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Saturday, February 18, 2012

MARZ: Part 1

Part One: Under the Two Suns

Yet Another Sphere Fantasy Setting for T&T from "Kopfy"
By Tom K Loney

You know, it might seem odd, but I like strange fantasy. As if fantasy RPGs weren't already strange, with T&T being one that revels in not being a typical game. Even when I spiced that into space opera with New Khazan(TM), I still like to go a little stranger. The notes I've been making for a Marz campaign have been being compiled since about 2000; but being busy with other works has always meant that it has been dumped to the back burner more often than not. Now I am looking to present something unique for Troll Hammer, so I think I have the venue to get the soup ready for the dinner table.

With the initial John Carter novel having been made into a movie and being released this year, the time seems right for some pure fantasy with the trappings of science fiction. There will probably be a heavy Dark Sun (That Other Game's setting from the 90s) influence as well. This first piece, I think I'll stick to the planet and Kin that inhabit it. These serialized articles are appearing only at Troll Hammer, so I hope you enjoy the rare dish.

Marz is one of four inhabitable worlds orbiting around a binary star system. The stars are called Pholux and Helios, by their viewers. It is the most outward planet, and has been colonized by the other worlds. In over 60% of the realm, the air is very thin and the temperatures get very cold. Still, with some planet-forming, the colonists were able to create self-sustaining habitats. The habitable areas are home to a varied group of intelligent species, called Kin. The colonizing worlds went silent some three thousand years ago, after something called The Core War. Called Arzoom by its natives, the name "Marz" is what appears on all star charts that are found from ancient times.

Psychic abilities have superseded technology, and the prevailing view of the world is similar to that of a fantasy world. Once mythical qualities are attainable to the psychic-endowed individual, including immortality, telekinesis, elemental manipulation, and many others. Some can use just the forces within themselves, and others must utilize rituals that, in effect, can be called spells. Still some follow the ways of Tek, but not many. Some who have mastered both psychic forces and rituals have undergone drastic physical changes. Basically this means that the T&T rule book is applicable for the setting, and the character Types are the same.

Apps- (Same stats as Human in the T&T rules) Baboon-like species that wear masks that increase their visual acuity and allow them to see in the dark. The nation known as the Opei are the co-belligerents of the Argoxi Hegemony.

Argox- (Same stats as Dwarves in the T&T rules) Blue-skinned humanoids whose hair grows into natural mohawks. They have grown into the dominant, most known peoples of Arzoom, under the dictatorship of Jafox. They make up most of the Argoxi Hegemony.

Heliotropes- (Same stats as Elves in the T&T rules) Vegetable humanoids that do not have mouths and absorb light, moisture and minerals through their greenish skin for sustenance. Some of the best scientific minds on Arzoom are of this Kin.

Juts- (Same stats as Hobbs in the T&T rules) Red-skinned pygmy-sized humanoids that dwell in the frigid wastelands of the world. Masters of ambush and very stealthy.

Laggomen- (Same stats as Hobgoblins in the T&T rules) The wild and war-like rabbit people of Arzoom. Despite their rustic traditions they are indeed semi-civilized. Fiercely independent, they are the largest opponents to the Argoxi Hegemony.

Tardar- (Same stats as Centaur in the T&T rules) Four-armed, eight-eyed humanoids that tend to have furry shoulders. They are often barbarians in the wildernesses of the world. The historic enemies of the Laggomen, but the enemy of the Argoxi Hegemony as well.

Vileaks- (Same stats as Ogre in the T&T rules) Purple-skinned ogres that run the plains and act as the Argoxi hegemony's scouts and frontier guard. Alternately antagonistic with the Laggomen and Tardar.

If you think this is trippy, wait until you see some of the flora and non-Kindred fauna in the next article.

Copyright © 2012, Tom K. Loney


  1. I was never into playing sci-fi RPGs. I tried TSR's Star Frontiers years ago and didn't really enjoy it. New Khazan sounds interesting though. I'll have to give it a try.

  2. Great start to new setting, Tom! I look forward to future updates. The Laggomen remind me of the Hoops (or "flopsies"), the militaristic bipedal rabbits of early-edition Gamma World games. Did you have them in mind when you created the Laggomen?

  3. "The wild and war-like rabbit people of Arzoom."

    I love it.