Red Dice Diaries – Dumb Character Deaths (video)

Talking about funny and ridiculous character deaths that I have known and loved:

Serpents Fall – All Game Material

Since my Fate Accelerated Serpents Fall game has unfortunately come to a premature end (due to changing schedules amongst the players) and I am unlikely to pick it up again in the future (since i’m not a fan of returning to previously run games) I thought that I would make available the various notes and materials that I used to run the campaign up to and including the plot wiki.
All of the electronically stored material that I created for the campaign is now hosted on my Google Drive and can be accessed via the following link:
Even though the game unfortunately didn’t reach the conclusion that I was hoping I had some good fun running it and the players certainly seemed to enjoy it while it lasted; hopefully someone will get some use out of the information in the files.
Please note: Some of the graphics from the wiki have been removed to save space and I will not be making any attempt to further organise or sort the information stored on the Google Drive.
The actual-play videos from the campaign will remain on my Youtube channel the Red Dice Diaries:

Sapphire Islands – Dungeon World Mini-campaign – Session 2

After their encounter with the orcs on the south-eastern coast of the mainland, Will manages to limp the damaged boat to the shoreline and is just about to jump down from the boat when his keen spot one of the planks of the decking is a little raised from the others; nearly down he pulls out a dagger and pries it loose from it’s brothers, underneath is a small leather pouch containing many coins worth of shining blue sapphires, jewels common in the Sapphire Islands (and indeed the foundation on which much of their wealth is build) but rare here on the mainland. Korra also finds a shipping manifest or log book in the cabin, there are strange scrawlings in the margin but she pays them little mind. Following his directions the band begin to range further out on the beach, looking for driftwood and flotsam that can be used to make repairs to the boat. They are stopped in their task by the sound of cheerful whistling as a middle-aged man pulling an empty cart behind him comes walking down the beach, hailing them the man introduced himself as Tibbs a trader who has recently made a killing selling stone in the town of Three Rivers; he quite happily explains to the group that Three Rivers is expanding and there is great demand for materials to make new buildings to houses the blooming population. Tibbs pats a bulging coin purse hanging from his belt to demonstrate his good fortune, for a moment Will’s eyes widen at the sight of such wealth.
Demanor has been exploring the woods searching for additional materials to patch up the boat, all around the animals chatter in their own tongues, a language as clear as her own and the word they shout is the same, no matter the animal, “Elfmeet! Elfmeet!” Summoning a parrot from the nearby trees Demanor questions it and discovers that the elves have asked the animals to spread the word and that they are all gathering in the one remaining elven city to make a big decision.
Arriving back at the boat Demanor explains to the others about the meeting, Will meanwhile has been talking to Tibbs and has offered to give the trader a lift aboard their repaired boat to his destination, the village of Crossmount in the shadow of the Great Peaks, where he intends to pick up another concession of stone and sell it on for a profit; they agree to drop Demanor and Korra off in the town of Three Rivers (which Demanor says is near to the elf city) while the boat continues north to Crossmount. On the way they pass the village of River Morton, a procession of villagers is gathered along the riverbank, ferrying the arrow riddling bodies of their dead to burial holes prepared for them, priests of River Morton are saying prayers over their dead whilst the nearest and dearest of those dead, wail for their loss. The dead are heaped into pyres and burnt, once the flames have faded, grim faced gravediggers turn their ashes into the earth; Will finds it all strange and not at all like the burning boat burials that he is used to, he finds the whole thing lacking in spirit whereas Demanor finds it all a little barbaric, elves preferring to return their dead straight back to the earth.
Slowing down, they investigate the arrows riddling the bodies, finding them of curious manufacture; peering at them closely, Korra is put in mind of the tales of ‘Edwin the Great’ about the last great battle when elves and men joined forces, the arrows are graceful and seem of elven manufacture, but they are black and use the same ravens feathers as the orc arrows that they saw earlier. A woman from the shore hails them, she tells them to be careful if they are sailing north, that orcs are abroad and that they did for her husband Ted; as a mark of honour Korra begins to play a mournful tune of solemn respect as they continue their journey north, the locals tearfully hum along with the tune until they are lost from sight around a bend in the river.
A few days later they arrive at the town of Three Rivers, Korra has not been here for eight months, but the town has almost doubled in size since then; as they approach they are hailed by one of the local foremen working on the new buildings whose skeletons litter the outskirts of the town, the man called Roberts tells them that if they get any stone and give him first refusal then he’ll give them more than a fair price.
After leaving the boat Demanor and Korra make they way through hidden ways into the jungle, Demanor leading her bardic companion through trails and hidden byways until the land drops down into a secret valley, a large ziggurat rising from the centre of it, vines and leaves gathering along the surfaces of the stone, not destroying it but seeming to caress the masonry, as though they were both part of the same whole. Roughly a thousand elves gathered around the sacred building, all of them looking towards the wise figure of an elf clad in brown and green robes. Demanor recognises the elf as Silanthus, the wisest of the elves in the settlement; the gathered crowd is discussing the recent imbalance in nature and the strange anger that many of them feel building in the natural forces, Demanor steps forward and tells them about the Ent massacring the human village nearby.
Meanwhile, back on the boat, out of sight of civilisation, Will’s knife flashes out so quickly that Tibb’s barely feels his life slip away nor the northlanders hand close around his coinpurse and push his body silently into the flowing river.
Demanor visit Silanthus in his chambers, they are passed by an angry elf on the way there, there is much discussion in the chambers and Silanthus tells them that the light of the elves has faded from the world, most of them are planning to leave this world on the last  of the Great White Boats. Korra asks Silanthus whether he can decipher the strange notes scrawled in the ship’s logbook, the old elf looks at the book and says that it is a simple crpytographic code discussing a secret exchange of precious sapphires from a quantity of stone and that apparently the writer believed secrecy was imperative.
Far to the north, Will arrives in Crossmount and purchases a quantity of stone from a paunchy, red bearded stonemason called Erik with his newly acquired wealth and begins his journey southwards towards Three Rivers where he plans to sell it for a healthy profit.
Leaving Silanthus’ chamber, Demanor sees that the angry elf they spotted previously (a younger member of the race called Zephandius) is saying to his fellows that the recent decay of nature and their relationship with it is a sure sign that their previous policy of inaction has resulted in nature forsaking them as they have forsaken it; Zephandius says that they must act as parents to the younger races (who are as children) and that sometimes parents must exercise a firm hand. Demanor is worried about Zephandius, he is very persuasuve and seems to be swaying many of the crowd to his point of view. 
Will, meanwhile, on his journey to Three Rivers has come across a small fishing boat floating unrowed along the river, in it is the body of a dying man, he tells them that his party was set upon by elves and that he is trying to get to the capital to warn the King; Will tells the dying man that he will see the message delivered and then closes his eyes as the fisherman’s dying breath leaves him. His boat later makes its way into Three Rivers where Will takes the opportunity to rest and spend some of his recently gathered wealth int he local taverns, he overhears some of the locals saying that they have heard a rumour King John V is planning to announce it illegal to mine stone in the Great Peaks, although they don’t know why. A few hours later Demanor and Korra arrive to meet up with him as arranged and Will tells them about the “elf” attacks.
Taking the two of them back to the elven settlement Demanor tells Silanthus about the supposed attacks and gives him the strange hybrid arrow, the old elf looks troubled but tells them that most of the elven people are leaving this very night about the last of the White Ships, although it grieves them greatly some (like Demanor) have decided to stay; not wanting to seem unhelpful though the old elf performs a scrying ritual with Demanor as the willing subject (despite his warning that it can be a little intense even for those as experienced as himself). In her vision Demanor rushes as a disembodied presence throught the woods until she hovers before a huge, corrupted, blackwood tree, bones and skulls litter the floor around it and seem entwined with the very structure of the vegetation, even as the roots writhe and pulse obscenely. Most disturbing is the fruit of the tree, giant blood coloured fruit that pulses as though something lives within it; one of these bloody fruits falls to the ground, spilling it’s juices as a creature crawls forth from the collapsing skin. The creature stands, it bears the beauty and chiselled features of an elf, although they seem to reflect cruelty rather than the radiant beauty of the elves, but the albaster skin fo the elf is replaced by the warty grey hide of the orc and bloody, yellowed tusks jut from it’s jaws as a bellowing roar echoes from the creatures drooling lips.
Demanor awakes and tells the other about the strange ‘black elves’ that she has seen; the other elves are climbing aboard the White Ship and waving farewell as they set sail, between the persuasions of Demanor and Zephandius 150 of the once widespread race of elves remain, the druid feels her heart grow heavy as the majority of her people pass from the world, their light lost forever.

Jade-xalted: Sample assets

Below are some sample assets built using the system described in earlier posts.
* * *
White Jade Warstrider (Device)

Cost: 3 refresh
Features

  • Harmful – +2 shifts of damage on attack (up to a max of shifts scored on attack roll)
  • Protective – reduces shift value of successful attack by 2
  • Sturdy – has 2 stress boxes
  • Jade construction – +1 to rolls when used by a terrestrial exalt, may activate the ‘blessed by the elements’ aspect at will.

Flaws
  • Demanding – requires a scene of preparation and a great (+4) sorceror roll to activate the warstrider.

Warstriders are ancient suits of magitech armour from the First Age, designed to not only protect the wearer inside their enormous armoured hides but also to increase their strength and prowess, only scant few function in the present and these require extensive maintenance (normally in the form of barely understood annointing ceremonies) to continue running.
* * *
Door-Evading Technique (technique)
Cost: 3 refresh
Features
  • Exceptional
Flaws
  • Consuming
At the cost of a fate point the user of this technique may completely bypass one inanimate obstacle (such as a door for example) that impedes movement between zones.
* * *
Beastman warband (allies)
Cost: 2 refresh
Features
  • Professional x 2 – Warrior +2, Assassin +1. 
  • Resilient – Ally gains a mild consequence slot.
  • Sturdy – Gains an additional 1 stress box.
  • Numerous x 3 – 8 total allies. 
Flaws
Troubling (“Hunted and despised in civilised lands.”)
Having lurked on the fringes of civilisation for so long, many Lunar Exalted have bred half beast-like offspring and are served by their savage children.
* * *
These are just three examples of assets that can be quickly created with the Jadepunk style method of handling assets once you are familiar with the system, it is flexible but provides enough structure to enable you jump straight in and start designing.

Jade-xalted: Celestial and Terrestrial circle charms

The two asset features following are additional to those listed in my previous post (http://wh40krpg.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/jade-xalted-assets.html), and may be added to an asset in the same way.
Techniques (amended from previous post)
No technique can have the troubling flaw.
  • Exceptional
  • Harmful
  • Flexible
  • Protective
  • Focus
  • Sorcery
  • Celestial Circle
  • Terrestrial Circle
Additional Feature Descriptions (those not listed are in previous post)
  • Celestial circle (counts as two features, a celestial circle technique must have the consuming flaw) [this feature may be added to a technique only and may only be taken by Celestial Exalted (Solars, Lunars, Sidereals and Abyssals)]: When a fate point is spent to activate this technique the celestial exalt pours power into themselves, doubling the bonus that would normally be received through the use of the technique, however, once such a technique is used the exalt will be surrounded by a glowing aura of light coloured appropriately to their exaltation until the end of the scene. This is potentially very dangerous given that the Dragonblooded hunt the exalted.
  • Terrestrial Circle (counts as two features, a terrestrial circle technique must have the consuming flaw) [this feature may be added to a technique only and may only be taken by terrestrial exalted (dragonblooded)]: The terrestrials were fashioned to work together as units and be soldiers in the armies of the gods even their very exaltations work better as a group; when a character spends a fate point to activate a terrestrial circle charm they receive a +1 to their action for every other allied terrestrial exalt in the same zone who also has a terrestrial circle technique. Once such a technique is used the exalt will be surrounded by a dazzling display of their element (as appropriate) until either the end of the scene.
Sample Assets

Below is an example of both a solar and a terrestrial circle asset built using the asset rules as laid out in Jadepunk and with the additions made in this hack.

* * *

Protective Wall of Golden Blades (technique)
Cost: 2 Refresh
Features
  • Celestial circle – doubles bonus of technique, when fate point is spent to activate the solar is surrounded by a very visible glowing nimbus of golden light for the rest of the scene.
  • Exceptional – on a successful defense, deal shifts of harm equal to margin of success (this is doubled by the celestial circle charm)

Flaws
  • Consuming – technique costs a fate point to activate.
  • Limited – can be used once per scene.

When the solar with this technique is attacked they summon up the energy flowing through them and the air around them fills with phantasmal blades of golden light that hack and slash at their enemy, inflicting a number of shifts of harm to their attacker double to the margin of success on their defense roll. Although the blades fade, the golden light from them remains surrounding the Solar until the end of the scene.
* * *
Strike of the Dragon’s Fury
Cost: 2 refresh
Features
  • Terrestrial circle – When a character spends a fate point to activate a terrestrial circle technique they receive a +1 to their action for every other allied terrestrial exalt in the same zone who also has a terrestrial circle technique. Once such a technique is used the exalt will be surrounded by a dazzling display of their element (as appropriate) until either the end of the scene.
  • Harmful – +2 shifts of harm on a successful attack (max equal to the number of shifts scored on the attacking roll)

Flaws
  • Consuming – technique costs a fate point to activate.
When the terrestrial exalt possessing this technique makes an attack, with a striking motion they send out a short ranged blast of their element (flames, rocks, water, etc) that strikes their foe doing +2 shifts of harm on a successful attack.

If there are allied terrestrial exalts who also possess terrestrial circle techniques in the same zone then the exalt also pulls on the power of her allies and the elemental blast reflects this (for example: if a fire aspected terrestial made the strike whilst back up by a wood aspected terrestrial then the blast might be a barrage of burning wooden spikes), they add +1 to their attack roll for each such terrestrial in the same zone.

* * *

Jade-xalted: Assets

This section refers heavily to the excellent Jadepunk game, no challenge is intended to any copyrights and I have attempted to omit any rules specifically featured in the book – you will probably need a copy of Jadepunk to make use of this, but I would advise you to pick up a copy anyway as it is an excellent book.
ASSETS IN JADE-XALTED HACK

Assets

Step One: Asset Type

Ally: Helpful NPC assocate, sidekick, contact or secret society.
Device: A weapon, tool, or other piece of equipment including items made from the magical materials.
Technique: Personal capabilities either gained from special training, knowledge or as a result of the exaltation.
Step Two: Function/Guiding Aspect
Allies and Devices come with an aspect describing it’s function as per the rules in Jadepunk, it can be invoked or compelled as with any other aspect, but it tends to be more focussed on the role that the ally or device plays in the character’s life.
Technique assets don’t have function aspects, they are connected to one of the characters existed aspects (called it’s ‘guiding aspect’) as detailed in the Jadepunk rules.
Step Three: Features & Flaws
These function as per the rules in Jadepunk, each point of refresh you spent on an asset gives it two features, each asset also comes with one flaw. More flaws may be taken to give an asset additional features on a one-to-one basis.
Full rules for this can be found in the Jadepunk book however there are a few additional  list of features and flaws differ, they can be found below.
Ally Features
When you spend a point of refresh to create an Ally, in addition to any other features, they start with one application of Professional, Resilient and Sturdy for free.
  • Aspect
  • Resilient
  • Numerous
  • Professional
  • Sturdy
  • Independent
  • Talented

Device Features
The function aspect of a device featuring one or more of the magical materials must make reference to each material.
  • Aspect
  • Harmful
  • Jade construction
  • Moonsilver construction
  • Orichalcum construction
  • Protective
  • Starmetal construction
  • Soulsteel construction
  • Exceptional
  • Numerous
  • Flexible
  • Focus
  • Sturdy

Techniques
No technique can have the troubling flaw.
  • Exceptional
  • Harmful
  • Flexible
  • Protective
  • Focus
  • Sorcery

Step Four: Determine Refresh cost
Determine asset cost as listed in the Jadepunk book.
Feature Descriptions
As listed in the Jadepunk rulebook (with the following additions):
  • Jade construction: See magical materials section for details.
  • Moonsilver construction: See magical materials section for details.
  • Orichalcum construction: See magical materials section for details.
  • Sorcery (counts as two features, asset starts with consuming feature, many only be applied to a technique): Allows a technique to be perform over distance as long as the character possesses something taken from the location or something of significance to the person that they wish to affect; if the target is within the same zone then the technique can be performed at range without the requirement of the component.
  • Soulsteel construction: See magical materials section for details.
  • Starmetal construction: See magical materials section for details.

Flaw Descriptions
As listed in the Jadepunk rulebook.
Gaining and Improving Assets
Functions as per the Jadepunk rulebook.

The Magical Materials
The five magical materials below are easily enchanted by those with the right knowledge and each one resonates with a different type of Exalted.
Please note: In order to have an item made of a magical material (or several) a feature must be taken (it must be taken once for each magical material involved in the item construction).
  • Orichalcum: Gold purified by the Sun, Orichalcum is noted for making equipment which is good at everything. Orichalcum artifacts are used by Solar Exalted.
  • Moonsilver: Moonsilver is silver touched by Luna, and lends some of Luna’s protean nature to the material. Moonsilver is considered sacred by Lunar Exalted.
  • Starmetal: Rarer than all other materials, because the Sidereal Exalted must predict where this congealed essence of dead Gods will fall. Starmetal shines with the nature of the Five Maidens and warps fate slightly as part of its basic nature.
  • Jade: Commonest of all the Magical Materials, and used to make the weapons and armor of the Terrestrial Exalted. Jade comes in five colors, one for each Aspect.
  • Soulsteel: Comprised of the bodies of ghosts and scrapings from the Mouth of the Void in Stygia, soulsteel mutters and moans with the pain of the spirits trapped within. This horrifying black material is the trademark of the Abyssal Exalted.

An item made from one of the magical materials will function especially well in the hands of the type of Exalted that it was intended for (adding an additional +1 to any rolls made using the device, if a device does not use a roll but increases or reduces shift values then it increases/reduces it by an additional +1). This bonus only becomes active when the device is in the possession of the appropriate type of exalted.
In addition, the correct type of exalted may (at will activate the following effect):
  • Orichalcum: Device sheds light, bestowing a ‘light of the Unconquered Sun’ aspect on the wielder.
  • Moonsilver: Gives the owner the ‘master of disguise’ aspect.
  • Starmetal: Bestows the aspect ‘touched by fate’ on the owner.
  • Jade: Bestows the aspect ‘blessed by the elements’ as appropriate on the owner.
  • Soulsteel: Device sheds darkness, bestowing a ‘shrouded in darkness’ aspect on the owner.
  • Aspects gained from carrying items of the appropriate magical material can be turned on and off at will as long as the exalt still possesses an item of the appropriate material.

Jade-xalted: Finishing touches to character creation

Refresh
Refresh functions as per the rules in Jadepunk, however, the levels of refresh that people start with differ slightly.

  • Mortals and equivalents begin with 5 refresh.
  • Terrestrial Exalted begin with 7 refresh.
  • Celestial Exalted (Solar, Lunar, Abyssal and Sidereals) begin with 10 refresh.

Refresh is reduced by purchasing assets, you may not reduce your refresh below one.
Assets
Assets are purchased in a similar fashion to those listed in the Jadepunk rules, there will be additional options available to represent exalted charms and how the construction of magi-tech style items differs between Exalted and Jadepunk, these will be covered in more detail in a later post.

Stress and Consequences
Every character begins with three stress boxes and three consequences (mild, moderate and severe); these function as per the rules in Jadepunk.

Jade-xalted: Constructing a Concept

One of the complaints/issues that I have often heard laid at the door of the Fate system is that, because there is such a lot of leeway when it comes to designing aspects, that it can often be bewildering for players, especially if they are unfamiliar with the setting or RPG-ing in general; in the forthcoming Cthulhu supplement for Fate (which I have been privilieged to do some of the writing for) it offers a little more guidance for creating aspects and even (should the players/GM wish to use them) a series of random tables for creating aspects. I plan to adopt something similar for the Jade-xalted conversion, the constructed aspects will be quite general to allow for the players to customise them, but should hopefully create a good jumping off point for anyone who is a little bewildered by all the choice available in the Fate system.

Obviously you do not have to use this system but it should help anyone who is struggling.

Concept Aspect

Under this system a concept aspect uses the following format:

“I am a/an [adjective] [type] who is skilled at [verb]”

List of sample adjectives:

  • Angry
  • Calm
  • Clever
  • Clumsy
  • Elegant
  • Famous
  • Fancy
  • Fierce
  • Glamorous
  • Handsome
  • Helpful
  • Honourable
  • Innocent
  • Lazy
  • Mysterious
  • Old-fashioned
  • Peaceful
  • Powerful
  • Scarey
  • Scarred
  • Sly
  • Thoughtful
  • Thoughtless
  • Ugly
  • Violent

List of sample types:

  • Mortal
  • Solar Exalted
  • Lunar Exalted
  • Sidereal Exalted
  • Air aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Earth aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Fire aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Water aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Wood aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Abyssal Exalted

List of sample verbs:

  • Athletics
  • Blackmail
  • Craft work
  • Gambling
  • Fighting
  • Larceny
  • Leading others
  • Oratory
  • Research
  • Running
  • Sociallising
  • Sorcery
  • Stealth
  • Storytelling

So, for example, using this system and sample list I could quickly create a ‘violent Solar Exalted who is skilled at leading others’, a ‘sly Lunar Exalted who is skilled at larceny’ or an ‘honourable Fire-aspected Terrestrial Exalted who is skilled at sociallising.’

The aspect could be invoked or compelled whenever the adjective was applicable or when the character’s specialist skill or talent comes into play.

For example: Our violent Solar could invoke his aspect when involved in violent action but may be compelled when he struggles to resist being provoked into such action unwisely, the player of the exalt could also invoke when attempting to lead others in some sort of action but may also find others naturally looking to him for leadership or seeking his advice on important matters (when the aspect is invoked).

Invoking the concept based on the type of Exaltation

Players can also invoke their concept aspect based on what type of exaltation they have received, this is not as immediately obvious as the preceding invokes and so I provide guidelines below for appropriate invokes/compels, anyone familiar with the Exalted setting should feel free to use their own judgement though.

  • Solar Exalted: The Solars were created to lead the gods forces against those of the primordials, a solar concept may be invoked when vastly outnumbered in a combat or in an attempt to rally/lead others against a foe; however the Solars eventually found themselves becoming detached from the humanity that their powers raised them above eventually culminating in the first age solars becoming brutal and violent, a solar concept may be compelled when a lack of empathy could cause issue or when a lack of restraint may cause a problem.
  • Lunar Exalted: Originally the Lunars were bound to their Solar counterparts, but fleeing the wyld hunt they now find themselves uncomfortable in civilisation. A lunar concept may be compelled when a lunar is confronting a Solar Exalted or when their lack of familiarity with civilised society may cause problems; it may be invoked when the characters knowledge of the wild would aid them or when attempting to resist the blandishments of the civilised world.
  • Sidereal Exalted: Manipulators of fate, a sidereal concept may be invoked or compelled when chance may play a part in unfolding events, since people tend to forget sidereals their concept can be invoked to aid with stealth or avoiding detection.
  • Terrestrial Exalted: As rulers of the realm a terrestrial concept may be invoked to aid in any social roll within the realm, however they may likewise be compelled should the exalt be in a situation where knowledge of their heritage might be disadvantageous. Terrestrials may also invoke their concept aspect if there is a significant quantity of their particular element is present in the same zone or if they can convincingly weave the element into their description.
    Please note: If a terrestrial features their element in their description then that element is actually produced (causing no additional game effect beyond the invoke but potentially giving away their heritage); for example, a fire-aspected terrestrial invokes his aspect by describing a flaming punch, his attack will actually produce a momentary gout of flame.
  • Abyssal Exalted: Created as dark reflections of the solars by the Deathlords, abyssals may invoke their concept aspect when dealing with undead creatures or spirits or when manipulating the energies of the underworld is advantageous, however they are ill-suited to the lands outside the underworld and the concept may be compelled in situations where their deathly aura and lack of warmth may prove complicated.

But what about castes John?

Castes were the game ‘splats’ in the original Exalted and were basically used to govern what powers and abilities you could possess, since Fate is a more freeform and i’m hoping to create a quicker more action-packed gaming experience that with the original WOD rules i’ve chosen deliberately not to focus on castes.

However if you are desperate to include castes then I would simply suggest that you assign a character’s caste based on the highest of their professions at character generation, the five professions were created based on the skill spread of the original castes so this should be a fairly close fit. 

RPG Questions – Asides in Online Games (video)

Asking the question ‘How do you handle asides and side conversations in online games?’