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Nine Worlds supporting cast

Started by Matt Snyder, July 18, 2005, 08:59:06 PM

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Matt Snyder

Back in action, after a fantastic vacation followed immediately by a hellish week. The house saga continues. Our realtor royally screwed us, and we've ended up wasting two precious months. And, now,

I'm getting behind in the Nine Worlds revision. So, for fun and games, I'll enlist your help. I had some fun today doing some editing. I scrawled in the margins of the setting chapter the new supporting characters (aka NPCs) I'll be adding to demonstrate various power levels and fun characters.

Here's my list of supporting characters. Most will probably be in the books with game attribute and write-ups, some may not.
  • Aquarian anarcho-activist
  • A mole in the Illuminati, planted by the Titans (probably an Atlantean)
  • Archer Foundation super spy
  • Hyperion the Titanic "godfather"
  • "The Stranger," progeny of Prometheus and Athena
  • Hecate
  • Pegasus Yards union boss
  • Venus Isle madam
  • Eros
  • Hydra
  • Nike
  • Maximillian, Martian warlord
  • Aegis secret police commandant
  • Herakles
  • All Titans currently listed in first edition
  • Lost armada captain, crew and ship
  • Cerberus
  • Briareus

I'd LOVE to hear some ideas for what people would like to see in the book. Someone, or some thing from Greek myth and/or the Nine Worlds setting really get you jazzed? I want to hear about it!

(Note: This list is also posted on my LiveJournal)
Matt Snyder

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra

Keith Senkowski


How about the god of the winds, Aeolos.  And maybe the Lotus Eaters from the Odyssey.  Atlanta makes a bad ass heroine too.

Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel

Thor Olavsrud

Hi Matt,

Here are some things that I think would be pretty cool:

  • Polyphemus, blinded and bitter after his run-in with Odysseus
  • Orpheus' head
  • Pandora's box
  • Scylla and Charybdis, somewhere out in the aether
  • Ariadne, who I think is an extremely intriguing figure. Different stories connect her with Theseus, Dionysus, Artemis, Aphrodite and Daedalus. Here's one fascinating quote from the Encyclopedia Mythica: "Concluding, we can say that Ariadne represented a tragic heroine figure in all the different versions of her myth. Therefore we can also understand that she was suffering from a terrible dilemma, namely between her wish for happiness and the obligation to obey to a divine command. Due to this internal fight, she felt a great sorrow and suffered death in so many different ways."
  • Tiresias the blind prophet, whose many terrible visions came to pass. As a shade, he finally offered
    prophecy to Odysseus that helped him overcome the challenges before him.
  • Circe
  • Cassandra and Clytemnestra


Gods I'd like to see:

  • Eros - not the cutesy little bastard from Valentine's day, but the somewhat rehabilitated Titan/deity from an earlier pantheon.
  • Ares court of immortals: Discordia, Phobos and Deimos
  • Hesphateus
  • Dionysius
  • Hades court with Hecate, Persephone, Plutus (though he may have moved to Mercury), Thanatos, Hypnos, Morpheus, Cer, Moros and Oneroi
  • Pan

Monsters I'd like to see:

  • Medusa and her gorgon sisters
  • Pegasi
  • Harpies
  • Cyclops
  • Giants - lots of them and as monstrous as they're portrayed in myth. Examples include Gegenees (6 armed giants), Geryon with 3 bodies joined at the waist
  • Cerberus
  • Chimera
  • Orion - perhaps as the champion of Luna
  • Sparti - the dragon teeth men
  • Myrmidons - one of Zeus' early experiments preceding humanity
  • Empusae - Greek vampires
  • Typhon - giant winged monster with 100 heads
  • Minotaur (or descendants)
  • Nymphs
  • Satyrs
  • Centaurs
  • Sirens

Yeah, I know. I ask for the sun, the moon and the stars. But I figured it wouldn't hurt and it might give Matt some ideas.
Bowden "Trey" Palmer | trey DOT palmer AT Golf Mike Alpha India Lima DOT Charlie Oscar Mike
Exos integro, sugiliato curatio, y femellas amo cicatrix.


One more thought: I would really like to see the idea of lots of little islands in the sky, or worldlets, in the 9W setting. And maybe even a sample of one as it fits very well with Greek mythology with the islands holding the monsters, witches and godlets being interesting stopping places in the Odyssey.
Bowden "Trey" Palmer | trey DOT palmer AT Golf Mike Alpha India Lima DOT Charlie Oscar Mike
Exos integro, sugiliato curatio, y femellas amo cicatrix.


One thing I bet Matt already knows and is accounting for but should be mentioned for the fruitfulness of this thread:

Is to be very wary of Over the Edge syndrome.  There were TONS of really cool really exiting things created in play by the play testers of OtE in what was perhaps one of the craziest campaigns of all time.  Then they made the fateful decision to take all of that stuff which had been the fruit of proactive, collaborative, creative, brainstorming during play and write it into the setting material.

Yuck.  What had been proactive-collaborative-creative-brainstorming instantly turned into reactive-unilateral-canonized-upchucking.  Horrible.

There is so much potential for proactive, collaborative, creative, brainstorming in 9W (look at some of Rons Actual Play threads) that the LAST thing we'd want is to see all of these really cool ideas listed in this thread become actual part of 9W canon.  Much better to sock those ideas away and create them yourself for your own vision.

What 9W needs (and Matt, what I recommend you takeaway from these lists of suggestions) is samples of how to define each of these types of things as effective "characters" mechanically.  For instance I wouldn't provide all of the gods as NPCs.  Rather I'd pick a god, look that god up in, say, an Edith Hamilton book and include a brief essay on the nature of the god according to Edith Hamilton.  Then, starting with that as a concept, illustrate how to build the god in 9W including how to capture key god like features as Muses and modify Hamilton to the 9W cosmology.  Then, if you're feeling particularly ambitious) I'd do it all over again for the exact same god saying something like "perhaps you prefer Bernard Evslins version of Hades instead" and show how subtle differences in source material and concept can be captured to make a different character in 9W.

Then GMs can make any and all of the gods they want based on their own favorite interpretations using fairly consistant standards of how to design a god effectively.

Same for "monsters" and artifacts like Pandora's Box.  Pandora's Box as a character is an awesome idea...but what's needed is a "how to create an item of power as a character" section (perhaps using the box as an illustration, or the fleece, or Apollo's chariot, or whatever) not a list of magic items.

That's my take anyway.