Category Archives: Dungeoncraft

Dungeoncraft Links

I am currently working on transferring all of my saved bookmarks to delicious and tagging them properly. While doing so I stumbled upon two of links that could be interesting to you if you are currently thinking about creating your own setting or campaign:

My own Dungeoncraft column was inspired by Joshua Dyal’s “Diary of the Birth of a Camapign Setting” but I think he has done a much better job than I did. And Ray Winninger’s Dungeoncraft essays are a classic. In my opinion every GM should have read them.

Dungeoncraft: New Races for Asecia

The last time I wrote about Asecia I planned to use the FATE rules and I decided against non-human races. But in the end things always turn out differently than planned. My current draft of the Asecia Campaign Setting uses the Savage Worlds rules and I have created two original races: the Tolkyn and the Skarians.

The Tolkyn
The Tolkyn are a race of humanoids that are probably closely related to humankind. The average Tolkyn is a couple inches taller than the average human, has an athletic build, a long slender neck, broad shoulders and muscular arms that are sleightly longer than human arms. All Tolkyn have a dark blue almost black skin and feline eyes. Tolkyn have large pointed ears and usually long hair that ranges from white to dark blue.
When humanity first encountered the Tolkyn had already settled most of southern Asecia. Tolkyn cities could be found from the grasslands south of Cerynia to the Ciazah Desert. Because of the human advances on Tolkyn settlements it came to war. After many battles the Tolkyn retreated to the desert regions. 
In moden Asecia the Tolkyn are the main exporter of meteoric iron and all kinds of products crafted from that rare ore. Most of the Tolkyn live in the Ciazah Confederacy that consists of the five major Tolkyn city states Maranis, Alaraby, Nevehnu, Ciarish and Urechar.

Tolkyn

  • Strong: Tolkyn characters start with a d6 in Strength
  • Low-light vision: The Tolkyn’s feline eyes allow the Tolkyn to see in the dark. A Tolkyn character ignores attack penalties for Dim or Dark lighting.
  • Outsider: Tolkyn are outsiders in a human dominated society. They get -2 on Charisma when dealing with humans.

The Skarians
The Skarians are a race of small (an adult skarian is approx. 1 meter tall) humanoids. They have a greenish-gray skin, large heads with a mouth full of razorsharp teeth and big eyes. Skarians do not have hair. Skarians are strict carnivores and tribal Skarians even eat the flesh of their defeated enemies. Like Tolkyn they have rather large and pointed ears but a close relation between the two species is not confirmed by modern scholars. Skarians are very cunning and have a knack for mechanical things.

When the human settlers arrived in Asecia they soon stumbled upon Skarian tribes. What followed can only be described as a massacre. Several hundred thousand Skarians were wiped out, the rest fled to the deep woods of northern Asecia. A few tribal Skarians still live in those woods until today. They survive by ambushing caravans and small settlements.
Much to the surprise of the human settlers the tribal Skarians were only a subspecies. In the mountains to the east they encountered the Mytagiir Empire, a nation of civilized Skarians that were excellent miners and blacksmiths. The Mytagiir Empire still exists today and it’s a close ally of Cerynia since Imperial times.

Tribal Skarian

  • Bite: Str+d4
  • Small: Members of the skarian race are very short. Substract 1 from you character’s Toughness.
  • Berserk: Tribal Skarians have the ability to go berserk during combat. See the SW rulebook for details.
  • Low-light vision: The big eyes allow the Skarians to see in the dark. A Skarian character ignores attack penalties for Dim or Dark lighting.
  • Outsider: Skarian are outsiders in a human dominated society. They get -2 on Charisma when dealing with humans.

Mytagiir Skarian

  • Bite: Str+d4
  • Small: Members of the skarian race are very short. Substract 1 from you character’s Toughness.
  • Mechanical Apitude: Civilized Skarians start with d6 in Repair and Lockpick.
  • Low-light vision: The big eyes allow the Skarians to see in the dark. A Skarian character ignores attack penalties for Dim or Dark lighting.
  • Outsider: Skarian are outsiders in a human dominated society. They get -2 on Charisma when dealing with humans.

This is my first try at creating custom races for Savage Worlds, so there might be some balance problems. If you have any ideas on how to improve the Tolkyn and Skarians, please let me know.

UPDATE: I added Low-Light Vision and Outsider to the Skarians.

Dungeoncraft: Ad Astra #2

Bounty Hunter by Goro Fujita (www.area-56.de) In my last Dungeoncraft post I promised some details on the history of the “Ad Astra!” universe. My initial idea was to present my players with a world not much different from we have today. Most of the major nations were still there and each super power had its own space program with space stations in earth’s orbit, minor colonies on Moon and Mars and mining operations in the asteroid belt. But then I decided that I wanted to do things differently.

Omega Centauri
The globular cluster Omega Centauri is about 18,300 lightyears away from our solar system and contains several generations of stars, so that some scientist believe that Omega Centauri could be the core of a former dwarf galaxy that has been captured by the Milky Way. In “Ad Astra!” this is the home of a human civilization. Several hundred years ago a colony ship crashed on an habitable world in the Omega Centauri cluster. When the 10,000 colonists awoke from their cryogenic chambers they at once found out that something was terribly wrong. Nobody could remember anything from their past – not even their own names. All other memories were still intact. When they started salvaging the crashed colony ship, they found out that the ship’s main computer was still mostly intact but all historical databases were blank and the navigational subprocessor was broken beyond repair. They were stranded and didn’t even know where they initially came from. So they decided to start picking up the pieces, building a city from the remains of the ship. They called their new home “Citadel” after their crashed vessel.

Brave New World
This concept allows me to shape the civilization from the ground up. And since most of the original space ship is still salvageable it’s plausible that the colonist would be ready to return to the stars after only a few centuries. The reason how they crashed on Citadel and why they have no memories of their past lives shall remain a mystery. This could even be an interesting hook for an “Ad Astra!” campaign.
The fact that the Omega Centauri cluster is so far away from Earth has several advantages, too: not much is know about that region of space so that even an astronomy-geek wouldn’t know that much about it. If you run an SF campaign closer to Earth there’s always the problem that one of your players may for example notice when you turned Betelgeuse into a dwarf star by mistake. If you choose a far away region of space you can just use some solar system creation rules (like the ones in GURPS Space or Traveller) and create your own stars, worlds, nebulae, etc.
This shall be enough for today. As always I am interested in your thoughts, so feel free to leave your comments!