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Blues themed setting - Input welcomed
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Dolomite23
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:03 am    Post subject: Blues themed setting - Input welcomed Reply with quote

I am still trying to working on a setting that is a mixture of fantasy and the world of the blues, much like hour own. Basically the legend of Robert Johnson was true. Only after the deal was made other demons came in to the picture. My inspiration is the songs BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and others. There is definitely a film noir feel to the world with a pinch of swashbuckling also. I feel very close to the material. With its roots in Southern United States, Blues is one of the contributions to the world black people have given. Being a black man from the south, I feel it is a nice and different slant on a setting.

Here is what I have so far.
The Races

Humans of course

Emotion based Race – Basically these beings were created by gathering of people with strong feeling around (funerals-sadness, weddings-happiness). They are a variation of the Emotors from the Sci-fi Bestiary
• Constructs – They are made up of solid sound.
• Curious – New to this world the look at it wide-eyed.
• Discord – They become fatigued in the midst of strong opposite emotion

Sound Based race – These are evolved from insects or birds, constantly emitting and soft tone.
• Flight
• Monophobia – Being social creatures they ten to hate being left alone.
• Sound transformer – take sound from the area (a form of silence) and transform it into various effects (I would like to make it like Dazzler from the X-men).

Soulless – Brutish and deaf, they tend to be magic resistant. No one really knows what happens when you give your soul for something. These creatures were treated cruelly by fate and left to be punished.
• +1 Size
• Arcane Resistance – neither harmful nor helpful magic can affect them.
• Outsider – Because of their past, Soulless are shunned by society

Devil-touched – these half-demons were the infernal beings “pitch men” some got disgusted with what they were doing and decided to work for themselves.
• +2 Charisma
• Greedy
• Silver tongue – roll two die on any social interaction skill. Take the best one.

I got this suggestion from Bone Daddy from the SW yahoo group

Just do human, but give them a Hindrance called
Sans Emotion, -2 to Charisma and Guts checks regarding emotions and -4 reaction
modifier to any circumstance where emotion occurs.

I would also use the SW Sanity mechanics (half Spirit plus 2). Everytime a PC
exhibits "emotion" they need to make a Guts check. Failing knocks their Sanity
down a notch. Critical failure knocks Sanity down two notches.

Making a PC/Race that draws upon emotion is possible as follows. I would make
this a proximity based effect. Use something like the Edge Soul Drain with a
range of 4, 8, 12 to affect Soul Drain/Emotional Drain to those around them.
Another means would be to adapt either of these Powers from the Fantasy
Companion: Damage Field and Drain Power Points. I like using the effect of
Damage Field for its range and being a contact power. Just add the effects of
Drain Power Points and have it drain emotion.

One last thought, take a look at the Mind Drain power of a Psychic Vampire and
apply that to emotions. This makes it intriguing if the character race is
"Feeding" upon emotions.

You could give either of the races a modified variant of Detect Arcana to Detect
Emotions. Attach a bonus to the Tracking skill and the PC can "hunt" beings with
emotions.

The Archetypes – (I tried to come up with Blues Theme Names, but some were a bit obvious)

Fighters – Any type from mindless thugs to purpose driven Drifters
Rogues – (Creepers) – Rogues that come and go in the night, the only clue that they were there is the smiles they leave behind. Inspired by the term (Back Door man)
Mages (Mojo Workers) – there are Conjurers, hoodoo and Cutters* (the bards of the world, they use music for a variety of powerful magic works)
Clerics – (Spirituals) they are the priest types that tend to use gospel music to combat the devil work. Think of Aretha Franklin blessing people with her songs.

Cutters are magic users much like Hucksters in Deadlands. They somehow create magic through music.

Music is a part of this world but I don’t want people to think that they have to have a deep knowledge of music theory to play it.

I have story seeds mainly taken from songs. I would like suggestions on balance and mechanics of races. I was thinking about a dieselpunk type of feel also. Any blues trapping names from races.

Thanks for you time,
Dolo
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kreider204
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darn you!!!! I had a similar idea recently! Sigh - one of these days, I'll think of something original ...

Mr. Green

I think it's a really neat idea, and I like how you're going about it. I'll take a closer look at the mechanics this evening when I'm home and let you know what I think about the balance and such.

Cheers!
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Dolomite23
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I am the same way. I have had this idea for awhile and decided to ask here for some help. If you want to collaborate and share ideas let me know.
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kreider204
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, I'll let you do all the work, and just criticize it. Wink

Actually, I was thinking something fairly different, so I still might work on it at some point. I was going for a low magic setting - no arcane backgrounds, mild supernatural elements. The PCs would be southern blues musicians, looking to work their way up, eventually to move to Chicago and make it big. There'd be lots of gigs, cuttin' heads, and bar fights. Smile

I still like what you're doing, though - I'll definitely look at the mechanics closely tonight.
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kreider204
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I've looked it over a bit. So far, pretty good.

I like your variations on the emotors. You should definitely include one for jealousy (LOTS of blues songs about that!). I'm unclear on why they are made of sound, though, or how that translates into the Construct abillity.

I have a bit of concern about overall balance of the races - in particular, the sound-based race seems pretty powerful compared to the others (they get full-fledged powers, not just a couple of edges).

I'm a little unclear about Bone Daddy's suggestion. Is this a race, or just a new hindrance from which characters can choose?

The last few things you mention about emotion - is that for the emotor races?

You mention some magic, especially in the character types. What arcane background are you allowing, and what sort of spells will they have available?

Good stuff so far!
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Connallmac
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may also want to check out Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game. I think it will dovetail nicely with what you've got going.

Also, the television show "Supernatural" did a great show in season two called "Crossroad Blues" based on the mythical tale of Robert Johnson making a deal with devil at the cross roads. Great music too!
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VonDan
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an idea for a game influenced by big band, swing and Jazz

On an alternate diesel punk earth post ww2 America is a totalitarian regime

Jessie Garon Presley (his twin brother Elvis died at birth) is the most popular state approved big band leader in a tuxedo and has a Sean Connery style beard

At night he exchanges his tux tails for a Zoot Suit with top coat and a porkpie hat (worn backwards) and a mask. He peels off his sideburns so he is left with a silly little van dyke goat-t. Asides from being the most popular outlaw Jazz performer he fights injustice with his highly modified trombone
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Dolomite23
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kreider204 wrote:
I'm unclear on why they are made of sound, though, or how that translates into the Construct ability.


I wrote it up wrong, I meant to say that the Emotion race are made up solid, crystallized feelings (think of the Skin of Evil ep of Star Trek). The Sound based race have evolved from animals. Don't know which as of yet.

kreider204 wrote:
I have a bit of concern about overall balance of the races - in particular, the sound-based race seems pretty powerful compared to the others (they get full-fledged powers, not just a couple of edges).


I wanted them to be somewhat above the bar because in a way they are the key to some of the powers. With the fantasy setting being music based, I thought music = sound, and what if there was a race that didn't know they very existence was a powerful resource. Add the emotional content of blues and magical things are plentiful. I used the Fantasy Companion to come up with a semi workable race.

kreider204 wrote:
I'm a little unclear about Bone Daddy's suggestion. Is this a race, or just a new hindrance from which characters can choose?


I think it is a suggestion on how to make the race a human who was transformed into the races.

kreider204 wrote:
The last few things you mention about emotion - is that for the emotor races?


Basically think of the emotion race as cats (which I was think about making a race, ex. Black Cat Bone), with different breeds of cats

kreider204 wrote:
You mention some magic, especially in the character types. What arcane background are you allowing, and what sort of spells will they have available?


Magic - Conjurers and Cutters
Alchemist - Potion makers adapting moonshine stills (needs a name)
Miracles - Spirituals
Weird Science- for the dieselpunk side of things

kreider204 wrote:
Good stuff so far!


Thanks

Connallmac wrote:
You may also want to check out Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game. I think it will dovetail nicely with what you've got going.


Literally was looking up a title for my setting and came across this. I plan on using some of the bibliography material, indeed.
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Jeff Carlsen
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to have to keep an eye on this one. What kind of roleplaying are you trying to encourage?
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Dolomite23
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read some of the Swashbuckling seeds from an old Dragon Magazine and thought they could fit in nicely. I got the feeling with my current group they will turn it into a D & D turn of the century game.
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danifesto
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couple of Suggestions:
-For the Sound Creatures (maybe call them Birdsongs, or Melody Men, or something a little more lyrical sounding), I would say think Banshee rather than Dazzler. Say that the race gets AB (Super Powers) for free, and they get the one Power (their "call" or "song") plus more with each New Power Edge:
    Bolt/Blast (Glass-Shattering Note)
    Dispel (Soothing chirp dispels Fear, Rooster Crow dispels Stun, etc.)
    Fear (The caw of a Raven/Falcon/etc.)
    Healing (Rooster Crow removes a Level of Fatigue or a Shaken counter)

-A Character could take the Blind Hindrance in addition to the 2 Minor/1 Major Hindrances and get 5 Power Points (the Blind Bluesman seems like a fitting trope here)
-A Character could take Hard of Hearing (Major) in addition to 2 Minor/1 Major but automatically gain Arcane Resistance regardless of Spirit die.
-You could offer Edges like:
    Bouncer (Professional, Strength d8+, bonus to Grappling),
    Street Fighter or Bar Brawler (Seasoned, Fighting D8+, can spend a Bennie to remove Unarmed Defender penalty and add a d4 to melee attacks for duration of combat [break a bottle, grab a pool cue, etc]).
    Mean Drunk (Rename Nerves of Steel or Berzerk, only works in a tavern or club)

If any more come to me, I'll let you know...
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Dolomite23
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys for the comments. I like your ideas. I am going to try and rework the races this weekend.
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JackMann
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds like ace-high flip out action you're blowin' here, cat. I dig the brainwork under the songster birds danifesto laid out. Figure what sort of jazz a cat circle chorus of songbirds could blow if they got together. You don't want the bug-sized bring down a whole nest could drop on you.

For the attitude hustlers, I could see some of them peddlin' thrills to the loosed-up cats. Of course, gassin' up on attitude could give a down-low concrete wig, I'd bet. Now, they ain't cats like you and me. They cut out, what pops? Do all the cats surroundin' get a headful of attitude? They just blow like a french seventy-five? There a body left? Maybe attitude stones left from the corpus, fetch an El Dorado price on the down-low. Might see attitude daddies meetin' heaters if they're not careful, an' don't the fuzz just laugh?

Now, those heroes in evil come up Satan's way, what kind of black jazz do they blow? They just wait at a crossroads on a dark lunar for some gabriel to trade in his good soul for better licks? Or do they need a half-hoofer in the bad to carry the gig? Can some mojo-peddlar blow a dirty lick to call horn-heads up from the fireplace all red-eyed and rattlin' pitchforks?

Any of those licks fit the program? You pickin' up what I'm layin' down?
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CAM
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You seriously need to talk to PEG or a licensee about this setting. It's got major novelty and commercial appeal, hell, there's even got to be a movie contract in it!

I'll be watching this thread with earnest
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Dolomite23
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have talked to Shane and Clint, they gave me some pointers. I want to flesh it out, but it is hard to figure out the mechanics of things (races, magic system). I already have an idea for one sheets.
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Dolomite23
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently found my copy of Polyhedron #158 the mini game Hijinx. Teen musicians fighting crime. It had a concept of giving different band members abilities also. I definitely want to try to figure out how to incorporate something like local edges. Say your character is from some rural place and grew up listening to country blues or jug bands. He would have a plus to survival, but with electrical components, he may be all thumbs.

There aren't many written examples of this in fantasy fiction. The closest I have been lead to found was Spellsong Cycle which I am reading now, and Spellsinger

I missed the deadline to sign up for Savage Saturday night at the Cons, but maybe I'll run a pickup game.

As always thanks for your input.
Dolo
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Dolomite23
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While listen to some mood music (love Pandora)I got to wondering about making conceptualizing the magic aspects of this setting. I picture a musician plugging into something and getting different effects. I was wondering if there were more musically inclined people out that could help.

Here is what I have so far:

Sustain - increases the duration on the spell
Delay - you sacrifice speed for another effect
Chorus - produces duplicates of the caster.

I would like to pick the brain of any musician or sound guys out there for help and if you can think of any others let me know.

Thanks,
Dolo
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Dirty Ernie
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disclaimer: I'm a rock/blues/metal guitar maniac from the '80s. Take all of this with a healthy dose of salt. Cool

Echo - Ventriloquism. Create the illusion that the caster is everywhere.

Wah-Wah - The Crybaby. The Siren's call. Luring poor suckers to their doom.

Flanger - Causes hallucinations and visions.

Distortion - Encourages feelings of anger, invincibility and Megalomania.

Noise Gate - Used as a defense against other spells, curtailling their duration, and minimizing their effectiveness.

Reverb - Gateway to another plane. However, one must go alone...

You should also look into various musical scales. But I digress... Cool
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Dolomite23
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scales? in what way? I have had a little piano and slowly picking up the guitar. Do you mean like how major scale sounds happy and a minor one is kind of ominous.

Thanks BTW
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kreider204
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most blues musicians stick to a few basic scales (if they think in scales at all - some think in terms of chord tones, but I digress). The main ones are:

1) major blues scale (the same as the major pentatonic (5 tone) scale, but with an extra passing note)

2) mixolydian scale (you could think of this as a "fancier" major pentatonic scale - it has more passing notes between the chord tones, so has a full 7 tones, 8 if you count the octave)

3) minor blues scale (the same as the minor pentatonic (5 tone) scale, but with an extra passing note)

Sometimes people do talk about certain scales having a certain emotional quality to them. It's a bit simplistic, because it really depends on the harmonic context, but as you point out, people often say that major scales sound "happier" or "brighter" and that minor scales sound "sadder" or "darker." The scales above are listed from brightest to darkest (though, again, that's simplistic, and really depends on how you're using them) if you wanted to correlate that to some kind of magic use (e.g., major blues for healing, or whatever).
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