Showing posts from March, 2014

Steamscapes: Asia Development Log -- Sakura Taisen

Back on February 24th, I revealed that I’ve been contracted to write the Japan chapter for the upcoming  Asian expansion of the Steamscapes setting from Four-in-Hand Games.  Around that same time, I took on a new project at work that’s given me less time to write, and I’ve been trying to figure out the right way to balance my commitment to Steamscapes: Asia with development of The King is Dead.  What I’ve concluded is that I’m going to have to alternate work on both settings, so April is going to be dedicated to Steamscapes.  I’m winding down the latest playtest of The King is Dead anyway, so perhaps Robin and I will try our hand at exploring (a very tentative and completely unofficial version of) Steamscapes’ Japan and see what we discover.  Posting will continue to be light, but maybe I can manage more brief posts rather than fewer long posts; I can’t share the material I’m writing for +Eric Simon, but I can share some of my musings on my research and inspirations. 
I don’t usuall…

March Madness Bloghop Thingy

I'm always torn about bloghops and that sort of thing.  On the one hand, I want the attention; on the other hand, I really only have time for my own content.  Sometimes, though, blogs you like sponsor the darned things and you just feel like chipping in somehow.  As a cheat, then, here are short answers to Tomb of Tedankhamen's Non-D&D March Madness Blogging Challenge:

1 What was the first roleplaying game other than D&D you played? Was it before or after you had played D&D?

Stormbringer, maybe?  Or Call of Cthulhu?  It was definitely one of those two and it was after D&D.
2 What was the first character you played in an RPG other than D&D? How was playing it different from playing a D&D character?
That would be a Garou ragabash in an aborted campaign of Werewolf: The Apocalypse (and one of the literally handful of times that I’ve been the player and not the GM).  The biggest difference was that instead of being self-motivated to go get rich by fighting mo…

The King is Dead: The Rest of the Neo-Gothic Society

Sir Samael Cain Wolfgang von Rickard
A brutal soldier who distinguished himself in the Colonial Wars of the last few decades, Sir Kane exhibits a demeanor far more typical of his bloodline than the foppish Count Ranulf.  Sir Kane despises the count as a weakling and resents his presence in the inner council; to Sir Kane’s mind, the council should contain one of each bloodline and no more (and certainly no bastards like Gilliam Blutig).  Needless to say, this inflexibility is contrary to Schreiber’s intent and so he uses Sir Kane as an assassin for now, waiting for the day the reckless brute gets himself killed.   
Young Vampire Brute Motivation: Revel in his brute strength. Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d12, Vigor d10 Skills: Fighting d12, Gambling d6, Intimidation d10, Knowledge (Battle) d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Riding d10, Shooting d8, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6, Taunt 10, Throwing d6. Charisma: -4 Pace: 6 Parry: 8  Toughness: 10 Hindrances: Bloodthirsty,  Ov…

The King is Dead: The Neo-Gothic Society

As previously noted, I’ve decided to scale back the powers of vampires in The King is Dead because staging a revolution against hundreds of flying, mist-dissipating, rat- and wolf-controlling, shape-changing immortals who can only be killed by ash wood would be really, really effin’ hard without involving a bunch of magic weapons and supernatural intervention and crap.  While the vampire rulers at the top are going to be superhuman freaks in the vein of Hellsing and Anno Dracula, the vamps at the bottom are more in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer range.   Consider this entry an experiment in that direction, and remember that it is not in continuity with previous posts about vampires in Malleus.
Also, I've decided to drop that zu thing in the names.

The Neo-Gothic Society
When Wilhelm the Everlasting conquered Malleus in 1066, he faced a nation of heathens amongst whom were few vampires and fewer Sathanielists.  It behooved him to give the Gift to those who would follow his banner and a…

Stop Teasing Me, Swashbucklers!

Back when I first started this blog, my concentration was on swashbuckling adventure of the Zorro and pirates variety.  The King is Dead has gotten to be more of an espionage setting than a sword-swinging one and my heart yearns for some uncomplicated derring-do even though I should really be concentrating on TKID and Steamscapes: Asia.  If the presence of the BBC's new Musketeers wasn't enough to distract me, recent RPG activity on the internets isn't helping at all. 

The Queen's Cavaliers: A Baroque, Clockpunk Swashbuckling Adventure Game.

Back before he sailed off to ports unknown, the always-awesome Mike of Really Bad Eggs did an interview with Caoimhe Ora Snow about her upcoming swashbuckling setting: The Queen’s Cavaliers.Snow has recently launched a design blog for the setting in preparation for its inevitable Kickstarter, and I have to admit I’m pretty intrigued.

The Queen's Cavaliers uses an overtly inclusive, progressive alternate history as its antidote t…

The King is Dead: This Will Not Be In The Book

I wrote something I considered pretty minor in my post yesterday, but it's actually sparked some impassioned responses.

Theological questions have been resolved!  There’s no denying that vampires are supernatural beings – their powers are just too weird to be pseudo-scientific despite what the Blade franchise might think – but unless I want to trap the PCs in the grimness of a Lovecraftian universe, then supernatural evil presupposes the existence of supernatural good.  So where has all the good gone?  My once-pagan, now-atheistic leanings can’t embrace accepting a Judeo-Christian worldview, so that means that the ancient pagan gods were real.  Where did they go?  They got killed; Sathaniel allied himself with the evil deities of the old religions and they overthrew the good gods.  Now Eris, Hecate, the Krampus, etc. are worshiped as saints in the Church of Sathaniel. 
Back when I started The King is Dead, I committed to the idea of using ALL of the Arcane Backgrounds available in …

The King is Dead: Recent Revelations from Actual Play

The first The King is Dead duet campaign with Robin was about a half-Cruthin (Native American) Hawkeye-type going all Assassin's Creed on invading redcoats before taking the fight to Hammerstadt.  The current campaign is about a human aristocrat caught between the temptation of vampirism and the abuse of her gender.  Some recent discoveries about the world include:
Vampires have secret societies too!The Neo-Gothic Society is a gentlemen’s club in Hammerstadt’s equivalent of St. James that fronts itself as a literary society of young vampires obsessed with ages past.They write poetry extolling the virtues of the early Gothic vampire leaders like Emperor Etzel and Karlo the Great, wear their hair long and unpowdered, and sport unfashionable beards and moustaches.In truth, they’re a bunch of viciously ambitious junior heirs who worship Etzel because he had the balls to cut off King Hordos’ head and stop taking orders from his sire.Their goal is to return the world to a proper “state…

Mecha vs Kaiju shout-out

So we all know I like mecha and kaiju (not in that order, actually), but my own ambitions toward writing such a setting mean I've tried to avoid the only existing RPG I know of in that genre: the aptly-named Mecha vs Kaiju.
Unfortunately, the creator has a Kickstarter going for a new FATE-based version of the setting, and I'd feel like a real jerk if I didn't support it, so here's the link:

The King is Dead: Bestiary - Lady's Maid

What do you think of this format for a bestiary entry?
from the “Servants” section
Lady’s Maid
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6. Skills: Gambling d4, Healing d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Profession) d8, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Stealth d6, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4. Charisma: +0 (+2)  Pace:Parry:Toughness: 5 Hindrances: Anemic, Outsider Edges: Attractive Equipment: Her mistress’ cast-off clothes, sewing kit, Sathanic Bible or popular novel.

Lady’s maids occupy an unusual and awkward position in the household.They clean their ladies’ rooms, mend their dresses, and help to dress them and do their hair.Lady’s maids are outside of the hierarchy of household servants and are accorded much free time when not performing their duties; however, they must be prepared to assist their ladies at any time of the day or night and so must keep late hours (especially when in the city).  Like butlers and valets, lady's maids are referred to b…