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    I have been thinking about it, and need to get with the other author on it.

    The big difference between now and then is that Amazon exists, and self-publishing a game is far easier than it was when we wrote the game.

    That’s also what got Book 1 out the door. When I started Book 1, Amazon did not exist. Actually, when I started Book I, the Web did not exist (the Internet/DARPA net did).

    Sort of just after the peak of game development work, the early web existed and the first version of showed up as a MS Frontpage website. That version of this site was all about the game and lasted for years sort of in limbo as game development took a back seat to real world work.

    The book, volume I was also on hold with everyone stuck inside the wards, unable to get out. I knew that Tom etc needed to get out to fight Talarius, but couldn’t figure out.

    Then about 4 months before it was first published, I’d been writing on other books and said, before I publish any other book, Into The Abyss must be released.

    I then spent more nights trying to figure out how to get outside, when it suddenly hit me “Just fess up and tell Lenamare what’s going on, and he’ll know what to do.”

    So that did it, Tom etal. went to Lenamare and told him about the demon infestation and he knew immediately how to get rid of them. And the book “Demons of Astlan” finally continued.

    I mean, it’s a little creepy, I, T-A-G didn’t know how to get them outside, I basically had to go into character as Lenamare and say “What Would Lenamare Do?” WWLD.


    An ascendable/worthy D’Orc “orc” would probably be a 25th level barbarian. An actual several thousand year old D’Orc would be much much higher (probably–although not all are—this is actually something that will start to be discussed in the coming books, including OOA)


    I’m thinking about integration some of the Astlanian background into my next D&D 3.5 campaing…

    So thinking about what traits the Astlanian have.
    Big outliner here are the Orcs. The Orcs in D&D are based on the corrupted version from LotR.

    [quote]Orcs As Characters
    Orc Traits (Ex)

    Orcs possess the following racial traits.

    +4 Strength, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
    An orc’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    Darkvision out to 60 feet.
    Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
    Automatic Languages: Common, Orc. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Undercommon.
    Favored Class: Barbarian.[/quote]

    What traits do the Astlanian Orcs have?

    Same question for the d’Orcs (common rank, not the commanders), they are greater demons –> [url=]Balors[/url]?


    Thanks for the reply!

    For the record, would buy the Animus RPG (not shure about playing it o:) )


    Yes, facing is something D&D (3.5) could do better.
    While Miniatures and a map are required by the rules (for movement in battle, attacks of oportunity , fireballs, etc.), there is still no facing, no behind the opponent.
    But I can see, why they did that and I don’t have an houserule to introduce it [wink]

    Out of curriosity, what Level is Talarius at. Considering he put up an relatively good fight against Lvl. 44 Tom?


    Forget that! LASER EYES!!

    Oh, I can see the first time Tom does this. He’ll get super angry, and BOOM! Lasers from his eyes! Everyone will just look at him and go…hmm, that’s new.


    Astlanian, and for that matter all “real orcs” are a bit more complex as there are several very different races of orcs. Which race or races you have tends to depend on what world or region you are in.

    The races come from how the different orc tribes descend from the older jotnar races.

    Where the multiple races, or “tribes” of orcs have formed Hordes, there is often a lot of cross breeding so you end up with quite a lot of mixes.

    In fact, in Astlan and the worlds of it’ local verse you find a great deal of variety.

    Physical differences that come from original orc races:

    Skin tone from most common to least common: Green (ish), Brown (ish), Grey (ish), Red (ish)
    Tusk size: Huge, Large, Medium, Small, nearly non-existent (often with half orcs)
    Overall physical size.
    In general, most are larger than humans both in height and BMI, they are just beefier.
    That being said, there are some that are only a bit taller than humans and less bulky than usual orcs.
    Nearly all have very strong bones and pronounced skull features. They have excellent constitutions. Stamina is also quite high.

    Sort of as a guideline: The greener or browner, the bigger the tusks and overall size, although the reddish ones are often more on the order of the Brownish ones in terms of size. But there can be exceptions for individuals. Greyish orcs tend to be thinner, and sometimes taller. Very much like a Peter Jackson orc.

    I would argue that physical characteristics go hand in hand with that same guideline, the bigger, the stronger, more endurance etc.

    And to some extent, the same might be said of intelligence and wisdom, particularly wisdom. Shamans are not typically the largest/strongest orcs. Intelligence is culturally based. D&D measures it in human and elven terms so it’s naturally biased against orcs. So the question is how much of this is biological and how much is cultural or occupational?

    The biggest orcs are often the most aggressive warriors, and often perceived as the dumbest. They are also the orcs most other races see as these guys are most likely carrying out routine R&P operations on the other races. But this is a stereotype for humans as well.

    But, I do think that Grishnakh, Thargus and others on the Skull Crusher would say that “ogres are pretty stupid” and those orc races closer to ogres tend to be stupid, burly orcs as well.

    So that’s probably not a huge amount of help, but the sheer variety of the race (and yes this comes from excessive R&P operations) makes it hard to pin down.

    T-A-G did a quick search to find Orc characteristics in “Animus” the RPG he co-wrote, which takes place in Astlan, a very long time ago but was unable to quickly find the orc character traits (stuff is scattered in lots of files many of which are in extinct word processing formats)

    As far as D’Orcs: All of the first generation D’Orcs are at least Greater Demons. later generations, particularly children may only be Major Demons.

    The D’Orc regiment commanders are archdemons. Book III is the first time we start to see the D’Orcs actually using their more demonic like powers, but there is a lot more coming as we get to know them and see them in action.

    D’Orcs all speak “Universal” so can communicate with anyone anywhere.

    Orcs speak trade (or common for where the live), almost all speak Doom Orcish or some variant, if they were ever part of the Doompire (some may not have been). Many (particularly leaders and shamans) speak variants of Jotunish, including various ogrish dialects. It is not uncommon for them to speak gnoll, gnome, koboldish, or some Dok Alfar tongues.

    The whole sunlight thing is libelous propaganda. Yes, there may be some more underground races that have that issue, but a huge number of orcs are nomadic and roam plains following game herds, etc. Think Dothraki.

    Actually, I think the greyish ones tend to be more underground, they may be a little bit sensitive. Haven’t deal with them a lot.

    Oh, yeah, and the Visterothi do have some issues, but that’s a side affect of their unlife immunity.

    And, yes, Visterothi tend to be very tall, and thinner than the average orc. Again, side affect of genetic manipulation. They started out much like the other orc races and evolved.



    So here is Tom in game terms (which don’t make a lot of sense if you don’t have the rulebook)

    He was created in the rulebook as a far end example of a demon. Tom in the Book came first and I created the character in game based on the book.

    CLB is Combat Level Bonus, DT is basically hit points. Knowledge, Cleverness, Will power, Magnetism, Strength, Dexterity, Agility, Stamina, Constitution.
    AF is Attack Factor (bonus to attack) DF is Defense Factor (subtracted from opponents AF)

    The Demon Tomasedwordpurkinjay:

    Class IV: Level: 44
    KNO: 54 CLE: 50 WIL: 49
    MAG: 50 STR: 60 DEX: 46
    AGI: 41 STM: 58 CON: 53

    CLB: +176 DT: 261
    MANA: 1716 (Animage based)

    Height: 10′
    Gargantuanly Muscular (+25 STR, +15 STM,
    +15 CON) -20% opponents RRs.
    Tail: Whipcord like with large spade tip.
    Wings: Large bat-like 20′ span.
    Arms: Demon standard arms and claws.
    Legs: Bull-like double jointed with cloven
    hooves and texture the same as upper
    Horns: Large goat-like, 6″ long.
    Skin Color: Dark Red.
    Skin Texture: Finely scaled, bald head, fine
    scale hairs and hair in nether regions
    only. +2 AP
    Eyes: Cat-like.
    Ears: Large sharply pointed..
    Face: Short snout, large fangs and pointed

    ADJ DEX: 46 ADJ AGI: 41
    COORD: 44 MV: 66

    ACTIONS/ROUND: 7 (2 attacks/action)

    ARMOUR: stops 6 DT (skin)

    ATTACKS: (with claws, 2x per action)
    each claw is treated as bastard
    sword, +4 AF and +4 DT.
    Also +8 DT damage due
    to STR.
    AF: (with claw) +226 (club +8 DT each).
    DF: 221

    Magical Abilities:
    Standard demon magical abilities.
    All demons radiate a Fear spell to every being in a 200 combat square line of sight. This fear is equivalent to the 3rd level wizard spell Fear, as if cast by a wizard of level equal to the demons.
    All demons also automatically have Demon Sight at no cost at will. Demon Sight is identical to Wizard Sight, except that in addition, the demon can see and detect animus concentrations as well as mana concentrations. Demons are hard to affect with magic. Demons get +5%/class added to their RR on all spells not specifically designed to affect demons. Thus a class III demon gets +15% on his Resistance Rolls. Further demons are immune to all charm and beguilement spells not specifically designed for demons.
    All demons regenerate DT at a rate equal to their class level per minute. Further only certain spells actually kill demons. If a demon gets to 0 DT it is simply banished to the Abyss. There it will regenerate normally, and can be summoned back by its master.
    All demons have the wizard spell Wizard War and can engage any wizard they are not bound to, or expressly forbidden (by master) from engaging. Of course since many non spell using demons have little mana, this is often not useful. If a demon does not have sufficient mana to start a Wizard War (16 points) it may still do so for no cost, once per month. If the demon should win the wizard war, the demon may excercise the wizard spell Robotomy (no mana cost) over the defeated wizard. If the demon fails, he or she is unable to do anything but rest for 6d4 minutes. This is the only time a demon may use the Robotomy spell, if it does not have it by other means.
    Shadows, while of low level are some of the most intrinsically magical demons. They have no true body as one normally thinks of bodies. Rather they are amorphous regions of darkness. Technically they have no physical attributes (STR, CON, etc.) however, these are rolled normally. While they do not have true physical attributes, their magical nature mimics these attributes. Thus they have strength and can lift things that they engulf. Further they can do damage (like normal demon claws, to things beings they engulf). If they were to wield weapons, they would have to be inside the demon and attack creatures inside the demon’s body.
    Finally, and sometimes most troubling. Shadows and demons of class IV, V, and VI can only be affected by magical or silver weapons. All non-magical or silver weapons simply pass right through them, even iron ones. Monsters of level equal to 1/2 the demon’s or higher may successfully attack the demon with claws.
    Demon’s tail gives off electric jolts, 4d6 damage (4 mana cost)
    Demon can shoot energy blasts from claws. 12 DT damage/claw.
    Laser eyes, dual laser beams do 12 DT damage each.
    Demon can cast wizard Firestorm at will (normal mana cost)
    Demon has the spell casting ability of an Animage of equal level.
    Demon has 4 lesser demon servants. (Rupert, Boggie, Tizzy, Antefalken?)
    Demon can shape change at will. (20 mana pt cost).


    Needless to say, that is Book I Tom.

    Not Book II or later.

    And look, I forgot to list his tail, non-magically. That’s a 3rd attack and also a blade weapon.


    What is this sleep thing of which you speak?

    I vaguely remember it before Tizzy showed up on my doorstep.

    He’s busy during the day, when I am “expected” to write. I guess he’s doing the stuff I am writing about.

    He then shows up around my bed time and hovers over my bed telling me his adventures and/or haranguing me to write faster.

    Thankfully, I pass out before too long due to second hand smoke…this lasts until the smoke alarm wakes me in the morning and I get up to open some windows and doors.

    Unfortunately, passing out due to second hand demon weed is not conducive to restful sleep because I end up wandering around the astral plane all night and that is not as fun as it seems.


    [quote=The Author Guy;8043]Tizzy would not care if you didn’t play.

    He would only want to ensure that you bought every rulebook, expansion, module, playset, licensed figures, etc that were issued.

    :d/ [/quote]Looking at my D&D 3.5 collection. That could happen :-”
    [quote=The Author Guy;8040]And btw: I will need to write a D’Orc class, and an Avatar class.[/quote]
    And rules for the Phönix cycle / Reincarnation [cool]




    What sort of deranged wizard would ever cast this spell?

    Name: Nuclear Blast

    Spell Code: W13IP-DI-R0-A1000 square radius.

    Material: Two separate pieces, weighing 3 ounces each of plutonium or two 6-ounce pieces of uranium.

    Description: This extremely dread and powerful spell is extremely dangerous to cast. Since this is a zero range spell, the caster who wishes to survive must cast it as a programmed spell. The first effect of this spell is to do 50d10 DT of heat and fire damage to all objects within the area of effect. The second is a super-large area of effect Gamma Blast spell. The Gamma Blast does 5d10 DT additional damage to all within the area. All living targets must make a CON AR or be forever after sterile. Further, future children of non-sterile persons within the area will have a 25% chance of physical deformity and will all suffer sufficient nerve damage as to be as if under an Ancestral Curse spell. Also, all targets will become very sick within 2d12 hours ands suffer 1d4 STM damage per 10 minutes for 2d6 hours. Following this, the individuals must make a CON AR or lose one random limb due to radiation damage. The individual must also make a CON AR -40% or suffer from the effects of a Cancer spell. Further, note the effects of Gamma Blast are not stopped by any standard defenses. The only currently known defenses are red prismatic walls and Alternating Pentacles set to maximum magical protection.



    Unfortunately, no where at the moment.

    We did quite a bit of beta testing with players near me and the other author of the game, however, we both got tied up with our dissertations and then day jobs and never finalized and published it.

    To be honest, it was a bit of work for players (including the game master or AM). Everything was pretty complex, particularly when trying to generate higher level mana wielding characters.

    The magic system [i]is[/i] exactly what is described on this site and in the books, the only thing you don’t see here are the numbers and probabilities. But, for example, all that astrology and elemental affiliations? That has a numeric impact on your chance of casting a spell correctly. E.g. your astrological sign and element, and the current astrological month and element, positive and negative. They are small modifiers of 5% or less, but if you are trying to cast something really difficult, you want to align the stars/time of casting with the spell and your own sign/element. Every little bit helps.

    In the books, Lenamare can pretty much ignore such things, because he’s so experienced He only has to worry when casting really high spells, e.g. teens (13th) or higher, and for those, just obtaining the spells and components is a major quest.

    Jenn and Gastrope’ however can’t. That’s why for example, your school, pyromancy, conjuror, thaumaturgy are important. If you want to succeed, you need to align your sign/element with the professions. Yes, a feminine water sign can do pyromancy, or pyromantic spells, but they aren’t as good at it as a masculine fire sign. Interestingly actual gender is less important than your lunar affiliation.

    As does your level vs the level of the spell. If you’ve got the mana, you can try to cast any spell you have/find/know. Of course, part of knowing is being high enough level/experience to understand the spell, and thus trying to cast a spell you found way above your current level means a high chance of failure…or fumble.

    Yes, you can fumble a magic spell and it may not be pleasant.

    As some example:

    Name: Abyssal Switch

    Spell Code: W18IC-D1h-R1000-A2500

    Material: A pint of demon’s blood.

    Description: This spell has ever only been recorded as being cast 4 times in all of history. What it does, quite literally, is interchanges the area of effect completely and totally with a corresponding region of the Abyss. Anything on the area of effect in the planes of men is now in the Abyss, and anything in the area on the Abyss is now on the planes of men. The spell expires 1 hour later, but anything wandering off the area is left stranded in the plane in wandered into. Further, note, the Abyss is generally a place of instant death for normal mortals. The environment and conditions are totally unsuited, and any unprotected individuals die within a matter of moments. On the other hand, Abyssal residents generally have no problems with the planes of men. This spell provides no protection against incoming Abyssal residents. UPGRADE (xx/2500/xx:225)

    Spell Code: W18IC-D1h-R1000-A2500

    Wizard spell, 18th level, Indirect, Conjury, Duration 1 Hour, Range: 1000 ft, Area 2500 square feet.

    Obviously, Exador’s are bigger, they last until he’s done with them, and can be considerably bigger. That is covered with the Upgrade code, the additional mana required to increase the area and duration of the spell.

    Of course, I love this particular spell, I doubt Lenamare knows it, and if he does he’s not that stupid.

    Name: Compel Demon Prince

    Spell Code: W20IC-DS-R1000-A1

    Material: Unknown, probably similar to other compel spells.

    Description: One might expect that this spell would work like the other Compel spells do on other classes of demons. It is the opinion of this wizardly scholar, however, that most likely, the demon prince will only be compelled if he or she feels like it.

    Wizards and Clerics were pretty normal, just a bit more number intensive, but animages and some types of druids/shamans got very complicated for the AM (AniMaster) because the player has to describe exactly what they are doing and the logic underpinning it, and then the AM adjudicates their chance of success based on how close it is to “known effect difficulty levels”

    For lesser affects and a high level animage, or well documented affect (e.g. the Form of Fire) it was straight forward. But animages can come up with about any variant they can think of, or something not even listed as a “known effect & difficulty”

    Most of the beta adventures took place in Gizzor Del, but there were some in Freehold and the Council States.

    The combat system was similar to Steve Jackson games. It was figure/hex based and you literally had to be behind your target to backstab it. The combat was every bit as complicated as the spell casting.

    It’s funny, the other author did the combat system, I did the magic system, and completely independently, they both wound up being intensive and time consuming. A single dungeon adventure could last a very long time.

    We both did the character creation was also intense and intricate accounting for lots and lots of possibilities and variations.


    I want this game to exist. I need to play it. I would gladly help finish it.

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