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[2E] Homebrew Courts and Freeholds

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  • #16
    This might be a bit barebones, but i'll be working more on it.

    A while ago i was watching with my girlfriend the tv show Hotel Hell. That gave me the idea of a court based on hospitality. The motleys of the court run hotels, youth hostels, B&B and the likes. Every year a stranger stays at each hotel, etc of the court and the most hospitable gets the crown.
    I'm thinking of the Court of the Hearth (maybe?).

    Not good on the mechanical stuff so that will take me a while.
    Last edited by Maitrecorbo; 12-15-2017, 06:07 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by haren View Post
      "What are the 'roles' of the various Courts?? Also, how does the Freehold work?"
      Seems to me that two of the most important needs of a travelling Freehold are knowledge and diplomacy. A localized Freehold gets to know all the major Hedge entrances and trods, places of Fae magic, abundant sources of Glamour, and areas of particular danger. A mobile Freehold would have much less deep and nuanced knowledge, but covering a much, much broader area. Someone would have to be responsible for collecting up rumors and local lore, and keeping an archive for when the decision makers need it. Based on your descriptions, this sounds like this might be one of the major duties of the Courtiers of Crossroads.

      The other thing is that Freeholds don't tend to like or trust incursions into their territory, so the responsibility of making peace with local Lords and Ladies of whatever territory the Freehold stops in is a hugely important one (to say nothing of werewolf packs and Sin-Eater krewes and all the other territorial SoBs of the Wide World of Darkness). Again, based on your descriptions, I suspect it would probably be the Court of Cargo that is responsible for finding the local Freeholds, announcing the visit, and making appropriate gifts and pledges of peace. The court would probably have a powerful five-dot Oathsworn Token representing many, many promises of peace made and upheld.

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      • #18
        gscrap To be honest, that is pretty much what I thought for Crossroads and Cargo. I hadn't said that, but yeah. Thanks for putting that down. Sometimes things I feel are more clear than they are, aren't. Problem with living in your head.



        ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

        http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
          Interesting Note: Emotions don't need to be involved at all, apparently emotional ties is a seasonal thing rather than a court thing. Not to say that only seasonal courts have emotional ties, just that it isn't something intrinsic to courts.
          I was starting to notice this as well.

          I imagine that each Court, even if it's not based on an emotion, still has a favored... reaction? that can get them Glamour, right?

          Like if you have a Court of Blood and a Court of Prey (i can't get a court system with Eldar Kindred as Patrons out of my head). The former might give Courtiers more Glamour when feeding off of a Fight reaction (from Fight or Flight) where the latter gives its courtiers more Glamour when feeding off a Flight reaction. Right?



          Frequent Story Teller for the Circle of Five gaming group.

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          • #20
            Now, on to the Bargains!

            The Bargain of Pathways forces the True Fae into a literal running battle. They can not attempt to set up a roadblock or other blockade. Such attempts will leave them waiting fruitlessly, as the Freehold passes by without even noticing them or having warning and taking a different path. Any battle the Court of Pathways leads with the True Fae will appear like a fae version of Mad Max.

            The Bargain of Crossroads makes it so the True Fae creates at least one hole in their lines that is stable. There is always one way out and should any make it through, the Fae can not give chase or interfere with them. As such, the goal is for at least some to make it through and come back and fight to allow others to freely escape, because the "escapees" can neither be killed or captured by the Gentry.

            The Bargain of Cargo forces the Gentry to crash and clash against the Freehold when they are at their strongest and most secure. They can not wait till the Freehold is weakened or its defenses are taken down. Such Sieges are won more often by attrition and loss of the will to battle.

            The Bargain of Carriage is that of hearth and hospitality. The Gentry must swear to leave the Freehold in peace for a time if they are given one thing they request. This must be reasonable to some degree and never a member of the Freehold. This is the Bargain the Gentry most fear and as such, they almost never attack at nighttime when a Freehold has taken temporary residence as such pledges are something that can destroy parts of that which they hold most dear... themselves.



            ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

            http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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            • #21
              Excuse this, but large amount of stuff to be dumped in a few posts... Court Mantles and Crowns. Sorry, but the formatting seems weird from copy pasting.
              Pathways

              The road is both long and hard, while making a journey easier and faster. It guides the traveler to both doom and desire, depending on their wishes and wisdom.

              The Court of Pathways is considered that of the most nomadic of their freeholds. They wander ahead both as scouts and to gather the resources that their Freehold most needs, even hunting to provide food in the most needy of times. As such it draws those with quick minds and sharp senses both. This Court is the second line of defense against the True Fae... not primarily to battle with them, but to raise up the call to arms and warn of the coming battle.

              The Mantle of a Pathways courtier seems to make nearby things sharp and crisp to the senses, almost painfully, while more distant ones shimmer in a sheen of heat and echo.

              Your character gains a Glamour point when they gather a needed resource after having left the path.

              * Gain bonus dice equal to your character's Mantle dots on mundane rolls to find and gather resources.

              ** Gain bonus dice equal to your character's Mantle dots to sense a pathway and anything on it, even those pathways hidden or somewhat forgotten by time.

              *** Regain a Willpower point when you find a way around an impediment that blocks the pathway you are on.

              **** By spending a Willpower, the character can gain up to their Mantle in dots of the Trod merit once per chapter while in the Hedge. This trod is often a lost one opening itself to the changeling and lasts till the character leaves the Hedge.

              ***** While on a pathway, the character adds two to their Defense and can apply it against firearms.

              The Eyes of the Wanderer grants a Crown of worked stone with small plants peeking between them that then wraps around the changeling in a well-worn longcoat of dust and heat. It lets its queen spend a point of Willpower to find their Mantle in goblin fruits even outside of the Hedge. They can do this twice per chapter and the fruits turn oversweet and foul at the end of the chapter.
              Crossroads

              Where paths cross, choice blossoms. Wisdom and knowledge are the twins who make sure the traveler reaches their destination rather than a messy end.

              The Court of Crossroads is that of the wise elder, the scholar, and record-keeper. Their job is to be the repositories of all the Freehold knows and to ensure that is passed on from generation to generation. It is the slower and more intent cousin of Pathways. They are the first line of defense against the True Fae and others, by doing their best to guide the Freehold past and around the threats that lurk in the shadows.


              The Mantle of a Crossroads courtier causes shadows to grow long and light to flicker as if cast by a flame. It fills the air with pregnant silences punctuated and divided by the distant calls of creatures.

              Your character gains a Glamour point when they teach a willing student something they had not known.

              * Gain bonus dice equal to your character's Mantle dots on mundane rolls to research the dangers and boons along the paths ahead.

              ** Gain bonus dice equal to your Mantle dots on mundane rolls to convince someone to take or avoid a particular pathway.

              *** Spend a Willpower to gain the Language merit in one of your choice for the rest of the chapter.

              **** Once per chapter, the character may attempt to divine the best pathway out of choices they know (literal or figurative) though they will not know why it is better than the others.

              ***** A crossroads becomes a valid potential entrance to the Hedge for the purposes of portaling.

              The Gathering of Choices forges a Crown of intertwined wooden and metal signs, shaking down into a glorious robe. By spending a point of Glamour, the king can press their hand to a book, scroll, or the like that they can read and know it as if they had read it, instantly. They can do this up to their Mantle times per chapter.



              ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

              http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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              • #22
                Cargo

                Cargo is always potentially fragile and in danger of breaking during a journey if not taken care of properly. But if care is taken, it is a boon to all who travel with it.

                The Court of Cargo is that of warrior, diplomat, trap-maker, and even the simple porter. It tends to draw those of strong will, arm, and charm. The court is often the first official contact between the Freehold and others. The pacts they make bring peace and prosperity to both sides as long as the oaths are well-kept. They are also responsible for making sure a location is defensible and that those defenses are placed. They often carry a 5 dot oathsworn Token created with the many pledges and pacts of peace with potentially rival supernatural groups.

                The Mantle of a Cargo courtier smells of blood and oil. The world seems more solid and certain around them. Their footprints seem to sink into even the hardest of materials, as if the weight of the world was on their shoulders.

                Your character gains a Glamour point whenever they convince others to keeping the peace, in spite of themselves.

                * Gain bonus dice equal to your character's Mantle dots to build defenses around an encampment.

                ** Gain bonus dice equal to your character's Mantle dots to find and make contact with a local group of supernatural origin.

                *** Once per chapter, reroll an attempt to create a deal with a rival group of supernaturals to mutual benefit.

                **** Once per chapter, by expending a Willpower and with a few minutes of time, the character can turn a location into their Mantle dots of equivalent Safe Space for themselves and Mantle of allies. This lasts till the sun has risen and fallen once each.

                ***** The character has 2 points of natural general armor while in a location where they built defenses and suffers no bashing damage from attacks soaked completely by armor.

                The Impenetrable Wall shapes a Crown of bright white bone and blood red gems, that encircle the body in a plated suit. Twice per chapter, the queen may gain the Inspired condition focused on a goal of their choice, which lasts until resolved, they choose a new goal (with their second use), or the chapter ends.

                Carriage

                Carriages are designed around comfort and a sense of home, even when moving. For many, they are a home away from home, but for others, they are the only place they call home truly.

                The Court of Carriage is that of home and hearth and those who make those things important and welcoming. It calls those who see comfort not just as a luxury but a necessity and salvation. Also, this is the Court that is hardest to understand for outsiders as it takes both those who fit no where else and those who might seem better suited to a particular other Court. They turn their talents to make a home inviting often towards making money for the Freehold.

                The Mantle of a Carriage courtier smells of home cooking and feels like a rush of warmth on opening a door on a chill day. The lines of the world seem to melt away around them, almost like a watercolour painting.

                Your character gains a Glamour point after welcoming and comforting someone stressed from long effort.

                * Gain bonus dice equal to your character's Mantle dots to create an inviting environment to stay in.

                ** Gain bonus dice equal to your character's Mantle dots when encouraging others to spend more of their time and effort to stay with you.

                *** Spend a Glamour to gain the effect of the Brownie's Boon merit for a single mundane extended action.

                **** Once per chapter, by expending a Willpower, Glamour and with a few minutes of time to grant a mortal dwelling the benefits of the Hollow Merit up to their Mantle in dots. This lasts till the sun has risen and fallen once each.

                ***** With a day's work, the character can share their Resources with two others, effectively granting them those Resources of their own for a day.

                The Glory of Hearth creates a Crown of flames and sweets that becomes a cloak of delights. Once per chapter it allows the king two Glamour for each person who they made stay longer than they planned with the king or in a place he made inviting. This Glamour can only be spent on Contracts, Tokens, or oneiromancy, or using portaling to escape other's traps. Any unspent Glamour he gained this way disappears at chapter end.
                Last edited by haren; 12-16-2017, 02:16 PM.



                ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

                http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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                • #23
                  And now I'm feeling somewhat intimidated that Court Contracts are all that's left.



                  ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

                  http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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                  • #24
                    And since I just had the idea, I like it, and it gives me something to work on that isn't Contracts...

                    Carnivale of Gossamer Veils

                    This is the event that the Courts of Pathways, Crossroads, Cargo, and Carriage celebrate together. It most often takes the form of a music festival in the modern age, as Freeholds travel from afar to converge on a single point. In past years it might have occurred at a flea market or similar large gathering of mundane people.

                    The changelings gather to revel in another year of freedom and wanderlust, to trade information and goods, to make pledges with other Freeholds, to plan out rough routes so that the Freeholds share in resources and do not destroy the goodwill of any community towards the traveling folk with too many of their kind in one place, and even for particularly large Freeholds to lose members who might go on to gather into a new smaller Freehold for the same reason.



                    ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

                    http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                      Interesting Note: Emotions don't need to be involved at all, apparently emotional ties is a seasonal thing rather than a court thing. Not to say that only seasonal courts have emotional ties, just that it isn't something intrinsic to courts.
                      Hrm... while there's nothing in the court creation section that talks about a favored emotion (and specifically says that emotions are how Seasonal deal with their Durance), there are the Bedlam rules and the extra-glamour-from-favored-emotion in the Harvesting Glamour rules. How would we deal with these things in a Court systems without emotional ties.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by MCN View Post
                        Hrm... while there's nothing in the court creation section that talks about a favored emotion (and specifically says that emotions are how Seasonal deal with their Durance), there are the Bedlam rules and the extra-glamour-from-favored-emotion in the Harvesting Glamour rules. How would we deal with these things in a Court systems without emotional ties.
                        Yeah, I've asked that multiple times.
                        Last edited by milo v3; 12-17-2017, 07:20 AM.


                        Genius templates (for Demon: the Descent)

                        Rakshasa: the Kingdom (Featuring the Extinction Chronicle) [WIP]

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by MCN View Post
                          Hrm... while there's nothing in the court creation section that talks about a favored emotion (and specifically says that emotions are how Seasonal deal with their Durance), there are the Bedlam rules and the extra-glamour-from-favored-emotion in the Harvesting Glamour rules. How would we deal with these things in a Court systems without emotional ties.
                          I think Bedlam is simplest... you gain no benefits, but neither do you suffer any penalties. Harvesting is a bit more complicated, but what I suspect other Courts have likely somewhat easier targets for their Glamour regain as part of Mantle and/or other methods of gaining Glamour more easily. You've given me something to think about here.

                          Edit: And here's a Contract of Carriage inspired by this very concept.

                          Pickled Gossamer (Common)
                          Through secret arts granted to the changelings by Carriage itself, they have learned a way to condense Glamour into liquid form, banking it with interest for times of need.
                          Cost: 1 Glamour
                          Dice Pool: None
                          Action: Instant
                          Duration: Up to 5 months
                          Effects: The changeling prepares some food and creates a "brine" of liquefied Glamour. This food will grant 1 Glamour + 1 Glamour per month of pickling when eaten. By doing this, the Court has created a way to prepare for times of need with the resources in times of plenty.
                          Loophole: The changeling pickles or makes a preserve of a Goblin Fruit, which no longer needs a changeling to stay "good" and useful for the future.
                          Last edited by haren; 12-17-2017, 02:31 PM. Reason: Adding a Carriage Contract



                          ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

                          http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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                          • #28
                            When you're on a roll, you're on a roll. Have a few more Contracts of Carriage!
                            Warmth of the Hearth (Common)
                            The home or business of a Carriage courtier can awaken the sense of well-being so strongly that their guests may feel like they never wish to leave.
                            Cost: 2 Glamour
                            Dice Pool: Presence + Persuasion + Mantle vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance
                            Action: Contested
                            Duration: Hours equal to successes rolled
                            Roll Results
                            Dramatic Failure: The guest feels so insulted that they leave immediately.
                            Failure: The Contract fails.
                            Success: The warmth of the environment on the target causes them to stay and enjoy the pleasures of the changeling's place for “just a little longer”, unless they are forced to leave by danger or the displeasure of the changeling host.
                            Exceptional Success: This effect is so powerful that the target never realizes how much time has passed, thinking it a scene, even if they spend a whole day there.
                            Loophole: The changeling offers a delight the target is interested in, be it toy or food.

                            The Breaking of Bread (Royal)
                            The hospitality of the Carriage is one of legend, and even those enemies who partake of it are driven to enforce the sanctity of such.
                            Cost: 3 Glamour + 1 Willpower
                            Dice Pool: None
                            Action: Instant
                            Duration: As long as the guests stay
                            Effects: Inviting guests to stay and enjoy their hospitality, the changeling not only prevents violence by them during their stay, but drives them to take part in the defense of the comfort and safety of the home and those inside. The guests must choose to accept, even if with bad intent. Once combat has started, leaving the home won't free them from this compulsion. Should a supernatural force be coercing violence, the changeling and force engage in a Clash of Wills.
                            Loophole: The changeling serves up a feast of their own preparations for their guests.



                            ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

                            http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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                            • #29
                              Sorry for all this stuff in drips and drabs. Just one more Carriage Contract for today and 2 of Cargo. I'll save others I make up for tomorrow.
                              Carriage Contracts
                              Carriage is the place to take comfort and make preparations to keep those comforts even in the most needy of times. It welcomes, and even entraps the unwary as they relax in contentment.

                              Gracious Host's Sense (Common)
                              By gazing thoughtfully at a person, a proper host can feel what would give them the most comfort and put them at ease.
                              Cost: 1 Glamour
                              Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy + Mantle vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance
                              Action: Contested
                              Roll Results
                              Dramatic Failure: The target senses being observed by the changeling and finds it disturbing.
                              Failure: The Contract fails.
                              Success: The changeling learns of one item of comfort per success that they could provide that would make the target feel more relaxed in a situation.
                              Exceptional Success: The changeling may remove the Spooked or Shaken Condition from the target by providing of of the items that would relax the target.
                              Loophole: The changeling is gazing at the target's reflection instead of the target themselves.

                              Cargo Contracts
                              Cargo requires that things be well packed and protected for the long road ahead, and so it's secrets teach the arts that create solid walls and provide safety for that which lies beyond those walls and doors.

                              Doors as Walls (Common)
                              By touching a door or window, the changeling makes it no more easy to pass as the walls it is set within.
                              Cost: 1 Glamour
                              Dice Pool: None
                              Action: Instant
                              Effects: The changeling places their hand to the door and whispers a sweet lie to it, and the door becomes solidly locked and barred against any mundane attempts to get through it. Force requires as much effort as to make egress through the wall. Supernatural attempts to unlock the door cause a Clash of Wills with the Contract user.
                              Loophole: The doorknob is broken or taken apart.


                              Safety of the Cradle (Royal)
                              The barriers that guard items and those inside them, protect perfectly until they are completely destroyed.
                              Cost: 1 Glamour + 1 Glamour per 5 Size of container
                              Dice Pool: None
                              Action: Instant

                              Duration: One day
                              Effects: The changeling enchants a container of some sort by speaking to it about its strength. As long a wall stands even slightly whole, no attack or damage from outside may bypass it. Utter destruction of the wall or container will allow the damage to pierce through.
                              Loophole: The changeling touches along the length of each wall, loudly proclaiming the power of those walls.



                              ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

                              http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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                              • #30
                                Short version of the Courts of Comedy and Tragedy, for a short chronicle set in 1920s Berlin (think "Cabaret" but with True Loyalists instead of Nazis):

                                After the Great War, the Seasonal Courts of Berlin were just as damaged as the rest of the country. Those Lost who made it through the Hedge in these years found precious little to keep them there, and the depopulated freehold became easy prey for privateers. To that end, in 1921, the former Spring Queen and Winter King forged new Bargains with Comedy and Tragedy, reorganizing the remaining Lost to either laugh in the face of despair or learn to live with it.

                                The Court of Comedy
                                other names: The Jester Court, the Silver Candle
                                Lisl Eishaende, the former Spring Queen, was the one who struck the Bargain with Comedy. She was always something of a comic figure herself, a Snowskin Fairest who flung herself into the hedonism of Spring just to be able to feel again. When it became clear that the freehold no longer had enough trustworthy courtiers to maintain the cycle of seasons, it was Lisl who approached Old Man Winter with the proposition to cut a new Bargain. She chose Comedy as her new patron, went into the Hedge – and came out laughing, wearing a mask of delicate silver over her icy face.

                                The main service to Comedy that the court performs is an all-night revel, held on the Winter Solstice. Gluhwein and other Christmas treats flow steadily as the best jugglers, dancers, musicians and comedians try to keep the crowd in high spirits until dawn. Lisl and her most senior courtiers become servants for the night, while the freehold crowns a mock monarch to hold court. The symbolism—laughing in the face of the dark—isn’t hard to miss. What is harder to understand, for outsiders, is how the Lost of the Silver Candle can laugh in times like these, with Arcadia behind and Germany’s uncertain future ahead. What a Jester might reply is: of course it’s impossible to laugh. That’s why it’s necessary to laugh. The situation is absurdly bleak, and so we laugh at that absurdity.

                                In return, Comedy’s Bargain is simple: any attack by the Gentry on the Freehold of the Black Bear while Comedy reins will be plagued by the worst of luck, the most outrageous of coincidences, the most absurd setbacks possible. This does not guarantee that the attack won’t be successful – but it ensures that the Lost will have plenty of time and opportunities to turn it aside.

                                Comedy’s Mantle is energetic and joyful. At low levels, a Jester seems to move a little quicker than others, and colors around them seem brighter. At higher levels, they are followed by faint music, and their smile is quite literally infectious.

                                The Mantle of Comedy
                                •Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to mundane rolls to cheer up someone else.
                                •• Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots when taking mundane actions to humiliate or embarrass someone else
                                •••Once per story, remove a Clarity Condition without resolving it.
                                ••••Regain one additional Willpower point whenever you would regain Willpower through your Needle
                                •••••Once per chapter, your may spend a point of Glamour to inflict the Unlucky condition on a target. Unlucky (Persistant): You lose the 10-again quality on all mundane rolls and cannot spend Willpower to increase your dice pool. To resolve, take a Dramatic Failure on any roll without gaining a Beat.

                                The Crown of Comedy is a silver mask, which the monarch wears at all times. When Comedy reigns, the Crown also manifests a cape of luxurious purple and silver harlequin fabric, edged with tiny silver bells. Crown Effect: Feast of Fools. Once per chapter, the Queen of Comedy can spend a point of Glamour to “lend” her Mantle dots to another being for a scene. The recipient need not be sworn to Comedy, or even a Changeling; it is possible to hold Mantle in another court and still benefit from this power. During the scene, the Queen does not have access to any of her Mantle powers.




                                I'll do Tragedy in a separate post.

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