Sunday, June 14, 2015

Age of lead: monkeys, cigarettes, submarines.

Note: everything herein is potentially subject to revision.




One meter tall, sentient, semi-aquatic green baboons, sea monkeys run and maintain the imperial submarine fleet (such as it is in these troubled times) they also serve on merchant vessels. Sea monkeys are notoriously outgoing and friendly, but ultimately prefer the comforts of shipboard life and the company of their fellows to the temptations of life on land. It is not unknown, however, for individuals to seek adventure ashore upon occasion.


The prime requisites for a sea monkey are Strength and Dexterity. A score of 13+ in one prerequisite results in a 5% bonus to earned experience; scores of 13+ in both results in a 10% bonus to earned experience


RESTRICTIONS: Sea Monkeys use a d6 to determine hit points. Sea monkeys may wear any armor and use any weapon of appropriate size. Sea Monkeys must have a minimum of 9 in both strength and dexterity.


SPECIAL ABILITIES: Sea Monkeys have a -2 on their armor class in all industrial environments. Sea monkeys possess a prehensile tail with which they can lift small items and perform simple tasks. Sea monkeys have simple gills and may remain under water for up to two full turns. Sea monkeys can perform repair and maintenance work on submarines, and may be able to puzzle out the workings of other machines: 1-2 on a d6, subject to adjustment by the referee depending upon the complexity of the device in question.

Progression and saves as Halfling.





TRANSPORTATION, TRAVEL AND TECHNOLOGY: Overland travel ranges from hazardous to impossible dependant on the weather and nature of the conveyance. Overland travel is either by trundle; orkan; outpost-to-outpost mammoth caravan; or on foot. Of the three only the trundle is viable year round. The prospective traveler would do well to remember that walking away from an outpost on foot is the preferred method of suicide year round amongst imperial citizens.


Submarine travel is actually the most viable means of getting from place to place. The surface of inland canals and the ocean itself (at least near shore) remain frozen for most of the year, relegating surface craft to the mist of history, but under-boats travel more or less unimpeded between the inland outposts via canal and the outer islands, beneath the frozen surface of the sea.


The Atomic, Space, and Super-technological ages of the earth are all well in the past; but, despite the continued presence and use of artifacts from these periods, internal combustion is the highest technology of which even the most accomplished imperial engineer is likely to have a true understanding. Many imperial submarine and trundles were built long ago, by now vanished cultures, and could not be manufactured today. Superstitious dread of computers and cybernetics in general is very common, as the popular culture has long conflated such devices with the undead. Even those that should know better, often do not.


In regards to large-scale apparatus such as those involved with mechanized transport, power sources vary widely. Often vehicles are retrofitted to utilize whatever power source is available. Most imperial submarines, for example, use the undead hearts of gods or Nephilim, spoils of a previous empire’s conquest come down through the ages, to provide motive force. These divine-vampiric pumps require regular infusions of daily allotment of blood from all those that travel aboard, as a form of worship, some say, in order to maintain propulsion and life support. It is said the Forever Emperor owns an ethership that works upon the same principle. Rumors persist as well of an ancient fleet of battle-mechs fueled by the combustion of dragon bones. Nobody knows what a dragon is. Engines fueled by any number of arcane or forgotten sciences may yet exist, merely awaiting rediscovery. Fuel will perhaps, in some cases, prove harder to come by.




Tuesday, June 2, 2015

State of the Empire and the leech (class)

I have gotten quite a few questions about this stuff, especially considering comments are off. In order to avoid discouraging interest I will share a little as I go along. The art is all placeholder shit, at this point, so be kind.

I can be reached at themetalearthATgmailDOTcom. You must of course, replace the caps with the appropriate powerglyphs.

Data-Map of Karkul, province of Empire

Below, Outpost 17


Everything is broken and dirty, but somehow things keep moving along. Most machines are patched and repaired, often with parts from other machines. Structures and fortifications exist more as products of accretion, modification and erosion than architecture. Everything is old, drafty and haunted. The feeling on the mainland is that the real empire has shifted to the deepwater islands and beneath the sea. Almost all inland settlements have been abandoned. Beast and worse overrun the food-caves. A few coastal settlements remain, but are squalid and under populated. The movements of citizens, even aristocrats, are restricted or the coast would be empty too. Endemic corruption and shortage remain facts of life. Loyalty to the Emperor is always in question. You are being watched. On clear nights you can see the Wurm.

Winter is coming.



LEECH: (Princess, Prince) Officially the Emperor’s personal slaves, leeches have managed transform thralldom to power in the millennia since their subjugation. Leeches are the healers of the empire; everyone living requires their service. Nobody, aside from the leeches, perhaps, is very happy about it, though. Unlike yeti, leeches may move from place to place unimpeded- although they must carry papers like everyone else. Leeches view each other as social equals. Many are known to extend this courtesy to commoners, seemingly unaware of, or too polite to acknowledge, the superstitious hate often given in return.

Leeches are slight, pale white-green skinned, humanoids schooled in blood magic. Leeches are not quite undead, nor are they completely alive; they exist in a liminal state known as half-death. According to rumor, a leech’s heart beats but once an hour and they are said to be without feelings. The former is true, or mostly so; the latter is a slur. Leeches exist in the present as vestiges of a vanished pre-imperial culture. Due to their healing abilities and power over the undead, leeches occupy an important niche in imperial society. As a group they are both revered and despised.

The leech's prime requisite is intelligence; a minimum of 9 is required; a score above 13 result in a 10% bonus to all earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: The leech uses a d6 for hit points. A leech must feed upon blood to draw upon his powers (eg, spell casting, turning the undead) and to survive. Each keeps what might best be described as a small external organ, or tumor, known as a kaul, upon which he must feed once a day to maintain access to spells and other special-abilities. The leech must feed once weekly (more or less) to retain its half-dead status. Failure to take a bloodmeal for ten consecutive days will drive the leach into a full dead state until he is force fed the fresh lifeblood of a living beast. Leeches may use any weapon and wear any armor. However, the spilling of blood is considered to be unseemly by most; as such, they tend to reserve the use of edged weapons for duels, and use blunt or energy -weapons in most other circumstances. This is not a hard restriction, merely a societal norm, violation of which will not go without notice or remark, however. Leeches must cover their skin out of doors in the daytime, and traditionally wear a moon mask while in the company of others, day or night. During the day they suffer 1pt of damage/turn if caught outside (even when it is overcast; which, indecently, is always). Once inside, the leech heals all damage so incurred at a rate of 1hp/round.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: The leech exists at the threshold of life and death, and draws energy from the necrosphere, whilst feeding from his kaul and gains spell-casting ability and power over the earthly dead as a result. The leech has access to cleric spells and turns the undead as a cleric of equal level (X5,X7). At 5th level the leech no longer has to carry his kaul; it levitates beside him.

Below: kaul, owner unknown.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Grim Danger in a Lost World

Jongor of Lost World

I fucking love Whenever I am kind of bored, I start poking around and really it is an embarrassment of riches. Here is today's winner- an ERB pastiche from 1940. It has all the problematic social elements you would expect for this kind of story from this time. There were two sequels written but, I can't find them on Archive. They are avaialble for the kindle, however.

As far as gaming goes, I'm pretty sure whoever wrote HEX, drew heavily from this story.

Anyway, check out that crazy dinothing.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

[Map] Karakul Province

For the thing, which I am calling Age of Lead.

I am about done with the player text, and have a number of images done. Everything that has come before here, exists now as an idea farm, so some things may be familiar, but I assure you the final product is like nothing you have seen before. I could probably release next week, but I have ideas, see, and I may go all summer.

Here is the inkiest map you likely to see this morning. Comments are closed, but shoot me a mail if you have something to say.





Monday, May 4, 2015

B/X Cosmonaut.pdf and what is next...

I had hoped to get this out a bit earlier, but whatever:

B/X Cosmonaut

Feedback would be nice, but don't get worked up about it.



And this will probabaly happen next.