Ups and Downs & Terracotta Revised

Ups, Downs, Terracotta

Update 42: to the Kickstarter for Art of War

It has been a few months since an update was done. I haven’t published anything in over a year as I work on the Kickstarter. Still.

It’s been a bit trying at times, yet rewarding at others. Because of natural things, and no complaints here, the first editor could only finish a portion of the book. However, James has step into her shoes to fill in the rest of the editing. Pretty cool.Gives some lost hope back to the development system.

Good things are still on the way, just a year behind schedule. Art of War and Kui’s Journal are both about completed. I need to start plotting out the action card deck and work on the rest of the one-sheets. The Kickstarter goals are done, but I need to finish the assignments for others.

While doing a site update, it came to my attention that the company homepage went straight to nothing. Not sure how long that has been happening but I have rerouted it to the Facebook page in the meantime. Wonder how many people came looking for us but ended up on a dead page.


Let’s focus on some fun things. Back on this post I introduced the Terracotta. After some revision work and reconstruction (still pre-edit version) we have the official one below.

Terracotta

“You called me to remove the threat. Even if one is your son, there will be no mercy..”

– Broken Bowl

Spirits of ancestors that hold great reverence are entombed in sacred shrines, monasteries and lavish mausoleums. On rare occasions for reasons known and many unknown, a spirit has been chosen, blessed or cursed to return to the living, inhabiting a silhouette of dirt. When such an event happens through ritual, prayers answered by a divine, a spirit’s force of will, or because the Emperor deemed it so, a Terracotta is “born” from fairly large sized lump of clay and Chi.Race Terracotta

As willing spirit and Chi channel into the lifeless mass, the material molds into the mortal’s former likeness, transmuting clay into flesh. The spirit encases itself deep inside the living statue, acting as a spiritual anchor of Chi that allows the soul to manipulate the new body. Should this energy be released willingly or forced out, Terracottas have been recorded reverting to formless statues, while others have crumbled to dust.

Terracottas are only brought to life to fulfill a purpose and retain most of the memories of any former experiences. Tasks completely depend on the circumstance of the resurrection. One legend tells of a nanny that was so beloved by family, through prayers and copious amounts of offerings to a local Kami, did it finally agree to return the nanny. Nanny agreed to the task of raising generations of children up to this present day. Upon the fading health of the final childless generation, Nanny had finally fulfilled her purpose.

Those that complete their task have been known to petrify in place where they stand or turn to dust upon failing in duty. Those that fail are cursed to haunt the area of its final stand, unable to pass on. Those that succeed and fulfill a pact, are given a second chance at life unhindered, to explore and learn new things previously missed in life.

Once clay becomes flesh it continues to hold the pigment of mineral used to create it. Most of this species have grey or reddish brown tint to the skin. While taking the form of the previous body, a Terracotta does not inherit  the traits of its former life. Instead they take on the aspects of a new terrestrial body.

 

Immortal Citizen, Eternal Outsider

Should a Terracotta complete it’s specific task or duty, one can go beyond expected years and live between 100 to 150 years with basic repair treatments. Those that play it loose and fast will meet the second death before it is realized. Many seek to learn and research things missed. Few but some, have been conscripted into bureaucracy to serve as administrators, others seek out isolated hillsides where life’s contemplation begins.

Terracottas that play it safe, live long and outlast many generations passing on the previous teachings to the next. Found held up in libraries and study the lost arts or applying past techniques to new technologies, they are always willing to teach skills to anyone that will listen.

 

Species Traits:

¨ Half Construct: Terracottas are a balance between flesh and rock with a +2 Toughness. Terracotta do not breathe, so it is not subjected to inhaled toxins, can’t drown or suffocate. One is immune to poisons and diseases, and does not suffer extra damage from Called Shots due to biological resilience.

Terracotta can be treated within the “Golden Hour” like other species, but after this period, it cannot heal naturally. Blood dries and wounds harden requiring a Repair skill with materials of mud and water, which takes one hour per current Wound level per attempt. The Repair skill roll is not limited to the “Golden Hour” rule.

¨ Half Flesh: Terracottas are like any other species and require the same basic amenities like them (sleeping, eating, mediation to recover Chi, etc.).

¨ Outsider (minor): Terracottas are rare enough in the world, that when encountered they are viewed with prejudice, suspicion and seen as unnatural beings.

¨ Reduced Chi: Terracotta must sacrifice Chi to anchor the spirit to the mass of clay and manipulate its movements. It starts with a -2 Chi stat.

¨ Slow Moving: Half constructs are made from large piles of mineral, making them heavy. Starting Pace is 5 and it has a running die of a d4.

¨ Vow or Obligation (Major): Terracotta’s entire existence is bound to the idea it was brought back to fulfill a specific deed that it has agreed to perform. Going against the agreed upon pact can result in major and swift (deadly) repercussions to the character and those around it. Should a moment or conflict of interest arise that goes against the Vow or causes an Obligation to be unfulfilled, the Narrator and Hero must figure out if an alternate solution can be reached to avoid an ultimate demise.

 

 

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 (pregen): An, Wolf of the Midnight Cranes #savageworlds

A Savage Worlds pregen for the South of the Wall adventure

A pregen for the South of the Wall adventure.

An, Wolf of the Midnight Crane
As an abandoned child found in the wilderness, An was taken in by a pack of outlandish Inumimi who worshiped the moon. An never knew he was different from the Inumimi. He hunted with them, rose through the pack and became one of the guardians of a decrepit temple dedicated to ceremonies when the moon hid from the sky.
Mistaken as the single abbot watching over the dwelling of the by travelers, An took to the assumed role with ease. He eventually made his home with in the temple, leaving his place within the pack.
Over the course of a summer, word spread from merchant to Buxist on pilgrimages of the revitalized temple and hospitality given to those that seek shelter. A Buxist known as Yun, approached An challenging him to the right of property of the temple. Yun belonged to the Order of the Midnight Crane, who previously held ownership of the grounds. An humbly backed down recognizing the proper ownership. Yun requested that An stay and attend to the people as he would attend to the temple.
An studied for many years, learning the traditions of BuXia. It was now his time to explore the world beyond the temple life and set a course of discovery beyond the plains of the Tiger lands.

Race: Umvee
Clan: n/a
Trope: Youxia
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6 (+1 when using staff) , Healing d6, Knowledge (Culture) d4, Knowledge (Kemonomimi) d6, Knowledge (ritual) d4, Meditation d6, Notice d6, Riding d4, Survival d6+2, Tracking d6+2, Throwing d4
Cha: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5 (6 with staff); Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Phobia (minor, agoraphobia), Vow (minor)
Edges: Linguist
Max Chi Pool: 5
Chi Techniques: Bestial Form (wolf),, Negate Chi
Gear: Travel Kit (bedroll, blanket, water skin, rope (10”), 7 rations), ceremonial books, fighting staff (Str+d4+2, Reach 1)
Special Abilities:
Conditioning: They ignore their first level penalty of Fatigue and treat their second level of Fatigue as a -1 penalty.
Defensive: Once per round, as a reaction to an incoming attack made against him, a youxia can spend a point of Chi and add +10 to his Parry.

Chi Technique
Bestial Form
Cost: 1
Duration: 1 hour
Trappings: bone necklace, drinking animal blood
A hero can spend 1 Chi Point to take the form of a single animal of his size or smaller, chosen at the time of learning this Technique. During the duration, the hero can shift form as a free action any number of times. While in this animal shape he retains his mental attributes, but takes on the physical attributes of the animal as well as any special abilities.

Negate Chi
Cost: 2
Range: Spirit
This Technique acts as the dispel power for Chi Techniques.

Tai, the Scheming Shadow

Tai is a petty thief that likes to use his talents to scheme…

Arrrg!

It is hard to keep up with the world and finding time to do a blog. As you may have noticed I have not relaunched the kickstarter just yet. I want to finish the module named: Shadow of Stork Borough. Named so after the villain named Tai, the Scheming Shadow. Tai is a petty thief that likes to use his talents to scheme, but he is also a coward and a pacifist. The below is a pre-edit clip from the adventure that introduces Tai.

———————-

Tai is a wandering petty crook and disgraced shinobi of the minor Viper Clan. Several months ago while spending time in the seedier parts of the Empire, he overheard conversations about lost treasures of Four Corner. Lifting the maps from those that congregated to explore the ruins, Tai followed the trail to a mountain temple. Inside he found artifacts from the First Temple of Daji.

The original explorers knew of Tai’s greediness and allowed him to cut his way through the hazards, so they didn’t have to. From a distance, they watched Tai enter the monastery and waited for his exit. After several days, they entered the compound to find Tai waiting for them. Using his prior training with a little help from the Sacred Goblet, Tai was able to alter his image and make a grand escape.

Since then, he has used the disguising powers of the goblet to carve out a living by selling it to merchants and stealing it back. As he has done to Da and Riku. The one flaw in the plan Tai did not count on, is that the two merchants are stubborn and deeply competitive. Taking advantage the shops being closed, he returns to the scene of the crime to make off with a bigger score. As the Heavens have it (or by a curse of stealing Daji’s goblet) the night he shows up, is the same night the Wild Cards are executing Xiao’s plans.

Tai, the Scheming Shadow*
A middle aged bald human wears the outfit of a shinobi. Tai is opposed to fighting if at all possible. He leaves confrontation to his shadow clones.
Race: Human
Trope: Shinobi
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Acrobatics d6, Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Investigation d6, Lockpicking d6, Meditation d6, Notice d6, Stealth d8, Streetwise d6, Survival d6
Cha: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Greedy (minor), Pacifist (minor), Yellow
Edges: Thief, Extra Chi
Max Chi Pool: 7
Chi Techniques: Clone, Bamf
Gear: Grappling hook, Katana (Str+d6+2, AP 2), Lockpick, Travel Kit (bedroll, blanket, water skin, rope (10”), 7 rations), Sacred Temple Goblet ($125)
Special Abilities:
Shadow Clone: For 1 Chi point, Tai can create a living shadow clone that last for 3 rounds.
Bamf: For 1 Chi point, Tai can use the teleport power. For every additional point spent at the time of activating this technique, he can reappear add an additional 10” away.

Shadow Clone (extra)

A physical manifestation of shadow in the shape and appearance of it’s master.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Special Abilities:
Fearless: Clones are immune to fear and Intimidation
——————

And there we have a sample of a “shinobi” trope for the game. A few game mechanics for the Chi Techniques: Clone & Bamf. A little character history, and a decent entry.

Until next time
~Tentacle Out!

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.

Faction: ACE or “Who taught you how to fly?” (Starjammer/Starfinder)

The tentacle is back for another article. This time we need to talk about who taught you to fly? What academy did you part-take in? Well let’s make an organization/faction that with built-in plot device.

he tentacle is back for another article. This time we need to talk about who taught you to fly? What academy did you part-take in? Well let’s make an organization/faction that with built-in plot device.

I give you ACE, or Accelerated Certifications of Explorers…

Accelerated Certification of Explorers (ACE)

Pilots for Hire

Leader: CEO and board Chairmen Sheyenne Alexxandra
Headquarters: Alpha Zeta, mobile space station

Two score ago, Accelerated Certification of Explorers, also known as ACE, started as a top gun pilot training academy boasting of the best and brightest from the civilized races around the Quad and beyond the Void. The academy offered a variety of classes ranging from weekend seminars teaching kids to pilot simple single man watercrafts to month-long training simulations on tactical heavy freighter combat. It was in a pilots favor and respected if a pilot held an ACE-approved certification pilot license.

As technology advanced and potential pilots sought cheaper training elsewhere, the ACE program expanded beyond the academy portion of the businesses and branched out to planetary expeditions. They serve as aerial surveillance and security for industrial corporations performing planet side surveys for future developments. The Alpha One (A1) Department services its clients with manned craft and aerial drones protecting the ground crew and providing surveillance shielding for clients that wish to keep operations secret. Providing services of radar jamming and scan deflectors are optional for an additional service fee.

Department Alpha Two (A2) handles requests for security of over long distance travel through hyperspace. Elite A2 starfighter pilots take on escort missions for freighter caravans that need defending from space pirates and organic threats traveling in deep space. This department gives guidance astral navigation through safe routes and pilots assigned to the contract will respond defensively to aggressive actions against employers. However, ACE policy dictates a responsive reaction versus initial confrontation. The pilots that join this department must be skilled in negotiation.

Department Alpha Three (A3) is the salvage and rescue fleet of the ACE company. A3 operates under contracts consisting of simple missions of planet-side equipment retrieval for corporations who left items behind, to answering distress beacons that the Union Worlds do not have time or resources in the area to inspect. The makeup of the A3 hosts a number of large freighters, tow ships, and starfighters equipped with the most advanced scanners and towing technology available.

Rumors persist of a division of the company that offers select services to only the most high profile of clients. ACE Public Relations (PRD) will never confirm the existence of the whispered department within the organization that performs these hush services. However, conspiracy theorists say the Delta Nova Zeta (DNZ) is a corporate mercenary division taking contracts of black ops rescue and withdraws, acting as crack pilot dog fighters bombarding slave ships, emergency medical extractions for undercover corporate or government agents, and performs ethical espionage and sabotage. The DNZ operatives fly in on unmarked ships and disappear before targets can register their movement.

Lead by CEO and Board Chairman Sheyenne Alexxandra, ACE Headquarters is located on a mobile space station that wonders the quadrant known as Alpha Zeta. This station houses a large percentage of ACE internal fleet of ships and offers a wide variety of services to ACE Certified Pilots. These services include medical services and resupply, dormitories for rent, refueling capabilities, including ship repairs and upgrades, an array of equipment (personal and otherwise) for rental and purchase, a job board access with access to freelance contracts and a number of essential services provided to members only.

ACE still operates a number of pilot training facilities among several Union planets, offering local licenses and higher quality ACE certifications. Local licenses focus on the society regulations of the planet, local government and Union qualifications for registered operation of the required craft. Then they offer a more intensive course designed with higher standards and lower graduation rate that qualify the individual as an ACE Certified Pilot. They use these higher courses to scout for potential recruits.

There you go. Small article today. But you have a faction of pilots that do cool stuff.

~Tentacle out!

Developer’s Journal 5: SW Powers = Techniques

1 Chi Point = 2 Power Points (roughly)

Holy Moly it’s almost the end of June. It’s been a bit crazy on the home front. Working through a lot of projects and this tentacle hasn’t had time to write Monday Manga or a Developer’s Journal.

So let’s do the Developer’s Journal since we just passed a Wednesday.

Expanding upon our last Journal , I have to transfer all the known powers from Savage Worlds to the Chi system. Which is pretty easy to do. 1 Chi Point = 2 Power Points (roughly).  Since SW players know what Trappings are, we look to design them differently. We go with the battle anime’s version of “Lazor Rocket 2000” or “Face Palm of Truth” as fun trappings to help set the mood.

I looked at naming conventions of Powers, which are now call Techniques. This might cause a ruckus in the area of game development of SW of “short and sweet” or “fast and furious”, but I wanted flavor than just generic bolt or burst powers. So we named Techniques after famous or legendary people, or after a “zodiac” animal of the world setting. Such as:

Crane Wing 
 Cost: 1
 Duration: 3 rounds (1/two rounds)
 Trappings: “Bare Palm Defense”, “Monkey Tail Swap”
 Those that push away swords with the palms of their hands, or samurai who practice two weapon style defense emulate a crane’s large wing span. This acts as the deflection power.

OR

Fang’s Draught
 Cost: 1
 Duration: 3 (1/two rounds)
 Range: Spirit
 Trappings: “Ex Remover”, “Poison Sting”, “Withering Touch”
 Alchemist Fang worked for one of the Imperial Families and had access to numerous resources for her studies. She also had an abusive husband who she started experimenting on. Fang’s husband was found days later in a living mummified state. Fang went on to remarry. This power acts as the lower trait power.

 

To keep in line with the Savage Worlds License you can’t reprint powers, but you can make reference to their source. And let’s be honest, I don’t want to reprint every power in the book. That cost time, money, AND page count. Like most third party references, you should always go back to the original source. This isn’t to say we haven’t come up with new powers Techniques, because we have. Like Clone and Fei’s Shout.

The Techniques give Art of War that little anime manga flavor bit to the setting, but also keeps the idea of fantastic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon running across bamboo limbs feel. The trappings are what make your home game personal vs that over there home game.