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.

 

 

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.

 

L is for: Lagrange Stations

After ascent of the Beanstalk (or any of its rivals across the globe), the first stop is UPtown. From there, humanity is beginning to explore beyond the cradle. The first stops are the Lagrange habitats.

The Lagrange habitats have been built in cooperation between the Megacorps, governments and the UN to provide humanity’s first foothold in space after the tops of the space elevators, and other positions in High Earth Orbit.

 

The Lagrange points used by humanity currently only sit in the Earth-Moon system and the Earth-Sun system.

Whilst all five of the Earth-Moon currently support habitats (Lunas 1 through 5), only two of the Earth-Sun points currently support permanent residents (Sols 1 and 2). Sol 4 and 5 are in production, with Sol 3 at the far side of the Sun currently in the planning stage.

 

The staging grounds of the Luna stations have allowed the beginning of construction of a permanent presence on the Moon itself, though various security issues, including the terrorist attack on the lunar surface itself a few years ago, have slowed the build.

The same security concerns have drastically slowed production of the Sol 4 and 5 stations.

First experiences with Traveller

I know I said I’d recap Dresden. I promise this will happen. It’s just not happening today.

This week it was decided that I’d run something, rather than just play along. Great says I, I have many of these things which people call ideas. Here are some of them. And then the players picked them apart, and it all got a bit interesting. As I’m sure you’re all familiar with.
My ideas for the game were a few options:
1/ Run Traveller for a complete change of pace. This involved more rules prep, since I was then going to use the Secret of the Ancients campaign series (Players: DO NOT READ THESE BOOKS. You have been warned.) Character creation is plenty fiddly, and would take a while, especially since none of us have exerience with the system.
2/ Run Blood and Honor, the samurai Houses of the Blooded setting by John Wick. This was mostly rules prep, and then I was planning on coming up with some game ideas based on what people wanted to play. Character creation is not too fiddly, but might take a little while since none of us have experience of the system.
3/ Run Legend of the Five Rings. More samurai, less rules prep as I’ve run lots of it before. This was 4th edition, and my experience is mostly in 1st, so a bit of fiddle there. And the game I had planned to take from the example in the back of the book, since it’s so similar to the 1st edition example adventure.
4/ Run my homebrew system, and set it in my Kingsmead setting. No rules prep for me, only a refresher of setting prep. Just get things together and explainable for the players, and have an idea how to run magic well using the system. Seemed doable, and would favour story over rules challenges, hopefully.
The players chose option 1, which was followed by over two hours of character creation and rules learning. But the game itself, once it was under way, went extremely well. I really enjoy the simple mechanic, and it was useful to have the story sat beside me and ready to go with minimal prep.
The characters were an ageing but moderately famous scientist with little in the way of promotion in his long career, a thief who pulled off a famous escapade a few years ago, a civilian colonist and courier who accidentally crashed during an important mission years ago, a marine who got thrown out for mental health issues but somehow managed to be drafted into the army infantry, and finally an army infantryman who was scapegoated for a disastrous mission and somehow found himself in the navy instead.
This intrepid bunch set off for Regina, following the death of the scientist’s strange old Uncle Vlen, and found themselves investigating his murder instead. So far, encounters with a broken down hostel computer and a paranoid ex-detective have left the group with little clue to motive behind the murder, but it seems the local legal system have found their man. He clearly supplied some drugs, but did not it seems pull the trigger on the murder weapon. More investigation will have to take place, especially with contact from a mysterious university professor claiming to have information.
I’m planning to run the homebrew Kingsmead some time in the next few weeks also, because thinking about it has re-ignited the fire I had for the setting.
Dresden update soon, I promise!