Archive for the ‘ RPG ’ Category

M Is for Mystic

mystic: (adj.) having seemingly supernatural qualities or powers

Today’s post strays a bit away from the general theme of monsters and NPCs, but that’s okay. It’s my theme, and I’ll stray from it if I want. Right? I pulled TSR’s Faiths & Avatars off a shelf in order to convert its mystic priest class into a form more amenable to Swords & Wizardry.


Whereas Clerics are warrior-priests and -priestesses in the service of the gods, the Numinous serve Lawful powers in less martial roles, finding and unlocking the traces of the divine that lay hidden in the natural world. Many Numinous travel the lands, giving aid to the sick and oppressed. Others serve in royal courts as advisors and diviners. Through their mystic insights, the Numinous create elixirs and candles that mimic the effects of magical spells. They may also benefit from flashes of intuitive knowledge and manifestations of blessed charisma.

Prime Attribute: Wisdom 13+ (the character gains a +5% experience bonus if their Prime Attribute is 13 or higher.)
Hit Dice: 1d6/level (A Numinous gains just 1 hp/level after 11th level.)
Armor/Shield Permitted: Numinous may not use armor or shields.
Weapons Permitted: Numinous may use daggers, darts, and staffs only.
Race: Only elves, half-elves, halflings, and humans may become Numinous.
Alignment: Lawful only

Class Abilities

The Basics: Numinous use the same attack matrix as Clerics. They gain a +2 saving throw bonus against charms.

Charm: As Numinous gain levels, they acquire the ability to manifest increasingly powerful instances of blessed charisma. At 1st level, Numinous can use Sleep once per day. At 4th level, they can use Charm Person once per day, and they also gain another daily use of Sleep. At 9th level, Numinous can use Charm Monster once per day, and they gain one additional daily use of lower level charm abilities. Finally, at 16th level, Numinous can use Charm Plants once per day, they gain one additional daily use of lower level abilities.

Intuition: As Numinous gain levels, they benefit from flashes of intuitive knowledge. At 2nd level, Numinous can use Detect Magic once per day. At 5th level, they can use Detect Evil once per day, and they also gain one more daily use of Detect Magic. At 10th level, Numinous can use either Clairaudience or Clairvoyance once per day, and they gain one additional daily use of lower level intuition abilities. Finally, at 17th level, Numinous can use Find the Path once per day, and they gain one more daily use of lower level intuition abilities.

Numen: Starting at 3rd level, Numinous learn how to mix nonmagical ingredients to create elixirs and candles can mimic magical effects. The ingredients needed for an elixir cost 1,000 gold pieces per “level” of the numen for an elixir or twice that for a candle. For example, a sleep elixir’s ingredients cost 1,000 gold pieces. It takes one day to start the process, and during this time the Numinous may not travel or work on more than one elixir or candle. Once the ingredients are mixed and sealed in a proper container, the rest of the process occurs more or less automatically unless the contents are spilled or otherwise fouled. It takes one week for an elixir or two weeks for a candle to reach potency, and no Numinous can keep an eye on more in-process elixirs and potions than one third of his level at a time (drop fractions). The different elixirs and candles Numinous can make at different levels are explained below.

Numinous candles all burn for 90 minutes before being totally consumed. A candle must be burned for at least 10 minutes before its effects can be felt. A partial burning, such as for 4 or 6 minutes, does not activate the candle, but it does count as a usage. The subjects of a candle must remain within 10 feet of the candle throughout the burning to be affected.

Elixirs lose their potency after one week. A candle loses its potency after a two weeks.

* Numen 1 – Sleep Elixir: This can either be an ingested liquid or a concoction that be used on weapons. The former version has four doses, and each dose works like a Sleep spell against a single target who drinks the liquid. The latter version can coat up to six darts, bolts, or arrows, or one bladed weapon. It also works like a Sleep spell against a single target who is injured by the coated weapon.

* Numen 2 – Truth Elixir: When a person ingests a truth elixir, he must make a saving throw or fall into a stupor for 1d4 rounds, during which time he will answer one question per round truthfully. The stupor acts like a Slow spell for the duration of the elixir.

* Numen 3 – Love Elixir & Love Candle: A love elixir causes a person who drinks it to fall madly in love with the first creature he or she perceives after consuming it. If a romantic attraction is possible toward the first person viewed, the drinker falls in love with that person. Otherwise, the drinker’s love is a platonic adoration. The effects of the philter are permanent unless removed by appropriate magic. A love candle has the same effects, but it can target more than one person at a time.

* Numen 4 – Healing Elixir: This elixir has the same effect as a potion of healing.

* Numen 5 – Extra-Healing Elixir & Protection Candle: An extra-healing elixir has the same effect as a potion of extra-healing. A protection candle acts as a double-strength Protection from Evil on affected persons.

* Numen 6 – Healing Candle: This candle heals 1d6 points of damage per turn of burning per affected person. All healing occurs at once at the end of the burning.

* Numen 7 – Telepathy Candle: This candle mentally links the affected persons for 1 hour per 10 minutes of exposure to the candle, divided by the number of affected persons. Communication via telepathy occurs over any distance on the same plane, and it transcends language barriers. Falsehoods and evasions are not possible via telepathy. A person may make a saving throw to resist the effects of this candle.

* Numen 8 – Fortune Candle: For every 10 minutes of exposure, affected persons enjoy good luck for 1 hour, divided by the number of affected persons. These persons enjoy a +1 or +5% bonus on all rolls related saving throws, attack rolls, ability checks, et cetera. Damage rolls are not affected.

* Grand Numen 9 – Purification Candle: This candle can affect only one person, who is chosen from those within range by the one who snuffs out the candle. For each turn the candle is burnt, it has a 10% cumulative chance of blessing the target with Remove Curse, Cure Serious Wounds, and Restoration. The one who snuffs the candle incurs any negative results imposed by these effects.

April 15th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

L Is for Lawless

lawless: (adj.) not governed by or obedient to laws; characterized by a lack of civic order

Nota Bene: My original plan was to present an NPC for TSR’s 2nd edition Boot Hill from 1979. Unfortunately, the game’s box is nearly empty, and the rulebook seems to have ridden off into the sunset. (The rulebook is somewhere in the house, but I can’t find it.) I have a PDF of the 1st edition rules, but I never played them, and I’m trying to stick to writing stuff for game I’ve played. So, here we go with TSR’s 3rd edition Boot Hill from 1990.

Luc Sansloy’s grandfather, Jean-Pierre Sanloy, fled the Terror in early 1794 with his wife, Marie Anne, and newborn son, Jean-Luc, leaving behind his ancestral home in Bretagne, first traveling to England and then later to Quebec, Canada. He parleyed his title and remaining wealth into a lucrative partnership with a Québécois mercantile business. Within the first years of the 19th century, the Sanloy family lived in the lap of luxury, and Jean-Pierre was widely respected in public circles.

But within the walls of his new mansion, Jean-Pierre was feared and hated. He ruled his wife and son with an iron fist, punishing even minor errors with the back of his hand. “For every slip, there is a slap,” Jean-Pierre often reminded. When Jean-Pierre died of a stroke in 1814, few sincere tears of sorrow were shed. Unfortunately by this time, Jean-Luc, then a young man, had learned his father’s lessons well. What’s more, he had the wealth and position to indulge in base cruelties without much fear of legal reprisals.

Jean-Luc took a young wife soon after his mother died of tuberculosis in 1817. This young lady died in a riding accident after only a few months of marriage. Persistent rumors claimed that not all of the cuts and bruises on her broken body were suffered in the fatal fall. Jean-Luc traveled for several years thereafter, visiting Europe, Africa, and South America. He returned to Quebec from these trips in 1825 with a new wife, Temitope, a Yoruba woman whose stunning beauty masked terrible cruelty.

Luc Sansloy was born in 1827 in Jean-Luc’s inherited mansion. From his earliest days, Luc received a vigorous education in vice and spite. Jean-Luc and Temitope used their son as a pawn in their twisted games of mutual abuse, and Luc quickly grew to hate both his parents. As he grew into adolescence, Luc spread his wings and inserted himself into his parents’ abusive contests. He succeeded in convincing Temitope that Jean-Luc was plotting to send her back Africa’s West Coast so that he can could wed one of his mistresses.

This led to an escalation resulting in Temitope poisoning Jean-Luc, who shot his wife in the head and chest before he died. After the official inquiry into the deaths was completed, Luc sold much of his family’s assets and then set fire to his grandfather’s house. He left Quebec for the U.S.’s frontier in 1842.

Since then, Luc has left a swath of blood and remorse in his wake. He prides himself on his lawlessness. He has worked as both a conductor on the Underground Railroad as well as a slave hunter in free territories. During the U.S. Civil War, he fought for the Confederacy at first, but then deserted and fought for the Union. After the South fell, he deserted again, and headed west, ending up in Utah territory.

Luc Sansloy is almost completely amoral. There is no crime he will not at least seriously consider, and he’s guilty of breaking most laws, both those of man and of God. Despite his brutish appearance, Luc possesses a keen mind backed by a classical education. He is not be underestimated, and no one should trust him far at all. Luc’s only laws are his whims.

Luc Sansloy
Strength: 12
Coordination: 10
Observation: 14
Stature: 13
Luck: 6

Skills: Brawling 4, Fast Draw 12, Knife/Sword 4, Linguistics 8, Literacy 11, Pistol 5, Riding 10, Rifle 5

April 14th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

K Is for Kinetic

kinetic: (adj.) of, relating to, or resulting from motion

Nota Bene: In keeping with my Old School theme this month, I’ve previously posted material for TSR’s 1st edition Gamma World and Chaosium’s 4th edition Stormbringer. In keeping with that trend, I’ve dusted off TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes for today’s post. If you like this game, check ClassicMarvelForever.

Khalid commands impressive power, both directly in the force of his ability to manipulate kinetic energy, but also through his extensive resources and connections. While much of his past is hidden in a tangle of contradictory stories, maybe none of which is actually true, Khalid is not an unknown quantity. He has amassed a considerable fortune through his business and scientific acumen, and he is well known and respected in international terrorist circles.

Within those circles, Khalid seldom takes a direct hand. Instead, he provides weapons and financial backing, always insulated from direct condemnation by layers of plausible deniability. Everyone knows Khalid is a terrorist, but no one can ever seem to show his involvement in any terrorist activity.

The source of Khalid’s superhuman powers is unknown. He does not seem to be a mutant. Given his intelligence and scientific knowledge, it is most likely he gained his powers through some sort of experiment. Regardless of the source of his powers, Khalid is not be underestimated. He is intelligent, ruthless, and sophisticated.

Fighting: Good (10)
Agility: Good (10)
Strength: Typical (6)
Endurance: Excellent (20)
Reason: Remarkable (30)
Intuition: Remarkable (30)
Psyche: Incredible (40)

Health: 46
Karma: 100
Resources: Incredible (40)
Popularity: -20

Talents & Powers: Business/Finance, Engineering, Martial Arts A, Physics

Kinetic Energy Control: Khalid controls kinetic energy with Amazing ability. He has developed several Power Stunts, which are detailed hereafter.

* Kinetic Acceleration: Khalid can increase his speed and reflexes via Kinetic Energy Control. This duplicates Remarkable Lightning Speed.

* Kinetic Blasts: Khalid can fire blast of kinetic energy out to Amazing range, inflicting up to Amazing damage.

* Kinetic Reduction Aura: In a one area radius around Khalid, the force of kinetic energy is reduced. This imposes a -4CS to Fighting, Agility, movement powers, and damage from attacks that rely on kinetic force. Only damage from attacks that rely on kinetic force can be reduced Shift 0. Other affected qualities can be reduced to no lower than Feeble. For every affected target, increase Khalid’s Strength by +1CS (maximum Amazing). Khalid is not affected by his own kinetic reduction aura.

* Kinetic Sense: Khalid can detect sources of kinetic energy within his area. He uses his Kinetic Energy Control rank instead of Intuition for determining surprise, instead of Fighting for blocking, and instead of Agility for dodging, assuming the source of the threat results from kinetic energy.

April 12th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

J Is for Jaded

jaded: (adj.) tired, bored, or lacking enthusiasm, typically after having had too much of something

Yeşim Taşı hails from Glædwine, where she grew up in modest circumstances for the first couple of decades of her life. When Yeşim was in her late teens, she scored “moderate potential” on psychic aptitude tests, but was later rejected from academy studies due to a “lack of discipline and moral seriousness”.

Yeşim’s psychic aptitude was not one of “moderate potential”, but instead represents a shift in psychic norms that no test at the time was constructed to properly evaluate. In truth, Yeşim possesses hyper-precognitive abilities, which she has developed and sharpened on her own through trial and error since being rejected by the academy. Yeşim now continuously “sees” several seconds into the future at all times.

In the decade since her academy rejection, Yeşim has experienced a lifetime of adventure. She has been a mercenary, an explorer, a grifter, an entrepreneur, and a smuggler, and she has enjoyed great success in all of these ventures. Indeed, her successes have been so great and so consistent that Yeşim has grown bored with it all.

Only in her early thirties, Yeşim is fabulously wealthy, and she has a list of influential allies nearly as long as her list of sworn enemies. She is restless, eager to answer some new challenge that for at least a while can keep her thrilled, feeling alive.

Due to her hyper-precognition, Yeşim succeeds where most people of similar experience and skill would fail. She “sees” the consequences of her actions before she takes those actions. This has three game effects:

1. Yeşim always rolls twice for any attack roll, skill check, or saving throw, and she takes the better of the two rolls. She is also better able to avoid attacks, even those she may not be aware of. Yeşim has a +4 bonus to Armor Class as a result.

2. Once per hour, she may use the omen precognition psychic power with no power point cost. This permits Yeşim to experience a brief subconscious examination of future possibilities. She must have a relatively straightforward choice before her, perhaps to open a box, swallow a pill, or go into a spaceport bar. Yeşim receives a distinct sense of whether following that course of action will result in physical injury or mental distress within the next ten minutes, according to the GM’s best judgment of likely outcomes.

3. With no power point cost, Yeşim may use the foretelling psychic power. With ten minutes of focused meditation, she can activate this power for an impression of the next important event that is likely to involve her personally within the next week. Brief images and visions of place are usually obtained, usually involving those people and locations most important to the event. If no important event is likely to happen within the next week, the power returns nothing. This ability can be used only once per week or until the foreseen event comes to pass, whichever comes first.

Yesim Tasi
Armor Class: 5 (unarmored)
Hit Dice: 6+6 (21 hit points)
Attack Bonus: +3
Damage: 1d6 laser pistol
Skill Bonus: +3
Saving Throw: 12+
Movement: 30 ft.
Morale: 10

April 11th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

I Is for Infernal

infernal: (adj.) liable to or deserving condemnation

Savaş hails from an alien world. Once he was something at least very close to human. He had a body of flesh and bone and blood. He loved a woman and the children she bore him. He served proudly as a warrior in the army of his sovereign, fighting with honor and ferocity to protect his people and their interests. Then came the demons from the stars, who disguised themselves as men and murdered warriors, stealing and imprisoning their brains within infernal machines of almost limitless destructive power.

This is how Savaş became an inhuman, infernal machine, designed and used by the demons in their endless wars against their enemies spread across thousands of worlds. After centuries of bloodshed, Savaş managed to overcome the demons’ control. His mind, so long unmoored from his body, grew strong enough to make a decision.

And so Savaş deserted the demons’ war, stealing a transport capable of voyaging between stars. When he found a distant world untouched by the demons or their enemies, Savaş abandoned the transport, crashing it into the arctic, nearly airless heights of an ice-capped mountain range. Everything and everyone Savaş loved is gone and turned to dust. He bears the guilt of one forced by amoral masters to slay thousands of sentient creatures in bloody conflicts in wars fought on countless worlds for centuries. Still, perhaps at long last, Savaş would know peace and independence.

And even the gods might have trouble preserving those who would dare come between Savaş and those goals.

Savaş is a death machine from TSR’s first edition of Gamma World, modified slightly and adapted for Swords & Wizardry. He is a ridiculously powerful NPC, able to single-handedly wreak destruction on an enormous scale. As a machine, Savaş doesn’t require food, water, air, sleep, et cetera. He is immune to poison and disease. Savaş is 20 yards long, 9 yards wide, and 4 yards high. He weighs a bunch of tons, and he is powered by a fusion reactor.

Hit Dice: 167 (750 hit points)
Armor Class: 1 [18]
Attack: up to 6 weapons +15 (damage varies, see below)
Special: Advanced weaponry, anti-gravity pods, energy screens, sensors, telepathy
Move: up to 90 miles per hour (flying)
Saving Throw: 3
Alignment: Neutrality
Number Encountered: Unique
Challenge Level/XP: 155/49,400

Advanced Weaponry: Includes the following weapons. A single battery is treated like one weapon.

* 2 Blaster Cannons: 10d10 points of damage out to 750 yards, 7d10 point of damage out to 1500 yards, or 5d10 points of damage out to 3000 yards. A cannon takes 4 rounds to recharge after being fired.
* 6 Black Ray Cannons: Instant death to a single living target with 300 yards who is not protected by a force field. A single cannon can be fired once every 4 rounds.
* 16 Batteries of 4 Mark VII Blaster Rifles: 32d6 points of damage out to a range of 450 yards. A single battery can be fired once every 5 rounds.
* 4 Trek Guns: Fires a trek bomb that disintegrates everything within a 30-yard radius of the point of impact. The gun has a range of 200 yards. Each gun holds 2d10 bombs.
* 8 Laser Batteries of 5 Guns: 20d6 points of damage out to 750 yards, 15d6 out to 1500 yards, or 10d6 out to 3000 yards. A single battery can be fired once every 5 rounds.
* 6 Mini-Missle Launchers: 1d100 missiles per launcher. A mini-missile has a range of 2 miles. It explodes upon impact, inflicting 10d10 points of damage in a 20-yard radius.
* 1 Fusion Bomb Launcher: 5d10 fusion bombs total. The launcher has a 3000 yard range. A fusion bomb explodes, inflicting 15d10 points to everything in a 50-yard radius.

Anti-Gravity Pods: Permit flight at up to 90 miles per hour.

Energy Screens: Take 400 points of damage at AC 1 [18] before they shutdown. Recover 50 points of capacity per hour when not used.

Sensors: Sight into the infrared and ultraviolet portions of the spectrum to a range of 6 miles. Standard sensors approximate human sight and hearing.

April 10th, 2014  in RPG 1 Comment »