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How mummies rule the world?

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  • wyrdhamster
    started a topic How mummies rule the world?

    How mummies rule the world?

    I generally do not like Mummy: The Cures as gameline, because of many gripes. One of them showed Seidmadr lately, writing about Scandinavian Witch Trials Dark Eras with mummies in it.

    Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
    My problem with the Mummies in renaissance Scandinavia is... Well.. What would Mummies be doing up here then? The contacts between the north and Africa has generally been minimal, and there's 0 reason for a Mummy to be up here.
    I suppose a cult or two could have found their way here, but here, more than any other game with Mummy, it becomes extremely contrived to play more than 1 Mummy. They are rare enough to begin with, and this is a place that shouldn't have them.
    It's my problem with Mummy: The Curse as gameline - HOW 'Egypt area only' ( previous Nameless Empire ) mummies are found around world? Maybe answer to this will change my attitude to look over this game more.

  • Cleverest of Things
    replied
    It can be strange, but remember that mummies do have SOME backstory. All memory three mummies have a good idea about what their last life was, so they've got SOME room to imagine their character as an immortal being. Plus, there can be important scenes of deeper history (And thus deeper memory) almost any storyteller will go with, either as played in game live or as if those memories just show up quickly and can be mentally pictured as backstory. But as an ST I can say.. creating a full history for a 6,000 being is really daunting, and if players were expected to make their whole backstory before playing, it'd likely be even rougher than the "lack of backstory" low Memory mummies experience.

    The lack of memory and weird startups of mummies allow for extremely unique gameplay on session 1. I always give the example of a Mummy who woke up convinced he was a superhero, with his wife from his living days. Turns out she was an angel, who's only recently warped his mind through torture and numina, to believe he was her husband. It was a long, sad, and remarkable storyline that ended with him going rogue and her falling to be with him for real.

    In another story, one character was a reincarnating immortal, and his memories led him into the arms of Jason the Argonaut, a Tef-Abhi who he remembers always ending up with despite his various dangerous Ex wives (including the archmage Medea). One particular wife, the one from Irem, was always a victim in his mind until he realized she was Deceived. He remembered her becoming cruel and monstrous, using name magic to destroy her enemies with a wird, remembering that her name was forgotten because it could wake her up if spoken. Someone eventually made the mistake of speaking her name, and when she rose, she was... kind. She didn't remember being a monster and hated what the voice inside was trying to turn her into.

    There is a lot of flexibility still in the system, that sometimes takes two or three readthrough's to from and use comfortably. I hope 2e addresses that and cleans it up more, focusing less on things pcs and players shouldn't know until endgame sourcebooks, and focusing more on what mummies are like today, how they are part of their current setting, how far and wide they are and why, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • nothri
    replied




    "Does being a recent Twice Risen with memory bleed count?"

    Its an option, but the memories are a jumble and you have no control over what you know about the present. Also, as I recall the drawbacks to performing the ritual are quite severe (though to be fair I don't recall if they are applied at character creation as well as if it is done later in the chronicle).


    "Start with a higher Memory Score?"

    That might help? It depends on the concept, I suppose, and how far back you'd want to go. Just remember your memory starts fairly low for these types of traits (3, I believe) and doesn't give you the whole picture for several levels beyond that.

    "Or their Cult is scattered (or destroyed) and something else wakes them up?"

    Thats an option I'd dissuade players from doing unless they were really, really sure its what they want for their characters. A good cult isn't exactly ESSENTIAL, but I think it puts a mummy at a big disadvantage not having one to lean on when the time comes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Azahul
    replied
    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

    Historical flashbacks are why Mummy is my favorite gameline.
    Same. Mummy is the only game line that can not only use every single era in each Dark Eras book basically by default, but can actually comfortably integrate a newly released Dark Era book mid-campaign.

    For what it's worth nothri my players did take a little bit to wrap their heads around how to make compelling Mummy characters. The Decree system ended up being the perfect guiding light. Don't make a history for your character, pour all your energy into building a strong personality. Clear likes, dislikes, interactions, preferences, but accept that you have no context or reason for those personality traits. Then you get to find out why you are as you are through the course of play. I've never had my players slip so quickly and easily into the headspace of their player characters before. By the time they'd finished character creation they'd poured all their energy into knowing who they were playing, and they were able to step straight into being those characters.

    Leave a comment:


  • atamajakki
    replied
    Originally posted by Azahul View Post
    As someone who is also really interested in history, the idea of being able to actually play through historical events through flashbacks is a heck of a lot more interesting to me than just having those periods exist in my character's background pre-game.
    Historical flashbacks are why Mummy is my favorite gameline.

    Leave a comment:


  • Azahul
    replied
    As someone who is also really interested in history, the idea of being able to actually play through historical events through flashbacks is a heck of a lot more interesting to me than just having those periods exist in my character's background pre-game.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vent0
    replied
    Mostly agree.

    Originally posted by nothri View Post
    "Okay, I can't be someone from a modern age I can easily dream up,
    Does being a recent Twice Risen with memory bleed count?

    Originally posted by nothri View Post
    and I can't have a good memory of the shit I've been doing for the last few thousand years,
    Start with a higher Memory Score?

    Originally posted by nothri View Post
    and once I'm done making my character concept I'll also have to imagine a mini-society who wakes him up."
    Or their Cult is scattered (or destroyed) and something else wakes them up?

    Leave a comment:


  • nothri
    replied
    So two separate things I'd like to address. First, I wanted to say I sympathize with wyrdhamster's misgivings. As a rule I love Ancient Egypt, and I love many incarnations of W/COD Mummy. This setting is frustrating for being so much superior in many aspects to Resurrection (Irem and the Guilds just completely blow away any previous write up for Mummy "society") and yet so inaccessible in other aspects. I do wish something had carried over about non-egyptian mummies- even if it was just a wider variety of "Lifeless" entities for mummies to encounter, battle, and generally deal with (I know, that debate has been done to death, but who cares, we're all pretty cool with things coming back from the dead anyway). More to the point- the game is frustrating and constraining BY DESIGN. The Deathless are slaves, the rules very deliberately keep them on a short leash and with a poor recall of who they are and what they've done in the past. Yes, every COD game has some aspects that limit or endanger a character (vampires can't walk in daylight and are socially constrained by their elders, Werewolves can be killed with silver and must protect their territory and navigate the politics of spirits and rival packs, Changelings have their Courts to worry about and the terror that their abductors will come for them again, etc) but Mummies in particular have lot constraining their agency. And their particular brand of constraint makes it really hard to sell to players, and for players to make their characters. "Okay, I can't be someone from a modern age I can easily dream up, and I can't have a good memory of the shit I've been doing for the last few thousand years, and once I'm done making my character concept I'll also have to imagine a mini-society who wakes him up." That's especially frustrating if your like me and love history. It takes away some of the best appeal of having this immortal being who could have literally done anything or gone anywhere in any of your favorite eras of history...but you don't remember!

    I realize a lot of this stuff is themed and I love the game. But I often love it in spite of some of this, not because of it. So again, I fully see why people would not be into this game for similar reasons, and I also fully sympathize with the weird frustration of wishing the game was just a little bit different- little more open, little more multi-cultural. As a work around I've been considering expanding the concept of the Sadikh from a mummy's version of vampire ghoul into a method for creating more of their own kind by instilling a piece of their soul into a willing vessel (Pharaohs sometimes claimed authority as god-king with the explanation that said god had sent his Ka or Ba into the Pharaoh, imbuing them with divine wisdom....same concept, basically). Anyway...

    That being said, here's seven ways I thought of to get from Egypt to Scandinavia.

    1. Forgotten colony of Irem. Here me out here. Canonically, the Nameless Empire extended to basically all major Western civilizations during the Bronze Age minus Mesopotamia. That includes the Greeks, the Minoans, and the Phoenicians. If we assume that one to all of these vassal states was as avid a sea faring society as their latter age counterparts, only with the added benefit of Sekhem infused sailing ships and god-blessed trade winds, we can justify an Iremite colony anywhere on Earth. Even without that the Phoenicians managed to circumnavigate Africa for the Pharaohs and their Punic descendants were the only sailors to touch the coast of West Africa we know of until Portugal sent out explorers a millennium and a half later. Also, some think they traded semi-regularly with the British Isles, which isn't too far from Scandinavia.

    2. Mummy the Curse takes some inspiration from Lovecraft. It isn't hard to imagine an ancient, unknowable race of unknowable things hidden beneath the ice and the Earth far, far to the North that is an offense to the Judges.

    3. Questionable as this article may be, it could justify Mummies in Scandinavia. https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/archaeology/1.707620 As a bonus, if you are familiar with COD history you'll know that the era of King Tut is when two mighty Cults of Egypt fought the Heretic King Akhenaten and were nearly wiped out. Agents of the blasphemous king (which are also rumored to have attempted the ultimate sacrilege of pulling Irem up from the underworld and restoring it and all its horrors to the lands of the living) might have fled Egypt for safer lands. With magic and divination, maybe they fled to the top of the world. Perhaps they were pursued. Perhaps their remnants seek to complete the rituals foiled in Akhenaten's time.

    4. Canonically a certain cursed artifact called the blasphemous depiction was supposedly spirited out of Egypt and into Northern Europe. Some speculate that the Bog Bodies were inspired by its magic. This unholy icon must be found and destroyed.

    5. As an alternative, and going with my multicultural lifeless idea, it comes to light that there are Sekhem infused corpse walkers arising in the North. These entities appear to be drawing from some tainted, unknown source of Sekhem, apparently a ritual that ignorantly parodies the source of Irem's magics just successfully enough to craft strange abominations on those the ritual is worked upon.

    6. Vikings weren't exactly unknown for exploring themselves. They made it as far as Constantinople. It isn't hard to imagine some raiders turning South and taking a ride down that curious looking river. Viking were also known for pillaging all manner of treasure from those they contacted. Mummies depend on magical artifacts to resurrect. If a raid or two was extremely successful, the Vikings could find several extremely peeved former owners seeking a return of property. Mummies, you see, are known for being stubborn and persistent in reacquiring what is taken from them and giving vengeance to the thieves.

    7. Mortals cults are extremely important to Mummies. Sometimes new blood and recruiting demand adjustment. "Okay, so...two brothers, one a trickster and the other in good standing with the gods, are adversaries and constantly at war. Eh. Sure. I knew them as Azar and Sutekh, but you can call them Thor and Loki if you really want to."

    Leave a comment:


  • Second Chances
    replied
    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
    Just thought of a fun alternate path to Scandinavia, albeit an implausible one: making your way to Constantinople across the ages and fostering a cult among the Varangians who take you back to their homeland.
    I don't think that's implausible at all. It seems like one of the logical routes to get there.

    Leave a comment:


  • atamajakki
    replied
    Just thought of a fun alternate path to Scandinavia, albeit an implausible one: making your way to Constantinople across the ages and fostering a cult among the Varangians who take you back to their homeland.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cleverest of Things
    replied
    Wyrd, do you have any friends that have access to Cursed Necropolis Rio? I think you'd benefit having a solid example setting, especially one so diverse. The Rio setting includes mummies who got there between the second and third sonic turn across the ocean into unknown territory.

    Also, while you can't cut up a mummy very easily, tomb raiders can get lucky and steal a sleeping mummy. It's called out that SOME mummies (likely deep sleepers whose bodies haven't been examined too thoroughly) have woken up in museums on a different continent than the one they fell asleep upon.

    In my DC comics based group, there was a plotline about the Northern battlelines at the edge of the empire at the Caucasus mountains. While I did play fast and loose with genetic timing, i had said that blue eyed people were new, but present, and while veeeery rare, at least one or two "great white mummies" were made. One, a certain Vandal Savage, was specifically taken to Scandanavia on a grand expedition to be burried in the North "in his homeland". His first cult were the descendantd few that survived the trek North. And that was before turn 1. While that isn't as realistic as a non-comic book setting might require, I found it at least plausible. And that was before Rio and the Aztec dark era were written and showed just how far and wide mummies can get.

    I will point out that one of the coolest fictions of a cofd/woe book I've ever read was a mummy who decided Greenland was the place to be. While I believe they eventually revealed he only went there relatively recently, there was nothing preventing a mummy to have done the same earlier. Indeed, aren't there hints in one of the books about a tiny number of mummies entombed in Antarctica protecting some super dangerous relic (maybe that's where the super seba of Ra is destined to manifest).

    Point is, it's not only possible for mummies to get to Scandanavia by the renaissance, there are probably mummies there that predate the Vikings. All you need is a good plotline reason.

    Leave a comment:


  • Azahul
    replied
    One of those other powers a Mummy can have at character creation is basically a teleport power that can take you anywhere Fate wants to take you to. Into space is explicitly mentioned as an example, as are other continents.

    My Mummy campaign involved a whole minor sojourn to another planet and a brief encounter with alien ghosts, because that's both very possible with the powers as written and tonally consistent with Mummy as a setting.

    As others have mentioned though, there are many, many ways Mummies can travel. Mummies beat Europeans to South America. They can certainly get to Scandinavia. Quite beside their bodies simply being transported, which can be done by their cultists pretty simply (and happens frequently), they can always walk under their own power. Mummies can spend a lot of their time active. With the game's rules as written it's not too hard for a character to have spent more of their 6,000 year history awake than asleep, though their Memory would be utterly shot as a consequence.

    And Sothic Turns allow a Mummy to stay awake forever. In Sothis Ascends there are Mummies who have remained conscious for entire Sothic Turns. A Sothic Cycle awakening doesn't end until the Mummy is killed, and since they don't age and don't suffer disease that requires someone to physically kill them, or for them to transgress against their Judge in some manner. And even a Sekhem 1 Mummy is tough, inflicts supernatural terror that typically incapacitates mortal opponents on its own, and has access to Tier 1 Utterances and all its Affinities. A Mummy can easily spend several humans' lifetimes awake and wandering during a Sothic Turn.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stupid Loserman
    replied
    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

    Like we keep telling you, a mummy can be active outside of a Sothic Turn.

    A mummy who's roused by the disturbance of her tomb doesn't have to just kill the interlopers and fall dead again. Cultists can rouse the mummy as regularly as they wish.

    Also keep in mind, like every other supernatural splat in the Chronicles of Darkness, mummies have, y'know, magic powers. Some of the magic powers can make them travel quickly or fly and bring followers with them. This is the least you can expect out of a splat that can also summon meteor impacts fresh out of chargen.

    Leave a comment:


  • Teatime
    replied
    I haven't seen StarGate, but I do want to clarify that Tombs aren't permanently bound to the Mummy. They're a large investment, but a Mummy can simply leave one and have a new one built somewhere else.

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by FallenEco View Post
    Not only can you transport the body of an Arisen without awakening them (normally with care, but the sarcophagus may easily be a factor) but circumstances and reduce and destroy the sahu-body, meaning the Arisen regenerates from an incomplete corpse. The canopic jars are another option for regenate around.
    So the Arisen are Goa'uld of CoD universe?! Unless you have body in Sarcophagus, it can regenerate fully? And it's Cults can transport the being not waking it up?

    Leave a comment:

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