Sunday, 26 June 1977

New Earth

This was a campaign setting that my brother started back in '77, and which I took over later when he gave up the hobby. The map was taken from the old SPI generic war-game Strategy 1, and the central conflict was between the invading armies of the sorceress Oktvabrina of Ostoslavia, and the heroic defenders of the Lion Empire. Though there were a lot of dungeons involved as well.

The systems started out with all or the original D&D books up to Eldritch Wizardry, plus Metamorphosis Alpha; but there was a lot of major system revision going on at that time. Some character classes (Alchemist, Bard) and add-ons (social standing) were gleand from The Strategic Review and early issues of the Dragon. MetAlpha (as it was known) is also responsible for the presence amongs the original campaign notes of stats for the original X-Men, Avengers and other similar characters who I shan't transcribe here, plus stats for the Zcarab from the Roger Dean poster.

Solar system

The system is a binary, a G-class primary (Surya/Osiris/Apollo) with a distant (67 AU) M-class companion (Agni/Set/Ares) in a 400-year orbit with eccentricity 0.45.

Name Orbital radius (AU) Moons Notes
I Vasha/Horus/Hermes 0.2 Mercury like
II Brahma/Thoth/Aphrodite 0.6 Venus like
III New Earth 1 Sarasvati/Isis/Artemis
and Ratri/Nephtys/Athene
Moons also known as
Fei Lien and Feng Po
IV Indra/Anubis/Zeus 3.6 8 moons, rings Gas giant
V Shiva/Shu/Hera 6.6 8 moons, no rings Gas giant

Native Life forms

Bugbears, Umber Hulks, Hellhounds, Stirges, Owlbears, Ropers, Dragon Turtles, Giant Owls, Fire snakes, Winged Serpents, Dharzi Dogs, Fire Lizards, Minotaur Lizards, Giant Beetles, Dinosaurs, Giant Sharks, Rays, Water Spiders, Eyes, Morkoths, Mashers, Mastodons, Giant Ticks, Giant Slugs, Giant Mammals, Orcs (stone-age technology at time of landfall), Trolls, Manticoras, Wyverns, Dragons (Dominant life form pre-landfall), Purple Worms, Bicorns, Pegasi, Hippogriffs, Rocs, Gryphons, Slimes, Native equivalents of most Terran imports

Imported Life forms


Man, Horses, Mules, Dolphins, Wolves, Lions, Crocodiles, Dogs, Pigs, Cattle, Bears, Boars, Stags, Leopards, Elephants, Tigers

From Elsewhere

“Demons” — Very few, of numbered varieties, types I–IV being constructs; 12 Mind-flayers, each individually statted out and named.


The Royal-Imperial family of the Lion Empire

(in 3421)

K.E. Roderic II (3360–3419) m Anzia of Kreuzland (3370–); their children are

King Emperor Anton IV (3389–) m Karlian of Ilmor (3393–)
Roderica (3391–) m King Leon of Ispanos
Antonia (3396–) m Duke Poul of Ilmor
Valric (3398–)
Zonja (3402–)

K.E. Anton has children

Anton (3413–)
Angara (3415–)

Stats under the earliest and least modified systems
KE A n t o n IV R o d e r i c a A n t o n i a V a l r i c Z o n j a L e o n P o u l D o w a g e r   E m p r e s s   A n z i a QE   K a r l i a n
STR 14 7 13 15 13 11 14 5 7
INT 11 12 15 8 15 9 12 18(84) 17
WIS 13 15 8 13 8 13 16 11 10
CON 8 7 6 8 12 14 13 13 10
DEX 12 15 9 9 20 10 11 9 13
CHA 11 14 15 11 23 12 11 18 15
Will 5 14 15 12 16 10 9 11 15
Psi 71 53 83 76
Level F7 C6 M
c h a r m
F1 F6 F6 F8 M
E l e m
E l e m
HP 33 22 6 32 32 38 39 23 12
P s i   p o w e r s R e d u c t i o n C l a i r a u d i e n c e L e v i t a t i o n
D e t e c t   m a g i c, evil
P r e c o g,   t e l e p o r t

A t t a c k s — b l a s t   a n d   c r u s h

D e f e n s e — T h o u g h t   s h i e l d
M o l e c u l a r   a g i t a t i o n,   S h a p e   a l t e r a t i o n

Other Significant NPCs

These are recorded under later system revisions, with a fixed hitpoint combat system

Oktvabrina : The never encountered major opponent, very much the archetypal evil sorceress, icily beautiful
INT 21
WIS 18
Faith 14
CON 15
DEX/R 20
DEX/L 10
CHA 20
Will 14
Size 10
Psi —
Sense 13
Hits total 7
head 2
chest 6
arm 2
leg 2
Parry 5
Anti-parry 1
Hit +1
Damage +2
Dodge -6
Level 20
400 spell points
All elementalist spells learned to +3, used to +5
Rings (right hand):
Human control, shooting stars, forlorn encystment, pressor, true ring
Rings (left hand):
Fire resistance, regeneration, spell turning, prot +5
Circle of psi resistance
Sandra : Famed mercenary warrior, major field commander for the Lion Empire
STR 18
INT 15
WIS 11
Faith 10
CON 16
DEX/R 22
DEX/L 21
CHA 23
Will 19
Size 14
Psi —
Sense 17
Hits total 19
head 3
chest 16
arm 4
leg 5
Parry 25
Anti-parry 20
Hit +5
Damage +6
Dodge -8
Level 15
Sword +3
Power Gauntlets (+6 damage, doors 1–9)
True sight circlet (det illusion, infravision, disbelief)
AC: Shoulders 3
Forearms 6
Torso 5
Neck 4
Lower legs 7
Otherwise 9
Anetchka : Exiled Ostoslavian noble, focus of the resistance.
She lost her right hand to Oktvabrina's torturers,
and now weilds a scythe/hook weapon prosthesis.
She has a paralysis dart gun, a remnant of pre-landfall technology.
STR 16
INT 17
WIS 14
Faith 11
CON 16
DEX/R 14
CHA 18
Will 17
Size 13
Psi —
Sense 16
Hits total 17
head 3
chest 14
arm 4
leg 5
Parry 11
Anti-parry 11
Hit +1
Damage +1
Dodge 0
Level 10/12
140 spell points
Spells learned to/Used to
Detect magic +3/+3
Read magic +3/+2
Light +3/+3
Magic Missile +3/+5
Pyrotechnics +3/+3
Wall of fire +3/+4
Electricity +3/+4
Lightning bolt +3/+7
Lightning resistance +3/+2
Disintegrate +3/+2


Obviously, the main map can't be transcribed here, but for those with access to the originals, the some cities were named.

In Hombierge, H1 is Géra, in Ispanos, I1 is Iszorra, in Jaegerstaat, J5 is Kelnir, in Kreuzland, K1 is Kreuzstadt, in Löwerreich, the cities are Helm, Idinburg, and Imor. In Morrashnorad, Wrǒc (if the letter between the ‘r’ and the ‘c’ doesn't come out it's Wrôc with the accent upside-down), Urrunsgrad, Aver-Ister, and Strelsau; in Novonorad, Noczwa, Stepametropol, Graach, Popushki and Galatz. In Ostoslavia, Dominets, Ostoslav, Karagora, in Palestan, Athach. In Rasha, Al-Haaq, in Simburi, Zupopo, Nurunga and Ndambange. In Tantassi, Genville and D'Ourbain. In Ubo, Uboga and Ngotu. In Vien-tan, Hoku-go, Chungking, Ping-liang, Cheng-tu and Hsiang-tan. InWeidong, Jabalpur and Thanjavur. In X'chow, Hanamaki, Sagamihara and Takamatsu. The various resource hexes were mapped to the castles, sorcerer's towers or temples from the Underworld and Wilderness (i.e. book 3) wilderness encounter tables.

The walled city of Idin-Burg, lying on the river Valdon. Roads lead north to Géra, south to Iszorra and east to Helm. The Royal-Imperial palace is on a mount, surrounded by its grounds running down to and across the river. On the east bank lie the dwellings of the gentry. North of the palace are, the barracks, to the south-west, the noble district and to the south, King Roderic's College. The marketplace is marked by the large coaching inn. By the Géra road is the Kreuzlander quarter, and by the Iszorra road, the Quantari quarter

Crunchy Bits


The campaign used the Pasadena Cleric system, which gave something like (level*(level+1)/2) + (faith-13) prayer points, and casting success was 60% * cleric level * prayer points / (prayer level2), and prayer levels are about twice the spell level one is used to, with magical abilities like turning undead coming in as level 1 prayers. Some high level spells, such as Raise Dead Fully, or Finger of Automatic Death mapped to prayer levels 15–20

The use of the various gods out of Gods, Demi-gods and Heroes ws accomodated by the early invention of specialty priests, assigning Pasadena levels to Druid spells, and portioning the whole ensemble out amongst the various pantheons e.g. from the ever popular Asgardians, Odin priests — Get ESP at prayer 6, 12 elemental summoning at prayer 12, no access to raise spells or their reverse. Thor priests — are split-class fighters, with prayers Call lightning at 5, resist lightning at 6, Control Weather at 10, no reversed spells, no Commune. From popular Olympians, Hermes priests — are split-class thieves, and gain +2″ move, Nike priests gain no curative spells, and have all destructive spells at 1 prayer level easier.

weapon vs weapon difficulty chart
Attacker's Weapon
Sword Flail Greatsword Staff or
Dagger 14 20 20 25 22 35
Sword 12 12 15 18 9 22
Flail 19 25 17 22 22 22
Greatsword 22 8 10 7 5 15
Staff/polearm 12 7 7 6 4 7
Pike 19 20 20 20 18 12
Shield 11 8 13 7 9 9

Beat the number on a d20 to parry. Modify by each person's STR based to-hit, weapon/shield plusses and fighter level. The attacker gets the benefits of his to-hit from DEX, and the defender from his AC bonus from DEX.Take -3 on the roll per previous parry this round.

Magic Items

Gloves and Gautlets were the specialty type of magic item in the campaign, including the power gauntlets (AC6, metal plates on leather) used by Sandra above, pickpocket gloves (+20%, leather, AC8), Dex gloves (+6 DEX, thin black cloth, AC9)

of magical specialty: +5 if one is a specialist in that type, +10 if not (slighlty offsetting the out-of-specialty penalty).

Mage Gauntlets
Specialty Description Colour AC
Fire heavy gauntlets glowing red 5
Electricity elbow length gloves electric blue 6
Healing thin cloth white 9
Enchantment thin leather grass green 8
Illusion thin cloth matt black 9
Elements elbow length gloves silver 6
Mesmerism leather gloves iridescent 8

Semi-magical items included weapons made of exotic high-tech materials left over from the in-flight days, with names for the latter fallen days like High Bronze (+3 to hit) or Godsmetal (+5).

Rules for weapon enchantment were simple — pay enough gold, and expend enough spell points (implicitly giving the time involved), e.g. pay an up-front amout to ready the weapon for enchantment (120 each per pound of steel) then pay 1000N of each to boost a weapon from to +N to hit from +(N-1); and another +1000N to boost to +N damage from +(N-1), where damage pluses were never greater than the to-hit pluses, and flat sums extra for each power.

Magic System

The campaign used a system called Red Book (as it was written in a red school exercise book), an earlier cousin of .DSYS which went as follows:—

Specialist bonus = +1/2 per deviation each of INT and requisite from the 9-12 range (so a 7 counts as -1); Generalist bonus = +1 per deviation of INT from 9-12 (so +6 for INT 18). Specialist own class +5, Generalist or General spell class +0, Specialist other class, -5.

Spells take level in weeks to learn to +0; for each extra level weeks, another +1 to a maximum of +3. Each spell has a use bonus, starting at +0, with N successes needed to increase from +(N-1) to +N, failures subtract directly from the use bonus.

Roll 3d6, add the above bonuses, add the number of spell points used (at least equal to the spell level), and subtract points used to customise the spell, and compare against the effect table for that spell. There are no standard success values

Spell points are min (eps/1000 +5, eps/5000 +85).

Sample spell — Magic missile

This is a typical spell; it only has a few parameters to tweak. Fireball was far more complicated, along the same lines; other spells (e.g. cure paralysis) just had a simple fixed success/failure value.

Base number = 1, -2 per additional. Base range 50m, -1 per extra 5m. Base speed, 3m/s, -1 per extra m/s. Base accuracy +0, -2 for each +1 to hit. Base damage d6, -2 for each +1 to damage.

Success vs roll table
Power up to 12 13-15 16-20 21-25 26+
Result suffer attack suffer 1/2 attack success +1 change per 2 over 25
Usage -2 -1 +1 +2

Power over 25 can be used to belatedly buy customisation but at half the benefit.