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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/19/2018 at 10:57 AM, Smudge8 said:

Welcome to the Island of Terra-Dra Home of adventure and danger. Amongst the peaceful grasslands, calm beaches, dense jungles and tall mountains matoran live side by side with giant, dangerous Rahi. Their survival depends on YOU the hunters. Grab your weapon, put on your mask, and get out there to defend civilization and blaze new trails into the wilds of Terra-Dra. Happy hunting!


The Island


Terra-Dra is a rough and harsh landscape with five areas. Planes-Dra, Beach-Dra, Jungle-Dra,  Mountain-Dra, and Sand-Dra. The Hunters Guild monitors the environments of each area closely, and travel into each area requires the Guild’s permission.

I'm not an approval overlord, but I have to say that this RPG looks good. I would play it. 

I think that it needs a second profile form, though, because some people might wish to play as Rahi. And it needs some player objectives: why are we hunting the Rahi, exactly? To free them from Makuta's control like in 2001? I feel that this needs clarified. Perhaps if we manage to complete a quest or hunt a Rahi, we get to a higher level. 

Also, what are the Guild's objectives? If they aren't to be revealed immediately, how do I as a player work toward unraveling the mystery? Why does the Guild exist? What am I doing as a player? These are concerns that I would like to see addressed in a revised draft. Thanks. 

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7 minutes ago, 1womanarmy said:

I'm not an approval overlord, but I have to say that this RPG looks good. I would play it. 

I think that it needs a second profile form, though, because some people might wish to play as Rahi. And it needs some player objectives: why are we hunting the Rahi, exactly? To free them from Makuta's control like in 2001? I feel that this needs clarified. Perhaps if we manage to complete a quest or hunt a Rahi, we get to a higher level. 

Also, what are the Guild's objectives? If they aren't to be revealed immediately, how do I as a player work toward unraveling the mystery? Why does the Guild exist? What am I doing as a player? These are concerns that I would like to see addressed in a revised draft. Thanks. 

Hey @1womanarmy! :) Just so you know, this topic is strictly for RPG applications and approvals. The only people who should be posting here are RPG applicants and the RPG judges.

But we'd love to hear your thoughts on potential RPGs. We just ask that you post them in the Official RPG Planning Topic. Thanks!

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  • 2 years later...

“Something’s changed. Don’t tell me you don’t feel it. The Iron Tribe have gone silent, the Skrall are pushing south, and my scouts are coming back with disturbing reports about Bone Hunters – they’re organised now, sweeping the desert in search grids. They say they have a new leader, some desert-walker they call the Ghost.”

“Come now, Raanu, rangers have always been paranoid. Too much time out in the desert and men start to get superstitious; it’s the only way to survive. Surely you know better than to believe in ghost stories.”




The Desert is a hostile, unforgiving place. This is why we built walls to keep it out. This is why we stay together, in our Tribes, for no one can survive the Desert alone. This is why we do not wage war against one another:

We are already at war with the Desert.

When our differences cannot be resolved with words, we solve them in the arena: a Glatorian stands to represent each village, and to the victor go the spoils. These matches have become a crucial element of our culture, with bouts fought just as often for sport as for peace-keeping, if not moreso. This is the purpose of our Arena Magna, the pride of Atero, a monument of civilisation that has stood for time untold against the Desert’s brutality. It stood when water still flowed through the Skrall River, and it stands still now that we are perched above falls of liquid sand. It is in the Arena Magna that we hold our annual Grand Tournament, where Glatorian and Agori meet in glorious combat to decide our Champion. The preparations have already begun: as we speak, Agori are hard at work in Atero, refurbishing the Arena, and the exhibition matches in villages across Bara Magna have begun. It is sure to be a spectacle to rival all that came before. This year, we fight in honour of our cousins in the Iron Tribe, who are unable to join us due to issues in their village. We wish them well, and look forward to their return in next year’s games.

Anyone travelling from their home village for a match, whether to Atero or anywhere else, should make sure to take extra precautions on the roads. Remember: always travel in groups, and keep a regular watch at night. Though there is no immediate concern over the reports of unusual Bone Hunter activity, it is always wise to exert caution out in the Desert. Additionally, please refrain from Zesk-hunting during this time, as disrupting their habitats may result in difficulties on the roads due to unexpected migration. Worry not, though, as each village has guards and archers at the ready to deter any vermin that wander too close to our borders.

With those announcements out of the way: Glatorian, Agori, gathered friends of all stripes…

Let the Games begin!


The Premise

Ghosts of Bara Magna is an open sandbox TBRPG, designed to encourage player freedom and agency. Though there are plot threads, they’re just that: threads, for you to pull on as you see fit. I have as little idea of what the future has in store as you do, and I can’t wait to see what becomes of this world, how you grow it and improve it far beyond what my imagination could ever conjure. Players are also encouraged to create their own quests or plots, whether based on an established element of the world or something entirely new. I would recommend seeking out mod approval for these, so that we can provide access to elements of our own toolbox. In an ideal world you should be driving the story of the RPG at least as much as me, if not even moreso, and I want to make sure the tools to accomplish just that will be at your disposal.

It's important to note that this is not necessarily Bara Magna as you know it; though I've aimed to stay true to the spirit of 2009, and what I believe to be the untapped potential of Bara Magna as a setting, this is not the canon Bara Magna. What does that mean in practice? Well, Agori and Glatorian have roughly human lifespans, leaning slightly longer than our own. This means that far more of the events of centuries past are long-forgotten; similarly, The Shattering as we know it cannot be assumed to have occurred. Not only is no one old enough to recall the cataclysmic event that left Bara Magna a wasteland, but Bara Magna should be assumed to be its own planet with its own history, not a fragment of a larger Spherus Magna. If the planets of the Solis Magna system were once connected, it was so long ago now that it hardly matters. Bota Magna and Aqua Magna do exist, but little is known about them beyond their clearly observable ocean and jungle coverage.

This has implications closer to ground level, too: things you may recognise from canon, such as the Great Beings or the Dreaming Plague, are not necessarily the same as you remember them. All this to say, don't assume that you know what you're in for – after all, I hardly created this RPG just to rehash what we've already seen. The mysteries of Bara Magna are mysteries once more, with answers that may yet surprise you.


The Staff
At present, the staff are myself and @BULiK. Bulik can field any approval I can, apart from requests for Sand or Iron Tribe characters. Not much more to say on that, really.


Character Creation

There are two, and only two, species available to players: Glatorian, or Agori. As you may already know, Glatorian are the warriors of Bara Magna, and Agori the villagers, though the gap in their powers is much smaller than that between Matoran and Toa since Glatorian have neither Kanohi nor elemental powers. Their advantage over Agori is their size and their strength, the latter being far more diminutive and ill-equipped for fighting. It is for this reason that Agori fighting in the Arena do so in vehicles. Although both Glatorian and Agori make use of them, only Agori characters have an automatic entitlement to vehicles. As this risks an unfair advantage for Agori characters, I still urge you to request vehicle approval for your Glatorian if you wish, with the caveat that there is a maximum of one Glatorian vehicle per player, which hopefully will still be plenty. The balancing factor is cybernetic enhancements: though all of Bara Magna’s residents have some form of technological augmentation, those of the Glatorian are specialised for combat purposes. Each Glatorian character is allowed two cybernetic enhancements, to be approved by a mod. You don’t have to take advantage of any of these things – feel free to create a Glatorian without cybernetics, or an Agori without a vehicle. These are just the options that are available to you, and with mod approval, you can always choose to add them to your character at a later point (with sufficient IC explanation). Vorox and Zesk, which require specific approval (further details below), are considered a distinct species; however, for gameplay purposes, they follow the same entitlement rules as Glatorian and Agori, respectively. The Sisters of the Skrall are not available to play.

The deserts of Bara Magna are unforgiving, and no one can survive them alone. With the exception of some freelancing Glatorian (who still have to take jobs from tribes, if they want food to eat and roofs over their heads), the people of Bara Magna largely belong to one of six tribes: Fire, Water, Ice, Rock, Jungle, and Iron. A seventh tribe, Sand, has long since devolved into barbarism; the Vorox and Zesk, as they are now known, display only animal intelligence. Split off from the Rock Tribe are the Agori known as the Bone Hunters, marauders who walk the desert in search of easy prey, raiding caravans and villages for resources and slaves. Though player creativity is encouraged, specific approval from myself will be required for any character belonging to the Iron or Sand Tribe, with approval being especially difficult to attain for the latter (for, I hope, fairly obvious reasons). These two tribes are otherwise unavailable for play at present.

In addition to the initially available five, custom tribes are welcome. Simply submit the name of the tribe, their leader, their colours, and the basic details of their village (name, location, etc) for approval, and boom, you’ve got a Gravity tribe (if you try to canonise the Earth tribe, Kevin, I will come to your house and strike you dead).

Each and every player must make one, and only one, post in the profiles topic. Within this one post, every character you play (barring special circumstances specifically approved by a mod) should have their own unique character profile. Each profile must include your character's species, appearance, equipment, cybernetics and/or vehicle, and a specific weakness. Obviously writing weaknesses is a right pain in the arse, but I encourage it not only for balancing but also as an important aspect of character development. A weakness doesn't have to be physical or combat-specific – it can be a bum knee or an old war wound just as easily as a phobia or a blinding ego. What's important is that you take the time to consider the flaws that hamper your character, and make them more human.

Other optional profile sections, which I still heartily recommend, are your character's rough age, pronouns, gender, basic character traits, and a biography (if relevant).


The Setting

The Solis Magna System
The Solis Magna system is the solar system in which Bara Magna resides. The life stage of its star, the eponymous Solis Magna, is unknown, as is the exact number of planets in the system.

Bara Magna
Bara Magna is the only known habitable planet in the Solis Magna system, orbited by two moons, Aqua and Bota Magna. The vast majority of Bara Magna’s landmass is desert, owing to some unknown disaster in the distant past; the ruins of the civilisation that came before, now known only as the Great Beings, are scattered across the planet, but most notably form the foundations of the cities Atero and Roxtus.

Points of Interest


There are eight main settlements in the inhabited areas of Bara Magna:

Atero is the capital city and the site of the Arena Magna, a structure dating back to the Great Beings themselves. It is the closest thing to a melting pot on Bara Magna, welcoming to Agori and Glatorian of all backgrounds, although tribe affiliation is still expected. Though freelance Glatorian exist, they are still compelled to make deals to fight for tribes in exchange for food and board, which are otherwise largely inaccessible. Atero is managed by a City Council of representatives from each of the Exhibition Match villages: Kyry of Vulcanus, Kirbold of Iconox, Tarduk of Tesara, and the typically truant Kirbraz of Tajun.

Vulcanus is home to the Fire Tribe. The nearby lava flow is harnessed by the expert craftsmen of the village; with its heat, they forge weapons, armour, and mechanical components from the iron and exsidian they trade from Ferrum and Iconox. Vulcanus once had its own supply of Exsidian; however, it proved too dangerous to mine, and one of Raanu's first acts as Tribe Leader was to shut these mines down. The Arena Vulcanus, built atop the lava flow, is among the most impressive on Bara Magna, with various mechanical functions; for instance, the ability to let the lava flow into the arena, creating islands separated by streams of molten rock, an environmental hazard suited only to the most expert of Glatorian. The leader of Vulcanus, and by extension the Fire Tribe, is Raanu.

Tajun is the home of the Water Tribe. Built in shaded crevasses below surface level, this village is the site of the largest known oasis on Bara Magna, providing its citizens with the most readily available source of water in the Wastelands. It’s this water that they trade with other villages, in exchange for the foodstuffs of Tesara and the metalwork of Vulcanus. It is also home to the Arena Tajun. Tajun is also currently home to the workshop of Celrys, the famed artificer. Tajun is led by Scodonius, who supports the village's thriving criminal element despite Berix being its face.

The twin villages of Tesara are home to the Jungle Tribe. Built atop two gigantic tree stumps connected by a bridge, Tesara is surrounded by an incredible rarity on Bara Magna: a large swath of lush greenery. Thanks to this unique resource, Tesara is the sole export of non-animal agriculture and wood, which isn’t used for much construction outside Tesara itself as a result of its rarity. The Arena Tesara lies in the northmost reaches of the Green Zone, and just beyond that are the Hot Springs. Between the roots of its two great trees stands the statue known as the Lord of the Jungle, a lichen-covered giant believed to represent one of the eight Element Lords, quasi-religious figures who are believed to have created the biomes in which the villages lie. Tesara is led by the Merchants Guild and its Chairwoman, Linnea.

Iconox is the village of the affluent Ice Tribe. Its location in the White Quartz Mountains gives the Ice Tribe alone access to Exsidian, the most valuable metal ore on Bara Magna. Mined using slave labour, Exsidian is used in all cybernetics and other complex mechanical parts due to its unique properties. Relations between the Ice Tribe and other villages are tense, due to the universal reliance on Exsidian and their purchasing of slaves from the Bone Hunters. Another source of suspicion is the notable lack of Bone Hunter raids on Ice Tribe caravans despite their value, believed by some to be due to their trade relations. Iconox and its Tribe are led by Metus, who was buoyed to power by his discovery of the very Exsidian vein that has made Iconox so powerful in recent years.

Ferrum, located at the far end of Iron Canyon, is home to the Iron Tribe. Despite its apparent proximity to Vulcanus, which has always helped the booming trade between the two villages – which trade iron and mining equipment, in a symbiotic loop – Iron Canyon is extremely dangerous to traverse, near impossible for those unfamiliar with the safest route. Trade with Vulcanus is currently halted as a result of this, with only the Iron Tribe’s traders – who haven’t been seen in some weeks – able to safely navigate it. This has also held back any outreach to discern the issues currently facing Ferrum. The leader of Ferrum and the Iron Tribe is the Agori Somnii.

The city of Roxtus is the current home of the militaristic Rock Tribe. Though the Rock Tribe is known to the rest of Bara Magna only by its males, the Skrall, these are only the military wing of the tribe. The actual leaders are the females, known as the Sisters of the Skrall; they possess alleged psionic abilities, and are feared and hated by the males who serve them. Male Skrall are not entitled to names – unless they earn a title through some extraordinary act, they will be known only as Skrall. Additionally, Roxtus is not the original home of the Skrall; previously, they resided in the Skrall Fortress, north of the Black Spike Mountains, until they were pushed South by an unknown enemy. This fact is unknown to all outside the Rock Tribe, as the Skrall have led the rest of Bara Magna to believe that they are expanding South, not retreating.
Like Iconox, Roxtus makes use of slave labour, supplied by the Bone Hunters. The Sisters of the Skrall live apart from the men, residing within Skull Mountain, immediately adjacent to Roxtus; none but the Sisters themselves are allowed entry, barring the occasions on which they select a male for breeding purposes. Such men return broken and mentally feeble, and are shunned by their peers. So great is the dishonour of laying with a Sister that those who do so are forbidden even from calling themselves Skrall, and are forced into exile. The Skrall military is led by Tirveus, and the Sisters by Visena.

The Bone Hunter Stronghold, located in the eastern reaches of the wastelands, houses the greatest concentration of Bone Hunters. Other long and short-term encampments exist in order to enable their movements around the desert, but the Stronghold is, for all intents and purposes, their home base. Chief among these smaller outposts is the Gatherers’ Hideout, located beneath the Dark Falls south of Roxtus, and just north of Creep Canyon. The Bone Hunters, in fact, traditionally refer to themselves as the Gatherers, with ‘Bone Hunters’ having begun as a pejorative before entering common parlance. Though they operate in small groups with individual, disconnected leaders, a mysterious newcomer called the Ghost is attempting to unify them under his banner, with the aid of his right-hand man, Crucius.

Smaller villages are also scattered around Bara Magna, though these are often subject to Bone Hunter raids, such settlements being difficult to maintain in the brutal Wastelands.

Natural Landmarks
The Wastelands are the mapped area of Bara Magna, from the Black Spike Mountains in the North to the Sea of Liquid Sand in the South. Though this stretch of desert is, for the most part, barren and desolate, there are a few more hospitable areas from which the Agori settlements have grown. Little vegetation grows in the desert, Thornax plants being the most common exception, and the wildlife is frequently hostile.

The Dunes of Treason are one of the largest regions in the Wastelands, bordered by the White Quartz Mountains to the west, the Green Zone to the north, and the Skrall River to the east, and stretching as far south as Tajun. This part of the desert is almost entirely composed of sand dunes, punctuated by some rocky outcrops, and is almost entirely uninhabitable.

The Eastern Canyons (Creep Canyon & Iron Canyon) are perhaps Bara Magna's most hostile locations, thanks in large part to being the primary habitat of the Skopio: colossal insectoid beasts, who react aggressively to any intrusion upon their territory. If a traveller happens to be lucky enough to avoid them, they're still likely to fall victim to the Bone Hunters who patrol the area, or perhaps simply become lost amongst the twisting paths – infamously difficult to traverse without an experienced navigator – there to die of thirst. Iron Canyon is especially treacherous due to its extremely narrow paths being ill-suited for vehicles.

Sandray Canyon is a smaller canyon located south-east of Tajun, named after the creatures who inhabit the Sea of Liquid Sand. Though not as treacherous as the others, there have been sightings of Skopio, so caution is still advised.

The Sea of Liquid Sand is an ocean-like expanse of the same fluid sand that flows through the Skrall River.

The Skrall River flows through the Wastelands; although it's known to have once been entirely made up of water, throughout living memory it has been a stream of liquid sand from the foot of the Dark Falls south until it enters the Sea of Liquid Sand.

The White Quartz Mountains are a range of snow-capped peaks, rich in Exsidian ore. The main landmarks within the mountain range are Iconox, Elbow Peak (a canyon flanked by two mountain ridges) and Gatherer's Ridge, a line of mountains stretching further east than the rest, into the northern border of the Green Zone.

The Green Zone, sometimes called the Tesara Green Zone, is an area of dense vegetation in the north-west of the Wastelands. Home to Tesara and the Hot Springs, it is the only source of wood and non-animal agriculture for the other villages.

The Black Spike Mountains are the southernmost stretch of a large mountain range north of the Wastelands. The area is volcanic and unstable, and honeycombed with tunnels that appear to have been dug by the Great Beings. The treacherous terrain, and the presence of the Skrall, have prevented proper mapping of the mountain range and the regions beyond.


The Skrall
Due to their isolation from the other Tribes, the Rock Tribe military has developed its own unique culture, based primarily around winning honour through feats of martial prowess, and thereby demonstrating Skrall superiority. All Skrall are nameless by default, receiving names only when they have proved themselves worthy. Though these worthy Skrall can be stripped of their names if they dishonour themselves, there is no greater dishonour than to be chosen for bedding by one of the Sisters of the Skrall. The Sisters are treated with superstition and fear, due in large part to their psychic abilities; it is using these unnatural abilities that they craft the cybernetics used by the Skrall, and through them that they detect and choose the few fertile male Skrall for procreation. Upon their return, these Skrall (psychologically broken by their experience) are banished from the Rock Tribe, and stripped of the right even to call themselves Skrall.

The Sand Tribe
Little is known of the exact history of the Sand Tribe, except that they were once as intelligent as other Agori and Glatorian. For centuries now, however, they have been little more than animals, moving through the desert in packs and communicating with clicks and other strange noises that bare only the most tangential resemblance to language. Efforts have been made by some particularly determined anthropologists to establish communications with them, proving in the process that they still retain some basic form of intelligence; however, the people of the Wastelands still view the Vorox and the Zesk as beasts and vermin, respectively.

The Great Beings
The Great Beings (dubbed as such by the Agori) are a long-extinct, technologically advanced race of four-eyed humanoids who previously resided on Bara Magna. Their ruins and technology continue to be of great value to the Agori; both Atero and Roxtus are built upon the remains of Great Being cities, and modern cybernetics and vehicles would not exist if not for unearthed Great Being technologies and the major breakthroughs to which they led.
Their appearance is known to the Agori primarily from statues in Atero and at other Great Being sites, although the remains of long-dead Great Beings have occasionally been discovered in decades and centuries past.

The Element Lords
The six Element Lords are quasi-religious figures of myth. Each one is believed to have brought life to the Wastelands by creating a biome in which the Agori now live, and the six largest tribes (Rock, Jungle, Fire, Water, Ice and Sand) are named after them. A statue of the Lord of the Jungle can be found between the base of the two great trees in Tesara, a roughly humanoid figure with no head and unusually long arms, which twist upon themselves like vines and plunge into the soil amidst the trees’ roots. Though overgrown with moss and flowers, the Lord of the Jungle is still treated as something of a religious monument.

The Tribes and villages of the Wastelands trade various valuable commodities with one another; though some are obvious, such as wood and foodstuffs from Tesara, water from Tajun, and iron from Ferrum, others are more unusual. Vulcanus, for instance, is the home of industry in the Wastelands; although it once had its own Exsidian mines, it now forges weapons, cybernetics and mechanical components using Iconox’s Exsidian and Ferrum’s iron, and trades these for both necessities and the materials required to produce more.

Atero’s status as the capital city of Bara Magna is not just the result of its high walls and central position; every safe trade route in Bara Magna, as shown on the map, converges upon the city, leading to its bustling marketplace. Though the city is at its busiest around the time of the Great Tournament, merchants provide plenty of business for its inns throughout the rest of the year.

Exsidian is by far the most valuable metal in Bara Magna; its unique properties make it ideal for cybernetics, circuitry and complex mechanical components. Though once provided by Vulcanus, before its mines were shut down by Raanu, the relatively recent discovery by Metus of a vein in the White Quartz Mountains has quickly made Iconox an economic powerhouse.

The slave trade, distasteful as it is, plays an important part in the economy of Bara Magna; after all, Iconox’s Exsidian is mined using slaves provided by the Bone Hunters. Roxtus is also reliant on slave labour, and both it and Iconox have backdoor trade routes with the Hunters. It’s through these that the Bone Hunters receive Exsidian from Iconox, which they provide to Roxtus in exchange for Skrall supplies, weapons and cybernetics.

The Bone Hunters don’t only trade in slaves, however; perhaps even more lucrative to them is the trade of Spice, a psychoactive drug. The ideal source of unrefined Spice is Skopio bone marrow; however, impure Spice can also be found in the soil in and around Creep Canyon, particularly in those areas in which Skopio reside. It is for this reason that the Eastern Canyons are their hunting grounds.


The Rules

If you’re familiar with the absolutely iconic work that is Tuck’s Guide to Common Sense, the majority of rules are helpfully outlined there. However, for convenience:

  • Every player must make one (and only one) post in the profiles topic, and update this with the profiles of each of their characters.
  • PCs are to be original characters. This doesn’t mean you can’t copy your favourite Ryan Gosling silent stare role, but rather, that you can’t play characters from canon.
  • When writing out of character in a post, you should preface what you say with ‘OOC:’. When writing in character, you should preface with ‘IC:’, the name of your character, and their current location. Furthermore, when possible, out of character discussions should be kept within the Discussion Topic or the RPG Discord server (link).
  • Given that PvP will play an important role in tournaments, I want to remind everyone that autohits are illegal, and to play your characters realistically. It’s okay to take a hit in a fight – in fact, having to apply creative thinking and improvisation due to injuries you sustain in a combat encounter often makes it more fun to write, and more fun to read. And combat, like everything else in the game, is about having fun; should issues arise, the GMs are prepared to referee, but we would prefer not to interfere.
  • Finally, most importantly of all, be nice to each other! As I said before, we’re all here to have fun – and though we all get emotionally involved in our characters and their experiences, it’s important not to let IC tensions bleed into OOC interactions. If you feel things are getting a bit too heated, be sure to take a step back, and if you need a hand in resolving things privately the GMs are of course here to help. That said, intentionally abusive or bigoted behaviour will not be tolerated. If you muck around, you will find out. Accidentally hurting someone’s feelings is something we’ll try to resolve as sensitively as possible; after all, these things happen. But there is a zero tolerance policy on racism, homophobia, transphobia, and bullying. Basically: just don’t be a prat.
Edited by a goose
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Nikarra - Kaelynn - Ronan - Muir - Donal Aerus - Montague - Kira - KouraLearu - Alteora - Fuacht - Caana Nessen - Merrill

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