Friday, September 25, 2020

Psionics for MechWarriors

These rules were initially developed for a Robotech: The Sentinels campaign using the Mechwarrior, Second Edition rules.  Several alien races in that setting have supernatural powers, and we needed a way to codify these powers and use them in play.  I enjoyed these rules during that campaign, and feel they are a natural addition to any MechWarrior game--though games that do not rely exclusively on mech combat (oh no!) would benefit most.

Psionic Potential

In order to make use of psionic powers, a character must 1) have the potential (naturally or otherwise), and 2) develop that potential through skills.  There are two methods of "achiving" psionic potential:  by virtue of one's race, or through a cybernetic implant.

Race: Human (Psychic)

Under these rules, human characters who set Race as Priority 1 (instead of 0) have psionic potential.  These characters automatically have access to all psionic skills.  Pychic humans may choose not to train in psionic skills, even though they have psionic potential.  Whether or not a psychic human has trained their abilities, they always perceive psychic phenomena (see below).

Advantage:  Psionic Implant

Requirements:  member of the Clans; combined LRN & CHA of 7+

Viewing psionics as volatile and unpredictable, the Clans bred any potential for psychic powers out of their bloodlines.  However, upon their return to the Inner Sphere and encountering psychic humans, controlled psionic development was pursued.  The solution was an ectoplasm-enhanced receptor implanted in the brain. Select one of the implant classes below; you gain access to that implant’s psionic skills (but no others).

Anyone with a psionic implant as the chance of perceiving psychic phenomena (INT check).

Gamma-class implant (2 pts):  Astral Projection, Clairsentience, Telepathy.

Kappa-class implant (3 pts):  Ectoplasty, Plasmakinesis, Telekinesis.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Mutant Humans (LegacySPORE)

In LegacySPORE, human mutants should be created as mutant animals, using the general rules update from After the Bomb second edition.  Instead of using the human description there, however, use the statistics presented below.  This plays off the mutant animal rules while still preserving aspects of the old method of creating human mutants.

As part of this rules update, options available to mutant animals are also expanded.

New Options for Mutant Animals

Add the following options to all other animals.

Human Features
Looks: The following options are available to non-human mutant animals:
[Partial -2] BIO-E for Androcephalic.  Androcephalic characters have bodies and limbs with no human looks, but heads—particularly faces—with full human looks.  Sphinxes are androcephalic mutants (often with the winged flight super ability).
[Partial +2] BIO-E for Hybrid.  Hybrid characters have legs and feet with no human looks,  but torsos, arms, and hands with full human looks.  The head has partial human looks—though often appears human-like with bestial traits (ears, nose, horns/antlers, etc.).  Fauns and harpies are hybrid mutants.
[Full -2] BIO-E for Zoocephalic.  Zoocephalic characters have heads with no human looks, but bodies and limbs with full human looks.  The deities of ancient Egypt were zoocephalic mutants.
In LegacySPORE, the only way a mutant animal can gain the traits of another animal is to select those traits as super abilities (such as Animal Abilities, Winged Flight, or the like)—BIO-E cannot be spent to develop such traits.  Using a priority system to maintain balance, all characters have the chance to develop super powers and/or psionics.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Orbimond: Monvesia Redux

I have spent years converting, building, and expanding my homebrew Dungeons & Dragons setting for that game's "5th Edition."  Previously, I has played the setting using the Rules Cyclopedia version of D&D, later converting to the Pathfinder RPG.  Over the last couple of years, I have spent more time "ret-conning" the setting, and editing older posts as new 5th edition material has become available instead of writing new content.  I believe the time has come to refocus, simplify, and re-present the setting--particularly now that the ruleset of 5th edition has matured enough to accommodate many early aspects of the setting.

Just as much of the setting is going to change as it is going to remain the same.  While the high concepts of the setting will remain, how they represent and are represented by the game rules will be altered.  The Six Spheres, Temperaments, Taint, etc. will be present in more simplified manners.  Dragon Island, its subcontinents, and the other regions will be populated by the various races of the game in ways that were not as originally presented--and more careful planning will be put into spreading the variety of races and the availability of class options available to them.

Many elements will be subject to removal, simplification, and revision.  The relationship between Temperaments and Alignments will be revisited, and a model that allows both may even be explored.  The re-classification of creatures will be abandoned, and the intentional omission of particular creatures will be revised.  If a game element exists in core D&D, then it will have a home in Orbimond without extraordinary conditions or mechanical modifications.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Otherworldly Races of Monvesia

RETCON NOTE:  This is the first of two posts replacing "Elves of Prace and Xahaca."  This post also replaces "Neshu of Raviq." 

In the world of Monvesia, the transitive planes are known as Otherworlds--homelands for those beings called daemons.  Eight in total, these planes are bound to companion pairs sharing common Spheres and Dominions.  While humans can develop a connection to one of these planes, there are other mortal races which have been born from them (though remaining "native" to Orbimond).  Four in total, these races are each the product of a pair of otherworlds, and they demonstrate the same Temperamental variation as humans.

These races are:

As a whole, these races have alien cultures that often confound their neighbors.  They even consider themselves different than their mortal companions.  Conflicts involving these races are typically internal--each race consisting of rival factions.  Even their religious traditions exist beyond the common saints of the Spheres.  Furthermore, their otherworldly origins make them immune to the Taint, which otherwise plagues the moral races.  

As a class of race, they share many commonalities--but their specific planes of origin separate them drastically from each other.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Mages of Monvesia - Scholars

RETCON NOTE: This post replaces portions of "Mages of Monvesia" and "Savants of Monvesia;" see also "Mages of Monvesia - Malefactors."
Mastery of the arcane arts can be achieved by strengthening one's connection to the Spheres of Power.  While some mages make pacts or embrace an inborn otherworldly nature (see malefactors), a dominant majority do so through years of research, experimentation, and formal study.  These scholars view themselves as "true" mages, and often argue that they are the more powerful of their kind.  These include the industrial Artificers and the academic Wizards.


This class is detailed in Eberron: Rising from the Last War.
From a Pracian perspective, the ways of artifice began with the dwarves and gnomes (and, presumably, neanderthals).  Humans would learn the arts from them, and spread them throughout the Monvesien Valley to the other races of Prace.  In Henjal, artifice is as old the the scalikind Empire of the Morning and Evening Star--whence it spread from the Forest of Vines to the Sea of Fuhon. While in Raviq it was practiced by an elite, priest-like caste of revered craftsmen.  Fuhonese artifice is a unique blend of all three traditions, since the korobokuru would have brought their Pracian tradition with them.

Alchemists are by far the most common artificer.  Local traditions of alchemy can be found throughout the regions Monvesia, each with their own names and customs.  This specialty forms the basis of the Natural Sciences of Goliath Medicine.

Battle Smiths and Armorers (Unearthed Arcana) are tied as the second-most widely known artifice specialties.  The two are just as often seen working side-by-side (particularly during times of war) as they are rivals. 

Artillerists are a closely-guarded dwarven secret in Prace--though the korobokuru in Fuhon have been more willing to share the art.  In Henjal, kobolds have independently developed their own artillerist tradition; it is meant to be secret, but a drunk kobold can't always keep such secrets.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Mages of Monvesia - Malefactors

RETCON NOTE: This post replaces portions of "Mages of Monvesia;" see also "Mages of Monvesia - Scholars."
Mastery of the arcane arts can be achieved by strengthening one's connection to the Spheres of Power.  This can be approached through formal study (see scholars), or else through otherworldy pacts or natural power.  The latter typically exist outside of "accepted" society, and are therefore called malefactors--commonly understood as "evil-doers," though originally meant to mean "incorrect doers."  There is nothing inherently evil about the sorcerer or warlock.
Enhancements to the class features of both these classes can be found in Unearthed Arcana.


Different races have their own traditions "explaining" the nature of sorcerers.  To an extent, each version of the sorcerer story is true.  That is, these different versions of what a sorcerer is represent the sorcerous origins common to that race's history.

According to the omnipresent Senarian churches of the humans in Prace, sorcerers are possessed of an inborn connection to one of the Spheres.  While all adherents of the elemental philosophies believe that every being has such a connection, it is the sorcerers who have accepted it and gained power from it.   A sorcerer's elemental connection may be tied to his or her race (or culture, if human), personal philosophy/temperament, season of birth, etc.--but it does not define every aspect of the character.  Two origins reflect this:  Shadow Magic (Xanathar's Guide) and Storm Sorcery (Sword Coast or Xanathar's Guide).
Until such time as other, official origins are introduced, these two can be used to mimick the other elements.  Use Shadow Magic for Light Magic: reversing references to necrotic and radiant damage as well as darkness and light.  Use Storm Sorcery for other primal elements, such as Flood, Quake, and Wildfire Sorcery:  use alternate damage types and movement speeds as appropriate.

Among the successors races of the Empire of the Morning and Evening Star, it is said that sorcery is the result of having had a Dragon Ancestor.  This connection is not necessarily one of direct ancestry, but could represent a bloodline having been favored by one of the dragon lords of old.
Remember, there are only six types of dragons in Monvesia--each associated with one of the elemental forces of one of the Spheres.  Therefore, this is one origin that also follows the Temperamental beliefs of the Senarian churches.  (An early version of 5th Edition Monvesia used a variation on the Dragon Ancestor to represent Elemental Magic).
In the land of Desolation in Raviq, the HMDJVNW have taken control and cursed the native races into submission with a psychosomatic ailment known as Taint.  This cure is so potent in Desolation, that even the land, the neighboring Frenetic Ocean, and magic itself have become warped.  Some who have been affected by the Taint have also gained a connection to the Wild Magic that was released into the world because of it.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Warriors of Monvesia - Mystics

RETCON NOTE: This post replaces portions of "Savants of Monvesia," which previously incorporated elements from the earlier "Warrirors of Monvesia" post.  See also "Warriors of Monvesia - Men-at-Arms."
There are warriors whose power and ability exist beyond mere training as men-at-arms.  Though paladins draw power from their faith and rangers from their esoteric knowledge, these classes are not much different than the fighter class--even the point of demonstrating many of t
he same combat styles.  Barbarian and monks, however, are more ascetic in their approach to empowered combat.  These classes have a more mystic appreciation of the combat arts.
The designation "mystic" is borrowed from the Rules Cyclopedia, which uses the term for its version of a monk-like class.  It is not to be confused with the Mystic class which has been presented as an optional psionic class.
Enhancements to the class features of both these classes can be found in Unearthed Arcana.


Barbarians are spiritual warriors from various traditions.  While each path is bound to a particular culture, followers of those paths are not bound to those cultures.

Totem Warriors often emerge from Galtic druidism, which is a naturalistic faith that venerates alimal guides and guardians.  These sacred warriors typically accompany and protect druids of the Circle of the Shepherd--though many barbarians of this path exist beyond the religious community as well.
New options for the totem warrior can be found in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide.
The Beast (Unearthed Arcana) draws on the same Galtic tradition as the Totem Warrior; with sacred warriors of this path more commonly associated with the Circle of the Moon.  As with their counterparts above, barbarians of this path are not bound to "religious service" (though they are often considered the equivalent of Paladins).
The Shepherd/Totem and Moon/Beast dichotomy among Galtic druidism may represent an orthodox/heterodox schism in the original tradition.  Which as much as the tw denominations have in common, they are dissimilar in  in key doctrinal and practical areas.