MoonHunter Sayeth 20180615


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Setting: Empire of the Emerald Road - Agents of Blue Lotus

Seven Worlds

Bound by Fate

Conquered by other worldly armies

Held by the Magic of the Emerald Road

Ruled by the Masters of the Emerald Robe and their Mandarins.

Seven Worlds, One Empire​

It is the 12th year of the Seventh Reign. One would think that The Empire would of adjusted to the rule of Aveldar The New (to reinforce the difference between him and Aveldar the Mighty). Competitors in The Last Contests are suddenly having "a spat of bad luck". In fact, the second contender had choked on duck bones. The Boirn, son of Aveldar, was nearly killed yesterday in a hunting accident. That was the last tile in this game that could be written off as "chance".

To those of a conspiratorial mind, one could see tampering with the next Contests by eliminating competition or those with a point bonus. Of course, the next scheduled Contests will be in 188 years. But if something happened to The Master of the Robes.... a new set of Contests would be called.

The Blue Lotus is the symbol of the Mandarin of Order. It is also used as the emblem of The Imperial Tea Consortium. While the Mandarin does administer the tea producing region of Pedrales (and other places) and The Imperial Tea Company, his true job is to safeguard The Empire from those that would disrupt the function of The Master, the work of the Mandarins and Imperial Green Robes, and the stability of Things Important. (He also deals with issues surrounding "those of other worlds".)

You (as a character) work for The Blue Lotus. You have unique skills and unique points of view. He thinks there is a threat. You will act upon those thoughts. First investigate the accident. Next look into other events. The third contender is the High Lord of Kegrn, may be in danger or may be the the cause of these problems.

Remember, to most, The Blue Lotus is only in charge of Tea and its import/ export. While that is important (and might secure you invitations to locations), you are on your own.

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This is a setting that I created as an example for Waunder's Way, a Trans Dimensional Setting. The Empire was designed to show that "small dimensional groupings" are out there, separate from Society. It is specifically designed as an example, rather than a playable setting. It had:
  • We had a conqueror to be an archetype for other dimensional conquerors.
  • There was an easy to handle number of spheres. (Why they don't have to be as detailed out as single chronicle worlds, they are still "worlds" and need elements
  • We had The Emerald Road as a unique way to get across the dimensional barriers. Every setting should have a unique turn on the expected (i.e. gates). The Road is the twist for the setting.
  • We have some history, but not a painful amount.
  • Diversity of character types are found here. (Limited Diversity in Intelligent Species)
  • An interesting Magic system interwoven with the spheres (keeping mechanical weirdness down to a minimum).
  • There are a couple of hooks for each sphere and The Empire. There are separate hooks for the Society Clans. Every setting should have plot hooks, even ones that are examples.
It ended up being an interesting setting. There is an interesting, if not dramatic, push and pull by the various elements in the setting. It provides many options for adventure. You could have a basic fantasy adventure game or something with a bit more detail.

Oh of course you know I would go with more detail.

That is why I tapped the Mandarin system. They must have agents and clerks and administrators that work under them. There must be a Mandarin in charge of "secret things" (if not several).

Welcome to being a (secret) agent on a fantasy world.

This distinction becomes important as it focuses the characters. Since the group will be working as a "Team of Agents", players will be designing their characters to be together to solve "espionage" missions in a mission impossible way. (The Empire is mostly low magic, so magic substitutes for the tech that always goes wrong on a Mission Impossible mission.) So they will need a Face or Two, a magicker of some stripe, an infiltrator/thief, and maybe a fighter, some other characters... depending on the number of players.

For long term play, I would have extra protagonists in a pool to draw from.

When GMing games like this, I will use a data map to 1) keep track of the conspiracy behind it all, 2) keep track of the elements of the immediate investigation, and 3) map for how all the spies (protagonist side and antagonist side) know each other (if they do).
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