Monday, December 28, 2015

A Flight from Imminent Doom! - A Moment in AEthrem!

Welcome again, good reader, to another astonishing installment of Fridays in AEthem! Our series has temporarily been delayed to Monday this week, with the business of the year-end holidays at hand, but fear not! This week, we bring you something special: the opening bit of fiction from the upcoming Venture! RPG core book - "A Flight from Imminent Doom!"

From next week onward, the blog's focus will shift from setting details to specifics about the final production of the Venture! RPG book leading up to its release in the new year. Even now, final layout work is being completed on the project, so stay tuned - things will be moving quickly from here on out! Thank you to everyone who has followed the blog in the past, or who is just discovering it for the first time. We hope you all have an exciting 2016 full of THRILLING TALES!

Now, we hope you enjoy "A Flight from Imminent Doom!"

Nell Carten ran out from under the jungle canopy, her companions’ boots scraping on rocks as lush foliage gave way to black stone. She could see the cliff edge just ahead, where the ground dropped away thirty meters to the river below. Shouldering her Model 3 rifle, she scanned the empty skies in a barely-controlled panic.

A stone-tipped arrow flew past her face as Nell turned to her employees, “where are they, Tren? You said your ‘friend’ would be bringing the airship around before now!” His constant smirk faltered just slightly as he came to a halt and spat back, “listen, she’ll be here, chief. She wouldn’t want anything to happen to my pretty face, after all.” Nell’s irritation didn’t slow him down at all, “besides, the plan would have worked out fine if m’lord could actually go without being seen when swiping one measly idol.”

Bronnan hefted the strange, grotesque statue as he glowered at his accuser, “those creatures were abnormally acute. Furthermore, the official address for my title is…” The venture company’s final member cut the former Thassylian lord short, Lid Beglif’s curly hair bobbing about as she shouted back at the others, “I think we have bigger issues to worry about right now!” The others turned to see the first of their pursuers emerge from the cover of the jungle behind them.

The members of the local ss’ra tribe were short, with scales in a vibrant blue-green shade covering their bodies. In unison, the first rank of the reptilian creatures switched from bows to simple spears, as those behind kept their arrows trained on Nell and her staff. She sighted down her rifle, a prize from her days in the Legion, and noted the disconcerting way that the translucent tendrils on the heads of the ss’ra wriggled independently of one another, like a nest of worms all reaching out for something. Nell knew they were pinned, with the cliff to their backs, and was already counting more than twenty opponents.

Just as she was preparing to order Lid to go for help, Nell noticed the droning sound of props over the sibilant, hissing speech of the ss’ra. “Ha! Told ‘ya,” Tren proclaimed triumphantly as a rope ladder dropped down beside him. Nell took a few shots at the ss’ra that still had their bows ready, shouting back “save it for when we’re clear of this mess!” Bronnan fired a few rounds from his twin Y-45s, helping her keep the attackers pinned as the Beglif twins started up the ladder.

In a few hair-raising seconds, they were all on their way up the ladder, as the airship above passed beyond the cliff edge, empty air yawning below Nell in the bottom position. A rain of arrows whizzed past them still, eliciting an offhanded, “you know, if one of those pierces any of the gas cells,” from Lid. “We know, Liddy!” her sibling grunted, helping Bronnan and Nell up on the gangway surrounding the rigid airship’s gondola, “besides, we’ve got your surprise as a backup if that happens – if you’ve got it working today.” The shorter twin just glared back at her brother in reply.

Ignoring his sister, Tren turned to their rescuer – Alorrea, some kind of independent courier with her own ship that Tren had become acquainted with back in town. “Why thank you kindly, Al. I’ll have to get the next round when we make it back to Haran Olesh.” The owner of the vessel returned Tren a sad, guilty look that made the hairs on the back of Nell’s neck stand on end. She replied to him with a gentle resignation, “I’d love to, but I’m afraid a better offer has already come my way.”

The hatch beside Tren suddenly burst open, disgorging a huge figure that barely seemed to pass through. With one swing of his meaty fist, the black-uniformed man knocked the unsuspecting Tren back, toppling him over the edge of the gangway. With a blood-curdling, “TREN!” Lid had jumped over the edge as well, following her brother down. Nell brought her rifle around on the goon, scowling as his Ferridi military uniform and Khradi armband finally registered in her mind – she despised the goons that claimed Khradi membership.

With a forearm, the Khradi soldier knocked aside the barrel of Nell’s Model 3, making the first two shots go wide. As he was distracted, Bronnan dropped the idol with a dull clang and charged into their opponent, bare handed. One quick punch from the much smaller thandi stunned the black uniformed foe with unnatural force, and a second strike knocked him unconscious, rattling the gangway as he fell to it.

Nell kept a wary gaze on her remaining employee. He’d done this before, and she knew that things could get “funny” when he called on the powers of his pact. Alorrea looked terrified at first, but that eased with the sound of jackboots ringing out on the gangway. In a moment, both hatches had disgorged a half-dozen black uniformed figures, all levelling Ferridi infantry rifles on Nell and Bronnan.

The ex-legionnaire only needed a half second to weigh their odds before throwing her rifle aside and motioning for Bronnan to do likewise with his pistols. Nell spared a glance over the side, noticing the flame of Lid’s little toy flaring even through the mist of the canyon below. The rocket pack normally only carried Lid herself. Hopefully, her gizmo was enough to carry both of the twins to safety.

A small, smug officer stepped through the crowd. Nell noted the kernal’s insignia on his uniform, and how the Ferridi military coat fit him about as well as a little boy trying on his father’s suit. With a maniacal gleam in his eye, the kernal bent over, scooping up the idol from where it had been abandoned. Looking to Nell, he spoke with a thick accent, “Good afternoon, Carten. I appreciate your company going out of the way to acquire the Implement of Transcendant Protection for us. All glory to the First.” The kernal beamed like someone who had just made a particularly clever play in a game of cards as he men shouted out the rote, “all glory to the First!”

Nell Carten grunted, and made a small silent prayer to the Crafter. She just hoped His wayward priest and her idiot brother made it back to solid ground safely, and that the two of them could manage a rescue on their own. From the look in his eyes, she could tell Bronnan was thinking the same.


Venture! Thrilling Adventures in the World of AEthrem and its associated characters are the property of Weird Science Games, LLC, Copyright 2015.

West End Games, OpenD6, and The D6 system are trademarks and properties of Purgatory Publishing Inc.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cults of the Forgotten Gods OR: SKULKING Fanatics in Our Very MIDST!

Adventurers and explorers of the unknown BEWARE! Even your home city is not safe! Hidden among us, everywhere, are secret worshipers of foul, ancient gods - meeting in secret, profane ceremonies filled with dark agendas and violent sacrifices! This week on Fridays in AEthrem, we observe the cults of the forgotten gods!

From their earliest, almost forgotten histories, human civilizations have always venerated a variety of deities - ranging from strange, animistic powers to beings with all the passions and desires of a mortal human. These practices changed during the long human enslavement to the ghond, but persisted, even under these circumstances. Once regaining their freedom, these faiths exploded along with the new, expanding human cultures.

This all changed when the Peloric Church became the dominant religion through most of the human world. The followers of Pelorus hold that all other deities are foul beings, working against the divine machinery at the heart of creation. As a result, other faiths and temples were crushed and scattered as the Church seized hold of the population of each new kingdom or territory. Those remaining faithful to these forgotten gods were driven underground, forced to practice their beliefs in secret at the risk of often-violent punishment from the Church and their own communities.

While many beliefs have faded into obscurity and eventually died out in the centuries since the initial expansion of the Church, a handful have survived into the modern day. Unfortunately, in most cases, only gods strange or dark in comparison to Pelorus have retained any followers - too twisted or stubborn to convert. The following are just a few of the most well-known examples.

The Enlightened of Pjmaal are a mystery cult, following a god of the ancient Ferridi highlands. Pjmaal is said to offer his followers knowledge at a terrible cost, and is depicted as a lurking shadow with a thousand eyes, each taken from a mortal in exchange for wisdom. The mad and apocalyptic are equally tempted into the ranks of the Enlightened. Most sanitariums have at least a single resident that claims a belief in bearer of light and madness, and the scrawling literature recovered from the site following gatherings of Enlightened frequently mentions an end to all things - and Pjmaal helping the Enlightened to bring it about.

Mareib had scattered worshipers through Pelifor in antiquity. A goddess of cunning and resolve, she supposedly birthed the first serpent into the world, and ancient mythology paints her as a clever but violently ruthless figure. Before the rise of the Peloric Church, many ancient kings and queens were chosen by Mareib's oracles - her calculating nature being a prized trait in rulers during this darker age. Modern worshipers still venerate her as a granter of authority and aide to the ambitious - small cults of Mareib have sprung up throughout Condrace during its recent turmoil, their ranks filled by aristocrats willing to even offer blood sacrifices if need be in order to gain the throne.

In modern times, it is believed that the spirits of the departed will either join Pelorus or be cast out of creation entirely, but this was not always the case. Rhion was one of many death gods, and remains one of the most well-known. His divine duty was to gather the spirits of the dead at his island home, lest they remain behind to haunt and torture the living. Small cabals of the Quieted, his followers, still operate throughout the world - meeting clandestinely in late-night meetings at cemeteries and in catacombs. They remain closed and secretive, and rumors persist that the Quieted have dark aims, making them suspect for any of a range of desecrations and offenses at burial sites across the globe.

Venture companies have often been drawn into the secretive world of cults. Guards at a remote archeological dig can run afoul of a cabal still employing a ruin in some strange ritual. Companies put on the case of a missing person may find them held captive, awaiting a celestial alignment necessary for a bloody rite. Even seemingly innocuous opponent could turn out to be a member of some mad, hidden sect. The secretive nature of these cults are their greatest threat; any normal-seeming person could be a member, waiting to strike.


Venture! Thrilling Adventures in the World of AEthrem and its associated characters are the property of Weird Science Games, LLC, Copyright 2015.

West End Games, OpenD6, and The D6 system are trademarks and properties of Purgatory Publishing Inc.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Gavierna OR: MOBSTERS in control of our STREETS!

Loyal listeners, welcome, once again, to Fridays in AEthrem! This week, we delve deep into the lurking shadows of our cities, exploring the terror of organized crime gripping our darkened alleys, secluded basements, and nighttime street! That's right, dear listener, we take a look at Valerica's infamous crime syndicate - the Gavierna!

Born within the earliest mining camps in Mirenfell, the Gavierna was established by destitute workers to help their fellows bear the hardships of the mines - smuggling goods for sale outside of the exorbitantly-priced company stores and providing a variety of illicit entertainment. Even the organization's name shows its origin - Gavierna meaning "miner's society" in Exelosian, with immigrants from that nation making up the bulk of its original membership.

By the time Mirenfell had developed into a well-populated colony and the average miner no longer suffered so harshly under the thumb of their bosses, the Gavierna were already well-established in the criminal underworld locally. Most of their early enterprises have become cornerstones of their empire - everyone is familiar with the Gavierna's underground casinos, bordellos, boxing rings, and drug dens. The most infamous business of these criminals, however, remains offering illegal thandi services.

Everyone is all too aware that the organization acts as a clearing house for immoral pact work, able to put you in touch with a thandi willing to skirt the law to mesmer a business partner, rough up a mark, or read the mind of that special person you've got your eye on. The Gavierna take a cut from every contract, and carefully tend their stable of thandi - hiding them from the Bureau and "acquiring" targets for the sacrifices demanded by their ryns at a high cost.

Over the years, the Gavierna have expanded rapidly, incorporating a handful of existing gangs in each new territory into the lower levels of their organization and crushing all opposition. When Valerica started major trade with the outside world, the Gavierna expanded into new markets through port cities across the globe, tying itself into the local underworld everywhere it has grown. While this has allowed them to grow easily and at a breakneck pace, it has also kept the syndicate's organization shaky, at best. 

The Gavierna is organized like a tiered pyramid on paper, but functions as a chaotic mass of shifting alliances in practice. Promotion is still most often accomplished with a hit on a superior, and the Patro (the head of the entire syndicate) maintains power only by playing all sides against the middle. Frequently, these struggles erupt into open mob war.

In Valerica, politicians make a big production of cracking down on the Gavierna whenever open violence in the streets starts headlining local papers. Unfortunately, things aren't quite so simple - the mobsters are have become experts at integrating themselves into society at every level. These social puppeteers use their ill-gotten gains to keep many, politicians, judges, and even police patrols in their pockets. It is said that the Patro's vote in Mirenfell is the only one that matters. The Gavierna also know just what to do to rile up the labor force, and more than one captain of industry keeps close financial ties to the mobsters to prevent any sudden and "unexpected" work stoppage.

For venture companies, the Gavierna can offer a channel for any manner of illegal goods, information, and even muscle, when needed. They can also be a potent threat if you get on their bad side. Given the syndicate's organization, they can even be both at the same time - wise outsiders should best try to not get caught in the crossfire when the mobsers' Apry guns come out.


Venture! Thrilling Adventures in the World of AEthrem and its associated characters are the property of Weird Science Games, LLC, Copyright 2015.

West End Games, OpenD6, and The D6 system are trademarks and properties of Purgatory Publishing Inc.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Grey Legion OR: OUTCAST Soldiers of a Land in CHAOS!

For those who just walked in... the nation of Condrace is at the brink of civil war! Just seventeen years ago, King Antonius XIV and nearly all of his close relatives perished in the influenza epidemic of 998! The only survivor? An illegitimate son by a palace servant! Although crowned King Medran II, the aristocrats of the once great trade nation refuse to accept his rule - instead fighting among themselves over who has a greater claim to the throne!

As tensions surge toward open civil war, the powerful enlist local garrisons of the national legions under their direct control, weakening the young king's hold over Condrace ever further. The primary military instrument still under the crown's direct control is the storied Grey Legion, which has always answered to the monarchy directly. With a history stretching back five and half centuries, the Grey Legion was established during the height of Condracean power to offer citizenship in exchange for a five year tour of military service. These foreigners, with no internal loyalties within their adoptive nation, have now become the most loyal soldiers to the nation as a whole.

While native legionnaires have always discounted the Grey Legion as a gathering of rabble, these outsiders typically experience the most frequent and harshest military service among the Condracean legions. For centuries, commanders have put these foreigners into the thick of battle as shock troops, used them as screening forces, and sent them on the riskiest patrols. When Ferridon swept up into Condrace's southern colonies, the Grey Legionnaires resisted them with little to no outside support in some of the bloodiest and most drawn-out engagements of the Reclamation.

The Grey Legion is now one of the few things maintaining some semblance of stability within Condrace. Its members now serve in place of native legionnaires and police forces lured into the service of nearby aristocrats. Thankfullly, their ranks have swollen, with many members signing up for additional tours of duty - reluctant to settle down in a place that may become a war zone any day. These veterans are among the most experienced soldiers in the world, but are still greatly outnumbered by the inferior forces the local rebels can bring to the field.

New members of the legion are not quite up to the same caliber as these veterans, unfortunately. While Condrace was once a shining land of wealth and prosperity, in its current state, only the truly desperate are still willing to risk life and limb in exchange for Condracean citizenship. The typical recruit is a refugee fleeing Ferridi-occupied lands to the south, an outcast or homeless drifter in their nation of origin, or (in the worst cases) a fugitive fleeing justice. Many desert within a year, but those few willing to stay and adapt come out of their service changed for the better.

Those who have completed their five year tour with the Grey Legion will have gained a great deal of combat experience. Those survivors choosing not to remain with the legion or settle down within Condrace can easily find work using these talents elsewhere. Many join mercenary groups or become security personnel with venture companies. Although the terms of their service require turning over their assigned rifle, a standing tradition within the Grey Legion is to allow a subordinate that served with distinction to keep the weapon at the end of their five years. Carrying the distinctive Viseri Model 3 announces one's battlefield experience to anyone familiar with the legion.


Venture! Thrilling Adventures in the World of AEthrem and its associated characters are the property of Weird Science Games, LLC, Copyright 2015.

West End Games, OpenD6, and The D6 system are trademarks and properties of Purgatory Publishing Inc.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Black Skull Brotherhood OR: MURDEROUS Pirates of Sea and SKY!

Dear reader, following our brief intermission, we welcome you once again to another Fridays in AEthrem! Are you prepared to face groups of determined individuals, secretive and dangerous? If yes, then you stand prepared! This week, we begin our review of some of AEthrem's many organizations and secret societies! Many dangerous groups operate around the globe, and this week's subject is no exception! Brace yourself - for today's episode focuses on the dread pirates of the Black Skull Brotherhood!

For a group of thieves and anarchists, the Black Skull Brotherhood has survived for quite some time. Dating back to a time when sailing ships were the primary means of rapid shipping, this group of allied pirates has been a thorn in the side of merchants for many years. Although many water-bound members of the Brotherhood remain, in modern times many have taken to the skies. Airship captains dread encountering a wing of fighters, or even worse, another airship, marked with the Black Skull.

Pirates of the Black Skull Brotherhood can be found throughout the world, raiding many lucrative trade routes. Despite this huge area of influence, however, the group lacks any true organization or leadership. Anarchists at heart, these criminals refuse to accept any leader but those they work with directly. The most powerful members of the Brotherhood are its captains - each commanding a ship or fighter squadron - and pirate lords - who manage just a handful of captains. Even ascending to these modest ranks requires brutal determination and constant vigilance - a captain or lord must keep their underlings happy or face mutiny, all while keeping an eye out for rival pirates, the law, and bounty hunters.

Respect and fear are the greatest currencies for a leader within the Brotherhood. A captain or lord gains sole right of plunder within their territory, and that territory is determined by their ability to claim and defend it from all rivals. If a lord or captain shows signs of weakness, their neighbors will move in quickly to grow their own hunting grounds. While any member of the Black Skull Brotherhood can call upon other members of equal rank if they feel that another has overstepped their bounds, it is typically better to deal with this interloper yourself. Usually, if a member airs a grievance about another pirate in the Brotherhood, others just see this as a sign of weakness, moving against the aggrieved themselves.

This loose alliance is driven by mutual benefit and held together by tradition. Members of the Black Skull Brotherhood fight among each other frequently, but will come together to eliminate rival pirates that refuse to join - the primary focus of the Brotherhood is to eliminate competition. When a unified response to the threat of law is needed, the local members may also come together - more than once, pirate hunters tailing a single ship have found an unexpected fleet waiting in ambush - although these pirates generally prefer evasion over confrontation.

By tradition, initiation into the Brotherhood is compulsory for anyone working aboard one of its vessels or supporting it as spies or port-bound crew. New members are tattooed with the group's infamous symbol - a leering black skull and crossbones - and the first brand of rank in the Black Skull Brotherhood. Additional brands are added to a pirate as the ascend in rank. Both membership and promotions are for life - no one leaves the brotherhood, and anyone failing in their new rank is likely to be murdered by someone else eyeing their position. The lucky few who escape alive have been marked for life, the tattoo and brands identifying them to the law and ensuring their death at the hands of any active Brotherhood members they encounter.

While opposing or hunting pirates, it is always good to be well aware of the Black Skull Brotherhood's controlling influence over this particular crime. Eliminating a pirate crew that has refused to join them can earn the respect of local Black Skulls, and maybe even a favor from less amoral Brotherhood leaders. Apprehending or destroying one of the Brotherhood's crews, however, will likely draw unwanted attention. While there may be no immediate reprisal - after all, a rival has just been eliminated - other leaders within the Brotherhood will pay close attention to the new potential threat you pose and strike out if they find you operating within their territory.


Venture! Thrilling Adventures in the World of AEthrem and its associated characters are the property of Weird Science Games, LLC, Copyright 2015.

West End Games, OpenD6, and The D6 system are trademarks and properties of Purgatory Publishing Inc.

Friday, November 20, 2015

INTERMISSION - Let's All Go to the Lobby and Get Ourselves Some Stat-Blocks!

I'm going to drop out of character as the cliffhanger-spewing period narrator this week, and take the opportunity to extend a special thank you to each and every person who has taken the time to glance at any part of this developer's blog. Venture! has been my on-again off-again personal project for the past several years, and I really enjoy getting the opportunity to share some of it with the world at large. So, thank you for following along with me, and thank you for your interest in my mad little indie project, I really appreciate it.

This week, I'm also going to post the stat blocks for the creatures detailed over the past month, since I did receive an inquiry about these. As these game statistics are based on OpenD6, they will fall within the OGL, so please feel free to use them in your home game. If you would like to republish them, please contact me first - I don't have any objections to this, but I would like to know where and how the content I've generated in the past is going to be applied.

Please enjoy the following details, as we take a break from our usual, fluff-heavy episode format. We'll be back in the usual style next week, where we're going to start a series on the most prominent organizations and secret societies to be found in the world of AEthrem. This will carry us through the end of the year, when we'll start preparing for the launch of the core book in 2016!

Moon Wolf

Reflexes 3D
Brawling 5D
Dodge 6D
Coordination 3D
Physique 4D
Running 6D
Knowledge 1D
Perception 3D
Search 4D
Search – Tracking 10D
Presence 3D
Intimidation 6D
Willpower 6D

Strength Damage 2D
Move 12

Special Abilities:

Dragging Grapple – Moon wolves’ preferred method of attack is to latch on to a target with their vice-like jaws, then drag them away from their allies at a full run. Treat this as a grappling Brawling attack. The wolf may move as normal during this grapple, but her full Move is reduced by a number of meters equal to the total rolled by her target in her last attempt to escape the grapple. Two or more wolves may participate in a single grapple, negating five meters of this Move penalty for every wolf after the first – each participant must succeed at their own Brawling check. This grapple inflicts Strength Damage +2D (for a total of 4D) due to the wolves’ fangs and objects being struck by the victim as they are drug through the wilderness. For each additional wolf participating in a grapple, add +1D to its Damage.

Hypnotic Stare – The silver eyes of a moon wolf have a captivating effect on other creatures, an ability usually employed by a pack’s spotter. To initiate a hypnotic stare, a moon wolf makes an Intimidation check, and all creatures looking in its direction must make a Willpower check at a difficulty equal to the result of this Intimidation check. Any creature that does not succeed in this check is unable to do anything but stare at the wolf for a full round. At the start of every round, those enthralled by this ability may attempt another Willpower check against the original Intimidation check result to act normally. This effect ends automatically if those captivated or their comrades are attacked.


Reflexes 4D
Brawling 6D
Coordination 2D
Throwing 6D
Physique 5D
Lifting 7D
Stamina 6D
Swimming 8D
Knowledge 1D
Perception 2D
Search 3D
Presence 2D
Intimidation 5D

Strength Damage 4D
Move 25

Special Abilities:

Chitinous Body – Armor Value +1D (The creature’s tentacles do not benefit from this armor, but injuring a tentacle does not affect the creature as a whole – a Wounded or worse result against a tentacle instead disables that limb for several days.)

Large Size – Scale 18

Mandible Bite – After pulling prey in with its tentacles (see the Tentacle Grappling ability, below), the pagren holds it in one of its two large pincers biting it into smaller pieces with its huge mandibles to feed. Each pincer can hold only one human-sized victim, but the creature may bite at both in the same round. Treat this as a grappling Brawling attack, causing Damage +1D (for a total of 5D) every round. If a victim reaches Incapacitated or worse, the pagren consumes them whole the following round.

Tentacle Grappling – The pagren uses its eight tentacles to grab prey to bring to its mandibles, often grasping several creatures at once. Treat this as a grappling Brawling attack, inflicting the pagren’s base Strength Damage (4D) only. If a victim is unable to break free on the round immediately after a successful grapple in this way, the pagren transfers her to one of the claws around its mandibles (see the Mandible Bite ability, above) if there is one available. If not, it will continue grappling and inflicting its base Strength Damage until claws becomes available.

Smashing Strike – Against opponents (or vessels) larger than Scale 8, a pagren will attack first by flailing its tentacles about like titanic clubs in an attempt to render its foe unconscious or break vessels into smaller pieces. This is a normal Brawling attack, causing Damage +3D (7D total).

Water Jets – Each of a pagren’s tentacles can fire a pressurized jet of water from its tip as a Throwing attack, with a Range of 3-10/20/30. Anything hit by one of these blasts suffers 3D Damage (modified by scale as normal), and may not use any Armor Value in its damage resistance check. The target may not suffer any Wound Level worse than Stunned from this attack. Instead, for every five result points (rounding up) on this damage check, the target is knocked back one meter away from the firing tentacle. After firing, a tentacle must take an action while immersed in water to refill its internal reservoir.

Rictus Spider

Reflexes 4D+1
Agility 4D+2
Brawling 5D
Dodge 4D+2
Sneak 5D
Coordination 2D
Throwing – Webbing 4D
Physique 3D+1
Running 4D
Knowledge 1D
Perception 3D
Concealment 3D+1
Search 4D
Presence 1D
Intimidation 3D
Willpower 2D+2

Strength Damage 2D
Move 10

Special Abilities:

Addictive Venom – The venom of a rictus spider is paralytic and causes a sense of euphoria for higher lifeforms. After being bitten (see the Biting Attack ability, below) the victim must succeed at a Very Hard (25) Stamina check or suffer a -2D penalty on all actions for the remainder of the scene from this effect. This experience is highly addictive, and any creature that has not resisted the spider’s venom after a bite must make Moderate (15) Willpower check one week after the effect wears off. They receive a -1 penalty on this check for every previous dose of venom (one per bite) they have received, and those that fail immediately seek out the spider (or another, if it is unavailable). Those that succeed at this check have resisted their addiction for now, but must attempt the same check after every week – if they succeed for three consecutive weeks, they no longer experience this effect (until bitten again).

Armored Carapace – Armor Value +1D

Biting Attack – Rictus spiders have tiny fangs that they use to inject their venom and leave their prey helpless (the spiders hold prey captive in a web and consume them after death). A bite from these fangs is a Brawling attack, causing Damage +2 (2D+2 total). If the victim suffers a Stunned Wound Level or worse from this attack, they receive a dose of the spider’s venom (see the Addictive Venom ability, above).

Ensnaring Web – Creatures moving into the web of a rictus spider are held fast by its natural adhesiveness. They may attempt to break free with an action by making a Lifting check at a Moderate (15) difficulty. Rictus spiders usually conceal their webs with local plants and debris (using their Concealment skill) to disguise them so that prey wander into a web unaware of its presence. The spiders may also aim their webbing at a target with a Throwing attack. Webbing causes no damage itself, and has a Range of 3-5/10/15. On a successful attack, the target is bound to the ground or a nearby object by a glob of webbing, requiring the usual Lifting check to break free.

Large Size – Scale 3

Spitting Crocodile

Reflexes 1D+2
Brawling 6D
Dodge 3D+1
Sneak 4D+2
Coordination 1D
Throwing – Spit 4D
Physique 4D+2
Lifting 6D
Swimming 7D
Knowledge 1D
Perception 1D
Search 4D
Presence 1D
Intimidation 4D
Willpower 3D+2

Strength Damage 3D
Move 10 (Crawling) / 15 (Swimming)

Special Abilities:

Acidic Spit – As it approaches prey or any threat, a spitting crocodile will first attack with its acidic spittle. This is a Throwing attack with a Range of 3-5/10/15. On a successful strike, the target immediately suffers 4D damage, and additional damage at the start of the following two subsequent rounds. If a complication occurs on the first damage resistance check against an acidic spit attack, the target has temporarily blinded – vision will return about 24 hours after flushing her eyes with clean water. A spitting crocodile only has enough reserves of acid for six of these attacks without resting for several hours.

Biting Grab – Spitting crocodiles close in on their prey for the kill, snaring them in powerful jaws. This is a grappling Brawling attack, inflicting Damage +2D (5D total). Once its prey has been grappled, the crocodile will try to pull it underwater and drown it as quickly as possible.

Scaly Hide – Armor Value +2


Venture! Thrilling Adventures in the World of AEthrem and its associated characters are the property of Weird Science Games, LLC, Copyright 2015.

West End Games, OpenD6, and The D6 system are trademarks and properties of Purgatory Publishing Inc.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Spitting Crocodiles OR LURKING PERIL of the MENRIC SEA!

Fridays in AEthrem sneaks upon you again, with a splash and a sibilant hiss, dauntless reader! This week, we bring our series on the beasts of the world to a close, and take a look at a prominent example of the unique threat provided by the fauna of the Menric Sea. Today, we dare to look the buentratuk directly in its fearsome maw!

To the casual observer, the spitting crocodile - or buentratuk, as it is called by local pramadi - is not particularly remarkable. Members of the species are native to the rivers and standing bodies of either fresh or brackish water within the Menric Sea. They have short limbs, powerful jaws, a grey-green scaled hide, and average about two meters long at their full, adult size - none of which would make them stand out from any other crocodile found throughout the world.

Any close observer of the spitting crocodile should easily notice the large bulges to either side of the beast's throat. It is these protuberances that actually give the creature its common name. Each contains a large gland that produces an acidic compound, and a muscular sac to store it. A spitting crocodile may open its mouth and project its acidic spray forward at whatever it faces through a muscular contraction of these sacs.

The acidic spray of an adult spitting crocodile will cause intense pain, burns, and even temporary blindness for those targets unfortunately struck in the eyes. Spitting crocodiles use this as an aide in hunting - first spraying its prey, then rushing in to seize it in its jaws while the victim is confused and in pain. They also have been known to spray potential dangers when they feel pursued or threatened.

Intelligent species such as humans are not the typical prey of the spitting crocodile - these creatures prefer to feed on water fowl and small mammals. This isn't to say that explorers have nothing to fear from the creatures - spitting crocodiles are known to frequently be threatened by passing boats, spraying the side of approaching craft before quickly fleeing. The buentratuk is also an opportunistic predator, and will rush for a lone swimmer (especially one in distress). At the site of a shipwreck in the Menric Sea, expect several local spitting crocodiles to congregate in search of easy prey.

In addition to shipwrecks, these creatures seem to enjoy the shelter provided by recent settlements, and have been known to gather in abandoned human buildings and mining tunnels near sea level that have flooded in the wet season. The spitting crocodile is semi-social - anywhere from one to twenty have been discovered living in close proximity in the wild. Larger gatherings of the species are allegedly more aggressive, leading most savvy guides to avoid groups larger than a handful.

As a side note, all recorded attempts to domesticate the spitting crocodile have ended in expected disaster. This has not stopped the truly eccentric or careless prospectors of the Menric Sea to continue attempting to do so.


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