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Fading Suns [Fading Suns] News

In Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3) we look very closely at technology. First up we re-calibrated the Tech Level descriptions a bit and expanded them to include non-adventuring gear and give a general sense of what life might be like living under TL2, rather than TL4 (for example). We also had to make some choices about available tech, manufacturing capability, and generally remind ourselves what the Fading Suns should feel like.

In general terms, the Phoenix Empire is a TL5 (Diaspora Era) level of tech, although it has the limited ability to produce a few higher tech items, like shields and energy weapons. The vast majority of the population are serfs, and for the most part they live under appallingly low tech conditions, often with no access to electricity and only basic sanitation. Although nobles and some freemen have greater access to technology, they seldom live at technology levels beyond what would be comparable to the early 20th century.

While much of the tech available on the equipment lists will be familiar to those with FS1/2 there are a few changes here and there. Some high-tech weapons have been differentiated from each other. For example, laser weapons are now called lance weapons and come with special shooting modes that allow a beam to be held on target to burn through or slice a victim in two, thus making them unique from blaster weapons.

Because of changes to the VP system, the overall damage capability of weapons has been reduced and armor calibrated to match. Shields are still effective, but can now be adjusted by an experienced technician to change the protective range of the energy field. This helps prevent dueling from becoming too predictable, as you will first have to test an opponent's defenses to discover how well-protected he actually is.




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Garthan


After a week of preparing, our gang left the safety of our hideout and went to look for food. We eventually found the grainhouses in the Greenmarket filled with food guarded by a group of the Force of the Eye and Morg Kneebreaker. We attacked them from two sides as well as from above with the hilarity of Garr carrying Waliut dropping burning flasks of oil on them. My side included seven skeletons I had summoned to reduce casualties for us, and I had them rush into the fray. We lost several gang members in the melee, until eventually Doink,


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Character Bios

Hauk-Do: Ted


A troll who changed his name and outlook when he became a First Circle Monk. He is now a pacifist who does not believe in killing his enemies and believes that there must be a way to peaceably reunite the 5 Kingdoms of Cathay again. Journeying from a dragon lair deep within the Gar Mountains he met Gannagus (Joshua


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The final chapter of the Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3) Players Guide covers starships and some basic aspects of space travel. In the previous edition of the game (FS2) this aspect of the game was left very under developed, which is odd for a game that is essentially space opera. In part this was supposed to be tied into the Noble Armada board game, but not everyone wanted to use a board game to represent ship-to-ship combat.

In FS3 we have made a determined effort to give Fading Suns its own space combat rules and ship construction system. Please note that there is no cross link with Mongoose's "A Call to Arms: Noble Armada", though these two properties were both created by HDi and exist in the 'Universe of the Fading Suns', the development of both games is separate.

There are quite a few changes between the FS2 and FS3 starships, not least of which is the new dependence upon a ships reactor. Basically at the heart of every ship there is a reactor, it produces all the power the ship has to maneuver, fire weapons, project shields etc. But the more you want to do the hotter you have to run the reactor and more 'visible' the ship becomes. This introduces an element of stealth into starship encounters.

In FS1/2 if the characters were faced with an Inquisitorial blockade of a jumpgate they had one option, and that was to fight. In FS3, when faced with a blockade, you can power up all your weapons and shields and fight it out or you can power everything down and try to slip past undetected.

Another big difference with FS3 is the number of jumps a ship can make, this mirrors limit that was in place in FS1 but was removed in FS2. In FS2 a ship could jump as many times as it need, this meant that if it did not have to land on a planet it could visit any system in the Empire with a few days. Not anymore. Jumpdrives now have a limited number of jumps before they must be overhauled. This we feel greatly promotes the feel of the setting, enhancing that age of sail feel, where voyages took time to get from one place to another. The rational for this overhaul is based on a build up of wyrd energies in the arcane technology of the jumpdrive. These can only be dealt with safely while docked. Perhaps a ship without a Sathra Damper doesn't have the same problems?

Starship construction is a simple affair, and features both pick and mix components and there own starship benefits and afflications. So a character (or group of characters) want to buy a ship during character generation they can, and they can buy the benefit cost down with various problems that afflict the ship, from hauntings to a poorly shielded reactor core.

Something that is very difficault to achieve with 'generic' spaceships is to get across the individuality of all the ships in the Known Worlds.No two ships are quite the same, so while we present a small catalogue of sample ships with a base line stat profile we also give a couple of customised examples for each class to try and get across the idea that the base stat line is just the beginning.

Starship weapons have also been examined and undergone a few changes. Some have been renamed, lances replacing lasers, batteries replacing slug guns etc. Some have been redesigned, the heat blaster has now been reworked as a heat caster and has a completely new effect. Gremlin Guns and EM Pulse Guns swapped their effects (to make it more intuitive) and EM Pulse were renamed as Volt Pulse Guns to try and make them sound more thematic.

Some weapons were designated as 'arcane' and are highly restricted in there availability, usually finding there way into Church vessels or on to House Capital ships but rarely on the kinds of ships often employed by PCs.




Weiterlesen...
 
The final chapter of the Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3) Players Guide covers starships and some basic aspects of space travel. In the previous edition of the game (FS2), this aspect was left underdeveloped (a little odd for a game that is essentially space opera). In part, this was supposed to be tied into the Noble Armada miniatures game, but not everyone wanted to use miniatures to represent ship-to-ship combat. In FS3 we made a determined effort to give Fading Suns its own space combat rules and ship construction system. (Please note that there is no crosslink with Mongoose Publishing\'s \"A Call to Arms: Noble Armada\". Though these two properties were both created by HDI and exist in the \'Universe of the Fading Suns\', the development of both games is separate.) There are quite a few changes between the FS2 and FS3 starships, not least of which is the new dependence upon a ship reactor. At the heart of every starship is a reactor that produces all the power the ship uses to maneuver, fire weapons, project shields, etc. But the more you want to do, the hotter you have to run the reactor and the more \'visible\' the ship becomes. This introduces an element of stealth into starship encounters. In FS1/2 if the characters were faced with an Inquisitorial jumpgate blockade, they had one option: fight. In FS3, when faced with a blockade, you can power up all your weapons and shields and fight it out or you can power everything down and try to slip past undetected. Another big difference with FS3 is the number of jumps a ship can make. This mirrors limits that were in place in FS1, but removed in FS2. In FS2 a ship could jump as many times as it needed, meaning that if it did not have to land on a planet -- it could visit any system in the Empire within a few days. Now jumpdrives have a limited number of jumps before they must be overhauled. We feel this enhances the \'age of sail\' feel of the setting, where voyages took time to get from one place to another. The rationale for this overhaul is based on a buildup of Wyrd energies in the arcane technology of the jumpdrive, which can only be dealt with safely while docked. (Perhaps a ship without a Sathra Damper doesn\'t have the same problems?) Starship construction is a simple affair, and features both pick-and-mix components and starship benefits and afflictions. If a character (or group of characters) wants to buy a ship during character generation, they can, and they can buy the benefit cost down with various problems that afflict the ship, from hauntings to a poorly-shielded reactor core. Something that is difficult to achieve with \'generic\' spaceships is to individualize the starships of the Known Worlds. No two ships are quite the same, so while we present a small catalogue of sample ships with a base line stat profile, we also give a couple of customized examples for each class to try and get across the idea that the base stat line is just the beginning. Starship weapons have also been examined and undergone a few changes. Some have been renamed -- lances replacing lasers, batteries replacing slug guns, etc. Some have been redesigned -- the heat blaster has been reworked as a heat caster and has a completely new effect, gremlin guns and EM pulse guns swapped their effects (to make them more intuitive), and EM pulse guns were renamed to volt pulse guns to make them more thematic. Some weapons were designated as \'arcane\' and are highly restricted in availability, usually finding their way onto Church vessels or House Capital ships, but rarely on the kinds of ships employed by PCs.


Weiterlesen...
 
The final chapter of the Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3) Players Guide covers starships and some basic aspects of space travel. In the previous edition of the game (FS2), this aspect was left underdeveloped (a little odd for a game that is essentially space opera). In part, this was supposed to be tied into the Noble Armada miniatures game, but not everyone wanted to use miniatures to represent ship-to-ship combat.

In FS3 we made a determined effort to give Fading Suns its own space combat rules and ship construction system. (Please note that there is no crosslink with Mongoose Publishing's "A Call to Arms: Noble Armada". Though these two properties were both created by HDI and exist in the 'Universe of the Fading Suns', the development of both games is separate.)

There are quite a few changes between the FS2 and FS3 starships, not least of which is the new dependence upon a ship reactor. At the heart of every starship is a reactor that produces all the power the ship uses to maneuver, fire weapons, project shields, etc. But the more you want to do, the hotter you have to run the reactor and the more 'visible' the ship becomes. This introduces an element of stealth into starship encounters.

In FS1/2 if the characters were faced with an Inquisitorial jumpgate blockade, they had one option: fight. In FS3, when faced with a blockade, you can power up all your weapons and shields and fight it out or you can power everything down and try to slip past undetected.

Another big difference with FS3 is the number of jumps a ship can make. This mirrors limits that were in place in FS1, but removed in FS2. In FS2 a ship could jump as many times as it needed, meaning that if it did not have to land on a planet -- it could visit any system in the Empire within a few days. Now jumpdrives have a limited number of jumps before they must be overhauled. We feel this enhances the 'age of sail' feel of the setting, where voyages took time to get from one place to another. The rationale for this overhaul is based on a buildup of Wyrd energies in the arcane technology of the jumpdrive, which can only be dealt with safely while docked. (Perhaps a ship without a Sathra Damper doesn't have the same problems?)

Starship construction is a simple affair, and features both pick-and-mix components and starship benefits and afflictions. If a character (or group of characters) wants to buy a ship during character generation, they can, and they can buy the benefit cost down with various problems that afflict the ship, from hauntings to a poorly-shielded reactor core.

Something that is difficult to achieve with 'generic' spaceships is to individualize the starships of the Known Worlds. No two ships are quite the same, so while we present a small catalogue of sample ships with a base line stat profile, we also give a couple of customized examples for each class to try and get across the idea that the base stat line is just the beginning.

Starship weapons have also been examined and undergone a few changes. Some have been renamed -- lances replacing lasers, batteries replacing slug guns, etc. Some have been redesigned -- the heat blaster has been reworked as a heat caster and has a completely new effect, gremlin guns and EM pulse guns swapped their effects (to make them more intuitive), and EM pulse guns were renamed to volt pulse guns to make them more thematic.

Some weapons were designated as 'arcane' and are highly restricted in availability, usually finding their way onto Church vessels or House Capital ships, but rarely on the kinds of ships employed by PCs.




Weiterlesen...
 
Cathay Quest

Character Bios

Hauk-Do

He was once known as Guan Fei Dun and was a troll mercenary working for Shian and the Tears of the Sun and Moon in Shan Dei. Battling creatures from the Realm of Twilight, he was nearly killed in battle, but was rescued by a Jade Liferock Warrior called Reiusya. A week later, Reiusya was a witness to the mercenaries burning and pillaging a nearby village for supplies. Shian ordered Guan Fei Dun to kill the obsidiman to leave no witnesses and as a test of loyalty. Guan Fei Dun hunted Reiusya down for three days and killed the obsidiman, who had saved his life a week and a half ago. After killing Reiusya, Guan Fei Dun had an epiphany and decided to leave the Tears of the Sun and Moon, to forsake violence that had led him to kill a man in cold blood and to atone for his sins. He wandered into the mountains and vowed to become a monk, undergoing a renaming ritual to Hauk-Do to leave no connection at all to his past. Enemies: Tears of the Sun and Moon (deserter), Jade Liferock (murderer).


Part Two: Shan Dei


The group traveled two days to the banks of the Jang River. A gang of t


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I received a request through the forums for an example of social conflict (sorry, I don\'t remember who made the request, but this post is for you). So my intention is to use two sample characters to demonstrate examples of social and physical conflict between Sir Jeffery Windsor Hawkwood, who I generated in my previous blog post, and a courtly adversary, Sir Cadamus Dextrite.Sir Cadamus is a nasty piece of work, raised in the Dextrite Courts (counts as Decados), having received Diplomatic apprenticeship, and followed by an early career as a Healer (taken from the Church Paths to simulate Dextrite interest in medical matters). His Extra Tours include one as a House Assassin and a second as a Pilgrim.Our two characters look like this: Sir Jeffery Windsor Hawkwood Dexerity: 5 Vigor: 6 Vitality: -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0/0 Wits: 5 Will: 4 Resolve: -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0 Intuition: 4 Presence: 6 Reputation: -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0/0 Faith Pool: 3 Glitch Pool: 1Skills: Athletics 4, Beastcraft 1, Culture (Delphi) 1, Culture (Lemankainen) 5, Culture (Hawkwood) 4, Culture (Phoenix Empire) 3, Discipline 2, Dodge 5, Etiquette 2, Fight 5, Gunnery 1, Influence 5, Lore (House Dextrite) 1, Melee 7, Observe 3, Sail 3, Shoot 4, Sneak 3, Streetwise 2, Throw 3Extras: Noble Rank (Knight), Wealth (Average), Unyielding, PridefulCyber-Implants: Chrome Arm (TL5, Glitch 5, Replacement Limb), Knave


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Sorry, dusting off this old thing...



So... my first year as a fulltime professor is over.... very fun and hardwork to boot. Add the long commute and my academic year flew by! Apologies to neglecting this blog too long.

In addition, this has meant little time for RedBrick stuff, but some... now, however, I'm gearing up and have already got enough I'm excited to talk about!

BOARD GAMING AND PERSONAL STUFF:

Before that, a brief jaunt into my other gaming hobby: Board Games! My new favorite (which I largely play solo) is Space Hulk: Death Angel the Card Game! Just an awesome thematic and puzzle-like experience! I even designed a BUNCH of new locations, terrains, and marine teams, building off and compiling the work of some others as well, as I mentioned in last blog post (...eons ago...). Now, I just posted my own Expansion to the game! I had never really gotten in Warhammer 40K much, but after reading a lot about the world, I'm definitely a fan, just not enough of you to go buy more stuff ;). If you're interesting in any of the SHDA stuff I made (or compiled), go check out www.boardgamegeek.com in the Files section for Space Hulk: Death Angel's board game page.

I've also become an accomplished player of Hive. I still have a lot to learn but I've logged nearly 700 games since December! I'm also in the annual Online Hive Tournament at BoardSpace.net. I've never been a die-hard fan of abstracts, but this one really grabbed me and has helped me appreciate some others as well. Cheer me on as I try to get to Round 3!

I also had a lot of fun with Wrath of Ashardalon since my last post, although it hasn't seen as much table time as I'd like. Magnate, Dominion, Battle Line, and Defenders of the Realm have been enjoyed in games with my wife and I'm looking forward to getting Ghost Stories, 7 Wonders, and Eminent Domain (so glad I Kickstarted this!!!).

The last personal thing to mention is my wife and I are expecting our fifth child literally any day now (as her due date is in 4 days, as of time of writing). We're in for a surprise as well, as we decided to not check the gender. Also, we've had a new idea for a girl's name that's been fun to think about. Despite a few complications and scares (long story), things are going smoothly now, so we're excited! Keep your fingers crossed (or thumbs pressed for you Germans ;-)).

Now.... unto RedBrick! That's why you're here right?!



REDBRICK STUFF:

I just finished an editing pass on the English translation of BARBARIANS! and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the "slaying and screwing" focus would be too much for my tastes, but really liked the acting and tongue-in-cheek focus. The really conversational style (though hard to edit in some ways) made it quite a fun read. I also have ACDC's song THUNDERSTRUCK caught in my head now.... after one of the Barbarian "tricks" called Thunderstrike! Now where can I get a large battlexe... hrm... If you want a manly, gritty adventure through an intentionally exaggerated world of Barbarians, CHECK THIS OUT! ....which unfortunately may have to wait until after GenCon this year... :-( ....i.e., fourth quarter, but it's coming!

Just before that I did a character index for Nations of Barsaive 4 (aka "NoB4"), on the Crystal Raiders. I also included an index summarizing a lot about the Moots, as well as a listing of the Names of various Airships of those moots! I had never read the FASA version of this one, so it was a lot of fun to get more insight into the Crystal Raiders. Very well done book, with lots of great adventure and plot ideas. A troll campaign would be a lot of fun to run! Although, now I worry I'd add a little too much... THUNDER!!

While I haven't done anything with it in a while, I was really excited to see Donovan's FIRST NOVEL published!!! When I editted and commented on it, it was called "Hand and Eye", but now you see it available under the title: "Defiler's Curse". The characters really grabbed me and their development was great, as were the twists in the plot! I can't wait to read the new version, as Donovan worked quite hard to rewrite large portions of it to tighten things up and improve them.

Two other old items are worth a brief mention. The Earthdawn Adventure Resource is now up to TEN free adventures. If you still have submissions for this, GET 'EM IN! I enjoyed taking part in the initial voting for prizes back in January/February, and have since been really pleased with the rest of the team's work on polishing these up and getting them posted. Bravo Dammi et al!! Also, an even bigger BRAVO to their respective authors, as the submissions here have been great! The other old item is Vampire City! This is being worked on by our tireless and brilliant artist Kathy, so hopefully it'll see the dark of night in game rooms near you! (Well before TOO long) I'm excited to see how this one is received as I think it can really shine in telling stories of intrigue cooperatively and head-to-head in a world of Vampires! (without needing a GM!) I also just re-watched Blade 2 last week, so that helps the enthusiasm there!

THUNDER!

Work also continues (though none of my own) on Hank Woon's adventure set in Landis, Grinder's secret project which may or may not involve a city in Barsaive..., and another project covering another set of "Nations" in Barsaive (and possibly a touch beyond).

And lastly, there's been a lot of activity with Equinox, though I hope it picks up even more this summer.... I know I'm gearing up to work a lot on it, as I have the summer off! Dammi has been cranking out versions of the rules that are looking GREAT, for: Paths (i.e. a more freeform analogue to "Disciplines", emphasis on freeform), Powers (with some really cool stuff members of each Path can do!), Advancement, and Ship/Vehicle rules. He's working on Character Creation now, and things are really coming together nicely! Jeremiah and Dammi have been hiding away scheming on a new tone for some of the Gamemaster advice sections and finally unveiled it to the rest of the team. Hopefully you'll be as entertained as we were by the snarky tone Jeremiah employs for what otherwise could have been a boring section. They really pull it off with STYLE! I'm dusting off my notes and old starts and stops on that Mystic Energy chapter I mentioned long ago and hope to really get typing away starting... TODAY! Now that I've finished... THUNDER! (gah... still in there....) BARBARIANS!

Fading Suns 3E also is apparently hopping along. Although, that's out of sight for me. Maybe, just maybe I'll get to crack a copy open at...

GENCON 2011

So... I'm STOKED about going to GenCon again. This'll be my second year (last year was my first) and I can't wait! I hope to get into an Earthdawn game with generics, as last year I was running around too much and this year the games sold out QUICK! I'm also hoping to spend some of my time off this summer preparing to RUN an extra pick up game of Earthdawn! If I do, I've got one seat reserved for a particular hard-working GM who'll be there ;). I'm also excited to try out Conquest of Nerath and help playtest some new Dragon Dice stuff, in addition to playing Puerto Rico in person for the first time (I'm pretty good online, but we'll see how badly I get my butt kicked there). Also, James and Dawn will be there, of course, as well as one of our almost locals (i.e. Chicago) on the dev team, and it'll be great to catch up with them in person as well. Lastly, I'm looking forward to Sunday there and the Christian's Gamers' Guild as it was a great worship service last year!

Let me know if you have any questions. I love to know people actually read these ;-P.

Raven signing out!



"You've been THUNDERSTRUCK!"




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Cathay Quest


Part Three: Golden Desert


The group wandered through the Golden Desert for 2 days before encountering some Kur Raiders. The Kur Raiders demanded their horses and caravan or their lives. As usual they attempted to negotiate through and came up with a bluff. Tsu attempted to bluff the Kur into believing they were carrying a plague-ridden man. Gannagus egged them to fight, enraging the Kur, but they hesitated fearing the possibility of plague. Vek then cast Monkey Pretends to be Tiger and made himself look plague ridden with boils and legions all over his body. With a Charisma (11) roll they got a Good Result on the Kur Raider


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Let us continue the story of our hero, Sir Jeffery Hawkwood. Some weeks have passed since his duel with Sir Cadamus and things have been quiet. In the background, however, his nemesis has been plotting his end and has arranged for an unfortunate incident to befall Sir Jeffery.

Neko is a Dextrite corsair and loyal slave to his master, Sir Cadamus. At the direction of his master he has hired some extra muscle and laid out a trap. His orders are to capture Sir Jeffery and to administer a beating to the Hawkwood in the process.


Sir Jeffery Windsor Hawkwood
Dexerity: 5 Vigor: 6 Vitality: -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0
Wits: 5 Will: 4 Resolve: -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0
Intuition: 4 Presence: 6 Reputation: -10/-8/-6/-4/-2/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0
Faith Pool: 3 Glitch Pool: 1
Skills: Athletics 4, Beastcraft 1, Culture (Delphi) 1, Culture (Lemankainen) 5, Culture (Hawkwood) 4, Culture (Phoenix Empire) 3, Discipline 2, Dodge 5, Etiquette 2, Fight 5, Gunnery 1, Influence 5, Lore (House Dextrite) 1, Melee 7, Observe 3, Sail 3, Shoot 4, Sneak 3, Streetwise 2, Throw 3
Extras: Noble Rank (Knight), Wealth (Average), Unyielding, Prideful
Cyber-Implants: Chrome Arm (TL5, Glitch 5, Replacement Limb), Knave


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As I'm sure everyone is aware by now, the Fading Suns 3rd edition (FS3) Player's Guide is now out of my hands and gone to editing and layout. I think I've revealed quite a lot of the stuff that is going into the Players Guide and you should be aware that we are working on the GameMasters Guide at the moment.

So I thought I'd give you a brief recap of what should be going in to each of those books in the form of a chapter by chapter set of headings.

FS3 Players Guide

0. Prologue
Each book prologue will feature a letter written by character describing his life under the Fading Suns. In future books different characters will be heard from, but this will always come from a character who has been introduced in a previous letter. This first letter is divided into two parts between the Players and GameMasters Guide and is penned by Sir Mathias Keddah a young noble who leaves home to walk the path of the Questing Knight, but who finds himself taking an unexpected turn.

1. Introduction
The introduction to the book, how to use it, etc.

2. Tales of the Stars
Primarly drawn from the FS2 matterial, this tells the story of the last 2500 years since the discovery of the jumpgate and adds some new matterial about Alexius I's fledgling Empire.

3. Pillars of the Empire
Describes the three great pillars of the empire (nobility, church and league), giving some colour to the different houses and factions, their outlooks and motivations.

4. Game System
Just as the title says, the game mechanics and how everything works.

5. Character Genesis
How to create a character using either points buy or lifepath methods.

6. Skills
A description of each of the skills and several examples of how to use them.

7. Benefits and Afflictions
A description of the many benefits and afflications characters can have and several distinctive combat styles that may be learned.

8. Psychisum
Psychic powers and how they work. These are now tied in with certain benefits that alow a character to have either latent, operant or prime capabilites, in one or more paths. All the paths describes in FS2 are included in this chapter and have been mechanically reworked.

9. Theurgy
A description of faith, sacraments and theurgy. Theurgy is now organised by patron saint, and theurgical opperations now exist to inspire occultists to explore their full capabilities.

10. Cybernetics
The workings of cybernetic implants, a brief catalogue of 'common' cyber that is avalaible (mostly on the black market) and a quick pick cyber constuction system.

11. Misfits
A look at the Changed known as Misfits, regular 'stable' changed are delt with by the Benefits and Afflications chapter. Misfits are unstable and prone to mutation.

12. Goods and Services
A big chapter that explores what life is like at different tech levels, before going into detail about weapons, armour and other things players like to kit their characters out with.

13. Starships
This chapter includes a catalogue of some common ship designs, as well as a construction system for ships that includes their own benefits and afflications.


The GameMasters Guide is a work in progress and therefor is subject to change, but this is the plan as it exists now.

FS3 GameMasters Guide

0. Prologue
The second part of Sir Mathias Keddas letter to his twin sister, as he tries to make sense of his new life as an adventurer.

1. Introduction
As it says...

2. GamesMastering
A reworking of the FS2 chapter of the same name.

3. The Phoenix Empire
A Gazateer of sorts, providing details of everyone of the worlds within the Empire.

4. Internal Threats
A look at the inner workings of the Empire, from the Imperial Court down. Inluding a duscussion on law, legal codes and transfer of authority.

5. Barbarian Threats
A look at the barbarian threats beyond the Empire, principly the Kurgan and Vuldrok, but also including details on serveral new barbarian threats, including the worlds of Twilight, Pandora and Grave.

6. Alien Threats
A look at the alien threats facing the Empire, the Symbiot Menace, and the Vau Hegemony. This includes a new mechanics for Symbiot shapeshifters and looks deeper into their territory than ever before. The Vau receive some treatment on their border worlds and some information about their Protectorate species but the embargo on travel past their borader worlds remains strong, so little credable inforation is avalible on them for now.

7. Wierd Threats
Primarly a look at Antimony and Sathra. Antimony is a dark reflection of theurgy, Sathra... is something else.

8. Artifacts
A catalogue of weird and wornderful unique artifacts with which to inspire GMs and equip players or their nemesis. Looks at jumpgates, Gargoyals, Soul Shards, Vau Black Market Tech, Second Republic Relics and some other wierd stuff that defies classifiaction.

9. Grail
A detailed profile on the world of Grail. The default setting for FS3, it covers geography, politics and other useful things.




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As I\'m sure everyone is aware by now, the Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3) Player\'s Guide is now out of my hands and in final editing and layout. I think I\'ve revealed quite a lot of the stuff that is going into the Player\'s Guide and you should be aware that we are now working on finishing the Gamemaster\'s Guide at the moment.So I thought I\'d give you a brief recap of what should be in each of these books in the form of a chapter-by-chapter set of headings.FS3 Player\'s Guide0. Prologue Each book prologue features a letter written by a character describing his life under the Fading Suns. In future books, different characters will be heard from, but this will always come from a character who has been introduced in a previous letter. The first letter is divided into two parts between the Player\'s and Gamemaster\'s Guides, and is penned by Sir Mathias Keddah, a young noble who leaves home to walk the path of the Questing Knight, but who finds himself taking an unexpected turn.1. Introduction The introduction to the book, how to use it, etc.2. Tales of the Stars Primarily drawn from the FS2 material, this tells the story of the last 2500 years since the discovery of the first jumpgate and adds some new material about Alexius I\'s fledgling Empire.3. Pillars of the Empire Describes the three great pillars of the empire (nobility, church, and league), giving some color to the different houses and factions, their outlooks and motivations.4. Game System Just as the title says, the game mechanics and how everything works.5. Character Genesis How to create a character using either points buy or lifepath methods.6. Skills A description of each of the skills and examples of how to use them.7. Benefits and Afflictions A description of the many benefits and afflictions characters can have and several distinctive combat styles that may be learned.8. Psychism Psychic powers and how they work. These are now tied in with certain benefits that allow a character to have either latent, operant, or prime capabilities in one or more paths. All the paths describes in FS2 are included in this chapter and have been mechanically reworked.9. Theurgy A description of faith, sacraments, and theurgy. Theurgy is now organized by patron saint, and theurgical operations now exist to inspire occultists to explore their full capabilities.10. Cybernetics The workings of cybernetic implants, a brief catalogue of \'common\' cyber that is available (mostly on the black market), and a quick-pick cyber construction system.11. Misfits A look at the Changed known as Misfits. Regular \'stable\' changed are dealt with by the Benefits and Afflictions chapter. Misfits are unstable and prone to mutation. 12. Goods and Services A big chapter that explores what life is like at different tech levels, before going into detail about weapons, armor, and other things players like to kit their characters out with.13. Starships This chapter includes a catalogue of some common ship designs, as well as a construction system for ships that includes their own benefits and afflictions. The final content of the Gamemaster\'s Guide is still subject to change, but this is the current outline.FS3 Gamemaster\'s Guide0. Prologue The second part of Sir Mathias Keddah\'s letter to his twin sister, as he tries to make sense of his new life as an adventurer.1. Introduction As it says...2. Gamemastering A reworking of the FS2 chapter of the same name.3. The Phoenix Empire A Gazetteer of sorts, providing details of everyone of the worlds within the Empire.4. Internal Threats A look at the inner workings of the Empire, from the Imperial Court down. Including a discussion on law, legal codes and transfer of authority.5. Barbarian Threats A look at the barbarian threats beyond the Empire, principally the Kurgan and Vuldrok, but also including details on several new barbarian threats, including the worlds of Twilight, Pandora, and Grave.6. Alien Threats A look at the alien threats facing the Empire, including the Symbiot menace and the Vau Hegemony. This includes new mechanics for Symbiot shapeshifters and looks deeper into their territory than ever before. The Vau receive some treatment on their border worlds and some information about their Protectorate species, but the embargo on travel past their border worlds remains strong, so little credible information is available on them for now.7. Weird Threats Primarily a look at Antinomy and Sathra. Antinomy is a dark reflection of theurgy. Sathra is something else...8. Artifacts A catalogue of weird and wonderful unique artifacts with which to inspire GMs and equip players or their nemesis. Looks at jumpgates, gargoyles, soul shards, Vau black market tech, Second Republic relics, and some other strange stuff that defies classification.9. Grail A detailed profile of the world of Grail, the default setting for FS3. Covers geography, politics, and other useful things.


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Kratas Quest


WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE NATIONS OF BARSAIVE II: SERPENT RIVER ADVENTURE THE HEART OF TRIUMPH
Garthan
We returned to our hideout. I summoned Mordom with my message stone for training. He told me that he could not enter the hideout unless he joined the group. So I tossed out an amulet of the force of the eye, and an astral hand snatched it. We did another ritual to allow Mordom to join the Usurpers. He then entered our lair with a gateway spell and I had him train me as a Fifth Circle Nethermancer and taught me a spell matrix and enhanced matrix talent via my versatility. Meanwhile he translated some books for the group with a translation ally spirit. One of the books detailed a Ghostmaster Ritual talent knack and another a book of legendary names for each Discipline. So by sacrificing their orichalcum coins to the training pledge, they can now train without leaving the hideout as well.

After we trained, Talvon told us about an invitation he had to go to Triumph to have a banquet and witness the execution of Talvon


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Recovery...

So in a nutshell, GenCon was EPIC!!! I had actually been slightly worried it'd be less fun with fewer of the RB team there (you were missed Chad, Dammi, Kathy, and Steve), meaning no offense at all to James, Dawn, and Jacques, as I WAS quite excited to see you all. But.... it ROCKED even more than last year for me!

First, I got to PLAY EARTHDAWN! With some generics I got into one of Bogie's games and a played a female dwarf Pugilist. It was a great game and Bogie did an awesome job creating and running it! The puzzles and combat were quite fun, as was the banter between James and I over my dwarf's ineptness and lack of stature (until I finally started kicking butt). I was ashamed for a bit that I was using the Jab and Cross Talents wrong though... especially since I worked on them with arma during the design process!!! ACK! I need to go back and re-read Cathay now, it's been so long since working in it (like 6 months PRIOR to its release) that it's gone a bit fuzzy on the mechanical details. The famous quote was the final blow made by our monk to the Horror we were facing: "I am now Master Tetsuo!" (Tetsuo was the famous monk and Elementalist that the adventure centered around). Awesome stuff all around!

Second, the Puerto Rico tournament I mentioned was a lot of fun! I had actually never played it in person before (just A LOT online), and was worried about all the pieces being too fiddly. Not at all! So... I picked up a Scratch/Dent copy from Cool Stuff Inc. with their coupon in the swag bag for a nice price! Now I just have to find a good time to inflict it on my wife ;).

Third, I got to meet and have a LONG discussion with the designer of my most highly anticipated game: Eminent Domain. Seth Jaffee is a great guy with quite the sarcastic wit and it was great to chat for so long. I had fun helping him plot a few things too, but will have to see how they turn out once Eminent Domain finally arrives!!! (me = enthusiastic Kickstarter of it). I even got to play it twice at the Con and LOVED it. One of those games was with Eric Summerer (co-host of the DiceTower podcast), which was a very cool time.

Fourth, I got to PLAY a lot of games this year, Eminent Domain, Puerto Rico, Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation, The Resistance, a few prototypes from new designers, a Quarriors demo, a Summoner Wars demo, Conquest of Nerath, demos of most of Tasty Minstrel's games (Martian Dice, Train of Thought, Jab) [I got totally pawned by Mike Mindes of TMG @ Jab!], Dragon Dice Quest (a hybrid RPG) and a few others I'm probably forgetting. I also played in two Dragon Dice tournaments and WON the Sealed Box tournament, making me the two-time Sealed Box Champion! I also got to check out most of the other releases either by watching part of a demo or seeing people play around the gaming areas.

Fifth, I got to hang out A LOT with James, Dawn, Jacques, Dawn, and Todd (aka Bogie). We even went to True Dungeon late Friday night and had a blast, but BOY! is that hard for your first time in!! Not knowing what to expect was the hardest part, but it was a blast! I would like to try it again, but hopefully earlier in the day when the GMs aren't so tired.

Sixth, I dusted off an old Shard I proposed to the dev team two years ago and brought it up to speed. I made up 5 different 7th Circle characters, stealing liberally from the GM Companion ones Steve made, and ran them through an adventure filled with surprises and TRAPS! It was great fun and while I didn't kill any of them (so close on one! I love Constrict Heart), I definitely made them think hard and earn it. My plan is to fully write it up and submit it as a formal Shard, so we'll see when and how that goes! Also, I found out how tough Stone Lions are. Two of them did a bigger number on the party of 3 (at that point, Jacques joined later) than I thought they would! Are you sure these are Fifth Circle (1 per 2 PC) Steve?!?!? Look for this and a bunch of brutal traps if I ever get it together. It also features a Named Horror that is too seldom used imho....

Lastly, I'm headed back to work... ACK!... after having ther summer off, so gearing up for that and recovering from the Con has been... interesting to say the least. Anyway, that's it for now! Until next time!

Disappearing in a puff of purple astral energies...

Raven





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