Saturday, April 30, 2016

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: Z is for Zevon





Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London, released in 1978, has become a rallying cry and banner for the Inhuman Rights Movement. Many prominent Inhumans remark about hearing it for the first time and finding strength in the song. 

What many don't know is that the song was partially inspired by Larry Talbot, Warren's roommate when he moved to Los Angeles. Larry was from Whales and hoped to find a fresh start and more excepting attitude toward his therianthropy.

Apparently, Larry would talk about Inhuman life in the United Kingdom and his time with a therianthrope Pack in London's Soho neighborhood.

Friday, April 29, 2016

OneDice Supers is LIVE and you should pick it up!





+Talon Waite, who is developing a new a supplement for The Black Hack with me, just had his first product published today! 

OneDice Supers from Cakebread and Walton (their OneDice products are incredible). I'll have a review up soon, but I've already enjoyed what Talon has brought to the OneDice line and no other products are required to play.

You can find it here.

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: Y is for Yeti Crossing





Yeti or Sasquatch or Bigfoot are curious beings who we know very little about. They are reclusive, difficult to find and highly intelligent.

However, David Paulides raised some disturbing questions in his book, Missing 411, which was published in 2012.  David, a former lawman and investigator, discovered that the United States National Park Services keep no records on the large number of disappearances that he discovered occurred in their 183 national parks over the years.

While David draws no conclusions on who or what is behind the disappearances  a former park ranger from Yosemite National Park, Carol Longmire "blew the whistle" on  a cover-up the NPS was spearheading. Longmire had physical proof: documents, photographs, even recordings with NPS officials and fellow park rangers during her nineteen year service to the agency. Her evidence shows that the NPS ignores the disappearances so that they do not turn the yetis (what the beings call themselves in their own language) against them. Apparently the NPS, and the Department of the Interior have internal policies on the yetis and are "deathly afraid of the consequences of crossing these ancient, mysterious beings".

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: X is for Xanadu



Xanadu (often called "Xanadu Region", though this is not its official name) is a highly reflective area on the leading hemisphere of Saturn's moon Titan.

The feature was first identified in 1994 by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope at infrared wavelengths, and has recently been imaged in more detail by the Cassini space probe. Much of the  data and images have never been released and are classified.


In 1998, Carl Abner Wentbridge claimed that Xanadu was "one of the Great Old Ones that Lovecraft introduced to us" in his book, "The Gospel From Space".  Art Bell, host of Coast to Coast AM, inadvertently created grassroots support of Wentbridge after having him as a guest and getting into a heated discussion with the author. During the broadcast Wentbridge claimed to have been in telepathic contact with Xanadu.

In 2006, Wentbridge founded the Church of Xanadu in Century City, CA after gaining funding and very public support from Charlie Sheen.

In November 2015, Wentbridge, now calling himself the First Prophet of Xanadu announced that Sheen, who he had dubbed the Omnipope of the Church of Xanadu, would run for President of the United States as a member of the Cosmic Party.  Sheen publicly admitted that he has suffered from the HIV virus and that his faith in Xanadu had "cured him".

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Savage Worlds Kickstarter: Glitter Boy "Framework" or Make A Glitter Boy for Savage Worlds!





New Stretch Goals were posted by Shane Hensley of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. They took time to look at realistic and attainable goals that wouldn't side track the existing schedule. And I completely respect their experience and intelligence in this decision. This is, after all, their 10th Kickstarter Launch.

Aside from that, Pinnacle has also posted a preview of the Glitter Boy "framework" (an addition to Savage Worlds character creation that bundles the various OCC/RCC/PCC classes into the new system.

You can the Glitter Boy here.

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: W is for the Weishaupts




Adam Weishaupt founded the Bavarian Illuminati on May 1, 1776. He was always very critical of the view the United States of America took on allowing Inhumans growing opportunities toward "life, liberty, and the pursuits of happiness". And worked dilligently at swaying many of the nations' most prominent Freemasons to abandon this course, through numerous letters.

Sometime after his death in 1830, a secret society calling themselves the Weishaupts was formed and membership was completely anonymous. Through the 19th, 20th, and even 21st century the organization has been responsible for over two-hundred murders of Inhumans. Though many before the 1960s were not treated as such.

According to the Weishaupts, they are not committing murder, simply hunting the monsters that have hunted us for thousands of years.

The last "hunt" the Weishaputs have claimed responsibility for occurred in Jacksonville, FL in 2007. Jerome Antony Peele, weretiger, was on the run from police and suspected of the slayings of four people at a local party he had attended. Eleven Weishaupts got to him first and "speared" him with a silver weapon in the heart and through the head.

Several witnesses claim that Officers Chad Hawkins, Bill Tomby, Claudia Dane, and Harry Kearns arrived on the scene, but did not stop the Weishaupts in the their sliver hoods and cloaks from killing Peele.

Let's Help Chuck Wright!






Charles "Chuck" Wright of Frog God Games has had surgery and needs help with funds.

There is a GoFundMe site here for him.

Additionally, Erik Tenkar of Tenkar's Tavern, after matching funds from his readers, is offering prizes if you donate and post on his blog. Many great publishers and artists have pitched in for product support.

I'm also pitching in. I'm donating 10 copies of The Class Hack and 10 copies of The Race Hack (both for The Black Hack by David Black) in PDF as prizes. I'm leaving it up to Erik to give both out to 10 different people or 1 each to 20 different people.

So make a donation for Chuck and then post in the Comment Section of Tenkar's Tavern to enter.



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Savage Rifts: Deadboy




DEADBOY  

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

Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d4, Shooting d6


Pace: 6; Parry: 6 (1); Toughness: 8 (3)

Equipment

(Select 1)

C -12 Laser Rifle  Range 50/100/200 / Damage 2d10 / RoF 1 / 
                              Min Str d8 / Burst Cone
                              Notes Auto, Megadamage 

C -12 Laser Rifle  Range Cone Template / Damage 1-3d6 / RoF 5 / 
                              Shots 200 Min Str d8 /
                              Notes Auto, Megadamage 


Special Abilities 
• Unarmed Attack 1d6 + 1d4 
• Block
• Heavy Armor (3)
• Infravision

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: V is for VERTEX





The VERTEX Program is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), designed and built by King Advanced Technologies (KAT).

Its purpose is to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. The VERTEX program operates a major sub-arctic facility, named the VERTEX Research Station, on an Air Force-owned site near Gakona, Alaska.

The most prominent instrument at the VERTEX Research Station is the Ionospheric Research Transmitter (IRT), a high-power radio frequency transmitter facility operating in the high frequency (HF) band. The IRT is used to temporarily excite a limited area of the ionosphere. Other instruments, such as a VHF and a UHF radar, a fluxgate magnetometer, a digisonde (an ionospheric sounding device), and an induction magnetometer, were used to study the physical processes that occur in the excited region.

Work on the VERTEX Research Station began in 1993. The current working IRT was completed in 2007, and its prime contractor was King Advanced Technologies. As of 2008, VERTEX had incurred around $250 million in tax-funded construction and operating costs.


There is a growing conspiracy surrounding the VERTEX Program, with purported evidence that U.S. Government is researching projects ranging from mind controlling the Inhuman population to altering the lunar cycles and even trying to summon the Egyptian and therianthrope demon lord, known as Aphophis.

In his 2011 book, Knight Skies, Addler Kimmel published documents that he claimed he'd received from a whistleblower inside the VERTEX Program. The documents, though heavily redacted, seem to implicate unethical and illegal research into Inhuman physiology. Addled's book jumped to the best seller list after he was hit by a bus and killed exiting the studio for the Today Show four months after its debut.

Back This: Savage Rifts on Kickstarter





The Savage Rifts Kickstarter is LIVE!


Monday, April 25, 2016

The Race Hack, Different Racial Options for The Black Hack is now LIVE on OneBookShelf.Com!






Do you enjoy THE BLACK HACK but want options for races?

THE RACE HACK presents two overall approaches for THE BLACK HACK OSR Compatible Clone.

In Part One, each race is presented with two options: bonuses and penalties to attributes or features to represent racial abilities. In both cases you simply choose your class, modify it with your choice of race, and start playing as you did with the First Edition of the Advanced Version of the Original 1970's Fantasy Roleplaying Game. The races detailed are drakes, dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, halfling, half-orcs, humans, and tieflings.

In Part Two, racial classes are introduced and are simply additional classes for you to select, like Conjuror or Monk, as you did with the Basic Version of the the Orginal 1970's Fantasy Roleplaying Game. The classes detailed are Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling.


The PDF is available here.

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: U is for Uncle Robin





Robin Leach enjoyed great fame and success as a vampire while hosting Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and made numerous contacts within both political parties during the show's run.

In 1997, several versions of an Inhuman registration law were being proposed in Congress. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Alfonse M. D'Amato (R-NY) convinced Robin to begin speaking out in favor of registration for the safety of Inhumans themselves.

The public backlash not only derailed the legislation being put together but essentially destroyed Leach's public opinion. And by early 1993, the term "Uncle Robin" had been coined to describe an Inhuman who was believed subservient to humans.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: T is for Thunderbird





Thunderbirds were described by English naturalist George Shaw in 1797 as vultur gigantic and they ruled the skies over North America for thousands of years.

The adult Thunderbird is a uniform red with the exception of large lightning shaped patches of black on the underside of the wings. It has gray legs and feet, an golden-colored bill, a frill of white feather surrounding the base of the neck, and blue eyes. The juvenile is mostly a mottled dark brown with reddish coloration on the head. It has mottled gray instead of white on the underside of its  flight feathers.

The Thunderbird's head and neck have few feathers, and the skin of the head and neck is capable of flushing noticeably in response to emotional state, a capability that can serve as communication between individuals. The skin color varies from yellowish to a glowing reddish-orange. The birds do not have true syringeal vocalizations. They can make a thunderous roar.

Contrary to the usual rule among true birds of prey, the female is slightly smaller than the male. Overall length can range from 86 to 110 inches and wingspan from 16.4 to 19.6 feet. Their weight can range from 30 to 62 pounds, with estimations of average weight ranging from 36 to 40 pounds. Wingspans of up to 22 feet have been reported but no wingspan over 20 feet has been verified. Most measurements are from birds raised in captivity, so determining if there are any major differences in measurements between wild and captive condors is difficult.  Thunderbirds are so large that they can be mistaken for a distant airplane, which possibly occurs more often than they are mistaken for other species of bird.

The middle toe of the Thunderbird's foot is greatly elongated, and the hind one is only slightly developed. The talons of all the toes are straight and blunt, and are thus more adapted to walking than gripping. This is more similar to their supposed relatives the storks than to birds of prey and Old World vultures, which use their feet as weapons or organs of prehension.

At the time of human settlement of the Americas, the Thunderbird was widespread across North America; their bones from the late Pleistocene have been found at the Cutler Fossil Site in southern Florida. However, climate changes associated with the end of the last glacial period and the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna led to a subsequent reduction in range and population. Five hundred years ago, the Thunderbird roamed across the American Southwest and West Coast. Faunal remains of condors have been found documented in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. The Lewis and Clark Expedition of the early 19th century reported on their sighting and shooting of Thunderbirds near the mouth of the Columbia River.

In modern times, a wide variety of causes have contributed to the Thunderbird's decline. Its low clutch size (one young per nest), combined with a late age of sexual maturity, make the bird vulnerable to artificial population decline. Significant past damage to their population has also been attributed to poaching, especially for museum specimens, lead poisoning (from eating animals containing lead shot), DDT poisoning, electric power lines, egg collecting, and habitat destruction. During the California Gold Rush, some thunderbirds were even kept as pets. The leading cause of mortality in nestling Thunderbirds is the ingestion of trash that is fed to them by their parents.

In addition to this, cattle ranchers who observed them feeding on the dead young of their cattle assumed that the birds killed the cattle. This fallacy led to the condor's extirpation in some parts of the western United States. This belief was so deeply ingrained that the reintroduction of Thunderbirds to the Grand Canyon was challenged by some cattle ranchers, who mistakenly believed that the bird hunted calves and lambs.

Unanticipated deaths among recent Thunderbird populations occurred due to contact with golden eagles, lead poisoning, and other factors such as power line collisions. Since 1994, captive-bred Thunderbirds have been trained to avoid power lines and people. Since the implementation of this aversion conditioning program, the number of Thunderbird deaths due to power lines has greatly decreased. Lead poisoning due to fragmented lead bullets in large game waste is a particularly big problem for them due to their extremely strong digestive juices; lead waste is not as much of a problem for other avian scavengers such as the turkey vulture and common raven. This problem has been addressed in California by the Ridley-Tree Condor and Thunderbird Preservation Act, a bill that went into effect July 1, 2008 that requires that hunters use non-lead bullets when hunting in the Thunderbird's range. Blood lead levels in California condors, golden eagles as well as turkey vultures has declined with the implementation of the Ridley-Tree Condor and Thunderbird Preservation Act, demonstrating that the legislation has helped reduce other species' lead exposures aside from the California condor and Thunderbird.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: S is for Samhain





Samhain is a terrorist organization of psychics and Inhumans who actively seek to turn Alaska into a sovereign country, separate from the United States. The group was founded in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Its founding members include the Booth Family, the Seward and Wendigo vampire nests, eleven packs of therianthropes, and six tribes of sasquatch.

Alaska, due to its environment, large tracts of land, and privacy has long been the home of a disproportionate number of Inhumans than any other state in the Union, even ignoring their aboriginal presence. While the Alaskan Pipeline had long been a source of protest by both environmental and Inhuman activists, some found the oil spill created by the Exxon Valdez to be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

It was to this end that Cyrus and Ethel Booth began networking with other Inhumans and psychics in the state, so that by October 1989 Samhain was born. Initially they wanted the pipeline shutdown and Exxon expelled from the state. However, after several murders that Samhain said were committed by civilian security contractors hired by Exxon, the organization turned to darker activities. 

Through the 90's and early 21st century Exxon and other industries that were found to be partnered with the oil company were targeted 22 times by Samhain, resulting in seventeen deaths.

In 2011, Byron Booth even claimed to have official proof that the U.S. government was complicit in Exxon's crimes and provided agents to aid them in their efforts to shutdown Samhain. Sadly, Byron was shot and killed while being interviewed by Geraldo Rivera, by an "unknown assailant".

Byron's murder prompted Samhain to begin negotiations and gain funding by Russia after Angela Booth and Sedrick Colum personally negotiated with Vladimir Putin. While the U.S. State Department denies Russia's allegiance with Samhain, Putin simply smiles when asked about the organization.

Sadly, most of the media outlets ignore coverage of the war zone that Alaska has become due to its separation from the rest of the Union and directives by government and corporate interests to carefully edit what is going on.

Savage Rifts: Splugorith Blind Warrior Woman

Pinnacle's Kickstarter for Savage Rifts starts on 4/26 at Noon EST.





SPLUGORITH BLIND WARRIOR WOMAN

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

Skills: Fighting d10, Notice d4, Shooting d8, Stealth d8, Weird Science d6


Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 9 (2)

Equipment
• Mental Disruptor  Confusion Power with 10 Power Points
• Wrist Laser  Range 15/30/60 / Damage 1-3d6* / RoF 1 / 
                        Shots 24 / Min Str - / Notes Semi-Auto, Heavy 
                        Weapon 

Special Abilities  
• Arcane Background: Weird Science
• Alertness
• First Strike
• Killer Instinct
• Quick
• Very Attractive

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: R is for the Roanoke Institute of the Paranormal




The Roanoke Institute of the Paranormal, or RIP as it is often called, was founded in 1923 in Raleigh, NC by the American Druidic Society, Charles Fort, Harry Houdini, and the ghost of Helena Blavatsky.

The original curriculum was focused on preserving the ADC's oral history of Europe, the study of spiritualism and the occult, researching Extra Sensory Perception, and training students to combat various supernatural threats native to the East Coast.

RIP's graduates were often hired by the U.S. government for sensitive posts all over the world.

However, by 1967 pressure from students sympathetic to the Inhuman plight began demanding new courses on Inhuman culture, history, and even medicine. And by 1971, the courses on hunting Inhumans was separated from RIP and transferred to the Raleigh Vigilance School.

Alumni from RIP have found success in numerous fields, but two luminaries deserve mention: Dr. Egon Spengler and Dr. Raymond Stanz whose work with postmortals is unparalleled.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Savage Rifts: Skelebot

Pinnacle's Kickstarter for Savage Rifts starts on 4/26, but I just felt I need to get us all in the mood.



SKELEBOT  

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strength d10, Vigor d8

Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d6


Pace: 12; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (2)

Equipment

Laser MG Range 50/100/200 / Damage 1-3d6 / RoF 5 / Shots 200
                  Min Str d8 / Notes Auto, Heavy Weapon 

Vibe Blade x2  Damage 1d10 + 1d4 +2 / 
                         Notes AP, Can't Be Thrown


Special Abilities 
• Unarmed Attack 1d10 
• Ambidextrous
• Construct
• Fear (-1)
• Fearless
• Hardy
• Infravision

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: Q is for Quasimodo

Welcome to a Grave New World, where humans rub shoulder to shoulder with the monsters from folklore.





On March 6, 1978 Joseph Paul Franklin, a White Supremacist, serial murderer and admitted Inhuman hunter, attempted to shoot and kill Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine in Georgia. The only reason Flynt wasn't hit was because of the presence of Thomas Ray Duchamp, a werealligator from Shreveport, LA, who spotted the Franklin and stepped in front of Flynt. 

Duchamp, though gravely injured, recovered, Duchamp was arrested and Flynt, a self-proclaimed advocate of free speech, became a self-proclaimed advocate of Inhuman rights by launching Quasimodo magazine in July of 1978 that was combination of Hustler's hardcore photo spreads and Playboy's penchant for hard hitting journalism. By 1980, it passed up Playboy as the number one magazine for men.

Behind the scenes, Flynt took care of Duchamp's medical bills and hired him as a personal assistant and donated 20% of Quasimodo's profits to Inhuman rights' causes, anonymously.

Quasimodo's success has continued to grow over the decades and the magazine has bee able to successfully transition to the digital age. While it is often criticized by conservatives and Inhuman groups, it has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Inhuman rights issues. 

Flynt, however remains a highly criticized character who has taken to avoiding the press, most of the time. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cross Planes Game Studio: Deities and Domains: The Mage-Priest, a Sorcerous Origin for D&D 5E is LIVE!





Cross Planes Game Studio's newest release, Deities and Domains: The Mage-Priest, a Sorcerous Origin for DnD 5E just went live today.

The Mage-Priest was partially inspired by the Arcane Devotee Prestige Class from the Player's Guide to Faerün for DnD 3.5.  This Sorcerous Origin can turn undead, use it's sorcerous Spell Slots to cast cure wounds or inflict wounds, apple metagmagic feats to divine evocation spells that others cast and divine blessings against magic itself.

The PDF is available here.

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: P is Pharaoh Bodine

Welcome to a Grave New World, where humans rub shoulder to shoulder with the monsters from folklore.






Pharaoh Zebediah Bodine, First Ruler of the American Dynasty and Scion of Horus-Ra established his faith in August of 1993 by using donations to run an infomercial on several major cable stations about his promise to the people of the 20th Century, especially to the Inhuman community. Since then, The American Dynasty has always had at least one infomercial on the air.

Pharaoh Bodine, was a poor werehawk, born in Memphis, TN who claims to be a direct descendant of Ra-Horakhty and tasked by Osiris, himself, to bring their faith to the people of America.  Earl Bodine, Zebediah or "Zeb's" father, was a traveling preacher for most of Zeb's childhood and ran afoul of the law on numerous occasions.

The Pharaoh claims that when he was fifteen, while sitting in a jail cell next to his father in Murfreesboro, TN that Ra-Horakhty came to him and revealed Zeb's lineage and purpose.

He soon parted ways with his father and by nineteen had formed the American Dynasty and proclaimed himself Pharaoh. Much of his converts were found amongst the poor and Inhuman populations of the deep south. Within two years, Bodine had solidified the tenets of his faith and began running his infomercials.

Growth of the Dynasty has been constant and steady over the last two decades.  Bodine and the Dynasty have been the subject of several investigation by the FBI, ATF, and IRS, all of whom have found no evidence of wrongdoing and benefited from the full cooperation of the Dynasty.

The Pharaoh has become intensely private since 2012, save for his broadcast services each thursday, in which he heavily laments the coming of "The Strife".  According to Bodine that is when the Dynasty's faithful will be sorely tested. While specific details about "The Strife" are few and far between, the media has begun paying close scrutiny to the construction of Heliopolis, a 25,000 square acre community and "living testament to the Gods" that Bodine broke ground on  eighteen months ago. Several media reports have indicated that Heliopolis is being built so that the American Dynasty can survive "The Strife" Bodine has been warning us about.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mutants & Marvels 2.0 Review

Mutants and Marvels 2.0 was designed and published by Tom Doolan of Wishful Gaming. The elevator pitch for MnM would to imagine if the FAERIP system that powers the classic Marvel Super Heroes system from TSR was crossbred with much of the D20 System, including Green Ronin's Mutants and Masterminds. However, I feel that Doolan's MnM really hues closer to the spirit of FASERIP and is much cleaner game than Mutants and Masterminds.

Character creation is point based, with different levels corresponding the the power level of the heroes you want to play.

Attributes are those from FASERIP: Fighting, Agility, Strength, Endurance, Reason, Intuition, and Psyche. Your attributes default to Typical or +0 and have Ranks ala FASERIP that correspond to modifiers ranging from -4 to +25.  A handy chart shows you what each Rank means for every Attribute.

The Powers section goes into the different types, Power Packages, Power Stunts, and Power Sources and Character Origins.

Your Power Source and Character Origin determine where you got your powers and give you a bonus of some kind.

The Power List might appear short at first glance, but the powers have been created to allow you to sort out their special effects and to customize them. I felt all powers were covered in some way and I think it was the right amount of crunch for me (I "grew up" on Champions and use to love elaborate tools to build characters, MnM lets me get started and is easy to teach).

Skills are broad and improve your Rank in an Attribute.

Then your Identity, Resources, Reputation, Popularity/Infamy, Contacts, and Karma are covered. They are directly inspired by FASERIP, which I appreciate.

The mechanics themselves are 2d20 + Rank to roll higher than a Difficulty set by the Game Master or an opposed roll.

Combat in MnM has these steps:
1. Check for Surprise.

2. Roll Initiative 2d10 + Intuition.

And then Each Round:

3. Attacks use Agility for Ranged, Fighting for Melee, or Psyche for Psychic and your roll has to exceed your opponents' appropriate Defense, which is Agility, Fighting, and Psyche + 10.

4. If a character is hit, they make a Damage Save by rolling 2d10 + their Rank in Endurance vs a Difficulty equal to your opponents Rank in their Power or Strength + the amount they succeeded in hitting you. If you succeed you take no damage. If you fail, you take damage to your opponents' Difficulty number.  You have six levels of Damage (Bruised, Injured, Stunned, Unconscious, Disabled, and Dying) with each level having "hit points" equal to your Ranks in Strength + Endurance. Damage is removed from your "hit points" and each level imposes a penalty.

At the beginning every turn that you are at Bruised, Injured, Stunned, or Unconscious) you make a Recovery Roll of 2d10 + Endurance Rank vs 10 + Your total Damage. A success means you gain hit points back equal to the amount you passed the roll by.

Combat rules cover multiple foes, knockback and slamming, minions and so forth. I feel the rules are straight forward yet robust.

Overall, I'm impressed with the rules and find it a great mix of FASERIP and more modern rules. For me its a better alternative to Mutants and Masterminds because I like the bell curve of 2d10 and I find Mutants and Masterminds lacks character.

I recommend this product and you can purchase it here.

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: O is for Orphans

Welcome to a Grave New World, where humans rub shoulder to shoulder with the monsters from folklore.





"Orphan" has become an important and sad term for the Inhuman community. It signifies an Inhuman's family (or at least most of them) does not accept them and often shuns them. Even in the 21st century, it is difficult for new therianthrops and vampires to find full acceptance amongst their human families.

The one area with the most acceptance are postmortals or ghosts, many families find comfort even in minimal contact with their departed family members.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Shadow of the Demon Lord: The Chthonic Verses of Eldridge Plinth






Robert Schwalb has produced some truly amazing supplements and adventures for Shadow of the Demon Lord, but one of my favorites is from his Poison Pages line, Dark Passages, and features random table to create mysterious and diabolical books for your campaign.

Here is one I rolled up:


The Chthonic Verses of Eldridge Plinth is a slim book of about 100 pages with a cover that is worn and stained. The cover is made from a dark redwood and has thin spikes of brass forming an unpleasant glyph that causes a wringing in the reader's ears. The pages are a heavy paper from the mills of far away Pyrus, imported special by Plinth. The Verses are in a neatly printed Dwarfish and was penned with a water based, brown ink from the Drome underground river. The Plinth's tome is free of illustrations of any kind and  is infamous for the author’s screed against Dhalripple Ferrodrang for his improper techniques at crafting aqueducts in Appendix V.
If the reader can break Eldridge’s cypher in Appendix Q, they learn the Earth Tradition Incantation, Earth Spike at Rank 0.
However, the book is infested with toothy, parasitic worms. A creature that opens the book must get a success on an Agility challenge roll with 1d3 banes or take 1d6 damage from the burrowing parasitic worms. At the end of each round, the creature must get a success on a Strength challenge roll with 1 bane or take 1d6 damage. After three successes or the affected creature takes 10 damage or more from fire, the effect ends. 





Saturday, April 16, 2016

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: N is for the Niagara Accord

Welcome to a Grave New World, where humans rub shoulder to shoulder with the monsters from folklore.






The Niagara Accord is a theory that claims that several powerful packs of therianthropes from the northern U.S., who had previously supported Abraham Lincoln's bid for the Presidency, met with him in January of 1860 to formalize their plans to make war upon several vampire nests, that held great sway in the southern U.S., and adamantly supported slavery. 

Ancient History has noted that therianthropes ruled many of the Great Dynasties of Ancient Egypt and that many powerful packs blame the vampires that inundated Rome for the end of their rule amongst the Black Sands. Additionally, numerous scholars have spent more than a century exploring a possible hidden agenda amongst therianthropes in the U.S. Civil War.

In her book, An Uncivil War: Pharaohs versus Emperors, Lorna Weist showcases numerous pieces of evidence that demonstrates how the vampire nest of Rome coerced their Emperors into destroying Egypt's reign, mainly because of the power of the therianthropes the egyptian people honored as gods. Further, much of her research paints a portrait of President Lincoln as a man who deeply wanted to throw off the yoke of slavery for every person, but who wanted to the give South and this new Confederate States of America more time, before he sought war. Sadly, according to Weist, the Niagara Accord and the powerful Inhumans who aided his rise, didn't let him.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: M is for Monster

Welcome to a Grave New World, where humans rub shoulder to shoulder with the monsters from folklore.





Monster is a slur that Inhuman rights activists have been trying to purge from the language of Americans for over 40 years. In the last 5 years, they have received a groundswell of support as Inhuman Chic and the current generation's acceptance of Inhumans has dramatically risen.

Many activists have been disappointed that Congressman Lerner (WA) has not taken a harder line on the issue. Critics point to several large donations to his campaign from companies notorious for their presence in countries with poor Inhuman rights records.

While many push for better treatment for Inhumans, others seem to embrace older, darker traditions. The American Monster Lodge was founded in 1969 and it's members gather to "Remember and celebrate their forebears who did not fall prey to their supernatural predators."  While three lodges in the 80's and 90's were investigated and found guilty in the deaths of several Inhumans, the Board of Investigators maintains that they don't advocate violence against Inhumans, and that their members merely find their ancestor's past actions "sacred" and want to pass along their heritage. The AML also points out that crime rates by Inhumans are much different in other countries and various cultures have far different views upon them. They are always very quick to advertise any attack by an Inhuman, wherever it occurs.

The next decade holds great promise and even greater uncertainty as the Inhuman issue continues to dominate the American Way.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: L is for Lucas Lerner

Welcome to a Grave New World, where humans rub shoulder to shoulder with the monsters from folklore.




Congressman Lucas Lerner was the first Inhuman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Oregon's District 04. Lucas is 52 years old and has dealt with his therianthropy since being attacked by a werebear while camping over thirty years ago. Lucas was extremely lucky that his father was an E.R. doctor and had some experience with therianthrope attacks. Lucas received all of the proper treatments and counseling and took part in his community's program to help therianthropes deal with the lunar cycle. 

He graduated the University of Oregon with a degree in business. He and his wife, Joan, started a real estate firm, Lerner Living, which has become very successful. They've had four children, May, Charles, June, and April, all of whom have avoided Hereditary Therianthropy, much to their father's relief.

Lucas has always been open and forthright about his disease, he is adamant that it is not a curse, and is hopeful that science will discover a cure within his lifetime.

He entered politics, as a town councilmen, after Yani Procter, a vampire was nearly beaten death by a group of citizens who were patrolling the streets during a rash of serial burglaries and assaults. Lucas felt that someone needed to represent the inhumans in Oregon and help strengthen relations between the human/inhuman communities there, especially in light of the fact that Jonah Lott, a human, was responsible for the crime spree.

Lucas was offered the District 04 seat after career politician, Malcom Cornett, suffered an embolism and passed away in March of 2009. He has since won reelection by wide margins three times and leads the polls for 2016.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: K is for Kolchak.com

Welcome to a Grave New World, where humans rub shoulder to shoulder with the monsters from folklore.





Carl Kolchak made a name for himself in the 1970's due to his investigative journalism into crimes that often dealt with Inhumans. While many of his early investigations shone a light on Inhuman elements the police weren't equipped to deal with, his later investigations began to lean more towards helping the Inhuman community against injustice and persecution. And by the time of  his untimely death, Carl had become an outspoken advocate for Inhuman rights.

In 2000, Kolchak.com opened for business, the eMag focused on the lives, plight, and politics of the Inhuman community and the ebb and flow of inhuman-human relations.

Several of the original columnists have gone on to great success as novelists, news anchors, actors, and talk show hosts. At the turn of the century, being hired by Kolchak.com and its mysterious Editior-In-Chief, Juno, was the opportunity to write your own ticket to fame and fortune.

While Kolchak.com has had its ups and downs and even faced shuttering in 2013, before a successful crowd-funding campaign saved it, it has maintained a clear and respected tone in American culture.  Recently, the eMag adopted a patron model that has allowed it to sustain profitability. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Class Hack: The Occultist for The Black Hack

This is a GIANT THANK YOU for making The Class Hack the #2 #1 Hottest Seller on RPGNow.Com!

While developing The Class Hack, I decided to interpret the classes from the ADnD 1st Edition Player's Handbook and Unearthed Arcana, but I also had an idea for the Sorcerer from later editions.





I figured I'd include it here, as a treat:

OCCULTIST

Starting HP : d4 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting : 1d4
Weapons & Armor : Dagger and Staff
Attack Damage : 1d4 / 1 Unarmed or
Improvising 

SPECIAL FEATURES 
When an Occults casts an Arcane Spell, they may
add an additional target to it, deal it’s maximum 
damage or effect, double it’s duration, or increase 
it’s range to Far Away; however, the roll with 
Disadvantage when testing INT to avoid reducing 
that spell’s slot.

LEVELING UP
Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for 
INT or  WIS.

ARCANE SPELLCASTING
Occultist can cast a number of Arcane Spells a 
day, see the spellcasting section.

SPELLBOOK
Occultists start with a Large spellbook containing
a total of 1d4 spells from the Level 1 and 2

Arcane Spell lists.

A to Z of Grave New World 2016: J is for Jabberwork

Welcome to a Grave New World, where humans rub shoulder to shoulder with the monsters from folklore.





Jabberwock is a loosely associated network of activists and hacktivists that identify themselves as Inhuman. Their goal is to prevent discrimination against and protect inhumans from enemies  they believe want to return to the "old ways". They employee numerous techniques to achieve their goals and will often "out" a discriminator or criminal preying upon inhumans to public shame and scrutiny.

Over the last fifteen years, Jabberwock has revealed numerous instances of Inhuman discrimination and crimes committed against them. The FBI doesn't believe that most members are, in fact, Inhuman due to the number of members in the U.S., alone. The group has also been instrumental in helping and protecting Inhumans it deems worthy.

There doesn't appear to be any central leadership and which Inhumans or which criminal are targeted appears to hinge on the sympathy or anger from a certain percentage of the membership.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Class Hack, 10 Additional Classes for The Black Hack is now LIVE on OneBookShelf.Com!






THE CLASS HACK for THE BLACK HACK by David Black and Gold Piece Productions is now LIVE on RPGNow.Com and DriveThruRPG.Com for $1.00!




This is Cross Planes Game Studio's first OGL and OSR product and it features 10 additional Classes for THE BLACK HACK inspired by 1st Edition of the World's First Advanced RPG:  The Acrobat, Assassin, Barbarian, Bard, Cabalist, Cavalier, Druid, Monk, Paladin, and Ranger.

The PDF is available here.








A to Z of Grave New World 2016: I is for Indigo

Welcome to a Grave New World, where humans rub shoulder to shoulder with the monsters from folklore.




Indigo is a new designer drug that has plagued the streets of the Eastern United States for almost two years. It was originally distributed by the Cicero Crime Family in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island but has quickly spread westward.

The Center for Disease Control has begun studying the drug due to a request from the Drug Enforcement Agency. The CDC has determined that the drug is cut with enzymes from a currently unknown type of inhuman. What concerns the DEA, and in turn the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is that the all of the Cicero Family's leadership and key members were murdered ten months ago and production and distribution of Indigo is at all time high.

The drug is a highly addictive psychoactive drug for both humans and inhumans and has a much higher mortality rate for inhumans than is typically found in narcotics.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cross Planes Turns 5 Today!




Cross Planes begins its 5th year today!

What a long, strange trip it has been.

For those that weren't around for my first post (don't feel bad, there weren't many), this is where the name of the blog comes from:

Cross Planes is my foray into the OSR and DnD in particular.  The title takes inspiration from 2 sources:

1.  Cross Plains, TX was the home of Robert E. Howard, of whom I am a huge fan.

2.  I have a huge fondness for cross genre stories and adventures; Nazis, Dinosaurs, Power Armor, Talking Apes, and Barbarians are all integral ingredients to making any story better...especially DnD.

Last year, I discussed some goals I had for the coming year:

I'm trying to stick to more thematic series these days like Primeval Thule, Elemental Evil and Tiefling Heritages and hope to keep pushing myself as a writer and game designer.
I think I have done this pretty well.

A goal of mine is to start a novella on here, but we'll see, I'm not sure I'm that brave yet.
No novella, sadly, but I keep thinking about it. As I've begun publishing micro-supplements, my main focus is to simply prioritized Cross Planes over anything else.

My next big project is to design a logo for the site, I'm still brainstorming what I want.
This is done and I'm happy with what my wife and I came up with.

One area I'm extremely proud of, is that I've managed to break 200 posts in two of the years on here and 300 posts on another year. Who knows, maybe I'll break 300 this year?
I'm very proud to say that I ended up breaking 500 posts and that I intend to break 300 this year, as well.

Either way, thank you for accompanying me on this journey. Hopefully, my fifth anniversary will be even bigger and better.
I'm very happy your reading what I'm writing. I deeply appreciate my extremely loyal Patrons for my Patreons too.  And I can't even put into words those of you who have bought my digital products.

My goals for the coming year? I can't say that I will achieve this, but I'm attempting to put out 52 micro-products this year. The DMsGuild.Com launched 13 weeks ago and I have published that many products with another launching Monday or Tuesday.
We'll see what happens, but its in my head.

Thank you again for taking time to read my blog!

The Black Hack: A Preview of the Bard from the forthcoming The Class Hack





After purchasing David Black's THE BLACK HACK from Gold Piece Publications, I've begun developing other classes for the game for a product called THE CLASS HACK (I didn't know that OneBookShelf.Com didn't greenlight new publishers on weekends or it would already be on sale). Hopefully it will be available from Cross Planes Game Studio on Monday.

Here is a preview:

       BARD

Starting HP : d6 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting : 1d6
Weapons & Armor : All, Leather, Magic 
Chainmail 
Attack Damage : 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or
Improvising 

SPECIAL FEATURES 
Rolls with Advantage when being charming,
performing delicate tasks, climbing, hearing 
sounds, moving silently, recounting legends and 
lore, understanding written languages and 
making music.

LEVELING UP
    Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for 
       STR and DEX or WIS.

ARCANE SPELLCASTING
Beginning at second level, Bards can cast a
number of Divine Spells a day, see the following 
page.

SPELLBOOK
     Bards start with a large spellbook containing a
total of 1d4 spells from the Level 1 and 2 Divine

Spell lists. 

I tried to stick closely to the ADnD 1E version so this Bard is a mix of Fighter, Thief, and Druid.  The Fighter is felt most in the use of all weapons and when they level you can Roll for Str AND Dex for improvement.

Halloween Treat: Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath for Shadow of the Demon Lord

"E hu shub niggur ath n gaa ryula neb shoggoth."That's as close as I can come. The mouths was like leaves and the whole thing ...