Friday, April 28, 2017

Savaging Anime Rom-Com: Comedy Backlash

Fairy Tail isn't a rom-com (let alone a harem rom-com) but I couldn't find any better visual examples that wouldn't require a mature content warning. Hmm... Maybe it's a harem show where the viewer is the one with the harem!

As mentioned in Savage Worlds, the Critical Failures setting rule works well in humorous games. Unfortunately, this rule disadvantages those faced with backlash, brainburn, and malfunctions from the Magic, Psionics, and Weird Science Arcane Backgrounds, as they risk hurting themselves with a roll of 1 on their skill die when activating a power. 

Many harem romantic comedies feature the frequent use of Arcane Backgrounds, or even offer a heavy dose of combat (Tenchi Muyo! certainly comes to mind). The emotional stakes of such battles are often quite high, but the chance of serious injury is usually fairly low. In such cartoonish settings, a different approach to backlash may be in order.  

New Setting Rule: Comedy Backlash

When a character utilizing Magic, Psionics, or Weird Science rolls poorly enough that backlash, brainburn, or a malfunction would normally be called for, the player (never the Game Master) can instead choose to suffer a Comedy Backlash effect. The hero is Shaken, but a second Shaken result cannot cause a Wound; instead, the player describes something embarrassing happening to the character.

Examples include: 
  • The character accidentally destroys their own clothes, exposing themselves to onlookers.
  • Collateral damage from the attack causes debris to clonk the hero on the head.
  • The power explodes in the hero’s face, leaving cartoon scorch marks.
  • With the other player’s permission, the hero accidentally destroys another character’s clothes, exposing them to the original character’s bashful gaze. (The other hero does not suffer a Shaken result, but may wish to suddenly realize they’re naked after the fight is over.)
  • With the other player’s permission, the hero stumbles into a nearby ally, causing unintended intimate bodily contact and getting slapped for it.
Players running heroes using Miracles or Super Powers may elect to take Comedy Backlash as part of their Arcane Background instead. Deities in romantic comedies tend to be lecherous goofballs themselves, and may forgive a character who commits a Minor sin who opts to take Comedy backlash on their next use of Faith. A hero with Super Powers who opts to take an instance of Comedy Backlash may retain the Power Points they would have otherwise lost to the failed roll.

Savaging Anime Rom-Com: An Introduction

The girl's the one with the barrette in her hair, not the one holding the stuffed animal.

And by “anime ,” I of course mean “anime and manga” since most anime start as manga.

And by “rom-com,” I of course mean “harem.”

The seemingly vast majority of anime and manga romantic comedies revolve around love triangles – love triangles that usually expand as the series progresses, adding enough new sides to become love dodecahedrons or more. At the center of these complicated relationships is usually a single, audience-identification figure protagonist who gathers a so-called “harem” of would-be lovers. In a standard harem, the protagonist is male; in a “reverse harem” or “seraglio,” the protagonist is female. In a “supporting harem,” the protagonist has a single true love (or two rival loves) and the other members of the harem are only distractions and supporting players, while in a “balanced harem” all of the love interests are equal choices (and in a “bloodbath harem,” they’re hyper-competitive to be the chosen One True Love). 

Particularly in anime, high school is the preferred setting for harem comedies (as much of the anime-viewing audience is high school age or younger – or just really, really doesn’t want to grow up) – but these high schools exist in a broad variety of genres: fantasy, horror, martial arts, military, sci-fi, and more. Many frequently mix genres for additional incongruity and comedy. College and workplace harem comedies also exist, many of them involving just as much cross—genre pollination.

Most experts consider Rumiko Takahashi’s 1978-1987 manga series Urusei Yatsura as the progenitor of the genre; unlike later harem comedies, Urusei Yatsura revolves around a lecherous protagonist who actively pursues a large harem of women, frequently ignoring the alien space princess who truly loves him. Takahashi’s later series Ranma ½ pit the budding relationship between two young martial artists against their respective supporting harems, while Kousuke Fujishima’s Oh My Goddess! (AKA Ah! My Goddess!) depicted the love-life of a technical college student, the Norn he wished would stay with him forever, and the complications caused by the Norn’s sisters. 

The space opera/quasi-Star Wars parody Tenchi Muyo! cemented the formula of the harem comedy in the minds of both English-speakers and Japanese with its oblivious hero and his balanced harem of space pirates and alien princesses. Tenchi Muyo! established a formula of flustered – even unwilling – young men surrounded by far more aggressive, frequently naked women. After Tenchi Muyo!, the harem genre quickly became the dominant comedic genre in anime (or at least that anime imported to the USA) including Ai Yori Aoshi and Negima! Magister Negi Magi, with aspects even being represented in otherwise straight action series such as Outlaw Star

The 2001 anime of Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket – with its tale of a lonely girl torn between boys cursed to turn into cute animals when touched – created an audience for reverse harem series in the US, a trend given a huge boost by the 2006 anime for Bisco Hatori’s series Ouran High School Host Club – the story of a poor, possibly genderqueer girl who becomes the center of attention for a club full of rich, ridiculous (and ridiculously good-looking) teenage boys. Reverse harems tend to more often have supporting harems, with the female protagonist distinctly drawn to a specific male character, such as the kitsune Tomoe, the only man in high school girl-turned-goddess Nanami’s heart (despite the hunky magical snake, oni, and pair of tengu lusting after her) in Julietta Suzuki’s Kamisama Kiss.

The harem genre continues to be popular. Among the top-selling manga in the USA sits Monster Musume, the story of a genial college student living with a bevy of half-human, D&D-style monster girls, while the same publisher recently picked up the rights to To Love-Ru, an infamously raunchy series about a high school student who keeps accidentally winding up naked with a quartet of alien space princesses as well as a trio of alien assassins, a ghost, and half the normal girls in his school. Meanwhile, more reverse harems pop on bookshelves as well, such as the (again) youkai-themed That Wolf-Boy is Mine! and The Demon Prince of Momochi House.

This series shall offer new setting rules, Hindrances, Edges, and possibly more in an attempt to bring some of the wacky hijinks of anime rom-com to Savage Worlds. My apologies in advance if anything turns out to be similar to anything presented in the Savage Worlds edition of the Ninja High School RPG. Despite also being based in San Antonio, I've never followed much of anything Antarctic Press has published (the exception being some of Rod Espinosa's early works).   

Guess which ones are alien princesses!

Next: Comedy Backlash

Setting Rule: Hindrance Trading

Wolverine is the poster child for Hindrance Trading

As mentioned many times before, the vast majority of my actual RPG playing time is spent playing duet (AKA solo or one-to-one) Savage Worlds games with my wife, Robin. Most of these short campaigns are romance stories in one form or another; the current one is a Victorian paranormal romance, while I’m looking toward prepping an anime-style sci-fi (reverse) harem rom-com.   

The essence of romance – and especially romantic comedy – is self-improvement. The plot of almost any rom-com can be boiled down to “person with Hindrances meets another person with Hindrances, they work them out, and everything ends happily.” While these Hindrances can be external – debt, idiot sisters, parents exiled from their rightful kingdoms, etc. – the most common and most important Hindrances are internal – prejudice, pride, unhealthy obsessions, etc. Conquering these Hindrances drives the plot. 

Several years back, I wrote extensively about Savage Worlds romance gaming in the context of Regency romances. Back then, I suggested that the way to emulate romantic comedy self-improvement was to allow players to buy off Hindrances, similar to how Habit [Major] can be bought off. 

Many of my peers argued that this robbed players of a way of earning Bennies; while I’m still not sure that I agree with that argument (Savage Worlds Deluxe still seems to me to downplay roleplaying Hindrances in favor of clever ideas and advancing the plot) I will certainly admit that spending Advances on buying off Hindrances robs characters of mechanical growth (and optional ways of adding pseudo-Advances to let players buy off Hindrances without spending real Advances just overcomplicate things).

I’d therefore like to propose an alternative (that I’m sure many people already use as a house rule). While I conceived of it primarily in the context of romance gaming, it can equally apply to any genre predicated on personality growth, from military action (the Yellow new recruit whose burgeoning courage makes them Heroic) to superheroics (the Mean berserker who learns to be Loyal to their found family). 

Hindrance Trading

Most genres emulated in roleplaying games assume that characters will not only grow in skill and power (the accumulation of higher Trait dice and Edges) but will also experience personal growth (the maturation of worldviews, the correction of personality flaws). This may be positive growth (Samwise Gamgee abandoning his provincial prejudices for cosmopolitan tolerance) or negative growth (any number of Lovecraftian protagonists descending into madness). Hindrance Trading allows for this development while keeping the dramatic possibility of Hindrances on the character sheet.

At the end of any game session in which a hero has experienced a personal milestone (or at the beginning of the game session after), the player may opt to trade one Major or up to two Minor Hindrances for a new Hindrance or Hindrances of equal value that reflect the character’s new outlook on life. Unlike at character creation, a hero may come out of a Hindrance Trade with two Major Hindrances.

Example: Rossletha the Barbarian began the campaign as Illiterate, a Minor Hindrance. Incapacitated during a battle with the yeti of the Heaven-Piercing Mountaing, she is taken in by the monks of Yama-hiten. Trey, Rossletha’s player, decides that during the long Natural Healing process, Rossletha takes an interest in the teachings of the monks. At the beginning of the game session after Arnam finally fully heals, Trey trades the barbarian’s Illiterate Hindrance for a Quirk; Rossletha has not only learned to read, she always has her nose buried in a book when not in combat!

Example: When Major Durning first began exploring the mysteries of the Necronomicon with his scholarly allies, he was brash and Overconfident (a Major Hindrance). Despite consistently passing Fear tests, Alice – Major Durning’s player – decides throwing some new complications into the game would be fun. After losing yet another comrade to the Great Race of Yith, Alice decides Durning’s after-dinner glass of port has become a whole bottle – and he’s carrying a flask of whiskey on his person at all times. She trades Overconfident for the Major Hindrance version of Habit, setting up a situation where she’ll have to buy off or trade away the new Hindrance further down the line.

Example: Jane is playing Elizabeth, a smart but sarcastic and judgmental young woman (a Minor Habit) who is also very good at holding grudges (the Minor version of Vengeful). Elizabeth meets the vexing Fitzwilliam, a handsome fellow with similar flaws. After numerous misadventures, Jane decides Elizabeth has recognized that her pride and prejudice have led her into terrible misjudgments. After declaring her love for Fitzwilliam, Jane swaps Habit [Minor] and Vengeful [Minor] for Heroic [Major] as Elizabeth embraces a newfound selflessness and courage.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mecha Ninja Ranger Paradigmatic Framework

Across the Megaverse® – in over threescore universes and parallel realities – god-like beings of wisdom and goodness channel their will through chosen champions, squads – or sentai – of young beings given the power and responsibility of Mecha Ninja Rangers. Tasked with battling terrible creatures of evil, inevitably some of these young heroes found themselves on Rifts® Earth.

Some Ninja Rangers are barely aware of their transcendent destinies, ascribing their powers to mere technology as their benefactors work in mysterious ways, but most are openly approached and offered a choice. Like Cyber-Knights, these champions are compelled to uphold a code of honor and heroism or else lose their powers. The sponsors then implant artificial psionic capability in their chosen champions (usually teenagers, as their bodies and psyches are quicker to recover than adults but their minds are better-developed than children) and fuse their psyches to incredible TW battle machines.

These battle machines – or mecha – are powerful Techno-Wizard robot armors with the astonishing ability to combine together into larger and even more powerful forms. The mecha can enhance and focus Mecha Ninja Rangers’ psionic abilities; they even display rudimentary personalities of their own, punishing those who are untrue to the Ninja Ranger code. It’s theorized by some that the mecha are powered by captive elemental spirits, but it seems that Ninja Rangers’ mysterious benefactors may instead awaken the natural spirits inherent in all metal and electricity.

Despite their immense power, the benefactors of Mecha Ninja Rangers must still limit their sentai to no more than five to fifteen members apiece, meaning they will never be as large and successful a force for good as the Cyber-Knights. At this time, perhaps five teams from different worlds have been drawn to Rifts® Earth. 

As Cyber-Knight


  • Leap into Battle: Mecha Ninja Rangers train to leap astonishing distances. They can jump 2” vertically and 4” horizontally; a successful Strength roll grants 1” additional distance. 
  • Mecha: Mecha Ninja Rangers are trained in the use of highly advanced TW vehicles and robot armors that do not interfere with their psionics. These mecha possess (or perhaps are possessed by) a rudimentary sapience that allows them to come when summoned, but otherwise require their pilots to function. See below for a typical mecha.
  • Mecha Pilot: Depending on whether their mecha of choice takes the form of a vehicle or robot armor, the Ninja Ranger begins with the Ace or Robot Armor Jock Edge. 
  • Mecha Warrior: A Mecha Ninja Ranger begins play with Fighting d8 and Piloting (or the appropriate skill for their mecha) d8. 
  • Minor Psionic: As the Cyber-Knight Ability.
  • Transdimensional Weaponry: As a free action, the Ninja Ranger can pull from or deposit into a pocket dimension a weapon keyed to their unique biorhythms. This weapon functions as a Cyber-Knight’s Psi-Sword in all respects save that it also has a Shooting or Throwing range of 3/6/12; if thrown, it returns to its master’s hand.
  • Transmute!: As the Cyber-Knight Cyber-Armor ability, but the armor takes the form of an advanced polymer battle costume. 


  • Code of Honor: As the Cyber-Knight complication. The penalties to Psionics rolls also apply to piloting their mecha as the mecha’s AI revolts against being commanded by a an unworthy pilot. 
  • Cybernetics: As the complication for Psychic Powerhouses and Masters of Magic, not Cyber-Knights. Ninjas Rangers can receive cybernetic augmentation, but it severely reduces the effectiveness of their Psionics.
  • Psionic Limitation: Due to receiving their psionic abilities artificially, Mecha Ninja Rangers are incapable of taking the Master Psionic Edge (but see below).


They've got a weapon, armor, and a mecha. They don't need any other starting gear, do they?
As Techno-Wizard vehicles, all mecha require Power Points equal to half their Size (minimum 1) per hour to operate – through they can travel indefinitely along Ley Lines after their operators pay the ISP cost to start them. More explicitly technological than Dweomer City automatons, Ninja Ranger mecha otherwise obey the rules for robot armor outlined in The Tomorrow Legion Player’s Guide.
Most Mecha Ninja Ranger mecha resemble bipedal or four-footed animals. Dinosaurs and Pleistocene megafauna seem to be the most common designs, but magical creatures have also been seen. Many sentai seem to have a single flying vehicle among them. Some very rare squadrons pilot more conventional-looking vehicles.
MNR Robot Armor: Size: 6, Crew 1, Strength d12+6, Toughness 35 (17), Pace 10 OR Size: 5, Crew: 1, Strength d12+4, Toughness 30 (17), Pace: 1, Acc/TS: 20/90
  • 2 x Dual-linked Medium Rail Guns (shoulder-mounted)
  • 2 x Dual-linked Medium Lasers (eyes) OR Medium Ion Cannon (mouth)
  • Assault Jaws/Claws (Damage: Str+d8, AP 2, Mega Damage)
  • Unlike conventional Iconic Frameworks, Mecha Ninja Rangers work best together. When most (if not all) of the players at a table are playing Ninja Rangers, the combined form mecha can be incredibly powerful.
  • Keep your Spirit up. The way of the Mecha Ninja Ranger is as much a spiritual path as it is a martial calling. Friendship and teamwork have direct mechanical benefits.
  • Specialize. Even though Ninja Rangers work best in groups, those groups work best when they’re composed of individuals with diverse abilities and powers.

Mecha Ninja Rangers can take Improved Cyber-Armor and Master Cyber-Armor, Improved Psi-Sword and Master Psi-Sword, and Psi-Shield. They also have access to:

Mecha Fusion
Requirements: Seasoned, Mecha Ninja Ranger, Spirit d8+
Every Mecha Ninja Ranger in a single squadron who possesses this Edge has learned to techno-psionically combine their mecha with that of their teammates into a single, larger robot armor.
Each additional robot armor joined to the combined form adds only +3 to Size as various redundant systems are shunted into the same transdimensional space where Ninja Rangers weapons go. The increase in Size grants a +3 to Strength per mecha and +4 (1) Toughness. For every two robot armors combined, one Mecha Ninja Ranger must make a successful Piloting roll each round in order to keep the combination active; if that roll fails, the mecha separate.   
Mecha Ninja Rangers piloting combined mecha may use their action to perform Cooperative Rolls for Piloting rolls and combat actions.
The Daiyoukai Super Force pilot five mecha: Brown Tanuki, Golden Kitsune, Green Kappa, Red Nekomata, and White Hebi. Green Kappa – the mecha that forms the torso – has a Strength of d12+6 and Toughness of 35 (17). When all four other mecha combine with Green Kappa to form Superdaiyoukai Onmyouji, the combined mecha’s strength is d12+18 and its Toughness is 51 (21).
In order to keep the combined form active, however, two of Mecha Ninja Rangers must make a successful piloting roll each round. They can do this as a Cooperative Roll or with a multi-action penalty, but if they fail, Superdaiyoukai Onmyouji collapses back into its component mecha.

Mecha Transdimensional Weapon
Requirements: Seasoned, Mecha Ninja Ranger, Common Bond, Psionics d8+, Spirit d8+
The Mecha Ninja Ranger learns to manifest their transdimensional weapon through their fusion with their mecha. The mecha can now wield a version of the weapon, using its Strength for calculating damage. This weapon automatically does Mega Damage.

Super-Mecha Transdimensional Weapon
Requirements: Veteran, Mecha Transdimensional Weapon
The Mecha Ninja Ranger sentai that has really learned the value of teamwork is capable of astonishing feats, even slaying gigantic raging monsters (see Savage Foes of North America) in one blow.
When combined, the squad can manifest a gigantic transdimensional weapon that does the combined mecha’s Strength + the Spirit die of every contributing Mecha Ninja Ranger in damage. All contributing Ninja Rangers must possess this Edge and the Fighting roll to hit must be made as a Cooperative Roll.

Psionic Channeling
Requirements: Veteran, Mecha Ninja Ranger, Spirit d8+
While Mecha Ninja Rangers can't take the Master Psionic Edge, they can learn to channel their psionic abilities through their Mecha. Effectively, this Edge gives Mecha Ninja Rangers access to Mega Powers, but only when piloting their mecha. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Role as Race: Five-Man Band

by Alex Ross

Sometimes you’re going to have campaigns where everybody is playing a human. Sometimes these campaigns will be about science ninjas and/or martial artists who pilot super-cool vehicles and/or robots. Sometimes you want a little bit more to distinguish nearly-identical characters than just their choices of Hindrances and Edges.

(Sometimes they’re about teens solving mysteries, but the principle still applies.)


Let’s try something different. Let’s swap out the free Edge for being human for a small package of other bonuses (and balancing Hindrances) for a role or personality archetype that substitutes for race. These roles are based on the Five-Man Band archetypal structure.
The Leader
Some are born to lead, some have leadership thrust upon them -- but all Leaders display a talent for coordinating their teams. 
Examples: Freddy (Scooby-Doo), Ken/Mark (Gatchaman/Battles of the Planets), Akira/Keith (Beast King GoLion/Voltron: Defender of the Universe), Ayeka Masaki Jurai (Tenchi franchise), Ichiro Ogami (Sakura Taisen), Tamaki Suoh (Ouran High School Host Club), Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)
  • Natural Leader: Leaders begin with the Command Edge. All Leadership Edges utilized by Leaders apply to their Wild Card player character teammates. 
  • Paragon: Leaders are naturally talented and begin with a d6 in the two skills defining the setting’s genre (usually Fighting and Piloting for super robot pilots).
  • Sense of Duty: Leaders are driven by a personal vow to fulfill the mission of their organization whenever they can, plunging their teams into rescue missions and the like even against orders from higher up. All Leaders begin with a Vow [Major] Hindrance (or Curious for mystery solvers). 
The Lancer
Lancers are frequently resentful seconds-in-command, people almost talented enough to be leaders in their own right, but whose tendency to pursue their own agendas bring them into constant conflict with the official Leader. 
Examples: Shaggy (Scooby-Doo), Joe/Jason (Gatchaman/Battles of the Planets), Isamu/Lance (Beast King GoLion/Voltron: Defender of the Universe), Ryoko Hakubi (Tenchi franchise), Maria Tachibana and Sumire Kanzaki (Sakura Taisen), Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachin (Ouran High School Host Club), Gray Fullbuster (Fairy Tail) 
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Lancers begin with a d8 in Shooting and a d6 in whatever the second-most important skill in the genre is (usually Fighting or Piloting); this bonus may be substituted when a team has multiple Lancers (Sumire) or in settings where Shooting isn’t used (Gray), but their combat skills will usually revolve around range (like Shaggy, who subs in Fleet Footed and d6 Streetwise).  
  • Dexterous: Lancers are invariably swift and coordinated. Lancers begin with Agility at d6 and their maximum is d12+1 without buying additional Edges.  
  • In Over Their Head: Whether because the Lancer has deep-seated insecurities or because they’re just plain cocky, Lancers tend to act rashly when the odds are not in their favor. Lancers suffer from the Overconfident Hindrance (even Shaggy, who is more oblivious than anything but still lands in hot water). 
  • Rebellious: Lancers frequently clash with their teammates. One member of the team – usually the Leader – counts as an Enemy [Minor] for the Lancer in a rivalry that compels the Lancer to try to outdo this teammate or disobey orders.
The Mediator
The peacekeepers of their groups, Mediators form close friendships with all members of their teams, bringing everyone together (especially the Leaders and Lancers). They often find themselves the centers of love triangles.
Examples: Daphne (Scooby-Doo), Jun/Princess (Gatchaman/Battles of the Planets), Princess Farla/Princess Allura (Beast King GoLion/Voltron: Defender of the Universe), Tenchi Masaki (Tenchi franchise), Sakura Shinguji (Sakura Taisen), Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran High School Host Club), Lucy Heartfillia (Fairy Tail)
  • Compassionate: Mediators begin with Spirit at d6 and their maximum is d12+1 without buying additional Edges.
  • Really Can’t Help Being a Hero: Mediators are, if anything, even more driven to help than Leaders, acting out of their sense of compassion more often than duty. All Mediators begin with the Heroic Hindrance.
  • Unifier: Mediators begin with the Common Bond Edge. 
They may not be the greatest fighter on the team, but the Powerhouse makes up for it with incredible toughness. They’re frequently also the bulkiest member of the team; even when they’re as slim as anyone else, they still have a hearty appetite.
Examples: Scooby (Scooby-Doo), Ryu/Tiny (Gatchaman/Battles of the Planets), Tsuyoshi/Hunk (Beast King GoLion/Voltron: Defender of the Universe), Mihoshi Kuramitsu (Tenchi franchise), Kanna Kirishima (Sakura Taisen), Mitsukuni "Honey" Haninozuka and Takashi "Mori" Morinozuka (Ouran High School Host Club), Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail)
  • Bad Habit: Powerhouses tend to suffer from some bad habit – laziness, competitiveness, or something similar – that reduces their esteem in the eyes of their peers. Powerhouses have the Habit [Minor] Hindrance.
  • Big Appetite: Even if they don’t pack on the pounds, the Powerhouse has an embarrassingly ravenous appetite. This counts as the Minor Hindrance Quirk.
  • Resilient: The Powerhouse gains a +2 to Toughness, either from increased Size or simply a Toughness bonus at the player’s discretion.
  • Strong: Powerhouses begin with Strength at d6 and their maximum is d12+1 without buying additional Edges. 
Less resilient than their companions but no less reliable, Prodigies display unusual talent in some key supporting talent central to the setting. They may not be the best fighters or pilots, but they’re the ones who keep the super robots running or heal their teammates’ wounds.
Examples: Velma (Scooby-Doo), Jinpei/Keyop (Gatchaman/Battles of the Planets – talented at Stealth), Hiroshi/Pidge (Beast King GoLion/Voltron: Defender of the Universe), Iris Chateaubriand and Li Kohran (Sakura Taisen), Kyoya Ootori (Ouran High School Host Club), Happy and Wendy Marvell (Fairy Tail)
  • Awkward: Prodigies either suffer the Bad Eyes [Minor] Hindrance OR from some personality issue like crippling shyness and annoying boisterousness that gets on others' nerves (-1 Charisma). 
  • Clever: Prodigies begin with Smarts at d6 and their maximum is d12+1 without buying additional Edges.
  • Technical Talent: Prodigies begin with either a d8 in one supporting skill or d6 in two; these will usually be skills like Healing, Investigation, or Repair.
  • Frail: A Prodigy either simply doesn’t have the combat prowess of their allies (-1 Toughness) or is physically smaller than them (Size -1) at the player’s discretion.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Celtic/Gaelic VENUS Packages

by Angus McBride

The following V.E.N.U.S. (Venturers, Experimenters, Navigators, and the Unusually Skilled) packages are based largely on the legends of the Irish Heroic Age (1st through 4th centuries CE) as depicted in the legends of Cú Chulainn and Fionn mac Cumhaill though they can also be used for Celtic and Gallic characters in a Weird Wars Rome or similar setting (say, perhaps, as the defenders of the last independent Gaulish village). There is some deliberate simplification of certain cultural roles for ease of play (not the least of which is conflating two periods of the era).
Gaelic bards or filid serve as entertainers and historians for the warrior nobility. Though a branch of the druidic tradition, they are known more as satirists and storytellers than priests. 
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Knowledge (Occult), +2 dice Knowledge (History) & Perform 
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Miracles), Troubadour (see Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion)  
  • Bonus Gear: harp  
Though the ancient Gaelic priests conducted their services under the open sky at standing stones and in circles of power, they were not the wilderness defenders depicted in D&D. Rather, they served as lawgivers and oracles for their clans.  
  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Knowledge (Law) & Knowledge (Occult), +3 dice Faith   

  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Miracles)  

  • Bonus Gear: golden sickle (as dagger)

The cavalry of the ancient Gaels is comprised of light, mobile chariots. A ranking warrior rides inside, throwing spears at the enemy, while a dedicated charioteer guides the horses and helps his master rearm.  
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Fighting, +2 dice Driving and Throwing 
  • Bonus Edges: Ace, Beast Bond 
  • Bonus Gear: chariot, two spears, two war horses
Warrior (Fianna)
Fianna are small warbands made up of landless men and women; during the winter, they contract with the nobility and keep the peace in their lands, but during the summer, they roam the forests and hunt for food and pelts. Some High Kings have organized a national fianna that served their interests and roamed the whole island.     
  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Fighting, +3 dice Survival & Tracking 
  • Bonus Hindrances: Code of Honor [Major], Vow [Minor; serve the leader of the fiann]
  • Bonus Edges: Dord Fiann (as Rebel Yell; see Deadlands Reloaded), Woodsman 
  • Bonus Gear: long sword, medium shield, two spears
Warrior (household)
Some warriors serve in a lord’s personal warband or bodyguard, training from an early age in lodges dedicated to fostering warriors. These warriors are often the heirs of the nobility, growing in time to rule households of their own (which is when they would earn or inherit the Noble Edge). Their lives are dedicated to training for battle.
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Intimidation OR Taunt, +3 dice Fighting & Throwing
  • Bonus Hindrances: Vow [Major; serve your lord]
  • Bonus Edges: Block, Combat Reflexes
  • Bonus Gear: long sword, medium shield, two spears

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mega Horror Powers

'Cause sometimes you're rooting for the lich.

The Savage Worlds Horror Companion contains a small selection of new powers appropriate for a horror setting – but what if you wanted a high-powered horror setting? The following are some options inspired by the Mega Powers of RIFTS® for Savage Worlds.
Banish Entity - Exalted Banish Entity
The caster may either target a single Wild Card entity for Power Points equal to the being’s Spirit die or target all Extra entities in a Large Burst Template.
Bind Entity - Greater Bind Entity
For twice the usual Power Point cost, duration increases to one week (5/one week).
Consecrate Ground – Blessed Sanctum
Duration increases to 1 hour and Power Points cost increases to 6 (1/hour).
Corpse Senses – Meat Puppet
Power Point cost increases to 5 (1/hour) but the caster can now control the undead’s actions and speak through it. Undead created by the necromancer obey commands issued by the meat puppet.
Drain Years – Drain Life
Power Points cost increases to 40 points. Any character that fails their Vigor roll dies of old age; Elderly characters make the roll at -2.
Enhance Undead – Exalted Enhance Undead 
Power Point cost increases to 6/undead; duration increases to 1 day or 1d4 days on a raise.
Grave Shroud – Greater Grave Shroud
Duration increases to 1 hour and Power Points cost increases to 4 (1/hour). A character knowingly subjected to this spell does not need to make a Fear test is she sees her own reflection.
Grave Speak – Secrets of the Grave
Power Point cost increases to 6 (2/round) but the spirit may not lie – unless the caster rolls a 1 on their arcane skill die, in which case the ability of the summoned spirit to lie replaces accidentally contacting a demon.
Nightmares – Dream Warrior
Power Point cost increases to 8, but the caster can now project himself into the target’s dream. The caster cannot control the laws of physics in the dream realm, but can use any other powers (like illusion) that would function in a comparable manner. While in the dream realm, the caster can enter combat with the dreamer; wounds – including Incapacitation – suffered by either party carry over to the physical world. 
Spirit Shield – Exalted Spirit Shield
Power Points cost increases to 6 (1/round) but the protected area increases to the size of a Large Burst Template and entities wishing to cross the threshold suffer a -2 to their Spirit rolls.
Strength of the Dead – Greater Strength of the Dead
Duration increases to 1 hour and Power Points cost increases to 10 (1/hour).
Summon Demon – Exalted Summon Demon
For twice the usual Power Point cost, the duration increases to Smarts x Days.
Summon Spirit – Greater Summon Spirit 
For twice the usual Power Point cost, the caster can either improve the circumstances of asking the spirit for information or make it easier to command to a task. In the former case, the following applies:
  • Failure: The Spirit roll to avoid Fatigue is made at -2.
  • Success: Anyone directly involved in the casting is not Fatigued after the spirit departs.
  • Raise: The Spirit answers five questions.
If summoned to perform a task, the spirit’s Spirit roll to resist the orders is at -2. 
Suppress Lycanthropy – Exalted Suppress Lycanthropy
Power Point cost increases to 12. When used to suppress one night’s transformation, success instead allows the lycanthrope self-control after the transformation. When used as a ritual to permanently control the curse, the subject may select to be permanently rid of the curse rather than control the transformation; if the caster fails, the lycanthrope only runs amok for 1d3 days.

Wuxia VENUS Packages

Shaolin & Wu Tang (1981)
left to right: Shaolin adept, Wudang adept

Let’s simply assume that the dividing line between wuxia as a genre and martial arts stories in general is the presence of “wire-fu”-style quasi-magical abilities and move on from there. As one is sure to notice, these are very generic V.E.N.U.S. (Venturers, Experimenters, Navigators, and the Unusually Skilled) packages. Wuxia characters are all defined by their mastery of the martial arts; it's in their backgrounds, personalities, and fighting styles (defined by the Combat Edges and powers they choose) that their individuality is found.  

Enlightened (Deadlands-style) Adept

  • Bonus Skills: +3 dice in Fighting & initial super power skill
  • Bonus Hindrances: either Code of Honor [Major; follow the Code of Xia] or Vow [Major; serve your master or temple] AND either Enemy [Minor; see below] or Vengeful [Minor] 
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Chi Mastery; see Deadlands: Reloaded), Martial Artist, Superior Kung Fu (see Deadlands: Reloaded)
  • Bonus Gear: one martial arts weapon of the player’s choice
Shaolin (external style) Adept 
  • Bonus Skills: +3 dice Faith & Fighting 
  • Bonus Hindrances: either Code of Honor [Major; follow the Code of Xia] or Vow [Major; serve your master or temple] AND either Enemy [Minor; see below] or Vengeful [Minor] 
  • Bonus Edges: Adept, Arcane Background (Miracles), Martial Artist 
  • Bonus Gear: one martial arts weapon of the player’s choice
Wudang (internal style) Adept

  • Bonus Skills: +3 dice Fighting & Spellcasting
  • Bonus Hindrances: either Code of Honor [Major; follow the Code of Xia] or Vow [Major; serve your master or temple] AND either Enemy [Minor; see below] or Vengeful [Minor]
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Miracles), Magical Adept (as Adept, except substituting Magic for Miracles), Martial Artist
  • Bonus Gear: one martial arts weapon of the player’s choice  
Random Enemy Table
Long-held, unresolved grudges are an essential aspect of wuxia stories. If a player or Game Master needs inspiration for the Enemy Hiundrance, draw a card from the Action Deck and consult the following list:
  • Clubs – The family member of a friend or fellow student accidentally slain by your hand.
  • Diamonds – A villain seeking the secrets of your master or order
  • Hearts – A lover you left behind to pursue the path of wuxia
  • Spades – A fellow student you routinely bested
  • Joker – Draw twice (discarding Jokers) and combine the two results

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pre-Modern Japanese VENUS Packages

Genji: Days of the Blade
from left to right: sohei, samurai, miko (sort-of), and kami-possessed samurai

Heian Ghost Story Packages

These are some V.E.N.U.S. (Venturers, Experimenters, Navigators, and the Unusually Skilled) packages for supernatural investigator characters in a Heian Japan setting, as discussed in previous blog entries.

Note that this is for a Japanese-style scholar-monk, not a Chinese-style martial arts monk.
  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Faith & Knowledge (Occult)
  • Bonus Hindrances: Vow [Minor; obey your abbot]
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Miracles), Exorcist (see Savage Worlds Horror Companion)
  • Bonus Gear: Buddhist rosary


  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Knowledge (Occult) & Spellcasting
  • Bonus Hindrances: Vow [Minor; serve the Ministry of Onmyōdo or some minor spiritual taboo]
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Magic), New Power (bind entity; see Savage Worlds Horror Companion), New Power (summon spirit; see Savage Worlds Horror Companion
  • Bonus Gear: shikiban (divination board; adds +1 to Occult Knowledge rolls) and other occult tools 


Prior to the Meiji era, miko were not so much “shrine maidens” as “female shamans” – speaking for the spirits, inviting both kami and ghosts to possess them and speak through them (practices called kamigakari and tokusen). While they usually dwelled at specific shrines, the upheaval of the Kamakura period and the ascension of the samurai turned many miko into mendicant soothsayers. This framework is meant to emulate that earlier form of miko, not the part-time shrine tenders of modern Japan.

  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Shooting, +2 dice Faith & Knowledge (Occult)
  • Bonus Hindrances: Vow [Major; serve the kami] and either Code of Honor (if a shrine miko) or Outsider & Wanted [Minor] (if a wandering miko)
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Miracles), New Power (consecrate ground or grave speak; see Savage Worlds Horror Companion), New Power (summon spirit; see Savage Worlds Horror Companion)
  • Bonus Gear: azusayumi (sacred catalpa-wood bow), red hakama and white haori (traditional miko costume), tamagushi (sacred decorated tree branch or wand), various ritual objects 
  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Fighting, Knowledge (Occult), and Survival, +4 dice Faith
  • Bonus Hindrances: Code of Honor [Major], Vow [Major; obey your master and the teachings of your order], Outsider [Minor]
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Miracles), Exorcist (see Savage Worlds Horror Companion)
  • Bonus Gear: Buddhist rosary, climbing gear, oi and kata-bako (portable shrine), shakujō (sacred staff), shiba-uchi (sacred short sword), tokin (drinking cup/hat), yui-gesa (pompom-adorned vestment harness) 
Chanbara Packages

And here are some V.E.N.U.S. (Venturers, Experimenters, Navigators, and the Unusually Skilled) packages for a more typical samurai sword-fighting setting (or a really over the top one). Of course, there's no reason you can't mix and match both sets of packages for a samurai & supernatural setting in the vein of InuYasha.

  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Climbing, Fighting, & Lockpicking; +3 dice Stealth
  • Bonus Hindrances: Vow [Major; serve your clan or the lord that commands you]; Enemy or Wanted [Minor; your clan has a rival ninja clan or ninja are technically outlawed in your area], Outsider [Minor; those who know you are a ninja treat you as hinin, the lowest of castes]
  • Bonus Edges: Assassin, Thief
  • Bonus Gear: grappling hook & line, 5 kunai or shuriken (as throwing knife/dagger), ninja-to (as short sword) 
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Shooting, +3 dice Fighting & Riding
  • Bonus Hindrances: two of Enemy [Minor], Outsider [Minor], and Wanted [Minor; likely to be accused of crimes by local daimyo and samurai]
  • Bonus Edges: 1st Edge in a School Style
  • Bonus Gear: katana, tanto (as dagger), wakizashi (as short sword); female samurai often carry a naginata (as halberd). 
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Shooting, +3 dice Fighting & Riding
  • Bonus Hindrances: Vow [Major; serve your clan or the lord that commands you]
  • Bonus Edges: Knight (see Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion), 1st Edge in a School Style
  • Bonus Gear: daikyu and 20 arrows (as long bow, but can be used from horseback), katana, lamellar armor (as chain hauberk with enclosed steel helmet), riding horse (Tokugawa period) or war horse (Heian through Azuchi-Momoyama periods), tanto (as dagger), wakizashi (as short sword); female samurai often carry a naginata (as halberd). NOTE: The gear listed here replaces that offered by the Knight Edge.
Ronin & Samurai School Style Edge Trees
Ronin and samurai dedicated to a particular school of combat need not meet Rank requirements when purchasing an Edge; all other requirements for the Edge must be met. Heroes lose this benefit if they purchase any other Combat Edges before finishing training in their school's style.  
  • Battōjutsu/Iajutsu (fast-strike schools): Quick Draw > First Strike > Improved First Strike
  • Ittō-ryū (one-sword schools): No Mercy (or Mighty Blow in settings with the Blood & Guts Setting Rule) > Sunder > Improved Sunder (see Fantasy Companion)
  • Niten Ichi-ryū (two-sword schools): Florentine > Counterattack > Improved Counterattack
  • Yabusame (mounted archery): Steady Hands > Double Shot > Improved Double Shot (see Fantasy Companion)
NOTE:  I deliberately didn't give Niten Ichi-ryū the Ambidextrous and Two-Fisted Edges because the second sword isn't used to attack very often; it's usually used as something more like a shield, save that it's more for disrupting attacks rather than actual parrying.  
The soldier-monks of Japan are not necessarily sacred warriors; many are mercenaries and runaway farmers. While they’re all indoctrinated into the sect they serve, few pursue a path of mystical enlightenment.
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Faith & Knowledge (Occult), +2 dice Fighting & Shooting
  • Bonus Hindrances: Vow [Minor; obey your abbot]
  • Bonus Edges: Improvisational Fighter 
  • Bonus Gear: daikyu and 20 arrows (as long bow, but can be used from horseback), lamellar armor cuirass (as chain hauberk), naginata or kanabō (as halberd or maul), tanto (as dagger), wakizashi (as short sword), white headcloth
NOTE: Yes, they get Faith but not AB (Miracles). All sohei know their prayers, but not all of them get the benefits of it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Rippers Resurrected Irregular VENUS Packages

Ripper Street
from left to right: aristocrat, doctor, detective, soldier, guttersnipe
Based on a conversation I had yesterday on Facebook with Tavis Hill, here's some V.E.N.U.S. (Venturers, Experimenters, Navigators, and the Unusually Skilled) packages for Irregulars inspired by some of the Character Concepts in Rippers Resurrected. With these packages, I went with the concept that Irregulars are ordinary folk caught up in the supernatural, not trained monster-fighters like long-term faction members; that's why the doctor/medical professional package doesn't revolve around the Surgeon Edge and its concentration on rippertech.

  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Notice, +2 dice Healing, Knowledge (Psychology), and Persuasion
  • Bonus Edges: Alienist 
  • Bonus Gear: book (blank), writing equipment, 4 doses of morphine

  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Intimidation (or Taunt), +2 dice Persuasion & Taunt (or Intimidation)
  • Bonus Edges: Noble or Rich, Socialite
  • Bonus Gear: bottle of champagne or wine, fine clothing

Cat Burglar/Gentleman Thief
  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Climbing & Lockpicking, +3 dice Stealth
  • Bonus Edges: Thief 
  • Bonus Gear: grappling hook & line, leather satchel

  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Survival & Throwing, +3 dice Riding
  • Bonus Edges: Beast Bond
  • Bonus Gear: riding horse & tackle

  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Notice, +3 dice Investigation & Streetwise
  • Bonus Edges: Investigator
  • Bonus Gear: toolkit (detective’s)

Doctor/Medical Professional
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Notice, +3 dice Healing & Knowledge (Medicine)
  • Bonus Edges: Healer
  • Bonus Gear: toolkit (medical)

  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Streetwise, +2 dice Notice & Survival
  • Bonus Edges: Linguist, World Traveler
  • Bonus Gear: leather satchel, spyglass or field glasses, umbrella

  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Persuasion, +2 dice Stealth & Streetwise
  • Bonus Edges: Connections (bordello, criminal gang, union, etc.), Down-to-Earth
  • Bonus Gear: cheap clothing

  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Notice, +3 dice two Knowledge skills (humanities or sciences)
  • Bonus Edges: Scholar
  • Bonus Gear: 2 blank books, writing equipment

  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Notice, +2 dice Knowledge (Battle) & Survival
  • Bonus Edges: Combat Reflexes, Command
  • Bonus Gear: medals/decorations, service pistol, uniform
Penny Dreadful
from left to right: patchwork man, cowboy, guttersnipe, doctor, two aristocrats, and two explorers


Monday, April 17, 2017

Rippers Resurrected Faction VENUS Packages

It’s no secret that I like my Savage Worlds heroes a little tougher than the rules as written provide, which is why The King is Dead incorporates something a bit like the M.A.R.S. (Mercencenaries, Adventurers, Rogues, and Scholars) packages of Savage RIFTS® into character creation (and why I’m looking forward to Fannon’s Freedom Squadron). Out of pretty much nowhere yesterday, I suddenly got to wondering what that approach would be like if applied to the factions of Rippers Resurrected.

Each V.E.N.U.S. (Venturers, Experimenters, Navigators, and the Unusually Skilled) package below grants a bonus of 5 skill points to relevant skills, avoiding combat skills whenever possible (the Rosicrucians are an exception because of the heavy penalties to magic use in the setting). They also grant two bonus Edges, which do not replace the standard free Edge for playing a human; I limited myself to Novice Edges and those available in the core rules and the Rippers Resurrected Player’s Guide, but also included some alternatives for those using the Horror Companion, too. Each framework finishes off with £5 of gear.  
Frazer’s Fighters
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Notice, +2 dice Knowledge (Fertile Crescent Civilizations) & Survival
  • Bonus Edges: Fortune Favors the Bold, Gone Native
  • Bonus Gear: bedroll, compass
Masked Crusaders 
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Intimidation, +2 dice Climbing & Persuasion 
  • Bonus Edges: Exceptional Individual, Alternate Identity 
  • Bonus Gear: grappling hook & line, leather costume
Old Worlders
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Knowledge (Lycanthropes), +2 dice Survival & Tracking 
  • Bonus Edges: Grim Fatalism, Woodsman 
  • Bonus Gear: flint and steel, lamp oil, lantern, spyglass or field glasses
Order of St. George 
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Intimidation, +2 dice Knowledge (Holy Writ) & Persuasion 
  • Bonus Edges: Champion (or One of the Chosen*), Song of St. George 
  • Bonus Gear: holy symbol, writing equipment  
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Persuasion, +2 dice Spellcasting & Stealth  
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Magic), Mystic Pact 
  • Bonus Gear: bell, book, candles (half dozen)
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Knowledge (Vampires), +2 dice Stealth & Tracking
  • Bonus Edges: Alertness (or Tower of Will*), Righteous Fury
  • Bonus Gear: pickaxe or shovel, wooden stake
Witch Hunters
  • Bonus Skills: +1 die Streetwise, +2 dice Knowledge (Arcana) & Investigation
  • Bonus Edges: Brave (or Relentless*), Charms & Wards
  • Bonus Gear: flint and steel, lamp oil, manacles, torch

*If also using the Savage Worlds Horror Companion


Review - Accursed: Strained Allegiance

Accursed: Strained Allegiance

Want to wipe away everything I contributed to Accursed: World of Morden? Pick up Strained Allegiance, the latest adventure by Melior Via head honcho John Dunn!

I jest, but it’s true. Strained Allegiance gives players the chance to remove one of the Witches – the goddess-like entities who are the main antagonists of the setting – completely from the board, freeing all Shades (including player characters) from the taint of her influence and destroying all of the Banes in her Witchline.

Which includes all three of the monsters I created for my contribution to World of Morden

…And upends the political structure of the Outlands that I developed for that book.


All kidding aside, it’s a brave move by John, a radical twist in the ongoing metaplot of Accursed that could provide a template going forward for any ongoing campaigns in that setting. It’s pretty much standard operating procedure in Pinnacle’s original settings (50 Fathoms, Slipstream, etc.) that the Plot Point Campaign ends with the setting upended, the primary threat defeated, but it’s rare to see that in the much more loosely-plotted third-party settings. 

The Witch in question – Hecate , the Dark Queen – is, strategically, the perfect choice. As the go-between uniting the other Witches, removing her fatally disrupts their fragile alliance. Her domain, the Outlands, stands between the rest of Morden and the Darkwall, the mountain range over which the Witches first traveled to invade the setting; destroying her keep and the lackeys who run rampant across the Outlands gives the heroes a chance to open a second front in the war. It’s really a cool move, plot-wise.

*Sigh* Maybe I can write some of my fan-creation Witches and Witchbreeds into the setting if Melior Via expands the setting again. One can only hope…


Accursed: Strained Allegiance is available for the low price of $2.50 at DriveThruRPG. It only requires the original Accursed; all necessary material and monsters from World of Morden is contained in the adventure (though using World of Morden to flesh out the heroes' journeys through the Outlands and including final encounters with the banes I created would certainly ramp up the epic). The adventure also introduces a new Bane of the Gorgon – echidnas – who my Monster Musume-loving self can’t help think make up for the loss of the yuki-onna. 

Purchasing Strained Allegiance through the link above helps support Wine and Savages through affiliate sales credits. My review copy of Accursed: Strained Allegiance was provided for free by Melior Via.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!!: Reptilicus and Yonggary

As hopefully everybody knows, today sees the premiere of a new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix. As a backer of the Kickstarter project that brought the series back, I had early access to the new episodes a few days ago. I’m not really the binge-watching type, though, so I’ve only watched a handful of episodes so far. I watched both of the kaiju episodes, of course.

Reptilicus (1961)

On the surface of it, a kaiju terrorizing Denmark isn’t really that weird. Denmark, after all, is part of Scandinavia and heir to the same mythology that gave the world the Midgard Serpent. They were doing kaiju before kaiju were cool. Unfortunately, animating the kaiju via a marionette utterly wrecks any possible tension this goofy Beast From 20,000 Fathoms kock-off could have possibly generated.
The paper cut-out people it eats don’t help.


Novice Street Fighter Kaiju Wild Card


Despite sprouting a pair of wings from its back, the serpentine monstrosity called Reptilicus displays no ability to fly – indeed, it hardly even seems able to use its rudimentary legs. The Danish monster swims well but is not technically amphibious, still needing to surface to breathe. Reptilicus spits acid that swiftly dissolves flesh, but seems to have little effect on metal.


Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d12+7, Vigor d12+1

Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6, Shooting d6, Swimming d12

Charisma: -6; Pace: 24 (Swim 48); Parry: 6; Toughness: 39 (10)

Gear: --

Hindrances: Weakness [Major; fire], Illiterate [Minor; unable to communicate through speech or writing with humans], Weakness [Minor; poison]

Edges: Arcane Background [Super Powers], Berserk

Super Powers:

  • Aquatic (1): Limitation (needs to surface to breathe every 90 minutes)
  • Armor (5): Heavy Armor
  • Attack, Melee (13): Str + 5d6; Focus, Heavy Weapon
  • Decay (7): Ranged Touch Attack, Strong
  • Regeneration (4): Regrowth
  • Toughness (10)
  • Gargantuan Being Package: fear (Scary, Terror, Limitation: non-kaiju only), size (+11, Heavy Armor, Heavy Weapons, Long Stride, Monster)

Yonggary (1967)
South Korea’s premiere kaiju film isn’t so much a knock-off of Godzilla as it is of Gamera, incorporating the latter’s helpful little kid and displaying similar – zaniness? – in its monster design. Of course, the “little kid bonds with monster” plot is betrayed by Yonggary’s surprisingly bloody end.
Fun fact: The producers mistakenly sent all of the originals of the film to the American distributor, resulting in the Korean-language version of the film being lost to history.

Novice Cosmic Kaiju Wild Card

A towering bipedal reptile with glowing eyes and nasal horn, Yonggary can alternate between breathing fire from the exhaust valve in its throat or (rarely) shooting a beam from its horn. Like Gamera, it eats fire.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d12+13, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d6, Notice d6, Shooting d8
Charisma: -4; Pace: 24; Parry: 6; Toughness: 44 (10)
Gear: --
Hindrances: Weakness [Major; ammonia], Monologuer [Major; roars for a round instead of taking actions], Illiterate [Minor; unable to communicate through speech or writing with humans], Stubborn
Edges: Arcane Background [Super Powers], Berserk
Super Powers:
  • Absorption (4): fire; Transference
  • Armor (5): Heavy Armor
  • Attack, Melee (10): 5d6 + d12 + 13; Heavy Weapon
  • Attack, Ranged (23): fiery breath or nose beam; 6d10 fire or radiation; Armor Piercing 10, Cone (can switch between Cone Template and other uses), Enhanced Damage, Focus, Heavy Weapon
  • Burrowing (2)
  • Growth (15): +5 Size (Size 16)
  • Regeneration (7): level 2; Recovery, Regrowth
  • Resistance (5): fire
  • Toughness (13): Hardy
  • Gargantuan Being Package: fear (Scary, Terror, Limitation: non-kaiju only), size (+11, Heavy Armor, Heavy Weapons, Long Stride, Monster)

Wine and Savages Team Now Co-Lead Developers for Savage Rifts®

While most interested parties already know this, Robin English-Bircher and I have combined forces with Sean Roberson as Lead Developers...