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[TSOY] (June Retreat) Situation - A Not So Civil War

Started by JMendes, August 04, 2006, 09:08:46 PM

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Hey, all, :)

Here's a starting situation I used for our June RPG Retreat. Like Rat Moon Rising, it is in Maldor. Here's the thing, though. It's in Maldor because I wanted to do something different, and the Rat Moon Rising we're (still) playing is in Khale... Go figure.

I built this situation using my best understanding of the Conflict Web. I'm sure there are many, many ways in which this could be improved. Should any pop up on your mind, please don't hesitate to add your comments.

Anyway, here is A Not So Civil War.


Prince Hathor, fourth of his name, lord and ruler over the Kingdom of Hathor, and the one and only true descendent of Absolon, has decided, in his infinite wisdom, that the neighboring Duchy of Tandrim can no longer be allowed to stand independent, in defiance of his destiny to reunite Maldor. As such, he has appointed his loyal and trusted vassal Koburg as Field Commander of the army he has levied in order to invade the Duchy.

Across the plains, Seth, Duque of Tandrim, and also the one and only true descendent of Absolon, has hurriedly managed to set up impromptu defenses, which, thanks to the expertise of Cardigan, chief tactician, have managed to hold on for quite a long time.

As a result, the plains of the Marien Fields have become a scarred, battle-ravaged land, stage to countless offensives and sorties, sieges and charges, and all manner of military maneuvers and deployments. Perhaps this is why both Hathor and Seth have begun contemplating a truce, if not outright peace between them.

Which is all well and good for Jean Darfour, third son of House Darfour, a master trader who would like nothing better than to increase his wealth and reputation at home by profiting from the tense relations between these two realms, whether by supplying arms or by brokering the peace and selling much needed peace-time supplies.

Unknown to all, in the nearby ratling-infested ruins of Aru, Melian, the evil three-corner elven witch, has allied herself with Zhiao Pang, a moonman gone mad. Together, they plot to bring death and destruction to the Marien Fields, in whatsoever form it may occur,

Cast Of Characters

Prince Hathor's Army

Field Commander Koburg
Koburg is a strict military man. He follows orders to the best of his ability, trusts his advisors and is a pondered commander, unwilling to make rash decisions. His immediate goal is to conquer the Duchy of Tandrim, but he is not immune to the ideals of peace. He's first and foremost a practical man, however, and will try to enlist anyone and everyone's help towards whatever immediate goal is on his mind.
Pools: Vigor 3, Instinct 1, Reason 1
Abilities: Endure (V) 2, React (I) 1, Resist (R) 1, Battle (R) 3, Infantry (V) 2
Secrets: Mighty Blow, Evaluate
Equipment: Armor +1

Madeleine, Historian, Koburg's Spiritual Advisor
Madeleine is a calm and compassionate woman. Although she has a military position, she has no inclination for fighting. Instead, she takes every opportunity to champion the cause of peace, both from a moral as well as practical standpoint. She is truly convinced of Hathor's claims, however, and would like nothing more than for the citizens of Tandrim to acknowledge her ruler's divine right.
Pools: Vigor 0, Instinct 2, Reason 3
Abilities: Endure (V) 0, React (I) 2, Resist (R) 1, Story-Tell (R) 1, Create (I) 1, Pray (V) 1, Counsel (R) 1, Discern Truth (I) 1, Orate (R) 1, Sway (I) 1, Etiquette (R) 1

Fenris, Marauder, Koburg's Commando Unit Leader
Fenris is just short of a deranged lunatic, who wants to Blow Things Up(tm). He will follow Koburg's orders either to the spirit or to the letter, whichever one seems most prone to violence at any given time. Peace? No, peace is definitely a bad idea, at least until he gets to place a few more bombs.
Pools: Vigor 2, Instinct 0, Reason 3
Abilities: Endure (V) 3, React (I) 1, Resist (R) 0, Demolitions (R) 2, Battle (R) 1, Infantry (R) 1
Secrets: Disarm, Contacts
Equipment: Armor +1

Hathorian Soldiers
Endure (V) 1, Infantry (V) 1, Athletics (V) 1

Duchy of Tandrim's Army

Chief Tactician Cardigan
Cardigan is a battle tempered man. A veteran from fighting days he thought were over, he was ordered by the Duque to see to it that Tandrim does not fall. Peace or war, all he wants is Tandrim's independence, and, like Koburg, he will not waste an opportunity to enlist anyone's help.
Pools: Vigor 1, Instinct 1, Reason 3
Abilities: Endure (V) 2, React (I) 1, Resist (R) 0, Battle (R) 3, Sense Danger (I) 1, Infantry (V) 2
Secrets: Enhancement (Battle), Specialty (Battle-Entrenchments)

Bolzan, Cardigan's Logistics Expert
Bolzan is a resourceful fellow. Extremely loyal to Cardigan, he is always willing to go the extra mile in order to secure much needed arms and supplies. He has heard of the riches of the Maldor of old and has been looking for an opportunity to scour the nearby ruins for ancient and powerful weapons. In his heart, however, he longs for peace time, so that he can turn his skills to good use in securing a decent fortune for himself and his family.
Pools: Vigor 0, Instinct 2, Reason 2
Abilities: Endure (V) 0, React (I) 1, Resist (R) 2, Haggling (I) 1, Discern Truth (I) 1, Scrounging (I) 2, Etiquette (R) 1
Secrets: Quality Construction

Suvara, Cardigan's guerilla advisor and ambush expert
Suvara has grown up with a sword in her hand and an eye for the wild. She can get in, make her kill and get out without anyone ever knowing she was even there. This is something she has learned to derive joy from, much to the dismay of her more peaceful colleagues. She hates Hathorians and distrusts them implicitly. The mere concept of peace is unthinkable until and unless Hathor demobilizes their army.
Pools: Vigor 0, Instinct 0, Reason 5
Abilities: Endure (V) 3, React (I) 0, Resist (R) 1, Direction Sense (I) 1, Battle (R) 2, Infantry (I) 1, Sense Danger (I) 1, First Aid (R) 1, Woodcraft (R) 1
Secrets: Enhancement (Battle), Unwalked Path

Duchy Soldiers
Endure (V) 1, Resist (R) 1, Infantry (V) 1


Jean Darfour, 3rd son of House Darfour, Master Trader
Jean is an opportunistic self-centered man, with an eye for profit and a mind for not much else. He wants to make money off the war. Whether by continuing to supply arms and armor to both sides, or by becoming a peace broker and supplying both sides with war relief and reconstruction, it makes no difference to him.
Pools: Vigor 1, Instinct 2, Reason 2
Abilities: Endure (V) 0, React (I) 3, Resist (R) 3, Haggling (I) 3, Etiquette (R) 1, Sway (I) 1, Dueling (V) 1
Secrets: Scribing, Languages (Maldor)

Renée, Advisor to Jean Darfour
Renée is that rarest of rarities, an utterly honest Ammenite. Her one goal in life is to keep Jean honest as well, but she's a long way away from that. In the mean time, she has been most active in trying to set up trade talks between Tandrim and Hathor.
Pools: Vigor 0, Instinct 2, Reason 1
Abilities: Endure (V) 1, React (I) 1, Resist (R) 2, Appraise (R) 2, Story-Tell (R) 1, Savoir Faire (I) 1, Discern Truth (I) 1
Secrets: Specialty (Discern Truth - Trade Deals)

Lu Liao, Jean's Personal Slave and Heavy Hand Man
Lu Liao is a Zaru slave who has come to be completely loyal to his master. Shady and treacherous, he is at Jean's beck and call, available for whatever tasteless or brutal tasks must be performed. Of late, he has been trying to find a way to sabotage any and all attempts at peace talks.
Pools: Vigor 1, Instinct 1, Reason 3
Abilities: Endure (V) 1, React (I) 1, Resist (R) 2, Uptenbo (V) 1, Stealth (I) 1, Theft (I) 1, Deceit (R) 1, Streetwise (R) 1, Sway (I) 1, Woodcraft (R) 1, Athletics (V) 1
Secrets: Synergy, Unwalked Path, Constant Motion

Ammenite Escorts
Endure (V) 1, Bamboo Warrior (V) 1, Athletics (V) 1

Other People

Melian, evil elven witch, three-corner mage
Melian is nothing if not evil. Underhanded and manipulative, she has an extremely sharp intellect and a non-trivial amount of power. All she wants is to be present during a large battle, so that she can spread death and destruction. In the mean time, she is content to lie in hiding in the ruins Aru, until opportunity presents itself.
Pools: Vigor 0, Instinct 0, Reason 12
Abilities: Endure (V) 0, React (I) 2, Resist (R) 1, Destruction (V) 2, Enthrallment (R) 2, Sense Danger (I) 1, Deceit (R) 2
Secrets: Magical Contagion, Gentle Touch, Immortality, Languages (Khale)

Zhiao Pang, Zaru moon cultist
Zhiao Pang is a man with no conscience and no goal. Temporarily allied with Melian for no good reason, he is as likely to turn on her as he is to help her. Lately, he's been spending his days traveling through the Marien Fields, looking for people to kill.
Pools: Vigor 3, Instinct 3, Reason 3
Abilities: Endure (V) 2, React (I) 1, Resist (R) 0, Uptenbo (V) 1, Clandestiny (R) 1, Zu (R) 2, Athletics (V) 1
Secrets: Uz, Zu Words (Health, Blood, Lust)

The Tree, Khalean simpleton
The Tree is a full grown woman with the mind of a three-year-old. She became lost and fell under the power of Melian and now follows her around, looking for play things with which to play with her spear. Generally speaking, said play things get hurt badly during such sessions.
Pools: Vigor 8, Instinct 0, Reason 0
Abilities: Endure (V) 3, React (I) 0, Resist (R) 0, Spear Fighting (V) 3, Lunar Forging (R) 2
Secrets: Mighty Blow
Equipment: Moon Metal Spear (+1)

Dritza, goblin witch huntress, Qek Walosi
Dritza has roamed the land of Near in search of Melian. She has heard a rumor that her mark may be hiding in the ruins of Aru and has been looking for a guide.
Pools: Vigor 5, Instinct 2, Reason 0
Abilities: Endure (V) 2, React (I) 1, Resist (R) 0, Discern Truth (I) 1, Panther Style (I) 1, Dueling (V) 2, Sway (I) 1, Fine Crafts (R) 1, Woodcraft (R) 1
Secrets: Walosi, Spectral Form, Binding, Severance, Addiction (tobacco)

The Adventure

The story begins at a point in time when war has begun to take its toll on Hathor and Tandrim alike. Madeleine has been looking for a neutral place to hold peace talks, and has selected the ruins of Aru. She is now looking for a suitable neutral arbitrator. Suvara, on the other hand, has been taking advantage of the increased Hathorian weariness and has begun a campaign of indiscriminate ambushing.

On the Ammenite side, in Rouchy, Jean has sent Renée to Tandrim City to try and set up peace talks and Lu Liao to Arabor, the Hathorian capital to try to sabotage them. Whichever one meets with more success, he has decided, is the one he will make the most money off of. Unknown to him, however, Suvara is about to mistake Renée's caravan for a Hathorian infiltration and is about to ambush them.

In the meantime, Fenris is looking for things to blow up and Bolzan is looking for a way to obtain more supplies. All the while, Koburg is preparing a major offensive, and is holding back only at Madeleine's request, and Cardigan sits in Tandrim City, hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

Unrelated to the conflict, Dritza is actively looking for Melian, who is hiding with The Tree in the nearby ruins of Aru, and Zhiao Pang is scouring the countryside looking for people to kill.

Key Scenes
Scenes for 1XP: Meet Jean Darfour, meet Koburg, meet Cardigan
Scenes for 2XP: A Tandrim ambush, a battle on the fields, a trade agreement, meet Melian, meet Zhiao Pang, a fight with The Tree
Scenes for 3XP: Peace talks, if they ever occur

So, here it is. Three sides (Hathor, Tandrim and House Darfour), three leaders (Koburg, Cardigan and Jean). Each leader has a pro-peace advisor (Madeleine, Bolzan and Renée) and an anti-peace advisor (Fenris, Suvara and Lu Liao). On the side, Dritza, Melian, The Tree and Zhiao Pang can add some one-sided conflicts for relief.

This particular conflict web was built based on flag framing off of the three characters that the guys I was playing with built. That belongs on another post, in another thread. I'll be sure to provide appropriate linkage and comments on that, as soon as the AP is posted.

Thoughts, comments, questions, offers of strawberry ice cream, all are welcome.

João Mendes
Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon Gamer


Hoy, :)

For reference, should anybody care, here is my Actual Play post, detailing how the arc we played based off of this went.

João Mendes
Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon Gamer


Great stuff! Makes me wish I could play more, and play TSoY. Your three-sided conflict setup seems ideal for lots of action with no pre-determined results.
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