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It’s been a wild and wooley few weeks and it’s kept me away from the blog. During GenCon I was busy shooting interviews with the Google Glass and catching up to people I never get to see otherwise. (More on that in a future post.) Then within 48 hours of getting home, right around the time I was finally successful in making the Post-Con Fort Save ™, I got an offer to be the new community manager for Savage Mojo. Of course I accepted. The quality of their works is obvious, and they’ve treated me very well as a designer working freelance.
Another big attraction was the meta-setting. Suzerain takes you into high level play that can hop genres, time periods, and alternate realities as desired. For a long time fan of Amber, The Eternal Champion, Dr. Who and other fiction of this type it made for a nice match. My ten years on Planewalker demonstrates how much I love multidimensional adventuring.
So here we are. It’s a little over a week before I have to battle my 48th birthday and I’ve found a solid position in the game industry. One that should allow me to continue to freelance as well!
In a serendipitous turn of events it is also #SavageSeptember on DriveThruRPG, so I get to give you, my readers, a gift to celebrate.
From now until the weekend is over you can find some of our finest works, the ENnie award winning Shanghai Vampocalypse and Millenium Knight among them, on sale for a whopping 60% off! Savage Suzerain, the one book that ties everything together, is listed as Pay What You Want for the entire month as well.
In a nod towards both my Planescape roots and Spock with a beard we have also made our Quantum Sliders series of pan temporal, pan dimensional adventures available as a bundle. (Which is one of the 60% titles as well!)
Lastly I am proud to announce the release of Machine of the Lich Queen. Not only is is an old school, killer megadungeon but it also exists in its own demiplane! Even more fun, for me at least, is the fact that I did all the Pathfinder rules development for it. The first book I’ve done solo, as opposed to being part of a team.
Swing on by and take advantage of the savage discounts while they last! I’m really proud of my new gig and even if you’re not a Savage Worlds player there is a ton of stuff that be inspirational or can be adapted to another system. The framing fiction and the visual art alone on these volumes makes it worth it.
Don’t take my word for it, go see for yourselves!
So here we go with part three of the Jason Deas memorial Land of the Lost conversion. We’ve done the planar traits and the Sleestak, now it’s time for. Cha-ka’s people, the Pakuni!
Ability Score Racial Traits Specialized (1 RP) Members of this race gain a +2 bonus to Dex and Con, and a –2 penalty too Int.
Type humanoid (pakuni)
Size Small (0 RP)
Base Speed Normal Speed (0 RP)
Languages Xenophobic (0 RP)
Defense Racial Traits
Bond to the Land (2 RP) Pakuni gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC when in jungle terrain.
Natural Armor (2 RP) Pakuni gain a +1 natural armor bonus to their Armor Class due to their thick fur.
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
Scavenger (2 RP) Pakuni gain a +2 racial bonus on Appraise and Perception checks to find hidden objects (including traps and secret doors), determine whether food is spoiled, or identify a potion by taste.
Movement Racial Traits
Jungle Stride (1 RP) Pakuni can move through natural difficult terrain at their normal speed while within the jungle. Magically altered terrain affects them normally.
Senses Racial Traits
Low-Light Vision (1 RP) Pakuni can see twice as far as a race with normal vision in conditions of dim light.
Augmented Sometimes the Builder’s will augment a Pakuni by upgrading their intelligence and creativity. Augmented Pakuni has the same stats as normal Pakuni with the following additions.
Specialized (1 RP) Members of this race gain a +2 bonus to Int and Wis, and a –2 penalty too Str.
Skill Bonus (2 RP) Pick one craft skill and one perform skill. Augmented pakuni gain a +1 racial bonus on these skills during character creation.
Ability Score Racial Traits: Paragon (-2 Int, -2 Wis, -2 Chr, +4 Con) (1 RP)
Type: Humanoid (reptilian, sleestak) (0 RP)
Size: Medium (0 RP)
Base Speed: Slow Speed (–1 RP) Sleestak have a base speed of 20 feet. Their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Languages: Xenophobic (0 RP) Sleestak start knowing their racial language only.
Defense Racial Traits
Natural Armor: Sleestak have tough scaly skin, granting them a +3 natural armor bonus. (4 RP)
Feat and Skill Traits
Underground Sneak Sleestak gain a +2 racial bonus on Craft (alchemy), Perception, and Stealth checks. The bonus on Stealth checks increases to a +4 bonus while underground. (5 RP)
Offense Racial Traits
Natural Attacks: Claws 2 Sleestak receive two claw attacks, dealing 1d4 damage each. These are primary natural attacks. (2 RP)
Senses Racial Traits
Darkvision Sleestak have darkvision 60 feet. (2 RP)
Light Blindness Abrupt exposure to bright light blinds members of this race for 1 round; on subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area. (–2 RP)
Altrusian Altrusians are the highly advanced ancestors of the degenerate Sleestak from a thousand years in the past. They are the ones who built the Lost City. The following racial traits replace Undergoind Sneak and Paragon Abilities.
Type: loses Sleestak subtype and gains Altrusian and psionic subtypes)
Advanced (4 RP) Altrusians gain a +2 bonus to Str, +2 bonus to Dex, +2 bonus to Con; +4 bonus to Int, and a –2 penalty to Chr.
Naturally Psionic (1 RP): Altrusians gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If an Altrusians takes levels in a psionic class, she instead gains the Psionic Talent feat. (2 RP)
Master Tinker (2 RP) Altrusians gain a +1 bonus on Disable Device and Knowledge (engineering) checks. They are also treated as proficient with any weapon they have personally crafted.
Throwback Throwbacks are Sleestak born with the intelligence and some of the knowledge of the Altrusians. They are rare and are often sacrificed to the Sleestak god when discovered. The following racial traits replace Undergoind Sneak and Paragon Abilities
Type: gains the throwback subtype.
Paragon (-2 Str, -2Dex, -2 Con, +4 int) (1 RP)
Shards of the Past (4 RP)Throwbacks are born with some of the knowledge of the Altrusians at the height of their power. Each member of this race picks two Knowledge skills. The member of this race gains a +2 racial bonus on both of these skills, and those skills are treated as class skills regardless of what class the member of this race actually takes.
Master Tinker (2 RP) Throwbacks gain a +1 bonus on Disable Device and Knowledge (engineering) checks. They are also treated as proficient with any weapon they have personally crafted.
Part One: Land of the Lost Planar TraitsRead More
A few weeks ago an old gaming buddy of mine died after protracted terminal illness. Jason Deas was incredibly smart and subversively funny guy who had a love of all things nerdy. This is the first of a series of conversions I’m doing as a memorial to him. Since we both had a love of Land of the Lost, both for the horrible stop motion dinosaurs and for the amazingly sophisticated themes, I will be presenting my Pathfinder version of the Land. This one’s for you. And yes, you can use your Gilbert Godfried voice when playing your sleestak…
Part I: Land of the Lost – A Demiplane
The Land of the Lost is a very small, closed pocket universe that consists of a valley surrounded by mountains. A traveler attempting to pass over the mountains will find himself reentering the valley from the other side.There is one major river flowing through the Land, forming a similarly closed loop; it flows into a cave at one end of the valley and comes back out again in a waterfall at the other end.
The climate of the Land is tropical, and the valley is filled almost entirely with dense jungle. Other major landmarks include a tar pit, a misty swamp filled with dead trees that appears to be locked in darkness even during the day, some high bluffs containing natural caves, and a narrow canyon or chasm that extends into the mountains. The Land lacks a nickel-iron core (or at least a magnetic field), rendering compasses useless.
The Land appears to have three moons. The smallest is also the fastest, moving visibly through the sky. Considering the unusual cosmography of the universe in which the Land is located, however, it is possible that the “moons” are artificial or otherwise illusory.
Manipulation of a Pylon’s crystal matrix table caused the motion of the sun and moons to halt, suggesting that the entire sky may be an illusion. Conjunctions of the moons appear to trigger the activities of some Pylons, including the elevator Pylon and the possession Pylon.
The 2009 movie incarnation of the Land resembles that of the original series, but is actually a dimension where timelines converge. Outside an area of dense jungle is a vast desert where various things, ranging from ice cream trucks and limousines to ferris wheels and oil rigs, crash-land upon arrival and attract the attention of hungry dinosaurs within minutes.
Next up: The Sleestak!
No challenge is intended to the owners of the Land of the Lost copyright. This is a fan tribute created out of love for the original and for a friend.Read More
Outsider (lawful, half-construct) (10 RP)
A native outsider is at least partially composed of the essence (but not necessarily the matter) of some plane other than the Material Plane. A half-construct race is a group of creatures that are artificially enhanced or have parts replaced by constructed mechanisms, be they magical or mechanical.
Modrons have the following features:
Medium (0 RP)
Medium races have no bonuses or penalties due to their size. A Medium creature has a space of 5 feet by 5 feet and a reach of 5 feet.
Slow Speed (–1 RP)
The race has a base speed of 20 feet, its members’ speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Mixed Weakness (–2 RP)
Modifiers: Members of this race gain a +2 bonus to Con and a –2 penalty to Dex. They also gain a +2 bonus to Int and a –4 penalty to Cha.
Xenophobic (0 RP)
Members of this race start with their racial language only. Members of this race with high Intelligence scores can choose from Common, Infernal, Celestial and Abyssal.
Energy Resistance (3 RP)
Benefit: acid, cold, and fire resistance 5
Natural Armor, Improved Natural Armor (3 RP)
Benefit: Members of this race gain a +2 natural armor bonus to their Armor Class.
Master Tinker (2 RP)
Benefit: Members of this race gain a +1 bonus on Disable Device and Knowledge (engineering) checks. Members of this race are also treated as proficient with any weapon they have personally crafted.
Vestigial Wings (2 RP)
Benefit: Members of this race have wings that do not provide the lift required for actual flight, but do have enough power to aid flight attained by some other method, and grant a +4 racial bonus on Fly checks.
One of the oddest creatures a planewalker’s likely to ever run into on the planes, the modrons are the workers and caretakers of the plane of Mechanus. They represent the strictest form of law and order, and view the multiverse in an alien manner compared to most other races. Stability, structure, order: these are the modron principles, dictating everything about how they act, think, and function. But even in the perfection of Mechanus things go wrong every now and then. Once in a while a modron loses his place in the hierarchy of the modrons, turns from the order it has always known, and goes rogue.
No one is quite sure what causes a modron to go rogue, though it represents one of the greatest blasphemies in the eyes of the higher-ups in the modron hierarchy. Some say it occurs when a modron receives conflicting orders from its superiors, or when a modron realizes something is truly wrong with the order around it. Others believe the modron advances beyond its immediate peers, and thus becomes different from other modron of similar rank. There are even rumors that Primus, the near power-like leader of the modrons, purposefully infects some modrons with chaos in order to better understand that force. Though this is probably baseless, the truth remains unknown. While many of these rogues are hunted down by other modrons as threats to the modron order, a select few are allowed to leave modron society peacefully. Truly epitomizing lawfulness, modrons have developed a bureaucratic process even for this. Those approved are cast out from the modron hierarchy and are forever considered non- modron.
Personality: Planewalkers often assert that modrons are incapable of emotion, and this isn’t far from the truth. Modron outcasts, however, have much more freedom to develop their own personality than their siblings have, and thus are able to learn about the feelings that other creatures take for granted. Being somewhat naive in the ways of planar matters, modron outcasts tend to be extremely inquisitive, questioning the cause behind the simplest events, and pushing the most patient individual to their breaking point. Over time, the modron may unknowingly mimic emotions, particularly frustration as it experiences difficulty understanding the rationale of other races, but this marvelous discovery merely opens fascinating new avenues for the modron to explore.
Modrons do not recognize the concepts of “chance” or “luck”. Though the multiverse is alarmingly chaotic in the eyes of a modron, they believe that there is an order behind it all. Everything follows laws and regulations, even though they may not be obvious at first. The modron outcast need only learn these laws to find its place in the multiverse. While likely a life-long task, modrons have plenty of time, and they have a focus that no other creature can match.
Physical Description: All modrons are made of a fusion between metal and organic parts working together in perfect unison. While a modron’s shape is normally determined by its rank, shortly after leaving Mechanus the modron outcast loses its rank, including any abilities determined by it, and adopts a form similar to a quadrone. In this new form rogue modrons stand exactly 6 feet tall with a cube-like body, with each side 3 feet across. They have two thin 3-foot legs and two 3-foot arms, as well as a pair of small non-operational wings on their back, and a vaguely humanoid face on their front side. They can draw nourishment from nearly anything, and they sleep and breathe like normal creatures, though undoubtedly the exact process is different internally. All modrons are genderless and ageless, and every modron outcast looks exactly alike, making it confusing to tell them apart at times. Thankfully, there are very few modron outcasts traveling the multiverse.
Relations: Modron outcasts have a neutral, analytical approach to everyone they meet. They come from an alien society and world, and find the different outlooks held by other races both strange and fascinating. Their spark of self-awareness gives them a vague understanding of concepts such as greed, happiness, and self-preservation, but the ideas are still foreign to their way of thinking. They are neither submissive nor arrogant in their dealings, simply curious and straightforward. Over time the modron outcasts typically adapt to fit in their new environment. While most planewalkers cannot tell the difference between a modron and an outcast, all true modrons recognize the outcast as no longer part of the modron hierarchy and treat them as such.
Alignment: Modrons have no sense of mercy or compassion, but they are neither cruel nor vengeful. Their decisions are based on pure logic, not morality, and the modron outcast will normally do what seems most reasonable at the time. As it begins to understand matters of good and evil, the outcast’s alignment may shift as a result of its exploration of these new concepts. Though no longer part of the strict hierarchy of Mechanus, modron outcasts remain beings of pure law. They can never accept that there is not an order to everything, and will go to great lengths to impose their own law on the multiverse or rationalize explanations for apparent chaos.
Modron Outcast Lands: All modrons are originally born on Mechanus from the central energy pool in Regulus. After leaving the modron hierarchy, outcasts slowly lose any memory they had of their home or former life. Thus they know nothing of their previous rank or where they come from. Each must find its own purpose and place, for they are far too few to form their own society.
Belief: All modron outcasts have the universal belief that there is an order to everything. This defines their entire existence, and no one has ever been able to convince them otherwise (though many a Chaosman has tried). Most beliefs a modron outcast develops after leaving Mechanus arise from their quest to discover the laws governing the multiverse, or are adopted from their companions. They do not quite understand the role of deities or the devotion given to them, but a few pay lip service as a way of adapting to new cultures.
Language: Modron outcasts retain knowledge of Planar Trade and the Modron tongue after being exiled from Mechanus, but must pick up any additional languages on their own.
Names: Modron outcasts are normally named by those they meet upon first leaving Mechanus. The idea of names, like most concepts, is foreign to the modrons and requires some time for them to accept. These names can be nearly anything, though some outcasts take on a unit designation that they believe suits their position now or reflects their former life (normally arbitrarily).
Adventuring: Modron outcasts adventure as a way to learn about the multiverse and its inhabitants. To them everything is new and mysterious, and adventuring presents the most opportunity to obtain additional information. Modron outcasts never join any groups that do not have a clear hierarchy, even adventuring parties. They must have a firm idea of their function in the group, including who stands above and below them in authority. Though modrons are rarely innately brave or heroic, like everything else they may exhibit similar traits by modeling their actions after those of their companions.
Roleplaying a Modron Outcast: Cast away from the order of Mechanus, you now find yourself enveloped in new thoughts, sensations, and experiences. There is so much information that the multiverse can seem chaotic, but you can sense the order behind it all, even if you cannot see it. You hear its clockwork movement, the ticking and grinding of wheels as the multiverse moves. Chaos is an illusion; luck does not exist; there is a reason and purpose for everything. Every detail is important, each piece of information another part of this mysterious machine. Ask questions about everything; observe what happens and why; take every opportunity to learn more from those around you. They provide various insights into the nature of the multiverse, and unknowingly into the laws governing it.
descriptive text taken from the Planescape Campaign Setting developed by Planewalker.comRead More
Pure Strain Human | PL 6 (Gamma World, Arcologies)
Type Humanoid (human, augmented) 0 RP
Size Medium 0 RP
Base Speed Normal 0 RP
Ability Score Modifiers Human 0 RP
Languages Linguist 1 RP
Energy Resistance Radiation 5 ( 1RP)
Plague born (1RP) Members of this race gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease, ingested poisons, and becoming nauseated or sickened.
Skill Bonuses (4 RP) Members of this race gain a +2 racial bonus on Computer Use checks and Repair checks.
Skill Training (1 RP) Computer Use and Repair are always considered class skills for members of this race.
Helix Integrity (1 RP) Not subject to mutation due to biogenetic chemicals or radiation, takes radiation damage instead.
DNA Fingerprinting (2 RP) Many PL 6 and higher devices will only work for pure strain humans, and are equipped with DNA-locks that determine the user’s race before allowing the device to function. The detectors study a variety of factors, including a deep genetics scan. It takes a use computer use roll with a DC 50 to remove, failure permanently disables the weapon (also, a working PL 6 or higher device with its locks taken off is worth x20 the list price).
Sec 15 Credit: adapted by George “Loki” WilliamsRead More
Traits add an extra layer of customization to Pathfinder PCs, one that I am particularly fond of because of the way they can support choices in background. Here are some Planescape regional traits as developed on the Planewalker Forums (original thread) that I use in my home campaigns.
Regional Traits List
Cager – Sigil
You have spent most of your life inside the City of Doors and its strange ways and urban lifestyle seem natural to you. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (Planes) and Knowledge (Local: Sigil) checks, and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you.
Canter – Sigil, Gatetowns
Sigil is a city of many voices and more tongues. Growing up there your ears are accustomed to untangling the cacophony. You gain a +2 trait bonus on linguistics and linguistics is always a class skill for you. Furthermore, you are able to understand the local cant of Sigil without problem and get a further +2 trait bonus to linguistics to understand such things as scramble speak or dabus’ rebuses.
Expatriate – Prime
Planars always wonder why gods spend so much time worrying about the Prime when the Planes are so much more obviously important. You’re from the Prime, though, and you know that the masses on the Prime are where the action is. Some of that radiates when you’re dealing with the servants of deities. You get +1 to Diplomacy and Bluff checks made against celestials or fiends. [contributed by Jem]
Gray Soul – Gray Waste, Hopeless
You spent too long on the Waste and some forgotten part of your hopes and dreams died away. It’s hard to play on those themes with you. Any attempt to fascinate you, be it by spell or bardic music or other ability, has a -2 to the DC. [contributed by Jem]
Blood Contract – Gehenna, Gray Waste, Baator, Acheron, & associated gate towns.
You grew accustomed to the ways of devils and loths; perhaps you have a little arcanaloth blood in your veins. Once per day you may sign a contract with your own blood to put all willing signatories (except you) under the effects of a Lesser Geas with a caster level equal to your hit dice and terms as written in the contract. The affected creatures must willingly sign the contract and you need not be a party to the contract other than as a signing witness.
Undue Persecution – Acheron, Baator, Gehenna, & associated gate towns.
Growing up on the plane of tyrannical order has sharpened your wits to a knife’s edge. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Diplomacy and Profession (Lawyer) checks and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you. This bonus increases to +2 if being used to help someone (including yourself) get away with or frame someone for a crime.
Perfected Processing – Mechanus, Automata
Though many subcycles you have developed a fine knowledge of how to properly work within the letter and spirit of the Law. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Diplomacy and Profession (Lawyer) checks and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you. This bonus increases to +2 if being used to get through bureaucratic paperwork and customs.
Pattern Recognition – Mechanus, Automata
Some might think that having lived for so long on a plane where illusions are impossible would make you a sucker for them, but as it turns out some of the plane’s own resistance has rubbed off on you. You get a +1 trait bonus on saves to resist illusions, since something tends to seem off about the patterns they impose on the world. [contributed by Jem]
Plays Well With Others – Arcadia
Time on the plane of community has helped you learn to work smoothly with allies. When you are using the aid another action, your friend gains a +3 bonus rather than +2. [contributed by Jem]
Due Process – Mount Celestia
You have been raised to uphold the law for the greater good and know how to apply it in service of justice. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Diplomacy and Profession (Lawyer) checks and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you. This bonus increases to +2 if being used to defend an innocent or bring the guilty to justice.
Inured To Chaos – Xaos, Bedlam, Limbo, Ysgard, Pandemonium, Abyss , & associated gate towns.
You’ve lived a long time in a place where sudden random upheavals are part of the background noise. When you’re flat-footed, you gain a trait bonus equal to 1/2 dexterity bonus to AC.
Blood of Fire – Fire Elemental Plane, & Related Quasi-Elemental Planes
Born and bred with the ever raging inferno of the elemental plane of fire. You are able to cast Produce Flame 1/day with your HD as the caster level.
Body of Stone – Earth Elemental Plane, & Related Quasi-Elemental Planes
You descend from the great and infinite seams and layers of stone and earth with the power of Elemental Earth in your blood and bone. You gain a +1 trait bonus to DR.
Dive training — Water, Ooze, Sand, Salt, Dust, any primarily submarine planar layer
You are an air-breather who has practiced and trained in working underwater for long periods. With 2 rounds of preparation, you can hold hold your breath longer: 3 rounds per point of Constitution before beginning to make Constitution checks, which start at DC 5 rather than 10.
Benthic Adaptation — Prime and planar oceans (not Water or Ooze)
You are inured to the deep. You never suffer from environmental high pressures (usually deep water) and need not make Fortitude saves to avoid pressure damage. You never take nonlethal damage from, or get hypothermia from, cold water; this does not apply to atmospheric cold, or ice.
Lightvision — Radiance, Lightning, Fire, Positive
Your eyes are long since adapted to brilliant light displays. You are never dazzled. Against effects that may cause blinding from bright light (GM’s judgment, but obviously including spells such as glitterdust, sunbeam, color spray, radiant burst, etc., but not blindness or power word blind), save separately for that effect and add 1/2 your HD to your roll.