Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sins of the Crusade: Episode 4, Season 2 - Byzantine Enemies



Thanks to +Willy So , +Milan Runic , +Il Pella , +Thunder Clonch , +Dan Mungham , and +Mike Dulay for joining the game.

When the lion cannot fight his own battles

An Improvised ambush. The party's warriors and lord walk into the crosshairs of what they later learn was an unintended ambush. Rjugot was invaluable "gunning down" one of the assailants who tried to take out Bohemmon. Tertius and Xeno advance and call out their men who are just around the block.

Tertius' battle voice causes them to hesitate, Xeno moves them forward in a guarded advance. Their assassins change their mind and retreat, only to be mowed down by their men and Rjugot. All the while Olek gets the drop on the mastermind but has a rash of bad luck. He was lucky  the soldier did not have the presence of mind nor the time to take out all the witnesses.

They captured 4 men, 2 badly injured. They were sent  to the ship to be watched and they had one witness who saw the leader. Bohemmon is not please to learn unsettling facts about Umberto, but Cato channeled his energies to please his lord and distracts him with the negotiation with the Emperor: Cato's usefulness means he and his assets are aiding Bohemmon in dealing with the empror. But before the day is over, Cato introduces the party to Vito a man who is very knowledgeable of the inner workings of byzantine politics.  

The Anarchy of Families

Vito proves helpful in a way, for a man with many connections he is very cooperative with the party. He joins them in return for some assurances regarding Bohemmons negotations, that the the Venetians Interests are not "Interrupted" by his ambitions and his help comes with such conditions. 
They talk about the families at length, but Xander Delasenos seems to be the focus of his inquiry second would be Nikopheros Milesenos. 

When they consult Konrad, a different story plays  out and more names are added to the possible people who may want them dead including Garbas, Tartiones, the Palagios, Angelos, etc.. The mysteries get more complicated and the matters muddier.

Berthold shows up and explains his absensce, telling the look of the Assassin who slit Umbertos throat in the shadow. He offers to go to his old contacts and watch Xander.

The burden of men who fight

Xeno and Tertius visit Marten and they talk about what happened and who could be behind them. They learn a lot about each other, their loyalties and ideals. In this, they discover the kind of men that govern the fate of the empire: Bohemmon, The Empreror, and the Generals they served and the battles they fought. They came away with not just a better understanding of themselves but who is behind this and why else...

Obsession and Finding Courage, 


Olek, Ivon the Doctor, Vito and Miroclones are on the ship. Ivon and Olek is administring to the prisoners and are caught up in their Faith and fervor. A prisoner loses his finger, one dies, and they are subjected to great suffering. Miroclones so conflicted draws a line at the actions of his allies, only to find more enemies: Dominic of Matera steps in looking for Olek and involves himself in
Bohemmons affairs. While Miroclones may be an educated an he is a man of the world and believes in men who are just and of righteous cause, he does believe these others have such.

The irony of Mirocloneses prison stay among the Turks is he would have never been exposed to the Hippocratic tradition perserved by the Islamic scholars, who instead of embracing suffering, wanted to ease suffering - if not for that exposure he would not have had such an alien belief which marks him as a heretic in a way.

Olek and Ivan leave, with Dominic. Olek observed Miroclone's method and wants to replicate it, Dominic is enchanted by the Fire and power Olek can give him and plots. Two men fill another's fantasies, and One man discovers a rare art.
 
When news of Dominic's actions reach Cato, he calls his allies together and sever action must be taken, even if all his resources are tied to wringing power from his Emperor.

Next Game is PST 4pm, EST 8pm Friday night January 23 and Jan 24 9am Australia and 7am Philippines (China, SG, HK, Taiwan  etc.). 4-4.5 hours. Currently Google and Roll20 is screwing up my Time zone even if I repeatedly change the time to correct it.  

GMing Update: The War Beneath Heaven

I'll be continuing The War Beneath Heaven, my Modern Fantasy Campaign set in the new Frontier of our era: Africa to scratch my Modern Setting Itch - Work, new skillsets, and many other experiences have made me more capable of running a Bleeding Edge Fantasy Game. 

Currently Looking for an Expert on Nigeria, Lagos. 

Planning to run the game but Change many things:
  • LAGOS instead of Haven, the Fictional Nation the PCs are now going to based in Nigeria with some a lot of fictional elements s as I learn more about the country. They will be based in Lagos. (If I can find a Local expert I would be happy to listen in)
    • There will be many Expats and Multinational Factions represented.  
  • FATE I'm shifting to Fate Accelerated (which is the Lighter Fate). Basically very system light, but concepts have to be very grounded - the GM will
  • Supernatural is more toned down. Still preserving much of the Doctrine. Fate rules regarding supernatural abilities is that they simply cost more. 
  • Schedule. Currently Irregular and will Temporarily Alternate with Sins of the Crusade as we reach the end of the Second Season. This will run for 8-10 episodes typically alternating week ends or succeeding (depending on my schedule). 

What to Expect: 

  • Disempowerment despite the Empowerment of Elite characters. Basically my rule is I will enforce consequences, No Good deed goes unpunished and Uunexpected consequences happen despite ones intentions as I am a fan of Game Theory. So SHIT happens, and the Story is your character dealing with a lot of SHIT. If you like that then you might like this game. Most of the Cast died last season, and I allow sociopathic characters PCs and some internal conflict. 
  • Disturbing and Offensive - Modern Day Slavery, Ideological Limits and Breaking Points, and Compromise. Goes without saying in Disempowerment game. 
  • Psychological Afflictions - (from +Christian Blouin) Characters can be inflicted with Psychological Afflictions and biases as they are with Physical Afflictions as consequences of actions and words. This means Players can try to Influence each other's characters and there are Psychological consequences and Biases that affect them (Fan of Dan Ariely's, Prof Stephen Hinshaw's, Prof. Patrick Grim, and Robert C. Solomon - a kind of disclaimer if you don't like such Ideas in your game). Role-Playing is highly encouraged because we roleplay how our character makes decisions and rationalizations with these biases. 
    • If someone Poisons the Well successful against this Character, those who are Psychologically Afflicted must act in such a way if their motives and mindset encourages the affliction.  
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