"Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

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"Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:49 am

On Sunday, something special happened: one of my players has completed a ritual granting his character Sorcerer-King status (this built up over several sessions). I'm pretty sure he was ready to hand me his character sheet and let his character become an NPC, thus taking on a back-up character he had introduced a couple sessions back. Instead, I thought it would be quite interesting to see what HE would do with the power of the Sorcerer-Kings. I had to give him some guidelines, of course. Guidelines, not limits.

As you have realized, I'm sure, in reading about ven culture, we don't know a whole lot about what the Sorcerer-Kings can do (or can't do for that matter). Essentially, he is playing the game in god-mode.
Here is what we established in OUR GAME about the Sorcerer-Kings (either through the course of the game, or as part of the revelations the character in question experienced when the ritual completed):

-Spectres are shades of the Sorcerer-Kings' souls. (Sorcerer-Kings have souls that endure beyond death, ven do not).
-The Sorcerer-Kings have a Public Name (grants 1 die), a Secret Name (grants 3 dice), and a Sorcerer-King name (grants 5 dice). They have no House name.
-They can fulfill any ritual they imagine by spilling blood, either theirs (more potent), or the blood of the ven (needs more blood). Rituals are not limited by time or space or any natural laws known to the ven.
-They have access to any Virtue they wish, as long as the House who represents the Virtue is unveiled. (The player character's second decree was that all veiled houses were now unveiled. The house of the Elk is also now completely unveiled, no longer half-veiled).
-After gathering dice as usual, they add ten dice to their dice pools (like Spectres).
-They are much taller than the ven (this is purely cosmetic, no rules changes).
-Ven run away in fear if they lack Courage. If they have Courage, they experience awe instead. (They either have a fear or awe rating of 10)
-Suaven and Fashuva are a threat to the Sorcerer-Kings and vice versa.
-The Storm, and Shanri, may have once been Sorcerer-Kings, or may be a step beyond the Sorcerer-Kings power.
-The Sacred Animals are respected by the Sorcerer-Kings.
-Orichalcum is the only known material to wound the Sorcerer-Kings.
-The Sorcerer-Kings cannot control Demons. (See the Wilderness book for more on Demonology)
-The Sorcerer-Kings have a Doom stat. We don't know what it does yet.

Next game session, the new self-proclaimed High King is hosting an Althua in which he invites the Earls of each House, including the newly unveiled Houses. Ten Earls and their entourage are invited in order to establish a new world order. Should be fun!
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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Re: "Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

Postby Nephandus » Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:43 pm

Dope. Keep us posted on new developments!
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Re: "Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:50 am

The newly founded Sorcerer-King has asked the Earls to gather, including the Earls of the Veiled Houses (now unveiled!).
He is creating a new world order and calls himself Emperor. He has brought them all to reveal the ven's common enemy: Shanri. He has decided to conquer Shanri.

So far, the Earls are taking it rather well. They see this as an opportunity to take advantage of the massive powers at the Sorcerer-King's disposal to manipulate and destroy their own enemies. Of course, eventually, it will end in tears, as it always does.

I'm giving the player character who is Sorcerer-King immense power. Anything can be done with little time as long as he keeps bleeding ven to death, collecting the blood in his crucible of orichalcum. So far, he has killed nearly 400 ven, and he is being conservative (and secretive) with the kills, growing his humble rank 1 castle into a Rank 10 Palace, with full amenities. He has also used blood to grow forests and mountains as well as other lands in order to produce more resources.

New / updated laws of the ven:

1. The Emperor is above the law. No ven is above the law.

2. No ven may commit Murder.

3. What you own is yours.

4. You own your promises.

5. Sorcery is sanctioned so long as it is not used to break another law.

6. No ven will make war to the Empire or its allies.

7. Let the punishment fit the crime.

New Edicts and Amendments
8. All vendettas, debts, crimes shall hencefore be purged. All ven are granted a clean slate.

9. All Suaven are to be brought to the Emperor's palace for inspection. To be in possession of a suaven's cocoon is a crime.

Duties of each House:

House of the Bear -
To Protect the explored and developed lands of the Emperor.
They are keepers of the Emperor's Hospitality.
The Earl of the Bear commands the title of Grand Master Hospitaler.

House of the Boar -
To scout and perform reconnaissance in the lands outside of the Emperor's Domain.
The Earl of the Boar commands the title of Grand Master Scout.

House of the Elk -
To counsel and advise the Emperor in all matters.
The Earl of the Elk commands the title of Grand Master Councilman.

House of the Falcon -
To explore and expand the lands of the Emperor, working based on intelligence gathered by the House of the Boar.
The Earl of the Falcon commands the title of Grand Master of the Emperor's Roads.

House of the Fox -
To create palaces and art worthy of the Emperor, to benefit the lives of all ven.
The Earl of the Fox commands the title of Grand Architect of the Emperor's Domain.

House of the Horse -
To be the heralds and representatives of the Emperor in the various courts and at the Senate.
The Earl of the Horse commands the title of Grand Herald of the Emperor.

House of the Serpent -
To police and sanction the use of Sorcery within the Emperor's Domain, command an inquisition and detect unnatural threats to the Emperor.
(Suaven and Fashuva have been deemed an unnatural threat)
The Earl of the Serpent commands the title of Grand Inquisitor.

House of the Spider -
To police and enforce the Emperor's laws.
The Earl of the Spider commands the title of Keeper of the Emperor's Laws.

House of the Wasp -
To unite the peoples and houses of the Emperor's Domain, to be ambassadors, arbitrators and negotiators on behalf of the Emperor and to fulfill his wishes for a unified Empire.
The Earl of the Wasp commands the title of Grand Arbiter.

House of the Wolf -
To raise and control the armies of the Emperor.
The Earl of the Wolf commands the title of Grand Master of the Emperor's Armies.
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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Re: "Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

Postby JustJonny » Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:50 pm

It occurs to me that the first two laws suggest that the emperor may feely commit murder, and more importantly, may legally be murdered himself. If no ven is above the law, but the emperor is a above the law, that suggests that the laws of the ven no longer apply to him, and that he's no longer one of the ven. That means any earl who manages to do the unlikely and kill him has a built in "I didn't murder a ven, because he's no ven," defense.

Obviously, any emperor worthy of the name has defenses sufficient to make legal protections irrelevant, otherwise he never would have made it that far, but the prospect of not just killing him, but getting away with it openly, should be extra appealing to the earls who are doubtlessly already plotting against him.
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Re: "Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:36 am

Exactly right! The Emperor proved without a doubt to all of the Earls that he was above them and the rest of the ven race. He used his power to entice them as well.

We just had a new session this past Sunday afternoon and the player who became the Sorcerer-King decided to make all of the Earls Sorcerer-Kings as well (and yes, that means they TOO are above the laws of the ven). He's essentially running a social experiment on the whole game and it's pretty great.

The Suaven who were brought to the Emperor were used to give the Earls the power of the Sorcerer-Kings. Now the Suaven are being systematically burned, without ceremony. It's the law.

New rules established:
Sorcerer-Kings come with DOOM attached to them (5 points at the start). This establishes that they are Artifacts (sort of).
They do not get Blessings like ven do.
They cannot summon and control Demons.

The Real Emperor is retiring to become a mystic, and a watcher, letting Shanri kinda run itself (possibly into the ground). He left a Sorcerer-King Tulpa in its place. Then he made his Sorcerer-King character an NPC so that he could play a ven character again.

So now, a year after the Emperor declared the new laws of the ven, the party consists of:

The Chancellor, a Heroic Character, Blooded of the Wolf, although now that the unveiled Virtues are available, he has chosen Horse's Service as his second highest Virtue (He is the right-hand man to the Emperor, same player who played Emperor/Sorcerer-King)

The Inquisitor, a Heroic Character, Blooded of the Serpent (She has access to Demons and just now realized that Sorcerer-Kings have no power over Demons whatsoever)

The Priestess of Mahl, a Heroic Character, Blooded of the Elk (She has given up her lands and titles to protect the Suaven, who are now endangered; she was just granted the blessing of making Ork by Mahl, her Patron Suaven; so far, she has summoned/created two Orks)

The Opportunist, a Heroic Character, Blooded of the Elk (She has been the consort of the Earl of the Wolf, who is trying to convince her to become a Sorcerer-King as well; she has been very reticent but not completely opposed to it)

I doubt we will establish more rules for Sorcerer-Kings anymore, but I'll keep updating on what happens to Shanri (and if/when it blows up).
Current story: to save or not to save Mahl from the flame, that is the question.
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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Re: "Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

Postby JustJonny » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:16 pm

What do you mean by "Heroic?" A non-Sorcerer-King?
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Re: "Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:36 am

I'm playtesting some new concepts for the game (Houses 2.0 if you will), including making Heroic characters, rather than the standard Tragic characters. Tragic characters get Style Points when they put themselves in trouble in the story, Heroic characters get style points when they help other ven.
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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Re: "Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:49 pm

Things have changed rather drastically, so we no longer have any Sorcerer-King PCs.

We are also experimenting with new houses and a whole new setting, as well as new Season Action system, which is now streamlined. At this rate, we are playing a very different version of Houses of the Blooded, a bit like what the Wilderness book represents in terms of changes.
We have developed a very different setting:

The World of the ven blew up (of course), and the Doom of the Sorcerer-Kings has changed Shanri.
Shanri is a scarred continent rather than a series of archipelagos, and is under constant assault from Shanri's Great Storm.
The Tulpa/Sorcerer-King/Emperor lives, although he is now confined to his Orichalcum Throne.
The Emperor has declared the Houses of the Bear, Elk, Falcon, Fox, Serpent, and Wolf now veiled, illegal, and to be killed on sight.
The Emperor recognizes no senate, instead he allows input from the Earls of the Houses of the Boar, Cat (Ven who have consorted with Demons and survived the great cataclysm by living in a Demon Demi-Monde), Ferret(formerly known as the Blooded of the Rat), Horse, Spider, and Wasp. (The Virtues associated with those Houses are, in order: Resilience, Charm, Innovation, Service, Patience, Harmony.)
The ven survive, although now they are more isolated than ever, due to the impossibility of traveling through the Storm.
Ven settlements have moved above the clouds (at the highest peaks or in airships. Sky Provinces), or in deep crevasses of cracked earth (Deep Provinces).
The Emperor keeps his lands protected from the Storm through his constant efforts and use of the Orichalcum Throne. He dispatches his right hand (The Blooded of the Horse), and his left hand (The Blooded of the Spider), to perform outside of his territory.
Outside of the Imperial Palace, a city has formed over the last thirty years since the great cataclysm.

I have plenty more campaign notes for the curious.

:)
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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Re: "Sorcerer-King", a Houses of the Blooded mod

Postby Lriot » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:06 am

Sounds cool, especially "new Season Action system". I'd love to hear about that ;).
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