Sunday Musings. Projects in the queue and the Monster Squad!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! (here in the USA).  We are winding down another year at Rolemasterblog so maybe Peter will do a “Year in Review”? We have lot’s of ongoing projects and some cool stuff planned for 2018. Personally, I have so many irons in the fire it’s feeling a bit overwhelming! I thought I would do a quick overview from my persective:

  1. Back in April we started a challenge to write 50 Adventures and publish them over 50 weeks. Now we are heading into our 5th week! These are short adventure hooks, place, ideas or small layouts you can drop into a campaign etc. You can find the latest HERE with links to the others already published.
  2. Legends of Shadow World (LoSW). Along with the 50 in 50, I decided I wanted to design a high level adventure for Rolemaster; both as a challenge and to really test the system and rules. Ultimately, I ended up with a 5 part tourney series using 40th to 50th lvl PC’s. The first Chapter can be found HERE, and the second chapter The Temples of Muartaar will be available shortly.
  3. BASiL. My rewrite of Spell Law has turned into a beast–I was fine tuning spell lists and ended up adding over 3 dozen more lists in the last few months. I think I am almost at 250 total spell lists with 25 or 30 that are Shadow World specific. The individual spell count is just over 6500 spells with a lot less duplication that the original Spell Law. My hope is to publish these under a generic d100 format: either by individual lists, groups or realm.
  4. The Book of the Pales. I have this 85% done, but started working on a few other things. I’m hoping some downtime over the holidays will let me finish this sooner. I’m enjoying this work–it greatly expands upon the Pales in Shadow World, establishes some rules for adventuring, adds new creatures and explains some underpinnings of the world to support assumptions in Summoning/Gate spells. Interestingly, this has led to a broadening of the work into the more alien, non-physical realms like the Outer Void.
  5. SWARM. I’m debating whether I should bother uploading my SWARM ruleset–either as alternative rules for RM or as a generic d100 book.  Rules are so arbitrary and every GM has their favorites, I’m not sure this would appealing to anyone and adventure content and new spell lists might be more useful than my  rules.
  6. LEGENDARY SERIES: Monster Squad! So my new project after LoSW is a series of adventures using a pre-generated group of…MONSTERS!!!! (btw: isn’t a monster just a point of view?) . A recent post on the forums HERE along with several posts Peter and I did has had me thinking about a adventure group made up of traditional “monsters”. I’ve always like to subvert tropes in my games, and the premise of flipping the players perspectives to that of traditional foes is very appealing. This follows with the recent tradition of a band of anti-heroes like Suicide Squad or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

The original Monster Squad would make for a great classic adventure–I’m going to write that and post it next October for Halloween. This would include:

  • Dracula (Vampire)
  • Mummy (Egyptian Pharaoh)
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (Lizard or Merman)
  • Frankenstein (Flesh Golem)
  • Wolfman (Were Creature)

Unlike the movie, this adventure would have the creatures as pre-gen PC’s. I’ve got a great outline for an adventure that would be around 15th to 20th lvl and 3 ideas for plots and foes. What possible enemy or situation would force this group to band together…and save the WORLD?!!

A couple of ideas I’m tossing around for a Monster Squad set in Shadow World:

  • Demons. Erickson uses Demons as NPC’s in his Malazan series and in fact, has some chapters written from a Demon’s perspective. (he was magically wrenched from his farm and found himself in the middle of a battle)!!! I already discussed Neng, but how cool would it be to have a Pale III or IV as a PC?
  • Undead. Playing a vampire is obvious..and cool..but how about a Wraith or Lich?
  • Fey. I’ll write the adventures for Shadow World, so throwing in a Dryad or other Fey might be interesting.
  • Krylites. Insect humanoids! Electricity guns! yep that’s cool!!
  • Golem. I just finished the book Heart of Stone and used an Eog Golem in my LoSW adventures. I like the idea of a sentient construct as a PC. Flesh Golems are neat but how about one of stone, steel or enchanted alloy?

My last idea for the “LEGENDARY SERIES” is an adventure using holiday/fantasy creatures. This might be a great intro adventure for kids or just a fun version for Rolemaster Lite/d100. Something like this:

The goal is to create on-off adventures using famous characters to add some fun and accessibility to new players but using the gritty RM ruleset. Who wouldn’t want to “E” 66 Santa? Any suggestions for a cool Monster or character PC?


7 Replies to “Sunday Musings. Projects in the queue and the Monster Squad!”

  1. So much inspiration!

    Iceland has a Christmas tradition of The Yule Lads who are trolls. One could have a small series of adventures each based in a different cultures Christmass traditions, elves in one, trolls in another.

    If you are thinking constructs as PCs that leads me to the idea of throwing the PCs consciousness from one body to the next as each body dies. The mental stats, skills and magic remain constant but physical stats change and therefore skill totals change with each incarnation. Robo-gladiators? Transformers as PCs?

    1. I think there are great possibilities for one-off adventures; something RM really hasn’t done and as discussed, would eliminate the issues around chargen.
      1. I think “holiday” themed adventures might be the way to go.
      2. The number of overseas players means that you can adapt to different cultures.
      3. I like the juxtaposition of holiday characters with the gritty RM combat system. It reminds me of the difference between kids fairly tales and the original as written Grimm fairy tales that were quite violent.

      The construct as a PC is very interesting. Besides the “Heart of Stone” book I just read, there is a great construct in “The Tales of the Jetty Kay”. Transferring a consciousness to a construct/golem makes sense as a Magic Ritual. Lots of ideas for our next adventure challenges!

  2. Germany has Knecht Ruprecht who is a devil and accompanies Saint Nicholas. Knecht Ruprecht causes chaos on December 6th.

    Krampus is Austria’s Christmas Demon. Christmas Demon is not a phrase I thought I would ever use.

    In Sweden, Christmas eve is the night that Witches and spirits come out, rather like our Halloween.

    1. These are all great. Have you ever seen “Rare Exports”–it’s a Santa horror movie out of Finland:

      Rare Exports (2010) dir. Jalmari Helander
      rare-exports1My personal favorite horror Santa is in 2010’s Rare Exports. This film is full of original, deep mythology of giant, humanoid creatures buried deep in the Earth that inspired the image of Santa Claus. This Finnish film makes Santa a monster, not a serial killer or a legend, but a movie monster. A group of archaeologists uncover “the largest burial mound in the world” only to uncover supernatural beings punish naughty children. The stakes rise when a reindeer herder captures one of the beasts. Rare Exports is a difficult film to classify since it has elements of horror, fantasy, coming-of-age tale, and dark comedy, but it is a special, and terrifying, film that you need to seek out.

      Most Terrifying Scene: When the reindeer herders realize they might not have captured the real Santa-beast.

      That sounds like a great RM adventure!

  3. Krampus crops up quite often in adventures at this time of year. It would be interesting to see an adventure that uses a different Christmas foe.

      1. Rather surprisingly, a quick search on RPGNow only brings up one definite adventure based on that, for vs. Ghosts (a logical one I suppose). So that idea actually hasn’t been overused. It would make a nice change.

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