[Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

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FaerieGodfather
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[Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

Post by FaerieGodfather » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:40 pm

Overview - What Even Is Shroompunk?

Shroompunk is a surreal, gonzo fantasy setting for D&D-like games, drawing its primary inspirations from the sword & sorcery movies of the 70s and 80s and the classic video games of the 80s and 90s-- especially Super Mario Bros, the game that started the shroompunk ball rolling. Shroompunk player characters are barbarians, outlaws, and mercenaries trying to eke out a living under the watching eyes-- and grasping hands-- of the Astral Sovereigns and their templars.

The World in Shroompunk is actually spread out across an unknown number of worlds linked by a labyrinthine network of extradimensional tunnels, but the center of the action is the cluster of nine worlds known as... the Nine Worlds. Each of the Nine Worlds, and presumably most other Worlds, is ruled by one of the aforementioned Astral Sovereigns.

Shroompunk and D&D

Shroompunk is different in a number of ways from most D&D settings, but mechanically it shouldn't be too different. In the quick-and-dirty Pathfinder hack I'm assembling (as a proof-of-concept), the main differences are the selection of core races, possibly core classes, and every character having a small selection of ki/psionic abilities.

The big difference between Shroompunk and most standard D&D settings is that it embraces the implications of the most common immersion-breaking D&D rules. That a high-level warrior can stumble off the edge of a cloud, plummet into a lake of lava, and swim to safety is a given. High-level skills are explicitly supernatural, and Rogues are their undisputed master.

My endgame, for this branch of the Shroompunk project is my own personal heartbreaker based on heavily streamlined and simplified Pathfinder, Rogue Genius Guides to Talented Classes, and cherry-picking mechanics from modern D&D.

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Tim Baker
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Re: [Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

Post by Tim Baker » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:20 pm

FaerieGodfather wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:40 pm
The big difference between Shroompunk and most standard D&D settings is that it embraces the implications of the most common immersion-breaking D&D rules. That a high-level warrior can stumble off the edge of a cloud, plummet into a lake of lava, and swim to safety is a given. High-level skills are explicitly supernatural, and Rogues are their undisputed master.
Thanks for sharing this. It sounds like a fun setting!

Regarding the plummet into lava, I don't want to focus too much on the lava portion, but it caught my attention. In Mario games, lava is generally one of the few things that kill characters if they so much as touch it (at least in the older games I'm familiar with). Are there other shroompunk media that demonstrate this? Or was the example intended as a general example of how shroompunk embraces hp as an abstraction, even to the point where it will trump "realism" (I put that in quotes because this is a game featuring sentient fungus).

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Re: [Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

Post by FaerieGodfather » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:39 pm

Tim Baker wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:20 pm
Regarding the plummet into lava, I don't want to focus too much on the lava portion, but it caught my attention. In Mario games, lava is generally one of the few things that kill characters if they so much as touch it (at least in the older games I'm familiar with). Are there other shroompunk media that demonstrate this? Or was the example intended as a general example of how shroompunk embraces hp as an abstraction, even to the point where it will trump "realism" (I put that in quotes because this is a game featuring sentient fungus).
It's very much the latter. In Mario and Joust, lava is instant death and in a lot of JRPGs, lava is simply an impassable barrier-- though I can't think of any video game to simulates convection-- while in D&D rules, lava defaults to standard hit point damage.

In this case, I am choosing to adhere to the D&D abstractions rather than the source material.

This isn't intended to be a Tippyverse setting, however, where the rules are the laws of physics and just as immutable-- just the most common and most core premises of the D&D rules, such as hit dice and hit points, are being assumed into the narrative.

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Re: [Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

Post by FaerieGodfather » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:02 pm

Realism is a funny thing. I think it depends a lot on the assumptions you make going in.

There is nothing non-magical in Shroompunk. Hit Dice are magic, so anything that has Hit Dice is a magical creature. Combat- and Skill-focused start showing overt signs of their magical power by mid-level, or earlier if they choose more magical options at character creation.

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Re: [Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

Post by Big Mac » Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:10 am

Very interesting.

I see one paragraph about the Nine Worlds and the network of extradimensional tunnels. But two paragraphs about hacking the Pathfinder rules to make them more streamlined and simplified.

That makes me think two things.

First is that your homebrew world doesn't need to tie-in to WotC IP (or Paizo IP) and that means that you might have the option of publishing this.

Second is that your changes to the rules are probably going to take up so much space (and have so many differences to the standard rules) that you might well need to import in the entire SRD (as well as rules from 3PP OGL sources you like) and pretty much compile your own rulebook (so that people don't have to work out which Pathfinder rules to use and which ones to ignore).

I'll be interested to see how accurate this first impression turns out to be, when you have got more work done on Shroompunk. Will I be totally wrong? :lol:
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Re: [Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

Post by FaerieGodfather » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:58 am

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:10 am
I see one paragraph about the Nine Worlds and the network of extradimensional tunnels. But two paragraphs about hacking the Pathfinder rules to make them more streamlined and simplified.

That makes me think two things.
Tells me a couple of things, too, about where my attentions have been focused. That's something I am going to have to rectify.
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:10 am
First is that your homebrew world doesn't need to tie-in to WotC IP (or Paizo IP) and that means that you might have the option of publishing this.
Yes. This was always the intent, though the concern was more about replacing enough Nintendo IP to get away with it, rather than Wizards or Paizo.
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:10 am
Second is that your changes to the rules are probably going to take up so much space (and have so many differences to the standard rules) that you might well need to import in the entire SRD (as well as rules from 3PP OGL sources you like) and pretty much compile your own rulebook (so that people don't have to work out which Pathfinder rules to use and which ones to ignore).
Yeah. I have no intention of publishing this under the Pathfinder rules.My goal is to publish it with my own system... which would be OGL, heavily derived from Pathfinder, but hopefully more recognizable and/or palatable to the OSR crowd.

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Re: [Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

Post by Tim Baker » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:21 am

FaerieGodfather wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:58 am
I have no intention of publishing this under the Pathfinder rules.My goal is to publish it with my own system... which would be OGL, heavily derived from Pathfinder, but hopefully more recognizable and/or palatable to the OSR crowd.
Have you considered starting with a system like Swords & Wizardry White Box, which is a very simple OSR system, and then building up the pieces that you need to make the mechanics fit the narrative? This would likely produce a system that old-school gamers easily recognized, and it's often better to build from a simple chassis, rather than attempt to strip pieces of an already-complex system away.

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Re: [Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

Post by FaerieGodfather » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:56 am

I have, but Pathfinder (3pp) already has the pieces I want to assemble, even if they come assembled wrong. Starting from a TSR/OSR base and building Player's Option on top of it means writing a lot of mechanics and having to be careful about resemblances to non-open content.

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Re: [Shroompunk] Setting Pitch

Post by Havard » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:33 pm

I think this setting sounds like a lot of fun! :)

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