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Unread 5th of October, 2012, 09:04
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Lines in Chalk

A strange ability, an unknown foe, and little time to prepare. This is the beginning of many a story.

You will have few allies, and even fewer clues as to where to start. What you will have are chances. Lots of chances.

Primarily using the d20m system, the Lines in Chalk module is an open-ended, single player module in which you assume the identity of an everyman (or everywoman). You will have neither extraordinary physical/mental prowess nor exceptional resources at your disposal. What you have is one supernatural ability.

You can mark a "chalk line" and later return to that point. This recall not only pulls you through space, but time as well. You may bring one object small enough to fit in your pocket with you through this strange shift. Any objects on your person at the point in time you made the line will remain. You may also only have two lines active at once. You will assume the physical wellness you had at the time the line was drawn, not persist that of the time and place from whence you came. Any knowledge or skills that you have obtained persist through these recalls.

The other portion of your ability is involuntary. As you strive to find out what exactly is happening in the world, chronological restore lines will mark your more significant progress. You may return to these at will, but you will also find yourself at these points in spacetime whenever you are killed. The drawback to recalling to these lines, however, is that you take nothing with you, and your current chalk lines (those you voluntarily draw) have a chance of being destroyed in the process.

This module will be difficult. I'm not a killer GM, but the advantage to remaining at level 1 are that your choices always have a significant impact on your health. You will die, possibly before you find out what you are supposed to be doing. I'm a big fan of open-ended adventures, and being able to persist your character through death with consequences that make a difference, all while making progress towards your goals, is a concept that I enjoy working within.

You will not meet yourself in this module. Once you finally save the day, it will appear to the outside world as though you succeeded through an impossible progression of events. The only evidence that something supernatural is going on being that you always seem to have the right thing in your pocket.

Stat distribution is up to the player, but all stats will come into play during the game. You will get to use a non-elite array (13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8), and have 4 base HP. You will get no feats through character creation, but may have some bestowed upon your character depending on the choices they make throughout their adventure. Characters with below-average intelligence will take longer to master skills, while characters with a frail constitution will have a thinner margin for error when attempting dangerous stunts.

The d20m system is the most effective to simulate the environment of this module. With chalk lines and an average constitution (10-11), you could take a prepared 2-story jump onto concrete and walk off the pain in a few hours. Then again, landing wrong could send you back to a restore line. You could take a bullet from a revolver, but only if it didn't hit a vital area (the typical gunshot would is fatal).

Unfamiliarity with the d20m system should not be a deterrent, so players coming from 3.x should feel free to apply if interested. The skill system will be obsolete, as we will be keeping track of much more specific acquired skills. The proportion of the module will be roughly 50/10/40 : RP/Hack&Slash/Puzzle, simply because many combat situations will require critical and/or divergent thinking to overcome. One stray bullet could send you back to a restore line (consider yourself lucky that most people are take a non-proficiency penalty with firearms). I'm the kind of GM that will let you try just about anything (although a higher wisdom score would net you more frequent warnings for “bad ideas”).

Post any questions, comments, or requests. I'll start once I've found someone who seems to be an active enough poster that we can roll along at a decent pace. Divergent thinking is a plus, so please also post the things you would have a character do in the following situation:

“You come across a ghost town in New Mexico after wandering in the desert for two days. It doesn't seem like there's any running water in the town, and the well is dry. You're thirsty, but don't know whether it's a better use of energy to search for sustenance or a way back to civilization.”

---

This module uses the idea of non-overlapping timestreams. Each occurrence of returning to a specific line creates a new reality, independent of previous recalls. Traveling forward to a line effectively "jumps" you to the stream that led up to that point, but then a new stream is created. If you were to take an object from a line at 1:00, and move to a line at 3:00, dropping that object once you arrived, traveling back without creating a new line would mean that your action netted nothing. If you were to follow the same procedure, however, and override the 3:00 line with one at 3:01 after you had dropped the object, traveling back to 1:00 would mean you could repeat the process and have multiple of the "exact same" object. Those objects, in reality, would be different insomuch as they are from 2 distinct time streams, branching from the line at 1:00. Maybe you picked one up with your left hand and the other with your right, transferring more oils to one than the other. Even though both had the same properties up to that point, they become different when interacted with.

Again, waiting for yourself at a line in the future is impossible. If you were to draw the same lines at 1:00 and 3:00 as above, then recall to the line at 1:00 and wait until 3:00, nothing would happen. Your recalls to 3:00 happened in a different stream from 1:00 than you are currently in, and those recalls themselves created their own streams to boot. Hopefully this helps explain the concept. If it helps, think of the concepts as playing a video game with 2 quicksave slots.

I'll be gone for a couple hours, and see what interest there is when I get back. Hoping some people are interested!
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Unread 5th of October, 2012, 13:48
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Marcus316
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Is it sad that the first thing I think when reading this is Majora's Mask?
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Unread 5th of October, 2012, 20:33
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Originally Posted by Marcus316 # Is it sad that the first thing I think when reading this is Majora's Mask?
Not particularly. I do love myself some Majora's Mask.
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