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Old May 11th, 2023, 01:18 PM
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Eagle Eyes

This game is now no longer open to recruit reinforcements. Thank you for your interest.

Game NameEagle Eyes
Game SystemFATE
ThemeNoir in the Roman Republic
Flavournoir, investigation, action
Plot Summary
Top Secret!

You can't tell anyone what kind of work you do. And should you do it, the Senate of the Roman Republic will deny all knowledge and pull their hands off you, though likely not before they made sure that you won't talk again. Ever.

Then why do you do it? There is something you want more than anything else in the world. Have your brother released from prison. A parent returned from exile. A marriage partner that was out of reach. Or just plain wealth and influence. As long as it is within the power of the Senate, you shall have it ... after a suitably long term of serving the Senate.

Then what is it that you do? You deal with conspiracies for the Sinistram, a council of three Senators whose task it is to combat threats to the Pax Romana that should be kept out the public view; getting rid of an overly corrupt official, smoothing over differences between powerful families, resolving a blackmail case and the like. To do this, you have a nearly unlimited mandate as long as what you do doesn't expose the Senate or the Sinistram. Of course, your assignments won't be handed to you on a silver platter. There is an investigation needed before it becomes clear what should be done.


Eagle Eyes
Eagle Eyes is a This is more a setting book than an adventure book. It doesn't contain spoilers, so players are encouraged to download it.world of adventure for FATE, a 'Pay What You Want' on drivetrhrurpg. It is a Meaning that characters get to fight against wrongs but while they can win battles, they can never win the war. Corruption is there to stay. It also means characters sometimes need to take recourse to 'the end justifies the means.'noir game set in an alt history of the later years of the This came before the Roman Empire. It devolved in a civil war that eventually saw Julius Caesar grab power. His adopted son Augustus is considered the first Emperor.Roman Republic, the era that gave us Cato, Gracchus, Catalina and lots of intrigue, especially lots of intrigue. The Eagle Eyes do the special conspiracies for the Senate. Mostly, the organisation recruits its members. It could hardly be otherwise since nobody outside the organisation knows about its existence. Even all our history books are silent about them.

But they found you, dear players, and recruited your character into their organisation!


The Sinistram and factions
The Sinistram is an official committee formed by the Senate. Though official, they operate out of the view of the public, who are not aware of its existence. If cases need to be wrapped up in court they will not be involved from then on but most cases are dealt with outside of court. The three members of the Sinistram are all Senators but each has a specific task. One represents the patricians, the agents among the eagle who side with him are the Golds. The second represents the plebes, the Coppers side with him and the third one represents the spirit of the Republic itself, supported by the Laurels. These loyalties among the eagles not official but very real and lead to political intrigues within the organisation. When making a character, players should be aware that these loyalties do not at all have to follow their social status.


The Game
The game is based on FATE accelerated, using 6 approaches named after Roman Gods. If you're not familiar with FATE that's not a very big deal. There is a very good System Reference Document online and the core books are all 'Pay What You Want' downloads and of course My boy scout pledge still valid after all those years.I will help wherever I can. I'm targetting a party size of 3 or 4.

 


Regarding play style, I am not aiming for screens full of text but on the other hand, it should not be forgotten that fiction drives fate. The nature of FATE is that players announce what their PC wants to achieve, the GM then proposes how that should be resolved mechanically and then the action can be played out by making the necessary rolls. Once all rolls have been made, players can make their decision on whether to invoke aspects. Only then does the action become final. This does require a bit of back and forth. We'll try to streamline this procedure to avoid losing momentum. For example players could indicate under which conditions they would invoke to short-circuit the exchange somewhat. I'd like to try moving things along about once a week but obviously rolls and resolutions can be done on a shorter time scale (not must, I don't want to pressure anyone).

Though the setting is Roman Republic, I do not really expect more than general knowledge on the part of the players. Players are expected not to deliberately introduce anachronisms but it is nearly inevitable that some will slip in. Players who care deeply about historical correctness should be prepared to let such things slip. One change I am considering is the naming of the social class 'slaves'. If people are uncomfortable with that, I would rename it to serfs, which is derived from Latin servus after all.

The setting is essentially episodic, with one conspiracy per adventure. I think this suits PBP just fine and I propose to start with a simple conspiracy to see whether everything clicks. If and when, we can then do more complicated conspiracies. (the book mentions that conspiracies have a stress track. I think that is a misnomer as the idea is to tick off one box for every scene that brings clarity. A stress track would reset after every scene and so won't serve the purpose; I'll consider it a progress track instead.)

For game purposes, there are five social classes in Rome. I only give a very short description and will point to the source book (or the reading list therein) for further info:
  1. Those born into privilege, a member of Rome's ruling elite. Patricians are educated as a matter of course, often by slave tutors, with a mixture of classical history, philosophy, and oratory, as well as literacy and mathematics. They tend to see themselves as the keepers of the Republic, which they can also sometimes to justify all manner of sins. But in the long term they strive to keep the Republic together, if only to protect their own lifestyle.Patrician
  2. Those members of a legion, one of the many that form the army of the Republic. Generally plebians would comprise the infantry while patricians serve as officers and cavalry. The term is long, six to sixteen years, but comes with benefits of training and offers individuals a chance to get ahead in society. Foreigners might even earn citizenship. Due to their campaigns abroad, legionnaires and veterans could be surprisingly cosmopolitan.Legion
  3. Those born into the common folk of the Republic, making up the vast majority of its population. Plebians are true citizens of the Republic, a fact which most plebians take extreme pride in, as it separates them from slaves and foreigners. Given the weight of popularity and the power of social stigma in the Republic, the will of the masses is a very real thing, and astute generals, senators and patricians recognize this and play to the plebes whenever possible.Plebian
  4. A blanket term for anyone residing in Rome who is not a slave or a citizen. During the Republic period, Rome was a fairly cosmopolitan place, and visitors from North Africa, the Middle East, Northern Europe,and the British isles could all be spotted on its streets. they enjoy far fewer legal protections than the average citizen. Foreigners must deal with ever-present condescension from the Romans, but this behavior does allow foreigners a certain latitude in their behavior, as Romans expect them to act a bit odd. Foreigner
  5. Slaves are an everyday necessity in many Roman households, and not just the wealthiest ones. While many slaves are destined for a life of hard manual labor or menial domestic servitude, those withspecialized training or talents are in high demand and fetch equally high prices. Roman slaves have few rights, as expected, but also enjoy a certain social invisibility—they can easily blend into the background, gaining access to a surprising number of locations, so long as they are ostensibly on their master’s business.Slave


PCs
Characters have five aspects as in regular FATE but they are subtly different.
  1. Due to the prominence of social class in ancient Rome, a character’s high concept must include their social class in some fashion: Battle-Scarred Legionnaire Troublemaker, Ingenious Household Slave, Ambitious Wife of a Fallen Patrician, and so on. The actual name of the social class doesn’t need to be included in the aspect, so long as it demonstrates which class the character belongs to.High Concept
  2. An Eagle’s trouble should cover some difficulty that might arise during the course of an investigation, or that would complicate their involvement with the agency: A Coin in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Future, Injustice Makes Me Sick, Haunted by My Father’s Mistakes, and so on. Make the trouble aspect potentially relevant to your Eagle’s work, otherwise it won’t come up often enough during play. Trouble
  3. Despite—or perhaps because of—their cynical surroundings, many noir characters stand by certain ideals, higher notions that give them some sense of stability and purpose. Make this aspect reflect some deeply held belief, a fundamental notion that guides much of your Eagle’s behaviour: All Men Should Be Free, Speak Truth to Power, I Am Apollo’s Chosen, and so on. Even a more pragmatic Eagle might have a deeply held belief such as Never Trust an Honest Man or Anything for the Right Price to reflect their cynical nature. Ideal
  4. The petitio videtur is another powerful motivation, one that can keep an Eagle going despite terrible odds. It is the price they asked in return for their service in the Eagles, so it’s unlikely to be something they arrived at lightly. Knowing what an Eagle is working toward can be a wonderful way to understand what they’re looking forward to—and what they’re willing to do to get it. My Son Deserves a Better Life is the sort of motivation that can drive a person to do almost anything, after all, and even more selfish ones like One Day Soon He’ll Be Mine Forever or When I’m Rich I Can Afford to Be a Better Person can provide a lot of interesting ground for stories, not to mention compels.Petitio Videtur
  5. From the Latin for “excellence,” this aspect describes a talent or quality that makes the Eagle stand out, often why the recruiter sought them out in the first place. While it should not be supernatural, it can represent truly exceptional abilities or advantages, particularly those related to a specific field or talent. Sudden Death with a Blade in My Hand marks an Eagle as a dangerous enemy in a fight, for example, while Talk a Cat Off a Fish Cart represents a less lethal but no less useful talent for talking people into almost anything, and A Friend Around Every Corner means that the Eagle has a network of allies and informants, no matter the place. Regardless of the nature of the virtus, don’t be shy with it—this is the place to make an impressive declaration of ability. Virtus
As you can see, this does not leave room for a phase trio.

Since Eagle Eyes is based on Fate Accelerated, it uses approaches. These are renamed for this setting to have the names of a God(dess). These names have no mechanical meaning for the game and are just there to help immersion. Mechanically it's the point value that matters.
  • Minerva (Clever)
  • Mercury (Quick)
  • Juno (Careful)
  • Pluto (Sneaky)
  • Jupiter (Flashy)
  • Mars (Forceful)
Of these six, pick one at +3, two at 2+, two at 1+ and the last one at 0.


Finally, a character has 3 fate points as refresh, meaning they will be topped up to 3 at the beginning of every new 'session', and 3 stunts. If you can't think of any good stunts right now, don't worry. You can discover them during gameplay and it will be as if you always had them.
Applications should include
I ask interested players to come up with a short background that describes why the Eagle Eyes recruited them. In line with this, please provide the five aspects as described above. Feel free to also define your stunts. If you want some inspiration, there's a list with all examples from fate core here. They're for skills instead of approaches but they may give you some ideas.


Deadline for Applications
Applications are now closed.


Responses
Player Character High Concept Faction Status Feb 2024
oakfed Aspacanah Persistent Aswaran Golds Dropped out
Squirmonkey Levian Osmanthus Fanatical Ex-Legionary Laurels Active
Hotshot lasgun Jorunn Scarred Gaulish Assassin Coppers Dropped out
Elanir Dianthe the Hetéra Sophisticated Seductress from Ephesus Coppers Active


Last edited by Dworin; Feb 14th, 2024 at 04:57 AM.
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Old May 11th, 2023, 04:14 PM
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Hey!

I'm pretty interested in the idea of this, but I have many questions

On Eagle Eyes
  • The book mentions that each character comes form one of the 5 social classes, but those classes aren't described in this post. Perhaps you should add a quick description of them?
  • It also mentions there's sort of 3 subdivisions of loyalty within the Eagles. Did you have it in mind that characters would belong to one of them specifically? Or should we mention that with our character application too?
  • One thing I didn't understand reading the book is the nature of the Sinistram. Is the existence of that group known about by the public? Are they a group created legally by the rules of Roman Law, or a secret society that exists within the Senate super-judicially?
  • You mentioned "conspiracies have a stress track. I find this odd and will treat it as a progress track instead" is there any difference between these things?



On using FAE in PBP
  • Fate subdivides time into Scenes, Sessions, and Scenarios. Two of those are easily defined, a Scene is a self contained unit of play, and a Scenario is a Conspiracy. But normally a Session would be based on when in real-time the players got together and split apart again. Sessions control a lot of things too, milestones, fate resets, and consequences come to mind. How would you plan to define a session in PbP? I have several ideas you may want to consider:
    Defining Sessions
    • We could say that a session is a fixed number of scenes. In real play, this isn't exactly how it would work because a longer or shorter scene might take up more or less of a session, but I think it would be a pretty good approximation. The upside would be that it would guarantee session dividers are regular and predictable. The downside would be that the amount of play between session dividers could vary a good bit, as scene duration changed.
    • We could say that a session is a fixed amount of real time (say, 2 or 3 weeks). This would most attempt to model the roughly fixed amount of play that happens in a session in person, but could be hugely affected by posting rate, which could be problematic.
    • We could say that a session ends whenever the GM says it does. This could work, but it adds a lot of burden to the GM to remember to do this, and to make session boundaries different from Scenario boundaries. It also might lead to a lot of negotiation and uncertainty, as players would have no idea how long it was until their next fate refresh.
    • We could say that a session ends whenever a certain amount of damage has been dealt to the conspiracy. We'd have to play with the numbers. This would basically be like the "every X scenes" version, but it would be tied more to progress than to play. It would lead to a different feel of the game I think, making us more mission-focused, and less likely to spend time on fluff.

  • The rules mention that when you "concede" you do that after you're attacked, but before the dice are rolled. Obviously in PbP, things like that are much harder to interject in. Some ideas on how we could handle "Conceding":
    Conceding
    • Any time the GM wants to attack someone, they post that they're doing it, the PC posts whether or not they want to concede, and then the GM resolves the attack based on their description. This seems... awful. The posting rate required would be way too high.
    • We just let players concede after the dice are rolled. This seems like it takes a lot of the tension out of the concede mechanic, as you can hang out until someone actually lands a big hit on you.
    • Players have to declare conceding as a kind of contingency "the next time I'm attacked, I want to concede". This would require the GM to play fair in terms of being honest about who's getting targeted (and trying not to base it off who they know will concede), but that should be doable.
    • Players can't concede in response to an attack at all. They either concede before the enemy's turn, or the enemy's turn comes and they get hit. This is similar to how it would normally work, but makes conceding slightly more harsh.
    • When the GM attacks, they conceal the attack in a spoiler tag. The player has to decide if they're conceding before looking at what's in the spoiler tag. This would most truly replicate the way it would work in-person, but it requires a great deal of trust/honor-system on the part of the players, which may not be realistic.
  • You mention "This does require a bit of back and forth." as you describe it, it seems to require a lot of back and forth. What posting rate are you expecting for this game (this should probably go in the game ad too)? Would you be open to streamlining the process somewhat so that less back and forth is required? I worry that otherwise even simple interactions will take days to complete.
  • What timezone are you based in? Or what times of day do you most often expect to post? This may be more relevant than usual if you're expecting a lot of back-and-forth.


On Core vs Accelerated
  • You mentioned maybe wanting to do the game in fate core instead of fate accelerated. I'm definitely interested in the game either way, but I would personally want to know which version of the rules we're using before coming up with a character concept.
  • If we did go with core instead of accelerated, did you plan to change any of the rules to suit the setting better?


I think that's all the questions I had for now! More may come up later though.

Best,
--squirmonkey
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Old May 11th, 2023, 05:41 PM
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Great game idea! I will be keeping an eye on this.
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Old May 11th, 2023, 06:25 PM
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I don't have time, but I oh-so desperately want to be a part of this.
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Old May 11th, 2023, 07:04 PM
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Thanks, especially Squirmonkey. I will update the first post after work, there are some good questions.
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Old May 12th, 2023, 10:52 AM
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I'd be interested! Here's a first draft character idea. Still need stunts and skills.

Aspacanah

High Concept: Driven Aswaran (Persian noble cavalryman)
Trouble: Peculiar foreigner, technically a Parthian (and enemy of Rome)
Ideal: My grandfather will be avenged and my people will be free
Petitio Videtur: Rome will support my people against the ruling Parthians
Virtus: My arrows are inescapable

Aspacanah is a scion of a noble family in the city of Istakahr, restive under Parthian rule. His grandfather was executed by the order of the Parthian emperor Gotarzes. He hopes to influence powerful folk in Rome to help his people revolt (perhaps a triumvir will lead an expedition...). An expert horse archer and hunter. Not at all averse to using his novelty and good looks to advance his goals in whatever way seems promising.

The Eagle Eyes hope he can be useful politically. Sponsored by the Golds, perhaps by acquaintances or allies of Crassus?
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Last edited by oakfed; May 12th, 2023 at 10:56 AM.
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Old May 12th, 2023, 11:47 AM
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Still interested, Dworin, though I would like to know the posting rate that you have in mind.

I expect to have finished my application by Sunday. I am thinking of creating a character I am not normally very keen on playing, but this game might be just right for them.
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Old May 12th, 2023, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirmonkey View Post
Hey!

On using FAE in PBP
  • Fate subdivides time into Scenes, Sessions, and Scenarios. Two of those are easily defined, a Scene is a self contained unit of play, and a Scenario is a Conspiracy. But normally a Session would be based on when in real-time the players got together and split apart again. Sessions control a lot of things too, milestones, fate resets, and consequences come to mind. How would you plan to define a session in PbP? I have several ideas you may want to consider:
    Defining Sessions
    • We could say that a session is a fixed number of scenes. In real play, this isn't exactly how it would work because a longer or shorter scene might take up more or less of a session, but I think it would be a pretty good approximation. The upside would be that it would guarantee session dividers are regular and predictable. The downside would be that the amount of play between session dividers could vary a good bit, as scene duration changed.
    • We could say that a session is a fixed amount of real time (say, 2 or 3 weeks). This would most attempt to model the roughly fixed amount of play that happens in a session in person, but could be hugely affected by posting rate, which could be problematic.
    • We could say that a session ends whenever the GM says it does. This could work, but it adds a lot of burden to the GM to remember to do this, and to make session boundaries different from Scenario boundaries. It also might lead to a lot of negotiation and uncertainty, as players would have no idea how long it was until their next fate refresh.
    • We could say that a session ends whenever a certain amount of damage has been dealt to the conspiracy. We'd have to play with the numbers. This would basically be like the "every X scenes" version, but it would be tied more to progress than to play. It would lead to a different feel of the game I think, making us more mission-focused, and less likely to spend time on fluff.

  • The rules mention that when you "concede" you do that after you're attacked, but before the dice are rolled. Obviously in PbP, things like that are much harder to interject in. Some ideas on how we could handle "Conceding":
    Conceding
    • Any time the GM wants to attack someone, they post that they're doing it, the PC posts whether or not they want to concede, and then the GM resolves the attack based on their description. This seems... awful. The posting rate required would be way too high.
    • We just let players concede after the dice are rolled. This seems like it takes a lot of the tension out of the concede mechanic, as you can hang out until someone actually lands a big hit on you.
    • Players have to declare conceding as a kind of contingency "the next time I'm attacked, I want to concede". This would require the GM to play fair in terms of being honest about who's getting targeted (and trying not to base it off who they know will concede), but that should be doable.
    • Players can't concede in response to an attack at all. They either concede before the enemy's turn, or the enemy's turn comes and they get hit. This is similar to how it would normally work, but makes conceding slightly more harsh.
    • When the GM attacks, they conceal the attack in a spoiler tag. The player has to decide if they're conceding before looking at what's in the spoiler tag. This would most truly replicate the way it would work in-person, but it requires a great deal of trust/honor-system on the part of the players, which may not be realistic.
  • You mention "This does require a bit of back and forth." as you describe it, it seems to require a lot of back and forth. What posting rate are you expecting for this game (this should probably go in the game ad too)? Would you be open to streamlining the process somewhat so that less back and forth is required? I worry that otherwise even simple interactions will take days to complete.
  • What timezone are you based in? Or what times of day do you most often expect to post? This may be more relevant than usual if you're expecting a lot of back-and-forth.


On Core vs Accelerated
  • You mentioned maybe wanting to do the game in fate core instead of fate accelerated. I'm definitely interested in the game either way, but I would personally want to know which version of the rules we're using before coming up with a character concept.
  • If we did go with core instead of accelerated, did you plan to change any of the rules to suit the setting better?


I think that's all the questions I had for now! More may come up later though.

Best,
--squirmonkey
I have edited the first post for the first set of question. The remainder I will answer here to prevent the ad to bloat up too much.

Sessions are a problem in PbP. I was leaning towards every two or three scenes but while typing I changed my mind to after every claritas. Those should be the big scenes that matter and so give a nice, tidy, logical point. I'm not so convinced about mission focus vs fluff. You don't need fate points for fluff after all. Players always free to try and change the GM's mind.


Conceding: I'm open to letting players concede at any time before the attack is really resolved. That means after opponent has attacked but before defense is rolled it is still possible to concede. Consider also that conceding is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. There are still consequences but the main thing is that those are exciting for GM and players alike because they can open a new story line. There shouldn't be a problem in saying things like 'I'm probably going to conceed after the next round.' in my opinion, because the system encourages the player to think of the fiction while the PC is doing their in character stuff.

Yes, I had considered writing 'conditional' spending of fate points in the ad as way to shorten the procedure. I thought to leave the discussion till session zero time but we can have it now. So what I picture is: player wants to do an action and assumes that's, for example, create an example with ... If reasonably sure, just write your dice code and post to obtain the result. Put a WIP tag at first. If it needs an opposing roll, the player can decide something along the lines of 'if I'm one short, I will invoke ...' At any rate, the opposing roll should be made ASAP because resolution is needed to do a proper narration, which can then be edited into the post with the die roll. I'm in timezone UTC+8 (GMT+8), I'm online most every day and if it's just a roll it should hardly ever take me more than 12 hours to respond.

This is quite outside the traditional 'posting rate' which we can set at a more sedate once a week.

Regarding die rolls: I'm still fairly new here, but I am not really so fond of die roll threads or even OOC threads. I trying to trace back things that happened a few weeks ago, it requires digging in multiple threads and piecing stuff together. I think for things that directly relate to the scene (die rolls, discussion on resolution etc) can be placed in the game thread hidden with spoilers. Am I off-base here?

Approaches vs skills. In principle, the list in the fate core book is the default skill list, meaning it's meant to be critically looked at for every setting. I will make a proposal if more chime in in favour of skills.

I hope I answered your questions, please do follow-up if I left something unclear.
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Old May 12th, 2023, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakfed View Post
I'd be interested! Here's a first draft character idea. Still need stunts and skills.

Aspacanah

High Concept: Driven Aswaran (Persian noble cavalryman)
Trouble: Peculiar foreigner, technically a Parthian (and enemy of Rome)
Ideal: My grandfather will be avenged and my people will be free
Petitio Videtur: Rome will support my people against the ruling Parthians
Virtus: My arrows are inescapable

Aspacanah is a scion of a noble family in the city of Istakahr, restive under Parthian rule. His grandfather was executed by the order of the Parthian emperor Gotarzes. He hopes to influence powerful folk in Rome to help his people revolt (perhaps a triumvir will lead an expedition...). An expert horse archer and hunter. Not at all averse to using his novelty and good looks to advance his goals in whatever way seems promising.

The Eagle Eyes hope he can be useful politically. Sponsored by the Golds, perhaps by acquaintances or allies of Crassus?
Thanks very much for getting this started, and I must say: that's certainly not a modest Petitio Videtur!

I do feel that since your High Concept already places you as a foreigner that the Trouble should be a bit different. The enemy part may provide an angle. I'll let you decide but I was thinking along the lines of The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend, since the Parthians are enemies of both Aspacanah and Rome.

For your Ideal, you may want to consider making it a bit more abstract so it will be easier to bring it up during play.

Regarding skills: do you prefer skills (like fate core, 18 skills in a pyramid) or approaches (fate accelerated, as written in eagle eyes)?
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Old May 12th, 2023, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elanir View Post
Still interested, Dworin, though I would like to know the posting rate that you have in mind.

I expect to have finished my application by Sunday. I am thinking of creating a character I am not normally very keen on playing, but this game might be just right for them.
Take your time! I was thinking once a week for 'the GM post that moves stuff along' with 'as fast as we can manage' for small posts like die rolls and the back-and-forth of conflict resolution.

I'm looking forward to see what you come up with!
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Old May 12th, 2023, 08:49 PM
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Fun idea and nice system match! Congrats and a cool idea - I hope recruiting goes well, I'd love to follow this one.
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  #12  
Old May 12th, 2023, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts. I do have some more to discuss, but I agree that a lot of the particulars can be sorted out in play.

Here's a draft of a character concept

Levian Osmanthus
High Concept: Fanatical Ex-Legionary
Trouble: Cold-Hearted Bastard
Ideal: Humans are as Gears to Rome's Great Machine
Petitio Videtur: Only I Can Save the Republic
Virtus: The Stones and Bricks are my Eyes and Ears

Those I think are the names that suit those aspects best. Here's some detail on how I imagine their meaning.

High Concept: Levian was born a Plebian, and served for over a decade in the Legion, winning great honors there both as a soldier and a tactician. His service is a dozen years behind him now, but it instilled in him a great knowledge of the world, and an overwhelming belief that the Roman Republic is the only thing keeping mankind from descending into the uneducated uncultured masses he encountered in the rest of the world.

Ideal: Levian believes absolutely in the Republic. More than that, he believes that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, and that people have no individual worth beyond what they contribute to the Republic. As such, he stands among the Laurels.

Trouble: Levian's belief that individualism is fundamentally of no value devolves further into an unwillingness to acknowledge the emotions of others. Appeals to pathos do not stir him, and he is unkind as a matter of course. He truly believes it is a moral imperative for the many to crush the few underfoot. This easily alienates people whose help he could have used, if he were just willing to treat them with some kindness and respect.

Petitio Videtur: Levian's petition was that he be named the next representative of the Republic among the Sinistram. He knows this is a big ask, it means getting a plebian elected to the senate, and then appointed to a coveted position within the Sinistram. But this is what he wants more than anything, as he believes the best way to ensure the longevity of the Republic is to have a true believer like himself as its strongest advocate.

Virtus: Since returning from his service, Levian has made it his business to know everything that happens in Rome. Over the last decade, he has built up a massive network of spies and informants that crisscross the entire city, such that it seems as though the very walls report to him. If something happened in the city, it's likely Levian knows someone who saw it happen, or at least heard about it.

(This character is kinda a jerk and his Petitio Videtur is kinda a big deal. Lemme know if either of those go too far, and I'll come up with something else )


I'll write more on my thoughts on the mechanics later. Let me know what you think of this idea, for now!

Last edited by squirmonkey; May 12th, 2023 at 11:24 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old May 12th, 2023, 10:21 PM
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@Dworin this is your game, do what you wish, but personally I would not change the word 'slaves'. Reasons:

1) That's what they were called. To deny the past is to invite repeating it.

2) Roman's didn't treat their slaves as badly as some other cultures have through their histories. That doesn't make it a 'good' thing, but their slaves (usually) had a chance to buy back their freedom.

Recommendation on the side: Read 'Letters of a Younger Pliny'. It's a good book about a Roman lawyer whose letters were collected a few years after he died.
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Old May 12th, 2023, 11:19 PM
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here is the start of my character

characterlucius

high concept: hotheaded patrician duelist
trouble: never met a vice i didnt like
ideal: you cant make an omelet without breaking a few eggs
pertito videur: there are three things i will have more of: money, power, and control
virtus:


so for lucius, im feeling someone born in the lap of luxury, but never happy with what he has, always grasping for power and money and control. he definitely has killed many patricians sons over trivial matters of honor, and is definitely the life of the party. he's probably a lothario, known to sleep with other women, both married and unmarried. duels have occured because of this, and yet he's never been seriously wounded
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Old May 13th, 2023, 02:12 AM
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@savoylen Thank you for the kind words. All credits to the authors of the book, though.

@squirmonkey A very nice concept and well worked out. I don't necessarily have problems with characters being a jerk, as long as you don't let it degenerate into a shtick and I trust you on that. But the petitio really is a tall order. I really do like Levian's idealism but though Roman society may have been more fluid than I give it credit for, I'm afraid the senatorial class was pretty much a closed bastion. For them even to marry an equus (knighthood class) was probably a big deal and I feel raising a pleb would be asking too much.

@ladytron Thanks for the reading recommendation; it's been too long since I read anything classical and I think I never read this anyway. I 100% agree Roman slavery can not be compared in any way with the dehumanising misery on plantations that usually springs to mind when we hear 'slavery' and this, combined with modern sensitivities, was why I considered distancing Roman slaves by naming them serfs. But since nobody seems to find the issue problematic, I'm happy to drop it and save myself (and players) the complications.

@Hotshot lasgun You didn't ask for feedback but please allow me. Please keep in mind that the Sinistram recruits those they think will contribute to their organisation. Moral ambiguity is absolutely fine; it's the heart and soul of the organisation, but I feel you're describing a loose cannon which may not be a good fit. On your petitio: money, power and control are good motivations but I would like it if they could be more specific: enough money to do a very specific thing. For example, even 'buy a villa' would not work as well as 'buy back that villa in Cisalpine Gaul my father was forced to sell', because the former still invites doubt as to exactly how much is needed (big villa? small villa? cheap neighbourhood?). The latter also conveniently adds some background. For power and control, the same principles would apply but chose only one of the three.
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