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Author Topic: [Split from I Love It] CoS & Ravenloft  (Read 3830 times)
MetalBard
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Posts: 40


« on: August 29, 2005, 11:35:39 AM »

Yep, Thor told enough about the mechanics to tell that the game isn't completely traditional. Perhaps it's like Burning Wheel?

I think there is some influence from Burning Wheel and The Riddle of Steel (maneuvers, destiny pool, doom), but I think one of the most visible influences on this game, at least the Revised version, is The Shadow of Yesterday (die rolling system, bonus and penalty dice). But both Sorcerer (Triggers and group Kickers, descriptors, spirit magic) and The Mountain Witch (Trust) are clear in CoS as well.

The Conspiracy elements in the game are what you make them. The conspiracy is not pre-defined. Instead, there is a conspiracy creation system so you can customize the conspiracy to the group. You could have a small conspiracy that includes Dracula and his plot for the Harkers. You could do a large conspiracy along the lines of something for Cthulhu Dark Ages or even Ravenloft, with cults and weird gods. You could do that new Brothers Grimm movie that is currently out in the US. It all depends on what you and your group are looking for.

I think you may have a mistaken impression of what the game is all about. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you give it a look.

Ravenloft?  Hmm....  how would you compare CoS to BW in terms of running a suitably Gothic Horror Ravenloft campaign?  I've been a huge Ravenloft fan over the years and I was considering using BW to run it, but now I find out about CoS.  Any thoughts?
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"If you've ever told someone how your day went, you can narrate." - Andrew Norris at the Forge on player narration

My name is also Andrew and I have a  blog
Judd
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2005, 11:52:29 AM »

Ravenloft?  Hmm....  how would you compare CoS to BW in terms of running a suitably Gothic Horror Ravenloft campaign?  I've been a huge Ravenloft fan over the years and I was considering using BW to run it, but now I find out about CoS.  Any thoughts?

I love BW (I think that fact is well-documented) but I think CoS would be better suited for a Ravenloft game.
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2005, 11:54:41 AM »

I split this thread off because I am the all mighty fuck'n moderator of this forum!!!!

Ravenloft?  Hmm....  how would you compare CoS to BW in terms of running a suitably Gothic Horror Ravenloft campaign?  I've been a huge Ravenloft fan over the years and I was considering using BW to run it, but now I find out about CoS.  Any thoughts?

I think CoS would do an excellent job being the engine for a Ravenloft game.  It has several different features that would work well with Ravenloft.  Taint for one, which is a slow (or fast depending on who you are) descent into evil (like Strahd).  It is a clear mechanical way of becoming the monster so to speak.  A character's Doom is all about player driven tragic ends which I think is a big part of Ravenloft.  The Piety mechanic also works to make the religious elements that are a big part of traditional gothic horror (but not Ravenloft) and also have a mechanical impact on the game.

The only reason I can think CoS wouldn't work out of the box, so to speak, is that there are no races besides humans, but the Ethnic Descriptors can allow you to cover the important stuff if you wanted to have the traditional fantasy races (but probably not the Tolkien races).

If ya got anymore questions or want some clarification on anything shoot away.

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2005, 12:01:58 PM »

I've got to agree with Keith. Burning Wheel could do Ravenloft, but CoS gives you a lot of tools that can make the experience better. One thing Keith didn't mention is Doom, a trait that every character has, which has some potent effects, but every time you use it you move inexorably toward your end. I think that captures the feel of Ravenloft pretty well (disclaimer: my only experience with Ravenloft was the original Ravenloft module back in the day).
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2005, 12:13:12 PM »

Conspiracy and Ravenloft?

That's some hot shit.

yrs--
--Ben
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Judd
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2005, 12:19:57 PM »

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?p=4503654#post4503654

Yeah, it is hot shit.
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MetalBard
Member

Posts: 40


« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2005, 08:00:57 PM »

I split this thread off because I am the all mighty fuck'n moderator of this forum!!!!

Ravenloft?  Hmm....  how would you compare CoS to BW in terms of running a suitably Gothic Horror Ravenloft campaign?  I've been a huge Ravenloft fan over the years and I was considering using BW to run it, but now I find out about CoS.  Any thoughts?

I think CoS would do an excellent job being the engine for a Ravenloft game.  It has several different features that would work well with Ravenloft.  Taint for one, which is a slow (or fast depending on who you are) descent into evil (like Strahd).  It is a clear mechanical way of becoming the monster so to speak.  A character's Doom is all about player driven tragic ends which I think is a big part of Ravenloft.  The Piety mechanic also works to make the religious elements that are a big part of traditional gothic horror (but not Ravenloft) and also have a mechanical impact on the game.

The only reason I can think CoS wouldn't work out of the box, so to speak, is that there are no races besides humans, but the Ethnic Descriptors can allow you to cover the important stuff if you wanted to have the traditional fantasy races (but probably not the Tolkien races).

If ya got anymore questions or want some clarification on anything shoot away.

Keith

Apologies, Oh Mighty Moderator!  Surely you will spare me since it was my first post?

Hmm...  could you explain the mechanics a little more and how they do that little dance down toward the Dark Powers (you mentioned Strahd in this).  It sounds really cool, but it may be a little while until I scrape the money together, so I need a little preview to "sell" me on it.  I'm almost sold, but I just need that little tidbit.

As for the fantasy races, I like to stick to the Southern Core, so no player Elf and Dwarf races.  The ethnic descriptors would be perfect for differentiating among the various humans of Ravenloft's core.

Man, this is sounding promising.  I've always been unhappy with the way D&D treated Ravenloft and now that I have those excellently done Gazetteers (they're cheap now), I can really get a grasp on some good setting sans D&Disms (Arthaus did a good job on that front).
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"If you've ever told someone how your day went, you can narrate." - Andrew Norris at the Forge on player narration

My name is also Andrew and I have a  blog
Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2005, 08:24:23 AM »

Apologies, Oh Mighty Moderator!  Surely you will spare me since it was my first post?

Hmm...  could you explain the mechanics a little more and how they do that little dance down toward the Dark Powers (you mentioned Strahd in this).  It sounds really cool, but it may be a little while until I scrape the money together, so I need a little preview to "sell" me on it.  I'm almost sold, but I just need that little tidbit.

As for the fantasy races, I like to stick to the Southern Core, so no player Elf and Dwarf races.  The ethnic descriptors would be perfect for differentiating among the various humans of Ravenloft's core.

Man, this is sounding promising.  I've always been unhappy with the way D&D treated Ravenloft and now that I have those excellently done Gazetteers (they're cheap now), I can really get a grasp on some good setting sans D&Disms (Arthaus did a good job on that front).

I am a harsh but just moderator and shall only give you a warning!!!

I can do you one better on a preview.  You can check out the rules at my site as they are licensed under the creative commons license.

Also here is a the bit on Taint and how it works...
Taint
Taint is the representation of a character’s decent into damnation or often times, insanity. Every character's path is unique to his personality and the events of his life. The actions that corrupt a character are often quick and easy but are always counter to the general ethical beliefs of his society. Murder, rape, blasphemous acts, and diabolical dealings are the most common actions that bring on Taint.

Each time the character commits a morally questionable act or goes against his faith he must make a Taint Check. This is a Knowledge/Temperament roll against a Piety/Taint roll. Characters with a Bloodline add that rank to the Piety/Taint roll. If the roll is failed the character gains a rank of Taint.

If a character gains a rank of Taint, the Game Master and the Players must confer to discuss the ramifications of this in terms of both game mechanics and how the character is roleplayed. The decision is ultimately up to the Player, but a group discussion on the matter can lead to interesting and exciting results.

Taint ranks always bring with them a new ability as well as a disability, and once a character reaches a Taint rank of six, he fully succumbs to his evil impulses and is no longer appropriate to be controlled by a Player. Below is a sample path that a character might have gone down.

Taint Rank Positive
  • His attacks are more damaging when he is coated in his enemy’s blood. 
  • He can easily stun others with strikes from his fists. 
  • When he is harmed, he becomes enraged and strikes harder and faster. 
  • He has become fearless while in the midst of the carnage of battle. 
  • He is able to dodge all attacks, even those that come at a surprise.
  • His mere presence strikes terror in the hearts of others. 

Taint Rank Negative
  • He can only engage in sexual acts if they accompany violence.
  • He is restless causing frustration when not fighting.
  • Has become mentally unstable to the point of being paranoid of his allies.
  • His sleep is troubled by nightmares making him sluggish when not in battle.
  • He hears voices during the day that urge him deeper and deeper into depravity.
  • He desires only to kill and see bloodshed.

Taint and Madness
The unnatural corruption of those who succumb to Taint is not the only side effect. Those who have committed horrific acts also begin to fall deeper and deeper into madness. However, this madness isn’t a constant state of being but rather a state that is triggered by different stressors depending upon how far the individual has fallen. This state can last minutes, hours and, in the worst situations, days.

The nature of the madness is also unique and can take many forms. It is not entirely uncommon for a Tainted individual to suffer from a new form of madness each time it is triggered. Still, most suffer from the same madness each time. The most common types of madnessare visual and audio halucinations, paranoia, blind panic, a complete withdrawal from the world, and mindless rage.

When a character with Taint is subject to one of the stressors in the table below, he enters into a Simple Conflict with himself. He must roll Temperament/Knowledge versus his own Taint/Temperament roll. If he fails he succumbs to the madness of his choice.

Taint Rank Trigger Condition
  • 1 - 3 Injury
  • 4 Injury or Stress
  • 5 Injury, Stress, or a Threat
  • 6 Constant State

If this just confuses you more or you have any other questions ask away.

Keith
« Last Edit: August 30, 2005, 10:26:09 AM by Bob Goat » Logged

Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
MetalBard
Member

Posts: 40


« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2005, 10:08:20 AM »

Damn, thanks, Bob Goat!  The taint rules look great.  The combination of the taint rules and the witch-blood stuff in your creative commons document is a really strong argument for running Ravenloft with Conspiracy of Shadows.

Hmm...  I just wrapped up a Burning Wheel campaign and should be playing in another one soon, so I think I'll take some time going over those rules you have up on the site before picking up the book in October.

Awesome stuff, though.
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"If you've ever told someone how your day went, you can narrate." - Andrew Norris at the Forge on player narration

My name is also Andrew and I have a  blog
Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2005, 10:28:43 AM »

Glad ya dig it.  Also check out The Zealous Thirty for another sample Taint path.  This one if for a whole group of knights that have gone too far.

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
MetalBard
Member

Posts: 40


« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2005, 10:51:57 AM »

Glad ya dig it.  Also check out The Zealous Thirty for another sample Taint path.  This one if for a whole group of knights that have gone too far.

Keith

That is damn cool.  Alright, these Taint paths rock.  Does the CoS companion have any stuff on Taint paths or any complementary bits?
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"If you've ever told someone how your day went, you can narrate." - Andrew Norris at the Forge on player narration

My name is also Andrew and I have a  blog
Keith Senkowski
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Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...


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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2005, 11:41:40 AM »

The Companion has stuff from the website (like the Zealous 30) plus an essay on using horror and religion, one on the uncanny and the mundane, a city building tool kit, and one on creating conflicts.  The Horror and Religion essay in particular is applicable to creating Taint paths.

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Roger Eberhart
Member

Posts: 38


« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2005, 06:46:22 PM »

A couple of other settings that might work well with CoS would be Iron Kingdoms and 7th Sea. Iron Kingdoms has a heavy Eastern European and horror influence. I'm not sure how well the steam punk stuff would translate. 7th Sea would benefit from CoS's combat rules and you can substiture noble blood for witch blood quite easily.
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Judd
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2005, 07:24:39 PM »

I am running a vaguely 7th Sea CoS game right now.  Its swell.
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2005, 07:30:13 AM »

Roger,

You can check Judd's actual play write ups here to see what he has done, as he said, with a vaguely 7th Sea/CoS game.

As for the steampunk, that shit is all flava-flav man.  The only time it would have any mechanical effect would be with weapons and armor and it is just a matter of assigning some sort of bonus.  Steam Armor gives a +4 to defense against physical attacks or something.  I'm not too familiar with Iron Kingdoms, but it seems to me that you wouldn't really need to translate it.  Correct me if I'm wrong of course...

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
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