MNF: Psyche

15 07 2011

image

Just a doodle on a whiteboard, but I liked the sharp contrasts. And it looks happy (for a robot?)

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Psyche

1 07 2011

This body has potential, unlimited potential really.  The unique composition of living, organic materials, and cold inorganic minerals allows for growth, storage, and customization that would be life threatening, if not outright impossible on a purely organic body. But the process, the growth, is glacier slow.

The demon is speaking at us. She always does this, as if speech is the means by which her body processes oxygen.  We stare at her blankly. She huffs indignantly. We are neither rude, nor “stupid” as she often calls us. Just slow, this body is new, this mind, nothing but wood and sand. Sensing she needs acknowledgment, we nod, our metallic head pivoting on an infrastructure of fibrous vines and cables.

She is like mother to this form. Abandoned long ago to rot and rust, entombed in the crypt of its final masters as a guardian. We were reborn within its failing body, trapped, stillborn. Our essence the spark of life it needed to rise again, the body went on a rampage. Sorrow, loss, confusion, malfunction. This body vented these “feelings” on its surroundings. It carved a path of destruction and death. We rode as passengers, powerless, watching, our growth too slow to establish control.

Then she appeared, with her unusual companions. They fought the body, but their efforts seemed in vain.  With silver tongue and razor wits, the demon began to soothe the raging machine. The body relented, submitted, and in some strange twist of fate imprinted upon her.

It now insists on following her about, like a baby duckling, and we are generally inclined to allow this. We need time after all; time to grow.





Crimson Steam: Humes and Urd

13 06 2010

Crimson steam is already a little different in that it has a Victorian steam punk era/wild west/fantasy thing going on.  When deciding what to populate the city with I waited until AFTER character creation was over.  This is of course an awesome luxury that only home-brew sandbox gaming can present.  Then we ran a few sessions and as I got into the groove of running the city I started to feel pretty confident about the types of races I would use the most often. So without further ado:

Humes:

A.k.a Humans, I love the term “Hume” which is used heavily in ff12 and the dark tower series by Stephan King.  It adds just a little bit more mystery and fantasy flavor to the most prominent, and dare I say redundant racial choice.  Humes are by no means the most dominant force on the planet, but they are arguable the most populous and prolific.  Their lack of global dominion is from no real lack of trying, Humes are clever, ambitions, and incredibly resilient.  Instead it stems from the youth of the Hume race.  The Dragonborn, Eladrin, and Dwarves have simply been around for so long, that they control the finest resources, trade routes, and political avenues through a series of hierarchical connections that very clearly prevent Hume inception.

Regardless Humes overflow the lower and middle class of most cities, originally slaves under the dragons the Humes of that age allied with unknown beings of magic said to reside in the stars, when the Reaving of Scale commenced the surviving Dragons and Humes forged an alliance of peace, though certainly modern Humes would argue, not one of equality. Humes excel at whatever task they are set to, they breed prolifically and are highly adaptable.  Humes favor names akin to a “real world” Victorian era setting such as: James, Steven, Jonathan, Sara, Margret, Samantha, etc.  Humes have all the standard variations of skin and hair color, height and weight.  No geographic explanation is needed, Humes and just that varied. Humes in general are huge proponents of science and magic, they have very little interest or compassion for the church, do to long-standing persecution and slavery at its hand.

Urd:

Way back in 2nd edition there was the flying kobold, the Urd. These guys were so cute and so cool, and in my opinion, they never got any action.  Now many people might flip out like a ninja over the idea of having a flying race in 4th edition.  But it ain’t that bad.  Urds can and do fly, however they are clumsy and weak fliers in general.  This can be augmented by racial feats later on, but generally you don’t have to worry about a level 1 Urd archer owning everything from high above the battlefield.

The Urd, like the Humes, are a former slave race of the dragons.  The Urd were once kobolds, but through magic and selective breeding, the Urd emerged as a more intelligent and more civilized species.  Kept by the dragons as sages, scribes, scholars, and accountants the Urd were indispensible during the golden ages of the Dragon Empire.  Their quiet demeanor and small size kept them far below the radar which proved a boon during the Reaving of Scales, during which time the Urd acted as spies and saboteurs, winning their independence.

The Urd love science, knowledge, and most of all secrets.  Urd believe secrets hold great power and make it a point to know as much about everything that they can, and certainly to know more than everyone else around them.  Personal information is their most closely guarded secret and as such all Urd keep their true names a secret.  Urd are at the forefront of engineering.  Their small size allows them to test pilot vehicle designs at a fraction of the cost, and their incredible knowledge allows them to come at theories and schematics from every angle.  Urd generally occupy the lower and middle class, but some Urd, retaining the skills of the bygone age, act as scribes, accountants, and tutors from affluent upper class families and nobility.

An Urd stands about 2’6″ to 3′ tall.  They are bipedal, have long necks and prehensile tails.  They have batlike wings, that are generally rather weak, with a wingspan equal to their height. Males sport tiny spiralling horns atop their heads, while female have multicolored crests and frills.  Urd dress for function rather than form, though many have a weakness for jewelry and gems.  The are the originators of the Draconic script, though they normally are versed in many other languages as well.  Urd tend to gravitate towards careers focusing on science, espionage, and scholarly pursuits.  They are excellent artificers.  Much like Humes they shy away from religious occupations because of bad blood.





MNF: Bison

9 06 2010

M’gnar Thundersboon, youngest calf of the high priestess G’stara, has no memories of his youth, no memories of his past in the mountains kingdoms of Br’kirin.  His earliest memories are of sand, and heat, and the whip.  Captured and sold into slavery as a mere calf, the slavers had taken him far south into the fabled desert kingdoms.  His great size and strength were already apparent and it was whispered amongst his captors that he would fetch a fine price in the city.  And that he did.  His first master was an architect of great renown and cruel spirit who put the beast-boy to work hauling sandstone and mortar for a grand temple being erected in the heart of the city.   His strength and quiet nature earned him the nickname of Bison, which he has retained to this day, knowing no other.  That job complete he was sold into a mercenary army, hired out to protect trade caravans from dervish raiders and other desert threats.

His renown for strength, bravery, and obedience coupled with a composed and polite mannerism unheard of in his kind, he was eventually purchased by one of the city’s richest sheiks and made bodyguard over the sheik’s youngest daughter.  Despite their many differences, and the fact that he was a minotaur, the two became close friends.  The sheik’s daughter taught him to read and write, taught him about the stars and the gods, and in time he came to love her as a sister and friend, the first he had ever truly made.  During his time with the sheik’s family he began to study mysticism and tribal shamanism.  He felt a connection with words, and books, and the powers they contained.  He thanked the gods that one such as he could find peace in such a strife ridden life.

But this peace would not last.  A rival sheik hired a guild of assassins to attack and destroy Bison’s employer, his lands, and his family.  The battle fought was hard and bloody, but ultimately futile. The assassins had more training, and the element of surprise.  Despite taking wounds that would have killed a normal man, Bison fought on past the point of death to defend his charge.  The leader of the assassins, seeing this, spared his life.  Beaten, blindfolded, and stripped of all he owned Bison awoke the next night in a desert oasis far from the city with naught but a single full waterskin and the burning memories of that final battle.

====== level 2 stat dump ======
Bison, level 2, Minotaur, Runepriest
Runic Artistry: Wrathful Hammer
Background: Calimshan (Calimshan Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 19, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 8.

AC: 18 Fort: 15 Reflex: 11 Will: 17
HP: 33 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 8

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +6, Endurance +6, Heal +10, Athletics +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics, Arcana +1, Bluff, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering +5, History +1, Insight +5, Intimidate, Nature +7, Perception +7, Stealth, Streetwise, Thievery

FEATS
Level 1: Toughness
Level 2: Opportunity Gore

POWERS
Runepriest at-will 1: Word of Binding
Runepriest at-will 1: Word of Exchange
Runepriest encounter 1: Flames of Purity
Runepriest daily 1: Rune of Endless Fire
Runepriest utility 2: Inspiring Fortitude

ITEMS
Maul, Adventurer’s Kit, Candle, Bedroll, Crowbar, Dwarven Chainmail +1, a few favorite books





MNF: Dust

8 06 2010

There was once a little girl named Daedra.  She lived with her wealthy merchant parents in a coastal port city and was treated like a princess.  Life was simple and full of priveledge and wonder. One day her parents were lost at sea, having traveled abroad to an important merchantile landsmeet. Orphaned at a young age she was sent to live with her uncle in  a remote mining community in the titan spine mountains. The transition was difficult.  It was a hard life in a rural community, but over the years Daedra found happiness and as her uncle’s smithing apprentice, she also found purpose.  Her skill at crafting blades and weapons bordered on artistry, and in time her work became sought after by collector and warrior alike.  She trained with the weapons she forged, more to check their quality and function that out of any real desire to wield them in battle.  In this too, she was an artist.

But the end comes to all things, and so too did the end of this happy and simple life come to its close.  A death knight and her undead army had been amassing power far north in the peaks of the mountain range. When she decided the time had come to send forth her armies of death into the world, it was Daedra’s tiny hamlet that was hit first.  The carnage was absolute.  Buildings and crops razed, livestock slaughtered, children eaten, and everyone else raised as mindless undead foot soldiers in the ensueing plague.   As Daedra lay pinned beneath the burning wreckage of her smithy she watched through smoke burned eyes as her entire world was turned to dust.

A vision came to her then, of a tall robed man wearing a mask of bone, carrying a set of merchant scales.  He offered no assistance to the dying woman, and instead began producing, small weights from the pockets of his robes.  At last he spoke, “You have more work to do, continue on, but know that from now on your life is in the service of death.”  The woman that arose from the ashes of her former life was no longer the beautiful artisian known as Daedra.  The being who walked north into the mountains that night was Dust, and by her hand others would be put to the death that was far overdue.

====== Level 2 stat dump ======
Dust, level 2, Human, Avenger
Avenger’s Censure: Censure of Pursuit
Background: Wandering Duelist (Wandering Duelist Benefit)

Str 10, Con 10, Dex 17, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 9.

AC: 17 Fort: 13 Reflex: 16 Will: 17
HP: 30 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 7

TRAINED SKILLS
Intimidate +8, Religion +6, Acrobatics +9, Athletics +6, Perception +10

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +1, Bluff, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering +5, Endurance +1, Heal +5, History +1, Insight +5, Nature +5, Stealth +4, Streetwise, Thievery +4

FEATS
Human: Closing Pledge
Level 1: Death Knell
Level 2: Avenging Resolution

POWERS
Avenger at-will 1: Bond of Pursuit
Avenger at-will 1: Avenging Shackles
Bonus At-Will Power: Radiant Vengeance
Avenger encounter 1: Angelic Alacrity
Avenger daily 1: Wings of Light
Avenger utility 2: Resonant Escape

ITEMS
Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing), Adventurer’s Kit, Holy Symbol, Master Artisan Training, 50′ of chain, Sickle, War Scythe





MNF: Cham

6 06 2010

Cham, short for Chamomile, is a female tiefling bard, a deadly tactician, a monster Wikipedia, and an all out extreme dungeon delver.  Cham was the misbegotten, but well-loved daughter of two plane-hopping adventurers.  Born in Sigil, the city of doors, and carried via magical bunting all across creation with her adventuring parents Cham was taught from birth the ways of adventure and exploration.  When her parents finally retired from a life of interplanar adventures they sent her out on her own, in a small backwater world somewhere in the prime.  Like a baby sea turtle they expect her to someday travel to the planes and make her way back to them.

You might think, that would be the strangest thing about her parentage, but you would be wrong.  You see, neither of her parents were Teiflings, but due to the circumstances of her birth she was born with the taint of demon blood.  Behooved, horned and sporting the sexiest forked tail in the multiverse, Cham bears her unusual taint with pride and is not afraid to cash in on the more fiendish reputation it comes with.  Upon arrival in the Prime Cham began recruiting fellow adventurers and looking for trouble. Her four adventuring companions are her closest friends, and in a way she has adopted them as family.  Despite her slightly reckless nature, she doesn’t like to see any harm befall them.  She lives a life of danger, discovery, and excitement using her incredible knowledge, quick wits, and silver tongue to lead her allies to further glory and greatness.

======Current stat dump for anyone interested======
Cham, level 2, Tiefling, Bard
Bardic Virtue: Virtue of Cunning
Background: Adventurer’s Scion (Adventurer’s Scion Benefit)

Str 9, Con 10, Dex 10, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 18.

AC: 18 Fort: 11 Reflex: 15 Will: 16
HP: 27 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 6

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +12, Streetwise +12, Nature +13, Dungeoneering +11, Heal +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +6, Endurance +1, History +6, Insight +5, Intimidate +6, Perception +5, Religion +6, Stealth +3, Thievery +1, Athletics

FEATS
Bard: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Bardic Knowledge
Level 2: Arcane Familiar

POWERS
Bard at-will 1: Cutting Words
Bard at-will 1: Staggering Note
Bard encounter 1: Victim of the Feywild
Bard daily 1: Stirring Shout
Bard utility 2: Moment of Escape

ITEMS
Ritual Book, Chainmail, Longsword, Adventurer’s Kit, Flute, Light Shield, Sling
RITUALS
Glib Limerick, Create Campsite, Amanuensis