Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Interstellar Violence Intermission

Language of Loathing
The common language spoken by most people.

Language of Love
Spoken only by duelists and monks. While normal people cannot speak it, they can understand it inexplicably.

People who have ascended to a higher form and live solely to kill each other in order to dictacte the fate of mankind. They speak the language of Love. Duelists very rarely interfere with normal people. Physically, they resemble clowns.

They devote their lives to the needs of duelists, while promoting peace. Any monk is obligated to help a duelist that needs them. Monks are explicitly banned from using any modern weapons, thus they use ancient wave spadas and luminous cannons when their hands are forced to violence.

Luminous Cannons
Very large guns usually worn on the back. They are powered by various energies given off by the user, thus monks often train in order to perfect their luminous beam.

Wave Spada 
Essentially cup hilt rapiers. The blades themselves phase in and out of the Bend thus cutting through most normal materials. Extremely rare, as they are often passed down from monks to pupils or taken off the corpses of dead duelists by monks. Also every duelist has one. Wave spadas will always match the phase of another wave entity it encounters thus it can parry other spadas or even wave rounds. When wielded by a person without sufficient SYMPATHY is is just a normal sword.

Laughless (Clown)
Soldiers cybernetically and surgically modified to look like duelists, though they use knives and rifles as opposed to wave spadas. Each clown has a chip implanted in their head with large amounts of knowledge which is only accessible via a split personality they've developed as a sort of operator. Clowns must work alone, and it is forbidden for them to come into contact with one another.

Wave Rounds
Certain rifles can fire a wave round which will phase through targets and pierce any armor. These are forbidden to use on spacecraft. A rifle can typically only fire a single wave round every few minutes or otherwise break down or melt.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Servant Weapons Pt. 1

AKA: Sword of Awakening
Type: Sword +3

Supposedly crafted by a mad magician who wanted to be awake at all times to guard his secrets.

The wielder of Awakening has a 1 in 6 chance of actually being able to sleep or get the benefit of a long rest. 5 out of 6 times the weapon will unleash an otherworldly shriek directly into the wielder's mind in order to stir them awake. They suffer sleep deprivation as normal. If the wielder manages to go 11 days without sleep they simply die.

The sword has a bizarre effect against the undead who are typically immune to sleep spells. If at least one damage is dealt to an undead by Awakening, the undead must succeed in a saving throw or fall asleep.

Frozen Heart Slayer
Type: Sword +3

The original wielder died heroically, stabbing a frost giant from the inside after having their upper torso swallowed by the beast.

The wielder of Frozen Heart Slayer is always cold. Really really cold. While the cold is technically an illusion, the feeling is very real and can lead to sickness or death. If no attempt is made to ward off the cold (wearing multiple jackets, being near fire, etc.), every hour the wielder has a 1 in 6 chance of developing frostbite. This cold feeling will never leave, regardless of whether the user moves to a tropical island or falls into a volcano.

Attacks made by the Frozen Heart Slayer do not cause pain, and many will not even realize they have been harmed. If the wielder misses an attack with this weapon, the defender must succeed in a saving throw or suffer 1d6 cold damage as the breeze caused by the swing creates a deadly chill.

The Knives from Nowhere
Type: Knife +1

Nobody knows where these knives come from, because nobody knows where nowhere is.

If the wielder of this weapon is in need of a knife, they will find one--in their pocket, under a flower pot, behind somebody's ear. It doesn't really seem to matter. The knives eventually disappear after a minute or two if not being held. Supposedly they go back to nowhere.

When the wielder draws (summons/conjures??) a knife, there is a 1 in 6 chance that it will not be a knife. Roll on the table below to determine what appears.

1. A fish (type of fish decided by referee)
2. A fork or spoon (50/50 chance of either)
3. A scroll with an encouraging message.
4. A scroll with a disparaging message.
5. Any type of long slender vegetable (carrot, celery, etc.)
6. Literally just a handful of sticky honey.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First Burning Wheel Session (Looking for Heroes) Part 1

I decided to go into our first Burning Wheel game without any real preparation. I came up with a villain, a hook, and a town mayor. Otherwise it was just mostly improv. We didn't use any of the advanced systems with the exception of a couple Steel and injury tests, however this was for enemies and the players never actually got hurt.

Character creation took ages. A lot of it was it being our first time, and it ended up taking two sessions. Both players elected to remake their characters at one point after they began to understand the rules better. Cake initially insisted on playing a 'desperate killer' and despite my constant attempts to prod him for a backstory or something he just wouldn't budge. I told him to make a new guy with a proper concept, and to actually fucking think about it beyond wanting to kill stuff. I think the me of a year ago would have just buckled, but one thing I now appreciate more than ever is that as a GM I have to have fun too. If the GM isn't feeling it, how can anyone else? Everyone needs to be on the same page, and while Sophia and I were on Tolkien, Cake was still stuck on D&D*.

His second character turned out amazing. A crazy witch who genuinely wants to help heal people, but won't justify doing it for free. She also turns to the stars for answers to every little dilemma, forcing me to think on my toes. Sophia made an elf who wasn't aware of his own privelage, and considered other races to be inferior and thus in constant need of help. So my input helped Cake create a unique character, but because of my constant warnings about possible game situations, Sophia spread her elf too thin yet somehow ended up not having any social skills at all. This kind of worked itself out in an interesting way though.

The adventure started with sort of a joke. Both players thought it was ridiculous that reading required a skill and a roll, so the first thing that happened was a young mute wandering up to them carrying a parchment. This was their first real rollin Burning Wheel and they used the helping rules in order to read the note out loud together (since neither was proficient enough to read silently). "Looking for Heroes."

The players were led to a town and shocked to discover that orcs and men seemed to be working in harmony. They had a meeting with the orc leader only to find out that it was his twisted dream to see a 'hero' before he died. In order to do this, he would leave the town that night and return in 3 days to raid the town and leave no survivors. His hope being that this sudden life or death situation would spawn a real hero for him to witness.

I initially imagined the whole 3 days would play out in one session but the pace of the game is really sexy slow. We got about halfway through the first full day before we had to stop after 4 hours.

The players met a lot of resistance from the mayor but discovered that his family situation was kind of bizarre. They found a friend in the hunter, who spoke exclusively in nonsense but was sympathetic to the plight of the townspeople. The first major conflict was convincing the town to fight instead of flee, as the hunter knew for a fact that the orcs had set up outposts to keep anyone from leaving.

Sicki, the witch, went to the town meeting in order to sway the people using the Ugly Truth while Arvelon the elf used the oppertunity to sneak into the mayor's house and find out about his weird family and if he was hiding anything else. Sicki, with the aid of the hunter managed to convince the townspeople to stay and fight. Arvelon, however, failed to sneak into the mayor's house at all.

After entering the cellar and trying to get into the main room he discovered the maid was there sweeping. I couldn't think of a failure condition that wouldn't have just stopped everything in its tracks (which is against the rules of Burning Wheel), so when Arvelon failed the roll the maid turned out to be a ninja and drew a sword hidden in her broom. After being ejected from the house, Arvelon then failed to persuade an old codger who implied (drunkenly) that he used to be a great soldier.

I mentioned earlier that the elf had no social skills, which actually worked out in a cool kind of way as he discovered he had no way of relating to the race of men. He constantly prattled on about how things were done at the Citadel and in elven society, but couldn't convince any human to trust him about anything. Also this gave us the perfect avenue to discuss how learning skills works in Burning Wheel.

After the players returned to the inn I decided that the mayor's humiliation and the revelation that his maid was a ninja meant an assassination attempt was appropriate. Weirdly enough without any hint regarding this at all, Sicki chose to not sleep. I later realized it was because Cake was playing up a trait that caused her to dream about monsters (or something). The door creaked open, and when the assassin realized she was busted she tried to play it off like she was a housekeeper.

Sicki woke up the elf and they both rushed out the room, however the maid-ninja was clinging to the roof and fell down on them. They fortunately passed their test and avoided the attack, and Sicki casted Shards which caused a huge chunk of the inn wall to fly into her sword arm as splinters. They (bizarrely imo) decided to tie the maid up in a blanket and use this as a chance to get into the mayor's house. I think the players expected more intrigue than was there, because they rifled through the mayor's ledgers and shit trying to find out anyting suspicious. The mayor was not planning anything sinister - he was just a really offputting and stubborn person.

The players snuck upstairs into the room of the mayor's sick wife. At this point Sophia stopped and said that she had been playing her character wrong. I didn't know what she meant, but the entire confrontation with the wife was really great. Arvelon had a belief involving 'faking it into you feel it' and he marched into a stranger's room and managed to soothe some answers out of her. Unfortunately due to his lack of social skills he was not able to enlist her help convincing the mayor to join their side. The mayor also had his witch daughter locked up in a room in the house, and upon discovering sicki was a witch, the mayor's wife agreed to help with other things for she was secretly a witch as well.


Friday, April 29, 2016

D66 Memory Loss Table

Any time a character takes a bump on their head, or eats a strange mushroom have the player roll d66 against this table to determine what they completely forget about.

11. dance
12. cook
13. what sneezing is
14. drink
15. eat
16. how babies are made
21. own name
22. name of relative
23. what acceptable speaking volumes are
24. where you are
25. where you came from
26. name of party member
27. what sounds animals make
28. how magnets work
29. how to tie knots
30. what the fog does
31. what love is
32. what babies are
33. what you look like
34. sing
35. what body parts are called
36. how swords work
41. how to walk
42. shaking hands
43. favorite food
44. darkest secret
45. how to put on pants
46. fire a bow
51. how many toes you have
52. your job
53. what music is
54. what the thurible does
55. why you hate this one person that you hate
56. the names of fruits
61. what farts are
62. how to throw things
63. how to read
64. what hugging is
65. fire
66. water