Monday, October 31, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Zerglings for OSRIC

Zerglings are physically adaptable creatures, able to climb near vertical surfaces (90%) and are extraordinarily fast, though they are generally easy to exterminate.  Usually, zergling eyes are orange, though some have been observed to be red.  Such is their ability to see in low light conditions (infra vision out to 120 ft.), these eyes can appear pure black (courtesy of the expanding pupils to allow more light to the retina).


Frequency: Very, very, very rare
No. Encountered: 1 to 6
Size: Medium
Move: 175 ft.
Armour Class: 7 (12)
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: 2 (Claws)
Damage: 1d4/1d4
Special Attacks: If both claw attacks hit, the Zergling's smaller claws deal and additional 1d4 damage.
Special Defences: None
Magic Resistance: Standard
Lair Probability: 10%
Intelligence: Average to Very
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Level/XP: 1/15
Treasure: None.

31 Nights of Halloween: Jason X of Friday the 13th for the Cypher System

In 2008, Jason Voorhees is captured by the United States government and held at the Crystal Lake Research Facility. In 2010, a government scientist decides to place Jason in frozen stasis after several failed attempts to kill him. While Private Samuel Johnson places a blanket on Jason, Dr. Wimmer, Sergeant Marcus, and a few soldiers hope to further research Jason's rapid cellular regeneration and try to take Jason. They pull off the blanket covering his body, but find Johnson dead, instead. Having broken free of his restraints, Jason kills the soldiers and Wimmer. Rowan lures Jason into a cryogenic pod and activates it. Jason then ruptures the pod with his machete and stabs Rowan in the abdomen, spilling cryogenic fluid into the sealed room and freezing them both.

After being awoken in the far future his rampage ends as he achieves reentry. On the planet, two teens beside a lake see a falling star as Jason's charred mask sinks to the bottom of the lake.

JASON X 6 (18)

Motive: Murder
Environment: Anywhere
Health: 25
Damage Inflicted: 6
Armor: 3
Movement: Short
Modifications: Ambush 7, Intellect defense 5, Might defense 7, Stalk 7

Combat: Jason X is a cybernically enhanced version of the demonic killer that relentlessly stalks his prey.
Slasher: He may opt to move an opponent 1d3 steps down the damage track, instead of inflicting damage.
Inevitable Comeback: When a creature rolls a 13 while making a defense roll against him, Jason X takes no damage, regardless of the result, and instead heals 1d6 Health.
Cybernetics: He has 3 random cyphers.
Use: A strangely dedicated Aeon Priest has made the excavation of the "lucent lake" area his life's work, finally recovers Jason X's mask.  An Hell is nipping at his heels.
Loot: A defeated Jason X has 1 artifact.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

WaRP: Lucius Magoo

We played many session of Over The Edge in '90s and I've been thinking of it lately, which made me remember Atlas Games' WaRP SRD, which works well with this site.

Rogue 4d6

Halfling 3d6

From a Family of Knights 3d6

Flaw Does Not Trust Authority

Hit Points 21

Experience Pool 1

Knife x2

Throwing Knife x1

31 Nights of Halloween: Ancestor Spirit for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

Some spirits choose to haunt places of importance from their days among the living. They guard family secrets, places of power, and items of great importance. Their task is eternal and their fervor even greater.

Medium undead, any alignment

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 68 (15d8) 
Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft.
   Str            Dex         Con           Int         Wis         Cha
9 (-1)        13 (+1)        10 (+0)        12 (+1)      17 (+3)      15 (+2)

Skills History +5
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons.
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses darkvision 600 ft.; passive Perception 12
Languages Any languages it knew in life.
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)


Consume Life. As a bonus action, the ancestor spirit can target one creature it can see within 5 feet of it that has 0 hit points and is still alive. The target must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw against this magic or die. If the target dies, the ancestor spirit regains 14 (4d6) hit points.

Ethereal Sight. The ancestor spirit can see 60 feet into the Ethereal Plane when it is on the Material Plane, and vice versa.

Incorporeal Movement. The ancestor spirit can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object. 

Turn Resistance. The ancestor spirit has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead.



Traumatic Touch. Melee Spell Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 10 (3d6) psychic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or lose 1 hit die.

Frightening Gaze. The ancestor spirit fixes its gaze on one creature it can see within 10 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or become frightened for 1 minute. The frightened target can repeat the saving throw at the end ofeach ofits turns, ending the effect on itselfon a success. If a target's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the target is immune to the ancestor spirit's gaze for the next 24 hours. 

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Vampire for FAE

The vampire is an undead creature, a humanoid or monstrous humanoid creature that looks as it did in life, with pale skin, haunting red eyes, and a feral cast to its features. A new vampire is created when another vampire drains the life out of a living creature.

A vampire can be of any evil alignment, and if its alignment was not evil in life it becomes so in undeath. A vampire retains all the abilities it had in life, plus it gains the ability to drain blood and life energy, and to dominate other creatures with its gaze. A vampire can also command rats, bats, and wolves, or take the form of those creatures. They also become superhumanly strong, can heal quickly or even regenerate, and can turn into a gaseous form.

Some vampires worship the god Kanchelsis.

VAMPIRE For FATE Accelerated

High Concept: 
   Undead Blood Drinker
Trouble: True Faith
Shared: You will be mine!
Other Aspects: Inhuman Strength, Gaseous Form

Careful: Average (+1) 
Clever: Average (+1) 
Flashy:  Mediocre (+0) 
Forceful: Fair (+2) 
Quick: Fair (+2) 
Sneaky: Good (+3)


Dominate (Clever): Because of you're Unholy Powers, you gain a +2 when speaking with a single target.

Children of the Night (Flashy): Because you are one of the Night's Dark Masters, you can summon creatures of the night and gain a +2 to create an obstacle.


[  ]  [  ]  [  ]  [  ]  [  ] [  ]


Mild (2): 

Moderate (4): 
Severe (6):


Friday, October 28, 2016

Ubiquity: Moloids for Hollow Earth Expedition

The Moloids (or Mole People) were the next race to be created by the Deviants. The Moloids are the physically weakest of the Subterraneans, and consequently they almost always act in great numbers.

Motivation: Conquest
Style: 0
Health: 3

Primary Attributes
Body: 2
Dexterity: 3
Strength: 2
Charisma: 1
Intelligence: 2
Willpower: 1

Secondary Attributes
Size: 0
Move: 5
Perception: 3 (1)*
Initiative: 5
Defense: 5
Stun: 1

Brawl: 2 (5 Rating/ 3 Average)
Stealth: 3 (6 Rating/ 3 Average)
Survival: 3 (5 Rating/ 3 Average)



*Light Blindess (-2 on sight-related Perception rolls in bright light)

Spear 0L (4L Attack/ 2L Average)

FATE Accelerated: Orc

Orcs are carnivorous humanoids, standing approximately 5'11" to 6'2", weighing from 180 to 280 lbs. They are easily noticeable due to their green to gray skin, lupine ears, lower canines resembling boar tusks, and their muscular builds. Orcs stand in a bent over shape making them appear as ape-like humans.

Bestial and savage, orcs band together as trıbes, living on hunting and raiding. Believing that the only way to survive is by expanding their territories, they have developed enmities wıth many other races, although mainly elves and dwarves, as well as humans, gnomes, halflings, goblins, hobgoblins, and even other orc tribes. Even though they have good relationships with other evil humanoids in times of peace, their chaotic nature stops them from cooperating unless forced to do so by a powerful leader. Orcs live in a patriarchal society, taking pride on how many females and male children they have. Orcs like scars and take pride in exposing them, whether they are of a victory or loss. Their chief deity Gruumsh claims that the orc is the top of the food chain, and that all riches are the property of orcs stolen by others.

ORC For FATE Accelerated
Orc, Savage Raider

Skilled (+2) at: Fighting, Intimidation
Bad (-2) at: Working With Other Races, Working Together
Stress: Non (First hit takes them out)

31 Nights of Halloween: Scarecrow for FAE

The scarecrow is a magically animated construct created by wizards and other masters of secret lore to guard important places or treasure.

Scarecrow For FATE Accelerated
Scarecrow, Terrifying Guardian

Skilled (+2) at: Ambushes, Being Scary
Bad (-2): Dealing With Fire, Speaking
Stress: [ ]

Thursday, October 27, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Gnomes of Zuriq for Savage Worlds

According to the infamous occultist, Lavender Moriarty, the Gnomes of Zuriq were old before humans walked the Earth.  She has presented evidence from several tomes, such as the Incantations of the Sacred Terminus and the Chod'Xoth Dossiers, claiming that they helped the Gods of Olympus in their war against the Titans. 
She even claims to have access to apocrypha, long hidden in the deepest vaults of the Vatican, with verses describing the Gnomes stoking Lucifer's pain and jealousy at God's newest chosen, humanity.

While Moriarty has devoted her life to uncovering the Gnomes, she admits she has no clue how many are alive today.  She has painted a noted series of watercolors, supposedly revealing their true forms, humanoids with the head of an animal, claiming they held no fear in ancient Egypt, where their likenesses were captured in hieroglyphics. She also describes them as powerful psychics who can cloak their true forms.

Lavender is adamant that world we know is merely a charade for a grand game the Gnomes are playing, with all of us as their pieces. That we are neither privy to the rules, no can we comprehend the stakes involved.

(Wild Card)

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d12, Spirit d10, Strength d8, 
Vigor d12+1

Skills:  Arcane Background (Psionics) d12, Fighting d8, Intimidation d10, Knowledge (History) d12, Notice d10, Persuasion d10

Pace: 12; Parry: 6; Toughness: 12 (3)

Special Abilities 

• Unarmed: Str + d6
Amor 3
• Burrowing: 6
• Fear (-1)
• Fearless
• Hardy
• Infravision
• Regeneration Slow
• Arcane Background Psionics
• Power Points 40
Powers: Armor, Beast Friend, Bolt, Disguise, Dispel, Divination, Farsight, Mind Reading, Slumber, Telekinesis, Teleport

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

On Being A Blogger: Pinching One's self

Sometimes I forget that Cross Planes is over four years old. I spend time reading incredible bloggers like +Timothy Brannan+trey cause, +Erik Tenkar+Nicholas Bergquist+Icarus Anne Riley and +Ronin. People whose blogs inspired me to start this. 

But, I'm going to let you on a secret...I still feel like a rookie. Even after four years.  Isn't that crazy?

I don't know if anyone out there has read my little corner of the interwebs and thought, "I should do this too!" 

Well, do it. If I can do it, anyone can.

I'm not going to lie and tell you it's easy. I have always wanted to write, but I didn't take the time to do it. And then one day, I set a goal and started trying to achieve it. I failed. Many, may times. But I didn't quit. And then after months, I started writing every day. Because that's the only way for me to do this.

Yes, I spend more time than I care to admit staring at my screen trying to figure out what to post about. Somedays it seems impossible, until I just starting typing. The absolute worst outcome, in my opinion, is simply not doing it.

I'd like to thank those who inspired me and those who have taken moments of their time to read my stuff.

Thank you, one and all.

FATE Accelerated: Goblin

Goblins are small humanoid monsters. They vary in height from about 3 to 3 ½ feet (91 – 106 cm) and weigh 40 to 45 pounds (21 – 24 kg). They walk upright even though their arms nearly reach their knees. Their eyes vary from red to yellow and are usually dull and glazed. Described as "hideously ugly", they have a broad nose that sits on a flat face with pointed ears and a wide mouth. Their mouth contains small, but sharp fangs. Their skin pigment ranges from a deep red through nearly any shade of orange to yellow. Members of the same tribe tend to have the same skin color.

   Goblins usually live in tribes which are ruled by the strongest goblin in the group. These tribes vary in size from gangs of 4-9 to tribes of up to 400. Most larger tribes have wolves or dire wolves as mounts, or ally themselves with worgs, which also carry them into battle. Goblin tribes usually settle near civilized areas to raid for food, livestock, tools, weapons, and supplies. It is common for the leaders of goblin clans to be non-goblin (either other goblinoids or a different species entirely); such leaders are exploiting the goblins as disposable soldiers to further their purpose.

   In most campaign settings, Maglubiyet, the god of war and rulership, is the chief deity of goblins. Other gods worshipped by the goblins include Khurgorbaeyag, the god of slavery, oppression, and morale, and Bargrivyek, the god of co-operation and territory.

GOBLIN For FATE Accelerated
Goblin, Dim Raider

Skilled (+2) at: Ambushes, Riding
Bad (-2) at: Being Manipulated, Solving Problems
Stress: None (First hit takes them out)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Samhain for Savage Worlds

Samhain is the Ghost of Halloween and one of the few villains to face the Ghostbusters on more than one occasion. He is a strategic ghost with the ability to manipulate time in order to cause eternal night. Samhain also has the ability to control legions of ghosts at his command, however certain ghosts such as Slimer seem able to resist him to a certain extent.

SAMHAIN for Savage Worlds
Wild Card

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d12, Spirit d12, Strength d6, Vigor d10

Skills: Climbing d8, Intimdation d10, Fighting d8, Magic d10, Notice d10, Stealth d6, Shooting d8

Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 13 (5)

Special Abilities 
• Unarmed Str + d6
• Fear -2
• Fearless
• Size (+1)
• Arcane Background (Magic)
• Power Points 35
• Drain Power Points
• Elemental Manipulation
• Entangle
• Havoc
• Obscure
• Stun
• Summon Ally 
• Zombie

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FATE Accelerated: Owlbear

The owlbear is eight to ten foot tall carnivorous creature, famed for their aggression and ferocity who "hug" their prey and attack with their beak; they live in mated pairs in caves and hunt any creature bigger than a mouse. It is probably the product of an experiment by the lich Thessalar, who claims to have created them, but his insanity and egomania put the accuracy of this claim in doubt or sources say they have always existed within the Feywild.

OWLBEAR For FATE Accelerated
Owlbear, We Mate For Life

Skilled (+2) at: Attacking Prey, Tracking
Bad (-2) at: Being Sneaky.
Stress: [  ]  [  ]

31 Nights of Halloween: Ghoul for FAE

A ghoul is said to be created on the death of a man or woman who savored the taste of flesh. They not only eat the dead, but also prey on the unwary living. Likewise, a ghast is supposedly made while someone dies during the act of cannibalism. Ghouls can paralyze their victims with a touch, though elves are immune. Aside from the standard variety, a number of other forms of ghoul exist.

GHOUL For FATE Accelerated
Diseased Undead Scavenger, Aversion To Sunlight

Skilled (+2) at: Prowling, Burrowing
Bad (-2) at: Restraint, Subtlety
Stress: [  ]

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Old World: Wight Knight for the Vampire Counts and 13th Age #MonsterMonday


Wight Kings were once ancient and immensely powerful human warlords that had at one time occupied the lands of present day Sylvania in the days before the founding of the Empire. When imbued with Dark Magic, these ancient warlords rise from their crypts as Wight Kings, eyes glowing with unnatural life. Originally, these remains were once protected by ancient runes and talismans conducted by the earliest forms of wizards or shamans to aid in warding off potential grave robbers and scavengers from desecrating their resting places.

WIGHT KNIGHT for 13th Age
8th level wrecker [UNDEAD]
Initiative: +5
Vulnerability: Holy

Baleful Bladed +13 vs PD - 38 damage  
     Natural Roll Even Roll: The target is dazed with fear.

Nastier Specials
Dark Magic: At the start of each of the wight knight's turns it regains 20 Hit Points

AC 24

AC 22         HP 180

MD 22

Fear: 60

Sunday, October 23, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: C.H.U.D. for Apes Victorious

There are monsters lurking beneath the ruins of New York City; beings that were once human, but have been mutated by radioactive, chemical toxic waste into hideous, flesh-eating creatures who live underground. 

Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller for Apes Victorious

No. Enc.: 1d6 (1d6)
Movement: 120' (40')

Intelligent: Low
Psionic Potential: 2d4, inactive
Hits: 1d6
Armor: 0
To Hit: 12
Save: H1
Attacks: 2
Damage: 1d6
Morale: 8
XP: 19

31 Nights of Halloween: Dire Wraith for Labyrinth Lord

The Dire Wraiths are an evolutionary offshoot of the Skrulls from the Andromeda Galaxy. Like the Skrulls, the Wraiths are shape-shifters, able to take the forms of other creatures. The Wraiths were originally depicted as amorphous, cloudy, vaguely humanoid-shaped beings. However, it was eventually revealed that was a transitional form used for shape-shifting and that their true form is entirely different. The Dire Wraiths are Skrullian Deviants engineered by the starfaring Celestials. The Wraiths have both reptilian and mammalian like traits. The females lay eggs and lactate.

   At some point in their history, female Dire Wraiths began to study evil magic. This caused a rift with their parent race, the Skrulls, and they were driven out of the Andromeda Galaxy.

   Dire Wraiths are able to take on the forms of those they encounter, including the appearance of equipment and any clothing the victim is wearing. A Dire Wraith can assume any humanoid form between 4 ft to 8 ft tall, but the creature must first see the victim to be copied. Any Dire Wraith may attempt at physical disguise is only faulty 10% of the time, and it may choose to consume the victim's brain (victim must make a minor system shock test at -50%), which will turn the victim into ectoplasm if successful, .to gain the complete knowledge and memories of the victim (females always do this). 

   Male Dire Wraiths study alchemy and females study sorcery, generally.

DIRE WRAITH for Labyrinth Lord

No. Enc.: 1d4 (1d6)
Alignment: Evil
Movement: Man-sized
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 7 (13)
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 by weapon or 1d6+2 by sorcery for Females.
Saves: C3 for Males or MU3 for Females
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XVII
XP: 560
Special Attacks: Female Dire Wraiths are 2nd Level Magic-users (there is a 51% chance of having 2 Magic Users in a group).

Saturday, October 22, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Haunted Jar Bought Off the Internet for Silent Legions

"Yes, Father, we bought the jar on eBay...a-a-and we knew it was haunted. Why? I don't know!  I thought it would be cool!  No, your r-r-r-right, we were Jen ok?  So, you've stopped the bleeding?  G-G-G-Good, c-c-can you get me off the ceiling?"


AC: 7*                              Move: 30' Insubstantial
HD: 6                                Morale: 11
Atks: touch+6                   Dmg: 1d6 + Special
Skill: +1                            Madness: 1d6
Special: Undead                Save: 12+

Ghosts trapped in Haunted Jars have insubstantial forms that are impervious to harm save that from magical artifacts and sorcery. However, they can be drive back by "trigger items", items important to their life or death. A ghost's touch chills their target but never Slaughters. Instead, the target is briefly made to feel the suffocating desperation of the ghost, a horrifying experience that inflicts 1d6 Madness each time the spirit touches them.

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Apes Victorious

I picked up the Apes Victorious PDF by Dan Proctor of Goblinoid Games and Tim Snider of The Savage Afterworld earlier this week and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I won't lie that Planet of the Apes was my first big genre love affair and probably even edges out Star Wars or Marvel comics. I think it's because of how young I was when I discovered it.

I cannot recommend Apes Victorious enough.

Apes Victorious hits all of the right cylinders for me and reminded me how much I enjoyed Labyrinth Lord and OSR. I've been spending time with newer games the last few years, but it was the OSR that got me to start this blog.

I may be fiddling with some OSR stuff in the coming days, so you've been warned.

Friday, October 21, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Bride of Iuz for 13th Age

Iuz the Evil is brilliant, patient, and decadent. His ambitions require creativity, loyalty, and maliciousness. Who better help than his devoted brides? The cambion only chooses the most devious and charming of women to be joined with him in unholy matrimony.   Their desire for power is only matched by their desire for the Old One, himself. While quite a few of his brides come from powerful families, Iuz is more than willing to cultivate any woman whom he finds desirable into a dark and deadly agent for his terrible machinations. Each bride's assignment is to patiently observe an area, alerting their husband if anything provocative occurs. They will often reside in that area for decades, cautiously adopting new identities as the years pass on and faithfully upholding their vows.

7th level spoiler [HUMANOID]
Initiative: +9

Whispers in the Dark +12 vs. MD –– 28 psychic damage
     Miss: 7 psychic damage

C: Rip Your Heart Out +12 vs. AC –– 25 damage
     Natural 16+: Target is weekend until the end of their next turn

R: Wicked +12 vs. PD –– 30 lightning damage
     Natural Odd roll: Inflicts cold damage
     Natural 16+: Inflicts fire damage to target and 1d3 nearby

Nastier Specials
I Do: The Bride uses the escalation die.
Femme Fatale: The Bride only needs an easy save (6+), to disengage form an enemy.

AC 23
PD 17                              HP 100
MD 21

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

FATE Accelerated: Beholder

Its appearance is that of a floating orb of flesh with a large mouth, single central eye, and many smaller eyestalks on top with deadly magical powers.

BEHOLDER For FATE Accelerated

High Concept: 
   Floating Orb With Eyestalks and Magic Powers
Trouble: Paranoid
Shared: That's MY Research!
Other Aspects: Perceptive; Vicious

Careful: Average (+1) 
Clever: Fair (+2) 
Flashy:  Good (+3) 
Forceful: Mediocre (+0) 
Quick: Average (+1) 
Sneaky: Fair (+2)


Eye Ray (Flashy): Because of you're Beholder Physiology roll 1dF when you Flashily target an enemy:
   Blank: +1 to Flashily create an obstacle for the target.
   Plus: +1 to Flashily move the target back 1 Zone.
   Minus: +1 to Flashily attack the target up to 2 Zones away.

Bite (Forceful): Because your Monstrous Form, you gain a +2 to attack a single enemy in the same Zone.


[  ]  [  ]  [  ]  [  ]


Mild (2): 
Mild (2):
Moderate (4): 
Severe (6):


31 Nights of Halloween: Men In Black for Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition

Albert Bender revealed the Men in Black to the World, but they were no government agents, they manifested in his bedroom, late at night, amid an overpowering stench of brimstone. They had bright shining eyes and oozed menace. On top of that, Bender’s health was dramatically affected (in a bad way, I should stress) by his hat-wearing visitors of the night.

Men In Black for Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition
characteristics         averages               rolls

STR                                 70                  (4d6 x5)
CON                                70                  (4d6 x5)
SIZ                                   50                  (3d6 x5)
DEX                                 50                  (3d6 x5)
INT                                  70                   (4d6 x5)
POW                                80                   (4d6+2 x5)
APP                                  50                   (3d6 x5) 
HP: 12
Average Damage Bonus: +1d4. Average Build: 1
Average Magic Points: 8 
Move: 8

Attacks per round: 1
Fighting attacks: Men In Black can use weapons
   as humans do. 
Fighting 60% (30/12), damage per weapon type + damage bonus,
   or unarmed (1D3) + damage bonus.
Dodge 40% (20/8)
Armor: 2
Skills: Intimidate 65%, Spot Hidden 55%, Stealth 80%.
Sanity Loss: 1d4/1D6+2 Sanity points to see a 
Man In Black.

On Selling Comics: My Problem With Marvel's Crossovers

I sell comics and games for a living. I love my job. I've been a comics fan for thirty-three years, since I was 11. I've been a part of the store I run for same time. It's pretty cool.

Right now I have a problem with Marvel's Crossover events. For the last ten years, from my perspective, their Crossovers merely feature one group of Heroes fighting another group of Heroes. And not only am I tired of it, but it's sending the wrong message.

Growing up, comics, especially super-heroes gave me an escape from the problems of my own life. I was small and had a big mouth, so I had my share of bullies. Super-heroes inspired me, they helped shape who I am today, they taught me social issues and science, and they made me love reading and art. I liked being able to see, generally, good guy winning against the bad guy.

Now maybe heroes vs heroes sells better. But sometimes, you need to look at the message your sending. Both Marvel and DC have made strides in diversity and inclusiveness. But what benefit is that if all Marvel does is make the in-fighitng more inclusive and diverse? Is that a real win?

I hope somebody at Marvel is watching DC kick their ass, sales-wise and maybe, just maybe somebody is noticing that people need heroes. They need people to stick together.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Flayed One for D&D 5th Edition

A Mind Flayer's cruelty knows no bounds.  Sometimes, when they extract the brain of a victim, they will replace its lost sentience with a putrid portion of their own intellect to create a tortured and nefarious agent to wreak havoc in the wider world.  Flayed Ones wield a fraction of an illithid's vile psychic gifts and a hatred of all life, their only goal is to wreak destruction until its brainless form is destroyed.

FLAYED ONE for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition                                                     
Medium aberration, lawful evil

Armor Class 10
Hit Points 39 (6d8+12) 
Speed 30 ft.
   Str            Dex         Con           Int         Wis         Cha
10 (+0)     11 (+0)     15 (+2)     14 (+2)    17 (+3)     13 (+1)

Skills Stealth +3
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Telepathy 30 ft. radius
Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Magic Resistance. The flayed one has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. 



Mind Shard. Ranged Attack: +5 to hit, range 30/90 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 2) psychic damage.

Mind Blast (Recharge 5-6). The flayed one magically emits psychic energy in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 12 Intelligence saving throw or take 12 (2d8 + 3) psychic damage and be knocked prone.

Back This: Why You Should Get In On the Adventurers! Kickstarter

Piotr Korys of GRAMEL was kind enough to give me an advanced look at the Adventurers! Core and Fantasy PDFs that are currently on Kickstarter.

I reviewed the original version of the game a few months ago and have really enjoyed all of GRAMEL's products that I've picked up.

Since Adventurers! is a few years old now, with a nice solid base of rules and settings, the Kickstarter is the perfect chance to get into a game that plays fast and easy.

The rules are straightforward and very robust and you can get a Free Preview of them here.

You get two PDF's for backing the Kickstarter (as well as Print options).

The CORE PDF has the rules for the Player's and the GM and is 114 pages long. It also features the Creature Cards (easily printable stat blocks for adversaries). 

Additionally, we get the Space Rangers setting (Frontier Sector protectors--Old West Marshals in Space!), Creature Cards, and an adventure.

Then there is the Voodoo Pirates setting, Creature Cards, and an adventure.

The FANTASY PDF features the Gothica setting (Gothic, misty dark fantasy), Creature Cards, and an adventure. 

Additionally, we get the Kung Fu Adventurers! setting, Creature Cards, and an adventure.

Finally, we get the Dungeon setting (dungeon crawling), Creature Cards, and an adventure.

Adventurers! easily presents a concise and fast playing multi-genre game, in two PDFs, for $19 in U.S. Dollars.  That's a pretty fair price to me.

Jarlsburg: Ironcloak Expert Path for Shadow of the Demon Lord

Jarlsburg is a fictional city I've run in and wrote about for years now. The beat cops of the setting, the player characters, are the Ironcloaks. They're underpaid, overworked, and get their asses kicked by people and monsters or sometime monstrous people defending their city. Its a grimy, dark, and dangerous place and the only think you can hope to count on our your comrades.

Ironcloak Expert Path
Level 3 Ironcloak
Attributes Increase two by 1
Characteristics Perception +1, Health +3, Speed +2 
Languages and Professions You can speak another language or add a common or martial profession.
Investigate You make all Perception rolls with 1 boon.
Copper You gain the constable profession.
Tail When you make a challenge roll to sneak while following a creature, you make the roll with 1 boon.
Takedown You make attack rolls to grab with 1 boon.

Level 6 Expert Ironcloak 

Characteristics Health +3
Perpetrator You can use an action on your turn to choose one target creature within your reach. For 1 round, the target creature makes all attacks against you with 1 bane.

Level 9 Master Ironcloak 

Characteristics Health +3
Law Dog When you damage the target of your Perpetrator talent, you can use a triggered action to knock down the target.

Monday, October 17, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Killer Clown for the Cypher System

"We all float down here."


Motive: To terrify you and then kill you
Environment: Anywhere
Health: 18
Damage Inflicted: 6
Armor: 1
Movement: Short
Modifications: Intellect defense 7, Stalk 7, Terrify 7
Combat: Killer clowns hunt you, letting you catch the barest glimpse, letting you drown if your own terror, before cut you into jagged pieces.

CLOWN!: When a creature rolls a 1-3 on their defense, they lose 2 Intellect points and they roll a d6: On a 1, they lose 1 point of Might Edge; on a 2, they lose 1 point of Speed Edge; on a 3, they lose 1 point of Intellect Edge; on a 4-6 nothing happens.
Interaction: It's a clown and it wants to kill you.
Loot: --

Review: Bloodshadows Third Edition from Precis Intermedia.

I've been a fan of Bloodshadows since West End Games released it as a MasterBook setting. I even picked up the version for the D6 System. I was very excited when Brett Bernstein of Precis Intermedia gave me the chance to review the PDF of the Third Edition he has published.

Bloodshadows is set on the world of Marl where a war is going down between Law and Chaos, known as the Godwar. Basically take film noir detective stories and add in magic and monsters, with a healthy dose of Moorcock. The Maltese Falcon co-starring Mandrake the Magician and Dracula, calling itself Fantasy Noir.

This edition of Bloodshadows, it's third, is powered by the GenreDivision Third Edition rules.

Your Abilities are Fitness, Awareness, Creativity, Reasoning, and Influence. Abilities are rated from 0 to 6 or greater, with anything over 5 being beyond normal humans. At Character Creation, distribute 12 points amongst your Abilities, with none being lower than 1 or higher than 5.

Pursuits are your character's skills. Most are things anyone can attempt, but some are classified as Academic pursuit and require training. Pursuits are rated from -1 to +4. While Pursuits generally work with a particular Ability, they can be used with any of them. The different theories of Magic are Academic Pursuits. At Character Creation distribute 14 points among Pursuits with no rating higher than +3. I should note that you can choose Cantrips as a pursuit, as magic is very prevalent on Marl, and if you do you gain a number of them equal to your Reasoning Ability rating.

Gimmicks are very similar to advantages and disadvantages or merits in flaws in other games. They may have a Positive or Negative rating. There categories fro Gimmick are Ability, Cultural, and Special. The various powers of Marl's non-human races are built with Special Gimmicks. While the majority come from your Role and your Race, you may choose Cultural Gimmicks, but they must be balanced to 0.

Because of the Godwar, characters have must choose an Alignment with Order, Chaos, have broken an Oath with Order or Chaos, or are Neutral. Note that this decisions place you in a Faction, rather than guide your actions. Neutral recommend 

Marl is home to many Races, called Unnaturals, other than Humans. There are crossbreeds or magical hybrids such as Catarams (four-armed near humans), Elkists (ghoul/demon crossbreed that eat human organs and can make parts of their body intangible), Gris (magically created, squat, tough beings who eat garbage), Hugors (Human and Ogre crossbreeds), Humbus (the offspring of a Human and a Succubi/Incubi, Skethspawn (Crossbreeding of Humans and Sketh, thy are short, hair, and stink), and Skitter-Rats (Hairy humanoids with large eyes, long faces, and hairless tails). Demons such as Succubi or Incubi (they feed on emotion). Shapeshifter such as Face-Shifter (near-humans who can change their face), Grani (stone beings who can change their shape), and Werewolves. Undead, including, Ghouls (some are monstrous, but some can pass for humans), Orris (near-Humans with clay-like skin), Taxims (demon who posses Human corpses), and Vampires.

Each Race detailed features it's Alignment (which can vary), Gimmicks (with a random element), and it's average weight in pounds.

Roles are a character's job, and each provides a list of required and ecommended pursuits and two Gimmicks must be chose from list provided. A Role provides certain items at no cost. The Roles are Crook, Merchant, Newscribe, Private Detective, Sentinel, Socialite, Spellslinger, Streetsinger, Thug, and Average Joe.

Incompetences my be bought to, up to two, to increase the rating of a Pursuit.

From a Character Creation POV, GenreDivision 3E reminds me in some ways of a cleaner, better presented MasterBook.

There 9 Magic Pursuits used to cast Spells, Chronomancy, Elementalism, Necromancy, Photomancy, Somniomancy, Sorcery, Technomancy, Vitomancy, and Wizardry. They each allow a character cast a specific style of magic. There are 5 Pursuits used to create new spells, Alteration, Apportation, Conjuration, Divination, and Invocation. They are only necessary if a character wishes to create new spells. A character can memorize Spells from Casting Pursuit equal to it's Rating. This can be bypassed by buying expensive grimoires.

The base mechanic of GenreDivision 3E is Ability + Pursuite + 2d6  where a player wants to roll equal to or higher than the task's Difficulty (generally 8 to 18). Overkill is the amount you succeed by on a task. Negative Overkill can be important to some tasks and is how much you failed by. Rolling two 6's is a Triumph and grants an automatic success and you add an additional d6 to the roll to enhance your success. Double 1's are Potential Calamities, with a  Calamity occurring only when your Difficulty is 14 to 18. A Calamity is described by the Game Master or Director and can include the character gaining Tension.

In opposed task, the character with the great Overkill wins, in the event of a tie then the character with the higher Pursuit wins.

If you get 5 or more Overkill, depending on the task, you can use Exploits to galvanize your success based on the type of task and the rating of your Pursuit.

Health includes Fatigue and Injury (physical) and Tension and Mania (mental). Boxes are filled up as your take the appropriate type of damage. Padding (from Armor and additionally derived from Fitness) protecting from Fatigue, Armor (additionally derived from Fitness) protecting from Injury, Will protecting from Tension (derived from your Reasoning), and Ego protecting from Mania (derived from your Awareness).

A mark is an individual box of damage. A line is a whole row of damage completely filled. A grade describes the severity of damage you have suffered. Each of the types of Damage have five Grades.

Damage is calculated by the Overkill of an attack (physical or social) modified by any weapon (which also dictates the if the damage if Fatigue, Injury, Tension, or Mania.

When you take damage, the amount of protection above 5 is subtracted from the damage received. E.G. If a character is hit with 8 points of Fatigue and their Padding + Fitness is 6, then they take 2 marks of damage. Then a d6 is rolled for each mark and for each die that is higher than the protection (a max of 5) becomes a point of injury. E.G. I roll 2d6 and get a 6 and a 5, so I take 1 point of Fatigue.

When attempting task, the highest Grade of injury negatively effects a character's rolls. Grade 1 is no penalty, Grade 2 is +1 Difficulty, Grade 3 is +2 Difficulty, Grade 4 is +3 Difficulty, and Grade 5 means the character cannot act.

While one can create their own spells, this edition has quite a few for each Magical Pursuit. Each spell describes it's Difficulty to cast, Casting time, Range, Duration, and Feedback. Feedback occurs when a character fails to succeed at casting it. You start with the Spell's Feedback, add 1 point for every 2 points of Negative overkill, and add 2 if doubles were rolled, other modifiers such as your relationship to the Pursuit based on Gimmicks, your Alignment, and the number of casters involved apply as well. Take that number and add it to a d6 roll. Results include Tension, Fatigue or a roll on other tables that cause anything from vomiting to a wrong target to a physical change in the caster to a portal opening up.

Magic Theories allow a character to create their own spells, in their lab, not on the fly. The process seems less odious than than the MasterWork version. Tables help you calculate values from desired Effects, Range, Duration, and Casting time. Optional Elements such as area effect, charges, components (including gestures and incantations) are factored in. A Spell's Feedback help lower it's Difficutly. The first time you cast a new spell, it's harder, but when you succeed you can learn it for two experience.  It's a pretty neat feature.

The book is rounded out with advice for the Director, a bestiary of Unnaturals and creatures, the City of Selastos as a setting and two adventures.

I'll admit to having to study the section on damage a bit, but otherwise I'm very happy with this edition of Bloodshadows. I'm happy it's in print and I know Brett's a fine publisher. His company, Precis Intermedia has been publishing and distributing PDF and Print on Demand games for well over a decade. They have a great track record and I've enjoyed everything that I've purchased from them.

This edition lives up to my nostalgia and is a worthy edition to my library. I can't recommend it enough and you can buy it here.

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...