Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

[TSoY] Shadows of Other Settings

Started by Troels, November 29, 2007, 10:50:27 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


I think I'm getting the hang of it now.

I had been a bit worried that TSoY would be cool in Near, and not-so-cool elsewhere, because setting and system are quite intertwined, but now I have a bit of experience with two non-Near campaigns, and it seems to work.

One started as a Mortal Coil Hell-blazer inspired campaign, but we converted to TSoY because we got frustrated with the system. A bit on the switch here:

The other one is a King Lear setup in the universe of Fading Suns, and I just ran the second session of play tonight. Fading Suns is a fascinating setting (the Dark Ages in Outer Space) and the system of the game itself is deeply, deeply annoying. So why didn't I just set it in Near? I wanted Qek-ish necromancy, but in great dark pine woods and crumbling castles full of decadent nobles and scheming priests, not steaming jungles. Here are some musings on necromancy:

The Shadow of Mortal Coil is going very well. After three sessions we are finally getting the conflicts right, with a good balance between dice and narration. In the beginning we got a bit hung up on how the dice worked, and the narration sucked in what was supposed to be the moments of drama, but now it flows. Also, a player did something cool: He used BDTP to lose a conflict. He wanted to get clobbered trying to do something that was really hard, but he got incredibly lucky and won the conflict. Now, he could have just given anyway, but that would have felt wrong. Intead, he initiated BDTP to win a final victory against his opponent (actually, his own rage given shape by a bunch of Massalian heretics -long story), and managed to get seriously clobbered before negotiating a settlement. Much better! Also, people are getting into the Keys now. A character (the ex-angel who walked with Jesus) declared himself to be a disciple of the young god-son, so now the elder being is trying to spiritually emulate the rather troubled young man! And Josie's Key of Really ****ed up Love Life is a source of great if painful entertainment.

In the Shadow of Fading Suns, which I GM, I just ran a running/screaming/dying zombie scenario over two sessions, but alternating R/S/D scenes with flashbacks establishing character relations and issues. In session two, people are starting to get the conflicts and keys. And FS has one thing Near doesn't: Inquisitors with flamethrowers!

My point? I would still like to play in Near, and I love the elves and goblins of Near -meaningful fantasy races, yay! But the system is eminently portable. Impressively so. If you are holding an idea back because of worries about portability, PORT, goddammit, PORT!

Yours, Troels

Ron Edwards

That's a great post!

I like a lot of things about the Fading Suns setting. Oh, it's a kitchen sink in a lot of ways, and I'd rather poke my eye with a fork than try to assimilate all the historical background. But I think its religious content is surprisingly interesting and full of potential, and the supplement dedicated to the topic has been a frequent re-read for me. I've always wanted to run

If you run a search, you'll find that I'm always interested in actual play posts for Fading Suns, and there are a couple of threads that really dissect the system. I betcha you'll spot some critiques you recognize.

Anyway, so that's cool that you ran it with The Shadow of Yesterday. I'd like to do that myself. It'd be a High Church game, big-time.

Best, Ron


I'd be interested in any changes you made to faciliate the FS setting using TSOY, especially regarding inquisitors with flame throwers...


Ron: I seem to be getting pretty weak tea seachwise with a "Fading Suns" search on this site. And on the historical background, well, I have an MA in medieval history... I try not to torture my players with it, though. Having priests with social status and abilities, and somewhat complex beliefs to defend and uphold, instead of your usual miracle-working "clerics" is indeed one of the nicest things about FS. I tried some d20 FS, and it's workable, workabler than the dedicated FS system, but I like this much better.

Oliof: The most important changes are in emphasizing the imortance of status, and in the dark side of magic. With status I use the Secret of Imbuement to represent social "arms and armour". For instance, clergy above the nickel-and-dime level have a +2 armour in overt social conflicts against non-clergy believers. An inquisitorial seal might be a +2 "weapon" usable against anyone suspected of spiritual crimes, or who try to hinder the investigations. And so on. For magic, above and beyond plain "Secret of Blessing" stuff,  psychics, theurges and necromancers have to take a Key of the Urge/Hubris. When you use your powers in a fashion that seriously boosts your ego, you gain xp. But, so does your "dark side". An equal amount of xp to what you get is used to build your Urge or Hubris ability, and you don't want to see it hit Grand Master! I don't quite know what they'll do yet, but there is so much nastiness to be had that I can't imagine coming up with something would be a problem. I base psychic powers on 3-corner magic, but I replaced Create and Destroy with Far Hand and Vis-Craft.

The flamethrowers and other ultra-tech weapons are Imbuement. So far we've had a Duelling (force) Shield that is +2 armour vs. missile weapons, a flamethrower that is a +2 weapon vs. unprotected targets, and an electrified sword that is a +1 melee weapon.

Oh, and on The Shadow of Mortal Coil:

Eero's Destiny rules are very nice! The destinies focus the game nicely, and the rules allow otherwise "weak" players to be pretty sovereign when working towards their (not necessarily attractive) destinies. The troubled son of Mars (daddy has currently found gainful employment as a rider of the apocalypse) technically started with 50 advances, but 10 went to buy destiny stuff, and he put aside a bundle of twenty advances to be broken out in one go for his apotheosis/coming out of the superhero closet. So, right now us nasty old men can pretty much push him around, but it won't last!

Yours, Troels


I think I missed something which sounds terribly intriguing. What are Eero's "destiny rules"? Is that something covered in a different post somewhere?

-shadowcourt (aka josh)


Well, the Destiny rules are those described here:

And if you happen to read Danish, you can find the campaign that uses them described here:

/ Greis


Thanks, Greis. Those are great. Much appreciated, to you and Eero.

-shadowcourt (aka josh)

Ron Edwards



I wonder why they didn't pop up when I used the site's search function?

Anyway, that last one pretty well describes my (slightly traumatic) experiences with the Victory Point System.

I'll post some AP on this campaign when we've had time to kill the old count Reginald and do a bit of the King Lear jig.

Yours, Troels