Crystal Legacy

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Crystal Legacy

Post by Mr. Author » Thu Oct 02, 2003 5:08 pm

It's all about the setting I currently run.
_______________________

Crystal Legacy
2002 Adam Thaxton

Core Ethos Statement

Dinosaurs, tommy guns, monsters, mobsters, Cold War paranoia, and magic. The atomic age was never like this.

Who are the heroes?

The heroes are any number of individuals drawn from all walks of life. Travelers seek their fortunes in ancient ruins and odd jobs across the world, gangsters and mobs ply their shadowy trades in the darkness of the alleyways and fight their familial, unseen wars, and government agents constantly work in friction with themselves and the Church of Gaia. The Arnan military forces in the Lafié Empire still have much work that needs to be done, and the Lafié have many ancient traditions that refuse to die in the wake of war.

What do they do?

In the wake of war, tensions settle, but there is still much to be done. The western lands of Arna are in disarray, and they lie close to the border of the mysterious Nazro Empire. Monsters and even the animals threaten human settlements, and must be killed or relocated. Government agent constantly seek knowledge of the movements of the Nazro Imperials, and who knows how many of their spies move among the populace at large. Heroes could help a farmer chase monsters of his land, sneak into the Nazro Empire, help Arna or Lafié with reconstruction, or take part in disassembling Lafié’s Samurai caste system. They could just be Travelers, out for their next meal. Heroes might even be high school students, trying to balance a life of adventure and ruin exploration with the rigors of normal life.

Threats, conflicts, villains?

Though the war between Lafié is over, conflicts real and imagined loom. Monsters will always be present, as will dangerous predators. The Nazro Empire is a silent monolith of power, a country with free and unlimited energy in the form of heretical technology, that waits in its Desert of Heretics for some undetermined time to unleash its heathen might across the world. Splinter groups of terrorist or rebellious cells fight back vocally or actively against what they see as unjust oppression by an absentee divinity. Other criminal organizations undermine the authority of the Arnan government, and there are still many Lafié, mostly those currently in power, who despise the Arnans for destroying their precious caste system. The beastmen on the southern continent are mysterious in their ways and methods, and perhaps are eyeing the north as their tribes grow in number.And of course, the fabled four temples of mana created by the Goddess Gaia herself have yet to be found, and it is said that untold riches and incredible power await within them.

Nature of magic

Magic taps into a plane of pure energy coterminous with the real world. This energy is called “mana,” and there are many conduits to its power. The first is ley lines and nodes. Ley Lines are like the weaving of a spider’s web across the surface of the world, and nodes are where these lines meet. There are four kinds of line, each corresponding to the elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Where nodes exist, this energy permeates the area, allowing living things to grow larger and more numerous. Beneath the ley lines in caverns grow crystals filled with this energy. Called “mana seeds,” these tiny crystals power the guns used to fight monsters and the might of the Arnan war machines known as Gearwalkers. Creatures in the realm of Mana are call “mana spirits,” and are usually quite harmless. When sucked through a node into the prime material, however, they change. Starved and driven mad by the crossover, they become very dangerous. Beneath the surface of the world run underground rivers like blood vessel through which a glowing violet liquid flows. This “manastream” is the lifeblood of the planet, and it is another conduit through which mana flows.

What's new? What's different?

Crystal Legacy provides a fantasy world almost like any other, but rife with the technological advances and cultural attitudes of America in the early 1950s. Few races are available, with humans, the robotic “stahlmecha,” the dinosaurian “reavers,” beastmen, and the gnome-like gowar, the emphasis is not so much on race as it is culture and attitude. The animosity still felt between Lafié and Arna pales in comparison to the fear both countries have for the Nazro Empire.
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Post by goodmangames » Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:48 am

That's far out. I especially like the idea of crystalline "blood vessels" growing underground, tracing the path of the ley lines. That's pretty cool.
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A hsitory of Aesca

Post by Mr. Author » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:13 am

A very brief history of Aesca since the Goddess War:

0 GY - The Church of Gaia sets up its "Magitech Review Board," The Nazro Empire is established in the desert.

21 GY - The first Ley Lines are mapped by Herschel Kermanov.

435-440 GY - The Steam War, which united all of the previous fractured kingdoms of Aesca into a single country called Arna. Lafié remains independent and isolationist. Gowar is largely ignored.

1378 GY - Thaddeus York implements his "Undercity" plan. He, with the help of the Gowar, sequesters a number of prominent theorists away from the Church and introduces their inventions as his own, allowing them to work without interference from the Church itself and create all manner of theoretical, no magical devices. The "Renaissance" begins.

1380 GY - The Church designates the area known as the Central Sea to be its own free state called Arcadia due to extensive petitioning for the separation of Church and State. The petition is not actually a granted bill until later.

1489 GY - The Traveler's Guild is established to deal with the problem of Avatar monsters and the large amount of freemen wandering the face of Arna. This essentially gives the government the ability to tax grave-robbers or so-called "adventurers."

2302 GY - Douglas Smithson invents the Stream Chamber and the Managun. The Magitech Review Board snaps it up as a weapon, and then allows it. The world is shocked, but it is accepted, since the stream chamber allows humanity to fight the Avatar Beasts that have hounded them for so long.

3000 GY - The Church of Gaia caves to public demands and separates Church and State.

3309 GY - The stahlmech is invented using a stream chamber technology variant. Hundreds are made before the Magitech Board gets a hold of the design schematics and attempts to outlaw it at first. However, the damage was done, and the public loved them. It is not for another year that they are approved and manufacturing begins.

3427 GY - The "Poroit Experiment" proves the existence of an alternate plane of existence where mana energy comes from that is coterminous with the prime.

3428 GY - Albert Schfut proposes to the Church Review Board his experiments' results, including his findings on manastream. They are accepted, but he is not allowed to apply his research to technological advances.

3430 GY - Lafié attacks the city of Poroit. Lafié-Arna War begins.

3431 GY - First appearance of "foo fighters," mysterious glowing objects that behave like fighter jets, yet outmaneuver anything else in the sky. Arnan scientists use stream chamber technology to create the "gearwalker," a tank-like vehicle that can walk and has grappler arms, to fend off Lafié's use of summoned Avatars.

3432 GY - A platoon of Arnan soldiers using the Imperial Desert to cross terrain faster reports seeing a "giant woman or thin man" on the horizon. It must have been narly 60 feet in height by their measurements. The Lafié are issued a written warning not to come near the Nazro Empire.

3433 GY - The Lafié ignore the warning and attack a scavenger outpost, killing everyone there. That platoon disappears into the desert. The Nazro begin to consider anything within their line of sight to be their border until the war is over. The Lafié begin avoiding the Nazro Empire.

3436 GY - Lafié-Arna War ends. In the winter, near the end of the war, a mysterious object allegedly crashes into a battlefield on the eastern edge of West Arna.

3440 GY - Albert Schuft makes his claims about the manastream being a "soul pool" and the entities he calls "the Silurans."

3454 GY - Current Year.
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Races, minus countries!

Post by Mr. Author » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:34 am

The races of Aesca

Humans - Humans are just as they are anywhere else. Adaptable, intelligent, and somewhat arrogant. They have two arms, two legs, and vary in color depending upon where they are from. Humans on Aesca come from Lafié, West Arna, East Arna, Arcadia, or the Nazro Desert.
Male pop: 48%
Female pop: 52%
Magus pop: 11.2%

Reavers - Reavers are a type of large, scaly bird. Many of them approach human levels of intelligence. They vary in color and general size depending upon where they are from. Many even have coats of feathers across their bodies. They stand about five to six feet tall and are around nine to eleven feet in length, with a stiff, balancing tail held out behind. They have six-inch, sickle-like claws on their hind feet and strangely shaped hands. Most of them have a bad attitude.
Male pop: 54%
Female pop: 46%
Magus pop: 2%

Gowar: Gowarans are short, about two to three feet tall. They look superficially like humans, save for the fact that they are much more pale and instead of hair, they have bony growths upon their heads, much like many kinds of prairie callers. Their hands terminate in blunt claws, perfect for digging. They are a friendly and good-natured folk, but they are also slightly xenophobic and prefer to be left alone. They live beneath the surface of the mountainous continent Gowar.
Male pop: 60%
Female pop: 40%
Magus pop (Earth): 13%
Magus pop (Other): 1%

Stahlmecha: Stahlmecha were created in 3309 after the invention of a device called a "seed chamber." The Church first attempted to outlaw their construction, but allowed them due to public outcry. They are mostly humanoid constructs, about the same height as humans, and made from metals and plastics. Their faces and much of the more mobile parts of their bodies are covered in costume rubber. Most are built to be housekeepers, but over time, they develop personalities and freedom of thought after exposure to human culture and the dynamics of a normal household. Most of these "rogue stahlmecha" become Travelers, or they go into the occupations that made them famous, homemaking, but this time with pay.
Male pop: 23%
Female pop: 77%
Magus pop: 0%
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I remember....

Post by Mr. Author » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:42 am

It was few years back I sent a cover letter and proposal to a few places, but none of them wanted to take a chance on a new setting, especially one that was this different from the norm.

Now, I've been thinking abut doing it again. I was thinking Magnum Opus, but to tell you the truth, I'm worried about it. Saturday's group seems to like it, and I've been thinking about introducing it to Friday's group.
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Human Countries & Gowar

Post by Mr. Author » Mon Oct 06, 2003 12:26 am

Sketches of the Human Countries:

Republic of East Arna & Republic of West Arna
Arnans are mostly Caucasian in appearance and vary widely in height. They are a bit darker than Arcadians when the two are compared. Their hair color ranges anywhere from blonde to brown to black, though they lack the strong hair colors of Arcadians.
Arnans value their personal freedoms and take pride in their country. They trust deeply in their government and in the Church of Gaia. The average Arnan citizen is a capitalist, harbors deep fear of the Nazro Empire, and has great sympathy for the Lafié, and finds their ways quaint and charming.
If anything, they adore their technology. Television, Gearwalkers, stahlmecha, and all other manner of devices are lauded as the next big thing. So long as the Church approves it, they feel no qualms about picking up and using the latest gizmos, such as transistor radios and 8-track tape players. The world’s smallest computer is in Arna, as well. It takes up only three rooms at the University of Falm in West Arna.
West Arna is populated mostly by farms and farming communities, but it has its share of large cities. Falm on the West coast and Sulia on the East coast are perhaps the largest cities in the world. Western Arna is mostly forest and plain, with jungles toward the south.
East Arna is home to Poroit and is the gateway to the Nazro Desert. The people here are a little more paranoid, and the presence of the Church is greatly increased. Jungles spread out from Poroit region, thinning and then disappearing altogether, giving way to a rocky wasteland that is the path to the Nazro Empire toward the East.
Human pop: 89%
Reaver pop: 4%
Stahlmecha pop: 6%
Gowaran pop: 1%

Arcadia
Between East and West Arna, in the Central Sea, lies a cluster of islands covered in pristine forests, clear water, and a lack of large predators. Here is Arcadia, a land marked by an extreme presence of the Church of Gaia, for somewhere on these island states, it is said, lies the gateway to Eden, the Holy Land of Gaia herself, where her sword was placed after the creation of the world. A bit of the Holy energy supposedly leaks into the land itself, making the folk who live there a little more healthy and perhaps more vigorous than the rest of the world.
Arcadians are a bit shorter than Arnans and have a deep, bronze skin. Their hair ranges in strong colors, from black, blonde and red to even colors keyed to mana, such as green, blue, deep purple, or white. Their eyes display this range of color as well, but on the whole, blue eyes are far more common. Their dress differs from Arnan in that Arcadians prefer lighter, looser garments.
Arcadian architecture incorporates columns white stone and clay, and olive wood. Many of the ruins in the area are made of marble and display the same architectural styles. They enjoy eating, drinking, and generally lounging about. They farm most of their own food, taking it from the sea or growing it in orchards. They are the foremost makers of wine on Aesca.
The typical Arcadian is frivolous, devoted to Gaia and the Holy Gate (even though they do not know where it is), friendly, and light-hearted. They do not enjoy war, and remained neutral during the conflict. Despite their location, they were relatively untouched.
Human pop: 90%
Reaver pop: 2%
Stahlmecha pop: 6%
Gowaran pop: 2%

Lafié Empire
South of East Arna, there lies a vast continent covered in mountains, plains, and deep, primal forest. A proud and ancient culture lives here, sequestering itself from the rest of the world and following the edicts of Gaia in its own way. Certainly the Church has a presence here, but it is more firmly entrenched in ceremony and spiritualism.
Lafié are dark-skinned, dark-haired, and dark-eyed. They are taller than Arnans on the average, and have more muscular bodies. Their dress incorporates flowing garments and silks, and their armor incorporates wood, fish scales, and animal skin. They prefer to wage war in more traditional forms, foregoing the use of guns and machines for bows and summoned monsters.
Until the end of the war, the Lafié used a feudal system of labor, replete with Samurai, Daimyos, and an Empress. As a matriarchal society, most of the ruling classes were female. After the war, the feudal system is being dismantled, and the Empire is being modernized. Masterless ronin wander the countryside in during reconstruction, and many of them are trying to drive the Arnan forces out of their country to re-establish their old ways.
The typical Lafié is gruff, snuffs the ways of foreigners, and is somewhat bitter about the end of the war. There are still those in Arna who dislike them, and tempers are still quieting down even this long after the war itself.
Human pop: 99%
Reaver pop: 0%
Stahlmecha pop: 0%
Gowaran pop: 1%


Nazro Empire
East of the Poroit Jungle, the land gives way to rocky wasteland where twisted hunks of rusted metal corrode in the sun. Soon a full-fledged desert looms on the horizon, with great hulks of long-dead cities and machines, their uses lost in the sands of time. It is here that the Nazro dwell, among these ruins, finding chunks of metal and low-lying bunkers to hide themselves from the desert storms. They were banished here long ago by the Church of Gaia for their sinful and heretical ways, and it is here they stay, combining magic and technology.
Imperials stand shorter than Arnans on average, and their skin ranges from a dusky to light tan. Their hair is dark, from black to brown, and they typically trail sand or dust wherever they go. They usually wear a large, wind-breaking cloak over plastic and metal body armor. All wear goggles or helmet of some sort. Those traveling abroad are allowed only their clothes and their money; they must buy all other equipment from a Church-approved dealer.
They face high amounts of prejudice outside their country, but strangely enough, they let insults slide off their back, and physical violence seems not to perturb them. On the whole, they are tougher and have greater endurance than Arnans.
The city of Halinth is a trading port for the Nazro, who have graciously removed all non-approved technology from the city’s environs, relegating it to the hulks called “Angels” which rise like monoliths to a past glory from the desert sand. Halinth is also the starting point for those banished to the desert for capital crimes. An old airfield takes them deeper into the desert, where they are never heard from again.
The most frightening thing to Arnans who look into such things is that the population of the desert seems much lower than it should be, and the Nazro seem to have no sinister motives at all, almost as if they do not care if anyone attempts to do anything. Tensions run high after the war, but the Nazro are as relaxed and stoic as ever.
Human pop: 78%
Reaver pop: 12%
Stahmecha pop: 10%
Gowaran pop: 0%

Gowar
Gowar is located East of Lafié, in the Landers Sea. It is covered in mountains and plains, and there seems to be not much to the continent itself. Under the land, however, is another story. Vast networks of caves and tunnels are home to the Gowar, a short and thin people who have dwelt for millennia in their rocky home.
Possessed of technology similar to Arna’s, Gowarans keep mostly to themselves. During the war, they aided in Arna’s weapon programs and provided information, as well as aiding in troop movements and providing Earth Magi to the Arnan forces.
Gowarans do not typically wear much, using the mushrooms they grow for food to provide their clothing, and the bounty of Aesca itself to provide gold and jewels. Most countries would have little traffic with Gowar itself if it were not for the vast amounts of precious minerals they are capable of removing from the earth.

Aesca has two more continents: To the south of West Arna is a vast land covered in jungle, where it is said the beastmen dwell. Little is known of this land, save for the fact that it is untamed, wild, and magic flows readily there. Far to the south is a land of cold and mystery. A continent covered in jungle that undergoes extreme climate changes and is rumored to be the home of creatures found nowhere else in the world, and, supposedly, another race of sentient creatures. No one has seen them directly, and they only trade through proxies. Time will tell if they are friend or foe to the world.
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How Magic Works

Post by Mr. Author » Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:30 am

The Four Magi

As there are four elements, there are also four kinds of magi. The four elements are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. However, if one looks at the symbol of the Church of Gaia, there is a fifth element, but its Magi always disappear around the age of sixteen, after first manifesting their powers.

Earth is the element of protection and of base matter. Earth Magi can control the densities of nonliving objects and non-organic materials, as well as their own solidity. They can throw up defensive shields of crystal or shape rocks as though it were clay. They can toughen living beings to survive further than normal, and they can create acids to dissolve away matter. Earth-based mana seeds glow with a soft yellow light. Earth is a female element.

Air is the element of movement and the ocean of oxygen that humans depend upon. Air Magi can manipulate electrical charges and air pressure, allowing them to slowly direct weather patterns and storms, or throw lightning bolts from their fingertips. They can alter the flow of electrons to more favorable patterns and power simple devices. They can shape the molecules of gases and change their density, making invisible blades as sharp as swords, cushions to catch those who are falling, or avoid the effects of harmful gases by dissipating them or changing their direction. Air-based mana seeds glow with a soft white light. Air is a male element.

Fire is the element of dynamism and heat. Fire Magi can increase the ambient temperature, shape fire by their very whims, or activate chemical reactions that release energy. They can render themselves or others immune to heat and set flammable objects alight. They can cure diseases and remove venoms from the body. Fire-based mana seeds glow with a soft red light. Fire is a male element.

Water is the element of healing and ice. Water Magi can decrease the ambient temperature, rebuild broken bodies and bones, and condense water vapor from the air itself. They can shape ice and frost with their minds, and change innocent puddles into whirling tornadoes of death. Water-based mana seeds glow with a soft blue light. Water is a female element.

There is another kind of mana seed, one that is very rare. It glows with a dark-violet light, and is far more volatile than a normal seed. Merely touching it could cause a chain reaction with the mana in a human body that results in the seed’s violent destruction.

All Avatars are keyed to different aspects of mana. Certainly it is cliché, but it still rings true: each monster has a weakness. It’s only a matter of finding it and exploiting it to death. To discover a creature’s weakness, children (most especially budding Magi) are taught the game of four elements: Earth fills in water extinguishes fire burns away air flows free of earth.

Around the age of seven or eight, a child might begin showing rudimentary signs of channeling mana. At this time, the child is taken to a Church of Gaia and the priestesses perform a ritual to discover if a given child has the potential to become a Magus, and if so, what element that child will be able to channel. Nearly all Magi only channel a single element, but those with two elemental abilities are not entirely unheard of (though three is exceedingly rare, four is next to impossible, and five is completely impossible). Many elements have gender associations; this is not a guaranteed gender as to what the Magus will be, but instead an indicator of what is more common.

Besides Magi, there are three other users of magic on Aesca. There are the summoners, who bind slain Avatars to themselves (using the Avatar Chrysm left behind when one is killed), and call upon them through domination of the beast’s spirit. There are also callers, who merge a spirit of mana with their own, allowing them to transform their bodies in bizarre ways, if only temporarily. And finally, there are the Shapers. They are a relatively new development in the world's magic - earth based casters who can grow or manipulate crystals at an incredible pace. The molecular bonds are weak, though. If they stop concentrating on their creations, they dissolve.
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A tiny bit on mechanics:

Post by Mr. Author » Thu Oct 16, 2003 5:44 pm

Just a tiny bit of mechanics:

Instead of rolling for ability scores, ability scores are purchased with 42 "discretionary character points," or DCP. 1 DCP raises an ability score by 2 points. Leftover DCP can be used to purchase special abilities or a more expensive race. For example, a character could have scores of 8, 16, 16, 12, 12, and 10, totalling 37 DCP, and have 5 remaining to spend on race or boosted abilities (both the reaver and stahlmech race require the expenditure of DCP). Note that some abilities (such as flight) cannot be purchased unless they are purchased as part of the Magic ability.

Instead of having 20 levels in each class, classes in Aesca d20 have 10 levels, and are split into three types: melee, ranged, and magic. There are no prestige classes. Instead, each class is a fairly specific set of abilities. Examples of melee classes include the Martial Artist, Swordsman, and Duelist. Examples of ranged classes include the Gunslinger and Crossbowman. Examples of magic-using classes include the Magus and the Caller. There are no multiclassing penalties.

Each character is automatically proficient with weapons he or she picks up, except for exotic weapons and firearms, such as the Jofield Arms Excalibur. Instead of relying solely on attack bonus, characters use attack and defense skills to modify their armor class and attack rolls. Instead of costing 1 point per rank, attack and defense skills cost 2 skill points per rank. There are several attack and defense skills: melee attack, archery, gun combat, ranged defense, unarmed attack, unarmed defense, melee defense, and special ranged attack.

Specializations: At the time you purchase a skill, you may select a specialization. Performing a task in that specialization grants you an additional +1 bonus to using that skill. For example, you may take Perform (Stringed instruments) and a specialization with a guitar. WIth 5 ranks in perform (strings), you are considered to have 6 ranks in Perform (Strings) when you are playing a guitar. Weapon specializations are possible, as well. Because of this, the Weapon Focus feat has been eliminated.

Alignment: As there is no direct affect of one's alignment, nor spell effects that directly detect it, no one has an alignment. All PCs are assumed either good or neutral. You should either work for the group or do nothing to hinder it. Morality begins to blur as secrets about the world and character histories are uncovered, however.

Energy Points: In addition to hit points, characters have an energy point score. Energy points are equal to 1d2 + the character's lowest mental ability score modifier (either intelligence, wisdom, or charisma) per level (minimum 1). For example, a character with a 12 Intelligence, 13 Wisdom, and 6 Charisma will still gain +1 energy point per level. By 5 energy points, a character can increase an attribute by 1 point for one minute, or gain 2 bonus hitpoints for 1 minute (for every 5 points spent). Energy recovers at a rate equal to the character's highest mental ability score per hour (double when resting). When a character reaches zero energy, the character falls unconscious for an hour. The attribute "Energy Bonus" adds 20 point sof energy each time it is taken.

All beginning characters are assumed to have a Traveler's lisence unless specifically noted. This lets them purchase what would usually be considered illegal equipment. They also have a International Traveler's Guildbook, which sets the minimum and maximum prices for services rendered by Travelers. This is only if the PC in question is a Traveler. Other character coming from other occupations may come across or purchase these items during play if it suits them.In such a case, characters may not start out with illegal or restricted equipment.

When purchasing gear or weapons, remember that a Traveler is constantly on the search for his or her next meal, or the "next big break." To quote a Traveler (attributed to Lisa Escorts):
"The concept of being a Traveler is a rather romantic notion. After all, what is more romantic and adventurous than sneaking into centuries-old holy places and taking what you find, mowing a man's lawn the next day, or patrolling the highways for men and women to kill so that others feel safe? What is more amazing than sleeping in a smelly canvas bag outside the gated walls of a city? Who else must feel the wonder of not knowing when or where your next meal is coming from?"

Essentially: You are not an action hero. You are a schmuck in a suit or coat out to make a living in a dangerous world where monsters and vicious predators abound. Though you may be swept up in a grand or exciting adventure every so often, the goal is to make the world a safer place....but not for free.
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Re: A tiny bit on mechanics:

Post by goodmangames » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:11 am

Mr. Author wrote:Instead of relying solely on attack bonus, characters use attack and defense skills to modify their armor class and attack rolls. Instead of costing 1 point per rank, attack and defense skills cost 2 skill points per rank. There are several attack and defense skills: melee attack, archery, gun combat, ranged defense, unarmed attack, unarmed defense, melee defense, and special ranged attack.
Those are some interesting ideas you've got in there. I especially like the idea of attack and defense skills. It's kind of weird how in D&D a commoner or expert also gains combat ability. Would a 20-year veteran farmer really acquire a higher base attack bonus? Converting BAB and such to skill points is a good way to make it more realistic.
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Complete class list.

Post by Mr. Author » Sun Oct 19, 2003 10:56 pm

A semi-complete class list!

Melee:
Swordsman - bonus damage, high attack abilities. Dealing plenty of damage is the hallmark of the swordsman.

Duelist - high AC and sneak attack. Not getting hit and cutting in with precise strokes are the Duelsit's specialties.

Leatherneck - moderate attack skills, but plenty of hit points and AC. Taking damage and outlasting the opponent are the Leatherneck's trademarks.

Martial Artist - decent AC and doling out unarmed damage are what the Martial Artist does best.

Scout - out in the wilderness, speed and awareness are key. The scout does both.

Ranged:
Gunslinger - crazy moves, well-placed shots, and putting bullets into the air are fun and impressive, and it's the Gunslinger's daily bread.

Rifleman - but there's something to be said for taking careful aim, as well. A single well-placed shot can deal plenty of damage, too, and it's lighter on the wallet.

Bowman - a practitioner of the Lafié martial art of bows, the Bowman uses a zen-like philosophy to guide his or her arrows.

Magic:
Summoner - Aesca has its share of monsters, and the summoner takes advantage of this by making them his own.

Magus - the industrial strength light and magic. Lighting bolts, fireballs, flight, ice blades, and what-have-you fly fast and furious when a Magus is around.

Caller - a character who uses Avatar chrysm to effect a transformation into the very creatures that plague the world, if only temporarily.

Shaper - making things out of crystals, shaping, bending, and twisting them out of their own bodies, Shapers are as new to Aesca as the Dinopaths.

Dinopath - scary little 12-year-old children what can talk to reavers and open ancient ruins with a thought, dinopaths have made headlines across the country as they awaken.

Miscellaneous:
Wanderer - with bonus skills and character points galore, and mediocre abilities all around, the Wanderer is a walking morass of information and a jack of all trades, but is not usually magically active.
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Post by Mr. Author » Fri Oct 24, 2003 9:37 am

There are three kinds of creatures in Aesca d20.

The first are Avatar monsters. These were once mana spirits who fed at a node and were pulled through. There are two ways to encounter them.
1) The Avatar has already crossed over and takes physical shape. This is accompanied by a loud explosive sound as air is displaced. In other circumstances, they have been free for quite some time. Either way, they're bent on wreaking havoc and devouring mana energy - even if they have to get it from living things.
2) The Avatar is just on the cups of crossover. Characters near it are swept into a pseudo-space that vaguely resembles the nearby environment. Once the creature dies, characters are returned to where they were when they were dragged into the pocket realm.

Instead of fixed hit dice, Avatars have 20 level progressions, just like characters. Each Avatar type uses its own unique progression. They are built on 200 points, with 40 initial points, just like characters (this makes it simple for summoners and for setting an Avatar at a proper level relative the PCs).

Dinosaurs are just animals. Predatory animals may chase the PCs or others, but they are ultimately doing what they do.

Templated creatures, such as the undead "Cursed" and the Overinfused, are alterations from normal humans and animals, and are oten insane. Cursed are what happens when the mana in a human or other sapient dissipates, but the mind keeps going. Sometimes they will go insane, other times they keep their minds. In either case, they are only distiguishable in most cases from normal humans by exceptionally glassy eyes. Overinfused are those infused with pure manastream, more alive than anything else on the planet. Soul Puppets are the opposite of Cursed. Their bodies have died, but their mana and soul remains, keeping them from the grave. Their bodies eventually decay with time, unless they feed on mana energy from either flesh or blood.

There are also the barbarian tribes and the beastmen of the southern continent, as well.
(insert witty phrase)

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