D100 Jorune: What happened?
Long-time readers might recall that back in 2012 I made several posts proposing chargen and isho rules for something I called D100 Jorune. The idea was to allow players – and Sholaris, the Jorune term for GMs – to experience the manifold delights of adventuring on the planet Jorune using a variant of the popular percentile RPG system developed by Chaosium, rather than the cumbersome and overcomplicated rules in Skyrealms of Jorune itself. (I know, I know. Some people like those rules. That’s fine. This project is not for them.)
So what happened? Well, leaving aside the glaringly evident fact that starting projects and not finishing them is just what I do, a variety of things conspired to push D100 Jorune onto the back burner… before turning the gas off entirely. First and foremost, I was deep into running Stonehell on the Borderlands for my gaming group. Preparing the sessions, running them and writing them up afterwards were my priorities. I make no apologies for that; that’s the way it ought to be. Secondly, I wanted to write and run my own fantasy campaign. Two campaigns, in fact: a megadungeon and a wilderness hexcrawl, the twin paradigms of mid-Seventies gaming. I’m still working on those (Alien Orifice and Ruins of Ebidoria) in fits and starts. There’s no hurry.
Talking of the mid-Seventies, that’s another thing. I started playing RPGs at Easter 1983, by which time games like Empire of the Petal Throne and Metamorphosis Alpha already seemed like ancient legends. Certainly I didn’t know anyone who owned or played them. And when I started playing Skyrealms of Jorune in 1986, I didn’t have a frame of reference for this bizarre science-fantasy game with its millennia-long historical timeframe, its teeming alien cultures and mutated “races”, and its outlandish nomenclature. In the last couple of years, however, I’ve acquired copies of EPT (thanks, Stuart!) and Metamorphosis Alpha, and the lineage from Tékumel via the starship Warden to Jorune is quite clear. Not that I’m saying Andrew Leker ripped off M.A.R. Barker or James Ward, of course. That’s certainly not the case. All the details are different, and Jorune is a singular creation. Nevertheless, the models for such a detailed and unusual campaign world already existed. Anyway, the upshot is that my attention was diverted. I read Barker’s novels Man of Gold and Flamesong and even started thinking about writing a Tékumel campaign until I remembered I had other things to finish first. You might say I took my eye off the naull*.
In short, I have more than enough projects to keep me occupied for a very long time, and there is no likelihood of me completing D100 Jorune any time soon. The rules and ideas I posted in 2012 should be enough to get you started. The only other thing you might need is some creature stats. Well, as my Joesky tax for making you read all this blahblah, here’s one.
Hit Points: 6-7 (average)
Attack: Bite 45%, 1D4 + toxic saliva
Skills: Dodge 35%, Hide 50%, Listen 75%, Stealth 35%
These little horrors – weighing about 13 kg (30 pounds) apiece – travel in small packs (1D6) and will attack almost anything. Sometimes they surprise victims by dropping from tree branches or other raised perches. Other times they just run and leap, fang-ringed jaws agape.
Once a scragger hits, it latches onto the victim, doing 1D4 damage every round until killed or otherwise removed. Furthermore, scragger saliva contains a painful toxin. Its potency (POT) is equal to the scragger’s CON (average 10). Each round after the scragger succeeds in biting a victim, roll on the resistance table against the victim’s CON. If the toxin “wins” the roll, the victim is unable to stand and falls to the ground, where he might be swarmed by the vicious little fiends.
Edit: Even if you’re not interested in Jorune (although if that’s the case you probably haven’t read this far) or BRP-style games, I guarantee that scragger will work in almost any campaign you care to name, merrily chomping on the soft parts of player characters from Greyhawk to the Spinward Marches and beyond. Hell, they’d be right at home on Carcosa. So here’s some generic old-school stats: HD 1-1; AC 7 ; AT 1 bite (1d4); MV 12. Special: Surprise on 1-3, automatic damage after hit, toxic saliva (save versus poison or fall down).
*Jorune joke. A naull is the orb of isho that displays a creature’s isho signature, or copra, roughly analogous to its soul. There’s one on the cover of the Skyrealms of Jorune box.