Friday, January 23, 2009

Tékumel Style Magic For Savage Worlds?

As I stated in my last post, I'm working on my own SW conversion for Tékumel: Empire Of The Petal Throne and I've hit a bit of a snag: the magic system. Now, I realize that I should just be able to plug in the various SW spells into but I'm not satisfied with the result, it just doesn't "feel" right for the setting.

This is how magic and magic use tends to work in the EPT setting:

  1. Magic use is tightly controlled by the various temples. Magicians are taught a few spells and they eventually specialize one the one or two spells they master.
  2. Magic comes in two separate varieties: Psychic, where the mage casts the spell with the power of their thoughts, and Ritual where special rites and incantation are necessary. Magicians can use BOTH kinds of spell.
  3. Certain spells are universally known to all temples (like Healing for instance), others are specific to particular temples, and some spells are such closely guarded by their respective temples they are only taught to those with the proper skills and the right social standing in the Temple.
  4. Magic is VERY powerful with many combat spells will kill a target outright.
  5. Magicians can't have a lot of metal on their person when casting. Anything more than 60 grams will cause a backlash that will kill the caster.
  6. Magic use expends "Pedhétl" (Mana, Magic Points, etc).

With all this in mind, does anyone have any suggestions, or am I making this more difficult than it has to be? Feel free to comment below.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Character Rough Draft: Achán hiNidrán

One setting I'd love to see thoroughly Savaged is Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne, Prof. M.A.R Barker's epic science fantasy setting. I've been working on my own conversion rules that I hope to inflict on some friends, but in the meantime I'd thought I'd create a few EPT characters to help set the mood:

Achán hiNidrán (Wild Card)

Rank: Seasoned
Description: Male, Age: 24, Eyes: Brown, Hair: Black, Skin: Dark Tan, Build: Muscular, Height: 5'8", Weight: 180
Clan: Golden Sapphire
Religion: Lord Karakán
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Persuasion d6, Notice d8, Shooting d6-1, Fighting d8-1, Guts d6, Intimidation d6, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Knowledge (History) d6
Charisma 0, Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 8, CV 68
Hindrances: Nightmares (-1 Benny), Quirk: Hates Lord Sárku and his worshipers., Death Wish.
Edges: High Linage, Military Rank (Officer).
Gear: Chlén Longsword: 2d8, Medium Shield: Parry +1, Crossbow: 2d6, Full Medium Chlén Armor: +3, Quarrel (×15).

Achán hiNidrán was born in in the city of Khirgár in northlands of the mighty Tsolyánu Empire. Expressing a childhood interest in soldiering and being a scion of one the highest linages of the Golden Sapphire clan, Achán was destined for to become an officer in the God Emperor's legions. As a youth, he enlisted in the regiment of his city's legion, the Legion of Gúsha the Khirgári (7th Medium Infantry) where he spent a hard boyhood learning the ways of the legionary: relaying messages, polishing armor, learning military history and tactics from the scholar priests of Lord Karakán. To this day, Achán shows a great interest and knowledge in the both topics.

When he came of age, Achán was commissioned a Heréksa (Lieutenant) and given command of a Karéng of 100 warriors. Achan served with distinction during the war with Yán Kór and the recent Tsolyáni Civil War where he achieved the rank of Kási (Captain) and placed into reserve. However, the years of battle seem to have taken their toll on the man. The Civil War has left him embittered, meloncholy, and deeply hateful toward even the most moderate worshipers of Lord Sárku , god of the undead. He has often been seen brooding alone, holding a blood-stained, scrap of blue fabric in a clenched fist. More disturbing are the nightmares that leave him sitting bolt upright on his sleeping mat calling out a woman's name: Tayaláh. For whatever reason, Achán refuses to speak about it.

Review: Savage Worlds Templates From Litko.

Wanting to have something a little more durable than printed card-stock, I contacted Litko Aerosystems to have a set of plastic templates made for my Savage World games. Initially, they quoted a price of $35 for a custom set of three: A blast template, a cone template, and a Turning template. However, they decided to put the set into their “Jim’s Product Lab” section for general sale, so the price was brought down to $20+S&H.

The final product arrived a few weeks later. The templates are made of 1/8 inch thick transparent plastic. Per Litko’s suggestions, I went with amber for the Blast and Cone templates, and green for the Turning template. The Blast template has demarcations for “Small” (2 inch), “Medium” (4 inch), and “Large” (6 inch) radii. The Turning template has a a 45-degree bend with 1-inch measurements.

All-in-all, I’m very pleased with the results. I’m going to have to find of make some kind of case to keep them from getting scratched up, because they’re going to get a lot of use. You can purchase the templates from Litko, they’ve also produced a set of Savage Worlds Token Set featuring Bennies, Wound, Fatigue, and Shaken markers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Savage Bloggers UNITE!!!

There is a general call out for those who have weblogs dedicated to the saucy little game to link to one another. Good idea! If you have a Savage Worlds-related blog, drop me a line and I'll post it to my list. Also, please return the courtesy by adding The Savage Blogger to your list.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

No, I can't draw.

So, until the Creativity Fairy comes down from on high and grants me the power to be a professional-quality science fiction and fantasy artist, I'm going to use HeroMachine 2.5 for my PC art.

Character: Bonestroo Chisum

Here's a new Deadlands Reloaded PC I cranked out while listening to one of my favorite podcasts:

"Reverned" Bonestroo Chisum (Wild Card)

Description: Male, Age: 32, Eyes: Brown, Hair: Black, Skin: Caucasian , Build: Muscular,

Appearance: Wears dirty, patched clothes and his unkempt black hair and several days of stubble. "Wild eyed." Often paces and mumbles to himself as if in a conversation with someone that isn't there.

Story: Always considered "touched in the head" Bonestroo wanders the Weird West spreading what he claims to be the "word" of God and fighting "Satan's kin." Bonstroo believes that God talks directly to him, and he will often talk right back to his Lord, openly, loudly, and usually in the most socially unacceptable situation. While he claims to be a "Reverend," he has no actually theological training at all except what he gleaned from half-remembered childhood church services. In fact, he can't even read at all--which makes his "expert" knowledge of the Bible highly suspect. (He's not actually lying since the voices in his head tell him that they are true.) When God's word fails, he quickly turns to his trusty shotgun, an 1860 Colt revolver, or his favorite weapon, a large wooden cross that he wields as a club.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d6

Skills: Faith d8, Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Persuasion d4, Guts d8+1, Intimidation d6, Notice d4, Riding d4

Charisma 0, Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 6, Grit 1, CV 90

Hindrances: Illiterate, Delusional: Claims "God" talks directly to him., Quirk: Quotes what he says are Biblical passages. (Always wrong.).

Edges: Arcane Background (Miracles), Brawny.

Gear: Double Barrel Shotgun: 1-3d6, Colt Army: 2d6+1, Bowie Knife: d8+d4+1, Holster, Shotgun thong, Powder & Shot (×60), Shotgun Shells (×50), Boots, Winter Coat, Trousers, Shirt/blouse, work, Duster, Stetson, Club (Large Wooden Cross): d8+d4.