Monthly Archives: December 2015

High Noon Playtest Session 3- The Secret at the Variss Industries Refinery

Last session we left off with the players going to the Three-legged Dog Saloon to get some food and sleep before heading to the Variss Industries Refinery.


  • A scout that can move silently, has a badass rifle, and knows nature and shit (Tyler)
  • And a gunslinger who’s quick on the draw (Kevin)
  • A voodoo practicing Knight of Faith (Liam- who was visiting from NJ)
  • A snake oil salesman who’s 65, but doesn’t look a day over 25 Cult of Personality (Sammie)
  • A “I’m an evil warlock” sorcerer (Chad)

Not Present

  • A pugilist that has fists of fury (Nate)
  • A grumpy, pushy shaman(Angie)
  • A Showman who is trained in the etiquette of the West, motherfuckers! (Amelia)

Heading Out for Adventure

The group awoke in the AM after getting a good night sleep feeling refreshed and lovely (and more importantly 2 HP back).  The then went to the Oddity House to see if they could procure something to heal them in the coming battle.  The owner of the shop was an older Chinese man named Shen who welcomed to the shop and offered them needed supplies to fight evil, like garlic, salt, etc.

The group cut right to the chase and said they were there to rid the town of the green fog and need stuff to aid them in the fight.  Shen reached under the counter and put down two vials filled with a red liquid, a torch, and a small ring (and yes, one of my players made a “one ring to rule us all…?” joke).  Shen explained that the vials would restore health and vitality to a person, the torch once light, was ever-burning and wouldn’t ever go it.  It gave off no heat, and would not catch things on fire, but always provided light.  The ring was a minor enchantment that would block one single magical spell before becoming just an ordinary ring.  The group attempted to haggle, but failed, and in the end Tyler and Sammie each took a healing potion and bid Shen farewell.

Let the Lead Fly

The group made it to the outskirts of town and met up with the Sheriff, Janey “One-eye” and her friend, a voodoo practicing Knight of Faith.  Introductions were made and the group set off to the Variss Industries refinery.




The refinery was made of a sinister-looking black metal, much like that of Cold Smoke City, with a big VI over a cog painting on the door.  Before the group could get to the door, they were attacked by two insideout zombie men.  Kevin took quite a bit of damage and from one of the guys, taking him for 20 HP to a whopping 8.  He was hurting.

Aside: In this game I am using my variant rule for HP:  roll 1d6+1 add your Con Score and Con Modifier- that’s your starting HP (unless your a fighting class- roll 2d4+1 instead of 1d6).  Everyone started off with around 13-19 HP… Then I lowered the boom on them.  When they gain a level- they only gain +1 HP per level… that’s it.  I designed this so a shotgun to the face will hurt you regardless of level.

After dispatching the two insideout zombie men, Tyler searched the area and found a backpack of one of the men.  It had a torch, some bullets, a light pistol, and a penny dreadful (Liam’s character became obsessed with Penny Dreadfuls and searched every room, high and low, for more).

The group went into the refinery and headed right and came to a staff lunchroom.  There were bodies all over the floor and two insideout zombie men.  On the far side of the room was a staircase leading up.  The group let lead fly and took down the baddies like cake.

The most amusing piece of this fight was one of the zombies, Tyler, and Kevin all had the same initiative score and went at the same time.  The zombie rolled a one on it’s attack, Tyler hit, and Kevin scored a critical success.  So it played out that the creature went to attack, slipped in blood and smacked its head on the table, bouncing back up- Tyler shot a hole through the things shoulder, spinning it around, and Kevin blew the back of the thing’s skull out with a well placed (and timed) shot.  The group looted the room and went up stairs.

On the second floor they found the foreman’s office, with the body of the foreman (sans head) inside.  Liam found a Penny Dreadful (yay), and the group found gold and a golden flask with an engraving of a person drinking liquid from the flask.  Kevin opened the flask and took a sniff; it was whisky.  Kevin took a health drink of it- damned tasty whisky.  He put the flask in his pack.

The group went to the end of the hall and saw a closed door with the words, “John Tundstill- operator of Variss Industries New Mexico Sector” on the door.  Sammie kicked the door in, the group ready for a fight.  The door handle turned fiery red and shot out- hitting Sammie.  Her clothes instantly ignited (as did everyone else as they were all packed tightly by the door).  After taking a bit of damage and putting out their flaming asses, the group wandered into the room and started poking around.

The room had a large desk, a safe, a closet (closed), and a bookcase.  On the desk were two pieces of paper.  The first was handwritten and was from someone in Spring Water only identified as “J” speaking of the fresh batch of slaves that would arrive from the Remnants of the United States in a months time.

Aside: We are playing in a Weird West setting of my own creation that I’ll be publishing after High Noon comes out.  In it the world has collapsed and the United States is basically only the east coast and has barricaded itself behind a great iron wall, stretching from Pennsylvania to Maine.  Anyone can be a slave in the setting- race doesn’t play a factor.  Also Indentured Servitude is very much alive and well in the setting.

The second piece of paper was a telegraph speaking to Mr. John Tundstill from Variss Industries.  It was complimenting him on his efficiency with getting ore from the mines.  Second it addressed a telegraph that Tundstill had sent, speaking of a strange artifact found in one of the mines.  The telegraph told Tunstill to lock it up and keep it safe and VI would send an expert to examine it.

The group then found a secret passage behind the bookcase- a spiral staircase leading up to the third floor.  Finally they opened the closet door and found John Tundstill hiding in there with a gas mask on.  After the group removed the mask (upon which he freaked out-fearful of the gas) and was beaten for a bit- he told the group that they found a large circular stone tablet in a lower mine- the area seemed to have been delved long ago (but how could that be?!), and VI sent a sorcerer to examine the tablet…  After he arrived that’s when the green fog started to appear- coming from the tablet itself.  The group asked where this sorcerer was and Tundstill pointed a shaking finger at the spiral staircase.

The group then beat on him some more and made him open the safe.  In the safe they found a deed to a piece of property in Cold Smoke City, $200, a ruby, and a gun of red metal with a black handle.  On the bullet cylinder was an etching of a demon blowing flames from their mouth.  The group threatened John and he readily explained how the gun works.

The Gun of Demon Flame: 1d6+1 damage; Rate of Fire 2; 6 shots; Range 30′; After a successful attack, the wielder can will the bullet to explode (wielder must succeed a Saving Throw).  The target is instantly ignited in flame, taking an additional 1d6 damage.  Each round the target takes 1d6 fire damage until they put out the flame or die.

Kevin took the gun, Tyler took the deed, Sammie took the ruby, and the rest of the money was divided evenly.  The group buffaloed Tundstill, tied him up, and threw him back in the closet.

Upstairs into the Lair

The group went upstairs and found a door covered in green slime.  Opening the door they found a man wearing robes standing over a large circular tablet.  He cackled, “OH GOOD!  MORE PEOPLE HAVE COME TO PLAY!”


The group opened up on the sorcerer and thanks to two critical attacks, dropped him before anything else could be done.

The group was celebrating, giving each other high fives and hugs when the stomach of the sorcerer bloated and became overlarge, finally exploding in a spray of guts, bone, and blood.  Rising from the hole in the body of the sorcerer was a foul and hideous looking demon.


The group group all succeeded their fear saving throws (thanks to burning Luck points) and combat began.  This was a brutal fight.  Nearly everyone was at 1-3 HP by the end and that was after having to use a Luck point for a second wind (half max HP back- once per session).

During this fight Chad and Kevin both rolled several critical failures; Chad shooting Liam with a shotgun and Kevin getting whipped across the room by the demon.

Finally Kevin got in a couple lucky shots with the Gun of Demon Flame (but couldn’t succeed on the flame effect- not that it would have harmed the demon) and dropped the baddie.

The group found an amulet around the charred remains of the sorcerer and Chad took it.  The group looked at the tablet; it was ancient and had carvings and etchings that seemed to be Mayan in origin.  Liam dumped three vials of holy water on the tablet, which shattered and broke.  Sammie took a piece of it and put it in her backpack.

The group grabbed John Tundstill, Janey One-eye saying he had a date with a Hangman’s Judge.  The group was given a voucher for $100 to either the gunsmith, blacksmith, or the Oddity shop and $50 cash.

With that we ended for the night.  We will play again sometime in January.  This was a great session and I got to see just how deadly High Noon is…  which makes me happy.


High Noon Playtest Session 2- Investigating Around High Noon

Session Two


A grumpy, pushy shaman(Angie)

A Showman who is trained in the etiquette of the West, motherfuckers! (Amelia)- I haven’t put this Weird class on the blog
A scout that can move silently, has a badass rifle, and knows nature and shit (Tyler)
And a gunslinger who’s quick on the draw (Kevin)

Not Present

A “I’m an evil warlock” sorcerer (Chad)

A pugilist that has fists of fury (Nate)

Spring Water

Town of Spring Water

When we ended session one, the group staggered into the town of Spring Water battered, bloodied after their bout in the abandoned mine.  They ran into Sheriff One-Eye Janey outside of the Three-legged Dog Saloon and Inn.  She greeted them cordially enough, but warned them to stay out of trouble in her town.  With a deep inhale from her cigar, she sauntered off to the Sheriff’s Office in the distance.

The group made their way into the Three-legged Dog Saloon and bought some whisky.  Amelia went to the broken down piano and started playing Old Susana (link) while Kevin and Angie drank (Angie testing how the bartenders would react to having a Native as a customer- they didn’t seem to mind).

After some palaver about the town, the group found out about some of the troubles in Spring Water.  Many of the folks didn’t take kindly to Variss Industries coming from Cold Smoke City and taking over their land and building an ore refinery plant on the outskirts of town.  Also that the strange green fog that was turning people inside out was coming from the valley where the refinery resided.  The tavern owners also informed them to steer clear of the Judge O’Mallery, for he is a hangman’s judge (can dispense justice without trial and he is extremely firm).

The group then went to the Sheriff’s Office to confirm what they heard at the tavern.  After a lengthy conversation, Sheriff One-eye Janey told them to go rest up and she’d have a small posse assembled in the AM.

With that we ended for the evening.

Note about this session: this was a fun info gathering session, but it was very low energy.  Several of the players were extremely tired after work and long days, the session didn’t start until 7:15pm instead of 6pm and I called it at 8:30 because I could tell people were too tired to keep playing- and it made sense for a stopping point there. 

Star Wars Campaign: Trouble in Phynol

I’ll be honest- I really dig the new Star Wars movie.  It isn’t perfect- and there are glaring plot holes, pacing issues, etc. that plague the movie- but it’s the Star Wars movie we’ve been waiting for since 1983.  With Star Wars thundering through my head, I figure it’s a good time to start playtesting my Star Runners Kit (here’s what I’ve posted on the blog thus far) for White Star (gotta playtest this while I’m playtesting High Noon)

I decided that I would start the group off in my own sector of space, called the Phylon Sector.


The game starts roughly 5 months after the destruction of the first Death Star.  The empire has placed blame on the destruction of Alderaan on the Rebel Alliance and has begun clamping down on all systems, justifying it as “protection from the terrorists and their kind.”  Aliens are treated even more harshly and civil liberties and planetary government control are being stripped away.


The group are o smugglers/treasure hunters and members of the Phynol Sector resistance cell, the Free Roamers.  The resistance cell fights against the Imperial presence in their space.

The Phynol Sector is an area of space that is difficult to get to due to a dense asteroid field that requires patience and meticulous hyperspace coordinates.  There are six worlds, five of which are ruled by a House and a space station owned by Obsidian Industries that guards its corporate interests and harvests the asteroids for minerals.

At the end of this sector is a dense nebula that emits electrical discharges- very few are foolish enough to use it for cover, etc.  Harvesting the gases of the nebula are profitable and the Houses and Obsidian Industries send in droid collectors as well as small manned expeditions to gather the gases.  Recently a manned ship was damaged and drifted too far into the nebula- their last transmission before the ship exploded- radioed coming across a large metallic structure and a planet in the distance.  Now scavengers and the corporation are curious to figure out what is lurking in the nebula, as is the Empire.

The Empire has established a hold on the Phynol Prime with the help of the recently assassinated leader of the House of Stars and the House of Water.  The Imperial leader, Moff Rhymers has begun taking control of the government, siting possible insurrection as justification.  Propaganda floods the airwaves and holovids, Imperial banners fly from every building, and Storm Trooper presence is seen everywhere.

The start of the campaign have the characters encounter the first two Star Destroyers, one an Interdictor Class Star Destroyer (generates gravity wells).


After I came up with the premise I decided to use the Awesome Rule of One that I talked about after watching Killjoys and came up with the following:

Rule of One for Campaign

One city– Undertown- exists in the catacombs of the city capital.  Where all the downtrodden and poor go on this lush and beautiful world.

One government– The Consortium of Five- one ruling family from each of the 5 inhabitable planets.

One point of contact– Young prince of the House of the Stars- the house of the main world that holds more power- trying to prove himself, secretly funding rebel resistance as Moff takes more of his power away.  Father was supporter of Empire, recently assassinated.

One law agency– P-Sec- Law for whole sector

One point of contact– Commander Crux- Human

One religion– Believers of Utomak- believes that we are too advanced, attempting to bring the people of the Phynol Sector back to a simpler time- fears the Empire and its interference.

One resistance– The Free Roamers- Phynol Sectors new resistance- not part of the Alliance yet- but desires to make contact.

One point of contact- Jy’rill Mar- Twi’lek soldier

One major evil corporation– Obsidian Industries

One point of contact– Riker Gribbs- Human

One bar– Fried Mon Cal

One Face– Gr’ack Vin- Mon Calamari smuggler

One Johnson– Hyz “The Blitz” Flip- Human

One Dickhead villain– Zertak- Falleen smuggler/crime lord- has protection racket, ships, etc.  Functions in Undertown.

One Dickhead Rival– Bendick Greel- Rodian smuggler/treasure hunter- has similar ship and crew to players.  Has rival with one player- loves rubbing it in their face when he wins.  Ship is called Gleeful Thief.

(other info)

Five Houses

House of Stars

House of the Sun

House of Water

House of Air

House of Night


Rule of One for Empire

One government– The Empire- biding time before completely taking over the sector.

One point of contact– Admiral Valeese- human- believes in the mission of the Empire, however does not like the brute force or death that he has seen in his time with the Empire.  Clashes with Moff Rhymers often on need of force and torture that the Moff employs.

One Dickhead Villain– Moff Rhymers- human- believes in the message of the Empire.  Hates non-humans- wants to subjugate the whole sector.


Then I came up with the Phynol Sector

Phynol Sector

The Phynol Sector

The Phynol Sector

Then I created a Star Wars crawl thanks to the Star Wars website

Aside: The website is being a dick and not loading the crawl that I created- so here are the words


Episode IV.V

Trouble in Phynol

It is a time of galactic strife. Imperial forces are clamping down on all systems after the destruction of their secret weapon, the DEATH STAR.

Blamed for the destruction of Alderaan, the Rebel Alliance has had to all but vanish for the time being as agents of the Emperor search high and low for these fighters of justice and freedom.

In the Phynol system a strange machine has been discovered in the nebula. The local resistance cell, the Free Roamers, now race to discover what it is before the Empire can claim it as their own…


Planets of Phynol Sector

I used my Die Drop Planet Generator for most of the stuff on these worlds (this will be in the Star Runner Kit)

Phynol Prime: is a lush jungle world and the most developed and densely populated planet of the sector.  The most powerful ruling family, the House of Stars, governs the planet from a large starship that hovers around the planet.  The newest fashions and technologies find their way to Phynol Prime (if somewhat slightly delayed).  Recently the leader of the House of Stars was assassinated.  The public is divided as the young prince ascends to the throne.  The leader was a supporter of the Empire and had made it easier for them to get a hold in the sector.


Most of the buildings in the cities are made of prefabricated metals and fiber-plastic.


Undertown lies in the old city catacombs.  Many smugglers, ne’er-do-wells, and the downtrodden live here.  Recently several grizzly murders have occurred in Undertown, causing many to become fearful and paranoid.

I went deeper and used my Instaplanet Generator for Phynol Prime for surface level info

Phynol Prime

Tech Level: High; Population: Several billion


Hyssia: is an arid moon that orbits Phynol Prime, and home to the House of Air.  Tensions are running high currently as the Believers of Utomak are openly resisting the noble House- crying for the Phynol sector to go back to a simpler time.  To make matters worse, the planet is suffering for an infestation of rodents that breeding at an alarming rate.  The House of Air resides in an inverted pyramid-shaped building in the center of the Hyssian capital.  All the buildings are covered in solar panels to harvest the energy of the sun.


Tech Level: High; Population: Several billion


Mirror: is a mountainous planet filled with high peaks, and low valleys filled with trees, rivers, and lakes.  The House of the Sun rules the planet from their government building, which has been carved from an asteroid that fell to the planet thousands of years ago.  Currently Mirror is under quarantine as a sickness is running rampant through the small planet.  All the housing and buildings are constructed from prefabricated metals and fiber-plastic.


Tech Level: Medium; Population: Tens of millions


Anglor: is the home to the House of Water and is a swampy planet covered in massive mushrooms.  Recently a strange, virulent form of fungus has grown on much of the planets crops, ruining them.  The planet has had to go into rationing to make sure their food supply lasts.  Anglor is in a state of faux-celebration after the House of Water, with the help of Imperial Stormtroopers, brought a 15 year civil war to an end, and wiped out all the resistance leaders to the House of Water’s regime.  Anglor is home to a massive penal colony that is built on a massive crabwalker that wanders the planet.  Structures of the affluent and powerful are crafted from a bronze-like metal mined from the planet.  The metal is slightly warm to the touch, regardless of season.


Tech Level: Med; Population: Tens of millions


Eddat:  This was once a planet overseen by House of the Wind, thousands of years ago.  The House of Wind was doing testing on a biological agent for war when it was accidentally released.  Nearly all the population was killed.  Those that survived have been transformed into horrific creatures, as have all the indigenous animals and beasts.  Ancient ruins filled with artifacts and prizes dot the landscape of Eddat, but the planet is extremely dangerous.  People have to go down in full protection suits and sit in isolation for 1 week as the disease still exists.


D-5517: Is a barren ice rock and home to the House of Night.  D-5517 furthest from sun and has a minimal population.  There is a penal colony, several mining stations that harvest large chunks of ice and rock from the planet and ship them to other worlds for trade, and a single spaceport and station.  The settlements have been suffering difficulties lately as violent electrical storms have raged through an area, severely damaging any equipment or droids that were active.


Tech Level: Med; Population: Several thousand


I’ll do the instaplanet generator for the other planets and post them all as I flush them out.


We will be playing once a month and hopefully start sometime in January.

High Noon Art and The Showman Weird West Class

High Noon Pic

High Noon is coming along quite nicely!  The above picture was done by the talented Alex Mayo and is the first piece of art for High Noon.

I’ve begun layout for the book and making my edits.  Angie (my wife) still needs to do her round of edits as well- but she’s busy doing Hubris art right now.

I figured this would be a good time to post the last class of High Noon- The Showman

The Showman

Magicians, ringmasters, actors, flimflam men, and the like may fall into the category of the showman.  Where the cult of personality uses their natural ability and eloquence to negotiate and bend others to their will, the showman uses their strange magical abilities to ensnare and trick those around them.

The showman commands respect and awe of the crowds, but knows how quickly it can all turn against them.  They live for thrill of the crowd, seeking fame and fortune, but also constantly live in fear of failure and being forgotten.

Weapon Restrictions: A showman is proficient with pistols, shotguns, knives, and swords.

Prestidigitation: The showman is able to do minor illusions tricks.  This ability allows the showman to perform simple magical effects for one hour.  These effects are extremely limited, such as slowly lifting up to 1 point of material, cleaning an area of 1 cubic foot per round, chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of food or water, or create small illusions such as floating bubbles, shimmering butterflies, change the color of a person’s clothing, etc. These always look artificial and can never be mistaken for actual creatures, dyes, etc.  A showman can use this ability three times per day.

Fascinate: The showman begins speaking of grand times and adventures!  Any target that can see or hear the showman within 60’ must make a saving throw or become enthralled with the showman, unable to look away, suffering -4 to all skill checks (such as Perception).  Being attacked or in danger automatically breaks this effect.  This effect lasts for as many rounds as the showman keeps speaking.  A showman can use this magical effect once per day.

Illusionism: The showman is able to use magical abilities to awe and ensnare those that watch and hear them.  The showman knows that the crowd can quickly turn against them should they fail to proper use their abilities.

A showman is able to cast a number of spells equal to their showman level.  To cast a spell the showman chooses which spell they want to cast and then makes a base saving throw.  If the ST is successful, the spell goes off without a hitch.  Should the ST fail, the spell fizzles and the showman loses the ability to cast any spells until they sleep for night.

If the showman critically fails on the saving throw, the showman becomes dejected and worries about failure.  For all future charisma-based rolls (including saving throws) for the next 24 hours, the showman rolls 2d20 and takes the lower of the two.

Learning Spells: A showman begins play with two spells of their choice and gains an additional spell with each level they gain.

Luck Points: A showman is able to burn a Luck Point to automatically succeed on the saving throw to cast a spell.

Saving Throws: A showman receives +2 to saves against attempts to influence them or cloud their minds.

XP Bonus for Charisma: A showman with a Charisma score of 13 or 14 receives a 5% experience bonus, and those with a score of 15 or higher receive a 10% bonus.

Literate: A showman can read and write their native language.

Skills: A showman begins play with 3 skills.

Starting Gear: Horse, lantern, lantern oil x2, trail rations x5, water canteen, clothing and hat (fine quality), cutlass (D: 1d6, R: NA, RoF: NA), and light pistol (D: 1d6, R: 25’, RoF: 2, S: 6) with 15 bullets.

Melee weapon info is as follows: Weapon (Damage (D): X, Range (R): X, RoF: X) 

Ranged weapon info is as follows:  Weapon (Damage (D): X, Range (R): X, Rate of Fire (RoF): X, Shots (S): X)

Starting Currency: 4d6 x 10 dollars.


The Showman Level Progression
1 0 HP Option +0 15
2 2,500 +1 HP +0 14
3 5,000 +1 HP +1 13
4 10,000 +1 HP +1 12
5 20,000 +1 HP +2 11
6 40,000 +1 HP +2 10
7 80,000 +1 HP +3 9
8 160,000 +1 HP +3 8
9 320,000 +1 HP +4 7
10 640,000 +1 HP +4 6














The Showman Spells


Cause Fear: The showman speaks words of panic and terror to a target with less than 5HD (or levels) within 60’ and cause them to experience absolute terror.  The target must make a saving throw or become panicked and flee from the sorcerer for 1d4+1 rounds.


Charm Person: The showman uses their ability for oration and speaks a soothing word to a target, ensnaring their mind, and making the target treat the showman as an ally and friend.  The target will do whatever the showman asks, but will not obey harmful or suicidal orders; giving such an order breaks the enchantment immediately.  The target is allowed a saving throw to avoid this effect.  The spells duration is 1 hour per showman level.


Dancing Lights:  The showman can create up to four lights of varying colors (they will even change color periodically, should the showman wish).  These lights are spherical and have the brightness of a lantern.  These lights must stay within 10’ of one another or the effect ends immediately.  These lights can float up and down, around corners, or into tight spaces- all at the direction of the showman.  These lights can go up to100 feet away from the showman.  Only one version of this spell can be active at a time.


Disguise Self/Other:  You are able to wrap yourself (or another target) up in illusions and make yourself, including your belongings, look different.  You can appear up to 1 foot shorter or taller, thinner, fatter, or medium build.  You can change your hair, eye color, teeth, gender, voice, etc.  This feels real to the touch to others, however the showman or the affected target do not have the memories or mannerisms of who they are trying to impersonate (unless they have created a new looking person entirely).  People that the disguised target is attempting to fool receive a saving throw (or perception check) with a +2.  This effect lasts for 1 hour.


Emotional Control: The showman is able to affect a group of targets in a 20’ radius up to 100’ away.  The showman is able to amplify emotions or mute them.  This can stop people from fighting, or cause a simple dispute to erupt into a brawl.  The happy will begin to cry, the sad and grieving to become elated.  All targets in the area are allowed a saving throw to negate this effect.  Targets cannot be effected by Emotional Control more than once in a 24 hour period.  This effect lasts as long as the showman maintains control and 1 round after concentration ends.


Glitterdust: The showman summons a cloud of golden sparking flecks that covers everything in a 10ft radius. The targets must make saving throw versus spell or be blinded for the duration of the spell. The spell also visibly outlines invisible targets for the duration of the spell. The dust cannot by removed by any means until they fade away at the spells end.  This spell lasts one round per showman level.


Hallucinatory Terrain: The showman is able to affect a 50’ radius within a 400’ range of natural terrain to look, sound, and even smell like a different type of natural environment.  Structures, equipment, and creatures in this area are not changed.  Targets are allowed a saving throw to disbelieve.  This spell lasts a number of turns equal to the showman’s level.


Hypnotic Pattern: The showman creates a dazzling display of lights and colors that swirl, twist, and glow right next to them as they speak and tell stories of the wonders of the plains.  Any creature within 30’ of the display must succeed a saving throw or become utterly enthralled for 2d6 rounds.  They will not move, attack, speak, or react.  They are utterly immobile and fixated on the pattern.  Attempting to cause the targets harm will immediately break this enchantment.


Image: The showman creates a visual illusion of an object, creature, person, or force within 400’.  This illusion can speak, create sound, have a smell, and even texture.  The creature understands speech and can reply, but with extremely limited answers and knowledge (all based from the showman’s own experiences).  This illusion lasts as long as the showman concentrates and two rounds thereafter.  The illusion can move within the confines of the effected area (400’).


Inspire: The showman speaks words of excitement and glory to their comrades, granting them a +2 bonus to saving throws and skill checks for the next hour.


Invisibility: The showman is able to turn themselves (or another touched target) invisible.  The target cannot be attacked unless the attacker knows the invisible person’s exact location.  Should a target swing blindly at the invisible person, their attacks suffer   -4.  If the invisible person attacks, the spell is broken immediately.  The spell lasts until the showman dispels the effect.


Mad Hallucination:  The showman is able to affect the minds of up to four targets that are within 5’ of one another.  Surfaces swim, spin, and tilt.  Targets must succeed on a saving throw or become uneasy, moving at half their normal rate and suffering -2 on all physical actions for a number or rounds equal to the showman’s level.


Smooth Talker: The showman becomes more attractive and enticing.  Their charisma is increased to 18 for the duration of this spell and they roll 2d20 on all charisma checks and take the higher of the two.  This spell lasts a number of rounds equal to the showman’s level.


Swollen Tongue: The showman causes the tongue of a touched target to swell, making so they cannot talk intelligibly.  They sputter, can barely breathe, and have a bulging mass protruding from their mouth.  This effect lasts for 2d3 rounds.


Ventriloquism:  You can make your voice seem to appear far away (up to 50ft away) or even nearby, say over a guard’s shoulder.  Targets are allowed a saving throw to disbelieve this illusion.  It lasts for a number of turns equal to the showman’s level.

Killjoys and the Awesome Rule of One



Last night I wrapped up watching the Killjoys.  I actually really enjoyed it.  I’m not saying it’s an award winner or fresh and new…  In fact several times it falls into cliche and trope traps… however, I still enjoyed it and thought it would make for great inspiration for a sci-fi RPG setting.


What really got me about Killjoys, from a campaign standpoint, was the lack of complexity.

It starts off very simple and doesn’t overwhelm the view (or gaming group).  It’s a great jumping off point- hell even  for a whole first part of a campaign.

I’m looking at it as the Rule of One.  You only have one thing to represent an aspect of the game.  Obviously as sessions continue on, more things will emerge, form, and develop.  I’ll break it down using Killjoys as the example.

One city- Old town- where the downtrodden live (most interesting adventure location)

One government- the Company

One point of contact- Old grizzled veteran of the company that lingers in Old Town

One law agency- The Rac

One point of contact- Asshole Rac officer that doesn’t like the group

One religion- The Pain monks

One resistance- Headed by the pain monks, but even non-believers are involved

One major evil corporation- Same as the Company, but serves in a different faucet here

One bar- The Royale.  Serves for hangouts, fencing, info gathering, etc.

One Face- Owner of the Royale

One Johnson- The Killjoys handler

One Dickhead Villain- the main big bad that is orchestrating level 6 of the Killjoys.

Royal families- there are nine- however only one has come into focus and only one point of contact has come out.


This right here is a decent (robust even) start to a campaign and can keep players entertained and engaged for awhile.  As the players adventure, make choices, etc. more and more locations, adversaries, NPCs, etc will emerge.  I always find that front loading a campaign with too much stuff overloads the players OR never sees the light of day.  Gonna have to give this format a go next time I do a campaign.