Friday, January 18, 2019

[LEGENDARIA] Teamwork in Legendaria

Heroes dedicated to the forces of Law, when not on lonely quests, invariably work together as a team. Their training, camaraderie, and dedication to each other and their cause grant them bonuses in any endeavor they engage in while working as a team.
 
 
FORMING A TEAM
In order to form a team, a group must:
 
1) Consist of at least 50% + 1 characters of Lawful alignment, with the balance at worst being Neutral; followers of Chaos lack the empathy and do not have the ability to subvert their own individual lust for power, self-aggrandizement, and personal gain that is necessary to be part of a team. If a team no longer primarily consists of Lawfuls, and/or if one or more Chaotics manage to infiltrate the team and cause dissent, the team is DIVIDED.
 
2) Have a base of operations where they can gather together for training, recuperation, and recreation (and preferably, all live together). If the team’s base of operations is destroyed, the team is UNSUPPORTED.
 
3) Be dedicated to a common cause of Lawful sort, such as “Defense of Castle Blackhawk and the Kingdom of Greymoor,” “Strive toward the Freedom of our Native World,” “Protect Civilization and Innocents from the Depredations of Chaos,” or “Ensure the freedom and prosperity of all goodly peoples.” It does not even have to be a cause that is even possible under current circumstances; but as long as all members believe in that cause, and dedicate themselves together toward that cause, the cause qualifies. If more than half of the team no longer believes in their cause, the team is PURPOSELESS.
 
4) They must train together! They must train together a LOT! At least half of all “downtime” must be spent in training together. Not necessarily as a whole group; training in twos and threes works just fine, as long as the whole group trains together over time. If the team is not well trained together, they are UNPREPARED.
 
5) There must be a hierarchy, as teams must be organized to be a team; otherwise it is just a mob. There has to be a leader, and depending on the size of the team, lieutenants or captains, each leading their own distinct sub-group of the team. Primary requirements of a leader are Charisma, Wisdom, and Intelligence, even moreso than any physical martial abilities. If the leader is incompetent, has otherwise lost the respect of her team, or the hierarchy is otherwise completely compromised (leader and all team sub-leaders captured or otherwise unable to lead), the team is LEADERLESS.
 
A team with all five of the above conditions has TEAM COHESION and accrues team benefits as below. A team can survive one or two of the five states of loss of its organization – Divided, Unsupported, Purposeless, Unready, and Leaderless – and still remain a team, though UNSTEADY. If three or four of the states of loss exist, the team is considered UNREADY, and cannot use any of the team benefits until the issues are dealt with. If all five of the states of loss exist, the team is effectively DISBANDED, in fact if not in name.
 
The only way to RECONSTITUTE a team after it has Disbanded is for a core cadre of Lawful members to gather together at a base, rededicate themselves to the cause, train together, and form a new hierarchy. After all of the five conditions obtain once again, the team can be reunited, the new core cadre bringing in new and old members to work together as a team.
 
A new team or a reconstituted team must operate together for no less than three Intervals (see below) before the team fully gains Cohesion and team benefits become available.
 
Episodes and Intervals: An Episode is a complete “adventure,” or a discrete portion of an adventure (for multi-Episode runs). An Interval is discrete segment of time during an Episode during which a discrete event occurs, such as a battle, dealing with an NPC, crossing a rickety bridge, a respite, etc. (i.e., an “encounter.”)
 
 
TEAM BENEFITS
If a team has Cohesion, they gain the following benefits; if they are Unsteady, they lose the listed benefit(s).
 
1) All teammates have a +2 bonus to save against fear, natural or magical, as they are surrounded/supported by their teammates. This benefit does not accrue if the team is DIVIDED.
 
2) All henchmen/hirelings of the teammates have a +1 bonus to Morale. This benefit does not accrue if the team is UNSUPPORTED.
 
3) All teammates who are within 5 feet of one another use the best base saving throw of those adjacent to them when hit by an area-effect spell. For example, a 12th level teammate is flanked to either side by 3rd level teammates; if all three are hit by a fireball, all three use the 12th level teammate’s saving throw against Spells to determine damage. This benefit does not accrue if the team is PURPOSELESS.
 
4) A teammate within 5 feet of another teammate who has been hit by a melee, thrown, or missile attack can switch places with the teammate who was hit, after the hit is rolled but before damage is rolled. Regardless of armor class or any other protection, the teammate who is taking the hit is always still hit and suffers the damage from the attack. This benefit does not accrue if the team is UNPREPARED.
 
5) Most importantly, a team can take time to consider their actions and develop strategies they can best employ as a team against their enemies, even if already in the midst of combat or action. Normally, in combat or during other action, a Judge might limit conversation and the passing to-and-fro of ideas, even penalizing such depending on the circumstances. However, with a well-oiled team, these kinds of things are considered to have been worked out before hand, during training (“Plan Alpha-Seven GO!”), even though they obviously were not. So, the Judge is to give the team plenty of leeway in table talk about forming a plan, even within a period of a few rounds, and not worry about table talk, save for any specific information that one member might have that the others could not possibly have known (revealing such is still off limits without some form of proper communication). This benefit does not accrue if the team is LEADERLESS.
 
Note that there are certain race and class abilities that are also useful in team situations; these are covered in their respective race and class descriptions.
 
 
TEAMWORK POINTS
At the beginning of each Episode, each teammate gains a pool of TEAMWORK POINTS (tally on a sheet, use poker chips, etc.) that they can use in several ways. A 1st level character has one, a 4th level character has two, 8th level three, 12th level four, 16th level five, and 20th level six. This number is reduced by one for each team requirement that is not currently met by the team (to a minimum of zero).
 
The basic rule of Teamwork Points is that if you use your teamwork points for the benefit of your own character, you lose them, but if you give them to a teammate they can replenish after an Interval.

To qualify as a “given” Teamwork Point, the Teamwork Point must be given to a teammate as the giver is performing their action that leads up to the action in which the recipient will use the Teamwork Point(s). The giver must somehow work this into the narrative of how the recipient is going to use the Teamwork Point; even if the giver fails in their own action, the recipient still gets the Teamwork Point(s).
 
Teamwork Points can be used in the following way:
 
1) One Teamwork Point can be used to add a +1 to hit and +1 to damage with one melee, thrown, or missile attack.
 
2) One Teamwork Point can be used to gain a +2 bonus on a saving throw.
 
3) One Teamwork Point can be used to gain a +10% bonus to one skill use.
 
4) One Teamwork Point can be used to cause a Chaotic target to suffer a -2 penalty on a saving throw caused by the action of the user (i.e. the spell or psychic power was cast/used by the user of the Teamwork Point).
 
5) Teamwork Points can be spent to enable a character to do something unusual and unique that would not otherwise be considered possible. Success is not assured; the Judge may still require a roll. However, unless what is being suggested is completely outré and game-breaking, it should be considered possible, moreso the more Teammate Points are spent and the greater the narrative provided into the lead-up to the action.
 
For example, Kwark the Mighty Magician of the Champions of Castle Blackhawk is facing Glascion the Frost Dragon, a servant of the Banemasters of Demonfang Citadel. Unfortunately, though he has a third-level spell memorized, Kwark did not memorize fireball, the only spell that really works against Glascion. However, his three teammates remind him of previous times he used the spell (sometimes to less-than-spectacular results), and each time they call out a memory, the player tosses Kwark’s player a Teamwork Point. With three Teamwork Points (with good narrative) behind him, the Judge lets Kwark remember how to cast fireball, using the energy of the 3rd level spell he had memorized – however, in order for him to cast it properly and without backfire, he must also make a successful saving throw against spells, or Something Bad happens as well!
 
Note that Teamwork Points are cumulative with/stack with each other and all other bonuses.
 
After an Interval, any Teamwork Points given to and used by a teammate are replenished to the teammate who gave away the Teamwork Point. Points spent by their original owner are not replenished.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

[LEGENDARIA] Corruption of Chaos in Legendaria

The forces of Law, personified by the Star Gods and the Lords of Life, hold life to be sacred, and reward those of Lawful sort who cleave to this belief, and punish those who do not.
 
Though Death and Entropy are among the strongest elements of Chaos, the forces of Chaos, personified in the Demons of the Outer Dark, too, value life… to the extent that they can use it, abuse it, corrupt it, and turn it to their own means! For while final victory will be theirs in the end – as in the end, all things fade and die, and entropy always wins – with the corruption of life, and the gathering of more resources to the bosom of Chaos, that victory will come that much sooner.
 
Chaos cannot create life, it can only corrupt it, twist it, and mutate it to its own ends. And so, the Demons of the Outer Dark prefer that their followers do not kill, they would rather that they corrupt their enemies to the ways of Chaos. They especially prefer that their minions corrupt those who are valiant followers of the forces of Law, for such is the sweetest victory, as it not only gains for Chaos strong minions, but also denies those resources to the followers of Law.
 
So surprisingly to some, the Lords of the Void and their philosophical descendants, the Banemasters of Demonfang Citadel, usually go out of their way to capture their victims and opponents, rather than kill them outright.
 
Common beings of Neutral sort and lesser beings of Lawful nature and no great power are considered worthy only of slavery – their degradation in this manner is pleasing to the Demons of the Outer Dark, for it causes fear, suffering, anger, and hatred, and the lamentations of the slaves are as music to their ears. Also, of course, the use of slaves enables the minions of Chaos to free up their other resources to continue the war against Law.
 
Heroic followers of the forces of Law, on the other hand, are sought after for the opportunity to corrupt them to the ways of Chaos, and to turn them into tools for the advancement of the purposes of the Demons of the Outer Dark.
 

Temptations are usually the first step, used when the heroes are yet young and inexperienced. The “benefits” of Chaos – vast wealth, untrammeled power, and access to mighty sorcery and super-science – will be offered to tempt the young heroes away from Law and into the hands of Chaos.
 
If temptations do not work, then the forces of Chaos seek to capture and corrupt the heroes of Law via transformation through an admixture of blackmail, torture, sorcery, and super-science. Even if they are merely reduced to mindless servitors, it is considered a significant win for Chaos and a loss for Law.
 

Only after numerous attempts to corrupt the heroes of Law via temptations and transformations fail, do the forces of Chaos seek to eliminate a Lawful hero via death; but even then, death on the battlefield or simple murder will never do! For the forces of Chaos, being arrogant in the extreme, must always try to prove their natural superiority over the forces of Law. And so, the minions of Chaos seek to capture the heroes and place them into or trick them and get them to willingly walk into, an Ingenious Death Trap. Or, most insidiously, bring them to a final end in an Eldritch Ritual, such that their souls are tendered directly unto the merciless hands of the Demons of the Outer Dark. Only then will Chaos truly prevail, denying Law its heroic resources through Death and Entropy and thereby gaining infinitesimal growth in their own power.
 
Note that once the forces of Chaos have resorted to using Ingenious Death Traps to eliminate Lawful heroes, that does not mean they will not resort to the use of temptations and transformations later. Whenever opportunity strikes, Chaos will use whichever method is easiest, readiest at hand, and most likely to succeed.
 
All this is not to say that there are not those aberrant minions of Chaos who would not simply prefer to slaughter followers of Law, or even any other living thing that gets in their way. However, these tend to be lone actors, shunned even by other minions of Chaos. If such psychopaths are part of a group such as the Banemasters, they usually have to be reigned in by the leadership or more powerful minions, often being unchained only in time of dire need (for such loose cannons often cause their masters as much damage as their enemies).
 

The “blessings” of the Demons of the Outer Dark for those minions who succeed at corrupting the heroes of Law can range from the esoteric – such as more Experience Points, more Hit Points, more Mental Strength Points – to the powerful and prosaic, such as a new powerful mutation, access to new eldritch spells, the granting of a mighty magic weapon, or the wisdom to use long-lost super science. Even the final end of a hero can grant great rewards, if that end is properly executed... 
 
As the foul villains dedicates to Chaos are all NPCs under the Judge’s control, such rewards are hers to dispense to the NPCs as events dictate.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

[LEGENDARIA]: Sanctity of Life in Legendaria

The forces of Law, personified in the Star Gods (aka the Lords of Life, various other deities of Law, etc.), value life – ALL life, even that of evil beings who have been corrupted by Chaos. Thus, even the lives of the most hardened villains, inhuman mutants, and wicked monsters are considered sacred. Killing a sentient being – even in self-defense – is considered murder, a terrible sin.
 
The lives of all sentient beings, including Robosophonts, are considered sacred (non-intelligent “Dumbots” are not). Only the Undead are considered irredeemable, and even then, over the ages there have been cases which give even the Star Gods pause. Killing non-intelligent animals for food, as predators do, is allowed, though even here, the forces of Law prefer such be kept to the minimum required; sports-hunting is considered be the equivalent of murder.
 
Thus, those who are Lawful strive to adhere to the sanctity of life at all costs – even to the point of saving the lives of the very Villains who, moments ago, threatened their own lives! The forces of Law hope for the redemption and repentance of those who have turned to the ways of Chaos, rather than their violent end. The destruction of life, even that of Chaotic creatures, only strengthens Chaos, as Entropy, and the end of Life, is a component of the strength of Chaos.
 
And so, Law rewards those of its adherents who spare the lives of their enemies, and severely punishes those who do not cleave to the sanctity of life.
 

REWARDS
Every time a Lawful hero or team spares the lives of their foes, each hero gains the following:
 
1) A Free Saving Throw Re-Roll, to be chosen by the hero when needed, reflecting the blessings of the Lords of Life. These may be saved and used whenever the hero wishes, and do not need to be used only against the villains from that encounter. The re-roll can be declared after a saving throw is made, and the better of the two rolls is used.
 
2) A bonus of +2 (+10%) on all attacks, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks for the entire battle, against the same villains, the next time the villains attack the heroes (or the heroes go to aid innocents against the villains).
 
This does not apply if the heroes go out and seek to hunt down the villains!
 
3) The villains suffer a -2 (-10%) penalty on all attacks, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks for the entire battle, against the same heroes, the next time the villains attack the heroes.
 
A hero may give a Free Saving Throw Re-Roll to a teammate or innocent who just failed a saving throw.
 
A hero may trade in three Free Saving Throw Re-Rolls for a Second Wind in battle; this immediately grants the hero 1d4 Hit Points or Mental Strength Points per level (i.e., a 3rd level hero would roll 3d4).
 
PUNISHMENTS
Should a Lawful hero ever take a life, in battle or by murder or other foul methods (though not honestly by accident), they suffer the following penalties:
 
1) They cannot be magically healed by a cleric devoted to Law. The magic simply will not work. Even magical healing from a Neutral cleric only heals half the rolled points (round down). Chaotic healing works just fine, well, as fine as any healing provided by a cleric dedicated to Chaos
 
2) They cannot gain any benefit from a blessing or other positive magical effect cast by a cleric or magic item of Law. Positive magical effects cast by a Neutral cleric fail half the time.
 
3) They suffer a -2 penalty on Reaction Checks with Lawful beings, -4 if the beings are aware of the fallen hero’s status as a murderer/killer.
 
4) Clerics of Law, Paladins, and other sub-classes lose all benefits and abilities that accrue to them due to the patronage of the forces of Law (Judge’s discretion).
 
Fallen heroes and heroines can only regain the grace of the forces of Law by seeking to atone for their misdeed by taking on a quest given them by a cleric of Law. The quest will be difficult, though not outright lethal, and will also have opportunities to prove the sincerity of their repentance, as well as temptations to fall further into corruption (the former provided by the forces of Law, the latter by the forces of Chaos).
 
If the fallen heroine successfully completes her quest and does not succumb to the temptations of Chaos, she will once again be in the good graces of Law, and all the restrictions above will be lifted.

However, if she refuses or fails the quest, or succumbs to the temptations of Chaos, she has failed, and at the least, has fallen from Lawful to Neutral (or even outright Chaotic), and cannot again regain the grace of the forces of Law without a major life-altering event in which she proves her worth.
 
Next Tuesday: Corruption of Chaos in LEGENDARIA

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

[LEGENDARIA] Mental Strength in Legendaria

MENTAL STRENGTH IN LEGENDARIA
A new stat used in LEGENDARIA is Mental Strength. Mental Strength (MS) works like Hit Points, however, whereas Hit Points represent the general physical health of a creature, Mental Strength represents the mental, psychic, and spiritual health of a creature.
 
Most monsters generally have a number of MS points based on their Hit Dice (Mental Strength Dice); monsters that are noted as being stronger mentally than physically might have a larger pool of MS points, and vice versa. For example, sprites have merely 1d4 Hit Points, but being faeries, have a much stronger presence than their physical form represents, and so have 2d8 MS points. A normal human with 1d4 HP has merely 1d4 MS. Dragons that cannot speak have a number of MS points equal to their Hit Dice in d4s, while spell-casting dragons roll a d8 per Hit Die for MS (and prominent enemy and ally dragons gain a Base Mental Strength as below).
 
Player characters and prominent enemies and allies have a bonus at 1st level to their Mental Strength equal to the average of their Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, rounded up; this is known as the Base Mental Strength. To this add the Mental Strength Die roll and any Charisma modifier, as appropriate, at 1st level and above.
 
Clerics have a d6 for their Mental Strength Die (MSD) type; Fighters a d4; Thieves a d6; and Magic-users have a d8.
 
Various monstrous attacks, spells, psychic attacks, and certain weapons of super-science deal Mental Strength damage, rather than Hit Point damage, thus weakening the willpower, spirit, and lucidity of the target.
 
In LEGENDARIA, Undead attacks that normally deal level-draining instead drain Mental Strength in addition to any Hit Point damage. These attacks are particularly dangerous, as the MS damage dealt does not return until the Undead who dealt the damage is defeated or destroyed, as the Undead has literally stolen a part of the victim’s soul!
 

MENTAL STRENGTH DAMAGE
Whenever a character suffers damage such that their total MS points are reduced to less than their Base Mental Strength, they must make a saving throw versus Spells. Failure indicates that they are Addled, and suffer a -2 To Hit, to Saving Throws, and to all Ability Checks (-10% to all Skill Checks). Success on the saving throw indicates the character is merely Stunned for 1 round.
 
A Stunned character cannot take any action (attack, move, cast a spell, use a psychic ability or mutation, use a class skill, etc.), loses Dexterity and Shield bonuses to Armor Class, has a 50% chance to drop anything held in hand, a 50% chance of falling Prone each round, and suffers a -4 penalty to saving throws. Any creature attacking a Stunned character gets a +2 bonus to hit (+4 total if the character is Stunned and Prone).
 
An Addled character who suffers further Mental Strength damage while their total Mental Strength points are less than their Base Mental Strength and fails their saving throw versus Spells is Stupefied. Success means the character is merely Stunned for 1d3 rounds.
 
Magic-users and certain Race classes that have the Willpower ability (such as Elves and Psychic Mutants) may be Addled a second time if they fail against damage rather than become Stupefied (see above). The character instead becomes Befuddled, and the character suffers a total of -4 penalty To Hit, to Saving Throws, and to all Ability Checks (-20% to all Skill Checks). Befuddled characters suffer a +2 penalty to their Armor Class. Characters who are Befuddled also move at one movement rate slower than their normal rate (if this reduces movement to less than 30’ (10’) they may only stagger or crawl 5’ per round). A Befuddled character who is damaged again and fails their save is Stupefied, as per Addled, above. Success means the character is merely Stunned for 1d3 rounds.
 
Any character or creature who falls to 0 Mental Strength points immediately becomes Stupefied; however, if the attacker who dealt the damage that reduced the character or creature to 0 Mental Strength drains Mental Strength rather than dealing Psychic Damage (i.e., Undead), the character or creature is Brain Dead (i.e., reduced to a vegetative state).
 
Note: Some characters are able to expend Mental Strength to cast spells or activate psychic abilities. Use of Mental Strength points in this way can cause the character to become Addled, Befuddled, or even Stupefied, as normal, however, the character gains a +4 bonus to the saving throws against these effects. Use of Mental Strength points in this way does not count as draining of Mental Strength points.
 
STUPEFIED CREATURES
Immediately upon becoming Stupefied, a creature must make a saving throw versus Death; failure indicates that the creature is rendered Unconscious for 1d6 rounds. Success indicates that the creature is merely Stunned for 1d6 rounds. Thereafter, the creature is no longer Unconscious or Stunned, and instead is merely Stupefied. Stupefied creatures are not unconscious, but then they are not really conscious, either; they are stuck in between, in an insensate state.
 
Stupefied creatures suffer all the effects of Befuddlement, above, with the following additions. First, and most importantly, a Stupefied creature subjected to any sort of mind-affecting spell, psychic attack/ability, or super-science mind effect automatically fails their saving throw.
 
Second, Characters who are Stupefied also move at two movement rates slower than their normal rate.
 
Third, any creature with a Charisma of 13 or better that can also speak a common language with the Stupefied creature can make a suggestion, as per the spell; against this effect the Stupefied creature gains a saving throw versus Spells, though with the usual Befuddled penalty of -4.
 
Finally, Stupefied creatures that are not tended to or otherwise fall under the mental influence of another within one turn (10 minutes) of their Stupefaction must make a saving throw versus Spells every turn (10 minutes); failure indicates the creature has become Confused, as per the spell, acting in such a fashion until it falls Unconscious or has its Stupefaction ended. If the attacking creature’s group or attacked creature’s group effects do not apply, the creature manages to damage itself for 1d6 points of Hit Point damage.
 
 
AMNESIA: If a creature is reduced from a total number of Mental Strength points equal to or greater than its Base Mental Strength all the way to 0 Mental Strength in one attack/effect, in addition to Stupefaction, after ending its Unconscious or Stunned state, it must make another saving throw versus Spells. Failure indicates that the creature suffers from Amnesia, and does not remember its name, friends, enemies, or personal history, nor does it recall its class, profession, or other abilities.
 
Every time the Amnesiac creature encounters an ally, enemy, or other important creature or location, it may make another saving throw versus Spells to end the amnesia. Otherwise, it is highly susceptible to suggestion, as per Stupefaction, and does not even gain a saving throw against a simple suggestion put to it by a charismatic creature, naively believing whatever is said!
 
If an Amnesiac is forced to do something against his alignment, such as attack innocents or Teammates, the creature immediately gains a saving throw with a bonus of +4 to the save to end the Amnesia.
 
An Amnesiac who does not make a saving throw to regain their memory after the first week thereafter only gains one saving throw per day, regardless of incidents; if they do not make a save after one month, they only gain a save once per week; and if they do not make a saving throw after three months, the Amnesia is permanent, barring magical, psychic, or super-science intervention.
 
HEALING MENTAL STRENGTH
Addled and Befuddled status remains until the character is healed to equal or greater Mental Strength than their Base Mental Strength. Confused and Stupefied status is removed once the creature regains even a single Mental Strength point. Amnesia remains even if Mental Strength is restored to full.

Note that healing of Hit Point damage and Mental Strength damage occurs concurrently (at the same time).
 
Natural healing of Mental Strength usually requires rest in a comfortable and safe location with access to food and drink. A settlement or fortress with minimal comfort, food, and water allows for 1d3 Mental Strength points to be healed per day of rest. Characters with Willpower add their Charisma bonus to the roll.
 
Rangers and others with the Survival Skill in appropriate wilderness areas may attempt to use that skill to build a shelter and find food and water such that characters can heal 1 Mental Strength point per day of rest; otherwise no natural healing can occur in the wilderness. A prisoner in a donjon with only bread and water heals only if they have Willpower, and then a number of points per day equal to their Charisma bonus.
 
Magic-users (and those with Willpower) and Clerics whose current Mental Strength is at last equal to or greater than their Base Mental Strength may use meditation or prayer, respectively, to regain Mental Strength points. For every full hour of meditation or prayer the character makes a saving throw versus Spells; success indicates they gain 1d3 points of Mental Strength plus their Charisma bonus. Failure indicates no points are gained for that hour. Even the most minor interruption wastes all time already spent.
 
Other methods of healing Mental Strength include Clerics applying cure wounds spells (to heal Mental Strength rather than Hit Points); potions of healing (ditto); Psychics applying psychic healing; healing devices and medicines of Futuristic and Super-Science technologies; magical pools of healing; strange herbs such as Black Lotus (not without its cautions); and the like.

Friday, January 4, 2019

[LEGENDARIA] Hit Points in Legendaria

HIT POINTS IN LEGENDARIA
Player characters and prominent heroes and villains have a bonus at 1st level to their Hit Points equal to the average of their Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores, rounded up; this is known as the Base Hit Points. To this add the Hit Die roll and any Constitution modifier, as appropriate, at 1st level and above.
 
Whenever a character suffers damage such that their total Hit Points are reduced to less than their Base Hit Points, they must make a saving throw versus Death. Failure indicates that they are Wounded, and suffer a -2 To Hit, to Saving Throws, and to all Ability Checks (-10% to all Skill Checks). Characters who are Wounded also move at one movement rate slower than their normal rate (if this reduces movement to less than 30’ (10’) they may only stagger or crawl 5’ per round). Success on the saving throw indicates the character is merely Stunned for 1 round.
 
A Stunned character cannot take any action (attack, move, cast a spell, use a psychic ability or mutation, use a class skill, etc.), loses Dexterity and Shield bonuses to Armor Class, has a 50% chance to drop anything held in hand, a 50% chance of falling Prone each round, and suffers a -4 penalty to saving throws. Any creature attacking a Stunned character gets a +2 bonus to hit (+4 total if the character is Stunned and Prone).
 
A Wounded character who suffers further Hit Point damage while their total Hit Points are less than their Base Hit Points and fails their saving throw versus Death falls Unconscious. Success means the character is merely Stunned for 1d3 rounds.
 
Fighters and certain Race classes that have the Stamina ability (such as Dwarves) may be Wounded a second time if they fail against damage rather than fall Unconscious (see above). The character then suffers a Severe Wound, and the character suffers a total of -4 penalty To Hit, to Saving Throws, and to all Ability Checks (-20% to all Skill Checks). Severely Wounded characters suffer a +2 penalty to their Armor Class. Severely Wounded characters also move at two movement rates lower than their normal rate. A Severely Wounded character who is damaged again and fails their save falls Unconscious, as per Wounded, above.
 
Any character or creature who falls to 0 Hit Points immediately falls Unconscious; however, if the attacker who dealt the damage that reduced the character or creature to 0 Hit Points is purposefully attacking to kill, the character or creature is Dead.

REGAINING CONSCIOUSNESS
Unconscious characters remain Unconscious until provided aid; at this point they must make a saving throw versus Death. Wounded and Severely Wounded penalties apply. Success indicates they regain consciousness and 1 Hit Point. Failure indicates the character has entered a Coma.
 
If the initial aid check fails, and the character enters a Coma, a Physician may apply his skills; if successful, the Unconscious character immediately gets another chance to regain consciousness, with a bonus to the saving throw equal to the Physician’s Wisdom bonus.
 
A Physician with appropriate tools may attend a character in a Coma; the character gets another check every hour to awaken. For every four hours in a Coma, a character suffers 1 point of Ability Damage to a random Ability Score.
 
A Cleric with cure wounds spells may use magic to heal Unconscious characters or characters in a Coma; if even 1 Hit Point is gained, the character awakens.
 
 
HEALING
Wounded and Severely Wounded status remains until the character is healed to equal or greater Hit Points than their Base Hit Points. This may be ameliorated through performance of surgery by a Physician.
 
Natural healing of Hit Points usually requires rest in a comfortable and safe location with access to food and drink. A settlement or fortress with minimal comfort, food, and water allows for 1d3 Hit Points to be healed per day of rest. Characters with Stamina add their Constitution bonus to the roll.
 
Rangers and others with the Survival Skill in appropriate wilderness areas may attempt to use that skill to build a shelter and find food and water such that characters can heal 1 hit point per day of rest; otherwise no natural healing can occur in the wilderness.
 
A prisoner in a donjon with only bread and water heals only if they have Stamina, and then a number of points per day equal to their Constitution bonus.
 
Ability Damage heals at a rate of 1 point per day, once the character is healed to full Hit Points.
 
A Physician may increase natural healing through the application of their medical skills. Other methods of healing include Clerics with cure wounds spells; potions of healing; healing devices and medicines of Futuristic and Super-Science technologies; magical pools of healing; and the like.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

[LEGENDARIA] New Labyrinth Lord Campaign Setting in Development

This is the first in a series of posts dedicated to building a library of races, classes, spells, magic items, technological devices, and various charts and tables dedicated to building and exploring a new LABYRINTH LORD campaign setting – LEGENDARIA.
 
Or rather I should say, an old campaign setting, as LEGENDARIA has been brewing in my head now for years. LEGENDARIA is a world inspired by and steeped in the concepts and themes of a certain selection of 1980s cartoons. The primary inspirations for LEGENDARIA can be found among the following cartoons (those with multiple asterisks being the most influential):
 
Thundarr the Barbarian* (Ruby-Spears, 1980-81)
Blackstar*** (Filmation, 1981)
Dungeons & Dragons** (Marvel, 1983-85)
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe*** (Filmation, 1983-85)
Galtar and the Golden Lance* (Hanna-Barbera, 1985-86)
Thundercats** (Rankin-Bass, 1985-86)
 
Those of you familiar with these programs can see where I am going with this, I am sure. Note that everything outlined below is subject to change as things develop; I am not going to pigeonhole myself on the development of this campaign.
 
The basic concept of LEGENDARIA is that it is a backwater planet in the far-flung future when both magic and technology flourish, but in a time when most of the planet and the nearby systems are stuck in a neo-medieval age a thousand years after a major pyrrhic interstellar war. Unknown to all but a few, ancient secrets of magical and technological power are hidden amidst the ruins of LEGENDARIA, artifacts of such might that whomever possesses them has the power to conquer galaxies and form the next Intergalactic Empire!
 
HISTORY – Untold ages ago, humanity and terrestrial biota spread out from Earth and the Solar System – which are long-since lost, though figure great in ancient legends. Interstellar and intergalactic civilizations, human and otherwise, have swept back and forth across the galaxies for untold ages. A thousand years ago the LAST GALACTIC EMPIRE fell in a terrible war against the LORDS OF THE VOID – servants of the DEMONS OF THE OUTER DARK. The Lords of the Void succeeded in destroying the Galactic Empire, but were themselves essentially destroyed, though some survivors hid to lick their wounds and perhaps rise again…
 
Today LEGENDARIA is home to a patchwork of tiny city-state-sized kingdoms in between which are wide swaths of savage wilderness. Here and there can be found small villages and hamlets, petty lords and robber barons. These realms are ruled by Heroes and Villains who wield ancient technological artifacts of super-science in one hand, even as the other hand wields a primitive blade or shield.
 
The scale of the campaign is small – five miles per hex – and geography changes dramatically and quickly, though most regions are separated by bands of rugged and dusty broken lands. Here and there can be found an atomic wasteland. Most ruins are stone ruins from previous neo-medieval realms rather than the twisted metal and glass of advanced and futuristic states. The entire campaign should be able to take place on nine maps, three by three, not counting the odd trip to other planets or dimensions.
 
RACES – there are many, many more races on LEGENDARIA than even on your typical fantasy world:
 
TRUE HUMANS are a small but significant minority and are further divided into countless cultures and ethnicities.
 
DEMI-HUMANS include elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and other trans-human races, such as near-men, cat-folk, changelings, amazons, wolf-folk, and so forth, all descended directly from humans, though perhaps with a bit of animal or even alien DNA.
 
MANIMALS are descended from animals uplifted by technology; examples include ape-kin, goat-kin, sheep-kin, cat-kin, wolf-kin, bear-kin, and so forth.
 
GOBLINOIDS are descended from humans, demi-humans, and manimals corrupted by magic; examples include kobolds, goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, gnolls, bugbears, and so forth.
 
MUTANTS are descended from humans, demi-humans, manimals, goblinoids, and animals randomly mutated by radiation. There are stable mutant races as well as mutants of unique sort.
 
Together, the Manimals, Goblinoids, and Mutants are considered “HUMANOIDS.” Some human groups label all humanoids (and even demi-humans) as “SUB-HUMANS” or “ABHUMANS,” fit only for slavery or extermination.
 
For example, in some places the distinction between cat-folk (demi-humans) and cat-kin (manimals) is meaningless; in others, it can mean the difference between freedom and slavery.
 
ROBODROIDS include sophont (intelligent, self-aware) robots, androids, synthetics, AI vehicles, and the like.
 
ALIENS are beings from the PRIME PLANE but descended from a planetary biota not originally native to Lost Earth.
 
DEMONS are beings from or descended from beings from other dimensions, whether from Chaotic, Lawful, or Neutral realms; even Lawful Demons are utterly alien and often inimical to the lifeforms of the Prime Plane. Demons include GENIES, ELEMENTALS, and other like creatures that are native to other dimensions.
 
Most settlements are of a singular race, with perhaps a sprinkling of other nearby allied races, but there are a handful of settlements in each region that are more cosmopolitan.
 
CLASSES – I am taking a new tack on classes:
 
20th level is the highest level attainable, with most of the greatest lords, heroes, and villains being between 12th and 15th level. The campaign is a bildungsroman; player characters do not begin play as the great heroes (or villains) of the campaign but can become such through hard work and luck.
 
Levels 1-3 are Veterans, 4-7 are Heroes/Villains, 8-11 are Super-Heroes/Villains, 12-15 are Legendary Heroes/Villains; and 16+ are Mythic Heroes/Villains. The vast majority of the populace are 0-level “Normal Men/Women,” and thus to them, even a 1st level player character is of “heroic” stature.
 
There are race classes, and all non-humans must take their racial class; and all non-human races have level limits in their racial class (generally 8th to 12th). However, player characters of non-human race (and select NPC heroes and villains) can multi-class their racial class with other classes, and they are not limited in level in their racial or non-racial class (all XP charts continue to 20th level).
 
Humans can also multi-class. There will be special rules for multi-classing.
 
There are the four core classes – Cleric, Fighter, Magic-user, and Thief. Each of these have sub-classes, in the classic OD&D tradition of the paladin class or the BECMI Companion rules (i.e., if certain requirements are met, the character can join one of the sub-classes). A player character can begin play at 1st level with a sub-class or can wait until 3rd level to join a sub-class.
 
Riffing off of the classic Hero at 4th level and Super-hero at 8th level, 1st level as well as every level divisible by four has something special associated with the sub-class. This follows more in the vein of developments that might have occurred had the Mentzer Companion rules further expanded on the development of sub-classes, rather than the class kits of 2E or the character-build philosophy explicit in the design of 3E and implicit in 5E.
 
CLERICS are much more strongly flavored, and gain spells and other abilities, based on the god(s) they worship. Crusaders of the Star Gods do not have the same spells and abilities as the Cultists of the Demons of the Outer Dark; the Priests of the Mother of Life differ greatly from the Druids of the Elemental Lords and are even more at variance from the Scientist-Priests of Technologica. The forces of Law and Chaos are much stronger on LEGENDARIA than on the typical campaign world; the reverence of life, even that of one’s enemies, so prevalent in the inspirational material, is richly rewarded, while the cheapening of life is appropriately punished.
 
FIGHTERS can focus on specializing in the skills of their trade and specific weapon as a Swordsman, Axeman, or otherwise; serve their gods or demons as a Paladin or Anti-Paladin; roam the wilderness protecting civilization as a Ranger; join the wilderness and run with the animals of the wild as a Beastsmaster; release the beast within and transform into a living tornado of death as a Berserker; study, repair, and build weapons and vehicles as an Armsman; join a monastery and learn the way of the Martial Artist; and so forth.
 
MAGIC-USERS can remain a generalist wielder of magic as a Magician, or specialize in different types of magic: focus on the magical essence of Law as a Wizard; surrender to the magical essence of Chaos as a Sorcerer; embrace the magical essence of Death as a Necromancer; study magic under the tutelage of Fairies as an Enchanter; learn magic at the foot of Dragons as a Dracologist; steep in the lore of the phantasmagorical as an Illusionist; evoke the natural magic inherent in crystals and gems as a Crystallomancer; merge magic and technology in all-new ways as a Technomancer; and so forth.
 
THIEVES specialize in a specific type of thievery or criminal activity, or in more mundane if highly utilitarian sub-classes: Acrobats use their abilities to entertain and perform astounding criminal acts; Assassins are slayers of men; Bandits are stand-up thieves of highway and trail; Hackers specialize in Modern and Futuristic thievery; Mechanics focus on the study, repair, and construction of Modern and Futuristic technology; Pirates are the raiders of the river and sea-lanes; Rogues are sneak-thieves and duelists; Swashbucklers are suave and urbane upper-class scoundrels; Thugs are strong-arm smash-and-grab muggers and raiders; and so forth.
 
PROFESSIONS can be learned which grant bonuses to Ability Checks when performing certain actions or enable certain highly-skilled actions that could not otherwise be performed; many of these are TECH-LEVEL based (see below).
 
ALIGNMENT figures very strongly in this campaign and uses the core LL three-part alignment scale: Law versus Chaos, which in practice is the same as saying Good versus Evil.
 
LAW is personified in the LORDS OF LIFE, also known as the STAR GODS (for the stars are gods, and their light enables life and keeps back the Outer Dark). The Lords of Life are opposed by the DEMONS OF THE OUTER DARK and the power of CHAOS. Each faction has scores of gods, demi-gods, and petty gods as patrons. Worship of these two pantheons is spread across the galaxies. There are also countless regional and local UN-ALIGNED GODS who are out for themselves. Clergy in this campaign are much more quid-pro-quo than the pseudo-Christian clerics of regular campaigns, and Chaotic clerics are more along the lines of cultists than clergy.
 
At the beginning of the campaign there are two major forces fighting for dominance in the region. The LORDS OF LEGEND of CASTLE BLACKHAWK in the KINGDOM OF GREYMOOR are allied with Law (based in the region to the south), while the BANEMASTERS of DEMONFANG CITADEL in the SHADOW PEAKS are aligned with Chaos (based in the region to the north). The player characters are dropped in the middle of this war, to follow whichever path their choices lead them – both sides are always recruiting!
 
TECHNOLOGY varies from settlement to settlement. The Tech-Levels in order of “advancement” are: Stone-Age Savagery, Neo-Medieval, Modern, Futuristic, and Super Science.
 
STONE-AGE SAVAGERY includes Neo-Savages who live in post-apocalyptic squalor – the classic shield made of a STOP sign with a mace made of a parking meter.
 
NEO-MEDIEVAL includes Renaissance, so is highly variable; some settlements have black-powder weapons, others do not. The vast majority of Legendarians live in medieval towns, villages, and hamlets, rarely seeing and never owning any sort of advanced technology. In fact, the primary common philosophy of the day is similar to the beliefs of the Luddites.
 
Most folk do not trust high technology, as it too readily fails; is expensive in time and resources to maintain when far simpler technology suffices; and causes all manners of dislocations in society. That said, Neo-Medieval folk are generally not ignorant; their knowledge of science and medicine is generally as good as Modern settlements, they simply reject most higher forms of technology.
 
MODERN covers Steam to Interplanetary; a handful of locales on the planet (and none in the starting campaign region) have access to this technology. Most of these are decadent tyrannies ruled by depraved despots.
 
FUTURISTIC covers Interstellar – think Star Wars/Star Trek. The Lords of Legend and the Banemasters have access to this level of technology, though only the leaders and greatest heroes and villains are able to command its regular use. Most of the minions of the Banemasters are robots (non-sophont “dumb-bots”). Ruins and relics of Futuristic sort are strewn across the wilderness amidst ancient and recent ruins.
 
SUPER SCIENCE is everything beyond Futuristic, including Intergalactic, Interdimensional, Time Travel, and etc., in which science and magic are all but indistinguishable even to a Futuristic scientist. The ruins and artifacts of Super-Science level civilizations can be found in the deeper, darker wilderness of LEGENDARIA, amidst savage squalor and monster-haunted lands.
 
In all cases, MAGIC is found working cheek-by-jowl with technology at all levels. The ability to cast spells is actually relatively rare; elves have their innate magic, but otherwise spell-casting is reserved for clerics and magic-users (fighter and thief sub-classes do not gain spell-casting abilities, though some gain spell-like abilities). That said, magic is common enough that most mid-level heroes and villains command the use of one or more magical weapons; all magical weapons are unique, and all have special abilities in addition to their combat bonuses (there is no such thing as a “generic sword +1”). Any noble worthy of their title has a court magician; most are allied with the clergy of one of the major pantheons or a local godling. Even petty villages and hamlets have local wise-women and hedge-mages peddling magical nostrums, talismans, and amulets of questionable efficacy.
 
MUTATIONS are adapted from the MUTANT FUTURE RPG, with rules changes and expansions. PSYCHIC POWERS are also present, gained both through mutation and otherwise.
 
LANGUAGES – Every human, demi-human, and manimal speaks Intergalaic, the intergalactic common language (simply known as Common) and can read and write it in the Intergalaic Alphabet if of a minimal level of intelligence. Humans, demi-humans, and manimals have it programmed into their DNA; this was done at some indeterminate past age when intergalactic peace and prosperity reigned. Goblinoids, mutants, aliens, demons, and monstrous races generally have their own languages, and pick up a bit of Intergalaic as they use it to deal with the other races. Robodroids speak whichever languages they are programmed to speak; as most are built by humans, demi-humans, or humanoids, most speak or at least understand Intergalaic.
 
There are countless other languages, used by all manners of races, and an interminable number of writing systems. The profession of translator is in demand anywhere trade and peaceful interaction occurs.
 
STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND – the player characters are NOT from this world; they are from elsewhere, and thus do not know anything about LEGENDARIA, save perhaps some legends. They have arrived via a crashed spaceship, through a dimensional gate, thrown across the cosmos by a mysterious explosion, or are otherwise cast away on LEGENDARIA with no ready way to get back home.
 
Perhaps finding a way home is part of what they make of the campaign? Maybe instead they seek to make this new world their home. Exploration of the world becomes a goal in and of itself, whether merely to find food and shelter or to build an empire. New races and classes are opened for play when they are encountered.
 
As the characters journey across LEGENDARIA and build their new home, they discover allies and enemies, ancient and strange magic, weird and fantastic technology, and a world of adventure. Perhaps they gain cybernetic enhancements or might magical weapons? Maybe they discover ancient magical weapons of power to wield in the name of Law or Chaos? Gain alien followers and win the service of a battle-beast? Build a castle and found a kingdom of magical and technological wonders? Become heroes worthy of legend – or become villains that inspire terrifying myths and tales for thousands of years…
 
In LEGENDARIA, all these things can happen, and more…