Saturday, December 14, 2013

Troll World

Informative film reel: Troll batteries clenching and coiling, knots of flesh corded around twisted limbs, twitching fingers and a ruined, beak-nose face in a biochemical bath, tubes for extracting the energy released. Troll batteries by the hundreds of thousands in the guts of Reactor 1 and Reactor 3. Troll batteries powering the homes, businesses, factories, all of New Nova city, weapons of futuristic 1993. From the ashes of the Third Elf Incursions, arises a new and better humanity!

Clip of Reactor 1, from an unsteady, hand-held camera. The ground trembles, ambient rumbles, mutters and moans. Something, a tiny, fleshy rope extends from the left stack of Reactor 1, the camera pans in and screams rise in a wave as a jet of muscle and bone shoots from the left stack, the right stack, the camera spins, twists sky word, catches in the last seconds the ground crack and from it spewing pillars of filth and vital tissue. The final shot is of grey clouds under a lowering red sky, choked with geysers of troll meat.

Trolls have built themselves a city around Reactor 1 like a nest of jumbled girders, ragged concrete, asphalt, and rebar. They patrol their walls, build siege weapons, infect the land, dig deep and raid New Nova city for food (humans), pets (humans), bodies to make new Trollkin (humans) or fun (hurting, killing, eating humans).

Human Town
New Nova city is a dump, man. The concrete is all cracked and tumbling and the streets are ragged asphalt and puddles. Without Trolltech we're stuck with dirty power and outages are common. The Jinro Power Company runs everything, pretty much. Jinro cops walk the streets while Jinro Educorp cracks younger skulls, Jinro foodcorp feeds us and Jinro Hospital spanks our shiny red asses or shuts off the ventilator at the end. You live in Quarantine 6, on the outskirts of New Nova, along the Wall.

Jinro, Unrest
For the time being, Jinro holds the Trolls at bay, but there is uncertainty about how long that can last. Jinro is run by a Board of Directors. One is fat, unctuous, cruel, ineffectual, terrified of everything. One is emaciated, tall, a former accountant, highly competent. One looks and acts like former military and is called "the Sergeant." One looks like a rat. There are other Directors too, some none have ever seen.

Jinro keeps New Nova relative safe, clean and running, but there is persistent doubt how long that can last. No one but the Directors knows all the facts and JinroNews isn't particularly trusted so there are insurrections and intrigues and the police are always shooting or arresting or looking for those suspected of industrial espionage or endangering the safety of New Nova or terrorism. There are wanted posters on top of wanted posters on top of wanted posters.


roll two d4s and allocate as desired


1 2 3 4
1 Cop Beat Cop Detective On the Take Rebel Symathizer
2 High School Kid Dropout Over Achiever Runaway Student
3 Scientist Biomechanics Engineer Botanist Mechanical Engineer Theoretical Physicist
4 Wageslave Accountant Bureaucrat Human Resources Sales

pick or just roll or make some other motivation up, whatever.

1 Your old man/dear old mom or the grandparents/aunt & uncle that raised you
2 Your little/older brother/sister or your twin
3 Your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/one or more of your kids
4 The nice old dude that hangs out on the corner and wasn't hurting anyone

then roll a d6, d8 and d10, assigning results as desired, but any duplicate rolls or results have to be assigned to a different Trait, if possible (if not possible, re-roll)
+1 checks
+1     Carry
+2 Attacks
+1 Carry
+1 checks
+1 checks
+1 Attacks
+1 AC
+2 Saves v Breath
+1 checks
+1 checks
+2 HP
+2 Saves v Poison
+2 HP
+1 checks
+1 checks
+1 Kludge Repair
+1 Tech
+1 Languages
+1 checks
+1 checks
+1 Search 
+2 Saves v Mind Control
+1 Foraging 
+1 checks
+1 checks
+1 Henchman
+1 Bravery checks
+1 Henchman
+1 checks

Back alley doctor and scientist, claims to have been senior assistant to Professor Troll-kun, father of the Troll Project, crazy, weird, bent-backed, often chuckling and wringing his hands, staring down from glasses ("Yes, yes this will do"). No one trusts him but everyone in your neighborhood (Quarantine 6) relies on him as an alternative to New Nova city's rationing of medical care.

Professor Guro has heard about your trouble and would like you to come see him.
Professor Guro has an experimental procedure, something that can take you into the heart of Troll World.
Professor Guro will turn you into a Trollomancer.

All he needs from you are your bodies and the bodies of Trolls you smuggle back into the city for him. He's paying about 1,000 Yen per pound of Troll meat you come back. Extra for living or well-preserved samples.

You look like you used to, but you've got troll blood in you. On command, your muscles swell and your mouth splits, grows huge and toothy. Your hands are now claws, lacking the dexterity to hold  anything but a club.

Trollomancer Advancement
Level XP HD (d6) Troll Strains & Traits Saves
1 0 1+1 3 Traits & 1 Trollform/Strain 15
2 2,500 2 +1 Strains 14
3 5,000 3 +1 Trait (d8) 13
4 10,000 4 +1 Strains 12
5 20,000 5 +1 Trait (d8)
6 40,000 6 +1 Strains 10
7 80,000 7 +1 Trait (d8)
8 160,000 8 +1 Strains 8
9 320,000 9 +1 Trait (d8)
10 640,000 10 +1 Strains 6

Trollomancers attack bonus progression follows that of Fighters from whatever edition you prefer.

form Effects of Strain (Hybrid Form only) in human form
1 the wretched +1 damage smell like cut grass, 1/session, a kiss causes the victim death from asphyxiation in 1 Turn (save v breath weapon)
2 the burner +2 Saves v Fire smell like peppery pineapple, 1/session can breathe at any one person in melee range and cause horrible, burning, choking incapacitation for 1 Turn (save v breath weapon to avoid)
3 the puker can vomit 20' cone 1/session (+1 uses each advance) smell like horseradish or garlic, 1 session, your touch can cause horrific blisters to appear in a day, leaving the person incapacitated and writhing in pain until cured (save v poison)
4 the weeper infravision (then: all-around vision, x-ray vision 1/session, x-ray vision 2/session, true sight 1/session) frequently weeping eyes, 1/session you can cough on someone's face and they go blind for a turn (save v breath weapon)

Troll Form grants +1d6 HP, +2 AC and Trollcrits.
Human Form lets you do Coolcrits.

You only get XP from killing monsters or bringing stuff back to Professor Guro.

Trollcrits (or, you got a lot of guts, Oskar)
When a Troll crits while attacking with claws, teeth, etc, the target is eviscerated, loses a limb, has skin pulled from their body, has multiple compound fractures, etc and must Save v Death or be reduced to d6 HP (those with less than d6 HP are reduced to 0 HP and must make a second Save or die).

When in human form and you critically hit, you get to do some cool move. Tell the GM what you're doing (think: acrobatic bullet-time attacks, punching through someone, etc).

New Strains/defEating Trolls
As you level you will get more Strain slots. You can use these slots to learn a new Strain or advance an existing Strain.

You can learn a new strain by defEating a different kind of Troll - feasting on the body of an overcome and dying Troll while in your Troll form, Slurp up their entrails while they still breathe, feel their lungs expand between your fingers and then squeeze, grind their bones beneath your teeth, feel the pump of blood down your throat and the squirm of living troll tissue in your mouth. Eat their heart whole, in one gulp. Works on dying Trollomancers too. Once learnt, the strain applies a new bonus while in troll form.

Instead of learning  a new Strain, you can also simply advance your current strain, applying the same bonus again (ie, advancing the Wretched strain once adds another +1 damage while in Troll form). Doing so on level up is free.

You can also replace an existing Strain by defEating  a Troll and passing a Save (fail and the switch doesn't happen). If you replace an advanced Strain you lose any of your current advances, but they're restored every 1,000 XP x your level or so you earn afterwards. Something like that.

DefEating Trolls may also get you access to special new Traits.

Are rolled on a d20 and succeed on a 17. Basically, the same as an ability score check.

If you think you've a Trait that applies and a +1 to checks with that Trait, ask the GM if it applies.

If you think your Background can help you on the roll, ask the GM and instead of rolling a Trait, roll as a Save.

Cops probably wear their uniform (dark blue-grey paramilitary get up) or a ratty suit (detective)

High school kids are undoubtedly in a uniform unless they're in some cool puffy jacket with lots of denim and sneakers

Scientists undoubtedly wear lab coats at all times just as

Wageslaves are always in suits and dress shoes.

Everyone gets
a backpack that can hold ten items plus whatever "Carry" bonuses you might have. Troll meat is super dense so it's five or fewer pounds/backpack slot. Weapons and armour that are worn don't count.

Is ablative and only works in human form. Light armour costs 50,000 Yen and can take 2 hits before needing repairs while Medium armour costs 90,000 Yen and can take 4 hits (10,000 Yen/hit repaired). Medium armour is conspicuous and the cops will be suspicious (unless, maybe, you're a cop yourself). Heavy armour is heavily regulated and probably can't be found without a lot of work (think: mech-suits/small mecha).

You get one each to start, roll d10:
1. Old-world sword (katana)
2. Baseball bat with Hanshin Tigers stamped on the side, gripped wrapped in loose, hanging white tape
3. Plank with nails sticking through it
4. Taser with 2d6 charges (can be charged by spending a turn shaking it/charge) that deal d4 damage but keep the target from acting the next round on a succesful check.
6. Brass knuckles (Cop only)
7. Knife, can be thrown
8. Pipe
9. Letter opener (wage slave and High School Kid only)
10. Scalpel (Scientist only)

Guns are going to be tricky unless you're a cop.

A revolver costs 50,000 Yen on the black market.

Laser rifle comes with a shoulder-slung battery and costs 200,000 Yen on the black market. Up to 2d6 rounds in a battery. Can be re-charged off a generator.

Bravery is a 2d6 roll used to determine the how an NPC in the Wilderness or Troll World reacts to the characters, how well they do when trying to recruit henchmen and is also rolled as a special Save by NPCs in dangerous situations. Characters with a bonus to Bravery checks can spend their turn bolstering NPC morale and give the NPCs their bonus to Bravery Save. Bravery Saves are rolled on a 2d6 under the NPC's Bravery Score.

Reaction Roll Henchmen Roll
roll reaction roll reaction
2-3 Attacks 2 Refuse, insulted (other potential henchman snicker, future rolls to recruit are at -1)
4-6 Aggressive, re-roll next round at -4 3-5 Refuse
7-9 Cautious, re-roll next round 6-8 Roll Again
10-11 Interested, re-roll next round at +4 9-11 Accept
12 Friendly 12 Accept, Impressed (Henchman has +1 Bravery)

Every Trollomancer can hire 2 Henchmen unless modified by a Trai. They usually take a quarter of your XP and Yen from the rewards. They have Two Traits (d6 and d8), a Background,  and are treated as Lamentations of the Flame Princess Fighters (4 in 6) or Specialists (2 in 6). They begin with 6+d4 Bravery Score and must make a Bravery Save the first time they see you transform into a Troll, when forced into what may seem like certain death and when they feel you've betrayed them (at -2). Failing the Save means they break, but may not be totally out of the party/disinterested in helping you anymore. They gain 1 Bravery per level, to a max of 11. Other NPCs will also roll their Bravery Save when they fear for their lives, etc.

You restore your level in HP a day without serious bedrest. If you can get relatively good rest in a night, re-roll HP and if the result is higher, take that as current HP.

Occasionally, by busting open oil drums, crates, cardboard boxes and the like you can uncover an apple, banana or other fruit (+d6 HP when eaten) or a full-on steaming, turkey dinner (+2d6 when eaten). Eating a human is also super healing and lets your restore your health as if you'd had a good nights rest.

"Magic" Items
These come in two varieties, 1 use and 1/use/session. The former can be had on the black market for about 100,000 Yen a pop, the latter have to be found or stolen.

*Hanshin Tiger Cleats - Next successful thrown attack in human form is a critical hit.
*Sneakers/Shoes/Heels of Sneaking - Make a Save to Move Silently and Hide in Shadows (if failed you only do one of the two).
*Sneakers/Shoes/Heels of the Fleet - May make an extra in one part of this round (ie, may move twice or attack twice, etc).
*Sneakers/Shoes/Heels of Jumps - May leap half your movement speed vertically or your entire movement speed horizontally

*Jacket/Coat of the Bullfrog - Expands enormously, knocking over anything within 10' (if target is large or not in melee with you, they get a Save v Breath Weapon)
*Jacket/Coat of the Snake - During an enemies round, may dodge one attack (may be delcared after attack die has been rolled but must be declared that same turn)
*Jacket/Coat of the Ox - Attack does an extra die of damage

*Jeans/Pants/Nylons of the Kangaroo - Kicks do an extra die of damage
*Jeans/Pants/Nylons of the Rattlesnake - Shake your ass and kick someone to render them incapable of action the next round
*Jeans/Pants/Nylons of the Python - On a successful grapple dealing an extra die of damage

Outside of New Nova it's a wilderness exploration. Use the Planet Pyschon weird encounters from the fantastic elfmaidsandoctopi.

Troll World is a bunch of dungeons slapped together. Some of the trolls hate other trolls.

Find the lost Reactor 2 and climb down one of the stacks to discover the Lost Land (X1: Isle of Dread). Is the secret to the defeat of the Trolls here?

(in case it isn't clear, Trolls are basically any old monster you want to use. GM will determine what strain you get from defEating it.)

image credits: Akira, Biomeat, Devilman, something from Dennou Coil and then Yusuke Matsumoto/Mitzvah

Official anthem of Troll World

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.