Saturday, October 24, 2009

Party at Ground Zero...

Okay, so it seems this is pretty much becoming a blog about minis, but that's fine with me, 'cos I love building 'em, kit bashing 'em, and to a slightly lesser degree, painting 'em. (Don't get me wrong, I love having fully painted miniatures, but there's a kind of sloggy quality to painting that must be overcome.)

Anyway, I keep coming up with crazy new minis projects, and here's the beginning of one. A buncha mutants for a vaguely realized Gamma World game/ campaign/ oneshot/ sandbox thing I've got in mind set in New England. This batch is ready to prime, and the only thing stopping me from digging thru my bits box and making more is I'm out of round bases.

These guys are built from Warhammer Fantasy Imperial Militia (my root stock of choice for kitbashing), Cadian Imperial guard, a variety of bits from my bits box, and Reaper Mini's awesome "Creature Components" pack.

Left to right up top, we've got high tech equipped Restorationists and adventurers. Some mean mutant plants. Imperialist Blackbellies in back, brave Watchmen from the walled city of Tham in front, and a variety of road sign shield waving freaks to the left. (Gotta love road sign shields. It's de rigeur for gonzo post apocalypse games.) Seein' all these little guys just gives me a warm glow inside, the kind of warm glow that sets off a gieger counter.

New Class: The Largomani

Digging the deep desert.

So here's the last of my new race replacements for my Arabian Nights themed Labyrinth Lord campaign in development. These guys are built out of dwarf and lizardman bits, which is fitting since they are essentially dwarf lizardmen. The female is an amalgamation of random bits held together with modeling putty. I figured all the races have a diaphanous veiled dancer, the Largomani should get one too.

They're named in honor of Largo, a mutant turtle (and heavy weapons enthusiast) a good amigo of mine played in my old Gamma World homebrew campaign. Hope you dig.

Hit Dice: 1d8
Maximum Level: 12

The stocky, reptilian Largomani (singular: Largoman) are creatures of the deep desert, able to survive and prosper in the merciless dune wastes that stretch from the perimeter fertile crescent to the Mount of Ages. While the harshness of their environs make survival their main concern, they are also a kindly folk, willing to extend hospitality to those in need.

A typical Largoman is about four feet tall, weighing about 170 pounds (all of which is muscle) and covered in a smooth, slightly waxy olive green hide. Their lizard like faces are rigid and inscrutable, so much of their personality comes through in vocal inflection and body language. (In fact, they are well known for their grace and skill at dancing, which comes as quite a surprise to the other peoples.) Their hands, while dextrous as any man's, are rough and thorny with thick nails that allow them to burrow through sand with amazing speed. Large, taloned feet and a four foot tail grant them very solid footing on shifting sands, should they choose to move above ground. In day to day life largomani dress very pragmatically, in simple kilts and cloaks, favoring as heavy armor as they can get.

From the day they come of age, every largoman is given a special device known as a dewwok, which resembles a small shield with strange hollows on one side and a polished metal surface on the other, that when set out at night allows them to gather enough water to sustain them for a whole day. A largoman dewwok is usually carried strapped to their back when they are mobile during the day, and adds a +1 to their armor class in addition to whatever other armor and shield they may be using. It is generally their most prized posession, and they will go to great lengths to protect it.

Largomani have the ability to see heat, granting them infravision out to 60 feet. They are also able to burrow through loose earth or sand at a movement rate of 30'. Their intimate knowledge of the wastelands allows them a 1-2 on a d6 roll to detect pitfalls, hidden tunnels, quicksand, or buried water in earthen or sandy environments. Their inherent toughness grants them good saving throws against magic. An unencumbered Largoman has a movement rate of 60', but only suffer encumbrance if they are carrying over 80 lbs. Due to their short stature, they can't use pole arms or large 2 handed weapons. Largomani speak their own language, the common tongue, and their alignment language. They harbour a fierce hatred of the tomb rats, and gain a +1 to damage against them in battle. All Largomani understand something of the tomb rats' debased language.

Reaching 9th. Level: When a Largoman reaches a this level, they will find a likely spot and construct a sietch: an underground warren of tunnels that features large meeting halls, deeply buried cisterns, colonies of docile giant insects that the occupants raise for food, and creche chambers for Largomani eggs and hatchlings. The sietch is defended by Largomani soldiers, but may harbor experts and spellcasters of other races. Largomani seitches operate under a strict code of hospitality. If a wayfarer comes to one in peace, they will be housed, fed, and protected for up to three days.

Largomani use the Dwarf saving throws and the Dwarf level progression from the Labyrinth Lord rulebook, with a d8 for hit dice.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Class: The Kedai

Princes of Purrrrrrrrsia.

The main reason for these guys is 'cos I got all these awesome minis from the Alkemy tactical game. How can you not dig cat people in Arabian Nights gear? They are also a revamp of a race my friends and I came up with for a shared worldbuilding/Savage Worlds campaign. (Factoid: Kedai is derived from "Kedi" which is cat in Turkish)

Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: 10

The Kedai are an exalted race of felines originating in the ancient temples of a forgotten deity that can be found at oasis' across the land. Before vanishing, this unknown patron bestowed a final blessing on the sacred cats dwelling in these sprawling ruins, giving them the gifts of speech, sense, and skill. The Kedai refer to this diety in their language as "Ohai", which translates as "She who will return." They revere her as their creator, but do not attach much significance to her beyond that. Aside from a small but fervent order of albino priestesses, they generally ignore their patron deity.

Were a leopard to rise up upon its hind legs and begin dressing and acting as a human, that is the general appearance of the Kedai. Their short fur coats come in shades of gold or orange with black rosettes, with all black and albino specimens infrequently appearing as well.

They are very proud of their appearance, and prefer to dress in loose, colorful clothing that accentuates their pelts to greatest effect. Kedai at their best are bright and vivacious, and intensely curious, at their worst they are lazy, flighty, and vain. Fierce when wronged, but quick to forget grudges. Kedai speak their own language, as well as common and gnoll. Those with Intelligence over 13 may speak the Ancient tongue, while those with Wisdom over 13 may speak the langage of the Jinni.

A kedai gains a +5% bonus to experience if they have a 13 in either prime requisite, and gain a +10% if they have a 13 in both. They gain a +1 bonus to initiative rolls when alone or in a party composed completely of their own kind. They posess infravision out to 60 feet, but their eyes glow in the dark, possibly revealing their location to enemies. They are capable of making great leaps of 20 feet in any direction, as long as they are unencumbered. A kedai may make a saving throw vs. Petrify while falling distances of 30 feet or less to land safely on their feet without harm.

Reaching 9th. Level: A kedai of high enough level may seek out an unoccupied temple ruin and establish a community there, where they may rule as a Bey answering to the Kedai Pasha once they have cleared it of any unwarranted occupants and restored the complex to a liveable state. Such communities often become caravan waypoints and centers of trade and culture, and it often will behoove the ruler to attract learned sages, wizards, and clerics, as well as merchants, tradesmen, and entertainers. The complex may be defended by mercenaries of any kind, but the Pasha prefers his vassals to make as much use of kedai soldiery as possible.

Kedai use the Elf saving throws and the Fighter level progression from the Labyrinth Lord rulebook, with a d6 for Hit Dice.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Class: The Jann

"Ho HO! Am I not GLORIOUS ?!"

Here is one of the first "race replacements" for the Thousand Year Sandglass. One of the beauties of Oldskool Moldvay-Cook, BX Labyrinth Lord yada yada style race as class is the ease with which you can swap out these race as classes to change the character and tone of your campaign world. For this setting, having Tolkeinian elves, dwarves, and halvlings running around an Arabian Nights style desert setting just doesn't work. (That's not to say it can't work ever, but fer my purposes, nah...) So here is my replacement for the Elves, the Jann.

Hit Dice: 1d8
Maximum Level: 10

Among the tribes and nations of mankind, there are those in whose veins flow the magical blood of the jinni. These individuals are known among men as the jann. They are gifted with both skill at arms, as well as the power to cast spells as wizards do. Many jann are indistinguishable from humanity, albeit with a greater tendency towards comeliness, but just as many bear outward signs of their lineage, such as unusually colored eyes or hair, or greatly increased height. Regardless of their physical appearance, they are invariably strong, commanding personalities capable of great passions. Many find them arrogant, high handed, and boastful, but often their boasts have considerable power backing them up. The life of a jann is one fraught with destiny and adventure.

Jann may wield any weapon and use any armor, and may cast spells from a list they share with the Sha'ir, using the Magic User's spell progression chart for the number of spells they may cast per day. They do not need to choose spells in advance, instead picking spells from among the spells they know for an appropriate slot on the fly.

They must have at least a 13 on both prime requisites to get a +5% bonus to their XP, and must have a 16 in CHA and a 13 in STR to get the +10% bonus. Due to their magical nature, they can spot illusions on a 1-2 on a d6 when actively searching. Also due to their lineage, they are immune to the paralysing touch of ghuls. Jann can speak common, their alignment language, gnoll, kedai, and the language of the jinni.

Reaching 9th. Level: When a jann reaches this level, they may choose to either build a fixed stronghold in the traditional fashion, generally at an isolated oasis or mountain top, or found a nomadic camp that they rule over as a shaykh, claiming a number of hexes equal to the shaykh's level in the desert. The camp moves from hex to hex every 1d3 months, with a 1d6 to randomize the direction it heads within its ruler's territory. While the hexes in a sheikh's domain remain wild in terms of clearing out monsters and other perils, the hex the camp is currently residing in must be free of threats, and a force must be sent to clear out a hex to be occupied in the future. Warriors of all kinds may be hired, but a personal honor guard of jann stock must be retained.

Jann use the Elf Level Progression and Saving Throws from the Labyrinth Lord Rulebook.

The entirety of this class is hereby designated as Open Game Content via the Open Game License.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Class: The Sha'ir

"My genie can beat up your genie."

In ancient times I ran an Al Qadim campaign for my brother and his friends, that we had a LOT of fun with. One of my favorite aspects of that setting was how big genies figured into the mix, and how cool the sha'ir class/kit was. Since I'm gonna run an Arabian Nights themed game, here's my Labyrinth Lord take on the class. Sim sim, salabim!

Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: None.

The jinni are a powerful force in the magical realm of Sanduq Ramul, and among the tribes of mankind there are men and women who have learned how to speak to, bargain with, and eventually, command these primal, elemental creatures.

Sha'ir may carry and use one handed weapons and bows, but may not use large two handed weapons or polearms. They cannot wear armor or use shields, as to wear armor is a sign of fear that causes them to lose the jinni's respect. They fight as Clerics, and save as Magic Users.

Sha'ir cast spells known as boons from their own spell list, using the Magic User's spell progression chart. This progression indicates the number and quality of favors they may ask from the jinni in a given day. They may choose any spell from the list as appropriate to the level available to them, rather than memorizing their spells beforehand.

At Level 4, a Sha'ir may summon a gen, a diminutive form of jinni that acts as a familiar to them. The gen shares the sha'ir's hit points, and if they are damaged so is their master (although not vice versa). Gen and their master may be healed seperately by any means available to them. If a sha'ir's gen is killed, they may not summon another for 101 days.

There are four types of gen, aligned to the four elements, and what type the Sha'ir may bond with is dependent on their alignment. Each type has a unique power that they may use on themselves at will, and on others once a day. A gen is only a foot tall, hits like a Lvl 1 Fighter, striking with their tiny fists or biting. They speak the language of the jinni.

The four gen types are:
Djinnlings, who can cast Fly once a day, has an AC of 3, and hits for 1d4 damage.
Daolani, who can cast Passwall once a day, has an AC of 2, and hits for 1d4 damage.
Efreetikin, who can cast Resist Flame once a day, has an AC of 3, and hits for 1d8 damage.
Maridan, who can cast Breathe Water once a day, has an AC of 3, and hits for 1d4 damage.

Lawful Sha'ir may choose a Djinnling or a Maridan.
Neutral Sha'ir may choose a Daolani or Maridan.
Chaotic Sha'ir may choose a Daolani or Efreetikin.

Reaching 9th. Level: Upon reaching this level, a sha'ir gains the power to summon and bind jinni into their service. They may do this with any type of jinni whose hit dice are 2 lower than their level (ignoring plus's), thus a 9th. level sha'ir may bind a djinn, while a 12th. level sha'ir may bind an efreeti. The service may be for a maximum duration of 101 days. Sha'ir may only bind one jinni at a time. Upon initiating the binding, the sha'ir must roll a 2d6 and consult the following table

Roll Result
2 Jinni is bound and serves enthusiastically. +1 to Morale
3-5 Jinni is bound to service.
6-8 Jinni is bound, but rebellious. -1 to Morale. 10% chance/day of escape
9-11 Jinni refuses service and vanishes
12 Jinni enraged at attempt to bind. Attacks instantly.

The following modifiers apply to this roll. The sha'ir may apply their reaction adjustment as well if their charisma is high or low enough.
+4 if a jinni of the same type has been slain in the sha'ir's service
-2 if a prior bound jinni was released from service earlier than agreed upon
+2 if a jinni is of a different alignment than the sha'ir
-1 if a jinni is the same alignment as the sha'ir
-1 for every 100000 gp worth of treasure offered to the jinni, up to 400000 gp.

Sha'ir do not build strongholds, preferring to wander, but they are a welcome presence in the halls or tents of the powerful and well connected.

Sha'ir use the Magic User level progression chart.

Sha'ir Spell List

1st Level
1 Light
2 Floating Disc
3 Hold Portal
4 Shield
5 Water Breathing
6 Resist Fire

2nd Level
1 Find Traps
2 Fly
3 Knock
4 Levitate
5 Phantasmal Force
6 Clairvoyance

3rd Level
1 Locate Object
2 Fire Ball
3 Create Food & Water
4 Hold Person
5 Lower Water
6 Detect Lie

4th Level
1 Move Earth
2 Hold Monster
3 Arcane Eye
4 Wall of Fire
5 Part Water
6 Conjure Animals

5th Level
1 Flame Strike
2 Blade Barrier
3 Conjure Elemental
4 Control Weather
5 Telekinesis
6 Wall of Stone

The entirety of this class is hereby designated as Open Game Content via the Open Game License.


Kind of.

I'll start off by saying that I'm probably going to shelf the Fort Standish 3rd. edition campaign for now. Partly it's 'cos I was growing increasingly dissatisfied with 3rd. Edition. I wanna get back to simpler rulesets, so I'm switching up to Labyrinth Lord for my new game engine of choice, and I'm in development on a new campaign. So without further ado, I'd like to announce "The Thousand Year Sandglass", adventures set in the blazing sands and mysterious nights of an exotic desert land. Until I have it playable, I'll be posting occasional tidbits up here, like new classes and whatnot, so stay tuned. If you like Ray Harryhausen's Sinbad movies, then you're in for quite a magic carpet ride.

Take it away, ladies...