Starlight Mage 05 June 18, 1988

²1988 Steve Marsh

P.O.Box 2552

Wichita Falls, TX 76307

The Dark Dream scenario



Background



The real world is matched by a world of dream. Each mass, and the voids between, is matched with a dreamworld mass. Most unsettled are those masses that were once a world and that now form the asteroid beld.



The Seidthra are one of the races that lives in dream world fragments paired with the asteroids. Their realm is roughly the size of New York. It is divided politically between seven different color groups (yellow, orange, red, violet, ultraviolet, seidviolet, black). Each group is ruled by a triumvirate of masters.



Their world is infested with Genvax Cthuloids and is subject to invasions from other fragments from time to time. One major goal of the Seidthra is to instigate a Genvax migration to another world. The easiest way to accomplish this goal is to gate a Genvax cluster (the four Genvax necessary to sustain the strain on the shape of space necessary for the Genvax to thrive) to a world and to protect them as they acculmulate enough mass to go over to the breeder stage.



Since Genvax will migrate to areas where there are breeders, and since they also prefer "real" worlds over the dream worlds, this goal only requires moving four Genvax to earth to rid the Seidthra of their Genvax infestation. Since the Seidthra breed by darklings condensing from the dreamstuff every time a sexual encounter occurs, the resulting population pressures will allow the Seidthra to invade others instead of always being invaded (keeping the Genvax down kills many of Seidthra).



The Dark Dream scenario uses the Seidthra, Genvax, (and the other characters in this zine). The Seidthra have duped several supers into believing that allowing a group of Genvax Cthuloids to feed off of Earth's wastelands is harmless and will allow the Seidthra the respite necessary to defend themselves from a group of noxious intelligent and mobile fungi. The players should stumble across the early plot.



The Seidthra



Stats Value Disadvanages

Darkling Adult Leader Magus Master

STR 15 20 30 20 40 x2 STN Energy Attacks

DEX 12 17 21 27 27 (30 points)

CON 10 15 25 25 30

BDY 08 11 14 12 17 x2 BDY Gold/Silver

INT 06 08 12 16 15 (20 points)

EGO 07 11 12 12 18

PRE 08 12 23 13 24 Unusual Looks 8-

COM 06 12 16 03 24 (5 points)

PD 3 6 10 6 12

ED 2 4 8 12 8 Unluck 1d6

REC 5 10 14 12 24 (5 points)

END 16 25 34 50 80

STN 12 16 30 25 66 Overconfidence/Warped

SPD 1 2 3 4 5 (20 points)



Powers Claustrophobia (5pts)

Combat

Claws: 1d6 1d6 3d6 1d6 2d6 Susceptibility

DarkBlast - - 3d6* 8d6* 3d6* Bright Light 1d6

Darkness - 1" 3" 6" 12"*· (15 points)

Armor: 1/1 3/3 6/6 3/3 6/6

Flash 8- 11- 14- 18- 14- Hunting 8-

Defense: 5pts 6pts 7pts 9pts 7pts (30 points)

Ego

Defense: - - 5pts 10pts 5pts The Seidthra are a race

Flash**: 1d6 1d6 2d6 6d6* 2d6 of dark (seid = dark/

*¼END cost) evil/sex) shape changers

(**Flash is handled as a PRE attack; both PRE and Flash Defense help)

(·Also blocks IR Vision, Radar)

They are a cthuloid

Misc. race that lives in

IR Vision - + + + + the same ecosystem as

UV Vision - - + - + the Genvax Cthuloids.

Shapechange 5pts 10pts 10pts 40pts

Skills: Falling Linguist Interro- Topology Control Allies of the Ais.

Hunting Tracking gation Literacy Genvax Hungry, warped and

Movement seeking new sources

Jump: 3" 5" 8" 4" 8" of food and grazing

Glide: - 4" 8" 8" 16" (for the Genvax)/

Fly: - - 1" 10" 5"

Run: 6" 7" 8" 6" 9" They make a great

Teleport: - - 1"* 15"** 2"*** hunter.

(*Interplaner, up to 6 persons and two levels; **x2; ***x3)

Disadvantages: 130 + Experience = creature level. Some also regenerate 2 to 6 BDY.



Genvax Cthuloids



Stats Value Disadvanages

Hatchling Mewet Adult Sentient Breeder

STR 3 8 30 60 140 x2 STN Energy Attacks

DEX 16 15 21 27 27 x2 BDY Energy Attacks

CON 20 35 50 45 90

BDY 3 8 44 42 67 x2 BDY Gold/Silver

INT 3 3 4 8 21 6d6 suscept elder signs

EGO 11 12 22 42 38 BDY & STN per phase

PRE 8 16 32 64 64

COM 1 -8 -12 -19 -20 Unusual Looks 14-

PD 3 6 30 26 28

ED 4 7 10 9 18 Unluck 2d6

REC 7 13 40 35 46 (Area Effect)

END 40 70 100 120 180

STN 23 43 94 87 157 Totally Warped

SPD 1 1 3 5 4 Mindset



Powers 1d6/round suscept to

Combat light (body only, does

HTH Energy Killing not stop regeration).

Attack 1d6 2d6 3d6 4d6 6d6

Fear - 1d6 3d6 8d6 12d6 Monocular vision (at

Darkness 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" adult stage one eye

Grapple +1 +3 +4 +4 +6 rots out).

Piercing Physical Body ~ siz. Treat

HTH Killing every 8 body as one

AttacK 1d6 2d6* 4d6** 4d6** 8d6***· level of size.

(*x2 piercing; **x3; ***x4; ·also implants 3d6 hatchlings if any body done).

Also, one free PRE attack per round



Misc.

IR Vision + + + + +

UV Vision + + - - -

Radar Sense - - + +

Passive Sonar - - - +

Regenerate 1d6 2d6 2d6 2d6 2d6

Mind

Control 1d6 2d6 4d6 6d6 6d6

Stretching 1" 3" 6" 9" 12"



Movement

Jump: 3" 5" 8" 4" 8"

Fly: - - 1" 1" 1"

Run: 3" 6" 8" 9" 9"

Teleport: - - 1"* 15"** 20"***

(*Interplaner, up to two metric tons and two levels; **x2; ***x3)

Note: can force/hold teleport at double endurance cost.



I've always wanted to design a good cthuloid monster. I think that this is it. Slimely and rugose in appearance with crusting sores, mottled electrically charged tentacles questing through the air, an obscene probing organ teeming with foul life and a spatially distorted aspect from every direction, this is it. Of course it acculmulates mass extradimensionally, feeds on the shattered life-force of those it has sliced apart with etherial electrical discharges, and breeds on itself betimes.



Which means that the various stages do not smoothly merge into each other. The Genvax Cthuloid acquires enormous amounts of mass (space literally boils as it acculmulates into the creature) as it shifts stages on its own warped timeline. Rare individuals who have survived the breeding stage are rumored but are not detailed here. To venture a guess, add in a psionic power pool (cosmic, about 200 points worth), a couple more levels of size (remember, 67 body = 8 levels of size), a couple levels of density, TK & physical force wall (control over the ability to extradimensionally pull in mass) and a 20d6 bite (actually eats mass now).



Maybe add in the ability to transmit itself via electrical connections (long distance teleport with limits). Genvax Cthuloids via modems.

Walking Shadow (a/k/a Sandra Michaels)

A PC designed using my understanding of Glenn Blacow's System

Loosely based on Wrath without any focuses



Stats Value Cost



STR 30 20 Value Disadvantage

DEX 29 57

CON 30 40 30 Hunting Evil Supernatural Things 14-

BDY 11 2 20 Hunted by Seidthra (large/agents) 8-

INT 18 8 10 x1½ STN Gold/Silver weapons

EGO 11 2 10 x1½ BDY Light Based Attacks

PRE 23 13 20 Psych Lim: Catastrophic attraction

COM 16 6 to justice

PD 16 10 20 Psych Lim: Honorable

ED 10 6 15 Enraged: Innocents harmed 8-/11-

REC 12 12 15 Secret ID: Sandra Michaels

END 60

STN 41

SPD 5 11 140 Total

170 Total



Powers

Cost Power



Combat

30 2d6 HTH Energy Killing Attack

15 Affect Desolid



Other

5 Stretch 1" Some Seidthra decided to use a potent

10 Shadowwalk (Fly 5") elder shadow sorcery to bind a Gen-

5 Shadowsee (IR Vision) vax Cthuloid and she was part of it.



Defense She was to be the fair-haired barley

15 9ED Armor man whose blood was spilled and bones

15 9PD Armor ground.

5 9 Ego Defense

5 5 Power Defense The shadows came and touched her,

3 5 Flash Defense 14- infusing her body with their essence.



Professional Skills

3 Beurocratics 14- However, she recognized the pattern

2 Negotiation 11- from an old text and spoke the third

3 Streetwise 14- unbinding phrase out of sequence.



Dilettante

3 Scientist 1 Ecology 11- She escaped, but the

2 Genetics 11- 1 Anthropology 11- Seidthra survivors still

1 Topology 11- 1 Theology 11- hunt her.



130 Total Powers, 170 Total Characteristics, No Foci, Multipowers or Elementals.



Drifting Shadow (a/k/a Michele Phaleron)



Stats Value Cost



STR 10 0 Value Disadvantage

DEX 10 0

CON 15 10 25 Hunting Evil Supernatural Things 11-

BDY 15 10 30 Hunted by Seidthra (large/supers) 8-

INT 21 11 10 x1½ STN Gold/Silver weapons

EGO 20 20 15 x1½ BDY Light Based Attacks

PRE 21 11 15 x1½ STN Fire & Light Based Attacks

COM 10 0 20 Psych Lim: Honorable

PD 2 0 20 Catastrophic attraction to justice

ED 23 20 15 Enraged: Innocents harmed 8-/11-

REC 5 5 15 Enraged: Attacked dishonorably

END 50 10 20 Public ID/Strange Looks 11-

STN 33 10 15 1d6 STN Suscept Bright Light

SPD 5 30 200 Total

132 Total



Powers

Cost Power



Defense ECV 7

32 Desolid rPD 16 PD 50

not in bright light rED 23 ED 23

0 END Cost

not desolid as to Energy, Ego, PRE, & other non PD attacks. Desolid affects the first 8 BDY/48STN of PD attacks and 8 BDY PD/8 BDY per phase of barriers (requires some breach in order to penetrate barrier. Any breach that a shadow can fall through -- which includes airtight windows -- he can penetrate).



5 15 point life support. Dependant on desolid, does not work in bright light.

5 5 point PD Forcefield, 0 END, Always On.

5 1" Stretching, 0 END, Always On.

5 3 point PD Armor

5 5 point Power defense

5 5 point Flash defense

5 9 point Ego defense

10 Damage resistance Energy Attacks

4 1" darkness, 0 END, Not in bright light, no range.



Offense

57 60 Point Reserve Multipower, fixed slots only.

6u 6d6 Ego Blast, ¼END cost, touch range 3 END

6u 12d6 Telepathy, ¼END cost, touch range 3 END



Other

5 IR Vision

10 Gliding 1 Philosophy 11-

3 Scientist 1 Theology 11-

2 Acheology 11- 1 Topology 11-



161 total for powers, 132 for characteristics = 293 total with 7 points unused.



Twisted Shadow (a/k/a Don Illian)



Stats Value Cost



STR 10 0 Value Disadvantage

DEX 17 21

CON 20 20 15 Susceptibility: bright light 1d6

BDY 15 10 10 Vulnerability: fire & light 1½ STN

INT 21 11 20 fire & light 1½ BDY

EGO 13 6 10 Unusual looks (fear/disquiet) 11-

PRE 20 10 30 Hunted: Seidthra (Yellow Group) 8-

COM 16 6 20 Psych Lim: Honorable

PD 2 0 15 Enraged when attacked dishonorably

ED 4 0 8-/11-

REC 16 20 10 Public ID

END 40 0 30 Hunting: Viper 8-

STN 30 0

SPD 5 23 160 Total

127 Total



Powers

Cost Power



43 4d6 Culm transformation attack (to shadow) 12 END

(1d6-1) STN multiple; vs resistant energy defense

touch range



22 15 point cosmic power pool

15 15 point life support



5 1" Stretching, 0 END, always on.

40 Desolid, 0 END, not in bright light

only penetrate 1 bdy/phase, must be a physical

hole of 2.5mm or greater to penetrate

10 6 point ED Armor



15 Gliding 12"/phase

10 Regenerate 2 BDY/recovery, not in light

6 1" darkness, 0 END

5 IR vision



171 powers + 127 characteristics = 298 total cost



Mindfire (a/k/a Blue Diamond)



Stats Value Cost



STR 10 0 Value Disadvantage

DEX 10 0

CON 25 30 20 Psych Lim: code vs killing

BDY 15 10 20 Psych Lim: honorable

INT 15 5 15 DPNPC (random person in need) 11-

EGO 20 20 15 DPNPC (random person in need) 11-

PRE 16 6 20 Hunted: Wyvrnn 8-

COM 14 4 20 Hunted: Seidthra 8-

PD 2 0 10 Public ID

ED 5 0 10 Physical Limitation (Wings) REC 10 6 5 Bad Reaction 8- (Green skin/alien)

END 52 1 10 x1½ STN Ego Attacks

STN 41 10 x1½ STN Energy Killing Attacks

SPD 5 30 155 Total

103 Total



Powers



120 point Mental Elemental

20 Elemental Group

20 Mind Control 8d6 20 Ego Attack 4d6

20 Telepathy 8d6 20 Forcefield 20PD/20ED

20 ¼END on forcefield

50 Point Multipower

30 Power Pool 6 Lifesupport

2u Regeneration 6 Flight

1 useable on others 6 FTL Flight



20 Point Skill Group

5 Medic 5 Persuasion

5 Psychotherapy 5 Luck 1d6



6 point Power Pool in OAF Blue Diamond Necklace



197 Powers + 103 Characteristics = 300 Points



BrightFire (a/k/a Gold Diamond)

Stats Value Cost



STR 30 20 Value Disadvantage

DEX 20 30 8 Distrustfull of Governments

CON 20 20 20 Psych Lim: Overconfident

BDY 15 10 20 Psych Lim: Honorable

INT 21 11 20 DPNPC- (random person in need) 11-

EGO 15 20 30 Hunting: Viper 8-

PRE 21 11 20 Hunted: Wyvrnn 8-

COM 24 7 35 Hunting: Harmers of innocents 11-

PD 6 0 10 Public ID

ED 4 0 10 Physical Limitation (Wings)

REC 10 10 Unusual Looks (Compelling App) 11-

END 40 20 x1 BDY Ego Attacks (takes body)

STN 40 10 x1½ STN Energy Killing Attacks

SPD 6 30 25 Enraged, Innocents Harmed 15-/11-

179 Total 238 Total



Powers



37 Shamen's belt: power pool limited to summoning exotic weapons

14- to successfully summon a weapon

OAFs only summoned

all 1" stretching, no END, Always on

2d6 HtH Killing ED

Armor Piercing

Area Effect Hexes



55 Mental Multipower

50 Point Pool

Fixed Slots Only

5u 6d6 telepathy ¼END 5u 20PD/20ED forcefield ¼END

5u 3 point regen, usable on others 4u Life Support



30 Skill Group

5 Medical Doctor 5 Persuasion

15 Psycotherapy 5 Tracking



10 2d6 luck 10 Gliding

12 Flight ½END 5 IR Vision

159 Powers + 179 for characteristics = 338 out of 338 available points



GREEN DIAMOND a/k/a Hopefire

--original DC Heros format.



attack damage hit points

physical DEX 17 STR 5 BDY 17

mental INT 6 WIL 9 MND 14

magical INF 17 AUR 12 SPT 24



POWERS

Flight 47 SKILLS

Empathy 35 Martial Arts/Weaponry 20·

Life Sense 23 Charisma 18·

Sealed Systems 11 Tracking 16· Magic Link 9 (sorcerer option)· Medicine 14·

Magic Shield 7 Psychiatry 14·

Regeneration (*linked*will*09) Survival 12·



EQUIPMENT

Green diamond on iridium/inertron alloy chain

Super Hearing 24 Superventriloquism 24

24 duration, 7 charges (powers linked to requisites)



Bead Belt (shaman's tool)

Continuum Control (linked*will*9)

Generates Exotic Weapons (see weaponry skill above)



CONNECTIONS astir'bayait (high)

WEALTH: N/A

RACE: Exotic Human (gene-spliced)

MOTIVATION: Responsibility of Power



Initiative 35 (55)(+·) Hero Points 180



Long brown-blond hair, pale green skin and brown-blond wings make Green Diamond one of the least normal looking "pure strain humans" to be found. Of course that is because though she was born of unmodified human stock found in a hidden colony, she no longer has any of her original genetic coding. She currently wears an all purpose mutable color body-suit with a white necklace set with a 2½ caret green diamond. She wears a bead belt and occasionally carries a displayed weapon of exotic shape. She prefers edged weapons of greenish-gold color.



Her given name is Hopefire. She was a magically trained healer who got in over her head trying to treat sentient synthetic virus infections. The virus colonies utilized retrograde DNA and host modification. She was infected and had her chromosone code modified past her body's ability to heal itself or her magic's ability to restructure.



Those she was helping paniced and condemned her to space along with the rest of the infected dead and dieing. When the bodies were a "safe" distance away the locals detonated a high radioactive yield nuclear weapon which scrambled the genetic codes of most of the viruses and sterilized portions of the pyre.



Hopefire survived, though critically injured past any reasonable expectation of continued life. She was found by several astir'bayait questors whom she had earlier helped and who had heard her magical plea for assistance. Faced with the choice of death or experimenting with untried medical techniques, they took a chance.



Using recombinant DNA intended for genesplicing, the rescue team "restored" Hopefire's genetic code by partially replacing it with their own experimental genesplices. With the new DNA code, her inborn powers of recovery were able to find a key to work on. She was healed, though the strain deeply drained her and neither her magic or her regeneration powers are what they were.



The final healing magic depleted her shamen's belt of much of its power and the backlash cast her and her shadows out of the continuum -- creating three where there was only one before (strong magics can do that). When she came back into reality she met Blue Topaz and White Sapphire as they escaped from the rift.



She believes that hope will always triumph and her experiences have always born that belief out -- even in the direst of circumstances. Green Diamond remains cheerful, hopeful and positive. It is her natural state of mind and of being and is how she is when exausted and when no other state is left. Good sub-plots would include conflicts with others about "bad attitudes," cure or kill decisions, and a need in her to heal others. She is a useful character to use when a player decides to heal a character grown boring through overmuch doom, depression and anguish. Hopefire provides a plot opening for cleaning up excessive angst.



MindFire and BrightFire are two male shadow "clones" created during her healing. Each of the three has a portion of the memories and powers of the original and both common and seperate elements of personality. Each is a complete individual. Green Diamond is brown-blond/pale green in colors. Blue Diamond is pale blue-white/royal blue in his colors. Gold Diamond is red-blond/gold. All three share Green Diamond's basic personality with their own overlays.



Blue and Gold Diamond were cast into the dream world by the same magics that cast Green Diamond into the area of the rift. They have been enlisted by the same faction that has enlisted the Shadows characters.



"BOOK" REVIEWS



Bitter Gold Hearts by Glen Cook, Signet Books, $3.50/253 pages.

Good. I think the first one (Sweet Silver Blues) spoiled me a little. This one takes place over a shorter period of time and covers less of the world. It has more of the humor and more genre (private eye story) feel. While very well written, it wasn't as satisfying a wrap as the first one.

However, I do recommend it and am going for the next (Copper) when it comes out. If you want trolls, vegetarian elves, organized crime, and a kidnapping scheme gone all awry, this is the book for you.



Southern Knights #26 was better than previous issues. More on SK when I see issue number 27.



CyCops a three part series by Woodcock & Stelfreeze. Comics Interview $1.95.

Some of you have seen my Cyberghost concept. The Code scenarios set in Oregon are based on it. CyCops is very similar in the concept for the heros. Its also different enough that I'm sure that there is no cross-over.

Yes, it has neurosystems backed up by computers that are integrated into the heros -- but CyCops don't "ghost" into theirs. Yes, they wear power armor that is skin surface oriented -- but CyCops isn't part energy construct. And CyCops is based outside of the Platform Technologies universe. Artwork looked like neat stuff.



*Editorial Warning*



When I was younger, had an operator's level account on Cybernet and programmed only in assembler (with occassional recourse to Basic for games or text processing), I loved command driven software.



Later, I graduated to multitasking CP/M (on a four user Altos) and Wordstar* -- and I loved variable menu command driven software. Still do.



But as I grow older, busier, and less inclined to put in twenty or thirty hours a week hacking away, I'm beginning to reconsider several strongly held beliefs.



Software seems to have three use curves. The first is the learning curve. This is the amount of time it takes a new user (or group of users) to learn to use the software. Typically, the things that can be done to shorten the learning curve slow down the use/power curve -- the amount of time it takes to use the program.



For example, with Wordstar* I can do a large number of fairly complicated operations in a matter of a few key-strokes. The same factors that allow me to do a great deal also make Wordstar* harder to learn.



These two curves dominate the thinking of most people evaluating software and command systems. Most of the evaluators miss/ignore the third curve -- the relearning curve. The difficulty an "established" user has in relearning the software every time they have to do something they have not done recently.



A regular user will miss this factor -- a factor that made the difference for my secretary recently when she had to decide between software she was familiar with and software she had the experience of trying out for a month. She chose the new software because it was easier to relearn.



Think about that the next time you look at Ikon driven software and compare it to command driven software. *close editorial

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