Wednesday 29 July 2015

Threats encountered in System G33

Even in the abandoned and isolated G33 system, the life of a House Council Agent is not without danger. A collection of non-human threats encountered in recent weeks by mission bound House agents is outlined below.

(The following entities, in White Star terms, fall under the "Creature" category. I have tried to emulate the statistic listing as per the rule book, but there is minor ordering changes to reflect my personal preference for reading  statistics. There is also the addition of "Number Encountered" statistic because I enjoy the  power it has to change the importance of an encounter, plus an "Emanation" listing."Emanation" rules, description and explanation can be found here. )

Location, G33 System House Council Spacestation: Operating at a vastly understaffed level, many once thriving areas of the G33 Spacestation have fallen in to disrepair. Cog engineers often weld off these areas with massive sheets of durasteel plating, before the council abandons them for good. Though rudimentary unmanned security system are installed, a tide of exotic and dangerous vermin eventually take up residence.

Ice Bat:

Number Encountered: d12, 
HD: 1hp, AC: 12 (Small and winged, dart and dodge with speed), 
Special: Can fly. Any entity bitten by an ice bat must make a Saving Throw or be infected with "Ice Veins". "Ice Veins" is a mild, slightly debilitating infection, easily cured. The victim will suffer from inescapable cold, shiver constantly and have their physical speed,  vigour and reaction times slowed down. 
Total Hit Bonus: +2Attacks: Bite (1d4). 
Saving Throw: 15, Movement: 16XP: 20, 
Emanation: Large icicles covered in small claw marks, rodents or larger prey dead and encased in cubes of ice, soft piles of white fur, ceilings covered in small claw marks and scratches, black piles of guano. 
Description: About the size of winged chihuahua, these blue skinned, white furred bats make their nests in the freezing, defunct climate-control tunnels. Those perceptive enough to notice them nesting, will see only masses of white fur clouded together between large icicles - a colony bunched together for warmth. Once disturbed the Ice Bats bright, blue leathery wings make it much easier to see as it flies towards its prey, fangs reared. 

Gas Bug:
Number Encountered: 1d6, 
HD: 1, AC: 18 (Thick carapace plating),
Special: Gas bugs will latch on to and constantly feed upon a foe after a successful bite attack, target must make a Saving throw or find themselves suffering d4 damage every round until the gas bug is removed or they/it are dead. Upon death gas bugs will explode in a plume of green gas, those nearby must making a Saving throw or feel woozy and disorientated for the next day. 
Total Hit Bonus: +1, Attacks: Bite (1d6), 
Saving Throw: 14, Movement: 1XP: 50, 
Emanation: Gnawed and destroyed gas pipes, brown stained and gnawed upon durasteel plating, colonies of gas bugs infested in walls - feasting upon broken gas pipes, shed carapaces, clouds of stenchous digested gas. 
Description: A galaxy wide pest, well known to any space station maintenance crew. Thick brown shelled insects, similar in size and physiology to a giant horse shoe crab. Powerful jaws and teeth on the underside of the protective carapace have the ability to slowly crack and grind through metal. This ability allows gas bugs to leech on to gas piping, which is the creatures main force of nutrition. When feeding they are enter a hibernation like state and will suck on gas lines until the supply is cut off - growing and reproducing unconsciously the entire time. They dumbly ignore entities around them but will become aggressive  if disturbed from gas feeding, or if something stands between them and a potential gas supply.

Spider Electroganic Drone:
Number Encountered: d6,
HD: 1, AC: 12 (Skittish and wiley),
Special: Can climb and scale sheer surfaces,

Total Hit Bonus: 1, Attacks: 1 or 2 (depending on model) re-purposed sentry laser (d6+2), 
Saving Throw: 14, Movement: 10XP: 50, 
Emanation: Removed durasteel panelling - wires, cords and cables clearly scavenged, makeshift work benches featuring chunks of flesh encased in wiring, hanging cords of electroganic parts, destroyed security lasers, distant clanking and scuttling, removed air vent panels. 
Description: Leaking dark red black oil and ramshackle to the point being in operable - spider electroganic drones are the handiwork of a crazed practitioner of the outlawed craft. Set to patrol heavily scavenged and destroyed areas of the station, or rudimentary work labs they will attack all beings on sight. It is currently unknown who is creating or controlling the drones. Their very existence is illegal and acknowledging having seen, fought, or other wise interact with one is cause for reprimand or imprisonment.

Location, Bube: Once the breadbasket of the system the dying sun of of G33 no longer supports the growing of grains or meat cattle. The ever gloomy purple tinged planet is currently overrun with mushrooms forest  which are thriving in the low light and fertile soil. These mushrooms do form the system's main food supply, but Cog researchers are yet to comprehend the dark arts of fungoid baking. 

Bube Beast:

Number Encountered: d4,
HD: 4, AC: 14 (Fattened flesh and muscle),
Special: Upon dying, or upon a blow targeted towards its pustule covered backside the large boils and lesions on the bube beasts will explode releasing a cloud of spores. A Saving throw is required upon contact with this spore cloud. If failed erratic and confused behaviour involving nearby mushrooms will occur for about an hour
Total Hit Bonus: +4Attacks: Bite (d8) and Hooven Stomp (d8)  
Saving Throw: 13, Movement: 14,  XP: 150, 
Emanation: Destroyed and devoured mushroom trees, distant bovine howls and warbling, distant stomping and falling of mushroom trees, mucus smeared mushroom tree trunks, squirming puddles of yellow goo a few feet across. 
Description:  An enormous bovine creature distantly related to long abandoned Bube cattle stock. Bube beasts wander the endless fields of mushrooms, ever feasting and growing. They are almost always seen with their backsides covered in swelling and jiggling pustules filled with spores bathing in a yellow goo. No natural predators exist for the beast and the eating of their flesh results in severe diarrhoea in humans. They are a menace and pest to the settlements of Bube which erect thick durasteel walls, armed with laser turrets around themselves to keep the beasts at bay. Odd, almost ceremonious behaviour and attacks on settlements which appears  intelligent and guided has been observed. 

Location, Top Secret and Unknown:  The following entities do not exist and additionally there existence is illegal. Acknowledging having seen, fought, or other wise interacted with the following is cause for reprimand or imprisonment.

Crystalline Men

Number Encountered: d6,
HD: 2, AC: 14 (Flesh of crystal brittle but absorbent),
Special: Immune to laser fire and other energy based weapons (Laser Sword attacks cause half damage), May hold consumable mind control orb which acts as a once off Charm Person as cast by a level 2 Star Knight. 
Total Hit Bonus: +2, Attacks: Crystalline sword hand (d8), 
Saving Throw: 12, Movement: 12XP: 100, 
Emanation: Crystalline drones, crystalline hive infestation, humans coming too from being mind controlled or in the throes of it - will act disorientated and confused perhaps muttering about the men, expertly destroyed human power systems and utilities, distant hums, distant whisperings. 
Description: The Crystalline men are silent, incomprehensible beings. Their technology is composed of the same material as their bodies. They have the ability to mentally seduce, confuse and overpower humans. Not much else is known about the Crystalline men. 

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Non Combat Skills for The Decline of Overhouse August (White Star)

Players in my White Star campaign, "The Decline of Overhouse August", have been requesting a skill system added to the game to help differentiate their characters a little more. I think this fair, as they can currently only pick from three White Star character classes, Mercenary, Bureaucrat and Pilot (Regul Guard, Spark Agent and Cog Pilot in campaign terms). With most of their Experience Points deriving from mission completion rewarded Credits, I felt it also important to implement another meaningful credit sink for players to spend their money on. Most players already having had their pick from the default purchasable equipment list and, other than the pilots, no one is looking to purchase their own Spacecraft. I've implemented an Ad Hoc cybernetics system (See Cybernetics heading) and eventually I hope to add scope for weapon and spacecraft modification.

Ultimately, I envision four paths in which players can customise there character beyond level advancement; Non Combat Skills, Cybernetics, Weapon Modification and Vehicle Modification.

Rationale: The skill system uses the"Skills: The Middle Road" , modified slightly to better suit the economy of the game, and to reflect the quicker turn around for training I assume in a Sci-Fi world. I envision most of the skills to be against a preordained Skill Check number (the player trying to roll to hit a certain value on the dice) rather than two entities competing against one another. Because of this I have opted to use an increasing bonus to the same type of dice roll, rather than the original system of increasing die type with additional skill training. Originally, this was going to be a d20 because I grasp ascending armour class enough to be able to easily eyeball Skill Check Levels quickly. But, I realised the maximum +1 for attributes bonus in White Star makes this kind of sucky. This, and the fact I feel like I don't get to use d12's enough made me change the system to use d12, with skill check levels ranging from 2 to 17. The impact of a +1 in a range of 2 to 17 is much more so than in a range of 2 to 28 (which would be the swing using d20).

 The g33 House Council Space Station, home of the Academy (Space Station - John Berkey)

Now, onto presenting the The Decline of Overhouse August Non Combat Skill System! 

All skills involve rolling a d12 either against another entity's d12 roll in an opposed skill check, or against a preordained Skill Check number to attempt to roll that number or higher. Skill Check levels range from 2 to 17. All skills receive a +1 from the relevant attribute if the player has a value of 15 or more in said attribute. 

There are four levels of training for each skill level, each giving an increasing bonus to the d12 skill roll. The price in time and credits for training to each level is as follows:

Obviously free and the initial training stage of each credit. Skills in red can not be attempted unskilled.
No bonuses to die rolls

Training:1 week and 2000 Credits
+2 bonus when making skill-related rolls with a d12

Training: 2 weeks and 5000 Credits
+4 bonus when making skill-related rolls with a1d12

Training: 1 month and 15,000 Credits
+5 bonus when making skill-related rolls with a d12

At gradation from the House Council Academy (character creation):
Level 1 House Spark Agents may pick 2 of any type of skill to be “Skilled” in.
Level 1 Cog Pilots may pick any “Intelligence” based skill to be "Skilled" in.

Level 1 Regul Guards are "Skilled" in either Space or World based Survival.

The G33 House Council Space Station offers the following skills for training at its Academy, listed under their bonus giving attribute. (Also listed are current rumoured of, but illegal and not offered by the Academy skills).  

Worship of Overhouse August Lore (Religion)  
Artistry/Performance (Pick an artform)

Human Dialectical Knowledge
Interstellar Navigation Mathematics (A fast dying area of study)    
Nefarious and Intrusive Holonet/Commlink Operation
Nefarious and Intrusive Security Hardware Operations
Repair and Modification of Starships
Repair and Modification of Worldcrafts
Researchification (Choose a field)

Rumoured and illegal Intelligence based skills:
Non-Human Dialectical Knowledge (illegal and not available publicly)

Non-Sentient Lifeform Lore
Bureaucratic Lore (Includes House Council Procedures)
Space-based Survival
World-based Survival
Galactical Planetary Lore (A fast dying area of study)

Rumoured and illegal Wisdom based skills:
Underworld Lore (illegal and not available publicly)
Non-Human-Sentient Lifeform Lore (illegal and not available publicly)
Non-Human-Sentient Lifeform Cultural Lore (illegal and not available publicly)

Monday 6 July 2015

The Decline of Overhouse August

Once a bustling bastion of Overhouse August order in the outer galactic arm, System G33 is now decrepit, abandoned and irrelevant enough to only be known by its solar identification code. Deprived of employment outside of fungal farming and platinum mining, citizens of ambition's only recourse is recruitment to the House Council. Once employed to either House Cog, Spark or Regul agents are tasked with maintaining the Augustan Peace for the meagre population of G33. Tasks are assigned from the decaying and dusty House Council space station, where teams are drawn and combined from each house. While animosity sparking from House loyalty is common, individual bonds formed on combined House missions keep the Council Houses from open conflict. The fear of disapproval and disgrace from the Golden Overhouse August also stifles the emboldenment  of any singular Underhouse. 

Overhouse August extracted itself from the system generations ago, taking with them the plasma fuel required for interstellar travel.  The last recorded visit of an Augustan Emperor (the name for any agent of Overouse August) was decades ago. Regardless, the gold plated Overhouse August station on the outskirts of G33 is dutifully maintained in the hope of an Emperors return. Such an event could help bring the end of  the system's isolation and decline. 

"The Decline of House August" is my bizarro Star Wars campaign. I'm currently using the White Star ruleset because it's dead simple and written more or less exactly how I would transpose Star Wars into a D&D chassis. It's also simple enough to easily chop, change and modulate as many GM's are want to do. These Hungarian Star Wars posters are quite influential to the campaign:

Campaign Rules: Players may create a character using the following classes from White Star rulebook: Mercenary (House Regul Guard), Bureaucrat (House Spark Special Agent) or Pilot (House Cog Engineer). No other classes are currently allowed.  All players begin on the G33 Council Spacestation assuming to have gone through basic training and been rewarded their initial 3d6 x 10 credits recruitment bonus. Equipment and transport required for House Council jobs are provided for duration of said mission. Credits rewarded for completion of House Council missions also grant Experience Points.

Overhouse Augustan Law: Under the enlightened and glorious rule of House August the galaxy has experienced untold aeons of peace, justice and bounty. All citizens of advised to follow the following precepts with the utmost solemnity:

  • Overhouse August is to be your light, guidance and protector. The goodness of Overhouse August fuels your nearest Solar Body. Give daily praise to the Overhouse. 
  • Magic, Sorcery or Psychic Ability of any kind is to be avoided, cleansed and destroyed. Citizens experiencing such things should notify their nearest House Agent. 
  • Non Human Sentient beings are the harbingers of disorder, disarray and disharmony. All Non Human Sentient beings are outlawed. Also outlawed is the communication, sighting, hearing, touching or sensical interaction with such beings by any and all citizens. 
  • Non Human Sentient beings do not exist - citizens should report rumours of their re-existence immediately to their nearest House Agent. 
An Overhouse August Emperor Agent.

The House Council: Made up of the bickering Underhouses left waiting for the return of Overhouse August, the following groups maintain order in the G33 system. Players elect to join one of these three houses when they create a character.

Loyalty to one's house is expected: Overhouse edict states that House agents may only be paid, equipped and rewarded by their chosen house. Ensuring the betterment of one's house is in one's best interest. Overhouse edict also states that council tasks must be approved by all houses and tasked by teams composed of agents from all houses. A staggering array of Overhouse August edicts exist to ensure healthy competition, reward, resentment and division of purpose and power within the Underhouses. Taskmaster representatives from each house are allocated as liaisons for council teams on each specific mission. 

House Regul: Focus on martial conflict and the enforcement of peace via the barrel of a laser pistol. House Regul Guards are the heavy armed peacekeepers of the system.

Regul Commander Corrine Nysyth - her lower face and neck destroyed in battle is replaced  by golden cybernetic plating.
House Cog: Engineers and pilots only just holding together the ageing and decaying fleet remaining in the G33 system. Also in charge of a number of mining and terraforming operations throughout the system. 
Cog Industrial Commander Noven Trumenko - flexing his  cybernetic hands designed specifically to interface with and pilot star ships. 
House Spark: The intelligence arm of the House Council. House Spark make up for the roughness of the other two houses with their ability to charm and beguile.

Spark Head of Intelligence Darius Graydon - his rotating cybernetic eye is rumoured to be a  purely aesthetic non-visually functioning gemstone. 

Additional Campaign Rules: 

CyberneticsAfter a 20 year hiatus, GX33 Council Station once again has a  cybernetics installer (the previous installer was found guilty of working with somewhat mystically, enchanted or otherwise unlawfully magically equipment and was put under Overhouse August arrest). A variety of modifications are available but a consultation session with the installer, outlining your desired augmentations, is required and costs 500 credits. At the end of the consultation you will be provided a quote and general outline of the results your procedure (will hopefully) give you.

Please bear in mind the installer will accept no responsibility for quality and operability differences between quoted and actual user results.

Procedures will cost any where from 500c to 50 000c (exclusive of consultation fee).

Additionally investment in your procedure is recommended (Each additional 500c invested in procedures will decrease chances of gross negligence, operational failure,  poor quality parts and/or other wise shoddy workmanship.)

Links to "The Decline of Overhouse August" stuff:

Non Combat Skill System.
Star Witch Character Class.
Threats encountered in the g33 system.
Khybe Monk Character Class. 
Random Space Encounter Table. 
The Pan System. 
The Shargon, Character Race.