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Topics - Cyclotron

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One thing that's always bugged me about the D20 dying rules, is how difficult it is to fall into that "disabled" category. Either you're fully capable, or your unconscious, or your dead. Very rarely, do you have that "mortally wounded, but struggling on to accomplish something, before dying tragically in a friend's arms" sort of scenario. Even when you do, the wounded character is going from 0 hps to -1, and is by no means in immediate mortal danger... Haven't died yet, and so long as you don't sit there moping over them for the next minute, they'll likely recover.


While Iron Hero's Death's Door rules help out a bit, it still doesn't satify me. The rule did gave me an idea, however. Tell me what you think...


At 0 hit points or lower, you're disabled, and dying.

Each round, when dying, your character loses 1 hit point, and then makes Fortitude saving throw with a Difficulty Class equal to your negative hit point total. If this save fails by 9 or less, you fall unconscious and can take no actions, but you survive for a short while longer. If this save fails by 10 or more, you die. If it succeeds, you remain disabled, and survive for a short while longer. This continues until the character dies or becomes stable.

While disabled, you can take only a single move or standard action each round, but not both. If you are stabilized, you can take move actions without further injuring yourself, but performing any standard action (or other strenuous activity) makes your character dying. Immediately after performing the standard action, you lose 1 hit point, and must make a Fortitude save as if you were dying.

Healing that raises the dying character’s hit points to 1 or more makes him fully functional again, just as if he’d never been reduced to 0 or lower.

Stabilizing rules would work as normal... 10% chance per round of stabilizing on your own, or a friend can stabilize you with an action.

What do you think?

Design, Development, and Gameplay / Iron Heroes: alt.magic
« on: July 13, 2006, 04:56:33 pm »
I just had an idea for an alternate method of spellcasting in Iron Heroes, and had to write down my initial thoughts, before I forgot was I was thinking about.  Here goes...

  • Keep the magic skill based.
  • Create a Lore feat mastery chain that grants spellcasting ability.
  • Create a magic token pool that can be used to enhance spells (ala metamagic).
  • No magic-using base class, per se.
That's where I'm starting from.  I'll need to look through my IH rulebook to get more specific ideas on how to handle this, but in the meantime any comments, complaints or suggestions are welcome.

I've decided to use Incantations from Unearthed Arcana in an upcoming Iron Heroes game.

Instead of having these incantations written down on a scroll or within an ancient tome, I want to built them into "magic items" of a sort.

For example...

A deck of tarot cards, which would contain increasingly powerful divination-based incantations used to "predict" the future.


A crystal ball, with divinations of a different sort for scrying, clairvoyance and other means of remote viewing.


A magic carpet that has incantations for levitation, flight and overland flight.


A cloak with incantations for disguise self, blur and invisibility.


A black iron cauldron with undead-creating incantatons.

What do you guys think of the idea?  Do you have any ideas for other
incantation-based magic items?

Crafty Games, the new brand name for Spycraft now has their website, forums and such on the air and running.

Plus, the updated second printing of the Spycraft 2.0 rulebook (92 MB zip!!!) is available for purchase as a downloadable PDF on RPGNow, and DTRPG for ~$25.

The new Spycraft 2.0 rulebook uses a blast increment for most "explosive" effects...  I was considering using the same mechanic for spells in D20 fantasy games, notably D&D and Iron Heroes.  Here's how it works:

Instead of a fixed blast radius, "explosive" (most damage-dealing bursts, emenations or spreads, for the purposes of D&D) effects have a blast increment.  Within the first increment, full damage is dealt.  For every blast increment after the first, damage is halved (round down).  Applicable saving throws still apply.

So, for example:

Say we convert the fireball spell so that it has a blast increment of 10', instead of a fixed radius of 20'...  A 6th level Wizard casts a 6d6 fireball, and rolls a total of 26 points of damage.  Everyone within 10' of the point of impact would take 26 points of damage (Reflex save for half damage).  Everyone between 10 and 20 feet would take 13 points (again, Reflex for half).  Between 20 and 30, 6 points.  Between 30 and 40, 3 points.  Between 40 and 50, 1 point.  Beyond 50 feet, no one takes damage.

This could not only be appplied to spells, but any other area special effects...  A red dragon's cone-of-fire breath weapon, for example.

The advantage is that it would greatly extend the area of effect, with diminishing damage.  The disadvantage is that it makes precision spellcasting much more difficult for many of the stereotypical artillery spells... There's a good chance that you could catch your friends in the fringes of a blast, dealing them minor amounts of collateral damage, especially if you happen to roll well for damage.

What do you guys think of the idea?

Other Games / Premise Riddle #8...
« on: May 05, 2006, 04:02:28 pm »
A man walks into a restaurant, and sits down at a table.  He orders albatross soup.  When the soup arrives, the man takes one taste of the albatross soup, and asks the waiter, "Are you certain this is albatross soup?"

"Yes, of course it is," the waiter replies.

The man immediately leaves the restaurant, and kills himself.


Quote from: Mongoose Publishing
Flaming Cobra is a new imprint by Mongoose Publishing, designed to bring the very best of PDF and 'Indy' RPG publishers to a wider market in your local games stores and book shops.

We have combed the world to find these indy publishers and design studios and are confident that our partners are second to none. Starting in August 2006, you will find such treats as the all new Spycraft range, from Crafty Games, in the Flaming Cobra line up, soon to be joined by acclaimed titles such as The Immortals Handbook, Secret Societies and the much-awaited Cthulhutech.

They've got Crafty Games' "World on Fire" Spycraft campaign setting, and the second printing of the Spycraft 2.0 rulebook set to be released this August.

So, I'm starting to brainstrom some ideas for an Iron Heroes campaign setting that I will be running sometime in the indefinite future.  You guys are all welcome to toss any suggestions or ideas into the mix.

The basic idea stems from the very little bit of a suggested setting included inthe Iron Heroes rulebook...  The Swordlands.  For those who don't have the book, or are too lazy to look it up, here's a synopsis:

There was once a group of powerful beings who had control of untold magical power called the Masters.  They had floating cities and all that sort of super-magic jazz.  Humanity was essentially ensalved by the Masters.  A few humans, the First, were "enhanced" by the masters to be stronger, faster, smarter, better than ordinary humans, they too could wield magic to a lesser degree and acted as overseers for the Masters over their human brethren.

Eventually a magical war broke out amongst the Masters that devastated the world and killed all the Masters.  The world was thrust into a deep, dark age in which the remaining humans, sometimes led by one of the First, carved new kingdoms out of the resultant chaos.  Monstrous survivors, originally created by the Masters solely to wage war, still roam the vast wildernesses, still riddled with the ruins of the Master's glorious empire, between small pockets of returning civilation.

Got all that?

So what I'm going to do, is take that idea, and turn it into a mythical alternate Earth setting.  The setting is centered on Europe and the Mediterranean Sea during an analogue of the Dark Ages.  Atlantis will take the role of the Masters, with the sinking of Atlantis equating, historically, to the fall of the Roman Empire.  The Mythical Heroes of Antiquity (Jason, Beowulf, Arthur and such...) are substitutes for the First.

The world is just beginning to claw it's way out of the magical holocaust induced dark age it is currently suffereing from.  Many of the surviving civilizations are former provinces and colonies of the Atlantean Empire, and have managed to hang on to small bits and piences of Atlantean culture, knowledge, technology or magic, if even in a greatly reduced capacity.

So that's where I'm starting from...

Out of curiosity, has anyone tried using the Incantations from Unearthed Arcana in an Iron Heroes game?
 Seems like they'd fit in pretty well.

Incidentally...  My wife's birthday is this Saturday, and I've just ordered Iron Heroes and Mastering Iron Heroes for her birthday presents.  I hope they arrive in time.

Crafty Games, the brand new company created to take over and produce Alderac Entertainment Group's Spycraft RPG line, has made a deal with Mongoose Publishing for publication and distribution of uncoming Spycraft releases.

Alex Flagg reports on the AEG message boards...

Quote from: AscentStudios
Yep, Crafty's books (including the second printing of 2.0, World on Fire, Ten Thousand Bullets, and others) will be printed and distributed through Mongoose Publishing (though creative control and production will remain entirely in-house). Their sales network gives us a chance to reach new markets and their growth over the last few years has been nothing less than astounding. We look forward to working with Matt and his team, and have high expectations this will be a fruitful partnership :) More soon.

News and Adverts / New Star Wars Space Combat Miniatures Game?
« on: March 16, 2006, 09:28:41 am »
Dan Sivils of Gaming Report says, "I did get a few of my usual contacts drop something on me today regarding new SW minis.

I have nothing official yet on this but these folks are usually dead on when it comes to News tips. Apparently, Wizards of the Coast is planning their new prepainted miniatures game this time around space ship combat due out early 2007. The official announcement won't be for a bit, but the hype will begin in earnest following the official news. The new game is to based on STAR WARS. This seems like a pretty logical with the positive growth Wizards has seen in the miniatures market. It will be one to watch for in the coming months. Wonder when the Death Star Colossal Figure will be unveiled..."

Play by Post Games / Star Wars: Interlude I - Spycraft
« on: March 15, 2006, 11:05:57 am »
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

This game will be set in the Star Wars universe and occur in the time period between Episode I - Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV - A New Hope.

This game will use the Spycraft 2.0 rules in conjuction with a set of House Rules and conversion notes that can be found on the Lords of the Expanse Wikispace.

The characters will be pre-generated characters based off the "Iconic" Star Wars chracters as presented and illustrated in the D20 Star Wars RPG Revised Core Rulebook.

The following character are available...
  • Kelko, Rodian Fringer (Wheelman)
  • Arani Korden, Human Noble  (Faceman)
  • Deel Surool, Twi'lek Scoundrel (Snoop)
  •     Rorworr, Wookiee Scout (Scout)
  •     Vor'en Kurn, Human Soldier (Soldier)
  •     Kaz Lo, Zabrak Tech Specialist (Scientist)
  •     Valara Saar, Human Force Adept (Explorer)
They will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Only one of the following four Jedi in known to have survive the Jedi Purge...
  •     Sen Udo-Mal, Cerean Jedi Consular (Advocate)
  • Sia-Lan Wezz, Human Jedi Guardian (Soldier)
  • Set Harth, Human Jedi Guardian (Intruder)
  • Dorn Tavers, Human Jedi Guardian (Pointman)
The first player to choose one may play that Jedi, and the other three will become unavailable, presumably having died at the hands of Darth Vader.

Any questions?

Play by Post Games / Never mind...
« on: March 13, 2006, 01:59:24 pm »
Never mind, I've got a better idea...

Be back momentarily.

Right now, I'm running a Spycraft 2.0 game using the Star Wars universe as the setting.  I'm mostly finished with conversions for Star Wars stuff into SC 2.0, but that's for another thread, if anyone's interested.

Right now I need some different help...

The game takes place a few years after the Jedi Purge, and the characters are all Force-sensitive.  The organization they work for is trying to train them into Force-sensitive spies to get a leg up on the competition.  Unfortunately, the only people who could feasibly teach them anything useful about manipulating the Force are either hiding in a desert, hiding in a swamp or busy conquering the known Galaxy.

In their last mission, the PCs managed to steal a half dozen Jedi holocrons, and three lightsabers (only one of which works) from a nobleman's secret stash.  I need some ideas for fleshing out these eight artifacts.

One holocron will be a basic instruction manual for using the Force -- Telekinesis, Mind Tricks and so on -- the holographic interface, I think, might be Yoda, unless someone else has a more iteresting idea.  in the movies, it seemed he was the primary instructor of Force basics for the kids.

Another holocron should be lightsaber combat techniques.  I don't really known of who the Jedi weapons masters are, though.

The other four holocrons will probably just be other instructional or historical material of less consequence...  the sort of stuff that would give bonuses on knowledge checks.  I'd like to have a theme for each them, though, and a different Jedi Master for each holographic interface.

As for the lightsabers, one was obviously cut in half by another lightsaber (one of Anakin's from the movies?), one has a hole burned through it from either a blaster bolt or a lightsaber (hard to tell which), and the last is in poor condition but intact and functional.

Any ideas?  My players, for the most part, have seen the movies, but not read any of the books.  These items don't have to be directly related to anything or anyone in the movies, but I want them to be viscerally interesting to the players.

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