Friday, September 13, 2013

Heavy Work

Over the last few days I’ve added around 75 magic items to Heavy Future, and I feel like I’m about halfway done with that part of the draft. The magic items are adding a ton of flavor to the campaign world, reinforcing the themes and factions I’m building into the game, and at the same time, suggesting new storylines.

Today, I want to preview the Heavy Future media guide, a list of suggested books, websites, comics, games, movies and music that should get you in the Heavy Future mood. A similar media guide for Otherverse America got a lot of comments, when I released it a few years back, including a fairly nice note from novelist Andrew Vachss’ publicist.

After that, I’ll post up the Magic Item index as it stands today, and preview a few individual magic items, with a little commentary.

First up, the Media Guide…..

Media Guide: NC-17 Future

The following books, movies, comics and music capture the feel of Heavy Future. Give ‘em a look or listen.

Comix & Graphic Novels
The Airtight Garage
Alien Legion
Camelot 3000
Den (Richard Corbin)
Heavy Metal/Metal Hurlant
Lobo (seriously, anything Lobo)
Star Wars: Darth Maul mini and Knights of the Old Republic mini

Particular Artists
Angus McKie
Boris Vallejo
Chris Foss
Fred Gambino
Hajime Sorayama 
Jim Burns
Ralph McQuarrie
Simon Bisley
Tom of Finland
Wayne Barlowe

Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestials (artbook by Wayne Barlow)
Biography of a Space Tyrant, Firefly, others (Piers Anthony)
Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, others (Robert Heinlein)
Ringworld and others (Larry Niven)

Games (Pen & Paper and Electronic)
Brutal Legend
Damnation Decade
Jet Set Radio Future
Gamma World (any edition)
Machinations of the Space Princess
Macho Women With Guns!
Planet Motherfucker
Rifts (especially Atlantis, Australia, Juicer Uprising, and the New West sourcebooks)
Space Channel 5
Stars Without Number
Warhammer 40,000, including Rogue Trader and others

Movies & Television
3,000 Miles to Graceland
Alien (and surprisingly, Alien: Resurrection, not so much the superior Aliens)
Battle Beyond the Stars
Battlestar Galactica (1970s)
The Blues Brothers
Cannonball Run
Cleopatra 2025
Dukes of Hazzard
Dune (1980s film)
Flash Gordon (1980s film)
The Fifth Element
Guns, Girls and G-Strings: the Andy Sidaris Collection
Ice Pirates
Jemm & The Holograms
Planet Terror
The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue (adult)
Serenity (and the TV show which preceded it, Firefly)
Sons of Anarchy
Star Crash
Star Wars (the original, unmodified trilogy, bootlegged on VHS)
Titan A.E.
The Warriors
Wizards/Rock N’ Rule

Music (Play in a Constant Loop)
The Blue Oyster Cult
Cradle of Filth
Guns N’ Roses
Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and other boomer rockers
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Monster Magnet
Rob Zombie & White Zombie
Rush (especially 2012)
The Scorpions

Tumblrs (Free Visual Inspiration)

Now, take a look at the Magic Item index, and compare it to where I was last post. You’ll notice I’ve done a ton of work…..

Heavy Magic Items

Magic items here have both a GP value and a Purchase DC. The item’s Purchase DC was calculated by converting the item’s GP cost to modern wealth using a 1 GP: 1 US dollar : 1 standard galactic credit ratio. Not too precise, but it works.
Wondrous Items
(Cn) indicates a consumable item

  1. Arcade Magician
  2. Astronaut Ice Cream(Cn)
  3. Bacta Hot Tub
  4. Bailout Ring
  5. Cloning Banks
  6. Concert Stickers (Cn)
  7. Dino Disk (Cn)
  8. Dr. Youp’s Funk Soul Brand Potion (Cn)
  9. Dr. Youp’s Gunslingin’ Ring
  10. Dr. Youp’s Insta-Dispensary
  11. Dr. Youp’s Jailbait Recipe (Cn)
  12. Dr. Youp’s Liquid Dream Oil (Cn)
  13. Dr. Youp’s Liquid Sex (Cn)
  14. Engineer’s Kit Bag
  15. Hacker Box
  16. Hyperspatial Hypercubes
  17. Omni-Skates
  18. Outlaw Journo Headphones
  19. Pacifician Pacifisto
  20. Pinball Wizard: “The All Seeing Eye”
  21. Pinball Wizard: “The Mighty Mutator!”
  22. Pinball Wizard: “Mistress of the Crypt!”
  23. Pinball Wizard: “Operation: Forcefield”
  24. Pilgrim’s Staff
  25. Satanic Panic Button
  26. Soylent Rations (Cn)
  27. Space Breather
  28. Telepathic Amplifier
  29. Unitrans Ring
 Magic Weapons
  1. American Katana
  2. Dom Gun
  3. Dr. Youp’s KTMF Blaster
  4. Green Wasp Disintegrator Blaster
  5. Ironsaw Rocker
  6. Love Gun
  7. Maternal Ribbon
  8. Murder Maxxer
  9. Particle Vibrator
  10. Reentry Pistol
  11. Satanic Snuff-Dagger
  12. Shahteyan Particle Katana
  13. Spray and Pray Gospel Blaster
  14. Sub Gun
  15. Sundowner Pistol

Magic Armor and Costuming
  1. Bootie Shaker Shorts
  2. Combat Data Goggles
  3. Daredevil’s Jumpsuit
  4. Dead Astronaut’s Suit
  5. Demon Swallow Masque
  6. Galactic Go-Go Boots
  7. Gynoid’s Wig (lesser)
  8. Gynoid’s Wig (greater)
  9. Hyperflight Leathers
  10. King Karate Jumpsuit
  11. King Vegas Jumpsuit
  12. Lover’s Goggles
  13. Lion’s Comb
  14. Pacifician Starsuit
  15. Pleasurer Stockings
  16. Power Suit
  17. Psyren Vocalizer
  18. Racing Gloves
  19. RoxWitch’s Hat
  20. Salvager’s Boonie Cap
  21. Scornful Furs
  22. Smuggler’s Space Suit
  23. Star-Fairy’s Gown
  24. Star Ganger’s Cut
  25. Star Trucker’s Cap
  26. Star Valkyrie’s Helm

Minor Artifacts
  1. Extinction Blade
  2. “The Omega Starfighter” Arcade Magician
  3. Spacelord’s Chakra Gem

Heavy Artifacts
  1. Cosmic Excalibur

Finally, let me preview  a few of the cooler magic items… and a fancy new type of ‘mundane’ weapon.

Particle Katanas are my ‘please don’t sue me, George Lucas’ knock of light sabers. I’ve expanded the technology to different type of weapons, not just swords. You’ve got particle blade axes, even particle whips, because as a kid one of the first comic books I ever read was an issue of Marvel’s Star Wars series, wherein a female Sith with a lightsaber whip utterly pwned Luke Skywalker. An image of her is up top- sorta looks like a female Darth Vader designed by Nagel. Very cool.

Particle Axe
            The Particle Axe functions the same way a Particle Katana does, but in its powerless state is a long shaft with dual projector ends on both side of the staff, opposite the power switches. The Particle Axe produces a double head axe blade of plasma and charged particles.
            Special: Particle Axes use the same special rules as Particle Katana, but have a slightly different critical hit chart, focusing on upper body wounds.

            Particle Katana
            The Particle Katana is a high-tech powered weapon from a more civilized age. When powered down, the weapon is a slightly curved hilt with a concave aperture that serves as a projector array at one end. A flick of the thumb switch creates a brightly glowing blade of magnetically contained plasma and charged exotic metal particles that can cut through almost anything.

            Particle Katana are powered by the electromagnetic aura of their wielders, and have effectively unlimited life. Blade colors are most commonly green, blue, or rusty red, though purple, gold, orange and even the occasional pink blades can be found. Particle Katana cannot be thrown, as the plasma blades require positive pressure on two hilt switches to operate.

  • Special: Particle Katana are always masterwork quality weapons, and receive a +1 masterwork bonus to attack and damage rolls. Particle Katana are handmade weapons, each bearing the unique stamp of their creator- these weapons are never mass produced.

  • Special: Particle Katana can be used with any feat that requires a Blade of the Cosmos as a weapon focus; Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Particle Katana) can substitute for any feat with Blade of the Cosmos as a prerequisite.

  • Special: On a critical hit, a Plasma Katana severs one of the target’s limbs rather than inflicting multiplied damage. Roll d20 to determine the appendage that is severed.

            Particle Whips
            Particle Whips are nasty, difficult weapons derived from the same tech that powers Particle Katana. They consist of a fist-sized emitter, which projects a roiling, crackling, coiling length of whip-thin magnetically charged plasma several meters long.

  • Special: Particle Whips use the same special rules as Particle Katana, but have a slightly different critical hit chart, focusing on extremity wounds.

  • Special: The Particle Whip can attack as a ranged weapon with a 15 ft maximum range and no range increment.

Particle Axe
Particle Katana
Particle Whip
Non Human Limb (tail, a wing, a secondary arm or tentacle, ect. Read as 2 on humanoids)
Either hand at the wrist
Either hand at the wrist.
Either hand at the wrist
Either arm at the elbow
Either arm at the elbow.
Either hand at the wrist
Either arm at the elbow
Either arm at the shoulder.
Either arm at the elbow
Either arm at the shoulder
Either foot at the ankle.
Either foot at the ankle
Either arm at the shoulder
Either lower leg at the knee.
Either foot at the ankle
Head (as a vorpal weapon)
Either leg at the thigh.
Either leg at the knee
Head (as a vorpal weapon)

Melee Weapons         
Range Increment
Purchase DC
Particle Axe
2d10+1 fire
3 lbs
DC 26 (11,500 gp)
Mil +3
Particle Katana
2d8+1 fire
2 lbs
DC 24 (6,450 gp)
Mil +3
Particle Whip
2d6+1 fire
15 ft
Disarm, Trip
1 lb
DC 24 (6,475 gp)
Mil +3

So now that you know how ‘basic’ particle blade weapons work, lets take a look at a magical Particle Katana.

Shahteyan Particle Katana

Aura faint transmutation CL 5th
Slot weapon Price 24,500 gp (DC 29) Weight 2 lbs
            Just what every stripper needs- a particle katana that can double as a stripper pole or even assist in rapid costume changes by turning into a big, glowy hulahoop. The Shahteyan Particle Katana projects a beam of neon death and has a handle accented with pink chrome fins and flourishes.

            The Shahteyan Particle Katana is a +1 Particle Katana. While wielding the weapon, a female wielder can command the Shahteyan Particle Katana to assume its other functions.

            She can command the weapon to assume the form of a glowing stripper’s pole, which functions as an immovable rod and sheds colorful, Bright illumination to 60 ft. The stripper pole can extend to a maximum of 15 ft tall, and provides a +5 bonus on Perform (dance) checks made in conjunction with it.

            The wielder can also command the weapon to curl back on itself and assume a hulahoop-like form. By passing the hulahoop over her body, the wielder can cast alter self, to assume the form of any female humanoid in the same size category as her own. The character may also choose to permanently alter the cut and style of any clothing she’s wearing (though its properties do not change) by stepping through the glowing hulahoop. The Shahteyan Particle Katana can be commanded to assume hulahoop form up to 3x each day.

            While in stripper pole form or hulahoop form, the device does not inflict damage, allowing the wielder to grasp it without slicing her hands off.

Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, alter self, levitate
Cost 12,250 gp (DC 26)

Take a look at a selection of some of the setting’s wondrous items. I’m going for one of three themes when I build magic items for this setting.
  1. Generic sci-fi type magic items, things that would be explained away as superscience in most other settings.
  2. Stuff that captures a late 1970s vibe, based on the fads and pop culture of the era. The cheesier the better.
  3. Anything that’s either super raunchy or just kinda wrong, or a direct, 70s flavored parody of something from existing sci-fi.

Guess what categories these items fit into.

Cloning Banks

Aura strong necromancy CL 15th
Slot none Price 725,000 gp (DC 41) Weight 8-10 tons
            Cloning Banks are massive industrial flesh fabrication units. Enormous glass tubes filled with luminous aquamarine fluids are maintained by massive banks of medi-computers. Each Cloning Bank has 6 individual cloning tanks.
            Each tank can be used to clone a single Medium or Large creature as per the clone spell. The same creature can be cloned in multiple tubes, or multiple creatures can be cloned in the cloning banks. Clones can either be the same gender as the original or reverse gendered, as the cloner’s option. The cloning banks can sustain inert clones indefinitely; it requires a DC 20 Computer Use check to ‘dump’ a prepared clone and clear the tank for reuse.

            Cloning tubes are inert for 1d6+1 days after either a clone is decanted from the tube or a stored clone is ‘dumped’ in anticipation of another cloning.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, clone
Cost 362,500 gp (DC 38)

Outlaw Journo Headphones

Aura strong divination CL 13th

Slot head Price 165,000 gp (DC 36) Weight 2 lbs

            These bulky, hot-pink headphones are emblazoned with Outlaw Sex Station 09’s glowing star logo, and have a retractable antenna built into the left ‘can’. A folding boom microphone is built into the opposite ear piece.

            Outlaw Journo Headphones include an integrated palm top computer (controlled by holo-displays and voice commands) and a secure, multi-channel ansible communicator with a multi-light year range.

            The Outlaw Journo Headphones allow the user to use several Bard spells, the better to seek out information, tell a story the ICG doesn’t want the galaxy to hear or just spread the love. These powers can be used a number of times per day as shown below.
  • Detect Magic (at will)
  • Expository Geomorph* (3x per day: 1x four sided geomorph, 2x twenty sided geomorphs)
  • Joyful Rapture (1x per day)
  • Persistent Image (3x per day)
  • Share Memory (at will)
  • Undetectable Alignment (at will)
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, detect magic, expository geomoroph, joyful rapture, persistent image, share memory, undetectable alignment
Cost 82,500 gp (DC 33) 

Since you need the spell to use this item, here it is, the new Expository Geomorph spell.

Expository Geomorph
School divination Level bard 3, oracle 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range inapplicable
Duration 1 hour / level or until discharged
Saving Throw No Spell Resistance No

            You conjure a glowing, multi-faceted crystal that floats near your eye level. It pulses and chimes softly, and answers your questions in a sing-song voice. When this spell is cast, you decide how many facets your geomorph has, which in turn determines how knowledgeable it is and how many questions the geomorph may answer before the spell ends.

            Each time you ask the Expository Geomorph a question, it makes a Knowledge check on your behalf. Whether the check is successful or not, one of the facets goes dark. When all facets are expended, the Expository Geomorph winks out and the spell ends. Geomorphs with fewer facets have more information, as shown on the chart below. The Expository Geomorph is considered to have the listed ranks in all Knowledge skills.

Number of Facets
Modifier on Knowledge checks

The Pinball Wizard series of magic items were really fun to write. The whole, bad-sci fi, lazy world building idea that they’d still be playing pinball in the 35th Century fits well with the 70s-flavored esthetic I’ve got for Galaxy Command as a whole. It just works, and because there are so many, I can honestly imagine retro ‘space-arcades’ as adventuring locations…. This new type of magic item will feed back into the Gazetteer section, and help fill out the world a little bit more.

Pinball Wizard: “The All Seeing Eye”

Aura strong divination CL 10th
Slot none Price 150,000 gp (DC 35) Weight 200-250 lbs
            The All Seeing Eye is a futuristic pinball machine with a fantasy motif. A neon hologram of a bearded wizard with a conical hat taunts and berates the players as flashing lights and buzzers distract them. Victory means access to useful transmutation magic.
            Playing a game of “All Seeing Eye” requires 2d6 minutes and a 1 gp ‘donation’ into the credit slot. Make a DEX check; the result of which determines the divination effect provided to the player. Failure wastes the money and time but provides no benefit.
A specific creature can only benefit from the pinball machine once per day.

  • DC 10: Anticipate Peril
  • DC 12: Identify (an object placed atop the pinball machine)
  • DC 14: Locate Object
  • DC 16: Clairaudience/Clairvoyance
  • DC 18: Locate Creature
  • DC 20: Scrying

Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, Anticipate Peril, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Identify, Locate Creature, Locate Object, Scrying
Cost 75,000gp (DC 33)

Next time, I’ll post up some armors.


Mighty Fast Pig said...

I recommend My Retrospace's Top 25 babes in science fiction film, full of the 1960-1989 sleaze you're drawing on.

Chris A. Field said...

Good recommendation. I'd seen it and bookmarked it already.