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My monograph submission "Swords of Cydoria" has been accepted


Evilschemer

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Hello everyone. I'm new here, but I wanted to announce that my monograph submission for a BRP setting sourcebook called "Swords of Cydoria".

"Swords of Cydoria" is a mixed-genre setting featuring elements of Planetary Adventure, Swords and Sorcery, Science Fiction, Kung Fu/Samurai, and Wild West.

"Swords of Cydoria" is my second independent RPG writing project. My first was Lightspeed, a science fiction RPG using the Fuzion system. Previous to that, I wrote the Garlic Jr/Trunks/Android Saga and Cell Saga sourcebooks for the Dragonball Z RPG for R.Talsorian games.

I am 30-40% finished with the first draft. Most of what I need to finish are the rules comparisons with the BRP rulebook, the NPC and creature write-ups, the gamemaster chapter, and the sample scenario. I anticipate completing my writing work by August. Afterwords there will be several rounds of editing and layout.

A gallery of drawings and inspirational sketches I've done for the setting can be found at http://christianconkle.deviantart.com/gallery/29265899

I'm going to set up a Yahoo Group for playtesting, feedback, and suggestions. Once created, playtesters can download and review early drafts of the manuscript and rules and view more drawings and inspirational sketches I've done to help immerse myself in the setting.

Christian Conkle

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Christian Conkle

Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris

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Here's an excerpt:

Introduction

Welcome to the Swords of Cydoria, a post-apocalypse/wild west/martial arts/fantasy/science fiction role-playing game setting. Cydoria is a sword-and-sorcery setting set against a story of alien contact and the introduction of science-fiction technology. Within the scope of this setting are several inherent stories for players to tell.

Remember Demetria

The Vrildarian League has conquered all of the city-states of Cydoria and, as a demonstration of their power, has completely obliterated the kingdom of Demetria. The renegade Baron Urik of Demetria has established an underground resistance to the Vrildarian occupation with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the League once and forever. Join the rebellion and fight for independence and freedom. The player characters are members of a resistance cell. Their goals are to carry out the directives of the resistance and strike a blow against Vrildarian rule, all while keeping their activities a secret from the Vrildarian inquisitors.

Flight of the Tonbo

The Tonbo is an aging aero-freighter with a crew of six. It is held together with wire, glue, and love. The crew is a rag-tag assortment of wastrels from across the continent. The captain is an honest man, a Demetrian veteran of the Ill-Fated War with no home or family other than his ship and his crew. Though he is sometimes willing to compromise his honesty to keep his crew safe and his aero-ship flying, he is never willing to compromise on his integrity. The player characters are the crew of a tramp aero-ship travelling from city to settlement across the continent. They earn money making deliveries and through speculative trade but, when that’s not enough to cover their expenses, they have been known to take any work that comes their way, regardless of safety or legality.

Artifact Hunters

The continent of Markania has seen a succession of technically advanced cultures rise and fall across the millennia. These ancient cultures left behind ruined cities filled with valuable and sometimes useful artifacts of technology so advanced it may as well be magic. These ruined cities are also home to many dangers. From mutated monsters and psychic ghosts to toxic environments and deadly traps, many obstacles stand between the intrepid artifact hunters and the promise of untold riches. The player characters are adventurers, explorers, treasure seekers, and scholars seeking out the lost ruins of forgotten cultures for gold and artifacts. If the giant mutant slugs don’t kill them, the tribe of feral Orix that call the ruins home will.

The Champions of Markania

In recent decades, the vast plains, treacherous mountain ranges, and baking deserts of central and western Markania have been colonized by settlers from the east. These settlers range from pioneers seeking to tame the savage land to refugees from the Ill-Fated War to exiled prisoners released from the desert gulags. These remote settlements face threats from barbarian hordes, mutated monstrosities, lawless bandits, and corruption from within and without. It takes a special breed of hero to step up and defend these settlers, to make a stand and do the right thing. The situation also presents a rare opportunity for those willing to make a profit, legally or otherwise. The player characters can choose to be heroes protecting the settlement from evil, mercenaries just looking to turn a coin, or bandits avoiding the hangman’s noose.

The Great Game of Cydoria

The noble houses of the Cydorian city-states play a constant game of intrigue and betrayal as they vie for power and influence. These nobles have many tools at their disposal. Spies, assassins, thugs, seers, diplomats, and seducers all have their parts to play in the great game. The player characters create actors in the great game, taking orders from a noble, often indirectly and usually anonymously. The missions they will undertake sometimes require discretion and sometimes require direct action and always demand a hefty reward.

The Forbidden Arts of the Techno-mystics

The Vrildarian League is justly afraid that if they lose their monopoly on advanced weaponry and vehicles, the source of their political power could be threatened. Therefore, it is strictly forbidden to own, operate, or maintain any piece of off-world technology. Techno-Mystics brave this prohibition. The Techno-Mystics pursue the study and understanding of the secrets of advanced technology as a pursuit of universal truth. They work in hiding, either in secret shops or as itinerant merchants, selling and maintaining illegal technology obtained from off-world smugglers. The player characters are members of a secret entourage serving and protecting one or more Techno-Mystics. Riches await those wily enough to avoid the Vrildarian inquisitors; a public hanging awaits those who are not.

__________________

Christian Conkle

Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris

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I had the music video of Knights of Cydonia pop into my head as read your description. I'm always a fan of settings that show the flexibility of BRP. While you're at it, maybe you can do a sourcebook for the Grimjack comic by Timothy Truman? ;D

I really like how Cydoria will cater to many different styles of adventure though, and look forward to seeing more.

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I had the music video of Knights of Cydonia pop into my head as read your description. I'm always a fan of settings that show the flexibility of BRP. While you're at it, maybe you can do a sourcebook for the Grimjack comic by Timothy Truman? ;D

I really like how Cydoria will cater to many different styles of adventure though, and look forward to seeing more.

You hit the original inspiration for the game on the head, ORtrail. I originally ran this campaign using d20 Dragonstar back about six years ago. Back then it was much more Wild West / D&D / Science Fiction. Since then, I have refined the setting, incorporating elements from a campaign I created for BESM over eleven years ago, and creating a look and feel that is more distinct.

Here is a list of inspirational material for the setting. I have highlighted the biggest influences and sources of inspiration in red.

Appendix 2: Inspirational Material

Novels:

“Star Barbarian” by Dave Van Arnam

“Star Barbarian” by Dave Van Arnam (a very crappy book, but it did provide some inspiration)

“Interstellar Empires” by John Brunner

“The City and the Stars” by Arthur C. Clarke

“Dune” by Frank Herbert

The Green Star novels by Lin Carter

The Gondwane novels by Lin Carter

The Thongor of Lemuria novels by Lin Carter

The Warlord of Mars books by E. R. Burroughs (a little)

Dying Earth series by Jack Vance

Krishna series by L. Sprague de Camp (a lot)

Comics and Graphic Novels:

Flash Gordon comic strip by Alex Raymond (a lot)

Buck Rogers comic strip by Philip Francis Nowlan and Dick Calkins (technology concepts)

“Moving Fortress” by Chuck Dixon, Ricardo Barreiro, and Erique Alcatena

“Exterminator 17” by Jean-Pierre Dionnet and Enki Bilal

“Storm: The Deep World” by Don Lawrence and Saul Dunn

“Storm: the Last Fighter” by Don Lawrence and Martin Lodewijk

Films:

Planet of the Apes

Serenity

Flash Gordon

Dune, 1984 David Lynch version

Star Wars films and TV series

Classic Film Serials:

Flash Gordon

Undersea Kingdom

Anime and Animation:

Thundarr the Barbarian

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (big influence)

Samurai 7 (HUGE influence on the setting design and especially on the Ka’anto)

Last Exile (for the airships mostly, and the Zhuvitans are based on the Guild)

Television:

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Firefly

Battlestar Galactica (original)

“Knights of Cydonia” video by Muse (probably more than anything else)

Other similarly-themed games:

“Encounter Critical” by S. John Ross

“Skyrealms of Jorune” by Andrew Leker

“The Empire of the Petal Throne” by M. A. R. Barker

“Chronicles of a Future Earth” by Sarah Newton (another BRP far-future sourcebook, but a very different approach)

“Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan” by Christian Read (another BRP far-future sourcebook, again, a very different approach)

“Buck Rogers XXV” by TSR

“HIGH ADVENTURE CLIFFHANGERS” by TSR

__________________

Christian Conkle

Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris

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Having looked at your DeviantArt page, I must say: 1) You have way to much free time during those meetings (been there myself though) and 2) you are a good artist and I like the styles you are developing for Cydoria. Good writing and art is a powerful combination. Mild surprise that Tschai: Planet of Adventure by Jack Vance and Gamma World didn't make the influence list. Or I just missed them. In any event you have lots of work ahead of you, so get to it! We are an impatient bunch here at BRP Central.

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I haven't read Tscahi yet. I'll have to check it out.

I hesitated putting Gamma World on the list because I didn't want to give the impression this is a traditional "post apocalyptic" game of digging in the ruined skyscrapers for broken televisions and black ray pistols, with stop-signs for shields. But yes, Gamma World's theme of searching the ruins for artifacts of the ancients, with artifacts taking the place of magic items, is an influence on the theme of Artifact Hunters.

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Christian Conkle

Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris

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Good luck with the Monograph - the more products we can get for BRP the better.

You'll probably love doing 80% of it and hate the final 20% of tidying up, proofreading and rewriting. But, it will be worth it in the end.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Awesome - I've already seen that you get this sort of style with Lightspeed, so I'm looking forward to this.

Just curious - where along the White Hat/Black Hat vs. Gritty scale does the Western influence fall by default? Closer to the Rifleman, Magnificent Seven, or the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?

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Somewhere between Magnificient Seven and G,B,U.

The western region of the continent of Markania is where the Vrildarian League put all its prison camps during and after the Ill-Fated war. Many of the captured prisoners of war did ten years in a prison camp in the desert region of Arus. Afterwords, they were set free there. So most of the men of the region are bitter veterans and ex-cons. There's a lot of stubble and squinty-eyed death roaming the Arusian wasteland looking for work and badly in need of a bath.

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Christian Conkle

Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris

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I have created a Yahoo Group located at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/cydoria/

I've already uploaded some of the drawings and sketches not seen on my Deviantart site.

It's members-only, so shoot me an e-mail at evilschemer - at - comcast - dot - net to request access.

I'll be sharing excerpts from the game for discussion and feedback.

__________________

Christian Conkle

Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris

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Hello everyone. I'm new here, but I wanted to announce that my monograph submission for a BRP setting sourcebook called "Swords of Cydoria".

"Swords of Cydoria" is a mixed-genre setting featuring elements of Planetary Adventure, Swords and Sorcery, Science Fiction, Kung Fu/Samurai, and Wild West.

"Swords of Cydoria" is my second independent RPG writing project. My first was Lightspeed, a science fiction RPG using the Fuzion system. Previous to that, I wrote the Garlic Jr/Trunks/Android Saga and Cell Saga sourcebooks for the Dragonball Z RPG for R.Talsorian games.

I am 30-40% finished with the first draft. Most of what I need to finish are the rules comparisons with the BRP rulebook, the NPC and creature write-ups, the gamemaster chapter, and the sample scenario. I anticipate completing my writing work by August. Afterwords there will be several rounds of editing and layout.

A gallery of drawings and inspirational sketches I've done for the setting can be found at http://christianconkle.deviantart.com/gallery/29265899

I'm going to set up a Yahoo Group for playtesting, feedback, and suggestions. Once created, playtesters can download and review early drafts of the manuscript and rules and view more drawings and inspirational sketches I've done to help immerse myself in the setting.

Christian Conkle

Christian - really looking forward to this - will join the Yahoo group this weekend.

Cheers,

Nick

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  • 2 weeks later...

The only thing wrong here I can see is that this book isn't out and in my hands yet =)

Plus, it sounds like you're making this a really distinct, interesting setting!

Really looking forward to this. Planetary Romance and weird science pulp adventure in an RPG is like peanut butter and chocolate, plus there aren't nearly enough books exploring this genre out there (pretty much GURPS Planet Krishna....Savage Worlds Mars....Space 1889....and I think that's it.)

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I'm no writer by vocation, just a plain-joe roleplayer, but just letting you know this is the kind of creativity that has renewed my interest in this hobby, especially using the BRP rules.

I wish you well in your endevours, and will certainly support this product once you get it out there.

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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  • 1 month later...

Just a quick update. I'm now two-thirds done.

First third: setting chapter (geography, society) = done

Second third: Player chapter (character creation, equipment, powers, artifacts) = done

Third third: GM chapter (NPC/creature stats, GM advice, scenarios) = 05% done.

So far, 90-thousand words and 271 pages of un-laid-out manuscript.

I might have to break it up and edit into a smaller book.

Edited by Evilschemer

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Christian Conkle

Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris

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BTW, here's the synopsis of the mini-scenarios I'm writing.

Scenarios

Artifact Hunters

The artifact hunters are hired to escort a scholar on an expedition to a new Navarian site located near the town of Sweetwater in the Arusian desert. Unfortunately, the site is home to a tribe of bloodthirsty Knorr and a giant reptillian creature. In addition, their mission accidentally releases a debilitating plague that threatens the entire region.

Remember Demetria

There is a plague sweeping across Arus. The resistance cell has learned that a local Cydorian noble has a monopoly on the cure and is stockpiling it in his warehouse. A lot of Arusian towns desperately need that cure. The cell has decided to break into the noble’s warehouse and liberate the medicine.

The Champions of Markania

Sweetwater is under threat. The local militia has fallen ill to a sweeping plague and is unable to defend the town. Meanwhile, a group of bandits has decided to take advantage of this situation and is planning on raiding the town. The town learns of the impending raid and sends a message to the nearest Vrildarian garrison, but help is weeks away, if they come at all. Luckily, a few brave volunteers have stepped forward to defend the town until the militia gets back on its feet.

Flight of the Tonbo

The Tonbo is hired to transport some medicine to Sweetwater. On the way they are attacked by pirates and must submit to a Vrildarian military inspection, where it is discovered that the medicines are illegal and will be confiscated.

The Great Game of Cydoria

A Vrildarian noble possesses the only means of creating a medicine to treat a plague sweeping across Arus. Your employer wishes to end this monopoly. Your mission is to infiltrate the noble’s compound and steal the formula. It turns out that the formula exists in the head of an apothecary held against his will. If you help him escape, he will share the formula freely.

The Forbidden Arts of the Techno-Mystics

The apothecaries of Arus now possess the knowledge to create the medicine needed to treat the plague. Unfortunately, they lack the proper tools to mass produce it. Through your Phanosian contacts, you were able to acquire the tools they need. Now you need to replicate the tools and distribute them to the towns of Arus. Unfortunately, a Vrildarian noble wishes to regain his monopoly and the Inquisition has been tasked with stopping you.

__________________

Christian Conkle

Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Update: 99.99% done. 384 pages of manuscript written (11-pt Calibri font, no layout yet). All I have left to write is some designer's notes, maybe fill in some fiddly bits and some NPC stats, and some minor re-writes of some earlier sections. Then it's off to layout and illustration!

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Christian Conkle

Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris

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