Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Savage Worlds: So Many Settings

As I prepare for this week's test run of Savage Worlds, I'm a bit overwhelmed with the number of published settings it has that I would like to run:



Deadlands: Weird West.

Deadlands: Hell on Earth.

Deadlands: Noir.



Flash Gordon.

Weird War II.

Necessary Evil.

Space: 1889 Red Sands.

I'm interested and own all of them. Man, this is hard.

I'm looking at either running the Eye of Kilquato, a Pulp adventure or a Deadlands One Sheet.

I love that Pinnacle makes running SW so darn easy on the GM.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

X: CHON for Savage Worlds

X is setting I've been thinking about for several years and its a mash-up of X-Files and X-Men. Weird happenings, conspiracies, and people gifted (or cursed) with unusual abilities. I've run it using Dragon Age, before Modern AGE was a thing. One thing I've become conscious of is that I tend to bend game systems to run a genre, instead of just running a system that can handle it out of the can. Thats why I'm looking at Savage Worlds right now. It could easily handle X or Weir West, another genre I've taken an interest in.

The World of X is our world with deeper and darker shadows hiding nefarious agencies, ancient conspiracies, and alien threats.

The CHON Corporation, a biotech firm, was founded in 1998 by Bradford Keene, a scientific wunderkind and the son of Senator Joanna Scott-Keene (D-VA). Keene quickly set-up several profitable contracts with the U.S. Government and in 2002 started the ACHILLES Project, one of several "super soldier" programs that began during the Iraq war.

However, Keene had some information at his disposal that others had not. First, was full access to the MKULTRA data due to his Mother's connections and the Book of Thoth, a treatise on the Otherworlds and humanities ties to it, due to his Father, Edgar, being a life long and high ranking Freemason.

While Keene's team had little success in transforming a human into a super soldier, they did begin to hunt the Otherworlds, realities that bordered on ours due to wormholes, for creatures to train for very specific missions. This led to the government awarding CHON with further contracts and pushing its GRENDEL Project to the forefront.

GRENDEL not only abducted and trained creatures of the Otherworlds, but began to breed their own and has even experimented in implanting various Otherworld tissue into human subjects or splicing Otherworld and human DNA.  While these aspects of GRENDEL are in their infancy, Keene is confident in their success.

CHON recently took up a contract with the Rector and Gable Company. Keene's press release spun it as a new commercial division focusing on green technology, but in reality RnG contracted them due to an renewed grudge with aliens from Procyon IV, aka, Flatwood Monsters

Around a century ago, the Flatwoods were teachers to both Brett Rector and Gianna Gable in the aracane arts. However, a schism occurred when both humans defaulted on their contracts with the aliens leading to World War I. 

Tensions have flared up recently after, an attempt on Gianna Gable's oldest daughter's life at the Hoskins School in Upper New York. Both Wizards are convinced is was a Flatwood plot.

Keene has put several hellhounds and trolls at the RnG's disposal.


Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, 
                   Strength d10, Vigor d10

Skills: Athletic d10, Fighting d10, Intimidation d8, 
            Notice D8, Stealth d8

Pace: 10; Parry: 7; Toughness: 9 (2)

Edges: Alertness, Quick

Special Abilities:
• Armor: 2
• Bite: Str+d6
• Speed: d10 Running die

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Changing Course

Tonight the group finished fighting the mezzoloth and some gargoyles and raided its lair. Two of the gargoyles working for it were spared and they found out they were simply working for the mezzoloth, doing renovations to the area. The gargoyles clan was from the level below and a food shortage forced some of the hearty, childless gargoyles to leave the area and fend for themselves. The gargoyles agreed to escort them down a level to their clan and help them find the person they are looking for.

But, I'm going to be taking a break from the Undermountain game for a bit and we are going to try Savage Worlds for at least a few weeks.
I don't have any problem with DnD 5E, but I've been running it for 6 years and I think I just need a break.

I was pleased how understanding and supportive the group was and its really energized me.

Now, I just need to determine what setting to start with. I'm open to Deadlands, Flash Gordon, Space: 1889, Rippers, Last Parsec, Necessary Evil, Savage Rifts, and Lankhmar.

If you have a particular one-shot or short adventure you like, regardless of genre, please share it with me. I only have a week to work this all out.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New Release: Class Catalog

I've just released the Class Catalog for B/X Essentials! 

The Class Catalog brings you the Aasimar, Dragonborn, Dwarven Priest, Dwarven Thief, Elven Rogue, Gnome, Halfling Burglar, Half-Orc, Pixie, and Tiefling Classes to your B/X esssentials game. 

You can buy it here! 

Additionally, if you are an existing Cross Planes Game Studio customer, look for an e-mail for $1 off until the end of January. If you didn't get the e-mail, contact me at mark at crossplanes dot come and I can provide you the code.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Worldbuilding: Stone Bear Clan

The Stone Bears are a clan of orcs close to 100 strong. They currently lair in a series of ancient caverns in the Red Hills. The caverns, unknown to most of the clan, were burial chambers for ancient elves that once ruled the Silver Forest to the East. The elves moved on due to the arrival of humans in the towns of Fairview to the Southeast and Riverridge to the Northeast.

The clan often raids caravans heading to both towns and gets many of its best resources from this activity.

The Stone Bears settled the Black Halls, as they call their cavern home, about three years ago, after Ugurda Bonebreaker, the Scorpion's chieftain, challenged Hurm Stormslayer, her father, for the right to rule the Iron Wolves. Ugurda lost to her father, but was spared if she would choose exile over death. She and her followers gladly chose exile and they made their way to the Black Halls over the next several months.

Ugurda is nearly 7' tall and massively muscled. She is excellent with sword and shield is a deadly tactician who is renown for her raid plans.

Her uncle, Grom Stormslayer, chose to back her over his brother, after Hurm took Grom's mate as his own. Grom is a wily veteran and devastating with a great axe.

Ugurda is also advised by Turn Flamespeaker, a half-orc sorcerer with a penchant for fire. His magic has been very useful since the clan's founding.

Her mentor is Lera Stonedeath, a shaman of Luthic. Lera taught Ugurda the ways of Luthic, even after she was forbidden to do so by Chief Hurm. Much of Ugurda's dissatisfaction began to grow watching those who worshiped Gruumsh as an Iron Wolf. Lera, of course, saw this in the young female and exploited, she knew that her worship of Lera would never allow her to rise to prominence as an Iron Wolf and she gambled Ugurda's life because she believed that Hurm would spare her.

The Stone Bear clan is disciplined for an orc clan and on raids attacks with superior tactics. Ugurda has a level of respect for the loyalty her people showed her and sees no reason to waste lives unnecessarily. 

Clan is comprised of 80 warriors and 19 caretakers and children.

Monday, January 7, 2019

New Tech at my Table

I used my Christmas money to buy an iPad Pro (2017) model and got to test it out while DMing this past session.

It worked great. Since it's 12.9" its pretty easy to see and simply loaded up DnDBeyond and didn't need any books at the table.

I even loaded up a dice roller and experimented with using it, however, I found it faster to simply roll a d20, d6, or d10 when I needed it.

I don't regret spending for the Pro, I'm getting old and the larger screen size allows me to see things pretty well and it makes very large PDFs to read on. I haven't had a iPad since Gen 1 and this is a huge upgrade over it in terms of speed, HD, and processing power.

I'm a pretty happy DM, right now :)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Undermountain: Revenants and Mezzoloths

This week's session of Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage found our cast of characters helping the revenant Helleth, a priest who was murdered by his own adventuring party, tracking them down for vengeance. Helleth was a priest of Waukeen and our deep gnome wizard quickly befriend him and rescued him from the pit he was in on level 1.

Our human cleric was a bit uncertain about the revenant's presence, but her knowledge of such creatures combined with what was assumed Waukeen's mission, let her tolerate his presence.

The group confronted Xanathar guild ettins and bugears as they headed for level 2, but some quick thinking form the tiefling bard allowed her to charm them, not only avoiding a full fight, but getting them to follow them.

As they ventured into level 2, they came into the domain of Yek the Tall and the goblins he rules with an iron fist. Using the Xanthar guild cover and kissing major ass, they were allowed passage through his domain, access to the goblin bazarr and found the first of Helleth's companions who met his end on Helleth's mace. He then desecrated the body searching for a map of level 3, which he promised to the group as payment.

After some shopping and major haggling with a goblin named Bulwark, the group was able to identify a trail for more of Helleth's killers.

They had a hard fight with gibbering mouthers and encountered the Priestess of Shar who had the idea for killing Helleth. She was even wearing his holy symbol. Worried that she would simply turn Helleth, our wizard assumed his form and headed into her lair. She was sitting in a room with a table filled with food and drink, sitting in one of several overstuffed chairs listening to Pentevores 7th Sympthony through a magic device. At first glance she warned "Helleth" away, threatening him with turning and her invisible servants. A fight started, as our wizard was looking for blood and she and her servants were dispatched. Helleth, finding his holy symbol thanked them and crumbled to dust.

After some more exploring they encountered a red brick altar and found somewhere safe to rest. With some creative ideas, they determined that the altar was used to summon a yugoloth.

They also encountered strange murals of wizards turning into nothics and gibbering mouthers and a portrait of Halaster, himself.

Not far from there four nothics rushed them screaming "Intruders! There are intruders, Master". After joining in battle with the nothics, the yugoloth, a mezzoloth, teleported in. Unfortunately, the group had already killed 3 of the nothics and soon the mezzolith decided to retreat.

And that's where that session ended.

More soon.

Savage Worlds: So Many Settings

As I prepare for this week's test run of Savage Worlds, I'm a bit overwhelmed with the number of published settings it has that ...