Upcoming long games

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This page is for games that will be on offer for some upcoming long block, though not the next one. Firm proposals for the next long block are on the Proposed games page. Create sub-pages where necessary, or this might become a big list! If ideas in here sound interesting to you, please leave a comment, or contact the GM in question.

Hillfolk

(Official blurb follows)

In an arid badlands, the hill people hunger. Your neighbours have grain, cattle, gold. You have horses and spears, courage and ambition. Together with those you love and hate, you will remake history—or die.

With the Hillfolk roleplaying game, you and your group weave an epic, ongoing saga of high-stakes interpersonal conflict that grows richer with every session. Its DramaSystem rules engine, from acclaimed designer Robin D. Laws, takes the basic structure of interpersonal conflict underlying fiction, movies and television and brings it to the world of roleplaying. This simple framework brings your creativity to the fore and keep a surprising, emotionally compelling narrative constantly on the move.

As you build your story, you mould and shape the Hillfolk setting to fit its needs. Do you entangle yourself with the seductions of your wealthy cousins to the north? Do you do battle with the fearsome sea people to the west? Or do you conquer the scattered badlands tribes to forge a new empire of your own?

Same page description

  • Who prepares the story? The players prepare long-term emotional goals and needs for their characters. The GM is expected to shape everything else around putting stress on those those goals and needs.
  • What can players contribute to the story/setting? Their character's thoughts, actions, and backstory, plus occasional story bits when either asked by the GM to define something, or they spend a resource (such as whimsy cards or hero points) or make certain kinds of rolls, subject to general 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? Whenever I miss a roll – and sometimes even when I make it – I want the situation to escalate.
  • Doing the smartest thing for your character's survival: mostly 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.
  • System: DramaSystem
  • Number of Players: 3–5
  • Proposed by: Neil Smith

Blades in the Dark / Fading Suns

It is the far future and mankind has gained - and lost and regained (more times than can be counted) - the stars. A sprawling empire of worlds stretches between the ancient alien built stargates, ruled by a feudalist society.

After decades of wars between the various Noble houses, an Emperor now sits on the throne, and as peace arrives, life (and trade) looks to re-adjust. Many veterans returned home to find crowded cities and few legitimate employment prospects. Others seek to find their friends and family who were captured or displaced during the war.


Unfortunately for some, when the war ended their captivity didn't.


Sold off by a corrupt noble from House Decados, implanted with remote controlled explosive charges, and forced into slavery, you have lost track of how long you have lingered in the holds. Now a man has appeared who just might be able to help you gain your freedom. He has a plan, a way out of the hold, and a ship...and maybe a way to build a future for you all. All he needs is a crew....


  • Game system: Scum and Villainy (A Blades in the Dark hack)
  • Players : 3-6
  • Proposed by Andy Nicholson

The Shadow of Yesterday

As the game's blurb puts it:

The Shadow of Yesterday is pulpy romantic sword-and-sorcery at the end of one world and the beginning of the next. This game melds the best of standard fantasy role-playing and a hard-charging narrative engine.
Set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world where the creation of a moon has ravaged cultures and thrown the fate of the earth into question, TSOY is like a Weird Tales contribution written by Emily Bronte.

This will be a player-led game. I intend that we spend the first week collaboratively deciding on characters and which bit of the setting we'll be playing in. If you want to find out more about the game, the rules are freely available online.

Cold Steel

A Sorcerer One-Sheet

Premise

Cold Steel is about the danger of trying to see off one outside threat by allying with another. The protagonists are key players in the fate of their community, and run the risk of destroying themselves or everything they care about in their attempt to save it.

Setting

1931 has been a hard year for the people of Melrose, Pennsylvania. The Great Depression has hit the steel business hard, and the empty steel mills that dominate the town now serve only as mocking reminders of when the town had purpose. And now that Prohibition has been repealed, the local bootleggers have become full-blown gangsters: jackals stripping the carcass of Melrose through extortion, gambling, loansharking, prostitution and any other way they can find to prey on those weaker than themselves.

This is your town, a community of immigrants, once held tight by the bonds of family, faith and shared heritage. It is still a dream worth fighting for, even as those who should be leading you out of darkness succumb to their own weaknesses and temptations. A times it seems like a hopeless battle.

But you know a truth that the others have forgotten: the legends of the old country are more than mere myths.

Sorcerers

Sorcerers are people who have learned the ways of Faerie. Maybe they learned the secrets behind the folk tales from their grandmother; maybe they have found books of lore disguised as children’s stories; or maybe they have fallen foul of fairies in the past, learning their ways and secrets.

Now they know enough about fairies to call them into our world, to bargain with them or trick them into service, and to fight or destroy them if necessary. They know the weaknesses, powers and strengths of those from beyond

Demons

No one knows exactly what fairies are. Maybe they are the spirits of our dead, made strange to us by their transformation; some say they are fallen angels; they could be the original rulers of this world, or visitors from a different world beyond our understanding.

You know that in behaviour, they are generally like the fairies of Scottish and northern English folklore. They are largely honourable creatures, and never lie or break their promises, but they are rarely our friends.

The Seelie Court are haughty and noble, but still tricksters at heart. Given the opportunity, they will bind humans in traps made of bargains and gifts, making us little more than their playthings or slaves. They are beautiful,exacting and merciless.

As frightening as the Seelie Court are, the Unseelie Court are worse. They are monsters and predators, less given to trapping you with fine words than breaking your bones and sucking the marrow while you watch. They are the monsters that prowl the darkness and live in the nightmares of children.

Sorcery

Sorcery is the fine and dangerous art of pacting with fairies. It may be possible to trap a fairy into your service through trickery or obligation (such as saving its life), or through old and forgotten magic, but it is more common to make bargains, with payment offered for specific acts.

Humanity

Humanity is the bonds of family and community that tie the people of Melrose together. Humanity loss is risked by acts that betray those who depends on you, and Humanity can be gained through acts that strengthen the community or family.

The Realm of Faerie

Faerie touches upon our world, and in some places it is hard to know where our world stops and theirs begins. It is still an alien and dangerous world, full of poisonous beauty and living nightmares, and those who venture there are brave to the point of madness.

Influences

Books

War For the Oaks, by Emma Bull

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

The Fairies in Tradition and Literature, by Katharine Briggs

A Dictionary of Fairies, by Katharine Briggs

Films

The Roaring Twenties

White Heat

Pan’s Labyrinth

Freemarket

Welcome to the Donut!

"We are a society of functionally immortal, cybernetically modified, telepathic infovores. Our society is centered on a reputation-based economy in which the basic needs of all-sustenance and shelter—are accounted for. If you wish to do more than just survive—if you wish to create, perform, build or destroy—you must win the approval of your friends and the community at large."

It's pithily described as "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom": The Game. Player characters make their way through the anarchic "society" of the Freemarket space station, doing favours for people to gain the social capital to achieve their true aims.

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  • 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? Their character's thoughts, actions, and backstory; everything else is owned by the GM.
  • The rules (including agreed house rules) will be: followed, come what may.
  • Player characters are: expected to work together. Major conflicts might erupt and never see reconciliation.
  • 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 perfectly valid choice and no big deal.

Black Stars Rise

Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa

Whispers are passing through the bohemian circles of fin de siècle Paris, whispers of a play called The King in Yellow. Even for a culture in love with decadence and decay, its words are considered poisonous, but beautiful enough to be irresistible once encountered. Madness is reputed to take those who read it, changing their perceptions and giving them glimpses into the reality behind the story.

Meanwhile, on the shores of Lake Hali, the shadows lengthen. Those who walk in Carcosa, under strange moons, can hear the songs of the black stars. The time of unmasking approaches.

Black Stars Rise is a Primetime Adventures series inspired by the works of Robert W. Chambers. While writers such as Lovecraft and Derleth and games such as Call of Cthulhu have built upon them, creating a canon, none of that exists for the purposes of this game. Hastur may just be the name of a place. Any extensions to the vague hints and names Chambers created will come purely from play.

I would like to keep the tone of this game entirely serious and reasonably subtle, with no world-breaking summonings or superhuman characters, but simply a community of artists driven to madness by hints from beyond our world. The characters will also have analogues in Carcosa, which may just be their mad imaginings, and play will alternate between the two worlds.

Having read the King in Yellow stories isn't mandatory, but it may help with creating an even tone. They're freely-available online and they're very readable.

Same page description

    • Do you play to win?: Good play isn't a win/lose kind of thing.
    • Player characters are: pursuing their own agendas – they might work together, they might work against each other.
    • The GM's role is: the GM has no plan – the GM simply plays the NPCs and has them act or react based on their motivations.
    • The players' role is: to fling their characters into tough situations and make hard, sometimes, unwise choices.
    • Doing the smartest thing for your character's survival: isn’t even a concern or focus for this game.
    • The GM's relationship to the rules is: follow them, come what may. (including following house rules).
    • 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.

Guards! The Traveller Encounter

The Setting

Buried deep beneath the sands of the Lonely Desert, nestled in the shadow of the mountain, lies the town of Adiiya. Known as the 'Market of the Desert', Adiiya is a huge trading stop between two nations. Travellers, Pilgrims, and Merchants of all callings are drawn to the markets, in search of the rare and beautiful.

With such cultural diversity, the town guards must be stalwart in their duty. Thieves, scoundrels, and neer-do-wells alike seek to taint Adiiya with their greed and evil. As officers of the town guard it is your duty and honour to protect the people and uphold the law.

How you choose to do so is entirely up to you. Is the peace kept by zealous attention, or letting the evil you know kill the evil you don't. Perhaps money speaks louder than words...

The Game

This game uses the Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition system, most source books allowed. More exotic races and classes will need a good reason, especially those considered evil by most people.

While this game shares the same setting and idea as 'Guards! The Watchmen Encounter', this game is not a continuation. This game takes place in the same universe, at the same time. Characters from the previous game can't return, as they are currently tied up doing something about a floating castle in a volcano. Knowledge of the previous campaign is not required or expected.

You will be playing third level characters of your choice, stationed within the town guard. You are high ranking officers, but you are still very much at a 'human' level of power. You will be free to uphold or dismiss the law in whatever way you deem fit, though you do have superiors and public approval to think of. One of the characters will be assigned as the chief of the town guards. Absolute power, and all that.

Players will be challenged to balance their duties as a guard against a ticking clock, as the very lives and livelihoods of the people you swore an oath to protect are threatened - not only by an approaching danger, but by your choice of action or inaction.

Overview

Broken Toys

18th century France. The village of Petit Arcady sits on the banks of the banks of a tranquil lake, an idyllic vision of bucolic paradise. Elise, the adolescent daughter of the Compte de Poitiers, spends many a happy day there, enjoying the company of the villagers and gaining insights into the lives of ordinary people.

But something is rotten in Petit Arcady. There have been rumours of black masses and demonic influences. Some claim to have seen the Devil himself walking brazenly by daylight. Whether or not this is all superstitious nonsense, the Compte is concerned enough to hire protection for his beloved Elise.

The PCs will be the guardians of this spoiled and mercurial young woman, charged with keeping her safe and happy at all costs. These costs, however, may be higher than any of them anticipated as they discover the horrors that lie under the veneer of paradise.

Broken Toys will contain many unpleasant elements and is designed to be uncomfortable to play. One of the main inspirations is the Marquis de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom, and the theme of the game is the various abuses of power. I will try not to cross any lines that may cause genuine upset.

This is a playtest of an upcoming module for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and all players will get playtester credits.

  • System: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
  • Number of Players: 3-5
  • Proposed by: Scott Dorward

DEAD SUNS : Incident at Absalom Station

Starfinder.jpg

When a brutal gang war breaks out on a docking bay in Absalom Station, our intrepid heroes are recruited by the Starfinder Society to investigate the unexpected bloodshed. Delving into the station's seedy Spike neighborhoods, the crew confront the gangs and discover that both were paid to start the riot and that the true conflict is between two rival mining companies battling over a new arrival in orbit around the station: a mysteriously deserted ship and the strange asteroid it recovered from the Drift. To head off further violence the heroes are asked to investigate the ship and discover what happened to its crew, as well as the nature of the asteroid it tows. But what the players uncover there will set in motion events that could threaten the entirety of the Pact Worlds and change the face of the galaxy forever!

This is the first part of the six-part DEAD SUNS adventure path for STARFINDER, the science-fantasy RPG from Paizo. Not just 'Pathfinder/D&D in space' the game features streamlined rules, a whole new set of classes and races, magic, technology, androids, starships and starship battles, mysteries, dead worlds to explore, and much more.

This is a self-contained scenario but If the game goes well and there is sufficient interest I plan on continuing on to the other scenarios in the adventure path ( Temple of the Twelve (3rd level), Splintered Worlds (5th level), The Ruined Clouds (7th level), The Thirteenth Gate (9th level), and the grand finale Empire of Bones (11th level) ) in later blocks.

Game details