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  • Arkham Lost

    I've spent a fair amount of time moaning about how Outsider: the Calling is a stillborn mess of confused themes and broken mechanics while doing an awful lot of nothing to fix it up. Rather than undertake the project of rebuilding an entire fangame from scratch, I thought of taking what I liked about it and Lovecraft's work in general and have begun stapling together a doomed little treat I like to call Arkham Lost. It's basically like the mini-settings in Blood & Smoke with a fair bit of thematic twist.

    It's a work in progress; the Secret History is nowhere near finished, I haven't written up Elementals or Wizened yet (it shows that I never play either of them, I suppose), and I need to write up some mechanics for the revised Courts, the Hunter groups, and some sort of rules to reflect the thing barrier between reality and Arcadia in Arkham.

    Do you best to enjoy. (It's a Google Doc, should be open to everyone).

    http://tinyurl.com/ooher7y


    Call me Regina or Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

  • #2
    It has potential, for the Elementals I would say they were taken and reshaped into forms so alien they defied the concept of Earthly Forms after being exposed to the raw and limitless potential of Chaotic Madness and were made into the most malleable play things of the Elder Gods....or something to that effect. The Wizened are tricky but they could function as those who served beneath Fae that Worshipped Strange Monstrosities, Those who were forced to gaze into the very Mouth of Madness and see unspeakable Truths, or those who tended the Wild Places where Strange Gods Lurked in a strange sort of way to attempt placating their inscrutable whims. So far though I really like what you have made of Arkham Lost.

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    • #3


      Updated! Elementals got a rough description that I'm not fond of, the Courts got some mechanical meat (Autumn is good at reading! Winter is good at hiding! Summer is good at killing things! and other such stunning revelations) that replaces Mantle, and I've begun the history of things. Brace for lots of ALL CAPS RANTING AT MYSELF ABOUT WORK THAT REMAINS TO BE DONE (those poor, poor Wizened) but otherwise slightly more polished.

      As always, input is welcome and desperately craved!
      Last edited by atamajakki; 06-14-2014, 09:31 PM. Reason: Added humorous photo.


      Call me Regina or Lex.

      Female pronouns for me, please.

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      • #4
        Wow, Changeling meets Lovecraft! That's an awesome combination, especially since they share so many themes.

        I agree the Wizened would continue to serve as craftsmen and artisans. Their Arkham shtick could be building things that inevitably further the designs of their Keepers/Great Old Ones. Doorways that let them enter the world, mirrors they can see through, statues that cause disturbing dreams, and so on. The Wizened could be regularly plagued with nightmares that drive them to dark heights of artistic inspiration, like the sculptor in Call of Cthulhu. They know the fruits of their labors doom the world, but they can't help it. The godawful things in their dreams won't let them rest.

        I'm having a hard time reading your section on Keepers due to the light font, so I don't know if you're using this idea already, but you could just steal existing Great Old Ones. Dagon could be a Keeper who creates water-themed changelings, Hastur could have a propensity for Fairest, etc.

        One idea for changeling origins in Arkham is to have them actually go to Arcadia of their own violation, rather than get abducted by their Keepers. That sort of thing happens all the time in Lovecraft stories. A man with a Deep One father hears the siren call of the sea, urging him to join his true people beneath the waves. An intrepid detective gets too intrepid for his own good and uncovers a sanity-shattering truth he was never meant to learn. A woman living by the woods feels something dark calling to her from the trees, driving her to madness the longer she doesn't listen. And so on. Granted, humans can already stumble into Arcadia on their own in Changeling, but Arkham could assume that as the 'default' origin for the Lost (as opposed to forcible abduction). Fitting with the whole theme that horrible things happen to anyone who doesn't keep their head buried in the sand.


        Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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        • #5
          Minor updates all around, but here's something worth throwing out: the Hunter conspiracies aren't big on Arkham, for whatever reason, but a number of compacts have stepped up to the plate and are nearly as important as the local Lost. The two major groups are The Long Night (apocalyptic Christian fundamentalists; I have the specific branch in Arkham as a group of Protestants that hold up Salem's happy tradition of witch hunting) and Delta Green, who are Canon Immigrants from Call of Cthulhu that I wrote up here (http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...e-organization).

          There's also three sample Keepers who are Totally Not Cthulhu, Hastur, and Shub-Niggurath.


          Call me Regina or Lex.

          Female pronouns for me, please.

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          • #6
            Updated with a handful of new kiths, one for each Seeming. The only trouble I have with it is the Leviathan (for Beasts), in that it is basically better than the Swimmerskin in ever regard and may also outclass the Waterborn. I used the Manikin for balance reference, so keep that in mind.

            Beast
            Leviathan: Beneath the surface of Arcadia’s seas lurk all manner of especially dreadful Fae, dead but dreaming in lightless depths. A Lost taken to such a domain must either learn to breathe water or quickly die, and as such develop The Lungs of a Fish: by spending a point of Glamour, the Leviathan may breathe underwater for the rest of the scene. They may also purchase Contracts of Elements (Water) at a rate of (new dots x5 Experience Points), to reflect their affinity with the brine.
            Darkling
            Grotesque: Within Arcadia lurk all manner of hideous or faceless horrors that react with fury to a human visage, shaping flesh like clay into it is horribly distorted. The Lost that suffer such a fate Wear No Mask: by spending a point of Glamour, they may reveal their true face to a single target, inflict a -3 penalty to all rolls for a number of turns equal to the Grotesque’s Wyrd unless they pass a Resolve + Composure roll. The Grotesque may only Wear No Mask once per scene.
            Elemental
            Massive: In the cold reaches of space lurk black holes so massive and dense that everything, light included, is drawn into its gravity and crushed beyond any hope of escape. Some Fae lurk in similarly crushing realms (or are massive enough to have this gravity themselves), and impart upon the Massive the gift of Apocalyptic Gravity: by spending a point of Glamour, the Massive may add his Wyrd as a bonus to any rolls made to grapple.
            Fairest
            Hierophant: Many Keepers style themselves as deities, demanding those they abduct worship them with proper fervor or suffer immensely. Those who stand out in these cults are elected priests and become Hierophants, gaining the Zealot’s Fervor: the Hierophant gains a +2 bonus to any roll made to rile up a crowd and may spend one Glamour to gain the Inspiring merit for the rest of the scene (if he has the Inspiring merit, then he gains a +1 bonus to that Presence + Socialize roll).
            Ogre
            Cancerous: Some portions of Arcadia are pestilent, inhabited by creatures of blight, corruption, and radiation that bring slow death to all but the hardiest of Lost. Those that survive are riddled with growths, gaining the Tumor’s Toughness: the Cancerous may spend a point of Glamour to ignore all wound penalties and penalties caused by pain and discomfort for the rest of the scene. They also gain a +2 bonus to rolls made to resist poisons and disease.
            Wizened
            Architect: Many Keepers rely on bizarre mathematics to keep their impossible domains functioning properly, and the understanding of these strange principles is a rare an unpleasant gift indeed. For those who have beheld the cyclopean towers of Arcadia, there is nothing more delightful than the study of Hypergeometry: the Architect gains a +1 bonus to any rolls made to conceal or protect his Hollow. He may also buy the Hollow merit and merits relating to Hollows (Archive, Bastion, etc) at a discounted rate of (new dots x1 Experience Points).


            Call me Regina or Lex.

            Female pronouns for me, please.

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            • #7
              You know the ghouls seem like a changeling kith or hobgoblins to me, their connection to the dreamlands and all.

              Are you planning on including the dreamlands?

              What were you planning on doing about cthonic magic? goblin vows?

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              • #8
                Ghouls could be easily represented as a Roteater with Contracts of Dream, but I might throw them (and Mi-Go) together as hobs. Between the Hedge and oneiromancy, I don't really think the Dreamlands are needed.


                Call me Regina or Lex.

                Female pronouns for me, please.

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                • #9
                  I love what you've done with Arkham Lost. You totally nailed and translated the core themes flawlessly. I do have a few personal suggestion about your Courts though, I would suggest taking the direction you've went with the Courts a little bit farther than you've actually done by twisting the emotions the Courts normally draw from to reflect the uncanny nature of Arkham Lost. There's a great section in Winter Masques that details how the Courts work in regions where weather is subtly different by simply keeping all of the contracts and stats but simply twist the nature of the Courts emotion. For instance the Spring Court in the Midwest could suddenly become the Tornado Season and their emotion would switch from desire to madness until the weather cleared. I would imagine that you could Lovecraftianize this concept to great effect in Arkham Lost by playing upon the common emotions expressed in Lovecraft's literature.

                  Here's my favorite example: To all but the most loyal Changelings of Spring in Arkham the Court of Desire is a shallow mockery of it's normal splendor when compared to the other Freeholds. But should one prove their worth and devotion to the Antler Crown they might be shockingly or pleasantly surprised to discover the Cult of Spring, otherwise known as Red Spring, that's far more influential and wide spread than it openly appears. The Cult of Spring openly embraces Deviance, the dark side of Desire, and hidden away from the prying eyes of their piers they work to retain their Clarity by practicing the rites of primeval man to keep the old wards strong so that the Other cannot openly walk the earth like they did before time.

                  What do you guys thing?

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                  • #10
                    I'm not sure about changing the emotions the Courts run on - Summer for Zeal or Hate instead of Wrath, maybe, but Fear is totally fine for Autumn and I can't think of a replacement emotion for Winter - but dealing with a Changeling cult that masquerades as a debased Spring Court could be a lot of fun. Perhaps they Desire godhood (by ascending in Wyrd, of course), or perhaps their Desire simply drives them to orgiastic heights that shouldn't be pursued by healthy minds. That's a fun plot hook right there. I really like that.


                    Call me Regina or Lex.

                    Female pronouns for me, please.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I think a more positive aspect of Fear would be fun for Autumn since a vast majority of Lovecrafts heroic characters were scholarly gentlemen by nature so how about Shadowed Autumn, thematically referencing Shadow over Innsmouth, where Caution is their primary emotion and rather than spreading fear they focus more on making people realize what dangers lurk in the shadows. As for Winter you could go with Silent Winter where the courtier treat their patients with a healthy dose of Denial, that bittersweet relief where one abandons all their woes by putting them away where they can't hurt you anymore. I personally like Zeal for the Sons of Summer, perhaps they can have ties to the other side of the law, so perhaps Roaring Summer? So long as it fits your grand design for Arkham Lost.

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                      • #12
                        I think this seems like an interesting idea.

                        EDIT: Though I'm curious, do any other supernaturals have any population, organized or otherwise, in this "lovely" little town.
                        Last edited by ZealousChristian24; 12-16-2014, 02:43 PM. Reason: Thought of something

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                        • #13
                          Just hitting the page so I can update my marks.

                          Edit: Well, that didn't work as I expected it to.


                          The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James. D. Nicoll

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ZealousChristian24 View Post
                            I think this seems like an interesting idea.

                            EDIT: Though I'm curious, do any other supernaturals have any population, organized or otherwise, in this "lovely" little town.
                            I'm thinking this might be a good vacation spot for Beasts,(Primordial) especially Makara. And oh, the havoc a Promethean's Wasteland could cause!


                            "A free society is one in which it is safe to be unpopular."
                            I find Nick Spencer and Richard Spencer to be equally repulsive.

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                            • #15
                              Oh if Arkham Lost goes 2nd edition then with the new Freehold Rules the Courts can be customized to perfectly fit the NWoD version of Arkham.

                              Adding elements to other game lines to round out Arkham would be a fun excersize too: Vampires who's Beast harkend back to cosmic horror that shall never know death, Ect.

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