Friday, May 28, 2021

Hyperborea: Cyborg


Cyborg for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 1
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Size: M
Movement: 35
Dexterity: 18
Armour Class: 2
Hit Dice: 7+20
Attack Rate: 3/1 (weapon)
Damage: (per weapon + 3)
Saving Throw: 11 (Avoidance 9)
Morale: 10
Experience Points: 820
Treasure Class: I, M, R, 

"This planet has seen more than one...advanced...civilization fall. They must not be too advanced, eh? See what I did there? I know the deathless leviathan or the fungi from the sky should scare me the most, but it's the things we humans have learned to do to ourselves...and each other...that chills me bones. Are you no longer human when most of ya been replaced with metal and chips or when you are the one doing the replacing?"
-- Ohmer Targrave, the Sage of Veelo

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Hyperborea: Shoggoth


Shoggoth for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 1
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: L
Movement: 40
Dexterity: 18
Armour Class: -1
Hit Dice: 10+4
Attack Rate: 1/1 - 6/1 (1d6 bites)
Damage: 1d10+3 (per bite)
Saving Throw: 12 (Transformation 10)
Morale: 12
Experience Points: 2350
Treasure Class: Q

"It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train—a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter."
— H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

Special (shoggoth)

* At the sight of a shoggoth, any creature with fewer than 2 HD must make a sorcery save, failure indicating it flees in panic (d6, 1–3) or is paralyzed with fear (d6, 4–6). The save is modified by willpower adjustment, if applicable.

* Surprise for a shoggoth requires a d12 to be rolled and 1 indicating it is surprised.

* If a natural 20 is rolled when the shoggoth bites a creature it is beheaded. Obviously, most decapitated victims are killed outright; some creatures, however, will prove unaffected by
such a blow (e.g., automata, elementals, gibbering mouthers, grey oozes).

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Hyperborea: Soulsword

Sword +2, +4 vs. Dæmons, Soulsword: Only magicians and clerics, and their subclasses, can unlock the mystical properties of this blade, for all others it functions as a normal bastard sword. If the wielder is gifted in sorcerous arts then they may instantly summon the Soulsword and +1 Full Plate. The color of both depend on the wielder's alignment, silver for Law, gold for Neutrality, or black for Chaos. In the presence of dæmons (120-foot range), the sword glows azure. Additionally, the wielder may cast the teleport spell 1/day. The weapon provides a base +2 attack and damage bonus; this bonus is +4 versus dæmons.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Brides of Kthulhu: The Maiden for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea


The Maiden for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 1
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: M
Movement: 35
Dexterity: 14
Armour Class: (per armor)
Hit Dice: 4 (see below)
Attack Rate: 1/1 (weapon or spell)
Damage: (per weapon)
Saving Throw: 15 (Sorcery 13)
Morale: 9
Experience Points: 270
Treasure Class: S

Kthulhu woos young women with innate sorcerous gifts by entering their nightmares where he whispers demoniac secrets to them and claims that their magic is his gift to them. The dark knowledge he imparts may take months or even years and upon completion, his evil whisperings seek to make her his intended in a ceremony where she must sacrifice the person or thing she loves most to him and accept his mark, a third nipple.

There are those that find the strength to overcome Kthulhu's vile assaults and dark grooming but they are forced to pay yet another toll as he murders the sorcerous talent that drew him to them in the first place which may result in death (15% chance) or madness (60% chance).

A Maiden of Kthulhu often helps recruit others to his cults, acts as spies, and even works to help him enlist other young women by alienating them from those closest and making sure they find his dark idols. Maidens are also capable warriors in his name due to his eldritch lessons on folklore, sorcery, manipulation, and martial training.

Maidens have a Charisma of 17.

They are 2nd level Witches and 2nd level Bards.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Monstous Monday: Linnormor for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperbore


Linnormor for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 1
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Size: M
Movement: 40 (fly 60)
Dexterity: 17
Armour Class: 3 (DR 1)
Hit Dice: 8+2
Attack Rate: 3/1 (bite/bite/bite)
Damage: 1d8+1/1d8+1/1d8+1
Saving Throw: 13 (Avoidance 11)
Morale: 9
Experience Points: 1800
Treasure Class: A

A linnormor have wings, a serpent's body, dragon's head, scaled skin and two clawed forelimbs. If a wing is injured they slither like a snake and use their arms for traction.

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Monday, May 24, 2021

Hyperborea: Icemen


Icemen for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 1d6 (4d6)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: M
Movement: 30
Dexterity: 11
Armour Class: 3 (DR 2)
Hit Dice: 1
Attack Rate: 1/1 (fist)
Damage: (per weapon)
Saving Throw: 16 (Transformation 14)
Morale: 9
Experience Points: 105
Treasure Class: O

"Hyperborea is a cold and unforgiving realm with long nights, blasting winds, and a cold that can seep into one's soul as easily as their bones. Occasionally, Boreas hears the cries of the dying and offers them an alternative to a dark and lonely death. Those that accept his pact find their very skin hardening into transparent ice that no longer feels the wind and cold as they follow his clarion call to join him in the North Wind itself where they wait for him to unleash them as a storm upon the land."

An iceman can cast the Fear spell 1/day.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Hyperborea: Winged Ape


Winged Ape for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 1
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: L
Movement: 40 (fly 60)
Dexterity: 14
Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: 5
Attack Rate: 3 / 2 (fist)
Damage: 1d10
Saving Throw: 14 (Avoidance 11)
Morale: 10
Experience Points: 600
Treasure Class: H

"Are they the progeny of black sorcery or did some primeval intelligence breed them into being to guard their demoniac shrines?"

When a winged ape rolls a natural 20 on their attack roll they are able to grapple a creature and attempt to break its back. The target must make a saving throw vs Death or take 20 + 2d10 points of damage and the winged ape howls victoriously causing any creatures that can see and hear it to make a saving throw vs Sorcery or gain a -2 to all attacks for the next minute, note that the winged ape's turn immediately ends after this even if they have attacks left. Additionally, the penalty from multiple howls does not stack.

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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Universal Monsters: Frankenstein/Flesh Golem for Cepheus Quantum & Cepheus Sorcery

 Sorry for disappearing but work has been C-R-A-Z-Y!

Flesh Golem for Cepheus Quantum

"A flesh golem is a ghoulish collection of stolen humanoid body parts, stitched together into a single composite form often involving necromancy as much as black science. Typically, it looms above the living and its innards stuffed full of talismans, galvanics, & profane scripts in the language of the Dead. 

A flesh golem cannot speak, although it can emit a hoarse roar of sorts. It walks and moves with a stiff-jointed gait, as if not in complete control of its body."

20/30, Move 5m/round, Armor 4, Fist (melee 3D, crushing). 
Combat-2, Physical-4. A flesh golem takes double damage from fire and it has Disadvantage on Physical throws to evade an attack.

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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Warpland Review

I was given the opportunity to review a prerelease version of Warpland by Gavriel Quiroga that was funded as a Kickstarter.

Before I dig into the material I just have to say that this is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I have a degree in graphic design and I am mesmerized by the art and the layout. Beyond that, the whole package makes you feel like you are wading into the setting as a traveler who might be weary of what they will face.

The art is a beautiful combination of illustrations and photography—full disclosure I rarely own printed games anymore but I will have a print copy of Warpland in my collection. It could easily sit as a coffee table book for your friends to discover when they visit. Its’ a magnificent thing of beauty and wonder.

Warpland is designed as a setting for any set of RPG rules and there is useful lore and plenty of brilliant charts to help you settle in. You can flip to nearly any two-page spread and have some nugget be the focus of that evening’s adventure or even your whole campaign. Seriously, let’s say you are running any RPG you own and you just need an idea, just open the book and you will find a description or chart to help you move things along.

What makes the work even cooler is the sweet rules system Warpland includes for you. Characters using this system have Agility, Might, Lore, and Wits as Attributes, and they start at 5 as a default and you can distribute 8 points among them. To perform an action you roll equal to or lower than your Attribute. If you don’t have the appropriate skill you have -2 modifier. Additionally, the Game Master can apply other modifiers ranging from +1 to -3.

For each point of Lore you have above 5 you gain a skill, however, these are broad and closer to professions and include things such as Technocrat, Warrior, Beastmaster, or Fool.

In combat, you roll at or below the appropriate Attribute to hit your enemy. If you roll two 1s you barely succeed and gain a combat Complication (a handy chart with 6 options which you are encouraged to roll randomly) and if you roll two 6s you will utterly fail and gain a Complication. Damage is determined by choosing the highest rolling d6 and a modifier that each weapon grants, for example, a +1 for dagger or +3 for a maul, and subtracting it from your target’s hit points. If a player succeeds and rolls an 8+ they gain an additional effect based on the type of damage slashing, bashing, or piercing. The system is player facing so the GM doesn’t need to roll and the player will roll to dodge against any attacks that target them. Each NPC is defined by a Level, which is a modifier to a player’s roll when interacting with them, the armor they are wearing (which deducts damage), Hit Points, weapons, and any special abilities. It's a straightforward and flavorful system that pairs perfectly with Warpland’s setting.

Character options include Gifts from the Void, powers of a demonic nature, and Mutations, strange alterations based on the nature of the Warp.

The system presented is well developed and has an old-school sensibility.

Beyond the game system any two-page you open randomly is filled with killer artwork, facts about the location, organization, or dweller within Warpland and generally has a table to roll upon for some cool twist.

I loved Gavriel's other work Neurocity and this is even better.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Horrific!: The Sentinel for Cepheus Quantum

The Sentinel for Cepheus Quantum
The Sentinels are spherical metal devices used by the Tall Man for various purposes, primarily enforcement. They are best known for their ability to jam into a human skull and suck out the blood, thus killing the victim. Through unknown propulsion, they float in the air.
The Tall Man typically amputates the minds of his victims by placing their brains within the Sentinel devices, thus creating Lurkers and Sentinels simultaneously. The Silver Sentinels patrol the Tall Man's territory and seem to attack mainly on instinct, as they are capable of harming the Tall Man himself if he is caught offguard. The Silver Setinels also double as keys in the Tall Man's lair. Which has doors that can be only open through a special lock in the shape of concave hemisphere with two slits to fit the prongs.

5/10, Move 60m/round, Armor 4, Blades (melee 5D, piercing). Combat-2. 

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Friday, May 7, 2021

Known Space: Kzin for Cepheus Quantum


Kzin for Cepheus Quantum 
Kzinti were bipedal digitigrade felines with orange fur, yellow eyes, pronounced fangs, ears resembling bat wings, four-fingered hands, and long tails. Males stood over two meters tall, with broad hunching shoulders and comparatively slender waists and limbs. Their internal anatomy included ribs with vertical bracing and multiple hearts. They breathed atmosphere similar to that of Humans. As carnivores, they were acutely averse to the consumption of plants. Their physical attributes made them powerful combatants.

They gain an unarmed damage of 2D and +1D Endurance.

Note: Per the Known Space stories most female Kzin were bred for childbearing and a low intelligence. I'm ignoring that for the purposes of simply enjoying the game.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Hyperborea: DeRo (Deranged Robot)

DeRo for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 1d6 (4d6) 
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Size: S
Movement: 25
Dexterity: 15
Armour Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4
Attack Rate: 1 / 1(weapon)
Damage: (per weapon)
Saving Throw: 14
Morale: 10
Experience Points: 175
Treasure Class: I

"Clothed in rags and dirt, hung all over with hand weapons, their hair long and matted, were the strangest, most disgusting creatures I had ever seen in my life. They were dwarfs, some of them white-haired, from the Gods know what hidden hole in Mu's endless warren of caverns."
Richard Sharpe Shaver, I Remember Lemuria!

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Monday, May 3, 2021

Monstrous Monday: Mare for Hyperborea

Erik Tenkar recently revealed that there will be a Kickstarter for the 3rd Edition of AS&SH possibly as soon as early June. We also learned that the new edition will simply be called Hyperborea which makes sense in a lot of ways. I own both the 1st and 2nd Editions in print so I'll definitely be backing the 3rd edition.

Mare for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

No. Encountered: 
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Size: M
Movement: 40
Dexterity: 16
Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: 4
Attack Rate: 1 / 1(bite or night terrors)
Damage: 1d6 / 2d6
Saving Throw: 13
Morale: 10
Experience Points: 540
Treasure Class: Q

A mare is the soul of a witch that chose to leave its frail body and now sustains itself by finding a sleeping person, sitting upon their chest, and inducing night terrors which it then feeds upon. A mare can Climb (10:12), Hide (9:12), and Move Silently (10:12) and once it encounters a sleeping person it sits upon their chest and after 1d4 hours their target must make a Saving throw vs Death or suffer 2d6 damage. If their target dies from the mare feeding upon them there is a 30% chance they will return from the dead in 1d6 nights as a will-o'-wisp and seek out the nearest the place of desolation.

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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Foelio for Cepheus Quantum, Cepheus Sorcery, & Barbaric! Now Available

Work has been crazy in a good way (I purchased a sweet Amazing Spider-Man collection last week starting at #1) which means that this adaptation for Foelio actually came out on 4/25 but I'm just bringing it up now on the blog.

I really dig the system that Stellagrama and it's crew have created using the Traveller/Cepheus System and am using it to run a game online.

The Foelio adapts 27 creatures to use as antagonists against your players and is on sale now.

PS - If anyone out there wants to do a review I'll gladly provide a PDF for free :)

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 ...