Showing posts from November, 2012

Savage Bestiary: Dolphin

Am I right in thinking there's no stats for dolphins in any of Pinnacle's Savage Worlds supplements?  I'm working on adapting my "Undying Youth" character write-up for Unisystem into a full-blown Savage Tale and I need some dolphin stats, so here you go:

Updated with suggestions from Ninjas Riding Dinosaurs and a new Monstrous Ability.  Stats now reflect Savage Worlds Deluxe standards.

These statistics can represent most species of common and bottlenose dolphins and larger porpoises.  

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8(A), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6

Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d10, Swimming d12, Taunt d6

Pace: --; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5

Booty: None

Special Abilities:
Aquatic: Pace 10Brawler:  As per the Savage Worlds Deluxe Combat Edge.  A headbutt from a dolphin (actually a punch from the dolphin's rostrum or snout) does Str +2 damage.Echolocation: Dolphins ignore penalties for bad lighting due to their sonar-like senses.Exceptional Intelligence: Dol…

Peter Pan Will @#%^ You Up

This concept actually got use in my foolishly-abandoned Pirates of the Spanish Main campaign earlier this year.I moved a bit further away from the golden boy to a more hedonistic, adult Dionysus.The story became that Saint Brendan’s voyage to the New World was actually taken to dispose of the more hostile (to the Church) or troubling (to the Church) bits of paganism that were still lurking around Europe.St. Brendan and gang entombed the Undying Youth on a remote Caribbean island where – many centuries later – he was mistakenly freed by cannibalistic Caribs (Tiger Lily’s tribe).When my crew stumbled upon the island, they found his opened tomb overgrown with lush grapes fermenting on the vine and only the words “Pater Pan” visible through the growth.
Wisely, they chose to bargain with the god instead of fighting him.

Lost God

The lookout nodded sleepily in the crows nest until his growling stomach woke him. Outrunning the hurricane had sent the ship into unknown waters an…

The Queen of the Mermaids is Out to Get You

Another entry in my rescued bits and pieces of aquatic monsters for Cinematic Unisystem presented with only minor editing and without conversion to Savage Worlds.I’ve used this as the basis for mermaids in several campaigns now, but I’ve never yet actually had PCs who wanted to seek out the dread goddess.Atargatis is based on a real-world deity but I’ve slightly altered her back-story.

Queen of the Mermaids

Atar was once a young priestess who loved a simple shepherd, but that was 3,000 years ago. Abandoned by the youth when she became pregnant, the defrocked priestess attempted to drown herself and her newborn babe. The child was borne along the current by her wicker basket and became the Assyrian queen Semiramis; the mother was dragged down into [the] deeps.        

Something came to her there. For the purposes of the individual Series this patron could be Cthulhu or some other aquatic Lovecraftian thing, Dagon (the ancient Middle Eastern fish-god, not the Lovecraft critter)…

Mermaids are Undead Demon-Spawn

I’m a Savage Worlds fanboy these days, but a few years back my main interest was Eden Studios’ Cinematic Unisystem as exemplified in Angel, Army of Darkness (written by Shane Hensley!), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.It’s a good system and I played many homebrewed duets with Robin using it.The only reason I gave it up is that Unisystem only uses 10-sided dice and it’s a little number-heavy; Savage Worlds is just a little bit more streamlined and fun.

(Also, I got totally sick of waiting for Aargh! Thar be Zombies! and a print version of Ghosts of Albion -- and my love for Joss Whedon died with Wash.)

Back in 2007, I was briefly active on the Eden Studios forums under the handle “Gwalchbach.”My main contribution during that period was a thread about supernatural threats and menaces for a “Pirates of the Caribbean”-style campaign (though I also did a bit about the Authority and the Venture Brothers).I thought all of that material was lost when Eden changed servers but when Beedo recently w…

Stolen Regency Name Generator

This Regency name generator originally comes from the website Stuff and Nonsense.  The page has apparently been abandoned, so I present it again here for public use.  I apologize that I did not save the place name generator or Gothic novel title generator.


I've rearranged things a bit.

To your left you will now find that my blog list is now "Friends of Wine and Savages;" my goal here is to highlight the blogs of my followers and frequent commenters.  Let me know if I've accidentally left you out -- and let me know if you've added me to your blogroll and I'll add you to mine.  (Thanks, Age of Ruins!)

At the bottom of the page, I've added four new blogroll widgets so I can keep track of things I like and more easily add them to my page.  In addition to the expected gaming and wine link lists, I've also added a catch-all pop culture category and another for Regency-related stuff.  These are honestly more for my use than anything else, but I encourage anyone who doesn't know about them to check out MightygodkingDotCom and Black Gate Magazine (I especially recommend the online novellette "The Duelist").

It doesn't take much to get promoted to "Friend of Wine and Savages."  Comment…

Go Laugh Your Butts Off

Get thee to John Seavey's awesome blog Fraggmented and check out Fred Saberhagen's Rejected "Sword of Power" Ideas.
I totally want a magic sword called Pubcrawler...

Elevator Pitches

Duet campaigns can burn out fast; there's a reason romance novels and movies end with the wedding.  Before the blog and the Savage Jane Austen project, I used to offer Robin a page or so of "pitches" whenever we were contemplating a new campaign.  These usually comprised of nothing more than a paragraph hitting the highlights of the concept.  This was often the only preparation I did before character creation, as I get bored if I know too much of what's going to happen ahead of time.  Yes, I can proudly say my campaigns straddle the middle ground between sandbox and adventure path -- there's a deliberate story, but I have no idea where it's going.

Anyway, "Thornshire" may be coming to a close (or not, we could always just segue to Rosalind and William on their Grand Tour honeymoon) so I thought I'd exercise my brain by writing a few pitches:

The Grand Quest
They say that travel broadens the mind -- so why can't that be true for a lady too?  In…

Review -- Elminsters Forgotten Realms

“Your mileage may vary,” is the single most applicable thing I can say about Ed Greenwood Presents: Elminster’s Forgotten Realms (hereafter EGP:EFR).   The vast majority of gamers may find little to interest them, but long-time Realms fans like myself will find it a welcome (if sometimes frustrating) insight into Greenwood’s own approach to running the Forgotten Realms.  EGP:EFR is, unfortunately, not the book some of us hoped for.  It is not an unexpurgated Gray Box cyclopedia with brothels in place of festhalls or Tyche instead of Tymora.  It is not a guide to Ed Greenwood’s home campaign -- the original, pristine Realms unmarked by Avatars or Spellplagues.  It is, however, a delightful insight into how Greenwood makes the Forgotten Realms come alive for his players.

The book is largely a collection of system-agnostic* Realmslore with a small selection of reproductions of some of the original notes Ed Greenwood submitted to TSR back in the late ‘80s.  It reminds me of the old Volo’…

Regency/Arthuriana: More Notes

I went through a decade-long period of being a serious King Arthur nut during my mid-teens to mid-twenties.I’ve got several shelves of books on the historical Arthur, Arthurian RPGs, reprints and reinterpretations of Malory, modern novels, and even the Arthurian Tarot.I overall prefer the “historical” 5th Century side of Arthuriana, but I know Greater Albion will swing toward the medieval romances instead. Part of this is just because the medieval romances are more familiar to a wider audience, part of it’s because the romances have more material to work with, and part of it can be justified as in-universe misinterpretation of the past.Just because “Camelot” did not end at Camlann doesn’t mean historical records from that era aren’t spotty.
I think the Grand Tour is called the Grand Quest and is taken in imitation of Thomas Malory-style knight errantry. ·Just as during the actual 19th Century Regency period, most young men use it as an opportunity to sow wild oats rather than educate …

Regency/Arthuriana: Notes Toward a Setting

Lots of different little questions and ideas pop into my head as I switch tracks to begin work on the Regency/Arthuriana setting.Since I’m happy to get feedback on this project, I thought I’d just jot down some of my notes on the blog.(This will also help make sure I don’t lose them.)Feel free to comment!
How’s “Greater Albion” for a setting name?I’m not sure it works as the actual name of the book, but I kind of like it for the alternate history Great Britain itself.
I think a case could be made to include all of the standard Savage Worlds Arcane Backgrounds in the setting, but I’m not sure that’s wise. ·When you look at Arthurian legend and try to map it to SW, you could certainly argue that Gawain’s super-strength that waxes and wanes with the movement of the sun is a Super Power – but is that an argument in favor of including it in the setting?Strange innate abilities could conceivably come from having faerie ancestors (not just fairies, but also giants and goblins and pagan gods)…

Regency/Gothic is dead! Long live a gothic Regency!

I've been struggling for months to fashion a Jane Austen-inspired Savage Worlds setting just to prove it could be done.  Since Savage Worlds settings settings are always "X + Y" mashups -- like 50 Fathoms' "Pirates of the Caribbean meet Pirates of Dark Water" -- I decided to try to pair Regency Romance with Gothic Horror.

I have not been successful.

I just can't wrap my brain around a way to mix these genres together.  Yes, most of the classics of Gothic literature were written during the Regency or late Georgian period (Frankenstein and Melmoth the Wanderer for instance) but that doesn't mean the themes and tropes of the genres work together.  There's a reason Northanger Abbey mocks the Gothic instead of embracing it.

While the "Thornshire" setting gave me some decent hooks to build a game world around, I also realized I was unconsciously repeating much of what already exists for Savage Worlds in the Rippers campaign setting.  I want…


In the last few days, I've actually gotten hits from searches for "Storm Silverhand sex" and "festhalls Forgotten Realms."   I find this hilarious and gratifying.  I'm obviously not the only person on the internet who appreciates the seamy side of the Forgotten Realms.  I wish I could spare more time to the bawdier side of role-playing, but beating Vice and Virtue to press has to be my priority.


Hello, RPG Blog Alliance!

My thanks to the RPG Blog Alliance for making signing up so amazingly simple and quick.  Like my friend Black Vulmea, I submitted an application to the RPG Bloggers Network and -- like him -- I've never heard back.  Hell, I submitted my application back in April and I never heard back!   Not so with the RPG Blog Alliance, which updated my entry so fast I didn't even realize it was complete until several days later (sorry for taking this long to put up the link and picture).  I've already noticed an improvement in hits (non-Savage Worlds posts like my Star Wars and Disney post never get that many hits).  Thanks and thanks again!
(Now I just need to figure out how to change my picture on the RPGBA site...)

Dreaded Deadline Doom

I’m really, really considering setting aside Regency/Gothic for a month and cranking out Bandits of El Camino Real for National Game Design Month.It’s kind of cheating – Bandits… is intended as a fan supplement for Pirates of the Spanish Main not a game in its own right – but I’d really like to just get something done to prove to myself I can.Plus, I miss swordfights.
It’s not that “Thornshire” is going badly, but it is turning into a pseudo-prequel to Rippers (just without the freaky body horror).Enochian magic, secret societies, demons, vampires…I like Rippers – I think it’s actually the best Plot-Point setting for Savage Worlds (PotSM doesn’t have a Plot Point campaign) – but I don’t want to repeat it.So I’m really, really reconsidering going with my Arthurian Regency idea instead.It would be a really unique hook, it would help emphasize the social and romantic aspects of the setting, and it would have more swordfights.I’d just have to make sure things didn’t get as silly as they …

Yes, I Got My Copy

I haven’t posted a review of Ed Greenwood Presents: Elminster’s Forgotten Realms yet because I haven’t finished it.I don’t want to write about it until I’ve given it a thorough reading; I was too hasty with Regime Diabolique and I’d like to get into more of the meat of EGP: EFR (which is ironic because it’s all fluff).I am enjoying it so far – but I only manage about 40 minutes of reading a weekday between my lunch break and reading myself to sleep each night.I do not read very quickly.
What I have read so far makes me want to run a proper espionage campaign in the Realms.I’ve never used Cormyr as a campaign setting, and it would be perfect.Vangerdehast is obviously meant to be a Walsingham-like spy master and the setting as written includes a secret service.If only I wasn’t so busy with other projects….

On Star Wars and Disney

I was born in 1973, so I’ve grown up with Star Wars pretty constantly in my life.I remember being introduced to bad-ass Boba Fett during that weird-ass holiday special (in which he really was bad-ass; it’s the real -- though subconscious -- reason he has legions of fans).I remember being surprised as all hell that Darth Vader was Luke’s dad (and being kind of traumatized by “The Empire Strikes back” in general).I remember dressing up as black-clad bad-ass Luke for Halloween in 1983 (and my brother doing a flip on his dirt bike in an Ewok costume).
And, as I’ve mentioned, West End Games’ d6 Star Wars RPG is the first RPG I played after giving up on AD&D 2nd Edition (and the first I home-brewed and hacked).
So I’ve got a lot of reason to be astounded by the news that George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney.I should probably be amongst the hordes of fans wailing in fear and gnashing their teeth in rage, but I’m not.Except for the fact that Dark Horse Comics will probably get screwed o…