Monday, December 9, 2013
Skin thieves are accursed undead beings who steal the flesh of their victims to pass unnoticed in mortal society. In their natural form they appear to be animate, skinned human bodies; when clothed in a victim's dermis, they can often pass themselves off as that person by adopting their voice and mannerisms. Skin thieves are often employed by vampires, who use them as spies and agent provocateurs.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d8, Stealth d8
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 7
Gear: As last victim
• Change Form: A skin thief can assume the form of the last person it has killed by skinning them and donning their flesh.
• Undead: +2 to Toughness, +2 when attempting to recover from being Shaken, doesn’t suffer additional damage from called shots, do not suffer from disease or poison.
• Fear –2: Anyone who sees a skin thief in its natural, skinless form must make a Guts check at –2.
(Adapted from the doppelganger, inspired purely by the above pic.)
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
...is the post-apocalypse steampunk Seattle described in Cherie Priest's Boneshaker. Priest's re-imagined Seattle has been left desolate and dangerous by the "trial run" of Leviticus Blue's Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine--the "Boneshaker" in common parlance. The Boneshaker drilled under many buildings in the city (most notably the banks), which collapsed several structures. Worse yet, the drill released a toxic substance now known as Blight gas from deep within the earth; those who are exposed to too much Blight gas become rotters--that's zombies, to you and me. In the aftermath of Blue's experimental drill, Seattle was evacuated due to being overrun by rotters and Blight gas. Massive walls were erected to keep the gas and rotters contained (the gas is heavier than air), and the city was largely abandoned.
Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that the city is uninhabited. Desperate and mad hold-outs still carve out an existence within the city walls. Doornails (as in, "Dead as a...") have created their own fortified enclaves, Chinese immigrants man massive air pumps to bring fresh air in from above the city's walls, and scrappers search the refuse and rubble for items worthy of salvage.
The city isn't as inaccessible as is generally assumed, either. Sky pirates can tether their airships above the walls to transport goods and people in or out of Seattle. Similarly, the tunnels that make up the water runoff system can be navigated to provide entrance to and escape from the city.
There is good reason to enter and leave the city, especially if you're a ne'er-do-well of the criminal sort. Chemists have formulated a way to distill Blight gas into an addictive drug called lemon sap, so dealers rely on opportunist entrepreneurs to harvest the Blight gas from within the city's walls and on rogue scientists to render the gas into its profitable form.
Of course, any sort of expedition into the city will be dangerous. The Blight gas that clings to the streets requires that any travelers don filtration masks and cover as much skin as possible (the gas is highly corrosive). The hordes of ravening rotters make stealthy movement a must. Additionally, the people who still live within Seattle are highly factionalized; straying into territory controlled by a group you don't belong to is a recipe for an early grave.
However, as hardscrabble as Seattle is, efforts have been made to make it a more survivable place. The various inhabitants of the city have worked hard to create sealed-off areas that offer a haven of fresh air. These safe-zones are accessible by retractable ladders, platforms, and catwalks. (Rotters can climb, but not without difficulty.) Some of these safe harbors even contain a stock of refreshments for the weary traveler.
Furthermore, the city's residents have heavily-fortified their regions against rotter incursions and against attacks from each other. Because occupying the upper stories of extant buildings risks exposure to the Blight gas, Seattle's survivors have build down into the earth, carving out subterranean kingdoms supplied with semi-fresh air. Twisting tunnels and secret doors offer a veritable city-beneath-the-city to explore. And with the amount of experimental steam-tech left over from Leviticus Blue's experiments, to say nothing of the new creations doled out by the sinister, masked Dr Minnericht, there is surely enough loot here to tempt an outsider into delving Seattle.
Doesn't this sound like an awesome setting for a game? Games I could see being a great fit for Priest's re-visioning of Seattle: Deadlands, Deadlands: Hell on Earth, Rippers, Space: 1889, The Day After Ragnarok, and hell why not, PLANET MOTHERFUCKER.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Samson is a demonic parasite that disguises itself as an unruly mop of hair. When attached to a willing host creature, Samson will help defend its symbiotic partner. (Samson will only willingly partner with a Wild Card character.)
Anytime the host suffers a Wound in close combat, Samson automatically lashes out with barbed tendrils and teeth. Treat Samson's attack as having a d8 Fighting skill; this attack ignores any Parry bonus due to shields or cover bonuses, and does 2d6 damage. Samson's attack also utilizes the host's Wild Die.
An example of Samson in action:
Inspired by Filia from Skullgirls (obviously).
Monday, December 2, 2013
The Church of the Brass Messiah is a natural development of the teleological watchmaker argument that holds that the world's meticulous design implies an intelligent designer. Members of this church's congregation believe that the world was created and set in motion by a pair of divinities: The Mother of Invention and Grandfather Clock. Mankind, they profess, was evidently made in their image because we possess their ability to harness technology and functionally remake the cosmos.
Adherents to his religion have founded a heavily-fortified enclave known as Space Station Whitechapel that drifts above the earth. Outsiders are permitted to enter the station, but only if they seem to express a genuine interest in joining the Church of the Brass Messiah. Those who are deemed spies or heretics are forcibly ejected--some say worse--by the Boilermen, automatons who function as the church's private security force.
Outsiders do have good reason to be curious about what happens on Space Station Whitechapel, for it is the only known location whose inhabitants ever contract a disease known as "the clacks"--a strange infection that causes gears, wires, and scrap metal to sprout from beneath the afflicted's skin. Those who suffer from the clacks are slowly turned into broken-willed servants of the church. It is expected that when the Brass Messiah emerges to set the universe to its proper function, those who bears the mark of the clacks will be his glorious servants in the grand work.
The Church of the Brass Messiah claims to be opposed by the fiendish forces of the gremlins. These gremlins are not simple malicious sprites or mechanically-minded tricksters; rather, according to the Church of the Brass Messiah, gremlins are manifestations of an evil antithetical-demiurge that wishes to disrupt the well-ordered machinery that underlies all creation. They are agents of entropy, disarray, rust, and misrule. These Gremlins are spiritual beings of grand malevolence; believers maintain that these gremlins manifest in the form of the demons of old, or take possession of mortal vessels to wreck havoc. To combat the destructive, chaotic influence of the gremlins, the Church of the Brass Messiah employs an elite corp of inquisitors known as the Cloaks to repress and stamp out this form of radical evil.
(A lot of inspirations got masticated and spit out to bring you this post: S. M. Peters's Whitechapel Gods, Jay Lake's Mainspring, Warmachine's Menoth faction, Warhammer 40k's inquisitors, Tetsuo the Iron Man, and the Church of Scientology all got into the mix.)
Friday, November 29, 2013
These obnoxious dinosaurs are easily recognized due to their distinctive headgear and their tell-tale mating call, "M'lady." They are most often found lurking around the Dawkins and Hitchens books in the abandoned bookstores of Planet Motherfucker. Despite their lack of intelligence, they will brag about their intellectual pursuits; if given a chance they will hold forth about science they don't quite understand, conspiracy theories, the superiority of old-school fantasy rpgs, asinine social darwinist theories, and objectivist ideals that they in no way fulfill. If they spot a woman, they will assume that she finds them charming; when inevitably rejected or "friendzoned" they will complain bitterly about being an unappreciated "nice guy."
Fedoraptors are often found in the company of neckbeardasauruses and grogadactyls.
FedoraptorAttributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d4, Tracking d6
Pace: 10; Parry: 5, Toughness: 8 (3)
- Armor +3: A fedoraptor is protected by a thick layer of social unawareness.
- Fear (in women they are stalking only)
- Claw: Strength+d6
(Thanks to Katie for the Photoshopped image)
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
One of Wild Bill Hickok's guns is up for auction, which got me thinking about the kind of supernatural legacy one of the famous gun-fighter's irons might have. Imagine the resentment at being gunned down from behind seeping into a weapon that never had a chance to avenge such a cowardly assassination.
Wild Bill's Smith and Wesson Revolver
2d6+3 damage, 12/24/48 range, AP 1
Fast Load Edge
Steady Hands Edge
Vengeful (Major) Hindrance
Monday, November 25, 2013
Last week I read Gail Carriger's Soulless. It is, as the cover reports, "A novel of vampires, werewolves, and parasols." The novel concerns Alexia Tarabotti's navigations through a Victorian era that includes supernatural creatures. Alexia herself is no normal woman; not only is she a spinster of Italian heritage, she was also born without a soul. You see, in Carriger's fictive universe those with the potential to become supernatural beings such as vampires, werewolves, and ghosts have an excess of soul. The soulless are their natural antithesis; the mere touch of a soulless temporarily negates the supernatural existence of the aforementioned "monsters."
All of this got me thinking how I would model such a character for use in Savage Worlds. A full-on soulless character wouldn't quite work; the ability to neutralize anything supernatural is just too powerful to work properly in Rippers, for examples.
My solution below is a new "race" I'm calling the Inadequately Souled. Rather than having no soul at all, the Inadequately Souled simply have a deficiency of that elusive thing called a soul. Thus, instead of being always able to shut down supernatural creatures, their lack of soul gives them a heightened resistance to the supernatural and a limited ability to momentarily banish supernatural incursions.
The Inadequately Souled
Resistant to Supernaturalia -- Arcane Resistance Edge (Armor 2 vs. magic, +2 to resist powers).
Dispelling Presence -- Banish power (the character has 5 Power Points usable solely for this Power that recharge at the rate of 1 per hour and are unaffected by Rapid Recharge; Power Points from other sources cannot be used with this power; use Smarts as the arcane skill).
Soul Deficiency -- Spirit requires two points per step to raise during character generation.