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Hypothetical Project: The Pyramid

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  • Hypothetical Project: The Pyramid

    I'm not saying this is the kind of thing I feel comfortable trying to forge into a fully-fledged fanbook, but it's worthy of a thread: how do you like the idea of a Mummy supplement focused on expanding Cults and giving more options for playable mortal servants (perhaps including a new Minor Template or two), in order to facilitate pyramid play and make Mummy chronicles where you aren't always playing Arisen more viable.

    This would talk about blowing out the Cult mechanics beyond just Reach and Grasp and into representing things like missions undertaken by cultists, war with other Cults, possible factions/schisms/heresies, and a whole bevy of new merits; these rules could easily be made universal for things like Mage and Demon's ewuivalent merits. You would also offer tools to elevate mortal characters beyond their normal selves and into something resembling Hunter Compact or Conspiracy play, thanks to the supernatural patronage they enjoy and the resources available to their Cult. This could even be the book where Sekhem Sorcery finally rears its ugly head, assuming it doesn't show up in Rio or Dark Eras.

    Thoughts on the concept as a whole? Am I madman for wanting more toys to play with mortals during the time between Descents, or for wanting Cults to be a large subsystem?


    Call me Regina or Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

  • #2
    Considering they've become part of every game line I'd rather see cults expanded upon in a blue book.

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    • #3
      For a long time I thought a supplement covering cultists, Witnesses, mortal sorcerers, and sadikh would be worthwhile. I think Mummy will make extensive use out of the Mystery Cult merit when it updates to 2e

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nofather View Post
        Considering they've become part of every game line I'd rather see cults expanded upon in a blue book.
        Yes, but then I don't get to make a new thread in the Mummy forum! Besides, trying to deliver content for all lines would make things too diffuse; trying to cram Mekhet Shadow Cults, mortal branches of the Lance and of the Circle, the respective cults of the Seers, Guardians, and Ladder, the ensorcelled Glamour herds of the Lost (which I actually hope do get covered some day), all of the Compacts and Conspiracies plus any Slasher groups and nasty mortal antagonist cults, krewes, Arisen, Deceived, and independent Scorpion cults, and both God-Machine and Unchained cults... you're either getting a criminally small wordcount for each subject or the largest blue book of all time.

        I'd love to see a book akin to Slasher for Cults, but this topic is specifically about the support structure of the Arisen, along with playing a member of one. I'd wager the ideas are different enough to justify different hypotehtical books; this is more like a player's guide with ST advice, rather than an antagonist book.


        Call me Regina or Lex.

        Female pronouns for me, please.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

          Yes, but then I don't get to make a new thread in the Mummy forum! Besides, trying to deliver content for all lines would make things too diffuse; trying to cram Mekhet Shadow Cults, mortal branches of the Lance and of the Circle, the respective cults of the Seers, Guardians, and Ladder, the ensorcelled Glamour herds of the Lost (which I actually hope do get covered some day), all of the Compacts and Conspiracies plus any Slasher groups and nasty mortal antagonist cults, krewes, Arisen, Deceived, and independent Scorpion cults, and both God-Machine and Unchained cults... you're either getting a criminally small wordcount for each subject or the largest blue book of all time.
          Also ridden, claimed and Werewolves and probably centimani.

          You just asked for opinions on the project, I've suggested a blue book about cults and conspiracies many times in many different threads. The book only needs to expand upon the mechanics, give examples, explain what they're like, potential conflicts, story hooks and how to use them and be a part of them. The individual game lines, like Mummy, can build off of that in their own supplements.

          It seems backwards to make large mechanical subsystem like that for a first edition game.

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          • #6
            That's kind of why I don't see anything like it coming until we get an update to 2e. A Book of Judges and a Night Horrors book would both do well even in 1e, but I do think a book on cults, even if Mummy specific, would still be broad enough to apply to the other games in which case I think it'd be saved until later. Again, I feel like Mystery Cult Initiation establishes a foundation in the same sense that Soul Loss in the GMC establishes one for Mage, even though other games can make use of it.

            Anyway, Mummies are pretty rare and wake up, at an optimistic average, every few decades. What is it that cults do between Descents that makes me want to play them? If they could hunt relics half as good as Mummies can then they wouldn't wake them up to do so. I think it comes down to two paths:

            1) You're a mortal with a minor template or supernatural merits, along with Mystery Cult Initiation to represent your belonging to a Mummy's cult. Mummies are rare and their world is esoteric, so I imagine this type of game plays out as a fairly standard 'mortals game' just with a bit more Egyptian dressing, tomb delving, and cult vs. cult conflict. Indiana Jones with five dots of Psychokinesis.

            2) You're mortals with access to sorceries beyond supernatural merits and have other realms to explore beyond just the world of Mummy, in which case you're just playing Mage.

            I don't like being a naysayer and I do think there's room for expanding the roles of non-Mummy characters in a Mummy game, but I don't think there's enough potential material to make a Mummy-specific book on cults where none of the players are a Mummy. Maybe that's not necessarily what you mean, but there you go.

            A Night Horrors book with a chapter on mortal servants - sadikh ('mortal'), cultists, Witnesses, and a full page sidebar on mortal sorcerers - would suffice for me

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            • #7
              I was seeing this book as equal parts "as a Mummy, here's some cool stuff you can do to both mechanically and narratively make your Cult stand out from," "here's what a group partially or entirely made of up mortals can do for your Mummy chronicle," and "here's rules for being the head of an organization, widely applicable," with a tiny dose of "give me Sekhem Sorcery and I might forgive the lack of Relic Architecture."


              Call me Regina or Lex.

              Female pronouns for me, please.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                with a tiny dose of "give me Sekhem Sorcery and I might forgive the lack of Relic Architecture."
                Speak for yourself. I can live with the vague Sothis Ascends explanation that Sekhem Sorcery equals Relic Manufacturing plus Amkhata creation. In that context we have rules for it (sort of, a little more mechanical heft behind relic creation would help both for running Sekhem Sorcerers and for players of post-Apotheosis Mummies). And it's not like mortals wielding magical powers isn't a thing the broader setting isn't capable of satisfying. But Relic Architecture is something uniquely Mummy that plays strongly into Mummy's themes of ancient legacies and century-long stories. There isn't any other game suited for playing out a character whose actions literally shape the city over hundreds of years.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                  Speak for yourself. I can live with the vague Sothis Ascends explanation that Sekhem Sorcery equals Relic Manufacturing plus Amkhata creation. In that context we have rules for it (sort of, a little more mechanical heft behind relic creation would help both for running Sekhem Sorcerers and for players of post-Apotheosis Mummies). And it's not like mortals wielding magical powers isn't a thing the broader setting isn't capable of satisfying. But Relic Architecture is something uniquely Mummy that plays strongly into Mummy's themes of ancient legacies and century-long stories. There isn't any other game suited for playing out a character whose actions literally shape the city over hundreds of years.
                  Ideally I would want both, Azahul

                  I was just joking that we currently have neither.


                  Call me Regina or Lex.

                  Female pronouns for me, please.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                    Ideally I would want both, Azahul

                    I was just joking that we currently have neither.
                    I picked that up In retrospect I don't think the light-hearted tone quite carried across. Just really, really want Relic Architecture.

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                    • #11
                      I think Relic Architecture could make it into the book, as I'd imagine the cult does the heavy lifting and continues the project while you are sleeping. But I love the idea of Quest/Mission mechanics, where you send cultists off to accomplish things, roll a simplified dice trick to pass or fail, and gain temporary or permanent benefits. I think at the very least, the supplement should reveal Mystery Cult Initiation's mechanics. As I run a 2e crossover, ALL my mummy cults are represented with that merit. It really adds flavor, and would give a cultist PC some benefit for their rank. I'd love to see Sekhem Sorcery include ritual rules to access Affinities (maybe) and Utterances. If it has to be a fan book, I'd still love to see it! One of my players decided he liked playing the boy being groomed to be high priest MORE than he liked playing the Mummy. A book like this would help avoid having to buy and update 2nd sight, and can keep the flavor set distinctly in Iremite mythos and the realities of the setting. It could have tips on how mummies relate to their cult and vice a versa, tips for storytellers on how to make a mortal feel important next to a mummy, possible ways humans interpret the setting's mythology differently than the Arisen. Also in the storyteller's section, they could give new toys for Deceived and Shuanksen cults, LDI, Scorpion remnants.. Maybe have relics for mummies and cultists alike, an utterance that is designed to increase a Mummy's cult's usefulness.. This would be a VERY useful book.

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                      • #12
                        I don't get the appeal of relic architecture. What am I not seeing?

                        I get that the Lifeweb sidebar seems like it's missing something but that's all

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by reseru View Post
                          I don't get the appeal of relic architecture. What am I not seeing?

                          I get that the Lifeweb sidebar seems like it's missing something but that's all
                          Well, when 1/5 of your player characters are architects...


                          Call me Regina or Lex.

                          Female pronouns for me, please.

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                          • #14
                            You could make scorpion cults a tradition as in Second Sight. I'd think of borrowing some of the pack formation rules in WtF 2E and tie them to the Mummy's investment in the cult merit. You could also tie in some of the rituals cults use (summoning, resurrection, etc.) mechanically with LDI's exudate on ritual and some of the other stuff seen in Sothis Ascends. As for what cults do that is interesting, as well ask what normal mortals do to make blue book stories interesting. I think some of the fan 2E work ups actually allowed arisen to boost their cults while resting. That might be an interesting take. I'd also get away from the corporate/tribal/conspiracy split and use those as examples built from a broader toolkit.

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                            • #15
                              One other topic I'd like to address: what do mortals gain from membership in a Cult? Mechanically they get a Merit, sure, but whay possesses someone to become the servant of an wrathful Egyptian immortal slaved to dead gods amd the stars above? Obviously an Enterprise is just a job and a Conspiracy likewise has benefits, but I'd love to see both what goodies one of the Arisen can offer their flock and what narratively motivates cultists.


                              Call me Regina or Lex.

                              Female pronouns for me, please.

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