28 January 2013

D&D Next - First Impressions Part 1

I'm going to preface this by saying that I haven't read through much of the previous D&D Next playtest material; I've skimmed it, but since I don't have an opportunity to play anytime in the near future, I didn't really go in depth with it. I downloaded the newest packet earlier today, so here are my thoughts on the latest iteration of D&D. I haven't played D&D Next, and I'm mostly comparing it to my preferred edition, 4E. For this post, I'm only talking about the How to Play section; I'll be adding another post or two on the classes, spells, and other stuff later on.

How to Play

Reading the How to Play file, a couple things are jumping out at me. One, 4E's four defenses have been done away with and the game has gone back to AC only plus saving throws. I don't know that I like that, but splitting the saves into six sections by relevant ability scores looks like a good idea. I like that the ability scores are more relevant than they were in 4E, but I'm of the opinion that they could have done away with the traditional 3-18 scale in favor of making the modifiers the actual scores.

Perception has been changed, going to a "either Wisdom or Intelligence, depending on the situation" model. It's interesting, with Wisdom being used for general noticing of things, and Intelligence being used when looking for something specific, like searching for secret doors. At first glance, I like it more than the "just Wisdom, period" way previous D&D iterations did it.


Okay, so they've gone away from 4E's move/minor/standard way of doing things and gone to action/move. I don't know if I like that, because it's looking like there's going to be less stuff that players can do per round. On the upside, a lot of stuff like drawing a weapon, digging a potion out of a backpack, and things of that nature don't take up any part of an action, rather than being discrete actions of their own as in some previous games (3.X comes to mind).

A lot of the actions you can do in combat are described as opposed ability checks, like Strength vs. Dexterity. I like it, since it gives everyone a good set of actions that they can perform outside of their class features, and they're all using the same basic mechanic.

I'm not seeing any Delay Action for combat. There's a Ready Action, but a readied action requires you to specify a circumstance for your character to act, and if that circumstance (such as "when the troll comes out of the corner") doesn't happen, it doesn't look like you can take your readied action. If it was me, I'd either have a general Delay Action where you can act anytime in the initiative order lower than your original initiative, or have both Delay and Ready Action where you get a bonus for having a specific circumstance that you choose to act on.

So far everything I've seen has been tied to an ability check in one way or another. Melee attacks are Strength checks, ranged attacks are Dexterity checks, magic attacks go off the relevant ability score (Wisdom/Intelligence from what I've seen). It's not bad, actually. I like that everything is mechanically extremely similar; it's taking 3.X's philosophy of the core mechanic being a d20 roll and taking it one step further.

One thing I am immediately not a fan of: the return of bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage types. I'm cool with stuff like necrotic or psychic damage, as they're supernaturally different, but for some reason I've never been a big fan of the weapon damage types. Casters will (hopefully) have access to different spells to cover stuff like fire or cold damage, but this means that, just in case, weapon-based characters will want to carry around separate weapons (mace for fighting skeletons, sword for other stuff, etc.), which is going to be a problem if a character only has one magic weapon that doesn't work effectively for a particular combat.

They've done away with the bloodied condition, something I don't necessarily agree with. Now, death is your level plus your Constitution as a negative, so if you're level 5 with a 14 Constitution, you die at -19 hit points. I think it was easier to use bloodied as a measure of your health and as a death threshold (negative bloodied value), but this should also work. I just prefer the bloodied condition.

Spell Casting

Spell components and armor casting are back, something I have never been a fan of. Granted, it makes sense to balance casters against martial characters when you have stuff like sunder or disarm in the game, but I wasn't a particular fan of those actions either.

Concentrating on spells is back, though it doesn't look like you can interrupt a spell like you could in 3.X. Instead, it's for prolonging sustained effect, something I don't have a problem with. So, that's an upside.

26 January 2013

Savage 40K - Part 1

Hacking Space Marines into Savage Worlds

As mentioned in my last post, I want to use Savage Worlds to play games set in the Warhammer 40K universe, particularly games revolving around Space Marines, much like FFG's Deathwatch RPG. To start, I'm working on the racial stats for Space Marines. Given that Space Marines are so much more powerful and impressive than normal humans, I'm ignoring Savage Worlds's advice on races having a net +2 ability on their racial traits. If I get players who want to play normal humans, I'll just give them extra XP to compensate for the power difference. I think the Space Marine is at +19 in terms of racial traits, roughly 50 XP. For Ranks, I'm sticking with the standard Rank system, but even Space Marines start at Novice, despite their massive advantage in terms of racial traits. So, a Novice Space Marine would be comparable to a 50 XP human, which would be at Veteran Rank.

At the moment, I've got the racial traits hammered out and one of the starting Professional Edges. The Librarian powers and Warp Backlash is being worked on, as are the rest of the Professional Edges. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to handle Chapters yet, but it will probably be via more Professional Edges to be taken at character creation. I didn't have a whole lot of time to work on this today, but hopefully I'll get more done tomorrow at some point.

Space Marine Racial Traits:
STR starts at d8 and can be raised to d12+2 via normal advancement, and to d12+4 with Expert and Master Edges
Vigor and Spirit start at d6
+1 Parry
+3 Size
+1 Toughness
In addition, Space Marines must choose one of the following Professional Edges at character creation: Apothecary, Assault Marine, Devastator Marine, Librarian (Arcane Background), Tactical Marine, Techmarine.

Professional Edges
Librarian (Arcane Background)
Arcane Skill - Psyker (Smarts)
Power Points - 10
Starting Powers - 3
Astartes Librarians are specially-trained psykers experienced in delving into the raw power of the warp to fuel their psychic powers.
Warp Backlash - When a Librarian rolls a 1 on his Psyker die (regardless of the Wild Die), he is automatically Shaken. On a critical failure, he rolls on the Warp Backlash table (currently in progress, mostly being based off of FFG's Deathwatch Warp Events and Perils of the Warp tables).

25 January 2013

Hacking Savage Worlds to Warhammer 40K

The Idea

I'm a Warhammer 40K enthusiast. I've got a ton of the gaming miniatures, albeit mostly unpainted, and most of the Horus Heresy novels. I've played Deathwatch, Rogue Trader, and some Black Crusade, but I've never really been satisfied with the system; it's very rules-heavy and getting the most out of game play really requires a high level of system mastery. That's not always a bad thing, but I'd rather have something faster in play, without all the endless searching for bonuses and penalties, managing the dozens of different abilities from gear, and the complex rules for psykers.

The solution: Savage Worlds. I'll be mostly focusing on Deathwatch at first, because Space Marines are my favorite part of the setting. There's something about the idea of giant, genetically-modified post-humans in power armor bashing aliens and daemons in the face with swords that appeals to me. I think the high-action style of Savage Worlds would mesh really well with the cinematic nature of 40K, so here's a very rough draft of what I'm thinking for a rules hack.

What to Change

To get started, I want to lay out what I think I'm going to need rules for, and what I'd like to change/add to make the hack work. To that end, I've made a list.

1. Gear - I'm going to need stats for power armor, bolters, chainswords, and all the other gear that Space Marines use. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible, in keeping with the Savage Worlds theme of Fast, Fun, Furious, but gear is a big part of the Space Marine aesthetic, so I would also like to keep that relevant mechanically. It will be simpler than FFG's system, though.

2. Psykers - How to handle psykers shouldn't be too difficult at first. I'm planning on just using the Arcane Background (Psionics) edge, with the associated powers, but including rules for accidentally opening warp gates, corruption, and things of that nature. To keep the chaotic feel of the warp, I'll incorporate some random charts for corruption or warp events on failed rolls. If I decide to expand these rules later for Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader-style games, I'll probably have to create new powers for things like Astropaths or Navigators, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

3. Astartes Chapters - I think it's important to have at least some differentiation between Space Marines that comes from their particular Chapter. To that end, I'll probably be creating some Professional Edges that reflect that. This also goes for specialist Space Marines, like Chaplains, Techmarines, and Apothecaries.

4. The Bestiary - This one is probably going to be the most extensive section when all is said and done. I'd like to have stats for Eldar, Dark Eldar, Tyranids, Orks, Chaos, Tau, and anything else I might have forgotten. Another thing here I'd like to add is Horde rules. Nothing says Space Marine like mowing through a dozen enemies with a chainsword, so I'll probably be adapting the Deathwatch Horde rules to work with that theme.

5. Characters - Given that Space Marines surpass normal humans in every physical way, I'll be creating a custom race for them. I probably won't be adhering to the normal "net +2" guideline for races because of how impressive Space Marines are, but I'm not worrying about playing Space Marines alongside normal humans. If a situation comes up where someone wants to play a normal human, like an Inquisitor, I'll probably give a couple free Edges to make up for the racial difference, to balance things out in play.

I'm sure I'll be revising this list as I work on this hack, but these are the five key areas I'm going to focus on. The next post should be my thoughts and initial work on creating a Space Marine racial template.

16 January 2013

Savage Worlds vs. D&D - Which One and Why?

When I first came up with the basic idea for They Came From the Stars, I wasn't sure which game system to go with. Initially I thought about just writing out setting information and adapting it to whichever game system I wanted to play later on, but in the end I changed my mind on that. I instead decided to choose a system, then use that system to inform the style of the setting and the games I wanted to play using the setting. There are plenty of systems to choose from, including a dozen flavors of D&D/retroclones, GURPS, Savage Worlds, a couple fantasy heartbreakers like Radiance RPG or Heroes Against Darkness, and some sci-fi RPGs that could be adapted to the science-fantasy theme of They Came From the Stars. I managed to narrow the list pretty quickly to D&D 4th Edition and Savage Worlds.

D&D 4th Edition

4E, being my current favorite edition of D&D, was a natural. I love the tactical gameplay and the powers, but it's also a very crunchy game. As I don't currently have a DDI subscription, I don't have access to all the dozens of classes and races, hundreds of powers, or thousands of feats that 4E has available. Every time I create something for the game, I'd have to be wondering if something officially published might already be doing that job better than I did. Also, I'd have to consider why someone would take a new race or class when they could take something that's already extremely well-supported.

While those may not be the best reasons to avoid using 4E as a system for a new setting, there is at least one more reason why I was hesitant to use it: difficulty. I haven't had much success fiddling with 4E, and even though I've run several games of it, I don't know that I have a handle on the rules well enough to go tinkering around with it without having a better idea of what my tinkering would do to the very tight math and solid game balance.

Still, 4E is my favorite D&D so far, so it was never completely off the table.

Savage Worlds

In contrast to D&D 4E, I've already had some success tinkering with Savage Worlds. I've run it several times, the same as 4E, but I played around with creating custom races and modifying spells with Trappings and adding in Ritual-style magic.

I also like that Savage Worlds is a much quicker game. I want They Came From the Stars to feel more like an Indiana Jones or Star Wars film, with a lot of fast-paced action. Though 4E excels at battlemat combat, it also takes a long time for combat to resolve, where Savage Worlds can get into combat and be done in maybe twenty minutes at the longest. Honestly, it doesn't hurt that I find the Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer's Edition to be much faster and easier to flip through for reference than most of the 4E books, and everything I need can be found in just that one book.


In the end, I decided on Savage Worlds, though I will be incorporating some 4E-style elements. I really like how 4E handles ritual magic, so I'll be incorporating a similar system for magic like long-range teleporting, scrying effects, and controlling voidships. I also liked the 4E take on traps as static enemies in combat, so I'll almost certainly be bringing that to Savage Worlds in one form or another. All in all though, I enjoy tinkering with Savage Worlds more than I do with D&D, so hopefully that'll help keep my motivation and inspiration up for They Came From the Stars.

14 January 2013

My Take on D&D and the Edition Wars

I, along with Cthulhu-only-knows how many other people, was introduced to the RPG hobby by way of Dungeons & Dragons. For me, it was 3rd Edition in 2002-2003. I played 3E pretty heavily through middle school and ran a good, low-level campaign in high school. A month after my senior year ended, 4E came out, and at first I was completely against the idea. For me, 3E was D&D, period. Spellcasters were insanely powerful at higher levels, system mastery was a good thing, and the fact that I had 15+ core books and supplements meant that I was looked at as the resident D&D expert. I didn't want to switch mostly for a pretty simple reason: I had sunk hundreds of dollars into 3E/3.5 D&D and I didn't want all those books to suddenly become unusable. 

I was against 4E for the first year after it came out. I didn't care for what I heard, which was mostly edition war bullshit like "D&D is just like World of Warcraft now!" and "fighter powers are just spells!" Nothing I heard appealed to me. I bought into all the bullshit about 4E without checking it out for myself. I didn't get D&D Insider, I didn't get the Player's Handbook, and I barely even looked at the official website. Yeah, I was kind of a dumbass at age 18, but then again, what 18-year-old isn't?

It wasn't just 4E, either. I bought a box full of D&D books from a yard sale for all of five bucks and ended up reselling most of it for a small profit without even looking through them for more than an hour for the whole box. As I recall, my words were, "I play 3rd Edition, not 2nd. This stuff is worthless to me." In hindsight, I'd really like to go back and change that attitude. That box had everything I'd have needed to play 2nd Edition AD&D, and instead of keeping it around, I chucked it without a second thought.

Anyway, I headed down to the used bookstore in town while I was on vacation while my family ran errands. While I was waiting, I figured I'd check out the store's D&D selection. Turns out, I owned all of the 3E/3.5 stuff they had, so there was no real point in me looking through their copies when I had my own at home. Seeing no other option other than perusing their wreck of a sci-fi paperback section, I grabbed the 4E Player's Handbook and started flipping through it. 

After twenty minutes of being completely engrossed by the book, I realized something: all the edition warring, all the "4E isn't real D&D!" that I'd been involved in was complete and utter bullshit. 4E's take on dragonborn took 3.5's dragonborn and changed all the things that I'd changed through houserules. Their rebirth and dedication to Bahamut? Gone. Their "must be good and noble" nature? Gone. The more I read, the more I realized that 4E might actually be a game I could play and enjoy. When my family showed up, I bought the book (brand new, luckily enough) and I walked out happy.

Since then, I've played probably a dozen games of 4E and loved every minute of it. I discovered a new love for playing fighters and other martial characters, something I almost never played in 3.5. Other than a brief foray into Pathfinder, I haven't gone back to 3.5 and probably won't for the foreseeable future. 4E is my D&D of choice now.

Having said all that, what I've been noticing more and more in the hobby is the edition wars. 4E vs. 3.5, new school vs. old school, Vancian vs. non-Vancian, etc. While I understand that D&D is extremely important to some people, myself included, I've come to realize that it's not worth all the bullshit fights between fans of different versions of the game. If you've found a version that works for you, more power to you. Play the shit out of it and get all the love out of the game that you can. For me, I'll play any edition once. I'm currently in a game of Dark Dungeons, an awesome retroclone of the Rules Cyclopedia version of D&D, that is possibly the best play-by-post game I've ever played. The best part? Even though it's completely different from any other version of D&D I've played, it still feels like D&D.

So what's the message out of this wall of text and paragraphs? Fuck the edition wars. Fuck the fighting, fuck the arguments, fuck all of it. Converse and discuss all you want, but always keep this message in the back of your mind: Play your version of D&D, and let everyone else play theirs. There is no one, pure, true D&D. There's a thousand variants, a million houserules, and that's cool. The most important thing is that you enjoy the game you play.

07 January 2013

History and General Setting Info

This post will mostly be about the general historical information. There's a few ideas I wanted to get down before going any further with the setting factions and politics. It's really rough, but it's just a start. I'll be refining and adding more as I flesh out more of the setting. It's all still a work-in-progress, but I should be updating this section more in the next couple of days, along with some of the nations and other factions.

The Ancients

The Ancients lived thousands of years ago. No one knows how long ago they lived or what happened to them. They have ruins dotted all over Taladar, but most of the ruins are in poor condition. Despite the sorry condition of most of the Ancients' artifacts, skilled mages and archaeologists have been able to recover some remarkable information from them. Chief among these is the development of the voidships. A ruin was discovered deep in the forests of the western continent of Taladar that contained a nearly-intact voidship. Disassembled by a team of arcane researchers, the secrets of its construction were unraveled over the course of several years.


Voidships are perhaps the most revolutionary discovery in the past century, rivaled only by the development of the Forged. Though airships had existed for several decades before the discovery of the Ancients' ship, the first true voidship changed the course of every sentient being on Taladar. Air and void travel has become a way of life for captains who had grown tired of the seas or those who simply sought a new way of life.
Airships and voidships exists in all sizes, from the truly massive colony ships to single-person reconnaissance ships. The most common are the galleon-sized ships, built for trading and ferrying passengers around the system.


The current age is measured from the end of the saurian empire. The current year is 1129. Taladar's year is 336 days long, with 12 months of 28 days each. The years of the other planets differ, though time keeping devices based on the Taladar scale exist on most voidships and colonies.

Year 1 – The talans overthrow the saurian empire after more than a decade of war.
Year 8 – The talans found the nation of Thesala.

Year 1047 – A team of archaeologists stumbles upon an Ancient temple that has a chamber filled with the shells of the Forged.
Year 1049 – The first modern Forged is created by human mages and given the name of Prometheus.
Year 1078 – The talans discover the Ancients' derelict voidship.
Year 1082 – The first flight of the Phoenix occurs. It orbits Taladar and lands a small team on the moon, Peralar, which is discovered to be uninhabitable.
Year 1083 – The Phoenix lands on Vela and begins the first colony, Seklan.
Year 1084 – The first colony on Athelas, Caron, is founded by saurian explorers.
Year 1129 – Current year.

06 January 2013

They Came From the Stars - The Races

Rather than including the standard dwarves, elves, and halflings of typical fantasy, I opted to go with more unusual races instead. I included the saurians (reptilian humanoids, similar to lizardfolk from D&D), talans (a feline race resembling furred, humanoid cats), and the Forged (a race of living constructs inspired by Eberron's warforged).


Native to Taladar, humanity is the fastest-growing race in the system. Humans were the first race to discover the voidships of the Ancients, leading to the first exodus from Taladar and the colonization of the system. Humans make up the majority of the system's colonists, having the easiest access to voidships.

Racial Traits:
Humans gain one extra Edge at character creation.


The saurians are a race of reptilian humanoids. As with the other races, they are native to Taladar, living mostly on the various island chains and around the coastal areas on the two continents. A generally curious race, most saurians saw the voidships as a welcome chance to explore the system.

The saurians resemble lizards that walk upright. Their skin is covered in scales, usually colored green or black. Their eyes are typically yellow or bright green. The males have a crest on their heads that raises or lowers depending on their mood, while the females have a similar structure beneath their chins. They have long tails that reach to the ground when they stand, and their lower legs are bent backward, like those of an iguana. Their fingers end in sharp claws, and they have strong jaws and teeth that resemble those of an alligator.

Racial Traits:
Outsider – Saurians have a -2 Charisma penalty.
Natural Weapons – Saurians can use their teeth, tails, or claws in combat for STR+d6 damage.
Racial Enemy – The talans rose up against a saurian empire a thousand years ago. The old enmity survives in one form or another even to the present day. Saurians have a -4 penalty to Charisma when dealing with talans, and vice versa.
Natural Swimmer – Their tails give saurians an advantage in the water, granting them a +2 on Swimming rolls and increasing their swimming Pace to their Swimming skill.
Warm Natured – Though not cold-blooded, saurians are uncomfortable with colder temperatures. They suffer a -4 penalty to deal with cold-related environmental effects.


The talans are a feline race, originally from the jungles of Taladar. They are the longest-lived race, having a natural life-span of hundreds of years if not cut short by illness or violence. The talans were the ones to lead the resistance of the saurian empire a thousand years ago. Since that time, they rose up to install the largest government on Taladar, the nation of Thesala. Based in the interior of the western continent, Thesala is a theocracy, led by the talan Elders and spiritual leaders.

Physically, the talans are humanoid and typically stand between five and six feet tall. They are covered with fur. They typically have a striped pattern, though the precise colors differ between individuals. Their lower legs resemble those of large cats, and their hands have stubby fingers that are closer to cat paws than a human hand. Their eyes are large and round, with green or gold being the most common colors. Their teeth are sharp and pointed, in keeping with their strictly-carnivorous diet.

Racial Traits:
Agile – Talans are graceful and dextrous. They start with a d6 in Agility rather than a d4.
All Thumbs – Talans dislike mechanical pursuits, preferring magic to mundane technology. They automatically have the All Thumbs Hindrance.
Low-Light Vision – The talans' feline eyes give them enhanced vision in dark places. They can see in the dark and ignore penalties for Dim and Dark lighting.
Racial Enemy – Since the talans overthrew the saurian empire a thousand years ago, talans and saurians have never been comfortable with each other. Talans have a -4 penalty to Charisma when dealing with saurians, and vice-versa.
Natural Weapons – Talans have retractable claws in their fingers. They can use these claws in combat to deal STR+d6 damage.

The Forged

A race of living constructs, the Forged are a race that were originally created by the Ancients. Human explorers discovered the secrets of creating them more than fifty years ago, just before the discovery of the voidships. The Forged are not numerous, given that only powerful magic can animate them.

The Forged are built to resemble the existing races. The majority are shaped like humans or saurians, but several are built in the image of talans. However they are shaped, they still have the same racial characteristics, and they are unmistakably synthetic. Their bodies are built from many materials, from bone to wood to steel. Their eyes typically give off a soft, blue glow.

Racial Traits:
Construct – The Forged, as synthetic beings, are immune to poison and disease, do not suffer additional damage from called shots, add +2 to recover from being Shaken, and Construct Wild Cards never suffer from Wound Modifiers.
Slow – The Forged are not as quick as other races and start with a Pace of 5.
Intolerant of Cold – The synthetic bodies of the Forged grow sluggish in the cold. They suffer a -4 penalty to deal with cold-related environmental effects.
Naturally Armored – The bodies of the Forged are crafted from naturally hard materials, such as bone or metal. This gives the Forged a +2 to their Armor.

04 January 2013

They Came From the Stars - The Worlds

I'd like to detail out some of the ideas I've got for the system of planets for They Came From the Stars. I've decided on three habitable planets, an asteroid field, and four habitable moons orbiting the three outer gas planets. I'm drawing pretty massively on inspiration from the Shadow of the Spider Moon adaptation of Spelljammer from Polyhedron during the D&D 3.0 era. I've always had an interest in Spelljammer since I read the Shadow of the Spider Moon article in Polyhedron, so it's a good place for me to start fleshing out the physical worlds of the setting.

I've only got two of the moons detailed, and none of the three gas giants, but those will be forthcoming shortly. Aside from that, this is reasonably complete for the initial detailing. Later, I'll focus on each individual planet and draw up some basic maps with some of the major features.

The Inner Planets

The three Inner Worlds are where the majority of the system's inhabitants live. All the races originally came from Taladar, though with voidships having been around for close to fifty years, a sizable number have emigrated to Vela and Athelas. In terms of government, the only real nations are the three on Taladar. Each of the three has their own colonies on Vela and Athelas, in addition to the small, independent settlements.

Vela – Vela is the world closest to the sun. It is a hot, dusty world, with small seas of liquid water near the poles. The equatorial region is uninhabitable; all colonization efforts so far have been near the polar seas.

Taladar – The home world, Taladar is where all the races originate. A temperate planet, Taladar is the closest to Earth in terms of climate. With only two small continents, Taladar is a primarily-aquatic world. Naturally, those native to Taladar are typically well-versed in life near the water, with certain exceptions in the centers of the continents.
The two continents, Kalar and Volan, are small and separated by only a few hundred miles. Aside from them, the remaining dry land on Taladar is composed of islands. There are also frozen areas at the poles, but the cold temperatures have led most of the population to stay near the tropical equator and the continents.

Athelas – Athelas is the coldest of the three Inner Worlds. Though far more inhabitable than Vela, Athelas is a hard world. The winters last for endless months and the summers are comparable to a difficult autumn on Taladar. Most of the colonies are around the edges of the Great Forests, able to utilize the resources of the outer reaches of the woods, but not so far in as to be lost to whatever hellish creatures live in the hearts of the Forests.

The Moons

There are four moons, each with its own colonies. Ranging from lush, tropical worlds to blasted hellscapes, the moons were only colonized within the last ten years due to their extreme distance from the Inner Worlds. Voidships take months to reach the closest; it's close to a year to get to the outer edge of the system.

Veras - Veras is a tropical world orbiting the first of the gas giants. Its atmosphere is oppressively hot and humid, leading to most of the world being covered in lush, thick jungles, with the exception of a few shallow seas. Veras is a small world, less than half the size of Taladar. The gravity is different enough that newcomers have to take plenty of time to get used to how to move without losing control. Walking, running, and jumping all have to be relearned to avoid hazardous falls and tumbles.

Seraal - The complete opposite of Veras, Seraal is a damned world. Devoid of almost all vegetation, Seraal is a planetary desert. There is a single, small sea, frozen over by the planet's eternal cold. The few settlers that have colonized the mon are only the hardiest of people, there primarily to delve into the depths of Seraal's caves in search of evidence that the Ancients had been there.

They Came From the Stars - Introduction

This blog is primarily going to serve as my online notebook that will detail my process of creating and refining the roleplaying game setting, They Came From the Stars. Any stats or mechanics will be designed around the Savage Worlds roleplaying game system from Pinnacle Entertainment. However, I'd like most of the information on this blog to revolve around the fluff or non-system specific setting content.

My initial concept for They Came From the Stars combines several ideas and themes I found in other works: science fantasy, using magic to travel from planet to planet, an alien invasion, and a theme of exploration and discovery. While the alien invasion is going to be the focus of a Plot Point campaign I'll be working on, I'd also like the setting to support more than just one style of play. I'd like to incorporate enough variety in the setting to support exploration, epic or legendary level gaming, and standard dungeon crawling, as well as any other styles of play that gamers want to explore.

This setting has a wide variety of inspirations. I'll list the main inspirations here.
Eberron (Dungeons & Dragons setting)
Spelljammer (Dungeons & Dragons setting)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (video game)
The Indiana Jones series
The X-Files

More info to come shortly!