View Full Version : Austius RPG [Campaign Setting and Rules]

2008-02-19, 10:50 PM

Alright, I have been working on this thing for several days. I promised my players from my campaign (that I'm going to be running in about a month) that I would post the finished version by Wednesday. Clearly, this is not going to happen. I just have too much left to type up.

So, I have decided to write up everything here, and edit as I go along. I am taking advice on this, so feel free to comment, but remember, this is far from done.

World Background

The world is sort of an odd take on post-apocalyptic. Rather than being set in a futuristic wasteland, it is set in a fantasy world that is a few thousand years after the collapse of civilization, and the world has long since become a stable environment, and reformed society. All that remains of the ancient civilizations are scattered, ruined skyscrapers standing in the forests, and technological and magical wonders that are beyond even the most skilled wizard's understanding. However, the world is still without its troubles.

Years ago, all of the continent of Austius was ruled by the Emperor of Separida. He was a powerful wizard, who actually managed to achieve immortality through the sacrifice of others. While he was able to make his city a virtual paradise, it was at the expense of all of the other cities. He managed to hold the continent under his harsh rule for over 200 years before the continent united in revolt against him. In an effort to regain control of the continent, he began altering natural life with magic to create monstrosities to use against the rebels. These creatures would probably have been able to crush the rebellion, if it hadn't been for the Blight.

After the destruction of Separida, the rebels themselves had little to unite themselves after the destruction of their mutual enemy. With a lack of rapid long distance communication or transportation, the cities inevitably split into their own city states, drawing sustenance from a small network of towns around them.

The Blight50 years ago, a huge amount of magical radiation shot out from the city of Separida, presumably from the Emperor's experiments, shot across the lands, contaminating practically the entirety of the northern continent. The magical energy, now called the Blight, presumably intended to twist nature into more powerful versions of their original form, simply killed them. Practically every form of life died where it stood for hundreds of miles around the city, leaving the entire northern continent a land of dead trees, dried grass, and animal skeletons.

However, while it was powerful enough to kill only in the wastelands, the Blight's effects have been felt throughout the entire continent. Exotic diseases, apparently magical in origin, have sprouted up throughout the land, monsters previously unheard of have been roaming the land, and the amount of Blood Mages, (people with inborn magical talent) while previously almost nonexistent, has skyrocketed, causing many people to call them Blight Mages.

LocationsWorld Map (http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg27/pseudovere/Austiusmap.png)

WastesThe land is still recovering from the Blight. However, While the Blight is no longer lethal on contact, and there is a hint of green among the dead trees, prolonged exposure to it is incredibly dangerous, causing many people to go insane, develop odd diseases, or simply die. In addition, many of the odd, altered monstrosities that the Blight has created have found a home there, and very few of them are friendly...SeparidaPopulation: 0
Government: None
Major exports: None

Separida, formerly the most prosperous city in the known world, now sits vacant in the middle of the wastes. Some bold adventurer parties have returned from the city alive to tell of the vast riches practically untouched behind it's white marble walls. However, in all likelihood, due to it's position at the heart of the Blight, that is the way it will remain.

CitiesBasitusPopulation: 35,000
Government: Military dictatorship
Major Exports: Worked metal, weapons, armor, ships

Basitus, after the destruction of Separida, is now the most powerful city state in the known world. It has tried to replace the power vacuum left by Separida several times, but it has repeatedly found that it is nearly impossible, do to the fact that difficulty of maintaining supply lines to any armed force do to the strange monsters who now wander the wilderness. The city was initially run by one dictator, but when he passed away, he had two generals of equal rank, who both attempted to seize his power for themselves, but have now apparently come to an uneasy truce and share the power in the city.

Important Figures:
Lady Yanin (dictator): Kind but slightly shallow young woman at first glance, but upon further examination, is actually much older than she appears, and frighteningly clever and calculating, as well as deadly with a rapier.
Lord Dygan (dictator): A gruff, middle aged man, who has on multiple occasions shown himself to be a brilliant strategist, and is himself a force to be reckoned with.

SybasPopulation: 10,000
Government: Aristocracy
Major Exports: None (relies on income from coliseum and tourist attractions)

Sybas is a city that has been built arround the biggest coliseum in the world. (If any of you have read any of the Magic the Gathering's Odyssey and Onslaught cycles, think the Cabal's Pit.) There are two districts in the coliseum, the Rich and the Poor Districts. The Rich district dominates most of the docks, about a fifth of the city's land, and is literally walled off from the poor district. The Rich district is filled with beautiful architecture, and filled with entertainment for the tourists who come to see the fights at the coliseum. The Poor district, however, is little more than a large clustering of wooden houses, housing the people who work to maintain and fight in the arena.

Important Figures:
None at this time.

ArbirylPopulation: 7,500
Government: Oligarchy
Major Exports: Magical devices

Arbiryl is a the only city north of the wastes, which puts it in the arctic circle. As a result of the think glaciers in the area, and the wastes barring it off from the rest of the world, it is only reachable by sea and during the summer. This city, from its size and location, would have easily lost its place on the map, except for its ancient libraries and world renowned academy, the best of its kind for both general and magical educations.

Important Figures:
None at this time.

AtcyrofPopulation: 20,000
Government: Oligarchy (Skilled craftspeople)
Major Exports: Machinery, Unworked metal, Firearms

Atcyrof is a city based on a small volcanic island. The island is completely developed, without a single bit of land to spare. The city is the most technologically developed of all of the cities on Austius, largely thanks to the vast amount of electricity produced by the large geothermal energy plant the dominates the center of the city. The city has developed many things, such as trains, small aircraft, and short range radios. These, unfortunately, are still very expensive to produce, and heavily dependant on the electricity produced by the volcano, and given the price and inefficiency of batteries and smaller generators, are not of much practical use to other cities.

Important Figures:
None at this time.

Before anyone gets too excited here, I would like to say that both of the non-humanoids are going to be very hard to play, and most of the other races are distrusted by the majority of the human population. However, I would not completely disallow playing as any of these races, although it would require strict consideration on my part.

HumanoidsAll of the non-human, humanoid races are the result of magical experimentation on humans, resulting in creating an ultimately different race.

HumansHumans are the most populous sentient race in Austius. They are the most varied and versatile of all of the known races.

OrcsOrcs are larger and more heavyset than humans, and generally have a dark greyish pigmentation to their skin. Their facial features look crude, often including fangs and jutting tusks. They are generally easily angered, and dislike human cities. They enjoy natural settings, and tend to form small tribal societies. Humans tend to distrust them, seeing as many of the tribal bands are known to form raiding parties against smaller towns, apparently for food, manufactured goods, and to stop their infringement on nature.

GoblinsGoblins appear small humanoids, about 4 feet tall for an adult, with a hunched posture, and thin, disproportionately long limbs, ending in clawed digits. They typically have moist, ivory skin, rows of small, sharp and pointed teeth, as well as gigantic fish-like eyes. They dislike the sun, as it is quite harmful to their eyes. When out in the daylight, or in human areas, they typically wrap themselves in cloth, so as to avoid any contact with the suns rays, and wear large tinted goggles to dim the light on their sensitive eyes. Aside from this, they are physically weaker than the average human, and much frailer as well. However, they make up for these flaws with two redeeming features: they are much quicker and more graceful than their size or posture would suggest, both in thought and in form, and have the ability to scale walls, much like a gecko. Goblins typically live underground in caves, or (when inside large cities) in sewers. Most goblins are scavengers by nature, and often make livings by selling information and stolen or salvaged goods.
VampiresVampires appear almost identical to humans, and, are in fact not truely their own species, but the result a recessive trait found in humans. They are distinguished by a pale, grey-tinged complexion, cat like pupils, and pronounced canines. Their condition prohibits them from producing their own blood, and forces them to rely on drinking the blood of others for survival (they still eat normally as well). In addition, their skin is vulnerable to sunlight, and, will begin to die on contact with sunlight, and will slowly decay into a substance that is poisonous to the vampire. As a result, vampires find direct sunlight excruciatingly painful, and if exposed for a long enough period of time, lethal. However, they make up for these flaws with surprisingly beautiful, if haunting, appearances, and heightened reflexes, as well as increased physical strength and resilience.
Vampires, for the most part, seek to maintain a normal place in human society, either by hiding their condition, or in some cases, pressing for acceptance by the community. However, there are small bands of vampires, referring to themselves as the Treshun, who have broken from human society, and hunt other humanoids to fuel their constant need for fresh blood.

Demons are not designed to be a playable race, however, I might be convinced into allowing a dragon character, although you would need to come up with an awesome background.

DemonsDemons are the rarest and most mysterious group of creatures on Austius. They come in many different shapes and forms, many of them seeming to be about as related to each other as a human and a mouse. They all have dark purple, bordering on black, bile smelling blood, clearly visible through practically transparent skin. While most of them have semitransparent exoskeletons, larger demons are additionally supported by an internal webbing of cartilage. Beyond this, their forms vary immensely, from a tentacled creature about the size of a dog, to creatures resembling two story centipedes coated with clawed tendrils. Dissections of the few demons that scholars have found have revealed surprisingly little about them as well, as it is still unknown how they reproduce.
Another surprising thing about these creatures is that they all seem intelligent to at least some extent. Even the least intelligent ones are capable of some form of communication, believed to be based on a mixture of pheromones and grating screeches that, for the most part, are far outside the human hearing range. In addition, while none of this has been confirmed, there numerous are reports of demons using technologies and magics far beyond the capabilities of any known mage or artificer.
Demons have no known lands, and have been seen all over Austius since long before Separida ever dreamed of conquest.

DragonsSeveral dragons have throughout history have learned to speak one or more human tongues, and have given humanity insight into dragon culture.
Dragons are huge, serpentine creatures, thick, segmented, bonelike plating coating their entire body. They have four, triple-jointed arms, connected to the second segment behind their head. Their bodies range in length from 5 to 50 meters, and in width 1 to 5 meters. They are completely blind, but have an extraordinary precise echolocation ability, apparently capable of detecting grooves in a structure less than a centimeter deep. Their echolocation is a very low hum, imperceptible to the human ear, and they apparently communicate to each other through small variations of this.
They have a complex written language as well, evidenced by the numerous carved runes in each dragon's plating and in the trees throughout their forests.
Dragons love knowledge and nature above all else. While they find magic captivating, and have many skilled mages among them, they disdain technology, and are fiercely protective of their forests. While they do not mind allowing humans or any other creature to walk through their lands, they have been know to destroy entire human villages as retribution for the destruction of a single tree. As a result of this, human travelers in dragon territory are quite rare.

MagicMagic in Austius is very different from Vancian spellcasting. Spellcasting, through one for or another, is the art of gathering energy from your surroundings, and then using it to bend the energy around you to cause the desired effects. A spellcaster, rather than learning specific spells, learns specialties, much like how a scientist will specialize in a certain area. A specialty can be as specific (Flaming Touch) or as vague (Fire) as one would like, but focused specialties generally yield much more powerful results than vague ones.

All magic requires a focus to cast spells, through which to focus their energy. The reason for this is that the energies drawn through the body are highly damaging to organic tissue, and if they are cast without a focus, can be lethal. Focuses can range from a rune drawn in the air, to a dagger, to a staff, to a gigantic siege machine. Of course, the size and complexity of the focus is related the power and ease of control of the spell. A spell cast from a small simple focus will lack the power of one cast from a large, complex one, but be far easier to control.

There are four known ways that casters channel their energies. While the source of power for all of these types of casting differ, there is a very small amount of physical difference between these types of casting. All casters can, with proper training, achieve the same effects any other type of caster can with the same amount of effort.

Magic TheoryThrough an intricate understanding of how the world works, magic theorists learn how to bend those rules to their advantage. Magic theorists require daily meditation to be able to cast spells.

Spirit ContractsCasters who use spirit contracts, commonly known as shamans, create a relationship with an intelligent magical entity, which they draw their energy from. Shamans have no need to prepare their spells, but since their spells come from an intelligent, if non material being traveling with them, they must remember that their spirit can refuse to give them spell should it wish to deny them.

Blood MagicBlood mages have innate magic. They typically gain this through exposure to heavy magical energies, although the heavy magical energies radiating from the Blight make this fairly common. However innate this talent may be, it must be developed and honed: a person with the potential to be a blood mage will not become one unless they actually pursue it. Blood mages require conscious effort to draw energy from their environment to be able to cast spells.

Divine ChannelingThese casters, commonly called clerics (this varies immensely between different faiths), channel the energies of their god to achieve magical effects. Clerics require prayer to their god to get energy from their spells, and are incapable of using their magic to do something that their god would not approve of.

CosmologyThe world Austius is located on revolves around a sun much like our own, and has two equally sized moons. Both of the moons are apparently artificial, made with technologies and magic long forgotten. The first moon, Ghilt, also known as the Bright Moon, is a perfectly round, metalic silver sphere, with visible dents and scratches from a thousands of years of galactic debris. The reflected light off of the moon seems to dampen the effects of magic. Ubmar, the second moon, also know as the Dark Moon, is a complex dark greyish purple sphere, with deep, thin crevasses forming complex, unintelligible symbols coating the surface. The light reflected from this moon has the opposite effect of its sister moon: it causes magic to act more powerfully, and often uncontrollably, even unintentionally. The Ghilt rotates once every month, and is full every first day. The Umbar has a regular orbit as well, but it rotates much slower, and is full once every 3 months. Every 10 years, both moons are full at the same time, and causing very unpredictable and often powerful magical effects.

2008-02-19, 11:02 PM

Okay, it looks like people have finally started yelling at me enough to start making me make a game mechanics section.

Note (IMPORTANT): This game system is not designed for hack and slash campaigns. It is better suited for a more roleplaying intensive setting, and (due to the fact that one or two solid hits with a weapon can easily disable a character) favors espionage over combat.

Character Creation


Each ability is described by both what it effects (physical, social or mental), and how it effects that feature of your character (power, finesse & resistance), creating 9 separate abilities: Physical Power (PP), Physical Finesse (PF), Physical Resistance (PR), Social Power (SP), Social Finesse (SF), Social Resistance (SR), Mental Power (MP), Mental Finesse (MF), and Mental Resistance (MR). These abilities are referred to throughout the rules section as its abbreviation.

The nomenclature may seem complicated at first, but is much easier to reference off of the table on character sheet (see spoiler below), and also ties related abilities together.

Ability Table {table=head] |P|S|M

Physical Power (PP): Determines how strong your character is. A character with a high PP has a larger muscle mass, can lift heavier objects, and exert more physical force, while a character with a low PP generally has very litter muscle, can lift only light objects, and exert only a small amount of physical force.
Physical Finesse (PF): Determines your character’s reflexes and coordination. A character with high PF can be graceful, with sharp reflexes and good hand-eye coordination, while a character with low PF is often clumsy with slow reflexes.
Physical Resistance (PR): Determines how physically durable your character is. A character with high PR can shrug off physical damage, heal quickly, resist disease, and continue strenuous activity for long periods of time without harm, while a character with low PR takes damage easily, recovers slowly, gets sick easily, and can only continue strenuous activity for short periods of time without risking physical injury.
Social Power (SP): Determines how likable your character is. A character with a high SP has great leadership skills, and is viewed more favorably by the people they run across, while a character with low SP has difficulty with crowds, and is often viewed disfavorably by the people they run across.
Social Finesse (SF): Determines how good you are at getting people to believe what you say and respond how you want to it. A character with high SF can lie easily without being detected, and control the emotions of the people they run into, while a character with low SF has difficulty doing these things.
Social Resistance (SR): Determines how well you can control your emotions. A character with high SR can prevent otherwise aggravating experiences from altering their actions, and easily resist resulting depression and rage, while a character with low SR often will let emotions control their actions, and may have trouble with anger or depression.
Mental Power (MP): Determines how well a character can process information, and how powerful the spells they cast are. A character with high MP can cast powerful spells more easily that one with low MP, and understand complex concepts, while one with low MP can have trouble doing these sort of things.
Mental Finesse (MF): Determines how perceptive a character is and how quickly a character can think on their feet. A character with high MF is very aware of their surroundings, and can act quickly, while a character with low MF is often distracted and unaware, and can be easily surprised by their surroundings.
Mental Resistance (MR): Determines how well a character can endure pain, fatigue, and damage when they are past their physical limit. A character with high MR has a high pain tolerance, and stay conscious after taking heavy damage, while a character with low MR has a low pain tolerance, and easily falls unconscious after taking heavy pain, fatigue, and/or damage.

When starting, each character receives 90 ability points, to divide among these 9 abilities on a one for one basis (i.e. spend 10 points on PP, and you have a PP score of 10, and 80 ability points left over).

You may spend the up to 15 on one ability score, or as few as 5, but you may not have more than one score of 15 or two scores of 14 or higher.

In addition, you gain 1 ability point for every 50 XP you gain over 50. (100 XP, 150 XP, 200 XP, etc.) This will be explained in further detail in the advancement section.

SkillsWhile abilities represent the innate abilities of your body, skills represent areas that you have trained in. (Combat skills and Magic skills are variants of this general system, so see the enclosed Magic Skills and Combat Skills section.)

Skills are bought with XP at a 1 for 1 basis, but can only go up to one tenth your XP total. (i.e. Your character has 50 XP. Because of this, you can have a maximum of 5 points invested in any given skill.)



2008-02-19, 11:04 PM
{{This Post is also reserved for future updates.}}

2008-02-19, 11:05 PM
{{This Post is also also reserved for future updates.}}