Skip to main content

The Black Hack: Planetary Romance: The Moon

Heinrich Kley
Moon Frog Duelist
Moon Frogs look like large Earth frogs, except more colorful and preferring to stand upright. They live in open palaces of silver filigree on the Light Side of the Moon and are flamboyant, dramatic, and vainglorious. Every Moon Frog, no matter their station, has a long name, an aristocratic title, a storied lineage, and an elaborate network of alliances, feuds, and intrigues with seemingly every other Frog on the Moon.

HD: d6
Starting HP: 1d6+4
HP per Level/Resting: 1d6
Maximum Armor: Medium
Attack Damage: 1d6/1d4 unarmed

Sword Bond. Moon Frog Duelists dedicate themselves to a type of hand weapon (usually silver moon-sabre, but it could be any melee weapon, including Two-Handed weapons).

Attack: Once per day per Level, an attack with this weapon is Advantaged. This attack does 2d6+Level damage.

Defense: Once per day per Level, you can automatically succeed in a Defense roll, even if it makes no sense (such as parrying a death ray, or an explosion)—you’re just that good.

Feats: At 4th Level, you can, once per day per Level, gain Advantage on non-combat feats, if it can be accomplished utilizing your weapon.

Panache. After the end of combat against intelligent foes, you may roll a CHA check. If you succeed, any surviving opponents so impressed that they will tell stories about for prowess.

Amphibious. You are equally comfortable and capable in water as on land.

Leveling Up. Roll to see if Attributes increase. Roll with Advantage for STR or CHA.



Selenite
HD: d6
Starting HP: 1d6+4
HP per Level/Resting: 1d6
Maximum Armor: Heavy
Attack Damage: 1d6/1d4 unarmed

Lunacrocacy: The Selenites are the ruling class of the Moon, and receive Advantage on any CHA rolls relating to other Moon inhabitants.

The Weakness of the Flesh: When the head and body of a Selenite are united, they must make a WIS roll to resist any offer of pleasure. Additionally, each Selenite has one particular weakness to which their resistance is Disadvantaged:

1d6
Weakness
1
Sweets & Pastries
2
Games of Chance
3
Dancing
4
Fashion
5
The Company of the Desired Sex
6
Fine Wines & Spirits

Decapitation: The head of a Selenite can detach itself from its body and act independently. When this occurs, the Selenite becomes two characters: the Corpus and the Caput.

Corpus
Becomes an NPC with the singular goal of catching and reattaching its head.
HD: (Player Level). Advantaged attacks with nets.

Caput
HD: d4
Starting HP: 1d4+4
HP per Level/Resting: 1d4
Maximum Armor: None
Attack Damage: 1 unarmed

Lofty Thoughts: The Caput is free of the Selenite’s Weakness of the Flesh. However, they cannot benefit from Rations or Rest unless united with the Corpus. If the Corpus dies, the Caput will permanently lose one HP per day until dead or a substitute body can somehow be procured. The Caput can only hold and manipulate small objects with its mouth, requiring a Disadvantaged DEX check.

Flight: The Caput can maintain flight for 1 Turn per Level each Day. When their power of flight is exhausted, the Caput locomotes via rolling.

Telepathy: Project and read thoughts once per Level each Day.
Level 1: Send a one-word message to another by making eye contact.
Level 2: Communicate with willing subjects within Far range.
Level 3: Read a target’s general intentions at the present moment.
Level 4: Communicate over any distance with anyone you have met before.
Level 5: Retrieve 1 sought-after memory from a target.

At Second Level, The Selenite’s Caput gains an additional power, which can be used once per Level each day.

1d6
Power

1
Confusion
Stupefy 2d4 +Level HD of creatures for as long as you maintain concentration +1 round per Level.
2
Control Element [Specify]
Manipulate the size and shape of one element (Fire, Water, Cloud, Rock, Shadow, Electricity, etc.) for 1 round per Level.
3
Detect Object
Sense the direction, but not distance, of a desired inanimate object for 1 Turn per Level.
4
Paralysis
1 target per Level, within Nearby range, becomes immobile for 1 Turn per Level.
5
Sleep
Put 2 +Level HD of creatures to sleep.
6
Syphon Life
Take 1d4 + Level HP from target and use it to heal yourself. Requires touching the victim, which may necessitate an Attack roll.

Leveling Up. Roll to see if Attributes increase. Roll with Advantage for CON or INT.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reviewing Rules for Play-by-Post Optimization

I’ve played a lot of PbP games: all your favorite flavors of OD&D, AD&D, and their retroclones, Call of Cthulhu, Marvel Superheroes, Traveller, Dungeon World, etc. ad nauseam. In almost every instance, I forgot what ruleset we were using at some point. Which is a good thing. Once chargen is over, you spend a lot more time describing your characters actions and poring over the GM’s descriptions than you spend interacting with rules. When you do roll, it’s usually a combat to-hit roll, which you’ve probably programmed into the online dice-roller as a macro. Pretty much any game will work for PbP. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t points of possible optimization. Point 1: Resolution. Anything that can keep the action moving is a boon to PbP. A game that requires a back-and-forth exchange of information to resolve an action is going to progress very slowly. A good rule of thumb is that it’ll take 2 or 3 days to get a response from any given player. At that pace, an exch

Maze Rats by Post

In my previous post , I reviewed a bunch of my favorite rulesets for optimization for Play-by-Post. It occurred to me almost immediately that I hadn't really thought about Maze Rats enough. In fact, I'd mis-remembered and mischaracterized it. Upon reflection, one of the mechanics I took issue with is actually a big strength. Re-reading the rules, it seems like just a few very simple hacks could make it a highly-optimized PbP game. As follows: Danger Rolls are rolled by the GM. Danger rolls usually fail, so it is in the player’s interest to describe their actions plausibly and mitigate as many risks as they can, in the hopes that they don’t trigger a danger roll. 2d6 + ability bonus ≥ 10 If you have taken enough precautions to have a distinct advantage in an action, but not enough to have eliminated the distinct possibility of danger, the GM will give you a roll with advantage. 3d6 keep 2 + ability bonus ≥ 10 Because each character only has 3 ability scores (S

An Exaltation of Rockets

I've been toying off-and-on with a rockets-and rayguns campaign/ruleset based heavily on the original Buck Rogers strips. I started working it up as a Black Hack, but I've since switched over to Maze Rats, which has become my ruleset of choice for Play-by-Post. I don't have a good name for it. I want something that conveys the baroque majesty of science fiction in the 20s and 30s. "Planetary Romance" is an accurate description of the genre, but needs about 20% more pulp. Pseudo-pulp magazine names seem like a good way to go, but that's such an easy well to dip into that the results can sound pretty generic. Request for feedback #1:  On this particular morning, I'm enamored of "An Exaltation of Rockets," but it may not carry the right resonances. I'd be eager to hear from you what your first impression was when you saw that as the post's title. What sort of imagery did it conjure up? What sort of world does it belong to? The prem