A Death Shroud on the World Entire AP

image from ArtBreeder

filed under actual play on 14 Aug 2017
tagged misc and a death shroud on the world entire

My August OMGAM is up; A Death Shroud on the World Entire.

It’s a sexy but somewhat realistic game of witches, shading somewhere between Bewitched and The Witches of Eastwick.

I generally do a running play test while working on any game, even my OMGAM micros. This one’s very short, just character generation plus two scenes, but should give a sense of the way the game works. And how easy it is to get intense results using cards and triggered pools.

And here’s a link to the d100 Witch Traits I used for this test. They’re not required for a game, but they’re helpful in creating the right kind of vibe.

The adventure begins...

So we're rolling up a witch.

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 3 ] 3

Who manipulates Luck.

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 6 ] 6

I'll pick sex.

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 1 ] 1

Violence is the poison.

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 2 ] 2

And intimacy is the Need.

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 6 ] 6

Fuel starts at 6, that's useful.

Latest prophecy is + Law, "Justice" (Jack of Clubs)

[One Options] Prophecy, Poison, Need, Witchery

[Choice] Need

[One Options] Prophecy, Poison, Witchery

[Choice] Witchery

[One Options] Prophecy, Poison

[Choice] Prophecy

So that's Need 5, Witchery 4, Prophecy 3, and Poison 2.

I'm getting the sense of someone who indulges their vices constantly to avoid having to confront their needs.

[One Options] male, female

[Choice] male

... and he's a warlock.

I'll use a name from a warlock from a campaign I GM'd once.

Going to pick/roll a couple of quirks from the d100 witch traits on DnDwPS. I'll roll a number, and pick an item within ten of it, either up or down.

Rolling 1d100 1 times.
[ 45 ] 45

42, You can shape shift into an appropriate animal. In the absence of other cultural contexts, choose one of the following: hare, fox, deer, cat or owl. 

[One Options] hare, fox, deer, cat or owl

[Choice] cat or owl

Cat it is.

Rolling 1d100 1 times.
[ 35 ] 35

Hmm, I'm going for the sexiest option. Why not?

25, You become diabolically attractive - probably in a very lush, sensual way. Unfortunately, someone powerful becomes stalkerishly obsessed with you. You might be able to influence them, but then again they might try to have you judicially murdered for rejecting their advances. 

The quirks, by the way, are entirely fiction; they have no mechanical impact other than establishing that the hero can do those things.

This is already pretty dark; if I trigger poison -- violence -- my hero will cheerfully hurt someone, and if he brings sex into it he gets fuel for his powers.

Of course, he also gets fueled if he has sex with someone he's seeking intimacy with, so this is going to be right on a razor's edge.


[PC 0] | : Lucian Fell | : Specialty: Luck
Poison: Violence
Need: Intimacy | : Fuel (sex) 6 | : Poison 2
Need 5
Witchery 4 | : Prophecies 3 | : + Law, "Justice" (Jack of Clubs) | : | : Shapeshift into a cat.
Diabolically attractive but has a powerful stalker.

Okay, time to set the scene.

But first, I need a representative card. I'm thinking Spades, for sure.

I think I'll pick Moon.

So he's the Jack of Spades.

Finally, three cards to set the scene. I'm using a separate python card drawer but a deck of cards or two d6s would work equally well.

Where: - Fool, Reversed, "Isolation" (Ace of Hearts)
Why: + Winter, "Hard Choice" (6 of Diamonds)
Who: - Key, Reversed, "Close" (Ace of Diamonds)

He's tired of the violence and the witch world in general; he's retreated somewhere isolated to think and be alone and avoid indulging his poison. The thing is, even if he's not the one doing the violence, violence still happens around him.

He's facing a hard choice. The Key, representing closure, has come to ask him for help.

Let's draw one more card regarding that.

+ Fist, "Power" (Queen of Clubs)

The bite of the axe was rhythmic, hypnotic. His breath frosted in the air, but his ears were warm under the beat up wool cap, and the flannel jacket and heavy boots insulated him from the worst of the cold.

It was hard work cutting wood to warm his cabin, but it was real, and it was physical, and he enjoyed both. And he had grown to appreciate the solitude up here, away from the intrigues of the courts and the everpresent threat of violence.

Let's roll up the Key.

[Nearly consuming] numb, [mild] lustful
[Focus] death

Interesting; she's numb to death, but also looking for it.

[Slight] to undo a terrible mistake [hero's kin]
[Great] to achieve power through force and guile [hero's heritage]

[One Options] close, group, general

[Choice] close

Actor was childhood friends with Fell and expresses this overtly and passively.

Fell would be much worse off if not for Actor and expresses this overtly and passively.

So the Key is here on behalf of her mother? aunt? who was a powerful witch who grew up with Fell. She died, Fell feels responsible, because her aunt saved him from himself at some point.

That's plenty to go on.

I'll just add her in--

[New Actor] Jillian Owens, Key, reversed, "Close", niece of Fell's old rival and lover. Here to undo a terrible mistake (hero's kin, slight) and achieve power through force and guile (hero's heritage, great).

"You're not what I expected," a clear female voice said from right behind him.

Let's see what happens.

+ Moon, "Enthusiasm" (Jack of Spades)

That's his card!

If your Face card comes up, choose two pools to trigger and one to reset.

I'll trigger Prophecy; I have no points to swap around but it means narrating the Prophecy I have active. Which means Justice catches up to him.

The second pool, hmm, probably Poison; violence. He's startled, always expecting an attack; he wants to neutralize the threat. Because this is triggered, he succeeds.

Instead, I'm going for intimacy, I think. Nothing in the rules says you can't be injured or that your hero has to want to do the act, unless Witchery is involved.

He jerked in surprise, and the axe slipped. He managed to twist it away, the blade just clipping his leg.

It never failed; if he wasn't hurting someone else, he was hurting himself, he thought, ignoring the shocked woman. Using the now bloody axe as a crutch, he hobbled towards the house.


"I said I was sorry," she said, a little crossly.

It wasn't a deep cut, luckily.

Normally I'd ask an oracle if she knows first aid, but the intimacy of one person caring for another satisfies my zero event.

She'd helped him into the kitchen, then cleaned and bandaged the wound. She was young, and pretty, and reminded him of someone. Her hands were gentle, much gentler than her tone.

He belatedly realized she'd spoken and nodded.

"What do you want?" he asked, finally, when it appeared she wasn't going to just tell him.

Back to regular game; I didn't have any points to move around.

He wants her to tell him the truth, but he can't just have it, because she's afraid of him.

Rolling 1d6 1 times.
[ 4 ] 4

So intimacy, +1, and skills -- he used to be a people person and is good at reading people -- +1.

So I could wager up to 2 points, but I won't, I'll just wager 1, reducing my bonus by 1.

Rolling 2d6 1 times.
[ 5 6 ] 11 + 1 = 12

- Serpent, Reversed, "Treachery" (10 of Diamonds)

That's a success; I draw a card, and interpret it positively; in this case, "self interest" instead of treachery.

"I want you to come back to court and support my bid for Anakes," she said simply. "I offer you the position of my right hand."

Neither die was a 1 or a 2, so nothing happens there.

I should have drawn a twist card once Need resolved, too.

Rolling 3d6 1 times.
[ 3 4 3 ] 10

Sun, Revelation, positive.

… and that’s about it for this playtest.