Crystal Heart - a colourful setting for Savage Worlds

Created by Up to Four Players

Become a Syn Agent, replace your heart with a Crystal and gain superpowers! (Also lose your mind, but just a little)

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Where Are We Now? May Edition
5 days ago – Wed, May 22, 2019 at 01:08:46 AM

As the layout work on the book continues, we turn our attention to the other stuff. Here's some of that stuff:

The Action and Adventure Decks are almost ready for printing! All of the face cards in the Action Deck are Heroic Agents created by backers (and us). The one we see here is Nui, a courageous Islander sea captain who hunts treasure, by Brian. She carries two Crystals, but that's allowed, she took the Edge for it. Stealing an autoplane is less allowed, but she did that too. 

Action and Adventure cards!
Action and Adventure cards!

The character sheet is now ready, featuring a landscape design with place for a Crystal sheet to the right, so that the Edges align with the benefit, and Hindrances align with disposition.  

By this time next month  we hope to have the PDF version of the book basically done, gain infinite wisdom and bring world peace, although we'll be cool with any two of these. Have fun!

Where Are We Now? April Edition
about 1 month ago – Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 02:16:55 AM

Well what to do you know, apparently all of this writing does end eventually!

Currently standing at 114K words (we'll have to cut some out, and put in the extra PDFs), the Crystal Heart setting book is already at the last stages of editing and first stages of layout. 

In fact, we have something to show you: 

Not yet finalised, of course.
Not yet finalised, of course.

While this is happening, we're already mid-way on the Adventure Deck -  we showed some back and front options on our Discord - and work will soon begin on the extra PDFs, Living in Syn (new Syn stuff and optional rules) and Full of Heart (new Crystals and their manifestations). We'll also focus on the paper minis, they're the next big art-thing. 

But first we must overcome the manifestation of the Seder Crystal; let me tell you, that thing can ground you for days.

Have a lovely spring/autumn everyone! 

Where Are We Now? March Edition
2 months ago – Fri, Mar 22, 2019 at 03:21:23 PM

Backers of Crystal Heart, behold!

This week we've passed 80,000 words, so we've obviously had a lot to say, but we still have some things left unsaid. I'm currently finishing  Zingama's and Maseia's atlas entries, padding out the Adversaries section, and making sure there are enough Savage Tales for each Land (and for Syn). In other words, we're pretty close to finishing a complete draft, and it's likely that by this time next month we'll be deep into editing and layout.

Today we share the art pieces accompanying Zingama and Maseia, as well as Maseia's Lay of the Land section. And below that, one of the Crystal-tainted creatures: The missing elephant.

"Ohhhh Mountain oh mountain, please don't fall on us, please" - Ancient Maseian nursery song
"Ohhhh Mountain oh mountain, please don't fall on us, please" - Ancient Maseian nursery song

Lay of the land

Maseia is big, but it’s essentially composed of three main parts. Starting with the Perch, a relatively flat but very wide stretch of mountains on the Zingamaian border, the land descends slowly toward the north, turning to hilly plains, with hundreds of rivers and countless small lakes. The largest five lakes have well-known names - Calm Water, Blue Nests, Keeper, Dry and Duck - but the names of the smaller lakes are usually only used by the tribes who migrate around them. 

To the north-west, beyond lake Dry - called so because during the summer season it’s almost completely gone - the plains become the Desert Peninsula. The few tribes who live here are unkind at best, actively hostile at worst. It’s said that the largest creatures in the world live here, monstrous animals larger than elephants, each survives thanks to a shard embedded in its body.

To the north-east, the Badlands are harsh and dry all year long, with extreme temperature changes between the cold winter and hot summer. During the spring, sudden thunderstorms can rage for hours then disappear just as quickly, resulting in quick and powerful floods. The Badlands are known for having unstable ground, geysers, underground caves, and ancient ruins. 

Maseian’s famed floating mountains are technically hovering, but since the sight of the mountains against the blue Maseian sky makes one think of islands in an ocean, the term “floating” stuck anyway. Most of them move on a regular pattern, in a migration that takes between a few months to several years. Some, however, are stationary, and these tend to be the tallest. 

"Buy one Whine Wine while you still can! - As seen on Zingamaian billboards"
"Buy one Whine Wine while you still can! - As seen on Zingamaian billboards"

Missing Elephant

Missing elephants were probably created by a Crystal with a theme of disassembly or dimension shifting. When looking at a missing elephant, each person sees something different. One may see its trunk, another catch a hind-leg, while yet another looks straight into a really big bum.

A common misconception among hunters is that the missing elephant is not all there, that it takes up only a part of the space a normal elephant would take; specifically, the part one currently sees. In fact, it is all there, just not necessarily at the same spatial dimension. When a missing elephant runs through tall grass, the pattern seems crazy, but despite being all over the place, it’s the same amount of displacement you would expect from a regular elephant. 

A missing elephant exists over a Small Blast Template.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6 (A), Spirit d8, Strength d12+4, Vigor d12

Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d8

Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 16 (2)

Edges: Brute

Special Abilities:

  • Armor +2: Thick hide.
  • Tusks or Bash: Str+d6.
  • Immunity: All of the missing elephant’s surfaces are two-dimensional, it’s immune to physical Area Effects.
  • Resilient: Missing elephants can take one Wound before they’re Incapacitated.
  • Size 6 (Large): Missing elephants are as big as regular elephants, but you can only attack the part of it that you currently see. Roll 1d4; on 1-3 it’s a Normal sized part (the back, part of the side), on 4 it’s a Small part (the trunk, a leg). Moving at least 1” changes your angle, allowing you to see a different part. 
  • Self Stampede: The missing elephant runs through several people at the same time. Everyone in a Medium Blast Template centered on the elephant must make an Agility roll to avoid taking 1d12+4 damage and be Pushed.  

Where Are We Now? February Edition
3 months ago – Wed, Feb 20, 2019 at 10:29:51 PM

Backers of the world, greetings!

We continue to be on track, so as we did last month, here's a sneak peek based on things that were created and/or refurbished this month. Today's art is from the line-art stage of the Syn castle illustration (before colour and details), and the text is from the system Crystal Heart uses to replace money: asking Syn for stuff. 

Not pictured: sinister intentions
Not pictured: sinister intentions

Requisition

When an Agent needs something from the organization, they Requisition it. Requisition is an abstract measure of how much Syn believes you can be trusted with costly equipment and valuable information. It’s also used instead of money when paying for goods and services outside of Syn; it’s seen as your promise on behalf of Syn to provide money, goods or service in return. Syn always honors promises made by its Agents, who know that should they promise too much, they might not get to see another point of Requisition for a long, long time.

Requisition is a modifier which is added or subtracted from a skill roll. Novice Agents begin with a -1, and gain a point whenever they advance a Rank. The highest it can go is 10 and the lowest is -5, at which point Syn doesn’t allow you to even ask for new equipment until you prove yourself a little and get back up to -4 at least. 

Syn supplies most of the basic things an Agent needs: lodging, clothes, food, weapons, and more. When you want to have something unusual, or from the Gear and Equipment chapter (see page XXX), roll one of the following skill checks and add your Requisition modifier. 

  • Battle: Justifying the need for an item or service by showing how it’s going to be used in the field.
  • Persuasion: Talking through the bureaucracy, finding the right people and saying the right things to them.
  • Research: Finding, filling and filing the right forms, in the right order. 

This is a regular skill check: It can Ace, you get your Wild Die, you can spend Bennies on it, and others can Support it (they add their own Requisition modifier on the roll). Each attempt represents several hours, and occasionally several days, during which the Agent and all of the Supporting characters are busy with this request. 

Agents are expected to ask for a single item or a bunch of items that are meant to be used in a similar way or for a common goal. Requesting more than that or more than once every few weeks is considered unusual, and the GM should apply a -1 to -2 modifier on the roll. Note that rare or expensive items incur additional modifiers.

Consult the following for the result:

  •  Success: The Agent gets issued the piece of gear they requested or the service they asked for. Reduce their Requisition by 2. 
  •  Raise: The Agent gets everything they wanted, reduce their Requisition by 1.
  •  Failure: The Agent gets what they wanted, but there are complications; consult the table below. They also reduce their Requisition by 1. 
  •  Critical Failure: The Agent doesn’t get anything, but doesn’t lose any Requisition. They might have gained an enemy, though, and they’re told to never again ask for whatever they’ve asked for.

On a failure, draw a card. You got it, but…

Spades: The item is fine but the maintenance is a killer. As long as you have the item, someone from the team must make an Engineering roll every morning or you'll have a -1 penalty on every Trait roll made with it. This goes on until there's a raise on the roll, but might return later, when the GM decides so. If it’s a service, it was harrowing; make a Vigor roll at -2 or take a level of Fatigue until you have a full day’s rest. 

Hearts: For whatever reason, your current Crystal doesn’t resonate well with the new piece of gear (or gets irritated during or after the service). As long as you have the item, or for the adventure following the service, you must make a Spirit roll every morning or have a -1 penalty on Crystal Channeling rolls that day. This goes on until there's a raise on the roll, but might return later, when the GM decides so.

Diamonds: Your request forced Syn to pull the item or service from someone else who was asking for it or already using it. They’re not happy - take them as a Minor Enemy. The GM can decide their displeasure is satisfied by having them reduce your Requisition by 1d4.

Clubs: The piece of equipment is flawed, or the service left you annoyed or tired. Until you get to repair the item, or have a good rest (both take several days at a Syn facility or a similar place) you become Vulnerable whenever you draw a Clubs in combat.

Joker: A serious misfiling accident leads to you having received the latest prototype! It’s better by one point, or twice as quick or effective.

Today We're Locking the Orders
3 months ago – Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 12:41:30 AM

Lovely backers,

Today (about 8 hours from now) we're locking the orders and charging credit cards (the charge might take a day or two). If there's anything about your order that needs to be changed, please do so now! Note you'll still be able to change your shipping address, until the shipping itself, in a few months.

The 30 or so people who haven't yet finished the survey - just head over here, for a surprise! The surprise is your survey. We're only nagging because we want you to get what you want. By not answering, you might not be getting everything you paid for!

Playtest Started

I'm happy to say that we're currently on schedule, which means we're starting the playtest for the Crystal Heart rules and the Plot Point campaign. Unlike with the draft rules, from before the Kickstarter, this time we're not posting a call for playtesters. However, if you're passionate and serious, you're welcome to offer your group - and to prove your passion and seriousness, I'm not leaving our contact details here. They're easy enough to find. Go for it!

See you next week for the mid-February update! Cheers.