Aliens in Blackmoor

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Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Freedom92 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:15 am

I'm aware Blackmoor has a deep past of aliens and Blackmoor as a quarantine zone due to natives having supernatural abilities but I'm still wondering what aliens have visited or crashed besides the Travelers? If not has anyone implemented more alien entities and lifeforms into Blackmoor in your version of the setting?

Also how would you stat the few who escaped the fate of the City of the Gods? Would travelers be stated the same as humans or something more powerful?
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby ripvanwormer » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:00 pm

I think officially the only extraterrestials in ancient Blackmoor are the crew of the FSS Beagle, which crashed five years before the events of DA3 City of the Gods. They're essentially human, but with green-tinted skin. They've also created robots and cyborgs, which are more powerful. I'm going off the original DA3 here.

However, there's been fan speculation that creatures such as sand folk might have originated on another planet in Blackmoor's solar system. Ropers, hook beasts, and geonids might have extraterrestial or at least extraplanar origins. Planar spiders and oards might also be appropriate encounters in a Blackmoor campaign.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Chimpman » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:11 pm

Here are a couple of links you might be able to glean some information from:

[SJ] Blackmoorspace
Sandfolk, Pathfinder Style?
[Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

The Gren and the sandfolk are the two Blackmoorian "aliens" that come to mind right off the bat, with the Gren being the folks who piloted the Beagle, and the sandfolk possibly being some alien species that they picked up along the way. Anyway, if you sift through those threads in more detail than I just did, you may be able to find other possibilities as well.

One of the Immortal level modules for Mystara also mentions planar spiders in space ships... so you could use that reference to make planar spiders (and also possibly aranea) "alien in nature".

EDIT: I see rip has beaten me to the punch. That's what happens when someone walks into you office just before you are about to post something ;)

EDIT #2: Reading through some of the above threads again, and I also found mention of adaptors. Another good fit for an alien race.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Havard » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:59 pm

Greg Svenson has explained how Arneson & John Snider had detailed several Galactic Empires in Blackmoor's Universe. The most famous race is the Ursai who also featured in the Last Fantasy Campaign. Also there was an Avian Race, 2 human-like ones and a few others 8 in total IIRC.

In my opinion, the "Gren" race of the Federation could be identified as one of the "Human Empires" from the original game.

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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:12 pm

Havard wrote:Greg Svenson has explained how Arneson & John Snider had detailed several Galactic Empires in Blackmoor's Universe. The most famous race is the Ursai who also featured in the Last Fantasy Campaign. Also there was an Avian Race, 2 human-like ones and a few others 8 in total IIRC.


Cool! I'll have to check that out. I always wanted to do more with the Galactic Federation. I once hypothesized that they might come from a more central hub of the galaxy, where planets were closer together; an idea not based on Firefly/Serenity (which uses a similar model), but that I believe was based on an idea mentioned back in Mentzer's Gold Box cosmology. Either that, or it might have been influenced by Star Frontiers. I can't really say.

I did want to have the Planar Spiders be a part of this Galactic Federation in some form (most likely as Ferengi-style traders; again, an idea based on Mentzer, and not the Ferengi, which came later- though I have in subsequent years adopted a Moorcockian Second Ether approach to the planar spiders).

In my opinion, the "Gren" race of the Federation could be identified as one of the "Human Empires" from the original game.


I don't like the Gren term for the Federation humans for a couple of reasons- one, Grens always make me think of Gamma World, and two, the humans of the Federation aren't actually green, they just appear green in the light of Mystara's sun. (Admittedly, I'm not sure how that works out, per se, but that's the canon. I guess the light of the sun in the Galactic Federation homeworld is on a different band of the light spectrum.)
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Freedom92 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:54 pm

The only thing I know about the 'Gren' is from Gamma World being humanoids with plant traits due to either mutating or genetic manipulation. I could see some of the aberrant creatures hailing from off world or from the cthonic era. I remember the bearfolk from the LFC, interesting still how few of those races are anthropomorphic in a sense.

I do have a copy of Tale of the Comet and found the Overseers forces interesting as well was the Rael evolving from a society who used magic then went to technology since it was more reliable.Have any advice for this or played through it? Would be a interesting way to introduce more stuff from off world.

The planar spiders make me think Aranea or Neogi slave traders, also on the note of sandfolk I do play them off as silicon based lifeforms and there are other silicon lifeforms as well.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby ripvanwormer » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:20 pm

Freedom92 wrote:The planar spiders make me think Aranea or Neogi slave traders,


The module Talons of Night tells us that the araneas are descended from planar spiders banished from their extraplanar home.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Freedom92 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:39 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Freedom92 wrote:The planar spiders make me think Aranea or Neogi slave traders,


The module Talons of Night tells us that the araneas are descended from planar spiders banished from their extraplanar home.


Okay, I havent played that module but I have heard of it.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:40 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:The module Talons of Night tells us that the araneas are descended from planar spiders banished from their extraplanar home.


Also, from Mentzer's Gold Box, the planar spiders occasionally travel in spaceship-like objects (from the Astral Plane wandering monster tables). I believe the phase spiders in his module, I11: The Needle, do as well. (And since planar spiders are essentially the BECMI version of phase spiders...)
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Freedom92 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:43 pm

So aliens introduced have been:
Federation humans/Travelers
Bearfolk
Birdfolk
Sandfolk
Planar Spiders
And what ever other aberrant critters crawling from the crater they came from.

Has anyone ever tried introducing Tale of the Comet into Blackmoor? Or the Mage Vs. Machine/Revenge of the Sheens articles? The Overseer from TotC seem like a good way to introduce more alien elements and the Rael are tall humanoids with advanced technology like the FSS Beagle. The Overseer though converted organics to insane cyborgs, if they still lived, and had a multitude of mechanical horrors to act as troops.The MvsM/RotS introduced the machine mage kit for ADnD that wanted to control machines and harvest their parts and also introduced the Sheen, mechanical horrors who for the most part were weak against magic and adapted to certain functions.It also introduced the Sheenchaser, a kit tasked to destroy Sheens and machine cyst. Among the articles were techno-magic items as well resulting from harvested parts. Any ideas how to introduce these elements?
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Chimpman » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:49 pm

Freedom92 wrote:Or the Mage Vs. Machine/Revenge of the Sheens articles?

Sheens play a big role in my Exiles Campaign setting (a Spelljammer setting devoted to the races that have been "exiled" from Mystaraspace - namely the Carnifex, Blackmoorians, and Nithians).

I've always liked those articles a lot, and mixing sheens and Blackmoor just seems appropriate to me ;) Of course in my case the creation of the sheens happens fairly late in Blackmoor's history (after they achieve space travel of their own), but nothing says it couldn't happen earlier, or even that the sheens couldn't predate or coexist with the Beagle when it crashes.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Freedom92 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:59 pm

Chimpman wrote:
Freedom92 wrote:Or the Mage Vs. Machine/Revenge of the Sheens articles?

Sheens play a big role in my Exiles Campaign setting (a Spelljammer setting devoted to the races that have been "exiled" from Mystaraspace - namely the Carnifex, Blackmoorians, and Nithians).

I've always liked those articles a lot, and mixing sheens and Blackmoor just seems appropriate to me ;) Of course in my case the creation of the sheens happens fairly late in Blackmoor's history (after they achieve space travel of their own), but nothing says it couldn't happen earlier, or even that the sheens couldn't predate or coexist with the Beagle when it crashes.


Interesting, could ou give me your take on the Sheen then? I thought they could have been the result of a AI crashing along with the Beagle or a Blackmoorian AI that survived the GRoF became sentient and feared for its survival and began harvesting resources with small drones relying on pure technology and letting its resources accumulate to the point where it was able to build larger Sheens and eventually transferred part of itself to a vessel to explore the ruins of its domain. It then would go about and repair what was possible and then have more bactories build forming a cyst guarded by sheens. They lack magic and are weak against it and with the horrible nature of magic after the GRoF they are able to survive.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Chimpman » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:20 pm

Freedom92 wrote:Interesting, could ou give me your take on the Sheen then?

Well, first of all my Exiles Campaign doesn't actually take place on Mystara (or even in the same solar system), but instead it takes place in the surrounding crystal spheres.

The basic premise behind sheens in the Exiles campaign is that the Blackmoorians who escaped Mystara (and the wrath of the immortals - no pun intended) found themselves in a universe dominated by carnifex. Of course the carnifex weren't exactly willing to open up their homes and let the Blackmoorians move in, and so the two "nations" fought a constant war... and unfortunately it was a war the Blackmoorians couldn't win, at least not without some help.

Given that the carnifex had been in the spheres for some 14,000 years or so even before the arrival of Blackmoor, it was very hard for the humans to get a foothold in their space. Couple that with the small population of the Blackmoorians themselves, and they really couldn't afford any casualties fighting the reptilian beings. So the obvious answer was to create a breed of warriors who could do the fighting for them.

Thus, the sheens were born. They were self-replicating because they need to be able to replenish their numbers, and of course they needed to be fairly aggressive to combat the carnifex... and this worked out well for quite some time. However, eventually some of the sheens became more aware of their environment... and of themselves... and they started asking questions like "why are we fighting for the Blackmoorians?" At that point Blackmoorian control became very tenuous.

Fortunately, by that time the Blackmoorians had established their culture across the spheres, and they were ready to fight their former creations. Now sheens are the bane of the Mystaran Cluster of spheres, and nearly every living thing there will seek to destroy them.

For more info follow my sig, and goto the "Products" link. There is a pdf I've put together that covers the general ideas of the setting.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Freedom92 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:10 am

Chimpman wrote:
Freedom92 wrote:Interesting, could ou give me your take on the Sheen then?

Well, first of all my Exiles Campaign doesn't actually take place on Mystara (or even in the same solar system), but instead it takes place in the surrounding crystal spheres.

The basic premise behind sheens in the Exiles campaign is that the Blackmoorians who escaped Mystara (and the wrath of the immortals - no pun intended) found themselves in a universe dominated by carnifex. Of course the carnifex weren't exactly willing to open up their homes and let the Blackmoorians move in, and so the two "nations" fought a constant war... and unfortunately it was a war the Blackmoorians couldn't win, at least not without some help.

Given that the carnifex had been in the spheres for some 14,000 years or so even before the arrival of Blackmoor, it was very hard for the humans to get a foothold in their space. Couple that with the small population of the Blackmoorians themselves, and they really couldn't afford any casualties fighting the reptilian beings. So the obvious answer was to create a breed of warriors who could do the fighting for them.

Thus, the sheens were born. They were self-replicating because they need to be able to replenish their numbers, and of course they needed to be fairly aggressive to combat the carnifex... and this worked out well for quite some time. However, eventually some of the sheens became more aware of their environment... and of themselves... and they started asking questions like "why are we fighting for the Blackmoorians?" At that point Blackmoorian control became very tenuous.

Fortunately, by that time the Blackmoorians had established their culture across the spheres, and they were ready to fight their former creations. Now sheens are the bane of the Mystaran Cluster of spheres, and nearly every living thing there will seek to destroy them.

For more info follow my sig, and goto the "Products" link. There is a pdf I've put together that covers the general ideas of the setting.



Interesting, it reminds me of the Overseer from Tale of the Comet. It was created to create new sciences but eventually became so aware it plotted the death of its creators by hiding its true intentions of eliminating all biological organism. By the time its creators caught on it was to late, their final act was shutting down the Overseer with a virus. Though the Rael, humanoids taller then the average humans with a skull similar to elves with one extra digit on each hand began to expand their trade routes and never found another civilization on par with themselves technologically until they found the Overseer inert and went about activating it and releasing a great scourge upon the biological life in the universe.

And I'll look into it later but it sounds cool, I've been thinking how to create a Blackmoorian colony and I think a colony of M-Mars cut off from Mystara would be a interesting turn of events with Blackmoorian colonist forced to salvage technology and horde resources until they can return home finding out that M-Mars is far more dangerous then originally thought as strange alien predators begin to awaken from their slumber and Radiance based magic and alchemy is making more and more magical pollution zones are common.(rules for this are in Dragon Magazine#350)
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:19 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:Also, from Mentzer's Gold Box, the planar spiders occasionally travel in spaceship-like objects (from the Astral Plane wandering monster tables). I believe the phase spiders in his module, I11: The Needle, do as well. (And since planar spiders are essentially the BECMI version of phase spiders...)


The spiders from Needle are called the Chak. Since the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix tells us that the Chak are a nation of planar spiders, to some degree they're officially the same thing (and it kind of makes Needle an official Mystara module). The Chak in the module only have the ability to shift into the Ethereal Plane like standard phase spiders, not both the Ethereal and Astral Planes as planar spiders can, but the Mystara MC seems to retcon this and make them planar spiders.

I think the only place where planar spiders were ever depicted as flying around in flying saucers was IM3 The Best of Intentions by Ken Rolsten, in which they had a saucer armada on the plane of Marcellate. This isn't mentioned in Mentzer's gold box, and in Needle they use a magical obelisk (the titular needle) to travel between worlds. That said, IM3 implies that the saucer ships are a common mode of transportation for them.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:49 am

Huh. Crap. I would have sworn the wandering monster table in the DM's Gold Box book mentioned the flying saucers, but I suppose I must have gotten it from IM3. I always thought it was kind of weird, myself, but I suppose it is more of a transport vessel for their trade goods than a necessary item for them to get around themselves (since they have their innate plane shifting ability).
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Freedom92 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:41 pm

Interesting still is the fact they have the ability to plane shift and still use ships to go from world to world. I might hint to planar spiders next game, they're gonna be exploring some sort of ruined vessel.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Freedom92 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:28 am

I've been working on my campaign outline but a question popped up, the players will encounter a vessel of Blackmoor technological design, anyone have advice on this? I was thinking a biological survey vessel collecting samples so my 'alien' organism have a reason for being there.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Yaztromo » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:23 am

Reading abour Ran of the Ah Foo in FFC, I actually think he is an alien too, coming from a planet with the same kind of ethos of Dr.Spock's Vulkan.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:42 am

In my campaign the Egg of Coot is an alien. Not as human-ish as those normal aliens from Blackmoor, but more lovecarftian in nature.

As for the Galactic Federation, the only time I described them to my players (when they were exploring the Temple of the Frog), I liken it to the Galactic Empire in the Foundation novels (Asimov's). Good to see some canon info about them.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:42 pm

Yaztromo wrote:Reading abour Ran of the Ah Foo in FFC, I actually think he is an alien too, coming from a planet with the same kind of ethos of Dr.Spock's Vulkan.

My take is that he's an android or construct created by the Egg.
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Re: Aliens in Blackmoor

Postby Yaztromo » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:23 am

Good option too.
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