Animal Fridays!

Today is the last of our Animal Friday series where we give you some animal character options that you can use in your games.

First we gave you man’s mighty steed, then we gave you man’s valiant hound and last week we gave you man’s ferocious foe. This week, us humans become the predator.

This week we give you our third animal: the noble stag!

Much like last week’s bear, the stag won’t often be seen in Middelburg outside a butcher’s, so you will have to travel deep into the woods to find this majestic creature.

One thing that is immediately apparent is how close the stag’s profile is to that of the horse from a few weeks ago. That is not just a coincidence because horses and deer share a few similarities. There is a very game-y, mechanic-y reason for this. If you remember three weeks ago with the horse character sheet, horses aren’t quite what they seem in The Runed Age. Rather than making horses by breeding small ponies selectively like we did in the real world, the humans of The Runed Age selectively bred goats to make their horses, meaning the horses in Middelburg, and elsewhere in the world, have horses, tufts of hair on their chin and are remarkable climbers.

However, not all cultures went the way of the goat for their mounted animal needs. The Tolians and some Uttosian cultures instead ride domesticated stags. Among the Tolians, the reindeer is the most coveted mount, but they domesticate and ride many kinds of stags. So, if you are playing an Uttosian, a Tolian, or perhaps a northern Westerner or Cael that grew up close to the Tolian borders, you might well be more experienced riding a stag than a horse. If that is the case, feel free to amaze the people of Middelburg by bringing a stag into the city. You will surely be the talk of the town. Just make sure no one thinks you’re bringing the stag to slaughter!

That’s it for the animal kingdom. Yes, there are plenty of animals still out there, but none that you will meet in Middelburg or its surroundings that need a character sheet for the game.

Next week we start a new series that will take you back 2000 years to a time of myths, legends, heroes and when monsters still walked the lands!

Magic Mondays

There are many ways to kill an enemy in The Runed Age and most of these are cruel and inhumane… and here’s one more to add to that list!

This week we give you the Hatchling array.

Notation: Create a cylinder of Iron as wide as the array’s circumference and 100 times as tall if a Human is present within a distances one tenth of the circumference of the array.

Description: To understand the Hatchling, one must first understand how it is used. A Hatchling array is always carved onto a sphere and hurled at an enemy in some form or manner, whether it be thrown, catapulted or shot by cannon, pistol or musket. The array is always carved six times across the sphere for maximum effect (one on each front, rear, both sides and top and bottom of the sphere). When it reaches an enemy, that enemy must then touch it. If thrown or catapulted, this usually happens because the enemy picked up the sphere not knowing what happens. The most desirable effect, however, is if the sphere is inside the enemy.

Once the enemy touches the sphere, a cylinder of iron erupts from the sphere, skewering everything in its path, first and foremost being the enemy. If it is on a musket or pistol round, then all six iron cylinders shoot out at once in all six directions, “hatching” from inside the enemy.

This is not however where the cruelty comes in. Hopefully, for the enemy’s sake, they have died by this, but if they have not, then they have six iron cylinders sticking out them. If the array was inscribed on a musket or pistol round, these cylinders are more than a metre in length! Now that the enemy is looking like a porcupine, he will not be able to move 9 times out of 10, meaning that the next shot to kill him will be far, far easier. And that is why this array was designed: to incapacitate enemies it could not kill outright.

Animal Fridays!

First we gave you man’s mighty steed and last week we gave you man’s valiant hound. This week, however, we aren’t giving you a pet to play with.

This week we give you our third animal: the ferocious bear!

Definitely not an animal you will encounter in your daily life in Middelburg, except for a pleasant trip to the zoological gardens, but there is more to Alfresia than just one city. If you ever think of venturing outside Middelburg, especially on foot, you better beware because the east-Fresian brown bear is powerful and ornery creature.

Middelburg, as it name implies, sits between two mountain ranges. Should you leave the city by any means other than boat, you will find yourself in the highlands and that is where the native brown bear makes it home. In recent times there has been a decline in the bear population as the roads become more frequently travelled, but once out of sight of civilisation you will find more than enough to keep you occupied.

For the purposes of gameplay, bears are incredible combatants. With a minimum Constitution of 60 and Fight of 70, you have to be particularly brave or stupid (or both) to take on a bear single handedly. If you think running away will help you, you might forget that an angry and hungry bear is one of the fastest things on four legs and with an Investigate and Perception minimum of 40, you will be hard pressed to escape it.

A bear is a dangerous beast, so act accordingly.

Magic Mondays

For Magic Mondays this week there will be no devious offensive arrays or cruel bombs, but rather a tool that you can use in your games.

This week we give you the Phantom Cell array.

Notation Top Array: Send Human within an area twice the size of the array, if Antimony and Sulphur is present.

Notation Bottom Array: Receive Human from within an area twice the size of the array, if Mercury and Arsenic is present and Pull Human.

Description: The Phantom Cell is an example of what can be done when you combine the arrays with technology. At first glance the arrays seems quite simple: they simply teleport a human from one array to another. However, it is the details of it which can confuse you if you don’t know how it is used. The arrays only send and receive within a very short distance, they have to be right next to each other, so it seems a rather useless teleport array. Not to mention the odd requirements for activating it: antimony and sulphur to send and mercury and arsenic to receive? Seems rather restrictive doesn’t it? Not the sort of thing you would carry around every day. It just doesn’t look like something you can use in combat or any other rushed situation.

That is until you know how it is used. The Phantom Cell is inscribed onto two metal plates not much larger than the palm of your hand and held inside a metal “booklet” that can fold closed for easy carrying. This metal booklet also holds four vials for the four triggers and handy little levers that, when pressed, will empty the contents onto the send or receive array. So now you have a booklet that can send and/or receive a human at a push of a button. But why would you?

The answer is quite simple. To send anything, the send array needs to be powered. That much is obvious, but it also is true for the receive array. If the receive array isn’t powered then it doesn’t receive. So, you might be thinking, what happens to something when it is sent but the receive array isn’t powered? The answer is that whatever is being sent, a human in this case, is caught inside the receive array and kept there until it is powered. No time passes for the person inside the receive array and they can stay in there for as long as the array remains intact, but if the array breaks the person disappears forever.

So what does this mean for the Phantom Cell? Well simply put that, by pressing one of the levers on the metal booklet, you can capture someone within the array and leave them there until you have need of them. The Phantom Cell is exactly that, a prison cell that doesn’t actually exist.

Animal Fridays!

Last week on Animal Fridays we gave you the character sheet of man’s mighty steed. This week we give you man’s best friend, and not only that, we give you the breed that you will most commonly find on the dirty streets of Middelburg.

This week we give you our second animal: the valiant dog!

If you compare the top character sheet of the DOG with last week’s HORSE sheet, you will find that there is a far, far larger range of skill levels for each type of skill. This is because, while horses were trained mainly only to pull things and carry things, different breeds of dogs were bred for their own purposes. We have hunting dogs, ranging dogs, guard dogs, show dog, companion dogs, sniffer dogs, all sort of dogs!

The other thing to notice is that there are quite a few skills that break the 100 skill level cap of humans, most notably Investigate and Perception. It is simply the case that the senses of dogs are unbelievably better than that of a human; the sense of smell of sniffer dogs can be up to 6000 times better than a human’s sense of smell.

The second, lower, character sheet is the breed of dog most often found in Middelburg and the dog you will encounter 9 times out of 10 in the city. The Middelburg Mongrel, otherwise known as a City Mutt, is just that, a mongrel of dozens of different breeds of dogs all mashed together over the centuries. No one is sure anymore which breed forms the base of the Mongrel, all they know is that the shaggy, drooling thing can be found everywhere, and if you aren’t careful the feisty things can get quite aggressive and they know which part of the human body to target.

Magic Mondays

The arrays can do beautiful and wonderful things, but they can be deadly, cruel, and horrifying as well. This week we show you a dark side of the arrays.

This week we give you the Crypt’s Breath array.

Notation: Create Arsenic if Stone is present within the area of the array’s effects and Heat Arsenic at a rate of 512 degrees Centigrade per second.

Description: Much like the Peace of Mind array, this array deals with arsenic as an offensive weapon, and much like the Peace of Mind this array gives a cruel death to all those it meets. 300 milligrams of arsenic in the blood is a lethal dose. At such doses and beyond, symptoms appear within 30 minutes and include confusion, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhoea. Then comes convulsions, cramps, pigmentation colouring, blood in the urine, hair loss, troubled breathing, immense pain all before collapsing into a coma less than 24 hours later and soon after. This array can provide doses of arsenic that merely being in its presence is a death sentence only a few hours after exposure.

Arsenic in its natural form is a dull grey metallic crystal, however when heated to above 887 degrees Centigrade, it can sublime and turn into a gas. It takes less than two seconds for this array to reach that temperature and that is its purpose: to create an arsenic gas that the enemy will inhale and then succumb to arsenic poisoning. Throw this into a crowded room and you won’t even have to get your hands dirty. Arsenic gas smells only faintly of garlic and that is the only warning your enemies will have.

The trigger for this array is Stone, but that can be changed to whatever you need. It’s purpose is only to make sure the array can build up the required energy it needs. Heating something up at the rate of of 512 degrees Centigrade per second requires a lot of energy after all. This array is most often inscribed on a metal ball and either thrown or shot by a cannon where it needs to go, so you can think of this as a poison grenade.

Animal Fridays!

Our new project for Fridays is to give you some character sheets of things you might not have thought about using in your games. Specifically, animals!

Yes, our furry and feathered friends can have character sheets of their own, and can even have wound slots and hit locations!

The character sheets will be giving you over the next few weeks will be the truncated tables rather than full character sheets for humans just to make it easier to get your head around. Each of the Skill Levels in the tables will also be given in a range rather than a fixed number, because each breed of an animal will be different in characteristics so you can play around within that range to create the animal you want. It will also allow you to increase the skills of any animals you own over time, just like with humans.

With all that said and done, here’s our first animal: the trusty horse!

While the horses the people of Middelburg and the wider world of the Runed Age are very similar to ours in the real world, there are a few differences. The main one and most obvious are the horns. Yes, horses in The Runed Age have horns like goats as you will see in all the images of horses in the corebook. This is because what the people of the Runed Age call horses evolved from goat like animals. This means that the horses you will find in the game are slightly shaggier than our real world horses, are better at climbing, and have some magnificent horns.

One of the key ways of distinguishing breeds of horses are by the shape and size of their horns. The Fresian horses have curled horns much like sheep and quite shaggy fur, while the desert horses of the Neoist western states have sleek, soft fur and long straight horns. The horns are not only just for decorative purposes as the animals use these horns in their mating displays and can actually be taught to use them in combat. Warhorses often have their horns covered in sharp, thick metal and taught to run headfirst into enemies. Many a massgrave are filled with dead humans stuck onto the heads of dead warhorses.

Character Sheet PDFs

Some of you asked for this and we thought it was a brilliant idea, so we did it. All the character sheets we showed you over the last ten weeks have been bundled together as pdfs and is available on DrivthruRPG for free!

Each pdf is editable, meaning that you can type on it and change anything that’s written there. So you can update your characters as you play them.

We’ve also put in a blank character sheet that you can use for your own original characters.

Have fun!

Magic Mondays

A tad late but it’s better late than never as they say!

This week’s array is for those of you who prefer to get up close and personal to your foes.

This week we give you the Furnace Fist array.

Notation: Create Fire if Animal or Wood or Stone or Iron is present within the array’s field of effect.

Description: It’s symmetrical, it’s simple, it’s easy to understand. What more could you want from an array? The name immediately gives away the purpose of this array, furnace and fist can mean only thing: fire punches!

Arrays like these are often found on knuckledusters, gauntlets, or even tattooed onto a person’s knuckles. The key to this array, and other like it, is not what is created or even what triggers, but how it is triggered. There are four different Create runes with four different triggers (although you can add many more than this), and it is of the utmost importance to have it arranged like this, because it means each trigger works independently. If you had two or more triggers attached to the same Create rune, that rune would only activate if both triggers are set off; it becomes a “this and that” trigger rather than a “this or that” trigger.

Like all arrays with If-Then statements and triggers, the Furnace Fist array gets its effectiveness from the triggers. Until one of the triggers is activated, this array will continually absorb energy from wherever it can find it: heat, light, kinetic energy, etc. So that means when you do punch someone with this, it’s not just the energy from your punch which determines how much fire is created, but all the energy it has stored up until that punch.

Final Character Friday

Today is the tenth and final character for our Character Friday series! Now you have ten completely different characters to get you going in the mad city of Middelburg.

This last character one from perhaps the other side of the fence that you are used to.

All the character’s skills and backstory were created just by using the Runed Age’s Character Generation.

This week’s character is the wealthy constable Roderick McKenzie.

Born one of seven redheaded children to powerful clan lord in the Caelish nation of Ullacht, Roderick always knew life would be fairly easy for him. He wasn’t the oldest, so there were quite little expectations of him, other than hanging around the grand castle and annoying the courtiers. Even the fact that his family worshipped the old pagan Caelish gods didn’t bother him, as his family’s wealth was more than enough to soothe any zealotry in the countryside.

Roderick’s easily life continued well into his teenager years where is father found him a place at a duke’s court as a page. Here he learnt politics, subtlety, intrigue and found both a best friend and a sweetheart in the duke’s son and daughter respectively. Compared to the harsh childhood years of the underclasses, Roderick’s first seventeen years were quite unremarkable.

The one and only thing that roused him from his lazy reveries were the gift he received from his father: his family ancestral sword, born by McKenzie men since Kenzie the Great walked the living lands. Roderick found in the blade a sense of duty and soon after enlisted with the constabulary.

Of course, not just any constabulary would do for the son of Lord McKenzie, and so Roderick became part of the political security of the politicians of Ullacht. A well paying job, a safe job, but a boring job. Roderick enjoyed it, the lazy man he was, but found his talents going to waste.

It was through his political connections that Roderick finally came to Alfresia as he became the bodyguard of the Ullacht ambassador to Alfresia. In Middelburg he found a faster pace of life, but an exciting one at that and soon grew to love everything it had to offer. Joining up with the Middelburg constabulary, he now works in the Political District, keeping it safe and clean from the wretchedness of the poor.

Roderick is a man who prefers the easy way than the right way of doing things and have quickly joined the ranks of Middelburg’s corrupt constables. A little extra money in his pocket and he is quite able to look the other way. Less work, more money.

A narcissist at heart, Roderick never found a soulmate and he is fairly certain he doesn’t have any bastards around although he can’t be sure. What he can be sure of though is that he enjoys life and all it has to offer.

That’s it for Character Fridays! Next Thursday we’ll be bringing you a different sort of characters, ones you might not immediately think of using in your games.

Magic Mondays

With The Runed Age Corebook out now for nearly a month and doing well, its time to show the benefits of discretion with this week’s array.

This week we give you the Death’s Whisper array.

Notation: Create a Containment Field that excludes Light and Sound if Sound exceeding 140 Decibels is present in the array’s area of effect.

Description: They say that discretion is the better part of valour and nowhere is that more true than in the metropolis of Middelburg. The city is packed to the rafters with nearly a million people crowding its streets and alleys, so any noise that anyone makes is quickly heard by the masses. If you fire off a gun, you can be sure than hundreds, if not thousands now know where you can be found. And that means the military and constabulary will not be far behind.

You have two options to get around this. The first thing you can do is to use a bow and arrows, but that is sooo last century. This is the modern age, isn’t it? We have electric airships now, after all. No, what you need is a sound suppressed firearm. That is where the Death’s Whisper array comes into play. This array is designed to be engraved inside the barrel, at the tail end, of a firearm and when activated it destroys all sound and light that passes through it. While there may still be a loud ‘thud’ coming from your firearm due to the sound reverberating through the metal of the barrel, the gunshot itself will be silenced and there will be no muzzle flare that can give you away in the dark.

The If-Then part of the array is highly specific, it only activates the array if the sound passing over the array exceeds 140 Decibels. This is for a very good reason: it means that the array can absorb energy throughout the time it is not being used so that it is always on and working when you need to it. It takes a good deal of energy to produce 140 Decibels and nothing short of a gunshot or explosion will set it off. Remember that the Size runes are thresholds, meaning that anything that exceeds it will also set it off. So if a sound at 160 Decibels passes through the array it will set it off just as a sound of 140 Decibels would.

With this array in your firearms, no one will see or hear you coming. The perfect tool for the streets of Middelburg.

Character Friday

Today you get the second to last character in our character sheet series. Only one more week to go!

All the character’s skills and backstory were created just by using the Runed Age’s Character Generation.

This week’s character is the devious Alfons Meyer.

Alfons was born in the capital of the Heavenly Empire of Man, in sight of the grand Imperial Palace itself. You would think he was destined for great things. You would be wrong.

Alfons never knew his parents. To this day he doesn’t know what happened to them. Everyone he knew refused to speak of them. An orphan, Alfons was taken in by his father’s cousin and made to work for his food from an early age. His three brothers came with him, but there was never love lost between them. His eldest brother once even told Alfons that it was poor Alfons’ fault their parents left.

Growing up in a smithy is a difficult life for a young boy, especially when those closest didn’t care for him. However, he found his happiness in those times he could sneak away from his family to play with the friends down the road. It would be sneaking around and friendships that would define Alfons’ life.

As he grew older, he chaffed at the authority of his adoptive father, and the animosity between him and his brothers didn’t get any less as well. With his home life leaving a lot to be desired for, Alfons took to sneaking out as often as he could and spent his time sneaking into other people houses instead. He became very adept at taking things that didn’t belong to him, and breaking into houses was simple for someone who lived in a smithy.

Unfortunately he wasn’t very adept at hiding from his victims or the constables and was caught almost as often as not. He spent much of his teenage years in gaol and the imperial city’s goals are no less forgiving than others. There was a turning point in his life in gaol that came in the form of an apprentice Runist monk, named Günther, who came to the gaol in hope to redeem some of the criminals.

It was this monk who would go on to become Alfons’ lifelong friend, that convinced Alfons to turn his life around. While Alfons never stopped being a thief, he did take Günther’s words to heart and the next time he was let out of gaol, he went back to his adoptive father and asked to be his apprentice.

For the next three years he worked harder than he ever had, but it paid off when he was given his own projects and clients and became a smith in his own right. He often asked Güther for aid and advise on how to use the runes and arrays to better his creations and soon Alfons started to make a name for himself.

When Günther informed Alfons that he was being sent by his abbot to the far flung island of Alfresia, Alfons didn’t hesitate and joined him on his voyage. In the grand city of Middelburg, Alfons once again took up his trade and spent 11 years crafting all manner of metallic objects, both great and small, grand and paltry.

That all came to an end one night when he was, once again, breaking into someone’s home. His contacts had told him the house was packed to the rafters with all sorts of treasures, but when Alfons got in he found nothing but dust… and a man waiting for him, dressed impeccably in red. This man seemed to know everything about Alfons and gave him a little red book that held the secrets of every craftsman of note in Middelburg. The man in red asked for nothing in return other than a favour in the future.

With this little red book, Alfons gave up his career as a smith, preferring to become a footmen for the trade families of the Merchant League, knowing that he could ask for favours from any craftsman in the city if he ever needed.

The 2016 Release Schedule

Now that the Christmas season is past and New Years has come and gone, it’s time to look towards the future. The Runed Age Corebook is not the only thing that Stormforge Productions will ever create; we are not a one trick pony. We are currently in preproduction on four new IPs and you will hear more news about them later on this year.

For now, however, here is this years release schedule!

This year we will start the grand first campaign for the Runed Age, beginning with The Ruined City in June and The Ruined People in December. This will be a four part campaign, but perhaps more importantly the four books will be your guide through the city of Middelburg. We will take your through each district in the city, tell you its history and show you the interesting parts of them and you will explore them as you play the campaign. The campaign itself will be a blend of Noir murder mystery and some classic horror. By the end of the campaign, not only will you know as much about the city of Middelburg as I do, you will also have experienced it first hand in this thrilling campaign.

In September we will be releasing The Sigil System as its very own book. The Sigil System forms the backbone of The Runed Age and will form the basis for all the RPGs we will release. So with that in mind we will release it as a setting neutral system and expand it well beyond the scope of The Runed Age so that you can use it to play any sort of game and setting.

We’ve got a busy year and some interesting times ahead, so stay tuned!

Magic Mondays

This week on Magic Mondays we give you an array that is sure to annoy and irritate your enemies to death.

This week we give you the Splinter array.

Notation: Sustain the Pulling of Humans

Description: The array is fairly simple to understand, but the ingenuity comes not from its design, but from its use. The Splinter is meant for projectiles, but specifically enough: projectiles that aren’t bullets. It is designed for arrows, crossbow bolts, throwing knives and daggers, blow darts, and perhaps even push daggers if you are feeling particularly devious. The reason for this is because just like a splinter can get under your skin stay there for what seems like forever, the Splinter will keep these projectiles stuck inside the body by pulling on the flesh around it.

That is why it isn’t quite the right array for bullets. Bullets are already lodged deep inside the body, by having them fixed in there with the Splinter array will only become an irritation after battle, when the outcome will have already been decided. The purpose of the Splinter is to irritate, distract and encumber your enemies by having arrows and knives and whatnot be stuck in them and not being able to pull them out. The arrow shafts and knife handles sticking out of your enemies will make movement all the more difficult, and that movement will cause the projectile inside to be moved around, causing even more pain.

Theoretically, all this distraction and pain will give you more than enough time to finish off your enemies. However, if you are particularly feeling diabolical, you can always add an extra array onto whatever projectile you are using. The Splinter will hold the projectile inside your enemies more than long enough for you to create nearly any effect inside them.

Character Friday

It’s the new year and a new year needs a Baby New Year! So while this week’s character isn’t exactly an infant, it will be the only child character in this series.

Playing as a child does present its own challenges, not even counting the reduced skill levels the character will have since you only did part of the Character Generation. But if you can make it in Middelburg playing as a child, then you can make it anywhere!

All the character’s skills and backstory were created just by using the Runed Age’s Character Generation.

So with all that said and done, meet The Runed Age’s own Baby New Year: Enni Eriksson!

Little Enni is ostensibly Alfresian as she was born in the very heart of the great metropolis of Middelburg, but her roots stretch across the ocean to a mythical land of conquerors and savages: the island of Worge.

Her parents were both Worgens and came to Alfresia in search of a better life. Soon after they arrived in Middelburg, little Enni was born. She doesn’t remember much of her parents, but she does remember the stories her parents used to tell her about the conquering kings of the Great Gitic Hordes, the legendary wolf-men the Gitics found on Worge and endless tails of fey creatures playing tricks on foolish men.

Such happy times, however, were not meant to last. One night, Enni awoke in need of the lavatory and found herself alone in what suddenly seemed a mansion of a house. There were no note left, no farewell kiss, but all her parents clothes were gone and so were her parents.

The next night she understood why as grim faced men broke into the house in search of some treasure they claimed her father had. They tore the place apart and had Enni not been quick enough, they would have torn her apart as well. She had escaped these savage men but was now left to fend for herself in this harsh city, with no friend or relative to call upon.

That was four years ago. Since then, Enni has lived her life on the streets, begging and stealing in order to survive and hoping to hold on to what she had. Life is tough on the streets, even more so when you are a small girl and a bully has made it his life’s work to make your life a misery. If she is not running away from Fat Tobald and his moronic goons, she is running away from the men who chased her out of her home. Every so often she will hear word that someone has found out about her father’s treasure and then little Enni has to leave whatever shelter she has found in case they find her.

As with many, her only respite in this harsh life has been religion, or rather the food that priests and friars provide. She isn’t a stupid girl and had quickly cottoned on that the clergy are prone to give good to a snivelling little girl. Her best meals have always come from a temple.

Something, though, has rubbed off on her. Perhaps it was just the proximity, but Enni has begun to believe in something greater than herself. She has become quite the devout Runist lately, even if she is too young to understand everything, but her thirst for knowledge and sense of curiosity has taxed the patience of more than one nun. She always wants to know more, even when there are no more answers to her questions.

What lies ahead for little Enni, few can say but the gods themselves. However, she seems well equipped thus far to deal with what life may throw at her. It only remains to be seen whether Middelburg will crush her or she will crush it.