Preparing for the Battle of Askira

The Battle of Askira

Used Wonderdraft to make a simple hex map for an upcoming battle in our Stars Without Number game. I’m thinking each hex is around a mile.

Sure the Samaihayan Orthodoxy Loyalists have numbers, automatic weapons and an anti-personnel mech but our scrappy freelancers have a railgun, 4 space marine assault suits and a dream (and more if the local sheriff lets them borrow her hover bike).

This week I’ll make a mech using the SWN’s rules. I’ll post up the post-battle map with arrows and stuff that we’ll draw as we go on Google Jamboard.

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After the first session of Godbound

The Holy Party has returned. The Monsterists believe that they return because of the pull of the Tarrasque, that the monsters they battle offer as many lessons and as much wisdom as the heroes. The Messianics believe the Holy Party is here to save this broken world and return it to its former glory. Thronists believe it is the place, generating reincarnations of the heroes who came here before.

Chev the Wanderer used his deep understanding of Beasts and Earth to give his comrades a feast when they returned to the First Tavern. And so we give thanks and prayers to Chev the Wanderer when we feast friends who return from a long journey or sickness for the bounty at our table.

Niwin’s torch was lit from the sun itself and relit the Sun’s Daughter’s Dawnblade, returning her to grace. The Order of Niwin now light candles during the Throne Keep’s darkest hours so that folk can find their way. Praying at these lights can offer grace to the downtrodden.

Qnan put the Serpent of Truth on the Devil that was squatting in the Wizard’s Tower. Now farmers around Throne are tattooing snakes on oathbreakers to remind them not to break faith.

When villagers need aid all over the Thronelands, they often put up a rainbow streamer, in honor of Krogan the King-Thief’s illicitly procured magical airship, The Prismatic Spray.

Folk all over the Thronelands and beyond pay respects to Borrell the Wizard when they sign contracts. They shake hands once at dusk and then return a day later to sign the contract and go over the written word one more time.


Played Godbound this past weekend and just wanted to think a bit about what I did and what I would do moving forward.

While folks were finishing up their characters and ordering food, I jotted down a few random encounter tables:

2 – Baalzebul out hunting a unicorn

3 – Manticore

4 – Vampire

5 – Owlbear

6 – Bandits, the Merry Band

7 – Dwarven Mercenaries

8 – Throne Knights

9 – Elf Hunting Party

10 – Griffon pride

11 – Mind Flayer

12 – Githyanki Dragon-riders

 

But they one of the players had a skyship and so I wrote another one for the sky, thinking back, I could’ve just written sky alternates on the land table:

2 – Storm Giant Castle

3 – Elf Griffon-riders

4 – Feral Griffon pride

5 – Roc

6 – Roll twice, those things are fighting

7 – Pegasi herds

8 – Lightning Elementals

9 – Skyship Galleon (3/6 Pirate, 4/5 Merchant)

10 – Manticore

11 – Wyvern

12 – Githyanki Dragon-riders

 

looking at page 134-135 of Godbound, I went home and wrote up factions, things mentioned during the game that I’d bring in if we continued playing.

Heart

City-state ruled by Grazz’t and his demonic forces

Power 3 / d10

Problems:

  • Rival demon cities 3
  • Uppity Paladin Rebels 1
  • Demon War 1

Tomb

City-state necropolis ruled by Orcus and his demonic forces

Power 3  / Action Die d10

Problems:

  • Rival demon cities 3
  • Raven Queen Rebels 1
  • Demon War 1

Frost

City state on a mountain-top ruled by Kostchtchie and his demonic forces

Power 2  / Action Die d8

Problems:

  • Rival demon cities 3
  • Dwarven Rebels 1
  • Demon War 1

Torchbearers

Holy order of servants

Power 2  / Action Die d8

Problems:

  • Infiltrated by devil-worshippers 3

Githyanki Landing Team

Scouting Squadron from the Lich-Queen in the olde capital’s ruins

Power  2 / Action Die d8

Problems:

  • Githzarai Monks 2
  • Illithid 1

Beast Cults

Apocalyptic zealots who worship the Tarrasque, the Void Dragon and other world-ending beasts

Power 1 / Action Die d6

Problems:

  • Hunted by all decent folk in Throne 2

Bard’s Pass Lorekeepers

Old adventurous bards, librarians and storytellers who keep records of the Holy Party’s adventures

Power  1 / Action Die d6

Problems:

  • Throne has forgotten them 1

Holy Town of Hero’s Wake

The holy town where the Holy Party’s First Tavern still stands

Power 1  / Action Die d6

Problems:

  • Bandits 1
  • Throne has forgotten them 1

Elves of the Twilight Realms

Nigh-immortal faeries whose twilit realms straddle the uncreated night and the astral sea

Power  4 / Action Die d12

Problems:

  • Realm under siege by the Spider Queen 4
  • Divided internally between those who want to fight and those who want to fade into the Western Lands 1

Merry Band

Holy bandits who worship Chev the Wanderer

Power 1 / Action Die d6

Problems:

  • Hunted by knights 2

Wizard’s Holiest Scribes

Record keepers and archivists of Throne

Power 2 / Action Die d8

Problems:

  • Books lost during devil infiltration 1
  • Lost touch with populace during Wizard’s absence 1

The first game was fun. They wheeled and dealed with devils to turn the Tarrasque towards the demon city-states and found their lost paladin (the only pre-gen not chosen) on a castle on a dark spot on the sun.

Now I’d want to level everyone up and see where folks want to spend Dominion and Influence, see how they want to change the world, who they want to treat with and how the factions shift around in the meantime. I might even make the faction turn something I do in front of everyone, rather than lonely fun they hear about later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Godbound Adventure: The Holy Party

It is a tale as old as polyhedrals – a group of delvers goes into a series of monster-haunted pits, gathers riches and turn their ambitions and expertise to the real world.

You know where it goes from here. They take over, become heads of guilds and temples and kingdoms and eventually, why not, they break into heaven and become gods.

Only after the machinery of Heaven becomes damaged do they wake up to the desperate prayers from their shrines in the one-tavern-village where it all started because the Tarrasque has awoken and only this pantheon of demi-gods, The Barbarian God, the Ranger God, the Thief God, the Paladin God, the Wizard God and the Patron Saint of Torchbearers and Hirelings, can stop it.

A Godlike adventure.

Holy Party Character Sheets

The Holy Party Facts Words Powers

NOTE: The Facts on the character sheets are just vague ideas about the characters and not well written Facts. I have in the second PDF questions for the players to answer so that they will have useable Facts and will be able to add a touch of their own spice to the character. Thank you, Matt Weber.

EDIT: I’m going to update the characters based on playing the game last night. Updates will be up on the week of 6/8.

Need a map?

Sure, whipped this up on Wonderdraft:

Holy Party Map.png

Stats from whichever Monster Manual I have close at hand.

Random Table Rolls in Stars Without Number

Last night I knew the players were going to arrive at the Archive Planet. Once it was the home of the Preceptor Archive, the data sent from Olde Earth to this system to support humanity. Recently, this planet fell to Tech Level 2. It was a steam age level of tech. This was all made from rolling up the system years ago. I wrote up what those system tags meant in a google doc.

I went to page 246 in Stars Without Number Revised and rolled a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 and d20 as the players were getting online and I was chatting with my friend.

What is the conflict About? | Money, extortion, payment due, debts

General Venue of the Event | Next to or in a public park

Why are the PC’s involved? | Participant offers reward for help

What’s the Nature of the Event? | Fires or building collapses are happening

What Antagonists are involved? | A local bully and their thugs

Relevant Urban Features | Unrelated activists are protesting here

I had no idea what all of this meant. I had words written in my notebook:

IMG_20190603_112706

They landed on this moon, knowing what was written in the Sector Hades Zeta Guide:

The Archive City, The Hades Zeta Library, H.Z.L.

Atmo: Breathable

Temp: Warm

Biosphere: Miscible

Population: 10K

TL:  2

About: Eriphyle is a moon circling a gas giant named Polyxena, from which the system takes its name. Eriphyle shows clear signs of having been terra-formed and is covered in cryptic ruins, showing strong evidence that an alien species was in the sector before human settlement. The outpost is governed by an administration that proudly traces its lineage back to the Preceptor Archive created to track data and offer information access since the first days of human space exploration.

Eriphyle’s knockdown from TL3 to TL2 is a source of fierce shame, as data has become corrupted and lost as information infrastructure broke down and computer networks collapsed. Some archivists still hold out hope that when the archive regains its technological glory, coordinates of Olde Earth will be among the pieces of data uncovered.

Everyone knows that the Guevaran Hegemony is out there and that they have a Preceptor Archive that claims a more pure line to Olde Earth.

The players saw a fire in the distance and when the two soldiers arrived on the scene they saw protestors organizing a protest in a park against the latest Archivist Congress budget cuts. Hegemony loyalists want the rival archive to come and lift the planet out of the steam age. The Samihayan Orthodoxy Loyalists were gunning the protestors down.

The players took action. Witt’s Gudradim Cannibal Hunter killed the shooters, noting that they were being led by Hegemonic Intelligence Agents. They got the wounded to a nearby hospital, which was literally a building plugged into a free merchant ship that belonged to some retired military personnel from a tech level 4 world.

I’m fascinated with the way the tables generate something, that something collides headlong into the system generation and all of that collides with the players (GM included) and their characters and all of their motivations. Somewhere in there an adventure happens.

 

Dreaming about Trollheim

Right before we headed out for a celebratory birthday dinner, Janaki saw the picture on the cover of the Cormyr sourcebook and said, “Are those goblins?”

“I don’t think so. I think they are trolls.”

cormyr

Art by Jennell Jaquays

Maybe that is why I woke up at 3AM after having had a dream about Trollheim.

Trollheim is a city founded by trolls who figured out some way to traverse the World Tree to a world with a salty marshland that they claimed for their own. So they wouldn’t get lost and because they regenerate, they’d bury their hands under the city. Centuries of this tradition has led to trolls coming from all over the worlds to bury their hands under Trollheim, so that they might find their way home should they become lost. Even after their new hand grows back, they’ll follow an itch in their wrist to find their city.

The salt-water bog mummified the hands, allowing the troll warlocks who inhabit the city and mind its shrines to the Troll-mother and the Cathedral Bridge to call up mummified hands buried all over the city’s swamps to defend it in times of need.

The Scoundrelexicon

Bits and pieces of the Scoundrelexicon are painted on brick alley’s walls, carved into benches of pubs and some have even heard its wisdom screeched by ravens. You can tell that they are different from other graffiti because they are lucid and are good advice for those who have disregarded all other good advice and started a scoundrel’s life of crime in Doskvol.

No one has all of the Scoundrelexicon’s wisdom, though some back-alley scholars have begun to gather them together. Are they the work of a ghost? Are they some kind of ghostly manifestations of crews that have fallen to the unrelenting pressure and grind the scoundrel’s life demands?

blades-graffiti.png

Here are a few of them, written down here before they were painted over, sanded away or otherwise cleaned from existence:

No use telling a crew not to punch above their weight because we all do but know this: make friends above yer weight too.

 

Is eeking out a life of poverty under a bridge better than bleeding to death on that same bridge? That is the question Doskvol forces you to ask once you float down the Scoundrel’s Canal.

 

A job going to chaos isn’t a sign of a poorly wrought plan. It is a sign that you are living the life of a scoundrel and that life’s tapestry is woven with chaos, death, vendetta and time lost to cruel Ironhook.

 

Whispers make good problem solvers but bad priests.

 

Sometimes a an Iruvian dueling knife is the only thing that can pry out a bullet and sometimes the finest Imperial pistol is the only club at hand. Look at yer load with fresh eyes every time you load out.

 

Ironhook is our schoolmaster and it is a vicious, miserable educator.

 

War is bad for business but so is love.

 

When the cutter wants war seek out diplomacy and peace; when the spider wants peace make fell war.

Please add your own in the thread over at the new Blades in the Dark forum.

 

 

Art

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Old houses King & Varick Sts.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1919. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-8cc7-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

SWN: The Taking of Free Trader Grandma’s Trusty Rifle

This e-mail was sent to the folks I game with after our last session, as mentioned in Episode 15 of Daydreaming About Dragons.

SWN Galaxy Breaker

XP

Everyone present take 4 XP for the past session. Good plan, good execution. Good stuff.

I knew they had a Big Fucking Gun out of the box but wasn’t sure how they’d set it up. The way you guys posed as a Veluriuan family ship really changed the way I thought that whole thing would go.
SWN Galaxy Breaker

NPC’s

Witt and I had a miscommunication about the Gudradim hunter who works for the Valerius family. She is not the traitor Strachan is hunting. She is a different person all together. Sorry for the confusion.

RIP Mubarak.

If we ever have a game where we have absences and don’t want to move on without everyone present we will play a game on board the Free Trader Mubarak, the haunted ship under Captain Agrippa Horatius.

SWN Galaxy Breaker

Beep-Boop

Mechanics I want to write-up:

  • Buying things using Astral Dragon Money (inspired by Burning Wheel’s resource dice)
  • Making tech in the lab (inspired by the Saavyhead’s Workplace move in Apocalypse World)
  • Experience point lists (inspired by Blades in the Dark)
    Ammo checks (inspired by usage die in old school D&D games)

SWN Galaxy Breaker

Loot

You got over a dozen crates containing the parts for six complete Storm armors as worn by the Guevaran Hegemony Space Marine Squads along with diagnostic support stations and replacement parts. These are the type of armor worn by Lalita Space Marines during the Battle of Forest 164 in the bloodiest battle against the Crick. There currently are not any companies nor governments producing these in this system.

In most systems using these in acts of violence without the proper paperwork is considered an act of terrorism.

Keeping these in fighting shape is really difficult. Space Marine squads have 3 Warfare Engineers for every one door-kicking devil dog wearing one of these brutal machines on the battlefield. There will be mechanics to show this.

SWN Galaxy Breaker

P.S. It looks like that armor pic (not shown above but in the link) is by Kai Lim.

SWN Galaxy Breaker

 

Art

 Image taken from page 645 of ‘L’Espace céleste et la nature tropicale, description physique de l’univers … préface de M. Babinet, dessins de Yan’ Dargent’ by The British Library
Via Flickr:
Image taken from: Title: “L’Espace céleste et la nature tropicale, description physique de l’univers … préface de M. Babinet, dessins de Yan’ Dargent” Author: Liais, Emmanuel Contributor: BABINET, Jacques. Contributor: DARGENT, Jean Édouard – calling himself Yan’ Dargent Shelfmark: “British Library HMNTS 10003.d.10.” Page: 645 Place of Publishing: Paris Date of Publishing: 1866 Issuance: monographic Identifier: 002161070 Explore: Find this item in the British Library catalogue, ‘Explore’. Download the PDF for this book (volume: 0) Image found on book scan 645 (NB not necessarily a page number) Download the OCR-derived text for this volume: (plain text) or (json)Click here to see all the illustrations in this book and click here to browse other illustrations published in books in the same year. Order a higher quality version from here.