Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Rahmú

The Rahmú are a fierce and militaristic race of blue-skinned human mutants; descendents of a lost First Empire colony coreward of Aldeberan.  Their language is an ancient dialect of Sunuz.  
Although the original colony world is now unknown, they maintained an advanced, though fragmented and unstable,  civilization and controlled a small interstellar empire before being conquered and reassimilated into Humanspace in the early years of the Third Terran Empire.
The Rahmú are known as great warriors,  traders, mentaliks and artists and even by the standards of the Humanspace Empire, they are considered cruel and devious. Their sadistic sense of humor is legendary. They are hot tempered, nihilistic and place little value on life.  Rahmú traditions include the  zchivú- eh-zchiv, a complex code of honor that demands a duel to the death for even slight offenses.  On Rahmú controlled worlds, justice is harsh and punishments are often ironically linked to the crime.  Torture is considered a form of art.
Males and females are considered equals in  Rahmú society and they are, sexually, very libertine and engage in group marriages.  Sybaratic sects are popular and these are rumored to be amongst the most extreme in known space.   Sunuzlāmic mysticism and Astronaut cults are also quite common. 
They love  display and decoration and their devices are typically ornate and covered in complex geometric designs and grinning demonic faces. The effect is so disorienting than anyone unfamiliar with Rahmú technology suffers a -2 penalty when attempting to use their equipment. Rahmú art and architecture appears to have been influenced by the psionic alien Vrilú.  A population of degenerate Rahmú were found on Aldebaran 4, a Vrilú world.
The Rahmú Empire engaged in eugenics programs and genetic manipulation that, although crude in comparison to that of the Clone Masters of the Second Terran Empire, have resulted in the sub-species being somewhat stronger, hardier and more psychic than average humans; Rahmú characters must have STR, CON and PSY scores of at least 10.  They tend to be extremely self absorbed and abrasive; Rahmú characters will have a CHA no greater than 15.  They are not limited in choice of class or in advancement within any class.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sand Men of Canopus 3

The Ayákin, or Sand Men, are a humanoid species descended from ancient human colonists on the desert planet Rakú (Canopus 3). Typically, they are tall and slender with golden skin, blue eyes with epicanthic folds and a functional nictitating membrane to protect them against wind-blown sand.


The Reydayákin, the Sand Men of the deep deserts, are tribal nomads devoted to survival in the harsh wastelands but also honor, feuds, raids, and mystic worship of the sandworms that serve as their mounts. Some are employed by the more civilized Ayákin and Imperial domains as mercenaries.

The civilized space faring Feydayákin maintain a super-scientific culture, control several cities on the planet and have accumulated great wealth from the offworld trade of Slan, an anti-synthetic narcotic drug with life extending and psi-enhancing effects.

Most Ayákin, barbaric and civilized, share certain common cultural traits. They are practitioners of Zúfshala, an ancient mystical Sunuzlāmic faith that has incorporated veneration of the Ayá , they wear still suits, veil their faces and dye their skin blue with Slan and are divided into a rigid structure of three functional castes: Jiyá, Zúf, and Tzcán.

Image above copyright Michael Whelan. Fair-use as parody.



Jiyá are warriors and warrior-mentaliks and dress in black. They are masters of both the traditional weapons of the Sand Men and super-scientific weapons. They also serve as the secular leaders of the Ayákin and as traders and ambassadors. Zúf are scholars, scientists, and priest- mentaliks and dress in white. They are supreme in matters of religious life, keep the sacred writings of the people and control the water supplies, the sand worms and the flow of Slan. Tzcán are children and outcasts who join neither the Jiyá nor the Zúf, and dress in brown. The most hated of the Reydayákin are the Dune Raiders, savage Tzcán outcasts that mercilessly prey upon Imperial colonists and other Ayákin.

Jiyá Feydayákin are suitable as a Player Character species. They must have a CON of 9 or more and a PSY score of at least 11. They are unlimited in their advancement as Warriors, Astronauts and Adventurers; however the Adventurers may not select Scientist powers.

Dune Raiders (Tzcán Reydayákin)

No. Enc.: 2d8 (6d20)
Alignment: Inimical
Movement: 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1
Damage: by weapon
Morale: 9

The Dune Raiders of Canopus 3 are brown robed savage outcast Sand Men that live a brutal and harsh nomadic existence in the deep deserts of Canopus 3. They have forsaken Ayákin traditions and beliefs, ride desert mites and are hostile to all.

One of every four Dune Raiders encountered will be a veteran armed with an advanced or super-scientific weapon, usually a laser or wavium rifle, and will have 1d4 additional hit dice. Instead of the gracefully curved space swords and psi-swords favored by other Ayákin, the Dune Raiders are typically armed with zturji sticks, staff like ad hoc weapons about 4 feet in length, usually forged from scavenged duranium alloys. These weapons, named for the blood drinking birds of Rakú, feature a heavy mace on one end and an awl or beak on the other. There is a 50% chance that any zturji stick has been treated with poison or contaminated waste of some type.

zturji stick 1d8 damage weight: 4lb.


In addition to the obvious sources, check out the Vanthan Beaked Battle Stick at No Signal!.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Serve the Empire



One of the players in the Humanspace Empires PBP Spaceswords and Glory had to drop out recently.  He was playing Krútai Málakal, the Executive Officer of the Humanspace Empire starship Deeds of Glory.

Anyone out there in ix-land that would like to join the game and take over the role of the XO comment below. You'd need to respond to 2-3 posts per week.

DOOMQUEST TO IGNORANCE

I'm still working to complete the much delayed Kingdom of Ignorance micro-campaign for Doomquest. Below are some of the new monsters, loot, and hit location tables that will be included in the book.

DENIZENS

Black Sun Doom Lord (Dark troll)
Sword: 18[20] Sorcery: 7[12] Social: 6 Bonuses: +3 Sword +5 Sorcery Spells: Black Fire, Countermagic, Darkwalk, Extinguish, Blood Feast Special: +8 Loot factor
HP / Armor: Head: 7/5 Left Arm: 6/5 Right Arm: 6/5 Chest: 8/5 Abdomen: 7/5 Left Leg: 6/5 Right Leg: 6/5 Lead helm, Lead ring mail, Lead shield (d3+3, AP 6 HP 18), Lead bound spiked maul (2d6+2, AP 6 HP 12), Encumbrance: 4 Move: 24’ XP: 200

Blood Sun cultists
Sword: 10 Sorcery: 10 Social: 9 Bonuses: none
Spells: Countermagic, Darkwalk, Extinguish
HP / Armor: Head: 4/2 Left Arm: 3/0 Right Arm: 3/0 Chest: 5/2 Abdomen: 4/2 Left Leg: 3/0 Right Leg: 3/0 Leather cap and jerkin, Club or long knife (d6, AP 4 HP 8), Encumbrance: 17 Move: 57’ XP: 100

Blood Sun Doom Priest
Sword: 10 Sorcery: 10[15] Social: 9[14] Bonuses: +5 Sorcery, +5 Social Spells: Black Fire, Blind, Blood Feast, Blood Rain, Blood Red, Command Spectre, Countermagic, Darkwalk, Extinguish, False Healing, Summon Black Salamander
HP / Armor: Head: 4/4 Left Arm: 3/4 Right Arm: 3/4 Chest: 5/4 Abdomen: 4/4 Left Leg: 3/4 Right Leg: 3/4 Headdress, Hand wood (d8, AP 6 HP 12), Encumbrance: 6 Move: 44’ XP: 150

Blood Sun False healer
Sword: 8 Sorcery: 10[13] Social: 7 Bonuses: +3 Sorcery
Spells: Countermagic, Darkwalk, Extinguish, Blood Red, False Healing
HP / Armor: Head: 3/0 Left Arm: 2/0 Right Arm: 2/0 Chest: 4/0 Abdomen: 3/0 Left Leg: 2/0 Right Leg: 2/0 Knife (d4, AP 4 HP 8), Encumbrance: 16 Move: 60’ XP: 130

Cinquu Sword: 13 Sorcery: 2 Bonuses: none Spells: none
HP / Armor: Head/Neck: 5/0 L Leg: 4/0 R Leg: 4/0 Hind Q: 6/0 Fore Q: 6/0 Peck (1d4) or Kick (1d6), Encumbrance: 26 Move: 70’ XP: 130

Cinquus are very large, wingless ostriches commonly used as mounts in Ignorance. They are ill tempered, stubborn, foul smelling, and frequently spit bile.

Cliff toad
Sword: 30 Sorcery: 2 Bonuses: +2 Hide in Rocks Spells: none Special: Swallow*
HP / Armor: Head: 10/4 LF Leg: 9/6 RF Leg: 9/6 Hind Q: 10/6 Fore Q: 11/6 LF Leg: 9/6 RF Leg: 9/6 Tongue (1d6) or Kick (2d6), Encumbrance: 40 Move: 40’ XP: 300
*A cliff toad will swallow anything hit by its tongue (it can swallow any creature with Sword <15). Swallowed victims suffer 1d6 acid damage per round, are immobilized, and can only use magic or divine intervention, or hope for rescue.


Mad mystic
Sword: 8 Sorcery: 12[17] Social: 11 Bonuses: +5 Sorcery
Spells: Attune Landscape, Deflect Harm, Dragon Armor, Dream Vision, Fire Breath, Heal, Mesmerize, Regrow Limb, Shed Skin, Soul Blast, Spit Venom, Sustain Life, Tattoo Matrix,
HP / Armor: Head: 3/0 Left Arm: 2/0 Right Arm: 2/0 Chest: 4/0 Abdomen: 3/0 Left Leg: 2/0 Right Leg: 2/0 Robe Staff (d6, AP 4 HP 8), Encumbrance: 15 Move: 59’ XP: 170

LOOT

Lead tablet: This heavy rectangular hunk of lead is embossed with Startan glyphs that include 1-4 spells. The number and the specific spells are determined randomly; possible spells include (d8): 1. Blind 2. Blood Rain 3. Command Spectre 4.Countermagic 5. Darkwalk 6. Extinguish 7. False Healing 8. Summon Black Salamander  The spells may be cast once by any reader of Startan; however a Sorcery roll is required to cast each spell. The glyphs fade when each spell is cast. The tablet may be used in total darkness and has an ENC of 6.

Scroll: This rice paper sheet contains 1-4 spells. The number and the specific spells are determined randomly; possible spells include (d12): 1. Attune Landscape 2. Deflect Harm 3. Dragon Armor 4. Dream Vision 5. Fire Breath 6. Heal 7.Mesmerize 8. Regrow Limb 9. Shed Skin 10. Soul Blast 11. Spit Venom 12. Sustain Life  A Sorcery roll is required to cast each spell. The spells may be used once by any reader of Startan and the glyphs fade when each spell is cast.

Map: An illustrated map on rice paper. The nature of the map may be determined by the GM or randomly determined; possibilities include (d8): 1. A map of the Kingdom 2-4. A map of the local region 5-8. A map to the nearby lair of a randomly determined monster. Remember, maps of the Kingdom of Ignorance actually hinder navigation.

Book: a heavy tome bound with (d6): 1. Fur 2, human skin 3. troll skin 4, brass sheets 5. wood 6. fabric. The nature of the book may be determined by the GM or randomly determined; possibilities include (d8): 1. A book of maps 2. A book of magic containing 1d6 scrolls 3. A book of Kralorelan proverbs 4-8. A book of nonsense poetry. A book has an ENC of 1d4.

Potion: A copper flask containing a randomly determined magical elixir; such as (d20):1. Deflect Harm 2. Dragon Armor 3. Dream Vision 5. Fire Breath 6-11. Heal 12-13 Regrow Limb 14-15. Shed Skin 16-18. Spit Venom 19-20. Sustain Life  A potion may be used only once, will affect only the imbiber, and no Sorcery roll is required; otherwise it is treated as the spell it mimics.

Poison: Save or Die!

Antidote: Allows an additional save at +4 to counteract poison.

Salve: A small stone jar containing a sickly sweet smelling white paste . There is sufficient paste in the jar to coat 1d6 hit locations on one or more human sized users. An application heals 1d6 points of damage. The jar, regardless of contents, has an ENC of 1.

Whale fat: A large carved stone jar containing a mass of foul smelling Koromodol whale fat. There is sufficient fat in the jar to coat 3d6 hit locations on one or more human sized users. An application conveys 3 points of armor protection and lasts one day. The jar, regardless of contents, has an ENC of 4.

Tin compass: A small tin dish with a hinged lid containing a tiny enchanted tin arrow. When a small amount of water is poured into the dish the arrow floats and always points to the east. Use of the device allows an additional roll if the party is attempting to leave an area.



HIT LOCATION TABLES
Humanoids (d20)
1-3
R. Leg
4-6
L. Leg
7-9
Abdomen
10-12
Chest
13-15
R. Arm
16-18
L. Arm
19-20
Head

Winged Humanoids (d20)
1-3
R. Leg
4-6
L. Leg
7-8
Abdomen
9-10
Chest
11-12
R. Wing
13-14
L. Wing
15-16
R. Arm
17-18
L. Arm
19-20
Head

Four Legged Creatures (d20)
1-3
R. Hind Leg
4-6
L. Hind Leg
7-8
Hindquarter
9-10
Forequarter
15-16
R. Front Leg
17-18
L. Front Leg
19-20
Head

Winged /Large Tailed
Four Legged Creatures (d20)
1-3
R. Hind Leg
4-6
L. Hind Leg
7-8
Hindquarter
9-10
Forequarter
11-12
R. Wing/Tail
13-14
L. Wing/Tail
15-16
R. Front Leg
17-18
L. Front Leg
19-20
Head


Cinquus/Demi-Birds (d20)
1-4
R. Leg
5-8
L. Leg
9-12
Hindquarter
13-16
Forequarter
17-20
Head/Neck


3-Headed Dragon (d20)
front
1-3
R Front Leg
4-6
L Front Leg
7-10
Forequarter
11-12
R Wing
13-14
L Wing
15-16
R Head
17-18
C Head
19-20
L Head


3-Headed Dragon (d20)
rear


1-6
R. Hind Leg
7-12
L. Hind Leg
13-17
Hindquarter
18-20
Tail

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Plastic Actualizer or Lens

In Humanspace Empires it is noted that Scientist and Adventurer class characters that receive at least one Level 1 power are assumed to begin the game with a Plastic Actualizer or Lens, a technological device that is worn on the head, or sometimes surgically implanted within the Scientist’s skull.  A lens focuses the user’s innate psychic ability and allows the manipulation of other planar energies with the power of the mind.

 According to the Imperial Academy of Science, antecedents of the plastic actualizer were produced as early as the 150th century A.D. in association with a marked increase in the manifestation of psychic powers amongst interstellar travelers. Although it is believed that the prevalence of psychic powers amongst humankind has waxed and waned over the millennia, the modern lens is the culmination of thousands of years of research and development aimed at harnessing the power of the mind through technology.

The modern lens is found in a variety of forms; however the most typical are the skullcap and skullframe.  The skullcap lens is a tight fitting duraplast-ytterbium alloy head covering with dorsal or lateral actualization nodes. The skullframe is similar; however it utilizes additional nodes to reduce the surface area of the shell.  Basic lens models are generally available on advanced and super-scientific worlds and range in price between CR 800 and CR 1500.

As noted, many scientists eventually opt for integration of the lens into their skull as a cymek device.  The surgical implantation of a lens is possible on super-scientific worlds at a minimum cost of CR 5000 for models with external nodes and CR 10000 for fully internal devices.

Rare and expensive Lens models may actually provide a bonus to the Scientist’s PSY score allowing use of powers greater than would normally be allowed.  Additionally, some very powerful artifact lenses have been created.


Psion Accumulating Lens (PAL) Mk 1: Lenses of this type are available on super-scientific worlds at a minimum cost of CR 4000 for skullcap and skullframe models, CR 15000 for cymek models with external nodes and CR 30000 for implanted models. The Mk 1 provides a +1 bonus to the wearer’s PSY attribute.

Psion Accumulating Lens (PAL) Mk 2: The Mk 2 is available on super-scientific worlds at twice the cost of a Mk 1 model. It provides a +2 bonus to the wearer’s PSY attribute (to a maximum of 18).

Psion Accumulating Lens (PAL) Mk 3: The Mk 3 is available on super-scientific worlds at three times the cost of a Mk 1 model. It provides a +3 bonus to the wearer’s PSY attribute(to a maximum of 18).

Scanner Lens: Lenses of this type are available on super-scientific worlds at a minimum cost of CR 2500 for skullcap and skullframe models, CR 10000 for cymek models with external nodes and CR 20000 for implanted models. The Scanner Lens has the following inherent power (A Skill/Power success roll is required for the use of the power which is used at the level of the wearer):

Holographic Scanner (3 times per day)


Lens of Power: The Lens of Power is a very potent super-scientific item, with offensive and defensive abilities. The origin and number of these items is not known; however they are usually in the form of a steely skullframe set with rare crystals. A Lens of Power provides a +2 bonus to the wearer’s PSY attribute (to a maximum of 18) and has following powers:

Heat Ray (3 times per day)
Holographic Scanner (3 times per day)
Holographic Projection (3 times per day)
Electrical Discharge (2 times per day)
Electromagnetic Pulse (Once per day)
Mind Blank (2 times per day)
Nega-Sphere (Once per day)

These powers, inherent in the lens, may be used in addition to the wearer’s own powers. A Skill/Power success roll is required for the use of any power and the power is used at the level of the wearer.

Lens of the Cymek Lords: These rare devices are believed to have been created during the short lived Cymek Empire, many millennia ago.  Although most examples are dull gray skullcaps, several implant models with complex and gothic external nodes set with blood red crystals are known. A Lens of the Cymek Lords confers the following powers on the wearer:

Control Device (3 times per day)
Control Machine (3 times per day)
Electrical Discharge (Once per day)
Electromagnetic Pulse (Once per day)
Machine Empathy (3 times per day)
Scanner Jam (twice per day)

These powers may be used in addition to the wearer’s own powers. A Skill/Power success roll is required for the use of any power and the power is used at the level of the wearer.

Alliance Foundation Lens: These devices are believed to be the product of a cryptic scientific order dedicated to the restoration of the Humanspace Alliance.  The Foundation Lens provides a +3 bonus to the wearer’s PSY attribute (to a maximum of 18) and has following powers:

Disbelieve (twice per day)
Holographic Scanner (3 times per day)
Holographic Projection (3 times per day)
Mind Blank (twice per day)
Scanner Jam (twice per day)
Telepathy (as the Astronaut power, twice per day)
Mind Control (as the Astronaut power, once per day)

These powers, inherent in the lens, may be used in addition to the wearer’s own powers. A Skill/Power success roll is required for the use of any power and the power is used at the level of the wearer.

Vrilú Lens: This artifact is rumored to be a product of the ancient Vrilú of Aldeberan 4.  Its form is a complex and spindly array of delicate glassy wire and tiny sparkling multi-colored crystals.  It is not worn but floats about the head of the user.  The Vrilú Lens provides a +3 bonus to the user’s PSY and INT attributes (to 18 maximum) and confers following powers:

Telepathy (as the Astronaut power, twice per day)
Nexus Point (Once per day)
Monster from the Id (Once per day)

These powers require a Skill/Power success roll to take effect; however the roll is made as if the user was 10th level or two levels above his or her actual level if the total is higher than 10th level. When the effects of the powers are dependent upon level, the level of the user is also determined in this manner.

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