Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book of Mythic Europe Archetypes

Another list of archetypes for you, dear readers. The idea started as a list of potential Mythic Europe archetypes for a Dungeons & Zombies 2 / Beyond Human playtest. I have yet to develop any of them, so feel free to do so and submit them to me for inclusion in a future Book of Archetypes (one and two) or issue of Eden Studios Presents.

Era Archetype
Arthur Pendragon:   Herald
Arthur Pendragon:   Irish Hero
Arthur Pendragon:   Knight
Arthur Pendragon:   Knight Errant
Arthur Pendragon:   Pictish Wildman
Arthur Pendragon:   Saxon Invader
Arthur Pendragon:   Saxon Thegn
Arthur Pendragon:   Squire
Arthur Pendragon:   Troubador
Arthur Pendragon:   Welsh Seer
General:   Criminal
General:   Elder Bodyguard
General:   Man-at-Arms
General:   Mercenary
General:   Necromancer
General:   Rat Catcher
General:   Sheriff (shire reeve)
General:   Son/Daughter of Nobility -or- 2nd Son
General:   Town Guard
General:   Town Guard
General:   Trader/Merchant
General:   Wisest Wizard
General:   Jester
General:   Musician
Media tie-in:   Akkadian Assassian
Media tie-in:   Barbarian Queen
Media tie-in:   Civilized Merchant
Media tie-in:   Fiery Swordswoman
Media tie-in:   Master of Beasts
Media tie-in:   Queen of the Jungles
Media tie-in:   Religious Advisor
Media tie-in:   Former Barbarian King
Media tie-in:   Northmen Invader
Media tie-in:   Pictish Wildman
Media tie-in:   Dragon Slayer
Media tie-in:   Dragon Teacher
Media tie-in:   Military Commander
Media tie-in:   Village Elder
Media tie-in:   Virgin Sacrifice
Media tie-in:   Wizard's Apprentice
Media tie-in:   Monster Hunter
Viking:   Berserker
Viking:   Former Slave
Viking:   Hearth Guard
Viking:   Outcast
Viking:   Pilot/Trader
Viking:   Scald
Viking:   Shield Maiden
Viking:   Viking Reaver
Vortigen and Uther:   Celtic Gladiator
Vortigen and Uther:   Christian Priest
Vortigen and Uther:   Pagan Priest/Druid
Vortigen and Uther:   Roman Centurion
Vortigen and Uther:   Roman Senator

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AFMBE Deadworld: The Moon Forest of the Dead

Opening Fiction <1>
Khoroo Base 7 entered radio silence three days ago for unknown reasons. Major Kidara waited 24 hours for the base to re-establish contact. After the 24 hours passed, he assigned a team of space warriors to investigate. Taking one of the only working air ships, Rouran Unit 23 set out to help Khoroo Base 7’s radio situation. They packed parts and brought along several members of the Division of Mechanics to fix the problem.

As the air ship neared Khoroo Base 7, the left airfoil locked up and sent the air ship spilling to the ground. The nose of the ship went deep into the ground. King, our pilot, was dead on impact. His co-pilot, Kang, barely survived with broken legs. Several others died, as well, as the ship grounded unexpectedly. A quick recon of the area ensured there was no immediate risk to the remaining Division of Mechanics and Warriors on board the air ship.

With the crash-site secured, Sergeant Wayhoe of the Division of Mechanics and his men looked at the airfoil. As far as they could tell, a large tree branch had fallen into the blower vent for the airfoil and caused the crash. Without a machine shop or space parts, the men were unable to fix the airship. This news dismayed Unit Leader Chowe. The fact that two of his warriors had gone missing, probably lost in the forest, overnight did not help matters.

Unit Leader Chowe made the decision to take his men to Khoroo Base 7 on foot. The injured would stay behind, under the watch of Sergeant Wayhoe’s men. Sergeant Wayhoe and a small handful of his Division of Mechanics would accompany Unit Leader Chowe and his warriors to Khoroo Base 7. A single unit of warriors would stay at the crash site, in the event Sergeant Wayhoe’s men needed protecting from the local fauna. Unit Leader Chowe instructed the men staying at the crash site to check in every four hours via radio.

The five-kilometer trip to Khoroo Base 7 was uneventful. The air was oppressive and most men used their breathers, even though they were not necessary. Several of the warriors discarded their armor along the way, claiming the material was too heavy to wear in such a warm and humid environment. Unit Leader Chowe would deal with them when their returned to Khoroo Base 1. He sympathized with his men too much and he knew it. Major Kidara had put it in his last review.

Arriving at Khoroo Base 7, Unit Leader Chowe discovered it sacked. None of the Khan’s warriors were found. Yet, everywhere the men went, they found traces of the fulaing, the little furry creatures. Drag marks at the back of the base suggested Khanate warriors were taken into the forest. Rope pulleys in the trees suggested broken walls were the result of large tree limbs flung into the walls. What had happened here? Surely, the fulaing had not attacked Khoroo Base 7. After all, blaster fire beats stone spears every day.

Speaking of broken things, where was Communicator Cae? He had not heard from the downed airship in over four hours.

Introduction <1>
This Deadworld is on a distant moon, in a distant time, when a merciless dictator has seized control of the universe. None dare oppose him, as to do so would surely mean death. Yet, one planet does so and in doing so, they set in motion events which will spell the doom of both a downed spaceship, indigenous mammalian creatures of a moon, and their own men sent to investigate the downed spaceship.

Welcome to The Moon Forest of the Dead.

History  <1>
Successful, long distance, space travel via wormholes was achieved by the Khan in the year 2274. The first “jumps” were short distances, travelling one to two light years away. In time, the mechanics behind wormhole jumps improved and the Khan readily sent scouts into the unknown expanses. It was not long before they discovered life on other planets and the Khan’s people conquered them.

Basic rock planets were terraformed. Environmental stabilizers made the planets habitable. It would take hundreds of years before some of the planets could sustain life naturally. Planets that discovered with life forms were often in the beginning stages of development. Rarely a sentient life form was found. When they were, the Khan’s warriors pacified them quickly and efficiently.

Pacified planets fit into three categories for the Khan:  those destroyed, those turned into slaves, and those allowed a peaceful existence supporting the Khanate. Those planets agreeing to the Khan’s terms continued to survive. Senators would represent the planets in the court of the Khanate. While the Khanate was not a democracy, quite the opposite in fact, the senators could volunteer their planets’ peoples to help the Khan, as needed, and hope to gain favor with the Khan. The senators and planets were also required to present the Khan with their planet’s greatest treasure every decade in a celebration of membership in the Khanate. Those senators failing to appease the Khan were killed and repeated failures by a planet would result in a reduction of citizenship. . . or life.

Slave planets are the result of one of two things. The first are those who were once free people of the Khanate who had somehow offended the Khan. Many things can cause a planet’s change from free to slave state:  a slight in court by a senator, failure to meet quotas, open rebellion against the Khan, or the Khan simply needing a new resource. The second are those who refused to join the Khanate and the Khan chose not to destroy, but still conquered. Slave planets often serve as manufacturers of goods for the Khanate. Some are mining planets, others are factory-based, and others serve only as a place for reproduction of the indigenous people who serve elsewhere.

Destroyed planets are those who dared fight back against the Khan with weapons rivaling the Khanate’s and those former slave planets who tried to use open revolt to gain their freedom. At some point, the Khan decided it was no longer worth it and used weapons of mass destruction (typically fiery meteor showers) to end the planet. Some of those planets’ former residents still serve the Khan in his court, on his personal star ship, or in zoos on the home planet of the Khanate.

Planets whose residents refused to serve under the Khan become slaves. On those planets and moons where the residents continued the fight, despite or in spite of slavery, fiery meteors sent by Khanate star ships eliminate all signs of life.

Current Situation <1>
The Khanate’s primary goal is to expand the empire of the Khan by defeating all enemies. Currently, the Khanate spreads across hundreds of galaxies. Any planet or galaxy that resists is enslaved or destroyed. However, due to the expanse of the Khanate, not all areas are managed the same or equally.

While one area might work to produce a yield of 80% of all goods, another might produce the same item at a yield of 60%. The Khan’s minions are not created equal. What equates open rebellion deserving of a fiery death in the Fornax Galaxy may only result in the sacrifice of an entire continent in the Markarian Galaxy.

Recently, the people of Eriskai began a rebellion against the Khanate. They claim it is due to their senator’s needless death at the hands of the Khan. The Khan’s response was simple:  senators serve at the will of the Khan. With that, a strike force sent into the Hebridean Galaxy to pacify the rebellion. The Eriskaiians fought well for the first year. However, the Khanate’s endless supply of warriors provides the Khan with an advantage. The Khan’s warriors have closed off the space lanes Eriskaiian home planet and set up a forward base on a forested moon named Coille.

The people of Eriskai know their time is limited. They searched for others to join them in their fight against the Khanate. No one would aid them, out of fear of the Khan. Thus far, the planet’s ion weapons have protected the home planet from outright destruction. The Khanate base on Coille is their own fault. In targeting one the Khanate’s primary star ship with their ion weapons, they rendered the ship’s controls useless and it drifted into Coille’s gravity well. As the Khoroo 7278 began its crash onto the moon, escape pods jettisoned onto Coille. A majority of the star ship’s wreckage and the escape pods landed near the northern pole on the largest continent.

Coille is only 5000 kilometer’s in diameter. The moon sits in synchronous retrograde orbit around Eriskai. Eight percent of the moon is covered in water. The high level of humidity makes the air feel oppressive and hard to breathe. Those Khanate warriors still alive are using breathers out of habit, not necessity. Coille has three main continents, all of which are heavily forested. Two large continents extend from the poles and a smaller continent resides along the horizontal equator. The gravity is 90% of standard Khanate gravity.

Survivors of star ship Khoroo 7278 established a base of operations near Coille’s northern pole. They made contact with the rest of the fleet and set in for the long haul. The rest of the fleet was concerned they would suffer the same fate as the Khoroo 7278 via ion cannon. Admiral Jarun, newly in position due to the destruction of the Khoroo 7278, informed the space warriors they were to colonize Coille as needed, in order to survive. The battle for Eriskai might depend on them.

With those words of encouragement, Major Kidara set the surviving space warriors to establishing other settlements on Coille. The Division of Engineers set about building forts, while the Division of Mechanics scrounged the remains of the Khoroo 7278 for parts, repairing what they could and scavenging the rest for parts. The Divisions of Land Warriors and Space Warriors went looking for enemy forces and stood guard duty over the other divisions as security chaperones. In time, seven bases were established across Coille.

Only one form of sentient life lives on Coille, an indigenous race of bipedal, diminutive mammalians the Khanate’s men named the “fulaing.” These creatures spoke their own language, but had no technology beyond fire, simple buildings, and Stone Age weapons technology. The fulaing are not active in the daytime. Their preference is for nightly activities. Their paws are soft and designed for silent movement in the forest. Their claws are razor sharp, allowing them ease of access to the treetops of the Coille forests. Their eyes work very well in low light, but suffer very little in daylight.

Villages of fulaing exist in the top of the trees of Coille. There, hundreds of feet above the ground, they build their homes and communities. Within each village exists a headman, who would be seen as a religious leader by the Khanate’s men. These headmen provide guidance and direction to the fulaing regarding hunting for food and ceremonies of thanks to the “gods.”

When Khoroo 7278 crashed onto Coille, the engines leaked the fuel used for jumping through wormholes. The fuel leaked into the atmosphere, soaked the land, and seeped into the water. The immediate effect went undetected by Major Kidara and the Division of Engineers. In the next month, subtle changes to the local flora and fauna occur. Plants with no known defense mechanism developed thorns and poisons. Animals formerly afraid of the Khan’s men became aggressive.

The fulaing have become a most troublesome problem for the Khan’s men. They have become aggressive bandits. These diminutive furballs are quick as blaster fire and as stealthy as an aithid. The fulaing find their way inside mechanized vehicles tearing apart the control panels. They have laid waiting for the Khanate’s men to pass underneath their perches in trees, launching themselves upon the Khanate’s men with their sharpened claws and steely teeth. These furry creatures, originally thought to be silly playthings have become vicious man-eaters.

What the Khanate warriors do not realize is the leaked fuel has altered the biology of the fulaing, allowing them to return from the grave. The fulaing historically placed their dead on reed boats in rivers to float out to sea, they now return to unlife with an immense hunger for living flesh.

Story Ideas <1>
On Patrol<2>
The characters are on patrol in the forest near their base. Unit 15 went missing last night and it is up to the character’s unit to locate them. Two hours ago, they came across fulaing spoor in an area where the fulaing had never travelled. One hour ago, they came across one of their brethren. He was hanging upside down in a tree from a foot trap. His helmet bore the markings of many small, crushing blows striking against it. The characters have followed an animal trail through the forest to a fulaing village. A bonfire in the middle of the village lights the night sky and roasts the fulaings’ dinner. . . in the form of Khanate’s warriors.

A nearby twig snaps. A form moves from tree to tree, never fully seen. Do the characters seek revenge – or to survive?

Khoroo Base 7 <2>
Khoroo Base 7 is not responding to radio contact. The characters must travel to the base to discern what help is needed. The characters may use a low atmosphere airship to travel to the base. In route, their airship strikes something and crashes to the moon’s floor. Khoroo Base 7 is only 5 kilometers away, but still not responding to radio contact. The trail to the base may contain hostile fulaing who wish for nothing more than to eat the flesh of the Khanate’s men. Once arriving at the base, they discover it in shambles. Large tree limbs hold blast doors open, vehicles are sabotaged and inoperable, and the Khanate’s warriors are all missing.

Eriskaiian Aid <2>
The Eriskaiians send a patrol ship to Coille. They know the Khoroo 7278 crashed onto the moon, but they do not know if anyone survived. They also know nothing very little of the fulaing. By the time the Eriskaiians developed space travel and could safely visit Coille, the Khanate had discovered the Hebridean Galaxy. A moon of non-threatening creatures was the least of the Eriskaiians worries. Now, they need to know what is going on with the Khanate’s men. The characters travel to Coille to research the situation and provide data back to the Eriskaiian rebellion. Will they help the Khanate’s men, overrun by the undying fulaing? Or are they overwhelmed by the fulaing and unable to help the Khanate’s men, instead trying to survive guerilla tactics by the fulaing as Major Kidara’s warriors attempt to take control of the character’s patrol ship?

Fulaing Zombies <1>
The fuel leakage is causing the native fulaing to become zombie fulaing upon death. These zombies seek the flesh of living creatures. They do not differentiate between the Khanate’s men, the Eriskaiian who shot the Khoroo 7278 with their ion cannon, or their fellow fulaing.
The fuel leakage is in the air, the water, and the soil. It penetrates skin on contact and causes an immediate reaction. The skin becomes blistered and swollen. Glands swell and burst. Infected fulaing die within days. The Khan’s men and the Eriskaiian die within hours, if not minutes.

Fulaing Zombies <3>
Strength 2
Dexterity 2
Constitution 2
Intelligence 1
Perception 3
Willpower 2

Deadpoints 26
Endurance Points n/a
Speed 4
Essence Pool 10

Attack:  Bite D4 x 2 (2) slashing, Claws D6 x 2 (6) armor-piercing, slashing damage, Spear D6 x 2 (6) slashing damage

Weak Spot:  All [0]
Getting Around:  Life-Like [+3], The Lunge [+3], Climbing [+2]
Strength:  Dead Joe Average [0], Iron Grip [+1], Claws [+8]
Senses:  Like a Hawk [+2], Scent Tracking [+3}
Sustenance:  Weekly [+4], All Flesh Must Be Eaten [0]
Intelligence:  Animal Cunning [+4], Teamwork [+4]
Spreading the Love:  Special (Interacting with the fuel while on Coille) [0], One Bite and You’re Hooked [+2]

Special:  Night Stalker [-4]*, No Pain [+1]*, Stealthy [+2]*

Power:  36

*from Atlas of the Walking Dead

Archetypes <1>
Fulaing Warrior
Khanate Warrior
Khanate Mechanic

Eriskaiian Scout Investigator