[Mummy: the Curse] Destroyer of Worlds (AP Podcast 'Book Club')

TheMartini

Gin martini. Stirred.
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Hello AP readers!

Many of us here have enjoyed and been inspired by DaveB's excellent Mage APs, and we've been eager for updates on The Man Comes Around. With the number of Dave's writing credits we've seen on Onyx Path products recently, and his new status as head of Mage development, we know why he hasn't had time to write up the game.

Thankfully for us, the Mummy: the Curse game he's running is being recorded and podcast over at In Sanity We Trust! I am really enjoying the story and being a fly-on-the-wall at their roleplaying sessions, but I really miss the reader discussions, interaction, and plot predicting that went on in the Broken Diamond, Soul Cage, and TMCA threads. With that (and after asking permission from the participants), I though I would start a slightly unusual AP thread here!

Welcome to the Destroyer of Worlds AP Podcast Book Club! While the adventures aren't being typed out, we can still listen in as it develops, discuss, and have fun trying to figure out how Dave will blow everyone's mind this time! Like a book club, we'll go episode by episode - I'm planning on discussing an episode a week until we are caught up and then as they come out afterwards. I'll post a summary and feel free to follow up with comments, parts you found interesting or funny, or anything else, but keep anything from either episodes we haven't got to or that may be 'secrets' from the Storyteller's side of the Mummy book in spoiler tags.

With that, let's get started. I hope that this is a popular and fun alternative to the written AP!
 

TheMartini

Gin martini. Stirred.
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Destroyer of Worlds - Episode 1

Episode 1

The characters, as we know so far:

Mahu is a Lion-Headed mummy of Ab, the Pillar of heart. He is a member of the guild of alchemists, the Mesen-Nebu. He serves the judge Hepet-Khet, the flame-wreathed one who judges those who revel in violence when committing what should be non-violent crimes. The character concept is the bitter, out-of-touch warlord. His previous cult was destroyed; his new cult is composed of ex-military sepoys. Physically, he is a pale-skinned, picturesque Libyan who is the ideal of a heroic warrior.

Meryet-Nit is a Falcon-Headed mummy of Ba, the pillar of spirit. She is a member of the guild of effigies, the Tef-Aabhi. We don't know her judge as of yet. The character concept is an architect who is seeking to rebuild the capital of Irem in Mumbai. Her cult is a sort of development corporation. She is ethnically an ancient Egyptian, with medium skin and very long dark hair.

Sefra is a Bull-headed mummy of Ka, the pillar of Essence. He is a member of the guild of necromancers, the Su-Menent. His judge is Maa-Nantuuf, the masked and bull-headed figure who judges those who pollute their body or soul. The character concept is a leader trying to resurrect the ancient religion of Irem. His cult is a group of Zoroastrians. At some point in the fairly recent past, he was thrown into a blast furnace and has been returned in the body of a willing member of his cult. As such, he looks Persian or Iranian, and has a well-trimmed goatee and mustache. He is heavily built, but nowhere near as tough-looking as he actually is.

Akmunhtep is a Serpent-headed mummy of Ren, the pillar of Name. He is a member of the guild of scribes, the Sesha-Hebsu. His judge is Bastu, the androgynous, snake-haired figure who judges those who try to cheat justice. The character concept is a seeker of knowledge and rare antiquities. His cult is a secret society of alchemists and occultists called the White Mirror Society. Physically, he is a Canaanite (Palestinian), bearded, wiry, and lean.

On to epsiode 1, wherein...
  • We are introduced to the group and the characters.
  • We learn the setting of the game: Mumbai, India, set in various times.
  • Mahu is dead, and then is not dead. He awakes in an unused hospital in CE ~2100. When he was last awake, he was in some sort of honorable battle in a pit full of skeletons and corpses - and he's now missing a hand. Via a woman - perhaps a cultist? - he learns that he was raised away from his tomb on his own orders and is to prepare for battle with his ancient enemy! He first met his enemy 150 years ago...
  • ...so we flash back to 150 years ago, just after World War II, during the partition of India.
  • Sefra is called back from Duat by his cult. The cult of an Arisen associate of his named Djedor has disappeared - they are Muslims and are presumed to have fled north to Pakistan. His called Purpose is to protect his cult during the riots that are currently going on, and to find out what happened to Djedor.
  • Meryet-Nit has been alive for several days now. Her purpose is to help her cult expand its base of power by land acquisition during the tumultuous times.
  • Mahu is called due to the rioting. His purpose is to impose some discipline in the chaos of dishonorable violence.
  • Akmunhtep is raised due to Djedor's disappearance as well. His purpose, though, is to see if he can lay his hands on any of Djedor's stuff :D
  • Meryet-Nit organizes an expedition to Djedor's tomb, and there is a gearing-up montage!
  • Mahu and his cult deal out vigilante street-justice to looters and muggers along the way.
  • Meryet-Nit uses Super Touch-O-Vision on a likely building and finds evidence of Djedor's tomb inside.
  • Mahu arrives, and the four Arisen and some of their cultists explore the building.
  • Perception checks are made; a minion heads upstairs, and (with a Wilhelm scream) comes flying back down.
  • A linen-wrapped humanoid creature has broken in through a second-storey window.

Next time: roll initiative!

My thoughts:

Quotes of the episode:
"Mahu, you are dead. Roll a new character." "Crap, give me 20-30 minutes guys!"

"There's a door in your way." "I PUNCH IT!" (and a later Mr. Boneypantsguy reference).

"What happens in Duat, stays in Duat." *high five*

The future scenes were fun - it was hard to tell when it was until it was later stated, actually, since from a 6000-year-old's perspective, 1947 looks much like 2100. As a note, in the episode it is stated that this happens 150 years after the 1947 setting (~2100), but the blog post says 2198. Revision after the fact?

Various Brenden Frasier Mummy references are inevitable. Am I the only one that actually likes those movies (well, 1 and 2 anyway)?

Mahu has Int 1. He is awesome. Well done to Mahu's player! As a not-really-a-spoiler, he continues to be awesome in future episodes.

It is mentioned that the local vampires are really weird. Certainly this won't come up again later...
Spoiler: Show
...it does...


The players try to use the fussing Tiny Baby as a sound-effect, but she stops every time they aim her at the mic :p

I have a hard time distinguishing the male voices on the podcast - hopefully this will get better as I listen more!
 

Drakeneisen

Registered User
Validated User
Re: Destroyer of Worlds - Episode 1

I have a hard time distinguishing the male voices on the podcast - hopefully this will get better as I listen more!
Yes, I enjoy the podcasts a great deal so far, but its very much Meryet-Nit and four English blokes (or possibly chaps).
 

Ageis

Segue Ninja
Re: Destroyer of Worlds - Episode 1

..... mummy thread!

Hehe I really liked this podcast.
Game sounded like a lot of fun but also I was greatly heartened by the sound of Dave B humming and hawwing a little as he spun his tale.
Sometimes reading the actual plays you can get the impression these wonderful stories leap from his head fully formed like some Greek God of storytelling.
Turns out he's human (or possibly a robot with a very realistic human voice can't rule that out with a sound file) all be it a damn talented one.
Guess that means there hope for the rest of us to run games like these
 

mysyndrome

Member
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Re: Destroyer of Worlds - Episode 1

Hi guys,

Glad to hear that there are at least one or two people who like the Podcast and that you've enjoyed my portrayal of Mahu as well, really made my day after a rather trying week! Never realized that some people had trouble differentiating Dave, Chris, Phil and myself, would the listeners like us to try different accents? I do an awesome Aussie accent ;)

Also episode 10 is now live, will be a couple of weeks before the next session.
 
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Iblardora

Retired User
Re: Destroyer of Worlds - Episode 1

My thoughts on 1st session:

I was wary of the game. I will be perfectly honest I couldn't see how the game would be worked to be fun with semi immortal characters, but then he called them Highlanders and that put it in a new perspective for me.

The baby is all kinds of adorable! :3 I love how they are including her in the game rather than setting her off to the side. Shes going to be rolling her first dice in no time.

So far the game seems just ripe for scene chewing and haughty accents. This may not be a bad thing.

Thats it... I am still trying to understand the game as whole but This first game has caught my interest.
 

TheMartini

Gin martini. Stirred.
Validated User
Re: Destroyer of Worlds - Episode 1

I was wary of the game. I will be perfectly honest I couldn't see how the game would be worked to be fun with semi immortal characters, but then he called them Highlanders and that put it in a new perspective for me.
Yea - I had no idea how the concept would work, but it seems to click. UNDYING COSMIC POWER (for a little while at least) but no real idea what is going on. As Dave noted, the serial amnesiacs means that you can (and knowing Dave's style often will) end up working against your OWN previous machinations, having forgotten what you were doing before - or even been trying to hide it from your future self.

One thing I hadn't though of until now is that, like in Memento, if you KNOW that you won't remember something fully, you can edit your own history by what you provide to your future self. With that, how much trust do low-memory Arisen put into what their cults tell them about their own history. How about writings in their own tombs to augment memory?

I can see why they seek to increase memory - that has to be frustrating (but balanced by having a purpose on non-Sothic arisings I guess).

Back on differentiating people, I find that I can tell when Mahu is speaking as Mahu, or Dave is speaking as the Storyteller, but between in-character Akmunhtep and Sefra, or most out-of-character remarks, it's tough. I am on ep 10 now and I'm at least starting to differentiate the characters of Sefra and Akmunhtep better. I'm sure it'd be easier too if we knew the people in question personally and could associate a face with the voice. Regardless, it's not subtracting from the enjoyment (just sometimes have to back up a short bit to verify which character is doing something sometimes).

Mysyndrome - the idea of an ancient, deathless Libyan warrior in modern India speaking with an Aussie twang is too good to pass up :D

As with Dave's Mage game, this got me intrigued enough that I bought the book - I had to know more about what was going on!

Next ep on Wednesday, I think, and there'll be more to talk about.
 

DaveB

No regrets
Validated User
Re: Destroyer of Worlds - Episode 1

The baby is all kinds of adorable! :3 I love how they are including her in the game rather than setting her off to the side. Shes going to be rolling her first dice in no time.
Trying to eat them, more like.

Katerina is semi-walking now, which means she tends to do circuits of the coffeetable we're sitting around, takes a great interest in my books and notes and has been trained by her fiendish parents to press the "home" button on ipads.

The mage group for The Man Comes Around has a baby in it, too, as Ellie and Jon (Tallulah and Cowl) have a son a few months older. My circle of gaming friends is just at that age, i guess.

(And should any brits come larping at Empire, the Spire of the Auric Horizon in Urizen has all of us in it, including the kids.)
 

TheMartini

Gin martini. Stirred.
Validated User
Destroyer of Worlds - Episode 2

Episode 2

Wherein:
  • Initiative is rolled vs. the zombie-like creature. It stabs them in their shadows. How rude!
  • Sefra plays the knock-down game, and Meryet-Nit reshapes the space-time continuum to connect the window the creature is trying to leave through to lead back into the room from another window. In its confusion, Akmunhtep stabs it to death.
  • The zombie creature is horribly injured and neglected. They bag it for further study.
  • They investigate the cellar where Meryet-Nit sensed the tomb. Finding a keyhole in the wall, Sefra uses the most direct method of lockpicking - smashing through the wall with his Pillar-enhanced prodigious strength. Due to the damage, he is forced to hold the incredibly heavy door up manually.
  • They find Djedor’s tomb - complete with Djedor, quite dead at the moment. They decide not to risk disturbing him by moving his body, but instead try to buy up the building to protect him.
  • Akmunhtep’s cult researches the zombie-creature. Mahu’s cult attempts to quell the rioting. Meryet-Nit’s cult goes about buying the building that houses Djedor’s tomb as well as a few more nearby.
  • Someone is working against the White Mirror Society’s investigations, but they manage to succeed anyway! Meanwhile, Akmunhtep goes on a curry-athon.
  • Meryet-Nit’s cult acquires the building and Mahu’s cult moves in to act as guards. Mahu himself stands judgement over two men accused of beating a family to death and taking their stuff. With judicious use of the Terror Sybaris, he acquits one, and decides that the proper punishment for the other is to have a hand removed. Old-school justice for thieves is done.
  • Meryet-Nit works on her plans for reshaping Bombay. Sefra explores and reads on the recent changes in the world.
  • Back from his exploration of local food and drink, Akmunhtep’s cult finds that the zombie-creature they killed is a servant of a Shuankhsen (evil not-quite-mummies).

Quotables:

“Is it contested by anything?” “...the number of health dots you have.” “It’s contested by ‘F$%^ You.’”

“Unfortunately, the thing to lock the door open...he broke.”

“Utterance: Aziz - LIGHT!”

“The mummy is only the puppet - the real mastermind is the tiny baby!”

My thoughts:

We see the basic power of the utterance of Blessed is the God King as well as the top tier of Palace Knows Its Pharaoh. This starts to show the high power-level of the newly Arisen. Not to mention that I believe Palace Knows Its Pharaoh has no Pillar cost when used in the mummy's own tomb, that'd be a fun one to have when screwing with tomb invaders :D

During the intro to the first ep, Dave commented that he'd go into it later on why they aren't using the God-Machine rules updates. Is it a matter of playing by the book (since Mummy came out just before the rules updates), or judging that it takes less effort to remember the older rules than to convert the Mummy stuff to the new system? For instance, I really like the newer attack/damage/armor mechanics, if nothing else.

Continuing to be awesome, I loved Mahu's chance to be judge and jury. But not executioner, surprisingly. Also, done with his purpose, Akmunhtep's curry-athon is a fun character decision.

We got to see the cult mechanics (Reach, Grasp) for the first time. Having read the rules, I think they do a pretty good job at abstracting your cult's actions so you don't have to dedicate too much complexity to them.

Giving a guess on cult foundations, I'd say: Mahu's security force/band of armed thugs is Tribal(?); Sefra's extended families of religious offshoots are definitely Tribal; Akmunhtep's secret society of back-alley alchemists is a Conspiracy; Meryet-Nit's development conglomerate is Corporate.

The Shuankhsen is setting up to be the 'big bad guy' of this tale as far as I can tell, but given Dave's history, I'm wondering if it really is the 'ancient enemy' of Mahu's that is referenced in the framing scene from the future... (...and I wonder if Dave knows for sure yet).
 
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