Skullduggery

If you want to play in this one-shot, let me know and also tell which characters you would like to or are willing to play.

Meta

A blood opera with a few evil cultists, an elven prisoner, ghouls, a magical artifact, and maybe goblin allies.

  • December 13th Central European time.
  • Estimated playing time is 4 hours. If belief workshopping is not done before play, this will extend by up to an hour.
  • Up to five players, but three or four would be better and two the minimum.
  • Rules system is Burning wheel. Some characters are pregenerated, some you can burn up yourself, up to various constraints.
  • Prior knowledge of the rules system is a benefit, but not a requirement. Rules complexity is adjusted according to player experience.
  • One-shot, but I do plan to run further one-shots in the same game world. Rules systems that have been in use: homebrew OSR, Burning wheel, D&D 5, homebrew, Pathfinder 1.
  • Voice via Discord, other gameplay via Roll20. It has character sheets which handle some of the fiddlyness of advancement and rolling.
  • Blood and guts and undead are likely. I usually keep descriptions fairly tame.

Situation

Three cultists, Alyissid the powerful elven death priestess (now deceased), a human death priestess and a human mage hatched a plan to attack the elven city of Kyrimi. They took over an ancient elven tomb and brought with them goblinkin who took over old gnome burrows not far away. Then they started raising the dead and attacking caravans of humans about to trade with Kyrimi.

A group of elves, bolstered by Än, a human mage of great power, attacked the small death cult and killed Alyissid, losing most of their number in the attack. Some of the newly created ghouls retained their identity.

Alyissid also had a powerful artifact of evil, a dagger whose strike kills any mortal and raises them as a walking corpse controlled by the wielder. Now the dagger wants a new wielder.

Who gets the dagger? Do you leave or stay? Do you try to give Alyissid the gift of undeath, and what comes of that? What about the ghouls, horrified at what they have become?

The wider context and the map of the tomb are from an adventure in Footprints #3: https://www.dragonsfoot.org/ft/. It is completely voluntary reading (and not particularly good).

Characters

The characters are lacking in precise beliefs. We’ll write those after figuring out who the player characters are to know what we should be focusing on. We should manage to workshop this via Discord chat before the actual session, but if necessary, it can be done or finished at the beginning of the session.

If you want to play some character that you should burn by yourself but you don’t know how to do that, ask and I’ll do it with some input from you.

(reserved) Än the ghoul used to have magic. He still remembers it and is bitter.

  • Get the dagger and gift it to some powerful good actor to recover his life. Or rise an army of undead instead?
  • Social skills, ghoul powers, and some minor combat skills and academic skills, plus miscellany. Converted from D&D 5, so a bit strange mechanically.

The warrior priestess has the dagger; does she get to keep it? Why is she here, anyway?

  • The dagger, serious armour, some combat skills and other skills, decent stats. Converted from D&D 5; a bit strange mechanically.
  • At least one belief about the dagger.
  • At least one belief about why you are here.
  • At least one belief about another player character.
  • At least one belief about the dark gods of Duvan’Ku.

The mage is in love with Alyissid, though her death adds complications. Is that his only motivation? Maybe he, too, would find some use for the dagger.

  • You can burn this character yourself, but there are some restrictions: gifted, sorcery B5, knives skill opened but not advanced further and the only weapon skill, much of resource points already used (spells, potions, relationships, the tomb).
  • Quasit familiar.
  • At least one belief about his love for the departed Alyissid.
  • At least one belief about the dagger.

The prisoner is an elven woman. There were plans to sacrifice her within the span of days. She is yours to burn as a character.

  • Without equipment for obvious reasons.
  • You can make her as powerful or weak as you want. Up to you what you want to play. Do ask the other players if thinking of optimizing for several grey stats or humongous skills or other excessivities.

(reserved) The goblin leader has their ogre bodyguard and some thirty to forty mixed goblinoids and five gnolls. They are here to murder the elves and eat them, hopefully getting rich in the process. They do not yet have the strength to attack the elves; that is what the growing army of the dead is for. So why is it not growing? Maybe you should wield the dagger, after all.

  • This character is yours to burn, should you want to burn them. Get an affiliation, reputation and relationship with your forces and a relationship with Alyissid and your bodyguard. You wield a battleaxe and some heavier armour.

Seyrael the ghoul used to be an elven paladin of nature. Now he hates himself terribly and will certainly do something about the matter. He is physically powerful and has remnants of his old skills.

(reserved) The dagger is sentient and communicative if someone really wants to play it. Not mobile, though. Play at your own risk.

The quasit has nasty demonic powers and strives to corrupt the mage. But maybe its masters would be satisfied with the dagger and a rotting army, or a dead elven forest?

  • Stats based on the lesser dæmon, with some significant modifications and different special powers.

Playing a ghoul or someone from the goblin force would also be possible, if one really wanted to. Another character particularly well suited to the situation might be possible, too, if you have one gathering dust.

Skullduggery

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