Wicked Age


BlueSlime

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Aug 12, 2010
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#1
In a Wicked Age...

Concept: This is an independant rpg that I thought might be fun to try and run on these boards. I've only just discovered it, but I thought it might be a fun concept and something "different." It is not a numbers heavy system - although it does use dice to resolve conflict, it will be more free form than most games on these forums. No dice are rolled until someone says that something happens and another player or NPC says otherwise.

(ie: "I seduce your character into bed." "No you don't." (dice roll and descriptions ensue)

Setting: Sword and Sorcery, but more ancient world as opposed to medieval (think Conan and the Hyborean Age)

Plot: Depends - the crux of this system is that the plot is randomly generated. Four plot points are generated from a table by drawing playing cards. And all the PCs are chosen from characters suggested by those plot points.

Characters: So long as they are suggested by the generated plot points, there is not a lot of restriction on what your character could be - but the system makes all characters "equal" in the eyes of the story. So a powerful demon has as much a chance of affecting the world as a small child. (The PCs are the main characters, and therefore protected by the story itself - but just who is the protagonist is what needs to be determined.

Character Creation:

Every character assigns a dice to each of their 6 attributes. You have a d12, d10, d8, two d6s, and a d4 to assign to:

Directly
Covertly
With Love/Lust
With Violence
For Myself
For Others

Whenever your character is rolling in a conflict, you will roll two of these attributes. The highest result from either die will gain the advantage and set the bar for the opposition to overcome - if it can't be overcome on a subsequent roll, then the victor decides the outcome of the conflict in their favor. If more than two categories are appropriate, a player is free to choose which two categories he wants to roll.


Then every character creates a particular strength - this is something that sets your character apart from someone else, and can be as mundane or as magical as you want. A Particular Strength is assigned to one of your six abilities, and counts as an extra d8 that can be rolled when using that ability, if appropriate. Particular Strengths begin at Level 1 significance. For each level of significance, a strength can have one of the follwing qualities:

Broad (may assign a second ability to the strength, (ex: it could be used both Directly and For Others.))

Potent (it's a d10 instead of d8)

Far Reaching (this strength can affect things that the character normally could not physically affect. (ex: a far reaching excorcism strength would allow the player to affect an ethereal spirit that he normally could not touch.))

Consequential (the strength automatically targets a certain type of attribute, that it will reduce in others should it overcome them in conflict (ex: a Crippling Touch strength that is successfully used in a conflict would reduce the loser's "With Violence" attribute for the rest of the chapter.)

Unique (only your character can possess this particular strength)

After your character's attributes and strength are determined, players and the GM will determine what your character's two best interests are. The game encourages you to NOT work out a backstory. Instead, the idea is to discover your character as they work towards their goals. Often you will not know why it is in your character's best interest to do something, but you should work towards it nevertheless, and eventually the reasons will come to you as the story is woven together by the players and GM.


A Character Creation Example


Let's say that we generate the following plot points (taken from the Oracle of Blood and Sex)

The alliance by marriage of a certain tyrant's family with the cult of a certain desert god.

A field of herbs and wild flowers, alive with bees, where a certain half-bestial creature brings his many lovers.

A spirit of the lower air, caught up in joyous human celebration.

A company of desert horsemen, hiding a woman amongst them.

These plot point give us a large cast of characters, and we don't know yet how they're all tied up together, but they are all going to be a part of this story, so we can choose our PCs from:

The Tyrant
Tyrant's son
Tyrant's daughter
Tyrant's relation #3 etc...
Cult Leader
The Desert God
Cultist
The Half Beast
A lover of the half beast
Spirit of the Lower Air
Human celebrants (any partygoer archetype)
Desert Horseman Leader
Woman with the horsemen
Desert Horseman
(or anything else that someone thinks of that qualifies)


Blueslime wants to create a character. Liking the idea of the desert cult, she chooses to play Aurya, a Cultist Priestess. She assigns dice, and then chooses a particular strength, sandweaving, and assigns it the Potent quality.

Aurya, Desert Cult Priestess
Covertly d10
Directly d6
With Love/Lust d8
With Violence d4
For Myself d12
For Others d6
Particular Strength: Sandweaving. Significance 1. The ability to mold and control nearby sand, reshaping it with her will. It is a gift given to her by her Desert God. Must be used Directly. It's Potent, it's die is a d10.

No Best Interests yet.

*****

Once all the other characters are made and the GM has given qualities to the other NPCs (GM creates a master list of the NPCs) Each player in turn suggests a Best Interest. Once each player has chosen one, the GM chooses a best interest for as many NPCs as there are players. Then a second round occurs, followed by another set of NPCs.

So Blueslime gets to go first. Looking at her stats, Blue determines that Aurya is a subtle and self serving type, and also notes the plot point about the marriage to the tyrant's family. Making up her mind, Blue writes:

"It is in Aurya's best interest to bed and then marry Ashur, the Tyrant's son."

The other players take their turn. One player, who decided to play as the Half Beast, says that it's in his Best Interest to impregnate Aurya and induct her into his harem. Blue raises her eyebrow and notes how this might affect her character's desire to marry Ashur.

To further complicate things, the GM says that it's in the NPC Ashur's best interest to slay the Desert God - the source of Aurya's power and status!

Now it's Blue's second turn to introduce a best interest. She decides to involve another NPC, the Air Spirit.

"It's in Aurya's best interest to bind and consume the Spirit of the Lower Air."

Everyone else takes their turn, and Blue soon finds she has another problem - it's in the Desert Horseman Leader's best interest to prevent her wedding to Ashur.


Thus the story is set to take off. Does this pique anyone's interests?


Is there Ero?: Up to the players. The game lends itself towards sexual situations, but there's not going to be a grapple stat or pleasure threshold number. Up to the players as well as the GM to describe what happens.

Questions? comments?
 
Feb 6, 2009
5,165
48
#2
Re: Wicked Age

Hey, now that is an interesting system. I'm going to kep an eye on it, and I hope my schedule will allow me to post.
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,068
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#7
Re: Wicked Age

I have seen it been played on a forum where I lurk and it ended up telling an interesting story - so I'm eager to try it out for myself.

Since I've gotten several responses, I'll go into a little more detail, specifically conflict resolution and the concept of the "We Owe" list.

I'll start with the latter:

Since the system treats a PC playing as a god equal to a PC playing a child, there is a concept called the "We Owe" list. In short, it's the system's way of rewarding PCs for going into conflicts where they are statistically weaker than their opposition.

If you are the underdog in a conflict, your name goes on the "We Owe" list. It can go on the list multiple times. You may erase an entry of your name from the list in later conflicts to get a +1d6 to one of your rolls, or you may save your entries in the list until the end of a chapter (the conclusion of the current storyline). At the end of the chapter, the only person who is guaranteed to keep their character for certain in the next chapter is the PC with the most entries on the "We Owe" list - and additionally get to choose a plot point in the next chapter, rather than leave it to chance. They also get free healing to all stat injuries.)

What does this all mean?

If you want to play a big warrior who has a d12 in With Violence and a d10 in Directly, and all you do is go around trying to crack skulls, you will probably succeed for the most part, but the game will treat you like a villain - and you may disappear from the storyline from time to time.

But if you play the same big warrior, but force him to do something against the grain - like wooing a fae princess by solving a mystery with his wits as well as his sword, then you've got a better chance of making him a main character (and arguably, a better story).

(don't worry if you're not at the top of the we owe list however, with every new chapter, 4 new plot points will be created, and you'll have the opportunity to either play a new character, or put your old character in a spot that makes sense, if such a one is available.)


Conflict Resolution


As alluded to before. Conflict only occurs when two characters each want something different to happen with a scene. When such a conflict arises, the two characters roll two appropriate attribute dice. Conflict lasts for a maximum of three rounds.

The first round's dice roll determines who has the initial advantage. After all dice are rolled, the person who has the highest result from any single die is considered to hold the advantage, and may describe the initial action that occurs. If the the highest die result is greater or equal to twice the highest result of his opponent, then they win the conflict outright.

(An example from the rulebook is that a boy wants to find and woo a girl, while she wishes to remain incognito and avoid his notice, let alone his advances. The two characters are amongst a band of travellers in a caravan. the girl's uncle, an npc, wishes to keep her celibate until the upcoming Harvest Ceremony, and is determined to catch the troublesome boy and expel him from the camp.)

In the above example, the boy decides he is acting With Love, and For Himself. The girl is acting Covertly, and For Herself. The uncle, if he were a PC would be acting Directly and For Others, but NPCs are a bit simpler, so he would be acting with his Maneuver stats (don't worry too much about NPCs at this point.)

They all roll and the girl gets the best result with a 9, but it's not twice as much as the boy's 5, so she doesn't win outright. The Uncle gets a dismal result of 2 and 1, so the boy effectively eludes him and the uncle is out of the conflict, having failed to spot the boy getting close to his niece. However, the girl has noticed the would-be wooer, and drapes herself in a cloak and joins a game of sticks and stones played by other travelers around a campfire.

On the second round, only the boy needs to roll, and the target number is a 9, set by the girl in the first round. The boy's highest die is a d10, so it's going to be difficult. He's determined to find her though and so he eliminates a previous entry of his name from the We Owe list, getting to add +1d6 to his die result.

He rolls his dice, but rolls poorly, and even with the additional die only gets a 7 - the girl hasn't won outright just yet, but it isn't looking good for our young romeo. The girl pushes her advantage, dictating that the boy has yet to find her in the camp, and has been drawn into a drinking game by boisterous men at another campfire.

The final round comes by and the boy decides just to roll normally and hope for the best. He needs to exceed the girl's result of 9 in order to take the advantage, but the only die that could do it is a d10. He rolls, and by dumb luck hits a 10! Taking the advantage against the odds, the boy now gets to dictate the final result of the conflict and the girl must either agree to it or take an Injury or become Exhausted. (Permanent damage to their stats for the rest of the chapter.) The players may negotiate, and the loser may offer to take a damage to a specific attribute in exchange for leniency - but ultimately the winner is in control. The only restriction is that you cannot eliminate a character without their permission. (NPCs are fair game though.)

------------

If there's still interest after that wall of text, we could try running an experimental chapter to see if people like it and to get our heads around it. It will be my first hands on experience with it myself, so I will likely make some mistakes as well.

For those interested in researching the system - you can google search "In a Wicked Age" and the game designer is a guy named Vincent Baker. (he apparently does a lot of similarly wacky rpgs - some of which are very very adults only.)
 

Mamono Assault Force

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Jan 1, 2009
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#8
Re: Wicked Age

Sure, I'll give it a shot. The make your own story aspect seems pretty fun.

Although, I noticed the key terms Exhausted and Injury, which weren't explained in detail. From the gist of it, an injury is something you can heal with the We Owe stuff, and Exhaustion is the same thing, except permanent?
 
Last edited:

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
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Aug 12, 2010
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#9
Re: Wicked Age

Cool! I'll open it up to a poll for what Oracle (table) you want to generate your 4 plot points from. Anyone who wants to play can put in a vote. The choices are:

A.) The God Kings of War
B.) Blood and Sex
C.) A Nest of Vipers
D.) An Unquiet Past

----------------------

Regarding Exhaustion and Injury:

Yeah... i didn't go into detail about them because I was wary of typing out even more of a wall of text - plus I didn't have the rules on hand and didn't want to confuse people with my shoddy memory. ;)

According to the rules:

Exhaustion knocks a die size (ie a d10 goes to a d8) off of the victim's Directly and With Violence attributes.

Injury knocks a die size off of the victim's Covertly and For Others attributes.

By default the winner exhausts or injures the loser, and it's the winner's choice. The winner and the loser can agree to some other outcome that they both prefer.

-It can include reducing the losers other attributes, especially if such makes more sense storywise.

-It can include other changes to the losers character sheet, such as losing a particular strength.

-It can include wholly in-fiction circumstances. ("How about you capture me and chain me in your cellar instead of hacking my arm off?" "Yeah okay.")

-It can include death, even if the dice would not normally allow for it. (normally to be eliminated properly, you would have to be reduced to no dice in two separate attributes.)

-It can be a mix, like a reduction of one die size in a single attribute and also an in-fiction circumstance.
 

Mamono Assault Force

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Jan 1, 2009
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#10
Re: Wicked Age

D.) An Unquiet Past

And about the injury/exhaustion, that snippit seems to indicate that, whenever PC Vs. PC rolls occur, the main result is that the loser's stats are reduced. What you said earlier, is that the loser either agrees to whatever happens to them, or else they suffer the stat loss, unless I read that wrong. The only difference I see, is that if the winner decides they don't want to talk about it, they just slit your stats away, rather than having the loser come forward and say, "I would not prefer to lend myself to defeat in this manner, and would rather she loses something more significant."

Other than that, I don't suppose there's any other questions I won't have answered by doing anything other than playing the game itself.
 

ToxicShock

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Nov 10, 2008
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#12
Re: Wicked Age

C) A nest of vipers. By far. Sounds so much cooler with open sexual interpretation
 

BlueSlime

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Aug 12, 2010
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#13
Re: Wicked Age

D.) An Unquiet Past

And about the injury/exhaustion, that snippit seems to indicate that, whenever PC Vs. PC rolls occur, the main result is that the loser's stats are reduced. What you said earlier, is that the loser either agrees to whatever happens to them, or else they suffer the stat loss, unless I read that wrong. The only difference I see, is that if the winner decides they don't want to talk about it, they just slit your stats away, rather than having the loser come forward and say, "I would not prefer to lend myself to defeat in this manner, and would rather she loses something more significant."

Other than that, I don't suppose there's any other questions I won't have answered by doing anything other than playing the game itself.
Yes, the winner has a big stick to negotiate with - but since the point of the game is to satisfy your often conflicting best interests - and not to kill off the other PCs, then winning these contests and negotiating for what you want is the best way to achieve it. If the loser is trying to weasel out of things too much, you can just say "forget it, you're exhausted." Often the loser will be inclined to give you what you want and keep their stats in the hope that they will be able to interfere with your plans sometime later in the narrative.
 

Mamono Assault Force

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#14
Re: Wicked Age

I don't plan on making a character too serious, to start out with. One of my fun, yet simple minded characters with usually one goal in mind. She(it will be a she), will most likely not be interested in killing people, rather, more inclined to make servants or 'forced friends' out of them. I hardly ever play an evil character. It's more challenging to be good.

With that said, I'm eager to see my choices for my character.
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
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Aug 12, 2010
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#15
Re: Wicked Age

I don't plan on making a character too serious, to start out with. One of my fun, yet simple minded characters with usually one goal in mind. She(it will be a she), will most likely not be interested in killing people, rather, more inclined to make servants or 'forced friends' out of them. I hardly ever play an evil character. It's more challenging to be good.

With that said, I'm eager to see my choices for my character.
I'm eager too - I just want to give everyone else a chance to respond and vote on an Oracle. I'm thinking that 4-5 will be the limit for this test run. The game actually suggests 3-4 players.

So right now it's 2 for Unquiet Past and 1 for Nest of Vipers. Two slots are open.
 
Nov 10, 2008
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#17
Re: Wicked Age

The more I hear about the system the more interesting in gets. I'll go with C) A nest of vipers. Sounds like something that could be dealing with unsavory sorts, which can be fun.
 

BlueSlime

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Aug 12, 2010
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#19
Re: Wicked Age

Okay 6 players will be the cutoff - it might even be a bit much, but we'll go with it. :D

Okay, Nest of Vipers pulls ahead at the finish. So here are your plot points:

In a Wicked Age...

...A tower of silver and alabaster, which rises from the sea under the new moon.

...The unwitting husband of a serpent-demoness.

...The return of a reclusive enchantress to her home.

...A squat town on the banks of a wide, long river, rich from plunder, whose men raid up and down the river in their ugly boats.


----
I will let the players establish their own suggestions for a cast list but I'll point out the obvious ones:

The inhabitants (if any) of the tower.
The unwitting husband
The serpent demoness
The enchantress
The townsfolk, where the men are raiders.
 

Mamono Assault Force

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Jan 1, 2009
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#20
Re: Wicked Age

Almost immediately, I thought of the tower being something tantamount to a mage's tower, and the enchantress being someone who was exiled from said tower, and had intentions on returning to it, hence the 'The return of a reclusive enchantress to her home.'

With that said, since I don't like the other options too much, I would like to be one of the mages in the tower.