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Adventures in Skyraiders of the Floating Realms

This post is a follow-up post to yesterday’s Skyraiders of the Floating Realms (which will be known as Skyraiders from now on to save my typing fingers :D) which explains how the adventuring format works. This is light of the first adventure stretch goal, The Edge of the World, being funded.

Adventure format in Skyraiders

Player’s Introduction

What the character’s know at the beginning of the adventure and what the Referee should quickly impart.

Referee’s information

This section gives the backstory of the adventure and explains what is going on.

The Adventure

This section is the meat of the write-up. It includes:

The Start

The first encounter where the adventure kicks off. In the Edge of the World, this is a dramatic realisation that the sky realm where the characters have peacefully been living for a couple of months has a magical affliction called the Stone Plague, which turns stone to dust very quickly. Since this is happening at a rapid pace, they better get off the island somehow.

Events

This section has a d100 table, of Events, which the Referee rolls on, crossing off events which are one time only. I realised that I tend to do journey type adventures, not dungeon crawls*, but had become somewhat jaded about the write-up and assumption that they are a series of linked events. So I decided to jazz it up by adding a random element to the order that events in the middle take place.

Here’s the one from Edge of the World

D100 Event
01-20 Ambushed by Zarks!
21-30 A Stone Giant Blocks the Way
31-50 An offer by the Twisted Sisters
60-75 Here Comes the Hard Rain
76-86 This Boat is for Ducks Only
86-90 I’m the King!!
91-00 The Sky Realm is Falling and I want my Mommy.

After the table, I then describe the encounters themselves.
And here’s This Boat is for Ducks only

This Boat is for Ducks Only
As a rule, most sky boats will not accept Ducks, believing old wives tales that they are responsible for the current state of the world and are therefore very very bad luck. The characters come across a sign that says “DUCKS!!! Get of this rock here, 2 gold pounds courtesy fee”. Next to it is a rather rough-looking sky sailor who is helping a duck family (mum and dad + three ducklings) into a small flying boat, more a dingy about three metres long. In the boat is another sky sailor and all the duck’s possessions in travel cases. This pair of Sky Pirates, Ulfy (on the ground) and Rulfy (in the sky boat), have hit upon the idea that they can pick up the ducks such as these, pretend to give them free passage off Askor, and instead chuck them off the boat when they are in the sky. Will the characters work out what they are up to and help the ducks?

 

Sky Pirates HP 12 AV 1d4 (Leather), Damage 1d8, Fight (Cutlass, Crossbow) 45%, Magic 35%, Movement 45%, Senses 55%, Social 35%.

See the creature stats for the Sky Pirates? That’s the new concise stat-block I’m using for Sky Raiders. I had a great realisation a couple of months ago. That the typical D100 stat-block, as you see in OpenQuest for example, is a significant barrier to writing adventures. Because its a big clunky thing where you are effectively rolling up a cut-down or full version of a player character. It’s also challenging to format during layout, and there’s a lot of information that doesn’t get used. So I came up with this format, along with monster creation guidelines that support it, so creating useable creatures isn’t a royal pain in the ass. Its fully explained in Skyraiders Zero Edition.

The events also it’s not an exhaustive list, the Referee can add stuff based upon what the players are doing, or from their inspiration. Also, you don’t have to use all the event’s, and I reckon a good four-hour session by having the Start and End (see below) events, plus three events from the events. Also if you think rolling for event’s is a load of nonsense you can treat it as a linear list, with events turning up in order. But I think there’s a lot of reusability in rolling randomly, and also the order of events can make a big difference of how the adventure plays out.

Note * Although I intend to address how Skyraiders does dungeoneering since Sky Valuts – adventure locations of underground chambers filled with loot are a big part of the setting 🙂

The End

This is the ending of the adventure, and describes the climax with any villains, major and minor, that the characters must overcome to conclude. Because the route that they came here is random, that is a consideration. In the Edge of the World, the fact that they may have previously met Boris the Bad Un, the King of the Sky Realm, or the Twisted Sisters, villainous Sorceresses of the adventure, and they may still be at large is factored into the ending.

Aftermath

For ongoing adventure series, this final section details any rewards and penalties that carry forward, and any adventure opportunities that arise because of the situation.

Skyraiders of the Floating Realms in a Nutshell

Currently funded as part of D101’s ZineQuest2 Two for One Zine Kickstarter along with Grogzilla issue 1. It is a zine sized RPG, which is the first pass of about 40-50 A5 pages tidied up, so it is playable. It’s a Zero Edition, with the full first edition coming this summer as a fully kickstarted game.

It comes in two blended-bits :

  • A colourful and action-packed setting, The Floating Realms.
  • A concise d100 system.

The Floating Realms

I wanted a setting that is immediate, easy to explain and sucks the players in. I know the idea of adventurers travelling from one sky island to the next in a post-apocalyptic setting, in search of adventure and loot gets me going. It has done since I came across Skyrealms of Jorune. There’s lots of weird fun fantasy game juice packed into even the Zero Edition. Peter Frain has pretty much nailed the spirit of the game in his front cover of two adventurers at the prow of a Sky Ship, with the New Sun and the Dead Moon in the background.

The D101-System

At the beginning of the year, I sat down and over two days wrote a 20-page concise D100 system. It’s written from the ground up, not from a SRD, because I wanted to get my idea of what I wanted from a D100 across. If you are familiar with OpenQuest it’s a continuation of many of the ideas I introduced in that game.

Characteristics are still the familiar building blocks, except for Size which I’ve dropped,  randomly rolled. I’ve dropped Size from the usual D100 list of characteristics because I never use in my games. Characteristics as well as being the basis of Hit Points (now Constitution) and being used to work out Bonus Damage, characteristics determine the starting values of skills, usually two relevant characteristics for each skill.

Characters have a previous career, which sets them up for play with a set of skills and three magic spells since everyone on the Floating Realms knows a bit of magic, and a default set of starting equipment. They are then individualised with by allocation of small number points to skills they haven’t already advanced with their career, and players get to pick an additional spell. They advance in free form manner, earning Improvement points that the player can spend on the skills and magic they want, as well as gaining contacts, skills and magic through completing missions for their organisations.

There’s one Skill test system. The skills list is short and concise, even compared to OpenQuest, and the system of simple difficulty modifiers is even more aggressively applied. In any given situation only one difficulty modifier applies from a set range (-40%, -20% , +20%, +40%).  And modifiers from magic trumps mundane situational ones.

Opposed skill tests are now so that only player rolls their skill, which is modified up or down if their opponent is more or less skilled than them. I realised I’ve been doing this instinctively for years since it gives similar results to both sides rolling and takes the pressure off me as Referee.

It has one magic system, one list of spells, and no magic points. Instead, you roll against Magic skill to see if the spell is successful and if you fumble the character can not use it again this gaming session. There’s a shortlist of straightforward and powerful spells in this version of the game.

Combat is straightforward, with characters acting in the order of the skill they are using, from highest to lowest, so characters who are more skilled get act first. There’s still attack rolls, followed by defensive reactions to prevent. Armour has a dice armour value, and weapons do damage ranging from 1d4 to 1d12. There are no hit locations.

I’ve moved the system away from resource management and ditched a lot of fiddly numbers. There are no equipment lists and counting of coins and the magic pointless magic system is another example of this.  If it’s necessary to know the outcome, a simple skill test is applied to resolve the situation. So, for equipment acquisition the Referee either says yes to reasonable requests and moves on or makes the player perform a successful Trade skill test, modified for availability in the character’s current location, to gain the item they are after.

Overall this is a heavily modified version of OpenQuest, to the point that it’s become its own thing. Its been written from the ground up, and I won’t be releasing it under the OGL. If I had to give the system a name, I’d call it the D101-System 😊

 

Skyraiders of the Floating Realms on ZineQuest 2 now!

Ok, this one has moved fast, and already funded, the next stretch goal for this year’s ZineQuest2 on Kickstarter is a little zine sized D100 Fantasy Adventure RPG I’ve been working on called Skyraiders of the Floating Realms.

It’s a maximum gaming fun concise D100 with a punchy immediate fantasy setting, centred on adventurers travelling and exploring the Floating Realms of the title using Sky Ships and other methods.

I explain a bit more in this update.

As I said its already funded, and I’m now funding two quick adventures as final stretch goals.

Here’s the front cover by Peter Frain, which is in grayscale because that’s the rules of ZQ2 (all art should be like an old 80s zine in B&W or grayscale), but if you want it in colour there’s a high tier pledge level which allows you to do that.

Grogzilla now live on ZineQuest 2 on Kickstarter

Now on ZineQuest 2: Grogzilla, briefly seen at Grogmeet 2019 now getting a proper printing. It’s full of fire-breathing three-headed skyscraper-sized giant lizards  (stats for D100, OSR, and Monkey!), articles for Mythras, and a mini-adventure sequel to the Road to Hell (for Swords and Wizardry) amongst other things. And It will grow in page count as we hit stretch goals.  

Also, our other zines for Glorantha and Crypts and Things/OSR games are available in print/pdf as add-ons at a significant discount. 

RIP Terry Jones

So actor/director/comedian/member fo Monty Python Terry Jones died the other day.  To say that the Pythons shows, especially the films were a big influence on British Roleplayers is a massive understatement. He also had a great career post-python as a Historical documentary presenter/maker and his BBC series the Crusades will always stick in my memory as a truthful examination of that period free of the usual propaganda of noble Christian knights fighting a heathen foe in the name of our Lord.

My own tribute, which is in an upcoming OpenQuest book as an example of a Disorganised Religion, was written days before news of his death hit me.

The Flying Circus

Odd, irrelevant, this small disorganised religion flies in the face of convention and order. It emphasises joy of living and travel. Its worshippers can literally learn to fly that allows them to move between the floating land masses of the Flying Realms with ease. The Airship Captains are their guardians and in their flying ships can take worshippers across dangerous sky lanes that are not traversable safely by a solo flyer.

 

Spells: Fly, Golden Tongue, Mischief , Fools Gold.

Guardians:  Airship Captains, Requirement Airsailor 50%+, must own an Airship; Spells: The Crystal Ship.

Beyond Dread Portals Art Preview

Its been a while since I’ve posted anything about Paul Mitchener’s Beyond Dread Portals.

We are currently gearing up for a Kickstarter, tentatively scheduled for April.

As part of the preview art for that Kickstarter, and the Preview Edition that backers of the From the Shroud KS are getting,  I asked Peter Frain of 77 Studios (who did the art for Monkey, the cover for Hunters of Alexandria, and the art for 2nd Edition Barbarians of Lemuria) to do a picture of one of the iconic fashions of the Empire of Ys, the Dandy. Apart from my quick “think Lord Flasheart from Blackadder II” I gave him Paul’s text:

Dandies & High Culture Fashion
When outsiders consider Ysian fashions, the first thing which comes to mind is the Ysian Dandy, with his, or more recently her, brightly coloured trousers, shirt, and complimentary hat. Precisely which colours are “in” varies from season to season, and the truly fashion-conscious manage to subvert it. Others try and fail to go against the trends. One recent subversion is moving away from bright colours to dress entirely in black, which was deliciously shocking at first in fashion circles, but as it spreads is starting to be considered crass. In fact, the style of the dandy only belongs to the High Culture. More typically, both genders wear shirts and trousers. The shirts are still brightly coloured, though more typically just one colour rather than the gaudy combinations of the fashion-conscious. Rich women have another option to them on formal occasions, namely the ball gown, which can be a work of art- though even there, the dandyish fashions are replacing it. Jewellery, when worn, is usually simple, taking the form of brooches for both genders, and earrings for women.

And this is what he came up with (click on images for larger version)

Grogzilla

Missed out on getting a copy of Grogzilla at Grogmeet 2019?

This 36 A5 page zine of D101 Mega Gaming Fun with skyscraper high three-headed firebreathing lizards is now available to preorder (with free pdf)

As well as articles for OpenQuest and Crypts and Things, it also has a sequel to the Road to Hell in the form of Wigan Pigs an adventure for OSR games. Also making their debut in Grogzilla are the Six Traveller culture for Mythras, which is a short taste of things to come in the new year.

 

 

Mythras Imperative Updated

Lawrence Whitaker, one half of the Design Mechanism, has just given notice that their introductory version of Mythras has now been updated to include example magic spells (20 or so that cover all the basics) and a selection of Super Hero powers.

Mythras Imperative is a free, introductory version of the full Mythras rules. It includes everything needed for play, including character creation, skills, combat, and, brand new to this release, Powers, covering simple magic and super powers. Taken together, Mythras Imperative offers a fully rounded game to suit many genres, and can be used easily with any of Design Mechanism’s adventures and campaign settings.

Available now from BRP Central’s Downloads, and in POD from DrivethruRPG, Lulu and Barnes & Noble.

Tales from the Sorcerer Under the Mountain now on Backerkit until Nov 1st

Missed the Tales from Sorcerer Under Mountain Kickstarter in August because you were on holiday or having just too much fun outside away from the computer?

Well until 1st November its all back (pledge rewards inc stretches, and add-ons) on Backerkit

As a small reminder, the kickstarter funded six stretch goals!  These are availe to pre-order backers if you buy either Tales of the Sorcerer Under the Mountain (OSR Rulebook) or the 5th Edition adventure The Sorcerer Under the Mountain.  

1. Character Portfolio. In pdf form 6 playable characters in both OSR and 5th Edition format.

2. Confessions of an OSR DM, a quick article about moving from OSR editions of the game to 5th Edition.

3. The Castle of Howls, a one on one adventure for 1st level chracters for both OSR and 5th edtion in pdf.

4. Fires from the Deep by Paul Mitchener a full adventure for 3rd level characters for both OSR and 5th Edition in pdf/print.

5. Curse of the Emerald Swan by Neil Shaw  a full adventure for 2nd – 4th level characters  for both OSR and 5th Edition in pdf/print.

6..The Jungles of Ruin by Guy Milner  a full advenure .for 4th level characters

+ Monsters are People Too a pod/pdf of ten detailed npc monsters.in both 5th Edition/OSR versions

+ Sunday Dungeons Short one-page adventures, in both 5th Ed and OSR versions. Available as pdfs after the campaign ends to all backers who have backed the books.