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May 11, 2009

Return of the Golden Parrot: GM Notes

Tags: , — inky @ 6:04 pm

Ok, what you need in this kind of improv setup is a vague idea of what’s going on, a list of names, and some power groups to interact with and start trouble. I’m going to try to get a little more tactical here so I also intend to make some zone maps.

So what’s going on is up for change as the game goes on, but the working hypothesis is going to be that Captain Danvers is a bad guy, that he intended all along to cheat his crew and keep the gem for himself and, furthermore, he is now up to something nefarious with this party. But that could change: he could have lost his memory, been replaced by a doppelganger, or just genuinely believe his crew is dead (but this last seems a little uninteresting unless then he turns out to be in trouble and need their help or something — clearly he can’t just hand the gem back to them).

Anyway, power groups. I figure I want at least a half-dozen and ideally more like nine, and obviously they should be linked to each other. Thus:

  • Captain Danvers:
    • Map: his estate
    • Minions: estate employees (guards with swords, etc)
    • Wants/plans: not clear; likely candidates including turnaround robbery on the guests, or doing some weird sorcery with the gem and the house and the guests’ souls
    • Notes: has the Sea’s Blood; estate has five guarding aspects of various types (dogs, guards who are watchful and loyal, voodoo spirits (?), exposed (and hence hard to sneak across))
  • Seven Blades (out-of-town thugs):
    • Map: warehouse by the docks
    • Minions: thugs with daggers, fists, and crossbows
    • Wants/plans: Perhaps Danvers stole money from them and they want it back; or perhaps they’re muscling in on the local smuggling trade; or both (maybe they don’t know who Danvers is — that might be why he stays at home)
    • Notes: Probably from Vodacce; named like Orio and Pipo and Lara and Gino and Isa
  • Local smugglers:
    • Map: smugglers’ caves? tavern?
    • Minions: smugglers (not very tough, but might set up (non-lethal?) traps)
    • Wants/plans: Worried about getting busted, worried about outsiders muscling in; don’t really care about Danvers (or does he have a deal with them to bring him in stuff? or is his estate on the smugglers’ tunnel, perhaps unknowingly? Or perhaps he knows about the tunnels and intends to use it to escape down to meet somebody?)
    • Notes: Are sort of good guys; smuggle to Vesten (“it’s an old family tradition!”); Tom and Ned and Sal and Meg
  • Pirates:
    • Map: pirate ship
    • Minions: pirates with cutlasses and hook hands and belaying pins
    • Wants/plans: Why are pirates in this area, anyway? Are they chasing someone? Or desperate?
    • Notes: Perhaps their ship is called the Golden Parrot. Wouldn’t that be enticing? Named like Bloody Dave and Pete the Peg and No-nose (he’s got a nose, but he’s a biter!) and Perkins
  • Old Money:
    • Map: ball (social map)
    • Minions: various nobles, old and young, who are arrogant, drunk, hot-tempered, bored, giggly, stone-faced, or hoity-toity
    • Wants/plans: Irritated by new-money folks like Danvers coming in and buying up the estates, but with land prices falling and blah blah; anyway, they want him gone, probably; but some probably also want to buy the gem if it’s awesome
    • Notes: Hoity-toity! Lord Roderick wants to buy the gem at the urging of his daughter Madeline; Colonel Williams leads the want-him-gone movement; Lady Genevieve is conciliatory but her son Arthur is hot-blooded and gets into trouble; Lady Samantha is young and cute and bored and dangerous (perhaps she knows thugs?)
  • Merchants:
    • Map: ball (social map), auction (social map)
    • Minions: various merchants, avaricious, ingratiating, sharp, friendly, drunk, social-climbing, eavesdroppy, sensible
    • Wants/plans: Want to make trade deals, want to buy the gem if it’s a reasonable price, don’t want to offend the nobility who they need to buy the wool from
    • Notes: Rachel is the top trader looking to buy the gem; Johannes is looking to bump her off his pedestal — they don’t get along (perhaps Johannes doesn’t even want the gem, he’ll just bid it up); Dominic is working with the smugglers
  • Local Farmers and Shepherds:
    • Map: tavern (social/combat map)
    • Minions: semi-rustic folk but come into the city a fair amount, dumb, quiet, watchful, quick to anger, get drunk easily, looking for a sharp deal, willing to cheat strangers, honest, clannish
    • Wants/plans: Think they’re being overcharged by the nobility, want someone to ask Queen Elaine to get rent prices dropped
    • Notes: Jim and Hank and Emma and Zeena and Nate; probably working with the smugglers

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