Monday, 11 June 2012

PiccoLaguna Resources

In May and June 2012 I prepped some game material for a new Smallville campaign, set in a Renaissance Venice inspired fantasy city called Laguna. The title of the campaign comes from "piccola," Italian for "small", and Laguna, the name of the city.

The PCs would all be movers and shakers at the Doge's court. Even someone with humble origins will tend to end up with powerful connections and patrons. The game intended to explore a web of intrigue, corruption and deception as the characters vied for power and influence and worked to further their own interests - but at what cost to their entangled relationships?

I still haven't run this game yet, although I'd like to some day. I tried to recruit a different group of players than I'd run through SamuraiVille, but for three weeks in a row I couldn't get more than two of them to turn up at once, so we never even got as far as Pathways.

I'm sharing the resources here in case anyone has better luck than I! Some of them are incomplete, and have entries marked as "???". If they'd come up in play, I'd have figured them out with the relevant player. I'd welcome any ideas for finishing them off.

Pathways


I created a custom PiccoLaguna Pathways chart (which says Piccolo Venezia, my original but obsolete title for the game), which borrows fairly heavily from the original Smallville Pathways. The main difference is that Abilities have been replaced with Offices, and Heritage Distinctions are replaced with Titles.

Distinctions


Bravo (Distinction)

You are a swaggering swordsman with a penchant for picking fights to show off your skill with the blade.
d4: Earn a Plot Point whenever you Choose to pick a fight because of a slight to your honour.
d8: Exacerbate your Angry or Injured Stress to Increase your Injured or Exhausted Stress pool when armed.
d12: Add a d6 to Trouble to ???

Devout (Distinction)

You are devoutly religious. Roll in this die when debating religion, recalling scripture, or resisting temptation.
d4: Earn a Plot Point when you Choose to adhere to your faith's precepts in the face of an easier path, or insist that others do so.
d8: Add a d6 to Trouble to Reroll a die when upholding or promoting your beliefs.
d12: Spend a Plot Point to Recover your own Afraid or Insecure Stress through prayer.

Renaissance Man (Distinction)

You have embraced the spirit of the Renaissance, combining the passions of art and science to create a new understanding of the world. Roll this Distinction’s die when you are discussing art or science, trying to understand a new theory or technology, or working on a new creation or invention.
d4: ???
d8: ???
d12: ???

Two-Handed Bodyguard (Distinction)

You have studied the use of the two-handed sword as a bodyguarding and crowd-control weapon. Despite its size, you can bring it to bear in virtually any situation, from a narrow back-alley to a broad plaza. Roll in this die when you are fighting with a two-handed sword, or engaged in bodyguard duties.
d4: Spend a Plot Point to Increase your Injured or Afraid Stress pool when armed with a two-handed sword.
d8: When using your sword in an open area, Spend a Plot Point to cancel any Aiding dice your opponent gained from other characters who are engaged in combat with you or those you are protecting.
d12: When Aiding another character with your sword, Spend a Plot Point to Reroll your entire pool, handing over your new highest die.

Titles


Noble Title (Heritage Distinction)

You have earned or inherited a title of some sort, making you a privileged member of the aristocracy - anything from a knight to a Prince. Roll in this Distinction’s die whenever you are lording it over your lessers, or when you exercise your authority to get what you want.
d4: Earn a Plot Point whenever you Choose to step on someone’s toes to get what you want.
d8: Spend a Plot Point to Reroll your Title’s die in a Test or Contest involving authority.
d12: Add a d6 to Trouble to Use a Special Effect from a Linked Office you don’t have.
Limit: God
Linked Offices: Civic, Military.

Offices


Special Effects

  • Automatically gain a new SFX at Office ratings of d4, d8 and d12.
  • SFX can also be bought with Growth dice as usual.

Civic or Public Office (Office)

You have either been appointed to a civic office, or elected to a public office, either of which grants you power for as long as you can hold onto it. Different Offices will have different purviews and commensurate Special Effects. Positions may include Treasurer, Spymaster, Ambassador, Chancellor, Magistrate, and many others. Roll in your Office’s die whenever you are dealing with issues covered by its portfolio.
Special Effects: Spend a Plot Point to:
  • Get Aid from an exhausted Resource related to your Office.
  • Generate a d10 Useful Detail related to your position, such as official documents.
  • Find out what’s going on in a different scene, thanks to your information network.
  • Deputise another character as an agent of your Office for one episode, at a d6 rating.
  • Issue a decree or by-law, which remains in effect for the rest of the episode.
Limit: Official Documents

Ambassador (Office)

You are an ambassador, a representative of a foreign power, charged with championing your state’s interests at court. Roll this Office’s die when lobbying for your state, when arriving at a diplomatic solution, or when manipulating the situation to your advantage.
Special Effects: Spend a Plot Point to:
  • Generate a d10 Useful Detail related to your position, such as official communiques from home.
  • Add a d8 to Trouble to grant another character asylum at your embassy.
  • Deputise another character as an envoy of your Office for one episode, at a d6 rating.
  • Add a d12 to Trouble to lodge an official protest when a situation turns against your interests.
  • Claim diplomatic immunity to get out of a sticky situation.
Limit: Official Documents

Commercial Office (Office)

You have been appointed as an Envoy to lobby the court and investors for favourable trading conditions, on behalf of a merchant family or powerful Guild. Roll in your Office’s die when negotiating trade terms or discussing financial arrangements.
Special Effects: Spend a Plot Point to:
  • Generate a d10 Useful Detail related to your position, such as a contract.
  • Find out what’s going on in a different scene, thanks to your contacts.
  • Grant another character access to a 2d8 Resource, good for one use only.
  • Bribe an Extra to let you in somewhere you’re not meant to be.
  • Arrange for someone or something to be transported into, out of, or around the city in secret.
Limit: Signed Contracts

Military Office (Office)

You have been granted command of an armed force, whether it be elite guardsmen, rank-and-file soldiers, mercenaries, or militia. Positions include Admiral, General, Captain and so on. Roll this Office’s die when dealing with those under your command, or when administering military matters.
Special Effects: Spend a Plot Point to:
  • Generate a d10 Useful Detail related to your position, such as official documents.
  • Find out what’s going on in a different scene, thanks to your network of underlings.
  • Deputise another character as an agent of the Military for one episode, at a d6 rating.
  • Commandeer a building or vehicle for security purposes.
  • Call on Reinforcements (Fighting, Security) 2d8 for one scene.
Limit: Direct Orders from a Superior


Doge (Office)

Through a council of electors, you have been chosen as the Doge, de-facto ruler of the city-state. This is a position of great responsibility - politically, ceremonially and militarily. In foreign affairs, you are given the stylings of a Prince. However, this Office comes with many responsibilities and restrictions. Roll in this Office’s die when administering internal matters or affairs of state.
Special Effects: Spend a Plot Point to:
  • Get Aid from an exhausted Resource related to your Office.
  • Generate a d12 Useful Detail related to your position, such as official documents.
  • Add a d10 to Trouble to revoke any Title or Office (apart from Religious Office) for the remainder of an episode.
  • Grant another character a d8 Civil Office trait for this episode.
  • Issue a decree or by-law, which remains in effect for the rest of the episode. This can overrule any other decree currently in effect.
Limit: Scheduling - Earn a Plot Point any time you must leave a scene early on, due to official business

Religious Office (Office)

You have been inducted into the Catholic Church as a priest, bishop, archbishop or cardinal. Roll this Office’s die when dealing in religious matters, performing ceremonies, or debating scripture.
Special Effects: Spend a Plot Point to:
  • Reduce an opponent’s Clergy rating for an episode (treat this like Reducing Stress, depending on whether their Trait is less than yours or not).
  • Get Aid from an exhausted Resource related to your Office.
  • Generate a d10 Useful Detail related to your position, such as a holy writ or ceremonial item.
  • Excommunicate any character who is not a member of the Clergy.
  • Extract a confession from a character who is not a member of the Clergy (requires a Contest against a Feature or Lead).
Limit: ???