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First Age Artifacts and Manses - what can they do? How do I balance them as an ST?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    My only criticism is your choice of language: please don't describe this IC as "egypt + skyrim" with "armies and shit". Try to be a bit more evocative. Other than that, it's a brilliant idea.
    Hahaha no, I would never, ever describe something that way in game - least of all something I put this much work into. I put it that way to them when we were batting around aesthetics and they said their only regret was picking the north and not having a pyramid for a manse and I was like "what about something like x" - that and to quick describe it to ya'll. In game it will be embellished til the cows come home, best believe. It's the centerpiece for the campaign for the most part.


    • #17
      Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
      The successive unlocking stages seem like a good way to go though. Is there a central theme to the manse powers when it’s complete? Like is it a fortress, a factory, an observatory, ect?
      I think this is the BIG problem. I.... don't know. I mean I want it to have lots of diverse functionality regardless, but a specific theme? I have no clue. A thought comes to mind but I don't know how ridiculous it is. What about something like a genesis device? The Manse was designed to be a self contained "seed" for creation should it every be destroyed or collapse to the point where the Wyld consumed everything again. Maybe this could be an excuse for it to be more than a Solar-Lunar Manse - what if to unlock every aspect they need a sidereal and dragonblood's help? Plus the requisite 'milestones' required to unlock each level.

      But I'm not sure that's thematically interesting enough. Or, if nothing else, I'm not sure it's "directed" enough in terms of theme to be of use to my players. Genuinely a little stumped here.

      Another questions I wanted to ask was what kinds of 'labors' would be good achievements for unlocking the various levels? Capturing hearthstones from other manses is one that comes to mind. Socketing in warstrider armor is another. Maybe a collection of 4-5 dot artifacts of each of the magical materials? (Bonus points for potentially being accomplished sooner if they sacrifice their own)? Essence from one of the elemental poles? The heart of a fae freehold? Something from the labyrinth or an iconic piece of the underworld? Same for hell (up to and including a bound second circle demon or crazier)?

      Maybe that IS a good idea about the theme of the manse - a menagerie, like a panoply of creation almost? A little bit of EVERYTHING which is why collecting parts of everything leads to unlocked segments?

      Is this idea totally off base or do ya'll think I'm onto something here? Any course correcting or counter-thoughts welcome.


      • #18
        I have a level 5 fire terraforming manse in the north and I think all it does is keep local area lush and hot and stop the wyld from advancing further. Mostly took it for the hearthstone and narrative reasons but I think it could also be an excuse for party to pick up some artefacts if we ever visited and explored it. I’ve honestly never given any thought to it that level 5 manses are super powerful considering my character has little interest in magic technology or civilisation in general .


        • #19
          Well, if it’s a seed of reality that reboots all of Creation that’s not Manse 5, that’s Manse N/A certainly. That’s not to say that you can’t introduce an N/A Manse in your game, but that it’s beyond the scope of 5.

          Magical museum/zoo is much closer to a 5. Then the different parts of the Manse could be activated as the Manse sees it requires them. So for example the magical wing dedicated to containing dangerous sorceries and Means might only be activated when a full spell capturing chord is placed in it. Kind of like the Manse going “oh crap, we’ve got a warstrider now? Time to activate the warstrider bay.” In fact you could give the Manse a spirit to interact with even, as cryptic as you like.

          Not that you need to do this, but it does give me an idea for an array of manses that each house different things according to their aspects. So the solar one holds dangerous sorcerous magic and wonderous artifacts, the wood one is a menagerie of deadly and strange creatures, the Sidereal one is a fantastic observatory with twisted destinies and grand archive of charted stars and planets over millennia, then the earth one contains stones, gems and metals with miraculous properties and histories from the deepest parts of Creation.


          • #20
            Originally posted by Loving the Gorgon View Post

            I think this is the BIG problem. I.... don't know. I mean I want it to have lots of diverse functionality regardless, but a specific theme? I have no clue.
            Pretend you have an idea in mind and wing it.

            See what the PCs do in game and if the players can "work out" the theme. Then steal their idea.

            Originally posted by Loving the Gorgon View Post
            A thought comes to mind but I don't know how ridiculous it is. What about something like a genesis device?
            Perfect idea for an N/A manse.

            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.


            • #21
              Must admit i know little to nothing about skyrim, but "solar/lunar manse pyramid in the North" got me thinking of a pyramid of moonsilver (that from a distance blendss in with ice) with runestone walls of orichalcum inlay, each with its own peculiar pattern of writing & imagery, that can change with the phase of the moon, part of day or even both things.