Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Voidjammer: The New Drule Empire

The New Drule Empire is a vast, interstellar empire ruled by Drule Blueskins. This empire is presently seeking complete control of a region of space known as The Shadow Nebula, an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases and magic-enhancing substances. Within The Shadow Nebula, a large number of habitable worlds are known to exist, as well as ample amounts of magical substances such as Corite (positive energy) and Haggarium (negative energy) and other substances.
Also known as the Galran Empire, The New Drule Empire is an attempt by the Drule Blueskins to re-establish the ancient and scattered Drule Empire. In this effort, the Empire is seeking to control potent magics so as to construct a massive fleet of ships and a vast army of troops and Robeasts to conquer all of space. The Empire is centered on the planet Galra (see below), but has conquered numerous worlds across the Nebula.

Politics and Government
The planet is ruled by a kingdom, headed by the quarrelsome and evil Daibazaal family from the massive Castle Doom on Galra. The King serves as the head of state, presiding over a council of Drule noblemen. Each of the noblemen are in charge of vast resources, planets and factions of the Empire.
A steady policy of infighting, assassination and arguments is common in The Empire, resulting in only the most vicious, cunning and paranoid retaining leadership positions for any time. Because of this, the Empire has no use for mercy, or justice. But they do operate under a legal system presided over by the King and the clerics of the goddess Honerva (Chaotic Clerics) and their Drule Antipaladin enforcers.

Under the command of the king, the military conducts combat operations. The Doom military has fleets of spacecraft, wings of combat and support aircraft, and armies. The mainstay of the kingdom's ground forces are Doomite Undead (see below), who are "created" from the life-force of slaves using the planets negative energy properties. In addition to conventional forces, Robeasts provide extra muscle.

The Empire relies heavily on slave labor, sending Doomite Freighters to the far reaches of the universe looking for slaves. Though many slaves are sent to labor in the mines, the more interesting sorts are made to fight in the Arena at Castle Doom. In the arena, slaves must battle Robeasts and other foes for the amusement of the nobles and Doomites. Those who die are used as feed for the robeasts, and their souls captured to make Doomites. Those who survive will eventually be transformed into Robeasts.

Galra (aka Planet Doom)
Galra, also known as Planet Doom, is the seat of The New Drule Empire. It is a harsh, unforgiving world that is nonetheless quite rich in material wealth. The mines of Galra have a seemingless endless amount of ferrous metals, possibly due to a number of elemental gates leading to the Elemental Plane of Earth and Fire. The negative-energy ore known as Haggarium is in great abundance.
Galra is a dark and gloomy world yet there is always enough light to see by due to the nearly continuous fires and eerie magical lights. 
Some areas on the planet have only the minor negative-dominant trait, and these regions tend to be inhabited by Drule Blueskins and their favored slaves. The rest of the planet is major negative-dominant trait. Some areas on the planet have only the minor negative-dominant trait, and these regions tend to be inhabited by Drule Blueskins and their favored slaves. The rest of the planet is major negative-dominant trait. 
Spells and special abilities that use negative energy have all their variables maximized.Spells that use positive energy, including cure wounds spells have a 50% chance of spell failure. Characters on this planet take a -5 penalty on Fortitude saves made to regain lost levels from energy drain.

Medium Undead, Chaotic (LE), Average Intelligence; Warband (4d6)*
HD 1+1
AC 15 (breastplate)
ATK By weapon
MV 30
SV F 13, R 15, W 15
XP 75 (CL 1)
Doomites  are a "species" of corporeal undead that are created from the tortured souls of slaves captured and put to death on Galra. Though undead, these creatures have a society that mirrors that of living creatures. Doomites are demonic-looking creatures with no hair and charcoal grey skin color. Dominant Doomites have pronounced ridges on the top of their heads and large eyes. Doomite eyes are either yellowish or black, while their teeth are yellow or black fangs. Doomite soldiers wear simple armor, but when off-duty these undead dress in foppish finery such as frilled collars and sleeves. Their weaponry is kept polished and in good repair. Doomite speak Infernal and Common. Doomite hate other races, becoming excited and happy when they see other humanoid species suffer.

Special Qualities: Immune to disease and poison, resistance to cold. 

Doomites modify their starting ability scores as follows: Dex +1 and Int +1. Doomites have dark-vision to a range of 120 feet. Doomites are completely immune to disease and poison and have resistance to cold. Spells that cure hit point damage act as harm spells, and negative energy spells such as harm spells actually heal Doomites. Doomites speak Drule and Infernal, but might also know Common, Ghoul or Orc. Doomites can multi-class as cleric/fighters, fighter/magic-users and fighter/thieves. Whatever their class, doomites can only advance to a maximum of 9th level.

This campaign setting uses the Blood and Treasure RPG rules. Its a melding of Old School gaming and the newer, smoother-running games rules. Its a game that is fairly rules light, but has just enough crunch to satisfy my gaming appetite. All the cool kids are doing it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Voidjammer: Doomite Freighter

Doomite Freighter
Awesome Vehicle
HD:  124, hp 832
AC: 24, Hardness 10
Speed: As Helmsman’s Int x’s 10 in Wildspace, fly 60 ft. in a gravity well.
Atk: Blunt ram (3d8), or 3 Medium Cannons (10d6)
SV: 3
Crew: 4/40
Air Capacity: 13,888 man-days
Landing: Land
Power Type: Major Helm (see Helms)
Cargo: 30 Tons
Keel/Beam Length: 250ft/60 ft
Cost: 257,000 gp

The Doomite Freighter is the workhorse of the Galran Blueskins. but can sometimes be found operating as a pirate ship or independent trade-ship. These ships serve often as slaver ships, but also transport other goods, troops and Robeasts and other creatures. All Doomite Freighters are adorned with the skull of a Space Demon used as a blunt ram and a smaller demon skull for use as a crows nest/scrying tower.
Doomite Freighters are equipped with at least six Doomite Fighter-Craft (Large Vehicle), and can hold similar sized vehicles. Ships are launched through doors that open in the skull-rams eyes. These ships are the primary defense of the freighter, though the ship also has three aft-facing cannons in case of trouble.
Crows Nest: These ships are equipped with a special chamber that comes equipped with a immovable crystal ball (normal type). The ships wizard typically uses the crows nest as his or her lab room.
Speaking Tubes: Doomite freighters are equipped with speaking tubes that allow all decks to instantly communicate with one another.

This ship and the setting it is designed for uses the Blood and Treasure RPG rules. Its a melding of Old School gaming and the newer, smoother-running games rules. Its a game that is fairly rules light, but has just enough crunch to satisfy my gaming appetite. All the cool kids are doing it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Voidjammer: Another Cosmology

Below is an alternate cosmology for a Voidjammer campaign. It is actually the default cosmology of my home campaign. Crystal Spheres do not exist, and the Phlogiston is just another transitive plane, and one unused by most space-faring races.
For my home campaign, I want a universe with Black Holes (and White Holes), Nebulae, Quasars, Pulsars and Stellar Nurseries. Also, I like the concept of navigation by stars, and that Suns are stars. So this is the cosmology for me.

ASTRAL PLANE (Hyperspace, Firmament)
The Astral Plane is the space between the planes. When a character moves through an interstellar gate or projects her spirit to a different plane of existence, she travels through the Astral Plane. Spells that allow instantaneous movement across a plane briefly touch the Astral Plane.
The Astral Plane is a great, endless "sea" of clear silvery sky, both above and below. Occasional bits of solid matter can be found here, but most of the Astral Plane is an endless, open domain. Both planar travelers and refugees from other planes call the Astral Plane home.
The Astral Plane has subjective directional gravity. It is also timeless. Age, hunger, thirst, poison, and natural healing do not function in the Astral Plane, though they resume when the traveler leaves the Astral Plane. Travel on the Astral Plane for Voidships is relatively easy once an Astral Gate is used. Ships find this route between stars quite useful. Unfortunately the Astral Plane is haunted by a number of aggressive and dangerous species, not least of which are the Astral Pirates.

CELESTIAL BODIES (Asteroids, Planets, Stars, Etc)
The celestial body that is most familiar to typical player characters is their home planet, be it Barsoom, Mongo, Eternia, or any one of countless others that populate the multiverse. Celestial bodies extend upward in size to that of the largest sun, and downward to the size of asteroids and planetoids. The tremendous variety that is possible (and proven) in celestial bodies mandates that the only accurate definition for the term is any significantly large conglomeration of matter that is wheeling about in wildspace.
Celestial Bodies can have any gravity, elemental and energy traits, or magic rules, depending on the concept of the world in question. Alignment of Celestial Bodies are usually some variation on Mildly Neutral (Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral), but some few are more strongly aligned. Celestial bodies can have any shape, though the most common is spherical. Still, there are flat worlds, elliptical worlds, cubic worlds, amorphous worlds, ring-shaped worlds, hollow worlds. Some astronomers from have even theorized the existence of a mobius world.
Large orbiting clusters of Celestial Bodies are called Solar Systems (sometime Crystal Spheres), and function almost like mini universes. A primary, core celestial body is always at the center of a Solar System, around which the other bodies "dance". Solar Systems vary greatly in size with some being only large enough for a primary Sun and a cluster of asteroids to massive systems full of immense worlds. See Planetary Zones for a more indepth description of a Solar System.

ETHERIC PLANE (Aether, The Rainbow Ocean, The Phantom Zone)
The Ethereal Plane overlaps with the Material Plane. The Material Plane is visible from the Ethereal Plane, but appears muted and indistinct, its colors blurring into each other and its edges fuzzy. While it is possible to see into the Material Plane from the Ethereal Plane, the Ethereal Plane is usually invisible to those on the Material Plane. Normally, creatures on the Ethereal Plane cannot attack creatures on the Material Plane, and vice versa. A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible, incorporeal, and silent to someone on the Material Plane. The Ethereal Plane is mostly empty of structures and impediments. However, the plane has its own inhabitants. Some of these are other ethereal travelers, but the ghosts found here pose a particular peril to those who walk the fog. The plane has no gravity.
Spells function normally on the Ethereal Plane, though they do not cross into the Material Plane. The only exceptions are spells of force (magic missile, wall of force, etc.) and abjuration spells that affect ethereal
beings. Spellcasters on the Material Plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force spells, of course. While it’s possible to hit ethereal enemies with a force spell cast
on the Material Plane, the reverse isn’t possible. No magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane, including force attacks.

WILDSPACE (Starry Sea, Space)
Wildspace is the "space" between celestial bodies (planets, suns, etc) and between solar systems. It is considered coterminous with the Material Plane, the Astral Plane and the Etheric Plane. Wildspace is also coexistent with the Ethereal Plane, The Astral Plane, and the Plane of Shadow. Wildspace doesn't have an atmosphere of any kind and is a perfect vacuum. Conventional interplanetary journeys around a solar system take place within wildspace. It is the first obstacle that must be conquered by would-be space travelers.
Wildspace has no gravity, and is infinite, stretching out between the stars themselves (see The Void below). It is neutral in alignment, and has no elemental or energy traits. While, for the most part, magic works normally in wildspace there are some limits. Magical fire doesn't need air to work properly but if the end result a spellcaster wants requires an atmosphere (i.e. oxygen) then that end result cannot occur. For example, a Fireball spell will work but it hasn’t any chance of lighting an object or person on fire.
THE VOID: The Void is the region of wildspace beyond the edges of a solar system, and so it is a dark and deadly place. It is an airless, lifeless void so huge that distance here is measured in centuries. The Void has no gravity and has strong negative energy traits and cold dominant traits.
Spells are maximized and extended in The Void. Undead in The Void are always powerful, having maximum hit points and regenerate special abilities, with only positive energy attacks dealing permanent damage.

Travelling between planets functions as describes in Helms, however traversing the distances between Stars is another matter. The distances between stars (ie Suns) is so vast that it is measures in years rather than miles, and so even with a really fast helm, it would take centuries to manage. So some magic is needed.
The Astral Plane and The Etheric Plane are both used to travel these distances, but the Astral is the most common to Voidships. This is because the Astral is timeless, and passengers need not eat, drink or sleep. Ships with a proper course set can make it to even the farthest reaches in days, though there are dangers.

Getting onto one of these planes can be managed via several ways. Naturally occurring gates (called Wormholes) can be found by canny navigators and pilots. Such natural gates are highly prized when discovered and those along established routes will often have asteroid bases nearby. Use of the Create Portal spell (see below) is another common means by which to use these planes. Many space creatures have a natural form of this ability.
Some enterprising species have created artificial gates for use by Voidjammers. The Fraal in particular have an affinity for creating Astral gates, even being able to do so closer to habitable worlds and subsequently easier to get to.

Setting a course through The Astral Plane can be accomplished via a successful Decipher Codes check*. Success indicates that the course has been successfully set through the Silver Void. Failure results in the ship running off course to a destination of the DMs choosing.
Ships using the Astral Plane to travel to distant star systems (Spheres) take 7d10 ship days to reach their destination, regardless of travel distance. During this time the crew need not eat, drink or sleep, though many still do to repel the sheer alien-ness of the Starry Void.
*Certain spells might grant bonuses on this roll. Such as Divination, Commune, Find the Path, Scrying, Vision and similar.


Create Portal
Level: Cleric 5, Sor/Wiz 5
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft. /level)
Duration:10D12 minutes

This spell can be cast only in the outer regions of a solar system (at the Oort Cloud). The spell causes a large area of space to become a temporarily gate onto the Astral or Etheric Plane, allowing a ship (or anything else) of suitable size to pass through. The effect lasts up to 2 hours, during which time any other ships or items may pass through, DM rolls 10d12 to determine how many minutes the portal remains open.
It takes but a fraction of a round for a ship to pass through a portal opened in this fashion. However, if the portal is dispelled or otherwise prematurely closed, roll 1d10 to determine the fate of the object passing through the opening as it closes (see table).

Roll Result
1–5 Portal closes before ship reaches the portal.
6 Portal closes on the ship. Ship is cut in half.
7–10 Portal closes after ship passes through.

Portals created by this spell are magical and temporary, and can be dispelled. Portals that appear naturally cannot be dispelled.

This campaign setting uses the Blood and Treasure RPG rules. Its a melding of Old School gaming and the newer, smoother-running games rules. Its a game that is fairly rules light, but has just enough crunch to satisfy my gaming appetite. All the cool kids are doing it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Voidjammer: Blueskins (Race)

The Blueskins of Wildspace are a widespread and varied race. They all possess blue or bluish colored skin, vivid eye-color, and features that are usually considered attractive to humans, elves and halflings. All blueskins share a natural skill with magic and arcane sciences, and so are amongst the most renowned magic-users and scientists in the Known Spheres. Blueskin ears naturally come to a point and continue to grow over their entire lives, potentially becoming quite large (and even bat-like in some cases). Most Blueskins trim their ears regularly, some allowing only a moderate point while others keep them rounded like human ears.
Blueskins  are graceful and slim, and stand about 5 to 6 feet tall. They count as medium-sized creatures and have a base movement rate of 40 feet per round. They have darkvision to a range of 120 feet and have a knack for picking pockets and trickery.
Blueskin's lithe form gives it a bonus of one point to its starting dexterity score. Their silver tongues also give them a one point bonus to their starting charisma score. Unfortunately, they lack in muscle mass and must deduct one point from their starting strength score. These ability modifications cannot increase a score above 18 or reduce it below 3.
Blueskins enjoy a +3 save vs. cold and cold spells. They have a +2 bonus to save vs. magic, and can see magical auras (per the detect magic spell). They enjoy a +1 bonus to hit with daggers and darts.
Blueskins speak Common and Drule (see below). They might also speak Celestial, Infernal, Elvish, Orc, Sylvan and Dragon.
Blueskins can multi-class as assassin/magic-users, cleric/scientists, cleric/sorcerers, leech/sorcerers, sorcerer/thieves or sorcerer/fighters.

While many Blueskins intermix with other races freely, a few are culturally distinct and highlighted below.

THE DRULE (Voltron)
Commander Yurak. 
The Drule are a race of Blueskins who are widespread across the stars, with some Drule arrogantly claiming that the Drule are the original Blueskin people. Many ages ago, the Drule ruled over a vast empire that was shattered when their homeworld Drule was destroyed in a magical catastrophe. Now the Drule are a scattered people, and can be found virtually anywhere. Most Drule trim their ears as other Blueskins, and have red eyes that can be startling. While hair is predominant amongst the Drule, though many dye their hair out of a sense of style and vanity.
The New Drule Empire: One of the most powerful remaining aspects of the old Drule Empire can be found on the planet Galran in Doomspace, once an outpost for the Empire, it has now become a main center of that ancient Empire. Ruled by the cruel Daibazaal family (rumored to have some infernal blood in its veins), this "Doomite" Drule Empire is a growing threat to all peace-loving civilization. The Doomite Empire is very organized and employs particularly effective war monsters called "Robeasts" in its assaults, which have proven to be exceedingly difficult to stop.
Doomite Drule have e tendency towards yellow eyes and cat-like pupils, lending them a particularly frightening appearance. More than other Blueskin people, male Doomite Drule consider the cultivation of large pointed ears to be a sign of virility and power. And so warriors and nobles of accomplishment can be expected to have exaggerated ears.
Drule characters are created as standard Blueskins (see above), with all of the differences being thematic and cultural. Drule are viewed with awe and often a bit of fear even when they are heroic persons.

The Gar are a species of blue-skinned humanoids who live on Eternia, possibly descended from Drule refugees. On Eternia the Gar created an advanced civilization on the island of Anwat Gar. The island sunk centuries ago, leaving the remaining Gar to live in isolated regions. The Gar are known on Eternia as a noble race of philosophers and craftsmen, and are still regarded with great awe for their past accomplishments. .
The Gar civilization collapsed due to infighting and constant political upheavals on Eternia, and the remnants of the Gar are quarrelsome and paranoid to this day. Whenever Gar surface onto the greater Eternian stage or in Wildspace, it is often a sign of something significant. Many who know of the Gar see them as an accursed race.
Gar Blueskins are close kin of normal blueskins who dwell elsewhere in the multiverse. Their hair color ranges from yellow to a deep black and they are more muscular than other blueskins. Their clothing is in dark colors offset with splashes of bright color. Gar Blueskins have the same racial traits as normal blueskins, except that they modify their starting ability scores as follows: Str +1, Wis -1. Gar may multi-class as cleric/fighters, fighter/magic-users and fighter/thieves.

ZOTRIANS (Ulysses 31)
Zotrians are a peaceful offshoot of the Drule line, being a race of healers, spiritual leaders, and scientists. Zotrians, aside from blue skin, have snow-white hair, pointed ears and slanted eyes with cat-like vertical pupils; they are considered extremely beautiful.
Culturally, the Zotrians are reminiscent of of ancient Greek civilization, revering primordial deities either individually as specialty priests or as general "Lawful" Clerics. More humanocentric gods and goddesses are of little interest to the Zotrians.
There is no known Zotrian homeworld as this race prefers dwelling in beautifully crafted voidships, space-stations and on small moon-based colonies. They are revered as expert terraformers, though they rarely dwell for long on the worlds they nurture. Many Zotrians lead a nomadic life, travelling across the Spheres in "Space Caravans," generally keeping to the Cool Orbital Zone of a Crystal Sphere, visiting cool moons and asteroids.
Zotrian Blueskins are created as normal Blueskins (see above), except that they may multi-class as cleric/sorcerers, druid/sorcerers, leech/sorcerers, sorcerer/thieves or sorcerer/fighters.

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan