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Author Topic: The Charnel Gods are coming!  (Read 14080 times)
hardcoremoose
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« on: July 02, 2002, 11:10:37 AM »

Seriously, check this out:

http://www.angelfire.com/games4/gildedmoosegames/charneltease.html">Charnel Gods

The artwork is coming in, and I'm diligently working on the text.  The problem is this:

I want this to set a new bar for mini-supplements.  That's no small task, considering just how brilliant the existing mini-supplements are (and Sorcerer in Space is sure to be).  But I'm giving it a helluva a go.

I have two fantastic artists.  I have the best layout guy around (right Mr. Snyder?).  The text itself has been put through the ringer, and genuinely brings some new stuff to the Sorcerer table.  This is the game I've always wanted to play, and I want it to be a product people will be proud to own.

Ron says he'll have the best product line in existence.  I don't want to make him a liar.

With that in mind, the PDF may or may not be ready by GenCon, but my goal is to have a trimmed down promotional version available there.  It'll have all the rules needed to play, a sample setting, a couple sample Weapons, and a decent bit of art.  I'd like to give it away with any purchase of Sorcerer & Sword, but that's Ron's call.

I'll be playing it too, with anyone I can drag kicking or screaming to a table.

So that's the state of affairs with Charnel Gods.   Any questions?

Take care,
Scott
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Bailywolf
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Posts: 729


« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2002, 11:26:19 AM »

Questions indeed:

Can you give a lowdown on the special system modifications you have implemented for this project?  

Do you have an outlined setting, or is the intention as mentioned in a previous thread: a sort of meta-level of play within existing settings?  Any setting-level meta mechanics?

How does sorcery work?  What are the rituals like?  What is humanity?  What is the nature of the demonics (I understand the general concept- eternal magical weapons)?


and

Give it to me.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2002, 11:29:50 AM »

Heh,

Gee, Bailywolf, seems to me that the answers to those questions are best saved for your purchase. You're basically asking, "What's the content?"

Enjoy the wait.

Best,
Ron
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hardcoremoose
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2002, 12:15:15 PM »

I'm afraid I haven't been very forthcoming.  Like Ron said, I can't tell you everything.  But a little might not hurt...

Charnel Gods  is built upon the darkest cosmology I could think of.

Imagine a fantasy world built on the backs of dead gods.  Imagine that vile, unimaginable horrors are trying to claw their way up through that mound of divine corpses, to burst forth into the mortal world, all wet and glistening from their grisly journey.  Imagine that the last gift the gods left Man was an arsenal of sentient Weapons, whose one driving goal is to keep piling corpses upon the world, so as to hinder the progress of the blasphemous things from below.

And sometimes this means whole civilizations have to die.  Guess who's doing the killing?

That's Charnel Gods for you.  

The game is designed to be played not only in days and months and years of game time, but also over ages, as whole civilizations rise and then fall.  The story it tells is one where the sorcerers lives are fleeting, but their legacy can be inherited and grow over centuries, or even millennia.  And, of course, the Weapons are the point of continuity - a ubiquitous, unchanging presence in the midst of it all.

Was that vague enough?

Take care,
Scott
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Valamir
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2002, 12:53:18 PM »

Charnal Gods taglines:

"How many millions will you kill to save the world"

"There's a wall between worlds that keeps the demons at bay.  A wall built from the bodies of the innocent.  Can you build the wall high enough to keep the demons out?"

or, on a lighter note:

"The game that makes Stormbringer look like a cookie selling girl scout..."
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Christopher Kubasik
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Posts: 1153


« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2002, 01:16:56 PM »

Scott,

That is so much up my alley.  Wow.

I gotta say, harkening back to my "Is Sorcerer Generic Thread" -- with the mini-supplement line and homebrew settings, there is just too much varied fun to be had with Sorcerer.  I'm too broke to buy even mini-supplements, but I can't wait to give them all a try in the future -- and I haven't even played my first game yet!

(Jesse, I'll tell you, I'm kind of giddy.  Monday night is turning into a kind of upcoming Christmas morning for me.)
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
Bailywolf
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2002, 05:57:28 PM »

Hey, sure I'm asking for a look at the content.  I wouldn't buy a game I couldn't flip through in my FLGS.  The Sorcerer Aprentice version sold me on the full release.  Jared was very forthcoming with Schism.  Clinton was the same with Urge.  I'm not asking for a givewaway, just a bit more info.  


Besides, wasn't the point of this internet thing to fulfill all my wants and desires at the speed of light?  Was that just hype?  Have I been misled?  Was my stock broker feeding me a line of horseshit in '98?  

Hey, how about that for a really boring and acedemic minisup- The Market as demon... diferential intrest calculations as Contact... IPO as Summoning... Stock Options as Contain...  SellOff as Punish...

Woah, gotta get some sleep.

OK, how about this.  Give me a sample character (w/ writeup) and her demon weapon.  Most publishers throw these out like doggy treats.  Pretty please?  




All in good fun.



-Ben
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hardcoremoose
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2002, 09:47:17 PM »

Valamir writes:
Quote
"The game that makes Stormbringer look like a cookie selling girl scout..."


Shane Liebling (Buddha Nature) told me it makes Norse mythology look like fluff.  You guys keep with these comments and it'll start going to my head.

Christopher Kubasik writes:
Quote
I gotta say, harkening back to my "Is Sorcerer Generic Thread" -- with the mini-supplement line and homebrew settings, there is just too much varied fun to be had with Sorcerer.


Ya' know, at a casual glance you'd think that all Sorcerer games were the same, just with different trappings, but that aint the case at all.  It's like Ron says in Sorcerer's Soul: the Humanity rolls (and the events surrounding them) are the story; it all works to generate actual, meaningful content.  Each new definition of Humanity generates a different kind of play experience entirely.  

If there's one thing I've learned playing Sorcerer it' s this: Get the players to the Humanity rolls...everything else follows from there.

Bailywolf writes:
Quote
OK, how about this. Give me a sample character (w/ writeup) and her demon weapon. Most publishers throw these out like doggy treats. Pretty please?


I may do that, but not just yet.  Like I said, there is still writing to be done...

But here's a fun bit of information: The sword depicted in the promo teaser is called Trinfendel.  Its Desire is Tyranny, its Need is Flattery, and it has a Power of 11.  It's about average for a Fell Weapon.

Take care,
Scott
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Christopher Kubasik
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Posts: 1153


« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2002, 06:23:54 AM »

Quote from: Scott


Imagine a fantasy world built on the backs of dead gods.  Imagine that vile, unimaginable horrors are trying to claw their way up through that mound of divine corpses, to burst forth into the mortal world, all wet and glistening from their grisly journey.  Imagine that the last gift the gods left Man was an arsenal of sentient Weapons, whose one driving goal is to keep piling corpses upon the world, so as to hinder the progress of the blasphemous things from below.


I just gotta know... Is the above literally true in the game world you're writing?  (Which I think it damned well should be?)  Or is that some sort of metaphorical thing?

Thanks,
Christopher
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
Gordon C. Landis
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2002, 12:33:40 PM »

OK, let me play a bit of a wet blanket -

Ick.  So, in this game I get to do evil - GREAT evil - and justify it because I'm stopping an even GREATER evil.  And/or because if it wasn't me, someone else whould take up the Weapon and not show even the minimal "restraint" that I do.  Is that right?

Why?  Why would I play this?  What possible story beyond the 2-3 obvious  ones will emerge from this?

Lapsing out of wet-blanket mode . . .  to be honest, I can imagine a few ways that this *is* interesting to me - I've played in and run campaigns that go down this road, and a focused setting/rule set might well reinvigorate the ideas for me.  Depending on the details of the game itself.  But I think you do have a major "Ick" barrier here, much bigger than the already-ick of "normal" Sorcerer, and it'd be good to have a response for that.  I mean, this is obviously not a game for everyone, but based on what I see so far . . . this is really, really hard-to-sell idea.  At least, so it seems to me.

Another possibly-useless personal opinion - the sample piece of art doesn't work for me.  I've no personal skill in the area, and limited vocabulary to discuss it, but . . . the human "figures" (corpse, Weapon wielder, and severed head) are too . . . stiff?  The idea of the piece grabs me, but the execution pushes me away.

Man, I don't mean to be negative - I can imagine ways in which this is a quite cool supplement - but I'm not seeing it in what we know so far.

Gordon
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Christopher Kubasik
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Posts: 1153


« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2002, 01:30:43 PM »

Hi Gordon,

Not to be a wet blank about your blanket... But doesn't your criticism of a game you have yet to play, let alone read, smack a bit of folks who simply know Hero Wars is "broken" after reading some comments about it on RPG.net, or people who are certain that Sorcerer is about a weakling meat puppet who does nothing and waits for his GM controlled demon to do anything of interest?

As for me... The trick of some positions of real power is often having the choice of doing horrible things -- and then going ahead anyway -- cause that's the job.  

I won't go too far defending a game I haven't read yet either... But I will say, since most people are nice people, we'd rather have the survivor's tale of firebombing of Dresden (Slaughterhouse Five), and know that the people who ordered that attack are beyond human compassion -- but I think, if this is the case, if Charnel Gods puts my character's soul on the line as he's forced to do things I'm glad I don't have to think about so I can go about my daily business, that might be really cool.

Take care,
Christopher
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
Gordon C. Landis
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2002, 02:59:11 PM »

Christopher,

hmm, something failed in my post - in no way did I mean to "attack" a game that doesn't even exist yet.  All's I'm sayin' is the info available so far provokes a reaction of "ick", without (for me) a counter to that reaction.   Therefore, the "promo" material (or the game itself) might want to address this.

My concern about what's presented so far is that there is no "choice of doing horrible things" - you MUST do horrible things.  Not can, or might, because it gets the job done - but simply MUST, in a cosmology that says in the end, even that doesn't matter.

Now, this is all based on preliminary info - and this ain't posted in Indie Design.  So I should probably shut up and just let Scott finish the thing - I'm likely to buy it no matter what.  I have concerns, though - that's all I was trying to say.  Sorry if it came out as an attack.

Gordon
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Christopher Kubasik
Member

Posts: 1153


« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2002, 03:43:17 PM »

Hi Gordon,

I didn't think you attacked it.  In the two examples I offered (Hero Wars and Sorcerer), I don't think either one offered tales of attack -- just comments made without complete info.  That's all I was suggesting all of us watch for.  (Including me.  Note that I posted a "Wow," comment -- and then posted again when I realized I wasn't sure what Scott meant.)

Take care,
Christopher
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2002, 04:47:43 PM »

Heh.  I guess I got some catching up to do...

Christopher,

Is the world literally a pile of corpses?

Well...maybe.

It certainly doesn't look like a pile of corpses.  It look a looks a lot like Earth.  It has one moon, four seasons, 365 days per year, each 24 hours in length, etc., etc.  You get the picture.

Some people believe the myths, some don't.  Depending on the details of the setting that you decide on, the common man have an entirely different story about how the world came to be.  But the sorcerers know, and (for the most part) believe it.  They have good reason to.

You see, sometimes in their travels, they come to a place where "reality" bleeds away and the mythical world is exposed.  The sky might turn yellow and purple, like a big nasty bruise, and the hills around you suddenly don't look so much like hills as they do a pile of twisted, battered limbs.  In the distance, the mountains have been replaced by a huge wall of ribs, still slick and red, and the air so reeks a sickly sweet aroma that breathing becomes an act of will.  These are the Carrion Fields, and not surprisingly, they're the best places to find Fell Weapons.

In game terms, they're treated like otherworlds, and they're one of my favorite things in the game.

Gordon,

It won't surprise you to learn that my intent with Charnel Gods was to push the envelope a bit.  Nevertheless, I think I can put to rest some of your fears.

Sorcerer is about the decisions the players make.  Those decisions might be weighted - if you want the power the demon offers, you must do something to earn it - but they aren't made for you.  Charnel Gods is no different.  The power is immense, and the price you pay for it is great, but ultimately it's still about the choices the players make.

The cosmology is a context for all that.  It's not a rationalization to do evil - although, I allow for the possibility that it is an in-game rationalization put forward by fevered minds attempting to justify the evil they do - but rather an invitation to consider some weighty issues.

On a side not, it's too bad you didn't like the piece of art I decided to show.  I really like Jeremy's work (I haven't shown you the best yet), but I think perhaps the other artist on the book will get your juices flowing.  His history is in comics, and we're trying for a very Savage Sword of Conan look.  

Take care,
Scott
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Christopher Kubasik
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Posts: 1153


« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2002, 05:41:57 PM »

Thanks for getting back to me Scott... And again.  Wow.  My cup of tea.
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Lemonhead, The Shield
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