Tuesday, May 13, 2014

[ACKS LEXICON] Barghast Race

I ran a successful LARP for 7 years, called Lexicon, subtitled "A Game of Exploration and Discovery in a Broken World of Intrigue and Intolerance." It was a game of gods, men, and monsters, set in a world physically destroyed by the plummeting corpse of it's creator deity a millenia ago. The little nations and tribes of the world were forced to bend ley-lines to their will to physically draw lands together through what basically amounted to the Ether for travel and trade.

The players were a few dozen poorly equipped adventurers settled in a little place in the middle of nowhere and wound up being incredibly important on the world stage. I liked to describe the setting and feel as "You play D&D characters in a Warhammer setting, fighting to prevent the world from turning back into Exalted."

So, mid-level powered folks in a grim, unhappy world of ruin. The world that came before was more magically advanced, but it too was a flawed place, where the actions of an evil Empire led to it's own destruction, the lessening of the world, and the entrance of the Nightmare (Chaos) physically into the world.

I got the worm today to try to put together some stuff from that campaign a la ACKS. This will be my first entry on that topic- one of the races, the beastmen known as Barghasts. (No relation to D&D barghests or to the Malazan pseudohumans, of course...) It turned out over the course of the LARP campaign that there was a lot going on in their history beyond "primitive cannibal folk", and perhaps if this Lex fire stays lit, I will get to the Stygian Empire, Barza, Whitewalker, and the Barukasta.

For now, I am just presenting the Racial Values for ACKS. I will probably build a class or two later on for them.

Barghast Racial Values (PDF)

In addition to Barghasts, there were harpies, dryads, goat-men called Ibix, spiderfolk, humans and elves- a few things to look forward to, perhaps?

Monday, May 5, 2014

[ACKS] Bugbears

Sorry about the lack of posts recently. I've been too busy working and actually running ACKS to really write about it :)

We've monkeyed about a bit with some proficiencies, and I am in the process of adding a few bits from Lamentations of the Flame Princess to the game (mostly, the way Specialists work vs. the way Thieves work.) My party has collected 2 (or 3, depending on who you ask) cards from the Deck of Many Things of this world, and having reached between 4th and 6th level after many, many biweekly sessions, are beginning to slowly become players in the political atmosphere. Granted that many of the more vocal ones are horribly Chaotic, and "player" can mean "guy who flips the chess board." So far they've stayed under the radar, and the Powers that Be think they are playing by the rules.

I don't actually like having too many different types of goblinoids/beastkin. However, my adventurers are coming up on spots where they may begin intersecting with the workings of the other planets (this is a Dwimmermount campaign, so a modified Areon and a modified Kythirea are accessible.) Thus I needed some things to make their encounters with aliens more unique. Thus, the Red Elves of Areon are accompanied by their own Brute Squad, bugbears who I have modified slightly to be more deadly... They're faster, have better morale, and have a nasty surprise in the form of the Ambushing proficiency. These bugbears have come a long way from the barghest worshipping goblins of my campaign world, Talis, and would not even recognize kinship with their terrestrial ancestral stock.

In Lair: 16+ (25%)
Dungeon: Gang (2d4) / Lair (1 warband)
Wilderness: Warband (1d4 gangs) / Village (1d10 warbands)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
AC: 4 (leather, +1 Dexterity, +1 natural)
Hit Dice: 3+1*
Attacks: 1 (by weapon, 8+)
Damage: 2d4 or by weapon +1
Save: F3
Morale: +3
TT: L (per warband)
XP: 100

Bugbears are the descendants of Eldritch tinkerings on hobgoblin and goblin bloodlines, with the intent to make a troop with all the strength and strategy of a hobgoblin, and the stealth and low cunning of a goblin. In this case, Eldritch tinkering was wildly successful, breeding a race of nearly silent, hulking goblinoids with a penchant for murder and the skills and patience to carry the deed out.

Bugbears are both monstrously strong, receiving a +1 to damage when they employ weapons, and deceptively stealthy, causing their foes to suffer a -1 penalty to surprise rolls. Bugbears tend to go armed with garrottes, massive two handed weapons, nets, and many-edged throwing knives, striking from the shadows and melting back into darkness. A bugbear attacking from surprise receives a +4 bonus to hit, and deals double damage on their successful strike. Bugbears do have a grasp of tactics, and can and will fight intelligently with any weapon. Those under the heel of Eldritch masters are often outfitted with banded armor, tower shields, and spears in parody of the ancient panoply of the foes of elfkind. Bugbears have an arsonist's love of fire, and will devise unusual and horrible uses for military oil, azoth, or any other combustible.

Each bugbear gang will be led by a champion with AC5, 4+1 Hit Dice, 25 hit points, and a +2 bonus to damage rolls from strength. Each bugbear warband will be led by a sub-chieftain with AC6, 5+1 Hit Dice, 29 hit points, and a +3 bonus to damage

On the Red Planet, any semblance of "bugbear culture", shamans, or witch doctors were brutally and systematically wiped out centuries ago, but stray populations do exist where such creatures have once again flourished. A free bugbear lair or village will be led by a chieftain with AC7, 7+2 Hit Dice, 37 hit points, and a +4 bonus to damage rolls. As long as the chieftain is alive, the bugbears will gain a +1 to morale rolls. A bugbear village has a 75% chance of a shaman being present, and a 50% chance of a witch doctor. A shaman is equivalent to a sub-chieftain statistically, but has Clerical abilities at level 1d6. A witch doctor is equivalent to a champion statistically, but has Mage abilities at level 1d4. Bugbear lairs and villages will have females and young equal to 50% of the number of males each. Female bugbears fight as hobgoblins, while young bugbears fight as kobolds.