Saturday, July 14, 2018

Rom'Myr, a dying earth setting for Magic World

Fantasy Adventures in the dying world of Rom'Myr

An OSR setting using the Magic World role playing game rules

Dying Earth is a subgenre of science fiction, fantasy, or science fantasy which takes place in the far future at either the end of life on Earth, or other Earth-like planets. The End of Time when the laws of the universe themselves fail is also a common trope. Themes of world-weariness, innocence (wounded or otherwise), idealism, entropy, (permanent) exhaustion/depletion of many or all resources (such as soil nutrients), and the hope of renewal tend to predominate.

I started this campaign setting with BFRPG in mind, but I want to have a setting to use with the d100 rules of Magic World so I am in the process of adapting the setting. Here I jigger the Character Creation rules of Magic World to fit my conception. This post will then be followed with a post outlining how the magic system works in the game. When I build up setting details suitable for use by the GM I will post them as well, but I work in fits and starts so don't hold your breath on any of this.

Here is a link for a Magic World form-fillable character sheet for those inclined.

1. Character Creation:

Only human characters may be chosen for race. The available human racial identities are Rom'Myr, and the Fir'Bax.

Rom’Myr humans are citizens of the Blue Borderlands, the farthest province east in the realm of The Trackless Empire. Sandwiched between the Cold Heath and the Groaning Mountains on the shores of the Inland Sea. The Rom'Myr of the Blue Borderlands trade for Bolfian Silk from the non-human desert nomads known as the Strangled.

The land of Fir'Bax lies north of the Blue Borderlands. Uncouth barbarians, the elaborately tattooed Fir'Bax scratch a living from the small arable land surrounding the high peaks of the Yani'Hor, the Groaning Mountains. They are extremely xenophobic and war incessantly with the Strangled. This small barbarian kingdom also resent the encroaching Rom'Myrians into their wilderness domain.

Turn to page 20-21 of the Magic World core rule book and follow “A Guide to Creating your Adventurer”. Below are listed (if any) changes to this standard procedure as they occur in the process.

Step 1: Names & Characteristics No changes.
Step 2: Characteristic Rolls No changes.
Step 3: Derived Characteristics No changes. Please note Human Move is 8, not 10. This is a typo in the rule book.
Step 4: Age and Experience Any PC choosing the Shaman occupation rolls 17+5d6 for starting age, otherwise no changes.
Step 5: Magic Adventurers must have POW 16 or higher to be able to use magic. How the magic system works in Rom'Myr is detailed in its own chapter.
Step 6: Culture and Species Only human can be chosen for PC species. All Culture options are available.
Step 7: Skill Category Modifiers No changes.
Step 8: There appears to be no step eight so this is probably a good time to assign your starting Allegiance (page 28-33).
Step 9: Occupation and Skills All Occupation and skills are available and you are free to build your character as you like. Just keep in mind you will be fitting your character into one of seven Character Classes. These seven classes are; Assassin, Barbarian, Druid, Jester, Paladin, Ranger and Thief. The significance of these classes are detailed in their own chapter.
Step 10: Starting Money and Equipment No changes. I recommend you add Thomas Wiegel's a Wretched Catalogue for more equipment choices than what is offered in the Magic World core rule book. Just convert the cost in silver to cost in bronze.

1.1 Character Class Rules:
All the classes are available to any new PC. All but the Assassin, Barbarian and Thief class have the ability to learn and or acquire magic per the included magic rules if they have a POW 16 or greater. Each particular Class may have additional limitations which are outlined below;

All Barbarian PC's must be Fir'Bax. Only the Band and Tribe cultures are available to this Class. Any of the available Occupations listed for these Cultures are available.

Jester PC's should consider themselves more as traveling monk/scholars as opposed to being a kept clown for royalty. The Jester PC may be either human race (Fir'Bax/Rom'Myr). If Fir'Bax is chosen as race only the Band and Tribe cultures are available. Rom'Myr racial identity does not limit choice of Culture. They are limited to the following Occupations: Astrologer, Begger, Crafter (Tribal), Diplomat, Lost/Forgotten, Minor Noble, Nomad, Peasant/Farmer, Physician/Apothecary, Sailor, Scribe, Shaman/Priest/Cultist, Slave (Freed or Escaped), Small Trader, Sorcerer, Thief, Troubadour/Entertainer.

The Druid is a wild shamans roaming the dying lands of Rom'Myr. A Druid must be Fir'Bax. Only the Band and Tribe cultures are available to this Class. Any of the available Occupations listed for these Cultures are available plus Astrologer, and Sorcerer.
The Ranger, civilized cousin to the Druids must be of Rom'Myer descent. Rom'Myr racial identity does not limit choice of Culture. The Ranger is limited to the following Occupations: Bandit, Craftperson, Crafter (Tribal), Fisher, Hunter, Lost/Forgotten, Nomad, Peasant/Farmer, Slave (Freed or Escaped), Small Trader, Tax/Rent Collector.
Assassins are highly trained guild specialists. They owe their skills to an established order or institution. They must be Rom'Myr and must take the State culture. The Occupations available to the Assassin are; Bandit, Hunter, Minor Noble, Paid Assassin, Cultist.
Thieves are your most common of adventuring rogues found within the Blue Borderlands. They can be either Fir'Bax or Rom'Myr. If they choose Fir'Bax they are limited to the Band and Tribal culture. All the Occupations of these cultures are available, except replace Shaman with Thief. Rom'Myrian identity requires the State culture to be chosen. They are limited to the following Occupations: Bandit, Beggar, Craftsperson, Lost/Forgotten, Sailor, Slave (Freed or Escaped), Thief.
A Paladin is a PC who has picked up the sword in defense of some aspect of the lost past. The Paladin can only be a Rom'Myr human and of the State culture. The Occupations available to the Paladin are; Mercenary/Bodyguard, Minor Noble, Slave (Freed or Escaped), Soldier/Guard/Watchman.
2. Orders and Institutions:
Most of the PC Classes are bound to some type of esoteric religion or ageless cult which claim some form of legitimacy through ancient ideas lost to the unimaginable past eons of Rom’Myr. None of these confer any mechanical benefit for the new PC, but is used to embellish this dying earth with some of the player’s ideas. Of course the Game Master can decide to create orders and institutions which do confer mechanical benefits for the PC as they see fit.
There is a wide discrepancy in intent and capability of the organizations of men in the world of Rom'Myr. Whether battle hardened mercenary corp, horrid murder cult, or starving street thugs the one galvanizing feature of orders in Rom'Myr is the expectation of complete obedience.

Fir’Baxian Battle Cults; there is no better inspiration for your own barbarian battle cult than Red Moon Medican Show's Vacant Ritual Assembly Issue #4. Furious Gods (found on pgs 15-18) is a must read! These pages will be drawn on to demonstrate the magic system of the Druid as well as some of the “gifts” a Barbarian may receive from their Battle Cult.

Pagan Religions; below are names to spur the imagination when creating your worlds and player's religious orders.

Tix-ka-tix, The Returner, The Patient One, The Slumbering Pharoh (Petty Godsp.171).
Mespilus, god of medlar trees and their fruit (Petty Gods p.109).
Lubella the Transformative (Petty Gods p.96)

Esoteric Schools suitable for any character class;
Dlarafis, Augazor, Trani, Children of the Sacrificed, Sect of the Son, Chosen Ones of Tranquility, Band of the Studied, Followers of Vranis, Faith of Drysm, Congregation of Kousha.

3. Languages; Dun-Harad is the language of the Trackless Empire. Marude is the language the Fir'Bax speak. Sahrashin is spoken by the dark skinned Ahenti. Torbarel is the language of The Strangled.  The Other Language skill is limited at character creation to these four languages. As the PC's explore the world of Rom'Myr they may come across other languages and PC's may attempt to learn these through the regular rules for Training and Experience (pages 51-53).

4. Combat Skills: The only “House Rule” I like to add to the rules for Combat Skills is in regard to thrown weapons. Instead of committing an additional skill to the particular thrown weapon the PC can assign their Throw skill as their chance to hit with any thrown weapon. This makes putting points into Throw more valuable then having to split points between Throw and an additional Weapon Skill. I take that back, I have an additional house rule; boost the Base % for Crossbows to 35%. No one needs a skill in Crossbow to shoot these weapons at the Base %.

5. Combat: This piece of crunch only applies to PC's. If an attack throw results in a fumble roll a 1d20 on the following Confirm Fumble Roll table. This will either minimize or exaggerate the rolled fumble. Feel free to ignore this step if you don't like this rule.
1 : You really messed up this time! Roll twice on Fumble table.
2 – 10: Roll on Fumble table as normal.
11 – 19: Regular miss.
20: Recover! Reroll to hit.

6. Magic Rules: these will make up the body of the next post!