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The Rotating Pyramid

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  • The Rotating Pyramid

    I was rereading Mummy:The Curse the other day and this sort of chronicle, focusing on a troupe of mortal cultists whose players might take turns playing the resident mummy on different descents, really stood out to me as an interesting game. Has anyone here tried it? If so how did it go?

  • #2
    I have not tried it, but I like the idea. It reminds me of Ars Magica and its supporting cast any player could use. You could also imagine playing a first scenario as the cultists, a bit in the dark about the forces they serve, and then (after the death of the entire group?) switch to awakening Mummies? Or you play Mummies first, with no memories and plenty of bad choices to make, and then you play the cultists in the know and trying to fix things.


    • #3
      I'm running a game for two players that jumps around in history a lot; when one is playing their Mummy, the other is usually playing a mortal Witness.
      It's going fine. The mortals really benefit from being useful in a "modern" sense. I mean we're doing a lot of jumping in history; just to give a few examples, scenes will cause flashbacks to Rome or 1450s London or even Alexandrian Egypt. Occasionally they'll have a "choose your own adventure" scene from the very first Sothic Turn (do you smash A, or B, in your semi-divine fury). Their mortals maintain useful skills and resources to not just aid the Mummy but shine on their own - usually these have been political contacts, information, and enough knowledge in (and out) of game to kind of direct and inform the Arisen - but they've also been on at least one occasion "I have a shotgun and know how to use cover."

      Convince the mortals to have some Crafts. This will come in handy for healing dead damage and will make for both a tense and hilarious scene.

      The awkward part is that any combat hazard usually gets ground up by the arisen, so the mortals really shine when they're doing things the arisen can't do (public speaking at Sekhem 9 to 10, for instance) or just isn't built to do. I recommend figuring out the mummies first and then building mortals as a group around the strengths and weaknesses of that character. One has a mummy who is a split social/combat build, the other is more of a "I know things" investigator type; so his Witness is a soldier but has a lot of necessary political and strategic sense, whereas hers is a nurse with a bunch of hope, good bedside manner skills and grandma's zany occult stories (that are slowly turning out to have been about the Arisen).

      Worth noting: the social/combat mummy doesn't drive and doesn't Intimidate (she's mostly smooth-talking and lawyer-speak), and the investigator doesn't have any Empathy. Like, at all. The Witness soldier does a lot of driving and interrogation; the Witness nurse has a ton of Empathy, Social and Perception. Compliments; right-hands; etc.

      Seed in cultists and less "horrible" antagonists so the mortals have thing to contend with (in the 1970s, they're up against a Shuankhsen and her drug-cartel cult; the witness been fighting, interrogating and stalking a lot of other mortals). Be a little more forgiving about what constitutes a "Relic Weapon" for hurting Amkhata (notably, the Witness was given the Tier 2 effect of "Blessed is the God King" and I let his attack on a Lesser Amkhata do normal lethal damage when he triggered it). Tell them to be prepared for mortals to die.

      Depending on if they're a member of the the Mummy's Cult or not, have them establish legends and myths amongst themselves about things the Mummy has done; maybe when, maybe "in the past;" they don't even have to embellish much because the Arisen are terrifying. These can also end up being "Memory points" for the Arisen characters; they hear the mortals telling a story or ask for clarification about a belief and the myth behind it they don't remember, and then start to recall slowly those events as they actually happened (and why they really happened, not with the mortal sheen of misunderstanding on top).
      Flashbacks to earlier eras (not even necessarily Sothic Turns) are great opportunities to have some/all of the players bust out their Mummies for a scene to RP, establish interactions and relationships (they clearly know each other but in what context), and also maybe bust out some powers with low-consequence (since it happened in the past and has already been dealt with).
      Be prepared to have everyone wake up at the same time at some point because everyone wants to do that trust me.

      TL;DR: Lois Lane ain't no slouch.
      Last edited by Ben Quo; 07-17-2017, 04:20 PM.

      My Promethean Homebrew.

      Yes, I made it the same way as a Promethean. No, the authorities haven't found me yet.


      • #4
        I wanted to add real quick that Fire does Agg to the Arisen. Players will automatically know this but the Shuanksen is making a point of trying to incinerate the player Arisen; as soon as the Witness's player has a chance to figure out "Mummy's don't like fire" I'm pretty sure we're going to have a Home-Made Flame-Thrower vs. Heart-Eating-Monster scenario and I'm honestly not sure how it's going to shake out.

        When crafty players start to figure out how Mummies work their mortal alts can do some pretty neat stuff, especially if the Mummy goes all-in on group buffs.

        My Promethean Homebrew.

        Yes, I made it the same way as a Promethean. No, the authorities haven't found me yet.


        • #5
          In addition to Ars Magica, the new Star Trek Adventures has some good material for this kind of play.

          Cavaliers of Mars Creator
          Retired CofD Lead

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          • #6
            This reminds me of a suggestion for the Doctor Who tabletop RPG made by Cubicle7, where if the player playing the Doctor/Timelord finds their character regenerating, the player changes over with one playing one of the companions, allowing everyone to get a turn. It's a nice idea for Mummy too.