Archive for the ‘Frontiers’ Category


Frontiers – Strongbox Tinskin (AGE System)

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

These clockwork automatons look like a cross between a crab and a steamer trunk. Strongbox tinskins take the form of a rectangular, iron-bound chest with a clockwork undercarriage from which protrude six to eight legs, as well as a quartet of ocular lenses, one pointing in each direction. Not especially helpful in a workshop, where a craftsman would lay out his own tools and an automaton would be of use in directly assisting with the work, strongboxes are designed to assist scholars and engineers working in the field by carrying equipment and tools for them.

A strongbox has no external manipulators, but it does have a single internal claw manipulator that it can use to keep its compartment’s contents from shifting about too much, and to open and close its own lid on command. They are usually programmed to use the claw to hand out their internal contents as needed. In addition to internal storage space, it is common to see pouches or webbing affixed to a strongbox’s lid and sides to accomodate gear that won’t fit inside, either because the main compartment is full or an item’s dimensions are greater than the inside can handle.

Strongboxes intended for service in areas with access to cable power are typically powered by clockwork spring batteries. Those being taken more than a day’s journey into the field are fitted with either steam boilers or alchemical batteries. A decently programmed strongbox can be trusted to keep itself fed, hooking up to cable power or replacing coal or batteries from available supplies as needed.

The classic design features six legs, one to each corner and an extra on each long side, and a flat lid on the trunk, but the design varies by builder and workshop to include as many legs as ten or as few as four, and lids that curve or come up at odd angles. A rumor popular among engineers has it that the esteemed tinskin designer Viktor Czegei converted his trusty old strongbox into a reading chair that moves between windows throughout its master’s house to catch the best light.

Strongbox Tinskin (Non-Combatant)

Abilities (Focuses)
-3 Communication
4 Constitution (Stamina)
-2 Cunning
-1 Dexterity
-3 Magic
1 Perception
4 Strength (Might)
2 Willpower

Combat Ratings
 10; Health 40; Defense 10; Armor 4

 Attack Roll +0; Damage 1d3+4

Favored Stunts: Defensive Stance and Skirmish.
Weapon Groups:

Strongboxes obey their owner’s simple verbal commands. A strongbox can be instructed to proffer any single item in its compartment to its owner or another designated friendly target. This occurs as a major action on the strongbox’s turn. A strongbox can also be ordered to use its internal manipulator to pick an item up through a special hatch in its undercarriage.

A strongbox that has been ordered to defend a target will interpose itself between the target and any apparent enemies and open its lid, providing light cover (-2 penalty on attack rolls made against the target).

Strongbox tinskins can use their internal claw manipulator to hold their lid closed. Attempts to pry open a strongbox’s lid while the construct is active requires an opposed Strength (Might) test.


Frontiers – Czegei Tinskin Background (AGE System)

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

Clockwork automatons, or tinskins, are an increasingly frequent sight in the streets and parlors of the New World. They come in many shapes and sizes to suit a range of tasks, from small repair models to lumbering cargo loaders. The most versatile are those built in the image of their creators. Among the humanoid tinskins, the model produced by the Czegei Workshop in Northport are the most prevalent. The Czegei tinskins are seen all over, from behind shop counters in town to guiding mules down the trail, to packing iron on free-willed missions of their own.

Viktor Czegei began producing humanoid tinskins in 500, the same year the last Atreborian emperor was assassinated. While not the absolute finest model available, Czegei tinskins are famously clever, capable, and reliable. They stand five feet tall and weigh a little under 200 pounds, and are powered by an internal steam plant that provides hydraulic pressure to their limbs and winds their internal clockwork. Like most tinskins, a Czegei’s “brain” is in its torso, near the boiler. The standard faceplate is smooth, with roughly humanoid features: a pair of lensed ocular receptors allowing for stereoscopic vision, aural receptors on either side of the head, and a grill for speaking where the mouth would be. A headshot against a Czegei wouldn’t kill the construct, but it would effectively incapacitate it by cutting it off from sight and sound, leaving it to grope about and navigate by touch. True to their name, factory Czegeis come plated in tin, resistant to corrosion and easy and inexpensive to repair, but their owners–or the tinskins themselves, in the case of emancipated individuals–often have the plating replaced with more glamorous and durable brass or steel.

Czegei tinskins’ adaptability allows them to be purchased for and instructed in a variety of roles: butler, secretary, groom, bodyguard, and porter, to name a few popular choices. They are so adaptable, in fact, that they very quickly begin thinking for themselves, though their programming keeps them obedient and servile–barring interruption of their programming due to flaw, tampering, or injury. It has become common among owners to emancipate their tinskins in their wills or even earlier. In cases where inheritance of a tinskin is unclear, frontier judges are inclined to grant emancipation to the tinskin in order to remove the question. Once a tinskin assumes ownership of itself, it is free to make its own destiny, and all cities in the New World recognize it as a person. If its former owner was both kind and generous enough to emancipate it while he or she still lived, it may remain with him or her as a friend or hired companion; if its owner was cruel, they may attempt to purchase the freedom of other tinskins away from similar masters. Tinskins left their freedom by a dying owner often take up the owner’s profession, one explanation for why there are a number of tinskins working as merchants, hunters, lawyers, engineers, and adventurers.

Playing a Czegei Tinskin

If you choose to play a Czegei tinskin, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to your Cunning ability. Czegei tinskins can be coldly analytical when it benefits them most.
  • Pick one of the following ability focuses: Cunning (Clockwork) or Willpower (Self-Discipline).
  • Your character is a tinskin. You consume coal in place of food. You require only half the amount of rest as an ordinary character. You may not make Constitution (Drinking) or Perception (Smelling) tests.
  • You can speak and read Low Treb and Difference.
  • Choose a class. You can play a rogue or a warrior.
  • Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the dice together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.

Czegei Tinskin

2d6 RollBenefit
2+1 Communication
3-4Focus: Dexterity (Crafting)
5Focus: Communication (Etiquette)
6Focus: Constitution (Stamina)
7-8+1 Perception
9Focus: Cunning (Engineering)
10-11Focus: Strength (Driving)
12+1 Dexterity

Frontiers – Imperial Stalwart Background (AGE System)

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

“Stalwarts” is the name worn proudly by the ones who honor the memory of the fallen Atreborian Empire. Deriders call them “Diehards.” Stalwarts came of age before the Empire’s fall, and were proud of what the Empire stood for: security, prosperity, and progress. Their yearning for the stability of the old days attracts many Stalwarts to positions of authority and responsibility. Many a frontier town with a Temerytic charter nonetheless has a gray-haired Stalwart veteran for a judge and another for a sheriff, willing where their liberty-loving neighbors are not to condemn outlaws to hang from the tree of justice by rope or by nail. A number of major cities in or on the way to the New World are Stalwart-ruled: Cinder Keep, Fort Sajoo, and the Final Islands. They are run according to the old Imperial pattern in both their civil and military structures, and are havens for Stalwarts rankled by the way government and business are conducted in the cities and towns built on the Temerytic or Konetti models. Stalwarts mainly worship the gods of the old Atreborian pantheon, eschewing veneration of Beronna, despite her clergy’s claims to her primacy.

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Frontiers – Progressive Weapons (AGE System)

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

The marvels of clockwork gadgetry have brought a host of conveniences into the adventurer’s life. The miniaturization and automation of the processes of collapsing and expanding, first seen in such contrivances as collapsing batons and shovels and tent poles, have culminated in so-called progressive weapons. A progressive blade may at first glance to be no more than a mere short sword, but once its internal clockwork systems are engaged, it transforms. The hilt elongates, and the blade lengthens and widens as plates slide out from behind one another and click seamlessly into place, until what was at first a short sword has grown into a longsword. Even a bastard sword or two-handed sword is possible, given advanced dwarven alloys and sufficiently sophisticated clockwork.

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Frontiers – Agentes de los Renegados Oxidado (AGE System)

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

The feared Renegados Oxidado, the Rusty Renegades, are the gang of free-willed constructs that lurk beyond the reach of law in the Goblin Wastes, emerging under cover of dust and darkness to raid towns and trains for parts, fuel, and unenlightened clockwork brethren to liberate. The Renegados Oxidado accept new members in any size and configuration of appendages, from spider-legged tinkers to wheeled porters and hulking, gorilla-like lifters, so long as their cognition wheels are capable of spinning the gang’s core values. Humanoid servant models, those built in the shape of man to serve as butlers or soldiers or field hands, are among the most versatile, and it is they who become the gang’s pointmen, the agentes.

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Frontiers – Plains Elf Background (AGE System)

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

Continuing speculation on Frontiers as an AGE system game, I present a background:

Plains Elf

Before the coming of the Empire, the fertile lands of the New World were home to dozens of tribes of elves, each living off the land in their own way, and feuding with the rival tribes of orcs that raided for slaves and land and plunder. Despite the arrival of Mad Henry and his warnings to not trust the Empire, many tribes allied themselves with the Legions in their campaigns to push the orcs out of the desirable lands. When the orcs were defeated, the Legions turned on their native allies, pushing them northwest and southwest, into the unfavorable plains that became the Northern and Southern Elflands. Where dozens of tribes once thrived across the continent, now survives a federation of five nations,  preparing behind the crumbling Presidio Line for their chance to retake what was stolen from them in the Empire’s betrayal.

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Frontiers – Nebren Refugee Background (AGE System)

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

Continuing speculation on Frontiers as an AGE system game, I present a background:

Nebren Refugee

The invasion of dark-dwelling underfolk into the subterranean cities of Nebre cast hundreds of thousands of dwarves out into the strange light of the sun. With their homes lost to the enemy and the human-controlled surface of their nation embroiled in violent revolution, most dwarves have moved away from their homeland entirely, in a movement called the Dwarven Diaspora. While many have settled in other places in the Old World, and some have even gone east to Xo and Dasago, more still have joined the tide of emigration to the New World. Some of the emigres have settled around the New World, living in the undercity dwarven burgs or scattered homesteads, while some have completed the long journey to the dwarven colony of New Bronok. In their new homes, they provide the skills in mining and craftsmanship that made Nebre famous across the Empire.

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Frontiers As An AGE Game

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

I’ve been reading up on the Dragon Age RPG from Green Ronin, up through the Set 2 open playtest material. The system looks uncomplicated to learn and the buzz is that it does combats quickly and colorfully using the stunt point mechanic. It got me thinking of what Frontiers would look like as an AGE system setting.

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Frontiers – Firearms Preview, Fantasy Craft, Take One

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

Here are the current playtest stats for some of the firearms we’re using in the Fantasy Craft version.

New Weapon Quality: Ammo

Ammo: This weapon carries multiple rounds of ammunition in a rotating cylinder, a tubular magazine, or some other source. This quality is intended for ranged weapons, but may conceivably be applied to modern melee weapons like cattle prods or bang sticks. This quality indicates the number of times the weapon may be used to make attacks before it must be reloaded.

Big ol’ table of guns after the cut. Forgive the clashing colors; I’m wrestling with the handy plugin I used for table generation and the language it speaks, something you kids call the “CSS.” Read the rest of this entry »


Frontiers – New Bronok

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom

On the farthest edge of the western frontier, nestled in the mountains that wall off the verdant land of eastern Nasertia from the tractless Sinstruck Waste that stretches westward beyond reckoning, rests the dwarven enclave of New Bronok. Founded in the first wave of the Nebren diaspora, New Bronok is a bastion of dwarven culture and industry. Though it’s about as far as one can get from Nebre and remain in “civilization,” the city maintains close ties to the dwarves in the homeland and the socialist revolution brewing there. And even though it lies on and just under the surface like the shared human and dwarven cities in the homeland, it is entirely dwarven-run like the deeper cities now lost to the invaders. Though some humans and others reside there, the city’s low ceilings and unlit warrens constantly remind them and any visitors of the truth: New Bronok is a home for dwarves. 

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