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Campaign Creation => Homebrews => Topic started by: Steerpike on February 02, 2017, 12:05:32 AM



Title: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 02, 2017, 12:05:32 AM
ALPTRAUM
(https://s28.postimg.org/p432l04sd/tumblr_mv9enco_X6p1sqf5tdo5_1280.jpg)

 Nachtangst

There was a time, the old wives whisper, when the dead did not walk, when wolves did not talk, and when nightmares were bound in the human skull. A time when the walls of our world – the unclimbable, fog-shrouded peaks of the Grenzgebirge – did not trap us like animals in a cage. A time when reason triumphed over madness, when the laws of kings and providence still held sway.

There are remnants of this world, or something like it – the ruins of a saner and more civilized age. But the world as we know it now shares little in common with that bygone era. Those few villages and towns that resist the rule of the Blood Princes of Schreckenburg are heavily fortified, warded with holy symbols to keep out the creatures that prowl beyond their walls – the Lesser and Greater Risen, the remains of those who die with unshriven souls on profane earth; hags and their spawn; druden on their Wild Hunts; and countless other things which have no names.

Few venture beyond the icon-studded walls of the havens, these days. A handful of crazed or greedy merchants, travelling in heavily armoured caravans, move from town to town selling goods, but most who dwell in the shifting wilderness are criminals, outcast from human company, grown feral in the haunted woods. And, of course, there are those mad, hard-bitten souls who sell their services to those in need – the Jäger, Huntsmen and Huntswomen, who haunt the wilds and fight the forces of darkness with sword and pistol…

Alptraum is the setting for the game of Fate I will be running for sparkletwist, since she was gracious enough to run some OD&D (http://www.thecbg.org/index.php/topic,210416.0.html).

The game set in a strange corner of a place vaguely resembling parts of the Habsburg Empire, but in which the boundary between waking life and the collective unconscious has somehow been breached – all of the folktales, anxieties, phobias, and nightmares of those who dwell in Schreckenburg and surrounds have been made horrifyingly real, and the land is now misruled by a strange, oneiric logic owing more to the world of fairy-tales and myth than to reality as we know it. Those places not openly ruled by vampire lords or werewolf clans are lawless wilderness, dotted by a sparse handful of human settlements bristling with holy magic that barely keeps the monsters at bay. Beyond these refuges the landscape is one of Gothic post-apocalypse, a twisted, dark fantasy dreamscape that feels a bit like 19th century Austria and a bit like something out of a Brother’s Grimm story or the writings of Angela Carter. Our heroes in this haunted, hallucinatory land are the Jäger, mercenary nightmare-hunters who roam the world protecting those few remaining souls from the forces of madness and unreason.

Issues

The Blood Princes and Princesses: The vampiric aristocrats of Schreckenburg want to conquer the remaining human settlements and claim their inhabitants as serfs, to be sucked dry as they please.

Nightmare-Haunted: Any fear, anxiety, or folk-story in the mind of an inhabitant of Schreckenburg has a chance of manifesting in reality.

Towns and Cities

Knochendorf: The village of Knochendorf is now mostly-abandoned, and those who remain live in terror of something which dwells in the bowels of the mining tunnels that once made the village its fortune. The local region suffers from tremors, and strange sounds can be heard echoing from the depths of the mines at night. The owners of the mine, the Hundhammer family, have become decadent and reclusive, hiding themselves in their crumbling estate and brooding over the dwindling remnants of their fortune.

Hungrigfeld: The farming community of Hungrigfeld is renowned for its unusually rich crops, spared from the ravages of blights and droughts. The village celebrates numerous seasonal festivals for planting and harvesting which contribute to its cheerful regional character. How exactly the folk of Hungrigfeld have managed to maintain such a seemingly happy existence in this world of nightmares is something of a mystery.

Graukirchen: Little now remains of the Grey Church, whose ecclesiastical presence was once spread throughout Schreckenburg, and whose ruinous monasteries and abandoned grottos litter the countryside. Graukirchen is the desiccated heart of this once-great religion, a cathedral-town of spires and vast graveyards and endless catacombs. Its clerical denizens are by turns dour or drunken according to the dispositions of the archaic calendar of saints to whose strange dictums they unyieldingly abide.

Wurmhaven: The town of Wurmhaven clings to the Schlange, a dark river whose coils wind their way through Schreckenburg. A gathering-place for mercenaries, thieves, scoundrels, and cutthroats, the place is little more than a collection of taverns and brothels, the myriad drinking holes and vice-dens of the realm’s most scrofulous and unrepentant sinners. Necromancers are common in Wurmhaven as well, and can often be found fishing fresh corpses from the river at sunrise for use in their black magic.

Grünehagen: A village on the edge of the Grimmwald, Grünehagen is a town of woodsmen and hunters. Each day the woodcutters of the town must fell the trees that cluster round the walls and press against windows, and each night the trees regrow at a spectacular rate – or else, new trees move to replace their fallen fellows. Some of those who dwell beyond the confines of Grünehagen proper are said to traffic with many of the Erlkönig’s servants, the Elben of the nearby woods, or even to bear the eldritch blood of those fairy folk.

Schädelbrück: The university town of Schädelbrück contains one of the few remaining centres of learning in Schreckenburg, though its libraries have become crazed and disorganized, and much of its store of knowledge lost or fragmented. Those scholars who persevere in the spires and chambers of the university have devoted themselves to unusual experiments both physical and metaphysical, often involving strange rituals unearthed from the mouldering archives, or ramshackle machines created by the eccentric natural philosophers, alchemists, and occultists who flock to the place.

Lupény: At the edges of the Wolsfwald is the village of Lupény, a frost-bitten settlement of fur-traders and hardy foresters. An all-female organization of Jäger, the Order of the Crimson Cowl, are based in Lupény, training extensively in use of the crossbow, wooden stake, axe, and pistol, and studying the strengths and weaknesses of the Alptraum’s minions.

Schwarzstadt: The last free city of Schreckenburg, Schwarzstadt, the Black City, is half a ruin. Between the warded districts where pockets of men and women live and work, the streets are haunted by feral revenants, dhampir gangs, packs of druden, and other nightmares-made-flesh. The streets and architecture warp and mutate according to their own oneiric illogic. Despite the dangers of these lawless zones, the city has managed to survive and even prosper under the loose rule of the Dawn League. The many Hansa who travel the land selling goods are mostly based in Schwarzstadt. Naturally, the Blood Princes and Princesses are forever scheming to add the Black City to their holdings.

Bluthausen: Surrounded by the eerie Bloodwood, Bluthausen is the largest city in Schreckenburg, ruled by the Blood Countess, Elisabet Mordstein. A place of decadent splendour, sensuous carnage, and endless horror, Bluthausen is shrouded permanently by darkness, and vampir openly walk the streets. Mortals are but chattel and are hunted for sport in the forest; dhampir are second-class citizens. The city itself is a fell labyrinth echoing with the wails, sighs, and shrieks of vile debaucheries. The gates are guarded by massive Nachtkrapp, who feast on the flesh of children.

Hexenheim: The cold, grim city of Hexenheim is ruled by the Witch Queen, Hulda, called Old Mother Frost. The city is unfathomably ancient, with buildings of pale, primordial stone, thousands of years older than the other towns and villages of Schreckenburg. Those who dwell in the city seem content enough, though many claim such folk are all bewitched, or that they are walking corpses ensorcelled to seem alive. Hulda and the various vampir lords of the land usually exist in a state of uneasy truce.

Regions

Blutwald: The Blutwald (Bloodwood) is one of the Three Terrible Forests of Schreckenburg, a twisted woodland where aristocratic vampir hunt mortal prey from astride red-eyed horses, where the trees bear crimson fruit, and where the branches overhead are thick enough to blot out even the brightest sun.

Grimmwald: The Grimmwald is the home of the Erlkönig and his fairy servants, the Elben and other fair folk of Schreckenburg. A mysterious place of enchanted streams, forgotten glades, and mischievous paths prone to shifting and changing, the Grimmwald is the favoured haunt of witches and druden as well as the Elben. It is never the same twice, but always perilous.

Wolfswald: Werewolf tribes dwell in the cold forest aptly known as the Wolfswald in the far north of Schreckenburg, near to the icy city of Hexenheim. Those few villages near the borders of the forest of firs are heavily warded with Wolfssegen, charms said to deter the vicious creatures who terrorize the local countryside.

The Grenzgebirge: The Grenzgebirge are a series of jagged mountains surrounding Schreckenburg on all sides. These fog-shrouded peaks extend to almost impossible heights, and though explorers and climbers have penetrated deep into the range, none have ever returned from journeys to the other side. Partly this is due to the presence of bloodthirsty giant-clans and other menaces found in the clouded heights.

The Sümpfe: The marshlands known simply as the Sümpfe are an eerie, pathless region of ever-dissolving islands, unnervingly whispering willow-trees, strange, malignant fungi, and rustling things half-glimpsed in the miasmatic murk that forever cloys about the wetlands, dispelled only by the soughing winds that periodically moan throughout the swamp like the breathing of some vast and otherworldly being. The lurching creatures which periodically dredge themselves from the elemental muck of the Sümpfe obey neither the Erlkönig nor the Greater Risen.

Schattenland: The tenebrous plains of Schattenland are a grim expanse of rain-drenched moors and fields dotted with dark lakes and treacherous bogs. Something about the bleak openness of Schattenland induces a paranoia and agoraphobia just as intense as the fearful sense of closeness one experiences in Schreckenburg’s dense forests. Schattenland is renowned for its Freischützen (“Freeshooters”) – gunfighters said to have contracted with demons of the Alptraum, receiving unerringly accurate, infernal bullets in exchange for the performance of certain dark deeds.


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 02, 2017, 01:34:49 AM
CHARACTERS

(https://s28.postimg.org/lsfc4zly5/b661b62aa8f250f7cb2535b0f144c7c7.jpg)

Character Creation

Character creation for Alptraum follows Fate Core closely.

1)   Determine your character’s high concept aspect. High concepts sum up the character quickly, communicating their role in the world, such as Deranged Nightmare-Worshipper, Grizzled Gun-toting Wolf-slayer, or Princess from the Tower of Dread. Pick a name for your character at around this point – vaguely Central/Eastern/Northern European names are recommended, but not required.

2)   Next, determine your character’s trouble aspect. Trouble refers to some unpleasant impulse, dark stain on your character’s past, or hidden shame, such as Abandoned Her Children in the Woods, Hunted by Her Husband, the Count, or Itinerant Opium Fiend.

3)   Select one to three additional aspects for your character. It is recommended to pick one aspect related to the character's most primal fear – a phobia, repressed anxiety, or other form of fundamental dread. It might be something concrete like Terrified of Spiders, Nyctophobic, or Horror at Being Eaten Alive. Alternatively, it might be something as deep-seated, abstract, or unconscious as Fearful of the Ur-Mutter’s Archaic Seductions, Overactive Castration Anxiety, or Pronounced Dread of Liminality.

Other aspects might relate to whatever led your character to a life of adventure, whether the character is a Jäger or some other form of reckless freelancer - this could be something dramatic like My Family Were Slaughtered by Werewolves, or more banal, like Need Money for Laudanum - or which relates your character to an existing character. However, you shouldn't feel constrained by these suggestions.

6)   Pick and rate your character’s skills (see below). You have 20 skill points, but cannot have more skills at a certain rank than you have in the rank below it - so if you have two skills at +3, you need to have at least two skills at +2 and at least two skills at +1. At character creation the skill cap is +4.

7)   Pick three to five stunts (see below).

8)   Determine how many fate points you start play with. If you picked three stunts, you start with a refresh of 3, starting each session with at least 3 fate points. If you pick four stunts, your refresh is 2. If you pick five stunts, your refresh is 1.

9)   Determine your stress tracks and consequence slots. By default a character has two boxes in both their physical and their mental stress tracks and three consequence slots (mild, moderate, and severe), but skills and stunts can modify these defaults.

10)   Select two items of Special Equipment, plus any bonuses for Wealth.

Skills

Athletics – Physical ability to run, jump, climb, and swim. Used for dodging physical attacks.

Crafts – Operating machines or creating new equipment.

Deceive – Used for lying, misdirection, and distracting people.

Faith – Moral virtue, piety, and religious knowledge. Used to defend against supernatural temptations and unholy powers.

Fight – Close quarters fighting, both with weapons or unarmed.

Influence – Used for charming people and making connections.

Medicine – First aid and other healing skills.

Observe – Used to gain further information about objects and people.

Occultism – Forbidden knowledge, esoteric lore, and ability to draw on the powers of darkness.

Physique – Raw strength, to move heavy things or grapple with someone. Characters gain bonus physical stress boxes equal to half of Physique, rounded up.

Provoke – Intimidating, infuriating, or terrifying people.

Ride – Horsemanship – or riding other sorts of mounts.

Sanity – Mental fortitude and rationality. Characters gain bonus mental stress boxes equal to half of Sanity, rounded up.

Shoot – Aiming, firing, and reloading firearms and crossbows.

Stealth – Remaining unseen and unheard, as well as picking locks and other infiltration techniques.

Survival – Bushcraft, tracking, and getting by in the wilderness.

Wealth – Material wealth and access to resources. You gain additional Special Equipment equal to half of your Wealth bonus, rounded up.

Wits – Intuition and being aware of your surroundings. Used for determining initiative.

Stunts

Always Making Useful Things (Crafts) – You don’t ever have to spend a fate point to declare that you have the proper tools for a particular job using Crafts, even in extreme situations (like being imprisoned and separated from all your stuff). This source of opposition is just off the table.

Always a Way Out (Stealth) – +2 on Stealth rolls made to create an advantage whenever you’re trying to escape from a location.

Avalanche of Jargon (Occultism) – You can use Occultism in place of Deceive as long as the lies are about esoteric topics and at least partially factual.

Brawler (Physique) – You can use Physique instead of Fight to make unarmed melee attacks.

Called Shot (Shoot) – During a Shoot attack, spend a fate point and declare a specific condition you want to inflict on a target, like Shot in the Hand. If you succeed, you place that as a situation aspect on them in addition to hitting them for stress.

Hard to Shake (Ride) – +2 to Ride whenever you’re pursuing another rider in a chase scene.

Indomitable (Sanity) – +2 to Sanity to defend against Provoke attacks specifically related to intimidation and fear.

Inquisitor (Provoke) – +2 to Provoke rolls used to interrogate or torture someone to extract information.

Lies upon Lies (Deceive) – +2 to create a Deceive advantage against someone who has believed one of your lies already during this session.

Paranoid (Observe) – +2 to Observe rolls used to detect lycanthropes, doppelgängers, shapshifters, glamered Elben, or other monsters disguised as humans.

The Power of Deduction (Observe) – Once per scene you can spend a fate point (and a few minutes of observation) to make a special Observe roll representing your potent deductive faculties. For each shift you make on this roll you discover or create an aspect, on either the scene or the target of your observations, though you may only invoke one of them for free.

Quick on the Draw (Shoot) – You can use Shoot instead of Wits to determine turn order in any physical conflict where shooting quickly would be useful.

Slippery Target (Stealth) – Provided you’re in darkness or shadow, you can use Stealth to defend against Shoot attacks from enemies that are at least one zone away.

Sprinter (Athletics) – You can move up to two zones for free in a conflict, or three by taking a -1 penalty on your standard action. If you spend your whole turn to move, you get a +2 bonus on any Athletics rolls you need to make.

Spur (Ride) – You can coax more speed out of your mount than seems possible. Whenever you’re engaged in any contest where speed is the primary factor (such as a chase or race of some kind) and you tie with your Ride roll, it’s considered a success.

Strength of Spirit (Faith) – Use Faith instead of Physique on any overcome rolls representing feats of strength.

Suffer Not a Witch to Live (Faith) – Use Faith instead of Fight on any attack rolls against witches or warlocks.

Uncanny Accuracy (Shoot) – Once per conflict, stack an additional free invoke on an advantage you’ve created to represent the time you take to aim or line up a shot (like In My Sights).

Vigilant (Wits) – You get +2 on Wits rolls made to determine initiative in combat.

Wall of Death (Fight) – When attacking with the Fight skill, you can make two attacks with half your normal bonus against different enemies, instead of one at your full bonus.

Credit to sparkletwist for several of the above stunts.

Special Equipment - Extras

All starting Jäger are assumed to possess whatever mundane weapons, armour, and adventuring equipment they need; players should note which weapons their character possesses, but need not keep track of ammunition, lamp oil, or whether a character has a flint and steel or waterskin. However, some specific, rare, and valuable items should be noted individually. For many Jäger these are holy relics, precious items passed down from beloved mentors, or other objects of considerable value and history. Such items are treated as Extras and often use the Weapon and Armour rating system, though they may also serve other uses and could be used to create situation aspects and the like.

Ammunition can potentially be swapped or distributed between individuals, but all ammunition and other "Consumable" items marked below have the Scarce Resources aspect, which GMs are encouraged to compel at the worst possible time, especially after any large expenditure of ammunition. This persists until a new source of ammunition can be acquired.

Aspen Stake – Although any stake is useful against vampir, an aspen stake whose tree was nourished with holy water is especially effective. It counts as a Weapon:2 when employed against vampir or their spawn.

Blessed Bolts/Bullets (Consumable) – This ammunition has been sanctified with holy water and engraved with holy symbols. They count as a Weapon:2 when employed against any kind of undead.

Blessed Weapon – This melee weapon has been sanctified with holy water and engraved with holy symbols so that its blade bites at undead flesh. It counts as a Weapon:2 when employed against any kind of undead.

Cold Iron Bolts/Bullets (Consumable) – This ammunition of cold-forged iron harms Elben and other fairies. It counts as a Weapon:2 when employed against any kind of fair folk.

Cold Iron Horseshoe – Elben and other fairies cannot abide the touch of iron, and a cold iron horseshoe worn about the neck can provide protection against them. Fairies will prioritize other targets over someone warded with a cold iron horseshoe. It also endows the wearer with Armour:2 versus such creatures.

Cold Iron Weapon – This melee weapon of cold-forged iron harms Elben and other fairies. It counts as a Weapon:2 when employed against any kind of fair folk.

Crucifix – The most common holy symbol, the crucifix is effective against vampire and other Risen. Undead will prioritize other targets over someone warded with a crucifix. It also endows the wearer with Armour:2 versus undead.

Drudenfuss – The Drude’s Foot is a pentagram-like symbol used to deter druden, a common variety of nightmare-spawn. Druden will prioritize other targets over someone warded with a Drudenfuss. It also endows the wearer with Armour:1 versus druden.

Flamethrower (Consumable) – Many creatures, including undead, Elben, and Schrat, deeply dislike fire. This intricate flamethrower can fill a room with fire, burning up to three targets at once and setting alight to flammable materials. Its fuel, however, is quite heavy, and burns quickly. It counts as a Weapon:2 against any target not resistant to fire. The flamethrower can be used once per scene before its mechanism overheats, and the GM is especially encouraged to compel the Scarce Resources aspect when it seems appropriate (or simply inopportune).

Holy Water (Consumable) – A useful weapon against both Lesser and Greater Risen, holy water can only be produced from pure water sources that have been sanctified through sacred magic. It can be sprinkled across a threshold to deter foes, thrown as a grenade-like weapon, or used as a poison against the undead. Holy Water counts as a Weapon:2 when employed against undead.

Vampiric Blood (Consumable) – The blood of vampir has powerful healing properties. Consuming a vial of vampiric blood (or injecting it via syringe) allows a character to reduce a physical consequence by one level of severity. This ability can only be used once per session, as otherwise the character will begin the process of becoming a vampire themselves. Even with a single use, a character who has used vampiric blood automatically acquires the aspect Urge to Feed for the remainder of the session, becoming beset with vampiric urges. If they yield to such urges, the vampiric blood in their veins may continue to quicken and take hold.

Wolfssegen – The Wolfssegen is an apotropaic charm used to deter lupine horrors, most prominently including werewolves, though mundane wolves also dislike such charms. They are usually fashioned in the form of an amulet containing a tooth or claw taken from a wolf. Wolf-monsters will prioritize other targets over someone warded with a Wolfssegen. It also endows the wearer with Armour:2 versus wolves and wolf-monsters of all kinds.

Wolf Traps (Consumable) – These viciously toothed mechanical traps are the bane of wolves, though many creatures can fall afoul of them. Camouflaging one requires a Survival skill check which determines the difficulty of the obstacle a creature will face when using their Wits to spot it. When triggered such traps count as Weapon:2.

Silver Bolts/Bullets (Consumable) – Silver bolts or bullets are highly effective against both werewolves and hags, who are otherwise resistant to damage from conventional weapons. Silver bolts or bullets count as Weapon:2 when employed against such creatures.

Silver Weapon – Silver bladed weapons, such as swords or knives, are highly effective against both werewolves and hags, who are otherwise resistant to damage from conventional weapons. Silver melee weapons count as Weapon:2 when employed against such creatures.


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 02, 2017, 01:52:47 AM
MONSTERS

(https://s24.postimg.org/f2vodoj5h/Johann_Heinrich_F_ssli_053.jpg)

Bestiary

Druden – One of the most common breed of nightmare-spawn, druden are a race of demonic creatures, all male, who delight in stalking, butchering, and consuming mortals. They assemble themselves into Wild Hunts astride fearsome mares. Though drudes are all roughly humanoid, each individual is highly unique, since each represents an individual nightmare made flesh, the corporealization of some individual’s nightly fear. Some are masses of scales and claws; others are monstrously beaked bird-headed things; others twitching, spidery-limbed monsters. Druden can be warded off by use of a Drudenfuss, or “Drude’s Foot,” a pentagram-symbol.

Hags – While witches are mortal practitioners of magic, the creatures known as hags are a different breed. They dwell throughout the Waking Dream, but are particularly concentrated in the Grimmwald. Appearing as grotesque old crones, they can often disguise themselves as beautiful women, or transform into animals. Hags are lairing creatures, and usually possess some fashion of magical hut or other residence, including houses fashioned from food – typically candy – or which can walk. Hags can reproduce with the aid of human men, producing either new hags – in the case of female children – or else malformed trolls and similar monsters.

Schrat – The monstrous schrat are satyr-like beings who dwell mostly in the depths of the Grimmwald. Unlike the pack-hunting, bloodthirsty, and maniacally frenzied druden, creatures known to sacrifice themselves in droves to bring down prey, schrat are solitary, cowardly, and cunning, luring their victims into seclusion before striking. Schrat are, in fact, not pure creatures of the Alptraum, but the degenerate, faun-like descendants of those who strayed into the Grimmwald and became lost, corrupted by the evil forest’s terrible magic. They are capable of interbreeding with humans, and sometimes employ magic to disguise themselves for such purposes. Very often schrat are the henchmen of more powerful Elben or other fair folk. Schrat are burned by cold iron and tend to be afraid of fire, but try to avoid all fights unless the odds seem distinctly in their favour.

Wiedergänger – The most numerous of the Lesser Risen, wiedergänger are revenants, a form of corporeal undead. They are formed from the corpse of one killed who has not been given last rites, whose soul was stained with venial sins at the time of death, and who is interred on unconsecrated ground or otherwise left to rot. While some fools hoping to prevent corpses from rising burn rather than bury them, such measures often lead the deceased to return as a vengeful ghost rather than a corporeal revenant. It is wiser, rather, to cut off the limbs of a cadaver, or slice its hamstrings, if it cannot be properly buried. Wiedergänger are bestial, shambolic creatures, though they retain some spark intelligence and can be surprisingly cunning. They possess an overwhelming desire to harm the living, though their specific obsessions vary; some merely mutilate the corpses of their victims, while others devour them. Like all undead, they cannot tread on consecrated ground, are deterred by the sign of the cross and other holy symbols, and burn when exposed to holy water.

Wolves – Wolves in Schreckenburg are not the mundane canine pack-hunters of the waking world, but ravenous beasts of considerable size and intelligence, bigger and badder than normal wolves. They infest the land in great numbers, with the greatest concentration in the Wolsfwald. Wolves are capable of speech and complex trickery and are renowned for their cruelty and insatiable appetites. Though most wolves are feral monsters, some are the servants of powerful vampir, and they often make pacts with werewolf clans. They deeply dislike Wolfssegen, though unlike werewolves they are not magically deterred by such symbols.

Scenarios

The Schädelbrück Horror (+1 starting Fate point for Nikolet) – One of Nikolet Lanztäl’s former colleagues at Schädelbrück’s university has written to the scholar-turned-Jägeryn. The letter speaks in vague terms of some exciting experiment gone wrong, hinting at potentially dire consequences should things not “be put right.” Should it be convenient, the colleague – a certain Doktor Baltasar Dressler, a metaphysician and alchemist of some renown – requests Niokolet’s assistance.

Ruinenlust – The Grey Church is looking to hire a group of Jäger to cleanse the ruin of Rosenmünster, an Abbey that long ago fell into disrepair after its wards failed and its inhabitants were slain or sired by the Blood Countess. The Church hopes to sanctify the ruins and restore holiness to them, but fear they may have become infested by the forces of darkness.

What Dwells Beneath – The folk of Knochendorf are desperate. Despite their wards and walls and fervent prayers, villagers are disappearing one by one. The town is dying, and the reclusive Hundhammer family remain shut in their manor, deaf to the pleas of those in the settlement below. If nothing is done, Knochendorf will soon be a ghost town.

Sisters of the Crimson Cowl (+1 starting Fate point for Lis) – The Crimson Cowl Jägerbund have contacted Lis. It seems that a group of their Jägeryn have gone missing in the depths of the Wulfswald on a Hunt. Wary of committing more of their numbers to seek the lost sisters, the Order has offered Lis and her band a handsome payment for their aid.


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Ghostman on February 02, 2017, 10:21:09 AM
That's very gothic indeed. The usurpation of rational laws of nature by fairy tale aesthetics seems like a good match with the abstract rules of Fate. Hopefully I can join in when you get to run this game.


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 02, 2017, 12:17:08 PM
Because my Fate GMing is exceptionally rusty, I'm probably going to do at least one session with just sparkletwist, or possibly sparkletwist and one other player, but if that goes well and everyone has fun I may run more games set in the same universe.


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Weave on February 02, 2017, 04:27:36 PM
I would love to play in this. I already have a character in mind. As someone who's GMed their fair share of Fate, I'd love to participate in any early sessions. Let me know!


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 02, 2017, 05:42:27 PM
Thanks Weave! I think sparkletwist has a friend in mind for the first session but I will check, and you'd definitely be welcome in future sessions. Feel free to post a character if you'd like. We're using the standard Fate Core skill list but with a 20 point buy instead of the pyramid.

I haven't totally figured out how to deal with magic yet but I've been thinking about the Voidcallers system (https://fate-srd.com/fate-system-toolkit/voidcallers) as a basis for accessing the Alptraum. I'll write more about this, but the "holy magic" that protects settlements and makes protective charms work is just another manifestation of the breach into the collective unconscious. Just as the nightmare-creatures and folkloric things are given flesh and form because people believe in and/or fear them, so do holy symbols function because people have faith they will (I shamelessly plundered this idea from C.S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy, cross-pollinated with Angela Carter's The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman).


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Kindling on February 02, 2017, 06:40:50 PM
Love it. If and when you want to expand your player group, I'd totally be down to play in this.


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Llum on February 02, 2017, 09:32:47 PM
This looks pretty cool!


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Rose-of-Vellum on February 03, 2017, 08:11:57 AM
Freaking awesome. I love the setting and setup. Like the others, I would love to play, and have a few concepts brewing already. Would you like up to post here or private message you PC proposals?

You mention 19th century Austria: does that comport to technology? I'm generally trying to suss out what level of technological advancements exist. More specifically, I'm asking about firearm technology/availability for Jäger.

Somewhat related, what passes for contemporary fashion in these here parts?

EDIT: Also, isn't the thread page misspelled (i.e., Apltraum)? The posts (and RL spelling) is Alptraum, so I'm assuming it's just a typo?


Title: Re: APLTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 03, 2017, 11:23:56 AM
Feel free to post stuff here! Also, good catch on the spelling error.

Rose-of-Vellum

You mention 19th century Austria: does that comport to technology? I'm generally trying to suss out what level of technological advancements exist. More specifically, I'm asking about firearm technology/availability for Jäger.

Yeah, I'm imagining plenty of firearms, and weird steampunk machines too, though some of the technology might be semi-lost. Muskets, wheellocks, flintlocks, the occasional revolver.

The region is certainly not primarily industrial. I'm thinking of introducing a feral demon-train gone rogue Iron Council style that runs on fear, but there's no regular air or rail transport.

Rose-of-Vellum

Somewhat related, what passes for contemporary fashion in these here parts?

I'm picturing mostly central European peasant garb with extra holy symbols. For vampir, absurd, extravagant garments as if the 18th century collided with an S&M enthusiast, crazy Gothic flamboyance. For Jäger, I'm imagining a lot of Bloodborne/Brotherhood of the Wolf style longcoats. Anything that gets worn on Crimson Peak would not be out of place.

Essentially, take the wardrobe of your typical Hammer Horror film and throw in some dream-logic and surreal touches.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Rose-of-Vellum on February 03, 2017, 11:25:18 AM
Fantastic!

Also; love the feral/rogue demon-train!


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: LoA on February 03, 2017, 01:13:22 PM

Rose-of-Vellum

Fantastic!

Also; love the feral/rogue demon-train!

As a literal life long train nut who only wanted to play FF8 because of the Demon train summoning, I approve extremely highly of this.

Also this is symphonic metal as heck, and I approve also.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Magnus Pym on February 03, 2017, 04:47:01 PM
/thumbs up!


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Hoers on February 03, 2017, 05:00:13 PM
Do you ever do anything that isn't AWESOME?


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Rose-of-Vellum on February 03, 2017, 06:23:44 PM
No doubt his sneezes produce Picasso-esque masterpieces. :)

More seriously, Steerpike, how do you want submitted PCs to handle the Phase Trio as such is a inter-player collaborative process?


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 03, 2017, 06:28:42 PM

Hoers

Do you ever do anything that isn't AWESOME?

I've had a few misfires and failed experiments, but I do my best!

Rose-of-Vellum

More seriously, Steerpike, how do you want submitted PCs to handle the Phase Trio as such is a inter-player collaborative process?

I'll think more about this but I figure that's more a thing we can do once I figure out numbers and who'll be playing in future sessions... but if people want to post backgrounds with high concept and trouble aspects, plus skills and stunts, that's cool.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 03, 2017, 06:41:53 PM
Personally, I've played a lot of Fate and I don't think I've ever done the "phases." I just made characters. Having character backgrounds that mesh is fun but that's the kind of thing that can be done a bit more informally, too.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Rose-of-Vellum on February 03, 2017, 06:46:40 PM
So how does 20 point buy work? Do you have to keep a pyramid or certain ratio of Good to Fair, Fair to Average, etc.?


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 03, 2017, 06:50:58 PM
Steerpike can correct me if I'm wrong for what he wants to do, but the way it works in Dresden at least is that you have to maintain a "stack" of abilities. That is, for some number N, if you have N abilities at +3, you must also have at least N abilities at +2, and, recursively, since you have that number of abilities at +2, you must also have at least that many abilities at +1. You can have a pyramid, but you don't necessarily have to, which allows more flexibility.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Rose-of-Vellum on February 03, 2017, 07:20:07 PM
Thanks, sparkletwist!


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 04, 2017, 01:40:26 AM
I've updated the second post with some character-building info.

I think I'm actually going to tweak the skills list somewhat. There might be some more weapon specializations (though not a whole ton) and a few other modified things.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 04, 2017, 02:32:15 PM
I think that the various types of aspects that you've laid out in your character creation rules (a primal fear, a reason for becoming an adventurer, and a relationship) are very good guidelines for the kinds of aspects a character in this setting might have, but I'd recommend making them only that rather than actual rules that need to be followed. They're great to provide hooks for players who just can't think of good aspects, but, in my opinion and experience, Fate works best when a character's aspects really "click," and it's hard to really systematize that into a template that works for everyone and every character. For example, for some characters, their fear may be best expressed by their trouble, or their reason for becoming an adventurer is right in their high concept, and there's instead some other aspect-- a notable quirk, a piece of signature gear, a catchphrase, or whatever, that works better, so the character just plain works better if they're allowed to have more flexibility in what their aspects actually are.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 04, 2017, 03:16:40 PM
That's a good call sparkletwist.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 04, 2017, 06:31:14 PM
How does this sound as a preliminary skill list?

Acrobatics


Athletics

Brawl

Burglary

Contacts

Crafts

Deceive

Empathy

Faith

Investigate

Lucidity

Medicine

Notice

Occultism

Physique

Provoke

Rapport

Ride

Shoot

Stealth

Survival

Tracking

Wealth

Weapons

Will

New skills are bolded. It's very much an Asura-inspired list, especially by adding Acrobatics and splitting Fight into Weapons and Brawl (I was debating splitting it further into swords/axes/polearms but decided this was too much specialization). I'm thinking of Faith as a means of powering charms, wards, and holy symbols and also a religious knowledge skill, Lucidity as an aid to reshaping surroundings by manipulating the Alptraum, and Occultism as a more explicitly magical version of Lore. I thought about including Sanity as well but it feels like between Will and Faith there wouldn't be much point. I could also conflate Survival and Tracking, but I kind of like the idea that Tracking is a huge deal in and of itself in this setting since it's about nightmare-hunters stomping through the woods.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 04, 2017, 08:05:01 PM
If you want some further inspiration, here's the skill list I used for The Frontier (http://www.thecbg.org/index.php/topic,210304.0.html). Both games have a sort of gritty-dark-fantasy tone, so it might be more helpful for your purposes than something gonzo like Asura.

I would like to advise you against following Asura's lead too closely for mechanical reasons as well as fluff ones. The Asura system looks a lot like Fate but it's not actually Fate, and so it uses a similar but also quantifiably different skill paradigm. Asura's skills are linked to base stats (similar to how skills work in D&D 3e) which means they may have perfectly acceptable bonuses even when untrained. In addition, Asura's skill list is generally built around the idea that you will take Advantages (i.e., what Fate would call Stunts) to make some skills redundant in areas your character is supposed to excel. Many tasks in Asura are also doable with more than one skill, depending on the situation. This means that importing too much of Asura's measurably larger skill list may not work as well in a game that doesn't follow these conventions, and may instead just lead to characters not feeling as competent because the skills will tend to feel extra-specialized and "diluted."

For example, personally, I don't think Survival and Tracking should be separate skills. Tracking may be one of the main applications of the Survival skill in this setting, but the Survival skill is often kind of second-tier and sometimes not used all that much anyway. In this setting, a skill for skulking around in the great outdoors is probably quite handy, but I think just the one might be all that is needed. Athletics is a tough one because, at least in my Fate experience, it's kind of a skill and a half. That is, it's just so useful in most adventuring situations that it's often more useful than most other skills, but it's not quite overpowered enough that two really good skills can be made out of it in Fate.

My honest suggestion is to just use the Fate Core skill list more or less as written, perhaps with some flavorful renaming of skills, and shuffling around skills' use cases rather than outright adding new ones. In all honesty, at times I feel like Fate Core's biggest problem with its skill list is that it has too many skills, not too few.

EDIT: An example of flavorful renaming and shuffling around use cases from the Frontier was renaming Will to Grit, and allowing it to be used for avoiding ranged attacks. This was a nod to genre as well: it seems like the guy who stands there like a badass never actually gets shot. This was also handy because it made Athletics a bit less of an uber-skill, as there was now another way to avoid ranged attacks. This may not be genre-appropriate for you, but hopefully it at least serves as inspiration of the kind of thing I'm advocating.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Rose-of-Vellum on February 04, 2017, 08:44:09 PM
I'll second the dilution concern. I had already done stats for 2 PCs, and upon trying to rework them with the skills above, I definitely felt that the 20 points no longer seemed to capture the original concept. As sparkletwist mentioned, I'd suggest renaming and re-tailoring as many as you wish rather than adding several new ones. Alternatively, you could increase the point buy, but I don't know the system well enough to know if that would/could create other even worse problems.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 04, 2017, 09:11:45 PM
Good to know. I'll winnow down. I still might split one or two things but I'll favour reflavouring over adding too many skills. I'll probably add in Ride and Survival, but otherwise keep that to a minimum.

EDIT: Provisional revised list:

Athletics

Awareness

Brawl

Burglary

Crafts

Deceive

Faith

Influence

Occultism

Physique

Provoke

Rapport

Ride

Sanity

Shoot

Stealth

Survival

Wealth

Weapons

This still splits Fight into Weapons and Brawl and Lore into Faith and Occultism, but collapses Empathy, Notice, and Investigate into Awareness, though some of Investigate's functions might be taken up by Survival, and, frankly, I sort of hate Investigate/Search checks in any game: generally I prefer to just tell people they find hidden stuff if they search in at least vaguely the right places. In this sense I'm very much won over by the Gumshoe system's philosophy -"In a fictional procedural, whether it’s a mystery novel or an episode of a cop show, the emphasis isn’t on finding the clues in the first place ... Investigative scenarios are not about finding clues, they’re about interpreting the clues you do find."

Drive is removed, replaced with Ride, and a few skills are reflavoured. In total number this is only 1 extra skill compared to the default list.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 04, 2017, 10:11:32 PM
Collapsing Empathy and Investigate is something that both Asura and Frontier do (I use "Insight" as a name) and I think it's a good call. However, I would recommend not folding Notice in there as well. Notice is your general situational awareness skill, and tends to get rolled a lot, like Perception in D&D. It also (unlike D&D) determines your initiative in combat. So, it's already pretty useful. On the other hand, Empathy is your default skill for avoiding mental or social attacks, which means that it also tends to get used often enough; by merging these together, you've created a pretty broad skill. Perhaps you could use Sanity for mental defense instead, although then the mental skills don't parallel the physical skills-- Athletics and Physique are separate, while Sanity would be used for everything on the mental side-- whether or not this is important depends on how often you want to use mental stress, I think.

As for splitting Fight into Weapons and Brawl, what did you see the difference between the two being, and do you feel this division is thematically appropriate for your game? Dresden Fate had Fists and Weapons and used them to distinguish unarmed and armed combat, which worked ok, but it did make the skill investment kind of high for someone who was just generally "good at fighting." I'm also not sure how meaningful unarmed combat is really going to be in a game like this. The Asura versions are a little more muddied-- you can bash someone with a club with Brawling, for example-- but Asura is also a game where it's perfectly reasonable to have a character who can punch a hole in a tank, which is probably not what you want, thematically.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 04, 2017, 11:02:38 PM
Interesting point on Notice. I hadn't thought about the initiative implications. That's a good call.

I was thinking of possibly using Faith and Sanity for mental defenses.

For Brawl/Weapons I was definitely thinking Unarmed/Armed.

Why give a skill for unarmed combat? A couple of reasons.

- In a game that features monster-hunting and fighting as a big part of its gameplay, I think having a bit of combat specialization is not so bad. The Fate SRD seems to suggest as much - "It’s a pretty common choice to further separate unarmed and armed melee—into Fists and Weapons, for example."

- I could see subduing certain sorts of foes as being important - for example, there might be foes where conventional weapons are of extremely limited utility, but if you force a vial of holy water down their throat, or chain them up and wait for sunrise, you could defeat them.

- I could also see grappling with certain types of foes, as being important: werewolves and zombie/revenant hordes both come to mind, for example.

- I'm imagining being captured as a distinct possibility as the result of being Taken Out, as opposed to being killed, meaning that characters might very well have to fight bare-handed if their weapons are confiscated. While I don't want to radically weaken characters, it seems to me that splitting fighting skills could contribute to mitigating Fate's "Paradox of Horror" (https://fate-srd.com/fate-system-toolkit/horror-paradox) a little bit - without weapons, characters not trained in Brawl are going to feel much more vulnerable, and thus more likely to try and use stealth and evasion until they get their weapons back.

That said, if you think it's a really bad idea, I can ditch it.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 05, 2017, 12:52:02 AM

Steerpike

That said, if you think it's a really bad idea, I can ditch it.
I don't think it's a really bad idea, but I also don't think it's a great idea. Here are my thoughts:

Steerpike

I could see subduing certain sorts of foes as being important - for example, there might be foes where conventional weapons are of extremely limited utility, but if you force a vial of holy water down their throat, or chain them up and wait for sunrise, you could defeat them.
This is a good point, but the combat mechanics of Fate are pretty abstract and forcing a vial of holy water down the monster's throat could be glossed as an "attack," too. I mean, if you think that doing that should use a different skill than hitting the monster with a sword, that's definitely possibility, but Athletics or Physique seem like they may work well enough, too. Those skills can't normally be used to attack, but Fate is all about these kinds of little tweaks to the mechanics to suit the narrative. Anything that seems too powerful or broad can just be made to cost a fate point.

Steerpike

I could also see grappling with certain types of foes, as being important: werewolves and zombie/revenant hordes both come to mind, for example.
Grappling could use the Physique skill, which is kind of underutilized. The SRD page for Physique (https://fate-srd.com/fate-core/physique) even includes a Stunt to support grappling with Physique.

Steerpike

I'm imagining being captured as a distinct possibility as the result of being Taken Out, as opposed to being killed, meaning that characters might very well have to fight bare-handed if their weapons are confiscated. While I don't want to radically weaken characters, it seems to me that splitting fighting skills could contribute to mitigating Fate's "Paradox of Horror" (https://fate-srd.com/fate-system-toolkit/horror-paradox) a little bit - without weapons, characters not trained in Brawl are going to feel much more vulnerable, and thus more likely to try and use stealth and evasion until they get their weapons back.
I think you might be thinking of things a bit too much in terms of D&D. Fate is not really big on equipment, and the default assumption of Fate is that characters have the tools needed to be able to be competent at the things they are good at. If that's not the case, then what that really means is that there's probably a "Deprived of their weapons" aspect hanging over them, and you can then compel that aspect to have them suffer all kinds of trouble due to not having their weapons. Enemies can invoke it, too, to reduce the strength of any attacks. If we're giving weapons mechanical significance, then the characters will lose the extra damage, too. So I think they're already going to feel more vulnerable.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 05, 2017, 01:16:52 AM
OK, good points about Physique, and about just using Aspects. I had been taking the "this is not an attack skill" pretty seriously but maybe the ways skills work is a little looser in practice than I'd been imagining.

EDIT: Alright, posted up a skills list. I may still tweak it but I think it looks pretty good overall. In case it's unclear, Sanity is used to defend against Provoke.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 05, 2017, 02:12:28 PM

Steerpike

maybe the ways skills work is a little looser in practice than I'd been imagining.
Kinda? I mean, you're right that it can't usually be used as an attack skill, but Fate is pretty focused on making whatever happens mechanically suit the purposes of the narrative. The tone of this article is a little Fate-fanboyish but I think the points made are quite good: http://ramblingsofjacobanddelos.com/2013/07/09/the-3-rules-of-fate-and-how-they-make-the-game-awesome/


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 05, 2017, 03:49:38 PM
Thanks for the link. It actually touches on something I've been squinting at a bit in the rules. When a character takes a consequence rather than stress, does the GM generally tell them what the consequence is, or does the player think one up? Is there a protocol here or is this something different groups do differently?

I've been thinking a bit more about equipment; in general I think I'm going to skip weapon/armour ratings unless people really want them. I don't see armour being a big deal in the setting, and consequently different weapons gradations don't seem especially important.

However, I do think I'm going to create some Extras for special nightmare-hunting gear - things like holy water, silver bolts/bullets, blessed weapons, powerful charms, etc. which a Jäger would have access to, but not in infinite abundance.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 05, 2017, 05:00:35 PM

Steerpike

When a character takes a consequence rather than stress, does the GM generally tell them what the consequence is, or does the player think one up? Is there a protocol here or is this something different groups do differently?
Like most things in Fate, it tends to be collaborative. A lot of times, the nature of the attack that caused the stress necessitating the consequence suggests something fairly immediately, and it's just a question of coming up with a punchy name for it. Fairly often in my games, both the player and GM will throw one out there, and one of the two is obviously better, and that settles it. Since consequences of a given severity level are all mechanically identical anyway, as long the consequence isn't named something totally stupid that makes it nearly impossible to compel or invoke against the player, it's not really a huge deal, or at least it hasn't been in games that I've played or run.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 05, 2017, 05:25:18 PM
Okay, that clarifies things somewhat.

Maybe it's because of how my head works, but it feels like the specificity of a consequence matters quite a bit... like if we're picking between the Severe Consequences of Shattered Tibia and Missing Fingers, for example, isn't that going to really affect the kind of compels the GM can throw at the character later in the scenario? Like the character with the broken leg is going to get chased by something horrible later, I could see that enemy invoking the broken leg but not the missing fingers... or if character with the missing fingers is desperately trying to pick a lock to get inside a cabin, their consequence could be compelled in a way that the broken leg couldn't. Is this not correct?


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 05, 2017, 05:39:22 PM
Well, you're correct that the exact nature of a consequence matters regarding what sort of compels can be associated with it, but that's true of any aspect, so I don't really think it's a unique situation with consequences. I mean, ultimately, I feel like that's kind of an odd set of circumstances you're asking about. These are distinct injuries, and I feel like a lot of the time the source of the injury is going to suggest the consequence. If a gigantic ogre has just bashed a character with a club, a Shattered Tibia consequence is probably going to make more sense, while a character desperately trying to avoid being mauled by a werewolf might end up with Missing Fingers instead. There are of course lots of other possibilities too, but if the GM has a spicy compel in mind for a certain specific sort of consequence that generally fits an injury that a player has just suffered, then that probably should be the consequence that gets applied.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 05, 2017, 06:00:14 PM
Fair enough, I'm mostly just fretting to try and stretch some mental muscles that D&D doesn't use  :D.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 08, 2017, 05:26:32 PM
Some characters that are likely to see play...

Lis Pfarme

(https://toonstore.net/sparkletwist/lis/avatar)
The daring, auburn-haired, red-cloaked Jägeryn who now goes by Lis Pfarme was once known, in another life, as Elisabet Mordstein the Younger, heiress-apparent to the vampiric dynasty of Bluthausen. She grew up in luxury and depravity, wanting for nothing... but never safe. It was the sort of place where one was either predator or prey. Though she studied cartomancy as well as cultivated her talents for dueling with all types of blades, it was all simply for her own defense, as she had no interest in perpetuating vampiric politics or vampiric horrors. As a young teenager, it was to be her destiny to take the blood-pact, her first slaughter and exsanguination of a human, a ritual that would fully awaken her vampiric nature and bind her soul to darkness. She refused, feigning illness, feigning a need for further study, doing everything she could to delay the inevitable until the moment of reckoning came-- she stabbed her "mother" with a rapier and fled Bluthausen. She made her way north to Lupény, where she took up with the Crimson Cowl Jägerbund. She was already skilled with a sword and had a great deal of knowledge regarding vampiric lore. In addition, although Lis quite obviously lacks the fearsome supernatural power and blood-magic of a true vampir, that is not to say that she is devoid of any arcane ability. Through the patterns inherent in her well-worn, enchanted deck of tarock cards, she can manipulate the broader patterns of the Waking Dream, at least in small ways. All this made her something of a rising star... at least until the Crimson Cowl found out what she truly was. By then, her loyalty was firmly established, and Jägers are the type not to ask too many questions, especially given that Lis is still very much more human than monster. She is still mortal, able to walk about in daylight without distress, and quite enjoys garlic, albeit atop meat far too rare for most people's liking. Nonetheless, even with some in the organization advocating on her behalf, the nature of her birth was simply too big of a controversy for her career to bear. A compromise was reached in which the Crimson Cowl did not forbid her from wearing the regalia that she had earned, but it was agreed by all involved that some distance between Lis and the organization proper was likely the best thing for everyone. That said, she still quietly performs missions on their behalf. With her new companions, she is now the leader that she could never have been in the Bluthausen court or within the Crimson Cowl. She is the head of a team of outcasts like her, all running away from something or other, some darkness that still gnaws at their souls. In this land of living nightmares, they often have only each other.

High Concept: Vampiric scion turned notorious Jägeryn
Trouble: Finding her own way
- Duelist extraordinaire
- Does not abide chauvinists and fools
- Stay out of her way!

Wits +3
Athletics +2, Fight +2, Influence +2, Occultism +2, Shoot +2
Faith +1, Observe +1, Physique +1, Provoke +1, Sanity +1, Survival +1, Wealth +1

Stress: 3 physical, 3 mental

Refresh: 2/6
Stunts:
Cartomancy [2 refresh] - As long as she has her tarock cards, Lis can subtly alter the Waking Dream; she gets +2 to Occultism to create advantages or overcome obstacles when doing so.
Dark Reputation - Lis gets +2 to Provoke to intimidate someone who has heard about her and her deeds.
Vampiric Lore - Lis gets +2 to Occultism when recalling facts about the vampir and their society.


Alidze Döwonn

(https://toonstore.net/sparkletwist/alidze/avatar)
Alidze is one of the Dźaur, a tribe of exotic-looking once-nomads who came over the Grenzgebirge however many centuries ago and now dwell in Schreckenburg as an underclass, always on the periphery and in the underbelly. Many reside in the Grimmwald, beyond civilization both figuratively and literally, and many of them there have some measure of the blood of the fairy folk within them. Alidze is likely no exception, as her eyes are an odd pale orange hue and her hair platinum, but she knows nothing of the origins of the eldritch element to her heritage-- or even much about her real family. Truthfully, she may be of Dźaur blood, but she despises them as much as the most ardently racist pure-blooded Schreckenburger, for, when she was but a girl, it was decreed she was to be sacrificed to some dark thing, and left in the Grimmwald to meet her fate. She was rescued from what would surely be a horrifying untimely demise by a team of Jägers and brought to Wurmhaven, where she got a very rapid and very... diverse... education in the ways of the world. In truth, none of it was worse than living in the Grimmwald. In Wurmhaven, Alidze grew into a nubile young woman and became a mountebank and a courtesan, developing a louche sort of sophistication that ensured her a life of tawdry luxury. At various times during this period of her life, she made contact with Lis Pfarme, Nikolet Lanztäl, and Katja; she did not know it at the time, but these contacts would prove invaluable later on. During this time, she also met an old witch who taught her a few cantrips, which came to her quite readily due to her fey blood. Although the full extent of the glamours of the fairy folk were beyond her, she mastered the conjuration of ephemeral illusions in the smoke of the schwarzblume cigarettes she was fond of smoking. She also found that people who saw these illusions, whether consciously or not, tended to believe what she said, which only enhanced her already considerable natural talent for charm and manipulation. On the other hand, it wasn't as though there wasn't already enough fear and mistrust of the Dźaur, and the idea that she was some sort of hex-weaver to rival Old Mother Frost herself sometimes came up at inopportune times. People believing in the extent of her power had the curious effect of enhancing it even further, but it was power that she herself often had trouble grasping, as it was ultimately rooted in a tangled lore made of half-true folk rumors about the Dźaur. As if she didn't have enough trouble in her life already, her growing fame (or infamy) caused her to catch the attention of Count Otto von Toten, a decadent and cruel Blood-Prince (and nominal ally of the House of Mordstein) who ruled over the nearby area. He wished to have the lovely Alidze to himself, and sent his minions to capture her. They brought her to his manor, where he was intent on forcing her to his bedchamber-- and, depending on how he felt about her later on, making her either his next thrall-wife or his next meal. She managed to escape a grim fate once again by quick thinking and a bit of magic... but she knew that she now had a powerful enemy. Her only options were to run forever or become the hunter, and she was tired of running. For better or worse, she was now a Jägeryn.

High Concept: Louche and libertine manipulatrix
Trouble: Her past won't stay in the past
- Legs that won't quit
- Adept at escaping a bad situation... and getting into a worse one
- Win with charm, not force

Deceive +3, Influence +3
Athletics +2, Observe +2, Sanity +2, Wits +2
Faith +1, Occultism +1, Physique +1, Provoke +1, Ride +1, Stealth +1

Stress: 3 physical, 3 mental

Refresh: 2/6
Stunts:
Sex Appeal - Alidze gets +2 to Influence when speaking seductively with someone who is attracted to her.
Smoke Glamours [2 refresh] - As long as she has her schwarzblume cigarettes, Alidze can conjure minor illusions in the smoke; she gets +2 to Deceive to create advantages or overcome obstacles when doing so.
Smoke Overload - Once per conflict, as long as she has her schwarzblume cigarettes, Alidze can conjure a huge blast of smoky fire. This attack is Occult-based with a +2 bonus.


Katja "Krieg" Kalisch

(https://toonstore.net/sparkletwist/katja/avatar)
The fiery, tomboyish mercenary known most commonly by her nom de guerre of "Katja Krieg" hails from the once-fertile farmlands surrounding the village of Mülldorf. Or, rather, she did, back when there still was a Mülldorf. She grew up in a house full of brothers, and she learned how to hunt and fight instead of how to cook and weave. Perhaps in a less dark time, this might have caused consternation to Katja's mother... so it is perhaps in some way fortunate that Katja lives during this dark time, instead, as she might never have survived, otherwise. The Blood-Princes wanted Mülldorf, and, in a crushing coordinated attack, the Houses of Mordstein, Von Toten, and Leid managed to put aside their petty disputes and gather a truly massive army of thralls and walking dead, as well as an elite force of vampiric neonates yearning for conquest and blood. The people of the town fought bravely, but it was ultimately a hopeless battle, and all of the townspeople either died or fled. Many more would have died were it not for the timely intervention of the Crimson Cowl; among that force was, of course, Lis Pfarme herself, whose prowess and poise particularly impressed Katja. With nowhere to go and little to do except fight (and little else she wanted to do, anyway) Katja decided to become a Jägeryn herself. The Crimson Cowl would not take her, for she was too undisciplined, too unorthodox, and too rural. She instead made her way to Wurmhaven, working for various small-time criminals (including one Alidze Döwonn) and smaller-time vigilantes, until she found a group she fit in with quite well. She became a member of the Disciples of Madness, a fearsome Jägerbund known for their garish bright orange and yellow tunics, relentlessly aggressive berserker tactics, and strong contempt for authority. In the twisted reality of the Waking Dream, truly and completely believing oneself to be capable of superhuman feats means that one just might actually be, and it is this thinking that is at the core of the Disciples' battle-frenzy-- and a somewhat simplistic mind like Katja's seemed to attach to this self-delusion-made-truth quite readily. Then, as now, this mad world was a ripe place for mercenaries, and it was here that Katja made a name for herself. Quite literally, as it was here that she earned her nom de guerre, "Katja Krieg." The Disciples do not have a strict command structure, so it was perfectly possible for Katja to remain a member in good standing as well as pursue other opportunities with other Jägerbunds at the same time. As such, when she saw a chance to work with Lis Pfarme once again, she took it. Katja now fights with her sisters in arms for a future with the bucolic life she was never quite able to have.

High Concept: Talented (but slightly unglued) mercenary
Trouble: Often misses the subtler points
- Petite but deceptively powerful
- Problems with anger management
- Looks up to her sisters in arms

Athletics +4, Fight +4
Physique +3, Shoot +3
Provoke +2, Wits +2
Ride +1, Survival +1

Stress: 4 physical, 2 mental

Refresh: 2/6
Stunts:
Disciple of Madness - When overcoming an obstacle with Athletics or Physique, Katja can add a +2 bonus. Doing so gives her one delusion point, which the GM can then spend against her to make the Waking Dream unravel around her.
Loud and Proud - When socializing with a sufficiently rough and tough crowd, Katja can use Provoke instead of Influence.
Ready for Action - Katja gets +2 to Wits for the purpose of determining her initiative.
Wall of Death - When attacking with the Fight skill, Katja can make two +2 attacks against different enemies, instead of one +4 attack.


Nikolet Lanztäl

(https://toonstore.net/sparkletwist/nikolet/avatar)
Modern psychiatry might have a more precise and apt description of Nikolet's demeanor, but it would certainly be glossed by her contemporaries as cheerfully demented. Eccentric, a brilliant scholar of all forms of arcane philosophy, prone to irreverent (and irrelevant) flights of fancy, and almost utterly unrestrained by what would be perfectly rational fears, she frequently roamed the halls of Schädelbrück University in the black garb of a doctor, including, from time to time, the beaked mask, garb she retains to this day. Her light blonde hair has a permanent shock of brilliant cyan that is always cool to the touch, the result of some arcane experiment gone wrong. Her field of study is known as "Rational Sorcery," an attempt to reconcile the nature of the Waking Dream with the teachings of natural philosophy. It is a very new discipline, popular among the young and brash, but dismissed as unmitigated quackery by many elder arcanologists. It was during her time doing research on some bizarre matter or other in some of the seedier quarters that she first met (and, most likely, slept with) a certain charming courtesan by the name of Alidze Döwonn. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nikolet was not known as the sort of person who had particularly deep ethics, and she frequently did research and experiments on behalf of the Blood-Princes, or whomever else brought her an interesting problem. With the interesting problems came enough coin to make it worth her while, giving her a comfortable living. Her contact with the Blood-Princes also gained her the opportunity to befriend the "daughter" of the Blood-Countess, then known as Elisabet Mordstein the Younger. For some years, everything went along quite well... at least, that is, until Countess Elisabet Mordstein (the Elder) brought Nikolet a project so sinister, so unconscionable, it shook even her. To this day, she will not say what exactly it was, but it necessitated her rapid departure from the University, doggedly pursued by the agents of the vindictive Blood-Countess. She was aided in her escape by an old friend, the Countess's erstwhile scion and now-Jägeryn, Lis Pfarme. Nikolet has embraced her newfound status and associations as a Jägeryn; her arcane studies have now taken a decidedly martial bent. She now spends much of her time mixing various bizarre alchemical formulae and firing them from a custom-made gilded hand-cannon to a wide variety of impressive and destructive effects. That's not to say she has burned all of her bridges entirely-- many of her former colleagues at the University are still as aloof and concerned only with their own work as she once was, meaning that while they would quite likely do nothing to come to her aid should Countess Elisabet decide to exact revenge, they would also just as likely make no effort to report her should she turn up. As such, Nikolet does not hesitate to call upon her old friends and associates, but only when she has made assurances for her own safety, and she never lingers on campus for more than a few days. Her true friends are now the other Jägers with whom she has cast her lot.

High Concept: Cheerfully demented arcanologist
Trouble: Dangerously curious
- Top student at the University
- Prone to intellectual flights of fancy
- Relatively unconcerned with scientific ethics

Occultism +4
Faith +3, Sanity +3
Athletics +2, Crafts +2, Wits +2
Influence +1, Medicine +1, Observe +1, Wealth +1

Stress: 2 physical, 4 mental

Refresh: 2/6
Stunts:
Avalanche of Jargon - Nikolet can use Occultism in place of Deceive as long as the lies are about esoteric topics and at least partially factual.
Rational Sorcery [2 refresh] - Nikolet can perform various actions with Occultism. These are raw, physical manifestations of arcane power, and are never subtle, so should generally be used for attacks, creating advantages in combat, overcoming physical obstacles, or the like. She need not use her full Occult value, and may not always want to; whatever power she calls up, she must roll it vs. her Sanity. Failure results in her sorcery going awry, resulting in stress or environmental damage equal to the degree of failure, although the action itself still happens.
Risky Sorcery - Nikolet can treat her Occultism as higher than it is when performing Rational Sorcery, but she must take mental stress equal to the amount of increase. She also still has to control the power with a roll against her Sanity.



Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Rhamnousia on February 08, 2017, 08:12:29 PM
Outstanding characters, sparkletwist. Puts my character idea to shame.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 08, 2017, 10:26:51 PM
They're great characters, but your idea is really good too Rhamnousia!


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 08, 2017, 11:08:36 PM
Thank you both. :D


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Kindling on February 10, 2017, 05:48:12 AM
Katja ist Krieg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7piTcDllnY)


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 13, 2017, 03:06:24 PM
Posted up a bunch of stuff, including some stunts, special equipment extras, and a few monsters. I'll be adding to these sections.

For Special Equipment, rather than fiddling around with costs and then giving people extra skill points or aspect slots for gear (or making all special gear into stunts or something) I've just said that a starting character should pick 3 pieces of Special Equipment. This seems pretty reasonable and intuitive to me, but let me know how this approach feels, because it's probably the least "Fate-y" addition I'd be making, though, honestly, most of the special gear just basically uses the weapons and armour rating system. I may develop some more rules around how protecting spaces/thresholds with holy symbols works...


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 13, 2017, 05:13:46 PM

Steerpike

This seems pretty reasonable and intuitive to me, but let me know how this approach feels, because it's probably the least "Fate-y" addition I'd be making, though, honestly, most of the special gear just basically uses the weapons and armour rating system. I may develop some more rules around how protecting spaces/thresholds with holy symbols works...
The idea of protecting spaces seems similar to Dresden Fate's idea of a block. Blocks were taken out of Fate Core (a decision I don't entirely agree with) but the basic idea is that you require an appropriate skill check to move into the zone or across the threshold, using whatever relevant value as the opposition. For example, a character with a Faith of 3 warding an area with a holy symbol means that any monster who wants to approach has to beat a 3 on whatever skill check they have to roll.

The biggest question I have is the idea of some of them being limited-use. In my opinion, this is probably the most "un-Fate-like" feature you've added, because Fate seems to me to tend towards gear that is just considered part of the character, or an aspect or stunt, or whatever. Any limits are rooted in the metagame, like "once per session" or "once per scene" rather than being a certain amount of physical items. In previous Fate games I've had luck with more concrete item limits but only for tactical variety within a specific scene-- a gun having 3 shots and then needing an action to reload, for example, but I never kept track of bullets beyond that. That's not to say more persistent item limits can't work, but it does make me wonder how resupply would work, what happens if someone who didn't 'select' the equipment tries to get one, or whatever, and I also wonder if it might be a little too much bookkeeping for the sort of game Fate seems like it is trying to be.

Oh, and, my last question, I assume that these are special things and "normal" weapons and armor are more there for fluff's sake and don't have a rating of any sort?


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 13, 2017, 06:10:13 PM
Yeah, I figured the limited ammunition stuff would be the most unlike Fate, although there are references to insta-healing items, so at least in theory the SRD seems to indicate the possibility of expendable items. I could limit it per scene/session, but I think for something like ammo this would amount to the same thing as just keeping track of bullets, wouldn't it?

Obviously, item-hunting and resource-management are not a big part of Fate, but I do like the idea of there being some scarce resources (apart from Fate points) that characters have to consider using, and/or which characters can find during the game. I definitely don't want to turn the game into D&D or Call of Cthulhu, though, and I want 95% of gear to be just a part of characters, and most gear should still be effective in combat against most enemies. Conceivably I could ditch ammunition numbers entirely, though, and maybe remove/modify some items where it might be a bit powerful to have an infinite supply. What do you think?

You're correct on normal weapons and armour not having any kind of ratings.

sparkletwist

The idea of protecting spaces seems similar to Dresden Fate's idea of a block. Blocks were taken out of Fate Core (a decision I don't entirely agree with) but the basic idea is that you require an appropriate skill check to move into the zone or across the threshold, using whatever relevant value as the opposition. For example, a character with a Faith of 3 warding an area with a holy symbol means that any monster who wants to approach has to beat a 3 on whatever skill check they have to roll.

I like this a lot.

EDIT:

sparkletwist

It does make me wonder how resupply would work, what happens if someone who didn't 'select' the equipment tries to get one, or whatever, and I also wonder if it might be a little too much bookkeeping for the sort of game Fate seems like it is trying to be.

What if characters could re-choose Special Equipment between each Scenario? Plus they could keep any additional Special Equipment they found, which does seem consistent with the way Fate handles certain types of items - one of the sample Extras is a sword whose permission is "finding the sword during the game" and which has no other cost.

This way, if all the characters know in advance they're going on a werewolf-hunt, for example, they can kit themselves out accordingly.

I could also see using Wealth rolls to procure additional Special Equipment, though obviously it would have to be in the right circumstances, like a town with sufficient resources.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 13, 2017, 08:13:49 PM
One-time consumable items are a little different from items with ammo or whatever that you have to keep track of, I think, but I wouldn't want to have a whole bunch of those, either. Carrying around a gigantic pile of scrolls and potions and other one-time consumables wouldn't really feel so much like "Fate" to me personally, and it could also introduce an annoying amount of bookkeeping.

Steerpike

Conceivably I could ditch ammunition numbers entirely, though, and maybe remove/modify some items where it might be a bit powerful to have an infinite supply. What do you think?
I think this might feel the most "Fate-like," at least in my opinion of what that means. For items that are too powerful to be used infinitely, basing things on the standard Fate timing of "once per round/scene/session/whatever" could work, too, based on how often you expected the item to see use. A common house rule that I use a lot is that if you want to use something beyond its use limit you can spend a fate point, which may or may not feel too ill-defined to you.

In general, I'd advise against making findable/purchasable equipment matter too much. Switching out equipment between adventures could work, although then it becomes more like more flexible stunt slots and it might make character building a little too complicated. It's really up to you how far you want to go with this stuff.

I'd also like to add that, despite there being a lot of criticism here, I don't mean to sound like I'm overly negative on the idea of equipment mattering at all; I do like the list of items that you made and some of them sound like really cool things for characters to have.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 13, 2017, 08:36:52 PM
Okay cool, I've ditched ammo for almost everything except for Vampir Blood and the Flamethrower (though I upped the latter's uses), both of which I think are powerful enough to justify being scarce, but now someone who has selected Silver Bullets conceivably has enough of them for their own weapons. This does lead to potential awkwardness if someone else in the group could also use a silver bullet but doesn't have one, but it's pretty easy to handwave - they're bullets of a specific caliber, for instance.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 13, 2017, 11:40:56 PM
I agree that both the vampir blood and flamethrower are powerful enough that they need limits, but as long as anything has a hard limit it raises the question of what to do once it's gone and how resupply works, and could introduce weirdness, so I'd strongly encourage you to make everything work within the norms of the Fate system if possible. For example, what if the vampir blood only worked once per session and it also cost a fate point? That would make it work like the "Tough as Nails" Physique stunt (https://fate-srd.com/fate-core/physique). Don't forget that the presence of items could also add aspects, which can be invoked or compelled, so if it's really important to the story to have a certain item unavailable, that could be a compel. I'm reminded of a mechanic from Diaspora: in that game, ammo in firearms is not specifically tracked, but every gun has the ability to have an "Out of Ammo" aspect, so all that happens is that when it's narratively appropriate (i.e., the worst possible time!) for the gun to run out of ammo, the GM can compel that and then gun can no longer be fired until the characters can get some more ammo.

The fate point economy could also tie into silver bullets and other such things that may have some problems with sharing, too. If character A has silver bullets and character B doesn't, then the act of character A giving character B some silver bullets would essentially be a declaration that "B can also use silver bullets this scene," which would cost a fate point. It's a little weird to think of it that way, I admit, because handing someone an object is normally something a character can just do, but it's dealing with an aspect of the mechanics that is already abstracted (in reality, A would have a limited quantity of bullets, which is also being abstracted away) so I feel like that's a pretty elegant way to handle it.

If you'd rather just keep tracking uses, that's fine with me, but I thought I'd at least put out there some more "Fate-like" ways of handling it, if only to get you thinking along those lines.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 13, 2017, 11:46:36 PM
Ah! Alright, I changed it again. Those are good ideas. I've modified things accordingly, adding the Scarce Resources aspect to all consumable items which can be compelled at inopportune times. This does help to mitigate the bullet-sharing problem, and actually probably balances ranged versus melee weapons a little more.

I'm not complaining - I really want to do this game as "by the book" as possible, pretty much anyway, and discrete numbers of bullets are very non-Fate - but this is a really good example of how the rules-as-written of Fate don't quite click with the way my brain is wired. The way the gears in my head click, this seems to be potentially horribly dis-empowering, since it would seem to interfere with planning and decision-making (it's not clear precisely when special ammo or whatever is going to run out, and you can't really check exactly how many silver bullets or vials of holy water or syringes of healing vampire-blood you have left because that information doesn't exist)... but I guess there are enough ways to circumvent it in Fate that it's probably not dis-empowering in practice.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 14, 2017, 04:22:45 PM

Steerpike

The way the gears in my head click, this seems to be potentially horribly dis-empowering, since it would seem to interfere with planning and decision-making (it's not clear precisely when special ammo or whatever is going to run out, and you can't really check exactly how many silver bullets or vials of holy water or syringes of healing vampire-blood you have left because that information doesn't exist)... but I guess there are enough ways to circumvent it in Fate that it's probably not dis-empowering in practice.
I see what you're saying, but I think you are probably still thinking of things too "procedurally," for lack of a better word. Fate, at least, all of the Fate games I've played, isn't really based around the idea of the players making a plan in the sense that you might see in more tactical, less narrative games like D&D. The characters have a plan, certainly, because they're competent and they know what they're doing, but that's just it; there's no need for a player to know exactly how many bullets or syringes or whatnot you have, because the answer is initially always going to be "I'm an eminently competent badass who made a solid plan, so I brought along enough." The exact details are glossed over in favor of narrative. And when the narrative calls for everything to start going south? (It always will, or it's not going to be very exciting...) Well, that's when the compels start flying, complications start piling on top of complications, the characters' resources start running out, and the characters (and the players!) have to start thinking on their feet. In other words, that's when the game starts getting really fun.

Along those lines, after giving it some more thought, I'm starting to become a little unsure how the monster-specific special equipment is actually going to work in practice. If characters always have a chance to get the equipment they need for a specific mission, then it's essentially an expectation, and in a way makes the whole thing kind of irrelevant-- why take along anything but silver if you know you're going to go fight werewolves? And if that's not how it plays out, it feels a little like the GM is just messing with the players. I'm also a bit concerned about the effect of the warding items on the game, because Armor:2 is extremely powerful if the default assumption is that weapon ratings aren't going to be a thing, while meanwhile if Weapon:2 becomes the "norm" then, as the SRD puts it, zero-sum is boring. On the other hand, if characters will just choose once and then are expected to be using the same equipment for a wide variety of missions, it kind of becomes a matter of lucky guessing as to what to bring along. Sometimes characters will have an advantage and sometimes they won't, and the game has to be built around the idea that characters probably won't have the right sort of weapon to hit the right resistance... and that might kind of spoil the image of being a badass Jäger if they're always sort of ill-prepared relative to what they could have. I like the fluff of special materials being used for monster-hunting quite a bit, but I'm wondering if the crunch will be satisfying in practice. There's also a certain overlap between stunts and equipment slots, like, certain powers like Lis's cartomancy require both having a certain power and having a certain item, so I'm not really sure how that works in the system either.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 14, 2017, 05:14:25 PM

sparkletwist

The characters have a plan, certainly, because they're competent and they know what they're doing, but that's just it; there's no need for a player to know exactly how many bullets or syringes or whatnot you have, because the answer is initially always going to be "I'm an eminently competent badass who made a solid plan, so I brought along enough."

Yeah I think it's this mindset that feels a strange to me, but I don't want to derail the thread into a "Steerpike puzzles over Fate" thing. Further thoughts enclosed in spoiler below (Mad Max:Fury Road spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen it). I've straight-up decided I'm not going to do specific bullet numbers for any ammo-type, so this isn't me debating or trying to convince you, just me musing a bit about narrative, scarcity, and planning.

For the kind of thing I'm thinking of, consider something like the rifle scene in Mad Max: Fury Road (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOeAVncI7mQ). Earlier in the film there's a scene where they count all the ammunition they have and note that there's only 4 bullets for the rifle ("big boy"). Then in the linked scene (starting around 1:20) one of the Wives notes to Max that he only has 2 shots left after he fires at the approaching truck. They know they have to be extremely careful about rationing their bullets because only the rifle has the range and power to hit the Bullet Farmer before he arrives with machine guns blazing - hence Furiosa, the better sharpshooter of the two, taking the rifle. It's a cool character moment because it helps reinforce the trust between the two characters, it hinges on a disparity in skill between them, and it only comes about because they know in advance they have a very specific number of bullets left - and made sure to check this number earlier. I don't think anyone would dispute that they're both eminently competent badasses, but the scarcity of these particularly valuable resources and the fact that their plans have to be constrained based on those resources is the key source of tension in the scene, which depends on audience and character knowledge of the specific bullet count. If their competence extends to giving them all the resources they need, the scene becomes much less dramatic, but it's also much less dramatic if we only find out that the rifle is out of bullets the moment it actually runs out.

I can think of lots of other examples in film and elsewhere that probably illustrate a similar concept. Possibly this is just one of those things that Fate isn't super interested in emulating.

Maybe PM me and/or we could start a new thread if we want to talk further on this... don't want to fill the Alptraum thread with my working-through of Fate mechanics.

sparkletwist

Along those lines, after giving it some more thought, I'm starting to become a little unsure how the monster-specific special equipment is actually going to work in practice. If characters always have a chance to get the equipment they need for a specific mission, then it's essentially an expectation, and in a way makes the whole thing kind of irrelevant-- why take along anything but silver if you know you're going to go fight werewolves?

Hmm, maybe the "swap equipment" between sessions doesn't actually work then... for resupply, maybe this is what really makes Wealth or Influence rolls shine in a game that otherwise is mostly about monster-hunting.

Quote

'm also a bit concerned about the effect of the warding items on the game, because Armor:2 is extremely powerful if the default assumption is that weapon ratings aren't going to be a thing, while meanwhile if Weapon:2 becomes the "norm" then, as the SRD puts it, zero-sum is boring. On the other hand, if characters will just choose once and then are expected to be using the same equipment for a wide variety of missions, it kind of becomes a matter of lucky guessing as to what to bring along.

How about just downgrading to Armour:1 and Weapon:1? This way it's a slight advantage, but not a huge one.

Also, I should maybe just say up-front that there will almost certainly be more than 1 enemy type in any given scenario, so some versatility of equipment among characters will pay dividends.

sparkletwist

There's also a certain overlap between stunts and equipment slots, like, certain powers like Lis's cartomancy require both having a certain power and having a certain item, so I'm not really sure how that works in the system either.

I feel like any gear someone needs to have for a stunt to work, they just have it. What distinguishes stunts from special equipment is that only Lis or someone else with cartomancy can do cartomancy with cards, but anyone can use a silver bullet or holy water.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 14, 2017, 06:22:11 PM

Steerpike

for resupply, maybe this is what really makes Wealth or Influence rolls shine in a game that otherwise is mostly about monster-hunting.
That's a good thought.

If you want to get extra fancy, Wealth could work like Physique and Sanity do for stress boxes, and instead of a flat 3, you'd get 2 special equipment slots by default, plus half Wealth, rounded up. So a Wealth of +1 or +2 would give you 3 slots, and a Wealth of +3 or +4 would give you 4.

Steerpike

How about just downgrading to Armour:1 and Weapon:1? This way it's a slight advantage, but not a huge one.
I like that. I also like that it means a special equipment slot is definitely designed to be less powerful than a stunt, which I think it should be. This means that some items like the flamethrower and the vampir blood probably need something of a nerf (especially vampir blood, right now it's more powerful than the similar stunt because no fate point expenditure is needed) but I really like the feeling of that overall.

I'd also recommend, for the sake of fluff and the Jäger coming across as prepared and competent, that this equipment is extra special. That is to say, just about every Jäger carries around a few cold iron bullets and a knife inscribed with some holy runes. However, a certain Jäger might have a knife that was passed down to him by his father that was forged at midnight on a moonless night by a half-demon or something like that... something with a story behind it, and that is why it gets a bonus. Then the gear becomes signature equipment rather than just hot-swappable parts. I like that feeling much more, for what it's worth.

Steerpike

I feel like any gear someone needs to have for a stunt to work, they just have it. What distinguishes stunts from special equipment is that only Lis or someone else with cartomancy can do cartomancy with cards, but anyone can use a silver bullet or holy water.
That makes sense too, although there may be a difference between Lis doing cartomancy with her tarock cards compared to any random deck, which might make it worthwhile to put her cards in an equipment slot and gain some small bonus from them. Dresden Fate has "focus items" that work similarly. If I think of something, I'll run it by you.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 14, 2017, 07:23:53 PM
Did some tweaks, gave vampiric blood a significant drawback, nerfed a bunch of stuff.

I'll ponder the Wealth bonus, I think that's a good idea.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Weave on February 14, 2017, 07:28:57 PM

sparkletwist

Steerpike

for resupply, maybe this is what really makes Wealth or Influence rolls shine in a game that otherwise is mostly about monster-hunting.
That's a good thought.

If you want to get extra fancy, Wealth could work like Physique and Sanity do for stress boxes, and instead of a flat 3, you'd get 2 special equipment slots by default, plus half Wealth, rounded up. So a Wealth of +1 or +2 would give you 3 slots, and a Wealth of +3 or +4 would give you 4.

I kind of really like this? I have mixed feelings about it because I think Fate works best from a minimalist standpoint when it comes to details like equipment, but color me intrigued.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 15, 2017, 11:43:53 PM
Yeah I went ahead and added the Wealth thing, that was a very good idea - thanks sparkletwist.

I'll probably eventually add more Stunts but I think Character Creation is now finished, or close-to-finished.

I'll be posting up some adventure hooks soon for the first session fairly soon - sparkletwist, you can pick whichever appeals to you.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on February 16, 2017, 02:55:07 PM
Posted these to the first page as well:

Scenarios

The Schädelbrück Horror (+1 starting Fate point for Nikolet) – One of Nikolet Lanztäl’s former colleagues at Schädelbrück’s university has written to the scholar-turned-Jägeryn. The letter speaks in vague terms of some exciting experiment gone wrong, hinting at potentially dire consequences should things not “be put right.” Should it be convenient, the colleague – a certain Doktor Baltasar Dressler, a metaphysician and alchemist of some renown – requests Niokolet’s assistance.

Ruinenlust – The Grey Church is looking to hire a group of Jäger to cleanse the ruin of Rosenmünster, an Abbey that long ago fell into disrepair after its wards failed and its inhabitants were slain or sired by the Blood Countess. The Church hopes to sanctify the ruins and restore holiness to them, but fear they may have become infested by the forces of darkness.

What Dwells Beneath – The folk of Knochendorf are desperate. Despite their wards and walls and fervent prayers, villagers are disappearing one by one. The town is dying, and the reclusive Hundhammer family remain shut in their manor, deaf to the pleas of those in the settlement below. If nothing is done, Knochendorf will soon be a ghost town.

Sisters of the Crimson Cowl (+1 starting Fate point for Lis) – The Crimson Cowl Jägerbund have contacted Lis. It seems that a group of their Jägeryn have gone missing in the depths of the Wulfswald on a Hunt. Wary of committing more of their numbers to seek the lost sisters, the Order has offered Lis and her band a handsome payment for their aid.

Let me know which sounds good sparkletwist.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 17, 2017, 06:47:19 PM
They all sound pretty fun to me! However, given the option, I'll probably go with "What Dwells Beneath." Rescuing a town from a wicked influence was the first outing of the first incarnation of this group, so I feel it only fitting.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: sparkletwist on February 22, 2017, 01:00:36 AM
I was playing around with character creation in Soul Calibur V so I made some character pictures  :D

(https://toonstore.net/sparkletwist/lis/avatar)(https://toonstore.net/sparkletwist/alidze/avatar)(https://toonstore.net/sparkletwist/katja/avatar)(https://toonstore.net/sparkletwist/nikolet/avatar)

Lis, Alidze, Katja, and Nikolet, respectively.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on May 09, 2017, 03:07:32 PM
Working again on this. I should have the adventure ready to go in the not-too-distant future. sparkletwist, I'll let you know when it's ready to go.

I've been running some very Alptraum-esque 5th edition D&D sessions as well, getting into the nightmare-world mindset. I incorporated some narrativist-type mechanics and set pieces to help ease into Fate  :grin:.


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Rhamnousia on May 09, 2017, 08:21:01 PM
ALPTRAUM FOR ALL YOU COWARD


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Steerpike on May 09, 2017, 08:55:52 PM
I'll definitely run at least one follow up session once sparkletwist has given it a shot!


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Weave on May 09, 2017, 09:03:19 PM
I will be waiting patiently for the followup session  :yumm:


Title: Re: ALPTRAUM
Post by: Rose-of-Vellum on May 09, 2017, 09:44:55 PM
Ditto, and glad to hear Alptraum goes on.