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Author Topic: Mu's Bed  (Read 14517 times)
Judd
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« on: September 17, 2002, 09:20:12 PM »

I am tinkering with an e-mail to send the players in a possibly forming Sorcerer & Sword game.

Here's the first draft with comments below:

Mu's Bed is the capital city of Lemuria, seething in the red sand wastes like a pregnant beetle.  When Lemur and Mu fought the giant Mu fell and this city was built on his body.  Most take this tale as only a metaphor.  Fools.

Lemuria is ruled by the Witch-King and his consorts.  Whores though his consorts may be, they are all powerful warlocks and witches who owe their power, their place in the world and their petty baronies to the King's cunning.

To the east is Hy-Brasil with its self-righteous Warrior-Priests, all wanting the Witch-King's head on a pole for the sarcors to feast on his eyes.

To the west is Atlantis, wallowing in arcane decadence, unknowing or uncaring that a heartless fiend sits on the throne of Lemuria and is handing out noble titles to anyone who can entice the King's passions or summon a demon strong enough to hold a parcel of land.

Arcadia to the north is a land always in twilight and even the most powerful spirits refuse to speak of it or travel too close.

The south is just the wastes, as far as a man can travel, red dunes with the occasional obsidian monuments to dead, forgotten cultures.

Gray-skinned slaves toil and die, dragging monolithic blocks through the wastes so that Mu's Bed will one day be surrounded by great ebon pyramids.

Stygia is known in Lemuria and throughout the world as a haunted, blood-soaked city borough with a history of ill-fated Devil Pacts and daggerpoint betrayals.  It is said that in the streets of Stygia the Witch-King himself learned his Dark Arts and gained his ruthless philosophies.  

Stygia, you poor bastard, is where you were born.  You got out but damn you to Nine Hells and back, now you've returned.



I am unsure if I am going to run them as having returned to Stygia or run them as children growing up in an area where the Coven that the Witch-king was born into was levelled years and years ago.  It would be neat to see kids growing up in a swords and sorcery city like this.

I am unsure of where I want to go but have some ideas as to Demons.


Demons are ghosts of dead things.  They can be Dead Gods or Dead people or even Dead ideas.

This land, this planet is Mars ages and ages ago and the Gray slaves are grays, like the aliens, and they've been brought over  from Earth...

I am going to finish reading the Sorcerer books and then post some more.

Thanks to my buddy, Witt, for naming Mu's Bed for me.
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Judd
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2002, 04:42:06 AM »

Vague Character Concepts:


Bride or Groom of the Witch-King:

When you were still but a babe in the back-alleys of Stygia the King laid his eyes upon you.  Since then you have been followed by one of his guardian mummies, wrapped in dyed black taural-beast straps, smelling of embalming fluids.  

It is a blood-thirsty spirit that wards you and murderers whoever might mar your flesh and drink too deeply of its pleasures, so that the Witch-King will find no challenge to your hand.


Dragon-Rider of the Southern Wastes:

After leaving the Stygian borough in Mu's Bed you wandered with a tribe, scavenging what there was to be had from the scattered ruins and broken oasis of the Southern Wastes.

It was you who stumbled on the graveyard to a race of Thunder Lizards and you who road their ghost and tamed it.

Now it is your steed, bound to you and saddled but it has terrible spite and even more terrible hunger.


Warlock or Witch's Apprentice:

All of the children whispered of the Stygian Coven that once inhabited your home borough.  Parents told you that if you weren't a good child they would come for you in your sleep.  Most kids were scared but you were intrigued.

Your mentor found you poking around the last remaining broken Stygian guard-tower with a scrap of arcane nonsense you had purchased for a sooth-sayer/beggar.

He/She trained you and trains you still for a price and since that day with a scrap of magic in your hand you have found one of the ghosts of the Coven and now it is yours...or you are his and the spirit whispers about your master and the dark deeds you must do upon him/her in order to graduate from apprentice to journeyman.



Hy-Brasilian Spy:

Anywhere but Stygian you muttered, anywhere but Mu's Bed and off you went into the wastes.  Hy-Brasil found you with their strange gods, warrior-fanatics and their damsel messiah.  They tried to brainwash you and say that the Witch King was the reason for all of your woes.  You tried to tell them what it was like before his arrival, the ghouls wandering the streets and all manners of spirits drinking the populace dry.

In the end you convinced them that they had wiped your mind to their way of thinking.  You were trained as a terrible assassin with a cunning, thirsty dagger made to kill Witches and Warlocks.  They sent you home to do your duty and meet your destiny but you aren't sure if your fate is the same as they had demand.  The dagger thirsts and whines.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2002, 06:09:12 AM »

Whoa. Great friggin' setting - it has Gardner F. Fox written all over it.

Paka, run, don't walk, to the screen and email this stuff to your friends.

But one point: what are you doing, making character concepts?? That's their job. Sorc & Sword is pretty strict about letting the protagonism arise from the players, with the GM being primarily reactive even before play. The traditional notion that the players try to accomodate or "fit" the GM's plans during character creation is completely not appropriate if you're really going for the Sorc & Sword thing.

Best,
Ron
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Bailywolf
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2002, 06:10:13 AM »

This stuff is brilliant...

Can I contribute something?  

Ultima Thule perhaps to the north inhabited by a people mared by horrible physical deformity- the result of anchient and forbiden explorations of the sorceries of Science.  Thulians wear robes to hide their twised forms, and masks to conceal their twised faces.  Mirrors of any type are forbidden.  The surest mark of status in Thule is an unblemishes hand...or cheek...or leg displayed proudly and uncovered.  There has gorwn up an unholy marked in Thule for slaves of less warped races of man, and for their limbs- preserved alive with alchemical fluids and stimulated with electrical currents- as prized items of fashion.  The wealthiest and most powerful Thulians pay their Magi to preserve and graft he limbs of their slaves onto their very body- with the elctric current of eels, thread of deep spider silk, and astrounding skill the Magi remake their twised patrons... but the Flesh sometimes rememebers it origins, sometimes hungers for its past...


Here is a concept:

Thulian Warrior Courtier

Your body is a horror to look upon- your flesh warped like it were melted wax. But the lord you served was a wealthy man, a man of influence.  He was served by some of the finest Magi in creation, and when you earned his favor in the Judicial Arena fighitng over his legal claim agianst a rival, re rewarded you with admission to his inner retinue- but not before ordering his Magi to make you "more presentable".  

An especialy fine slave was chosen- a huge bull or a man from Strigia with a face like a stone-carbed angle- and over a week, his limbs and viscerea, tendons and muscle was grafted over your own knotted hewes and bone.  Finaly, his skin was sewn over this twitching muslce, and you were pumped full of the Tears of Life- the powerful alchemical solution which preserves life in any circumstanes.  

Now you can go uncovered- if you take pains with your garments to hide the stiching which holds "your" skin on- and you have the giant slave's strength and a redoubled vitality, and the skin turns blades like armor.  But when you dream, the shade of the slave comes to you, taunts you, derides you...and in you dreams, your form is always as it was- twisted, horrible- and every surface reflects.




And another



Prophet Host

When you were born, your father cried out in joy- 'his face!  look at his face!  A perfect umared face!"  But when the rest of you emerged from you mother's womb, he cried out in terror and fled the room.  You were not your father's only son born that day.  

Imbeded in your torso, intermindled with your flesh, was your brother.  A single withered arm emerged from your ribcage, beside a pulpy swolen head like a half-chewed turnip.  Its oddly clear eyes gazed around the room serenly even as you screamed you new lungs out while your mother cooed behind her mask.  The Brother simply watched.

Like a good Thulian, you kept your body swathed in heavy robes, but you showed your face proudly, and it earned you much favor from the wealthy who wished you to join their enterage.  You proved a passing good poet in the warped word puzles the Thulians love.  One your way to a reading one day, you were suddenly overwhelmed with terrible cramps in your abdomen, like someone were kicking their feet inside you.  You rished back home, and tore off your robes to see The Brother glaring up at your, hissing and drooling, fighitng to speak...."Dooooooonot gooooo....." he said, and you collapsed from the pain.  

That evening, the salon where you were to read burned to the ground.

The Brother's speech has improved, but its prophetic visions are no less painful for you to endure.  Your sibling has revealed other potencies in the years since his first words- it can stun a man with pure mental force, and it can see spirits and demons.  So you travel- your face allows you to deal almost normaly with outsiders- but keep The Brother hidden.  For all the years you have been together, sometimes when you gaze down at him you feel the creeping horror gnawing at the base of your spine.  The same horror which drove your father mad.


[/b]
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2002, 06:26:23 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Whoa. Great friggin' setting - it has Gardner F. Fox written all over it.

Paka, run, don't walk, to the screen and email this stuff to your friends.

But one point: what are you doing, making character concepts?? That's their job. Sorc & Sword is pretty strict about letting the protagonism arise from the players, with the GM being primarily reactive even before play. The traditional notion that the players try to accomodate or "fit" the GM's plans during character creation is completely not appropriate if you're really going for the Sorc & Sword thing.

Best,
Ron


The concepts are just there to give flavor and ideas, stir the pot a bit.  They are free to be changed, mangled and subverted or ignored completely in lieu of ideas of their own.  

Thanks, glad you dug 'em.  Sorry about the double post.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2002, 06:31:14 AM »

Hey,

I love the character concepts. However, in role-playing terms, unless your players are very different from the hundreds I have known, your character descriptions will not be perceived as "stir the pot" - they will be perceived as What to Do.

I recommend emailing only the setting description to your players, and then - for lack of a better word - subordinating your own notions for a bit, during PC creation, to theirs. Then during scenario prep, your own notions can re-surface for NPCs and situation-prep.

Best,
Ron
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2002, 06:36:59 PM »

Only e-mailed them the first part, not the character descriptions.  Agreed, have to give them mental space to find their niche in this odd, odd world

New ideas:

The Book of Mu


Maybe this is the red planet ten thousand years ago and maybe it is the red planet ten thousand years from now.  Could be Mars right now and scientists keep it a secret.

To everyone within the game it is only Marr’d, a red rock of terrible wonder.

Marr’d is a broken world that will not support its occupants and parasites that crawl along its back for much longer.  All of the cultures of this place are bent on getting off of this red rock into the heavens by magic, claw or even lost science.

Hy-Brasil -   The saying in Hy-Brasil is, “Only the righteous shall enter the heavens.”  Their damsel messiah will take the faithful with her when she leaves Marr’d behind for the sinners and fools who know no better.

Her gospel declares that she will take XXX with her when she ascends.

Atlantis - The Atlanteans do not suffer outlanders lightly.  No Atlantean blood has been spilled by a fellow Atlantean in 700 years.  Their gleaming spires and crystal staves are far from bloodless but they don’t count outlander blood as meaningful.

Gray slaves walk unchained on the city streets, happy to not be subjected to a master in the wastes or in Hy-Brasil despite the disturbing rumors that Atlantean thirst of Gray blood is almost insatiable.

Lemuria - The Witch-King has gathered armies by tooth and claw and holds them together by devil and spirit.  Lemurian opinion of their new King varies greatly with some seeing him as their own messiah and others seeing just as another blight from the waste.

Armies amass from all over Lemuria and word is out that war with the holy lands of Hy-Brasil or even a siege on pristine Atlantis isn’t far off in the future.

Arcadia - Mysterious northern lands that even the most bold of spirits won’t confront.  Some spirits won’t even converse with a Sorcerer who is facing northward.  It is said that Arcadian nobles, the Shyie, and their Shining Host, are the most brutal warriors alive.  

Kings, empresses, messiahs and lords all over Marr’d wonder why Arcadia makes no bids to get off of this red rock.  It is whispered by those who have tasted the wise skulls of Arcadian scientist-wizards that when the time comes for Sar to come down and do away with whatever is left on Marr’d the Atlanteans will stop their orgies for a moment, throw a switch and their entire continent will be tele-beamed into Urt and Lun’s gentle arms.

Pyramids - Cursed tombs, made on the backs of slaves, a gate off of Marr’d.  The spirits stored within Pyramids are used to navigate the clumsy, unreliable magick called science so that some of the Marr’dians will be able to leave for the heavens.

Hy-Brasil has the original pyramids created by the ancients with their navigation spirits called Farrows.

Atlantis’ pyramids are great objects made of crystal.

Lemuria is struggling to build pyramids of its own but the Lemurian generals look to several pyramids on the border of Hy-Brasil and Lemuria, hoping to take them by force and bind the Farrows with foul sorceries.

Arcadia has no known Pyramids and its denizens don’t seem concerned with their construction.  Mayhap the Arcadians have a saying or a rhyme concerning this but if they do they’ve not shared it with the likes of me.


Dragons  - Great spirits that are born from the remembrance of a race of thunder lizards who once roamed a world far from the red dunes of Marr’d.  It is said that the greater of their number can breathe hot dust and stars, forcing a foe to meet first-hand the magick that caused the lizards’ extinction.

The Gray Slaves - lithe, dwarf, asexual mutes who work without rest or question.  When they rarely do revolt is fast and brutal without sign or warning to their masters.  It is said that a group of Rogue Atlanteans bring a ship filled with them every 10,000 years and demand blood and souls for a healthy stock.

To be born half-Gray is to know a life without pleasure and a world without pity.  It is unknown how such creatures are made but they have been found.

Dymo, Phobos and Sar - Sar is the unforgiving father, glaring down on the red sands and making the oceans dry up so that the land is cruel and course.  Dymo and Phobos are his children, circling Marr’d in respect to their father whose light they shine, even at night.

It is said that their mother, Urt, was driven from the home by Father Sar when she tried to make Marr’d fertile.  When the blessed reach the heavens she will welcome them with open arms with her daughter, Lun, to welcome them.

(in modern terms, the Solar System is a great big disfunctional family along with a cold black sheep on the fringes named Plo)


Hook and Crook

Lemurian Campaigns:

players are leading a stealthy force that will infiltrate a set of pyramids in Hy-Brasil while the Lemurian army invades the Pyramids on the border

players know when and where the next slave shipment will land and will ambush it in order to steal the ship

players find a small village of free Grays who wish to stay free but their cruel masters will soon come with arms and fire to return them to slavery (think 7 Samurai but S&S)

players escore an Atlantean noble who wants to see the world before his head is ritually frozen for its trip to the heavens (a player is the noble)

players’ Demons are all former pyramid builders who were killed but they managed to leave a ritual that would summon and bind them so that they might take revenge

 a seemingly mad man, Nah, is taking his menagerie to show the Gods the beauty of their creations.  He says he has two of each and will take his ship, The Sixty Cubit Ark into the heavens, navigated by no Farrows but by the spirits of his three dead wives, buried in mounds around his house.

Players have a way off of Marr’d but others have heard of it and now they must defend and/or hide it away…or kill all who know of it.

Hy-Brasil Campaign:
a group of warrior-priests who have tortured one of the damsel messiah’s accountants and found that their regiment will not be sent to the heavens, now they are going renegade and taking as many Hy-Brasilians with them as they can
a group of missionaries going throughout the wastes in order to convert the wicked by word-play and steelcraft
you’ve stolen the sarcophagus of a Farrow and made for the Mariner’s Gash where your buyer awaits

Atlantean Campaign:

a conclave of young warrior-scientists adepts who have gone abroad to study the methods of the Hy-Brasilian and Lemurian pyramid engineers and to taste the forbidden pleasures of the low peoples
a group of warriors who have found a martial art that they believe is without peer and without imperfection.  They go against their sensei’s orders and leave the crystal spires of their dojo to test their skills in the wide world with their crystal weapons all with the greatest military minds in Atlantean history pressed onto their matrices.




What is Humanity?

Humanity is heroism, it is bravery and foolhardy risks and nobility in the face of extinction and damnation.  It is helping the helpless all the while trying to compete with the ruthless bastards and devils who are all trying to claw their way off of Marr’d’s red prison.  Humanity is the hard road but not always the high road.

Humanity is getting to the heavens will still being worthy of ascending to its gates.

What are Demons?

Demons are ghosts of dead things. They can be Dead Gods or Dead people or even Dead ideas.  Demons are found in the assassin’s daggers of Hy-Brasil and in the Pyramids all over Marr’d.  Demons called Farrows are a guiding factor in the known navigational techniques and they know this.  Farrows are sought after by the mighty but largely unknown by the meek.  

Ghosts are Demons and the ghost of a Lemurian warlock or witch or science-wizard of Atlantis are powerful bindings indeed.  Hy-Brasilian warrior-priests bind the souls of saints and prophets to them, gaining wisdom and aid from the damsel messiah’s chosen.

And some are such arcane and ancient ideas that they cannot even communicate what they are without driving their Sorcerer mad.

Demons are the damned road to power and ironically the only known way into the heavens.  As the Atlanteans say, “Funny as it is that the only key to the gates of heaven is held in the hands of the devil’s own children.”

Mu’s Bed

Mu’s Bed is a hodge podge of desert cultures from the Red Waste, witches and warlocks hoping from a crumb from the Witch-King’s plate and Lemurian peasant-folk who no longer wish to be subjected to the harsh law of the waste.  Any number of languages and songs can be heard on its streets as nomads barter water stolen from a shallow oasis hundreds of glares away and seers offer to read your sands for only a few coins.

Like all of Lemuria annd all of Marr’d, Mu’s Bed has an air of desperation that is difficult to shake in such high concentrations.
 
The Red Wastes

Clicks and clicks in all directions of dunes and wind.  Sometimes a storm will come out of the wastes that will last a month and sometimes it will be as quiet as a forgotten graveyard.  Tombs of black stone and even forgotten fortresses hewed from slumbering volcanoes are uncovered with a storm’s rough hand or a trick of fate.  A Sorcerer’s fortune can be made or broken by trekking out into the waste and finding a lost Demon, hungry for a Binding.

For every man or woman who marches triumphantly out of the Red Waste with gray slaves carrying their palanquin through the Hanged Broadway into the Witch-King’s Lair-Keep are a hundred whose skulls decorate the dunes, leaving a bone-grin warning to would-be adventurers.

As Lemurians say, “Go north for suicide, east for a fight and west for rejection but go south for adventure.”

Next time on Mu's Bed:

Gape! into the maelstrom void that is Mariner's Gash

Charge! into Olymon, a volcanic temple of technology and evil

Cringe! as the hordes of waste tribes come under Sar's glare.

Next time...
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Judd
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2002, 03:37:34 AM »

Nowadays when I make up a world I've been trying to base it, no matter how roughly on something non-fictional so that I'm forced to study something odd and off-center.  It also helps to draw inspiration from some other source.

If this were a series of books called the Witch King Saga, Daggers of Hy-Brasil or the Chronicles of Lemuria's Last Days this would be the beginning quote:

"Cold winds blow down lonely canyon floors on Mars; morning mists form in craters and valleys; clouds condense over high volcanic mountains;  Olympus Mons considers a future eruption of lava;  landslides break loose and rumble down hillsides, leaving enormous scars like the scratchings of some Titan;  polar fogs sweep across vast vistas of dunes;  the sun rises out of the dusty eastern horizon and sets in the west every twenty-four hours.  All these events are happening now, even though no one is there to witness them.  Mars is patiently awaiting our next visit."

          - "The Grand Tour:  A Traveler's Guide to the Solar System" by Ron Miller & William K. Hartman



Thought that was mighty purty indeed.
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Bailywolf
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2002, 04:22:15 AM »

HEY!  If you write this up and package it, I'd pay for the finished version.  This setting really grabs me.  Please keep the details coming.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2002, 07:41:29 AM »

Hi there,

Yeah, this is great stuff. I recommend checking out the games Epiphany (BTRC Publishing), Tales of the Carnelian Coast, and Zenobia (the latter two are in the Forge Resource Library) for some more inspiration. But you can't beat the old literature, like Howard's Kull stories or Edgar Rice Burroughs' At the Earth's Core.

Best,
Ron
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2002, 03:39:57 PM »

Sometimes at lunch I get to take out the ole laptop and do some tap-tapping away:

Tribes of the Waste

The tribes that come out of the waste are so varied and many that it has been speculated the wastes are littered with gates to various worlds all vomiting forth their worst unto the bloody dunes of Marr’d.  

Some are bedraggled and starving, taking a village for food and slaves so that they might live.  Others claim to be vanguards of great empires whose supporting armies are to be forthcoming, bearing their god-emperor on an iron palanquin.

The lords and ladies of Lemuria, Hy-Brasil and even a few Atlanteans live in no small amount of fear that one of these would-be conquerors will charge out of the sands and turn the rulers into slaves and the slaves into rulers.  The northern portions of the Waste are riddled with secret forts and keeps of the greater kingdoms so that if such an army were to come the Darwinian Council of Atlantis, the Damsel Messiah of Hy-Brasil and the Witch-King will be notified and have time to rally their forces.

So far no such invaders have come.

There are a few who have made a name for themselves and have not melted into the sands or found their entire tribe a place in the many shallow, makeshift graveyards that are all too abundant.  These tribes know the oasis, the rare shaded havens and the even rarer villages that mark the Waste’s always changing face.

The Free Venuse are a tribe of fierce Gray and half-Gray revolutionaries who are the rallying point for any slave revolt.  They marshal their forces and await the return of the next slave ship, wishing to return the slave-traders’ hospitality.

The Archegists are devouted to uncovering the many cities whose sky scraping domes and obelisks now have roofs under the desert floor.  Their rare dedication to history, philosophy and sciences has not made this tribe soft.  Generations of traveling the unforgiving wastes has hardened them into a brutal force who do not tolerate anyone in their way of a new discovery.

Tribes who worship beasts, demons, demon-beasts, men, women, moons, suns, planets and stars are all to be found in the Wastes.  Demons are dead things and it is said that the Southern Wastes are where they are often born; it is where all things go when they are dead and the path they take when they wish to return.


Mariner’s Gash

The gash is so long that when one end is still cool with night air the other end is suffering under the glare of Sar.  Clouds float within that have never seen the sky but only the Gash’s embrace.  It is so deep that one would surely die of shock and fright before ever hitting the bottom, if the inhabitants of the gash would allow such a corpse to even hit the ground.

The winds within this canyon, an axe scar from when Mu and Lemur fought,  are shreaking banshees moving impossibly fast.  Sometimes a victim of the canyon will be spit out years after having fallen to their death.


Brides and Grooms of the Witch-King and their Guardian Mummies:  

Often chosen when they are still babes by the King himself, these power-mad concubines lead politically charged lives as they attempt to curry favor of the Witch-King.  There are brides and grooms of all kinds, all sizes and temperaments.  Although spies from other kingdoms have tried to send star-eyed assassins to woo him, their subterfuge always comes to no blood but the black glass stuck in their hands when they are crucified in one of the city squares.

The Brides and Grooms are all bound with a Guardian Mummy, a vicious demon that wards them in times of trouble and kills any lovers or paramours they take.  It is the mummy’s job to keep them safe from harm but the truth is they have such a deep love of violence and pain that  in their black hearts, kept deep in the Witch-King’s vaults, they want trouble and want them to take concubines who are by Witch Law not allowed to live.  

The most desperate and important rule of the Witch-King’s Brides and Grooms  is that they can never sleep together.  Those that do will face the wrath of their Guardian-Mummies and discover that these warders really do take pleasure in the pain they cause.  

Riders of the Southern Wastes and their Dragonsteeds:  
Despite years of elders, brothers and shaman telling them that the caves where the thunder lizards were entombed are terrible and haunted places or maybe because of such warnings they strode in and bound a powerful spirit.  Dragons are the memory of a long extinct race of creatures so powerful they were killed by the jealous stars.  Think of what kind of person would display such daring and think of what kind of person could bring the angry spirit of such creatures under their heel.  These are the most glorious fools of the waste.

Dragons are tempermental creatures, capable of allowing its rider to travel far and wide, defeat great enemies and unite many tribes under them if they choose.  Some are lumbering, great horned juggernauts and others are lithe winged beasts.  Others are quick with taloned feet sharper than steel.  It is unknown if Dragons can change shape between these incarnations or if they take shape based on their binder’s personality.    

Hy-Brasilian Assassin:  

Through chemical torture, sleep deprivation and religious rites these knife-wielding zealots are born, only to be feared throughout the lands of Marr’d.  Even the warrior-priests of the damsel messiah are in awe and disgust at their fanatically blind faith to her every wish.

Dragons  - Great spirits that are born from the remembrance of a race of thunder lizards who once roamed a world far from the red dunes of Marr’d.  It is said that the greater of their number can breathe hot dust and stars, forcing a foe to meet first-hand the magick that caused the lizards’ extinction.

Example Dragon:

Type:  Dragon,  Desire:  Destruction,  Need:  Feed on human flesh  
Stamina:  8,  Will:  6, Lore: 3, Power: 6

Telltale:  Its form is that one of one the extinct thunder lizards
Abilities:  Special Damage: Claws, Fangs and on special occasions, breath weapon, Command: Lizards, Armor: varies, Transport: varies

[/b]
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Judd
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2002, 01:20:14 AM »

Began to make up characters tonight which has spawned a question about Kickers that perhaps should be its own thread.  Came up with some rough ideas that are developing.

They read a slightly edited version of everything I've posted here.  One of the gamers asked me of the goal of this campaign was to get off of Marr'd.  I asked him not to think in those terms but to think as if we were just making a kick-ass story.

If you want to run a character whose destiny is to be the last king of Marr'd as the human civilization comes to a extinction, that would be awesome.

I explained that the crap I had written was just that...crap and wasn't the entire width and breadth of Marr'd by a long shot.  They should feel comfortable making something entirely new up and both of them did.

Interesting thing was we had just gotten done playing in a Rifts game that one of the players from this game is running and the change in systems is so drastic it was whiplash funny.

The first character is going to be a samurai-type from a pseudo-Japanese empire from beyond the Mariner's Gash.  His Demon is a still power-hungry ancestor who inhabits his sword/katanna thing.

The second character is an odd Merlin-esque character.  When the rest of the world is looking to flee Marr'd, he wants to heal it and bring it back from its dying state.  He is a kind of undead druid who committed suicide and was brought back to unlife by the spirit of the dying planet.

He is looking for the prophecied baby who will wield some weapon and bring the planet back from the brink of destruction.

The planet's hungry, angry ghost is his Demon.

The samurai character comes from a continents spanning pseudo-Japanese empire.  Due to his overly-ambitious choices in sword-ancestors he has been sent north on this mission to Hy-Brasil, Lemuria, Atlantis and Arcadia.  He is to tell the rulers on all of Marr'd, all 666 of them, that the Emperor is coming and they may surrender now if they wish.

I am thinking that he has a scroll with all of the rulers' names on them for him to contact.

It is a mission meant to kill him.

The quasi-Merlin's people are a vassal state in the Japanese kingdom.

They liked that all of the kingdoms around here are thinking of leaving the planet while they are just interested in saving and conquering it.

One or maybe two more characters are left to make.  We'll see.  Two would be kinda perfect.

We all really loved the idea of the kicker.  The players dug it.  The samurai guy wanted his to be that he arrives in Mu's Bed to deliver his message to the Witch King as an ambassador when guards are sent in to kill him for his impudence.

He likened it to the opening scene of *shudder* Phantom Menace.


Questions:

1) When running more than one person what does one do with more than one kicker or are we meant to only have one and kind of rotate who comes up with the kicker each game?

2) When making up the Demon how do we ascertain how many starting points a Demon starts with or is it purely up to the DM?  I couldn't find that info but it was quite late by the time I was looking for it.

3) When running a culture very-much based on Japan but not Japan should I use the terms Samurai and Shogun and Katanna?  I think I will.

4) Any ideas on Demon Design are helpful

It is late and I am tired.



Next Friday we game this thing...
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2002, 05:46:46 AM »

Hi Paka,

"The planet's hungry, angry ghost is his Demon."

.... gasp. Not much else to say.

1) When running more than one person what does one do with more than one kicker or are we meant to only have one and kind of rotate who comes up with the kicker each game?

One Kicker per character, all the time.

2) When making up the Demon how do we ascertain how many starting points a Demon starts with or is it purely up to the DM? I couldn't find that info but it was quite late by the time I was looking for it.

Heh. "Starting points ..." "... up to the DM ..." Nothing like that. The player decides which and how many abilities the demon is to have, and once you have that, the rest of the numbers work from there. No "points," and the GM cannot set limits.

3) When running a culture very-much based on Japan but not Japan should I use the terms Samurai and Shogun and Katanna? I think I will.

Your call, obviously.

4) Any ideas on Demon Design are helpful

Yeah, but demon design is strictly a function of the group conception of the setting and (in the case of the PCs' demons) what the players want to do.

A couple rules-points, though, include these: (a) demon Power and Will are its highest scores, and typically they are the same value; (b) Stamina and Lore are typically one point less than that value, and typically they are the same.

A typical demon design is therefore Stamina X, Will X + 1, Lore X, and Power X + 1, with X abilities. There are many reasons not to stick with this, but Stamina or Lore cannot exceed Will.

The other point is that the demon abilities can be combined in subtle ways; they are not as isolated from one another as many "powers" in modern games are. For instance, one can walk through another person's dreams using demon abilities, using Perception, Travel, and possibly Warp and Protection. Or one could do all of the funky stuff during the final fight scene in The Matrix, using a different set. In other words, think in terms of interpretations and combinations.

Best,
Ron
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Judd
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2002, 06:28:52 AM »

Thank you for the wonderfully detailed response especially to an e-mail written when I was exhausted and half-awake, thinking out loud half of the  time.

Kickers, kickers, kickers.  So, the first character's kicker is something like, "I arrive in the Witch-King's Keep and tell his seneschal that I am here on behalf of the Celestial Emperor to inform his lordship and witch-ship that our star-kissed army will be at his walls within a year and he may surrender now to me if he has honor.  The seneschal, noticing the signs, knows that we command spirits.  After he leaves, decides that we must die horrible deaths on behalf of his leige..."

So, the other character ALSO has a kicker of his own even though he was traveling with this character?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2002, 06:37:11 AM »

Hi Paka,

The first Kicker you describe needs to stop with the word "honor." Everything after that is starting to play before you play.

Yes, the other character needs a whole Kicker of his own, which may or may not have a friggin' thing to do with the first guy's.

This is why prepping back-story is crucial to Sorcerer, but prepping in-play story is not functional.

Best,
Ron
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