It's a world as weird as you can imagine
This game is specifically here for the Science Fiction Meetup.com Group in Hamburg, Germany. If you don't know anything about the group, you can click here to find out more.
Bizarria by J.B. Wolf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
If you're coming to Bizarria by direct link and haven't seen the rest of my website, there's more to it. Enjoy it when you are ready.
The idea of the game is to simply have an adventure and have fun. In the process, we'll take a number of familiar ideas and run in absurd directions with them for laughs. Although the universe is called Bizarria and games could be played anywhere in this universe, there is a particular planet that our game will focus on. The planet's name is "WTF". WTF doesn't stand for what you think it stands for. Well, maybe it does, but probably not. I think. I'll explain in detail later. (Like I said. This game is "absurd".)
There are plenty of examples of absurdity. On WTF, it's possible for you to play a werewolf. If you do, were-rabbits won't necessarily be on good terms with you since you would occasionally want to eat their kind. And don't think that you'd be "top dog" as a werewolf. You're not on good terms with dragons either. One of your instincts is to eat cute, little baby dragons. And the adult dragons don't like that. Not one bit. As a matter of fact, it usually doesn't end well for the werewolf.
Perhaps you might want to play an elemental in the game. That could be awesome. You can be earth, fire, water, or air when you want. Just don't get caught in a thunderstorm or you might die. Why? Storms have a tendency to dissolve your mud with rain, quench your fire with rain, dilute your water with rain, and dissipate your air form with high wind. And the thunderstorms tend to pop up where elementals tend to live. Ugh. Maybe being an elemental isn't so awesome.
Well, whoever you play, at least that tree where you bury your secret stash of gold will still be there tomorrow... unless the planet changes its landscape. Yes, the planet has a tendency to spontaneously change landscape. You can go to sleep next to a beach one evening and wake up next to a mountain range the next morning. At least it's not usually a live volcano. (Usually.) Maybe you should put your money in a bank and hope the bank doesn't move on you.
There are various cities on WTF and an occasional problem is murder, but not always for the reason you expect. In Clone City, (a city where many people look just like many other people), the police have trouble identifying the victim even if they have a fresh body right in front of them.
Welcome to planet WTF. There's everything from magical farms to star-ship technology. You can even play a live mechanical object with 17 parents if you want. The only limiting factor is imagination.
I always have a lot of half finished ideas. I had this idea years ago, jotted them down, and then shelved it. (Only a couple of people ever saw the initial ideas.) Of course, someone in the science fiction group here in Hamburg wanted me to run a game and twisted my arm. (He will remain nameless because some of you might know Diego.) I unpacked the notes, wrote a bunch of new stuff, and put it on my website. It's here mostly for that science fiction group to learn about the game they will be playing, but also for the rest of the world to enjoy. Or cry over. It's up to you to decide how you want to react to this game. I would prefer if you didn't develop a severe hatred of me and become homicidal, though.
have a psychotic breakdown enjoy the game, I'm sure new information will show up on this website over time.
The universe that is Bizarria and the rules that govern it are exactly like the universe you're familiar with... except for the spots where it isn't. The rules of physics do not apply when it is convenient for the game master. If you're lucky, maybe you'll even have some say in how the laws of normal physics won't apply to you. The only rule of Bizarria is that you, the player, has to laugh as you navigate your character through crazy (and hopefully interesting) adventures.
My game will take place on the planet WTF.
If an entire planet weren't big enough to play in, WTF is like an infinite number of planets in one. The planet's surface features change when nobody is looking. The magically inclined folk and the technologically inclined folk don't know why. Space-faring beings have recorded video of entire sections of the planet in motion. Attempts to drop homing beacons to find out where the disappearing parts of the planet go has simply led to the sale of more beacons.
Living creatures with a high enough intelligence apparently put out some kind of anti-WTF-field that prevents the land around them from changing. Groups of people (like villages or towns or cities) can actually stop a small part of the planet from changing at all. This leads to stable parts of the planet that don't change anymore. (Most of the time. There's the occasional exception.) Farming, however, can be a frustrating experience if you don't "prepare the land" properly. There has been more than one occasion when a person went to bed after planting a number of tomato plants only to find his new job in the morning was to breed llamas.
Although there is highly advanced technology available, WTF is a poor planet and therefore usually cannot afford the "good stuff". That's ok as most people tend to prefer the simpler life. Still, with enough cash and time, one can procure just about anything. If one is unlucky enough, they even might accidentally run across a highly valuable piece of technology in their journeys. The word "unlucky" is used because stolen items are sometimes hidden on WTF and eventually, the new owner almost always comes looking for it.
Most of the intelligent life on the planet are humanoid in form and players will probably choose a character like this. Even elementals tend to have a head, two arms, and two legs... just like the were-people, dragons, clones, mechanicals, and the undead.
WTF's name is steeped in history, folk lore, loads of rubbish, more folk lore, and things that are completely made up. By this point, it is a planetary sport to come up with your own unique acronym for the planet. "World That Flip-Flops" is just as good a name as "World Trans-Flexibility", "World Terraforming Fuss", and "What the Frip". On more than one occasion, bar fights have broken out over the "official" name of the world.
The City of Enlightenment not only has the largest populations on the planet WTF, but also bucks the trend in diversity as well. Dragons, elementals, mechanicals, space travelers, clones, the undead and even the occasional earthen person can be found chatting it up with each other. Most other mixed cities tend to form local pockets of one type or another, mixing only when business is required. In the City of Enlightenment, however, it isn't unusual to see mixed groups getting together to have fun. If you go down to Barney's Tavern on Friday nights, you'll even find a friendly group where a were-rabbit, werewolf, and a dragon all share drinks together.
The extreme diversity situation has led to some unique situations. For instance, the police force is well respected planet wide since it employs beings from all walks of life. The administration has found ways to utilize the advantages of each kind of being without more than the occasional fist fight. Unbeknownst to many, even in the city, they even have a part time earthen person that works for them. Meanwhile, the notoriously recluse dragons have formed the largest dragon guild in the world right in the heart of the city and welcome all who enter to learn about their ways. The city also boasts a high number of space travelers, second only to Off World City. The third largest mage university, Magic and Wands University, also exists on the north edge of the city along the river.
For those who can't stand the diversity or crowds of the big city, numerous large villages and several small cities surround the City of Enlightenment. These cities and villages are made up mostly of a particular set of beings like dragons or elementals. Clone City is probably the most well known nearby city. An hour away by horse from the west tip of the City of Enlightenment, this neighboring city is populated mostly by clones. Frequent knowledge exchanges and high trading volumes have made both cities very prosperous. Less well known is the high earthen population east of the City of Enlightenment. Officially, it is merely farm land, but unofficially, it seems to be a giant "city" populated with these extremely reclusive beings. Again, the City of Enlightenment benefits greatly from having the earthen people so near as some of the best food comes from this region thanks to these unique people. Many dragon covens surround the city as do many elemental storm shelters. Several landing strips exists throughout the City of Enlightenment for the mechanicals who frequently fly in and out. A larger city of mechanicals is about an hour away by flight, if one can afford the fare. Although more gruff and grouchy, it is suggested that tourists use dragons if they want an aerial view of the city as the dragons also tend to be significantly cheaper.
A large river cuts the city in half splitting it into a west and east side. Numerous bridges have been built to facilitate traffic flow but frequent muggings occur under those same bridges. Boats can often be seen from one of the several small beaches that adorn the river. If you do go to the beaches, expect to find young lovers playing tonsil hockey as that seems to be a frequent hangout for the newly infatuated.
Although the City of Enlightenment is advertised as a safe city, there are daily reports of burglary, robbery, and wedgies. From time to time, there is even the occasional murder. As with all cities, some neighborhoods are extremely poor while other neighborhoods are too posh to bother with things like drugs, gangs and starvation. Oddly, the fact that some police officers engage in the crime they are supposed to be stopping doesn't seem to tarnish their reputation too badly.
There are several adventures we might play. Here is a short synopsis of them:
It's the monster mash festival. Everyone celebrates the story of Hee-Haw the Great (a were-donkey) who saved the City of Enlightenment from the sea monsters who rose from the river looking to destroy the city. Legend says Hee-Haw the Great used his charm and magic on the monsters and that's how he saved the city. No one believes in silly ol' monsters, of course, but it's a fantastic excuse to hold a festival and party. No one believes, that is, until one actually appears!
It is the ceremony for the Age of Maturity -- when all the teenagers of were-people, mages, and elementals gather. The wizards bestow their magic so that those teens “mature” and gain their special abilities. It's also the time when the characters find themselves in a room not just with just any corpse, but the body of the wizard who was to bestow the blessing at said event. The characters go on the run as pitchforks and torches are brought out to find the characters so that “justice” can be served.
A burning meteor crashes near the characters. When the characters go and investigate, they find a young teenage girl -- apparently around the Age of Maturity -- emerging from the rubble demanding to be brought to your leader while simultaneously begging for help. She dresses funny, speaks funny, acts funny, smells funny, and is absolutely annoying. Eventually, it will be up to the characters to find out how to best help this girl as it isn't long before more “meteors” crash into the ground and a number of space faring people try to not only kill the girl, but those who help her!
A strange event drops two men (who seem suspiciously like wizards) in front of the characters. They give some kind of warning about a “time paradox”, a “rift in space/time” and a catastrophe called “Groundhog Day” -- whatever those are -- and collapse. As the characters try to help the men, it becomes obvious that they must solve the problem or be trapped in the same day over and over and over and over...
To the dismay of the characters, they are unable to attend the very popular River Color Festival -- an occurrence that happens once every few years. At night, the river magically changes color and lights up the night. After all, who can resist drinking colored water that glows? As it turns out, not going to the festival is not such a bad thing -- especially since everyone who drank from the river seems to be unable to remember anything after the festival. If an affected person spends a moment to say something or do something, they immediately forgot that they did it. As the game begins, most of the affected people are merely trying to figure out how it turned from night to day so quickly. It's up the characters to find out what happened and reverse the effects... even if it means traveling to a land from which no one has ever returned!
The were-people are generally a proud group of people with the ability to transform their bodies into that of a specific animal. When they willfully transform, they retain all human memories, although their perception of the world is very altered. In human form, the were-people retain some of their animal's abilities like the ability to see or smell better than an average person. Common were-folk are the werewolf, were-eagle, and were-bear although there are many other were types out there.
The were community are a proud group because they tend to think of themselves as better than the average being. The abilities to transform their bodies into such varied shapes are generally revered in the community they live in thus feeding the ego -- never mind that most places where were-people live also tend to be populated with mostly were-people.
Despite the abilities of the were folk, there are disadvantages. For instance, there is a certain trigger in most were-people that forces them not only to transform into the animal physically, but to become the animal mentally without the usual human-knowledge retention. There is also the problem of a transformation back into human form since most cities have laws against nudity. Clothes do not magically appear and disappear with a transformation. Another side effect is that a were-person in human form retains traits of the animal inside them; this also means that they sometimes retain some of the weaknesses of the animal as well.
There can be unique problems within the were-community. For instance, things are a bit uncomfortable between werewolves and were-rabbits. Although the human mind can usually override the desire to hunt the were-rabbits or run from werewolves, the desire and temptation is always there. More than once, there has been a pack of werewolves in human form who suddenly sniff a nearby pack of were-rabbits in human form and spontaneously break out in chase with great howls. This usually creates a great confusion in the city until the rest of the were-community can regain control of their own kind.
Marriage is common. Divorce is not unheard of. (There is the occasional devouring of one's spouse, but that's usually frowned upon and sometimes even a crime.) Some were-beings are religious and others are not.
Two were-people of the same kind will usually have children like them, but mixed couples will have children that could turn out to be something entirely different. No one really knows for sure what ability a child will have until the Age of Maturity ceremony is performed.
Werewolves are fast and strong, have great abilities to see, hear, smell, and taste even in human form. They are forced to change a week before the full moon and the transformation stays that way until a week after the full-moon. Fortunately, this happens appoximately once a year, but this still causes a great disruption in the community as a number of people suddenly need to take off from work for two weeks so they can go live in the forests in their animal form. As grouchy and combative as werewolves normally are, the time leading up to a forced transformation makes them even more so.
With the laws against nudity, there is also the need for the werewolves to stockpile clothes in several spots outside the city for their eventual coming back home. More than once, pranks by some of the younger people have left some of the werewolves sneaking back into the city in the dark without anything on. Recently, businesses have setup locker rooms to combat the trend. Sometimes, mix ups can occur even with locker rooms. It is a well known fact that the blacksmith from the City of Enlightenment once wore a skimpy dress to get back home. Unsurprisingly to anyone who has been overshadowed by his large build, no one made fun of him for his attire that night.
Further adding to the confusion are the two moons in orbit of WTF. Some werewolves react to one moon while the others react to the other moon. It is a huge fiasco when both moons line up and all werewolves transform at the same time.
Available for Play
Were-rabbits are really fast even in human form. Were-rabbits are usually banned from participating in races because they usually win. Were-rabbits are hard workers, generally friendly and open, and typically have large families. Were-rabbits don't have great strength, but they have a great sense of preservation and can (most of the time) sense danger long before others can. For some reason, were-rabbits do not hold the same were-status within the were-community as other kinds of were-people and tend to sometimes be treated as outcasts. A were-rabbit's trigger can spontaneously come about from eating too many vegetables. Embarrassing moments have occurred when a host at a party puts out a large tray of decorative vegetables. The were-rabbit, unable to help him or herself gobbles down the entire thing and becomes a rabbit.
Available for Play
Were-bears are extremely strong even in human form. Werewolves, who have been known to successfully take on multiple people when they pick fights in a tavern have been known to quickly scamper out “with their tail between their legs” if they didn't know there was a were-bear enjoying a drink in the same tavern. Laid back, and not usually looking for trouble, a were-bear usually enjoys a simple life. Unfortunately, they also have a great weakness for sweets -- which can lead to problems if they actually consume honey -- the were-bear's trigger. Generally, were-bears will stay away from honey to prevent forced transformation, but all were-bears usually succumb to the temptation at some point in life at least once or twice. A few were-bears are addicted to honey like some people are addicted to alcohol. They can make for “mean drunks”, but most of the time, a honey-drowned bear will simply wail away a couple of hours singing off key. Were-bears are not as populous as the werewolves.
Available for Play
Were-eagles are generally nimble on their feet and have fantastic eyesight. Smart, courageous, and bold, were-eagles not only lead the were-community, they have a tendency to lead the community at large -- if not by holding office, then by example. They are well respected by everyone. Any were-eagle that doesn't conform to the high standards of the were-eagle society is greatly hassled by all of the other were-eagles until they conform. Despite the high-profile life, most were-eagles are generally quiet, private people. Almost all were-eagles enjoy flying and will do so at every opportunity. On very rare occasion, packs of eagles are sometimes seen flying over the city in some kind of flight formation. It is generally assumed that this is a group of were-eagles flying together, but the were-eagles have remained mum on the subject and no one has been able to prove it was them one way or another.
Not Available for Play
The usual way to travel on WTF is by horse, mule, or foot. Were-horses are a favorite travel companion. Were-horses are able to travel long distances fairly quickly and with heavy load even in human form. They are tough fighters, but sometimes temperamental. They are also generally not the brightest of people. A were-horse's trigger varies. The trigger is usually learned through trial and error. A new were-horse typically has a family member or friend travel with them carrying a sack of clothes until the trigger can be discovered (and usually avoided). Eating carrots or apples or oats are common triggers, but being in large fields of grass or being close to a real horse have been known to be triggers. Sometimes, there is more than one trigger.
Unsure if Available for Play; Inquire if you Have an Interest
Were-dogs have varying degrees of speed and strength depending on the breed, but like werewolves possess the abilities to smell and taste very well. Were-dogs in human form have a wide variety of abilities. Chihuahuas have very loud voices that can cut through huge crowds, but tend to be aggravating. If a Rottweiler or pit bull become a salesman, they are despised throughout the community due to their tendency to “not let go” once they think they have an interested buyer. Labs make great family fathers (and are chased after by many women if they are not married). Greyhounds have been described as “quick as lightning”, generally also barred from races like were-rabbits, and have been known to chase the were-rabbits with the werewolves. The majority of were-dogs are mutts, however, and display good and bad traits from multiple breeds. Some were-dogs chase buggies down the road, but squirrels are not a common city pest. In human form, older and senile were-dogs have (to the embarrassment of the family) been known to sniff crotches -- and usually more than once since they don't remember having it done it the first two dozen times. Although a were-dog typically has no trigger like many other were-animals, a were-dog must willfully transform every few days or weeks otherwise a “triggered” transformation can occur.
Available for Play
There are a number of other were-types: were-humming-birds, were-house-cats, were-tigers, were-elephants, were-gerbils, were-ducks, were-ants, were-mosquitoes, were-frogs, and were-rats are but a few. In some cities closer to large bodies of water, some were-folk transform into were-fish, were-whales, and were-turtles. One of the most feared were-people is the were-skunk; no one ever surprises a were-skunk even in human form for fear of the inevitable.
Inquire for Play Availability of a Different Animal
Dragons get grouchy and were-wolves will purposely pick fights, but neither is stupid enough to ever pick on a seasoned mage. It is a well known fact that mages could permanently turn you into a frog if they get mad at you -- even though no one has ever seen a mage actually do that.
Underneath the facade of mage culture is a community that has been built upon layer after layer of untruth. Because mage abilities tend to vary greatly (and most are usually not gifted fighters), mages try to stay out of the way of any arguments. If someone is drunk and stupid enough to confront an older mage, the mage will usually make a pretty awesome display of magic hoping that the display is enough to make their opponent run away. If the drunk is really unlucky, the mage actually can use magic to fight and it can be highly amusing for the spectators.
Magic is very much like a muscle. It has to be used on a regular basis to grow stronger. Overuse or underuse can also make mages weak. There are also different talents of magic. Schools of magic that tend to be popular (because it's "cool") are transformation of body (like a were-person), generating fire and ice, or super strength. There are, however, plenty of mages who have an urge to "give back to society". These mages tend to study spells like healing or flight or material construction.
Mages hold a unique position in the world. They are the glue that binds all of the other beings on the planet together. Many people must seek out mages at some point in their lives -- the most well known time is near the Age of Maturity. Children of were-people, mages, or elementals are (usually) born without special abilities and only a mage can determine and unlock the potential held within every precious child. (Those children who have no gifts aren't deemed "precious". It would suck to be one of them.)
Usually preferring to exercise their mind and magic instead of their body, mages are generally scrawny-looking. Most mages also tend to have bags under their eyes because most stay up late studying and practicing spells in addition to their other fields of study (like engineering, chemistry, or medicine). Most mages are private people and get grouchy when dealing with others, but a few really enjoy cutting loose and interacting with people.
Available for Play
Earthen people are very pale colored beings that are humanoid looking, but they are fundamentally different from their mage / were-person / elemental counter parts. A little closer look reveals the green chlorophyll running through their bodies. Earthen people are very in tune with plants.
Usually not very fond of polluted cities with their lack of green plants, earthen people predominantly have jobs in the farming communities. Farmers (usually were-rabbits, were-horses, and other herbivore based beings) work closely with earthen people to make successful farms. Earthen people are very knowledgeable about the plants, soil, and weather forecasting. Some rare earthen people can even make long term forecasts for the whole year. (Earthen people who do annual forecasting are not as valuable as one might think. The annual forecasters freely give their information to all earthen people and the news travels throughout many farms this way.)
Although the earthen people have mouths and can speak like other humanoids, they have no digestive system and therefore do not eat or drink. Instead, they may occasionally lay in the sun for several hours to make and store their own energy. If needed, they can also siphon off micro amounts of energy generated by plants. Although mostly pale, earthen people vary in the amount of green color and green patterning their bodies have. Earthen people have a tough, but porous skin and are not easily harmed by pointed thorns or even pointed knives. Although they can drink small glasses of water, they prefer to absorb needed water through their porous skin. They enjoy the occasional swim.
The natural abilities and traits of the earthen people (like absorbing sunlight) cause them to shun clothing. "No nudity" laws in most cities make many earthen people turn those noses up at trying to visit a city much less live in one. By necessity, farming communities do not have the same clothing standards as cities. Some farming villages are very free and have no requirements about clothing while others require at least some kind of cloth to be worn while within the village. Out on the actual farms, almost all farmers allow the earthen people to casually walk around "au natural".
The natural form of an earthen person is humanoid, but they can transform their body into a kind of energy and "become one with the plant" -- literally. The physical form dematerializes and is absorbed into a plant completely. The energy form of the earthen people can travel through soil and organic material. Extremely dry soil, clay, or dense rock slow their travels and take more effort. They cannot inhabit animals. With effort, an earthen person can cause the soil or even a plant to move. It is startling, but under extreme conditions, an earth person has been known to make a plant walk from one location to another. (This has led to some pretty wild legends about "trees going to war".) On rare occasion, an earth person can be mistaken for an elemental by an ignorant person due to this ability.
Earthen people are affected by the elements similar to plants. They go dormant in the winter and “wilt” when they don't have enough water or get too much sun. An earthen person can go without sunlight for a number of days, but will eventually become weak. At some point, they will become so weak, they will not even be able to change their body into an energy form.
Earthen people are most vulnerable in the winter because they hibernate. Usually, the farmers will help dig holes in the ground and temporarily "bury" them for the winter season. This protects earthen people from most problems (like frost), but introduce others. Some animals and were-animals will specifically go digging for an easy meal. Farmers that acquire a reputation for not keeping earthen people safe during the winter will quickly find himself without any help and that has been known to lead to farm failure and (on very rare occasion) starvation of the farmer and his family. For this reason, farmers are very protective of earthen families. It has been well documented that the rare werewolf farmer will vigorously defended his “pack” of earthen people against a large pack of outsider werewolves -- even when the change was forced under a full moon.
A common defensive technique against animals is to bury many earthen people from multiple farms at one location during hibernation. Multiple farmers will live under one roof and take turns guarding the earthen people night and day. There is a downside to burying earthen people away from their farms, though. Without the earthen people in place, the planet is much more likely to spontaneously change the farm into something else something like a desert or canyon. The common practice is to completely evacuate the farm for a few hours and hope it changes back into farmland.
Despite the strong difference in culture, farmers and earthen people usually form a strong bond and can become very good friends. On the rare occasion that an earthen person wishes to have children with a mage, were-person, or elemental, it is possible. The child will be either a were-person or an earthen person, but not a hybrid. Like most humanoids, earthen women will carry for about "nine months", but hiberation will extend that length of time the same amount that they are in hibernation.
Available for Play
Elementals have five forms: humanoid, earth, wind, water, and fire. The natural state for an elemental is its earth form. It takes effort to be in any other form except when a pregnant elemental is giving birth. If there are people that earthen people tend to get along with besides farmers, its elementals. Elementals love mud and (in earth form) are made of mud. As such, they tend to leave grains of themselves all over the place. The drier it is, the more dirt it tends to leave around. As such, clean freaks and elementals usually do not get along very well.
In their "natural" earth state, elementals usually (but not always) take a humanoid shape and will walk from place to place. Outside, they tend to pick up as much mud as they can to maintain their usual mass. Because of their tendency to leave bits of themselves all over, they tend to resemble overweight people. If they spend a lot of time inside, they may shed several pounds much to the dismay of even the most tolerating house owner.
With the difficulty to maintain humanoid form, and the inability to verbally speak in their earth form, using sign language is the preferred method of conversing. The sign language used is not reproduceable by humanoids because the entire body is used to communicate. It is rare to find a non-elemental outside of the City of Enlightenment who understands elemental sign language.
Communication with earthen people can be fairly easy. Earthen people in their energy form share an intimate and unique way of communicating with elementals in their earth form. By touch, they can communicate thoughts. If an earthen person develops a love relationship outside of their kind, it will tend to be with elementals.
The earth state is the "middle" form. When relaxed, this is the natural form. To convert from one form to another, the elemental must pass through the earth form first. Transforming into a humanoid and remaining a humanoid will quickly make an elemental fatigued. Easier forms to maintain are water and fire. The fire form is the most useful in the black smith trade and elementals are frequently employed at those locations. Elementals can make extremely hot fires -- even so hot that it burns dragon skin when the plasma form is used. Unfortunately, fire requires fuel and the hotter the fire, the more fuel is burned. This fuel comes from the elemental's own body. Eventually, the elemental must revert to the earth form and absorb more mud into its body before turning back into fire to work. An elemental must be careful in fire form or a light breeze will cause it to "stumble" and accidentally ignite a wooden building on fire.
Elementals can be a bit fragile under certain conditions. Water and wind forms are the most delicate. An elemental in wind form can be killed by high wind and killed in water form by fast running water. The water form can also evaporate thus killing the elemental. Other dangers include being quenched by water in the fire form which can also kill the elemental. The earth form is vulnerable to fire and water: fire can overly dry the earth form (thus killing the elemental) and water can dissolve the elemental (thus killing it too). For unknown reasons, clouds that drop rain tend to follow elementals. Elementals with the worst luck always seem to have a rain shower above them even on sunny days. Groups of elementals can produce thunderstorms which is, of course, dangerous to elementals. Typically, elementals will build storm shelters and live in them when practical. The humanoid form of the elemental is the most robust, but it is also the hardest form to maintain.
When an elemental is under duress, it also finds itself unable to change form. If the elemental is left under enough duress to not change but not enough to kill it, it will eventually die from fatigue. In wind form, the elemental can be breathed in by animals; this is not good for the elemental nor the animal. Ingestion in the water form is also bad for both parties.
Were-women, women mages, and clone women are jealous of an elemental's ability to willfully gain and shed weight. When standing on dirt in their earth form, elementals have the ability to change their mass by absorbing or releasing dirt from their bodies. Although they can change their mass, there is an upper limit and a lower limit to their abilities. Acquiring too much mass will simply cause mud to fall off. Losing too much mass in any form will eventually kill the elemental.
There are some tricks elementals can do. Wind and fire forms have the ability to fly. They can also "have a drink" with buddies who aren't elementals without being harmed. Lighting cigarettes with the tip of the finger is also possible. One elemental, however, cannot "pass through" another elemental.
Probably not available for play, but if you have an interest in this kind of character, contact me and we'll see what we can do.
Standing a little taller than most humanoids, dragons possess a large body. They have a big belly, weigh a lot, and the ground shakes ever so slightly when they walk. Dragons possess enormous strength, breath fire, and usually hoard gems. (Jewelry stores do great business with a good population of dragons.) They are generally intelligent, but those that aren't intelligent are typically very dumb. Besides two front paws (arms) and two back paws (legs), they also have wings which allow them to fly. A dragon's ability to fly seems to contradict every known physics experiment performed. Although a dragon's wing span is about six or more feet (two or more meters) per wing, it seems ridiculously small to lift something that weighs 600 or 700 hundred pounds (270 - 320 kilos). Most dragons can carry up to two small adults on their back during flight. A dragon can walk on two legs or four.
Dragons come in a multitude of colors. Common colors are red, red-orange, blue, green, blue-green, brown or slight variations on those colors. Colors that are a little less common are purple, yellow, and orange. Rare colors are white and black.
Colors, spots and scale patterns are unique for every dragon. Sometimes, dragons can have small swirls or lines or spots of different colors on their body. A dragon's lower chest and belly are usually a different color from the rest of the animal -- usually a light brown.
Personalities run the whole range from calm, quiet and reserved to an absolute party animal with no care for what others think of them. Some like the crowds and other go to extreme lengths to avoid all other living beings. Mostly, dragons do not like to interact with non-dragons, but scientists think this is learned behavior. In the City of Enlightenment, there seem to be an extraordinary number of exceptions.
Despite the no nudity laws in cities, society seems to overlook the issue that dragons do not typically wear clothes. When a dragon does dress up for "serious" business (like being a lawyer or a wagon salesman), it is usually only in a jacket and tie. Most people snicker behind a dragon's back when they get dressed up because the jacket and tie look ridiculous without the pants.
Only dragons seem to be able to tell the difference between males and females simply by looking at a distance. If an intimate look by a doctor can tell the difference, no one who has ever lived such a peek has ever said anything.
Extreme cold and extreme hot do not seem to bother the dragons. Generally, only the near-plasma form of an elemental has been known to make a dragon pull back from the intensity of heat. Being community based, dragons do not tend to get married or stay in pairs. Children are hatched, raised by the dragon community, and are not typically attached to blood-related family members as humanoids are. As adults, they tend to have a best buddy or two who is a dragon and they remain close for long periods of time. Dragons also tend not to be religious and usually frown on such idioms.
Unhatched eggs and young dragons that cannot fly are very vulnerable. The most dangerous time is during each of the two-week long full moons on WTF. Werewolves in a triggered state have stolen and eaten young dragons by attacking as a pack. Dragons do not readily donate their young, though. Many werewolves have been killed while trying to steal dragon young. Although tasty, werewolves who have clarity of thought are (usually) not that stupid.
The wings of a dragon are vulnerable especially when they are outstretched or in flight. Formed by a thin membrane of skin, tearing a wing can lead to permanent loss of flight. Even when tucked against the back and supported by the body, dragon wings are still fairly sensitive and can be easily hurt. A hard jolt or wallop against the wing can quickly raise the ire of a dragon. On the flip side, dragon wings are so sensitive that a carefully crafted touch can cause immense pleasure to a dragon and (if the dragon is willing) dissipate a foul mood.
Dragons can be susceptible to loud noises with their sensitive hearing and bright light with their sensitive eyesight. Although dragons enjoy a romp through the mud followed by a swim in the stream, dragons cannot swim and can easily drown in a moderate current if they are not careful. (This occurs because most of a dragon body is muscle and will sink; also the dragon body cannot easily form enough surface area on the hands and feet to push enough water to move that much mass in any given direction.)
Available for Play
Clones look like each other, sound like each other, and almost (but not quite) smell like each other. Parents will give birth to a child that (depending on gender) will look exactly like their parent. Although taboo for other humanoids, it is not unheard of for brothers and sisters to have children with each other as inbreeding has no side effects. Because of the taboo, parents who are siblings living in the City of Enlightenment may decide to keep it a secret. In Clone City, the practice is fully acceptable, but the couple must endure teasing wise cracks and witticisms that are sure to follow.
Although there are hundreds of thousands of clones in the known world, there are exactly 34 different types of male clones and 34 different types of women clones. Each clone type is numbered from 1 to 34. A type 1 male clone can only have children with a type 1 female clone; A type 2 male clone can only have children with a type 2 female clone; etc. Any other pairing yields no children.
Sometimes, clones decide to marry or have a relationship with were-people or earthen people. Although not discouraged, it is not the norm either and children cannot be had by the couple. If the couple do want children, either a child must be "adopted" (there is usually no formal adoption process even in the cities) or if the woman is a clone, she can choose to become pregnant by making an arrangement with a male clone of her type.
Clones have different personalities and different intelligence levels from one another even within the same type number. They also have very varied interests and different physical capabilities too. Some are muscular while others are scrawny. They also tend to have different hair cuts and hair length, grow beards or shave, wear many different types of clothing and jewelry, dye their hair different colors, and have moles in different places on their bodies. Although most people are skinny due to the hard physical labor in the city and farms, some rich clones can get fat also.
Clone City is the central hub for clones. The sight of the same “few dozen” people walking around on every street corner is usually disorienting to the visitor or new comer to Clone City. Despite the propensity to gawk, tourists are usually welcomed. Clones who vacation in other cities are usually stared at because of how rare they are outside of Clone City. The only real exception is the City of Enlightenment where the weird is so common place, it is hardly noticed.
The murder investigation of a clone is hell for the police. Either establishing which clone died or which clone committed the murder is very difficult. Generally, werewolves or were-dogs can make great cops in a situation like this because of their ability to smell the differences between clones -- if the werewolf or dog have sensitive enough smell. In Clone City, murder investigations almost always involve werewolves or were-dogs. They are very highly paid for their skills and abilities. Outside of Clone City, an occasional murder might occur where a clone is the victim. Investigators will rush experts from Clone City before “the scent goes cold” due to their expertise in the subject matter.
Available for Play
Mechanicals are robotic beings that are built of metal, pulleys, and anything else that seems appropriate. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and appendages. No two ever look alike except for the rare exception. New mechanicals are built small and over time, they “grow” by having new additions and better parts placed into them -- usually with scrap metal that has been shaped into something useful. Mechanicals raise their young as a community. A mechanical may have one, two, or many parents depending on the amount of effort and work sharing that was done to construct a new mechanical. To breathe life into a new mechanical is a very difficult and arduous process.
Long distance communications and high-speed transport exists because of mechanicals. Long distance communication is achieved by intercepting flashes of light from a communications tower and relaying the information to another communications tower. High-speed long distance transportation involves having some sort of flying mechanical (although most mechanicals cannot fly).
Most mechanicals don't have a tendency to gossip or talk much, but they enjoy fast-paced dancing and a good party with music. Mechanicals hide from lightning storms. All mechanicals must be wound from time to time or else they “die” until they get wound again. Although mechanicals tend to build up other mechanicals, there are some beings who enjoying tinkering and become so adept at the art, that it is a source of pride when mechanicals come to them to be augmented.
Not Available for Play
Undead Teaser #1: On occasion, when someone dies, the victim just can't accept the fact that they are dead and thus begins the beginning of their new life. Zombies can come from any kind of life: were-people, earthen people, dragons, clones, elementals, and even mechanicals. It's gets really bizarre when a beloved pet comes back to life. It's even worse when were-dog grandpa Frank, who was senile before his death, comes back to life and decides to move in with the family.
Undead Teaser #2: Vampires are only myth and legend... or are they?
This section is not completed yet and will not be completed before the game.
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There are those who live on WTF, but were not born there. Some come unwillingly because of a crashed space ship or because of a rip in the fabric of space-time. The rest, much to the disbelief of most people who were born on WTF, willingly choose to be there. Of those who come willingly, they are usually looking to disappear and escape part of their past.
This section is not completed yet and will not be completed before the game.
Not Available for Play
Mages, were-people, and elementals all are born as humanoid children without gifts. Every so often (no less than once a year), every major city sponsors an Age of Maturity event where all children are "bestowed" their gifts and transformed into a were-animal or mage or elemental. An older mage with plenty of experience in magic is responsible for unlocking the gifts that a person is born with and telling the new adult what those gifts are. Those who live outside the city in villages will usually make a trek to the nearest city for the event.
Very rarely, a child is born without an innate ability to be something else. Generally, they are shunned from the community after the ceremony finds them "empty" and they lead a very lonely life. Also very rarely, a child is born with their gifts already "turned on". Usually, this is an awful responsibility for a parent. A child who cannot control superhot fire (like an elemental) or a werewolf child that wants to hunt can wreak all sorts of havoc. Usually, these children die at a very young age. Elementals tend to disperse with the wind in their first week of life (usually after burning down the family house). Werewolf toddlers have a tendency to hunt dragon eggs and are killed by the dragons. Mage children usually wind up with powers so extreme that they accidentally kill themselves within the first year or two.
This section is not completed yet and will not be completed before the game.
For those who are not interested in going through the long process of creating characters, you don't need to. I will ask you a couple of questions individually to find out what kind of character you want to play, create one for you, and you'll be given your character the night of the game.
If you've never created a character before, that's ok. We'll devote an entire evening before the game where I'll take you through the process step-by-step. Everyone will start with templates (based on your choice of were-person, mage, earthen person, dragon, or clone) that you can start with and then you can modify those templates to make the character you specifically want. (You can make your character have a secret identity, or multiple personality disorder, or the skills to sculpt art, or perhaps the trait of kleptomania. There's a lot to pick from.)
If you are not familiar with character creation, this section may not make sense to you, but that's ok. You don't need any information here to make a character. This section is here for those have more experience role playing.
I've decided to dabble with a new game mechanism of my own. Even though it is a percentile-based system, it is heavily influenced by GURPS, 3rd and 4th editions (which is 3D6 based). As I understand, the percentile-based system is not perfect for long-term campaigns (due to points given out by the GM), but I'd like to try it out in a short-term campaign like the one we'll be running and I'll be keeping an eye out to fix the problems with long-term campaigns. I wouldn't mind your feedback.
There are a couple of reasons for the deviation from GURPS. Firstly, GURPS is really complicated. (I'll let someone else elaborate on the specifics.) This is a huge turn off to new players. I'm attempting to simplify and clarify the system for the new players while providing the advantages that GURPS delivers. Of all the systems I'm basing my game from, GURPS is the one I depend on the most since it has a nice set of lists for advantages, disadvantages, and skills.
Second, it looks like the 4th edition is heavily dependent upon the GM to determine how much advantages and disadvantages are worth when the campaign goes "super" or "supernatural". Because Bizarria is technically a "supers" based game, I have to determine how much a lot of these traits are worth and balance the game. In essence, I'm doing almost all of the work to generate a new system anyway.
GURPS isn't the only system to influence the game and the new system. There are traits from Teenagers From Outerspace (a goofy, manga based game), Over the Edge (a surreal, dark game), and Murphy's World (a humorous world where if anything can go wrong, it does).
Lastly, the overall idea is to not focus on point values of characters or dice rolling, but rather just enjoy the game where it takes us. The characters that are designed and written down are more of a guide to help make each character unique. How unique your character is depends on how creative you are during character creation and game play.
Bizarria Section of the Website last updated on January 11, 2015