeing Aki, she thanked her hostess by teaching Kimun a simple tea brew to help Aki conceal her curse.

It is the only tea that Aki finds very distasteful.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

5e Divine Avenger (Protector Aasimar Celestial Warlock/Monster Slayer)

Art by https://www.deviantart.com/inawong
The concept here is that there was a major breach of planar boundaries resulting in an invasion by some sort of creature, probably fiends or aberrations, but possibly fey, undead, or elementals as well. In either case, the event resulted in many people dying but in one case, a spirit that considers the invaders a personal enemy inhabited the body of one of the slain and essentially resurrected the body. However, instead of the mortal being the acting body, their mind is kept primarily in the back and it is the entity using them as a body to take the fight to the enemies but keep the soul around so they have a source to gain context related to the world it has appeared in. The being is slowly adapting to the new body, and building that body's nascent power, resulting in the need to level up. Should the entity ever eradicate the presence of its enemy on this world, it will leave the body and leave the accumulated power with the now freed soul getting a new life as recompense for the use of the body.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Tender Bar - Mutants and Masterminds Third Edition

This is an M&M recreation of my old City of Heroes character, Tender Bar. I'm using the quickstart character generator, but for obvious reasons, I'm not doing a random build. I'm also not limiting myself to power sets for one template. Fortunately, the point costs for each template are noted down and so accounting will be relatively easy to do. I considered starting with the Powerhouse stat set, but that is designed around the idea of enhanced strength and stamina whereas, as far as anyone can tell, Tender's strength is somehow natural. As such, I am going for the altered human warrior attribute set.

Strength 5, Stamina, 6, Agility 6, Dexterity 6, Fighting 10, Int 1, Awareness 4, Presence 1

Tender Bar - An City of Heroes Character

Back in the days of City of Heroes, I was also first introduced to Durarara!!! and Baccano and among the characters there was one whose origin I just really loved: Shizuo Heiwajima.
Shizuo about to let loose on a foe that deserves it.

Shizuo Heiwajima had anger management issues. Despite his best efforts. He was at all times on the edge of stepping over into a berserk rage. He has no explanation for this. His childhood wasn't traumatic, he never went through any experiments, he never did any special training, it just suddenly started one day when his younger brother did something that angered him and he responded by throwing the refrigerator through a wall. Initially, his body wasn't able to keep up with the strength he exhibited while angry and every time he lost his temper he ended up in the hospital. But he always healed, and he always healed back stronger. Eventually, his body developed into something that could handle his insane strength. Unfortunately he's only ever had minimal ability to control his anger. There are a few people he likes that keep him anchored and he himself would love to just live a peaceful life free of his anger, but it just doesn't seem in the cards for him. For a time his brother tried to find him jobs but he always lost them when his temper went off. The last of these jobs was as a bartender. After which he got a job being the bodyguard for a debt collector, maybe a loan shark. At first he was suspicious but was mollified when it was suggested that his mere presence would keep anything from getting out of hand. And it was a job he could do. He continued to wear the bartender outfit and dye his hair blonde as ways to make himself easily recognizable so that everybody would know to be careful around him and not anger him. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Sharron Inquiry Record: Hollowgard Investigation - Crossroads Campaign - Sessions 23-25

Bittersnap is an interesting study for a goblin. She is not the first of the breed that we have seen that behaved in a more feral nature, there were the goblins in the tunnels underneath the Abolist's Tower that behaved in a similar manner. There is also her psionic capabilities. I would like to know why it is that psionic ability is associated with blue or purple skin tone in that world. Is there something that gets into the blood that affects the coloration? 
I wonder if a psionic variation of my own species would also turn out to have a blue fur-color. Actually, I'm not sure that fur colorations are affected by the presence of psionic potential. So it would be quite a bit more likely that the underlying skin would be blue while the fur would remain the standard colors we normally see. I doubt that would have much visual effect on matters. Which makes me wonder if there might already be such off-shoots on our world and just not yet recognized. They may have been mis-identified as sorcerers and encouraged to push their talents toward more well-known forms of magic. That is, I believe, part of how Kanti came into her bardic magic, using a trace of psionic potential inherited from aberrant blood to power arcane magic.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Unnamed Naga - Mutant & Masterminds Third Edition - Randomly Generated Character

Snake Totem - Mutation

Strength 4(10)
Stamina 4
Agility 2
Dexterity 4
Fighting 6
Intelligence 0
Awareness 2
Presence 0

Dodge 8
Parry 10
Fortitude 8
Toughness 10 (Impervious)
Will 8

Initiative 6

Advantages: Daze (Deception), Evasion, Hide in Plain Sight, Improved Initiative, Redirect, Taunt

Acrobatics 6 (8)
Athletics 4 (8)
Insight 8 (10)
Perception 14 (16)
Stealth 6 (8)
Treatment 4 (4)

Powers

Reptilian Movement - Movement 1 (Slithering)
Reptilian Senses - Senses 4 (Acute and Accurate Smell, Infravision)
Scaly Hide - Protection 6, Impervious 10
Tensile Strength - Elongation 4, Enhanced Strength 6
Venomous Bite - Weaken Physical Abilities 10 (Resisted by Fortitude), Accurate 2, Broad

Complication: Identity (Transforms between powerless human form and a powered serpent-woman form)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

5e Bioluminescence Sorcerer (Triton Divine Soul Sorcerer)

Earlier today, an acquaintance of mine linked me this picture. An image search showed her to be a character by the name of Dolphin from DC Comics who is connected to Aquaman. Judging by the image search she's been around for quite awhile. In any case, I figured I'd take the chance to create an aquatic themed character. I don't know much about the character, but it does seem that she is a mute who is capable of using bioluminescence for various purposes. It's an interesting enough concept and I can think of a good way to do it.

I hadn't had a particular character in mind to do, though I likely would have tweaked off of a deep one sort of character possibly. I do have a history of portraying the deep ones as a maligned culture. The thing is that the matter isn't really necessary here. D&D has a number of aquatic cultures, both good and evil, so for the noble aquatic types we already have a set race to use. Where as the stereotypical debased deep one type creatures also have their analogues in the game. (At least three, maybe four different creatures.

As to the bioluminescence, I know how to handle that. The character above doesn't seem particularly fighty, but I could look into a Sun Soul Monk just considering the powers displayed being natural abilities, sort of like a sorcerer but with abilities that are more associated with monks. Alternately, I could go with a Divine Soul Sorcerer, but again the character doesn't seem that heavily embossed with magical abilities. Though, that said, I could do a Celestial Warlock, but I've done a lot of Warlocks already. Light Cleric is another possible route, as is Arcane Trickster Rogue. Lack of armor might be an issue, though the image presented comes from a superhero setting, which is a genre where worn armor is rare. Looking at my list of characters so far, I have an equally small number of clerics, sorcerers, and rogues. So I think this will be a Divine Soul Sorcerer.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Campaigns I'd Love to Play or Run

Some of these I've sort of run, or started to run. Or started to play, but would like a better shot at them.
  •  Inspired by Flying Frog Games' Touch of Evil board game, a gothic horror action style game set in something like a colonial period America circa 17th to 18th Century. Possible Systems:
    • Modern AGE
    • Monster of the Week
    • City of Mist
  • Legend of the Five Rings game with a lot of investigation and intrigue. Criminals and dark cults summoning undead monstrosites and demonic horrors. Characters as Jade and Emerald Magistrates.
  • 7th Sea Eisen Campaign with a Castlevania vibe to it.
  • Hunter of Beasts campaign. Someone is killing people in a manner similar to how vampires are meant to be destroyed, but is this a sign of something deeper and darker? Possible systems.
    • GUMSHOE
    • Modern AGE
    • Monster of the Week
  • Idun, a liquid gift of the gods. Each race has their own type of Idun and it is folly and torture to drink the Idun of other races. Down through the centuries, the races of Might and Order have contested with each other in a never ending battle of fluctuating borders and great quests. By the will of the gods the races are kept separate...but are the gods truly what they claim to be?
    • Fantasy AGE
    • Genesys
  • Great Mysteries, the characters are part of the initial surge for a new VR game of urban legend and competing factions when they become stuck in the game through the nefarious plot of a group that claims to be terrorists.
    • Playtest Just a Game
    • Genesys
  • The Unscripted Server, the characters are players of a fantasy VR MMO. There are rumors that every so often, someone who is online gets shifted to a realm where everything seems so much more real than even the normal VR experience. People that have experienced this stranger server find their physical bodies slowly shifting into something like their characters.
    • Playtest Just a Game
    • Genesys
  • RWBY-esque adventure game, where the characters are a team of apprentice monster-hunters caught up in things bigger than they can imagine.
    • Masks
    • Genesys
    • City of Mist
  • Adeptive Engine, you were just finishing making a character and now you find yourself as that character and the tutorial you expected to play is around you and its real. What the heck is going on here?
    • Playtest Just a Game
    • Genesys 
  • Wu Xia game where there are tournaments at six mystic temples that become accessible only once in a century.
    • D&D 5e (as a Player)
    • Genesys
    • Legend of the Elements
    • Fate

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gorgon Archer - Modern AGE - Character Advancement

The system of leveling for Modern AGE is the same as for Fantasy AGE. The difference lies in what advances. There are no classes so we don't look to our individual classes for what increases. Also, the modes might modify how things advance. Here is the summary:
  • Characters get a new Talent at every level past 1st. In Fantasy AGE, the classes mostly got their first Talent at 3rd Level and Mage's would have their Talent acquisition interspersed with Magic Talents. You also get Talents even if you also get a Specialization that level.
  • Characters still get a new Ability Advancement and Focus each level, but the only limit is that you can't advance the same Ability twice in a row.
  • Characters still get the option of a Specialization at level 4 and improving them every four levels thereafter. You are still limited to two Specializations, but you don't have to complete one before starting on the second.
  • Characters get new Relationship slots every fourth level.
  • If you are using Conviction, an additional point is gained at Level 3 and every odd-numbered level after that.
  • Depending on Game Mode, Health, Defense, Toughness, and Resources advance at different rates.
    • Gritty Mode
      • Health, Defense, Toughness, and Resources never improve. Save that Resources may improve based on GM rewards for story accomplishment.
    • Pulp Mode
      • Health increases by your Con+1.
      • At 4th Level you increase Defense OR Toughness, at 8th Level you increase the other. Then you alternate every four levels afterward.
      • Replenish 1 lost Resources level every level plus possible GM granted story rewards.
    • Cinematic Mode
      • Health improves by 1d6+Con (as per Fantasy AGE)
      • Defense and Toughness both increase by 1 at every fourth level.
      • Gain +1 Resources each level after the first, plus GM granted story rewards.
I'm going to use Pulp mode due to aiming at Gothic Horror. Once again, I'm going to do 18 sessions with 4 encounters each of randomly sorted difficulty and type. Difficulty will be a little bit different than rolls I used for Fantasy AGE. I'm going to make Hard encounters a little bit more common. (2-3: Routine, 4-5: Easy, 6-9: Average, 10-12: Hard). For type (1-2 Exploration, 3-4 Social, 5-6 Combat). For some of the details I'm drawing Town Elder secrets and events from the Touch of Evil board game by Flying Frog Games. I also just decided all of the 18th session's encounters would be hard.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gorgon Archer - Modern AGE - Character Creation

Modern AGE is almost the same process as found in the Fantasy AGE game, but there are some differences. For one there's no classes and for the other there is no races. There is also suggestion of using races from Fantasy AGE to achieve a sort of urban fantasy style game. It changes the process a little bit, either replacing or adding a step, but I could also do this as a sort of epitaph sort of thing. That said, I've only done epitaphs in settings where gorgons make no narrative sense and Modern AGE is a flexible enough system that that lack of narrative justification isn't present. I think I will go ahead and use the races. The normal suggestion in this case is to have the races replace the background, but I'm going to add the race in instead because removing backgrounds feels like it removes a lot of character development. This will mean the character, and any training companions I make for her, will come out a bit stronger than the average starting character, but not too much. To further confirm, any humans I create will get the Fantasy AGE human package as well.

Another change we're going to do from the Fantasy AGE analysis is to use the point buy method which is to have 12 points to distribute between the stats. None can go over 3 with these points and none can go below 0. 

As a result of this, the steps for character creation in this case are as follows: 

  1. Concept
  2. Abilities
  3. Race - This is an additional step not normally taken for Modern AGE
  4. Background
  5. Profession
  6. Drive
  7. Resources and Equipment
  8. Health, Defense, Toughness, and Speed
  9. Goals, Ties, and Relationships
  10. Name and Description
For genre and setting, we're going to do a gothic horror thing along the lines of the Touch of Evil board game or the Sleepy Hollow movie from back when nobody knew anything horrible about certain actors. So vaguely creepy rural community on the edge of civilization. I'll be doing three companions again and doing random races:
  • 3 - Demon Blooded (using the Blooded and the Demon Soldier)
  • 4-5 - Fae (using the core Elf race)
  • 6-8 - Beastfolk (using the optional race played as sort-of werecreatures)
  • 9-11 - Human
  • 12-14 - Dhampir (created using Blooded and Master Vampire)
  • 15-17 - Goblin (created using Blooded and Goblin)
  • 18 - Angel Blooded (created using Blooded and Divine Warrior)
The results are, two humans and a dhampir. (11, 11, 12). Anyway on to the creation of the gorgon.

As normal, the character concept is a gorgon archer. I'm imagining a woman escaping the crowded lands of her homelands where people know of her kind and disappearing into a distant colony on the edge of the wilds.

For Abilities, we have 12 points. I'm going to start with giving my major targets 2 each. There are no classes so we don't have to worry about primary or secondary abilities at all, not that that had too much of an impact in Fantasy AGE, but still we're even more open here. Accuracy 2, Dexterity 2, and Perception 2, for the three majors. Then I'm going to give Constitution 1, Intelligence 1, and Willpower 1. That's a total of 9 points spent and we have 3 points left. I think I will be placing these last bits into Accuracy, Willpower, and Constitution.

Race is next, we'll use the same thing we did for the Fantasy AGE. +1 to Constitution, I will choose the Dexterity (Stealth) ability focus this time. Speed is the same, characters can speak whatever languages you want up to a max of three starting with others earned by the Linguistics talent. Then we have to roll on the Blooded chart again. And I got the exact same result as last time, a 6 and a 7. So +1 Accuracy and Weapon Group Bows again which automatically becomes a Focus in this system sense there's no Class and everybody has all the weapon groups at least somewhat. Which means this character will have +2 to stats and two focuses more than the normal Modern AGE character. The companions will be similarly up-powered. Fortunately, this system handles that very easily.

Next we get back to the normal process for Modern AGE, background. We roll 1d6 twice, first to determine social class and then specific background. And I ended up rolling what makes the most sense, Outsider class and Outcast background. I was tempted to just take that anyway. The background comes with several different benefits; as Background, Profession, and Drive basically replace and overlap the Backgrounds and Races of Fantasy AGE. Outcast comes with +1 Willpower, a choice between Communication(Deception) or Dexterity(Stealth), and a choice between two talents: Living on the Fringe or Misdirection. We're going to take Communication(Deception), because we already have Dexterity(Stealth), and Novice Living on the Fringe. We also get a roll on a chart like we would see in the Fantasy AGE races. The result of the roll is Dexterity(Forgery) which must be how she got passage to the New World.

The next step is Profession and our social class sets what profession chart we roll on. If we had a higher social class we'd have the option of choosing lower class occupations. Oddly, Military is a Lower Class background but Soldier is a Middle Class occupation, making it impossible to get that combination by rolling, which feels like a mistake. Though the option to just choose a profession exists which would presumably allow you to get a higher class profession than your background, probably representing moving up in the world. I am going to go ahead and choose one from the Outsider social class, Survivalist. This gives us a choice between Accuracy (Bows or Pistols) and Perception (Tracking). We already have the Accuracy Focus we want, so we'll go with Perception (Tracking) for now to add to that living on the wild vibe more. As a further note, the Profession provides a starting Resources score and a choice between two Talents. We already have one so we could choose to move Living on the Fringe up to Expert from level 1. The other option is Tactical Awareness. I think I will boost Living on the Fringe to Expert. Our starting Resources is 0 and the last thing this does is decide our starting Health which is 20 + Con.

From here we go to Drive. These are our character's primary motives for the way she lives. It provides a Talent and an improvement to some other trait like Resources, Reputation, or the like. I am going to roll for it, 1-3 on Column 1, 4-6 on Column 2. The option rolled is a Drive of Rebel, where she has become hostile to established authority, which makes sense both for her background and for a person living in a Colonial/American Revolution era style settlement. This provides us the option of Expertise or Improvisation for Talents so I'm going to go ahead with Improvisation to be able to adapt to a large variety of situations rather than be even more specialized. We also get a choice of improving our Reputation, Relationships, or Resources. As a woman living on the edge of society who has a reputation for being a bit harsh, I think Reputation is the way to go here. And I'm going to give her a Reputation of "Scaled Witch" as Reputations are short titles and honorifics that describe the reputation while providing bonuses in certain situations.

The next step is starting resources and equipment. We have Resources 0 and so just the basic starting gear of clothing, tools for profession and one weapon for which we have a focus. We don't have a focus for knives, but a knife would fit into the tools of a survivalist, so we'll give that to her.

Now we go to derived stats. Health is based on Profession and received no other improvement so that is 20+Con which is a total of 3. Defense is 10 + Dexterity, which is a total of 12. Toughness comes based on Constitution. Toughness reduces damage and functions differently depending on whether the game is played in Gritty, Pulpy, or Cinematic mode. That has more impact on gameplay and advancement and you can choose different aspects to be at different levels for a more varied experience if you want, so I'm not going to worry about it. Regardless of which mode this game is in the Toughness level is still 3. Speed is 10 + Dexterity yards, which comes again to 12 just like Defense. There is also an optional stat called Conviction which starts at 3 points at 1st level if your campaign uses it, so we'll note that down. Characters start with a minimum of 1 Relationship.

The next two steps are Goals, Ties, Name, and Description, so I'm going to note those down below in the collected stats after I create her traveling companions.

Phaedra Hollyoak


Gorgon Outcast Survivalist, Rebel

Accuracy 4 (Bows)
Communication 0 (Deception)
Constitution 3
Dexterity 2 (Stealth, Forgery)
Fighting 0
Intelligence 1
Perception 2 (Tracking)
Strength 0
Willpower 3

Health 23
Defense 12
Toughness 3
Speed 12
Resources 0
Conviction 3
Relationships 1 (Dame Eillen D'Garosh)
Reputation: Scaled Witch (1)

Expert Living on the Fringe
Novice Improvisation

Light Leather (Warm furs)
Longbow
Quiver of 20 Arrows
Dagger
Traps
Backpack
Camping Gear

Dame Eillen sympathizes with Phaedra due to their shared non-human heritage.
Oskar Lintalos actually taught her some things about the origins of gorgons.
Geida Klaus has stood with her in battle.

Siege of Hollowguard - Crossroads Campaign - Sessions 26-29

I am writing now from within our quarters in the Center, the investigation has proven that there are certainly outsiders at work within the...

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