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RMC/RM2 / Re: Looking for advice on Contortions skill
« Last post by Elrich Maltah on December 06, 2021, 11:22:20 PM »
These are excellent. Thank you!
RMC/RM2 / Re: Looking for advice on Contortions skill
« Last post by jdale on December 06, 2021, 11:12:29 PM »
I don't know if there are any detailed rules on it for RM2/RMC, but RMSS School of Hard Knocks suggests you can make a medium maneuver to absorb an impact and reduce the critical by one severity. It's unspecified how much activity that requires. There are also some guidelines for getting through small opening but I'm not sure they make sense.

Here's what I put together for the (upcoming and not final version yet) RMU Character Companion (adapting the SoHK guidelines):

  • Routine (+30): Touching one’s own toes.
  • Easy (+20): Performing feats of agility like bending over backwards. Crawling through an opening half your height at a Creep pace, or moving through an opening 80% of your height at a Walk pace.
  • Light (+10): Dislocating a shoulder from its socket (and putting it back after a maneuver).
  • Medium (+0): Absorbing an impact (and reducing the critical by one severity). Crawling through an opening one third of your height at a Creep pace.
  • Hard (-10): Escaping from leather bindings. Drinking from a glass held in one’s feet. Turning around in a tunnel one third of your height (and similar width).
  • Very Hard (-20): Escaping from rope bindings. Removing a blindfold while bound. Dragging yourself through an opening one quarter of your height at half a Creep pace (increase the difficulty by one to back up).
  • Extremely Hard (-30): Escaping from cloth bindings like a strait jacket.
  • Sheer Folly (-50): Removing a gag while bound. Dragging yourself through an opening one sixth of your height at half a Creep pace (increase the difficulty by one to back up).
  • Absurd (-70): Escaping from chains and close-fitting manacles.

These are intended as guidelines so modify upwards or downwards for circumstances. E.g. bindings may be quality or improvised, and applied by someone well or poorly trained. It will be easier to get through a smooth opening than a jagged one. Etc. In general these would be full round actions, but you could try more quickly at a penalty.
RMC/RM2 / Looking for advice on Contortions skill
« Last post by Elrich Maltah on December 06, 2021, 10:43:29 PM »
I'm running a half-elf dancer in an RM2 campaign who will be getting her agility potential boosted to 102. Looking at the type A stat picks in RMCIII, I'm planning to take "Body Control as the Nightblade spell" once the stat maxes out.

The description for that spell (from the Phantom Movements list) says "Adds 50 to any one maneuvar [sic] involving Balance or "Contractions" (see Secondary Skills in ChL&CaL)." There is no "Contractions" skill, but it's pretty obvious it means "Contortions."

The description for Contortions says "Bonus for manipulating one's body in order to move through small openings or absorb sudden crushing impact (other than falls). Helps escape from bonds, etc."

There's no indication there of the mechanics on how those scenarios should be resolved. (In comparison, the Tumbling skill description does define how it applies to resolving falls.) There's also no mention of resolving Contortions in the Alternate Static Action Tables of RMCII, but they do give details for Juggling, Jumping, Pole Vaulting, and Tightrope Walking.

I suppose it could be left to the GM simply determining the level of difficulty of the maneuver, but that seems imprecise based on the size of the openings or the type of bonds that could be encountered. Should the Contortions bonus also apply somehow to crushing weapon impacts, say, reducing crit levels or something, or should it only be valid in non-combat scenarios? I'm curious to know what you all think.
Shadow World / Re: What Role do the Elemental Lords play in Shadow World?
« Last post by Crivens on December 06, 2021, 02:10:18 PM »
I like the idea of the Althans adaptation to thef Essaence (using it as a ressource).
And yes the Pillar of Gods apparition using a Black Hole (which wraps Time and Space) is also an interesting idea which fit well my theory.

I have yet to think a bit more about the God of Charon and their interactions with Essaence, the Unlife and the Void.

But later...

See you
Shadow World / Re: Evil vs realms in SW?
« Last post by MisterK on December 06, 2021, 01:54:54 PM »
Sorry to jump in here, but some provocative thoughts. The problem is that Terry didn't write his world for Rolemater...he wrote it "kinda mostly" for RM and never let his vision or story walled in by rules.
I have the same feeling - RM was the system he used, but the seams were unraveling every time cosmology was brought into the picture, because RM, as a "generic" system, must accommodate generic settings that are very light on "why" things are the way they are and heavy on what adventurers can do to avoid boredom. So if you don't think much about the "why", RM is an alright fit (even though NPCs obviously don't follow the rules). But try to get consistency between system and setting on deep matters and the system gets in the way, so I guess it's natural for a GM to say "screw the system" and discard anything that does not fit the setting.

Honestly, I'm not even sure that the RM magic system is a good fit for Shadow World (it certainly wasn't a good fit for Middle Earth...). The only reason I'm still using it is because of continuity (I started with it, and since all my campaigns occur in the same reality and timeline, I have to maintain a modicrum of consistency and keeping the bones of the magic system helps).
Shadow World / Re: What Role do the Elemental Lords play in Shadow World?
« Last post by MisterK on December 06, 2021, 01:41:51 PM »
A little bit off topic, but you could always just assume that the Essaence and Unlife are simply Order and Chaos - Order from the higher planes and the Unlife from lower planes.
Oddly enough, if I was assuming that (I don't), the Essaence would be Chaos and Unlife would be Order. The Essaence is life and change and unpredictability - the very definition of chaos. The Unlife is stasis, nothingness, the inexorable entropic end of the universe - the very definition of order.
Shadow World / Re: What Role do the Elemental Lords play in Shadow World?
« Last post by MisterK on December 06, 2021, 01:38:28 PM »
My take on the elemental Lords is that, basically, they don't exist in Shadow World as described in F&I. There are elementals, which are native to planes that are Essaence Pales of Kulthea (warped reflections), and some of them are certainly more powerful than others (so some may style themselves as 'lords'), but they are no more gods than Ordainers are - they just come from different Pales (and there *are* elemental demons already, so...).

Kulthea was a mundane world before the coming of the Essaence, so its creation is as mundane as the rest of the Space Master universe. Whether the Pales are reflections *created* by the Essaence, or are planes from this alternate universe made *accessible* by the Essaence is an open question (and a moot point in the end).

Basically, while I use the F&I technical details, I don't consider it canon for Shadow World cosmology-wise. Like a number of other RM things, it fits the "genetic system with many options, pick what you want" but not a pre-existing setting like Shadow World (or Middle Earth, for that matter).

Of course, there are so many greater spirits on Kulthea (and most of them are natural phenomena-oriented) that some might be considered 'elemental gods' by the neighbouring mannish population. And why not ? Especially on such a world, a 'god' is only a very powerful being, and I can accept very powerful nature spirits with an elemental bend. There might even be several claiming the same element in various locations. I would also expect some powerful demons to claim mantles of "elemental lords" to make themselves more palatable for worship.

Not to mention that there *is* a Dark God of Charon that claims both Earth and Fire as domain (Nykaru).
Shadow World / Re: What Role do the Elemental Lords play in Shadow World?
« Last post by kmanktelow on December 06, 2021, 01:37:46 PM »
A little bit off topic, but you could always just assume that the Essaence and Unlife are simply Order and Chaos - Order from the higher planes and the Unlife from lower planes. The universe is 'naturally' a Balance between the two forces - but because of the Black Hole that intersected Kulthea and created the Pillar of the Gods there is damage between both the lower and higher planes - which in turn allowed the Lord of Orhan and the Dark Gods access to Kulthea. (Years ago I wrote something that incorporated the Dark Space setting which made the Vlath'acna the cause of the disaster.)
Anyway the theory went that any organism will utilise any resources that occur in the environment - extremophiles and heat, plants with light, etc - thus while the original Althan's were mortal, some of them evolved so that their bodies were able to use the essence - which in turn extended their life spans (its' a force of order) and this led to the K'ta'viir. This then explained why the Althan's who left Kulthea were not immortal - because they lost their connection to the Essaence.
The use of the essence by the K'ta'viir in turn allowed the Unlife to seep into Kulthea.
Shadow World / Re: What Role do the Elemental Lords play in Shadow World?
« Last post by Crivens on December 06, 2021, 12:53:52 PM »
Hi all,

In my opinion Elemental Lords are fully compatible with SW and even necessary.

According to the timeline, the lords of Essaence (lords of Orhan) arrive in - 200 000 present time from another space-time. And with them come the Essaence and continually (as the interphase is not completly closed).

So, the Essaence have nothing to do with the creation of Kulthea and the solar system.
So, having the Elements as source of creation of the physical world is quite a nice way to explain the existence of the planet.
They were the first powers of the planet. Of course after the Essaence intrusion they have lost some of the power and influence. Thus, primal forces (fire, water, air, earth...) are always disturbed by Essaence (cf. Essaence Storms).
To conclude, Elemental Lords are still there, they are powerful enough to be used as Elemental focuses and it seems logical to suppose that they have a grudge against Essaence.
So an Elemental user could be naturally in opposition with others spell users (but mainly against the essence users as they are efficient in manipulating the elements and are considered as power stealers !!!).

It is up to the GM, but it could be fun to add in the Elemental Lords 's secret agenda the fact that they want to close the link between Kulthea and the point of origine of the Essaence, so to regain their initial power.
Of course they will not globally collaborate with Unlife, as Unlife is used by the Void to destruct the reality (maximal entropy).

The way I see it, is that it creates a third force, we have 1-The Essaence 2-The Unlife 3-The Elements. This situation creates a lot of interactions and plot ideas.

For me, the planes (the pales, the elemental planes) are created by the interaction between the Reality and the Void (Agoth the lord of the Void is supposed to predate Creation itself...).
Essaence and Anti-Essaence (the Unlife) are the vectors, the energies between them. They are used by their respective agents.

In other worlds where there is no Essaence and anti-Essaence (in our knowlege Kulthea is the only planet where Essaence exists), there is only interaction between the reality and the Void.

Where does Essaence come?, another space-time dimension ?. For me, it is the spark of life. It needs the physical world (created by the Elements) to blossom.
In some places (planets), it doesn't work, the planet are still without life, but sometime the miracle of life appears...
So I see it as a wave impregnating all the reality (created from the elements) some time after the creation of the physical world within the Void.
And since -200 000 years Kulthea is connected with the origin of this wave.

To resume:
(1) First: Void
(2) After: Big Bang = creation of the physical reality (Elemental reality)
(3) At the same time: creation of all the planes
(4) Even after: Essaence Wave creating life in all the Universe (when??? I suppose there is no need to know)
(5) In Kulthea apparition of a (probably) unique known link with the source of the Essaence wave (remember, it is a space time link).

Unlife being the antithesis of Essaence and came from the same place (it could be another wave which will annihilate life) it is attracted by Kulthea (using Charon as an intermediate).

This theory has several weak point.
First, it doesn't explain the Creation (the Big Bang). But as a scientist and atheist I am quite confortable with this (who or what created God(s) ?). More specifically, who or what created the Lord of Orhan?, they are Lord of Essaence so may be they are the expression or the creation of the Essaence itself when it interacts with the reality (aka physical world). They exist in Orhan as long as the flux of Essaence exists.
The spirits in Kulthea are born from the interaction with the reality and the Life (with was born the the initial Essaence Wave).

Second, according to this, the element predate life so elemental creatures should not be alive but only interacting in the reality uniquely due to physical laws. But all elemental creatures are alive (with their own intelligence and capacities).
A way to explain this is to postulate that all elemental creatures (from the True Elemental to the Elemental Servant) are born from the interaction between the element and the Esseance Wave. Some are grateful and collaborate with Essaence users (mainly Essence users) but others reject this state and wish for returning to the primal elemental stat (the element state alone, with only the physical, chemical laws and no bloody bio as a prefix). This explains the furious behaviour of most elemental creatures (most have a Beserk outlook)...Freud could have explained this :).

I will be gratefull to have your feedback on this theory.

Shadow World / Re: NE Jaiman
« Last post by MisterK on December 05, 2021, 12:38:06 AM »
]My impression is that that that the Altha were "seed stock" for the universe. The Ka'ta'viir were a unique sub stata of the Altha that were senstive to the Essaence? That might not have been completely addressed in Spacemaster, but it parallels Niven's Ringworld? This is all built out of late 70's and early 80's?
I have not checked SM in a long time, but I think there was a number of hints that the Altha were the Sianetic Harbinger, the "seeder race" of the universe - which does not mean that they seeded it with their own genetic template, especially if you see what they did on Kulthea. The Kulthean timeline indicate that the Altha were a conquering race, so they might have found suitable genetic material somewhere and transplanted it on numerous planets to create slave races for colonisation (and cattle for the meat grinder of galactic warfare when needed). The K'Taa'Viiri were, once again from the Shadow World timeline, an Althan clan that had particular proficiency in Essaence manipulation, but since Essaence is singular to Kulthea, they must have had other advantages to rise to such prominence (wealth, psionic mastery, you name it).

And yes, Space Master is "heavily inspired" by the main sci-fi trends of the time. There is something timeless in the idea of a stellar "empire" with "noble houses" jousting for power with an established church as arbiter (and player at the same time) and a merchant's guild to round up the usual suspects, while aliens prowl the border and an "ancient race" still lurks in the dark of space. It's nothing original, even for sci-fi RPGs.
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