Friday, March 27, 2015

Dark Space: Tcho-Tcho and Lengites of the 51st Century

The following two races are the darker members of the central races of Dark Space. They are also intrinsically tied together due to their shared history on the Plateau of Leng (China). These two races are often seen together and are known to socialize.

The Tcho-Tcho, or Tcho-Tcho people, are a human-like race that resemble Asiatic peoples most common to southeast Asia, though they sometimes range as far as Tibet and Malaysia. They are small in stature - few of them are taller than five feet. Old myths have it that they were created by malign gods who interbred a race of evil dwarves called the Miri Nigi with the human worshipers of the god Chaugnar Faugn. To retain their human form, the Tcho-Tcho must eat the flesh of humans lest they mutate at an alarming rate.
In the 51st century, the Tcho-Tcho are a powerful force within The Cruel Empire of Tsan-Chan where their skills in sorcery are greatly respected. In fact is is an elite clan of Tcho-Tcho warrior-priests who use the decadent Liao drug to astrally visit the past and future, waging a temporal war with The Great Race of Yith (future article pending)...
The Tcho-Tcho are a diminutive, human-like race that resemble Asiatic peoples most common to southeast Asia. They are slightly built and have a somewhat androgynous appearance that is often thought to be alluring to some. In ancient times the Tcho-Tcho interbred with an inhuman race granting them magical skill but causing their genetics to destabilize if they do not occasionally eat human brain matter. Lawful Tcho-Tcho will instead use gene therapy.
Tcho-Tcho are medium creatures (though short) with a base speed of 30 feet per round. Quick and nimble, they add one point to their starting dexterity scores. Because of their size, they lose one point of their starting strength. These modifications cannot take a score above 18 or below 3.
Halflings have darkvision to a range of 30 feet. They can cast aura sight once per day, and they have a knack for the chemistry and hypnotize skills.
Tcho-Tcho speak Chinese and Naacal. As with humans, they might learn virtually any other language.

The Men of Leng, or Lengites, are a race of beastmen that originate from the plateau of Leng (China) and have a long history with the Tcho-Tcho. Lengites look like a cross between human and goat, and have sharp teeth, and a tendency for great violence and cruelty. It is believed by scholars that these creatures are the origin of the least admirable stories of satyrs, wild men and similar creatures throughout folklore.
In the 51st century, Lengites make for excellent grunt soldiers, heavy laborers and other jobs where brute force is more important than subtlety. Lengites can be found on colony worlds, asteroids and in the lower slums of mega-cities. They particularly enjoy dwelling in underground, buried colonies such as those on the Moon or Mars.
Lengite characters modify their starting ability scores as follows:
Lengites are medium-sized creatures with a base movement of 50. Savage and powerful, Lengites gain a plus two to their strength scores and plus one to their constitution scores. Unfortunately their bestial nature and uncouth demeanor causes them to suffer a minus one to their intelligence and charisma scores.
Lengites have darkvision to 60 feet and increase their Armor Class by +1 due to their fur and thick skin. They can bite for 1d4 points of damage.
Lengites speak Chinese and Naacal. As with humans, they might learn virtually any other language.

This material is using the Grit and Vigor roleplaying Game by John Stater. John has been kind enough to allow me to see the playtest version of the rules, and this gives me more than enough to begin work on the Dark Space setting. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Atomic Dawn: New Memphis and Environs

New Memphis
Community Size: Small City
Population: 9,821 Adults
Size: 109.94 Acres
Races: Pure Human (7,663); Mutant Human (883); Mutant Animal (491); Android, Basic (294); Android, Synthetic (196); Android, Replicant (98); Mutant Plant (98); Other (98)
Languages: Creole, English, Spanglish,
Imports: Slaves, Salvage, Raw Goods, Cloth, Books
Exports: Ships, Plastics, Cyberware, Trained Slaves, Rice, Luxury Goods, Preserved Meat
Famous: Wine. Sex, Music, Secrets and Wisdom
Infamous: Gambling, Music, Whores, Liars and Prophets
New Memphis is an independent city-state with a cosmopolitan air. A port and trade city of merchant princes and excellent shipbuilders. A Port Royal feel is apparent, with slavers, pirates, businessmen and assorted characters from all over the place. New Memphis is a populous, labyrinthine city rife with corruption; it is decadent and squalid in roughly equal parts and is so shrouded by smog that the stars are rarely sighted. The city is ostensibly ruled by an Overlord and a merchant nobility.
New Memphis will trade with ANYBODY, and is considered neutral ground between political powers. Atlantis, Kooba, The Alamo Empire, Eden and even Apeman Pirates and inland city-states are all welcome, if they have gold or goods that-is.
Inspirations: Casablanca, New Orleans, Port Royal, Treasure Island, Medieval Venice. 

Below is a small list of things of interest in and around New Memphis. This is not an exhaustive list, but enough to pique a party's interest.

Dollywood Jungle: A large region of dense jungle-covered hills and mountains. This region is liberally haunted by all manner of large reptiles and giant insects (think Skull Island) including wildlife from Agartha such as the Gwangi and other dinosaurs. Despite these threats, lumber gathering expeditions are frequent.
CostMart Superstore: Just outside of the city, CostMart has one of its superstores. CostMart is neutral concerning the politics of New Memphis and has yet to make any concerted effort to oppose the local technomancers, as their products are not mass produced.
Cult of Sargassa: Sargassa is the goddess of the dreadful depths (Seaweed Kaiju). This monster is seen in the deep ocean on occasion, and is greatly feared by fisherfolk. Aquatic plant monsters are seen as her children. Cults dedicated to Sargassa are found mostly in the swamps and jungles of the south and southeast, and are known to practice human sacrifice.
First Presleyite Church (Cult of Elvis): The Once and Future King, Lord of Hostess, The Great SHABOOM. This church is very active in New Memphis, having the general doctrine and feel of a feel good evangelical church, set to the music of Elvis. The church itself is a neon monstrosity that resembles a garish theater. Presided over by Father Marty "Blue Moon" Smith. Note: All priests of this church are Elvis impersonators (male, female or other).
Fort San Fernando:  This is a town/district of New Memphis that is dedicated to the defense of the town. Along with the cities standard police/military, is the headquarters of FEMA Force- An elite force of rescue and defense oriented soldiers outfitted with IPS Encased Armor. These troops are used primarily
Gunters Island (Guntersville Alabama): Somewhere East of New Memphis. In the wild Alabama river-country (which is much like modern Louisiana). Much of the region to the south is swampland interspersed with jungle teeming with unpleasantness. To the North and East are the Appalachian foothills and beyond that, Atlantis.
Technomancers Guild: This organization of Sorcerers ( or Wizards if you prefer) that are all obsessed by both magic and science. Members of the guild often mix relig gadgets in with their spellcasting, using them to make talismans, clothing and other fetishes. They don't need such accoutrements, but most enjoy the look of it.  A strong interest of guild members is the development of new gadgets and magical devices. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dark Space: Deep Ones of The 51st Century

Hybrid Fighting Man and Deep One
Deep Ones are an alien race of extraterrestrial origin (somewhere near Sirius), though they have dwelt in the seas of Earth since long before mankind. Deep One legends tell of them being transported to this world eons ago by their gods and creators Dagon and Hydra. This likely occurred during the migration of the great horrors known as The Old Ones.
Deep Ones are an aquatic race that is believed to have been the origin of the many legends of mermaids and other sea-peoples in world mythologies. They are by nature aquatic but possess lungs as well as gills and are capable of operating on land for indefinite periods, though they prefer not to, relying on human and Hybrid allies (see below) to deal with land-based interests.
Since the rising and subsequent sinking of R'lyeh. many deep ones have joined (more or less) with mankind. This alliance is full of misinformation, misunderstanding and betrayal. Though as this is not at all that different from standard business practices and politics, it works. Within the Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan, deep ones are influential in the sciences, and especially in engineering. Several corporations employ a great many deep ones at all levels.
Deep Ones make for natural astronauts as their skill with swimming and survival in the deeps translates well into zero gravity conditions and living on ships rations. Deep Ones can often be found working on space stations, steel ships and outer colonies as well as the mighty Boojum ships. Boojum of many shapes and sizes are a speciality of Deep One engineers, who delight in the strange anatomy of these deep-space swimmers.

Down through history, the Deep Ones of Earth have sought to bolster their breeding pool by adding new genetic stock to their numbers. Towards this end, bioengineers amongst their kind made pacts with isolated human communities who allowed the deep ones to create human/deep one hybrids. Such hybrids often look entirely (or at least mostly) human with certain "fishy" features such as a walleyed look, lack of a chin or cold, flabby skin. These features would become more pronounced with age, eventually turning the hybrid into a full deep one. In the 51st century, hybrids more-or-less look the part. All have a certain fishy appearance, though this is more pronounced based on how low the characters CHA score is (and the whims of the player or GM). Full transformation can be held off for as long as the character wishes, through the use of gene therapy and other measures.

Full-blooded Deep Ones are unsuitable as player characters as these creatures are very alien in mindset. Deep One Hybrids on the other hand, grow up amongst human beings and are anatomically (and genetically) compatible with humankind. Hybrids make excellent player characters. They are strong, tough and scary, and many have a great deal of pathos as they must resist their fishy side. Hybrids work closely with the lower tiers of society such as laborers, technicians, pilots and soldiers predominate. 

Deep ones can mate with human beings, producing children who look human with certain “fishy” characteristics. As they age, these characteristics become more pronounced, and eventually the person leaves their home and enters the sea, transforming forever into a deep one.
Deep One Hybrids are medium-sized creatures with a base speed of 30 feet. They are iron-thewed and rugged, and so add one point to their starting strength and constitution scores. Unfortunately, they are ugly and smell of fish, and suffer a two point penalty to their starting charisma score. These modifications cannot put a score above 18 or below 3. All Hybrids have a knack for swimming.
Deep One Hybrids are wonderfully observant, and enjoy a +2 bonus to all task checks involving sight. They can see up to 60 feet away in complete darkness.
Deep One Hybrids speak English and Cthuloi. They might also speak Akkadian, Dogon, Enochian, and any Austronesian or Papuan dialects.

This material is using the Grit and Vigor roleplaying Game by John Stater. John has been kind enough to allow me to see the playtest version of the rules, and this gives me more than enough to begin work on the Dark Space setting. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

World of Tsuchi (Soo-Chee): Kodama and Susuwatari

The world of Tsuchi is teeming with life, including the spirit world. Forests, glades and mountains are teeming with spirits, some good and some bad. Humans at all levels of society are aware of the presence of spirits, and a great many customs and taboos are observed when dealing with them. To add to the magical feel of the setting, GM's should make ample use of minor spirits. These beings are thought to be everywhere, though they are frequently unseen. However adventurers, especially those with magical abilities, should run into these beings far more often that the average person.
Below are a few minor spirits of the World of Tsuchi.

Tiny Fey, Neutral (CN), Low Intelligence; Grove (1d8)
HD 0
AC 14
ATK Kick (1)
MV 30 (Climb 20)
SV F 16, R 13, W 13
XP 25 (CL 0)
A kodama is a spirit that lives in a tree that can nimbly bustle about forest at will. They appear as tiny (1 1/2 foot), white humanoids with large, rattling heads and mask-like features, similar to bobbleheads. Kodama are generally nonviolent beings, preferring to hide of flee whenever possible. However if pressed into a fight, kodama can kick for one point of damage.
Forests with a sizeable Kodama population are always healthy and vibrant, thick plant growth and immense trees predominate and animal life is abundant. The kodama themselves go about their long lives wandering about the groves gossipping amongst themselves concerning the goings-on in the forest. Anytime a visitor comes into their region, kodama will "rattle" the news, alerting all of their kind across the forest.

Special Qualities: Incorporeal

Spells: At will—invisibility, pass without trace; 1/Day- detect poison, guidance, know direction.

Nature-loving Magic-Users and Sorcerers can occasionally gain a Kodama familiar, though they must have a Wisdom of at least 13 to qualify. Such spellcasters gain Survival as a class skill and forest fey will have an initially friendly response to the character. Such spellcasters must roleplay their connection with nature, and be respectful of forest fey.

Susuwatari Swarm
Tiny Elementals, Neutral (N), Low-Intelligence; Infestation (1d12 swarms)
HD 2
AC 17
ATK Choking attack (see below)
MV 40 (Climb 40)
SV F 12, R 15, W 12
XP 80 (CL 3)
Susuwatari (wandering soot"), are tiny soot elementals that are usually harmless. Individually, Susuwatari are described and shown as tennis ball-sized, pitch-black and fuzzy-haired beings with two large eyes and long, thin legs. However these sprite-like creatures are almost never seen alone, preferring to swarm in great numbers along and under floors, attics and basements.
Susuwatari are not usually hostile, but if threatened can swarm over an opponent, choking them with their sooty bodies. This attack deals no damage, but is considered a special maneuver (DC 10) requiring that the opponent make a FORT save or be Sickened from all the sneezing (see page Conditions on page 52 of the Blood and Treasure PHB for details).

Special Qualities: Immune to fire


Yeah, I know I've been jumping around alot. However I do intend to be posting some pretty cool stuff for the Dark Space, Tsuchi and Atomic Dawn setting in the days and weeks to come. There is also a Young Adult novel and a childrens picture book in the works. So stay tuned!

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