Sunday, April 18, 2021

Rifts: Skelebot for Cepheus Atom


Coalition Skelebot for Cepheus Atom
The Coalition State's have invested heavily in automated troops for hazardous environments and incursions due to the Rifts. 10/20, Move 20m, 
Armor 6, CV-213 Laser Rifle (range 300/500 
5D damage). Combat-2, Knowledge-1, Physical-3. 

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Horrific!: Werealligator for Barbaric!


Werealligator for Barbaric!
One must be cursed to suffer from lycanthropy and while many are poor lost souls who crave normalcy while trying to prevent their murderous activities during a full moon, there are others who embrace their curse and quickly learn to transform during the night of their own volition, and finally, there are those beasts who can transform during the day as well, they are the true monsters and their malice is bloody and fierce.

20/30, Move 10m/round (15m/round swimming), 
Armor 4, Teeth and Tail (melee 3D and 2D, respectively; teeth are piercing and tail is crushing damage). Combat-3, Physical-3. Werealligators completely heal Life Blood by dawn and can even regenerate lost limbs, however during the day they lack this healing and regeneration. Finally, to truly destroy a werewalligator one must remove and destroy a large yellow molar at the very back of their mouth otherwise the lycanthrope will return to life during the next full moon.

Warhammer 40,000: Necron Warrior for Cepheus At


Art by Txus Morales

Necron Warrior for Cepheus Quantum
The Necrons are a mysterious xenos species of humanoid, robotic skeletal warriors that have lain dormant in their stasis-tombs for more than 60 million Terran years, though they have begun to awaken at last. They are the soulless creations and former servants of the ancient C'tan, the terrible Star Gods of Aeldari myth.

15/15, Move 10m, Armor 6, Railgun (range 300/600 4D piercing damage). Combat-1, Physical-1. Construct, immune to poison, disease, suffocation, and mind-affecting sorcery or psionics. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Rifts: Mind Melters for Cepheus Atom & Barbaric!


Mind Melter for Cepheus Atom & Barbaric!

Some beings are capable of amazing powers of the mind. You may communicate telepathically with a sentient creature you can see even if you don't share the same language. Additionally, as long as you have at least 1 point of Endurance you may telepathically assault a creature's mind, sentient or not, forcing them to make a Knowledge throw of 8+ or they suffer 2d+1 damage.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Monstrous Monday: Eternia's Beast Men for Barbaric!


Beast Men for Barbaric!
Mercenary warriors from the Vine Jungle on 
Eternia's Light Hemisphere. 12/15, Move 15m/round, Armor 3, Electron Whip (2D, slashing), Combat-1, Physical-2, Stealth -1, Survival-1. 

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Rifts: Dog Boys for Cepheus Atom & Barbaric!

Dog Boy for Cepheus Atom & Barbaric!

Genetically uplifted canoids created by the Coalitions States to hunt non-humans. They may throw Lore 6+ to sense any sorcery that has been used in the general vicinity in the last four hours. Further, they gain Advantage on Lore throws to track a target, but require a way to gain their scent.

Saturday, April 10, 2021



Champions 4th Edition is the first RPG I ever played or ran and it made it hard to enjoy other games because I could literally build anything, but I still tried plenty of other RPGs. Our group really enjoyed Champions and it still has a place in my heart. While I've played 5E and read 6E the 4th Edition is my true love.

Growing up I read tons and tons of comics and I also watched tons and tons of action movies. Even in Champions, I kept trying to figure out to inject the action movie's tropes and sequences. Feng Shui showed me how to do that and changed or at least codified who I wanted to be as Game Master.

Legend of the Five Rings was the game that introduced my wife to role-playing and introduced me to a mostly new group of players. I ran at her family's stores and I ran as many as 18 people sometimes (youth is wasted on the young) which eventually burned me out on it. Since I was gaming with new people that hadn't known me forever my confidence as a GM grew dramatically.

While Grognardia introduced me to the OSR I discovered Basic Fantasy, Labyrinth Lord, and Swords and Wizardry at about the same time. I chose it because I actually ponied up to buy four hardcovers of this printing and have bought every other printing made available even though I've never run or played it. SnW led me to discover what I had been missing about DnD for several decades and helped me fall in love with DnD 5th Edition.

OSR: Manaconda for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

Manacondas for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 1 (2d6)
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Size: L
Movement: 20 (swim 30)
Dexterity: 14
Armour Class: 7
Hit Dice: 2
Attack Rate: 1/1(spear)
Damage: 1d6 (1d8)
Saving Throw: 15
Morale: 9
Experience Points: 30
Treasure Class: P

Manacondas are typically found near lakes and make their homes in underground warrens. They can Climb (10:12), Hide (8:12), and Move Silently (9:12).

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Rifts: Ley Line Walker for Cepheus Atom & Barbaric!

Ley Line Walker: Some sorcerers train their senses to detect the ebb and flow of sorcery along ley lines and the places of power where they converge. If the sorcerer is within 20 feet of a ley line they heal 2 lifeblood points per day. While within 10 feet of a ley line and a Sorcery throw of 7+ a sorcerer may teleport along the ley line up to 30m and attack or move 60m without attacking.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

OSR: Fire Vampires for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea


No. Encountered: 1
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: L
Movement: 60
Dexterity: 16
Armour Class: 3
Hit Dice: 9
Attack Rate: 1/1(fireblast)
Damage: 3d6
Saving Throw: 12
Morale: 10
Experience Points: 1,500
Treasure Class: T

Fire vampires are malign and intelligent beings made from the very essence of the primordial stars that blanket the night sky high above Hyperborea. Cultists of Xathoqqua go to great lengths to excavate cyclopean relics in order to coax the arrival of a fire vampire into their company regardless of the fact that the creature's arrival almost assuredly incinerates the entire cult in the process. 

Once brought to Hyperborea the creature allows its light to slowly fade so it can ambush wanderers where it delights in watching their prey burn to mere ash and bone. 

If one is wandering in unfamiliar places a common sign of the fire vampire is a black-as-night burn on the ground and the remains of fleshy feet and their accompying bones. You have been warned.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Rifts: Coaltion SAMAS Power Armor for Cepheus Atom


Coalition SAMAS Power Armor 
• Gauss rifle 4D (Auto) damage (Range of 300/6000)
• Protection 12
• Integrated gas mask, communicator, 
   night-vision goggles, and rad suit
• No heavy armor penalty
• Flying speed of 30m per combat round

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Monstrous Monday: Wendigo for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

No. Encountered: 1
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: L
Movement: 90
Dexterity: 18
Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 5
Attack Rate: 3/1(claw/claw/gore)
Damage: 1d6+1/1d6+1/2d8
Saving Throw: 10
Morale: 11
Experience Points: 250
Treasure Class: X

A wendigo is made when a person commits cannibalism and the land itself, Hyperborea, curses their very existence. They may Hide (10:12), Move Silently (7:12), and Imitate a Voice (10:12). Upon seeing the wendigo for the first time a person must make a Sorcerery Save or experience a fear effect (as the spell).

Monday, April 5, 2021

Star Frontiers: Dralasites for Cepheus Quantum

Dralasite for Cepheus Quantum
They are short, rubbery aliens that have no bones or hard body parts. Their skin is a flexible membrane that is very tough and scratchy. It generally is dull gray and lined with dark veins that meet at the dralasite's two eyespots. The internal structure of a dralasite is very different from the other races. The dralasite's central nerve bundle (brain), numerous small hearts, and other internal organs float in a pudding-like mixture of protein and organic fluids. Dralasites breathe by absorbing oxygen directly through their skin, so they have no lungs. They are omnivores but eat by surrounding their food and absorbing it, so they also have no digestive tract or intestines. 

At the beginning of each turn they may choose to benefit from one of the following options: gain the Contortionist trait, gain the Runner trait, gain unarmed damage of 2D, or gain a natural armor rating of 3.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Cepheus Sorcery

Over the last year, I've looked at quite a few Traveller/Cepheus Engine products from various publishers. While I understand the appreciation for building your character through Education and Careers but it's not something I'm a huge fan of. However, Stellagama is a publisher that has been making Cepheus products that are lighter on rules yet still capture the OSR appeal I think Traveller/Cepheus has.

My favorite of these began with Cepheus Quantum(it's free )and has carried over to Cepheus Atom (think Gamma World) and Barbaric! (think DnD or RuneQuest).

Yesterday, they uploaded Cepheus Sorcery which is a 2 page set of rules for using the Cepheus system in a Sword & Sorcery setting. Like their other Cepheus Quantum games, it's just a masterpiece of getting to the heart of what I find important as a player and a Game Master. I have less time these days and while I love DnD 5th Edition and Shadows of the Demon Lord it's cool to have such a proven set of rules in a mere 2 pages.

I haven't been taken with a set of rules since the Cypher System.

It's free and there is literally no reason not to download it. If you like it, pick up Barbaric! too.

Rifts: Glitter Boy Power Armor for Cepheus Atom


Glitter Boy Power Armor Cepheus Atom
• Gauss rifle 6D damage (Range of 500/1000, must 
   take an action to deploy anchors into the ground 
   before firing gauss rifle)
• Protection 15 (takes no damage from laser 
• DM+4 to all Physical Throws
• DM+1 to all Combat Throws
• Power cell charger
• Integrated gas mask, communicator, 
   night-vision goggles, and rad suit
• No heavy armor penalty

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Saturday, March 27, 2021

GameStorming: Earth 2238

In the last year, I have let my Anxiety keep me from running a campaign and I decided this week that it is time to face that head-on. It's neat to have a group willing to go along with different games and an erratic schedule, but in my opinion, a campaign is more fulfilling for everyone involved.

I'll be using D&D 5th Edition and we'll start around 3rd level. I've limited the races available to Tieflings, Dhampyrs, Hexbloods, Eladrin, Aarakokra, Warforged, Tritons, Hobgoblins, Changelings, Orcs, and Humans, but have not limited classes thus far. 

Speaking of setting, I'm looking at a post-apocalyptic world, probably between 100 and 500 years after the cataclysm. There are plenty of examples of the previous civilization but most of the secrets of those bygone days are little understood by the people currently alive.

I'm going to post some pieces of inspiration for the game.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Burnt World: Behemoth Non-Human for Barbaric!

Behemoth for Barbaric!

Behemoth: In some lost millennium, as a bizarre experiment or perhaps as some sort of curse, giants were magically crossbred with humans. They may attack from the rear rank and gain +1D Endurance.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Burnt World: Ravagers & Wyrm Priests for Barbaric!

 Stellagama's Barbaric! has really captured my imagination and I'm working on a setting that is very much inspired by Dark Sun and I'm calling the project Burnt World. 

Below are two new traits.

Ravager: A sorcerer may quickly and destructively drain magical energy directly from the surrounding environment and its inhabitants in a 5-foot radius causing the vegetation to wilt and die and imposing a DM-1 on all creatures in that radius. When they cast Hastily a Ravager gains Advantage on their Sorcery Skill throw.

Wyrm Priests: These beings gain the ability to cast sorcery in exchange for serving the Wyrm Kings. Wyrm Priests always choose their spells instead of rolling them randomly.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Rifts: Blind Warrior Women of Altarra for Cepheus Atom


Blind Warrior Women of Altara for Cepheus Atom
Infamous clones bred to serve Atlantis and the Splugorith. 12/25, Move 15m, Armor 4, Wrist Blaster (range 100/400 3D damage). Combat-3, Knowledge-1, Physical-2, Survival-2. 

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Rifts: Dead Boys for Cepheus Atom

Dead Boy for Cepheus Atom
The foot soldiers of the Coalition State, they have been fed lies upon lies about the world outside their walls and they loyally enforce those twisted laws of human supremacy. 9/18, Move 10m, Armor 5, Assault Rifle (range 50/200 3D damage, Auto). Combat-1, Physical-1, Survival-1. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

A Milestone

I began Cross Planes in April 2012 and my output has varied from multiple times daily to less than once a month but at some point in the last couple of months I hit 2 million views and I'm pretty excited about it. I don't really know how many views other blogs get and I generally assume my blog isn't anywhere close to being as popular as The Others Side Blog, Grognardia, or Jeff's Game Blog so they might have 10 million views as far as I know.

Either way, I'm pretty darn excited and felt I had to share. Maybe we'll hit 3 million views by 2026?

Thanks for reading, I know in the last few years my output has been far less than the first few years and I'm trying to find a better schedule but we'll see what the world does and what my Anxiety does.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Warpstar!: Ork Burna Boyz

Ork Burna Boyz for Warpstar!

Actions/round 1
Weapon/skill/damage Flamethrower/5/L3d6E
Armour 1d6+2
Adventuring skills 3
Stamina 23
Notes Energy Attack

Description - Burna Boyz are Orks who cannot stop setting things on fire. These lunatics will set light to anything or anyone for the simple joy of watching them "do the burny dance".

Friday, March 19, 2021

Dark Sun: Thri-Keen for Barbaric!


Thri-Keen from the burnt world of Dark Sun for Barbaric!

Thri-Keen: These hulking mantis warriors are six-limbed insectoids with a tough, sandy-yellow exoskeleton. They have a natural armor rating of 3. Due to their number of limbs they can make an additional attack each round but gain Disadvantage on both Combat Skill throws. 


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Warpstar!: Necron Warrior

Necron Warrior for Warpstar!

Actions/round 2
Weapon/skill/damage Railgun/7/M1d6+1P
Armour 1d6+1
Adventuring skills 5
Stamina 18
Notes Puppet

Description - The Necrons are a mysterious xenos species of humanoid, robotic skeletal warriors that have lain dormant in their stasis-tombs for more than 60 million Terran years, though they have begun to awaken at last. They are the soulless creations and former servants of the ancient C'tan, the terrible Star Gods of Aeldari myth.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Barbaric!: Moks

Moks from the world of Thundarr the Barbarian for Barbaric!

Moks: A race of primitive lion-men, who talk in grunts and growls, who are aggressive and tenacious. They gain Advantage with improvised weapons and gain an unarmed damage of 2D.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Warlock!: Skaven Clan Rat

Skaven Clan Rat for Warlock!

Type Civilized
Actions/round 1
Weapon/skill/damage Weapons/6/-
Armour Armour
Adventuring skills 5
Stamina 12
Notes Intelligent, Poisonous, Tracking

Description -    "Clanrats forms the vast overall bulk of Skaven military power, a large verminous horde of ratmen that go to war as basic and highly-expendable front-line infantry. These Skaven belong to any one of thousands of Clans scattered throughout the underground burrows, strongholds and bursting cavern-cities that make up the whole of the Under-Empire. Of all the teeming masses, only the worker dregs, the worthless and even more insignificant Slave Rats, are considered even more numerous than the Clanrats themselves.

Clanrats are slightly smaller than man-sized, standing four to five feet high. They range between lithe and scrawny and are possessed of constant energy, most commonly seen in a nervous twitching of their hairless, worm-like tails. A single Clanrat is not a fearsome opponent. A lone warrior will lack any degree of discipline or determination and is likely to skulk in the shadows, afraid to go forward, too cautious to go backward, and terrified to even stand its own ground for more than a moment without fleeing. Unless driven by black hunger, a single Clanrat will only attack something that is visibly weakened or crippled, preferring even then to attack unseen from behind. When banded together in a large pack, however, each individual Skaven would bolster each other's confidence and fuel their feral ferocity to a highly aggressive level. This allows the individually cowardly ratmen to form massive units that will recklessly hurl themselves into a fray against obviously superior troops."

Monday, March 15, 2021

Monstrous Monday: Beaked People/Parrot Men for Barbaric!

From Season 1 of the Herculoids
From Season 1 of the Herculoids for Barbaric!

Beaked Person (Parrot Man): Winged conquerors from the stars. 6/16, Move 10m/round (flight), Armor 0, Beak (1d damage, piercing), Combat 2, Lore 1, Physical 1, Social 1.

Hawk the Slayer: Gort for Barbaric!

Gort, Master Rank Giant

Combat 2
Physical 4

Endurance 13
Lifeblood 22


Battle-axe 4D
Breastplate 6

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Darkhold for D&D 5th Edition

Chthon, a mysterious tiefling who was the world's first practitioner of black magic, was the principal author of the Darkhold. Being academic, Chthon wrote all his collected knowledge of magic into the iron-bound scrolls which served to protect it even during the Dawn War.

Wondrous Item, Legendary

Random Properties
The Darkhold has the following random properties:

• 4 minor beneficial properties
• 3 major beneficial properties
• 3 minor detrimental properties
• 5 major detrimental properties

Adjusted Ability Scores
After reading the Darkhold for 40 hours you may increase your Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom by 2 to a maximum of 24. Additionally, you gain the Magic Initiated feat based on the ability score you chose to increase.

Your Greatest Desire
Once you have increased one of your Ability scores the Darkhold will offer the means to your greatest desire by allowing you to cast the Wish spell. Once cast there is a 66% chance you may never cast the spell again and you gain a random long-term madness from the Dungeon Master's Guide.

Turn Undead
As an action you may present the book and speak the Montessi Formula, censuring nearby undead.

Each undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw, vampires have disadvantage on this roll. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage.

A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

Book of Shadows
You can reference the Darkhold whenever you make an Intelligence check to recall information about some aspect of celestials, deities, fiends, magic, otherwordly patrons, and undead. When you do so, gain advantage on that check.

Destroying the Book
If the Darkhold is destroyed in any way, it reappears in 3d10 days in a random library, personal or otherwise, in the world.

Groundlings for Barbaric!

I've never run a single edition of Traveller, but I've been keeping my eye on the OGL version known as the Cepheus Engine and Barbaric! is a neat game, and Groundlings, minions from Thundarr the Barbarian, seemed like a good start.

Groundlings: Ratlike mercenaries. 6/16, 
Move 10m/round, Armor 1, Bite (1 damage, piercing), 
Club (2d, crushing), Combat 1, Physical 1, Stealth 2.

Friday, March 12, 2021

State of the Planes March 2021

I'm sure like many of you the past year has been...challenging at best. Last fall I dove headfirst into action figures and DnD, the OSR, and RPGs took a back seat to that and that has been where my passion has been directed since then.

I don't want Cross Planes to go away but I don't know if I can go back to anything close to a post every day. It's not that I don't want to, it's that I just am not sure that I have the time to do it.

I have worked at Comic Book World since November 1999 and it has always been the plan that my wife and I would purchase from her parents one day. Her parents retired in November and a busy job got busier and since there aren't any in-person Pop Culture Conventions, those people lucky enough to have jobs are spending it more locally, so we are busier than ever (and I'm not complaining). On top of that Collectible have EXPLODED, I was hired during the (first?) Pokemon boom, at one point my job involved me going to Wizard of the Coast's website and ordering Pokemon TCG boosters directly from them, and these days about 1/4 of my day involves finding Pokemon TCG boosters again. I don't know how long it will last but I'm going to enjoy the ride.

The blog isn't going away but it's obvious that what I've had to say on here is different now and I'm trying to figure that out.

I'll be seeing you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Frustrating RPG Design

I've been interested in RPG designs which often leads me to pick up a PDF of a game just to see how it was designed. I've recently done that with Ruin Master from RiotMind which is a bit of a blend of the OSR and Basic Role-Playing, but there are some places where they seem to pointedly ignore some of the recent innovations to the family of D100 games created by Chaosium's RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu.

Let me reiterate that these complaints are merely based on my opinions and this might be the game you have been waiting your whole life for.

For one thing, many of their bonuses and penalties are multiples of 5 and in my experience, many people are intimidated by double-digit arithmetic so why not keep their penalties (and bonuses) in increments of 10? If you are going to stick with multiples of 5 then why not use a D20 (which I believe they did with Trudavang).

I was also surprised that Ruin Master uses a version of the old Resistance Table which I have seen replaced with a blackjack-style solution where the highest successful roll wins.

Additionally, when casting spells you have to spend Magic Point and roll your Magic skill but receive a -5% to the chance per Magic Point spent. I get the impression that this is a low magic setting, but why require so much math? If you don't want magic to be prevalent don't provide spells we are all familiar with from every edition of DnD. For reference, a person's Magic skill at character creation will be from 40 to 60%.

I completely grok that everyone has specific tastes in their games I just don't see the point of making things so challenging to use Magic and fill the game system with, in my opinion, unnecessary complexity.

Apparently, I'm not Ruin Master's target audience and that's okay. Its a gorgeous book and for the right group an interesting streamlining of The Design Mechanism's Mythras and Chaosium's Magic World and RuneQuest: Glorantha.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Most Played RPG System

I'm a backer of Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms setting for DnD 5th Edition. I've loved the setting since it was released for DnD 3.0 back in the day and am looking forward to running it under 5E.

Matt Wilson of Privateer Press made this statement in response to a question about why they stopped supporting the Iron Kingdoms RPG with its own unique system, "5e is the most played RPG system in the history of RPGs, and so if we're going to keep exploring and expanding on the Iron Kingdoms."

Do you think that statement is true?

I know 5E is huge, I mean H-U-G-E, but B/X DnD and ADnD 1E were pretty successful too and they've had the benefit of being played since the 70s and been reinvigorated with the OSR in the last decade.

Let me be clear here, I'm not taking Mr. Wilson to task for his statement it simply made me think about the life cycle of various versions of DnD and the inventory numbers. His statement could be completely spot on and I'm sure he has a better chance of having insight from WotC than I do.

I'd love to hear what you think on the subject.

Friday, February 5, 2021

My Quest

My first RPG was Champions which allowed a neophyte like me to build anything I could imagine once I learned the language of the HERO System. However, I still had a wandering eye that led me to Heroes Unlimited, to TSR's Marvel Super Heroes, and on and on. I don't know if I realized it at first, but part of my Gaming ADD was looking for that perfect system. For a long, long time I thought that was what made a long-term campaign work, clear, concise, and unified rules. The OSR would eventually teach me otherwise and I now know that what makes a long-term campaign work is a DM who can stay focused and roll with the punches and a group who buys into the game. That is it, in my opinion.

But I still own a ton of RPGs and I still have a yearning for that "perfect system". I've been a big fan of Pinnacle Entertainment Group since Deadlands was published and when they launched Savage Worlds I thought it would be my answer for all further campaigns. It was, however, not the answer and that is mainly because I prefer Hit Points and it lacks them. It's also not quite as fast for my tastes as it advertises. I love PEG and I adore the idea of SW, but not the execution.

However, when I took SW for a spin about two years ago I picked up Chaosium's Down Darker Trails and I realized how much I love the Basic Role-Playing System that powers Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, and the forthcoming Rivers of London RPG. I've been thinking about running a BRP game for the last six months or so, but BRP wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

Meanwhile, I've fallen in love with The Design Mechanisms' Mythras RPG (it was RuneQuest 6th Edition for a while) and I really appreciate how many settings and sourcebooks they publish. As a Chaosium fan the release schedule often leaves a lot to be desired. However, Mythras is more fiddly than I like in my D100 games as I don't care for Strike Ranks or Hit Locations.

On top of all of this is a game engine I've been tinkering with for years and is inspired by Mike Pondsmith's Castle Falkenstein. In that game, there are Ability scores just skills and you default to Average in any Skill you have not assigned otherwise.

What I'm getting too is I took Castle Falkenstein's basic Skill premise, plus a D100 resolution system, and pyramid style Skill allocation system that borrows from the World of Darkness, Hero Wars/HeroQuest/QuestWorlds, Chaosium's Magic World, FATE/FUDGE, and the Mythras Companion.

HEre is the set up. 

Your Hit Points equal 12+2d6.

You assign the following values to your Skills: 80, 70%, two at 60%, two at 50%, four at 45%, and two at 40%. Any Skill you don't have defaults to a 33% chance of success.

I borrow weapons and equipment from BRP, Mythras, or Delta Green.

I started using this to run another Star Wars game. This time the Imperial Navy, now led by Grand Moff Kaine, wants to remove Darth Vader for his failure at Battle of Yavin. The Grand Moff has an elite unit of the Navy comprised of Force-Sensitive operatives and he has been given the blessing to train them and deploy them to hunt down any surviving Jedi or bring in any Force-Sensitives that they become aware.

The Players are that squad and their first assignment was to retrieve Talon Karrde from the prison planet Eisen alive if at all possible.

We've played two sessions and I'm having a blast. For me, the percentile resolution system is darn easy for online play and I truly appreciate it.

I plan on developing and previewing the system further on here.

Stay warm and stay well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Anxiety & Dragons

If you've been around here long enough you've seen me write about my mental illness--I have General Anxiety Disorder--which means, essentially, my fight or flight goes off a fair bit more than usual and doesn't always need a reason. I've been taking medicine for over 20 years and it makes things a lot better and I'm one of the lucky ones.

My gaming group from 1991 to about 2006 was fairly stable and had up to 11 players at any given time. We were all fairly young and there was a lot of drama--almost constant drama--all of the time. If I'm honest with myself I created the majority of the drama because my mental illness was not being treated nor had it been diagnosed. For various reasons my self-esteem was intertwined with being the group's Game Master and also its "leader"--more like a "group mom" really. As my Anxiety increased my decisions became worse and the drama got worse as well. It was a dark time in my life as I took something I loved and was supposed to be fun and twisted it up.

Things got better after 2006, for a variety of reasons, but much of it has to do with the medicine I was on as it was very, very effective. Not all meds are created equal and everyone is very different in how they interact. 

I have always had Gamer ADD but after starting this medicine it mostly disappeared which allowed me to start this blog and eventually run several long-term campaigns including at levels 1 to 20 DnD 5E one.

Almost two years ago that medicine stopped working--the truth is it worked for about 12 years which is a remarkable amount of time--and while the new medicine is pretty good it doesn't handle the Gamer ADD as well and some of the old feelings have bubbled up.

At my worst, I was both obsessive and paranoid and my fight response was far more dominant than my flight response so I was a raging bitch sometimes. Thankfully, a combination of coping mechanisms and experience let me see the behavior as it starts to bubble up again but it doesn't remove the emotions.

The emotions are recurring because we've just finished an excellent 5E campaign after almost 2 years and I just assumed that I would run next. However, I didn't share my assumption with anyone and another DM did communicate their desire to run. This DM is a great friend and a great DM but a part of me feels hurt because I wasn't asked to run. Obviously, this is an immature response fueled by my mental illness and there is absolutely no real issue here. My group is filled with wonderful and kind people and we have a great time together.

This situation is compounded by the fact that I'm starting a Roll20 5E game and some of the players don't know if they can commit yet but sadly my anxiety tells me that I'm not a good DM and they just don't want to play in my game because they don't like me. Again, these are wonderful and good people involved and there isn't anything sinister about any of their situations.

I'm writing about this because I try to be very open with my mental illness and I'm just letting people know it's okay to talk about it and realize that you can beat it. I've felt fragile and been really low before, to the point that I considered suicide and I just want everyone to know that you are important, you are stronger than your illness, and the world is a better place with you in it. Don't kill yourself, there are good people out there for you, you can be diagnosed, you can be treated, and you are not the exception to recovery. 

My situation probably isn't unique and the best thing I think I can do is to enjoy the new campaign as a player and just be flexible with people's schedules for my Roll20 game.

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