Friday, March 12, 2010

Black Rose, Part 3

Sorry for the delay here.  Been really sick.

Now I want to look at the mechanics of how Black Rose will work.  I want to include as much of the Ravenloft feel as possible, so that means fear and horror checks.  To accommodate both Blue Rose and Ravenloft I also want to keep magic low.  In this respect I think the Adept role from True20 will work out fine.

I'll use the Revised True20 (T20-R) rules for this game.  I love the simplicity of the system and it "just works" well for me. Plus the Revised version allows you to craft roles to better suit your game world.  This would let me create a "Lesser Adept" that still has some spell casting, but also more skills or even combat.  I would use this for clerics and hedge witches or even PC magic-users.  Some of the Roles in the "Horror Adventures" chapter are a good choice.  I would in a sense try to re-create the roles found in Masque of the Red Death for Black Rose.

Magic is known, but rare.  This would not be D&D where you can go to the local "magic shop" to buy magic items or even get them appraised.  So to use the T20-R this would be a "Rising Tide" game.  I would make necromantic powers more difficult to obtain.

With less magic I can see more gun powder being used.  But hardly anything beyond a flint-lock.  I am thinking this is 16th or 17th century at the most, with places still around 14th or 15th, in terms of technology.  I like this idea because it also builds up the struggle of tech vs. magic as well as good vs. evil.  In Dracula, the heroes all were using "state of the art technology" in order to defeat Dracula, a creature of darkness and magic.  It is a pillar of the Gothic tradition.   Of course the other pillar of the Gothic tradition is Frankenstein, or how technology has lead humans to even greater evils.

Fear, Sanity and Dark Powers
Sanity and Fear checks have been part and parcel of horror games forever.  Black Rose would be no different.  I would use the Mental Health track from T20-R since it is very, very close to what characters would experience in Ravenloft.  In this case I would use Sanity as it's own Save.  Give the game it's own feel.

I would not however do Dark Powers checks.  I never really liked them in Ravenloft and feel they have less of a place in Black Rose.  The PCs are supposed to be heroes, and heroes of the highest caliber. Now I know sometimes PCs (and players) mess up, so for that I will use the True 20 Conviction mechanic.  Evil acts result in less conviction, but heroic acts can build more.

So far everything I describe could be done in games that already exist.  Witchhunter, Solomon Kane, Rippers or even Ghosts of Albion, could all do this and do it well.  What then does Black Rose do for me these other games don't.
Well foremost there is the battle of good vs an unrelenting evil.  But this is not a fight alone in the darkness, the heroes have a home, Aldea, and it is good and worth fighting for.    If nothing else I need to instill in the players or the characters that an attack on Aldea or their Queen is worse than attack against themselves.
Also in Black Rose, everyone knows about magic and the supernatural.  It is an accepted part of life.  People don't fear the bogeyman because he has magic, people fear him because he is evil.

If this were an on-going game I would like to come up with something for the heroes to work towards.   Maybe the eventual defeat of the Dark Lord?  Or finding a way to keep Ravenloft from seeping into Aldea.  No idea yet.  But I would want it to be big and worthy of characters than have been heroes to the land for s long.

1 comment:

BlUsKrEEm said...

I'm very impressed with how well thought out the setting / rules for this idea are. I would play or run this in a heart beat (if my player would give it a chance that is.) Thanks for sharing.