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Old 03-29-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

Well, I've decided to try my hand at custom campaign creation, so I've decided on the following experiment.

I'm going to take GURPS Banestorm, and customize the setting to my tastes. This will include adding elements from some of my favorite Fantasy sourcebooks (both GURPS and other systems), and maybe other items as well.

So, over the course of successive posts in this thread, I will try my hand at modifying and expanding Banestorm.

So, to get things started, some basic concepts I intend to run with...

-I'm using the "Points of Light" concept. Most of Ytarria consists of wyld, vast areas that even the most up-to-date maps don't fully detail. Civilisation consists of settlements of varied size, seperated by acres of monster-filled wilderness. Even the great Megalan empire consists of numerous city-states united under the banner of the Empire. I know people have argued that Ytarria seems to have a smaller population density then the size of the various nations would indicate, so using the PoL explanation for this makes sense to me.

-Yrth is a bit more cosmopolitan in terms of sapient species. While humanity is still dominant, there are many other races on Ytarria and on surrounding lands. Generally speaking, while there is still a line seperating "Peoples" from "Monsters", there are a lot of subversions of this rule, from "Beastiary" slums for nonhumans to isolated "monster towns" out in the wilderness.

-I'm using different rules for Mana levels. I'm using the Continuous Mana rules from GURPS Thaumatology; instead of "fixed quanta", mana levels vary in smaller increments across Ytarria, with most of it being from -2 to +2, although Caithness ranges from -3 to -7. Also, instead of being a strict No Mana region, the Great Desert is a Very Low mana area, from -10 to -8.

-There are more Land masses around Ytarria, some of which have recieved some basic exploration, but for the most part, only Araterre sailors really bother visiting those regions. The generally conservative and insular mindset prevelent on Ytarria means the Age of Sail has been delayed for a long time.

-I will try to make Dungeon Fantasy tropes work on Yrth. Be warned.

All for now. More to come later.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:49 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

And to start my expansion, some stuff from my other favorite GURPS Fantasy sourcebook, GURPS Dungeon Fantasy

Banestorm and Dungeon Fantasy

The lands of Ytarria are a land of dangers. Monsters of all sorts abound in the wilderness, threatening settlements and travellers. Bandits and uses of Black Magic are common dangers. Undead rising from their graves, animated by dark powers. There's a need for heroes capable of fighting such threats, be it with sword, dagger or spell.

The lands of Ytarria are also a land of opportunities. Ancient Elven ruins are hidden across the continent. There are numerous lost ruins built in the early years of Human settlement on Yrth, such as the lost city of Autheuil. Buildings brought over by the Banestorm, litterally dropped anywhere. There are countless opportunities for treasure to be found by those talented enough.

Both of those facts have made Ytarria a breeding ground for adventurers of all sorts. From glory-seeking knight-errents and battle-lusting northmen warriors, to treasure-hunting rogueish rakes and lore-seeking wizardly scholars, there are many on Yrth who take up careers as adventurers for various reasons, in spite of the risks inherent to the profession.

Barbarians: As can be expected, most Barbarians hail from the Nomad Lands, though many Orclanders and some Bedouin warriors also qualify for the "profession", which mostly consists of being Large, barely-armored (or clothed) warriors with a smattering of wilderness skills. Their motivation is usually glory and wealth.

Bards: Far more then mere wandering musicians, Yrth's Bards are the result of combining ancient Celtic traditions, medieval ministrel practices, and a style of magic based on music and song. These graduates of the "Colleges of Bards" frequently accompany bands of adventurers, recording their deeds to retell them later on.

Clerics: Yrth's Clerics tend to be Priest-Wizards, with Magery instead of Power Investiture. Most Christian Clerics tend to hail from the Order of St. Thomas or the Knights Templar. Muslim Clerics are seldom organized in formal orders, although spell-casting Imams are known to exist amongst the Warriors of the Quill. They tend to tithe their shares of found treasure to the Church, and are always on the lookout for lost Relics.

Druids: The mixture of Celtic traditions, Pagan nature worship and Elven Eternism and nature spell knowledge has resulted in the creation of the Druidic Orders, masters of Nature Magic who seek to preserve the purity of nature. While seldom interested in treasure hunting, they will join any effort to destroy undead or unnatural demonic infestations.

Holy Warriors: True Holy Warriors are rare on Yrth, but there are some magery-gifted warriors who tend to act as such, mostly amongst the Knights Templar and the Ghazi warrior orders. They are motivated by the same reasons as Clerics are.

Knights: While Yrth has many true knights, there are also just as many heavily-armored warriors of common birth who just prefer the term to being called "Fighters". Knight-Errents, Ghazis, Samurai and countless other variants exist throughout the continent. The Knights Hospitallers consist mainly of Knights with Clerical Investment.

Martial Artists: These masters of barehanded combat mainly hail from Sahud, where they are divided into numerous feuding schools of combat, each seeking to prove it's superiority over it's peers. To the eyes of the uninitiated non-sahudese, however, these differences tend to limit themselves to a few details. Still, the Barbarian lands of the South offer them numerous opportunities to prove their Kung Fu is the best!

Scouts: There's a lot of untamed wilderness on Yrth. And where there's untamed wilderness, there will be people who learn it's ways. The Scouts of Ytarria are masters of survival in the woodlands, plains and deserts of the continent. Many work as Bounty Hunters or live as Poachers, while others work alongside the Druids to guard and protect the land.

Swashbucklers: The most common brand of Aralaise adventurer, really. The swordsmen of Araterre frequently come to the Continent to showcase their talents, and prove the clear superiority of fine swordsmanship over the plodding techniques of Ytarrian knights. There are also more then a few Sahudese Xia swordsmen who combine Swashbuckling with Martial Arts, but 'Pure' Swashbucklers are dismissive of them.

Thieves: ...Really prefer being called "Treasure Hunters" while working openly with more reputable characters. Nonetheless, the same skills that go into breaking and entering wealthy people's homes tend to be useful when infiltrating old, trap-laden tombs, so many thieves consider switching to such a "legitimate" career after running from the City Watch one time too many. This career choice is often regretted while running from Orc guards one time too many.

Wizards: Journeyman Guild Mages, Hedge Witches, Graduates (or drop-outs) of Azer Academy... There are many spellcasters on Yrth with countless different reasons for investigating ruins for old Elven artifacts or lost Spell knowledge.

More on this later...
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:19 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2008
Default Re: [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

You've got my attention. Personally I'm planning on beating the everloving tar out of medieval Russia until it resembles a suitable DF setting but maybe I'll use this instead.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:26 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil
Default Re: [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

Looks very interesting - keep it coming!
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:43 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

You might want to check out Yrth 1100, which was a Pyramid article detailing the Banestorm setting in its early days, when the "points of light" approach was the order of the day. It was reprinted in one of the "Best of Pyramid" volumes, which are available for cheap at Warehouse 23.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:25 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

And now, for an update...

The Fair Folk

Given the European descent of many of Ytarria's inhabitants, it was inevitable that their perception of Yrth's inhabitants, and many of those other races brought over by the Banestorm, be tinted by their myths and legends. As a result, the early Banestorm immigrants, when encountering non-human races for the first time, fell back onto old legends for references, naming the beings they encountered according to which legends they best resembled. Hence, words like "Elves", "Dwarves", "Goblins" and "Ogres" are commonly used in Anglish, even though those respective races have their own racial names in their original tongue.

Many beings that on Earth were relegated to Fairy Tales actually do exist on Yrth; Beyond the Elder races (Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes) and Goblins, there are also Ellylon, Fauns and Leprechauns (from GURPS Fantasy Folk). Also, many spirits take on Faerie-like traits under the right circumstances, such as a Tree spirit manifesting as a Dryad, or a house spirit behaving like a Brownie. Thus, the word "Fae" is commonly used to refer to any being which looks and behaves appropriately.

Still, there are creatures that might be described as proper Fae. These are naturally magical beings of pure, living illusion. These True Fae have little actual substance, their bodies formed of illusionary matter. In game terms, they use the Faerie template from GURPS Fantasy. They are masters of magic, although their spells cannot create or change anything truely permanent (use Fading Spell Effects from GURPS Thaumatology).

True Faeries are mercurial beings in nearly every sense of the word. They can alter their bodies on a whim and their Impulsiveness makes most ADHD suffers look positively focused. They are intensely curious and enjoy playing with "corporeal" beings. ...Unfortunetly, Faeries often have trouble understanding the limitations of corporeal life, such as the need to breathe or the fact that most beings can't survive once they've dismembered.

Most mortals tend to refer to Faeries as either "Seelie" or "Unseelie" depending on their interaction with mortals, with the kindly ones being Seelie and the cruel ones being Useelie. ...However, keeping in mind the mercurial and impulsive nature of Faeries in the first place, one man's Seelie is often another's Unseelie. Therefore, most people tend to avoid offend Faeries. In fact, most intelligent people tend to avoid Faeries entirely.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

Count me interested as well. I think the Jesuits should be an order of scholar/clerics or scholar/mages. That's just because I love Jesuits though.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:58 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

Update time! Decided to convert some GURPS Shapeshifters entries to the world of Yrth.

The Jayagat Tendrab
The Subtropical Island-Nation of Chanarkesh can be found southeast of Araterre. Once peaceful, it is now occupied by the invading forces of the Glinizi nation, another nation of polytheists from a nearby Island-kingdom, which is currently under the threat of Aralaise and Megalan forces. (Chanarkesh is TL2, the Glinizi are TL3)

The Glinizi themselves have been expanding their own empire by conquering nearby Islands, until they collided with Aralaise ships off the eastern coasts of Bilit Island. This First Contact ended with the two nations all but declaring war on one another. The Glinizi lack the resources to stand up to Araterre and Megalos combined, however, and they know it. Hence, their desperation in trying to gather raw materials and manpower from Chanarkesh and their other conquered territories.

What the Glinizi had never anticipated, however, was for a group of rogue Mevek worshippers to defy the strictures of their religion's caste system to directly petition their god for aid. And they certainly didn't anticipate Mevek to answer that petition, creating the Jayagat Tendrab, a growing faction of lionine werefolk capable challenging the Glinizi's best equipped soldiers.

As it stands now, the Glinizi have their hands full trying to keep the Jayagat uprising from getting out of hand, while simultaneously trying to shore up their defenses against the possibility of Aralaise aggression. The Priesthood of Mevek, offended by the heretical acts of the Jayagat, are beginning to show support to the Glinizi rulers. And the Jayagat themselves are growing rapidly... Perhaps even too rapidly for it's original leaders to control, as factions are beginning to form within the "Company of the Pure", divided on how best to fight the Glinizi, protect Chanarkesh or serve Mevek.


Their origins are a complete mystery, although evidence of their existence was first discovered in the 1500s when Michaelite Inquisitors discovered Hider Doppelgangers amongst the heretics they had brought in for interrogation. This later led them to discover Hunter Doppelgangers hiding in the streets of Megalan cities. As the Hiders at least make a good show of acting like good, law-abiding christians, the Michaelites don't actually have a policy of persecuting them for the most part. Similarly, Hiders in muslim lands behave as good, faithful muslims, and tend not to attract attention to themselves. Hunter Doppelgangers, on the other hand, are considered monsterous beasts to be hunted down and killed. As it is often difficult to tell the difference between Hider and Hunter Doppelgangers, this has led to some unfortunate incidents in the past.

It should be noted that the Ministry of Serendipity is aware that the Hiders are afraid of something chasing after them, and are themselves quite concerned about what that "something" might be, and whether it may threaten the Empire itself.

The Enyyn

Only a few of these protean immortals were brought to Yrth by the Banestorm, and those have mostly disappeared behind alternate identities, or hidden themselves in isolated corners of the wilderness. They have begun studying magic and thaumatology, although they are still use their Psionics and Shapeshifting powers when needed.

The Hawkshaw Bioroids

A Megalan group of Wizards, lead by one named Hawkshaw, created the first of these truely groundbreaking Golems to serve them as spies and assassins. Made from Clay altered to flesh-like quality, the Shapeshifting Golems are capable of altering their forms at-will. Their bodies wear down rapidly enough, however, thus explaining their Short Lifespans and Self-Destruct.

The Metamorphic Invaders

A few of them have arrived through the Banestorm, and have already begun spreading throughout the continent. They were first discovered in an event that would be recorded as the Palisade Massacre, when a Megalan Legion investigating the disappearance of a merchant caravan discovered that the inhabitants of the village of Palisade had been killed and replaced with shapeshifting monsters. The following battle cost the lives of a third of that legion, and resulted in the absolute destruction of the village.

The Ministry of Serendipity now tracks down evidence of Metamorphic Invader presence, and will go to any lengths to eliminate them wherever found.


A few Alchemists and Wizards have accidentally created Ethomorphs with their experiments. Such individuals are rare, and either learn to conceal their condition well enough, or are outed as "lycanthropes" of sorts.

The Curse of Myrrudhron

The Archway of Myrrudhron was created by an Elven Wizard with strong beliefs in the teachings of the Eternal, and a twisted sense of humor. It's purpose is to teach humility and humanity to those arrogant enough to step through it. So far, many have gone through and become cursed; few have learned from it.

The Benandanti

This group of demon-hunting werewolves are known by the legends and tales surrounding them, although they remain hidden and secretive by Tradition. The Church is ambivalent about them; their beliefs are considered heretical, but considering their behavior and choice of targets, most church leaders consider them the lesser of two evils.


Rare, yet well-known by the Sahudese, the Kitsune are considered beings to be regarded with respect, in spite of existing outside the normal hierarchy of Sahudese social class. Interaction between the Kitsune and the Sahudese is complex and filled with baroque ritual and customs. In spite of this, the Kitsune themselves relish in their racial role as testers of the morality of mortalkind, and many a haughty Sahudese has been brought low by the trickery of the Kitsune. It is only unfortunate that Kitsune have little sense of scale, to the point that a single Samurai committing an offense to a Kitsune may be punished by seeing his entire household destroyed and his family killed at the end of an elaborate chain of misfortune brought forth by the Kitsune.


These magical shapeshifters are uncommon, yet occasionally found amongst the coastlines of Megalos and Araterre. They are friends to the Sea Elves and Merfolk, and are fond of humans and halflings, even if they can only interbreed with the former. Some Selkies, calling themselves Davy Jones' Lads, have taken to taking jobs on human ships, keeping their skins as a precaution against drowning. Their presence is an open secret for the most part, with their presence being suspected, but never openly stated.

Jaguar Warriors

On Bilit Island, there is one city-state of vicious warriors who have developped a group of vicious, sociopathic shapeshifting warriors to serve as shock troops in their battles against the other Biliti tribes. These "knights", divided into the orders of the Jaguar, Eagle and Coyote, are little more then brutal, callous thugs with shapeshifting powers, spoiled rotten by their priest handlers in exchange for their brutal service in battle.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:45 PM   #9
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

Was hoping for more activity here.. Oh well, time for an update. This time? One of the iconic beasts of Fantasy, and the heraldry icon of Megalos...


For the most part, the Dragons of Yrth match the text out of the Campaign book; large, winged firebreathers of some intelligence, with a hunger for large quantities of meat and a lust for treasure.

It should be noted, however, that Fire Dragons, or Fire Drakes, are only the most common type of dragon (and are still uncommon). There are other draconic subspecies, though they are rarer and usually specialized for different environments.

Ice Dragons, also known as Winter Drakes, are found in the northmost regions of the Nomad Lands and the Sahudese Achipelago. Of colors ranging from Light Blue to White, these dragons breath ice and snow rather then fire. They are more brutish and aggressive then their firebreathing kin, and are highly prized trophies for Nomad Warriors.

Forest Dragons are rarer, and are only found in the dense woodlands of the Great Forest and Blackwoods. With scales of varying shades of green and brown, their spit, breath and even blood is a deadly poison to other creatures, giving them their other name of Venom Drakes. Cunning and subtle, Forest Dragons will often negociate treaties with neighboring Elves for mutual defense.

Swamp Dragons are rarer still, found only in the darkest, most isolated swamps and moors of Yrth. With scales ranging from dark grey to black to deep purple, their acidic breath makes them fierce foes. They are poor fliers but well adapted to their aquatic environments, hunting very much like alligators.

Sky Dragons, also known as Storm Drakes, come in varying shades of blue, most often allowing them to blend seemlessly with the skies in their territory. They lair on the peaks of high mountains, in caverns all but inaccessible to non-flying creatures. They can breathe powerful blasts of electricity, and are often masters of Weather Magic. The smarter of their kind will use both to run "God of Rain" type schemes, tricking small isolated communities into giving them tribute in exchange for good weather.

Moon Dragons, also occasionally called Silver Dragons for the colors of their scales, are mostly nocturnal and have a tendancy towards trickery and deceit. Virtually every representative of the species can shapeshift into humanoid forms, and use them to hide amongst the races of Yrth, engineering and managing plots and schemes of all sorts, from short cons to century-long conspiracies. (One could turn Baron Adrien Dorilis/Dexnavi of Tredroy into a Moon Dragon easily enough.)

Sun Dragons, also known as Gold Dragons, are the most powerful race of Dragon on Yrth, and also the rarest. So rare, in fact, that in the last 100 years, there are records of only one making an appearance. In 1975, a Thomasite Monk wrote of seeing a gold dragon appearing to stop a deadly battle between a pair of Firedrakes. Using raw power and magical prowess, it cowed the two others, and roaring something the Monk couldn't comprehend, forced one to take flight and leave, while the other one just retreated into it's lair. The golden wyrm then took notice of the Monk. Approaching the cowering scholar, it told him that humans should not mettle in the affairs of Dragons, before taking flight itself. Scholars believe that the Sun Dragons may be either the Kings or Priests of their kind, wielding authority over all other dragons, but this is difficult to verify.

Sahudese Dragons

The Sahudese Dragons (or Lung, as the Sahudese call them) are not True dragons in the traditional sense, and instead are a seperate species of amphibian, snake-like reptiles. They hatch from pearl-shaped eggs as human-sized water snakes, which dwell in lakes, rivers and seas as wild, primitive creatures for the first 500 years of their life.

Then they shed their skins one last time and mature into Kiao, tadpole-like creatures capable of walking on land, resembling snakes with two arms and the heads of carps (not litterally; it's just a good resemblance). In this transitory state, it begins to display intelligence and communication skills, but still has limited magical talents.

The next two stages in the lung's aging are the Kiao-Lung and the Kioh-Lung, which only differ in that the latter has horns. At this point the Lung has reached the early stages of adulthood, has full intelligence and is beginning to master the ways of magic.

Following is the Ying Lung, occasionally called Shen Lung or P'an Lung, whether or not the creature is originally spotted swimming or flying. It is at this stage that the Lung are considered fully adult.

Finally comes the Tien Lung, the "Great Wyrm" stage of the Sahudese Dragon. Four are known to exist in Sahud, three dwelling in vast palaces at the bottom of the Koriryu No Umi, with Sharkmen and Octopus Folk attendants, while the fourth dwells in an underground lake deep under a mountain.

Generally speaking, the Lung are rather aloof, dwelling apart from humanity, yet drawn to it due to the Sahudese practice of revering them as divine beings, integrating them into their complex belief system of Kamis and Celestial Bureaucracies. The Lung themselves are actually far more individualistic and solitary, although they do have a society of sorts like other Dragons. Many of them do encourage the belief that they can control the tides, command schools of fish and manipulate the weather, using Magic to do so.

Also, it should be noted that the Sahudese are familiar with the other draconic races, which they call Ryu. The current ruler of Clan Ah is one such Ryu.

Only distantly related to dragons, these winged beasts are common in forested mountain areas, but are hunted down when closer to civilized lands. There have been some attempts at turning them into riding beasts, with mixed results.

Crawling Wyrms
These are, in fact, very primitive cousins of the Dragonic race, almost little more then giant, armored, draconic snakes. They are amphibious and occasionally burrowers, using Constriction attacks and deadly venom to kill their prey. Most have Regeneration.

Sea Serpents
These colossal creatures are the ocean's answer to the dragon, and the krakens' only challengers to the title of "King of Yrth's Seas". Sailors all over Yrth live in fear of them.

...And that's it for this update.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Rom's custom Banestorm

Originally Posted by LoneWolf23k
Was hoping for more activity here..
No offense intended, but you're combining existing material to suit your personal taste. What kind of activity were you expecting here beyond the 296 views and comments like "Yrth + DF? Yay!" or "Yrth + DF? Boo!" ...?
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