Games Played in 2013

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Block 4: 15th October 2013 to 3rd December 2013.

Rise of the Runelords : Fortress of the Stone Giants

Season Two of Rise of the Runelords starts here

The village of Sandpoint has been peaceful for a year since the heroes killed Barl Breakbones and banished the spirit of Karzoug, runelord of greed... ...but now some evil is stiring in the mountains, forming the normally pacifistic stone giants into marauding bands : who is behind it, and what new threats must the orphans of sandpint face at ...the fortress of the stone giants ?

NOTE: due to being asked by several people, I'll be willing to accept a seventh person - . However, note that I am considering re-running this campaign again from the beginning, starting in new year ( if there is demand for it) so you may wish to get in at the "ground floor" next year instead !

  • System : Pathfinder
  • Number of players :4-7
  • GM :Andy Nicholson

Horror on the Orient Express

(Continuing from the previous long block)

The Same Man Killed, Three Times in One Night!

A puzzling headline begins a front-page article found in the Times of London.

Three different men, yet with identical identification, were found dead in the same room of the Chelsea Arms. All were dispatched in a similar manner - stabbed through the heart.

The home of a valued friend burns to the ground, severely burning him in the process.

An odd summons, a surreptitious meeting, and a thousand-mile journey begins on the legendary rail service carrying the investigators to the Gateway of the Orient.

From London and Paris, to Milan and Sofia, and on to Istandul, facing danger and intrigue each step of the way.

Who knows what you'll meet at the end of the line ?

  • System: Call of Cthulhu (1920s-30s) 7th edition
  • Number of players: 3+
  • Proposed by: Matt Nott

Boletaria

The Story

"On the first day man was granted a soul, and with it clarity. On the second day upon the Earth was placed an irrevocable poison. A soul devouring demon."

From Boletaria a deep fog rolls across the land, swallowing up the world behind it like an avalanche. Cities, valleys, and mountains alike are lost into the swirling haze, creeping relentlessly across the earth. Nothing is heard from within the fog, and anyone that enters is never seen again.

That is, until Vallarfax manages to escape the fog and report upon the plight of Boletaria. Demons scour the lands, killing and eating the souls of the dead. Demon Souls are powerful lures, with their ability to grant great power upon any who can claim one. Word spreads quickly and heroes from across the world are drawn to the cause, entering the fog in search of glory.

You are one such group of heroes. You step into the wall of fog, ready to pit yourself against whatever lies within. Perhaps you go like so many others, to claim the power of Demons. Perhaps you go seeking to stop the fog, and save Boletaria. What lies within is unknown. Perhaps you will join the countless souls devoured by the demons within.

The System

This game is running under the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition system. Players will be 3rd level characters from the Player's Handbook. PHB2 & 3 Classes may be used, but not races.

Destiny

You have conquered armies, cities and now a whole nation. Your name is known in all quarters and feared in most. Many would see you dead, but who can lay claim to the kind of power you have without making enemies?

It wasn't always so. You had humble beginnings and you had to fight, steal and kill for everything you have gained. You have had more adventures and careers that most people could dream of. All of this has shaped you, leading you along a bloodstained path to this mighty destiny. Now it is time to remember.

Destiny is a sword and sorcery campaign inspired by Robert E Howard's Conan stories. It follows the life of a conqueror king or queen, starting at the apex of their power and then working back over the years to discover how they got there. The scenarios will be episodic, but linked, based on the characters the group creates.

Expect blood, guts, exotic settings, foul black sorcery and morally ambiguous adventure.

Same page tool

Who prepares the story? The players prepare long-term goals for their characters. The GM is expected to shape everything else around the pursuit of those goals. No-one plans anything. PCs and NPCs just do what seems right at that moment. This might or might not lead to a good story.

What can players contribute to the story/setting? Their character's thoughts, actions, and backstory, plus occasional story bits when they spend a resource (such as whimsy cards or hero points) or make certain kinds of rolls, subject to GM's approval.

The rules (including agreed house rules) will be: Followed, come what may.

Player characters are: Pursuing their own agendas. They might work together, they might work against each other.

How brutal is the game? Don't hurt my character without warning. Tell me what the consequences of failure could be and let me back out if I don't like it.

Doing the smartest thing for your character's survival: Isn't even a concern or focus for this game.

After many sessions of play, during one session, a player decides to have her character side with an enemy. This is: A meaningful moment, powerful and an example of excellent play.

How much comedy/wacky/silliness should there be? None. Let's take this seriously.

  • System: Jaws of the Six Serpents
  • Number of players: 3-5
  • Proposed by: Scott Dorward


Block 3: 30th July 2013 to 17th September 2013.

Stormwatch

Series One: Stormwatch Prime

Stormwatch – like all good ideas, was born out of disaster. In the sixties the United Nations launched its first orbital space station, Monitor One. This was supposed to herald a new world where the borders of race, religion or nationality were no more. Everything went better than planned until a comet passed too close to the Earth. The Space Station was engulfed in the comet’s tail causing the death of thousands on board from radiation.

The radiation from the comet affected the population of earth too as the potential for “super-powered” beings now existed. Classified as “Seedlings” they were gathered and trained by John Windsor to create a Global Peacekeeping Force that became Stormwatch in 1978. Unveiled to the world the original team consisted of four members: Battalion (Jackson King), Nautika, Sunburst and Flashpoint. Trained by the Veteran hero Backlash they were the dream made real.

The dream faded when only Battalion and Backlash returned from a mission during the first Gulf War (1990-1991). Now it is 1993 – for the last few years you have been training and tested in various UN facilities and today we go public – You are the new members of Stormwatch.

Stormwatch is a UN sanctioned Metahuman Response Unit whose job is to safeguard the entire planet. On the day the new Stormwatch team is displayed to the public, eight million people spontaneously develop super-powers. Who has caused this? Why did it occur? Can it be contained? Can our heroes find a solution to the problem before the eight million people reach the next stage of evolution?

Note: Games can contain mature themes, ultra-violence and bad language!

Hollow Earth Expedition : The Twelfth Gate

This is a 1930s Two-fisted pulp action adventure in the style of Indiana Jones, Doc Savage, The Mummy. Bulldog Drummond and so on. The heroes must defeat dark and nefarious forces with nothing but their own wits and ingenuity, good old British pluck ... and maybe some guns and/or high explosives.

In certain forbidden scrolls it is written that Apep, the Demon Serpent God of Egyptian Myth, slumbers restlessly in the Underworld while, in the mortal realm, his undying servants strive tirelessly to ensure the Sun will never rise again.

August, 1936. When a dying scientist presses a blood-stained manuscript into the hands of the heroes they are plunged into a battle of Good and Evil with the fate of the world at stake. What strange unearthly language is the manuscript written in, and why do the letters seem to glow? Why are the agents of the nefarious Thule Society willing to stop at nothing to possess it? Who are the mysterious robed figures so intent on possessing the secrets of the manuscript for themselves?

Our heroes must undertake a perilous journey taking them from the heart of Empire - London - to the dusty souks of Cairo and thence to the very depths of the Underworld where, according to legend, Apep himself sleeps until the day he can seal the Twelfth Gate and plunge mankind into perpetual darkness ...

Featuring Nazis, evil cultists, weird science, and a 5000-year old death god, can a small band of unlikely heroes save the world?

  • System: Hollow Earth Expedition/Ubiquity
  • Number of players: 3-6
  • Proposed by: Martin Goodson

Horror on the Orient Express

(Continuing from the previous long block)

The Same Man Killed, Three Times in One Night!

A puzzling headline begins a front-page article found in the Times of London.

Three different men, yet with identical identification, were found dead in the same room of the Chelsea Arms. All were dispatched in a similar manner - stabbed through the heart.

The home of a valued friend burns to the ground, severely burning him in the process.

An odd summons, a surreptitious meeting, and a thousand-mile journey begins on the legendary rail service carrying the investigators to the Gateway of the Orient.

From London and Paris, to Milan and Sofia, and on to Istandul, facing danger and intrigue each step of the way.

Who knows what you'll meet at the end of the line ?

  • System: Call of Cthulhu (1920s-30s) 7th edition
  • Number of players: 3+
  • Proposed by: Matt Nott

A Guards Tale

(Replacement game for the other Guards Game)

A trading town that lies between two waring nations currently at peace is the only thing that stands between another 100 year war and an unknown evil from laying waste to the world.

A routine town guards patrol leads to an adventure to stop evil and the upcoming war. do the hero's have what it takes to save the small trading town of blackmouth?


Block 2: 14th May 2013 to 2nd July 2013.

The Hook Mountain Massacre

(a Rise of the Runelords /Pathfinder adventure)

The monks of Turtleback ferry have a problem; their supply train they sent to the shrine of Ilvir on Hook Mountain has been found massacred, and no news has been heard from their bretheren for weeks.

Who is behind it ? What is their connection to the sihedron ? And will the Sandpoint Orphans prevail in time, or will Turtleback Ferry be destroyed ?

Note: Contains mature themes.

  • System : Pathfinder
  • Number of players: Players:3-6.
  • Proposed by: Andrew Nicholson

Horror on the Orient Express

(Continued from the previous long block)

The Same Man Killed, Three Times in One Night! A puzzling headline begins a front-page article found in the Times of London.

Three different men, yet with identical identification, were found dead in the same room of the Chelsea Arms. All were dispatched in a similar manner - stabbed through the heart.

The home of a valued friend burns to the ground, severely burning him in the process.

An odd summons, a surreptitious meeting, and a thousand-mile journey begins on the legendary rail service carrying the investigators to the Gateway of the Orient.

From London and Paris, to Milan and Sofia, and on to Istandul, facing danger and intrigue each step of the way.

Who knows what you'll meet at the end of the line ?

  • System: Call of Cthulhu (1920s-30s) 7th edition
  • Number of players: 3+
  • Proposed by: Matt Nott

The disappearance of Tammuz

The galaxy is being invaded by one of biggest threats ever...the Yuuzhan Vong a species from beyond the galaxy from a realm of unknown. The new republics forces are stretched thin the war looks like it is a losing battle the Imperial Remnant is not getting involved and trying to stay out of the war. Jedi are hunted and hated by everyone most blame the war on them. The Galaxy is in a mass turmoil.

The party is sent by the New Republic to find out what has happened to the planet of Tammuz in the outer rim sector. A large manufacturing planet that has been supplying weapons to the Republic army has suddenly gone quiet. Is it due to the Yuuzhan Vong, peace brigade or something new?

  • System: Star Wars Sage Edition
  • Number of players: 3 to 5
  • Proposed by: Andrew Terrell

Time and Tide

In early 1928, the federal government launched a raid on the coastal Massachusetts town of Innsmouth. The town was burned and dynamited, and those residents who survived were rounded up and put in concentration camps. None of them were tried for any crimes, and most were never heard of again.

Rumours surrounded the residents of Innsmouth. Some said that they weren't human, that they had foreign blood and ways repellent to the God-fearing people of Massachusetts, and that they had an unwholesome connection to the sea. Even if these things are all true, was the fall of Innsmouth anything other than ethnic cleansing?

Time and Tide takes the form of six individual scenarios following the fate of Innsmouth and the survivors of the raid from the early 1930s through to the present day. You will play different characters in each scenario, all of whom have had their lives shaped or altered by the fate of Innsmouth.

While the campaign draws heavily upon H P Lovecraft's story The Shadow Over Innsmouth, no knowledge of the story is necessary. While there are horrific elements in the setting and scenarios, the tone is more one of drama, and the aim is to explore the moral grey areas of Lovecraft's story.

  • System: Hot War (modified mechanics)
  • Number of players: 3 to 5
  • Proposed by: Scott Dorward


Block 1: 26th February 2013 to 16th April 2013.

The Skinsaw Murders

Continuing/concluding from the previous block.

Who are the Skinsaw men, and what secret are they hiding - And will is their mysterious mistress be the doom of the Sandpoint Orphans?

  • System :Pathfinder
  • Number of players: 3 to 6
  • Proposed by :Andy Nicholson

Horror on the Orient Express

(Continued from the previous long block)

The Same Man Killed, Three Times in One Night! A puzzling headline begins a front-page article found in the Times of London.

Three different men, yet with identical identification, were found dead in the same room of the Chelsea Arms. All were dispatched in a similar manner - stabbed through the heart.

The home of a valued friend burns to the ground, severely burning him in the process.

An odd summons, a surreptitious meeting, and a thousand-mile journey begins on the legendary rail service carrying the investigators to the Gateway of the Orient.

From London and Paris, to Milan and Sofia, and on to Istandul, facing danger and intrigue each step of the way.

Who knows what you'll meet at the end of the line ?

  • System: Call of Cthulhu (1920s-30s) 7th edition
  • Number of players: 3+
  • Proposed by: Matt Nott

Don't Rest Your Head

You can’t sleep. It started like that for all of us, back when we were garden variety insomniacs. Maybe you had nightmares (God knows we all do now), or maybe you just had problems that wouldn’t let you sleep. Hell, maybe you were just over-caffeinated. But then something clicked.

That was when you took a long walk down the streets of the Mad City, stopped being a Sleeper, and started being Awake. But that click you heard wasn’t from the secret world snapping into place. It was the sound of the Nightmares flicking off the safety and pointing a gun at your head.

They can smell you. The Paper Boys are closing in, and you’d better pray you don’t become a headline. You’re chum in the water, my friend, and it’s time you got ready for it… before the clock chimes thirteen again. Now that you’re one of us, there’s just one simple rule left that must dominate your life.

Stay Awake. Don’t Rest Your Head. - quoted from the Evil Hat website.

Session One of this game will almost entirely be about creating the characters and their situation; players will come up with character concepts and the GM (me!) will suggest features of the Mad City that they will find themselves in. What is the Mad City like? A series of underground tunnels? An endless shopping mall? A run-down English seaside town? A little of all those or nothing like that at all? We'll decide collectively, but after that, the Mad City is the GM's 'character' in the game, against which the PCs will struggle.

  • System: Don't Rest Your Head
  • Number of players: 3-4
  • Proposed by: James Mullen
  • Elevator pitch: It's like Neverwhere meets Inception.

Don’t Rest Your Head has some offbeat ideas of what a superpower should look like: these aren’t the simple powers like ‘superstrength’ or ‘invisibility’ that you might think of at first. To give you some idea of what you can do, and to help you come up with really effective powers for your characters, here’s my preferred method of creating them.

Same page description
  • Who prepares the story? No-one plans anything. PCs and NPCs just do what seems right at that moment. This might or might not lead to a good story.
  • What can players contribute to the story/setting? Whatever they want, subject to GM's approval, which should be as forgiving as possible.
  • The rules (including agreed house rules) will be: ignored when they conflict with what would be good for the story.
  • Player characters are: pursuing their own agendas. They might work together, they might work against each other.
  • How brutal is the game? Whenever I miss a roll – and sometimes even when I make it – I want the situation to escalate. This aspect of play is embedded in the rules of the game: every roll can have negative consequences, even when the PCs succeed at their immediate goal.
  • Doing the smartest thing for your character's survival: sometimes isn't as important as other choices.
  • After many sessions of play, during one session, a player decides to have her character side with an enemy. This is: a perfectly valid choice and no big deal.
  • Do you play to win? Good play isn't a win/lose kind of thing.
  • How much comedy/wacky/silliness should there be? Some. When comedy emerges from situations in play that's great, but let's not turn our epic fantasy into an episode of Xena.

Marvel Heroic

We don't need your Civil War: In America – the superhuman registration act is being pushed through by the government backed by Tony Stark. Captain America is ideologically opposed to this and is rallying the heroes against the act. Supervillains are disappearing from the streets of America, those who aren’t registering are being captured and taken to “Project 42”, according to the conspiracy theorists this prison isn’t even on Earth. Europe, Canada and everywhere else is being flooded with an influx of Meta-humans all wanting no part in the Civil war and seeking sanctuary until this is all over. Someone has to police Britain’s borders and keep an eye on them. Welcome to M.I.13. Looking for 2-5 players to play British meta-humans who are sanctioned by the government to track, monitor and contain foreign meta-humans. Agenda of your agency and the lengths you can go to, to be agreed with the players in the first week. M.I. 13 agents come from various backgrounds but are working together to make Britain a safer place.

  • System: Marvel Heroic Role-playing by Margaret Weis Publications. The company that produced Smallville and Leverage.
  • Number of players: 2-5, 6 at a pinch.
  • Proposed by: James Hollywood

The Shadow of Camazotz

You have taken work aboard the Herns Quarry, a rough spice trader bound for the jungle coast of the south lands and far from your homes in the more "Civilized" North. Whatever you are escaping must be worse than the tales of cannibal tribes, pirate strongholds and the terrifying ancient temples that abound on board. It is a place where gods still stalk the lands of the night. The Jungle itself is alive with deadly beasts and stranger cultures but also teeming valuable fauna, flora and forbidden ziggurats filled with Olmec gold. Will you and your new companions find fortune or a lingering death in these strange lands? Only time will tell!

The game will use the Dungeon World system, a fantasy setting where you start out a very capable heroic level, but still includes the usual Levels, Hit Points and classes of D&D and other games. It features with a simpler and more dynamic combat mechanic and a fast level gain system to improve your character.

Same page description
  • Who prepares the story? The GM will prepare a set of dire enemies to fight and dungeons to explore but in such a way that player decisions will have a major place in their use and development, plus players own backgrounds will definitely feature as the campaign goes on.
  • What can players contribute to the story/setting? Players will be in full control of their characters background, and free to introduce NPCs, major factions and so on based on that background as they see fit, the GM will incorporate all these into the game.
  • The rules (including agreed house rules) will be: The basic rules of the system will not be changed, but it encourages GMs to design new rules where they would work better than the basic ones.
  • Player characters are: expected to work together. Major conflicts might erupt but you'll patch them up given some time.
  • How brutal is the game? Whenever A player miss a roll – and sometimes even when they make it – the situation will escalate.
  • Doing the smartest thing for your character's survival: Is encouraged, death is never far away in this steamy jungle, but the system allows for failure and survival where appropriate.
  • After many sessions of play, during one session, a player decides to have her character side with an enemy. This is: a meaningful moment, powerful and an example of excellent play.
  • System: Dungeon World
  • Number of players: 4 to 5
  • Proposed by: Robin Poole