Thursday, December 1, 2016

Night Gallery

Night Gallery will house thumbnails of future projects, let me know which you'd be interested in seeing more of and I'll go into more detail.  Future installments will develop an earlier campaign frame with either a mystery, an NPC, a location, etc.  I'll fold earlier campaign frames such as The Condor, Fall of Camazotz, Wicked West, etc. into this as well.

Between - In the Lost Age when Meat comingled with Shadow the Tribe's greatest tool was The Word and Old Night was Young; the Tribe lost her greatest Heroes to the Scourge.  A Beast so terrible is defies description the Tribe nearly scattered when they got word.  Luckily for the Tribe and the Elders a new generation will be undertaking their Rite and claiming their Names.  By taking a Name the Young become the Word and transcend the limits of Meat anchoring Shadow.  The Scourge is coming.  It may be behind the far hill or in the near valley but it will be Here before you know.

System- Icons an elegant, effects based superhero game that's available online.  FATE's emphasis on fiction would parallel the setting's emphasis on language and naming.

Inspiracion- John Harper's The Wildlings, New Mutants' Demon Bear saga, Turok, Tengger Cavalry, Noah, The Quest for Fire

Magnum Opus- The War to End All Wars has torn the heart from European Empire.  The frontiers are choked with a bloody quagmire of tortured steel, scattered limbs, and unheard prayer.  Even the mystical Guardians, seduced by martial glory, lie entombed in earthworks. Smelling opportunity, an entire generation of hungry American mystics flock to  Europe's capital cities, eager to begin their own Great Works and plunder the shattered halls of power.  Ignorant of ancient pacts, they shine new light on aged bones, recover lost knowledge and unleash horrors thought destroyed.

System-  Probably the Cypher System, the {Descriptor}{Class}who{Focus} provides plenty of options while straddling the idea of magic as superpower vs. magic as resource.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bloggin' Forecast

Life's been incredibly hectic but all that's behind me.  I'm back on the keyboard, looking forward to posting with greater regularity. To that end, you can find the blog outline below:

Mystery! - Unraveling deceit, smut, vice, and base criminality kicks off the week.  Largely systemless, I'll tag any specifics in the title and the footer.  Expect a criminal, a method, and the last time the bastard screws up.

Night Gallery - Most previous posts revolved around world building in bullet points.  No reason to change, these posts will be system specific and run as long as interest holds.  Maybe I'll collect them into a pdf or something.

Fight Night - Have you watched Every Frame a Painting's "In Praise of Chairs"? If you haven't, you can find it here.  I'll wait.  When was the last time you had a fight in you campaign and the environ told you something?  Let's fix that and have the setting reflect character even in abscence.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Calm Before the Storm

I haven't blogging as much over the last two months or so, because other projects have taken my focus.  Since my birthday in April I've been running my Southern Gothic MotWeek campaign, Tumbleson County, within earshot of a microphone.  Most of my free time has been consumed with co-production (editing, voice over, etc.) and we're hoping to have it ready for weekly release come Thanksgiving.  For more information, you can check out our network page here.

Not yet a link

Thursday, October 20, 2016

RPG Blog Carnival: Potions and Patent Medicine

The stoppered glass bottle is synonymous with alchemy and its base unit: the potion.  The majority of adventure games relegate it to resource refresh, restoring lost health and mana.  A universal consumable that taxes the characters economically, and only extends their survival.  That's boring.

The historical practice of alchemy, like sympathetic magic, is an untapped vein of weirdness in tabletop games.  Whether mystic protochemistry or an occult recipe for gnosis this system of protoscientific philosophy is full of possibility. I'll focus on mystical protochemistry, since pursuing the Magnum Opus is more structural than material in games.  Often consumable magic is already present, or can be added with little effort, in the form of drugs, pharmaceuticals, and quack medicine.  Magical cocktails like those served in SwitchFlipped or the sorcerous shine sold in speakeasies in A Criminal Magic are two examples of the potion as drug.

In Wicked West you are occult prospectors who exploit the Otherworlds and introduce them to the power of gun.  Your greed and opportunistic actions poison the Tree of Life, and worst of all -you aren't alone.

In the Wicked West, potions are patent medicine by another name and just a few of the varied products you can get from the Medicine Show.  Alchemical concoctions serve a variety of functions with a range of quality from Poor (-1) to Good (+3), roll when you deploy it to determine how effective the admixture goes.  Quacks don't practice the most rigorous QC on their admixtures

Epoxies - An adhesive resin composed of two separate chemicals separated in the bottle by a thin wall, you can throw the container or pour out the contents. Creates the Aspect "Glued in Place" that can be compelled once for free to prevent the target from moving.  If you succeed with style "Glued in Place" can be compelled twice.

Infusions - Various plants and animals contain chemical and sympathetic qualities that can be leeched from them via submersion in alcohol, oil, or water.  When consumed they create a minion skill in FAE at the infusion's quality, example: drinking an Average Unicorn Horn Infusion gives the character Resist Toxins +0.

Solvents - Industrial solvents and acids can be used to eat through most obstacles, rolling the concoction's quality determines the amount of time it takes to work through the process.  If you apply heat, you can also use a solvent as a gas attack.

Unguents - Greasy ointments, most are refined from animal fats and used to coat the body.  Demand for these are high, especially among prospectors heading into known Spheres with dangerous environments.  For example, an unguent made from Uktena grease allows you to breathe underwater and grants 1 point of ablative armor.

 RPG Blog Carnival
This month's RPG Blog Carnival theme is potions.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tumbleson County Glossary Part 2

 All the different monsters I've made list various keywords as Powers.  Here's the context and mechanics for Tumbleson County's haints and monsters. 

Tumbleson County is a God-fearing patch of Earth on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, too bad God forgot all about them.  The hunters are townsfolk, young and old, fighting to keep their town together.  Ghosts of a damnable past, and a bloodier future, rise up beneath the boughs and rotten plantation roofs sending it all tumbling down. 
Necromancer- Derived from the Etruscan tradition of communing with the dead, necromancy was once a sacred art.  True masters can do more than interrogate bones, they can command and control the mortal remains. Since the coming of Christianity the Black Art has become taboo.  Once a necromancer puts out the call, the dead rise for the next 2d6 moves.

Norn- To the layman the future is an open field of possibilities, to the fortune teller it’s a get rich scheme, to the oracle a nebulous cloud of events but, to the norn, the future is as straight forward as a railroad track.  If the hunters have earned a norn's ire then Doom is shortly at hand.  When a norn is the source of Keeper moves, then hunters have to spend an additional point of Luck to gain any benefits.

Oracle- Participating in an ecstatic tradition of seeing the future, oracular visions are a hurley-burley of conflicting images and actions.  Disorganized and conflicting from the onset, an experienced oracle massages the barrage into a rough sequence.  

Otherside- The Otherworld, Hell, the Umbra, or the Upside Down; whatever you call it the Otherside is a rough place where everything is backwards and more literal.  Left is right and right is wrong. Home to carnivorous entities such as Eidolons, 
Invert the stats rolled for moves, ex: roll +weird instead of +charm and vice versa.

Ourside- To describe Ourside as the physical world is short-selling the wondrous reality surrounding human minnows.  So much of the human mind's daily processes revolve around locking the doors of perception and staying mercifully disorganized. When you look to closely at the world, the world look back.  Attracting unwelcome attention is a soft move in Tumbleson County.

Shapeshifter-  Supernatural entities rarely hold fidelity to form, their flesh changes on a whim.  This makes corporal destruction a daunting task, especially out in the woods.  Sometimes the only way to be sure is setting a forest fire. But that comes with its own complications.

Silver Tongue- Some, like the Biblical Aaron, can sell ice to Eskimos and charm the Sun from the sky.  These golden calves are dangerous to themselves and others.  Like the Boy Who Cried Wolf they wear their veracity thin.  Any creature with this quality is a font of unvarnished truth and sincerity, until provided contradictory information hunters do not doubt them.

Sin-Eater- What's become an Appalachian tradition has its roots in the English hinter country.  Through the consumption of a ritual meal, a single person takes on the sins of a household.  In Tumbleson County, only the most trusted are allowed to perform the practice as it peels back the mask of gentility and reveals the family's myriad sins.  Sin-Eaters are a trove of discrete evils and possible blackmail.

Skin Thief- The dead don't need their covering and evil men desire to mask their sins.  With a prepared ungent, human skin, and the light of the full moon; a man may become a monster.  While wrapped in the stolen form, their conscience is suppressed and their ill thoughts spill forth.  Grotesque tableaus and violent crimes spring in the wake of skin thievery, graverobbing is just the first sign.

Spirits- Tormented echoes, whether once a dream or a living thing.  A torturous death produces a more powerful haint.  There isn’t any set form, the only thing they share is permeability.  Spirits gain power by kludging together but they then lose focus and threaten their long term existence as unfinished business becomes a poison of mass distraction. The monster moves through solid objects without hindrance and can drag hunters with them as a soft move, leaving them partly in as a hard move (5-harm)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tumbleson County Glossary Part 1

 All the different monsters I've made list various keywords as Powers.  Here's the context and mechanics for Tumbleson County's haints and monsters.

Tumbleson County is a God-fearing patch of Earth on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, too bad God forgot all about them.  The hunters are townsfolk, young and old, fighting to keep their town together.  Ghosts of a damnable past, and a bloodier future, rise up beneath the boughs and rotten ceiling beams sending it all tumbling down.

Eidolon- The Greek word for apparitions, describes immaterial entities of the Otherside too great to exist on Ourside without flesh to anchor them.  Unembodied, the best they can do is leer from mirrors and other reflective surfaces. The monster always deals at least 2 points of harm, regardless of spending Luck.

Emanation- Supernaturally potent beings composing Ourside, often clothed in religious symbolism and described as gods or angels.  They command a particular portfolio of earthly properties but overlapping identities.  They will bend an ear to human supplication, but are otherwise uninterested in our mayfly existence. Confronting an Emanation causes it to passively assault your bits that fall under its sway (mark unstable, cannot be reduced.) Ie, Mother Mud causes your fertility to literally rot out of your body.

Embodied- When and Eidolon is anchored to a prepared vessel.  Could be the work of others or a supplicant.  Once embodied, our perceptions invert around the Eidolon’s true nature.  For example, Kindness is anything but sensitive to our feelings. Embodied Eidolons unleash a death curse as they're slain.
Face of Innocence- The mask of civility and normalcy remains in place because people are desperate for pacifying routine.  Some monsters prey on this weakness, blending in with the masses and obscuring their true nature to hunters.  The monster in indistinguishable from bystanders, unless a hunter exposes themselves to the true horror of reality.

Great and Terrible- Some monsters clothe themselves in atavistic fear, provoking fight or flight response in onlookers.  Hunters take -1 forward until a 10+ Acting Under Pressure breaks the fear.

ImmortalSome things are just too ornery to take the Reaper's hand, clinging to life with terrible tenacity.  This monster takes -1 harm even if the attack is armor peircing.

Juggernaut/Leviathan:  Some foes are so great that the usual tools for killing aren't up to the task.  Can only be harmed by weapons and effects with the messy tag.

Magus- Well read and learned in the dark wisdom, magi are incredibly dangerous foes to hunt. Able to bend the forces of magic and the weird to their will, the best prepared hunters are underequipped. The Keeper applies Use Magic Backlashes with soft and hard moves.

Mesmerism- Popularly known as hypnotism, meserism is concious communication with the subconcious mind.  Implanting suggestions, manipulating memory, seeding new habits or abolishing old ones; these are only the surfaceHunters start missing time, God only knows what evil they've wrought in those lost minutes.