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Simon Retold

AETHERMERE - A Victorian Spiritpunk Dystopia

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Aetherimage.jpg

 

What is Aethermere?

  • Aethermere is an alternate history set in the late 1800s in which the Eternal Conflict between the celestial host and infernal beasts has spilled over into the world of mankind. It is a time of invention and expansion, in which the people of the Union of Free American Cities must contend not only against the Oil Lords of the Texan Empire and the threat of the Bear King's mongrel armies sweeping east out of Calfornia - two powers who seek to usurp the authority of the Free Cities - but against the demonic creatures that make their way out of the nether and into their world. Aethermere is a place full of gunslingers and gamblers, sky pirates and alchemists, celestial and infernal scions, and clockwork machines inhabited by the souls of the dead.

What is Spiritpunk?

  • Spiritpunk is a fictional concept of a world in which technology is powered by energy from beyond the veil. In the case of the Aethermere story, many of the more fantastical devices are powered by pneuma, the mystical energy found in the mineral aetherium. Aetherium is mined in a parallel existence called Aethermere by mortals, and generally only with the permission and assistance of celestial beings. Players take on the roles of humans whose lives have been shaped by the Eternal Conflict, ordinary souls or scions of light and dark, mongrel beastmen, clockworks, and even the dead returned to life through alchemy or magic. Spiritpunk in the Aethermere world borrows heavily from the steampunk aesthetic, largely because of the era in which it exists, so expect brass, gauges, gas lamps, dirigibles, and even the occasional gear, cog, or sprocket.

To-Do List:

  • Complete species and archetypes. (Most of these are complete; need to finish Clockwork archetypes and Revenant archetypes. Human, Mongrel, and Revenants all borrow freely from the CRB, but with some major changes.) - 75% COMPLETE
  • Complete careers. - 60% COMPLETE
  • Flesh out alchemy and crafting. - 90% COMPLETE
  • Flesh out magic. - 30% COMPLETE
  • Complete historic timeline. - 45% COMPLETE
  • Create Weapons, Armor, and Gear (Both Tables and Descriptions). - 40% COMPLETE
  • Create Sample Vehicles. - 10% COMPLETE
  • Compile Faction Info. - 25% COMPLETE
  • Compile Adversaries. - 65% COMPLETE
  • Figure out what else needs done. - 10% COMPLETE
Edited by Simon Retold

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Here are a few of the species/archetypes I'm building for the Aethermere setting. Still to come is a Willpower-based human archetype, one or two additional Mongrel archetypes, and several variations on the Revenant. While the special abilities of the Scions might seem pretty powerful, they seem well-stacked against the Mongrel abilities, and also given each Scion archetype a "kryptonite" that should provide some measure of balance.

New Human Archetypes

Competitor
 Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence 
2 3 2 2 2 1
  • Starting Wound Threshold: 10 + Brawn
  • Starting Strain Threshold: 10 + Willpower
  • Starting XP: 100
  • Starting Skills: A competitor starts with one rank in Coordination during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Coordination above rank 2 during character creation.
  • Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick: When a competitor would suffer strain to perform a second maneuver in a single round, they reduce the strain suffered by 1 to a minimum of 1.

 

Opportunist
 Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence 
2 2 2 3 1 2
  • Starting Wound Threshold: 9 + Brawn
  • Starting Strain Threshold: 11 + Willpower
  • Starting XP: 100
  • Starting Skills: An opportunist starts with one rank in Skulduggery during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Skulduggery above rank 2 during character creation.
  • As Luck Would Have It...: Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an incidental. If they do so, during the next skill check they make during that turn, you may change the face of one positive die in the character's die pool to another face adjacent to it. (An “adjacent” face is any die face sharing an edge – not a point – with the rolled face.)

 

Celestial Scion Archetypes

Protector
 Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence 
2 2 2 1 3 2
  • Starting Wound Threshold: 10 + Brawn
  • Starting Strain Threshold: 12 + Willpower
  • Starting XP: 90
  • Divine Protection: When a protector is targeted by a melee attack, treat the celestial scion as if they have +1 Defense, adding Setback.png to the roll.
  • Blessing of Protection: Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an out-of-turn incidental. If they do so, they may extend their Divine Protection to a number of allies within Short range equal to their Presence until the end of their next turn.
  • Nether Vulnerability: A protector's celestial blood makes them vulnerable to weapons with the Nether quality. If a protector suffers wound or strain damage from a weapon with the Nether quality, increase the damage by 1 per rank of Nether.

 

Avenger
 Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence 
3 2 2 2 2 1
  • Starting Wound Threshold: 12 + Brawn
  • Starting Strain Threshold: 8 + Willpower
  • Starting XP: 90
  • Starting Skills: An avenger starts with one rank in Vigilance during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Vigilance above rank 2 during character creation.
  • Smite: Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an incidental. If they do so, after the next combat check they make that deals damage that turn, they may make a second attack action using the same dice pool.
  • Nether Vulnerability: An avenger's celestial blood makes them vulnerable to weapons with the Nether quality. If an avenger suffers wound or strain damage from a weapon with the Nether quality, increase the damage by 1 per rank of Nether.

 

Herald
 Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence 
2 1 2 2 2 3
  • Starting Wound Threshold: 8 + Brawn
  • Starting Strain Threshold: 12 + Willpower
  • Starting XP: 90
  • Starting Skills: A herald starts with one rank in Lore during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Lore above rank 2 during character creation.
  • Uncanny Insight: Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an incidental during a social encounter. If they do so, they may select one of the following skills: Charm, Leadership, or Negotiation. The character gains insight into one NPC's motives, granting Boost.png to all skill checks targeting that NPC while using the chosen skill for the remainder of the encounter.
  • Nether Vulnerability: A herald's celestial blood makes them vulnerable to weapons with the Nether quality. If a herald suffers wound or strain damage from a weapon with the Nether quality, increase the damage by 1 per rank of Nether.

 

Infernal Scion Archetypes

Brute
 Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence 
3 2 1 2 2 2
  • Starting Wound Threshold: 12 + Brawn
  • Starting Strain Threshold: 8 + Willpower
  • Starting XP: 90
  • Starting Skills: A brute starts with one rank in Coercion during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Coercion above rank 2 during character creation.
  • Head Ringer: Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an incidental. If they do so, the next Brawl or Melee combat check they make during that turn gains the Concussive 1 quality (or adds one rank of the Concussive quality to a weapon they are wielding that already possesses the Concussive quality).
  • Aether Vulnerability: A brute's infernal blood makes them vulnerable to weapons with the Aether quality. If a brute suffers wound or strain damage from a weapon with the Aether quality, increase the damage by 1 per rank of Aether.

 

Rascal
 Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence 
2 3 2 3 2 1
  • Starting Wound Threshold: 8 + Brawn
  • Starting Strain Threshold: 8 + Willpower
  • Starting XP: 90
  • Starting Skills: A rascal starts with one rank in Streetwise during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Streetwise above rank 2 during character creation.
  • Over There!: Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an out-of-turn incidental. If they do so, upgrade the difficulty of the next check made to notice the rascal a number of times equal to the rascal's Presence. On a successful roll that includes a Despair.png, the rascal may indicate a nearby PC or NPC who is immediately mistaken for the rascal in disguise, regardless of difference in height, weight, gender, or other aspects of appearance.
  • Aether Vulnerability: A rascal's infernal blood makes them vulnerable to weapons with the Aether quality. If a rascal suffers wound or strain damage from a weapon with the Aether quality, increase the damage by 1 per rank of Aether.

 

Fiend
 Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence 
2 1 3 2 2 2
  • Starting Wound Threshold: 8 + Brawn
  • Starting Strain Threshold: 12 + Willpower
  • Starting XP: 90
  • Starting Skills: A fiend starts with one rank in Lore during character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and may not increase Lore above rank 2 during character creation.
  • Esoteric Knowledge: Once per session, your character may spend a Story Point as an incidental. If they do so, they may use Intellect as the characteristic for their next skill check.
  • Aether Vulnerability: A fiend's infernal blood makes them vulnerable to weapons with the Aether quality. If a fiend suffers wound or strain damage from a weapon with the Aether quality, increase the damage by 1 per rank of Aether.

 

New Mongrel Archetype

Felix Mongrel
 Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence 
2 2 2 2 2 2
  • Starting Wound Threshold: 10 + Brawn
  • Starting Strain Threshold: 8 + Willpower
  • Starting XP: 100
  • Starting Skills: A felix mongrel starts with one rank in Streetwise at character creation. They obtain this rank before spending experience points, and Streetwise may not be increased higher than rank 2 during character creation.
  • The Beast Within: Felix mongrels generally look just like any other human. However, when your charcter is incapacitated due to exceeding their strain threshold while in human form, the undergo the following change as an out-of-turn incidental. They heal all strain; increase their Agility and Cunning by one to a maximum of 5; reduce their Intellect and Willpower by one to a minimum of 1. They gain one rank of Stealth, up to a maximum of 5. They deal +1 damage when making unarmed attacks, and their unarmed attacks have a crit rating of 3. In addition, their jaws enlongate into feline muzzles, their hair thickens and the grow more all over their bodies, and their eyes become those of a prowling cat. Your GM should ensure that NPCs react appropriately to this (at the very least, upgrading the difficulty of all socail skill checks twice). your character reverts to human form after eight hours, or if they are incapacitated (by exceeding either their wound threshold or their strain threshold).
  • The Human Spirit: Once per session, your character may make a Hard (Difficulty.pngDifficulty.pngDifficulty.png) Discipline check as an out-of-turn incidental. If they succeed, they may either trigger the Beast Within or avoid triggering it when they reach their strain threshold.
Edited by Simon Retold

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This might be a typo but your competitor is overpowered.  If you take an average human, you have 2s in everything and 110 starting xp.  If you look at laborer you can see they made brawn a 3 and presence a 1.  So the 3 cost 30 xp, but the 1 refunded 20 xp so they subtracted 10 xp to give it a 100 starting xp.  You have 3 in both dex and cunning with just a single 1 in presence.

In Opportunist you have a racial named "Fortune favors the Bold."  There is a talent with that same name so if you go to include all of the talents that might be a bit confusing.  In SWRPG there is a signature ability  with that same basic ability called "Unmatched Fortune."

Other than that, it looks good!  I might use some of these for my campaign.

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8 minutes ago, lordannoyed said:

This might be a typo but your competitor is overpowered.  If you take an average human, you have 2s in everything and 110 starting xp.  If you look at laborer you can see they made brawn a 3 and presence a 1.  So the 3 cost 30 xp, but the 1 refunded 20 xp so they subtracted 10 xp to give it a 100 starting xp.  You have 3 in both dex and cunning with just a single 1 in presence.

In Opportunist you have a racial named "Fortune favors the Bold."  There is a talent with that same name so if you go to include all of the talents that might be a bit confusing.  In SWRPG there is a signature ability  with that same basic ability called "Unmatched Fortune."

Other than that, it looks good!  I might use some of these for my campaign.

Yup. The Competitor having 3 Cunning was a typo. I had cut-and-paste the Opportunist and edited it, missing the change to Cunning. It's been fixed.

As for Fortune Favors the Bold, I definitely cribbed Unmatched Fortune for the ability, with some minor tweaks. For instance, the player has to flip a Story Point before making the roll - in other words, before knowing what changes could be made by the ability. I've changed it to As Luck Would Have It...

Edited by Simon Retold

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I haven't had nearly as much time to work on this as I would have liked, but it's slowly coming along. I've included three different Revenant archetypes, got lists of melee and ranged weapons created, and have tackled alchemy. I'm about 90% done with alchemy now; just need to include flasks and lists of sample potions and poisons. Oh, and to create template profiles for poisons.

Check it out, if you wish. Just don’t expect to find a whole lot more at that wiki yet. Unfortunately, I haven’t got everything I’ve written up posted there, so the site feels a bit barren. Also, ignore material costs (and weapon costs, if you view those pages). They haven’t been balanced out yet.

Alchemy in Aethermere.

Edited by Simon Retold

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