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Where I Read: Mummy the Curse 2e

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  • Where I Read: Mummy the Curse 2e

    Hello everyone.

    Later this afternoon the Kickstarter for Mummy the Curse 2e is going up, and I think I'm going to catalogue my thoughts, opinions, and impressions of it out here where fellow forumites can read along with me, and chime in with their perceptions as well.

    I really, really like Mummy. I was an Immortal level backer for first edition; a Grand Expander of Darkness for Dark Eras, where I got to add 10,000 words to Ruins of Empire (and Fall of Isireion because of mistakes and miscommunications); and an Expander of Darkness for Dark Eras 2, where I pitched a French Revolution Era for Mummy (not my idea, as it was suggested for Dark Eras 1, but I felt like it was too resonant to be left behind). This was the game that got me back into actually playing RPGs, and I used it to introduce my wife to the hobby.

    Unfortunately this might've all turned me into a sort of grognard about the changes coming in the new edition. Some of the changes sound interesting, and others sound like too much change. I really respect Promethean 2e because it was largely a rules update, a consolidation of first edition content, and added a handful of new ideas, like Alchemists, that were honestly kinda brilliant in that it made me think, "How was that not in here to begin with?" That's all kinda what I'm hoping for here.

    So I hope this thread will generate some interest, and I'll see you all in a few hours when the last game of first edition CofD dives in for round two!

  • #2
    Originally posted by reseru View Post
    Hello everyone.

    Later this afternoon the Kickstarter for Mummy the Curse 2e is going up, and I think I'm going to catalogue my thoughts, opinions, and impressions of it out here where fellow forumites can read along with me, and chime in with their perceptions as well.

    I really, really like Mummy. I was an Immortal level backer for first edition; a Grand Expander of Darkness for Dark Eras, where I got to add 10,000 words to Ruins of Empire (and Fall of Isireion because of mistakes and miscommunications); and an Expander of Darkness for Dark Eras 2, where I pitched a French Revolution Era for Mummy (not my idea, as it was suggested for Dark Eras 1, but I felt like it was too resonant to be left behind). This was the game that got me back into actually playing RPGs, and I used it to introduce my wife to the hobby.

    Unfortunately this might've all turned me into a sort of grognard about the changes coming in the new edition. Some of the changes sound interesting, and others sound like too much change. I really respect Promethean 2e because it was largely a rules update, a consolidation of first edition content, and added a handful of new ideas, like Alchemists, that were honestly kinda brilliant in that it made me think, "How was that not in here to begin with?" That's all kinda what I'm hoping for here.

    So I hope this thread will generate some interest, and I'll see you all in a few hours when the last game of first edition CofD dives in for round two!
    Whatever your opinions, I'll be interested to read them. It was a pleasure working with you on Dark Eras Companion.


    Matthew Dawkins
    In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing


    Website: https://www.matthewdawkins.com
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/matthewdawkins

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    • #3
      Okay, so I only had time to read a little bit today, but we got a week before the next preview so I might take my time here and there.

      Introduction
      What I like here is that the overall picture is the same as first edition. Mummies are immortal sorcerers created in prehistoric Egypt, and you play with relics and tombs and stuff, all while struggling with identity and sense of self. It's nice to see troupe-play called out specifically again, because this is probably the only game line (?) in CofD that encourages and supports that in the core. Mummy had a lot going on that made it unique, and doubling down on this (by highlighting other Immortals and Sekhem sorcerers, etc.) just further emphasizes it.

      It'll be interesting to see how memory plays a role in the game, considering the addition of experiencing time achronologically, which is one of the ideas I'm pretty apprehensive of. At face value it probably sounds cool as fuck, but I liked the feel of history weighing down on every character, that things which happened in the past were gone and there's no going back...which gets me wondering what happens to the experience if an Arisen becomes Shuankhsen in the future. At any rate I'm sure there'll be some clever ways to play with this, and it probably makes it easier than answering the question of, "Why don't I have 200 experience points at character creation by the 20th century?"

      Inspirational Media
      How did this never happen before? I feel like such a huge complaint of first edition was accessibility (not helped by the player and GM divide) and not knowing what to do, and I can't help but think having a list of inspirational media would've gone a long way. There's only a couple ways to make a movie about mummies, but there's a whole lot of stories that are Mummy stories, if you catch my meaning - fishes out of water, memory loss, breaking the chains of slavery, regrets, two-fisted pulp action, sorcerous cults? Pop culture drips with these themes.

      Lexicon
      Just a couple interesting observations of concepts to look out for as I read along: Decrees differ from the fractions of the five-fold soul, Judges have human prophets known as benbenet, oh but Decrees are named differently but are still tied to the soul's Pillars, and the minor Guilds actually sound really cool and will go a long way in giving GMs more stuff to throw at the players.

      I mean, yeah sounds good so far. To a new player all that they'd know about playing a mummy is that you wake up in an unknown time and location and then you recover memory. To an experienced player there's sure a whole lot of stuff, which is one of the few things I wanted for first edition, and why I wanted to add Immortals to Dark Eras Companion.

      Anyway, I'll try to get through the main Guilds tomorrow. I know some people have read it all already, but feel free to chime in and discuss!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
        Whatever your opinions, I'll be interested to read them. It was a pleasure working with you on Dark Eras Companion.
        Thank you! It was a mutual experience, and you went well beyond any expectation I had. When I discovered you were the new developer I thought, "Oh, duh. Who else did I think they would've hired?"
        The Major Guilds
        I feel like the Maa-kep are really popular for some reason, but I'm not that into them. I like the connection between their amulets and "badges of office, [and] engraved emblems." I also want to say how I like the new format for the Guilds, with the Sothis Ascends and Starfall sections. As far as the Maa-kep go, though, I'm still unsure how an immortal, divine, sorcerous servant plays...a spy? I really hope some of their Affinities, you k now, support this concept. I'm trying to consider what secrets does an immortal, divine, sorcerous servant actually care about, and I'm thinking the Memories of other Deathless; I do hope that has a place here.

        The Mesen-nebu are solid; I don't have many thoughts here. Their expansion in Guildhalls of the Deathless gave them a lot of love that's moved over here, too.

        I'm further excited by the Sesha-hebsu. Again my imagination is coming up with cool powers I hope they'll have, something like being able to remember bits of trivia or specific areas of knowledge that no one else alive can remember. I like the conflict they have with technology like cameras and film; I always thought it clever in first edition how the writers turned around and said, "Actually, since mummies have seen so much come and go, they kinda take modern technology in stride for the most part." I like that it's not that the Scribes don't get the technology itself, but are skeptical of the roles it plays in their cosmic beliefs. I like some of their character concepts, too, like a judge to a court of all the city's supernatural denizens.

        I'm not sure I have time tonight for the rest. I really like the fact that I'm actually coming up with some character concepts, though, just from Guild write-ups. The Su-menent were my favorite, so we'll see what they're all about tomorrow.


        EDIT: I couldn't sleep because I was reading the new Alien RPG book, so I figured I'd finish off the last two Guilds. I'm tired so I'll keep it short: I get the impression, from all the Guilds, that they're essentially philosophies that just so happened to line up with their mortal professions 5,000 years ago (bit of a chicken or egg thing, I guess). The Guilds' perspectives are sort of archetypes of various methods the Arisen can be the "shadowy sorcerer scheming behind the scenes." I think that's rather clever.
        Last edited by reseru; 11-06-2019, 11:46 PM. Reason: finished the major Guilds

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by reseru View Post
          As far as the Maa-kep go, though, I'm still unsure how an immortal, divine, sorcerous servant plays...a spy? I really hope some of their Affinities, you k now, support this concept. I'm trying to consider what secrets does an immortal, divine, sorcerous servant actually care about, and I'm thinking the Memories of other Deathless; I do hope that has a place here.
          Spies don't care about secrets. Or, well, they do, but in service to their actual goal: national security. Listen to any public figure talk about spying and that's all they talk about.

          The Maa-Kep are descended from slave drivers. They're obscenely good at figuring out how to manage a task to completion and how to motivate people, both of which requires them to have a servile attitude and be interested in the secret ways to drive their subordinates and peers. They do so with the guise of enacting the authority of the Judges and the primacy of Irem's culture. They're better spies than Demons, because they don't just ape the "martini" trappings of spy fiction, but actually do the "stale beer"-style work of intelligence.


          Neall Raemonn Price
          Beleaguered Scion Developer

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          • #6
            Hm, okay I see where you're getting at.

            The Minor Guilds
            I'm surprised and possibly slightly disappointed the Deceived are presented as a minor Guild? They're possessed by the very divinities that created the Rite of Return. They got their own supplement (that I may have liked better than the core book? not sure.). Here's hoping for a core book presentation that lets me use them as antagonists.

            I think of the new Guilds the Kher-minu are my favorite. I get an ominous image in my head of Arisen society all stable and status quo, and then some 'new' Deathless comes in with a retinue of these guys at his service, and he starts taking names. This is kinda like Promethean 2e's Alchemists: "How was that not in here to begin with?" Relics are important to mummies; how about a Guild whose relics are extra super important? Plus I love their little twist of not going off to Duat or Neter-khetet, and just being stuck in an inanimate statue for centuries at a time.

            The Wadjet-itja are fine. I think they're just like the Maa-kep, and aren't my personal taste; they're not for me is all. I do think it's clever to present a perspective that values chance, luck, and fortune in a setting that's so heavily weighed down by Fate, and trying to reconcile what that means.

            I think the Minor Guilds are well-written, and I feel the grognard part of me resisting it on some level, but ultimately they open up a wide array of possibilities and stories. They're good for the long run of the game for sure, and I'm really excited to see what kind of toys they let us play with.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Neall View Post
              They're better spies than Demons, because they don't just ape the "martini" trappings of spy fiction, but actually do the "stale beer"-style work of intelligence.


              Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
              Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Neall View Post

                Spies don't care about secrets. Or, well, they do, but in service to their actual goal: national security. Listen to any public figure talk about spying and that's all they talk about.

                The Maa-Kep are descended from slave drivers. They're obscenely good at figuring out how to manage a task to completion and how to motivate people, both of which requires them to have a servile attitude and be interested in the secret ways to drive their subordinates and peers. They do so with the guise of enacting the authority of the Judges and the primacy of Irem's culture. They're better spies than Demons, because they don't just ape the "martini" trappings of spy fiction, but actually do the "stale beer"-style work of intelligence.
                A demon worth it’s salt would probably laugh their over-engineered ass off at such a claim, but in some circumstances that’s true.

                That said, the Maa-Kep are excellent spies amongst their kind, but regarding the wider world, their limited shelf life severely hampers their ability to keep tabs on foes who are, compared to the Deathless, never dormant. Now cults are invaluable in this regard, and do a hell of a lot of heavy lifting.. but saying they are better spies than the race that has to be hyper vigilant every minute of every day to avoid fraying their Cover and comprising the security of themselves, their rings and agencies, and their loved ones... I say nay sir.

                Comparable spies, definitely though. When the vagaries of Memory permit of course.
                Last edited by Korogra; 11-07-2019, 11:23 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                  You see, my dear ArcaneArts, if I realize a demon is spying on me I can prevent this if I can apply enough bullets to his face. A Maa-Kep spy, on the other hand, can eventually spy on me again no matter how many times I shoot him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nothri View Post

                    You see, my dear ArcaneArts, if I realize a demon is spying on me I can prevent this if I can apply enough bullets to his face. A Maa-Kep spy, on the other hand, can eventually spy on me again no matter how many times I shoot him.
                    Oh, I don't need convincing. The statement is brave because it's true.

                    But it's also definitely shots fired.


                    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                    Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nothri View Post

                      You see, my dear ArcaneArts, if I realize a demon is spying on me I can prevent this if I can apply enough bullets to his face. A Maa-Kep spy, on the other hand, can eventually spy on me again no matter how many times I shoot him.
                      As a point of order, you’ll probably never realise a demon is spying on you, invalidating your first response. And if you realise a Maa-Kep is spying on you, they’ll probably never come across your timeline again, so are more likely to eradicate your existence via meteor strike than bother wondering what became of your conspiracy in some later time period.

                      😜


                      Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by reseru View Post
                        Hm, okay I see where you're getting at.

                        The Minor Guilds
                        I'm surprised and possibly slightly disappointed the Deceived are presented as a minor Guild? They're possessed by the very divinities that created the Rite of Return. They got their own supplement (that I may have liked better than the core book? not sure.). Here's hoping for a core book presentation that lets me use them as antagonists.

                        I think of the new Guilds the Kher-minu are my favorite. I get an ominous image in my head of Arisen society all stable and status quo, and then some 'new' Deathless comes in with a retinue of these guys at his service, and he starts taking names. This is kinda like Promethean 2e's Alchemists: "How was that not in here to begin with?" Relics are important to mummies; how about a Guild whose relics are extra super important? Plus I love their little twist of not going off to Duat or Neter-khetet, and just being stuck in an inanimate statue for centuries at a time.

                        The Wadjet-itja are fine. I think they're just like the Maa-kep, and aren't my personal taste; they're not for me is all. I do think it's clever to present a perspective that values chance, luck, and fortune in a setting that's so heavily weighed down by Fate, and trying to reconcile what that means.

                        I think the Minor Guilds are well-written, and I feel the grognard part of me resisting it on some level, but ultimately they open up a wide array of possibilities and stories. They're good for the long run of the game for sure, and I'm really excited to see what kind of toys they let us play with.

                        On the Akhem-Urtu being minor: from what I see, what qualifies you as a Minor Guild is inability to fit in with the schema of normal Arisen society; the Deceived are definitely powerful, but the fact they have the temakhs screaming in their minds to kill other Deathless all of the time, to say nothing of their warped sahu. So they're their own society, but really can't fit in with the children of Irem.

                        Doesn't mean they aren't important. Nomenclature wouldn't provoke a Nuke It From Orbit reaction otherwise.


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                        • #13
                          That’s a very good point.

                          I’ll try to get the rest of the preview done tomorrow!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bunyip View Post

                            As a point of order, you’ll probably never realise a demon is spying on you, invalidating your first response. And if you realise a Maa-Kep is spying on you, they’ll probably never come across your timeline again, so are more likely to eradicate your existence via meteor strike than bother wondering what became of your conspiracy in some later time period.

                            😜

                            Oh I see. Well, I guess if you say its invalid it must be invalid. I mean, a clever demon is by far the most likely to be detected compared to a clever mummy, but if you've taken that into account, which you surely must have if you have determined my point is invalid, then obviously my point is invalid and that's that. The spy most likely to be exposed is the superior spy. End of discussion, I guess.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nothri View Post


                              Oh I see. Well, I guess if you say its invalid it must be invalid. I mean, a clever demon is by far the most likely to be detected compared to a clever mummy, but if you've taken that into account, which you surely must have if you have determined my point is invalid, then obviously my point is invalid and that's that. The spy most likely to be exposed is the superior spy. End of discussion, I guess.

                              Course, if we're talking about Demons being detected as Demons, rather than spies, then I must give the edge to them. If a target has the ability to detect the supernatural, the Demon is better at hiding its nature than a mummy. But if we're talking about being exposed as a spy in general, the edge absolutely goes to the Arisen.

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