Friday, July 1, 2016

Vampirates of Caribdus - Kor

Kor is less pudgy and doesn't have a parrot or sword, but this mini helped inspire the character image.

So +James Walls is currently GMing our group through some Savage Worlds action combining Accursed with 50 Fathoms. You can find his own blog posts about the game and our first two sessions here:
My character "Kor" is a Revenant from Accursed and I figured I'd share my build and some notes on his background for kicks and giggles.

Kor - Novice
8 (9)




Lame (major)
Clueless (major)
Strength of the Grave (x1)
Loyal (minor)

Illiterate (minor)

  • Leather coat (armor 1)
  • 3 rubies
  • Anchor & Chain Str+d10 / 15 lbs / AP1 / Parry -1 / 2 hands
    • As Great Axe

  • “Kor” is not his real name, but a reference to his anchor
  • The anchor affixed to his leg is his cause of death, it was chained to him and he was drowned - for the purposes of a "death wound" the anchor acts as his death wound
  • “Kor” was once a seaman; a captain who was killed in a mutiny
  • The way that he died caused his mental problems because unlike other revenants he died from suffocation/drowning instead of violent trauma
  • Kor’s goal is revenge, but he doesn’t remember who he needs revenge on

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nuts & Bolts #84 - Hacking the Cypher System - Reactive Cyphers

Cyphers. The lifeblood of the Cypher System. Those little one use nuggets of awesome that expand a character's repertoire. But why are almost all cyphers pro-active use? Really, the only reactive cyphers are those that allow you to recover points. Are reactive use cyphers going to break the game somehow? Doubtful, but given that most cyphers were manifest when the system was designed that may speak to why Cyphers required a preemptive activation.

So why not create some cyphers whose use at the table can come as surprise to the other players as they do to the characters? Cyphers that you can use to interrupt actions; cyphers that can surprise your fellow players the way they will surprise the NPCs. These are suitable as subtle cyphers appropriate even for modern play. So here are ten ideas for reactive cyphers you could use for your game.

Secret Armor (level 1d6)
After being hit with an attack you reveal an iron plate, bulletproof vest, previously invisible rune, or personal force field. Use after you are hit by an attack to reduce the damage by the Cypher level and gain an asset on your next task.

Shared Connection (level 1d6+1)
Use after an ally has failed at an social interaction on a target NPC with level less than or equal to the cypher level.  Through a secret handshake, code phrase, or other subtle tell the target NPC is revealed to be a member of an organization or subculture that your PC belongs to and becomes friendly(er) toward the PC.

Opportune Strike (melee) (level 1d6)
Use after a failed melee defense to deal damage equal to the cypher to the attacker. This damage ignores armor. After use this cypher becomes a light weapon equipped in one of the user's free hands.

Opportune Strike (ranged) (level 1d6+2)
Use after a failed ranged defense roll. Make an attack roll with 2 assets to deal damage equal to the cypher level to the attacker. This damage ignores armor. After use this cypher becomes a light weapon equipped in one of the user's free hands.

Immunity (1d10)
Use after a failed might defense for poison or disease. You character has half the normal effect for a duration no longer than 1 minute and then gains immunity to the effect that caused the save.

Feint (level 1d6)
You catch your opponent off guard through your actions. Use after you fail a melee attack roll to give an ally 2 assets on the next roll to attack your target. 

Ricochet (level 1d6)
Your ranged attack bounces off a nearby object and catches an enemy. Use after a failed range attack roll. You choose another target within short range of the first who takes half the damage the attack would have done. 

Opportune Moment (level 1d6+2)
You ally's misfortune is your advantage. Use after an ally fails a stealth or hide roll to move up to long range as an action without being detected. 

Been Here Before (Level 1d10)
You've traveled far and wide or gained memories of one who has. Use when you enter an area for the first time to gain a short term benefit related to the area as though the character had spent 2XP (see CSR pg 222, Numenera pg 111, or The Strange pg 123)

All Part of the Plan (level 1d6+2)
A sudden insight, a hidden cache of equipment, a bribed official affords you a better position after a setback. Use after a group GM intrusion has resolved on your group to gain 1 asset on all rolls during the following scene. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Story Seed - Anvil

Image Source:

"Is it just me, or is it getting hot as damnation down here?" Carrik complained. He rubbed a calloused palm across his forehead, wiping away the beads of sweat that reformed just as quickly.

Jeen and Hathor both groaned. Jeen looked at the other woman and held up four fingers, making a wordless bet. Hathor nodded, a grim smile on her angular face as she tried to suppress a laugh. Ahead of them Carrik made some other complaint about the heat as the group trudged down the narrow tunnel.

At the head of the party Marolo shook his head and kept on walking, hawkish eyes scanning the path ahead. Carrik complained again which finally got Marolo to stop and throw his hands up, "NO! It is not only you! OK? It's hot; it's getting hotter. I think maybe it's going to get hotter still. So, for the love of all the dead gods, just SHUT. UP."

Jeen scowled and dug a silver moon from her coin purse, pushing into Hathor's outstretched palm. "I don't know what you were thinking," the latter whispered, "he's only lasted to the fourth like twice." Jeen just shot an acidic look at the other woman and kept moving.

An hour and four bets later the group found the tunnel at an end, a pair of elaborately carved stone doors. The heat was oppressive and the doors hot to the touch. "Let me look" Jeen said, speaking for the first time in hours. The normally loquacious entertainer had been unusually silent since the group had reached the second deeps. She moved to the front, an illuminated the doors with a simple cantrip. "These doors are quite old, but ..." Her voice drifted to silence as she studied the reliefs carved into the doors.

"This was the workshop of a god lost to the past. Valk the Smith, I think. The dialect is rather old even for my studies. Still, this says that here Valk created the weapons of the gods and ... yup here..." Jeen pressed a section inward and twisted it. With a thunderous crack the doors split down the middle and began to swing inward. A wave of torrid air, stinking of metals and sulfur, rolled out into the passage as a ruddy red glow filled the tunnel.

Beyond the doors a large chamber stocked with tools and lit by flows of molten ore was arrayed around a massive central work space. A great rune encrusted anvil that radiated divine power sat in the center of the space by a pool of semi-molten rock. "Well, I guess that explains the heat," Carrik said.