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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default 1880 World Building

    Using PF Gunslinger and other martial classes in a steampunk "no spells" campaign set in historic North America (1880). Medic (Paladin) provides field medicine (healing hands). Mad Scientist (Alchemist) throws pyrotechnic fireballs.

    I'm trying to find interesting ways to revise classic monsters in an industrial era in a realistic way. Something that makes them more steampunk and north american: trains, mega cities, factories, clocks, blimps, fashion, labor unions, modern science, Prohibition, etc. The monsters can use "Supernatural" abilities but not the PC's.

    Dragons
    Orcs
    Kobolds
    Goblinoids
    Skeletons and Zombies
    Golems
    Trolls
    Beholders
    Liches
    Giant Spiders
    Angels, Demons & Devils
    Bulette

    Any Ideas?
    Last edited by grimgrin; 2012-01-17 at 01:35 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Dragons: The most dangerous game
    Orcs: Filthy savages
    Kobolds: Pygmy's, how cute.
    Goblinoids: Savages
    Skeletons and Zombies: An affront to the natural world
    Golems: Use the jewish one
    Liches: An affront to the natural world
    this was all I could think of.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Trolls: Wendigo
    Beholders: Horrors from mining too deep.
    Giant Spiders: Horrors from mining too deep.
    Angels, Demons & Devils: Haven't the foggiest.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Orcs: Cowboys and Orcs anyone?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Dragons - You could go mystical in nature instead of magical. Refluff them as creatures from the Olmec religions (like Quetzalcoatl). They could be rare, but powerful and generally form a cult around themselves and able to take a human form.
    Orcs - These could fill the role of the noble savage pretty easily.
    Kobolds - Forest-dwelling, pygmy monstrosities.
    Goblinoids - Creatures from Hollow Earth or some other subterranean land. They can steal from surface dwellers and cause general havoc during the night, only to return to the safety of their caves and burrows by day.
    Skeletons and Zombies - Go voodoo with these.
    Golems - Steam-punk automatons.
    Trolls - Wendigo/Sasquatch/Yeti.
    Beholders - Throw these in as creatures of the subterranean/Hollow Earth areas. Maybe make them into a legend of what awaits if you mine too deeply.
    Liches - Refluff them as mummies.
    Giant Spiders - Not sure what would need to be done with these. They're spiders and they're giant. You could make them from underground/unexplored rain forests if you need more explanation (and then a a few juveniles stowed away on a ship...).
    Angels, Demons & Devils - Given the fire and brimstone type preachers of the mid-19th century revivalist movements, these have a lot of room to grow. Demons and devils are nearly always going to be agents of temptation and causing others to do evil. Angels should generally be avoided.
    Bulette - See Tremors (could also come form underground/forest/rain forest).
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    All excellent ideas...definately going to steal them

    This is what I came up with for Golems/Animate Objects

    Autonomous Mechanical Constructs

    “I am not going to speak here of that incandescent era long ago when a truly great and critical
    achievement of mechanics was discovered: that day when an ancient man hooked a stick under one large
    stone and over another to invent the lever. Nor will I mention the wheel, which, however it came about,
    multiplied mechanical possibilities exponentially; a day when civilization was irreversibly altered. We
    simply do not know the genesis of these prehistoric simple machines, so we can only spin hypotheses
    instead of histories. Instead I will speak of automatons; constructs of thousands of interlinked simple
    machines. Furthermore, I will concentrate on the milestones of modern mechanics, since an exhaustive
    treatment of these contraptions is a lifelong study.”
    - Doctor James M. Williams, Lecturer of Applied Mechanics, Brickton College

    Automatons were first developed centuries ago beginning in the Golden Age, floundering during the Orc
    Invasion, and flourishing again in early years during the rise of the Republic of Ullera in this century. The
    clockwork mechanisms developed during the Golden Age are still used today but powered by the gyros,
    steam boilers, and alchemical furnaces of modern industry. Ulleran automatons also achieve a
    miniaturization impossible to Golden Age engineers. Could an ancient compress a clock tower mechanism
    into a container small enough to carry, and be able to see the time whenever he wished? Could one imagine
    a clock for the pocket? But the creativity of modern craftsmen has gone far beyond simply telling the time
    and has created machines that can cogitate, manipulate, and negotiate through the actions of daily regime.
    In effect they have created Artificial Life.

    ECOLOGY
    In some ways, a construct mimics living organisms. Mechanical Constructs are built for a specific purpose.
    They do not possess flexible minds and have a fixed routine of preset analog clockwork responses to stimuli
    depending on the skill and ingenuity of their clock smith (equivalent of an insect intelligence: INT 1). More
    complex and powerful constructs require a Babbage Codex that can store thousands of routines on its
    mechanical dials. A machine equipped with a Babbage Codex has the equivalent of an animal intelligence
    (INT 1D6). The most advanced machines use preserved synaptic pathways harvested from animals hooked
    to a voltammeter (INT 2D6) controlling a bank of wire spools and pulleys. The controversial use of
    cadaver brains (INT 3D6) has been officially band within the territory of Ullera, but some fanatical research
    groups install them into their nefarious construct designs. The final type of automaton is one that is directly
    controlled by a living operator. This type of construct is a mechanical puppet with a piloting compartment
    or connected to an armored or hidden control umbilical. A piloted construct can go anywhere at the pilot’s
    direction. The umbilical length of a remotely controlled construct determines the range of its
    perambulations. All Automatons must have power. Fine, Tiny, and Small Automatons have clockwork
    spring coils that must be rewound by some method and hibernates between activations. Dwarf Forged
    Automatons need steam to move its pistons and cams. Gnomish Automatons are powered by gyro flywheel
    engine but are far lighter and smaller than Dwarf models. Finally all automatons must be maintained; metal
    rusts, gears break, and tubes split. A mechanic must oil the machine and replace worn out components
    during the service life of the automaton or it will eventually fall apart.

    HABITAT & SOCIETY
    Mechanical constructs are most common in cities and industrial zones. Only in major cities is the ambition,
    assembly lines, engineering skill, and factory resources needed to mass produce automatons. Clockwork
    constructs are often toys for children and tools. Clockworks can repeat a repetitive task flawlessly for hours
    on end. Some are even weaponized for kamikaze runs against large targets. Clockwork Automatons will
    follow a set routine till its completion but are in no way intelligent or adaptive. Like a clock, they only run
    in one direction and at one speed. In cities, Clockwork Automatons are often used domestically as labor
    savers. With the push of a button some will start cleaning dishes, scrub floors, or iron clothing. The
    expense to fabricate and maintain even clockwork automatons limit them to the very wealth or large scale
    factories. Larger more powerful constructs with sophisticated control systems are often used as guardians.
    They do not sleep, can not be bribed, and never become bored. The are also used by the military as shock
    troops. The first assault on entrenched troops always has high casualties. The use of machines in the initial
    charge is both good for morale and the fearless nature of mechanical automatons allows they to face their
    certain destruction impassively. Coal and Oil Driven Automatons emit toxic fumes limiting them to
    working outside and well ventilated areas. In closed spaces, these smoking, steaming, contraptions are
    environmental hazards and their operation can scald living creatures or cause humanoid workers to choke
    or faint. Alchemical automatons are powered by heat and gas released between two reactants. A catalytic
    converter keeps an noxious exhaust fumes from seriously poisoning any adjacent workers. Alchemical
    engines are preferred for use underground but the fuel is extremely expensive and some companies prefer to
    illegally risk the health of their workers for greater profits. Gyro automatons are also safe underground
    since they have no need of fuel, but can only be purchased from gnome inventors. Pilot controlled
    constructs need a trained operator to function. Piloted automatons have the safety factor of always
    operating under direct supervision but have the security risk of being hijacked.

    CAMPAIGN ROLE
    Automatons can be used as obstacles, guardians, and ambushers. The adventure group must either sneak
    past, incapacitate, or destroy the construct to get to their objective. Alternatively, a construct can be a
    useful NPC. It may hold useful information that the party needs to extract. It could be a dimwitted valet
    that the party will trick into letting them into the mansion. Or it could be a valuable prototype gone berserk
    that the party needs to subdue without permanently damaging it. Small clockworks could function as
    decoys, trigger traps, porters, scouts, thieves, or assassins for villains or gadgeteers. A bottled brain may
    be all that is left of a cherished loved one or celebrated intellectual, and its automaton body gives it a
    semblance of its former life.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Storm Bringer's Avatar

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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Quote Originally Posted by grimgrin View Post
    Using PF Gunslinger and other martial classes in a steampunk "no spells" campaign set in historic North America (1880). Medic (Paladin) provides field medicine (healing hands). Mad Scientist (Alchemist) throws pyrotechnic fireballs.

    I'm trying to find interesting ways to revise classic monsters in an industrial era in a realistic way. Something that makes them more steampunk and north american: trains, mega cities, factories, clocks, blimps, fashion, labor unions, modern science, Prohibition, etc. The monsters can use "Supernatural" abilities but not the PC's.


    A Idnyeas?
    Dragons: something this big, wealthy, and intelligent? venture capitalists. the railroads were built with funding from dragons hoards, and most of the profits go back into them. Why kill and take thier money when you can buy them out and make them work for you to make even MORE money?

    Orcs: I aggree these would make a good "plains indians" type, espically if you go with the warcraft style "shamanistic tribesmen" feel than the Lord of the Rings "monsters to he culled" feel.


    Kobolds: the raically abused workers either immigrant (a la chinese/africans) or local (a la the indians). quiet, orderly, productive, and different.


    Goblinoids: the forest dwelling indians like the Hurons and other, east coast tribes. failing that, they are the lost aztec tribes, hiding in the jungles.


    Skeletons and Zombies: the ultimate punishment. your body shall repay the crimes your mind commited ("John Smith, I find you guilty of murder, and so sentence you to death by haning, and that your corpse be animated, to serve the community as needed, for a period of 7 years")

    Golems: Industrial workers. they provide the muscle power to back up the Steam. Alternately, they are the old way of doing things, being replaced by cheaper, techological solutions.

    Trolls & Beholders: not sure what to do to these. trolls are just another "native indian" tribe, while beholders.....I'm drawing a blank. either mob bosses or just old school solitary monsters.

    Liches: pretty much same as normal, only running the criminal underground, rather than cults.

    Giant Spiders: a naturally occuring animal, either native to the continent or imported with the settlers, and "farmed", to a deggree. its venom is distilled into serveral chemical products, and spidersilk ropes are highly valued.

    Angels, Demons & Devils: as pointed out, the firey, preaching faith of the era suits direct interventions by Outsiders.

    Bulette: just the same wandering monster that they have always been, the Lank Sharks of the Great Plains are valued for thier wonderfully tough armoured shells, and hunting them is both a livelyhood and a sport
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Liches: Truly the maddest of the Mad Scientists, who discovered a means of preserving their physical forms past death (Super Embalming!). Best examples: Viktor Frankenstein, Nikola Tesla
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Ninjadeadbeard just ninja'd my post. How apt.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    If there are any sort of factory-type places, making orcs or ogres into slaves to work in said factories as dumb muscle would work quite well. Especially if the original workers tried to make a labor union and the factory owner laughed them away and got himself a bunch of slaves.
    Arcueid Avatar by Elder Tsofu.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Just curious if you're aware of 'Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura'

    Anyway, I'll post my take....

    Dragons - Think Alligators. Think 100' long alligators which can turn into humans and have vodun cults surrounding them. Deep South and Central America. More in common with the Norse World Serpent than anything St. George faced. No wings.

    Orcs - Think Comanche, think WH40K. Fungal spores mean that Orcs are possibly the hardest thing to remove from a territory. They wiped out humanity in the North American continent, and indeed East Coast tribes of Orcs killed several colonies before a beach-head was established. They don't do well in jungles. Steal charactaristics of the Lakota and you have a basis for their society, with the additional factor that they are strong, long-lived, and if enough of them believe something works - it works!

    Kobolds - Let's go back to Europe for a moment. Kobolds are germanic/scandinavian spirits that lived in houses, ships, etcetera. So of course, they made it to the new-world. Their society is actually highly tribalistic, whilst at the same time interdependent on that of humans. They co-exist in the shadows. Thus the industrialisation of the world isn't something they like. If a machine breaks in a city, it's likely kobolds were involved somewhere along the line. A sentient species of rats in the wainscotting. Some of them are becoming Stainless Steel Rats - others are more interested in retarding technological advance as far as possible.

    Goblinoids - Either associated with or independent of Orcish tribes, the genocides of humanity in Europe and Asia mean that they're being re-discovered in the New World though they also may be of African origin. Much better at Jungles than Orcs and dominating such terrain, there are also enclaves of independent goblinoid kingdoms in the forested north, vying with orcish tribes. They are omnipresent however, even in human settlements - working as litter collectors and rat catchers. They are the underclass in any society which dominates them, but independent states have their own rich societies.

    Skeletons/Zombies/Mindless Undead - Ancient Indian Burial grounds are right out - the Orcs killed them all remember? So we go one step to the left. Skeletons and Zombies are the results of frankensteinian experimentation and are rapidly becoming the new labour force, though certain groups find them disturbing.

    Golems - The Rabbi of Prague was actually merely an extremely talented scientist. His method for making clay work has created a secondary class of mindless labour - golems are seen as high-grade labour devices in comparison to zombs/skeles if only because they're more durable - the expenditure on construction means that they are rare however. Clay-based golems are used in the steel industry, whilst steel-based golems have been used for an assortment of tasks though their development is recent. The addition of Steel to the list of materials golems can be generated in has seen a miniaturisation of the creatures from hulking masses of stone and clay.

    Trolls - Extremely Old and Antisocial Orcs - their regenerative capacities such that they can visibly heel damaged wounds. Many Orcs fear turning into a troll as a certain degree of age shifts them from the role of noble savage into embittered machine of destruction.

    Beholders - the caves of the badlands are rumoured to be full of monstrous creatures, such as blind catfish, and other things...

    Liches - Like Ghosts in Harry Potter (forgive my sins), a Lich is the form of someone who just refuses to drop dead. Most are motivated by one overriding reason, be it revenge upon their killers, an unfulfilled vow or other such thing, they are indeed powerful. There are several liches out there who are over a thousand years old, the Ancient Indians who were killed by Orcish tribes when they swept across the continent.

    Giant Spiders - The main competitor of the alligator in ecosphere terms, Spider Nests are a common and dangerous element of Florida and the Caribbean.

    Angels/Devils/Demons - Aliens :P

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Ogres - the ultimate bouncers. Don't open a saloon or a speakeasy without one of these at your door. Why they may even let them vote some day... as long as their boss tells them who to vote for.

    Minotaur - they say there's one at the center of every maze. Well I've never seen a maze so complicated as those tenement houses set up out back of the textile factories. I hear at least a girl a month goes missing in that area. Who'd notice, it's not like there's a shortage of hands looking for work.

    Bulette - a miner's worst nightmare. You're down there in the earth working on a coal face and then BAM! you're et by a shark.

    Rakshasa - they put on that gentleman affectation for real and for good. I hear they hold a poker tournament on one of those paddle steamers every couple of years or so. Imagine being able to bluff one of them down.
    Have dice will travel

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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default New Archetype

    Machinist (Magus Archetype)

    Arcane FX (Ex):
    The machinist does not cast spells, their “magic“ consists of extraordinary technology and techniques. Instead he or she creates small devices that replicate the “FX” of magus spells and function only once. The machinist must design and build these devices ahead of time (Cost: Level squared in gold pieces). These devices can be used by anyone who succeeds at a Use “Magic” Device check (10 + Machinist Level + Spell Level). Arcane Devices are fragile and unstable and only last 24 hours or until activated. Instead of spell craft the Machinist uses Knowledge (Engineering).

    All other magus spell casting rules apply.

    Mechanical Cantrips (Ex):
    The machinist can perform certain tricks with just his or her tool box. Available Machinist Cantrips are Brand, Bleed, Flare, Ghost Sound, Guidance, Light, Mending, Message, Purify food & drink, Resistance, Sift, Spark, Stabilize.

    Tool Box:
    Instead of a spell book, the machinist has his or her trusty, rusty, tool box. Inside his tool box is a carboard tube filled with blueprints for all his FX Devices.

    Personal Arsenal (Ex):
    Same effect as the Arcane Pool, the machinist can modify and enhance his or her personal weapons. Only the machinist can use his customized equipment and it won’t function for anyone else.

    High Tech Combat (Ex):
    Same as Spell Combat only uses Arcane FX ability.

    Arcane Machinist:
    Same as Arcana Magus but uses Arcane FX devices.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Orcs and goblinoids are all members of one species, but represent different tribes. Hobgoblins are the orderly folk with an actual nation or three. Orcs are the most savage, who live in the deadly frontier regions and often raid settlements. Goblins and Bhuka are the runty ones who live off the least desirable regions, but they are both cunning and capable in their own way.

    I do like Thinker's idea of making the dragons more Central-American oriented, with Couatls as the most common variant. Logically, as the kobolds are often said to be related to dragons, they would be the main group of worshippers. Seemingly ridiculous, but mechanically cunning, capable of setting complex traps in the entrances of their temple-fortresses.

    Constructs would be centre-stage. Some might be reanimated bodies or even reanimated brains controlling mechanical bodies and not very long-lasting, at least until the brain transplant. A few rare old ones are magical as per Jewish myth, but those are truly precious to their owners and treated as prized family heirlooms. I dislike the all too common idea of easy AI in steampunk.

    Trolls: Do you need them? If so, may I suggest the idea that some native shamans know of excruciating methods of raising children into massive and regenerating but dim-witted, hideous and sterile creatures. They are the heaviest troops of their tribe, champions raised only reluctantly or by truly evil individuals. The herbal steroid coctails should be slow-acting enough that adventurers could not benefit from them.

    Spiders larger than a cat would already probably be unrealistic. Give a Small spider enough venom and it is already a deadly threat.

    Don't use skeletons at all. Those are decidedly magical and yet very low tier in D&D. Truly magical things should be very rare in such a setting, not something one can encounter at level 1 and survive to tell the tale. Zombies, perhaps - Voodoo-style herbal not-truly-undead zombies or at least of a sort which can lead to being unsure if the explanation in supernatural or not. Beholders and other truly strange abominations should be incredibly well hidden if they exist at all.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Racism was both a critical piece of the 1880's American culture, and something that should probably be avoided while gaming. Be very careful before you make an ethnic group into a different species, so as to avoid Unfortunate Implications.

    On the positive side, I would also like to recommend obvious counterparts of a feuding Edison/Tesla. Also, set many fight scenes in factories, since factories of the time had almost no safety regulations. In this era, the gap between rich and poor was as big as ever, possibly throughout all of American history (discounting slavery, of course) and it was still thought that the poor and homeless were only so because of a moral deficiency. You also might want to look at political "bosses" for inspiration for villains/allies, depending on where your PC's sympathies lie.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    A good point. The goblinoids are not that different from humans, suggesting that every sapient, except the lizardfolk and more mystical beings if they are used at all, being part of the same species is not too big a stretch. This would better allow for half-orcs as well. Also, some players would probably be easier led into the shoes of the original racist explorers and settlers, who assume that the godless savages are evil without giving it much thought - all the better to surprise them with some gentle orc tribes and honourable hobgoblins.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    I like all your suggestions. Here is something I made tackling the two least popular.


    Marionette Spider

    CR 4
    XP 1,200
    N Large Vermin
    Init +3; Senses: Darkvision 60 ft., Tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +4
    DEFENSE
    AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+3 Dex, +2 natural armor, -1 Size)
    hp 25 (5d8+3)
    Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +2, Immune mind-affecting effects
    OFFENSE
    Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
    Melee bite +4 (1d8+1 plus spider venom)
    Special Attack web (+6 ranged, DC 13, hp 5, DR 5/-)
    STATISTICS
    Str 13, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 16
    Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 16 (28 vs. trip)
    Skills Bluff +16, Climb +17, Perception +4 (+8 in webs), Stealth +7 (+11 in webs); Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Stealth (+8 in webs), +16 Climb
    SPECIAL ABILITIES

    Spider Venom (Ex)
    Bite—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; initial effect “dazed” for 1d4 rounds, secondary effect 1d4 Strength damage; cure 1 save.

    Web (Ex)
    Same as web monster ability.

    Corpse Puppet (Ex)
    The spider can control a single corpse or a pair of skeletons through its webs. This is the effect as the animate dead spell. The marionette spider can control double its CR in HD of skeletons or a zombie. It usually hides high above and uses its puppets to attack its prey. With extremely fresh corpses, the spider can impersonate a living creature. Characters must make a Perception or Insight check verses the spider’s Bluff to spot the deception or detect the control of the marionette spider.

    Immitate Voice (Ex)
    Like a parrot, the spider has learned animal cries, phrases, or screams which it uses to lure in prey. It uses its Bluff skill to imitate a specific creature cry. It does not understand language and can not otherwise communicate.

    ECOLOGY
    Environment: Warm or Hot caverns, jungles, and canyons. Anywhere it can lair high above its prey.
    Organization: solitary, pair, or colony (3–8)
    Treasure: Coins and Metal, the marionette spider collects shiny objects to lure in treasure hunters. It has the animal cunning of a very intelligent predator (INT 6).

    DESCRIPTION
    The Marionette Spider attacks creatures not through stealth but through greed. The spider closely resembles an oversized tarantula but its color matches the local rock or foliage. It lurks above, but collects treasure and slain prey below. The marionette spider creates a lair high above a clearing, watering hole, or abandoned building. To draw in animals, the marionette spider animals freshly killed prey to give a false impression of safety or draw in other predators to an easy kill. With humanoid prey it uses fresh corpses as “man in distress” or leaves skeletons lying inert around a treasure chest. A colony of marionette army can work together to create an army of “dead men”.

    TACTICS
    The spider is very cautious when attacking prey and prefers to use its puppets to slay them or soften them up for the kill. If its puppets are smashed immediately it will remain in hiding or flee.
    Last edited by grimgrin; 2012-02-05 at 07:54 PM.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Faux Beholder Option

    Mirror Ball of Doom CR 6
    The Mirror Ball of Doom rises from the floor with a blast of steam and a jaunty pianola tune. Various colored energy rays bounce off the spinning ball aflicting all within the room. The mirror ball is usually used in conjunction with an assault by villains wearing stylish clothes and tinted lenses which protect them from the colored light effects of the Mirror Ball.
    Type: mechanical; Perception DC 22; Disable Device DC 26
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EFFECTS
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trigger: Location; Duration: Six rounds; Reset: Manual
    Effect: Color Spray (Reflex Save DC: 16) to all creatures within a 15ft radius each round.
    My Website: Electronic Oubliette
    Current Project: www.puresteamrpg.com

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Quote Originally Posted by grimgrin View Post
    Faux Beholder Option

    Mirror Ball of Doom CR 6
    The Mirror Ball of Doom rises from the floor with a blast of steam and a jaunty pianola tune. Various colored energy rays bounce off the spinning ball aflicting all within the room. The mirror ball is usually used in conjunction with an assault by villains wearing stylish clothes and tinted lenses which protect them from the colored light effects of the Mirror Ball.
    Type: mechanical; Perception DC 22; Disable Device DC 26
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EFFECTS
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trigger: Location; Duration: Six rounds; Reset: Manual
    Effect: Color Spray (Reflex Save DC: 16) to all creatures within a 15ft radius each round.
    What is this? Saturday Night Fever? Now I see John Travolta as an Epic NPC in your campaign...

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Quote Originally Posted by AnarchistMuffin View Post
    What is this? Saturday Night Fever? Now I see John Travolta as an Epic NPC in your campaign...
    It was funny, and got a laugh at the table.

    Here is something new. Feel free to PEACH; I would appreciate any feedback.

    Marvelous Optimal Apparel

    Marvelous Optimal Apparel (MOA) is a special collection of steam marvels that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each MOA is composed of 5 Marvelous Items in 5 different body slots that work in synergy to produce an extra ability. Each Marvelous Item starts at Mark I (Alpha Version) and can be upgraded to Mark V (Epsilon Version) with the proper blueprints, crafting skill roll, and spare parts. Blueprints have a minimal level of experience for a player character to successfully interpret the drafted device. A device built with spare parts has a crafting cost equal to half the base cost and takes one day per 1000gp (just like crafting magic armor). The character must wear all five Marvels to gain the extra ability. The bonus ability has an effective Mark # equal to the lowest Mark # in the collection. The MOA must be connected to a operating steam engine pack to function. All numerical bonuses provided marvels are extraordinary equipment or enhancement bonuses. Crafting a MOA requires crafting each component individually.

    MOA Components
    Mark I (Alpha) Craft DC 14, Blueprint level 4
    Mark II (Beta) Craft DC 18, Blueprint level 7
    Mark III (Delta) Craft DC 21, Blueprint level 10
    Mark IV (Gamma) Craft DC 24, Blueprint level 13
    Mark V (Epsilon) Craft DC 28, Blueprint level 16


    Faraday Attire
    'Faraday Attire is an assemblage of electrical marvels that grant the wearer the bonus ability to arc electricity through multiple enemies. Faraday Attire consists of a pair of conductor gauntlets (hands), electromagnetic boots (feet), welding mask (head), oscilloscopic amplifier (neck) , and capacitor belt (waist). The Mark # of "Arc Lightning" is equal to the lowest Mark # of the collection.

    Conductor Gauntlets
    Conductor Gauntlets are steel tubes, copper wire, and bands of rubber that enclose the wearers hands and forearms completely. Price: Mark # squared x 4000gp
    Mark I: Kilo-Swat (Ex): Once per round a Mark # of times per day, you can punch your foe and attempt to stun it for one round. The target can make a Fortitude Save (DC: 10 + Mark # + Half Exp. Level) to negate being stunned.
    Mark II: Magnetic Grip (Ex): Add your gauntlet's Mark # to your CMB and CMD for disarm and grapple rolls on ferrous (iron alloy) objects and ferrous armor targets.
    Mark III: Electrical Field (Ex): When you use Total Defense, you create an electrical aura around you that inflicts your Mark # in lightning damage on contact.
    Mark IV: Defibrillator (Ex): Your gloves function as a defibrillator. You add your mark bonus to Heal skill checks to stabilizing a dying person
    Mark V: Deflect Lightning (Ex): If you are targeted by an electrical ranged attack, you can attempt to deflect it. Once per round a Mark # of times per day, when you would normally be hit with an lightning/electrical damage from a ranged attack, you may deflect or "ground" it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack, free to move, and not f lat-footed.

    Electromagnetic Boots
    Electromagnetic Boots have metal plates on the soles that can be magnetized and demagnetized at will. The major limitation of this object is that it only works on magnetic or ferrous surfaces. Each Mark you purchase in a marvel (or self upgrade) provides cumulative abilities and bonuses. Price: Mark # squared x 3000gp
    Mark I: EM Traction (Ex): Add your boot's Mark # to your CMD against bull rush and tripping while standing on a ferrous surface.
    Mark II: Magnet Monkey (Ex): Steel tightropes are little challenge to you. Add Mark # to Acrobatics checks on ferrous surfaces.
    Mark III: Girder Grippers (Ex): You can move normally along ferrous walls and ceilings for a number of squares equal to your boot's Mark # per round. These boots are extremely popular with ironworkers, iron hull sailors, and factory inspectors.
    Mark IV: Polar Repulsion (Ex): Add your boot's Mark # in squares to your maximum jumping distance once per encounter. This effect can be combined with a charge attack, but only works on iron alloy surfaces.
    Mark V: Rail Skates (Ex): You can ignore carrying weight and your armor's speed penalty while moving at double your normal speed across ferrous metal. This feature is commonly used to skate along train tracks, high tension cables, rain gutters, steel decking, exposed iron plumbing, and harbor chains.

    Welding Mask
    A welding mask consists of a face plate and a tinted glass eye slit. A conventional welding mask protects the face and eyes from sparks and flash burns, but this marvelous mask does much more. Price: Mark # squared x 4000gp
    Mark I: Polarized Shades (Ex): While you are wearing the mask you are immune to the "Dazzled" condition.
    Mark II: Faceless Foe (Ex): Your menacing visage adds your mask's Mark # as an enhancement bonus to Intimidation checks.
    Mark III: Wrecker (Ex): You gain a +1 morale bonus per Mark # to your damage rolls when sundering.
    Mark IV: Head Banger (Ex): You gain a +1 AC deflection bonus per Mark # and you may make a 1d6 Slam (head butt) as a swift action attack while grappling.
    Mark V: Mirror Tinting (Ex): You are immune to all Gaze attacks, and all Gaze attacks targeting you are reflected back at the foe.

    Oscilloscopic Amplifier
    The device is wore about the neck and amplifies the wearer's voice. Upgraded versions of the amplifier can multiply sound harmonics, reverb, resonance, and psychoacoustics. Price: Mark # squared x 1000gp
    Mark I: Loudspeaker (Ex): You can speak louder than normal and can add your Mark # to a Perform (sing or speech) checks. You can use this ability for your Mark # of performances per day.
    Mark II: Gramophone (Ex): You can record sound on a variety of wax, metal, and paper media. You can provide a recording or transcript of any concert, conversation, or monolog up to Mark # x 5 minutes long.
    Mark III: Voice Modulation (Ex): Add Mark # to your voice Disguise checks. You can also imitate a monster's roar with a Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, or Dungeoneer) check for a specific monster and send an enemy cowering. You can use Imitation Roar once per day.

    Imitation Roar
    Activation Action: Standard Attack
    Targets: All creatures in a 15ft Cone shaped burst
    Saving Throw: Will (DC: Knowledge check + Mark #) to negate
    Effect: All victims are "cowering" until the start of the next round.

    Mark IV: Keeping Your Head (Ex): Your thick mechanical collar makes it impossible to lose your head to a "Vorpal" weapon.
    Mark V: Broadcast Voice (Ex): Your voice gains in tone, timber, and trustworthiness. Add your Mark # to a verbal Bluff or Diplomacy check. You can use this ability your Mark # times per day.

    Capacitor Belt
    The capacitor belt stores electricity in high voltage chemical batteries encrusting the belt. The belt generates an energy field around the wearer that provides electrical resistance, enhancement, and protection. Price: Mark # squared x 3000gp
    Mark I: Insulated (Ex): You have Lightning/Electrical Resistance of 10 per Mark # while wearing the belt
    Mark II: Short Circuit (Ex): You can use Short Circuit once per day while wearing the belt.

    Short Circuit
    Activation Action: Standard Attack
    Targets: All other creatures within 15ft radius of belt.
    Saving Throw: Fortitude (DC: 10 + Half Exp. Level + Mark #)
    Effect: All victims are afflicted with Paralysis until the start of the next round.
    Special: All victims wearing metal armor also suffer 1d6 Lightning/Electrical damage per Mark #

    Mark III: Livewire (Ex): You gain an Initiative enhancement bonus equal to the belt's Mark #.
    Mark IV: Backup Battery (Ex): You have a free use of any ONE feature or ability of any electrical marvel once per day.
    Mark V: Power Sponge (Ex): You gain 1d6 temporary hit points per your belt's Mark # each time you are hit by an electrical attack.


    Bonus Ability: Arc Lighting Bolt
    Effect: One creature within 30ft plus a Mark # chain of supplemental victims within 15ft of each other. The Arc Lightning bolt can not double back to strike the same target again.
    Saving Throw: Reflex (DC: 10 + Half Exp. Level + Mark #) to halve damage.
    Damage: 2d6 Lightning Damage per Mark # to all targets.
    My Website: Electronic Oubliette
    Current Project: www.puresteamrpg.com

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    TARDIS's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Oilberta
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Hmm... seeing as how angels, devils, and demons haven't been really touched on yet - mayhaps I can offer an idea?

    You don't want players to access magic, right? But what about using the summoner class or the witch class for NPCs, and having their powers come from these supernatural beasties? The folks of the wild west were mighty superstitious, so why not play that up with devils secretly manipulating a town, or angels answering the prayers of the faithful in the most desperate of times? Might prove something of a shock to the heroes when they interupt the cult just in time to face their summoned demon, or when they discover the village's tyrannical judge is actually a pact devil in disguise

    Also, whomever recomended voodoo for zombies gets a point Having a sèvitè as a reoccurring character could be really fun
    Last edited by TARDIS; 2012-04-09 at 05:02 PM.
    There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
    There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

    -The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    One of the interesting things happening in the 1880s was the beginnings of a conscious movement away from religion. God is dead and all that. This doesn't directly translate into a setting where Angels and Demons can openly manifest, but maybe take it literally? God is dead. So is the Adversary. Now there's a new War in Heaven, and Hell's more treacherous than ever. Mirror the political and philosophical upheavals of the time on a cosmic scale. Meanwhile, churches on Earth (or whatever) are having to scramble to protect and maintain their influence in a world where the basis of their religion has just been yanked out from under them.

    The Angels and Demons you would get on Earth would be refugees, disillusioned angels grown tired of the Celestial Squabbling over who if anyone would occupy God's seat, demons taking advantage of the confusion to claw their way out of Hell. They wouldn't be here for any major plan, just one more group of immigrants trying to make their way, albeit a group with PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: 1880 World Building

    Around that time period was also a spiritualist movement, where people began getting into the idea of communicating with or calling up the dead and using the services of mediums. So, I think that's a way to bring in ghosts or at least fraudulent mediums.

    Evolutionary theory, too, was picking up and being twisted into spiritual evolution, social Darwinism, etc.

    Also, escapology or stage illusion.

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