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Author Topic: Beastmasters and Three Beast for Charnel Gods  (Read 6841 times)
Alan
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« on: April 07, 2003, 05:05:03 PM »

I'm GMing a Charnel Gods game based on the Sumeria of Gilgamesh with Clinton and Wilhelm (Rafial) as players.  As Sumerian myth features some interesting beasts, we've had quite a few show up.  I thought I'd post a few.

Also, we've developed a second use for Lore in the game - the Beastmaster.  Instead of seeking a Fell Weapon, Beastmasters pact with Beasts and Old Ones.  Of course it's important to keep the role of Beastmasters secondary to the weapon-bearers.  In our game, Wil's PC is both weapon-bearer and beastmaster.

Here's some Beasties, with some clever design features:

----------------------
Abzug the Stone Giant  (Author: Alan Barclay)
Immanent Beast
Telltale - 14' tall humanoid pile of boulders

Stamina 6 (13)
Will 7
Lore 6
Power 7

Need - Raw Meat
Desire - Stories

Self-Only Powers:
Armor, Big, Cloak, Confuse, Hint, Range for Hint

While Abzug is always enourmous, he only pays energy for the Big power when it comes into play.  When he chooses, he can speak mind-bending stories of the true nature of reality, thus producing the Confuse and Hint effects.

----------------------
Desert Ghola (Author: Clinton R. Nixon)
Immanent Old One
Telltale - Flame-red hair and eyes.  Otherwise appears as the person it's replacing.

Stamina 3
Will 7
Lore 6
Power 7

Need - Feed on pain of others
Desire - Gratification

Armor, Per: Body's Memory, Per: Pain,
Psychic Force, Travel, Transport

There is no necromancy in Naur Tier (Charnel Gods), but some things are happy to take over a corpse, tap into the body's memories, and play the part of a resurcected loved one.  While the Demon design doesn't include a power for it, we played this as if the Old One possessed the body and healed all wounds, making the ghola appear perfect and beautiful, except for strange hair and eyes.  Whether the sorcerer knows the Ghola is soulless depends on his lore and the extent of sorcerous knowledge in the current epoch.

----------------------
Mirage Pool  (Author: Alan and Clinton
Immanent Beast
Telltale - Shimmering mirage which shows What Has Been, What May Be, and What May Not Be.  Pool can skitter over any surface.

Stamina 6
Will 7
Lore 6
Power 7

Need - A Precious Memory
Desire - Fear

Perception x3: What Has Been, What May Be, and What May Not Be
Travel (Self), Travel (User), Transport  

The Pool is usually found in the Desert or the Otherworld.  It likes to show fearful images of past and possible future which motivate the viewer to want to travel.  A sorcerer can pact to pass through the pool and arrive instantly at a new location.  The pool usually demands the sacrifice of a precious memory for this service.  Such sacrifices are erased from the sorcerer's memory.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2003, 05:21:20 PM »

Thanks for posting these, Alan. It's a great game, and Charnel Gods is rocking my world.

The rules for reaching 0 Humanity are amazing. My character, Zohar, the high priest of Faal, the fire god, reached 0 Humanity in the Carrion Fields last game (while Tainted, luckily.) As his weapon's desire is Mayhem, and the rules state that the Desire must be sated as much as possible, I had a great time thrusting my character into complete and utter mayhem, leaving one of his enemies near-death in the Fields (which'll be fun later), killing a former friend (with something crazy like a 6 next round/12 lasting damage strike), and resurrecting his lost niece by summoning the desert ghoza and Pacting with it to animate her body, and then finally having violent sex with the thing atop the broken bone altar where she was to be sacrificed.

That's some damn fun role-playing.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2003, 07:07:38 PM »

Alan and Clinton,

I'm geeked to hear about your actual play of Charnel Gods.  It sounds awesome.  The Beasts you've invented are both cool as hell and illuminating; I can immediately look at them and see all sorts of crazy shit happening.  Has anyone had a memory stolen by the Mirage Pool yet?  It makes me giddy thinking about the fun I could have with that.

So Clinton, you got a taste of the endgame eh?  Awesome.  There's something liberating about being Tainted down to zero Humanity and getting to unload.  And I'm already imagining what your actual endgame might look like (hint: it isn't pleasant).

So here's a question, given that the end might be be on the horizon:  Once the endgame is in motion, what's your impression - based on the text of the game and your own preferences - of how long it might last (in real time, not game time)?  There are two answers in my mind, and both seem satisfying.  One is that it wraps itself up quickly; that time has been spent building up to it, and once it hits, it's a swift rush towards the finish, maybe lasting a session or two.  The other is that the real game doesn't even start until someone hits zero Humanity; that more time could be spent lingering on the end than was spent on arriving at it.  The former is probably more organic, while the latter, to work well, would probably require some discussion and mutual understanding on the part of the players.  Any thoughts on that?

Take care,
Scott
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Valamir
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2003, 08:43:29 PM »

Ok...let me see if I get this straight.  You had violent sex atop a bone alter with the demon possessed corpse of your niece...

And I thought I was twisted  :-)

Lets not tell Chick about this one...ok...
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Alan
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2003, 09:44:36 PM »

Quote from: Alan

----------------------
Abzug the Stone Giant  (Author: Alan Barclay)
Immanent Beast
Telltale - 14' tall humanoid pile of boulders

Self-Only Powers:
Armor, Big, Cloak, Confuse, Hint, Range for Hint

While Abzug is always enourmous, he only pays energy for the Big power when it comes into play.  When he chooses, he can speak mind-bending stories of the true nature of reality, thus producing the Confuse and Hint effects.


I just wanted to add that Abzug's Cloak allows him to appear as a pile of rocks or meld into a rock face.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Alan
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2003, 10:15:48 PM »

Quote from: Clinton
Thanks for posting these, Alan. It's a great game, and Charnel Gods is rocking my world.


Glad you're enjoying it!  

Quote from: Valamir
Ok...let me see if I get this straight.  You had violent sex atop a bone alter with the demon possessed corpse of your niece...

And I thought I was twisted  :-)


We had a wonderfully ironic series of events.  We've been playing with the theme of freedom.  Zohar, a proponent of freedom has Marked two men and told them he was their "master."  He's watched a man he'd freed from slavery, who was possessed by Noc Tis, gut the girl he had just rescued.  He then killed the former slave and "reanimated" the girl.

Meanwhile, Malesh-Ka freed the Bard of Hattusas and bound his captor,  the giant Abzug.  On arrival in Hattusas, he rebuffed the queen's seduction and refused to help her dispose of the king.  As he stalked out of the corrupt court in true Conan style, he told the bard to fix things himself.

Now. who would you guess has more Humanity?
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2003, 05:02:26 AM »

Hiya,

Great! Clinton, your description of the necromantic sex and whatnot sounds right on par with our Azk'Arn game. Sorcerer & Sword does have a way of scratching that Howard-meets-Heavy-Metal itch.

Alan, how's GMing? Any comments or comparisons?

Finally, your statement ...

Quote
Of course it's important to keep the role of Beastmasters secondary to the weapon-bearers.


... confuses me a little, because the relationship of Humanity to the world's-fate in Charnel Gods, for weapon-bearers, seems to cut a drastic distinction between them immediately. Any extra effort to "keep" them secondary seems misplaced to me, as opposed merely to accepting any player-character as "most important," case closed.

Best,
Ron
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2003, 06:15:33 AM »

Quote from: hardcoremoose

I'm geeked to hear about your actual play of Charnel Gods.  It sounds awesome.  The Beasts you've invented are both cool as hell and illuminating; I can immediately look at them and see all sorts of crazy shit happening.  Has anyone had a memory stolen by the Mirage Pool yet?  It makes me giddy thinking about the fun I could have with that.


My character's backstory and kicker involve the fact that he was abandoned as a baby in the desert by his mother and wondered for 20 years, traveling through the Bone Sands (the mystic Otherworld.) I had my character sacrifice his only memory of his mother to Pact with the Pool, attempting to travel to save Lazulili's (his niece's) life.

And what trouble that caused is described well above.

Ron - I'm enjoying being a Howard-esque villain. I remember you mentioning how much you liked those guys in Sorcerer & Sword. With my 5 Lore and constant trouble, I'm finding it a fun role.

Scott - re: endgame time. We've decided as a group that the game'll last one or two more sessions. I imagine we'll have one more session without endgame, and one entire one with it. My character's just traveled back to Lagash, his home city, to overthrow the god-king. Both characters planned on doing this in order to free the city, but with my sittin'-on-the-brink 1 Humanity and my desert ghoza-niece/bride beside me, I imagine I'll be doing a bit of city ruling myself. Our endgame should be fun, as it will probably pit the two protagonists directly against each other.)
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Alan
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2003, 07:07:58 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

Finally, your statement ...

Quote
Of course it's important to keep the role of Beastmasters secondary to the weapon-bearers.


... confuses me a little, because the relationship of Humanity to the world's-fate in Charnel Gods, for weapon-bearers, seems to cut a drastic distinction between them immediately.


My concern is that a beastmaster could theoretically pact things as powerful as the Fell Weapons.  If that happened regularly, the spotlight might shift from weapon-bearers to beastmasters.  Would that be bad?  Only because Charnel Gods is about heroes and their relationship to the fell weapons, not pacted beasts.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2003, 07:13:01 AM »

Hey,

Um ... I'm seeing two separate issues here.

1. Pacting vs. Binding a Fell Weapon. If you Pact with a Fell Weapon, then it's still a Fell Weapon / sorcerer relationship, and Humanity is still at risk in the typical way. I don't see this as an issue at all.

2. Any sorcerous relation (Pact or Bind) with a Beast rather than with a Fell Weapon. The interesting thing about this is whether Humanity dropping to 0 has the same setting-shaking effect that it does for a Fell-Weapon sorcerer. My thought is that it wouldn't - hence preserving the "significance" distinction with no special need to distinguish it further. I'd suggest that Humanity 0 for Binding or Pacting with a Beast simply means that you get eaten by it, with no effect on the world.

Best,
Ron
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Alan
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2003, 09:23:23 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hey,
1. Pacting vs. Binding a Fell Weapon.


This hadn't entered my mind.  But as you say, it makes no difference to the game whether a bearer pacts or binds.

Quote from: Ron Edwards

2. Any sorcerous relation (Pact or Bind) with a Beast rather than with a Fell Weapon. The interesting thing about this is whether Humanity dropping to 0 has the same setting-shaking effect that it does for a Fell-Weapon sorcerer. My thought is that it wouldn't - hence preserving the "significance" distinction with no special need to distinguish it further. I'd suggest that Humanity 0 for Binding or Pacting with a Beast simply means that you get eaten by it, with no effect on the world.


Ah, see, there was a distinction to be made.  This is brilliant and puts my concerns to rest.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
rafial
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2003, 03:21:03 PM »

Beastmaster, bearer of the Fell Lash, the Giant-Tamer, leader of Men.  The trumpets of Lagash shall resound at my return!

Charnel Gods has been an interesting experience for me, especially since it is my first exposure to Sorcerer as well.  I've had some interesting reactions, both pro and con, but I guess the good thing is I've never felt indifferent.

I find it very interesting that as we move toward the climax, Malesh-Ka has become the high humanity character.  He started out as a loner, very self centered, and a man struggling against his own fears.  In fact, I deliberately set his Humanity to the lower of my two options starting out.  Alot of the decisions he has made have been driven by his own uncertainties and self interest, and yet in the process I find he's assembled a significant entourage around himself, and will soon be leaded an army to the gates of Lagash itself.

Alan, you should post the Tatotatatato (still my vote for coolest beast, at least visually) and Flense as well...
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hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2003, 03:54:10 AM »

Hey guys,

Clinton:  I can't wait to see how this thing resolves itself.

Ron and Alan:  The distinction about Pacting with Beasts and what it means to reach zero Humanity that way is a good one.  Thanks for getting that out there.

Rafial:  Pros and cons, eh?  I'd love to hear about those, maybe after the game has wrapped itself up, either here or by private message.  It pleases me more than a little that this was your first experience with Sorcerer play and I'll be interested in seeing how you break it down.

And I'd love to hear more about the Beasts you guys invented.

- Scott
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2003, 06:19:48 AM »

Hi Rafial,

Here's a second call for hearing about your pros and cons.

Best,
Ron
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rafial
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2003, 08:58:13 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

Here's a second call for hearing about your pros and cons.


I absolutely intend to make a post about this, I'm just waiting for the dust to settle...
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