Thursday, May 24, 2018

What is this, 20 questions?

Jeff asks real good questions. I answered them, rather than face the vast and indifferent abyss of existence this afternoon.

the fog-bound province

1) What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
Clergy are a thing. DnD clerics aren't. The most powerful, profitable, and widespread religion is the Church of God-most-Censorious. Most folks pay at least lip service.

It teaches that evil is human : human is evil. Abeyance is the most one can strive toward. Censor your every thought. Hold tight and ruthless the reins of your wretched soul. Those who dedicate their worthless lives to the church may rise to the point of herding some portion of humanity towards the mediocre & middling morality of which it is capable. 

Speakers, Seekers, Sisters, Monks, and above all Inquisitors. Inquisitors are the only ones of the lot allowed to own land. It is they who maintain the church's private militaries. In many locales, the Inquisitor's word is the only law. PCs probably don't want none of that.

There is a scarcely visible spirit world all around, especially on the liminal edges of civilization. These are seen by some and intuited by others. They have their bargains to make. It's always a bad idea. Interesting though.

And there are things so far removed from the precarious balance of this world, one cannot understand. One call on them. They often answer, in unexpected ways. Some seem to strive for permanence; some wreak havoc and smiling change. ISoG is the most popular and well know of these beings. It/they is firmly in the latter category.

The God that Laughs seems to be legit too. However, those fuckers are soooo goddamn hinky. Some folks think their god eats babies.

2) Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
No such thing. All the PCs are just folk fucked over by fate to be special.

Look for abandoned homesteads and villages in the wilderness, there's always useful things to be had. After a week or two, limp back to town and get side-eyed by ostentatious merchants, begrudgingly taking your strange and tarnished silver.

3) Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
You're gonna need to kidnap an accomplished blacksmith. Or if you find one who worships ISoG, she probably wouldn't care. (ISoG only accepts craftswomen in its terrible ranks, not craftsmen... for reasons as mysterious as every fucking thing that bag of madness does.

4) Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
Rumors persist of Coleopteric Brother, from the founding and before the diaspora, still at large. Ropey muscles and long, long grey hair are standard fair to describe him. A few stories claim he grew a left breast and birthed a litter of kittens to understand in full the circle of life. All sources agree that the Beetle of Truth lives in his left ear.

5) Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
The Supreme Inquisitor's nephew, Jogg George the Mighty, is lauded as the greatest swordsman to ever have walked the wretched world. Both his horse's gait and armor are definitively impressive.

6) Who is the richest person in the land?
The Supreme Inquisitor. No doubt. The mayors and merchants of the Eastern Coast are also VERY wealthy, and they don't go everywhere with a private army in tow. I mean there's lots of money and unusual goods way up Sky Port, but that's Callister's biz. INVITE ONLY. There are corridors and tunnels and crazy machines inside the spire... Not even Sky-Folk go in there.

7) Where can we go to get some magical healing?
No where. No where safe. The cost is extremely high and it can't be bought with silver nor gold nor gleaming gem.

8) Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Posion, disease, curse = Witches sometimes Aelfs. Levels aren't real and can't be drained. Lycanthropy is forever. Polymorph is forever unless polymorphed again... probably not what you wanted. Alignment isn't real either. To spurn death, you must defeat death in paramortal combat. Undeath is the domain of Elementalists, and those fuckers are TERRIFYING.

9) Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
No. Secret cabals sometimes but mostly they're just fucking around.

10) Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
That east coast is really happening y'all... mostly due to population. Especially Xephir, which has grown way beyond its walls. Miles and miles of cityscape hugging the coast.

11) Where can I hire mercenaries?
Anywhere people are desperate so literally anywhere with people. To get the real pros, you're gonna have to outpay the church. Good luck.

12) Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
Magic is feared and outlawed pretty much everywhere. If you're wearing armor in a city and not part of the local power structure, everyone will (rightly) assume you're up to no good. Strangers are always blamed when shit goes missing or somebody gets stabbed. You carrying stabbing shit? Clearly you did it, weirdo. Let's hang 'em and have a party!!

13) Which way to the nearest tavern?
Look for a sheath of barley hanging above a door. Somebody there sells beer, probably the lady of the house. They might have a place for you to sit, often in a garden 'round back. 

If there's a candle burning above a door, it's a public house AND they're accepting more folks. There'll be a big room, usually a long table. They will be happy to let you sleep in there for money. They will also be happy to sell you booze and food. The strongest stuff around is applejack. (That's cider carefully frozen in the winter to jack the alcohol content way up.)

14) What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
Rumors abound that there's a dragon with black-glass scales killing livestock and shepherds near the Ruinous Woods of the north. It's begun to affect the dividends of powerful men so something might be done about it.

15) Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
The Church of God-most-Censorious is always looking for somebody to hold a musket or a spear and go fight in whatever the fuck it is they're doing past the Ocean Fog.

16) How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
Glory? No. Money? Yes. Basements, dockside. Stone walls sweat and men fight to the death; others bet and wince and grin and sometimes clap. Not every fighter's there by choice. 

17) Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
ISoG is always hiring. Soon its black ash planet will arrive. Permanence will be impossible. Pain will be joy; all will scream uneven.

Also there are an surprising number of cults being led by clever goblin-spirits. Those little animal headed bastards are just having a laugh. The blood and pain they inflict amounts to nothing but blood and pain.

18) What is there to eat around here?
Stews of whatever is available, often salt pork and garden veggies. Crusty bread is a must. About half the populace still eat from wooden trenchers, rather than pewter or pottery. Those folks have fewer teeth. Eggs have become common after some wildly successful commercial breeding operations out east. Often the eggs are scrambled with skirt steaks and other garbage cuts farmers can actually afford from their livestock. Winter is gruel thickened with old fat.

19) Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
There's supposed to be this Naiad Treasury, way up the river Whey. Whatever that means. Also pushing far enough in any direction will take you past the fog... to somewhere else. The Desart Strange is supposed to be studded with shunned ruins and old gold.

20) Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
Past the fog, everyone hopes.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Vengtenk, Dertective

So your name is Vengtenk, which don't make sense, but that doesn't really matter. See you're a pile of sweaty garbage in a filthy overcoat. You work as a P.I.

Your office is just a room with a corner marked off in chipboard. Behind that, a rusty shower and a toilet. You're drunk, and the toilet’s on fire.

Anyway, this game is meant to be played on social media in like a single thread or whatever. Everyone plays Vengtenk. After the GM asks for action, first commenter gets to does their thing.

If there's some question about the success of doing the thing, roll a Fudge die. [+] means it goes well. [-] it goes bad. [  ] and it goes the way you'd expect.

Vengtenk had 90 lives because he ate 10 cats on a dare. He's got 3 left. [-] on a dangerous thing means death.

Someone is trying to kill him. He doesn't remember why. Play until y’all figure it out… or until Vengtenk dies. Probably that.

GM, steal a plot from a cop show if you need to.