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Author Topic: [TSoY] Random crunch and snippets of material  (Read 1033 times)
Heikki Hallamaa
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Posts: 6


« on: May 23, 2010, 12:32:28 PM »

Our group has played with the World of Near material for a couple of months now and like every campaign it generates new material and occasional new crunch. So I thought it might be a good idea to start a thread for sharing these bits of material and crunch for peer evaluation and for others to adapt and use in their own games. I hope others would join and post some of theirs as well. The moonblade of Absolon has already been covered in another thread.

So, here goes:

Some Three-corner secrets:

Transformation: Transmutation
The character can change a barrelful of inanimate matter into one of the basic elements (fire, earth, water, air) for 1 Instinct. For 2 extra Instinct, target a living thing. Also each of the following costs one extra point: Affect a twice as massive target. Change the target to any pure material as per Create Anything.
Cost: 1+ Instinct

This is a bit of a swiss army knife. I tried to split it into two secrets, but couldn't really think of any part of this as useful on their own. This can be used to turn people to stone, obstacles into air or yourself to ash to escape a prison cell with the wind.

Enhancement: Animate Object
The character can use Enhancement (I) to animate inanimate objects. The animated object can move on it's own and proceeds to fulfill it's normal function; Hammers hammer nails, carriages cart people around, swords kill people, etc. Use Enthrallment (R) to make them do something else.
Cost: 1+ Instinct per the size of object:
1: Tool.
3: Piece of furniture.
6: Siege engine or a small building.
10: Large building or a ship.

We haven't got around using this yet, but apart from the obvious it could perhaps be combined with the transmutation above to grant movement capabilities while transmutated into a stone statue or something.

Goblin stuff:

Entish Ur-Form
Ents are nearly indistinguishable from trees. Most of them are addicted to sunbathing or weather phenomenon. Their tough bark is resistant to harm. Reduce the level of physical harm by the character's Endure value, to a minimum of one. Harm from fire is not reduced and is Aggravated instead. Unlike other goblins ents live their lives slowly and can live for hundreds of years. Older individuals can learn Stature (V) and the Secret of Bulk.

What would a goblin addicted to sunlight be like?

Macrinus Severus - The Goblinist
Macrinus is an Ammeni three-corner wizard who specializes in goblins. He travels the world searching for goblins with useful adaptations. His goal is to develop the ultimate goblin warrior to be mass produced and used in the Khalean war and eventually become a major war goblin supplier for the warmongers of Near.
Like any Ammeni he sees goblins as tools to be exploited and has no qualms about seriously harming his subjects to further his research as he can always continue with another subject.
He has two goblin minions, Left and Right. One of whom is addicted to praise and the other being yelled at.

Abilities
Transformation (I) Master (3)
Charm (I) Expert (2)
Anatomy (R) Master (2)
Goblin lore (R) Master (2)
Alchemy (R), Expert (2)
Herbalism (R) Expert (1)
Secrets
Specialization (Goblins)
Secret of the Still
Secret of the Funnel
Secret of Goblin Aide x2
Transformation: Goblin Morph
Magical Contegion
Magical Persistance
Magical Ritual

Transformation: Goblin Morph
The character can mold the target life form adapting it with any goblin adaptations he's familiar with for two Instinct plus one for each of the following: Swap a goblin adaptation for another, add one or remove one. If the target is a goblin the change is permanent.
Cost: 3+ Instinct

Secret of Goblin Aide
The character has a hunchbacked goblin assistant who follows him around and does his bidding. The goblin is a secondary character Expert (2) in some ability. The master can make the goblin to switch his ability for another once per session for free by providing for it's addiction and succeeding in a social ability check. Subsequent changes cost cumulative one Reason from the master. The new ability is available for the next scene.
Cost: Cumulative 1 Reason to switch abilities after the first.

Secret of Iron Plating
The character has iron plates forged to his hide for protection and gains a free effect off a suitable crafting check. Repairing the armor causes harm equal to the new effect value but it can be reduced with an Adaptability (V) check.
Requirement: Be a goblin.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 05:33:49 AM »

Hah, this is great stuff! Most of these I could see using myself at a drop of the hat in TSoY; great job. Some notes:
  • I'm torn about Transmutation because on the one hand it's perfectly balanced mechanically, but on the other hand it all but replaces the Creation focus. I remember Clinton saying at some point that the Transformation focus is inherently a chaotic, degenerative process that transforms things by remixing what is already there. I like this idea, and thus would be hesitant to allow Transformation to supercede pure Creation. I could see creating a Transmutation Secret that'd turn things to shit, though, on the premise that Transformation without Creation is a degenerative process Wink
  • Animate Object is crazy fun. At first it seems too spiritual for Three-Corner (spirit possession and supernatural entities in general are an inherent weakness of the Three-Corner worldview in my interpretation), but that note about how the animated thing merely fulfills its Platonic ideal activity is perfect, especially as it gives an exciting new use for Enthrallment (R), too!
  • Ent-goblins, I love the execution. That's how I'd do them as well if I wanted them, and who wouldn't want them... I would consider adding a one die penalty on any hasty activities here just for the flavour.
  • Macrinus Severus is a great NPC, that's how I like them as well. Goblin Morph is a very sensible thing for Transformation to do - a good addition to the range of legal transformations. I could see Macrinus developing an alchemical form of the same effect at some point as well for potion mass-production; he is clearly one of those individuals who have the potential for cross-breeding the magics of Near to terrible effect.
All in all, good show. Makes my day, and Macrinus will get into my Ammeni rogue's gallery next time I play around there.
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Heikki Hallamaa
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 07:44:51 AM »

Quote from: Eero Tuovinen
I'm torn about Transmutation because on the one hand it's perfectly balanced mechanically, but on the other hand it all but replaces the Creation focus. I remember Clinton saying at some point that the Transformation focus is inherently a chaotic, degenerative process that transforms things by remixing what is already there. I like this idea, and thus would be hesitant to allow Transformation to supercede pure Creation. I could see creating a Transmutation Secret that'd turn things to shit, though, on the premise that Transformation without Creation is a degenerative process Wink

Good point! how about this?

Trasformation: Transmutation
The character can make a barrelful of inanimate matter more or less pliable for 1 Instinct per degree of pliability.
  • solid - stone, glass, metal.
  • supple - animals, wick, clay
  • soft - fruit, fabric, wax
  • viscous - tar, syrup, treacle
  • liquid - water, beer.
Affecting a twice as massive target costs 1 extra Instinct and affecting a living thing 2 more.
Cost: 1+ Instinct
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 08:17:09 AM »

Trasformation: Transmutation
The character can make a barrelful of inanimate matter more or less pliable for 1 Instinct per degree of pliability.
  • solid - stone, glass, metal.
  • supple - animals, wick, clay
  • soft - fruit, fabric, wax
  • viscous - tar, syrup, treacle
  • liquid - water, beer.
Affecting a twice as massive target costs 1 extra Instinct and affecting a living thing 2 more.
Cost: 1+ Instinct

Excellent, that goes well with the basic utility of Transformation (the shaping of supple matter) and has many interesting uses. Gets the pseudoscientific style of Three-Corner just right - like, you get to figure out what a "solid human" is like in this twisted science of corners, and then you realize that from the Threecornerist viewpoint the thing called "human" might not necessarily have any internal structure that would be meaningful for the magical sight, so you can indeed manipulate the "hardness" of the body as a whole without caring for the actual physiology. It also makes sense that suppleness is a material attribute directly manipulated by Transformation.

I'm debating whether there would be room for a "fragile" state of some sort at the top of the scale. Like, when you harden a thing you first get a stone-like hardness, but go far enough and you get glass and diamond - known for its hardness, sure, but also not very tough, and prone to breakage from sudden impact due to naturally occurring shear planes and such. Similarly there could be a gaseous state at the other end. Then again, I like the fact that Three-Corner might not link gases to other phases of material at all. Besides, making things insubstantial sounds like a separate Secret of Transformation.
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Heikki Hallamaa
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Posts: 6


« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 01:48:08 PM »

To continue with the thread, here's some more bits and pieces:

Jarkko De Badeh

A famous adventurer and explorer, known around the Near. He's constantly either in the middle of some crazy adventure or about to embark on one. He is known for his many great deeds and bravery in combat.
Jarkko De Baade's modus operandi is to surround himself with capable companions, put them in harm's way and recount their deeds as his own.

Abilities:
Deceit (I) Master (3)
Storytell (R) Expert (2)
   
Secrets:
Specialization (Jarkko De Badeh)

Lots of fun will be had if you toss this one together with a character with the key of glory. At least until he's promptly left on a desert island or given to sharks..

One character in the group has a big game hunter theme going on so, we have been using stuff from the Jari's Zoo and extended a bit:

Sharks
Sharks have the Secret of Berserking and Sudden Knife. They follow ships and go berserk when they smell blood. Their behaviors are Herding and Predator

Deep in the jungles of Qek some families form special hunting crewes to hunt the most dangerous game. They believe they gain the powers of their enemies by consuming their flesh. Others quite understandably avoid these like the plague. Especially as the cannibals often learn the knots for their victims homes and follow them back.

Secret of Cannibalism
The character has been initiated into a cannibal crewe and can learn a number of secrets or effects from another character equal to a succesful Pray (R) check by consuming his flesh, organs and brains in a ritual feast. The character spends advances for the sercets as normal.
When engaged in cannibalism the character has to make a Resist (R) check against his Pray (R) check or gain the Secret of Addiction (human flesh, Vigor).
Cost: 1 Instinct per secret learned.

Secret of Cannibal Chief
The character is the anointed chief of a cannibal crewe. When a chief consumes a victim in a cannibalistic rite, he can make an Effect out of his Pray check result and pick Secrets or Keys of the victim equal to result. As long as the chief maintains the Effect, he can use the listed crunch as his own; however, the character may not partake of a cannibal feast as long as he maintains the Effect from his last victim.
Requirement: Secret of Addiction (human flesh, Vigor)

This last one was suggested by Eero.

Many explorers of the jungles return with grim souvenirs and some rumors speak of a peculiar old hermit collector in deep jungle:

Ritual of Head Shrinking
The character knows how to prepare the head of a person and trap his sasha with a successful Deceit (I) check. Preparing the head and tricking the spirit into his head takes days equal to the check result. The resulting head is an equipment with the secrets and suitable effects like knots the head's owner knew in life as imbuements. Use ratings to represent knowledge and abilities. The head has a free Expert Imbuement for a social ability.
Cost: as per secret of creation, except use Instinct instead of Vigor.
Requirement: Secret of Walozi
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2010, 04:19:55 PM »

Secrets:
Specialization (Jarkko De Badeh)

Really, what more needs to be said? He should have that generic adventuring crunch from the last chapter of WoN, though.

You remind me of something with these great NPCs - it might be worthwhile to make some colorful NPCs with interesting crunch for TSoY at some point as a collection of sorts. The nature of the game is such that the largest bit of scenario-prep is actually in creating NPCs, and even that is relatively arbitrary as long as the NPC cast has strong convictions about whatever it is they do. I could see running a campaign off a "thousand faces" type collection of these people of Near myself. I'll have to remember this if I have some spare time for TSoY at some point...
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Heikki Hallamaa
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Posts: 6


« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2010, 01:09:19 AM »

You remind me of something with these great NPCs - it might be worthwhile to make some colorful NPCs with interesting crunch for TSoY at some point as a collection of sorts. The nature of the game is such that the largest bit of scenario-prep is actually in creating NPCs, and even that is relatively arbitrary as long as the NPC cast has strong convictions about whatever it is they do. I could see running a campaign off a "thousand faces" type collection of these people of Near myself. I'll have to remember this if I have some spare time for TSoY at some point...

That was actually the reason I started this thread, to hear about what other people have done and to collect the interesting bits to some public place. In hindsight the topic should probably specifically mention NPCs as well. We could of course start a different thread just for NPCs. I often leaf through the crunch for inspiration for NPCs and combine them with the characters purpose in the fiction and some theme. Many NPCs fall into some role of Antagonist, Support, Foil, mr. Exposition or some combination. For example The Secret Dark Rhetoric gave birth to our campaign's first antagonist. The Depressing Fool, sent by a lord to  the court of another to drive him and his land to ruin and ripe for conquest.

 I haven't gotten around figuring out how to best design societies, cults, etc. yet or what roles they should play. When I figure that out, we'll see what becomes of the subterranean dwarf clan of astrologists and their grand planetarium.

Anyway, such an booklet should probably have an article or two on the methods for making material interesting. I find mine to be bit of hit-and-miss and many NPCs improvised on the fly to be left too shallow.
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