I wager there were a few smirks from the author when he wrote this one (the sad onions). Okay excuse me for one moment
*walks over to a lop sided shed haphazardly leaning against the splendid walls of the Citadel. Axle addresses shed, "One soap box please"*
But why again do we have to have a rape as the awful crime and tragedy?! It always smacks of mysogeny when a story teller has to rape somebody to motivate characters or to add emotional weight to an event or story. I understand it is a terrible event that is all too common, and people are right to enraged by it. But I think it gets overused in fantasy fiction. Plus the response to the rape in stories and plot line is often about the male character's desire for revenge. I think the rape-motivation story broke a threshold for me when an author named Ken Scholes published a story about a 50 some year old alternate time Hilter finding the courage to stand against french facists (with the help of Charlie Chaplin and Earnest Hemingway) when he wittnessed the rape of a jewish girl. A liberal mild mannered Hilter I could stand...but when the author couldn't find another way to explore the importance of political action and the horrors of facism then graphic sexual violence...well I didn't finish the story. I get that mister Scholes was trying to ruffle some feathers with goatee Hitler, but wasn't the alternate time line enough?
*Thank you, just place this back in the Citadel's soap box shed please. Oh the shed is full? Alright well I guess we can toss this one out*
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Okay moving on, this is great, it is really nice when you can have the NPCs doing stuff in your game world, besides serving beers, getting kidnapped and telling vague tales of forgotten swords. I would love to play in a game world that had this stuff going in the background.
IN GAME STATS! How brazen, how shamelss, my hands are shaking I felt so dirty reading this. (And GURPS too, you are such a rebel) Everyone else has been posting softcore, just beneath the sheets we can see the outlines of movement bonuses, esoteric and specific in game benifets such as "iron stomach" and stat details such as low willpower but high dexterity. WARNING INFESTED-JERK JUST BROUGHT US A FULL FRONTAL RPG CHARACTER!
I agree with CM a decent cult leader, if it were my idea I would like to hear about his childhood or time prior to to his demon-joined cult leader and a little more about his inter personal style but the theme of his behavior comes through. And the disadvantages tell us a lot about the mechanics of dealing with him.
How do you want the player characters to feel about him?
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A nice item most would like to have on their character sheet, and the extras are also items that creative PCs could use to come up with novel solutions to problems. Somebody once said for every uber saga and quest sword he need ten of these simple, easy, ulitiarin magic items
Okay I can see how this could be used ;)
Reasonable PC :Hey META PC #1 do you still have that goat milk we got at the halfling village before the banshee encounter outside the Temple of Vulsadoom
Excitable PC: And I am Priest! I place a rag in my pants and start jumping up and down.
Meta PC #1: I am sure I don't still have that with me, that was like a 4 years ago in game time.
Meta PC #2: *snatch* You still have it on your character sheet. So we are a good.
Roleplaying PC: What type of strange and wonderous item could this be....surely we must use it for the good of the people allow me to veiw these ancient tomes. *a moment later after viewing the hand outs "seriously Ted?"*
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GM (TED): And the Hyperion mines are beneath Vulsadoom's temple, looks like I will get to use the map after all.
Seriously I think this a nice write up and a fun read. Plus players tend to like magical stuff they can manipulate and fetishize. But my the luke warm response to these types of items is that they bestow things on the character without bestowing or coming with any character growth. Yes the character may have wings or can see ghost afters a swig from this safe bottle, but that ability is dissjointed from his person. While questing for these items and having the manual for this item will increase the player's connection to it, it does not itself justify this things exsistance.
Other items like your crown for example, have existance and a personality the player can manipulate and use but won't change the player unless they want it to. Perhaps I am wrong about this and it would be a really fun item, but I think it might be overly complex and with too little a story hook to justify the dramatic effects (even positive) that it will have a player's character.
Also technical: how will the players know what powers they are removing with out a meta-game pick the item
I had been thinking about this, not specific co-dependant brother builders, but a post that doesn't just present a moment in time to be used. Your story gives us the all the information we need to understand the ambition of the character, the social view of thier works and the evntual consequences of what will happen. But your plots hooks suggest a use of the general concepts. By providing us with a complete time line, you give us the option to insert the characters at any point during the time. The magic itself is like an item.
Plot Hook: To aid in a rebellion, the hero must try and sow a rift between Sid and Jir in order make the evil over lord vunerable
I have played and GMed with these types of lists before. Most recently with women who insisted she have a "wild magic misshap list". I find that these things tend to be show stoppers. (Aside from Echo's point that the game play should be about heroic choices....which I completely argee with and thought was well said.) You have to stop the scene, roll on the list bring about the results and when the results are this powerful it can really structure the whole scene. I guess you could do this as something the PCs do to NPCs, as a joke or cruel trick.
But as everyone has said, these thing have been around since GG gave us the deck of many things. There is a place for them in the gaming world, and this is simply your take on it.
I have actually done this in a game! There was crime and a piece of evidence was based on who sat where at infamous dinner party 20 year prior. The PCs had to reassemble the guest list and then figure out the seating chart. Lke most logic problems, and I do like to put them in my games, it was very popular with some the players and others found the end result boring.
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"Lord and Lady Brennan must sit together" really? Married couples must never sit together at fancy dinners ;)
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The alliance with his country means that the whaling and seal hunting interests stay in the black. It also means that rotten toothed long haired heathen lechers such as Finkvskyl have to be entertained at dinner parties. Finkvskyl would prefer to be surrounded by beautiful women, but most beautiful women would prefer drunken sailors to the likes of Finkvskyl. Putting him next to cabinet ministers leads to the dullest conversations about tariffs, and true men or women of birth would be offended to offer up their ear for half an evening. Best to put him next to military men, they are use to rough talk, and his uncouthness confirms their assumptions about his country.
The Widow McIntyre
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It pains a soul to think of a fine young flower like the Baroness a widow at only three and twenty years. Here introduction to society made for one of the most exciting social seasons in the last decade, her physical charms, her poised manners, her literary wit and her graceful dancing excited the entire court. Every ball that season was an adventure with all the eligible Knights and Lords falling about for her favor. It was almost a scandal when her engagement to Baron McIntyre was announced. He was more than twice her age, he was twice married before with no children and all his wealth and lands were in northern cattle interests and island estates respectively. His passing must have been so hard on the young Baroness, because she now must manage all that land and wealth on her own with out any man to lean on. As a rich beautiful young widow she is chased by the most unscrupulous of social climbing noblemen. Best sit her next to some one kind if you want to impress her, but sit her next to a money grubbing rake if you want to impress the cad.