Let’s make a game: Tabletop Edition
So, as an auxiliary project to the blog, I’ve been working on getting together a pamphlet for a tabletop RPG setting. It uses the Lamentations of the Flame Princess ruleset for the most part, with a few twists and a homebrew class/level-up system. I’ve only started to begin working on it, but the idea has been rolling around in my head for a while. The general idea is as follows.
“There is a city that consists entirely of a single tower stretching upwards for miles. The spire has been the only structure of civilization for hundreds of years, due to the horrid chaos and lawlessness of the ruined cityscape below it. The people of the tower have been led to believe that they are constructing a stairway to connect with an ancient, legendary city in the heavens. Technology has long since surpassed the possible, and has entered the realm of magic. Logicians, Mathmeticians, and Architects and the Seers, Wizards, and Priests of the world respectively. A corps of builders is constantly working to build more and more layers, while expeditions occasionally venture into the dangerous, ruined metropolis below to bring back building supplies, technology, and artifacts from the old world.”
I’m taking a lot of inspiration for the science-fantasy setting from games like Hyper Light Drifter, Bastion, and Caves of Qud as well as stories like Kill Six Billion Demons, Battle Angel Alita and the films of Hayao Miyazaki. I’ve been mostly playing around with the class system so far and a few ideas for NPCs, monsters, and the way the expeditions into the city work, but I figured I’d keep you guys posted of how it’s going so far so as to keep the “Let’s make a game” part of this blog alive. Below, you can check out one of the classes I’ve been working on so far. I’ve yet to finish the feats section of the class, but I’ll update it here once I get that squared away. Feel free to use the class for an adventure or campaign if it fits in the setting!
“A poet whose verse is stone, steel, and hammer.”
-Far above the highborn districts, past the Architect’s quarters, and the prime skylight, the spire grows. Upon its peak, in the whipping winds and thin air, stands the camp of the Skybreakers. It is by the weathered hands and broken bones of these women and men that the city grows. Shaping stone and metal raised by sunfire drones into the intricate pillars, staircases, columns, and statues that creep the tower closer to the heavens. They are orphans, all of them, but crumbling rock and the ring of hammer on steel sings them comfort as they push forward. Level after level. Mile after mile. Ever advancing as the city rises in their wake.
HP: 8 (plus a d8 each level after.)
At first level only: +1 to DEX or STR score.
Saves: Paralyze-12, Poison-15, Breath-13, Device-16, Magic-15.
Skill points: 3
Breaker’s Fist: Upon conscription, every skybreaker is first required to build their own hammer. This tool will shatter and splinter many times as the skybreaker learns to survive on the ever ascending prime skylight. Eventually the hammer becomes solid, nigh unbreakable, and entirely personalized to its wielder. Choose a hammer size, type, and trait from below. Breaker’s Fists are extremely hardy against force, but can be melted or marred by hard light. Repairing most Breaker’s Fists requires a tower-trained blacksmith.
- Short Haft: Requires one hand to wield. Can be thrown easily. (1d8 DMG).
- Long Haft: Requires two hands to wield. +2 on STR checks using this tool. (1d10 DMG)
- Claw Hammer: Can be used to pry objects open or as a wedge to lever something.
- Sledge Hammer: Gain +1 on checks to shatter or break something inorganic.
- Half-Hatchet Hammer: Can deal both slashing or blunt damage.
- Prospector’s Hammer: Can deal both piercing or blunt damage.
- Dead-Blow Hammer: Deals an extra +2 damage.
- Unyielding: The hammer will never break due to force, no matter how much.
- True: The hammer strikes where it should. +2 to attack rolls and accuracy checks.
- Joyful: The hammer rings out a distinctive tone when it strikes. Bolsters allies.
- Sunborn: The hammer crackles with sunfire. Can be used as a limitless torch.
- Stonewrought: The hammer does not carry a charge, and can mute electric current.
- Cobbled: The hammer is forged from junk. It can be repaired with anything.
- Wooden: The hammer is made from one ancient piece of wood. It is light as a feather.
Artisan: Skybreakers take solace from their brutal task through artful mastery of stonecraft and steelshaping. In addition to general construction of the skylight, they are also responsible for crafting the fine details. They make the folds in the robes of statues, the etchings upon marble walls. Skybreakers begin at level one with a small hard light razor. The Skybreaker may use this to shape stone into any shape they wish, with perfect accuracy. One cubic foot of stone takes an hour to shape, and the carver must concentrate on the task wholly.
Cat’s Balance: A skybreaker does not have to make a check to balance themselves due to the movement of a structure they are on or when attempting to move across a thin walkway unless they are directly pushed or pulled.
Home is where the Hammer is: Because of their nomadic existence as the vanguard of the tower’s progress, skybreakers are unaccustomed to staying in one environment for a long time. Most get easily restless when on the ground, and usually wish to be higher above ground than they currently are. For some of the elders, to even touch the ground is equivalent to utter failure. For those bold enough to be sent away from the prime skylight on an Architects’ task, the change of scenery is welcomed. Skybreakers are constantly looking forwards and upwards, and as such are used to staying on the move. A skybreaker is always able to…
- Tell which way the sky is from where they are, even when underground.
- Pitch a camp safe from conventional elements, from deadly desert heat to hurricane force winds and rain.
- Break any stone smaller than their body using a striking implement.
- Identify structural weaknesses in buildings.
Class feat: Skybreakers are legendarily hardy, and can even push past unconsciousness in some situations. When an attack reduces a skybreaker’s HP to the point where they would fall unconscious, they may take one action before they are knocked out if they can roll a d20 below their constitution score. In addition, Skybreakers start with a +2 to all attack rolls, rather than the normal +1. This does not scale with level, but it stacks with any effects from the breaker’s fist they wield.
Path of the Hammer – Roll for 1d6 extra hit points. May be repicked every other level.
Path of the Chisel – Gain one point in the Architecture skill. May be repicked every other level.
Skybreaker’s Boulder Bock – Gain a one-gallon oak barrel full of Boulder Bock on your next visit to the tower. Boulder Bock is a brew fermented and filtered from a loaf of bread, rainwater, rock powder, and metal shavings. You may create another gallon if the ingredients are gathered or improvised. Each batch takes an half hour to prepare and one to two weeks to brew. Two servings have enough calories to make one meal. 8 servings to a gallon. Boulder Bock is universally thought highly of and sought after in the ruins and tower. Tastes like battery acid.
Nomad Camp – Given an hour and enough materials, you may pitch a camp on the side of any solid structure. If it is completely vertical, they will need at least 100ft of rope to complete the task, but these camps are considered hidden from enemies within the structure. If you choose this feat a second time, any camp that you make gives all the healing benefits of resting in a clean, comfortable hotel bed.
Tough as nails: You can break chains and sever wires with their teeth and will win any non-combat competition of strength (arm wrestling contest, tug-of-war, etc) against a non-skybreaker human.
Skylight Shanty – You can whistle or sing a melody passed down from skybreakers of old to chase away the tedium of a task. All those who can hear the song move as if they were one level less encumbered than they are. This only applies for travelling long distances, and does not work in combat scenarios.
Over the horizon – You can predict the weather perfectly up to four hours away, barring circumstances that alter the course of nature. If there is a sudden, unexpected change in the weather, you become acutely aware of it just before the change occurs.
Ability Increase – Increase CON or STR score by 1
Iron Lung – You can hold their breath twice as long as normal humans, suffers no adverse effects from extreme altitude, and once per day may move for one hour as if unencumbered regardless of how much equipment they are currently carrying.
Mitts over Metal – Drawing upon a technique first used by Saint Gwinn-7,you are able to use your hands to alter the shape of metal up to 6 inches thick. Gain the Metalshaping skill. If the skybreaker fails this check twice consecutively before resting, their hands take a beating for 1d4 damage. For every inch of metal to be shaped, make a skill check.
Stoneskin – Your skin is rough and weathered. Even when unarmored, they are considered to have an AC of at least 14.
Crack Armor – When you land a critical hit with your breaker’s fist, it reduces the target’s AC by 2 until they are able to take a long rest. Choosing this feat again grants a critical hit on unadjusted attack roll of 19 or 20.
True Swing – You will never accidentally hit an ally with your hammer as a result of a fumbled roll.
Eradicate Keystone – Using your innate knowledge of architecture and construction, you may use your breaker’s fist to destroy an integral part of a structure, collapsing it entirely. Any living thing inside the building, including you if applicable, takes damage relative to the building’s composition and must save vs breath or be immobilized. Simple structures below four stories only require one specific swing but for larger structures, every four stories larger adds another necessary strike.