Author Topic: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion  (Read 2877 times)

Roikka

  • User
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« on: February 28, 2017, 04:51:27 PM »
I liked the concept of Fallen Empires when lumpley presented it in the kickstarted, but noted that it faded into obscurity and hasn't received any attention. I had some ideas though, so I thought I'd try my hand at converting some of the extended playbooks since lumpley hasn't shown any interest in doing so himself. The Bladesoul is meant to be the "tragic" swordsman of the genre that lives (and usually dies) by the blade they wield and the mistakes they make in doing so. Less Norman Bates or Jason Voorhees and more Túrin Turambar or Elric of Melniboné.


The Bladesoul
In the fallen empires, your only companion is the blade. No one else you can trust. No man, woman, child or beast. Everyone else betrays and deceives you. But this you can trust. It shares your pain and guilt and fear. It’s the only one you can talk to. And through its hardness and its edge you keep sane.

You can trust the blade, right?


Name
Jalhar, Lacrak, Elvir, Big Fucker, Softy, Blonde, Hjolm, Corpse, Ork, Blag, Dent, Deg, Frog, Trench, Zuto, Kray, Momo, Gigg, Meat, Stomp.

Look
Man, woman, ambiguous, transgressing.
Dark skin, light skin.
Distinct helm and dark cloak, Well-kept chainmail, black armor, piecemeal armor
Hard eyes, blank eyes, merciless eyes, dead
eyes, or calculating eyes.
Huge body, muscular body, tall gangly body,
wiry body, or obese body.

Stats
Choose one set:
• Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-1 Sharp+1 Weird=0
• Cool=0 Hard+2 Hot+1 Sharp-1 Weird+1
• Cool=0 Hard+2 Hot-1 Sharp+2 Weird-1
• Cool+1 Hard+2 Hot-1 Sharp=0 Weird+1

The Bladesoul moves
0 Wovs of vengeance: whenever your life becomes untenable, name the person you hold most
responsible. Take +1 ongoing to all rolls versus them, forever. (All rolls with them directly
as a target count, of course. Rolls against their family and friends, minions, or property
may count, in the MC’s judgment. MCs, remember your job is to make Apocalypse World
seem real and keep the characters’ lives interesting, not deny the PCs bonuses.)
0 Master of Fate: shot, stabbed, and poisoned, you just keep coming. When you are being
scary as fuck and coming at someone, you get +1armor. You still get shot and stabbed,
bleeding just doesn’t bother you that much anymore.
0 Juggernaut: take -2 on all “when you suffer harm” rolls.
0 Roaring rampage: roll+hard to smash your way through scenery to get to or away from
something. On a 10+, the scenery is moved or smashed and you get what you want. On
a 7–9 you get what you want and smash or move the scenery, but you take 1-harm (ap),
and are disoriented and under fire in follow-up actions, leave something behind, or take
something with you. Think smashing through walls or pushing through burned out husks
of carts. On a miss, your foot gets pinned under something mid-smash.
0 Scent of Blood: at the beginning of the session, roll+weird. On a 10+ hold 1+1. On a
7–9 hold 1. At any time, you or the MC can spend your hold to have you at the scene of a
battle (a real battle, not intimate violence between a couple people). If your hold was 1+1,
take +1forward now. On a miss, the MC holds 1, and can spend it to have you there and
pinned down.
0 Stormbringer: you seek the advice of your weapon. Roll+weird to see what it directs you to do.
On a 10+ mark experience and take +1forward if you do as your mask wishes. On a 7–9,
take a +1 if you do what it wants and act under fire if you don’t. On a miss, it has its own
agenda. Act under fire if you don’t follow it.
0 As one: attempts by other PCs to seize your weapon by force, or to disarm you by going aggro or seduction/manipulation, are at -2. NPCs will never
succeed at disarming you against your will, even if you are completely at their mercy.
0 Beastly: you get +1hard (hard+3).

Equipment
You get:
• Your weapon
• fashion suitable to your look, including at
your option a piece worth 1- or 2-armor
(you detail)
• oddments worth 2-keep
Your weapons (choose 1):
• Bastard Sword (Deadly: On the field)
• Battle Axe (Deadly: On the field)
• Sword (Deadly: On the field & hand-to-hand)
• Spear (Deadly: On the field)
• Falchion (Deadly: hand-to-hand & infighting)

History
Everyone introduces their characters by name, look and outlook. Take your turn.
List the other characters’ names.
Go around again for Hx. On your turn, ask 1, 2, or all 3:
• Which one of you once helped me do something terrible? For that character, write Hx+3.
• Which one of you was once kind and unafraid toward me? For that character, write Hx+2.
• Which one of you do I think is pretty? For that character, write Hx+1.
For everyone else, write Hx=0.
On the others’ turns, answer their questions as you like.
At the end, choose one of the characters with the highest Hx on your sheet. Ask that player which of your stats is most interesting, and highlight it. The MC will have you highlight a second stat too.

Your weapon
Choose it’s looks (pick 1)
Anquated, battered, rusty, black, wicked, large, well-kept

Choose its details (pick as many as you like)
Decorated with runes, gilded handle, prominent spikes, text on the blade, metal parts polished to mirror sheen.

Disarmed, you are (pick 2)
0 Vulnerable. Whenever you suffer harm, you suffer +1harm.
0 Open. Every PC who sees you goes immediately to Hx+3 with you.
0 Afraid. You take -1 ongoing until you hold it again.
0 Irresolute. When you inflict harm, inflict -1harm.
0 Ashamed. You have hard=0 until you hold it again.
0 Powerless. You lose access to all of your character moves. You can still make basic moves.

Goals
During play, it’s your job to have your character make and pursue goals. ?ey can be any goals you want, long term and short-. Begin by thinking what your goals might be this very morning, as play begins

Improvement
Whenever you roll a highlighted stat, and whenever you reset your history with someone, mark an experience circle. When you mark the 5??, improve and erase. Each time you improve, choose one of the options. Check it off; you can’t choose it again.
— get +1hot (max +2)
— get +1sharp (max +2)
— get +1weird (max +2)
— get +1 cool (max+2)
— get a new bladesoul move
— get a new bladesoul move
— get a war-band (you detail) and bloody-crowned
— get a holding (you detail) and wealth
— get a move from another playbook
— get a move from another playbook

— get +1 to any stat (max stat+3)
— retire your character to safety
— create a second character to play
— change your character to a new playbook
— choose 3 basic moves and advance them.
— advance the other 4 basic moves.

Your Keep

At the beginning of the session, spend 1, 2, or 3 keep for your lifestyle. If you can’t or won’t, tell the MC and answer her questions. You can earn your keep by: working the hard earth; extorting, raiding, or robbing a wealthy population; executing a murder on behalf of a wealthy NPC; serving a powerful NPC as bodyguard; or other means as you can negotiate them. In addition to your lifestyle, you might spend your keep on: a night in high luxury and company; someone else’s protection, service, or labor; a weapon or other equipment; tribute to a warlord; the bribes required to turn someone’s eye or secure someone’s complicity; rich or beautiful clothing; or other things as you can arrange for them.

Rubberduck

  • User
  • Posts: 80
    • View Profile
Re: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 12:11:25 PM »
I like it. The Bladesoul really fits nicely into the Faceless moves.

With one possible exception. I don't feel like Roaring Rampage quite fits. Or rather not always. It fits nicely if you're a huge beast of a swordsman. But for the wiry/tall gangly/more human-sized swordsman it doesn't quite fit being able to bash through walls. Maybe make it more about the navigation, than the destruction of the scenery?

Roaring rampage: roll+hard to get past a scenery obstacle to get to or away from
something. On a 10+, you bypass or smash through the scenery and you get what you want. On
a 7–9 you get what you want and bypass or smash the scenery, but you take 1-harm (ap),
and are disoriented and under fire in follow-up actions, leave something behind, or take
something with you. On a miss, you get caught in the scenery.

Maybe something like the above, though I'll admit, that doesn't seem quite as evocative. Maybe an entirely new move to perfectly fit the Bladesoul archetype?

Also, in the minor stuff, I've just noticed that Scent of Blood hasn't been bolded.

lumpley

  • Administrator
  • User
  • Posts: 1270
    • View Profile
Re: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 03:26:15 PM »
Nice!

-Vincent

Roikka

  • User
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 06:19:09 PM »
With one possible exception. I don't feel like Roaring Rampage quite fits. Or rather not always. It fits nicely if you're a huge beast of a swordsman. But for the wiry/tall gangly/more human-sized swordsman it doesn't quite fit being able to bash through walls. Maybe make it more about the navigation, than the destruction of the scenery?

Roaring rampage: roll+hard to get past a scenery obstacle to get to or away from
something. On a 10+, you bypass or smash through the scenery and you get what you want. On
a 7–9 you get what you want and bypass or smash the scenery, but you take 1-harm (ap),
and are disoriented and under fire in follow-up actions, leave something behind, or take
something with you. On a miss, you get caught in the scenery.

Maybe something like the above, though I'll admit, that doesn't seem quite as evocative. Maybe an entirely new move to perfectly fit the Bladesoul archetype?
I think I'll replace the word bypass with slip, but otherwise it makes sense.

Quote
Also, in the minor stuff, I've just noticed that Scent of Blood hasn't been bolded.
Yeah, noticed couple of other hickups as well. I can't edit the post apparently, so I'll put up a google docs file in the weekend at the latest. I'll rewrite some flavour text points while I'm at it as well.

Roikka

  • User
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 02:45:47 PM »
Here's a fixed version.
Changed the names of some moves to fit better, fixed some fluff points, and removed an embarrasing number of typos.

Paul T.

  • User
  • Posts: 707
    • View Profile
Re: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 07:53:02 PM »
I like this a lot, but I'm not convinced by one thing:

That the "weapon" has the same kind of weight or impact as a "mask".

Being "unmasked" is a powerful image, and one that's easy to create an recreate. Taking away someone's weapon is... interesting, but not to the same degree.

Some of the outcomes/costs don't work as well, for me, as for someone being unmasked.

I don't have a solution to point out, unfortunately, but that's what I see. Otherwise, this is really good!

Roikka

  • User
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2017, 08:40:21 PM »

That the "weapon" has the same kind of weight or impact as a "mask".

Being "unmasked" is a powerful image, and one that's easy to create an recreate. Taking away someone's weapon is... interesting, but not to the same degree.

Some of the outcomes/costs don't work as well, for me, as for someone being unmasked.

I don't have a solution to point out, unfortunately, but that's what I see. Otherwise, this is really good!
One way that is already reflected is that somebody seeing you unarmed doesn't get stunned by the fact. Being disarmed has consequences, but those are inside the PC:s head rather than in the way the rest of the world sees them, bacause they are based on PC:s relationship to their weapon.

But yeah I see your point and shall give it due consideration.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 09:47:05 PM by Roikka »

DeadmanwalkingXI

  • User
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2017, 01:09:21 AM »
Seems well done given the premise, but to be honest, if doing a medieval-ish conversion of The Faceless I'd feel almost compelled to make it something like 'The Monster' or 'The Ogre'. The terrible creature from the wilderness that lurks in a cave, fears the fires of man, and probably eats people. Grendel would be an excellent example, just as a for instance.

Stormbringer reference aside a warrior bound to their blade just lacks the same thematic resonance, at least to me.

Roikka

  • User
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2017, 04:41:44 PM »
That's actually a pretty good angle I had not considered before! I don't think it is the only one though.

Ebok

  • User
  • Posts: 415
    • View Profile
Re: Fallen Empires: The Bladesoul/The Faceless conversion
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2017, 08:35:18 PM »
The Conan hacks already convert the Faceless into the "monster" if that's your cup of tea. My only Forgotten Empires gang had a Faceless in it pretty much straight out of the 2nd playbook. Masks work exceptionally well already in a medieval settings. We handled the "crush through the scenery" as a sorcerer's magic erupting in an uncontrolled fashion. That element added a lot of color to all of the "supernatural" leanings of the melee sorceress, so at lot of moves / descriptions had a firey magical flair.

Not that this isnt somewhat functional. Just that... unable to be disarmed is a powerful offensive feature. Unable to be unmasked is a defense one. I dont think Faceless needs more offense.