View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:00 am



Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea 
Author Message

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 9:05 pm
Posts: 137
Post Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
I'm going to lead off with the game pitch, followed by my main questions, followed by a longer explanation of what I'm up to, for context. I don't want to turn people off with too much to read at first. If you aren't interested after the first two posts, no need to read on.

The Pitch - here is the listing for my event. To be fair, it's a house con and people know that my idea entails multiple one-shots, hence the "Episode 1" midway through.

CM1: Centum Mortui and the Demon Wolves of Germania
Of the Centum Mortui, the 100 Dead, men share only whispers in the dead of night. To speak of them is to have one's tongue cut out. To regard them is death. One hundred men of the Roman legion decimated and stoned ... but not to death. Left to serve the Emperor as shades of the men they once were. Stripped of Roman arms and stricken from the roll, they fight on. Episode 1: Roman encampments are suffering attacks by beasts or wild men who slip in under the cover of night, maul dozens of soldiers to death, and disappear without a trace. The " demon wolves " are disrupting the Legion's operations and spreading a strange wasting disease. The Centum Mortui is charged with rooting out and eliminating this strange menace.


Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:16 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 9:05 pm
Posts: 137
Post Re: Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
Here's what I need help with.

Character concepts for members of the Centum Mortui.
Cool scene ideas.
Any historical input you might provide that would be cool bits to throw in.


Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:17 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 9:05 pm
Posts: 137
Post Re: Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
Context

The System: Savage Worlds (Explorer's Edition). I have been running story and rules-light indie games for a while and friend of mine challenged me to run a "trad" game again to keep my GM chops up to par.

The Concept of a One-Shot Campaign: I want to run a series of related one-shots. They are not linear and it doesn't matter if the same players are in each session. In fact, I hope to have different groups of players, with some fairly random repetition. The connective tissue is a military unit. I will collect the name and email of every person who plays a member of the unit. No matter how many one-shots I run, "your" character is always your character. There will never be more than 100 players and no player's character is ever recycled. When "you" are not in the game, your character is an "extra." Whenever Centum Mortui members die in a game, I kill of un-owned characters first. When all the NPC's are gone, I roll on the list of PC's not currently in the game. If "your" character dies, you get an email informing you of what happened. You can even reply with the character's dying thoughts. Also you would get an email whenever there is a Centum Mortui session, telling you what happened whether you died or not. Basically you become a member of a club. BTW, if you are in the game and your character dies, you can grab another one and keep playing.

The Setting: The Centum Mortui are a group of ritually-decimated soldiers. The legion disgraced itself and the general decreed a decimation. One-tenth of the men were singled out for stoning, and they were indeed stripped of their arms and subjected to rock-hurling. But the general stopped the rock-throwing before all the 100 were killed. The remaining members are treated as ghosts. No one can acknowledge them or speak of them. However the general relays orders to them, mostly suicide missions, in clever ways. For instance, he has a priest build an altar and offer a sacrifice to the gods, asking for help. (But of course he is actually outlining the mission he wants accomplished.) Or a Centum Mortui officer visits the general in the dead of night and the general pretends he is a spirit. Early on, some of the members who survived the stoning tried to desert and the general gave hand-picked men "ghost-eyes" by having a defixioner (curse maker) write glyphs on lead tablets that the men wear around their necks. This gave them the ability to see and hunt down the deserters and send them on into the afterlife (for real). Each remaining member of the 100 has a reason to fight on (covered below) rather than desert.

Characters: All characters are human (one free edge). Traits are generated per the core rules, except that characters receive 6, rather than 5, points. Skills are generated per the core rules, except that characters must buy a Fighting skill of at least d6.

All characters need a few other things.
A one sentence description.
A set of non-Roman gear. (Centum Mortui are stripped of Roman arms and must fight with things they have taken off of enemies.)
A favorite Roman deity (optional).
A reason to fight - examples below.

You are here by choice. Your son, a boy of 15 was chosen by lot for the decimation, but your countrymen turned a blind eye as you stepped out in his place to join the ranks of the dead. He is forbidden to acknowledge you, but as long as you live you have the chance to see him become a man and know that you fight in at the sharp end so that he doesn’t have to.

You don’t give a shit. Soldiering is all you know. There is nothing for you back home but a nagging wife and a hovel full of brats. The dangers of battle have always been real and now, at least, you don’t have to deal with all the bullshit rules and regulations of the legions.

You were already dead. As an escaped slave you lived in constant fear of being discovered and executed, or worse, returned to your owner. The decimation was ironically your ticket to freedom. Since no one can speak of you, there is no chance that anyone will find out who/what you once were.

You believe. It’s that simple. The legion is your religion. The Emperor is your god. Whatever happens, happens because it must. That is how Rome survives, how it protects itself from the hordes of uncivilized barbarians. If this is how you will best serve, then so be it.

You were told this would happen. The oracle at Delphi told your mother before she gave birth to you that her son would walk the paths of the dead before his 18th year. You have been dreading the revelation of this doom since you were old enough to hear your fate. Now you feel an odd sense of relief. Being dead isn’t all that bad. At least you have friends and a purpose.

You are curious. You don’t have a story. At least you think you don’t, but you can’t help but notice everyone else does. They all seem to be here for a reason. It can’t be coincidence; the fates must be involved. Until the true meaning of it all becomes clear, you have decided to see it through. Why did this happen to you? What is the purpose of this mad experiment? What is going to happen? Does it all mean something or are the gods insane?


Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:29 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 9:05 pm
Posts: 137
Post Re: Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
Scenario Concept - You have read the pitch above. I am still deciding on the nature of the bad guys. Here are the options I have considered.

1. Actual spirit-possessed wolves. Perhaps spirits of the Black Forest trying to repel invaders. Maybe animated by a demon tree of some kind or a 'father wolf' spirit.

2. Skinwalkers. This is probably the "obvious" answer, but it could take two directions. The first is it could be magic and the humans actually transform.

3. The second Skinwalker option is it could be non-magic and the "demon wolves" are just men who berserk into a sort of feral bloodlust. I was thinking of a Scythian cult of berserkers who ritualistically work themselves into a frenzy, the instigator being a strange priest figure that appears to have real magical powers (from an unenlightened iron-age perspective) but is probably using some kind of mushroom-brew to make the men rage. In this scenario, the group may be protecting something. I don't know what yet, but it would be a "prize" for the Centum Mortui. I was inspired by this Scythian "golden man" priest figure:

Image


Last edited by doomfistmonk on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:38 pm
Profile E-mail
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:50 pm
Posts: 545
Location: Michigan
Post Re: Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
It sounds cool. I'll try to come up with some fun input to post up.

_________________
Get Ready to Ignite


Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:40 pm
Profile E-mail WWW
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:01 am
Posts: 637
Location: East Tennessee
Post Re: Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
I want to play in this!

I'll see what I can come up with.

_________________
Lord Corvus Disorder and Savage Crazy Asshole
Roll For News podcast


Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:49 pm
Profile E-mail WWW

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 9:05 pm
Posts: 137
Post Re: Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
Tone: I should mention that the tone I am going for is comic-book. I am thinking of Star Spangled War Stories, for instance, as inspiration. To me that means it will be cinematic, quasi-historical (but willing to fudge), and character-driven. Another inspiration would movies like The Dirty Dozen and Kelly's Heroes.

As for help ...

Really, one of the most helpful things for me would be colorful character concepts. If you don't want to do that stats, that's fine. A name, a reason to fight, and an interesting background would be stellar.


Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:52 pm
Profile E-mail
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:32 am
Posts: 927
Location: Montréal, Québec
Post Re: Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
I'm totally going to recycle the Centum Mortui for my next fantasy campaign (which will be mish-mash of Byzantine Empire and classic Sword and Sorcery elements).

Brilliant stuff, doomfistmonk!

_________________
FFHFKJFFKGJK

My mod voice is red


Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:14 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 9:05 pm
Posts: 137
Post Re: Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
Hey thanks! Even a blind squirrel ...

What is kind of funny about the idea is how indulgent it is. I've seen players make characters "without a past" as a way of creating a maverick that doesn't have to answer to any kind of authority figures (parents, church, etc.) and has no ties to protect. This is kind of that impulse on a large scale, though I'll flatter myself in thinking it's a bit more nuanced than the simple man-without-a-name idea. It gives the unit free reign to do all kinds of crazy missions that don't necessarily tie in with what the legion is doing and without "oversight." Roman black ops.


Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:57 pm
Profile E-mail
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:32 am
Posts: 927
Location: Montréal, Québec
Post Re: Looking for Input on a One-Shot Idea
Ha! I eventually realized you're doing this at the Roludothon!

I signed up :twisted:

Since the Centum Mortui has to readjust as far as weapons and tactics, what do you think of a veteran attempting to breed and train hounds? I know the Romans explored the possibilities of war dogs, something which several cultures like the Celts, Egyptians, Greeks also did.

Another character archetype would be a disgraced centurion. I imagine a simple backstory such as a man who made a critical mistake but has gained respect by volunteering to take the place of a soldier (assuming centurions were immune to such punishment). You can bet your ass a TRUCKLOAD of rocks were thrown in his direction and he probably got it worse than most but he is a wise one using his knowledge and skills not to lose any more men.

I assume a handful of the smartest or most educated of the hundred will end up acting as would-be physicians whenever needed and that could also make an interesting character. I imagine a guy who was on his way to promising things after his service but now is stuck in suicide missions when he's not using makeshift tools to give medical attention or obsessing to make sure nobody gets stupid frostbite or something.

A timeless classic: the coward who truly deserved the punishment more than anybody else. Like the centurion this guy probably got it bad during the decimation and came close to dying (probably what he was wishing for). But he has made the better of this second life and is turning into a fearless, loyal and reliable badass. He's the kind of guy who now feels right at home in the Centum Mortui. He's totally happy with this. He's not just getting his kick either: he genuinely believes in living to serve the empire and redeeming himself. Still has his demeaning nickname but every member of the unit wants this guy next to them.

_________________
FFHFKJFFKGJK

My mod voice is red


Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:36 pm
Profile E-mail
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.