Archive for the ‘ Spes Magna News ’ Category

Terrors, Truth, and Justice

Terrors of the Toxic Waste is now live for purchase at this link. If you want Terrors at a discount price of $1, click here instead. Either way, 21 new mutants stand ready for inclusion in your Mutant Future game.

Have you ever played Atomic Sock Monkey‘s Trust & Justice? If you enjoy superhero games, T&J probably has just about everything you’re looking for. It goes out of its way to stay faithful to the genre. Character creation is flexible and flows from the background made by the player. Game play is quick and has a hefty narrative focus. Before you plunk down money for the PDF, check out these freebies. Also, download the free PDQ Sharp!. The PDQ Core Rules form the basis of T&J. Indeed, the first time I played superheroes via an Atomic Sock Monkey product, it was based on the PDQ Core Rules, and a good time was had by all.

Here’s Benjamina Stern, a hero made using T&J:

Background & Origin: Before her transformation into the Strongest Woman in the World, Benjamina Stern was one of fourteen children born to circus performers Philippe and Johanna Stern. In her early years, Benjamina performed with her family. Benjamina’s father would offer one hundred dollars to any man in the audience who could defeat her in wrestling; no one ever succeeded in winning the prize. Benjamina once defeated the famous strongman Eugene Sandow in a weightlifting contest in New York City. Benjamina lifted a weight of 300 pounds over her head, which Sandow only managed to lift to his chest. Other feats of strength for which Benjamina was famous included lifting her husband (who weighed 165 pounds) overhead with one hand, bending steel bars, and resisting the pull of four horses. Now that she can lift more than a score tons, Benjamina serves as the Freakshow Four’s muscle and voice of reason. Like the other FF members, Benjamina gained her remarkable powers after being bombarded by cosmic radiation from the Aurora Borealis while camped just outside Anchorage, Alaska.

Motivation: Protect the weak from those who abuse their strength.

Qualities: Expert [+4] Bold and Brassy, Expert [+4] Professional Strong Woman, Good [+2] Voice of Reason, Poor [-2] Book Learning

Powers: Expert [+4] Super-Strength, Good [+2] Invulnerability

Stunts: Master [+6] “Time for a Whuppin’!” (Super-Strength Spin-Off, 4 Hero Points); Good [+2] Prodigious Leap (Super-Strength Spin-Off, 1 Hero Point)

Hero Point Pool: 5/10

November 22nd, 2016  in Spes Magna News No Comments »

Agnesa and Gleda

Terrors of the Toxic Waste is ready for its final edit. In next day or two, 21 new mutants hit the virtual streets, ready for inclusion in your Mutant Future game. Huzzah.

Speaking of Mutant Future, permit me to introduce Agnesa and Gleda, sisters and mercenaries. Born in Perisnak, a village set in a rugged hill country and populated largely by Pure Humans, the sisters had what passes for a normal childhood, tending the rabboxen herds and, when old enough, taking their turns with the town guard, watching the passes for bandits and spidergoats. An army of pigmen brought death and ruin to Perisnak shortly after Gleda’s fifteenth birthday. The few survivors fled into the hills, becoming refugees in world that tends to equate stranger with enemy. The destruction of Perisnak and the cruel deaths of most of their friends and family taught Agnesa and Gleda hard lessons. The two vowed to never depend on anyone other than each other, and during the passing years the sisters have forged themselves into tough guerilla fighters.

Agnesa, the elder, is a Pure Human. She is clever and slow to anger. Due to her intelligence, she enjoys a +5% technology roll modifier. Agnesa has the equivalent of a 17 Charisma and a 15 Willpower. Among her possessions are a carbine (1d10 damage), a revolver (1d10 damage), and a sturdy dagger (1d4 damage). Agnesa wears ballistic nylon armor (AC 5).

Agnesa
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120′ (30′)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 14 (77 hit points)
Attacks: 2 (weapon)
Damage: By weapon (+1 damage)
Save: L14
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 2,400

Gleda is a Mutant Human. She is quick and strong, having the equivalent of scores of 16 in Strength and Dexterity. She is equipped much like Agnesa with a carbine (1d10 damage), a revolver (1d10 damage), and a sturdy dagger (1d4 damage). She also wears ballistic nylon armor (AC 5).

Gleda
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120′ (30′)
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 12 (54 hit points)
Attacks: 2 (weapon) (+2 to-hit with missile weapons)
Damage: By weapon (+1 damage)
Save: L12
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 3,600

Mutations: Echolocation, Increased Balance, Know Direction

November 22nd, 2016  in Spes Magna News No Comments »

Chance Encounters…Almost

If you’re not in the same virtual places I’m in on G+ and Facebook, you likely missed the posting of two creatures excerpted from Chance Encounters, my soon-to-be-released collection of fantastic creatures for Swords & Wizardry. You can take a gander at the bloody bones demon here and then find the ioun bug here. Chance Encounters includes these two monsters along with 24 others, each gloriously illustrated by stock art from some pretty talented artists.

What I’d really like is for some gimlet-eyed folks to read through my almost-final draft of Chance Encounters in order to provide me with constructive criticism. The task offers a very small amount of fame as well as a free copy of Chance Encounters when it goes live for sale. If you’re interested, shoot an e-mail to mark at spesmagna dot com. I’m pushing to get Chance Encounters finished by about 25 September or so.

Speaking of finished products, I published for the excellent The Black Hack a collection of character classes entitled Clever Title Using Hack & Class. It’s selling really well for something I’ve written, perhaps because it’s currently on-sale for $0.50.

Indeed, everything I’ve published at DriveThruRPG is on-sale this month as I try to raise enough money to buy dice for a dozen or so students that will soon participate in Ludi Fabularum, the story-game club I’ve facilitated for the past few years at the school whereat I teach.

Last of all, if you’re still playing AD&D, here’s a link for a new monster, the shereriti, a horrid product of ghastly rituals to Lloth. Enjoy!

What’s Happening?

Well, it’s been interesting the past few weeks. Between the start of the 2016-2017 school year and the passing of my mother due to cancer, I’ve had plenty to keep me busy and/or nearly exhausted. Without a doubt, however, life goes on, and little by little, I’m adjusting my schedule, habits, et cetera, to get back into the swing of things.

So, what’s new gaming-wise around here? Glad you asked. In no particular order:

1. Our longish-running Fate Accelerated campaign has run aground. We’re one or two sessions away from the big finale, and I need to get my act together so that we can find out whether the heroes can defeat the Martian invasion of Earth.

2. I’ve dove into both The Black Hack and The Cthulhu Hack. I’ve run pick-up games of the former a couple of times, and it works like a charm, at least for one-shots. I’ve been working on The Strange Case of the Bell Witch Bootleggers for The Cthulhu Hack, and I’d even scheduled a few playtests, but every time something comes up that derails the game. Are the Old Ones opposing me? Perhaps. I did run most of the first chapter of Chaosium’s venerable Masks of Nyarlathotep for four players using The Cthulhu Hack, doing so in about four hours, which included character creation. We encountered a few hold ups at the start, owing mostly to me being tired and having re-read chapter one more than two or so weeks ago, which resulted in more page-flipping than normal. The players all professed to having enjoyed the session, and it’s been requested that we continue the horror. For me, this is a sure indicator that a game is worth owning, that my players express enthusiasm for it.

3. I published Clever Title Using Hack & Class, presents eight new character classes for use with The Black Hack. Sales have been good, but I’ve not received any feedback yet. I’m hoping to get one or two positive reviews.

4. If you’d like to purchase Clever Title Using Hack & Class (or any of my products), now’s the time to do it. I’m running a sale all month long to raise money to purchase dice and dice bags in preparation for restarting Ludi Fabularum, the story game club I facilitate at the school wherein I teach. This will be fourth year I’ve overseen Ludi Fabularum, and it has attracted a small yet loyal group of players.

5. In addition to The Strange Case of the Bell Witch Bootleggers, I’ve also been working on The F/MU/T Hack (rules for multiclassing and nonhuman races for The Black Hack) and Chance Encounters (new monsters for Swords & Wizardry fully illustrated via stock art).

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll try to post some excerpts from The F/MU/T Hack and/or Chance Encounters over the next few days.

September 10th, 2016  in Spes Magna News No Comments »

The Gumberoo

I’ve started a new project based on William T. Cox’s whimsically delightful Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, originally published in 1910.

Here’s an excerpt:

The gumberoo (Megalogaster repercussus) lives in foggy regions, especially near wooded ocean coasts in northern climes. Fortunately, gumberoos seem to be rare, but this might because this beast prefers “to remain in hiding most of the time in the base of enormous, burned-out cedar trees, from where it sallies forth occasionally on frightful marauding expeditions.” A gumberoo is always hungry and attempts to devour anything that appears to be food. “A whole horse may be eaten at one sitting, distending the gumberoo out of all proportions, but failing to appease its hunger or cause it the slightest discomfort.” A gumberoo resembles a coal-black, almost hairless bear. Its skin is “smooth, tough, and shiny and bears not even a wrinkle.” In fact, a gumberoo’s hide has amazing elastic properties. “Its elastic hide hurls back with equal ease the charging elk and the wrathy hornet.” Fire, however, proves to be a particular effective weapon against a gumberoo, but care must be taken, for these beasts tend to explode when burned.

HD 4+1; AC 2 (17); Atks 2 claws (1d4), bite (1d6+1); SV 13; Special elastic hide, fire vulnerability; MV 9; AL C; CL/XP 5/240

Elastic Hide: Any attack from a physical source, such as a sword or an arrow or a claw, may bounce off the gumberoo’s elastic hide without inflicting any damage. A gumberoo is permitted a saving throw against these attacks. Success means it takes no damage. If the gumberoo’s saving throw die roll equals 18-20, the attack rebounds to inflict normal damage to the attacker.

Fire Vulnerability: Any time a gumberoo is attacked with fire from any source, it must make a saving throw. Failure means the gumberoo explodes, inflicting 4d6 points of damage to creatures in a 10-foot radius. On the plus side, the gumberoo dies.

August 16th, 2014  in Spes Magna News No Comments »