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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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OP is dead, long live OP!

Looking to polish our combat mechancs from last thread, and come up with some class abilities.

This is a continuation of a /tg/ custom horror setting + system, based in a maddening infinite maze. Magic and technology fluctuate with the weirdness of the maze, and the insanity of the players (called Duress).


They are also archived at http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.htmlunder the tag "Warren's Folly".

Mega Link (contains current PDF, some supplemental material from previous OP's, and the source files):
Our PDF is also out of date, and needs some major updating.
File: 1493670004164.pdf (2.85 MB, PDF)
2.85 MB
2.85 MB PDF
Current PDF

Link to last thread

Weapon categories

Weapon examples

Combat Feats (called Knacks)
To start discussion, what else needs to be worked on?

I feel like we have enough to play a very basic game of this. Though at session 1, it seems like there is very little difference between the classes.

Should we flesh out Class abilities and progression?
Is certain gear class locked?
Does each class start with different equipment?
I think the only gear we need to class mandate is things that relate to class abilities.
Warrior's Cursed armor
Blightmages alchemy/medical supplies
Resonance 'focus' or ritual gear for the haunted
Mazeborn kinda ARE their own equipment
Don't really know what the Faithful do, so no comment.

We definitely need to flesh out the classes more. Other than Mazeborn, we really only have concepts to work with.
On the note of the mazeborn, something I've been having trouble with:
How do you make a skill class in a system without defined skills?
Remember that as cartographers (and prisoners) you are credited in the beginning for starting gear.
A unified survival/starting kit seems like a good idea, with some class specific items.
A small additional budget and a list of minor items would also be good.

Trying out my hand at some level 1 abilities.

>Wandering Warrior
Level 1: Targeted Strike
The Wandering Warrior analyzes his foe, striking strategically and with purpose.
When making a non magical attack, but before rolling to hit, the Wandering Warrior can aim for a vital spot to gain an extra effect at the expense of a lower chance to hit, such as striking a limb to disarm. To use this ability, the Wandering Warrior must first pass a Duress test.

Level 1: Share the strain
Any time an Ally takes any Duress damage within your line of sight, you may have them instead take halve that damage, rounded up. You take the remaining Duress damage.

Level 1: Unstable Concoction
Cobbling together an admixture of unstable reagents, the Blightmage produces
a makeshift explosive.
With the appropriate reagents, make a roll under check against Lore x 3
Fail: no effect, 30% chance of exploding instantly for 1d8 damage in a 5ft area.
Pass: Can be later thrown for 1d8 damage in a 5ft area
Pass by 10: Can be later thrown for 2d8 damage in a 5ft area.
Pass by 20: Can be later thrown for 3d8 damage in a 5ft area.

>The First
Level 1: Survival Expertise
Choose a tool from the following list to gain Expertise in. You must currently have that tool in your inventory. You subtract 10 from any roll you make with that tool for any non-combat purpose.
Flint and Steel
Carving Knife
Cooking Utensils
Fishing Rod

>The Haunted
Level 1: Read the Bones
The Haunted consults the spirits of the maze.
The GM rolls a 1d4 in secret.
1: The bones point the Spirit-talker
down a false path, distancing them from their goal or bringing them to danger.
2: Spirits of the dead hijack the omens,
guiding the Spirit-talker to something or someone
related to their demise.
3: The Maze itself fouls the omens,
pointing the Spirit-talker to a place of power, for
good or ill.
4: The bones point the Spirit-talker to
their intended goal.
This post gives an idea of how a wandering warrior starts at lvl1. But another anon commented on it by saying that warriors shouldn't be taking generic 5e Fighting Styles because then it becomes 'a straight port from 5e'. He suggested instead that the warrior class begins with 1 or 2 more fighting knacks to give a sense of specialization in their fighting style without calling it 'Fighting Style'.
If the wandering warrior begins with their already enchanted armor then that implies they've been into the maze and have attuned magical armor. Or will they go into the first session with mundane armor and buy 'cursed' armor after enough encounters.
Another route for armor gain is receiving mundane armor in their starting equipment and over time their regular armor will 'soak up' the maze essence, gaining enchantments. If we do this option we will have to come up with a reason that other classes don't have enchantment riddled armor by the end of the 3rd encounter.

Pic related are wandering warriors completely consumed by their armor with overflowing duress. These could be the hired muscle of a maze-maddened blightmage so he can capture people and strip their flesh and bone to make arcane focuses and gather ingredients for experimenting. A necklace of teeth (for a damage-reducing spell) or bone-dice (for that divining spell the haunted has). The above is just an encounter idea which was fed by the image.
Maybe the ability to open up mundane equipment to the suggestion of the maze is the Wandering Warriors ability?

instead of my previous post >>53106187
the Wandering Warrior's level 1 ability can look more like
>Acceptance of Influence:
Upon gaining this ability, choose a single weapon or armament currently in your possession. As your Duress raises, so too does the power of this piece of equipment.
(Up to GM's discretion, pro's and con's should ideally reflect character's experience in the maze and personality)

So if you have a character obsessed with wealth, maybe the blade slowly grows precious gems embedded in the hilt that no matter what you try, are unable to be taken from their iron prison. For some reason, the gem's seem to attract attention, from both friendly and antagonistic sources.
This still carries the problem of "How do these people do anything that is even slightly magical before their first encounter". I agree with the lvl1 ability because its a good way to go about it, but I'm not sure how were going to explain how a mundane person can enter the maze and already have a slight amount of magic on their hands. This means that the players most likely won't be playing as newly entered convicts who have no idea what the maze is, but instead, they will be denizens of the maze who have spent at least a year or two in there to develop their starting class abilities.

A way to go about this is the PC's can have been in the maze for differing amounts of time. The wandering warrior glutton might have been in here for 1 month before the start of the campaign but the Haunted Slugmage will have been in there for at least a year in relative isolation to be turned into a slugman and use Haunted magic.
>He was lost in the maze with no food and no weapon for a week and in that time the maze transformed him into the hulking mass of muscle and fat that makes up a glutton and without a weapon his armor grew spikes or thicker ridges to keep him alive.
Now the PC has a reason to have the "Acceptance of Influence" ability because he has officially been tainted by his isolation in the maze and can begin his progression onto the path of the wandering warrior.

Another way to go about it is that the PC was a terrible person on the surface and his crimes put him on deathrow, he was sentenced to the maze and arrives there at the start of the campaign. A possible reason that he will have the "Acceptance of Influence" ability is because his toxic personality is given a terrible effect in the maze, where it can seep into the weapons and armor he wields.
Bumping, I'll be back in 9 hours keep the thread alive.
If the Haunted is meant to have some petmaster aspec to it, how about the ability to give a murderous spirit a physical form? If the Haunted fails to banish the spirit afte the combat ends, said spirit will turn on the party.
Meant to write aspect.
We really have only a rough idea on the Haunted. It sounds cool, see if you can flesh it out.

Our "canon" definition of a Haunted so far:
>Works with the spirit(s) of the Maze for guidance and/or power
>Charm as primary ability
As long as it fits into that frame. go for it. Other ideas so far have been:
>Horror binder/controller/channeler
>Resonance based (bell, drums and tuning forks)
>Tribal ritualistic, Shamanistic
>Some underlying, instinctual connection to the maze
>"Listener" to the maze's whispers

Feel free to spitball some concrete ideas from this, or make up your own.
>make post
>Connection error.

Okay. It's not as though I just wrote some stuff up or anything.
Wow seriously? Now it's fine to post? I apparently need to change a lot of this post. Try to experiment.
Ability: Call Murderer
Requires 51-100 Duress, Duress determines the Murderer type (51-70, 71-90 and 91-100 respectively)
The Soulbinder calls upon a murderous spirit to manifest physically within the maze, giving the Soulbinder a temporary ally. The Soulbinder's duress level determines the type of Murderer that will be summoned, the summoned Murderer being significantly more powerful if the Soulbinder's duress is higher than 71 or 91. After combat end, the Soulbinder must make a Will rolls (or two or three depending on the Murderer type) in order to banish the spirit before it turns on the Soulbinder. If the Soulbinder fails the roll, the summoned Murderer will attack the players.
Not sure how to stat the three distinct murderer types, but I could come up with their names.

>Petty Murderer
Someone who killed few people. Their name MIGHT show up in a book about notable serial killers, if only as a footnote.
>Known Murderer
This fella has killed plenty, and people are likely to have heard of their name at some point. Their name WILL be in a book about notable serial killers.
>Legendary Murderer
Jack the Ripper equivalent. Entire folklores and legends are formed about this figure. You may want to pray that the party Soulbinder manages to successfully banish them if they're summoned.

Bonus idea: Murderers summoned by this ability can be found wandering the maze, having reigned victorious over whoever summoned them. They're identificable by their solid spirit bodies. One of the more mundane enemies down there, but monsters still.
Yeah, happened to me for a while too.

This sounds like a fun idea. A few questions to clarify/provoke:

Does it NEED to be a murderer? Maybe it always summons fighting spirits, but they get more violent as Duress/power increases. Soldier/Guard->(Bounty) Hunter->Psycho Murderer. Stronger Summons are more powerful, but also volatile.

Are the spirits tangible? Physical? do they give and take damage, or simply exert their spectral will? How do thy generally behave in combat?

Does the Haunted concentrate on the summon (trying to maintain the summoning or keep control perhaps), or simply open the gate and let the spirit loose? How, if at all, does the Soulbinder actively use their summon?

How about Charm to appease/banish the spirit, instead of Will? just playing to class strengths.

If things go badly with the spirit,how does the party deal with it? Fight a ghost to the death? Receive 'haunting' penalties? Continue attempting to banish it?

Just want to clarify that I'm trying to contribute, not critique, I'm happy to have the input, and I like how its shaping up.

Last note sounds fun. Maybe summoned spirits can wrestle for control of the Soulbinder's body. Killing the Soulbinder (or whatever being 'defeated' by the spirit looks like) can result in a takeover, which will require serious healing.
Thanks for the critique, I sincerely appreciate it. I'd come up with a revision based on your comments, but it's late here and I need to sleep. I can say that I am fine with it simply being fighitng spirits in general, even if I will have to come up with an explanation for the spirit turning on the summoner at the combat end, but that's something I will have to think about later.
Wow, I was in the first three threads and didn't realize this was still going. I gotta go so I can't contribute, but I want to see how this turns out. Keep getting shit done!
bumping. Pic related could be a shantytown that is deeper than warrens gate but not too deep.
Another idea is using an instrument to bind the will of a horror to the soul binder. We talked about having an instrument as a tool that they can use the binding spell through and an interesting idea is that they cast with a severe penalty if they do it without an instrument, drums, bells, flute etc.

If the party us assailed by spirits this is an opportunity for the binder to act as a hard counter to the threat, able to shackle most of the spirits immidiatly and turn them on the remaining. They could also have a healing spell where they summon a spirit, bind it and strip it's energy to heal an ally or them self, this will heal depending on the strength of the summoned spirit and will cause duress gain.
Haunted starts with and/or befriends a small neutral horror or maze-beast like the ones mentioned in the 2nd thread.

>Scribe spider
Chews and makes nests out of paper, ejects ink-glue instead of webs. Cartographers' best and worst friends.

>Olm pupae
They're harmless until they grow up, and apparently are alchemically useful. Just keep away from their mothers.

>Chatter boxes (I imagine it's a bloated 4-legged creature that sits on your shoulder keeping a eye out and listening to you)
All eyes and ears, these mimicking critters are great for remembering shopping lists and taking notes, assuming that they don't drive you insane with the occasional eldritch soliloquy.

>Pet rock
Yes, i know it's just a rock, but I found it "out there" and I swear it was moving. And it's food bowl is always empty, so...
This could also be changed into a small 4 legged rock-animal

Feeding off of mushrooms, these large grubs can provide decent lighting if kept properly fed. Although especially bright in coccon form, the adult moths may prove difficult to keep an eye on.

>Rag Swallow / Scrap Parakeet
maybe a small bird made of paper scraps, and everytime the body is destroyed the Haunted captures the spirit and makes the bird a new body out of paper scraps.
Ability name: Spirit Ally
Requires 51-100 Duress, Duress determines the Spirit Ally type (51-70, 71-90 and 91-100 respectively)
The Soulbinder calls upon a fighting spirit to manifest physically within the maze, giving the Soulbinder a temporary ally. The fighting spirit is twisted into a tangible form within the maze, making them susceptible to physical wounds in return for the ability to properly attack its enemies.

The Soulbinder's duress level determines the type of Spirit Ally that will be summoned, the summoned Spirit Ally being significantly more powerful if the Soulbinder's duress is higher than 71 or 91, but more volatile. The Spirit Ally is uncontrollable, though the Soulbinder may attempt to influence the Spirit Ally through Charm checks.

After combat end, the GM rolls to determine if the Spirit Ally departs peacefully, requiring a higher roll depending on the Spirit Ally's type. If the Spirit Ally does not depart, it will turn on the Soulbinder and their allies in an effort to claim the Soulbinder's body. In this case, the Soulbinder may make a Charm roll (two or three if the Spirit Ally type is Hunter or Murderer respectively) every combat round to attempt to banish the Spirit Ally. A failed banish attempt will cause duress. It can be banished through combat however.

I deliberately avoided numbers outside of duress because I can't into balance. All I am doing is coming up with a concept that I hope can make it into the list of abilities.
I like this idea mainly because it is a situational hard counter, that while it makes an encounter significantly easier it has a significant cost and can possibly fail.
This fits my vision for Warren's Folly being lethal but manageable when you have all of your party as different Cartographers will be able to effectively diminish the risk of different encounters with their skill set. However, as you loose Cartographers to the Maze and/or go farther into the Maze it gets significantly more dangerous.
Christ, I compleately forgot that I wrote these. I was half joking at the time, but it seems like it could work. Let the spirit binder use them as familiars or scouts with some of it's abilities.

We probably have enough stuff to adopt these into creatures by now:

Chatter boxes could be their own thing, or the Mimicriers from the archives

Pet rocks could be small chorugs, or a subspecies, which are especially careful.

Rag swallow sounds awesome (not mine, I think). Creative, unique and useful. Keep away from scribe spiders.
Trips and dubs, looks like the Haunted get pets.

Soulbinders as a counter to spirits sounds like a good idea.

It also seems like the Haunted could have a necromancer/monster-controller ability or two.

Just keep in mind that magic is dangerous, and always comes with a cost.
Maybe they can even use souls of others as spell components, to prevent the spells taking from themselves directly.

This one is a bit complicated, but bear with me: Tying a few things together over the last threads, what if Bells are used to bind and store spirits as spells? Bells invoke power from the maze when rung, but still must pay the price of the nearest soul. If the spirit binder puts souls into the bell, however, it uses them as fuel for their abilities. They can bind spirits or horrors which have been defeated, or use a ritual to try and call their own spirits (Time consuming, but reliable). Can people work as spell-fuel? Sure, if you can live with that. Charm checks on defeated creatures, with an actual mechanic for binding active spirits as combat.

Also, whisps are a thing: warm spirits which offer relief, but also siphon the souls of the weary. Binders can probably specifically summon them for less harmful spells.
I like the idea of giving the Haunted familiars. It will make it sadder when the familiars are eaten horribly by some horror or worse.
I would say that it requires a certain amount of "life essence" or whatever and the amount you get from a soul depends upon the creature it was from, and you can use your own "life essence" to cast spells, this has severe side effects however.
Kinship - Haunted ability

You use a ritual to reach out to the spirits of the maze, and establish a connection with a small, non-horror creature. You establish a spiritual bond with this creature, who seeks you out over the course of a rest if possible, then becoming your kin-beast. Your mental connection allows rough understanding and communication between you, and the creature regards your allies as friendly. You always have a rough idea of what direction, and how far away you are from eachother, as well as your general emotional state. Spending more than a day apart will sever this bond, although it can be extended by targeting the same creature with the ritual. This creature is docile to you, and will follow and listen to you as best it can due to your bond, but will otherwise behave as normal for that creature. [rules for combat and action economy to be determined]

Your bond is powerful, and causes you to share both power and pain. Your Kin-beast gains temp-hp equal to your Charm modifier [plus your class level?]. Anytime that one of your recieves healing, the other heals for half that amount, but your companion does not recieve its own benefits from resting, only yours. You may take half of the damage your creature would take to protect it. If your creature dies, you gain duress equal to its total base hp, and lose half that amount in health points.
Candidates for kin-beasts.

Kinship abilities:
>Through your eyes
Extend your spirit through your companion: use as a scout or mid range communication.

You may channel your powers, and cast an ability through your creature. You take all penalties as normal, and your creature takes half of those penalties.

>Greater bond - Very high level
Allow your kin-beast to possess a horror (with a contest) once a day, re-checked every minute. Failing knocks-out your companion, and you gain 2d6 duress.
Might be redundant with other, controlling abilities.
Maybe sort of a point-cost system? You can create your own points equal to [level+charm mod] during a rest, and gain it by binding spirits, otherwise spend HP points.
Haunted abilities could then have a cost associated with their powers.
This could also work as a "companion spirit", which can hop from body to body.
>Can upgrade by body-snatching
>Has a better reason to scale with PC
>Works more organically with abilities
>More directly spiritual

>Reduces emotional impact or consequences of loss
>DM now has control over companion choices
>Haunted goes full-on pokemon trainer to find the best creature
>Will act less like a cute pet. Intelligence level?

I kinda talked myself out of it, but the option is there.
Yes pretty much exactly what I was thinking of.
I like this a lot, I'd like a few more abilities though.
Cool, we can try and throw point costs into new ideas. One thing is that we can't have healing spells with hp costs. Limited time temp hp works, but not "costs 2hp: gain 2d4 hp." Perhaps some abilities can only work with points, while others can (or must) also use hp.

I don't know how central the Kinship should be to the class, so I didn't want to go overboard. I'll type up anymore ideas I have, and feel free to do the same.

Maybe that's our High/Low duress split: low duress stuff is closer to "superstitious" than actually magical: Animal affiliation, weird divining rituals, and musical based tools to 'commune' with the maze.

And then High duress abilities are actual ghost using, body snatching, horror binding mystical powers.
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WHAT IS THE AVERAGE LEVEL OF LITERACY IN THIS SETTING?(writing letters or complex documents)


HOW COMMON ARE HIGHLY EDUCATED PEOPLE?(classical educations in sciences or philosophy or lawyers or more advanced mathematics)

THERE ARE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE DEEPS, WHO RUNS THEM?(names, not just official titles)

ARE THERE ANY HEROIC CHARACTERS?(many settings fail to have heroes to measure the PCs against or set a benchmark)

WHAT BOOGEYMEN DO PARENTS SCARE THEIR CHILDREN WITH?(myths, legends, and tall tales make a setting feel more organic)

DO ANY OF THE FACTIONS HAVE THEIR OWN SYMBOLS YET?(people love having a symbol to put on banners or tattoo on themselves)

HOW DO MEMBERS OF VILLAGES PREVENT GENETIC INBREEDING?(cause in a closed village there is only so long you can go before you're dating a cousin)

WHAT IS THE PREVALENCE OF EXPOSED FLOWING WATER SOURCES?(if there is such a thing as river trade this makes some things easier.)
Around 50/50 for true literacy, but ~70% can at least have a functional grasp. Plays into...
The two major groups of population are entrepreneurs and researchers, and the desperate commoners and prisoners. There's probably a pretty clear class divide, although the limited resources of the maze don't allow it to be expressed so blatantly. Scientific people are either well funded, or simply stuck, so they have an interest in continuing their work; educational apprenticeships are common, and take the place of higher level school systems. The Ministry has also set up some more strict standards, such as examinations for lisences and diplomas. Most highly educated people belong to the factions, especially the governmental ones. To encourage this, basic education courses are offered, even if they aren't taken up by everyone. As a bumbling administration, the Ministry also fails to realize why literacy levels aren't higher, or the the fact that most people rank the importance of survival over education.
>Symbol languages
Maze runes. Under constant research, but few if any patterns have been found. Some people can't even agree on what they look like, even when staring at the same patterns or symbols, let alone figure out what the hell it means. You'd need to be crazy to really understand any of it, incidentally. It isn't so much 'read' as 'carves information into the brains of those who try to decipher it'.
Scout marks. Probably similar to hobo scrawl, these marks are left as unnofficial guides and sign posts throughout the deep, or even put onto maps themselves. Most are written for the individual who wrote it, not for any communal purpose, so there is no actual unified definition.

>Higher-ups names
I don't wanna get into specifics, that seems limiting DM's. I'd prefer to just work out organization structures and leave the name slots blank. More on this later.
No specifics yet, other than a very loose focus on 8's. Note that this will not be said anywhere, simply shown in the pictures.
The ministry has an octagon theme, or squares in squares.
>Radiant March is an old brass sun, made of 16 wavy rays, alternating big and small, which gently spiral into the center, bound by a thin ring at 1/3rd the diameter.
WISE is some sort of oroborous
Other ideas could be: celtic knot, spiders, octopus/squid. I'll look more into this later.

Seems like at least one place should feature it. New prisoners are always looking to settle outside of the Gate, so that could explain new blood flowing into distant settlements. Crowded, shitty slums might also encourage people to leave the main settlement. If it was perfect, why would anyone go into the dark scary abyss?

>Flowing Water
Most common phrase heard in the Folly: "Don't drink the water. Just... Don't." Local water needs to be heavily treated, or (as is mostly done) mixed with strong alcohol to purify it. The alcohol business is booming, and not just for the gift of denial that drunkeness brings.
There are some water ways, which may even be safe, very near the surface. Any other full settlements will be connected to the Gate by rivers or clear paths. A waterfall-city might also be fun. Perhaps surface water has a repelling effect against horrors. It doesn't stay 'surface water' for long though, and once it reaches The Lake.... Don't drink the water. Or go in it. Or look too closely into it.
Real people, or folk heroes? I suppose both. It should be difficult to glean clear information from the tales of the maze. Survivors, settlers, hunters and outlaws are the big draws. Let's mix this with...

The underground is mainly this. The weirdness of the place means that there is more tale than truth, and this should be incorporated into the rumor system. In theory, EVERYTHING that happens in the maze is a boogyman-myth, either experienced and spread, or viewed through a nightmare. We can come up with more that aren't real, to throw players off, just don't waste any good material.

The goal is to have enough info that players have an overall idea of the world, but not make it clear enough that they're ever sure what's real and what's made up. I'd really like to see the rumor system worked out next.
I like this a lot.
I would like Warren's Folly being the waterfall city. Also have an outline of the founding of Warren's Folly.
The Maze was found by an expedition to find new and exciting lands or whatever. They found the area that is now known as Warren's Folly by following a large river downstream. At one point the river seemed to disappear entirely which greatly confused the expedition. Eventually they realized the ground was hollow and some people fell in and found that an invisible barrier prevented them from getting back to the surface (I think this is canon), however their gear was uneffected by the phenomenon so the rest of the expedition gave them some food and supplies and went back to report their findings and get approval for a proper study of the area in question along with the ability to create a settlement in the strange land beneath the surface. The rest as they say is history.
I was always concerned with the logistics of water in WF and the idea of waterfall city will certainly fix it.
>But this slightly removes from the original theme of WF (I don't really have a problem with that but the final say would come from a consensus in the thread)
This invisible barrier thing isn't canon, but what is canon is the concept of dependence on the maze. This is when a person spends too long inside the maze and is severely affected by maze magic. Gluttons, Slugmen, Mazefolk and Beastmen are the result of human exposure to the maze. The original canon from the 2nd thread said this;
>Warren's Folly, named for the famous Duke Warren who first rediscovered how to travel below. And how great a folly it was.
The initial venture into the maze could be that Duke Warren went straight into WF with his explorer's party and they quickly discovered a few low-level horrors or maybe a 'Haunted-Mazefolk'. They then found a rare mineral after exploring / trading surface goods with the Mazefolk who provided them with a maze-metal dagger/artefact which absolutely blew the minds of Duke Warren and his exploring party "because they've never experienced duress before"
They went back to the surface and received funding for more and more parties to go down. Then they realized they grew sickly when on the surface and eventually couldn't live outside of the maze but it was too profitable to abandon it so they pulled an early-australia and sent the convicts in to do the footwork. This WF was cemented into history.
To add more canon info from the 2nd or 3rd thread.

>I'd like some clarification as far a surface-underground interaction. Are they completely separate? Is there travel/trade between the two? Is the underground largely self-sufficient, or are resources and people constantly sent down?

>I think trade between them would make sense. After all, there's valuable and/or exotic items down in the underground that simply isn't available in the surface world, even if a number of these items can be severely dangerous.

>I imagine somewhat separate, like a colony. One of the major factions is the Maze Ministry which is connected to the surface. I assume that they use some system to transport artifacts and unique goods from below in exchange for supplies and other things that one simply cant find in The Folley.

>Warren's discovery was first hailed as a new world, and droves of colonists and settlers rushed to take advantage of the new opportunities. Over time, as populations spread and explorations expanded, the horrible nature of the underground was revealed. To make matter ls worse, residents found themselves changed and were unable to survive leaving the caverns. Now, contact between the surface and the "Folly" are limited to necessities, carefully controlled trades, and the exiling of criminals.
Basically Grimdark Australia.
OK, I wasn't sure about that part. However, I would like someone to writefag the tale of how Warren's Folly came to be.
Good to know.
Quick reminder that Warren's Folly is the name of the entire underground, and is likely a colloquial or derivative name. The casual name of explorers (or us) is The Maze. We might actually want a more official sounding name for use by the Ministry and other official references.

Benefits of the waterfall for the City of Warren's Gate:
>Clean drinking water, and possible plumbing in general
>Basic hydro-power. Maybe not hydro-electric, but certainly industrial use
>Giant Transportation platforms and Gate itself now have a source of power
>Rivers formed by water can be used for transportation, and guidance in the more settled areas.
>Natural defense, if Horrors dislike large bodies of surface water.
>Helps give the city some interesting flavor

Not an invisible barrier, but some addictive-dependent quality of the underground prevents people from leaving easily. The main offered idea was that underground food, exclusively growable and needed to survive, can kill if you aren't very carefully weaned off of it, and importing it to the surface is very expensive. Inspirations drawn from Hades' Underworld fruits, and Dune's spice.

And yes, Grimdark Australia is quickly becoming our best summary.
I though that Warren's Folly was the name of the setting as well as an informal name for the City of Warren's Gate and the surrounding area where crops are grown, beer is made and other stuff like that happen. This could be expanded upon by being the area where water stays like it is on the surface and makes it safe, well as safe as you can be in the Maze.
Here's our next project: Rumor system.

Tales, truths, places, stories and plot hooks. Any info that you want the players to have, or want to fill out the world with, can be written here.

Ideally, we can have a chart which is rolled on, and into which DM's can splice their own information as desired.
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seems high considering the number of nearly isolated locations.
>the fact that most people rank the importance of survival over education.
kind of supports this, unless it's been less than a generation or two since people moved in. if there is nothing to read and nobody to write too, then written language tends to suffer.
>penal colony
criminals may be clever, but they aren't particularly smart

>there is not short-hand

>higher ups
a good DM can work around this or change it
a BAD DM like me needs this to speed up the planning processes.

>water is near universally bad
this raises SO MANY problems, does it meant that every village needs a big filter-barrel next to the well where you filter your water before you bother taking the bucket home? otherwise, everyone would die from drinking bad water. so is it a warren job in every village to maintain the filters?

are there cases of this in other games that we can use?
Warren's Folly is the name of the setting, and the unofficial name by which the people refer to it. Beyond that, there hasn't been any discussion around other names.

The surface probably refers to the underground as "The Provincial Commonwealth of the Warren's Territory, and the Continuing Deeper Expanse", which is as bumblingly bureaucratic a name as I could think of.
>nothing to read and nobody to write to
Cartographers and other people record detailed information about the Maze and everything in it so WISE runs something to educate all child and teach new comers that want/have to explore the Maze to read and write because if they aren't literate they can't be Cartographers.
>this raises SO MANY problems
You don't drink water in Warren's Gate, you drink beer, because if water stays still for to long it gets tainted by the Maze the only reason why the Folly is safe-ish is because water is constantly flowing from the surface.
The official name that the surface people call it should be "The Provincial Commonwealth of Warren's Territory, and the Continuing Deeper Expanse" because Warren is/was a person, but I do like the name.
I googled literacy in 1800's England, it was ~50%. Between the density of researchers, and the fact that cartographers need to be literate to work, I imagine there is some system in place to pump those numbers.

Regarding higher ups, I am actually going to take a stance against names. Positions, certainly, but once you put specifics like names in, it goes from "open variable setting" to "campaign". Established ranks and structures, certainly, but I'd stop at a few historical names.

Water works like the food. Adverse effects over time, and harsh withdrawl effects. Ways to boil, filter, treat or purify water should be common, as well as a large amount of cut alcoholic beverages. Small, scattered sources of water stream in from the surface, but it becomes more and more harmful the deeper into the maze you descend.

I agree with your take on it.

One question (although either is fine):
Is it named after Warren, as the discoverer, or is it actually his territory? "Of the Warren's" implies named after him, while "Of Warren's" implies that he actually owns it.
Also, "Deeper Reaches" rolls of the tongue a bit better, but an obtrusive name might be intentional.
I'd say that he both discovered it and it became his territory so either would be appropriate one being a common misnomer, and I think that an obtrusive name would be intentional.
What would we like to see more of? What needs to be worked on next? Give me an idea or a starting point, and I'll see what I can come up with.
We need a larger list of knacks that characters will select upon leveling up, and we need to start making the crunch for some class abilities from lvl1 to lvl5
Knacks, we definitely need more knacks as there should be a massive amount of them.
We should specify the level system first, for example how powerful gaining a level is.
Let's work out a level system first, then.
How many levels, and how powerful is someone at max level? Also, what about a small hp increase each level. Like, 1 point. I say lets start with 10 levels. We can adjust from there.
How many knacks per level? How many to start with? Do knacks have categories? Class specific knacks? Pre-requisite knacks?

As the guys who did combat knacks and the mutations, I'll worry about spacing them out across multiple knacks and levels once we have more of a base to work with.
Also, we don't need specifics or numbers, but what Kinds of knacks should we have? Stat buffs? Skill boosts?
Fill in the blanks:
At level ______, a pc should be powerful enough to kill a ______.
At level ______, a pc should be able to survive (a) _____.

What are things that are difficult or impossible to do at level 1, but do-able at level 10 regularly?

If we have a beginning and an end point, working out the middle is easy.
At what, if anything, do ability scores cap? 30?
At lvl 1 a PC can singlehandedly kill a carrion crow, but in a 2v1 they have a 90% chance to die.

lvl 5 is a PC surviving an ambush from 2 relatively strong carrion crows or taking out 3 on open ground.

lvl 10 is a PC surviving an ambush from 3 relatively strong carrion crows or taking out a group of 5 on open ground

if they cap at 30 then the blightmage can have 30x4 - 2x12 will which causes 108 constant duress so i think they should cap out at 26 to be as safe as possible. (can be changed after playtesting is done)
Rumour gathering is obviously based on charm, maybe with a knack or two that give a different or better way to do it.
Should it be a simple pass/fail or a degree of success roll?

For example, the better you roll, the juicier rumor you get? We've already established that beating your target on a roll by 20 or under is a critical success. So maybe a critical success determines that it's of some value to your immediate situation?
Base ability scores should have a maximum of 30, but can be increased beyond that with temporary modifiers.
I think the carrion crow comparison is apt for a single Cartographer, however, I think there should be some sort of group power level as well.
I believe that passive maximum duress has a cap of 80.
>based on charm with some knacks that effect it
I am in complete agreement with this and it should be a degree of success roll with better rolls giving you more pertinent information and worse ones giving you somewhat useless information.
>The estimates I've been giving for level strength are for groups of 4/5.
A group of lvl1 PCs can kill an equal number of carrion crows with a possible casualty

lvl 5 PCs can survive an ambush by a group of relatively strong carrion crows with only 1 or 2 PC casualties

lvl10 PCs should have the firepower and durability to kill a corpse giant (not titan) in a planned ambush with only 1 casualty.

lvl10 PCs should have the ability to kill a corpse titan with an excellently planned ambush, creativity and being backed up by other hirelings from the city. If they utilize their abilities in creative ways they should be able to disable the titan without many hireling or PC casualties.
>They can hire a group of mercenaries to hide out on the 5th level of multiple buildings surrounding an abandoned city square (close to the surface), they get the Rouge-type to lure the titan to the square and fire multiple harpoons into the titans legs and in front of where it is walking to trip it, they then have the High-Duress Faithful/First/Blightmage to collapse a nearby building onto the titan severely damaging it while the Wandering Warrior deals chunks of physical damage and if they manage to kill it the Haunted can attempt to bind its fleeting spirit (maybe bind it into a focus, essentially empowering it with a titan soul?) and control the force of a titan.

The idea of encounters in WF so far has been leaning toward ambushes, avoiding combat or stumbling into a horror. This allows intelligent players to have an edge over brute-force approach to encounters because the lethality can be partially overcome by thinking on their feet.
I'm not a huge fan of the duress formula as-is. I think there should be an open range, with duress controlling abilities based around Lore and Will.
Also, 26 as a limit won't work: we have a max roll of 3d8+3, which results in 27 to start, at most. 30 is best unless we rework something else

>>53159515 >>53161031
The rumor system was meant to give players lore, not act as an info searching method. Actual informational gathering is different, like following up on a lead or something, and makes more sense as a charm check.

What kind of abilities should be made available as one levels up? Our system suggests we stay away from health and damage swelling, so... control abilities? Defensive options?
Just replace information with Lore, with higher rolls giving you more specific Lore and lower rolls giving you more general stuff.

Being able to cripple enemies with abilities preemptively either with pure damage(less effective, controlling moves that allow you to survive their attacks or being able to negate most of the effects.
I think you're missing the point of the rumor system. It isn't an investigation tool, and shouldn't be used if you know what it is you're looking for. It's a passive way for players to learn a bit about the setting.
Rolling for details, general to specific, is investigation, which could be either charm, lore or both.
A rumor is "you're in town, so roll on a chart for a random snippet of world-lore" just to add flavor.
There could be some overlap. Poor info roles might use a rumor instead of hard data, but The Rumor System =/= Active Information Gathering.

If you really want to make both as active skills, then divide them into two categories;
Investigation, Lore based, for details. Roll for quality.
Rumor hunting, Charm based, for general info. Roll for quantity.
>Temporary Insanity
Blightmage ability
Willingly open your mind to the maze to grasp at it's power. Gain temp duress equal to your Lore. Any duress gained while active is doubled. Cost, limits, and action economy tbd.
This is a pretty bad ability ... unless we remove the duress ceiling which we probably should do.
Defeating a corpse titan without PC casualties should be satisfying, and be treated as such by nearby hirelings and NPCs.
Do not remove the duress ceiling. It invalidates a large amount of established systems.

On the necessity of duress controlling abilities:

Because PC's have the duality of classes in this setting, certain abilities will be restricted to certain levels of duress.
Our current line of thought is "High duress abilities are more powerful, less controlled, and have negative consequences". In addition, because of our large amount of anticipated choosable knacks players will likely be building their characters in favor of a certain playstyle. Between these two facts, it stands to reason that people will want ways to influence their duress towards a certain direction, for power or safety, and to complement their builds. Therefore, players will need a way to regulate their Duress. The Faithful already focuses on lowering it for itself and the group, and rest/healing mechanics will also lower it. what we don't have is a way for players to raise their own Duress willingly, short of purposely exposing themselves to horrors. The alternative is to build exclusively for high duress, and suffer through low duress for the optimal end-game. This sounds like exactly the kind of power-gaming we should plan around.

I think this is a good idea for an ability in principle. It allows the Blightmage to temporarily and artificially boost their own duress to access higher abilities. It's second effect could be a help or a hindrance towards this, simultaneously giving the ability some cost and control.

I would additionally argue against a stat formula for duress. The whole point of the system is to navigate the up-and-down consequences of the Maze. Connecting duress so strongly to stats cripples player options.

>PC's need to be able to somewhat control duress, up and down.
>Its a good idea for an ability, and should be fleshed out.
>Perhaps, via knacks or class abilities, everyone should have something like this.
>Re-think Duress formula
How does duress work? Does it reset on a rest? Does it take a while to cooldown in a town?
Is it expected to go from 0-100 over the course of a day? A week? A mission? An encounter?

And, other than abilities, what does it do? I know we're tying sanity and madness into it, but how does that work? Is it checks or effects when you hit 100? Is it checked against duress by certain triggers?
An option is that the other classes absorb duress too, but with their magical abilities they 'burn' it.
The warriors have less outlets for the maze's energy, and end up radiating duress, the armour happens to be there to absorb most of it.
This looks very interesting. I might be up for giving it a go with my online group, will report back if I do.
So, when should you roll a sanity check and what should happen if you fail?

Every time you hit 20/40/60/80/100 duress?
Before you rest etc.?

We could have a long list of possible 'cracks', that may be temporary or permanent. They should largely be negative but it would be cool if they had a slight chance of giving a boon (under circumstances).
Maybe we could take some inspiration from other systems, How does CoC handle sanity?
Certain enemy attack will cause duress gain, as well as some abilities, some events, and severe wounding.
Duress will decrease slightly if you have a good night's sleep (a luxury in the Maze), other effects that decrease duress include some abilities, events, healing and recooperating in town.
It is unlikely that a Cartographer will reach 0 duress as it becomes much harder to decrease duress when it's below 20.
Duress gain can be resisted by straight Duress reduction which reduces each instance of duress gain by a set amount and duress resistance which is effected by Will and gives you a percent chance do negate all duress gain from a single instance (a coresponding resistance incorporating Lore that allows you to resist duress reduction might exist or we could simply give Cartographers the ability to ignore duress reduction).
It should just be impossible to decrease your duress to anything lower than lore x 4 - will x 2. (May be modified by a knack).
I know only of a few systems where sanity is a feature.

When you reach a certain number of insanity points, you test willpower or gain an insanity. If you pass, you roll again next time you gain a point and so on.

Then there's a large list of insanities that includes a chance of physical manifestation (mutation). Some insanities are very severe.

You lose some sanity in an encounter and depending on how many you lose, you roll a check to either avoid getting a temporary or a long term insanity. These insanities are usually not very punishing.

>This system
Taking inspiration from Blood Borne, I think we should allow players with high enough duress to experience the maze differently. Perhaps add 3 thresholds; above 25 (see through natural glamour), above 50 (see the lingering effects of past deaths) and above 75 (see the veil of reality thinning out ala' UNSOUNDED Khert).

I like the idea of testing will every day. Then, depending on how much duress you have taken, you may gain a temporary or permanent infliction. (this adds another element of risk-reward. If you keep pushing on, we might take more duress and the test we have to take when we finally need to rest becomes more severe.)
The thing is that's probably too limiting which is why we're exploring alternative options.
I agree with this and think it's a very good idea.
This all sound very good to me.
There should be a low-limit of 10-20 duress from recuperation, beyond which abilities are needed.

The issue with Will and Lore coinciding with low and high duress is that it skews the Blightmage and Faithful. I see you trying to address that, and it's where I am having trouble.
Duress reduction should be low, or max reduce to 1-2 so that gradual duress gains aren't trivialized. Also a good idea to allow players to choose weather or not to use it.
Sanity checks can be tied to Will, and perhaps some saves to avoid duress. To counter this, there should be Lore abilities which can artificially raise duress or buffer it at high amounts somehow,

Players are likely gooing to build around a "sweet spot", but allowing too much regulation goes against the principle of surviving by the skin of your teeth.Maybe each class has unique ways to self-boost duress.

Warriors can convert damage into duress, and even self harm. Maybe they enter a frenzy which boosts duress for a time, allowing them to access higher abilities, but with some drawback.

Faithful can take the duress of their allies, simultaneously relieving them and boosting their own levels.

Blightmages can craft stimulants, or absorb arcane energies from the maze.Focusing on secrets of the maze might allow access to greater magics, while draining their energy or sanity.

Mazeborn have duress gain build into their mutations, but they might also be able to metabolize reagents differently for effects.

The Haunted commune with and command spirits. They can probably drive people crazy naturally. Alternatively, use spirit points to cast beyond your normal range.

The big possibilities I see are
>self exposure to maze shit
>using duress powers against yourself
>taking duress from someone/where else
>Drugs. lots of drugs.

On the other hand, we could always say "fuck it" and just make players experience the progression of duress unaffected.
I'd really like to move away from this. The duress system should be left open to a full experience, not limited by your stats.

This all sounds really good to me, I'd love to continue on this path.

Maybe look at the Warhammer insanities, that sounds like what I've been imagining.

I like the idea of 'seeing' different things through duress goggles. Reading up on UNSOUNDED now for inspiration. It looks good so far.

A check before resting makes sense, with fails granting insanities and penalties. Really good point here.

Perhaps resting halves your current duress, to a minimum of 10+environmental (Gate=0, Settlements=10, up to 40). It's reliable, and scales, but isn't always easy, and risks an effect.
Okay, so far we have
>Daily sanity checks at rest
>Resting lowers, but does not reset duress (unless in towns?)
>Different levels of "sight" based off duress
>Insanity effects, tbd
>Move away from stat based duress
>A low duress bass value, which may change with the environment
>Some way to regulate own duress slightly [up or down]
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>I like the idea of 'seeing' different things through duress goggles. Reading up on UNSOUNDED now for inspiration. It looks good so far.
look up bloodbourne it does that too.

except the equivalent in that game also changes the game AI so they attack you differently if you have enough of it.

I tried putting it in my cosmic horror fantasy brew.
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I like the idea of encounters reacting differently depending on party/player duress.

How about this?
>most mazebeasts have a 'feed threshold'. If the highest (combined, average?) duress of a party member exceeds the 'feed threshold', the beast gains an additional ability.

Example: Carrion Crows gain extraordinaire speed. Ghosts can posses things. Zombies regenerate.

Pic is warhammer insanities from the player's handbook.
Go to this link for CoC sanity, see the links for temporary / indefinite insanity: http://letsgetweird.info/?page_id=278
To elaborate on my idea.
This 'feed threshold' element would make it possible to use some of the same creatures in the beginning of a campaign, in the later phases of the campaign (where the party dives deeper and has more duress).
...and keep the encounters fresh, yes.

you might also attack prioritizing Duress (high or low) once the threshhold is reached.

might be there are more than one level of threshhold
or more players above the threshhold add to powers?
This idea is now canon, and I like it , it encourages a balanced party.
I'd say only for stronger monsters, but otherwise the idea is good.
Rerolling for these ideas.
This sounds good, we'll keep behaviors and abilities in mind when stating out enemies.
Adds another good reason to regulate duress.

Just to double check, is this based off of player/party duress, or environmental duress?

One question that needs to be addressed is how often is duress expected to change?
10-100 over the course of a day? Or can it be kept relatively stable within an environment?

This is a cool idea for Duress-vision, but I'm worried it will be too complicated to enact. Any concrete ideas?
Is it just a quick line or two per location or creature?
Maybe players, or specifically Blightmages, gain a Duress based perception of supernatural things?
I'd say Player duress because I'd like have stronger monsters too appear further into the Maze rather than the same ones with a buff (it would depend upon the average amount of duress that the players exceed their base duress by).
Duress can increase by a sizable amount suddenly but decreasing it is much harder.
>Duress Vision
I'd say that discriptions change depending upon what duress you have which is used to give Players a clue as to what their,duress is at because you can't check your duress unless you are "safe"
Party average duress for thresholds, with some horrors focusing the highest duress (could be a control method for warriors).

I think we are (or should be) moving away from stat-derived base duress. Running it by large numbers denies characters the full range of the Duress spectrum to experience.

Players will need to know their duress, because they need to manage and keep track of it for effects and abilities. There should definitely be in-game ways to check it, though. Duress vision works for personal duress, as well as abilities which are only usable in a certain range. For enviornmental [beyond the presence of increasingly weird shit] totem-like objects were suggested, like clocks or compasses. There could also be physical changes depending on class:
>Warrior's armor begins to shift, growing and digging into the flesh. Glowing runes appear, which seem to move at the edge of vision.
>Faithful begin to literally glow, and their voice seems to echo when they speak
>Blightmages cackle with arcane energies with every move, and their eyes turn demonic
>Mazeborn's skin begins to writhe and change
>Hauned's hair and clothes begin to slowly wave in a non-existant wind, as if underwater
Now this is an idea I can get behind. Maybe some horrors could have a second feed threshold that buffs them further.
Loving this, let's keep going.

We could have a Horror which absorbs ambient duress. It's harmless normally, but it becomes extremely dangerous at later thresholds.
Apart from the visual player effects for measuring relative duress they should be each given generic cartographers equipment to give a more accurate measurement. Such as a compass, map, clock, as an early-game indicator for personal duress and have them lose it later on.
IIRC compasses (or at least of the mundane kind) don't work properly in the maze. it... kinda goes crazy.
I appreciate all the mechanics work you guys are doing, but is the setting complete enough at this point I could run it in Savage World or something like that?
Somewhat. You'd need to homebrew a lot of it yourself, though.
Basic premise is there, there's a little bit of information on some factions and locations. Not more than that.

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