Thursday, October 15, 2015

5E Race: Ferrusans

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, here is the write-up for the Ferrusans, a new race for 5E.

Please stay behind me, mage. You are soft and not meant to withstand such punishments.
- Bok, Ferrusan Paladin

Large and bulky humanoids who appear to be made of stone. They are descendants of Earth Elementals who sided with mortals during the War of Elements, and thus gave up their immortality.

Strong and Monolithic
When the Earth Elementals who sided with the mortals did so, they gave up their immortal forms, and took humanoid shapes. Therefore, all Ferrusans resemble large, muscular humans with stone skin. They are markedly larger than most humanoid races.

Ferrusan flesh is a “living stone” which moves and appears much like a human’s flesh. However, it varies in shades that resemble the many ores and minerals common to the mortal world. Ferrusans have no hair, but often grow outcroppings of rock that mimics the shape of hair. They have human-like facial features, and their eyes range in varying shades of green and purple, often seeming to glow with an inner fire.

Logical and Law-abiding
Ferrusans have a very rigid sense of logic, and have difficulty with the flights of fancy and imagination present in other races. They are strict adherents to the law, and don’t always grasp the idea of “rules are made to be broken.”

Most younger Ferrusans do not like their homeland, and often leave at their first opportunity. However, as they get older, they sometimes feel the need to return to live out the rest of their existence there. The Burned Lands are a vast wasteland of deserts and active volcanoes.

Due to their connection to the earth, Ferrusans are not fond of flying, and suffer a -1 on all rolls while doing so.

Solitary and Stoic
Ferrusan parents usually only produce two or three offspring in their lifetimes. Subsequently, the Ferrusan population is relatively low, especially when compared to humans. Ferrusans don’t gather in towns or villages, and there is no central government to their society. However, every household has a copy of the Foundation Laws, and all Ferrusans are expected to memorize them, and adhere to them.

Though they care for their families, Ferrusans are not as connected to their relations as other races. It is expected that when a youngling is of age, he will simply leave the home, to quite possibly never return.

In their homelands, Ferrusans spend the majority of their time living an agrarian lifestyle. They subsist mainly on fire beetles, and other fauna that exist in their harsh environment. However, all Ferrusans feel it is their duty to guard over the various elemental rifts that still exist in the Burned Lands, and will often build their squat homes over them.

There is said to be some Ferrusans who have established a thriving community in the highest peaks of the Dragonback Mountains.

Protectors and Defenders
Ferrusans view themselves as protectors, and will often join adventuring parties to help the other members stay safe. They are also somewhat curious about the world outside of their remote homeland.

Most Ferrusans are indifferent to religions and deities, having descended directly from immortal beings who were often in competition with pantheons of deities. However, a few have embraced the worship of various gods, particularly those of the protection domain.

Ferrusan Names
Ferrusans only have given names, and no family names. These names are often short and simple, consisting of hard letters and short vowels. To most other races, male and female names often sound indistinct.

Male Names: Akrix, Bebko, Bok, Haket, Kik, Rorik, Tukru.

Female Names: Ekra, Botam, Hultu, Kara, Rukib, Tarma

Ferrusan Traits
Your Ferrusan character has several natural traits, unique to their physical nature.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength increases by 3, your Constitution increases by 2, and your Dexterity decreases by 2.
Age. Though no longer immortal, Ferrusans can live up to 400 years, and reach maturity at about 30.
Alignment. Ferrusans tend to be Lawful in alignment, due to their strict adherence to their own laws.
Size. Ferrusans average 6-8 feet in height, and can weigh up to 400 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Base walking speed is 25 feet. Ferrusans suffer only half penalty for traveling over difficult terrain.
Darkvision. Like all elementals, you can see 60 feet in dim light as if it were bright, and in darkness as if it were dim. You cannot discern colors in darkness, only shades of gray.
Temperature Tolerance. Ferrusans are immune to the effects of extreme temperatures, and have 10 DR against attacks that rely on burning or freezing.
Stoney Skin. Ferrusans have stone-like skin, giving them a natural +2 to Armor Class.
Languages. Ferrusans speak their own language, referred to as Ferrusan, and will speak an additional language for each bonus to Intelligence (min 1).

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

New Races: Add or Replace?

So, my latest RPG-related undertaking is to build an entire world from scratch, and have it compatible with D&D5E. I am doing this in the hopes that someday in the distant future, after my wife is done with her Dragon Age campaign, I can take a turn behind the DM’s screen for a while.

The concept of my world is pretty simple, and not all that original. But, it allows me to have the world I want, which is what this whole DM thing is all about, right? Basically, I’m pulling ideas and concepts from various other worlds, mixing in a few of my own, original creations, and building something that is fun and whimsical, yet with an underlying darkness.

Anyways, one of the first things that came out of my brainstorming for ideas was the notion of new races. Now, the PHB has a laundry list of races, and sub-races, so it seems like adding more in might crowd the playing field a little bit. But, I really like the races I have come up with.

Some of you may recall an earlier post where I detailed my first 5E creation, the dwarfling. Well, I like them so much, I’m putting them in there. And the other day a new race sprung out of my head (highly influenced by Wildstar MMO race, the Granok), called the ferrusans. The short of it is that dwarflings are a mix of dwarf and halfling parentage, and are highly personable and charismatic. Ferrusans are the descendants of earth elementals who were trapped on the material plane and forced to take a mortal form to survive. I’ll post my write-up of the ferrusans at a future date.

But, my question to you is, should I simply add them to the lexicon of races from the PHB? Or should I maybe replace standard races with them?

I’m inclined to go with just adding them. But, I have to admit that using them as replacements might be a better way to go. In their first incarnation (for 2E) I envisioned dwarflings as a replacement for gnomes. However, I kind of like gnomes now, so I’m torn. Maybe replace tieflings?

For the ferrusans I would probably replace the dragonborn. I briefly thought about replacing half-orcs. But, my world would not be MY world without my beloved half-orcs. So, if I go that route, it’s bye-bye dragonborn.

Lots of other details are slowly being fleshed out. And like I said, this is something for a far future date. But, I’d be interested in your thoughts, fellow adventurers!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Martial Arts Mayhem!

Finally decided it was time to just put it out there.  My latest product is a simple, rules-lite tactical game of martial arts combat. 

From the description:
Fists & Fury is a tactical combat game where the players create their indivudal fighters through a simple process, and pit them against each other in one-on-one, or even group combat, utilizing a hex-grid and tokens.  Included are rules for:
  • Building a unique Fighter
  • Creating a unique style
  • Advice on setting up duels and tournaments
  • Advice on how to expand F&F into a full-on RPG
  • Adding and using weapons
Designed to be a "beer & pretzels" game with minimal preparation, F&F is flexible enough to handle most any style of play you can imagine within the genre.

Available at RPGNow!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

MMO’s and me

Dynamo-Man and Diana Cutthroat from CoH.
I got my first taste of MMO play when my roomie and best friend let me sit at his computer and try out EverQuest many years ago. I was intrigued with the idea and the interface, if a bit meh about the game itself.

A few months later, a bunch of my friends were playing City of Heroes. I wasn’t able to join because where I lived we didn’t have a stable, non-dial up internet connection. So, I got to hear all about their exploits and view their screenshots with envy. Then that same friend let me log into his account for a half-hour at the local game store where we played tabletop RPG’s, and that was it. I was hooked.

When I was finally able to get into CoH, I was thrilled. Despite my computer chugging along, and looking like a slideshow during fights. Over the following years I managed to upgrade my hardware to the point where CoH became an addiction. I also added World of Warcraft, and for many months would alternate my subscriptions between the two as my mood struck. I even met my current wife on a forum for CoH.

One of the things that I liked about MMO’s was that I could get into the story of the game itself, or I could make up my own. Once I got used to ignoring the fact that there were other characters following the same quests and missions as I was, I was able to immerse myself in the game with my own imagination filling in details.

One of my first WoW characters was a Tauren Hunter. At the time, none of my friends really played WoW, so I played by myself a lot. And I wasn’t into PUGs yet, so I spent a lot of time making up stories about my character as I played. I would take quests, and wouldn’t even pay attention to the narrative. I would make up my own reason for doing the job based on the story in my head.

I did the same thing in CoH for a long time, until I moved to the Virtue server and started playing with friends. And even after that, I still made up my own stories, and created new Alts specifically for that purpose.

Anyways, eventually I got burned out on WoW. And CoH was cancelled by NCSoft. So, I became devoid of MMO outlets that really grabbed me. Sure, I tried others. DCUO was fun, Champions Online was (and still is) kinda cool. Tried a couple of other FTP fantasy games, and even played Star Wars for a long time. But, none of them ever captured the magic of CoH, or even WoW from those early days.

Yesterday I saw a "suggested post” on Facebook for a newer MMO called Wildstar. It’s made by NCSoft, who was responsible for CoH. It’s Science Fiction, but done in a more cartoony, light-hearted manner (kind of like a slightly more mature version of Skylanders). Ironically, after I had decided to just give it a go (it’s FTP), and was downloading it, a friend who is very into MMO’s gave me his 2 cents about it. Not much glowing praise, but in the context of the kind of gamer he is, I understood his points.

So, I finished the install, and logged in last night. It was late, so I only got through the intro cinematics, and made my first character. I’m already loving the art direction, and the controls and interface are pretty standard and familiar. I’m going to give it a go again tonight and see how it goes.

If it does disappoint, I can always uninstall and move on.