Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Streets of Orphicten

One of the big things I find about running your own homebrewed setting is, once you've got your idea down-pat on paper, writing the first adventure. One helpful thing I find is using a pre-written adventure that does the genre justice, but doesn't contain a specific setting. That way, you can simply slot it in. The problem often with writing your own adventure as the first step is that you want to show everything of the setting in one hit. Moreover, you need to- the players need to get the feel for it. But at the same time, you can't. So what do I do? I write an adventure which deals with one specific aspect of the setting in detail, but connotes a whole set of prominent ideas! Such is the case with Lingering Shadow- the first AFU adventure I've written. As a side note, I've since stopped writing hugely detailed adventures. 2-3 pages at ten point arial tops! Players run things off course anyway, so I keep the events loose and flexible. I take a begining, middle and end; writing the details of each of them. Then I write two points between the begining and middle, middle and end respectively, connecting them. After that I slap on hook and conclusion; done! I have somethign to go on and the players don't get restricted!

Lingering Shadow
The next big thing…
There is a new drug on the streets of Saint Wulpurga, one of Orphicten’s poorest residential suburbs. It’s called Shadow and it’s becoming a big hit. Why? Because it gives the user Superpowers! The Police (even the dirty ones) are worried about it, as its both a weapon and a narcotic. So are two Orphicten’s organizations- the Cerberus Gang which controls Saint Wulpurga and the Mikos Family, which controls the adjacent suburb of Trojan Docks. Each blames the other and believe this could be the opening move of a war. That means they’ll soon be muscled out of business.

If the Team has any connections to either the Police or any of Orphicten’s criminals, have their contacts drop them a line and ask them to look into this ‘Shadow’ phenomena. Stress that a war could be brewing! They point the Team to Underpass- a slum between the two. Underpass is where most Shadow Junkies are rumoured to congregate. Otherwise, there are always reporters from the Orphicten Gazette, snitches on the street or loved ones who come home with a new habit! Even a local news report on Shadow and Underpass could do the trick; shaming the city’s heroes for not stepping in.

Ideally, the Party will go to Underpass at night, when illumation ranges from Dark to Dim (SWEX 67) depending on how close the Party are to street lights or fires lit in steel drums. When stomping around either Trojan Docks or Saint Wulpurga, draw a card and see if the Party has a random Encounter.

Card Saint Wulpurga Encounter
A-10 Citizens (2D4).
J Orphicten Police Patrol; 2 cops in a marked police car.
Q Urban Primitives (1D4), treat as Citizens with All Thumbs.
K Cerberus Gangers (2D6)
Joker Draw twice.

Card Trojan Docks Encounter
A-10 Nothing.
J Orphicten Police Patrol; 2 cops in a marked police car.
Q Homeless Citizens (1D4)
K Mikos family heavy’s (2D4)
Joker Draw twice.

Five docks and their associated warehouses and factories dominate the suburb of Trojan Docks. Most of these are empty since the war ended and industry left Orphicten. Bordering on Trojan Docks is Saint Wulpurga, a suburb of mixed commercial and residential streets and blocks. Saint Wulpurga is a ghetto dominated by apartment-style buildings, each between three and eight stories high. Between four and six such buildings are usually crammed onto a single block. A raised highway-bridge divides Saint Wulpurga and Trojan Docks, under which the homeless community of Underpass dwells. Underpass is a little worse than either Trojan Docks or Saint Wulpurga, however. It’s a slum. The difference between a slum and a ghetto is quite distinct. Ghettos are regular residential zones for the poorer citizens. They aren’t maintained beyond the basics of power, water and waste collection. Slums by contrast aren’t maintained, or even legal. They’re simply cobbled together from condemned buildings and scrap.

Underpass is made from scrap- corrugated iron, canvas and cardboard nailed, taped and roped together. Underpass takes its name from the overpass it dwells under. For Orphicten locals, a Common Knowledge roll (Knowledge (Orphicten) for outsiders) notes Underpass as a place renowned for its junkies and violent hobos. Investigating Underpass for signs of Shadow is a Streetwise roll, with success bringing mixed and random results as determined by the table below:

Card Encounter
A-10 1d10 Homeless citizens
J Shadow overdose
Q 1d4 Shadow Junkies (euphoric)
K 1d6 Shadow Junkies (violent)
Joker Marv Smalltown

Gutter full of Shadow
Tracing whichever clue the Team encounter to the source of Shadow depends entirely on the clue.

Homeless Citizens
They are hostile at first, but a Streetwise roll points the Party in the right direction (the regular homeless here don’t care for junkies) as the Team is directed to where some Shadow Junkies were last seen or suspected to be. Draw another card.

Shadow Overdose
The Team finds a Shadow junkie that has overdosed. They’re most likely laid in a ditch or some other forgotten corner. Searching the junkie is pointless as other junkies and homeless have stripped them of anything of value down, leaving a naked corpse. Some asking around might lead back to the Shadow Junky click this victim was part of…

Shadow Junkies
Once beaten down, the Shadow Junkies can be interrogated. A quick Intimidate or Persuasion roll does the trick. Euphoric junkies can be subject to Taunt as well as persuaded, but Intimidate just turns them violent. Either way, they name the dealer as Deimos and give up his location (see below).

Marv Smalltown
Smalltown’s already on the case. The Team find him squatting in one shack over a Shadow overdosed corpse. Smalltown explains to the party this was Larisa. A prostitute and junkie; he’d gotten her a waitress job in the hopes that she’d gone clean and she did. That is till she met a dealer named Deimos, who scared her into taking Shadow. Then she was hooked. Luckily, just before she died, Larisa told Smalltown where to find Deimos: Floor 3, room 225 in the apartment building on 5 Antonio Street, Saint Wulpurga. Its only two blocks away and Smalltown purposes an old-school Superhero team-up to dish out some justice Deimos won’t soon forget.

Deimos; god of Dread
The apartment building is six stories tall and the elevator is out of order. As the team makes their way up the stairwell to the Deimos’ place they pass two Shadow Junkies on the stairs. These let them pass. However, about halfway up they meet three more. These don’t let them pass. Give the Team a Notice roll. Passing means they hear the first two sneaking up on them. If they don’t, the two at the back get a surprise round. Combat ensues as the Shadow Junkies attempt to mug the Team.

Deimos’ apartment is, as the Team learned, on floor 3, room 22. If they knock on the door, a person inside looks through the peephole, demanding the password (remember: there isn’t one). If the Team don’t give it to him or they just kick down the door he bolts up the fire escape. Either way, once in the room or caught up to Deimos, have the Team make a Guts roll for Deimos’ Fear power.

Once on top of the building, Deimos begins to scurry across rooftops, leaping from one to the next. Count this as a Chase with Deimos on foot (SW:EX 115) with rough terrain. After making his way across the roof, Deimos will go down the other side of the building and into an alley way; there he will dash to the street and into the sewers via a storm water drain (flattening himself and diving head first). A sewer pad is near by, however, allowing for easy Hero access. If he isn’t caught before then, Deimos will attempt to hide in the sewers, striking with a Surprise Round should the Team stumble near him and fail a Notice roll. Once caught, Deimos will fight.

Deimos 2 room (bedroom and kitchen/living) apartment is nothing special. Stove, a fridge filled with booze, blackberry juice and no food (a Streetwise roll recalls that dealers often water down Shadow with blackberry juice), a broken TV, a lump couch. The bedroom is no better. A mattress, wardrobe filled with dirty clothes. There is a small statue on a stand in one corner of the room. It is of a naked man with snakes emerging from his hair. A Knowledge (Mythology) roll recognizes this as Deimos, Greek god of dread. A Notice roll, however, spots scrape marks on the floor, one for each leg of the couch. Moving it reveals a sheet of cardboard underneath, and lifting that finds a hole where floorboards used to be filled with over 50 hits of Shadow. Looks like Deimos is indeed the Shadow dealer.

Dealing with dread
Deimos isn’t talking. But he will promise to talk if the Team let him go. He knows that being a living, meaty shadow being dealing a superpower drug is sure to land him in a Specialist Magistrates Court. With the evidence against him, Deimos will end up on Exodus Rock for sure. So letting him go is the best way to get him to talk. If the Team have done the right thing (as Smalltown will do if he is with the Team, unless they convince him otherwise) and drag Deimos to the police, then he won’t talk until a Magistrate with Specialist qualifications in Supervillain law promises sign off on him being powerless. If the Team go looking for such a Magistrate they find Sonya Carline. Young and tough, she sees everything in black and white, On reviewing the case, Sonya believes Deimos needs to be tried as a potential Supervillian. She thus requires some convincing or its time for the Team to get creative with Deimos. However they do it, when Deimos finally gives up the information the Team learn that shadow is being manufactured in Warehouse 3 on Dock 5. An Investigation roll into Orphicten’s records notes the Warehouse is owned by Labor Corp, but has not been used by the company since Orphicten’s war industry bubble burst. As such, it has been purchased by to a Mr. Yamoto Kane. A subsequent Investigation roll on Kane reveals nothing. Even the bank account he wired the payment from no longer exists and there is no evidence to say it ever did.

Warehouse 5
Dock 5 contains three warehouses and a large loading area. Warehouse 3 looks just like any other from the outside. A Notice at -2 (or -4 for Dark lighting if this takes place at night) roll, however, spots the Ninja patrolling the roof to the other. They are keeping watch outside the warehouse and it takes a Stealth roll to avoid being spotted. Should the Team wish to eliminate the Ninja, they may then choose to enter the warehouse through the roof. From here, they may step onto the built in crane which moves on a horizontal X and Y axis track, allowing for containers to be moved about as need be.

Besides this there are two points of entry; a through the large doors on the loading dock and a side administrative entrance, via an office and coffee room. If entering through this latter point the Team are initially confronted by shipping container stacked in various heights (1-5 high). These make various corridors, narrow and wide.

Either way, once the Team get to the loading dock they find what they are looking for. There three long tables here, done up looking like a chemistry lab, each tended by three workers at various points (nine in total). Around them, silently watching is Corpse Tiger and six Ninjas (should the Team have made too much noise entering via the office, Corpse Tiger will have sent his Ninjas to investigate). On seeing the Team, Corpse Tiger and his Ninjas attack while the workers flee.

New Light…
The Team now has a good deal of Shadow on their hands. On their part, the smart thing to do is to turn the whole operation plus Corpse Tiger over to the police. Not only do the tables have an entire manufacturing set up (enough to produce six hits a day), but one of the nearby shipping containers contains 200 hits ready to go! From the looks of things, it seems Deimos was just the beginning; Shadow dealing in Orphicten was ready to expand! If the Team are curious, however, they can attempt to figure out the ingredients of Shadow. Unfortunately, a successful Knowledge (Science, Chemistry, Pharmaceuticals or similar skill) roll reveals it’s made from uncommon and ultimately indistinguishable ingredients.

Hassling the Workers with some Persuasion or Intimidate doesn’t get any further. It just leads to five individual shipping crates, each respectively containing barrels of violet, blue, green, yellow, red or orange liquid. A Knowledge check on these reveals the same; the liquids are of an unknown nature. All the Workers know is that one hit of Shadow was one shot of each liquid, boiled till it was colorless then mixed.

AFU Heroes & villians

So, naturally, being a Superhero verse, we went on and created a bunch of heroes and villians for it! The problem is creating memorable characters which are a bit disposable, but very memorable. Allies that the players can encounter, interact with and empathize with (esspecially if they're killed) and antagonists the players love to hate and will enjoy encountering again and again. So we've held off on most of the big ones mentioned in the previous post, just a bit... Note, all Heroes and Villians listed here are Wild Cards!


Harvest Moon
Sarah Carline is special. Young, attractive, wealthy successful; people wonder what she’s doing single and living in a rust-bowl like Orphicten. The young Magistrate with Special qualifications in Superpower law says she’d dedicated to cleaning up the city. That’s not the truth, though. Not entirely. Sonya’s hard reputation is attributed to her fist month on the job. She was asked to review the villain Chimera’s case. Sonya ruled that Chimera was to be tried as a Supervillian. Quickly found guilty; Chimera was locked down for transit to Exodus Rock. Unfortunately, Chimera escaped and began taking revenge on all those who’d participated in determining his guilt, including Sonya whom he infected with a virus engineer from both tiger and bat. Though Marv Smalltown eventually rescued Sonya and recaptured Chimera the damage was done. Each night since, Sonya has transformed into the woman known as Harvest Moon; part Vampire, part Weretiger. So far, only Marv Smalltown and Chimera know Sonya’s secret.

Harvest Moon
Race: Werewolf/Vampire

Rank: Novice

A D10, Sm D6, Sp D4, St D6, V D10

P 6, Pa 2, T 7, Ch +4

Climb D6, Fighting D10, Knowledge (Occult) D4, Notice D6, Tracking D6, Stealth D8, Streetwise D6,

Gimmick – At sunrise Harvest Moon becomes Sonya Carline until sunset (Major), Loyal (Minor), Stubborn (Minor).

Arcane Background (Superpowers), Berserk, Very Attractive.

Attack, Melee – Razor Claws 2D6 (4), Super Attribute – Agility (1), Super Attribute Vigour (2), Undead – Vampire (2), Wall Walker (1).


Sonya Carline
Race: Werewolf/Vampire

Rank: Novice

A D6, Sm D10, Sp D6, St D4, V D4

P 6, Pa 2, T 4, Ch 0

Driving D6, Knowledge (Legal) D12, Investigation D10, Persuasion D10.

Gimmick – When night falls Sonya Carline transforms into Blood Moon (Major), Loyal (Minor), Mean (Minor).

Attractive, Arcane Background (Superpowers), Rich.


Brief case, papers, limitless credit card, glasses.

Marv Smalltown
Barry and Mary Smalltown moved to Orphicten during the war to take advantage of the city’s booming war industry. After the war they wanted children, but found themselves unable to conceive; so some years later they adopted an infant orphan named Marvin. But the world had moved on and Orphicten was rusting. Like most people employed by the war industry, Barry and Mary hadn’t earned enough to save and couldn’t move on. But Barry was struggling to find work. While they were raising Marvin to believe in right and wrong, Barry was doing odd-jobs for the Mikos Family. Marvel was ten when he found out, and never took money from his father again, instead getting whatever odd jobs he could. Arguments were frequent between Marvin and Barry in those days. In his mid teens one particularly savage argument resulted in Marvin striking his father in front of some colleagues. His father was knocked unconscious in an instant. When his father’s colleagues stepped in Marvin beat them all. More came later, and left after Marvin threw a car at them. Marvin had left the Smalltown home by the time Barry had returned from the hospital; setting out to clean up Orphicten. Now in his late twenties, Marvin Smalltown has been living on the street for nearly a decade. He’s tried and is still trying to clean up Orphicten. But the criminal is clever and Marvin is ever-idealistic. They’ve drawn him into their web and learnt to work around him. He takes out individuals, even the big bosses. But every one he misses scales up the ranks. One day Marvin Smalltown may clean up Orphicten, but that day is decades off.

Race: Human

Rank: Legendary

A D8, Sm D6, Sp D8, St D12+10, V D12+5

P 8, Pa 4, T 14, Ch 0

Climbing D8, Driving D6, Fighting D12, Gambling D4, Intimidate D8, Persuasion D8, Streetwise D12, Stealth D8, Swimming D8, Taunt D12.

Arrogant (Major), Illiterate (Minor), Vengeful (Minor).

Ambidextrous, Arcane background (Superpowers), Brawny, Fleet Footed, Improved Frenzy, Power Points

Leaping (2), Super Attributes -Strength (10), Vigour (5), Toughness – Hardy (6).

Brass Knuckles (D12+D4+10), Cash $50-400.

Corpse Tiger
As a youth, Yorimoto Kane was a thug doing dirty work for the Yakuza. However, after going toe-to-toe with superhero, Tigerwoman, Kane was deemed worthy of a new position, entering training as one of the Yakuza’s ninjas. What none had realized at the time was that Tigerwoman had contracted a savage virus, sending her powers were into a contagious flux. As such, the battle had left Kane with similar abilities but terminally ill. Slowly and painfully dying, only to find his consciousness trapped in an animated corpse, Kane’s powers are thought to be the only thing keeping his body animated at present. Kane’s torture did not end there. He began to rot and maggots soon infested his flesh. The Yakuza, however, promised treatment in exchange for service and so Kane became Corpse Tiger, undead ninja. Then the bombs fell, destroying nearly all of the Yakuza’s global capital, save their few Pacific holdings. Suddenly, Corpse Tiger found himself without work or treatment and trapped in a rotting corpse! While Kane has learned the secret of his Yakuza treatments, they are far from perfect or cheap. Now a rat for hire, Corpse Tiger will work for whoever pays for the next treatment. Still respected amongst the now ex-Yakuza Ninjas, Corpse tiger occasionally hires his old comrades should the job require them.

Race: Human

Rank: Novice

A D8+2, Sm D6, Sp D8, St D6, V D8

P 6, Pa 6 (8 - Leaping), T 8, Ch -4

Climbing D8+2, Fighting D6, Intimidate D6, Lockpicking D8+2, Notice D8, Shooting D6, Stealth D8+2, Swimming D6, Throwing D8.

Terminally Ill - Decaying (Major), Distinctive Appearance – Semi-decayed Humanoid Tiger (Minor), Ugly (Minor).

Acrobat, Arcane Background (Super Powers), Quickdraw, Thief.

Attack, Melee – Device: Sword (2), Leaping (2), Undead (4), Wall Walker (2).

Sword (3D6), Shuriken (3/6/12, D6+D4).

Deimos, god of dread
Derik Moses had a superpower. He was a super junkie. He could do drugs more often and in vaster quantities than any other junkie on the planet. For all his efforts; Derik got nothing but a killer addiction. When Shadow hit the streets, Derik was the first and hardest to use it. In fact, Derik used so much Shadow that his flesh and bones dissolved and his mind melted into his shadow. Slowly, Derik Moses took on the persona of Deimos- Greek god of dread. Without a body, Deimos was immune to all the old narcotics which once dominated his life. The big time junkie became a small time dealer of Shadow. While at the bottom run of the ladder now, Deimos has the potential to claw his way to being a real problem if left unchecked.

Race: Human

Rank: Novice

A D6, Sm D8, Sp D8, St D4, V D4

P 8, Pa 5, T 4, Ch 0

Fighting D6, Guts D8, Intimidate D12+5, Notice D8, Stealth D8, Streetwise D8.

Alien Form – Living Shadow (Major), Distinct Appearance – Living Shadow (Minor), All Thumbs (Minor).

Arcane Background (Super Powers), Fleet Footed, Power Points (5).


Altered Form – More Stretch 1, Fall Proof (+5), Attack, Melee – Reach 1” (+3), Dark Vision (+2), Fear – Scary (+1), Super Skill – Intimidate (+3), Wall Walker (+1).

Five hits of Shadow at all times.

Shadow isn’t a villain. It’s a drug that creates them. Shadow’s growing popularity is attributed to its side effects. Not only does anyone under the influence of Shadow gain the Overconfidence Hindrance, it also grants the user powers. Specifically these are Altered Form and Dark Vision. A hit of Shadow causes the users eyes to film over with a strange black liquid. This liquid additionally coats their limbs, generally from the knee and elbow down; giving them their stretch effect. Shadow junkies are generally easy to spot, as the more they use it the blacker their limbs and eyes become stained, with some of the most hardcore being permanently pitch.

If the user already has these powers they gain distinctly different benefits. For Altered Form, a user with this power gains More Elastic at +3. This bonus stacks. For Dark Vision, the character gains +2 on all Notice rolls.

It is, however, horribly addictive and already possessing the powers are no protection here. Each time the character takes a hit of Shadow they must roll Vigor at -4. Failure indicates the character gains the Habit (Major) Hindrance. Whispers indicate overdosing on Shadow can have other strange effects.

A single hit of Shadow sells for $200. Dealers have been known to water it down with black berry fruit drinks (thus disguising the fact it is watered down), which sells for $10-100, depending on how watered down. Watered down, it always grants the Overconfidence Hindrance and as addictive as at full strength. It is at half strength, a hit of shadow will grant a single power. The affects if Shadow last 2d6 hours, regardless of strength.

Shadow Junky
A D6, Sm D4, Sp D4, St D6, V D6

P 6, Pa 6, T 5, Ch 0

Driving D4, Fighting D6, Notice D4, Swimming D4, Stealth D6, Streetwise D4.


Habit – Shadow (Major), Overconfident.

Arcane Background (Superpowers).

Altered Form - More Elastic 1 (3), Dark Vision (2)

Improvised Weapons – Chains, pipes, crowbar, etc (D6+D4).

Holy Savage Supers!

Okay so me and a buddy wanted to run a supers game. We wanted it an Aussie-centric universe (as opposed to USA) and to be a bit different... So we came up with "Australia's First Universe" a post-nuke Superhero universe!

The World of Tomorrow
Einstein once said “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. The end of World War III proved him half right. On the last day of conflict, the mightiest bombs ever known obliterated the greater portion of the northern hemisphere. China, Russia, the United States; all the worlds great powers crumpled in a single moment.

Such world breaking tragedy was unprecedented. To mark the event, the calendar was reset to the year zero. It is now the year XXXV; and the world is a very different place. The thirty-four years since the end of the third world war saw necessity push the rise of a single global government. United under the Australian Empire, peace and prosperity have returned to humanity.

The Division of Power

While the Australian Imperial Government rules the world on a global scale, its regional grip is far from iron. The islands of the Atlantic and Pacific, along with Africa, are a patchwork of tiny subject nations. Likewise; South America’s beyond control. Complicating matters further is Labour Corp. Building, running and maintaining the Domes has given Labour Corp vast amounts of power; enough to shove when the government pushes.

Power Culture

The Australian Empire has a vibrant Power Culture. Nearly everyone claims to have a power of some kind ranging from amazing (telepathic control of machines) to mediocre (instant mathematical calculation) to subjective at best (lifetime die rolling average of six). Fashion has followed suit in this regard, with most commercial clothing constituting a costume of some kind. Costume stores have even become the number one hangout, containing bar-cafes.

In this unprecedented heroic age, Superheroes pedestaled. The most popular celebrities; every newspaper has a Superhero section and each news program a Superhero segment. Indeed, 90% of all free-to-air television is about Superheroes in some way from numerous reality programs to ‘Breakfast at XI with Toast Man’ and ‘Mystery Tin Man Late Night Chat’ (where guests and audience members bring on unlabeled tins for Mystery Tin Man to guess their contents).

Zero Tolerance

Like any culture, you get extremists. And in Power Culture, you get Supervillians. The term itself is broad, referring to any criminal who wears a costume, has superpowers or both. ‘Supervillian’ defines everyone from hoodlums on the street to mafia heavy’s. Given the current culture, the government currently feels that too much leniency could see things get out of hand. As such, they have adopted a single purpose zero tolerance policy to anyone being found guilty of being a Supervillian is given a life sentence on Exodus rock. There they are forgotten and beyond legal aid. Due to the potential severity of such a sentence, most cases of alleged Supervilliany are tried before a Specialist Magistrates Court. Before going to trial, a Magistrate with Specialist qualifications in Supervillian law must review the case and agree to the defendant being tried as a Supervillian.

The Dome Project
With the northern hemisphere now completely radiated; the global situation is a delicate one. Limited resources see the southern hemisphere in constant danger of overpopulation. Constructed by the Labour Corporation under contract from the government, the Domes provide answers to the new worlds problems.

Great cylinders of machinery topped by domes of ultra-glass; each dome is part city, think-tank and fortress. Near-fully self-sufficient, each Dome is responsible for one of the government’s major projects.

One of the primary roles of most Domes is to monitor of radioactive materials and their movements. For this reason most are along the Borderland between the northern and southern hemispheres. There are eleven Domes in total.

Dome One (Mexico)
Monitors the situation in South America.

Dome Two (Pacific, south of Hawaii)
Transfers prisoners to Exodus rock, supplies and maintains the Fortress.

Dome Three (Tasman Sea)
Oversees New Eden terraforming. Dome Three is relatively unique in that it is one of two Dome’s not to monitor radioactive materials.

Dome Four (Africa)
Military academy.

Dome V (Atlantic Ocean)
Purpose classified.

Dome Six (Borneo)
Technological Research.

Dome Seven (Madagascar)
Mass manufacturing and the second Dome not to monitor radioactive materials.

Dome Eight (New Guinea)
Arcane research.

Dome Nine (Marshal Islands)
Global sustainability.

Dome Ten (Pacific, between Hawaii and Peru)
Purpose classified.

Dome Solitude (Indian Ocean)
Coordinates efforts and correlates information from other Domes.

The Independence of South Africa
When resources were running low in World War Three, the major players all made a dive for Africa’s massive untapped resources. Massively depopulated by some of the most brutal action in the war, Africa is currently divided amongst many and varied suzerainties. While still under the Australian Empire, competition between these tiny kingdoms is fierce. The near-constant conflict across the continent draws more mercenaries than any other place on Earth.

The Americas
The fallout whipped Canada and the United States. But it didn’t go much further south. For the first time in over a century, it was good to be in Mexico. South America, however, forms an interesting problem for the Australian Empire. Blasted back to prehistoric, dinosaur-infested jungle by a temporal rip- the work of the villain Timito –the continent is populated in only small pockets. There is little common ground between the people here and no sense of governmental authority. Similar to the effect that plucked dinosaurs from the past, South America’s population ranges from cavemen to Roman Legions and much between.

Exodus Rock
Formerly Hawaii, Exodus Rock is now the one stop life-sentence prison for all super-criminals. Surrounded by an energy field which removes both radiation and super powers, Exodus Rock has no walls. Rather; only a red line in the earth marks boundary. Nor are their guards beyond the red line. Prisoners can do as they will within Exodus Rock. They can even leave at any time, provided they can survive the radiation. The only real security per say on Exodus Rock lies outside the energy field in the Fortress. Not only is the Fortress the source of the field, but drop off point for prisoners. The Fortress is naturally radiation proofed and should its staff need to step outside, special super-armours are provided.


On the day the bombs fell, Australia was a minor player. The next, it was the new superpower. Australia’s cities are the biggest and the people within enjoy the best quality of life. It sounds like a utopia, but that’s where the good news ends. Governmental focus is internatal, not national. The cities run, but they’re riddled with vermin. Pest control keeps the rats out of sight, but there are dark corners where the wicked rule and thrive. Outside the cities, it’s the vermin who rule. During the war, the homeland militia act gave rise road gangs and neo-savages, most of which are yet to be disarmed.

The city of tomorrow today, Albion is a high-tech super-metropolis. Easily the most comfortable and prosperous city in Australia; Albion’s puts a pretty face over her skin, industrial guts. Like cancer, Albion’s criminal element is deeply imbedded but largely invisible.

The high-tech g-man, Iron Horse, is the one-man solution to crime in Albion. Black ops trained, Iron Horse understands that criminals hide behind bureaucracy, process and protocol. Ignoring these things in favour of his own code of ethics, Iron Horse has denied the criminal the protection of law. His impossibly high ideals have also made Iron Horse beyond corruption. So far, Iron Horse’s government clearances have protected his conduct. But the constant tightrope walk is an effort no mortal man can keep up forever.

War industry built Orphicten. When the war ended, so did Orphicten’s prosperity. As the basic day-to-day functions of Orphicten began to break down, cracks appeared. Through the cracks rose the gangs and mobs. Now those cracks mark their territories.

One man who does want to make a difference in Orphicten is Marv Smalltown. The city’s resident vigilante, Marv doesn’t go for costumes or capes. Instead he deals with the mobs in a very open, old fashioned way: busting heads. The ultimate glass is three-fourths full guy, Marv truly believes his efforts will one day make a bad city good again. Scarily for the bad guys Marv is as strong and impervious as iron, able to leap from street to rooftop.

Southern Cross City
Southern Cross City has been the capital of the Australian Empire since the third world war’s end. The city gained its name from government reformation in the year one. Established as the new capital, the wars end saw the raising of the Eureka flag.

Since the late 1930s Australia’s premier Superhero has been the Battler. It’s understood that there have been numerous Battler’s over the years. From the Battle of Crete in World War II to the Siege of Washington in World War III, a Battler has stood for Australia and with Australians. The currently Battler saw no wartime action. But with their sidekick Cazaly, they’re a furious pair of scrappers and the premier icons of Southern Cross City.

Somewhere in South America, former General John Anderson- aka Timito -has his base. Despite the name, Timito is a real threat. A time traveller of sorts, Timito can project his consciousness laterally in space and temporally in reverse. In brief; he can visit any time period anywhere on Earth. While he can’t interact with the past, Timito can pluck objects from it.

Serving in World War III United States General Anderson tried desperately to stop the bombs. As Timito, he does the same. While this quest maybe noble, Timito is horribly unbalanced. The current state of South America is the mark of his last attempt to correct the past.

Aryan League, The
Nazi Germany’s greatest heroes were the alluring Blauer Engel, devious Nachtwachter and invincible Ubermensch. As the Aryan League were Hitler’s personal Superteam. Single-handedly, they were made up for losses in Russia and aiding Rommel in North Africa. Just before D-Day, however, Timito visited them; plucking them from the past. Initially angry, they saw a future in which the Reich didn’t even last ten years, let alone a thousand. Now, all accounts say they the League does Timito’s dirty work with the promise of returning to and correcting their past.

GM Secrets

Currently undergoing experimental New Eden terraforming project, hopes are Antarctica will be warmed to a lush virgin wilderness within the next century. Till its complete and understood, however, no one except the projects key scientists and mystics is permitted on New Eden. The only exception is for Antarctica’s one permanent resident; Corner Stone. Formerly Uluru, now a being of living stone, Corner Stone serves as New Eden’s guardian.

The Aryan League

This trio weren’t the only ones plucked from the past by Timito. Vanishing moments before the Red Army entered Berlin; Hitler’s suicide was a cover up. Currently residing in South America, who knows what purpose a long-thought dead Nazi serves Timito.

The Battler

The Battler and Cazaly are the foremost Superhero/Sidekick duo in Australia. But they’re also its darkest secret. Each time a Battler and Cazaly falls, another is chosen from the next census. This ensures only the most Australian take up the Battler’s mantle. Taken, stripped of their previous self and instilled with their new personas there is no secret identity: only the Battler and Cazaly remain. Family and friends never know what truly happened to their loved ones. The process is harrowing and has left the current pair prone to excessive drink and public debauchery.

Classified Domes
Sensitive things happen in the classified Domes. Dome Ten is Black Operations. Spies, secret agents, special operations, sensitive missions and all the other ‘dirty work’ of the government and military. Labour Corp has no hand in this Dome whatsoever. It is strictly government run.

Dome V has no purpose known by the Government or Labour Corp. Neither staff nor maintain this Dome.

Iron Horse

Contrary to popular opinion, Iron Horse has a single innate superpower in addition to his devices. He can regenerate.

The Northern Hemisphere
The greater portion of the Northern Hemisphere is a high radiation zone (SWEX p106). Thankfully, neither wind nor tide from the Earth’s two hemispheres mix overly, so the fallout hasn’t been drifting south in any dire manner.

Additionally, the bombs raised the temperature of the northern hemisphere up a notch; creating a mutative effect. Not only has nature sprung back, but it’s also taken a bold new turn. The Mosquitoids are the clearest example of this new natural frontier. Short, humanoid Mosquitos, in thirty short years this species has come to inhabit the bulk of the northern hemisphere.

White Noise
Something about the northern hemisphere- be it the Mosquitoids, the radiation, or the mutative effect –interferes with radio. All anyone attempts to use one pick up naught but static. A Repair roll at -4 can get it going, but even then it only catches one word in ten through the white noise.


The supervillian, Timito, may have initially wished to correct the final blow of World War III. When South America went prehistoric, however, Timito decided to master his abilities before making another attempt. Taking long walks deep into the past gave Timito a sense of perspective he lacked before. Timito now sees the past as a long series of mistakes; all subsequently requiring correction. Realizing he needs a stronger, more active, hand; Timito wishes to increase his power so that he may move through time and space at will.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gelanod; a dark & chivalric realm

Okay; so FINALLY running some homebrew Savage Worlds after my D&D hit a brick wall and didn't recover and a brief stint of Werewolf: The Forsaken. Because its a very casual game for first-time Savagers; I decided to do something familiar- a Elves & Knights fantasy -with a little twist to keep the player's guess- a healthy dose of Rober E. Howard's racial notions. My hope was that these two general ideas would have enough background for me to scribe some adventures but be an empty enough canvas for the Player's to add their own little bits. Sure enough; one player wanted a Katana for their one-armed Half-Elf Theif, so created a pseudo-Japanese area south of the Horse Lords- claiming to have stolen the Katana from a trader from that area. Another wanted an adventure in a vampire-filled forrest and added the Feifdom of Gielda. A third wanted to be Cleric, but not of the Hullruno religion and so they added a new god. We also messed with the rules a little so that a Tarot deck is used for Character creation (one player is a big Deadlands: Hell on Earth fan), combat initiative, Beanies and an Adventure deck... so; heres what it all that came out with- the realm of Gelanod (PS; sorry about the map- work in progress)...


The Dark Past…
The Rise of Humanity… The elder world had been long ruptured by the hate traded between Elf and Orc. Such animosity was between the elder races that each turned blind eyes to the first tribes of fur-clad Humans migrating from the south. As vermin, Humans came to breed in the cracks and hallows between the empires of Elf and Orc; multiplying in great numbers and learning the arts of forge, spell and war. And like a like rats grown too numerous for the nest did Humanity burst their borders; coming as a plague against the elder races. With each passing day closer did Elf and Orc alike come to extinction; till all remained but a handful whose blood was mingled with men.
The Crowns of Men… From what shattered relics of the elder races’ civilizations they cared to salvage, the rude and apish Humans built themselves crude civilizations. No longer a united species; they were now varied in application of civilizing qualities and lack of common geography. Gelanod, Hullruno, Kalisuth, Golgotha- all Kingdoms trace themselves back to this time.

A History Of Gelanod…
The Kulan
… After the migration south, the Tribe of Kulan found themselves in the Land of Horses. There they became a mighty race of cavaliers of such skill that the elder races took the Kulan as their slave-knights. When the elder races were defeated, the mighty Tribe of Kulan found themselves with neither chief nor home. They had two captains; Gel, who had ridden for the Elves, and Dohu; Herald of the Orcs. Universally, however, the Kulan sought the Land of Horses once more. Not knowing their path, the tribe split. The followers of Gel settling in a fertile land between the Rift and the Graspik they came to call Gelanod, after their Chief.

The Rise of Chivalry… All realms have Knights and some ideal of Chivalry. Only in Gelanod was it a cultivating force! Since claiming Gelanod, the Kulans had become became the feudal, but still barbaric, people known as the Gelan. Each Lord was thus a warlord in his own real and the King little more than a keystone holding the loose confederation together. Yet, with the development of agriculture, the peasant was bound to the land and so the arts of riding became enshrined mainly in the Nobility. The cavaliers of the Nobles came to constitute the realms only professional soldiers. In time, the Knightly caste emerged as a semi-separate class of Nobility. They also became the richest and most prized. It was thus about the time of King Blud Gel, the last noble of old Kulan blood, that the cavaliers began to exert themselves politically. Where before they had served other Nobles; they now formed compacts amongst themselves. With Blud’s death, a crafty cavalier named Rigimus Uric drew over half the separate compacts into a private agreement with his own; allowing him to take the throne by force. It is from those compacts which supported Uric that the Orders of Knights were born and it is their pact with him on which Gelanod’s code of Chivalry is based.

Powers that be…
Cult of Verod
… Possibly once a great Human chief of the elder world; the Cult of Verod is a faith that predates worship of the High Father and has remained alive amongst disjointed cults scattered across Golgotha and Gelanod. In the latter they are tolerated, in the former the Verodites are loathed for their distaste of Necromancy. The Cult believes their god is god of the world; making Verod simultaneously the sphere itself and a separate being.
Knights… The defenders of the realm and military elite of Gelanod; Knights are those young nobles who have elected to hold up the cause of Chivalry. As descendants of the chieftains, heroes and high-folk of Gelanod’s barbaric past, Knights uphold the nobility’s ancestral duty to protect the common people. Knight’s do this in the form of their quests; seeking out specific threats and injustices.
Knightly Orders… While a Knight’s domain is Gelanod as a whole, these grand military orders of Knights are specialize in one area of the defense of the Realm (and sometime’s beyond).
Holy Order of Paladins… Knight’s dedicated to the Church’s cause and Heilfader’s command. Such Knight’s bare the title of Paladin; and are both divine Cleric and military Knight.
Knights of the Rift… Order of Knights charged with protecting Gelanod’s southern coast. The Rift-Knights have a fierce rivalry with the Corsairs of the Boros Peninsula.
Order of the Black Mouse… Those Knight’s less inclined to frontal confrontation. In this regard, the Black Knights are masters are thieves, rogues, assassins and spies. They are neither the King’s left nor right hand, but rather the ace up his sleeve. Their domain is the entire realm.
Order of the Shield… The Order of the Shield are those Knights who have dedicate themselves to cleansing Sunkwood of evil. The order is relatively few in number for its task is both hopeless and thankless; with little chance of glory. In some circles, joining this hopeless Order is considered a great act of Chivalry. In others, a dire punishment.
Hullruno Church, The… Followers of the High-Father, whose archaic name is Woenaz. In the dawn times he hung himself from the Cosmic-Tree, whose archaic name is Terold, to banish the demons from the world. The Heilfader oversees the running of the faith from the holy kingdom of Hullruno, north of Gelanod, where humanity first received the word of the High Father through his prophets.
Keepers, The… Usually a Knight, Nobleman or Priest; a Keeper is the position awarded to the leader of a township. Some of these appointments are quite prestigious. Such is the case with the Keeper of Abal, usually gained through word of the King himself. Other appointments to Keeper are less endearing; such as the case with the Keeper of some no-name village in Sunkwood.

Glossary Geographic…
… Abal is the capital of Gelanod; the shining citadel of chivalry. To back this boast, the great city is home to the White Citadel; keep of the Holy Order of Paladins.
Belt, The… A stretch of ocean which divides the eastern continent from the western.
Boros… Peninsula of Kalisuth; a fierce kingdom of Pirates.
Edge Port… Port-city in Pittmori; direct on the mouth of the Mori river and thus at ‘the end of the land’. Host-home to the Knights of the Rift.
Gielda… Once a bountiful fiefdom around the forest of the same name, its noble Lord Roland Kane was once a true example of Chivalry, but a change has come over Roland of late and Gielda is now a cursed land where the peasants are prey.
Golgotha… Kingdom of the Skull, south and east of Gelanod. Renown as the home of Necromancers, heretics and decedents.
Graspik… Mountain range which divides Gelanod from Golgothar and Hullruno.
Horse Lords, the… Both the title of the land and the nobles who rule nomads of the great steppe.
Hullruno… Holy Kingdom of the Hullruno Church. A Theocracy overseen by the Heilfader. Hullruno is named for the mountains at its centre- the place where Humans first received word of their creator, the High-Father. Hullruno is north of Gelanod.
Kalisuth… Mystical land of the south-west.
Lower River… River that splits off the Mori and runs through Sunkwood.
Mori… The great river which snakes its way along Gelanod’s gut; central to trade.
Petersdale… Wolf-plagued village in Sunkwood. Located in a narrow valley, it survives as many forested villages’ do- through the daily hunting and gathering the bounty of the woodland.
Pitmori… Province at the mouth of the Mori river.
Serrat… Mountains in the centre of Gelanod whose rise causes the Low to divide from the Mori rivers.
Talkari… A land of sword-wielding foot-Knights known as Hatamoto, bound by their own queer form of Chivalry. It is found beyond that of the Horse Lords.

Character Creation

... Standard race for the setting. Humans gain an extra Card at the start of the Game Session as their bonus.
Half-Elf... Descendants of those few Elves to survive the end of their age. Have interbred with Humans to survive since. Though mostly human, their tainted blood is despised. Half-Elves use the racial profile provided in the Savage Worlds Fantasy Supplement (aka Wizards & Warriors- great little addition to Savage Worlds! And FREE under “downloads” at Must choose increased Agility.
Half-Orc... Descendants of those few Orcs to survive the end of the Elven Age. Have interbred with Humans to survive since. Though mostly human, their tainted blood is despised. Like the Half-Elf, rules for Half-Orcs are available in Wizards & Warriors.

Arcane Backgrounds...
Still fiddling with this one; Basically I allowed Magic, Miracles and Superpowers. The key difference with Superpowers from how its written in the Explorer's Edition is simply that I changed the name to "Folk Charmry". Basically, this represents more the village "wise woman" who learnt a trick or two from her mother, who learnt a trick from her mother, etc. Reliable but limited "everyday" magic, not like the many and varied arcana of the Wizard with Arcane Background (Magic).

Knowledge (Elder World)
The world of the elder races is a mystery to most citizens of Gelanod; Wizards included. But its relics, cults and, more commonly, its monsters litter the world. This Knowledge specializes in the lore of pre-human and early human times; when madness and abomination were common.


Black Knight
Requirements: Seasoned, Knight, Theif, no membership to any other Knightly Order.

Even in full plate, the Order of the Black Mouse are renowned for their ability as Rogues. um... still working out what this should do...

Horse Lord
Requirements: Novice, Beast Bond (Horse), Riding D10+, must be purchased at character creation.

The nomads from the land of the Horse Lords are barbarians born on horseback, they say. While this boast maybe an exaggeration, many have been riding well before they could walk. As such, a Horse-barbarian knows their way around their mount. A Horse Lord gains +2 to their Riding rolls, may ignore the -2 penalty for Shooting while mounted, and use the highest of their Riding and Fighting skills in combat.

Requirements: Novice, must be purchased at character creation.

The character with this Edge is from Hullruno, the Holy Kingdom. The people of Hullruno are renowned for their piety and religious devotion. As such, they are always well received abroad as the kingdom and all within it carry the personal blessing of the Heilfader. This character gains +2 Charisma for their fortunate birthland.

Requirements: Noble, Fighting D8+, Riding D8+

Knights are those Nobles trained from a young age in the art of horse-combat and the ideals of Chivalry. While the ideals do not always stick, with tales of vicious and villainous Knights littering Gelanod’s history, the training always does. A Knight gains the title of Sir (male) or Dame (female), the right to be invited to join Knightly Orders, and gains +2 on Riding rolls and +2 when attacking from horseback with a Lance.

Requirements: Seasoned, Knight, Champion, no membership to any other Knightly Order.

This character has pledged themselves not merely to the ideals of Chivary. No, this Knight has pledged their lance to the Church; joining its militant elite- the Holy Order of Paladin’s. As a Paladin, the character is trained to express their faith through war, making the battlefield their temple; trained to use ‘battlefield’ Powers reflexively, rather than cognitively. When casting the following Powers- Armour, Boost Trait, Deflection, Healing, Smite or Stun –on themselves only, the Paladin may do so as a free action with a +2 bonus.

Requirements: Novice, Agility D6+, Boating D8+, Fighting D8+ Swimming D8+

Pirate, Freebooter, Corsair, Black-heart, Buccaneer! Whatever the name, Pirates are more at home in a battle on the high seas than on land. A Pirate character is skilled fighters on the deck of a ship, knowing how to lunge and thrust with the ship’s movements or account for the waves when aiming. They are also master sailors; knowing how to survive at sea for years at a time. Pirates gain +2 Boating rolls along with +2 on those Fighting and Shooting rolls made on the deck of a ship. Note; this does not cancel the -2 penalty for unstable platforms.

Requirements: Seasoned, Knight, Pirate, no membership to any other Knightly Order.

Knights of the Rift take the Knightly cause to the high seas; spending more time on deck than on horseback- becoming expert Marines. Characters who become a Rift-Knight learns not merely to move with a ship; but use that movement in their own defence gaining +2 Parry when on an Unstable Platform (such as the deck of a ship).

Requirements: Seasoned, Knight, Woodsman, no membership to any other Knightly Order.

The Knights who are permitted to join the Order of the Shield are well versed at forest life to begin with. What they quickly learn, as quest after quest sees Shielder’s (as they are called) riding hard the length and breath of Sunkwood, is to ride through the trackless woods as swift and sure as they would across open ground. A Knight who joins the Order of the Shield may ignore movement penalties for themselves or their mount while in forest or other woodland terrain.

Strong Bloodline
Requirements: Novice, Half-Elf or Half-Orc, must be purchased at character creation

Some blood runs stronger towards the inhuman than it does the human. As such; these creatures- for they cannot truly be called human –run closer to what the elder breeds once were than their semi-human descendants. A Strong Orc Bloodline grants a Half-Orc character +1 Size; for true Orcs are larger than Humans. A Strong Elf Bloodline grants slightly different abilities; depending on if the Half-Elf character has an Arcane Background. If they character has no Arcane Background, then they gain the ability to work a little magic; some simple curses. This manifests as the Boost/Lower Trait Power and five Power Points for its use. This Power uses the character’s Smarts as its associated Arcane Skill. If the character has an Arcane Background, however, their strength of their blood grants them +5 Power Points OR their choice of starting Power.

Stylish Defence
Requirements: Smarts D8+, Positive Charisma Modifier.

In Gelanod, Chivalry defines war and war has in turn become an idealized art. Like the dancer, or the painter; this character has learnt to incorporate their personality into their art; fight with a style and flair so as to disarm their foes! A character with this Edge adds their Charisma modifier as Armour to their Toughness against Melee attacks only.


Golgothan (Minor)
Requirements: Novice, must be purchased at character creation.

A character with this Hindrance is not from Gelanod, but Golgotha. As such, they are distrusted as a child of that dark land, suffering -2 Charisma.

Kal (Minor)
Requirements: Novice, must be purchased at character creation.

A character with this Hindrance is not from Gelanod, but that bizarre realm of mystics and madmen; Kalisuth. As such, they suffer -2 Charisma. This is not so much due to hatred of that land; but suspicion as the Kal’s are said to be of a different race to the humans of Gelanod, Golgotha and Hullruno; rumoured to know many weird things alien to Gelanod.

Talkaran (Major)
Requirements: Novice, must be purchased at character creation.

A character with this Hindrance is not from Gelanod; but from that strangely similar, yet alien, land of Talkari; where sword-wielding foot-Knights known as Hatamoto pratice their own strange brand of Chivalry called Bushiron. So similar any yet so different; a Talkaran in Gelanod is, in short, a curiosity. The character attracts attention wherever they go as people want to know all about them. They can’t walk down the street without being stared at and folks seem to note even seemingly minute details about the character. Naturally, a Talkaran in Gelanod finds themselves getting drawn into numerous adventures.

Weak Bloodline (Major/Minor)
Requirements: Half-Elf or Half-Orc, Novice, must be purchased at character creation, cannot be combined with Strong Bloodline.

Some Elven or Orcish heritages are stronger than others; running truer to what the race once was. Others are weaker, being closer to human as a character with this Hindrance is. As a Major Hindrance, this character’s blood is particularly weak- costing them their racial Trait (Strength for Orcs, Agility for Elves) increase. As a Minor Hindrance, the character looses their Low Light vision ability.

The Book of Lore

“Open your eyes to my pages…”
-The Book of Lore

While Agamotto, the crazed wizard, worshipped certain demons his first loyalty was to his scholarship. This led him to, unlike many other cultists, to seek the lore of his masters- leading Agamotto to the subterranean nightmare below sunkwood and the terrible nameless city of the Elves. While he was burnt alive centuries ago, his great work- the Book of Lore –lives on. The Book of Lore is, in essence, a great encyclopaedia of everything dark and monstrous in Gelanod. Anyone who wishes to learn anything of the dark may merely open its pages and find the answers they seek. Naturally, the Book of Lore is outlaw and ownership of it is equivalent to open admission of Demon-worship. Some Priests, Knights and Wizards do gain permission to possess copies of the book- allowing them to use its knowledge in the realm’s defence. Despite this, there is a disturbing tendency for new editions of the tome to appear. Thankfully, it is generally known that bits of the Book of Lore have steadily been lost with each transcription following Agamotto’s original text; with older editions being far more useful and dangerous to possess.

New - $1000 - +1 on all Knowledge (Elder World) and Spellcasting rolls.
Old - $2000 - +2 on all Knowledge (Elder World) and Spellcasting rolls.
Hoary - $3000 - +3 on all Knowledge (Elder World) and Spellcasting rolls.

Tarot Deck in Savage Worlds Rules
Numbers & the minor Arcana
Ace = 1
Page = 11
Knight = 12
Queen = 13
King = 14

Using a Tarot Deck to create characters
1- Draw seven cards (one for each trait and skills).
2- Discard Lowest.
3- Consult the table below.
4- Each card may be used to assign a starting Trait ranks to an individual trait or retained to gain a number of skill points later.

Card Value Trait Ranks Skill Points
18-21 5 17
14-17 4 16
10-13 3 15
6-9 2 14
0-5 1 13

Using a Tarot Deck as Initiative, Adventure Cards & Beanies simultaneously
1- Players are dealt a hand of three cards each at the start of the session (as modified by the Luck Edge). The Game Master is dealt one card per Player.
2- Any card can be spent as to reroll any Trait test make a Soak roll or eliminate the Shaken condition. These re-rolls do not include tables or Damage rolls unless it is a Major Arcana’s specific ability.
3- Major Arcana can be spent to gain an individual bonus, listed below.
4- At the start of each Combat Round every Wild Card (PC or NPC) is dealt a Card. The Game Master is dealt an additional card per group of non-Wild Card antagonists under their control. From their Hands, the Party chooses one card to act as their initiative card. The Game Master chooses one card per Wild Card and group of non-Wild Card antagonists under their control.
5- The order of Initiative is Major Arcana from highest to lowest, followed by Minor Arcana from highest to lowest.

Card Bonus
Any Card Spend to re-roll any failed trait roll (excludes Damage and Tables) OR roll Vigor and Soak a Wound on a success OR automatically recover from Shaken.

The Fool When making an Unskilled Attempt the character may gain a momentary flash of insight by spending this card. Ignore the usual -2 penalty for the Unskilled Attempt.

The Magician If your character has the Arcane Background (Magic) Edge spend this card to gain a surge of magical energy; activating any purchased Power without roll or spending Power Points.

The High Priestess If your character has the Arcane Background (Miracles) Edge spend this card to have the will of the High-Father work through you; activating any purchased Power without roll or spending Power Points.

The Empress A character must be a Noble if they spend this card. The character may find their way to a household, if not friendly, then at least not hostile to their family.

The Emperor Spend this card to re-roll or force the GM to re-roll on the Fright table.

The Hierophant Spend this card and a helpful ally happens along.

The Lovers When trying to woo a potential lover spend this card. The character finds a way to make them receptive for the night at least.

The Chariot Spend this card when travelling. Your character knows of a short cut to their destination.

Strength The character gains a second wind when this card is spent, removing one point of Fatigue.

The Hermit When pursued the character which spends this card escapes their pursuers.

Wheel of Fortune Spend this card for your character to happen across of a lost money purse containing $3D10, counting ‘0’ as zero.

Justice Spend this card when searching for find evidence against an antagonist or villain. The character happens across some vital piece of information if it exists.

The Hanged Man This card may be spent to reroll any Damage roll.

Death Spend this card to re-roll or force the GM to re-roll on the injury table.

Temperance Spend this card to re-roll or force the GM to re-roll on the NPC reaction table.

The Devil Play this card when bound, locked away or otherwise restrained. Any reasonable (Game Master’s interpretation) plan or scheme to escape succeeds without roll.

The Tower Play this card on a target currently successfully using their Climbing skill. They must reroll their Climbing at -2.

The Star Spending this card gives the character some clever or witty line, sees them give a grand performance or make a gallant entrance. They gain +2 Charisma for the scene.

The Moon When in combat against a monster and this card is spent, the character counts as having the Beast Master Edge for one round and will not be attacked unless they are the only target or have already attacked the monster this round.

The Sun Spend this card to reduce any lighting Penalty by one type; from Pitch Black to Dark, Dark to Dim or Dim to no Penalty.

Judgment Play this card if your character has the Wanted Hindrance. They are not recognized for one scene.

The World Spend this card to allow another Player who has no cards to draw a card.

For the Game Master...
Glossary of Secret Places...
Ao...Fabled home-sphere of Dragons.
Nameless City, The... Rumoured to be the last bastion of pure-blooded Elves. The Nameless City is located beneath the Graspik range. In actuaulity it is a network of small subterranean cities, linked by tunnels.
Subterranean Pits... A great network of Goblin-populated caves in Sunkwood.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Whew... been a while. Been stupidly busy and been between stuff... STUFF! Anywho... started running Werewolf the Forsaken and started digging out all my old World of Darkness stuff and giving it an update. For some odd reason, World of Darkness makes me stupidly patriotic! I only run WoD games set in Australia (or the past, which is just like talking to someone from Queensland...). So I've been revising all my old World of Darkness: Oz stuff, starting with a faction of Hunters. I should stress, though, I neither own nor have read the current edition of Hunter, so these guys are mainly background for NPC's in Vampire or Werewolf games. That said; if anyone wants to write them up as a proper Hunter faction (or Conspiracy, whatever they're called now) I'm fine with that... just email me your efforts!

Hostel: The mate you need.
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

Rumors of China’s involvement in Harold Holt’s disappearance struck the right cords in parliament to launch an ASIO investigation. But when the culprit was discovered, neither the lack of communist involvement nor the locations (that’s right… plural) of Harold Holt were the focus of subsequent debriefing. Rather, the most disturbing of facts took focus; monsters are real and they ate the Prime Minister.

Both ASIO and Parliament were unclear just how far many nor of what nature these creatures were, so they did they thing they do best. They passed the buck to a private firm. Off the books, unaccountable and completely unknown the vast majority of Parliament Hostel was formed to protect the Australian government from Supernatural influence.

As is the case with many of the Australian Government’s outsources, it didn’t take long for Hostel to go off the rails. Given the job of privately recruiting and training agents to fight an enemy no one knew any hard facts about. What was initiated as the grand defense of the great southern land quickly became a guerilla war waged by lone, mobile agents hopping from one isolated safe-house to the next as required.

To both compensate for their lack of funds and provide adequate cover, Hostel quickly adopted the emerging Backpacker culture; it’s safe houses doubling as Hostels, its agents posing as Backpackers. From their lonely vigils on the long, open roads Hostel’s Hunters come together briefly to confront a Vampire Haven or Werewolf Pack and then depart before any repercussion can (usually) befall them.

The Enemy

Hostel knows relatively little about the monsters they hunt. They know the difference between Vampires, Werewolves, Wizards and so on. But they are often hard pressed to distinguish between a shape-shifting Vampire or blood-Wizard.

On the other hand, Hostel are often quite aware of the ‘benchmarks’ or fundamentals which, on a broad and basic level, separate one monster from the next. For example; they are aware that if it drinks blood, then chances are it’s a Vampire. Naturally they make mistakes, deadly and costly mistakes.

Still, if Hostel have a strength it’s their universal awareness that most monsters- of any type –have a lair. Somewhere to which the beast can be tracked and used to establish ambushes, ferret the creature out and so forth. Once aware their home has been compromised, its Hostel’s experience that any monster is more dangerous but overwhelming prone to mistakes.

Bludgers On Mate’s Rates

Most of Hostel’s agents operate in one of two modes. Either they run a safe-house or they hunt. As both Hunters and safe-houses receive funding, there is widely acknowledged that Hostel must have some central structure or organization. Yet no member of either category has ever claimed to receive an order or direction.

Since Hostel is virtually unknown to Parliament and invisible to the public and every government agency, it cannot simply recruit through conventional means. Hostel’s Hunters are thus typically not recruited. Rather; they’re the victims of monsters ‘taken in’ and trained by a more experienced Hunter. Operating in cells, the Hunters of Hostel move from safe-house to safe-house as needed. Typically, however, what classifies this ‘need’ is quite unclear and unique to each individual Hunter. Some might contact various safe-houses to see ‘what’s cooking’. Others may look for clues in local news, while others still may simply roll from town to town.
Safe-houses for Hostel usually pose as backpacker hostel’s or something similar with lots of ‘comings and goings’ to hide the presence of operatives when they roll through. This also allows, on paper at least, for a Safe-house to employ their Hunters; providing both an alibi for any ‘crimes’ they may be accused of and a legitimate explanation for their funds. Safe-houses also house hidden armories. Australia’s weapons laws are quite tight and even carrying a knife can result in jail time, much less a firearm. While Hostel’s Hunters certainly carry weapons with them at all times, they need not take the risk of carrying anything more than absolutely necessary.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Races of Sauria: Warcarved

Remember when I mentioned Warforged for Sauria? Well, they rattled around in my head for a bit and here they are (and more of my cruddy art).


Soon after the Sorcerer-Dragons established themselves on Druki, their thoughts turned to the defense of their island. Powerful though the Sorcerer's are, they Druki have always loathed to tear themselves away from their meditations and study. Contemplation of this problem led the greatest of the Druki Dragons, Tu the Supreme Sorcerer, to an unorthodox solution. In order to create a race of warriors who would defend Druki no matter what, Tu carved Humanoids from the island's Tiki trees and shattered himself, imbuing each with a shard of his own life. With Tu's death the Warcarved were born; a race of tribal warriors who carve their young from the Tiki trees of Druki.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Toying the Apocalypse; After the End

had this crazy idea for a Post-Apocalyptic setting. One where Angels and Demons stand shoulder to shoulder with mere mortals. The War between Heaven & Hell's over. Earth is devistated. Lucifer's M.I.A. and God's gone... Angels and Demons are strandard on Earth and forced to deal with a humanity rebuilding. Still not sure WHAT I'm gonna do with it... something...


The War
God made the world, and he made humans after his own image. Lucifer; out of jealousy and spite, rebelled with a number of like-minded Angels. They sought to usurp the Throne of Heaven and bend creation to their own selfish vision. Though they lost that initial battle and were cast into Hell, they were still children of Heaven and thus accorded freedom of will and the eternal opportunity for redemption. But Lucifer and his ilk ignored such chances and so the war raged on.

After Heaven’s victory in the Final Battle, and thus the war, God judged all beings in creation. Demons who had repented, mortals of virtue- these beings were taken unto New Earth and purified. The old creation remained and a rear-guard of the least virtuous Angels remained to usher unto New Earth any wicked mortal or unrepented Demon who mends their ways.

The War’s end took a terrible toll on Heaven. The former Divine realm now stands in ruins. Only a handful of lonely Angels of little virtue still dwell in this realm. The majority of God’s first not with him now dwell on Earth, fulfilling their final duty.


The War
The War ended around a decade ago, after twenty years of Heaven-fire and brimstone. The religious nuts called them “Angels” and “Demons”. The military minds saw two rival forces of invaders- one from below and another from above. At the end of the day, it didn’t matter who they were. Both wanted to kill part of the human population and enslave the other part. Some governments sided with one, the other or balancing between both. Others tried mixing it up with them. It didn’t matter either way. Us, them; no one got out clean.

Both the Angels and the Demons say they win. You know who doesn’t say they won? Humanity: we survived. It didn’t matter how many of us fought (or got hit by the crossfire) and died in that Final Battle of theirs. Humans survived in numbers that’d make a cockroach blush.

Earth is a ruin. There isn’t a government left. There isn’t an intact city left. Humans now dwell like cockroaches. The Angels and the Demons, however, seem in pretty much the same boat. So it looks like everyone gets to scrape through the shit and rubble together.


The War
God isn’t who he claims to be. He isn’t God! He’s a fuck-up. The Aeons, children of the True God, don’t have the whole package. But they’ve still got lead in their pencils. They made our “God” and they made him wrong. For the good of Creation the True God locked our fuck up away. He still had power and divine knowledge, and so alone with that the fuck up assumed he was the True God. So he did what the True God did; Genesis. But he couldn’t pull it off. Creation cracked right down the middle- good and evil. Lucifer and he’s been trying to save us all from the fuck up since.

Hell won the Final Battle, but the War is still raging on. But the Demonic victory was hollow. Lucifer and many high-ranking Demons were lost in the fight. No one is sure if they are dead, or merely lost. While the forces of darkness should be preparing to strike at Heaven, there is pandemonium amongst the evil’s forces.

Hell’s gone. No Demon has been there since Armageddon. While they’ve got theories neither the Angels nor the Demons know what happened.