Thursday, April 19, 2007
"simulationist": is the style which values resolving in-game events based solely on game-world considerations, without allowing any meta-game concerns to affect the decision. Thus, a fully simulationist GM will not fudge results to save PCs or to save her plot, or even change facts unknown to the players. Such a GM may use meta-game considerations to decide meta-game issues like who is playing which character, whether to play out a conversation word for word, and so forth, but she will resolve actual in-game events based on what would "really" happen.
I am more of a Dramatist gamer:
"dramatist": is the style which values how well the in-game action creates a satisfying storyline. Different kinds of stories may be viewed as satisfying, depending on individual tastes, varying from fanciful pulp action to believable character drama. It is the end result of the story which is important.
Although when it comes to character activities I am a Gamist, I like player characters to have strengths and weaknesses that moderate their success and failure in game activities and can help give everyone a role within the game:
"gamist": is the style which values setting up a fair challenge for the players (as opposed to the PCs). The challenges may be tactical combat, intellectual mysteries, politics, or anything else. The players will try to solve the problems they are presented with, and in turn the GM will make these challenges solvable if they act intelligently within the contract.
This is where my simulationist bent comes in:
He (the game-master) is trying to actually find out what would "really" happen by modelling what is in the game world. Of course, it is impossible to perfectly simulate this, but he finds interest and value in the attempt.
But with the knowledge that it is a game, fictional, and impossible to accurately simulate "real" life anyway - which is where many game-masters fall down with failure to understand that what would "really" happen never would because the game isn't real.
Anyways this is from here if you are interested.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Eleutherios represents the heart beast that Vendaley failed to find in his failed initiation into the mysteries of the House of his training. Eleutherios is though also a survivor of the Cult of Dionysus and he wishes to rebuild the Cult.
Eleutherios and the Cult he represents had, before their destruction in the Late Republic of Rome, been filled mainly by Gifted or Magical individuals of Italian and Roman origin who worshipped Dionysus for the strengths that he gave them.
Through his powers, Eleutherios has identified a weakness in Vendaley’s ability to cast spells spontaneously and Eleutherios can set Vendaley on the path to self-release if he can be convinced to free himself from his own restraints and embrace the wilds of Dionysus.
Description and Personality
Sus scrofa is a huge Boarman, at 6'5" and with bulging muscles, an ugly countenance and bristling hair he looks built for war. Arrogant in his belief in himself but cowardly in the face of danger Sus is a survivor with one driving agenda, achieving what he wants and, generally, when the going gets tough Sus tries to get going as dieing doesn't interest him much. Unfortunately, he is duty bound to the Guild Dean and now Viriathus and cannot seem to escape the coming war.
The Scene for Sus
Sus does not know why he is here and he is feeling very lost. The last thing he remembers is leaving the Market after gaining a favour from Viriathus who the Guild Dean has now pressed into service for the Great War against the invaders. Sus had believed himself on his way to this war when he turned up here. Still opportunity presents itself, a human and some kind of Leopard to speak with and he doesn’t really want to be involved in the war if he can help it; he may get killed and he is far to important for that. Hopefully the Leopard does not want to eat him.
Sadly Sus scrofa was consumed by one of the PCs an NPC figment of his imagination and a follower of Dionysus.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
This is the concept for a Mystery for one of the players in our Ars Magica game. I had been working on a script based on the expansion book, I still plan on using the mechanics from this book but the in game acts have now all been developed in-game through the activities of the players. The Cult was to be rebuilt based on the understanding that the player could achieve through meeting one of the few surviving followers of the Magical being Dionysus who has been largely subsumed by the Fae after he was banned by the Romans. The Initiation rite appears so far to broadly involve suffering a medium wound, learning the appropriate Lore from a follower of Dionysus, sacrificing and consuming a Fae, suffering a minor flaw and taking a warping point. The minor virtue of potent magic is also granted, though the player does not know this yet.
The Cult of Dionysus, A Mystery Cult of the Magical Realm
Dionysus (Latin) or Dionysos (Greek), the Thracian god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficial influences. He is viewed as the promoter of civilization, a lawgiver, and lover of peace — as well as the patron deity of agriculture and the theatre. He was also known as the Liberator, freeing one from one's normal self, by madness, ecstasy, or wine. The divine mission of Dionysus was to mingle the music of the flute and to bring an end to care and worry.
Imagery, Symbols and Creatures of Dionysus
The bull, the serpent, the ivy and wine are the signs of the characteristic Dionysian atmosphere, infused with the unquenchable life of the god. Their numinous presence signifies that the god is near. Dionysus is strongly associated with the satyrs, centaurs and sileni. He is often shown riding a leopard, wearing a leopard skin, or being pulled by a chariot drawn by panthers and has been called the god of cats and savagery. He always carries a thyrsus. Besides the grapevine and its wild barren alter-ego, the toxic ivy plant, both sacred to him, the fig was also his. The pine cone that tipped his thyrsus linked him to Cybele, and the pomegranate linked him to Demeter.
The Rites of Dionysus
The rites of Dionysus include fire walking accompanied by ecstatic dancing, drumming, and forays into the woods or mountains by participants "possessed by Dionysus", as well as the preliminary animal sacrifice and distribution of meat to the village population.
The Rites had largely been stamped out by the Romans by 1st Century BC.
Epitaphs of Dionysus
Dionysus sometimes has the epithet Bromios, meaning "the thunderer" or "he of the loud shout". Another epithet is Dendrites; as Dionysus Dendrites ("he of the trees"), he is a powerful fertility god.
A thyrsus (thyrsos) was a sacred implement at religious rituals and festivals. It was made of a giant fennel staff covered with ivy vines and leaves and topped with a pine cone.
The thyrsus is a composite symbol of the forest (pine cone) and the farm (fennel). It has been suggested that this was specifically a fertility phallus, with the fennel representing the shaft of the penis and the pine cone representing the "seed" issuing forth. It was associated with Dionysus (or Bacchus) and his followers, the Satyrs and Maenads.
Sometimes the thyrsus was displayed in conjunction with a wine cup, another symbol of Dionysus, forming a male-and-female combination like that of the royal scepter and orb.