Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Star Wars RPG / Where is it?

It's now been a year since Wizards of the Coasts licence to produce Star Wars RPG materials lapsed, and the support for the frankly exceptional Saga Edition ceased.

I suggest we all spend a moment thinking on that.
Maybe even a minute of silence.

At the time of WotCs announcement, there was much speculation on who would take up the licence, and what would they produce.
As of a Google search ten minutes ago, I have heard nothing.

WTF? This is Star Wars, not some fly-by-night franchise. Are Lucas industries asking for too much cash, or is there really not enough money in the licence?
Sure, whoever gets it will be under pressure to produce a high quality product, and to make money out of it, and the market is tight, but come on.

Star Wars is the original cross over franchise. It enjoys a near unrivalled ability to succeed in multiple media: Film, TV, Computer Game, Toys, Models, Books, Comic Books, Clothing & Accessories, RPGs and novelty items, to name but a few.
To my thinking, RPG products like Star Wars have the ability to interest fans who may not have considered the hobby before.
Star Wars is a gateway game to other systems and genres.
RPG publishers should be falling over themselves to licence it, as whatever system they use for a Star Wars game would allow other games using that system to attract new players.
"Mega-Barbarian 3000. Uses the New Jedi Order system. Order now, only $29.95"
It's sales gold.

So why isn't it happening.
Have I missed something?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hunter Advanced Armory / Gungnir Sentry Gun

One of the things that struck me about Task Force: VALKYRIE from Hunter: the Vigil is that for all of the high-tech military equipment they have, it all still relies on a functioning human being to use (fire) it.
Now, TF:V has been in existence since the assassination of Lincoln, and has worked up a database of not inconsiderable knowledge on "extra-normal entities", yet
I've not seen anything within their Advanced Armory that acquiesces to the fact that some ENEs can disable an operative just by being in the same room as them.
I'm thinking of Werewolf induced Lunacy, as well as Vampiric Dominate, Majesty and Nightmare, and a Mages Mind Arcanum. Any of these supernatural effects can remove an agent from the fight before they've fired a round, and allow the ENE entry and egress without effective opposition.

My solution? The automated Sentry Guns from Aliens Special Edition. TF:V have the technology to create these, easily.

Gungnir Automated Sentry Gun (00000)
The Gungnir Automated Sentry Gun is an automated machine gun post that can provide fire over a full 180 degrees from its front position.
It uses the Gungnir System to identify and target ENEs, and will fire automatically on any identified.
The system can be operated remotely from a distance of up to one mile, or set to automatic fire. It will only fire upon recognised ENEs, allowing it, in theory, to provide support to TF:V operatives during an encounter.
It is more commonly used to guard strategic positions and field base of operations.
The system itself has helped TF:V teams survive encounters that have disabled agents from a distance, as most ENEs presume they need only deal with the humans present.
The same safeguards present in the portable gun-mounted Gungnir system can cause issues for TF:V agents when using the Sentry Guns, as the servants of monsters - cultists, Slashers, retainers etc - can essentially walk up and knock without being fired upon.
The mounted gun is a Generic GPMG (see page 80 of World of Darkness: Armory) and can fire Etheric Rounds, although these rounds have a +1 Merit cost to the standard.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Looking for the Lost / Hunting Changelings and Fetches

One of the things I've been thinking about recently is how to use a Changelings pre-abduction family and friends in a Changeling: the Lost chronicle.
I suspect that there's a temptation to just play these folks as the innocent dupes of the Fetch, totally unaware of any sinister goings on, and completely shocked and surprised if the 'truth' comes out.
In fact, I imagine they are used as a tool for confrontation, in that they can serve as a dramatic device when supporting the Fetch and rejecting the Changeling.

The thing is, though, that folklore rarely tells its tale from the Changelings perspective, and instead favours the mortal who sees through the glamour and identifies the replacement for what it is - an alien imposter.
The core rules give several examples of this in the flavour text, and then neglects to go into further detail in the Antagonists/Storytelling sections.

I'm thinking that there's a great wealth of drama and story to be had from the friends and family that notice that this person close to them has changed somehow.
I can see a classic psychological horror playing out as they investigate the Fetch, testing its memories and personality, discovering its flaws; maybe it doesn't have a birthmark, or an allergy, or suddenly likes sea food, or has different finger prints. Maybe it understands advanced mathematics, or doesn't know how to speak French anymore.
What do these people do? Nobody believes them. How do they prove that this person is an impostor? Who do they think the Fetch really is? Do they have any theories as to why? Most people won't think of the Fae, and could instead think of any number of conspiracies, including:
Foreign nations
Super science clones
Secret societies
If played correctly, the list is near endless, with Arcadia quite near the bottom.

So, what do you do, when you suspect this person you know nd care deeply about has been replaced or changed?
Do you confront them directly? What if they don't even know they're not real?

And then, what if a confrontation leads to violence, and the Fetch is killed, possibly exploding in a shower of twigs and newspaper, or reverting to a wire frame and rag construct in the morgue or during the open casket view?
How do you reconcile that?

I kind of see this as a perfect one shot Mortals game, or the lead in to a Hunter: the Vigil game.
I imagine a number of Hunters would investigate a Fetch, and give the mad assertions of individual friends and family credence.

One last thing. A question. What if the Changeling is just a by-product of the process? What if the Fetch is the goal, a sleeper agent with an implanted agenda even it is unaware of?
Maybe the Fetch is a breeder, or an agent tasked with opening more doors.

If you look closely, you can see the Hedge on the other side of this door...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Plotting Cosmic Dread / Designing a Trail of Cthulhu adventure

As an intellectual exercise I've started writing up a Trail of Cthulhu story idea I've had.
It immediately went through two revisions as I realised it was too complicated and over ambitious, and pared it down to the core concepts.
I really want to do something with monsters, rum-runners and prohibition, so my original idea was to have the players be Feds and investigate some liquor smuggling on the Canadian border, get stranded in a remote hotel during a snowstorm and get caught up in a play off between the Mi-Go and the Cult of Hastur.
It sounded great, but I struggled with working out how to introduce the separate plot elements.
My usual downfall as a GM is to be too ambitious, and then fail to deliver, so it really makes sense to reduce the concept to a simple premise and develop that. I can always include other bits as I go on.
Remember, you can always add, but you can never take away.

So, with this in mind, I threw out the Cult of Hastur, and focused entirely upon the Mi-Go. In a further effort to simplify, and to try to keep the game as Purist as possible, I decided to cleave the structure of the story as close to the structure of The Whisperer in Darkness as possible, although told from the more immediately horrific perspective of Henry Akeley.

This seemed to exclude the originally intended setting of a secluded hotel, so that's been replaced with a Rangers Station instead. More Wrong Turn than The Shining.

So, with this revised story in mind - Federal Agents, whilst investigating a distillary in the Vermont hills, are trapped at a Rangers Station during a blizzard along with some Rum-Runners, and are menaced by the Mi-Go, who are mining nearby.

The next challenge, the one I specifically set myself, was to write a ToC Gumshoe adventure, with Core Clues, Investigative Ability matrices and a coherent narrative thread that leads from the initial set up through to the Horrible Truth.

After a failed attempt to organise my thoughts on paper, I've now turned to a flow chart app on my phone; Thinking Space.
Whilst its still a work in progress, my first 'mind map' is below.

From this base I intend to tie together the intended events, locations and characters with a network of clues.

How this will translate to an actual game is yet to be seen, as the last time I used a flow chart when plotting a game, the results were fairly pedestrian, and involved a fair bit of rail roading, which I'm against.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Post-rapture survival horror / I apologise for this game idea

As I sit here not being caught up by the grace of God, I find myself wondering what a post-rapture world would be like.

As I understand it, anybody left behind is a sinner, and will not be saved, and a good proportion of the population will have been swept up and have vanished whilst a multitude of natural disasters occur across the globe.
The dead may also rise. I'm not too clear on this point.

So, the players would be sinners/non-believers who have to survive the wrath of God in a depleted world.
Society will have totally broken down, with people finding strong religion when its too late or embracing their damnation, both leading to social and physical conflict.
There may also be zombies.
As an additional touch, you could populate the skies with the hovering forms of the blessed, watching the world being destroyed and reborn from their vantage point.
You could also throw in further Christian mythology, and gear up for the last battle between Heaven and Hell, with Angels, Demons and the souls of the damned and the saved.

With its Morality system, Virtues and Vices, the World of Darkness could carry this setting idea quite well.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Gumshoe PDFs / Short post #2

An additional reason for any of you to try out the Gumshoe games published by Pelgrane Press is their PDF Download Guarantee

Put simply, if you buy a hard copy book from them, you get a digital copy for free. If you buy a hard copy book from one of their associated stores, you get a digital copy for free. If you buy a hard copy book from Amazon et al, then ask them, and they'll give you a digital copy of the books bought to date for free, with the understanding that any future digital copies will only be provided if you buy through the agreed channels.

As a result of this sweet deal, I am now in possession of PDFs of Trail of Cthulhu, The Esoterrorists and Fear Itself. I bought these three books separately through Amazon UK, so am incredibly pleased to get the digital copies as well.

I share because I think its a great offer, and would encourage more people to explore Gumshoe.

Explaining Mage: the Ascension to my wife / Short post #1

This afternoon I explained M:tA to my wife.
It did not go well.
Not because she didn't understand. Not because she couldn't appreciate the concept of consensus defined reality, belief dependant magic systems or a metaphysical war for control of reality.
No. It's because she's smarter and better educated than I am.

I have no idea what Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience is about, but its inclusion in the conversation put me on a back foot immediately.
Try as I might, my assertions of paradigmatic magic was countered with post industrialization theory.

This is why I don't normally discuss my hobby with her.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Judge a man by his enemies / The quality of antagonists in the World of Darkness

I've recently been thinking about Mage: the Ascension, and how, in my opinion, the setting is stronger than the more recent Mage: the Awakening.

I believe that the system for Awakening is better, with one or two exceptions (like not providing rules for using magic to give mundane actions a little 'push'), but I find the setting a bit... directionless.

Yeah, there's plenty to do, but only if you want to do it. There's not really a driving impetus to do anything.
Sure, you can fight Tremere Liches, or The Seers of the Throne, or get involved in Awakened politics and intrigues, or amass great power, or stand against the Abyss.
But you don't have to.

In Mage: the Ascension, you were in the middle of a war for reality, for the hearts and minds of future generations, a battle of philosophies and ideals, of vision and Passion.
You didn't really have a choice. That was the setting, that was the 'canon' metaplot, right there.

It was an exciting and dangerous idea for a game. You're not fighting to 'save' the world, you're fighting to keep it interesting.
Maybe too interesting, but that's not the point.

I feel that Awakening lacks this immediacy, this drive, this call to action.
It's a big gap.

Then I got to thinking about the Technocracy, the big bad guys of Ascension.
They were well developed, interesting, possibly (probably) right, human and sympathetic.
They were also completely playable, with several supplements published that presented them as legitimate character options.
And people played them. People enjoyed playing them, and not just as villains, or anti-heroes, but as idealist and noble heroes.
You can't really see anybody playing a Seer.

This led me to thinking about the other 'old' World of Darkness games, Vampire: the Masquerade especially.
All of the oWoD games positioned the players on the edge of a battlefront, a dangerous enemy poised to attack a wreck terrible havoc at any moment: the Sabbat, the Wyrm/Black Spiral Dancers, the Technocracy, Autumn People etc.
The metaplot for each of these games moved inexorably closer to a final battle that could destroy the world as we know it.

And the thing was, most of these antagonistic factions were entirely playable.
Like the Sabbat. Like the Technocracy. Like Fomori.
Some people preferred playing these groups, because at least they stood for something.

I think the current World of Darkness is a little too tolerant, and could do with some really aggressive conflict and opposition.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Modern day Mage / Who won the Ascension War

Two things have prompted this post.
The first is a post by Ryan Macklin about an idea for a Mage: the Ascension campaign setting in which the Technocracy have definitively won.
The second is the advent of the Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition.

Together these two sources got me thinking about how awesome a Mage 20th Anniversary Edition could be, and what could/should change within the setting.
Here are my thoughts:

  • The two main factions in the Ascension War have fractured following mixed results. 
  • The Virtual Adepts have won, hands down. I have a fucking computer in my pocket right now that allows me to pin point the location of my friends instantly, run complex programs and is, God, I don't know how many more times more powerful than the PC I had when Mage first came out
  • The Syndicate nearly won, then got their asses handed to them some three/four years ago with the Global Recession
  • I would say that all the other Traditions and Union members have ... faded somewhat. Some are still clinging onto relevance, whilst others are now mere curiosities. 
  • There are going to be a shit load of Marauders, as the Traditions and the Technocracy are both severely depleted
  • The Nephandi are having a right old time of it, without the meddling intervention of the more restrained magick users
  • Paradox slaps down hard like a bitch
  • An updated Mage: the Ascension would be the absolute nuts.

Sandbox games / Second pass

A term I've suddenly started hearing banded about the blogging network is 'sandbox', which I find kind of surprising.
To my mind, the term originates from the world of video games, and refers to 'open' game worlds in which you can explore the map freely, with little or no limitations.
I think of Grand Theft Auto and Oblivion when I think of Sandbox games.
I've only recently seen it being applied to pen and paper RPGs, usually as an alternative to the 'traditional' dungeon crawl.
This is what I find surprising.
It may be that I didn't start playing dungeon based games until relatively recently, and started instead with 'open world' games like Cyberpunk, Ars Magica and Vampire: the Masquerade.

Maybe because of this, I've found dungeon based settings hard to rationalize. They basically don't make sense to me.
The environment and ecosystems are illogical and artificial, and the construction of a mega dungeon is not just insane, but logistically impossible.
Surely there has to be a more efficient and cost effective way of hoarding gold / worshipping your evil god than building a monolith of a temple that blocks out the sun then inverting it and buring it under a forbidden mountain.
Although that does sound kinda cool.
I'd do it if I could, and keep all my secret stuff there...

So, anyways, Sandbox.

I've run a few, and messed some of them up big time.

The biggest mistake I've made is not giving the players enough guidance.
I ran a Vampire: the Masquerade game set in the 1950's, and I kind of let the players make their own way.
They stumbled around for ages, and every now and then I threw them a plot bone.
It was very unsatisfactory.

In a previous post I wrote about Grand Theft Auto and how it helped me realise something important about the structure behind a successful game.

That it needs a structure in the first place.
Which is a bit of a no-brainer, really, but an intuitive leap I needed to make.

What I realised was that whilst I was free to run around Liberty City as I pleased, to steal cars, compete in races, find jumps, acquire and evade wanted stars, deal drugs, pimp out girls and callously murder innocents, there was always a plot for me to return to.
I knew that if I got bored, or wanted something surprising and challenging, all I needed to do was go to the mob boss's mansion or hide-out and get a mission.

This is what I forgot to include in my earlier games: the opportunity for players to be given a goal or tasks.

In the classic D&D model, this is making contact with the village elders / dodge guy in the tavern / local priest who usually has some jobs they need doing.
In a World of Darkness setting, this is a function your Allies, Contacts, Mentor, Covenant/Tribe/Court etc can provide.

It is also worth remembering that as a GM we can subtly or overtly nudge the players in the direction of the action.
Computer games often have an annoying companion or guide that spends the first act of the game following you around and interrupting play with advice, when all you want to do is get to the killin' asap.
Table top RPGs can sidestep this convention whilst still providing all the necessary guidance and direction a player needs.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Heed the call to Adventure! / Telluric power is a harsh mistress

I've been watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls today, and I'm halfway through reading Lovecrafts Mountains of Madness.
I am currently overcome with a desire to run a pulp game. Either Trail of Cthulhu or Adventure!

Either would be acceptable, and would no doubt use similar set pieces.

I'm favouring Adventure! as I write, as it is a marvellous system that rewards creativity, description and ingenuity, and allows the players to directly affect the narrative. It's rawrsome. And great fun as well.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can I use my gun stat? / Combat characters in talky encounters

Being an internationally renowned role-play guru, I am often approached by apostles wishing to bathe in the waters of the well of my RPG wisdom.

Or something

I received this email earlier today:

What do you do when you have a good group of characters that work well together and have a varied mix of skills that they keep using .. but there's one who is usually left out for example : an ex military PTSD Sufferer who is now something of a Conspiracy theorist .. skills wise has a few bits all over The game I'm running is not generally combat led but there is inevitably conflict each week.. in this he takes part .. pulled out a fire extinguisher and started blinding the zombies this week which was cool ..

But I don't get how to get him more involved in the social / mental side of things without leading him by the nose and railroading the adventure
I want them to make their own choices and then if there' consequences .. gotta live with it .. have you any insights ?

My considered reply was:

Tough one. Maybe ask him straight out, how can I get your character more involved in the thinky/talky stuff? That way he feels as though he has input, and that his input matters.
Be sure to tell him that his character kicks add in fights, though, and keep saying its the character, not the player, that you're struggling to engage.

You could ask the other players if they have any ideas how you or they can get the character involved.

You could stage some encounters that focus specifically on the character, maybe triggering a combat flashback or reminding him of a past combat encounter that traumatised him in the first place. He could then roleplay out his characters reactions and fears with the other players or some NPCs.

Other ideas could be to:
Split him off from everybody else, and give him a series of achievable goals that involve negotiating with NPCs. You could even let the other players play the NPCs in question. "You're ex army, you go see if you can get them to lend us a pilot and chopper, and we'll arrange the supplies."

Have an NPC, a woman or child (Newt from Aliens?) attach themselves to the character and follow him around, interacting at every available opportunity.

There's definitely a lot more that could be done to involve and engage this player. I think my friend puts a bit more stock in my GMing ability than I deserve, and I wish I could give him some better advice.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strange bedfellows / Carthian Democracy story idea for Vampire: the Requiem

Here in the UK we have a coalition government, created when the Conservative party failed to secure a clear majority in parliament and entered into a power sharing deal with the much smaller Liberal Democrats party.
As a result of this, we are due a referendum vote on the 5th May to decide if we, as a country, want to fundamentally alter our democratic process - do we want to change from our current 'first past the post' vote counting system, and move to the multi-vote Alternative Vote system.
This would never have happened if the Conservatives hadn't gotten into bed with the Lib Dems. The Lib Dems are the third runners in a two party system, and have a lot of idealistic and progressive policies that none of the other parties share.
Arguably, they are the Carthian Movement.
OK, probably not, but It's my way into this post.

The Carthian Movement is the newest political group within the Vampire ruling sects, and has a lot of funny, darling ideas, like democracy, equal say, upward mobility, are against feudal rule, rule by elders and rule by divine mandate as well as any other more traditional method of vampiric governance.

So, chronicle idea. The city has recently fallen under Carthian governance, and is a major victory for the Movement. Sweeping reform is in effect. Elysium has moved, the Primogen and Priscus have mostly changed, and the prominent members of the other Covenants have virtually vanished from the public eye.

The received wisdom is that the Carthians have achieved this magnificent coup due to the genius of the new Prince, a virtual neonate with influence in mortal business and politics.
The truth is slightly more complicated...

The new Prince is indeed a genius, and has brokered deals with some of the city's more powerful and influential Kindred which have allowed him to oust the previous incumbent and assume to position of Prince. Without this support, the new Prince would have been ignored at best, or ushered across to the final death at worst.

Now, the elders have upheld their end of the deal, and have no doubt profited greatly from the removal of old allies, but now they know that the new Prince cannot stand without their support, and will keep asking more and more of him until his ability to deliver crumbles, and they can appoint a new Prince.

The Prince is aware of the position he is in, balanced between the public perception of a truly democratic state, and the power plays of the elders he opposes.

The players should be affiliated with the Carthian Movement in some way, or have a vested interest in the smooth running of the city's new political order.
They will be employed by the new Prince to handle the elders and their demand, either granting them their more... reasonable requests or limiting the damages of their excesses.
As the story progresses, they will be called on to act against the elders, reducing their temporal influence or muting their power within Kindred society.
This is a dangerous game for the players, as the elders could crush them, physically, mentally and socially, with a simple act, as could the new Prince.

Eventually they will have a decision to make. Side fully with the new Prince and destroy the elders, side with the elders and topple the new Prince, or act to remove both sides from power and establish something of their own choosing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Have phone, will geek / Android Apps for the Mobile Gamer

I've had an Android phone for about three months ish now, and whilst it hasn't quite revolutionized my life, it has made gaming on the go somewhat easier.

Here are the apps that turn my pocket into a gaming repository:

Internet Browser. Often overlooked, but the power of todays' mobile browsers is astounding. I read and contribute to forums exclusively from my phone nowadabys, and catch up on all my gaming related news as well.

Adobe PDF Reader. This app just keeps getting better. When I first got my phone, the Adobe app was just about acceptable for reading an 80 page copy of Mage Noir, with a lag as it uploaded. Now it has been updated twice and is much faster, easier to use and better presented. A must for the books you don't want to carry around with you.

NWoDice. A World of Darkness dice roller that is intuitive, quick and well presented. It covers off 8, 9 and10 again and chance die really well.

Dice Bag. A dice roller app. The jury's out on this one. It could be really spiffy, and does present a lot of options, but is kind of clunky to use. It does allow you to roll a full range of dice with modifiers and multiples, and to create your own dice (d11, anybody?).

RpgTracker. A nice little app that allows you to monitor any renewable resource you can think of: Health / Hit Points, magic points, willpower, blood pools, essence, healing surges etc. You name a character, create each stat, assign a max and current score, and then track from there. It even includes a formula field for stats that replenish over time, although I've not figured that one out yet.

Name Generator. This app will randomly generate a number of names for you based on which gender and nationality you select. Apparently it knows the most popular first and second names for each country on the list and works from that. Even includes ancient Greek and Roman names.

Pathfinder Spell Compendium. Allows you to drill down to the full spell text by class and level, or to search on the spell name. Very quick.

Blogger. What I'm using to write this right now. It's not advanced enough to edit posts you've created on a PC, but is very versatile nonetheless. And once you've published a post using the app, you can edit it at a PC as normal.

Vampire 20th / The modern world

I woke up this morning to a massive world news story. You may be aware of it. I'll not issue any spoilers if you've not.
It reminded me of something I'd been thinking about a couple of weeks ago, around the publication of White Wolf's Vampire: the Masquerade 20th anniversary edition (V:tM R.5?).

Firstly, a link, link fans:

Are we up to speed? Awesome.

What I was thinking was this: how are they going to adapt the setting to reflect 2011 onwards? Or, how are they going to incorporate the events of the last ten or so years, specifically 9/11?
With the publication of Vampire Revised in 98 (?), there was a revision of the Assamite clan, and the metaplot focussed on a threat from the East.
Then, just as New York by Night was due for publication, the Twin Towers were attacked and the world changed over night.
White Wolf chose not to pull or amend the book, instead opting to fix it firmly before the attack and present it as a tribute to a heroic city.

Or, in other words, real life events did not affect the metaplot.

So I found myself wondering what take V20 will take on the events since 9/11, and on the events of the last few days.
Will the Assamites be affected? Theoretically they should be sympathetic to some of the ideologies of the Muslim extremist movements, and are certainly geared up to wage a war against their enemies.

I also think that playing an Assamite would be a roleplay challenge in itself, given recent events.
Could most players do the concept justice without crossing any lines of gaming etiquette?
I don't know, myself. It would be hard for me to portray a fundamentalist amongst people who personified everything he stood against.

Finally, a question to you all: should a RPG game reference world events as defining and emotive as 9/11?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Why are there so many doors around here? / Changeling: the Lost antagonist

The Huntsman approaches through the Hedge
I'm itching to play Changeling: the Lost. It strikes me as such a mature and evolved game, with such a strong focus on humanity, loss, and of course, madness. Every time I read the core rules, or just think about the setting, my palms start to itch.

So, to partially appease my inner gaming urge, I have been working through scenarios in my mind: What would I do with a Changeling campaign? How would I run it? What would I focus on?

Here's one of the things I've come up with. This character presents a mystery for the players to uncover, and a problem to resolve. He's been statted as a legal starting character, with one fudge - I gave him an extra 1xp so he could purchase the Dream 1 contract. Other than that, somebody could pick this character up and play him.
Although I would advise against it..

The hook that gets the players involved is the growing number of gateways to Hedge that are appearing all over the city. At least one a day is being discovered, and the Freehold is concerned - these doors are in seemingly random sites, and present a growing risk from rival Freeholds, rogues, Loyalists, the True Fae themselves - the map of entrances and exists to the Hedge is changing daily, and the Freehold is struggling to keep up.
The Huntsman
The players should be tasked with tracking down whoever is opening these doors, and making sure that no more are opened.

The cause is a Changeling known only as The Quarry, freshly escaped from captivity and blundering through the near Hedge and local city.
The Quarry is a Runnerswift, taken by a Fae Huntsman some ten years ago and continually hunted with dogs and horses for all that time. The Quarry's only companion during this time was the constant fear of capture, fear of the dogs, fear of the horn. Now he has finally escaped, but he doesn't actually know it. All he knows is that he needs to run, to hide, to always make sure he has an exit, to fear everything.
Now he is in the players city, constantly jumping from the world to the Hedge and back in an effort to evade capture. He doesn't know where he is, hasn't even considered trying to reclaim his old life, and is terrified of everybody and everything, especially those people that look like the monster huntsman and his pack that took him.
If he sees the players, he'll bolt.
If surprised, he'll run.
If he sees a dog or horse, he runs.
The Hedge side of the city
If he feels trapped, enclosed or out of options, he will do anything to get away.

If the players can find a way to reassure him and quell his fear, he could talk to them.
He could alternately be scared away from the Freehold and the surrounding area, becoming someone else's problem.
And, of course, they could kill him or similar, although it should be made clear that they're not dealing with a malevolent threat, rather a terrified young man who's just like they were.


The Quarry
The Quarry
Male, 18 years old
Beast / Runnerswift (rabbit/hare)

Virtue - Fortitude
Vice - Gluttony

  • Intelligence 1, Wits 4, Resolve 2
  • Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Stamina 2
  • Presence 1, Manipulation 1, Composure 4

  • Crafts 1, Investigation 1, Medicine 1, Occult 1
  • Athletics 3 (sprinting, jumping), Brawl 1, Larceny 1, Stealth 3 (moving in woodland), Survival 2 (foraging) Weaponry 1
  • Animal Ken 3, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 3
  • Hollow 1 (a basic burrow in the Hedge)
  • Fleet of Foot 2
  • Contract of Smoke 3
  • Contract of Fang & Talon 2 (rabbit/hare)
  • Contract of Dream 1
Wyrd 3, Glamour pool 12
Health 7, Willpower 6
Clarity 5
Size 5, Speed 15, Initiative 8, Defense 4

Flaw: Phobia (dogs)

FFS White Wolf, what are you playing at? / Where are the game pages?

I'm half way through writing a post about Changeling: the Lost, and thought it would be a good idea to include a link the C:tL page on the WW website, for anybody that isn't familiar with this excellent game.

Turns out they don't hold any game specific information on their site anymore. Not even on Vampire: the Requiem.
There's a split between 'old' and 'new' world of darkness, Exalted and Scion, and that's it.
In the past they've given each game line its own set of pages that include a description of / introduction to the line, line specific news, downloads and bonus material.
Now they give nothing.
Thanks for that, White Wolf / CCP. Thanks a bunch.

I've seen the rationale of moving the pdf downloads off the site and letting DrivethruRPG handle it instead, and the sudden and massive move to fan generated content (which sounds fine, on paper), but what we are seeing here is a total abandonment of the games that made the company worth acquiring by CCP in the first place.

Hell, SJ Games still maintains an In Nomine site, and that's been out of print for nearly a decade.
Because it still has fans.

I feel disappointed and let down. How could you, White Wolf, how could you?
For shame.