Drama Seeds

Discussion on game mastering Fading Suns. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
User avatar
Angelman
Posts: 1034
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:11 am

Drama Seeds

Postby Angelman » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:54 pm

Following the great success of the Sample Fiefs Thread, I thought we might want to try something new. I am a strong believer in the maxim that an RPG is only as successful as the number of people playing it, and my personal conviction is that nothing stimulates play as much as offering up stories for the GMs to use. I would therefore like to suggest a new collaboration to collect drama seeds for fans to use as they please. As with the sample fiefs, if we manage to pull this off we might edit these into a pretty freebie pdf and have the official stamp of approval on it. What do you say, people? Is this a good idea?

You are of course free to write these up as you see please, but a good formate might be as follows

NAME
Setup: How to plant seeds for this drama in previous stories or during character generation, etc.
Showcase: Themes and game facets that fits with this drama.

Describe the situation.

Then end with a series of questions that complicate things and suggest deeper truths.
Writer, editor, & developer for:
FASA Games Inc. (Fading Suns Revised: PG, GMG, Criticorum Discord)
DramaScape (numerous projects)

User avatar
Angelman
Posts: 1034
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:11 am

Re: Drama Seeds

Postby Angelman » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:58 pm

This isn't primarily for fully fledged 20,000 words scenarios, but rather short and inspiring ideas and problems. I'll do one to kick it off (more will follow).

A Case of Dishonor
Setup: This drama revolves around the family of a central noble character in the cadre, or more specifically the character’s notorious grand-aunt. Mentioning the grand-aunt in preceding dramas, and have Game Master characters judge the character on account of his/her grand-aunt, would be a great way to setup A Case of Dishonor.
Showcase: Noble faction; Emperor Wars and its aftermath; Family and honor; Infamous Family affliction

Fortunes rose and fell during the Emperor Wars. Some veterans returned home as celebrated heroes, while others returned in disgraced and were shunned by kin and neighbors alike. Arguably, some of these fates were deserved, while most of them were not… probably.

The central character grew up hearing hushed whispers and embarrassed mumbles about grand-aunt Maryana the traitor. A renowned warrior during the Emperor Wars, she fought for her house in several engagements, earning much praise and glory before it all turned sour. One day a missive arrived at the family estate with information that Maryana had been branded a traitor following her actions during the Battle of Deathly Honors, and she would henceforth be an outcast of the noble house. Maryana never returned home, although she did send letters confirming she had disgraced herself and her relatives in some unspecified manner. Furthermore, she informed her family that she had decided not to return, and asked that they forget about her since she was dying from radiation poisoning anyway. (A Geiger counter confirmed the letters had been exposed to radiation). Afterwards, grand-aunt Maryana’s name was only mentioned in hushed voiced behind closed doors, and it became a punishable offence for children to speak her name. Even though no one knew the specifics about Maryana’s betrayal of her house and family, everyone agreed that she was a blemish best ignored… until now that is.

Recently, a dispatch arrived at the family court, addressed to grand-aunt Maryana. The letter was sent by a Sir Roth of an allied noble house, another veteran warrior of the Emperor Wars who fought with Maryana in the Battle of Deathly honors. From his writing it is apparent that Sir Roth is unware of Maryana’s bad reputation and he has nothing but praise for the central character’s grand-aunt. He recalls how valiantly she executed her challenging orders in battle, and led a charge that saved Sir Roth’s unit from certain destruction. Now Sir Roth summons all comrades in arms who received the Wreath of Loyalty medal on the field in that battle, to a celebration at his court on the anniversary of the battle – the invitation includes Lady Maryana.

Seeing a chance to polish their rising star, the central character’s family is keen to restore Maryana’s honor and remove her stain upon the family name. The head of the family asks the central character and his/her friends to look into the matter and, if possible, recover Maryana’s Wreath of Loyalty medal. In addition, if Maryana’s remains can be found Maryana, they should be returned home for a decent burial in the family mausoleum (although they should beware any lingering radioactivity in her bones).

Something is clearly going on behind the scenes. Why did Lady Maryana claim in the letters that she was disgraced? Family and military records collaborate the damning of Lady Maryana, and enemies have used her reputation against the family on more than one occasion. What was the nature of her secret orders, and why has all information on the Battle of Deathly Honors been classified? Is Sir Roth who he claims to be? And in any case, what are his motives? And what about that unmarked spy who was shot dead in the family library by household guards some weeks hence?
Writer, editor, & developer for:
FASA Games Inc. (Fading Suns Revised: PG, GMG, Criticorum Discord)
DramaScape (numerous projects)

User avatar
Angelman
Posts: 1034
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:11 am

Re: Drama Seeds

Postby Angelman » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:57 am

I'll try another one :)

Troublesome Relic
Setup: The drama revolves around a central priestly character asked by an old seminary teacher to help recover a stolen relic. Involving this Game Master character in earlier stories, as a patron or helper, would allow the players to get to know her. Any storyline involving the extinct House Alecto would help foreshadow the issues of Troublesome Relic.
Showcase: Universal Church faction; Noble lineages; Specters of the past; Politics of religion; The frailty of the current political situation

The central character is contacted by a former teacher and seminary patroness, Matre Sotera, who needs the character’s help. Matre Sotera has been charged by her (arch)bishop with recovering a potent relic plundered from her parish temple in an enemy raid during the Emperor Wars. New evidence has recently been uncovered, but since Matre Sotera is old and frail, she wonders whether her favorite student and adventurer-pastor might perhaps be willing to perform the mission on her behalf. Her agent will of course have a share in any praise and other rewards.

It has been discovered that the mercenary unit raiding Matre Sotera’s parish temple under the Emperor Wars was a group called Madox’ Pack, one of several armed forces that terrorized the region at the time. In an ironic twist, Madox’ Pack was hired after the Emperor Wars, to police and protect the region of its former enemy, a duty which the unit still perform.

The relic is a large signet finger-ring, made of pygmallium and electrum, engraved with the House Alecto emblem (a pair of crossed torches, one pointing up and one down). The signet ring used to belong to St. Palamedes Alecto – first Patriarch of the Universal Church – gifted to Matre Sotera’s temple by a penitent noble in the early New Dark Ages, having previously disappeared from history in the late Diaspora era. The ring is attributed with the power to cancel psychism and non-Human religious rites, and is associated with St. Palamedes’ defense of humanity against Ur-Ukar aggression during the Human-Ukari War (2855-2892). [Game Effect: All psychics and alien occultists within hearing or sight of the wearer, receive a penalty to all occult goals equal to the wearer’s Faith]. Moreover, the signet ring is a potent symbol of prestige, as it could be used to strengthen a noble’s claim on the privileges, land, and resources of the extinct House Alecto. ‘Alecto’ is arguably the most politically potent name in interstellar politics, for even though the house has been extinct for over four centuries, most noble families have intermarried over the last millennia, and no bloodline will therefore fully die out. A noble able to trace her ancestry back to both Palamedes and Vladimir Alecto, could possibly claim Alecto land as her birthright, particularly should the noble also possess other prestige items like Vladimir’s crown or a lost Alecto voting scepter, throwing the Known World into turmoil anew.

Even as a minor house, a resurrected House Alecto would seriously unbalance interstellar politics. The Universal Church fears any legitimate rival claims to Palamedes’ ancestry. Any noble house would covet the potential political power of claiming House Alecto prestige. The Phoenix Throne could use the imperial associations of the Alecto name (through Vladimir Alecto – the First Emperor) to strengthen Alexius’ claim and establish a House Imperial to seize voting scepters for itself and partake in future imperial elections.

Just a fortnight ago, a Questing Knight retinue enquired about the lost relic in the parish. Meanwhile, Reeves lawyers have established an office in a nearby town, and Musters are advertising a discount for hired mercenaries. Li Halan scholars have recently dusted off debates around theocracy – as a purely intellectual exercise of course, while Hazat ambassadors are reaffirming their overtures for a joint Known World crusade against the Kurgan Caliphate. Rumors claim that several nobles – primarily from minor houses – have enjoyed private audiences with the leader of Madox’ Pack, Captain Constantin Lavoie, who in turn has spent much wealth re-equipping his forces and updating his communications. Two nights ago, unknown agents broke into Matre Sotera’s temple archives and stole all files on the relic. Can the cadre solve the (arch)bishop’s mission before perilous ambitions casts the Known Worlds out into a new major turmoil?
Writer, editor, & developer for:
FASA Games Inc. (Fading Suns Revised: PG, GMG, Criticorum Discord)
DramaScape (numerous projects)

User avatar
Holz
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:43 am
Location: São Paulo - Brazil
Contact:

Re: Drama Seeds

Postby Holz » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:36 pm

Wow, great drama seeds.
I have so many ideas, but I need time and need to polish to make it more manageable.
To hell with information, ammunition is ammunition.

If brute for ain't working you ain't using enough.

Fan site of the FS Universe: https://fadingsunsbr.wordpress.com/portal/

User avatar
Angelman
Posts: 1034
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:11 am

Re: Drama Seeds

Postby Angelman » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:21 am

Thanks, Holz. I can't wait to read you guys' drama seeds :)
Remember, they do not need to be as long and complicated as I've written them (I just can't stop myself from tinkering), so any neat idea is cool :D

(I'm just getting back into some serious FSR writing, and these peices have helped inspire me. Great things to come, people!)
Writer, editor, & developer for:
FASA Games Inc. (Fading Suns Revised: PG, GMG, Criticorum Discord)
DramaScape (numerous projects)

User avatar
Bertjammin
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:26 am
Location: Ipswich, UK

Re: Drama Seeds

Postby Bertjammin » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:52 am

Ok - here's a quickie I just thought of. Apologies for brevity and the "generic" nature of it. (By the way Angelman - *GLEEEEE* - can't wait to hear what's in the works...)

Stolen Heart
Setup: A precious item (possibly something rare, expensive or just of sentimental value) belonging to one of the player characters is stolen, possibly very obviously and audaciously. But this is simply to get the cadre's attention. The thief is a Scraver and a talented rogue but they have fallen for a local noble. The Noble's House and family consider the Scraver to be beneath them, possibly even an outright enemy and so s/he can't get near his love. S/he promises to return the item if they will help him to get to his love.
Showcase: Courtly Love, Guilds relationship with the Nobility, truth vs perception

The Scraver fell for his noble love the first time he say him/her after they engages his services to retrieve a rare item (possibly a lost family heirloom) and believes that they feel the same. S/he is an expert in "acquisitions" and uses their skill to try to blackmail the party into helping. If that fails, now that he has their attention he will offer his skills to them as payment(having proven himself in his eyes to them). S/he is a literal romantic rogue, swashbuckling, full of derring-do and an ego the size of a small moon.

The Scraver will want the players to a) contact his "love" and sound them out to see how they feel towards him b) once they have established their feelings (or not) he will want them to arrange an illicit meeting so that they can be together (and possibly run off into the sunset(s)) or so that he can try to convince them in person of his feelings.

Of course that won't be easy - the Scraver's paramour's House and family are well used to the Scraver's incessant and continual petitions, love tokens, sonnets, serenades and approaches. They are wary for any stranger or visitor who might be connected to him and this won't be the first time he has tried using third parties to contact his "lover". The subject of his affections is young (but of age) and relatively innocent but now constantly chaperoned and often under armed guard (I have the idea of a seemingly harmless, chubby, matronly nurse who is actually an experienced Brother battle bodyguard....but that's how my mind works; "Nursey" from Blackadder II but with kung fu....).

Then of course you have the issue of whether the "lover" feels the same, and what the fall out of all this will be. Both locally within the Guilds (what does the Scraver's superiors think to all this? How will it affect trade and contracts with the House?) and within the local Noble Houses (what if the lover is already betrothed to another noble? What if a "necessary" alliance depends on that marriage taking place?). Who is in charge in all this? The Scraver is trying to manipulate the players but what if his lover is actually manipulating him to get them out of their "imprisonment" and the probability of a loveless marriage for political reasons? Or (and this is a potentially great twist for a group of jaded and experienced players) what if it is all exactly as they say; the thief loves the noble and they just want to live happily ever after...they'll NEVER expect that...

Also if the players take the Scraver's promise of working for them in exchange for helping him, what are they going to get him to do? (in fact this could be an interlude during an ongoing campaign when the players have reached an impasse and need an edge in order to get in somewhere, recover something or just acquire the next clue. The Scraver could be their means to move the overall game on again).
"The crazy ol' Vorox"

Something witty, pithy and observant ought to go here.

Oh well.

Follow my current campaign and my general musings about GMing Fading Suns at: http://trialsofarcadia.blogspot.co.uk/

User avatar
Angelman
Posts: 1034
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:11 am

Re: Drama Seeds

Postby Angelman » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:53 am

Great story, Bertjammin! There is far too little romance in FS :)
Writer, editor, & developer for:
FASA Games Inc. (Fading Suns Revised: PG, GMG, Criticorum Discord)
DramaScape (numerous projects)

User avatar
Holz
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:43 am
Location: São Paulo - Brazil
Contact:

Re: Drama Seeds

Postby Holz » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:30 pm

Since today, the ESA mission Rosetta, landed the Philae module on comet 67-P, I'll make this drama in it's honor and the idea it gave me!

Walking on the comet

Setup: Characters will need a ship, a charioteer (or able pilot), someone with archaeological skills and a priest.
Showcase: Space exploration, artifact hunting (Ur and 2nd Republic), demon lurking the shadows.

It has been 1398 years since comet 99A-67 went through the solar system. Its bearings unknown for millennia, but now under the lens of the telescope of an engineer, he seems to know more about that piece of “flying rock”.

In his office, a lone engineer, finds an old report of a 2nd Republic survey team that traveled to the comet, landed, explored and vanished. As the comet left the solar system, no team was able or close enough to reach it and make a rescue attempt.

The engineer, Ben Johnson, and old friend to one of the party members, says that he believes the ship, fully equiped is still on the comet 99A-67, due to his calculations on the last position of the craft and the report he has. He’ll give the coordinates and location of the comet. Tough he warns that the comet will only stay a limited time on the solar system, leaving beyond the gate in only a few days (I´d suggest something between 3 to 6 days, GM’s discretion).

The comet on the edge of the solar system is quite big. Full of mountains, valleys and strange rock formations, the comet is a challenging place to find spot for landing. Surveying the comet, there is a spot with a faint distress beacon, in the bottom of a canyon. If they land there, a very old and dusted ship of the 2nd Republic is there, no crew inside or around it.

Old footprints lead to a lower section of the canyon, to a cave and then into a staircase that delves into the depths of the comet. Huge Ur statues hold the celling of the cave, light is dim and at the end, a door with many glyphs and by the side, six astronauts of the old. Now all bones inside their high-tech spacesuits. A small terraforming engine works, giving a thin atmosphere. A few tech items, dot the place, most of them without any charge.

A joint team of Scravers and Muster raided Ben’s office and found the report of the survey team. They are on their way to the comet, as well as an Inquisition frigate, since no good might come something that was in the darkness beyond the stars.

But why is that one old astronaut with a spacesuit, if the portable terraforming engine was on-line? What is behind the huge door and what it markings say? Why is there gun fire all over the place? Seems to be another set of stairs that go deeper into the comet, but where do they go?
What will the Avestites and the Scraver/Muster team do? Did the astronaut in the spacesuit just twitched? Just my imagination...

(sorry for anything wrong on the text :D )
To hell with information, ammunition is ammunition.

If brute for ain't working you ain't using enough.

Fan site of the FS Universe: https://fadingsunsbr.wordpress.com/portal/

User avatar
Angelman
Posts: 1034
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:11 am

Re: Drama Seeds

Postby Angelman » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:32 am

That's a very atmospheric piece, Holz. Well done! The ancient statues and buildings gives me Lovecraftian (or should I say "cyclopean") associations :twisted: A comet drama is also very thematically appropriate in these days :clap:

The Dark Slave demon and his husks from Dark Liner, or the Apparitions from The Ancestor's Tomb (both found in the Into The Dark book) might work very vell if reused here. :mrgreen:
Writer, editor, & developer for:
FASA Games Inc. (Fading Suns Revised: PG, GMG, Criticorum Discord)
DramaScape (numerous projects)

User avatar
Angelman
Posts: 1034
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:11 am

Re: Drama Seeds

Postby Angelman » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:51 am

And, if you want to hear a comet sing, this is what 67P sounds like (and the physicians doen't know exactly why it is doing it yet). Cool stuff :)

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/ ... 126840.htm
Writer, editor, & developer for:
FASA Games Inc. (Fading Suns Revised: PG, GMG, Criticorum Discord)
DramaScape (numerous projects)


Return to “For Game Masters”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest