Blog Archive

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A handful of webcomics to share.

As I've mentioned before A Voyage Into the Fantastic is meant to be more than just an RPG blog, its also a general fantasy/whatever the Hell I'm interested in blog. So here are a few webcomics I'm into, in order of which I know best. So let's start off with...

Girl Genius by Phil and Kaja Fogilo

 Romance, adventure, mad science and talking cat emperors, welcome to the world of Girl Genius. Our heroine is Agatha Heterodyne, Spark and last known heir to house Heterodyne. Her adventure begins with Agatha under the assumed name of Agatha Clay and raised by her loving if mute, the comic can explain this a lot better than I can, step-parents Adam and Lilith Clay, blissfully unaware of her Heterodyne heritage and true nature as a Spark, basically an inborn mad scientist/engineer.

 Agatha's adventures take her across the continent of Europa, evading the clutches of Baron Wolfgang Wulfenbach, the well intended if ruthless and morally ambiguous supreme ruler/tyrant of all Europa, amassing a small army of loyal and worshipful lackeys and gets entangled in a love triangle with the Baron's dashing if hotheaded son Gilgamesh and Tarvek Sturmvoraus, the charming and unfailingly polite if duplicitous prince and distaff descendant of the Storm King of old. Agatha does not find their fighting over her to be romantic, just aggravating. She even sets out to awaken Castle Heterodyne, hopefully without it killing her to show its affection.

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja by Christopher Hastings and Anthony Clark
 First off, the main character is a doctor and a ninja, it only gets weirder from there. His receptionist and nurse is a female gorilla named Judy, who is capable of understanding multiple human languages, both spoken and written, but is incapable of speaking those languages. Which is due to the fact that she's a gorilla, with normal gorilla vocal cords, but she does know sign language. If only the good Dr. McNinja knew sign language too. Alas he doesn't, so they are forced to communicate with spoken English (on Dr. McNinja's part) and written responses. They manage pretty well.

Over the years the good Dr. McNinja has assembled a larger team around himself, including his own Bot Wonder, a 12 year old velociraptor riding gunslining bandito named Gordito Delgado. Together, Dr. McNinja, Gordito and his late father's gang of dinosaur riding banditos avenged the senior Delgado's murder. As a result young Gordito became the good doctor's sidekick and formed an especially close bond with Dr. MiNinja's pet velociraptor, Yoshi, now Gorditio's trusty and loyal steed. I feel like mentioning that Gordito's sheer will and determination to act like a real man and hunt down his father's murderer caused the 12 year old to grow a full, bushy mustache.

Over the years our hero has faced many deadly foes, from the unscrupulous clown and fast food mogul Donald McBonald over copyright infringement, to war against the corrupted German ninja Franz Rayner to end his program of artificially created ninja foot soldiers, clashing against Dracula within the Prince of Darkness's secret moonbase to his ongoing conflict with King Radical. But Dr. McNinja is more than just a fighter and often times killer. Like any good medical doctor he's also a healer.

It was none other Dr. McNinja who discovered the cure to Paul Bunyan Disease, a horrific disease that transforms children into 20 foot tall giants with jet black hair, full beards, flannel clothing and a berzerker's rage against all trees with desire to fell them all with their giant axes. The giant axes that just pop into existence along with the disease's other symptoms, including giant blue oxen to themselves. The disease's onset presents with the projectile vomiting of maple syrup. I've just about explained Dr. McNinja right now and it makes just as much sense in context. Oh, Dr. McNinja learned much of what he knows of medicine from Ben Franklin's clone. I'm officially done with this.

Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener

 The year was 1923 and Nikola Tesla was hard at work building a manlike creature of steel, glass and wires. It was like a son to him, Tesla's legacy and last great gift to the world. That was the day Atomic Robo was born. He battled Nazis and other enemies of humanity and world peace, as well as Doctor Dinosaur and other foes of intelligence and basic reasoning skills. His heroic career sees Atomic Robo fighting giant monsters, fellow robots, Doctor Dinosaur, rogue Soviet Generals and his long time adversary Thomas Alva Edison, who despises Robo for being a creation of Tesla's. In all, Atomic Robo is a two-fisted robotic pulp hero, with a list of friends and allies that include the hereditary British spies called the Sparrows, zen gunslinger Jack Tarot and the late astrophysicist Carl Sagan.

Kill Six Billion Demons by Abbadon (not the author's real name, I think)
This honestly is the webcomic in this post I know the least about. I get that it's about a normal young woman who finds herself in a magical world of gods, demons and angels and forced to fight to survive and explore the strange realm she's lost in. It features major battles involving sorcery, raw supernatural might and martial skill. Perfect inspiration for a high power campaign.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Take a walk into the Nightside.

Where it all begins.

In the secret heart of London, under the cover of endless darkness, the Nightside caters to anyone with any unusual itch that needs to be scratched. But enter at your own risk. The party animals who live here may be as inhuman as their appetites...

The Nightside, if any of you are unfamiliar with the novels of the same name by Simon R. Green, is three square miles of Hell in the center of London. Created by Lilith herself as a refuge from Heaven and Hell, the Nightside has grown into the sprawling metropolis of vice, darkness, mayhem and supernatural/paranormal weirdness. And our hero John Taylor and many others call it home.

Home to monsters, demons, gods and freaks of all sorts, including humans, the Nightside is a place of nightmares and oddities. This is a city where the ambulances run on pain and their power grid used to be a captive and tortured sun god. Where the sun never rises and it's always 3 'o clock in the morning. You can even find the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, in vast quantities and varying degrees of authenticity.

However crazy and perverse the Nightside is, John Taylor still calls it home, and will fight to defend with his last breath if needed.

With all that said about the Nightside, and I haven't even touched some of the major players like Walker, the Lord of Thorns or Jessica the Unbeliever, I'd say it makes perfect setting idea fodder.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

For Honor inspired combat house rule.

Strikes and Guards Rules

Melee combat under these rules differs significantly from standard D&D/Basic Fantasy RPG. In normal D&D you make an attack roll either against your enemy’s AC (d20 rules) against your Attack Value/THAC0, adding your foe’s AC as a bonus to hit. This is true for both melée and missile combat. This isn’t a bad system, just a limited and overly simple system. So I’m adding a bit more depth to the melée portion of combat.
Under the strikes and guards rules melée combat consists of, well strikes and guards. Strikes are your basic melée attacks, while guards are the counters to them. There are three main kinds of strikes and three corresponding guards. Over head strikes or high attacks, which are automatically countered by high guards, in other words head level parries. Then there are low attacks, which are underhanded swings, or more likely upward thrusts to the center, with low guards intercepting them. Finally you have side attacks which are swings or stabs from one side or the other, which can be countered with side guards for the corresponding side. A corresponding guard automatically defeats a corresponding attack. Otherwise make a standard attack roll.
Combatants may make a number of strikes and a number of guards each attack action equal to the number of attacks he or she could normally make. All players involved in melée, plus the DM, secretly decide what strikes their characters will use, in order of use, along with the secret feint rolls for each. Then all characters have their guards and feinting strike selected secretly by those playing them, for which ever order of use they deem fit. A character has a minimum of two potential guards, but can only execute one guard per attack.

Feinting: Bluffing in combat, also known as feinting is an attempt to misdirect an opponent into failing to guard against your attack. Make a Deception check, using the highest of your Charisma, Intelligence or Dexterity, against the higher of your opponent’s Wisdom or Intelligence plus character level, which is that character’s Bluff Defense. If your feint succeeds you may feint with your chosen false strike and then attack with your true strike.

Example Battle 1: Steffan Rackham faces of off against his foe Sir Desmond Birch and three of his soldiers. So to determine order of battle both Steffan’s player and the DM make initiative rolls. Steffan’s player rolls a 2, adds his initiative bonus of -1 for a total of 1. Damn good starting place for a fight like this. The DM then makes Sir Desmond’s initiative roll and gets a 9, then adds his initiative bonus of -2 for a total of 7. Things aren’t looking good for Desmond right about now; Steffan has the drop on him. Finally the DM makes one initiative roll for Sir Desmond’s goons and get a 7.
Steffan starts at about 20 feet away before charging towards the ruthless knight and his brutish men. Since Steffan’s base speed is 40 feet and his long sword is a speed 5 weapon it only takes him five ticks to move and then attack. Because he’s attacking before his enemies can act Steffan’s foes can only guard themselves, not attack. Sir Desmond is a clever man; he has an Intelligence of 15 and Wisdom of 16. Both pretty good for a warrior. His men on the other hand, while by no means stupid, are less cunning and canny than he is. His three foot soldiers have Intelligence scores of 12 and Wisdom scores of 8-11. This gives Birch a Feint Defense of 17 (+1 for 1st character level) and his men a Feint Defense of 13 (+1 for 1st character level).
Steffan’s opts for a cleaving left strike against two of Sir Desmond’s men, so he chooses side attack – left for his true strike. For his feinting strike he decides on a downward high attack. His player makes two Deception rolls, one a 9 and the other a 6 six, for a total of 21 and 18. Steffan briefly assumes a top stance, drawing the two soldiers into a high guard, before swiftly lowering his sword and going for a left to right side swipe with the Crushing Blow maneuver and the Cleave combat option, making a single attack roll of 12+7, for a total of 19, just enough to score a hit for 16 points of slashing damage. These soldiers being lightly armored minions have 17 hit points, 13 from Constitution, with their armor only protecting them from 2 points of damage each, causing them each one wound and dropping them down to one hit point.

Strikes and Guards cards.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

And Now For Something Completely Different: For Honor and one other announcement

After a multi-month hiatus I'm back here posting again. I'm going through a bit of a writer's block on my magitech project, but I'll work on each post day by day until I feel confidant enough to post them. With that said I've recently found a few more things to keep my interest until I get back to work magitech in fiction. Like the YouTube footage of/trailers for For Honor. For Honor is a new third person action game by Ubisoft. The game has three main factions knights (your typical Western medieval warriors), samurai (medieval Japan) and vikings (well, vikings).
What's so special and interesting about this game, in my opinion, is the guard system. Under the guard system the position you hold your sword, or other weapon, in determines which direction you'll attack and defend in. Just watch this playthrough to get it, it does a much better job of explaining the combat system than I can.
I'm posting about this mostly because I find the combat system interesting, and I'm trying to adapt the guard/weapon positions to table top and or my D&D hybrid. Feel free to try doing that for your own games. Oh, by the way, when I say this game is new, I meant that it's coming out next year. I guess that counts as new. I'm also starting up my own wikidot wiki under the name The Good_Necromancer. I'll be using it mostly for house rules, class rewrites and character stats. That's really all I have to say now.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Magitech in Myth and Legend

A prime source for magitech, oddly enough, is myth and legend, including that of the Ancient Greeks and their forge god Hephaestus. Among the most notable examples of Hephaestus' skill at artifice are the automata he built for himself and others. The best known of them was Talos, a bronze giant that Hephaestus as Europa's, and by extension Crete's, guardian on Zeus's behalf. Hephaestus also constructed the fire breathing bull automata collectively known as Khalkotauroi, the Caucasian Eagle (unless it was a child of Echidna) that was tasked to tear out Prometheus's liver every day, a score of bronze and gold tripods that fallow him to Olympus and many more than can be easily mentioned here.

At the same time within the annuls of Celtic myth lies mythology's foremost example example of a magitech cyborg, Nuada Airgetlám, or Nuada Silverhand. When the Tuatha De Danann landed on the shore of what would later be known as Ireland, they learned they were not alone. The land was already inhabited by a race of men called the Fir Bolg or bag men. Nuada, the king of the Tuatha De Danann, petitioned the king of the Fir Bolgs, Eochaid, for half of the island to live on. Eochaid denied Nuada's humble request and war broke out, a war that claimed King Eochaid's life. During the first great battle of the war, the First Battle of Mag Tuired, the great Fir Bolg hero Sreng challenged King Nuada to single combat. They clashed for the remainder of the battle, until Sreng connects with a single blow against Nuada, severing his right hand.

As beloved a king as Nuada was, the laws of the Tuatha forbade those with missing limbs from the kingship, for a king must be able bodied so he* can lead troops into battle and fight along side them. So he stepped aside for a new king, Bres, a handsome young half-Formor, with golden hair as bright as the sun. He was by by most accounts a good and wise king, but Bres was little more than a puppet ruler, a living tool which the Formor used to oppress and enslave the Tuatha. Feeling desperate and desiring their freedom restored, the Tuatha rebels scrambled to find a king to take their beloved but now crippled Nuada's place, and no other names came to mind. So Dian Cecht and his assistant Creidhne crafted a beautifully made silver hand to replace Nuada's original lost appendage. This was no mere false hand for Nuada, but instead an almost fully functional, if skeletal, silver hand. Miach then covered the silver skeletal hand with flesh and blood grown from its stump.

There's much more to draw on, but I feel this is enough for now.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Some thoughts on magitech, part 1.

What is magitech you say? First magictech (or magitek if you prefer) is a portmanteau of magic and technology. Now since this is a fantasy blog it's safe to assume that everyone here knows magic and technology are, though I do feel like giving a more in-depth description of what technology means. Technology is the practical application of science/knowledge. So if you had a world in which magic exists, that means it could be observed, examined and studied, and with observation, examination and study can ultimately come application. If you really want to get pedantic any deliberate use of magic could count as magitech by this definition. That's all I have to say on the topic for now. There's more for when I can post it.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Happy belated birthday to me.

I was about to post about my birthday a week ago, but got sidetracked by everything else in my life. So here I am, announcing the fact that my birthday was last week on April 7th. That's really all I can think of right now except for my plans to post on the topic of magitech.