Thursday, May 23, 2013

Arcana Rising is funded!

As of this very evening, Arcana Rising is officially a thing. Which will exist. I am actually taking a break from writing the chapter on magic in order to write this little blog post announcing its future existence to the world.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this project, and everyone else who at least helped get the word out on the thing, and look forward to seeing it completed and on the virtual shelves at DriveThruRPG!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Only three days remain on the Arcana Rising Kickstarter!

Time runs thin, and opportunities to get in on this now run thin as well! We've hit our first stretch goal but there's still time for more! Get your money in now while the going is good, and let's see if we can't push our way to that Central Valley setting and some more visual goodies for the interior!

Friday, May 17, 2013

[Expanding the Game #5] H&H: The Moderators

The galaxy is a big place. While not all of it is yet settled, even the settled space of the known sentient races is still vast, and while the subspace engine brings things far closer together than they might otherwise be, this distance still imposes some practicality issues on certain things, for instance, law enforcement.

The process of enforcing the law can become quite difficult when a criminal can simply flee to a sector light years away from where he committed his crimes, and the difficulty involved in capturing such a suspect and then managing to get them all the way back to the appropriate jurisdiction for trial and incarceration raises further issues of time, cost, and practicality. As a result, the enforcement of the law became more and more a matter of cost-benefit analysis rather than justice, and evading punishment was often as simple as just leaving the system, as limited budgets and manpower shortages made the tracking and capture of fugitives of limited priority for most planetary and solar level authorities. Thus, in order to address this shortage, and further discourage criminals from fleeing justice, the Moderators were formed.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Easy dungeon generation for Hulks and Horrors, courtesy of Wizardawn!

Hey folks! In order to speed up the dungeon prep process for my ongoing Hulks and Horrors play-by-post game over on theRPGsite, and thus leave more time for writing Arcana Rising, I've been toying with the tools over at Wizardawn, and I've managed to put together a handy alternate way to generate your dungeons for Hulks and Horrors via the web!

We start by generating a map for our dungeon, using the Sci-Fi Map tool. This tool can generate cool sci-fi maps in three styles, Buildings (great for individual buildings in colonies or urban environments, or even for well laid out underground environments), Spaceships (great for both ships and stations), and Exodus Spaceships, which are made to have a natural environment at the center (great for Ark Stations and Artificial Worlds). The maps are geomorphic, generated from 10 square by 10 square tiles with an additional 5 square wide border, and you can select the number of tiles used with the height and width control.

Most importantly, we want to make sure to check the box to Number Rooms, as we'll need those numbers later.  Click the big Create button, and in a new tab you'll get a fresh and gorgeous looking sci-fi dungeon map. Save that by whatever means you desire (the site has some notes on how best to do this), and make note of the largest numbered room, as we'll need this number for the next step.

Alternately, you can also use the Dungeon Map tool for generating underground locations (be sure to check Number Areas), or the Ruined City Maps tool for generating abandoned cities.

Now we can use the Random Area tool to generate room contents, using our custom data file for Hulks and Horrors. There are a number of handy controls on this page for setting percentage chances of different types of room contents and so forth, but we'll dial in one the important ones:

  1. The number of Areas needs to equal the number of the highest room number on your previously generated map.
  2. "Contents" are what H&H calls "Flavor" results, and will generate from the nifty little bits of flavor text from the H&H corebook.
  3. Terrain options are in code, based on the categories from the corebook: UP=Urban/Pod, WI=Wilderness, SH=Ship/Station, UN=Underground.
  4. "Main Encounters" is useful if you have a specific type of themed monster you want to appear frequently in your dungeon. You can copy and paste the appropriate line from the H&H data file or even write in your own.
  5. Data is the most important box here! This is where we put the data file for Hulks and Horrors. Copy the entire text of the data file and paste it into the box on the Random Area tool.
Fine tune your encounter percentages (16% will give you about the same chance distribution as the corebook), click Create, and bam, now you have your numbered entries to match the areas in the map you generated previously! Note that unlike the system in H&H core, Wizardawn's tool can generate more than one kind of content within a single room, so you may also wish to factor this in when choosing your percentages.

Feel free to browse around the site, they have a number of tools designed for post-apocalyptic games and sci-fi games that are also of great use to Hulks and Horrors DMs.  Take a look!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

[Expanding the Game #4] Pepper Pots

A requested companion to the Lords of Time. See if you can recognize who these are supposed to be.

Pepper Pot

Hit Dice: 6D12 (37)
To-Hit: +6
Armor Class: AC-2 (AC2 against energy weapons)
Initiative: 13
Save: 14
Attacks: Death Ray 1 Kill/3d12 (R), Face Grasp 2d12 (M)
# Appearing: 1d3
Behavior: Killer (+4)


The Pepper Pots' origin is shrouded in mystery and conflicting legend, but one thing that isn't is their sheer genocidal malevolence. The appearance of Pepper Pots is no mere monster hunt, but a planet-wide emergency. Their nearly indestructible armored shell, total lack of any emotion other than hatred and bloodlust, and the deadliness of their inbuilt weapons, makes even a single Pepper Pot a threat to entire military batallions. It is believed that the Pepper Pots may possess the capacity for time travel, and their appearance almost always seems to be followed by that of a Lord of Time, their sworn enemies and who some say have waged a war across all of time and space for a span immeasurable by that of non-temporal species.
Death Ray: The Pepper Pot's energy weapon is a lethal and powerful one, and deals 1 Kill of damage to living species, instantly killing any biological lifeform. A successful CON save will reduce this damage to 3d12, and non-biological entities such as robots or androids similarly take only 3d12.
Face Grasp: The Pepper Pot's manipulator arm can grasp the face of a victim, sealing around its face and suffocating it. On a successful grapple, the creature may automatically deal 2d12 damage to the victim per round.
Piperium Armor: The Pot's armor is virtually impenetrable by traditional physical weaponry. It possesses AC-2 against any non-energy based weaponry, attack, or damage source, and ignores the first 5 points of damage from any such assault.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

[Expanding the Game #3] The Lords of Time

Inspired by a certain classic British sci-fi show currently back on the air, and to take a break from bashing my head against this puzzling day job system for Arcana Rising, I've knocked out a fun little treat for fans of the flying blue box and the odd man inside of it, for use in your Hulks and Horrors games.

The Lords of Time are a mysterious race of time travellers, who've popped up from time to time throughout galactic history, though very little is known of them. Travelling through time and space in their dimensionally transcendant TUDORs, and possessed of unique regenerative powers and a knack for the sciences, the Lords have a strange habit of popping up at key points all throughout history.

The rules are far too long, and for some reason refuse to properly format for, a blog post, so you may instead find them at Google Drive.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Arcana Rising Q&A Log

We had a live Q&A with Dan Davenport via IRC today, and it went swimmingly!  Take a look at the link below to get the full log. We talked about the back-story, the classes, the monsters, in-game morality, and more! Give it a read.

The Hardboiled GMshoe's Office: John Berry (Arcana Rising) Q&A Log