Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday Comics: Multiversal Spotlight: Earth-33

Concept: Earth-Prime
Pictured: Ultra and everybody
Sources/Inspirations: Flash #179, Flash #278, Justice League of America #123-124, Justice League of America #153, DC Comics Presents #87.
Analogs: Earth-Prime of the pre-Crisis universe, first appearing in Flash #179 (May 1968); post-52, Earth-Prime was home to Superboy-Prime and a version of the Legion of Superheroes as seen in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (July 2009)
Comments: Earth-Prime started out as the place where the stories of DC Comics were read and written. In Flash #179, the Flash winds up their and enlists the help of Julius Schwartz, then writer of his title, to return to Earth-One. Flash #228 introduced the wrinkle of the writers on Earth-Prime not just chronicling the adventures on the other earths but influencing them, as well. In Justice League of America #123 (1975), Cary Bates briefly becomes a megalomaniacal super-villain on Earth-Two thanks to this power. That would set the stage for tragedies to come.

In Justice League of America #153, Earth-Prime stops being our world when he gets its own superhero, Ultraa. Still, Ultraa decides Earth-Prime just isn't ready for superheroes and migrates to Earth-One. Even though Ultraa had a similar origin to Superman's, Earth-Prime gets its own Superman in the Crisis crossover DC Comics Presents #87 (1985) in the form of Superboy(-Prime).

Earth-Prime gets destroyed by the Anti-Monitor in Crisis and Superboy-Prime gets raptured to superhero out of continuity heaven with Earth-Two Superman and Alexander Luthor at the events end. The ending doesn't last, as he's back as a maniacal, genocidal villain in Infinite Crisis.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Azurthite Bestiary: Deodand, Gleimous

The lucifugal monsters called deodands are a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of Subazurth. The Gleimous variety may well be the most foul of them, adding the insult of its slimy excess to the already sufficient injury of its anthrophagousness. No specimen of a gleimous deodand has ever been examined in detail, but the reports of those unlucky enough to have encountered them and lucky enough to have survived give the impression of a hunched and hairless body, emaciated, but suprisingly strong. At least three, bloodshot eyes of differing sizes protrude from their flat faces, and a great, multi-headed, wet, worm-like tongues writhes between fearsomely toothed jaws, agape and heavily drooling. This heavy drool it wipes on its arms and hands and is what gives the beast its name.

They are recognized by their peculiar vocalizations: an idiot snickering, punctuated by the occasional sniffle, and wet, lip-smacking sounds. They tend to mark potential pray by licking the unfortunate first or perhaps starting with their unattended belonging before moving to the individual. Later, they snatch them from the darkness. They tend to feed on skin, striping it with their abrasive tongues, and them dismember the corpse to more easily break the bones and suck out the marrow. The flesh itself is left for the scavengers.

large monstrosity, neutral evil
AC 21 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 139 (13d10+74)
Speed: 30 ft.
STR 17(+3) DEX 18(+4) CON 20(+5) INT 11(+0) WIS 12(+1) CHA 17(+3)
Saving Throws  Str +7 Dex +8 Con +9 Wis +5
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons that aren't silvered
Damage Immunities poison
Senses Truesight 60 ft., passive Perception 11.

Magic Resistance. A gleimous deodand has an advantage against spells and other magical effect.
Slime. A creature that touches a gleimous deodand or hits it with a melee attch while within 5 ft. must make a DC 12 dexterity save or take 3 (1d6) points of acid damage from flying drool.
Sunlight Weakness. In anything brighter candlelight, deodand have a disadvantage to attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Bright sunlight causes them to melt like film in a projector, losing i hit dice worth of hit points a round.

Multiattack. A gleimous deodand may make two claw attacks and one bite or tongue lash.
Claw. +8 to hit. 10 ft. reach, 1 target. Hit: 11 (1d8+7) damage.
Tongue Lash. +9 reach 10 ft.; one target. Hit: 10 (1d6+7) damage plus 1d6 acid damage from caustic saliva.
Bite. +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit:  (1d8+7) plus 1d6 acid damage from caustic saliva.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Strange and Savage Stars

Over at the Wrathofzombie's blog, Mike the wrathful zombie himself has posted what I hope are the first in a series of posts adapting Strange Stars to Savage Worlds. Check what he's got up so far here and here.

Oh, and worked proceeds on the Fate adaptation, with the Stars Without Number adaptation to follow after I get that one off to layout.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Strange Stars Character Types in SWN

The three broad sophont types in Strange Stars (see the setting book, on sale now) adapt fairly easily to Stars Without Number:

Biologics: These are either humans or aliens (and in the far future of Strange Stars the distinct isn't always clear). They're created using the standard character creation rules in SWN plus the any particular attribute requirements/modifiers that might apply to their particular clade.

The sort of body-swapping described in Mandate Archive: TransTech is much more common in Strange Stars than in the default SWN setting. Many people may start with some sort of genemod upgrade and backups are common for those who can afford them. Unlike Threshold Sector, the Strange Stars are not post scarcity; things still cost credits. Cyberware (like in the core book and Mandate Archive: Polychrome) is also common, though most cultures in known space find overt cyberware tacky and primitive: it's been replace by gengineering. The Zao Pirates do not share this disdain.

Bioroids are biologic androids. Their bodies are essentially built like a hull. Unlike other biologic entities, they can not reproduce naturally; they are built or grown in vats.

Moravecs: Sophont robots. Many moravec types will essentially just be mechanical "species." Other s will be built easier via the AI rules.

Infosophonts: Digital minds. These are AI, essentially. They could be downloaded into a bioroid body (hull) or a mechanical one (armature). The differences between infosophonts are moravecs fuzzy at times, but many moravecs are as attached to their single, physical forms as much as many baseline humans. Infosophonts just say those forms as outfits.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Azurthite Bestiary: Deodand

The deodand are a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of Subazurth. Its appetite is insatiable, and it prefers to feed on people above all else. It abhors the light, and as a consequence no deodand has ever been seen clearly--or at least no one has survived the encounter to give a full description.

It is the general consensus that their are three varieties of deodand: leprous, gleimous, and hirsute. A fourth type, the slithery or lubricous is mentioned in some texts, but its existence is disputed. Glabrous and rugose varieties are described in Hokum's A Compleat and Entirely Accurate Bestiary of Subazurth, but the contents of that work are often as dubious as its title.

This is what is known of appearance of deodands in general: They are roughly human in shape, but taller. Their eyes glow like smoldering coals in the darkness. They seem no more intelligent than beasts and use no tools.

Today, we'll consider the Hirsute Deodand.

large monstrosity, neutral evil
AC 20 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 157 (15d10+75)
Speed: 30 ft.
STR 18(+4) DEX 14(+2) CON 21(+5) INT 11(+0) WIS 16(+3) CHA 18(+4)
Saving Throws  Str +9 Con +10 Wis +8
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons that aren't silvered
Damage Immunities poison
Senses Truesight 60 ft., passive Perception 13.

Magic Resistance. A hirsute deodand has an advantage against spells and other magical effect.
Stench. Within 5 feet, make a DC 13 save or be sick.
Sunlight Weakness. In anything brighter candlelight, deodand have a disadvantage to attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Bright sunlight causes them to melt like film in a projector, losing i hit dice worth of hit points a round.

Multiattack. A hirsute deodand may make two claw attacks and one
Claw. +9 to hit. 10 ft. reach, 1 target. Hit: 12 (1d8+8) damage.
Bite. +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (2d6) damage.

Hirsute deodands are large, gangingly humanoids, their mass filled out by thick, course, foul-smelling hair. Their only vocalization is a phlegmatic growl or chortle. Only their malevolent red eyes are ever seen.

Deodands move silently and quickly for creatures so large, The favorite tactic of a hirsute deodand is to snatch folk from parties traveling through Subazurth--perhaps stragglers or merely the unaware--snuff their light source quickly, then carry them into the darkness to consume at their leisure. They consider eyes a delicacy. Their meeps of pleasure can sometimes be heard reverberating through dark and cavernous places. It might otherwise be a comical sound, but is chilling in context.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Comics: Multiversal Spotlight: Earth-16

Concept: Earth of celebrity superhero scions
Pictured: (left to right) Batman (Damian Wayne), Alexis Luther, Superman (Chris Kent), The Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), Arrowette (Cissie King-Hawke), Bloodwynd, Sister Miracle.
Sources/Inspirations: The Multiversity: The Just #earthme #1, The Saga of the Super-Sons (originally presented in World's Finest); (Chris Kent) Superman: Last Son; (Damian Wayne) Batman: Son of the DemonBatman and Son.
Analogs: The world of the Super-Sons was identified as pre-Crisis Earth-154 in Infinite Crisis #6; Mark Gruenwald had previously referred to this world as Earth-E in A Primer on Reality in Comic Books (1977). Earth-16 in the post-52 multiverse was the world of the Young Justice tv series.
Comments: Imaginary tales going back to the fifties portrayed Superman and Batman having kids with Lois Lane and Kathy Kane, respectively, but the story of the trials and tribulations of these kids as adolescents/young adults only started being told when Bob Haney and Dick Dillin introduced the Super-Sons in World's Finest Comics vol 1 #154 (December 1965). Morrison expanded the concept here to include a whole new generation of super-powered offspring in a world where all the heroic battles had already been fought.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Villains' Memorial

Last night, our Land of Azurth game continued with our heroes assaulting the half-buried prison ship where the Burly Brothers and their gang are likely keeping the kidnapped ambassador from Lardafa the City of Beggars.. Usually, the heroes exploits are the subject of our recount, but today, I thought I'd focus on those that went down under their blades:

Four bully-boys: The names of these unfortunates are forgotten even by their emloyers. They were the newest and weakest members of the gang. Only chance lead them to be on guard duty at the time assault. None mourn their passing, especially not their two confederates that jumped overboard to escape a similar fate.

Nort and the Gorch Brothers: Three more seasoned bravos, the Gorchs were brothers, and though not twins, the Burly Brothers and their lieutenants never bothered to learn to tell them apart. They would answer to either name. Nort and Moq were either the Gorchs' half-brothers or their cousins. They had even less personality, though Nort had on rare occasions displayed a fine singing voice. Moq escaped the assault, stealing the party's boat and disappearing into the night as his cousin (or half-brother) fell under the spells of the warlock, Kairon.

 Skawl: The Burly Brothers' scar-faced lieutenant. He was said to have gotten his scar in a duel. He only spoke of the incident rarely and even then obliquely. The truth was, he remember very little of it owing to an excess of various intoxicants on the night it occurred.

Grool: The resident cook on the Hurly Burly. Grool could hardly be called a culinary genius, but he liked his work, so much so that none would have dared take it from him even if they had wanted to. If his fellow cutthroats were put off their appetites by his numerous sores and unhealthy complexion, they never let it show. Grool wielded his cleaver with a deft and fearsome hand, but he was in the end, unable to stand against multiple assailants. The fish head stew he had made for supper was his culinary epitath.