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SW Game Play - Accursed

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Joined: 09 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:07 pm    Post subject: SW Game Play - Accursed Reply with quote

Started my first SW campaign this weekend with some friends. We are playing Accursed. Sharing my notes from the first session for the fun of it. We spent most of the time discussing the desired game and plot elements.

I sent out a video trailer a few days before the game to get everyone into the mood. We spent the first hour or two talking about the world background and campaign themes. I encouraged the players to develop ideas beyond the core book.

Theme 1: The Witches have it coming!
For the most part the players want the campaign to focus on disrupting the witches and eventually confronting them directly. This is a all out, hold no punches war against the witches with aspirations to confront at least one witch directly.

Theme 2: Power Corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The witches are a symbol of corruption. As the players take on responsibilities and grow in strength will they be able to resist the corruption of power?

Theme 3: Evolution
This is a GM theme that is yet to be revealed.

Cairn Kainen is where we decided to center the campaign. Here are some details developed during that discussion.

Clan Alister - Prior to the Bane War MacAlister held more land than any other clan. To this day they are viewed by many as the aristocracy of Cairn Kainen. As lords and property owners The Morrigan's tributes is their primary concern. They try stay in the Morrigan's good graces through compromise and negotiation instead of all out war, but the price has been very high.

Cyrus - To the other Clans Cyrus is an anathema. Once a small roguish clan early on in the Bane War they sided with the Witches trading their freedom and loyalty for power. The Morrigan has lavished them with gifts, power and position since the war ended.

Clan Gregor - The people of MacGregor are known as a stout and robust bloodline. Many the once numerous clan went to fight in the Bane War never to return. Their numbers depleted the Clan now struggles to survive.

Clan Caldwell - Those from Caldwell are often considered lovely and captivating. Rumor and old tales speak of this bloodline mixing with the Fey.

Clan Fergusson - A nomadic Clan they are considered to be unpredictable, changing sides like the wind. It is said if you are looking for a hard to find item talk with the merchants of this clan.

The Enochian Church - The church still has a presence in Cairn Kainen. Most are now small churches trying to exist under the thumb of the Witches. Some notable sects include

Order of the Penitent - A relatively new organization they are attracting many Banes who search for salvation.

Order of the Sun - A monastic order known for their brewing techniques has quietly taken on a mission to battle the witches where possible. A fighting style using common household items is developing within their ranks. Someday they hope to openly join the fight to free this land. For now they gather supplies and information.

Order of the All Seeing Eye - This order originates from Hyphrates. The Eye focuses on reading portent and signs to divine what is to come. Rumor speaks of Banes within this order who use their witchmark to power their divinations.

Other Organizations - Even in these dark days there are those who's desire to fight goes beyond their Clans or Religion. Factions have formed over the years each with their own goals and approaches.

The Intolerant - A human resistant group who will bow to no Witch or Bane. The Intolerant are considered to be extremist burning all who stand in their way. While foiling the witches they have also come into conflict with the Order of the Penitent.

The Benevolent - Original a social support society within Clan Alister this group has expanded to all seeking to work together to find ways to compromise and appease the new harsh rulers of this land. Sometime accused of collaboration with the witches The Benevolent see their role as helping humanity endure the darkness until light can return. Hard times have called for hard decisions pushing some to insanity.

The Dark Fang - A group of Vargr far from home who prey off smaller holds within Cairn Kainen.

Cast of characters
Harold Ramis (NPC) - A specter in The Order of the All Seeing Eye he has gathered a group to travel north with him. All he has told the party is his divinations have told him to travel to Ravenholdt.

Adel Hurts (PC) - A Dhampir who's seeks a worthy foe to show his greatness. Surely it is in Ravenholdt his two blades will make their mark!

Corazón (PC) - A Vargr who was inspired to go by Harold as the tale sounded like one of Heroes his Mother use to tell him.

Halvark MacGregor (PC) - A Revenant who lost someone dear in Ravenholdt travels here to learn of their fate.

Babaef (PC) - A Mummy who searches for his place in a world centuries after his death.

Anton (PC) - A quite Specter whom Harold knew. He has spoken of partaking in one of many battles across Ravenholdt and is likely the only one who knows his way through the streets of Ravenholdt.

Graeme Caldwell (PC) - A Dhampir who's dead brother owed Harold a favor. He travels to Ravenholdt in this brother's place to repay the old debt.

Episode 1: Ravenholdt - We don't go their anymore
We started off the game on the outskirts of the ruined city Ravenholdt, well north of Cairn Kainen. Once considered the last big city before entering the Outlands despite all odds it held out against the Witches until The Betrayal when it was finally sacked by various groups of Bane. Much like Stalingrad in War World 2 the city had been decimated by years of street fighting. To this day it is known to be infested with various witchlines who continue to fight with each other over the forgotten battlefield. Few willingly travel here.

Quietly the team had made their way into the outskirts of the city avoiding any obvious signs of Banes. Making their way down a particularly long street off in the distance a shadowy figure took a few steps into the street before spotting them. The figure quickly turned to run back the way it came.

"Vargr!" shouted Adel as he gave chase down the street.

Instead of following the road Gram and Corazón cut through some ruined building cutting the Vargr off.

"Stop! We only wish to speak to you!". The fleeing Vargr pause for a long moment as if to consider Gram's proposal before running on

(Persuasion roll of 14 if I recall correctly. The player gets raises and a joker on the first round of the first game. Strong start! For reasons that become clear in a moment there was no chance the Vargr would stop, but I did give the Vargr a hefty modifier on the next round to reward the player.)

Corazón attempted to tackle their startled foe, but missed. Back down the road Adel could be heard crying out "You all are dead meat if you steal my kill!"

(Adel despite having a great agility and pace pulled poorly from the deck and went last at long distance. He didn't even have a long range weapon handy. We decided for some reason Adel chose to stay to the road while everyone else was willing to cut through ruined buildings, alleys and empty lots during the chase. )

The chase continued across many blocks with Adel calling out at the top of his lungs for their prey to stop and face him. Eventually Halvark closed with his foe and at nearly point blank range called out a bolt of fire which slammed into the Vargr's back.

Their prey stopped and turned, smoke rising from his ragged fur. He gave Halvark a nasty smirk before making a piercing whistle. It was then Halvark noticed shadowy figures moving in the surrounding buildings.

[End Session]

Last edited by Vaslov on Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent start. Looking forward to reading more. I have a few of questions for you though.

1) During your discussions of world background and campaign themes, do you include character backgrounds and profiles?
2) Do you make sure, as a group, that all of the characters have some type of bond that helps with group loyalty?
3) Is the NPC your character and only used when needed, dire circumstances or to guide the party to the next adventure? Or is he played like a full member of the party?
4) How do you think the dynamic between the dhampirs and vargr will progress or any of the others should they meet with opposing traditional prejudices during the campaign?

Anyway, thanks for writing up your session. I know it can be a pain at times as our group is also trying to, not only find the time to play, but also post our sessions as well.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow this is cool. Nice write-up. I love the trailer. What did you use to make that? That's a cool idea for my next campaign.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Boogeyman & DHRDawg. I thought it was a great start as well.

We only had about fours hours of game time and eight players which is a lot of discussion. I didn't want the entire night to be on story so I had the players jump from campaign themes to the mechanics of making characters and then into some actual game play. After the game I sent the players a list of questions for them to ponder on their backgrounds.

(If undead)
- How old were you when you first died?
- How did you die?
- Think a bit about your family before you were turned? Siblings? Spouse? Children?
- What happened when you were changed?
- When you first were turned were you immediately in control of your own mind and actions or in the witches thrall? Do you recall this time?
- What nationality are you?

Party cohesion is currently guided by the themes and my one NPC. To kick off the game play I described Ravenholdt and how not even Accursed go there willingly. They each then had to come up with a short tale on why they would be willing to follow Ramis into the city based on the card drawn. That gave each of them some investment in the plot and lots of details for me to use in the future.

Ramis is a fully developed Wild Card NPC with stats & gear. That's about as much as I can share at this point.

We will spend some time on building shared backgrounds during the next few sessions via some flashback interludes to explain why they would end up willingly working together despite the natural animosities. I encourage the players to come up with the why which becomes great future plot fodder for me. As most players love to talk about their characters we will also use interludes to give each player a chance to share some of their background story with each other in game.

The trailer was made using Windows Live Movie Maker. While reading the setting book a few songs kept creeping into my mind. 99 Problems by Hugo, Short Change Hero by The Heavy, Hurt by Johnny Cash, etc. I dropped the song into the Movie Maker, grabbed some pictures from the Accursed web site and added a few animations with the tooling. Very simple to do and free software.

Next game is tomorrow night when the fight for redemption begins!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Start Session 2]
Four groups of wolves leapt out of the ruined buildings quickly closing on their chosen targets. Corazón and Halvark continued their assault upon the Vargr as the others moved to intercept the charging wolf packs.

Finally catching up Neckbet the Mummy Alchemist threw a potion entangling the Vargr while Harold used witchery drawing a sigil upon the air improving Corazón's ability to fight. As expected this resulted in a devastating strike gutting the Vargr.

[editors note - Neckbet was absent in our first game so her character is new. We played it as if she was just slow on the chase until now.]

With the smell of fresh blood in the air Graeme lost all control and leapt upon the dying Vargr's corpse to ensure not a single drop of blood would be wasted. The others turned to finish off the remaining wolves.

Then it happen. On a nearby hill upon which rested what some of the party suspected to be the ruins of an Enochian church a column of a sickly white light shot up into the air. The air shook with the screams of tortured souls being cast out of the Creator's arms. The light and sound then ended as quickly as it had appeared leaving an odd silence upon the city. Moments later a quite tone then rang out across the city.

"That's it!" cried Harold.

As the momentary freeze brought on by the light ended one of the wolves slipped through the lines to Harold. Its aim was true as it tore out a large chunk from the specters neck. The remaining wolves were then easily dispatched, but Harold was beyond the groups power to heal. He shuddered upon the ground as ectoplasm leaked from him at a rapid pace. His final words but a whisper.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


The trip to Ravenholdt had been a long and quite affair. The days were a focus on survival and avoiding contact with others. Come night those that needed rest would then curl up as the others stood watch. During those long nights stories were traded to pass the time.

Neckbet shared a tale of her past. She had been the servant of a princess of Hyphrates in an age long since past. She seeks the princess now to protect her from the evils of this age. Even in death she would serve loyally.

Corazón recalled awakening after a battle on many occasion and finding his wounds bandaged with wraps that clearly came from a mummy. At times he believed he could smell the scent of a woman upon them, but he knew of no mummies at the time.

Adom would stir from a deep slumber and look at Corazón. "Babfemi, you should not be here! You are not battle tested. Go home!". He would then return to sleep without explanation.

Halvark shared a tale of serving in the Witches army and witnessing the horrors he would inflict upon his own countrymen. He did what he could to minimize the damage, but it was never enough. As his will grew strong enough to break free of the witches control he knew revenge against the Morrigan was his reason for being. He was no fool though. He joined the Order of the Penitent to find like minded allies thirsty as he was for vengeance.

Anton recalled his final stand as a mortal man. His village overrun he witnessed his family and friends being slaughtered. He had done his best to try and protect them, but there were too many Banes. Then the Banes turned on him bringing his mortal life to a bloody end.

Graeme shared his tale of conversion. He had been taken captive by mercenaries and sold off to the Blood Witch. He survived many nights within her bedroom, finally escaping one night. Upon escaping he realized the Blood Witch had cursed him with a new hunger, but he had no time to seek revenge upon her. He returned home to help rebuild and bolster the defenses only to find it had been razed by The Morrigan's forces. It was then he vowed the Morrigan would pay for her crimes against his family. Only once that debt was settled would he turn his attentions to the Blood Witch.

[editors note - Adel missed the game so no background on him yet..]

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