Setting:HR Giger's Dark World
Development on this homebrew is slow, we will remove this banner when development is back to a quicker pace.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Mechanics
- 2.1 Wammnebu Suggestions and Methodology
- 2.2 Power of Senses
- 2.2.1 Sensation Levels
- 2.2.2 The External Sensations
- 2.2.3 Internal Sensations
- 2.2.4 Sensations with Backgrounds
- 2.2.5 Sensory Damage
- 3 Character Progression
- 4 Senses and Backgrounds
- 5 Setting
- 6 combat
- 6.1 Equipment, Artifacts and Weapons
- 6.2 Initiative and detection
- 6.3 Sensation and Stunting
- 6.4 Wounds
- 6.5 Combat Method
- 6.6 Item List
- 7 monsters and allies
- 8 ways to experience the dark world
- 9 contibutors
Welcome to H.R. Giger's Dark World.
This is a campaign setting based on the critically acclamed /v/ darkseed. The games are Abandonware now because the last game in the series Darkseed II was released in 1995; the games are no longer available from steam or even gog.com. The artwork for the "Dark World" areas of the game are based off artwork provided by the late Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger. Giger's artwork depicted human flesh in an unnatural union with cybernetics resulting in strange machines and creatures called biomechanoids. These creatures are the main inhabitants of the Dark World. Some of them may appear human, but they are anything but; their insides are completely foreign to human anatomy. Best of luck to you in your adventures in the Dark World!
The setting and our goals
-Tell us which of us is IK and which of us is UK. in addition, tell us whether it is day or night. -Biomechanoid Guards
The Light World is the same as you or me have it here in real life, all the laws of physics apply, the sun still shines, and most people go about their lives normally. But sometimes people stumble across a portal to the Dark World (Almost always a cursed mirror). When characters first enter the Dark World, they might be curious, but that curiosity always turns to fear when they stumble across a evil Dark Worlder. Their curiosity will always turn to terror or disgust because the human mind can't handle the horrors of the Dark World. Eventually the terrifying surreality of the dark world will destroy the minds of those who linger there too long. (More on this later.) The Dark World version of Earth was conquered by the Ancients. The Ancients are from a different planet in the Dark World, then they came to earth with their spaceships and are now plotting to conquer Earth. They have tried twice to conquer earth. First they tried using the epynomous dark seed. they impregnated average joe Mike Dawson using a machine to shoot the dark seed into his brain. He stopped the Ancients and killed the dark seed by destroying the alien power source and taking pills given to him by the keeper of the scrolls (a friendly darkworlder.) The second time the ancients tried growing a new monster called the Behemoth. But Mike Dawson was around to stop them again by destroying the incubator of the behemoth with a sword given to him by another friendly darkworlder called the keeper of the sword. But, tragically, Mike was murdered by his Dark World counterpart Jack. The mission at hand for the development team: 1. Create a setting/homebrew that is faithful to the aesthetic style of H.R. Giger. 2. Expand upon the premise of the games and the preexisting fluff and branch out into new genres for dark seed, such as military sci-fi. 3. Make a easy to understand set of custom rules for the setting accurately depicting the fluff. 4. keep adding expansion material to the setting after the groundwork is laid. 5. GET SHIT DONE!
Still under construction, but hopefully it will be a system that allows for both adventure and survival horror. (millitary sci-fi/action too?)
Wammnebu Suggestions and Methodology
Some ideas for setting up the combat system. Will be filling out over time. Everything is still brainstorming so i will figure out how the stats actually work later.
A couple guiding ideas im working with.
- Easy to adhoc
This is a game that is going to have a lot of ideas and creative monsters and creatures to it, whether developed by SavageReaper, based on the Game, as well as created by the GM. As such we need a system that lets players improvise and the GM make decisions on the fly, and be able to stat and resolve things quickly.
- Emphasize the Survival horror aspect of the game.
Essentially I want to make running away fun. For most of the game, characters should be out of their depth with these monstrous beings and trying to find more clever ways around the problem.
- Madness is its own reward
- Trying to avoid a "sanity" meter. Instead of Lovecraft’s "Oh it’s so awful I can’t describe it" we are going to go for the idea that madness is you acclimatizing to the Dark World. Which means when you go back you are going to come back changed. I’m thinking particularly of Isaac Clark's character arc in the Dead Space series. As we progress through he does reach the point where he is just effortlessly killing all of these monsters, but Isaac himself is now a broken man.
Core problem with making Darkseed an rpg
I think if there was a key obstacle to making an RPG about an HR Geiger universe unlike say Lovecraft, is that HR Giger is not a writer, he is a visual artist. Which means we have to translate his visual language into something that works in a primarily auditory and conversational format like a tabletop RPG. Its not going to be enough to have HR Giger art in the splat books, we are going to have to find ways to make the characters feel uncomfortable and lost in Geiger's world without having to put unnecessary burden on the gm to have to describe everything unneccessarily.
I would love to bounce ideas back and forth on this, because i suspect one of the key issues we are going to run into is that we need some effort in the mechanics, objects, rules and society of the dark world. Objects cant just look weird they have to behave weird as well. your character has to react weirdly, and acclimatizing to the world should come at a cost.
Other influences to draw from
I dont think it would hurt to draw from other, similar, sources besides HR Geiger, so long as they dont overwhelm the main source material.
- David Cronenberg
- Fairly obvious one, but definitely one of the major designers and producers of Biomechanical objects (though it might actually be closer to mechano-biological). Im thinking of eXistenZ and VideoDrome in particular
- I dont care about the hate, I really like this movie, especially the art style.
- Tarsem's The Cell
- Another good aesthetic
- Im pretty sure its an open secret that WH40k's Admech, Dark Mechanicum, and Tyrannids has some very heavy inspiration from Giger
- City of Lost Children
- French Children's classic has a lot of useful ideas for inspiration.
- you can easily tell that doom has some giger influnces, especially in the hell levels.
- terminator 1 & 2
- The future scenes can help craft our vision of a war-torn dark world and the terminators themselves have some nice design elemrents like the t-1000's liquid metal body and the t-800's metal endoskeleton.
- quake 1 has many gothic influences and the antagonists of quake 2 are cyborgs called the strogg and there couid be some useful ideas there.
- the game has many giger influences but its most blatant one is the penultamate level of episode 4: in the flesh this level is litterally made of flesh and incorporates many giger-esqe elements
- ailen (duh)
- giger literally designed the xenomorph for alien and parts of the nostromo also he derived the basic shape of the ailen from an earlier painting: necronom iv
many of the planetary environments in this vertically scrolling shooter have a biomechanical influence
Stories over stats
So instead of a player picking stats as numbers, they build the character similar to how Mount and Blade does it. You choose certain events in the character's life (or pick it randomly). These events lead to different stats being added to the character's sheet. We will eventually make a list of major character events that will include childhood events to illnesses that will have appropriate stats and roll modifiers. If something isn't mentioned, the GM will have discretion on how to stat it. Personally, I think it would be important that players not really know how their abilities and personalities work in the Dark World to continue to have that sense of discomfort. They should be encouraged to guess its effects and be (un)pleasantly surprised. Essentially where other games would stat these, these would now be feats.
Power of Senses
HR Giger's work seems to imply a lot of sensation, so how it affects your hormones and senses should be a major component of the game. So perhaps instead of the regular RPG stats (SPECIAL/SDEIW/etc) we stat their ability to recieve sensation. Essentially we make perception our only stat, and break it up.
For the sake of simplicity we will have only 5 levels (Null, Dull, Normal, Acute, Ascended)
- This character does not have this sensation, for better or worse.
- This character's ability to perceive with this sensation is blunt, impaired, or juvenile.
- This character's operates within an average human's ability.
- This character's sensation is unusually strong, but not abnormally so
- This character has an unnatural awareness of something.
Dull, Normal, and Acute are the standards for most human. Null represents an impediment or injury, while Ascended is a supernaturally heightened sense.
Using Sensation in Skill Checks
When using sensation in rolls different levels will permit different Dice to be used (resulting in a higher range of success).
- Null: D0 (automatic Fail)
- Dull: D4
- Normal: D6
- Acute: 2D6
- Ascended: 3D6
Success or failure will follow this chart:
- Nothing or worse than nothing. Character may take sensory damage.
- 3-4:Cursory or basic insight
- Something you can learn without paying much attention
- 5-10:Exceptional insight
- Your has some unique insight into the object that only a finely trained person would know. The character can make the sorts of deductions and insights Monk or Sherlock Holmes could.
- 11-15:Unnatural insight
- Your character's sense starts being able to reveal information you would normally be able to require other senses for. Think all of the bullshit abilities Daredevil's sense of Hearing and Smell can do.
- 16-20:Incredible insight
- The "Sweet Spot" You will learn something extraordinary. That could help you down the line.
- 20-24:Forbidden insight
- There is such a thing as learning too much, in a sense this is both a critical failure and a critical success, you will get something useful out of this, but you may also learn something that wasn't yours to know. The character will take sensory damage.
Example Touch Check - your hand touches a table
- You slam your hand against the table, your hand hurts
- Cursory Insight
- The table is made of wood
- Exceptional insight
- You can tell about the construction and durability of the table, you can feel the weathering on one side, and can tell that a heavy squareshape object was placed on the lower right hand side of the table.
- Unnatural insight
- From the stress and weight changes on the table, you have some clues into the state of mind the person was in when he placed the object down on the table. You touched the residue left by someone and you recognize it as cologne.
- Incredible insight
- Your sense of touch is so sensitive that you were able to feel the shape of every fingerprint on the table. All you need to do is shake someone's hand and you can if they had ever been at this table.
- Forbidden insight
- You can feel the trauma of the tree as it was cut down and lumbered. The nailmarks and scratches give you a phantom pain.
The External Sensations
These are your chief sensations that will be used most of the time. The higher your sensational ability is the more "useful" information you will be able to gain out of someone. So in the case of a strange looking creature, you will be able to tell what some of those weird biomechanical objects are for, as well as relate to them better.
The external sensations require sensory organs, and as such you need the organs in order to have the sensation.
- The ability to visually percieve that around you.
- Null Sight - The Character is blind
- Dull sight - Character has a childlike understanding of colors and shapes, may also be color blind, apropasia, or other visual impairments
- Normal sight - character has good visual identification skills and peripheral vision.
- Acute sight - exceptional identification of objects and perhaps more deft ability to pick out values and color.
- Ascended sight - the great works of art are boorish and tame, and the character can see colors and shapes that he cannot describe
This is going to be a little tricky, I don't want the game to turn into FATAL, but at the same time, You don't have to be an art history major to know that HR Giger's paintings tend to have a deviant character to them.
There is very little your character can actually do to affect these stats, but they are in play. These often cannot be honed and have more to do with the character's brain than their body.
The ability to read others and understand their emotional situation.
- Character is emotionally impaired
- Character has a childlike and churlish grasp of emotions. He can tell you are angry if you scream at him.
- Character has a firm grasp of human emotion
- Characters have high emotional intelligence, and often understand the emotions of others more than person themselves.
- Character's sense of empathy borders on telepathic.
- Use in Game
- Characters would use "Empathy" much in the same way they would use a diplomacy or charisma check in another game.
- Characters with high empathy who are about to be betrayed, will be given a free action and before combat starts.
Your sense of balance but also situational awareness
- Null - Character has problems with vertigo, and severe orientation problems
- Dull - Character struggles with theirw own sense of balance and is constantly tripping over objects
- Normal - An average sense of balence and situational awareness
- Acute - Character has phenomenal balance, will likely be more capable at complicated athletics, as well as a heightened sense of alertness
- Ascended - Character is attuned to the changes in the atmosphere and in the world around him. This might
even be a sense of Magnetolocation or electrolocation.
- How it will be used
- Orientation will be used along with other senses to determine initiative. Additionally characters with strong senses of orientation will be harder to sneak up on.
Our sense of progression and events, also affects your sleep cycle, circadian rhythms, and other aspects of the body.
- Null: Character has issues with memory, forms of amnesia, dyschronometria,
- Dull: Character may have issues keeping track of time
- Normal: Character has a normal sense of time
- Acute: Character has an excellent memory and understanding of cause and effect.
- Ascended: Character is unable to forget, every second is stored, every moment recalled.
- How it will be used.
- Characters with strong senses of time will get an additional action during the first stages of encounter.
Sensations with Backgrounds
Certain life events, or incidents will give the character some buffs to this when they meet a certain criteria. For instance lets say a character is/was a mother. The character will have stronger observational and empathy skills when it comes to children. So long as it is within normal parameters, you can use your traits to temporarily bump up one of your sensations.
Heightened senses works both ways. When you take sensory damage, you use the same dice you use for skill checks.
The Dark World Self
The Player shouldn't actually know what the dark world self is like. Perhaps the Mirror self of the character should be drafted up semi-randomly by the GM. So that he knows the stats and characteristics of this dark world character. But the player only knows about him overtime. I think it could be an interesting universe of self discovery.
So for instance lets say the person "Studied hard in college" he is going to get bonuses to intelligence in certain fields, but he also gets a penalty to stress, as well as maybe arrogance (making it hard to acclimate to the weirder parts of the dark world). Once the player (or dice) determine your character, the GM will then use that along with some Dice to craft the dark world version of your character.
The Dark World and its Creation
From what I saw from the original game the Dark world is roughly similar to the original world, correct? This seems like an interesting opportunity for the world because it will offer some unique opportunities for the player to take advantage of that. So for instance if we were to set up certain ground rules about the correlation between light world and dark world (for instance, lets say a road is a road, wherever you go). Players can be encouraged to explore their "light world" for the sake of preparing themselves for the dark world. This could add some interesting complications for the players because when you travel around the overworld, it can have consequences for your regular life.
For example if you are scouting around a particular block, looking for clues based on the overworld what is in the dark world, your girlfriend/wife could be concerned why you keep disappearing to the part of town where all the clubs are. Or if you become too obsessed with what you are doing, neighbors or co-workers could start to be unnerved by your behavior.
Additionally it could be a sort of creative aid to GMs in the same way fallout is. They could take a city or town they know well and the darkworld could be a demented parody of one.
Level Backwards and ways to avoid it
As you travel through this strange world you will have to pay a heavy price. This wont be a "Sanity Mechanic" because i think insanity works best when you think you are being sane. So in this case as you become more "experienced" in the Dark World, it doesnt actually mean you necessarily get better, in fact this world is taking its toll on your mind, body and soul. When a player levels up, while in the dark world they will have to expend some of their strengths/boons/etc. In order to proceed. The world you knew before no longer matters, best to leave its ways behind.
Dark World Points
Your attributes can be modified by leveling up, much like they can in a regular RPG. As you progress you gain Dark World Points, these will be added when you perform sensation check rolls. Meaning as you progess you will see further.
However there is a catch. When you are in the overworld these modifiers still apply, but instead of positive they are negative.
Your Dark World Self
Now there is a way to avoid this, you can slowly become one with your dark world character. Over time, you can affix certain parts of him to yourself, as he will to you. As you progress through the Dark World you will begin to take on an unearthly and bizarre look. As you continue to become a creature of both worlds you can use the skills and abilities he has instead of affecting your own. You can even go back to the overworld and appear unchanged. The problem is, you dont know what his personality is like. So you can avoid losing something, but you gain something you have little control over. Certain actions will now no longer be done by you, and their is a chance your dark self will act on your stead. And this will pass over into the light world as well. After all he's let you into his life, you let him into yours now. Is your family, your wife, and your old ways safe from him?
Senses and Backgrounds
Senses and Backgrounds will serve what Attributes and skills would in a standard RPG
Conquest of The Ancients
The dark world was peaceful before the ancients came from beyond the dark world's dimmest stars the maintainers of the peace in the dark world before The Ancients took over were the keepers. The keepers of the light, scrolls, and sword and a fourth keeper: keeper of the souls. the keeper of the souls rules the underworld of the dark world the keeper of the light holds the light, the source of good in the dark world the keeper of the scrolls holds the scrolls, the source of knowledge and wisdom for the dark world and the keeper of the sword uses the sword to keep the peace in the dark world. The keeper of the souls controls life and death in the dark world in the underworld. There is a river of blood where all of a creatures life force is dumped into the river of blood. Humans aren't so easily destroyed in the dark world humans can die up to 3 times in the dark world before finally expiring. When humans die for the first and second time in the dark world they can climb the staircase back up to the dark world proper. The Drekketh guards are the enforcers of the ancients when the ancients cant be bothered to quell a rebellion or maintain order in their enslaved dark worlders and humans. The Drekketh guards are designed to be intimidating to the maximum. They are horrifying to those unfamiliar with the creatures of the dark world. Wearing masks like skulls and carrying terrifying biomechanoid weapons. They are a force to be reckoned with. The rebellion largely died off once the keepers were executed or detained. And the resistance's best spy, goth died but the resistance is still a underground movement just it needs to regain it's strength could some light worlders join the resistance? Or couid there be a revelation where the resistance learns how to topple the ancients? only time shall tell... Privileged workers are dark worlders who chose to join the ancients and got special treatment. They get higher security clearance better food and are even in higher standing than the drekketh guards. A privileged worker access card can open almost all high-security doors and operate high-tech machinery. so if a light worlder gets a hold on it he may be more of a threat to the regime of the anicents than if he didnt have the card. Dark worlders are forced to take mandatory life force drainings called offerings. The offerings power the stasis-crypts of the ancients. Eventually a dark worlder who drains his life force enugh will die. but not in the traditonal way. they are forced to roam the endless underworld as undead because they had no more life force to dump into the river styx. Sometimes these zombies find their way out of the underworld and they are so angry that they will attack the ancients for stealing their life force and not being able to join their ancestors in the river styx. The ancients are in stasis in the tomb of the ancients. They are waiting for their nefarious plans to come to frutition so they can rule the earth and the dark world as one their stasis crypts are powered with the life force drained from captive biomechanoids when the life force of the captives runs out the bodies are disposed of by dumping them out in the wasteland. The spirits of the departed find their way back to their bodies in the dark world and become ghouls and wander the wasteland forever. Or the souls remain trapped in the underworld and remain in limbo forever. The wasteland is the deserted area beyond the designated settlements and outposts. The wasteland used to be verdant (for the dark world) forests and plains until the ancients invasion. When the ancients invaded they used massive machines to absorb the life force of the "trees" (really just stationary nonsapient biomechanoids) and refueled their ships at the expense of the ecosystem. now the once prosperous ecosystem is now a wasteland of rocks and electro-vermin dens and the occasional ghoul. but the resistance has found the wasteland to be a exellent place to hide. goth spent his last days in his hideout in the wasteland.
The Birth Machine
It is the birth machine that damned the dark world. The Darkworld is built upon the union of flesh and steel, this bio-mechanical matrimony is what gives the weapon its ammunition, the device its power, and its functionality. Unlike the world of light where the material world is killed and its corpses are assembled into primitive machines to exploit the dark draws from the user as much as the device itself. The light worlders do not understand our ways, they are unnerved, but we celebrate our connection to our devices, to feel as they feel, to give a part of ourselves to the machine with whom we bonded, and to take the risks from such a union.
This of course begs the question for many Light Worlders, what births the birth machines. There are of course living beings who have been fused and transformed into biomachines, but these are few and far between. They are often crude, and the transformed individual often is not mentally or physically prepared for such a transition, leading to breakdowns and "complications" Most great and beautiful machines come from the Birth Machine. These birth machines are great factories who produce the dark world. They are The Matrons of the Mechonisms. When the Ancients conquered our lands, they captured the Birth Machines, and violated them, forcing the creation of new weapons and equipment from their domineering force. Efforts to save the birth machine were tried many times by the rebels, all of which have failed. We have long since given up.
But that is not to say we are without all hope, for their are rumors that an egg with a nascent Birth Machine, has been kept in secret. The Maiden Machine is hidden from Drekketh eyes and known only to an organization who has yet to reveal their name. They exist in whispers. They transport the Maiden across the dark world, protecting her from the Ancient ones. No one has seen these defenders in person, and they seem to only work through agents of agents of agents. Light worlders are occasionally contacted to perform services to save this birth machine. The Dark World holds hope that one day, when she is fully formed she can restore the union that made The Dark World, and aid the rebels in final victory.
They have every reason to be cautious, because the Birth Machines ravaged by the Ancient ones are aging, their machines no longer produce what they could, and they refuse to birth another birth machine. When these machines die, the Ancient One's Empire dies with them. They must find the Birth Maidens.
sector is not secure! i repeat sector is not secure! organics detected! -drekketh guard
(this section is an experiment by savagereaper! it is not final)
Sooner than later you will have to face your fears and fight a hostile creature of some kind.
here is the section explaining how combat works in darkseed's setting.
1. a character's physical ability
- a characters physical abillities are defined by past experinces like e.g. this character visits the gym a lot or this character runs a lot or conversely the character is crippled in some way.
2. parties involved
- no battle is one-sided who are the combatants? lets say a human character is fighting a indidvidual drekketh guard. this person has viseted the gym sometimes and he has a shovel and a 9mm pistol. and the drekketh guard has minor cybernetic muscle enhancements and a blade biomechanioid (more on weapons later) so the human has a minor strengh enhancement but he also has a very powerful ranged weapon: the 9mm pistol but his melee weapon is kinda weak for dealing with anything above electro-vermin. but the guard dosent have a ranged weapon.
- the combat is handled by using the rules below:
Equipment, Artifacts and Weapons
various equipment for use inside and outside of combat. (needs wammnebu's homebrew magic)
General rules for Items:
For the sake of simplicity, as well as encouraging improvising. We are going to make weapons, items and artifacts use the same system. Essentially everything is a weapon if you throw it hard enough, and lots of things will have side effects beyond its normal usage.
Additionally objects will have a presence that wil be felt by the senses.
- Does the object do physical damage, psychic damage, sensory damage
- Sensory Damage
- Sensory damage harms the senses.
- Example A flash bang grenade will affect the eyes for instance.
- Psychic Damage
- This type of damage will impact your inner senses, mental well being, sanity, and emotional health.
- For the most part these will be side effects to other weapons(being dazed will be orientation damage), but their could be science fiction weapons that will do psychic damage.
- Physical Damage
- This will do damage that actually affects the body. Can also affect the External senses.
- How much damage an object does to the senses
- Does not do any damage
- Can cause discomfort, damage could be added if character is sensitive
- Can do some sensory damage
- Damage could be added over frequent use
- Does a high amount of sensory damage
- Can do instantaneous damage
- Can destroy a sensory organ
- Roll D20 to determine whether it causes extreme damage.
- How weighty or difficult to hold is the object
- Object is negligible in encumberance (coins, bullets, amulets)
- Object takes up space, but can easily be held in one hand (handgun, stapler)
- Object can be easily held with two hands or on your back (backpack, light machinegun)
- Object can be held with two hands with great difficulty (double rocket launchers (i know this is bs i just couident think of anything else)
- Object can be moved, but but not carried.
- Object is too heavy or two large to move
|Cost||If it expends a currency to use
|Offensive Impact||When you use it against someone what does it affect|
|Offensive Severity||How much damage does it do against a person
|Offensive Range||Area of effect? On impact? Missile?|
|Residual Impact||A side effect of damage done by using the object|
|Residual Severity||See Severity Chart|
|Offensive Range||Area of effect? On impact? Missile?|
|Stasis Impact||If the object naturally emits an sensory damage|
|Stasis Severity||See Severity Chart|
|Stasis Range||Area of effect? On impact? Missile?|
|Other Characteristics||misc specialty rules and tags.|
So for example, lets stat a shotgun.
|Favored weapon of home defense and hunting|
|Offensive Impact(Severity)||Physical Health (Severe Positive)|
|Offensive Range||Medium Ranged|
|Residual Impact(Severity)||Hearing (moderate)|
|Residual Range||Area of effect large|
|Stasis Impact (Severity)||None|
|Other Characteristics||Firearms, hunters, police, civilians|
Light World versus Dark World Tech
On both sides of the world, they find the tech of the others bizarre and repulsive. Dark worlders often do not have the strength or coordination to use lightworld object, additionally they find the "divorcing" between man and technology to cause a severe and painful disconnect. Darkworlders tend to be more sensitive in almost all aspects. This is both dangerous and exploitable.
If you are from the light world, you dont get to just use a biomechanical weapon. If you pick up a biomechanical blade to use, it will eventually wither and die, and you cant just "pick up" a darkworlder's biomechanical gun. These biomechanical devices must be integrated into the body. This can have all manner of positive effects, heightened senses, new abilities, weapons that do not breakdown or deplete. However these items just as much wear you as you wear them. They become integrated into your body, they are a part of your body, and you must feel them, understand them and take care of them. Some pieces act as an additional limb, while others have a mind of their own.
- Integration pains
- When you first begin to integrate with the items, you are going to have problems, the problems are related to where they are in relation to your body. You will take on the background "novice biomechanoid" and "growing pains" Additionally, when the weapons are fully grown into your body, they will now impact your own senses. A biomechanical sword for instance will give a sense of pleasure when you kill, but if it is broken, you will feel the pain of it happening. Other biomechancical objects will have their own side effects.
- New nutrition
- Your biomechanical weapons will now take not only stamina, but nutrition from foods of the dark world. You may not like it, but you are going to have to eat their food now.
- Biomechanical in the Light World
(Based on the fact that you cant see the alien parasite egg in Darkseed)
- When you return to the world of light, your biomechanical objects will not be visible, but do not be fooled, it is not a bad dream. They are all still there. YOU can see them, you can feel them, you can feel them hunger.
Your weapons from the dark world are not visible/do not function in the world of the light. implants dissapear and the limbs they replaced return. you will still need to feed them however
Initiative and detection
Turn order for combat will be determined primarily by you Sensations. Though with higher levels of sensation will be able to react first.
- Overriding Dice
If a particular enemy has a certain trait affected by sensation (for instance Noisy, or Repugnant), then those with the high levels of that sensation will react first.
- Someone with acute or higher moves to the top of the initiative list. If two or more people have acute sensations than the one who is higher goes fir the one closest to the enemy goes first.
- Someone with an ascended sensation long detected the enemy before they wished to be known. Not does only move ahead of someone with acute sensation, but they also receive a free action before combat begins.
- Formula for Dice
- For everyone else, initiative is determined by the following formula.
Sight + Sound + Orientation + 1d6
- Awareness/unawareness traits
- Those with traits that affect awareness (such as paranoid, keen, slow-response, inattentive, etc) will not actually be used to affect turn order. Instead, the players will gain or lose an action. Dependending on whether or not This stacks with ascended. This also means those without actions will not be able to fight for the first round.
Sensation and Stunting
Your sensations are both your greatest asset and your greatest weakness. If a creature is particularly repulsive to one of your senses, its going to negatively impact your ability to fight him, unless you do something about it.
So for example you detect a creature using your sense of smell, because it is acute. However this repugnant being will overwhelm you if you get too close, and you will be nauseous. So you are going to need to use some sort of range attack or way to dull your senses.
The idea here is to avoid having a "Sanity" meter. But instead have the horrific creatures bring negative impacts in a different way.
Note this works against enemies as well (so a being with hyper sensitive sight can be overwhelmed by a flashlight).
Instead of health, there will be "wounds" most attacks will do 1d4 wounds. If you have the max number of wounds bad things happen. Certain artifacts and traits can affect this.
There are going to be only a few health bars, and none have very much health.
- Vital Wounds
- The stuff that keeps you alive (Head, brain, heart, vital organs, blood).
- The average person can take X vital wounds
- If you take the max number of Vital wounds you are dead
- Limbic Wounds
- The average person can take 2X limbic wounds
- If you take the max number of limbic wounds you are immobile, and take one vital wound.
- Psychic Wounds.
- Your mental ability to understand what you are seeing.
- The average person can take 3x psychic wounds
- This health scales and the more it is damaged, the more the character will act involuntarily (based either on his traits or the GM's discretion).
- Physiological Health
- This is your stamina and energy. Doing certain strenuous actions will give you a physiological wound.
- This stat will vary the most out of any, and will be heavily based on the character.
- When the maximum number of wounds is reached the person is unable to move, and could take psychic or limbic damage.
- The amount of damage an object has the potential to hit.
- Attacker's Chance
- Representing the various factors that lead to the weapon doing the max possible damage (weapon strength, skill, experience, other factors.
- This will be using a d6
- Defender's Chance
- Armor, flexibility, luck, divine intervention, bible on your heart, etc. These are the things that prevent the Base from doing the max amount of damage.
- Modifiers are things that will impact a person's ability in combat, and can be anything from environment to skill, to protections
- Barriers prevent something from happening.
The chances will determined by using a d6. The D6 will determine what percentage of damage the object does.
- 1 = None
- 2 = One-Fourth
- 3 = Half
- 4 = Three-Fourths
- 5 = Whole
- 6 = One and a half.
Combat will be resolved using the following formula
(Attacker's Roll - Defender's Roll)*Base Damage
Modifiers and Barriers=
Modifiers will not affect the final dice, but instead how many times the player can re roll (or roll multiple dice).
A Barrier, will be something that prevents one side from rolling. If a person is behind cover or you are punching someone wearing armor, then the attack isn't going to do anything. Similarly an environmental attack (the room collapsing in on enemies) isn't going to actually measure armor defense. What counts as a barriers versus modifier is up to the GM's Discretion.
- Resolving Barriers
- Barriers can be resolved on of two ways
- GM Fiat
- The GM can determine whether or not this counts as a barrier.
- A D20 roll. A simple D20 role can determine whether or not the barrier works or not.
- 11 - 20 The Barrier works as a barrier
- 6-10 The Barrier works as a modifier
- 1-5 The Barrier fails.
Light World Weapons
improvised weapon: any everyday implement that has been repurposed as a weapon. rarity: trivial, stats: d3 wounds and roll 1d20 against a random number determined by the gm to see if the weapon breaks.
knife: A simple knife of any kind. rarity: common, stats: 1d4 wounds
9mm pistol: most common ballistic weapon in the possesion of light worlders. rarity: uncommon, stats: 1d4 damage
submachine gun: the most common fully automatic firearm, issued to light world police units. rarity: medium, stats: 3 shots per round but only has d3 wounds per hit.
assault rifle: more powerful automatic option, ammumition will most likely be limited. rarity: medium to rare stats: roll 1d6 for shots per round and d3 wounds each
shotgun: a simple boomstick of moderate power good for kicking ass and taking names! rarity: medium, damage: 1d6 point blank d3 at 10 feet and useless after 30 feet double barrel shotgun: one stick, twice the boom! rarity: medium, damage: if you are using one barrel at a time please refer to the stats for the regular shotgun above if you are using both barrels double the stats above.
Dark World Weapons
- blade biomechaniod
- Small blade made of a unidenifiable metal substance with bits of inlaid bio-matrix standard issue for all drekketh guards. rarity: common damage: 1d4 wounds
- pistol biomechanoid
- A weapon fashioned with metal with bio-matricies capable of synthisising projectiles to launch out of the mouth (barrel) of the creature. issued to drekketh guard subjigation teams. rarity: common, damage: 1d4 wounds
- submachine biomech
- A fully automatic weapon that grows its own ammumition, automatically fires at a high cyclic rate, issued to drekketh guard subjuigation teams. rarity: medium, damage: 3 shots per round but only does d3 wounds per hit
- rifle biomechanoid
- high caliber living assualt weapon, lower cyclic rate but higher damage output also issued to drekketh guard shock troops and sargents. rarity: medium to rare, damage: 1d4 shots per round but 1d6 damage
- arc caster
- a weapon that creates either a arc of energy between the wielder and the target or launches a ball of lightning the weapon is powered by a implanted bioelctricity generator it can fire 1d4 blasts of both kinds every hour rarity: rare, damage: D3 wounds per round of sustained arc 1d6 for ball lightning.
- dart rifle biomech
- A living biomechanoid dart rifle, it grows deadly darts with a powerful neurotoxin and fires them using compressed air inside its lungs it also has a scope on top, issued to dark world assassins. rarity: medium, damage: 1d4 wounds + 1 every hour until the poison wears off
- scattergun biomechanoid
- a living shotgun: uses special electromagnets in its body powered by bioelectricity generators to fire ferromagnetic pellets loaded in a chamber on its back. it is issued to drekketh guard sargeants and shock troops. rarity: medium, damage: 1d6 (within 5 feet) 1d4 (medium range) and after 30 feet the weapon looses effectiveness.
- twin scattergun
- a conjoined twin scattergun biomechaniod. fires faster than a light world double shotgun but is in turn more resource expensive. rarity: rare damage:
- sword biomechanoid
- This sword is made from a biomechanical metal that the user can retract at will to get a biomechanical hand back. rarity: rare, stats:
- chaingun biomechanoid
- a mounted biomechaniod chaingun, it grows its own amumition and the bullets travel at hypersonic speeds, and the gun is mounted on the top of gun emplacements in high security areas integrates only temporarily with the human body.
monsters and allies
the dark world plays host to many inhabitants, many are frends while other are foes.
electro-vermin: damn electro-vermin!!! - anonymous these electro-vermin feed on the electricity coming from dark world power stations for sustenance, they are the least threatning and weakest inhabitants of the dark world. frequency: common, habitat: anywhere with electricity (pretty much everything) stats:
slave biomechanoid: -must finish task! must finish task! - mindless slave biomechanoid These biomechanoids used to have free will of their own until the ancients lobotomized the centers of their brains responsible for higher thinking, Now they are mindless slaves relegated to menial tasks. frequency: uncommon habitat: manufactorums, power centers, and the tomb of the ancients, stats:
biomechanoid: the ancients? i don't know. just leave me alone until they decide your not welcome here - biomecanoid These are the few biomechanoids that have hung onto their free will in the age of the ancients. they are usually secretly members of the resistnace and will gladly assist the pc's if they arent risking their own life to do so. frequnecy: rare, habitat: any civilized area in the dark world, stats:
drekketh guard: they are legion, they are death -dark world propaganda The primary oppressors of the people of the dark world. Transhuman, even by the standards of the dark world. Their bodies are covered in a myriad of breathing tubes, datajacks, and built-in comms equpment and dermal armour underneath the body armour they already have. they are equiped with wide arsenal of biomechanical weapons and they are organized into 2 divisions: civil protection, and military the civil protection are kinda like the enforcer of the ancients on the masses. and the civil protection are organized into squads called subjugation teams and the military is the armed forces of the ancents if a full-scale war breaks out. shock troops are the best equpped armed forces in the dark world. and typically only participate in outland patrols and guarding government buildings. frequnecy: uncommon, habitat: any civilized area in the dark world or outposts, stats:
rebel trooper: ailens came down and enslaved us, we want our freedom back! -rebel trooper Biomechanoids who have joined the rebellion against the anceients they are always helpful to the pc's and will in some circumstances even die for the player characters if they are important to the resistance. usually equipped with simple weapons such as submachine biomechs biomechanical pistols and blade biomechaniod sargents may have rifle biomechanoids or scatterguns stolen from drekketh guard stormtroops. some are also stationed at rebel bases situated on the fringe of cities and towns in the dark world. frequency: uncommon habitat: any civilized area in the dark world or outposts, stats:
ghoul: the unliving, the undying, lifeless ones, it dosent matter to me. -rebel trooper Biomechaniods who have had their life force completely drained by the ancients and roam the dark world once again. they no longer have life in them and will attack everyone out of spite. frequency: uncommon, habitat: the underworld, crypts, wasteland, tomb of the ancients, stats:
ancient one: serve the ancients today! - propaganda poster The master race of the dark world and the would-be overlords of earth. They control the entire world and have access to the most advanced technology and weapons. they are challenging combatatnts both mentally and physically. their psionic abillities can actively subjugate the minds of those weaker than themselves although without powerered armour the ancients are weak from a etearnity of stasis in the tomb of the ancients. if they have their exoskeletons they are quite challenging. gm note: and ancient one is best used as a boss at the end of an episodic adventure or a villain in a overarching campaign. frequency: very rare habitat: tomb of the ancients, other
character generation resources
Resources for generating pc's: personality traits: roll 1d20:
01-03 Character has a sweet and bubbly personality, ideal for resisting the horrors of the dark world, or they may be extra vulnerable. roll 1d6 to determine resistance or vulnerability. 1-3 means vulnerable 3-6 means resistant
04-05 Character is weak-minded and naieve and easy to influence. minus to intel checks and is only ever able to achieve standard perception on a sensory roll. But the character gains immunity to all fear checks. but minus to resistance tests against being mentally influenced. either through drugs/magic/or word of mouth.
06-09 Character is mentally standard. No special effects.
10-11 Character is proficient with weaponry, either from past military service or hunting. Gains a plus to all tests related to firing, maintaining, or to remember knowlidge related to weapons.
ways to experience the dark world
Currently There are multiple ways to use the dark world campaign setting, here they are:
survival horror: Experience the dark world in its most horrifying form: survival horror! characters in this style shouid have to fight to stay sane, alive and everything in between. what you shouid expect: jumpscares, thirst, hunger, loneliness, fewer amount of lives, and fighting to stay sane. gm tips: have the players discover the dark world by accident e.g. a mirror in a attic or funhouse a la darkseed II characters that are all around good are for this campaign style.
millitary sci-fi become a soldier in the frontlines of the battle for the dark world and fight for the destiny of two worlds! what you shouid expect: big guns, lots of tech, lots of action, espionage, and ass kicking! gm note: campaigns like this will be very similar to the terminator (future scenes) and half-life 2 with guerrilla fighting and characters with more combat prowess are recomendeded.
adventure: wander around the dark and light world solving puzzles (basically just like the games) what to expect: key hunts, complex dialog with npc's, puzzles, and mystery. gm note: characters with higher senses may do better than others in the mental aspects of puzzles but for those who are strong there are other ways around...
fluff writer, project organizer, and darkseed veteran: savagereaper
game design, creative input, and resident artist: Wammnebu
grammar nazi: death korps soldier
note: (Anyone who adds something substantial to this page will be credited.)
links: darkseed II trailer:  download darkseed 1 from my abandonware (you have to have dosbox to run darkseed): download darkseed II:  download (game requires windows 3.1 installed in dosbox) hr giger's art of biomechanics video: (veiwer discretion advised)