Looking for weirdness

Discussion on game mastering Fading Suns. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
Leviathan of Maddoc
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Looking for weirdness

Postby Leviathan of Maddoc » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:55 pm

So my campaign is going well. The players are eating up the primary conspiracy and the Noble Player is really enjoying the politics but my Church player has limited utility for right now. The next session will have a fairly challenging combat and the priest isn't much of a fighter so I'd like a nice weird encounter that stresses his strength in mysticism and the occult. Either a simple mystical monster or a good miniplot about religious ritual or practice is the sweet-spot I'm thinking of. Do you guys have any ideas within the Fading Suns theme that could be cool?

Danos
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Re: Looking for weirdness

Postby Danos » Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:07 pm

I like ghost stories myself. Or you can inflict some sort of unkillable husk that can only be prayed away, not physically destroyed.

Some of the short stories from the book intros have good ideas, if you are willing to take one of Alustro's vignettes and re-skin it so the players don't recognize it.

If your PC is Orthodox, you could have some Avesti find him and demand that he tell them what to do. People lose track of the fact that Avestites are subordinate to the orthodoxy, and they aren't as dumb as people like to pretend. Clever Avestites could present an issue to a travelling orthodox priest as a dodge, to get a second opinion after the local deacon tells them not to do something, or they could genuinely desire direction and leadership after an Avestite deacon is slain.

If the PC is Eskatonic, you could have some sort of mystical threat, or a ghost story. Amaltheans I haven't dealt with much, not sure I can help you there. Most of my PC priests have been Brother Battle or Orthodox.

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Bertjammin
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Re: Looking for weirdness

Postby Bertjammin » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:54 am

Danos wrote:If your PC is Orthodox, you could have some Avesti find him and demand that he tell them what to do. People lose track of the fact that Avestites are subordinate to the orthodoxy, and they aren't as dumb as people like to pretend. Clever Avestites could present an issue to a travelling orthodox priest as a dodge, to get a second opinion after the local deacon tells them not to do something, or they could genuinely desire direction and leadership after an Avestite deacon is slain.


I like that ;)

I'd agree that you could have all sorts of "doctrinal" challenges, a peasant or freeman comes to confess a "terrible sin" - what does the priest do with this knowledge? A noble of householder has a crisis of faith and comes with questions of the priest, a leperous beggar seeks alms and a miracle...there's lots you can play on without going full on "mystical".

But for the "weird" you could have visions or spiritual visitations; perhaps they forebode future, or distant events or perhaps they are demonic temptations. Have a "possessed" peasant found wailing through the town - is it a true case of possession or a case of epilepsy, malady or insanity? Perhaps they are actually being telepathically influenced by a nefarious psychic (a member of the Invisible Hand, perhaps?).

Perhaps a "miracle worker" turns up - their gifts seem real but they preach a gospel other than the Universal Church's doctrine (there's plenty to choose from - Incarnates, Gjarti, and apostate Heyschast etc) - how does the priest deal with the challenge to both their faith and flock?
"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/

Leviathan of Maddoc
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Re: Looking for weirdness

Postby Leviathan of Maddoc » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:01 pm

Brother Godfrey is pretty low ranking and Mahayana, so having Avesti come to him for advice, but as a Catechist involved in regional festivals it makes sense that he'd be pulled into interfaith politics.

I want to shy away from more visions in the story. I've already given out a lot of free information through wyrd channels. The player didn't pay for oracular ability and I'm reluctant to offer it for free.

I think a ghost or ghost-like creature would fit the problem well since our Van Gelder knight would be put in the support role for once.

I think also a false possession could be a fun ecclesiastical hook. I like the idea of Godfrey being pulled in to perform exorcism rights on a child that everyone knows is just mentally ill, but the church finds it easier to humor the noble that demands an exorcism than to insist that they get proper care for the child.

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Bertjammin
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Re: Looking for weirdness

Postby Bertjammin » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:20 am

Leviathan of Maddoc wrote:I think also a false possession could be a fun ecclesiastical hook. I like the idea of Godfrey being pulled in to perform exorcism rights on a child that everyone knows is just mentally ill, but the church finds it easier to humor the noble that demands an exorcism than to insist that they get proper care for the child.


You can even play the double bluff and have *everyone* convinced that the child is just suffering from a regular malady to the point of lullin the preist into a sense of security (particularly if the player reacts in a flippant or dismissive way) but then spin it on it's head and have either the child, or possibly even better one of the parents or family be possessed.

Or combine it with a ghost idea and have an NPC possessed by a benign spirit who needs to complete a task or get a message across (I think it's mentioned in The Dark Amongst the Stars that ghosts can possess psychics who try to communicate or reach them).

I think in my head I'd be looking to write a moral, ethical or theological quandary to test the priest as a character and give the player a chance to show how they really think and react. It is often said that it is our choices that define our character.
"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/

Leviathan of Maddoc
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:33 pm

Re: Looking for weirdness

Postby Leviathan of Maddoc » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:45 pm

The campaign theme is mostly about people who have lost hope, fallen into the routine expectation that things cannot be improved. So fitting the counter into the theme would mean that having a ritualist who is an actual theurgist come to the valley means that what was tolerated or ignored before can now be changed, and also forces that had relied on that stagnation now find their apple-carts upset.


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