Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rotjaws

Rotjaws are quadrupedal therapsids about the size of buffalo. They have pronounced nasal structures, powerful jaws, long limbs and short, stubby tails. These carnivores have evolved an immunity to almost all diseases. This allows them to cultivate bacteria in their mouths which they transfer through bite like how a komodo dragon actually doesn’t as it turns out.

When they hunt, their goal is not to kill their prey outright, but to infect a victim then retreat into the underbrush. As such, they are relatively slow-moving and well camouflaged with dark scales. Their powerful sense of smell is fine-tuned to detect disease at a range of one mile (weather permitting), allowing rotjaws to follow the infected creature for days if necessary. Once the illness has finally rendered the victim helpless, the rotjaw catches up and eats the creature alive, because intense fear and pain triggers the production of delicious hormones.

Sometimes, rotjaws that pick up the scent of other rotjaws’ victims are hungry and desperate enough to challenge the original hunter for the kill. Infected prey are often forced to watch, paralyzed, as two or more of these creatures do battle for the right to devour them. These contests rarely go to the death, with participants often retreating after they’ve sustained a single hit. The scars possessed by most rotjaws are a testament to the frequency of these battles.

Rotjaws build nests in caves one mouthful of mud at a time, in which they bury clutches of 4-8 eggs. The parents spend two weeks taking turns guarding the nest while the other goes hunting, then abandon it and go their separate ways once the eggs have hatched. Hatchlings start out the size of an average housecat and grow into full adults within a month; at least one or two out of every clutch usually makes it.

Rotjaw bites spread what’s known as rotjaw fever, even though it’s less a single disease than a blend of all the nasty microbes that the animal’s been able to cultivate. Rotjaw fever always drains the strength of the victim, but other symptoms can vary widely from case to case.

Rotjaw
HD: 2+14
AC: as leather
Movement: 1/2 unburdened human
Attack: bite (1d6 + disease, save to avoid)

Baseline Rotjaw Fever
Duration: 3 days
Incubation: 1 hour
Increment: 2 hours
Effect: Save or lose one point of strength. A strength of less than 3 means total paralysis. Infected creatures also emit a stench of decay that attracts rotjaws but repels most other predators. This scent also temporarily decreases the victim’s charisma to 3, an effect which lasts as long as the infection does.

Rotjaw Fever Variations
Roll 3d12 on the following table when a character catches rotjaw fever. If you roll the same number twice, don’t re-roll it; that just means this instance of the fever displays one less special quality than usual.
1 Completely unaffected by healing magic.
2 All disease related damage is permanent, even if the disease itself is cured.
3 Lose dexterity at the same rate as strength.
4 Lose two strength points every interval instead of one.
5 Periodic hallucinations (last for 1d10 minutes at every interval).
6 Constant hallucinations, unless the most recent save vs. disease succeeded.
7 Lose constitution at the same rate as strength.
8 Disadvantage to saving throws against rotjaw fever.
9 Deduct 1d4 maximum hit points every increment.
10 Full-body cramps that cause total paralysis for ten minutes every increment.
11 Increments and incubation time are half as long as usual.

12 Duration is twice as long as usual.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dart Plants

by Anne Hufnagl from here
Dart plants are mobile plant creatures that appear in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Those who’ve stopped to dissect the dead ones claim to have found complete animal skeletons deep beneath these masses of bark and vine, suggesting a parasitic nature.

Colorful flowers grow at irregular intervals on the dart plant’s surface, in which they form tight clusters of dart-like thorns, each carrying thousands of microscopic spores. When the cluster is ready, the flower closes, forming an airtight tube that acts as a blowgun.

As the spores travel through the host creature’s bloodstream, they multiply and feed on the nutrients intended for the host’s own organs. Treat this as a disease that slowly drains the constitution of host creatures and eventually kills them, at which point the dart plants consume the corpse from the inside out.

This constitution drain occurs at a rate of one point every six hours (or one HP per HD, if it’s a monster and you’re playing an OSR game). PCs and important NPCs are entitled to a saving throw vs. poison at each interval to temporarily avoid the effect, but the infection continues.

If a creature is still alive after a week of this, its immune system naturally kills off the infection. Cure disease spells and potions remove the infection as normal, but they don’t restore the victim’s constitution score to its previous level. Survivors of dart plant infection can be identified by their unnaturally pale skin, scales, fur, or feathers.

Mature dart plants are just a little bit bigger than their host creatures were. They have the same number of hit dice (including character levels) and can move at half the original creature’s speed. Each dart plant only has so many clusters ready to fire at any given time, but they also have a slam attack that does damage dependent on the size of the dart plant. The number of readied dart clusters is also dependent on the size of the plant, and uses the same table the slam attack does.

small: 1d4
medium: 1d6
large: 2d6
huge: 3d6
gargantuan: 4d6

When the dart plant eats the brain of its victim, it also absorbs the creature’s memories and intelligence. Dart plants that grow out of sentient beings try to use this ability to gain the trust of the victims’ friends and companions. Even with less intelligent animals, this usually at least tells the dart plant where to look for more host creatures. The host creature’s personality has never been known to overpower the instincts of the plant itself.

One major limiting factor on the dart plant population is their high calorie intake. These plants’ unusually active lifestyle requires that they consume twice their own weight in animal matter per day or face starvation. Since their first dart clusters take a couple of weeks to form, many dart plants starve to death before they ever get a chance to procreate.

This meat is stored in whatever space is made reasonable by the animal’s anatomy — in most vertebrates, this would be the stomach and chest cavities. An internal root system digests the dart plant’s prey while the plant retains its ability to move around (provided that its prey is at least one size category smaller than it is). What this means to you is that if this area were to be sliced open from below, piles of bloody half-rotten body parts would come tumbling out like it was a pi├▒ata at a GWAR show.

Any flowers that still contain readied dart clusters can be distilled into a potent drug that causes intense hallucinations. The drug can be imbibed like a potion, or administered intravenously by applying it as a poison to an edged or piercing weapon. The affected individual must save vs. poison or hallucinate for two hours (if the imbiber is willing, no save is necessary), during which they are not in control of their actions. Roll 1d12 every half hour until the end of the effect to determine the nature of the hallucinations and the actions of the affected creature. After the hallucinations end, the character will feel nauseous and generally not up to adventuring, and every roll they make during the next six hours suffers from disadvantage or a -2 penalty or whatever, while attacks against the character are made with advantage or a +2 bonus.

1. You are one with the intertwining root systems below you, granting knowledge of a hidden location.
2. Everyone around you is delicious meat and you are carnivorous and hungry so so hungry.
3. You are a talking tree and will not willingly allow yourself to be moved, screaming if overpowered.
4. Decay is nutrition. You must seek and devour any decaying flesh, plant matter, or feces you can find.
5. You are a leaf on the wind. Wander aimlessly, fleeing from anything that tries to touch you.
6. The sun is life. Fight your way to the nearest direct sunlight and fight some more to stay there.
7. Everything is fractals. Stand in open-mouthed bewilderment, allow self to be led by hand.
8. You are a thistle bush and everyone is a goat. You have legs for some reason and need to get away right now.
9. Find some insects (there are always some insects and many of the ones on Exodus are dangerous) and rub them all over your genitals.
10. You are a fruit (hurr hurr shut up) that must find an animal to eat you so it can spread your seed when it shits.
11. Shit, termites. Madly clawing at yourself does 1d4 hp per turn unless you’re successfully restrained.
12. Something’s wrong with this dose. Begin the slow transformation into a dart plant as if shot by one.

The drug is incredibly dangerous and hardly ever any fun at all. However, the potential reward is legendary. Dart plant venom is commonly available in any place where adventurers gather, but usually not allowed to be taken there or anywhere other place where the recipient would pose a danger to the public. The venom’s desirability stems from tales of friends of friends who took it and experienced visions of fantastic treasures, the locations and some of the nature of which these brave fools awoke knowing.

In game terms, this means that if a player on dart plant venom rolls a 1 at any point during this horrible trip,* they must write down three elements of the location they saw. Everything else is up to you to fill in with whatever the hell you feel like, but the three statements the PC wrote down are 100% true. If a PC rolls a one more than once,** If multiple PCs are tripping together and both gain secret knowledge, they learn of different locations.

This shouldn’t exactly be a Monkey’s Paw scenario, where there’s no real benefit at all, because you want the PCs to actually try it at some point. Still, the temptation is too strong to not give in at least a little bit. Pick one statement out of every three; you still have to follow the letter of the law but it leaves out something important and dangerous. If a magic sword is demanded, you could decide that it’s cursed. If the players state that there aren’t any traps in the dungeon, you could make the entire dungeon a trap and turn escaping from it into a puzzle.

*There’s a 1/3 chance of this occurring, if you’re curious. 


**1/9 chance. There’s a 1/81 chance of someone getting to make nine demands about the same place, which is less than 2%.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Silicates

A silicon dioxide-based race of chronomancers with a roughly humanoid body shape. Organic muscles work because they’re made of material that contracts when electricity is applied by the nervous system. The quartz that silicates are composed of reacts to electrical current by vibrating at a constant rate. That’s why humans use quartz crystals to regulate their timepieces.

The regularity of these vibrations has allowed the silicate race to evolve with a sense of temporal awareness in addition to the spatial awareness possessed by humans. Over the course of that evolution, they’ve developed the inborn ability to manipulate time by creating temporal anomalies.

Silicates are asexual, and reproduce by seeding quartz clusters that grow to about a 2 foot height and radius. Once that size is reached, the cluster is again visited by its parent and imbued with a self-sustaining electrical pulse that does for silicates what DNA does for organic life. This pulse rearranges the physical material of the new silicate into a bipedal form, at which point the new silicate gains sentience and mobility. Each cluster produces 1d6 silicates. The electrical pulse is also a coded message containing all of what the parent considers to be the most important knowledge, which is instantly learned by each new silicate.

In appearance, new silicates feature the rough surfaces and hard edges of fresh, raw crystal. Their upper limbs end in big, chunky three-fingered hands. As they live out their lives and grow in power, they’re ground down by time and experience, becoming smooth and soft-edged. This is important for adventurers who might encounter them to keep in mind, since it means that the ones with rounded, organic-looking forms are the most dangerous.

Silicates can grow crystal weapons as sharp and strong as steel. Sometimes, powerful silicates learn to permanently imbue the weapons they grow with time-related powers and curses.

They “eat” gemstones and precious metals. This makes their acquisition a primary motivation for silicate NPCs, and groups of them usually try to keep a fully stocked pantry (but are you really willing to sink low enough to steal food from this ragged band of alien survivors? well probably yeah). Silicate PCs gain the value of the minerals they ingest as XP. This is in place of, not in addition to, the normal XP for loot rules.

These creatures were first encountered 529 years ago by the rokai Hojo Mori while he was on a slave raid in the outside worlds. Recognizing that they were too powerful to be suitable for use as slaves, he instead sought to learn how their powers worked in order to harness them himself. To that end, he pretended to diplomatic aspirations and extended an invitation which several of the creatures graciously accepted. Once they were in his castle, Hojo Mori treated them as guests until he learned how to trap them in a stasis prison, outside of any timeline.

WIS: 4d6  INT: 4d6  DEX: 2d6  STR: 2d6  
HD: d4
Saves progress as a magic-user, but apply a bonus equal to half of the silicate’s level (round up) to breath/reflex/DEX saves.
Add WIS bonus to AC. 
Immune to poison and sneak attack damage.
Acid and sound-based attacks do double damage.
Silicates don’t heal naturally with rest like organic life forms do. Instead, they rely on their Entropy Reversal ability for healing (see below). If the silicate is unable to reverse any damage done, the missing chunk of quartz becomes a permanent “scar” and their max hp is permanently lowered by the amount of damage that wasn’t healed.
Silicates can create one temporal anomaly per day per 3 levels (round up) without straining themselves. After that, creating further anomalies costs 1d6 hp damage (save vs. magic to avoid the damage, with a cumulative -2 penalty each time that resets each day).

Stasis Bubble- Stops time within a diameter of 10’ per level for one turn per level. This effect can be set up as a trap to be triggered by a reasonably simple condition determined by the silicate creating the anomaly. This anomaly will continue to exist in its dormant state for as long as the silicate wishes, but it also continues to count against the silicate’s anomalies per day. That is, a silicate who begins a new day with a stasis trap previously set up, begins that day with the ability to create one less anomaly per level. If such a trap is triggered, the silicate who set it is immediately aware of the fact, but not of the specific circumstances. If the silicate dies before the anomaly is set off, it ceases to have ever existed.

Forward Slip- Slows down time for the silicate long enough to perform one standard or movement action per level in the blink of an observer’s eye. So a level two silicate can make one attack and move at normal speed before anyone else knows what happened. Any victims are considered to be surprised or flat-footed, even if they’re already in combat with the silicate.

Entropic Touch- A successful touch attack causes the victim to physically age several decades or even centuries (depending on the normal lifespan of the species) in matter of seconds (save applies, only affects creatures and objects which can normally die of old age). The shock of this sudden transition causes 1 permanent point of CON damage per 2 levels of the silicate (round up). If the target is an inanimate object, it instantly becomes subject to the ravages of time to the point of uselessness. Wood and leather rot, metal rusts and disintegrates. Magic items are entitled to a saving throw to avoid destruction.

Macrouncertainty Cloud- There are always an infinite number of realities which are so close to this one on the world tree that the only difference is the exact location of a single being. This anomaly causes the silicate’s analogs in three adjacent realities to become visible in this universe for one round per level of the silicate. These images are constantly shuffling around with the silicate in a multidimensional shell game, and are impervious to harm. Every direct attack that would normally hit the silicate has a 3/4 chance of passing harmlessly through one of the images (which flickers for just a moment, but comes right back at the end of the round). If one of the images is already flickering from an attack, and another successful attack is made, that one only has a 2/4 chance of missing the silicate. So if the silicate is the target of five attacks in one round, only the last two attacks will have the normal chance of hitting it.

Reverse Slip- The silicate is able to very, very briefly reverse the temporal velocity of reality itself, essentially taking a step back in time. The silicate can only turn back time by a second, just far enough to re-take one roll or re-think a single, extremely recent, and incredibly bad decision. If the new roll still fails, and the silicate is high enough level to create multiple anomalies per day, more than one anomaly can be used to retry a single die roll multiple times. This can also be used to force an opponent or allow an ally to re-take a roll.


Entropy Reversal- Touch any living (or recently dead) thing to instantly undo all damage taken by that creature within the past ten minutes. This anomaly’s effect doesn’t stack with itself. For example, if you use it once to heal 12 hp taken in a recent battle, you can’t immediately use it again to gain another 12 hp. Extending the effect further back in time costs another daily anomaly use per extra ten minutes— so it would cost a level 6 silicate all their free anomalies for the day to undo damage that was 30 minutes old. This applies to ability score damage and conditions like disease or level drain as well as hit point damage. This anomaly cannot be used to bring a creature back from the dead.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Jump Sharks

got me a conquistador

Freshwater sharks that live in swamps and have evolved fins like flying fish. They can jump across narrow strips of land to bite/tackle victims and drag them under the water. Their fins are as articulate as those of a bat, so they can glide quite a distance before transitioning into a football spiral that takes you head over heels when they grab you in a terrifying surprise judo drowning bite attack that ignores armor (so combined with the penalties to swimming in heavy armor pretty much mean don't wear full plate mail in the fucking swamp but players will probably do it anyway).

They know where the water is because they've learned the labyrinthine geography of their swamp completely. Not in an individual sense, though they've been swimming these waters all their lives, but in an evolutionary sense.

Cab drivers in London have to take an extensive test for which they must learn the entire layout of the city, and the process of learning this intensely complex pattern actually changes the physical structures of their brains. Jump sharks have it the other way around. They're born with the layout of the swamp where they evolved hardwired into the frontmost part of their brain.

This means that if they're somehow removed from that environment, their normal hunting methods are useless. If they can still manage to survive on a purely aquatic diet, their descendants several generations down the line (let's say 80 years -- they have unusually short lifespans for sharks) will have adapted their brains to their new home. They're usually a bit smaller by this time, but the sub-species created by this process tend to return to their normal size pretty quickly once they've reincorporated the land into their hunting grounds.

Of course if boats are commonly used in the area all bets are off.

Characters with high enough intelligence have a chance of learning the layout of the local region, including hard-to-spot bogs and quicksand, by carefully inspecting the brain structure of a dead jump shark. If an intelligence check fails, a read magic spell will still do the trick.

They know where you are because they've also evolved eyes that can detect the infrared radiation produced by humans and other warm blooded animals. This even applies to newly transplanted jump sharks that can't get at landswimmers at all anymore, which pisses them off to no end.

siberian bear hunting armor
Your creepy neighborhood swamp hag may be able to use these sensory organs to craft items that grant their users infravision, in exchange for some favor that should probably take at least a couple sessions to deliver on. Anyone who can practice normal alchemy has a chance of figuring out how to distill them into potions that (temporarily) have the same effect.

The only warning sign of their presence is their well-camouflaged dorsal fins, since they must swim close to the surface to get around the water's ability to absorb all radio waves. You and I can't see as far in water as in air because it absorbs visible light waves, and infrared waves work the same way.

The only type of armor that's actually useful against them is the kind with pointy spikes all over it. Any nearby cultures with at least Bronze Age technology are almost guaranteed to have figured this out, so it should be available if they exist.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Saurian Heresies

You know how humans are about religious beliefs, where some of us seem think that believing in one holy book about being nice to people instead of another book about killing people is good thing to kill people over? Saurians are kind of like that, but for the most part they don’t worship any sort of deities. Instead, they subscribe to philosophies (more in the ancient sense than the modern one).

When their race started it’s eternal journey through the multiverse, they understood for a fact how reality worked and how to bend it to their own will (the wise men of some worlds claim that these were the originators of magic as we know it), but that knowledge was lost over the course of 65.5 million years. Whatever a modern saurian believes, you can bet it isn’t the whole truth, but quite a few of them are willing to kill for those beliefs.

All saurian philosophies also take into account the fact their home continent, Exodus, randomly shifts from one reality to another every 1d4+12 months, and almost all of them make some attempt to explain that fact based on their core beliefs. The phenomenon is generally referred to as the Great Paradox.

The Highland Emperor has a particular philosophy which is generally agreed with by his subjects, at least the ones who haven’t been executed for heresy. His rule has lasted 483 years so far, but his worldview has been the official position of the ruling emperor for at least the 300 emperors. This philosophy is built around a set of specific beliefs that act as pillars of faith:
  • The saurian race is superior in every conceivable way to all other forms of life.
  • There is only one universe, in which Exodus is stationary while everything else changes yearly. This makes Exodus the only stronghold of Law in an eternal sea of Chaos.
  • The memories of ephemerals (living things from outside Exodus) are false, forming at the same time their version of reality does.
  • The continued dominance of the saurian empire is the only thing that matters.
  • The magics and technologies of the ephemeral world are corrupt and untrustworthy.

These pillars of the emperor’s personal belief system have shaped the laws of the land, which has led to policies of exploitation of and unthinking callousness towards ephemerals.

Nearly every saurian settlement is clustered around the stronghold of some powerful rokai, who functions as a local lord. Most saurians take the philosophy of their local rokai as truth (whether or not they understand it), and most rokai take the philosophy of the emperor as fact. The only exceptions are those rokai who’ve discovered secrets that run counter to the emperor’s beliefs.

To achieve the wealth and reputation implied by this station, a rokai must have survived a long and successful adventuring career, during which they are bound to have learned some nuggets of unorthodox wisdom (some of which are untrue). These secrets, in the context of a general acceptance of the emperor’s beliefs, form each rokai’s individual philosophy. The resulting worldview is the main motivation behind most of the rokai’s actions.

Every time the players enter a saurian settlement under the protection of a rokai whose philosophy is unknown, roll 2d6 and some number of d20s. The 2d6 uses the reaction roll chart to determine how the rokai will treat anyone who vocally disagrees with their philosophy. Hostile or unfriendly means any infidels are executed (or banished if you want to be a wuss about it). “Friendly” (or indifferent) to them means what “evangelical” means to the rest of us— after all, they’re doing you a favor if they can convince you of the error of your ways.

Neutral means they really don’t give a shit what you think. They may be interested in discussing it, but won’t persecute you for what you believe as long as you don’t break their laws. The NPC chart from LotFP gives you a 44% chance of this result.

Each d20 determines one of the rokai’s core beliefs. If a belief comes up more than once, don’t roll it again, just think of that as a particularly strong belief that overrules the others when they come into conflict. Roll as many as you feel like; the more you roll, the more bizarre shit this particular rokai has been through, and the weirder the resulting belief system. It also becomes more likely that this rokai’s belief system will directly conflict with the emperor’s.

Two or more beliefs are likely to contradict each other, and that’s fine. That won’t stop the saurian from believing both things simultaneously. Some rokai simply refuse to acknowledge the contradiction, sometimes violently. Others go out of their way to imagine a scenario in which all their contradictory beliefs can coexist. A rare, reasonable few believe these contradictions to be proof that no one can ever know the whole truth for sure.

Beliefs that directly contradict those of the emperor are italicized.

  1. It’s foolish to keep rejecting foreign secrets of technology and magic, rather than turning them to the saurian race’s benefit. 
  2. The saurian race is the creation of ancient alien geneticists.
  3. Saurians are the destined people, who will one day ascend to a higher state of being.
  4. All life-forms are pawns in an elaborate simulation being played out on some higher plane.
  5. One may achieve enlightenment through a regimen of mental and physical conditioning.
  6. One may achieve enlightenment through a regimen of drug use and depravity.
  7. Dinosaurs are actually the reincarnated ancestors of saurians.
  8. Ephemerals who die on Exodus with enough good karma built up are reincarnated as saurians, the only race capable of achieving enlightenment. Those who die elsewhere are simply wiped from existence.
  9. The changing stars could be read by ancient astrologers to discover much about the occasionally-shifting outside world, but their skills are long forgotten.
  10. Exodus is moving and has a final destination, a place of endless madness and torment.
  11. The entire universe rotates around Exodus physically. The stars are holes in the dark hemisphere that surrounds a disc-shaped planet.
  12. Saurians have existed for longer than the universe, without their physical form changing significantly.
  13. Saurians are the atavistic (and therefore inferior) descendants of a more advanced avian race.
  14. Any territory colonized by saurians continues to exist along with Exodus the next time the continent shifts, and this has already happened several times.
  15. The sun is actually a vast intelligence made up of all saurians that achieve enlightenment, and directs the yearly shifts in reality.
  16. The consciousness of most three dimensional beings moves through time in a straight line, while the saurians travel a corkscrew path through time. This essentially means that the outside worlds exist independently of Exodus, which travels between them.
  17. The path to enlightenment is the prolonged experience of pain beyond measure.
  18. Dreams are memories from the future, or sometimes from past lives.
  19. The infinitely shifting realities around the saurians and the ephemerals  are all the creations of their ancient ancestors. The continent is essentially moving forward through a creator god’s equivalent of a mixtape.
  20. Ephemerals are equally capable of achieving enlightenment, and respectful cooperation is preferable to exploitation.

When a rokai’s fundamental beliefs run contrary to those of the emperor, it means one of three things, depending on their attitudes towards those who disagree with them. Hostile means they’re at war with the empire, and evangelical means they’re secretly trying to set up a coup, possibly in a conspiracy with other like-minded rokai. Neutral means they don’t mind pretending they’re like him to his face, while doing their own thing and governing their own towns their own way.

So if you give every philosophy like ten d20 rolls, almost all of the rokai end up opposed to the emperor’s beliefs. Assume only 44% of those rokai are going to stay basically loyal (again, the chance of a neutral reaction roll), and you get a big messy war with multiple sides that’s probably been going on for a long fucking time, where even those supposedly loyal to the emperor can’t really be trusted. If you only roll a couple d20s for each settlement, you get a more stable and unified culture with a relatively small number of potentially dangerous radical outliers.

If you want the empire to be truly crumbling with only a few loyal vassals left, you also need to nudge the attitude ranges around on the reaction table. Say that for these purposes only a result of 7 is neutral, and you’re pretty much good to go. That gives the rokai who disagree with the emperor (most of them if you roll up five core beliefs for each) a one in six chance of being loyal anyway. The others are evenly split between those openly at war with the emperor and those who are pretending to serve him while conspiring to replace him.

I’ve made a new toy and now I wanna play with it so here’s some examples.


Rokai #1 (2d6:7, 3 d20s:18 16 1) Isami Takeda
attitude toward disbelievers: neutral
  • Dreams are memories from the future, or sometimes from past lives.
  • The consciousness of most three dimensional beings moves through time in a straight line, while the saurians travel a corkscrew path through time. This essentially means that the outside worlds exist independently of Exodus, which travels between them.
  • Exodus is the only foothold of law in an eternal sea of chaos.

So right off the bat we’ve got someone who’s lost faith in one of the core tenets of the imperial worldview, but prefers to hide his beliefs. He rejects the single universe theory and understands that outsiders are not ephemeral, but still feels that they’re disgusting creatures of chaos, so they’re still morally inferior beings that don’t deserve rights. His faith in the significance of dreams could serve as reasonable motivation for any weird behavior you feel like.



Rokai #2 (2d6:6, 3 d20s:8 4 4) Sumi Naboharu
attitude toward disbelievers: neutral
  • Ephemerals who die on Exodus with enough good karma built up are reincarnated as saurians, the only race capable of achieving enlightenment. Those who die elsewhere are simply wiped from existence.
  • All life-forms are pawns in an elaborate simulation being played out on some higher plane.

This rokai is 100% sure that she’s in a game, and probably has seen some glimpses of sweaty over-caffeinated mammals playing with miniature dinosaur figures and dice. Since the world is a game, she doesn’t really care what happens in it beyond keeping her own people safe.

Akizuki Kondo


Rokai #3 (2d6:5, 3 d20s:20 5 14) Akizuki Kondo
attitude toward disbelievers: evangelical
  • Ephemerals are equally capable of achieving enlightenment, and respectful cooperation is preferable to exploitation.
  • Enlightenment may achieve enlightenment through a regimen of mental and physical conditioning.
  • Any territory colonized by saurians continues to exist along with Exodus the next time the continent shifts, and this has already happened several times.


Okay, this is interesting. This rokai wants to live in peace with the ephemerals and help them achieve enlightenment. He still believes that they only exist while Exodus is in the same world they are (a bit like a child playing peekaboo really), and wants to bring more ephemerals into the  true land through the establishment of missionary colonies. He believes the missions he’s already set up in previous worlds to still exist despite his explorers’ inability to find them, and has concluded that they must have drifted from their original geographical locations every time the universe shifted.