Sunday, April 29, 2012

Strange Kin #9

 The Amazingly Everywhere Froglins

From trees to deserts, and especially in swamps as well as around gardens the frog and the toads of our world are everywhere. So for the Nearing-The-End-Of-The-Blog-Event selections I am going to highlight my amphibian Kindred. I've had an amorphous link in my mind between these creatures and goblins which I might delve more into as I type, I'm not sure. And certain things will be coming out in future issues of Trollzine, so I won't go into them here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Strange Kin #8

The Vegg
ST x2, CN xd, DX x2/3, SP x2/3, IN x1, LK x1, CH x1/2, WZ x1/2, Hgt x3, Wgt x2

Humanoids made up entirely of plant matter. Like a Living Statue, they too can function as any other player-Kindred. These walking and talking vegetables like to spend most of their time away from places where the dwellers like to build a lot of fires, so that rules out most cities or even most Speaking Peoples' settlements. Because of this their interaction tends to with the most primitive of Kindred.

Their settlements tend to look like irregular orchards, as they tend to like to maintain plots for themselves and their family members.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Strange Kin #7

This one goes out to CCrabb, err Chrissi. It just happens to be lucky number seven, which is appropriate.

The Crab-Kin
ST x(2d), CN x(2d), DX x(2d3), SP x(2d3), IN x1, LK x1, CH x1/2, WZ x1, Hgt x(d3), Wgt x(2d3)

No one is not quite sure if this group of humanoids is one Kindred or not. But they're everywhere in the Tidal lands, all sharing exoskeletons and crab-claws for at least two of their appendages (many, the luckier ones, have four arms). Their attitudes and dispositions depend on them and their social environment.  Some have adapted ways of surviving in the Crud, others haven't. Some are technologically advanced, others are quite primitive.

But what they all share is a natural armor of 8 points. Type restrictions, if any, is dependent on the GM's whims.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Strange Kin #5 follow up, err 5.1... err ...?

I have Brian Penn, to thank for this one. In a reply to my Clam-head post he said,  "...For my style of T&T gaming, I would further mutate clam-heads and take away "humanoid" from their description. The shells would have fluted opening from which pseudopods extend to manipulate their surroundings. Imagine when a clam-head opens up its shell to more closely examine a rare find or "open-up" among trusted friends."

Well I certainly cannot get over my cute little humanoid Clam-heads, they were too integral part of "bi-pedal-centric," to use a angle on Gygax-speak, Glow* campaign. But now they have cousins.

The Deep One (Clammoid)
ST x2, CN x4, DX x1/2, SP x1/4, IN x1, LK x1, CH x1, WZ x1, Hgt x1/3, Wgt x3

Resembling regular giant clams, which are a part of the fauna of the Tidal Lands, Deep Ones hide their pseudopods to mask their mobility. They are sentient and form communities for mutual-protection. They have the same ability to shed the Crud as their cousins.

They trade with and have an affinity towards the Clam-heads, whom they view like the favorite sons in their mollusk family. The Clam-heads for their part refer to them as "Deep Ones" or "the Wise," because of their knowledge of the deeper waters of the post-apocalyptic seas of the world.

This Kin can be any Type they choose. Most prefer to be Warriors because it augments their natural 3d armor (remember TARO).

*"Glow World" isn't exactly my Glow campaign, but both are derived from my same set of notes. Besides I needed a bell or whistle to liven up the article.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Strange Kin #6

Still hanging out in the post-apocalyptic world. 

The Dog-face
ST x11/2, CN x2, DX x1, IN x3/4, LK x1 1/2*, CH x1, WZ x1/2, SP x2, Hgt x3/4, Wgt x1

The canine humanoid is common as humans in the wasted cityscapes of the world. Many are wild bands of hunters, others still work for, if not along side, their former masters. Their keen smell and ultra-sonic hearing grants them bonuses from ambushes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Strange Kin #5

Every now and then I get to run a post-apocalyptic setting of mine using TAG rules, which are basically my heavily house-ruled T&T. Now while most After-the-Nuclear-Holocaust gamers are all about mixing and matching various parts from different species onto a single character, I liked coming up with distinctive Kin. I figured I'd delve into some of the more memorable Kindred. I have to admit, I always was a Kamandi fan.

The Clam-head
ST x1/2, CN x3, DX x1, SP x2*, IN x1, LK x1, CH x1, WZ x1, Hgt x1/3, Wgt x1/3

These knee-high humanoids live along the riverbanks of both the sludge-streams as well as any remaining fresh water sloughs. Like the Froglins, they are amphibious. Unlike the other they can tolerate high levels of the Crud. For every three days Clam-heads spend heavily contaminated areas, they spend one days to shed their outermost shell layers, and calcified outer skin. Their movement advantage is in muddy areas, when on ground or fully underwater, their SP is only x1.

Clam-head society has kept the Tidal Lands somewhat settled with outposts of civilization. And because they are rather hard to eat, even the Maku-Maku will often trade with them before trying to eat them.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Strange Kin #4.3

The Monkey
ST x3/4, CN x1, DX x1, SP x3, IN x1, LK x2, CH x1, WZ x1, Hgt x1/3, Wgt x1/3
The Ape Kindred may resemble any ape or monkey species but endowed with speaking ability. They generally take the role that the hobb does in human cultures, or the piltdowner in ogrish society.

In Appo and surrounding areas the monkeys have their own special deity known as Monkey,  also called "the Monkey God" and "the First of Monkeys," and get more than a little amusement at The Great Ape cult and its followers.

They can be any Type that is allowed in a campaign setting. They are particularly adept at being cat burglars whatever their Type is. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Strange Kin #4.2

The Rilla 
ST x(2d2), CN x(2d3), DX x1, SP x(2d2), IN x3/4, LK* x11/2, CH x1, WZ x1, Hgt x2, Wgt x3

Note that what one considers a rilla often calls itself an ape, while calling bigger ape individuals "Rilla" and any smaller apes "Chimps" or "Monkeys." They are definitely taller than an adult human and tend to be amazingly diverse in their physical abilities within their own Kindred. It is commonly saif that this is because the Great Ape, the supreme, and sometimes the only, Ape God blesses certain individuals for staying true to the ways of "Apality" (being a true ape). Whatever in the world that means is up to whoever is peddling it.

Many human-like Kin view the rilla as something akin to a wood giant: in truth things aren't so simple. Rillas are believed to be a bit more feral than chimps, but the same percentage of them live in civilized settlements as chimps, even more than monkeys. They are definitely a bit more in touch with the baser side of themselves than most apes. Emotions and violence are a part of their daily life, and most have few ambitions beyond being a strong arm for a leader that they respect. But not all; intellectuals come from established rilla families, usually becoming generals or warlords in the societies around them.

Rillas can be any Type that suits them, but mostly like to be Warri

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Strange Kin #4.1

First things first, and thanks Paul Ingrassia for the reminder. My apes are as evolved as humans or elves, maybe in a slightly different direction, let's see where the write-ups take us, but they are not cavemen (neanderthals). Not sure why I feel this is important except that I spent hours in 2004-2006 developing the Ape nations in or around the jungles of Djung. I spent hours turning the Planet of the Apes' Ape City into Appo-Along-the-Mirky, to say the least.

The Chimp
ST x1, CN x1, DX x1, SP x2, IN x1, LK* x11/2, CH x1, WZ x1

Often called simply "Ape," the kindred's more common nickname is used here to provide clarity between them and other Ape kin. About as tall as an adult human or elf, not very physically different statistic wise, except for Speed and Luck.
The chimp is not a chimpanzee; the chimp, like the human is a cousin of them. Having developed speaking, missile weapons and mineral alteration, the greater strength of the primates is not a factor for them.

SP applies to their innate love of climbing. As humans and human-like kindred like to build their domiciles to resemble the cave where they came from, chimps like heights. And because of slightly longer arms, when they need to sprint they can break into a lope with all four extremities, combining shoulder and both leg strength.

The LK is to express their slightly better than normal sense of smell, unless they often smelt metals and other more odoriferous works, as happens a lot in cities, where a lot of apes live.

They can be Wizards. Warriors, Rogues and whatever else any other Kin can be during a campaign.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Strange Kin #4

The Incredibly Overlooked Ape

Is there not anyone else in the world of adventure gam
ing that thought apes should be in more fantasy role-playing settings as Player-Characters? I've read authors striving for non-Tolkien derived campaigns all but stop short. In Glorantha elves are turned into walking vegetables and dwarves into walking stones, and every beasty from a National Geographic documentary on life on the savannah to only baboons to represent the simians, and mostly as an after thought at that. Another came up with space alien-looking things with no mouths and feeding off of sunlight and bragged about having 'No Elves!' And then the scores of D&D renaming of the hobbit, where thieving and craftiness were only rivaled by exceptional irritating portrayals by their players, standing next to no-neck humans with tails or wind-up robot war machines. But had anybody just plopped in Curious George next to Crusty McDwarfy Dwarf, I would've been more impressed.

Maybe we all haven't read The Jungle Book, but everyone had to watch the movie. I know I had to about eight times before i was ten. Didn't Edgar Rice Burroughs have interludes of Tarzan's early family life with his ape family? Haven't we all owed a sock monkey at one point in our life? Didn't even Ronald Reagan make m
ovies with a chimpanzee?

The next couple of days, I go into a couple of the Ape Kindred
races. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by how the ape as a Kin is not obvious. I sent the drawing above that I made during an early 7th edition campaign to an artist who was contributing to my Athebes project but having problems with thinking how to draw an ape. Apparently she'd never seen the movie Planet of the Apes because her snippy reply was not "Which one of these could be an ape? Does it have two arms and two legs and is a bit more hairy than the other humanoids around it, and it didn't have eight limbs?"
No her reply, "There is no ape in this picture."
As opposed to being able to grasp a simian in a FRPG context, I must've been lying.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Strange Kin #3

Day 3


ST x2, CN x3, DX x1/2, IN x3/4, LK x2, CH x1/4, WZ x1/4, SP x1 1/4, Hgt x3/2, Wgt x3/2

These aren't your red-skinned pig-faced orks from The Keep on the Borderlands. Nor are they any relatives of Miss Piggy or Porky Pig... hold on, I can't rule that out just yet. The boar-faced humanoids while sentient and capable of being a Speaking People when they want, have a wild, sometimes feral nature to them that makes them more comfortable in the wildernesses of the world.

Like their boar cousins, they have a keen sense of smell and when they're paying attention to things very good hearing, hence the higher than usual Luck. Like the tribes of Mann*, elves, ratlings and dwarves they are everywhere all over the face of the planet; not in the more developed ares, but still everywhere. They character from peaceful to brutish depends on the region that they are in.

The tend towards Warrior and Rogues Types, and refer to anyone who can cast spells as "Shamans."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Strange Kin #2, follow up

Eyrexes (Ear- ex- Eez) is known as the Kobald God.

First I should explain my kobald as opposed to some of the more familiar ones these days. These aren't the reptilian sword-fodder with snouts and half-drooped ears (wait, reptiles have ears?)
of That Game. A kobald is generally any small humanoid that is endowed with some sort of amazing, even magical, characteristics. This comes from northern European folklore and can be traced back through earlier times, such as the days of Rome and even earlier into the Hellenic period where the word "kolabos/kolaboi" appears. Some have been said to be able to take a form of silver-tinted magical fire-making lizards, but that has only been one of thousand of special traits. Piltdowners fall into this metaphysical category. Besides being mini-ogres, actually because they are mini-ogres, these guys are born with twice the strength and endurance of a normal human being.

Eyrexes, more often just referred to as "the Kobald God," as a god on the God Plane, is not much more powerful than a 17th level Warrior-Wizard in game terms. But he is immortal and like any god immoveable when in the right place at the right time. He is mostly known for causing trouble and playing pranks on the ill-tempered and vastly more powerful gods. He often is forced into being the slave of the Great Cyclops, an ogre of a god if ever there was one. At the same time he likes to do well for the wee folk, from the fortunate leprechaun and ratling to the rather developmentally retarded piltdowner. Mind you, he'll have nothing to do with do with hobbs, which are inbred humans who really should stay at home and tend their farms-- hence the little deity's "Monster God" reputation in places like Peakvale.

With that said, we head into my campaign world of Elder. Deep into the heat of the jungles of Djung to the north of Fel Sharas, both are in Athebes. From there we move up the Mirky River and further up one of its tributaries where the jungle collided with the mountains, where the Dwarven fortress-mine of Hard Water was located. It was overran by a horde of ogre-king, mostly Og and even more piltdowners being flogged forward by various ogre bosses. You see, one of the unwritten traits, at least until now, in my game world is that giant-kin, including the Not-So-Giant ogres, have an instinctive pecking order. By that I mean, they are their own masters until someone of their kin comes along who is taller than they are. The taller can then most often compel the shorter into pretty much being his slave and lackey. So things weren't looking good for the Speaking Peoples of Athebes, something was lording over the ogres who were gathering hordes of ogre-kin together, and overrunning the civilized settlements of the land.

In the depths of the Hard Water mines, my adventurers, Pilotia, Rjenn, Confucius Rogue, a Wizard named Ra and their Ape guide, were on their fifteenth batch of piltdowners since entering the complex. Despite the routine of the random encounter, tedium was not my player's usual reaction, instead steeled determination because bands of the ugly guys were tough, determined and 99.99% of the time would fight to the death of the last man. When down to last three, I decided to do a morale check. Considering the score of their projected non-physical scores, I had decided a while before that a 7th level Luck roll on the creature's part would be necessary. This was a scenario designed for 4th level PCs. So if any piltdowner made it, I ruled that it would be a truly stupendous event.

Well something stupendous happened for the second out of three surviving runts.
From a base of 6 points, using two six-sided dice, I rolled a Saving Roll of 96. A bit surprised, I broke out my red d6 and a d100, my "Whimsy Dice," used like a fortune-teller rolls bones, I suppose, to help me "rank" any spontaneous plot twists that occur in my campaigns. I rolled a 6 on the red die and the d100 gave me a 97. Something miraculous happened indeed.

So the Kobald God was born in my head. And he was getting a little tired of both the delvers and the ogres getting so many of his piltdowners killed. The adrenaline coursing through the piltdowner who thought his name was "Get Over Here" turned into something like an electrical spark and he became Eyrexes, the Kobald God In Mortal Form. His massive boost of Charisma, Luck, Intelligence and Wizardry literally lit up the whole room and stopped the combat. The godling barked at his remaining two pack members and they fled off into the tunnels previously explored by the heroes. I ruled that the PCs were so stunned that they could not get off any parting shots.

Now that is all that my players saw of the Kobald God. They were busy trying to root out the Over-Ogre who was lording over the mine-filled fortress, who ended up being an ettin. And the boss fight that would ensue had a cast of hundreds, plenty of daring and copious amounts of blood-letting. Ra, the Wizard, died under-estimating the magical abilities of my She-Og coven surrounding the Over-Ogre and the size of the its boot.

In my notes, things are much different. Eyrexes has begun to dominate thousands of piltdowners into avoiding the role of sword-fodder for the ogres and the Og. He has sired six sons who are becoming warlords of the "rock fairies" and the piltdowners. And he just doesn't like the Hobb nation known as Pigmies from Akog who trade with the apes of the city of Appo in Djung, so "the Warlords" don't like them either. He himself, is not long for the mortal plane. He is in his 40s which almost three times as long lived as any piltdowner. It will not be too long before his sons will build his pyre with which he can return to the God Plane.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Strange Kin #2

The Piltdowner
ST x2, CN x2, DX x2, IN x1/4, LK x1/2, CH x1/2, WZ x1, SP x1 1/4, Hgt x1/4, Wgt x1/2

Continuing with the Ogrish folk funning around the place, I introduce one of the trouble makers from my Athebes campaign. These ogre-cousins resemble a hobb or a leprechaun in height, though their fang mouths and sloping brow are a dead give away. Very similar to the Og in appearance and manner, but only one has ever become a Wizard in known history. And that guy was an avatar of the Kabald God.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Strange Kin

While The Troll Hammer has it's Creature Feature and T& has its "exploration" articles on rules and settings, I thought that I'd come up with something that I like to post about and get some regular posts for a couple to three weeks. Well I like Kindred and Settings. My views have been increasing, which has made this blogging thing kind of like a game for so I thought I'd play with it for a bit. I will try to post something almost everyday and see how the numbers are effected and compare it sales of my PeryPub products released during this time.

Strange Kin #1

If you've been following along with me for a while you might've seen a note on how I handled ogres, here. Now if you haven't, here's the essence of it.

" (At) one time (these species were) regular individuals of any bipedal kindred that for some reason thought that the flesh of their own kindred was tasty, and gained some magical perks in the process. It's a win-win situation overall in their minds. Ogres aren't even always giant-sized at all. What one needs to look for is some sort of unnatural trait or deformity. The most common trait is height, and spiked teeth would probably be the second. But there is more..."

So what are going to be taking a look at here are the Ogrish Kindred, at least in my book, and how a couple of them should be classified.

The Og (Og-Men and She-Og)
ST x2, CN x2, DX x1, IN x3/4, LK x1/2, CH x1/2, WZ x1
About a head shorter than the average adult human, though as strong and as hardy as a dwarf. Because of an inability to speak, they use grunts and hand signals as a full blown language. Most are unskilled hunters and primitive herders, Citizens without Talents. The promising males are pretty much just Warriors; while the intelligent females often research magic and become Wiz
ards. Groups of She-Og will join together in 'Witchsongs" to cast spells at the same time, this ritual increases any spell's effect by 10% for each singer.