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Cryptkeepers -- A Splat for Storytellers?

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  • #16
    Looks like a new type of Immortals with a focus on Vestiges.


    MtAw Homebrew:
    Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
    New 2E Legacies, expanded

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Greetings1 View Post

      Interesting idea, but to what purpose do they collect these items which could also be expressed in gameplay?
      I was thinking that they would serve as, like disciplines or variations. You only get the most barebones effect out of it when you get it, but you can empower them through xp

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      • #18
        Originally posted by wrecksalot View Post

        I was thinking that they would serve as, like disciplines or variations. You only get the most barebones effect out of it when you get it, but you can empower them through xp
        Would that work better as a kind of NPC, or would it work as a game splat in your opinion? I honestly don't know, I've just been throwing ideas out there.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Greetings1 View Post
          Would that work better as a kind of NPC, or would it work as a game splat in your opinion? I honestly don't know, I've just been throwing ideas out there.
          I think if we work enough on how this character collects stories and craft narratives, we can have a suitable Player Splat.

          A staple of the Gothic Horror that we still work little in RPGs is the Witness Protagonist. In the source literature the protagonist of the story is less one of the villains or heroes, and more someone simply witnessing the story unfold from a third person perspective.

          This is all over the place there, from the original Castle of Otranto to the humor of Scooby-Doo (that despite all its goofiness is extremely loyal to Gothic tropes).

          For our more familiar supernatural horror, an excellent example is the book Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The original novella's protagonist is Gabriel John Utterson, Jekyll's lawyer, who investigates his client's weird business with the shady figure of Hyde, a man obviously up to no good and seemingly engaged in blackmail against the good doctor Henry Jekyll.

          So the entire story develops as Utterson investigates, interrogates people, collects documents and evidence, and at some point even breaks into Jekyll's house after the truth. But while he's the protagonist and the one driving the action, the story isn't his, but the narrative that emerges from his findings about the conflict between Jekyll and Hyde, until the nature of their relationship truly emerges.

          Capturing this most elusive aspect of the Gothic genre into an RPG would be a worth endeavor in making this splat.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
            I think if we work enough on how this character collects stories and craft narratives, we can have a suitable Player Splat.

            A staple of the Gothic Horror that we still work little in RPGs is the Witness Protagonist. In the source literature the protagonist of the story is less one of the villains or heroes, and more someone simply witnessing the story unfold from a third person perspective.

            This is all over the place there, from the original Castle of Otranto to the humor of Scooby-Doo (that despite all its goofiness is extremely loyal to Gothic tropes).

            For our more familiar supernatural horror, an excellent example is the book Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The original novella's protagonist is Gabriel John Utterson, Jekyll's lawyer, who investigates his client's weird business with the shady figure of Hyde, a man obviously up to no good and seemingly engaged in blackmail against the good doctor Henry Jekyll.

            So the entire story develops as Utterson investigates, interrogates people, collects documents and evidence, and at some point even breaks into Jekyll's house after the truth. But while he's the protagonist and the one driving the action, the story isn't his, but the narrative that emerges from his findings about the conflict between Jekyll and Hyde, until the nature of their relationship truly emerges.

            Capturing this most elusive aspect of the Gothic genre into an RPG would be a worth endeavor in making this splat.
            Oh, here's an idea, Cryptkeepers have a special connection to their Crypts, similar to a Beast's lair. It not only houses all the items and stories they collected, but also contains their essence in a way.

            The Crypt is also ephemeral, moving about--disappearing and reappearing--where the Cryptkeeper deems it necessary.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Greetings1 View Post
              Oh, here's an idea, Cryptkeepers have a special connection to their Crypts, similar to a Beast's lair. It not only houses all the items and stories they collected, but also contains their essence in a way.

              The Crypt is also ephemeral, moving about--disappearing and reappearing--where the Cryptkeeper deems it necessary.
              That's a good one, but maybe the Crypt is greater than the Keeper?

              It reminds me of a pair of such storytellers from DC Comics, Cain and Abel and their House of Mystery and House of Secrets. The two Houses are also independent entities in their own right and on occasion hold other inhabitants while never exactly "serving" no one.

              You don't own them in any sense just because you reside there, although they may give you some control over their state.


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              • #22
                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                That's a good one, but maybe the Crypt is greater than the Keeper?

                It reminds me of a pair of such storytellers from DC Comics, Cain and Abel and their House of Mystery and House of Secrets. The two Houses are also independent entities in their own right and on occasion hold other inhabitants while never exactly "serving" no one.

                You don't own them in any sense just because you reside there, although they may give you some control over their state.
                "The Mortuary Collection" established such an idea -- the mortuary trades hands between one person to another; the storyteller sells it to a serial murderer so she is entrapped there while the previous owner is allowed to die.

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                • #23
                  Maybe the Cryptkeepers were people chosen by these sentient places, these "Crypts". These "crypts" pluck lost souls from outer darkness so that they may help feed them certain karmic energies for a certain length of time. In return, the soul is given a chance to escape their fate and perhaps get a second chance.

                  Which would explain why these characters are always so grimly giddy--despite all the macabre happenings around them, they are getting a free ticket out of Hell, so to speak.

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                  • #24
                    What would you picture their powers to be?

                    Some part of me believes they could manifest many things within their respective Crypts (as seen with HBO's Cryptkeeper always seemingly doing something comically grim with any number of props or people) but be much more limited outside of their crypts.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Greetings1 View Post
                      What would you picture their powers to be?

                      Some part of me believes they could manifest many things within their respective Crypts (as seen with HBO's Cryptkeeper always seemingly doing something comically grim with any number of props or people) but be much more limited outside of their crypts.
                      That depends a lot on how we want to play them out.

                      One aspect of the splat should certainly be the hosting of a storytelling. While Beasts have Heroes fated to search them for a climatic battle, AFAIK, Keepers should receive Seekers, people that come to the Crypt in search of something, knowingly or not, either an object or an information, to be delivered along with the moral of the story behind it.

                      But that is just the Keeper dealing with Seekers. We also need to define how the Keepers collect the stories in the first place, and then we should define the skills they develop for going out there. Of course, those can be relatively mild abilities, as their main goal is to collect narratives and not to resolve them per se.

                      Maybe their standard powers should be subtle, geared towards survival, travel and acquiring information. Then there are the powers they derive from the stories they collect, in the form of tales and nick knacks.

                      I also think they should be able to bring the power of the stories to the outside world under certain circumstances, like when asked for a Seeker or after telling the relevant story to their victims-to-be. They have a connection to the Crypts, but their power is in the storytelling itself.


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                        That depends a lot on how we want to play them out.

                        One aspect of the splat should certainly be the hosting of a storytelling. While Beasts have Heroes fated to search them for a climatic battle, AFAIK, Keepers should receive Seekers, people that come to the Crypt in search of something, knowingly or not, either an object or an information, to be delivered along with the moral of the story behind it.

                        But that is just the Keeper dealing with Seekers. We also need to define how the Keepers collect the stories in the first place, and then we should define the skills they develop for going out there. Of course, those can be relatively mild abilities, as their main goal is to collect narratives and not to resolve them per se.

                        Maybe their standard powers should be subtle, geared towards survival, travel and acquiring information. Then there are the powers they derive from the stories they collect, in the form of tales and nick knacks.

                        I also think they should be able to bring the power of the stories to the outside world under certain circumstances, like when asked for a Seeker or after telling the relevant story to their victims-to-be. They have a connection to the Crypts, but their power is in the storytelling itself.
                        Should their powers have a theme of influencing the flow of events?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Greetings1 View Post
                          Should their powers have a theme of influencing the flow of events?
                          Thinking about it, maybe not their powers, but their mere presence.

                          As Gothic storytellers they shouldn't have the power to control the stories that unfold around them, but certainly be drawn to them. One option is that they have some effect in their surrounds that naturally "raise the drama" in the area.

                          Fate distorts around them, thoughts and emotions seek closure, the status quo starts to crumble under the unnaturally increased weight of consequences in hold and debts owed. If the Keeper don't find a story, a story will find the Keeper through whatever actors are at hand.


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                          • #28
                            This is starting to sound like a midpoint between Mummy and Beast.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                              This is starting to sound like a midpoint between Mummy and Beast.
                              Is this good or bad?


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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Greetings1 View Post

                                Not sure, I'm not familiar with (Ryuujin and Ryuutama)
                                Ryuutama is a rules-light "natural fantasy" RPG set in a world where people randomly get wanderlust and go out to see the world. Traveling parties are secretly followed or accompanied by shapeshifting dragon NPCs (Ryuujin) controlled by the GM, writing travelogues of the group's exploits. They have their own stats and story-influencing abilities, which can help or hinder the party to make the journey more interesting. The travelogues are then fed to the Seasonal Dragons who created the world, who each have an affinity for particular story types. The Ryuujin has to spend their life force to activate their abilities and can die if, say, they undo a character death because they got attached to the group.
                                So, I'm thinking the suggestion was something along the lines of:
                                Cryptkeeper: "This was when he realized his mistake..." and the Cryptkeeper spending resources to force a Dramatic Failure or the like.

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