Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Cow sighted

Been quiet here and on the podcast for various reasons; the main one is I’ve been pouring my creative energies into getting ready for Concrete Cow 18.5 on the 15th September. I’m offering 2 games: in the morning I’ll be running StormHack (that’s Stormbringer meets Whitehack) with the classic Chaosium scenario “Stolen Moments” from the 4th edition Perils of the Young Kingdoms.

Getting ready for that has been relatively straightforward to the afternoon offering, where I’m hoping to run Grand Tableau (aka hipster Everway). I made a fortune deck using Lenormand cards (Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand, to be precise). I’m quite pleased at how it turned out…

First, slip the card into a standard MtG style card sleeve (I do this to protect the original Lenormand cards in case I want them back in the future). Then get some backing card, approximately tarot-sized. We mount the sleeved card onto the larger card with the card meaning below it, like this:

Then slip that whole thing inside a second card sleeve that’s sized for larger cards (I think the sleeves are made by FFG and designed for games like Dixit).

There we go… and the final touch, put the 36 cards inside a nice wooden box.

Quite pleased with this effort, and not a bad way to spend an evening while watching Iron Fist season 2 with one eye. Hopefully I’ll get takers on Saturday.

(the scenario is The Death Hand Of Saint No-One, which is actually a Continuum scenario — we’ll see how it turns out exchanging time travellers for urban magicians)

Friday, 10 August 2018

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

StormHack characters part 3: demons and ambitions

The character history method from part 2 should produce interesting, three-dimensional characters with a bit of mystery and personal plot hooks.

By comparison, demons are cartoonish, one-dimensional, one-trick ponies — which is intentional. Demons are all about a character’s singular purpose in life and how it’s both a path to power and damnation. Whereas the human side of the character should feel “real” with believable professions, the Demon side is much more like a character class.

I. Brief notes on demons

A demon represents a character’s drive. What I mean by this is that the demon is essential for the character’s heroic aspect. A superlative warrior unmatched in combat owes their ability to their demon; their identity is the demon, the two are inseparable.

There are six Demon Realms that define six dimensions of activity.

A Demon Realm has associated lesser and greater suits, or petitions which may be made for magical aid. A demon can access the lesser and greater suits from its realm, as well as the lesser suits from two adjacent realms.

A demon always seeks to transgress against its master. It achieves this goal by accumulating power through its master’s over-reliance on its services.

When a demon successfully transgresses, it undergoes metamorphosis.

II. Generating the demon character

To generate the demon half of the PC you need to decide on Drive, Demon Realm and Seeming.

Drive

Drive is a lot like a Character Class. It’s a direction for the character’s life, something they’re supernaturally good at. The basic fantasy tropes of fighter, magic user, thief and so forth work here; in fact I really encourage thinking in these terms. The demon is all about power and exceeding human capability, and the powers it bestows fit into these particular classes. In fact, it’s probably not possible to think about Drive without thinking about your demon’s Realm at the same time — so we’ll cover that next.

Demon Realm

The Realm of Violence defines warfare, causing harm and injury. Its demons are demons of combat, demon weapons. It borders the Realms of Durance and Majesty. It is almost always associated with martial Drives, i.e. fighters and soldiers.

The Realm of Durance concerns surviving pain, disease and injury, and superseding the limits of the body. Its demons are armour, shields, wards and pacts. It borders the Realms of Violence and Flux. It will be associated with martial pursuits as well as the wilderness, for example scouts and rangers, barbarians, and possibly some priests or druids.

The Realm of Flux concerns movement through and perceptions of space and time, and its demons are transporters, teleporters and gates. It borders the Realms of Durance and Contrivance. It is often associated with athletic and/or larcenous Drives such as thieves, acrobats, or assassins.

The Realm of Contrivance is about satisfying desires and needs. Its demons are lovers, seekers and procurers. It borders Flux and Voyance. Its drives are frequently arcane, including illusionists and sorcerers.

The Realm of Voyance deals with knowledge of past, present and future. It borders Contrivance and Majesty, and its demons are scryers, seers and ledgers, and its drives frequently involve priests, oracles and sages.

The Realm of Majesty controls minds. Its demons are possessors, controllers and parasites. It borders the realms of Voyance and Violence. Its drives are politicians, leaders and enchanters.

Seeming

Last, have an idea of what the demon looks like — to the PC, and to the external observer. Many demons, especially low level ones which are only beginning their metamorphosis, appear as some kind of motif on the character. A fighter might have a particular sword, for example. It could be clothes, body art, a piece of jewellery. It could be something large and immobile, for example a hotel, but this would limit the scope of the game to in and around the hotel (which wouldn’t play easily with a hex crawl).

Perhaps more interesting is the PC’s internal perception of their demon. If you go with the idea of the player to their left playing the demon from time to time, that player will be helped by knowing how the PC actually sees their demon. Is it a voice in their head, a long shadow from behind a tree, a reflection, a speck of dust in the corner of their eye? Or is it more overt, like a goblin that sits at the end of their bed?

III. Example: Kayl’s demon

We know a lot about Kayl’s past from part 2, but what about their ambition?

The obvious choice is to follow Kayl’s background and make them some kind of witch or mystic. Perhaps when the adventure starts they’re just on the cusp of awakening; they have realised their potential and manifested their own demon.

For Kayl’s Drive we simply write Fane Witch. That’s nice and punchy; it’s direct in the description with just a little hint of the connection to their backstory.

If Kayl’s a witch, the more obvious Realms for their demon are Voyance, Contrivance and Majesty. Contrivance would make them some kind of conjurer or illusionist, and a very physical kind of magician. Majesty would make them a kind of social manipulator, and confrontational with it. The middle ground is Voyance, which would make them a seer and able to connect with other worlds. Note that they will access minor powers from Contrivance and Majesty as well.

What is this demon’s Seeming? Kayl’s player decides that they have taken to wearing makeup outwardly, great black smears over each eye which makes them seem strange and ferocious despite their youth. Inwardly their demon mostly manifests in their dreams; it is the voice of the matriarch interred at Aelfa, speaking from the threshold of her tomb under a sky like ash.

And that’s all for now. I’ll come back to StormHack with actual mechanics in the near future. But the next post will be something a bit different.

Monday, 23 July 2018

StormHack characters part 2: spontaneous archipelago

Part 1 was an overview of the Human and Demon sides of StormHack characters. In this post I’ll make an example of character generation for the human half of the characters.

I’m going to combine with an idea I had for the Beyond the Waves setting, and use this to also generate the archipelago around the character’s home island.

(recap of relevant posts: Beyond the Waves, home island, island generator. There are other less relevant posts as well)

I. Backgrounds/Roots

Each character has 3 backgrounds or roots:

  • Growing up is about experience, skills and family connection
  • Tradition is about inherited knowledge, customs and connections from the family’s past
  • Legend is about the family’s secrets and ancient hQistory from long in the past

In general these are written on the character sheet as this sort of thing:

My family are reef-fishers. I was taught by my mother who came here from the island of Aenesi to the north.

This establishes a couple of anchors (the island of Aenesi, the character’s mother), and their trade (reef-fishing). We’ll generally use this format for each character.

II. Mapping the Archipelago

We’re going to establish the play group’s home island and then trace each character’s family past and the roots in other parts of the archipelago.

We’re going to generate three layers of surrounding islands based on migrating families. The first immediate layer will be the people who settled the home island (0-2 generations ago), the second layer will be ancestors 3-6 generations removed, and the last will be earlier generations. As you might expect, each layer affects inherited skills, knowledge, culture and/or legends — which will be expressed as roots (q.v.).

I’m drawing the map on a dot grid using a scale of 5 miles to 1 cm. Note that the viewing distance to the horizon from sea level on our planet is about 3 miles, and from 30m up this extends to 12 miles. Sailing craft probably travel between 5-8 miles per hour and rowboats around 3 miles per hour.

I prefer the home island to be small (by the definition of the Island Generator, 1-5 miles across), small enough that the PCs will have explored nearly all of it as children and the coastline forms the effective “wall” of the village. By contrast any other island — even one which is settled and apparently friendly — is beyond the wall.

i) home island and settlers

First, draw the home island roughly in the middle of the paper, bearing in mind the proportions of 1 cm = 5 miles.

The character’s family migrated here from a nearby island. How long ago? Roll 1d6: on a 1-2 it’s 0 generations (i.e. the PC came to this island as a child), on a 3-4 it’s 1 generation (parents), and on 5-6, 2 generations (grandparents).

Where did they come from? Roll a d8 to pick a compass point (e.g. with a 1 meaning North, and counting clockwise). Then roll 2d6-2 for the distance in cm on the paper. Treat a result of zero as \<3 miles, i.e. close enough to see from the beach of the home island. The maximum distance is therefore 50 miles.

It’s up to you how big the island is or what shape. You can use use the island generator although a note of caution — I tried using those tables and they all tended towards much larger islands than the home island, so I intend to revise the tables in the near future. Still, it could give you some ideas.

Whatever method you choose, draw an appropriately sized island on the map.

Name the island.

Since this island is both near and has recent family on it, unless there’s a good reason the PC has probably visited it more than once. Pick at least 3 of the questions below to answer:

  1. What trade, skill or knowledge did your family bring from this island to your current community? (you could use the growing up tables in the Beyond the Wall playbooks for this one)
  2. How did children play on this island?
  3. Where did children play on this island?
  4. What well known food or drink is found on this island?
  5. What is the biggest natural hazard or enemy found here?
  6. What is the biggest human threat found here?
  7. What does it mean to be wealthy on this island? (clothes, trappings, housing, social position, etc.)
  8. Tell us about someone you know who’s about your age on the island. Who are they to you — a friend, an enemy, a rival, a sweetheart?
  9. Tell us about someone who’s considered old on this island. How does the community treat them? Are they wise, powerful, mysterious, dangerous?
  10. Tell us about something unresolved that your family left behind when they left this island. Who is involved? What is the focus of the problem — love, money, land, a birthright, an old injury or feud?
  11. An object from the island hangs in your family home. What is it?
  12. Tell us about a magical experience you or someone close to you had on the island.

Additionally answer these questions about how your family fits into the home island:

  • What is their trade? (if you answered question 1 above, the answer will be the same)
  • Who are their neighbours? (describe up to 2 other families)
  • Besides the other PCs, who did you grow up and play with? (name and describe one other NPC)

At the end of this, write your character’s Growing Up root like this:

My family’s trade is… We/my parents/my grandparents came here from the island of… (any other details)

ii) ancestors and traditions

The second island is placed like this:

  1. Pick a direction by rolling 1d4-1d4, which will give you a result of -3 to +3. Take the original direction from the home island to the previous one, and use this number to move that many compass points away from that direction. For example if the original heading was north west and you rolled -2, the new heading will be south west from the new island.
  2. Roll 2d6-2 for the distance as before.
  3. Choose (randomly or otherwise) the island’s size and shape as before.

This island differs from the last in that the PC will have no living relatives, but they’ll have ancestors, roots and traditions. Answer 2 of the following questions:

  1. Your ancestor’s tomb sits on this island. What does it look like? What are the burial customs?
  2. Your ancestor is known for a particularly heroic, impressive or egregious deed. What was it?
  3. Your parents have a habit of a small social gesture, phrase or mannerism at the dinner table, that you’ve not seen anyone else in your community make. What does it mean, and what connection does it have to this island?
  4. Your ancestors are known for a particular talent. What is it?
  5. The island has a distinctive natural feature that you’ve never seen elsewhere. What is it?
  6. The island has a unique human-made feature. What is it?

(Naturally these can be expanded into lists or tables if/when one has time or inclination)

Once you’ve done that, answer the following questions:

  • Your ancestor was part of an organisation, fraternity, guild, bloodline or other group. What were they?
  • What skill, knowledge or art did your ancestor practice?
  • How did this information come to you? An object, a scroll, word of mouth?
  • Did anyone hide it from you? Did anyone go out of their way to give it to you?

iii) legends

Place the third and last island as you did the second one.

Here’s the twist. Your PC has never been here; this is only where you think the island is. It’s up to the GM to decide how close the island is to the spot.

(Note to self: write GM advice for when it’s ok to lie to players and when it isn’t)

This is a place your PC has only heard of in fragments of diaries, the cryptic allusions of elders, whispers at the cradle. You have an inexorable connection to this place. It may represent your destiny.

Aside: destiny

Some thoughts on how to write destinies:

  1. They should be about something the character might do, not just something they might see, acquire etc.
  2. They should have a cause and effect as in when PC does X, Y will happen
  3. X should be cryptic
  4. Y should be ambiguous

Writing character destinies will probably be fun, but unless you’re planning a long campaign they may be a waste of time.

Of course, if you want to drive the action towards a character’s destiny, then you could do worse than signpost it like crazy so the Pcs come into contact with it. Destinies may be obscure and uncertain but they should also be kind of obvious.

This brings us to legends.

Legends

Associated with this third and final island is a family legend. Choose one or write your own:

  1. Hidden treasure.
  2. A powerful weapon.
  3. A gate to somewhere else.
  4. A sleeping god or monster.
  5. A temple or place of power.
  6. A secret society.

Once this choice is made, the player should answer a couple of questions:

  • how did you find out about this place? Was it written down, told to you, do you dream about it?
  • what’s the connection with your family? Did they discover it, did it cross their path, did they steal it?
  • who else is involved or interested? An individual seeking power, an organisation with a prophecy, the original owner?

The GM should consider a things as well (in secret, natch):

  • how far is the island from where everyone thinks it is?
  • how is the island different today from the description in the legend? What one feature still stands out?
  • what powerful, independent NPC or group is really interested in this legend? How might they get entangled in the PC’s business?
  • The legend the PC knows is only half the story. What’s the other half?

III. An example

The home island is called Beq. It’s a small island with numerous cliffs and beaches. Its partner Ourd sits to its north across a trecherous strait, and is accessible by rope bridges and cable cart.

Kayl is our first PC. Their stats are STR 12, CON 9, DEX 13, INT 11, WIS 15 and CHA 10. They’re physically capable but also uncommonly wise and insightful for their age.

We roll the dice for Kayl’s Growing Up root: 3 for number of generations, 8 for direction and 7 for distance in cm. They’re second generation migrants from an island 25 miles to the north-west of Beq called Three Knives, and Kayl has visited there many times to see their cousins. Kayl’s player answers a few questions:

  • We know that iimpa is brewed on the island and each island family guards its own recipe
  • Kayl’s family are brewers and horticulturalists, and have successfully cultivated iimpa floss of high quality on Beq
  • It’s an open secret that the family settled on Beq after a falling out between their father and his sister, who disapproves of the family trade being taken outside Three Knives
  • All the families move in merchant circles and adults display lip-rings specific to their bloodline

We roll the dice a second time for the second island, concerning Kayl’s ancestors. Aelfa is located south-west of Three Knives. Kayl’s player answers a couple more questions:

  • Aelfa is perpetually surrounded in mist and the surrounding waters are rocky; the folk on the island maintain a beacon to warn nearby boats.
  • Kayl visited the place once when they were very young, to inter the bones of a matriarch from the families of Three Knives. It was a weird ceremony and they were warned not to make any noise or draw attention to themselves. They were made to wait outside with the other youngsters when the adults went into the tomb.
  • Kayl’s mother told them that Aelfa means “cradle of the witch”, and that the power of natural magic runs in their blood. Aelfa was once the seat of a coven of magicians called The Fane, and Kayl is named after one of their order.

Finally we roll the dice a third time and we learn about Kurst, a land to the west of Aelfa beyond a turbid stretch of water called The Shoal.

Kayl found out about it when the family was unexpectedly visited by a mysterious relative. Most of the time they sat with Kayl’s parents and made small-talk as they partook of their hospitality, but when they were alone the stranger turned to Kayl and told them in a cracking voice that it was time to return to Aelfa and seek The Fane, who would open the way to the Eye at Kurst.

Summary

Write the character like this:

Kayl, apprentice brewer and latent magician

STR 12, CON 9, DEX 13, INT 11, WIS 15, CHA 10

Growing up: mercantile family of brewers and horticulturalists (trade), father (anchor), lip ring (motif) Ancestry: latent magician (skill), ancient magical society The Fane (connection), family tomb at Aelfa (place) Legend: opening the Eye of the Fane at Kurst (prophecy)

IV. Last words

This is the map in progress. With a group of four characters you’ll generate 12 islands already; expect the GM to fill in the map with a few others, including major antagonists like island city-states, etc.

One thing I didn’t cover was how individual histories interact. If you draw a path tracing back each character’s history through the archipelago, there’s a chance that some of the paths will intersect.

What happens when two PCs’ histories cross? How do you create the shared history in the group? I’d suggest to go back to the questions — maybe pick a couple that the player didn’t answer, and invite the other player to answer.

One other remark: the typical adventurer templates are covered well by the D&D standards — fighter, mage, thief, etc. These are the archetypes of competence we think of for heroic fantasy.

However, the skills implied by the character history will frequently be domestic, rarely heroic (e.g. Kayl is a brewer). This makes sense because the village is a settlement at peace, and most inhabitants are defined by domestic careers such as farming. These work for villagers, but aren’t very sexy or useful for adventurers.

Note how Dungeon Crawl Classics starts off characters with a non-adventuring profession and sees who survives the funnel; at the end of that ordeal, the one survivor may pick an adventuring class.

Characters are started off in this way to underline their mundane nature, and thereby draw attention to the threshold they cross when they go off adventuring. It should be the same case here; the skills implied by personal history are only marginally useful a lot of the time, and the real “adventuring persona” emerges with the character’s demon, their ambition. This is what I’ll cover in the next post.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

StormHack characters, part 1

Ages ago I had the idea for a “community phase” for Beyond the Wall. Here are a couple of posts:

TL;DR these are an idea for a two-part character. One half of the character is the adventurer and exists “beyond the wall” i.e. when they’re off adventuring. The other half exists “in the village”, or when they’re at home and interacting with friends and family. I still like the idea and it fits certain genres (anime comes to mind, where characters who are brave adventurers risking their lives still get into domestic capers when back at home).

Later I wrote this into StormHack: see here (note that I re-wrote the A6 booklet here, but that later version doesn’t mention the Drama Game). But truth be told something’s always bugged me about this approach. The two sides are more or less entirely separate, which creates a kind of cognitive dissonance as players switch from one phase to the other. What I really wanted was for the PCs to have those relationships but for those to tie back into the adventure and for their emotional components to have an effect on (or at least be present in) the adventure game.

StormHack characters do have a dual nature. The human is all about human experience, family, history and emotions, whereas the demon is about power, ambition, expertise and magic. The premise has always been that the human side has no levels, does not gain experience or power; but demons on the other hand have levels and it’s entirely up to the player how high those go. A higher level demon will give a lot of power but when it transgresses, it will really screw up the character’s life.

And that turned out to be the solution. The human side has all the connections to family and place. These give the character some capability (skills and experience) which can be used directly in the adventure game. However, it’s these connections — Roots — which get attacked, tainted, corrupted by the demon when its power finally comes back to bite its master. Thus there’s this cycle:

This integrates the human side and the demon side. I’ll go into the mechanics of how this works some other time, but for the rest of this post I want to discuss the two sides to each character.

I. Being human

The human side of the character is all about their past and ancestry, the life they had growing up, and the influence of friends and family.

The standard 6 ability scores (STR, CON, DEX, INT, WIS, CHA) belong to this side of the character, and you can generate these any way you like — as a point-buy, rolling randomly, using playbooks as in Beyond the Wall, etc.

The accompanying roots are influenced by Whitehack’s groups. They’re sort of broad statements about vocation and cultural experience, and you can leverage these in-game for an advantage on a d20 roll (i.e. roll twice and pick the result you like).

Each character has three roots:

  1. The first and most recent is growing up. It’s all about the skills and experiences you got from your family and friends. If the family business was fishing, or milling, or brewing, that’s something you know how to do. It manifests in parents or other people of the same age who have been an influence as you grew up.
  2. The second root is tradition. This is something cultural about your family; it indicates belonging to an ethnic group, a race, or a tribe.
  3. The third and oldest root is legend. This is something like a rumour, family story, or connection to something very old that began long before you were born.

All roots have an anchor-point. This is the person or place strongly associated with the root, and this is something the character will keep coming back to. Parents or friends will often be an anchor for growing up, grandparents or the community for tradition, and places or heroic stories for legends. These roots extend back in time. Often you might want

Roots don’t have to be beneficial all the time. A tradition (which could be a religion, ethnicity, etc.) might be useful but at the same time bring the attention of bigots. A legend could be exciting and inspiring, or it could be a dark doom that follows the character around.

II. Being a demon

“Demon” can be anything from strange otherworldly creatures summoned and bound to the conjurer’s will, to psychic self-actualisation and manifestation of latent talents. The definition of “demon” can be very literal (as in Chaosium’s Stormbringer) or allegorical/metaphorical (Ron Edwards’ Sorcerer) depending on your game. The key points about demons are:

  1. Their apparent power that they exercise on behalf of their master has a real in-game effect: destroying things, enabling the character to fly or walk through walls, conjuring stuff out of thin air, seeing into the future, controlling other people’s minds. All of these effects go beyond what normal people can do.
  2. If the PC gives the demon permission to act, they risk the demon transgressing. That transgression also has a real in-game effect: destroying relationships, tainting reputations, attracting enemies.
  3. The act of transgression gives the demon power, and causes it to grow. This is a metamorphosis.
  4. When the demon is stronger it can tempt the PC with more powerful effects, but its transgressions will be similarly worse.

And there you have it. Demons could be a metaphor for pursuit of power, ambition or dedication to something at the expense of humanity and human relationships; or they could be really, really evil beings which latch onto humans and tempt them to use too much power and wreck their relationships and leave them as an emotionless, hollowed-out husk. Your choice.

Demons have an associated drive. This is an expression of what sets the character apart from their peers. For example a character’s drive might be to be a great warrior or knight. That drive directs the demon’s power (in this case, in combat). In general Drives look a lot like careers or vocations; and in a lot of cases they function just like roots do as skills and experience. Thus if the character called themselves “Knight of Leopards” they might get an advantage when fighting, when conversing at court, when ordering commoners about, etc.

Whether or not the world believes that demons exist, they definitely talk to their master. They tempt their master to use their power, and then introduce thoughts of how they might transgress. In-game you might want to give the job of roleplaying a character’s demon to the player on the left of the player in question. That player might have fun ideas on how the demon will next transgress if it gets enough wriggle room.

Next

Coming up: I’ll provide an example of generating the human characters in the Beyond the Waves archipelago setting. Shortly after, we’ll do an example of the demonic side of a character.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

StormHack A6 and the 8 page method

I go back and forth between writing tools and methods (rich text, outliners, markdown, mind mapping) and those are all useful but also terrible for procrastination. This made me think back to my first A6 version of StormHack which by strange coincidence was posted exactly a year ago today.

8 Page, Thousand Word RPG method

Two nice things about the 8-page pamphlet format:

  1. It forced me to draw boxes around the system elements which really focused me on what I wanted to say to players
  2. It also forced me to be economical with writing

The word count is at most 135 words per page, so 8 pages is just over a thousand words — call it a 125 word-per-page target for a nice round number. This is just for one side of A4 paper folded into an 8-page booklet, not counting the other side.

Now although people have risen to the 200 word RPG challenge (hey look, the deadline is tomorrow) I think for me even 1000 words will be a stretch to fit everything in; so instead I need to think about what my little booklet will do. It should be something I can hand out at the table that explains everything people need to know about the system.

What about the other side of the page? Maybe a map, setting detail, or a character sheet. But that’s for some other time.

StormHack 2.0

For now, here’s version 2 of A6-StormHack. Print it, cut and fold where it tells you and you’ll have the booklet. I’ve taken a knife to some of the sections in the previous versions; it’s much more mechanic focused. See if it makes sense.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Beyond the Waves: relics from the last war

For Beyond the Waves: ancient technology from the last war between the Haunted Empire and the Island States.

I. Ekranoplan wrecks

The airspace above the Archipelago is haunted. The Empire’s flyers would dive when they hit the Archipelago airspace, or curve in unpredicted trajectories. For decades the imperial scientists attempted to map that volume of air with its many loci and vortices and tunnels, but Sigma/Omega ratios could suddenly peak and vehicles would return decrepit, pilots bags of dust. Flying over the islands was too much of a risk even for a behemoth like the Empire who could throw steel and flesh and bone at any problem.

The ekranoplans were vast surface wing craft, much larger than any of the vehicles in service around the various island states. They were designed for carrying cargo, weapons and troops rapidly over long stretches of flat water for exploration or conquest.

Abandoned ekranoplan hulls can be found along the western shore of the land and on some islands.

1d12 Ekranoplan wreck points of interest
1 Wreck completely overgrown inside and out with several well preserved bodies inside
2 Coded military orders
3 A luxury fitted stateroom with Imperial memorabilia
4 1d4 active torpedoes of unknown payload
5 Several cubic meters of ancient computer
6 Disdended corpses and signs of bungled emergency egress
7 Maps of western ocean with expedition diaries
8 Leviathan tissue samples
9 Armoury with 1d3 lightning cannisters and other hand weapons
10 Neuronic interrogation equipment
11 Banks of cell samples, seeds and mature plants which have overwhelmed the vehicle interior
12 Human squatters who are either (1-2) inferior and afraid, (3-4) well-matched and hostile or (5-6) contaminated and infectious

II. Acoustic Mirrors

The obsolescense of aircraft that resulted in the ekranoplan in turn rendered radioetheric detection useless as the flyers were too low to resolve against the surface.

Sound mirrors were developed and many examples were installed on the shores of the eastern-most islands.

1d10 Acoustic mirror points of interest
1 Sound has attracted unusual animals or birds
2 Sheltering human settlement who have decorated the mirror
3 Mirror receives broadcast from somewhere out in the sea
4 Tribe bases religious observations, calendars and rituals around seasonal ambient sound from the mirror
5 Mirror contains a bunker underneath with telegraph room which is receiving a signal from somewhere
6 Mirror reflects leviathan song
7 Mirror has been damaged and tilts at an impractical upward angle, but is receiving transmission
8 Mirror has been broken down, moved and reconstructed to serve an unintended purpose
9 Local gravitational or spacetime distortion
10 Several imitation mirrors have been built up in the same area, and sing to one another

III. Targe hulls

Targe (“shield” or “border”) hulls are chains of either mobile floating or permanently anchored armoured platforms designed to interrupt assaults from ekranoplan vessels with poor manouverability and altitude control. Frequently installed close to sound mirrors.

1d10 Targe hull points of interest
1 Hull has been taken over by vast numbers of sea birds
2 Gigantic cannon, broken away from mounting and cannot be aimed
3 Remnants of a brutal skirmish; bones, damaged equipment, rusted firearms and cutlasses
4 Series of sophisticated signal towers line up with island mirror installations
5 Multiple stored drums of unknown chemical agent, some leaking into sea
6 Platforms severely damaged in collision, submerged ekranoplan wreck
7 Fishing settlement in former fortress with extended raft village anchored to fixed hardpoints
8 Suspended railroad connects network of artificial platforms strung between natural sea mounts and islets
9 Pirate hideout with livery
10 Bedrock collapsed under foundation revealing underwater natural structure

Image Credits and more images

Acoustic mirror by Paul Glazzard shared under CC BY-SA 2.0

Red sands forts by Russs shared under CC BY-SA 3.0

Ekranoplan art:

Monday, 23 October 2017

Castle Lysander: The Stolen Child

A playbook for Castle Lysander

The Stolen Child

I met her in a forest glade // Where starbeams grew like trees // I did not take her for a witch // She wasn’t what she seemed // She turned the key of endlessness // And locked me in a dream // Infinity

Once upon a time you were a child, playing alone. Queen Antipathie approached you and asked you to be her knight, tempting you to shed your youth and become an adult in her Realm. Not knowing what you had given up until too late you became the protector of her Realm, loving its people as much as you hated her.

1d12 What was your first sight of the castle, and how did you enter? Gain
1 You emerged on a balcony to a skyline of minarets, spires and bell-towers under a starlit sky. +2 INT, +1 WIS, +1 CON, Skill: Astrology
2 You arrived at the Southern Gate and hammered your fist on the oak door until they allowed you in. +2 STR, +1 CON, +1 CHA, Skill: Intimidation
3 You cut your way through a mass of ivy to locate a small archway in the Eastern Wall. +2 CON, +1 DEX, +1 WIS, Skill: Spot Hidden
4 You nearly drowned wading through a mire to reach the North Gate. +2 CON, +1 STR, +1 DEX, Skill: Swimming
5 You leapt a chasm to reach the West Gate. +2 STR, +1 DEX, +1 WIS, Skill: Athletics
6 You climbed up the well in dining hall. +2 DEX, +1 INT, +1 WIS, Skill: Climbing
7 You remember falling forever, then waking in an amphitheater surrounded by weather-worn statues +2 WIS, +1 INT, +1 STR, Skill: History
8 You wandered through the arboretum until you found the Southern Gate. +2 DEX, +1 INT, +1 CON, Skill: Navigation
9 You entered a submerged bunker in the desert and followed a rough-hewn passage to the Eastern Gate. +2 INT, +1 DEX, +1 CHA, Skill: History
10 A portal in the temple by the lake carried you over a blue-starred causeway to the North Gate. +2 WIS, +1 INT, +1 CHA, Skill: Legend Lore
11 Stones around your ankles dragged you down to the sea bottom, where you found the Western Gate. +2 CON, +1 WIS, +1 DEX, Skill: Breath Control
12 You emerged from a sarcophagus in the mausoleum. +2 CHA, +1 WIS, +1 CON, Skill: Sense Death
1d8 Upon entering the castle you were told that you were now in Lysander’s domain and under his protection. What happened? Gain
1 Lysander addressed you in a booming voice from a balcony, his features obscured in shadow +2 STR, +1 INT
2 Lysander entertained you in a grand room, offering you a jet-black wine +2 WIS, +1 CHA
3 Lysander’s seneschal regretfully informed you that his master was occupied, and to enjoy the lavish meal laid in front of you +2 CON, +1 WIS
4 You chased Lysander, a cloaked figure in a white mask, through a hedge maze demanding answers — but he was always just out of reach +2 DEX, +1 STR
5 Old and kindly Lysander appeared at your bedside, asking if you had rested well and offering you bread and fruit +2 CHA, +1 CON
6 Young and androgynous Lysander escorted you through a gallery of their ancestors’ portraits +1 WIS, +1 INT, +1 CHA
7 You glimpsed Lysander, flanked by an entourage of armoured hyena warriors, as they passed through a grand colonnade +1 CON, +1 INT, +1 STR
8 You crept into Lysander’s sanctum, and witnessed them converse with a living mist billowing from a brazier +1 DEX, +1 INT, +1 WIS
1d8 Who else did you meet in the castle? Gain
1 Prome, librarian +2 INT, +1 CON
2 Fulker, mistress of owls and hawks +2 DEX, +1 INT
3 Madame Zmeice, keeper of the observatory +2 WIS, +1 CHA
4 Vain, steward +2 CHA, +1 INT
5 Constable, castle security +2 STR, +1 INT
6 Orville, fool in motley +1 INT, +1 DEX, +1 CON
7 Elle, sitting in an apple tree +1 CHA, +1 INT, +1 DEX
8 Durt, skulking pot-washer +1 CON, +1 WIS, +1 CHA

As you sit down to eat with your fellow knights you recall your past life. Your armour and weapons leave no doubt that you’re a Warrior of some skill. You have the class abilities of knacks and weapon specialisation.

1d6 What were you doing when Queen Antipathie approached you in the forest glade? Gain
1 You were daydreaming in that magical spot. +3 WIS, skill: sense magic
2 You had enticed a doe into the glade. +3 CHA, skill: animal ken
3 You were foraging for mushrooms. +3 INT, skill: survival
4 You were swimming with your friends the Naiads in the river nearby. +3 CON, skill: swimming
5 Intent on becoming a hunter like the adults in your clan, you had cornered and were facing down a wild boar. +3 STR, skill: hunting
6 You were hiding, waiting to see who approached. +3 DEX, skill: stealth
1d6 What weapon did your Queen give you? Gain
1 A golden spear, with two scarlet ribbons twining from the spearhead. +2 CON, weapon specialisation: Spear
2 A broad sword of ancient design that she said had been held by many heroes before you. +2 STR, weapon specialisation: Sword
3 A long-hafted axe, struck with a dwarven prize-mark at the head. +2 STR, weapon specialisation: Axe
4 A slender side-sword, nimble in your hand almost as if it knew your intent. +2 DEX, weapon specialisation: Sword
5 A silver hammer, with a pommel shaped like a beetle. +2 STR, weapon specialisation: Hammer
6 A short and jagged sword that seemed to pulse with a heartbeat as you held it. +2 CON, weapon specialisation: Sword
1d6 The Queen brought you to her Realm to face an even greater evil. What was it, and where did you fight your battle? Gain
1 A demon demanded the Queen lay down her life or it would blight the Realm. You slew it in single combat in the stone circle at Nearbury. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 STR. +2 STR, knack: Great Strike
2 You uncovered a political plot against the Queen and slew her would-be assassin and the Vizier attempting the coup when their endgame played out in the Owl Spire. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 INT. +2 INT, knack: Fleet
3 You hunted the Crone to its lair in White Marsh, and made an elixir of its brain and heart to cure the disease it had spread. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 CON. +2 CON, knack: Resilience
4 You hunted for a colossal Wyrm in the Undermaze beneath the Realm. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 STR. +2 STR, knack: Great Strike
5 You confronted the Lichling in the cyclopean Temple of Aan, and resisted its offer to unite against the Queen. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 WIS. +2 WIS, knack: Resilience
6 You battled Antipathie’s twin sister in the Inverted Citadel. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 DEX. +2 DEX, knack: Defensive Fighter
1d6 When you left the Realm and plunged into the surrounding Mists, what did you take with you? Gain
1 Antipathie’s cartographer gave you a compass that might help beyond the Mists. +2 INT, a compass
2 You took a golden mask from the theatre to remind you of the players there. +2 CHA, a golden mask
3 A cobbler made you boots that would allow you to step between shadows. +2 DEX, shadow-step boots
4 An alchemist gave you what she claimed is a bag of dragon’s teeth, hinting that it may help you on the road ahead. +2 STR, a bag of dragon’s teeth
5 You took a mirrored shield from a statue of one of your predecessors in the Realm’s Hall of Heroes. +2 CON, a mirrored shield
6 You found and stole Antipathie’s phylactery containing her true name +2 WIS, Antipathie’s phylactery

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Castle Lysander

Castle Lysander

This is a playset/re-skin for Beyond the Wall.

Lysander’s castle lies at the centre of a magical wasteland. Those who dwell in the castle are citizens of Lysander, having taken their lord’s offer of sanctuary. Many have fled untold horrors. Many more are unsure of how they arrived here; they remember the castle gates, and the mists, and the sounds and scents of the outside, though as soon as they crossed the threshold into Lysander’s domain these melted away like a dream. Almost as if the memory were hiding from them.

The characters are Lysander’s knights. They each came here from elsewhere; they are given title and responsibility above the other citizens, and they venture beyond the walls to do their lord’s bidding, not knowing what they will confront in the external landscape.

They have a sense of self and an acute connection to a place, somewhere in their past. But their families, friends, political sides, even their names — these are less certain, and they change from day to day.

How this works

This is a playset for Beyond the Wall and the Further Afield supplement. It’s been created with Beyond the Wall’s core values in mind — namely a low-prep fantasy game about a group of characters striking out from safety into unknown danger. It uses the following concepts:

  • Playbooks
  • Major locations (from Further Afield)
  • Threat packs
  • Beyond the Wall’s specific colour including True Names, magic, etc.

It differs from Beyond the Wall as follows:

  1. Characters are adults, or at least reasonably confident in their place in the world. Their ignorance of what lies beyond the wall comes from magical trickery rather than youthful ignorance.
  2. There’s no reason this can’t use the BtW rules as written; however I plan to make this system work with StormHack, which is essentially level-less (but levels come from something else).
  3. Level advancement then is about climbing the social ladder within the Castle, currying favour with the mysterious Lysander.
  4. Playbook structure is similar but there are crucial differences. Like the core game the playbooks have three common tables, and four playbook-specific tables. See below.

Characters and their playbooks

The goal of the playbooks is to present a complete set of characters each with back-story in minutes, ready to drop into an adventure. Standard BtW does it by first talking about childhood via common tables and then moving on to a set of themed tables around the playbook’s premise.

In this version the character premise is a lone figure, an eternal champion or protagonist who has found themselves outside their own time. The first three tables are common to all playbooks and cover three things:

  1. How they entered Lysander’s Castle
  2. Their audience with Lysander
  3. Someone else they met in the castle.

The next four tables describe the character in more detail. This should be imagined as if the characters, newly arrived in the castle, are sitting down together to their first meal and talking about their past. This exposition could be in-character, or it could be inferred (e.g. by the strange attire of the character, their mannerisms and other cues the other party members pick up on) or it could simply be internal monologue.

Normally in Beyond the Wall each playbook has a climactic event which also involves the player character to the right. In this case these events have been replaced with a strong sense of a location. This location will be of primary significance to the character but may have a completely different meaning to another character — their version may be a reflection, or be far in the future or the past, represent a diverging timeline, etc.

Over the next few blog posts I’m going to write some sample playbooks — the first one is at the end of this post.

Twists

One: Within the Castle

While the action game should take place outside the castle walls when running missions at the behest of Lysander (as directed by his various mouthpieces), in downtime the PCs may explore the labyrinthine castle and its many weird denizens. Consider using these relationship rules to develop relationships with the castle’s inhabitants. What do they know? What do they want?

What places are there to find in the castle? How does one’s level affect access to these places — as you go up a level and further into Lysander’s favour, are you invited to explore new and stranger sights within the castle?

Two: The Ladder

In place of, or as well as, individual character advancement levels there is a Ladder for social advancement within the castle. Advancing means access to better equipment, spells, libraries, and so on; so it means you will get the benefits of rising through your class’s levels. But in addition it grants access to new social circles, new places in the castle, more information, and even the right to ask Lysander questions directly (within a certain scope).

Three: Naysay the Cartographer

The characters have been recruited by Lysander. At the same time they have been contacted by Naysay, the secret cartographer. Naysay questions the mystery surrounding the castle; he asks why Lysander would limit information about the outside world, and not even provide a map. Naysay has therefore struck a deal with the characters: provide information about the places they visit, and he will in turn give them access to his maps.

His red-draped workshop and filing systems are a complete mess — the “map” is distributed over many pieces of paper and parchment stuffed into drawers, hung on walls behind other maps, and even cunningly woven into the rug in his room. Absconding with a map will do the characters little good. However giving him information means he will give them advice in return — in the form of Major Locations (see Further Afield).

Sample Playbook

Veteran of the Sonic Wars

The Sonic Wars: where both sides employ sonic weapons and sonic drugs which resonate key areas of the brain to control sleep and emotion; where years-old remnants of aural detonations still resonate in unexpected patterns, making any journey outside a soundproofed Dome hazardous; where the ultimate act of intimacy is to remove one’s ear pods and listen.

Starting ability scores: STR and CON of 10, all others at 8.

1d12 What was your first sight of the castle, and how did you enter? Gain
1 You emerged on a balcony to a skyline of minarets, spires and bell-towers under a starlit sky. +2 INT, +1 WIS, +1 CON, Skill: Astrology
2 You arrived at the Southern Gate and hammered your fist on the oak door until they allowed you in. +2 STR, +1 CON, +1 CHA, Skill: Intimidation
3 You cut your way through a mass of ivy to locate a small archway in the Eastern Wall. +2 CON, +1 DEX, +1 WIS, Skill: Spot Hidden
4 You nearly drowned wading through a mire to reach the North Gate. +2 CON, +1 STR, +1 DEX, Skill: Swimming
5 You leapt a chasm to reach the West Gate. +2 STR, +1 DEX, +1 WIS, Skill: Athletics
6 You climbed up the well in dining hall. +2 DEX, +1 INT, +1 WIS, Skill: Climbing
7 You remember falling forever, then waking in an amphitheater surrounded by weather-worn statues +2 WIS, +1 INT, +1 STR, Skill: History
8 You wandered through the arboretum until you found the Southern Gate. +2 DEX, +1 INT, +1 CON, Skill: Navigation
9 You entered a submerged bunker in the desert and followed a rough-hewn passage to the Eastern Gate. +2 INT, +1 DEX, +1 CHA, Skill: History
10 A portal in the temple by the lake carried you over a blue-starred causeway to the North Gate. +2 WIS, +1 INT, +1 CHA, Skill: Legend Lore
11 Stones around your ankles dragged you down to the sea bottom, where you found the Western Gate. +2 CON, +1 WIS, +1 DEX, Skill: Breath Control
12 You emerged from a sarcophagus in the mausoleum. +2 CHA, +1 WIS, +1 CON, Skill: Sense Death
1d8 Upon entering the castle you were told that you were now in Lysander’s domain and under his protection. What happened? Gain
1 Lysander addressed you in a booming voice from a balcony, his features obscured in shadow +2 STR, +1 INT
2 Lysander entertained you in a grand room, offering you a jet-black wine +2 WIS, +1 CHA
3 Lysander’s seneschal regretfully informed you that his master was occupied, and to enjoy the lavish meal laid in front of you +2 CON, +1 WIS
4 You chased Lysander, a cloaked figure in a white mask, through a hedge maze demanding answers — but he was always just out of reach +2 DEX, +1 STR
5 Old and kindly Lysander appeared at your bedside, asking if you had rested well and offering you bread and fruit +2 CHA, +1 CON
6 Young and androgynous Lysander escorted you through a gallery of their ancestors’ portraits +1 WIS, +1 INT, +1 CHA
7 You glimpsed Lysander, flanked by an entourage of armoured hyena warriors, as they passed through a grand colonnade +1 CON, +1 INT, +1 STR
8 You crept into Lysander’s sanctum, and witnessed them converse with a living mist billowing from a brazier +1 DEX, +1 INT, +1 WIS
1d8 Who else did you meet in the castle? Gain
1 Prome, librarian +2 INT, +1 CON
2 Fulker, mistress of owls and hawks +2 DEX, +1 INT
3 Madame Zmeice, keeper of the observatory +2 WIS, +1 CHA
4 Vain, steward +2 CHA, +1 INT
5 Constable, castle security +2 STR, +1 INT
6 Orville, fool in motley +1 INT, +1 DEX, +1 CON
7 Elle, sitting in an apple tree +1 CHA, +1 INT, +1 DEX
8 Durt, skulking pot-washer +1 CON, +1 WIS, +1 CHA

As you sit down to eat with your fellow knights you recall your past life. Your armour and weapons leave no doubt that you’re a Warrior of some skill. You have the class abilities of knacks and weapon specialisation.

1d6 How were you recruited? Gain
1 Citizenship demands enlistment — you signed up thinking it was a way to climb the social ladder. +3 CHA, knack: Fleet
2 You were conscripted along with the rest of your Dome. +3 STR, knack: Great Strike
3 Your parents were career military, so you followed their example. +3 CON, knack: Weapon Specialisation
4 You were abducted from a border village and illegally pressed into service. +3 CON, knack: Resilient
5 You were idealistic and believed the recruiter’s propaganda. +3 STR, knack: Defensive Fighter
6 The enemy hit your Dome and killed everyone you knew. You enlisted bent on revenge. +3 STR, knack: Great Strike
1d6 What was your first taste of war? Gain
1 You were patrolling a village, and without warning your whole squad was hit with a sonic weapon. You remember shooting desperately as your sergeant sounded the retreat. +2 WIS, Weapon specialisation: carbine
2 You were waiting in a trench for the big push. Someone thrust a sword into your hand and pushed you over the top. +2 STR, Weapon specialisation: sword
3 Your unit received a cavalry charge, and in the chaos you picked up a lance from a fallen cavalier and defended yourself. +2 CON, Weapon specialisation: lance
4 In the middle of battle you fenced with an enemy lieutenant. +2 STR, Weapon specialisation: sword
5 You and an equally green enemy soldier found yourselves fleeing into a maze of tiny passages under a ruined bunker, where you stalked each other in the dark. +2 DEX, Weapon specialisation: pistol
6 You were forced to defend an undersupplied fort over several weeks. When the enemy finally broke in you had to grab whatever was to hand to defend yourself. +2 STR, Weapon specialisation: club
1d6 Deep in the wasteland you found a place of peace. What was it? Gain
1 An abandoned ballroom filled with holographic ghosts of party-goers. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 DEX. +2 DEX, skill: Dancing
2 A ruined theatre full of abandoned set pieces and costumes, posters and flyers of past performances. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 CHA. +2 CHA, skill: Acting
3 A dusty museum full of enormous displays depicting life in earlier times. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 INT +2 INT, skill: History
4 A greenhouse of thriving and overgrown vegetation, fruits and vegetables. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 WIS +2 WIS, skill: Plant lore
5 A gallery of white walls, wide open spaces and huge canvases of vibrant paintings. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 CHA +2 CHA, skill: Art
6 A library of maze-like stacks with books on every imaginable subject. The friend to your right has seen, heard of or read about a similar place; what do they know? They gain +1 INT +2 INT, skill: Trivia
1d6 What did you take from the battlefield? Gain
1 A grenade. +2 STR, grenade
2 A collection of letters from a fallen comrade. +2 WIS, Letters
3 A pair of decent boots from an officer. +2 DEX, Fine boots
4 Identity papers from an enemy combatant. +2 CHA, Identity papers
5 A small white flower growing in the mud, which you pressed in a book. +2 CON, a flower
6 An officer’s sight-glass. +2 INT, Sight-glass

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

StormHack: Demon Realms

The higher (moral, magical, macroscopic) external universe is composed of six Demon Realms, a pattern which repeats and resonates throughout all creation and is mirrored by the (individual, microscopic) internal universe within all sentient beings capable of moral choices.

This internal universe is a sequence of six impulses that direct individual behaviour. Mediating between the internal and external are six Pillars of Capability that form the mind-body composite.

Game significance of the Demon Realms:

  • The six-fold attribute/ability spread should be familiar to OSR fans. The Ability Scores themselves (the “mediating Pillars of Capability”) are used mostly as you’d expect, for task checks, saving throws and other random rolls.
  • Impulses come in at the personal level; they’re used to tie freeform background stuff like personal history, relationships and so on into the rest of the game. All PCs have a number of lines of Backstory which are just single sentences that describe formative history, personal views, affiliations to certain groups, etc. and each of these lines hinges on a particular Impulse.
  • Finally on the universal, cosmic or magical scale there are Demons. Each type of Demon is tied an Ability Score and is the manifestation of the character’s potential in that Realm. Demons provide all of the exceptional powers in the game.

Realm of Violence

The Realm of Violence represents directed force. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous the directed energy that burns away corruption and extraneous matter; and at the most base, absolute chaos and destruction.

Realm of Violence Significance
Impulse: Forceful aggressive, violent, and destructive actions
Ability: Strength fighting; shoving, lifting, or applying force; restraining or hanging on
Demons of Violence Demon Weapons and Demon Fighters

Realm of Durance

The Realm of Durance represents survival. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous fertility, health, and harvest; and at the most base, perpetual agony.

Realm of Durance Significance
Impulse: Steady patience, persistence, reliability
Ability: Constitution working; travelling; staying awake; resisting pain, fatigue or illness; Body-based saving throws
Demons of Durance Demon Armour, Guardians and Wards

Realm of Flux

The Realm of Flux represents dynamic change and motion. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous change and evolution; and at the most base, confusion and entrapment, and distortion of time and space.

Realm of Flux Significance
Impulse: Quick speed, balance, reactions
Ability: Dexterity moving quickly; moving stealthily; manual dexterity; reactions and Reflex-based saving throws
Demons of Flux Demons of Movement, Teleport Demons, Gates

Realm of Science

The Realm of Science represents understanding. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous foresight and truth; and at the most base, the boundless truths of the universe, and therefore the futility of mortal existence.

Realm of Science Significance
Impulse: Curious asking questions, insight
Ability: Intelligence situational awareness; languages; spotting clues
Demons of Science Demons of Knowledge, Divination and Scrying

Realm of Desire

The Realm of Desire represents dreams and imagination. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous the realisation of desires and the formation of new worlds; and at the most base, the inability to separate truth from illusion.

Realm of Desire Significance
Impulse: Sensitive intuition, empathy, feeling, the subconscious, dreams
Ability: Wisdom gut feel and intuition; telling reality from illusion; Will-based saving throws
Demons of Desire Demons of Illusion and Reality-Shifting

Realm of Majesty

The Realm of Durance represents interaction and leadership. The Gods of this Realm (if they exist) represent at their most virtuous organisation and moral leadership; and at the most base, falsehood and self-serving manipulation of others.

Realm of Majesty Significance
Impulse: Vocal expression, articulation, creativity, charisma
Ability: Charisma intimidating, charming and leading people
Demons of Majesty Demons of Command, Control and Possession

Summary

Impulses, Ability Scores and Demons map onto each other like this:

Impulses Ability Scores Demon Realms
Forceful Strength (STR) Realm of Violence
Steady Constitution (CON) Realm of Durance
Quick Dexterity (DEX) Realm of Flux
Curious Intelligence (INT) Realm of Science
Sensitive Wisdom (WIS) Realm of Desire
Vocal Charisma (CHA) Realm of Majesty