[Cortex Prime]Void Knights and the Star Kingdoms

Brontes

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#1
This is mostly going to be a repository of my ideas, as I don't stay on this project consistently.

I wanted to do something with knights, quests, fairies, giants, and dragons except that all of those things are in space. The Star Kingdoms are slowly falling apart due to issues external - the arrival of giants, fairy machinations, dragon hoarding - and internal. Answering the people's cry for justice, a number of warriors and holy folk have congealed out of the Void to protect and aid as best they can. They're not the only people who can fight at the scale of giants and fairies, but they are among the best equipped to do so.

Certain assumptions that I'm making:
  • While there are numerous Star Kingdoms all over the galaxy, most threats and quests affect a solar system at the highest level of scale.
  • Void Knights may be the central hook, but it's also possible to play local citizens who have something making tackling giants and fairies viable.
  • I don't assume that the citizens are human default. That said, being a hypothetical species with multiple limbs or other useful traits isn't going to be relevant to the story unless you take Distinctions or Talents to emphasize it.
  • I use the word 'kingdom' mostly for aesthetic purposes. I'm not opposed to Star Kingdoms that have different forms of government.
  • While giants, fairies, and dragons are bad news when hostile or imperialistic, there's plenty that are benign. Also, while not common, hostile and imperialistic Void Knights do exist.
  • I'm not getting into the rigors of space travel for this iteration. Most actions are handled on-foot as it were.
PC Archetypes I want to use:
  • From the Void:
    • Void Knights: Warriors congealed from the Void to answer calls of justice. Their weapons are capable of cutting certain brands of magic.
    • Cold Priests: Worshipers of the gods within the Void. They weave blessings and offer whatever wisdom can be found from nothing.
  • Locals:
    • Helm Knight (tentative name): People who make use of the Star Kingdoms' advanced prostheses. Sometimes warriors, but often used as administrators in various kingdoms.
    • The Blessed Child: People touched by divine providence or magic.
    • The Noble: Princes, princesses, children of dukes, whatever. More likely to be a social character, but their station can give them access to magical weapons.
    • Sorcerers: Natch.
I'm currently using Cortex Prime and I have a broad idea of what mods I want to use from it: Distinctions, Attributes, Roles, Specialties (MHR-style), and Talents as the sources of your dice pool. I will also probably add Stress and want to flirt with Hero Dice.

Roles that I'm currently thinking of are Councilor, Courtier, Rogue, Scholar, Seeker, Warrior. Councilor is sort of the healer Role on top of giving wise council and Seeker is a quasi explorer/survivor/physical labor Role. Certain archetypes can also expand Roles: The Cold Priest would use Councilor for blessings and the like.

I went with Talents instead of Distinction-specific SFX because I assume a certain level of setting agnosticism, but some Talents would still be locked by Archetype with a few Talents being universal.

Currently, still need to noodle through what Attributes and Specialties I want to use and brainstorm Talents.
 

Brontes

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#2
The Void Denizens
  • You Are Knights, Not Kings: You were called to uphold Local justice, not your own. Respect their ways.
  • You Are Knights, Not Pawns: Still, demand respect when earned and do not let them subvert your fellow knights.
Warriors, priests, and others still who answered the desperate cries of the Star Kingdoms. Information about their origins are sometimes hard to discern. Most of the denizens that roam the Universe share a location of origin and broad social customs, but it's not unheard of for denizens that currently occupy the Kingdoms to hail from different eras of the Void. There is mention of other polities and factions that exist in the Void, but ancient oaths and magics seem to draw out the Void Knights in particular.

PC Archetypes.
  • Void Knights: Warriors congealed from the Void wielding illusion-cutting blades and density-piercing spears. The most obsessed with upholding the oaths that summoned them and honing their virtues like knives.
  • Cold Priests: A misnomer, there have been several gods worshiped by the Void and the roster has changed over eras, but the Cold Priests are the most numerous and so the name stuck. They grant council, heal the wounded, and grant strange boons and blessings.
  • Abyssal Exiles: Even the Void has its share of criminals. They answered the call to escape their crimes, only to wind up in worlds much worse off than theirs. Experts in manipulating shadow and cold.
Other things of the Void
  • Null Sovereigns: Otherwise called Tyrant or Traitor among the Void denizens. On the rare occasion, a denizen breaks their oaths and seek to rule a piece of the material universe, often accompanied by transforming the environs into something of the Void.
  • Other polities are presumed to exist in the Void, but citizens from those places are rare in the Kingdoms. Their appearance may be tied to strange anomalies and the workings of sorcerers.
  • There are plenty of things from the Void akin to animals, ranging from steeds and beasts of burdens of the Void to vast beasts and space-faring hunters.
 

Brontes

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#4
I'm trying to figure out what my Archetypes do and what Talents that should give them or what those would look like.
  • Void Archetypes in General: Should emphasize magical or martial power and strangeness over temporal or social power as they're strangers to the Star Kingdoms and their ways. They might not possess a monopoly, but they likely have a number of talents keying off heroic success (or Hero Dice should I flirt with those). Standard Signature Assets include abyssal beasts, void weapons, and the occasional blessing.
    • Void Knights: The Fighting Void Knight. They do wield illusion-cutting blades and density-piercing spears, however.
    • Cold Priests: Councilors, healers, and prophets whose Talents should emphasize strange blessings of the cold and void
    • Abyssal Exiles: Sneaky and cunning, they can manipulate shadows and seemingly teleport among their other abilities. Last I checked, motion is heavily abstracted in Cortex games so I might need to fudge it a bit.
  • Local Archetypes in General: Should emphasize some combination of martial, magical, and social/temporal ability.
    • Helm Knights: Use advanced prosthetics to fight and interface with the machines of the Star Kingdoms. They're commonly employed as administrators and governors, but warriors are not uncommon. Should have talents that revolve around prosthetic-based Assets and machines.
    • Nobles: Mostly focuses on social and temporal power, but might have a magic weapon or connection due to wealth. Signature Assets might be a sign of office or an ally.
    • Blessed Children: Usually has some kind of magic blood, blessing, magic weapon, and a folk hero affability.
    • Sorcerers: A bit undefined at the moment, I'd like to see more Cortex Prime games come out before I do too much development on magic.
 

Brontes

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#5
So coming back to this a bit belatedly, I think I want to move back to Distinction SFX rather than an Archetype locked Talent system, although I still plan to differentiate between Void and Local player characters.

I'm still looking for a good list of Attributes, though I might just steal the Swashbuckler set.

So I think the list of traits are broadly:
Attributes
Distinctions with SFX
Roles:
Councilor, Courtier, Rogue, Scholar, Seeker, Warrior
  • Councilor advises, governs, ruminates, and soothes. You might roll to advise, heal, or to appear trustworthy among other things.
  • Seeker is the Role of questing, hunting, and survival. You navigate forests and ruins and push things around with Seeker.
Signature Assets with SFX
And maybe some kind of Specialty system ala Marvel Heroic, though I do not know what to put in it just yet.

I'm not familiar enough with regular Cortex to know what a good Distinction would look like, so I'll probably try to eyeball things for now.
 

Brontes

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#7
Roles and (MHR-style) Specialties cover the same territory. I don't think you really need both.
Fair enough, I guess I could introduce Role-specialties instead. Though I'm not 100% sure what the edge cases are. Like what Role would I use to build things? I want to say Seeker for Camps, reinforcements, and traps and Scholar for everything else. Magic generally changes from Archetype to Archetype. Locals typically use Scholar, Void magics tend to be infused throughout the Roles, but probably favors Councilor. Among NPCs, the magic of the giants manifests through the Seeker Role and Courtier for Gentry glamours.

Universal Distinctions: Distinctions that anyone can take. Typically emphasizes special traits (extra limbs, heat sensing eyes) or fighting styles.
Local Distinctions: Distinctions used by the inhabitants of the Star Kingdoms. Typically emphasizes temporal power and a few assets.
Void Distinctions: Void exclusive. A combination of strange magics and likely the most common heroic success manipulators.
 
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