Friday, October 29, 2010
In additional to the new martial classes, Warriors of the Red Planet provides GMs with two alternatives to the tradional Cleric and Wizard for their Mars/Venus/Center-of-the-Earth/etc campaigns: the mind-bending Mentalist, and the Scientist: master of inventions and gadgets of wonder and terror. This week you get a sneak peek at the early play-test versions of just a few of the Scientist's wide array of potential accoutrements.
Science, 3rd Level
Range: 40 ft
Duration: 24 hours
When activated by manipulating a small dial behind the left eyepiece, these midnight-blue, wire-frame lenses allow the wearer to see in total darkness for 24 hours.
Science, 6th Level
Range: 240 ft
This outlandish looking contraption looks like a multi-barreled Irradium Pistol covered in tubes and wires. When activated, the 60’ cone of sickly-green energy waves can kill up to 2d8 creatures of 6HD or less.
Science, 3rd Level
Range: up to 240 ft
This rod-mounted, wire-and-crystal sphere emits a bolt of lighting almost ten feet wide, up to 240’. Anyone in its path suffers 1d6 points of damage per level of the Scientist (half with a successful saving throw). The bolt always extends a minimum of 60 ft, even if this means that it ricochets backward from something that blocks its path.
Science, 1st Level
Range: 150 ft
The standard sidearm of the well-equipped scientist, this pistol-like item emits a purplish ray of energy that unerringly strikes its target for 1d6+1 points of damage. At 5th level, the ray causes 2d6+2 points of damage, and at 9th it causes 3d6+3.
Invisibility Generator, Personal
Science, 2th Level
Duration: Until wearer is hit or attacks someone else.
This mountable gadget-box, covered in small brass dials, causes light to bend around a person or a thing, rendering it invisible. If the Referee is using the invisibility rules unchanged, the result is that an invisible creature cannot be attacked unless its approximate location is known, and all attacks are made at -4 to hit. If the invisible creature makes an attack, the effect is ended. Otherwise, it lasts until the gadget is turned off by the Scientist.
Science, 3rd Level
This small box of tubes and glass bulbs comes with a hose-attached syringe. If used to withdraw a sample of a diseased individual’s blood, it generates a colored capsule. Taking the capsule cures the diseased individual of their ailment.
Originally posted here.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
So, what does a character for Warriors of the Red Planet look like?
Pretty much like a character for OD&D, B/X, Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, or "editions" of that sort, and not too far off from close cousins 1E AD&D and OSRIC.
But there are a couple of notable differences.
Firstly, there are no classes here that you already have in any other books. Sure, some character classes are close, but not spot on by any means. One of the design decisions behind WotRP was not just to make it a complete game in an of itself, but also a book you could bring to the table right now, and plop elements you like right into your current game, whether its monsters, weird science, or you'd just rather play WotRP's Scoundrel or Warrior than the "standard" Thief or Fighter.
Second, there are a few "optional" rules here and there, that you may or may not want to adopt. These optional rules remain strongly in the arena of old-school gaming (and in many cases are loosely inspired by house rules from stuff like Arduin and Judges Guild), but are hopefully going to help you better reflect Sword & Planet conceits than the more traditional Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery conceits. The "optional" part means if you're preferring to use WotRP as more of a sourcebook for your current Swords & Wizardry game, for instance, you can ignore the farther ranging optional rules and just use the more traditional ones.
For instance, saving throws. Each character is presented with a "standard" Swords & Wizardry-style single saving throw progression, but there is also an optional WotRP multiple saving throw progression covering the common Sword & Planet hazards of Explosions, Mentalism, Energy, Poison, and Falls.
So here's an example WotRP character from an early playtest: Dorum Dor, a Scientist. The Scientist is a new class that specializes in weird science, and helps fill the sort of niche a Magic User or Cleric does in traditional fantasy games. Instead of spells, though, Scientists get "gadgets", and these get more elaborate and more powerful as the character levels up. Scientists, of course, are a fixture of Sword & Planet fiction, ready to help the hero with a new wonder of science, or secretly developing an army of super mutants to hasten the fall of civilization.
Scientist, 4th Level
AC 4 
Save 12 [Explosions 10; Mentalism 13; Energy 11; Poison 11; Falls 12]
Str 9(-); Int 17(+2); Wis 10 (-)
Dex 13(+1); Con 14(+1); Cha 8 (-1)
Gadgets Stunning Field, Flame Thrower, Interpreter Lens; Personal Invisibility Generator, Tissue Re-generator.
Equipment Simple weapon harness, Arm Bracers, Energy Pack, Short sword, Irradium Pistol, 10 bullets, Poison test kit, Magnifying glass, Sample vials, Herbology of the Throon Waste, Exploding Bullets (5), Anti-disease Syringe (3).