Character Generation thread!https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=209716.0
So, I've decided to run this game (and believe it or not, it started as a demo for a particular player, who asked nicely). And here we are, a harem story with kick-ass female protagonists and an (almost as powerful, but much less active) male protagonist. But more importantly, it's meant to be a world where a harem story with kick-ass women makes sense.
(If you think it doesn't fullfill those requrements, go ahead and tell me!)
And of course, we're looking for players that are willing to take on the role of the protagonists. Read to the end in order to determine whether you're interested in playing in this world. No, wait, let me put a picture!
So, this story is set on a world almost totally unlike the one you know. Dinosaurs, marsupials and tamed giant insect-like beings are the tamed forms of life.
Giant birds are crossing the sky, with or without riders.
Cities exist wherever there are natural defences, including in the stomach of giant whale-like beings. Except they're closer to sharks.
Not all cities would be inside a shark*, of course. Some are pretty firmly embedded on a cliff and trade with giant riding birds. Others are in the crown of giant trees, in the middle of a river, or flying on the backs of a colony of lighter-than-air bladder birds (which are symbiotes of the city), or hanging from the webs of giant spiders.
And of course, there are inter-city low-level wars, which go on almost constantly. For slaves. For trading routes. For sacrifices to dark gods. For the hell of it. For personal ambitions. For proving your superiority. For alleviating the boredom.
As it should be clear by now, there are humans, and a few other mammals, most of them not sentient. Probably. Although there are these suspicions...
One thing is for sure, there's extreme inequality in the gender ratios among sentient beings...some argue it's something in the water.
But the first important net effect is that, as society had adapted, women are doing a lot of jobs usually done by men.
That includes war, and in fact, especially war. After all, if you let your men be killed, you're going to have to rely on a smaller genepool, and inbreeding is a bitch, long-term! The Immaculate Lineage Office is taking care to avoid this, though.
But then, all women warriors get a sword or other weapon that is, for all intents and purposes, magical. So fatalities aren't as common as they would be otherwise (especially coupled with above-average medecine for such settings - did we mentione they know about genetic disorders? Well, they know about germs, too...though not everyone believes that which cannot be seen).
The players are among those that have taken the weapons. Just keep in good relationship with your weapon...yes, it has needs and desires, too! But bearing arms opens you the way to get into a harem-a high honour!
The players might start in the harem of a Priest-Khan, as women "knightesses" (in fact, they're bound by servitude to him, but that's the name of the job and fits its description). Or they might prefer to start as a free-roaming mercenary that might or might get chosen by said Priest-Khan. Works for me, as long as they stay around at least for a time.
As stated before, it's a great honour in said society to be accepted in the harem of an influential man (defined as someone with 5+ "knightesses", so the logic is as circular as the logic of influential people being rich and rich people being influential). They command a lot of temporal power in the name of their husbands - which, by virtue of being influential, command religious power.
In practical terms, it is up to whoever is playing to decide where their character could start. Maybe a few are already recruited for his harem. And some would definitely volunteer or are even drafted** into it. Works for me, as long as it's clear they're in the same harem. (Because I really don't want to run two of those at once!)
Again, just keep on the good side of your weapon, and power and good life could be yours, along with lots of sex.
EDIT: For those that know the game: The setting is based on the knightesses not having access to magical instruction, so their Lore starts at 1 or 2 max. You can talk me into getting more than that, but I'd rather have the majority of the group being "mundanes", as much as any S&S character could be mundane. (Mundane, like Conan and the Red Sonja, isn't too
Still, the law is "no man without an woman". So men with less influence might have only one or up to three women. The wives of less influential men usually haven't taken the Sword (which might be almost any kind of weapon). Still, the excess women go into harems, or roam until they pick a harem to join (It sucks to be gay in this world, yes. Well, at least in the specific city I'm preparing. But then, no PCs could be gay, as they would all be women. Being lesbian could be arranged far more easily - especially for PCs. After all, men with more than one woman might not mind one of them being off-limits, if she contributes in other ways to their well-being. Or she could be roaming forever - there's at least a couple such women who had become heroes.)
Being bi or at least curious would be far more of an advantage, though, at least for women.
There just might be magic, too...or something like it, but let's not get into it at the start.
*Where of those places you'd start is flexible, though the spiders are vetoed as I haven't really developed them.
**Drafting is, however, unlikely, except to protect a lineage - yes, people there know about inbreeding and stuff. Also, cheating is a capital crime, unless announced in the Immaculate Lineage Office so the right parentage can be established - then it's just civic offence...possibly against an influential party, but still civic offence.
Now, this is going to be a system game. But since the player who asked me for the demo has no experience with systems, I would be teaching newbies here. You can join without knowing anything about the dice rolls. I'll explain them as they come.
(And every single rule in the system can be summarised in about 10 pages of text. I know, I found someone's quick reference).
For those that are already into systems, I'm using "Sorcerer and Sword" (by Ron Edwards). It already runs the way I'd run even an old-school game, so why wouldn't I allow you to peek under the hood?
What does the system matter, some would ask? Well, it drives home some themes that I'm hoping to explore in this game.
First, What Are You Ready To Pay For Power, Or Just For Getting What/Who You Want?
Second, What Is Keeping Us Human?
Think on your answers. The game, by the rules, starts with the characters' lives being irrevocably changed
(and you're going to tell me how). The game is about what happens after that.
Here's what the author of Sorcerer has to say about people who don't get what "irrevocably" means.
"I find it instructive that about … I’d say, a third of the people who play Sorcerer characters spend all their energy frantically trying to restore the character’s pre-Kicker situation. I can say and say until I’m blue in the face, “The Kicker changes your character’s life forever,” and they go ahead and write Kickers that do exactly that – so all seems well – and then they play their characters absolutely determined to negate, deny, stifle, and run away from the Kickers.
Since the Kickers are not going away, the characters find themselves entirely trapped. Strangely, they adopt a posture of powerlessness and shift into the tactics of deception and passive-aggression. They deflect their human connections rather than choosing to strengthen and defend them. They lie and cheat to the various characters they know, or even harm them through commission or more typically omission. They indulge or release their demons to frightening degrees, perhaps hoping that somehow this will “take care of things.”
Such players may take their characters over the moral event horizon so thoroughly that their characters effectively become the villains of the piece. They wonder why this game “made” them do this, or why I as the GM did not help them in some way, perhaps provide the way out that they expected me to have in my pocket. Whereas the other players and I are experiencing what any audience experiences when characters in a story go this far (particularly in the service of inaction and denial) – a sense that this character will rightly deserve whatever misery and damnation are about to ensue.
It’s not always a terrible or negative game experience, although for some it certainly has been. In some cases the player returns to play in a new game loaded for bear this time – that’s Jesse, for instance. In others, they write off the game as somehow impossible, “the way to win is not to play” trap; or they say that the game offers you no story in a tin that you can rely on to occur and hence is “not a Story Game.”
I could understand these reactions better if the GM had written the Kickers and therefore the player could fairly say they’d been written into a box. But they’d written these Kickers themselves, and not only that, they knew the GM’s explicit job was to adopt them as mandates (not mere “flags”) and to apply that exact pressure you described. Furthermore it is one of the few RPGs in which you genuinely, fully, and freely *play this character* with no constraints on actions, and in fact, a consequence mechanic which is attenuated and random. Given these two points, I’ve concluded that the game acts as a litmus test for not only Story Now (Narrativist - note TH) preferences, but for Story Now passion.
There’s a central image in Russell Hoban’s novel The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (a book which I think you’d like very much, Joel): the king’s archer’s have filled the lion full of arrows, his chariot has overridden him, and now the dying animal bites at the wheel even as it turns upon him. When I’m playing the game, I can always see the moment in which I know whether a given player is biting with everything he or she has. The character played by that player has a chance. The character played by the player who cannot or will not bite in this fashion … well, that character does not.
This is precisely one of the components which lead me to describe the game as tequila."
Ron Edwards, comments to an Actual Play report
This is a gritty setting, inspired by old swords and sorcery fantasy stories like Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Elric of Melnibone, Book of the New Sun and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars books, and yes-Gor (well, not the "X are natural slaves" part, which I explain as the main character having PTSD).The players are expected to be contributors.
I can't state it enough... the PCs are protagonists.
To me, that means that it's not the GM's story, it's everyone's story.
(To quote Sorcerer, "if you think you can play the main character while someone else is determining what happens...you're wrong". Not a litteral quote, but close enoough.) Make characters that want to make stuff happen. ("Being ravished" is fine as a goal, if you can make it drive the action forward!)
Well, you need just a concept for now - we're starting the group character generation in a couple days, probably Friday-Saturday, but give this some thought.
One last warning, this time for experienced system players.Strike D&D and MMO archetypes from your mind.
It is a game about what your character is willing to do for power and survival. Being clichéd will get you killed, most likely (I don't control it - maybe the dice, which we roll in the open, will save you...but I'm yet to see that happening).
And yes, the only kind of available magic in the setting is demon summoning. I can make exceptions from other stuff, but this rule is absolute
This isn't a first come-first serve game. The GM, that's me, reserves the right to pick among those that express interest.This also means you should post interest, no matter how many people have already done so! You might be the only lucky one, who knows?