Quick rules changes of the Ginnungagap

So, some quick changes and additions:

  • Honour stat – because I feel like it will be important to the setting. I need to work on appropriate tests for it. It will definitely be important with dealing with gods…(Yeah, just going to leave that hook hanging there)
  • Additional skills – Computer Use, Engineering, Navigate/Pilot (I haven’t fully decided the name yer). And then a skill I’m either calling Lore or Skald, see below
  • Skills removed – Animal Handling and Nature (folding into Survival), Arcana, History, Religion (folding all three into Lore/Skald)

I’m still working out some Feats of my own, but I’ll be stealing liberally from Fifth Age for now, whilst I whittle and shape.

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Classes of the Ginnungagap

I’ve been reading around what other people have worked into sci-fi D&D rules around the internet, and I’ll be pinching and tweaking and fiddling as I go. A good portion of what I’m working with comes from Fifth Age, though I’m going for a lasers and sorcery setting so there’s the thorny issue of magic to work in somehow.

With that in mind, I’ve sat down again with the classes list and decided what I’m keeping and what will go, though I’m still stuck with some difficult decisions. The Fifth Age uses a Technician class to cover a Medic speciality, and I really like the class, but I’m also wanting to keep the Cleric as an option.

 

So far the classes I’m happy with are:

Barbarian (though I need to look again at which totems fit the setting)

Cleric

Officer (Fifth Age equivalent to a Bard – thinking about a name change and tweaks. The Ace variant for pilots uses inspiration dice to power their own abilities, but I don’t really like it. I might move it to Soldier and use superiority dice)

Operative (Fifth Age equivalent to a Rogue)

Scout (Re-skin of a Ranger, or possibly the Savage from Fifth Age, or a combination of the two)

Soldier (Re-skin of a Fighter)

Sorceror

Technician (Fifth Age – has variants for Medics, Mechanics, Robomancers, though I’m not sure how happy I am with that last variant)

 

Classes that might need come in:

Paladin (though I’m working on a Soldier/Fighter speciality that fits this in there. Maybe a reskin of the Eldritch Knight)

Wizard

 

Of course, my potential play group is actually only a handful of people so none of this might matter. We’ll see I suppose.

Races of the Ginnungagap

So I’ve been having a little brainstorm today about the different races of the Ginnungagap that I would allow for players.

I know it’s a sci-fi setting, so why not Warforged/robots you ask? Well, they’re in the setting. But they’re the bad guys, agents of the Frost and Fire Giants (bigger robots).

I changed up the races a bit because I wanted them to be a bit more setting fitting. The Drow are fine for Forgotten Realms, but they don’t fit what I had in mind, so I tweaked them a bit as a variant to the High Elves.

Oh, and if you don’t have a copy of Volo’s Guide to Monsters, then the Krar character abilities named below make no sense, and you don’t know what the Firbolg, Goliath, Goblin or Kobold stats look like. So get a copy!

Mannethli (Humans)

Aelfr (Elves) – Ljos (High elf variant), Svartaelf – +1 Cha, trained in stealth, elven weapons training, darkvision

Aelfblod (Half-Elf)

Dvergr (Dwarves) – hill / mountain variants

Dvergblod (Half-Dwarf) – +2 con, +1 in two others, darkvision, dwarven resilience, skill training in one skill

Niflingr (Goblins/Kobolds) – Looking at the stat blocks in Volo’s Guide, it’s very easy to believe these are variants of the same race.

Firbolgr (Firbolg / Goliath) – wood variant (Firbolg stats) / stone variant (Goliath stats). Again, could be easily tweaked to skins of the same race I think.

Krar (Ravenfolk) – Dex +2. Kenku Training (but include investigation, perception), Mimicry. Huginr +1 Int, +1 skill training. Muninr +1 Wis, Expert forgery/craft.

 

 

More Ginnungagap

I completely forgot about the alternate factions I’d come up with so far!

 

So I’ve got the Iron Brotherhood, the Black Network, and the Combine Council.

The Iron Brotherhood are mercenaries and warriors, sort of fill the role of the Order of the Gauntlet. But depending on the locality, they might be the local constabulary or a nasty gang. The Brotherhood is one of might, so in some places they might be ‘might makes right’ or the will to protect, but in others they might use their power to lord over others.

The Black Network is the switch for the Zhentarim. They’re a shifty alliance of thieves guilds and outlaws, bounty hunters and scoundrels that broker in rumours and secrets, and backstab where necessary.

The Combine Council is a network of leaders trying to do the best they can in the face of a loss of order from the gods. They replace the Lords’ Alliance.

 

I’m debating something about Skalds and wizards to replace the Harpers, though I’ve no idea what they would be yet. Given that I stole the name of the Iron Brotherhood from a Visigoth song, I might just have to hunt around on Spotify for some ideas.

And I have no idea for the Emerald Enclave, or replacing them or whatever. It seems like it should be easy, and I might not even replace them but just use them as they are (if, of course, I were to use factions at all.)

Ginnungagap revisited

Since finishing my cyberpunk A-Z, I’ve been thinking back on other ideas that I’ve had rattling around for a few years, and went back to thinking about my sci-fi D&D setting with space vikings.

 

In the interim since me talking about it, it seems that a good few other people have been working on turning the D&D 5E rules into a science fiction idea, which is just as well because after a point I sort of hit a wall.

I knew what I wanted to do, I had a good few set pieces worked out, including the big finale to any series of games that I might run (a super-sweet space battle, of course!) but had a hard time linking it all together, and more importantly getting the thing started.

At the time, I had issues that my play group tended to prefer using Roll20 to run. It was useful because often our group was a little dispersed but we could still play, and it worked fine when we were running my Legend of the 5 Rings game and the introductory D&D adventure. But I had issues as soon as I wanted to run something myself, because I had issues with mapping software and how I wanted the thing to go, not to mention planning it all and putting it together in the software, which I felt needed more of a tutorial (or maybe I missed it).

Anyway, Roll20 and my issues with it sort of derailed my game once I’d had people put characters together. Probably just as well, as now I want to tweak more rules all over the place.

 

But here’s my setting as it stands, in case anyone wants a read or it sparks some inspiration.

 

The PCs all come from a northern city on Midgard, one of the worlds of the Ósr Combine. It’s been decades since anyone has been offworld in sizeable numbers, and the godtech machines are starting to get a little glitchy without anyone in the know coming to service them. Mostly this involves some of the cybernetic implants going wrong, but it looks like more and more Galdramthr (sorcerers) are being born, and the world is starting to get colder and ice is encroaching on the port of the PCs hometown.

As the representatives of the gods haven’t shown up to help, it seems the gods have gone quiet or forgotten about Midgard. So the PCs have to go and look for them / go aviking. But, to do that they need a ship.

 

I had a list of new names for classes over in this post about gun proficiencies, though the rules need something of an overhaul, and it’s quite likely the classes would change a bit based on new rules put out through Unearthed Arcana and the Fifth Age rules that I’ve had a read of recently (apologies for linking to a forum that links to a forum that contains the rules, but other people are discussing them so that’s good reading, right?).

I think I’d keep the Hermathr (Fighter/Soldier), the Galdramthr (Sorcerer) and Töframathr (Wizard), and probably the Vaeringjar (Paladin). But it might make sense to include the Technician and Operative from Fifth Age, or adapt the Outlaw class from Hyperlanes that previewed on DrivethruRPG, though again I’m not sure if it works how I want it to. I’ll have to have a look.

 

Races definitely included Humans, Aelfr (Elves), Dvergr (Dwarves), Tröllr (Orcs) and Niflungr (Goblins, though maybe halflings or gnomes, or maybe all three?). I’m thinking about robots but I’m not sure if I like the idea or not.

All races would be divided by social class anyway, with thralls (serfs and slaves) being vat-born clones at the bottom rung, going up through karls, thanes and jarls. Or maybe it’s just the humans. Again, I’m working on this.

 

I think the Honour core stat shown in the Dungeon Master’s Guide might have to be used too. It fits the setting well enough, and would be useful if I could make it work.

 

Along the course of the adventure, there’s ways to work in undead and giants and robots and space battles. I have the magic worked out as an extension of the ‘infosphere’ (the internet) and magic items as godcrafted kit.

I just need to work on that opening. Hopefully I’ll think of something soon.

 

If not, I might finally talk myself into running a Vampire: the Masquerade game, or Dresden Files.

 

Z is for: Zaibatsu

Whilst many Megacorps are run by a board of directors drawn from their different subsidiaries, the corporations called Zaibatsu are instead controlled by individual families.

These families may act as a board of directors, running the holding company that manages its subsidiaries, and therefore they share a great deal with the other Megacorps. The subtle difference as a family holding, with heirs and heiresses, is an important one.

The Japanese term for these holding companies has grown in popularity, though they are also known by their Korean name Chaebol is also sometimes used in the IICP.

 

Some of the zaibatsu active in the IICP include –

Nguyen Medical – working with the Department of Health as well as private insurance companies (many of which they own), Nguyen Medical is one of the largest medical technologies companies in the world. They build, maintain and operate hospitals and equipment, and their most famous subsidiary is probably the well known Trauma Team emergency medical service.

Mitsui Sumitomo – From mineral extractions to petrochemical processing and heavy industrial manufacturing, Mitsui Sumitomo has a hand in many pies. They even have a hand in vidstream content creation and a mesh network gaming portfolio.

Toyota Aerospace – A conglomerate of heavy manufacturing and engineering projects, they build all kinds of electric motor vehicles, including the spinnercab. Their emphasis on engines and engine parts means that many other companies choose to buy from Toyota rather than develop products themselves.

Keswick Holdings – Notable for their fortunes coming from Hong Kong and the Jardine companies, the Keswick group owns large numbers of hospitality subsidiaries, mainly hotels and restaurants, as well as the construction firms who build them. One of their smaller subsidiaries imports European sports vehicles.

Cheng & Fung – Not generally thought of as a builder of products but an enabler of services, they dominate the field of logistics and supply-chain management. They do however have sizable subsidiaries in hotels, casinos and high-end jewellery, as well as smaller interests in telecommunications and property development.

Y is for: the Yellow Plague

The most recent health epidemic to sweep the world, the Yellow Plague was killing hundreds of people daily across the globe as recently as a few years ago.

Related to Streptococcus pyogenes, which even in the early 21st century was killing 500,000 people a year, the Yellow Plague was much more effective at harming the host before symptoms began to show. The damage to the internal organs, and particularly the liver, caused some of the same symptoms as Yellow Fever, and so the name quickly stuck.

 

At first barely noticed, cases began to amass in Europe and spread beyond, and more people died from consquences of toxic shock and sepsis. The UN advised a ban on all unecessary travel, but by that point the infection had spread far and wide.

 

The origins of the infection remain a mystery, but many believe the outbreak was caused by a genetically engineered bacteria that was either intentionally or accidentally released into the population of Central and Western Europe.