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marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Cythereal posted:

I'm just imagining a Bretonnian going to a Kislevite theater about a romantic comedy and the steadily increasing WTF look on the Bret's face. Literal Arthurian Fantasy meets not-Russia.

A wedding between a Bret noble and a Kislevite that tries to be respectful to both cultures must be goddamn hilarious.

"Sir Gui knew it was true love when his errantry brought him to Sasha, but when the wedding day came he never expected her old paramour Ivan "the Tankard" to make an appearance. Now it'll take all his gallantry and the grace of the Lady to make it through the night, so he can make it to the altar."

edit: Naturally, this is all performed by Imperial actors doing fake accents.

marshmallow creep fucked around with this message at 15:52 on Sep 1, 2017

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Adventure seed: The party is invited to a Kislevite wedding by a grateful rescuee.

They are not told about local customs, and in the morning, the Slayer (or other PC of choice) is the last man standing.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Evil Mastermind posted:

It actually is hard for PCs to make real headway against the High Lords, partially because of the hoops you have to jump through, mainly because each High Lord's progress was dictated by metaplot.

Updates on the "official" status of the war were done through the monthly newsletter, which were summarized in three annual sourcebooks that got everyone caught up on who was doing what and where the steale boundaries had moved to. If you wanted to keep your game hewing to canon, then you had to go by the updates, not by what your group did.

Which, of course, brings us back to the central problem with metaplot: that it'll more than likely override what's going on in your individual game, rendering later information less and less useful.

So yes, the ideal way to play Torg is in a cold war style; concentrating more on keeping the bad guys from gaining territory or putting some plan into motion, maybe taking back a zone here or there when the opportunity presents itself.
I admit I didn't pay close attention to how stelae work, but the whole setup seems like it would create a neverending state of 18th century style limited war, but with the actual fighting being more like WWI--very hard for anyone to actually gain a patch of territory and keep it, and a tendency to fight over a hill or a tree just because it's the most visible point on the horizon.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Core Earth is a dominant zone by default shows up in the Delphi Council World Book. It's one of Core Earth's weird world laws. (Another being that core Earthers could start with a +6 in their tag skill)

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



marshmallow creep posted:

"Sir Gui knew it was true love when his errantry brought him to Sasha, but when the wedding day came he never expected her old paramour Ivan "the Tankard" to make an appearance. Now it'll take all his gallantry and the grace of the Lady to make it through the night, so he can make it to the altar."

Are you a refined enough dude to save this wedding?

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Mors Rattus posted:

Adventure seed: The party is invited to a Kislevite wedding by a grateful rescuee.

They are not told about local customs, and in the morning, the Slayer (or other PC of choice) is the last man standing.

Are there any notes on Kislevite divorce? I remember reading that in some point in Russian history if you got drafted for the army, they could hold a funeral for you and your wife was free to remarry, since you weren't likely to come back even if you lived. That adventure seed spinning off into "the only polite way to get out of this arrangement is to take on a certainly fatal mission" would be perfect for this reluctantly married Slayer.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




The tragedy! A slayer is already married to his death.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Also makes me wonder what happens if a woman is the last one standing.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




There's probably at least one village stubborn enough to hold a woman to the rule and sexual norms be damned.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Or how about they can't drink the stubborn dwarf under the table and so the intended groom is completely smashed and the rest of the party puts together some kind of last minute ridiculous pantomime, using ropes or acting like "kuroko" to hold the groom up and ventriloquist the words so he "technically" is standing for the ceremony.

edit: I think what we're all getting at is once they step out of "oh whoa is us for we have borne the wrath of Archeon!" this setting is rich with material to have fun with. I remembered recently that I saw some of these books out in the wild while I was in college and blew them off as obnoxiously grim dark wankery, and I kind of regret that now, at least with books like this.

marshmallow creep fucked around with this message at 16:29 on Sep 1, 2017

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

There's probably at least one village stubborn enough to hold a woman to the rule and sexual norms be damned.

Or it's a Bretonnian knight who's a woman pretending to be a man and is ignorant of this local custom when she's invited to what sounds like a celebratory drinking fest.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


marshmallow creep posted:

edit: I think what we're all getting at is once they step out of "oh whoa is us for we have borne the wrath of Archeon!" this setting is rich with material to have fun with. I remembered recently that I saw some of these books out in the wild while I was in college and blew them off as obnoxiously grim dark wankery, and I kind of regret that now, at least with books like this.

Ironically, I only picked them up because I was really enjoying the newly released Dark Heresy at the time and a friend who owned a game store had a bunch of them that someone had traded in for store credit that he was trying to dump. So I bought them for a song since another friend loved his Skaven army and I thought it might be fun to see the Fantasy side of things some time.

DH was the game that got me my long-time gaming group, so I will always remember it a little fondly for that, even as I've come to despise 40k.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




marshmallow creep posted:

edit: I think what we're all getting at is once they step out of "oh whoa is us for we have borne the wrath of Archeon!" this setting is rich with material to have fun with.

Going on the discussion that it's the destructive spiral of paranoia, persecution, and general ill-will that's empowering Chaos, I want a Warhammer campaign where the party disarms the forces of evil by getting the Old World to be excellent to each other. Chaos dries up, the Skaven turn into The Furry Stooges, Nagash is undone by Abbott and Costello style shenanigans, etc.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

My first brush with Warhammer was a gross-looking tome titled 'Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness'. This was around the time AD&D2E was coming out, and the Satanic Panic had instilled a kind of defensive Puritanism in me, so seeing something that both didn't fit with 3d6-down-the-line and seemed to glorify the kind of thing gaming was accused of was both baffling and scandalous.

I think that was the only Warhammer merch that store ever had too.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



One thing to keep in mind about Fantasy is that the people publishing and selling the books aren't the ones writing them. What's inside the covers is usually rather saner than what's on them.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Warhammer Fantasy: Realm of the Ice Queen

Kislev is the Land, and the Land is Kislev

The Eastern Oblast has seen a lot of hard times. It's true steppe land, bordering the river Lynsk and the World's Edge Mountains, and its northern portion contains the City of Praag. Praag is one of the major gateways to the far east, an end-point for caravans from far across the Darklands and distant Cathay. This means that the Eastern Oblast and the city of Praag are one of the only places you can regularly find eastern goods in most of the Old World. Merchants brave the steppe to trade in Praag, despite the terrible damage done to the city 200 years ago. Raiders from the great Eastern Steppe pour across the border, and attackers from troll country come from the northwest. The people of this land are hardened and ready to defend themselves, but still relatively settled due to the presence of Praag and its trade. The Eastern Oblast is also unusual for having a large number of well-integrated Gospodar/Ungol settlements and a larger degree of intermarriage than the rest of the country.

Praag is the most important city in the Eastern Oblast, as Kislev is in the south, but all the cities get their own huge writeups later and will be covered in detail there. Suffice to say Praag rules and I am excited to get to it.

Sepuzky is a large town, the largest settled Ungol town in the country. It is one of the centers for the hags and Wise Women, and several very powerful mothers can be found there at any time. The horse archers raised in a settled town aren't quite up to the standards of those drawn from the more nomadic krugs, and so the town is considering switching to fielding lancers, which has traditionalists up in arms about 'Gospodar ways'. The hags often busy themselves up north, doing something secret in the hidden valleys of the Worlds' Edge Mountains, and no-one asks what they're up to. With so many powerful witches in the area, Sepuzky is a good place to send a young hag witch for training or to give a PC errands for the mysterious mystics.

Volksgrad is in trouble. It's a tall, fortified town that is the last stop before entering the passes of the World's Edge, and it's a vital link in the trade route between Praag and Cathay. However, it sent its soldiers off for the Storm of Chaos, and the unit and boyar were slaughtered to the man. This has left it lacking in defenses and with no actual local government, as the rotamaster, ataman, and boyar were all killed. The Tsarina is looking for a good agent (like your PCs) to either go there to find out who should be appointed to rule, or to be sent out and awarded a title as Boyar to re-establish order in this vital, constantly-being-attacked-by-orcs-and-worse walled town.

Urszebya is a sacred valley, dedicated to the Bear God Ursun. A large valley that looks like something huge took a bite out of the surrounding hills, they say the many standing stones are some of Ursun's teeth after he sampled the world and then lumbered off to sleep. It is also a sacred burial ground for many of Kislev's past heroes, including Tsar Boris. It was attacked by a powerful Kurgan High Zar, backed by a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth, with the intent of defiling this sacred land. He was destroyed by the Tsarina's magic, and the combined armies of the allied peoples routed his forces; many new heroes are buried here now, some of the Tilean and Imperial as well as Kislevite.

The Western Oblast is flat and devoid of forest or timber, though the southern parts of it are good for farming. The areas near the Sea of Claws see regular raids from Norsca, but also regular trade from all over the world, even from Ulthuan and the High Elves. It also has the warmest weather in Kislev, though the weather patterns from the sea can cause mighty blizzards without much warning and hail can ruin the harvests. The Western Oblast was hit hardest during the Storm, but is already eagerly rebuilding; Erengard's rebuilding is coming along quite a bit better than Middenheim down in the Empire. Archaon's haste meant he didn't take the time to thoroughly raze the lands behind him as Kul did, and so the damage is mostly physical. The buildings would be burned and valuables stolen, but if the people managed to flee they could often get away. Erengard makes Western Kislev surprisingly accepting of foreigners. While a southerner might be *familiar* with Imperial customs and government, for instance, they prefer to grumble about them. A westerner, on the other hand, will happily display the goods he managed to buy imported from Ulthuan, or take pride in having a Nuln-built musket.

Like Praag, Erengard and its glorious mess of reconstruction and fighting boat temples will be discussed in detail later.

Milkavala is an oddity. A little stanitsa notable only for a temple of Dazh that contained a genuine magical eternal flame, it was totally untouched during the Storm. The people don't know why Archaon's armies ignored them completely, especially as they were in the path of some of his forces. Whether it was the protection of Dazh, good luck, or whether someone in town is up to something might be up to your PCs to find.

Zavstra is a town directly on the border with the Empire, whose people are open and friendly to their neighbors, and who survived the worst of the war with only physical damage. As a result, they've taken in Imperial refugees from the damaged regions in the northern Empire and accepted their help rebuilding. Now, though, some Imperial nobles are saying perhaps Zavstra should be Imperial, with so many Imperials living there. This dispute is a nice place for more diplomatic PCs to intervene.

The Blight is a good place to send a Slayer. A dark and foetid swamp, this unnatural place has always bred monsters and dangers. But it's much worse now; many of the defeated Chaos raiders and monsters have retreated to the natural well of Dark Magic here, trying to take up residence while they plan how to fight their way home or do as much damage as they can before they die. PCs will be needed to put the last blow to these monsters before they cause even more damage in their death throes.

The Northern Oblast is the wildest land in Kislev, mostly inhabited by nomadic krugs wandering between the various stanitsas. It has no great city, and its people are mostly Ungol the same way the south is mostly Gospodar. Winter is harsh, raiders strike at it regularly from across Troll Country, monsters are deadly, and yet the people here live on, partly because someone absolutely has to patrol this region to warn the rest of the country when an incursion is on its way. This region has been sacked often, and the people here regard it as a sign of courage to assess situations clearly and know when you absolutely cannot win. Then, it is your duty to escape and warn others, so that real forces can be mustered to stop whatever burned down your home. The people here think of themselves as the defenders of the whole rest of the world, and they aren't wrong.

The North doesn't have many significant locations; everything here has been destroyed and rebuilt so often. The battlefields are haunted, though, and wandering the lands where great slaughters occurred can get you killed by evil ghosts. Zoishenk is the largest settlement still standing, a large cattle-herding stop that managed to hold off the worst of the raiders, and as such it is growing quickly as refugees and nomads begin to use it as a hub while they fix their own homes. In a few decades or a century, it may become a real city.

Troll Country marks the place where the north turns into the tundra, rather than the steppe. It is also infested with trolls. And other horrible things. The people living here are exclusively nomadic and take hospitality more seriously than any other Kislevite, because turning a traveler away will absolutely get the poor bastard killed from either the cold or the monsters. They are also the least trusting; you will generally be attended to carefully by gracious and heavily armed hosts who are watching your every move for signs of Chaos taint or ill intent. The few semi-settlements here are built around ancient landmarks and burial grounds from the past Scythian people, about whom very little is known. Many tainted tombs and awful places can be found here, set up by the Kurgan as they retreat from their latest raid (either successfully, with plunder, or having been defeated yet again); these make good dungeons for brave PCs to search for macguffins or gold in.

Next Time: The Great Cities.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Halloween Jack posted:

All I know about Dark Matter is that I used to get Dark Matter, Dark Conspiracy, and Conspiracy X confused.

Dark Conspiracy is hilarious in it handles it's supernatural and alien war in the shadows, both in gameplay and fluff text. Other "world of darkness" urban horror/sci-fi/fantasy handle it as some underground society out of view of normal people. In Dark Conspiracy, all that stuff is bubbling up leading to this "this is the way we live now" reaction. "You were an alien abductee who was experimented on and now have all these biomechanical implants? The 'I was a forced cyborg' support group meets on Wednesdays. Just avoid the roaming gangs of alleged vampires consuming the homeless population, they tend to hang around there"

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Young Freud posted:

Dark Conspiracy is hilarious in it handles it's supernatural and alien war in the shadows, both in gameplay and fluff text. Other "world of darkness" urban horror/sci-fi/fantasy handle it as some underground society out of view of normal people. In Dark Conspiracy, all that stuff is bubbling up leading to this "this is the way we live now" reaction. "You were an alien abductee who was experimented on and now have all these biomechanical implants? The 'I was a forced cyborg' support group meets on Wednesdays. Just avoid the roaming gangs of alleged vampires consuming the homeless population, they tend to hang around there"

That actually sounds like a refreshing take on urban fantasy as opposed to the usual 'We are all hidden from the masses of mortals despite there being so drat many and so drat many types of us all with superpowers having loud gunfights at all hours' stuff.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




marshmallow creep posted:

"Sir Gui knew it was true love when his errantry brought him to Sasha, but when the wedding day came he never expected her old paramour Ivan "the Tankard" to make an appearance. Now it'll take all his gallantry and the grace of the Lady to make it through the night, so he can make it to the altar."

edit: Naturally, this is all performed by Imperial actors doing fake accents.

nah, he just needs to find a ringer that can outdrink everyone else and will then take a dive in the 9th round because obviously the ringer doesn't want to get hitched.

you could even make the ringer into not-Dane Cook from good luck chuck so that having to partner with him is almost worse than just losing the contest

edit: oh poo poo or Charlie

"how are you still standing bro? those cupcakes were full of horse tranquilizers?"

*balancing on one foot with his eyes closed and karate chopping the air*
"i know how to handle my sedatives . . . "

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



Here's a brief overview of Agon, a competitive RPG.

Agon is a game where you play ancient Greek heroes completing quests given to them by the gods. You’re working together, but also competing in order to be the Best Hero ™ and ensure that your name echoes down the ages.
Agon translates as ‘struggle’ and this is reflected in the game mechanics – anything significant the heroes wish to achieve will require a die roll. Even resting requires a contest between the heroes to get full benefit.

Character creation
Character creation starts with your hero’s name – both their personal one, and their lineage. You may choose to be the child of a god, in which case your Name die (which is included in every roll) is larger, but your fate track starts half filled.

Next you pick your Heroic Trait – are you Wise-Eyed? Perhaps Fleet-footed? Or known as a Monster or Man slayer?

Then it’s time to assign scores to the 16 abilities; each starts with a d6, and you can raise one in a category to a d8 by reducing another in the same category to a d4. You also get two free dice to assign as you wish. No ability can start with a rating greater than 10.
Once your ability scores are decided it’s time to decide which god your character reveres above the rest; it is to this god that your character will dedicate sacrifices. Each god favours three Abilities, and it is these which are used when performing a sacrifice, so it’s a good idea to have at least a couple of them highly rated.

Then decide on your armour and weapons; you may have a Javelin or a Bow, pick three out of Sword, Shield, and Spear, and finally decide which (if any) items you want out of Helmet, Breastplate, and Greaves – each increases your armour die by a level, but inflicts a minor penalty on a type of Battle roll; e.g. Greaves cause a -1 penalty on positioning.

The final part of character creation are your Achievements; little vignettes that show off an instant in your heroes life and build up a starting web of Oaths with the other heroes.

Adventure creation and GM support
Agon quests are presented in blocks of three; the characters make landfall on an island, three gods make their wishes known. At the top level these quests take the form of $God requires you to do $action to $subject, for instance, Lord Hades requires you to save the Bronze Bull.
The primary objective of each quest will be solved by a Battle, but first the GM has to create some secondary objectives and their associated challenges for the characters to face. The expected outcome is that most if not all of the secondary objectives must be completed before the characters can face the primary challenge.

To aid the GM there are tables to provide an overview of the inhabitants of the island, what’s happening when the characters arrive, and what the gods want.

Once the quest is outlined, the GM builds any NPCs and obstacles using a pool of Strife, the amount of which is determined by the number of heroes and the number of secondary objectives in their quest. The GM gets additional strife points during play when the heroes stop to rest or suffer a significant setback. The advice is to spend half your strife on pre-game prep, and the other half during the game to create or toughen obstacles on the fly.

Mechanics
The basic roll in Agon is your Name die plus an ability die; the highest number rolled is the final result. If you want extra dice you can add other skills to the dice pool, which are then Impaired (reduced down a die-size) regardless of the result of the test, or you can call in Oaths for assistance. Divine Favour can also be spent to change the behaviour of the dice – adding more dice, allowing dice to explode, or allowing re-rolls.

Meta-currencies
One of the key mechanics and meta-game currency of Agon is the Oath – a favour owed to a hero by another, or by an NPC (mortal or God). You gain an oath from someone by assisting them un-asked, or by bargaining with them – the examples given mirror the actions that Oaths can be spent on, but more or less any agreed on action could be cause for the collection of an Oath. Oaths are spent to gain helping dice, make another hero heal you during an Interlude, or follow your instructions during the positioning phase of battle.

The other three meta currencies are Glory – experience; which is both experience and a measure of how remembered they are when they finally meet their fate; Fate – used to avoid damage and restore Impairment of abilities, Fate also ticks up automatically when you complete quests, get defeated or attempt to challenge the will of the Gods. The final meta-currency is Divine favour, which can be spent for varieties of rerolls, bonus dice, or having the gods bless your weapon.

Glory is gained by being Best Hero ™ - winning contests, dealing the largest wound to an enemy, defeating minions, and so on. Fate as mentioned ticks up automatically as the game progresses, and Divine Favour improves as you complete tasks for the gods.

The GM (Antagonist) has their own meta-currency, Strife, which is used to build hostile NPCs and challenges. The initial amount is set by the number of Heroes and subtasks in the quest they're doing, with more becoming available when the heroes rest or fail at contests.

Contests and Battles
Contests come in two forms; the simple Contest, which is resolved by a simple opposed die roll and the Battle, which is resolved on a round by round basis. The Battle doesn’t have to be violent in nature; a contest of poetry can be resolved just as easily as a clash of spears. Once a simple contest has been rolled, any player may invoke Hubris and turn it into a battle instead; the losing side will start the battle having already taken a wound each.

By default the GM rolls 2d6 for Contests, but may buy them up with Strife. The GM can also declare a challenge to be Harmful – the characters will take Wounds rather than simply suffering an Impairment, or that it’s an Obstacle which means that even if the characters fail, they move on past it, just battered and bruised, and without having gained any advantages or additional knowledge.

A contest is a high-level overview of an attempted action; in contrast, a battle zooms in to the action, covering each exchange of blows (or words, or stages in a race – as noted above, a battle doesn’t have to be physical)

In a physical battle, the characters weapons provide dice for them to use, which are split into left and right hand dice; the Name die and one weapon ability die are added to these pools. E.g. A character with a spear and a shield would put 1d8 (the shield) into their left hand, and 1d8 + 1d6 into their right hand. Into either of these they add their name die and the ability die from Spear or Shield.

The first stage of a battle is positioning; order is determined by the results of a Name + Athletics roll, when it’s your turn to position yourself, you can either move yourself on the range strip, or anyone who has not positioned themselves yet. Once positioning is completed, attacks happen; the order is based on your weapon used and the range you’ll be fighting at; Swords go first, and in that group the Swords who’re at range 1 go first, followed by those at range 2 and so-on.

There are a few special manoeuvres that you take in place of an attack; most of these apply a penalty to the next roll by the targeted enemy, but you may also attempt a disarm or to make an attack with your left-handed weapon.

In a non-physical battle each side picks an Ability appropriate to the contest from the list of Sports and Craft abilities. For example, when trying to persuade an NPC to allow you access to a sacred grove, your Hero may pick the Orate ability, and the NPC the Lore. Each Craft or Sport ability lists a pair of Arete abilities as weapons for attack and defence, and a different ability in its own category as armour; Lore uses Insight for attack, Spirit for defence and Music as armour.

A sample of the book which includes positioning and battle examples can be downloaded from the game’s website at http://www.agon-rpg.com/resources.html

Create a character
We’ll be creating three characters in order to build up a network of Oaths around them.

Damia the Monster-Slayer, daughter of Ares
Far-Reaching Nikaie, daughter of Scylax
Fleet-footed Maeon, son of Arion

Damia the Monster-Slayer
With Damia we’ve put our two free dice into the combat abilities, and lowered Aim too, which allows us to have a Spear rating of 1d10 to start with. We’ve also boosted Athletics at the cost of Wrestling to help her with positioning in Battles.

Heroic trait bonus
+1 damage to monsters, +2 positioning when fighting monsters
Name
1d8

Arete
Insight d6, Grace d6, Might d8, Spirit d4

Craft
Heal d6, Lore d6, Music d6, Orate d6

Sport
Athletics d8, Hunt d6, Cunning d6, Wrestle d4

Battle
Aim d4, Spear d10, Shield d8, Sword d6

Favoured God
Athena – at no point does it say that a child of a god has to favour that god
Insight, Lore and Spear


Weapons
Shield (1d8), Spear (2,1d8+1d4), Sword (1,2d6)

Armor
d8 – Greaves (-1 positioning), Helmet (-1 missile attack), Brestplate (-1 melee)

Divine favour
7

Fate
8

Far-Reaching Nikaie, daughter of Scylax
We haven’t double dipped the free dice and the weapon bonuses with Nikaie, and two of her d8 skill match those of her god, which gives her slightly broader options for when she wants to perform a sacrifice.

Heroic trait bonus
+1 range for melee weapons, +2 positioning when fighting inside

Name
1d6

Arete
Insight d4, Grace d8, Might d6, Spirit d6

Craft
Heal d6, Lore d8, Music d6, Orate d4

Sport
Athletics d6, Hunt d6, Cunning d8, Wrestle d6

Battle
Aim d4, Spear d6, Shield d8, Sword d8

Favoured God
Hermes – Athletics, Grace, and Sword

Weapons
Shield (1d8), Sword (1-2,2d6), Sword (1-2,2d6)

Armour
D6 – Greaves (-1 positioning), Helmet (-1 missile attack)

Divine favour
7

Fate
0

Fleet-footed Maeon, son of Arion
We’ve been liberal with the d8s again, with both the free ones going into Craft; both Music and Heal are useful during Interludes, and should be good for building up a few oaths from the others.

Heroic trait bonus
+2 to athletics, +2 to positioning when fighting outside

Name
1d6

Arete
Insight d4, Grace d6, Might d6, Spirit d8

Craft
Heal d8, Lore d6, Music d8, Orate d6

Sport
Athletics d6, Hunt d4, Cunning d8, Wrestle d6

Battle
Aim d8, Spear d6, Shield d6, Sword d4

Favoured God
Hera – Cunning, Spirit, Aim

Weapons
Shield (1d8), Spear (2, 1d8+1d4), Bow (5-6, 1d8+1)

Armour
D6 – Greaves (-1 positioning), Breastplate (-1 melee attack)

Divine favour
7

Fate
0

Achievements
With the characters created, we need to see who owes whom.

Featured Hero: Damia
Scene: Maeon is about to meet his end under the claws of the Silver Lion of Kyra
Skill: Spear
Winner: Damia
Backed up against a cliff, Maeon braces for a last pounce by the mighty Silver Lion. A pounce that never lands as Damia interposes herself between the Lion and Maeon, spearing it through the throat.

Featured Hero: Damia
Scene: Damia is climbing down a cliff to steal a harpy’s eggs
Skill: Athletics
Winner: Nikaie
So intent is Damia on her prize that she's oblivious of the harpies preparing to strike. It is Nikaie who distracts the murderous creatures with well thrown rocks, allowing Damia to steal the egg.

The same process is repeated with Nikaie and Maeon challenging each other, with the following results

Nikaie vs. Maeon, Grace: Victory Maeon
Nikaie vs. Damia, Lore: Victory Nikae
Maeon vs. Damia, Spirit: Victory Damia
Maeon vs. Nikaie, Aim: Victory Nikae

Maeon’s attempt to be clever and target abilities where the others only had d4s has backfired somewhat due to bad luck on the dice.
Once all the Achievements are rolled and described the final starting Oaths look like this

Damia
Nikaie 0, Maeon 2

Nikaie
Damia 2, Maeon 1

Maeon
Damia 0, Nikae 1

Create an Island
The book provides a list of fairly simple tables to roll on for inspiration and a large list of names. Each island should have at least one human community on it, and will have the attention of three gods, each of which will assign the heroes a quest when they make landfall.
We will be creating the Island of Saria

Terrain: Scrub-brush plains and dusty plateaus
Settlement: Prosperous trading port - a mix of many cultures, and a small fishing village
Event: The port is constructing a great monument, whilst the fishing village is celebrating a harvest (fishing?) festival
Gods: Dionysus, Apollo, and Athena

Dionysus wants the heroes to destroy the River Dancers, a mysterious magical sect, Apollo tasks them with stealing the Silver Horse of Saria, and finally Athena wants them to restore the war gear of Aktor

Interesting things
Three of our interesting things have been decided by the quests, but let’s add another two or three to give the heroes more things to play with.

The plains of Saria are home to Copper Beetles, whilst the plateaus host a large flock of Harpies. On the far side of the island, the Hundred Swords, a mercenary army have made camp.

---
I haven't yet had a chance to run this in person (my group voted for Owl Hoot Trail when I offered a one shot game), but it seems solid enough. I'll be taking the three characters above through the quest to Steal the Silver Horse.

It isn't quite a Zero-prep game as you'll need to at least have your quests outlined, and whilst NPC creation is pretty quick, it would probably be best to have the final challenge stated out before you start so that you don't go over your strife budge in the lead up to the final confrontation.

Angrymog fucked around with this message at 18:52 on Sep 1, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Warhammer Fantasy: Realm of the Ice Queen

Rebuild faster to spit in the Dark Gods' faces!

The cities of Kislev are written up with enough detail to be campaign settings, and I like all three of them quite a bit. As a result, these are going to take me awhile to get through.

Erengard was formerly the capital of the Ungol nation, before being defeated by Khan-Queen (and later Tsarina) Shoika during the founding of Kislev. It is also the one good port in all of Kislev, built where the Lynsk empties into the Sea of Claws. Erengard is the only major city to get sacked by Archaon's forces on their way through Kislev, and many of the largest buildings in town were burned or torn down during the razing. Many of the people survived the sack, though, and many who died managed to defend some part of their home. The horde moved on too quickly to exterminate the city, which meant places that managed to organize a stiff resistance survived and most of the harbor is already functional only a year and a half later. Erengard has always been one of the richest cities in Kislev, as it is one of the best routes for foreign goods flowing in and Kislevite exports flowing out, trading with places like Marienburg and Ulthuan. This means they have the money to rebuild, and the Tsarina's empowering the guilds has given the city a great deal of resources to get back on its feet. More important is the mood; almost everyone knows or is related to someone who died bravely in the sack, or lost something to the forces of evil. Counter to what usually happens when Chaos wounds an area, their swift movement didn't give them time to corrupt anything, so instead of hordes of despairing refugees turning to the Dark Gods for relief, the people of Erengard *hate* Chaos now. Building the city faster and better is considered a way to spit in the eye of Chaos itself, and even the criminal element of the city is happily informing on smugglers of forbidden spell components and cultists. Making their city better (though even messier, the Guilds, Boyars, and commoners all have different ideas about how the city would be 'improved' and equal amounts of enthusiasm for construction) is seen as the best way to defy the evil that tried to bring them low.

Now, the book has a huge, detailed map of the city, marked with all the locations I'm about to give, but I can't find a good copy I can put up and I'm terrible with maps anyway. Still, the first major district of Erengard is the harbor. The harbor is constructed out on stilts and artificial islands to get past the shallow sandbars out to the sea where ships can make anchor. The big stilts mean that this area is safe from flooding, so housing here is unusually desirable for a harbor district. The Harbor had a bunch of naturally defensible spots that managed to avoid the sack as the people banded together to defend their homes and warehouses, and so it's become a nucleus for the rebuilding. The people who fought together have come closer as a community, and there's a growing pride and identity in being a harborman (or woman).

There's also a great deal of pride in their awesome temple ship. The Temple of Manaan is a totally unseaworthy, decorative ship that was never intended to actually sail. During the sack, High Priestess Vdovyn stuffed the ship with her priests and as many people as they could rescue, prayed to the God of the Sea for a miracle, and then broke the moorings and sent it into the bay, putting their fate in the God's hands. Miraculously, the ship floated, and spent the remainder of the sack fighting Norse longships and raiders trying to row out to board and defile it. They never succeeded. Now the ship has been brought back to its mooring and was the only temple to avoid being razed during the battle, but the Priestess is a local celebrity and Manaan's worship is more popular than ever. She could do quite a bit with all this influence, but for now she's content to remind people to pay their respects to the sea.

Radii Synvasalisa is the current harbormaster of Erengrad, a position that can bring a man tremendous wealth. A position usually secured by huge bribes, he got his by managing to convince people he led a resistance against the invaders, which is only a little bit of an exaggeration (he was mostly just trying not to die, that just entailed fighting and getting plenty of other people to fight). Now he wants to be rich, and he's hit upon the ingenious idea of requiring fewer bribes and making the customs office more efficient so that more merchants will pass through. With all the activity from the rebuilding, he's growing very wealthy and also getting a bit bored; he makes a good patron for PCs as he tries to figure out a new and exciting route for crime and deception.

The Tilean quarter services plenty of merchants and just as many mercenaries. It used to be built around a temple to Myrmidia, but the invaders burned that to the ground; work has already started on a replacement. Merchants and mercenary captains are sent by their city-states to do short terms of service watching over Tilean interests in Erengrad, ostensibly because the climate is no good for not-Italians, but realistically because Erengard is wealthy and far off enough for a captain or merchant prince to build their own base of power if left out there too long. That might lead to them coming home and displacing their old prince. One such agent is Riccoili the Bald, who had been on the verge of gaining enough money and fame to return home and become a prince of Tilea, when the sack cost him almost everything (including his hair). Now he's pissed as hell and eagerly paying adventurers to hunt down Chaos cults and monsters and surviving invaders in hopes that he can show the Dark Gods Riccoili the Bald ain't no-one to gently caress with. An obvious hook for PCs.

There's also the Hag House, populated by a few Wise Women and Hags who tend to the Ungol population of the city. They remember this used to be an Ungol city and they see the sack as an opportunity to improve things for the Ungol community. Osul, the eldest of the hags, sees the best route in the Ungol refugees and displaced peoples from elsewhere in Kislev. She's set about making it safer and helping them settle in Erengard, hoping to increase the Ungol share of demographics and put Ungol voices on the guilds and in the courts. She regularly leans on adventurers to help escort refugees or safeguard the growing Ungol community from persecution. Another, younger hag, Inalchin, wants to destroy the Gospodar population while they are down. She works her curses and cackles over cauldrons as she tries to engineer the ends of struggling Gospodar merchants and Boyars, and if she was caught she might cause serious problems for Hag House.

Finally, there's Vladimir's. Vladimir's was a reasonably successful general goods store and provisioner under its own Vaja Rybkin (Vladimir Rybkin had been his grandfather) until he managed to save his warehouse during the sack. He then set about supporting refugees and helping in the rebuilding, and without gouging, this made him reasonably wealthy and very popular. As a man of growing influence, he got two offers he couldn't refuse, at the same time. One from Titiana Olgadoch, the local Chekist commander, who wanted him to inform on merchants and other doing business with him, and one from Vladimir Synyuliana, a crime boss who wanted to operate out of a business called Vladimir's. Instead of agonizing, Vaja introduced the two, and helped convince them to work together with him and with one another. Now, his business is expanding, the Chekist have an ear in with the local criminals, and Vladimir gets away with murder so long as it's no-one too important and he reports on any rumblings of vampires or cultists. Everyone wins and the shop is fast becoming a franchise, with plans to expand to other cities and within Erengard.

Next: The Low City.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

It really is amazing just how much good in the Old World stems from the fact that the hoards of hell are a constant part of life.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


It's one of the reasons that 2e being set after the Storm is so important. And why 3e being set during it left a bad taste, for me. Being *in* the Storm of Chaos means you're in Woe Is Us Here Comes Archaon town all the time. Being after means you can be in the fun part where everyone's rebuilding but they really need to hire 3-5 weirdo freebooters who used to be ratcatchers and college students to go look into the spooky old mansion because they're pretty sure something horrible crawled into it and died and now there are odd noises at all hours.

Though 3e being set during the Storm/in the runup was, again, GW and not FFG's decision. Since they were resetting all of the setting back to pre-storm in preparation for the End Times.

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


I just love how often an NPC's motivation is 'Hmm, I want fortune and power. How can I get it? Ooh, I know, I'll try being extremely loving competent.'

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


It's another interesting part of the Old World. A lot of people in it are actually pretty good at their jobs. This doesn't make them untouchable by PCs or anything; a human/PC scale character can only do so much to make themselves insulated both politically and physically. But a lot of the various lords, merchant princes, captains, Hunters, etc that you'll deal with are well trained and experienced. They still need the PCs, the PCs can still expose/fight/kill them if they're villains, but it never feels like the cavalcade of idiots you get over in the Imperium of Man.

E: One of the nicest parts is that almost every competent or talented NPC still has a 'This is why they might need or get taken down by the PCs' blurb in their bit.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 21:26 on Sep 1, 2017

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

It's another interesting part of the Old World. A lot of people in it are actually pretty good at their jobs. This doesn't make them untouchable by PCs or anything; a human/PC scale character can only do so much to make themselves insulated both politically and physically. But a lot of the various lords, merchant princes, captains, Hunters, etc that you'll deal with are well trained and experienced. They still need the PCs, the PCs can still expose/fight/kill them if they're villains, but it never feels like the cavalcade of idiots you get over in the Imperium of Man.

E: One of the nicest parts is that almost every competent or talented NPC still has a 'This is why they might need or get taken down by the PCs' blurb in their bit.

I think WHFB understands that for a setting to be grim, there needs to be hope and something worth fighting for, otherwise it just becomes kind of pointless because nobody is even vaguely sympathetic and everything is bad and sucks and the end of the universe would be a blessing.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



MJ12 posted:

I think WHFB understands that for a setting to be grim, there needs to be hope and something worth fighting for, otherwise it just becomes kind of pointless because nobody is even vaguely sympathetic and everything is bad and sucks and the end of the universe would be a blessing.

too bad 40k didn't get the message.

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010


Hey, I never thought I'd see Agon show up in this thread!

Just one thing about combat-- I thought that you take your Shield skill die (in Maion's case, a d6) and your shield's weapon die (d8) in your left hand, and your weapon's skill and damage dice in your right hand (the spear's a special case; you put a d8 in one hand, and a d6 in the other, and you can switch at any time before you make your attack roll); then you add your Name die into either hand?

Also, as a small note, there's a character sheet on the Agon website for characters who are left-handed instead of right-handed (the Agon FAQ seems to have been scrubbed ages ago, though. Alas. I remember it said you were allowed to shield bash as an attack with Name + Shield skill + d8.)

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

sparkle and shine



Leraika posted:

These Kislevite customs are amazing.

Truly. I am going to crib that poo poo so hard.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



Snorb posted:

Hey, I never thought I'd see Agon show up in this thread!

Just one thing about combat-- I thought that you take your Shield skill die (in Maion's case, a d6) and your shield's weapon die (d8) in your left hand, and your weapon's skill and damage dice in your right hand (the spear's a special case; you put a d8 in one hand, and a d6 in the other, and you can switch at any time before you make your attack roll); then you add your Name die into either hand?

Also, as a small note, there's a character sheet on the Agon website for characters who are left-handed instead of right-handed (the Agon FAQ seems to have been scrubbed ages ago, though. Alas. I remember it said you were allowed to shield bash as an attack with Name + Shield skill + d8.)

No, you only get to use one Ability die in combat each exchange, so either your Shield die, or your Spear Ability die, but yeah, you're right - you do split the spear's d8 and d6 between hands and can decide the order. I'd allow a shield bash too - I don't see any reason why you can't do that.

Yeah, I was disappointed to see that the FAQ had gone missing, but it also seems that Evil Hat are backing a second edition of the game.

Angrymog fucked around with this message at 03:25 on Sep 2, 2017

DicktheCat
Feb 15, 2011



I don't know all the warhams lingo, so every time I see WHFB, I think "Warhammer Fantasy Butts" and I don't think I actually care what it really stands for because of that.

Communist Zombie
Nov 1, 2011


I dont think it was explicitly mentioned but can Ice Witches use their magic outside of Kislev? What with how entrenched they are with the land specifically in kislev.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Communist Zombie posted:

I dont think it was explicitly mentioned but can Ice Witches use their magic outside of Kislev? What with how entrenched they are with the land specifically in kislev.

It comes up in their actual mechanics, but yes, it's just much more difficult. They have to spend an extra half action and make a Channeling check (Channeling is a skill all mages have that uses WP) to manage to pull enough magic out of Kislev despite being so far away. Also, using magic outside of Kislev exposes them to the normal effects of miscasting and Chaos spills rather than their less soul-eating more body-freezing normal miscast table. So it's much less efficient and safe.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Kinda limits your game, then.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I believe it also still works if you're close enough to Kislev and looking at it, it also still works if it's winter.

E: Yes, if an Ice Witch is using her magic near a leyline of any kind that she's sought out, or near a waystone or other place of power, or in freezing/subzero conditions, she can still use it fine outside of Kislev. Not only that, if they use their spells in freezing conditions, they automatically count as having used the bonus spell component for the spell even if they didn't. They get a lot of extra power if it's actually icy out, even if they're not in Kislev. It's mostly that they can still use their magic without the extra time and effort anywhere and anytime in Kislev and Troll Country.

That said, it's the sort of rule that you can just strip out if you want. If you wanted to do an Ice Witch in foreign lands adventure, you could just remove the Channeling requirement and keep 'Outside of Kislev she uses normal miscasts instead of glacial surges and also probably complains about the heat a lot'.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 12:19 on Sep 3, 2017

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Sounds like an Ice Witch could wreck poo poo further up in the Chaos Wastes, given they're literally the polar regions. Has its own problems, though.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



DicktheCat posted:

I don't know all the warhams lingo, so every time I see WHFB, I think "Warhammer Fantasy Butts" and I don't think I actually care what it really stands for because of that.

I've been throwing on "In Cincinnati" to WH40KRPG whenever I talking about Dark Heresy (also misspelled often as "Dark Hersey"), Deathwatch, Rogue Trader, etc.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Night10194 posted:

That actually sounds like a refreshing take on urban fantasy as opposed to the usual 'We are all hidden from the masses of mortals despite there being so drat many and so drat many types of us all with superpowers having loud gunfights at all hours' stuff.

The main issue with Dark Conspiracy with that was A) it took itself dead serious and B) that was mainly played up as a symptom of how baaad things were rather than exploring any interesting ramifications. It's the kind of game you can mine for some neat ideas, but it's a real mess on a number of other levels.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

The main issue with Dark Conspiracy with that was A) it took itself dead serious and B) that was mainly played up as a symptom of how baaad things were rather than exploring any interesting ramifications. It's the kind of game you can mine for some neat ideas, but it's a real mess on a number of other levels.

It also uses the Twilight 2000 system, with all it's flaws. Granted, it's 2.2 where your skill and strength at least have an effect on automatic fire and not a constant probability per shot that gave high ROF weapons better chances to hit than aimed fire. Also, giant lists of language trees that include Soviet Nationalities. Not former Soviet, mind you considering that , Soviet. Mind you, my copy is the second edition from 1998, I'm not sure if the third edition corrected that.

Just looking at the Civilian Occupations your character could come from, we have a motley crew of average Joes like "Farmer", "Factory Worker", "Public Employee" and "Truck Driver"; underclass characters like "Ganger", "Homeless", and "Prole"; the skilled professions that most PCs will come from like "Professor", "Journalist", "Law Enforcement" and "Mercenary"; high class elites like "Professional Athlete", "Entertainer", "Nomenklatura", and "Astronaut" (although astronauts are more like space janitors in Dark Conspiracy); then just loving off-the-wall poo poo like "Cyborg Escapee", "Renegade E.T.", "Psychic Test Subject", "Alien Sorcerer", and "Rogue Android". And because it uses that Twilight 2000 character generation system, all of these plus military are available to the character as 4-year terms in your pre-game career tree, so you could totally make hosed-up characters by combining these together.

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marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Lets have some ice witches take on the murder Canadians.

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