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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Ignus on January 20, 2010, 06:56:16 AM

Title: [Ditv] Hacking the Hierarchy of Sin
Post by: Ignus on January 20, 2010, 06:56:16 AM
Well, hack is a very strong word to use. More "replace the words with other words more fitting to the flavour".

The brief background is that I have been asked by my group to run a steampunk game but I don't like Iron Kingdoms and I hate Pondsmith's writing style for Castle Falkenstein so much I want to scream every time I open it. This has lead me to make a setting somewhere between K. J. Bishop's The Etched City and Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun with a coating of Generic Steam Punk against the backdrop of a long standing war witha distant enemy (this is where Wolfe comes in).

The players themselves are going to be Frontier Psychiatrists: men a women that theoretically answer to the King alone, sent out amongst his nobles and officers in all parts of His far flung realm to administer "therapy" (occasionally in the form of impromptu lobotomies) in aid of keeping the war effort going smoothly and avoiding the Crime of Crimes, Treason! The "moral" vs. "temporal" authority balance is present in the Psychiatrists right to talk to whoever they want, but they have no authority to kill anyone or commit any crimes. Also, they are always working far from home and good old Kingy, it would be a long time before anyone noticed they were "missing" if anything went wrong.

Essentially what I am doing, as per Mr. Lumpley's advice in other threads, is filing off the serial numbers and sticking my setting on over the top (+magic). So far so good, but the area I'm having trouble with is the Hierarchy of Sin. Now I know this is essentially staying the same, but the words need to change to reflect the flavour.

Pride / This one is a pain. It needs to be something along the lines of "dismissive of the rights and powers of the monarch" or similar. So, still basically pride.

Sin / Speaking out against the Crown (Needs to be snappier, and doesn't necessarily represent physically "speaking" against the crown. Just thinking it is enough)/

False Doctrine / Rebel Sentiment (they have internalised this speaking out, and accept it. This would usually be in the form of a Noble keeping more tax than he should, being sympathetic of the enemy, or a general receiving more loyalty from his troops than the king)

False Priesthood / Organised Resistance (A worse form of the last. No longer is it personal, but they have spread out their rebellious naughtiness to others, possibly harbouring the enemies of the Crown. As in the example of the general, he now accepts this admiration, possibly encouraging it and receiving backup from some of his officers)

Murder / Treason (Direct opposition to the monarch. This would go past harbouring enemies into directly working with them, selling secrets, plotting against the King, planning to defect/declare independence  etc. In our general's case he would be planning to either defect or go rogue)

Any help smoothing this thing out would be muchly appreciated.

Title: Re: [Ditv] Hacking the Hierarchy of Sin
Post by: lumpley on January 20, 2010, 07:43:57 AM
Crucial to Dogs' hierarchy of sins is that, at every stage, the townspeople sin against one another, not against God or the Faith.

The question isn't how the far-flung nobles turn against the crown, it's how they turn against one another.


Title: Re: [Ditv] Hacking the Hierarchy of Sin
Post by: Ignus on January 25, 2010, 05:26:02 AM
Fair enough. It needs to be made more about the people, not the actions. This could be done while keeping within the parameters my players want by making each "town" a different court and its consituency.

Ok, so if we strip the hierarchy of sin of its setting specific bits I'm thinking we would get something like this:

1: There is some kind of conceit and it is acted upon, leading to Injustice.
2: Injustice is responded to with disobedience and actions that are harmful to others
3: Injustice is justified, leading to a corruption of the rules, leading to a corruption of society.
4: As a response, this is either accepted and resented or innapropriately opposed (a violent coup, for example), leading to organized antisocial behaviour.
5: Society breaks down.

If we apply this more specifically to what I am trying to do it might look a bit like this:
(+A crack at region creation)

Arrogance (A Baron feel like his factories are single handedly keeping the war effort moving and feels he is not suitably compensated, so he decides he is entitled to take what it wants. He has started demanding resources from neighbouring areas and dedicating them to making more (and grander) factories)

Leads to:

Disobedience (As a result of the Baron's arrogance, some of the factory workers start smuggling supplies to neighbouring areas for money. Because of this other areas are left weakened.

"Demonic" attack: The factory breaks and the people able to refuse to repair it because of their treatment. This means that the Barony will be greatly weakened AND other areas have been depleted)

Leads to:

Corruption (Now there’s an arms shortage, and the factory workers see that they were 'right' to steal supplies and smuggle them out. They now move their smuggling to paying for their relocation to more healthy areas.)

Leads to:

Resistence/Resignation (The Baron discovers the operation and imprisons the workers, even those who had nothing to do with the thefts. He also imprisons the construction crew working on his elaborate factories, who he suspects are involved with the smuggling and believes have sabotaged the factory.)

Leads to:

Murder/Treason (The Baron cannot punish his entire workforce, so he arranges for the ringleaders to be executed as a public example of his displeasure.)

Does this look like it would work?

Title: Re: [Ditv] Hacking the Hierarchy of Sin
Post by: lumpley on January 25, 2010, 01:07:28 PM
Well... I dunno, but I may not have the same gut response to it that you do.

Does the region you made seem like a grabby, problematic one to you? Do you have a stomach ache about how bad it's gotten for those poor people, and you can't wait to see what the PCs are going to do about it?

If it does, or if you can see the potential in your setup to give you regions like that, then cool, yes, it'll work.