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12 August 2014 @ 06:38 pm
Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom: Reworking and Progress  
Work had stalled on this for the past few weeks because I had done most of the conceptual stuff and had gotten to the stage of writing the mechanics, and for the martial orders that wasn't that bad because it was just adapting existing Exalted Terrestrial Martial Arts styles and writing some fluff for them, but for the sorcerous orders I had to write 13-17 spells for each of seven different orders, plus a similar number for any additional order I add. All that had the effect of sapping my desire to keep writing more or to add more orders, since it'd be a lot of work and, frankly, I own more games than I could ever run in my lifetime now that require minimal tweaking, so why should I do all this work?

Well, I came to a compromise--adapt existing Exalted mechanics the same way I did with the martial orders. I figured I could take thaumaturgy as hedge magic and sorcery as, well, sorcery, give each order a handful of spells the way I figured I would in my Exalted minus Exalted pitch, and call it a day. That would prevent me from having to write a ton of mechanics myself and it would also stress-test the concept for later use in an Exalted minus Exalted game. Plus it would use the big Emerald Sorcery document I compiled after scouring all the books and the internet for fan-written stuff.

Here's an example of one of the new sorcerous order writeups, containing a group that hasn't been seen before because I didn't write them up until today:
The Sanguinarii
The Kurokyura can't be everywhere at once, and their thralls have limited abilities. While they can't transfer their powers to their servants, and don't wish to create more Kurokyura because that would mean creating their own competition, they have cultivated a group of sorcerers who have some modicum of the control over blood that they do--the Sanguinarii.

The Sanguinarii are the right hand of the Kurokyura. Each of them is bonded to an individual Kurokyura lord or lady and enforces their will, with more powerful Kurokyura having more Sanguinarii servants. Typically, as long as the blood taxes flow uninterrupted and the populace remains quiet, the Kurokyura leave their servants to their own devices. Most Sanguinarii settle into a sort of quiet reign of terror, knowing that any action against them will bring swift retribution from the ruling Kurokyura in addition to their own considerable defensive prowess from their sorcerous might, but that being too overly tyrannical may make the peasants decide it's worth it.

There are very few Sanguinarii abroad, but occasionally one does rebel and manage to slip out of Makai. These unfortunates live hunted lives, pursued by Makaian hunters and hated and feared by anyone familiar with the stories of the Kurokyura, but at least they are free to choose their own destiny, and that can be a very powerful lure.

Requirements: Medicine ••, Occult •, Socialize ••
Benefit: The sanguinarii may buy the Infector (wound penalties) mutation and 6 pts of the Essence Abundance mutation with the Overdrive Keyword, filled only by using hedge magic or sorcery.

Hedge Magic: The Sanguinarii are highly focused on the Art of Sanguinotics for its ability to extract power from blood, as well as the Art of Biothaumaturgy and the Art of Husbandry in their mission of keeping the population of Makai disease-free and healthy so that their masters can dine in peace. Some of them also study the Art of Golemancy, building hideous constructions of flesh animated with incarnadine fluids.
Sorcery: Ascending Scarlet Font, Blood Lash, Blood Mirror Speech, Bone Puppet Dance (called Sanguine Strings, controls blood, not bone), Drain Life (called Exsanguination, blood leaps from target to sorcerer), Glory of Bountiful Resilience, Neotonic Womb Transmutation, River of Blood, Treacherous Twisting of Power
Rituals: Insidious Tendrils of Hate, Reaping the Fallen, White Shard Funeral
Terrestrial Circle Sorcery is widely considered to be pretty weak among the Exalted fanbase, with the exception of certain spells like Demon of the First Circle that are good primarily due to versatility, but that's in a context of Exalted who can fall back on Charms. In a game of mostly mortals without supernatural powers or with only hedge magic, the orders end up more like Runequest cults, where they have a few potent powers and need to figure out how to apply their powers to the situation. I like that.

Doing this also gave me the energy to write up three more sorcerous orders, so it's already spurring my creativity. Also, I can now spend my time writing mechanics that don't suck for things like the Sail and Bureaucracy skills, or a Mandate of Heaven that's an adaptation of Reign's Company rules rather than the monstrosity that currently exists.
 
 
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