Blackout: Background

The HP inspired adventure first mentioned in Blackout: or How I Stopped Worrying and Love Powered by the Apocalypse. Blackout features five different player characters archetypes; the Mulder, the Scully, the Warden, the Scion and the Magus.

Some time the Mulder and the Scully as police detectives stumbled upon the witcharding world. After their first encounter with it their memories were obliviated. Fortunately, the realised something was amiss and were enraged by the fact that erasing their memories was akin to murder. They put measures in place so their memories though they were erased the Mulder was reminded that they don’t remember everything.

Along with the Scully they begin investigating these witchards eventually making it to a conflux of this magical beings. But they also discover that  kidnappings and murders made five years ago were connected to a group of fundamentalist witchards. To their shock they soon find out that not all the perpetrators were arrested, that some to this day still lived. This is when the Mulder and the Scully hatch a plan to arrest the Scion for their crimes.

Discovering the Scion addressed they address a letter and attach it to an owl setting it free. They follow the owl to the address with a sneak-a-scope (to detect hidden things) and discover the Scion’s manor out in the cold northern country side.

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The Warden is a member of the Magical Ministry and has been tasked to investigate two muggles who have continuously ‘relapsed’ from their obliviation. He has been given privileges to use leglimancy to disseminate the cause of their relapsing, and put an end to the tirade once and for all. Keeping their distance on their broom the wary Warden follows the muggles to the Scion’s manor…

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The Scion is the last of their bloodline, once they were two. Twins. But their twin took the wrap for the kidnapping and murders of those muggles. See they were members of the Iron Legion, a group of witchards that don’t see magic as dark/light but as a haze of grey. They champion that demonology, blood magic and other dark magics can be harnessed if used appropriately.

The Scion’s twin was put to death for their crimes and the Scion became obsessed with their death creating a shrine of sorts in the twin’s old room. Eventually the Scion turned to the Magus and imploring them trying to help resurrect their dead sibling.

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The Magus is an unregistered witchard who is known through the circles of the Iron Legion, mostly known as a mad diabolist. Most self-taught witchards dabbling in dark arts are either driven mad or killed but the Magus is savvy and has beaten the odds. The Magus’ illegal practices means they need to keep moving to avoid Ministry attention.

The Scion in need of the of the experimental expertise of the Magus and has agreed to harbour the Magus in their manor during the duration on their resurrection experimentation. The theory behind resurrecting the twin is to create a body or vessel that will be able to house the soul and memories of the deceased twin.

The Magus plans to contact a demon of the choir of destruction and arrange a pact that will attain the memories of the twin. Together the Scion and the Magus are gathered in a hidden room in the cellar of the manor gathered around a summoning circle that will bring the demon into our plane. They begin the ritual but are interrupted when intruders barrel through the front door of the manor and they disapparate and confront the intruders (the Mulder and the Scully, and soon the Warden).

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While upstairs gunfire and spells are fired; downstairs in the cellar the demon, Anamnesis swirls into existence, the ritual that would normally bind it is incomplete. It takes this advantage its smoke-like form to central chimney of the manor to attack everything in the manor. Devouring their memories leaving them with nothing of their past.

Unable to vacate the premises due to the sunlight outside, the demon waits for night to come.

The player characters awake in the disheveled lounge of the manor.

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Blackout: or How I Stopped Worrying and Love Powered by the Apocalypse

Wednesday night leading into a heatwave we held the fourth Weekly One-shot meetup in the comfort of an air conditioned meeting room. Tonight it was my rotation to host a game. I decided to playtest a home brew adventure of mine I’ve penned as Blackout with those that attend our weekly games.

An adventure for 3-5 players, Blackout would interest players interested in investigating and those who enjoy conflicting agendas between the player characters.

You wake up to find yourselves in chateau, with no memory of who you are or how you got there. As you all try to piece together the events of the previous few hours from things on your person and from the house, you begin to realise that something definitely went wrong. But will you be able to stop this threat before you tear each others throats out?

This year I plan to attend the College of Wizardry LARP in Poland which probably inspired the adventure. Other inspirations include Sir Poley’s Harry Potter and the Natural 20 as well as JK Rowling’s popular Harry Potter series. The themes I wanted to capture in this adventure are heavily inspired by the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode Tabula Rasa where the player characters play a mixture of muggles and witchards that find themselves in a strange manor with no memory of their past.

Since the beginning of this year I have been tossing up what system to use. The adventure would be heavily investigative so Trail of Cthulhu came to mind but didn’t quite serve the PVP that might ensue. So I turned to Fate which I have previously used in Potterverse RPGs but figured that Aspects that linked the players may give away too much of the mystery. Finally, I decided to road test Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) even though my adventure goes against the very tenants of the system and improvisation. But I felt that how the playbooks aid quick character development and the Moves really suited the adventure I had planned (also this year has been a bit of a showcase for the PbtA system).

Monster of the Week was the PbtA system of choice, the idea of each ‘episode’ contains a mystery with a monster of the week, which was the driving premise of my adventure. I had a couple of ideas that differed from Monster of the Week that I thought would suit Blackout. The ideas I wanted to experiment with included:

  • Instead of using Cool to Help or Hinder, I planned to use HX much like Apocalypse World but with the difference; instead of HX being determined during character creation a character would gain HX as they learned about another character throughout the adventure. The incentive to learn about your enemies would be just as important as learning about your allies.
  • Character creation would remain much the same the players choosing their Ratings, Appearance and Moves. But each character would also be given items that they find on their own person. These included identification, weapons, or sinister artifacts that aim to give the characters an impression of who they are, provide hooks and raise suspicions between the other characters.
  • The biggest deviation from the PbtA mission statement are the pre-established flags of the adventure.

Alpha Test of Blackout

The adventure was played with 3 players and ran for 3.5 hours. There were enough hooks in the adventure flags that the adventure could be easily played over two sessions, especially with more players.

The HX mechanic I introduced unfortunately was not utilised to enough to truly gauge if it was effective.

The players felt that the most of the Basic and Hunter Moves were appropriate to a Potterverse world but a couple of Hunter Moves just did quite work with the amnesia or a one-shot setting. The hooks that were found on each character were effective, though once again sort of goes against the intent of PbtA.

Overall the players enjoyed the adventure and the hooks. The only thorns from the players was that one didn’t really like investigation games but he said he just made up for it by causing conflict.

Conclusion

I plan to run the adventure again the next time we run a introduction to RPG session. I haven’t decided yet if I will continue to use PbtA or try a different system like Trail of Cthulhu.

Over the next couple of weeks I will post the adventure in segments for those of you who would like to try out the adventure which will start with the background for Blackout.

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The Beast: Review

My favourite part in the movie Se7en is during the Lust sin reveal. We are not privy to a seeing the crime unfold or really see much of the aftermath. All we see is a Polaroid of the ‘murder’ weapon and its up to our own imagination to put the pieces together.

Alek­san­dra Son­towska and Kamil Węgrzynow­icz’s The Beast pits your imagination with in the unreal situation where you are having a secret affair with an alien creature. The Beast is a solitaire roleplaying game where one keeps an erotic journal of this carnal sex. The game is not just about the sex but how you feel about your relationship with the Beast and how it effects your daily life and your other relationships.

The game is designed to be played over the course of 21 days where each day you pull a card with a topic or question and you are urged to describe the events in your journal. There are a variety of questions; my favourite being “The Beast wasn’t there when you came to visit. How do you satisfy yourself?” The cards themselves are beautifully designed and if you buy the pdf set print out nicely.

At the end of the 21 days you are urged to hide or destroy the journal. As I have used this blog as the journal I plan to leave the journal post up for a couple of weeks before deleting it. There’s a lot of bleed in there so get in there and pick apart my brain.

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Sneak Peek: Doctor Who Temporal Master Sourcebook

tmcoverimageHere is a sneak peek of the cover for the unauthorised Doctor Who Sourcebook for the Temporal Master setting. The Temporal Master campaign was created by Justin Alexander of the Alexandrian and written by myself. The sourcebook is not authorised by BBC or Cubicle 7 and is a fan made sourcebook.

Once completed the sourcebook will compile the individual adventures written for the Temporal Masters campaign written over the course of 2016.

It will also act as a guide for creating your own alternate adventures in the Temporal Master setting. This will elaborate on what was covered in November’s edition, Another World.

At this juncture I have not got a schedule for completion of the final product. Once I get an idea of how InDesign works, I will be able to give a better estimate of the time required to complete the project.

 

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Christmas 2016

With the last adventure of the Temporal Masters finally under wraps, it’s got me thinking about what I will be working on in 2017.

Over the holidays I am planning on playing through the Beast the unsettling erotic game for one. I will be completing the journal for this game on this blog for the next 21 days. After that the journal will be lost. I expect there to be a little bleed through in this game, also probably adult themes.

I plan to compile all the Temporal Master adventures into a single sourcebook, trying my hand at InDesign instead of Microsoft Word.

I have plans to revisit Potterverse and fate with a one shot scenario involving amnesiac wizards.

I’ve also thought about making a Rick and Morty fan sourcebook for the Cubicle 7 vortex system that drives the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. I have also been pondering how Doctor Who would run using the Gumshoe system.

Stay tuned into the next year I’m sure to set out on a new project.

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Time Lord Ascendant

Now with complete control over time and space, the Temporal Masters are a strategic tour de force. Through the guidance of the Temporal Master Victorious, commander in chief and visionary of the pure timeline any opposition has been met with ruthless alterations to their personal timeline. Time and space is at an impasse with those races still capable of time travel are paralysed by the threat of extinction or simply do not have the capability to mount a resistance. The Doctor has been desperately trying to  undo the damage done, feeling responsible for his progenitor’s work.

The Doctor and his companions have arrived at the Temporal Masters’ stronghold to put an end to the Temporal Masters’ reign one way or another. The Doctor is unsurprised to find an old acquaintance with the mantle of Temporal Master Victorious. The companions find themselves amidst the glory of the Temporal Master capitol where they find out that they are not the only ones unhappy with the Victorious’ reign, as various factions are poised to strike and depose their leader.

The Time Lord Ascendant marks the end of the Temporal Masters adventure arc, 12 months of Doctor Who Roleplaying Game related adventures. A big thanks goes out to the Alexandrian it was his blog post outlining the Temporal Master story arc that inspired Doctor Who RPG Temporal Master campaign. Thanks also needs to go to BBC as the creators of Doctor Who and Cubicle 7 whose Doctor Who Roleplaying products inspired the project.

The project started as a challenge to myself to; A) share the adventures I had written or my gaming group and to share them, B) to produce something that I would be happy with, and C) to actually meet my own deadlines and finish the project. Overall I am happy with what I have achieved.

Next year I plan to at some stage compile all the adventures into one Temporal Masters sourcebook using InDesign rather than Microsoft Word.

I hope you enjoy the adventures over the past year!

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Another World

The penultimate addition of monthly Whovian adventures has taken slightly different turn. This month’s edition Another World, is a bit more of a source book delving into the effect the Temporal Masters have on the timeline. The original inspiration for the campaign came from the Alexandrian.

The first chapter takes a look at the direct effect the Temporal Masters’ have on the established timeline and takes a look at alternate histories and integrating them into your campaign.

The second chapter tackles the Doctor, his companions and the Tardis and how they may react or adapt to the influence of an altered timeline.

Chapter three takes a look at the Temporal Master agenda, command structure and strategies.

Finally, chapter four presents two adventure hooks. Simulation Hypothesis takes place within the Temporal Masters’ Matrix while they are running a simulation, the Doctor and his companions must find a way through without getting killed in the process. The second adventure finds companions in another lifetime remembering events that never happened, especially an eccentric character calling himself the Doctor, they soon find themselves in an odd conspiracy.

I have been planning to collect all the adventures up on the blog into one Temporal Masters Sourcebook which I hope to include a fleshed out version of this month’s addition.

As with all of my uploads I welcome any feedback or criticism.

Be sure to stay tuned for the final instalment of the Temporal Masters campaign, Time Lord Ascendant.

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Andromeda Burns

Few races have wielded the power to destroy a galaxy. The last were the Time Lords when their waged their time war with the Daleks. They unleashed untold devastation using super weapons from the Omega Arsenal. It is only fitting when the Temporal Masters would unearth one of these great weapons and turning it against the Andromeda galaxy.

After previously witnessing the abrupt disappearance of the Andromeda galaxy, the Doctor and his companions have travelled back in time before the galaxy’s destruction. There they find themselves within a maze station circling the super massive black hole. Stranger still are the prisoners of war made to run the maze pursued by Weeping Angels.

Can the Doctor and his companions navigate this maze and stop the Temporal Masters from destroying the Andromeda galaxy?

Andromeda Burns is an adventure written for the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. It is the next arc of the Temporal Masters campaign setting created by the Alexandrian. Though it is intended for the the campaign setting it could be easily adapted for single play.

As always I would love to hear your feedback especially since I have published the adventure before getting an opportunity to run it with my group. The adventure can be found here.

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Black Hole Bluff

It’s finally here! Last month’s adventure is a little late due to my Korea/Japan vacation.

In this adventure the Doctor and his companions are pitted against a cult of logicians planning on using a causal feedback loop for their own benefit. The characters arrive at Synch Hole station, a particle accelerator in orbit around a super massive black hole experimenting with temporal particles. Upon arrival the crew seem to be acting strange and facts don’t seem to add up.

Black Hole Bluff is an adventure written for use with the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. It is intended to act as a standalone adventure but can be used as a precursor to Andromeda Burns of The Temporal Master campaign.

Due to my little holiday and scheduling issues, I’ve also fallen behind on presenting this adventure to my group. This means you will be the first to see it but this also means I’m not entirely sure how this scenario plays out. This means I am eager to hear your suggestions and questions. Please find the adventure here

The next adventure will be the next major arc of the Temporal Masters campaign, Andromeda Burns. I endeavor to get this completed this month but running late as I am might make it difficult.

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The Master Plan

This month I present the next installment of the Temporal Masters Campaign… the Master Plan.

A defector is in the care of the Bi-galactic Time Enforcers (FKA Tri-galactic Time Enforcers). The defector has information about the Doctor’s granddaughter, Donna. News that she is dying on the planet of Apalapucia, a planet once visited by the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory. A planet that is home to a deadly disease that kills Time Lords.

The Master Plan was originally cooked up by the Alexandrian and features a familiar enemy that has insinuated themselves into the early history of the Temporal Masters. This is an adventure intended for use with the Temporal Masters campaign, the Twelfth Doctor and his companions.

During this campaign I had two major concerns; one was how to handle the Alliance of the Daleks adventure (which I am pretty happy with now) and how the Temporal Masters came to be. Regarding the TMs origins I wanted it to make a certain amount of sense drawing on canon but I kept it slightly convoluted because…well its Doctor Who. I will actually be very interested to hear what you think with how I handled their creation within the adventure.

As always the collected adventures from each month can be found here and be sure to leave and comments or feedback. Hope you enjoy.

Till next time…

Ps. Next month I will be travelling abroad so for those of you waiting in anticipation for the next adventure. Heads up. I am very likely to be late in delivering it.

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