Skip to main content

Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells - 10 Characteristics of the Universe - Part IV

Ok, let's finish this series! The last 3 of the 10 characteristics of the setting of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells!

The Unknown Surrounds Everything

As knowledge and technology were lost, much that was once known is now a mystery. Whole sectors of the universe are beyond the knowledge of anyone, save some of the Galactic Overlords. Knowledge is power, and they intend to keep it all for themselves.

The influence of the Void has also greatly affected the universe, and its effects are unknown even to the most versed in these supernatural phenomena. Strange portals and effects are changing planets. Artifacts with astonishing powers but with great costs are seducing and corrupting sentients from all walks of life. And no one knows why.

Not everything the adventurers will encounter will be known to them. Strange places, unknown planets, never before seen creatures and monsters. All of this can and should be part of their journeys through the stars.

Signs of Mystery
A great prismatic colored nebula covers the frontier of a known region. What lies beyond the nebula and what strange effects it will have on whoever pass through it is unknown.
A strange and dark planet appears where none existed before. No maps or archives show any register of said planet. Now, explorers are disappearing a few days after enteric it’s atmosphere.
A mysterious alien figure seems to be showing up anywhere the PCs go, always a few days before or after they pass through the location. What’s his purpose?
The players sensors detect an emergency beacon calling for help nearby. Once they get there, however, no one is around and there is no sign of the beacon.
While exploring a planet, strange ruins seen in the distance seem to change location from time to time, or even disappear occasionally. Legends speak of places between dimensions.
The adventurers keeping having dreams of places, people and eras they have never seen before. And deep inside them, they now they will see it soon!

Heroes are Rare

This is not a universe made for heroes. Life is cheap and, sometimes, you may need to sell your “friend” to survive another day. Having to fight constantly to merely survive, an individual has little time to think about the needs of others.

That doesn’t mean heroes do not exist. They are just as rare as the most precious metals and materials. To be able to assess the needs of other in an universe where your own needs are in jeopardy every second is a really rare ability.

Thus, adventurers are the standard for player characters. They are out there seeking their own objectives and ambitions. They seek glory, ancient treasures, freedom from the tyranny of the Galactic Overlords and the truth behind the many secrets that surrounded them. They can be heroes, but they will have to give up these ambitions.

Opportunities for Heroism
As the characters try to pass through some place, they see innocents being held by Void Punishers. They are being tortured and abused, screaming for help.
The character’s ship receives a distress call from a nearby station while on a time sensitive mission. Apparently some creature escaped its confinement and killed most of the crew. Survivors are hiding in specific places inside.
While negotiating with an important merchant, he greatly mistreats and abuses of a chield slave. Will they compromise their deal for morals?
While escaping from some place with enemies close behind, they see a vulnerable looking prisoner who asks for help to escape that awful place too.
They find out the shipment they were hired to steal was meant to help a population suffering from a malady or under the oppression of a local dictator.
When they finish a job and go collect their payment, they see it's being paid with the few resources the poor community has, and it will probably need it soon.

The Void is Calling

The Void is powerful, and very seductive. It’s constantly offering its powers in exchange for small parts of individual’s souls. But the price gets bigger every time.

Sorcerers and mentalists hear the voices of the Void loud and clear, offering power, secrets and dominance over others. But they aren’t the only ones susceptible to the lure of the Void, everyone is. Everyone can feel that force inside them that tells we need to think of ourselves first and foremost. That we can take what isn’t ours, that those that own it doesn’t deserve it like we do. The Void is always pushing us apart, so it can dominate us all.

There will always be opportunities for characters to exercise how selfish, self serving and even cruel they can be. They may be tempered to betray an ally, to steal from those in need, to abandon a companion when they must need them. In the savage universe of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, the Void is always around the corner, calling.

Callings from the Void
Whenever the characters could benefit, even the slightest, by betrayal an ally, the Overlord will suggest this, acting like their more egotistical egos.
When the characters have the chance to trick and lie to innocent in order to gain a benefit over them, the Overlord will suggest that course of action, telling them what they might gain out of it.
In a dire situation where abandoning companions might provide more safety to some of the characters, the Overlord will suggest this course of action, reminding them the dangers they may be subjecting themselves if they don’t leave others behind.
Sometimes, when the characters have given their word they would complete a task, a mysterious patron will offer more money and benefits if they betray their own word.
When it’s time to split the spoils of a successful mission, the Overlord will suggest the one doing to split to hide some pieces for himself, just one or two. It’s no big deal after all.
A patron is desperate need of the characters service hires them but then they find out he cannot pay them what he promised. What will they do to the poor man?

If you like what you've just read, check out my books over RPGNow and Lulu.

Popular posts from this blog

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets - Complete Game Text

November was NaGaDeMon (National Game Design Month), and I decided to create an Action Horror RPG using my system (updated with all the modifications of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells).

Inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, X-Files, The Chilling Tales of Sabrina, Grimm and many more TV Shows, comics and books, I quickly worte Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. It is written in a very direct and simple way, similar to Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells originally was, but with uodated rules and a lot of tools and tables to assist the Referee in creating adventures, NPCs, locations, artifacts, monsters and much more.

The book itself will eventually be release in partnership with Gallant Knight Games, but the text is already written and ready to be used, so I am sharing it here with you all! There is no official character sheet yet. I am working on it. But a simple Index Card will work just as well!

So here it is:…

Download the final text and sheets of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells

Hello space hobos!

Layout is about to begin and I have a surprise for you guys: The (as of right now) final text PDF of the Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, together with the Character Sheet and Vehicle’s Sheet!

With those, you can begin your crazy adventures in the Known Universe and try your luck under the cruel gaze of the Galactic Overlords. Try to earn a good amount of credits transporting goods or refugees through the sectors. Or even try to awaken a sleeping Star God to repair some of the damage the wars have brought upon our reality.

So grab your Solar Blade and ready your Cosmic Spells! We are about to go on an adventure!

SB&CS - Complete Text
SB&CS - Character Sheet
SB&CS - Vehicle's Sheet

If you like what you've just read, check out my books over RPGNow and Lulu.

Words of Power - An Alternative Spell System for Old Skull Engine

I am writing the second edition of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells, my first published game (a sword and sorcery RPG with streamlined rules, modern system with old school spirit) and I wrote an alternative spell system to go with it inspired by many things, including Barbarians of Lemuria, Blades in the Dark and the great articles about Magic Words written by Nick L. S. Whelan on his great blog Papers & Pencils.

Words of Power
The default magic system of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is inspired by a series of authors both in literature and in gaming. It assumes practitioners of sorcery dabble with incredible powerful and unstable energies to cast their spells, which they must learn the exact formula to cast. They usually can't devise new spells of modify the spells they know, as true sorcery is not a creation of mortals and these can only mimic this sinister arc with sinister consequences.

This alternative system proposed here changes things a bit. Magic will still b…