Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Zodac for Labyrinth Lord


No. Enco.: 1

Movement: 60'' 

Armor Class: 2 (18)

Hit Dice: 5

Attacks: Gun+3

Damage: 2d4+3

Special:  3/Day Cure or Cause Moderate Wounds
              2/Day Hold Person
              All as a 5th Level Cleric.

Save: C5

Morale: 110

Alignment: N

X.P. Value: 400

Heroes of New Cincinnati: Carrion, a member of the Rebels


For 42 years, Pneumatik, worked with the Steel Brigade and the Vigilance Squad to protect the citizens of our country. It was a rainy day, amongst the ruins of New York City that he met his end at the hands of Kator Thong, the Horror of 1,000 Stars. The country mourned his passing and he was buried at the Major Storm Memorial Cemetery for Fallen Heroes.

His rest was short lived, however. 13 days later, on the first night of October's full moon, Pneumatik returned from the dead. Not that you would recognize the creature that slid it's way free from his coffin and floated through the eath to bathe in the bright moonlight. On that night, Carrion was born.

Carrion had few memories of it's past, but when Baby Doll found him, she quickly saw a use for Pneumatik's memories hidden deep inside Carrion's skull and has used them to her advantage ever since. She has actively crippled his full personality and kept him a dim, but effective minion.

Carrion is not stupid, but Baby Doll has nearly total control over his actions, however he's slowly, ever so slowly gaining some resistance to her. Purge frightens him, but not because of what Purge can do to Carrion, but because of the malice he senses within the fire starter. Carrion is very protective of Gadfly, he does not realize that Jenna is the little girl he used to let climb all over him during his time in the Vigilance Squad and Jenna doesn't realize he is her father's beloved mentor. During his initiation at the Pit, Carrion came upon Devour eating a guard and murdered him on the spot.

Carrion can control his density to allow himself to phase through objects or gain super strength and near invulnerablity. But using his hyperdense strength to leap into the air and then control his density so he can effectively fly.

Masters of the Universe Monday: Zodac

Zodac is one of the last remaining members of the Council of the Wise, who fill the role of enforcing the cosmic balance.  Zodac was the leader of the Council and decided to retain his human form after most of the members of the Council became the spirit of Greyskull.  Their decision came in the wake of Skeletor stealing the Golden Discs from them by corrupting Zanthor, a Council member.

Zodac vowed to sail the cosmos in his chair, keeping a watchful eye over Eternia, but not interfering in the natural course of events.

He is aware that Prince Adam is He-Man and even gave Skeletor the idea to go after the Starseed to test wether Prince Adam was worthy of the mantle of He-Man.  Eventually, He-Man helped Zodac reform Zanthor, who joined him on his cosmic mission.

Zodac's stats are for 13th Age from Fire Opal Media and published through Pelgrane Press.  Preorder here!

7th Level Spoiler               Initiative +8
Attack gun +12 vs PD; Hit: 8d6
Natural Attack Roll 18+ Make another gun attack roll as well.
Enforcer Any attack roll against Zodac that rolls a natural 1-5 deals 1d12 damage against the attacker.
AC 23
PD 21
MD 20
HP 108
Icons: Zdoac has worked with Skeletor (The Lich Lord), King Randor (The Emperor), He-Man (The Crusader), and the Sorceress (The Archmage).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Heroes of New Cincinnati: Purge, a member of the Rebels


Scott Gabriel Wilson was the kid in your school who's cold, dead eyes made you feel like he was considering what your marrow tasted like. He didn't have any friends, his parents were never around and you made sure and kept your pets away from him because of all the little graves in his backyard.

Scott is, quite simply, a serial arsonist and the only thing that kept him from becoming a headline was Baby Doll finding him before his predilections drew the attention of the authorities. Scott has decided he is a cleansing flame of purity in a corrupt world, and Baby Doll's manipulations have refined him into a laser she wields with incredible effectiveness.

While Scott firmly believes that he should be in charge of the Rebels, Baby Doll is the only person that has ever truly frightened him and he couldn't move against her if he dared. Gadfly is the wild card in the mix, because Scott actually cares for her, but Baby Doll has made sure to distort that attraction. Scott would prefer if Carrion wasn't in the group and if it were up to him, he'd have burned him up on their initiation, just like did to Hyper and Consequence to win Baby Doll's approval. He hates that Baby Doll is quick to point out to him that Carrion is more valuable to her than he is, and she loves channeling his anger into a weapon.

Purge can generate and control fire. He can use these abilities to fly, protect himself and harm anyone who touches him and produce fiery blasts. 

13th Age Escalation Edition V2.0 Available

Wether you've preordered 13th Age or not, the 2.0 version of the Escalation Edition is available now.

I can't recommend this game enough.  I'm still very curious about DnD Next, but I'm glad that Fire Opal and Pelgrane have such a wonderful product headed our way.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Heroes of New Cincinnati: Gadfly, a member of the Rebels

Gadfly, a member of the Rebels  

Jenna Oliva Pernel is the daughter of Hank Pernel (Exponent) and Thia Marie Montgomery-Pernel (Captain Vortex), both members of the Vigilance Squad and two of the most beloved heroes in the U.S. By age 17, Jenna showed no sign of developing powers and scans performed by fellow Squad member, Dr. Membrain, showed her to be a normal girl.  While Jenna was disspointed, her dad was relieved feeling his daughter could live a normal life.  However, Thia became deranged. She couldn't bear the thought of her daughter being only merely normal and began searching for a way to give her daughter powers.

When none of her normal avenues would help her, she turned to darker options and was approached by one of the Squad's greatest enemies, Doctor Thorax. Thia submitted Jenna to Thorax's experiments against her will and while Hank was away on a mission. The procedure was torturous to Jenna, but when it was over she had powers. Thia was so blinded by her obsession, she was shocked that Jenna loather he her--exactly as Thorax planned.
Jenna unconsciously used her powers of persuasion to force her mother to commit suicide before she stopped herself and fled in horror at what she'd nearly done.  After spending months underground, she became quite adept at using her powers to not only survive, but flourish.   She heard about a tryout for a team led by Baby Doll and played a key role in successfully infiltrating the Pit.

Jenna isn't certain that she feel safe amongst the Rebels, but it reminds her enough of her time amongst the Vigilance Squad to give her an anchor she desperately needs.  Jenna was a happy and mentally healthy person before her mother's betrayal and Baby Doll has expertly built herself up to be a replacement mother to Jenna, while continuously making the young woman more dependent on her. Purge frightens her, but she is convinced there is more to Carrion than anyone else notices.

Gadfly can fly, has super strength and stamina, a healing factor and has "super persuasion".  Part of her persuasion ability allows her to be nearly invisible when she's not moving.   Baby Doll is not affected by her powers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Faker for Labyrinth Lord


No. Enco.: 1

Movement: 70'' 

Armor Class: 5 (15)

Hit Dice: 3

Attacks: Sword

Damage: 1d6+2

Special:  Only harmed by magic weapons; immune to hold, charm, and sleep; immune to electricity, fire, cold, poisons and gases

Save: F3

Morale: 110

Alignment: C

X.P. Value: 300

Heroes of New Cincinnati: Baby Doll, Leader of the Rebels

Recently, one of the Game Master's at my store, John W. (Jacob the Rooster from my Gatherers game) asked me if I'd like to share in some of the world building of the Wild Talents 2E game he's about to start. It was a great honor to be asked, and here are some of my contributions:

Baby Doll, Leader of the Rebels 
Roberta "Bobby" Dahl graduated with a PhD in Psychiatry from the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the age of 19. Bobby's intellect is extraordinary, but her prowess at telepathy is peerless. She began communicating and stealing knowledge while in her mother's womb, and it was at then that she learned she was conceived from her mother's rape. Her view on men, therefore was fixed before she was even born. By 23 she'd become a high profile spokeswoman on Women's Rights and a powerful advocate for the ERA. While speaking on behalf of Pennsylvania Senatorial candidate Denise Van Heusen (D), Bobby was one of 7 wounded and 3 killed, including Van Heusen, by Aloysius Cain, the so called "Trouble Shooter".

Bobby's largest concern after being shot, was the fact that she couldn't "read" Cain, nor detect his attack before it occurred.  Bobby became obsessed with understanding the man's secret and her investigation led her to discover that Van Heusen wasn't the target, Bobby herself was. The CIA had become aware of her abilities and sent a warning to her that she could be targeted at any moment.  

Bobby's worldview changed overnight and she went underground, moving amongst the darker elements of superhuman society. After discovering Purge and realizing she could shape him into a useful weapon, Bobby decided to stop living in the shadows.   She created the identity of Baby Doll, which tapped into what she believed was every man's stereotypical image of a woman and began recruiting members of the Rebels.

The initiation test for the Rebels was to break into the facility holding Aloysius Caine, Westmoreland Mega Maximum Security Penitentiary for super human threats known as the Pit in Pittsburgh, KS.  Her goal was to test each of her candidates and to finally learn why she couldn't detect Caine when he attacked her. She led 7 other superhumans into the Pit and the three that survived with her have become her Rebels. 

During her "interview" she discovered that Caine was her father and a serial rapist, as well. Her unconscious mind recognized him from her mother's memories and simply ignored his presence in the crowd that day. She was over come with a psychotic rage at her failure to stop his attack and the memories of the victims he had raped.   In her rage she "mind raped" him, leaving him a merely a physical husk, unfortunately it unlocked her own predilection for her father's compulsion.

Baby Doll is an extremely powerful telepath, who has mastered her ability to communicate with multiple targets over great distances, infiltrate and steal information from a target's mind without their knowledge, mental assault, mental manipulation (aided by her expertise in psychiatry) and her darkest secret, a compulsion as a serial "mind rapist" 

Monday, July 23, 2012

D&D Next: Mearls on Monster Creation

Really interesting Legends and Lore article on monster creation in DnD Next.  I like what Mike Mearls shares with us and based on the article, I'm extrapolating that instead of using the full Constitution score as a base or adding Constitution modifier per level, the Constitution modifier is added only once to the Hit Point total.

I hope we see more articles like this soon and more material sooner.

Masters of the Universe Monday: Faker

Faker was originally built by Man-At-Arms to cover for He-Man when Prince Adam is needed, Faker was abandoned after his first mission in the royal junk yard and salvaged by the evil warrior Tri-Klops. At the request of Skeletor, Faker was reprogrammed to replace He-Man and convince the people of Eternia that He-Man had betrayed King Randor and turned to evil.
Faker's stats are for 13th Age from Fire Opal Media and published through Pelgrane Press.  Preorder here!

3rd Level Wrecker               Initiative +4
Attack sword +8 vs AC; Hit: 3d10; Miss: 3 + Escalation Die
Natural Roll of 16+ The target is popped off from being engaged with Faker and takes an additional 1d10 damage.
Immune to effects Faker is immune to all effects, even ongoing damage.
AC 19
PD 19
MD 11
HP 45
Fear Threshold 15
Icons: Faker works for Skeletor (The Lich Lord).   He is an enemy of King Randor (The Emperor).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

13th Age: Psion Class

Since the Duchy of St. Cuthbert started as a DnD Next campaign, I needed to convert the PC's to 13th Age.  One of the characters was a homebrew "Psion" and I decided to reskin the Barbarian as a replacement.  So far, this is only through Adventuring Tier.

Class Psion
Initiative Level + Dex Mod
AC Base 12
Physical Defense Base 10
Mental Defense Base 14
HP 3x(7 + Con mod)
Recoveries 8
Recovery Dice 1d6 per Level + Con mod
Class Bonus to Ability Scores
+2 to your Wisdom or to your Charisma, with the same restrictions as other classes.
Psion’s Basic Attacks

At Will Melee Attack (Psychokinesis)
Atttack: Dex + Level vs PD
Hit: 1d4 per Level  + Dex Psychic Damage
Miss: Damage equal to your level

At Will Ranged Attack  (Mind Blast)
Atttack: Wis or Char + Level vs MD
Hit: 1d6 per Level  + Wis or Char Psychic Damage
Miss: Damage equal to your level
Backgrounds (10 points)
Brainstorm: Functions as the Barbarian’s Rage, but applies to attacks that deal Psychic damage.
Telepathy: Functions as the Sorcerer talent, Spell Fist
Adventurer Tier Talents
Psychic Vampire: Functions as the Barbarian Talent, Barbaric Cleave.
Precognition: Functions as the Barbarian Talent, Building Frenzy.
Empathy: Functions as the Barbarian Talent, Slayer.
Psychic Surgery: Functions as the Barbarian Talent, Strongheart.
Impulse: Functions as the Barbarian Talent, Unstoppable.
Psyclone: Functions as the Barbarian Talent, Whirlwind.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

D&D Next: More Playtest Material Coming Soon

Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford gave some hard information on what's coming for DnD Next and when, in yesterday's podcast from WotC.

Here's the rundown, per diversionArchitect:

  • Character Creation
  • Levels 1-5
  • Each class gets a new mechanic "tied to the choices you make in character creation" 
  • Shrunken Math, "Things will have fewer hit points, but also do less damage"
  • System Math "grows a bit better", "more under control" "smoother across all levels"
  • Healing will not change, so it feels much more potent
  • Clerics: are coming out a ahead, with a little more healing for clerics thanks to channel divinty. Rather than choosing between healing and spells, clerics are giving you automatic healing similar to 4e
  • Wizards: choices on how wizards use magic "wild magic" "school specialization"
    • This will NOT be in this playtest
  • Fighter will have a "dial" built in so you can be more or less complex as a fighter- you can up the dial as you levelup.  (be simple or be complex or start simple then become complex as you level)
  • Monsters (which they aren't changing in this playtest) are not going to stay as they are- but they are focusing on Player stuff, DM stuff (monsters/magic items/adventure design) will be handled after players are done.
  • Armor system has been completely re-done
  • Weapon table has been completely re-done
  • Character Creation for Level 1 (about 10 minutes)
  • Equipment is default given from your class and background- or you can opt to buy equipment instead
  • Background: What your character does in the world
  • Class: What you are
  • Theme Specialty: How you do what you do.  Theme is now called "Specialty"
  • It will be available AT Gencon in physical form.  We don't know if it will be available for download before or after gencon.
The "in physical form" intrigues me.  Will they be selling it?  I'm not opposed to that, I'd just love to get my hands on it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

13th Age

You may have noticed that I've been putting time into developing ideas for 13th Age this week.  The Escalation Edition has really grabbed me and I've had a blast the few times I've run it.

I came late to the party on 13th Age, in many ways. I didn't find out about it until the end of the first round of playtesting and I was in full DnD Next Closed Playtest mode, so I still didn't look very hard at it.  I played a bit of the second playtest, but again it was drowned out by the DnD Next Open Playtest.  I did however, like enough of what I saw on the second playtest to preorder the game and get the Escalation Edition PDF.  I'm very, very glad that I did.

Several things led me to investigate 13th Age.

First, we'd been playing quite a bit of Pathfinder and at higher levels we started thinking 4E might be easier for many of our newer players to learn.  So we began moving to 4E, which worked out pretty well, but high level seemed to be bogged down in choices, or at least the illusion of choices.  I was looking for some kind of compromise to the two.  Describing 13th Age like that is unfair however, it really seems to pick the best parts of each edition of DnD and many of the other games both creators have worked on.  I particularly love that 10th Level is Epic play, that suits my tastes just fine.

Second, when my hiatus from the Gatherers game is over, I had the idea of switching games systems to represent new planes.  13th Age, along with FantasyCraft, HackMaster 5E, AD&D 1E and Arcanis were all under consideration.  13th Age is definitely going to be the choice for the next Plane they go to, if not longer.

Third, while I understand WotC is trying to produce polished material for the Open Playtest, I'd like something new from them.  Fire Opal Media has given me a nearly complete game and I really appreciate that.  I don't expect a complete game from WotC yet, but I'm disappointed with the speed of new material.

I decided to run 13th Age this weekend and again earlier this week by continuing the Duchy of St. Cuthbert game.  The characters were leveling up to 2nd level and I simply converted them to the new system as I leveled them.

I thouroughly enjoyed 13th Age, which is not surprising as I'm a huge fan of both Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet, the game's developers.  I really appreciated Heinsoo's role with the Feng Shui RPG, when he was with Daedalus and have followed Tweet's work since Over the Edge and WotC's edition of Talislanta.

"A love letter to DnD" is a perfect description of the game and I'm a trifle sad to say that it has climbed over DnD Next to be on top of my list of preferred games to run.

Dicey, my plush Escalation Die!
I very much enjoy the Escalation Die (starting at round 2 you set a D6 to 1 and every round it increases until it reaches 6).  The number on the die is added to the "to hit" rolls of PC's and some opponents.

I can't recommend the game enough and I've already reskinned the Barbarian into a Psion for a player (I'll post it soon).

If you like the best spiritual components of DnD, Feng Shui, and Over the Edge in one game, buy 13th Age right now.

Battle Beasts #1

Last week Battle Beasts #1 hit the stands, published by IDW.  I can't say there was much lore for the creators to draw from, but the premise was interesting and I'll keep reading it.  The art is very, very good and I hope the Valerio Schiti gets more attention.

I wish some of the old toy designs had been featured prominently, but I'm just glad to see something being done with the property.  At this point, unless your a huge Battle Beast nerd, you probably have a 50/50 chance of enjoying the story.  Hopefully, future issues will increase that ratio.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Duchy of St. Cuthbert: Icons for 13th Age

One of the unique aspects to 13th Age are Icons, they are the equivalent of the powerful NPC's that aid or oppose your player's in the course of the campaign.  Here is how the Icons are represented in my Duchy of St. Cuthbert setting:

The Archmage is the Hexenschule, which has been the most prestigious school of arcane arts on the continent for centuries.

The Crusader is Verilous the Wise, the chief advisor and administrator for the Duchy.  He maintains a close relationship with the Duchess.

The Diabolist is The Brotherhood of Bones and Teeth, an ancient brotherhood who serve Pale Night. They call upon the Alabaster, those that have given in to their darkest urges in Pale Night's name, to further their schemes.

The Dwarf King is Bertram Grimkeep the Chief Librarian for the Seminary at Golen Hall, he is a long lived dwarf who has been a steadying presence to the dwarves of the Hall, especially after the site lost it's prominence as the seat of the dwarven Jarl.  Bertram prefers a role behind the scenes and has a great deal of sway over the Seminary's High Priest Verily Stonegrit, who Bertram recommended for the position.  The Librarian has gained the admiration of Duchess Katarina Malifaux.

The Elf Queen is Wand, the treant who rules over the wood elves of the Ash Forest and who maintains a constant vigil for the return of the Charnel Overlord to mark the turning of the Age.

The Empress is Duchess Katarina Malifaux, the current ruler of the Duchy who has cultivated good will with fair taxes and a diligent defense of her subjects.  Many rumors of her ambitions, her family's sordid past, and her many indiscretions float throughout the Duchy.

The Great Gold Wyrm is Luvelda Mor, a retired adventurer who owns and runs the Orchard, a restaurant and bordello in Newhom.  Luvelda is a deva and all of her actions have a deeper meaning.

The High Druid is the Green Wraith, a druid who has turned her back on Obad-Hai and who took over the Wraithwood many years ago.   She grows stronger every time her homonculi, giant spiders she calls her wraith widows, devour another victim.

The Lich King is Kelek the Charnel Overlord, an ancient lich that  has recently returned his attention toward the Duchy, in the wake of Verilous the Wise's procurement of an Idol of Perrin.

The Orc Lord is Maw, the Chela of Blibdoolpoolp, a kuo-toa who rules over the Drudge, the undergound river that flows beneath the Duchy.  Her pod had infiltrated and corrupted the dwarven colony at Blundehare's Mine, destroying any who opposed Maw's will, until Moradin sent a firestorm of Azer to purge the Mine and sealed it off from the interlopers for hundreds of years.

The Priestess is Grimm, a prize pig who was blessed by St. Cuthbert with great intelligence and the power of speech.  Grimm was raised from a piglet by Neville Breck of Brighton, who loves the pig dearly and has handed the running of the farm over to his porcine friend.

The Prince of Shadows is the Wolf of Cauldron, a werewolf who has used his curse to rule the black market that clings to the underbelly of the Duchy.  The Wolf is cautious and keeps his true identity a secret.  He and the Duchess have come to an understanding and her guard know that while his operation maybe be battered, it cannot be shut down.

The Three are the Corrupted, a cult to Nilat the Corrupter that has already murdered several victims as an offering to their dark goddess.  For years they have been breeding and training drakes in secret, their goal to unleash them upon the Duchy and pave the way for the Concordance of Nilat, the alignment of five planets allowing Nilat to stride forth into the dawn of a new Age.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Man-At-Arms for Labyrinth Lord

Duncan, the Man-At-Arms

No. Enco.: 1

Movement: 60' 

Armor Class: 3 (17)

Hit Dice: 5

Attacks: Power Mace +1

Damage: 1d6+1

Special: 1/day may create an invention that lowers his allies AC by 2 (+2) or gives allies a +2 bonus to damage rolls.  Either invention lasts for 1 hour/level.

Save: F4

Morale: 12

Alignment: L

X.P. Value: 400

Thundarr the Movie

As a life-long comics fan and a retailer with a quarter century of experience, I was today years old when I discovered that Buzz Dixon and ...