Monthly Archives: October 2016

All Hallows’ draws nigh…

As All Hallow’s Eve rolls around and our focus veers towards the spooky, I’d like to introduce a playable bloodline to you that is, thus far, unique to Crux, and their peculiar role in their society.

I present: The Calaveri.

Undead are conventionally sad, tragic beings, with little or no prospect save the dour and often gothic tale that surrounds them. The Calaveri take more from the Baelnorns of Forgotten Realms, in that they are both community protectors and living ancestors. We take this even further: They are the reward of the people of Aoctlan after death and are integral, participating parts of the community, an active and outgoing part of the nation, as well as its most formidable defenders.

Not to mention snappy dressers…

calaveridame

Taken from Lady Mechanika, La Dama De La Muerte,

“The living folk of Aoctlan are a down-to-earth, hardworking people, toiling tirelessly and without complaint, producing food, drink and art in equal measure. They are devoted to their duties like no other, knowing that their reward awaits them in the afterlife. As their life draws to a close, those worthy are chosen to make a pilgrimage to the teocalli-city of Mictlan, where they are interred and undergo the transformation from servant to exemplar, reborn as one of the Calaveri, a joyous inspiration to their people…

…Significantly for undead, Calaveri are able to eat and drink and even become intoxicated despite their notable absence of internal organs, and indeed do so at every opportunity, though quite where it all goes nobody has been able to determine – anything they consume seemingly just vanishes into the inky blackness inside their skulls. It is theorised that this sustains them through a process more akin to the offering of burnt sacrifices to ancestors than mortal digestion.”

– Direct from the game dev notes

So, they’re faith-powered weaponised temples, fuelled by good food and gifts where the thought is more important than the substance. They are, in fact *empowered* by partying this hard, and can ‘bank’ offerings into a power pool to supercharge their Talents, which gives them a unique versatility.

More than this, however, they’re an inspiration to all around them, and they are uniquely positioned to empower their comrades, granting Conviction to all around them, one of the game’s major resources.

Does this mean they’re the bards?

Not necessarily. Their own particular unique abilities may make them very good at a support role, but how they do that is up to their player, and every other bloodline, which we will detail as time goes on, have their own particular ‘equaliser’ powers. These will give new options, as well as offering a level of granular customisation to your own particular flavour of hero, or heroine, while (hopefully) not making things too complicated and crunch heavy; we prefer to think that these tricks will give you a few more options.

 

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Happy Hallow’een, pardner.

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Our X are different…

Tvtropes has a delightful index page entitled Our Monsters are different (located here) – in which, as one would expect, details how many of the fantasy touchstones will be altered in various settings in order to put their own spin and flavour on them. Needless to say, we’ve done our own take on a few of these, and here are a few of them.

Our zombies are different:

Classic Romero zombies are simple, mindless animated corpses which, owing to a logistics shortfall in Hell, if the tagline is to be believed, walked the earth, and attacked/ate the living. Pretty simple stuff.

On Crux, zombies are more or less a natural phenomenon. They are a side-effect of a phenomenon called Lifebloom – Crux is made up from the world-shards of countless former worlds, each bearing the residual axioms of its world of origin, and once a shard becomes part of the whole, the disparity between the world and its new arrival will cause the flow of energies to and fro, as they seek equilibrium. The energies of life and death are often thrown drastically out of balance through the shard’s apocalyptic upheaval, and its procession through the Void. Upon arrival, these energies roil over the land, dissipating through the dust storms and grounding the energies of the shard in Crux proper. These transitions are not always peaceful, and when these turbulent currents ground themselves, they erupt into the world as crackling clouds of eldritch mist, flashing with green-tinged lightning, dragging the bodies of he nearby dead into motion, filled with the rage born from a world’s end; not one soul, but the screaming fragments of hundreds. A lifebloom can normally be predicted through the use of corpsewrack seaweed. The air bladders throb and pulse slightly in the hours beforehand, resembling a heartbeat as the storm gets closer to breaking.

Our dragons are different:

seath

Seath The Scaleless, from Dark Souls; a definitely atypical dragon.

Dragons, in most settings, are greedy, powerful reptillian creatures that crave treasure in all its forms, and lair in caves or castles. They are often paragons of good or exemplars of evil, and can wield great temporal power.

Our dragons are powerful and terrifying for different reasons. They are indifferent to the goings-on of civilisation, and care nothing for treasure, princesses or crusading heroes. They are curators of the world, drawm to areas of dimensional instability, often the foothold for nameless horrors to come forth into the world. The dragons’ role is to excise the danger before it happens, by razing the infected region to the ground, so the desolation is reclaimed by the void on the outer reaches of Crux.

(From our reference document:)

“In areas where one axiom holds sway, to the exclusion of others, the beginnings of instability start to show themselves – the air feels greasy, disconnected; the ground unsteady, no matter what the footing. It is this that calls to the dragons; that which consumes all. Soaring silently over the condemned lands, systematically eliminating every living thing in their wake. Their breath, an acrid cloud of gas that contorts the body with rigor, while rending their every organ asunder with the most sudden and virulent fever under the sun. Seldom does anyone survive. Those that do are broken, scarred things, driven by an urge for bloody revenge, and the stirrings of withdrawal from the violently addictive toxin, the very breath that all but killed them. They are faced with few choices, take up the call of the Dragonslayer, die trying, or accept the inevitable.”

Next up, Our PC races are different, with a few examples!