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Takuma Nuva

Lost Chronicles -- A Tabletop RPG Homebrew

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UPDATE 08/19/15: First version of the Bestiary has now been released. More Rahi and other creatures will be added in the future.

 

UPDATE 06/25/15: Kanohi completely reworked. Added many extended universe Kanohi and now almost all Noble versions are available.

 

I'm going to try and keep this short because, let's face it, you've got plenty of reading ahead of you.
 
What you're about to see is a true labor of love. Never you mind how far back the changelog goes, I've been working solo on this project off and on for well over a year now. I have easily poured more than a hundred hours into the R&D of this project (big shout out to BS01). Now that I've graduated from college and, ergo, have more time on my hands, it's time to release this thing into the wild. I only hope that people enjoy what I'm presenting here.
 
Truth be told, I was hoping to have a video demonstrating the system when I posted this but, while that's still coming eventually, too many people have been asking for this. It's time.
 
Lost Chronicles is my homebrew for a (G1) Bionicle tabletop RPG system. I drew a lot of inspiration for the system from sources such as Fantasy Flight's 40k series of RPGs (e.g. Rogue Trader, Death Watch) and Star Wars KOTOR while obviously adding my own unique ideas. I wanted to make a system that was comprehensive enough, but at the same time not too complicated. Yes, it looks like there's a staggering number of rules, but you're only going to use so many all that frequently.
 
Truth be told, this project isn't fully complete yet, though incredibly close. I still have things that need tweaking and polish, as well as a few things I'm just not sure how to implement properly. It is, however, in a playable state. The reason I'm releasing it in this "beta" version is because I've simply reached a point where it'll benefit more from people actually testing it out and giving me feedback/suggestions. That said, if you have any criticisms about rules, suggestions for new features, questions regarding rules that aren't clear, or maybe a request for some particular piece to be finished (e.g. a stat sheet for a specific creature), let me know and I'll get to it ASAP.
 
So, gather your IRL friends around a table or get a group together online using Roll20.net or some other solution. Tell stories, have fun, and be sure you tell me all about it.
 
Click here to download the latest version of the rulebook.

 

Click here to download the latest version of the bestiary.

Takuma Nuva

Edited by Takuma Nuva
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If The Good Lord had intended us to walk

He would not have invented roller skates.
-- Willy Wonka

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I've been looking for something like this on-and-off for the past year. Now all I need is a roleplay group and I'll be good to go.  :P

 

I'll post something more akin to a review once I've had a chance to look it over. 

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"Ten thousand futures have I looked at. A hundred thousand. And in only one does mankind finally unite, and flourish...and survive. Only one. Doomworld."

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Yes! It's perfect!

 

If you want background and page art, I can help you with that. Maybe.

Edited by Loganto the Le-Matoran

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Wow, I'm overjoyed to see something like this reach a playable stage! I'll let you know what I think as soon as I've read it.

 

Edit: Ok, first reactions to the system! Most of it is criticism, so I want to start off by emphasizing how happy I am that you've put in all the work to create this great system. I just found places where I thought the game could be better.

 

I find it odd that Toa are given a base stat for their wealth. I don't think any Toa has ever used currency to purchase something in the storyline.

 

Elemental stereotypes are pushed a bit too strongly for my liking. For instance, how every element automatically gives you a certain skill. Wouldn't this depend on the life of that particular character? If they're from a community like Voya Nui, for instance, with Matoran of all elements, they might not choose a specialty associated with their element.

 

This is a minor thing, but why put in the part about required gender for each element? It's one of the most infamous story elements in Bionicle, and in roleplay I've noticed most fans prefer to ignore it.

 

So Matoran are less intelligent and socially adept than Toa? I thought it was assumed that transformation into a Toa is only on the body, not the mind?

 

The elemental stereotype thing applies to species stereotypes as well. Couldn't there be a game in an AU where Xia is a rural society?

 

I'm not sure what "basic" skills are supposed to mean. Surely any of those skills listed could be formally taught? And have explosives ever been a thing in Bionicle, aside from certain launchers?

 

So, characters' learned biases are somehow permanent in the same way as their physical characteristics?

 

Aren't traits like Disturbing Voice and Fearsome matters of opinion? Botar is fearsome, but he and another of his species probably wouldn't scare each other.

 

Why would a mute character move inaudibly?

 

Some of the traits (levitation, sonar, flight, toxic) seem more like powers with multiple possible levels. Others (stampede) seem more like behaviors that the character's controlling player/GM should get to decide.

 

The feats all seem pretty gimmicky. Are they really necessary? Also, how do you learn something like Undying, Vitality or Phase?

 

Ouch, the Trigger effects for Air, Water, and Plasma seem pretty extreme for Toa sworn not to kill.

 

Techniques that could be added:

Air: Whirlwinds

Gravity: Lift

Ice: Freeze Solid

Plantlife: Forest Barrier

Lightning: Electric Wall

Plasma: Overheat

Shadow: Blind

 

Techniques that don't make sense:

Horrifying Gaze would require Illusion powers, not Shadow.

I don't think Shadowport is an innate ability to elemental Shadow.

Undertow and Rip Current seem the same as Flash Flood.

 

You're missing Light, Magnetism, and Iron techniques.

 

Rahkshi powers don't all really account for power level.

 

You didn't specify, but I assume powerless masks have no Gear cost?

 

Shouldn't almost all masks require Will rolls?

 

Why can't arm blades be disarmed, if bucklers can?

 

Where did the Eccentric Rock come from? And aren't eccentric rocks boulders that were carried by glaciers?

 

I think the thing about Rhotuka always having a power that reflects the user is false. The Toa Hagah's shield Rhotuka had different powers from their natural Rhotuka.

 

Why is Thornax Launcher an option if nothing else from Bara Magna is mentioned?

 

I skipped to the end of the Vehicles section and found this:

Flyers are used to trick young Matoran into eating their vegetables

 

Huh?

 

This is a bit of a petty thing, but it's actually impossible to surf on a calm river. You can only surf on a river when it's flash flooding.

 

And that's all, or at least all that I can find without an actual play session. I am very interested in playing, so if anyone else is, please send me a message.

Edited by Akavakaku
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( The bunny slippers hiss and slither into the shadows. ) -Takuaka: Toa of Time

What if the Toa you know best were not destined to be? Interchange: The epic begins

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Sure you can surf on a calm river. As long as it is flowing, calm or otherwise you would follow the current. The momentum of which you can then use to go from one side to the other. I would love to try this game out though I am not sure exactly how to play as I've never done a Table top style RPG...


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Allow me to start by heading this all off with one thing. Such RPG systems are always guidelines and the GM/players can always adjust rules to their style of play. That being said...

I find it odd that Toa are given a base stat for their wealth. I don't think any Toa has ever used currency to purchase something in the storyline.

It may not have come up in any released story, but I find it hard to believe that Toa were always given everything and anything they want for free.

 

Elemental stereotypes are pushed a bit too strongly for my liking. For instance, how every element automatically gives you a certain skill. Wouldn't this depend on the life of that particular character? If they're from a community like Voya Nui, for instance, with Matoran of all elements, they might not choose a specialty associated with their element.

What you say is true, but you could say the same for any RPG with character classes/races. If you've developed a character with a rich back story that would be better represented by a different starting skill, then I highly encourage you to go with it. Just clear it with whomever your GM is. I'm doing this myself with the players in my test run about to start. I've got somebody with a Su-Matoran lawyer that swapped out a few things after I okayed it. Again, these are guidelines which best represent that particular "race" as a whole.

 

This is a minor thing, but why put in the part about required gender for each element? It's one of the most infamous story elements in Bionicle, and in roleplay I've noticed most fans prefer to ignore it.

And if they GM permits it, they can ignore it. My goal with this project is to keep to canon as much as possible. I'm building an RPG system here, not writing a fanfic.

 

So Matoran are less intelligent and socially adept than Toa? I thought it was assumed that transformation into a Toa is only on the body, not the mind?

I originally had certain stats the same for both. I'm not entirely sure when they got changed or the exact reason why I balanced them this way. It may change again as time goes on.

 

The elemental stereotype thing applies to species stereotypes as well. Couldn't there be a game in an AU where Xia is a rural society?

Again, guidelines and canon. Also, I can't account for every possibility that might be in another reality. There's a canon alternate universe where Matoran are tall and Toa are short, but you're not going to see me writing rules for them.

 

I'm not sure what "basic" skills are supposed to mean. Surely any of those skills listed could be formally taught? And have explosives ever been a thing in Bionicle, aside from certain launchers?

The thing that's really confusing to me right now is how inconsistent your criticisms are. You keep flipping back and forth between "this isn't canon, but it should be accounted for" and "this isn't canon, so why is it in?"

 

In any case, the difference between basic and trained skills is explained at the very beginning of the skills section, but I'll recap for you. Basic skills don't require specific training to attempt, but will certainly benefit from it. Trained skills are those that require particular knowledge in order to even attempt. Anybody can attempt to climb a tree in some capacity, but if you don't know the first thing about plants and their properties, you won't get too far in your alchemy attempts.

 

We may not have seen everyone running around with C4 and detpacks, but, yes, explosives in Bionicle are a thing in some capacity. Even if not, of all the non-canon things to account for explosives would seem one of the few things important enough to consider.

 

So, characters' learned biases are somehow permanent in the same way as their physical characteristics?

You should be seeing a pattern by this point in the post.

 

Aren't traits like Disturbing Voice and Fearsome matters of opinion? Botar is fearsome, but he and another of his species probably wouldn't scare each other.

Yes and no. While not everybody may find something disturbing to the same degree, there are certain characteristics that everybody can agree on. Same thing could be said for concepts such as beauty, taste, or fear.

 

Also, one of the reasons for having a GM is because no tabletop RPG can account for everything. The idea here is to give the players as much freedom as possible (within the confines of the universe) and sooner or later there will be some holes that need to be covered. Can you imagine how many more pages of arbitrary rules this thing would have if I had to start adding tables detailing things like what was scared of what else and to what degree?

 

*shudder*

 

Why would a mute character move inaudibly?

I'm going to assume you're just thinking of the wrong definition of the word "mute" here. I'm not referring to beings who can't/won't/don't speak. Rather just the fact that no sound is emitted. A synonym you could use is "silent".

 

Some of the traits (levitation, sonar, flight, toxic) seem more like powers with multiple possible levels. Others (stampede) seem more like behaviors that the character's controlling player/GM should get to decide.

Maybe if you consider real bats and snakes to have super powers. And the effectiveness can always be adjusted by the GM where appropriate. Furthermore, behaviors are still a trait, just not a physical one. GM always has final say, but as always, guidelines. I fail to see how this applies to players though, unless you're running some crazy campaign where everybody plays as Kikanalo in which case a lot of this is about to go out the window anyway. :P

 

The feats all seem pretty gimmicky. Are they really necessary? Also, how do you learn something like Undying, Vitality or Phase?

Not any moreso than any other perk system in an RPG. It offers players more tactical options and the opportunity to specialize their character's role and flesh out their play style and maybe even contribute to the character's fluff in some way.

 

As for the "how", the same way perks work in any other RPG. Phase just seems to be in the wrong place though, that should be a Trait.

 

Ouch, the Trigger effects for Air, Water, and Plasma seem pretty extreme for Toa sworn not to kill.

What? Have you seen all the stuff that goes on the in the comics and books? Toa are always launching people into the air, smashing them into walls, and generally beating up the bad guys. I also fail to see how weakening armor, an effect that doesn't even deal any actual damage to a target, seems "extreme". I will admit that I was running low on ideas for water and would like to probably change it in the future, but if you're constantly getting water slung at you I find it hard to imagine that at no point will you find yourself with a mouthful of water to choke on. Besides, I'm pretty sure that there was a point in the story where Gali created a sphere of water around someone's head to suffocate them.

 

Techniques that could be added:
Air: Whirlwinds
Gravity: Lift
Ice: Freeze Solid
Plantlife: Forest Barrier
Lightning: Electric Wall
Plasma: Overheat
Shadow: Blind

Techniques that don't make sense:
Horrifying Gaze would require Illusion powers, not Shadow.
I don't think Shadowport is an innate ability to elemental Shadow.
Undertow and Rip Current seem the same as Flash Flood.

Powers are definitely not comprehensive yet and I'm still adding to them. I'll certainly be taking your suggestions into account.

 

"Freeze Solid" is covered by Freezing Shot with its expanded Trigger Range.

 

You'll have to describe what you mean by "overheat" for me.

 

For Horrifying Gaze, "The user’s face is disfigured by shadow into a grotesque image." I fail to see what that has to do with illusions?

 

For Shadowport: http://biosector01.com/wiki/index.php/Shadow

 

Flash Flood is an AOE damaging ability that can knock targets down. Rip Current is a CC ability meant to move a target into a more compromising position in the battle (maybe over a ledge or closer to an ally's blade). Undertow is similar to Flash Flood, but it is used for CC instead of damage and covers a much smaller area, but costs less energy to cast and is far more likely to actually knock someone over. That being said, I feel like these could use some tweaking, but I need to see them in action to know in what way.

 

You're missing Light, Magnetism, and Iron techniques.

Yep, I'm fully aware of that. Part of the reason for that is that Magnetism and Iron are not only going to be inherently overpowered simply by their nature -- they weren't hunted down by Makuta because it was in season -- but also because the sheer number of applications in a universe where darn near everything is made of metal is staggering and will take no small amount of time. As for Light, I just haven't made it quite that far yet and didn't want to hold up the release to add it when, canonically speaking, we've never had more than one Toa of Light anyway.

 

Rahkshi powers don't all really account for power level.

I'm guessing you mean the power level of the Kraata. Unless I've missed something, there's never been any indication that the manifestation of a Kraata's power persists when channeled through the Rahkshi armor. When/If I eventually do actual Kraata powers, that may be a different story (and a heck of a lot of work).

 

You didn't specify, but I assume powerless masks have no Gear cost?

Correct.

 

Shouldn't almost all masks require Will rolls?

I don't see why. Maybe for a rookie Toa that hasn't quite grasped the concept yet, but it seemed fairly obvious to me that the use of Kanohi eventually became second-nature to a practiced user. I can't think of a point in the story where a Toa had difficulty activating their mask aside from the Toa Metru immediately after transforming. It has also been established that certain more "passive" masks are always "on" at some level, making a test to activate them pointless and illogical.

 

Why can't arm blades be disarmed, if bucklers can?

A fair question. Honestly, I hadn't made the comparison myself before. I gave the arm blades disarm immunity because I felt like the Trigger effect wasn't enough to keep it on par with other weapons and it seemed like a neat idea, but as with everything, I'll have to get some feedback from actual testing/play with it before I can do further balancing.

 

Where did the Eccentric Rock come from? And aren't eccentric rocks boulders that were carried by glaciers?

http://biosector01.com/wiki/index.php/Eccentric_Rock

 

I think the thing about Rhotuka always having a power that reflects the user is false. The Toa Hagah's shield Rhotuka had different powers from their natural Rhotuka.

http://biosector01.com/wiki/index.php/Rhotuka

 

Why is Thornax Launcher an option if nothing else from Bara Magna is mentioned?

Because I simply haven't added it in yet.

 

I skipped to the end of the Vehicles section and found this:
Flyers are used to trick young Matoran into eating their vegetables

Huh?

Haha, I forgot about that. As you can obviously see, the vehicles section is far from complete. That's just placeholder text.

 

This is a bit of a petty thing, but it's actually impossible to surf on a calm river. You can only surf on a river when it's flash flooding.

Fair enough and I'll probably change it in the future, but that was just flavor text that shouldn't be taken too literally.

 

Hopefully I've cleared some things up for you.


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If The Good Lord had intended us to walk

He would not have invented roller skates.
-- Willy Wonka

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Wow, thanks for going through all my feedback! Your reasoning seems really solid, I can't wait to try the game. Oh, and let me know if you'd like any help adding things into the game.

Edited by Akavakaku

( The bunny slippers hiss and slither into the shadows. ) -Takuaka: Toa of Time

What if the Toa you know best were not destined to be? Interchange: The epic begins

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So, major update. I realized how stupid it was to have the Kanohi drain from the Will attribute (seriously, where did that idea come from?) so I completely reworked them. Now they use "daily charges" instead.
 
I also added quite a number of Kanohi to the list, mostly consisting of the extended universe stuff, as well as almost all Noble Kanohi to the mix.
 
I'll be continuing to update this in the future and you can expect a sort of bestiary to be started soon.


Takuma Nuva

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-- Willy Wonka

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Question regarding rahi: Will they wear infected kanohi and can we tame them?


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Question regarding rahi: Will they wear infected kanohi and can we tame them?

The taming skill is on page 28.

 

As for infected Kanohi, that's up to the GM to decide. It's not like there needs to be rules for what is essentially superficial.

Takuma Nuva


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If The Good Lord had intended us to walk

He would not have invented roller skates.
-- Willy Wonka

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Can I just say: You've done a spectacular job with this! [:D] Everything looks very professional and easy to find. I haven't had a chance to play it yet (I'm in the middle of a Star Wars game and a D&D/Mythic crossbreed), but this is definitely on the agenda. [;)]

 

Kudos for a great system, smooth layout, and professionalism [:P]


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The rules keep on mentioning stat "factors." Could someone explain what that means? Is there somewhere it explains it and I just missed it?


I have control of an element you would never expect...

SURPRISE!

 

Corpus Rahkshi Characters: Revenge-Melody-Booger-Danger-Punishment-Toxitora Junior

 

Skyrise: Ascent Charaters: Paju & The Element - Rakin - Kane-Oma & The Mukau

 

 

 

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Just wondering, what dice would one need to play?  I see d10s and d20s are mentioned in the introduction, are any others used?

Currently, nope. Those are the only 2.

 

The rules keep on mentioning stat "factors." Could someone explain what that means? Is there somewhere it explains it and I just missed it?

Huh. Somehow I missed defining those completely.

 

Check for the new section at the beginning for your explanation.

Takuma Nuva


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If The Good Lord had intended us to walk

He would not have invented roller skates.
-- Willy Wonka

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I respect that you're trying to follow the canon, but the genders being tied to elements is bound to turn off a lot of players and make them not want to play the game.


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I respect that you're trying to follow the canon, but the genders being tied to elements is bound to turn off a lot of players and make them not want to play the game.

And what's keeping the GM from ignoring that rule?

Takuma Nuva


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If The Good Lord had intended us to walk

He would not have invented roller skates.
-- Willy Wonka

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