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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 72 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Recommended: Artesia  (Read 6203 times)
Old_Scratch
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Posts: 128


« on: December 22, 2005, 01:37:20 PM »

After seeing mention of this for a couple of years, I finally got around to buying Artesia. This is a comic book series with a gradual graphic novel release that follows the adventures of a Warrior-Priestess named Artesia who seems fated to dark and terrible deeds.

http://www.artesiaonline.com/index.html

Whoa! This is almost by the numbers Sorcerer (in particular, Sorcerer & Sword). I think this is a great inspiration, particularly for those into Sword & Sorcery. It does have a recent rpg release, but this setting seems perfect for Sorcerer. A very complex book and cosmology, but there's a lot of Sorcerer-like Material:

Demons: Yup. Inconspicuous Demons. Object Demons. Passer Demons. You've got gods and goddesses, Angelic beings, nature spirits, totem spirits... Fire Spirits, Valkyries.

Rituals: Binding, Contains, Summons, Banishment, Punishment. We see Artesia bind the ghosts of her dead friends, we see summonings and the use of Demon abilities.

Lore: Used to note telltales and Marks in other Sorcerers as well as note the presence of Demons.

Old Ones: The Black Hunter of the Wild Hunt

Pagan Things: The Spirit in the fountain

Beast: The Black Wolf that Bran hunted down.

Undead: Hathaz Ghuls

Ghosts: Tons of Ghosts in this series, Necromancy seems to play a pretty heavy role.

Liches: Sounds like the Worm Kings are liches.

Necromancy: We have the making of Tokens, including the Lichdom and Tokenization of Artesia's ex-lover, ex-lord, and betrayers, Bran, whose head she chops off and keeps alive. We have the sacrifice of prisoners of war to spirit-guard an entire city's walls, that sounds like a pretty heavy Token.

This is highly recommended as a resource. There were however two or things in the series that got me wondering how you could adapt them into Sorcerer & Sword:

Terrible Oaths
This happens a lot in fantasy, the author makes an Oath that is supernatural in origin. How could you pull this off in Sorcerer? Make up the Oath as a sort of demon? Merely roleplay it out?

Runes
In Artesia, runes are important, as are magical blades. Runes figure heavily throughout magic in this, and runes are a part of an army's defense. How could you use runes? There more commonplace than sorcery, so I wouldn't want to use them as rituals, but instead, might simply give the person with more runes a simple +1 bonus die as if they had a superior weapon. The number of Runes isn't important, its simply rune superiority.

Global or Regional Effects
A Black Sun appears and seems to affect everything. It also reminded me a little of Lee's The Storm Lord. What happens when region-wide biological or magical events happen: the cycle of the moon or seasons. Could this function as simply a temporary price to certain actions: +1 to rituals at night, -1 to Will tests involving the opposite sex, etc... etc...

How would you adapt these three things? And has anyone else read this series? Has there been any previous discussion about this series here? I searched but didn't see anything...

--==--
Garett
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2005, 03:13:44 PM »

I read it too.

I had issues with the protagonist's lack of pants but other than that it was pretty damned cool.

And yes, the summonings and bindings are really right on the table.
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angelfromanotherpin
Member

Posts: 132


« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2005, 03:19:51 PM »

I've not read Artesia, but here's my two cents.

Terrible Oaths
This happens a lot in fantasy, the author makes an Oath that is supernatural in origin. How could you pull this off in Sorcerer? Make up the Oath as a sort of demon? Merely roleplay it out?

If it's sufficiently Humanity-challenging and in-theme, you could use a Demon for it, but I think the Price-raising rules on pg 69 of &Sword are meant to cover this sort of thing.


Quote
RunesIn Artesia, runes are important, as are magical blades. Runes figure heavily throughout magic in this, and runes are a part of an army's defense. How could you use runes? There more commonplace than sorcery, so I wouldn't want to use them as rituals, but instead, might simply give the person with more runes a simple +1 bonus die as if they had a superior weapon. The number of Runes isn't important, its simply rune superiority.

Runes are basis for roleplaying bonuses.  Describe the sharp angles and sickly red light of your Rune of Eternal Hate as it feeds on and into your enmity for your foe, or whatever.  I guarantee that when the Runes aren't cool-looking, the people using them have no benefit.


Quote
Global or Regional EffectsA Black Sun appears and seems to affect everything. It also reminded me a little of Lee's The Storm Lord. What happens when region-wide biological or magical events happen: the cycle of the moon or seasons. Could this function as simply a temporary price to certain actions: +1 to rituals at night, -1 to Will tests involving the opposite sex, etc... etc...

Sounds like a temporary subsumption into a Mystic Otherworld.  Or the Black Sun is a Demon so mighty its abilities target a whole region.  Or it's mutually-agreed caveat.  So much depends on your world and premise for this sort of thing.
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-My real name is Jules

"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"
Old_Scratch
Member

Posts: 128


« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2005, 03:55:39 PM »

I've not read Artesia, but here's my two cents.

If it's sufficiently Humanity-challenging and in-theme, you could use a Demon for it, but I think the Price-raising rules on pg 69 of &Sword are meant to cover this sort of thing.

Yes, I suppose you could use a Demon for it:

Demon: Blood of the Dragon
Type: Inconspicuous
Telltale: Spitting Image of the Dead King
Desire: Power
Need: Displays of Submission
Abilities: Cover - Rightful King, Boost: Will.

But yeah, I would think for those that aren't nearly as important, yeah, the "goal" oriented Price is perfect. I'm constantly amazed at how adaptable this system is to the genre. I'm surpised how often I'm reading (or watching) something and suddenly think of the scene in Sorcerer terms ("Whoa! He just blew that Binding roll!")


Quote
Runes are basis for roleplaying bonuses.  Describe the sharp angles and sickly red light of your Rune of Eternal Hate as it feeds on and into your enmity for your foe, or whatever.  I guarantee that when the Runes aren't cool-looking, the people using them have no benefit.

I can agree with this. I'd suggest that this isn't the way it necessarily works in Artesia, but I'm more interested in adapting these ideas beyond a slavish adherence to the source material. For role playing it certainly is more impressive to have the "cool description" bonus going rather than a typical +1 for a magical widget.

I also forgot the Mystical Otherworld. Artesia's got that as well, known as... the Otherworld.

And Paka: she seems to be wearing trousers in the second and third Books of Doom. Although, it could be argued, that she is naked and having orgies far more frequently than she is clothed. I probably should mention that this book has a lot of nudity and sex, tons of it, most of it with multiple partners and pretty graphic. Part of it is ritualistic in origin and ofttimes her ghosts are there lurking about as their Need is the experience sensual gratification. I think that it could also be a good reference for Sex & Sorcery.
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Judd
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2005, 05:56:23 PM »

And Paka: she seems to be wearing trousers in the second and third Books of Doom. Although, it could be argued, that she is naked and having orgies far more frequently than she is clothed. I probably should mention that this book has a lot of nudity and sex, tons of it, most of it with multiple partners and pretty graphic. Part of it is ritualistic in origin and ofttimes her ghosts are there lurking about as their Need is the experience sensual gratification. I think that it could also be a good reference for Sex & Sorcery.

I noticed the trousers in the second and third book and could not help but notice the fucking.  She'd fuck both Fafrd and the Grey Mouser and sneak away to be with Conan until the sun came up.  Rock on, I say.

 
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Yokiboy
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2005, 02:45:04 AM »

Hello,

I keep hearing good things about Artesia, but now I must pick it up. I love Jules ideas, it really shows how adaptable Sorcerer is.

Using Price-raising and Demons for oaths is very neat idea, but my favorite is using runes to get RP bonuses. I am saving this thread, and will use it to power a future & Sword game.

TTFN,

Yoki
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Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2006, 12:03:50 PM »

The Artesia RPG is out. It looks gorgeous and well worth buying for the background material and maps alone. I can always use the Sorcerer system instead of Fuzion, and I agree the setting begs for it.

-Lisa
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Valamir
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2006, 01:04:56 PM »

The Artesia RPG is probably the single best looking traditional RPG hardcover I've ever seen.  From what I can tell it falls under the Indie guidelines since it appears that it is published by the artist himself.

Unfortuneatly the game with its very promising setting is melded to the truly heinous and unbearably crunchy-for-no-good reason Fuzion system...gag...too bad he hadn't encountered any real games.  Sorcerer & Sword or Riddle of Steel would have done the setting justice...Fuzion (as always) is just an enormously fugly anchor.

However, the game does have (in true heartbreaker fashion) the redeeming feature of a VERY cool character advancement system.

Part of the innate mysticism of the setting is the settings own Tarot (not being very Tarot-wise myself it looks pretty standard with a few twists and interpretations).  The Tarot is kind of like Artesia's version of Karma, the universe actually runs by these forces.  As such each Tarot card represents a particular path of advancement for the character.  Perform actions in line with the Tarot's Traits and earn points that can be spent on aspects of the character (attributes, skills, powerz, etc) tied to that Tarot.  So in order to get better at violent skills and powerz you have to earn points on the more violent oriented Tarot paths (which cards those are escape me at the moment) meaning performing actions tied to that Tarot...same for romantic powerz, leadership powerz, wisdom powerz etc.

The downside is I think this system plays much better on paper than it would in practice.  There is literally a seperate path with numerous ways to earn points for each major and minor arcana...which is a ton of things to keep track of "hey you just met the requirement for earning Hermit Tarot points"  I suspect keeping track of it would be an exercize in frustration.  How much better would Spiritual Attributes have worked...
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Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2006, 01:27:34 PM »

Hey, talk to the author -- he's apparently doing a d20 version of the game, so I'd guess he's not wedded to the Fuzion system. I'd love to see a much simpler rules system. Or, hm.... It's not simple, but Pendragon Artesia might have the right flavor.

-Lisa
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Brand_Robins
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Posts: 650


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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2006, 03:47:45 PM »

One of the great things about Artesia, especially the world as presented in the RPG, is that it has this hugely Runequest vibe.

Which means that its easy as pie to convert for Heroquest. Just take a penicl and paper and write down the cultural traits in the writeups, get into the things it says about which cultures and religions value what, and have at it.

Sorcerer is also, as noted, quite doable. Though with Sorcerer I'd have the players focus a little bit more on the aspects that get at them. The blood/sex/magic angle is all rife with possibilities for using the &Sword &Sex rules though, so yummy....
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- Brand Robins
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