Of dungeons and crawling therein

20 September, 2008 at 11:21 am (actual play, dungeon crawling, game mastering) (, , , , , )

Previous Wednesday, me, ksym and wgaztari did some old-fashioned dungeoncrawling. I was the GM. A dungeon was one I had designed some years ago after having read about megadungeon mapping and map design. I had basically designed enough of it to keep running the game for several sessions. There is no map except the one drawn in play, partially be me, partially by the players.

The rules can be found in a wiki: http://dungeonsurvival.pbwiki.com/.

Style of play

A sandbox world; surface destroyed, players play a bunch of survivors trying to survive within a vast network of caves, or more precisely a small portion thereof. There are a total of 26 survivors (25 originally, one more joined in game), 5+1 of them somewhere around 1 or 2nd level in power if converted to D&D3rd, 10 1st level NPC or PC class, 10 first level commoners. Players can play any number of these at once, as suits the situation and their preferences.

The philosophy of play is adapted from a document called quick primer for old school gaming. Another influence is an old forum thread called megadungeon mapping.

Observations

This gaming is all about exploration. There were only two combats total in the first session, which was something of an introduction.

The shape of the dungeon and terrain it has are of great importance; they are the arena of play. Large rocks to hide behind as a small kobold warband chases after hooded and cloaked creatures, rocky terrain where centipedes have easy time moving and hiding, while people less so, a deep pond for a crocodile to wait in. And the player characters must divide their forces to watch all entrances they want to hold secure, which means that the activity level of different entrances is an interesting factor.

Random encounters are paramount, not only to keep the PCs threatened, but further to create cause and effect. Kobolds discovered the band of humans, so I will adjust the random encounter tables to reflect that; a much greater chance of kobold warband appearing, particularly. Not all random encounters are threats; rarely there will be a lone survivor who is only glad to find more people (the previous such survivor was mute, though).

It is all about resource management; right now, hit points, people, spells, alchemical ingrdients and torches are all pretty big deal. There is sufficient water, but food may become a problem.

Play summary

I started the game when scouts discover a place that looks promising; there is life and water. So, basically no option to choose another starting location. It is a large cavern with water, bugs, moss and mushrooms. There’s four exits plus the one they came from. Careful investigation, less careful investigation, a crocodile performing a surprise attack, soon dispatched (armoured monsters can take a few hits). One entrance is explored, some centipedes are fought, one character is reduced to 0 hp by poison, none killed. Main group arrives. An alchemist starts brewing poison, the wounded are resting.

The alchemist has completed the venom, which is fed to the centipedes using part of the dead crocodile as a bait. While the poison is (hopefully) taking effect another cave is explored; there are two skulls on wooden poles on the entrance. The maze-like location is explored a little, sounds of marching foodsteps heard, retreat made, whispers heard, kobolds shooting at small escaping hooded figures noticed, kobold party avoided.

Things to improve

Measuring time is difficult due to no sun. I’ll need to make random encounters less frequent and build the time economy more heavily around them. A chance of encounter per four hours, maybe.

Better random encounter tables. Just adding an option for wandering monster, which will include such fabulous beasts as minotaurs, rust monsters, orcish rampagers, giant scorpions, elementals, cave-dwelling versions of boars and big cats and wolves and bears and so on might do the trick. The cave is far too tame as of yet, and it is a place where there is water, so encounters ought to be varied and frequent.

Tools of the trade

Simple googling reveals any number of random dungeon generators, which are fun enough as toys. There’s How to host a dungeon by Tony Dowler, including a free version, which is basically a toy for generating dungeons.

Resources that give random room descriptions would be useful. Not that I would use them as such, but they would be good for inspiration. Do any suitable generators exist?

Another useful thing would be wandering/random monster/encounter tables. I can’t be the only one using them, and creating a wiki or something for them would be of little effort. Are there any such tables online?

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Intensional philosophy

16 September, 2008 at 9:49 pm (philosophy) ()

This is a pretty significant paradigm shift for me. It may or may not be of personal interest to you.

Of intensionality and extensionality

First, an example from the field of set theory. If I take some set, like the set of people who read this blog, I can mean at least two things with it. The first meaning is the set of people who currently are reading this blog, or are currently readers of this blog in some other sense. I could in theory name them and list them, like so: {Tommi, ksym, Phil, Fred, …}. This is the extension of the set. On the other hand, I can mean any people who are readers now or who might be readers some day or who could potentially be readers. In this case the actual list would be largely irrelevant; the way the set is defined is what matters, not the contents it may or may not have.

A more philosophically interesting example: I have two tables in my room/apartment. Assume, for a moment, some ontological theory that ascribes existence to single material objects only, not classes of them (like “tables”). Now, consider, can I meaningfully refer to the two tables as, well, two tables, as I have been doing here? For a mathematician, the answer is “of course”. If I have two entities, I can certainly define a set to which those two belong (assuming the entities are not built so as to resist this). That: The extension of the set is what matters, the intension is irrelevant and in this case not even distinct. But a philosopher would think about the intension: By what means can I refer to the two tables, if they are ontologically only arbitrary physical objects? Certainly not as I have been doing, because given the ontology here, “table” is not very meaningful (at least obviously).

So, in closing: In math, intensionality is a means to an end or a red herring; the extensional is what matters. In philosophy, the intensional is the interesting parts, and the extensional may or may not matter. Philosophy is about the why of the world, or segments thereof, while math (and physics and other hard sciences) about the what and how.

As a disclaimer, the parts about philosophy apply most to ontology and metaphysics and ethics by Kant, and maybe to other stuff I am less familiar with. Also: Almost all distinctions are fuzzy around the edges.

What this means to me

This realisation has been fundamental in that now I no longer see significant parts of philosophy as trivial, which is useful for being motivated to actually study it.

Furthermore, I will need to re-evaluate my interest in philosophy. It requires learning a new way to think, which is generally fun and useful. Can I learn to think philosophically? Maybe. Do I want to? Maybe.

In case I am utterly wrong

In case I am misrepresenting large portions of philosophy or mathematics, please do inform me. I will presumably argue against such a claim, which will force me to sharpen my thoughts on the subject, which is useful. Or I may admit to being wrong.

In case you know something about the subject matter

I would be interested in any literature concerning this subject. Very interested. So, if you know any, I would much appreciate you sharing the information.

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How does roleplaying work again?

9 September, 2008 at 5:24 pm (Burning Wheel, game mastering, roleplaying) ()

I’ll be introducing a new player to the wonderful world of roleplaying games and specifically my game mastering style and Burning Wheel rules. Two other players are likely not used to my style. Here’s a rough outlay of what I’m going to say, subject to change without notice (and the paragraph about beliefs will be discussed before or as beliefs are created). Heavily inspired by Levi Kornelsen’s post on the subject.

Add examples to the text as appropriate.

The content

Most play is casual or freeform play; I, or sometimes someone else, provides a situation and you, and often other people, tell what their characters do there. You say “My character blah blah” or “I blah blah”, whichever feels more natural. So: I give a situation, you act, I react, you react, so on.

I might skip between several characters or groups of characters if you are not in the same place. I might even ask some of you to play an NPC if your character is not present. You can decline, if you don’t want to do so, or play an NPC without any prompting. I’ll keep big important NPCs unless otherwise mentioned, though.

Evidently there will be tension in the game; maybe threat of violence, maybe an argument, maybe a risky financial move. Play will be slightly more regulated then. I explain the situation, if it is not already explained, and ask each player who is playing a character in that scene to tell what they are doing. You’ll say, or if you don’t know what to do, I will give a few suggestions. Others can, too. Sometimes it is appropriate to change your actions after hearing what others do, sometimes not.

The actions you tell are resolved in some order, typically from the least important to the most important. It is important that you always tell what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to do that. I have veto power over both, but will try to not use it; generally, almost all intentions are okay, the exceptions being genre-breaking stuff or general absurdity or dadaism. The action may also be inappropriate due to the rules, as many abilities in the game have limited scope. I’ll also ask for confirmation if you are doing something that sounds profoundly stupid and further make explicit why it seems so. We probably are seeing the game world in different ways.

So, once you have an appropriate action and intention, I have two answers I can give. First is to say “Okay. Go ahead.” The second is to use the mechanics; we’ll determine what you are rolling and I’ll tell the difficulty. You can also get more dice from elsewhere, but more on this later. You can choose to abort your action at this point if the difficulty is, say, too high. If you make the roll, you achieve your intention as specified in your action. If you fail, the intention may or may not be fulfilled, but either way it will not be pleasant. Sometimes I tell what will happen before you roll, sometimes after. Be that as it may, the results will stand; there is no retrying until circumstances change in a radical way.

Some parts of the game have more complicated subsystems, but I’ll explain those if and when necessary. In almost all rolls you can get more dice by spending artha or naming other relevant skills or getting help. Help means that another character with some relevant numbers on the character sheet lends a hand, giving you one or two dice, if you want them. You can also fork, which stands for field of related knowledge, skills by saying how you are using them or how they are of benefit to get one or rarely two dice. Some traits also give dice in particular situations.

There’s also the matter of artha, beliefs and instincts. Beliefs indicate what you want, as a player, to see in game and what your character wants to achieve. They generally should have two parts; an ideological principle or personal belief and a concrete action the other part fuels. Instincts also tell what you want to see in play and maybe what you want to avoid in play, of which you should notify me. If you don’t know what your character would do in game, consult your beliefs and instincts and traits and sense of the dramatic. Note that your beliefs and decisions will greatly shape the play; I don’t have a pre-designed story for you to play through.

A bit on character loss and lethality: Burning Wheel is not a lethal game. Characters rarely die. BW is a pretty gritty game, and getting hurt sucks. Don’t do it. Once the game starts, I won’t be protecting you from the consequences of your actions. I won’t try to kill you characters, either, beyond the extent of what is necessary to make an interesting game. If you do manage to get your character killed, it hopefully happens in a climatic encounter, in which game the game is about to end. I’ll give you an NPC to play where possible or you can play in other groups or just spectate. If there is still significant play time, I’ll give you an NPC for the session and then we can make a new character for further play if you are still interested.

A bit about squick factor. If there is something you really, really, don’t want to see in game, like graphic violence or rape, say so now or in game. We’ll fade to black or not have it happen or whatever is appropriate. There probably will not be anything excessive, at least as introduced by me.

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Dragons, then humans.

7 September, 2008 at 9:21 am (Dragongame)

More on my D&D fantasy setting. “D&D fantasy” as a genre, not system. No elves this time. Dragons there are, though, but not till the end.

Age of dragons

In the ages past there were dragons ruling the land (and the sky and the sea and presumably everything else). Little could humans do to them; the mere presence of a dragon was sufficient to make those weak of will to serve them and do as they willed. Very few could resist an order.

Dragons treated humans as pets or slaves or food, depending on the individual. A few actually befriended a human or two, who would thereby gained great power and influence.

During what is now known as year two before the age of humans a shaman, known as Tirae, claimed he would oppose and overthrow the dragons. Some followers she gained, but most ignored her and some hunted her. Regardless she managed to gather roughly hundred followers, around twenty of whom were shamans or wizards.

The small group, forged into a tribe in their challenges, performed a ritual according to Tirae’s directions. They did manage to reach a powerful spirit and struck a deal: They would venerate and worship the entity and it would help in slaying and driving away the hated serpents. The sky was filled with eagles and gryphons and rocs an unnamed flying creatures, bird-like. They savagely attacked the dragons and with help of the various human tribes, many of whom suddenly found strength to defy the dragons, killed many and forced many more to escape wounded. Many of the dragons were spell-bound or delirious or merely savage beasts, in stark contrast to their normal might.

Easy the victory was not; many warriors were dead and the ground was littered with corpses of birds, many of which had never been seen in the region, and would never be seen again. Three of the most powerful dragons, one who was the storms that struck the region, one who was the feared sea serpent, swallowing those who wandered too far from the shores, and the last one burrowing deep underground, causing violent earthquakes, cursed the tribe of Tirae for its insolence; every year the first three children would be born with the scaly complexion of dragons, and woe to any who would harm the dragonspawn (the shamans later consulted several spirits and are convinced that harming the spawn is indeed a bad idea). Of the blood and bones of the three dragons were three seals made. Their locations were a closely guarded secret and thus has remained.

The avians went their ways, some to live in the region, others to live elsewhere. Dragons were gone. For some time the tribes made preparations for their return, but it did not happen. The tribe of Tirae did no such thing, instead seizing power and forging alliances with nearby tribes. With dragons gone humans would have to govern themselves. This role the people of Tirae quickly adopted. They and a total of six other, larger,  tribes formed a kingdom, the first of humans. This was the first year of the age of humans.

Age of humans

Soon enough Tirae, as the kingdom was known, had extended to what space it had; there was a range of mountains to south, badlands and desert to north, sea to the west, and hostile tribes to east, not easily driven away from their native lands with hills and mountains and many an opportunity for ambush, but only little water and game. Some tribes north were also hostile, but rarely did they brave the desert to pillage and kill.

Forests were cut down for farmland and to work metal. Wood became a rarity. To the north, across the badlands, there was a forest known as Thaleth, but all who approached were first warned to not come closer, then brutally slaughtered, should they not take the hint. Elves lived there and their forest was sacred, humans not fit to live there. The mountains to south were difficult to scale, but there were lush forests beyond.

Today

Today it is year 243. Tirae has not grabbed any more area, but tentative peace with the eastern barbarians has been made. Two wars against the elves were expensive, yet futile. Iron is being forged into blades and armours of greater strength than before. A somewhat safe passage to the southern lands has been discovered and garrisoned, as strange monsters live in the forests. Occasionally a warband is sent to the forest, where trees are quickly cut and then warriors return. Often these expeditions are successful. They provide enough wood for forges to burn hot and bright. Three ships have also been built, but one turned to piracy and now preys upon coastal settlements, the other two hunting it and keeping it away when possible.

Tirae the shaman-queen has died of old age, but her descendants sit on the throne built of dragonbone and wood (the two expensive materials only rich can afford), located in the city of Tirae, the capital of the kingdom. Every year three scaly monsters are born; the shamans find them and they are educated in the great stone fortress that is the central feature of the city of Tirae. Deep in a dark dungeon this happens. At the age of nine they are taken away to the southern garrison and banished from the realm. Any that return are killed.

There is a small cult, some say consisting of 27 true members and half a dozen people sympathetic to it, that want the dragons to come back. Their ancestors were, some say, friends of some powerful dragons. Others say they are just disgruntled at the current rulership. Some say their children were born lizardfolk and taken away from them, making them bitter. Whatever the reason, the cultists are widely hunted and little liked.

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A campaign wiki

4 September, 2008 at 8:49 pm (meta, persistent fantasy) (, )

Worlds generated in play have a particular feature; they tend to be chaotic and beautifully interlinked at the same time. A page on this blog is hardly sufficient to host such a creation. Hence, I want to use a wiki.

Some options:

  • Obsidian portal is basically a wiki, or something close to it. It has some unnecessary focus on players and the control of characters, which might prove annoying, and further all sorts of unnecessary rating systems. I could write the setting there, but there are extra features and actively bad aspects. (My game has been played by a total of thirteen people thus far; no way I could track all of them, and getting more than four or so to register would be likewise difficult.)
  • GMspaces as hosted by the stumbler Streetline, who was gracious enough to give me a link. Gmspaces sporadically works for me (might be better if you live on the other side of the big oceans) and has unnecessary emphasis on GM keeping stuff hidden from players and planning adventures and that sort of stuff that is not of interest to me right now, if ever.
  • Campaignwiki is the most attractive option right now, though I need to investigate it a bit more before making anything resembling a decision.
  • Campaign builders’ guide also has a wiki. It would work as well as any other wiki anywhere, basically.
  • Or, I could find some site that hosts a free wiki and use it. There are sites that host free forums, so I doubt a free wiki is hard to find.

So, any suggestions?

I should have a reader or two. Does anyone know any good sites for hosting a campaign wiki or have actual experience with the aforementioned sites? It would contain characters, setting info, a few instances of maps and other scanned stuff, and links to AP reports on this blog. It would be preferable if people could edit it without registering and if there was little spam there. (Combining these two is not trivial, but is possible.)

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A demoness, for a change

4 September, 2008 at 8:22 pm (actual play, persistent fantasy) ()

GM: Me. Players: Arirmind, wgaztari, ksym. Social setting: This particular composition of players have not played together before. Also, not all people had met within half a year. Further, we played in my home, where people (excluding me) had not spend significant time before this. Result: Much talk, some play of Uno (it broke wgaztari), some roleplay.

Random generator:

Innkeeper who sells wealthy guests to a malevolent power.
A band of demons, laughing and malicious, authors of debauched sensuality and corrupt appetites.
A king’s chief huntsman, preparing to become a young and inexperienced master performer
A simple insult, casually inflicted, striking very, very deep.

The two first entries were actually used (the fourth maybe somewhat accidentally in play). Characters were Cadoc, a treasure hunter with broken bones, as played by wgaztari; Chen Pong, a merchant with a precious stone for an eye such that it allows one to close gates and banish demons as played by Arirmind; Perlyacekanach, basically a succubi with mind-controlling powers, as played by ksym. Perly also had an igor, Work.

The game is set in the same tavern that was part of the first game in this series.

Play

Cadoc is recovering from the grievous injuries he sustained when fighting a griffon. The recovery is taking place in a tavern (which we really ought to name the next time it comes up in play). Chen Pong arrives and offers a round of drinks to everyone, then inquires the tavern-keeper of opportunities where a lot of money might trade hands (the tavern-keeper is selling guests to interesting creatures, as known by players, but not merchant Pon). Cadoc hears the noise and comes down from his room.

Perly, cloak-covered and leather-clad, enters the inn. Chen Pong’s eye starts tingling and he gives up seeking an opportunity for getting rich, because it would not work anyway. People keep to themselves, in sharp contrast to the gregariousness of moments before. Perly’s igor carries a coffin after her, though few notice. The ale Cadoc grabbed is spilled to the floor as Perly bumps into him. Cadoc calls her on the act, yet is powerless under her gaze (through which her domination works). Cadoc goes down and licks the spilled ale. Perly orders wine and a room to which she departs, igor right after her.

Some miscellaneous bumpling by the igor after which Chen Pong and Cadoc are negotiating in the common room. A plan and trading: Cadoc is to kill the woman, given that dealer Pong gives Cadoc (five doses of) power dust, a smoke bomb, a rocket like those used in fireworks and a fine hat made of crocodile skin, and in return receives the ruby acquired by Cadoc during his former adventuring. A bargain, really. The hat is that good.

Cadoc, on the way to his room, sees Work (the igor) opening a door to let a maid, carrying wine and a sealed letter, in. Cadoc decides to wait for the maid to come out, sniffing some power dust while waiting. Inside Perly does not approve of the wine and sneers at the letter with the implications of allies of greater power, which she interprets as meaning Martoh, by her knowledge banished from this world. Evidently the maid is sent away with an urgent message to the tavern-keeper.

Cadoc, empowered by the dust and barely feeling the pain of his broken bones, throws the smoke bomb in and rushes past the fumbling igor. Some dialogue and failed attempts at domination later the succubus dives/falls out of window to avoid incoming fireworks. Some taunting, then igor again tries to grab Cadoc, who easily defenestrates the crude attacker.

Empowered by the power dust, Cadoc leaps towards Perly, but Work intercept the knife with his back. They all hit the ground, there is creative use of a whip and a hat when Chen Pong enters the scene. His stony eye undulating violet light, and the ruby in his hand slighty pulsing he confronts the hellish spawn, evidently casting the ruby at it, with the result being one stone statue of a demoness.

And one doped treasure hunter, owing a favour to master Pong.

Notes

  1. Ksym can play random npcs. Exploit.
  2. Chen’s name is no longer in the list. He is a character available for all and sundry to play. Hence: This result is possible to achieve, maybe even easy, given a sufficiently powerful character and sufficiently careful play.
  3. Stealing a bit from Burning Wheel: Traits are otherness. Nonhumans need to have traits to that effect.

Memorabilia

  • “Soul trade center.”
  • Drug-addicted, knife-wielding Indiana Jones.

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The nature of fiction

2 September, 2008 at 6:48 pm (definition, rpg theory) (, , , )

In this post I will muse about and offer a definition for fiction, as it exists in roleplay. First I will cover a mathematical description of possibility (or believability or acceptability or some better word). After that I will discuss how possibility works in play.

A possibility space

Take any person immersed in some work of fiction (reading a book, watching a movie, roleplaying,… ). That person has a mental notion of what is true and what is possible within that fiction.

So, I will define fiction as a set of propositions about some world (imagined or not) and possibilities assigned to these propositions.

(Proposition claims that something is true. I have previously discussed how to make truth a meaningful concept in the context of roleplaying.)

Assigning a possibility to a proposition means saying, for example, that a proposition “The princess is not married.” is certainly true, or impossible, or other similar descriptor. I found it useful to use numbers in place of descriptors. More precisely: Impossible proposition has possibility 0. Certain (or necessary) proposition has possibility 1. Any possibilities between these two are possible, with higher number meaning that the proposition is more possible, or more likely true.

The scale between 1 and 0 is used because both probability theory and fuzzy (multivalued) logic use the same scale. Fundamentally the scale does not matter. Note for the (even more) mathematically inclined: Possibility is a function from the realm of propositions to the closed interval [0, 1].

One should note that what was defined above was possibility space of a single individual.

Group-wise

So, take a number of individuals enjoying a work of fiction together. Playing an rpg or watching a movie, say, and maybe even talking about it. If one of them suggests something, the others might consider it a natural outgrowth of the fiction, or a sheer impossibility, or anything between.

Group possibility of a given proposition being true is a function of the personal possibilities regarding the proposition. The function must fulfill the following criteria (in the order they occur to me):

  1. The function’s value is 1 if and only if the personal possibilities are all 1.
  2. The function is continuous (given the normal way of measuring distance in n-dimensional and one-dimensional real number spaces).
  3. The function’s value is 0 if all personal possibilities are 0.
  4. Increasing the value of any personal possibility may not (while keeping the others fixed) descrease the function’s value.
  5. Decreasing the value of any personal possibility may not (while keeping the others fixed) increase the function’s value.

(4. and 5. can be combined by saying that the function is increasing with regards to every personal possibility.)

The above characterisation defines a number of functions. Nomenclature: F is used for the group function’s value, f(i) for ith person’s possibility. For example:

  • F = 1 if for all i f(i) = 1. Otherwise F = 0.
  • F = minimum [f(i)], i goes through all the players.
  • F = f(1)*f(2)*…*f(n), where n is the number of players.
  • nth root of the above, or geometric average.
  • F = (f(1) + f(2) + … + f(n))/n, where n is the number of players. In other words: The arithmetic average of f(i).

The group possiblity F is a measure of how readily the group will accept the given proposition into fiction or how certain they are of the piece of fiction being true.

One can interpret possibility as being the probability of the given thing being true within the fiction, though that definition is not exactly true and there are flaws. Another possibility is to consider possibility as the truth value of the proposition. For more on this, consult a random book about multivalued or fuzzy logic.

Play

Roleplay is the process of creating shared fiction. There usually are other standards for good play, many not related to creating fiction, but all roleplay does hinge on shared fiction (if you personal definition of roleplay includes solo play, consider it to be shared among one person).

Bruce has previously discussed creating shared fiction and the role of anchors, so I will not repeat the stuff too elaborately. The key point is that even though players usually have similar fictions in mind, the details are very distinct. One significant part of the activity of roleplaying is constantly aligning the fictions of the participants so that they are reasonably similar. Generally, the more similar the functions are, the smoother the game goes. In some styles the differences do provoke people to add interesting details and force the others to scramble for it all to make sense. Games with a game master and mystery only they know are like this, as are games of the Mountain Witch where all player characters have a secret no other participant, not even the GM, know.

As far as the model goes, establishing an anchor (shared fact) fixes certain possibilities to certain propositions; typically, possibility 1 to the anchor and 0 to contradictions and other possibilities to whatever is implied by them. Any change to the fiction will alter this spread of possibilities, as will out-of-game hints and references, as will time as people forget things. The fiction is very ephemeral thing, constantly shifting around.

Shared imaginare space

The part of fiction that affects future play is called shared imaginary space, as coined by Fang and later used and altered on the Forge. Material in the SIS has high possibility, maybe even possibility 1, because it is used and recognised by the participants.

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Gaming update: Burning Wheel

1 September, 2008 at 9:18 pm (Burning Wheel, generic fantasy setting) (, , )

The university group I am involved in, variously known as the Monday group or Ropeapina (which translates to rpg monkey), is active. Starting next Monday I’ll be running a Burning Wheel character generation session, than Burning Wheel game. Players are Opusinsania, another philosopher-in-training (a new face) and Halliz.

This is a pretty good group, given they are all unexperienced with BW. Chargen will be painful and there will be little time to optimise. I’ll probably try to come up with a few character ideas if someone has trouble coming up with one. Opusinsania will do fine, but the others I have not played with, so they are still something of a mystery. Halliz is a good actor, though, that much I do know.

The game idea, up to erratic changes and such: There is this small cult. Player characters play key roles in it. It is not doing particularly well, but has some large goals it may be able to reach right now, if action is taken. The authorities and the common people hate the cult. If I want to tie this game to Dragongame, which is a distinct possibility, the cult is the one trying to bring dragons back. Otherwise they are probably demon-worshippers or some random faction opposing the rightful ruler(s) of the land.

Character creation guidelines: Four lifepath characters. With no excuse more than 5 LPs. Too many traits to handle otherwise. All PC are humans, barring extremely good arguments and bribing towards other directions. One belief about another player character or related to such (this is recommended, but not absolutely necessary), one about the cult (’tis necessary), one about anything. If someone really, really wants to play a traitor, said traitor needs a damn good reason to not betray the others too fast. Conflicting beliefs about the cult are fine.

Game might focus on assassinations, inter-cult strife, running away from authorities or peasant mobs, scheming and bribing, or something completely different. Setting is likely to be a large city (Dragongame: Tirae), so that circles are likely to see use. Streetwise and resources might also prove useful. We’ll see.

In other news

I just ordered Dogs in the Vineyard from Arkkikivi. Actually, initiated the ordering process. Note to self: Stop buying so much stuff. I have Efemeros to read and review, too.

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