Sunday, August 16, 2020

[OSE] Geckofolk race-class


After trying out Old School Essentials (OSE) for several sessions, I've grown very fond of that ruleset. Therefore, I've turned some of my creative energies towards OSE. As a huge fan of lizards of all kinds, I've decided to open my way to this with a... Gecko. Geckofolk, to be exact. So, without further ado, here is that race-class. I designed this class with The Welsh Piper LLC's BX Options: Class Builder, a book which I recommend to anyone interested in OSE.





Geckofolk

Requirement: Dexterity 9+

Prime requisite: Dexterity

Hit Dice: 1d6

Maximum level: 9

Armor: Any appropriate to size, but without shields

Weapons: Any appropriate to size

Languages: Alignment, Common, Gecko-speak

From the far deserts come the Geckofolk - small-bodied hunters who resemble humanoid fan-fingered geckos. A gecko-person weighs approximately 30kg (60 pounds) and stands around 120cm tall (4 feet) not including the tail, which may reach 60cm (2 feet) in length. Geckofolk have a yellowish to grey skin of fine scales, and large, bulbous eyes with slit pupils. "Fans" with adhesion pads adore their fingers and toes, allowing them to climb almost any surface, and even walk on overhand horizontal surfaces. Their native tongue is typified by chirps and tongue-clicks, and in Common or their Alignment Language, they speak with a squeaky voice.

Geckofolk are hunters. While they eat fruits, especially sweet ones, their primary diet is composed of prey - anything from rodents to massive reptile beasts. They patiently lie in wait, usually as a group of their tribe's hunters, for the prey to come - and leap upon it in the most opportune moment, striking with speed and without mercy.

When playing a gecko-person, be patient. Wait. Think first. Contemplate your options. The world can wait. Never act rashly. But when it is time to act - act decisively and at lightning speed, with well-calculated precision.

Prime Requisite: a gecko-person with at least 13 in Dexterity gains a +5% bonus to experience.

Combat: geckofolk may wear any type of armor, but it must be tailored to their small size. They may not use shields, but may use any weapon appropriate for their stature (as determined by the Referee). They may not use long-bows or other two-handed weapons.

Backstab: When attacking an unaware opponent from behind, a gecko-person receives a +4 bonus to hit and doubles any damage dealt.

Gecko-Climb: geckofolk can readily climb almost any wall or walk on any ceiling at half their movement speed, and cling to walls ceilings effortlessly.

Hiding: geckofolk are adept at stealth and ambushing their foes. In rocky or desert settings, they have a 90% chance to successfully hide. In dungeons or urban settings, geckofolk can hide in shadows or behind cover, with a 2-in-6 chance of success.

Infravision: geckofolk may see in the dark to a distance of up to 30 feet.

Sniping: when attacking an unaware opponent with a missile weapon, a gecko-person receives a +4 bonus to hit and doubles any damage dealt.

Stronghold: any time the Gecko-person desires (and has sufficient money), they may build a stronghold - a hideout for a new geckofolk tribe. Such hideouts are typically located in the deserts or among dry mountains, but the hidden nooks and crannies of colder, wetter cities also serve them well.

Your Tail May be Shed! Geckofolk with a full tail may shed their tail to automatically avoid one physical attack (melee or missile), or gain a +4 bonus to a single saving throw against a physical threat (such as a breath weapon). A tail takes a month to regrow, given a good food supply.


D: Death/poison; W: Wands; P: Paralysis/petrify; B: Breath attacks; S: Spells/rods.staves.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Trying Out Old School Essentials (OSE)



Played Old School Essentials (OSE) for the first time last night (as a player) through Roll20. Playing The Bonesmith the Lawful Cleric from the OSE Rogues Gallery. Setting is dark and at least partially weird. Using ascending AC.

Migrated from Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. OSE is more to my taste than AS&SH, at least in terms of rules and book layout/formatting.

The rules work perfectly and naturally. Effortlessly. Almost no need to reference the books once character sheets were ready (a few minutes' work). Only time we (players) looked into the book was to check how the Sleep spell works in this specific ruleset (it changes slightly between OSR games).

Fought some bandits and some wolves. Combat is fast and brutal. Though we spent most of the session role-playing and exploring, with the Referee rolling a few dice here and there (for random encounters, as far as I recall).

All in all, one of the best OSR rulesets I played!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Nibiru - Basic Math


For a full-res map

I have previously posted a map for my Nibiru sword & planet setting for ACKS. Now, it is time to do some basic mathematical calculations about this setting, using the ACKS rules.

Nibiru is a dying planet and population is low. In "civilized", cultivated areas such as the city-states, population density is 40 people per square mile, that is, 250 families per 6-mile hex. In desert areas, even with mining and some cultivation, population density is 20 families per square mile, that is, 125 families per 6-mile hex.

Built around city-states with some remnant Ancient technology, Nibiru is an "Advanced, Urban Realm" (2 rows downward on the ACKS p.231 urban population table) and has a very "Centralized Settlement Pattern" (2 rows downward for the Largest settlement).

The city-state of Anurash controls 53x "civilized" 6-mile hexes, and thus has an approximate population of 13250 families, placing it somewhere between a county and a duchy in ACKS terms. Thus, Anurash is a City (Class III market) of approx. 3000 families, out of approx. 4000 urban families in the realm.

The city-state of Ennung controls 42x "civilized" 6-mile hexes, and thus an approximate population of 10500 families, placing it somewhere between a county and a duchy in ACKS terms. Thus, Ennung is a Small City (Class IV market) of approx. 1500 families, out of approx. 2500 urban families in the realm.

The city-state of Erida controls 63x "civilized" 6-mile hexes and thus an approximate population of 15750 families, placing it somewhere between a county and a duchy in ACKS terms. Thus, Erida is a City (Class III market) of approx. 3500 families, out of approx. 5000 urban families in the realm.

Desh is a fortress-village controlled by Erida. It has a population of 200 families, making it a Village (Class VI market).

Kur is a fortress-village controlled by Erida. It has a population of 250 families, making it a Village (Class VI market).

The city-state of Edin controls 48x "civilized" 6-mile hexes and thus an approximate population of 12000 families, placing it somewhere between a county and a duchy in ACKS terms. Thus, Edin is a Small City (Class IV market) of approx. 2000 families, out of approx. 3000 urban families in the realm.

Telal is a fortress-village controlled by Edin. It has a population of 150 families, making it a Village (Class VI market).

Zag, an independent fortress, controls 7 desert hexes. Thus, 875 families in total, making it almost a March (or a huge barony) in ACKS terms. Thus, Zag is a Village (Class VI market) of approx. 100 families out of approx. 500 urban families in the realm (most locals live from commerce and a little subsistence farming rather than more extensive agriculture).

Barzal, an independent fortress, controls 12 desert hexes. Thus, 1500 families in total, making it a huge March in ACKS terms. Thus, Barzal is a Village in ACKS terms, and would be a Class VI market by RAW, but I'd making it a Class V market due to extensive mining and trade. Barzal has 200 resident families, out of the realm's total of 400 urban families. Most economic activity here is mining and commerce, and much of the food comes from traders.

Helix is a village controlled by Barzal. It has a population of 75 families, making it a Small Village (Class VI market).

Meshanna, an independent fortress, controls 5 desert hexes, and thus has a population of 625 families, making it almost a March (or a huge barony) in ACKS terms. Thus, Meshanna is a Village (Class VI market) of approx. 100 families out of approx. 150 urban families in the realm (most locals live from commerce and mining and a little subsistence farming rather than more extensive agriculture).

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Nibiru - updated Scar's Maw regional map


(scale: 1 hex = 6 miles)

I have recently posted the regional map draft for my Nibiru sword & planet setting. I have updated the map, adding a legend for the various terrain types; a few more sites; and domain borders for the various polities.

EirdaEnnugAnurash, and Edin are independent city-states.


Telal is essentially Torus Tem - A fortress built by Edin as one of several to protect it from desert raiders. Now, half in ruins. Expect a nasty low-level dungeon in the nearby fungal forest.


Desh and Kur are fortified trade stations controlled by Erida.


Barzal is an independent fortified town on the Eastern Road, engaged in trade and mining, and so is Meshanna.


Zag is an independent fortified trade station.


Helix is a small village ruled by Barzal, now becoming a "boomtown" with the winds exposing the Pyramidal Maze (Barrowmaze).


Udrea and Sag are Ancient ruins, up in the highland, where the cold is harsh and the air is thin.


Barzal mines iron, Meshanna mines copper. They trade for much of their food with Erida, but also engage in some subsistence farming.


Helix used to engage in mushroom-forestry but now gains much more from adventurers and the business they bring.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Nibiru - Scar's Maw Regional Map work-in-progress



I began designing the starting region for my  prospective Nibiru sword & planet campaign setting. So, without further ado, here is the regional map (scale: 1 hex = 6 miles) of the Scar's Maw region, opening up to the Rusted Sea desert.

Eirda, Anurash, and Edin are independent city-states.

Telal is essentially Torus Tem - A fortress built by Edin as one of several to protect it from desert raiders. Now, half in ruins. Expect a nasty low-level dungeon in the nearby fungal forest.

Barzal is an independent fortified town on the Eastern Road, engaged in trade and mining., and so is Meshanna.

Helix is a small village ruled by Barzal, now becoming a "boomtown" with the winds exposing the Pyramidal Maze (Barrowmaze).

Barzal mines iron, Meshanna mines copper. They trade for much of their food with Erida, but also engage in some subsistence farming.

Helix used to engage in mushroom-forestry but now gains much more from adventurers and the business they bring.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Nibiru - a Sword & Planet setting for ACKS




Nibiru is a dying, ancient world. Once it was the seat of wondrously advanced civilization. But now it is far past its peak. In its hubris and avarice, it became decadent, declined, and finally only a shadow of its semblance is left. Where forests stood, now cold deserts sprawl. Cities lie in ruins. The oceans are dry. Vast polar ice caps trap most water - and not a little of the atmosphere.

The Scar- Nibiru's vast equatorial rift valley - once housed Nibiru's mightiest river, which fed the Old Sea to the south. Now it is far more slender and feeds the Scar's own small, salty sea. The Old Sea dried; it is now a cold, salty plain called the Rusted Sea. But at least one can easily breathe the air of the Rusted Sea. Unlike the Northern Highlands, where the air is thin, hardly breathable on the Highlands proper, and utterly unbreathable on the Northern Mountains.

Eons ago, Nibiru was a warm, humid world with significant jungles. Ruled by reptiles of all kinds. Dinosaurs. A reptiloid civilization. For some reason, potentially something nasty the reptiloids did (technomagical war? an experiment gone astray?), the world started to begin to cool and dry out. This stabilized for a few eons, though the jungles were gone. The reptiloids were mostly extinct, as were most dinosaurs. The survivors migrated underground, where it was still warm and humid.

Eons passed. The Ancients rose. They were slender and intelligent to begin with; at their technological pinnacle, their physical prowess declined while their intelligence rose (think hairless elves growing into shorter and thinner Gray Aliens). The Ancients built a massive civilization of sorcery and superscience.
Their eldritch might grew to a degree that a sizeable percentage of their population had at least some sorcerous abilities.

The ancients, in their final form, were unsuited for war and labor. Initially, they used machines for these ends, but as they grew decadent and sorcerous, breeding servitor races was cheaper. They crossed themselves with White Apes to create Men - versatile servitors better suited for labor and war. They then crossed Men with White Apes once more - to create the far less intelligent Ape-Men as heavy laborers and shock troops. They crossed Men with surviving Reptilians to create Lizardmen and shock troops. They then crossed themselves once more with Men to create foremen and officers for their servitors, the Nephilim.

The Ancients' decadence knew no end. As they turned to Black Magic for raw power, Nibiru's already fragile Ishtar, the world-goddess, began to die. Their technology and sorcery already declined to such a low degree that they could not resurrect Ishtar.

As the world began to die and dry out once again, the Ancients dug canals, fed by vast machines on the polar ice-caps, to bring water to the dry equatorial regions, where the climate was still bearable.
But the Ancients died out themselves. (technomagical war? summoning the wrong demons?).

Now, only their former servitors remain to fend for themselves.

So, you have, among other things:
  • Men.
  • Ape-Men and Lizard-Men (beastmen-equivalents?).
  • Sorcerous Nephilim.
  • Above-ground (at least partially) ruins of the Ancients.
  • Remnant Ancient superscience and sorcerous remnants/
  • Deep underground Lost Worlds inhabited by dinosaurs and reptilians!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Dark Nebula 2900 CE: Library Data

I am proud to present you with the first full draft of the Library Data for the Dark Nebula 2900 CE setting!

Get it HERE!