Shadows over Wessex

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There's a bomb under the table with the condiments and cutlery on. At 2:35pm it'll go off in a shower of mayonaise, mint sauce, knives, forks and body parts.

This is a game of modern fantasy - that is, something set in the modern world but with all those lovely fantasy things we've all come to know and love from other games. No Hobbits, Orcs or pointy eared poofters need apply.

Style Of Play

Bad dreams? Think you've met before? Lived before even? Cross my palm with silver and I'll tell you all I know... Oh, sod it, I can't be arsed with all this guff, a fiver each then.

Most RPGs have a fairly tight coupling between the players and their characters. The player is often as much in the dark as his or her character and the game degenerates into 20 questions tempered by "library use", "perception" and "detect mayonaise" rolls. In this game, the players will often know the facts well before their characters and the interesting thing becomes HOW do the characters find out?

This game is also a bit different in that meta-game talking between the players is encouraged. Got a bon-mot your thicky character wouldn't come up with in a million years? Give it to the bloke playing the raconteur to deliver! Feel bored watching a punch up between a player character and an NPC? Stick yer oar in and give both sides some tactical advice.

Players

System

How do we do things? Well, until Einstein everyone thought that we moved through three dimensions independently. He showed that we move through a four dimensional space at a constant speed. Imagine the daft old bugger's surprise when he got upstairs and found that God really did play dice with the universes!

The game uses FATE (Fudge edition) with the following adjustments:

  • No fixed skills list - however, the broader the skill, the less effective it will be.
  • The game will use more conflict resolution than task resolution. Don't worry too much if you don't understand the difference, hopefully it'll become clear with use!

Setting

See that island? You call it Portland, but we used to call it the Isle of the Dead. Look north, that hillfort. We called that Mae Dunn, we used to burn sacrifices to Bel and Cerunnos there. Bit further north, that town that Prince Charles has been messing up? We caled it Durnovaria and our King used to summer there for the hunting.

The setting is the modern west country, west of Bournemouth and along the Jurassic coast. The game starts just after the easter stampede to the coast and Bournemouth is full of people.

In case you're wondering, Bournemouth is a surprisingly pleasent and arborial city in Dorset. It's just down the road from the most expensive place in the country to buy a house (Poole Sandbanks). It has the same sort of reputation as Eastbourne or Bognor - you retire, move there, sit on a deck chair, eat chips and wait for death.

Here are some places you might end up visiting during the game.

Characters

Good old Dicky Gough I say, without him it would have been a complete swine to get in here. C'mon, the bloke with the horns wants a word.

As this is a fantasy game all the characters meet up in a Tavern. To counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor, this tavern actually exsts: It's "The Moon in the Square" in the middle of Bournemouth. All the characters should have a reason for being in the pub at 2:30pm on good friday. Ideally the characters are a mixture of ordinary people who're about to have something extraordinary happen to them, but if one or two of them have some odd knacks then it wouldn't be too out of place.

Have a gawp at some example characters for the sort of thing I'm trying to get across.

Here's some notes on what's going to happen in each session (put up no more than one week in advance!)