Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dungeonmaster [FASERIP]

DUNGEONMASTER

STATISTICS
F                 TY   (6)
A                 GD  (10)
S                 TY  (6)
E                 GD   (10)
R                 EX (20)
I                   EX   (20)
P                  RM   (30)
Health: 32
Karma: 70

BACKGROUND
Real Name: Arnold "Arnie" Francis Dilbert III
Occupation: Former college student; Professional Criminal
Identity: Known to authorities
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with a criminal record
Place of Birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile
Group Affiliation: Masters of Menace

KNOWN POWERS
None.

Equipment:
Icosahedron of Ioum: A roughly soccer ball sized crystalline, two-sided solid of Unearthly material strength that grants Dilbert the following powers:

Reality Manipulation: Dungeonmaster has Illusion Generation Powers of Unearthly ability, such that for most people, indistinguishable from reality. His area of effect is limited to no more than 10 areas, however, otherwise he is unable to maintain fine detail and his creations seem less substantial or fake. Even with concentration, his creations last no more than 4 hours. He can maintain only only 3 effects at a time at full solidity, any others tend to become more insubstantial and are illusions only of Excellent rank. He uses this power in the following ways:

  • Creation of "monsters" he can control
  • Creation of a underground maze environment
  • Creation of "magic items" that can duplicate powers up to Incredible rank

Teleportation: of himself or others with Incredible ability.
Probability Manipulation: Dungeonmaster can attempt to reverse the outcome of a roll not to his liking made by himself or another character with Amazing ability. This requires him to make a power FEAT roll of an equal degree or greater degree of success. He uses this power very sparingly as either he or the Incosahedron considers it cheating, and his worry about the consequences is that he must make a Psyche FEAT roll equal to the degree of success of the of his Probability Manipulation roll, to continue using his powers. A failure means he is without them for 1-20 hours.

History: Dilbert was a capable but poor-performing college student, due to the time he spent planning the role-playing game Monsters in Mazes with his few friends. Unhappy with his real life, Dilbert began to immerse himself more and more into fantasy. He convinced his friends to act out their gaming characters exploits in a small cave system near their university. Annoyed by Dilbert's increasingly demanding behavior, the others left in, and he became lost in the cave.

While in the cave, Dilbert claims to have discovered a hidden run where he found the large, crystalline Icosahedron of Ioum. This artifact obeyed his commands, giving him apparently magical powers, but whether by design or Dilbert's own psychological quirks, it limited him to the mimicking the powers analogous to those wielded by a Monsters in Mazes referee.

Dilbert used these powers to settle scores with his neglectful parents and former classmates, before embarking on a criminal career. His most common modus operandi was to great a "dungeon" in the area the crime was to take place and force bystanders to achieve his goals by coercing them with monsters and traps. His opposed by Rocket early in his career, and considers her his archenemy, though Rocket does not reciprocate.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Weird Revisited: Space Fiends: Marauders from Hyperspace

This post original appeared in December of 2013. It followed  a post about using AD&D Fiend Folio monsters in a science fiction context. It's not set in any particular sci-fi universe I've presented, any more than the write-up of the monster that inspired it was. This was one of a number of posts over the years of monsters or setting trying to get at something that was Spelljammer but not Spelljammer.

No. Appearing:1-4
AC: 4
Hit Dice: 1 (or better)
Saving Throw: as per class and level
Attack Bonus: +2
Damage: 2d8+2 mag rifle, 1d8+1 monoblade
Movement: 30'
Skill Bonus: +1
Morale: 9


Gathyengi are a xenophobic humanoid species who act as pirates, striking from hidden bases within hyperspace. They are theorized to be descended from humans abducted by the psionic Masters from Earth millennia ago to serve as both labor and food source.

Gathyengi (sing. gathyen) are ectomorphic, almost skeletal in appearance. Their skin is dusty yellow to the color of parchment, and leathery. Their skull-like faces, solid black eyes, and pointed teeth (likely ritually sharpened) give them a fearsome appearance in keeping with their reputation for violence.

A gathyengi raider will have a crew compliment of various classes, similar to any human vessel. A raid will be led by a captain of 4-7th level, depending on the size of the ship. It is likely there will be at least one combat psychic among them.

All gathyengi can shift back into hyperspace at will. Whether this is an innate ability or technological is unclear. Dead gathyengi shift back into hyperspace as well, thwarting attempts at close examination.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Some Art from An Upcoming Superhero Thing

No stats today, but here's some spiffy new art for a planned supers project:

The villainous Dungeonmaster by Chris Malgrain, and


the Champion's wizardly mentor by Jeff Call.

More to come!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday Comics: Storm: The Living Planet (part 3)

My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues with his adventures in the world of Pandarve. Earlier installments can be found here.


Storm: The Living Planet (1986) (part 3)
(Dutch: De Levende Planeet)
Art by Don Lawrence; script by Martin Lodewijk

Storm and Ember work at turning the great wheel, paying off their debt to the ship Salamander. Storm asks another man at the wheel where they are headed. His reply:


The ship hunts the great fire worm, a creature from whose glands a spice can be extracted that fetches a high price all over Pandarve. It's used for medicinal purposes but also in the manufacture of a love potion.

An overseer hears them talking and comes over to whip the man back to work. Ember stands up for the man and she trips the overseer.

Meanwhile, the ship has sighted a fire worm. Their bait ships are luring it closer to them with the beat of drums. The bidge wants to know why one wheel sector seems to be slacking in helping steer the ship.

In that sector, Storm and Ember are standing up to the overseer. The man backs up to a bulkhead to talk to his superior on the comm, when he's killed be a splintering wall. The fire worm has emerge next to the ship and heaved its bulk against it!


While the ship's crew frantically try to respond, the fire worm rises up and falls upon the ship again. The rocking of the vessel with the blows allows Storm to grab the dead overseer's keys. The debtors at the wheel all make their escape.

When they make it to the deck, the fire worm is still attacking. Storm sees a girl in the path of the rampaging worm and rushes to the rescue:


He returns the girl to her mother, who recognizes him as a debtor. Storm doesn't have time for any of that. He demands to know why they don't use their harpoons to kill the worm. The woman explains:


Storm realizes their is another place it must be vulnerable. He notices the flyers above, and quickly arrives at a plan:

TO BE CONTINUED

Monday, June 18, 2018

Weird Revisited: The Robots of Rome

The original version of this post appeared in December of 2013.


The Lokapannatti (an 11th-12th Century Pali cosmological text) tells the story of Ashoka obtaining Buddhist relics from the underground vault of King Ajatasatru. Like all good dungeon treasures, this one is guarded--by robots; bhuta vahana yanta, literally "spirit movement machines."  What's more, these robots are based on stolen Roman technology!

The thoroughness of this ancient text is such that it just doesn't drop a bomb like "Roman robots" and leave it at that. No, we get an origin story. See, Roma-visaya ("The Kingdom of Rome") has a class of skilled bahulayantakara ("machine-makers") who build these wonders for "commerce, agriculture, capturing, and executions."  These engineers are kept under close watch so that Roman technological secrets don't fall into the wrong hands. If they leave the city, they're chased down by a flying beheading machine!

An Indian entrepreneur from Pataliputra wants to get ahold of these marvels so bad he vows on his deathbed to get reincarnated as a Roman. Amazingly, that is exactly what happens! He then marries the daughter of a Roman inventor and when the time is right, snags some blueprints from his father-in-law. This is where his plan gets really complicated: he writes the secrets down and has the paper sewn into his thigh. Then, he tells his son to have him buried back in India when he dies. He leaves Rome and the robot executioner gets him.

His son takes his body (and the stolen secrets) back to Pataliputra and goes into the robot-making business for the king. The robots are still active a hundred years later when Ashoka shows up to reclaim the lost treasure. Lucky for Ashoka, the Roman that built them is somehow still alive and tells him how they can be disabled.

I got this story from Relics of the Buddha by John S. Strong, and with further details from here. Not that something so rife with gaming potential needs solid academic sourcing! It's just one step from this legend to a robot arms race between India and Rome and mecha battles across Afghanistan! 

Bhuta vahana yanta, go!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Professor Fright [FASERIP]


PROFESSOR FRIGHT

STATISTICS
F                 TY   (6)
A                 GD  (10)
S                 TY  (6)
E                 GD   (10)
R                 EX (20)
I                   EX   (20)
P                  EX   (20)
Health: 32
Karma: 60

BACKGROUND
Real Name: Zachary Graves
Occupation: Former psychology professor, former television personality, criminal
Identity: Known to authorities
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with a criminal record
Place of Birth: Erie, Pennsylvania
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile
Group Affiliation: Masters of Menace

KNOWN POWERS
None.

Equipment:
Mind Control: Professor Fright has the ability to manipulate and control individuals made susceptible by his broadcast with Remarkable ability. Since a victim's suggestibility arises from their fear, His mind control is limited to the sort of actions a fearful person might make.
Fear Broadcast: Monstrous rank, requires a person to see or hear a powerful broadcast. Victims must make an Intuition FEAT or suffer neuro-muscular spasms, cardiac arrhythmia and panic attacks. The effects last 1-10 turns per exposure.
Hallucinations: Monstrous ability to fill a victim’s mind with fearful illusions with lower exposure to the fear broadcast. The hallucinations will be particular to a victim, unless Professor Fright has suggested otherwise (see below).Victims may dispel the illusion by making an Intuition FEAT.

History: Zachary Graves was fascinated with fear from a young age. He pursued a career in psychology  was a specialty in research into fright. Though concern about the direction his studies were taking drove him from academia, he found work as a horror movie host on a local television station, creating the character "Professor Fright." There he perfected his broadcast device for causing frightening hallucinations in the viewer, but was he fired when an intern was injured tampering with the device. Graves attempted to sell this invention to a defense contractor, but reputation as a television personality led them to dismiss him as an eccentric. Angered at the world he perceived as failing to reward his genius, Graves used his device to get revenge on those who wronged him as Professor Fright/

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Rocket [FASERIP]

Art by Dean Kotz
ROCKET

STATISTICS
F                 EX   (10)
A                 RM  (30)
S                 GD  (10)
E                 RM   (30)
R                 GD (10)
I                  GD   (10)
P                 EX (20) 
Health: 90
Karma: 40

BACKGROUND
Real Name: Kelli Cross
Occupation: College student, roller derby player
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizen of the U.S. with no criminal record
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Walter Rush (grandfather)
Base of Operations: Sparkle City, California
Group Affiliation: Super-Sentinels

KNOWN POWERS
Hyper Speed. The magic roller skates increase her reaction time to an Unearthly degree, allowing the following abilities:
  • Delivering one hundred Good blows per turn.
  • Perceiving an catching high velocity objects with Unearthly ease
  • Airskating: Remarkable speed by rapidly fanning her feet and arms.
  • Waterskating: Unearthly speed by skimming along on surface tension
  • Extra attacks with Unearthly ability or multiple attacks that inflict up to Unearthly damage, ignoring body armor (only one to hit roll is made).
  • Create cyclones for Excellent damage and Unearthly stunning or slamming
  • Wallskating (500 feet with a 1000-foot approach)
  • Invisibility by moving extremely fast, Red intuition FEAT to notice
  • One must make a Red FEAT to hit Rocket with anything other than an area effect or Psychic attack. If he is making multiple attacks against the same target the FEAT is reduced to Yellow.
  • Considered Amazing rank for Fighting for multiple attacks and evading.
  • Considered Amazing rank for Agility for dodging and catching projectiles.
  • Considered Monstrous rank for Intuition for initiative.
  • She may perceive any object's momentum as though it were 14CS slower than it's actual movement speed. E.g: Arrows and bullet sized objects appear moving at 5 m/ph
  • Rocket is considered to have Unearthly Endurance for movement and tiring purposes, while wearing her skates.
  • Unearthly resistance to friction
History: Kelli Cross was a college student, but what she was really into was roller derby. When she discovered her grandfather Walt had been a costumed crime-fighter during World War II with a set of magical roller-skates that supposedly came from an extradimensional imp—well, it all sounded pretty hard to believe, but skating and fighting crime just seemed like the thing to do!

Kelli began fighting crime in Southern California as the new Rocket and later became a member of the Super-Sentinels.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wednesday Comics: Comic Book Kickstarters

Kickstarter doesn't make it easy to find stuff just browsing, so as a public service, here are a few Kickstarters that I have backed in the past week or so that might be of interest to comics fans:


Aztec Ace: The Complete Collection: Eclipse originally published these adventures of a Native American time traveler doing the sort of Doctor Who save the timeline thing back in the 80s. This is the first time this Doug Moench/Dan Day work has been collected, as far as I know.


Cosmic Master Jim Starlin's Art Book and Illustrated Novella: Readers of this blog likely know I am a big fan of Jim Starlin and his Bronze Age of Comics cosmicism. It's great to see he's getting a nice artbook. The illustrated Hardcore Station novel interests me less, but it's a nice extra.


Scout:Marauder: Scout was another Native American hero published original by Eclipse. It was set in a dystopian future where the United States had been crippled after its ecological excesses led other nations to turn against it. Scout was the creation of Timothy Truman. He promises this adventure is standalone, so familiarity with the previous series isn't necessary.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Send in the (Exploding) Clowns


Our 5e Land of Azurth game continued last night with a free adaptation of Misty Isles of the Eld, with Shade the Ranger, Kully the Bard, and Kairon the Sorcerer heading onto the Misty Isle to find there friends. They found the same blasted landscape, the same weird ridgelines, and the trail made of crushed toys.

Luckily froglings leav pretty distinct footprints, so the ranger has and easy time tracking them to the Pagoda City. At the main pagoda, they meet a goose-stepping patrol of Meanies. They try to convince them they are on their said and and searching for the other intruders, but Kully's guitar gives them away. It seems the Meanies are not music lovers.

A fight ensues that the Blue Meanies lose, but the party still isn't able to gain entrance. While they are trying, they're approached by a group of clowns--and not the friendly variety.


The clowns attack, so the party must defend themselves. The Clowns don't go down as easy as the standard Blue Meanies, and when they finally do they explode! The remaining clowns advance on the party threatening to trap them against the pagoda's door. Kairon and Kully dive off the steps for safety. Shade, noting that the exploding clown had pushed its nose just prior, punches one of the clowns on its red nose and jumps for safety.

The clown explodes, and the chain reaction takes out the other two--and blows open the pagoda's doors.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Who's Who in the Armchair Planet Universe


I'm been posting a number of new superheroes of late with new artwork, and it's all related to a new rpg project, which is ultimately related to a comics project I'm doing with Jim Shelley and the artist Chris Malgrain. I'm sure I'll post more on that as things develop, but for now I want to talk about the rpg project.

Tentatively titled Who's Who in the Armchair Planet Universe, it is planned to be two "issues" featuring characters and things from the universe of the comic, members of the heroic Super-Sentinels and the villainous Masters of Menace. It will have DC Who's Who style "fluff" entries on each character and stats for the Icons rpg for each. Why Icons, well besides being a good system, it's OGL and it's stats are simple enough they seem relatively easy to translate to other systems (particularly TSR's Marvel Superheroes and its clones), so it will be fairly universal while still providing some stats.

Here's the draft of the statless front page of the Champion's entry:


More to be revealed!

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Super-Sentinels!


Earth's greatest heroes! Banded together for the cause of justice! 

Roll Call (so far):
Cosmic Knight!
Damselfly!
Big Man!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Big Man [FASERIP]

BIG MAN

STATISTICS
F                 GD   (10)
A                 EX  (20)
S                 TY  (6)
E                 EX   (20)
R                 RM (30)
I                  GD  (10)
P                 GD (10) 
Health: 56
Karma: 50

Real Name: Kelvin Carter
Occupation: High school student
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizen of the U.S. with no criminal record
Place of Birth: Empire City
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Ted Carter (father), Ava Carter (mother, presumed deceased), Louise Carter (grandmother)
Base of Operations: Dawson
Group Affiliation: Super-Sentinels

KNOWN POWERS
Grownth. Incredible ability to grow up to 60 ft. Ranks and effects are as follows:
RankHeightBonus to be hitMass IncreaseStrengthEnduranceBody Resistance
Feeble9 feet+1CSGoodRemarkableRemarkableTypical
Poor12 feet+1CSExcellentIncredibleRemarkableGood
Typical18 feet+1CSRemarkableIncredibleAmazingExcellent
Good24 feet+1CSRemarkableAmazingAmazingRemarkable
Excellent36 feet+1CSIncredibleMonstrousAmazingRemarkable
Remarkable48 feet+2CSIncredibleMonstrousMonstrousIncredible
Incredible60 feet+2CSAmazingUnearthlyMonstrousIncredible
History: After the a laboratory accident led to the death (or perhaps disappearance) of Kelvin's mother, his father lost his job in the ensuing cover-up. He moved Kelvin and himself back to Dawson, the economically depressed Southern city where he had grown up, where rents were cheap, and he could acquire research space. Kelvin wasn’t so sure that was a good idea. When his father was seriously beaten by gang members, he was very sure it wasn’t. Modifying one of his parents' inventions to allow him to grow to gigantic height, Kel sets out to show the gangs just who the big man is around here!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wednesday Comics: Storm: The Living Planet (part 2)

My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues with his adventures in the world of Pandarve. Earlier installments can be found here.


Storm: The Living Planet (1986) (part 2)
(Dutch: De Levende Planeet)
Art by Don Lawrence; script by Martin Lodewijk

Storm asks the diminutive foreman to at least take them to the ground after having "salvaged" their aircraft. After consulting his rule book, the man says he can help them, if they do him a favor in return:


The man also gives them seeds to swallow which will infuse enough oxygen in their blood for them to reach the ground. When they find the egg, the little men will locate them.

They take the gliders down to ride the thermals rising off the molten sea. Unfortunately, Ember gets too close and catches her wing on fire! Storm swoops in close, then Ember jumps:


They're too heavy to fly, so they're forced to land on an isolated rock outcropping. They surmise they'll soon die due to the heat, but then--amazingly--they see ship approaching. To get the crew's attention, Storm summons the power he has as the Anomaly to create a burst of light...


The ship sends out a scout on a winged beast who identifies them as shipwreck survivors. The Salamander pulls in close to pick them up. Once aboard, they are greeted by the Captain. One of his administrative functionaries enquires as to how they plan to pay for their passage. When Storm says they have no money, the Captain offers another solution:


And they happen to have two vacancies!

TO BE CONTINUED

Monday, June 4, 2018

Damselfly!


No stats today, but here's a new piece of art by Dean Kotz with colors and logo by me for my supers thing in the works.

The microverse of Zurrz-Zann is home to a technologically advanced, regimented society. Zurrz-Zann was at peace for many years, until an emerging insectoid intelligence on Earth breached the dimensions and fomented insurrection. Xazandra Zaantarz was a junior law enforcer, sent with her partner to Earth to stop the psychic attack. The two eventually became lovers and a crimefighting partners as Dragonfly and Damselfly. 

When the society of their homeworld took an even greater turn toward authoritarianism, Damselfly chose to stay on Earth and was branded a traitor by her people.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Cougar [FASERIP]

COUGAR

STATISTICS
F                 IN   (40)
A                 RM  (30)
S                 RM  (30)
E                 IN   (40)
R                 EX (20)
I                  RM  (30)
P                 EX (20) 
Health: 140
Karma: 50

BACKGROUND
Real Name: Diana Rand
Occupation: Hired assassin; heiress
Identity: Known to authorities
Legal Status: Citizen of the U.S. with a criminal record
Place of Birth: Houston, Texas
Marital Status: Widowed
Known Relatives: David Rand (deceased)
Base of Operations: Mobile
Group Affiliation: Masters of Menace

KNOWN POWERS
Hyper Running. Typical
Hyper-Leaping. Typical.
Heightened senses. Incredible sense of sight, hearing, and smell.

Talents: Hunting, Marksman, Martial Arts B, Edged Weapons, Wrestling, Acrobatics, Tumbling, Survival

History:  Diana Rand disappointed her father in not being a son, then disappointed him further with teenage rebellion and the embrace of the counterculture and a hedonistic lifestyle. At least, when she married a European playboy, she married into money. Though the union didn’t last long when her husband and one succession of paramours died in a mysterious auto accident.

Widowed in her early twenties and left with her husband’s sizable debt, she accepted her father’s invitation to return home to their Texas ranch for possible reconciliation. She discovered that he had decided to buck tradition and sponsor her for membership in his exclusive hunting club, the Orion Lodge, which had historically only admitted men. The Lodge was made up of wealthy individuals of European descent who had used the power granted them by colonialism to pillage cultures for medicinals, talismans, and fetishes which would enhance physical prowess, which they used to hunt humans in secret hunts.

David Rand was the current grandmaster of the Lodge. He sought to marry his daughter off for a political alliance. Diana had other ideas. Stealing some of the Lodge's secrets cache, she killed her father, and spent the next few years hunting or being hunted by Lodge members across the globe. In the end, The Lodge was all but destroyed and Diana Rand had a fearsome reputation as the huntress for hire known as the Cougar.


Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Sinister Skull Satellite of The Masters of Menace!

art by Chris Malgrain

It's considered essential in super-villain circles to have a suitably forbidding hideout. Here's a cutaway view of the Masters' of Menace lair.

map by Jim Shelley

Monday, May 28, 2018

Weird Revisited: Afterlife During Wartime

This post first appeared in February of 2012. It was intended for the world of Weird Adventures but is usuable anywhere really...


Explorers in the planes beyond have recorded two noumenal realms devoted to the concept of war, though from two different perspectives. One is a shining realm of trumpets sounding the call to glorious battle for a righteous cause. The other is a grim place of endless, grinding war of attrition, leading to an apocalypse they may never come.

The Halls of Valor or the Fields of Glory is the name given to the after-life for the heroic warrior dead of several pagan faiths. Its trappings are pre-modern, though never in history did swords and spears so gleam, or armor so shine. The warriors revel all night in feasting halls and walk out at dawn (strangely hangover free) to do battle with representatives arriving from places of evil and chaos (or at least the representations of such beings). Occasionally (if that word has much meaning in a timeless place) tourneys are held, and the warriors pit themselves against each other. While dire wounds are suffered, they heal quickly and wound and pain are forgotten in the face of glory.

There have been some warriors of the Oecumenical faith, or even soldiers from modern times, who fell in battle and were taken to Halls of Valor in some sort of cosmic error. Some warm to the place after a while, but others seek a way out by appeal to the pagan gods who rule there. Sometimes, angels try to recruit such misplaced warriors to serve in the Heavenly Hosts. This is considered by the eikone Management a tidy solution to the problem of a misplaced soul.

The other realm is a place of blood-red skies, where clouds of ash are buffeted by winds thick with the smell of death. This is the Plains of Armageddon, the Eternal Battlefield. Here, the souls of warriors damned by their actions in war are conscripted as soon as they arrive into the army of one faction or another. Weapons are supplied by agents of the Hell Syndicate or the demon lords of the Pits; They use the armies here as proxies for their own agendas. Warriors from infinite worlds and all of history do battle in bleak and blasted landscapes where no one is truly trustworthy and most hands are actively raised against every other.

Some of the damned delight in bloodlust and slaughter and give themselves over fully to their not entirely metaphorical demons. Others seek desperately to escape and sign faustian deals to return the the Material world as diabolic thralls. Others are lucky enough to make contact with the agents.of Heaven and make other deals for a chance at working off the stain on their souls.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Cosmic Knight [FASERIP]

art by Dean Kotz
COSMIC KNIGHT

STATISTICS
F                 RM   (30)
A                 RM  (30)
S                 RM  (30)
E                 IN   (40)
R                 EX (20)
I                  RM   (30)
P                 IN (40) 
Health: 130
Karma: 90

BACKGROUND
Real Name: Raymond "Ray" Logan
Occupation: Former astronaut, aerospace executive
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizen of the U.S. with no criminal record
Place of Birth: Riverside, Iowa
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Costa del Mar, California
Group Affiliation: Knights of the Cosmos; Super-Sentinels

KNOWN POWERS
Body Armor. Provides him with Incredible protection against all physical, radiation, and heat- and cold-attacks. He can survive indefinitely in the vacuum of space.
Enhanced Senses. He can detect radiation from all across the electromagnetic spectrum, including heat and radio. He can detect life signs, including specific individual with Incredible ability. he is able to see in normal darkness without penalty. He has Excellent sense of taste and smell.
Flight. Unearthly speed in the vacuum of space and Monstrous speeds in an atmosphere. he is able to create spacewarps allowing shortcuts for travel over interstellar distances.
Regeneration. His armor has a self-repair capability that provided him with Good Regeneration.
Universal Translator. Can translate any language it heard for at least 6 consecutive turns with Monstrous ability. Once it had learned that language, it could store the information in his memory banks, allowing him to speak and understand it at will.
Force Blast. Monstrous intensity
Force Field. Monstrous rank energy sheath, 1 area.
Energy Solidification. Monstrous ability to create and shape solidified energy. Power stunts include:

  • Containers of Monstrous material strength
  • Carrying Monstrous Loads
  • Acting as a limb of Monstrous Strength

Phasing. Excellent rank.

History: Ray Logan was an astronaut whose experiment spacecraft malfunction on re-entry. Burning alive, Logan was transported from the doomed vehicle at the moment just before death by the Cosmic Archons. Even their great powers could not restore his ravaged body, but they were able to transmit his consciousness into a robotic form. The Archons had selected Logan to be one of their intergalactic group of fighters for justice, the Cosmic Knights.

Logan returned to earth with the ability to transform his Cosmic Knight form into something more close resembling his former biologic body, but he is keenly aware of his loss of humanity even as he works to protect earth from menaces from here and from the universe beyond.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Underground Comics is Here!

The wait is over! You can now purchase Underground Comics #1 at IndyPlanet in print and digital. Comixology digital is on the way if you prefer that format. (If you missed my previous talk about UC, check out this post.)

It's 36 pages by some great DIY rpg illustrators. Here are the preview pages that will (eventually) be on the IndyPlanet page:




Thursday, May 24, 2018

It Came from the 80s


Well, actually it came from the mind and hand of Kreg Mosier, but it's about the 80s. Remember back when Unseelie Court fae were running rampant, and youthful, fae-touched cops were our best line of defense? You're probably just too young.

Anyway, I haven't read very far in it yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wednesday Comics: Underground Comics


While I was hoping to make an announcement about Underground Comics #1 being on sale this Wednesday, that is not to be. Instead, I'm announcing the not-quite-as-exciting news that he has been submitted for digital sale at Comixology and print-on-demand at IndyPlanet.

Here are some more images from the first issue:


Monday, May 21, 2018

Weird Revisited: The Muvian-American War (1898-1903)

This post first appeared in Sepember of 2013.


In the wake of the Spanish-American War, the U.S. went to war with at least two of Spain's former colonial holdings. The most protracted was on the islands of Mu. There, American troops faced a foe they were totally unprepared for.

Though Mu appeared to a peaceful colony of Spain, in reality the power of it's Priest-Kings was only held in check by certain ancient ceramic seals in possession of the Spanish. When the Americans inadvertently broke these, the  Priest-Kings were free to unleash their power and reveal their true, inhuman nature. Not only were these reptilian humanoids adepts at amazing powers of the mind, but they were  heirs to ancient Agharta, but they were also in possession of machinery older than all of human civilization that could create monsters.

Of course, Mu hadn't had to wage a war since men were armed with bronze. The U.S. forces were able to hold on, if barely. It was only when the first of the clandestine draftees from the ranks of mentalists, spiritualists, and Theosophists arrived that the Americans began to turn the tide.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

FASERIP Aberration

ABERRATION

STATISTICS
F                 RM   (30)
A                 IN  (50)
S                 UN  (100)
E                 UN   (100)
R                 PR (4)
I                   RM   (30)
P                  TY (6) 
Health: 280
Karma: 40

BACKGROUND
Real Name: None
Occupation: Troublemaker
Identity: Existence publicly none
Legal Status: None
Place of Birth: Zota's laboratory
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile
Group Affiliation: Masters of Menace

KNOWN POWERS
Invulnerability. Class 1000 resistance vs Heat, Cold, Electricity, Radiation, Toxins, and Disease.
True Invulnerability. Monstrous protection vs. Physical and Energy.
True Flight. Can travel at Shift-Z (500) speed within Atmosphere, CL1000 in space.
Hyper-Speed. Amazing rank.
Hyper Breath. Can exhale Monstrous strength winds at a 3 area range. Each area thereafter is at -1CS in intensity. May also emit Amazing intensity cold.
Environmental Independence. Can survive deep space, the deepest part of the oceans, or other hazardous environments (Except those which do environmental damage above Shift-X).
Enhanced Senses. Monstrous Hearing, Amazing Microscopic Vision, and Good Telescopic Vision.

Equipment:
Otherworld Talisman. As his belt buckle, the Aberration wears a magical artifact of Otherworld made of Class 1000 material. Should the belt be removed, his physical attributes drop by - 1CS, and he will loose his powers within an hour.

History: At the dawn of human history, the wizard Zota of Otherworld sought to overcome what he viewed as the inadequacies  of empowering mortals as champions. In his laboratory, he created an artificial being he hoped would be an eternal, perfect Champion, despite the Council of Otherworld having ordered an end to his research. Unfortunately, the materials Zota utilized proved insufficient to hold the power of the Champion’s talisman without deteriorating. He’s Champion was powerful, but physically, mentally, and morally defective.

Zota would have destroyed his failed experiment, but the being escaped before he could do so. It began calling itself “the Aberration”—the term it had heard Zota use to refer to it. The Aberration still sought to act as the Champion, but its flaws led it to actions that terrorized and endangered the people of Earth.

Zyrd was sent by the Wizard’s Council of Otherworld to deal with the matter. He could not destroy the Aberration, but he was ultimately able to imprison Zota and his creation in a bubble of unreality, ending the threat and erasing the Aberration from history.

Thousands of years later, unfortunately, Zota and the Aberration were inadvertently released back into the world. Zota was eventually apprehended and sent back to the Otherworld, but Aberration has remained free, occasionally challenging the Champion for the roll of Earth’s protector.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Weird Revisited: Malice in Slumberland

This post originally appeared in June of 2010. It marked the first foray I believe of Weird Adventures material into more fantastic realms and other planes. This stuff would get brief mention in the book, but the planar stuff was never a big feature of my campaign, nor did it seem to garner as much interest with readers as other things.


All humans (and human-like beings) dream. Like "thought balloons" in a comic strip, clouds of dreamstuff float "upward" from the dreamer into the Astral Plane. There they form bubbles in the Astral substance, tethered to the dreamer until waking. These bubbles are permeable with, and ultimately dissolve into, the Dream Realm--more commonly called Slumberland or Dreamland, or sometimes the "Land of Nod" (but not this one, or this one ;) ). Given their nature, dreams represent the easiest portal for humans to cross the transitive plane of the Astral and move into the Outer Planes.

Slumberland is ruled--or perhaps merely managed--by a being known by many names, but often called the Dream Lord, or Dream King. He appears as a robed humanoid figure wearing a bronze, mirrored mask. He doesn't create dreams--these come from mortal (and perhaps immortal) minds, themselves--but monitors and maintains them. His castle, with its strangely-angled, dream-logic, expressionistic architecture, sits on the border between the material and immaterial worlds, existing both in Slumberland and on the dark side of the Moon. From there, he maintains the oneironic devices, and monitors the content of the flow of dreamstuff. He strives to ensure virulent nightmares don't readily infect other dreams, and that idle fantasies don't spoil and bloat to become perverse obsessions.

It's a big job, and the Dream Lord doesn't do it without help. Gnome-like creatures called "Sandmen" serve him. They carry pouches of silvery, glinting powder made from dessicated and alcehmically treated dreamstuff. They use this oneiric dust to induce sleep in a mortals, or cause waking dreams, or even to cause multiple beings to share the same dream. This is their primary tool for observing or even entering dreams--supposedly for the purposes of monitoring and testing.

"Supposedly" because there is some evidence for the existence rogue Sandmen, or at least breakdowns within their system. Regrettably common are the condensed nightmares called bugbears, or sometimes "bogies" or "bogeymen." These creatures emerge from dark, foreboding places--like "haunted" houses, abandoned subway tunnels, ancient ruins, or even children's closets! They're variable in size, but usually appear slightly larger than humans. Their bodies are described as "bear-like" or "ape-like", but their heads are something like deep-sea diving helmets, albeit with blank face-plates, and strange antennae. Bugbears, as nightmares given flesh, torment humans to feed off their fear. They then employ electronic devices or machinery--with an appearance both nonsensical and menacing--to siphon oneiric potential from the minds of their victims to incubate bugbear pups.


Bugbears aren't the only evidence of corruption in Slumberland. There are persist rumors of Sandmen on the take, selling blue dreams to Hell Syndicate incubi and succubi to slip to unsuspecting marks. There are also rumors of black-market Tijuana bibles produced from the concentrated salacious dreamings of certain celebrities being peddled on the streets of the City, and possibly elsewhere.

Thanks  to G. Benedicto at Eiglophian Press for suggesting a link between bugbears and nightmares.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday Comics: Storm: The Living Planet

My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues with his adventures in the world of Pandarve. Earlier installments can be found here.


Storm: The Living Planet (1986) 
(Dutch: De Levende Planeet)
Art by Don Lawrence; script by Martin Lodewijk

Storm and friends have been flying above the clouds in the aircraft they commandeered last adventure for over a day. Storm has been reticent to descend through the cloud cover and attempt a landing as he isn't really familiar with the aircraft or how to read its instruments.

Nomad suggests the blinking light on the console might be a low fuel indicator. He's right. They are forced to descend rapidly through the clouds:


The thermal updraft from the lava provides a little extra lift, enabling Storm to pull out of the nosedive. Still, they have to find a place to land, and the air is difficult to breath. Storm manages to put the plane into a gentle climb to cooler altitudes before passing out.

They awaken to a surprise:


Gnomish men are disassembling their aircraft as salvage! Their foreman makes comments about "making quota" and "tight schedules." Storm protests and tries to stop them:


The little men keep dismantling the plane, unconcerned when Storm points out it will drop his friends and him into the lava below. "What do you expect me to do about it?" the foreman asks nonchalantly.

TO BE CONTINUED