Sunday, September 29, 2013

Heavy Future: Ameriscum

I just put the finishing touches on the Heavy Future manuscript and put together an assembly copy of the text. Right now, the book weighs in at nearly 300 pages and over 155,000 words.

In about two months, I managed to produce a new campaign guide as weighty and densely plotted as either Black Tokyo or Otherverse America's Unlimited Editions!

I'm going to begin assembling the final art, gathering last pieces of stock, and making final modifications to the text over the next few days. I'll wait until at least the end of the week or early next week to start formal layout- give myself for any last-minute inspiration to strike, if it does.

Over the course of the two months I spent writing this world, I really came to enjoy this variant on the Galaxy Command setting, and Heavy Future has become my default space-adventuring setting. Expect lots of supplemental releases for the Heavy Future universe.

First up will be a complete threat roster, focusing mostly on human opponents and major NPCs. This sourcebook will include stats for ICG inquisitors, Command cops, Space Mafioso of all sorts, bounty hunters, serial killers, space pirates and other assorted two legged scum. These NPC stat blocks were cut from Heavy Future mostly because of space. In the meantime, the Space Monsters series provides several threats for all levels of play, built around sci-fi stock art and grounded in the tropes of sci fi. 

Today, I'm going to preview one of the new Sorcerer bloodlines present in Heavy Future- the Ameriscum. After the bloodline itself, take a look at a closely related new feat, and a few Ameriscum-specific magic items to kit out your white trash hero. 

Today's illustration is by Amanda Webb, and depicts a male and female pair of Ameriscum. 


The Ameriscum Bloodline

            There used to be an America before the old nations unified, and you’re a heir to the lost but not forgotten nation’s heritage. You’re a loud, boisterous, big-dicked red, white and blue bastard of the stars. You live free, you tinker with your machines incessantly, and you’ll die before you let anybody take your guns. Vulgar and proud in equal measure, you’ve got no tolerance for the repressive shithole Earth’s become, and have nothing but hate in your flag-draped heart for the idiots in charge of the ICG. A lot of Free Spacer sorcerers come from the Ameriscum bloodline- the spirit of liberty is alive and well out in deep space, and is having babies by the millions…..

Class Skill: Drive, Repair

Bonus Spells:
Fire Fast* (3rd), Eagle’s Splendor (5th), Heroism (7th), Ghost Chassis* (9th), Righteous Might (11th), Eagle’s Splendor, Mass (13th), Deflection (15th), Mind Blank (17th), Freedom (19th)
*starred spells appear in The Modern Grimorie (Otherverse Games, 2013)

Bonus Feats: Action Bank, Acrobatics, Advanced Firearms Proficiency, Agile Maneuvers, Combat Reflexes, Force Stop, Gearhead, Iron Will, Improved Iron Will, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Vehicle Expert

Bloodline Arcana As a move-equivalent action, you can sacrifice a first level spell slot to provide yourself with a +1 enhancement bonus on ranged attacks with any firearm (slug thrower) for one round. While enhanced, the weapon is considered a +1 weapon for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction Your firearm becomes even bigger and more threatening looking while so enhanced.

Bloodline Powers

Thrill Billy (SU): At first level, the Ameriscum sorcerer can activate Thrill Billy as a standard action to receive a +1 competence bonus on Drive, Fly and Pilot checks for one round plus one additional round per sorcerer level. This bonus increases by +1 for every four sorcerer levels. While this power is in effect, any vehicle the Ameriscum sorcerer is piloted is decorated in glowing, red, white and blue fire. The sorcerer can use Thrill Billy a number times per day equal to 3 + his CHA modifier.

Red, White and Blue (SU): Starting at 3rd level, the Ameriscum can use Red, White and Blue to receive Spell Resistance equal to 15 + ½ his sorcerer class level for one minute. Doing so is a standard action. While this power is active, the Sorcerer’s body and gear are painted in old American flag colors by the magic. The Ameriscum can use this ability once per day.

Hot Rod Heaven (SU): As a swift action, the Ameriscum can make any vehicle he is driving or piloting ethereal for short periods starting at 9th level. The Ameriscum can make a vehicle ethereal for a number of rounds per day equal to their sorcerer level; these round need not be consecutive, but are always in one round increments.

The Ameriscum can initially send a vehicle of Size Huge or smaller to Hot Rod Heaven; at 12th level he can affect vehicles of up to size Gargantuan; and at 15th level, he can affect Colossal vessels. Vessels sent to Hot Rod Heaven always return to the physical plane with an eye-catching new red white and blue paintjob and airbrushed scenes of soaring eagles, busty angels in cut off jean shorts and other white trash religious art.

Don’t Tread on Us (SU):  Nobody fucks with your head, or the heads on your friends. At 15th level, you get an arcane snake tattoo somewhere on your body with the motto “Don’t Tread on Me”. You become immune to spells and effects of the Enchantment (compulsion) subschool.

As a standard action, you can lower your immunity to extend partial immunity to all allies within 30 ft. Your tattoo fades and peels, while your allies gain similarly faded snake tats on their foreheads. You once again become vulnerable to Enchantment (compulsion) effects, but receive a +4 insight bonus on WILL Saves against them. Your allies also receive a +4 bonus on compulsion effects. Once Don’t Tread on Us is activated in this manner, it remains active for two minutes. At the end of the effect’s duration, your immunity reactivates and your tattoo returns to its normal appearance. The sorcerer can activate this power a number of times per day equal to 3 + his CHA modifier.

Live Free or Die (SU):
At 20th level, the Ameriscum sorcerer comes fully into the freedom that is his birthright. The Ameriscum is treated as being under a permanent Freedom of Movement effect (caster level 20th), and patriotic star tattoo appear on his knees and elbows.  He becomes completely immune to mind-influencing effects.

When activating Don’t Tread On Us, the sorcerer’s allies now gain a benefit, but the sorcerer himself now suffers no penalty.

White Trash Queen (SU)
While nobody’s ever going to call you a genius, your big red lips, strawberry blond hair, cheap tattoos and even cheaper Daisy Dukes make you the cutest damn thing in the cosmos.
Prerequisite: Sorcerer levels (Ameriscum bloodline), female gender, CHA 13+
            Benefit: CHA becomes your single most important attribute. You may use either CHA or the default ability as the key ability for the following skill checks (normal key ability listed in parenthesis), whichever is higher:
  • Craft (armorer/gunsmith) (INT)
  • Craft (mechanical) (INT)
  • Drive (DEX)
  • Knowledge (popular culture) (INT)
  • Knowledge (streetwise) (INT)
  • Repair (INT)

Your bonus skill ranks per level are determined by your CHA score, not your INT modifier.

American Katana

Aura strong universal CL 17th
Slot weapon Price 56,450 gp (DC 32) Weight 2 lbs
            The American Katana celebrates the violent spirit of the Old Earth nation and is usually found in the fist of an Ameriscum revolutionary, its blade at the throat of some bastard wearing Command colors. The particle katana’s hilt is wrapped in red, white and blue ribbon; a golden eagle perches at the end of the hilt.

            The American Katana is a +4 Particle Katana. The blade’s energy beam can be reconfigured between Red, White and Blue, as a move equivalent action. The weapon’s special qualities are determined by the blade’s color.

Red: The weapon gains the Flaming property and inflicts an additional die of fire damage on a successful hit.
The weapon gains the Defending property, hopefully keeping the wielder alive a little bit longer.
Blue: The weapon gains the Keen property (crit 19-20 activates special ability), greatly upping the chances of cutting off some motherfucker’s limbs.
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, wish
Cost 28,225 gp (DC 30)

American Thigh Highs
Aura faint enchantment CL 5th
Slot feet Price 30,000 gp (DC 30) Weight negligible
            These red, white and blue mesh stockings have a different assortment or rips and tears every single time they’re donned. They can make even the most average ass in the galaxy look spectacular.
            While wearing American Thigh Highs, the wearer can add her CHA modifier as a dodge bonus to Armor Class/ Defense. The wearer must be nude (save for the stockings) or revealingly dressed for this ability to function.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, charm monster, creator must be a sorcerer of the Ameriscum bloodline
Cost 15,000 gp (DC 27) 

Bootie Shaker Shorts

Aura moderate transmutation CL 5th
Slot belt Price 9,750 gp (DC 26) Weight negligible

            These cut off denim shorts hug the wearer’s ass worshipfully, and are very popular among Ameriscum adventurers (and even the occasional Free Spacer wearing them concealed under their duty uniform). There’s a usually a colorful patch onto the right butt cheek- either an Old American Flag, the Old Confederate Flag or a bright green Peace Sign.

            While wearing Bootie Shaking Shorts, you receive a +5 competence bonus on Acrobatics, Climb and Perform (dance) checks. In addition, each style of Bootie Shaking Shorts has a special power, usable up to 3 times per day.

  • Old American Flag: As a swift action, grant an ally within 30 ft a +1 deflection bonus to AC/Defense for 1 minute.
  • Old Confederate Flag: As a swift action, receive a +1 insight bonus on ranged attack rolls for 1 minute.
  • Peace Sign: As a swift action, gain a +5 bonus to your CMD for 1 minute.

Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, cat’s grace and any one of the following spells mage armor (American Flag), true strike (Confederate Flag) or enlarge person (Peace Sign), creator must be a sorcerer from the Ameriscum bloodline
Cost 4,875 gp (DC 23)

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