Friday, 3 July 2020

RITUALS

Content warning: animal sacrifice (mentioned).


The purpose of ritual magic in game is to...

  • emphasise the power and mystery of magic
  • to provide additional flavour, and to generate other :
  • create adventure opportunities (fetch quests for ingredients, research, casters etc.)

Rituals should:
  • Require a great deal of preparation.
  • Have a fairly specific effect (whereas spells, in game, work more like generalised tools).
  • Have a duration limited by natural cycles (night and day, lunar cycle, seasons etc.

In PARIAH, the closest thing to a D&D spell is an invocation: these require some sacrifice on the caster's part, and are less reliable. In contrast with "spells" rituals:
  • Require no personal sacrifice aside from time (often animal sacrifices are required).
  • Require components and specific timing.
  • Have powerful and predictable effects.

Friday, 12 June 2020

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

Extra-planar travel is not without consequence: upon returning from other planes of reality, individuals will find the world they once knew has altered in some way... sometimes subtly, but sometimes significantly.

Public domain image.

This concept is inspired by two tropes in pop culture, one well-established, the other on its fringes: the butterfly of doom and the Mandela Effect.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

PARIAH ACTUAL PLAY - DISCORD SESSION 02

This is a summary of the second session of the discord "voice chat" game of PARIAH. Have a look at the previous session summary or indeed some of the posts collected under the label pariah or even visit https://atelier-hwei.itch.io/ if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

The game is run as an open table: this week, one of the previous week's players was unable to attend but we were joined by another, so everything evened out!

Modification of original image by Jaan Van Eeden

DAY 2, WAXING CROW MOON
Weather is clear

After leaving the fishing village - and after a bruising encounter with apparent avatars of the spirit of the sea - the small pariah band continued their journey along the beach: Witheringly-Footed-in-the-Point, Fox-through-the-Spring and the two youngsters ("Boy" and "Girl") were joined by a young woman of the village, Antelope.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

PARIAH ACTUAL PLAY - DISCORD SESSION O1

Last night we concluded the fourth session of a discord "voice chat" game of PARIAH, and it occurred to me that maybe a brief summary of the sessions would offer some value. Have a look at some of the posts collected under the label pariah or visit https://atelier-hwei.itch.io/ if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

Starting regional maps, 6 miles per hex.

The players begin with a map of the region their characters have entered: the map is assumed to be a mental one, representing a combination of rumour and what they have glimpsed from the peaks of mountains.

PARIAH is now available to buy

PARIAH — the old school, psychedelic, proto-neolithic animist RPG zine funded through Kickstarter's ZINEQUEST 2 — is now available to buy.


You can pick up a PDF copy from Drive Thru RPG...


...print-on-demand will be available from the end of August. Drive Thru RPG should also include a full PDF preview.

Alternatively, consider obtaining a copy from itch.io...


If you are low on funds, free community copies will be available on itch.io from the end of August. Hopefully we'll have also worked out how to ship physical copies from itch by then too!

This was all made possible by the efforts of the 331 backers, soon to be immortalised on this site!

Monday, 18 May 2020

WOUNDED BIRD - Build a witch challenge

From the labyrinthine libraries of babel, this ancient piece of forgotten lore was retrieved at the behest of https://oicn.icu/2020/build-a-witch-challenge/.


What kind of witch is she?
Wounded Bird smokes herbs and speaks with spirits, and that is the true source of her power.. Had she been born to the hunter-gatherers, she would have been recognised as a great shaman.

In another life she would have been a a high priestess, drenched in the blood of her sacrifices at the centre of a stone circle... or atop a crude pyramid, enraptured by the chorus of 1,000 chanting voices.

Wounded Bird has seen these alternate timelines, but does not distinguish between them and her present fate, an old wisewoman on the fringes of settled society.

NEOLITHIC SETTLEMENTS

Those pariahs roam out in the wilderness and come from hunter-gatherer societies... but they occupy a neolithic world, a world of agriculture and trade and primitive settlements. Those settled peoples thus represent an opportunity for trade, for rumour-gathering, for allyship but also for conflict.


Monday, 11 May 2020

PARIAH MUTATIONS

I'll give you three choices. First, you can click on the mutate button and receive your mutation.




Choice two....

Sunday, 10 May 2020

HUNTER-GATHERER TRIBES

HUNTER-GATHERER TRIBES

What separates the pariahs from other hunter gatherer tribes is history: whereas the tribes can reach back many generations and rely on inter-band alliances cemented by marriage and trade, the pariah starts at year 0.

Otherwise, the tribes indigenous to a region organise themselves in a similar fashion to pariahs: they form bands of up to 60 members, though usually along familial lines.

Each band usually has an 1d12 infants, 1s12 youths, 1d12 adults and 1d12 elders. Infants cannot fight, youths and elders fight when cornered, all adults will engage in combat to defend their band.

Names
Roll, pick or receive inspiration from the naming tables below to decide what the rival tribe call themselves.

Tribes can be named after geographic areas:

GEOGRAPHIC INSPIRED TRIBAL NAMES
1
Burning
Creek
2
Cold
Fells
3
Fast
Glade
4
Great
Grasses
5
High
Hill
6
Lonely
Jungle
7
Mighty
Lake
8
Old
Mound
9
Shady
Mountain
10
Tall
River
11
Wide
Tor
12
Yellow
Woods

Eg. Tribe of the Tall Grasses ; The Yellow Mountain Folk; People of the Old Woods

...or a favoured animal:

Friday, 1 May 2020

PARIAH: TACTICAL SUPPLEMENT


After much to-ing and fro-ing I finally managed to get the digital editions of PARIAH out to its backers earlier today. When I put the manuscript together last month there was a LOT of material that simply wouldn't fit, and in between doing layout, working and avoiding the plague I assemble a lot of this surplus material into a series of supplements.

The first one off the press is the tactical supplement, being a compendium of combat rules and other stuff. Because mostly they're recycled rules from B/X, BECMI, 0e and 1e (plus some other stuff) it's available for free at the following link:

https://atelier-hwei.itch.io/pariah-tactical-supplement

Contents include:

* playing on hex grids
* stealth and listening
* damage reducing armour
* Aerial combat
* Old-school turn based initiative
* Death & dismemberment
* Random combat events
* fighting defensively
* Stat damage

Cover image courtesy British Museum.

If you prefer a google doc, have  a look here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lA7d7Te5EFrDiyarhD4smpRE12VE3CIT65h0J3E0inA/edit?usp=sharing

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

WILDERNESS ENCOUNTERS

If you haven't yet read it, go and take a look at Arnold Kemp's Encounter Stew post over at Goblin Punch because it really is much more elegant than my version:

http://goblinpunch.blogspot.com/2019/07/encounter-stew.html

Google dice, uploaded to my google blog via my google android phone. Sleepwalking into dystopia...
I really loved the mechanic of encounter stew, not just for its elegance but also for its spectacle: we each chucked a die into the bowl with the same gay abandon of adventurous 40-year-olds tossing car keys at a party hosted in the house that grows pampas grass on its front lawn.

I ran it a few sessions, but then thought about making a few alterations to squeeze it into the skill attribute check/ skill system I'd built for my table, and then followed with some setting-specific encounter tables.