Archive for January 2015

Worlds of Whimsy Addendum: Cybertronians

As promised, here is a writeup of a Transformer-like race for use in Pathfinder!  I borrowed a bit from the IDW background, but otherwise tried to make it fit in a Pathfinder-style universe naturally.  For reference, this was designed around 20 Racial Points(excluding the alternate mode trait) when referring to the Advanced Racial Guide, and the costs of each trait are noted below.  This means that it’s built for higher power campaigns, but not to the level of pure cheese ideally.

 

Cybertronian

Cybertronians are a race of mechanical outsiders that originated when a portion of Mechanus was merged with a portion of the Prime Material Plane. While it is known what happened, the cause has been lost to the mists of time – whether it be a mage’s experiment, or the aftereffect of a clash between deities.

Physically, they appear much like metal men in armor. Each Cybertronian is different however, whether it be in color, or the design of their limbs and body. Some even do not appear to have a normal mouth or face, although in such cases they are still able to speak normally though other components inside their heads.

New Cybertronians are actually born from the ground of their homeland itself. Every so many hundred years, a portion of the landscape will light up with new sparks, which are then harvested and placed into generic bodies that they have nicknamed protoforms. The body will then mold to the unique characteristics of each spark, resulting in a fully formed and cognizant adult Cybertronian.

Currently they are governed by a Senate in name, but the Senate in turn unofficially answers to a faction calling themselves the Functionists. The Functionists argue for a return to the strict caste-based society styled after Mechanus, where every Cybertronian has their place and can never change it, barring exceptional circumstances. There are rumors of a gladiator and former miner beginning to gather an army to oppose them, but others have left for distant lands to escape the Functionists’ oppression.

Basic Racial Traits

– Ability Score Racial Traits: Cybertronians are strong and hardy, due to their mechanical nature, but this also inhibits their ability to relate to a degree. As a result, they gain +2 to Strength and Constitution, but a -2 to Charisma (1 RP)
– Size: Cybertronians are medium creatures by default, granting them no bonuses or penalties.
– Base Speed: Cybertronians have a base speed of 30 feet.
– Languages: Cybertronians begin play speaking Common and Neocybex. Additional possible languages are: Draconic, Elven, Dwarven, Orc, Undercommon, Infernal, Celestial
– Senses: Cybertronians have Darkvision out to 60′. (3 RP)
Other Racial Abilities

– Constructed: For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type (such as a ranger’s favored enemy and bane weapons), Cybertronians count as both Outsider(native) and constructs. Cybertronians gain a +4 racial bonus on all saving throws against mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, and stun effects, are not subject to fatigue or exhaustion, and are immune to disease and sleep effects. (2 RP)
– Metal body: Cybertronian bodies are made of a strange alloy that no smith has yet been able to replicate. Due to this. they gain Damage Reduction 5/magic, as well as Resistance 5 against cold, fire, and acid. However, the nature of their construction also causes Vulnerability to electric attacks. (5 RP)
– Spark: Unlike other construct-like creatures, Cybertronians have a soul, but it is not quite the same as that of most biological beings. This grants them 5 resistance vs negative energy and a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy school. They also do not lose HP with negative levels gained. (3 RP)
– Arcane Adaptation: Due to their origins in a magical experiment, Cybertronians are sometimes able to shrug off magical effects that would otherwise harm them. They naturally have a spell resistance of 6 + character level. (2 RP)
– Natural Weaponry: Cybertronians are able to tranform their hand and forearm into a powerful weapon as a free action. This allows them the use of “Scorching Ray” as an at-will ability based on their character level. (4 RP)

– Alternate Mode: All Cybertronians have an alternate form they can take. It takes a standard action to change between forms. At creation, choose one of the following options:

  • Vehicle: You take the form of a mechanical vehicle of some fashion. You gain either 120′ ground move, 90′ flight(average), or 120′ swim, chosen at creation, but are unable to attack or manipulate objects. You may carry one passenger of Small size or smaller.
  • Animal: You take on the form of an animal. Treat this as Beast Shape I, except that the choices are made at creation and cannot be changed. Also, all traits of this race are kept in this form except for the Natural Weaponry trait.

– Mode Rescan: On leveling, a Cybertronian may replace their alternate mode with a different one. However, this requires much focus and strain on the body, and takes a week’s time to complete. During this time the Cybertronian will be unconcious and cannot be woken while their body reconfigures itself to its new form.

 

Racial Feats

Additional Alternate Mode: Prereq: Cybertronian, BAB +10 – Gain an additional alternate mode.

Combat Vehicle: Prereq: Cybertronian, Vehicle alternate mode, BAB +5 – You may now use the Natural Weaponry racial trait while in your alternate mode.

 

Race Traits

Stasis Lock – Once per day, when you are dying you may automatically stabilize by entering Stasis Lock.

Beast Skin: Prereq: Animal alt mode – When transformed, you only count as the racial type of your alt mode.  e.g. if you have a leopard alt mode you count as a Beast in alternate mode, and no longer count as outsider or construct for the purposes of spells and abilities such as Bane.

 

Variants

Giant Robot: Increase size to Large, with all benefits and penalties.  Note that while this is closer to the actual Cybertronian concept, it carries with it drawbacks due to living in a Medium-sized world.  It is considered more powerful as well due to the combat benefits it provides.

Pretender: Add an additional alternate mode that must be a standard humanoid.  While in this mode, you lose the Natural Weaponry and Metal Body racials, and you can only access robot mode from this mode.  Similarly, you can only enter this mode from robot mode.

Fuzors: Combine traits from two animals into a single alternate mode.  Gain all applicable movement speeds, taking the best of each type.  Repeat for natural attacks. Note that you must be able to come up with a valid way to combine these, such as combining a wolf and an eagle to get a griffon-like wolf.  The end result must be medium-sized(or large-sized if using the Giant Robot variant above).

Minicons: If a Cybertronian gains a familiar, treat it like the Tumor Familiar discovery for Alchemists. Note that this does not apply to beast companions, which must still follow all standard rules for such.  The Familiar also receives the Constructed and Metal Body racial abilities as above.

Late-night rambling returns!

I’ve actually had a couple posts I’ve wanted to do in the pipeline, but various things have conspired to prevent me from following through on them.  Various things in large part being WoW. <..<

Anyways, there’ll still be a year -in-review post at some point, and I also have a Transformer-like race to use in Pathfinder to post, but this isn’t either of those.  This is a catch-up, and maybe some rambling on random topics, for the first time in a while!

If you don’t care about WoW, feel free to skip a few paragraphs. XP

First, the WoW situation has kind of sorted itself out.  The two guilds de-merged, and Chocolate Disco went back to a lot more casual schedule.  I’ve ended up on the regular Mythic team, but not quite made Core, which I’m fine with.  I know there’s better players than me – only reason to wish I was Core is so I would have a higher cap on guild repairs for progression nights!

Especially after I went and made myself broke.  I’ve basically completed the follower minigame on my main until 6.1, and there’s nto much to do towards raiding outside raids at the moment.  So, I finally went back to see what I missed in minipets, since I had that mostly done before my break, and was surprised that they hadn’t added that much.  I saw some TCG pets I was missing up for relatively cheap, and there was now ay I was going to go through Molten Core any more times to try for that pet, so I went and bought myself into brokeness.  Worse, I haven’t been able to engage the revenue stream I had been using as I needed to make some upgrades for myself for crafted pieces for my monk alt and for a piece where RNG turned out to hate me on my main.  End result though is that I just need to get about 8 more pets and I’ll have every pet I can get that’s not a CE pet, Blizzcon pet, or a pet only available in another country.  At least until 6.1!

As for why I -need- to gear my alt, originally I was planning on raiding with both guilds, with all the time sinks that entails.  There’s folks I like in both guilds and I wanted to keep running with both(not to mention it’s a bit of a rush to realize that I’m in the raid team of the top guild on the server!) so I was going to use my alt to run Disco raids.  Then it turned out they kind of raid on the same days.

I say kind-of because the second Disco night is the same night as what is supposed to be an alt run, but I’ve had a couple gear holes that have forced me to run my main in said alt runs for more gear.  That’s solved now though until Blackrock releases, so I’ll be able to roll with them for at least a couple weeks finally.

Aside from WoW, I’m moving into a different position that’s more internal facing and engineering oriented at work.  I’m still having to deal with some stuff here and there that isn’t, but that’s the life of a sysadmin, and my boss has a very healthy philosophy on outside-normal-hours work: keep it to a minimum.  It’s a philosophy I’m in heavy agreement with, as after some of my contracting I make it a point to grab on tight to my free time, including lunch breaks and only work on either if there is no other way.  I have pushed back on scheduling before because of workload, but that’s less of an issue in my new position.

My muse has finally spoken up again though, and revived one of my former identities as a separate character: Chakat Swiftwind lives again(sorta).  Where my dragon is me though, Swiftie is a separate character, more along the lines of my various RPG characters.  There may not be much distinction between the two for a lot of furries, but there is for me and that’s the important part.  Part of that is I finally have an idea of who shi is: a hotshot pilot, whether it be starship or starfighter… though given the chakat universe doesn’t have a lot of interstellar conflict, shi’s pretty much a starship jock at the moment in my mind.

I tried using Traveller to put together a background history for hir, but it left a bit to be desired, as there are some differences naturally between the two universes.  I also was a bit confused about the difference between StarFleet and Star Corps in that universe, so I had to do a quick rewrite to fit with my mental idea of where shi is in the “present” which unfortunately has left some parts of hir past vague now for the moment.

As to what prompted me, I had a strong mental image of hir in a cockpit, hands on controls and handpaws on even more controls.  Granted, as a ship’s helmsman on a long-range exploration ship shi may not get to do that, but there’s pinnances and such shi may have to fly for some reason; not to mention shi may be able to make that ship do tricks its builders hadn’t even thought of.

Part of that also gave me the idea and framework for a story, and it even fits well to the typical framework of a Star Trek episode!  After I fleshed out some identities of other folks shi’d be interacting with regularly though, I found myself without the time to actually start writing it.  There’s also a couple things i’m not sure about now because I want to stick to that “Star Trek episode” feeling, but I want it to be hir story, not a story about the bridge crew of the ship shi’s on.

Another thing is that my original idea necessitates some ship-to-ship combat, which is where I run into another issue.  In Star Trek’s universe, there’s other star empires to be handy antagonists.  The chakat universe’s Steller Federation on the other hand has no real enemies, just some pirates pretty much and everyone else in their stellar neighborhood is buddy-buddy with them.  On top of that, StarFleet ships in the chakatverse have people trained for First Contact and this is a Big Thing, as opposed to Star Trek where they meet half the new civilizations over laser fire, and the other half they try not to even make contact with because of the Prime Directive.

The fact that First Contact is huge, and that I’m technically playing in someone else’s playground, makes me leery of introducing a new alien race of any sort to be antagonists. Pretty much the only way to make it work would be for the alien race to be truly alien(which is hard) as most of the Federation races have been of similar mindsets, make the new race be scream-and-leap like the Kzinti, or have what attacks them be automated.  None of those are truly ideal, and with how big First Contact is, a botched one, even if nothing could be done, would be a huge black mark I would imagine.  So I’m stuck on that plot point and it’s a major one for the original story idea I had.

Back on the topic of mental images though, there were a couple others that came to mind that I wanted to see made real, so I’ve started getting art again.  I had a ton of Transformers come in recently, but thankfully it was end of December so technically it was part of last year’s budget.  I’ve already blown past my tentative marker for January’s non-essentials budget though with the two pieces I have coming, even with that.

I’d actually wanted to get art of Swiftwind last year, but I never really got around to finding taur artists besides Kacey and trying to get it done.  This time, I actually found a few artists, but was surprised how few good taur artists I was able to find, though I did stumble on another recently thanks to Twitter(and which prompted the second art piece I have inbound eventually).  Right now I just have nothing I really want drawn of -me- except maybe a new icon.  Problem there is I don’t have a theme in mind or a specific artist to do a dragicon, so that’s on hold at the moment.

I actually have a third piece in mind too, and the artist I’d like to do it is opening for commissions soon, so I’m waiting to see if I can snag a slot there.  As long as I’m getting pics done of my (other) characters, I figured I’d get a pic of a major Pathfinder character I’ve been trying to be able to play – my Dark Tapestry Oracle, who happens to be a black-furred kitsune with a gypsy theme.

I’ve actually gotten the chance to game again, which allowed me to bring her up again and play her, though this is one of those campaigns where the DM looked at the (non-MMO)Elder Scrolls games’ laughable attempts at balance and thought it was way too restrictive in power level.  On one hand, it’s letting me pull out the stops, but on the other it’s feeling more like a power fantasy than RP and I feel like I’m not actually really playing so much as waiting to see what the next huge power boost is.  On the other hand, they were already high level when I joined, but that doesn’t help when advancement is still this rapid.  I can always use her again in a different campaign I suppose that’s a bit more sane.

The other campaign this group is running though definitely isn’t it.  While they’re playing through an adventure path, the characters are more like a Marvel What If? comic instead.  Since restraint on concept was already thrown to the wind, I sat down with the Advanced Race Guide and figured out how to build a Transformer, and got the GM to approve it!  I’ll be posting it at some point, but I still need to make the actual character.  I’m thinking bomb alchemist may be fitting.

I sort of wish there was a Traveller campaign going, so I could see if I could slip in my conversion of the chakat race too and make Swiftie in that.  Of course, then I’d probably have to answer some questions about where hir race comes from.  I usually don’t flaunt furry stuff outside of the areas of the internets where its common or such, but the group I’m playing with again in RL would probably have no problem with it, considering what some of them are into.  Wouldn’t help though with other groups…

When I thought about getting the art of Swiftwind though, I realized I didn’t have any real good referances.  The only color drawn pic didn’t give hir a large enough bust(and yeah, my motives for hir having a large rack probably are less than pure if I actually sat and thought about it) and the rest were just sketches. I did have the Second Life pics form the last revamp I did to my SL av of hir, but hir upper body was out of proportion in that.  So, now that mesh bodies are a thing, I went looking to see if I could find a larger base body to use for the upper torso.

I didn’t find any that were just larger, but I found some that looked more natural and/or more shapely, and when I tried a demo I found to my delight that it worked just fine with my taur anims.  The first one though was no-mod and you ahd to apply to be able to make skin appliers for it so I had to look elsewhere.  I foudn another one that was almost as good, AND a lot cheaper, and was mod-friendly!  As a bonus, it also gave hir breasts a more natural shape and increased the amount hey could scale.  Of course, the slider setting I had needed to use before with the default SL body resulted in nuclear torpedo warheads with this body, so I was actually able to scale it down to get hir chest to be the right size I envisioned.

Since I was stuck in terms of upper-to-lower-body ratio though, I decided to try scaling the lower body down a bit.  I’d originally had the height set to max for scale purposes in SL, but proportions were more important now and scale is jacked in SL anyways.  It actually wasn’t too difficult to finally get hir body properly proportioned in general once I tried.  Then it was snapshot time!

While I was starting to put it together, I had the bright idea to go with a LCARS theme, and I ended up blowing an entire Saturday with putting together the template, coloring it, and retaking shots I found out were at bad angles, but it gave me a good ref sheet finally for hir, and it’s already getting used for the two new pieces I have coming.

Iv’e been tempted a time or two to take hir out for a whirl on SL, but I don’t know what I’d do with hir.  WoW and work keep me busy enough that I wouldn’t want to commit to a regular RP, and for my regular hanging out I’d rather be my dragon self.  I could go hunt up furry sex clubs, but that lost its appeal a long while ago.  If I just want word porn I can write it myself(and probably do a better job!) and for anything beyond that, well, that’s one thing relationships can bring to the table – and there it’s sex because of the love, not love for the sex.

Also looking back other than the sidegrade into a RP character, Swiftwind really doesn’t fit as an identity so much as a fantasy.  Whether or not I used to be more cuddly, I’ve found that I don’t really care as much for random hugs and snugglings and such anymore from strangers, and that sort of closeness is a natural thing for chakats.  Since they’re natural empaths they’re very informal and very sensual, for reasons which make a lot of sense when you look at it.

That also leads into the whole chakat style of mating and courtships.  While I like the idea of the different levels(Companion/Denmate/Lifemate) and think that could work well, chakats tend to have multiple mates and love everyone, and I’m serially monogamous.  Once I give my heart and loyalty, that’s it.  Maybe I’m jsut old-fashioned.  I could maybe see a threesome working if the other two were both female and some circumstances worked out, but in general I have one mate and that’s that.

Being a hermaphrodite also is integral to the even general idea of chakats, but not something I could see myself as anymore.  The idea may be fun to play with, in that you could RP either a male or female role with the same character, depending on mood and partner, but I am definitely not bi, which is almost a requirement for that to be part of your identity.  If nothing else, my (lack of) reaction to all the penis pics that showed up on my Twitter AD account’s timeline proved that to myself – and that’s ignoring the time I did try to use a chakat as my identity.

I supose, going back to what I said earlier about my reasons for hir chest size, that it’s in part a fusion of myself with one of the representations of my potential ideal mate.  Self and fantasy in one, so that either you can be the one doing, or you can mentally put yourself in the other person’s shoes while playing the female role when it comes to the more adult activities; and all without changing characters.

While I’m mentioning AD and dick pics, that’s something I’ve noticed a lot of.  People taking pictures of just their bits, which frankly gets pretty boring.  You’ve seen one, you’ve seen most of them, girls included.  Most of the actually hot pictures include more of the body, body language, expression and so on.

Then again, maybe it’s just because I’m older and have my sexual urges more under control, since most of said folks are several years younger.  I’ll admit I can think with the wrong head at times, but it seems like (effectively) going into rut isn’t that often an occurrance for me.  Heck, just look at when I’ve posted adult stories fairly close together, and you can get an idea.

I’m actually feeling tired now, and this is one of the longest entries I’ve written in a while so I guess I’ll leave you with the art piece I got most recently, from right around the new year.  Enjoy!

Lookin' Cute, Feelin' Cute