Denizens of the Void

Hmmmm…it really seems like I’ve posted this before…but then, maybe I’m getting it confused with something else.  I apologize if you’ve seen this before, but this is one of the areas I update the most so maybe there’ll be something new added, anyway.

Here are some of the threats that are commonly faced by members of the Ravnivori Empire, both in the Void and planetside.

Oh…and if ever play in one of my games and run into one of these things, pretend like you don’t know its stats…if you happen to remember its stats…which would be weird come to think of it.  Unless you’re obsessed with this campaign setting.  Which is awesome, instead.

People and Creatures of the Void

Following are several creatures and generic citizens that characters might encounter in their travels throughout the Ravnivori Empire and beyond.

Black Widow Shark

Agility: d10 Smarts: d4(A) Spirit: d8, Strength: d12 + 4, Vigor: d12

Skills: Fighting: d10, Guts: d8, Intimidation d10, Notice d12, Swimming d10

Pace: 8 Parry: 7 Toughness: 12

Special abilities: Aquatic: Pace 10

Bite: Str + d8

Hardy: Does not suffer a wound from being shaken twice.

Large: Attackers add +2 to their attack rolls

Size: +4

Brass Dragon

These living weapons are growing more common as the popularity of black powder grows and as the need to reduce the amount of breathable used on a ship continues to be an issue. Intricately sculpted to look like a living dragon, these cannons are animated through complex arcane rituals. They are relatively unintelligent, often not as bright as a common dog, though they are quite loyal to the captains of their ships and follow orders diligently. Like all mechanids, they grow more clever the longer they live and the more they experience. The process of creating them is relatively new, however, and none of them have shown more than animal intelligence. Their legs enable them both to be mobile on deck and to reload themselves and their innate magic keeps them from requiring black powder. So long as they are given a continuous supply of cannonballs, they are capable of firing.

Agility: d8, Smarts: d4(A), Spirit: d6, Strength: d12, Vigor: d8

Skills: Fighting d4, Notice d6, Shooting d8

Pace: 5 Parry: 4 Toughness: 13(8)

Special Abilities:

Armor: +5 Made from almost solid metal, Iron Dragons are hard to damage

Cannon: The bulk of an Iron Dragon’s body is a cannon. Assuming it has a ball loaded it can fire itself with the following profile: Range: 50/100/200 Dam: 3d6 ROF 1 AP 4 HW

Claws: Their metallic talons allow them to do Str+d6 damage in combat

Construct: +2 to recover from shaken, no additional damage from called shots, immune to disease and poison

Hardy: Additional Shaken results do not cause a wound.

Ponderous: Iron Dragons roll a d4 when running instead of a d6.

Size: +2 Iron Dragons are the size of horses.

Death Dog

Agility: d8, Smarts: d6 (A), Spirit: d6, Strength: d8 Vigor: d8

Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d10

Pace: 10 Parry: 6 Toughness: 6

Bites: Str + d6

Fleet-Footed: d10’s instead of d6’s when running.

Go For the Throat: With a raise on attack roll, hits the target’s most weakly-armored location.

Improved Frenzy

 

Draga Warrior

Agility: d8, Smarts: d8, Spirit: d10, Strength: d12 + 3, Vigor: d10
Skills: Fighting: d10, Guts: d10, Intimidation: d10, Notice: d10, Persuade: d6, Shooting: d10, Taunt: d6
Pace: 6, Parry: 7 Toughness: 13(3)
Edge: Improved Frenzy
Hindrance: Cold Blooded
Special Abilities: Armor +2, Scaly Hide
Claws/Bite: Str + d6
Constrict: Fighting attack. Str + d8 each round. Opponent may escape w/raise on an opposed Strength roll.
Breath Weapon: Bolt (using Vigor as skill) 10pts
Quick: Redraws cards of 5 or less
Size: +3
Tail lash: Sweep 1″×3″ in rear arc. Fighting attack. Damage Str – 2

Emperor Beetles are man-sized insects that strongly resemble stag beetles. A wild Emperor Beetle’s carapace is generally a dull brown, black or green color but the Shan have bred their own lines of Emperor Beetles for generations and all manner of colors and patterns exist in domesticated animals. While unintelligent, they can be trained to perform a few simple tasks, such as guarding a location or attacking a foe. Larger specimens, though rare, exist and these are large enough to be ridden. They have a +1 to size (and corresponding toughness) and a +1 to strength.

Agility: d6 Smarts: d4(A) Spirit: d8 Strength: d10 Vigor: d10

Skills: Fighting: d6, Guts: d10, Notice: d4

Pace: 7 Parry: 5 Toughness: 11(2)

Special Abilities: Armor +2: Tough Carapace Manibles: Str+d6

Howler Apes are the terrors of the caverns and tunnels under the Shan and Almatian continents and the source of many bedtime tales amongst the Troglyns. Structurally, Howler Apes greatly resemble gorillas, with broad chests, massive arms and relatively short legs. However, their heads more closely resemble the elongated snouts of baboons. Most striking about their appearance is that they have no eyes. Rather they have large, bony nobs where their eyes should be. These nobs contain the powerful sonar that they use to see in the darkened realms that make up their homes. Terrifyingly, they can amplify and direct these ultrasonic waves into cones of stunning force. They generally begin an ambush with one of these screams and then finish off their victims with their powerful hands.

Agility: d6 Smarts: d6(A) Spirit: d8 Strength: d12+1 Vigor: d12

Skills: Fighting: d8, Guts: d8, Notice: d10, Climbing: d10

Pace: 8 Parry: 6 Toughness: 9

Special Abilities: Squeeze: On a fighting success with a raise, the Howler Ape gets a grapple and causes damage equal to Str+3. Prey may escape by getting a raise on an opposed strength roll.

Stun: Sonic Scream. Cone. Victims must make a Vigor check or be shaken for 1d6 turns.

Sonar: Howler Apes suffer no penalties for bad lighting or darkness.

Hydra, Minor

Agility: d6, Smarts: d6(A) Spirit: d10, Strength: d12 + 4, Vigor: d12

Skills: Fighting d10, Guts d12, Intimidation d12, Notice d8

Pace: 4 Parry: 7 Toughness: 15(4)

Armor +4

Bite: Str + d8

Improved Frenzy

Size +3

Iron Horse

The name of these automata is something of a misnomer as only the earliest versions were made of iron. As the process was refined they were constructed of stronger alloys such as brass, bronze and even steel. The most elegant are often inlaid with silver or gold or decorated with gold leaf. No matter what the material they are made of, they are designed for one purpose: hauling great quantities of material over vast distances quickly. These enormous mechanical creatures have boundless stamina and exceptional strength. They are harnessed to massive wagons filled with huge cargoes. Due to the great deal of weight both of the horses themselves and of the wagons they tow, only the best of roads can support their weight. In fact, it is not uncommon for governments or merchant houses to build reinforced roads meant only for Iron Horses and their wagon trains. It is not uncommon for 2, 4 or even 8 Iron Horses to be harnessed together to tow 2 dozen or more wagons. Iron Horses are only nominally intelligent. They are little more than machines. They are not designed to fight and must rely on others to protect them.

Agility: d6, Smarts: d4(A), Spirit: d4, Strength: d12+8, Vigor: d10

Skills:

Pace: 10 Parry: 2 Toughness: 13(8)

Special Abilities:

Armor: +5 Made from almost solid metal, Iron Horses are hard to damage

Construct: +2 to recover from shaken, no additional damage from called shots, immune to disease and poison

Fleet-Footed: Iron Horses roll a d10 when running instead of a d6.

Hardy: Additional Shaken results do not cause a wound.

Kick: Str

Large: Attackers add +2 to any attacks against Iron Horses due to their large size.

Size: +5 Iron Horses are the size of small elephants.

Ironhead’s War Goats

Dwarves are not known for liking horses or living creatures at all, for that matter. Given how difficult it is to raise enough food to feed the average riding animal in the darkness of a cavern, it is no surprise that dwarven cavalry is hard to find. Given their love of crafting, however, it is also no surprise that they found a acanomechanical method of getting around this dislike. Ulfgar Ironhead created the first war goat, an animated, durable automaton. He has refined the design over the years, increasing their speed, durability and fighting capacities. Most of the War Goats he’s created are used by members of his own military unit though he has sold a handful for exorbitant prices to others who are interested in possessing a mount that does not require food or air. Made of brass, bronze and mithral, they are quite tough and though they are of only animal intelligence, they are both quite aggressive and quite loyal to their owners.

Agility: d8, Smarts: d6(A), Spirit: d8, Strength: d12+2, Vigor: d10

Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6

Pace: 8 Parry: 6 Toughness: 14(9)

Special Abilities:

Armor: +5 Made from almost solid metal, War Goats ses are hard to damage

Construct: +2 to recover from shaken, no additional damage from called shots, immune to disease and poison

Fleet-Footed: War Goats roll a d8 when running instead of a d6.

Hardy: Additional Shaken results do not cause a wound.

Horns: Str + d6

Gore: If they can move 6” before attacking they add +4 to their damage total

Size: +2 War Goats weigh 1000 pounds.

War Saddle: War Goats have a saddle built into their backs that give riders a +2 to any skill checks to remain in the saddle.

Space Saver: When they are not in use, War Goats can be folded into a compact form that is only the size of a dwarf. They cannot move or fight while in this form but get an additional +2 to their armor.

Kindori (Horned Kindori)

Mini-Raptor

Agility: d8, Smarts: d6(A), Spirit: d6, Strength: d4, Vigor: d6

Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d8, Notice d8, Stealth d8

Pace: 7 Parry: 6 Toughness: 3

Special abilities: Claws/Bite: Str + d4

Fleet-footed: d8’s when running rather than d6’s

Size: – 2 to hit, -2 toughness

Muntjacks are omnivorous creatures native to the Ravnivori continent. On the surface they somewhat resemble sleek elk. However, closer examination quickly reveals the long canine teeth that extend from their upper jaws and out of their mouths. Although most of a Muntjack’s diet consists of grains and fruit, they have been known to eat carrion and hunt herbivores in times of need. Wild Muntjacks and most domesticated versions are just as fast and agile as other elk and deer, the creatures have been domesticated for quite some time and the Ravnivori have bred a larger, stronger version as a war mount.

Common Agility: d8 Smarts: d4(A) Spirit: d6 Strength: d12+1 Vigor: d8

Skills: Fighting: d8, Guts: d8, Notice: d6

Pace: 10 Parry: 6 Toughness: 8

Special Abilities: Fleet footed: Muntjacks roll a d8 instead of a d6 when running.

Antlers: Str+d6

Size: +2

War Agility: d6 Smarts: d4(A) Spirit: d8 Strength: d12+2 Vigor: d10

Skills: Fighting: d8, Guts: d8, Notice: d6

Pace: 8 Parry: 6 Toughness: 10

Special Abilities: Fleet footed: Muntjacks roll a d8 instead of a d6 when running.

Antlers: Str+d8

Size: +3

Scissor Tail Hawks are fast, agile hunters native to the forests and hills of the Ravnivori continent. They gain their name from the v-shape of their tails. This structure allows them to turn sharply and maneuver with a skill that other birds of prey can envy and that their prey can only fear.

Admiring the ferocity and hunting skill of these creatures, the Ravnivori nobility started to capture and domesticate Scissor Tail Hawks. It became a symbol of wealth and power to own a falconry with several birds and hawking competitions are as common amongst the nobility as jousts, hunts and gladiatorial games. Though not as popular, the Almatians and Shan have adopted the practice of raising and falconing Scissor Tail Hawks. The tradition has trickled down to the merchant and military classes and even a few of the richer workers are able to afford the creatures as pets. Members of all three cultures keep Scissor Tail Hawks as loyal and intelligent, if fierce pets.

Agility: d8, Smarts: d6(A), Spirit: d8, Strength: d4, Vigor: d6

Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d10, Stealth d8

Pace: 2 Parry: 6 Toughness: 3

Special abilities: Flight: Pace 24” Climb 4”

Talons: Str + d4

Size: – 2 to hit, -2 toughness

 

Skeleton Swarm Not always does a necromancer have access to a graveyard, battle field or other source of corpses suitable for raising the dead. In such cases, or when a necromantic minded individual does not find a standard skeleton useful, they can instead animate hundreds of smaller dead bodies into a single, undead swarm.

The skeleton of a lizard, snake, toad, bird or small mammal that has been stripped of flesh either through normal means or by the magic of the spell that animates them is the typical specimen in a skeleton swarm. Depending on the age of the skeleton, the bones may be bright white and fresh, old and yellowed, or bleached and pitted from exposure to the elements. Generally, a Skeleton Swarm is made up of the remains of a wide variety of whatever creatures the creator can find. However, some spell casters go through the trouble of animating only the skeletons of creatures of the same species, or happen to have such a single mass on hand and make a homogenous group. Though not confirmed rumors persist of at least one skeleton swarm made up of the remains of very small fey creatures.

They follow the simple orders of their creators or controllers to the best of their mindless abilities. When battle is joined, the tiny skeletons sweep over their victims and engulf them, attacking with thousands of tiny claws and teeth. They often serve as guards, patrols or part of diabolical traps.

Agility d10, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d12, Strength d8, Vigor d10

Skills: Notice d6

Pace: 10; Parry: 4; Toughness: 9

Treasure: None.

Special Abilities:

Bites: Skeletal Swarms inflict hundreds of tiny bites every round to their victims, hitting

automatically and causing 2d4 damage to everyone in the template. Damage is applied to

the least armored location.

Distraction: Any living creature that begins its turn in a skeletal swarm template must

succeed on a Vigor roll or be Shaken. This is not a physical attack.

Mindless: Unaffected by Tests of Will, Tricks, or arcane powers like puppet.

Swarm: Parry +2. Because the skeletal swarm is composed of hundreds of creatures, cutting and piercing weapons do no real damage. Area-effect weapons work normally, and a character can stomp to inflict his damage in Strength each round. Skeletal swarms are usually foiled by jumping in water.

Undead : +2 Toughness, +2 to recover from shaken, doesn’t suffer additional damage from called shots, immune to disease or poison

Zergans are giant birds the size of horses. Native to Vel, they thrive as one of the dominant predators on that planet, perfectly capable of flying from one planetoid to another if they so desire. With their massive wingspans, they are able to carry man-sized creatures and the Vellians have managed to domesticate some of them. They also have long, powerful legs that allow them to run with impressive speed on the forest floors of Vel. The Ravnivori were quick to adopt the beasts and many serve as mounts for Imperials

Agility: d8 Smarts: d4(A) Spirit: d6 Strength: d12 Vigor: d8

Skills: Fighting: d8, Guts d8, Notice d6

Pace: 8 Parry: 6 Toughness: 8

Special Abilities: Beak or Talon: Str +d6

Fleet-footed: Zergans roll a d8 when running instead of a d6

Flight: Zergans have a Flying pace of 12″ with a Climb of 3″

Size +2: Zergans weigh up to 800lbs.

Almatian Guard Hound

Created by the great arcane flesh shaper, Sir Kirdan Burrus, Almatian Guard Hounds are favored pets and guard animals for many royal families and rich merchants. They are still a rarity and quite expensive, but one would be hard pressed to find an animal with better guard capabilities.

An Almatian Guard Hound has a stocky, powerful body. Its fur is usually black and red or black and blonde. The most distinctive trait of these animals is the fact that they each have two fully functioning heads. These heads are square with powerful jaws, sharp ears and bright, intelligent eyes. Each head has its own personality and one is always dominant over the other, though they are quite affectionate toward each other. Though it is not their natural inclination, Almatian Guard Hounds can be trained so that one is awake while the other sleeps, allowing them to continuously guard an area.

Agility: d8, Smarts: d6(A), Spirit: d6, Strength: d6, Vigor: d8

Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d8, Notice d10*

Pace: 8 Parry: 6 Toughness: 5

Special abilities:

Bite: Str + d6

Fleet-Footed: Guard Hounds roll a d10 when running instead of a d6

Go For the Throat: Guard Hounds instinctively go for an opponent’s soft spots. With a raise on its attack roll, it hits the targets most weakly armored location.

Small -1: Guard Hounds are relatively small.

Dual Heads: A Guard Hound’s heads are independent though they instinctively coordinate the movements of their body. As such, they draw two cards in combat and act on the better of the two. However, any time either card is a black deuce, they lose a turn as the heads bicker with each other over what to do.

Dual Senses: A Guard Hound’s two heads allow it to watch in all directions at once and to spot and hear things one head might miss. A Guard Hound gets a +2 to all Notice checks as long as both heads are awake.

Dual Jaws: A Guard Hound can attack once per round with each head at no penalty.

Ravnivori Royal Terrier

Descended from ornamental lapdogs, Royal Terriers were bred to defend their owners. A nobleman realized that his wife carried her dog with her everywhere and, finding its uselessness somewhat offensive, he decided to breed something for his wife and daughters that would actually protect them.

He found the most aggressive, loyal, brave lapdogs that he could find and began breeding them together. His sons took up the task after his death. Within a few generations, they had developed an actual breed. The results are dogs that are incredibly loyal to their masters (usually mistresses,) playful, and affectionate. They bond with their masters and defend ferociously both their masters and anyone their masters care for (though they are often jealous towards their owners husbands.)

Royal Terriers are small, with curly, exceptionally soft fur. They have upright, pointed ears. Rather stocky, they have short legs. Their muzzles are relatively short and they have powerful jaws. They have big eyes that are usually a very deep brown but are occasionally pale blue or, even more rarely one of each color.

Agility: d8, Smarts: d6(A), Spirit: d8, Strength: d4, Vigor: d8

Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d8, Notice d8

Pace: 7 Parry: 6 Toughness: 4

Special abilities:

Bite: Str + d6

Fleet-Footed: Royal Terriers roll a d8 when running instead of a d6

Go For the Throat: Royal Terriers instinctively go for an opponent’s soft spots. With a raise on its attack roll, it hits the targets most weakly armored location.

Size: -2

The Dog in the Fight: Due to their small size, attackers subtract 2 from their attack rolls against Royal Terriers

The Fight in the Dog: While sweet and loving to their masters, Royal Terriers are fierce, fearless fighters against their foes. They gain a +2 bonus to fear checks and to opposed rolls to resist being intimidated.

One Master: Royal Terriers bond closely with a single owner. If they see this owner attacked, they gain a +1 to all attack rolls against that attacker.

War Ape

Agility: d8, Smarts: d6(A), Spirit: d8, Strength: d12+2, Vigor: d10

Skills: Fighting d10, Guts d10, Notice d8, Climbing d6

Pace: 7 Parry: 7 Toughness: 9(1)

Special abilities: Size +1

Gear: Leather (+1,) Pounders (Str + d4)

Zethyrling

Agility: d8, Smarts: d4(A), Spirit: d6, Strength: d8, Vigor: d6

Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d6, Notice d12, Swim d10

Pace: – Parry: 6 Toughness: 5

Aquatic: Pace 10

Flight: 10

Bite: Str + d6

Tentacles: 4 attacks per round. On a raise target is grappled. Victim may only attempt an opposed strength check to escape. Once grappled, Zethyrling automatically does bite damage every round. May only grapple 1 target at a time.

 

Homebrew special rules

A short one, today.  Here are a few special rules I use in my homebrew setting.  I really like the world building aspect and crowd sourcing it as it both helps me figure out where the players want to go and what they want to do and keeps me from having to come up with everything myself.

And, in a game where you almost inherently have to have a crew of NPC’s following you around, it’s important to set boundaries on what they can do for the PC’s.

Dynamic Fighting arose from playing Edge of the Empire and all the weird things that come up with their success system.  It always felt like a waste when you got more than one raise on a Fighting or Shooting roll in Savage Worlds, so with this system, you can actually use them for something.

Setting Rules

THINGS YOU CAN DO DURING YOUR TURN DURING WORLD BUILDING

  1. Define Something About the Universe – This can be almost anything as long as it does not contradict something that is already defined. You could declare that some NPC is your long lost uncle or that there is a new ship in the Ravnivori fleet or that the people of the planet you’re on enjoy a particular type of dish or that a certain type of creature exists or that there is a certain legend.
  2. Refine Something About the Universe – If something has been previously defined, whether by another player or the GM, you may refine it either by adding or clarifying some detail. Again, this can be anything as long as it does not contradict something already established.
  3. Spawn a Named NPC – This can be one of two things, either an NPC who lives at whatever location the party is currently at or turning one of the nameless, generic crewmembers into a Named NPC.

When you Spawn a Named NPC you get to define his/her name, race and culture (if they are Imperials.) You also define their Base Abilities and Skills. These NPC’s start with a D4 in each attribute and have 4 points to spend to raise them. Crewmembers get 3 Skills at a D6 and one at a D4 while “native” NPC’s get one skill at D8 two at D6 and one at D4. Named NPC’s get 250 Imperial Marks worth of equipment.

Note that all Named NPC’s start as Extras and thus have only one wound.

  1. Refine a Named NPC – If someone has already spawned a Named NPC during world building and you would like to further define it, you may choose a Hindrance for the NPC. This may be a Major Hindrance if one has not already been chosen for the NPC or a Minor Hindrance if two Minor Hindrances have not already been chosen. You may then either spend the point(s) generated using standard character creation rules or leave them for someone else to spend. Note that if you spend one point to gain extra equipment the NPC only gets another 250 Marks’ worth.
  2. Advance a Named NPC – If there is an existing Named NPC that you would like to make better, this is done just like an advance for a PC with the same options for advancement. Additionally, an advance can be spent to add a Wound to a Named NPC. This can be done up to two times which makes the NPC the equivalent of a PC as far as Wounds go and is the limit to the number of times this can be done. Once a Named NPC has 3 wounds, another opportunity can be spent to give the Named NPC a Wild Die and another to give him Bennies like a standard PC.

Each of these options can only be selected once per World Building Session. Thus, a Named NPC cannot get a boost to attributes and skills twice in a World Building Session or gain two wounds in a World Building Session.

  1. Other – Almost everything should be covered by one of these categories, but if anything comes to mind that doesn’t, suggest it and it can be worked out.

THINGS YOUR CREW CAN DO WITH/FOR YOU

  1. Make a Skill Check – Several crewmen on the Capital Gains have skills that the player characters do not. Kaylee’s Repair skill, for example. In addition, there will be times when the PC’s do have the pertinent skills but will not be able to perform all the tasks required. For example, the Capital Gains has more weapons than PC’s to fire them. Any player can declare that a member of the crew, or a group of crewmen are performing a skill check. Of course, this exposes them to whatever risk would normally occur around that skill check.
  2. Assist in a Skill Check – The crew have a number of skills that duplicate those of the PC’s. Any time the crew is available, the PC’s may have them assist. The crew will make a separate roll and for every success and raise they get, the PC gets a +1 to their roll. A number of crewmen have skills that can support the PC’s skills. Granada, for example, has Knowledge: Battle skill and can assist M’Zashi in his checks. Additionally, the crew in general has a Piloting skill and any maneuver or Piloting check made while on the Capital Gains by any of the characters can be aided by the general crew.
  3. Help You In a Fight – Using the Allied NPC rules from Savage Worlds, the party can always take a few sidekicks around with them. The players will essentially play two characters, their PC and an NPC. These can be named NPC’s like Ishi or generic NPC’s. In either case, they are subjected to the same dangers as the PC’s and are, generally, much more fragile but can be invaluable when the numbers are against you. Too keep the battlefield from getting too crowded, I would like to limit this to one Allied NPC per player. Additionally, the NPC’s have to be available in-game. No running off alone to the Lost Temple and then whipping a side kick out of your magic…pocket.
  4. Turn a Regular Battle Into a Mass Battle – In any battle involving the whole crew (a boarding action or land based battle where the whole or a significant portion has been taken along) the Mass Battle rules can be utilized. This keeps the party from having to fight a hoard of opponents while their crew twiddles their collective thumbs but ups the stakes as well as each token lost in a Mass Battle represents several crewmen. Of course, a subset of the crew can also be used, only the marines or only the skeleton soldiers, for example. Going forward, we will use the Ultimate Mass Battle rules as much as possible. In that system, a regular Sailor has a Composition Rating of 1. A Marine has a Composition Rating of 2. A Skeleton Soldier has a Composition Rating of 3.

Dynamic Fighting –

On a hit and a single raise on a fighting roll, the rules remain the same as the core rulebook. However, to take into account the spectacular success involved in multiple additional raises and to make combat more interesting, each additional raise can be “spent” for a special effect using Dynamic Fighting. Listed below are several special results that can be “bought” with these extra raises on an attack roll. No matter how many raises are obtained, the same result cannot be bought twice, nor do their results stack. For instance, an attacker could spend one raise to lower the target’s parry only for himself or two to lower the target’s parry for everyone but would only gain a 1 point parry reduction for his own attacks if he bought both. (Much better to buy the parry reduction for everyone and a hit increase for himself.) In all cases, these results are temporary and last only until the end of the attacker’s next turn.

For one raise an attacker may –

Add +1 to fighting rolls against the target for the attacker, only.

Lower the target’s parry by 1 against the attacker, only.

Add +1 to his parry against the target for the attacker, only.

Add +1 to damage rolls against the target for the attacker, only.

Lower the target’s cover bonus against the attacker, only by one level.

Increase the die type of a bonus damage die by 1 against the target for the attacker, only.

For two raises an attacker may –

Add +1 to fighting rolls against the target for everyone attacking the target.

Lower the target’s parry by 1 against everyone attacking the target.

Add +1 to the parry of everyone against the target.

Add +1 to damage rolls against the target for everyone attacking the target.

Add +1 to his parry against everyone attacking him.

Lower the target’s cover bonus against everyone attacking the target by one level.

Push the target back 1” (6’)

Reduce the target’s pace by 2 and lower his running die by one type.

Eliminate any gang up bonuses against the attacker.

 

Ravnivori Empire – Enemies of the Empire 2: the Capraerian Khanates

This one kind of came to me in a flash.  They’re inspired by miniatures I own.  But, once I started down the path, it went fast and deep.  In fact, it even inspired me to write a sequel for one of my novels.  These guys seem a perfect opponent for the Empire on the Soulless World, with their obsession and skill with Necromancy.

The Capraerian Khanates – Beastmen (Abraks) Abrak society is based around a caste system with the Pentavirate at the undisputed top all the way down to the serfs who are little more than slaves.

Even these individuals lead lives that are exponentially better than those of the actual slaves of the Capraerian Hegemony. These non-Abrack humanoids are treated as pets as best and as simple beasts of burden at worst. They are forced to perform on the most menial and strenuous of jobs – pulling, carrying, digging, and are neither given tools nor expected to know how to use them. It is not uncommon to see a group of slaves digging a trench with sticks or their bare hands or breaking rocks with other rocks, all while be extorted by their Abrak masters to work faster and receiving lashes for their troubles.

It is not illegal to teach a slave to read in Abrak society just as it is not illegal to teach a monkey to read in other societies and for the same reasons.

Humanoids are generally bred for size and strength (and they are bred) but are still often stunted due to a lack of nutrition. A life of labor begins early for these miserable individuals and, as soon as they can walk, they are set simple, but strenuous tasks lie carrying water to their fellow slaves.

Predictably and, perhaps fortunately, life for a Capraerian slave is invariably short. If their hard life of labor, want and abuse doesn’t kill them at an early age, their masters do. For the similarity between Capraerian slaves and livestock in other cultures does not end with them being beasts of burden. Unless they die of a virulent disease, almost every slave ends up butchered for meat.

Even then, their service to their cruel masters is not at an end. Necromancy is easily the most common and respected form of magic in the Capraerian Hegemony and the remains of any slave that can be recovered are reanimated to continue serving after their deaths. Ironically, these undead servants are often given jobs with more responsibility than their living counterparts.

An Abrak would never dream of arming a living slave, partially because he would not expect him to have the mental and physical ability to wield it effectively and partially because they would still potentially be somewhat dangerous to their masters. Yet, the vast majority of footsoldiers in the Capraerian military are armed and often armored skeletons.

Likewise, skeletons are given axes, shovels and other tools to aid in their work. These otherwise mindless undead are imbued, at creation, with simple skills like fighting with a weapon and wielding a shield, forming a shield wall, setting spears, using bows, or simple tools but never at more than the basic level and they are incapable of learning anything more.

They are very docile compared to most other mindless undead, and will simply stand without doing anything unless given orders. They are controlled by special amulets that allow even non-necromancers to guide 5, 10, 20, or even 50 mindless undead at a time. The Ravnivori have stolen this “technology.” Once given a command they continue it indefinitely, until destroyed or given another command, whether to do something else or simply to stop.

These skeletons make exceptional simple infantry for a Void going nation as they do not tax the limited resources of a void going vessel and the Capraerians have learned to break them down into pieces and pack them, weapons and all into crates that are only 2’x3’x1’. This means that a full 20 of them can be placed into a single cargo slot on a ship. This is also a technique that the Ravnivori have stolen.

Interestingly, even the lowliest of Abrak is never reanimated as a mindless undead, or eaten by his fellows, for that matter. In fact, they consider cannibalism disgustingly taboo. This fate is one reserved only for non-Abraks.

That is not to say there are no Abrak undead in the Capraerian Khanates. In fact, every member of the Pentavirate and most of the highest officials under them are sentient undead. These individuals have achieved their unloving immortality by a rather unique method.

The most politically powerful Capraerians have massive ziggurats constructed in their honor through a combination of labor by both slaves and dedicated followers. These ziggurats become objects of worship and devotion for their followers. They are constructed along ancient and precise rules and become huge necromantic batteries. When enough spiritual energy has been gathered, the individual interred within is reanimated as a sentient undead and generally takes back over the territory he or she left behind upon death, often to the chagrin of his living descendants whose rule is thus usurped.

The average Capraerian is completely unaware that their highest level rulers are powered by the same energies as their lowliest servants and would likely be horrified if they ever found out. To these average citizens, their greatest rulers are simply reborn due to their devotion to them so that they continue leading them to glory in a deathless state. This is completely accurate as far as it goes.

At one time, any Capraerian with the power and resources could have a ziggurat built in their honor. In relatively recent times (the last several centuries) it has become law that only those allowed by the Pentavirate may have a ziggurat built. And the Pentavirate has only given permission on worlds other than their home world, largely as a method to ensure that colonization takes place and to keep any potential rivals from getting too powerful.

Abrak Necromancer Lord

Agility: d8 Smarts: d8 Spirit: d8 Strength: d8 Vigor: d8

Skills: Drive d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Knowledge (Necromancy) d8, Notice d8, Spellcasting d8, Throwing d6, Tracking d6

Pace: 7 Parry: 6(9) Toughness: 10(3)

Edges: Arcane Background (Magic,) Frenzy, Necromancer

Size: +1 Abraks average 7’ in height and are powerfully built

Armor: +1 Thick Fur

Low Light Vision: Halve penalties for illumination

Gear: Sword (Str + d8, +1 Parry), Armor (+2), Bladed Shield (+2 Parry, +2 Toughness vs. ranged, Str +d6)

Powers (10 Points): Bolt, Deflection, Fear

Abrak Warrior

Agility: d6 Smarts: d6 Spirit: d6 Strength: d8 Vigor: d8

Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d6, Notice d8, Throwing d6, Tracking d6

Pace: 7 Parry: 6(7) Toughness: 8(1)

Size: +1 Abraks average 7’ in height and are powerfully built

Armor: +1 Thick Fur

Low Light Vision: Halve penalties for illumination

Gear: Sword/Axe/Mace (Str + d8), Light Shield (+1 Parry, +1 Toughness vs. ranged)

Edge:

Capricorn

Requirements: Novice, Abrak, Swimming d6, Vigor d8

When exposed to water, you are capable of growing gills and a fish tail to replace your legs. You gain the Aquatic trait with a pace equal to your swimming.

Gear

Capraerian War Chariot

Constructed from a combination of wood, brass and bone, a Capraerian War Chariot is often used by Capraerian Necrolords as personal transport and war machines. They are generally drawn by a quartet of humanoid skeletons who are heavily armed and armored.

Acc/TS: Toughness: Crew: Notes:

Animal’s Pace 10(2) 1+1 Provides Medium Cover to crew. Scythes do 2d6 damage to people in adjacent squares with a successful Drive check.

Necrolash

Constructed out of the vertebrae of several humanoids, attached to the tibia and fibula of one of them, a Necrolash is a whip more than a dozen feet long. It is an exceptionally heavy weapon and requires both an above average level of strength and a talent with necromantic energy to wield properly. A Necrolash delivers savage wounds but is also infused with dark energy. Anyone hit by the weapon has part of their spirit drained, leaving them weak and disoriented.

Str + d8 Notes: Reach 2, Minimum Strength d8, requires Necromancer Edge or -2 penalty, any target shaken takes a -2 to recover.

Capricorn Crumster

Size 16 Acc/TS 2/10 Handling -1

Crew 19 + 18 Toughness 25(10) Wounds 3

Mods 19 Cost 99,850 Cargo 44

Notes 3x Armor, Cargo Hold, Crew Increase, Heavy Armor, 3x Passenger Decrease, 2x Reinforced Hull, Ram, Turret

Weapons Medium Ballista x2

Range: 25/50/100 Dam: 3d8 ROF: 1 Crew: 2 Notes: Heavy Weapon

Heavy Catapult

Range: 75/150/300 Dam: 4d8 RoF: 1 Crew: 3 Notes: AP20, Heavy Weapon, Turret

The only design created by the Capraerians, the Capricorn is a heavy warship and troop transport. It is inspired by some of their most revered citizens and their legendary ancestors the creatures with goat forequarters and fish tails known as Capricorns. They are very heavily armed and armored but have a somewhat inefficient design requiring a larger than normal crew and without much space for additional passengers. This is not generally an issue for a Capraerian troop transport as the bulk of their troops are skeletons, in any case. In fact, the Capraerians took this into account when designing the Capricorn and gave it a spacious cargo hold. In fact, if they use the hold for nothing other than carrying these undead they can transport almost 900 skeletons (though they would have no way to command that many troops with the crew available to a single Capricorn. Because of how durable these vessels are and their abilities to carry so much cargo, a few brave captains have stolen the design. It does take a truly brave captain, however, as Capraerians hold their Capricorns as religious icons and zealously hunt down any non-Abrak who dares defile them by using one.

Necrocorn

Size 16 Acc/TS 2/10 Handling -1

Crew 19 + 18 Toughness 25(10) Wounds 3

Mods 15 Cost 115,350 Cargo 40

Notes 3x Armor, Cargo Hold, Crew Increase, Heavy Armor, 3x Passenger Decrease, 2x Reinforced Hull, Ram, Sentient, Turret

Agility: d6, Smarts: d4 (A), Spirit: d6, Strength: d10

Skills: Fighting: d8, Notice: d6, Piloting: d6

Parry: 6

Special Abilities:

Horns: Str + 3d6

Weapons Medium Ballista x2

Range: 25/50/100 Dam: 3d8 ROF: 1 Crew: 2 Notes: Heavy Weapon

Heavy Catapult

Range: 75/150/300 Dam: 4d8 RoF: 1 Crew: 3 Notes: AP20, Heavy Weapon, Turret

Utilizing the same general design as a Capricorn Crumster, a Necrocorn is made from the gathered remains of several massive starbeasts, often including at least one Kindori. Through extensive rituals, these cobbled together beasts are a single mindless undead creature. Due to their Necromantic abilities, Capraerian Lords often use these as their personal vessels as they are able to control them directly. They lose much of their capacity to carry undead troops, but the Necrolords do not mind as they use them only as command vessels for larger fleets or personal hunter-killers.

Ravnivori Empire – Magic Items

Where would a swords & space game be without magic items?  The biggest magic items in the Ravnivori Empire are, of course, the Void Running ships, themselves.

But, many smaller magic items are just as valued by their owners, if not technically as valuable.  Here are a few magic items relatively common in the Empire that do not appear on the usual list of random treasure tables –

Magic Items

While mighty sorcerers and mages throwing around balls of fire and warping the rules of reality are not common, magic abounds in the Ravnivori Empire. Artificers and technomancers create everyday devices for the comfort and happiness of Imperial citizens. These range from devices that provide light and/or heat without burning fuel to those that aid in cleaning and even ones for entertainment. More martial devices are also created. Following are magical items that have military or adventuring applications. While they can, occasionally, be bought, it is far more common for them to be given to members of the Empire who prove themselves either as awards or as aids. A few interesting devices that are less common but that have been found in exploration of the Void are also included.

Amulet of Undead Control: These amulets are made from intelligent undead. These creatures must be sacrificed whether willingly or unwillingly. If the creature has already suffered the True Death it cannot be used to create one of these amulets. These pieces of jewelry are always ornate and generally large and feature some physical portion of the undead that went into creating it, whether a finger, tooth, or a vial of blood or ashes.

Amulets of Undead Control do essentially what their name implies. They are used to issue commands to a set group of mindless undead. Their powers do not affect sentient undead. The number of undead controlled is based on how powerful the creature that was sacrificed to make it was. The least powerful amulets can control 5 undead while the most powerful can control up to 50. A character may only wear one of these amulets at a time. The undead that are controlled can be replaced but not changed. For example, if a weak amulet controls 5 skeletons and the controller encounters a zombie, the wearer cannot take over the zombie and release a skeleton. However, if, in the ensuing combat, the zombie slays one of the skeletons, the wearer could then take over the zombie.

Animated Weapons/Shields: A number of magical weapons and shields are invested with a life of their own. Created in much the same way that Mechanids are crafted, they are also given the ability to hover and fight by themselves. The owner of an animated weapon or shield has only to give a command word and the device will hover near the possessor and fight and defend him to the best of its ability. Much like Mechanids, they learn and become more skilled as they grow older. New Animated Weapons are relatively cheap but start with only a d4 in fighting. The oldest Animated Weapons are capable of challenging even master duelists in combat. Periodically, the weapon must be taken in hand and the command word spoken to start the weapon fighting again. This time period is based on how skilled the weapon is. The weapon remains animated for a number of rounds equal to the fighting skill of the weapon.

Battle Table: These magical devices come in a number of shapes and sizes. The simplest are portable platforms with legs that can be folded up and easily packed on a wagon or even carried on someone’s back. The most ornate are the size of banquet tables and intricately carved and decorated with gold leaf. The size and complexity has little bearing on the device’s effects. The surface of each of these tables is blank but when the appropriate command word is given or button pushed, a miniature illusory display of the surrounding terrain and military forces springs into being on the surface. The location displayed can be shifted and expanded or contracted depending on the quality of the table and the commands given it. The user of the table must be aware of these forces in some way, though it can be through reports from scouts or divination magic and does not have to be personal knowledge. Once these units are established, the table tracks them, moving the forces around the table in accordance with how the actual units move. How precise these images and tracking can be is a factor of the quality of the table. For the cheapest it is nothing more than symbols and words identifying the units as a whole. For the best, it actually displays the individuals in each unit and shows their movements in near real time. Depending on the quality of the table, users receive a bonus on Knowledge (Battle) checks of between +1 and +3.

Berserker Cloak: These cloaks are made from the skin of a large bear. They are big enough that only grizzly and polar bears are large enough to provide the skins necessary to create them. The wearer of a Berserker cloak gains the berserk edge if he or she does not already possess it. Additionally, it provides a bonus to the wearer’s strength. This bonus is variable with the weakest providing only a single shift while the most powerful provide up to 5 shifts in strength.

Cornucopia: There are two forms of these magical devices. Both provide food and drink but in quite different ways. The first type is made of woven stalks of grain and is dedicated to Sivis Kee. These Cornucopia’s provide enough food from the large end and enough water from the small end to keep a single person alive and healthy for one day. The owner needs simply to reach into the mouth of the Cornucopia and can pull out plain tasting but hearty bread. This bread includes all the vitamins and nutrients that the possessor needs. The owner can also open the tiny end of the cornucopia and clear, cool water will flow out, enough to keep him hydrated. All this food and water can be drawn out at one time or broken up over several servings up to the total amount for a day. The second type is made from the large horn of a ram, goat or bull. The owner of this cornucopia can reach into the large end of the horn and pull out a single large serving of delicious fully cooked and hot meat each day. A cap can be pulled off the small end of the horn to dispense a large tankard’s worth of ale or wine.

Fire Brand: Weapons with this enchantment are capable of bursting into flames. These weapons are often decorated with flames and embedded with rubies.

Fire Brands add a +1 to damage when they are ignited and negate regeneration abilities. They also provide light equivalent to a torch and can ignite flammable materials.

Flight Ammunition: This type of ammunition is relatively common as a magic items The magic that goes into it is fairly simple and the special materials necessary to make it is relatively common. The shaft and fletching of a piece of flight ammunition (if it is an arrow or bolt) is like that of any mundane missile but the heads (or the balls themselves if this is flintlock ammunition) are made from turquoise that has been carved with mystic ruins that both strengthens the material to the hardness of steel and provides the magic effects of the ammunition. Simply put, flight ammunition has double the ranges of mundane ammunition of the same time.

Ghost Shield: When deactivated, these devices appear to be nothing more than large, ornate steel bracelets adorned with a large, clear gem surrounded by smaller gems on one side. Activating the device causes a transparent 3’ diameter shield of magical force to spring into existence.

+3 Parry attacks from the front and left, +3 Armor to Ranged Shots that Hit. +2 to attempts to hide device. Weight: 1lb.

Giff Targeting Monocle: A favored device of Nocerans especially, a Giff Targeting Monocle is a well-crafted lens in an ornate brass frame with a chain made of the same material. It is particularly useful for individuals with the nearsighted hindrance. While wearing the monocle, the nearsighted hindrance is negated but only for the purposes of shooting skill checks. Notice, throwing and any other checks are still subject to the normal penalties. In addition, anyone with the nearsighted hindrance gets a +2 to shooting rolls while wearing one of these monocles. The way the device functions is a bit awkward for others and anyone without the nearsighted hindrance only gains a +1 bonus to shooting rolls.

Hammer of the Star Titans: Legends of mighty and wise giants who once dominated and explored the void exist on many of the worlds that have taken to exploring the stars. These ancient weapons are rumored to have been minor weapons or tools of these powerful creatures. Given how potent the devices are, if the rumors are true, the Star Titans were great, indeed. These weapons appear to be large mauls with metal hafts and heads made of strange, rune encrusted stone.

Dam: Str + D8 + 1, AP 2 vs rigid armor, Parry -1, 2 hands, Heavy Weapon.

Helmet of the Ram: As might be expected from the name, this full helmet sports a pair of large ram’s horns. These horns have been etched with numerous arcane runes of power.

Anyone wearing a Helmet of the Ram has his running die raised by one type. Additionally, he adds a +1 to his fighting and damage when charging.

Living Armor: Crafted from arcanely crafted ambulatory plants, living armor bonds with its host when worn. A number of different plants are intertwined and bonded to the host to provide a variety of benefits. All Living Armor acts as mundane armor with various levels of protection. Additionally, depending upon the plants involved, the wearer’s physical abilities are boosted, either by external augmentations or through the injection of ability heightening chemicals into the blood stream. Other abilities, such as flight, enhanced speed, and melee and ranged weapons can be added as though the wearer was given the Arcane Background (Weird Science) Edge. Further edges can be applied to give the armor more power points and additional powers. This armor feeds off its host, however and it causes a level of fatigue for every 8 hours it is worn.

Magic Lanterns: Two types of magic lanterns are common in the Ravnivori empire. Everburning lanterns give off magical light rather than burning. Thus, they need no fuel and can not be blown out by high winds. Shutters on the lanterns can be closed to block the light it sheds. The same arcane technology that is applied to animated weapons can also be applied to lanterns. These lanterns float just behind their owners whenever a command word is spoken. Another command word deactivates them. These two features are often combined with everburning lanterns being animated.

Ray of Amaz: Only given to the most faithful servants of Amaz, these weapons appear as either a spear or a bow. Calling upon the name of the goddess, the device transforms from one type of weapon. In addition to this mystical ability, the weapons are often also blessed with bonuses to fighting and damage.
Range | Dam |Weight |Cost |Min. Str. |Notes
3/6/12 | Str +d6 |5 |300 |d8 |Parry +1, Reach 1, 2hands, transform from spear to bow with one action
15/30/60 | 2d6

Repeating Flintlocks: Although flintlock weapons have the potential for impressive damage and range, they all have one distinct flaw: they have an exceptionally slow rate of fire compared to other missile weapons. Although a number of people are experimenting with technological methods for overcoming this disadvantage, many arcanists have turned to magical means. To this end, arcanists have created flintlocks with an arcane mark on their barrels. This arcane mark is duplicated and linked to a number of other barrels. Each time the barrel of the gun is emptied, the powder and shot in one of these other barrels is magically teleported into the barrel of the gun. This allows the wielder of the gun to fire again immediately without reloading. Unfortunately, there is a limit on the number of barrels that can be linked to a single mark. Barrels have arcane mark that matches mark on other tubes. Currently, this limitation is 6, including the actual barrel of the gun. When all barrels are expended, the weapon operates like any mundane version of its kind. It takes 2 actions to reload each barrel.

Restoration Bed: This large canopy bed is fully six and a half foot wide by seven foot long. The posts holding up the canopy are carved with numerous symbols and signs indicating health and restoration. Each night that an individual spends sleeping in this bed he makes a natural healing check. There are various levels of power of these beds. The most basic simply allow the sleeper to make their healing check each night. Better beds negate various levels of wound penalties made during these checks. These beds are meant to provide exceptionally peaceful sleep and only function when the curtains are closed. This causes a -2 penalty to any perception checks to either wake up if the person inside is asleep or to hear anything outside the bed if the person is awake. In either case, the curtains are impossible to see through. Only one person can benefit from the bed at a time and the person must get a full 8 hours of sleep to gain the benefit.

Scepter of Pini-Ya: This Scepter once belonged to one of the greatest rulers of the Empire that created the first Nautiloids. A master of controlling mindless undead, he was capable of commanding legions of the creatures by sheer will alone. Upon his True Death (at the hands of one of his great grandchildren) his remains were made into this scepter and much of his powers lingered in the device. Though the deepest secrets of this device have been lost with time, it still retains a great deal of power. The Scepter of Pini-Ya appears as a humanoid skull with onyx eyes mounted on a humanoid femur. A crown of humanoid canine teeth form a crown around the skull and the hilt is wrapped in ancient leather made from humanoid skins.

Str + d6, AP 1 vs. rigid armor. The following powers operate only against undead: +1 Damage, +1 Fighting, +1 Parry, +1 Charisma, Puppet and Zombie with 10 Power Points to spend.

Sky Chariot of Amaz: Another item that is generally only bestowed upon the most faithful servants of the sun goddess a Sky Chariot appears to be an ornate golden shield decorated with Amaz’s sunburst symbol. And, in fact, it functions as a quite effective shield. Anyone wielding this device as a large shield with an additional +1 to Parry and Armor (Large Shield: +3 Pry, +3 armor vs. rng.) Additionally, the owner can place the shield on the ground and stand on the inside of it and with a short prayer to Amaz, cause it to levitate. The Sky Chariot has a fly speed of 10” per round and can climb at 2” per round. It is guided by leaning, leaving the rider’s hands free. Turns up to 45 degrees are done without a check but for each additional 45 degree or fraction thereof a check must be made with a cumulative -1. Failure means that the rider goes straight instead and any result below 0 indicates that he rider has fallen off the sky chariot and suffers the normal results of a fall from whatever height they were at.

Spear of the Gods: This weapon is rumored to have been created directly by the gods themselves and to be utilized against their brethren who have gone rogue. The weapon appears to be made of some unknown wood and metal and is covered in intricate scroll work that many claim is actually some ancient language.

Dam: Str + d6 + 2(electricity), Parry +2, Reach 1, 2 Hands, Range 6/12/24 5lbs.

Spirit Shield: These seemingly flimsy shields are made from the skin, fur, claws, and/or feathers, of an animal. A simple silhouette image of the animal that the shield is made of is painted on the shield in pigments made from from the animal itself. The shield acts as a simple medium shield but is as strong as steal and some of the more powerful ones provide bonuses to parry and armor. When activated with a command word the animal displayed on the shield springs out to fight for the person carrying it, leaving the shield blank. The animal can be recalled to the shield at any time and if it is killed, it disappears and reappears on the shield. The usual animals used on these shields are wolves, bears, elk, and eagles, though other animals are possible and even more exotic and magical animals are occasionally used.

Wolf Cloak: Made from the unblemished skin of a large wolf, this cloak provides a +1 to vigor rolls made to resist fatigue caused by cold and a +1 to tracking rolls while worn. Additionally, as an action, the wearer can turn into either a wolf or dire wolf, gaining the physical abilities of whichever type of creature he or she turns into but retaining their own smarts, spirit and skills (though some skills may not be possible without opposable thumbs.)

Personalities of the Empire

The first three of these started out as the potential patrons for my player group.  Each one represents a different potential goal for a party.  Kazucarn (who the group chose) is a trader and represents a focus on making money through shipping. Shenzen is interested in discovery.  She represents a focus on exploration.  Karl is interested in expanding the empire.  He represents a focus on conquest.

The rest of them are just characters who either showed up in the campaign or who were ideas that I wanted to flesh out.  A few of them have stats, as well, but most are just descriptions.

Below are several personages representative of the citizens of the Ravnivori Empire.

Kazucarn Gurk

A massive minotaur with a potbelly, chestnut fur, and gold and gem encrusted horns

Kazucarn is first and foremost a business man. He seeks to expand his own fortunes and hedonistic horizons by sponsoring void runners. Though he never breaks the law, he will push it to extremes with no thought to morality or ethics. He has gained a reputation for buying or selling anything as long as it is not illegal.

Kazucarn Gurk began life as the illegitimate child of a woman who served as purzya to an Imperial military unit. The woman cared little for the child and did not alter her lifestyle in the least to take him into account. Kazucarn grew up wandering around following the army with his mother and scavenging a life from their castoffs.

He had just become a pre-teen when the war between the Ravnivori and the Shan ended. The unit he was associated with was not disbanded, but became a garrison unit in Shan lands. Kazucarn decided that he was going to forge his own destiny. Over the years, he’d scraped together a decent amount of money from found coins and pay for doing small chores and favors for the soldiers and he used this money to buy a cart and a few unique goods from the local Shan market.

With these supplies, he headed west. Gurk stopped in each village and town he passed, selling some of his goods when he could make a profit or buying cheap goods when he could find them. His real success came after he made the arduous trip over one of the passes that lead into Almatian lands. The Almatians clamored to buy the exotic spices, fabrics and art from Shan lands and he made a massive profit. After splurging on an opulent meal and room, Kazucarn quickly loaded his cart up with Almatian goods and headed back over the mountains.

Two more trips allowed him to buy a wagon, another, an additional wagon. Two more a ship so that he could trade goods between all three of the continents of Retra. By the time Gurk reached 16, the age of maturity, he no longer had to go on the trips himself. He had a large trading network with several dozen employees and interests in several permanent caravans and trading fleets.

Kazucarn semi-retired at this point, having a large, opulent villa built near his headquarters in Almatia and enjoying the good life. He always had a taste for finer things and fully indulged that predilection, enjoying all manner of alcohol, drugs, food, women and entertainment.

By the time void runners were discovered, Gurk was one of the few people on Retra with enough money to buy one. Seeing the massive possibility for profit these new vessels presented, he invested almost all of his liquid capital in them. This allowed him to outright buy two Tradesmen as they were produced and hold shares in two more. He immediately put them to work, setting up trade between the civilizations the Empire found in the void as well as selling their services to the Empire itself.

Currently, Gurk owns more void runners than anyone else in the Empire, three Tradesmen and a Squidship, though he is always looking to expand his holdings.

Sokune Shenzen

A short, birdlike, elderly Shan woman with long black hair, streaked with silver.

Shenzen sees the discovery of void runners as a chance to expand her already considerable knowledge. She hopes that those under her patronage will bring back books, art and information about the wonders of the universe beyond Retra.

Shenzen was born the first daughter of a high level functionary of the Immortal Court of the Glorious Empire of the Eternal Shan. Her mother held sway over a massive swath of land near the capital and the Sokune family often dined with the Imperial family.

Shenzen’s mother hoped that her daughter would follow in her footsteps and did everything in her power to prepare her for her future position. Shenzen was provided the best tutors in all fields from calligraphy to astronomy to to medicine to swordplay to court politics. Unfortunately, she proved completely incompetent and disinterested int he last of these fields. Shenzen simply did not care who was currying favor with who, what flutter of a fan meant that one hated a rival, or what the Emperor’s favorite kind of nut was. Once she discovered the wonders of the world that could be discovered though science and learning, she cared little for the politics that made that world go round.

Thus, though it disappointed her to no end, Shenzen’s mother was forced to pass her power on to her son, a boy who was not so bright as his sister but who had a double dose of the killer instinct and cunning that made for a brilliant courtier.

Shenzen was relegated to a role as a researcher and librarian at the Golden University of Ever Rising Knowledge, the center of study at the Imperial capital. It was a life that she excelled at. She never rose very high in the ranks as the social competition in academia proved just as fierce as at the Emperor’s court, but none could deny her brilliance and her superiors often jockeyed to have her assigned to them so that they could lay claim to at least partial credit for her discoveries.

She hardly noticed when the Ravnivori conquered her land. It was only a minor annoyance as she was forced to remain away from or sneak into the library for several months while the invaders laid siege to her city. Afterward, she simply returned to her quest for knowledge, hardly caring that her new superiors were foreign conquerors as long as they did not interfere with her work. Fortunately, those superiors were wise enough to stay out of her way.

Shenzen’s disinterest in the outside world was only shattered when that outside world expanded. The discoveries and possibilities available on other worlds was a draw that she could not deny. Though she did not have her brother’s power or money, she had amassed an impressive amount of money from her salary and from awards given due to her many discoveries. Since she seldom spent any of this money, she had quite a treasury by the time void runners were discovered.

She wasted little time in buying one and less in gathering a crew, boarding her ship and streaking off into the void. That first trip garnered her numerous specimens and tomes as well as another ship. One of the societies that she discovered was so impressed by her quest for knowledge that their ruler gifted her with a Dragonship to show his admiration.

Shenzen has returned home, now, retiring from the University so that she may examine the wonders of the universe. These wonders are brought to her by her two ships, both the Dragonship and her first Koi. Though she already has a backlog of material to research that will last until well after her death, her thirst for knowledge remains unslaked and she is looking to add a third research vessel to her fleet.

Karl Djordsen

Tall, broad shouldered with long blonde hair and a shaggy beard and bright green eyes.

Karl is a Possessed Ravnivori who is completely dedicated to the Empire. His interest in backing Void Runners is almost purely in bringing the glory of the Empire to new worlds and, incidentally, expanding his own holdings.

Karl is the current patriarch of a seafaring family that has served the Empire for generations. Once the need for naval military forces had essentially expired, the Djordsens, like many other families in the Empire with strong military traditions were left without purpose and looked for meaning.

For Karl, at least, this meaning came with the discovery of Void Runners. Karl’s secret dream, the chance to explore new places was suddenly a possibility. His entire world had been charted by the time Karl was born but the opening of the universe with the advent of the Void Runners opened up a universe of possibilities for the man.

The Djordsens were not a powerful enough family to claim one of the earliest Void Runners, but Karl was inspired by the Void Runners and let nothing stand in his way. He volunteered a great deal of his family fortune to the Thresher project to help get the experimental ship constructed. And, of course, after it was built, it was given into his care. Karl still captains the Terror of the Void, as the first Thresher has been named but he is also looking to expand his fleet with another vessel, either to serve as support or as an individual ship to further explore the universe.

Dunbar Liggett

A massive Dracotaur with deep grey-blue scales and a paler, almost white underbelly. Several horns spring back from his head and spikes bedeck the tip of his tail. His golden eyes are fierce, but intelligent.

The current King of Pain of the Legion of the Abyss, Dunbar Liggett began his career in the military in the closing years of the Ravnivori campaign against Almatia. He was inducted into the Legion just in time for it to be disbanded, though he was quick to join the military fraternity that rose from its ashes.

In the campaign against the Shan that followed, he proved himself just as savage, efficient and brutal as to be expected of Legionnaire. Eventually, his skills became so impressive that he was chosen for the supreme position in the Legion.

He has maintained this title even after the defeat of the Shan and, though many wondered what the Legion of the Abyss would become with the apparent end of war, Dunbar was quick to petition for and be granted the captaincy of a Void Runner ship. His ship, The Hammer of Doom is considered one of the most dangerous vessels in the Empire, not least because Liggett is its captain.

L’un Dihn

A petite Shan woman with large, deep black eyes and long flowing brown hair. She has a round, warm face and full lips.

Eyes: Black Hair: Dark Brown Height: 5’ Weight: 115#
Agility: d8 Smarts: d4 Spirit: d8 Strength: d4 Vigor: d6
Skills: Fighting: d4, Shooting: d4, Guts: d8, Knowledge (Fashion) d8, Persuasion: d8, Riding d4
Pace: 6 Parry: 4 Toughness: 4 Charisma: +4
Edges: Attractive, Noble, Rich
Hindrances: Small, Clueless

L’un Dihn is the daughter of Kazucarn Gurk and the daughter of a noble Shan family. Though the woman’s out of wedlock pregnancy was somewhat shameful, the family could not turn a blind eye to Gurk’s money and power. Strangely, Gurk doted on the girl, if from afar. While he would never win any prizes for being a good father, he showered his daughter with money and gifts, utterly spoiling her and ensuring that she never needed to worry about anything.

Dihn has managed to reach adulthood without learning much about the real world. She has grown somewhat bored by her sheltered life and has decided to stowaway on one of her father’s voidrunning ships to learn more about life outside her cloistered existence.

Sokune Takio

A petite, Shan woman with an elegant face and short midnight black hair and almond shaped dark brown eyes. She moves with unconscious grace and athleticism.

The daughter of Sokune Shenzen, Takio followed a very different path. Instead of becoming a scholar and burying herself in books, she instead dedicated her life to becoming a samurai and master swordswoman. Taking up the ancestral weapon of her father’s clan, she is not yet the world’s greatest swordsmaster, but she is universally acknowledged as one of the best.

Eyes: Dark Brown Hair: Black Height: 5’5″ Weight: 130#
Agility: d10 Smarts: d4 Spirit: d6 Strength: d6 Vigor: d6
Skills: Fighting: d12, Shooting: d6, Guts: d8, Persuasion: d8
Pace: 6 Parry: 8 Toughness: 7(3) Charisma: 0
Edges: Trademark Weapon (Chrysanthemum Wind)
Hindrances: Vow (Samurai Code), Big Mouth
Gear: Chrysanthemum Wind (Katana) Str + d6 + 2, AP2, Plate Corselet +3 Torso, Pot helm +3 Head 50%

Vangral

A tall, slender but muscular Ravnivori elven man. He has flowing, golden blonde hair and dark blue eyes. His face is thin and sharp.

Eyes: Dark Blue Hair: Blonde Height: 5’10″ Weight: 160#
Agility: d10 Smarts: d8 Spirit: d8 Strength: d8 Vigor: d8
Skills: Fighting: d10, Guts: d8, Intimidation: d8, Notice: d8, Shooting: d6, Spellcasting: d8, Stealth: d8
Pace: 6 Parry: 7 Toughness: 9(3) Charisma: 0
Edges: Arcane Background: Magic
Gear: Platemail (3), Longsword: Str+d8, Longbow: 2d6
Special Abilities: Infravision
Magic: Stun, Deflection, Speed

Vangral served as the captain of a ocean going dreadnought in the Ravnivori war against the Shan. He was a steady commander who won the victories he was expected to and avoided trouble he could not handle. He was also the mentor of a young human named Karl Djordsen.

When the Shan war finally ended, Vangral remained in the navy, continuing to serve steadily if without distinction. Until, that is, Djordsen contacted him and offered him a position as the human’s lieutenant on his new void running ship.

Chorizal (Draga)

A powerfully built draga with dark green body scales and pale yellow belly scales. A scowl seems to be permanently etched into his face.

Eyes: Yellow Hair: None Height: 12’ Weight: 800#
Agility: d6 Smarts: d6 Spirit: d6 Strength: d8 Vigor: d6
Skills: Fighting: d10, Intimidation: d6, Notice: d8, Shooting: d6, Stealth: d6, Swimming: d4
Pace: 6 Parry: 8 Toughness: 7(2) Charisma: 0
Edges:

Hindrances: All Thumbs, Code of Honor, Cold Aversion (Major), Mean
Gear: Halberd: Str + d8, Flail: Str+d6, Medium Shield
Special Abilities: Armor + 2, Bite Str + d4, Dragon Deference, Four Arms

Ravnivori Empire – Edges

And, with this, you should be able to make a fully compatible Ravnivori Empire Character.  Race, culture, skills, hindrances and now Edges.  I have some equipment I’ve worked up, so I guess there’s that but otherwise, if you’re playing along at home, you basically have the Character Creation guide for my campaign.

Speaking of characters, my document got up to 200 pages but I pulled out the pre-gen characters I’ve offered folks at cons and put them into their own document.  So I have some room under that entirely arbitrary number, again.

Edges:

The following are Edges appropriate to the Ravnivori Empire.

Background

These are edges that the character is either born with or begins play with. Many of them are a direct result of some unusual ancestor in the character’s bloodline or represent unusual characteristics for a member of his race.

Advanced Saurian

Requirements: Novice, Saurian

Saurian eggs hatched near suns produce Saurians who are quicker both mentally and physically. Saurians with this Edge lose the Slow Footed Hindrance and are capable of achieving a Smarts of d12, though they must still spend two points to raise their Smarts at character generation.

Giant Kin

Requirements: Novice, Vigor D6, Strength d6, Amazon, Dwarf, Elf, Human, Minotaur or Troglyn

One of your ancestors was some sort of giant. Though your stature cannot match theirs, you are noticeably larger than others of your type. However, your bulk also interferes with your dexterity. You gain a +2 to your size (and toughness) and can carry 8 times your strength in pounds with no penalty rather than 5 times. Unfortunately, it takes two steps to raise your agility at character creation, though it can be increased as normal with later advances.

 

Unusual Heritage

Requirements: Novice

Over the centuries, the more powerful and exotic sentient species have had a fascination with humanoids. Whether through love or simple lust, faeries, dragons and otherworldly creatures have interbred with the more mundane races of the Empire. One of your ancestors is one of these strange creatures and you have inherited some special ability from them. You gain a single Novice level power and five power points to use on this power. These power points refresh at a rate of one per hour and cannot be augmented in any way. In addition, you gain immunity to poison or disease, a +2 to checks against environmental effects or a +4 to checks against a specific type of environmental effect.

 

 

 

Professional:

The below edges reflect the benefits provided to a character because of their training or association with one of the organizations in the Empire, or because of their expertise in a particular field.

Gray Heart

Requirements: Novice, Fighting d6, Streetwise d6

You are the Left Hand of the Emperor, the enforcement of his will. You have the power to arrest and punish any Imperial citizen who breaks the Emperor’s laws. Any Imperial citizen recognizes this power and defers to you, giving you a +2 to Charisma against them. Your extensive training also gives you a +2 to Investigation, Streetwise and Tracking rolls. You also gain a minor vow to uphold the laws of the Empire.

Member of a Military School

Requirements: Varies

Your character is a member of one of the many military schools, fencing academies or martial arts dojos that exist scattered throughout the Empire. Each of these schools of specialized learning provides its own advantages but they all provide members a +1 Charisma modifier to other members of the Academy.

Scion of the Tzhou Family

Requirements: Novice, Knowledge (Blackpowder) d6, Shooting d6

Although perhaps not, technically a member of the Tzhou Family, you have at least received that honorary status. You have been given the privilege of monitoring Black Powder weapons throughout the Empire. You’ve received extensive training both in the use and design of black powder weapons. You gain a +1 to hit with any black powder weapon, including cannons. You also gain a +2 to any Knowledge or repair rolls that involve black powder weapons. Finally, you gain a +2 to your charisma when dealing with Imperial merchants if the goods in question are black powder weapons due to the respect given your position.

Talon of Kahwen

Requirements: Seasoned, Agility d8, Fighting d8, Knowledge (Religion) d8, Weapon of the 7 (Katar of Kahwen)

When wielding 2 Talons of Kahwen, you may gain both the parry bonus and attack capabilities of one of them. This allows you to make an attack with one of the weapons and get a +4 total parry bonus from the two weapons.

Improved Talon of Kahwen

Requirements: Veteran, Agility d10, Fighting d10, Knowledge (Religion) d10, Weapon of the Gods (Katar of Kahwen)

As above but you may use both Talons to attack and still receive their full parry bonus. Multiaction and off hand penalties apply as normal.

Weapon of the 7

Requirements: Novice, Spirit d8+, Strength d6+, Vigor d8+, Fighting, d8+, Knowledge (Religion) d6+

The militant arm of the 7 Lords of Thunder are men and women who are often not blessed with magical abilities. Instead, they are skilled warriors who have dedicated their lives to protecting the faithful of the 7 Lords.

A Weapon of the 7 gains a +1 to hit when wielding the favored weapon of their patron. In addition they get a +2 bonus to resist all negative environmental effects related to weather. Finally, the faithful have nothing but love and respect for Weapons of the 7 and they get a +2 Charisma bonus with any worshipper of any of the 7 Lords of Thunder.

The Weapons of the 7 for each Lord of Thunder go by titles based on their name and favored weapon as shown below:

Clenched Hand of Upi

Katar of Kahwen

Hammer of Grashk

Whip of Mu’Ab

 

 

Social

These edges help you get along in the world. They help you win friends and influence people.

 

Kronor

Requirements: Seasoned, Noble

Your character has holdings on multiple worlds. He gains an additional 500 marks a month in income from these holdings. He also gets a +1 to his Charisma when dealing with Imperials who know he is a Kronor. Additionally, his knowledge of all the worlds he has holdings on is exceptional and he gets a +1 to any Knowledge rolls directly related to those worlds. Of course, his duty to the Empire and the number of subjects he is responsible for also increases.

 

Weird:

Weird edges reflect abilities that your character has that are outside the norm for members of your race, or average members of the worlds. Many of these are edges that apply only to certain races but, unlike background edges, they can be taken after character creation.

Combat Tail

Requirements: Novice, Draga, Naga

While the tails of most Draga and Naga are too slender at the tip to be effectively used as a weapon, a few are born with thicker appendages or even spikes or heavy knobs at the end that can be a threat. A Draga or Naga with this adaptation does Str + d6 damage with their tail and can strike with it at +1 Reach.

Enhanced Natural Armor

Requirements: Novice, Draga, Minotaur, Naga, Saurian or Troglyn

Whether it be thicker scales, armored plates, tougher hide or simply shaggy, protective fur, your character has skin that is naturally resistant to damage. Your character gains a +2 bonus to natural armor. This is in addition to any natural armor the character already has.

Enhanced Natural Weapon

Requirements: Novice, Natural Weapon

Your character has larger horns, sharper claws or fangs or a tail with a heavy knob or spikes at the end. The damage of all your natural weapons increases by a die type. Minotaurs may take this edge only if they have the Large Horns edge and Naga may only take this edge if they have the Combat Tail edge.

Large Horns

Requirements: Novice, Minotaur

In many sectors of Imperial society, The larger a minotaur’s horns, the stronger, better and more virile he is assumed to be. A long horned minotaur is able to charm his way through many situations and garners respect from many individuals even before he has had a chance to earn it. They gain a +2 to Charisma when dealing with Imperial citizens, though members of other societies generally do not share the same prejudice. Additionally, these horns are large enough to be used as weapons, though their position makes it somewhat awkward if the minotaur is not charging. These natural weapons do Str + d6 in damage, but with a -1 to hit unless the minotaur is charging headfirst, in this case, he must move at least 4” and does an extra +4 damage if he hits.

 

Poison Bite

Requirements: Novice, Draga, Naga, Saurian, Troglyn

You have a pair of long, sharp fangs attached to venom sacks. When you bite an opponent, you can inject them with poison from these glands. Your bite only does Str + d4 damage but any victim that suffers a Shaken result must make a Vigor role or be paralyzed for 2d6 rounds.

Possessed

Requirements: Novice, d10+ in any stat or skill

You are bonded to a spirit known as a Daemon.  This entity keeps you young and healthy, as long as you pay its price.  So long as you kill at least one sentient creature each year, you do not age.  Additionally, you gain a +2 to Vigor rolls to resist diseases.  You also gain a +2 to Charisma when dealing with members of the Ravnivori Empire.  However, you get a -2 to Charisma when dealing with outsiders who are particularly opposed to demons, devils or spirits.  Finally, you can always identify another Possessed if you can see them.  Ki’Li’Lee and undead cannot take this Edge. Having the Possessed Edge is a requirement for taking the Arcane Background (Super Powers) Edge in the Ravnivori Empire. It also allows a character to take any Racial edge even if he is not a member of the required race. He can also take any physical background edge even after character creation. Additionally, he has access to all Possessed Edges. He must meet all other requirements for these Edges, however.

 

Size Increase I

Requirements: Novice, Draga, Minotaur, Naga, Saurian or Troglyn

Several of the species within the Empire have highly variable sizes that are within the normal range. Many of them also continue to grow over the years, even after they achieve maturity. Any Draga, Minotaur, Naga, Saurian or Troglyn that takes this edge is considered one size larger and gains the corresponding +1 toughness.

Size Increase II

Requirements: Seasoned, Draga, Naga, Saurian, Size Increase I

Some members of certain species in the Empire grow truly huge as time goes on. Many of them continue to grow over the years, even after they achieve maturity. These titans can grow to be literally as big as a horse. Any Draga, Naga, or Saurian that takes this edge is considered one size larger and gains the corresponding +1 toughness.

 

Undead

Requirements: Novice

Mindless undead are not uncommon in the Ravnivori Empire. Whether through curses or intentional rituals designed to raise useful soldiers and workers, skeletons and zombies roam the world of Retra, sometimes under the control of living creatures, sometimes wandering free. More sentient, but common undead such as vampires, mummies, ghouls and liches also exist. However, there are also more unique undead. Created through passionate curses, twisted rituals, or even simply passion that death cannot extinguish, there are individuals who have managed to live on even after their bodies have failed them. Generally, they defy categorization beyond being called “undead.” Undead characters gain a +2 to their toughness, a +2 to recover from Shaken, do not suffer from Disease or Poison and take no additional damage from called shots. These benefits do not come without a price, however. Invariably, people find it difficult to ignore what an undead character truly is and they gain the Outsider trait. Additionally, they gain a Major Phobia, Habit or Vulnerability related either literally or symbolically to the way they were killed or raised. Note, that the character cannot take a Hindrance he already has to pay this price. Also note that Neither Mechanids nor Ki’Li’Lee can be made undead and no one can have both the Undead and Possessed Edge.

(Echoes of Death – The process of becoming undead is a traumatic one. Very rarely does someone go through it without being scarred either mentally or physically. Sometimes these changes are magically linked to the nature of the death. These generally present themselves as unusual weaknesses or mental disabilities. Most Undead go through a great deal of trouble to hide these weaknesses from their enemies and from people in general. Each character who takes the Undead edge must also take one of these Echoes of Death.

Vulnerabilities – Undead characters can be vulnerable to a number of things. This can range from things that are dangerous to everyone to things that are otherwise innocuous to normal individuals. Examples include fire, electricity, precious metals, herbs and plain wood. For weapons that are made out of this substance or types of energy that do damage, the damage is increased by a d6. For substances or energies that are not normally harmful to people, the damage is d6 for each round of contact or exposure.

These vulnerabilities can also be specific symbols or sites, as well. These are often holy symbols or holy ground but any common symbol or type of location could be a Vulnerability for an Undead. The symbol can be made of any sort of material but must come into contact with the undead to do damage. In the case of locations, they must actually be at one of the specified locations for it to have an effect. A fistful of dirt from the location will do no damage, though standing on the grounds or inside the building will do damage every turn.

Hungers – Sometimes when souls come back, they are filled with unnatural hungers. The most famous of these is the vampire’s need to drink blood but others exist as well. Invariably, these hungers are disturbing and could include raw meat or brains. The Undead must feed this hunger at least once a week or suffer a level of fatigue until it is satiated. This fatigue can incapacitate such a character but not kill them and if they reach the level of incapacitation, they must make a spirit roll each time a source of their food is available or attack it in a mindless frenzy. As these hungers are always disturbing, an undead suffers a -2 Charisma penalty with any NPC who has seen him indulge in it.)

Military Schools

Following are the descriptions and explanations of the various Military Schools common in the Empire. A character must have the “Member of a Military School” Edge to gain the advantages of one of these schools.

Sheetara’s Equestrian Academy

Requirements: Fighting d6, Knowledge: Animal Training d6, Riding d6, Shooting d6

Begun in the ancestral homeland of the Amazons, outposts of Sheetara’s Equestrian Academy have spread throughout the Empire. They all retain their dedication to several of the basic tenets of Amazon warfare, however.

Foremost of these ideals is that a rider and her mount should become one. Because the teachers of the school respect the animals that serve as steeds, they realize that these beasts are all individuals and that each has their own abilities, skills and personalities. As such the academy teaches its students that they should first and foremost learn everything they can about their steeds.

To gain the benefits of the school, the member must choose one particular mount and spend at least a month with it, forming a bond with the animal. While horses are the traditional choice for mounts, more exotic animals are certainly a possibility in the modern Empire. This mount may be replaced either if it is lost or simply because a more appealing mount appears but the benefits of the school are unavailable until the member has spent a month familiarizing herself with the new animal.

While riding her favored mount, a member of this school gains a +1 to Fighting, Riding and Shooting checks. They also reduce the unstable platform penalty for shooting to -1, but only while riding this particular mount.

Dojo of the Fiery Whirlwind

Requirements: Agility d6, Shooting d6, Fighting d6

Like many parts of Shan culture, the usage of firearms is a heavily divisive topic. Many people embrace them wholeheartedly and see them as a leap forward in warfare and combat. As such, they believe there is no need to rely on the old fashioned methods of combat and many Shan gun wielders refuse to learn even the rudiments of hand to hand combat.

Others believe that tradition is all important and refuse to touch the newfangled firearms. They instead, cling to their ancient forms of martial arts.

The Dojo of the Fiery Whirlwind was founded by a disgraced member of the Tzhou family who believed that the deadly power of firearms could be combined to lethal effect with the ancient forms of certain martial arts.

Students of the Dojo of the Fiery Whirlwind gain the following benefits.

As long as you are armed with a loaded pistol and have a hand free, you may make 2 attacks per round with no multi-action or offhand penalty. One of these attacks must be an unarmed Fighting attack or grapple attempt and the other must be a shooting attack. This shooting attack can be against any target within range but, if it is directed towards a target within melee range, the TN is the target’s Parry rather than the standard ranged attack TN’s.

When a student achieves the Seasoned Rank they can wield any one handed melee weapon rather than making an unarmed Fighting attack and still gain the above benefits.

 

Imperial Officer’s Training School

Requirements: Knowledge: Battle d6, Fighting or Shooting d6

Ravnivori leaders are expected to lead from the front. As such, they must be able to fight and command at the same time. While this was seldom a problem when the Empire was small, as time went on, leaders were expected to guide larger and larger groups into battle.

While not all Imperial Officers go through the Training School, many wear graduation as a badge of honor, and with good reason. The training regimen includes extensive training in both physical combat and in strategic and tactical doctrines.

Graduates of the Imperial Officer’s Training school enjoy a number of benefits when leading their men from the front lines. First, they don’t suffer any multi-action penalties for making Knowledge: Battle rolls if they take one or more additional actions, including performing heroic actions.

Additionally, a graduate of the Imperial Officer’s Training school may make a Persuasion, Fighting, Shooting, Throwing or arcane skill roll when first taking charge of an Imperial unit. This reflects the character demonstrating his combat skills to prove himself to his soldiers. The character gets no additional effect on a success but for each raise he receives, that unit gets a +1 bonus to Mass Combat morale checks. If he fails, he instead gets a -1. A bonus remains until the character loses a Mass Combat, either because his forces are forced to retreat or are completely destroyed. A penalty remains until he gains a victory, either forcing his opponent to retreat or completely destroying them. If the commander neither has a bonus or penalty, he may roll again after each Mass Combat and gets a +1 if he achieved a victory or a -1 if he lost. The bonus or penalty also resets if he takes leadership of a new force or gains new troops equaling half or more his existing force.

Ravnivori Empire Races – My Void Stuff

Here are a few races from my homebrew setting that are neither from the old Spelljammer setting or native to the Empire’s homeworld.  They’re original Void going races I’ve created, though obviously, Cyclopes, Sphinxes and even scorpion people have appeared in other settings.

The Cyclopes have an obvious Racial Hindrance that can be used for points when designing them as a race.  The Savage or Civilized part is inspired by the Greek legends where half of them seemed to be master craftsmen and half were vicious primitives.  And the size bonus with it’s need for extra food is my way of using the “Extra Rations” hindrance.  Basically, each extra level of size after the first costs only 1 point because of their need to eat and breath more, both issues when you’re traveling through space with limited rations.  I would make it where all Gellian giants are actually Cyclopes but I’ve already run 1 adventure where that was not true and I really hate retconning.

The Dromepodans are just kind of weird, but I’ve always like scorpions and centaurs so they were kind of an obvious combination.  The only unusual thing for them was that I made their armor only a 1 point advantage since it can be easily avoided and at least half their mass is just skin rather than carapace.

And the Void Sphinxes started as a purely feline race with humanoid faces.  I was toying with the idea of them not having opposible thumbs at all.  Then, it occurred to me that they could just be more comfortable walking on all fours but able to move about on their hind legs and use their hands, when necessary.

Dromepodans:

Also known as scorpion people, the only known Dromepodans are much like the Ravnivori in the earliest stages of their development as an empire. They have a well established empire that has its origins around a massive freshwater lake in the middle of a large desert. With this geographic advantage they were able to set up a trading and military empire that stretched beyond the desert. While they have not yet managed to conquer their entire world, they dominate two of its continents and, more importantly, have already had contact with void going nations and races. They very quickly set up deals with these nations and learned the secrets of void running, themselves. While they have not yet conquered their own world, they do have colonies on others and, in fact, have more off world territory than the Ravnivori.

Many Dromepodans have taken to the void even beyond the imperial dreams of their nation and it is not too uncommon to see them in large void ports. A few have even joined the Ravnivori empire and, since their contact a few years back, both empires have traded envoys and merchants.

There is even some discussion of a political marriage between Ravnivorous himself and one of the Grand Sultan’s daughters to forge a strong alliance and potentially unite the two empires as one.

Scorpion people have humanoid, dark skinned and haired torsos springing out of the body of a scorpion. Their scorpion portions can range in color from a cream or tan all the way to midnight black.

Scorpion Body: Rather than humanoid legs, Dromepodans have a scorpion body below the waist. This provides them a +2 to armor but only for this portion of their body. Opponents can make a called shot with only a -1 penalty to strike the portion of their body without a carapace.

Snap and Sting: In addition to their hands and the weapons they can wield with them, Dromepodans have two claws and a stinging tail. All three of these natural weapons do Str+d4 damage and, if the stinger hits and causes a shaken or greater result, the opponent has to make a Vigor check or be paralyzed for 2d6 rounds. Note that a Dromepodan is not necessarily more coordinated than members of other races and must take the ambidextrous and multi-attack edges to offset the penalties of attacking more than once per round. Even this only provides them a single additional attack at no penalty and they must take the multi-attack edge again for each additional attack up to 4 total times to be able to attack with both hands, both claws and their tail.

Desert born: Though they have spread throughout their world, Dromepodans trace their ancestry to a desert environment. As such, they are unaccustomed to extreme levels of cold and suffer a -4 penalty to resist cold environmental effects.

Scuttling: Though they have 8 legs, Dromepodans are relatively slow. They have a pace of only 5, though they still roll a d6 when running.

Void Sphinx

Void Sphinxes claim that their race was born in an asteroid field out of stardust and solar winds. While few other races believe this story, no one has ever discovered the actual world where they were born and many suspect that they are the results of a mage’s experiment that went awry.

In any case, Void Sphinxes are unusual creatures. They have humanoid faces, though with a distinctly feline cast. Their bodies are also quite feline though they have longer forelimbs than hind legs and there is something simian about their posture. These creatures can walk on their hind legs alone indefinitely but are generally more comfortable walking on all fours. Their hands are somewhat primitive and, while they are quite agile, they are not particularly dexterous.

Void Sphinxes cultivate an air of mystery and wisdom and often engage in battles of wits with those around them. Some are amused and delighted when they lose these battles while others grow quite angry and violent when they are defeated.

Wise and Nimble – Void Sphinxes are known for both their mental and physical puissance. They begin with a d6 in Smarts and Agility

Simian Gait: Void Sphinxes have a pace of 6” when walking on all fours but roll d10’s for running. When walking on only two legs their pace reduces to 4” and they roll only d4’s when running. They may carry items while walking on all fours but if they run, they must make an agility check (with no multi-action penalty) or drop whatever they are carrying.

Simple Hands: Void Sphinxes hands are somewhat primitive. While they have opposable thumbs, they are not as dexterous as most other races. They suffer a -2 to any skill check that requires fine manipulation. Any Lockpicking and Repair check would suffer this penalty though Fighting, Shooting and Throwing checks would not, unless using a complex device. Other checks are up to GM discretion. Likewise, if the Void Sphinx rolls a 1 on the skill die while using any delicate item or complex piece of machinery, it is broken. Repair takes 1d6 hours and a check at -2.

Claws: Void Sphinxes fingers end in razor sharp retractable claws. They do Str + d6 damage with these natural weapons.

Cat’s Eyes: Void Sphinxes’ eyes are well adapted to darkness. They suffer no penalties for dim or dark lighting.

 

Ravnivori Empire Cultures and Skills

More from my homebrew handbook.  I like the concept of cultures in the game.  It is a nice little way to give some added mechanics to the flavor.  In fact, with settings where humans are the only character race, it’s the only mechanics influenced by the flavor of characters potentially being from different backgrounds.

I’m not even sure where I first saw it but when I did, I knew I had to add it.  I actually need to expand it.  I only have the rules for the 3 main cultures of Retra one of their colony worlds and a group of their allies.  I should work something up for each place where they have enough of a presence that it’s actually likely a character could come from there.

Skills, both new ones and modified ones are another excellent mechanic for flavor.  They can help show where the focus of a game is going to be and what sorts of knowledge and abilities are going to be useful.  Of course, some of the skills in Savage Worlds are so broad that there is some limit in what sorts of focus you can do.  In fact, I only have one unique knowledge skill for my campaign. This should also be expanded.  I can see a Knowledge: Astrogation and Knowledge: Offworld Cultures or their equivalent as obvious options.

I’m going to throw in the Hindrances here, too.  Again, good mechanics to influence flavor, Both for the setting in general and characters in particular.  At some point I’m going to write up a system to buy off hindrances.  I’m the kind of player who doesn’t like flawed characters.  I’d rather my character be average than to have him be great at something but very bad in another are, but it’s hard to create a character without taking hindrances and the associated benefits in Savage Worlds.  Being able to get rid of them later, is, therefore, very appealing to me.

And, as I think I’ve mentioned, I borrow heavily from other games and settings.  There are many skills and hindrances from other Savage World products that I allow in my game, especially ones from settings that have sailing, imperialism or steampunk space travel.

Cultures:

The following are the major cultures of the Ravnivori Empire and the benefits they provide to characters. Each native of the Ravnivori Empire should select one of these cultures during character creation and apply the benefits.

Ravnivori: Ravnivori are a very aggressive, straightforward race. They prefer to face their problems head on in both social situations and battle. No matter the species, Ravnivori are generally tall with broad shoulders and long legs. Their hair is generally straight or wavy and blond or red. Their eyes are usually a pale color such as blue or green. Most Ravnivori have pale skin though some are tanned from exposure to sun and others have a distinct red undertone. Because of the straightforward way in which they approach life, Ravnivori start with a free d4 in Fighting or Intimidation.

Almatians: Almatians are a very social, athletic people. They know how to make deals and influence people but also enjoy the visceral joy of measuring their skill in throwing a javelin or discus against someone else. Almatians are generally stout with powerful builds but only moderate height. Their hair is usually wavy or curly and auburn, brown or black in color. Their eyes are generally dark, ranging from green to brown but even being so dark as to be black. Their skin is similarly dark running the gamut from an olive tone to a deep brown. Because of their friendly nature and athletic prowess, Almatians start a free d4 in Persuasion or Throwing.

Shan: Shan revere learning and careful skill above all. They leave petty things like threats and crude weapons like axes to others, preferring to learn about their world and prove their superiority with more elegant weapons. Shan are generally relatively short with slender builds. They are often described as delicate and graceful. Their hair is almost invariably straight and dark, either deep brown or ranging to midnight black. Their eyes are likewise dark and usually have epicanthic folds. Their skin can be quite pale but usually has a golden or dusky tone. Because of their love of learning and focus on skill in combat, the Shan receive a free d4 in Shooting or any 1 Knowledge skill.

Vellian: Vellians come from a primitive society when compared to that of the native cultures of Retra. They work iron and bronze and craft impressive tools from stone, wood and bone but have not developed the art of blacksmithing. Nonetheless, they have a deep understanding of the natural world around them and have a warrior/hunter culture. Vellians are of average height though often more slender than Almatians. Their hair ranges from sandy blonde to dark brown and their eyes range from light blue to green to light brown. Their skin is generally tan or dark and often has a coppery sheen. Because o their warlike nature and close link with nature, Vellians receive a d4 in Fighting or Survival.

Yoltsov: The Yoltsov clan is a very small contingent of the Ravnivori Empire. However, their culture is completely independent of Retra and even the Ravnivori system and they are spreading, slowly. They are masters of Void Runners in all forms, knowing both how to create and fly the vehicles. Yoltsovs are approximately the same height as Shan dwarves but have proportions like Ravnivori dwarves. Their coloration is also more like Ravnivori dwarves and they almost invariably have eyes that are some shade of blue. Their hair is usually lighter even than the Ravnivori and range from white or silver to sandy blonde. As a Void Running culture, the Yoltsov gain a free d4 in Piloting or Knowledge (Void Runners.)

Knowledge Skill

 

 

 

Knowledge: Voidrunners

Your character understands the process for designing and building Voidrunner ships. This skill is required to build a Voidrunner or Voidrunner Drive and to modify Voidrunners. It also allows a character to identify most Voidrunners and estimate tonnage, modifications and armaments.

Hindrances:

Following are hindrances that are suitable for characters in the Ravnivori Empire.

 

Code of Honor: Weapon of the 7 (Major)

The following is the Code of Honor by which each Weapon of the 7 is expected to live. Though there are those in the order who do not follow this code, there are also many who are not part of the order who aspire to it, either in hopes of eventually becoming a Weapon of the 7 or simply out of respect for the 7 Lords of Thunder and the code. Many of the other religions have similar codes for their parishioners, as well.

Obedience – Obey the commands of those who have been duly chosen by the 7 Lords of Thunder to lead.

Service – Serve the faithful to the best of your ability and aid the non-faithful when possible to show them the glory and beneficence of the 7 Lords of Thunder.

Defense – Defend the faithful even with your life, if necessary.

Honor – Show all honor that the 7 Lords of Thunder deserve for the blessings they provide the faithful and non-faithful alike.

Respect – Just as the 7 Lords of Thunder are brothers, so all gods are cousins. Give the proper respect to other gods and their worshippers.

Strike – Just as the 7 Lords of Thunder do not strike unless they must, so must you withhold your fury. Yet, just as with the 7 Lords of Thunder, when violence is necessary, strike hard and fast, for no one benefits by half measures when action must be taken.

Extra Rations (Minor)

Whether due to your large size or simply because of your voracious appetite, you require more rations to keep you going than the average person. You must eat twice as much food, drink twice as much liquids and breathe twice as much air as a regular human. If you consume normal rations for a human, you get a -2 on your vigor checks to avoid fatigue from hunger. If you consume less than normal rations for a human, you get a -4 to those checks.

Indentured (Minor)

Whether to pay off a crime you have been convicted of or simply as a means to earn extra money for a stake once you’re freed, your character has sold his services to someone else for a set period.  You must obey any orders from this other person so long as they pertain to whatever services you have sold to them.  The three general categories of Indentured servants are: General Labor, Professional and Combat.  General Laborers can be commanded to do any sort of simple work from hauling barrels to assisting in building houses.  Professionals have only one specific area of expertise, usually one that requires skill or knowlege (accounting or architecture, for example.)  Combat servants can be ordered to fight anyone or anything at any time for any reason (though if they commit a crime in the process of obeying the order, by committing murder, for example, it is their master who is charged with the crime rather than them.)  An indentured servant is under no obligation to perform any task for which they were not contracted. A master is free to punish an indentured servant for refusing to perform some task related to their area in any way they wish, though scarring and maiming are frowned upon (and reduce the time of the service) and killing is strictly forbidden.


Lecherous (Major)

Your character’s libido is quite powerful. In fact, it is so powerful that he is helpless in the face of whatever gender(s) might tickle his fancy. In addition to the possible embarrassments and problems that come from trying to seduce possible paramours, your character suffers a -2 to any opposed social roles with members of the gender to which he is attracted. This penalty is modified by an additional negative modifier equal to the opposing characters positive charisma. Opposing character’s negative modifiers to charisma have no effect and do not add a bonus or negate the standard penalty for this hindrance.

Life Slave (Major) 

Your character has been convicted of one of the three capital crimes; murder, rape or treason and thus, his life is forfeit.  Rather than simply being executed, your life has been sold to someone else (and the profits pocketed by the Empire.)  The master of a Life Slave can command them to do anything, from shine their boots, to work 18 hour days in a coal mine to “distract” a dragon while the master gets away.  Disobedience can be met with any sort of punishment the master desires, up to and including death, and, the master doesn’t actually need an excuse to abuse or kill a Life Slave.

 

Semi-Vestigial Limb(s) (Minor)

To take this hindrance, the character must be a member of a race that has limbs in addition to legs and the normal 2 arms. A character with this hindrance has stunted extra limbs. If they have extra arms, they take either a -2 to strength or agility based checks, including damage done with these arms. A prehensile tail takes a -2 penalty to all agility based checks using it and a combat tail takes a -2 to damage done.

Small Horns (Minor)

Though no one discusses it, there is a certain belief that the larger a Minotaur’s horns, the stronger, better and more virile he is. Conversely, minotaurs with smaller horns are considered weaker, inferior and even stupid. A certain social stigma follows them, and they often find their paths to power and privilege blocked, and even in everyday interactions, they sometimes find their lives more difficult. Minotaurs with small horns suffer a -2 Charisma penalty when dealing with any Imperial citizens. For obvious reasons, only Minotaurs may take this hindrance.

Ravnivori Empire – Voidgoing Races

If you had any doubt about where the inspiration for this campaign setting came from before, it will be dispelled by this post.  At least if you are familiar with the source material, at all.

Spelljammer was my favorite of the D&D settings.  It just always had a feeling of limitlessness.  Whatever you wanted to do could be done because it had to be out there in the Void somewhere, right?  Of course, that leads to its own problems.  Its hard to focus when your canvas is literally anything and if you do end up focusing on one planet or country, the question becomes: why have the spelljamming stuff at all?  Why not just use the setting your focusing on?

I hope that the journeys themselves become the story.  That going to new and interesting places will trump the joy of really delving deep into a single location for the players.  Sort of how the best Star Trek episodes weren’t about Klingons or Romulans but about some strange new one off world that the Enterprise happened to come across.

I know at least one of these races was something of a joke, but the Giff definitely have potential.  Hippopotamuses may be funny looking but they kill more people on the Nile than crocodiles and the Romans used to match them up against gladiators in the coliseum.   They’re big and mean and tough.  Adding some other types of Giff based on other big, mean, tough mammals hopefully expands them out some and makes them more interesting.

I probably wouldn’t have worked the Hadozee up as a race, but one of my players specifically requested them.  When he gave his character a name that was the same as the last name as a certain Strange Doctor, it didn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to decide to run with it.  So now, other Hadozee also have very English names shared by actors like Clutterbuck and Popplewell (look ’em up…the first will probably surprise you.)

And I just always liked the plasmoids.  No particular reason…unless they just reminded me of Gloop and Gleep from the Herculoids, subconsciously.  Or maybe it was that they were so alien that I was fascinated by them.

Hadozee: No one knows exactly where glider apes came from. Their own legends speak of a home world full of giant trees and lush jungles. None of them know the name of this planet, have visited it or even know where it is. It is assumed that a group of their ancestors, or several groups, were captured and enslaved by some race or another and eventually escaped. Void nomads, the glider apes can be found in most of the major space going metropolises and almost all of them spend at least some portion of their life as part of the crew of a Void Runner. They are a curious, adventuresome and gregarious race. Any who are familiar with the void are familiar with the glider apes but many land bound people are fooled by their bestial appearance and are often surprised when they prove intelligent. They resemble large baboons with leathery flaps stretching from their wrists to ankles. Their fur is generally brown or grey but occasionally strange colors like blue or purple occur.

Glide: Glider apes can glide at their pace every round. They drop 1” for every 2” moved horizontally. If they make an agility check each success negates an 1” of drop and they can even rise 1” if they gain enough raises. Glider apes cannot hover and must move at least 2” per turn.

Size: -1. Glider apes are the size of children.

Curious: Glider apes are interested in everything. They find it difficult to avoid investigating anything novel.

Rigging Monkeys: Glider apes are highly agile. They start with a d8 in agility and can get a d12+2 in this stat through normal advancement. They are natural climbers and start with a free d6 in climbing.

Flingers: One of a glider ape’s natural defenses is throwing things. It is instinctual for them to throw things when threatened or angry. They start with a free d6 in throwing.

Giff: The Giff are actually 3 related races who occupy a single caste based society. The lowest, most common group are known simply as Giff and are massive humanoids with heads that resemble those of dour, fierce hippopotami. Renowned for their stupidity and aggressiveness throughout the known worlds, they are also fiercely loyal and brave. They love to fight and love the noise and chaos of black powder weapons, especially.

The next highest caste of the Giff are the Nocerans. These creatures are even larger than the common Giff and have the heads of rhinoceri. They are slightly smarter than the common Giff but just as loyal and courageous and even more aggressive. They are also more disciplined than the common Giff and have keen tactical minds. Most units of common gift have a Noceran leader.

The final class of Giff are the Nibals. The largest of the races, they have the heads of elephants. Unlike either of their smaller cousins, the Nibals are not particularly aggressive and are noticeably smarter and wiser than their kin. Calm contemplators, many of them spend much of their lives in meditation. Others are administrators, researchers and engineers and it is they who keep the Giff culture going.

All Giff are obsessed with black powder and much of their research and strategy revolves around using this material.

Giff society is highly hierarchical and largely militaristic. Almost all common gift and Nocerans are members of the military and there are over 100 ranks in this military, meaning that there is a definitive chain of command. Discipline is high and the punishments for disobeying orders or superiors are severe. Only the Nibals are commonly outside this hierarchy and even they generally serve the military in some form or another. Most of their contemplations go into creating strategies and new weapons.

Another lost race, the Giff homeworld is unknown. They possess a small world where most of the Nibal live and where a slight majority of the other two races also have their homes. Most of the rest of them live in small colonies or, more commonly on ships that wander the Void looking for contracts.

Though the Giff have a vast military, in fact most of their society revolves around it, they do not fight each other nor do they carry on campaigns of conquest. Instead, they are divided up into myriad mercenary units of assorted sizes who sell their services to other races. There are very few void ports without at least one unit of Giff offering their mercenary services.

Common Giff

All Thumbs: Common Giff are straightforward creatures without the capacity to truly understand complex technology.

Thick Skinned: Common Giff have 2 points of natural armor due to their thick, sturdy hides.

Slow Witted: Common Giff will never be mistaken for being incredibly bright. It costs 2 points to raise their smarts during character creation and two levellings to raise it afterwards.

Size +1: Common Giff are just over 6’ tall but are quite sturdy, weighing over 400 pounds.

Powerful Muscles: Though Common Giff look fat, they are actually very muscular. They begin play with a d8 strength instead of a d4. They may purchase their strength up to a d12+2. The Professional and Expert edges can increase this to d12+4.

Black Powder Obsession: Despite their almost complete lack of understanding of Black Powder and the weapons that use it, Common Giff are fascinated by them. They will always choose a black powder weapon over any other ranged option. Their All Thumbs hindrance applies to their use of these weapons.

Semi-Aquatic: Common Giff are not amphibious but they are more comfortable if they can keep their skin moist. They take a -4 penalty to resist heat or dehydration. On the other hand, they only gain a Fatigue level every 15 minutes that he holds his breath. On reaching incapacitated must make a vigor roll every minute or drown. Fatigue recovers one level per 15 minutes back in air.

Nocerans

Agility: d6, Smarts: d6, Spirit: d8, Strength: d10, Vigor: d8

Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Notice d4, Piloting: d6 Shooting: d6

Pace: 6 Parry: 6 Toughness: 11(3)

All Thumbs: Nocerans are straightforward creatures without the capacity to truly understand complex technology.

Thick Skinned: Nocerans have 3 points of natural armor due to their thick, sturdy hides.

Size +2: Nocerans stand just over 7’ tall and are quite sturdy, weighing over 600 pounds.

Black Powder Obsession: Despite their almost complete lack of understanding of Black Powder and the weapons that use it, Nocerans are fascinated by them. They will always choose a black powder weapon over any other ranged option. Their All Thumbs hindrance applies to their use of these weapons.

Near-sighted: Nocerans have weak eyes and receive a -2 to all ranged attacks.

Charge: Nocerans can use their horns in combat if they charge at least 2 squares. The damage for this attack is Str+d6.

Nibals

Agility: d6, Smarts: d8, Spirit: d10, Strength: d10, Vigor: d10

Skills: Fighting d6, Knowledge (Any 2) d8, Persuasion d6, Piloting: d4, Shooting: d6

Pace: 6 Parry: 6 Toughness: 11(3)

Thick Skinned: Nibals have 3 points of natural armor due to their thick, sturdy hides.

Size +3: Nibals are truly huge creatures who stand just over 9’ tall and are quite sturdy, weighing over 1000 pounds.

Black Powder Obsession: Nibals are fascinated by black powder weapons of all sorts. They will always choose a black powder weapon over any other ranged option.

Tusks: If a Nibal must engage in combat it will use its tusks for Str +d6 damage.

Trunk: Nibal trunks are prehensile and quite adept. They gain a bonus non-move action each round using their trunk.

Plasmoids: No one is quite sure whether plasmoids naturally evolved on some strange world, were created by some unknowable god in its own shapeless image or were created as an experiment by a mad wizard in ages past. In any case, they are some of the most unusual sentient creatures in the Void. At first glance, a plasmoid appears to be nothing more than a puddle of viscous goo with unidentifiable organs floating in it. Plasmoids have impressive control over their shapeless bodies, however and can “stand” upright, form “limbs” or slither through tight spaces. Their amorphous form makes them unusually difficult to injure but also gives them an alien mentality that often leaves more mundane species nonplussed. Plasmoids communicate with each other through a series of vibrations of their skins that are often inaudible to other species but most are able to control these vibrations enough to speak more common languages.

Alien Nature – Plasmoids have unusual bodies by almost any definition. This means that other species are often put off by their appearance and method of communication. For that matter, their own mentalities mean that they have a difficult time understanding and interacting socially with members of other species. This leads to a -2 to all charisma checks with those who are not members of their species.

Amorphous Shape – The very nature of a plasmoid’s body provides it some advantages and disadvantages. They receive a +2 to recover from being shaken. They have no discernible anatomy so called shots are not an option against them. They also do not suffer any wound penalties. Additionally, their body chemistry is so unusual that they are immune to diseases and toxins. However, because of this strange anatomy, those trying to render aid to them are at a disadvantage. Anyone other than a plasmoid trying to heal a plasmoid through either mundane or magical means suffers a -2 to all checks. Likewise, it is almost impossible to create armor that fits these creatures. Only a master armorer is capable of crafting something suitable and will require a great deal of time and expense.

Shapeshifting – All plasmoids are capable of consciously altering their amorphous forms, though sometimes in dramatically different ways. To reflect this, every plasmoid gains the Arcane Background (Shapeshifting) edge with an extra 5 power points and a starting Shapeshifting Skill of d6.

 

Ravnivori Races: The Weird Stuff

As promised, here is some more of my homebrew setting document.  These are the final playable races that are available from the homeworld of the Ravnivori Empire.  There are a couple powerful races that aren’t playable.  Maybe I’ll post one of them next.  The other is centaurs and there are stats for NPC centaurs available in Savage Worlds, anyway.

If I ever run the setting again, I may pull the Ki’Li’Lee from the available options.  I like the idea of them and they are important to the Empire, serving as a sort of psychic radio network, but I have an idea of them in my head that I can’t quite convey to get the right feel for players.  That and the fact that they are a hive intelligence means that it’s hard to let a player go without providing them too much guidance.  I would, at least, make them small…just because of their inspiration from the Grays and the fact that there is only one small race available out of the dozen or so, now.  Oh, I guess I should mention they’re inspired by Gray aliens and mind flayers.

Speaking of the small race; Troglyns originally started as my version of Kobolds then morphed into a sort of shrunken down version of Tieflings, though without actually having an infernal background.

Without further ado…

Ki’Li’Lee are perhaps the most unusual of the races from Retra. They are also the only one whose arrival is alluded to in the annals of history. The most ancient Almatian texts speak vaguely of several stars that fell one night and the discovery of the Ki’Li’Lee in a previously uninhabited part of the continent soon after. It is now assumed that the Ki’Li’Lee were a void running race and that their arrival on the planet was the result of some crash that left them stranded. The Ki’Li’Lee themselves, in their usual inscrutable ways refuse to speak of it or answer any questions about where they came from. All Ki’Li’Lee are psychically connected and, a Ki’Li’Lee within 10 miles of another is automatically in constant mental contact with it. With effort they can boost this to hundreds of miles and with the appropriate devices they can reach out across the distance between stars. This is not an ability they can block and they exist in a constant hive mind. This gives them an a point of view that the other races of the Empire find exceptionally alien as Ki’Li’Lee have not sense of themselves as individuals and consider themselves extensions of the greater whole. Ki’Li’Lee are also the strangest looking inhabitants of the Ravnivori empire. Their skin is pale to the point of being bluish grey and almost completely smooth with no hair or scales anywhere on their bodies. Their heads are large and round with huge, black eyes. They have no noses, only a pair of nostrils and anywhere from 3 to 9 tiny, fleshy feelers around their mouths. Ki’Li’Lee have four arms but each of their hands has only three fingers. These fingers are totally opposable and form a triangle on their hands. Ki’Li’Lee are as slender as elves, though a bit taller. They range in height from 5’6” to just over 6’ tall. Ki’Li’Lee weapons often seem strange in the hands of other races. They favor the use of spiked chains and kamas and katars. Their armor is light, but sturdy, providing surprising protection.

 Four Arms: Ki’Li’Lee possess four fully functional arms. These extra limbs allow the Ki’Li’Lee to take one additional non-movement action per turn with no penalty.

Telepathy:  Ki’Li’Lee are naturally psionic.  They are in constant communication with each other and can communicate telepathically with any intelligent creature they can see.

Outsider:  Ki’Li’Lee are unusual creatures with a strange appearance and a bizarre way of thinking.  They receive a -2 to their charisma scores when dealing with people of other races and many people simply refuse to deal with them.

Cultures: Although the Ki’Li’Lee nation is in Almatia, they hold themselves separate so they receive no culture bonus.

Troglyns inhabit and rule the vast cavern and tunnel complex that lies under much of both Almatia and Shan. Their society nominally follows that of the Shan humans with a single mandarin ruling all of them and that mandarin nominally reporting to the Shan Emperor. A complex bureaucracy with even more complex rules defining it flows down from this mandarin. Unfortunately, the rules have become so complex that no one really understands them fully anymore and Troglyn society and government is nothing more than thinly veiled anarchy. Anyone from any class or caste can attain any position, though it is determined more by their skill at subterfuge and deception than any true ability. Any Troglyn who gives a straightforward reason for doing anything is hiding a particularly subtle and complex deception. Troglyns are the smallest of the species under the domain of Ravnivorous. They seldom rise to 4’ in height and can be as short as 3’. Their builds are small and flexible. Their skin is usually a grey or dull brown color though black is a rare possibility that is considered particularly exotic and attractive to other Troglyns. They are completely hairless and their heads feature horns in a variety of shapes and large, bulbous, green or red eyes. Their tails are long and thin.  Troglyns almost exclusively use missile weapons. They use a variety of bow and crossbows, both of their own manufacture and those they can procure from other races. Even their melee weapons can be used at range, with throwing axes, javelins, spears and throwing knives being most popular. They seldom wear armor, though they will occasionally carry shields.

 Fast Healing:  Troglyns heal much faster than other creatures.

Thermal Vision:  Given their home environment, the ability to see in the dark is vital to Troglyns.  They can detect heat signatures as easily as light.

Combat Tails:  Troglyns can use their tails as weapons.  When hitting someone with their tail they deal Strength + d6 damage.

Small:  As the smallest of the sentient species on Retra, Troglyns are not as durable as the larger races around them.  They take a -1 to their toughness.

Cultures: Troglyns inhabit the lands under both Almatia and Shan. They may choose either culture. Both sides believed they were working for them in the long wars between the two nations and the Troglyns quickly changed allegiances to the Ravnivori when it became evident that the Empire was going to defeat them both.

SW_Fan_Small