Friday, May 27, 2011

Exaltation Preview: Wraith

Hey, everyone. Sorry about the sparse updates to this. I've been hard at work on a ship system. It's looking pretty good! It's borrowing a lot from Rogue Trader at the moment (feel free to suggest other ship combat systems or ideas if you've used them or like them), but I've actually pulled a few things from Star Trek Online, mostly some of their options for building ships. It should make for some really versatile shipbuilding.

Anyway, today, I have a new preview - the Wraith exalt! I don't have a pretty picture for this one, I'm afraid. If anyone does, leave me a link in the comments and I'll update this post with it!

Wraith: The Unquiet Dead
    Some people acieve great things in life. That's pretty easy stuff compared to getting things done while you're dead. A Wraith is a ghost, but not just any ghost - they're a ghost that can still affect the living world. They build bodies of ectoplasm that seem nearly alive and wear them like skin suits, forms that almost look like they did while alive, reflecting their somewhat spotty memory.
    The time a Wraith can stay manifested is somewhat limited - they don't have an infinite amount of spiritual energy, and they can only regain their ectoplasmic energy while in the Umbra, that shadowy realm of the dead halfway between the real world and the screaming chaos of the Warp. Every Wraith must return to the Umbra from time to time, and can be forced there by the destruction of their shell.
    No one is sure exactly how a Wraith comes to be. Just having unfinished business can't be enough - plenty of people die with work undone and don't come back as a Wraith. However it happens, Wraiths stay around for a long time. They're effectively immortal (since, after all, they're already dead) until someone goes and kills them. A difficult prospect for anyone who can't enter the Umbra.
    A Wraith makes an excellent thief or assassin, as they're able to get into places others simply can't go, do things others can't manage, and simply have nothing to fear any longer from the prospect of death.

Power Stat: Synergy
Resource Stat: Plasm - A Wraith has maximum Plasm equal to their Synergy plus their Resolve. They cannot recover Plasm in the world of the living. In fact, a Wraith will slowly lose Plasm (at the rate of one per day) unless they surround themselves in the ritual and symbolic trappings of death. While in the Umbra, a Wraith recovers two Plasm per hour.

Static Powers
    Dematerialize - A wraith isn't really a living creature as such. Their bodies are vessels made of ectoplasm that mock life for a time. A wraith may spend one Plasm as a half action to become incorporeal (as per the Phasing trait) for a number of rounds up to their Resolve. A wraith may choose to enter the Umbra instead of becoming incorporeal, though they must then spend one Plasm and a half action to return to their physical form (and thus cannot return if they have only one Plasm remaining). They may not become incorporeal while in the Umbra. A Wraith's personal equipment becomes incorporeal and enters the Umbra with him while he uses this power.
    Second Death - A Wraith's physical form is only a created shell. They have the Undead trait. If they would take critical damage, ignore its effects. They instead lose that much Plasm. If their Plasm reaches zero in this or any other way, the shell is destroyed and the Wraith is forced into the Umbra until they can create a new shell, which takes one day. Their personal equipment is left behind, typically dripping with ectoplasm as their body collapses. During this time, they do not recover Plasm. If they would take damage while in this decrepit state, they die (again).
    Deathsight - A Wraith always sees into the Umbra like a pale shroud overlaid over the vitality of the real world. This allows them to see lingering magical auras, get a general idea about the 'feel' of a place, and so forth. They can also see through the eyes of the dead. If they touch a corpse and spend a Plasm, they view the deceased's final moments from their point of view.
    Ghost Dice - When a Wraith spends Plasm for extra dice, make sure to keep those dice separate (using different colored dice is one easy way to handle it). Whenever a Wraith rolls a 1 on these Ghost Dice, something bad happens regardless of the success/failure of the action. Conversely, a 10 means something good happened.
    EXAMPLE: Let's say you were trying to eat a telephone.
    1) You equal or beat the TN, and roll a 10 on a Ghost Die: You eat the telephone and not only is everything fine, but you're left feeling refreshed and charged up, recovering a level of fatuge.
    2) You roll less than the TN, and roll a 10 on a Ghost Die: Your teeth aren't strong enough, but in attempting to eat the phone you accidentially dial a number and end up with a hot date!
    3) You equal or beat the TN, and roll a 1 on the Ghost Die: You successfully swallow the last bite only to realize you've forgotten to turn the phone off! It starts ringing and vibrating inside you.
    4) You roll less than the TN, and roll a 1 on the Ghost Die: You get the phone caught in your mouth and have to go to the hospital for some expensive and embarrassing oral surgery.

    1 Whispers - The Wraith can always hear the faint murmurs of the unquiet dead. They may use the Divination spell Augury at will, rolling Synergy + Wisdom instead of the normal Focus Power test.
    2 Poltergeist - By spending a Plasm, you can manipulate objects at a distance for one scene. You effectively have a reach of three meters per dot of Synergy. You cannot control objects well enough to make attacks with this ability. The effective Strength score for moving objects using this power is equal to your Willpower. At Synergy 4, their control is fine enough to make melee attacks out to that range, though they cannot make opportunity attacks using Poltergeist.
    3 Curse - As a half action, the Wraith chooses someone within range of their Poltergeist ability. That person must immediately roll on the Psychic Phenomena chart. If this would result in Perils of the Warp, reroll it unless the Wraith spends 3 Plasm. The Wraith is immune to any effects caused by the result of this Curse (they are not knocked down by Spectral Gale or The Earth Protests, etc.).
    4 Shroud - Gain Armor equal to your Resolve. This doesn't stack with worn armor. If you become incorporeal, this ability provides Aura instead of Armor.
    5 Ectoplasmic Form - A Wraith's body is really little more than solidified ectoplasm. Once per session, they may loose its bonds, turning the ectoplasm back into a liquid. They gain Amorphous. but instead of doubling hit points, they gain number of temporary hit points equal to their current Plasm. They lose these temporary hit points first. At the end of the scene they lose Amorphous and any remaining temporary hit points.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Race Preview: Thri-Kreen


    One of the most mysterious races in the Wheel in some ways, the Thri-Kreen are an insect race. Outsiders typically know almost nothing about them - they live in cities that are designed like hives. They have very little use for personal space and a great respect for common areas.
    Most Thri-Kreen live fast and die hard. They naturally have a life span less than half that of most races - it's virtually unknown for them to go past the age of fifty. However, this is because of a natural hyperactive metabolism. They don't sleep, and get the most out of every day of those short years.

    Physical Characteristics
    Average Height: 2.0-2.3m
    Average Weight: 100-120kg
    Languages: Trade, Thri-Kreen
    Common Personality Traits: Restless, Conformist, Inscrutable, Curious, Jumpy
    Common Physical Traits: Sand-Colored Exoskeleton, Long Antennae, Constantly in Motion, Dark Compound Eyes, Short-Lived
    Example Names: Chak-tha, Drik-chkit, Kacht-ta, Kat’chka, Pak’cha, Ptekwe.

    Racial Statistics
    Characteristic Bonus: +1 Dexterity or +1 Wisdom
    Skill Bonus: +1 to Acrobatics and Perception
    Power: Multi-Armed: A Thri-Kreen's smaller pair of arms allow them to take a Ready action as a free action once per round and reload their weapons in half the listed time.
    Size: 4

    Physical Qualities
    Thri-Kreen resemble bipedal praying mantids. Their exoskeletons come in a variety of colors, typically earthtones with occasional grays and blue markings. They have six limbs, with two normal-sized arms and two smaller ones. They have mandibles and compound eyes, joints in places that other races don't, long antennae, and are just generally alien in every way.
    Thri-Kreen are an egg-laying species. They mature quickly after being hatch, passing through a series of forms that would be familiar to any entomologist until they reach adulthood at about five. They live quick lives, though they don't really age like other races. There are very few visual cues to tell a Thri-Kreen's age, even scars vanishing as they molt once a year.
    Most Thri-Kreen have a bit of a sweet-tooth. They prefer foods that are very high in sugar, especially candy and pastries. This helps fuel their overactive metabolisms.
    There are essentially no easy ways to determine the gender of a given Thri-Kreen on sight. Unless you can detect the pheromones they use, in which case it's actually quite simple.

    Playing a Thri-Kreen
    Thri-Kreen excel at adapting to new situations. They tend to see things in simple terms, cutting to the heart of situations and acting instead of waiting. However, this should not be taken to mean they act rashly - they see information gathering and spying as a matter of course. While they might be mysterious to others, they are almost always quite well informed.
    Thri-Kreen prefer to use cutting-edge technology rather than settle for anything less, preferring high performance over reliability even when lives are on the line. Their computing and information technology is among the most advanced in the Wheel, but owing to their species' predatory lineage,
    At a young age, Thri-Kreen are extremely impressionable. They imprint with those that they knew, and usually defer to them. Thri-Kreen society is one fairly common to insects - females imprint their young, the new generation defers to them, and it all ends up being rather dynastic and matriarchal.
    Many Thri-Kreen adopt things from the cultures they're exposed to - not always the most obvious things either. For example, it has become something of a trend among female Thri-Kreen to wear rather elaborate and formal dresses. This has definitely made it easier for other races, who tend to have some trouble telling their genders apart, to identify them as female.
    Because of a Thri-Kreen's short natural life, they often have little regard for personal safety. Of themselves or others. They usually just don't have time for lengthy approval times or experimentation. A few tests, simulations, and educated guesses are good enough for most purposes.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dungeons The Dragoning: 40k: 7th Edition: Book II: For A Few Subtitles More

So, I thought I'd post something interesting for people today - the list of stuff that I'm working on for the next book. This is not a complete list. I'm sure more will end up being added. But this should give you some idea of what's going on.

    Arcane Knight
    Temple Assassin
    More Exaltation Assets for everyone
    New spells for each school
    Possibly new schools
    Gun Kata for ranged weapons
        Sniping School
        Gunslinger School
    New gods!
        The Omnissiah
        Secular Humanism
    Weapon Creation System
    New Specific Weapons
    New Armor
    New Bionics
    You better believe there are going to be new artifacts.
    P-scale vehicle rules, for using cars, planes, and the like alongside characters.
    S-scale (Ship Scale) rules for spelljammer combat!

If there's anything else you'd like to see that's not on the list (and isn't ponies/meguka - those are going in their own book), yell at me for not including it!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Version 1.4 Release

Download Version 1.4

Version 1.4 has become ready for release. With any luck, the main book is now polished enough that I can work on something else for a bit and get another book underway. I think this version solves nearly all of the problems people have had (well, the problems that weren't about adding content - that'll come later). Let's see if I can get a changelog done. Forgive me if I miss something.

Version 1.3 - 1.4 changelog:

* New fluff for all Exalts.
* Chosen Faith powers reworked a bit. They're a bit more diverse now.
* Paragons given new, awesome powers.
* Some subtle changes to Promethean. Headshots aren't lethal, they can't have Bionic Hearts (they have a pyros generator instead) and only destroying that pyros generator (via shots to the gizzards) are really fatal. They can wear armor.
* Vampire Embrace rules added in.
* Werewolves only heal in alternate forms.
* Classes have had their names and prereqs changed
* Class tracks added in so progressions are still clear.
* Classes sorted by level.
* A few feats added in.
* Daemonhost sin assets changed dramatically.
* Ward changed to Mage Armor
* Wealth Strain changed to a chart instead of a simple fact. Less bad.
* Magic ranged weapons are back.
* Multiple Attacks action is more balanced. Costs a reaction per extra attack. You might actually want to use Swift Attack over Lightning Attack now.
* Massive example of play added.
* Character sheet fixed up a bit.

I wanted to post this last night, but blogger has been acting up.

In other news, I've started a forum for people!

The WWW Forum

It should help people out a lot with posting homebrew stuff, finding games, and making sure I don't miss any ideas.

Monday, May 2, 2011

1.4 partial changelog

Alright. Going to get everyone updated on what I've been doing for 1.4 - Sorry I haven't been updating much these past few weeks. It's actually been hard to find time to write more. So here is a partial changelog regarding what I have already done and what I intend to do:

* Mistakes fixed. The biggest being the attack section where one part still mentioned Dex + Skill.
* More fluff for the Exaltations. Two pages worth each, covering specifics on their tells, what it's like to become one, their society, the way others view them, and tips on roleplaying them.
* Atlantean power stat changed to Gnosis.
* The Chosen are getting their abilities rearranged. They were fairly good before, but their abilities came in exactly two flavors - improving the expenditure of Faith and making them hard to kill. I've still got to get one high-level power nailed down. I've considered undoing a round (a bookkeeping nightmare) and editorial control of a scene (difficult to balance and relies entirely on SM permission), and I'm still not happy.
* Vampires made somewhat less weak against sunlight (1 hp lost instead of 1k1)
* This is the big change here - All classes have been renamed. People were getting confused with Levels, Completing Classes, and the majority of classes being Fighter/Magic User/Rogue 1/2/3/4/5 and so forth. Each class now has its own name rather than a number.
* To go with this, classes no longer have classes as prereqs. They instead have feats and skills (and occasionally Magic ranks or characteristics). This should encourage a bit of cross-fertilization, perhaps.
* Wording on some feats have been tweaked to make them more clear.
* A few spells are getting tweaked. Might replace some of the less useful ones with more interesting effects.
* Changing Wealth Strain to be a rolled table so it doesn't become a viscous cycle of going poor.
* Rules for Magical Bionics made... well, made. There was some confusion since artifacts are hard to destroy, but yes - Magical bionics still suffer the normal critical effects (with the normal bionic rule of 'if it would cause an inappropriate effect, limb is disabled instead'). However, if the limb would be destroyed it's just severed or torn free. It can be reattached, but it takes the normal time for attaching bionics.
* Going to do 'something cool' with Full Auto. Considering just adding feats so people who are high level can get an extra hit or two with FA, ala Swift/Lighting attack. Might also reduce bonus to hit, add a Semi-Auto action with a greater bonus to hit but less damage.
* Added a sample session to the back. Yes, a full sample session.
* Cleaning up the character sheet. Fixed it up a bit already but I need to fix up Armor and have the different locations noted.
* Monsters getting a Level stat to account for the change to attacks.