Monday, March 15, 2010

Black Rose, Replies

It's reader participation day at The Other Side.  Here are some replies to my "Black Rose" posts.

Rhonin84 said...

The land that the Queen rules over is the last bastion of light besieged on all sides by the encroaching darkness, all of her allies are gone defeated in the wars to stave off the darkness.

Her dreams at night are haunted by a figure that is intoxicating and terrifying, this Dark Lord wants her for his queen, it's a dream that she has had for some time and the fortune tellers tell her that she has lived this before....

Just a thought with some imagery for you to chew on!

Greg: I agree. Aldea is the last bastion of light in an otherwise dark world.  But more importantly to the plot it is something for the characters to fight for, as opposed to fighting against the darkness.  Of course I like the idea of the Dark Lord haunting her dreams.  It can easily be anyone, but the best choice is obviously Strahd.

seaofstarsrpg said...

Very interesting, sounds like a good match.

Though I think I would make dark dreams and nightmare a constant sub-theme in this campaign

Agreed.  In order to do this well there would need to be a slow build up of darkness. Punctuated by increasingly dark dreams and nightmares.  There is so much that can be done with this.

 Ka-Blog! said...

I'm not that familiar with Blue Rose (I was more intrigued with the True 20 aspect), but I understood the romance influence on it.

I am a fan of Ravenloft, but was always stymied by:
- what the PCs do during the day time (sleep, I suppose); and
- isn't it monotonous to know that the big bad is someone you can't defeat (because he's a dark lord) and you live on his land?

The merging of the two gives some space for PCs to retreat and recuperate, and allows greater contrast when PCs must fight the dark lord on his own turf..
Yes.  Though in most cases I do not want them to fight the Dark Lord of the land, instead maybe figure out how to undermine their power.   In some cases I would want them to "free" the land's Dark Lord, to find out what is the source of the evil and stop it.  Thus freeing the lord to go on to whatever afterlife awaits them while their lands slowly dissolve back into the mists.  I want this to be more of a thinking game than a fighting one.  Not that there won't be fighting. There will.  The big issues are going to need a different tactic.
Like Rhonin said above, Aldea would be a "safe haven" for the PCs, but the mists might not always let them return.

 P. S. Mangus said...

This is a very cool idea. Personally, I never gave Blue Rose a proper chance. In hindsight I should have taken a harder look at the system, and over looked the problems I had with the background of the game. Ravenloft has always been a favorite of mine. I especially liked Masque of the Red Death, and felt it was a stroke of genius when it came out. Of course I could never get anyone to actually play it. Looking back at it now, MotRD was ahead of its time.

I never had the problems others did with Blue Rose.  I always felt it was like a dreamscape setting.  Yes there was this too-good-to-be-true kingdom with modern sensibilities and an extremely accepting culture.  But everything around them was dark and sinister.  They thing is that is a perfect backdrop for a Ravenloft game.  I am not wanting to do "Grim Dark Blue Rose", I am keeping pretty much everything in Blue Rose intact and I want characters to explore interpersonal relationships.  I want loves and loss and love again.  I think that this is an important part of what makes Blue Rose a good game.  Ravenloft though gives me something else and something that is not wholly incompatible with Blue Rose.  The Dreamscape is still there, but now it is tainted, a blacker on the edges.  This is done to make "Blue Rose" parts of the game shine even more.
The fictional tradition behind Blue Rose is struggling to discover yourself in the world and your own inner strength.  The tradition behind Black Rose would be struggling to discover yourself in the world, beset by horrors, and your own inner strength to defeat them.

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.
Thanks,  It is something I have been thinking about pretty much ever since I picked up Blue Rose years ago.  I never liked the feel of the d20 mechanics for Modern games, and True 20 seemed to be a better fit.  Likewise I was not thrilled with the d20 Ravenloft, though I did enjoy both Ravenloft and D&D 3 a lot.  True 20 (and Unisystem for that matter) seemed to be a better fit for the kinds of things I wanted to do in Ravenloft.  Same with Blue Rose.

Thaumiel Nerub said...

Idea is good. I personally think, that Blue Rose is way too cheesy for me. Adding a bit "black" to the palette would suit me well. You could concider also characters. They must aswell melt in the world. Otherwise it's just this background story where heroes do their job. Character's must also represent this "Black Rose" theme. Character's aren't necessarily those knights in shining armors or they even could be, but in every character there must be something tragic. Sounds a bit emo, but well, goth is that. Dark secrets, revenge, lust, depression.
I think that usually in fantasy games character's biggest goal is to "win" the plot GM gives for players like killing the evil dude or something. But even if in this Black Rose setting there is that "big evil", I think you could get more out of it, if there is also personal problems within characters. Some might be touched by darkness what is infecting him slowly and he is hiding it realising, he would be Shadowspawn soon (no cure, or it wouldn't be tragic). Knight who was not betrayed but was betrayer himself. Wizard who is eager for power, and knows the best mojo is in evil magic.
They all are heroes, they save the world, but in the same time they are tragic characters and the line between good and evil is thin.
Again, I liked Blue Rose from the start, but I do see why others didn't.
You are correct about the characters.  But I think instead of darkness, the characters need to harbor that self-doubt and humility that is often absent from characters.  Yes it does tend to skew things towards Emo, but I am not trying to play a game full of self-doubts and dark personal secrets.  Characters should be more fully flushed out than a "barbarian, and I hit things".   For example a member of the Royal Guard trying to live up to her father's expectations.  Or a witch, pretending to be something else so she is not discovered practicing "foul" magics, even though she is Light aligned.

I think the take away from all of this is players in a Black Rose game would need to spend quite a bit of time thinking about who their characters are, what are their hopes and fears, and then ask the important question of "when the Queen calls on you to fight the darkness how will you respond?"

The other half of this though is also finding players that would want to play this style of game.  My kids are too young really to do this now and my semi-regular group might not find this all that interesting.  Plus we get a full amount of horror RPGing in with our Ghosts of Albion games.

Maybe I should try it as a one-shot someday.  Or use it as a prototype for some other games I have in mind.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Black Rose, Part 4

What sort of stories do we tell in a this mash-up of Romantic Fantasy and Gothic Horror?

Well lets start with the obvious.  Evil is out there and it needs to be stopped.  In the Gothic Horror tradition, the evil is always more powerful than the heroes and rarely if ever fully stopped.  Black Rose would to follow suit. The evil is out there and it must be stopped (because that is what heroes do) even if the odds are stacked against them.

In Romantic Fantasy and in Blue Rose in particular, we expect there to be more character driven plots than monster of the week ones.  Not to say we can't do both, but the plot must be focused on defeating the "Evil", whatever it might be, but at the same time growing the characters.

So what are the games about then?

I could start with the death or injury of the Golden Hart.  This is the catalyst that brings the characters together.  I think more so than any other game I would want the players to spend a lot of time telling me who their characters are and what they want.  Riches and Glory are fine for most D&D games, but for Black Rose, I think there needs to be something more.

I would then spend some time slowly building up the lpot elements.  Have encounters with the Vistani/Roamers, or even a run in with a wrongly accused Night Person/Caliban/Half-Orc.  Yeah that is a little cliched I know, but I think there is value in going over some of these tropes that make up the game.

Of course plenty of undead for the characters to fight, though not names dead.  In Ravenloft back in the 2e days the authors really took the time to, pardon the pun, flesh out the monsters.  A wight was not simply a monster from a barrow, it was an ancient warrior that was once a human and some of that human might remain.  Vampires are not just high level threats (they are)  but also characters in their own right.  Blue Rose/True 20 supports this type of play since all monsters are built as characters more or less.

So what is the ultimate goal?
"Defeat evil" is too vague to build a campaign on.  I think the first step is to find out who tried to kill the Hart and find out way the land is creeping into darkness.  These are related of course.  The ultimate goal then is to discover that the Dark Lord Sayvin is not dead (sort of) and behind all of this.  To do this there would need to be a lot of exploring of the lands to gather information.  The heroes would be the lone bringers of light and justice in a world creeping into darkness.  Sounds like it has a cool 70's genre vibe to it.

In Ravenloft there is no chance the heroes could defeat a Dark Lord.  In Black Rose though, I might let them. Or at least Sayvin.  But they can't do it with combat alone, given the feel of Blue Rose, there needs to be something more.  Something that the characters have to do to show growth and ultimate sacrifice for what they believe is right.   Not sure how to do that one yet that doesn't involve railroading the players.

If it works it would make for a great campaign only game, where after defeating the Dark Lord Aldea is pulled back into the light.  I think that is a good ending.  It's not a fairy tale one, the Queen is still a widow and the deaths that happened are just as real as before.

I think one thing is obvious.  I would have to include Strahd.  I would also like to see Azalin, Harkon Lukas and some of the other Dark Lords.  I would avoid the ones that are too far removed from the Quasi- Renaissance Europe.  I would also have to figure out how the weakening of the barriers keeping them in their own lands would work out.  Some of these Dark Lords hate each other more than anything.  That is a good place to put the heroes in between.  Maybe it is the presence of Aldea that is weakening the laws of Raftenloft.  Sayvin did not complete the ritual 100% (and he is still trying) so Aldea was not pulled all the way into Ravenloft.  That has the borders of the lands become weaker and maybe the Dark Lords want to use that as a means out.  Certainly Azalin would.  Strahd is more concerned with finding his Tatyana, so maybe this freedom is something he is only using to get to her.  All the time Sayvin is making attempts on the Queen's life, but only during the night when he is active.

Lots of potential here I think.

I picked up Troll Lords Tainted Lands in hopes that it might give me some ideas.  But they seemed to have taken Ravenloft and ran in the opposite direction than I want to go.  Too bad really.  But I think there are still some ideas I can use here.

Now to find a group that would want to play this.

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.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Black Rose, Part 2

Continuing on one of the things I need to figure out is how Ravenloft and Aldea come together.  This is a two-parter really.  I need to figure out game-wise how the fit; is Aldea pulled into Ravenloft, is Ravenloft slowly seeping into Aldea?  And I need to figure it out story-wise; what event caused this to happen.

To start with I want to go back into Aldea's shadowed past.

Dread Exiles
We have all been told the tale of how the Exarchs of Shadow had been defeated at the hands of the Gods of Light. We were told that they were locked away with their only means of accessing the world was via the Shadowgates or through subtle influences in the world. This is mostly true, but there is much that is unknown. Even in Kern, the greatest scholars of the Lich King had not discovered all of the Exarch's secrets, nor were they willing to give them up so easily.
But it is not the end of their story, but only the beginning.

So I have decided is that the Dark Powers of Ravenloft are the Exarchs of Shadow.
Sure it removes some of the mystery. I have them trapped here, physical forms destroyed, they can only pull in other creatures that have a significant amount of evil/shadow to them.
They are not able to be selective though, nor wish too, so they end up scoping all sorts of innocents in with them.

Their Goal? Escape of course. There are Shadowgates that lead to Ravenloft (often Mist shrouded), but very few that lead out. And even then the Exarchs have an even more difficult time leaving than do the Dark Lords. What is their plan? Use the likes of Strahd and Azalin to replace them in their prison? Or are they experiments on how to escape? Maybe even the Exarchs are no more than spoiled children and are pulling others to share their prison because they can? Who knows. Just because I have ID'ed the Dark Powers doesn't mean I need to detail their motives.

So now that I have established that the Dark Powers are part of Aldea, this opens me up to lot of tinkering. Since this is their "native" land they should be a bit more powerful and that power is translated down to the Dark Lords. Regardless of how Aldea and Ravenloft come together one of the side effects will be that Dark Lords can now leave their realms. They are not as powerful in other Realms and often at the mercy of the other Dark Lords, so even though they can "move about" few of them rarely do.

Now the in-game event that caused this.

The Lady and the Captain
Queen Jaellin in her first five years as Sovereign has become known as Queen Jaellin, The Beloved (3 years before the present day of the Core Book). Her temperament has been easy, her laws just and fair and her rulership everything that Aldisians would want. Though talk began, most likely rumors spread by the agents of Lord Sayvin that the Queen may be unfit to rule since she had not produced an heir to her legacies or even named her Consort. While an heir had no extra claim to the throne, as Sayvin himself could attest, it was considered to be proper behavior. In a dark jest she became known in some circles as “Queen Jaellin, the Unloved”.
The Queen was no fool. Her calm and rational demeanor disarmed most people and lead others to assume she was still a simple girl. Her mind was sharp and she knew of these rumors, the trouble was she was beginning to believe them herself.
During one of her outings to visit the outlying communities, she was joined by her royal guard. The Captain of the Guard, a young dashing rogue of a man that felt his duties to protect the Queen included disobeying her orders. They spend a long trek where they infuriate each other for days until their party is attacked by agents of Lord Sayvin. Her guard defend her heroically, but to no avail. She is though taken by her Captain and they are pursued through out the forest. They fight, fear and eventually come to fall in love. She is brought back safely, to surprise of Lord Sayvin and then to shock of all she names her Captain as her Beloved and Consort. They were happy for many years.
In this romance think Victoria and Albert. The young queen and the dashing prince consort. As their love grew, the land prospered and Sayvin grew darker. In a few years he discovered the means to get what he wanted.

Blood and Roses
Lord Sayvin had made a deal with the Dark Powers based on a scroll he found in Kern. The scroll gave him the means to enchant a crossbow arrow that would kill instantly whomever it struck (and deliver that soul to the Dark Powers) and give Sayvin what he most desired. This is Ravenloft, his displeasure at not being chosen Sovereign has turned into a blinding hate and jealousy.

Sayvin chooses the night of the Queen and her Consort's Anniversary, he crept into their bedchambers and prepared to kill the Queen. As fate would have it he missed the Queen in her lover’s embrace (yeah total symbolism here, but the ultimate horror in Aldea would be the horror of your beloved dying in your arms) and the arrow hit her Captain (yeah…I need to name the guy) instead. Jaellin screamed, Sayvin roared, and the Dark Powers laughed. Jaellin in a fit of insane rage summoned every ounce of power she had as an emerging Adept and as the Sovereign of the Land and struck down Lord Sayvin, blowing his body with blast of pure eldritch power. His body was never found with most claiming he escaped. Most claim that because the alternate choice was their Queen, Jaellin the Beloved, murdered him in a sorcerous rage.

That night the pact formed by Sayvin and the Dark Powers failed to complete. Jaellin was supposed to die but did not. The Dark Powers savored her pain and were allowed to come into the world just very slightly. As his reward, Sayvin was given what he desired. He was made the Dark Lord of Aldea and was cursed to the form of a Shadow.

During the day, when the sun is bright, Jaellin’s ministers rule the land in her name. But at night the land is ruled by Dark Lord Sayvin, only most people do not know this. They only know that the lands are more dangerous and evil seems to have the world in its grip. And the Queen? In the years since the attack she has said little and is rarely seen in court, and never outside the castle. She mourns and it seems the land mourns with her.

Today the Queen is still loved by her people and older residents remember the bright young girl she was and what promise she held for the land. But many feel like she has abandoned her duties and even life itself. Some, though not many but loud enough to be heard, say the Queen is a witch and this current situation is her fault.
There is unease in the land, monsters that were once only found in fairy tales are now found on the roads between towns. Strangers walk the lands now, with odd customs and accents. Once, such people would have been welcomed in Aldea, given a place to sleep in exchange for their stories of other lands. Now people turn their heads and no one is welcomed.

This in and of itself would be enough to get any character invested in the idea that Aldea is a beacon of light and hope motivated to find out what was going on, but this is Ravenloft and I have one more nasty dagger hidden in my sleeve.

The Company of the Hart
To do this I want characters deeply invested in what is going on. This is an "oncoming darkness" tale and things are not going to get better, they are going to get worse. Unless the PCs can do something about it. What can they do? That is the mystery to be solved. In the meantime they are also tasked with ridding the night of all the foul creatures of Shadow now invading the lands. I am imaging a small company of adventurers chosen by destiny to to Aldea's Champions. How? Here comes that dagger.

The characters are thrown together because some are in the Queen's court and others have found the Golden Hart in the woods with a black arrow in it's heart. They bring this to the Queen who immediately recognizes the arrow as of the same kind that killed her Beloved. The first task of the new group is to find the magical Rose that will heal it. After this quest they become an elite group answering only to the Queen and their job is to stop the oncoming darkness.

This allows me the court intrigue that I think/feel will be needed for this game, allow the Heroes to have access to various parts of the country they might need and give them first hand observation to the Queen's depression and the key to unlocking the truth; that this really began with the murder of the Queen's Consort by Lord Sayvin AND the fact that the Queen has withdrawn not just because of her lover's death, but because she herself feels tremendous guilt over using her own power to "kill" Sayvin.

That's where I am at so far.


Hey all.  Updates are going to be slow, I am really, really sick.

I have Part 2 of "Black Rose" ready so maybe I can post that here soon.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Black Rose, Part 1

I had no idea people would like this one so much.  I mean to me it seems a no-brainer.   Let me roll back a bit and talk about why I think so.

I love Ravenloft.  It was *my* world for all of 2nd Ed.  I loved the Gothic horror feel, I loved that there were all these worlds and this was some sort of cosmic dumping ground of evil.  But mostly I loved the atmosphere, there was something about it that was different than all the other AD&D worlds out at the time.  Greyhawk was basically dead, I hated the Forgotten Realms, Planescape was cool but I hate stupid made up slang.
But I had a basic problem with Ravenloft.  A world drowning evil is not always the best one to play in.  Or as I used to say, Ravenloft was great at night, but during the day it was lacking.

Well I put Ravenloft away when I did my great D&D break of the late 90s.  When D&D 3 came out I purchased one of the limited editions Ravenloft core books.  After all it was being done by White Wolf and they know horror.  While it did make me interested in the lands again, the spark was gone.  Besides at this time the Kargatane was breaking up and Ravenloft was not as fun as before.

Then a new game came into my life.  Blue Rose.   In Blue Rose I felt there were a lot of the same things I liked about Ravenloft.  Emphasis on character development and story telling, less on combat.  One by nature the other by choice.  I know a lot of people disliked Blue Rose, but it did give us True 20.  And in True 20 I saw the answer to a lot of the problems I had with Ravenloft.  Ravenloft as an idea was Gothic Horror stapled on to a fantasy action adventure game.  True 20 was systemless.  It was much easier to represent more people with combinations of the Expert, Warrior and Adept classes than the standard D&D ones; or worse the 36 some odd classes we had in the d20 Masque of the Red Death.

Blue Rose also took on some of the same issues that Ravenloft did.  That of being an outsider for one, or working for a cause of light vs. darkness.  People criticized BR's morality, but that is a perfect morality for Romantic Fantasy or Gothic Horror.

In the last couple of years we have seen a surge of books that fall under the term "Urban Fantasy" or "Horror Romance" and even "Chick-Lit".   Typically these books feature a strong willed female protagonist who sometimes makes mistakes but in the end finds her own inner strength.  Sometimes she gets the guy (or girl, or both) all in a world where magic, vampires, werewolves and other horrors are real.  Maybe she is even one of those horrors herself.  Plus many of the authors of those early Ravenloft novels are now "names" in this market such as Elaine Bergstrom, Christie Golden, P. N. Elrod and Laurell K. Hamilton.  Modern urban gothic fantasy is in Ravenloft's DNA.   Blue Rose as a concept supports this type of roleplaying very well.

So I sat down with my Blue Rose book and my d20 Ravenloft book and I started to notice too all sorts of places where they were the same.  So I had this idea, blasphemous as it sounds, to mix in Ravenloft with Blue Rose. I wanted to cast a shadow of Aldea, something is not right any longer. The Queen still holds court, lovers still walk hand in hand, and there are still adventures to be had.   But I had questions I needed to answer. Why has Aldea and Ravenloft "merged"? Or were they always together?
If they merged what was the catalyst? Why now?
What is the effect on the populace with this new influx of evil and dread?

One of the things I have wanted to do is bring Ravenloft out of "mists" and into a real world. Yeah I know that looses someof what makes Ravenloft unique, but I also like the idea of "horror is everywhere" and not needing to go someplace remote to find it.
By bringing Aldea and Ravenloft together I can have "days" and "nights" covered.  Aldea becomes a near perfect landscape with some deep seated malaise over it.  A dark cloud on the horizon.  Or as I call it in my games, "the oncoming darkness"

Here are my first thoughts.

The Races and other Groups
Humans are humans and remain untouched.

I plan to keep Sea Folk for now, but given my Lovecraftian background I will certainly introduce some dark spawn that plauges them. Something like the Shadows out Innsmouth or something.

Night People are the easiest to deal with since their creation is basically to fill that game playing niche of half-orcs. But they also serve other purposes as well, as a constant reminder of the dangers of dark magics and in the case of good and noble Night People, to remind the players and characters that you cannot judge a person by their birth. In all these regards they are nearly identical to the Ravenloft Calibans.

Both games describe these ersatz Half-Orcs much in the same manner. They are products of dark sorcery; they are feared, hulking brutes. I will use the Night People racial modifiers from the BR Core and the backgrounds of both races into one since there is no conflict between them.

Roamers will be replaced by the Vistani from Ravenloft. There is just so much information on the Vistani that it makes sense to use them in place of the Roamers. I will keep the Roamer name, that is what native Aldeans still call them. I will still use most of the information on Roamers from the World of Aldea book, in particular the sayings. Where they contradict is simple. The Vistani are a large group with many Tasques, something that is true for one in not true for the other. Or true depending on where they are. Or, let’s face it, neither group is very forthcoming with information to the giorgios. I have to decide whether or not to use the “Half-Vistani” race. In the Vistani lore there is ample evidence that these children are different than their full blooded cousins. And not using them robs me of a plot device where a young half-blooded Vistani goes on an epic quest to discover “her father’s people” and ends up discovering herself instead. Plus I love the Tarot work on backgrounds. So I will see if it can be adapted to use the Tarokka deck. Maybe when adventures get ready to go on their first epic quests a Vistani vardo comes to town and reads their fortunes to them (using the Ravenloft rules) and then shows them their character (Blue Rose rules).

Vata are still more or less Elves, or more to the point, the Sidhe of Aldea. Ravenloft has elves and half elves, but not a lot of them. My solution then is to go with Blue Roses’ idea and have all the Elves (Sidhe, Vata) be extinct. I have not decided with domains to pull in, but I have figured out that the Ravenloft Domain of Sithicus was the last Vata/Elf country before they were destroyed. Now it is a sad, haunted land.
I might remove the Vata’an and Vata’sha as races and instead use a feat to represent “Vata Touched”. Still thinking about that one really.

Dwarves, Halflings and Gnomes exist as rumors or fairy tales only. They might have existed somewhere in the past, but no longer.

More on the lands and bringing these worlds together later.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Unfinished topics/projects

I have a 4Gig USB drive I carry around with me.  It is full of half finished projects that I really need to get done.

Here is what is on the far back burners:

Got this on New Year's and have not done anything with it since.  It looks great and I follow a bunch of BASH related blogs and newsgroups, but to date I have stated up one character.

Secret Sci-Fi Project
I am holding on to the name of this one.  But the idea struck me while clearing snow off of my drive for like the 12,000 time this winter.  I went from making it's own system (which I plan on using somewhere else now) to thinking I should just use the open Traveller stuff.  Seems fitting to me anyway since Traveller was my first Sci-Fi RPG.

Black Rose
A Blue Rose / Ravenloft crossover.  Ravenloft I think works much better under the True 20 system than the d20 one for a variety of reasons.  Blue Rose is an under-appreciated game that I think shares a lot in common with the feel of Ravenloft.   Together they are greater than the sum of their parts.

These are closer to the front:

Dinosauria! for Ghosts of Albion
An Intro adventure for Ghosts of Albion that I'll be running at Gen Con.  Need to get Act 2 finished.

Obsession for Ghosts of Albion
A more experienced adventure for Ghosts of Albion.  Done, just need to go back and tweak a section or two.

Eriú - Celtic Role Playing
Started out as Unisystem, then True 20, now using Spellcraft and Swordplay, which I think is the best fit for it.  Adventure not just in the Celtic age, but Ireland in particular.

And on the front burners:

Eldritch Witchery
Witch supplement for Spellcraft and Swordplay.

Vampire Queen
An adventure for Spellcraft and Swordplay.

OGL/Savage Worlds Project
Working on something for hire here.  Has not been mentioned yet so I don't want to do that here.

Plus some other projects I can't even talk about yet.

Various Blog Posts:
I'd like to post a "follow-up" to some of the comments I have gotten over the last few weeks.  You took the time to respond so I feel I should take the time to answer questions and the like.

I still have stats I want to do for teenage Zantanna, the girls from Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series and even delve into some of my favorite Hammer films.

I guess what I need to do is prioritize these and then just get them all done.