Monday, March 19, 2018

Crashing the Sea King's Party in a Yellow Submarine

Imagine this underwater
Our 5e Land of Azurth campagin continued last night with the party hearing a desperate plea for aid from Old Freedy, the kaleidoscopic tophat-wearing frogling ambassador from the Land of Under-Sea. It seems the utopia of Under-Sea has been overrun by the evil toad people from beyond the Blue Wall. Kully's father, Cory, and the cat-man Calico Jack were in Under-Sea at the time and are now aiding the froglings in finding champions.

The party quite reasonably wonders what they can do against a toad people army. Old Freedy explains that their are not actually that many toads, but that are too tough for the froglings to handle. The party was suggested by Cory Keenstep and Calico Jack (who had heard of them through his sister, Calico Bonny). Freedy discloses they have hired the party's old friend, the steam-powered  Commodore Cog to command the submarine craft they brought from Under-Sea.

This is all pretty incredible, but the most adventurous members of the party are eager to do it, and they overrule the more strictly avarous members. The first step (Freedy now reveals) is rescuing Cory Keenstep from the Sea King's folly. It seems he beat the libertine old merman in cards too many times, and the King won't let him go until he has gotten his money back.

The party traveled down a tube of airy water to the Sea King's palace. Only the female members were allowed inside by the sahuagin guard. They learn that the Sea King is sulking in his sanctum to avoid his ex-wife Cecaelia, who had taken over the second floor lounge. She was monopolizing Cory's attentions there. On a tip from some sea elf party-girls, Shade drugged an octopus body guard so that the males in the party could sneak in the back door. Unfortunately, the sahuagin and his four sharks caught them in the act and a bloody underwater melee ensued. The party was victorious, but at least 3 were seriously wounded.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Azurth Digest--Still copies available

The first issue of the Azurth Adventures Digest  print edition is still on sale, but only about 10 copies remain! Twenty-eight full color pages at 5.5 in. x 7.75 in. with art by Jeff Call and Jason Sholtis. There are random tables for the generation of quirky Motley pirates, a survey of interesting and enigmatic islands, and a mini-adventure on the Candy Isle. Plus, there are NPCs and a couple of monsters, all straight from my Land of Azurth 5e campaign.

 Go here for the print(+pdf) edition, while supplies last. If you only want the pdf, well, that's always available here.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Kickstarters Fulfilled

I've had several Kickstarters I backed drop their products in the last few weeks, and though some of them had longer than expected waits, I've been pretty pleased. Here's a brief rundown:

Talislanta: The Savage Land is a "prequel" to Talislanta as we traditionally have known it, written (at least in part) by Talislanta's creator Steven Michael Sechi. It's more barbaric setting loses so of the Vancian nature of the original and the various cultures are often familiar but different which will take so getting used to, but it has the creativity I expect from a Talislanta book and probably the highest production values yet.

Paladin: Warriors of Charlemagne adapts Pendragon's rules to Charlemagne's court as depicted in the Song of Roland and related Romances. I haven't dug much into this one yet, but Pendragon has a good ruleset, and this is a setting that has always interested me.

Aquelarre is the English translation of a well-regarded Spanish rpg. It bills itself as "A Medieval Demonic Roleplaying Game" which says it all really. Just browsing it, I'm really digging the wealthy of detail on the setting, broken down in easy to digest, pretty playable pieces. There are a host of classes like Muccadim (Jewish militia in ghettos) and Goliardo (licentious, worldly young monks) (the whole chargen system reminds me a bit of WFRP at first blush) and a number of monsters from Basque and Spanish folklore.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

DC at Marvel: Green Lantern--Most Cosmic Hero of Them All!

This is a follow-up to this post.


F                 RM   (30)
A                 RM  (30)
S                 RM  (30)
E                 RM   (30)
R                 GD (10)
I                   EX   (20)
P                  IN   (40)
Health: 120
Karma: 70
Resources: GD (10)
Popularity: 20

Real Name: Harold "Hal" Hogan
Occupation: Test Pilot
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record.
Place of Birth: Riverside, Iowa
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Central City, California
Group Affiliation: the Green Lanterns; the Avengers

Power Bands: Green Lantern's powers are derived from the power bands he wears on his wrists. He can utilize one effect per round, but can maintain up to 3 effects with a successful Psyche FEAT roll.
Energy Blasts: Monstrous rank.
Force Field: a solidified energy shield of Monstrous rank in a single area.
Flight: Incredible air speed within atmosphere, Class 3000 in space
Life Support: A life-support field, providing breathable air and protection from the elements, as well as a Monstrous force field. This field can be sustained even if he is unconscious.
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.
Mystic Lantern: The countainer for the Green Flame energy which powers his bands is a green lantern made of Unearthly strength material. The lantern may be invisible at Amazing rank, if Green Lantern wills it.
Limitation: The power bands must be recharged in close proximity to the lantern every 24 hrs. or they lose their powers.
Weakness: Without his power bands, Green Lantern's Strength and Endurance drop to Good and Excellent, respectively.

Hal Hogan has Remarkable knowledge of piloting, aeronautics, and navigation.

History: See the previous post for his origin.

After managing to survive an all-out assault by the Baron Sinestro, Blastaar, and a force of Qwardian Thunderers from the Negative Zone, the Guardians of the Universe summoned Hal Hogan to bestow upon him greater power. His ring was transformed into twin power bands, through which flowed even greater power.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Weird Revisited: We Have All Become God's Madmen

This post first appeared in 2012.

[This view of clerics follows from my post "Apocalypse Underground"]

The clerics aren't priests. Before the underground was discovered, Man had priests--and gods whose intercession they sought. Their prayers had been in vain. The old gods had abandoned Man to the monsters.

Then the clerics came. Their gods were unyielding of personifications of law. They marked their chosen with fits, visions, and miracles of faith. Their precepts were few: Destroy chaos and evil, protect the innocent.

The monsters are (in the view of the clerics) chaos and evil manifest. The clerics wage a savage holy war against the denizens of the underground and are willing to martyr themselves in the service of their gods.

The clerics sometimes use titles of the old priestly hierarchy, but all clerical groups are cults founded around a charismatic leader who is considered strong in the faith due to the spiritual power he or she wields.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

DC at Marvel: High-Flyin' Hawkman

This is a follow-up to this post.


F                 EX   (20)
A                 RM  (30)
S                 GD  (10)
E                 EX   (20)
R                 RM (30)
I                   EX   (20)
P                  EX   (20)
Health: 80
Karma: 70
Resources: GD (10)
Popularity: 20

Real Name: Henry Carter Hall
Occupation: Inventor, adventurer
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record.
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois
Marital Status: Married.
Known Relatives: Susan Sanders Hall (wife)
Base of Operations: New York City
Group Affiliation: Partner of Hawkwoman, Avengers

Winged Flight: His artificial wings and nth metal belt (Unearthly material) allow Hawkman to fly at Remarkable speed.
Avian Communication: Cybernetic circuitry incoporated into his cowl allow him to command birds at Remarkable ability.

Hawkman has Remarkable knowledge of aerial combat. He is a brillaint scientist skilled in Electronics, Physics, Biophysics. Orinthology, and Engineering. He also has the Repair/Tinkering talent, and is an armchair Egyptologist.

History: Henry "Hank" Hall, scientist and inventor, was experimenting with a metal of extraterrestrial origin that could be used to produced antigravity effects. He dubbed "nth metal" which had been recovered from a meteorite in Africa. He attended an exhibition of newly discovered artifacts at a local museum to investigate his theory that the  Ancient Egyptians had utilized nth metal in tools.

At the exhibition, Hall surreptitiously exposed a ceremonial dagger he suspected of being nth metal to high frequency sound waves. Energy emitted by the dagger caused Hall to experience a vision of the distant past that felt like he had lived it. He was an ancient Egyptian prince who was slain along with his betrothed by a treacherous and power-hungry high priest. Unknown to Hall, two others present experienced that same vision. Susan Sanders saw it through the eyes of the Prince's wife to be, and Anton Hastor, a Soviet agent who had been monitoring Hall's research, felt he had been the high priest.

The three left somewhat disoriented, but Hastor kidnapped Sanders on her way home, planning to use her to coerce Hall into turning over his nth metal research, then kill the both of them as he believed he had done in his previous life.

Hall agreed to meet Hastor and turn over his notes, but instead donned his experimental wings and nth metal lift belt, a cybernetic helmet he had been working on to communicate with birds, and a makeshift costume. He rescued Sanders in the guise of Hawkman.

Hall and Sanders instantly fell in love. She suggested he continued fighting crime as Hawkman and had him build fight gear for her so that she could assist him as Hawkgirl.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Marvelous DC Universe

Here's a superhero rpg campaign idea: What if DC had outsourced their Silver Age revival to Atlas/Marvel? Nevermind that there is not really any reason they would have done this, but imaging what it might have been like has a lot of possibilities.

In general, I think it would mean more commie villains in the early days, more contentiousness relationships with supporting characters, and more angst for the characters themselves. This would mean re-imagining the characters that were revamped in the 50s, so Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow would stay the same (at least at initial concept).

What would this do for you? Well, allow you to recreate a lot of DC characters in a Mighty Marvel manner, and give you both universes to plunder for something both fresh and familiar.

Here's an example:

Hal Hogan is an Air Force pilot, flying an experimental spy plane over Southeast Asia when he is shot down. He is captured by red guerillas and in mortal peril thanks to a piece of shrapnel lodged close to his heart! Imprisoned, he meets a strange old man named Yinsen who reveals to him a green lantern carved from a fallen star and a ring. The light of the Green Flame in the lantern stays the motion of the shrapnel and saves Hogan's life, at least temporarily. Yinsen explains he has been an agent of mysterious beings known as the Guardians of the Universe for hundreds of years, but he is too old to continue, and they directed him to choose a successor as the Green Lantern, the protector of this world. He has chosen Hogan to be that successor. Donning the ring (which must be recharged once a day with the Lantern) Hal Hogan becomes one with the Green Flame of Life. He is the Green Lantern!

Hogan escapes the communist forces and returns to America. His injury gets him discharged from the military, but he gets a job at Ferris Aircraft. The owner, Carl Ferris doesn't fully trust Hogan. He believes he was compromised during his time in communist hands. His daughter Carol, though. is in love with the handsome flyboy. Neither is aware that Hogan is secretly the Green Lantern.