Project Division Street – mini series

I have begun a new RPG project titled Division Street. Division street is my new mini campaign that focus’s on duality. Often this is day and night, light and dark, love and hate. I decided to use BESM 3rd edition because I wanted to get back to my rpg roots as well as found I liked the modular nature of the game. I will be posting a few different things here soon, but I first wanted to get the setting out in the open.

I like to think of this as persona x sailor moon. Where we deal with high school students pushed into supernatural situations in between their daily lives.

Game Category

  • Action
  • Comedy
  • Drama

Period

  • Modern Day

BESM genre 1 (fan service) keywords

  • Attack Phrases
  • Bososoku (biker gangs)
  • Bishonen
  • Collateral Damage
  • Dying Speech
  • Face Cuts
  • Giant Robots
  • Ghosts
  • Hyper dimensional hammer
  • Ki Powers
  • Kendo
  • Late for School
  • SDF
  • School uniforms
  • Transformation Sequences
  • Terrible Cooks

BESM Genre elements

  • Alien visitors
  • Hero teams/ Magical girls
  • Martial Arts
  • Mecha
  • School Days
  • Science Fiction
  • Supernatural
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DD – Side story 1

*I created this story a few months back. I have no idea why it took me so long to post it here.

It was a cold rain that poured over the dark port city. The evening air, filled with smog reduced the visibility of the area greatly while adding a bad sent to the air. A somewhat tall figure, fully armored in full plate armor walked a steady pace through the city. The figure moved slowly, with full purpose through densely crowded and smoggy  city. The locals gave way, allowing this figure to pass on through to the muddy tavern.

The lanterns in front of the tavern were covered well enough to keep them from going out from the rain, yet the smog in the area kept the light muted. Inside, there were lots of ruffians, pirates, and thugs. Many of the tavern’s patrons, kept the place loud and boisterous with drink and gambling games. The relatively muted light kept many of the games of chance being ones of opportunity. The smell of the smog could only complement the smell of the bar as it seemed the natural scent of sweat and old alcohol made the room rather pungent. It did not seem to affect the patrons and bottle fairies however. In fact, many of them carried on until the door opened and the armored figure opened the door. For a brief moment, the place was dead silent. The figure reasoned they were suspicious of her person, perhaps they considered her a threat?  Or maybe a town guard? Regardless, her hand placed on her short blade kept the closest people from advancing and after that brief moment, the ruckus began again. The female knight made her way to the bar.

The bartender was a brutish man. Very tall, barrel chested with several tattoos along his arm and chest. He sucked air through the gap in his teeth and spoke: “Tower knights? I don’t server your kind here!”

The knight then removed her helmet.

“Its you!” The bartender said.

“Yes, its me Bertrand. This place and by extension you, look worse and worse each time I come here.”

“Bah!” Bertrand huffs.

“What are you doing here anyway, Amandra? ”

Amandra smiles, and retrieves a rolled up piece of parchment from her pouch.

“I’m here to ask you a favor. I am working for a Mr. Calloway and we are looking for a particular person…have you heard of him?”

She unrolls the parchment, revealing the face of a man with devilish horns. The man looks rather solemn in this portrait. The parchment rather reveals the person in question is a wanted man, listing a rather good sum.

Bertrand grunts.

“Now you know my terms Amandra. If you get any sort of money for bounty I get -”

Amandra cuts in- “Yes, yes, you get a 20%

“No, No, 30%” Bertrand says.

“Ok, ok.” Amandra says. “well, can you help me out or not?”

“Aye I can lass.” Bertrand says.  He starts scratching his scraggly hair for a moment, passes a few more drinks for some of the others, then says” “I’ll meet you out back.”

Amandra places her helm back on and heads back outside.

The side alley has some cover of the elements, making this a popular spot for the destitute to go to avoid the rain. The knight walks through the alley, walking past several of the downtrodden while moving to the spot of the meeting. The smog seems to have gathered in these places a bit more densely, making the scent almost unbearable. Behind the tavern, Bertrand arrives looking rather nervously. He seemed a bit startled when Amandra happened upon him.

“Well, what do you know about this man?” Amandra asked.

“Word is, your man is working for the enemy team. Some say they saw him traveling with a sickly looking fellow a few moons ago. I think they said they were headed towards the badlands.”

Amandra sighs. The badlands have seen much better days. Especially after calamity.

“Here. I’ll give you some of the reward now for your help.”

Amandra stuffs a small satchel of coins in his hands.

“Thank you for your patronage.” Bertrand says as he stuffs the satchel down his trousers.

“A word of advice lass. You ain’t the only person searching for that bugger.”

The two then part ways. The knight disappearing into the smog.

Inheritance of Mana: Excerpts on the metaphysical world

The metaphysical world

An excerpt by Head researcher Vodka.

There exists three “stacks” of reality  and each stack makes up the metaphysical world. The stacks themselves are vast in size and scope. They are finite but they are so vast that a mortal could not see the full reach of them. The stacks are aligned like books, with one book larger than the next which is larger than the last. The rear realty stack is called the deep void, the deep or simply “nowhere”. The deep is a lightless, soundless void that even I do not know the purpose or full depth of.  The middle stack is known as the brilliant world or “elsewhere”. The brilliant world is an existence that comprises of various bands of energy of all frequencies. Most importantly, mana energy that has been expended falls back into this world where it is funneled back into our world. It is also this place where the bleed exists. I will touch on that in a bit.

The plane of existence  we dwell on is referred to as either; the world of balance, the light world or “somewhere”.  The light world is the last and smallest stack. It is thought that the blot that the great creator fought and that we still fight to this day came from the endless void of one, but that is conjecture.

What I want to discuss more in depth was reincarnation, the bleed and the phenomenon known as inheritance. After the creator went to his slumber, Auraluin and Govillias finished the creation of the metaphysical concept called the bleed. The bleed is a place where souls that pass on from their physical body gather.  Within the bleed, lies the soul flow. The bleed helps to protect those souls from being disturbed by the sheer massive forces of the other cosmic energies in the brilliant world.  The bleed exists so that souls are not destroyed on their way to the soul flow. The soul flow is a mystic concept where souls are funneled and prepared to rejoin those within the light world.  It is like a massive waiting room where the soul is processed, forgetting everything about its previous existence. Particularly evil souls are exhumed out of the bleed and into the brilliant world where they are slowly destroyed over the course of a millennia. The processing is handled by the master of the adjudicators, known simply as Ormanon. Ormanon’s duty is to sift through the memory of the soul in search for any useful data in fighting the blot. If nothing is found it will send the soul on. If data is found, it will have a lesser adjudicator notate that information where it is sent back to the city of light’s archives.

One more fact about the bleed and the soul flow. There exists something called the soul thread network. The network consists of a bunch of soul threads. The soul thread is a link from this world to the soul flow.  The soul thread network exists deep within the soul flow and when a person dies, their soul is brought to the bleed first through the link then eventually to the soul flow. That moment when a creature expires, their thread in the light world breaks and their soul traverses their path through the brilliant world and directly into the bleed. And conversely, when a soul has been prepared by Ormanons matrixes, a new thread is linked and the soul traverses from the bleed, through the brilliant world,  to the light world.

For years, this has gone on, undisturbed by the passage of time. Due to the events of the eclipse age, the very soul flow was disturbed. The soul thread network was said to have warped and the soul flow itself was subject to a massive influx of souls. This event caused wayward souls to mix into the soul network rather than naturally funneled into the soul flow’s matrixes.  As a result,  new souls being brought into the world exhibit traits from old souls. Scholars debate to this day what this means as one would think the original soul would just retain their full personalities and just inhabit a new body. The person whom gains inheritance seems to know of whom they inherited from but is said to be a completely different person.

D&D 5th edition- house rules and races.

Sadly it appears my group has decided to walk away from 4th edition. I am going to be moving away too but will be posting my house rules in one spot. I intend to update this page as changes are made. For now, I am going to place my first draft of many races and feats.

Races- changes from 5th edition.
DND 5th edition uses Forgotten realms as its baseline. Because of this, the races are flavored towards forgotten realms more than a general story. I am going to address my campaigns specifics below.

Deva- These house rules are used to represent Deva until official rules are available. Race qualities and description are in phb2 of d&d 4.0. Racial bonuses- +1 wisdom +2 intelligence. Astral Origin- Deva count as astral beings. They begin with Celestial language in addition to common.Memory of a thousand lifetimes racial ability- previous lives insight provide you with the ability to gain advantage on any attack roll, skill check, saving throw or ability check. You can only use this ability one time per long rest.

Dragon born- 4th edition back story.

Drow- Drow in my game are not the same Drow as in the realms. There are a large fraction however that seem quite different and do have a reputation of warring with others such as the Gold Shield Dwarves.
In general, Drow are subterrain still and have cruel combat styles but tend to keep to themselves leaving the world above to the others.

Dwarves- follow 4.0 guidelines. Green Hill dwarves do not have the stereotypical accent associated with dwarves however the gold shield dwarves do. Still follow square shaped architecture.

Human- no real changes except cultural name changes. One thing to note is humans are directly
responsible for every large scale confrontations for the last 1000 years.

Genasi- As described in forgotten realms players guide dnd 4.0. Racial ability score bonuses- +1 str +1 intelligence. Racial bonuses depend on the subrace of Genasi chosen. Elemental origin- primordial as language in addition to common. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for spells gained.
Earthsoul-resist acid. begins with resistance cantrip. Can cast stoneskin once per long rest at 5th level.
Firesoul-Resist fire. begin with produce flame cantrip. Can cast fireball once per long rest at 5th level.
Stormsoul- resist lightning. begin with light cantrip. Can cast lightning bolt once per long rest at 5th level.
Watersoul-resist frost. Can cast create/destory water one time per short rest/long rest. At 5th level can cast misty step once per long rest.
Windsoul-resist thunder. begin with mage hand cantrip. at 5th level get gust of wind once per long rest.

Halflings- race shrunk in 5th ed. They did not shrink in my campaign.

Shardmind- follows physical qualities from phb3 dnd 4.0. Racial stats- +2 Int +1 wis. Languages- speaks telepathically but knows common and deep speech. Living construct- you do not need to eat sleep drink or breathe. Crystialline mind- Resist psychic and advantage on saves against charm effects. Shard swarm- can cast magic missile once per long rest. When cast this way, the shardmind teleports 15 feet away after casting. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for magic missile.

Wilden- follows physical qualities from phb3 dnd 4.0. Racial stats- +2 wis +1 con +1 dex. languages common and elvan. Darkvision up to 60 ft. Hardy form- can cast resistance cantrip without material components. Aspects- chose one aspect per long rest.
Aspect of the ancients-you can cast expeditious retreat once per short rest.
Aspect of the destroyer- You gain the thorn whip cantrip during the time you are in this aspect.
Aspect of the hunter- you can cast huters mark once per short rest.

Feats

Racial Feats- Feats reserved for specific species only.
Extra Manifestation- WIP Genasi racial feat- can manifest an additional elemental soul.

Storyline feats – these feats cannot be selected and are gained in game for specific characters.
Chronomagery-Those affected by specific stimulai may manifest the ability to tap into time magic itself.
Lesser Arcanis Chronomagery- in combat, once per 8 hour day, you may tap into chronomagery to gain an additional move action per turn. Out of combat, if used tasks you are performing alone can be done faster than normal.

Greater Arcanis Chronomagery- in combat, once per 8 hour day, you may tap into chronomagery to perform an additional action. Out of combat, if used tasks you are performing alone can be done faster than normal.

Chrono Majesty- ?

Chosen of Moradin- Boon for helping to save Greenhill and stop an interdeminsional anomoly from destroying the plane. You gain the tough feat for free. You also get advantage with social interactions with Dwarves.

Equipment

If you receive a magic item that upgrades an ability score and use it for awhile, you will find yourself psychologically addicted to the new ability score. If you lose the item after having it equipped for a time, you may suffer depression and withdrawal from perceived performance loss.

Gauntlets- All heavy armor come with them for free. You have to state if your gauntlet is open or closed.
If the gauntlet is closed around the weapon, all attempts to disarm you are at disadvantage. As a draw back, you cannot throw the weapon you have locked and if you wish to switch to a different weapon, you must use an action to do so. If your gauntlet is open, you can be disarmed as normal but you may also draw and stow as normal.

Magic
Each sphere of magic now has an upper eschalon of magical talent. The final top tier of each magic school manifests only in a special select few known as Majesty. Look forward to new Majesty feats for rules on how this affects the world.

**thoughts on low level play. Hypothetical situations.

I am doing some thinking about changing the cardboard hero aspect of D&D 5.0 and one thing that came to me this morning is just increasing the HP of the characters for ONLY levels 1-3 and leaving things as normal afterward. I think it would make it so I wouldn’t have to keep track of a subsystem, it would make combat still somewhat dangerous yet not have to run away from a dungeon every encounter.

Consider the following hypothetical situation. Three plausible level 2 character stats are shown below using what we have been doing currently. (these are not actual stats, rather test figures.)

Cleric has Con of 14 (+2)

Cleric HP 15

Cleric has d8 hit dice

Rouge has

Con of 8 (-1)

HP of 11

Rouge has d8 hit dice

Fighter has

Con of 14

HP of 20

Fighter has d10 hit dice

I have considered 3 ways, each similar to one another but changing a variable or two.

Fix 1- Add Con score to HP instead of rolling for 3rd level HP.

Fix 2- Max all HP rolls, adding constitution modifier for first 3 levels. Recalculate HP as if player rolled natural max on each of the 3 levels.

Fix 3- con mod for level 1. add max die roll plus con mod for levels 2 and 3.

Under fix 1

Cleric would have 29 HP at level 3.

Rouge would have 19 HP

Fighter would have 34 HP

Under fix 2

Cleric would have- (8+2)*3=30 HP

Rouge would have – (8-1)*3=-21 HP

Fighter would have (10+2)*3=36 HP

Under fix 3

Cleric would have (14+10+10)=34 HP

Rouge would have (8+7+7)=22 HP

Fighter would have (14+12+12)=38 HP

I am leaning towards option 2. The reason why is that it is actually within possibility, though rare, someone could actually roll their max for both levels 2 and 3 and the numbers are not much bigger than option 1. Option 3 is also attractive as there is that much more safety net to encourage more adventuring however if there was a barbarian…

Barbarian at 2 using current method

Con 16 (+3)

HP 21

Hit dice 12

Barbarian would have (16+15+15)=46 hit points.

Which is INSANE! But actually pretty cool in its own rights. Of course, we don’t have a barbarian so its not like something we have to worry about…but I figured it would be fun to use the edge case.

On the smaller scale of things…

Wizard at 2

Con 10

HP 9

Hit dice d6

Fix1- wizard would have 19 hp

Fix 2- wizard would have (6)*3=18

Fix 3- wizard would have (10+6+6)=22

Inheritance of Mana- An excerpt on the Nature of Mana

On mana- an excerpt from professor May Bourbon, Pokus guild head researcher of mana.

“In our world, mana itself is generated by the planet and all living things. There are five types of mana; earth, air, fire, water and arcana. Anything that produces mana belongs to a type and usually produces mana of that type. For example, if mana were to be produced by a stream, that mana would be water mana.  Mana can collect in special locations on the planet. Collected mana condenses and becomes flakes like snow but attuned to the type it is created with. If living things touch condensed mana, it tends to be absorbed into their body to be disbursed harmlessly later. Note that if arcana mana is condensed, something horrible has happened. After all, arcana mana does not normally occur naturally in nature aside from its normal place of residence. The normal place of residence would be humans and other sentient life.”

“Collected mana is measured in grams with the unit designation of karats. The dwarves created a complex method of refining collected mana into metal mana attuned sheets. They also created an even more complex method of converting raw mana into different types, but depending on the type conversion, more energy is necessary to convert between types. The sheets of mana and mana conversion techniques lead to the creation of magicka technology.”

“While every sentient being has mana (many of those attuned to arcana mana but there are exceptions), only certain ones are attuned to mana. People whom are attuned to mana can use it to power their ambitions in many different ways. Many attuned only merely become soothsayers, oracles or magicka laborers. Some become wizards, using formulas to convert their arcana mana into other forms for purposes such as flight and traversing water. Others use their internal mana to create fighting techniques or maneuvers that shield them from specific elements. Many of these individuals go on to join either wizard or adventurer guilds in order to refine their techniques while receiving monetary compensation, fellowship and glory.”

Inheritance of Mana- History pt. 2

The long library of lore. Deepheaven.
The students from before have returned for the second part of the history lesson. All adorned with robes, and bags full of books they converse amongst themselves. Suddenly, the door opens and Vodka enters the room.

“Hello class! Today, I have another story to tell you about. I want to tell you about the current events.”

A brown haired girl sitting in the front of the class raises her hand.

“Professor! You almost forgot to tell us about the eclipse age!”

“Oh!” Exclaims Vodka, “Well, I can go ahead and tell you what occurred during the eclipse age instead. The story I am about to tell you details the events after the age of mythologies and covers the Eclipse age.”

“With the teeming darkness defeated, the forces of light routed Govillias’s army. Govillias’s forces also further splintered due to infighting,  forcing him to retreat and come up with a new plan. Though he himself still held wondrous powers, he still did not have the strength to face Auraluin. Instead he figured that he would wait until the opportunity presented itself to either retain a part of the power he gave over to Auraluin or if he could tap further into the darkness’s power. By happenstance, he came into contact with a piece of the darkness that was left after the attack by the city of light. He also found that he could absorb power from it. From here, he hatched a new plan. In centuries past, when he sacrificed himself to save the world, a large chunk of the teeming darkness fell into the ocean. It was so large and of the right mass to actually form a twisted land mass called the blight. He would make his home there and absorb any of the energies the twisted island had left. He would also employ his forces to gather as much of the fragments from the recent battle as possible. ”

Vodka takes a swig of his coffee. Coughs a bit and then continues.

“As a way to throw off his plans, he had each of the groups of creatures that were still allied to him act out in different ways. Orcs would raid villages, along with goblins and ogres. He had mages form dark guilds and imbued them with corruption in order to have them further research new despicable sorcerers. His top warriors and other humans, he twisted their strength and made military ranks, captains and armies. From them, he had them form several small military states. While the military states fought with the other kingdoms of the land, great beasts would also attack as well. With all of this attacks happening constantly, the forces of light had a rough time. The goddess was resting for a few centuries after helping to power the city of light herself and thus was unable to aid the land. The elementals were helping with the wars but there were so many conflicts that not even they would be able to keep up. It took them awhile to discover Govillias’s true plans, but by then it was too late.

Govillias, having attained a massive amount of power from the darkness had a new plan. He was aware that his plans would become known soon and he had somewhat become addicted to the power of the teeming darkness. A new ritual, prepared by his dark court of mages, had the ability to directly summon the Teeming Darkness so that he may attempt to absorb it directly. Meanwhile, unknown to both Auraluin and Govillias, the darkness itself had changed. It happened over the years since it had absorbed Govillias. The Darkness, once nothing but a creature that just eats and eats, now seemed to have its own agenda. The signs were subtle at first, but now it appears to want stake in this world as well. It is possible that by absorbing Govillias, it had gained some sort of sentience, but it is now apparent that it is no longer mindless.

The day finally came when the mages of Govillias summoned the darkness. Govillias led forces to attack the darkness and while they attacked, he flew into the heart of darkness. The forces of light were confused as at this point, many still believed that Govillias was a thrall of the darkness. While in the heart of darkness, he attempted to absorb the energies there and found that it wounded him! It appears that the darkness had learned of Govillias’s desires and found a way to protect itself. The darkness converged around Govillias and severely wounded him. It is reported that his wounds were so severe that many a mortal man would have perished.

On land, Govillias’s army and the darkness itself battled fiercely. The fighting between Govillias’s forces and the darkness spilled into the quiet lands and destroyed many a city. Angered by this, the war was now joined by the forces of light. A three part war between light, darkness and madness began. Beings of shadow descended upon the cities of the world. Great beasts imbued with chaos ravaged the land. Elemental spirits burned away the darkness and monsters. Each battle was a desperate one as when one side became victorious, another side would attack it. After a year, the darkness launched an attack that shattered mountains, boiled rivers and chilled the air. The attack leveled everything in a 100 mile radius! ”

The class gasps!

Vodka continues: “The goddess was horrified at such destructive power! Not only were thousands slain in a single instant, their souls did not return to the soulflow! Instead, they were utterly consumed by the teeming darkness! ”

A hand rises in the back. “Yes?” Vodka says.

A portly kid with short shaggy green hair and a slight overbite stands and asks “Um, teach? What exactly is the soul flow?”
A dark haired kid in the back with a several piercings on her ears, one on her lip and one on the bridge of her nose says “Yeah. You talked about it a lot last time but I still don’t get it…”

The brown haired girl sitting in the front of the class turns to the others “The soul flow as described by the elementals is a metaphysical construct that is responsible for the reincarnation cycle of sentient beings on our planet, right professor?”

Sipping his coffee, Vodka speaks “Absolutely correct as usual, Harmona! Now, where was I?”

“With such a terrible attack, the Goddess set out for the city of light in order to once again utilize the city’s weapon. The goddess herself still had not regained most of the power she had placed into the device in days past. A decision was made by her, the Fey lords and several elemental spirits that would save the world from further attacks but with a terrible cost. The weapon powered up and fired a beam of light into the heart of darkness and caused a continuous explosion that rocked the entire world! Light and dark mixed and formed an eclipse that lasted a fortnight!

The darkness lost most of its mass as pieces rained from the sky. The forces of darkness retreated and soon the forces of light quelled Govillias’s monstrous forces. It seemed like a victory until the forces of light noticed that many of their fey allies began to die one by one. You see, the Fey lords deemed it necessary to sacrifice most of the Fey’s life force in order power the weapon. The goddess herself also disappeared, with many elementals saying they can barely feel her presence. A new age was declared with the ending of the great war with the booming eclipse, which as you know happened just 300 years ago. Now, it is year 300 of the current age. Come again and I will tell you more about the past 300 years and current events.”

With that, the class gets up and leaves. Vodka staying behind to ponder about the past.