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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 92 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Agon: Island of Sarakinon  (Read 1778 times)
Ronny Hedin
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« on: May 09, 2007, 01:53:40 PM »

So, as has been mentioned in other places, I'm set to start an Agon run in the near future. We did character creation, achievements and ran a trial combat to taste the system last night (only got the book this monday so hadn't had time to prepare for any actual questing).

Starting characters are all full-blooded mortals--a keen-eyed bowman, a swordy muscle nut, and a cunning lore-y type--and there's some backstory involving young heroes setting off to a war not disfavored by the gods, being cursed never to return home, now traveling trying to regain the favor of the gods for the sake of a pleasant afterlife and building a legend and reputation which may reach the folks back home, blah blah blah (highly original stuff); there's some stuff in bork bork borkese here.

Set down to create an island today, and in the interest of writing a lot of crap on forums so I don't have to spend my time on anything constructive I figured I might as well post what I came up with.

Since this is mostly what I write down to have something to hang the actual details on in my memory, with little explanation, I'm not entirely sure if it's to any degree useful (to someone else or as a basis for feedback for my own good); still, it's something. (Anyway, most details beyond this, excepting stats which I haven't done yet, tends to be left hanging until actual play and depending on what the players actually ask for / come up with.)

I've already observed my own inability to KISS; I probably should have had at least one simple, straightforward few-objective quest in there but nooo, we can't have things being simple... Ahwell.

I wasn't sure how much is actually "worth" its own secondary objective; the examples in the book seemed to be broken up into fairly small pieces (find out about place X, travel to place X, do thing Y at place X). Not a huge deal I guess--it makes a difference of 1 glory and 15 strife per objective and I'm guessing strife per quest isn't that strict given that players are rewarded based on what they actually face anyway. Still, I wouldn't mind some advice on this.

That said, much rambling later, we present:

(NB, these notes were originally written in a witch brew mixture of Swedish and English; my pardon if any traces of that made it through to the post.)

The Island of Sarakinon

Mist-shrouded swamps and storm-lashed hills.

Cultured city-state with a university and amphitheaters (Sarakinopolis).
  Funeral for a great hero or king (King Philokles).

Desperate bandit tribes.
  Daughters of Fury (women warrior tribe).
    Inherently distrustful of men (probably all in league, the bastids).

Construction of a great monument or temple.
  Serpent Men (devotees of the Iron Serpent).
    Original cult of the island before it was civilized, lives on in hiding/secret.
    Iron serpent (beast).
      Holy armor (resistant to the serpent's poison).
        Worn by the heroine who originally defeated the cult (and founded the Daughters); inherited unto their current chieftainess.
    Harpies (two sisters, slightly differing abilities/tactics)
      Bribed to guard the temple (with animal cadavers so they don't have to hunt)

The Spirit Dancers (mysterious magical sect).
  Foreign types (persian conspiracy potentially showing up again later?).
  Take over the island by making the city and the Daughters eradicate each other.
  Shades/phantoms (monsters).
  Shadow Walkers, a cult of assassins (found on various islands, often hired by the Dancers).



Quest: The Serpent Temple (Zeus)

Primary objective: Destroy the unholy temple being built to the Iron Serpent.

Secondary objectives (5):
* Find information regarding the Serpent Men sect.
** Find the historian. (Kidnapped by clumsy criminal goons hired by a sect priest.)
** Save him.
* Get the holy armour (as possessed by the amazon chieftainess) (by hook, crook, convincing or whatever).
* Reach the temple (swamp guarded by the two harpy sisters).
* Lay the smack down on the Iron Serpent (and its baby snakes and suchlike)

Opposition:
* Zagreus the Serpent Priest + criminal goons.
* The harpies.
* The Iron Serpent + baby snakes + cultist goons.

Various other folks:
* Abascantus: Dry old historian at the university, fascinated by obscure historic stuff.
* Melope: Chieftainess, fiesty redhead, overly confident and superiour attitude.



Quest: Fury of the Amazons (Artemis)

Primary objective: Make peace between the city-state of Sarakinopolis and the bandit tribes of the Daughters of Fury.

Secondary objectives (10):
* Convince the prince
** Stop immediate revenge expedition.
** Figure who really dunnit. (Tomyris claims to have seen Daughters sneak into the king's chambers; he was actually poisoned by the Serpent Men to cause havoc and distract from the building of the temple.)
** Convince the prince of the truth.
* Convince the Daughters
** Find/reach their hidden village. (Past/despite paranoid patrols.)
** Figure out why they're upset. (Hunters are not returning; obviously those City Men are responsible.)
** Track who's responsible. (Theron, hates the daughters for what he considers the "theft" of his daughters; she joined up to be rid of her annoying father, spurred by Tomyris.)
** Make it stop.
* Put a stop to the Spirit Dancers' spite-sowing
** Discover the read thread (the "good advice" of Tomyris).
** Convince both sides of this.
** Put an end to Tomyris.

Opposition:
* Pesky daughter patrol (with group leader Iris.)
* Shadow Walker assassins hired to stop the meddling (with Tomyris potentially showing up with a belated warning to gain trust).
* Tomyris: Suspect woman from the Spirit Dancer; graceful, exotic, veiled; servant/entertainer positioned as psuedo-girlfriend of the prince; witch.
* Tomyris' helping spirits (can be summoned by way of dance in desperate straits).
* Theron: Bitter, scarred old hunter and war veteran--knows the wilderness as his own pocket--with sons.

Various other folks:
* Arion: Young prince, deeply mourning his beloved father's passing.
* Melope: Chieftainess, fiesty redhead, overly confident and superiour attitude.
* Canace: Daughter of Theron, independent-minded young woman, somewhat of a teenage rebel type.



Quest: The Royal Spirit (Hades)

Primary objective: Free the stolen spirit of the late King Philokles of Sarakinon.

Secondary objectives (5):
* Discover what's happened
** Figure out something really is up ("Pish posh, the priest would've figured it out and told us!")
** Save Patroclus from the threatening shades which haunt him every night so he dares talk.
* Find the sacred spring, water of which makes weapons ghost-affectable. (Theron is/was by familyline guardian/guide of the sacred spring.)
* Free the spirit
** Defeat the Dancers leader. (Transforms into shade on his death.)
** Free the spirit. (Requires the body to be brought to the place of the unholy stone circle, which in turn may require either body-theft or some tricky convincing as it has already been interred in mausoleum/etc.)

Opposition:
* Shades terrorizing Patroclus.
* Spirit Dancer goons.
* Baraxes, Spirit Dancer leader.
* Ghost form of Baraxes.

Various other folks:
* Arion: Young prince, deeply mourning his beloved father's passing.
* Patroclus: Priest of Hades; short, pale, bony, timid old fellow.
* Theron: Bitter, scarred old hunter and war veteran; suspicious, people-shy, hates the Daughters.
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Ronny Hedin (thark)
John Harper
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 04:37:40 PM »

Welcome, Ronny!

You seem to be off to a great start. These quests look like fun to me. Having lots of secondary objectives can be a little daunting for a first run, but you know your group better than I do. If they're not too impatient to finish it up and get rewarded, you'll be fine. Oh, and don't be afraid to give them credit for a whole batch of objectives if they veer off on their own tack and solve the problem in some unexpected way. The objectives are more of an Antagonist tool for pacing and scene creation, not a hardcore checklist for the heroes to tick off.

Not that you'd do that. I'm just blathering.

I'm not understanding your question about how much secondoary objectives are "worth." Can you rephrase it another way?
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
Ronny Hedin
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2007, 11:28:08 PM »

Oh, and don't be afraid to give them credit for a whole batch of objectives if they veer off on their own tack and solve the problem in some unexpected way.

I don't think there's any "if" involved here so much as "when". :-)

I'm not understanding your question about how much secondoary objectives are "worth." Can you rephrase it another way?

It seems my grasp of English is slipping here. I'm looking for some guidelines on how much... uh... stuff, events, goals, plot, what-have-you should constitute a single objective, as opposed to being broken up into sub-objectives?
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Ronny Hedin (thark)
John Harper
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2007, 12:01:13 AM »

Oh, now I understand you! (And your English is very good, btw.) :-)

That's a good question. Page 85 sort of explains it, but it isn't super explicit. The idea is for each secondary objective to be a clear, discrete task. Something you can convey with one phrase, that isn't too specific in how it has to play out.

In looking back over your objectives, I think some of them may be a little too broken up. Like, "Find information regarding the Serpent Men sect," would be a good one by itself. The heroes might accomplish this in several different ways. Maybe they involve your historian NPC, and maybe not. Since the quest isn't about the historian, you don't have to make specific objectives that revolve around him.

I think pretty much all of your objectives marked with ** could be dropped or altered, actually. There are only two layers of objectives in Agon: Primary (the one thing you do to end the quest) and secondary objectives (the tasks you need to do to get to the final objective). There are no "sub objectives" below that, and secondary objectives shouldn't be broken down further.

Does that help?
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John Harper
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2007, 12:05:42 AM »

As an aside, I just realized that the magical sect in the book is called the "River Dancers" and that there is a (terrible) new-age "Irish" dance show thing also called Riverdance. This was a completely unintentional coincedence, and I'm a little horrified by it.

I understand now why you changed the name to Spirit Dancers. Much cooler.

Jeez, I can't believe I did that.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
Ronny Hedin
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Posts: 15


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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2007, 12:09:44 AM »

Oh, now I understand you! (And your English is very good, btw.) :-)

It's not something I'm usually worried about, but occasionally I'll run into a mental block looking for the right word. As was the case here. Which is what I meant. (Just to ramble too much about something irrelevant.)

Does that help?

Yes, that helps. Much appreciated!

I understand now why you changed the name to Spirit Dancers. Much cooler.

That was more because I couldn't actually come up with a river connection, and I had Hades and shades in there, so I made them spirit dancers. Didn't think of the riverdance connection until you mentioned it. :-)
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Ronny Hedin (thark)
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