Friday, February 22, 2019

Bgtzlian [5e Race]

In the DC Universe, Bgztlian are human-like beings inhabiting a world that occupies the same location as Earth, but at a another vibrational plane. All Bgtzlians possess the ability to become incorporeal. Here's a "Phantom Folk" race for 5e based on them:

Bgtzlian Racial Traits
Ability Score Increase. A Bgtzlian can improve one ability score of their choice by 2 points and another by one point.
Age. Same as humans.
Alignment. Any.
Size. Bgztlians are Medium.
Speed. Base walking speed is 30 feet.
Languages. Bgtzlians can speak, read, and write Bgtzlian and Common.
Phasing. As a bonus action, a Bgtzlian can become incorporeal, either entirely or only a part of their body. While incorporeal their movement becomes flight, and they move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. They takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn in side an object. They are immune to nonmagical damage while entirely incorporeal. Anything nonliving they are carrying or wearing becomes incorporeal as well, but they are unable to manipulate any new objects, or make attacks or cast any new spells.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Omniverse: Teen Titan Edition

I've released a few more Omniverse posts, rescued from Google Plus. All of these have to do with the Teen Titans. One shines the spotlight on the older Barton brother, Speedy. Another looks at the villain turned hero, Nighthawk, and the teen that would assume his mantle. And finally, I look at the formation of the original team.

Follow the Omniverse label for more articles.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wednesday Comics: Outer Darkness

Outer Darkness from Skybound and Image is a blend of science fantasy, space opera, horror, and a bit of humor. It's written by John (Chew) Layman and drawn by Afu Chan and tells the story of the voyages of the USS Charon on its mission beyond known space into the titular Outer Darkness. It's sort of like Star Trek, if the crew were mostly scheming bastards of various sorts, the Captain a disgraced mutineer with a hidden agenda, and the Enterprise's warp drive was a Sumerian god that demanded periodic human sacrifice.

The Charon's compliment includes a ship's oracle and various quantum mages among the usual space opera crew positions. Threats its crew will face include a demonically possessed sun, undead aliens, and hidden threats from within.

"Magitech" is something I find pretty cool when done well precisely because it is not typically done well. It works best when it isn't the fantasy equivalent of the Stone Age tech on the Flintstones, but instead holds on to a degree of the fantastic rather than making the fantastic mundane. A flying carpet that acts just like a car is bad, but a car that obeys rules of magic is potentially interesting. So far, Outer Darkness as more of the latter than the former.

The art and the story are pretty good too, though the art style doesn't particularly say horror, to me. That's probably to the book's advantage, because the story seems more darkly humorous than horrific, at least in the first 3 issues.

Monday, February 18, 2019

A Sufficiently Advanced Network is Indistinguishable from A Plane II

These are more shorts posted rocketed away from the dying Google Plus and landing here. Also, it's a follow-up to this post.

The Battleworlds
On a distant manifold called Ysgard, Asgard, or Gladsheim posthumans are playing an endless MMORPG.

There are planes, manifolds, in distant Matrioshka brains or Dyson Sphere's whose predatory civilizations need something the Earth network has: processing power in the minds of its unsuspecting, post-technological citizenry.

Devils at least offer something. In advance-fee scams and Ponzi schemes, they dangle powerful ancient code and raw power (just a little) in front of magic-users in return for just a little of their intellect, a little of their soul. By increments they get it all, and the greedy persons intellect spends eternity toiling in the rapacious economy of Hell.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Solar Trek Episode Guide

It seems like a good time for a post collating my Solar Trek (a solar system confined, more hard science fiction rationalized Star Trek). Here's what I've done so far, titled with the TOS episode/setting element that inspired it.

The introductory post
The Orion Syndicate
"Return of the Archons"
"That Which Survives"
"The Cloud Minders"
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
"Tholian Web"

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Empire and Venus

This is a follow-up to this post

Perhaps no planet in the Solar System has benefited more from the benevolent hand of the Earth Empire than Venus. The thick covering of clouds obscures modernization on a grand scale, and a planet moving from ignorance and savagery to progress and industry!

Looks a bit draft, doesn't it? The barracks are heated!

The mist-enshrouded cloud forests of the Venusian Highlands are home to a hairy race of primitive tribesmen, known to Earth explorers as "Woollies." The Woollies historically lived in crude, wooden huts, high up in trees to escape the numerous Venusian predators, but the Imperial Development Corps has helped them transition to secure reservations, with many modern Earth comforts. The grateful Woollies are eager to help the war effort against the rebellion, and the Imperial Army lets the well-meaning but unskilled primitives pitch in with menial tasks!

In the lowlands, the reptilian predators are even larger, making colonization and development hazardous. The Empire has granted Venusian Timber an exclusive contract to clear away those forests and eradicate the monstrous beasts, all in the name of a better tomorrow.

Watch out, there's one of them, now!
Everyone has heard the stories of the green gnome of the Venusian swamps. Well, there have been reports of rebel activity in the area, too, and the government worries this eccentric old Venusian might be in danger! Imperial troops are looking for the little, old alien and hope to relocate him to safety, soon! Good searching, trooper!

They're gonna find you, little guy. Bet on it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wednesday Comics: Black Book: The Art of Jim Starlin

Preempting my return to Storm this week was the fulfillment of the Ominous Press Kickstarter, Black Book: The Art of Jim Starlin. It's available for preorder now from the Ominous Press site. it includes images (mostly black and white but some color) from over his career and at the Big Two and independents.

We get to see his original image of Thanos:

And unpublished stuff from an as yet unfinished (tragically, never to be finished by Starlin alone) new Dreadstar story:

It does tend to skew a bit toward more recent material rather than his heyday, but has some images of stories or characters that never saw print, including work he did on a Captain Marvel (the Shazam! one) limited series.

If you are a Starlin fan, it's something you'll want to pick up.