Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Monstrous Monday: Kauldron Hatemonger for Cepheus Sorcery & Barbaric!

The Kauldron is a secret society that operates within the Colony of Avignon in the Summerlands whose members claims they are changelings, elves that have replaced human children, while still infants. The group was founded 35 years ago by Milhaus Qent the heir to the Qent lumber company whose parents died while he was only seven. Milhaus believed that his true parents were Fienna Willobend and Virgyl Shattermoon and he claimed they visited him in his dreams. He claims that they guided him in forming the first Kauldron cell in Decatur and taught him sorcery. Three years ago a special task force created by Comptor Antoin Montain raided Qent's compound near Davreau and claims to have killed him and the leaders of the movement, however, Kauldron moots can still be found throughout the Colony.

Kauldron Hatemonger
Endurance: 8 
Lifeblood: 16 
Move: 10m/round
Armor: 2 
Attack (Damage): Club (melee 2D crushing)

Skills: Combat 1, Physical 1, Social 1
Spells: 30% chance of Sorcery 1; Choking Grip 1/day, Invisibility 1/day

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Running Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcery of Hyperborea

I have a great circle of people to role play with, amazing people, and even better friends. We mostly play DnD 5E which I love, but I've been playing it for a while and sometimes I yearn for running something from the OSR. At the moment we are in the middle of running Avernus so there isn't much room on the schedule to run a one or two-shot. Then it occurred to me that since I run a game store and I could run a demo, so yesterday that is what I did. I only had two players but that actually worked out really well. I used the ASnSH Rogue's Gallery II pdf for pre-generated 1st level characters and after about 30 minutes we were off and running.

I ran the Rats in the Walls adventure which is excellent. One of my players is from the regular RPG group and the other was someone I hadn't met before. We all had a blast and finished the session within three hours. ASnSH is a superb game and heaping with flavor. I truly loved it and so did the players.

I asked about making this a regular thing but it wasn't in the cards and I fully understand that. Afterwards as I contemplated the session and the system something occurred to me, we could have had just as much fun with DnD 5E, Swords and Wizardry, Against the Darkmaster, or Champions 4E. The system didn't really affect how well written and playtested Rats in the Walls was and the flourishes I added didn't rely on the system either.

I've always been a system guy, even when I only had one RPG that I owned or played I have constantly been looking at another game. It has short-circuited way too many campaigns to count and has honestly caused me quite a bit of grief.

I'm not going to say I won't fall for this trap again, apparently, I'm a slow learner sometimes. But I'm going to try to remember that the trap is sitting there waiting for me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The New World: Cloud Giant for Cepheus Sorcery & Barbaric!


Cloud giants drift high above the world, the unchallenged masters of the sky, and the lords of all that fall under thier shadow. However, as they reach the end of their lives, they become too heavy to stay aloft and their final act is to tread upon the realm of man, walking storms that devastate anything in their path, until they dissipate or are destroyed.

Endurance: 40 
Lifeblood: 80 
Move: 30m/round
Attack (Damage): Swat (melee 4D crushing) or Crush (5m radius 5D crushing)
Skills: Combat 3, Physical 4, Sorcery 3
Spells: Call Lightning, Conjure Elemental (air elemental only), Control Weather, Summon Weather, Thunderclap, Tremor

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


C.H.U.D. for Cepheus Quantum & Cepheus Atom
Monsters lurk beneath the streets: beings that were once human, but have been mutated by radioactive, chemical toxic waste into hideous, flesh-eating creatures that prey on the homeless who live in the underground. 
8/15, Move 10m/round, Armor 2, Teeth and Claws(melee 1D and 2D, respectively; claws are slashing and teeth are piercing damage). Combat-1, Physical-1, Survival-1. 

Horrific!: The Phantasm's Tall Man for Cepheus Quantum

The Tall Man for Cepheus Quantum
Relatively little is known about the Tall Man. Once upon a time, he was a kind-hearted soul named Dr. Jebediah Morningside, an ordinary mortician who served as a medic for the Union Army during the American Civil War. Until he was experimenting with inter-dimensional travel and studying the connection between the world of the living and the realm of the dead. He does this to learn the mysteries of life and death, even to achieve immortality. After perfecting a machine that would allow him to travel between worlds, he stepped through the gateway. Upon his return he was no longer Jebediah, but the cold and evil being known to Mike Pearson and his friend Reggie as the Tall Man. It can only be speculated that while in a different dimension Jebediah's body was possessed by another intelligence, or that his physical likeness has been assumed by some otherworldly, evil entity while killing off the original man. It might also be that his experiences changed him radically.

The Tall Man's purpose is to become the Lord of the Dead. He moves from town to town, first becoming the undertaker of that town and secretly removing the corpses from the graveyards and mortuaries. However, he is not content to just steal the already dead, but will soon kill the town's living population to add their numbers to his collection. The dwarf-like creatures he creates from the bodies of the dead serve him in our world, and he also transports them back to his own dimension. It is possible that he uses them as slave labor for his own world, the same way he uses his two legion of other undead minions called the Gravers and the Demon Troopers. The dwarfs were revealed to be byproducts of the process by which the Tall Man creates the Sentinel Spheres, which involves compacting the body and placing the brain into a metal casing. The Sentinels are used in his assaults against the living. So far he has not revealed any grand schemes for world conquest, and he tends to plunder only small, out-of-the-way towns; he is never shown invading large cities. And the towns he does plunder always seem to have an explanation for why the town's population is missing, such as a toxic waste spill. The Tall Man is a cold psychopathic traveler who explores worlds and knows all that is unknown while he destroys lives and commands his legion of the undead.

15/25, Move 15m/round, Armor 2, Fist (melee 2D, crushing) or Weapon. Combat-3, Knowledge-3, Physical-5, Space-2, Stealth-1, Technical-4. Domination (Make target an ally for 1 turn [10 minutes]; Knowledge 8+ throw to resist), Shapeshift (Assume the form of anyone he has seen); Knowledge 8+ throw to detect that he is an imposter). Telekinesis (Move object, attack creature, or hurl target for 4D damage; requires a Combat 8+ throw to hit. No Knowledge roll to resist), 

(If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes on Patreon.)

The New World: Dhampyr Non-Human for Barbaric!

Mobius Final Fantasy- Dhampyr by Laura SavaMobius 

Dhampyr for Barbaric!

Dhampyr: The offspring of a human and a vampire who has the best traits of both the living and the undead. They gain Advantage on throws when fighting undead and heal 2 points of lifeblood per day, however they do not cast a shadow of any kind.


Monday, April 19, 2021

Monstrous Monday: C.H.U.D. for Cepheus Quantum & Cepheus Atom


C.H.U.D. for Cepheus Quantum & Cepheus Atom
Monsters lurk beneath the streets: beings that were once human, but have been mutated by radioactive, chemical toxic waste into hideous, flesh-eating creatures that prey on the homeless who live in the underground. 

8/15, Move 10m/round, Armor 2, Teeth and Claws(melee 1D and 2D, respectively; claws are slashing and teeth are piercing damage). Combat-1, Physical-1, Survival-1. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The New World: The Summerlands

2500 years after the breaking of both the Earth and the Moon humanity faced genocide at the hands of the giant Nephilim, the undead Night Tribes led by Graf Orlock, and the Elfes of I'hiver, and their necromancy. Humanities' only hope was for the nations of Avignon, Ayngland, and Rhinetroff to form an Alliance, using artifacts they were able to recover thanks to the dark tome known as the Cacodex to turn the tide of war. For six years thousands died but with each new discovery, the humans began to push their enemies back until the combined forces of giants, undead, and fae made their last stand at the elfe capital of Ihiver. For four long months, the siege continued until Ayan Starson sought a truce and the Treaty of Ihiver was signed in blood. The terms of the Alliance's victory demanded the Nephilim to be exiled to the wastelands of Brule through the Wychways and the elfes retreating to the Summerlands across the Sea of Night. Graf Orlock and nearly all of the Night Tribes were dispatched by the Zirists and the Kirche of Thul jointly performing the holy rite known as the Mandragora Formula.

130 years ago, Candace Holmes, Prime Minister of Ayngland launched an expedition to the Summerlands to what has now become New Coventry, to great success. The Ministry was surprised to learn that their colony found no sign of the Elfes and a land brimming with resources and opportunities to the bold who were willing to make the journey. Spies for Avignon and Rhinetroff reported these findings to their leaders and soon both would launch their own expeditions to this brave New World.

Papst Unnachgiebig, the leader of both the Kirche of Thul and the nation of Rhinetroff foolishly took the advice of Ritter-Allgemeines Wilhem Schwarts and sought to conquer New Coventry in their initial foray to the Summerlands. Two years later, the Rhinetroff's forces, known as Ironheads, withdrew and signed the Treaty of New Coventry which prevented them from settling a colony for ten years and promised to deliver one-hundred ships to the Aynglish as reparation.

Avignon's Empress Vivain the 16th launched an expedition to the southern gulf of the Summerlands, hundreds of miles to the South of the war, to found and settle Chateau. The Avigno were careful in their explorations of the area and like the Aynglish before them, they did not encounter any sign of the elfes. What they did find was soil rich in nutrients to grow all manner of fruits and vegetables and beyond that marshlands rich in fauna of all kinds.

Today, Chateau is overseen by Compter Antoin Montain whose father went to Academie with Emperor LaFleur the 4th and who gained notoriety during the Pelham War against the Rhinetroff for control of the canal there. Montain seems to have the golden touch as his expansion and development of the region has been met with nary a setback. Some gleefully assumed he would fall out of favor at Court due to the Rugaroo Cult's terrorism over a six-year span but the task force he personally led eventually apprehended and exposed the Wandgrave insurrection that sought to assassinate the Emperor back home.  The Compter's eventual triumph not allowed him to save face but to gain the Dor Peregrine from a very grateful LaFleur the 4th.

While the Rhinetroff did settle Festung about one-hundred miles south of New Coventry neither it nor its Aynglish counterpart has prospered in the same way as Chateau. While life on the frontier has some dangers the New World is a promise of a new life, possibly newfound riches, and an escape from the Old World's long history of violence and death that feels like it can drown one in rivers of blood.

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. 

If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes on Patreon.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The New World: 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 Atom


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. 

If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes on Patreon.

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).

If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes at Patreon.

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

If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes on Patreon.

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.

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 ...