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.

 

Redux! Worlds of the Ginnungagap

How soon is too soon for a retcon? NEVER! I was unhappy with the cosmology I’d created, so I’ve tweaked it a little bit, and it should be a better fit for how I want the game to be set up. I actually started writing this a couple of days after my last post, but I’ve been busy with various bits and pieces, so now going to try and get back into the blogging.

Nine star systems make up the Ósr Combine, a pact of various governing bodies under one dominion. The Combine came into being following the long war between the two tribes of gods, the Aesir and Vanir, and an even longer peace process.

The two formed a united front, and absorbed several nearby star systems into their dominion, eventually populating them with races they had created.

Systems of the Ósr Combine:

Midgard –

The original home system of humans, Midgard boasts impressive resources, and is generally regarded as a garden world. An Yggdrasill space elevator stands on the world of Midgard itself, whilst high above orbits a vast ring bio-construction, genehacked together from various ocean megafauna. The resulting living spaceport is called Jormungandr.

Asgard –

The Asgard system is the home of the two factions of gods, along with several other planets and stations. Asaheim and Vanaheim are both labelled garden worlds, home to countless mortals and the gods themselves. Elsewhere in the system is the great gas giant Ymir, its many moons, and several stations extracting resources from all of them.

Aelfheim –

Birthplace of the light elves, Aelfheim orbits too close to its star to be classed as perfect for life, and most inhabitants homestead in the deeper craters. Much of the surface is a wild desert, though some scrubland and large salty lakes also make up the surface.

Niddavalir –

The Dvergar make their living mining out the rocky dwarf worlds of this dark star system. With barely a pinpoint of light visible at event he nearest orbit, the Svirfneblin and Niflungr are also at home here.

Extensive complexes fill some of the oldest claims, with some rocks better described as floating cities, more artificial space station than quarried rock.

Hel –

The quiet, cold system of Hel is a vast dumping ground for scrapped technologies, including old cybernetic implants, biogenic experiments and failed weapons of war. With only a couple of rocky worlds orbiting far from the core of the system, only the hardiest nomadic scavengers make their homes here.

Niflheim –

This system has several high security prison facilities and constant patrols by Combine forces. The heightened security protects the other worlds of the Combine from several incredibly dangerous criminals and genehacked aberrations imprisoned here.

Svartaelfheim –

There is very little light in the Svartaelfheim system excepting what is artificially created. A cold brown dwarf is orbited by various constructed habitats, the largest of which is the central hub of Night City. Once the capital of the Svartaelfr and a hub of trade activity, in recent decades Night City has become the capital for crime in the Ósr Combine.

The gangs of Night City, and their agents in other systems, are still presided over by whomever claims the silvered throne at the center of the complex, though some say the Aelfr plot to take it back.

Jotunheim –

Over the three ancient enemies of the Aesir, only two remain outside the Combine itself. Following alliance and assimilation of the Vanir, the Jotun and their cousins became one of the most hated enemies of the Combine.

The Jotun are huge creatures, able to survive in the comet clouds of all the systems of the Combine, as well as the colder worlds of the inner systems. Their home is one of mostly cold, rocky worlds around a dim star, dwarfed by the gas giant Mimir. The Combine presence here is minimal, save for watching Jotun movements.

Muspelheim –

Similar in many ways to the Jotun, the gigantic creatures of Muspelheim are the other great enemy of the Ósr Combine.

Whilst the Jotun prefer the cold of the outer system, their counterparts in Muspelheim thrive among the hot worlds held in close orbit around a binary star.

Ancient legends say that their leader, Surtr, long ago vanquished by the Aesir, will one day rise again from Muspelheim and threaten all of the Combine. For this reason, as well as a long-standing alliance with the Jotun, a steady vigilance is held on all of the Muspelheim system.

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!