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New BRP game


sladethesniper

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Hi all...well here is a small synopsis of my new Steampunk-ish BRP setting...

606 pages w/o artwork

over 60 playable races

11 continents/landmasses with 6 regions and 42 nations

8 explanar/extraterrestrial locations

over 50 NPC's

15 different magic/technological systems

15 organizations

It has high tech, fantasy, Cthulhu Mythos and a lot of culture specific skills. Right now it is being edited for the second time and undergoing it's second playtest. The setting is fine, everyone seems to like it, but the width/breadth of skills seems to give some players pause... there are 173 pages of skills and powers so I might have to cut that down a bit :ohwell:

What follows is a short story that was published previously as a teaser, so see if you like it:

Hope you like it. I can put some more generic stuff up if there is any desire for it...and as always, if I am out of line, let me know and just delete it.

-STS

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Striking Into Darkness Part One

The 15 elves of Strike Team 144 joined hands inside a ritual circle. They were members of the Veid Krusus, the feared Black Hands. Standing in their midst was Sar'Than Valanthian, a wizard who specialized in the creation of portals and teleportation. His eyes shown with an electric blue light, otherworldly in origin and frightening to behold. His power was absolutely palpable in the room. His melodious voice chanted the ancient rites of the Lanthian sages; rites as old as the world itself and more terrible than the gods.

Flinging his thinly muscled arms outward from his body, Sar'Than called down the mystic energies that began to coalesce around the circle. Light burst forth from him and filled the inside of the room, painting the damp, stone walls a pale aquamarine. His eyes were shining bright, though his pupils and irises were lost in a blinding sea of blue power. The voices of the other elves in the strike team were suddenly deafened by a loud, snapping and crackling boom. Everyone instinctively ducked their heads as if a blow were about to fall and their eyes flinched shut. Only their training kept them from answering the fearful desire to run or to draw weapons. Instead, they clinched their teeth hard and held tight to one another's hands. The circle could not be broken or the spell would be lost.

The sharp odor of ozone like the smell of the air after a thunderstorm assailed their noses. The nauseating sensation of warped time and the whooshing feeling of trans spatial travel filled their heads with spinning waves of vertigo. Their stomachs lurched and threatened to bathe everyone in the meal they had last shared. Someone briefly wailed in dismay for what seemed like an hour, but was merely a millisecond in magic space and twisted time. Teleportation was wearing on the soul, hard on the mind, and worse for the inexperienced or the very old.

Though the spell probably lasted only a minute, it seemed an eternity before the screaming sounds of hurried time and flying space was finished. The darkness that replaced the blinding blue light and the silence that met the aching ears of the travelers was almost as horrible as the spell had been. It was a sudden stop that allowed the inertia of moving spirit to continue while the body no longer moved at all. The head wheeled. The heart beat erratically in the chest. The soul desperately reached out to cling to something familiar.

This is why it was not completely unknown for healthy individuals to drop dead after a teleportation of this magnitude. It was, also, why it was so very important that the Strike Team hold tight to one another's hands. Those hands were the lifeline. No one lost his or herself in the time void as long as their brethren had hold of their hand.

Saemael opened his eyes, though his body demanded to keep them shut. He knew very well that danger could be lurking just on the other side of the darkness shield that had been magically constructed to protect them from prying eyes. The darkness couldn't hold the danger away for long. It simply allowed them a moment's respite to recover from the teleportation sickness.

He forced his labored breathing to slow and using the techniques taught him by ancient masters, he slowed his own heartbeat to a more gentle pace. He did all of this in less than a minute's time and yet, he still felt that it had taken too long. He needed to make it second nature. He chided himself for a second as the veil of darkness fell from around himself and the other Strike Team members.

Nuatha, his new bride and fellow member, blushed for a moment when the darkness dissipated and realized she had been clutching harshly to Saemael's hand like a fearful child. She composed herself quickly and Saemael smiled inwardly for it. Whenever she was most vulnerable was when she was most beautiful to him for it happened so rarely. She was known as an ice maiden for more than just her ability to cast terrifying spells of freezing might.

Saemael looked at the other team members. His eyes had already adjusted to the natural darkness of the valley that surrounded them. He quickly checked his own weapons, instinctively fingered his amulet of magical might that hung about his neck, and ran his hands over the long tail of his white hair that hung down his back. His blue eyes scanned the fourteen other elves of his team as they all followed the same type of routines themselves concerning preparation for battle.

Nuatha reached over and placed a hand on his shoulder. Saemael turned suddenly, realizing his senses were already razor sensitive. He knew he needn't fear her. Her eyes were closed and her dark lips formed silent words of magical might. A cold ache filled his arm where she touched it. The new power coursed down Saemael's arm and into his hand. He smiled again. .

Saemael accepted his lover's power into himself. Nuatha opened her eyes and grinned.

"It will allow you to call forth ice, Saem. Simply reach your hand out and touch the enemy and they will freeze." She whispered the instructions to him and pantomimed the motion.

He groaned and rolled his eyes. "I know that already," he quietly snapped at her, "How many times do we have to do this before you stop telling me that? You act like I'm still new at this...or like I'm an idiot."

She shook her head and turned away from him. He knew he had been unnecessarily harsh, but he knew, also, that she would likely forgive him after the battle was done. He swallowed hard and simply hoped she'd forget. Apologizing was not his strong point. Most would've said that the more "gentle" arts were completely out of his grasp. He accepted that this meant he would not be invited to many parties at court, but he definitely would be leading the armies. That's all that mattered to him most of the time, but when it came to Nuatha, he wished fervently that his tongue could be left in its scabbard as easily as his sword.

Solva Pe'Rial Osmet motioned with one arm for everyone to come forward to where he stood. Saemael moved silently and quickly to join the semicircle in front of Osmet that had formed out of the other members. He noticed that Nuatha did not come to stand next to him and it bothered him only for a second. He had to force her from his mind. He had to force his mind into a place of battle; a place where soft and worried thoughts of his lover could endanger his ability to survive. Nuatha would be doing the same.

Osmet's dark armor did not shine in the night. His eyes were old, though his body was still strong and muscled. His short swords hung at the ready on his slender hips. His hair was kept very short cropped, which was unusual for Lanthian males, and a magical helm covered his head.

With a simple set of signals, Osmet gave them a quick battle formation and marching order. It was nothing new to Saemael. Only Ivben seemed unaccustomed to it which was not surprising considering his young and inexperienced nature. Osmet simply took the young Elf under his own tutelage and decided Ivben would be traveling next to him in line even before they had teleported here. Ivben took it as an insult. Osmet knew this, but considered it a necessity. He, also, knew Ivben would eventually mature enough to realize it had been the best decision. It would likely save many. One inexperienced soldier could inadvertently kill them all.

The first team lifted themselves out of their kneeling stances and began to quietly creep up out of the valley. Saemael waited until the first team had moved about one hundred paces. He then stood and motioned for the rest of his team to do likewise. They did, even though he noticed that Nuatha's eyes were still narrowed at him as she stood. As she moved away, he noticed her expertly scan her sector for enemy. Saemael looked back at his team every ten to fifteen paces as they made their way through the dense jungles. Wordlessly, he communicated with each of them through hand motions, as well as Osmet. Then, Osmet communicated with Sar'Than Valanthian back in Lanthas with a ring of telepathy he wore upon his hand.

They made good time in the cool jungle night despite the sopping wet and extremely thick vegetation and the swarming of infuriating wing infested vermin that tormented their every step in the dark. Lamman Kievan Ghen, the leader of team one, was exceptional at effortlessly navigating through any terrain. The team had teleported into a valley a mere two hours past sunset and started traveling within two minutes to their intended destination. They halted every hour for ten minutes to verify their location, their route and to relay this information to Sar'Than, even though all of this was known. It was standard operating procedure to scry on any official operation that took place in the confines of the dangerous and abyssal jungle of the Emerald Empire.

Five hours of hard marching under load was negligible, but with the physically enhancing magics the team were currently bestowed with, there was no issue of strain or fatigue. The team was just as capable as they were five hours ago. They crested a ridge line and the city of Shera'vien spread out before them. This was where the operation became much more risky.

They began the descent into the rugged valley floor. They knew that their target was in city, and with a fair degree of certainty which building. The issue was that the infernal Ss'Vash's power grew more intense nearer his temples. The entire realm was coterminus with his planar home which made magic extremely difficult within his borders and simple scrying almost impossible. For this reason, only special operations teams and exitus class mages could operate within those lands. Sar'Than was an Exitus class mage and was able to breach the misty veil that surrounded the Emerald Empire from prying eyes, yet even his power was spent uselessly when attempting to scry within several thousand yards of one of Ss'Vash's temples. Rings of telepathy were also affected and for this reason, the team knew that once within the perimeter there could be no emergency teleportation.

The outskirts of the city began to form in their range of sight; the peculiarly arched and faintly luminescent Imperial architecture starkly contrasting with the blackness of the jungle. Saemael saw the first team begin to break into pairs and alternate advancing with pulling security for their opposite number. Halting his members to allow the first team to infiltrate into the city, he signaled for his group to split into their pairs. They did and Nuatha came to his side. Her dark eyes still betrayed her low simmering anger towards him. She had not yet forgotten.

Saemael growled inwardly and rolled his eyes as he had anytime he remembered his hastily spoken stupidity from earlier in the night. He also wondered for the millionth time why he would have insisted that she continue to work with him. Why hadn't he pressured her into retiring for family life? Once again, the answer came to him unbidden. "I love her and because when the going is tough, I know she can take care of herself...and me. Besides, she'd learn to hate me if I took this from her. Nothing thrills her so much as taking an enemy down. Even my love is no match for that,", he thought. Running a hand through his long hair, he forced the thoughts from his mind once more. This was no place for such things. Thoughts of this nature would only distract him from his job and potentially undermine their mission.

The mission. Saemael's face formed into a flat frown. This mission did not meet with his approval, nor Osmet's. The mission objective was simple, assassination. The reasons for the assassination were also simple. The target was responsible for the recent spate of cult activity in the Second Founding, and the Council of Purity would brook no interference in the affairs of the Second Founding. Political destabilization and cultural manipulation required a fine touch and any sort of random factor could wash away decades of work. That was not to be tolerated and so Executor Silesia had spoken, and now it was being done, by Strike Team 144.

First team was stealthily maneuvering along both sides of the road. Like shadows, they glided against soundlessly near walls of the buildings, ducked below windows and peered down alleys. They left no place unscanned. These elite soldiers, magically enhanced and superbly trained, were fast blurry predators, marvelously deadly and hungry for the kill.

They slipped into the city and avoided contact. Their presence would be revealed soon enough. Early discovery would result in death, failure and disgrace; none of which were acceptable to them or the A'Lanthan government. They arrived at their objective, the Temple of Ss'Vash Val'Harish, which meant The Temple of Ss'Vash the Benevolent, in their hated tongue.

Thallis and Khuva, the first team snipers, broke off and began to scale the walls of a building facing the temple. Saemael looked over his left shoulder and made eye contact with Kir and Ayaen, and signaled for his sniper pair to follow suit. They nodded and went off vertically into the night.

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Striking Into Darkness Part II

First team, followed by Osmet, flowed across the street and into the temple. A spell made rapid, soundless work of the door locks. Saemael waited until Osmet emerged from the interior blackness to signal his group into the building. Saemael smelled the metallic tang of blood in the air. Osmet had made the first kill of the night; probably the four security officers that intelligence predicted.

Inside, the blood of dead Ophidians made a black sheen upon the glaringly white stone of the temple floor. The vertical spray patterns indicated that it was high pressure arterial bleeding that was responsible for the deaths of the guards. Arterial bleeding, no doubt, released by Osmet's expert blade work. The sight of the decapitated bodies merely confirmed Saemael's suspicions. The elves began to slide into four member teams. Into the rooms, they broke off straightaway with neither a word nor a hand motion. Nothing needed to be said. Everyone knew the drill.

Seconds passed. Only a few muffled thunks of arrows penetrating flesh or the wet hissing of blades opening bodies were the only noises to escape the assault. There was no need to activate their spheres of silence, all of the magic they possessed operating simultaneously would certainly overload the concealing magic and the abominations would be very displeased to discover them. Luckily, no Ophidians were blessed this night by their infernal god. Saemael smiled ruefully as he stepped over the fallen creatures, cursing their souls in his heart to burn forever in pain and anguish. He hated them. It was right to hate them. They were inferior, scaly and strange.

When the first floor was cleared, the elven infiltrators climbed the stairs to the next floor with swordsmen in front, archers behind and mages in the rear. Somewhat surprisingly, the second floor proved as easy to secure as the first. Saemael frowned. Something didn't seem quite right here. It was never this easy....Never. Certainly not in the center of one of their cities. Something was wrong, he could feel it.

Just as the group was making their way to the third floor, the world exploded into violence. Saemael was in the front rank as they sped up the stairs, they had to clear the confines of the stairwell, attack through the ambush. He felt the cold embrace of dread in his gut a split second before a volley of corrosive acid bolts impacted to his left. An elven soldier, Ivben, screamed as the acid burned through armor, flesh and bone. His swords drawn, Saemael rushed forward and slashed at the darkness that concealed his enemies, they had spheres of darkness and of course the detection magics he possessed were either disabled or unable to detect that quality of magic. Saemael's darkvision was useless, but his training allowed him to fight with only a slight reduction in effectiveness. Screams and explosions raged around Saemael until spheres of silence expanded to envelope him.

Robbed of sight and sound, he felt useless and vulnerable. He sidled further into the room, hoping to emerge from the demonically cast darkness and silence. He felt the stifling silent inkyness dispelled around him and the battle raged. The Ophidians had the elvish infiltrators in a crossfire of arrows and spells. The elves were pressed against walls or contorted behind any available cover where they attempted to return fire. Several lay dead on the floor and others' lifeblood spilled down the white marble steps.

Eldritch magics rumbled behind Saemael. They thundered past him as spheres of fire flew down the wide hallway until they exploded in midair. The Ophidians had erected a one way antimagic barrier, exceptionally powerful, since all four fireballs had been stopped without overloading it. Lightning fast, Saemael's swords were scabbarded and his composite shortbow was at the ready. An Ophidian fell with an arrow through the eye. Then, another fell after the first, an arrow piercing his scaly neck. All of the remaining elves were firing arrows accurately into the Ophidians. Saemael knew that the four snipers posted on the roofs of the adjacent building were doing all they could, although it was woefully ineffective in relieving the pressure on those inside the Temple. Their fields of fire were simply too limited. Electricity arced down the hallway and impacted Khievan Ghen with horrifying force. His head exploded in a shower of steaming blood and brains. His headless body set to burning as the lightning shot out of Ghen's spastic limbs towards the surviving elves. Chained Lightning...

Spheres of concussive force slammed into Saemael's left greave, breaking his forearm and shattering his shortbow into splinters. The skirmish line was faltering for the elves were caught basically in the open on the third floor landing. There was nowhere to go except forward or back and one way was death while the other was dishonor and death, since this was obviously an ambush, the Ophidians would have a team sealing off the second floor. There was nowhere to hide; nowhere to run. Saemael's right arm flew down of its own accord. He drew his sword, ground his teeth, and sprinted towards the enemy.

A shift of reality to Saemael's right and his target appeared to assemble from the air. Shokoru Zhehn had just teleported into the midst of the assassins sent to kill him. A demonseed elite, Shokoru was a demigod and a nigh immortal opponent, ancient and vile. Without thinking, Saemael shifted his weight and leapt at his target. The magical energies flaring from his sword swept in a wide arc towards the half Humanoid, half snake abomination that dared to defy the very laws of nature by existing.

Shokoru Zhehn's four muscled arms were wielding weapons of exotic ferociousness. His dully gleaming scales were covered in tight weave quicksilver chain mail to his waist. The demon's arms, with paranormal agility, easily parried Saemael's charging attack. The strength and sheer weight of the enormous Ophidian's body lent itself well as he effortlessly slashed through the Lanthan's black armor as if it were not metal at all, but only paper. The silver blade of the Ophidian slid coldly, deeply, into his elven assailant. With a sickening splatter of blood upon stone and scale, Saemael was limply impaled upon the Shokoru's blade.

Casually flinging Saemael off his sword, the grey black serpent slithered toward the surviving elves. Paralyzed from the waist down, Saemael moaned and painful tears formed in his failing eyes. With sheer determination born of desperation and a knowledge of impending death, he clawed his way across the floor, hoping to kill the abomination before his lifeblood escaped him. The four armed demonic man serpent was well protected from magical or mundane damage. This was obvious or he would have been felled by spell or steel immediately. Strike Team 144 were experts at killing, and it was a challenge to all of elfdom that Shokoru Zhehn had lain down by teleporting in to personally destroy his attackers.

Two arrows flew towards Shokoru, immolating themselves as purple flares that splashed sparkling ashes over him and caused waves of magical protection to slough off in a dissipating cascade storm. The arrows were fired by the snipers deployed on the roof outside the Temple. Shokoru roared sibilantly and spat acid upon Surah who fell to the floor, groveling and clutching horribly at what was left of his face. The abomination's long, constricting tail choked Aliana's life from her. Her beautiful face turned blue in his hideous coils. Saemael swallowed and tried not to think of the pain in his own body.

Shokuru's four arms were engaged in a whirling dance of steel with Osmet, who dodged and wove about the serpent with practiced skill. As the two great warriors slashed and parried with one another, the seconds past. Surah's screams finally ended in one agonizing moan as his life finally dissolved into a viscous puddle of various shades of bloody crimson and brackish green. Aliana struggled. She punched and pulled upon the massive tail that held her fast. She writhed helplessly one last time as her neck was crushed. Blood poured out her ears, mouth and nose.

Several Ophidians rushed to the window through which the sniper's arrows had entered. They began to lay down a withering barrage of arrows with shortbows. Two clerics began to chant behind the snipers and added their hellish firepower to that of the archers. Walls exploded, air turned to poison and fires erupted from their fingertips and flew towards the elvish sniper teams. There would likely be no more help from the snipers.

Fighting against the need to die, Saemael continued to crawl towards his enemy. Osmet and Nuatha were the only elves still standing. Osmet engaged the demonseed with a pair of silver blades that danced like flame while Nuatha was rapidly firing spells towards Shokoru. For his part, Shokoru was withstanding the steel onslaught of Osmet with his bottom pair of arms. With the other set, he dispelled, deflected, retargeted and cast spells at a remarkable rate. Nuatha could barely cast a spell and dodge in the time that it took Shokoru to cast a spell, react to her spell and cast another one. This was a battle that needed to be decided quickly. The mission must be fulfilled, regardless of cost.

Nuatha spun her hands in a circle of power, frost blue tracers around her fingers signaling the beginning of a great spell. Suddenly, before she could finish the arcane chant, her head was snapped back and a razor sharp blade yanked cruelly across her neck. A magically cloaked Ophidian had crept behind her and killed her with one draw of his weapon. Crimson exploded from the grinning wound, geysering out ten feet in a fan shaped pattern. The spell, complete, but undirected, discharged, flash freezing her body, her assassin and the red fan of gore as the temperature dropped by a hundred degrees in an instant.

Osmet, realizing his entire group had been destroyed in mere seconds, had no choice but to press his attack and hope for glory.

Shokoru's tail wrapped around Osmet's legs. One hand grabbed the elven warrior's belt and another slammed hard into Osmet's face with devastating force. The blow echoed throughout the room with a shattering, ripping, splattering sound that heralded the complete destruction of both Osmet's magical helm as well as his face. The Elf's weapons flew from his suddenly flaccid hands; his life ebbing away in the air like acrid smoke.

A voice like none that Saemael had ever heard came from out of the great serpent; a voice that seared the soul with its sibilant melody and harsh deepness. "A'Sha Lahra Ss'Vash Val'Harish!" Shokoru screamed out to his father, his god Ss'Vash, and viciously ran the elven commander through with two wicked and deadly straight swords. Resembling oddly a child's psychotic marionette, Osmet's body began to spasm in its final death throes upon the upraised swords. The blood ran down the silver blades onto the torso and arms of the snake. Shokoru's hideous face turned for a moment in Saemael's direction. He smiled, a visage that Saemael knew well for it was the look of victory on the face of a superior adversary.

Somewhere between the pain of his body and the shock in his soul, Saemael must've started to scream. Everyone was gone, destroyed, devastated. No one was spared except him. His lover, his commander, his friends...people he had known for most of his 300 years and had fought beside through many campaigns... all dead by these degenerate demonic trash.

His mind gave way in the darkness of that hated and abominable Temple. Saemael wailed and cried out repeatedly until the monsters grew tired of his misery. Finally, they allowed him a measure of peace. They simply shot him through the skull with an arrow as they might've any minor vermin that dared violate the sanctity of their devilish god's Temple.

Sar'Than Valanian knew the mission was a failure when there was no telepathic contact within two hours, the appointed time. When the team missed the next communications window, there was no doubt about the fate of the Strike Team. Sar’Than felt a quick moment of weakness as he allowed a second of sadness to fill his soul for his lost team. He knew that it was hopeless, but he would follow the normal procedures for such things. He would keep a cloaked teleportation area available in case someone had survived, but The Chosen of Ss'Vash never took prisoners.

Sar'Than informed Lucius Kreb'iun, and it was now his unfortunate task to inform Executor Silesia of the missions' failure. The telepathic signal chimed in Silesia's mind, and he allowed the mental circuit to form. Silesia was seated in his chamber with four of his proteges. He took the call in silence, not wishing to cloud their minds with operational details while they were in the midst of another project.

"Executor, I regret to inform you of the probable loss of ST 144. They have missed their communications window." Silesia nodded in acceptance of the news; he knew that there was no reason for Osmet to miss communications unless he was dead. If Osmet was dead and he was by far the most exceptional warrior on the team, then the entire team would be as well. Silesia concentrated and formed the telepathic reply in his mind, "The proper protocols will be observed. Continue to keep me informed until confirmation is gained." Lucius acknowledged and cut the link.

"Now then, let us continue," Silesia said aloud. The four Elven apprentices nodded in response to the request and began the situation reports again. Silesia listened for only the pertinent details.

His acolytes continued to give data and he continued to act interested. Nothing new was being reported that Silesia didn’t already know or suspect. The world was in chaos, about to go down in flames, and he simply couldn’t force himself to care.

When the four elves had finished speaking, Silesia dismissed them with a wave of his hand and they turned and exited the chamber of the Executor of Manipulation. When they had gone, a slight tinge of ozone filled the chamber and a sheet of blue electricity formed and shaped itself into a circular gate. Silesia did not bother to look, for he knew that it was Aressa Y'Thulsa, the self styled political manipulator.

"I must say, Vladimir, these gatherings of your’s are entirely too long...and boring" she said as she walked through the gate and it dissipated into nothing behind her.

"Aressa, I allow you access to my sanctum for only one reason, which has nothing to do with entertaining your perverse pleasures. Have you the information I requested?"

Aressa strode over and sat languidly upon one of the four plush-covered, marble benches facing the imposing obsidian desk Silesia sat behind. She smiled sardonically, "Of course, I am but a humble servant of the Empire".

With that, she conjured a sealed envelope and sent it slowly through the air towards him. Silesia snapped his fingers, and the envelope was opened slowly. Its contents, a single sheet of crisp parchment, was unfolded by silent, invisible hands. The unseen servant telepathically read the message to Silesia.

He smiled a predatory grin and focused on the Elven woman sitting on the bench. Her impudence annoyed him. She was foolish, believing she had some type of power here. Silesia could have banished her to any number of abominable places with a simple spell, barely more than a thought. Yet, Aressa leaned back on the bench with her shapely legs leisurely crossed, with a look of boredom on her face. Everything in her posture irritated him. If it were not for the fact that she had access to information he did not....

As it was, as long as she was useful, she would continue to exist. However, it would bring a smile to Silesia's lips when her soul was finally imprisoned in the Soul Diamond upon his desk. Traitors were anathema to Silesia, but he did occasionally have to make use of them in order to ensure the eventual victory of A'Lanthas. Sacrifices at all levels were required, although only the Veid Krusus seemed to understand this truth.

"Aressa, you may leave now, and consider your invitation to have been rescinded,” he looked down at the desk, instantly banishing her from his attentions. She stood to go, huffing slightly as she did so. Just as she spoke the words to open the gate, Silesia added softly, “If your services are required in the future, I had best be able to find you." He knew the implied threat would not be lost on her.

After her departure, Silesia allowed himself another moment of silent sorrow for the loss of Osmet and his unit. They had served the Empire faithfully, and Silesia was tired of having his soldiers be sent on fools' errands by The Pure. The most recent Martyrs of the Race would be missed, at least by their commander. Regretfully, their names would be added with Silesia’s own hands to the Wall of Sacrifice.

Fin

Hope you like it.

-STS

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Here's the table of contents:

Chapter I Vhraeden Today

Chapter II History of Vhraeden

Chapter III Technology of Vhraeden

Chapter IV World of Vhraeden

Chapter V Races of Vhraeden

Chapter VI Organizations

Chapter VII Religion

Chapter VIII Rules

Chapter IX Character Creation

Chapter X Equipment

Chapter XI Bestiary

Chapter XII Running A Campaign

Chapter XIII D20 Conversion

Yes, it has D20 conversion :o but like I said, I am trying to get it published...so pulling D20 gamers to a new setting with easier rules seems like a good idea.

I don't know what other stuff people would like to see...or how Creative Commons works with regard to trying to sell stuff later on.

I am looking for playtesters/mechanics editors...

-STS

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Here's the nifty prologue. This has not been edited, so it's cut and paste-tastic right now :ohwell:

Vhraeden is a dichotomous mix of High Technology and Magic. Vhraeden, the chaotic jewel of the universe. Vhraeden, where gods and devils battle in the heavens, the hells and the streets. Vhraeden, where magic and technology coexist. Vhraeden is a world where dragons rule countries, cults infiltrate international business and deities vie for government contracts.

Vhraeden is Black Banks and Chop Shops, Shadow Ops and Corp Cops, easy money and hard living, Elven supremacists and Dwarven separatists, high magic and ultra tech, elementals and constructs, ancient cults and megacorps, aquiculture and slave farms, arcologies and castles, dragons and gods, angels and demons, guns and swords, rocket launchers and magic staves, helicopters and wyverns, airframes and steam trains, science and alchemy, psionic amplifiers and empathic dampeners, fast cars and magic horses.

Corporate boards and magic cabals vie for power. Dragons work to limit the power of the gods. Ultratech and Alchemy compete for dominance. A world of High Magic and High Technology, where elves aren't happy, Orks aren't stupid and Humans are not the dominant species. What if "Human nature" was actually sentient nature and actions had consequences in this world as they do in our own. This is a world where culture determines more than the language you speak, it determines how you see the world and is the dominant force in a beings' life. Welcome to Vhraeden, a game setting unlike any other.

Vhraeden is a place of contrasts. There are all of the traditional fantasy role playing elements such as a relatively low tech environment, high magic, dragons, undead, dungeons, castles, wizards, swords, gods, clerics, rogues and bards. Kings and Emperors rule their lands with an iron fist, in a feudal system with armored knights as the pinnacle of society. Mages live in heavily enchanted towers exploring the limits of the occult. Rogues engage in all manner of unsavory activities to further the plots of the guilds and adventurers are seen with a mixture of awe, fear and contempt. All of that is found on Vhraeden.

There are also a lot of traditional sci fi/cyberpunk elements such as mega corporations, high technology, secret experiments, conspiracies, spies, mercenaries, contracts and lots of guns and gadgets. There are also angels and demons, humans and orks, powered armor and ancient ensorcelled armor, elven supremacists and feline freedom fighters, swords and autocannons, wyverns and attack helicopters, weapons and rituals of mass destruction. Think Blade Runner meets Lord of the Rings.

This is a world where there are no limits for those cunning or violent enough to make their own rules and carve their own destiny. Vhraeden rewards intelligence, strength and internal motivation over outside influences.

The title of this work is descriptive of the setting. Vhraeden is a complex and dark world where billions of sentient beings live and interact with each other as well as gods, devils and other unique beings. Within this milieu, conflict is inevitable. Blood symbolizes the violence inherent in a world with over three billion beings spread over scores of nations, tens of races, hundreds of cultures and countless loyalties. Make no mistake, this is a violent setting, but unlike other settings, the nature of conflicts are explained and none of them are as bland as good versus evil, since this setting is purposefully and heavily shaded in grey. Blood will be spilled, there is no question of that. The only variables now are whose, when and how much.

Steel and Iron Will describes the other central conflict within this setting, technology versus magic, or more generally the conflict between cultures. This is a world where magic has existed for thousands of years, but its presence has not somehow stopped progress, but assisted it. The reason for the dichotomy is that magic is an art and a science that takes a lifetime to truly master, and the longer lived races simply have more time to learn the most difficult of rituals and spells. The shorter lived races faced a severe shortcoming when dealing with magically inclined races until the invention of hard technology, so called because technology continues to progress beyond the level of those who developed it. Technology allows for rapid development, while magic does not. A being does not have to know how an internal combustion engine works in order to use it. The reverse is true of magic or psionics, a being must be intimately familiar with the theories of magic and the mental disciplines in order to use even the most simple of these abilities. Thus, magical societies and beings are forced to be specialized in their skill sets, while technological societies and beings are allowed to be much more general in their skill sets while still enabling them to be competitive with magical cultures.

This setting was developed, on and off, over the course of thirteen years. The basic premise that began this process, and guided it the entire time was "would magic have stopped progress in this area?" The design process I used, basically, was to take a generic magical medieval world and extrapolate eight hundred to a thousand years in the future and this is the result. I tried to maintain the purity of the multitude of genres by allowing many of the conventions to simply coexist.

To answer the question of "what is Vhraeden?" requires three answers. First, Vhraeden is a world where anything is possible. It is a place where magic and technology coexist, as well as psionics, shamanic magic, elemental magic, empathic abilities, divine magic, biotechnology and alchemy among others. This is a world where time and progress have worked the environment into its present state.

Secondly, Vhraeden is a one of a kind setting that can be added to almost any pre existing campaign. There is a wealth of organizations, innovative ideas, spells, powers, equipment and rules that I hope this setting will be useful in some manner for every gamer.

Third, this is a complete role playing game in the classic style. More that a simple collection of rules, stats and small adventure hooks, Vhraeden is all of that plus a complete worldbook. Simple rules and quick combat surrounded by vibrant, complex world full of history, personalities, plots, secrets and lots of equipment. You have our word that we will not publish a book that we would not buy ourselves.

In other words, all that you need to provide is dice, imagination and paper.

-STS

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This certainly sounds like a most interesting setting. It will be interesting to see how it turns out! :)

You said you currently hava 600 pages. What kind of supplements to you plan to divide it into? Do you have any introductory scenario planned?

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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For supplements...looking at one each for the major geographical regions: The bright lands, the giant lands, the elf lands, the endless jungle, the mountains and the technological west...and possibly a badlands one...if I can develop it more fully.

I have a few short stories being written...working on a novel...but honestly, I can run adventures, but I can't write one to save my life.

-STS

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Sounds like an overly complex kitchen sink fantasy heartbreaker kind of thing with no core theme. In other words, "having lots of kewl stuff in does not a good setting make".

What do PCs do in this game? What is it actually about? What marks it out from 100 other kitchen sink settings?

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Sounds like an overly complex kitchen sink fantasy heartbreaker kind of thing with no core theme. In other words, "having lots of kewl stuff in does not a good setting make".

What do PCs do in this game? What is it actually about? What marks it out from 100 other kitchen sink settings?

Pretty blunt... but it does go to the heart of the question. What is the main theme driving the setting?

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For supplements...looking at one each for the major geographical regions: The bright lands, the giant lands, the elf lands, the endless jungle, the mountains and the technological west...and possibly a badlands one...if I can develop it more fully.

I have a few short stories being written...working on a novel...but honestly, I can run adventures, but I can't write one to save my life.

-STS

Do you convert scenarios from other systems then, or do you go with a more improvised approach when you game? Some short scenarios, or game aids like found item list and encounter tables with statted foes, goes very well with regional supplements.

What are your plans for your first publications, and how far along the track are you? :)

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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Sounds like an overly complex kitchen sink fantasy heartbreaker kind of thing with no core theme. In other words, "having lots of kewl stuff in does not a good setting make".

Likewise merely the lining up a few buzzwords from rpg net do not a constructive review make...............

Apologies if that sounds a bit combative but slating someone's magnum opus without reading the bloody thing strikes me as being a bit of a poor show

What do PCs do in this game? What is it actually about?

Those on the gripping hand are interesting questions.

Al the hypocrite

Rule Zero: Don't be on fire

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Well, OK, in order then:

Sounds like an overly complex kitchen sink fantasy heartbreaker kind of thing with no core theme. In other words, "having lots of kewl stuff in does not a good setting make."

Well it was never "designed" to be a complex kitchen sink fantasy heartbreaker kind of game. The actual complexity derives from why it was created in the first place. I like sci-fi and hard tech, my wife and brother in law prefered fantasy...so instead of converting Shadowrun, which was a failure from a mechanics viewpoint...I went ahead and designed my own game along the lines of a "generic fantasy world" and added in a timeline that took into account things like non-magical races wanting/needing something to allow them to even continue to exist...for example technology.

Also, I was tired of magic being so..."one size fits all"...so I designed magical systems for each of the races based on their culture and had each type of development actually help shape the culture....

So that, in a nutshell is how all the "kewl stuff" showed up...

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I don't want to sound negative, but to be honest, this setting doesn't interest me what-so-ever. Why, you may be asking? You have failed to sell it to me. It's all great telling us that you have 60 playable races, that you have this and that in your world. That's just glitter. You've not told us nothing about how the world works, how you plan to apply the BRP mechanics, what makes your game better than all the others on sale. All you've done is taken buzz words from other similar games and applied them to your own. Your game sounds rather like a Cyberpunk meets Sword and Sorcery; another take on the Shadowrun or RIFTS. And can I ask you, do we need another game like that on the market? What is going to make people like myself buy your game instead? What makes it different and unique?

Nathan Baron

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The idea of 60+ playable races, and 173 pages of skills and powers makes my head spin a little, but this is clearly a labour of love for you, and that you've got this written into a playtestable form is a great credit to you. I also think there's a lot of good ideas in the snippets you've provided, and the idea that even the gods have to obey the rules is something I could have real fun with.

The game is primarily about (at the risk of sounding overly intellectual) cultural conflicts, which is mechanistically shown by the fact that although there are pegasi and attack helicopters...PC's can't have both.

Cultural conflict is great. But I don't understand how denying PCs pegasi AND assault copters translates into a reflection of cultural conflict. Surely cultural conflict is about the clash of ideologies, beliefs and social codes? You can certainly have mechanics to handle that, but it seems to me that limiting what PCs can and can't have in terms of magic/mythic kit and hi-tech kit is more a game balance thing than a solid attempt to reflect cultural tensions. Perhaps you could explain a bit more?

I would like for it to be published by a game company in hard copy, and have sent a few emails and am in the "waiting for a yes or no" stage. It is in final editing and playtesting stage. If more than two years go by with no deal, I'll just PDF it and put it up on here.

And this is where you may run into trouble. A 600 page core book is unlikely to be attractive for a professonal publisher. It carries several risks:

Format, layout and editing such a huge book will be a massive job. Games companies have limited time and resources, and tackling 600 pages, plus 173 pages of skills and powers (which will need cross-reffing, double checking for fit, consistency and balance, etc), may not be attractive simply in terms of the amount of time it will take.

The second risk is physical size. A 600 page book, even in paperback, is going to be a monster tome to physically print, bind, ship and display. This indicates a high price-point, which may put customers off. Also, there's artwork to be considered - a LOT will need to be commissioned to break up the text and that pushes-up the page count. The book, with 600 pages of text, once layout and art s factored in, could be up to 700 pages - double the size of BRP Zero, for instance.

The third risk is Licence. Have you submitted this to Chaosium? If its using BRP, then you really need to. Unless, of course, you've found a publisher who has licenced BRP already. If you haven't, and you decide to PDF or go for prnt on demand, then you'll need to have some form of agreement with Chaosium to use the BRP system.

All that said, I do wish you well with the work, and I've enjoyed reading the snippets you've put-up here.

Lawrence

The Design Mechanism: Publishers of Mythras

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I don't want to sound negative, but to be honest, this setting doesn't interest me what-so-ever. Why, you may be asking? You have failed to sell it to me. It's all great telling us that you have 60 playable races, that you have this and that in your world. That's just glitter. You've not told us nothing about how the world works, how you plan to apply the BRP mechanics, what makes your game better than all the others on sale. All you've done is taken buzz words from other similar games and applied them to your own. Your game sounds rather like a Cyberpunk meets Sword and Sorcery; another take on the Shadowrun or RIFTS. And can I ask you, do we need another game like that on the market? What is going to make people like myself buy your game instead? What makes it different and unique?

Ok, I'll bite...

How the world works...an odd question. I have been playing RPG's for about 20 years and I have never, ever thought "how does X setting work?" Generally, I look at a product and think "cool", "meh" or "blah". The discriminator tends to be the ideas and information contained within, and the completeness of the presented material.

If I had to say how it works...(I don't really think I am understanding the question)...it is a fantasy world divided into three major factions (religious nations, technological nations and magical nations) that tend to follow racial lines (fey, humanoid and goblinoid) and how they all have to deal with each other because none of them is stronger than the other two, thus it is a balancing act between all three power blocs. These power blocs are not monolithic which serves to weaken them and allow PC's the ability to manipulate events (through their actions) on a very minor level with extreme effort, but world wide change is pretty much out of their hands.

How the setting will use the BRP rules? I would hazard a guess with "as written" with 2 new attributes, two new rules for combat (both optional) and a new way to compute hit points which is viable for both organic and inorganic objects, regardless of size, and the addition of damage classes.

As for buzz words...I was not aware that I was using them. Indeed, in this hobby, I had never given thought to buzz words since, to me, gaming simply doesn't move at a pace that lends itself to buzz words. I would probably be hard pressed to identify a gaming buzz word. Perhaps "dice", "setting", "book", "rules" and "feel" qualify as buzz words?

As far as how the game sounds, well it probably does sound like Cyberpunk meets Sword and Sorcery...that is a big part of it.

It is called an approximation. That description is a function of using commonly referenced or well known works ("settings" to use a "buzz word") to describe an unknown...attempting to describe an unknown with common terms is obviously a bit general since if I was going to be as specific as possible, I'd have to post about 300 pages on here to describe all the races and nations and history...

As for being another take on RIFTS or Shadowrun...it is similiar...in the way that Star Trek movies are similar to Star Wars movies...they are in space, focus on humans, technology is advanced and there are aspects of fantasy...perhaps we shouldn't watch any more of that Sci-Fi...it's all the same with that focus on the future and technology...

Do we need another game like this on the market? No, there is no need for any game to be on the market. Gaming is not necessary for life, therefore there is no need for the internet either...or porn or a tabacco industry, yet all of them exist, even without a need.

What is going to make people buy it? Nothing at this point, since it is not for sale.

As for what makes it unique or different...well it's a game, about roleplaying, with science fiction and fantasy...guess there isn't anything unique about it...so I guess you don't have to buy it Wolverine. I won't quit my day job :)

As for lawerence.whitaker's question:

Tech and magic are counter cultural and thus the difficulty in attempting to use both. For instance a being grows up using magic, everyday, all day. It's taught in schools. He has a job using magic. Then he travels to a tech city...guess what, he is not going to understand how to drive a car, or fly a plane or use a computer...why? Because his reality is different and it doesn't follow the same rules as another beings reality.

Eventually, with time, he might learn how to drive a car or fly a plane but will never understand the underpinnings of HOW a car works or a plane flies...just as a technologically indoctrinated being will ever understand how a bunch of squiggly lines on a stone wall can teleport a being thousands of miles away in the blink of an eye. He will know that it works, but never understand how.

Thanks for the feedback.

-STS

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Tech and magic are counter cultural and thus the difficulty in attempting to use both. For instance a being grows up using magic, everyday, all day. It's taught in schools. He has a job using magic. Then he travels to a tech city...guess what, he is not going to understand how to drive a car, or fly a plane or use a computer...why? Because his reality is different and it doesn't follow the same rules as another beings reality.

Eventually, with time, he might learn how to drive a car or fly a plane but will never understand the underpinnings of HOW a car works or a plane flies...just as a technologically indoctrinated being will ever understand how a bunch of squiggly lines on a stone wall can teleport a being thousands of miles away in the blink of an eye. He will know that it works, but never understand how.

And thanks for the speedy answer!

Am I right in assuming, then, that the three cultural blocs inhabit parallel realities, but not the same physical reality? If so, then yep, I can buy the above.

If they co-exist in the same plane, on the same world, then I have trouble with it. Every culture inhabiting the same physical space, if it has the means to travel and communicate, is going to absorb elements of the cultures it meets and disseminate elements of its own. In that regard, it would be nigh-on impossible to keep your fae, human and goblinoid cultures as distinct as you say they are. And, if you have a fae mage who is capable of understanding deep esoteric and magical theory, why wouldn't he also grasp the principles of physics, or the co-ordination skills, needed to drive a car? That's where I have a problem with using clear divisions between magic users and tech users, as exclusive propositions, if the three cultures inhabit the same plane of existence. It seems to be more of a game balance mechanic to limit PCs power, rather than a genuine way of representing different cultures and how they clash.

You can, by all means, have magic use as a dominant cultural trait in one society, and tech use in another, but saying that one culture will never understand the trappings of another is rather artificial. Cultures always exchange doctrines, practices and understandings. That's how the world works. Someone might not choose to understand magic or tech, but there'll always be those who strive to do so, in order to gain an advantage or an edge over their enemies, if for nothing else. If there isn't this possibility, then the premise is rather short-changing the PCs and limiting all kinds of great adventuring potential too. One of the things that made Shadowrun so fun was the ability to play an Elven, magic-wielding street samurai who could teleport, but was also equipped with cyberware and tech augmentations.

But, as I say, if you have three 'bubble' realities, or the cultures occupy parallel dimensions, where the laws of the universe are unique, then I can buy what you're saying!

The Design Mechanism: Publishers of Mythras

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It's not like they can never, ever, ever understand it...it's more along the lines of being difficult.

Magic, Spiritualism, Divine Magic, Psionics, Technology, et al. all exist, but the methods for getting them to "work" are different. To solve the culture/game balace issue...I made skill lists for each of the 15 types of development and one I called universal. A character can pick skills from the universal list and ONE of the 15 cultural skill lists and buy skills as normal. If they want to learn skills from another culture, it costs double, and if they wan to learn skills from a third, they cost triple, etc. Thus they can learn skills from different cultures, but it is difficult and why would you want to learn how to drive a car, you can fly? Alternately, why would you want to learn how to cast fireball, you have an assault rifle with a grenade launcher?

Several of the races live in "co-terminus" planes...as do the deities. The primary method of ensuring cultural cross pollination is historical precedent.

From the Prologue (post #5)

Steel and Iron Will describes the other central conflict within this setting, technology versus magic, or more generally the conflict between cultures. This is a world where magic has existed for thousands of years, but its presence has not somehow stopped progress, but assisted it. The reason for the dichotomy is that magic is an art and a science that takes a lifetime to truly master, and the longer lived races simply have more time to learn the most difficult of rituals and spells. The shorter lived races faced a severe shortcoming when dealing with magically inclined races until the invention of hard technology, so called because technology continues to progress beyond the level of those who developed it. Technology allows for rapid development, while magic does not. A being does not have to know how an internal combustion engine works in order to use it. The reverse is true of magic or psionics, a being must be intimately familiar with the theories of magic and the mental disciplines in order to use even the most simple of these abilities. Thus, magical societies and beings are forced to be specialized in their skill sets, while technological societies and beings are allowed to be much more general in their skill sets while still enabling them to be competitive with magical cultures.

From the Tech chapter:

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A 600 page core book is unlikely to be attractive for a professonal publisher. It carries several risks:

Format, layout and editing such a huge book will be a massive job. Games companies have limited time and resources, and tackling 600 pages, plus 173 pages of skills and powers (which will need cross-reffing, double checking for fit, consistency and balance, etc), may not be attractive simply in terms of the amount of time it will take.

The second risk is physical size. A 600 page book, even in paperback, is going to be a monster tome to physically print, bind, ship and display. This indicates a high price-point, which may put customers off. Also, there's artwork to be considered - a LOT will need to be commissioned to break up the text and that pushes-up the page count. The book, with 600 pages of text, once layout and art s factored in, could be up to 700 pages - double the size of BRP Zero, for instance.

The third risk is Licence. Have you submitted this to Chaosium? If its using BRP, then you really need to. Unless, of course, you've found a publisher who has licenced BRP already. If you haven't, and you decide to PDF or go for prnt on demand, then you'll need to have some form of agreement with Chaosium to use the BRP system.

All that said, I do wish you well with the work, and I've enjoyed reading the snippets you've put-up here.

Lawrence

The size is an issue. I've considered breaking into three "region books" or a "setting" book and an "equipment" book. I would be willing to go with either option. I started writing it and just kept adding to the same word file and now it's big. How it is broken up matters little to me.

As for the price point, I personally couldn't care less. The only thing that I do care about is artwork and I can drop 3-4 grand into that if I have to.

The book is done from my vantage point. It is getting edited now so that by the end of the year, all I will need is .jpg's and .png's to insert into the word file, PDF it and give it to someone to print.

So, if I have it "my way", I will have paid for the art, the writing, the editing and everything else...but someone needs to print and distribute it. If I have the option, I would cut my share of the deal to zero dollars to have the retail price be about 20$...the cost to the publisher and the cut to store owner.

This is neither a labor of love, nor a job. It is a hobby and I like to make stuff for other people to, hopefully, enjoy. Plus, I just really like game stats...

-STS

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Apologies if that sounds a bit combative but slating someone's magnum opus without reading the bloody thing strikes me as being a bit of a poor show

Yes my leanings towards rules light, theme heavy settings are well known on RPG.net its true. That doesn't make the questions any less valid.

Why would I pick this up over say Glorantha or playing in Moorcocks multiverse or the Warhammer world? What are main themes and ideas in the setting? What types of story is it best for.

There is no way in hell I'm reading through 100 pages of bumpf to find out if I'm going to like something or not never mind 600+ :D

Basically games that are all about the number of different races and nations (OMG!!! 50+ playable races, over 100 nations, etc, etc) are not what I'm after in games these days. I have plenty of well supported and professionally produced kitchen sink settings. Any game that breaks through now has to be exceptional in one regard or another IMHO, having a solid set of core themes is one of these areas.

Old School style settings are fine, I just have enough good ones already (Stormbringer, Glorantha, Warhammer, Artesia: Known Worlds, etc)

EDIT: Also the setting sounds VERY similar to "Gatecrasher" look it up its been around for a good while (Its a FUDGE setting)

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As for the price point, I personally couldn't care less. The only thing that I do care about is artwork and I can drop 3-4 grand into that if I have to.

But a publishing company will. Any company that publishes professionally produced books has printing and distribution costs to take into account. That's a financial risk to them, and so the size of the book, which will influence their costs, and thus the price point, will be a big factor. This is where I can see you having problems interesting a professional games company.

The book is done from my vantage point. It is getting edited now so that by the end of the year, all I will need is .jpg's and .png's to insert into the word file, PDF it and give it to someone to print.

So, if I have it "my way", I will have paid for the art, the writing, the editing and everything else...but someone needs to print and distribute it. If I have the option, I would cut my share of the deal to zero dollars to have the retail price be about 20$...the cost to the publisher and the cut to store owner.

Then self-publishing is probably your best bet. This gives you the level of control you're looking for. A games company will want to impart its own control of the book if its going to spend money on publishing, printing and distributing it. If you go the self publishing route, then you're shouldering the risk and outlay yourself - which you seem to be willing to do - and maintain complete control.

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Hmmm - I think you have a contradiction here...

There has been every effort made to remove any trace of artificiality that is commonly present in RPGs.

If an elf knows magic, why would he waste time learning about technology or spiritualism? They wouldn't.

On the one hand you say that you've made every effort to get rid of artificiality, then you say, emphatically, that because you know magic, you won't be interested in technology or spiritualism. Why not? Aren't minds curious? In the real world, people have very diverse interests. You simply don't get such mutual exclusivity. However, you do in roleplaying games, where there's a desire to achieve a certain game balance, and that's the very sort of artificiality you say you've completely removed.

Your elf might very well believe that magic is superior to tech or spirtualism (though how magic and spirtuality are so mutually exclusive, I fail to see), but every discipline offers a different way of doing something that might offer an advantage over another. Why would I drive a car if I can fly? Because flying costs magical energy, I'm presuming, and I might want to conserve that for something else, yet I still want to get downtown. I might also want to transport a passenger or a load. That might be tough if I fly, so a car (or a cart, or a subway, or a plane) might be much more expedient.

You cannot, in all honesty, say that all these things co-exist, and that you've removed artificiality, and then go on to say. 'But elves never drive cars or use guns because they have magic. So there.' If you really have removed artificiality, then you'll get tons of diversity.

I'm not trying to pick holes are dismiss your ideas - or to be deliberately provocative, either, but I think Vhraeden may be in danger of some contradictions that you then have to spend a heck of a lot of time explaining away (which is essentially what you're doing in the bits you've quoted from the book). If you genuinely have removed artificiality, and created a setting that provides a great base for cultural conflict (whilst promoting how the worldviews differ) then you shouldn't need to spend time in justification and explanation. It'll be inherent in the themes, the setting and the system.

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To be fair, it is was bit misleading of me to say "all traces of artificiality are removed"...while it is an option for an elf to be a very powerful spellcaster and fly around in a helicopter and have machineguns with magic bullets and a few bound demons...it quickly pushes the game into munchkin level.

In the first playtest I had a magic using elf cyborg dual weilding a 30mm revolver and a magic staff, a troll hit man that used a demon bound club and a mute revenant that led a small group of undead. While those characters were good, as a GM, in the interest of game balance and tone, I instituted the increased skill cost per differing culture skill mechanic to still allow those characters, but at the cost of becoming powerful but very limited.

While it is quite fair to say that it is entirely possible for a modern western female to become a Shi'ite cleric...it would be highly improbable. The same for in 1850, an Aborigine to travel the United States and becoming a cavalry commander. Perhaps a Russian steppe farmer in 1950 becoming an astronaught or an illiterate African death squad commander becoming a French astronaught or a Chinese submarine commander...or a Thuggee becoming a Cajun clan patriarch...

Culture, nationality, race and developmental level all play a role in what is possible for your character (or you, for that matter). It is possible for all of those things to occur, but it will be exceptionally difficult and extremely unlikely.

As far as money goes, I already have a good job. :)

:deadhorse:

-STS

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I don't want to sound negative...

Lots of complaining about getting a new setting for BRP :confused:

I am a far more improvisational writer, but I make very detailed settings. Of late, writing adventures is becoming easier, but I think that NPCs, plot hooks and detailed information are going to be what I put in the regional books.

Sounds like a good receipt for a regional book. NPC gangs and encounter tables does a lot in fleshing out a region. :)

I would like for it to be published by a game company in hard copy, and have sent a few emails and am in the "waiting for a yes or no" stage. It is in final editing and playtesting stage.

Good luck with it! Please keep us posted on how the playtesting go! :thumb:

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just because I have nothing better to do, and am very much in a good mood, I thought I might post a bit of the third playtest up here.

Character creation was slow, but that is normal for my group regardless of system, though I know now that I have to have a list of all spells by category for players to see instead of the massive combined list that I currently have.

Characters are all Sheng'po, which are basically non-magical kitsune/fox people. Setting is Vhraeden, the nation of Southern Kalemia...which is feudal and the religion is heavily animist. The background is that the area has been recently infested with demonic spirits and they are causing much havoc in the area. The prefect lord is an older warrior and has three sons. The eldest is on a quest and hasn't been heard from in 14 months, the middle son was exiled 15 years ago and the youngest son has led the prefect's army to aid the Emperor in a war against a rebellious portion of the Empire.

The characters are a feudal warrior that was sent by the Imperial Government to protect the aging lord since his prefect is on the border of two other nations; a priestess that was in love with the middle son and when he was exiled, she joined the priesthood; an undercover spy from a rival clan masquerading as a servant and the second son (as an NPC) in disguise.

The player characters met at court and soon retired for the evening. As soon as everyone was getting ready for sleep the assassin struck. They made it into the castle and out without anyone detecting them and successfully poisoned the lord. They do determine that something is wrong when the lord has a spastic coughing fit. They rush in and determine that he was poisoned, and are able to stop it, but the Lord will still die if the antidote isn't found.

The PC's have to wander out into a blizzard and retrieve some magical components to save the poisoned lord's life. Off they go.

They wander for a day since none of them took Navigation and they left at night, in a blizzard >:->

They had an encounter with a spider demon that pretty much kicked their ass until the priestess killed it with her staff and the spy and warrior were pretty worthless. The NPC then makes himself known and offers to "watch the horse" since they couldn't take the horse up the mountain with them. The NPC then puts a spell of protection upon the horse and off they go up the mountain.

They climb all day and then make camp. The warrior falls asleep on guard (typical soldier :o ) and they get attacked by a large demonic ogre. They kill it rather quickly (in about half the time as the giant spider demon, which is odd since the ogre had about 6 times the hit points), but they rolled well and the priestess used a lot of her spiritualist summoning abilities to gain a few allies in the combat so that helped a lot.

They defeat the ogre and get some magical loot, since everyone likes loot :P

Off they proceeded and fall down a mountain, well slid...for a long time, but took no damage (think a steep ski slope) and they had to start climbing again. On a ledge, they stopped for the night and discover a cave entrance and of course, go inside. The priestess and NPC make camp there, but the warrior and spy go "investigating" and awaken an ancient spirit of a disgraced warrior that had become an avatar of Nyarlathotep (a big fan of Call of Cthulhu...sue me)...

They decide not to make a bargain with it, but do manage (through the use of bluff and a roll of 01% on Honor, although the warrior almost blew it by hiding behind the priestess :confused: ) to win the respect of the being...so instead of fighting them, it lets them pass unmolested to the area where the herbs they seek are located (in a caldera at the top of the mountain, where a 4 square mile "tropical paradise" is located due to geothermal activity).

They go there and are attacked by feathered dinosaurs, and instead of defeating them, manage to scare them off by setting a few trees on fire. My NPC gets mauled badly and the priestess is able to save him, but uses all her Magic Points to do so...which means I need to figure out a way of magic being less "wonky"...having a healing power with 20% isn't all that useful apparently ;-(

So instead of fighting the Ogre Demon Lord...I had him be asleep. At that point instead of the SPY sneaking over and getting the herbs un-noticed, the priestess has to go instead. They get the herbs, teleport back (one of the magic items given to them as loot from the Ogre, a mirror of teleportation...) and save the lord.

Things I learned from this adventure...magic as a skill is nice to balace player abilities (fighters, mages, psions, clerics, technological types), but the fact that a character can spend Magic Points and then fail the roll really seems to piss players off...need to fix that.

As for character creation, I need to make the list of skills and spells and powers broken down by type and alphabetized...a huge list of alphabetical spells not divided by power slows down character creation to a freaking CRAWL...

Well, that's a quick rundown of this playtest.

Fire at will...

-STS

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