The Resurgent City
The city-state of Vectany has a long and storied history. In ages past, it was a magocracy ruled by cruel mages who pursued power to the point of breaking their nation. A bloody uprising ended Old Vectany, as it is now known, and left a damaged and weakened land in its wake. Over a century later, Vectany is on the rise again. Led by a council of merchants and guarded by a fierce order of brave knights, the city has regained regional prominence. Nestled between mountains and sea at the end of a great river, it has always been a player in trade. Now it has the military might, both on land and sea, to once again enforce its will on smaller surrounding cities and towns. Whispers of empire circulate, but is exchanging wizards for merchants enough to avoid the disasters of the past?
After a brutal period of witch-hunting, Vectany today once again tolerates mages. While strict laws prevent those trained in magic from achieving certain posts of leadership, the practice is no longer banned, and a few small schools have even opened. Trade has ushered in immigration and exchange of ideas. Vectany is evolving rapidly, but as with all such evolutions, tensions are also on the rise. Smuggling is widespread as those of means left out of the political leadership circles seek other means of boosting their stature. The gap between the wealthy and the common class has grown substantially, and lust for prestige and wealth threatens to corrupt the proud knightly order upon which the city so depends. Other groups, most notably the clergy, vie for greater political influence. Resurgent Vectany is a place of opportunity, but also of conflict brimming beneath the gleaming surface.
Welcome to the OOC and recruitment thread for The Resurgent City, a new PBP adventure for Triptycho. What's Triptycho? It's an indie tabletop RPG that normally uses dice and cards, distinguished by its three scenario system that gives it its name. Combat, exploration, and interaction each get complete mechanical systems for cooperative resolution. Each system is designed to work off the same set of core mechanics to make it easy to learn while being differentiated enough to evoke the scene being emulated. Triptycho is currently in development (by me); it's shown up at some conventions near me, but it's not yet available to buy.
However, rules for playing without cards are now available online for free. This adventure is the first complete playtest using these alternate rules. Playing without cards reduces the complexity of the game, making it suitable for PBP or for trying out the game before going and buying cards and such. It's also the only way to play the game before I can get this thing published! Long-term it's recommended to play with cards, especially at higher levels, but rules-light groups and improv-heavy players may prefer to play it this way anyway.
The short version is... there isn't one! A key design goal of Triptycho is supporting player-driven narratives. Emphasizing non-combat elements equivalent to combat ones and making dungeons less of an aspect of the game as a whole means the game supports story-based pursuit of character objectives. Scenes should be fun and interesting even outside of dungeon slaying and looting.
To that end, I'll be looking to each player to provide a synopsis of their character. You have pretty broad freedom here as the world is intentionally low on established detail precisely to support such creativity. I'll use your stated goals and such to craft an initial setup, and where we go from there is up to the group. But don't worry - if things get aimless or stagnant, I'll do the usual introduction of events and such to make sure adventure finds the party.
The game will begin in the city of Vectany. From there it can go anywhere; a metropolis adventure entirely within the city is possible, or it could head into nearby mountains and caves, or forests, or even off into pocket faery realms. Most problems will be able to be solved multiple ways, and the scenarios that we run will depend on which method you employ. I'm not saying you can talk (interaction) your way out of every problem, but I'm not not
saying that either.
How To Play
First, the forum-centric stuff: characters will be built and edited in this thread, and all OOC commentary goes here. The main thread will be for IC stuff and playing out scenarios. Because Triptycho uses dice for both offense and defense, I'll handle all the dice rolling. That'll keep things simple and prevent bogging stuff down. I won't be fudging any rolls here - I'm very interested in the mechanical playtesting part, so I want to know exactly how things might play out with random dice.
I'm also going to try to avoid putting images into the threads, which means no maps for things like the battlefield in combat. Instead I'll try some ASCII maps and lists of where all the entities (PCs and NPCs) are located. Triptycho uses zoomed-out abstract positioning instead of traditional squares, so this should be a lot easier than in most other games. Non-combat maps will be even easier.
All the rules for playing Triptycho are available on the online wiki
. For the purposes of playing this game, I recommend reading the Quick Start Guide
and rules for playing without cards
If you want to learn more, there's a complete Player's Guide
with all the details in a traditional chapter-by-chapter format. Or, you can use links and the search feature to read individual wiki pages on game concepts. Some of the more useful sections of the Player's Guide include Gear and Wealth
After reading the above rules summaries, follow the Character Creation Guide
to build your character. I request only that no two players choose the same Role for any scenario. There are nine roles to choose from in each scenario, so we should be good there. Essentially, your character will be composed of a Background, three Roles, and your Gear and Holdings, along with narrative / backstory information.
We are starting the game at level 2
. Since we're playing without cards, that means every character will start with 30 Wealth. Follow the suggestions in the Character Creation Guide for spending this Wealth; however, since you're deckless and level 2, you'll probably want to buy at least one item for each scenario, maybe two (as you get a second item slot as a deckless character). Each Role entry defines the starting HP/EP/WP and how many you gain per level; apply the gain once in this case (per Role).
You'll also start the game with 1 Asset. Since I don't yet have vehicles available, the only thing you can spend 1 Asset on is a Stables, which grants you a free Riding Horse. You can't sell this horse, so if you want a different mount, you'll have to buy it separately. You may gain a second Asset during the course of playing level 2; by selling the Stables, you could then purchase one of the many Assets that cost 2, granting you additional Training, HP, EP, or WP.
Race isn't really a thing in Triptycho. Most PCs are assumed to be human (or mostly human). I'm open to non-standard ideas, but there are no special rules for non-human characters. There are no elves, dwarves, or orcs; most non-human people fall into the Seelie or Unseelie faerie courts, which live very much apart from human society (in their own pocket realms). Most PCs that aren't 100% human have some sort of fae blood in their lineage somewhere. Special lineages are usually reflected in your chosen Background, so get with me if you need something that isn't available in the current list. I'm open to crafting new ones.
The Intrepid Party
Lord Strident Bellows
Patrician | Strategist / Hunter / Scoundrel
I'm looking for 4 players to join the group. Currently, 2 of those slots are reserved as @Endless_Serpents
have expressed initial interest. Two additional slots remain open. Once all slots are taken, I'll still accept some reserve slots in the case of players swapping out, and I'm open to potentially running multiple game threads if there's a whole lot of interest in it.
This is intentionally sparse, but I'll include what I have. This information is nowhere near comprehensive, and you're welcome to supply your own. These things all come from the flavor text of various cards, many of which aren't available to us in this mode, hence the transcription.Society & Culture
The setting of Triptycho is female- and LGBTQ-friendly. There is no broad inequality among genders, and orientations and genders are casually accepted. Only the rare, usually remote, society breaks this norm in some fashion, typically as a result of some dramatic event. Many beings, such as the nymphs of the faerie and succubi of the demons, default to non-standard or fluid genders.
Alchemy, herbalism, and minor magics are all common, resulting in a much greater standard of living for the average person than you'd otherwise expect from the level of technology. Even remote villages with few resources benefit from mystical herbs, enhancing health and quality of life. This helps stabilize population numbers despite all the dangerous monsters and horrific events that regularly occur.
Steampunk-level technology exists, though only a few societies have broadly adopted it. It has a small, fiercely-devoted fandom of advocates and practitioners. Some places, particularly those with a strong culture of magic, still outlaw it, and due to a historic catastrophe where a place called Thrane Castle was utterly destroyed, mixing magic and steam technology is almost universally illegal.
Necromancy and speaking with the dead are usually tolerated, but death magic is outright banned almost everywhere. It uses the living, mostly through sacrifice, as a source of power. Actual animation of corpses is also frequently banned or heavily regulated.
Knighthood is a widespread practice, complete with aristocratic connections and jousting tournaments. Fiefdoms are rare, however.
Higher education is available, but usually only for the upper class.
The following list is incomplete but serves as a template for how gods in the world are defined. Gods may or may not be gendered, at their own discretion.
Religion & Cosmology
THE STAR PAINTER
Goddess of light and stars; initiator of creation
THE WEAVER OF MELODY
God of sound, music, laughter, and speech
God of knowledge and history who keeps a record of all things
THE FATE DANCER
Goddess of luck and destiny
THE MARROW OF ANIMUS
God of war, pain, dissonance, and individuality
Many adherents are good people, but bad people often justify their acts through worship of this god.
THE AUGUR OF PERDITION
Fallen god with an unknown former name
Peered too far into the future, witnessed the end of all things, and was driven mad by the vision of it
Only revered by doomsday cults, worship is outlawed in nearly every society.
It is general knowledge that there are many gods, and most people worship or at least give respect to several of them. The average commoner may not have one they hold above all others, and even priests often work in the service of multiple gods, though most do have one they revere above the rest. As a result, while each god has a doctrine of rules and consequences, they tend to be short and focused.
Gods sometimes answer prayers with signs, communicated words and phrases, and visible acts. This is more likely to occur as devotion and servitude are continued.
Some forms of magic (Thaumaturgy, Shamanism) are powered by the gods and faith. Most gods aren't very particular about how this power is used as long as the wielder is sufficiently devout.
Religious rites are central to all faiths. They possess actual power, though subtle. Offerings are common, even expected, with each deity having their own preferred set of options.
Many priests travel the world, performing minor miracles in remote places to aid commoners and grow the worship of their preferred god. Few engage in actual conversion, instead trying to promote additional reverence and adherence to their doctrine(s).
Various angels serve the gods in different ways, not always in a manner one might broadly consider to be "good." Demons exist as counterparts to the gods, though some serve The Augur of Perdition and even The Marrow of Animus.
In addition to deities, some cults worship dragons, demons, and other entities of power.
Stars are crystalline formations visible in the night sky. They can be reached through portals and sport strange, exotic flora and fauna.