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The Elliquian Herald & Post
October & November 2016

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Author Topic: [Interest Check] The Clay That Woke  (Read 112 times)

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Offline CarnivalOfTheGoatTopic starter

[Interest Check] The Clay That Woke
« on: October 06, 2016, 03:37:25 PM »
Does anyone have any experience with this game? Picked up a copy and now I'm curious.

Everyone starts out as a nameless minotaur in a stagnant, bronze-age human city. It's the only city, and it's located in the middle of a deep, terrible jungle. There are no female minotaurs. Minotaurs are only born from minotaur/human couplings, but this is socially stigmatized. Minotaurs are basically slaves...But even though officially there is no slavery, everyone except the tremendously wealthy are effectively slaves. The game is a constant struggle to try to do something to affect society, while dealing with an internal struggle between the minotaur's societal code (Be courageous. Act with wisdom. Pursue the social good and justice. Do not want. Do not use the names of women.) and the realities of what is around them (a human society and a jungle pregnant with terrible magics). Some of the conflicts are obvious (What if the courageous thing and the wise thing are opposed? What if social good and justice are opposed? How does one 'not want' in a society of poverty ruled by a tremendously wealthy few?)

You don't even have a name when you start. Names are earned...And lost again.

It really looks interesting to me, and due to the peculiar species and sexual tensions inherent in the setup, it strikes me as something that would play well on E.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 07:04:17 PM by CarnivalOfTheGoat »

Online Thorne

Re: [Interest Check] The Clay That Woke
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2016, 08:50:43 PM »
... well. This looks interesting.
I'm not familiar with it, but it does look interesting.

Online Riveda

Re: [Interest Check] The Clay That Woke
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2016, 10:43:15 PM »
I went in for a copy of that on the Kickstarter but never actually even opened the shipping envelope. I think I know where it is, though.

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoatTopic starter

Re: [Interest Check] The Clay That Woke
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2016, 11:57:05 PM »
That's two more interested people than I was counting on seeing!

On the other hand, I've noticed that one benefit of digging around the more outre' and experimental RPGs is that the people who are interested in such games are often well-written veterans of a great deal of RP. So I'm not surprised to see either of you. :)

If you find yours, Riveda, that's great. I'm pretty sure we can manage. There are a LOT of reviews online and some discussions from a forum on which it was created. Enough, I think, to get something of a feel for the background.

Character creation consists, really, of picking one of four classes (archetypes). Each class gets a certain number of Tokens of different types (for example, a soldier gets more heart tokens and a philosopher gets more mind tokens). Each class has certain ways of refreshing certain tokens. That's it. You don't even name your minotaur...Names come to you, as a result of deeds.

Conflicts are resolved by scene, not by melee round, and then the players write/roleplay the resolution as appropriate.

To resolve a conflict, the GM puts a number of tokens (including some special, GM-only tokens) into the 'Krater of Lots' (basically a blind-draw bag) and then the involved players can add tokens themselves. This modifies the odds, but it's tricky, because you don't know how many tokens the GM put in, nor what kind. Four tokens are then drawn, and in a sort of a 'reading the bones' fashion, those four tokens guide play towards an outcome.

For example, one of the GM's Skull tokens and three Life tokens becomes "You act with physical confidence or skill for a dramatic outcome in your favor."

Others are open to even broader interpretation, such as a Silence token and three of the GM's "No." tokens, which together mean "A possible truth."

So, yeah, no hit points, weapons are just props that one may write about...It's very much a cooperative writing kind of RPG.

I figure that for purposes of E resolution, the GM can note down what tokens have been entered, then roll 1d(# of tokens) four times to determine what tokens are part of the draw. After the draw, different tokens remaining in the Krater are handled in different ways: some may return to the players, others definitely return to the GM, and some may simply vanish away...So a player spending a token always entails risk of losing it.

Really pretty straightforward.

What isn't straightforward (and is HUGE) is the world/setting. It's a decaying bronze-age culture...Once there was steel. Once there were stone roofs on the tallest towers of the city instead of woven mats of vine (and once, they were taller). The streets were paved with stone, but are now mud; the stones pulled up to build new (shorter) buildings or attempt to repair the old. Once the people were governed by the wisest among them, rather than the most powerful and wealthy. There are four great, leafless trees that arch over the city. Legends say that when the city blooms once more, the trees will bloom as well.

just three hundred years ago four infant minotaurs, a found species, all male, were pulled from the mud of the Vadhmriver into the abeyance of the Dégringolade. No one knows where they came from. Untamed and troubled they didn’t easily find a life in the society of men. Though now their descendants are a sixth of the population.
How? They achieved silence.
Over decades they developed a philosophy of life conduct: pursue justice and the social good; be courageous; act with wisdom; do not want; do not use the names of women. This is silence.
It enabled them to live well among men—although it is not an easy path. Human society employs them for menial and dangerous and brutal work. So, not surprisingly, they often fail to live up to the ideals of their philosophy. But they are determined.
Silence is contemplative. In an ancient and complex world it is how you understand the forces in play. When you have no power but your own mind and sinew, facing danger without complaining about it and acting with integrity are your only hope of making a better future.
To avoid using women’s names minotaurs instead come up with descriptive nicknames: “Fiery Tresses,” perhaps, or “She of the Shimmering Scarves.” There are no female minotaurs, so nicknames are an effort to create distance from want. And if a minotaur does use a woman’s real name it is a breaking of silence and the gamemaster will take a single Silence token from him.

Minotaurs can also lose tokens for other violations of the Silence. When a minotaur loses all of his Silence, either due to such violations or due to playing his last Silence token into the Krater of Lots, he enters a bestial state in which he loses control and runs towards the jungle, often leaving destruction in his wake. Men will try to kill a frantic minotaur. When another minotaur witnesses this loss of control, he too must test against his own remaining Silence, and if he fails he also loses control and breaks for the jungle.

Of course, one who passes the test may accompany a friend into the jungle to protect them.

The jungle is strange, magical, filled with impossible spirits, hints of other civilizations, insects, plants, and a sort of strange eternal war. Entering the jungle may result in the refreshment of some tokens, and those minotaurs who return to the Dégringolade will also be rewarded with tokens...The jungle is a means of refreshing Silence.