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Everything posted by Jkeown

  1. When will this be in the on-line store? I won't be making it to Gen Con this year... silly priorities.
  2. At the scale of Ravenna or Caleon or such... you are correct. There are hints of the Maelstrom (Chaos) and Aperion (Order) but even they aren't "personalities" in the proper sense. They are forces of nature. Interestingly, Apeiron didn't exist for a long time. It was destroyed, allowing Chaos to rule the multiverse for a period. My most recent crop of player characters (not players; 2 of them I played with in High School (I'm 48), one I married, and the last one I fathered) repaired Apeiron and now the Ancient War between order and chaos has been re-ignited. It's getting awfully Zelazny in here. Also, if you had a dollar for every time I've said how impersonal and uncaring the universe is on a fundamental level, you could probably buy a car. A nice one, with power windows, side mirror defrosters and a seat warmer.
  3. But they do cross, don't they... that's not impossible, that's just our hometown's stupid DOT. It's the impossible nestled in amongst the mundane that makes RPGs cool for me.
  4. Lacertan The Oothmali, or to human reckoning, the Lacertan are trilaterally symmetrical sophonts occupying 3 major worlds and 15 moons in Lacerta Sector. They are a common sight as far away as Dark Cloud and Celestial Chorus. When first encountered in the late 24th Century, they were puttering along on NLS drives rated at .9c. Careful negotiations brought them into the Union on April 1st, 2497. Lacertan Evolution While many humans maintain that Lacertans arose from animated annoyance and coalescent rudeness, it is known that they evolved naturally on the largest moon of Kali, in Lacerta Sector. Most life forms on Oothmal are trilaterally symmetrical as well. They were opportunistic browsers, similar to Humans, with more selective pressure and a far more variable climate. This has led to a group mentality (though not a hive mind in any sense) based on mutual defense and an increased sense of community. Lacertans have a need to be a part of something, to fit in and be of benefit to a group, no matter how small. An isolated Lacertan will commit suicide in a matter of weeks. Lacertan Physiology Lacertans display trilateral symmetry. That is, their organs and limbs are arranged along a rotational y-axis. Each of their features are situated at 120 around the creature. They have 3 arms, 3 legs, 3 ears, 3 eyes and 3 wiggly sensory extensions at the top of their bodies. An ear is located just above each eye. Breathing is accomplished by means of respiratory openings just under each eye. They speak by means of the respiratory orifices, and talented Lacertans can act as their own backup singers. At the base of the body, where the legs meet, is a multifunction orifice that performs food intake, waste elimination and sexual reproductive functions. Each upper limb ends in a six-digit hand, each hand having four fingers and two opposable thumbs. As a result of this arrangement, they use a base-18 mathematics system. They typically display warm coloration, with oranges and reds predominating. Various patterns of light blue bioluminescence are present across their heads, arms and legs. The wiggly sensor extensions also glow softly. This glow brightens when the person is angry or excited. They distinguish not right and left, but directions roughly translated as one, two and three. Such things come naturally, but bilateral races tend to struggle with the idea. Many precious seconds have ticked by while a human tries to figure out in which hand to place tools or ammo when asked. They reproduce via a typical two gender split. Both male and female sex organs are present in Lacertans, and activate on subtle clues given off during courtship. Essentially, the two prospective parents will dance, fight, throw things and otherwise compete physically and socially for the right to bear the young. The winner of the competition becomes female. It is chemically impossible for pregnant Lacertans to become male for the duration of gestation. Lacertan Culture Lacertans understand concepts of privacy somewhat poorly, but have no need of them, and unless matters of personal space and property are explained to them (as often as possible) they will intrude and “steal” whenever they can. It can be very disturbing to suddenly find a six foot tall, six-limbed orange and blue sausage reading over your shoulder. They are curious to a fault, often wandering into places best left undisturbed. They are not stupid, overconfident or otherwise mentally impaired, and do not go haphazardly into obviously dangerous areas without a great deal of preparation. Lacertan Psionics Unsettlingly, Lacertans Psions are almost always Jumpers. Lacertan Names Lacertan speech is formed by expelling air through the respiratory slits located under each eye. Their native “tongue” sounds a bit like a harmonica, though less melodic. As most races cannot make these sounds without assistance, a great many Lacertans adopt Human or Rhee names. Lacertan singing sounds like the Blues Lacertan Nutrition An Oothmali can digest a wide range of foods. They are fond of heavily spiced dishes, and often carry their own spice stash with them, just in case. The atypical arrangement of their digestive tract has left the Lacerta with the ability to filter out toxins, leaving them immune to most poisons. Lacertan Template Cost Abilities 3 Stronger: +3 STR 6 Superior Coordination: +3 DEX 5 3 Arms, 3 Legs: Extra Limbs (2) 30 All-Around Senses: Increased Arc Of Perception (360 Degrees) with Sight Group, Hearing Group and Smell/Taste Group 29 Mag/Lek: Detect Magnetic Fields and Electical Current 13- (Unusual Group), Discriminatory, Increased Arc Of Perception (360 Degrees), Range, Sense, Blocked by Shielded Circuits or Wiring 37 Wiggly Sensory Things: Spatial Awareness (Unusual Group), Increased Arc Of Perception (360 Degrees) 6 Tough Hide: Resistant Protection (2 PD/2 ED)
  5. Tarrial The Tarrial are native to the second planet in the Tarrias Prime system, a small sun-like star in Aquila Sector. Tarrial Evolution Tarrials evolved from tree-dwelling rodent-like opportunistic browsers. Their evolution was driven by competition from similar life forms who spent most of their time on the ground. Competition for food was fierce, any creature who could safely broaden his intake had a greater chance of survival. As the generations wore on, the Tarrial adapted to moving and living in complex 3D environments, and have excellent hand-eye coordination and speed. Tarrial Physiology Tarrials are quadrupeds, bipedal, with a prehensile tail used for balance and as a third hand. They are very protective of their tails. Tarrial Culture The society of Tarrials is based around the idea of a Tree (tla’thet); with the trunk as the supporting civil service bureaucracy and every other profession occupying a branch. Large companies or clans are also called Branches (nok’thet). The branch one occupies is dependent on a number of factors, there is no caste system. Birth, genetics and education figure strongly in Tarrial culture. Families are encouraged to pass skills down to the young, but social mobility is also honored. Tarrial find humor in everything. On matters religious, the Tarrials worship the Great Egg, usually depicted as a shiny metallic egg standing on six stumpy legs. Modern Tarrials recognize this symbol as a starship of some kind, but few speak of it aloud. Tarrial Psionics Tarrial are capable of Psionics, and take well to training. Among the Tarrial, psions are called “Wizards” and form nok’thets of their own. They are most frequently Jumpers, but a disproportional number of them are Bringers and Hyperdimensionalists. Tarrial Names Tarrial name their young at birth, often with strange phrases, lyrics, or poetic passages. In Tarrial, they sound like bleats and clicks, translated into Standard, they elicit memories or foreign concepts. Males: Eye of the Tiger, Jump, Memories of Tarrias, Hills of Fire. Females: Flowing like a River, Go Go Go, We’re Shopping Now, Tomorrow’s Promise Tarrial Nutrition The Tarrial enjoy tasting things. Everything. However, they can’t actually digest everything that looks good to them. They might not really consume your custom blaster pistol, but the zephyr-hide grip would go down smoothly. They can metabolize a larger spectrum of substances than humans. Thus, Tarrial restaurants are a nightmare of sights, smells and projecting fluids of a vile nature. Tarrial Template Cost Powers 10 Hard to Hit: +2 DCV - END= 6 Faster: +3 DEX - END= 2 Boundless Energy: +10 END - END= 4 Hard to Perceive: +2 with Stealth - END= 11 Tree Grip: Clinging (13 STR) - END=0 6 Tail: Extra Limb (Inherent) 5 Eat All Kinds Of Stuff: Life Support (Immunity: All terrestrial poisons) Powers Total: 33 Cost Skills 12 +2 with all Agility Skills Skills Total: 12 Cost Talents 2 Brachiator: Environmental Movement (no penalties on Tree Limbs, Pipes or Similar Structures) Talents Total: 2 Value Complications 10 Physical Complication: Small (Infrequently; Slightly Impairing) Complications Points: 10
  6. Okay, maybe not just the Skragh...I'll post other races I've created in writing 2600CE, my homebrew Sci-Fi weirdness. Skragh The Skragh are a species native to the Hyades Cluster in Taurus. Their sun is not technically a member of the cluster, but currently shares the same volume of space. The race is commonly referred to as the Hyadians, however, they are quick to point out the proper name, Skragh, which translates roughly as “I want.” Skragh Evolution Skragh are descended from plains-dwelling reptavian stock. They had lost their flight ability in the distant past, but retained several digits that came in handy for hunting and scavenging. This behavior paid off when a formerly harmless fungus arose, threatening their food supply. They adapted to an omnivorous diet and added several new grains. As their lifestyle diversified, opportunities increased, as did the size of their brains. Eventually, they found themselves on the verge of sentience. Competition among various proto-Skragh nests resulted in cooperation, diplomacy and true intelligence. Skragh Physiology They resemble heavy-set ratites, with long curving beaks displaying a variety of casque shapes. Posture is largely horizontal, though they can rise up a bit when threatened or issuing warnings or orders to ground troops. They have long, dexterous fingers on their vestigial wings, with sensitive pads. Feathers tend toward darker colors, with bright accents that vary by nest. Accent color tends to be heredity, but younger Skragh have taken to coloring their feathers with dyes, light bars or holo-implants. Unarmored Skragh with unmodified feathers can produce stridulation, an audio signal generated by feather friction. It is used to issue commands in sporting competition and low-tech combat situations. It features heavily in Skragh musical culture and television. Skragh Culture Skragh culture is a “me first, cooperation second” society. Leaders encourage teamwork within corporations and the military, but stress the need for individuality in all things. Social climbing is highly stratified and Machiavellian, with innumerable clubs, gangs, collectives, nests and families all competing for social status and material wealth. They place a high priority on collecting, record keeping and knowledge of collectable items. Skragh greet each other by tapping their beaks together. This provides acknowledgment while giving both participants the opportunity to take in the other’s beak scrimshaw. They are terribly fond of the blues. Skragh Psionics Skragh are rarely psionic, and those that do develop such skills are usually promoted quickly to Nest Leader or some military post. Skragh psions who fail in their duties are often killed or exiled. Exiles who return are killed. Skragh psions tend to be Lifters. Skragh Names Skragh names tend to be sounds you could make on a woodwind instrument. Humans often sound very stupid trying to speak the language. Skragh Nutrition Skragh are carnivores, but enjoy eating greens and less intense fruit (anything sweeter than a Granny Smith apple is found to be nauseating to them). Skragh Template Cost Ability 6 +3 DEX 3 +3 PRE 2 +10 END 6 Quick: Running +6m (18m total) 10 Beak, Large: HKA ½d6 (1d6+1 w/STR) 11 Stridulation: Hearing Group Images, +2 to PER Rolls 2 Feathers: Life Support (Safe in Intense Cold) 2 +1 with Stealth 3 Perfect Pitch Total Cost of Template Abilities: 45
  7. I've been avoiding [REDACTED]. It's weird, but I don't like them. I know I have to deal with them, but I have genuinely been putting it off. Part of me wants to say "Those were elves...and the abductees were on some pretty bad drugs...thus the eye-thing..." but it doesn't quite fly. If I hear a really good suggestion (and it would have to blow my socks off) I might add it. Honestly, any idea about them that works should form the basis of its own game. They have their place, but they just don't feel right ... not yet.
  8. Here's something fun... When you are immortal, but have to leave a body lying about: Create Corpse: Object Creation, +5 BODY, Complex Object (45 Active Points); Extra Time (20 Minutes, -2 1/2), OAF (Rod, Staff, Wand or Orb; -1), Gestures (Complex; -1/2), Requires A Roll (Magic roll; -1/2), Incantations (-1/4) Real Cost: 8 Forgery and Forensic Medicine are probably required to make the body look like it died "correctly" with stab wounds or burns... the right dental work or symptoms. Fun Stuff!
  9. A lot of the magical critters in Ravenna are citizens of the nations in which they live. Jennifer is a US Citizen. She's got a credit rating, a home address, all the stuff you or I would have. However, when she wants, she can show her wings and claws and do things we can't. (Like ask Lord Arkoon to blast annoying Player Characters with his Fires o' Chaos) There is a flighty elf who owns a magic shop at the corner of 30th and 18th in Indy. She's a business owner with all that this implies. The fact that those streets do not cross is a matter for a spell to handle. This setting has to have verisimilitude of this type for me, otherwise I'd get fed up with it. Some folks who ought to be dead (Bacon, Cagliostro, Wayland, Emperor Norton, etc.) establish new identities when they venture out into the world. Living in Ravenna, you are your own credit rating, but when John Dee wants to go back to Mortlake (for whatever creepy reason), he buys a plane ticket with John D Willingham's credit card (teleportation is considered gaudy, and your arrival point might be under observation). You are making me think of this stuff in ways I haven't yet... I like it. Keep pushing. It's incredibly useful.
  10. It's not an alias. Harpies have come a long way since Homer's time. A few weeks ago, my Player Character got a hold of her smartphone (She, strangely, was allowed to get away with a Devah's burnt feather). It was great fun having various awful characters call that phone over the next couple of sessions... sometimes in the middle of fights. I have no idea if they'll ever catch up with her again.
  11. Right. Updated File. Added: The Machine - I mentioned it once and then did nothing with it. So under Threats, you'll find the armies of the Machine, a clanking, steam-powered threat that spreads via pop culture. Harpies - New Player Character Race. Expensive, but very characterful, I think. Nye Powers - Weird mutant-like powers with weirder names. Next update should include more GM stuff. Perhaps more detail on Parts Unknown, Examples of Strange Places and details on other Hidden Cities like Roma Aeter and Hafen. Ravenna.pdf
  12. Perhaps I can. The setting really revolves around stealthy locations, Hidden Cities, Strange Places, Nascoti... I didn't want overt magic that allow Mundanes to see a Dragon on the 6 o'clock news. The feel I'm going for is that Ravenna could be our world, with magic hiding just Under the Rug.
  13. Check my Ravenna Grimoires thread for the full copy of Ravenna Public. It contains my spell system.
  14. Okay. Deep Breath. Here it is.. still a work in progress, but I'm getting good feedback from Chris "Ravenna's Biggest Fan" Goodwin. His unending praise has fueled another revision, and now public access. This terrifies me. As with anything I post, suggestions, feedback and out-right re-writes are encouraged. Such submissions will be edited (heavily) and included with appropriate credit and apologies where required. Still need to work on Scourges, Ravens, House Descriptions.. more magical arcana and expanding the roles and descriptions of Collegio. Enough of me. Download it. Be gentle, Heroes! Ravenna Public.pdf
  15. The public copy is coming along nicely. I've removed the more overt rip-offs, added a bit on GMing Ravenna, and started a section on Campaign Themes, Group Composition and Adventure Seeds. Some of them are from actual play, others are being written by the Other Jeffery Keown. Added the Abyssals (a race of shape shifters in no way inspired by the Chaosians from Roger Zelazny's Amber... not at all. ) The first few games were played without this guide, so the characters in those early moments really defined the scope of character generation. Since then, I've written about 433 pages for my other setting, Caleon. I might move some of the spells and processes over to Ravenna. It will have three effects; it will tie Ravenna to Caleon more deeply than it is currently, it will blow up my page count, and most importantly, broaden the scope of the game. I think I'll do a bestiary as well.
  16. I like it! My players will like it also! Can I steal them?
  17. Why, no... you did not. But now that you have, Thanks! I'm cleaning up a copy for public use. It's hard, as I've ripped off so many Urban Fantasy novels, games and concepts that it is hard for me to state what's mine and what appeared (for example) in Ars Magica. I'm also working on increasing the detail of the thing. Its at 165 pages right now, and I might let it out to play soon.
  18. Completely and seamlessly. So much, that I do not (now that you ask) even mention in the book. I might have to address that. You can enchant an SMG, have a phone booth that's Bigger On The Inside, and employ a smart phone as a focus for casting spells. Old school wizards, like Cagliostro and such, do not use much in the way of technology, but more modern mages, Dante Morse, Scratch (Khunrath's Apprentice), Skid and Aubree have technological foci. (Truthfully, Aubree has but a few, she normally casts using a bouquet of flowers and a lizard) An evil NPC emailed an attack spell to a Player Character. (New Deep Discounts on Fireball Video Cards!!). Another NPC was saved to a USB drive as a method of imprisonment. There is a Killing Attack that leaves brass cartridges lying around so the cops won't think a murder was anything other than a typical street hit. (Do not leave a magical crime scene...They'll ask the wrong questions.) The characters in the last go-around used: 1. no focus (she was a newborn dryad, using staffs and wands made her cry) 2. an electric whip (a Scourge, the guardians of Ravenna, who employ whips and magical tattoos) 3. a staff (Anachronistic wizard) 4. a wand (Yet another Anachronistic wizard) 5. a smart phone. (Gunslinger... a Galaxy S4, I think) My next NPC of note uses an umbrella, so really, the setting is all over the place.
  19. I like big dumb crystals with power just blasting out of them. Maybe hooked up via a dimensional portal to whatever Plane of Power (Elemental, Demonic, Archonic, Infernal, Quiznos...) the wizard reveres. It can't be bribed, chased off, caught sleeping, etc. Plus, it cannot be comfortably taken as loot.
  20. I have a lot of research on those guys waiting to be included. I regularly raid Wikipedia and other pages for details.
  21. TKDGuy, Yep.. it's Modern, but I have a thing called Ravenna Medieval on the back burner.
  22. Chris, I have an NPC by the name of Mercy Ashdown... a Harry Potter-esque name, methinks. I found a list of popular Victorian names that I'm using for some NPCs. Others are people from history, such as Alessandro Cagliostro, Dante Alighieri, Avicenna, and John Dee. But others are just weird... Scratch, Jink and Ferminous Grump.
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