The Campaign Stat Block

Over at the Planejammer Chronicles, a post by Loki presents the Campaign Stat Block. Not only does this look like a very helpful way to present some of the ideas around the worlds of Andras, but it is a useful tool for what I hope will be my Winter G+ games.

For example, this is what the stat block for Dweneyarda would look like:

Dweneyarda

Rules: A mix of 2nd edition D&D and B/X. There are house rules for determining non-weapon proficiencies and background skills. Other changes include original classes featuring a non-spellcasting bard, heavily modified paladin and a skill-based mage. Combat is designed to be quick and relatively miniature-free.
Setting: A homebrew fantasy world featuring many traditional staples of fantasy settings (elves, dwarves, halflings) and strange artifacts from an ancient time, similar to Blackmoor.
Rating: Generally PG and possibly R for violence. Adult themes are handled in a "off-stage" manner. This means that events pertaining to adult themes are told, not played.
Emphasis: A mix of combat and role-playing. Dice are used for some randomness, but a well played situation can trump dice via GM fiat. XP is awarded for defeating, not necessarily killing. XP is also awarded for good characterization and elements that add to the setting. The setting is intended to be heroic.
Psionics: Psionics exist. Psionics are not a different form of magic, meaning that there is no Psionic/Magic equivalency. Otherwise, psionicists are mechanically similar to skill-based spellcasters.
Firearms: Firearms are mostly primitive. Wheel-lock technology exists in some places.
Starting Level: Characters start at level 1 with at least 3hp minimum.
Starting Characters: The rules have systems designed to handle settings similar to Spelljammer, Planescape, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Blackmoor, and the Petal Throne. Most homebrew settings are also valid provided that they can be translated into the rule system.
Game Night: Weekly for a max of 3.5 hours on Friday evenings.

How Dragons Are Born

Inspired by an Indonesian folktale, here is a different take on the reproduction of dragons.

As Arda cooled from the fires of creation, the First Ones, Gwerjen and Janma surveyed the emerging landscape. Wanting to leave something of themselves on this alien world, they devised the creatures that would be blessed with a piece of the divine spark. Gwerjen favored strength and aggression. He created the giants first and then the orcs. Janma looked to beauty as a defining characteristic for any sentient creation. She created the elves first. Gwerjen complained that they were essentially orcs with the face of Janma. This remark survives to this day.

Various feya were created as well as the races of men. Each one was created as a variation on the one before. But after the last race of man was created, Janma spoke tenderly to her beloved Gwerjen. She asked him to consider only one more set of beings with the divine spark. She proposed that this final race would be a product of their eternal love.

In love they labored together on their ultimate creation: the dragon.

Dragons are believed to live for thousands of years. Dragons love to talk about their memories of long ago. Those dragons friendly to the races of men tell of human kings from generations long dead. The magic they employ is older than anything recorded by the elves. Some believe that dragons are immortal, a notion that dragons allow others to believe.

Dragons lay a few eggs in their lifetime. They lay viable eggs regardless of the presence of a mate. When they die, their body (unless completely disintegrated or otherwise prevented by magic) will transform into a small number of eggs. Each egg is slightly larger than an ostrich egg. Any creature that consumes the egg will turn into a dragon immediately.

When born, a dragon will eat the other eggs as it immediately. The newborn innately knows where the rest of eggs are located. If two or more eggs are consumed simultaneously, the resultant dragons will all consider each other family. If two creatures consume a single egg, the resultant dragons will consider themselves mates. (Thus encountering female dragons is extremely rare.)

Dragons only live for about 150 years, but a dragon is born with the memories of its progenitor. Dragons do not remember their births, so when encountered, dragons believe that they have lived for thousands of years. If multiple dragons are produced from one litter of eggs, the new family of dragons will share some of the memories of the progenitor, but only one will possess the identity of the parent. The one that takes the identity of the parent will name the others.

Occasionally, an egg will produce a variant form of dragon. The scales may have a different shape or color, some of the memories may not carry over or some other effect. These dragons will go on a quest shortly after their birth to discover their name. Many of these dragons will encounter an ally or enemy of the parent and then will take on the identity of the parent. A few others will forge a new identity for themselves.

In game terms, the effect of this ecology is:

  • About 90% of  dragons encountered will behave as expected in the various Monster Manuals. For example, red dragons will be evil and breathe fire.
  • Encountering a female dragon is extremely rare as there are very few female dragons in existence. Stat-wise, females are no different than males.
  • Gem dragons are born through a genetic wrinkle and so are uncommon, but not as rare as female dragons. Their offspring have a 50-50 chance that they will revert back to the chromatic/metallic grandparent or remain a gem dragon.
  • About 10% of dragons encountered will look like a one type of chromatic/metallic dragon but act like a different one. This could be as simple as a white dragon that acts like a silver dragon or as complex as a green dragon that breathes fire yet acts like a sapphire dragon.

Feel free to use the following Unique Dragon Generator (not made by me, just a reformatted version from a post on Dragonsfoot) to compute unique results. Otherwise here are some tables for dragon offspring:

Number of Eggs: Roll 2d6 and divide by 2 rounding down.

 

Nature of eggs: Roll d20 + d10
1 Metallic Dragon, random type, random breath weapon
2-3 Metallic Dragon, random type, standard breath wepaon
4-5 Metallic Dragon, same breath weapon as parent
6 Gem Dragon, random breath weapon
7-10 Looks like Metallic Dragon, but same characteristic as parent
11-20 Everything same as parent
21-24 Looks like Chromatic Dragon, but same characteristic as parent
25 Gem Dragon,standard breath weapon
26-27 Chromatic Dragon, same breath weapon as parent
28-29 Chromatic Dragon, random type, standard breath wepaon
30 Chromatic Dragon, random type, random breath weapon
Nature of eggs: Roll d20 + d10
1 Metallic Dragon, random type, random breath weapon
2-3 Metallic Dragon, random type, standard breath wepaon
4-5 Metallic Dragon, same breath weapon as parent
6 Gem Dragon, random breath weapon
7-10 Looks like Metallic Dragon, but same characteristic as parent
11-20 Everything same as parent
21-24 Looks like Chromatic Dragon, but same characteristic as parent
25 Gem Dragon,standard breath weapon
26-27 Chromatic Dragon, same breath weapon as parent
28-29 Chromatic Dragon, random type, standard breath wepaon
30 Chromatic Dragon, random type, random breath weapon

How the Worlds Tie Together

This is post 199. More about the history of this site in the next post.

For now, this is about how the various worlds of Andras tie together. In some ways, this is sparked by Vincent Florio's post about mixing Sci-Fi with Fantasy. Where it differs, however, deals with how the rules for various settings can work together.

Lorica is about mechs and/or tanks and Tiezerekan is about space fantasy. A far future setting has some elements in common with space fantasy, namely interplanetary travel. More than that, both setting rely on creating various ships and other craft to accomplish goals. Lorica has many classes of mechs, air ships and the colossal drop ships. Tiezerekan has many classes of space craft to explore, conduct trade, transport and fight in wars.

The idea behind Andras is to provide one system to make craft for both worlds. While it may require some amount of abstraction, I really didn't want a lot of hand-waving to be part of the process. I want something straight-forward with lots of options that doesn't bog down players that just want to get started.

More than that, I want a system that also connects with Dweneyarda. High fantasy vessel making? Sure. Sooner or later, you may want to create naval vessels. When the system is complete, I also hope that the rules can incorporate generation of medieval-ish artillery, golems, and other magical creations.

Let's start with making mechs/tanks for Lorica as a part of this walk-through, we will re-create the Loanza light mech:

  1. Choose a power source.The Loanza uses a fusion engine with a power rating of 1300. It has a mass value of 12. (This is important later)
  2. Choose Shields, Armor, Weapons, and special attachments.Everything has a mass and power usage score. Both of these scores affect the amount of drain on the power source. There are trade-offs that make the game interesting.In Lorica, Shields directly benefit Armor Class, making a mech more difficult to hit. The more powerful the shields, the more power required. Shields do not weigh much, but because of the high power requirements, too much shielding can leave little power for weapons and movement.The Loanza uses Rating 6 shields providing an AC bonus of 6. The power drain is a relatively low 31 points and the mass is 2. These numbers are important later.

    Armor uses no power, but has a high mass. In Lorica, Armor provides the Hull points. One point of armor costs 1 point of mass. The Loanza has a lighter amount of armor, 60 units of armor costing 60 mass points.

    The pilot is a special attachment. The space for the pilot costs 3 power points and 3 mass points. Another special attachment could allow space to carry infantry, but that won't be used for the Loanza.

    Weapons have varying values for mass and power. Lasers use a lot of power, but have the greatest range. Missiles costs very little power, but have limited range. Slug thrower do great amounts of damage, but are quite massive.

    The Loanza has the following weapon systems:

    Weapons Range Power Mass Damage
    Form III Laser
    20 10 4 8+1d8
    125mm Slug
    15 6 47 28+1d12
    SR Missiles(12) 6 2 15 1d12 x 6
  3. Now for the math to calculate the movement rate and the Hull points. Optionally, the rough size can be calculated as well as the total cost.Here's what we have so far:
    Loanza
    power mass cost
    Engine 1300
    12 650000
    Shields 6 31 2 30000
    Armor 60
    60 3000
    Pilot 1 3 3 300
    Special Att 0 0 0 0
    Weapons





    Form III 10 4 72000

    125mm 6 47 218000

    SR(12) 2 15 30000























    Velocity
    Totals
    52 143 1003300 8

    First we'll calculate the movement rating:
    Start with the Engine Rating (1300) and subtract the total power points for the shields, weapons and other components. In this case, all systems drain 52 power points. 1300 - 52 = 1248.

    Now divide the subtotal by the total mass points dropping any remainder. The total mass points for the Loanza is 143. 1248/143 rounds down to 8. A movement rate of 8 means that the vehicle can move 8 hexes per round.

    Now to calculate the Hull points:
    In Lorica, one unit of armor provide 12 Hull points. It is assumed that the armor is a futuristic alloy. 60 times 12 equals 720 Hull points.

    For estimated size, I use a unit of volume I call a ton. It is 1000 cubic feet or a 10' x 10' x 10' cube. One mass point equals one ton. Since the Loanza has 143 total mass points, it is 143 tons in size. This is 143,000 cubic feet. It is about the size of an oil tanker.

  4. With these numbers, provide a good description of the vessel.

How could something like this apply to Tiezerakan or Dweneyarda?

Tiezerkan vessel would use similar engines. Keep in mind that a 1300 rated engine in one world is not necessarily equivalent to a 1300 rated engine in another. In Tiezerkan, vessels are moving at speeds hundreds or thousands of times faster than tanks. However, to keep the math simple, there no need to create a master table of engines, use the same ones. For crossover, simply come up with a conversion rate.

Weapons in different settings will vary in damage. A GM may decide that weapons do absolute damage. For example, a 17th century cannons may only do 1d4 Hull points of damage as opposed to the large values of damage for Lorica weapons. Tiezerakan weapons may be a factor of 10 or 100 times more damaging than Lorica.

A GM may also decide that weapons do relative damage. A 17th century cannon may do 1d10 Hull Points of damage in a fantasy setting, but very little if brought into another. Again, if you do crossover, create a conversion factor.

You may decide to assign different numbers of Hull points per one unit of armor depending on the material. Steel may be 8 Hull points per unit of armor, for example. Wood may be 6 Hull points per unit of armor. A GM could define as few or as many materials as desired.

Special attachments vary considerably. Mechs do not need living quarters or galleys, but interstellar vessels do. Some settings may not have energy shields like Lorica. In each setting, special attachments are better defined.

Lastly, a ton may not be the same in every setting. In some settings, a ton may be a 5' x 5' x 5' cube or 125 cubic feet. In others, it may be thousands of cubic feet. Like engines, relative values help to simply things. I have not found a need to do this, using this system, I have re-created a 16th century Portugese Nau with close to real-life values.

After post 200, some more concrete examples of this system in other settings.