Friday, July 27, 2012

A bit of a "catch-all" post

I've been holding on to some pictures and art for this blog that I wanted to show off here, so I thought I should start with some standard B/X D&D stats for the Apes and move on from there-

Apes (Gorilla Sapiens) [uses the Simian Empire line of miniatures from Black Orc Games]

Apes are a variant species of Terran Gorilla that developed a roughly human level of intelligence and speech. The Sidhe brought them to Garnia World tens of thousands of years ago when it was obvious they would be wiped out on Earth. Apes are roughly human sized, but weigh about twice as much due to denser bone and muscle structures, even their skin is tougher than that of man. When the Romans came to Garnia World they ended up in the same general area as the gentle and friendly Apes and, strangely, the two species hit it off. The Romans introduced the Apes to higher culture and sophistication, their own language was abandoned in favor of Latin within a generation. Now there are Apes in the senate and in the legions, they make up a significant minority within the empire, the only thing they have retained of their own ways is their vegetarianism.

Restrictions: Apes use eight sided dice (d8) to determine their hit points. They may advance to a maximum of 10th level of experience. Apes may use any type of armor and may use shields. They may use any weapon. They must have minimum Strength and Dexterity scores of 9. They use twice as many rations. They never get an XP bonus.

Special Abilities: Apes have tough hides and receive a +1 AC bonus to whatever armor they are wearing. Upper body strength is part of their genetic heritage too, they gain +1 on all damage rolls. Outdoors Apes are difficult to spot, having the ability to seemingly vanish into woods, jungle or thick brush. There is only a 10% chance of detecting them under such circumstances. Upon gaining the 4th level of experience (Ape Hero) an Ape may, once per day, use an "Intimidating Show of Strength"; which works exactly like a Cleric's "Turn Undead" ability, only on the living, and as if they were a Cleric of 3 experience levels lower and the target had the same Hit Die type as the relevant Undead target, ie. a 4th level Ape Intimidates as though he were a 1st level Cleric and a 1st level Fighter would be intimidated as a Skeleton. The "Intimidating Show of Strength" takes one round to complete and is the only action that can be performed, it only works on creatures with animal intelligence or above and they must be living, not Undead.


Level Title XP Hit Dice
1 Ape Veteran 0 1d8
2 Ape Warrior 2,200 2d8
3 Ape Swordmaster 4,400 3d8
4 Ape Hero 8,800 4d8
5 Ape Swashbuckler 17,000 5d8
6 Ape Myrmidon 35,000 6d8
7 Ape Champion 70,000 7d8
8 Ape Superhero 140,000 8d8
9 Ape Lord (Lady) 280,000 9d8
10 10th Level
Ape Lord 400,000 9d8+3*

*Constitution adjustments no longer apply.

Since these guys only ever show up in the Roman empire I may change their level titles to represent that fact. I left their stronghold off the list at 9th level for now, because I am not quite sure how to handle that yet. I am thinking either an appointment as a legion commander or to the senate, but I am open to suggestions.

Now the AD&D 1st edition version-

Classes available:
Cleric 4, Druid 6, Fighter 9, Paladin -, Ranger 6, Magic-User -, Illusionist -, Thief 6, Assassin 8, Monk -.

My thinking on limiting their Thief levels is that they are going to be stuck at a lower level because they don't really blend into a crowd and they are not terribly manually dexterous with their giant hands. Their Thief abilities are going to amount largely to thuggery, which is why I made them better at being Assassins. They are smart enough to plan assassinations and when it comes to the thuggery bit, that can be helpful. Given their connection to the natural world, which I assume isn't totally washed away after a few centuries of Romanization, evolutionary biology and all, it only made sense to me that they would be able to be Rangers and Druids, and be better at that than they are at being Clerics. Making them unable to do Arcane magic was a choice I made looking at the PH, most Demi-Humans can't, so I decided to follow that trend. Still, their best class is Fighter, as I always intended. For the purposes of multiclassing they can be pretty much any core class plus core class or subclass that is not a subclass of the core class they already have variation or any subclass variation within alignment restrictions, so C/F, C/R, C/T, C/A, C/F/T, C/F/A, C/R/T, D/F, D/T, D/F/T, F/T, F/A, R/T. If you are using Unearthed Arcana rules, which I don't recommend, D/R & D/R/T become available with an alignment of NG.

Their ability modifiers are +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity -2 Charisma, they still get all the B/X abilities I gave them, except the no XP bonus thing, that would be by ability score and class in AD&D.

Now someone else can write them up for other game systems, using this as a base.

Anyway, you all have seen the pictures of all the Gorilla Sapiens miniatures, so that was a pretty long, but fruitful, digression from my original posting point. Now, here are some other miniature pictures that I found on some blogs with Roman Legions, think of them as a supplement to the Roman Apes-

Click to embiggen anything that seems small to you.

Now we move on to this drawing of a poor Christian Cleric being tormented by a hot demoness, probably a Succubus. I think this is a scene right out of the Mistlands-

Here are some miniatures from various companies of Mongols and Mongol Dwarves! I still plan on getting a "20 questions" article about the Altan Ordu out to you, but you can think of these cool pictures as a preview. Trust me, I have tons of Mongol oriented art on my hard drive.

Lastly, I found these Samurai Skeletons that I wanted to use for a post on the Empire of Tenchuko, but I haven't gotten around to that yet either, so here you go-

And that's all for today. I hope you enjoyed it!


  1. By someone else, I guess I am asking any of you readers if you would like to join the design team and be allowed to post here too. We can always use some fresh perspectives on the cultures we think we have down to a T, and some of the cultures we really aren't experts on :) People with experience in other rules sets than D&D would be a big help too.

  2. I realized I forgot to add the Ape's racial adjustments to Thief Skills in the post, so here they are: Pick Pockets:-15% Open Locks:-15% Find/Remove Traps:-10% Move Silently:+10% Hide in Shadows:+10% Hear Noise:+10% Climb Walls:+10% Read Languages:--. When it all works out, they are good at sneaking, bad at manual dexterity stuff, they balance out at +/-0% points, which was not really intentional, but a nice symmetry all the same.

  3. Darryl, I think we should keep the "Turn Undead" effect for the "Intimidating Show of Strength" racial/class ability was because the Fear spell is a 4th level spell and has a 6" range with a 1/2" cone that expands to 3" at the end of it's range. I guess, in short, the Fear spell effect is too powerful, and rewriting the description to be a radius seems like it will be kind of a pain. I guess I should add as an addenda to the AD&D description of the race that they get that ability upon reaching 4 Hit Dice, regardless of class.