[Mythras] that kitchen sink pirate thing thinking out loud thread

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Raleel

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So, started a new game, the Mythras Kitchen Sink Pirate Game that I mentioned https://www.rpgpub.com/threads/what-are-yall-up-to-these-days.32/page-12#post-14898 and https://www.rpgpub.com/threads/what-are-yall-up-to-these-days.32/page-11#post-11982 and https://www.rpgpub.com/threads/what...ing-to-run-play-in-2018.647/page-2#post-15334 . this thread is largely so I can talk it out and keep a running train of thought, get opinions, etc.

things that have changed from the posts there
  • Voudou Animist instead of steampunk druid droid. I like the animist quite a bit. His tribe is cannibals (because the player is... um... well, he likes the creepy), and he chose to save them rather than eat them. He's on a vision quest, apparently, and going to go learn about the civilized folks. He has a strong desire to help his people.
  • A gladiator. He's the obligatory person with no knowledge of pirating in the pirate game. He was apparently sold into slavery by a guy, and was purchased by another guy. The purchaser freed him, and he feels loyalty for him, and hatred for the guy who sold him.
CRKrueger CRKrueger suggested a charter, iirc, and I thought that was a good idea.

Lord Bartholomew Rothschild, the gladiator’s benefactor, chartered the ship to find new trade routes. He’s Aristocracy, and owns a fair number of slaves and businesses. Part of the conditions of the charter was that the gladiator goes along as his agent. He’s doing the gladiator a favor and getting him some other skills, since gladiator combat is going away in this land, though he has no natural talent in the area. Still, Lord Rothschild has instinct that he might be destined for greater things, if given the right opportunity.

I also have a Big Nebulous Foe in the Spaniards (this is tentatively set in alternative Caribbean, with the party being mostly English Analog) who have acquired a decidedly Nazi flare, because we like punching Nazis. We have lovingly referred to them as Spanazis.

Lord Rothschild feels like a spymaster who uses the pirating as his agents. Buys slaves, frees them, earning a degree of loyalty, sets them up with positions, tells them to prey on the Spanazis, or encourages it at least. Uses them as a spy network. Sounds like he’s pretty close to the monarchy, but not very visible. This sort of turns it into secret wars. Also makes privateering a sort of reward for loyalty - you can be trusted, you make war for the Crown.

The adventure started with a map and a note (stolen from Isle of Dread). The map and the note came to them through adventure, but I imagine funding didn’t. This makes him a venture capitalist. He’s got money and power, but maybe the money isn’t his own. Maybe he has exceptional loyalty to the Crown. This is sort of getting a Three Musketeers feel, which is a good thing actually.

I was writing to myself, as it helps me think, and realized that this game may be about loyalty. As I was complaining in the other thread, the characters were not interesting. So I'm going to make them all take a Loyalty passion. Rules for this are
  • It can't be to a PC
  • The person must be alive
  • It can be an organization
  • They, or their reach of influence with agents, must be within a week of sailing or so
This is to prevent the whole "they are dead and I don't have to pay attention to them" that I've seen out of people in my group. I also realized this plays into the fact that many of them acquired a loyalty to the Animist for saving them from being eaten - this one doesn't count for loyalty.

So, now I feel like I have a direction that might get a lot more interesting. We have Three Musketeers on the High Seas, combined with creepy Voudou (the animist is based on a voudou thing I found on the TDM boards, which was written by the Mythic Constantinople guy. i've tweaked it slightly, but most of the text is his), but we've added in a whole where do your loyalties lie possibility. We've added a spy network, and potentially a secret/not-so-secret war. The Queen (and I think I've decided it's a queen) can't afford an open war right now. Coffers might be drained from her war with the Not-French (War of the Roses-like).

This feels like a 2011 three musketeers with pirates thing. I’m thinking that’s way into the right space for us. I need an internal guy, though. An agent working with the Nebulous Foe to undermine the Queen.

It was also decided some time ago that airships would be in this. That's as yet to come I think.
 

Coffee Zombie

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Airships are pure awesome, but won't they undermine the nautical structure? And believe you me, I will jump at any chance to include an airship in a campaign (I'm actually designing one to make airships very useful), but this feels like it might work better without them.

My second question would be, who are the local, regional powers? Your game will be set in the Caribbean, with the Queen of England and those nasty Spanish being satellites in the area (but based, naturally, in their home country). In the actual Caribbean, the local governors and merchant princes must have some individual plots that can turn into good echoes of that larger conflict, or even early game foils and allies for the characters.
 

Raleel

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Re: airships - I am honking they might be in development. A nuclear weapon, as it were. Something that will provide a clear edge to the enemies who have them. Also, this is similar to the 2011 three musketeers.

Re: local regional powers. Good question. I just added in the spymaster lord. I should probably add these in. Thanks for pointing that out. One of my players was looking for some hook, and this might provide it. There should be thing that echo the larger scale conflict.
 

Raleel

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finally got to run friday. they started with combat (always fun, old people also like to get such things done up front first). beat a bunch of natives, some awesome moments with accidentally tearing down a platform they were standing on, which then they proceeded to completely demolish to remove the savages throwing bolas at them. the animist, in water elemental form, charged blindly into a room with a lava (read fire) elemental and started fighting him. eventually won due to the interference of the bard, who inspired him to greater heights. he also happens to have a loyalty to the animist for saving from cannibals (who happen to be his tribe).

after combat, it went pretty quick. I put in a large (2m x 4m x 10-20cm) mask of obsidian. i said it looked pretty valuable if they could get it out and find a buyer. they started coming up with a reasonable plan, and found a tunnel behind it. A small altar was at the end, where they found a small statue of a kopru. Said statue is going to have the covert possession power, and will possess them with something with it's own agenda (TBD).

They continued out another door from that room which opened out onto a cliff, above the ocean 100-200m below. They inspected around a little more and discovered they were in the eye of a giant bas relief that covered most of the cliff face. They inspected around the cave opening and discovered that it looked like something huge was set in that eye, but was no longer there. The keen eyed ranger spotted, out across the water, barely in sight, a glint of light and the very misty form of an island. He thought that maybe he saw a giant humanoid figure through the fog. This last was a deliberate lead to Monster Island, where I will be pulling stuff from.

I've decided they were chartered to find trade goods and establish a trade route with the island they are on. It has gold, pearl beds, several valuable woods, and a few other things. The animist knows many of them, but he's sort of an outsider, and he has a loyalty to his tribe, but also a fascination with the civilized folks. We have yet to introduce the Spanish, though I feel like that will come shortly. They have a return trip after all, and there has been no ship to ship combat.

Incidentally, I did pick up Blood Tide. The PDF is horribly unoptimized, and there are typos, and the bookmarks are wrong... BUT it has lots and lots of good stuff. Wish I had bought it sooner, but you know, sales and stuff ;)
 
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