I've been a huge fan of Rifts since highschool back in the 90's. A few years ago PEG Inc picked up the license and created a Savage Worlds conversion of it. I couldn't be happier. I love the world, but was never a fan of the Palladium system.
March 17th everything shut down. It was at first a gradual halt at the beginning of March, and then on that day, it was complete absolute stop.
So I kicked my Fantasy Grounds skills into full gear. I've ran soooo much D&D!!!
Now on June 4th my work opens its doors to the public again. My husband's work opens up as well. Both of them I feel are being smart with how they are implementing social distancing (or as I like to call it "staying out of melee range".
I have one game getting ready to meet in person again, and another that isn't comfortable yet with it. For me, if the group isn't 100% unanimous on meeting in person, than that group stays online. It's just not worth the anxiety.
Be safe everyone. Soon i'll start posting info on some of the projects i'm working on. I'm hoping to make a suppliment for DMsGuild.com soon. But i'm trying to figure out how to implement it into Fantasy Grounds so I can offer the VTT side of it as part of the purchase.
Star Wars: Exogenesis
A Clone Wars Saga
The Galaxy has erupted into war. Planets from the inner rim to the farthest reaches find themselves swept into the conflict. As does the crew of the freighter "Galopigos" (called Glop for short). They have been contracted to run supplies to remote Republic Outposts. This innocuous turtle shaped ship (Ghtroc 720) has a class I hyperdrive, and a captain feared through out the outer rim. Rumor has it that her ship now has a Mandalorian and a Jedi on board.
Crew of the Glop
Captain: Tanner Dethmetl (Miralan, F 33)
Security: 2 Gamorean Guardsmen (Tanner just calls them Frak and Bib)
N-601: Modified protocal droid outfited with assassin droid parts (can't actually pull the trigger)
4 more droids of various models, all with passive heuristic processors incapable of violence
A Mandalorian. Nobody has asked his name. He tinkers with everything though. His name is Puckgroth.
Nim Joda: Nautolan "Jedi"...black combat robes, some blaster damage on the armor plates, and a hole that's suspiciously lightsaber sized. Oh..speaking of...Jedi have red lightsabers right? Yup..totally a Jedi.
The crew has been contracted to run supplies on a 3 month journey from Tattoine, to a remote outpost on the moon orbiting Sernpidal. The Republic is using the outpost to find remote Separatist factories being used to produce more droids and ships. The Glop is one of several freighters that are making regular runs along the outer rim, bringing valuable supplies to the Republic outposts along the way.
The crew has figured out pretty quickly that the Captain is a ham. She loves purrgils, and has never fired a blaster in her life. Outside the ship, she "plays a character" and does a damn good job of being a "bad ass pirate lady". Mainly Frak and Bib do any sort of heavy handed violence (which they thoroughly enjoy).
The crew comes out of hyperspace at the end of a long 3 month journey. Expecting to see a lush blooming planet, and it's blue moon. Instead they find someone smacked the moon into the planet and cracked them both. It's devastated. No sooner do they start dodging chunks of planet, do chunks of planet start shooting at them and start chasing them down.
Two strange coral like objects start flying around at them. The 2 new mercenaries start firing at them only to see most of the blaster fire disappear. Tanner even fires a concussion missile that also vanishes. They focus fire the ships guns at one of the coral ships and get a missile through whatever shielding it has. They make quick work of the second ship after that as well.
They make note of Sernpidal's new 2nd moon, and avoid it.
Picking up a distress beacon from the larger chunk of the original moon, they find the outpost still kind of intact. They also find a massive chunk of coral in the center of the base, surrounded by humanoids. A strafing run later, there are no longer any humanoids guarding the coral. They land and investigate.
Puck (the Mandalorian) figures out how to get inside the coral ship(s), and starts messing with all the biomatter. Eventually he detaches one of the coral ships from the mass, and floats it next to the Glop. Then Nim and Puck go inside the base to look for the source of the signal. Two of these weird warriors are waiting for them.
The fight is quick and brutal. Their weird shell like armor is very lightsaber resistant, as are the snake staff things they fight with. Nim gets grazed by snake venom, and although resisted its immediate toxicity, he's feeling some prolonged effects that will need medical attention.
Meanwhile, Tanner had Frak and Bib strap the coral ship to the underside of the Glop. The mercs save 3 republic personnel, and they get out of Sernpidal as quick as possible...
Our crew makes it to the nearest Republic friendly planet to get Nim some medical help as he's lapsing in and out of conciousness. The tail the rescued people tell is chilling, and does not bode well for the rest of the galaxy if these intruders continue this sort of conquest. Once Nim is back on his feet, the team is asked to investigate a nearby Separatist outpost they were monitoring that has gone silent.
I paced the World of Darkness website like a child waiting to open Christmas presents. It's been awhile since I've been this excited. Like all expectations though, I kept myself tempered as best as I could so I'd leave room in my mind for all the things that my expectations might taint.
After an hour of fighting with the website to get the pre-order code to work, I figured out that Chrome was blocking pop-ups on the site, but not giving an error that it was doing so for the code segment. I figured this out by using Microsoft Edge. Just goes to show that using multiple browsers isn't a bad thing, and Edge can be a bit useful at times (definitely more so than IE).
Okay, on to the review.
It's 2018, and what the heck happened to our three favorite conspiracy organizations!!!
The setting in the book definitely does a fantastic job of catching up the game to the modern world. When we have instant information, and a single slip up of the Masquerade can be posted on YouTube with frightening speed and regularity, how is it that vampires have remained secret? Even under the might of the propaganda machine that is the Camarilla.
Regular humans still do not want to know that they aren't the top of the food chain. They go to their hum drum jobs, and do their normal things, and cling to it...desperately. However, the not so regular humans, that sell souls and information, and end lives with frightening regularity, have gotten the sent of blood. All the spook organizations were given carte blanche to persue terrorists where ever they find them.
The Good: The Second Inquisition isn't a super powerful grand conspiracy that is ultra united, and working in unison to end vampiric existence. They are an agent here, a handler there. Working more like cells in a world gone mad, they manipulate, and investigate. When they feel they have an opening, they strike.
The almost Bad: This all revolves around events that shifted the paradigm in 2007. I could easily see this balancing a bit more in the modern nights of 2018, as the public becomes more suspicious of clandestine surveillance, and these organizations very illegal methods get exposed. Which even then you could say is the Camarilla and the Anarchs fighting back. Using the political social machine to push the Inquisition further back into the shadows, and keep its meddling a bit more in check. Instead though they are left as a boogey-man that the storyteller ultimately is the arbitrator of. They aren't given lots of detail, and allowed to be sculpted into a force to threaten the night. They feel a little heavy handed, but in the end, it is up to each chronicle to determine their presence.
Getting tired of that 500+ year old Primogen representing your clan with ideologies that have been outdated for at least 2 centuries? Well he ran off, and left his position vacant...or he got a case of final death at the hands of the Inquisition, because he tried to buy a Russian bride off the internet for a late night snack. Either way..he's gone..and you're in.
The Ivory Tower has taken an expected knee jerk reaction to the 2nd Inquisition. Stop using technology. Fear it. Avoid it. The old techniques work better. Tremere magic is safer (what the hell did I just say?!). Don't expose yourself. Enforce the Masquerade!
This stance has done a few things. Elders that once ruled the night have either died, or left at the calling of the Antideluvians(?). This power vacuum has allowed younger (Ha!!! now your boss is only 250 years old!) vampires to take up the reigns. (get it...reins...reigns...)
So your neonate doesn't feel as oppressed, and might find the stability and order they've been looking for in the unloving arms of the Camarilla. The oft contradictory noddist and anti-noddist organization is still a force to be reconned with, but their fangs have been pushed back. They are now a little closer to the meritocracy we see in the Invictus of Requiem. They use blood bonds to enforce loyalty when needed, and other methods to enforce the Masquerade. Survival is the theme of the night now.
The Anarch Movement
WHY DO YOU OBEY??
As always, the Anarchs disadvantage is their lack of unity. No two have the same idea on what it means to be a vampire, and how they should go about being it. This also serves as a powerful advantage in the modern nights. Where the Second Inquisition has keyed onto the standard vulgar argot of the Camarilla and the Sabbat..the Anarchs are smart enough to know not to text your sire, "Hey dad, where is the nearest blood doll dispensary I can hit up?" or "Can I borrow your ghoul?".
Shreknet is dead...long live shreknet
If you've read the Anarchs Unbound sourcebook for V20, you'll know about the Red Dot Network that evolved from Shreknet. With it, you have a semi-thaumaturgical dark web layered right over the regular one. You could use social media to post blantant masquerade breaches, and none would be the wiser. Or at least so you thought. Being an I.T. nerd myself, I understand that the magic makes muggles unable to see your post, but that is still digital code. Skimming software that scours the internet looking for key words is neither a vampire nor a mortal. It will pick that post up, and flag it in a nice RSS feed to the NSA's little watch dog program. Then run it through an algorithm that assesses the probability of it being a vampire. Once that little bit of machine learning is done exposing the hell out of you, you've got a swat team busting through your apartment door, and blasting your to ash. Another drug dealer down. Nobody cares.
The sewer rats quickly dismantled their network. You can thank them later. When they are done running like hell.
That being said, the Anarchs are savvy. They know how to use technology. Many of the neonates that make up the movement were born with it. They show their elders, and their elders learn. They learn because anachronism is worse than final death in the Anarch Movement. And that is the difference between them.
Camarilla - Use what has worked for centuries. The tried, and true methods will save us. Let go over this "modern innovation", and come back to the darkness.
Anarchs - Adapt. Learn. Do it better this time. Keep going forward. The risk is greater, but so is the reward.
But where are the Sabbat?
With the rise of the Second Inquisition, they did not fair well in the west. This should be no surprise to anyone. When you blatantly act like a monster, and kill people in public, the boogey men target you first. Their ranks have been DECIMATED! This hasn't removed them from the board. It took them back to the monsters they were originally written as.
If a Sabbat pack shows up in your city, they are there to do one thing. Destroy you, your sire, your sire's sire, and your famulus dog too.
The Middle East
So there is this thing going on in the cradle of life. The old world is literally up in flames. This resonates really well with modern nights, as I can't recall a single day in the last decade that I haven't seen news about war in the middle east somewhere. Well, you can add that as an even more frightening back drop (as if it needed that), by adding the hint that the clan founders have called their eldest to fight on the front lines. The rest of the Sabbat is over there trying to kill them all, and your grand sire has felt the unresistable urge to go protect his super duper ancient grand sire. It's left vague, and that's good. We don't talk about the Gehenna War. We just dread what it means.
FINAL RANT SECTION
I could go on and on and on, but really i'm just going to encourage you to buy the game. It's had some controversy lately because the alpha packet hinted at playing a possible pedophile, and also some alt-right nazi groups decided to declare they enjoy playing it too.
This game is a dark game. You aren't playing good guys. That being said, there is quite a bit of information on how the group you play with should discuss the feel you are all comfortable with. Communication is key, and acceptance is key. Find the middle ground that everyone is comfortable with, and play that.
WHO EDITED THIS THING?!
White Wolf should have taken a page from Onyx Path, and released the PDF early. It's a hot mess of errors and bad layouts. The hard copies are being given out at GenCon, and I can't imagine being happy with the quality of that book if the PDF is the same version (which I assume it is). There are tons of grammatical errors, and the amount of wasted space is shocking. There are massive blanks all over the place where text could have filled the gap, and then right in the middle of a topic, they'll interrupt you mid sentence to put up a few pages (yes..pages) of other information. Then pick up that sentence again as if it was never interrupted. So you flip back a few pages, and then forward a few pages trying to keep on topic.
As a game, its brilliant, and wonderful, and I look forward to running this game for my friends.
As an RPG book, its a mess. I can't believe this is the released product.
With the release of the Genesys RPG (by Fantasy Flight Games) on the horizon, I've decided to build an entire campaign world for it. Hopefully they'll create some sort of creative commons or OGL for it, but if not, then i'll also translate the campaign to the 5th edition of the worlds greatest rpg system. (which I might do anyway)
The genre for the setting is called LitRPG. You should look into it. There are a swarm of books in this genre, and they are fun to read. The gist of them, is the characters are aware of their meta-stats like an RPG game. This usually translates to video game style RPG, with leanings toward MMO elements.
The setting i'm developing fits this mold.
Most people aren't able to see the interface, and aren't aware of it. They toil away on their birth world, doing whatever craft, trade, etc life handed them or that they earned through study/perseverance. They're born, they grow old, and they die (hopefully of natural causes).
At the age of 16, people from across the kingdom of Avellyon go through a ceremony called the Rite of Naming. They travel to one of 3 cities, and touch a soul crystal. If it bonds to them, then they become an immortal adventurer. They also pick a new name. Some keep this name to themselves, and others wear it openly like a badge of honor.
They also gain access to the interface. With it they can see their six attributes.
Brawn, Agility, Intellect, Cunning, Willpower, and Presence.
Everything else is tied intimately to these attributes, and they can see how the world changes them, and how they develop. Many adventurers become very tactical about their personal development considering the insight the interface brings.
Their soul crystal also gives them access to the Pylons. These structures are erected along leyline nexus points. Often this is the reason a township or city was even built. From the Pylon comes access to the resurrection shrines, and most importantly, portals.
Even those who aren't bound to a soul crystal can use the portal network. Long ago mages developed a method of compressing unrefined mana into silver and gold to make coins that are called "moons" and "suns". Because of this, silver and gold retain a decent value as well, and is the standard coinage of most people. 1 Sun is worth 10 moons, 100 gold, or 1000 silver. One sun is the exact amount of mana needed to take approximately 1 wagon exactly 10 miles. 5 moons will transport a person and up to 50 lbs of non-worn belongings (reasonable amounts of armor don't count toward the 50 lbs of weight) the same distance.
The entire economy began to revolve around this 2 ages ago. It's kept it's staying power since. There are a few restrictions though that keep trade caravans alive and well. First, suns are expensive, and not always worth it. If the value of the cargo isn't worth more than 10 suns, and isn't time sensitive, it will just be transported the old fashioned way. Also, you have to have been to a pylon to use its portal. Each pylon has a sequence of runes that run up each of its sides. These are the portal sequence to get to that location. You have to touch the pylon (or have attuned to it as an adventurer), and then the portals will let you travel to that destination. New merchants have to do a bit of traveling to establish their travel networks.
This is just the beginning. I have a OneNote thingy setup that has tons and tons of information on this setting. More to come.
It's that time of the year again. After 6 years of complete failure, this year i'm ready. I have a flipping OUTLINE!!!! At least most of one. I kinda blocked up because i'm terrible at forcing endings. I kind of need that fluid for now. As I write more, then outline will become clearer, and i'll finish planning the ending.
He logged in with his warlock, Avathos. Level 110 in NWD, and max geared. The server reset happens at 4am tomorrow. His guild is scheduled to do the Legendary Difficult of the latest raid dungeon, “Tomb of Annihilation”.
*scrolls through achievements*
Horde of the Dragon Queen - Complete
Rise of Tiamat - Complete
Princes of the Apocalypse - Complete
Out of the Abyss - Complete
Curse of Strahd - Complete
Storm Kings Thunder - Complete
Tales from the Yawning Portal - Complete
Tomb of Annihilation - 99.9%
He’s the only player to gain the one achievement that completes the expansions. Soloing a specific part of each of the adventures. Each time his friend Jared makes him help the guild complete the 99.9% first. Then it becomes a race before the next expansion comes out to see who can get the Feat of Strength achievement for 100% completion. Each time, he gets it. Others do sometimes, but he’s got all of them.
The expansion ends in two weeks, and Jared is only 98% complete. He’s missing one piece of gear because he’s focused on getting everyone else in the guild up to the goal. No previous adventure has been this difficult. Tomb of Annihilation is referred to as the “meat grinder” of adventures.
So Avathos goes to the guild vault, and empties it of its raid supplies. He mails them to one of Jared’s alts he almost never uses. It will take him days to figure that out. Then he takes the gate to Chult.
-Jungles of Chult-
The thick green canopy diffuses the sunlight coming down. Avathos sits at his keyboard and cracks his knuckles.
The evening is spent running raptor races, fighting a T-Rex, flying on pterodactyls, and gathering relics for the key. It’s used once before it has to be collected again. You can collect all the components before the reset, and then use the key afterwards.
Then with all the pieces in hand, he logged off.
******Server reset 4am**********
\\.. Adjutant Log
Like clockwork he’s back. The downtime was a quick 15 minute reboot of the server. Watching him move through the first few rooms by himself is poetry. Every step carefully calculated. Every spell, used specifically to bypass content. It takes him 5 hours to get to the section for the achievement. All the while he doesn’t take any damage he doesn’t want to. While his character does the dance like a good little puppet, he sits at his keyboard snacking on eggo waffles, and Coke Zero.
The lich scouled at him as he entered. He paced the outer edges of the room, careful not to trigger the fight. His goal is to get to the phylactery in the next chamber, and destroy it. Doing this without defeating the lich won’t drop any loot, but will complete the achievement. He targeted his Arcane Gate spell. He blinked in astonishment when the targeting reticle for the spell glitched, and instead of putting the gate on the other side of the room, it disappeared through the wall. “Well that should still work, and I don’t want to wait another hour for my spell to refresh.” He stepped into the portal.
Instead of being in the phylactery chamber, he was in the soul vault. Before him was a large portal channeling the souls of the dead. In the story arc, the lich was stealing the souls of the dead in an attempt to ascend to godhood.
I've made a few corrections to the Chaos Bringer, and added the Way of the Burning Vengeance. I'm receptive to other name suggestions for either of these. Give me all the feedbacks!
Demon Hunter Monastic Traditions
Here is part 1 of my Demon Hunter homebrew. Feel free to leave comments on this blog or on my facebook post. Looking for constructive criticism (mild mockery is acceptable). This is my take on the Warcraft Demon Hunter - Havok spec translated to the feel of 5th edition D&D. This requires the Player's Handbook as it uses the Monk class and is a Monastic Tradition there of.
After running some Savage Rifts, and looking up a few rules explanations, i'd like to clarify how Mega Damage works in Savage Rifts.
Savage Worlds has a descriptor for damage called "Heavy". This is to represent big vehicles, and large mecha, etc. Using your glock to shoot at a tank has the undesired effect of nothing. (maybe getting ran over?) So the term "heavy" and "mega damage" are interchangeable. In all of the Savage Rifts books it is called Mega Damage, but if you want to bring something in from another SW supplement, then its pretty easy to do so. The general thought was "will this hurt a tank, massive demon, or demi-god", and if the thought was "no", then its not mega damage. All vehicular weapons are MDC.
So this means your Wilk's Laser Pistol does not do Mega Damage. You can use it to hunt rabbits and dear instead of needing a separate old school slug thrower with you for hunting. If you attempt to shoot down a SAMAS Power Armor with your tiny laser pistol, the pilot might chuckle before he starts plugging you with railgun rounds. This also means that your combat cyborg with 8 points of MDC Armor is invulnerable to non-MDC damage. Same if your Ley-Line Walker casts a Mega Armor spell. He's a walking siege tank for a few rounds. ...oh...you thought mages were squishy? BWAHAHAHAHA!!!
Now for the reverse....What does Mega Damage do to non-mega damage?
In Savage Worlds you have a score called "Toughness". This is your damage absorption rating. To damage you an opponent needs to exceed this number. Exceeding it causes you to be "Shaken". Every raise (every 4 points over) gives you a wound. If you are already shaken, then exceeding it normally causes a wound. Mega Damage has no additional effect. It still goes against your regular toughness (which is a combination of your natural stamina and your armor). However, most things that do MDC tend to do allot of it.
For example, our favorite MDC cannon, the BOOM GUN does 4d12+6 damage. The combat cyborg (full conversion) can have a toughness of 22. It's not difficult to exceed that by 16 points (which would be an instant kill). So if you have non-MD armor, expect your toughness rating to be around 6-10. It may still apply to MDC weapons, but you're still probably going to die in a really gruesome manner.