Sunday, December 30, 2012

Spaceship Sunday!

Eleventh Spaceship Day here! Still more awesome pics from DeviantArt. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cursed potions!

  1. Potion of Vile Seizures (1d6 hours, -3 to-hit, sneaking, thieving etc impossible)
  2. Potion of Nightmarish Visions (1d4 permanent WIS damage)
  3. Potion of Stygian Blindness (blind for 1d10 hours, save vs magic or eyes explode)
  4. Potion of Rotten Brain (1d4 permanent INT damage)
  5. Zelgog's Black Elixir (permanently reduces all stats by 1)
  6. Potion of Serpent's Tongue (mute for 1d10 hours, save vs magic or tongue rots and falls off)
  7. Wraith's Essence (level drain!)
  8. Royal Elixir (polymorphs target into giant, humanoid cockroach for 1d6 weeks)
  9. Hyrddin's Glowing Potion (causes 1d3 mutations)
  10. Potion of Unlife (classic one - save or die but after 1d12 minutes rise as the undead)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Darkest Hour - graphical inspiration

I decided to create a Pinterest board to gather all inspiring images that may be helpful in creating Dying World-inspired setting. At the moment I have ~100 pics there and I think it's enough. You can find them HERE.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Darkest Hour

So, we have the Dying Earth. Now try to think about making similar setting / some world inspired by it. Or even try to push it little further.

This is my rather chaotic list of things that may be the most interesting and / or challenging parts of designing worlds during their Darkest Hours:
  • World is Incredibly Old. It means that its moon probably flew away or was ripped apart by planet's gravity, which can cause dramatic and unpredictable climate changes, planet's tectonic activity has stopped and thus world is generally much, much flatter than now - mountains were reduced to hills. No earthquakes may mean that planet is holed by incredible number of caves, rifts and ancient, artificially created tunnels. Spelunker's heaven!
  • Not Only Sun is Dying. Fabric of reality is weakened and torn in many places. Demons infested the world, magic is strong, probably much stronger than technology. But everything has a price - magic is generally evil / unpredictable / dangerous to use.
  • Technology has Failed - why not? We want the fantasy / science fantasy setting, not some ultra-tech rubbish! :D
  • Most of the Species has Died. Climate changes, fucked light wavelength and demons roaming the earth has major impact on planet's fauna. This is the part I like the most - try to design all animal life still known by humans! Moreover, limit the number to several dozens :D I fucking love game design.
  • There are Surprisingly Many Sentient Beings. Kinda obvious - they were smart enough to survive. And they were evil enough to survive.
  • Most of the World is Uninhabited. Humans retreated to one region. Travelling from town to town within the borders of these "1d6 Kingdoms" is still dangerous but try to imagine how deadly the environment must be outside that safespot. Of course, there are 1d1000x27 reasons for adventurers why they should go and explore those unknown, forgotten lands.
Any questions and / or ideas?

Charon Prime Adventure Plots

  1. Strange, humming monument was found in Crustacean Plague-infested ruins in the north.
  2. Silent man robed in black was seen wandering on the Great Rocky Plain. He was singing strange, disturbing chants.
  3. They say that huge energy crystal, capable of powering some of the ancient machines, was used as a power source in remote metal spire located somewhere west of the Citadel of Rust.
  4. Huge rift opened in the center of the Dust Fields on the west. People are saying that strange sounds and howls can be heard from it.
  5. Active interdimensional portal was found in the depths of city's Underworld. Elders are saying that it may lead to another city.
  6. Huge wreck (maybe a spaceship) was found in the mountain range north-east of the city, next to fields infested by the Crustacean Plague.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What I'd like to see in OSR products

Most awesome feature of the whole OSR community is fact that it's constantly releasing tons of stuff - games, modules, supplements, both paid and free. However, I noticed that almost all these products are written in very "modern" style - 100% content, no fluff and - most importantly - absolute lack of author's commentary.

I want more games and supplements with tons of author's comments. Products containing stuff like "that's why I used this rule", "you can use it this way or that way", "I was inspired by this or that". I don't encourage anyone to use Gygaxian twisted style but that's something pretty easy to do.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

False start of the Ortix Worldship?

During the past few days I posted three short notes containing some very basic ideas about the Ortix Worldship - a new version of my "overworld" campaign. As the last version of my overworld game was ran about seven or eight years ago and since then game's world suffered several major mutations, nothing about its shape was certain. Even when I started to create some basic aspects of the Ortix Worldship (being the next incarnation of the setting), I wasn't certain how it will look in the future.

And now it seems that I made mistake when I started to post new stuff as fast as I was writing it.

At first moment, every aspect of Worldship's history, design, functions and current state seemed to be crystal clear for me. Same situation occured when I started to write new stuff for my other projects (in example, there are lots of Underworld Kingdom-related posts here) so I thought that it will be awesome to start sharing that new stuff with you. And now, when dozens of hard questions appeared, I feel like a little bitch :D

What about the clash between the Ve'sen and humans? What about even the simplest tools, as planet/Worldship is completely devoid of natural resources, such as minerals or ores? What about the population of the planet? Why there should be mountains, hills etc?

Of course, there are much more questions and some of them are much more important than the abovementioned. Even though I thought that I'll be able to answer to the questions above, I lost faith in that project. Why? With time, I became doubtful about the playability of the setting. I mean, initially it looked uber-cool: exploration of the surface world, monsters from the Inner Surface, remnants of Ve'sen forces, Worldship's core complexes and so on. Unfortunately, later I found some flaws in that pattern. Artificial and incredibly ancient place must be an empty place. In role-playing games, empty equals to boring.

I know myself pretty well so probably one day I will be able to fill the gaps, figure out interesting solutions to my questions and fix all the bugs (even if they are only imaginary ones). Sadly, I can't tell you how long it take me to force myself again to write something about it. And this is the moment when I wanted to apologize you for Yet Another Unfinished Series of Posts.

In the near future I'll try to post something more about my greatest problems - maybe we'll be able to fix some problems together :D Until then I'll try to focus on yet another project (this time I don't want to say even a word until I manage to write at last 20 pages of text about it!), some more information about the Charon Prime and Polish translation of... nah, I'm not authorized to tell it ;)

Wilderness Day - more swamps...

...and more and more and more. Tell me if you're bored with them!
Slightly more monsters this time. Enjoy!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ortix Worldship part Three - the Black Star

Details of the Ortix Worldship, its history, geography and inhabitants are born in pain. Everything is evolving and changing constantly, as I'm trying to create something more consistent than most of my projects. It's not an easy task, considering the very nature of game's world - it's rather complicated to create a world so different than ours. Luckily, It's only a game so I don't give a fuck about logic and laws of physics :D

As I mentioned in the first part of this series, each Worldship's power source is a small, artificial sun, suspended inside ship's megastructure. When Worldship begins to change itself into a planet, sun still remains inside it, acting like a light source for its Inner Surface.

The Black Star
It's uncertain when planet's internal light source started to emit strange, orange-red light. It's almost sure that it happened thousands of years ago or maybe even during the Population Phase, as the change of light's frequency has major impact on the flora and fauna of the Inner Surface.
Moreover - alteration of the properties of the sun wasn't a simple power loss - it looks more like a change of the sun's profile and power output or even like a change of its very nature.
Every person who saw the radiance of the Black Star admits that it emits eerie, disturbing radiance, impossible to detect or measure by any scientific methods, but clearly noticeable by any living being. This effect, combined with an absence of night-day cycle and general weirdness of the inhabitants of the Inner Surface makes it a really unsettling (and potentially dangerous) place.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Name generator (and some guidelines)

Probably everyone knows this fantasy name generator. I discovered it relatively late but quickly it became my favourite one. Reason is simple - it's advanced interface allows you to generate almost any type of name. I use it mainly for the alien-sounding names, not resembling ordinary human words.

Advanced interface is really simple to use (especially because there's a detailed guide how to use it) but I want to share with you my sets of "name-seeds" Some of them generate rather typical fantasy names, some are able to spit out really weird things! If you manage to create some other good seeds, feel free to post them in comments - I'll definitely check them out!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Worldship part Two - the Ortix Worldship


Second part of my ramblings.This is the real start of the story about the Worldship orbiting the Cold Star. Still very raw text and many things are still unknown even for me. Probably even some very basic aspects of the Worldship's history may change.

The Ortix Worldship 
In case of the Worldship which is the center of our story, something went wrong. Probably some of the Ancestors woke up during the Transmutation phase. No one knows what happened but probably some kind of conflict erupted between them. Most of the Ancestors was killed and some Worldship’s processes were altered, maybe because of damage done to its mainframes or maybe as a result of intentional action. 
First and most important change was fact that no Guardians were awaken. This led to serious problems: when meteor shower devastated a large region of the of the outer surface, flora and fauna development went out of control, the same disaster caused major problems with Worldship’ security systems – gates between the Inner Surface and ship’s core complexes were opened and some breeding and gene-altering facilities went mad. Effects were terrifying – vile monsters had infested the Worldship itself. 
In addition, absence of Guardians had even more serious consequences – spaceship from the planet Earth has arrived.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Some old ideas... [Worldship part One]

Worldship during the initial phase could look like this
As you probably remember (or not! :D) I decided to separate the ideas about the surface world from the Underworld Kingdom. Now, when writing of the Bandits & Battlecruisers is finished, I felt rather empty.

Of course I have several unfinished projects (at least four, if I remember correctly) but I need more to feel busy enough :D That's the one of reasons why I started working on Ortix again - second one is because I had an idea how to change it into something bigger, more diverse and maybe slightly more original than typical Yet Another Science Fantasy Setting.

This is Part One, covering only the most basic aspects of the Worldship's concept. If you read this blog carefully you should find some huge similarities to one of my other projects ;)

Try to imagine a spaceship so big that it’s powered by the internal, artificial sun. This fully automated vessel is able to travel through the Nullspace in search for a perfect place for a new colony. When Worldship finds such place, it shifts back into the normal space, sits on the orbit best for the life sustaining and start to reshape itself.
After some time, Worldship takes hollow, spherical shape, with artificial sun still suspended inside it. Transmuting devices begin to create it’s surfaces – both inside and outside ones. When it’s done, newly created planet begin to be populated.
During the “life creation” phase, Worldship begin to wake the Guardians – powerful artificial entities designed for balancing the population and protecting the Worldship from any threats from space, including any attempts of colonization by other sapient creatures.
Next and final step is to awake the Worldship’s creators - the Ve'sen. Some of them – the wisest and most powerful ones, called the Ancestors - are sleeping in the stasis cells, while most of them are born in automated breeding facilities. Their new home world is now complete.

I used the above image without permission but to be fair- here is a link to its DA page.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This time it's a REALLY IMPORTANT update!

Okay, boys and girls. After six months of work (with some long breaks of course :D), contents of the Bandits and Battlecruisers rulebook are finally ready. Without the title page (and its blank back), rulebook has exactly 111 A5-sized pages of initially formatted text. Proofreading will start today and I hope it will end tomorrow. Next week my publisher will try to set up every bureaucratic aspect of the releasing the game, while I'll try to learn some basic aspects of DTP :D

I hope that game will hit the RPGNow / DtRPG and Lulu in January.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bandits & Battlecruisers cover!

Created from the old comic book cover (public domain). It was a pretty good comic so it's my effort to keep this artwork from falling into oblivion :D Click to enlarge.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bandits & Battlecruisers - questions, concerns, doubts...

As you probably know, writing of Bandits & Battlecruisers is coming to an end. I have 104 A5-sized pages of initially formatted text, the only thing I need to do before completing it is to re-write spaceship combat and space exploration chapters from the Terminal Space, create descriptions of some spaceship-sized monsters (three is a bit too little, don't you think? :D) and create stat blocks for eight more sample starships.

And this is moment when I should start asking some really important questions.

As I stated before (can't find that post, so probably it was on G+), Bandits & Battlecruisers: the Ultimate Edition will be not available for free. That's the reason why I wanted to make it really good-looking, with nice borders, formatting and cool artwork. Unfortunately, I have no money to hire artists so things got really complicated. But there is seemingly obvious solution - crowdfunding.

At first moment I was very optimistic - easy way to gather some gold to pay people for their artwork. I even wrote on Geeplus that there will be a Indiegogo campaign once I finish the writing. Sadly, there is some serious problem standing in my way.

That problem is a fucking Atlantic Ocean! Combined with shitty Polish postal services, shipment costs for printed version of the game will be at least $8 to $10. Little too much for a rulebook costing less than $20. It gets even worse in case of shipping costs for any additional goodies, such as t-shirts or original artwork (even as much as $20 for shipping - it's fucking sick). That's the reason why I don't want to start a crowdfunding without possibility to receive any physical objects, with just PDFs and stuff.

So here is a question - do you have something against buying a game with little artwork + some probably well-known public domain images? Good thing is that it will be 1) cheaper, 2) available much faster than with all that ass-kicking artwork. Please remember that this game will be not a simple fusion of Terminal Space and Bandits & Basilisks - it will have hundreds of additional options; in example, there will be - let me check it - 23 new random tables or charts, 10 new starships, new items, new starship components and so on...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Weapon upgrades

There are several different weapon upgrades that may be installed in your starship. Each one takes up only one free space slot but each upgrade is connected to single weapon (in example, single laser collimator cannot be used with two laser cannons). Only single damage mod and single range mod per weapon can be installed.

  • Gyrostabilizers can be used with recoilless cannons and other explosive-based projectile weapons. +1 damage, 3000 Credits each.
  • Cannon accelerators increase range of projectile weapons by 25%. 2800 Credits each.
  • Magnetic stabilizers increase damage dealt by railguns by one point. 5700 Credits.
  • Laser collimators increase damage of laser weaponry by 1. 4300 Credits
  • Additional focusing crystals are increasing range of laser weapons by 20%. 3500 Credits.
  • Particle converters increase damage dealt by particle weapons by one point. 5100 Credits. 
  • Particle magnetizers increase effective range of particle weaponry by 20%. 3300 Credits.
  • Phase amplifiers can be used with any phase weaponry to add +1 do damage. 7500 Credits.
  • Additional plasma pumps increase range of plasma weapons by 25%. 7100 Credits.

Can't find any examples of particle or rail weaponry in Terminal Space? Don't worry, they will appear in Bandits & Battlecruisers!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blog of the Month - Metal Earth

With no apparent reason!

Gib / Aos created lots of really outstanding things and posted on his blog. Lots of great artwork with 100% pure Old School feeling, lots of great maps and shitloads of creative content. One of the first OSR blogs I started to read.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Behemoth Freighters

These monsters are very rarely built nowadays, mostly because of very complicated maintenance and lack of defense systems. Despite that at least several Behemoth Freighters are still in use but most of them are used as stationary storages. If on run, they are often protected by military ships of various sized (mostly frigates and heavy missile ships).

Hull: special (57 structure points, -50% to Pilot skill)
Armor: titanium alloy (eight sections, 60 durability points each)
Reactor: six ancient nuclear reactors (treat as expanded one)
Drive Class: D
Maneuvering thrusters: lots! (but you'll pilot this monster at -50% mod, sorry)
Jump Drive: yes (it takes six to eight hours to heat it before jump)
Sensors: military +100% range
Jamming systems: none
Armament: none
Ammo: none
Shield generator: none
Cargo space: one million tons without life support and gravity, 10000 tons with gravity, 500 tons with life support and gravity.
Other: AI directly connected to ship's jump drive, hydroponic plantations, quarters for 30 crew members, three independent cryo-stasis decks (each designed for 36 people), 9 external docking points, auxiliary main drives, fuel tanks with a capacity of 100000 tons.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012