Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mass Effect D6 NPCs

Back in 2012 I ran a Mass Effect game, which if I recall correctly had really only one great session to it, but fuck it was a good session. Party ended up getting forced to join Eclipse on Omega after washing out of the Alliance military while on shoreleave (they majorly fucked shit up). Whole thing was a spot of fun. Some fist-fights, some violence, a lot of gambling and smut and sleaze.

Good times.

For one I can really see how I've improved as a GM in 3 years, even if I've been running shit since 2000. I'm only 24. That's some good time spent doing this stuff. Also can really see how my buddy Pete's evolved as an artist in the 6 years I've known him.

Anyway! There's a Mass Effect D6 game floating around out there. And here are some NPCs/Baddies from a campaign that never got off the ground!

Vazzha aka Mr. Bliss is an infamous Quarian scoundrel who runs a series of cons throughout Council-Space, mostly getting himself entangled in high stakes heists and white collar crime. He considers himself to be a patriot of the highest order to the Migrant Fleet, though he speaks of other Quarians as though they are petty rabble and scum waiting to mug you in private. Due to his more high society look, elegant manner of speech, and kind nature, Vazzha has managed to carve out an estate for himself on Berkenstein.

His code name of Mr. Bliss comes from an ill-attempt to appear as a human in high-tech armor early in his career. He still rather likes the handle and uses it during online transactions. His major goal is to purchase himself a lovely space station for his own nefarious greedy purposes.

Rak-12 is an unfortunate creature, something the kooks on Omega whipped together in the hopes of creating a more easily controlled Vorcha. Pack enough chemical anti-psychotics and eugenics into a few generations of easily executed xenovermin homonids and eventually you'll get something worth your while. Rak-12 is calculating, utterly intelligent, and a junkie for a number of chemicals he needs to stabilize his species anger issues. He can speak articulately, and he knows he's been used; and he knows his offspring would be able to carry on his superior genes. If Rak-12 gets off Omega, intelligent and tactical Vorcha might become a new cosmic norm and that is a horrifying prospect.

Bonoui - A Drell sniper, saved from the homeworld by way of being a political prisoner in need of prosecution. Turian justice saw his vocal chords split and shredded, the exact reasons why lost into the minutia of the justice system. Formally a poet, Bonoui fell in with mercenary work out of anger and desperation once he lost his voice. This has led to him operating a one man genocidal campaign against the Turian race, with him acting as a suspect in at least three assassinations which led to race riots between Turian and other species.

Bonoui lives the life of minimalism, operating out of various bolt-hole hotels. He carries a copy of his old works, a violin, and an award he won back when times were good. He is known on Omega but mainly be the prostitution circle. He throttled a Turian hooker to death when she mentioned her homeworld to him.

"The Operative" - an Elcor female who was created by their government to deal with situations privately and appropriatly. Encased in thick assault armor and run through with suppressant chemicals, the Operative is not held back by the thought and careful consideration her species is known for. Her eyes are inscrutable, cold and dead and absorbing every detail as though they were coming at her like a mile a minute.

Given her mass, her chemical dependency and her augmented armor, the Operative moves much swift than any Elcor ought to. Her only known public incident involved bashing a Krogan to death on the Citadel after some trouble at an Embassy. Most of the finer details have been redacted. The Operative does not specify her emotion when she speaks, she simply says a few words without tone.

Bajnathi-Clan - A Volus Seperatist movement in the Terminus System who have money and power enough to back up their crimes, namely bioforming worlds to suit them despite already hosting colonies of other races. The Bajnathi-Clan are Volus supremacists who believe they posess a divine mandate to expand and rule the worlds they view. They willfully skirt anti-AI laws in order to make use of drones and mechs that serve them as their personal army. Dirty bombs and chemical weapons are the order of the day for the Bajnathi-Clan, and while the Council has run a good media campaign to paint them as little more than a minor faction they are fully aware of the very real threat they represent to the fringe worlds.

Man, I totally forgot Mass Effect Lore post the second game. I played the third and was really bothered by it. Mass Effect: Andromeda looks like it'll be meh at best. Ah well, that's Bioware for you now. You'll like a small fraction of what they put out there.

Also still moving, tomorrow. My mind is all over the place.

petarvee.tumblr.com - art buddy. If you think these were okay, or even bad, check out his link. This is old stuff, his new stuff is lovely.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Nentir Vale #1: As I think while moving.

Hello my long abused and abandoned blog. Today you're getting some attention, primarily because I can't post you anywhere else and frankly you deserve to get some goodness in this world. So what's going up here are some notes, for a potential 5e campaign I want to run in the Nentir Vale of 4e D&D.

Why that? Because if you are willing to scour through 100+ Dungeon and Dragon magazines, you can find some really cool setting lore that if presented in a different light; is actually fucking awesome. 4e D&D suffered heavily under how it presented things, but the Nentir Vale had just enough info about it to make it a decent sandbox to play in.

Things to rip off for the campaign: Over the Wall's encounter packages and countdown clocks for the various factions. Old School sensibilities. 2e and 3e-3.5e levels of monster lore; provided you're willing to do the research. Simon Swermer is the soundtrack. https://soundcloud.com/simonswerwer

How I want to see the Nentir Vale? As the wild west fallen on hard times. Imagine if the East went silent during Westward Expansion. That's the Nentir Vale. Except the Empire it was part of was pretty much Rome, and thus the Nentir Vale is a nice combination of Roman and Russian designs and motifs. Men and women wear heavy fur-lined toga and stola respectively, patterned with  Dwarven motifs the closer you get to their ancient mountain holds. Their language an food habits are Slovenian and Slavic rather than purely Punic; though that's the height of fashion if you have it.

Humans exist in spades, they're the race that runs this shit. They are tribal, each village has a rivalry with another but all come together to celebrate the annual owlbear hunt. Hunting culture is the sport of heroes and every Nentirite thinks himself a hero too tied to his land to make himself a legend. Dogs are man's best friend, but they are strictly for family protection; to teach a dog to hunt is to let the Lord of Beasts into the animal's heart. Gnolls under the sway of Yeenoghu laid waste to Nerath, the Old Empire. Nentir citizens fear gnolls coming up from the south to take slaves and sack cities. Rumor has it the Capital is still occupied by the horde a hundred years later, and nobody up here wants to risk confirming that.

The Dwarves of the Dawnforge Mountains are isolationist and cruel in their judgments. They are not welcome in the land proper, they shut their gates on humanity during the Bloodspear Purges. They are the most pious of their kind and look down on any outlander dwarf who come to pay homage at the World Forge beneath their holds. Clerics of Moradin who are not natives here are assumed heretics.

Elves are firmly denizens of the realm of Fey. They cannot hold iron without losing their sense of touch and hearing; all becomes numb save for pain. Elves are broken into seasons based on their age, and they do not dwell in the realm of Man. An Elf could be 4 as much as he could be 4000, he lives in all Springs concurrently until he lives in Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Elves in the mortal world slowly but surely lose their ties to the realm of Fey and their season become pronounced. An Elf changes seasons with the world of Man, in the realm of Fey he must change houses or make a bargain to change. No Elf is new at being an Elf, though he might not remember being of a previous season unless the shift was in the Realm of Man.

People find Elves confusing but beautiful, though rarely are they seen.

Halflings aren't native up here, and while I have a warm spot for hobbits; they don't belong here.

Tieflings exist, but you can't play one unless you want to roll on a chart.

Dragonborn are from across the sea and they're a lot nastier and unpleasant than usual. If you run into one, he's in service to something you don't want to deal with.

Gnomes wear pointed hats (all Gnomes consider it part of their uniform), and the can wildshape into a very ugly turkey/guinea fowl/chicken at will. It can't fly, it can speak to other forest creatures, and it loses this ability if its hat is removed. Gnomes are at war with Goblins (a hodgepodge of nasty fey backwater genetics) and Kobolds (dog-men with burrowing lizard features; Gnomes who gave their hats and cloaks to the King of Greed, Kurtulmak). Gnomes are associated with Autumn, and no Gnome has ever been Spring or Summer; though a few old old Gnomes claim to be in Winter. Elves dislike this stability, Humans don't much understand it but  they consider Gnomes good luck.

Orcs are a scourge upon the world, a living leprosy, corruption given form. Orcs manifest from black boiling bile that leaked from the eye of Gruumsh when it was plucked out at the Dawn of Time. Orcs hear the thrumming of his great black heart and march to it as though it were a drum beat. Orcs corrupt the world around them, and Goblins appreciate and love this and often serve the Orcs. A Half-Orc is made, not born; the vestiges of a man who fell to the Orcs and suffered torture and torment because he gave in to the evil Orcs bring out of men. Orcs are rotting and pig-headed, Half-orcs are lepers with a mark of Orcishness about them; most wear masks and heavy robes. Half-Orcs are rare and shat upon for fear they'll corrupt others to the road of Evil with a capital E. They cannot do that. To become a Half-Orc means to secede free will for the sake of Evil and victory.

Lake Nen is now the Sea of Nen, which extends north to the edge of the world.

Alignments are Cosmic. You are unaligned unless you swear yourself to something. Paladins swear themselves to Good (not Lawful Good, or good), Orcs are a product of Evil. One cannot swear themselves to Chaos, they must become entropy itself for that to happen. One does not swear oneself to Law lightly, as it is an oath ironclad and can only be made at great proof of submission.

All creatures of Good can understand one another on some level, as can all creatures of Evil; if they so choose. To lose oneself and fall from Good to unaligned is at a cost of great sin (and sins of omission/weakness/sloth); to lose oneself from Good to Evil requires absolute devotion to darkness at the cost of all that made you Good. You do not come back from that.

All I got so far in my brain. Busy packing up to move down town. 8 boxes of heavy ass books, only a briefcase of clothing. I got my priorities in order.