Posts Tagged ‘loa’

I Am A Dork: Legend of the Archons Edition

November 22, 2011

A number of years ago, while working on Legend of the Archons, my FATE variant, I came up with a character who was supposed to appear in the setting, but I missed some very amusing correlations between him and a certain pop culture figure until very recently. It was pointed out to me when I was explaining him to Alesia, with whom I am working on the LoA story Agents of Change. She took one listen to my description of him and immediately spotted it, and even assumed that it was deliberate… I had to admit to her that it had not been, even though it’s so blindingly obvious. Yeah, I completely deserved the teasing that she gave me over it.

I needed a character who would be a master artificer, weaponsmith and armorer, cunning in clockwork and the crafting of sundry engines of destruction. He was to be physically strong and imposing, and both renowned and fairly wealthy due to his mastery.

He needed to have been taken captive by one of the story’s major antagonists and put to work making those lovely death dealing devices at his captor’s bidding, including a special suit of armor. The idea lay fallow for years because LoA got put on the backburner. Then Alesia and I revived the LoA idea and started working on a collaborative writing project on the subject and I took him out of mothballs.

Not long before I had the discussion with Alesia, I made a cheesy little avatar of him, below:

Dream Avatar
With all of the above in mind, I needed to name him. Since he’s resident in the Dachs region, which is analogous to the highly fragmented western portion of the Holy Roman Empire during the Renaissance, I wanted him to have a solid, strong sounding Germanic name. “Stark” is a German word for “strong,” so I named him Heinrich Stark.
You can stop laughing at me now.
Yeah, he looks like RD Jr. Yeah, he is in a cave with a box of scraps making weapons of mass destruction. No, I didn’t for a moment think of Iron Man when I made him up.
That said… if you’re going to do a thing, you might as well embrace it. As far as I am concerned, I am now under a moral imperative to have Tony Heinrich build himself a suit of clockwork power armor. Yeah baby, it’s going to be awesome.

The Calendar of the Age of Reawakening

October 19, 2010

So I was recently asked what the current year of the Legend of the Archons game is.

Heh. I’d been resisting deciding just what year my own personal online campaign is set in for a while, but I’ve decided to finally bite the bullet. Note that, naturally, anybody else running a LoA game wouldn’t have to set their game in the same year as mine. Golden Rule and all. Plus I’m not particularly interested in foisting my own campaign’s plot on others (I’m a little “over” metaplot).

But first, a bit of examination of the calendar itself. Since Occida is pretty much dominated by the Sentieric faith, I’ve decided that the current epoch dates to an important event in the history of Sentierism rather than some civil event like the founding of some empire or other. I decided to go with a solar calendar, even though the crepuscular preferences of the Alanir initially had me thinking that I’d go lunar, but I then decided against those. First, because it’s easier to write what you know, and second a carefully calculated and justified solar calendar seems to fit the early alannic scholars that set the thing up to begin with. Also, since clocks have not yet become commonplace (though they are starting to appear), the day is reckoned to begin at dawn rather than at midnight. As timekeeping technology advances, this may well change, but for now Occidans mostly count their day to have started when they and the sun rise together. And yes, I’ll have the year begin in midwinter for the convenience of our playgroup. I’ll stick with the 12-month thing as well because that’s based partially on some rather clever geometry.

The primary calendar system in Occida is the Raleshisian Calendar, after St. Raleshis, an early Church father who formulated it based on his own observations and the astronomical writings of the Prophet. St. Raleshis chose the epoch from which his calendar would count its years as the year in which the Nine Archons first convened at the Prophet’s call and covenanted to operate as a cohesive body henceforth. This epoch was set well after the fact of course, and in fact was adopted after the Prophet’s departure from mortality. Thus, this calendar was formally introduced in its own year 200, a year carefully chosen by St. Raleshis and ratified by the Archons of his own time.

There are of course a few competing calendar systems out there, for example the lunar-based Hassamic calendar which is in use by the Ubayyads and Olmayyads and the ancient Hellesic calendar, still in use in parts of eastern Occida. Certain isolated bodies of pagans dwelling in Badhb and the Jotlaw still use their hoary and arcane calendar systems as well.

But what year is it now? Well, Legend of the Archons is set in the Age of Reawakening, which is pretty analogous in most ways to our own European Renaissance. To go with that, I’ll use a scale of years similar to our own AD/CE rather than some vast scale of time assuming that culture and technology have remained fairly static for numerous millennia like some games do (the dreaded “Medieval Stasis“) or the conceit that the Archons rose up sometime in the unutterable past, which has never been how I saw things. Plus, remembering what I learned of the apocalyptic religious hysteria that hit Europe in the runup to 1500 AD, I’ll say that we’re a little bit shy of 1500 in the Sentieric Era as well. It’s a good round number, and it can feed into some creeping dread, panicked penitents and the like.

I’ve decided that the abbreviation in use for the current epoch is “R.S.,” from the Old Alannic phrase Ras Sentieris, which translates to “On the Path” in English, thus indicating how many years the Thinking Peoples have been, well, on the path.

Accordingly, my own current campaign is currently set in the springtime of 1499 Vos Ras Sentieris (year on the path).

Religion, Fantasy Races And Tokenism

October 18, 2010

It seems to me that, though there are a number of exceptions of course, fantasy settings tend to have polytheistic religions. Also, in those settings that have nonhuman inhabitants, there is very seldom much if any religious crossover between humanity and the other species. Humans generally have one or more pantheons of gods (or occasionally just one god for all humanity), and each individual nonhuman race tends to have one god (or a discrete and separate pantheon) all to itself. Fantasy settings also tend to have a lot more henotheism than is evidenced in earth’s history as well, but that’s a separate discussion. (more…)

Legend of the Archons: The Learned Man’s Guide to Vampires

October 5, 2010

The following is detail relating to the vampires of Occida, the setting of my Legend of the Archons RPG.

Read about the blighted nocturnal horrors here

Edges / Stunts for Legend of the Archons

June 20, 2009

LoA banner1

Today I’ll be sharing a few of the Edges (LoA’s term for what Spirit of the Century calls Stunts) that are found in the Legend of the Archons game. Some are modified versions of stunts already found in SotC, some are modified versions of stunts from the Evil Hat wiki and some are of my own devising.

I’ll share a slew of magic-related edges soon, but those won’t be in this post.

Renowned Thinker [Academics]
Requires Scholar
Your reputation as a scholar is so well known that it occasionally covers up for your social shortcomings.
For a fate point, you may use your Academics skill instead of Rapport, Intimidation, Contacting, or Deceit, provided those you are dealing with are aware of your reputation (a second fate point will nearly always assure that they are).

Fortress Unto Himself [Endurance]
“Had he been victualled as well as fortified, he might have endured a siege of seven years!” – Charles I
Requires one other Endurance edge.
The character is not only tough as nails, but he also makes a habit of wearing heavy armor into danger. Between these factors, he can shrug off the blows of lesser men as if they were a soft spring rain.  A character with this edge can use the Endurance skill to defend against physical attacks instead of Athletics, Brawl or Weapons.

Logistical Analysis [Leadership]
Requires Lieutenant or Minions.
You are able to keep “the big picture” in mind when commanding men, which makes it easy to coordinate many different actions. You can simultaneously control two different companions or groups of minions, for example allowing you to have two different types of minion attached at once or one group of minions and a companion. Also, if you detach your companion then you can attach a group of your minions to him as well.

Renowned Occultist [Occult]
Requires Secrets of the Arcane
Your reputation as a scholar of the mysterious is so well known that it occasionally covers up for your social shortcomings.
For a fate point, you may use your Mysteries skill instead of Rapport, Intimidation, Contacting, or Deceit, provided those you are dealing with are aware of your reputation (a second fate point will nearly always assure that they are).

Faithful Steed [Ride]
You’re an avid horseman, and have one horse in particular that you take special care of. When riding that horse, you receive a +1 bonus (it’s assumed to have the craftsmanship improvement – see the Devices chapter on page XX).
Additionally, once per session, spend a fate point and declare that the car has some extra improvement – for guidelines, see the Universal Device edge (page XX). You can’t go too crazy with the Improvements on this on-the-fly trickiness – miniaturization and futurization (no clockwork steeds!), and several kinds of alternate usage and additional capability, are disallowed at this level of the edge. To ride a truly unusual steed, you must also take Noble Steed (below).

Noble Steed [Ride]
Requires Faithful Steed.
You have a truly one-of-a-kind steed. For starters, your once-a-session Improvement, as described above, can be of any sort. Secondly, your mount has two additional inherent Improvements you may select. These improvements must be defined in advance of a session (only at the beginning or end), but you needn’t pick all of them at the time you take this Enhancement. Once they’re picked, they’re set, until a trainer can get a chance to work at changing them. Your mount is instantly recognizable as something unusual, unless you spend one of your Improvements on making sure that it looks just like any other mount of its base type. Regardless, once people learn of its nature, there’s almost certain to be attempts to steal it or otherwise learn its secrets. You’d be well advised to take an Aspect tied to your mount, so you can get Fate Points when this happens!

Reins in the Teeth [Ride]
You can do all sorts of things from the back of your horse (or other mount). Riding your animal never causes a supplemental action penalty when you’re doing something else from the saddle, whether you’re rolling Ride as the primary skill or another. Furthermore, if Ride would be a secondary skill that restricts or modifies a primary skill, but your Ride skill is lower than the primary skill you’re using, your Ride skill has no negative effect.

Trail of Devastation [Ride]
Requires at least one other Ride edge.
The character is the bane of street markets, pavilions and rickety struts holding up awnings. The value of any damage this character does to the environment (but not characters, their mounts or vehicles) when riding a horse is doubled. Any time an object is taken out by the damage, the result should be spectacular – an explosion, a fire or collapse. This is not guaranteed to always fall in the character’s favor (though it often can, and should)!

Airs [Ride]
You are a skilled rider that has trained his steed to jump on command. Reduce any height related borders for jumping on a mount by up to three.

Tilting [Ride]
Requires One other Riding Edge
The character is trained and experienced in mounted combat. Attack Rolls made from atop the mount are at +1. If the character is armed with a lance, this bonus rises to +2.

Cavalry Charge [Ride]
Requires Tilting.
You may move one zone and launch a Weapons or Riding (in other words, trampling) attack without taking a penalty for moving, or you may move two zones and make an attack at -1. All other actions, including those with Weapons, that are not a Weapons attack described as a mounted charge, require a roll at -1 if you move a single zone on your action, as normal.

Shattering Charge [Ride]
Requires Cavalry Charge.
By combining your skill and your steed’s momentum into a mighty charging strike, you may devastate even the most potent of opponents. Any time your opponent opts to take a mild or moderate consequence from a blow you have dealt from a mounted charge, you may spend a fate point to increase the severity of that consequence by one step, increasing mild to moderate and moderate to severe. The opponent may then reconsider whether to take the consequence, or instead offer a concession. You may not do this to an opponent who is already taking a severe consequence.

More Tektek, More LoA

April 29, 2009

Here are a few more of those little chibi things. These ones are built around proposed PCs in LoA.

Síofra Nethfilidh Ferfechín, an Albannian-born fomor psychopomp associated with Horizons.

Sir Anthony Ravenscrest (AKA Anton Corvus),  Alban condotierre extraordinaire who is gifted in cunning and tactics though not in the sorcerous arts.

Persa of the Raven, aiaru medium associated with Death.

Qoriil Elnahaem, an enlightened alannic monk associated with Vision. I did the one on the left, his creator did the one on the right.

King Gustavus von Zachsen. an NPC.

Also, I am posting updates to earlier chibis for other LoA types, an NPC and a PC as well.

Mordamund, late Archon of Vision.

Filidh Uhlrik Gunderit Maghoctavius von Beck, a fomorian warrior-bard with a double mouthful of names, associated with Opposition. There are two versions because there were certain aspects I wasn’t settled on.

Gottfried? Is That You?

February 11, 2009

Anima: Alastor the Arbiter
by `Wen-M on deviantART

I’m posting this piece because it reminds me of Gaynor/Gottfried, my recurring villain guy.

New Year, New TekTek

January 1, 2009

Yes, once in a while I do still relapse into fascination with this cracktastic little thing.

I figured new years would be a good time to post some new stuff, and revisions on some old ones including Venture (dun dun dun)!

I tweaked an avatar of myself to suit my new look. Huzzah.

Very slight tweak to Venture Smith so he can actually have an axe like he’s supposed to instead of that thor-hammer.

I was finally able to make a version of Stone Fist that I’m fairly happy with. At least this one looks quite a bit like ol’ Stoney. It’s a lot tougher looking than the lame old chibi too.

LoA chibis:

Balor of the Evil Eye, one of the Lords of Winter.

Another Lord of Winter: The Horned One.

Bertolt Brecht, episcopal witch-hunter.

Duchess Constance Rose, noble horse breeder and tomboy, shown to the left clothed for riding rather than affairs of state, and on the center kitted out for jousting, one of her favorite sports… finally, on the left actually looking the part of a lady of her station. (added 2/17/2009 edit)

Kazemde Ini-Herut, a very wierd sort of pseudo-coptic syncretic martial artist monk that transforms into a jackal-man… Added in 3/28/2009 edit.

a baloros fomorian

a typical cernos fomorian

One of the lost

Redone Versions of old Warhammer chibis:

Yet another take on Adolf Lundgren. For a supporting cast member, I’ve sure redone this guy a lot. Mostly because I never found a decent halberd before this one.

Yup. more redone Rahanns. A better spear showed up and I tweaked her armor, then messed with the hooves a bit. So sue me.

And lastly, one new WH chibi that wouldn’t have been possible before:

How Katarina Gunderit, the unfortunate third child of Uhlrik and Cassandra, might look when she reaches adulthood.

Cedric redone. Update 3/28/2009


Now playing: Loreena McKennitt – The Highwayman

via FoxyTunes

SAD: LoA Races

September 6, 2008


This is actually the SAD from tonight and yesterday – I worked on it both days.

This is a collection of loose design-sketches are the playable races I’ve got so far for Legend of the Archons. Each will be represented in more polished works throughout my gallery, so I’m not worried that these aren’t truly finished drawings. I am not planning on adding more playable races, though of course there are plenty of other sentient beings in the world – these are by far the main ones though. Yes, an important anatomical detail was left off of each of them – I didn’t want to draw boxers, but I wasn’t going to draw certain other things either.

I came up with the Durgans and Alanir (plural of Alan) back in 1999, though my version of the Fomori and the Lost are much more recent in vintage.

Note, however, that both the Lost and the Fomorians are highly variable in appearance – it’s hard to present an average example of either, since both are twisted and warped by the energies of the Autumn Realm. In general though, the Lost are humans that have been horribly mutated and probably driven mad, while the Fomorians are born in monstrous forms that usually combine human and animal traits as well as details that are strictly unique to them. Perhaps the "typical" Fomor looks rather like a human-goat hybrid or something similar.

People that are into classic fantasy settings may note that there are no classic elves or dwarves here. In this setting, both of those exist but they are very alien, fey races that dwell in other dimensional realms and only sometimes visit the material plane to foment mischief.

Now playing: Enya – Pax Deorum
via FoxyTunes

SAD: Female Fomorian

August 29, 2008

SAD: Female Fomorian
by *uhlrik on deviantART

I’m provisionally calling this particular Fomorian by the name Rahann, as her look is modified and stripped-down from the designs I did for a Khornegor character of the same name from WFRP. I’ve decided to drop the white-eyes thing that was part of her original design, partially because it’s a Khorne thing and partially because The Fiend has the same thing going on sometimes (even though I created The Fiend a decade after creating the original Rahann), and because several of Uhlrik’s iterations have done similar things when they lost their tempers (heck, the new version might too). So yeah, thinning out the overuse of that motif.

Below is a full-body design sketch of the same character I fairly recently created, where I was doodling different possible parts of her design, debating the mane or no mane thing back and forth with myself, and so on. If nobody decides to run a character similar to this in LoA, I think she’ll have to show up at some point as an NPC; I just think she’s cool. I think I need to put a bit more in the way of ornamentation in her mane. A couple feathers maybe? Also, I’m thinking some piecemeal armor, like a pauldron and a couple other pieces might be a good look for her. General feedback on her design is more than welcome – it’s certainly not finalized yet and probably won’t be until such time as she appears in a game post.

Rahann Design Sketch
by *uhlrik on deviantART