Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Five Things You Need to Know About Sarpedon

Howdy!  Back in April of last year I wrote a weird thing about a science fantasy D&D world I called Sarpedon.  I've decided to try fleshing it out a bit.

Five You Need to Know About Sarpedon

1. Sarpedon is a gas giant system. A huge ringed planet looms in the sky. Technically the world that the adventures happen on is Sarpedon E, the gas giant being Sarpedon Prime. However, in daily conversations its clear to most people whether you are talking about the Sarpedon in the sky or the Sarpedon under your feet, so most folks don’t specify.
 


2. Jack Kirby’s Celestials are the gods of the setting. These armored space giants are just as silent and enigmatic as in Kirby’s original vision, so that the various beliefs of the sects and temples on Sarpedon are based upon what people think about the Celestials. The gods are real. The divine power of clerics seems to be based upon them somehow. But they don’t hand out cosmic truths or give commands.
 
 

3. It gets pretty hot on Sarpedon. People dress more like Frazetta’s Barsoom than most Middle Earthy fantasy worlds.  I'm still working on a good simple rule for overheating while wearing heavy armor that uses one's Con score but isn't a complete kick in the pants.
 
 

4. There are two strains of humanity on Sarpedon, with their own histories and cultures. The Cyrannians (see below) are descended from Earth people, while the Gandaharians have their own range of skintones (blues being most common, but reds, yellows, greens, greys and stark whites have been seen). The Gandaharians have a genetic predisposition towards total baldness and some have pointed ears, but otherwise they are physically identical to Earth-type humans. Beyond appearance, there are major cultural differences between Cyrannians and Gandaharians. The Gandaharians live in small matriarchal groups. Their technology tends to be more organic.



5. The Cyrannians are descendants from a minor colony so far in the space boonies that the Cylons didn’t know they existed. They never got the evacuation order. New Cyrannus on Sarpedon E is a colony of the original Cyrannians, though contact with the mother world has been lost for centuries.  Their culture is more classic D&D faux-medieval pseudo-feudal than the matriarchal tech-organic hippy-ness common to the Gandaharians.

22 comments:

  1. Oh goodness, Gandaharians. This is a world I'd love to sandbox around in!

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  2. I love the look of Celestials so much that I've started describing magic armor as basically being derived from star god technology.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. I assume there is dungeons with Kirbyesque giant machines that fill whole caverns?

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  5. Yay, good to see you posting man. Sarpedon is looking really cool, I really liked that old orbital conjunction chart too.

    Rules for tracking overheating and exhaustion can be a pain, I've never had much luck with them. About the only suggestion I can offer is that my old players seemed to prefer constant effects rather than something that fluctuates and needs to be tracked constantly. Maybe using heavy armor in combat causes 1-2 hp damage, or a constant to-hit penalty equal to the AC bonus is mitigated by the con modifier... I dunno.

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  6. Glad to see a post! Must be spring break, eh?

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  7. For number 3 how about anyone in heavy armour can fight for X rounds + con bonus + Level (for fighters only) before fatigue sets in after which they suffer a -1 cumalative pen (to all rolls) for each round they fight on(!) with fatigue.

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  8. Con score= ascending AC (min 10). Armor can only be worn in one fight per day. Leather twice.

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  9. After each fight beyond the first fight of the day, take a Con test (armour check penalties apply). Failure means you suffer heat stroke and exhaustion and must be helped around by comrades. (The referee may allow the ill character to act at key moments, but may levy 1d6 damage for the exertion). Failing to recover while camping means the character gets very ill and needs specialist attention.

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  10. If you wear heavy armor, you lose one hit point each time you make an attack roll. If this reduces you to 0 hp, you pass out.

    You also develop a farmer tan, which is even less sexy on Sarpedon than it is on Earth. –1 Charisma.

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  11. Please forgive my ignorance masquerading as naivete but if the adventurers are native to sarpedon mightn't whoever passes as engineers/problemsolvers have developed or discovered some form of protection from local hazards that accommodates temperature restrictions (perhaps utilizing some form of flora/fauna) which provides adequate ventilation? Though voyagers to sarpedon may be caught out, it seems like inhabitants would have adapted with something that protects from climactic and other threat forms.

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  12. The AC bonus provided by armor equals the penalty to one's attack (and possibly other) rolls. That penalty is offset by one's Con bonus.

    Thus, plate armor provides +6 to AC. If a person has average constitution, they suffer a -6 to attack rolls while wearing it. If they have an 18 constitution (for a +3 bonus), they only suffer a -3 to hit while wearing plate.

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  13. So much FUN!

    ERIC!

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  14. Point 2 - the celestial gods - is very good.

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  15. YAY because of the awesomeness! DOUBLE YAY because the blog is still going!

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  16. Maybe for armour, whenever a character does something stressful and active - climb a thing, start a fight, etc, they take 1d4- Con mod damage. This would be a once-per-combat thing.

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  17. For every turn of "normal" activity or every round of "strenuous" activity (incl combat), make a CON roll on d20. Fail = -1 to CON, STR, and DEX All penalties apply as abilities fall. If any fall below 3, PC is unconscious.

    Recovery: 1 point/ turn of complete rest with liquids and all armor removed. If PC fell unconscious, probably a longer recovery.

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  18. I was not aware of Gandahar until just now--thus have you made my day.

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  19. Where does Perdide fit into this solar system?

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  20. So is it me or do you all also want to write a post called "Five Things You Need To Know About -Insert Name of Your Game World-"?

    Jeff has that effect on people.

    Good to see you back.

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  21. Spears of the Dawn has an armor-and-heat mechanic (pg. 37): armor wearers incur a to-hit penalty equal to twice the armor's encumbrance value (each point of STR is one encumbrance slot) modified by CON and Athletics (a skill), unless they're in the shade. A glance at the armor types (encumbrance 1 or 2) reveals base penalties of -2 or -4, meaning an 18-CON character in light armor incurs no effective penalty. It's unclear how that's supposed to transfer to non-combat situations, nor is it specified how moving to the shade during combat affects already-incurred penalties. Shouldn't be too hard to work something out.

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