Limitless Worlds

Limitless Worlds

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Atomic Highway - Cyborg Characters

I like Atomic Highway, and though I know the final supplement of Gunmetal Road is supposed to include cybernetics, updates on the document are patchy due to the author's life circumstances (which I don't blame him for.) So here is a suggested simple cybernetic system to use until the official rules are out! Weee!


Any character can generally have cybernetic parts, even mutated plants. Cybernetic parts can range from x-ray eyes to bionic limbs and more.

If you have cybernetic parts, you must take the Flaw: Cybe. Like the Mutie flaw, the Cybe flaw will cast you in an unfavorable light with some people. If you're both a Mutie and a Cybe, good luck.

A piece of cybernetics can either take the form of a regular piece of equipment or a mutation. A character can only ever have a number of cybernetics up to their Toughness score. Cybernetics are basically "willful" mutations you have installed, and better yet, having one does not require you to take a balancing flaw.

There are drawbacks, however. For every certain percentage of your health you lose, one of your cybernetics ceases to function. The amount of health depends on how many modifications you have. If you have only one, it stops working at half health. If you have two, each stops working when you lose 1/3 of your health and so on. They will come back online once you heal, but being injured could very well leave you short a needed weapon or ability.

Further, cybernetics are hard to find and hard to install. Trading for one usually involves some kind of large favor or task, not just a simple pile of junk. The mod may also not be exactly what you're looking for.

To install the mod, you have to have someone else do it. The procedure usually takes a day, and at the end of the operation, the character must make a Toughness test. If they pass, the surgery took and you have a shiny new robo-arm. If you failed, your body rejected the implant and you have wasted your money, time and probably a body part. Feel free to increase the difficulty of the test if the mod is powerful or the doctor was a butcher.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Owl Hoot Trail Race - Gears

So Owl Hoot Trail recently got released as a PDF by Pelgrane Press. It's a neat little fantasy western game, and probably the best one I've seen aside from Deadlands. There are five races in the book, as well as some bonus ones like tieflings and centaurs on the Pelgrane site. However, I noticed they were missing a distinct race: steampunk robots! What Old West fantasy game would be complete without them? So here is my write-up of the Gears!


Gears are big, hulkin', clankin' automotons cooked up by some crazy gadgeteers, either recently or long ago. Made of brass etched with really purty designs, gears are stoic, smart and powerful. Most gears are running from someone controlling them, always looking behind their shoulders. They aren't afraid to rough up a feller if it means survival.
Gears tend to be gunslingers, ruffians, scoundrels, scouts and, of course, gadgeteers.
Gears get +1 Grit and +1 Toughness. They are slow, only moving 1/2 as fast as any other race. In exchange, gears don't need to eat, drink or breathe. Gears also have a natural affinity with machinery. They get a +3 bonus to identify and fix almost any type of mechanical object.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Arcana Rising Example City

Madame LuFoix, high mage of Samedi's Staff
So I have become lucky enough to help John Berry edit his really awesome urban fantasy game, Arcana Rising. In the game is a city generator you can use to create your own mystical town full of danger. I thought I'd show you guys an example city so you can know what it's all about!

The Slumville of Fox Creek

Police Force

Response 13, Corruption -1, Knowledge 0

Key Locations

Burial Mound, Occult Bookstore, Black Bazaar, Ancient Graveyard


Orcs (Major), Elves (Minimal), Naga (Major), Wizards (Major), Mob (Major)

Orcs: Friendly to Mob and Naga, Opposed to Wizards, Hostile to Elves
Elves: Allied to Mob and Wizards, Neutral to Naga, Hostile to Elves
Naga: Allied to Wizards, Friendly to Orcs, Neutral to Elves and Mob
Wizards: Opposed to Orcs, Allied to Elves, Naga and Mob
Mob: Friendly with Orcs, Allied with Elves and Wizards, Neutral to Naga

City History 

Major Export, Conversion, Faehome


Residential: Cypress Heights, Caiman Isle, Willow Creek
Commercial: Downtown, Sinner's Road
Industrial: The Hollows, Redville


Fox Creek is an old, old city about an hour outside of New Orleans. Settled on the banks of the Fox Swamp, Fox Creek used to be a sovereign state of the Chitimacha nation for hundreds of years, even during the era of Atlantis. The Chitimacha allied themselves with a local Naga population, who found the swampy waters around the city pleasing and full of food. In return for giving them shelter, the Naga generally held off the advancing Atlanteans until magic was sealed.

However, during the Intermagica, the white man swept across North America, and without the aid of the Naga, the Chitimacha could not hold them for long. The swamps around Fox Creek were full of peat and oil, useful in the industrial era. For years, oil and cypress were harvested from every corner of the land. Originally a Christian city after it was taken over, the introduction of native Haitians, Jamaicans and other Caribbean folk made voodoo a powerful force in the city.

When the seal on magic broke, Fox Creek was inundated by murky waters, and the Naga had returned to look for their allies. What was left of the Chitimacha had formed into the Green Scale Mob, and though they were glad to see their former friends, years of absence had made the natives bitter.

Fox Creek is a land of death, and the local wizard's circle of Samedi's Staff spend years researching the enormous Christian graveyard and old burial mound about a mile out of town. Their research has attracted a pocket of elves who wish to learn more of this "death magic" the wizards practice, and their introduction has brought in a huge arcane item trade. An incursion of orcs, meanwhile, threatens to destroy the history of the city to make way for whatever revolution the beasts are following today.

As you can see, it's really easy to make a super flavorful city. The whole creole-voodoo spirit vibe is great for this kind of game, so if I ran Fox Creek I'd for sure be throwing zombies, haints and swamp monsters at them as fast as I could.

Going through a transition

I'm finally doing it, I'm changing the blog from Pulpwood! to Old Soul Games. This is not out of any disdain for Pulpwood!, but rather a change of focus. This blog is not just about that game anymore, but RPGs in general. I'll probably be going with a generic background for a bit, but I hope you will support the pretty minor change

Monday, October 7, 2013

An Example Bloodline

Here's what a bloodline is basically like in the game. I've done three so far (this, vampires and lycanthropes), but you probably get the idea. The first two weaknesses are usually roleplaying oriented, while the last is
actually mechanical

Auras of the Dead
You can sense dead spirits in the area, and can often speak to them. Due to the closing
of the Well of Souls, ghosts are in abundance and often hang around their bodies for long periods of times.
Three times a day, you can peak into the veil of death and see if there are any ghosts or spirits nearby.
These spectral creatures can see into the real world, so you can ask them a question or two before they
become distraught or depressed and no long wish to speak. You can also sense emotions of a person or place, such as telling if a place or body is tainted with violence or sadness.

Weakness: You feel like you have a purpose to fulfill, but you do not know what it is. It could
be to reconcile with someone, to create something or some other mission. You will do almost anything if
you think it could potentially help you in your mysterious quest.

Hide in the Crowd
You can not turn entirely invisible, but you can get damn close. Three times a day, you can
magically turn yourself nigh unseeable, granting a +4 bonus for opposed stealth checks for 10 minutes. You can even pick up objects and manipulate them, giving the sense that they are possessed. However, if you attack someone, they instantly know where you are and the penalty no longer applies. You could also be revealed by something being thrown on you, like paint or flour.

Weakness: Your skin turns cold to the touch, and you look as if you are hypothermic. The air around
you is cold as well, meaning very few people will want to be close to you for any extended period of time.

Spectral Phase
You can turn parts of your body insubstantial, allowing it to phase through objects as
if they weren't there. You can do this three times a day, and can phase through any solid object, including
bodies. If you make a difficulty 13 athletics check, you can phase your whole body through an object.

Weakness: You can easily be driven from a place ala an exorcism. While the exorcism does not harm you, if it is successful you can not enter the area for at least 24 hours. Powerful exorcisms can bar you from a place for decades if they are done right. Exorcisms are a Mental Effect Save, though the priest/exorciser must actually be trained in exorcisms. Every 2 points under your roll adds a unit of time i.e. if you fail by 2, you are barred for a day; by 4, barred for a week; by 6, barred for a month; by 8, barred for a season; by 10, barred for a year, and so on.

Supernatural game ideas

So I decided I'm not going to make a custom system for the game, as that would take too long and could be prone to bugs.

Instead, I am going to use the system present in the Sine Nomine games like Stars Without Number, Other Dust and Spears of the Dawn. There will still be three classes, but I know the system works well so it'll rock.

I'm also changing around how the races work a bit. Instead of being a pure zombie, mummy or whatever, you are instead a human instilled with basically a monstrous bloodline. You'd be human, but you'd have the lycanthrope bloodline. In total, there are 12 bloodlines and then a 13th "humanity" bloodline. Everyone has the humanity bloodline and then a monster bloodline.

The game will then have a corruption scale. If you become more monstrous, you get cool monster powers but also get the drawbacks of being that monster. For example, the lycanthrope bloodline will start off with the weakness of being very violent, unstable and, well, horny, on a certain phase of the moon. At the second level, the lycanthrope will get large amounts of hair and will look strange, but he'll be able to speak to animals now. At the third level, the lycanthrope will be able to shift parts of his body, like turning his hands into claws, but he will become severally allergic to silver and wolf's bane.

At the fourth level of corruption, you have fully turned, and you become an NPC probably. However, if you do awesome humanistic stuff, you'll go down the path of humanity and gain some powers. But as you become more human, you lose all that cool Hammer horror powers.

I'll probably also include rules to basically "multiclass" bloodlines, for those people who want to play a vampire/werewolf or whatever.

The bloodlines so far are Lycanthrope, Vampire, Golem, Hyde, Spirit (angels, demons, etc.), Ghost, Witch, Fae, Mummy, Gill-man, Slasher (serial killer), Zombie and Humanity. I don't know if they will change, but I like the solid power balance of "classic" monsters.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Supernatural Characters

I've been wanting to run a modern horror game in the style of WoD, but I honestly think WoD has a little unwelcome bloat. There is some hope though, as many horror games get released around the fall season including the very cool Spooks!, Accursed and the updated Book of Pandaemonium.

So I thought I'd jump on the band wagon and make a little game. Rules lite, takes some cues for WoD, but works on its own. The main meta plot involves the Well of Souls, which is where all life is born from and returns to. Guarded by celestial beings, it is somehow mysteriously closed off, trapping souls both inside and out. People are panicking, the dead are rising, and supernatural creatures are running amok. Your characters are part of a Cult, a group of people looking for the "Key" to unlock the Well of Souls again.

Characters are divided into cabals, which are different depending on the status of your soul.

Ghuls have no souls, but extreme force of will, and are thus undead abominations. This cabal includes mummies, zombies and vampires, all with flavorful names.

The Circe have two souls, and are at a constant war between their two halves. This cabal includes lycanthropes, changelings and Mr. Hyde type characters

The Dias are the former protectors of the Well of Souls. This cabal includes angels, demons and lovecraftian horrors.

The Fae have souls, but they are splintered and broken. This is the widest spread cabal, and deals with all mythical creatures ranging from centaurs to goblins.

The Neph have no bodies, but can not turn to the afterlife. This cabal includes golems, ghosts and nature spirits.

Then there are humans, of course. The group is composed of people that rely on natural ability, ones that rely on technology, and one that rely on a divine host.

The classes will be Warlock, Investigator and Soldier, and I want to have some sort of skill tree for the classes.

The resolution system is 2d6 plus modifier versus a target number. Skills work in that if you have the skill, you roll 3d6 and take the two dice. There will only be three stats, and there will be three "pools": magic, sanity and health.

I'm currently working on the races, which are coming along pretty well. No estimated date, but I feel it could be done before Halloween. Hope you guys think it sounds cool!