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Inspired by Conrad (who says you've all grown too weak)


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Low Fates (optional, but not for Red)
Use this table whenever you wish to add more tribulation and suspicion in the party. Before the main demon is reached in the climax, you can build suspense by slowly taunting the party and letting them know the threat is increasing. Start with a Target Number, as described under combat. Disclose the number; no need to keep it secret. Then, the party will face a dozen or so triggers before reaching that combat event. If you have a climax flow, a map you slowly reveal or a good old fashion dungeon schematic, these triggers can be placed along those journey paths as traps.

At each test, a card flip generates the event. The system relies on an antiquated concept in early free-style play, Low Fates. One person, the Suspect scapegoat will suffer the brunt of these mishaps. His true hope will be either to shed that Suspect distinction or at least go down fighting. His sad role in this movie seems expendable. Should he die or flee, he can return as a new alternate character and that mantle of “punish me” shifts to someone else. The party will always have a scapegoat under this optional set of mechanics. It’s a horror trope and perhaps the enemy is ourselves is a lesson we never learn.

When you need a new scapegoat, everyone rolls a die and let low roll take the role. Often the scapegoat will lose that title by fingering someone else. Oddly, the scapegoat can have Doubt (in the party or leader); however, his Doubt is not required to reach unanimous consent that things got to change, and the scapegoat must die.

Someone in the party will be the lowest on the pecking order, the dead man walking, the red-shirt, Gollum, comic relief, kid from Brooklyn, corporate guy in Aliens, etc. He may not make it to the end…tragic. If the party has Tony, soak off NPC for injury, those may be used to absorb the wounds of this table, but won’t change the person on the spot. Each party will have one scapegoat (here this day).

What if the party has no Doubt? Let’s rephrase, what if the party has no Doubt at the moment. The lack of characters having any Doubt will mean the chance the scapegoat will be kicked out of the group is that much further from happening. Until the group kills the final demon, they will never truly bond. Even then the trauma of that event, and the conflict before, will force them (often) to separate and run Q&D Life Goes On. Were all the Ignobles checked?

Q&D Tribulations
Tribulation King: Threaten or inspire all to come together. Command Action to keep from adding more Doubt.
Inverted: As above, but fail and also suffer vicious.
Tribulation Queen: Bond by relating an event from your past. Persuasion to keep from adding more Doubt.
Inverted: As above, but fail and suffer vicious.
Tribulation Knight: Make an important observation or conclusion; that beast has been injured or fatigued by the group’s efforts. Investigation to keep from adding more Doubt.
Inverted: As above, but fail and also suffer vicious.
Tribulation Knave: The plot thickens; add a D8 more tribulations scattered about the climax. This number can be lowered for each make-roll the scapegoat will expend in sacrifice.
Inverted: Startled at night by hideous or creepy sounds; a random player describes them. If the demon of the climax in fact Insults Sound, roll Tasking or suffers a vicious wound. Victim will automatically blame the scapegoat and have Doubt.
Tribulation 10: Beast acts erratically or might refuse to walk on consecrated soil. Command Action to lower Target Number or DefMod by one.
Inverted: As above, but also exonerate yourself; the fear within the party won’t end, but someone else is now to blame.
Tribulation 9: Beast has empathy, hates what it has become. Persuasion to lower Target Number or DefMod by one.
Inverted: As above, but also exonerate yourself; the fear within the party won’t end, but someone else is now to blame.
Tribulation 8: Beast repelled by a strong faith. Occult Reasoning to lower Target Number or DefMod by one.
Inverted: As above, but also exonerate yourself; the fear within the party won’t end, but someone else is now to blame.
Tribulation 7: Draw comparisons to other demons you’ve faced. Occult Reasoning to keep from adding more Doubt.
Inverted: As above, but fail and suffer vicious.
Tribulation 6: Protect yourself from ambush and vitriol. Secrecy to keep from adding more Doubt.
Inverted: As above, but fail and suffer vicious.
Tribulation 5: Beast has hubris; never attacks without warning. Investigation to lower Target Number or DefMod by one.
Inverted: As above, but also exonerate yourself; the fear within the party won’t end, but someone else is now to blame.
Tribulation 4: Startled by horrible apparitions or scene of carnage; a random player describes this. If the demon of the climax in fact Insults Sight, roll Tasking or suffers a vicious wound. Victim will automatically blame the scapegoat and have Doubt.
Inverted: Enthralled, weak, scratchy, out of body; a random player describes the demon’s control on him. If the demon of the climax in fact Insults Touch, roll Tasking or suffers a vicious wound. Victim will automatically blame the scapegoat and have Doubt.
Tribulation 3: Beast shuns bright light. Secrecy to lower Target Number or DefMod by one.
Inverted: As above, but also exonerate yourself; the fear within the party won’t end, but someone else is now to blame.
Tribulation 2: Odiferous plight, eyes watering, flailing for breath; a random player describes the demonic bouquet. If the demon of the climax in fact Insults Smell, roll Tasking or suffers a vicious wound. Victim will automatically blame the scapegoat and have Doubt.
Inverted: Cottonmouth, unable to swallow, unable to spit a befoul spice; a random player describes the aftertaste. If the demon of the climax in fact Insults Taste, roll Tasking or suffers a vicious wound. Victim will automatically blame the scapegoat and have Doubt.
Tribulation Ace: Give all your Instruments away; this might redeem yourself with each person you award a prize. Persuasion to remove his Doubt.
Inverted: Scapegoat is attacked by monster opportunistically; roll Tasking or suffer vicious. One person of the group loses Doubt.

Allow Mitigation – In each case the player may take a moment and describe how his Divine Weaponry, swagger or Tact might improve his chances. A convincing story (of three sentences, don’t filibuster) could lower the Degree of Difficulty by one.

The Major Tarot add extra problems. The scapegoat will announce that he has made conclusions that no one wants to hear. The DefMod will not rise above four. Also, if same conclusion is made twice by different cards, the second result will cancel the first as the party creates a counter. Depending upon party size, the Ref may require Occult Reasoning by leader or simply give the party a honest break as a gimme.

Magician: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy can adopt an innocent human face from the person’s past. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (01): Garish Hat
High Priestess: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy can adopt an innocent human face from the person’s past. DefMod (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (02): Rose Colored Spectacles
Empress: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy creates subzero conditions. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (03): Silk Kerchief
Emperor: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy is an elder of its kind. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (04): Portable Writer’s Desk
Pope: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy is an elder of its kind. DefMod (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (05): Bandana Sash-Scarf
Lovers: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy seeks revenge on humanity. DefMod (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (06): Whip
Chariot: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy seeks revenge on humanity. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (07): Snuffbox
Justice: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy’s lair will be underground, in a caves or maze to explore. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (08): Beeswax
Hermit: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy creates subzero conditions. DefMod (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (09): Pouch Peppercorns
Wheel of Fortune: Shuffle the deck and continue.
Force: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy summons ferocious animals or maniacal human minions. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (10): Sturdy Boots
Hanged Man: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy uses poisons, drugs or chemicals, Dragon breath included. DefMod (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (11): Leather Gloves
Death: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy’s lair will be underground, in a caves or maze to explore. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (12): Fur Trimmed Cloak
Temperance: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy thrives by the water and expect final battle in a cove, riverfront or at an isle shore. DefMod (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (13): Silver Flask Rum
Devil: Finger someone else convincingly. Choose the next scapegoat. Yes, you must decide who becomes Low Fate. (If player rolls a die, random, he must include himself.)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (14): Trusty Rapier
Tower of Destruction: Each person with Doubt must roll Persuasion to avoid (on fail) convincing someone else in the group that the scapegoat is a traitor. IF the entire party has Doubt, the Suspect player character is ousted (or sent running tar and feathered). The player may return as new character; the party rolls low-die for who becomes the new scapegoat. There is no joy in these groups, at least not for long.
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (15): Keen Knife
Star: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy will strike after dark on a moonless night. DefMod (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (16): Brace of Pistols
Moon: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy will strike after dark on a moonless night. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (17): Blunderbuss
Sun: Select one character and remove his Doubt. At player’s option he may further roll twice, Command Action and Persuasion, to pass his role of scapegoat to that player character that he selected. Failing either returns the man to Doubt.
Inverted: Gain a random Instrument. If this item was held by someone else, that player character now has Doubt.
Judgment: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy uses poisons, drugs or chemicals, Dragon breath included. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (18): Garrote
World: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy thrives by the water and expect final battle in a cove, riverfront or at an isle shore. Target Number (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (19): Pocket Watch
Fool: Draw a correct conclusion that your enemy summons ferocious animals or maniacal human minions. DefMod (+1)
Inverted: As above, plus lose Accoutrement (20): Purse Coins

Note: Whenever an item is lost, the scapegoat will accuse someone else of taking his property. If that person doesn’t have Doubt, he does now. For large groups, the Ref may have the scapegoat lose an object and one other player the same – fighting over the item and ruin both or happenstance one is lost after the other on succession of days. This can occur even if the scapegoat did not have the object to start. Demon mischief is afoot. “That looks like my old hat?!? Where’d you get that!”



Yours,

   red



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