Wednesday, January 17, 2018

VOIDJAMMER 5E: AETHERIC SPACE (SPACE COSMOLOGY)

The Voidjammer setting is to be all about travel to other worlds in a fantasy setting. The setting will mix both Greek views of Ptolemaic astronomy and Aristotelian physics with Xi,  the Chinese notion of spirit and flow. Space will still be a hostile place, but with more leeway for survival by plucky adventurers. But this survivability also includes plenty of dangerous denizens that can be far deadlier for the unwary.
But don't let this high-falutin talk about philosophy and weird science put you off. The setting will be dominated by the Rule of Cool, with archaic physics only used to make weirdly wonderful settings and all manner of high strangeness. Voidjammer will be chock-full of goofy-fun and themes from my favorite comics, cartoons and cheesy movies. But all will not be silly. The universe is deadly dangerous, especially when things seem the most relaxed.
So these are the basics is Space Travel in my campaign: 

AETHERIC SPACE AND TRAVEL
In the Voidjammer 5th Edition setting, Space Travel is actually Planar Travel, specifically Aether Travel. It involves bodily entering the Border Ethereal (Ethereal Plane). The Ethereal Plane is a transitive plane that borders the Material, Shadowfell, Feywild, Elemental planes and the Realm of Dreams. It is a misty, fog-bound dimension that is sometimes described as a great ocean. The Border Ethereal is the layer of the Ethereal Plane that closely borders the Prime Material, and exists between planets within the same Solar System. Stars, planets, moons and other celestial bodies are all visible here, though clouds, storms and fog can mute colors and blur shapes, requiring skilled navigators.
The Deep Ethereal is the realm between solar systems (Deep Space), and is a realm of deep darkness, cold and danger. The Deep Ethereal is most commonly accessed by spellcasters using spells such as Plane Shift. However, with the invention of Voidjammers, ships can bring large ships loaded with people and cargo into the plane. 
For further details on the Etheric Plane, see page 48-49 in the Dungeon Masters Guide.

ENTERING THE AETHER
Those who traverse the Ethereal typically do so in Aetheric Craft designed to shield its passengers from the damp and gloom of the realm. The realm is dark and cold, though this varies depending on where you are. Entering the Border Ethereal is done by flying up to the edge of a planet or celestial bodies atmosphere (usually 1d4 miles), requiring travelers to must deal with both High Altitude and Extreme Cold (see page 110 in the DMG). After which a vessel with a functional Helm or Mana Sails automatically enters the Border Ethereal.
Entering the Deep Ethereal in a ship requires a long journey to the edge of a solar system, and "jumping" into the dark.
AIR: The substance of the etheric (Aether) can be breathed by living creatures, but is not truly “air” and so it supplies no fuel for fire and is not as satisfying to breathe. Ships come equipped with an “Aetheric Converter” to transform Aether into air and water.
GRAVITY: There is no gravity here, with untethered objects must be tied down or otherwise attached to something, otherwise they will drift. Creatures wishing to move in the Aether must Swim, Fly or Climb (if hand/footholds are available) to get around. Ships with a functioning Gravity Pump have ships gravity, and occupants can move about normally.

NAVIGATION AND TRAVEL TIMES
As stars, planets and other celestial objects are visible in the Border Ethereal, travel can be mapped by a skilled navigator (Arcana/Intelligence checks). This process is highly complex, requiring extensive knowledge of stars, constellations and knowledge of the Ethereal Plane, and so is decided by one or more Arcana checks as well as proficiency in Voidjamming.
Away from planets and other large objects, a ship in the Border Ethereal moves at what is called cruising speed. The cruising speed of a ship depends on the helm propelling it. Once a course is set, a vessel with a minor helm allows a ship to travel between adjacent planets in 2d6+2 days, while a major helm moves between adjacent planets in 1d6+1 days.  If a ship is near other ships, celestial bodies (asteroids, moons, planets), travel times are based on the ships base speed. 
Ships entering the Deep Ethereal, at the edge of a solar system can quickly "jump" to other stars. A trip between solar systems through the Deep Ethereal takes 1d10 x 10 hours, regardless of the origin and destination. In combat, however, creatures are considered to move at their normal speeds.

NEXT!
Aether Ships, Helms and other goodies.


Monday, December 11, 2017

VOIDJAMMER 5E: Hurwaeti

HURWAETI (WIGGLES)
The hurwaeti are an ancient humanoid race distantly related to both sahuagin and lizard men. In space, they usually function as mercenaries, common crewmen, or occasionally as pirates, traders, or salvagers operating their own ships. The hurwaeti were once a great spacefaring race that had colonized many systems, spreading art, civilization, morality, and and philosophy favoring altruism and discipline throughout the spheres. But an ancient war broke up their empire and killed the brightest and most energetic individuals. The destruction stranded the hurwaeti colonists, leaving them to degenerate into the swamp and salt wiggles. The remaining spacefarers became impoverished wanderers, content to simply earn a living for themselves and their tribes.
Hurwaeti have dark olive-green hides and long limbs, webbed fingers and toes, and gnome-like faces with large ears, noses, and long, sharp chins. Adult hurwaeti often have short, sparse beards and tufts of coarse hair atop their heads. Venerable adults tend to have long beards, thicker tufts of hair, and bushy eyebrows. Hurwaeti favor simple clothing, usually long, brightly colored loin cloths, and belts and packs for carrying equipment.
Hurwaeti tribes are made up of clans, each ruled by an elder. The senior clan head – usually the oldest and wealthiest – governs the tribe. All disputes within the tribe are settled by appealing to the tribal chief. Priests are usually Druids or Clerics dedicated to Cosmos (especially his pessimistic aspects) and are often chiefs of clan-heads.

Hurwaeti Names
Hurwaeti tend to use lizardfolk names, with inflections of their own ancient cultures. Male Names: Aeia, Mitvia, Puddleglum, Vuella, Ida. Female Names: Simin, Oiert, Tuess, Aedo

Hurwaeti Traits:
The hurwaeti are an ancient humanoid race distantly related to both sahuagin and lizard men.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom increases by 2 and your Dexterity increases by 1.
Age. Hurwaeti mature at 30 years and live for 300 years.
Alignment. Most hurwaeti tend towards self-interest, and rarely develop the extremes of alignment.
Size. Adults are between six and seven feet tall and weigh from 190 to 230 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet, and you have a swim speed of 30 feet.
Leaper. You can long jump or high jump twice the normal distance.
Fog Cloud. You can cast fog cloud as a 1st-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can instead cast it as a 2nd-level spell.
Spacefaring. You have proficiency with Vehicles (Spelljamming)
Hold Breath. You can hold your breath for 15 minutes.
Scales. If you are wearing no armor, your AC is 11 + your Dexterity modifier.
Languages. Common, Draconic

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

VOIDJAMMER 5E: Wildspace Orcs



ORC, Wildspace
The Orcs that are found across the stars, having a long history in space, punctuated in a number of long and bloody conflicts with the Elves and other races. Wildspace Orcs are more Lawful in alignment (Lawful Evil) than groundling orcs, and have learned the importance of an organized ship and taking care of their equipment. The orcs that cannot grasp these details do not survive long.
Orcs usually use ships made by other races such as humans, but do have a number of their own vessels. These orc-made ships are very mechanical in design, and are all quite potent warships. 
Orcs organize themselves into clan ships and asteroid enclaves that are pure pirate, but organized in a strict code of conduct known as the Black Code. This code is a set of laws and taboos that the orcs adhere to with religious zeal. And though violent and cruel, can be appealed to by non-orcs in negotiations. Orc Clerics can become disciples of the Black Code (Acheron Planar Clerics), and are walking encyclopedias of sailor superstition, taboos and variations on Black Codes. Such priests wear black coats and are called Provosts.
Wildspace Orc Names
Wildspace Orc tend to take orcish names.
Male: Dukagsh, Yikart, Urkutz, Zark, Morkitar, Wrackblood, Rendflesh, Spikestar, Neverfang, Voulge,
Female: Baggi, Emen, Engong, Kansif, Myev, Neega, Ovak, Ownka, Shautha, Sutha, Vola, Volen, Yevelda

ORC TRAITS
Your orc character has the following racial traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, your Constitution score increases by 1, and your Intelligence score is reduced by 2.
Age Orcs reach adulthood at age 12 and live up to 50 years.
Alignment. Orcs are vicious raiders, who believe that the world should be theirs. They also respect strength above all else and believe the strong must rule over the weak to ensure that weakness does not spread like a disease. Wildspace Orcs follow a harsh and unforgiving code of laws and regulations (the black code). As such, most are lawful evil.
Size. Ores are usually over 6 feet tall and weigh between 230 and 280 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Aggressive. As a bonus action, you can move up to your speed toward an enemy of your choice that you can see or hear. You must end this move closer to the enemy than you started.
Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the hand axe, battle axe, pistol, and musket.
Menacing. You are trained in the Intimidation skill.
Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common and Orc.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

VOIDJAMMER 5E: CLERICS AND DEITIES OF SPACE

CLERICS

The Clerics and religious institutions of the Voidjammer 5E setting are predominantly Planar Clerics. These are clerics that revere an Outer Plane and all its resident deities collectively. Planar churches are the most prevalent religious institutions along the spacelanes and in the Commonwealth. The planes with some element of good in their nature are called the Upper Planes. Celestial creatures such as angels and pegasi dwell in the Upper Planes. Planes with some element of evil are the Lower Planes. Fiends such as demons, devils, and daemons (yugoloths) dwell in the Lower Planes.
The following are the most widespread and famous (or infamous):

PLANAR CLERICS
OUTER PLANES
Alignment
Suggested Domains
Symbol
Upper Planes
Mount Celestia, the Seven Heavens
LG
Knowledge, Light, Protection, War
Mountain
Arborea, the Olympian Glade
CG
Arcana, Life, Nature, Tempest
GAO Symbol
Elysium, the Blessed Fields
NG
Grave, Nature
Hollow Hill
Beastlands, the Wilderness
NG, CG
Nature, Trickery
Animal Face
Bytopia, the Twin Paradises
NG, LG
Life, Nature, Protection
Hourglass
Arcadia, the Peaceable Kingdoms
LN, LG
Forge, Knowledge, War
Sun
Ysgard, the Heroic Domain
CN, CG
Life, Tempest, War
World Tree
Middle Planes
Mechanus, the Clockwork Nirvana
LN
Forge, Knowledge, War
Cog
Concordia, the plane of balance
N
Knowledge, Nature
Axis Mundi
Limbo, the Ever-Changing Chaos
CN
Arcana, Knowledge, Trickery
Marble
Lower Planes
Acheron, the Infinite Battlefield
LN, LE
Arcane, Knowledge, War
Cube
Pandemonium, the Windswept Depths
CN, CE
Grave, Nature, Tempest
Wind
Carceri, the Tartarian Depths
NE, CE
Death, Grave, Trickery
Closed Gate
Gehenna, the Bleak Eternity
NE, LE
Knowledge, Tempest, War
Triangle
Hades, the Gray Waste
NE
Death, Nature
Cerberus
Baator, the Nine Hells
LE
Arcana, Death, Knowledge,
Inverted pentacle
The Abyss, the Infinite Layers
CE
Death, Trickery, War
Spiral
DEITY-SPECIFIC CLERICS
Deities
Alignment
Suggested Domains
Symbol
Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon
LG
Dragon, Protection, Tempest
Dragon Head
Cosmos, god of time and space
CN
Arcana, Knowledge, Trickery
Beard
Ptah, god of knowledge, and secrets
N
Knowledge
Bull
Sharella, Goddess of Eternity
NG
Arcana, Light
Falcon
Taweret, the Great Mother
LN
Life, War
Hippo
Tiamat, Queen of Darkness
LE
Death, Dragon, Trickery
5 headed dragon
Golion, King of Beasts
LG
Protection, War
Winged Lion
Horde Prime, Lord of the Horde
CE
Death, Trickery
Horde Symbol
Serpis, god of reptiles
NE
Arcana, Nature
Coiled Serpent
Vandria Gilmadrith, Elf goddess of war
LN
War
Warhammer

DEITIES
Several specific Deities (gods and goddesses) are worshiped across the stars. These are often patrons of broad concepts and wide-ranging species. A few popular and widespread deities are as follows.
  • Bahamut: Bahamut is a powerful draconic deity. Bahamut is depicted as a massive, long and sinuous dragon with silver-white scales and blue, catlike eyes. Bahamut is very stern and disapproving of evil. He accepts no excuses for foul deeds. On the other hand, he is very compassionate, and has boundless empathy for the weak and downtrodden. 
  • Cosmos: Old Man Cosmos is the personification of space, travel and million to one chances, and so almost every adventurer pays at least some lip service to Old Man Cosmos. This deity is fickle and dangerous, blessing and cursing those who call on him, seeming to take great pleasure from visiting all manner of calamity on travelers (testing as he puts it). Priests of Cosmos dress in traveler’s garb and never cut their hair and/or beards, adopting a ragged traveler appearance, though they are usually clean. 
  • Golion: Fierce but noble King of Beasts, Golion is the might god of war and protection. He most often appears and an elephant-sized, black-furred, winged lion. He is attended by a pride of four other giant lions of Red, Blue,Yellow and Green. All of which are immensely powerful.
  • Ptah: Ptah is the  Opener of the Way, the Seeker of Hidden Ways, the Supreme Artisan. He is the god of the Ethereal Plane and known far and wide across space. His clerics often shave their heads and dress in dark robes.
  • Sharella: Sharella is the goddess of Eternity and patroness of all life-giving worlds across space. She is tasked with maintaining the natural order and protecting the secrets of magic. Her clerics dress more for hard work or as magicians.
  • Taweret: Great Mother of the Giff and pfierce protector of children. She appears as a huge female Giff or Hippo and is attended by bird spirits of great number. Her clerics are always prepared for a fight, with many brawlers and wrestlers of renown among them.
  • Tiamat: Tiamat is a supremely strong and a powerful 5-headed draconic goddess. She has one head for each customary color of chromatic dragon (black, blue, green, red, white), and each head has the powers of a member of the respective race of dragonkind. 
  • Horde Prime: This Archfiend is the god-emperor of the Intergalactic Evil Horde. Horde Prime is rarely seen in person, but is widely feared. Priests dedicated to this infernal creature dress like super-villains or professional wrestlers, often highlighting their special powers and strengths. 
  • Serpos: This foul god of reptiles despises all warm-blooded creatures, seeing them as upstarts and usurpers. Serpos is revered primarily by lizard-folk, troglodytes, kobolds and other scaly beings. 
  • Vandria Gilmadrith: Elven goddess of warfare, and space battles. She is unlivke other elven deities in that she is lawful. However since the last Unhuman Wars, she is now a major goddess among Elves and Half-Elves, as her ordered ways and clear hotheadedness saved many elven holdings and kept the fleet together.


I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan