Preparation: a case study

14 March, 2009 at 12:34 pm (game mastering)

In this post I will explain how I have prepared and do prepare for this game. The premise is that three mages (number may change still) are banished from the city of Carcassonne and they will build something resembling a settlement and probably get involved in the local politics (such as who banished them and why) and then there’s the issue of Catharism and the Catholic church and potentially upcoming crusade. Year 1200 + few more.

Characters

Chris Owens, a messianic leader of a hedonistic cult, whose tenets of faith are pretty much diametrically opposed to both the Catharism and Christianity of that age; venerates Rex Mundi (the Demiurge) whom Cathars believe to be the evil creator of the physical world. They believe that Rex Mundi was created bythe true God (along with other heavenly beings) and tried to do the same, hence creating humanity, but being imperfect made the world an evil place it is; very gnostic of them. Chris has perpetual wounds that will not heal and entered the other world in a tower full of all vices that were not enough for him.

Philippe, an experienced soldier who was kindly asked to leve his mercenary company due to issues of witchcraft; he feels no pain and originally entered the other world by being almost killed, or maybe even completely killed. Can see dead people. Can also make people dead.

The third character was once a doctor but failed healing a key patient, whose relatives took their revenge by stabbing his eyes with sharp objects; hence, blindness. Afterwards he was a beggar for quite some time, whom local monastery kept alive by offering shelter at night. One night tehre was an unearthly wind and he followed it; there he bargained a gift of scrying for the mere price of his name.

Thus far

They were driven away from Carcassonne and mostly by accident banded together (community is everything; a single champion is nothing, at least so the conventional wisdom goes). Chris, being well-connected, knew one of the local vine producers and arranged for some shelter for the night.

We’ll start actually playing later today.

Rules

I fear that the rules allow for too easy success; if that becomes an issue, I’ll negotiate to alter them. People have been giving each other tokens which is a definite plus. For the Finnish audience: Nappuloita, in reference to “älä paina nappulaa”, which references the “child pornography” censorship.

Preparation

My players may want to stop reading now. There will be potential and actual spoilers.The players and their characters already know of some interesting events: In the past there this noble family, originally of Toulouse, whose child turned weird and was quietly killed or given away. There was some gossip about changelings. Now Jean of Toulouse, a nobleman of the same family, just returned to Carcassonne with some youth named Oliver (of Toulouse, perhaps)?

The changeling story is indeed correct, in a way. There was this one Toulouse who entered the courts of a fey lady and courted her. She had two children, one of whom the human took back to Toulouse family. The child was clearly no human and there rumours, so it disappeared (actual destiny not determined yet).  Jean managed to steal the other child, now called Oliver, from the fey; but Oliver is no proper human, either; his mind wanders the other world, barely aware of this one, yet his body is that of a healthy young man. Oliver can clearly see mages and was used to indicate those to be banished; by whom and for what purpose is thus far undecided. Jean is likely involved.

In the other world there is a grieving fey lady, willing to offer great rewards to any who bring his son back. In the real world there is a grieving nobleman, willing to offer great rewards to any who can make his son come back to his senses.

There is haunted forest near and around lac de laprade basse, north of Carcassonne. The danger may be in the form of outlaws or something more exotic. Particularly, some of the mythology concerning the Watchers and Azazel in particular seem fitting due to connections to both warfare and sexual desire. A recent landslide revealed a cave in which Azazel is secured, in one or both worlds. Outlaws worshipping a mere icon in the real world, while the real Watcher is bound in the other world? Seems fitting. I think I’ll go with that. It remains to be seen if the player characters will negotiate or fight or do something else. I’m fairly certain the mages will be heading northwards. If they spend significant time in the woods there’ll be rolls to see if they surprise or are surprised by the outlaws.

Adding intertextual references is always fun; a goblin merchat selling the nose of a leper (a player character in another game), for one, and a giantess looking for his lost son Nifur for another.

I’ll also need a list of suitale names.

1 Comment

  1. oberonthefool said,

    Neat. I like how you have it set up so that it would be nearly impossible to aid both of the grieving mothers- forcing the players to choose who they will help in the end. Or at least that’s how it seems to me.

    The setting reminds me a bit of Polian, from Kieth Senkowski’s Conspiracy of Shadows.

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