[Fate][Review] Shardlands

Shardlands: Muskets, Blades, Words of Power! by Judith and Christian Vogt Self Published Setting for Fate Core

I tend to think of myself as primarily a Basic/eXpert Dungeons and Dragons (1981) player and game master. Thinking of Elf as a class, descending armor class, and creating a rags to riches story at the table gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Like a warm blanket on a cold morning, these utterly fallacious thoughts keep me cozy in my descending years. The truth of the situation is that I’ve played more Fudge than anything since the fateful day I found a certain text file on the AOL boards. Of all Fudges children Fate is probably the most successful, and I’ve played a bit of it in the last few years. Anyway, here are my thoughts on an English translation of a German book about a setting based on Russian myths.

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Mutants and Mazes and Spaceships!

Still tinkering with running a Metamorphosis Alpha game with a fantasy level using Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future instead of the Metamorphosis Alpha rules. I was originally going to work with the Delving Deeper rules, but its alot easier to use MF, MA, and S&S tech/mutant rules with LL than DD, which is a shame because I like D6 HP and D6 damage.

I’ll allow all the normal LL classes (With race-as-class), some of the third party classes (Vivimancer, Witch, etc.) and the Mutants and Mazes Race-classes. I might also allow some stuff from Starships and Spacemen if anyone really wants to play a revived/cloned ships crew member.

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The Hightracker class for Swords and Wizardry

The Hightracker is the mundane answer to the Ranger presented in Swords and Wizardry complete. The Hightracker makes his livelihood in the wild places of the world. Not content to work his way up the career ladder in civilized society, the Hightracker makes his way through hunting, gathering, prospecting, and even chasing the occasional bounty. Once a Hightracker has dedicated himself to a target he will travel high and low in its pursuit, be that a fox, a rabbit, a wanted man, or a monstrous horde.

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Fudge & Labyrinth Lord

This is an organization of my thoughts on using Fudge Dice, and the Fudge resolution mechanic, to provide an easy way to make snap rulings based on PC ability scores and Levels using the Labyrinth Lord rule-system (and within the game systems it attempts to emulate). Fudge and Labyrinth Lord are both released under the OGL, as is this article if anybody finds use for it. These rules are also written with some notes about fudge as I won’t assume everyone has played it before, and it also assumes you enjoy tossing all manner of dice around the table.

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GORGONS

I’ve never been overly-fond of the Gorgon/Medusa situation from D&D. Its not that I think the Gorgon is a bad monster, its that the term “medusa” should apply to the specific individual from mythology and gorgon should describe a race of horrible women with serpents for hair, and terrible claws, who’s image is so horrific as the petrify the viewer!

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Skinwalkers

(no stats are presented as the SRD has stats for those forms. No XP or GP value is assigned as I havent worked out what they should be worth.)

When man was only slightly more than snarling savage beasts the witch queens (hags) ruled the northlands with withered and clawed fists. The Queens worked their witchcraft, blood magic and deals struck with elder horrors, on man and beast alike to build their petty fiefdoms. One, known as Caera Skin-stitcher, developed a way to enchant a skin such that when worn it would turn the wearer into the form the skin was clad to in life. With the help of her children, sired by beings to horrid to contemplate, she clad whole armies in the skins of powerful beasts and monsters, and gave her acolytes the ability to travel quickly to any part of her empire on wing or fin. Caera was undone by her own subjects when she was fool enough to teach a few of them the secrets of fire making, she was burned alive in her sacred bog.

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SEA BEARS!

This post was inspired by the awesome artwork of Drachenmagier seen here and here. I started with the stats for a Grizzly Bear from the SRD, Then for the Dire Trout (inspired by Ray Trolls amazing art) I started with the stats for a Shark from the SRD.

Bear, Aquatic

HD 6
AC 6 [13]
Atk 2 claws (1d6), 1 bite (1d10) or 1 Tail Thrash (1d6)
Move 9
Save 11
AL N
CL/XP 6/400
Special: Hug (2d6).

It is said that a sorcerer of the north, who had a great fondness for hunting, would rework his beasts to include just enough of the prey animals to speed their assault. He crossed hound to fox, beagle to rabbit, bulldog to boar, and his prized trained hunting bears with the great dire trout of the north. In his madness he summoned what he thought the ultimate prey, an infernal prince from the bowels of the underworld. The Devil took him and many of his creations to places of pain living men cannot even comprehend, and only a few of the chimeric beasts disappeared into the night safely.

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