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 City of Graves: A Comedic Tragedy in Three Pieces

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PostSubject: City of Graves: A Comedic Tragedy in Three Pieces   Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:34 pm

When life gives your lemons, squeeze them in life's eyes until it gives something else!
This is a game about dark humor and darker mysteries. It is using a fast and dirty system to capture the city of New Perdition, a fortified metropolis surviving in the Post-Reckoning world of Chel. Plays as gumshoes and gangsters in a Psychopunk setting, with heavy noir influences.

The System: A RPS Game
Rock, Paper, Scissors. Things come in threes in this game. The basics of RPS is simple:
Rock beats Scissors,
Scissors beats Paper,
and Paper beats Rock.
So, using this as an example, a parallel can be derived for characteristics;
Rock: Powerful and blunt, plowing through its problems in a direct line, but is easy to redirect.
Paper: Delicate but shifting, never giving a direct assault but instead wrapping around and smothering its obstacles.
Scissors: Direct and sharp, able to cut through deception and trickery, but no match for brute force.
Using these definitions, we can now make the three basic parts of a character;
Vim: The body and its icky orifices. Some are strong, swift, or even sturdy. The ability of the character to physically interact with the world is judged by this stat, including combat.
Acuity: The brain and its bewildering functions. You may be quick witted, or just a walking encyclopedia of useless facts, and a few even have common sense. This bears with dealing in puzzles, and deals with your frail sanity.
Congruity: Your smile and your social acumen. Perhaps you have a sense of magnanimity or are simply gorgeous. This ability deals with social interactions and how well one can sway things your way with others.
To each of these attributes you assign one of Rock, Paper, or Scissor. With that, you are done making a character!
Here are some example characters:

-Private Eye-
Vim: Rock (He bowls his enemies over with his fists and fires a mean, loud piece if need be. However, the knife in his back is always the one to fell the poor sucker.)
Acuity: Scissor (He pierces the mysteries around him with a focused persistence and attention to detail. However, sometimes he focuses on the wrong thing or just is too stubborn to back down from superior forces.)
Congruity: Paper (He is gruff and plain in speech, so only people who need to deal with him often do. However, when people plan too much, he has a way of slipping in that mucks up the whole thing.)

-Dame-
Vim: Paper (She is neither strong nor violent. She only wins a fight if the enemy puts down their guard, but all too often the big ones do.)
Acuity: Rock (She knows what she wants, and she will be damned before she flinches on her way. Unfortunately, she often leaves a trail for anybody to follow.)
Congruity: Scissor (She knows how to twist people into knots, and herself even more. However, she is cutting her way through a dangerous place, and could be mushed at anytime.)

-Gangster-
Vim: Scissor (Applied violence means applicable results. He may not be able to stand in the heat for too long, but hell for anybody he get his mitts on.)
Acuity: Paper (He follows orders more then making them, but his nature means that when things go really wrong, he somehow walks away unscathed. People don't shoot the messenger.)
Congruity: Rock (He cuts a handsome figure in his pinstripes, and knows when people are giving him the raw deal. However, cocky men eat crow at the worst time, often from minor details he forgot.)

If you may notice, Gangster beats Dame beats Private Eye beats Gangster. Besides being a classic setup, it also shows how each character has power over some, weaknesses to others. It also shows how the rules work. When two things meet, the RPS of their most appropriate attribute is brought out. If one beats the other, the winner gains the advantage while the loser gets shoved out. If there is a tie, neither gains the advantage and nobody gains the advantage. Failure is not devastating at this point, however, such as if the Private Eye and the Gangster getting in a gunfight. The Private Eye would win, but this means he forces the Gangster to flee.
Inanimate objects and concepts also have attributes. Never underestimate a puzzle.
Now, the loser can either accept his fate and try to find another way around the problem, or can issue a challenge. In a challenge, you each need a dice. Any dice dividable by 3 will work (d3, d6, d12 all work). If someone faces multiple challenges, the challenged person gets to choose the order in which she resolves the challenges, but can never refuse them. The challenger and challenged each assign Rock, Paper, and Scissor to the numbers 1, 2, and 3. Each different challenge can have a different set of numbers to RPS. Each rolls off, or if in person play real RPS, and compare the results. The winner gets a great advantage, but the loser gains a Strike. Three Strikes and your out. For example, if the Private Eye and two gangsters get in a fight, he would beat both. If they each challenge him, he chooses which one goes first, his numbers, and rolls off. Now say the Private Eye rolled a 2 twice (both times picking paper) against the Gangsters' 1 (for this one rock) and 3 (for the other one schissor) he won a challenge, but lost another. This means that the Private Eye and one of the Gangsters gains a Strike, meaning something along the lines of getting shot or running out of bullets.
Strikes are they way to tell how stable your characters life is going at the time. They mean your doing badly, but also have a little something on people in their 'happy place.' As the whole world of Chel is psychoreactive, the mad have power. For each strike you have, your character is losing not only his grip on life, but on your mind as well. However, the insane can, and do, influence the world around them. Each maddening effect can shut off an attribute. For example, the wounded Private Eye may now change one set peice of the gunfight scene, and turns the gangster foe into a fluffy bunny. The Gangster turned bunny in turn turns the Private Eyes gun into a very angry snake. Each is now unable to use their Vim, leaving the unwounded Gangster all alone. He runs toward his objective, covering his eyes and shivering the whole way.
Remember, the third Strike simply gets rid of you, so you only really have one or two Psych effects each scenario. Also, a character can always challenge himself and lose, giving himself a strike. The mad often harm themselves...
Strikes can be rid of in one of two ways: Either win a challenge and break the cycle of bad luck (but risking gaining more in the process) or not post for a week in real time (character backs off the case and the player waits out the trouble). Actions in game are based on your ability to post, so he who posts most risks most, but may leap ahead of others. Those who rarely post will not leap forward, but are not likely to die either. Balancing risk and caution are key to this campaign, and this world.
So, there is the rules! The world is to follow soon...
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PostSubject: Re: City of Graves: A Comedic Tragedy in Three Pieces   Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:09 pm

Chel (pronounced sh-ell) is a world that lived too long. In the past, archeology shows that the world was a place of many nations and peoples. Humanity lived in large cities, like 'Dahlas' or 'New Oreens.' Then came the Reckoning.
Ascension is far from painless, and thousands disappeared in bursts of beautiful light. however, most stayed behind, or worse, got stuck half way. Those who had awakened smote the earth as angry gods and wiped most of the world before away in one gesture of anger and frustration.
But humanity is stubborn. Survivors crawled out from the wreckage and rebuilt. New Perdition was built in this time, and many made a solemn vow: we must never ascend again, or else nothing will be left. The city council is charged with keeping people firmly tethered to something, be it work, faith, or simple oppresion. The council wants the long twilight of mankind to stay long, and is willing to use any measure to do so.
There are those who want otherwise. Some want ascension, some want freedom, and some simply want to be left alone. The city is surrounded by the Wildness, filled with conclaves of free thinkers and bootleggers of all kind of 'social lubricants.' To keep people down, the council keeps the happy drugged, and helps shuffle off the weary fast as they can, while the underbelly supplies people with the dangerous taste of something greater.
Into this world step the player, who forges their own path, be it freedom from everything, or an embracing of the neccesary, or something else entirely. Either way it doesn't matter.
You have the most precious thing in this world.
Choice...


The City is like any beast; it has an end that stinks, and an end with fangs.
At the center of the city is the Bastion, run by the Council. Under them sit the Assemblies, small groups that run the day to day business of the City. The council has four members, who never have names, only symbols. Revealing the true identity of the of a Council member is punishable by Erasure. There is the Megaphone, her small frame locked into the City's speakers and camera's. There is the Pen, who does the census and taxes, from his fingers record a trail that wraps around every man and woman and child in the City. There is the Scalpel, who oversees every hospital and asylum in the City, tracking the slowing pulse of the city. And there is the Mask, who keeps the City's elite dancing their deadly games of politics, penning them in the whole time. In this spire, the bureaucracy is able to shield itself from the seething masses it regulates, and the spire is surrounded by a buffer of manors, whose own bodyguards guard their overlords through their own fear of the poor.
On one side of the city center is the Wharf, stretching along the coast into the gray sea. Long wharves and huge warehouses move the goods that keep the city moving. This is the only way to reach the outside world, and as such security is tight on the docks. However, too many people get through to keep the outside world at bay.
On the opposite side of sea is the Stacks, lines of factories that belch out smoke and product. It is the beating heart of the city, moving goods in and around the city. And like any machine, it needs fuel. The population fills that role, workers wearing down their lives before the machines.
Between these organs of the state lie the marrow of housing, the countless citizens who work and toil here in this city to make it so great.
Outside the city lies the Steadfasts, then the Wildness. The Steadfasts are malcontents who traded hardship for freedom, so long as they meet quotas of material and food for the City. They are closed places, small brotherhoods lead by reforged Foreman who brook no quarter in their wish to be left alone, and keep their affairs secret. The Wildness is the home of those who broke with the Rule, the ones who wish to ascend. They carry out their rituals and try to ascend. Some do, and the City loses a little more grip. They serve the Queen of the Woods, who says who shall hunt, and who shall flee.
Amidst this all stands the Agency, a private company run by 'Steel Black,' a faceless man who does odd jobs for all sides, and you work for Him. But the Agency is riddled with agents from all sides, all the better for Black, who sets them against each other to make sure His goals are carried out.
You work for the Agency; you have the choice. Question is, will you choose wisely?
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PostSubject: Re: City of Graves: A Comedic Tragedy in Three Pieces   Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:34 am

There are several factions around the City.
You must choose a Faction and an Archetype.

The Law:
Like a mast of a ship, you stand tall in the storm. Order must be restored to the city for it to survive, and no single person is worth more then the city. Hardships must be endured, but that is life.
As an Old Money, you have seen madness and disorder ebb and flow, and have some to see it as merely transitory to one's own wealth. You can dismiss one Effect with a flick of the wrist.
Inspectors are the police's finest, who do well with adversity and roll with the challenges presented to them. They are also good leaders, taking on the strengths and weaknesses of those below them. They can switch their stats with the one's they challenge or with another player.

The Underground:
Like a rat in a cesspool, you thrive in dirty conditions. Needs and wants are always present, and you fulfill the ones no ones want to speak of.

-The Wild Ones
The outside world holds many secrets, and this side hides them. Like an old woman in a hoop skirt, you may never see what's under, and may never want to. But people from the fringes of society, radicals, rebels, and retches gather in the woods and do dark ritual.
You know you can ascend, just don't know how, and the Sisters are guiding you there. Be free of petty morals and dragging selflessness, the only true way is to embrace the self and steer your own life!
Many Wild Ones no longer look human, and always have a tell. Often times it's animalistic, or simply off, like an tattoo that always faces the viewer or a tail. For a hideable Tell, you can put out and Effect, without needing a Strike, whenever your Tell is visible. For a very Visible Tell, like a animalistic body, or vines for hair, you have a two Effects you can put in any time, without Strikes, but must avoid the authorities.
The Wild Ones listen to the Queen of the Woods, and Ascended who stayed behind to help along others who fall in her footsteps. She is a terrifying beast who drifts through the forest, her legs trailing a line of flowers, which stare and follow any who pass. She speaks in a whisper that is only heard by those she wants to hear.

-The Mafia
People need vices to make it through the day, and you supply it. Rum and cigars, drugs and sex, even souls and secrets, you trade the flow of human impoprioties as other sell and trade watches and soup. You are the devil's advocate in a society that could really just unwind a spell.
The Mafia are tougher then any would expect, and a lot more clever. A Tough can benefit from having four Strikes rather then three, being a mean bastard. A Sweet can spin enemies around him; if an enemy wins challenge, a Sweet can opt to back out and not take a wound.
The leader of the Mafia is Don Ferelli, who is a burly man able to take an insane amount of punishment. People have laughed in his fac,e shot him full of holes, and even buried him twice. He always comes back, with a smile, and some new teeth in that smile that weren't his.

-The Union
Government's collapse, but the plight of workers never changes. You fight for your fair share, or for revenge long due. Like a horse with a sand castle, it's time to start kicking down those walls! You are legion, and you had enough of these conditions.
Union workers have seen much more then most think, meaning they have learned a great deal of foreign practices. A Teamster can pull on knowledge, able to ask yes or no questions before they go into a situation, but cannot bow out if they are challenged. A Lineman has much technical knowhow; they an pull out the right tools for the right job. You can always challenge something that has an Effect.
The Leader of the Union is called Boss Bead. Nobody knows what he looks like, but letters bearin his signature BB have appeared in many a lunchpale and locker. His only other trackable clue is a love of apples, he often leaves their cores near jobs, and some tycoons have only heard a hearty crunch of someone biting into one before they left this world.

-The Club
The elite must exist to exclude the common, and the elite must ascend to rule the common. You are born into luxury, or have earned it by your own means. Life for you is like a weather vane; you look down and show people where power flows.
New Money gained their way by being good at what they do, not by making friends, and are no nonsense people. A New Money can roll twice, rigging the game for them to win challenges, but risking two strikes if they can't win. Old Money is unflappable, and can negate one Effect with a flick of their wrist and then must leave such gouache thing behind you.
The Club has no leader, but breeds them. Currently, a young man called Alphonse has stepped forward to wear the sought after Gold Mask. His poems seem to have a life of their own, and he is always walks to events unaccompanied.

-The Police
You protect the people, who can't protect themselves. Your the arms that restrain, the eyes that don't blink, and the steel that doesn't break. Living this path is hard, not because it doesn't have perks, but because the whole weight of the City is on your back.
A Cop can pull strings, and can force another player to do them a favor, if that player can force them to do a favor in the future. An Inspector can see the truth in matters, and can always see the stats of an challenge, but in doing so telegraphs it to the other players.
The Department is lead by Commissioner Headings. He is a tall worried man with a strained voice. He often fidgets, and gets terrible headaches that he drinks some vile brews to combat.

-The Rangers
Outside of the City, justice is meted out by the community, not by the law. You take the law into your own hands, and keep the Wildness back. You may have your freedom now, but that's not set in stone until you make it so.
The Marshall is able to duck problems, and can get around any challenge by outmaneuvering it. However, so can all the other players now that you showed them how. The Foreman is a man literally reforged to keep production running, made of brass and steam. A Foreman can take a Strike to simply win a challenge, pushing himself into the red to get it done.
Every man is his own outside the city, but some people bear respect. Sheriff Davis is one such character. Despite his silly, bushy mustache, the man has survived many a gunfight. His greatest strategy is to strike from obvious, overlooked corners of a conflict, redirecting his foes until they defeat themselves.

-The Agency
The one who pulls the strings, you are in the thick of it. You serve the Agency first and foremost. Where others serve themselves or others, you serve a purpose: a better tomorrow. You may never see it, but a sun will shine someday.
The Investigator is a flexible man, and can switch his own stats with his challenger. The Informant has the dirt on everything, and can rearrange the challenges to a new order.
Another man unable to be traced, Black Steel gives missives out to his agents by telephone. That some agents didn't have telephones doesn't matter. He has a ringing voice, and always seems to have hooks for the people to take.

Saved for posterity, and for NPCs.

The way plots work:
You face challenges in each mission in a certain order, which you navigate by getting Clues. Each Clue unlocks others, until you get to top and get Scheme. First to get the Scheme advances their faction's plots.

Example:
Scheme
| \
Challenge Challenge
| /
Challenge
|
Challenge
| \
Challenge Challenge
| /
Breifing

And its done!
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