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Indie Game Design
Seraphim: Candlebright Design Part 1 (Long)
Topic: Seraphim: Candlebright Design Part 1 (Long) (Read 1154 times)
Seraphim: Candlebright Design Part 1 (Long)
July 21, 2003, 07:11:50 AM »
This is going to be the first in a series of sort of Developer Journals as I put all the elements of Seraphim together and get it playtested and hopefully ready to be published by 1st Quarter 2004. The website is more or less up to date though I am changing its color scheme again soon.
">Azure Dragon Games
Ok to refresh memories or introduce it to new people, Seraphim: Candlebright is an RPG set in the far future. It could be labeled as HArd Sci-Fi though with what we will call Super-Science. Mankind has moved out into space and in its travels has come upon only one other sentient species. The Human race itself has tried the theory of one united Mankind and found that as we evolved on different worlds many of our tastes and needs have changed...
So over the last 500 years there has been one constant: the Seraphim. Drs. Sarah Grange and Isoruko Iataki discovered that their GI Implant, meant to help a patient who had spinal cord injury, actually helped certain patients attain a higher level of conscioisness. This Level November or Level N as it came to be called, was far beyond any ESP ever noted and well beyond anything Edgar Cacye could have done. The name Seraphim came from a media term describing how the first, William Burroughs, "flew into the air and caught the falling child like a Guardian Seraphim." The name stuck and two years later Project Seraphim began.
For almost five centuries the Seraphim acted as guardians, spies, soldiers, counselors for those who were thought to damaged for modern science, and as a friendly face in the government that was rocked by one corruption scandal after another. Seraphim fought Anarchists, drug cartels, and unscrupulous Corporations, as well the more violent nations of the lone sentiet race Humanity had met, the Us'dagi. Seraphim were also instrumental in negotiating peaceful relations with the more science and peace oriented Us'dagi worlds.
Yet as the years passed, more and more Seraphim went "rogue". These Cherabim often created Chaos and anarchy. Several memorable battles passed between the two elements and the resultant destruction often killed hundreds. Public Enemies of the Seraphim began to question their methods and their ability to act as protectors, demanding that the mystery of the GI Implant be given to all and not just held in the hands of a few.
With the decline of the Terran Federated Union, the Seraphim went from being viewed as Saviors to being seen as Oppressors and the Gestapo of a corrupt regime. Things are very close to coming to a head for the Union and the Seraphim. Then came Candlebright.
It began with a single digital billboard: a beautiful but mysterious woman holding aloft a candle and whispering "Candlebright" as people walked past. No one knew where it came from nor how it got there but before long every where in the Union, even on backwater worlds, Candlebright was being seen. No one knew where it came from, but the Seraphim began looking. Eventually, John Knox, Director of the Seraphim, announced to the known galaxy that he had the answer to Candlebright and was returning to Earth to announce what it was. His ship exploded before he could return, supposedly from an engine accident.
This is the world that the Characters live in...
The base system is my own Devilfyre System. Devilfyre is, in GNS terms, a heavy Sim oriented System, designed to Explore Character and Setting, which I find to be the two most important and interesting aspects for me. So I will be discussing Devilfyre but ALSO how I am moding it specifically for Seraphim:C. Devilfyre, if it works, will be released as a free download and also used in other games.
Ok down to business...
Devilfyre (Seraphim) Basics
The basic resolution mechanic for Devilfyre is to roll 2d6 or 2d10, add in skill and attribute, and try to get a 20 or better. The "grittiness" of the campaign (decided ahead of time) determines whether everyone uses 2d6 or 2d10. This is what I refer to as the
Now in Seraphim its a little different, because the GM/Players will use d6s or d10s based on what kind of energy the Seraphim is expending. Positive energy uses the d6, its less aggressive and more controlled, allowing the Seraphim very fine control over the effect. Negative energy is wild and very violnet, leaving destruction in its wake.
So a Seraphim who pushes three security guards out of her way using PE or Positive Energy, will throw them through the air with JUST enough force to stun them. Using Negative Energy would be more akin to Akira: ie just leaving bloody marks where the guards were.
So its easier to succeed using negative energy but the results are ALWAYS destructive. A Seraphim cannot get a cat out of a tree using NE without destroying the tree itself.
However, for Seraphim I am adding a
Mechanic. PE and NE must remain in close quantities or urges start to affect the Seraphim. With too much PE, the Seraphim begins to avoid conflict and confrontation, becomes more introspective and more interested in Esoteric pursuits. With too much NE, the Seraphim seeks out trouble. This is the mind and body trying to get themselves back in Balance.
Tension rolls may be opposed, either PAssively say with a locked door or actively as in a debate.
Now Skill Resolution in Non-Tense situations is fairly simple and open to GM judgement: A Character who is untrained will fail about half the time. A trained or better character will succeed from slightly more then half the time to most of the time.
What do Seraphim Do?
As a Seraphim a player needs to keep two important questions in mind:
How far will you go to protect Humanity & the Seraphim?
what price will you pay to know the truth?
If you were to divide a Seraphim into ten parts (a recipe) he or she would be 2 parts Super Hero 2 parts Jedi and 6 parts Cyberpunk. They move through the world trying to maintain a sense of order and at the same time experience the increased sense of consciousness that they share. Some of course go rogue, moving outside the normal stream.
Seraphim can go anywhere they want, even the corporate worlds forbidden to normal law enforcement. The most that can happen is that the Seraphim is escorted off-world, though many of the more ruthless Corporations or individuals have no moral quandry with flatlining a Seraphim, even though killing a Seraphim is a very difficult task.
In part II I will go over more of the basic attributes and stats associated with the Devilfyre system. As well as touching deeper on setting.
When/if people comment if they could also list what sorts of Technology or futuristic ideas that evokes a sense of Hard Sci Fi. I have a pretty good list on my own but I want to build a compelling setting that sucks people down. GEtting a feel for what people think or expect when they see Hard Sci fi would help greatly
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