Saturday, September 1, 2018

"Hand of Oblivion" class first look

Hands of Oblivion are a new character class for "What Comes After", and are essentially warrior monks of the Great Ruined World. 

They can use Low-Tech ranged weapons, but primarily rely on unarmed attacks, which deal damage as if a Melee weapon was equipped.  These unarmed attacks also deal exploding damage from first level.

Hand Special Abilities involve mystical and martial arts.

"Savage" character template page and notes on "What Comes After"

The finished "Savage" illustration has been added to the character class template page.

Federico Saladino asked, in a G+ post, how "What Comes After" differs from "The Wasted Hack".  The following is (are) my response(s).

Federico, most of the changes began when I was writing "Future Maxx", and started expanding on the rules from "The Wasted Hack" to fit the sci-fi setting. Early on these changes had a lot to do with "porting over" changes in gear customization from the sci fi rules, but also resulted in reworking the way playable species work.

In "The Wasted Hack", there are no playable species, only classes, but I added playable species as a "bolt on" mechanic in "Miserable Wrecking Wreckers" and based this on the rules I had made for adding fantasy races/ species in The Unearthed Hack. These rules have been reworked/ expanded in "Future Maxx", based on the method used in Future Maxx.

The "Infected" class is no longer a class, but now a playable species using these new rules, as well as several types of mutated animals. All characters can still gain new mutations when they level up/ are exposed to mutagens, but I have stopped short of adding a "mutant" playable species. I made this decision because mutants are the rough equivalent of orcs, and in that sense, most characters are "half-orcs", having some form of mutation by the time they reach 10th level.

I have also included the "Hunter" and "Low-Life" classes from Waste-Land Beasts/ Miserable Wrecking Wreckers in the core rules, and have added the Cavalier (driver) and "Hand of Oblivion" (Waste-Land Warrior Monk) classes.

Several minor changes to the Wasted Hack rules have also been implemented to address some balance issues, or to facilitate compatibility with new rules.

Rules for gaining "Improvement Points" to reach new levels, as opposed to leveling up "once per session" have been added. I liked the "once per session" rule from The Black Hack, but it kills the motivation for side quests, as you needlessly expose your characters to risks for no reward aside from dangling the carrot of a special item over their heads. Being able to gain experience and help advance your character for taking on side quests, or powerful npc's works well in the new system.

Vehicle rules are now included in the book. Currently there are 16 pages revolving around driving rules/ vehicle creation and customization. I am re-writing some of these rules to work better with "What Comes After" as they were originally written for "the Wasted Hack". That is not to say that they wont work with The Wasted Hack in the end, they will just flow better with the new rules and share some common language.

Degrees of Success: I am expanding these rules both for in-combat and out of combat situations

Levels 11-15: the "Legends of the Wasted-World" rules allow characters to continue advancing past the previous level cap. This section is included in the Game Master's Guide, and will include a new "Epic" action die with powerful special abilities for each class to choose from, as well as rules for facing more powerful foes and challenges.

In that last paragraph I reference a "Game Master's Guide". "What Comes After" will be split into two books. The Players Guide will contain all core rules/ vehicle rules, character creation rules/ mutation rules and basic equipment and gear. It is already over 100 pages.

The Game Master's Guide will have all the rules from the "game master's section" of the Wasted Hack, but expanded.

The Player's Guide is nearly complete, and I will offer more information regarding the Game Master's Guide as I dive into it, but you can expect it to include more support for a game master, as well rules for running a game in the Great Ruined world. In The Wasted Hack, I tried to keep the setting info to a minimum, but the Game Master's Guide will (hopefully) paint a fuller picture of the "Great Ruined Word", including locations/ factions/ powerful NPC's, etc.

Again, these are just some of the changes off the top of my head. I have also begun creating new artwork to reflect some of the changes from "The Wasted Hack" to "What Comes After".


One thing that I forgot to mention. When I was first writing "The Wasted Hack", characters could not level up until they visited a "Scrivener" to get their exploits tattooed on their body. These marks would serve as an indication of a character's level to others and perhaps carry some social benefits depending on what the character/player chose. I eventually cut it from the book, but will be including something similar in "What Comes After. "Marks" will not be required for leveling up, but special marks can be earned from settlements and outposts, and even ravager gangs if the characters are being played as villains.
The tattoos, or "marks" use an extremely rare ink laced with an otherworldly substance (rich with cosmic energy from Future Maxx). These marks will provide small bonuses/ abilities along with CHA bonuses when appropriate. ( a Mark depicting the slaying of a giant winged lizard would likely impress civilized folk and raider clans alike, while a mark depicting the destruction of a settlement wont sit well with civilized folk, but might grant a CHA bonus with other villainous types.
The presence of Cosmic energy in "What Comes After" is just another small way the three games will be connected, but these rules will be presented in the Game Master's guide. To the characters, it's just "magic ink".
The connections between the games are also "optional rules". "What Comes After" can be played as intended, as part of the "Future Maxx" galaxy/ game setting, or simply be used in a skinned out version of your own town after the "Great War". My idea is to be able to present more of my vision for the world without forcing anyone to "buy into it" to play the game. Don't like using non-human species? Then simply restrict advancement to class and universal skills. Want to play a species not included (like straight up Mutants?), there will be guidelines for that in the Game Master's Guide. The game is being built in a modular fashion so that rules like this can be added or removed to suit the play-styles and preferences of the players and game master.

And something that I also forgot to mention in both of those responses was the inclusion of exploding damage at level 6 to help characters keep pace with more powerful foes, and the ability to switch to a second class at level 6 as well.

Savage illustration update for "What Comes After".

One of the things that is changing from "The Wasted Hack" to "What Comes After" is artwork.  I am still keeping the same style (which involves a painfully slow process using Illustrator), but as the books grow in size, so does the need for new images.  I am also working on creating new images based upon those found in The Wasted Hack. 

The image to the left shows a redesign for the "Savage" class illustration from "The Wasted Hack". For now I have the original images as placeholders, but will include all new art. or variants on the original art for important illustrations.