More Space Viking Nonsense

Well, I’ve bought myself a cheap USB keyboard and I can actually write these posts easily again!, so I’ve started pulling the various strands together, and tried to collate something that could actually play.

The biggest issue that I currently have is that I’m really enjoying the setting and how it’s forming, and whilst I have some level of overarching story (but not really yet), I have very little idea of how to insert players into the action at the start.

But I’m working on that!!

So, here’s what I’ve pulled together so far.

“The gods have grown quiet, and Midgard begins to grow cold. Fimbulwinter has come.”

The many atmosphere processing plants have mysteriously shut down, and without them the air of Midgard is quickly becoming colder. When this has happened before, representatives of the gods have arrived to fix the ancient mechanisms in short order.

None have arrived this time.

The air of winter dragged into spring, with little sign of any warming. Many crops perished in short order. The various jarls made war upon each other, but with no outcome. Now the people of Sigurdsheim have elected some of their number to investigate the nearest of the atmosphere prcessor and report their findings back to the jarl.

The game pulls in a lot of extra rules and tweaks that I wanted to have a play with, as well as some things to make the setting feel more like the scifi/Norse mashup that I’m going for.

This post on Wizards introduced a few rules for an imagined d20 modern game using the 5E rules. I played a fair amount of d20 Modern when it came out, and ran a few campaigns of the Agents of PSI presented in the core book for some different groups. I’ve stolen a couple of the charts shamelessly and edited them a bit further below, mostly for flavour.

The Unearthed Arcana series of articles also run by Wizards have introduced a few other things I’d like to throw into the mix:

The Variant Rules article has a couple of optional tweaks on stuff, but I think I’d like to throw the Vitality rules into the mix, at least to play them for a bit and see how they fit. The idea of large chunks of damage causing more permanent effects that the players really feel is cool, and I also thought about the optional healing rules in the core DMG, but I’d like to try the vitality points idea before I start making healing harder!

The two class options presented in the Waterborne Adventures article appealed also. The idea of a Sorcerer with a background linked to Storms fits pretty well with a Norse setting, and the swashbuckling Rogue is always something I like seeing, since I tend to play them in previous incarnations of D&D.

The Eberron article introduces Action Points to 5E, though they work in basically the same way that they always have. I’m still debating these as an addition, but I might throw in the Artificer as a Wizard choice, since the setting is a tech mashup.

Finally, the article on Modifying Classes (not part of Unearthed Arcana) included the Favoured Soul options, again another origin for the Sorcerer. I can see it as a draw for possible player characters, and I want to leave the options open for now.

If I add this stuff in, I might also take some stuff out. I’m not sure yet whether I want to keep the Wild Magic origin for Sorcerers. It’s fun, but whether it fits the setting for how magic works I haven’t decided yet.

Armour table:

Modern Armor
Armor Armor Class (AC) Strength Stealth Properties Weight
Light Armor
Heavy longcoat 11 + Dex modifier Disadvantage 6 lb.
Leather jacket 11 + Dex modifier 4 lb.
Steelsilk shirt 11 + Dex modifier DR 2 vs. ballistic 2 lb.
Kevlar-lined jacket 12 + Dex modifier DR 2 vs. ballistic 8 lb.
Steelsilk Jacket 13 + Dex modifier DR 2 vs. ballistic 3 lb.
Medium Armor
Steelsilk longcoat 13 + Dex modifier (max 2) DR 3 vs. ballistic 4 lb.
Light-duty armor 14 + Dex modifier (max 3) DR 3 vs. ballistic 8 lb.
Tactical armor 15 + Dex modifier (max 2) Str 11 Disadvantage Resistance: ballistic 10 lb.
Heavy Armor
Special response armor 15 Str 12 Disadvantage Resistance: ballistic 15 lb.
Heavy-duty armor “Einherjar” 17 Str 13 Disadvantage Resistance: ballistic/slashing 10 lb.
 Automated tactical armor “Valkyrie” 18 Str 14 Disadvantage Resistance: ballistic/slashing/piercing 20 lb.
Shields Armor Class (AC) Strength Stealth Properties Weight
                    Riot Shield +1 3 lb.
Hardlight shield +2 Disadvantage DR 2 1 lb.

Also stolen borrowed and modified, class proficiencies in firearms:

Firearm Proficiencies by Class
Class Firearm Proficiency
Berserkr (Barbarian) Long arms
Fantr (Rogue) Long arms or sidearms (chosen at character creation)
Galdramthr (Sorcerer) None
Hamaskr (Druid) None
Hermathr (Fighter) Long arms and sidearms
Norn (Warlock) None (possibly gained via pact)
Prestr (Cleric) None (possibly granted via domain)
Skald (Bard) Sidearms
Skógarvörthr (Ranger) Long arms and sidearms
Strithdansmaer(Monk) Sidearms
Töframathr (Wizard) None (though sidearm proficiency might be granted through the School of Technomancy)
Vaeringjar (Paladin) Long arms and sidearms

As for what counts as a long arm or side arm?

Rifles and automatic rifles, shotguns count as long arms. Pistols and automatic pistols, revolvers, sawn-off shotguns (IF I ALLOW THEM!) count as sidearms.

Laser weaponry, heavy weaponry, grenades etc I wouldn’t count as proficient apart from MAYBE the Fighter class. I’v eyet to make a decision on that one. I’m debating leaving heavy weapons out entirely for now, since using them might be a dishonourable act.

And speaking of Honour, I’m going to throw the Honour ability score in as well, because I like the mechanics associated with it and I think it might just fit pretty snug there.

As you can see from the above, character sheets are going to be a pain. I might have to scratch around and build my own, or maybe just persuade players to use a notepad or Excel or something.

And that’s where I am at the moment. Any thoughts or comments, direct them to the usual place.

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Vikings! An Update

My great habits of updating often have suddenly fallen by the wayside. I’m claiming it’s because of only having a semi-functional keyboard, but I could still use the phone or my tablet (as I am now)  if I really wanted to.

I’ve been very slowly thinking about the space viking game. I’ve had a rethink about a few things, worked out how Bifrost works (a cross between movies Thor and Stargate), turn Yggdrasill into a kind of space elevator, and had more of a think about guns.

Since they’d be replacing bows for the most part, the general idea would mean most ranged combat is actually using modern rifles. I might dig through the old d20 rules and see how easy it would be to port them across.
I don’t want to be as bogged down in choice as the d20 games, I just want more of an idea of options.

Guns so far in the game:
Common modern pistol
Advanced modern pistol (burst fire option)
Common modern rifle
Advanced modern rifle (burst fire)
Shotgun
Laser pistol (double base damage of modern pistol)
Laser rifle (double Base damage of modern rifle)

So thinking d8 for the pistol, and d10 for the rifle, but I might change that still. Maybe change the lasers to 2d6 and 3d6 or something. They’re dangerous, but hopefully survivable.

Enemies – still not sure. The undead maybe, via a cybernetic virus? Some kind of nanite plague making monsters? Certainly gods warring somehow. All of the above probably.

The trick will be balancing magic and tech, because there’s going to be some mad anachronisms all over this setting. People sitting by the fireplace in a long hall drinking mead, listening to the scalds tell tales, and reading the latest news on their data slates.
Monsters attacking in the night, fought off with rifles, axeblades and “smart steel”, by soldiers with genetic and cybernetic enhancements.
Wizards conjuring physical forms from the Datasphere into the real world, either as familiars or fireballs, again probably from cybernetic enhancements (like the technomages in Babylon 5 maybe).

Anyway, that’s where I’m at so far. I’m debating adding some animal uplifts as player races, but I might stick with what I have for now before I tinker too much.
I might need to tweak some classes yet, which would be more important than the races for now.

More of the same soon, hopefully this week!

Vikings… IN SPAAAAAACE!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a Viking-styled d&d game, and I’ve come up with a few ideas.
However, since I’ve also been playing a lot of Mass Effect, been reading some of Marvel’s Battle world stuff and thinking about the Thor Corps, AND partly inspired by the article over on the D&D website, I’m making the setting a bit more scifi than just plain Vikings.

So, how’s this working exactly? I’m. Mixing together a bunch of notes as I write this post, so hopefully it won’t be too disjointed.

The World Tree, Yggdrasil, can be travelled. The interaction of the different realms has long been a fact, and so many races exist across the many realms, not just their own homes.
In scifi terms, they’re all originally human stock, but for some reason or other had been ‘locked’ into their own world so long that they evolved into separate races. Then the barriers came down.

Many of these worlds were more like pocket dimensions, but Midgard, the ancestral home, is huge, and filled with baseline humans.
Other races that now live in Midgard:
The Aelfr and Svartaelfr – elves and dark elves, though I might make them more grey elves than drow.
Dvergar – dwarves
Svirfneblin – gnomes
Niflungr – goblins
Trolls – orcs (maybe? Traditional d&d trolls would become Jotun – giants!)

In theory, I could also throw in:
Dreki – dragonkin
Djöfullinn – Tieflings
And then Aelfblood and Trollblood for half elves and half orcs, respectively.
I’ve taken out half lings for now, and replaced with Goblins. Because I like goblins!

Next up, classes. At this stages, I’ve only reskinned the names,but I’ll be fiddling a little bit too. All translations taken from Google Translate.
Bard –  Skald
Barbarian – Berserkr
Cleric – Prestr
Druid – Hamaskr
Fighter – Hermathr
Paladin – Vaeringjar
Ranger – Skógarvörthr
Rogue – Fantr
Sorcerer – Galdramathr
Warlock – Norn
Wizard – Töframathr

Now, this being scifi influenced as well, I’m flying to add in the firearms rules.
That means anyone who gets full weapon proficiency is also likely to pick up guns as a proficiency (fighters, some clerics etc).
The guns available will be the modern pistol and rifle, though access to laser rifle and pistol is a possibility, and I’m debating making these more like Stargate’s Jaffa staff weapons and Zzzats. Either way, they’d be rare or the equivalent of magic items (maybe the gods run around with them?)
Armour would likely gain a damage reduction against ballistics, but again that’s something I need to work on. I don’t want to make the weapons too lethal, as they’d break the game, and ammunition needs to be important.
In the case of laser weapons, I’m tempted to make them recharge over time, so they have a very limited number of shots that only recharges on a rest, and possibly only partially for short rests. Again, something I’m still working on.
At the moment:
Modern pistol: 1d8 damage
Modern rifle: 1d10 damage
Laser pistol: 2d6 damage, option to stun
Laser rifle: 2d8 damage, option to stun
Light armour: 2 DR versus ballistics, not against lasers
Medium armour: 4 DR versus ballistics, 2 DR against lasers
Heavy armour: 6 DR versus ballistics, 4 DR against lasers
(I’d probably get a bit more detailed and make it certain armours, not the entire rating)

On to important aspects of the setting!
I want to add in the Honour ability score. It’s cool and I think it fits. Oaths are important. Oath breakers, called Nith, are very important.
The pantheon is the standard Aesir/Vanir of Norse mythology.
Dragons are a thing. They are called Hoggr.

I’m ripping social classes and such out of a combination of Saxon and Norse stuff, should be familiar to Skyrim players.
The castes are broken down into
The King/Rix. Probably one for each realm.
The Etheling. Nobles, both Jarls and Thanes.
Freemen. Karls/churls.
Thralls. Slaves tied to a person and serfs tied to the land.

Felags are communities to which a character belongs. They might be obliged to serve in some way, as the felags are usually centred around a trade or military venture.
A big army barracks is surrounded by support people, so is a large vineyard or weapon manufacturing centre. Even a town known for art will have charcoal burners, quarries and paper makers all around it, plus farmers etc.

The sib is the basic family unit. Hence the term sibling.
Fostering of the children of blood sworn kin is also common, though these are the links between the various sibs.
Injury between sibs can be collected upon through fines, called weregild (the worth of a man). Weregild is claimed at annual Things (the meetings of a populace) and decided upon by Gamuts, a court of popular vote. Sometimes an ordeal might be issued.
Gamut can also declare outlaws, who are banished on pain of death, their rights revoked and their marriages dissolved.

So where does this leave my current idea?
The characters are all. Members of the same Felag, which involves trade with other settlements and sometimes other realms. Travel through Yggdrasil will be happening, but has become more difficult of late.
The group is attached to a caravan to carry wares to another settlement, then on to another realm. I’m imagining that the ‘branches’ of Yggdrasil are gateways to travel through, perhaps an astral or shadow realm.

Ultimately I want to involve Ragnarok, or the fear of Ragnarok, and perhaps a villain being sponsored by the Jotun or the Dragon Nithoggr, or both, to bring Ragnarok about.