Children of the Grave
Premise: Heroes of past ages have been resurrected by the Witch Queen Aziria to do her bidding. Diminished in power and held in thrall to Aziria, the Revenants stride across a world of decaying empires. Even as they wrest from it the treasures their mistress covets, they chafe at her dominion and plot rebellion.
- Aerfal Brighella, cultured thief-among-mages, played by RoadScholar
- Bullthrash Skullcleaver, Nutter, played by Wolfhead101
- Isingoma Jagter, Savannah Tribesman and Demon Hunter, played by Asen_G
- Lrall, noble Pathfinder, played by coyoteboy
- Modu ch'an-yü of the Hsiung-nu, Steppes Nomad and Horse Archer of Legend, played by ZenDog
- Terman Pellas, Cambrisi Rakehell and Soldier-Scholar, played by Nexusl
- Kaius, Mentalist, Legionnaire and Former Emperor, played by Megazver
- Chargen & Template - go here to see how to make a character
Players who have confirmed interest:
House rules we will be using are below. I have given my reasons for some of them here. A brief explanation of how contests work is further down. Chargen is explained on the template character sheet.
- No special dispensations. Keywords cannot be raised at chargen. They can be raised subsequently, quite how to be determined. Two options are (1) tied to in-game events; (2) I allow it every now and again.
Back to Runequest
- When you use an ability, note it on the character sheet (under notes or after the ability if you prefer); more than once if you use it more than once. This is the basis for improvement, as in RQ. (Note that you may fail, so use of skills just to get ticks has an associated risk.)
- Between adventures/sessions or what have you, roll under on a d100. Base chances are:
|Level or Other||Base chance|
|Two or masteries||20%|
|Each additional use of the ability||+10%|
|Rune Ability||Chance is halved|
- If you roll under 20% of your ability, you get two points. If you roll under 5%, you get 3.
- Hero Points work as before for bumping but are rarer - start with 1. Receive 1 per new session. depending how the first session goes, I may make them be worth two bumps.
- Note that under these house rules, there is no relation between hero points and advancement; they may only be used for bumping.
- States of Adversity. I rarely see these states mean anything in game and I think they should mean more. Accordingly, When characters are hurt, impaired or injured, the negative modifiers (-3, -6 and bump down) apply to all ability uses.
- Lingering Benefits. This too applies to all contests - the book-keeping is easier and we can say a character is on a roll.
How Contests Work
1. Abilities can be pretty much anything, including contacts, personality traits and so on. However, some abilities are tricky and need discussion (e.g. 'Lucky'). We'll sort this out via discussion. Above 20, an ability is called a Mastery, so we go 19, 20, 1M, 2M and so on. You might see me write 1W, but I mean 1M when I do that.
2. Contests and Target Numbers.
- Setting up Contests It helps if we know exactly what you are trying to achieve. We will be setting up and resolving contests rather than tasks. Thus, we might use a single roll to decide if you defeat your enemy. There is no difference, a priori, between combat and other contests. We might decide some contests are automatic successes.
- Target Numbers are based on your ability rating +/- your 'Vitality' (see below). I may add 'improvisational modifiers' (you are using 'Sword and Shield Combat' but only have a club and shield) or 'circumstantial modifiers' (terrain, weather, you are trying something particularly easy/difficult/cunning). I may also add modifiers if abilities are very specific and hence (in-)appropriate, or are very broad.
- Augmenting You may use a second ability (or another player may) to try to augment your ability. We will roll your ability against a target number of X (it is in the book) to determine how successful this is.
3. Contest Resolution.
- Rolling for Outcomes. Two opponents have 2 opposing TN's. If each has a mastery, these cancel (i.e. 2M vs. 13M equates with 2 vs. 13). Each tries to roll under the TN on a d20, so we have a pair of outcomes to match up with eachother:
- 1 = critical
- equal or less = success
- over = fail
- 20 = fumble
- Bumping with Masteries or Hero Points. If you have a mastery, you improve your result ('bump') by one step (e.g. I have 4M and roll a 3, I get a critical rather than a success). You may also use a hero point to improve a result in the same fashion.
- Contest Outcomes. If you have better than your opponent, you win the contest (low roll wins ties). How much better decides victory level. The victory/defeat level has a numerical effect in terms of lingering effects or states of adversity and narrative results, which I will explain in-game.
- Equal results (e.g. two successes) but low roll decides the tie = Marginal victory/defeat
- One result better (e.g. critical vs. success) = Minor victory/defeat
- Two results better (e.g. critical vs. fail) = Major victory/defeat
- Three results better (e.g. critical vs. fumble) = Complete victory/defeat
- End of the Contest. In principle, the contest is now finished. It is possible we will carry things on when there is a particularly important contest. This is a 'chained contest' and runs until one party opts to leave the contest.
- Group Contests. There are some neat rules for this now. Beyond these, I will fly by the seat of my pants. It has always worked (or looked like it from where I sit) so far.
- Aziria, the Witch Queen. Resides in the Paper Palace.
- Ice Serpent. A monstrous snake.
- Prince Barkit. Consort to Aziria and the man who taught you to speak.
- Hellstone Kaius: He recalls now that he himself had once signed off an order for a garrison to be stationed here, at some end of his empire. The garrison was to guard against interlopers, to leave this cursed forest undisturbed. There were a number of places like this in the empire, places where the Hells bubbled up to the surface. The Hellstone was just a lump of rock placed like a stopper in a bottle, as much to stop anyone poking around as to stop anything from coming up. And the Serpent? A second line of defence, or a third if you counted the garrison. What better to calm a tunnel burning with the fires of hell than a long, fat serpent made of ice? One of the garrison's duties had been to feed the serpent with sheep, but quite how they were to lead it to into the tunnel he had never thought to ask. Lrall:...meanwhile, has been thinking about the Hellstone. He knows of several rocks that have similar names. The rarest of rocks, they are so dense that not even a diamond can scratch them. Some scholars said that they were placed by the Titans to weigh down the world's surface, and even constructed maps based upon their locations, in order to find further Hellstones and to chart the world itself.
- Hellstone Forest Start of the game. There is said to be a large stone deep within the forest that was placed over a pit that leads to Hell.
- Palace of Spires. A rocky outcrop of the forest that is topped with ice.
- Paper Palace Home of Queen Aziria.
- "Children of the Grave" is taken from a song of that name by Black Sabbath.