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[Conspiracy of Shadows] Pirates Fighting Lovecraftian Evil

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
#1
A friend asked me what I would use to play a pirate game and while brainstorming different ideas the concept of using a pirate crew that has turned its back on society in order to fight a Lovecraftian conspiracy just lit my fire. So here we are.

I haven't read the book yet but will do so this week. I skipped to Chapter Six, page 101 and just started makin' up my own conspiracy. Here's what I came up with:

The core of the conspiracy is the Hungry Leviathan, Devourer of Atlantis. Beneath him are his spawn and two secret societies, one that has witness oddities on the seas and jealously guards mystical secrets and the other a group of nobles who wish to be spared when the world is once again flooded. Both of these groups are made up of cells in kingdoms and nations all over the old world and their conflicts have flared up in the island colonies of the New World.

Their ultimate goal is to flood the world, allowing the Leviathan to feed on the weak while the strong are kept alive in their Holy Arks.

Secret Society of the Holy Ark

Each one believes they are the sect that will truly be allowed to float above the Leviathan's feasting. They become members by being of noble birth and rising into the higher ranks of officer in a royal navy.

Brotherhood of the Flying Fish

The brotherhood claims its members from the rank and file sailors around the world. When a ship encounters one of the Leviathan's monstrous spawn or the body of one of the more humanoid breeds, most on the ship will keep mum. But one fool always has to stir up trouble and when they do, the brotherhood is there.

They offer membership and if they are willing to swear powerful oaths and pass several rough moral tests, they will be accepted to this bloodthirsty group.

The brotherhood has no idea of its ties to a beast of the deep that wishes to bring about the end of human existence. They only know that they are tied together by their experience with the mysteries of the seas and that their benefactors have ties to these mysteries. The head of each cell knows that their contact is in fact a sea monster that can walk like a human, a Deep Spawn.

The brotherhood and the royal society have in fact crossed swords but the Deep Spawn make sure the conflicts are never too destructive. The Deep Spawn administrate both groups and dole out artifacts from the fall of Atlantis, saved at the bottom of the sea or the Leviathan's bowels.

These items are mostly attuned to controling the weather, making storms, summoning sea monsters and such.

The players might know that there are sailors with tattoos of flying fish who often sleep in chapterhouses in most ports. And their stories should link them to naval officers who are rivals, having acted as amoral villains (but they won't know that they are doing so in an efforts to appease their undersea masters).

Questions:

What is in the island colonies of the pseudo-Carribean that the Leviathan gives a fuck about? Shouldn't he be hell-bent on getting folks to the poles to get those puppies a meltin'?

What do the resources of the islands mean to these people? What's there that is worth having?

I played in a wonderful 7th Sea game and listened to
my beloved GM talk about how he would do it
differently. So, I'm using Theah has my
pseudo-Europe. I don't plan on the game taking place
in Europe/Theah but that's okay, if it happens, it
happens.

Mike, you can ask Paula or Jeff but I'm a flexible GM
and will go with the flow.

I plan on the game taking place in the Islands, which
is what the folk call the Carribean in this world.
Colonies in the New World are just taking shape with
the colony of New Vendel just taking hold and
thriving, though you are far south of that.

I will make up a map of the Islands once we
get-a-gaming and I've had a chance to look up stuff.

The quasi-Europe out of 7th Sea that I'll use is
called Theah and it comes with a long meta-plot that I
am promptly throwing out of the window.

There is an Africa-analogue too but I'm stuck for a
name at the moment and a middle east that is called
the Crescent Empire.

I am not going to go out of my way to use any of the
7th Sea metaplot but if you happen to be familiar with
it and want to throw some into your character history,
that's fine. If you want to make up your own shit,
family names, a secret society, etc. GREAT!

The system that we are going to use is called
Conspiracy of Shadows and other than a very small part
of the book I have not read it in its entirety but I
think it will suite us fine from what I have read of
it.

Theah - (think Europe) magic, swashbuckling and such.
Alexander Dumas meets George R.R. Martin in a dark
alley and they fight, then get drunk and have a love
child. That child is Theah...

Eisen - (think Germany) ruled by various Dukes who are
just recovering from the Centuries War, putting their
nation back together.

Vendel League - (think Northern Europe) great traders
who have minted the Guilder as the coin that all of
Theah now measures its economies by and old Norse
magicks who want nothing to do with the mercantile
interests that have recently enveloped the country.

Avalon - (think Great Britain) faeries and an
Arthurian Queen, with faerie stones that will take one
to Faerie and a beloved Queen who has an open truce
with the Good Neighbors.

Vodacce - (think Italy) strega witches, city-states,
ancient artifacts from a fallen empire and family
feuds that erupt on the flash of a blade.

Castille - (think Portugal and Spain mushed together)
torn apart by war with Montaigne.

Montaigne - (think France) dashing musketeers and a
mysterious General leading the people to war.

Ussura - (think mythic Russia) impenetrable forests
and great magics.

The Vaticine Church - (think quasi-Catholic) with a
Heirophant, Head Inquisitor and such.


At this point character concepts are more than
welcomed. We can brainstorm for a while. I'd like it
if you were all having some link to a vile conspiracy
among the royal navies of the world, particularly the
noble-born officers. The nature of this conspiracy
will be figured out and created by you during place.

Paula says she wants to play the First Mate, I'm
inclined to give Mike dibs on the Captain, since an
RPG about pirates was his idea in the first place.

I am inclined to think this will be a game that will
start as a one-shot and then, if it works, might grow
to be a once a month thing if its workin' for
everyone.

Thoughts?
This morning I got a bit psyched and headed down to the Map Room of the library where I work. Got me photocopies two maps of Terra Nova, the New World from the 17th Century. Should work just fine.

I've read the CoS rules and really like what I'm seeing. I'm running TRoS right now and the combat system feels quite a bit like TRoS lite. GREAT. Like The Shadows of Yesterday, the game has pieces of some of my favorite games, kickers, descriptors, TRoS combat maneuvers, SA-like passions.

I think I'll throw in Shadows of Yesterdays Bonus Dice in the hands of all of the players because I think that mechanic is neat as hell and would work nicely.

Next up, chargen, cell creation and such.
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
#3
urbwar said:
Judd,

Sounds pretty neat! Looking forward to seeing more about this one
Thanks, man.

It might be two weeks or so before we can meet and make characters. We'll see how it goes. After printing out those kick-ass maps, I'm pushing to get this game to the table...might even run it for two groups.
 

urbwar

Hallowicked
Validated User
#4
Paka said:
Thanks, man.

It might be two weeks or so before we can meet and make characters. We'll see how it goes. After printing out those kick-ass maps, I'm pushing to get this game to the table...might even run it for two groups.

Yeah, I've wanted to run this game for awhile myself. Now that NerdNYC started the QGA (Queens Gaming Auxilliary), all the local gamers here are working on setting up one shots for us to play in. CoS is one of the many games on my list of games I want to run for the QGA now (and man, I do have at least 6 or more games I want to run, like CoS, Cat, Enemy Gods, Unbidden, Two Fisted Tales, and many more!)
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
#8
Ian Noble said:
Paka -- OMG!!!

Great stuff, man... consider it stolen!

- Ian
Thanks.

I never thought I'd use Theah. I loved the 7th Sea game I was in, taking place entirely on Avalon and I dig these quasi-historical worlds ala Rokugan.

I'm hoping to use it as a kind of backdrop, a way for me to disregard history and just have some pirate fun. I'm hoping that the lion's share of the game takes place in the pseudo-Carribean that I'm thinking of naming the Horned Archipelago. Anyway, we'll see.

Anything you steal, please post how it works out for you.

Thanks again.
 

Andurion

Registered User
Validated User
#9
Paka said:
Questions:

What is in the island colonies of the pseudo-Carribean that the Leviathan gives a fuck about? Shouldn't he be hell-bent on getting folks to the poles to get those puppies a meltin'?

What do the resources of the islands mean to these people? What's there that is worth having?
Are these questions PCs will ask during the game, or are you asking RPG.net for some ideas? Whatever the case, I'll be watching this thread with interest, as I want to do a Cthulu-esque pirate game some day.

Jon
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
#10
Jonathan Moyer said:
Are these questions PCs will ask during the game, or are you asking RPG.net for some ideas? Whatever the case, I'll be watching this thread with interest, as I want to do a Cthulu-esque pirate game some day.

Jon
The questions were meant to be chewed over in the thread with suggestions being most welcomed. Thanks.
 
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