Monday, January 2, 2017

Rivals In The Sky: The Black Cross

Brazen criminal acts by the Condor and other Free Skies operators have the Imperial Powers in an uproar.  Europa is caught in a delicate balancing act of treaties and ententes, any attempt to pursue the thieves across the border could be construed as an act of war.  Aero-Admirals across the continent are eager to escalate rising tensions and prove their mettle.  They pitch curtailing the Free Skies as a side effect. Reasoning that if the skies are fully militarized then the windbourne lowlifes would have nowhere to flee.
[Campaign Aspect: Roll the Iron Dice]

 The thought of total war terrifies all who can conceive it's sheer enormity. Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck has dedicated his life to entangling the Imperial Powers in a web of treaties few can properly perceive. Actions that are quietly approved by the Prussian government, as their nation is encircled by foes. Prince Rupert Hapsburg V of the Prussian Allianz has sidestepped the bureaucracy, vainglorious fool he is. Joining the Black Cross, a modern mercenary company claiming descent from the Teutonic Knights.  Staffed with a core of veterans form the Franco-Prussian Conflict and funded by similar noble whelps.  The Black Cross has escalated their prescence in the wind with a host of zeppelins, assault boats, mobile airfields.  They're known for their professionalism and rigid discipline, though it leaves their responses unsurprising.
[Faction Core Aspect: War is Our Trade, Flaw: Rigid and Predictable]

Adventure!: The Black Cross' iceberg fortress, Der Glatscher, rests above the Arctic Circle housing outlaws and other prisoners, released upon receipt of ransom or bounty.  Though you could turn a profit flipping the imprisoned flesh to loved ones and comrade, you'd be as foul them and the Imperial Powers that fund them.  Instead your aim is Der Glatscher's mysterious power source, rumors swarm around the device but you'll be able to put them to bed and tear the proverbial heart from the hated Black Cross.

Next week: Buccaneers of the Free Skies!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Rival in the Sky

Not every operator in the Free Skies is motivated by conscience or political agenda.  Some do it for the thrill while others chase cold, hard cash. Desdemona Fairchild is the latter.  The family fortune squandered by her father's gambling debts, she gives nothing away for free and doesn't play well with others.  This inability to share keeps her from assembling a team, often piggybacking on the operations of larger teams and stealing the loot out form under them.
[Core Concept: One Woman Team, Flaw: Greed is Good]

Often the only sign she's in the area is her custom aeroplane, the Mischief Maker, circling overhead.  The plane's Autonomous Intelligence, Ariel, delights in the challenge presented by overwhelming odds and evading pursuit in the nick of time.  Unfortunately she likes the sound of her own voice, sometimes distracting the pilot.
[The Mischief Maker- A Sopwith Camel with the additional Aspects - Core: One of a Kind, Flaw: Chatty Cathy]

Adventure!: The Mischief Maker lands on the Condor, shot up and Ariel is freaking out.  Desdemona had attempted to heist the Ring of the Nibelungen, a heist the players were still planning, but the Black Cross caught her before she could escape.  She is now in the depths of their impenetrable iceberg fortress, being treated to the cruelties of their resident mad scientist, Dr. Grimm.

The larger threat posed by Ms. Fairchild's capture is her extensive knowledge of the Free Skies Asylums and other anarchist flotillas.  Having spurned the thin protections of nationality, they are prime targets for a paramilitary force like the Black Cross.  Without that support network, the Condor would be unable to continue its campaign.

Is this a rescue mission or an assassination?

Next: The Black Cross!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Night Gallery

Night Gallery will house thumbnails of future projects, let me know which you'd be interested in seeing more of and I'll go into more detail.  Future installments will develop an earlier campaign frame with either a mystery, an NPC, a location, etc.  I'll fold earlier campaign frames such as The Condor, Fall of Camazotz, Wicked West, etc. into this as well.

Between - In the Lost Age when Meat comingled with Shadow the Tribe's greatest tool was The Word and Old Night was Young; the Tribe lost her greatest Heroes to the Scourge.  A Beast so terrible is defies description the Tribe nearly scattered when they got word.  Luckily for the Tribe and the Elders a new generation will be undertaking their Rite and claiming their Names.  By taking a Name the Young become the Word and transcend the limits of Meat anchoring Shadow.  The Scourge is coming.  It may be behind the far hill or in the near valley but it will be Here before you know.

System- Icons an elegant, effects based superhero game that's available online.  FATE's emphasis on fiction would parallel the setting's emphasis on language and naming.

Inspiracion- John Harper's The Wildlings, New Mutants' Demon Bear saga, Turok, Tengger Cavalry, Noah, The Quest for Fire

Magnum Opus- The War to End All Wars has torn the heart from European Empire.  The frontiers are choked with a bloody quagmire of tortured steel, scattered limbs, and unheard prayer.  Even the mystical Guardians, seduced by martial glory, lie entombed in earthworks. Smelling opportunity, an entire generation of hungry American mystics flock to  Europe's capital cities, eager to begin their own Great Works and plunder the shattered halls of power.  Ignorant of ancient pacts, they shine new light on aged bones, recover lost knowledge and unleash horrors thought destroyed.

System-  Probably the Cypher System, the {Descriptor}{Class}who{Focus} provides plenty of options while straddling the idea of magic as superpower vs. magic as resource.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bloggin' Forecast

Life's been incredibly hectic but all that's behind me.  I'm back on the keyboard, looking forward to posting with greater regularity. To that end, you can find the blog outline below:

Mystery! - Unraveling deceit, smut, vice, and base criminality kicks off the week.  Largely systemless, I'll tag any specifics in the title and the footer.  Expect a criminal, a method, and the last time the bastard screws up.

Night Gallery - Most previous posts revolved around world building in bullet points.  No reason to change, these posts will be system specific and run as long as interest holds.  Maybe I'll collect them into a pdf or something.

Fight Night - Have you watched Every Frame a Painting's "In Praise of Chairs"? If you haven't, you can find it here.  I'll wait.  When was the last time you had a fight in you campaign and the environ told you something?  Let's fix that and have the setting reflect character even in abscence.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Calm Before the Storm

I haven't blogging as much over the last two months or so, because other projects have taken my focus.  Since my birthday in April I've been running my Southern Gothic MotWeek campaign, Tumbleson County, within earshot of a microphone.  Most of my free time has been consumed with co-production (editing, voice over, etc.) and we're hoping to have it ready for weekly release come Thanksgiving.  For more information, you can check out our network page here.

Not yet a link

Thursday, October 20, 2016

RPG Blog Carnival: Potions and Patent Medicine

The stoppered glass bottle is synonymous with alchemy and its base unit: the potion.  The majority of adventure games relegate it to resource refresh, restoring lost health and mana.  A universal consumable that taxes the characters economically, and only extends their survival.  That's boring.

The historical practice of alchemy, like sympathetic magic, is an untapped vein of weirdness in tabletop games.  Whether mystic protochemistry or an occult recipe for gnosis this system of protoscientific philosophy is full of possibility. I'll focus on mystical protochemistry, since pursuing the Magnum Opus is more structural than material in games.  Often consumable magic is already present, or can be added with little effort, in the form of drugs, pharmaceuticals, and quack medicine.  Magical cocktails like those served in SwitchFlipped or the sorcerous shine sold in speakeasies in A Criminal Magic are two examples of the potion as drug.

In Wicked West you are occult prospectors who exploit the Otherworlds and introduce them to the power of gun.  Your greed and opportunistic actions poison the Tree of Life, and worst of all -you aren't alone.

In the Wicked West, potions are patent medicine by another name and just a few of the varied products you can get from the Medicine Show.  Alchemical concoctions serve a variety of functions with a range of quality from Poor (-1) to Good (+3), roll when you deploy it to determine how effective the admixture goes.  Quacks don't practice the most rigorous QC on their admixtures

Epoxies - An adhesive resin composed of two separate chemicals separated in the bottle by a thin wall, you can throw the container or pour out the contents. Creates the Aspect "Glued in Place" that can be compelled once for free to prevent the target from moving.  If you succeed with style "Glued in Place" can be compelled twice.

Infusions - Various plants and animals contain chemical and sympathetic qualities that can be leeched from them via submersion in alcohol, oil, or water.  When consumed they create a minion skill in FAE at the infusion's quality, example: drinking an Average Unicorn Horn Infusion gives the character Resist Toxins +0.

Solvents - Industrial solvents and acids can be used to eat through most obstacles, rolling the concoction's quality determines the amount of time it takes to work through the process.  If you apply heat, you can also use a solvent as a gas attack.

Unguents - Greasy ointments, most are refined from animal fats and used to coat the body.  Demand for these are high, especially among prospectors heading into known Spheres with dangerous environments.  For example, an unguent made from Uktena grease allows you to breathe underwater and grants 1 point of ablative armor.

 RPG Blog Carnival
This month's RPG Blog Carnival theme is potions.