The Planar Surveyors of the Spire Rail Company

 

I like the idea of the surveyors being Godbound characters. They have fun tools for outside-the-box problem solving.

I might swap out Artifice for Engineering from the Lexicon.


The Necropolis Architect

Artifice, Liche, Cities

A hired liche who was brought in not only for his ability to build but also to represent the dead and undead stakeholders.


The Rail-God

Earth, Alacrity, Journeying

A young deity tailor-made for this rail line. One day they will look over travelers and goods going over these rails but for now they oversee the path they take.


The Gunslinger

Bow (Gun), Alacrity, Murder

A hired demi-god of the gun, brought in to see to the safety of the survey team.

NOTE: I went with Murder from Lexicon of the Throne rather than Protection because it felt grittier.


Spawn of Tiamat and Bahamut

Dragon, Fire, Sorcery

Dragon investors wanted to make sure their hoards were well spent, so they sent this child of dragon deities to watch over the endeavor.


Dwarven Maker

Artificer, Earth, Endurance

The Dwarven Princes would like to profit from their goods sent all over the planes, and so they pledged their Maker-Deity


I’ve got a method for creating imbalances in the Outlands but I feel like this will need more.

I might do 1d4-1 cities in each map. I’ve got a way to create a fast relationship map among those cities.


History happened on this map, roll 1d6 and a 1d8

1 – Battle of Armies

  1. Devils vs. Demons
  2. Tiefling Empire vs. Dragonborn Federation
  3. Elves vs. Dwarves
  4. Elves and/or Dwarves vs. Orcs
  5. Dragons vs. Giants
  6. Wizards vs. Warlocks
  7. Githyanki vs. Githzarai,
  8. Primordials vs. First Gods

2 – Birth

  1. Deity
  2. Elemental Lord
  3. Beast Lord
  4. Mortal Hero
  5. Beast (your favorite monster)
  6. Idea
  7. Artifact
  8. Player character

3 – Death

  1. Devil
  2. Elemental Lord
  3. Beast Lord
  4. Mortal Hero
  5. Holy Martyr
  6. Deity
  7. Angel
  8. Someone a player-character killed.

4 – Sign of Collapse

  1. Illithid Empire
  2. The Ancient Giants
  3. Primordials
  4. Dragonlords
  5. Liche Undead Empire
  6. Hobgoblin Empire
  7. Dinosaur Pantheon
  8. Fey folk from long ago

5 – Mythic Clash

  1. Gith vs. Illithid
  2. Corellon vs. Gruumsh
  3. Bahamut vs. Tiamat
  4. Correllon vs. Lloth
  5. Raven Queen vs. Vecna
  6. Vecna vs. Kaz
  7. Sun vs. Sea
  8. Night vs. Day

6 – Odds and Ends

  1. Bottomless pit that leads to hell
  2. Howling gate into the Far Realms
  3. Sword the size of a skyscraper buried in a mountain
  4. Ghosts re-enacting an ancient, petty battle
  5. Wizard’s Tower, reputation as a god-killer
  6. Crashed Spelljammer capital ship
  7. Pilgrims, following a holy path
  8. Site where a player-character did something epic and it is remembered here.

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Review: Superman Volume 1. The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth

Bendis does a good job juggling the cosmic Silver Age vibe (THE ENTIRE EARTH IS TELEPORTED TO THE PHANTOM ZONE) and a down to earth family vibe (Clark talking to his son about responsibility and anger, his relationship with Batman, etc.). I liked Superman thinking about his code against killing when faced with a genocidal alien who claims to have destroyed Krypton and General Zod.

Superman vol 1

The art by Ivan Reis feels like a cross between Dan Jurgens and Bryan Hitch, which is to say it is pretty amazing.

It was a fun start. I’m intrigued to see the rest of the run. Well worth picking up at your local library or local comics shop.

Rock on, Tompkins County Library for having a splendid graphic novel selection.

Preparing for the Battle of Askira

The Battle of Askira

Used Wonderdraft to make a simple hex map for an upcoming battle in our Stars Without Number game. I’m thinking each hex is around a mile.

Sure the Samaihayan Orthodoxy Loyalists have numbers, automatic weapons and an anti-personnel mech but our scrappy freelancers have a railgun, 4 space marine assault suits and a dream (and more if the local sheriff lets them borrow her hover bike).

This week I’ll make a mech using the SWN’s rules. I’ll post up the post-battle map with arrows and stuff that we’ll draw as we go on Google Jamboard.

After the first session of Godbound

The Holy Party has returned. The Monsterists believe that they return because of the pull of the Tarrasque, that the monsters they battle offer as many lessons and as much wisdom as the heroes. The Messianics believe the Holy Party is here to save this broken world and return it to its former glory. Thronists believe it is the place, generating reincarnations of the heroes who came here before.

Chev the Wanderer used his deep understanding of Beasts and Earth to give his comrades a feast when they returned to the First Tavern. And so we give thanks and prayers to Chev the Wanderer when we feast friends who return from a long journey or sickness for the bounty at our table.

Niwin’s torch was lit from the sun itself and relit the Sun’s Daughter’s Dawnblade, returning her to grace. The Order of Niwin now light candles during the Throne Keep’s darkest hours so that folk can find their way. Praying at these lights can offer grace to the downtrodden.

Qnan put the Serpent of Truth on the Devil that was squatting in the Wizard’s Tower. Now farmers around Throne are tattooing snakes on oathbreakers to remind them not to break faith.

When villagers need aid all over the Thronelands, they often put up a rainbow streamer, in honor of Krogan the King-Thief’s illicitly procured magical airship, The Prismatic Spray.

Folk all over the Thronelands and beyond pay respects to Borrell the Wizard when they sign contracts. They shake hands once at dusk and then return a day later to sign the contract and go over the written word one more time.


Played Godbound this past weekend and just wanted to think a bit about what I did and what I would do moving forward.

While folks were finishing up their characters and ordering food, I jotted down a few random encounter tables:

2 – Baalzebul out hunting a unicorn

3 – Manticore

4 – Vampire

5 – Owlbear

6 – Bandits, the Merry Band

7 – Dwarven Mercenaries

8 – Throne Knights

9 – Elf Hunting Party

10 – Griffon pride

11 – Mind Flayer

12 – Githyanki Dragon-riders

 

But they one of the players had a skyship and so I wrote another one for the sky, thinking back, I could’ve just written sky alternates on the land table:

2 – Storm Giant Castle

3 – Elf Griffon-riders

4 – Feral Griffon pride

5 – Roc

6 – Roll twice, those things are fighting

7 – Pegasi herds

8 – Lightning Elementals

9 – Skyship Galleon (3/6 Pirate, 4/5 Merchant)

10 – Manticore

11 – Wyvern

12 – Githyanki Dragon-riders

 

looking at page 134-135 of Godbound, I went home and wrote up factions, things mentioned during the game that I’d bring in if we continued playing.

Heart

City-state ruled by Grazz’t and his demonic forces

Power 3 / d10

Problems:

  • Rival demon cities 3
  • Uppity Paladin Rebels 1
  • Demon War 1

Tomb

City-state necropolis ruled by Orcus and his demonic forces

Power 3  / Action Die d10

Problems:

  • Rival demon cities 3
  • Raven Queen Rebels 1
  • Demon War 1

Frost

City state on a mountain-top ruled by Kostchtchie and his demonic forces

Power 2  / Action Die d8

Problems:

  • Rival demon cities 3
  • Dwarven Rebels 1
  • Demon War 1

Torchbearers

Holy order of servants

Power 2  / Action Die d8

Problems:

  • Infiltrated by devil-worshippers 3

Githyanki Landing Team

Scouting Squadron from the Lich-Queen in the olde capital’s ruins

Power  2 / Action Die d8

Problems:

  • Githzarai Monks 2
  • Illithid 1

Beast Cults

Apocalyptic zealots who worship the Tarrasque, the Void Dragon and other world-ending beasts

Power 1 / Action Die d6

Problems:

  • Hunted by all decent folk in Throne 2

Bard’s Pass Lorekeepers

Old adventurous bards, librarians and storytellers who keep records of the Holy Party’s adventures

Power  1 / Action Die d6

Problems:

  • Throne has forgotten them 1

Holy Town of Hero’s Wake

The holy town where the Holy Party’s First Tavern still stands

Power 1  / Action Die d6

Problems:

  • Bandits 1
  • Throne has forgotten them 1

Elves of the Twilight Realms

Nigh-immortal faeries whose twilit realms straddle the uncreated night and the astral sea

Power  4 / Action Die d12

Problems:

  • Realm under siege by the Spider Queen 4
  • Divided internally between those who want to fight and those who want to fade into the Western Lands 1

Merry Band

Holy bandits who worship Chev the Wanderer

Power 1 / Action Die d6

Problems:

  • Hunted by knights 2

Wizard’s Holiest Scribes

Record keepers and archivists of Throne

Power 2 / Action Die d8

Problems:

  • Books lost during devil infiltration 1
  • Lost touch with populace during Wizard’s absence 1

The first game was fun. They wheeled and dealed with devils to turn the Tarrasque towards the demon city-states and found their lost paladin (the only pre-gen not chosen) on a castle on a dark spot on the sun.

Now I’d want to level everyone up and see where folks want to spend Dominion and Influence, see how they want to change the world, who they want to treat with and how the factions shift around in the meantime. I might even make the faction turn something I do in front of everyone, rather than lonely fun they hear about later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Godbound Adventure: The Holy Party

It is a tale as old as polyhedrals – a group of delvers goes into a series of monster-haunted pits, gathers riches and turn their ambitions and expertise to the real world.

You know where it goes from here. They take over, become heads of guilds and temples and kingdoms and eventually, why not, they break into heaven and become gods.

Only after the machinery of Heaven becomes damaged do they wake up to the desperate prayers from their shrines in the one-tavern-village where it all started because the Tarrasque has awoken and only this pantheon of demi-gods, The Barbarian God, the Ranger God, the Thief God, the Paladin God, the Wizard God and the Patron Saint of Torchbearers and Hirelings, can stop it.

A Godlike adventure.

Holy Party Character Sheets

The Holy Party Facts Words Powers

NOTE: The Facts on the character sheets are just vague ideas about the characters and not well written Facts. I have in the second PDF questions for the players to answer so that they will have useable Facts and will be able to add a touch of their own spice to the character. Thank you, Matt Weber.

EDIT: I’m going to update the characters based on playing the game last night. Updates will be up on the week of 6/8.

Need a map?

Sure, whipped this up on Wonderdraft:

Holy Party Map.png

Stats from whichever Monster Manual I have close at hand.

Random Table Rolls in Stars Without Number

Last night I knew the players were going to arrive at the Archive Planet. Once it was the home of the Preceptor Archive, the data sent from Olde Earth to this system to support humanity. Recently, this planet fell to Tech Level 2. It was a steam age level of tech. This was all made from rolling up the system years ago. I wrote up what those system tags meant in a google doc.

I went to page 246 in Stars Without Number Revised and rolled a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 and d20 as the players were getting online and I was chatting with my friend.

What is the conflict About? | Money, extortion, payment due, debts

General Venue of the Event | Next to or in a public park

Why are the PC’s involved? | Participant offers reward for help

What’s the Nature of the Event? | Fires or building collapses are happening

What Antagonists are involved? | A local bully and their thugs

Relevant Urban Features | Unrelated activists are protesting here

I had no idea what all of this meant. I had words written in my notebook:

IMG_20190603_112706

They landed on this moon, knowing what was written in the Sector Hades Zeta Guide:

The Archive City, The Hades Zeta Library, H.Z.L.

Atmo: Breathable

Temp: Warm

Biosphere: Miscible

Population: 10K

TL:  2

About: Eriphyle is a moon circling a gas giant named Polyxena, from which the system takes its name. Eriphyle shows clear signs of having been terra-formed and is covered in cryptic ruins, showing strong evidence that an alien species was in the sector before human settlement. The outpost is governed by an administration that proudly traces its lineage back to the Preceptor Archive created to track data and offer information access since the first days of human space exploration.

Eriphyle’s knockdown from TL3 to TL2 is a source of fierce shame, as data has become corrupted and lost as information infrastructure broke down and computer networks collapsed. Some archivists still hold out hope that when the archive regains its technological glory, coordinates of Olde Earth will be among the pieces of data uncovered.

Everyone knows that the Guevaran Hegemony is out there and that they have a Preceptor Archive that claims a more pure line to Olde Earth.

The players saw a fire in the distance and when the two soldiers arrived on the scene they saw protestors organizing a protest in a park against the latest Archivist Congress budget cuts. Hegemony loyalists want the rival archive to come and lift the planet out of the steam age. The Samihayan Orthodoxy Loyalists were gunning the protestors down.

The players took action. Witt’s Gudradim Cannibal Hunter killed the shooters, noting that they were being led by Hegemonic Intelligence Agents. They got the wounded to a nearby hospital, which was literally a building plugged into a free merchant ship that belonged to some retired military personnel from a tech level 4 world.

I’m fascinated with the way the tables generate something, that something collides headlong into the system generation and all of that collides with the players (GM included) and their characters and all of their motivations. Somewhere in there an adventure happens.

 

Dreaming about Trollheim

Right before we headed out for a celebratory birthday dinner, Janaki saw the picture on the cover of the Cormyr sourcebook and said, “Are those goblins?”

“I don’t think so. I think they are trolls.”

cormyr

Art by Jennell Jaquays

Maybe that is why I woke up at 3AM after having had a dream about Trollheim.

Trollheim is a city founded by trolls who figured out some way to traverse the World Tree to a world with a salty marshland that they claimed for their own. So they wouldn’t get lost and because they regenerate, they’d bury their hands under the city. Centuries of this tradition has led to trolls coming from all over the worlds to bury their hands under Trollheim, so that they might find their way home should they become lost. Even after their new hand grows back, they’ll follow an itch in their wrist to find their city.

The salt-water bog mummified the hands, allowing the troll warlocks who inhabit the city and mind its shrines to the Troll-mother and the Cathedral Bridge to call up mummified hands buried all over the city’s swamps to defend it in times of need.