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Laney



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PostSubject: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:42 am

Dear All,

I am in the process of creating a steampunk style RPG with the working title: DeStokesy, taken from some characters I included in a short story: Black Shuck. The three main characters were Magicians and Ghost Hunters called Ralph DeStokesy, Mary Winterledge, St John Gray who belonged to a Society of Magicians based at the Gallows Apples Inn.

This has lead to me extending the universe and eventually the idea of creating a RPG based around it. I would like to include a significant element of skirmish style gaming to the RPG (rather than going down the LARP route, which fills me with horror!) in the game mechanics (for which development of Death Squads has been the ultimate training!). However, I would like to avoid the DandD 4th edition approach (while I own the books I have tended to use older/familiar systems to run these elements).

A request...

At this stage, I would love to know what people (in a forum where I trust peoples opinions!) like (or dislike) about RPGs in general (particularly favourite game mechanics or RPGs you love) and if you like the Steampunk genre specifically, what you would want to see in such a game.

I'm not expecting you to share all your best personal gaming ideas with me, but any views are welcomed! I have many ideas of my own that I will share in sections (at the minute I don't want to colour opinions) and love opinions on - I also hope to start a Blog (a new venture for me!). EDIT: I hope that this will become something more than just a personal hobby idea and it is my resolution to see it in print (eventually!).

Cheers Laney Very Happy

_________________
I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
— Commissar Ciaphas Cain, to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria


Last edited by Laney on Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lazi



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:16 am

Hey! First of all I wish you all good luck with this project. I know its hard put put ideas together to create working universe and put gaming mechanics in it.

I like the idea of steampunk RPG. Few years back me and my group actually played in steampunk setting (well it was historical setting with steampunk and fantasy elements rather than pure steampunk) and it was quite fun.

We used FATE system (I think it is also known as FUDGE) which is really universal - you can play it in pretty much any setting (we used it also in our fatasy games, Firefly-universe based game and also short StarGate game). Also the mechanics are quite simple to understand and are relatively adaptable to ones needs. In Czech Republic there is a game named "Stories of the Empire" based on this system. It takes place in steampunk setting and fills Victorian England with some awesome magic. I haven't played it or read it so that's all I know about it. Anyway, I think FATE is a system worth looking at, because thanks to its simlicity and adaptability you could spend more time thinking about the universe itself rather than about the mechanics for the game.

As to what I'd like to see in steampunk setting: It really depends on how much steampunk do you want it to be. As fas as I am concerned, I would enjoy both highly steampunked society or a setting where there are just some steampunk elements present. But in each of these I probably would appreciate different approach... I'll think about it a little more and perhaps will think of something more specific Wink
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Matt12z



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:43 am

As Lazi said, good luck with the project. It'd be good to be able to follow this all the way to print!

I love the idea of Steam punk. There is something about this alternative setting which fires the imagination. However, as you're no doubt aware, this is a setting which many have explored - there will be some pressure to make this unique.

As for what I love / loathe about RPG's in general...if I'm honest, there's a hint of intimidation when RPG's are first approached. There seems to be a lot of preparation for those responsible to GM games, and you really need the right group of people to play with. Personally speaking, I find narrative to be more important than perfect game mechanics, but at the same time, I want there to be an easier way of introducing game mechanics to a relatively new bunch of people. I'm part of a small gaming group that meets once a week in the town of ware, and while we play a lot of board games, we're put off by trying bigger rpg's due to lack of experience.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. Hope there's something of interest amongst that lot.

Matt
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Laney



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:02 am

Thanks Lazi - I'll definitely look at the FATE system for some ideas (I have a very rough system in progress, but I'm not so precious I wouldn't use something that was already great!).

Thanks Matt - A simpler entry point for new players is definitely a good idea (I personally love the Palladium/Rifts system, which is full of holes and very simple, but allows for great roleplaying and player customisation). I agree that unique is important and the market is a little crowded at the minute, but I've yet to find a system or game world that quite hits the mark for me. I would like the game to lean towards the Gothic horror side of Steampunk, but without the Vampires (at least not in the Twilight or even the Bram Stoker style - Renfield could make an appearance if he wanted though!)

EDIT: @Matt - I'd consider quick start characters and a quick start adventure to be part of the initial offering, is this also part of what you were thinking?

I suppose I should give you a (little) bit more on my Steampunk vision... The core book would be based in a Britain (I have loads of expansion ideas, but don't want to muddy the waters), which has been 'shattered' into several isles (notably Cornwall has separated from England, along with Wales and Scotland - most of England itself remained intact). When this happened the ancient routes into Faerie reopened and ley lines burned their way across the land (this is the source of magical energy for which I have what I think might be an interesting game mechanic).

While magic is an element of the world it is more an additional technology to justify much of the steampunk technology (and the Victorian ingenuity to exploit it!) that we know would be impossible through scientific means. The land of Faerie (which is a rather dark place) is intertwined with England (Britain) and defies conventional mapping (providing much opportunity for exploration). My one absolute for magic is that it will not include everyone being able to chuck fireballs left and right on a whim. Magic will be supportive and rare, requiring players to use their ingenuity to draw the most from the skills (real, magic and technological) available to them. The technology that relies on magical energy will be inherently unreliable and experimental (I have an idea for this too).

There is lots more I have worked out, but I hope to get some firmer plans that go beyond just having cool names for things. I am even considering comissioning some artwork at a fairly early stage of some key concepts.

Laney Very Happy

_________________
I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
— Commissar Ciaphas Cain, to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria


Last edited by Laney on Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dysturbed



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:47 am

Now your at talking my langauge. I have been playing in some variety for about 15-17 years now love everything about rpg's. I mostly play Call of Cthulhu right now.

Simple dice systems are a must for me D100 skill based or exploding dice systems seem to work best for my players. The thing I like most about d100 skill settings is you can do so much with it. If the DM comes up with a situation where they need a new skill you can just make it up determine a base for it and they can go with it. And in the case of Call of Cthulhu using the skill will allow you to become better at it.

Examples: Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds, Wild Talents, Fantasy Flight 40k Games

Also story based reward elements such as Benny's are always good for the group as a whole it gives everyone something to work toward in a roleplaying capacity anyhow.

Savage Worlds is the best example for this.

Remember that actual mechanical math can not be copyrights but the words used to describe them and the way in which you do is copyright able. So if you have a 2d6 roll mechanic that D&D calls fumble roll (example) and you call it a Fail Roll you are fine but if both of you call it a fumble roll and they copyrighted it as such you will be getting a Cease and Desist in the mail.

You will also want to check into the other Steam Punk games and be sure you are not recreating the wheel or accidently infringing on what they are doing.

Abney Park's Airship Pirates
http://airshippirates.abneypark.com/

Etherscope
http://www.goodman-games.com/WW17620preview.html

Tephra
http://www.crackedmonocle.com/

Victoriana
http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/victoriana//

Oz Dark and Terrible
http://emeraldcityexpeditions.com/news/

Iron Kingdoms
http://privateerpress.com/iron-kingdoms

There are probably others also just search on Drivethru RPG and you will find something cool im sure.

I would also see if there is a game that is similar to the feel you want to go for and then just write the game as a campaign setting instead of having to design a whole setting AND a system to work it. With that is the case you could get together some special rules for our world that change the mechanics slightly then roll from there. Example of this would be Delta Green written originally for the Call of Cthulhu setting (they are now rewriting it as their own system) but it worked for them for years. That was made by a company called Pegan Publishing which isn't part of Chaosium which owns Call of Cthulhu. Also if you look at the history of Piazo the company that makes Pathfinder RPG they use outside people all the time to write adventures then eventually hire them on to work for them or just leave them as freelancers.

If you need any advice or design help gimmie a holla.

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Laney



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:29 am

Great info Dysturbed thanks! D100 skills/D10 was definitely the way I wanted to go. I'm familiar with some of these, but I will go on a search (I was trying to keep as many ideas as free of initial influence as possible) - DrivethruRPG here we come!

I'll definitely be after some more help!

Cheers Laney Very Happy

_________________
I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
— Commissar Ciaphas Cain, to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria
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Lazi



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:23 am

Gothic steampunk expansion? I got i tive for you: Prague Very Happy

Anyway, I like your idea with the emerging Faerie a lay lines as a source of magic. I totally agree with not-so-common magic. It is actually pretty challenging to play magic user in a world where use of magic is persecuted (so perhaps you might consider restricting the magic via legal restrictions and social persecution for magic-using characters - besides making wizards less powerfull it can also bring opportunities for storymaking and can enhance the overall experience).

I also have an interesting thought (well, I hope it's interesting) on how the technology and magic can be used together - if the magic was manipulating "life-force" the some scientist with occult knowledge could use it to power their machines - using people as engines. It might be semi-legal to do such things. Also some items of "daily"-use could be powered in this way - some powerful handheld weapons perhaps, draining life-force when fired but having quite devastating effect. I can imagine some kind of VIP bodyguard having such weapon. These things would be really top-tech available only to rich. I think life-draining (life-sucking?) kind of fits into gothic theme Wink
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Laney



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:33 am

Some ace ideas Lazi -

Interesting that magic may be restricted by legal means - perhaps using the class system may work for it being more exclusive (higher class individuals have greater access to these arts, rather than equally/more talented lower class individuals.I was simply looking at lower level spells, that must be used more thoughtfully (possibly with higher level casting introduced later, which takes much preparation and has wider effects).

The combination of ley line energy to 'animate' machinery and even provide Difference and Analytical Engines with a form of intelligence was definitely in my thoughts. I was also considering an Infinity Engine which allows souls to be 'downloaded' into automata. I had an idea of certain people, namely faeries and children, are very useful for this process (and make for great servants/slaves). In terms of life-force, it could use enslaved faeries to draw life force from (not an original idea - but it fits the setting nicely). The ultimate version of the Infinity Engine is to be seen in the Royal Cimmerian Guard, where volunteers from the Gallows are converted into loyal automaton soldiers for 'Mad' King Arthur (this is subject to change!).


EDIT: Prague is a great potential location for more RPG goodness!


Cheers Laney

_________________
I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
— Commissar Ciaphas Cain, to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria
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horrid



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:40 am

I hadn't checked out many threads beyond the model/paint one and coming upon something like this I realized that maybe I should. I haven't read your short story yet so I'm not sure what the overall tone of your setting might be. You seem to be leaning toward Low Magic (as opposed to fireballs) which is cool I'm wondering if there might be story reasons for magic being something "out there".

Fey: How "dark" are the Sidhe? I always liked the scary folk tale sort that stole babies and replace them with changelings. If magic is rooted in the Fey is their a terrible price to magic? I'm a fan of the Cthulhu nastiness of magic where inevitably it's practice leads to a bad ending. Having an active race that is at the root of magical power allows for bargaining for these powers which is a nice element.

How does society view magic? Is it a tool like science? I think you said something to that effect. Victorian science was a pretty crazy movement philosophically. Proponents were struck with it being a "manly" art and the subjugation of nature/the environment as a woman went to some perverse place metaphorically speaking. I wonder about the relationships between a magic approved by the Royal Society and a fringe magic that remains in the hands of the hedge wizards, the witch, the midwife. I'd also wonder about the position of government and church in matter of the occult. While the Church of England had no Inquisition they still had witchfinders like Matthew Hopkins. Scotland as a Catholic state did have an Inquisition and were censured for the brutality of their acts by their southern neighbors.

I'm not terribly useful for game mechanics but I like to babble about history and possible alternates (Would an Inquisition or witch hunting in general have continued beyond the 17th centuryif there was an enemy and might Church and State encourage and protect such an organization if they were attempting to rein in and control arcane power for the glory of England?).
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Laney



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:05 pm

Thanks for the ideas Horrid - I knew it was the right choice to put this idea on the forum.

As of yet I've not posted Black Shuck and the only people to read it are my parents and my wife! Maybe one day. I find writing short excerpts a lot easier (like most people I suppose!).

I love the idea of there being a price to pay for magic use and I really like the sinister side to the residents of Faerie and even those that are 'good' need to be wild in nature. It must balance reasonably against the other elements the game, so a trained mercenary with various combat and shooting skills, should equal a magician skilled in the arcane arts or an engineer able to create and control a powerful golem.

Laney Very Happy

_________________
I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
— Commissar Ciaphas Cain, to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria
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Lazi



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:15 am

I think the "alternative society" aspect of the game is just screaming to be examined. There are possibilities to work with this RPG in a similar way some classical authors worked with sci-fi (now I have that sort of "social sci-fi" in mind, where the focus more on what progress did with people and society than the sci-fi gizmos themselves). Steampunk gives you opportunity to do the same (opposed to fantasy which IMO lacks the possibilities). There are lots of players who like storytelling aspect much more than the action as well as players who just want to smash things and don't care much for the story (from my experience it's usually younger players and players who are just begining with RPG). For the storytelling-loving ones the social background of your world would be really helpful and I think it's worth working on it in it's all complexity.
(now I really don't know whether I was able to correctly put what I wanted to say or not Very Happy )

As for the system: I agree with Dysturbed on the campaign setting issue. There is a bambilion (just a ridiculous number Wink ) of RPG systems out there, some of them really great, so making a new one is, as we say in czech, carrying wood back to woods. Number of different setting is also quite high, but as a player I would rather learn rules of the new world then the rules of a new game. It's much more interesting to explore possibilities of a settings than learn how to roll dice in a different way. So in my eyes, the time would be much better spent on making a really cool world working in tested system, rather than on average world with average or worse system...

I don't know if you had a time to look into FATE yet. It is (or at least it was) an open system, so it would be usable if you decided to go the "campaing-setting" way. I always hated systems with high numbers (D100 rolls for example) and lots of math in it and maybe thats the reason I really like FATE. It's skill-based system (so no classes or other archetypes). Your character has "Aspects" - pretty much anything can be an aspect: "Strong", "Soldier", "Magical talent", "Insane", "Split personality", "Elf" etc. We had some fun with having a "quote-aspects" for our characters as well: "This is my ship" for the captain of Firefly-class ship or "Meat is a meat" for a chineese doctor/cook on the very same ship. These aspect work a little bit like levels (oh, did I mentione there is no experience in this system? But I guess it can be implemented). For each aspect a character has 4 skill points to spend on pretty much any skill he wants - "Swordfighting", "Handguns", "Geography", "First aid". The GM decides how wide the skillsets will be in different areas, depending on a style of game - in a game where there is not much of a fighting and is more about intrigue, the combat skills will be more general (close combat x shooting) and communication skills will be more specialized (lying, bodylanguage, lipreading, ettiquette, bulls**t detector etc.). There are some rules on how many skill points can be spent.
The skill basically have 1-7 skillpoints (having 7 skillpoints in one skill is hard to get to Wink ). Having 1 skillpoint in a skill means you are average at this skill (while you sucked at it before) and get a base of 0 when rolling on this skill. With each next point you get +1. This game use 4D3 with "-", "0" and "+". When you roll to check your succes you add pluses and substract minuses from the base. GM then decides whether the character succeded (GM is not telling the player what result is needed to succed, he rather gives hints: it will be easy/hard). After the roll and after GM annouces the result comes the time to use aspects - you can either turn one die to "+" or roll them all again. The aspect must be applicable on the situation (using "Strong" when kicking out the door, rather than "Magical talent"). This can change the result and a new situation arises. Player should explain how the aspect helped (but it's not compulsory).
There some other things, but this is pretty much the core of the system and it's very basic mechanics.

Sorry for this kind of advertising my favourite system Very Happy I just couldn't help myself Very Happy
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Matt12z



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:34 am

Quote :
@Matt - I'd consider quick start characters and a quick start adventure to be part of the initial offering, is this also part of what you were thinking?

Hi Laney,

Apologies for the delay in catching up with the thread. Work and all that...

Yes, this is what I was thinking. There needs to be someway to immerse people both in the world your creating, and as a means of teaching the basic mechanics to both players and GM. The best example I can think of, though I'm yet to play it, is Fantasy Flight's RPG Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, simply because it appears to teach game mechanics in its first few scenarios.

I guess the other question, which I suspect you've already answered, would be would you use a familiar set of game mechanics, or create your own? As @Lazi has said, there may be more interest in learning the rules of the new world, rather than the rules of the new game. Something to consider.

Also, I want to agree with this idea of "Alternative Society." It really offers the chance to see the familiar through a new lens.

You know, every time I think about this, I keep thinking of something that was on TV back in 2000. Christopher Lee teamed up with the BBC to do a short series called "Ghost Stories for Christmas." Worth having a look...if you dare...bit cheesy, but a good story with dark overtones...



Think that's everything!

Oh, I know you haven't published "black shuck" yet, but would you ever consider putting one of your short stories on here, so we can get a sense of the world you're creating?

Matt
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Laney



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:00 pm

Thanks again gents for the great ideas. I kind of like the idea of creating a rule system too. But, at the minute developing the game world is the priority.

On the story front, I might post a few extracts as some of the ideas have changed quite a lot from the original short story.

Just to keep you interested (hopefully). Here are a couple of short outlines for creatures in the world...

Changeling - These vicious creatures steal human babies replacing them with an evil shapechanging version of the child. The changeling itself is actually a form of imp hiding under the illusion of a normal baby. They drain the household of sustenance, steal wealth and will eventually kill the parents, who work under the mistaken belief that this is their child. The stolen child is raised as a slave (or in some cases food) by faeries of the Unseelie Court, eventually becoming a little more than an animated child shell, a mindless slave and treated no better than an animal.





Bodach - these human sized creatures appearing as dark-grey, translucent forms. The Bodach were thought to be death spirits that drifted across the desolate, wilds of faerie and now have found some way to enter the human realm. These predators attack humans and livestock draining them of their vitality, stripping flesh from bones as they wrap up their victims in a blinding grey fog. The Bodach do not kill their prey before feeding, preferring to devour them alive, the screams of terror their victims produce adds flavour to their meal.



Cheers Laney


_________________
I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
— Commissar Ciaphas Cain, to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria
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horrid



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:47 pm

Your blurb on the changeling made me wonder about the fate of the children they replaced. Two bits of folklore on visitors to fey mounds that always struck me as interesting.

Dining with the fey. People in the mounds were never thought to be under the power of their captors until they ate of that realm. Stories featured revels and sumtuous banquets that tempted those detained. The roots of these stories are probably reiterations of the Persepone myth.

Old Visitors. Other stories of ancient persons coming to a court claiming to be someone who had vanished ages before. These visitors rapidly aged outside of the glamors of the fey hills and died in days.

Back to the children I really like the idea of "husks" but the Mass Effect assocoations would probably wreck the ambiance. Maybe "hollows" or a play between empty vessels/vassals (I like empty vassals)

I hadn't thought of it before but have you ever read anything by Mark Chadbourn? He writes an Elizabethan supernaturnal spy series with a cast including Christopher Marlow that rocks. The fey he depicts in his stories are nasty pieces of work that seem to have the right measure of malevolence and capriciousness. If your trying to remain in a "cone of silence" as you work out your ideas I'd stay away from this but if you aren't afraid of cross contamination and might enjoy a good read check these out.

Discussing your project makes me want to rough out my own I'm leaning toward a Mad Max meets Spartacus board game with a campaign system (I remain a fan of Blood Bowl (It's how they got their hooks in me).
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Gatlag Stonetooth



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:34 pm

Wow! Quite an impressive project to setup Laney!
I wish you the best on it and hope you will see it in print eventually! (a man needs his dreams right?)
I'm afraid I can't help you out on the "real" RPG part, because I haven't really played games like that. I've mostly played miniatures games so far. Tomorrow I'm going to play Castle Ravenloft for the first time with my friends. Does that game suits your genre more?
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Laney



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:55 pm

Cheers Gatlag - currently real work is preventing me to make progress on the project.

I loved Ravenloft (I remember the old boxset campaign setting) - the way players were always kept off balance and weren't the super heroes of the world, but caught up by the mists.

More on the weekend.

Laney

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I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
— Commissar Ciaphas Cain, to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria
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Gatlag Stonetooth



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:28 pm

Ah bunmer, real life chores (mostly work) can really be a pain! They take up all your precious hobby time. Hope you'll find some more time soon!

You've played it? Cool! Don't know if this is the same version, it's from Wizards of the coast.
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Laney



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:38 am

Is Castle Ravenloft the boardgame? I think I remember that vaguely too. I played the 2nd edition ADandD setting (I wish I hadn't put it on ebay!). A very dark setting regardless.

Laney:D

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I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
— Commissar Ciaphas Cain, to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria
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Gatlag Stonetooth



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:29 am

Jup it's the boardgame, pretty excited to try it out! Smile
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Laney



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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:12 pm

Here's is the 1st Chapter of a short story set in the RPG game world... To give you an idea of the feel of the RPG...

Chapter 1:
In which we meet our heroes and speak of the horrors of lycanthropy


The day was dreary and dull, the bruised purple sky and damp soil, leached out what little colour remained in the fallen leaves coating the grounds of the small estate. It was the cold, late autumn of 1840, three years into the reign of the young Queen Victoria. The air smelt of earthy rot, the kind of decay that promises eventual new growth. It was a time of renewal within Britannia, an era of revolution in magic and machine alike. A dangerous time, with so much uncertain, now the ways to Faerie had reopened and ley lines positively burned across the land.

Blustery wind beat a rhythm incessantly against the windows, stripping the last of the dead leaves from the trees. It rushed howling down the chimneys, in frustration at being kept away from the fire burning low in the grate. When the wind took up a fresh wailing the coals of the fire glowed bright and hot in anger.

A lady and gentleman stood, while another man sat comfortably in the well appointed drawing room of the modest manor house, which itself was nestled at the centre of the estate. Stood by the fires hearth was Lady Jane Winterledge, the estates owner. A tall woman in her mid-thirties, dressed in hard wearing travelling clothes of good quality, rather than the impractical dress you might expect in a widow of this era. A fine scar ran across her cheek marring her strikingly handsome features, speaking of a violent past. It now lay partly hidden by her long blonde tresses, wild and unkempt. All of which gave her a fearsome leonine look when she chose to use it.

Winterledge had, in a past life, travelled widely with her adventurer husband, Stephen. He was a man dedicated to scientific and magical research, who had spent much of his younger life exploring far off climes, including the darkest regions of Central Africa and the vast tribal jungles of Latin America. She had become, under Stephen’s tutelage, one of those rarest of natural philosophers with a deep knowledge of many magical and alchemical secrets. His death, amongst other things, forced her return to English shores, where she had now begun a new life with her young son, Rand Winterledge.

“So it’s a werewolf then?” asked Lady Winterledge bluntly. “It must be some kind of lycanthrope surely? What with it happening so close to the fullness of the shattered moon as it did. And easily dealt with St John, one of young Mathurin’s silver bullets and De Stokesys’ long rifle should do the trick! I’m not really sure why you needed to call De Stokesy and I all the way back from our investigations in Scotland. All we have to do is hunt the beast down either as wolf or man and kill it… Surely that’s all it deserves?”

The man who Jane Winterledge had addressed was taller than her at over six feet tall and dressed smartly in the latest fashions of the day. He had a bony, somewhat pale face that made him seem older than his years, while his intelligent blue-grey eyes and a relaxed, self-assured smile marked him out as unusual amongst the dull, foppish crowd that surrounded him when visiting London.

Dr St John Gray could read the lie in a living man’s soul and communicate with those who had passed beyond this world and into the next. He was a talented magician, capable of manipulating the physical world through the astral planes. This took a continual toll on him, draining his energy when stretched too far, frequently making him as sick as a child. He had grown up with this gift and curse, a birthright of his family who had once advised Kings, a long line of royal magicians before they had become unfashionable charlatans with the last fading of magic.

“I’m afraid, Jane, that this is much more than a simple lycanthrope. There are no lunatics of that nature to be found within the borders of Anglia. Nor do I believe that physical weapons, forged from silver or otherwise, will do much harm to this creature” said Gray seriously, turning to the other gentleman, who sat cross-legged in the deep luxury of a leather chair within the well appointed room. “From the contents of the letter that our contact Blackthorn in the Society received from Sarah Malthus, who I believe you are acquainted with Jane,” nodding to the graceful lady by the hearth. “This creature may well be something considerably more strange and dangerous.”

“St John, please dispense with the hocus pocus! We are, after all, practical magicians. Can’t you simply tell us what it is and preferably conclude with how we may rid ourselves of said beast?” enquired the seated gentleman irritably.

“Patience, Ralph, all in good time” replied St John calmly. “First, let me completely brief you on the attack that I have investigated thus far, which took place just under three and a half weeks ago, not far from here on the coastal road that extends up towards Colchester. It is an ancient Roman path with an even older history, crisscrossed with ley lines. There was one survivor of the creatures’ attack, a young woman by the name of Miss Marie Arundel who was travelling under the protection of her sisters’ husband, Sir Henry Malthus. She described seeing a huge black dog, much like a large hunting dog, yet unnaturally huge, more lion-like in stature. It fell upon the coach and attacked the horses having followed them for many miles along the road. Apparently the coachman, a man by the name of George Brass, fired upon the beast as it attacked, but Miss Arundel thought he must have missed as he did not injure it nor did he get an opportunity to reload. The creature ripped out his throat. We can discount an unusual animal attack and suggest a magical foe for the following reasons. Firstly, the beast was marked out as supernatural in origin by it having blazing red eyes, reported by Miss Arundel as unnatural, almost human. Secondly, while we cannot be sure that the Coachman hit his mark, Henry Malthus certainly did. He was a good marksman and the pistol he used was fired at close range, yet did no apparent harm.”

“Henry Malthus was a good, reliable man and a friend. I know that he would have done everything he could to protect the lady in his care,” said Winterledge cutting into Gray's account.

“Indeed Jane, as we shall. Miss Arundel escaped during the creatures attack on Henry by hiding beneath the tipped coach and remaining there until she was found the next day. A third piece of evidence exists in favour of believing that they were attacked by a less than natural beast. Following the slaughter of Malthus and his coachman, Miss Arundel stated that the beast simply faded away into the fog, which had moved in from the sea. The authorities of the local militia took much of her account to be the result of being distraught following the ordeal. As for the beasts’ nature, Ralph, or the reason for this attack, I am still unsure. Though the evidence suggests some kind of malevolent spirit, perhaps a Baobhan Sith or Ankou, rather than a physical beast. I must return to my library at Layer Marney and investigate this further.”

Ralph De Stokesy rose from his seat and walked smoothly across to the decanter on the table and poured himself a moderate glass of brandy.

“And what do you propose should be our next step, St John?” asked De Stokesy. “You did not ask us to return simply to have us wait for your research to be completed.”

Slightly smaller than either of his companions, Mr Ralph De Stokesy was thin as a whip, tough and lean, carrying himself with a dancers’ athletic poise. His aquiline face was framed by long sideburns and finished with a wicked mouth quite capable of striking sarcasm. There always seemed to be a quiet menace in his movements, this was a man who was capable of harming without conscience if the moment required it, as he so often had as an agent and assassin in the service of her majesties government. While working for the Crown, De Stokesy had seen much enchantment of a different sort to Gray’s mind over matter. His strength was in the application of his skills of stealth and he concerned himself with the practical application of magic. Now retired from State intrigues, due to injuries sustained to both his body and soul, he had found new adventure with his current companions. Though often, the state chose to pressgang these talented magicians into serving their country.

St John spoke in reply, “I believe we must move to protect Miss Arundel who may well still be in danger from the creature, for the letter suggested she was still haunted by the creature, as her entire family may be as well. She is staying at the Malthus family home, with her sister Sarah, who is pregnant with their second child. Sarah has asked for our help in this matter, particularly with Jane being a friend of their family. She is apparently concerned about some curse that haunts them all.”

“Good God!” cried Winterledge angrily. “I know young Sarah Malthus well, it is just not right that the children should be fatherless so young, damned unfair! Though at least Sarah is a woman who is capable of coping with this, strong and independent she most definitely is.”

“While I agree that the remaining members of the Malthus family are indeed in need of protection, if there is some link between the family and the beast,” said De Stokesy thoughtfully. “The question remains, how do we protect them from a malevolent spirit hound, which you say can survive both silver bullets and iron shot? What methods of magic or physical protection can we truly offer?”

St John addressed the others, outlining his plans…

“My library may provide some of the answers, though I believe that more still may be found at the home of the Malthus family. It is important that you move to protect the family in whatever ways we can and I shall meet with you there in a day’s time. In the meantime, we do what we must and I suggest that the home is simply well barricaded! Magical wards may aid the protective nature of the walls and manor house. My instinct tells me that the creature will attack again when the moon is almost full, giving us little remaining time. And any magician who does not rely on his instinct is a fool!”

_________________
I thought the acolytes of Khorne were supposed to be warriors, not a bunch of pansies.
— Commissar Ciaphas Cain, to a Khorne Berserker, during the Chaos attack on Adumbria
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Gatlag Stonetooth



Posts : 1422
Join date : 2009-07-15
Age : 37
Location : Ridderkerk, The Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:20 pm

That was a nice read! Smile
Love the atmosphere you've created in the story, reminds me a bit of the older Jekyll and Hyde stories and I sure loved those!
Good work Laney if you keep it up like that it'll be great! Smile


Last edited by Gatlag Stonetooth on Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lazi



Posts : 210
Join date : 2011-02-03
Age : 28
Location : Prague, Czech Republic

PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:52 pm

I like that. As Gatlag said the atmosphere is perfect! Give us more Smile
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PostSubject: Re: DeStokesy RPG in Progress   Today at 4:49 am

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