View Full Version : Need a Brainstorm!

2006-11-07, 12:21 PM
Well, I say need...I mean like.

Anyways, I'm designing (I say designing...I mean ripping off from lots of other sources) a ruleset for a futuristic/monsters type game (think Cyberpunk meets World of Darkness, but with a rules mechanic something like MechWarrior 3rd edition meets GURPS....like I say, ripping off from lots of sources). Now, before I even start thinking about the mechanic stuff, I wanted to get my setting down pat and had a few ideas that I wanted to spitball around to flesh them out.

In short, I need some feedback on some ideas.

Alignment.First off I'll be using an Alignment system. Now, this is going to be similar to D&D in that you choose (as a player) to be of a particular Alignment, but rather than being a moral choice, it is your Alignment in relation to the world (i.e. how you're made and your natural inclinations). I'll expand.

There are two axis to choose from: Positive/Negative and Law/Chaos (so, for example, a character can be Lawful Positive or Chaotic Negative). Your Alignment determines certain aspects of your life and most importantly, the abilities and traits of your Immortal 'life'. Each end of the axis relate to a particular Realm.

The Realms. As hinted at above, there are four Realms. Law, Chaos, Positive and Negative (these work a little like the Elemental Planes in D&D, in that all of creation draws from these Realms). The four classical elements (Fire, Earth, Air and Water) are actually distortions of the Realms; Fire is Law-Negative, Earth is Law-Positive, Air is Chaos-Negative and Water is Chaos-Positive. More importantly, the various forms of immortality are closely associated with the different Realms (which is where Alignment comes in)

The Positive Realm - This is the realm from which life stems. An acorn is suffused with energy from this Realm when it sends a shoot upwards to the light. This is the Realm of creation, growth and regeneration.

The Negative Realm - This is the flipside of the Postive Realm. It is the realm of death, destruction and entropy. Fire draws much from the Negative Realm, as it consumes its fuel, as does Ice as it draws heat from its surroundings. Many are mistaken in the thought that the Negative Realm is closely linked to Evil, for it truly holds no morality. It is as neccessary and absolute as the other three Realms.

The Realm of Law - The Realm of Law is also known as the Realm of Order. Everything that has rhythm draws from the Lawful Realm. The cycle of seasons, music, the heartbeat of a child and the ticking of a clock. this is the Realm of the Mind as well.

The Realm of Chaos - The Realm of Chaos is the place where random chance stems. The decay of atomic elements, the eddies in air currents and the flicker of a candle all draw from the Realm of Chaos. Much like the Negative Realm, many are mistaken in the thought that the Chaotic Realm is Evil for its unpredictabilty, but like the Negative Realm it holds no moral implication in itself. This is the Realm of the Physical as well.

Morality. This is a separate factor from Alignment and is based on a Good/Evil sliding scale - It is an abstract concept, unlike Alignment and is all down to choice. One may be influenced one way or another, but when all is said and done, the choice is yours. Whether you are Good or Evil depends on your actions. If you act Evilly, you are Evil. If you act in a Good manner, then you are Good (NOT the other way round. During play, your Morality can change based on your actions. Your Alignment will not).

Immortality.The basic premis of the game is much like World of Darkness, with there being the mortal world and the flip-side being the realm of Vampires, Werewolves, Spirits, Mages, etc. In this setting, I wanted all the mythical creatures to stem from one 'source', so to speak. This source is Death. All the Immortals are dead human beings that have remained on the earth for one reason or another and that reason is usually closely tied to the humans alignment when they die. Very few Humans become Immortal. There are four different Forms of Immortality:

Revenants - These are walking corpses. Chaotic Negative humans that become Immortal usually become Revenants. They are the humans that come back in their own corpses. They are possesed of super-human strength and perception, but can seem clumsy (because they don't realise how strong they are) and over time, unless they learn to keep their body working properly, rot (for an idea of what I'm thinking in regards to Revenants, think of the zombies in Terry Pratchetts Discworld). Mortal tales often refer to Revenants as Zombies, the Living Dead or Ghouls.

Spirits - These are those Immortals that have not come back in physical form. Lawful Negative humans usually become Spirits. They cannot directly affect the physical world, though they can develop indirect means, which produce phenomena such as would be called Ghosts, Poltergeist Activity or Hauntings in Mortal tales.

The Infected - These are those Mortals that have caught, in one way or another, with The Infection. The Infection is all but undetectable by any technology and lies dormant within most mortals and never does anything. In some, it produces an odd peculiarity, but no more, such as being exceptionally hairy or having slightly faster reflexes than most. In those that become Immortal, it has a profound effect. When they die, for whatever reason, The Infection becomes active and gives new 'life' to the newly created Immortal. It regenerates their flesh and bestows a multitude of different powers upon the subject. No two Infected are the same and they appear as the Classical Monsters such as Vampires, Orcs and Werewolves in the Mortal tales. The Infected were usually Chaotic Positive Mortals.

The Reborn - The Reborn are, perhaps, the most elusive of the Immortals. Lawful Positive Humans usually become Reborn. As their name would suggest, upon dying a Reborn becomes almost like a Spirit with no physical form of their own, but seeks out a new creature as a host physical form. Usually this is a nearby creature that is being born at the time of the Reborns death. The Reborn then lives within the host creature and often only manifests as vague memories, de'ja vu and dreams. When the host creature dies, the Reborn 'jumps' to a new host, again usually a creature being born in the vicinity of the hosts death. This has led rise to belifes about Reincarnation, Past Lives and so forth. Most of the time, Reborn are passive observers, but occaisionally they see fit to intervene and can control the actions of their host. This control of a subject is usually only brief, but powerful Reborn have been known to completely dominate a subject for it's entire life, though this sort of practice is frowned upon by the Good. This sort of control is documented as talking animals and the like, but also as many of the conditions that would, in Mortal terms, be called insanity.

Statistics, Abilities and Traits Given that all Immortals are already dead, they can, barring external influences, live forever, their life-force perpetuating itself through the form of their Immortality. This is about the only trait shared by all Immortals. Some Abilities and Traits are determined by your Alignment and what sort of Immortal you are (For example Revenants have exceptional strength and Lawful Immortals have a propensity for mental abilities over physical ones). These are Innate Abilities. Other Abilities and Traits are learned by experience. When you are released from a Mortal existance, you gain the ability to learn things unavailable to you previously (such as telepathy and pyrokinesis). All Immortals have the capacity to learn these abilities, though some have more capacity than others (for example, Spirits have a greater capacity for telepathy than Revenants). These are Learned Abilities. Every character also has a set of Statistics (such as Strength, Intelligence, Appearance and so forth, I haven't decided on what exactly to use yet). Some Immortals will have very little use for some of their Statistics (For Example, a Spirit has little use for Strength), but they have a rating in it regardless, representing their ability when they were Mortal.

Innate Abilities - These are randomly generated at character creation (though there will be some leeway to account for what you want in your character) and rarely change throughout your career. They are generated from a number of tables based on your Alignment and Form (in which there will be significant overlap in some cases). They represent an Immortals natural aptitudes and physical attributes. Examples include: Strength, Reflexes, Night Vision, Psychic Potential, Regeneration and Force of Will. Having a particular Innate Ability gives a bonus to its relevant Learned Ability or Statistic and also provides a small benefit when trying to improve that ability. It is possible to have the same Innate Ability twice or more times, the benefit stacking (so having the Strength Innate Ability twice means that you are more than just exceptionally strong, but you will lose out on the flexibilty of someone who only has it once but also has a different Innate Ability).

Learned Abilities - At character generation, an Immortal may select a certain number of these to represent what they have already learned about their new existance. Their Form, Alignment and Innate Abilities will determine what levels of Learned Abilities a particular character can learn. Non-Supernatural skills learnt either as a Mortal or an Immortal also fall under the catagory of Learned Abilities, though these are less likely to be affected by your Form, Alignment or Innate Abilities (though some are). Learned Abilities include Telekinesis(Su), Pyrokinesis(Su), Healing(Su), Stealth(Sk), Drive(Sk), Surgery(Sk), Summon Strength(Su), Summon Speed(Su) and Shadow(Su). Learned Abilities work on a sliding scale, having more points in it representing greater skill or talent with it (so someone with a low Stealth skill is not as sneaky as someone with a high Stealth skill). (Su=Supernatural Ability, Sk=Skill or Non-Supernatural Ability).

Phew, I'll pause for a moment I think. I've put down a lot of material and I'll wait on some feedback on the above before going on to how this all meets a futuristic setting. As written, it could apply to any time setting and I may write a couple of different 'modules' for past, present and future settings, but that's a different matter.

Any feedback would be welcome: Suggestions for Statistics, Innate and Learned Abilities. Comments on the Alignment/Morality/Realms/Form ideas. Good idea? Bad Idea? Any suggestions, comments, opinions or ideas are welcome. Thanks :smallsmile:

2006-11-11, 05:24 PM
How did you pick the alignments for the different elements? And for the immortals?

Captain van der Decken
2006-11-11, 05:40 PM
I like the realms, the Immortals and the alignment system.
Do you intend the players to mostly be immortals?

Why would 'the Infection' specifically effect one alignment?