Wednesday, October 29, 2014


In our game Sertorius, Sertori are powerful magic-wielders, perhaps even demigods. This gives them a lot of clout and is a bit of game changer at times depending on the make up of the party. Groups with a good blend of spells can be a potent force in the setting, dethroning kings, taking cities and just generally running amok. This is part of the fun of the game, but it doesn't mean the Sertori face no threats.  Some people worship the Sertori, some people fear them, a few choose to hunt them. While we do not make a lot of noise about it in the rulebook, there are several such opponents described in the setting.

There are four major Sertori hunting groups in the rules but I will only talk about three because one of them is a bit of a GM secret. I find using the following people and organizations sparingly helps keep players on their toes and can turn the tables in an interesting way. 

The first is a group led by Gesara of Palus in the Vaaran Kingdoms. She has the ear and loyalty of King Hanno-Kar, who believes in her campaign to purge the world of Sertori. She is fully described in the NPC section of the book. She is just a normal human with no magical abilities but what makes her dangerous is her knowledge and her network of followers. She also is protected by a couple of Krut (monsters that are particularly skilled at killing Sertori) and many ogres (who are resistant to Sertori magic). Because she is so close to the king and Sertori are actively hunted in Palus, Gesara makes a great enemy. I've expanded on her a lot in my own campaign and will be posting new ideas and twists for Gesara here in the coming months. 

The second group is my personal favorite: The Monks of Isharna. They don't just hunt Sertori, they also hunt the servants of the gods (called Den Dwellers), Grim Beasts and other monstrosities (even the gods themselves). They are led by a Sertori named Isharna and he doesn't hunt them indiscriminately, he only goes after Sertori he considers a threat to humanity. Armed with a number of powerful items they exert considerable influence in Phra Goa and any Sertori passing through would be wise to be on their best behavior. 

The third threat to Sertori is the city of Qam'ua. Led by a High Priestess of Sul named Dhala they believe Sertori should serve them and they use an item called the Horn of Senga to make them their slaves. The Horn enabled Dhala to create an inner circle of 12 Sertori who do her bidding. This allows her to hunt, kill and even enslave other Sertori. Qam'ua exists on an important trade road and is certainly to be avoided by Sertori who know its reputation. 

These are the major Sertori hunters in the Sertorius rulebook. Like I said there is one other significant group but they are a bit secret and require a bit of rummaging in the text to find. Next time I will talk about another threat I added to my own campaign that isn't in the rule book: The Blood Cult. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


We've been hard at work on Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate. I want to share a random sampling of Kung Fu Techniques from the game. Kung Fu Techniques are the game's foundation, they are what you use to achieve dazzling results in combat. 

Each Kung Fu Technique belongs to a Discipline. There are four in total: Waijia, Neigong, Qinggong and Dianxue. Characters have ranks in each discipline to reflect their general aptitude for that type of technique. 

Every Kung Fu Technique is keyed to a particular skill. You use this skill to perform the technique. 

Kung Fu Techniques also come in a variety of types. The most important are Normal (which are standard attacks or skill uses) and counters (which enable you to block, interrupt or counter attacks as they occur). 

Qi levels are also important in the game. Every character has a Qi rank from 1-6. This increases over time as you beat foes with more expertise than yourself. Qi rank often affects how powerful a Technique is. 

Time is simply an indication of how long the technique takes to execute. 

There are quite a few techniques in the book so far. We are still working on them and testing them in play. The ones below will likely be subject to some changes before release. 

One thing we are trying to do is keep the text of each technique to as few words as we can. This is because each character begins the game with 6 Kung Fu Techniques and gains more as time goes on. Therefore we want to keep them as simple as possible. In some cases we have to use more words simply out of necessity however. 

Discipline: Waijia
Skill: Light Melee against Parry
Type: Normal
Qi: 1
Time: 1 Skill Action

You lash out with your fly-whisk, its tethers extending unnaturally long to reach opponents and entangle them.

Roll Light Melee against Parry. On a success you can extend the lash of your fly-whisk to wrap around foes or disarm them at a distance (5 feet per rank of Qi). Anyone struck can be pulled toward you that round (though they can make a Muscle roll against your attack result to get away).

Catharsis: When used cathartically you can throw your opponent causing 2d10 falling damage per rank of Waijia.

Discipline: Waijia
Skill: Light Melee or Medium Melee against Parry
Type: Normal
Qi: 5
Time: 1 Skill Action and Move

In a frenzy of stabbing motions you skewer multiple opponents and inflict grave injury against them with your sword.

Roll Light or Medium Melee once and apply it to five targets within reach. Anyone struck takes 2 Automatic wounds (no additional damage roll).

Catharsis: Anyone struck takes 3 automatic wounds (no additional damage roll).

Discipline: Waijia
Skill: Light Melee against Special
Type: Counter
Qi: 3
Time: Instant

With lightning speed you turn your sword to deflect an incoming ranged or thrown attack back at the assailant.

When someone makes a thrown or ranged attack against you, you can try to counter with this by Rolling Light Melee against a TN equal to their attack roll result and Evade (whichever is higher). On a Success you deflect the object back at the attacker for 2d10 Damage per rank of Qi. On a Total Success this increases to 3d10 Damage per rank of Qi.

Cathartic: When used Cathartically the attack flashes with energy and delivers 2d10 Open Damage per rank of Qi (3d10 on Total Success).

Discipline: Qinggong
Skill: Athletics TN 7
Type: Counter
Qi: 2
Time: Instant

You retreat quickly against a vertical surface evading your opponent’s attack, holding a horizontal stance that defies physics, your body parallel with the ground. You deliver a counter attack from this position.

To perform this technique there must be a wall or similar object for you to retreat to (a tree, post or other vertical surface will work). It can be used whenever someone attacks you. Make an Athletics roll against TN 7. On a Success you evade your opponent’s attack and can make an immediate mundane attack.

Catharsis: As above except you can deliver a Mundane Attack or Kung Fu Technique.

Discipline: Neigong
Skill: Athletics against Evade
Type: Normal
Qi: 3
Time: 1 Skill Action

You lean your body back in a nearly impossible arch as flaming energy releases from your chest and arcs in multiple directions, striking those you desire.

On a Success you strike your targets and deliver 1d10 fire damage. This can hit up to 2 targets per level of Qi. It affects a 100 foot area per level of Qi.

Catharsis: You can strike 3 targets per rank of Qi, and damage increases to 3d10 fire damage.