Friday, January 4, 2013

On the Subject of Rockulon Prime

So, roughly a minute ago, I posted a thing about Rockulon Prime.  What is Rockulon Prime?

Well, Rockulon Prime comes from a couple of sources.  First, E. M. Lamb from Malleus Blogstrorum wanted to cameo as a ridiculous rockin' wizard with a Spelljammer van in my ongoing 4e game.  We had something between Heavy Metal and this picture in mind when we contemplated this arrangement.

Second, my friend Tini loves AD&D 2e.  I've had this idea of running something for a while for this very reason.  She has a particular soft spot for Spelljammer.

Third, I started several of my friends on playing Planescape: Torment.  One of them was unfamiliar with the Planescape setting and expressed an interest in it.

While playing The Giovanni Chronicles, the topic of Spelljammer came up and people expressed an interest.  So I've been quietly assembling campaign notes for a starting point that can then be turned into a Spelljammer sandbox kind of thing.

That starting point is Rockulon Prime.

The current idea is that characters can be native, or from another campaign setting.  You got to Rockulon by portal, spelljammer, or Ravenloft mist.  I honestly don't care how you got there.  What matters is that you're there, and might be interested in leaving.  So, when you get your hands on a Spelljammer, you're prepared to go out and about with it.

But until then, you're on Rockulon Prime.

What I wanted from Rockulon Prime was an internally consistent and logical world that heavily relies on the tropes of '80s fantasy and heavy metal — something that you would doodle in a notebook that you'd have to hide before your mom got you for supper.  However, I also wanted it to make some degree of sense so that it would make sense in a greater setting.

Anyway, the main thrust of this article is that there are some rules.  Despite using 2e, I'd probably just crib rules for weird future weapons and vehicles from Mutant Future.  Mutants will also be playable as a race/class, using the appropriate information from AD&D, Mutant Future, and Labyrinth Lord.

I'm also planning on instituting a rule to support the genre.  Since the reality inside different crystal spheres can be different than other realities, there is a strange quirk in the Rockulon system: strong, attractive warriors have less need of armor.  (Think of every metal album cover or fantasy comic book you've ever seen.  The overwhelming message is that badasses and hotties don't need to wear armor.)

In rules terms, any character in the warrior group (fighter, paladin, ranger, etc.) benefits from an additional AC bonus from exceptional Strength or Charisma.  This bonus duplicates the Defensive Adj. column on Table 2: Dexterity on page 20 of the AD&D 2e revised Player's Handbook except that characters never take penalties for low Strength or Charisma, and this armor acts as natural armor as described on page 102 of PHB 2e revised.

Relevant information is repeated below.

So You're Hot Shit on Rockulon Prime

Warriors with a Strength and/or Charisma of 15 or higher benefit from a natural AC bonus.  As with any natural AC, the character may still benefit from armor that improves his or her armor class.  As such, a character with a natural AC of 7 doesn't receive any benefit from wearing leather armor (AC 8), but does benefit from wearing scale mail (AC 6) or splint mail (AC 4), for example.

Characters improve their natural AC according to the following chart:

1 comment:

  1. If I didn't already have a character concept in mind, I'd totally call dibs on that purple-Mohawked, claw-armed, booty-poppin' lady with the ginormous fucking axe for my character image.

    I'm so excited for any amount of Rockulon that gets played.


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