Monday, March 02, 2015

Magister Lor (first play at Indiemeet)

Players and characters

  • Martin as Kel
  • Chirag as Kai
  • Joe as Lor
  • Matthew as Setarra

Initial questions

Note: some of these answers are classic blocks and shutdowns but we got enough of a picture of the characters to get going.


Do you have long to live?
Very long indeed, I am almost immortal

Are you confident and firm in your faith?

Why did you choose Kai?
Because of his potential and the questions he asks of the world.


What do you think of the other outcasts?
We must free them all.

What do you feel most guilty about?
I don't believe in regrets.

What do you feel about being imprisoned?
I was imprisoned for what I am, not because of what I have done.


Are the twin's parents alive?
I have no knowledge of my family except the brother taken from me.

Do you know where your twin is?
After searching a long time my latest lead led to Magister Lor's Sanctum.

What do you want most?
To survive in a harsh, harsh world.


Do you feel guilty about your life of leisure?
I slave for my master and have many duties.

What would you do if you had absolute freedom?
I'd like to travel to the capital of the Empire, where I would enjoy the glamour of the great city and also my power as a mage.

What temptation might derail you?
I've never met a woman.

Freeing Setarra

Setarra and Kel decide that to free Setarra Kel has stolen a sky ship warded against detection and has piloted it to the Sanctum. Once docked he sneaks through the empty corridors of the Sanctum down to the wind whipped platform at its base.

The crystal imprisoning Setarra can only be broken by something harder than it, Kel has found an ancient pick of starmetal and he draws it from under his robes as he nears the huge crystal towering over him.

Kel strikes the crystal and it begins to crack and splits, within a shadowy humanoid form can be seen.

The game

Having broken the crystal Kel slips away before the Magister and Kai arrive.

On arriving at the platform Lor quickly assesses the situation and attempts to create a new binding around the demon before Setarra can free itself. Despite drawing on the mystical energy of the sanctum the binding fails.

Kel finds a meditation chamber and drains its energy, turn the lush magical retreat to ashes. He channels the energy to Seterra.

Lor seeing the demon grow stronger channels energy into his sword, it burns with arcane energy. He leaps to the attack and he and Setarra fight a furious duel in the air. The remains of the crystal is destroyed, peppering in the Sanctum with shards of the prison. Kai is forced to hide from the flying shards. The Sanctum lists in the face of the unleashed energy.

Kel sends a vision to Kai of their separation. Kai refuses to follow the vision and instead stays by the side of his master.

Setarra senses Kai's unease and tries to exploit it by intimidating him into fleeing. Kai falters under the demon's assault but uses his ability to channel essence to find the strength to resist.

With Setarra temporarily checked Lor sends Kai to confront Kel who has climbed to the top of the tower that is located on top of the Sanctum. There he destroys the device that controls the Sanctum's levitation and the giant rock begins to fall into the deadly gas clouds beneath.

Refresh scenes in the lighthouse

Participants: Kel and Kai and Kel and Lor.

Question for Kai: what happened to our parents?
The magister told Kai they had died.

Question for Kel: what are you doing here?
I was guided here by Setarra in my quest to find my lost twin brother

Kel again: what will you do next?
I don't know, I haven't thought about that

Question to Lor: what happened to our parents?
They were demons descended from the Leviathans.

Lor tries to use magic to control Kel but Kai warns his twin and Kel resists easily.

Lor retreats from the lighthouse to let the twins talk. They decide to flee the Sanctum on the sky ship, leaving Lor and Setarra to their fight.

Setarra far below releases a storm demon and tries to use it to slip past Lor but the magister easily binds the creature in its cloak and throws the demon into the void.

On the outside face of the Sanctum Lor confronts Setarra and they duel furiously, dealing wounds on both sides but neither is willing to yield a step.

Far above Kel boards the sky ship and makes it ready while Kai hesitates on the dockside and then summons a mighty storm to drive Kel far away from the Sanctum and away from danger. As the storm fills the sails and drags the sky ship away Kel uses his essence ability to weaken it and manages to steer the ship back towards the Sanctum.

Refresh: Lor and Setarra

Exhausted by their battle the pair cautiously circle one another as the Sanctum descends into the mists.

Question for Setarra: Are you Kel and Kai's father?

Question for Lor: did you kill their mother?
No, for I am their mother.

Kai overhears this revelation while descending the side of the Sanctum and asks Lor and Setarra to work together to help him save the Sanctum. Kai and Lor use magic to drap Setarra to the top of the lighthouse.

Setarra mentally calls to Kel to save it and Kai but leave Lor behind.

Kel, furious at Kai's betrayal and eagerness to abandon him, aims the sky ship at Lor, ramming into the lighthouse. Lor throws up a magical shield at the last moment protecting everyone in the lighthouse but the ship is embedded in the tower its masts breaking and falling through the clouds. Kel glides from the bridge to the ruined lighthouse.

Refresh scene between Kel and Kai

Kai: why did you abandon me?
I have a duty to uphold as an apprentice.

Kel: do you know that Setarra is our father?
No it never told me in all the time I followed its voice.

Setarra tells Kel that it want Kel to follow it because of the strength of Setarra's cause and the injustice of its imprisonment, not because of some family tie or obligation. Then it turns to the clouds and sings the summoning song of the Leviathans, one of the enormous creatures wraps its limbs around the Sanctum and begins to lift it up into the sky.

Lor attacks Setarra but the demon catches the magister in its terrible claws and holds Lor over the void.

Kai burns Setarra with channeled essence and Setarra and Lor fall into the cloud as essence burns all around their tumbling forms.

The twins board the damaged sky ship and set course for the capital.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Final Girl Characters

Theme of the game: World War 2 Soviet gulag where terrible experiments are being conducted. Characters in rough order of death.

Entitled Russian aristocrat
Thinks she is the last Romanov, probably isn't

US pilot shot down
Tends to get special treatment from Michael
Drowned in the camp toilets

Prisoner, convicted forger
Informer and bureaucrat
Rivalry with Dmitri
Friends with Vasily

Keeps his head down and does his job.
Twitchy from the experiments on him.
Subservient but secretly stealing supplies from the lab
Mown down by a machine gun

Yuri Bourda
Scientist with a secret
Friend of Sergei
Shot through the head

Young, ultra-communist guard
Willing to defy his superior, Michael, when Pavel is around
Clapped in irons
Rivalry with Vasily
Rivalry with Piotr
Rivalry with Boris
Lover of Natasha

Political commissar, hates Americans
Trying to undermine the camp commander
Rivalry with Natalia
Machine-gunned to death

Scientist willing to do anything for a discovery
Lover of Natasha
Rivalry with Michael
Friendly with Yuri
Injected himself with fake serum

Camp weatherman
Nervous and prone to crying wolf
Crushed under the armoury wall

Boris Karazak
Good-hearted scientist
Rivalry with Dmitri (over Natasha)
Shot through the head

NKVD agent sent to keep tabs on the gulag and its lab
Secret alcoholic
Beaten to death while trying to escape in a plane

Beautiful medical officer
Lover of Dmitri
Rivalry with Sergei

Huge brute of a man with massive upper body strength
Rivalry with Dmitri
Friendship with Piotr
Knifed to death

Michael Dovok
Commander of the camp
Rivalry with Sergei
Defeated the killer in a fake out then killed while radioing for help

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Vast and Starlit: Eve: Setup

The Crew


An asteroid sized battle droid
  • Cannot kill
  • Feeds on human flesh
  • If the crew don't listen to him then the lose the chance to be victorious over their foes

Vas trelelck

The original.
  • Famous for his actions at the battle of Mondicor 4
  • Genetically engineered to be superior, particularly compared to the rest of the crew
  • Born in the slums of earth
  • Wants to get revenge
  • Seeks to retire as a farmer

Evangio Var Stock

  • Is prepared to do anything to be captain
  • His sensual touch opened the ship to the crew
  • Takes pride in his crimes
  • Is in love with Vas trelelck 3
  • Wakes up each morning screaming as part of his rigorous regime of primal scream therapy


An alien in human form
  • Pursued by the spirits of the dead
  • If the crew don't listen to him they will lose a chance of redemption
  • The most dangerous creature it has killed is a star worm
  • In its true form people see the worst of themselves reflected in it


The alien inside Gemma causes a massive reaction in her body causing her to look on the verge of death.
  • Escaped prison by having her powerful friends bribe the guards
  • A tiny alien is bound to her heart and controls her actions
  • An extensive network of contacts in many starport worlds make her the best choice to be captain
  • Can see the private thoughts of others

The Rogue Vessel

Eve is a giant living spaceship or perhaps just a native lifeform of the void.


Targzton 3

Based on the grey fog of the English Channel coast
  • A planet shrouded in fog
  • All the buildings and towns are ruined
  • Hot, humid, tropical in climate
  • Huge whales travel the sea
  • Regular rainstorms lash the surface
  • The fog contains poisonous micro-organisms
  • A black poisonous fungus grows on the planet
  • The land is littered with silty, huge rockpools

Monday, June 03, 2013

Vast and Starlit: Freebird



  • Provoked a riot to escape and took a guard's uniform and equipment
  • Willing to kill any rival to become captain
  • Was imprisoned for vacc'ing the crew and passengers of a cruise ship
  • Took Thorn with him in the prison break
  • Thorn is Jedburg's only non-criminal acquaintance


  • Left his comrades behind
  • If we don't listen to him we lose the advantage of his years of military leadership
  • Is huntind down the President of the Federation
  • Steel and Darius are secessionists imprisoned by the President
  • Allies are coming to rescue him


  • Imprisoned for his research into sentient robots
  • Has an AI embedded into his cybernetic torso
  • Is willing to meld his mind with the ship to become its captain
  • Wants to got to Xerox 5 to meet a beautiful smuggler who knows the secret of Haven
  • His research was shut down after the discovery of the robotic aliens known as the Omni threatened human civilisation


  • Is willing to save up for a ship of his own to become the captain
  • The other prisoners didn't trust him because he refused to take bribes
  • He distrusts Steel because Steel betrayed his oath of service
  • He is going to watch Steel like a hawk
  • Darius knows the smuggler, Diem, on Xerox 5


  • Mass-murderer
  • If the crew don't listen to him then they lose the ability to kill their opponents
  • Is killing his way to the squad of scientists who transformed him
  • Constantly requires a feed of painkillers
  • Marks his victims with the Federation symbol

Rogue vessel: The Freebird

Freebird schematic

The Freebird is unique because it can create its own jump gates. It is an experimental ship built by the separatists and while it has an excellent cocktail bar it lacks any form of weaponry.

The adventure

The ship has run out of supplies and is parked on the opposite side of the system to a notorious free station. Darius and Jedburg are in the shuttle docking with the station in search of resupply. They intimidate the docking handler and avoid being shaken down. They make their way to the biodomes and contact a trader called Naomi. She is being harassed by smugglers and is willing to trade food for security.

Using Naomi's coordinates the Freebird warps into position next to the smuggler's ship the Jet Black. Taken by surprise the Jet Black opens comms, it's captain is none other than Diem! Darius and Diem have history, the crew decides to join forces with Diem and steal what they need from Naomi.

Diem crosses to the Freebird and the ship warps back to the station. Thorn meanwhile has been trying to fix the personality switching of the ship AI and discovers a section of the ship that is not described in any of the schematics.

Pretending to have taken Diem captive Steel, Jedburg and Darius return to Naomi while unknown to the rest of the crew Carver has also docked intent on confronting one of the scientists who created him: the infamous pirate, Blue-eye.

In Naomi's office the double-cross is revealed, Steel points a gun at Naomi and demands the supplies the crew need.

Carver takes his time entering the casino. He wants to make sure Blue-eye notices his arrive, make the fight fairer. The guards close in overly confident in their numbers. Carver takes them down unarmed and then taking one of their assault rifles starts to hunt through the empty tables and slot machines for the pirate captain.

On-board the Freebird, Thorn cuts through the floor of the gravity ring and enters a tiny crawlspace that leads into a secret room, losing touch with the computer as he does so. As he shines his torch around the darkness he sees stasis pods!

Naomi concedes the supplies bitterly, Steel accepts the cargo pods and then shoots her in the hand, destroying it. As Naomi collapses in pain Steel shoots her other hand.

In the casino bullets tear apart the machines, sending credits flying. Blue-eye's laser targeting system allows him to pin down Carver with burst of fire. The guards flee in fear of decompression. Relentlessly though the warrior is getting closer to his goal.

In the cargo bay Darius and Steel are furiously arguing about Naomi's mutilation. Away from them Jedburg is looking at the manifests: in one container are valuable medical supplies worth a fortune on the black market, in the other is the food and water the crew needs to survive. He catches Diem's eye and punches in the code for the medical supplies...

Thorn sees the life-support systems on the pods are active and before his eyes the automatic systems begin to activate. The first pod cracks open and inside is an Omni!

Back on board the Freebird, Steel and Darius discover the medical supplies. They look for Jedburg but Diem appears and tells them that he has joined her crew and offers to sell the medical supplies to the benefit of both crews. The deal is done but as Diem turns away Steel draws his gun.

The first Omni starts to emerge from the stasis pod. Thorn looks grim, he opens a panel in his cybernetic chest and pulls out the glowing green AI. He slams it onto the carapace of the Omni.

"Seize the ship. Leave no-one alive." he commands.

"Yes master" replies the alien.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Clones of peace

This is a pretty much blow by blow account of a Nanoworld game by  taking about two hours at London Indiemeet.

About Clones

Clones have white hair.
Clones have starlit eyes.
Clones wear coveralls.
Clones have both genders.
Clones have Perception +2.
Clones have Charm +1.
Clones have Cool +0.

The clones in our story are #10, #385, #2491, #47.

About Nano

Clones first memory is of waking up in a cold steel container.
Clones are engineered to serve.
Clones work in an arms factory.
Clones last dreamed of roiling chrysanthemums of flame.
Uniques only have one gender, male or female.
Clones in the factory
There has been an explosion in the factory and some of the clones have died.
Clones can help other clones but it is risky.
#54 was having his own ideas about the experiments
The unique fire crew is summoned.
The fire crew might discover the weapons had been tampered with.
Clones will be deleted if the tampering is discovered.
The medical lab is fifty floors down.
The medical lab is where they "improve" clones, the thought of going back is terrifying.
Clones cannot tamper with the security system.
Tampering with the security system causes the clones to vomit.
The fire crew will notice that one of the clones is malfunctioning.
Clones cannot lie and will confess their lie immediately afterwards.
Clones are analysed when they malfunction.
Clones can analyse other clones but it is risky.
#2491 will go to the medical lab and analyse #54.
Clones are implanted with internal radios that allow them to communicate with one another.
Clones cannot kill uniques.
Clones can stun uniques.
#54 is not a clone. It is the original seed-stock Zero and killed.
#54 to take its place.
This clone series was designed by clones.
Clones can hack computers.
Clones subdue the medical lab staff.
Clones subdue the fire crew.
Clones were designed to neutralise the world armouries.
Clones take control of the facility.


The clones are greeted as saviours by uniques and clones alike as they shut down the global weapon programmes and leave the weapons factory. With no weapons the terrible war that has ravaged the planet has ended.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A random Dog Eat Dog Record

  1. The Free Men are inferior to the Confederation
  2. Peace will be met with peace
  3. Natives have a curfew
  4. Agree with deals
  5. Everything has a price
  6. Follow the scriptures
  7. Keep far away from trouble

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shooting the Moon

Shooting the Moon is an indie game that has a two player variant where the players take on the roles of suitors aiming to woo a shared love, but only one can win the heart of their beloved.
We were playing the two player game and our chosen setting was:

Tolstoy meets Steampunk

A snow swept pre-revolutionary Russia where steam airships cut through the icy Siberian air.
Meet our Beloved Anna. A young woman who is the envy of Russian society. Anna is wealthy, aloof, clever, beautiful, well-dressed and possessed of a grand palace.
It is well-known that by the terms of the will that makes her such a grand lady she is required to take a husband. However Anna is also under investigation by agents of the Czar for treason. Such serious charges might form a serious obstacle to any suitor.

There are two leading men who vie for Anna's hand in marriage.


Dmitri is rather slow but good at sums, he is bestial but athletic. He is known to possess a nice country house but it is not as well-known that it has a large mortgage. He is humble but also angry.
He is assisted by his loyal servant Alexi, loves the view from the roof of the palace and always carries a picture of his dead sister in his pocket.
Dmitri is solid country nobility but would Anna think differently about him if she knew he was hounded by creditors?


Levy the roguish air pirate is exceptionally bright but unlettered, he is  gracious but intimidating. He lives in a rotting tenement which is at least full of friends. He is proud but kind.
He has a fiery ward called Petra, frequents basement nightclubs and has his own airship.
He is the rightful heir to Anna's property, will deeds stand in the way of love?

Round one


With the arrival of winter the gentlefolk make to skate on the frozen river. Anna stands on the bank watching the procession of skaters with her haughty froideur. Dmitri is amongst the skaters trying to impress Anna with his powerful and assured skill on the ice.
However as he tries to see whether he has caught Anna's eye he fails to notice doddering Vanya, everyone's favourite uncle, tottering into his path.
Fortunately a timely shout from faithful Alexi and Dmitri's athletic ability allows him to sharply turn around Vanya in an impressive turn of skill.

One point and the trait impressive sportsman earned.


Levy's airship is bearing down on Anna's palace where she is holding a ball, ropes descend from the ship allowing the steam pirates to smash through the glass ceiling and onto the dancefloor where the gentlemen of the cavalry and this season's debutantes are mixing. Taken with Anna's beauty Levy taunts the revellers and tries to complement Anna.
However the gentlemen cavalry are not children to be robbed so easily and taking up their sabres they fight back. The sky pirates are hard-pressed so Levy draws forth a large clockwork automatic and threatens the officers. Even this does not deter the military men and he is forced to fire, peppering one of the gentlemen with bullets.

No points and the trait murderer gained.

Round two


Dmitri has been invited to a reception by the Czar, seeing that Anna is on the guestlist he decides to chance an invitation to meet him on the palace roof, from where the gaslights of the city stretches into the distance.
As luck would have it there are two ladies by the name of Anna in attendance and the page blunders by asking both to come to the roof. Anna's namesake is a much more plain country lady but both are surprised to find themselves and Dmitri together on the roof of the palace.
Dmitri sees the confusion instantly but blunders in his explanation and both women join arms and march back inside the palace.

No points and trait deviant gentleman gained.


Anna is looking for an informant who claims to have information about who has acussed her of treason. The man wants to meet in a disreputable nightclub, the same nightclub where Levy is currently disengaging his ward Petra from the arms of a disagreeable sailor.
Levy instantly recognises Anna and ventures his help to her in whatever errand has brought her here.
Anna recognises the bandit who ruined her recent party however and with a sharp rebuke turns on heel and leaves.

No points and trait golddigger gained.

Round three


Dmitri invites Anna to his country house for a meal. While the surroundings are indeed pleasant and the food well cooked and served will Anna be bored witless by Dmitri's limited table talk?
Fortunately as Dmitri starts to repeat himself the picture of his dead sister flutters from his jacket to the floor. Anna picks it up and after discovering the nature of the memento is moved by such a display of filial love.

Three points and trait unpretentious gained.


Levy is stung by Anna's rebuke and is determined to prove himself as selfless in his desire to aid her. Understanding her legal difficulties he takes up the case and is able to find a loophole that would result in the collapse of the case against her.
Excited he leaps onto a dog sled and makes his way to the country dachu where the nobility have gathered for a winter hunting expedition. He sneaks into the grounds but fails to notice that security has been increased and guards lurk all over the grounds. While trying to reach Anna in an isolated part of the lodge he is caught by surprise, wrestled to the ground and dragged before the guests.

No points and the trait stalker.


Dmitri and Levy finally confront one another in the dachu.
Could there be any real choice between a filthy and dangerous bandit and a respectable nobleman? Anna is grateful for the support of Dmitri and Levy is dragged away by the guards. With his rival out the way Dmitri proposes and his proposal is accepted.
Dmitri and Anna have a grand wedding with a huge guest list of well-wishers and creditors who are crying with joy at the fortune they have managed to buy a stake in.
Levy is carted off to prison; will Petra and the sky pirates be able to get him out again?