Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: NeuroSpasta for Ultramodern5 & Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

I'm a big fan of Dias Ex Machina's Ultramodern5 rules and was glad to see NeuroSpasta released. 

Full disclosure I was given a PDF for review purposes.

Chapter 1 introduces to the setting of the game as a political cyberpunk setting. It features a glossary of terms in the setting and a timeline starting at 2025 and ending at 2055.
   A summary of new rules are presented, introducing the Computer Use and Engineering skills, changes to Healing Kits, repairing tech, and hacking rules (the setting refers to it as "diving").

Chapter 2 introduces new races and backgrounds. Nugenics are genetically manipulated for a more perfect human.
   Prosthetics have had their brain transferred to a synthetic cybernetic body that looks human.
   True-Borns are traditional humans and comprise 95% of the settings population.
   Virtuants are artificial intelligences that can inhabit a body that closely resembles a human.
   Fifteen new backgrounds are introduced and range from setting specific (Lunarian) to more general (Ex-Mercenary). 

 Chapter 3 introduces the Freediver class that focuses on manipulating the true internet and anything or anyone connected to it. There is no cyberspace or a matrix to jack into, there is simply an overlay of reality that you can manipulate. You can hack a mind as well as a server. 
   Dive talents are skills you know how to use that do no require equipment. They function like spells, but do not need to be prepared in advance, you can use any talent as long as you still have uses per day remaining and are the appropriate level. Hot-Keys are the at-will counterparts to cantrips.
  Two new Archetypes are presented, Black Hat, White Hat, Gray Hat (you focus on diving computer systems) and Dominator (you focus on diving the human mind).

Chapter 4 focuses on gear ranging from robotics, cybernetics, SEEDs (neural interface devices used by divers), Firewalls (which protect servers and the human mind and are the "AC" for Freedivers to have to break), and contacts for players to have.

Chapter 5 features Programs for your SEED to use and covers copying them, pirating them, designing them, installing them.
   A huge list is provided and allow you to customize your SEED and grant you specific benefits depending on the situation. In many ways, I view them as counterpoints to magic items that further customize the diving experience.

Chapter 6 are the opponents specific to NeuroSpasta you can meet and features tactical battle armor, robots, heavy powered armor, cyborgs, factions, as well as servers and freedivers to either dive against or prevent being dived by. I find the entries generic enough to be used in other ultramodern or futuristic settings and they provided good context for NeuroSpasta.

Chapter 7 gives us the full setting and it's history. Organizations like UNPK who are peacekeepers for the UN are provided, as well as information on languages, religion, and urban life.
   Threats such as the Concord (who endorse a future without a unifying government) and Lupus Kanti (a Russian military contractor) provide ample information for stories.

Chapter 8 opens by helping to define NeuroSpasta as both a genre and a setting and discusses how it related to SF and how to tell the stories you want. An adventure, Dreams of Man is provided for 4-5th level players. I fell the adventure allows a GM to be up and running with little prep and greatly appreciate that.

Pros cybernetics and hacking for UA5 and DnD 5 are welcome. If you like UA5, NeuroSpasta is a great expansion.

Cons freediving is unexpected, but I welcome the broader approach to "hacking".

My Advice buy this book if you enjoy 5E or UA and want SF/Cyberpunk rules.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Silent Legions: Hound of Tindalos

HOUND OF TINDALOS for Silent Legions

AC: 4
HD: 3
Atks: bite/claw x2 +6
Skill: +4
Special: Immaterial
Move: 60'
Morale: 10
Dmg: 1d6/1d4 x2
Madness: 1d6+2
Save: 15+

"They are lean and athirst!" he shrieked... "All the evil in the universe was concentrated in their lean, hungry bodies. Or had they bodies? I saw them only for a moment, I cannot be certain."
—Frank Belknap Long, "The Hounds of Tindalos"

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Patreon: Cross Planes Chronicle for February 2017

My Patrons PDF compilation for February has been posted.

This month that PDF compilation, which I'm calling the Cross Planes Chronicle, features the Old World's Lizard Men for 13th Age.  I am only asking for $1 a month and my content will always be free here, I just wanted to give my Patrons something extra as way to say Thank You!  

The Chronicle PDFs will eventually become public, but I haven't decided what the lead time will be yet, though it will be a minimum of 60 days.

Wether you are a Patron or Viewer, I deeply appreciate your time her on Cross Planes.

If this moves you to become a Patron, I deeply appreciate that as well.

Savage Worlds: Anathema

Anathema's are monstrous beings from the 8th Dimension who occasionally find their way into our reality. Their horrid forms frighten the weak minded and their only motivation seems to be wanton destruction.

Wild Card
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strength d12,
Vigor d10

Fighting d8, Intimidation d10, Notice d10

Pace: 10; Parry: 8; Toughness: 9 (2)

Special Abilities:

• Tentacles Str+1d8
• Armor 2
• Fear -1
• Improved Block 
• Improved First Strike
• Improved Level Headed
• Improved Sweep

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ultramodern5: Thanomorph

A thanomorph is created when an extraterrestrial organism is introduced to a corpse. After an incubation period of several hours (1d12), the organism bonds with the corpse, reshapes the dead tissue and resurrects it. 

Medium aberration, chaotic evil

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 42 (5d8+20) 
Speed 35 ft.
   Str            Dex         Con           Int         Wis         Cha
16 (+3)        17 (+3)        18 (+4)        11 (+1)      13 (+1)      7 (-2)

Damage Resistances Bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Skills Athletics +5, Perception +3, Stealth +5
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages None
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Horrific. The first time a creature sees a thanomorph, they must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure the creature can not use bonus actions or reactions until beginning of it's next round.



Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. 
Hit: 7 (1d8+3) piercing damage.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Back This: Freeport Companion for Shadow of the Demon Lord

On March 1st Schwalb Entertainment will run a Kickstarter to fund the production costs of the Freeport Companion (to Green Ronin's Pirate Setting) for Shadow of the Demon Lord.  The book is already written.

Stretch goals will include:

All get PDFs of the original Freeport Trilogy for use with Shadow of the Demon Lord and updated with all new art. Beyond the World’s Edge, a supplement that explores new lands and civilizations, Tales of the Pirate Isles, a trilogy of nautical themed adventures, and, the Demon Lord’s Companion 2, a book that will add even more options to the game.

Shadow of the Demon Lord is the one game I buy everything for and if you haven't tried it yet, do it right now.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Shadow of the Demon Lord: Brimstone Boar

Brimstone Boars are what happens when the Demon Lord's shadow falls upon a Hell Swine. Their hunger knows no bounds and they will hunt until the world dies.

Size 3 monster
Perception 12 (+2); darksight
Defense 18; Health 100
Strength 18 (+8)   Agility 13 (+3)   Intellect 8 (-2)   Will 14 (+4)
Speed 16
Ferocious When a brimstone boar would become incapacitated, roll a d6. On a roll of 3-6, the boar instead heals 10 damage.

Maul (melee) +8 with 2 boons (4d6)

Breath Brimstone (short range) +3 with 2 boons (2d6)

Brimstone Rebuke When the brimstone boar takes damage, it can use a triggered action to attack a randomly determined creature with its brimstone breath.

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