October Update: rebirth of the Umvee

We are the Alphas’ progeny of creation. We are the Umvee, Children of Shanghe.

Hey Everyone: I have been focused on finishing my Kickstarter for our Savage Worlds aka #SWADE campaign setting Art of War. Here are a few tidbits of information.

Shower Thoughts: It is interesting that while I was writing the Umvee, I had them scripted and 100% done. Then one morning while in the shower, they spoke to me. The Umvee were mostly rewritten and then revised as presented below. Instead of being just wild and feral lost kin to kemonomimi, they became something else: Children of the Moon. So with this in tow, inspiration was taken from the Chinese Goddess Chang’e and Changxi. While some scholars debate that they are one in the same.

I have altered the name a little to fit my campaign setting, paying homage from the sources, yet diverting it for religious respect (it might get changed back to one of them; some might view the change is disrespectful to the source material).

Children of Shanghe, Umvee

Those of the Kitsune Clan claim the lineage as the children of Daji. She was the Kitusne Goddess who walked among men and gave birth to the descendants of the Oda family blessing of divine bloodline to rule by. Kemonomimi are our cousins birthed by the celestial emotions of the Kami to keep our brethren, humankind from being alone in the world. Our heritage bares an older and deeper ancestry, beginning as witnesses to an age prior to a Kami crossing over to walk alongside us. We are as old as the orb in the night sky that shines above us. Shanghe, our Pale Mother bore us from her blue rays of light that shine upon the surface of our world. Porcelain skin blankets us as a reminder unchanged, symbolizing our place as the template for those that followed in our footsteps. As the roots of trees in the Wylds, our traditions grow as deep and it is here where our people made their home. We clung to these ancient ways, shepherding the souls of angry Kami, keeping balance of the the natural world as humans feel to the influence of others. We are the Alphas progeny of creation. We are the Umvee.

~Umeki, shaman of the Sunless Clan

With an oral history of their own, the Umvee tell of their existence as the true protectors of the natural world. They were birthed by the light of the moon to balance against human expansion and destruction of the Wylds, while the kemonomimi were born to be the servitors of human culture. This led to a division with their cousins who shunned tribal culture. The Umvee chose to steep themselves in wilderness folklore and primal tradition.

While their method may be crude, savage and seen as uncivilized, Umvee are well-structured societies with rich warrior ecologies, not unlike the three Clans. In the beginning, many chose to live by hunting, herding, and harvesting only the necessities. Refusing modern conveniences, they were seen as the ghost of the Wylds for centuries.

Humans stayed away from the western wylds and the Umvee only involved themselves with the rare interactions with kemonomimi who lived on the edge of the Hanxia Plains. West of the wylds the Umvee flourished with monoliths, simple cities, and grand temples unseen by human and kemonomimi eyes. Rolling hills and open fields allowed the moon children to prosper, negotiating trade relations with the Naga Nation, and establishing contact with the feral berzerker clans to the west. This would change near the end of the last Dynasty.

While the humans waged war against each other, the Umvee fought against the tide of devastation that began from the feral lands. As giants of fire and lightning descended upon the sacred lands, the moon children stood against dire wolves and fur covered rabid men. Standing as the only wall of defense between the hordes and the San Empire, over a third of Umvee culture would disappear from the pages of history. With great losses, only the direct intervention of a war manifestation of Shanghe was able to push the adversaries into retreating from which they came.

Race Umvee Female
Artist Sasha Turk © Amora Game, LLC

Then the Oni came. With half of the Umvee blinded from animalistic rage from invoking of beasital spirits against the berzerker wave were they able to survive. Once more the tribes of the moon children prevailed, but with the cost of losing Lunar, the war avatar of Shanghe.

Umvee families pulled away from ancestral lands traveling through the wilderness, only to arrive upon the doorstep of the Hanxia Plains. The Umvee immigration was welcomed by bordering kemonomimi villages. But tensions were weary at first, both sides hesitant with distrust until an official Imperial envoy arrived.

After initial trials and tribulations, agreements between the falling nation and budding Empire settled on the Silver Accord, giving rise to rapid growth and exchange of culture of disenfranchised cousins.

Some detest the Accords, hunting deep in the Wylds trying to reestablish homelands, while younger and curious generations have taken strongly to the new ideas. The youth wander towards major cities, acting as scouts, wilderness survivalist or guards to merchant caravans.

Umvee appear do not differ from humans of the Empire in terms of sizes and shapes, however they are a pale skinned hairless individuals, with a slight tapering at the top of the ear. Warriors and shamans of the Umvee (or the younger generation) support thick and elaborate tribal tattoos highlighting shades of black, purple, red, or blue. Adorning one’s body with piercings, tattoos, and to a lesser extent scarification, are ritual practice for Umvee. With every new major life event, it is common for one to don another accoutrements to their body. It is just as common for an Umvee to ignore this tradition and maintaining the pure blank canvas of skin.

Oni, Flavor, and Art of War

YUM! Flesh Eater!!

The kickstarter for our anime inspired setting for Savage Worlds is going well. I do want it to be more successful, but successful is where it’s at. The backers that have chipped in to make this dream one step closer are the best backers yet. Little do they know, Amora Game is working on a few extra goodies for them post funding. Like an action card deck and campaign map poster.

I digress: Today’s entry is to focus one type of Oni for Art of War.

XO (Shee-Oh)


Oni come in different forms, shapes and types. The most common Oni are those that take the shape of animals, either by an Ogre oni courting them to possess them in physical form, an angry demented spirit manifesting as an animal, or an Ogre oni having spawned through unnatural relations with a non-oni. These are referred to by Kui as XO (shee-oh), but the rest of the populace call them Oni X. Where “X” is the name or mutated animal form that it has taken. For example an Oni Scorpion is a larger version of a large scorpion.

XO share base physical traits that an observer can see with the proper eye. All XO appear slightly larger than their natural cousins. Some can be hyper-realistic in proportions, which can be stronger strength in a particular area of it’s body. If large or hyper-realistic all over, it can identify the XO as an elder.

Game Mechanic Trait: Flesh Eater

All Oni (name might be changed to Ogre, to neutralize cultural references), in Art of War  possess an trait called “flesh eater” that allows for an incapacitated or bound individual to be eaten. Resulting in the oni recovering wounds. This also causes serious injury to the individual.

  • Flesh Eater: Oni creatures heal wounds by consuming flesh. For every 2 lbs. of flesh eaten, an Oni recovers one wound or fatigue wound. This takes a full turn. At the end of the turn, the victim rolls once on the injury table.

This makes the artistically deadly and can make for some terrifying descriptions that the GM can use to set the seen of an Oni encounter. This is the simplest way to tack on the Oni subtype to a current creature on an existing animal.

Aged Oni Template:

For those that result in the hyper-realistic aspect to show age, should feel free to increase the size of the creature with the template: Aged.

Aged Oni have the following Special Qualities:

  • Size (+1): Oni this size are older and have out grown their cousin.
  • Superior: Oni that have lived this long have an awareness other animals do not. They have one die step higher than the animal counter part in Smarts, yet they are minor intelligence. They also have their Strength and Vigor increased by one step.

 

Well that’s it for this discussion and preview. Till next time

Tentacle Out!

 

Art of War & Anime inspired Games

By combining Anime, Films, & RPGs, I created Art of War.

Just past the 80% mark of the Art of War Kickstarter relaunch and we are almost to the final stretch. Just over $200 more till the original estimated goal is meet. As I take a Sunday to get caught up on a 20+ shows in queue from the Fall 2017 season to present I wanted to reflect on why this project is a heart project.

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The a core foundation idea behind Art of War is transcribing the elements of the classic Big Eyes, Small Mouth (3rd Edition) Anime Roleplaying Game into the Savage Worlds system. Much like the Savage Worlds Superpowers Companion, I wanted to create an Anime Companion. The thing that governs BESM is that it covers all Anime: Kaiju, giant Mecha, Sci-fi bounty hunters. While I do want to create an open Anime Companion for Savage Worlds still, I wanted to focus more on the fantasy or period pieces. While not the extreme tech-fantasy like Final Fantasy (which can be argued as a Sci-Fi), I wanted Samurai Champloo feel with more martial arts.

I also wanted to concentrate on the meshing of my favorite movie genres: Samurai Sagas (bushido) & Martial Art Epics (wuxia). To me, this is a combination of Japanese and Chinese “warlord eras”. Sengoku & Three Kingdoms. The perfect example of this mash up can be found in the movie: Heroes of the Eastmaxresdefault

fearless-katana

Or something along the lines of Jet Li’s Fearless. The one issue with these examples, and you must forgive me, is that they have a Chinese bent. They are Hong Kong action style films starring Chinese Actors, with one being specifically designed as a propaganda film. But it shows the premise of the CvJ genre I wanted to incorporate.

The difference between these ideas and what I have created is a inclusive environment compared to a versus environment. These two movie examples do recognize a joining of culture near the end of each film, but I wanted Art of War to have a completed narrative.

The world of Art of War is a combined influence of aspects inspired by these to beautiful and elegant cultures.

How does Anime and Films tie together?

By combining aspects of these three core basics: Anime, Films, & RPGs, I was able to play in a sandbox that would allow me to create a world that can use all three.

Take the new anime Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, the title alone screams Ecchi. Hmmm. Probably not the best example, but work with me on this.
Here you have the main protagonist, Kogarashi Fuyuzora, who could very well fit into our hungry-ghosting- hunting exorcist Trope we call a Kui.

Sagiri Ameno is a good example of our Shinobi Trope.

Yaya Fushiguro is an example of a Nekomimi race from our setting, probably a Hero Trope.

Nonko Arahabaki – well maybe an external focused Buxist (drinking being the “trappings” of her Trance ability) or a Youxia Trope. She could easily fall into a Hero trope. Now we do not have an Ogre race in this game… It makes me think that I should. Oni are an enemy to the Empire in my game, but maybe something in a future supplement.

Where are you going with this blog entry?

Well getting the ramblings all together, I’m trying to say you do not have to play the default setting for Art of War. The Tropes and Chi system found in the book can lend itself to any anime or martial arts inspired setting.

Tentacle Out!

Art of War (pregen): Saeko

Saeko, Serpent Shinobi pregen for the South of the Wall adventure. (Savage Worlds)

PreGen for the Art of War (Savage Worlds)

A pregen for the South of the Wall adventure.

Saeko
Saeko was raised in the Serpent lands among the foothills of Mt. Rinzai. She lived a happy and productive youth, even coming from a loving home with two older brothers and a younger sister. She has never lived in a situation of strife and never had to struggle to survive, or go without. She has been blessed with height, a strong athletic build, and is well liked.
As a member of the White Scales Scorpion Temple, Saeko was sponsored by a Serpent Clan family and given clan honors. While attending school, she excelled in physical exams much to ire of her classmates. Gaining favor and special permissions, the others didn’t take to kindly to her presence. Those that tried to confront and challenge her, quickly learned that she was more than a match for them.
As fortune had it, and to the chagrin of the Serpent Clan, upon graduation she was given approval to join the volunteer forces on the condition to challenge her abilities. This was approved by the White Scales on the condition that she sends regular reports to the White Scales on the progress south of the wall.

Race: Inumimi
Clan: Serpent
Trope: Shinobi
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Acrobatics d6, Climbing d8, Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Investigation d6, Lockpicking d6, Mediation d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Survival d4, Taunt d4, Tracking d6,
Cha: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 8 (1)
Hindrances: Arrogant, Coldblooded (minor), Enemy (minor), Loyal
Edges: Absorb, Dire Wolf Breed
Max Chi Pool: 5
Chi Techniques: Chi Attack (melee), Koi’s Teachings
Gear: Reinforced clothing (+1 Armor), Ninjato (Str+d6), backpack, beadroll, blanket, 10 candles, flint, grappling hook, rope (10′), signal whistle, 40 ki (money)
Special Abilities:
Guard Dogs: Inumimi gain  a +2 bonus on checks based on smell and hearing.
Bite: Str + d6 damage

Chi Technique
Chi Attack (Melee)
Cost: 1
Once per round by spending a point of chi be for an attack, the hero adds +1d6 to either the attack or damage roll.

Koi’s Teachings
Cost: 1
Duration: 3 rounds
Range: Touch
The hero selects one Wild Card or Extra. When the selected target incurs a wound or fatigue wound, the hero must forego his wild die on his next applicable roll to allow the target to receive a second soak roll, if the first one failed. The target must accept the roll of the second soak roll.

Art of War (pregen): Silver Fang

A pregen for the South of the Wall adventure. (Savage Worlds)

PreGen for the Art of War (Savage Worlds)

A pregen for the South of the Wall adventure.

Silver Fang
The nekomimi samurai known as Silver Fang began as a humble servant of the Lao Family. Silver spent his youth as an attendant to Xiao Lao as he attended his studies in the morning and practiced with sword tutoring in the afternoon. It was one of these tutors that was abusive in his teachings to young Master Xaio. Only when a training session finally went too far did Silver act on instinct.
Silver never knew what happened to the tutor, but Silver earned the additional name of Fang and was sent away from the Lao family to attend an elite sword school in the capital of the Tiger Clan territory. Silver Fang spent several years honing techniques and training in the ways of a solider. Upon his graduation, the Lao Family dismissed him as a servant and began to employ Silver Fang as a personal guard to Master Xaio.
After many years of services, Silver Fang was given leave of absence to find his own way in the world. Fang decided to answer the call and join the voluntary services.

Race: Nekomimi
Trope: Samurai
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Gambling d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Knowledge (Security) d6, Meditation d6, Notice d6, Riding d6, Shooting d4
Cha: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (3)
Hindrances: Curious, Internal Blockage (major), Loyal, Quirk (snoring)
Edges: Counterattack
Max Chi Pool: 2
Chi Techniques: Scorpion Sting
Gear: Samurai Full Plate (+3 Armor), Katana (Str+d6+2, AP 2), Travel Kit (bedroll, blanket, water skin, rope (10′), 7 rations), 125 ki (money)
Special Abilities:
Lucky: Nekomimi draw one additional Benny per game session.
Stoic: If a samurai is a defender in a Test of Wills, he may use Meditation skill in place of Smarts or Spirit. They also receive a +2 on rolls to recover from the Shaken condition and to resist Fear effects.

Chi Technique
Scorpion Sting
Cost: 1
Range: Touch
The when the hero succeeds on a Touch Attack, the opponent must make a Vigor check or suffer paralysis for 1 round. A raise on the Touch Attack, the target suffers a -2 to the Vigor roll.

48 to the end of Art of War Kickstarter

We have (had) a kickstarter

After a too long of a hiatus, I’m back for another riveting rendition of the things we have been working on at Amora Game.

As many of you may or may not know, I have been publishing material from our Xeno File series here and on the Open Gaming Store under this moniker. My last article was November 2 of last year. What have I been doing with myself? What have you been doing without us?

This Tentacle has been busy working on a little project called Art of War. We are currently in the last 48 hours of our Kickstarter, and I have learned on this project.

  1.  Political Correctness: Very briefly we had someone perform their due diligence and say our project was appropriation. One thing to check during a PC environment is to make sure you do your best not to offend anyone. Having an anime Eastern fantasy setting can bring up such a challenge. While I having taken great pains to make sure nothing of the sort has incurred, I could see where one backer was a little offended saying, this was cultural appropriation. I get it. I do. While I could say it is actually appreciation, admiration and love for the history and countries that I have personally visited, that coming from a middle aged, middle class, white American gringo it sounds like just an excuse. But big companies like Paizo or Wizards or Fantasy Flight Games can introduce an Eastern setting without the internet proclaiming Orientalism. I get it. I can lay before you, saying this project is a love affair. The 1000 of artists and game designers out there are inspired by such rich and deep tradition, are wounded when things are said. All you can do is reassert your love, and continue with the project. Luckily we have been okay.
  2. Backers Cancelling pledges: It’s very interesting the answers you get from former backers if you reach out to them after they cancel their pledge. I never honestly assume a truthful answer is coming, but if I have offended someone, I want to do my best to correct it (see #1). Change your mind, awesome, I get that. Can not afford it, I get that too. I ask them if there is anything I can do to change their mind, or ask what they would like to see and sometimes we’ll get feedback. Then the random sort of “I don’t think your project will get funded, so I am canceling my pledge. I might back it when it has more funding.” If you cancel your pledge, that means that a kickstarter will not get funded. But if the kickstarter isn’t doing well and the time runs out, you don’t get charged. You are not out any money. Maybe it’s a way to save face, so they can say, “I didn’t back that project, I knew it was going to fail”. You see where my statements of not getting charged if it fails comes in.
  3. My complete lack of advertising: This is my fault. I didn’t advertise too much before the Kickstarter. I did a small Facebook and Tweet blast when it launched spontaneously without really thinking about it. I did not use all the tools at my disposal. This is my failing. However, I did do a small circuit around the web with two articles on OGN, Pinnacle put us in the Licensee Spotlight, the podcast Wild Die gave us a shout out, we released both a 5e and a Savage Worlds intro adventure South of the Wall Savage Worlds adventure pdf; South of the Wall 5th Edition adventure pdf; a teaser here Art of War Savage Worlds teaser PDF and we made an old Kemonomimi product free: Kemonomimi Race preview for 5th Edition; and an interview article is here. 

 

We are sitting at over 50%, but will it reach a new height. We’ll see.

Check us out if you want. Back if you love it. Once the KS is over, I’ll have time to start blogging again. 100s of anime to cover.

~TG out.

Adam Savage did a Ted Talk about his love for Cosplay

While this isn’t an official scheduled blog entry, it’s more than worth sharing. As a plan my costume for this years Anime Cons and GenCon, I came across this Ted Talk done by Adam Savage on his love for doing cosplay. I felt it was worth a share.

Now to figure out which character from Samurai Champloo to do, Jin or Mugen this year for cons. Or maybe I should stick with the natural ginger theme and be Joui?