Gear in Beyonder: Armor, Part 2

What’s in your Travel Sack? Armor and Shields and Accoutrements, Oh My!

Last time we learned about your character’s Defense Ratings (DRs), particularly Combat Defense (CD), which represents how hard it is for someone to hit you with a melee or ranged weapon.  We also looked at Soak, which represents how tough your character is and how hard it is to deal them significant damage.  

But what if your character doesn’t have a high CD or Soak?  What can a simple PC like you do to protect yourself?  For starters, you should be ready in case someone tries to introduce you to the sharp end of their blade. This means being armed and armored.  As I mentioned in a previous blog on weapons, being unarmed and being unarmored EACH confer a +5 bonus to attacks against you. You’re not likely to last very long in the dangerous world if you are not prepared.  Get yourself some armor –  it doesn’t have to be fancy. Simple padded or leather armor is enough to protect your vitals, but more expensive armor will grant you a larger Soak bonus. This may restrict your movement a bit*, but it can be worth it.  Find a balance that works for you.

While you are shopping around, you may want to consider getting a shield.  Remember that you have to hold it, so it will be occupying one of your hands. That can be a factor if you’re planning to be holding something else, like a large axe that requires two hands.

The way a shield work in Beyonder is pretty cool, and allows you to retroactively apply its bonus.  This is how it works:

When you get attacked, the Moderator rolls to see if you’ve been hit.  If you have, before the Moderator tells you how bad it is, you can say, “I would like to use the Deflect action to use my shield.”  This does three things:  

  1. Your present action is delayed by 1-m (a small price to pay).
  2. You get a bonus to your CD from the shield, which could mean that the attack does not actually hit you.
  3. If the attack does still hit you, the shield absorbs some of it, giving you a bonus to your Soak (not a bad deal at all!).

Finally, your accoutrements.  These are the various “extras,” such as helmets and knee-guards, that often come along with a standard set of armor.  They provide a little extra protection, again at the cost of some mobility (although with some practice you can avoid that too).  They make it more difficult for enemies to perform stunts related to the parts of your body they protect  – for example, when you are wearing gauntlets it’s harder to disarm you*.  

That’s all for now, folks!  See you next time, when we look at other random junk that you might want to carry in your travel sack: climbing gear, vigor potions, Energetic poison, horses…  on second thought, you probably shouldn’t put those in the sack.


*See page 146 of our rulebook, Beyonder: The Science of the Six for details.

The Galguhn War

Another Galguhn War?

By Toodla Oblodt, Naldrin City News

Naldrin City, Kalkix 18, SP~5,016

The Galguhn War and Northern Goblin Uprising was the single greatest threat in the last century to the continued existence of Naldrin City.  This uprising, and subsequent war, was led by the powerful Galguhn Goblin Kingdom of the Nashem Mountains.  Soon after the war began in earnest, it was joined by a number of other goblin kingdoms of the area, including the dozen or so kingdoms west of the Gaghzzen Mountains.  The goal of these united goblins was to conquer the northern half of the Tamarran Continent.  The conflict ran for thirteen long years, beginning in SP~4,975 and ending in SP~4,988, just eighteen years ago.  

Almost every resident of Naldrin City has family and/or friends who perished or were bloodied in this savage conflict.  In the final three years, much of the northern part of the Tamarran Continent worked in concert with Naldrin City’s populace to push back the legions of goblins and their allies; hateful gurv, berserk ravagers, and even some gamol who saw an opportunity to easily ensnare some souls.

It is therefore deeply disturbing to report that the goblins of the Nashem Mountains and those of the Gaghzzen Mountains, to their west, may be on the rise again.

In the 60 days of the preceding month, Sula, there were reports of as many as a dozen incidents on the portion of Naldrin Road that runs west from our fair city to the Nashem River.  This 200-mile stretch passes over rolling hills and plains, and for some miles runs along the southern borders of the Nashem Forest.  Incidents along this road are not unusual, but these attacks are more frequent than usual.  The fact that all but one occurred at night, the preferred time for these creatures who so strongly dislike the light of day, also suggests that goblins were involved.

The Naldrin News has interviewed eight folk, from four parties, who were attacked.  They are consistent in their descriptions of their attackers:  they were covered with long strips of coarse, black cloth wrapped many times around their entire body.  This effectively hid their appearance, but each interviewee has stated that the creatures’ walk was distinctly shambling and goblin-like.  The few times the attackers communicated to each other or shouted at their victims, they used the distinctive guttural, almost choking pattern and harsh tones of goblin speech.

Two incidents near Old Naldrin City may also be goblin-related.  One account is from a small party of dwarves who were in some of the more ancient parts of the Old City, ostensibly looking for areas they might repair (although a reporter suspects other reasons).  They state that they were attacked by creatures wielding traditional goblin blades, which are relatively short, with barbs along all the edges.  Their fighting style, attacking in groups of threes, was also highly reminiscent of goblins.

The other incident was an attack against a group of almost two dozen ishiri stone workers who were repairing the Temple of Loshodo, a part of the ancient city ruins that lie on the side of the Nashem Mountains.  The workers were unprepared for armed conflict and quickly withdrew, but, sadly, lost five of their own.  These ishiri workers left no doubt that their attackers were goblins, having seen them in plain view.

Two attacks so close to Naldrin City are of great concern to Lorren Matts, the current Mayor.  Matts told this newspaper that she is currently consulting with the Guild Enforcers to combat the threat.  She has also notified the Council of Drawnwyn, although their response is likely to be the usual, “We are monitoring the situation.”  We will publish their response once it has been issued, and we will keep the public informed of all developments pertaining to the potential for another uprising.

Gear in Beyonder: Armor, Part 1

What’s in your Travel Sack? Preventing Damage!

We’re going to focus on Armor for next two posts about items in Beyonder.  First up: Defense and Soak, the two big system factors involved in preventing damage. The next installment will discuss items like shields and armor, which you can use to improve on your baseline toughness.

Before you can figure out what you need to protect yourself, you have to understand Defense Ratings (DRs) and Soak.  As you probably know by now, when you make a roll against someone in Beyonder it is compared to an appropriate DR or to a target number.  There are three main DRs: 1. Inner Defense (ID), 2. Ethereal Defense (ED), and 3. Outer Defense (OD). The higher the value of that DR, the better you are at defending yourself.  

  1. ID is used in cases related to your willpower, such as a situation in which someone is trying to convince you to do something against your  will.
  2. ED is used when something affects your connection to the Energies. When you channel a Power, for example, your ED determines how draining that is for you.  
  3. OD is used to protect you from physical harm such as heat, disease, and the like.
    • Another DR, Combat Defense (CD), is related to OD. CD is a combination of how tough you are to hurt and how hard you are to hit. It is calculated by subtracting your Size from your OD.  That is to say, if you are size(2) your CD is 2 less than your OD; if you are size(-2) your CD is 2 more than your OD.  Basically, big things are easier to hit than small things.  

You might be asking yourself, “Self, shouldn’t big tough creatures be able to withstand more damage?”  The answer is yes, they often are. In Beyonder, that is represented by their Soak.  Soak represents how much damage is negated, or soaked up, by a creature’s natural toughness. For example the Kerchet, a very small creature, has a CD bonus of +12 (which represents how hard it is to hit), but its Soak is only 2.   On the other hand a Hermit Squid, which can grow to the size of a house, has a CD of +3 but a Soak of +9.

Well, folks, that’s a lot to take in. Let’s take a quick break here and let that simmer for a while. Next time we will finish exploring armor, shields and accouterments. Until then, stay safe!

The Shem Amaum

Shem Amaum on the Rise: Council of Drawnwyn No Help

By Toodla Oblodt, Naldrin City News

Naldrin City, Kalkix 9, SP~5,016

The dreaded shem amaum have launched two highly visible attacks against key sites on the Tamarran Continent in the last day.  As readers will recall, the shem amaum are the savage beasts created by the Nulentians and used against Tamarra during their most recent invasion of our Continent in SP~4,970 – 4,974.  Physically, they stand between four and five feet in height with extremely tough, thick hide that is quite rough, like small sharp rocks packed together with matts of course, stiff hair.  According to accounts, simply running your hands lightly over the body of a shem amaum will leave you with cuts that then blister due to a thick toxic substance that covers parts of their bodies and oozes from the fissures that criss-cross their bodies.  Their tails are long and thin with barbs running along their dorsal side.  Their heads are broader at their base than their peak, with a flat noseless, and strangely smooth, face.  They have a highly keen sense of smell, but none of the experts we consulted seemed to know where that sensory apparatus was on their bodies.  Beyond doubt their oddest anatomical attribute is the ability to stretch their body out to two or more times its normal height, or length, as you perspective dictates.

One of the recent shem amaum attacks occurred yesterday, on Kalkix 8, pitting a force of slightly more than a dozen of these beasts against the guards and workers at Port Naldrin, less than 10 miles from the metropolitan areas east of Naldrin City.  The second, in today’s early morning hours, was an attack against the North Gate of Tarnath and environs.

The local port master at Port Naldrin, zweyjen Deldrin Zheshallay, said the attack came from the edges of the Nashem Mountains that lie between Naldrin City and Port Naldrin.  According to him, some 12-15 shem amaum attacked the section of the port that performs repair work on large ships.  The attack occurred at mid-day, when most of the workers and guards were on their mid-day break.  When they burst out of a copse of trees near the repair docks, the shem amaum were armed with their traditional curved scimitar-like swords and long plain daggers.

According to Port Master Zheshallay, “They were beasts.  They had no mercy.  They cut through my folk like a fall harvest.”  Current count is that 26 workers were left dead, and as many as 50 wounded to various degrees.  The toll would have been much higher, but a troop of dwarven knights on leave happened to be in the area.  Within fifteen minutes they had engaged the shem amaum and driven them back into the hills.  As is typical of a battle with shem amaum, if any the hateful creatures died in the battle their bodies were taken away by their comrades.

The details of the second attack are still unfolding, as it happened only hours ago.  It is clear, however, that the attack came from inside the North Gate enclosure, which was built during the early days of the Emperor Samron.  The walls of the Gate are 30 feet high (in some places even higher), and can hold a guard of several hundred, although there were not nearly that many people there at the time of the attack.

We are in contact with our colleagues at the Tarnath Times and will provide more details in later editions.

Council of Drawnwyn President Kissalki Narradi, popularly known as “the wellyn with no humor”, released a statement that, “the council is seriously concerned by these recent events, and the perpetrators will be dealt with.”  The reaction from Naldrinians was, generally, disbelief and rage that the Council was oblivious to threats so close to the city.

The Dwarf Clan Disputes and the Undying Lands

Is War among the Southern Dwarf Clans Inevitable?

By Toodla Oblodt, Naldrin City News

Naldrin City, Kalkix 12, SP~5,016

robin-mcentire

Robin McEntire, the voice of Toodla Oblodt

The situation in the southwestern region of Tamarra has become significantly more dangerous over the last few weeks.  As readers know, this area includes both the coastal region known as the Undying Lands and the Suong Mountains that surround them.  While the cities and towns of the Undying Lands have a highly diverse mix of the Ten Races, the Suong Mountains are primarily populated by dwarves from several dozen clans.

Recent reports from Hammon, the largest city in the Undying Lands, tell of battles between the major dwarf clans.  Just in the last few days the Kardash Clan is said to have launched an assault against their primary rival, the Gakkdarr Clan.  The alliances among the other dwarf clans are not entirely clear, but it is believed that the three most powerful clans of the Eastern Suong Mountains have allied themselves with the Kardash Clan, while the southern dwarf clans are largely fighting on the side of the Gakkdarr Clan.  Movements of troops that confirm these accounts have been seen.

Several reporters from the Hammon Daily Journal have described the most recent battle as occurring just east of Ellerron, a small town in the very north of the Undying Lands.  The Kardash attacking force totalled somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 warriors, a significantly larger number than the more minor clashes over the last six months.  The battle lasted only a single day before the Kardash forces withdrew; however, it is believed they are prepared to re-launch their attack as soon as additional forces arrive from the east.  The forces are led by the powerful Kardash Soman and War Leader, Arkkan, one of the most respected and feared military strategists on the continent.  Even the crawn General Sasskell has praised Leader Arkkan as being worthy of honor.

Sources at the highest levels of both the Kardash and Gakkdarr Clans have confirmed that each clan has hired members of Wind and Silence to gather information about the alliances and forces of the other.  It is well-known that the services of Wind and Silence are not inexpensive, demonstrating the new level of seriousness the conflicts of this region have reached.

It is believed that the Council of Drawnwyn is deeply concerned about this conflict, and may have hired members of The Negotiators to assist in brokering a peace, or at least a temporary cessation of hostilities.  A war among the dwarves in this region has the potential to expand to dwarf clans from other areas of the continent.  In addition, the Council is seriously concerned about the balance of power in this region.  The dwarf clans of the Suong Mountains have kept the Suong Goblin Kingdom in check for many years; a war among the dwarves could provide these goblins with an opportunity to reclaim the Undying Lands for themselves.

The NCN’s sources in Hammon have reported seeing several well-known members of the Negotiators at a local dining establishment in recent days.  The NCN has reached out to key members of the Council for confirmation, but as of now we have received no response.

Gear in Beyonder: Weapons

What’s in your travel Sack?  Blades, bows, and more!

We continue our series about items in Beyonder with a look at weapons.  As we have said, when creating our game mechanics we didn’t want the game to devolve into an endless quest for more powerful gear.  In fact, many of the aspects of the system involve a sliding scale that allows for a rich variety of game experiences using a single mechanic.  For most actions, a single roll determines both success and the outcome of that success*.  With that in mind, we created our weapon system.  

Beyonder has general categories of melee weapons (blades, clubs, spears, etc.)  and ranged weapons (bows, javelins, throwing knives, etc.).  These categories can include a variety of specific items, depending on factors such as size of the user and quality of the materials:  

  • For a size(0) human, a size(-2) blade might be used as a dagger  
  • For a size(-3) wellyn, the same blade might be used as a greatsword
  • For a size(3) crawn, that blade might be used as a table knife

In a similar way, a throwing knife could be a shuriken or a chakram or any number of other similar weapons.  In each of these examples, the weapons could be standard, run-of-the-mill gear or top-of-the-line, finely crafted artifacts.  

Each type of weapon has a slightly different set of qualities with respect to damage, cost, and special abilities.  Larger weapons deal an proportionally larger amount of damage, as do more well-crafted ones. Generally, more expensive types of weapons either deal more damage or grant a bonus in certain circumstances.  For instance, the blade type weapon and the mace type weapon both deal +5 damage, but the blade also gives a +2 bonus to Stunts; as a result, blades have a cost of 2 rather than 1.  Similarly, both blowguns and bows have a cost of 2, but the bow deals +7 damage with no special abilities, and the blowgun deals no damage but can administer poison very effectively.  

Let’s imagine that you want your character to wield a specific weapon, but it doesn’t seem to fit in any of the types listed.  If this happens, we encourage you to create an “exotic weapon type” with the help of your Moderator.  If you come up with a good one, please tell us about it (info@fnbgames.com) so we can share it with the Beyonder community!

Finally, let’s look at a rule that some people overlook, which touches on the benefit of carrying a weapon for self-defense.  Our combat system is balanced under the assumption that a standard fight is between two armed, armored combatants.  If you are not using a weapon to defend yourself, your opponent will get a +5 bonus to hit you.  Similarly, if you do not have armor to protect your body, your opponent gets an additional +5 bonus.  That means that if you have not weapon or armor, you are basically guaranteed to be poked full of holes in no time flat.  

We hope that you enjoy these tips and insights.  Stay tuned for an in-depth exploration of defense and armor, coming soon!


* See “Degrees of Success,” Beyonder: The Science of the Six, page 1.