Serpents Fall – Overhauling Spirits & Sorcery

Following on from our first Serpents Fall game on G+, one of the aspects of the game that I wasn’t particularly taken with was sorcery; it worked okay but whenever something involving spirits occurred it pretty much split the party into sorcerors and non-sorcerors with the two not really meeting until the matter was resolved.
After looking at an excellent conversion of a pulp hero by Garth Rose on Google+ I decided to make an attempt at using his rules to model the spirits and sorcery within my game.
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Amended Rules
Spirits
It does not require any special Stunt or ability to perceive spirits any longer (unless they are specifically hiding themselves using their powers), all people can perceive and interact with spirits.
Sorcery

In order to use sorcery the character must have an appropriate High Concept or other Aspect that includes knowledge of sorcery.
There are a number of Sorcery Stunts (as shown below).
Bind Spirits: When in contact with a spirit the sorceror may engage them mentally (as per the Stunt – Mental Contact), instead of inflicting stress the sorceror may ask the spirit to perform one task (lasting no more than a few hours) for every two levels his roll beats the spirits; if the task is utterly against the spirits nature the GM can pay a fate point to veto the task and take the stress instead. If the sorceror loses then he takes the appropriate amount of stress himself due to psychic feedback.
If a spirit is Taken Out by psychic damage, the sorceror can bind it to a task for a year and a day (although if they want to take is as a companion then they will need to buy it as a new Stunt).
Mental Contact: The sorceror can make a Clever roll to make contact with someone (resisted by the same Approach) in the same zone; if the sorcerors roll is higher then he may ask (and receive honest answers) to 1 question per every two points that his roll beats his opponent or inflict levels of stress equal to the number of points his roll beat the opponent. If the sorceror loses then he takes the appropriate amount of stress himself due to psychic feedback (the opponent may only take information from the sorceror’s mind if they are also a sorceror).
Sorcerors receive +2 to attack/defend against mental contact.
Being Taken Out by psychic damage generally means one’s mind is completely open to one’s opponent.  Post-hypnotic suggestions, compulsions, altered memories, and the like are all possible.
Unearthly Knowledge: Once per session, the sorceror can get the answer to a question he would have no earthly way of knowing the answer to.  This is generally accompanied by watching birds, or even having a raven land on his shoulder – it probably won’t work indoors, unless maybe the spirits are really restless. 
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Please note: Credit for the original work on these rules goes to Garth Rose, i’ve simply tweaked them a bit and done some small adaptions for use with Fate Accelerated.

Reflecting on the first Serpents Fall session

Well we made our first attempt at running an introductory session of Serpents Fall (our G+ Fate Accelerate Fantasy game) last night; i’ve just sent off messages to all of the players in it asking for feedback and thought i’d put my own views in this blog.
You can find a link to the video footage here.
For me the game was something of a mixed bag, consisting of both positives and negatives; since I was on a bit of a downer following the amount of work that myself and the players had put into the campaign setting only to have the first session so dogged by technical hitches I thought that i’d list some of the positive and negative points in an attempt to cheer myself up:
Positives
  • Everyone seemed to enjoy the session.
  • Character genning was fairly quick and I really loved how the players all grabbed hold of the story based idea of the Fate Accelerated rules system.
  • Was good to do some tabletop with friends whom I don’t get chance to game with (in that format).
  • The player characters seemed to gel as a party with the first flickers of IC banter and relationships forming.
  • We managed to carry out a small introductory (since not all players are familiar with the Fate Accelerated rules) combat that went off fairly well.
  • The scene is now set for the next main session.
  • All of the players seemed willing and keen to do another session.


Negatives
  • Almost constant technical problems meant that we had people dropping out and jumping back in, I got booted from the hangout twice meaning that we ended up having to film it in three segments.
  • Due to the tech problems the game felt a little dis-jointed since we had to keep re-capping for people who had dropped out and re-joined.

In Summary

Despite feeling a little down about the campaign when I originally sat down to start writing this post, looking at the list of positives and negatives there are far more positives from the game than their were negatives, indeed the only negative points seem to stem from the technical issues that we had.
Writing this post has cheered me up no end and made me far more optimistic about the potential of Serpents Fall as a long running campaign; I’m now going to wait for the players to get back to me with their feedback and see where we go from there, our next session is scheduled for a couple of weeks time – hopefully we’ll have a bit better luck on the technical side of things and we can just jump straight into the game 🙂


Serpents Fall (Fate Fantasy Campaign) – Character Sheet – Amended

I have made some additional space on my character sheet and added an additional Aspect (Character Goal) to the sheet, this will be an Aspect reflecting what a character’s driving passion or endgame is – once the goal is achieved the Aspect can be changed.

Serpents Fall (Fate Fantasy Campaign) – Character Sheet

After some prompting from one of my future players, i’ve knocked up the character sheet below for my Serpents Fall game.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3N7nFBlEi_7RGcySmQwN2F3V00/edit?usp=sharing

Serpents Fall (Fate Fantasy Campaign) – Finished Handouts

Below are links to the two handouts that I have been working on for the G+ Fate Fantasy game that I am going to be running soon:
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Ages of the Known World

This contains the rough history of the world through the various ages up to a brief summary of the present day.

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Character Generation & Nation Handout

This handout contains a brief summary of character generation for the game in addition to a page of suggested general Stunts as well as a write-up of each nation and additional relevant suggestions.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3N7nFBlEi_7MWlwb282MjFYREU/edit?usp=sharing

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Latest (unfinished) version of player handout for Serpent's Fall Fate Accelerated Fantasy Campaign

This is the latest version of my player handout for my Serpent’s Fall Fate Accelerated Fantasy campaign (beginning soon); please note that this is in no way finished yet nor do I make any claims to own the artwork used in it – this handout is for non-profit purposes only and no challenge is intended to any copyrights.

Serpents Fall (Fate Fantasy Campaign) – Atlantean & Lemurian ancestry

Here is a beginning write-up for people with Atlantean or Lemurian ancestry in my Fate Fantasy game. 
Please note: I make no claims to own the art used on this page, no challenge is intended to any copyright and nor will this be used for any profit making purposes.

Nations in my Forthcoming FATE fantasy campaign

I’ve managed to nail down the following nations/groups of people for my forthcoming campaign:

  • Norsica – frozen tundra, barren, viking barbarians who often sail south in their longboats seeking to raid for supplies and slaves/thralls.
  • Horse People – although descended from Norsicans the Horse People tribes are now very distinct and seem to spend their lives in the saddle roaming the grassy tundra and plains (think Mongols).
  • Saxony – kingdom ruled by king who is advised by the noble barons of hereditary ruling families (based on real-world Saxons).
  • Khemri – a dark desert kingdom ruled by death-obsessed sorceror kings from ziggurat tomb-cities (a sort of evil/occult version of ancient Egypt).
  • Stygia – a land of dry plains and scrubland that was decimated by a the civil-war that lead to the birth of Khemri, Stygia is rules by tribes who worship ancestor spirits and have a great number of tribal taboos, one being a prohibition against using evil magics (think mythic Africa).
  • Celtia – a warlike land populated by a people who have rejected the civilisation introduced by the Serpent Empire (and later embraced by Saxony), the Celts are divided into family grouping, each rules by their own King, in times of dire need this Kings will call a council where they will elect a High-King for the duration of the crisis.
  • Scarlet Brotherhood – a loose affiliation of mercenaries, pirates and thieves who are located mainly (although not exclusively) on the Sword Isles.
I’m also thinking that the magic (which won’t be available at the start of the game since it’s a low magic setting) will be focussed mainly around summoning spirits to do your bidding rather than affecting elements of the setting directly since I think this spirit-bargaining could be an interesting RP element.
Now I just need a name for the world and the campaign.