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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Chaos Corrupted Dragons Across Three Games

Sunday 1: 'Old Characters': After having blown themselves up out of mortal existence while fighting the chaos corrupted dragons, the PCs have ascended to Immortal status.  Helping the inhabitants of one of the many Shard Worlds recover from a magical crystal tech computer virus which, together with a planet-wide seismic event, had killed roughly 20% of the 4 million population, the world watched as one of the Immortals raised thousands of dead over the course of the first week, with the possibility of bringing back some of the fallen heroes of the last great war, roughly eighty years prior.  Each of the Immortals now has built centres around which to develop their cult, with roughly [16] thousand each.  In Godbound RPG terms, they have 01.5 points of Dominion.  Since we are using both Godbound and the Immortals Companion in conjunction with my Encounter Critical edition of Urutsk: World of Mystery, while the PCs have very little to fear from mortal threats, other Immortal scale dangers (including each other) still hold their concern.  Plans to begin operating separately in their own fleets, pursuing their Elemental Patrons' agendas in the former galaxy and beyond are taking shape.

Sunday 2: 'New Characters': Although a motley assortment of Humans and Non-Humans, these PCs have become co-labourers with Chapter Commander Lhorsk (Experience Level 68 Pswordlock) on Randev, Planet on the Edge of the Galaxy.  Faced with war initiated by starfaring chaos corrupted dragons and their servitor races, the PCs have brought the fight to the dragons, having struck a serious blow to the forces in the star system, and were captured for their efforts.  This session saw them infused with Dragonbone, and receiving their Hornung, making them immune to non-attack temperatures as well as allowing them to operate in a vacuum.  The bone transplant and hide grafts have begun to corrupt them, but it is presently 'manageable'.  Their first assignment was to man a perimeter defence network asteroid, looking out for incoming craft.  Learning of a self destruct mechanism in the base, the PCs began to disable it, making it with one roll to spare before it detonated due to their tampering.  While this was happening, the asteroid was being terraformed by  the Summer Court of Vael'Kyn.  A robotic repair ship was dispatched and promptly damaged by the Summer Court Naiads after the craft's probed attacked their garden.  The PCs escaped on the craft only to be 'rescued' by the draconics on a craft roughly 5x the volume of the Empire State Building.  Lucky turns of events provided unexpected allies, allowed the PCs to avoid being found out as the traitors they are, and to be reassigned to their homeworld.  On Randev, in the coastal city of Pearl, the PCs were able to join up with surviving freedom fighters drawn from several groups (including other at least one other universe).  Securing and repairing a shuttle, the group manage to scare off a fighter-bomber on patrol as they neared their home city.  City reinforcements provided cover and the PCs are reunited with the Commander.  My Forty Kay Sister of Battle / Rogue Trader PC and the NPC Pswordlock agree that it doesn't much matter which Emperor they are speaking of when he is answering them in battle against their chaos foes.

Thursday Hangout: Having fought off an attack by Chaos Marines, the PCs are now in the era of the Sphere of Stars, warning the Numeneurians of that period of the impending Starshock.  A distant telepathic message is received urging the PCs to find their way into the presence of the Emperor to avoid the Starshock, because the event will cause great damage across the Metacosmos.  One of the PCs learns that their species is nothing but the psychic projections of more powerful extradimensional creatures, and upon recoiling to its origin Person, learns that it is in league with the dread Shorrannin and has found a way into the Sphere of Stars.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Of particular interest to those with a linguistic or historic bent...

Link 1: http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2013/03/greyhawk-origins-of-oeridian-people.html

Link 2: http://www.canonfire.com/cf//modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=1041

Link 3: http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2016/09/linguistics-in-flannaes-oeridians-are.html

I will leave it to the reader to determine if this has any specific relevance to Urutsk, but, I caution against a 1:1 inference.

Those who have my Porphyry: World of The Burn product for T&T 5e / MSPE, have seen into the past of the planet which is later known as Urutsk (or Mada, to many of its native peoples), but there is a bit of chronological hinkiness at work, not to mention other world ages not yet published. G+  Hangout players have seen the Urutskan Underworlds, and at least one has lost his PC to an early age's curse.

Alright, then...
Let me tell you a bit about astronaut Laird Zeeth and his failed mission.  Propelled through a space anomaly in his experimental spacecraft, Captain Zeeth found himself on what he would come to realise was one of many alternate reality Earths.  Here, Humans were thought mythical, or at east so incredibly rare that their capture and study was more important than eating.  Monstrous folk of all imaginable sorts were the norm on this earth, and while there seemed to have been a prior Human civilisation, the ruins of such were at best, vine covered ruins, if not tels covered by unknown centuries of detritus and dirt, -- seen as dangerous and accursed dungeons.

On this Earth, Elves of all sorts were the dominant life form, with dragons, ogres, demons, etc., in smaller numbers.  When Captain Zeeth was finally brought before an Elven academic council, he was studied in a manner best depicted in Zardoz, as a lower life form, unthinking and brutish.  Demonstrating a resistance to magick and psionics, Laird Zeeth eventually gained his freedom and recognition as a peer to the Elves.  His quest to return to his Earth was not given much hope of success, and involved many globe- (and plannar-) spanning expeditions to secure items and specialists, and in the course of these travels, we lose track of the individual.

[more if you desire it]

Monday, December 19, 2016

Actual Play Report by Staunch Player

While I compose my thoughts and words regarding the past several sessions, here are three reports from...several months (years) ago from a player in my Thursday nigh Hangout sessions.

LINK

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday Nights Hangout Crew

PCs
Other Human Martial Arts Warrior
Numeneurian Psi-Witch

Aelbaan Astrogator/Lesser Psychic



Vael-Kyn Criminal/Security Officer (Bad Cop)

NPCs


W40k Commissar

20ish Vrun Warriors under his command and eating up his inspirational comments about the Imperium, and the Emperor

Situation
* Big Earthlike planet coinhabited by Chaotic Amphibians and their Chaotic Cloister Humanoids
* Humans (including Vrun) taken captive by the aforementioned baddies
* Campaign to recover the humans by Commissar leads group through gateway to Elemental Chaos (equal parts Air, Water, Earth, Fire)
* Fights inside vast complex
* Enervation stations feed raw chaos reactor
* N/PC disruption causes instability which in turn causes a chain reaction ignition of Chaos Star (Tyrant Star?) which begins to consume everything in area
* N/PCs manage to escape, losing 6 non-Vrun passengers
* Find shelter with D&D types on a _-Jammer craft, to which they sacrifice a magical suit of Paladin Full Plate for more power; its former owner a fallen comrade of the D&D NPCs
* Looking to leave the Plane before things get worse

Monday, November 28, 2016

Two of my Alternating Weekly Games Update


Planet on the Edge of the Former Galaxy: Investigation of the connection between Jezebel Pearmother, wife of king Ahab Pearlmother, of the pirate city of Pearl, were cut short due to the arrival of the Dragon invaders.  The PCs and freedom fighters left the city and fled to caves outside of town.  Their progress was very linear and eventually led them to an encounter with Drow in the employ of the Dragon Empire.  The Drow took a few captives to illustrate that they had accomplished their search, but not only let the others go, but also left them a few survival supplies.

15th Experience Level Campaign characters have transitioned from the Urutsk universe to the Grim Darkness of the Future in that setting the UKers would sue (or at least C/D) me if I mentioned their IP.  As all three of the players has at least one Haelbean character, they became Space Elves (tm).  The adorable little flying eyeball critter became a Service Skull (tm), and the cyborg machinehead assassin guy became, you guessed it, a Technical Adept (tm).  Everyone and thing became Grimdarkified and grotty.  They had to hastily create a Yuri Geller Field ;) to avoid Kaos nasties consuming them as they travelled through the VVorp.  Exiting due to inclement weather in the VVorp, the ship exited to realspace and noted a system with not much to recommend it except a moon sized garden world with a station in orbit.  [FF>>]  The party determined (both through recordings and psychic impressions/retro telepathy) that Kaos-corrupted Technical Adepts had tortured a woman who appeared to be a Space Elf, and were questioning her about her reasons for being in the system, etc.  She killed one of them, and opened up a VVorp down to the planetoid's surface.  Pirate friends of the woman showed up and torpedoes were fired and destroyed by the party's Ancientech (tm) ship.  Parley and partying ensued and the two groups went down to the surface, only to be fired upon by the Technical Adept who seemed to have dominated her via cybernetics, using her vast Psyche powers against the n/pcs.  She survives his accidental self destruction when his Melty Gun (tm) catastrophically esplodes.  Technical Adepts from the friendly pirate ship determine that there is foul Kaos stuff afoot, and, indeed, there is.  Using a receptacle, a Demon in spirit form had occupied the nearly fleshless Heretical Technical Adept, and was about to lay down the law -er- Kaos on the group, when a device from the Urutsk universe sent enough of it away to the Shadow Plane that it destroyed the casing and revealed the Lich for what it was.  Lord Shadow has a new plaything.  :)  The Space Elf psyche captain feels a disturbance in the VVorp and leads a Technical Adept to a cave where they find a large structure made up of cogitated, young Psyche skulls, all networked together.  Forcefield + chainsaw axe wielding TA says, ~'zzt Abomination zzt'~, while a more human voice from him says, '...the Engineering...', before he tears into the structure.  [FF>>]  Bad news: the skulls were mostly under 20 years of age, and were apparently bred/raised on the same world, and all possessed Psyche powers.  Good news, a dangerously zealous, but unpredictably understanding Warrior Nun (tm) (recently became Governor of a planet now named Virtue), is the pirate captain's contact, and she is the one to speak with to find out what in the Kaos is going on, and put an end to it.  Two Technical Adepts are coming along to add validity to the pc group's claims, etc.  At the lawless space fort, Aimless, it is seen that a Privateer House is assembling a fleet of war craft, and pressing scum into service for what appears to be a major surface engagement, as well.  A warning dispatch is sent to the War Nun governess...

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Dragoning



The newly awakened 67th Level Imperial Pswordlock asked the PCs to think about how they could contribute to the restoration of the base, and ideas were hashed.

During this downtime, the Yirinn/Dryvv woman is contacted by the queen of the Shlzm, informing her that a Draconic battlefleet has been sighted in the star system.  The PC contacts the paladin, and the alarm is raised.

Lhorsk, Chapter Commander of the Glorious Imperial Eagles, was inspired to knight the Skyger, who graciously accepted.  Power circle and runes / sigils invoked, and then a future self of the Skyger, now resplendent in Psychokinetic Panoply, hands the Skyger of now a PK blade: "Do you give your all for the Emperor?"  The Skyger realises that he is to slit his throat, and does so.  His blood is pulled out of his body and heightens the sigils, transforming the Skyger's war hammer and fallen comrade badger's skull into a PK form; his blood is then purified, electrified, and returned; he is a new creation.  Now wearing his PK full plate, the Skyger learns that he can dismiss and recall his hammer as a mental action.  The badger skull now is linked to him, and he can invoke the spirit of his badger friend to fight alongside him.

The half-Dryvv Darshin Yirinn woman says that she thinks that she can gain the support of her people (months journey distant), but realises that the paladin has nothing material to offer to sweeten the proposition, and she then plans to journey to the coastal City of Pearl whose library is well known throughout the hemisphere.

The Dokirinn solid light manipulator decides to transform his quasi force creation into a humanoid form with full stats.

The party set out on horseback, and I use encounters at the weekly rate of travel, determining when in the day the encounters occur.  Three mornings in a row, the party is attacked by draconic spawn, ranging from a squire of sorts, to a cloud of dragoncrows.  Finally reaching Pearl, the party learns that sea serpent men (bodies of eels, with humanoid torsos; they fight with tridents and gaff hooks) are devastating the docks, and smoke is clearly visible.

Moving into the horrid pirate haven, the streets are illed with scrawny dogs, and every vice is indulged openly.  A would be encounter turns into an audience with the king, Ahab Pearlmother, and his queen Jezebel.  She is quickly discovered to be a lamia in league with the draconics, and after urging the Yirinn woman to allow her to lie with the Skyger (and the guests throwing down coins to help convince), Jezebel is killed in front of the shocked and horrified court; her body thrown into the king who is attacked by his eunuch guards, but manages to duck their massive scimitars.  The Skyger kills Ahab with a hammer throw, pulping his head, while the eunuchs now lay into the known wicked cohort of the court, and a few even leap out of the windows, only to be devoured by the ravening dogs below.  We fast forwarded the aftermath, which amounts to a council being formed which will run the remnants of Pearl (after a mysterious conflagration burns most of it down), and in exchange, the city will open its library to the PCs.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Healing and Recovery Woes

One of the things that hadn't worked to anyone's satisfaction in this Encounter Critical edition of UWoM was healing.

Now, EC's roll hit dice method, and receive a bonus if luxuriating, was not to my liking, mainly because it is too chaotic, with the disappointment of low rolls, or too speedy recovery, etc.

I had been using a variant of Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes recovery rules until I realised that it actually took longer to recover the fewer points needed to be healed.  I ran a lot of analysis, and couldn't believe that I hadn't spotted that before.  That was out, especially when players complained it required too much in-game downtime (yeah, I know, whiners).

I briefly toyed with the thought that tougher characters should heal faster, but it turned out that that approach simply made everyone heal completely in 10 days.  That wasn't it either.

Now, I have a method which is still proportional, but where folk with more hit points recover faster from lesser injuries, but still take longer to fully heal than characters who have fewer and lost all of them and mend faster.  I'm still not happy with this.  Something charty looks like it will have to be done, which also doesn't thrill me.

Thoughts or suggestions to fulfill my design criteria?

1). Tougher creatures recover more quickly
2). Having fewer HP and losing most or all of them should take longer to recover from than a creature with lots of HP who lost a lot, but proportionately fewer than the low HP creature
3). Simple method; easy to explain; etc.