DriveThruRPG Link

Huge Discounts on your Favorite RPGs @

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Midgard, the Moot Hall

 Midgard, the Moot Hall

Starfinder RPG World Stats

Name: Midgard

Nickname: The Moot Hall

Diameter: 1x

Mass: 1x

Gravity: 1x

Atmosphere: standard

Biomes: Any terrestrial

Day: 24 hours; Year: 365 days

Midgard is a planet much like earth, with all it’s biomes and regions. The ideal habitable planet. In the Yggdrasil system Midgard is a place of meeting. A Crossroads of sorts. It is the traditional location of Moots. It is a place to seek out arbitration for grievances. And sometimes it is a battleground. 

Many of the Varjag consider it to be the heart of their civilization. While it is not the seat of power, thanks to its status as THE place of meetings among the varjag, it is valued across their civilization. It is the one place all varjag can be counted on to rally in defense of regardless of any other factors. 

Possibly the most notable organization on the planet is the Vinland Cartographers Guild, and organization dedicated to mapping out the paths through the various FTL capable dimensions, and building a single cohesive map that aligns all paths. Their work is highly classified, and bears some of the highest protections. Only a member of the guild can even read their maps, but their operatives are considered some of the best navigators in the known universe. 

Theme: Vinland Guild Cartographer

You are an agent of the most secretive, and prestigious navigator organizations in known space. You have access to their charts and maps, but bear a responsibility to report information about your travels back to the guild. 

Theme Knowledge (1st Level)

You are obsessed with astrogation and charting the unknowns, and have committed to memory almost every related tidbit of knowledge you’ve ever come across. Reduce the DC of Pilot checks to navigate by 5. Piloting is a class skill for you, though if it is a class skill from the class you take at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to your Piloting checks. In addition, you gain an ability adjustment of +1 to Intelligence at character creation.

Master Navigator (6th Level)

Navigating comes so naturally to you that it takes no significant time or effort for you. Each day of downtime may be spent doing either the Plan Route or the Manage Course downtime activity in addition to any other downtime activities you choose to engage in.You can not do both in the same day.

Instant Analysis (12th Level)

When filing the Science Officer role on a starship, if the starship is not equipped with a Surveying Sensor expansion bay, they may act as if the ship was equipped with Surveying Sensors, even on ships with no expansion bays. If the ship is equipped with Surveying Sensors and the cartographer is in the Science Officer role, they may spend their action in the helm phase to give the Pilot a bonus to any piloting checks made to deal with space hazards equal to the sensor’s normal bonus. 

No Creature Unknown (18th Level)

You have studied the denizens of the realms your starship might travel through, and know what behavior can tell them that you aren’t a threat, aren’t food, and various other simple messages. Living Starships that don’t belong to a faction that is automatically hostile to your ship start with an attitude one step closer to friendly than they normally would. This does not give you the ability to otherwise communicate with them, only to present a sort of “body language” to them. 


World stats for those who play that one 2d6 based scifi RPG whose name no one can use
Midgard ???? A867A71-FAP AgDeGaHiHtIcInRi           A 611 Vj 

Note: The Varjag really have 3 levels of government. 7 is the most common, representing the familial or clan structures that govern much of varjag society. Government code E could be more appropriate if your game will be dealing with the fact that an actual god lives in this system, though not on Midgard itself, though he mostly lets the clans govern themselves. The varjag also have a 3rd layer, their defense forces, which act cooperatively to defend all varjag interests, and are mutually supported by all the clans. This defense force may be represented by a government code of 5 instead.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Muspelheim of the Yggdrasil System

Muspelheim of the Yggdrasil System

Name: Muspelheim
Nickname: The Star Forge
Position: Closest Planet to the Sun
Diameter: 1/3rd
Mass: 333,000x
Gravity: 1x
Atmosphere: Toxic, Radioactive
Biomes: Rocky, Mountainous, Volcanic, Void
Day: 4 hours; Year: 90 days

Muspelheim is an odd planet. It’s not native to the system, making it one of 2 planets that aren’t. It also, in the strictest technical sense, is not actually a planet, but is a star. Technically, Muspelheim makes the Yggdrasil system a binary system. 

The primordial Ymir brought Muspelheim to the system. Originally it was the core of a star on the brink of collapsing into a black hole. Modern experts don’t understand how it was done, but somehow, once it was in place, the star core had its gravity edited until it had standard gravity. The new planet had an unimaginable density, and would have destabilized the system without this “gravity editing,” but instead it exerts no more gravitic pull than a normal planet it’s size. 

The side of Muspelheim that faces the sun is super-heated past the melting point. Some of the exotic ores are even burned into atmospheric particulates. This leaves the atmosphere, a former solar corona, as not only extremely radioactive, but also toxic to breathe as well. The molten ores cool and re-solidify on the night side of the planet, only for the cycle to repeat. The planet itself is almost a perfect smelter. 

Residents of Muspelheim reside in a massive space station spanning most of the planet’s night sky. It’s orbit keeps it in the planet’s shadow, protected from the fury of the sun. Harvesters race back and forth to and from the edge of night and day to harvest the molten ores before they cool again. The rapid, 4-hour day-night cycle is the source of this haste. The day-night terminus is the only viable harvesting area on the planet.

The station itself is not only residential property, but it is also one of the largest manufacturing facilities in known space. It will process the raw materials harvested from the planet below all the way into finished products. 

The station itself is actually made up of thousands of independent, modular sections that can and do separate and rearrange their positions. Each modular section has scheduled movements that allow the whole station to reconfigure itself by moving and rejoining different sections as demanded by it’s manufacturing needs. Each section is not only mobile, but capable of teleportation as well. 

The station is defended by a massive, linked array of teleportation beams and fields of mines, making it a difficult target for anything to attack. 

Muspelheim Modular Space Station Section

Tier 20 supercolossal Base Ship Space Station
Speed: 4; Maneuverability (Piloting -1, Turn 3)
AC 30; TL 30
HP 1950; DT 15; CT 90
Shields Superior Shields 600 (forward 150, port 150, starboard 150, aft 150)
Attack (Aft) Warp Puck Bank (Limited fire 3, mine (2), transposition (2)), Vortex Mouth Mines (7d12, Limited fire 3, mine (3), vortex)
Attack (Turret) Twin Mega Teleportation Beam (2d20x10, Teleportation (3)), Heavy Laser Net (5d6, Point (+12))
Power Core Titan Ultra (1200 PCU); Power Used 1001
Systems Basic medium-range sensors, Luxurious crew quarters, Basic Computer
Security Systems Reconfiguration System
Expansion Bays 25 Base Cargo Holds, 5 Medical Bay, 4 Brig, 3 Arcane Laboratory, 3 Tech Workshop, 3 Science Lab, 3 Synthesis Bay, 1 Surveying Sensors, 5 Elite Combat Training Facility, 5 Amenities, 5 HAC Recreation Suite, 5 Vault, 5 Industry, 10 Conference and Meeting Rooms
Other Systems Data Net, Observation Sensors, Solar Shield Channel, Space Station Framework
Squadron Systems Auto-flight module, Data Link, Focus-fire Algorithm
Complement 150-100,000 Crew; 500,000 Civilians

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Religion in the Yggdrasil System

Religion in the Yggdrasil System

To understand varjag religion, you have to understand their history. To understand their history, you have to go far back into the distant past, before the varjag even existed. The reason for this is that all of their deities are akin to folk heroes. None of them began as gods or goddesses, they each rose to that height. And the first of these was born before their star system was. 

Known only as Allfather, the enigmatic head of the varjag pantheon was created by a long vanished race called the Ymir. The Ymir were a powerful species in the primordial time when the galaxy was still forming. Though it is unknown how, they had the ability to move nearly any celestial body, arrange star systems, and reshape them to suit their needs. They would even seed plants with sentient life. Allfather was the seed-being meant for the star system the Ymir built now known as the Yggdrasil system, meant to be the progenitor of a new race. This was long before Yggdrasil was grown. The only thing Allfather has ever shared of that time is that he learned all he could of their techniques, and then claimed the star system as his territory. He destroyed the Ymir who were there, and they have never been seen in this galaxy since. 

Allfather faced many trials in his rise, not only learning to harness the powers of the Ymir, but learning the power gained from the self-sacrifice and suffering, far greater than that gained from the suffering of others. He mastered the forces of magic as well as more physical arts. Eventually he did become the progenitor of the varjag, but whether the varjag are what the Ymir intended or not, only Allfather knows. 

While nowhere nearly as ancient as the primordial Ymir, the varjag are among the oldest races in the galaxy. From their ranks each of their other gods rose to positions in the pantheon. Many of them had joined it before it was ever discovered that the Ymir had planted the seed of the star system’s destruction in it’s sun: the egg novaspawn. It was Ymir techniques that Allfather bent to his will, with the aid of the pantheon, that grew the great world tree Yggdrasil. 

With this history in mind, it should be no surprise that the varjag pantheon feels no reason not to interfere with the growth of the system and their people. They take an active part in Varjag life, looking upon it as their duty to create and maintain the processes of their people. As such the so-called “natural order” is not very high on their priority list. If it was, they would have disappeared from existence untold millennia ago. That has brought them into conflict with certain organizations and faiths, namely the Green Faith, and the Xenowardens. 

The Green Faith and the Xenowardens expected to have much in common with the varjag when they initially discovered the Yggdrasil system. However the varjag’s disdain and disregard for the natural order puts them at opposition far too often, and eventually both organizations were barred from varjag territories. There is no love lost between those organizations and the varjag. 

Organized religion is not particularly common among the varjag, since they treat most of their gods and goddesses more and folk-heroes than objects of awe. However there are a few semi-organized groups that fall into that category. One such group seeks to emulate Allfather based on the information known about him. Another, also associated with Allfather, trades self-sacrifice for power. The most organized varjag religious group are the caretakers of Yggdrasil. They wander the branches of the tree helping to maintain its health and remove any threats to its safety. They actively coordinate their efforts in order to maximize what they can do.

Below are some new Mystic Connections associated with the varjag. 

Mystic Connection - Allfather

Some Varjag seem to follow in the path of their primary deity, known only by the enigmatic title of Allfather. This connection is almost exclusive to the Varjag for that reason. However a rare few members of other species who have taken up their religion have also made this connection. Allfather is an ancient deity, old enough to remember the Ymir, a primordial progenitor species long disappeared from the universe. Old enough to have been present when the Yggdrasil system was created and possibly even helped in that creation. Stories abound of his ability to disguise himself as anyone and test those he meets. Said to have invented the very concept of language as we know it. Friends with the Akashic Librarian known as Mimir. Those with this connection seek to emulate him. 

Associated Deities: Allfather Associated Skills: Culture and Disguise Spells: 1st-6th Polymorph; replaced by 1st - Disguise Self, 2nd - Augury, 3rd - Tongues, 4th - Discern Lies, 5th - Break Enchantment

Self-control (Sp) - 1st Level

The mystic may cast the Quick Change spell as a spell-like ability at will if they are under the effects of a polymorph or illusion spell they cast themselves. However to use this ability you must pass a disguise check DC 10+your mystic level. This ends any illusion spells they cast themselves, just as it would end a polymorph effect.  

Language of the Ymir (Sp) - 3rd Level

When trying to understand someone speaking a language the mystic does not know, they may make a DC 20+CR of the target Culture Check. If they pass, they benefit from the effects of a Comprehend Language spell as if that spell had been cast on them, but only to understand that individual. At 5th level or higher, if the mystic passes that culture check, the mystic may spend 1 resolve point to have the target benefit from a Shared Language spell. These effects last for 24 hours per level of the mystic. It may even be used on creatures with a 3 or lower intelligence, in allowing the mystic and the creature to understand each other. In this case, the mystic may use the diplomacy or intimidate skill in place of survival for handling an animal. 

Consult Mimir (Sp) - 6th Level

The mystic may spend 1 resolve point to cast the Akashic Download spell. When they do a disembodied head appears and relates the information to them in the allotted time. This ability may be used more than once in a day, but each additional use after the first costs an additional resolve point.

Superior Self-control (Su) - 9th Level

When using the Self-control ability, the mystic may spend 1 resolve point to have any polymorph spell that would be ended by that ability suppressed instead. It’s duration still continues to count down while suppressed. Using the Self-control ability again will un-suppress the polymorph spell. This ability does not work with illusion spells ended by the Self-control spell. 

Superior Consult Mimir (Sp) - 12th Level

When the mystic uses the Consult Mimir ability, they may also cast the Akashic Tutor 2 spell by spending 1 additional resolve point. At level 18, this becomes Akashic Tutor 3. The same disembodied head is the tutor used by this spell. 

Forge of the Ymir (Sp) - 15th Level

While in the void of space, or in any zero-gravity environment, the mystic may cast the Call Cosmos spell by spending 1 resolve point and passing a Mysticism check DC 15+1½ their mystic level. If the check is failed, the resolve point is not spent. If the mystic casts Call Cosmos again, either using this ability or from any other source, the one produced by Forge of the Ymir immediately ends and cannot be used again until the mystic has no other copies of the spell active. 

Ymir Shaping (Sp) - 18th Level

While on the surface of any planet or celestial object with its own gravity, the mystic may cast the Terraform spell at will by passing three skill checks: A Life Science check, a Physical Science check, and a Mysticism check. Each of these checks is DC 20+twice their mystic level. Failing either one of them causes the casting to fail and prevents use of this ability on that celestial object by the mystic for 24 hours. This ability does not reduce the normal 1 hour cast time of the Terraform spell. The mystic does not need to pay the credit cost normally associated with this spell. 


Mystic Connection - Path of the Cyclops

One of the paths to power is to sacrifice part of your vision to gain access to new ways of seeing. One of the first to ever follow this path was the enigmatic deity of the varjag, Allfather. Since then many have followed this path, and it has spread through the cosmos. While Allfather was the first, this connection has spread so far that it is often not even associated with any deity at all. Some worlds have forgotten it's origins so completely they simply believe that one eyed giants are born with the powers of a seer.

Associated Deities: Allfather, The Fates Associated Skills: Mysticism and Perception Spells: 1st - Seeking Shot, 2nd - Predict Foe, 3rd - Glimpse of Truth, 4th - Read the Flames, 5th - Retrocognition, 6th - True Seeing

Sacrifice (Su) - 1st Level

The mystic has permanently sacrificed an eye for power. The mystic permanently suffers from being Flat-footed and suffers a -2 penalty on sight based perception checks and initiative. The affected system may never be replaced with an augment of any type. It may never be restored by any means. In exchange, the mystic may cast any of the Connection Spells they have learned without using a spell slot by spending 1 resolve point. 

Adapted Predictive Reactions (Su) - 3rd Level

The mystic has adapted to its new state of vision. Any spell you cast that would normally take a reaction, instead takes your swift action to cast, and lasts until the start of your next turn, applying against each applicable action that occurs during that interval.  

Oracular Instincts (Su) - 6th Level

The mystic can use their wisdom modifier instead of their dexterity modifier for reflex saves. In addition, if they pass a reflex save for a spell or ability that does half damage on a passed save, they instead take no damage. 

Wandering Vision (Sp) - 9th Level

The mystic may cast Arcane Eye as a spell-like ability once per day at 9th level, and a second time per day at 18th level. At 15th level they may cast Prying Eyes instead. 

Center the Flames (Su) - 12th Level

When you cast Read the Flames, you may center yourself to gain one of it’s bonuses a number of times equal to your key ability modifier before the spell is ended.  

Oracular Strike (Su) - 15th Level

You gain the Blind-fight feat. You may use it’s reroll in ranged combat as well. When you use this reroll on a ranged attack, but the reroll misses, you gain the benefit of the seeking shot spell on your next turn, without using a spell slot. 

Oracular Preparation (Su) - 18th Level

Once each day for each spell level you may cast any mystic spell of that spell level that is not on your list of spells known. 


Mystic Connection - Worldtree

Those who study and help maintain Yggdrasil, the great world tree of the Varjag’s home system learn a great deal about growing things, the ebb and flow of cosmic energies, and planar interactions. 

Associated Deities: None Associated Skills: Life Science and Physical Science Spells: 1st - Verdant Code, 2nd - Personal Gravity, 3rd - Displacement, 4th - Control Atmosphere, 5th - Creation, 6th - Control Gravity

Environmental Senses (Su) - 1st Level

The mystic gains an incredible sense of their environment. As a full action you may use the Scan Environment spell as a supernatural ability by passing a Life Science skill check and a Physical Science skill check each at DC10+mystic level.

Grasping Vines (Su) - 3rd Level

You can spend 1 Resolve Point as a standard action to cause an area within 100 feet to sprout writhing vines in a 20-foot-radius spread. The target surface must be solid but does not need to be capable of sustaining plants normally. The vines have a reach of 5 feet and attempt to wrap around creatures in the area of effect or those that enter the area; such a creature must succeed at a Reflex save or gain the entangled condition. Creatures that successfully save can move as normal, but those that remain in the area must attempt a new save at the end of your turn each round. Creatures moving into the area must attempt a save immediately; failure ends their movement and they become entangled. An entangled creature can break free as a move action with a successful Acrobatics check or DC 15 Strength check. The vines last for a number of rounds equal to your mystic level, and the entire area is difficult terrain while the effect lasts. At 11th level, the vines can reach 10 feet and sprout thorns that deal 1d6 piercing damage each round to creatures in the area.

Root Flesh (Sp) - 6th Level

The mystic can channel the spores of the world tree into the flesh of an enemy. A number of times per day equal to their key ability modifier the mystic can use Rewire Flesh as a spell-like ability. Instead of becoming more robotic, the target becomes more wooden and plantlike. Instead of the normal damage, this spell deals 1d6+mystic level damage per round.

Superior Environmental Senses (Su) - 9th Level

Once per day the mystic may use the Environmental Senses ability to cast Commune with Nature instead of Scan Environment. At 14th level and again at 19th level the mystic gains additional uses of this ability. 

Channeled Form (Sp) - 12th Level

The mystic has learned to channel the energies moving through the world tree into its own body. They may cast the Polymorph 5 spell by spending 2 resolve points. It lasts for a number of hours equal to their mystic level. They learn a number of polymorph forms equal to their key ability modifier, but each form must have the Plant or Elemental type, and they are still recognizable as themselves. They may not cast lower spell levels of polymorph using this ability. At level 15 this becomes Polymorph 6, and the mystic replaces the polymorph forms they know with new ones for the new spell level, but they must still be of the Elemental or Plant type, and they are still recognizable as themselves. 

Plant Transport (Su) - 15th Level

Once per day as a full action, you can enter any living plant equal to your size or larger and exit from another plant of the same kind in the same solar system, regardless of the distance separating the two. The destination plant does not need to be familiar to you. If you are uncertain of the location of a particular kind of destination plant, you merely designate direction and distance and this ability moves you as close as possible to the desired location. If a particular destination plant is desired but the plant is not living, this ability fails and you are ejected from the entry plant. You cannot travel through plant creatures. You can bring along objects as long as their bulk doesn’t exceed your Strength score. You can also bring up to five willing Medium or smaller creatures (each carrying no more bulk than their Strength scores) with you, provided they are linked to you with joined hands.

Crossing Thresholds (Sp) - 18th Level

The mystic can easily cross the planar boundaries of the closest planes to the material plane. A number of times per day equal to the mystic’s key ability modifier, they may cast Ethereal Jaunt or Shadow Walk as spell-like abilities. Once per day they may use this ability to cast Plane Shift as a spell-like ability instead, but only to travel to one of the elemental planes, the First World, Ethereal Plane, or Shadow Plane. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Warlock Pact: The Rider (hint: the warlock is the thing being ridden)

I wanted to build a warlock pact whose powers were more rooted in role playing. Each ability after the first level has a cost that the warlock pays during downtime. The GM should have an idea of the entity's goals for the warlock, and a plan for what it will do with any opportunities it gains to use the warlock to further those goals during that downtime. A warlock that gives in and gets corrupted by it's entity too much may see some of the benefits of being evil, as it's entity will take care of it's host, but if it falls to far the player's time with the character becomes limited. The pact offers a great deal of power to the warlock in the moment, but that is checked by how far they are willing to fall to corruption, and eventually limit their lifespan, and how much of the party's trust they will lose. 

This pact is intended for those players who want to roleplay an actual hero who is determined to destroy the entity riding him, rather than a player who plans to fall to corruption at the first opportunity. I feel that any imaginative GM out there could sufficiently curb the power offered by this class to be a reasonable level, but if you are a GM that tends to let players get away with things without consequence, this subclass may be very, very wrong for your group, as it depends on the GM providing a check to it's power. 

It's also best used in a game where the GM is okay with the campaign going drastically awry due to an imaginative player with the power to back up their imagination. Expect it, because that's kind of what this subclass is made for. 

And if you wonder where my ideas came for it, it is almost entirely inspired by the Sanderis magic in the 7ths Sea 2nd Edition RPG. And that system might give you a bunch of more ideas on how to handle a class like this. 

Anyway, I hope someone out there likes what they see in it, and enjoys having it in a game. If you do, please share your stories with me!

Warlock Pact: The Rider

Your patron is a being who exists solely to corrupt mortal heroes. They are a creature of bargains. Your bargain with them takes the form of a contest: Can they corrupt your soul before you learn their true name? If you learn their true name you can destroy them utterly… and take on a new Rider to test yourself against. After the bargain is struck they become a constant companion in your mind, “riding” you. The ridden warlock can ask their Rider favors in exchange for giving some control up to it temporarily. This power makes the ridden extraordinarily powerful, even for a warlock, but at a dangerous cost. 

***Note: anything the Rider does while it is in control can affect the warlock’s alignment, since they agreed to let the entity take control.

Expanded Spell List

The Rider lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you. This warning applies to both Minor Favor and Favor.

Expanded Spells

Spell Level Spells
1st Ceremony, Command
2nd Augury, Zone of Truth
3rd Bestow Curse, Glyph of Warding
4th Divination, Locate Creature
5th Commune, Geas

1st-The Exact Truth

The Warlock with a Rider pact has learned to speak in a precise, direct, and clearly stated manner that allows no misinterpretation. They learned this skill from the entity riding them. Whenever the player’s exact wording matters (whether for a spell or a social interaction), the player may describe what they want to the GM rather than provide an exact wording. All abilities that detect lies or truth detect the player’s words as truth. The player may not use this ability when a bluff check would be called for. 

6th-Minor Favor***

Starting at 6th level, the warlock may cast a spell that is on the warlock’s spell list, and of a level they could cast, but is not currently prepared. In exchange, during the next downtime, their Rider may cast suggestion on them, with no save available. It is up to the GM, based on what exactly the Rider will be asking, how many times the Rider is willing to let this ability be used. It will only queue up as many suggestions as it thinks you can accomplish during that next downtime. This may be used even if all of the Warlock’s Spell Slots have been used.


Starting at 10th level, the warlock may cast any spell that is on any spell list, as long as it is of a level they could cast warlock spells at. In exchange, during the next downtime, their Rider may cast Dominate on them, with no save available, lasting for 10 minutes. Additional uses of this ability increase that time. It is up to the GM, based on what exactly the Rider will be asking, how many times the Rider is willing to let this ability be used. It will only queue up as much dominated time as it thinks it can use during that next downtime. This may be used even if all of the Warlock’s Spell Slots have been used.

14th-Major Favor

Starting at 14th level, the warlock may cast Wish. The price for this is to move one step closer to chaotic or evil on the alignment track. Nothing can prevent this alignment shift. To call upon the warlock’s Rider for this kind of power is ALWAYS corrupting. If the warlock reaches Chaotic Evil on the alignment track, the Rider claims their soul, and takes their body as its own permanently, becoming an NPC. If the warlock uses this power Seven Times without reaching Chaotic Evil, they learn the True Name of their Rider, destroy it utterly, and take on a new Rider. The temptation to corrupt the warlock is too great for any Rider to resist, so there will always be another one willing to bargain with the warlock. Note: the warlock does not lose any class features when this occurs, it continues on with all the abilities it has gained, as it has become experienced in dealing with a rider. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Starships and Territory

Starships and Territory

Like the Xenowardens and Raxilite, the Varjag of Yggdrassil use living starships. Early Varjag stellar explorers used seed pods from Yggdrassil, reinforced by its leaves, with an outer lacquer shell. The ship itself provided life support needs, but was quite fragile. These early vessels used First Drives, passing through the realm of the fey and back into the mortal realm. They were dangerous, but effective. Soon Varjag explorers spread to the reaches of interstellar travel, but always returning home to the World Tree and it’s planets. They established trade and conflict both in the fey realm and the mortal. However, it wasn’t until they made a certain discovery that they began claiming territory outside of that home. 

One of the major focuses of Varjag interstellar exploration was to learn more about Jormungandr, the creature incubating in the star of their home system. They wanted to learn more about it’s species and life cycle. In order to do that, they had to find it’s relatives. They found the first signs of what they were looking for when they discovered a massive molecular cloud nebula. It was primarily formed of complex ethanol, methanol, and vinyl alcohol molecules, and had a massive stellar nursery more than 500 light years across with entire star clusters forming inside it. The nebula was teaming with life, as much as any habitable world the explorers had ever visited. Stellar Protozoa, Schools of Oma, and even a form of spaceborn algae and other plant-like life. And, as they explored the region, exactly what they had been searching for: Novaspawn. Their resemblance to the creature incubating in the Yggdrassil’s star was uncanny. 

The explorers sent word back home and a great endeavor was begun. The Varjag claimed the entire nebula as their territory and set out to defend their new border and learn everything they could from the region. Much of their modern technology, starships included, was developed from things they learned in the nebula. They went on to lay claim to and defend other similarly composed nebulae they discovered. 

Modern Varjag starships are grown from a cutting of Yggdrassil, rather than a seed pod. THe cutting is grown in special nurseries developed in the alcohol nebulae. The branches are shaped for the starship it is to become. An Algae discovered in the nebulae bonds to the branches and grows into hardened walls as durable as any starship’s bulkheads when treated with special substances developed by Varjag biotechnicians. The energy transferring properties of Yggdrasil allow it to act as conduits to move power throughout the ship, while the ship itself provides much of the life support needed by most humanoids. The end result is a biomechanical hull ready to be built into one of the Varjag’s iconic starships. All varjag starships start out this way, usually built around a small range of sizes. Their larger starships even began in that smaller range of sizes, but as they age and survive, Varjag starships grow. The largest Vajag vessels are also their oldest, having survived for millenia. One secret the Varjag will never share with the rest of the universe: those ancient vessels learn and evolve: they are alive and they keep themselves an interstellar food chain. 

Seeds of Yggdrassil

Some of those massive and ancient Varjag starships have a capability not shared with any other ships. When the crew designate a planet they would like to step foot on, since the ships that can do this are too large to land on the surface, it launches a seed into the atmosphere and down to the surface. This seed has a hyper accelerated growth rate, and within 6 hours grows from the surface, up into orbit, and back to the ship it was launched from like a massive vine. The stalk has its own subjective gravity, and those who travel up or down it find that it only takes a few minutes to traverse its entire length. It is capable of supporting even colossal vehicles and creatures, allowing the Varjag lucky enough to crew such a vessel the ability to easily transfer cargo, or invade. 

When the ship and its crew are ready to depart, the vessel easily separates from the stalk without any issues. The stalk collapses, both shrinking in size as if whatever magic was allowing its existence was returning from wherever it was drawn, and also parts of it burning up in the atmosphere. The ashes drift down to the ground and promote new growth of native species of plant life with the residual magic left over. A single use of this isn’t going to change a dessert into a jungle, but generations of use can. 

Game Mechanics

This is an “Other System” that can be installed on any huge or larger Varjag starship. It takes 5 BP and 0 power. 

Nebula Fold Gates

As part of their effort to solidify their claim on the alcohol nebulae, the Varjag have “confiscated” Fold Gates they discovered and relocated them to their nebulae. They have mapped out entire networks of the ancient relics, and have multiple of them hidden in the branches of Yggdrassil. They can move vast amounts of people, ships, weapons, and/or cargo between their home system and their nebulae. The Fold Gates effectively allow these far distant locations to be a single territory without traversing any other faction’s territories. 

Since no one yet has the secret of Fold Gate construction, the Varjag are prone to confiscating any fold gates they learn about and relocating them into their territory. They have learned a great deal about the ancient devices, including how to reprogram them to incorporate them into their network, and how to exclude any gate they don’t control from that network. It is possible they have a greater understanding of the technology than any other civilization, but they are still far from unlocking the knowledge needed to produce their own facsimiles of them. 

Starship Design and Traditions

There are two basic archetypes of Varjag starships. Grown or Carved. 

Those grown from cuttings of Yggdrassil are family starships, often passed from generation to generation, until they grow into massive clan starships. These are often referred to as Totem ships as they tend to show symbols and iconography significant to the family and its ancestors. 

The other type of Varjag Starship is carved from stellar rock or ice. Once these ones slip their moorings and take flight they rarely change save for damage repair and maintenance. They stay as they were made. These are commonly called Runic Ships. 

The Totem Ships are much more widely known, as they are the traders and raiders that venture out into the wide galaxy. 

The runic ships make up the dedicated military vessels used to defend Varjag Territory. They range in size from small fighter craft and shuttles to massive miles long juggernauts. While the smaller runic ships might be redeployed to new locations through the Fold Gate network, the largest runic vessels almost never leave their territories. This is because most Runic starships lack FTL drives of any kind. 

While most Totem Ships use drift engines, it is almost as common to find First Drives, or even Constellation Orrerys on older, larger totem ships. Often the users of those other drives simply regard the paths they have to take through the multiverse as their rightful trade routes. 

Varjag Starships favor heavier torpedo use than most other interstellar powers. This stems from the tradition that each weapon should be made personal, and few things are more personal than a controlled projectile slamming into your enemy before exploding. Each torpedo fired is given a treatment of scrimshaw that details a past victory, or merely the family iconography. 

Also common are ramming prows for the same reason: making the attack personal. Their ships make almost no use of drone technology, regarding that as the most impersonal way to conduct battle you could ever take. 

The Average New Totem Ship (BP 93 of 95):

Tier 3 Biomechanical Transport 

Speed: 12; Manueverability (Piloting -1, Turn 7)

AC 16; TL 16

HP 115; DT 0; CT 14

Shields Basic Shields 40 (forward 10, port 10, starboard 10, aft 10)

Attack (Forward) Mining Laser

Attack (Turret) Light Torpedo Launcher, Light Torpedo Launcher 

Power Core Pulse Green (150 PCU); Power Generated 150; Power Used 197 (122 with drift engine shut down)

Drift Engine Signal Basic, Drift Rating 1

Systems Basic long-range sensors, Good crew quarters, Basic Computer, Mk 3 armor, Mk 3 defenses, Standard, Standard hull

Standard Expansion Bays 2 Cargo hold, Surveying Sensors, 2 Guest Quarters; External Expansion Bays 5 Cargo hold

Complement minimum 5, maximum 6

Runic Gunship

BP spent 497 of 500


Tier 15 Shuttle 

Speed: 12; Manueverability (Piloting 1, Turn 2)

AC 28; TL 26

HP 110; DT 0; CT 17; Ablative Armor  (forward 100, port 100, starboard 100, aft 100)

Shields Heavy Shields 420 (forward 105, port 105, starboard 105, aft 105)

Attack (Forward) Light Ramming Prow, Flak Thrower, Light plasma Torpedo Pod (Array)

Attack (Port) 2 Light-Blade Hull, Light plasma Torpedo Pod (Array)

Attack (Starboard) 2 Light-Blade Hulls, Light plasma Torpedo Pod (Array)

Attack (Aft) 2 Light Plasma Mines, Light plasma Torpedo Pod (Array)

Attack (Turret) 2 Light Torpedo Launcher (Array) 

Power Core Pulse Prismatic (300 PCU); Power Generated 300; Power Used 306

Drift Engine None, Drift Rating 0

Systems Ultra long-range sensors, Common crew quarters, Mk 10 duonode, Mk 3 armor, Mk 3 defenses, Standard, Pure adamantine hull

Security Systems Anti-hacking systems, Biometric locks, Tier 10 Computer countermeasures, Tier 20 Heavy Antipersonnel Weapon, 

Standard Expansion Bays Quantum Defender, Surveying Sensors, Telelith Matrix

Other Systems Consciousness Uplink Drive, Data Net, Observation Sensors, Powersap, Virtual Intelligence tier 15, 

Complement minimum 1, maximum 4

This gunship is overgunned. Usually the Light Plasma Mines are kept unpowered and are only deployed when needed. 

As you can see, when the Varjag expend the resources to build a Runic Starship to defend their territory, they spare no expense.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Natives of the Yggdrassil Star System

 Natives of the Yggdrassil Star System

The idea for this star system first came to me soon after Starfinder was originally released. Giants are one of my favorite things from fantasy settings, and it wasn't until more recent Alien Archive volumes that the Starfinder team added those giants into the game. 

My goal was to give them a real home, kind of like Elves got, rather than just making them yet another refugee from Golarian. I studied Giant myths from a bunch of cultures and settled on Norse mythology, because it was almost entirely giants. The gods were giants, their opponents were giants, their rivals were giants, and even their predecessors were giants. My plan is to eventually work other mythologies into this one, but to star with, I needed the star system, and I needed the people who live there. 

With that journey in mind, I present to you the Varjag, a race of giants that have a similar spectrum from the traditional d20 fantasy giants (IE fire giants, stone giants, etc.) but rather than linking them to basic fantasy elements, I felt it was best to link them to their birthplaces in the star system. This decision was also informed by the mythology. Jotunn are after all residents of Jotunnheim. 

The Varjag are meant to represent in a single species all the residents of Norse mythology, even the humans. I decided my vikings could be their own species instead of being human, and like their gods, and all the giants they have to worry about, they call came from the same root, and have similar potential. 

Some of the decisions I made about each group might surprise you, and I welcome comments and ideas for other ways to go, because I think it's great to allow exeptions to the rules, and all your ideas could comprise the exeptions that could arise throughout the averages represented in the rules below. 

I hope you all enjoy.


Humanoid (Giant)

Size: Most Varjag are medium sized, however like many biological creatures, they grow to fit their environment. In the case of a sentient speice with that trait, their environment encompass all the places their experiences have brought them. In game mechanics, this is represented by gaining size as you gain levels. Up to level 10, Varjag are medium sized. Above level 10, they grow to large size with a space and reach of 10 ft. At level 20 they reach huge size and gain a space and reach of 15 feet. 

Speed: Medium sized Varjag have a base speed of 30 ft. Each additional size category above that increases their base speed by 10 ft. They gain a climb speed equal to half their base movement. 

Senses: Varjag have Darkvision 60 ft,, Low-light Vision, and Blindsense (Scent) equal to half their base move speed. 

Ability Score Adjustments: +4 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Wis


Thrown Weapon Experts - The traditional weapons of the Varjag, taught from one generation to the next, has always been thrown weapons. At the dawn of time it was large rocks, but as the weapons of war advanced so did their chosen weaponry... but the tradition of muscle-powered ranged weaponry always remained. Varjag are always proficient in any thrown weapon or grenade (including improvised thrown weapons, but not Grenades or weapons with the “Throwing” fusion). At 3rd level they  gain weapon specialization for those weapons.

Hardy Adaptation - One of the evolutionary advantages Varjag possess is the ability to burn away afflictions. Their body and immune system simply attacks impurities voraciously. Sometimes this burns away the health and life of the Varjag before medical help can be found. More often than not though, this results in poisons or diseases that would last days, weeks or longer being burned out of their system in minutes. Any time a Varjag has to make a save against an effect that will apply (or advance) an affliction track, they can roll twice and take the better result. Any affliction with a frequency greater than 1 round affecting them has its frequency set to 1 round. 

Morphic: Varjag gain one additional trait based on where they were born. 

Starborne - Those born on the Egg of Jormungandr, the star of the Yggdrasil system are considered both blessed and cursed. They seem to be utterly without fear. In reality they are born with only the fight half of the fight or flight instinct. When one of these Varjar suffer the effects of a fear ability, rather than the normal results, the Starborne Varjag expresses that fear in an attack frenzy against the object of fear. They must use any weapon, or improvised weapon to destroy the object of their fear, and cannot stop until the effect ends or the target is destroyed or killed. This leads many from this world to master a variety of weapons and even unarmed combat, regardless of which class they become.

Treeborne - Those born on the world tree Yggdrasil are born with an unquenchable wanderlust. They spend their lifetimes travelling from planet to planet in the system as nomadic traders, raiders, and/or entertainers. In zero gravity they gain a fly speed of 50 ft with perfect maneuverability as long as they are adjacent to a structure they can use to guide their movements, like a wall, ceiling or floor. While in such a position they gain immunity to the off target and off kilter conditions. Many treeborne Varjag become Envoys. 

Muspelheim - The most dangerous of the planets due to heat and radiation of the nearby star, and the pollution from the industry built on the world. Those born to this nightmare landscape gain a bonus on saves against radiation and inhaled poison affliction tracks equal to the stage they are on in that track. Many enhance their bodies with colonies of nanites to help them survive and earn the reputation as craftsman the world has earned. Those who do almost invariably become Nanocytes. 

Midgard - This is a fairly mundane world compared to the rest of the system. And while it’s  inhabitants are not the artisans or magical powerhouses the other world’s produce, they are some of the craftiest, cunning, and imaginative Varjag. Any skills that use this character’s key ability modifier gain a +1 bonus and any use with a base DC of 15 or less may be used even untrained. Many of the Vargar born on this world become broadly skilled Operatives valued across the spectrum of their society. 

Asgard - This world is a focal point of power. A convergence of leylines from across the entire universe focuses on this planet. Some are so powerful they are visible to the mundane eye even from orbit. Those born here are intimately connected with that magical power. They may use Detect Magic and Token Spell at will. Many go on to become mystics, especially with the Allfather mystic connection. 

Vanaheim - There are very few differences between this world and the First World. One of those is that while the First World is untamed, Vanaheim is organized into gardens and orchards. Those born here are born with an innate sense for how things are meant to grow. They gain medicine and life science as class skills. If they already are class skills they gain a +1 bonus racial in each. Many Varjag born here become Biohackers experimenting in their own gardens and orchards to create new medicines or intoxicants. 

Jotunheim - Though a persistently arctic world, Jotunheim is full of life. Though it is almost like that life is as frozen as the world. Varjag born on this world potentially live much longer than others, doubling the range of each age category. They also automatically stabilize when dying, and remove any bleed effects the round after they start. Most Jotun become soldiers.

Niflheim - Niflheim is a chaotic place caught between the eternal storm named The Well of Hvergelmir and the singularity Ginnungagap and constantly battered by stellar impacts from the ice belt Elivagar. It is the source of all water in the system as chunks of ice are drawn off to other planets. Those borne there, like the world they are from, are connected to the universe in more ways that most understand. Mysticism is a class skill for them. If they already have it as a class skill they may also gain acrobatics as a class skill. If both are class skills already, they gain a +1 bonus in each. Many become Witchwarpers, developing the ability to make sense of their chaotic home. 

Spaceborne/Elivagar - Also known as Belters or Spacers. These Varjag are born with an instinctive understanding of the movements of celestial phenomena. Piloting is considered a class skill by them. Any check to navigate in space, or any check to deal with Space Hazards gets a +2 racial bonus. Many of these Varjag become Solarians. 

Alfheim - Alfheim lies too far from the system’s star to get enough light to be habitable. To alleviate this problem those Varjag who settled on this world used the magics within Yggdrasil to put a portion of the star’s corona around the world. That light is then reflected and refracted through the crystalline structures all over the planet. This has given those Varjag born here an instinct for the manipulation of light. Any lasers fired at them are treated as if they have cover and concealment from them. Many born here become technomancers, specializing in hologram spells and other illusions. 

Svartalfheim - The exterior of the artificial world is home to Varjag who are born with an innate sense for the imperfections around them. That is why that world is kept so rigidly perfect. They may select one profession skill to gain a +2 racial bonus in. Most Varjag from this world become vanguards, with their affinity for entropy. 

Nidavellir - The hollow interior of Svartalfheim is called Nidavellir by those who are aware it even exists. Those born there lack the same capacity to grow as the rest of their species. Instead they grow denser, their flesh hardening, as they grow in power and experience. They always remain medium sized. Any time they would increase in size, permanent or temporary, they instead increase their constitution score by +2 for the duration they would have increased in size (at 10th and 20th levels these bonuses are permanent, but otherwise use the duration of the effect that tried to increase size). Those born in this interior world also quite often develop an affinity for the machines that help run the planet, becoming Mechanics.  

Helheim - This world is a place looked down upon by the rest of Varjag society. It is part prison world, part retirement home, and part hedonistic carnival. Some say it is the home of the living dead, meaning warriors who should have died in battle but grew old and infirm instead. Some say it is the prison of the living dead, meaning those who were cast there because they were found honorless and betrayed their clans. Some say it is the playground of the living dead because those who visit it’s carnivals abandon themselves to vices while they are there, and can’t truly be alive until they return. And some whisper that it’s ruled by the actual undead. Conspiracies abound about the place, grown from ancient traditions. One thing is sure though: those born on this world might as not exist to the outer planes. Any ability or power based on alignment passes them by as if they don’t exist. Their alignment cannot be divined by any means. They are immune to alignment based damage. They ignore all equipment restrictions based on alignment. Etcetera. Some even whisper that their souls simply return to Helheim to be reborn, because the afterlife doesn’t recognize that they ever existed. It doesn't help the consiracies that many born here dabble with necromancy or undeath.

Bonus Content: Xenometric Androids - Varjag
The only androids that have been made in the image of the Varjag came from Helheim as well. The traits they gain as Xenometric Androids are the Thrown Weapon and Helheim traits. They do not gain the size, speed, senses, or Hardy Adaptation traits other Varjag get. Varjag Xenometric Androids are treated as any other native of Helheim. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Yggdrasil Star System

 The Yggdrasil Star System

Artist Hoai Son Nguyen at

The Sun - the egg of a primordial Novaspawn, the inhabitants of the system call Jormungandr. When it neared it's hatching time, in order to stave off the nova that would result, the Allfather, the primary diety of the system, grew the tree around the egg preventing the hatching as long as the tree remains. 

The Tree - Sustained by both the Novaspawn egg, and planar energies drawn from the planets of the system. As long as it remains, the sun survives, and the egg remains unhatched. 

Tree Branches - Branches reach out from sun towards each of the planets. When a branch reaches the planet, they enter a portal at the point they would meet the atmosphere. Each planet specifies planes of existence they are aligned with. 

The Realms of the World Tree

The first thing any explorer would note about this system, other than the giant plant dominating it, is that the orbits of the planets do not share the same flat plane like most solar systems do. Instead, the planets in this system orbit the sun like the electrons orbit an atom. 

Muspelheim - Closest Planet to sun. Vertical orbit, Z axis. A burnt, volcanically active rock, similar to mercury in that it's too close to the sun. Is aligned with the plane of fire. Has sparse, but poisonous, radioactive looking clouds. Not only is the surface covered in industry, but much of the near orbit is covered by a massive space station stretching across the planet, just far enough outside the atmosphere for it to maintain a stable orbit, but covering almost a quarter of the planet.

Midgard - 2nd planet from sun. Earth-like planet. Closer to earth than any of the others. Aligned evenly with all inner cosmology planes.

Asgard - 1 of 2 planets that share being 3rd from the sun. Horizontal orbit, x/y axis. One of the habitable planets in the system. This one is distinct because of the leylines running across it's surface, so powerful they can not only be seen visually, but seen from space. Otherwise earth-like with many biomes. Aligned with more with the astral, shadow, and ethereal plane than any of the elemental planes. 

Vanaheim - 2 of 2 planets that share being 3rd from the sun. Horizontal orbit, x/y axis. This world would be Asgard's twin. Opposite of it in the same orbit, always with the sun between them constantly. Same leyline effects. It has slightly different planar connections though, being more connected with the Fey realms than the astral plane.

Jotunheim - 4th planet from sun. Imagine earth, but in winter 100% of the time. A frozen planet, but in the habitable zone. Rocky and Watery, but less heavily forested biomes. It has military structures so large they can be seen from space. Aligned mostly with earth and water planes. 

Niflheim - 5th planet from the sun. A Jupiter-esque gas giant. One one side it had a single massive eternal storm, but opposite of it on the other side it has a hole, like a giant whirlpool in the atmosphere that might just be a tiny black-hole-esque singularity. This planet is also a "Comet catcher" and as such, it's core has been struck so hard and often that it has left a trail of chunks of ice in it's orbit similar to an asteroid belt, but icy rather than rocky. The planet is heavily aligned with the plane of water, and has a frozen, icy core. Visually, I'd like it to feel like a gloomy place. 

Elivagar - The Ice Belt sharing Niflheim's orbit, constantly colliding with that gas giant, and simultaneously being restored by it. The gravity of the other planets pull some of the icy rocks out of the belt towards each planet, where they eventually break up in the atmospheres supplying most of the water in the solar system. 

Alfheim - 6th planet from the sun. Vertical orbit, Z axis. It's been magically terraformed to juxtapose just enough of the sun's corona around it, just outside the atmosphere, to allow the planet to develop as if it were in the habitable zone. It is a colorful place with large amounts of crystalline deposits throughout the planet, causing the light it steals to bounce from reflection to reflection, changing with each one. It is most heavily aligned with the fey realms, but also carries a strong alignment to the plane of air. 

Svartalfheim - 7th planet from the sun. This planet is the ultimate expression of terraforming. It is wholly artificial, but constructed out of natural elements (it's not a huge machine). It is however perfectly symmetrical in all ways, with perfectly measured land masses, 4 moons that are perfectly synchronized, and even the movements of it's tectonic plates are scheduled and never deviate from this perfection. It is hollow however, and all civilization on the planet is actually deep inside it. This planet is heavily aligned with the plane of earth and air. 

Helheim - Furthest planet from sun. This planet's orbit is the horizontal plane, the X and Y axis. An Ice Giant like Neptune or Uranus. Largely unnoticeable except for one thing: It is strongly aligned with both the plane of water, the plane of shadow, and the plane of fire. 

Another time I will tell you about the people who call this star system home, including their playable stats.