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Offline Korwin  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, August 27, 2019 7:02:38 PM(UTC)
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I'm thinking about integration some of the Astlanian background into my next D&D 3.5 campaing...

So thinking about what traits the Astlanian have.
Big outliner here are the Orcs. The Orcs in D&D are based on the corrupted version from LotR.

Quote:
Orcs As Characters
Orc Traits (Ex)

Orcs possess the following racial traits.

+4 Strength, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
An orc’s base land speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
Automatic Languages: Common, Orc. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Undercommon.
Favored Class: Barbarian.


What traits do the Astlanian Orcs have?

Same question for the d'Orcs (common rank, not the commanders), they are greater demons --> Balors?

Edited by user Tuesday, August 27, 2019 7:03:29 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Tizzy  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 28, 2019 9:06:44 PM(UTC)
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Astlanian, and for that matter all "real orcs" are a bit more complex as there are several very different races of orcs. Which race or races you have tends to depend on what world or region you are in.

The races come from how the different orc tribes descend from the older jotnar races.

Where the multiple races, or "tribes" of orcs have formed Hordes, there is often a lot of cross breeding so you end up with quite a lot of mixes.

In fact, in Astlan and the worlds of it' local verse you find a great deal of variety.

Physical differences that come from original orc races:

Skin tone from most common to least common: Green (ish), Brown (ish), Grey (ish), Red (ish)
Tusk size: Huge, Large, Medium, Small, nearly non-existent (often with half orcs)
Overall physical size.
In general, most are larger than humans both in height and BMI, they are just beefier.
That being said, there are some that are only a bit taller than humans and less bulky than usual orcs.
Nearly all have very strong bones and pronounced skull features. They have excellent constitutions. Stamina is also quite high.

Sort of as a guideline: The greener or browner, the bigger the tusks and overall size, although the reddish ones are often more on the order of the Brownish ones in terms of size. But there can be exceptions for individuals. Greyish orcs tend to be thinner, and sometimes taller. Very much like a Peter Jackson orc.

I would argue that physical characteristics go hand in hand with that same guideline, the bigger, the stronger, more endurance etc.

And to some extent, the same might be said of intelligence and wisdom, particularly wisdom. Shamans are not typically the largest/strongest orcs. Intelligence is culturally based. D&D measures it in human and elven terms so it's naturally biased against orcs. So the question is how much of this is biological and how much is cultural or occupational?

The biggest orcs are often the most aggressive warriors, and often perceived as the dumbest. They are also the orcs most other races see as these guys are most likely carrying out routine R&P operations on the other races. But this is a stereotype for humans as well.

But, I do think that Grishnakh, Thargus and others on the Skull Crusher would say that "ogres are pretty stupid" and those orc races closer to ogres tend to be stupid, burly orcs as well.

So that's probably not a huge amount of help, but the sheer variety of the race (and yes this comes from excessive R&P operations) makes it hard to pin down.

T-A-G did a quick search to find Orc characteristics in "Animus" the RPG he co-wrote, which takes place in Astlan, a very long time ago but was unable to quickly find the orc character traits (stuff is scattered in lots of files many of which are in extinct word processing formats)

As far as D'Orcs: All of the first generation D'Orcs are at least Greater Demons. later generations, particularly children may only be Major Demons.

The D'Orc regiment commanders are archdemons. Book III is the first time we start to see the D'Orcs actually using their more demonic like powers, but there is a lot more coming as we get to know them and see them in action.

D'Orcs all speak "Universal" so can communicate with anyone anywhere.

Orcs speak trade (or common for where the live), almost all speak Doom Orcish or some variant, if they were ever part of the Doompire (some may not have been). Many (particularly leaders and shamans) speak variants of Jotunish, including various ogrish dialects. It is not uncommon for them to speak gnoll, gnome, koboldish, or some Dok Alfar tongues.

The whole sunlight thing is libelous propaganda. Yes, there may be some more underground races that have that issue, but a huge number of orcs are nomadic and roam plains following game herds, etc. Think Dothraki.

Actually, I think the greyish ones tend to be more underground, they may be a little bit sensitive. Haven't deal with them a lot.

Oh, yeah, and the Visterothi do have some issues, but that's a side affect of their unlife immunity.

And, yes, Visterothi tend to be very tall, and thinner than the average orc. Again, side affect of genetic manipulation. They started out much like the other orc races and evolved.

Tizzy
Offline Lunarmage  
#3 Posted : Thursday, August 29, 2019 2:18:00 AM(UTC)
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Slightly off topic, where can we find this game 'Animus'?
Offline The Author Guy  
#4 Posted : Thursday, August 29, 2019 7:24:02 PM(UTC)
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Unfortunately, no where at the moment.

We did quite a bit of beta testing with players near me and the other author of the game, however, we both got tied up with our dissertations and then day jobs and never finalized and published it.

To be honest, it was a bit of work for players (including the game master or AM). Everything was pretty complex, particularly when trying to generate higher level mana wielding characters.

The magic system is exactly what is described on this site and in the books, the only thing you don't see here are the numbers and probabilities. But, for example, all that astrology and elemental affiliations? That has a numeric impact on your chance of casting a spell correctly. E.g. your astrological sign and element, and the current astrological month and element, positive and negative. They are small modifiers of 5% or less, but if you are trying to cast something really difficult, you want to align the stars/time of casting with the spell and your own sign/element. Every little bit helps.

In the books, Lenamare can pretty much ignore such things, because he's so experienced He only has to worry when casting really high spells, e.g. teens (13th) or higher, and for those, just obtaining the spells and components is a major quest.

Jenn and Gastrope' however can't. That's why for example, your school, pyromancy, conjuror, thaumaturgy are important. If you want to succeed, you need to align your sign/element with the professions. Yes, a feminine water sign can do pyromancy, or pyromantic spells, but they aren't as good at it as a masculine fire sign. Interestingly actual gender is less important than your lunar affiliation.

As does your level vs the level of the spell. If you've got the mana, you can try to cast any spell you have/find/know. Of course, part of knowing is being high enough level/experience to understand the spell, and thus trying to cast a spell you found way above your current level means a high chance of failure...or fumble.

Yes, you can fumble a magic spell and it may not be pleasant.

As some example:

Quote:

Name: Abyssal Switch

Spell Code: W18IC-D1h-R1000-A2500

Material: A pint of demon's blood.

Description: This spell has ever only been recorded as being cast 4 times in all of history. What it does, quite literally, is interchanges the area of effect completely and totally with a corresponding region of the Abyss. Anything on the area of effect in the planes of men is now in the Abyss, and anything in the area on the Abyss is now on the planes of men. The spell expires 1 hour later, but anything wandering off the area is left stranded in the plane in wandered into. Further, note, the Abyss is generally a place of instant death for normal mortals. The environment and conditions are totally unsuited, and any unprotected individuals die within a matter of moments. On the other hand, Abyssal residents generally have no problems with the planes of men. This spell provides no protection against incoming Abyssal residents. UPGRADE (xx/2500/xx:225)



Spell Code: W18IC-D1h-R1000-A2500

Wizard spell, 18th level, Indirect, Conjury, Duration 1 Hour, Range: 1000 ft, Area 2500 square feet.

Obviously, Exador's are bigger, they last until he's done with them, and can be considerably bigger. That is covered with the Upgrade code, the additional mana required to increase the area and duration of the spell.

Of course, I love this particular spell, I doubt Lenamare knows it, and if he does he's not that stupid.

Quote:

Name: Compel Demon Prince

Spell Code: W20IC-DS-R1000-A1

Material: Unknown, probably similar to other compel spells.

Description: One might expect that this spell would work like the other Compel spells do on other classes of demons. It is the opinion of this wizardly scholar, however, that most likely, the demon prince will only be compelled if he or she feels like it.



Wizards and Clerics were pretty normal, just a bit more number intensive, but animages and some types of druids/shamans got very complicated for the AM (AniMaster) because the player has to describe exactly what they are doing and the logic underpinning it, and then the AM adjudicates their chance of success based on how close it is to "known effect difficulty levels"

For lesser affects and a high level animage, or well documented affect (e.g. the Form of Fire) it was straight forward. But animages can come up with about any variant they can think of, or something not even listed as a "known effect & difficulty"

Most of the beta adventures took place in Gizzor Del, but there were some in Freehold and the Council States.

The combat system was similar to Steve Jackson games. It was figure/hex based and you literally had to be behind your target to backstab it. The combat was every bit as complicated as the spell casting.

It's funny, the other author did the combat system, I did the magic system, and completely independently, they both wound up being intensive and time consuming. A single dungeon adventure could last a very long time.

We both did the character creation was also intense and intricate accounting for lots and lots of possibilities and variations.

Offline The Author Guy  
#5 Posted : Thursday, August 29, 2019 7:32:06 PM(UTC)
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Freaky spells a wise wizard will never cast:

Quote:

Name: Mana Wheel

Spell Code: W25IT-DS-R0-A25000

Material: A specially constructed mana wheel, several mana pools.

Description: This spell requires the construction of a very special wheel. The wheel is constructed of the finest materials, and, in fact, should be considered a magic item which requires a 25th level spell to use. The mana wheel, in general, would cost about 100,000 crowns to construct and involve the use of a variety of spells. The exact secret of construction is currently unknown. A mana wheel has a receptacle at its center into which up to 50 mana pool gems may be placed at any one time. The mana wheel, itself, costs 625 mana points which must be given by the caster to start it spinning. Further, for each round of operation, the caster must expend 25 mana points to maintain control and keep from having his or her own mana affected.

What a mana wheel does is simply suck all the mana out of the region in which it operates. All mana-using spell users (other than caster) have their mana stripped, with no AR, (they may regain it normally if they go elsewhere), and all magic items in the area must make a destruct AR each round they are in the area, or have the mana stripped out of them (and thus be permanently demagicked). Higher-order beings such as class IV or higher demons or deities must make a WIL AR or have their mana stripped from them.

All mana from normal creatures (including non-spell-using people) is absorbed. The very mana from the air and ground is stripped by the mana wheel. The mana wheel does not do this automatically, rather, the rate at which mana is absorbed is 500 mana points per round. It absorbs the closest mana first. Of this mana, 250 points each round goes into feeding the spin of the mana wheel, and the rest goes into the mana pools at its center. If the mana pools become filled, the caster may replace them with more (if he or she has more). Excess mana will simply be bled off to some alternate universe. The caster may attempt to stop the wheel up until the point at which he or she runs out of mana. The chance of success is equal to the caster's level plus his or her WIL and KNO. However, for each round that the mana wheel spins, it gains momentum. Thus, for each round it has spun, the caster must subtract 5% from his or her chance of success.

If the caster should run out of mana before the mana wheel can be stopped, the caster loses control and all of his or her possessions will be stripped of mana. Further, if control is lost, there is a 1% chance per round that the wheel has spun minus the WIL of the caster that the caster may be permanently stripped of his or her mana. The mana wheel will spin to a stop on its own once all the available mana in the area is gone (including the caster's, so the caster should stop it on his or her own).

Areas drained of mana will be magic-poor for 3d4 months while mana comes back. This means that spell users will be unable to regain mana in the region for at least half this time, and for the last half, only at one half the normal rate. Further, all magical spells will be at -15% to cast in this region. Incidentally, any and all mana pools charged by the wheel may be used normally by the caster or whoever has them.


Edited by user Thursday, August 29, 2019 7:34:05 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline The Author Guy  
#6 Posted : Thursday, August 29, 2019 7:43:14 PM(UTC)
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For highly experienced Necromancers:

Quote:

Name: Undead Army

Spell Code: W15IN-D1h-R1000-AMx

Material: A battlefield where lots of people have died.

Description: This spell allows the caster to raise the dead bodies of fallen soldiers on an old battlefield (may even be several centuries). The caster may raise an army of skeletons and zombies (zombies only if the battlefield is less than 1 year old) to march at his or her banner. The number raised is equal to the square of the level of the wizard casting the spell. The skeletons and zombies are able to understand simple battle commands and will obey the caster. The base cost of the spell is 225 points plus a cost of 1 mana point per animated corpse. UPGRADE(xx/xx/1 h:1 mana pt/corpse)




Wizard, 15th level, Indirect, Necromancy, Duration 1 hour, Range 10000 ft, Area: basically the area around the caster within range, e.g. 1000 ft radius.
Offline The Author Guy  
#7 Posted : Thursday, August 29, 2019 7:49:32 PM(UTC)
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What sort of deranged wizard would ever cast this spell?

Quote:

Name: Nuclear Blast

Spell Code: W13IP-DI-R0-A1000 square radius.

Material: Two separate pieces, weighing 3 ounces each of plutonium or two 6-ounce pieces of uranium.

Description: This extremely dread and powerful spell is extremely dangerous to cast. Since this is a zero range spell, the caster who wishes to survive must cast it as a programmed spell. The first effect of this spell is to do 50d10 DT of heat and fire damage to all objects within the area of effect. The second is a super-large area of effect Gamma Blast spell. The Gamma Blast does 5d10 DT additional damage to all within the area. All living targets must make a CON AR or be forever after sterile. Further, future children of non-sterile persons within the area will have a 25% chance of physical deformity and will all suffer sufficient nerve damage as to be as if under an Ancestral Curse spell. Also, all targets will become very sick within 2d12 hours ands suffer 1d4 STM damage per 10 minutes for 2d6 hours. Following this, the individuals must make a CON AR or lose one random limb due to radiation damage. The individual must also make a CON AR -40% or suffer from the effects of a Cancer spell. Further, note the effects of Gamma Blast are not stopped by any standard defenses. The only currently known defenses are red prismatic walls and Alternating Pentacles set to maximum magical protection.

Offline Lunarmage  
#8 Posted : Friday, August 30, 2019 9:52:14 PM(UTC)
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I want this game to exist. I need to play it. I would gladly help finish it.

Edited by user Saturday, August 31, 2019 12:12:33 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline The Author Guy  
#9 Posted : Sunday, September 1, 2019 5:00:15 PM(UTC)
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I have been thinking about it, and need to get with the other author on it.

The big difference between now and then is that Amazon exists, and self-publishing a game is far easier than it was when we wrote the game.

That's also what got Book 1 out the door. When I started Book 1, Amazon did not exist. Actually, when I started Book I, the Web did not exist (the Internet/DARPA net did).

Sort of just after the peak of game development work, the early web existed and the first version of www.astlan.net showed up as a MS Frontpage website. That version of this site was all about the game and lasted for years sort of in limbo as game development took a back seat to real world work.

The book, volume I was also on hold with everyone stuck inside the wards, unable to get out. I knew that Tom etc needed to get out to fight Talarius, but couldn't figure out.

Then about 4 months before it was first published, I'd been writing on other books and said, before I publish any other book, Into The Abyss must be released.

I then spent more nights trying to figure out how to get outside, when it suddenly hit me "Just fess up and tell Lenamare what's going on, and he'll know what to do."

So that did it, Tom etal. went to Lenamare and told him about the demon infestation and he knew immediately how to get rid of them. And the book "Demons of Astlan" finally continued.

I mean, it's a little creepy, I, T-A-G didn't know how to get them outside, I basically had to go into character as Lenamare and say "What Would Lenamare Do?" WWLD.



Offline Gelcube  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, September 3, 2019 1:24:53 PM(UTC)
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WWLD. That is both creepy, scary, and hilarious. Also, I can't count.

It would be nice to have Animus, but to be honest, it would just be a curiosity. I have no time to play, nor a group to play with, so it'd just be me giving you more money. Not a bad thing, mind you.

Gelatinous Cube

"Because there's always a 10x10-foot room for Jell-O"
Offline The Author Guy  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, September 3, 2019 3:18:45 PM(UTC)
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Which is why, basically the development and testing dropped off. Too much other stuff to do. Not enough others around anymore, although with time in the day, that is fixable, you can always find more, it's just a question of making the time etc.

We used to collect lots of RPG's read them, but almost never played them. I sort of think that's why so many people drop back to D&D when they have time, even if there are better systems out there, they take too much work to learn/remember and play. D&D has a LOT of issues, particularly the later versions where they imposed arbitrary constraints to try to block power hungry players exploiting the rules to make god like characters, but it's simple and easy to remember.

Systems that don't have those arbitrary limitations to fix loopholes in the relatively simple rules, get far more complex to deal with, and for most, take away some of the fun.

And of course, a big part was the rise of computer games and MMPRPGs etc.
Offline Lunarmage  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, September 3, 2019 5:54:20 PM(UTC)
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I suspect that people who like your books sir, are ones willing to put in the time and effort to play a more complicated game. And really? Who WOULDN'T want to play a D'Orc?
Offline The Author Guy  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, September 4, 2019 12:59:11 AM(UTC)
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The only problem with playing a D'Orc is that you would probably need to be a D'Orc, or other immortal in order to live long enough to create the character!

Even for the moment, ignoring magical spells, assume the character is not a shaman.

It is a skill based system with skill points. Do you have any idea how long it would take to calculate 10,000 years of skill points?

Lenamare's character sheet took me a couple days to do, figuring out his skills and spells that he knew. (Lenamare existed before the game so I was describing him)

A D'Orc would be at least a 25th level barbarian (which is it's own class, sort of a cross between a fighter and a ranger), and then you have the thousands of years of D'Orc experience???

And btw: I will need to write a D'Orc class, and an Avatar class.

I realize now, at this moment, even though I actually have spells for immortalization/divine ascension etc. I have no idea what that does in game terms to the character. It's a whole new set of character classes. Eeeesh.

Offline The Author Guy  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, September 4, 2019 1:01:04 AM(UTC)
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An ascendable/worthy D'Orc "orc" would probably be a 25th level barbarian. An actual several thousand year old D'Orc would be much much higher (probably--although not all are---this is actually something that will start to be discussed in the coming books, including OOA)

Offline Korwin  
#15 Posted : Monday, September 16, 2019 6:05:48 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for the reply!

For the record, would buy the Animus RPG (not shure about playing it Angel )
Offline The Author Guy  
#16 Posted : Monday, September 16, 2019 7:37:05 PM(UTC)
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Tizzy would not care if you didn't play.

He would only want to ensure that you bought every rulebook, expansion, module, playset, licensed figures, etc that were issued.

Dancing
Offline michael2inoz  
#17 Posted : Tuesday, September 17, 2019 11:31:15 PM(UTC)
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BigGrin If you find any extra hours in the day to work on the D &D modules that would be great I would buy them. It not like you have a life and 3 soon to be released booksBigGrin , to fill up your day , sleep is overrated. Just ask tizzy
Offline The Author Guy  
#18 Posted : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 2:09:50 AM(UTC)
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What is this sleep thing of which you speak?

I vaguely remember it before Tizzy showed up on my doorstep.

He's busy during the day, when I am "expected" to write. I guess he's doing the stuff I am writing about.

He then shows up around my bed time and hovers over my bed telling me his adventures and/or haranguing me to write faster.

Thankfully, I pass out before too long due to second hand smoke...this lasts until the smoke alarm wakes me in the morning and I get up to open some windows and doors.

Unfortunately, passing out due to second hand demon weed is not conducive to restful sleep because I end up wandering around the astral plane all night and that is not as fun as it seems.

Offline Korwin  
#19 Posted : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 5:09:58 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: The Author Guy Go to Quoted Post
Tizzy would not care if you didn't play.

He would only want to ensure that you bought every rulebook, expansion, module, playset, licensed figures, etc that were issued.

Dancing
Looking at my D&D 3.5 collection. That could happen Whistle
Originally Posted by: The Author Guy Go to Quoted Post
And btw: I will need to write a D'Orc class, and an Avatar class.

And rules for the Phönix cycle / Reincarnation Cool

Edited by user Wednesday, September 18, 2019 5:14:20 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline The Author Guy  
#20 Posted : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 4:55:01 PM(UTC)
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I was actually thinking about that at the gym yesterday.

Divine Ascension was always an "iffy" thing in D&D, starting with "Gods, Demigods and Heroes" which basically sent Monty (sic) Haul players into over drive.

Of course, no player of mine, ever accused me of running Monty Haul dungeons, far from it. However, I enjoyed dragging my own favorite characters into dungeons operated by such DM's, and even got one Divine Ascensed. And, let's just say it got crazy.

So that is definitely problematic for any game.

However, one expansion module I thought of for a new release would be The Abyssal Adventures Handbook.

In this version, players can create newly enslaved demon characters, enslaved to an NPC wizard (the GM of course) who would send the newbie demon on quests and tasks. Now, obviously where the cheating comes in is the die roll that determines what level you show up at.

I am thinking, no one comes in higher than a Fiend, and most likely you start as a Sprite or Imp, or maybe a Shadow for very skilled players.

Even so, an imp or sprite would be higher level than a normal 1st level character, and a fiend would start even higher. Actually, I have the levels written down somewhere. It's in the "Monster Manual" section. Have to dig that up.

OMG: I just found my random demon creation tables! I forgot I even have those, these would be perfect for creating the appearance of a demon character. There are die roll tables for shape, color, horns, wings, skin, mouth/teeth, ears, nose everything.

Then there is the demonic offspring table. I do remember that one.

EEK: Just found Tom's character sheet! He was never actually played as a character, we never got anyone high enough level to not be squashed by him.



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