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Death's Marque

Old Aug 27 '18, 8:25am
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Death's Marque

Death's Marque - Forum

Welcome to Death’s Marque, a stealth game based in a fantasy industrial era world of Geisthelm. In between the steam inventions, the divisions of societies, and colonial empires blessed by the Celestial Order itself, a scar of a long lost war against evil is felt all across the land. The God of Death, Amnesty, has been erased from existence for a thousand years and although the powerless lower class still live and die by the normal rules, those in the know feel and exploit the weakness in the borders between life and death every day. Thus, in Amnesty’s place rises the Order of the Larkspur who deal with such matters of life and death. They train exorcists to deal with the rising ghost plague, arbiters as a failsafe for when angels cannot prevent their linked kings from abusing a heaven-granted immortality, and warmasters to deal with disastrous Blood Pacts that bring together calamitous warriors for catastrophic fated battles. Even the more menial jobs with regards to death are sometimes handled by the Larkspur, such as the paperwork…possibly the most boring job in existence.

But, most of all, they train Marques, master thieves whose job it is to deal with a rising population of liches, immortal corrupt beings who divide their soul from their bodies and store them in indestructible phylacteries. These liches are so mighty that no sword or spell can hope to quell them by direct means and, so, these Marques must make daring heists into these hellholes of evil, to steal the most guarded of treasured phylacteries, in hopes that the Order can purge them and deal with their linked liches forevermore.

Of course, the Order has no problem if a Marque makes a little bit of extra pocket change along the way…

My name is Silveris and hopefully, this will fill out some interest there’s been in a stealth-heist game over in the Game Planning thread. At the time of this ad’s posting, this is a rather preliminary ad, before I have any setting detail up, but I wanted to get some interest out there before I’m flying out over this coming weekend and have some more time to come up with ideas. In the meantime, the actual specifics of the setting can be improvised by the players by quite a bit; the tech level should mix between the industrial era and the more fantastic elements commonly seen in other Pathfinder games.

As for my style, I generally approach games from a setting standpoint, which generally means I prefer ROLEplayers over ROLLplayers. I generally like those who are active in the setting, which means I like players who are willing to generate heavy relations and I am very permissive of people who are willing to improvise interesting ideas.

If this interests you, I look forward to your applications!


App Information

Characters are going to take the role of Marques for the Order of Larkspur, thieves who deal with the rising plague of liches who trade corruption for freedom from death. These immeasurable threats can only be dealt with by stealing their phylacteries first, a job left to this shadowy order. Naturally, stealth is the name of the game here, as these threats are too difficult to deal with in a direct manner.

This is going to be a level 10 gestalt game. Note that this is not intended to be an invitation to break the game. I’m familiar enough with power tricks that I will spot most obvious abuses; you are warned.

House rule wise, there’s quite a few of them, listed in the thread here. The main house rule is a rejiggering of some ranged weapon, especially firearms for this setting. You will still need to jump through some holes to make firearms reasonable stealth weapons (these are not modern times with fancy silencers!), but these should help make them more reasonable.

Again, because this app is very preliminary, most setting materials won’t be posted until the weekend of Sept 1, so to give apps some more time to work with, I’ll be closing apps starting Sept 16th. That should give you plenty of time to work with. Of course, if you have your own setting ideas, I'm MORE than happy to allow them into the setting. I find that helps bring players into the setting even more.

Due to the nature of stealth combat, team apps are more than welcome. Apps can be private or not, depending on your preference.

Game Description:

“The God of Death has fallen! Long live the Immortal Hero, Ysami!”

So it was proclaimed a thousand years ago, when the Death God Amnesty tragically fell in love with the human hero Ysami and plotted to take her to the afterlife as his bride. Loyal to their duties to the mortal realm, which was facing unprecedented catastrophes with the rise of the Ravaging Serpent Ravayan, Ysami and her allies were forced to slay Amnesty as an impediment to the world’s liberation. But, with death being such a foreign concept to the gods, none of the pantheon were willing to become Amnesty’s successor, and they were slow to even begin the process of reconstructing the Gates of the Beyond to process people’s passing.

Even after a millennia of reconstruction, with even the great disasters of the Ravaging Serpent lost to history, the consequences of Amnesty’s death are still felt in the mortal realms. Kings maintain contracts with angels and offload the mortality of them and their closest subjects in the Celestial Order, ascertaining their righteousness with the light their angels shine. Ghosts wander the realms, bonding with special White and Black Valkyrians to settle regrets in the long interval before these spirits finally pass into the next realm. And warriors who find worthy rivals with each other sign Blood Pacts, ensuring the God of War’s blessing that neither shall fall except by each other’s hand through a worthy battle. All of these are overseen by the Order of the Larkspur, who unify the churches to handle the border between life and death in lieu of the gods.

But, the most disastrous consequence of Amnesty’s death is the massive proliferation of liches. When Amnesty ruled over death, his grip over the laws between spirit and mortal shell was what ensured that liches were undead, that their body felt the sin of forcefully separating themselves from their soul. Without his guidance, the lich ritual came to become so immensely powerful that corrupt beings who sought power could ascend without losing any of the flaws of being undead. With phylacteries that were nearly invulnerable from the corrupted laws of the spirit, these liches proceeded to devastate the realm over the millennia, and the lich ritual became more and more common among those who would seek power at any cost.

To combat this, the Order of the Larkspur have a secretive branch of thieves of unparalleled skill under their command. These thieves, Marques, come from all walks of life and personality. Some are honorable, who take the Larkspur’s call as a chance to utilize their skills against evil. Some are greedy, who find the Larkspur’s resources useful in accruing wealth without the watchful eye of the law. And others still simply find the Larkspur’s mission as a chance to hone their skills against the most well-guarded vaults in all the land. But, no matter what, each Marque shares a mission. To combat liches of all sorts, they sneak in, steal the phylacteries, and escape with them so that they may be purified by the Order of the Larkspur, so that the lich may be slain properly.

So it came to be that some of the heroes of the new era no longer basked in the light of valor, but lurked in the shadows of necessity.

Originally Posted by Silveris View Post
Re: Roles, Arklytte's got the most of it. In particular, faces (ALA Shadowrun style) are quite nice here because part of the idea is that liches are very hard to detect by the populace due to the warped rules of the setting. So while you, as part of the Order, might be aware of them, most might not be and your target might be hiding in plain sight. Also, the ability to gather information is another powerful role here as well.
Huh...I actually hadn't thought of a Face type character, but that makes sense. I'm guessing that our characters will need to be as adept at social infiltration as they are physical infiltration.

Heh...the more I read, the more I'm getting into the Shadowrun mindset, but with my favorite system (Spheres) mechanics!

Originally Posted by Yamazaki View Post
I think the TLR of this is: it's steampunk fantasy (think Dishonored and Thief) Shadowrun, and with lichs instead of dragons running the mega's. LOL

Ya know, I thought about hacking SR to do a steampunk setting, but I think this will workout better.

*begins to plot and scheme, laughing diabolically the whole time*
Dude! As if I wasn't already drooling over the possibilities of this had to go and put THAT into my head!!!

Oh lord! Yamazaki has an IDEA!!! Head for the hills folks!!

Originally Posted by Arklytte View Post
Oh lord! Yamazaki has an IDEA!!! Head for the hills folks!!

Okay, so I've been re-watching Venture Bros again. I can't help it - new season is airing and all.

I always felt that stealth based games would benefit from better perception rules and facing like those found here.


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