You are a denizen of Candlemont, a bustling port city an ocean away from Old Albion; thankfully, due to the distance, mostly spared from the ongoing conflict between the Monarchists and the New Regime. Though Candlemont was unfortunately not spared from its own myriad of conflicts: the rich and poor, academics and businessmen, constables and the occult, and of course academics and other academics. Not one resident would decree Candlemont perfect, but the city was undoubtedly alive; crowds and carriages in the streets, boats in the canals, even into the late hours of the night.Like many other young dilettantes, you were drawn to the city by the academia. St. Auve’s Hospital was argued to be the best medical school in the New World, while Charnel River University had such vast facilities it bogarted nearly an entire city district with its sheer area. Philosophy, biology, astronomy, and literature were its most famous faculties; but you were drawn to the university’s more unique programmes.Because of its discovery in the New World, there was a particular field that would never take on in Old Albion as well as it did in Candlemont: the Immortal Sciences.The Immortal Sciences were a strange (and rather broad) field of paracausal science, primarily beginning with alchemy and later introducing geistery and other supernatural pursuits. Creating gold from lead, fixing spirits into jars, speaking to the dead; the Immortal Sciences were shunned from the public eye for decades, before several impassioned speeches from Charnel River University’s faculty convinced restrictions to be loosened. They were still seen as strange, even blasphemous to the more devout evangelicals, but there was a spreading understanding; in the most recent decades, Candlemont had been siphoning electrical power directly out of the spirit fields.Candlemont was rife with another supernatural interest as well: the Invisible Arts. But, speaking publicly of those would still have constables showing up at your door. Some insist that one day they will be as commonplace as the Immortal Sciences, but many in the Know are certain that the Invisible Arts should remain just that: invisible.You are nobody of particular note or fame, but your interest in the Immortal Sciences and Invisible Arts is an interest in power. These paths could lead to vast fortune, but there was more at stake than money; especially in the case of the latter of the two disciplines.<1/3>
Before you could commit to any dark projects, you had to decide where to live. Or rather, where you had been living for some time. Candlemont had seven districts officially named, though the city’s sprawl wasn’t limited to them entirely.>HARBORSIDEA small third-floor apartment near the harbor. Fully furnished, but more than a guest or two at a time can quickly become quite cramped. The sound of the bars and dockyards are ever-present, no matter the hour.>BRIGHTSTONEAn opulent suite in the estate of a wealthy lord or businessman. You are fed, dressed, and maybe even taught etiquette and croquet by your patron; however, you are expected to act in a way that befits a lordlet.>THE WORKSA squatter’s abode in Rockham Quarter. No masters to pay your rent to, provided that you aren’t driven out by a constable crackdown. Besides that, you are free to do as you please, provided you avoid the thefts, muggings, and cases of the Ashy Death.>KEENHOLLOWA room in Charnel River University’s dormitories. The school’s facilities are all easily within walking distance and, for the most part, freely accessible by you. Unfortunately, your personal quarters are little more than a desk and a bed.>ELEVEN PINESA flat just above a mundane storefront, with a balcony overlooking a plaza. Enough room for a small family, but rather costly due to the comfort. Frequent constable patrols keep the neighborhoods safe, but banal.>BRIDGE ON CHARNELA two-floored living space built into the seawall below the Charnel River Bridge. Quiet and spacious, but filthy due to both the bridge above and the inner harbor nearby. Also a ways from the heart of the city, even by carriage or gondola.>DREAMER’S HOOKA comfortable abode sequestered between opium dens and exotic stores. Although rather lavish, the space is shared with a handful of roommates; youthful dilettantes and bohemians with views similar to yours, for better or for worse.Besides Candlemont’s seven official districts, there were a few other choices. Their disconnection from the city was more than just symbolic, however, and living in any of these out-of-the-way locations would make, frankly, any matter at all in the city more difficult.>THE UNDERMARKETA makeshift dwelling somewhere in the sewer network or an old sinkhole. A stone-walled, partially flooded dungeon of a home, but fully out of the eyes of the law. However, the law also cannot protect what it cannot see.>THE NUMBWOODA cabin in the woods north of the city. Though, at night, there is a lovely view of the Bower Station trestle’s lights, the cabin has no electricity of its own. Aside from the occasional trapper or woodsman, the rest of humanity is on the far side of the Harpy River.>OLD MANOR HILLA room in the estate of a wealthy recluse. Though (provided you don’t damage anything) you have access to the private library and other facilities of the mansion, Candlemont proper is over an hour away by carriage.<2/3>
(Sorry to cause any analysis paralysis in anyone, but in my hopes of running a very sandbox game, I wanted to get every location in town on the table. Feel free to ask any questions about each location, the city, or the setting in general if you want to know more or need to know more to cast a vote.I accept write-ins or other suggestions in almost every case, so long as they’re relatively compliant with the setting. If possible, try to phrase write-ins/suggestions as questions so I can provide a suitable “yes” or “no, but.”e.g. “Could we live in Bridge on Charnel, but up on the bridge proper?”If you need more setting knowledge to make a suggestion like that, feel free to ask. I greatly encourage questions/creativity.)<3/3>
>>5188925>BRIDGE ON CHARNELDiscreet, but not placed in complete lawless territory.Spacious and without additional occupants, two stories would let us have a decently sized home laboratory and seperate living quarters even if it is filthy.River access for easy transportation of any potentially illegal materials for experimentation.Yep, this is looking like the one.
>>5188925>>OLD MANOR HILL
>>5188931+1, you drive a hard bargain, although complete lawless territory would've been preferred due to not having the constables on our asses, the risk of some junkie stealing our life's work makes me reconsider.
>>5188957Yeah, that was my concern too. We could lose our work to a break in, and not just a junkie either. A raid by the Constabulary in to the lawless area could see us jailed or just executed on the spot if we're dabbling in something society considers 'too taboo'.
>>5188925>BRIDGE ON CHARNELFilth is but effort yet unspent, and it seems to me quite the bargain
You lived in Bridge on Charnel, or more accurately, under it.A walkway along the canal connected to your front steps; the lower floor of your home was reserved for your living space, kitchen, bathroom, and other amenities. There was a narrow staircase against one wall near the bathroom, though your second floor was seldom used; you had a desk and some shelves up there, but otherwise left it rather austere. The exterior and load-bearing construction was mostly brick, as was the rest of the seawall, but the interior had walls of lath and plaster; besides a tiled portion near the entrance, the floors were wood planks.Various refuse flooded the Charnel River, but thankfully had little impact on your actual domicile, besides inviting a rather heinous stench. What was worse was the seepage from the city above, or the plumbing running through the seawall. The occasional stray trickle from a worn-through pipe had discolored the walls and warped the floorboards; and, of course, worsened the smell.You had personal effects representative of the average Candlemont resident: clothes, kitchenware, appliances, a small selection of tools, and other similar mundane items. The possessions you had because of your profession or personal interest were much less common.<1/3>
>NOTARY [+1 BRAIN, +1 HEART]You work shifts at Booker and Booker in Harborside. Though you are authorized to draw up and give advice relating to legally binding contracts, your workdays are often spent performing clerical work at the request of one of the Booker siblings. You are paid well, and invest that money back into the quality of your clothes, food, and other belongings.>ACADEMIC [+2 BRAIN]You are a student, though of considerable seniority, at Charnel River University. You earn your wage working as a lab assistant or putting in shifts at the university library. You are well-studied in an impressive handful of topics; however your knowledge is not always practical. The books and essays required for your studies fill your home in great piles.>ARTIST [+1 HEART, +1 LIVER]You are an artist, you work by your own schedule. You attend painting sessions and life model drawings; you paint the harbor from the view of the Morgan Bridge. You are paid only when your work sells, and as critics seem to find your practice rather gauche and amateurish, your work sells infrequently.>LONGSHOREMAN [+2 HEART]You are a dockworker, your days are spent performing grueling work loading and unloading ships as they come into the bay. The work has made your limbs strong and your hands calloused, but no matter how many crates you move, you cannot help but feel inconsequential. You are paid a small but consistent salary, and you stink of fish.>TEACHER [+1 LIVER, +1 STOMACH]You are a teacher, but of little fanfare. You teach arithmetic, history, and grammar primarily to children at Candlemont Academy; your work is not glamorous and you do little research, only instruct what the curriculum dictates. You work hard for a pittance of a salary, but find some fulfillment in brightening the next generation.>CABBIE [+2 LIVER]You are a cabbie, a carriage driver employed by a larger company. You do not own the cab, nor the horses that pull it, but you are responsible for them during your shift. Depending on the day of the week and time of year, your commission can vary greatly. Your passengers are often chatty, and you have become accustomed to the social atmosphere because of it.>MEDICAL RESIDENT [+1 STOMACH, +1 BRAIN]You completed your initial training at St. Auve’s hospital, and now assist the medical practice of other doctors in pursuit of your own qualifications. While you spend many late nights powdering rashes, changing bandages, and draining excess humors, you still have much to learn; your notebooks are overflowing from what you have witnessed while spectating surgeries.>RIVETER [+2 STOMACH]You are a riveter; any day of work is a good day if it means you can plant your boots on solid ground. You spend most shifts dangling from cables as you repair bridges and infrastructure around Candlemont. While fitness helps, bravery is what your job takes; especially when ghosts swarm a burst ectoplasm pipe.<2/3>
(BRAIN governs reasoning and memory, and it is weakened by madness.HEART governs physical strength and dexterity, and it is weakened by physical injury.STOMACH governs intuition and bravery, and is weakened by dread or sorrow.LIVER governs charisma and compassion, and is weakened by poisons and sickness.)<3/3>
>>5189044>ARTIST [+1 HEART, +1 LIVER]
>>5189044>>NOTARY [+1 BRAIN, +1 HEART]
>>5189044>NOTARY [+1 BRAIN, +1 HEART]
>>5189044>MEDICAL RESIDENT [+1 STOMACH, +1 BRAIN]
You worked long shifts at Booker and Booker, doing things you were often vastly overqualified for.The older Booker brother was partially blind and kept to himself, but the younger Brother was a charismatic man very much in his prime. You, and many of your coworkers, hated both of them; though as crabby as the older brother was, the younger was much more disliked. He insisted he could handle most of the more “complicated” work, and left the repetitive tasks to you and a handful of others. When he failed to complete his own work on time, he would hurriedly give it away again to keep his evenings clear. He had also nearly bankrupted the company a few years before you started due to some kind of investment scandal. (You had only heard about it second-hand.) The other brother was merely curmudgeonly and lecherous.Because of your rather extensive commute, you were rarely there any longer than you had to be. You weren’t very close with your coworkers, especially because many of them lived towards the north end of Harborside; almost twice the distance that it took just to get to work, which was already quite a long way. Still, you tried not to be a total recluse; you were fond of a few bars in southern Harborside and Dreamer’s Hook. Your salary was more than enough money to go out for drinks every week or two.Earlier in the month, you had had a bizarre dream. You feel as though it was the reason you decided to take up interest in the supernatural.<1/2>
>DREAM OF THE KING IN RAGS [+1 BRAIN]You had a dream of a four note rhythm pounding in your head. You walked towards a blinding light, steps in time to the beat, but never moved any closer. The throbbing in your skull grew in intensity until you awoke. You were uncomfortably aware of your heartbeat for the remainder of the day.>DREAM OF THE WOLF AND MAIDEN [+1 HEART]You had a dream of the intense warmth of a bonfire. You were tied down by a group of revelers, who danced and caroused to the sound of a drum made of human skin. When you looked down, you saw that your lower body had been sewn to a goat. You awoke with sore limbs and bruises all along your torso.>DREAM OF THE SUN DIVIDED [+1 STOMACH]You had a dream you were slowly sinking into an ocean of tar. Above, in a blood-red sky, the sun shone a perfect spotlight onto you. The glaring ray made you angry, but the more you struggled to get free, the deeper you sank. You never really “awoke” that morning; instead slowly coming to over the course of an hour.>DREAM OF THE GLASS MAKER [+1 LIVER]You had a dream of a vibrantly colored mold. The dream was indistinguishable from a rote day of work, save for a terrifying spreading mold that was seemingly invisible to everyone save for yourself. Even as your coworkers were consumed by it, they denied understanding. You awoke in hysterics, laughing.<2/2>
>>5189167>DREAM OF THE KING IN RAGS [+1 BRAIN]Lets get some mental HP up
>>5189167>>DREAM OF THE WOLF AND MAIDEN [+1 HEART]>You had a dream of the intense warmth of a bonfire. You were tied down by a group of revelers, who danced and caroused to the sound of a drum made of human skin. When you looked down, you saw that your lower body had been sewn to a goat. You awoke with sore limbs and bruises all along your torso.Kindred?
>>5189167>DREAM OF THE WOLF AND MAIDEN [+1 HEART]
>>5189167>DREAM OF THE WOLF AND MAIDENWanna be strönkAlso QM I have a question. Even if we choose this dream and stat are we locked in this Path till the end? Or we can still make things and advance in the "other paths"?Also another question. Is this qst inspired in Cultist Simulator? Because I love this game and the stats and some careers reminds me of that
>>5189226Yeah, definitely inspired. Also Dishonored, Blades in the Dark, and the Call of Cthulhu RPG. All of that is kind of in the same bag, though.You're not locked into anything, don't worry.
>>5189231Oh, dishonored inspired! No wonder Campbell sounds familiar
>>5189258Wrong quest oops. Disregard what I just said
>>5189231>All of that is kind of in the same bag, though.Fucking nice
>>5189167>DREAM OF THE KING IN RAGS [+1 BRAIN]
>>5189167>DREAM OF THE KING IN RAGS [+1 BRAIN]Let’s be smart about this.
>>5189167>DREAM OF THE SUN DIVIDED [+1 STOMACH]Forge
>>5189167>>DREAM OF THE KING IN RAGS [+1 BRAIN]
You had a troubling dream of The King In Rags.Though you remembered very little apart from the blinding light, the four beat rhythm had burrowed deep into your head. You counted steps in groups of four, tapped your coffee spoon on your mug four times; you could even hear the rhythm in the clattering of your coworkers’ typewriters. For a day, your life was overtaken by the invisible drum beat; then, the next morning, it was gone. Oddly enough, you felt wiser because of it.Several days later, you received an anonymous package in the mail. A brown paper bag, stamped and sealed by “Lochwood Books,” with a single hard-cover volume inside.>RIBBONS AND FIRES [+1 KNOW]A reproduction, though aged in its own right, of an apocryphal Latin tome. While the book is written in the original Latin, vellum sheets have been carefully inserted between the existing pages, on them written an amateurish translation. It details a conversation between two Roman generals; the dialogue is humorous, but occasionally simply too nonsense to be useful.>ROTTEN WOOD, ROTTEN WOOD. (VOL 2) [+1 KNOW]A treatise by the woodsman-turned-scholar, Jean-Matiz Deluc, often difficult to find due to the gruesome illustrations. Deluc’s work was published (presumed) posthumously in several volumes; after he went missing, investigators found his manuscript hidden in his cabin. The cover bears an illustration of a willow tree with a scowling human face.>THE GEMINATE SISTER [+2 KNOW, -1 BRAIN]An anthology of stories, written pseudonymously by “Helaud.” The stories are unnerving, the characters pithy; each centers around a dinner, with the author going into exquisite detail on the preparation of the meal. Of the seven stories, all but two conclude with a fight breaking out among the dinner guests. Each chapter suggests a wine to pair the story with.<1/2>
(Your organs weaken as they are used and abused; first temporarily. Time and succor will restore them to their prime.Once their integrity is weakened to zero, complications will arise. Any further damage will reduce their maximum value. If an organ’s maximum value is reduced to zero, you will PERISH.)<2/2>
>>5189666>ROTTEN WOOD, ROTTEN WOOD. (VOL 2) [+1 KNOW]First a nightmarish dream that flows into reality and now an unknown, dare I say unseen, patron?What could possibly go wrong
>>5189666>THE GEMINATE SISTER [+2 KNOW, -1 BRAIN]We are well paid so we should be able to acquire the wine. We don't really know what KNOW means specifically. And we did spec into a brain so why the fuck not. Let's get a voice in our head we are strong enough to endure it.
>>5189666>>RIBBONS AND FIRES [+1 KNOW]
>>5189666>ROTTEN WOOD, ROTTEN WOOD. (VOL 2) [+1 KNOW]
>>5189666>THE GEMINATE SISTER [+2 KNOW, -1 BRAIN]I'm between this one and Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood, because for the description of the last one makes me think that the illustrations as it says, it will be hard to find, maybe more than the other two options.If there's a tie or something, then my vote goes for Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood (unless the QM can clarify if they are at the same level of rareness or hard to find, in which case my vote is still in The Geminate Sister)
>>5189666>ROTTEN WOOD, ROTTEN WOOD. (VOL 2) [+1 KNOW]Rare books for our collection.
>>5189666>>THE GEMINATE SISTER [+2 KNOW, -1 BRAIN]
>>5189666>THE GEMINATE SISTER [+2 KNOW, -1 BRAIN]
>>5189666>ROTTEN WOOD, ROTTEN WOOD. (VOL 2) [+1 KNOW]Let’s not attack our organs just yet.
>>5189666>>THE GEMINATE SISTER [+2 KNOW, -1 BRAIN]We have the brain to take the hit, access to recommended wine.For regeneration, I'm sure we can pick up a hobby, or distract ourselves during our commute.
The package contained the second volume of “Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” by Jean-Matiz Deluc.You read through it hastily at first, riffling through the pages as your thumb ran along the book’s outer edge. The work is largely unedited, made clear by the rambling sentences and sudden tangents; there was a strangeness about the ravings of a madman made so neat and tidy by a printing press. The conceits of Deluc’s manuscript were difficult to deduce; made only more complicated by your lack of the first volume.Within is a collection of essays, a lengthy discussion of ambiguous philosophical concepts: the body, the soul, the mind. Deluc proposes a cyclical nature to all things, and bemoans the inconsequentiality of life. Between (and sometimes within) essays are segments of recorded conversation between Deluc himself and an unidentified second; it is unclear if the stranger is the same throughout the volume.With the younger Booker brother demanding overtime, you spent the better part of two days on your first read-through of the difficult tome; you quickly grew used to the twisting prose, but the illustrations only became more upsetting the further you read. Regardless, in time, you finished; Deluc’s musings and illustrations had changed you, however slightly. You felt as though you were beginning to understand something larger than yourself.As you cleared shelf space in your abode’s second floor, you knocked a note loose from the book’s dust jacket. A handwritten message, the ink stark and unfaded.“The Keenhollow Alchemist Guild will meet in the coming days. I would advise attending.You will need to know more. You will need to Know more.”You understood; the book had enlightened you somewhat, but you still realized that all you Knew was that you had much, much more to Know. You had become aware, but that would not be notable enough on its own to interest the esoteric.<1/3>
You are as follows.>BRAIN: 3/3>HEART: 2/2>STOMACH: 1/1>LIVER: 1/1>KNOW: 1ITEMS OF IMPORT:>“Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” (Vol. 2) [READ, UNSTUDIED.]Your Know is minor enough to be inconsequential. A single point of Know is only enough to draw back the curtain; you are yet to gain any knowledge of anything that lies behind.Though your attendance is not mandatory, you intuit that many others that are part of the Know will be present at the Alchemist Guild; however, your Know must be higher for them to even consider you.You prepared, quickly, a list of tasks that may be worth completing. Your ultimate success is not reliant on any one of them, let alone all of them; your path is of your own making.>Raise Know to 5 before the Keenhollow Alchemist Guild meets.>Acquire some assistance. (Hire? Summon? Make?)>Perform a more thorough study of “Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” (Vol. 2).>Find Lochwood Books.>Discover the identity of your unknown patron.Lastly, of course, you have a name.>VIKTOR VAN BOORD.>VIKTOR ZITTER.>VIKTOR DEMOIGNE.>ANOTHER NAME ENTIRELY, OF YOUR OWN SELECTION.<2/3>
(Books may be read once, requiring time counted in hours or days, to gain benefits (and detriments) depending on the book. Most commonly, books will increase Know; though the Invisible Arts can do impressive and strange things, even when confined to pages.Once read, a book can be further studied; a more in-depth task requiring days or even weeks. Digesting a book as such can give even more Know, other bonuses and detriments, or even teach the reader spells. A book’s initial effects do not necessarily correspond to the effects of a thorough study; books may be superficial and have little deeper use, or may appear worthless at first and conceal greater things.A book’s initial effects can be discerned by a quick skim, allowing one to first decide if a more intense read is worth their time. Similarly, after roughly one-third of the in-depth analysis is complete, the reader learns what can be gained from studying further.)<3/3>
>>5190847>Perform a more thorough study of “Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” (Vol. 2).>VIKTOR DEMOIGNE.
>>5190847>Perform a more thorough study of “Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” (Vol. 2).>Find Lochwood Books.
>>5190847>Perform a more thorough study of “Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” (Vol. 2).>VIKTOR VAN BOORD.We were given this book for a reason.
>>5190847>Perform a more thorough study of “Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” (Vol. 2).
>>5190847>Perform a more thorough study of “Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” (Vol. 2).>VIKTOR DEMOIGNE.Should've gone for the Geminate Sister book.
>>5190847>>Perform a more thorough study of “Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” (Vol. 2).>VIKTOR ZITTER.
You, Viktor Demoigne, continued your research into your personal library’s latest addition.Jean-Matiz Deluc’s specific style of writing had a tendency to shift into metaphor without warning; as you came to decipher it, you realized that the forest Deluc mentioned so regularly was, despite his background, a metaphor. In fact, the essays proved to be worthless in entirety; the only genius was found in the dialogue. It soon became clear that the stranger Deluc was speaking to was consistent throughout; the manner the dialogue was written was unique, and definitely not fabricated by Deluc himself. (He was a rather lousy writer, though his illustrations still proved to be excellent from cover to cover.)>“Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” (Vol. 2) [READ, UNSTUDIED.][+1 KNOW, UNKNOWN SPELL “RAISE A SERVANT OF THE RIB-WOODS.”]Your initial dissection of the book was a start, but there was much more work to be done. The patterns in the illustrations would need to be studied, and the manuscript’s bolder claims would have to be cross-referenced with mundane sources. More time would need to be invested; much more.Work had swallowed precious time that you wish you could’ve spent researching; the younger Booker continued to insist you put in additional hours. His uneven grin would be waiting in the stairwell, mere moments after you had readied your coat and bag; his threats at your job security always seemed to convince you to stay. There was always more work to be done; something that, in principle, you could at least agree with.Petra, a coworker, had caught you with your nose in Jean-Matiz Deluc’s manuscript. Both Bookers were in Brightstone for the day, and you felt that your personal interests were more important than filing quarter reports. You deflected her questions, but she persisted for the remainder of the day. As friendly as she had been, the Constabulary would pay the book’s weight in silver just so they could destroy it; you weren’t sure you wanted to risk that just to humor a young lady’s interests.You updated your agenda.>Raise Know to 5 before the Keenhollow Alchemist Guild meets.>Acquire some assistance. (Hire? Summon? Make?)>Find Lochwood Books.>Discover the identity of your unknown patron.>Deal with Petra. (Dispose? Hire?)>Deal with the younger Booker. (Dispose? How?)<1/2>
(Your agenda does not consist of everything you are able to do; perhaps not even anything you want to do. You are aware of the city’s seven-and-three districts, you may go places and do things of your own accord.Items on your agenda, as well, may not be simple to complete. Disposing of the younger Booker, for instance, requires assets and preparation. Consider by what means you plan to solve the problems on the list, and what is required for such plans. You may not know everything that Viktor knows, and questions can be freely asked provided they do not escape the scope of his knowledge.Although you have little saved currently, your job may occasionally leave you with excess funds to do with as you please; even Hands and Eyes value wealth, as tomes and implements must often be purchased with mortal currency. The rate at which you accumulate savings may change based on your expenses (rent, food) and salary; unless stated otherwise, you will continue to attend your shifts and keep your mortal body housed and alive.As important as they may be, studying books and similar tasks provide nothing but clutter to your all-important to-do list. This does not mean they should not be done, however; the late hours of the day are better for study than most else, and if not otherwise occupied you may passively work through the study of a tome. Active devotion of your time will, naturally, shorten the days required.While things may be added and removed from your agenda inherently, you may propose something to add, if it seems to be of import. Similarly, actions that you feel you may never get around to may be mentioned for removal.Your info-sheet is located below. It will (or, should) update itself, but notable changes will be mentioned in updates as well.https://pastebin.com/LZJSMhCN )<2/2>
>>5191293>Deal with Petra. (Try to entice her interest with promises of forbidden knowledge and mutual respect, should that fail then bribe her silence)>Take the spell literally and try and acquire some rib bones and attempt to summon a servant in the woods
For those taking into consideration our low Liver score or the risk of revealing the nature of our book and activities, we can always simply pay her money to do some investigative work for us in her off hours. She could find Lochwood books for us or try and identify our patron, or we could try and ease any future attempts to gain her as a follower or patsy by befriending her normally and just coming off as bookish.
>>5191294For the moment keep our current routine, we have still several days to go through. The alchemists might want people that have at least some acceptable clothing, so it would be better to fix that and get some discrete but of good quality black or brown clothing. We don't need to show off or look like a man from a better positioned social class, we just need to look acceptable for entrance.About mr.Booker, for the moment just do some small talk with our co-workers gauge what they think about him, or if they know stuff like where he lives. Disposing of him can be done in more than one way (even something like a leg sweep at night while he walks back home), or we could even find a better business. Or even talk with him, or bring some goods on the table that could make him a bigger profit and negotiate from there. >Deal with Petra. (Try to entice her interest with promises of forbidden knowledge and mutual respect, should that fail then bribe her silence)>Take the spell literally and try and acquire some rib bones and attempt to summon a servant in the woodsIn regard to Petra, just don't talk of the book at work. Or anywhere else where there is people. Invite her at a cafe it should be fine, or a walk in a park. If we are able to entice her allow her to visit us. If we fail and the bribe is too high, we have other options.
>>5191416+1This should be fun.
(Hi! I plan to write an update a bit later today when I have a break, voting/input is still welcome for the next little while.Also, worth noting that you don't actually know the spell yet; you know that it's in there, but you haven't gotten the +1 Know or the spell quite yet. Apologies for the confusion.More info on spells will come when you learn your first one, but I will say that once you know a spell you'll have a fairly good idea of its effects and how to go about preparing it.If you still want to go through with your experimenting, feel free. Something interesting may still come of it.)
>>5191728I didn't vote but yeah, let's keep with the experiment and see if we can summon a Wendigo to give us superpowers Or be raped by the spirits in the woods and end this Quest, whatever happens first
>>5191728Yeah, I say stay the course. My intent was for our experiment to garner us some insight into the occult and the logistics of gathering materials to take to spooky places for spells. If nothing else it is worth it for us to be prepared for disappointment in-character or to get used to spooky things if something supernatural happens regardless.Trying different things couldn't hurt, ideally there would be more options that befits a quest, rather than this being Cultist Simulator with a different coat of paint.
>>5191728Yeah let's go through with the experiment. What's the worst that could happen?
As much as you felt your life had changed, you stayed the course of your current routine; the odd recent events could be easily explained by minor ague or hysteria.During your days at work, you endeavored to probe your coworkers for information. You asked around about both Bookers, trying to seem inconspicuous; you were a primarily solitary creature, and your day-to-day chatter abilities could only be described as passable. Still, your colleagues were happy to share; the Bookers were unliked, and their detractors were happy to gossip. The older Booker lived in Brightstone, and rarely came to the office; his wife had died years prior, but his money and power still afforded him with a great ability to draw in admirers. Apoplexy had left him partially deaf and blind, and so he required a great deal of looking-after, mostly by his aforementioned admirers. The younger Booker lived in a top-floor apartment in north Harborside, just across the bridge from Brightstone. He was overly proud and generally abrasive, but still able to be silver-tongue’d when required. He was formerly an excellent businessman, though few knew him as such; he had more than enough power in the company to get by without working too much, and years of such tarrying had eroded his former talents.As you couldn’t avoid her without seeming suspicious, your investigation eventually brought you to Petra’s desk. She was around your age, maybe a year or two your junior; she had the appearance of someone simultaneously inquisitive and horrified, like a lost child staring at an accident. Though she rarely blinked, her glasses helped to diffuse her otherwise lidless stare. Petra answered your questions happily, always pausing as if waiting for you to say something else in return. You knew better than to mention your rare volume at work, bringing it in prior was something you quickly understood was a mistake; but it was clear that she hadn’t forgotten, and though she was too bashful to ask you about it, she would still persist until she received satisfactory answers. To stymie her lingering, you gave a terse offer; you would meet her and discuss, but it would be later and somewhere more private. She agreed, and subsequently left you alone; for the time being, at least.Besides work, you spent time browsing stores in southern Harborside or Dreamer’s Hook; the gondola that brought you up the Charnel River towards your home stopped in the marketplaces along the way. You were in the process of deciding a new, stately outfit fitting the Alchemist Guild. Your wardrobe was already rather nice, in terms of quality, but the gray slacks and jackets were rather unimpressive. Asking, as subtle as you could, for Lochwood Books still seemed to get you nowhere; though some seemed to recall the name, none could say where the store was.<1/4>
You picked up some rib bones from a butcher on your way home, one evening. Human ribs would have been better, but getting such things would be an undertaking you weren’t sure you had mustered the courage for quite yet.The trip to the Numbwood was rather lengthy, especially late in the day. You weren’t one to usually travel through the Works after sunset; most sensible people avoided it, in fact. However, going west to Old Manor Hill and then to the north shore of the bay would be a good hour or two longer; since you did eventually reach the Numbwood’s edge unbothered, the shorter route did prove to be the better choice.Working by lantern was difficult; the drawn-out shadows of every branch and bramble dancing around as you tried to lay out your selection of bones. You tried a score’s worth of patterns and configurations, reading aloud various excerpts from the volume. As your lanterns burned, the edges of the darkness crept closer and closer; the space for your ritual becoming smaller and smaller. Your body began to shiver, a freezing mist starting to form; your work started to seem futile as nature began to drive you out.Then, with your book opened to one of the strange illustrations and the bones scattered unceremoniously, something happened. The lanterns’ dying glow broke into a haze of colors through the mist; the lines of the shadows crossed the bones, and for a second you saw the same scowling face drawn in the book.You had previously believed the forest to simply be allegorical, but you had dismissed a greater understanding in your assumption that Deluc was a philosopher. The Rib-Wood was literal; perhaps not any one place, but certainly something beyond a hypothetical construct for the purposes of musing on existence. You saw the terrible, warped figures that Deluc had drawn everywhere; their faces in every piece of bark, thicket, or moldering log.Deluc insisted in his writing, over and over again, that he would wait until the Prince found him. You finally understood the power of names; but realizations as such were dangerous.>[-1 BRAIN]Your mind was oddly quiet until you finally got home, only a handful of hours before sunrise. There was a vellum notebook you had planned to use for work once the business quarter changed; but you needed somewhere to record your findings, and a well-bound grimoire like such did the job nicely.<2/4>
You awoke at your desk, your hand sore and covered in ink-stains. The work on “Rotten Wood, Rotten Wood” was complete; or at least the volume you possessed.>[+1 KNOW]>[NEW SPELL “RAISE A SERVANT OF THE RIB-WOODS.”]>COST: [-2 BRAIN, -2 STOMACH][A BODY, FRESHLY DECEASED]“The ritual prepares a corpse for inhabitation by a Kin from the Rib-Woods. As its mycelium takes root, the corpse will rise to perform your bidding; the Wood-Servant is physically stronger and more resilient than a mortal, but is clearly unnatural upon close scrutiny.”Slipped under your door was a letter; it was from a friend of yours named Bennett. He had been in Ironwood Correctional for nearly half a decade, and was finally being released. While you had always tried to be on the better side of the law, Bennett couldn’t help being a criminal; though he would be a free man for the first time in years, his letter to you was inquiring if you would be willing to help him with the criminal endeavors he was plotting. Classic Bennett.You update your list.>Raise Know to 5 before the Keenhollow Alchemist Guild meets.>Acquire some assistance. (Hire? Summon? Make?)>Find Lochwood Books.>Discover the identity of your unknown patron.>Meet with Petra.>Deal with the younger Booker. (Dispose? How?)>Meet with Bennett.<3/4>
(Casting a spell usually requires at least an hour to arrange all the specific preparations, unless specifically stated to require less time. The cost of a spell must be paid, usually from the magician’s own organs; material costs must also be paid, and though substitutes are occasionally acceptable, such corner-cutting can cause unforeseen side-effects.Any number of willing assistants can participate, paying up to half of the total cost (rounded down) from their individual organs. A single unwilling participant can be used as a sacrifice, in which case they are able to pay any amount of the cost, at double the cost to their own organs.Esoteric Tools can be found to reduce the costs of spells, with the effects, number of uses, and restrictions varying between tools.--Sorry if it’s a bit too open ended, I can provide a bit more direction if people would like. I also wasn’t planning for it to be so shamelessly similar to Cultist Simulator, so if anyone has any suggestions to better bring in some other inspiration from the genre, feel free to mention.)<4/4>
>>5192377>Find the Keenhollow Library, search for any unsavory books.>Meet with Bennett.
>>5192380Also, I think there's not much you can do to stop it being very similar to Cultist Sim; you've locked yourself into the Cultist Sim writing style. Maybe you could cast us into madness, it's not done well in Cultist Sim (Dread/Fascination mechanics are pretty ass).
>>5192407(That's fair, I guess as long as people aren't too bothered by the similarity. I'll do what I can to have some original bits.I was open to more Frakenstein-ey mad science, or other interesting occupations in the setting that aren't just cult founder/eldritch truth seeker, but I may have lead things a bit too heavy handedly at the start.)
>>5192380I don't mind borrowing from Cultist Simulator, it's a good game, and as time goes on by its very nature you'l start adapting, tweaking, twisting and turning ideas into something that is your own.
>>5192377>Find Lochwood Books.>Study the spell furtherI'm thinking of seeing if we can alter the spell like making it cost [-2 BRAIN, -1 STOMACH][A BODY, FRESHLY DECEASED] at the cost of the servant not being as strong as it would be if we provided the other stomach, also would this spell only work on humanoids or would animals count because if it also works on raising animals we can use that as a baseline to further study its effects and limitations with alterations on its components cost, as well should we ever be found out we have the aliby of only practicing on animals we probably purchased like pigs and even dogs of the street
Hmm, it seems we'll need to either find a sacrifice for a spell or recruit followers willing to sacrifice some of their own will alongside us or both. That, and generally raising our stats would make this more bearable.I think doing the basics takes priority for now, recruiting or bribing Petra, seeing if we can find some use for Bennett and help him in turn, acquiring the appropriate knowledge to be a peer of the Keenhollow Alchemists, finding our patron and Lochwood Books, etc, etc. Crossing the threshold of actually successfully casting a spell is a pretty big step, not one we need to rush early on, with the advantages they bring it'll be worth it eventually but these things shouldn't be done out of sequence.>>5192377>Meet with Bennett.>Meet with Petra.In that order.>>5192380Hmm, I think to differentiate yourself from Cultist Sim you need to incorporate more character focused elements, Victor should be his own character that develops, not just our meat-puppet. That, and things shouldn't necessarily be as...deterministic as cultist simulator, (or at least it seems that way to me from how much of it I've completed so far) you may want to think about including rolls into the quest instead of simply having stat resources that we spend and manage. Things get a bit predictable if we fall into a rhythm of raising stats, only confronting troublesome people when we have more than enough strength, by default starting so weak as to be forced to built up to the point where we can deal with anyone, (like Booker jr) etc, etc. Like, in cultist sim, doing as >>5191485 says and just leg sweeping Booker at night so he falls and hits his head on the pavement wouldn't ever happen, but realistically it could, we should have that degree of freedom. That is not to say you should make such a reckless action be consequence free, or easy, I just mean I don't think we should have to gather however many followers or level our Heart to level 3 or 5 or whatever, or summon supernatural forces to be even close to the level that'd we'd need to be to deal with our boss like in cultist sim.Having some of your other influences come through might help a little to differentiate your setting from cultist sim, as would us having goals aside from just becoming some occult Übermensch. Some human motivations driving our goals both mid-term and long-term could let us explore the setting beyond just the occult cosmology and perhaps along the way our goals change and we DO decide to ascent to...whatever it is to ascend to.
>>5192576I don't think we have what it takes yet to go about altering spells. I think the prohibitive cost to the spell means we need to level up ours stats, gather more followers or sacrifices to distribute the penalties to, or something else. If I recall correctly, in cultist sim it actually takes a while to be able to cast your first spell.
>>5192577(Fair enough, I'll try to put a little more life into Viktor and other characters. I think the plain-ness was intentional given all the setup stuff, but now that things are actually happening I'll make him a bit more of a person. Also, again, I may have leaned into the occult magic a bit too heavily in the introduction stuff, but hopefully I can fit in some opportunities to investigate other things. Honestly, the original idea was definitely more Frankenstein-esque; bright young scientist digging up bodies and investigating the occult, but I got a bit off of that track.I'm not sure I was ever planning to make it quite as game-ey as you're worried about, definitely not the same kind of stat-raising dance as Cult Sim; I just don't really love using rolls on here, feels too clunky with the back-and-forth required between multiple posts. (Action, ask for roll, roll, result) But, I can come up with something if people would like.)
>>5192577+1>>5192595I kinda understand the approach of the firsts post and how they were writen, but i'm with >>5192577. I say maybe some actual dialogue would be nice instead of narrating how in general the conversations goes, and of course letting us players like choose what Viktor says in those dialogues so we can shape a little his personality and all.Personally I say rolling would be good, and you could also make them when it's needed or in difficult task (for example: We're talking to some officer that heard about how we came from the woods to our house with some blanket stained with blood. Because we know or heard about this officer, maybe we can get out of troubles if we pick some dialogues options that are polite to him, maybe see if he wants some coffee. Because he likes coffee and how we talk to him, maybe he could be more good with us and forget about the problem he came to investigate. But in the other side, if we try to be evasive or even intimidate him, because he's a police officer and he got a gun, we need to actually roll and see if we intimidate him to leave us alone for the moment)Maybe you can add some bonus to the mix with our stats (like +5 or something to the roll for each point), and maluses when needed (using the previous example, having a malus because we have our hands tainted with something red, or because we're intimidating the officer and we have low Heart, depending on the difference of our stats we might get -5 to the roll)Also, if you want to limit our scope with the Magic and such, maybe the Forces or other astral beings could limit our scope for any reason actually. I mean, for me it makes sense. If we can see them, by general rule they can see us too, right?
>>5192595Rolls aren't necessary per se, but some care needs to be taken to prevent too much gamey-ness while still retaining both freedom and the potential to fail.I was gonna offer some basic possibilities but I guess I'll wait to see how things play out and what you come up with before offering further suggestions.
(Hello all! Sorry for the delay, will update soon.I've been considering a roll system; each roll corresponds to an organ (brain for thinking, heart for physical exertion, etc) where you roll 1d100 per point of the organ you have (current, not max.) DCs would probably be on the lower end because of the amount of attempts you would get, but you could also get incremental success based on how many rolls succeed.I've also been thinking about solutions to some other problems, as the pure open-endedness might be a bit too much. Instead: you pick things from your to-do list, and then an/a sequence of choice(s) occur as that scene happens. The to-do list might get more stuff as a result, or because of time passing, and then you pick again. Spells, research, and other write-in stuff acceptable when appropriate, and write-ins would also be welcome in terms of putting projects on your to-do list.Also considering moving to 3rd person, rather than 2nd, give you influence over Viktor, but still have him be a character instead of just a reader-proxy.Thoughts overall? There'll probably be an update next morning-ish, but I'm still open to input on any of these ideas even after.)
I like this quest
>>5193795sounds fine to me. i like viktor to be a character>>5192380>Meet with Bennett.>Meet with Petra.Let's see what they have to say.
I'll get around to giving my thoughts later today, sorry for not responding yesterday.
>>5193795Rolls are good for when things *might* go wrong, and there could be consequences for beating or failing to do the roll (trying a spell without the proper preperations, while in a hurry etc etc) and can be a good way to get some emergent storytelling like that. As for Viktor, yea, I'd say give it a try! If you enjoy and that writing style works out then that's grand and if it doesn't then there's nothing stopping anyone from going back to a more neutral stance.
>>5193795Sorry for the late reply. Rambling wall of text incoming maybe. I personally think this system you've come up with may be very hard to manage DCs well with.You could easily have a situation where the DC is too high or too low which is only complicated by the incremental success system and the variable number of rolls. You'd have to figure out how many dice per organ a proficient person versus a skilled amateur versus a person who has never done something before versus a master would be. You could have situations where the stakes are high, but the DC is easy, but we only have one or two dice and get salty when we fail an "easy" roll due to the swingyness of d100's and the stakes of the roll.Given how swingy d100 systems are without modifiers, we could easily end up failing checks even though we have lots of organ dice or succeeding at lots of rolls regardless of whether they are hard or easy but only by a minimal degree of success possibly despite our high proficiency, which feels bad.Really, I'm just going to end up repeating myself in different ways a lot.I think you are better off using something like Forgotten's system or using a d100 system with modifiers. Either have higher scores in "organs" add positive modifiers to the roll or have them both increase the number of dice rolled (though I personally don't recommend this as it complicates things) and have positive modifiers. To prevent this being a typical best of 3 easymode quest deal, you simply need to account for the difficulty of the task and adjust the DC. Don't be afraid to go above DC 100 once we get a shit ton of modifiers and start doing impossibly hard tasks. It may "break RNG" but the positive mods act as our "RNG floor" so we definitely get better and it negates some of the swingyness while still allowing us room for progressively harder things that would be impossible for us at the start of the quest.Having variable amounts of dice rolled and incremental successes will just making calculating DCs hard for you, and make it unintuitive for us to figure out our chances of success and how strong we are.
>>5193795I was initially opposed to the changes to the to-do list thing as I thought it'd limit player freedom in a quest (which should give us freedom, not restrict it) but upon reading what you wrote more closely, you just seem to be formalizing the choice process, I'm fine with this.I think it is better to stay in 2nd person. It feels weird to read quests with 3rd person narration. You can still have a character voice and musings in 2nd person. When I said you should have Victor be a character, I more meant that he should have emotional ups and downs and a unique thought process and have feelings about specific developments. I also meant that you should perhaps give us choices in reaction to events to determine how Victor feels about a particular event or issue. Victor should not merely be a stand in for us or a blank slate, but as the players we should still influence how the character feels and acts, he isn't supposed to be just some guy in a story we are reading about, but he also shouldn't literally be a meat-puppet inhabited by a hivemind.There, rant over, thoughts delivered. Sorry again for the late reply.
(Thank you for the insight! I haven't really posted because I've been digesting all this feedback, but it's very flattering that people are interested enough to write so much in hopes of seeing this quest improve.I'm still not sold on how to handle dice; I'm not against the idea, I just want to have a system that meshes with the other "game-mechanics" going on.The to-do list change is just a streamlining operation, and would give more chances to have actual dialogue/scenes and not have everything written in summary.Third person is out, I think. I wrote an idea for the next update in third person and it didn't feel right, but I'll try to have the main character have a bit more character, probably some dialogue of his own.Update to follow later today, for real this time.)
>>5196235If the adjustments to the system is too much to handle at the moment, you can delay adjusting it until the next thread and just keeping using the system we've been using up until now. Momentum and consistent updates are probably more important at the moment for the longevity of your quest, too little activity and people might lose interest or people who passed up your quest from the view of the catalog may take note that there doesn't seem to be much activity from day to day and never give it a try for fear of giving commitment to a dead quest.Looking forward to the next update.
You went to meet with your old friend Bennett.There had been some family assets from deceased relatives that had been waiting for his release; he insisted on taking you out to a rather nice restaurant in Keenhollow on his dime. As far back as you could remember, Bennett had never been good with money; however you figured that his newfound inheritance would be good for him, otherwise he would spend money without any money to spend and end up back in Ironwood Correctional. Plus, you weren’t going to turn down a meal at the Mortise, expenses paid. Because you planned to meet with Petra in the evening, you and Bennett spoke over lunch. You wore something nice, as was the expectations of the establishment, but still rather casual; it was only lunch, after all.The Mortise was certainly a dignified establishment; you had dined there a handful of times, but you rarely had the free time to justify a visit. It was far out of the way from your usual route between work and home, made even worse by the hundreds of steps you had to climb to get up from the canal to the street level. Still, the food was exquisite and the decor was tasteful. The walls were half-paneled with mahogany, light blue wallpaper besides; exceptionally modern, abstract paintings were hung all throughout, diffusing the age that was starting to show through the other decor. Young academics sat in plush sofas, smoking cigars near the two or three different fireplaces.“Demoigne?” a familiar voice grabbed your attention through the subtle buzz of conversation. Sitting at a lacquered table was a familiar face. Bennett had a remarkable resemblance to you, or at least that’s what many people thought; you weren’t sure you saw it. You did concede that you two were around the same height, build, and had similar short, dark brown hair; but your features and manner of dress were vastly different. Bennett had a winsome air about him, mouth always half-cocked in a smile; you were more stone-faced and bookish. “Still the same, serious Demoigne as I remember.”You took a seat. “And still the same St. Clair. I thought your time in the correctional was supposed to... correct?” came your pithy reply. You wouldn’t have usually been so snide, but you had had a headache since you had ventured into the woods a few nights earlier. He stared back at you expectantly for a moment, before you let out a resigned sigh and shook his hand.The two of you caught up for a while, enjoying what food you could; the menu was primarily à la carte items, and it was clear that Bennett had been long sick of prison food. You tried, very carefully, to explain the odd events you had experienced recently; you trusted Bennett, but you couldn’t say the same about the other patrons.<1/3>
“There was a man I met on the inside,” Bennett began, his mouth half-full, “who claimed he was a “wyrd agent.””“Weird?” you questioned.“No, wyrd. He claimed that he used to be part of a group that would build clay men and bring them to life; he said the rustcoats locked him up for that reason.”“And what did you think of that?” you continued to probe. It was hard to be staunchly anti-supernatural, as the dull blue glow of streetlights in the evening was a constant reminder of the ectoplasm used to run the city’s infrastructure. Still, it was clear that Bennett was not so easily convinced that your recent experiences had an otherworldly cause.“I think that he might have inhaled too much geist gas when the guards weren’t looking. Even if he is telling the truth, that doesn’t mean it’s magic. I remember reading the gazette; thank God the guards would at least give us that; it was some article about the researchers at the university putting together an automaton that ran on ectoplasm. Brass man, clay man; not magic either way.”Bennett wasn’t going to fold from your word alone. Either you needed to Know more, or you needed some proof; the sharp pain between your eyes wasn’t making you any more agreeable, either.The two of you stared out the window adjacent to your table for a moment; neither one of you had had a conversation quite this lengthy in some time. You could see the immense glass wall of the Kincaid Botanical Garden; all number of exotic plants from around the world flourishing within. You had never been inside, but on the rare occasions where you were in Keenhollow, you always felt the desire creep up inside.“I’m looking to do something criminal.” Bennett said, breaking the silence. “I know you expected that, so I’m getting it on the table.”Bennett had always made due in less than savory ways; you recalled his co-conspirators had always had his back when the Constabulary caught up to him. However his recent, lengthy, stint in Ironwood Correctional was unavoidable; he had taken a deal to cut his sentence in half, at the cost of burning the few bridges that remained.“No hard plans yet, but plenty from the rumor mill. I’m not asking for a huge involvement, but I just want to know there’s someone I can trust. Maybe we help each other?” he continued, a dangerous glint in his eye.<2/3>
Before your meeting concluded, you figured that you should get your pressing questions out.>ASK BENNETT SOMETHING OF YOUR OWN SELECTION.There was also the important matter of deciding on his offer.>WORK WITH BENNETT.You had a history together; as much as you got on each other’s nerves, your friendship had a strong foundation. Bennett’s underworld connections would certainly prove useful, but you were wary of holding up your end of the partnership.>DECLINE TO WORK WITH BENNETT.You would remain friends, but his dealings and yours would be wholly separate; convincing him to help you in any capacity would be difficult. Perhaps for the best, as you knew him to be rather talkative about affairs that should be kept clandestine.<3/3>
>>5196318>Ask Bennett if he'd be up for helping us acquire a body or helping us dispose of our boss in the future.>Bust his balls a bit about selling out his buddies for a reduced sentence, try and get some assurances that he won't sell us out. It may be worthless since we can never truly know, but I think anyone would be paranoid about it and go through the motions of getting some reassurance.>WORK WITH BENNETT.>Remind him of the nature of our talents, we aren't charismatic, nor do we have a strong stomach, so he'd best make sure the tasks he needs us for suits our skillset and get what few other friends he has left to handle the other shit.
>>5196318>Rumors around the city. Reliable ones.>And help in aquiring certain things .... with some discretion. Things that would be illegal or .... too problematic and costly if legal.>Assurances for this partnership. We don't want to be associated with crime in public. Or to find a gang of criminals ready to beat us in to the ground because they find a connection between us. In case of the last, when you get your hands on a revolver send one with a package.>WORK WITH BENNETT.
>>5196318>Help in acquiring certain things .... with some discretion. Things that would be illegal or .... too problematic and costly if legal.>WORK WITH BENNETT.