Thursday, February 16, 2017

Red London Bestiary: The 3 Sovereigns

While the Martian menace poses the greatest external threat, the internal threat posed by the Crimson Court may be far more dangerous. Ensconced in different geographies, the constriction of travel has allowed an uneasy truce to form between them. Once at each others' throats, the alien invasion has opened doors within European society and made strange bedfellows out of the three Sovereigns. They each work to solidify their individual hold and topple the Grand Alliance, hoping to make a truce with the Martians, and pursue their individual goals.

La Reyna - Spain - In her mountain fastness high in the Spanish peaks, la Reyna cultivates gardens of the Red testing and nurturing mutations.  The discovery that the Red is fertilized by human blood spurred her further discovery that vampires can feed on the Red itself. Already immune to its gaseous pollution, spreading new, virulent strains is in their best intrest.  It doesn't hurt that she's formed a fairly extensive cadre of followers, mortal and immortal.

Attributes- Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strength d12+2, Vigor d10
Skills-  Shooting d8, Fighting d10, Persuasion d12, Notice d10, Stealth d8, Taunt d10
Pace 6, Parry 7, Toughness 8
Charisma +4
Special Abilities

Undead - +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; Immune to poison and disease; no wound penalties 
Bite - Strength 
Claw - Strength +d4
Dream Killer - Once per night, La Reyna can attack any character she can see in their dreams for 2 turns.  Soak derives from Spirit.
Fanatics - When la Reyna is hit by an attack, any of her goons jumps in front of the attack and suffers damage instead.
Levelheaded - La Reyna acts on the best of two cards.
Mist  - She can become mist if she passes a Smarts roll at -2.
Seduction - Male characters wishing to attack her do so at a -2.
Sire - Anyone slain (by bite) or bitten by la Reyna has a 50% chance of becoming a vampire in 1d4 nights.  Weakness (Sunlight) - She catches fire if she's in the sun.  After that she takes 2d10 damage per round
Weakness (Holy Symbols) - A character can repel La Reyna with a brandished holy symbol.  If she wants to attack them directly she has to beat them in an opposed Spirit roll.
Weakness (Stake Through the Heart) - If la Reyna is hit with a called shot to the heart (-6), she takes damage normally.  If she fails the Vigor test then she disintegrates.

The Dragon - Eastern Europe - With Britain lost and the Great Walls going up to create Fortress Europe, mass deforestation has increased the incidence of wild animal attackson civilized fringes.  No one's really sure when the creature known as the Dragon first emerged, but even its most human form sports a mane of lupine jaws.  The dimmest of the three Sovereigns, its hivemind cunning makes up for a lack of study.

Attributes- Agility d10, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d12+4, Vigor d12
Skills-  Climbing d8, Fighting d12, Intimidation d12, Notice d12+2, Stealth d8, Tracking d10, Swimming d8
Pace 10, Parry 8, Toughness 8
Special Abilities

Undead - +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; Immune to poison and disease; no wound penalties 
Arcane Resistance - +2 Armor vs magic; +2 to resist magic
Change Form (Wolfking) - The Dragon can take an action and break into a pack of Dire Wolves joined at the tail.  The pack is 4 + Wounds remaining.
Claws - Strength+d6
Fast - The Dragon discards any card lower than 4, drawing a new one.
Fear -2 - When confronted by the Dragon, characters need to make a Spirit roll at -2 or deal with Fright
Improved Frenzy - The Dragon makes two attacks each turn without penalty.
Pounce - The Dragon can leap its Pace to gain +4 to hit and damage.
Weakness (Bells) - The ringing of churchbells is painful to the Dragon, he must make a Spirit roll each turn or suffer a -2 penalty.
Invulnerability - The Dragon can only be wounded by silver weapons. Anything else just Shakes the beast.
Silver Vulnerability - Silver weapons cause normal damage

The Serpent - Egypt - A cobra close to the heart of the British Caliphate, the blasphemous pharoah awoke from the dead when an unscrupulous archaeologist broke into his tomb.  Since then he has taken to building a network of assets reaching to the highest echelons of British government.  Through alchemical drugs, forbidden knowledge, wiles of the flesh, grave goods, and unyielding labor; the Serpent has found a way to woo every pawn into his pocket.  Where la Reyna has sycophants and the Dragon simple beasts, the Serpent cultivates elite talent and turns them against one another for his own amusement.

Attributes- Agility d4, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strength d12, Vigor d12
Skills-  Persuasion d10, Fighting d10, Intimidation d10, Notice d10, Spellcasting d12
Pace 6, Parry 8, Toughness 10, Charisma +2 
Special Abilities
Undead - +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; Immune to poison and disease; no wound penalties
Death Touch - Every raise on an unarmed Fighting roll automatically inflicts one wound.
Arcane Background (Magic) - Slumber (mesmerizing tone), Barrier (wall of darkness), Summon Ally (Sentinel of stone), Bolt (torrent of asps), Obscure (swallowing light), Defelction (armor forms from scarabs), and Zombie (ritually prepared corpses).  The Serpent has 40 Power Points.
Invulnerable - Can only be truly killed by the blades of his Royal Guard, Otherwise he reforms in his sarcophagus hidden in the Valley of Kings.

Weakness (Fire) The Serpent's body is full of chemicals to maintain its semblance of life.  Some are incredibly flammable, causing him to suffer +4 damage from fire.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Red London Bestiary: The Red, Rough Beasts

The Red spreads aggressively wherever there's sufficient water, this includes mammalian bodies.  It functions like the cordyceps fungus and hijacks the central nervous system, seeking out secondary hosts as the primary host body disintegrates into a conventional Red patch.  The worst part is that living monsters can become carriers.

When a Werewolf becomes infested it becomes a Howler, the worst of both worlds. No longer dependent on the moon's fickle phase and sprouting surplus claws. Red fronds burst from the capillaries and thin skin of the beast's head, a mane from its ruptured eyes to the upper back offset the lost senses.  It now hunts through echolocation and chemical sniffing and transmits the hybrid affliction to its victims.

Attributes- Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d12+4, Vigor d12
Skills-  Climbing d8, Fighting d12, Intimidation d12, Notice d12+2, Stealth d8, Tracking d10
Pace 8, Parry 8, Toughness 8
Special Abilities
Claws - Str + d8
Sweep - The Howler's attack roll is made as a -2 but hits all adjacent targets.
Infestation - Living or dead, victims of a Howler's attacks have a 50% chance of becoming a Howler themselves.
Invulnerability - The Howler can only be wounded by silver weapons. Anything else just Shakes the beast.
Silver Vulnerability - Silver weapons cause normal damage.

The Red's bloom has hurt rural populations disproportionately as waterways were choked with the stuff.  Early on farmers attempted to make the best of a bad situation.  Aside from toxic emissions, the Red tasted too metallic for human consumption but apparently their pigs loved the stuff.  Then they twisted into Teufelsschwein, vicious throwbacks of tremendous girth.

Attributes- Agility d4, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d12, Vigor d12+2
Skills-  Climbing d8, Fighting d10, Notice d8
Pace, Parry, Toughness 12(4)
Special Abilities
Tusks - Str+d8
Thick Fat - Armor +4
Hardy - The Teufelsschwein does not take an additional wound from being Shaken twice
Gore - If the Teufelsschwein moves 6" before it makes an attack, add +4 to the damage.

To be continued

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Escape From Red London

Martians pulverized London, the greatest city in the world, with meteors.  Blotting out the sun and providing a staging ground for sustained invasion.  

A series of fifty foot walls were erected and Continental armies encamped facing Britain. The containment enjoys middling success, repelling smaller Triskelions but eroding under the constant siege of the Red.  A noxious weed that feasts on human flesh and exhales poison.

The Rippers and Cabal came together to form the Lodge and emerged from the shadows to aid the Grand Alliance.  Their advanced scientific and mystical knowledge a glimmer of hope.  They are mainly tasked with combatting the Crimson Court, monsters flush with the alien parasite and their own aims worming their way through the Continent.

Since the sky darkened, everything touching the the northern Atlantic is lost under a Red carpet.  Paris is besieged and King Edward of Britain now rules from Egypt. The fortifications have magnified but hope is now a luxury as Martian Triskelions test Europan defenses more brazenly each day.

With the Crimson Court broken, the British government has unleashed the Lodge to wage total war against the Invaders.  Many advances in Rippertech and Black Science show promise when applied on a large scale.  Pursuing one such path of inquiry Dr., Jekyll, the Lodge’s lead scientist, was field testing a weapon in the Red Zone before contact with his aerodreadnought, the HMSS Revenant, was lost.

We have reason to believe that he survived the crash.  You’ve been tasked with recovering the good doctor and his notes, destroy the prototype if it isn’t already ruined. You will be inserted via capsule launched by the Cairo Gun Club, this is a one way trip.  Your extraction will be from the last standing tower of St. Paul’s Cathedral in 12 hours after you are fired from the Great Cairo Gun.

Be aware that there are those still trapped in Britain and none can vouch for their civility.  They have forged their own societies, surviving anyway they can from the wreckage that was.  The rules are simple: once you go in, you may not come out.

The System: Savage Worlds - Rippers Resurrected
Looks Like:  This with way more gas masks
Tastes Like: Blood Pudding and baked beans with Newcastle Brown
Sounds Like: Carpenter Brut’s Trilogy

Monday, January 2, 2017

Rivals In The Sky: The Black Cross

Brazen criminal acts by the Condor and other Free Skies operators have the Imperial Powers in an uproar.  Europa is caught in a delicate balancing act of treaties and ententes, any attempt to pursue the thieves across the border could be construed as an act of war.  Aero-Admirals across the continent are eager to escalate rising tensions and prove their mettle.  They pitch curtailing the Free Skies as a side effect. Reasoning that if the skies are fully militarized then the windbourne lowlifes would have nowhere to flee.
[Campaign Aspect: Roll the Iron Dice]

 The thought of total war terrifies all who can conceive it's sheer enormity. Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck has dedicated his life to entangling the Imperial Powers in a web of treaties few can properly perceive. Actions that are quietly approved by the Prussian government, as their nation is encircled by foes. Prince Rupert Hapsburg V of the Prussian Allianz has sidestepped the bureaucracy, vainglorious fool he is. Joining the Black Cross, a modern mercenary company claiming descent from the Teutonic Knights.  Staffed with a core of veterans form the Franco-Prussian Conflict and funded by similar noble whelps.  The Black Cross has escalated their prescence in the wind with a host of zeppelins, assault boats, mobile airfields.  They're known for their professionalism and rigid discipline, though it leaves their responses unsurprising.
[Faction Core Aspect: War is Our Trade, Flaw: Rigid and Predictable]

Adventure!: The Black Cross' iceberg fortress, Der Glatscher, rests above the Arctic Circle housing outlaws and other prisoners, released upon receipt of ransom or bounty.  Though you could turn a profit flipping the imprisoned flesh to loved ones and comrade, you'd be as foul them and the Imperial Powers that fund them.  Instead your aim is Der Glatscher's mysterious power source, rumors swarm around the device but you'll be able to put them to bed and tear the proverbial heart from the hated Black Cross.

Next week: Buccaneers of the Free Skies!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Rival in the Sky

Not every operator in the Free Skies is motivated by conscience or political agenda.  Some do it for the thrill while others chase cold, hard cash. Desdemona Fairchild is the latter.  The family fortune squandered by her father's gambling debts, she gives nothing away for free and doesn't play well with others.  This inability to share keeps her from assembling a team, often piggybacking on the operations of larger teams and stealing the loot out form under them.
[Core Concept: One Woman Team, Flaw: Greed is Good]

Often the only sign she's in the area is her custom aeroplane, the Mischief Maker, circling overhead.  The plane's Autonomous Intelligence, Ariel, delights in the challenge presented by overwhelming odds and evading pursuit in the nick of time.  Unfortunately she likes the sound of her own voice, sometimes distracting the pilot.
[The Mischief Maker- A Sopwith Camel with the additional Aspects - Core: One of a Kind, Flaw: Chatty Cathy]

Adventure!: The Mischief Maker lands on the Condor, shot up and Ariel is freaking out.  Desdemona had attempted to heist the Ring of the Nibelungen, a heist the players were still planning, but the Black Cross caught her before she could escape.  She is now in the depths of their impenetrable iceberg fortress, being treated to the cruelties of their resident mad scientist, Dr. Grimm.

The larger threat posed by Ms. Fairchild's capture is her extensive knowledge of the Free Skies Asylums and other anarchist flotillas.  Having spurned the thin protections of nationality, they are prime targets for a paramilitary force like the Black Cross.  Without that support network, the Condor would be unable to continue its campaign.

Is this a rescue mission or an assassination?

Next: The Black Cross!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Night Gallery

Night Gallery will house thumbnails of future projects, let me know which you'd be interested in seeing more of and I'll go into more detail.  Future installments will develop an earlier campaign frame with either a mystery, an NPC, a location, etc.  I'll fold earlier campaign frames such as The Condor, Fall of Camazotz, Wicked West, etc. into this as well.

Between - In the Lost Age when Meat comingled with Shadow the Tribe's greatest tool was The Word and Old Night was Young; the Tribe lost her greatest Heroes to the Scourge.  A Beast so terrible is defies description the Tribe nearly scattered when they got word.  Luckily for the Tribe and the Elders a new generation will be undertaking their Rite and claiming their Names.  By taking a Name the Young become the Word and transcend the limits of Meat anchoring Shadow.  The Scourge is coming.  It may be behind the far hill or in the near valley but it will be Here before you know.

System- Icons an elegant, effects based superhero game that's available online.  FATE's emphasis on fiction would parallel the setting's emphasis on language and naming.

Inspiracion- John Harper's The Wildlings, New Mutants' Demon Bear saga, Turok, Tengger Cavalry, Noah, The Quest for Fire

Magnum Opus- The War to End All Wars has torn the heart from European Empire.  The frontiers are choked with tortured steel, scattered limbs, and unheard prayer.  Even the mystical Guardians, seduced by martial glory, lie entombed in earthworks. Smelling opportunity, an entire generation of hungry American mystics flock to  Europe's capital cities, eager to begin their own Great Works and plunder the shattered halls of power.  Ignorant of ancient pacts, they shine new light on aged bones, recover lost knowledge and unleash horrors thought destroyed.

System-  Probably the Cypher System, the {Descriptor}{Class}who{Focus} provides plenty of options while straddling the idea of magic as superpower vs. magic as resource.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bloggin' Forecast

Life's been incredibly hectic but all that's behind me.  I'm back on the keyboard, looking forward to posting with greater regularity. To that end, you can find the blog outline below:

Mystery! - Unraveling deceit, smut, vice, and base criminality kicks off the week.  Largely systemless, I'll tag any specifics in the title and the footer.  Expect a criminal, a method, and the last time the bastard screws up.

Night Gallery - Most previous posts revolved around world building in bullet points.  No reason to change, these posts will be system specific and run as long as interest holds.  Maybe I'll collect them into a pdf or something.

Fight Night - Have you watched Every Frame a Painting's "In Praise of Chairs"? If you haven't, you can find it here.  I'll wait.  When was the last time you had a fight in you campaign and the environ told you something?  Let's fix that and have the setting reflect character even in abscence.