Friday, October 9, 2015

SeedBoneMeat: Turning collaborative story telling into a non RPG game

I am wondering why I put my creative energy into RPGs instead of - say for example - writing stories.

The answer is really simple: RPGs give instant gratification and feedback. There is an audience. And this audience is even rewarded - by participation as well as by score tracking system and by rewards for building their characters.

They also don't need a lot of written preparation. You can plan the game under the shower or while doing  a hike and those little splinters of ideas - which can be replaced later by other ideas while just daydreaming - or just put in practice on the gaming table.

RPGs provide a lot of tools to structure the plot and character creation process. There are random tables and die rolls. There are backbones of a setting laid out that can be used to support creators.

So how can we transfer these features to a non synchronous medium? Sure: there are online forum discussions and even online forum games. But the later does not really work so well in my experience. Most of the games take too long to take off and die quickly.

We need a short set up period. There should be the possibility to drop in and out quickly. That can be done best, if there are standardized elements - like character archetypes - that can be used across different realizations of the narrative - different game sessions.

It is also important that there is no need to do too much preparation work, like reading long pieces of text. Contributors would be further motivated by getting score points for every piece of text created - as long as it is a deeper development of a collaboratively designed element - as well as special acknowledgement - karma - for pieces that are well received.

All the elements - setpieces - should be small though. A collaborative writers worst nightmare is the person who starts adding more and more stuff without collaborating any longer. Somehow this energy some people develop has to brought to good use.

What I envision now is a three layer structure: SEED - BONE - MEAT

Seeds are just ideas thrown out on the gaming/writing table.

Bones are created the moment when the seeds are connected to the work already done.

Meat is turning the bones into real text.

Meat has a style texture (skin?) that can be decided on, on the bone level. But probably that is only a suggestion.

There can be different manifestations of the outer layers created from the lower layers - done by different contributors, or even by the same person. In the end it is decided in the group which of the manifestations is
made canonical.

To make all of this work. It is most important that there is a limited time frame. People are not supposed to feel that any of their ideas rejected will take the spotlight of them for too long. This creates frustration and would turn the collaborative effort into a something similar to trench warfare.

Potentially even a randomizer (dice, cards) could be used to take some tension off the cherry picking.

One question that remains is, if there is need to structure the seeds even further. For example into:

characters, locations, interactions, plot twists, scene exits, scenes, etc.

Currently I think about being pretty lose with that. Probably it is best to give a category to each seed. That way contributors can work on in parallel on the same kind of seed. E.g. "everyone creates a location seed now!" Those parallel created seeds can than be ranked and put into categories like "Needs to Be Used", "Maybe" or "Vetoed". As people are forced to rank, it is to be taken less personal.

(Having seed categories should also help to solve the issue of creating too much of one category.)

On the bone level creating connections should be rewarded - but also questioning connections or adding a twist to connections.

The question is whether the connections can be seen as seeds themselves. Maybe they are similar but they definitely belong to the 2nd level. Except for that there is probably not much left for the bone phase anyways.

One issue that comes up is that while everyone is creating seeds (and connecting bones?), is that there will not be much talk. RPGs live from the constant chat. But they also don't create text and are synchronous. The seed-bone-meat(-skin?) game is not supposed to be that. Therefore that should not create issues.

But if it asynchronous, is there a need for a session structure? Would it be possible to just provide a big tool box? I feel that there needs to be a certain pressure. A deadline - an guaranteed end helps with that. The tighter it is, the better. The issue is that asynchronous deadlines are hard to make happen. My best hope is that the reward (karma) structure will help with that.

Karma should expire, creating an urgency to use it. But it is still undecided what Karma actually allows you to do. Probably you are given something like director rights: e.g. what seeds are created next? what bone category do we need now? Probably the Karma can also be used to gain an extra vote in the ranking process.

Now comes the tricky process of meat creation: I never enjoyed turning ideas into final, detailed text. But I think that this process can hopefully gain something by turning into micro competitions. Everyone creates the meat for the same section and then this is ranked. As reward for winning you can create the follow up meat or give it as assignment out to some other players.

The most important part about the meat is that it has to stay SHORT. Probably there should be a strict limit around 500 characters - with the option of "follow up meat" (or "meat bridge"?): another 500 characters. That way it stays modular and hopefully playful.

It would be also great to tag the meat pieces so that they can be recycled to be used with other seeds. E.g. action sequence, or first kiss, or whatever. Meat transformation would be another process: it rewrites a current peace of meat. The director / Karma holder could request a rewrite.

Maybe it would make sense to turn this into a game about the "writers's room" on the set of a TV show. This is an interesting idea - taking something like Primetime Aventures one step furter: you don't play characters: you play writers, or parodies of writers: the melodrama king, the hand grenade action guy, etc.

But this is another interesting idea I will discuss in another post.

The distribution of SBM should be handled via a pyramid structure. For each two Seed decisions there is one Bone created and for 2 Bones there has to be one Meat, before more seeds are allowed to be created.

Just one afterthought: SeedBoneMeat is based on a voting process. Every time there is a stalemate a randomizer is used instead to come to a decision. This way SBM can be even played/used by a single person: just always put two elements out, and let the randomizer pick one. I think this option will make testing the structure for me much easier.

Here you can find a first SBM test run.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Savage Synnibarr: Attack of the Giant Airships

After taking care of Cloudpuncher's remains, Douro decides to check back inside the Temple of Yanak. On the way through the gate he is attacked by two fire clams, but he is able to switch on his Tiger Fire before their flames can hit him and is therefore immune to the fire damage.

Inside he collects all the money covering the floor of the lower floor. He splits the 100.000$ in gold coins between everyone. He also wants to save Kylie, but decides to wait for 24 hours until Dita is not fatigued any longer (from healing herself), because she can use her telekinetic power to move the mage warrior out of Yanak's gaze.

In the meantime Gorgoroth realizes that the Storm Sphere he took as treasure from the Temple is actually an sentient being which - surprisingly - has powers related to storms. He telepathically probes the Sphere and notices that it is in a state of dreaming, but decides not to go any deeper.

The rest of the crew rests for 24 hours in Airy's submarine. But just as they want to return to the temple, Gorgoroth smells a taste of fuel he did not notice before: Seconds later three airships break out of the clouds above the island.

Gorgorth, invisible and intangible, flies up to figure out what are the intentions of the ships' crews. He realizes fast that they are slavers who came here for the same emergency signal, that lured Cloudpuncher in.

Trush takes robot bird form to attack one of the airships. Despite enemy fire he creates a laser peak from his laser sword and damages the hull of one of the three airships. Gas is streaming out, and the zeppelin starts to sink slowly.

Dita in the meantime is focused on getting the submarine to the sea together with Airy. Gorgoroth uses his mind control powers to take over the gunners of the other two airships, making them fire on each other. Another airship's hull is broken. But his decision to let the mind control slip off the Winged Lion, takes him to a dangerous place: the Lion who was plotting revenge all the time uses the first opportunity to slam the invisible Chameleon Drake into the razor clam covered ground with telekinesis. Thanks to his tough drake skin, Gorgoroth is able to soak the damage, but he realizes that the psionic lion can see him even when being invisible.

In the meantime Douro shoots fire from a distance, but he is not as powerful as in melee, and despite multiple attacks misses the do break any of the hulls.

Trush has less of an issue with his laser peak from nearby and damages the hull of the last airship.

Dita has the submarine prepared to leave by now and, telepathically urges everyone to stop fighting. They follow her request and get inside right away. Seconds later the submarine is underwater and on it's way to the giants' city, Ship's Home.

The Winged Lion telepathically reaches out to Gorgoroth and - in what is supposed to be an intimidating threat - tells the Chameleon Drake that he will never be forgiven for the suicide forced onto the Lion's partner for centuries. Instead the Lion promises a brutal revenge and the painful death of Gorgoroth. But the Chameleon Drake is neither scared nor impressed and shakes the threat off with laughter.

The telepathic contact breaks off as the Orange Submarine has gone too far and too deep.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Savage Synnibarr: God Roll

Synnibarr has the rule that if you are killed, there is the possibility that your god intervenes and saves you last minute. For Savage Synnibarr I created the God Roll Setting Rule to cover this:

If you worship a god and get killed, you are allowed to roll percentile dice to see if your god intervenes. Per experience point there is a one percent (1%) chance of a godly intervention. The god will talk a few sentences to the character, but will only listen to one sentence per rank of the character. The will make clear that the intervention is a great favour and that he or she expects loyality and a minor quest for it.
After an godly intervention through a God Roll, the percentile chance is reset to zero. With each gained experience point gained it raises again one percent.
 If you don't worship a god, instead of a god roll, you roll for the percentage to be turned into a poltergeist or technageist. There is only a one percent (1%) chance per level though. These geists are NPCs in most cases and therefore the player has to create a new characer.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Race: The Generazeeons

The Generazeeons (sometimes Generasheeons or Generacheeons) are a short lived race with an ancestral memory.

The life span of a Generazeeon generation can last from one week to six month. They consume an enormous amount of food, bio mass and minerals compared to Earth creatures and grow rapidly in this time. When being harmed or even when the current body size is detrimental, they shed most of it and leave behind the "seed" or "head": the small body of the new generation.

The seed is essentially a clone of the last generation that contains most of it's memory as well. The following body growth is depending on outer circumstances. Generazeeons adopt according to their current environment. Once having grown certain traits they can only be dropped by initiating a new generational shift though.

Creating Iconic Races

I tried to create a set of races that cover all archetypes and are somewhat generic. They probably are most useful for science fiction, but essentially fit in any new fantastic world.

My general design pattern followed the Monkey, Robot, Pirate, Ninja, Zombie model. But obviously we will need Vikings as well.

Will the Liefeldians fit?

Part of the challenge will be to decide what "skin" to use for the archetypes.

For example, you obviously will need the huge, strong Goliath archetyp. But nothing is harder to decide: give this archetype a skin a yeti/wookie/fur skin or a stone creature skin or a plant/ tree creature skin?

My reply should probably be: why not both?? why not all of them? Maybe just make it a plant creature with some kind of grass fur and stone limbs? I am not sure about that approach yet.

Or how about a flying race archetype? Probably they should be small. Probably nearly fairylike. But then you can still go insect or lizard or plant creature, etc.

One solution would be to have a body type selection cross referenced with a origin section.
E.g. human, insect, lizard, plant, furling, stone, robot vs. goliath, flyer, agile race, bighead, ubermensch, psionic, shapechanger etc.

But is "grey" a body type or an origin? Probably it is the combination of bighead with lizard creature? Most likely we will end up with dozens of races this way. For player character creation would be probably better to let them pick/ roll just two of the origins and intersect themselves.

And then there is the idea for the Generazeeons.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vines (Savage Warhammer)

This was a one shot I run in 2012 at the beginning of a Savage Warhammer campaign that never made it to session three. Basically it is more a less a generic fantasy adventure, even though it is a little bit on the darker side.

The adventure starts with the player characters taking a coach to any destination. The street leads through dense forest. At dusk, 150 metres before a sharp turn of the street, the coachman (named Falk?) stops and gets to the front to check on the two horses. Without a word he releases them and makes them run off along the street, mounting one . [I don't remember the actual way the coachman disappeared. So I just make the running to the forest part up now, as it is hard to figure out why the players would not focus on the coachman. Maybe it is Sybille (see below) shouting for help? Another creepy option would be the coachman committing suicide on the spot.]

If the player characters follow, they arrive after around 50 metres, at a clearing. There is one huge oak tree standing there. Five people are hung there - gallowsstyle. One woman is lying seemingly unconscious or sleeping at the beneath the tree.

Actually this is a set up: the women whose name is Sybille is pretending to be unconscious to trick the player group to come near the tree. The people are not hanging from ropes, but from vines. These are some of the "arms" of a dangerous plant creature that is lurking in the tree. It is similar to a giant octopus, except that it is a moving bundle of vines. Just use the game stats of a giant octopus for it! It has eight "arms" and while four are currently holding former victims by their necks, the other four will grab whoever comes near the tree. The vine octopus is patient enough to wait for more than one person to move into his range (2" or 4 metres around the tree). But latest, when it seems that someone moves out of its range, it will attack.

To attack group members that did not move towards the tree, the vine monster throws the corpses it is currently holding. Only if everyone moves away from the tree, the vine octopus leaves the oak and follows. Until this moment it seems that vines have overgrown the tree. The vine monster actually is just tool for the real enemy: the "Heart of the Forest", a glowing crystal that contains the actual consciousness of the creature. It tries to cover it up as good as possible, but when attacking multiple targets in different directions at once, it will expose it. The crystal is very hard to damage [Toughness 10, damage dice don't explode], but when damaged will detach from the vine body and just fall to the ground. The vines stop moving.
The Heart is stored in a cabin nearby, but controls the vine octopus from the distance.

The woman, Sybille, will never be attacked by the Heart of the Forest. She started serving the "heart of the forest" after a religious hermit named Vater Ewald showed up and told her that her two children that disappeared many years ago (being abducted by beastman) could return, if she started to join his dubious religious rituals. Vater Ewald is seen by the locals as pious man, but something out there in the forest  - the Heart of the Forest to be more specific - turned him into a disciple of sinister forces.
Sybille who is the wife of the farmer of one the bigger farms nearby felt obligated to do so. While she rarely sees Vater Ewald who lives in a cave deeper into the woods and secretly associates with beastmen, he handed the Heart of the Forest over to her and she stored it in a cabin not far from the clearing.

The Heart started to telepathically speak to Sybille and persuaded her to bring her victims. Hoping to get he kids back, she agreed and lured known highwaymen to the oak where the Heart of the Forest had created it's vine octopus body. After doing that she realised that having more people disappear would not work well. But the Heart wanted more victims. Sybille came up with the plan to seduce a coachman travelling through every few days. All she wanted from him was to halt at a specific spot in the forest, release his horses and ride away. This way she should be able to provide enough victims until she was reunited with her kids.

(The kids are actually long dead or at least neither Vater Ewald nor the Heart of the Forest ever knew anything about their fate. He just used them to trick Sybille in collaboration.)

In a way Sybille hopes that the Heart of the Forest's creature will be slain. It's not really a good feeling running around at night luring people stronger than yourself into ambushes and see them killed - even if you rationalize that you do all of this to save your kids. She will admit the truth and tells her whole story after the vine monster is destroyed. She will lead all the survivors to the cabin nearby, where the Heart is stored.

After entering the cabin and telling about the location of it - it is hidden beneath the wooden floor -, she collapses. The Heart decides to safe itself by taking mental control of the person present with the lowest willpower (Spirit) and attacking everyone else. It can only control one person at a time, but is able to shift every round - in case a victim is restrained or incapacitated. To stop the mind control the Heart of the Forest in it's crystal form needs to be smashed. It has Toughness 12. As with any structural damage, damage dice against it don't explode. [I actually don't remember how the Heart defended back, when we played the adventure.]

After the destruction of the Heart, Sybille can be woken up again. She is in tears as she is scared of her fate and begs the player characters not to tell anyone what she did. If they agree she asks them, if they want to take her back to her home - the big farm.

(I also created this relationship map, but don't remember what it really means. I used the names on it for the three NPCs. I probably would have forgotten about Father Ewald's role otherwise.)

Follow up adventure: the farmer hired a team of mercenaries to find his disappeared wife Sybille. When the player characters bring her back, they feel cheated about their reward and start getting more and more brutal. One of the farmhands actually is also conspiring with Father Ewald and kills Sybille before the truth can come out. If the player characters kept Sybille's dark secret, it is hard to figure out who did it and why. The mercenaries as well as the player characters are suspicious.

If the player characters tell on Sybille, she will have a witch trial with an inquisitor showing up surprisingly and suspiciously fast.

The showdown is supposed to take place in the cave of Father Ewald, who is a quite powerful wizard. On the way there the player characters are ambushed by beastmen.

Monday, September 21, 2015

An Artifact as Dungeon: The Unclosed Door

The Unclosed Door is an psionic artifact in the shape of an 4 sided pyramid with an edge length of 64 cm. The pyramid is of deep black colour with the edges glowing in different and shifting neon colours and floating in front of the owner it has aligned itself to.

It will always try to align itself to the person with the strongest psionic powers within 64 metres. The current owner can try to keep it under his control by a test of mental strength. Potential new owners can join in to take over control.

The Unclosed Door gives the wielder the power to project solid illusion in a radius of 64 metres of the artefact. It takes nearly ten seconds for the solid illusions to stabilize and they are pretty bad at simulating objects in motion. Illusions in motion looks like old polygon computer graphics with serious clipping issues.

The traditional shape that many wielders of the Unclosed Door use is that of a floating pyramid with 64 metres edge length, basically a bigger projection of the Door's standard shape. This pyramid can be raised to any height - even outer space - but it only moves with a speed of around 30 kilometres per hour.

The floating giant pyramid has the ability to emit gravity and so slowly suck up smaller objects and people, if they owner wants so. Once having been absorbed by the outer walls, the person lands in the Inner Space: a pocket dimension that shows a beautiful star sky towards the outside, where the "normal world" should be found, while the absorbed people walk the outer surface of the pyramid. Gravity seems normal and pulls towards the centre of the pyramid, so that you can walk from one side of it to the next without ever falling off. It is not so unlikely to find bones or other remains from past visitors here.

In the centre of each of the four planes there is a shaft leading towards the centre. It is about 3 metres in diameter in round. You can see some dim glow from the centre. Falling to the end of the shaft transports you to an exactly globe shaped room with a diameter of 12 metres. Gravity here is pulling you to the outer sides of the "globe". So jumping down the shafts, you will not crash into anything, but merely come to a halt on the "floor" of the round room. Making it to the floor from your floating position "above" the shaft is no big deal.

In the centre of the round "room" where you can walk the ceilings in any direction you will find the actual Unclosed Door floating. As current owner you can direct it within the room and by touching it, and "merging" with it, you can observe the outside world, as well as "sucking up" objects from the outside world that come near the 64 metre pyramid projection. You can also move the whole pyramid around with the before mentioned 30 kilometres per hour.

It's the owner's choice where sucked up objects appear: be it the outer planes of the pyramid, or the inner globe room.

Merging with the pyramid is a literal act. It does not matter, what body part the owner picks, but the Unclosed Door becomes part of his body. Normally owner's "wear" it over the head like a mask, or make it melt into their chest. This will never cause bodily harm. It is known that one dragon who was in possession of the Unclosed Door merged the pyramid artefact with his forehead, making it look like a weirdly shaped horn. The merging is a natural occurring phenomenon with no drawbacks, but not necessary.

No matter if merged or not, the wielder can shoot powerful energy beams out of the Unclosed Door.

It is a mysterium whether the "Inner Space" of the Unclosed Door described here, resides within the artefact itself, or whether it is inside the projected 64 metres pyramid. The fact that a star sky is visible at the outside, and not the "real world", as well as the shafts are not visible from the real world, speak for the first theory.

But this Inner Space still harbours what seems to be the Unclosed Door - the 64 cm artefact. This seems to be only the 1st of more layers though.

With pure force or willpower one can enter the Unclosed Door even further. It has to be noted that the wielder does not get a connection to that deeper level, the way he gains insight about the outside world. Actually the wielder is left completely dark about that fact.

It is more likely that people being harmed by the energy beams of the Unclosed Door discover it. Especially touching the Unclosed Door that is merged with a wielder can take them deeper.

There are different reports of the next level. One report mentions that once absorbed you end up again on the outside of a pyramid. But this seems to be overgrown by slowly moving antennas that remind of giant sea anemonae or even hair, growing up in the air. Instead of a single shaft, there is a whole labyrinth of passages, others tell.

But everyone agrees that there is an oracle that is willing to help those stranded here. They have to gamble for decades of their life time though. What the oracle looks like noone seems to remember. Some are thrown back to the globe room only minutes later, having aged decades.

If there are deeper levels, nobody can say for sure. Sometimes in your dreams you may feel though that the deeper you get, the bigger the Unclosed Door gets. And in some of those dreams, you are sure that something stares from far, far in there towards you through the Unclosed Door. It is not a statue with no eyes. You are really sure about that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Savage Synnibarr: Cloudpuncher and the Fight for Loot

The groups escapes with the Airy's submarine from the temple. They have a look at the remains of the destroyed airship which is under the water now and spots 5 burnt giant corpses.

Dita scans the area for ghosts and there is actually one around: one of the dead giants did not go to the afterworld. She starts a conversation with him and figures out soon that it actually is the ghost of Captain Cloudpuncher, the slaver who took her brother. Dita is upset because it seems she will not be able to get her revenge, as he is dead already.

He tells her that he came to the island 4 days ago, because he received a distress signal and was hoping to make slaves out of whoever was needing help. But when his airship showed up, 4 apelike creatures took the mighty airship down with a powerful attack. Him and the four remaining crew members died in the blast.

He lost everyone else some time before in a mutiny, where he killed every other crew member, but he had no slaves on board as he is used to sell them as fast.

Dita asks him if he know who she is, and while before he did not even consider that option, he finally seems to remember her face. He mentions while for her this most have been the most important day of his life, for him it was just another day. But he calls himself a "lover of slaves, a connoisseur" and tells Dita that he could have shot her in the back when she was fleeing, after he took her brother and stabbed her mother, but that he was not this kind of guy.

She asks if he knows what happens to her brother, and he says that he must sold him fast, like always, but that he has a complete log of all the slaves he ever bought in his house in Ships' Home, the harbour town of giants.

She wants to banish him in her lamp, but Cloudpuncher resists. She tries to convince him to get in there, but he says he would prefer to be hosted in her body, if she really wants him leave the remains of his ship of 40 years. In the end Dita convinces him to join her in the lamp instead.

Trush has a look, if there is any loot in the meantime and actually is able to find a locked safe. With the 2nd of two mighty strikes of his laser sword he is actually able to take the top of the safe off.

He finds a big Midnight Sunstone in there, when he wants to examine the other objects, Dita decides it is her turn now to grab something. Trush hits her with the hilt of his laser sword skillfully and wounds her.

She is able to fight back, despite the damage and uses Chi Shout on Trush, damaging him as well. She grabs 2 gloves out of the safe: a black one that gives or increases telekinetic powers and a red one, that lets the wearer reach with her arm into an unkown dimension.

Trush is able to repair himself while they worse injured Dita is able to use her Golden Hand healing power on herself.

Trush uses his mind control powers on Dita and forces her to be happy. This is not an easy task as it is against her will, because she is vengeful, but he succeeds.

The two decide that it is the best option to go to Ships' Home to find the business book of Cloudpuncher in his house.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vornheim / Zwillingsseen: The Temple of Icedeath

The Temple of Icedeath is a building out of pure ice. The only entrance is a big bronze gate. After knocking the door opens itself and whoever enters comes to a big hall.

For every person entering one hallway, barely high enough for the person, leads from the hall. It is so incredible cold in these hallways. Who hesitates in there will freeze to death. The hallways are around seven or eight meters long and end at a curtain.

Behind the curtains there is a shadow that will engulf anyone crossing the curtain. Whoever touches the shadow will turn unconscious and wake up in a shaft, next to a doppelganger of him- or herself.

That doppelganger is evil and wants to replace the person. Or is the person awaking the doppelganger and the other the original? The doppelganger pretends to work with it's twin though. E.g. helping them climb out of the shaft to throw them down back into the shaft while hoping to kill them.

The shaft lies a few meters behind the shadow that disappeared when merging with the character. By climbing out of the shaft, visitor can return to the curtain, hallway and main hall. The hallway is still dangerously cold.

After some time in the shaft the Highpriest of Icedeath will appear floating and try to talk to the prisoners. The Highpriest is looking for visitor to the temple whose doppelganger will show unusual characteristics. Some crank mystics proclaimed hundreds of years ago, it would have to do with the gender of the doppelganger.

Coming back out, between stalactites of ice, on the ceiling you can see a seemingly formerly not existing exit. But the ceiling is very high and the walls really slippery... The Highpriest can levitate so it is easy for him to access the quarters up there.

There is an exit from the shaft: sometimes  a small tunnel open giving visitors the opportunity to crawl out and land at the outside of the temple, near the stairs leading to the bronze gate.

On closer inspection of the main hall one mysterious extra feature can be found: the floor is actually a thick, but nearly transparent layer of ice that covers a cold, cold pool. When people end up down there, they most likely will be frozen for decades until they get out seemingly unharmed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Savage Synnibarr: Yanak Statues and Winged Lions

After awaking Kylie, the Mage Warrior, frozen for 10,000 years, and getting information out of her, Airy, the Shadow Master, teleports in, thanks to his teleport disk, that he left with the group.

The adventurers decide to the take the elevator to the lower floor, where Kylie says, that the entrance to this Temple of Yanak, that resided on a mountain back then when she entered it, orginally was. She only wants to use the elevator together with her Giant Firefly, but the groups mind controls her again and Gorgoroth together with Airy take her to the lower floor.

They find eight statues of Yanak there, that are floating through the air, while changing from young embryos to old men gradually, before dissolving and reappearing somewhere else in the room. Only a small fraction of the room is not in their field of sight at any time and it takes Smarts and Agility to uncover those moving spots  of free floating time and to stay in thhere.

Two shamans that seem to have been frozen in time while running with blasters must have had less luck and are "stored" in a part of the hall that is never outside the stare of the statues. Next to those, the adventures notice windows that have been overgrown by clams on the outside, as well as an archway to the outside that is overgrown as well. Additionally there is an big opening in the ground. Even that opening overgrown with shells of clams, but those have seemingly died a long time ago, as no water can enter the Temple.

Gorgoroth sends the mind controlled Kylie ahead and she falls victim to Yanak's Gaze again. Gorgoroth himself decides to sit down on the floor and to pray and meditate.

Trush and Douro come down the elevator with the firefly in the meantime. Airy finally realizes he can just teleport through the hall, after having figured out the blind angles of the statues' gaze. He gives instructions to everyone and they make their way to the corners of the room.

Trush is able to access his long lost data bank on religious knowledge and figures out more details on the temple: it was considered lost many centuries ago. According to legends it was built on the mountain Hull. Supposedly it contains not only 10 Yanak statues, but also a key to the prison that holds Yanak in Limbo.
This key should be in the lowest level.

Douro decides to shoot through the clams on the ground with this Tiger Fire and really breaks an opening in the clam layer. He jumps in. The others follow him - including the mind controlled firefly.

As Douro and Airy reach the lowest floor first, they notice a lot of coins all over the ground - probably worth around 100,000$. Next to that a floating huge key and a big red sphere float over the ground - in the gaze of another Yanak statue.

But there are also two Winged Lions waiting for the intruders. They want to telekinetically push Douro and Airy in the field of view of this standing statue, but Douro is really fast. He charges one of the Lions and with a mighty Fire Strike heavily injuries one of the psionic lions. Even the psionic shield can't save the creatue and it is heavily wounded. With his last power the lion can telekinetically push Douro into the gaze of the Yanak statue, freezing him.

Airy is able to withstand the telekinetic power of the second Winged Lion thanks to his strong will. He creates a solid illusion that blocks Yanak's Gaze on Douro and frees the Golden Tiger.

Gorgoroth, who just entered, is able to hypnotize both of the lions. With them under his control, the battle is won. He is able order the heavily wounded lion to kill himself with his claws, by making him cut his own throat.

He makes the second one explain the situation: the two Winged Lions arrived in the abandoned temple hundreds of year ago and started to use it as a homebase for raids.

Trush takes the key to Yanak's prison, Gorgoroth the sphere. He orders the lions to destroy the statue, but even their mighty fireballs are not strong enough to harm it.

Therefore they return upstairs with the sphere and the key. Douro punches the clam overgrown archway and is able to break it open. In the same moment water starts streaming in through the newly created opening, because the ebb is over and the sea level has risen.

To protect the group Airy uses a sold illusion to create an orange submarine.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Savage Synnibarr: Yanak's Temple on Clam Island

Gorgoroth, the Chameleon Drake, and Douro, the Golden Tiger, return to to the Excelsior Hotel while the other adventurers still have breakfast.

Agent Nelson is ready to send them on their next mission: Captain Cloudpuncher the men responsible for the slave ride on amazon Dita's village has been found. His airship crashed in a place called Clam Island. Agent Nelson uses his recorder/flute to teleport the three plus the cyborg Trush to the island.

Shadow Master Airy is still out shopping for mushrooms, while ninja Rolf Choke never returned from his pegasus ride the night before.

The 4 adventurers arrive on a plain covered with Razor Clams and remains of water. It seems that the current ebb made the water retreat from the plain. The are on a trail that leads one side to the wreck of a Giant's airship.  Gorgoroth can smell rotting bodies there. On the other side there is a small, white marble temple on a tall pillar of stone, that is overgrown by clams.

The adventurers notice that a werestorm is coming.  A werestorm is canceling all power sources. They decide to fly up to the temple for protection. Trush is in Chameleon Drake shape and able to carry up Douro and Dita up there. Gorgoroth is able to fly on his own. On the way up some of the clams on the pillar open up and shoot burts of flames at them. But the Trush and Gorgoroth are able to dodge.

Up between the temple columns they notice 5 pools of acid. By analyzing the columns of the pillars, the group figures out that this must be a temple of Yanak, the insane God of Time, who accidentally looks similar to Agent Nelson.

While everyone else gets up to the marble dome roof of the temple to be protected from the werestorm, Gorgoroth starts praying and meditating between the pools. Moments later a giant amoebae slides out of the pool and starts engulfing him. He continues praying and the giant amoeba drags him into the acid pool, taking him - protected by its membran - to the ground of the pool where there is an entrance to the temple's interior.

Gorgoroth finds himself in a room whose outer walls look like a lava lamp: the acid pools with some giant amoebae floating in them. In the centre of the room a female mage-warrior is floating on her giant firefly mount, frozen in time. A small statue of Yanak is staring at her.

In the meantime the other three adventurers follows Gorgoroth's example and are also carried inside the temple by amoebae. The realize that the best way of waking up the mage-warrior would be deactivating the stare of the statue. But when Trush turns into a mirror with legs and walks in front of the statue, he is also frozen.

Dita looks for ghosts in the acid lava dome  and really finds the ghost of a dwarf. He seems to be insane, tries to smash his head against the untouchable walls and cries. He tells that he has been here for centuries and that he was killed by lions. He tries to grab Dita's legs in desperation, but is not even able to do that. Dita decided to release him from his suffering and leads him to the light.

The group decides that pure force is probably a better strategy. Douro is not strong enough to smash the Yanak statue despite his Tiger Fire. Dita has more success. She unleashed the strongest Chi Shout she has done so far and smashed the statue despite being supported by God Power.

The same moment the wings of the firefly start to flap again and the mage-warrior awakes. Before she really can start to communicate with anyone, Trush takes mental control over her. He realizes that she is an adventurer from Terra with a pure golden aura. She tells that her name is Kylie Kirrow and she came here to chase down an evil Priest of Yanaka, by the name of P.M. Nelson, who was in search of immortality. During the conversation the group realizes that she must have been caught in the stasis field for 10,000 years.