Monday, June 5, 2017

Borchardbriar: Sorcerery, Spellcasting, and other Strangeness

Arcane Background (Magic)
Arcane Skill: Spellcasting (Smarts)

If you listen to a magician they'll tell you everything has a place and a time, a Great Work woven by the mysterious Spinners. Magic is simply tugging the yarns of Mystery. This oversimple explanation downp[lays the dangers of Magic. There are limits to how much a cautious magician can accomplish without putting herself at risk. Luckily others have stretched the ties that bind, they just happen to be jealous of their knowledge. Their paranoia is rather justified.
There are rumors that a cabal, The Cradle, is snuffing out magicians and hiding their grimoires.
Starting Powers: 3
Available Powers: armor, banish, blind, boost/lower trait, clairvoyance, deflection, detect/conceal arcana, dispel, puppet, slow, slumber, teleport, wall walker
Backlash:  The Spinners hate it when someone meddles in their Great Work. When the magician's Spellcasting die rolls a 1, the caster suffers 2d6 damage

Arcane Background (Miracles)
Arcane Skill: Channel (Spirit)
The Lost History chronicles great wars between numerous Patrons and their followers among the Folk tearing apart the Land.  But that time lays beyond anybeast's living memory and now there are only two Patrons: the Fox King Reynard and the Forgotten 3. The miracleworker is a conduit for the Patron's power often directly infusing their Patron's properties upon their bodies.
Miracleworking Folk for Far Away places like the Burning Lands and Manykings bring foreign Patrons with them.
Starting Powers: 2
Available Powers: armor, barrier, boost trait, darksight, deflection, environmental protection, healing, quickness, speak language, and more depending on the Patron.
Trappings: The performer requires a totem representing their Patron to connect with their power. Without it, they suffer a -2 to their Channel rolls. If lost or destroyed, a new one can be created in 1d6 hours and costs a level of Fatigue. It will take 24 hours to recover.
Backlash: Patrons are greedy. When the miracleworker's Channel die rolls a 1, they lose a Fatigue level. Fatigue lost this way cannot be recovered without making a sacrifice.
Reynard's Favors: blast, confusion, lower trait, shape change, speed
Forgotten 3's Favors: beast friend, burrow, intangibility, succor

Reminder: Borchardbriar uses the "No Power Points" rules variant found in Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

3 Furred Folk and Turtles

One of the most populous Furred Folk, Cats are found everywhere. Sizable populations are found in every holdfast in Between as well. Superstitious folk claim Cats are naturally gifted in witchcraft and other Secrets. The aloof Softpaws never provide a straight answer, things just go their way.

Cat's Eye - Low Light Vision
Uncanny - Fate just breaks their way, start with the Lucky Edge or a d8 in the Spellcasting if you have the Arcane Background (Magic)
Racial Enemy (Prey)  Being obligate carnivores, Cats suffer a -4 Charisma when dealing with prey Folk.

From Down South and Far Away in the Burning Lands, the Antseers sense a malady in the North. Young Pangolin warriors head to Clowdertown, seeking their parts in the Great Story.

Prehensile Tail - A Pangolin's tail can hold most melee weapons, granting an additional non-movement action per round without multi-action penalty. Also +1 Parry.
Unusual Shape- The Pangolin's strange shape makes it difficult to find armor that fits. Purchases and repairs cost double.
Outsider - Clowdertown is as far North as Pangolins go. They have a -2 Charisma dealing with Folk from elsewhere.

Without a home of their own, the Raccoons thrive in the cracks of society. Forging close bonds of business and friendship, Raccons are less clannish than other Folk. The Masked Syndicate is keen to franchise to anyone willing to pay the fee.

The Right People - Masks make friends easily and start with the Connections Edge.
Clever Hands - Games of chance are the official sport of Racoon.  They start with a d6 in Gambling.
The Usual Suspect - Raccoons always get rousted as criminals, even when they're innocent. It's the mask. -4 Charisma dealing with law enforcement.

All across the Land, you can find Hardbacks playing the Rivers on their raft. Their transient life has inured to them to the horrors of Reynard's eternal reign. Insisting that things will change, but remain the same.

Unflappable - Turtles keep on trucking, regardless of circumstances. They start with a d6 in Spirit instead of a d4.
Thick Shell - Their thick shell provides Armor +2, this can be penetrated.
Slow - It's common knowledge Turtles are slow. Their Pace is 5 + a d4 Running die.
Coldblood- They suffer a -2 to Resist extreme heat or cold.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Clowdertown: Places and Faces

Second largest holdfast in the Land, Clowdertown is a study in contrast. A semi-communal matriarchy of insistent individualists, the Cats question the tithe but don't avoid it either. They mediate it through the Lunar Lottery - held on the gibbous waning moon. Cats respect the role played by fickle chance, determining who stays and who goes.

Clowdertown is also notable for the dietary demands of its citizenry. Being obligate carnivores, Cats' demand for meat supports a thriving fish market and an illegal trade in captured birds - "Feathers" being the street name. Cats addicted to the kill are called feather dusters.

Places of Interest in Clowdertown

Abby of the Alley - A church of Thumb & Fist. The sisters here care for beasts unable to care for themselves, particularly cattle. Their cheese is prized throughout the Land.

Fleeting Fetches - A pawn shop located in the Litterbox slums. Calico Jack isn't too interested in the provenance of goods that come through the door.

Ms. Kitty's - In the public sphere Cats adhere to a code of aloofness and disdain, sticking closely to Thumb & Fist. Behind closed doors, they get to cut loose and vent steam.  No feralhouse caters so fully as Ms. Kitty's.

The Fishery - On the surface, the Fishery is a fish market and meatpakcing facility.  Behind the heavy doors of the curing vaults lies the inventory for the largest Feather trafficking ring in the territory.

Boiling Cauldron - This bathhouse is the place where business really gets done. Whether gangsters or eldermaus, this is where the real movers and shakers meet to make deals.

Horace's - A pie shop in the Colony neighborhood, no one makes a strawberry rhubarb like Horace's. The whole operation is ran by a mongoose named Simon. He reeks of corn liquor.

Beasts of Interest

Mother Superior Felice -  The Abbess of the Alley, the Mother Superior keeps a close eye on her congregation. She provides all the help she can for those poor beasts sliding toward the feral savagery of Tooth and Claw.

Calico Jones - The owner and operator of Fleeting Fetches, he has a paw in every pie. If you want to get into the Feather trade, Calico is the gatekeeper

Squeak - A ferret fixer, she connects those looking with.. needs. She harbors a crush on the master thief Mathilda. The money she owes is an excuse to flirt.

Graymalkin, the Warlock - A pallas cat, he was once the court sorcerer of Reynard.  Until he attracted the Foxlord's ire.  And found himself replaced by Mr. Mephistopheles.

Monsier Dan'Quael - A tremendously fat toad with a coat of shelf fungus. Dan'Quael operates the Boiling Cauldron and keeps his earhorn to the ground.

Shifty-Eyed Billy - Hailing from the Empire of Manykings in the distant East. This Tiger Gladiator is a long way from home, and too comfortable to leave.

Duchess - Flat faced and fluffy, the Duchess lays in the lap of luxury.  Ms. Kitty's does well enough that Duchess

Sapphire and the Hepcats - A touring jazz band, they work any stage that will take them.  Luckily for Sapphire - they's in high demand.  Her Feather habit takes up a lot of her time and budget.

Horace and Simon - Business partners, Horace is a copperhead, and the pie recipes are his. Venomous snakes are not allowed in the holdfasts so Simon is the face of that business. Horace usually minds their other business - moonshining.

Inspector Bosch -PC- Mathilda's sister. Bosch desires one thing: bring down the Rat King.

Mathilda -PC- An itty,bitty, kitty burglar, she's one of Papa Ringtail's top earners. Bosch's sister.

Papa Ringtail -PC- A fat raccoon kingpin. He may lie, cheat, and steal. But no one else is bold enough to make a run at the Lunar Lottery.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


 As long as anybeast can remember, the Foxlord Reynard has lived atop the Heart of the Woods in Borchardbriar, a tottering castle assembled from stone and bone. Lounging on the 4-Sided Throne he laughs at Death, that feeble reaper unable to take him. An unnatural autumn shrouds the Land in perpetual harvest and the crop rots but never ripens, The Furred Folk of the Four Corners pay his levy of youth and march their children into his castle when the Moon hides its face.  In his halls they draw painted stones from his cooking pot.
Some draw gold and join his army. Others draw red and join his larder.

Resistance to his tyranny grows in the West and South. They gather in secret and plot; gathering weapons, lost history, & arcane secrets. Killing Old Mad Craw is the goal, but what happens when the Throne sits empty?

The Four Corners
The Vault, the Western Corner- Down below the loam, the Rabbits' warrens grew together into the Vault. The largest holdfast in the Land, everyone who is anyone comes here. Resource management is an ongoing concern and resulted in a coup recently. The Public Safety Committee runs the show now. As long as their youth keep coming, Reynard doesn't care who's in charge. Many believe that without the tithe, the Vault will starve.

Whistler, the Northern Corner - Residents like to joke that if Autumn's entropy poisoned the North, you couldn't tell the difference. Only the toughest Folk brave the harsh tundra. Their bravado conceals fear that the world has left them behind, a weakness the Prophet has exploited.  A wanderer returned to her hometown, she's revived a return to the faith of Tooth & Claw. The nihilistic faith that predates Thumb & Fist, when all Folk were born to their place and hope was a luxury. With starvation a constant threat, some among the Alpha Council wonder if they should be taking the tithe. Rather than the Old Fox.
Clowdertown, the Southern Corner - Second largest holdfast in the Land, Clowdertown is a study in contrast. A semi-communal matriarchy of insistent individualists, the Cats question the tithe but don't avoid it either.  The Resistance started here and it's control of the local government is an open secret. Which may explain Reynard's escalating demands for kittens. 

Stonebones, the Eastern Corner- Known for its extensive mines and foundries, the Ironlords' stranglehold on the indentured Rodens mirrors Reynard's grip on the Land. Promised good and shelter the Rodens risk their lives amongst the leaning buildings, crafting tools of exceptional beauty for their Lord's credit. Outnumbering their masters, the Rodens bear the brunt of Reynard's tithe. The Resistance sought recruits among them, but the rewards for collusion in their own oppression have been too tempting.

Setting Rules

Born Heroes, Blood and Guts, Extra Effort, No Power Points, Sanity

Friday, March 17, 2017

The New Flesh Part 1

When the first Triskelion fell to Europan guns, the Lodge swooped in and exercised their carrion rights. Upon autopsy there isn't mush to Martian physiology beyond a highly developed central nervous system. With a limited range of tissues to use, most Martians yield a limited crop for ripping and many are incompatible with human physiology.

Atavistic Avenger (-2) Unique
The most common Triskelion pilots belong to the warrior caste, dubbed Myrmidons by the Lodge.  Invasive surgery and aggressive breeding programs suppresses higher thought and privileges autonomic function.  What maybe considered a direct hit to the control nest may not eliminate a Triskelion piloted by one of these buggers.  A flurry of claw attacks often heralds the war machine's collapse and a particularly reckless ripper can get those bits grafted onto their brain.
Location: Brain
Donor: Martian Myrmidon
When the Ripper is knocked unconscious they make a Fighting check against every target on hand with a d8 Wild Die.  This includes allies.

Crystalline Pineal (-3) Unique
Martian Masterminds are rarely seen in the theater of war as they prefer to watch from afar. But some operations are too delicate to entrust to Myrmidons, so they wade into combat themselves. However a Triskelion armed with an Ego Extractor and Heavy Armor gives away the pilot's caste.  Often displaying a wide range of psychic powers, only some parts of the Mastermind's brain is compatible with a human's.
Location: Brain
Donor: Martian Mastermind
The ripper may use the telekinesis power against a target in line of sight. The ripper rolls her Spirit die opposed by the target.  She may suffer a fatigue level to increase her Spirit die on a 1 for 1 basis.  The power drops if the line of sight is broken.  The fatigue penalties do not apply until the power drops, though the ripper is at risk of falling unconscious.

Synaptic Relay (-1)
Four-armed giants have recently been spotted roaming the hinterlands of north Africa and the Middle East. Armed with glowing rifles and large scimitars, they can be extremely dangerous in the natural environment. Autopsies revealed their arms are managed through dense clusters of nerves along their spine allowing an inhuman degree of coordination among its limbs.
Location: Spine
Donor: Tharks
The ripper reduces the multi-action penalty by 1, as long as they're only using their arms.

Analytics Engine (-2) 
The Serpent employs a wide range of minions, but Talos are the only monsters sought out be the Lodge.  Bronze Age automatons, their inner workings beyond what the Grand Alliance and the Lodge are able to produce.  Every piece of their body is put to use, the braincases are used in computation, while the more concrete parts are either implanted in rippers or outfitted with supports and straps as prosthetics for Alliance soldiery.   There's a growing concern that the Talos' inorganic origin signals a limited population to harvest.  The analytics engine is a Talos eye, often the left one, which computes and predicts outcomes of visual data.  It can't process abstract input, only concrete variables in the vicinity.
Location: Eye
Donor: Talos
With the analytics engine, the ripper can now calculate and predict future enemy actions.  After making a Smarts roll at a -4 the ripper can declare the future actions of an enemy in line of sight.  The action must make sense for them to perform at the GM's discretion. With a raise the ripper can still act.  With an analytics engine in each eye they can declare the actions of two enemies.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Martian Footfalls

The mainstay of the Martian excursion is the Triskelion.  A mobile artillery piece on 3 telescoping legs strides through the ocean and across all terrain, held off by the great walls and guns of Fortress Europa. Its versaitility allows it to take on a range of missions - search & destroy, harvesting, field testing, take & hold, etc.

The Grand Alliance holds onto the hope that there's a finite number of the machines.  A hope that may be in vain as Martian offensives slowly ramp up, with varying numbers and load outs.  No two Triskelions are equipped the same, some carry chemical  payloads, some fly, and others seek out Earthling experts to harvest their psyches.

Martian Triskelion
Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d8, Shooting d10
Pace: 11 Parry 6 Toughness 12 (Armor 6)
Special Abilities:
Armor - Armor 6
Susceptible to Magic - Suffers -2 to Armor and rolls opposing Magic.
HUGE -Size + some number. It has telescoping
Fearless - Immune to Intimidation, and being Shaken twice does not cause a wound.

Heat Ray - 2d6,AP 2, Heavy, deals +1d6 vs organic targets.
Claws - Strength +d8, AP 3

Modules -each Triskelion is equipped with 1-3 modules, outfitting them with special abilities.

Advanced Sensor Suite - no penalties for darkness, can detect footfalls.
Ego Extractor - This is used to harvest the brightest minds on Earth and force them to do Martian work.  The Triskelion must grapple its foe.  The victim must make an opposed Spirit roll or become brain dead as their psyche is stored in a special container.
Fertilizer - As a free action the Triskelion can unleash a cloud of nano machines that breaks down organic matter and spreads the Red.  This fills a large template.  Any Shaken Marstouched within the template automatically recover and act on their Action Card.  Anyone else must make a Vigor roll at -2 or suffer a wound.  A Red patch is left behind.
Heavy Armour - Armor 10, Heavy. Pace becomes 8 and Pace die becomes d4.
Jet Engines - Requires Levitator.  Flight becomes 13 and gains Pilot d8.
Levitator - The Triskelion gains Flight 5
Mutation Agent - A pressurized hose sprays a bright blue fluid that fills a flamethrower template.  Anyone hit by it needs to make a Vigor roll or gain the Marstouched quality.
Psychic Scream- Gain Intimidate at d10 and able to affect anyone within 6".
Self Repairing - Make a natural healing roll at the end of every round.
Slag Cannon - A vertically fed cannon that fires super-heated scrap metal.  Damage 2d10 , AP 4, Heavy,  has to reload after 2 shots.
Terrible Claws- Claw damage is Strength +d10, AP 5, and Heavy.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Red London Bestiary: The 3 Sovereigns

While the Martian menace poses the greatest external threat, the internal threat posed by the Crimson Court may be far more dangerous. Ensconced in different geographies, the constriction of travel has allowed an uneasy truce to form between them. Once at each others' throats, the alien invasion has opened doors within European society and made strange bedfellows out of the three Sovereigns. They each work to solidify their individual hold and topple the Grand Alliance, hoping to make a truce with the Martians, and pursue their individual goals.

La Reyna - Spain - In her mountain fastness high in the Spanish peaks, la Reyna cultivates gardens of the Red testing and nurturing mutations.  The discovery that the Red is fertilized by human blood spurred her further discovery that vampires can feed on the Red itself. Already immune to its gaseous pollution, spreading new, virulent strains is in their best intrest.  It doesn't hurt that she's formed a fairly extensive cadre of followers, mortal and immortal.

Attributes- Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strength d12+2, Vigor d10
Skills-  Shooting d8, Fighting d10, Persuasion d12, Notice d10, Stealth d8, Taunt d10
Pace 6, Parry 7, Toughness 8
Charisma +4
Special Abilities

Undead - +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; Immune to poison and disease; no wound penalties 
Bite - Strength 
Claw - Strength +d4
Dream Killer - Once per night, La Reyna can attack any character she can see in their dreams for 2 turns.  Soak derives from Spirit.
Fanatics - When la Reyna is hit by an attack, any of her goons jumps in front of the attack and suffers damage instead.
Levelheaded - La Reyna acts on the best of two cards.
Mist  - She can become mist if she passes a Smarts roll at -2.
Seduction - Male characters wishing to attack her do so at a -2.
Sire - Anyone slain (by bite) or bitten by la Reyna has a 50% chance of becoming a vampire in 1d4 nights.  Weakness (Sunlight) - She catches fire if she's in the sun.  After that she takes 2d10 damage per round
Weakness (Holy Symbols) - A character can repel La Reyna with a brandished holy symbol.  If she wants to attack them directly she has to beat them in an opposed Spirit roll.
Weakness (Stake Through the Heart) - If la Reyna is hit with a called shot to the heart (-6), she takes damage normally.  If she fails the Vigor test then she disintegrates.

The Dragon - Eastern Europe - With Britain lost and the Great Walls going up to create Fortress Europe, mass deforestation has increased the incidence of wild animal attackson civilized fringes.  No one's really sure when the creature known as the Dragon first emerged, but even its most human form sports a mane of lupine jaws.  The dimmest of the three Sovereigns, its hivemind cunning makes up for a lack of study.

Attributes- Agility d10, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d12+4, Vigor d12
Skills-  Climbing d8, Fighting d12, Intimidation d12, Notice d12+2, Stealth d8, Tracking d10, Swimming d8
Pace 10, Parry 8, Toughness 8
Special Abilities

Undead - +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; Immune to poison and disease; no wound penalties 
Arcane Resistance - +2 Armor vs magic; +2 to resist magic
Change Form (Wolfking) - The Dragon can take an action and break into a pack of Dire Wolves joined at the tail.  The pack is 4 + Wounds remaining.
Claws - Strength+d6
Fast - The Dragon discards any card lower than 4, drawing a new one.
Fear -2 - When confronted by the Dragon, characters need to make a Spirit roll at -2 or deal with Fright
Improved Frenzy - The Dragon makes two attacks each turn without penalty.
Pounce - The Dragon can leap its Pace to gain +4 to hit and damage.
Weakness (Bells) - The ringing of churchbells is painful to the Dragon, he must make a Spirit roll each turn or suffer a -2 penalty.
Invulnerability - The Dragon can only be wounded by silver weapons. Anything else just Shakes the beast.
Silver Vulnerability - Silver weapons cause normal damage

The Serpent - Egypt - A cobra close to the heart of the British Caliphate, the blasphemous pharoah awoke from the dead when an unscrupulous archaeologist broke into his tomb.  Since then he has taken to building a network of assets reaching to the highest echelons of British government.  Through alchemical drugs, forbidden knowledge, wiles of the flesh, grave goods, and unyielding labor; the Serpent has found a way to woo every pawn into his pocket.  Where la Reyna has sycophants and the Dragon simple beasts, the Serpent cultivates elite talent and turns them against one another for his own amusement.

Attributes- Agility d4, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strength d12, Vigor d12
Skills-  Persuasion d10, Fighting d10, Intimidation d10, Notice d10, Spellcasting d12
Pace 6, Parry 8, Toughness 10, Charisma +2 
Special Abilities
Undead - +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; Immune to poison and disease; no wound penalties
Death Touch - Every raise on an unarmed Fighting roll automatically inflicts one wound.
Arcane Background (Magic) - Slumber (mesmerizing tone), Barrier (wall of darkness), Summon Ally (Sentinel of stone), Bolt (torrent of asps), Obscure (swallowing light), Defelction (armor forms from scarabs), and Zombie (ritually prepared corpses).  The Serpent has 40 Power Points.
Invulnerable - Can only be truly killed by the blades of his Royal Guard, Otherwise he reforms in his sarcophagus hidden in the Valley of Kings.

Weakness (Fire) The Serpent's body is full of chemicals to maintain its semblance of life.  Some are incredibly flammable, causing him to suffer +4 damage from fire.