Monday, December 4, 2023

Monster Monday: Ork City's Chupacabra for Shadowdark

Welcome to Ork City!

In the middle of Ork City's Hatt Island is the Park, a wild and dangerous forest filled with all manner of nightmarish predators. One of the most frequent dangers is a creature about the size of a large dog that drinks the blood of its victims. It is quiet as death as it stalks its prey, listening to their heart race, smelling the fear radiating from them, and relishing the warm, coppery taste of the blood that sustains it. Few who come across a Chupabra live to relay the tale.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Ork City: Moorlocks for Shadowdark

Welcome to Ork City!

It is inspired by Gamma World, Numenera, Thundarr the Barbarian, Planet of the Apes, Roadside Picnic, Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth, and Mad Max and focuses on excursions to what used to be the ruins of New York City. I see it as a Point Crawl mixed with running Dungeons that drawls in those seeking fortune and treasure in this harsh and unrelenting world. 

Most of what is known about the Moorlocks come from the Vagabonds who have survived its dangers and the Versifiers who carry those tales far and wide. 

Monday, November 27, 2023

Miscreant Monday: Crime Wave for Savage Worlds + the Supers Companion for Earth 72

Hamilton Fox, a con man and drug dealer, had dreamed of becoming an Olympic runner for as long as he could remember. Sadly, he was willing to do anything to be the best and was caught using performance enhancing drugs and banned from competing any further.

Blaming everyone but himself he fell in with the wrong crowd and began dealing drugs before being caught and doing time in the Holloway Detention Center on the outskirts of Opal City. It was there that he met Joseph Klein who took him under his wing.  When Klein was released he told Fox to look him up for a job when he got out. 

Hamilton did just that 18 months later when he found Klein working for the crime syndicate known as the One-Thousand and serving as a trusted right hand for the Mist who was in charge of operations in Opal City. Two years later, after proving himself loyal and reliable, the Mist asked Fox if he would be interested in an experiment that could give him superpowers and without a moment's hesitation he told her he was in.

The 1,000 had put a member of the Dominator species known as Gunther in touch with a new iteration of H.I.V.E.. Gunther had defected to Earth during its Invasion by a coalition of aliens. The Dominator's research involved unlocking the metagene and he and two other subjects underwent the procedure.

Hamilton was really lucky. He only had flu-like symptoms for a couple of days before his super speed manifested while the other two subjects died very, very painful deaths.

The Mist has been training Fox in the use of his powers and he has taken up the codename the Crime Wave. She's been having him operate in Hub City to save him as secret weapon when the time is right. Fox is running faster than ever and is enjoying the rush.

You can download a PDF for Crime Wave here.

I used the excellent to build him at Power Level II.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Miscreant Monday: DC Comics' H.I.V.E. Soldiers for Savage Worlds and Earth 72

H.I.V.E. is a mercenary organization that specializes in high-level contract assassinations, the training and even creation of metahuman operatives, and acts of terrorism. The current incarnation has begun operating in Opal City on the East coast of the U.S. and the Department of Extranormal Operations had identified its new Queen to be the brilliant and deadly Cheshire.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Thoughts on Rogues & Rangers

Our group has kept up with Wizard of the Coasts Unearthed Arcana playtest material for the 2024 Edition/Printing of DnD and there two things the boggle us, how underwhelming the Ranger is and how overpowered the Rogue is.

When it comes to the Ranger I'm sure there are numerous people coming to DnD because of the Drizzt novels and we wonder if Hasbro/WotC isn't too keen on that? I mean Drow are nearly unplayable with Sunlight Sensitivity and the 5E Ranger doesn't seem to have a very clear vision for what it wants to be. We had a bit of hope because at one point Hunter's Mark no longer required Concentration but according the notes WotC felt that made the Ranger too good. We were all left shaking our heads at that.

Then, from the other side is the Rogue who can deal Sneak Attack damage once per turn, can gain Advantage on attack rolls by not moving on their turn, can use a Reaction to take 1/2 damage, and can sacrifice Snake Attack dice for special effects. The Rogue, in our estimation, is just too damn good. Realistically, how does WotC walk that back? They just don't and we get it.

I'm going to be really honest about the fact that WotC's tactics with DnD and Magic: the Gathering leave me fairly bitter. I've been pretty clear with my group that I just don't see myself running leas anything published by them. I will say that I am fairly excited by Kobold Press' Tales of the Valiant and ENWorld's Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition and may very well do something with either or both in the future.

Monday, October 30, 2023

State of the Planes: October 2023

This year just seems to have flown by and All Hallow's Eve is nearly upon us. I've been playing a Fighter named Bluehawk using the Unearthed Arcana playtest version and am enjoying it. I'm a bit tired of 5E though and if the group wants to continue with it after this campaign wraps I might excuse myself for a bit. I love seeing all of my friends but they still seem very enthused about 5E and I am just not.

I'm still taking a break from Deadlands on Tuesdays and we are beginning an Icons game set in the DC...uh...Multiverse...I guess? The PCs are working for Power Co. in Opal City and are dealing with a new version of HIVE led by Cheshire.

I've spent the last few months looking at games I want to run such as Shadowdark, Dragonbane, Basic Role Playing, Hero's Journey, Castle Falkenstein, Fantasy AGE, Hero System 6E, and even Pathfinder 2E. I think whatever I run it won't have a d20 in it. I love the OSR and still love 5E, even though I despise Wizards of the Coast, but I just need some time away from both of them. I think I'm going to focus on Savage Worlds since my biggest grip against it was the Wound system which is no longer the case and I really like a bunch of its settings: Deadlands, Battlelords of the 23rd Century, Rippers Resurrected, 50 Fathoms, Saga of Solomon Kane, Flash Gordon, Pathfinder, and Lankhmar. I'm contemplating a setting like Rifts Earth (though I don't want to run SW Rifts yet), Deadland's Hunting Grounds...something where people from all over find themselves in the same place or the setting just makes room for all of them like Numenera's 9th World a billion years in the future but without the Cyphers.. Basically, I'd just lay out all of the Seasoned Archetypes for SWADE and let people pick their characters. I love what Pinnacle is doing with the Archetype, Powers, Chase, Status, and Ally/Adversary cards. I also have a Rippers Resurrected mixed with Ravenloft's Masque of the Red Death game in mind but when don't I have a million ideas? So little time. Sigh.

I'd like to do some "OSR stuff" for Savage Worlds like I started with Death's Head Keep earlier this year but I'm going to be realistic and see what happens. I don't think I just want to make antagonists and might focus on setting material and even side quests.

I guess we will see what November and December hold.

Be well.

Monster Monday: Ork City's Chupacabra for Shadowdark

Welcome to Ork City! In the middle of Ork City's Hatt Island is the Park, a wild and dangerous forest filled with all manner of nightmar...