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TOPIC: Dying Earth

Dying Earth 7 years 3 months ago #2666

  • Allan
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So we are get­ting a game started. One Ref and one player.
When mak­ing his char­ac­ter I asked, what sort of story did he want to explore. Please refer to some other posts where I explain about the par­tic­u­lar chal­lenges with this player.
We have played some Dying Earth by Pel­grane, but he was not a fan of the lan­guage, and had not read the books.
Think­ing about it, DE is very S&S, with­out the fight­ing cor­rect?
So he men­tions, set­ting a sit­u­a­tion, sim­i­lar to Cud­gel. Upset a wiz­ard and zapped away to for­eign shores. To slowly make his way back and seek revenge.
I sec­onded the idea.
So he is a tribes man from The Shin­ing Hills. One PA is to always flex his mus­cles and show off.
A nearby town in civ­i­liza­tion is hav­ing a annual fair with a series of con­tests to find crown the monarch of the fair.
So I can have some easy learn­ing events to get started and at some point he will arouse the ire of a pow­er­ful wiz­ard.
Do you think such a story will suf­fer from not hav­ing a vil­lian. If the player is mov­ing, how to have him plagued by some­one, or do I just treat it like a series of short sto­ries with­out an over arch­ing badass.
Thanks
Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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Dying Earth 7 years 3 months ago #2667

Hon­estly, I think that works just fine. That said, the character’s Pas­sion Attrib­utes need to be writ­ten to take into account that most of the usual things won’t be in the same place as him — and thus won’t be fired as often. Other than that; the story is about the PC’s jour­ney home. The wiz­ard doesn’t really need to be involved until the PC returns home, since the wiz­ard is just the rea­son he’s there and the moti­va­tion for return­ing. He might even choose to remain in this for­eign land because of other things that turn up. Alter­na­tively, the wiz­ard might actu­ally be from the place the PC is being sent to, and the PC might piss him off fur­ther in his attempts to return home. There are many ways to pull it off, but hon­estly, my advice would be to make these deci­sions when they actu­ally mat­ter. So long as they’re log­i­cally con­sis­tent, your player will never know the dif­fer­ence, and the reduced amount of prep means it’ll be eas­ier to adapt should the cam­paign take an unex­pected turn.
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Dying Earth 7 years 3 months ago #2668

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Thanks.
He asked if he should/​could have a PA about revenge on the wiz­ard and I men­tioned that it was such a poten­tially future event that his char­ac­ter might have that goal but he did not have to turn that into a PA. With the idea that char­ac­ter goals and PA’s don’t have to match. I think he may have picked a PA about want­ing to get home, so if he diverts and goes some­where else like fur­ther north with­out a good rea­son, then the PA will suf­fer.
The badass/​villain I was try­ing to work out would be at his land­ing point, some­where north, Taraam in Xoth, some­where like that.

Inci­den­tally, we worked the dis­tance on the map to bet­ter under­stand the set­ting (we come from a Harn gam­ing back­ground!), from the jun­gle to the north is around 3000 kilo­me­ters, the same as Dar­win (our home town) to Ade­laide Aus­tralia. Not sure about the Cold Wastes on the map, we hand waved that to be fur­ther off the map.

Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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Dying Earth 7 years 3 months ago #2670

  • Michael
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Allan wrote:
We have played some Dying Earth by Pel­grane, but he was not a fan of the lan­guage, and had not read the books.
Think­ing about it, DE is very S&S, with­out the fight­ing correct?

What an excel­lent game! What excel­lent books! And yes, the sto­ries fit the genre well, espe­cially the totally amoral and utterly self-​serving atti­tude of prac­ti­cally every­body. And then the sto­ries are actu­ally quite vio­lent, too, even phys­i­cally so, with just a diaphanous veil of comic events hardly dis­guis­ing the cru­elty and out­right bru­tal­ity of it all.

Allan wrote:
Do you think such a story will suf­fer from not hav­ing a vil­lian. If the player is mov­ing, how to have him plagued by some­one, or do I just treat it like a series of short sto­ries with­out an over arch­ing badass.

I sec­ond all of hectorgrey’s excel­lent advice. Like him, I don’t per­ceive any prob­lem. The obvi­ous, over-​arching “get back home” PA should help the PC pretty much all of the time in over­com­ing the episodic obsta­cles to his trip. If you want the player and his PAs to be more pro-​active (which is probaly a good thing), you might want to con­sider and sug­gest to your player that his PC might be able to, dur­ing his trip, acquire the means to even­tu­ally exact revenge on the sor­cerer. The sor­cerer might for exam­ple draw (much of) his eldritch pow­ers from a pact with an arch-​demon (or he might have incar­cer­ated him), and find­ing out how to break the sorcerer’s hold over his patron/​slave might be sec­ond sto­ry­line to be played out along­side and par­al­lel to the return trip. You just need to dan­gle the PC with occa­sional oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn about the demon.

Allan wrote:
The badass/​villain I was try­ing to work out would be at his land­ing point, some­where north, Taraam in Xoth, some­where like that.

Maybe some asso­ciate of the sor­cerer? But that doesn’t really mat­ter. You just need to put obsta­cles in the PC’s way, prefer­able liv­ing sen­tient, obsta­cles with rea­sons to detain the PC of their own. If you are afraid that your game might become too episodic and frac­tured, such a vil­lain might him­self be located fur­ther south along the PC’s path but have agents fur­ther north. Another pow­er­ful sor­cerer might be good — one antag­o­nis­tic to the orig­i­nal one, but nev­er­the­less unfriendly to the PC any­how. Maybe he wants to wrest the arch-​demon away from the first sor­cerer and make him his own, while the PC is look­ing for a means to ban­ish the arch-​demon for good — which the sec­ond sor­cerer would in the­ory know how to do. This sec­ond sor­cerer might even in part be respon­si­ble for the PC ban­ish­ment, hav­ing used him as an unwit­ting tool to test some (faulty) the­ory of his about the arch-​demon — and in the process the PC learned some fact (or acquired some rel­e­vant doc­u­ment) which the sec­ond sor­cerer now would like to have, and which the PC wants to use to break the first sorcerer’s power over the demon. Now if only the PC could find out exactly how to use his knowl­edge…

But that’s just an idea from the top of the head. There are a myr­iad ways to make the adven­tures less episodic and to give the PC more to pur­sue, PA-​wise, than just get­ting back south as soon as pos­si­ble — if you two so desire.
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-​colored sun
Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
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Dying Earth 7 years 3 months ago #2671

  • Allan
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Thanks also Michael.
Plenty to think on.
I had been think­ing some thing sim­i­lar to the Demon. In DE the wiz­ard has a rep­u­ta­tion for prac­ti­cal jocks.
So unless I make the mage the same, why not just fry the PC.
Maybe the Demon is sum­moned to drag the PC to some nether hell, but in its own rebel­lion against its orders, twists it so the PC is dropped far away.
Then the demon as per what you sug­gested Michael, could be the one that promises reward for its release from the Mage. It could pro­vide a clue/​list of the items to break the spell. Not sure how that should work in the sys­tem. Or maybe an item that can counter the spell.
Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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